Busy Hands, Busy Machine

It has been a little over a week since I got my sewing machine back from getting lubed and tuned.  It had been over 4 years (tsk tsk tsk, shame on me).  Because I had not had it serviced, the build up a lint did cause something to get replaced.  I did start cleaning my own machine but was uncertain where to lube it.  Was it worth $149?  Yes!  No more clatter, chatter.  It sounds anew!

If you follow my blog you know that I recently made a Jelly Roll Race quilt that I entitled Jelly Roll Wrong.  I had an execution error in my design.  But, I have recouped and now it is under the needle being stitched with thread.  I have decided to do feathers and paisleys and whatever else to fill in the voids.

jjwquiltingI am getting a work out with my shoulders as I have not quilted anything this large since Green Lemonade.

And even better news, I finished the top for En Provence!  The hard part is done.  The work I put into it was not difficult, just time consuming.  I am debating taking it to a longarmer as the fight with my DSM 6 1/2 inch throat space is a bit too small for 87 X 87.

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And then keeping my hands busy I started my La Passacaglia.  As you can see below my stitches are showing, but I have watched a few videos and am going to try something new and different.


Busy hands and busy machine.


La Passacaglia Group Started.

You can join in for free.  It is a bunch of us gals on the Missouri star quilt company forum.  It is for networking, learning, comparing, and admiring, a fun quilt a long.  If anyone is interested in joining here is the link.  You will have to sign in to the forum in order to get to this group link.  If you are already a Missouri star quilt company member, just log in and click on the groups tab.  Look for us as La Passacaglia.

Here is a link to a Millefiori quilt a.k.a La Passacaglia from the Houston Quilt Show.

La Passacaglia…Now a Member!

Hello readers!  On a previous post I mentioned my sewing machine went in for maintenance.  I have not sewn in a week.  I miss that chaos, the challenge of fitting it into my busy life.  But once you have a habit, it is very hard to just quit cold turkey.

While visiting the Dallas Quilt Show this year I invested in two books.  Millefiori and Millefiori II.  I have admired the La Passacaglia quilts on pinterest and thought this was a prime opportunity to try out my hand sewing with this English Paper Piecing technique.

About 15 years ago I put together a grandmothers flower garden quilt but I refused to paper piece it.  Instead I just stopped sewing 1/4 inch from each hexagon edge.  I had very little money back then and liked the fact I could buy a fat quarter and mix and match what little stash I had to make a block.  A one block quilt, is hard for me, grandmother’s flower garden was extremely hard to keep going.

I relish the differences in angles and blocks when making a quilt so for it only to have one type of patch work is kinda boring.  La Passacaglia is perfect to keep my boredom in check.  It is easy to take with you, and even easier to sit in front of a television and stitch when nothing is really on that you like anyway.  So on the bandwagon I have jumped.  I know the millefiori quilts may be a fad and hence I took my sweet time purchasing the books.  I have looked at other blogs where they are english paper piecing and I admire the fussy cutting of the pieces to have a wow impact on the movement in the block.  How big will I make mine?  I guess until I exhaust the idea.  My plan is to make a wall hanging for above the bed.  I would love to make a bed size version but would be afraid of all the work I put into it for my hand stitching to come undone.  I have made these knots for years when binding and none have ever come lose.  I also plan on using the stars and pentagons to trim out my Jack’s Chain Circle quilt.  It will be a good way to use a scalloped border with a big impact.

In the meantime I will be perfecting my stitches not showing.  Any of you have any good tips regarding this?  My book says to catch about two threads of each piece when hand stitching together.  I think I may need magnifiers to achieve this because I either take the stitches too shallow or too deep.  I cannot find my camera so the one I am working on will have to say cheese later.

Now back to my sewing machine.  As I suspected there was a part that had become defective over time and needed replaced.  Did the part cost a lot of money?  Nope less than $10.  It will be coming home this evening.  I will start back on en provence.  I will see how it sews.  I am hoping that the problems I had while FMQing, was due to this part being broken which created a tension problem on the underside.  If everything behaves I will have en provence ready to quilt in no time as well as my jelly roll race.  I plan on feathering both of those quilts like the dickens.

Alright, you have suffered enough with my rambling, pictures coming soon.  Have a great weekend!

