Sunday, October 4, 2015

Never Underestimate the Power of a Woman with a Sewing Machine, Revisited

You might remember this project from a post published last November. It's been needing a little something more and this weekend I finished it off. If you didn't see that post and I know there are a bunch of new readers here, go check it out and watch the two related videos, one is a speedy time-lapse number. We'll be here when you're done!

 The stitching was great but just not dense enough for the letters to pop out and be readable from a distance. Since this has been my battle-cry of sorts this past year, I wanted to see those words.

Using a technique I learned from Irena Bluhm several years ago (from her QNN videos), I used Dewent Inktense pencils and textile medium to carefully paint inside the stitching of the letters. It's kind of hard to get the shading just right without adding so much water that the color bleeds, but I really like the results.

never underestimate the power of a woman with a sewing machine

I think it's a lot better now that the words are colored. This is hanging in my studio directly across from the front door, so I can see it often and if it serves as a little reminder to those coming in the house that I'm not just sitting around eating bon-bons, I'm OK with that.

I'm working on getting my newsletter ready to send out this week. If you haven't subscribed to it, there's time. Just enter your first and last name as well as your email address in the short form along the right sidebar.

Hope you've made some time for creativity in your life this weekend!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Feathers Make It All Much Better

Today was one of those days when you wish it was over by about 10am. Nothing majorly serious, but just a series of smaller things going wrong that just piled up. Fridays I usually work at my local Janome dealer's shop and the school board decided to have early dismissal for all the schools in the county due to the rain. (Yes, rain. But we've had a lot of it already and a hurricane is supposedly coming and some of the schools are in a river basin area, so there were flooding concerns. This ex-Florida girl is having a hard time being kind about it.) Then there was a broken hot water pipe, no shower for me. One kid had a fever, another missed the bus, etc.

free motion quilting feathers and ruler work on a sewing machine

But the hubby was home due to said rain also, and I did get to do some quilting so that's good. I started filling the center block edges on my ruler work sampler. It went very well, and I can't wait to show it all to you later. I'm hoping to show you the technique I used to get the feathers pretty even, but I learned it from someone else and I want to run it by her first.

My goal this weekend is to get this block completely done. It's nearly there, so surely I can meet that goal.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Repairing Quilting Mistakes

I've finally got a new video for you. One of my regular readers asked to learn more about fixing mistakes. She appreciated that I freely admit making them, and wanted to see how I fix them.

The video has the added bonus of letting you hear what happens when a bobbin isn't wound properly and the end comes undone while stitching. Operator error, most likely.

Here's the finished product. Can you see the repair? Me neither and that's with contrasting thread. I've also borrowed my 5 year-old's favorite new toy, a pointer finger on a stick. I think I might have to use it instead of my seam ripper!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Don't Compare!

I thought with our recent discussion about being our own worst critics (in the comments on this post: Working the Ruler Work and later on Instagram) when it comes to our quilting, that I'd share this today.

Please don't compare your anything with that of someone else's. Comparison is the thief of joy. What is important is progress. Your own progress compared to yourself of the past.

Don't forget, when stitching free motion quilting, with or without rulers, on a domestic or sit-down machine, don't judge your work with your nose practically touching the quilt!

I am reminding myself today not to compare my work (my crazy blend of quilting, teaching, Janome shop, my online shop, and kid raising) with that of some other wonderful folks.

That's all for today, my wonderful peeps!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Quilting with Rulers: Double Curved Crosshatching

Working on my ruler work sampler again, this time using the double 'S' curve ruler from Rhonda Beyer. This was actually my very first ruler purchase way back when I first decided to experiment with the Janome ruler foot.

Quilting with rulers on a domestic sewing machine-using a double S curve ruler for crosshatching
Because of the asymetrical nature of this ruler, I marked the first two lines to make sure it was even.

Nothing like starting out with one of the more tricky rulers. This ruler has two different curves and they aren't symmetrical. I use a piece of tape to mark where I want to start or end my curve. Then when I'm ready to do the other side, you've got to flip it over to get the mirror image curve.

double curved crosshatching

It's a great ruler, but don't set it aside mid-project as you might have a hard time figuring out the position to get the correct curve when you start back to it. Several minutes were lost today as I tried to remember which side I was using and which orientation.

quilting with rulers double curved crosshatching

Because of the asymmetric curves, sliding the ruler down or up along the line of stitching can throw things off. So you've got to be careful if you want very uniform spaced crosshatching.

pretty feathered corner with double curved crosshatching done on a sewing machine and using quilting rulers

But it does result in some very graceful effects. I'll be using this ruler in all four corners. I will be doing some variations in each corner too. I like how it turned out, even if doing these pretty formal feathers is a bit difficult to get fairly uniform.

Don't forget that Craftsy's got another great sale going on. You can use my special instructor link to get the best sale prices on ALL the classes.

I'll be doing a more in-depth post about using this ruler next week and maybe shoot a video. What rulers, if any, are you using in your quilting lately?