Fun Day in the Sewing Room

January 29th, 2012

Recognize this block?  It’s the machine embroidered version of this block I made earlier this summer:

Other than the feather color changes and a different central flower, they look the same from a distance.  When you look at them close-up, though, the ME version has a lot of added interest due to the thread work.  My favorite is the embroidery on the stems:

…and I also love that rope-like embroidery on the tulip edges.  The center flower is nice as well:

The best part, though, is what happens when you quilt these machine-embroidered applique quilt blocks.  They take on a wonderful 3-dimensional character that I just can’t capture with a still camera.  While the embroidery machine was stitching this block today, I was quilting an earlier stitchout of this block and it was soooo exciting to see that 3rd dimension come to life!  I’ll post pics once the quilting is completed, but it was way cool!!viagra without prescription uk

Bosom Buddies and Winner of the Famore Scissors Give-Away!

January 24th, 2012

Have you ever noticed how you kind of can’t go wrong when you pair blue and yellow together?  Not sure why, but joining these 2 always seems to work…

…And it seems like it works whether you use light blues, medium blues, or dark blues:

I guess these colors are just bosom buddies:

You’re probably getting sick of feathered wreath blocks but I can’t stop making them!!

And last but not least, the winner of the pair of Famore batting scissors is  Pam C, with comment #130.  Congratulations, Pam!

Winter Finally Arrived, but Flowers are Blooming Inside!

January 21st, 2012

We finally got a real snowstorm yesterday, but it’s so uplifting to be stitching bright, colorful tulips in bloom! These sets are part of a large block I’m working on:

and they all kind of “spring forth” from the center flower area:

(Sorry; I cannot seem to capture the background fabric color at all.) Do you see all those crosshairs that are near all 4 tulip sets? I can’t remove them yet because they will ensure the correct placement of the feather pairs that will line all 4 sides of the block. Here’s what it looks like at this point:

Working with these sure makes negotiating all this snow more bearable! Happy wintering…(not!)

New Video Tutorial and Winner of the Thread Give-Away Announced!

January 15th, 2012

We’ve got a new free video tutorial just posted and it’s all about different types of machine embroidery that can be used to finish and decorate the applique shapes on your quilts.  We shot it a couple of months ago but I just now got around to giving Ernie the still shots that were missing from it.  Someday, I will catch up with all the loose ends in my life!  Anyway, if you enjoy applique, check out this tutorial:

And last but not least, the winner of the thread give-away is Jennifer Lanak of Redondo Beach, California! Congratulations, Jennifer, and I hope you make some fun projects with those threads! Don’t forget that there’s still time to enter the Famore Give-Away for a pair of batting scissors. These literally cut batting as if it were butter! To enter the Famore Blog Hop give away, leave a comment to this post.

Famore Scissors Blog Hop, With a Great Give Away!

January 9th, 2012

Aren’t these batting scissors rather intimidating?  Trust me, these babies can cut pretty much anything, and they cut cleanly!  I’ve never used batting scissors before last week, and every time I’ve cut batting before, I always wished I had them.  No matter what type of batting I use, whether it’s silk, wool, cotton, cotton/poly blend, polyester, bamboo, etc, it’s always been a challenge to cut batting using regular sewing scissors.  Not so with the Famore 11 1/2  inch EZ glide fabric sheers.  With next to no effort, I was able to cut through batting with a very clean edge and no snagging.  On top of that, for as large and powerful as these shears are, they don’t weigh much, so using them is a breeze.  Here’s some info on them from the Famore site:

NO MORE SNAGS. The Famore E-Z Glide fabric shear will never snag, we tried and it did not. Batting, silk, poly, wool, cotton, alpaca, you name it these scissors will cut it. The ultimate fabric shear. Rubber handles for comfort, perfect balance makes this a perfect choice to add to your collection. (Only available in blue handle)

(By the way, if you search for these scissors on the Famore site, they will be called EZ Glide Sheers, not batting scissors.  BUT, if you type “batting scissors” into their search box, you’ll find them!)

I spray baste my quilts on a wall and I always do a rough cut to remove the bulk of the batting before I un-pin my quilt from the wall.  Here’s a wall hanging I was spray basting last week, using a large scrap of Hobb’s cotton/poly 80/20 batting for my sandwich:

I used the Famore batting scissors to cut off the heavy excess batting and they made the work easy.  It was really hard to snap a photo of me cutting it while holding the camera at the same time, but check out how cleanly they were cutting the batting below:

I would not be singing their praises if they didn’t work well, so know that these scissors are a definite 2-thumbs up!  Here’s a shot of that wall hanging as I was starting to quilt it by outlining the applique shapes with invisible thread:

…and you’ll have to wait to see photos of the rest of it!  Would you like to win a pair of these batting scissors for yourself?  If so, just leave a comment to this post by 11:59 pm eastern time on Monday 1/23/12.  You’ll need to pay for shipping from Holland, OH to wherever you live but you’ll win a wonderful pair of batting shears!  Want some other chances to win some great Famore scissors for other sewing uses?  Then visit these blogs this week and enter each of their drawings as well:

Tuesday Jan. 10th –
Wednesday Jan. 11th –
Friday Jan. 13th –

Many thanks to Famore and to Kelly Jackson of the I Have a Notion Blog for sponsoring this give away and giving me a chance to review this product!