Magnolia Mystery Progress

The Magnolia Mystery Quilt by Meadow Mist Designs is the first mystery quilt I’ve done. It has been a fun quilt to make, and I’m enjoying finally putting the blocks together.

I chose the following fabrics for my quilt. It was a bit of a challenge to choose fabrics not knowing the design. Nancy from Grace and Peace Quilting was working at Quilt Cove (a local quilt shop) and encouraged me as I chose fabrics. She was a great help!

Magnolia Mystery Progress - piecefulthoughts.com 2017

 

I enjoyed the pace of the steps of the quilt, with directions coming once a month. It gave plenty of time to get the steps done, as well as allowed me to work on other projects too.

The instructions are well written as well as visually helpful, making it so easy to piece the blocks.

So here are my first two blocks. I opted to make the lap quilt size. Once I have the top together, I’ll post a picture.

Magnolia Mystery Progress - piecefulthoughts.com 2017

My Best Nine 2017

Instagram has its #bestnine going on once again. I haven’t posted mine on Instagram yet, so thought I’d post it here first.

The choices were interesting and typical of my quilting this year. I discovered improv this year, and look forward to trying more improv projects in 2018. Of course, I’m delighted that my little Tomtes made the cut.

Have you made a mystery quilt? Did you enjoy the experience? Why or why not?

I hope you have some time to relax and sew a bit during this busy holiday season!

Wendy

 

Stocking Story

Let me begin this stocking story by letting you know that I didn’t post on Friday because I had a medical procedure done. Nothing serious, just a screening. However, it left me feeling a bit like this.

Stocking Story - Friday Recovery - piecefulthoughts.com

That my cat, Max, by the way. He lives a stressful life, no?

By Saturday, I was feeling much more lively and spent the day in my sewing room. Of course there were Tomtes. You can see what I was up to with them on my Instagram feed.

I also finished a quilt for my daughter, but won’t be posting pictures of that until she comes home this weekend.

So, today I want to share a stocking story with you.

Remember when I told you about Rose from Something Rosemade sending me the fun Christmas fabric? I shared this little stocking that I made from the fabric in a previous post.

Stocking Story - Cheater Fabric Stocking - piecefulthoughts.com

Well, I made another stocking from that fabric and sent it to Rose. I was going to post a picture of it after she had gotten it, and realized that I completely forgot to take a picture of it before I sent it.

So here’s an older picture of another stocking. Rose’s stocking looks similar to this one because it is made from the same pattern.

Stocking Story - from the original pattern - piecefulthoughts.com

I have had this pattern for years and used it several times. To say I’ve gotten my money’s worth is an understatement. The stocking pattern is copyrighted, so I decided to see if I could find the designer and ask if I could show how I made the stocking.

I went in search of the company to no avail. However, after multiple searches, I finally found Cindi Edgerton at A Very Special Collection and she graciously gave me a little information.

The original company on my pattern is Granny Nanny. According to Cindi, that company was sold to another, which sold to another. After that, Cindi had no idea where the pattern or designer ended up.

Cindi has some Little Stockings patterns that are very similar to the one I made. You can find Cindi’s method for foundation piecing here and also on this video.

All that being said, I don’t feel comfortable sharing a tutorial on how I made the stocking. I can, however, tell you how it is different than other paper piecing.

The stocking is no more than approximately 10″ tall. It is a great size for gift giving and for tucking in a little Christmas display.

The unique part about its construction is that it combines paper piecing with quilt as you go. This is done by adding a layer of very thin batting between the paper and the fabric. When done paper piecing, the front of the stocking is already quilted. A backing is stitched to the front, a lining is added and finished off with a cuff and a loop.

This is an easy step to add to any paper foundation pattern. Just remember that the batting needs to be very thin, ideally no more than 1/8″ so that you can still see the foundation paper for placement of your fabric.

If you have any information on this designer, please let me know. At the very least, I’d like to thank him or her for this fun pattern.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Wendy

Messy Creative Fun

Messy creative really does describe me. I have messy creative piles all around my sewing room. Some are orderly; some not so much. I had thought I wasn’t going to post today because I really have nothing new to show you, but then I thought, why not? I’ll show you the mess I’m working in as I continue my fascination with those cute little Tomtes. You can see my earlier work on them here.

