Saturday, April 26, 2014

Quilting a motif from a book

For years I collected books with beautiful quilting designs in them. 
Never figuring out how to get the beautiful quilting designs on the quilts where I wanted them, in the correct size here a brief tutorial on ONE of the methods I like, using the Golden Threads paper.
First, I peruse through my books looking for a motif I like OR part of a motif that I like. In this case I found a square motif that I only wanted to use half of for my set in triangles in my customer, Eva's quilt.
Next I measure the places I want to use the motif carefully.
Then using this tool, the Quilt's Assistant Proportional Scale (AKA the best thing ever!)
I take the size the motif is in the book and line it up on the scale with the size I need it to be in the block.  The percentage I need to shrink or enlarge the motif appears in the window! I know a math formula that will do this magic as well but it is very convenient to have this tool!
So then I run out to the local printer and I ask them to blow up the motif to the size I need it on one big sheet of paper:
In this case I needed it blown up to 160% so they used the blueprint machine and I got it the enlargement for just a dollar!
Next I cut the golden threads paper to the size I need it:
 And the shape I need it.
Checking my sizing:
 And that I have enough pieces made.
Then I start to copy the motif onto each of my perfectly sized papers I have to do this by hand. I use something I KNOW won't stain the quilt like a wash out pencil or pen *just in case*. 
 Next I use my little glue roller to apply glue to the wrong side of the paper:
 This is great stuff because I can put it all over the piece of paper if I need to and it won't stick to my needle and it comes off without any residue on the fabric. You can use pins but then you have to strategically place them so you don't hit them with the hopping foot and its a pain!
I place it on the loaded quilt right where I want it and gently press the paper to the fabric so the glue on the back side of the paper can hold it in place while I sew through it.
My chosen design is one continuous line so I begin at one side- anchoring my stitches and then stitch along following right on top of the line.
It sort of tears as it sews but you are going to rip it off anyway so don't worry. This is what it looks like when I am through sewing:
 Then I rip it all off! It tears really easy and if my stitches were normal it does not tear them loose at all either. The only time I have problems is when my stitches were too loose to begin with!
 Here you can see the stitches on the fabric after I ripped the paper off:
Then you just repeat for all the sections you want to motif on!
Because the motif was on a busy fabric and difficult to see, here it is from the back where it is clearer:

Here is Eva's whole quilt done and ready to go home for binding!
 It is Edyta Sitar's pattern for the Dresden Star.
What a beauty!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

My favorite age

My daughter is 17 now, learning to drive, teaching Irish dance, touring colleges, thinking about careers. She has a great sense of humor, a level head and in my opinion is pretty darn great!

My son is now 14, wearing a suit in and out of the pool! Dancing with girls, making great friends and developing into a really wonderfully fun and clever person.

Life is flying by so fast with these two it takes my breath away!
When the kids were young, the moms in our first homeschooling group would gather and often we'd talk about what our favorite parts about being a mom and things like that. I remember also discussing what your favorite age was-- meaning what was the most fun age for your kids to be, for you as a mom. Hopefully you know what I mean here. I could never answer other than I liked all the ages, while all the other moms had very specific ages like 3 or 7! All the ages were fun, seeing how they learned new things, became more capable and responsible etc...I had no strong pull towards one age UNTIL, the teen years. I have to say I NOW know what they meant, I really love having teenagers. They are sooo much fun! This is definitely my favorite age.
So lucky! So happy! Trying to keep up with them!