It has been fun sewing my Grunge, Seeing Stars rainbow these past two days.

I finished the plates, then made the centers at our guild meeting yesterday.

When I got home I appliqued the centers in place

(after I replaced Mr. Too Dark Blue… he’ll have to wait for a different project)

You can see for yourself that there was no contrast between him & the pretty black center fabric.

So, I replaced him with a grey plate,

then I stitched the centers in place & dampened the centers to remove the paper templates.

During dinner we got to watch them dry.

I put them on our kitchen table & turn on the ceiling fan.

It makes the drying time quick!

(An advantage of the kids growing up & moving on is that

we don’t need the whole kitchen table for dinner anymore.

I also spend less money on food… but at times the quiet is deafening!)

After our dinner was cleaned up I glued the plates to the background squares

then got out my box of Sulky threads & played the matching game.

That was fun!

Typically I use one spool of thread, Sulky Medium Taupe #1180.

It blends with all of my “muddy” colors so well,

but these bright fabrics read as solids & all 12 petals are the same

so I wanted to match them as closely as possible.

Did you know that if your thread color is a little darker than your fabric that it actually matches better?

Try it!

Next, I stitched the plates in place.

Theresa asked about my applique stitch,

so I’ve added a couple of close-up pics here:

It’s a tiny blind hem stitch.

It takes a few straight stitches, then a zag to the left.

I adjust the stitch length really short & the width really narrow.

I had a hard time getting a pic where you could actually see the stitches

because they’re so small & the thread matches so well.

That’s the reason I use this stitch.

In my opinion it resembles a hand stitch.

In fact I’ve had multiple quilters with their noses close to my quilt adamant that I’d done the stitching by hand!

(Obviously they don’t know me at all! They just see my work!)

The stitch shows up better on this aqua plate

where the color of the fabric changes to a lighter shade.

BTW, the Sulky thread is 30 wt. cotton.

Now this morning I’m ready to assemble the rest of the blocks.

I can’t wait to see them all come together.

Must get off computer & go sew lol!!!

I hope you’re doing some stitching today too.

Just Keep Sewing…

Susan

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As of this morning, this is the progress that I’ve made

since showing you the 1,600+ cut petals

made with the New Hope Fabric by Jo Morton for Moda Fabrics.

 

There are 6 half Tiny Dresden plates in each stack,

48, half Tiny Dresden plates in all.

To keep the strings of petals tangle-free & wrinkle-free,

I’ve had Betsy holding them.

She’s very good at her job!

Each string started out as 4 jelly roll strips that I cut into the 41 petals each (160+/-).

This is a VERY busy corner of my room, eh???

This morning, I pulled another string from its resting spot.

See  how wrinkle-free they still are?

It makes them much nicer to work with when they’re not wrinkled or tangled.

Anything to make the task less annoying is what I’m all about!

A while back I started wondering why I still cut the strings apart with scissors… no more!

It’s much quicker to cut them apart with my rotary cutter (of course!).

I cut off about a dozen at a time

and trim the seam allowance with my rotary cutter, duh!

Why didn’t I do this earlier?

I don’t think I’m lazy,

I just like to do things the quickest

& least annoying way possible!

Once trimmed, the petals are tossed into one of many cutlery trays.

This keeps the petals from escaping to oblivion when I need to move them to the ironing board in the next step.

Next, I cut off another dozen or so petals from the string

and so on, and so on… until the sting of petals is gone.

All ready for the next step!

Now I must go press, turn, press again, then sew.

A great job for a cold, dreary day.

I think I’ll go pick out a movie to keep me company.

It will make this task more enjoyable.

What are you doing on this chilly day?

Just Keep Sewing…

Susan

I did it!

I cut my entire New Hope jelly roll by Jo Morton into Tiny Dresden petals.

But, before I started cutting I was wondering…

since I only need a 2″ strip for the Tiny Dresden petals & a jelly roll strip is 2 1/2″,

could I get more petals from each strip by not first trimming it to 2″???

So, I laid out a bunch of my Tiny Dresden Templates on a strip side by side as if I had trimmed the strip to 2″.

Then I laid out a bunch more of my Tiny Dresden Templates on another strip, staggering them to the edges of the strip.

Guess what?

I can get 5 more petals from each strip if I slide the template to the opposite edge of the strip as I cut!

Multiply that by 40 strips… 36 petals x 40 strips = 1,440 or

compared to 41 petals x 40 strips = 1,640.