2017 Dallas Quilt Show Continued

I am offering another post sampling beautiful quilts from the 2017 Dallas Quilt Show.


Above is a bunch of dog ears that have been trimmed off from blocks which are so small they go into the trash.  This was last years winner, I recall seeing this one last year and am so glad I had my camera this year.  This is true art.  Make SOMEthing out of NOthing.

Below is the needle and thread mascot seen at many shows with the Graphic that also grazed the front page of the guild catalog they handed out while I was standing in line.


The quilt below put a smile on my face and spoke to my inner Christmas child.  Each year, mom would take out an elf and say it was always watching us, reporting back to Santa.  So if we were bad as children, word would get out.  This elf was manipulation in behavior.  I was the good child.  I was never intimidated by it, but it drove my brother (the bad child) bonkers.  I believe my mother finally gave him the green elf that looks just like the second one from the left in this lovely quilt.  Listed below this picture are the quilt credits.elfontheshelfelfontheshelfcredits

Below is the feathered star pattern.  One day I will tackle my own rendition of this.  The subtle, earthy, cool tones are a wonderful palette of nature and calmness.  It reminds me of snowflakes with a little dirty snow, keeping warm during a cold winter night.  Snuggling under a quilt….nothing better!featheredstar

A simple granny square block.  It looks vintage, but brand new.  I admire old quilts because there was much more effort put toward the craft.  Nowadays, we have all these short cuts and inventions that make a process like this go so fast.  It reminds me of simpler times, almost happier times but happier is the incorrect word.  Maybe the word I am looking for is content.grannysquare

I still have several more pictures and will upload those sometime in the next week.  My sewing machine goes in for maintenance this weekend and I will probably not be able to sew a thing.

I did purchase two quilting books at the quilt show which I have been looking to buy for quite a long time.  These books because they are sold out everywhere ended up being pricey.  However, I am thinking about starting a tv watching quilt project where I can do some hand work in the evenings because I am going to attempt a la passacaglia.  I may just make one medallion but those Millefiori quilt books have been calling my name for a long, long time.  I sign off tonight with nothing to sew, and it will probably drive me a little crazy.  Quilting does keep the crazies away.  🙂 It is good therapy.

Furry Vest–An Easy Sewing Project

In a previous post I mentioned my free fabric score.  To read more about that click here.  I kept all quilting cottons and a scrap piece of fur.  Hands were all over that stupid piece of fur.  No one could leave it alone.  So I kept it, wondering what I would turn it into.  I purposely hid it so it would still be a good piece of fabric.

A couple of weeks ago I went antiquing.  And of all things came across a gray fur vest trimmed in leather.  Odd that it was fake fur (a really bad fake) with leather trim.  The leather was cracked and dried out.  But the cut of the vest was easy enough.  It was a rectangle with holes cut in it for arms.  And then the way the vest would drape around you was brilliant.  So I mentally noted the details.  And here came the weekend when I tackled this small sewing project.  There are a couple of things if I ever make another one I will change, but for it’s purposes, it will work.  I will add a closure to the front so either piece doesn’t have to overlap the other.  The one at the antique store was fastened with a button which made the symmetry off kilter (which is in now).

I am far from high fashion.  High fashion doesn’t make sense to me, what makes sense is comfort then looks.

In going with the scheme of the fur I picked out some quilters cat fabric I bet I have had lingering in my stash for 20 years and bound the edges and here is the end result.  It is child sized.  (With this being fur, I wish I would have lined it because the fur will end up migrating or bearding to the non-fur side.  You can see a bit of that happening below).  I recommend if you adults try to make this for yourselves to turn the cloth on point so you will have a nice pointed collar on each side plus and collar that will drape just right along the back.  You will also end up with points on the base of the vest which goes with the hemlines of today.

I only had a small 3 inch by a tapering 3 inch piece that went to waste.  I also made sure if you pet the fur it goes from top to bottom.

Dallas Quilt Show Pictures

Comparing this event with previous years, this year the numbers were down.  I say this as I was able to take all these pictures without waiting for someone to move out of the way.  Usually you have to wait just to look at them, let alone get a snap shot.  Quilters Eye Candy……..

This was a previous quilt in years past which made another showing.  Wonderful, artfully done!

