Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Luck O' the Irish:)

MARCH
 
                                     
 
I am 3rd generation Irish on my Mom's side and Green is one of my absolute Favorite colors so what better way to wear the Green but in a shoe with an adorable shamrock as the strap cover!  Plus, I don't have to get any blisters:)
I would suggest keeping to greens that read as solid.  St. Patrick prints may give it too much of a kitsch feel.
 
As always, the pump is 12" square to fit on the originally designed (by me) Ackfeld metal hanger. 
 
Hopefully you have already signed up for the Starter Kit.  If not, this BOM is open enrollment so still plenty of time.
 
Since it is now March 15th, the templates for the March shoe are available for purchase on my website BOM 2015 page.
 
**NOW A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR:)
Originally this project was set up so that you would pay for the templates and they would be an immediate download.  Due to a VAT (Value Added Tax) put into place overseas on digital products, I had very limited options as to how I could keep the digital aspect but not be subjected to a very disorganized new law.
 
When you pay for the templates on my website, a payment notification will be sent to me.  Once I have received this notification, I will then email you the PDFs of the templates.  Please be sure that your email address associated with Paypal is correct so that you can receive these files.  I will email within 24 hours of payment.  Thank you so much for your understanding.
**End of message**
 
I am very excited about watching this BOM progress and seeing how all of you use different fabrics to achieve a new shoe each month.  Please share your progress on my FB page.  This is also where you will find additional tips about how I went about making these sweet shoes.
Happy Quilting:)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

TUTORIAL: Cutting Multiples of Fusible Shapes

I know a lot of people love the look of applique and then decide it is too much work. 
Well nothing good comes from NO work but today I want to show a way to make it a bit less:)
 
Usually patterns that call for fusible applique have you trace each piece separately onto the paper-backed fusible you are using, cut each template out, fuse it to the wrong side of the fabric, and then you cut the actual fused fabric template out.  A lot of my patterns are written this way but most of my patterns are small wall hangs and it is the more accurate way.  I personally don't mind sitting and tracing/cutting whilst watching a great movie or two:) 

Today let's do things a bit differently....
Step 1.  The first bit of information you will need is the actual size of your template. In the photo above the template is 1-3/8" long x not quite 3/4" wide. For ease of my demo, I am using a precut 2-1/2" strip.  When measuring your template and cutting your strips, leave a little extra...  The actual strip would be cut @ 1-3/4" wide.  
Step 2.  You will cut your fabric strips up to a 1/2" wider than needed and your fusible an 1/8" narrower than your fabric strip. 
Actual fusible cut @ 1-5/8" wide for this template.  Cutting the fusible narrower allows that bit of wiggle room so that you aren't fusing glue to your ironing board...Ask me how I know:)
Step 3.  Cut strip into sections that are the size needed for your template. Remember earlier I said the Actual template is 1-3/8" x not quite 3/4".  I will cut my sections at 1-3/4" x 7/8". 
Make a FREEZER paper template and iron it to the right side of one section. Make sure all sections are fabric side up or you may inadvertently get a reverse piece where you didn't want one.
Step 4.  Cutting: I can cut up to 4 sections at a time with a wonderful pair of scissors with serrated edges which help to grip the fabric as it cuts. 
The other way I keep a good grip is with a small binder clip.  BINDER CLIPS ARE YOUR FRIEND! You could pin your layers but pinning tends to distort the stack.
Cut one side of the templates just to the outside of that Freezer paper template. 
In the photo, you only see the binder clip but remember you will be holding the rest of the stack with your non-cutting hand so slipping should NOT be an issue.  Gripping the stack of sections well, carefully reposition the binder clip to the other side and cut.

Remove your Freezer paper template and Ta-Da, 4 for the work of one.  Repeat this process for as many pieces as pattern calls for. When you are done cutting applique pieces, proceed to the next step of your applique process.

