Tag Archives: stencil

Welcoming 2020 and Filling up the Empty Quilt Frame!

Finally got to see my bestie on January 1, 2020!!!!

But before I get into that… let’s back up to Sunday the 29th….

I spent all day Sunday Slow stitching and early Monday morning finished it all up!!!

Leaving my frame empty!

 I made Connie and her daughters and grands these cute little mug rugs too!  She liked them 😀

 I used Messenger photo app to take this cute photo on New Years Eve….

And snapped one last photo of our Christmas tree from this year…

and fell asleep long before midnight… excited for the trip the next day!!!
I think we are both equally excited!!!

 My honey got the “fish vendor cart” we had bid on in a silent auction in the town where Connie lives… but the auction wasn’t over until the Friday after we left last fall… so she has been taking good care of this cute item my honey and I were totally enamored with 🙂

Above are photos of it in our kitchen with and without the canopy… which do you like???
Below is a close up of it with a puzzle we use as framed art behind it 🙂  It has rubber tires and a real chain and moving the pedals moves the wheels.. very unique and exquisite we think!!!
Now back from the trip it was time to make the BIG DECISION!!!!
Do I try to load a quilt I have started from the center (for followers this is the Garden Bouquet Wholecloth Quilt) that could well take 6 months to finish or do I load a quilt I finished this past summer that has been waiting in line with everything in the house I needed to load said quilt…

 The above quilt I donned the name Appalachian Delight quilt… using blocks called Bear in the Cabin that I did a tutorial on last year if you are interested in those bear claw variation blocks…

 Above is a close up of the stencils I plan to use throughout this quilt… and below is a wide shot showing how wide the outer border is and those beautiful mitered corners too!

 This is the pattern that goes on that wide boder… fits perfect and that was NOT planned 🙂

 The backing is shown here and is wideback I purchased from an online company that went with the vibe of the front…

 Here is my first corner to finish up close…

 And here is all I have gotten stitched as I have enjoyed getting into a routine with this one…

 My initials and the date are done in navy perle cotton in chain stitching… the rest is in burgundy hand quilting on the taupe and white fabric.

Linking this exciting chain of slow stitching events to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching HERE <<<
She is not feeling great today so come give her a visit and leave a healing comment for her!  No fun being sick.  She is also sharing some cool stories on her post plus there are other linkers sharing their stories too!!!

Then yesterday as I stitched… IT SNOWED here!!!!

 We got a couple inches … covering all that grass in the end… and a mud slide occurred too on the road not far from our home… salt trucks were out last night and this morning the grass was visible through the snow so no issues should be found… just joy with the snow!!!

I started sewing on some curtains for our bedroom and my good bloggy friend Jill has lent her help to aid me  along the way!  The excitement of a new quilt on the frame leaves me not much to show but that they are ready to sew together 😀 lol!

 I have been using my 2 week organizer almost every day since I started and am really loving the accountability of it… are you organizing your days for 2020???

 Check out my new blog header and closing … and have a blessed 2020!


I’m so glad to live in a world where there are Octobers!

~ Happy Sunday and Welcome to my Blog ~

We certainly enjoyed this sunset getting captured this week!!!  I even made it my facebook backdrop 😀  My honey took this awesome photo overlooking our front yard and wowsers did he rock it!!!
 October is finally here and for the northern hemisphere this means cool and crisp nights and bright and shining days… we are even getting some much needed rain intermittently too!

Meanwhile I have been focused on a different project this week… the turkey couple wall hanging!!!

I am working on this project at my desk so Molly and my honey are close by!  I like this 🙂 
Here is a shot I took while using a cool old thimble I keep close to the desk for bindings…

And that thimble worked great for the center straight lines…

 But after machine stitching the inner border ditches for stability and the desired look I wanted… back to hand stitching I am … with my regular thimbles and hemostats to get that needle out of tight spots !!! lol

 Several have asked about the stencil I used and it is here on the right… I may have gotten it online for sure but whether it was Quilt Stencils International or The Stencil Company I am unsure but I love it!!!!

