Loose Threads

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Sewing and A Busy Summer

I'm having a really busy summer and have been having a lot of fun.

I've been doing a lot of sewing and went to the Kokomo One Stop Shop Hop a couple of weeks ago with friends to do a little stash enhancement.  I didn't take one single photo.

 My friend Michele picked up this row by row for me from a shop in Kentucky because she knows how much I love English Paper Piecing.  I was just going to make this one row and quilt it, but I may rethink that and do a small quilt..  There are a lot of really cute rows out there.

I always have fun at English Paper Piecing Addiction Group at Back Door Quilts.  This Oh My Gosh quilt belongs to Marlene.  She is even making a second one.  It is just gorgeous.

I've been doing a lot with DAR friends including sewing for our DAR fund raiser.  One of the girls bought a lot (somewhere between 8 - 10 yards) of the red and white striped fabric you see in the photo below.  She asked if I could make something out of it.  So I made 16 placemats.  There is red and white stripe on the back, too.

Then I used the smaller pieces to make 36 travel tissue holders.  They are all lined with red and white stripe.

I made this little flag quilt earlier, and I backed it with the red and white stripe and made some napkins.

And there was still some left......so I made a 10 minute table runner which takes a little longer than 10 minutes.

I'm still working on finishing up some of my UFOs.  These hexagons are for my Aunt Sarah quilt.  The pattern was in Quiltmania Magazine #82.  It looks like that issue was published in 2011.  The hexagons are 3/4".  There is a large oval center that is applique'd and looks a little like the center of the Auntie Greene quilt.  I've made several "tries" at this quilt before.  I have always liked the quilt but wasn't totally sold on the center.  I think I have another idea of what to do there.  If you go back to my post here, you will see the photo of the quilt from the magazine.  The two hexagons that I show in that post must have been used in another project because they weren't in the UFO bag with the quilt center.  

I'm still making pillows from my Charming Hexie Pillow pattern.  The pattern is available in my Etsy shop here.  You can also purchase the pattern at Back Door Quilts.  I am enjoying choosing 39 hexagons and glue basting them.  I will soon have enough pillows made that I may sell some in my Etsy shop.  Stay tuned.  

I made this one as a present for my daughter.  It's made from the same mini charm pack that I used to make the shop sample for Back Door.  

I've also spent some fun Grandma time.  Here is Malcolm who is 5 months old.

Daniel had a lot of fun at the Indianapolis Children's Museum.  He really enjoyed the Hot Wheels exhibit.  These two guys just make me smile.

I have been posting some over on Instagram.  You can follow me there at:

I still enjoy reading blogs, but I see the attraction to Instagram.   It's easy and quick to just post a photo and a few words.  But, for now, I'll keep writing as long as you are still stopping here to read my ramblings.

Hope you are finding some time to stitch today!

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Charming Hexagon Pillow

Hello Everyone    I didn't mean to be away so long, but I've been busy!

I try to be loyal to my readers, and I know that I had said that I would post a tutorial for the hexagon pillow that you see in the photos below.  In the meantime, the owners of Back Door Quilts saw my pillow at English Paper Piecing addiction group last week and asked if I'd write my pattern.  As a result, I have self published the pattern, and they have bought several copies to sell in their shop and at quilt shows.  I've also opened an Etsy shop where you can buy the pattern as an instant download. Here is the link  LuAnnsLooseThreads Etsy Shop

I will also be teaching a class on this pillow at Back Door on September 21.

Charming Hexagon Pillow
14” X 14”


I don't feel that it's fair to those that have purchased the pattern that I post an entire tutorial here.  I hope that you understand.

I will give you some limited directions though.

The pillow measures 14" X 14"
The hexagons are 1" and are NOT raw edge.
I have used mini charm packs and/or 2 1/2" squares of fabric from my stash to cover the hexagons. Then they are machine stitched to the background grid.  There is no hand sewing on this pillow.

These pillows are pretty addictive as you can see from my photo and are a great use for all of those mini charm packs that we've all bought because they were cute but didn't really have a plan for them.

I have several of these pillows in progress and will post them in a couple of days.

I hope you are finding some time to stitch today.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit.  

Monday, July 4, 2016

Patriotic Pillows on the Porch

The last couple of weeks, I've been making red, white and blue pillows to decorate our porch for our July 4th holiday barbecue.  The weather here is rainy and cool, but we managed to cook a few hamburgers and hot dogs yesterday in between showers.

