Happy New Year

It is a New Year and my blog has a new theme.  This will take some getting used to as Blogger has made some changes and I am not up to speed on them.

Sewing?  Not yet.  We spent Christmas in Salzburg, Austria, and it was magical to explore some of old Europe.  We attended Christmas Day service in the old, gothic Salzburg Cathedral.  We walked through catacombs cut into a cliff, toured a Fortress high on a ridge, and joined the crowds at the big, outdoor Christmas Market where vendors sold local food and gift items.  We drove into the Austrian Alps to visit Hallstatt, a quaint, salt mining village.  We rode the funicular up to a high point on the mountain for a stunning view of the mountains and lake. Most of all we enjoyed being with family.

We came home and immediately came down with the virus that my oldest grandson shared with the family over the holidays.  It was a miserable cold, but I'm feeling better now.  That is why I have not been sewing.  I just didn't have the driv…
Have a wonderful holiday.

Short and Sweet

The holidays are grinding down on me and I have a lot to get done so this is a short offering today.

I spent two or three days getting my appliquéd flower and dog off the bed and fused down.  First I scattered scraps of fusible here and there on the wrong side of the backing fabric and then fused the batting to it.  The final step was to fuse the flower and dog to their appropriate batting and backing.  Now they won't be lounging on the bed and in danger of getting messed up.  I hung them both on my design wall and they are ready to quilt when the holiday busy-ness settles down.

So...what to do with my time?  I don't want to get deeply involved at this point so I made some really cute ornaments that I saw on a blog last week.

Here is the U-tube video that shows how to make them.  I spent about 1-1/2 hours making five of them.  Easy-peasy!  They all need a button to cover the raw edges in the center.  I went to Joann's and bought buttons specifically for them.  When I got …

Cut and Paste

My sewing machine had been gone for almost 4 weeks.  I finally called on a Friday and they apparently scrambled because they had it ready to pick up on Monday.  Now tell me, why couldn't they have done that 3 weeks ago?  The intermittently functioning Start button performed to perfection for them so nothing was done to solve that problem.  The foot pedal works great...even though it is sluggish and jumpy so nothing was done on that.  I am linked to this outfit for the one-year warranty, but after that I will find someone else to work on my machine!  I think I will just buy a new foot pedal.  They aren't very expensive and maybe I'll get one that works better.

Clearly, I have not been sewing, but that doesn't mean I am not working on quilts.  I cut freezer paper, cut fabric, glued, pressed fusible, trimmed, placed and repeated.  My gaillardia is almost ready to quilt except that I found some fabrics in my stash that I missed when I was choosing.  Hmmmm!  I may have to d…


My sewing machine is in the shop for annual service and hopefully a fix for the cranky start button.

I finished the Mayan mask although I will wait until I attach it to the fabric before adding the feather headdress.  Can't proceed until I have my machine back.

I started working again on the Christmas bow for my collie Lady.

I have tried piecing.  I have tried painting with acrylic and Paintstiks.  I have tried different fabrics.  I just can't get it right.  The fabrics don't give me enough contrast and/or shine and painting the highlights comes out looking stupid.  My last hope is that Spoonflower might help.  I uploaded the photo of the bow and it fits on a "Test Sample" for only $5.  If that works I will cut that whole bow and fuse it onto the dog's head.  Stay tuned.  It will be a couple of weeks before I get it back.

I have a photo of a gaillardia that I have wanted to do for a long time now.  It looked so bedraggled, but I took the photo anyway.  It is…

Feathers of the Headdress Kind

I experimented with how to make the feather headdress for my Mayan mask.  My eyes crossed when I thought of cutting out all those little holes and I pondered, took the dog for a walk, looked through my art supplies and finally had a "Bingo" moment.  I cut the holes out after all, but in freezer paper rather than fabric.  Thank goodness for an interesting audiobook to reduce the tedium.  This gave me a stencil for each feather.

Then I ironed the freezer paper pattern/stencil onto the fabric.

I painted the holes with a black Shiva Paintstik.  Since the feathers will be on a black background, and ultimately quilted down it will look like the black is showing through.  At least that is the idea.

I painted with a small, stiff stencil brush.  The only downside of Paintsticks is that they are oil paint.  They take 24 hours to dry and then you can heat set them.  Of course the brush needs to be cleaned up with mineral spirits or turpentine.  However, I love them and they did a grea…

Preparing Appliqué

I have been having great fun creating a Mayan mask.  I really do enjoy machine appliqué and I have established my own technique by using bits and pieces from other peoples' methods.  I like my way because I can work from the right side...none of this mirror image nonsense.  I like it so well that I will share with you how I do it.

1.  Line Drawing. Find a design that you like and trace it.  Then secure it to a light table and cover it with freezer paper on which you trace a copy.  Next, create another freezer paper copy on which you will lay out the prepared fabric pieces.

TIP:  I enlarged a small picture, printed it on six pages and taped them together.  You can also take a picture to a printing company and they will enlarge and print it for you.

TIP:  Before tracing, iron your freezer paper flat.  Pull it up and iron it again.  Freezer paper shrinks!  Did you know that?  Not much, but enough.

2.  Setting up your surface.  On a light table secure one of the freezer paper patterns o…