I am marked this quilt before layering and pin basting this quilt.  I used a Leonis water soluble pen that come 10 in a pack most economically on Amazon… spritzes away with water or when you wash it … just don’t press or iron it or leave it in a hot car .. that can set it! lol

This happy progress this week is being linked to my fave Sunday Stop to see what my “tribe” is up to… Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching group HERE <<<  Check out Kathy's new header on her blog post and visit the participants now that you have stopped here 🙂

Also linking to my HQAL friends >>>  Hand Quilt Along Links

This Hand Quilt Along is an opportunity for hand quilters and piecers to share and motivate one another. We post every three weeks, to show our progress and encourage one another.  If you have a hand quilting project and would like to join our group contact Kathy at the link below.

KathyMargaretEmmaTracyDebSusan,  Nanette,  EdithSharonKarrin, & Gretchen

If you have a couple more minutes now please keep on viewing my blog and reading along… I got a surprise this week!  YAY ME!!!!!
I got a cutting table… ok it is a buffet but it is ALL OAK and in excellent condition… we estimate it to be about from the 70’s from the workmanship but it is NICE!!!

 Here it is just slid into my room where I envisioned it when we harvested it from the thrift store in town…

 Here was my sewing room before…

 Here is a pic I clicked just to adore the space it was in… I quickly changed things around and put that black chevron crate in the cabinet door! lol…

 So now my sewing room kind of looks like this…

 It is waiting on a cleansing coat of paint and some organization before redecorating in a much more enjoyable manner with the help of my honey this time!!!  YAY!!!!

Molly didn’t escape the changes… she got a much needed bath! lol

 I love love love this saying this week… no more disappointments from expectations tossed for me!  I recently experienced this with someone near and dear and don’t wanna be there again…

 OH!  Sometime while hand stitching was going on I decided to use the fabric that came in for napkins… these are thick and absorbent … so after making this test piece into a bow I left the edges frayed on the fabric…

 And it really ads to the bowl Connie crocheted us that we keep our daily meds in.

I got 8 napkins all together out of that amount… 9″ x 18″ and the fold in forths so nicely 🙂

 Zig Zag with a 3 step zig zag stitch to keep them from fraying away from us…

 And Wah lah!  They are excellent to use… now if I could just get Rick to use his! lol

 I am doing a commissioned job for another banner… here is a little tidbit for that recipient… a 4″ square will be in her banner 🙂  Sew Excited to see it coming together !!!

 So as I spend time hand stitching today on this never ending border on my fall wall hanging…

 I pray!  For this world and my family and friends! 

Have a wonderful Sunday and thanks for stopping in no matter what day it is.. hope you have found solace and encouragement here!

7 Years Blogging … and WOW look what I am quilting this week!

Image result for busy busy busyI want this to be a spectacular 7th anniversary celebration and giveaway for all of you that read my blog each week 🙂  I have a stack of goodies for a giveaway planned for this week… then life stepped in and my week got uber busy!  

An unplanned trip to Asheville and some unexpected other stuff… well we will do the official celebration next weekend if y’all don’t mind!!!

I have made significant stitching progress this week between all the busyness though!!!  It really helps me manage stress QUITE effectively I find 😀 

So I have been getting up early and stitching in the mornings each day. I am linking this progress with other slow stitchers of all kinds at Kathy’s Quilts Linky Party HERE!  Come check out what all the slow stitching gang are up to and add your link if you blog about slow stitching of ANY kind!  We have cross stitchers, knitters, all kinds of hand stitching goes on and sooo much inspiration to be had from all over the globe too!  As for me… I am a recent transplant to a small town in far southwestern North Carolina USA 😀  I LOVE LOVE LOVE living here!

