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Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Summer of The Flowering Snowball-Along....The Wrap Up

Well, here we are...the end of summer and the end of our Flowery Fun Quilt Along!
Shortly after I began blogging a few years ago, I tested out this traditional curvy block....the Flowering Snowball. But I set it aside for another day and would visit it off and on over the next couple of years. It is one of those blocks I knew I loved, I felt others might love it, too....and it isn't impossible to stitch.
This is my first attempt at a Quilt Along and I have been pleasantly surprised at the number of quilters who have given Flowering Snowball a try! They have been sharing their progress on blogs, on Flickr, and especially on Instagram. If you haven't visited the Instagram page it is #floweringsnowballalong....it is amazing! And, I believe, everyone who was afraid to tackle curves feels so much more confident now! Yay! So I am going to kick this off by sharing my Flowering Snowball...then I hope you will upload your pictures and/or links for your own Flowering Snowball. It doesn't matter if you made one block or an entire quilt! It doesn't even matter if it is finished or still in progress. Let's just have a parade of Flowering Snowballs! {hopefully, I have configured the Linky correctly...yikes}
I love scrappy quilts! I want to feel like I am 10 again and my grandma just covered me up with a handmade quilt. Made from her favorite fabrics and her old re-purposed clothes. So my quilt is, of course, scrappy. With a pink polka dot binding...and hand quilted.
I used black Valdani thread {which I purchased this Spring at Quilt Market...Yay!} to pick stitch. This quilt is pieced with Aurifil 50 wt. cotton thread. And I used a blue stripe oxford cloth for the backing. I love when the stitching makes a lovely pattern on the back. The stitching pattern is easy to see with the simple backing fabric.
And, finally, I finished with a label...
Now it's your turn! Show off all your hard work! You will be able to add your picture until September 2nd. So if you have a blog...you might want to write a post to link up to the picture...or maybe you already have. And, I believe, I have this link set so you can just post your picture if you don't have a blog. I hope I worked this out correctly....I guess we will see. Thank you, everyone, for quilting along! I have so enjoyed seeing all your quilts and reading your comments! xo mary

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wednesday....WIP's and a little Liberty Love

Still tinkering with these cute shapes...wee wonky bow-ties.


and playing with some lovely Liberty....
Betsy....


Just a couple of reminders!
We will wrap up the Flowering Snowball Along on the 24th.
And be sure to keep following all the fun on Sewvivor!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!
mary

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wow! It's August?

Oh my!  I can't believe this is my first post of August!  And it won't be much of a post ;)



I wish I could say I have been busy with some exciting travels or adventures, but that just isn't the case. Not even a whole lot of sewing going on...
I have been getting ready for our family reunion at the end of the month. The last day of the reunion will be at my house, so time polish the silver and prepare the menu...hehe! Do you have family reunions in the summer?          


I have taken a little time to play with a yummy pile of Liberty...


The beauty of Liberty is well worth the cost.  It is amazing to sew!


 Soon, I will have some fun makes to show you...

And I have extended the last day of the Flowering Snowball Along to August 24th.  We will wrap up the quilt along just before the official end to summer!  I am looking forward to Fall!

Before I leave....if you haven't looked at the first round of Sewvivor, you really must have a look!  How inspiring and amazing!  

 

You can find the post here....    

Rachel of Family Ever After is my superhero! Four adorable kids...three kidlets and one brand new baby....and she still has the energy to host Sewvivor!  Well done, Rachel!

Have a wonderful wednesday!
mary     

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wednesday Works....

Again, I am in just under the wire!
My July block {Mid Century Modern Be} for the darling Susan of PatchworknPlay


And I have been playing with this sweet little shape. I think it looks like a bow tie...a wee bit wonky, just the way I like it...


I love the pops of color and the shape has a touch of whimsy!


  We have had lovely temperatures this week!
Hope your week has been a pleasant one!
mary

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Winners All Around!

Have you been seeing posts for the Sewing Party everywhere on Social Media?  

If you haven't had a chance to check out the website yet...I suggest you take a look. The schedule is a full day of fabulous classes!
 
 If you didn't win a free pass for the day, you may want to consider purchasing a pass, and, if you REGISTER between now and July 31st. you will receive a FREE SEWING PARTY T-SHIRT!!!!  Just remember when you register to enter LETSPARTY in the promocode box!!!! 
 
The winners for 5 free tickets from my giveaway are chosen!!!
Your email addresses have been submitted to the party organizers, so you should be hearing from them! Yay!
 
Here are the winners!!!
 
Carrie - Carrie said, I liked The Sewing Party's Facebook page. And I'm always open to learning about anything! :)
 
Kathy@kwilty Pleasures - Kathy said, Did thr FB "like" and I would like to get better with Longarm kwilting. Thanks for the chance to win a ticket.
 
Nicole -  Nicole said, I liked them on Facebook and am now following on Instagram. It's pretty cool to see a couple of Cosplay sewers in the mix. I'm always amazed by what Cosplayers come up with.    

Wendy - Wendy said, Wow, looks like a great party! Thanks for the giveaway - I'd love to learn about Pojagi style quilting (had never heard of it until I check out the website!!). Just liked the even on FB (I'm Wendy Robards there).

Robin - Robin said, Ooo. I would love learning to recover my furniture in patchwork with Bari J!

Congratulations!  You will be hearing from the event organizer to secure your pass for the Sewing Party!!!