That’s 200 more petals from the same amount of jelly roll strips!

That’s 16.6 more Tiny Dresden plates,

or 33.3 more half Tiny Dresden plates!

So, I stacked up 4 different color fabric jelly roll strips and started cutting.

After I cut a few I decided my 60 mm cutter might work even better than my 45 mm & I was right.

Here’s how I did it:

I lined up the template at the edge of the selvage and sliced it off the strip.

Then I cut along the top of the template.

Then I cut along the other side of the template.

I then rotated the template to the opposite edge of the jelly roll strip.

Then sliced it off the strip.

Then I cut along the top of the template.

Then I continued to rotate the template down the strip.

When I got to the end of the strips I opened the folds and stacked what was left of each strip and usually cut one more of each fabric. A few of the fabric strips were not long enough to cut one more petal, but the majority of them were long enough.

Voila!

A jelly roll worth of Tiny Dresden petals.

Now I’ve really got my work cut out for me, lol!!!

A great way to spend a super cold January day.

Just Keep Sewing…

Susan

 

Did you come by our booth at

Quilt Festival in Houston

while we were sold out of Apliquick Rods?

Well, they’re back in stock, fresh from Spain!

You can order yours today on my website.

If you don’t already know how wonderful they are,

you can watch a short video demonstrating them below.

I don’t know what I’d do without mine!

Just Keep Sewing…

Susan

 

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I hope you have many blessings to be thankful for today!

Just Keep Sewing…

Susan

We traveled to Pigeon Forge, TN last week for a much anticipated summer vacation.

We love going there!

Dollywood, white water rafting, outlet mall shopping, lots of good restaurants & tourist shops & this year plenty of antique shopping & a trip to The Biltmore Mansion in Asheville, NC!

Early in the week I spotted an old quilt with lots of feedsack prints in an antique mall.

They closed at 5:00 and we showed up at 4:50, but the woman offered we could shop since there was another couple already shopping so we took a quick look around.

Whoever made the quilt had done a nice job & the quilt was most likely not used but had been washed (probably by whomever had it for sale).

I wasn’t crazy about the binding on the quilt so I didn’t buy it.

The rest of the week I couldn’t stop thinking about the quilt,

so Friday, Chloe & I ventured back to the shop to see if it was still there.

It was still there and so I bought it!

If you didn’t look closely, it was perfect.

But alas, I’m a quilter so some things are blatantly obvious even from a distance…

This binding was horrid & not original to the quilt!

So while sitting on our back porch with this wonderful view, I set to work removing the ugliness from my quilt.

Fortunately I had a small pair of scissors along with me in my hexagon go-bag.

I had made a couple of these in some down time on our trip.

In less than 2 hours all signs of ugliness were history!

On our drive home we stopped at one more antique mall and I found the perfect replacement binding fabric from the same era as the fabrics in the quilt.

It was even on sale!

No comparison…

With the removal of the binding, the smallish size of the quilt and the odd binding made a lot more sense.

You don’t see many quilts of this era that aren’t bed size

unless its’a baby or doll quilt & this is a bit smaller than twin.

I knew there had to be a story.

There ALWAYS is.

Look how the unbound edge of the quilt is so ragged.

Someone took scissors to it.

I don’t know if a dog got hold of it or something else tore into it.

In two places the edge of the quilt had bites out of it that would not be covered by typical binding.

Instead of putting a wide binding on it like the previous “quilt preservationist” did,

 I went to my feedsack stash & pulled out a piece that would work OK and appliqued little patches in those two areas.

It’s by far not a perfect (or even a really close) match but after I had them on,

I couldn’t tell where I had put the patches because all of the fabrics are so busy;

the reason I was drawn to the quilt in the first place.

I straightened the edges of the quilt & sewed on the new binding that I had made.

As I was photographing it I noticed this cutie patootie print.

How cute is that Jack-in-the-box?

Now I love it just the way it is.

I can’t wait to look at every patch of fabric in it

& when I do I’ll look at it I smile instead of wanting to rip the binding off!

What are you doing this summer?

I hope it’s a fun time.

Just Keep Sewing…

Susan

 

This week I made a magazine page on my website.

Magazines+12-13

They are each $6.99 + shipping.

Quilting magazines are some of the best values out there.

They contain a lot of patterns for a little bit of money!

Some I only have one issue left, so if there’s one you need don’t delay.

Until next time,

Susan