As does my honey of 7 plus years and our pup Daisy Mae of almost 7 years 😀  Here she is above enjoying the sunshine on our driveway !
Here is where my week started with this quilt last Sunday… laying out stencils… gathering a marking pen I could see on my fabrics that would also work with the stencils and making my plan ….

 After doing the marking and picking out some threads… a mix of big stitch and regular stitches… I was ready to begin!!!

 Don’t forget the proper lighting and a good rolling chair if you use a frame… much more ergonomic and effective to get in those strange positions to make even stitches if you have a rolling chair instead of a stationary one…

 Soon I had the first stitches in and spritzed away the blue marking lines to show off this wonderful texture!!!

 Then I remembered this Needle Keeper I had purchased and hadn’t even unwrapped yet so out it came to join my other one on the frame… it stands up off the quilt top enough to hold my hemostats that double as a needle puller when I get too many stitches on the needle or get in a tight spot and need the extra umph to get that needle through thick seams or something… invaluable tool!

Another basic and invaluable tool I use besides a regular thimble (took me AGES to learn to wear one but my fingers and finger nails love me for it! lol) is making a fashioned thimble from white electrical tape from a hardware store!  
Black gums up and leaves residue… they come in lots of colors too … I have found white leaves NO residue and no gumming up either!  So I make a thimble for my thumb from that and it HELPS SOOOO MUCH!!!

 If you are interested in a tutorial on how I make my thumble … just leave me a comment and I can add that to next weeks post 😉

Here is a look from the halfway point back to the beginning mid week….

 And here is a look when I was working on the end of the row….

Excuse my wet spot on the burgandy cornerstone.. I had just spritzed off my marks and wasn’t patient enough to let it dry before snagging this shot for you all… I was ready to roll!!! lol

I rolled on Friday I think…. marking only about 1/6 of the quilt where I planned to quilt at a time as it is humid out and we keep our windows open a LOT here… the weather is GLORIOUS!!!  But that can make all those marks disappear as humidity is a water like thing.  So be careful if you are in a rainy spot of the world and use the spritz away marking pens.  Mark only what you think you will get to in 2 or 3 days is my recommendation. 

So finally rolled soo I was looking at this this morning!!!

 But when I looked closely at this part here… where the burgandy corner meets the sashing… I knew this wavering edge was NOT what I wanted in this quilt forever…

So I went to my threads I had pulled for this quilt from my thread stash and decided on a big stitch outer line to stabilize AND be a design element on the quilt!

 What do you think??? 

I could have stitched in the ditch with a regular hand quilting weight thread too… but I decided this was just what this quilt needed to me 😀  Hope my honey likes this design decision when he wakes… otherwise I will take out this bit and stitch in the ditch for stabilization in an invisible way once washed…. I have done the ditch stitching on the black thin border using black thread on either side of that black line and it disappears when you look at it.

Next up is a setting triangle motif and swirls and hearts in this cool YLI blue variegated thread! My bestie Connie sent me the stencils from her collection above and below as well as the wavy lines in the outermost border … the rest are from my own stencil stash I have grown over my quilting career!

So if you are new to hand quilting… think about your quilting friends and see if any are willing to “share” their stash with you … likewise think if you would be willing to share  your stash with them!!!  Returning stencils when you are done is very important too!!  Stencils can be readily bought at some LQS’s and online at Quilting Stencils International and also The Stencil Company… I like the layout of The Stencil Company best and prices at both are similar.  I had picked out the same stencils that I borrowed from Connie actually… we both found that quite funny that what I picked out for wanting on this quilt she had in her stash already!!!

I mentioned earlier that we had to go to Asheville unexpectedly this week… Rick needed to visit the VA after he had called them about something so to Asheville we went on short notice… so I grabbed a project I have had lurking in the background but haven’t worked on in ages!!!

