Thursday, May 29, 2014

Mini Shop Hop

Good morning, All!

Last Saturday was a lovely day and I decided to go on my own little Quilty Shop Hop. I picked a couple places I'd never been, jumped in the car and headed out.  The only plan I had in mind was to hit a few of the shops on my list with my eyes open for batiks, some white fabric & a pair of pinking shears.

I started by heading to Richmond, NH - a town I'd never been to, but it didn't seem like it would be all that hard to find.  It was a bit of a challenge as I gave DD "Jack," my GPS for her PA trip and it was still with her.  I had checked out how to get there via Google Maps and, again, it seemed easy enough.  About 3/4 of the way there, the road I thought I was supposed to take was OBVIOUSLY not the one I needed, so I went on, hoping I'd see something that I remembered from the directions.  I ultimately did and just before I was about to stop for directions, I came upon my first stop: Pickering Farm Quilt Shop.

The first thing I noticed was how much bigger it was on the inside than it appeared on the outside.  Here's a view as you walk in the door: FILLED with fabric and quilting goodies!  Diana, a very kind and wonderful woman, greeted me immediately and as I was a "first timer" filled me in on what I would find and then set me loose to explore.

I particularly like those blues on the bolts in the lower left corner!
One might expect to find fruits at a "farm"!

I am VERY into batiks and kept coming back to this lovely section.
You'll notice gorgeous fabrics, LOTS of patterns and wonderful quilts all throughout the shop.

 Many of the quilts, Diana told me, were quilted by her husband with their long arm.  NICE work, Steve!
Loved these bright fabrics!
 As you can read on their website, the folks at Pickering Farm carry MANY reproduction fabrics, but as you can see with the batiks and the lovelies above and below, there's plenty of variety for the fabric shopper.

I thoroughly enjoyed my stop there and it was a great place to begin my day.  I walked away with some Hoffman batiks to get me rolling.  I will definitely be back!

From there I found my way into Keene and made a brief stop at both New England Fabrics (always fun to see what they have) and Joann's for those elusive pinking shears, with, I will add, my 40% off coupon!  :)

Then it was back on Rt 9 for a stop at one of my favorite quilt shops: Quilted Threads in Henniker.

If you're from around here, you might remember when they were in a tiny building back closer to the highway, near the grain store?  It barely had room to move in, but they FILLED it with gorgeous fabrics.

Well, they've "come a long way baby" to where they are now and it's MARVELOUS!

They were out of stock on the pattern for this bag, but I'm on the list for when it comes in!

The highlight for me was seeing a quilt I am at the VERY beginnings of called "Over The River and Through the Woods." Some one had actually made one and it was on display - it was soooo cool!  I'm still working on the stitching, but I've seen how wonderful it will look someday!

I got some stunning white on white for the borders of my next quilt for DD's coach... but that's another post.

I was tempted to head home at this point, but something said, "oh go on... just one more..." so I took some back roads and got myself over to Bedford for my final stop of the day at The Quilt Patch.  What a little gem!  The owner, Sue, greeted me warmly and we jumped right into quilting conversation.  She had some wonderful little sets of batiks, my fabric of the day, so I tucked those into my bag along with some ideas and information that she was kind enough to share.

Looks a bit like that blue I saw earlier.

Like my other shop stops, I will definitely be back!

Here's my "stash" after the days travels: some batiks, those pinking sheers and a lovely piece of white!  It was a great day and I can't wait to go back!

Where would you go if you could create your own shop hop?  Hey, what's stopping you, right?

Go have fun!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wordless Wednesday 5/28/14

Good morning, from drippy NH!
It's Wednesday, a moment to share an image from my world. 
Today?  A hint as to tomorrow's post:
I went on a wee little shop hop Saturday.  Hehe...


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Cleaning My Machine: Not Dust Bunnies... Dust Buffaloes!!

Today's post is rather like inviting people in to see your bathroom: most of us would rather not... particularly if you don't know them well.  I have people ask me often, "How do you do it all?"  This post answers that question: I don't.  I don't even pretend to.  Don't get me started about dishes and laundry...

Remember the video I shared about cleaning your machine this weekend?  Well... I thought I'd better go do mine.  She talks about clearing away "dust bunnies" ... I started there, but when I got into it?  HOLY COW!  Mine were "dust buffaloes"!!!!

I learned soooo much about my machine this weekend - it was fantastic!  Not the bunnies and the lint, that was scary, but I took it apart in ways I'd never done before.  I'm feeling rather good about that.

Here's a photo essay about the task.

Just a wee bit of dust here...
My grandsons would have thought this was cool.  So far, so good.
Had some trouble getting that screw undone.  Couldn't find the little screwdriver made for that.
O.M.G - NO wonder my feed dogs didn't work well!
Caked in dust. ARGH!

