Monday, May 7, 2012

Too Nice A Day to Not Go For A Ride!

The weather was absolutely gorgeous today!  I had to mail a couple of patterns anyway, so decided to ride the motorcycle.  Monte went along & we wandered around the countryside for a couple of hours. 

Up Thomas Creek Road

 Thomas Creek

Broken Dam on Thomas Creek next to where the Jordan covered bridge was.  The dam once provided electricity to the town of Scio, several miles downstream.  At one time, there was also a cheese factory, two mills, and a general store. 

More scenery by Thomas Creek.
 Snow Peak

Well, time to get back to work now that I'm home.  What a nice break the ride was :)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Winners Have Been Picked!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the blog tour and left comments on my blog.  Wow, what a beautiful garden it would be with all the wonderful blossoms you all mentioned!  Can't you just picture it?  I hope you all had a good time with the tour.

The winners of the giveaways from my blog have been randomly picked.  Each has been notified.

The winners are:

Free Issue of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, Volume 5
     Glenna R

Free Pattern - Stars Over the Valley
     Debbie S

Free Pattern - Woven Rails Bed Runner
     Carol S


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

How to Make My Block That's in Quiltmaker's 100 Block Vol 5

Welcome to the Blog Tour as part of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks-Volume 5 kickoff!  I'm still so excited about my block being included in this issue!!  It's block #404 called "Afternoon Frolic" on Page 25. 
And more excitement for me......a picture of the quilt I made showcasing the block is included on Page 18!!


The magazine should be on the news stands on May 8th.  If you want a chance to win a free copy of the Volume 5 issue, leave a comment on this blog by Noon on Friday, May 4th, telling what is your favorite Spring blossom.  I will randomly select one person to receive the free copy.  If your email address is hidden in your posted name, be sure to include it in your post so I will have a way to notify you.  I will forward your mailing information to Quiltmaker magazine and your free issue will be sent from there.

In addition to the winner of the free Volume 5 issue, two other names will be randomly selected to receive one of two of  my patterns.  One of the patterns is "Stars Over the Valley" and is for an 85" x 85" quilt.

The other pattern is "Woven Rails Bed Runner" and includes two sizes for bed runners fitting either a twin/full or queen sized bed.

Now, I'm going to show you how I made my block.

For this block, I used Lite Steam-A-Seam2 for the fusible applique pieces.  This is just my preference.
If you have a light box or other light source handy for tracing, trace the applique pieces onto the side of the fusible web that does NOT remove easiest.  (There are usually instructions on the package.)  Be sure to reverse your applique template.  This is because the fusible will be placed on the wrong side of your fabric & will be the mirror image of the finished piece.

I did not have a good light source available, so I first traced the applique pieces right side up on the side of the fusible web that DOES remove easiest.

 I marked the side I would peel off so I wouldn't get it mixed up.  I know myself well enough to know I might goof it up if I didn't mark it!
Then I turned the fusible over & placed it on a white surface so I could see the traced lines on the other side.  I then re-traced those lines on the side that did NOT remove easy.   This way of tracing the design is double work, but for me is the easiest when I don't have a light box handy.
 I then cut my background square 1 1/2" larger than the finished size.   This allows for "shrinkage" as you applique so that once the applique is done, you can trim the square to the proper size.   I also cut a piece of stabilizer to be used behind my square.
 I cut out around each applique piece on the fusible web, cutting about 1/4" or so from the drawn lines.
 I peeled off the "easy peel" side of the fusible and place each piece on the wrong side of the fabric.  This fusible has a sticky side that will adhere to the fabric.  If the sticky stuff isn't sticking, you can iron the fabric piece then immediately put the fusible piece on it.  If it still won't cling to the fabric, try spraying the wrong side of the fabric very lightly with a basting spray before placing the fusible piece on it.
 I have all of the fusible pieces "stuck" to the wrong sides of the fabric pieces.
To prepare the backing square, I "marked" the center by folding the square in half, then roller pressing on the fold.
Next, I folded the square again in half and roller pressed that fold.  If you don't have a roller, you can finger-press the folds.  (NOTE:  I get my roller at the hardware store - it's for wall papering but works great for quick, light presses on fabric.)
Open the square & you should see the center lines.
Cut out each applique piece on the drawn lines.
Mark the center of your design.
Place the design under your background to help in placing the applique pieces.  This way works as long as the background fabric is transparent enough to see the design through.  If you can't seen the design, it can be traced onto tissue paper & placed on top of the block to help in placement.
One piece placed.
 The flower is placed.
 All the pieces are on place.  Press with a hot iron according to instructions on the fusible package.
I placed the stabilizer behind the block & pinned it in place to keep it from moving.  
I used several different colors & types of threads to do the outline stitching on each applique piece.  I just went through what I had & what I thought would look good with each fabric.  I used a blanket stitch & sewed around the outer edge of each piece.
After the stitching was all done around each applique piece, I did free-motion stitching to make antennae on the butterfly.

Stitching all done.
Now it's time to sew on the beads.  I sewed them all on by machine using monofiliment thread.  I started at the bottom of the butterfly and stitched a few times to anchor the threads.
I hold each bead with tweezers so I don't run the needle through my fingers.  When sewing on beads, do NOT run the machine automatically.  TURN THE WHEEL BY HAND for attaching the beads.  Also, change to a smaller needle if needed to get through the hole in the bead if you use smaller beads.  REMOVE your presser foot.
Hand turning the wheel, put the needle through the hole in the bead.  Bring the needle to the up position.
Hand turning the wheel, put the needle through the fabric right next to the bead.  Take several stitches (these can be by using the foot pedal) to the next bead position.
Continue sewing beads on until you get the desired effect.

Remove the stabilizer from the back side.  I use tweezers to help me pick out the pieces of stabilizer & to reduce amount of "pull" on the threads.

All done!!