This pillow-making frenzy all started with the pillow below.  When I went to English Paper Piecing Addiction Group at Back Door Quilts a couple of weeks ago, my friend Michele brought a pillow in similar to this.  It is made of 2 1/2" unfinished squares and is quilted by hand with big stitch using embroidery floss.  I know a lot of us have floss left over from our cross stitch days.  I've seen lots of pillows using the 2 1/2" squares, but the big stitch made each square puff up a bit, and the hand work was fun to do while sitting out on the porch.  Back Door made up kits for both the stand alone pillow tops and another kit with the backing added.  I bought a couple of kits for the pillow top to get a variety of squares and then added to it from my patriotic fabric stash.  

I saw this hexagon pillow on Pinterest and decided I'd make one.  I found a tutorial on line that said to arrange your hexagons in a pleasing manner.  Well, that's all well and good, but they have to line up so that when you sew both horizontally and through the diagonal you catch all of the points.  I'm writing a tutorial and taking photos, and I'll post it in a few days.  This is a great way to have a hexagon pillow without sewing all of the hexies together by hand.

Here is another hexagon pillow that I designed.  There is no sewing by hand on this pillow either.  The flag would have shown better if I'd bordered it and used a larger pillow insert, but I think you can still tell what it is.

This is what I did with the second kit of 2 1/2" squares of Patriotic fabric.  I stitched in the ditch on this one.   I've quilted all of these pillows using some of my batting scraps and then muslin on back.  I think the quilting just makes the pillow more sturdy and gives it a nicer finish.   They are all finished off with an envelope back.  I'll do a tutorial on that at some point as well.  

I embroidered the center of the pillow above.  I took an embroidery class at Back Door a couple of months ago to learn some new stitches and to learn the correct way of doing some that I'd done for years.  The added bonus was when I learned how to shade my embroidery with crayons.  I'll have to post about that as well.

Below is my quilt as you go Patriotic table topper centerpiece made from my tutorial.  You can find it here.  

I hope you are finding some time to stitch today.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit.

Happy Independence Day!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Shipshewana Quilt Festival

Yesterday I drove north to Shipshewana, Indiana, along with two friends from our Thursday sewing group, to the annual quilt festival.  I go to Shipshewana a few times a year, but this was the first time I had been there during the quilt show.  It was wonderful, and I always enjoy my visit there.  It was so nice to visit with so many friends there that I hadn't seen in a long time.  I had a great time.  

I'm going to share just a few quilts from the show.  Some are prize winners, and others are just some that I really liked.

This first one is the Best of Show by Nancy Prince, On This Winter Day.   I neglected to get a close up photo of the info above the ribbon, but it took her 7 years to complete the quilt, and I believe there is something like 7,000+ yards of thread in it.  A lot of the things were heavily thread painted.  It was really an awesome quilt to see in person.

Here is a close up of one of the houses on the quilt.  Look at the people in the windows!

Here's another house with a close up of the machine quilting.  

I neglected to get the name of the maker on this quilt, but it was my favorite.  The flowers in the baskets are all dimensional and embellished with embroidery.   Since there was no ribbon awarded, I don't have the makers name on the winner's list either.  

This quilt is by Sandra Peterson, Bohemian II:  Ferris Wheels and Kites.  Third place in the large pieced category.

This quilt is by Janet Stone and is called No L.  She won 2nd place in the mixed media-large category.

The rest of the quilts have photos of the info cards with them.  This one has 1,573 pieces.  The logs were very narrow.  

This pattern is called Insanity, and it appeared on the front cover of Australian Patchwork & Quilting magazine Volume 16 Number 6.  I bought that magazine just in case I ever get the urge to make this quilt.  Once in awhile I pull the magazine out just to look at the large, colored photo of this quilt.  10,509 half inch hexagons.  I'll probably just keep looking at the nice photo.

I've made several baskets that look similar to the ones in this quilt.  I've added mine to an applique' center on point a bit like this arrangement and am working on English Paper Piecing an outer border for it.  I like this quilt.  The center applique' is made of wool.

This quilt is just striking.  There is lots of tough piecing in this one.  

Here is another neat log cabin arrangement with tiny logs.  The machine quilting looked just like hand quilting.  It was done on a Baby Lock Sashiko machine.

There is a car museum adjoining the conference center where the quilt show and vendors were.  Most all of the cars had an antique quilt on it.  Someone told me that the quilts were from the collection of Eleanor Burns.  

This was a nice way to display the quilts, and a lot of people there were having fun looking at the old cars.  

