Sunday, October 20, 2013

A scrappy tablerunner

For Christmas table....  I want to make this table runner in some very shiny fabrics- but I didn't want to practice the 'how-to' on the fabrics, so I made it out of my stash fabrics, and now after I bind it, I can use it at Christmas.
The hearts and the 4 leaf hearts are done as in a trapunto technique. All but the putting of parts together were done in the embroidery hoop on my Bernina 830. (I love that machine when it behaves so nicely).
I will be teaching this method in November.
Design by Eileen Roche.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

For Adam and Marisa

Finally a quilt for my youngest son and his bride (of three+ years).  Well you know how it is, we get too busy.
Summer of 2012 I was in Washington for a Quilt Retreat at Sea cruise to the Inside Passage of Alaska.  I went a couple of days early to see the family and stayed with Marisa, Adam and Leona (granddaughter). Marisa and I went to the local quilt shop, she showed me fabric she liked and then she said, I can show you what Adam would like too.  She did, and she was right, when I went back to the shop with Adam later that day, he chose the absolute same fabric she mentioned he would like. So I bought a few yards of each of their choices.  Now let me tell you that the two choices were very opposite, Marisa chose a panel, Adam chose a large flower pattern.
They saw a French Braid quilt hanging at the shop and said that was the design they wanted me to use. 
A few months later, my sister and I went to the quilt shop where I was working and we chose 13 fabrics to put in the quilt, along with the fabric Adam had chosen.
I asked my friend and quilt mentor Jean to teach me the technique. Cutting it was the biggest deal, as it has to be very organized in cutting.
After putting one of the strips together, I realized that the two fabrics I had used from Adam's selection just wasn't working, so took it apart and went shopping again. I found that by just adding 2 of the fabrics purchase when shopping with my sister worked best.
Final result is this..... my camera doesn't always take great photos, but here it is

This next photo is a show of the large flower fabric that Adam originally chose.  I love this colorway and plan to make another French Braid design with it.

Metallic Thread Tip

I recently heard of a great way to help stop the breakage issues of using metallic threads. I believe it was from the Anita Goodesign newsletter. So here is the tip of the week.

TRICK- When you are going to sew with metallic threads make sure to:
       1.  Use a metallic needle.  They have a longer eye opening and are usually coated with teflon to reduce heat friction.
       2.  Use a new needle with each project. 
       3.  Put the metallic thread on your thread holder (not attached to your machine)
       4.  Now move the thread holder 3-4 feet away from the sewing machine. In this way the metallic thread will have more time to unwind and relax. Thus many of the usual knotting that takes place will not occur.
TIP-  Now if your embroidery thread is old and dry then it may have breakage just for that reason. So keep your threads in a cool area away from the sun (like away from the window).
I keep mine in a specially designed thread organizer, not just thrown in a pile, but standing up. Take good care of your supplies- they aren't cheap.
Should you continue to have breakage, clean your machine with your small brush, give it a drop of water in the bobbin area (if your machine requires you to add oil), check the bobbin area for loose bits of thread that could get caught on the hook system.

And now there are 3

I love to teach and share embroidery with others. I recently completed teaching a 3 month class at The Quilter's Market Shop in Tucson, AZ.  These three women were participants. This quilt is entitled 'Lady Liberty' and is a design of Eileen Roche.  This is an applique embroidered wall hanging. Every 2 weeks for 5 sessions we would meet and learn another portion of the quilt.  Between classes the students went home and worked on the project. The final result is spectacular, don't you agree?  If you would like to learn to use your sewing and embroidery machine, let me know, we can work something out.

Red Memory Quilt

I love to do Memory Quillts.  They offer the recipient many fond remembrances of times past.  This particular quilt is a commission from a Father.  He wanted to have a memory quilt done with the clothing of his Granddaughter, she is now 7 yrs old. He asked for 2 quilts- one for his Daughter and the other for the Granddaughter. I received two boxes of clothing to work from. Process began with  hours of cutting clothing into usable sizes, fusing interfacing to the back of each cut piece, then cutting the appropriate shapes for this quilt, and finally sewing all the pieces together have produced this top.  Next I will quilt the three layers together, bind it, apply a label with the stroy of the quilt and send it off to them.
I have a second one to make for him and I have done the first three steps, this weekend I will sew many of the pieces that make up each block. When the second one is completed I will share the photo on this blog.
It is awesome to be doing and sharing what I love.

My Favorite Things wins in Washington show

This is a beautiful wall hanging quilt. I entered it in the Association of Pacific West Quilters show that took place August 2013. When I got word that it had been accepted into the special event of embroidered quilts, I couldn't wait to see it hanging there in Tacoma, WA.  So I bought an airline ticket, made arrangements to stay at Adam and Marisa's place for the long weekend. I received a notification by a friend on Facebook the night before I left for WA that my quilt received a 3rd place prize. It was a wonderful experience, and I would encourage any and all of you to enter your creations in shows.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

My First Quilt made me a better quilter...