 This is a little wall hanging… not sure of it’s measurements but less than 24″ square I would bet… I had layered it with wool batting it looks like and a backing of leftover plaid fabric from my stash… you can see even though it is dark fabri it doesn’t darken the light grey background on the center part though… or dull the yellow of the outer border 😀  Experiment with fabrics you have in your stash for backings… you never know what will work for a project til you experiment!

Here it is just popped out of my 17″ frame as whilst in Asheville waiting I finished outlining the flowers and now need to outline the flower centers and the center star with black variegated thread. then mark and quilt the inner border and outer border after that !  A few more trips to Asheville and I will have this one done… how exciting to make progress on this slow stitching project… thus far I have just stitched with grey thread around the center flowers as I mentioned above so nothing to show a close up of… I have left it out of the hoop to relax from living in the hoop for a year or more already! YIKES … NOT ideal at all!!!

Lucky for me this is wool batting that wants to be puffy and not retain a crease from the hoop I use… my hoop is a heavy plastic hoop that is 17″ across… I LOVE IT… you can purchase one like it affordably at Joann’s online if you are interested… it is large but when I use it I just turn it and work on one side at a time 😀

My bloggy friend Karen wanted me to share photos of a project I am languishing on… my wholecloth!

So here are a couple shots of that project… I am on the second photo working my way from right to left filling in the dark green leaves when inspiration for this project I had worked on a lot until then left me… I got busy piecing and prepping for the quilt I shared at the beginning of this post “Hanover Stars” and quit hand quilting all together for a bit.

While it was nice to give my hands a rest… they are eager and happy to be back to hand quilting… Hand quilting is therapeutic in a way I can’t explain for me… I LOVE IT more than any other hand craft I have done before… I listen to music or watch learning videos on youtube or Craftsy… I splurged and got Craftsy Unlimited 2 months ago right after moving in here and LOVE LOVE LOVE all I can learn whilst stitching away … sometimes I do more watching… sometimes I have to rewind as I have gotten caught up in my stitching progress! lol  It is all good because you can rewatch all you want and LEARN soo many cool things… if you are interested in giving Craftsy Unlimited a try go to my friend Karen’s blog here and click on her Craftsy link and then click on Craftsy Unlimited… I think they may have a free trial but I can’t see any of those things right now… TOTALLY WORTH the monthly or yearly fee though!

In closing… the first photo I shared of the rose comes from this bush…

 Which is right outside my bedroom window….

 My honey brought that bud into me in a little glass with water to keep it thriving next to my frame as I quilt 😀

Then out the kitchen window we watch these flowers as they take root and are starting to bloom again from being planted a couple weekends ago….

 And here is a collage of mother nature’s symphony of beauty all around our little acre and a half….

That center shot shows an ancient weeping willow that stands just north of our garden and fruit trees… it is said a bald eagle comes and watches for fish to swim close to the top in our pond so he can swoop down for a feast of fish… but we haven’t seen him yet ourselves.

We have about 50 strawberry plants about ready to start bringing us mature strawberries, we have grape vines with baby grapes, more rose bushes, peach and apple trees, and blueberry bushes in abundance… so exciting to take ride abouts and walk abouts on our land and see the abundance of goodness we will soon be enjoying by hand!!!

OOOh… another thing I learned from a Craftsy Unlimited class by Debbie Caffrey (Cut to It – Designs for Smarter Cutting) and designed myself from that instruction and encouragement were these pillow sham fronts….

I plan to machine quilt them from a walking foot class by Jacquie Gering I also watched on Craftsy Unlimited this weekend!  We will see when and how that turns out 😀

Have a blessed weekend and see ya next weekend for a very fun giveaway I have planned… I will have a shorter post I hope then too! lol  For now please remember to always …

Slow and Loving Stitches Here!!!

Happy Sunday Y’all!!!

 This week I have had a very busy week to be slow stitching… but I find the beginning of a project busy as I gather supplies and make final design decisions on the hand quilting…  So I have been to the beach a few times!