Here are my purchases for the day.  Some are from vendors, but most are from Lollys and Yoders.  It's a pretty small haul, but I have uses in mind for most everything.  OK. I don't have a clue what I'll use that little pile of trims for, but my friend Michele texted me before I got to Shipshewana and said I should stop by the booth and check out the rick-rack with the checks and dots.  I thought it was probably something I needed in my stash.  The trims are from Heritage Quilt Shop.  You can get them on line!

I bought this little basket at Rebecca's Arts and Antique store. It's always nice to see Rebecca and visit with her for awhile.  This little basket is perfect to hold my trims!

I haven't done any sewing yet today.  I went to the porch to take the photos above and fell asleep on the love seat there.  It's really warm and humid today, but I'm going back out and do some stitching before time to get dinner.

I hope you are finding some time to stitch today.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Big Knit Mitered Square Blanket

I get a lot of questions and comments about my tutorial for the knit mitered square sock blanket using leftover sock yarn.  You can find the tutorial on the tab under my blog header here.  I know this is mainly my quilting blog (my crochet blog is here), but since I have the tutorial for the sock yarn blanket on one of the pages on this blog under my header, I thought I would post this here.

Our local yarn store, Mass Ave Knits, here in downtown Indianapolis, started doing a larger version of this mitered square using Liberty Wool yarn.  When I started this, Liberty was coming out with 2 new colors of yarn each month (and they still may be).   I started that project with the Liberty yarn, but in the meantime I found this Bernat Super Value Stripes yarn.  Since this blanket will be used by a child, I think the Bernat yarn will work just fine.  Plus, the colors are more vivid.  Any worsted weight yarn would work, but I chose this because of the stripes.

Here is a comparison between my mitered square sock blanket (still not finished) and the larger mitered squares.

I'm using 4 different color ways of the yarn for the big squares.

Each of these larger squares measures approximately 12 inches.  

They can be set with the same layout as my sock yarn blanket joining the squares as you knit.  Or,  they can be whip stitched together into squares like this.  I still haven't decided how I will put these together.  I may stitch 4 of the same block together to make larger squares of one color way when I have more of them completed.

Pattern for 12" mitered square.

This square is made the same as the squares in my tutorial that are done with sock yarn.

Size 8 circular knitting needle 24" long
Cast on 93 stitches.  
Row 1.  Knit 1 row.  Turn.
Row 2.  Knit 45, Double Decrease, place marker, knit to end. Turn.
Row 3. (Wrong side row)  Knit to marker, slip marker, Purl 1, knit to end.  Turn
Row 4.  Knit to 2 stitches before marker, double decrease, knit to end.  
Repeat rows 3 and 4 until there is 1 stitch left on the needle.  

I hope you are finding some time to stitch today.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!  

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Mickey Mouse Quilt Finish

I finished this  Mickey Mouse quilt for my Grandson's big boy bed.  When his little brother was born, I realized that he wouldn't be in the crib much longer.  When I was visiting Michele in Kentucky, we not only took the Bonnie Hunter Turkey Tracks class, but we sewed a lot.  Michele had this Mickey Mouse panel in her stash, and she gave it to me along with a yard of the black Mickey head toss fabric.  I bought more of that fabric, and I added the yellow and white four patches and the red and white polka dot squares.

Here is the Mickey panel before I started the quilt.  I machine quilted inside of Mickey's face and body with thread that matched the colors in the panel.  Then I did a paisley pattern in an off white on the rest of the borders.  

I machine stitched the binding using a tutorial from CJ that attends our Shipshewana retreat.  This is the first time I tried it, and I'm happy with the results.  It looks like I have a little red flange along the black binding.  

Daniel was pretty happy with his quilt and matching pillowcase for his bed.  He is sleeping in the same bed that his Daddy did (my son).  It was my Uncle's bed before that, so it's been in the family for years.  

We've been busy doing some landscaping along the side of our house.  OK.  I'm shopping and picking out the plants, and my DH is planting them.  We live on a curve, and you an see this side of our house as you round that curve.  It looks bare, and also our kids said that it would be nice to have something to put Christmas lights on so that side of the house isn't so dark.

This is a hydrangea tree, and the others with blooms are knock out roses in cherry pink.  The light green bush to the right is a privet bush.   The little green plant on the left is a peony and will have to be relocated.  We have another privet for the other side of the tree.  Daniel and I had a fun day last week shopping for plants and having lunch.

I hope you are finding some time to stitch today!  It's 69 degrees and windy here.  I took some stitching out to the porch, and I was cold.  So I'm in my sewing room today.  I know that by the end of the week, I'll wish for this cooler weather.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

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