Family Fundays Memory Quilt©
A quilt-as-you go wall-hanging
By Jacquelyn Morris-Smith
August 2013

I wanted to have a family photo wall in the entry of my new home in 2006, but I didn’t want to hammer nails in the wall for each frame. Knowing that as the sizes of the pictures may change regularly I would be constantly filling holes and making new ones I had to come up with a different plan. I was not at the time a quilter, but I have sewn all my life, so when I saw a sign in my town for a quilt shop I got the brilliant idea to make a Family Wall Quilt, now renamed to Family Fundays Memory Quilt©. I called that shop and inquired how one could go about making such a thing, and they recommended a quilt instructor- Jean Hoagland. She assisted me in understanding what I really could do to make this happen.  I started by buying fabric (more than I really needed).  I didn’t realize that I wouldn’t have to cut all the fabric into strips…but that I could have saved some fabric for other projects and only used what I needed.
My first version was so unorganized and the blocks were not equal or straight.
Here is a photo of that first quilt 

Although my friends and family (who don’t quilt) love this Family Wall Quilt, I can see the imperfections and realize that I have really gotten better over the years.  It is always good to have a first quilt reminder. What was your first quilt?

I will be posting later the new version, and I am designing a pattern for  Family Fundays Memory Quilt©
Thanks for reading and let me hear from you.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Tutorial Ruffled Apron- Easy Peasy

This is/was a quick and easy idea given to me by my friend, Barbara.  She described it to me, and so I set out to figure out how to make an easy fun apron from a tee-towel or hand-towel.

Basics needed:
1 rectangle towel.
 Cut a 9" strip off of one of the short sides of the towel, you will use it to make the pocket.
9" wof (width of fabric) strip of fun colorful fabric
2 1/2" strip of solid colored fabric for the  ties, but you could use  1- 2"wide grosgrain ribbon ( you will need about 54".

1. hem the ruffle strip to get rid of raw edges 
2. gather the fabric at the top edge only
3. attach it to one of the short edges of the towel.

4. place the 9" that you cut from the towel earlier
and lay its right side to the apron's wrong side.
5. now you will sew a 3/8" seam
6. press the seam towards the apron
7. bring the newly formed bottom to the front of
the apron, you should have the right side of the
cut section on top of your apron now
8. pinning the cut pocket area to the apron sew
along both sides and the bottom (hint- sewing across
the bottom will enclose the raw edges of the 3/8"
9. find the center of your pocket- draw a line
with an air erase or water erase fabric marker
from the top of the pocket to the bottom, turn
the apron and sew back up to reinforce the seam.
10. attach the strip of grosgrain ribbon to the
apron, making sure you have the ties equal in
                                                                                             The Christmas apron shown here is done with a very light gathering and no pocket.

If you enjoy this please pass it on and let me know.  The more the merrier.  Happy Sewing !

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Practice, Practice, Practice...

It is Sunday,  I have been Zentangle crazy this week. I have done several 'tangles' on paper, today I decided to try my hand at sewing a Zentangle design.
First I cut an 8" block out of top fabric, batting and backing fabric.
I took my sketch pad to a table and started sketching.  When I was finished with the paper design I took the white top fabric, used a Frixion fabric marking pen and then drew the same design on the fabric.
Off to the sewing machine I went.  I turned off the knot tying feature on my sewing machine, because I would later pull the top thread to the back and tie it off, then bury the threads. Since traditional Zentangles are done in Black and White, I used Black thread in the bobbin and the needle.
I started with sewing the border, which helped to hold all the fabric in place, I also stitched across the sections to give separation to the individual tangles. Then the straight stitching, I wanted to make sure I was able to have continuous line quilting, and it worked pretty well. The curved crescent moon section had to be done by free motion quilting, I found that I had to turn the machine to a very slow speed for this portion.
What do you think?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Bags and Totes

Just wondering what got into me, I have now made 2 bags within 2 weeks and love them both.  
The first was a messenger bag- pattern by Valori Wells.  Made with a cool fabric I found at The Quilters Market in Tucson, AZ.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Then I finished an Eileen Roche Embroidered in the Hoop travel bag.  When the zipper is open the pocket is able to slide over the handle of a suitcase/briefcase.  Super idea.  I plan to make more of these.


Friday, January 25, 2013

First Time Entrant Award- 3rd place

Mid January I entered my quilt "My Favorite Things" into the Tucson Quilt Guild show- and to my surprise- 3rd place for First Time Entrant into this show.
I wanted to have this quilt judged so that I could receive feedback on my work and improve on areas that need improved (which are many).
As earlier written in an earlier blog post, this is a Sarah Vedeler design. I took liberty with it, in choosing to not make it square with a large applique border, although that is beautiful, I decided I liked the shape of the 8 point star. It is now proudly displayed on my entry wall.