Nature Project Peek

I am a member of a new online art quilt group called The Endeavourers. (You can visit our blog HERE.) 'The group was started by two of the members of our now disbanded Four-in-Art quilters. Having an online art quilt group helps challenge me to try 4 different ideas during the year.

The challenge reveal theme for February 1 is NATURE. Below is just a peek of what I worked on this week. I searched my photo files, edited the photos, and printed them on EQ Premium Cotton Lawn fabric sheets. It is my favorite fabric sheet for photo printing.

Please come back on February 1 to see the quilt project I make with these--and visit all the other members' posts to see how they interpret the challenge theme.


New Year Sewing Resolutions

It's going on the 4th week since I posted! I think it's time to get back to the laptop.

My husband and I celebrate the Christmas weekend with family and friends.
New Year's weekend we visited our daughter and SIL and helped them with some home improvement projects. A few hang-ups made each them longer projects than expected.

I pondered New Year sewing resolutions.
In the past few months, some quilters I follow have written about many of the same thought I had.

One of the most mentioned was social media. While I enjoy exploring Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and the internet for quilting/sewing ideas, it sure takes TIME! I enjoy sewing! I have a great stash of fabrics (maybe too much) to use for projects. I have a many project ideas in my head. I still have a house to keep tidy and clean. I want to enjoy the company of friends. So:

  • I'm want to sew more; posting on Facebook and Instagram when a project is done. These are quick and easy in my opinion. I want to blog once a week, unless there is a special in which I am participating. (I know there might be a few times I post out of that week.)
  • I am going to set a timer for 30 minutes daily with social media searching. I might find an online BOM that will interest me, but I have quilt ideas to make. I'm going to use my time to put MY designs to paper.
  • I'm going to go through that fabric stash, use what I truly like, and send a good amount out the door. Scraps are unnecessary to keep and saying goodbye to them will free up a good 12 feet of storage space. 
A collage of  my sewing progress for the last week:


Gift Card Holder Tutorial

Last week I made gift card holders for the holidays. See the post HERE.
I used a coaster design from EmbroideryIt.com 
I wanted to share the steps I took to make a pocket on the back of the coaster to hold a gift card. I wanted them to be used as ornaments in the future, so I included a ribbon for hanging.

The photos show the steps I took to make these.
1. Finish the front of the coaster embroidery. Leave it in the hoop.

2. Cut the felt backing piece about 1/3 of the way from one edge.
3. Turn the hoop over to see the back side.
4. Place the ribbon ends into the embroidered area, below the stitching line. Place tape over the ribbon, 1/2 inch above the stitched line on the stabilizer (see larger image). Line up the larger felt backing piece along the bow line.

5. Align the top 1/3 of the felt backing to the bottom section and tape them together in the middle so there is no gap between them. Then tape the sides where the cut lines meet. Finally, tape down the corners.
6. Place the hoop back into the embroidery machine to finish the final edge stitch that holds the front and back together. Remove the embroidery from the hoop and carefully remove the tear-away stabilizer.
7. Trim the sides and bottom 1/4 inch from the stitched border. Trim the top back edge, without cutting the ribbon, by folding the front piece of felt and the ribbon down to the front of the embroidery. Trim 1/4 inch beyond the stitched edge. 
8. Trim the front piece of felt 1/4 inch from the stitching, making sure to fold the ribbon down to the back keeping it away from the scissors. 
9. That's it. Finished and ready for gifting. 



Gift Card Holders

A short post to show the test embroidery I sewed today.

I am going to give gift cards to some people this season. Embroidery_It is having a Live Facebook embroider along tomorrow at 2 PM EST to make these pretty coasters. I wanted to try one today. It was my test. The Floriani threads are lovely and the stitching around the applique pieces is very nice.
 As you might notice, I used red thread for the first edge stitch. The final edge stitch I used green. Not a good look. I'll correct it with the gift batch.

When I taped the back felt pieces, I put it over the stitching area and it is stitched in, not to be moved!

That's why I make a test piece.
I test quilt blocks before I make the actual blocks, too. I want to be sure that size and pattern work out properly.
Do you make tests on your projects before going too far with the final project?


Using Scraps

I save scraps! I have for years: I guess I'm a scrap addict. I wish I didn't save so many. I have a tough time parting with those pretty little scraps. Those trimmed triangles obtained after sewing on the drawn, diagonal line to create a triangle corner on a block unit are maybe the most prolific! (Perhaps that sewing shortcut should not have been developed.)  While tidying up after sewing the mystery block units the other night, I decided I would sew the triangles together and make something. (It is a mindless task and there were only re-runs on TV that night.)

I chain-pieced these tiny triangular corners with 1/8" seam allowances and smaller stitch length. The chained triangles could have decorated the Christmas tree! But I really wanted to do something creative that came from my mind's eye. I decided to see where I could go with what I had.

Piled on the cutting mat:

I pressed them open but did not trim them. I cut 2-1/2" strips (of some lovely dark blue fabric I had near me) on a 45 degree diagonal (so the dark blue fabric edges would be on the straight of grain). I sewed the triangle units to that (green lines)
as in the photo below:

I cut along the red lines below and pressed the units open (toward the dark fabric).

I trimmed them all to 2 inches square. I got 72 little blocks to work with. Sewing the units together with some sashing strips and cornerstones gave me this 26 inch by 14 inch table topper that I will quilt another day. 

I plan to gift it to someone.
Thanks for visiting. What do you do with your scraps? Do you save only a certain size? How do you store them?