Finally, as many of you are aware, I have been hosting a quilt along....The Flowering Snowball Along to be exact.  I am so fortunate to have quite a few stitching friends in my area and I was able to spend some time sharing the snowball block with them.  

Sara surprised me not long after our sewing session with a picture of her completed Flowering Snowball quilt!!!


 
 I love the solids with the neutral Essex linen!


 Sara used cross-weaves, or shot cottons for the bright solid pieces....
And the label was lovingly stitched for her dear friends...a wedding gift!!! Her embroidery is spectacular!

She used a sheet from Target for her backing fabric...very smart girl! 


    Yay for Sara!  What a fabulous finish! I wish I had been able to see Peter and Keilah open this gift. I am sure there were a few squeals and the tears were flowing!

Have a wonderful Sunday!
mary  

Monday, July 21, 2014

You Are Invited to The Sewing Party!

Well, who doesn't enjoy a good party?  
If you are a U.S. resident, this is one party you will LOVE!!!



On November 8, 2014, thousands of DIY-ers will gather for a fun-filled day of sewing and crafting classes taught online by leading bloggers and educational experts. It’s all about Connecting. Crafting. And Creating.



Attendees will have access to more than 30 online classes available on the day of the event and for an additional 90 days. There is truly something for everyone! Classes include home d├ęcor, fashion sewing, quilting and upcycling, crafting, costume design, techniques for turning your craft into an entrepreneurial venture, and more!


Space is limited and likely to fill up fast! For just $40, “The Sewing Party” participants can attend classes; chat with participants from across the country; interact with top bloggers and educational experts who are teaching; and explore the latest crafting and sewing tips, techniques and products in our marketplace.

The Sewing Party” brings together some of the best in the industry for this FIRST EVER event. Our stellar lineup of sponsors includes:





The educators include:  Bari J Ackerman, Amy Bell, Carrie Bloomston,  Devon Iott, and Malka Dubrawsky...just to name a few....


The cost for the event is $40....and if you REGISTER between now and July 31st. you will receive a FREE SEWING PARTY T-SHIRT!!!!  Just remember when you register to enter LETSPARTY in the promocode box!!!!

BUT WAIT...IT IS ABOUT TO GET SUPER EXCITING!!!

AS A FRIEND OF THE SEWING PARTY, I AM GIVING AWAY 5 FREE TICKETS!!!

All I ask is that you leave a comment here and LIKE one of the Sewing Party's Social Media...

Website & Social Links (Launching on July 15):

Don't forget....go 'LIKE' one of the social media links....come back here and tell me which quilt block, quilting technique or sewing technique you have always wanted to learn.  PLEASE, be sure I have your email address!!!  If you are a no-reply blogger, leave your email in your comment.  

I will choose 5 winners by random on Saturday, July 26th.


This event is open to United States residents only for 2014.  Hopefully, it will be an international event in the years to come! 

****NOTE:  You only need to leave one comment...One Comment per person and  5 winners will be chosen***

Best of luck!  
mary
  
         










  

Friday, July 18, 2014

Quilting and Binding....the Flowering Snowball

Hello....hello....are you still out there?!
We are getting close to the end....I promise!

Once your top is all together and the quilt has been basted...you are ready to quilt!  Yay!  

As many of you know, I LOVE hand quilting!
As a new quilter, I hand quilted all of my quilts...the traditional way.  As a matter of fact, I don't think it even occurred to me that a quilt could be quilted by machine.  

But in recent years, I have converted to quilting by hand with perle cotton using a big stitch.  In my childhood, this would have been called a pick stitch.  

    
I must have been destined to be a quilter because I love the repetitive nature of quilting.  Holding the layers, coaxing the needle through and back out to create the perfect stitch.  

Obviously, not everyone is able to invest the time it takes to hand quilt so free motion quilting or straight line quilting may be the option for you.  But even if you choose to machine quilt, you can still add some hand quilting...it is a lovely option.

    
I am almost finished quilting my Flowering Snowball quilt...

 
For hand quilting with perle cotton, I like to use size 8 perle cotton and I LOVE Valdani thread.  Perle cotton is similar to embroidery floss except the thread is twisted, so you can't separate the threads.  Size 8 is bold enough to be seen and yet not too heavy; making it difficult to pull through the layers. If you can't find size 8 or would like a thread that is not as heavy, look for size 12.

As far as needles, I like Fons and Porter Utility needles.  They are designed for size 8 perle cotton and the pack comes with a rubber disc that can be used to pull the needle through if it gets stuck.

I did a tutorial on the method I use for hand quilting and you can find it here....

I do use a hoop, and I use a Thimble Nimble {different from the thimble in my tutorial}

     
I am a sucker for simple designs in my quilting.  Even if I choose to machine quilt, more often than not I will use straight line stitching or just a series of big loops.  

  



I have never sent a quilt out to be quilted, so I can't really help much on that front.

After the quilting is all finished...the only step left is to bind!

    
 I have a tutorial for binding here....
this method ALWAYS works for me.  And I do prefer to hand stitch my binding on the back.

 
So many fabrics are perfect for binding.  I love spots, stripes, gingham, but don't forget a scrappy binding.  This Feather Bed Quilt is one of my favorite quilts and the scrappy binding just makes me happy!

 
Okay...I will let you get back to your Flowering Snowball!
I can't wait to see them!
xo mary 

 *** as luck would have it.....Lucy at Charm About You just did a post on hand quilting.....you can find her post here.  What a talented girl!***