Thursday, June 14, 2018

Vermont or Bust!

Next Wednesday - yes less than one week from now, I'm headed to Essex Junction, Vermont. It's show time again . . .

Seems like I just did this!

This is me at Quilt Market, last month, in Portland Oregon. My friend, Rhonda Pierce, marketing director for Schmetz Needles stopped by my booth at Quilt Market and snapped this photo.

Have you noticed that Schmetz needles are kept handy on every single package of Your Nest™ Organizers?!

Anyway, I'll be featuring Your Nest™ Organizers and The FLOCK at the booth next week. Shows like this are the ONLY time you'll be able to see the FLOCK blocks 'up close and personal' from Hummingbird Highway without being a member of The FLOCK. So be sure to stop by if you're curious!

Before the show, I need to prepare a display. And I decided to make up each block released so far as its own little quilt. For starters, I'm adding a coordinated border to each completed block. It's really fun to see each of the blocks with real borders on them, in many cases, for the first time!

Then I'm going to complete each block, envelope style. In other works, stack batting, backing (right side up), and bordered block (right side down). . .

Then pin around the outside edge. . .

And sew a 1/4" seam around the border edge, leaving an opening for turning. So I don't go seam-happy, I pin the layers all the way around, then I like to put two pins where I need to stop for the opening. Can I tell you how many times I get lost in the sewing and wind up pulling out the seam so I can turn the quilt? Let's not go there.

Two pins=stop sewing, Joan.

Before I turn, I trim batting and backing even with the edges of the quilt top. And remove bulk from the corners. Since I know these pieces aren't going to be anything but display pieces, I trim back pretty severely at the corners before the piece is turned. I don't know that I'd trim the bulk this much if this was a utility quilt.

I save those wool batting bits for my biscornu addiction.

Then pin the opening closed. And pin around the perimeter, plus a few basting pins in the center to reduce the wool-batting-puff-factor while I quilt each piece.

This way, I don't actually hand stitch those seams closed, I'll choose a decorative top stitch that follows right along that folded edge, closing the opening quickly.

Unfortunately, my morning sewing time came to an end before I could finish up my eight flock block mini quilts. Between now and my departure next week, I need to edge stitch and quilt each one.

Think I'll get them all done in time? I'm not worried!

Going to the show? Come see me in Miller South, booth S-30! And check out my finished FLOCK pieces in my display!

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

First Tuesdays

The First Tuesday of each month is a very special day. It's when I get together with three of my sewing girlfriends and share a meal, spend some time with hand-work projects (no sewing machines allowed), listen to a little background music, and a have few laughs and good gab.

This month, it was my turn to host. With my work table covered with stash organizing, and cruise kit materials for the last few months, my friends were kind enough to allow me to put off hostess duties while other projects took over my work room.

Even so, a little spiffing was required to get the area craft-ready.

We start with pot-luck dinner. The host usually provides the main course (this week it was was sweet Italian sausage and onions) then everyone fills in with sides and dessert. Once the dishes are cleared away, it takes a milli-second to get down to the 'business' of sewing.

Since we're all working on hand-sewing projects, there are no machines to set up and the projects come out of the tote and right into action.

There's Gail. She and Jen are both working on My Small World, a quilt pattern by Jen Kingwell. The pattern has some parts that are machine-friendly and some that are hand-work friendly. Both Gail and Jen happened to be working on the English Paper Piecing (EPP) part of the quilt two nights ago.

In fact, I'm the only one of our foursome that wasn't doing EPP.

And the aforementioned Jen. A second or two before I took this picture, Jen flashed a dazzling smile. Still beautiful, even without a toothy grin.

And Marcia, who was working on EPP hexagons. She was working with baby-themed prints in pink, taupe, and aqua. She started the project without an intended recipient in mind. Then she received the news that she's soon to be a first-time gramma! So, I guess if you want a baby to enter your world, you should start a baby-themed quilt!

And me. I was continuing my recent obsession with biscournu, as discussed last week. This time with a familiar subject matter. I found this pattern online and, unlike the other two biscornu I made from the book discussed last week, this one is strictly cross stitch as opposed to a combination of backstitching lines.

And of course, Peaches likes to join the rest of the girls. Although, she doesn't add much to the conversation, she likes to supervise, unless there is food involved, especially at dessert time. . . then she'll participate with enthusiasm!

And if the hostess is lucky, the person who brought dessert will leave some in the fridge. Makes a great breakfast treat! (Don't judge! So, okay, it's not your standard breakfast food, but Peaches made me do it!

Tell me, do you get together regularly with in a social sewing circle? 

Happy Stitching!