In these last two photos I wanted to show you to think beyond the rigid straight up and down positioning of templates.
In the top photo you will see that this template is longer than 3" and my strip is a 2-1/2" precut.  It will use up more fabric to cut my sections to fit this almost 3-1/2" template. 
In the bottom photo, I can rotate the template to fit within the 3" x 2-1/4" (fusible) and this may allow me to cut at least one more from this strip than doing it straight. 
A note about templates being reversed...
Since you are working on the right side of the fabrics, no need to reverse templates unless needed for mirror images or the pattern has already reversed them. 
Remember that most of the time the pattern templates are reversed so that you get Exactly what you are seeing on the cover.  It would not matter if things were done the other direction unless there is lettering.  So don't spend time worrying about whether you remembered to reverse or not.  Use all the templates the same way and you will have a lovely applique quilt when you are done!
Enjoy:))

Sunday, February 15, 2015

LOVE

February 'LOVE' Get Pumped BOM
FEBRUARY
Soooo many choices to reflect LOVE....do I go shiny? Do I add lots of hearts?  There was a version of this shoe where the heel consisted of about 7 hearts descending in size.  It seemed a bit over kill and I just love the simplicity of this one:)  You will see I did keep the idea as a quilting suggestion though. Plus I just happened to have a piece of this Fantastic batik still sitting around and it was the perfect size!
 
This heel represents what I would like to be able to wear.  I probably could pull it off with a great pair of jeans and cute top.  The bigger problem though is how uncomfortable I would be in these shoes and I am all about comfort:)
 
This LOVEly pump is 12" square to fit on the originally designed (by me) Ackfeld metal hanger. 
 
Hopefully you have already signed up for the Starter Kit.  If not, this BOM is open enrollment so still plenty of time.
 
Since it is now February 15th, the templates for the February shoe are available for purchase on my website BOM 2015 page.
 
**NOW A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR:)
Originally this project was set up so that you would pay for the templates and they would be an immediate download.  Due to a VAT (Value Added Tax) put into place overseas on digital products, I had very limited options as to how I could keep the digital aspect but not be subjected to a very disorganized new law.
 
When you pay for the templates on my website, a payment notification will be sent to me.  Once I have received this notification, I will then email you the PDFs of the templates.  Please be sure that your email address associated with Paypal is correct so that you can receive these files.  I will email within 24 hours of payment.  Thank you so much for your understanding.
**End of message**
 
I am very excited about watching this BOM progress and seeing how all of you use different fabrics to achieve a new shoe each month.  Please share your progress on my FB page.  This is also where you will find additional tips about how I went about making these sweet shoes.
Happy Quilting:)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The SLOW STITCHING / SLOW CLOTH Movement

There has been lots of talk about this 'Movement' recently on multiple boards across the quilting community.  How many of you have heard of this movement? 
 
It has been around for a handful of years now when Elaine Lipson spoke of it, and has gained momentum since Mark Lipinski took it up.  I myself am very happy that there are quilters discussing the merits of not rushing through every quilt. 
 
My 2 cents--
I find it difficult to watch our industry push quicker and easier, all the time!  Yes, sometimes there is a baby coming and we want to get a gift done but sometimes we could take the time to start earlier and not rush.  It isn't like they just pop out....There is usually a 7-8 month lead time!
When I am around quilters who profess to "Love" quilting yet they spend all their time and money trying to find the cheapest-quickest way to 'get it done', I have to shake my head.
Why, if you are passionate about something, do you want to 'get it done' (said in the tone of rush)?  To me, being passionate about something is savoring it, loving the process, and taking time to appreciate what you are doing whilst doing it vs. get it done quickly so you can move on to the next thing. 
With all the gadgets and time saving techniques, I honestly don't see people getting it done quicker, just piling up more stuff and UFOs. We do have many tools to help us do things quicker and I am not saying to get rid of them.  Where would we be without the rotary cutter?
Full disclosure:
I have a ton of UFOs mostly from trying out new designs (oh, and that 'Squirrel' syndrome:)).
I do a lot of machine, fusible applique because it is quick and easy and it allows for me to get pattern samples done in a method that appeals to the consumer.
8" x 11" ALL hand embroidered
The mini included in Pumpkin Trellis
If I had my way though, all my applique and quilting would be done by hand!  FULL Disclosure--NOT the piecing, can't stand to piece by hand and I am awful at it! There is something so soothing about putting each stitch in and this probably explains my new love of English Paper Piecing.
In the Mark Lipinski article, he talks about the conscious meditation with each stitch.  The article starts to sound a little too 'new-agey' at times but when I really think about it, isn't that what I get out of it?  I can get almost meditative, tune out the world around me, lower my blood pressure which is so needed right now:)  I believe every person could use one thing in their life that makes them feel this way (working on cars, wood working, knitting, cooking, etc.) I have met many people who say they don't have the patience for hand work.  Maybe not, but I bet there is something in your life that you can throw yourself into that makes the world around you slow down. 