This will NEVER happen again - sooo easy to pop out bobbin case to check on this.  YIKES!
Bobbin case lint.  EWWWW!

All of that came out from the inside.
So... the lesson here folks?  CLEAN YOUR MACHINE!!  I'm lucky the darn this even sewed!  Okay... raise your right hand... 
Repeat after me...
"I solemly swear....
"To clean my machine...
Seriously - go clean your machine!

Hope everyone has an incredibly creative day!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

How-To Clean Your Sewing Machine!

I am embarrassed to say I can't tell you the last time I did this, so once I post this video I am heading DIRECTLY to de-bunny my machine!

A few weeks ago I mentioned changing needles on the FaceBook page... guess this is a good time for that, too! How often do YOU clean your machine?

 Heading to mine...

Friday, May 23, 2014

Adding Borders: Love making colors POP!

You might have seen my One Block Wonder - I added the borders to it and pulled out the teal to create the first border:

I love how the color with the least amount in the quilt POPS here!

Then it was the outer border...well, purple, of course!

Both borders are batik - just LOVE them.

My grandsons stopped by right after I finished this and both were "wowed" by the colors... pretty good impressing 3 & 4 year olds!  "Memere, it's beautiful! I love it!"  Guess its a winner. :)

Anyone want to learn how to do this?  I'd LOVE to teach you!!

Have a wonderful day, all -

Thursday, May 22, 2014

One Block Wonder, AKA: What to do with some fabric I loved...

So, I had this really gorgeous fabric that I really loved, but I just didn't know what to do with it. I loved all the colors in it... but nothing (beyond perhaps some place mats) came to me.  Then... I saw a One Block Wonder at the Quilter's Symposium we had at the Monadnock Center and I did a bit of research.

This was my first time trying a One Block Wonder.  I'd done some Stack and Whack in the past, but this was just a wee bit different.  And I liked it.

So... I found the repeat, cut out six identical pieces and then lined them up by marking through all 6 layers with a pin, connecting at the same point in each piece.

Then I cut out three 3 3/4" strips of fabric.

Then I had a bit of a geometry struggle.  Okay.  Let's just put it out there: Geometry is a weakness for me.  There.  Okay. Let's move on.  

I wrestled with how to do it, but finally found a way, not the easiest, but the ruler and a pin were involved and I made equilateral triangles.  After a bit of conversation after dinner with hubby, the math man, we realized my only mistake was turning my mat the wrong way.  It will be easier next time, knowing that!

As I cut the sets, I pinned each one together and made a BIG pile of about 50. 

Then, it started getting fun!  One of the things I discovered (which also makes the process REALLY appeal to me) is that no two quilts, even made with the same fabric, would be identical.  It's both crazy fun and a bit scary.  

Since each triangle is equilateral (whoo hooo... big math word there!), you can rotate them three different ways, each creating a different kaleidoscope hexagon block.  Here's two options from the same triangles: (third one was blurry, sorry!)

Once you decide, you start sewing.

It's VERY important to FINGER PRESS the seams as you go along.  It is crucial for this quilt to have ALL open seams.  Finger pressing was a new method for me with this project.  Not only did it work, but I got pretty good at it. 

Here's where this one is a bit different than Stack and Whack, you sew two sets three of each together - IE: you don't fully sew the block.  You pin the two parts together for now.  I made a BIG stack and then went and did the ironing.  Later, when I needed to move around a bit more, I would do one, then go press it.

I also sorted them at this point, into four stacks based on the dominant color in each.  Then... I took them to the table and started the next VERY cool part: designing the quilt.

My color thought process was to start in the far left corner with the darkest, solidest purple/blue and work to the right introducing the teal, like water at the ocean.  I tied the yellow in as sunlight shining in from the upper right and the light purple like the sky in the upper left.

This is another part that is SO artistic!  You get to decide what goes where and what you are trying to create.  It was both freeing and frightening.  In the end, it was fun, as well.

The next step is why you only pinned the hexagons: you actually sew them in horizontal strips!  WHAT?  YAH!!

This image is the first two strips sewed together - you can see the next one on the right.

Yup... match seams, pin, sew, press seams open and top side flat and repeat... again and again.

Here's what you get:


Now, I have to audition borders and quilt this puppy. I think this was a good choice for this fabric.  Wicked good choice!

  Have you tried One Block Wonders?  I'd LOVE to see the results if you try it.  Check back in a bit to see how I finish it.  Here's a link to check out the book:
One-Block Wonders: One Fabric, One Shape, One-of-a-kind Quilts
As an Amazon Associate, a wee bit of money comes our way if you decide to try it via the link.  Thanks ahead of time if you do!  :)

Have a creative day,