New Amish Quilt Finished With Lots of HyperQuilting!

December 29th, 2007

I finished a quilt that I started many months ago and set aside, and ultimately, forgot about! This is what can happen when you’ve got a number of projects going at once, but they always seem to get completed, so I could have worse work habits! This is Amish With a Twist VIII:


I’ll show you my favorite part first…the center heart:


This is a hyperquilted heart leaf vine. Here’s a closeup that shows the stitching a bit better:


The next border is my least favorite part. If you look closely at the corners, I ended up stitching around the hyperquilted stitches because the color of the hyperquilting thread had good contrast in the long border, but the background fabric of the corners was so close to the hyperquilting thread color that you couldn’t see it:


I really like the corners in the outermost border…that green background fabric is ooh-la-la!!


My picture of the long outer blue border didn’t come out so well color-wise, but it shows the 3 “layers” of hyperquuilting on that border, (the whimsical vine, inlining, and outlining):


It feels good to put this project to rest and I really needed to-I am hoping to get started on 2 new quilts this week…yippee!

Holiday Store Hours

December 21st, 2007

The store itself will remain open but any orders placed between 12/22/07-12/26/07 will be shipped on 12/27/07. This is so we can enjoy spending the holidays with our family. Happy Holidays to everyone and cherish the times you have with your loved ones!
Ernie and Patsy

I Can Now Post Pictures!

December 20th, 2007

OK, this has been such a crazy month that I haven’t gotten to do much sewing, but I did manage to make an oversized holiday greeting card for a free motion embroidery/FM Quilting/Needlefelting group I’m in. I started out with a piece of commercial gold batik fabric that I overdyed with turquiose, leaving me with a green/green-gold background. I fused 3 “rows” of red flower petals around an empty center to form a stylized poinsetta, and then placed a piece of scrap batting behind it so I could trapunto my flower. Here’s a picture of the poinsetta when the outer 2 rows had free motion embroidery around the edges:


Once I finished embroidering the edges of the central row, I cut away the excess batting and here’s what the backside of it looked like:


I then fused 2 holly leaves below it and I was really wanting to add some texture to this card, so I hand sewed 3 small red pompoms into the center to act as my berries. (By the way, did you know you can spell it pompom OR pompon?!) I did some free motion embroidery around the leaves and here’s a pic of most of the card at this point:


…and here’s a close up of the bottom half; it shows the texture of the pompoms better:


(The card is roughly 12 1/2 x 9 1/2 now). Next, it was time to move back to the center of my poinsetta. I got a needle felting machine a few months back and I have just struggled with it. I was so excited when I bought it and had all kinds of visions of what I could do with it, but I’m just not talented with it! I have a friend, Nancy Bruce, (if you ever have the opportunity to see her work or take a class, DO IT because she makes the most beautiful things!), and she is always whipping up cool stuff and this gets me so inspired but when I try it, it’s like dullsville. Anyway, I wanted to use the center of this poinsetta as a place to do something fabulous with my needle felting machine. Didn’t happen here! I cut out a rough circle of some kind of cheapo synthetic fabric from Joanne’s and then I shredded the edges with the felting machine. Next, I needle felted a piece of hand-dyed silk batting on top of it, but the color was kind of boring, so I needle felted some silk roving in another color on top of it. By this point, I still didn’t like it, but I was running out of time! I did some minor FMQ around the edge of the center and then sewed beads on top to kind of mimic those large seeds in the center of a poinsetta. Here’s a picture of the center:


I spray basted the top to a piece of Peltex and stitched around the perimeter of all pieces with invisible thread. Next, I did some background quilting and in this case, I used the irregular swirl design. To me, Peltex is way too flat and that’s why I did the trapunto under the poinsetta; I figured it was a good way to get some texture into this FLAT piece. What’s weird is that the trapunto hardly is noticeable and I don’t know why. Here’s a pic of the finished product:


Here’s a tangential view and it gives a hint of the texture:


(perhaps “hint” was an overstatement!) Anyway, that’s all I’ve got to show but it sure is nice to be able to post pictures again!

Don’t Send Out the Coastguard!

December 17th, 2007

I feel like I’ve been around the world and back again, and my head is still spinning! I’ve received many emails wondering where I’ve gone and I can finally sit down and write a post. Suffice it to say that this has been a rough couple weeks!

It began nearly 2 weeks ago. A couple hours after Ernie and I had stepped off a plane, the server that hosts our website crashed, so our website, and all the secondary things that are attached to it, just floated off into oblivion. All of the backup provisions that the server had in place to cover just such a freakish happenstance failed. We were told that all the backup files were corrupted. I’m not sure what all that means, but it sure wasn’t good. It took nearly a full week for the website and the store to be resurrected, and even as I write this, nearly 2 weeks later, there are parts of this, noticeable only to Ern and me from the back-end of the operation, that are not working. If you tried to reach us during that time and could not, this is why. Rest assured that the store is fully operational and security has been maintained throughout. I have responded to every email I received so if you wrote me a question and have not heard back, I am so sorry to say that I never received the email, so please write me back!

Within a few hours of the website crashing, I found out that my dear mom, who lives about 2 1/2 hours away, was ill, so I left town unexpectantly to help her. I was gone for several days and these were frankly very stressful days that were filled with worry. Anyone who’s worked in health care knows that sometimes you know too much, and you can find yourself worried sick about the people you love simply because you know about all kinds of bad things that can happen to people. Fortunately, she is now doing well and starting to reclaim her normal life. Phew! I have a great mom and it’s such a relief to know she’s going to be ok!

One of the problems I am having with this site is it will not allow me to upload pictures presently. To me, a blog post without pictures isn’t really worth reading, so you probably won’t hear from me again until I can get this fixed. I’m very sorry this has taken so long to muddle through and hope you’ll still check back at the site because I’m hoping this will all get rectified soon. In the meantime, happy holidays to everyone and happy new year!