Who remembers learning about the Arts and Crafts Movement of the early 20th century?  We can re-familiarize ourselves with it and start our own now (everything old is new again:)).  Try shutting out some of the technology of today that is making us all "too" busy.  I don't believe we are "too" busy because we do make time for the things that are important.  Facebook, games online, etc are all easily put away for 20 minutes a day to feel the accomplishment of doing something with our own 2 hands!  IT is all about priorities....now I am starting to sound preachy-sorry!

Slow Cloth has the immediate notion of doing it all by hand and I would love to see more of that in the industry and my guild, but it also means slowing down to appreciate what you are doing without rushing the process. Remember WHY you started doing this (or any) particular craft/art, your health will thank you.

Find your 'SLOW' and let me know what it is:)


 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Get Pumped- Ice Skating Anyone?

JANUARY
This whimsical January boot is 12" square to fit on the originally designed (by me) Ackfeld metal hanger.  Some days I am more excited about that than the shoes:)  When thinking of January, I do think of ice skates even though I haven't skated in years.  How many of you remember clogs in the 80s?  So clunky but so comfortable and this shoe is reminiscent of those.
 
Hopefully you have already signed up for the Starter Kit.  If not, this BOM is open enrollment so still plenty of time.
 
Since it is now January 15th, the templates for the January shoe are available for purchase on my website BOM 2015 page.
 
**NOW A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR:)
Originally this project was set up so that you would pay for the templates and they would be an immediate download.  Due to a VAT (Value Added Tax) put into place overseas on digital products, I had very limited options as to how I could keep the digital aspect but not be subjected to a very disorganized new law.
 
When you pay for the templates on my website, a payment notification will be sent to me.  Once I have received this notification, I will then email you the PDFs of the templates.  Please be sure that your email address associated with Paypal is correct so that you can receive these files.  I will email within 24 hours of payment.  Thank you so much for your understanding.
**End of message**
 
In your 3 pages of templates, one will be a placement guide that is NOT full size but shows how the shoe goes together.  The other 2 pages contain full-sized, reversed for fusible applique templates.
As always, I am only an email away.
 
In your original pattern, you also received the templates for making mini shoes that would either go on a 3-1/2" or 4-1/2" block.  How cute is this little January shoe??  I am so excited to make the minis.  I had to pick a standard pump for the mini block since some of the months have a bit too much detail to go that small:)  Working in one shape, it becomes important for pattern and contrast to work together.  Also a great place to use novelty fabrics.
January Mini shoe
I am very excited about watching this BOM progress and seeing how all of you use different fabrics to achieve a new shoe each month.  Please share your progress on my FB page.  This is also where you will find additional tips about how I went about making these sweet shoes.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

2015 UFO-along

Hello Quilters!
I know I am not alone when I walk into my sewing room to look for something and find UFOs that have been set aside for the latest 'new' project I am working on. There are so many though that it becomes overwhelming and you need to find a little push to get you excited about working on it again.  These 2 small piles have about 10 UFOs within them........  Maybe I need a spreadsheet too:)


Now to find what motivates you....
My motivation is working in a group.  Not sure why but having a group of like-minded people working with me always made my day so much nicer.  Since I work alone now, you would help motivate me to get some of these done.  OR, maybe some of them just need to go away.  I started a UFO silent auction at my guild last year to raise some funds and we get all kinds of neat projects in from quilters who decided they just weren't getting back to that project-Ever.  Tastes change.
If you have a project or 2 that aren't just 'unfinished' but are stumping you as to HOW to finish, then we will be here to help you with ideas for that too.
Sometimes we all need a little motivation to finish and what better motivation than PRIZES!
My prize is that I will have a fun, creative group to motivate me to finish a few of my own UFOs along the way. 