We also were celebrating here more this week… my honey celebrated his birthday this week!  This was a pic I posted on facebook 🙂

 My bestie Connie took a couple of good shots of us when she was here… nice to have an ocean background as that is our fave place of late!

There is NOTHING to me besides hand quilting that equals beach visits for therapy of the soul!!!

Speaking of stitching let me show you the progress I have made slow stitching on this beauty Amethyst Stars…

I shared this planned stencil to use on the outer border…

 Here is where I marked it with Pounce Chalk… and enhanced those markings as I went along with a chalk pen I have…

 Here is the right side stitched up…

 Here is the joined area… this is a directional stencil… so because of that at the center of the sides, top and bottom I have a “join” area to deal with… which I prefer actually so it is all good…

 And here is that joined area stitched and cleaned and dry 😀

 Here is a fun photo I caught in the early morning one day this week too…

 Thought you would enjoy that shot! I love catching the stitching in different light.

Here is the inner border in the design I had planned… and argyl-esque look with 2 colors of perle cotton in use here…

Here is a shot of the “Argyling” I did… it looks oh so cool in real life.. I hope that is captured in these photos taken with my iPhone though! lol

Now I have rolled the quilt yet again (yep that is twice in a week!!!) and have ordered some stencils… I get stencils from 2 different places… The Stencil Company and Quilting Stencils International.  Both can be google searched and ship in the USA as well as overseas for a price I think!  I had exhausted the fun charm square sized stencils from the first place so I checked out the second place… I am now patiently… NOT… waiting for my stencils to arrive via mail.

I do wish there were local hand quilting outlets… I live 1 hour from a big city but there is no hand quilting shops near me … so most of my shopping is done online.  So I wait PATIENTLY! lol

As I wait I am using the stencils I had in my stash/or had ordered from the first mentioned place anticipating my need for charm sized stencil designs.  In this shot you can see my markings from a stencil to the far right charm square…

 And in this shot you can see that charm square is now stitched … as are the 3 stars …

So how many different threads am I using on this quilt all together you may wonder??! hahaha… let me share this shot with you then…

Yep, I am using Aurifil 28/2, YLI 40/3, Valdani 12 wt perle I get from the Rusty Crow online shop, and DMC 12 wt perle cotton too!!!  Each different brand has it’s own texture though so just like using lots of fabrics can make a quilt scrappy.. using lots of different types of threads can make it more scrappy in it’s finish too… I only bought a couple of these for this quilt… the rest if from stash!  I LOVE THREAD!!! lol

And here is my Pounce marking pad…

It comes in white, blue and pink … there is a good video on YouTube by Leah Day showing how to properly use a pounce marker… there is a definite learning curve to this way of marking… and when you “charge ” it to use you have to whack it against something pretty firmly and it makes a startling noise to others around who may not be expecting it! lol  So if you need a quiet environment or quilt with others in the room work out a communication for when you are charging your pad to mark is my advice 😀

I have a Facebook group that I started several years ago… it hums along usually but of late has been languishing… so I am trying to resuscitate it…

 Here is the group name and the Facebook header I just put up this morning 🙂  I have been so preoccupied with my honey and his health and my own health concerns… I am just getting back to keeping up with things I enjoy like this Facebook group ❤  If you are interested in quilty talk and sharing in a small group setting… as to join in this group if you like!  Would love to get to know you each better… if you aren't already in my group that is.

Also to add to my productivity this week I straightened my sewing room quite a bit…

 The top shot is my 401a (on the left) ~ Zena, and my 301a ~ Gloria ready for action… you can see my design wall and ironing surface there too… then below to the left is my cutting surface and it is MUCH tidier.