This quilt was electrifying!  And the quilting with orange and yellow threads was a nice touch!


This won a ribbon in the big block category.  It kinda reminds me of a godseye.  The quilting is a wow factor!

I visited the Bobbin Lace making group.  They actually have a lace making guild in Dallas.  This fascinates me.  I have watched this done many times on youtube and want to get into the hobby.  It is relatively inexpensive.  But I already have a hobby cramping my free time for other hobbies.

In talking with these lovely ladies, they spoke of Princess Diana’s wedding dress was done in a style of homemade bobbin lace.  There were not all flowers on the dress.  The people who made the lace put a bunch of symbols in, each having a different meaning.  I did not know of bobbin lace in 1980 as I was not even 10 years old.  I will have to look up more info on this factoid as it is pretty interesting.


A cathedral windows quilt.  I have always wanted to try making one of these but am afraid this would be a forever UFO.  When I snapped this photo I did not realize the sub-pieced units behind the white edges.  A lot of work on many levels, this quilter has my upmost respect.


This quilt was sparsely pieced but has such a big impact.  I forgot to look at the name of this one, but it reminds me of a chicken foot.


A ribbon granted to the owner of this jewel.  Circle pieced quilts are a geometry phenomenon.  A wonder.  A puzzle how they accomplish this to this quilters mind anyway.

A stunning rendition of a log cabin with clamshell goodness.  Wonderful tidbit on the credits of the quilt.  Very unusual and admirable too.  This one shimmered!

I will share more photos soon this is just a small sampling.  Keep checking back.  Until then, happy quilting!

Mardi Gras Colored En Provence Mystery Quilt

The weekend time continuum has increased in speed.  Most weekends seem like that.  I have all my En Provence rows sewn.  I have the sashing for the outer border completed.  Now I need to sew the rows together, as well as piece the neutral border.  I feel like I accomplished something, but paid the price of precious weekend time.  There will always be next weekend or snippets during the week.  I am getting so close.

enprovencerowsenprovenceborderThe colors in this almost correspond with Mardi Gras.  Would have been neat to finish with “fat tuesday”, since this is modeled after a french place.  Suitable to finish on a french holiday….ah well.  Here I have laid the strips of blocks on the bed.  I have started playing with the neutral pieces in the border.  Not many of those are sewn together.  This part will go relatively fast.  I am ready to move onto a UFO that is calling my name.  I have all these ideas and projects I want to start but I refrain, to keep on track.  I am afraid if I stray on En Provence, it will be a UFO for a long time.  Hopefully the next post of this, the top will be completed.

Upcoming Dallas Quilt Show

queensideThis is an event I have attended three times.  And their are so many takeaways.  Nothing like a quilt show to get the creative juices flowing (not sure if mine ever turn off).

I immensely enjoy admiring all the hard work that goes into each project.  I have always wanted to submit one of mine, but am a little scared to do so.  I have made many quilts, and about 10 years ago finished a drunkards path made into a memory quilt from grandmas fabric stash and grandpas clothes.

While it was at the longarmers, women made money offers lusting after all my hard work.  So that year I decided to enter it into our small county fair.  That year was a great turn out for quilting fans.  The numbers  were vast.  I walked away that year with a participation ribbon and a jaded attitude about the whole process.  You see the woman who has a quilt shop won.  It was a hand embroidered quilt.  Each square was part of the sign language alphabet. My jaded attitude was from the fact she was in the community as a professional.  Since she saw first hand all the quilts going through that process I deemed it kind of cheating.  I never entered another quilt.  Each year I visit that section of our county fair, the numbers dwindle.  So perhaps I am not the only jaded person of this process.

I have grown a bit, and know that quilt was the true winner.  But at the same time wonder if this was her way of attracting business.

So now, I just attend these things.  It is a day to spend alone (without children) with a gob of people, if that makes any sense.  I get to interact with the quilting community without saying much.  And then there is the shopping aspect!  Not bargain priced, but part of the enjoyment nonetheless!  So, next weekend I will be there, my ticket is already in hand.  Will I see you there? Or will I see your work?

In other “not news”, my sewing nook has not been touched since Monday.  Still sewing on en provence.  Been working over this week at work and one evening took the car for repairs 45 minutes away, so no time for my craft. This evening looks promising!