Here are the rules:
1. Definition of a UFO- It is in the title, UNFINISHED, but there will be some additional guidelines so it isn't too easy for you.
*Unfinished projects may not be smaller than a table runner or a 24"ish wall hang-No potholders:)
*Just needing the label doesn't count but binding and label/sleeve, does.  Let's face it, a lot of people stop at the binding and I just don't understand that...You are SO close to done!!  You will feel great once that last stitch is in, I promise.
*Quilt must be started already.  Let's finish the ones started not the ones that are a stack of fabric and a pattern or idea.

2. Accountability- From time to time you may get a poke from me asking how it is coming along and I would like to know what I am talking about:)
*By Jan 31st, 2015, post photos, name, and size of at least 2 UFOs that you would like to finish by the end of the year onto my FB page.  You may post more but I think 2 is very attainable with everything else we have going on, and it will feel great to get 2 done.
This will not only allow me to keep track but makes you more accountable for your own once you have announced it to the world:)
*I will have a roster of participants and their quilts so that I can cheer and award when proper to do so.

3. Now for the fun part....PRIZES!
You will each receive the satisfaction of finishing one of those projects, snuggling under it, or giving it away!!!!
Not that you don't get that too, but Just kidding:)) 
*For each quilt you finish, you will receive one FREE pattern of your choice from my website.
*For each quilt you finish, I will also put your name into the Grand Prize drawing.  These prizes are TBD but I have a long list of ideas!  Drawing will be held on December 31st, 2015.
I will post the additions as I receive them as additional motivation for you:)

Now, I just bought myself 17 more days to figure out which 2, 3, or 6 UFOs I would like to finish this year:))
Pass the word to your friends and let's get as many people as possible FINISHING some quilts this year!
R

Friday, January 9, 2015

HAPPY 2015!

It is going to be a great and busy year!  My holidays were fabulous starting back in Nov with a trip to NC to visit the kids.  Even though I came down with a nasty head cold, we were still able to hang out, play games, eat turkey, and just be.  It was fun seeing the kids take over more of the cooking role too.  We were all responsible for some aspect but it wasn't my kitchen:)  There were 5 adults and 4 dogs in a 1000 sq ft apt.....Fun.
 
A friend invited me on a bus trip from her complex to see an ice show.  I was NOT prepared!  I was thinking it would be a room of ice sculptures like you see at a wedding--NOPE!  It was held in the Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando where they have a full clipper ship in their atrium-What?  The ice sculptures were done by the same people who carve a full ice city in Beijing every year-Amazing!

Christmas in Tarpon Springs, FL is a sweet night downtown called, "There's Snow Place Like Tarpon Springs".  They have soap 'snow' makers, a lighted boat parade on the bayou, and lots of vendors of all sorts.  Grab a hot chocolate or coffee and wander:)  Of course, while this is all happening, Autumn was just arriving here...see tree.

December brought another trip to NC for Christmas but this time my husband rented a cottage in Asheville.  And, because we like to live adventurously, this time we had 5 adults and 4 dogs in 720 sq. ft....COZY!  Good thing we get along and actually like each other:))))  Again we hung out, toured the town, ate great food, and played games. 
Lar and her Charlie Brown tree on Christmas, Puppies snuggling for warmth, backyard nook.
This was our first NYE that no one was here visiting though and so we went to our local hipster bar to see how the youngin's do it.  For me, the best part of going out is always being in a crowd during the countdown.  The energy is indescribable.
Before heading out to ring in 2015.
While you haven't heard from me, I have been working on the Get Pumped BOM, getting a new Seasonal BOM tested, putting together a class schedule for a local shop, and started putting a Market booth together for Minneapolis in May.
New quilts on Etsy, new puppy addition (daughter's Bowen), what I have been working on.
My Etsy shop had 3 new quilts listed this Fall, (Autumn Geo, Pink Trilliums, and Green/Purple strip quilt--the last two are baby quilts).  My Poinsettia pattern will be a beginner hand applique class at a local shop, Crafty Threads.  Then there is the EPP that I am doing just for me.  And, ALWAYS more shoes:))

I hope you have LOTS you are doing and I would love to see them on my FB page!  Next week join us here for the unveiling of the January Shoe of this year's GET PUMPED BOM.  See you then:)