My bestie gave me that cool wood ruler organizer/holder over a month ago… I finally made a space for it and put a note she left me LAST summer on it along with my small cutting mat and my most commonly used rulers 🙂

To the bottom right is a collage I made of my next project coming up to piece and thus the reason my sewing room needed this tidy.  I now have all the major cuts made to this Christmas wall hanging… you can see the red and green and white with grey fabrics I am using… this will be a wall hanging for the foyer when the season arrives I am hoping!  While I was ordering the white/grey fabric during a clearance sale online… I found some remnant pieces I felt needed to be added to my existing stash to enhance it! lol  They will be used on a future quilt I am planning also!

Here is a closer up shot of my 401a… Zena… with the cool pin cushion my bestie gifted me for my birthday… I sent it to the lady on etsy that fashioned it from vintage stuff … and filled it at my request with walnut shells!  It is weighty and useful… I LOVE LOVE LOVE it ❤

Here is a cool way to use art to decorate and say something meaningful too that I found on Pinterest I think.  I sent it to my daughter but it has spoken to me also…

 I haven’t heard from my daughter since the 4th of July (my birthday) .. hoping all is well with her and helping her to see a silver lining if life isn’t working out as she thought it might!

For now I encourage you to each …

Stitch and enjoy… come over to Kathy’s Quilts to see what others are slow stitching this week too… that is where I will be posting this too!!   HERE is a direct link to make it easy for ya! 🙂  She has a fun interpretation of this too… this is just mine because it has the ocean in it!!!💕

Y’all … there is PLENTY of meanness in our world of late… please be the change in your area… I will be in mine by showing my love to others… won’t you try it too?!!!  
Have a blessed Sunday and a great upcoming week and grab the opportunity to make a difference around you!

Stencils and Hand Quilting with them ~ Tutorial

Today on facebook I posted this picture of hand quilting I am currently working on …

It spawned several comments and questions.. so I thought I would do a blog post all about it to share with you all 🙂

This is the stencil I am using.. I bought it at JoAnne’s in their miniscule quilting section I think…

As you can tell it is a string of butterflies.. 🙂  I needed a stencil 3″ wide for this wider sashing on a quilt I am working on…

So try to choose a Continuous line stencil .. most are made that way these days anyway! lol

You can view and purchase templates online and Stencil Company or Stencils International company… or you may find some at Joanne’s and occasionally in quilt shops… but I rarely find anything but most common there unfortunately…

So decide what you are marking with and trace it out on a sheet of paper if the path you should go to make it “continuous” is not obvious…

So above is this stencil traced out with my blue Mark-Be-Gone water soluble pen… with the stencil laying beside it…

See these openings where I didn’t draw??

Those are “legs” and keep the template in 1 piece with giving you the ending of a continuous stitch design…

Here is a close up of the stencil.. check out those Legs! lol

I have only highlighted some of the legs here… but notice the black arrow in BOTH of the above shots.. that makes this one tricky to figure out… so do this..

After you trace your stencil go back with the same device for marking you already used and fill in the “legs”..

Above are my quilting lines to keep it continuous and avoid traveling 🙂

This tutorial was made for some of my fave fb groups… because it was popular there I am sharing with…
Kelly at My Quilt Infatuation.. Needle and Thread Thursday AKA NTT… Here🙂
Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict (and she really is!!! lol)….  HERE 🙂
and Happy Thanksgiving Canada at Kathy’s Quilts… Slow Sunday Stitching … HERE 🙂

Here is a cutie I found in an Australian’s fb page I follow…

You see it is Spring “Down Under”.. their seasons are opposite ours 😉

“Charm Dance” ~ Designed and Quilted by Wendy Gontier

Speaking of Australian Best Friends… I have the best one!!! And she recently did a YOUTUBE video about hand sewing down the binding on a quilt… GO HERE >>>> Wendy Gontier  <<<<<  To watch it… leave a comment or hit the thumbs up and subscribe to her channel if you like it.. she is an EXCELLENT teacher too!!!
But I loved it and wanted to share it with you all… I do hope the ups and downs of daily life… are mainly with needle and thread this season 🙂

Until my next post.. PINK POST STILL IN THE WORKS!!!! lol