I should probably explain why I’m working on the Tomte designs. While my mom was living, she collected Swedish things, and one of her favorites were the little Tomte figures. Each Christmas, I would go to a nearby Scandinavian store and find her something. Not always a Tomte, but something I knew she would like. So whenever I see a Tomte, it brings a smile and a tear. I miss her at Christmas, and this is one way I can remember the fun we had together.

Okay, this post is really going to be keeping it real, friends. You’ll even get to see my highly scorched ironing board that I need to re-cover. Someday. So let’s get to it.

Continue reading Messy Creative Fun

Cool Tool Monday

Cool Tool Monday hasn’t happened in awhile, but today I have something to show you. In one of my last posts, I showed a picture of a stiletto, and many of you wondered what that was. So today, we’re going to talk all things stiletto (not the shoes, sorry!).

What is a stiletto? Google’s second definition (the first is the shoe definition) is “a short dagger with a tapering blade”. In essence I suppose that is what a sewing stiletto is, without all the dangerous and ominous wording. However, I wouldn’t try taking your favorite sewing stiletto on a plane.

In my earlier post, I showed a picture of these two stilettos, recently gifted to me by quilty friend. In that picture, I had the sheaths on both stilettos. Here’s a picture with one sheathed and the other uncovered.

Cool Tool Monday - Sewing Stiletto - piecefulthoughts.com

When you see the points, you can understand why most of them come with a sheath.

Here’s the stiletto I was given by my mom. It has always been special to me, because when she gifted it to me I felt like she was telling me I had earned the status of quilter. Funny how little things  affect us like that, isn’t it?

Cool Tool Monday - My sewing stiletto - piecefulthoughts.com

So why is a sewing stiletto so handy?

One of the reasons I use my stiletto so often is to help guide the fabric as I sew.

Cool Tool Monday - Sewing Stiletto uses - piecefulthoughts.com

I’m chuckling as I look at this picture. I noticed in earlier pictures that my sewing foot was all fuzzy, so I cleaned it off (which led to cleaning out the bobbin, etc.) only to find that I missed the fuzz up and around the screw, not to mention the random threads in the photo. So just ignore that . . .

Anyway, the little point is handy for guiding the fabric through the foot.

Have you even had this happen?

Cool Tool Monday - How to use a sewing stiletto - piecefulthoughts.com

Using a stiletto as you are coming up to those seams helps to avoid seams flipping over. You can easily lift your sewing foot and use the stiletto to tuck that seam under, and get back to sewing.

Cool Tool Monday - Guiding the fabric through with a sewing stiletto - piecefulthoughts.com

Another use for the stiletto in my sewing is to rip seams. Rather than separating the seam with my hand and picking out the thread, I use it this way. It takes a little longer, but I find this method works well for me, especially with bias seams. I feel like I can keep the bias from distorting as I rip while slipping the point carefully under the stitch and gently pulling it out.

Cool Tool Monday - using a sewing stiletto as a seam ripper - piecefulthoughts.com

One other handy use for the stiletto is for lifting those little paper piece foundation papers out of those small spots where fingers can’t get to them. Although I prefer to use a tweezers, this works pretty well.

Cool Tool Monday - stiletto and paper piecing - piecefulthoughts.com

So, what if you don’t have a stiletto? Here are a few substitutes.

Cool Tool Monday - sewing stiletto substitutes - piecefulthoughts.com

Toothpick

I would only use this for guiding the fabric and picking out paper foundation pieces. It may not be strong enough for seam ripping.

Small Scissors

Again, I would only use this to guide the fabric, and then only very carefully. The scissors blades are too thick and make it a bit clumsy to use, but it will work in a pinch.

Seam Ripper

You can use the pointed side of the seam ripper to do the work of a stiletto. However, I think the single shaft of a stiletto works better and is easier to use when you need to feed that fabric well into the sewing foot area.

Some also use a chopstick or a wooden skewer that has a decent point. I don’t use my chopstick, since it has a thick point and is used mainly for turning corners and stuffing.

Until I received my stilettos from Rose, I didn’t know you could make them. (Who knew they can be made from turkey lacers?) They would be a fun, fast gift idea for a sewist, wouldn’t they? Bonnie Hunter shows how to make them. You can read all about it here.

Do you use a stiletto? If so, what is your favorite use for them?

Happy stitching friends!

Wendy

Stars of Joy

Do you remember the little star woolie project I was working on? I had forgotten about them until I unearthed my project list today. It’s been buried under a flurry of scraps from all the Tomte fun going on here.

Stars of Joy - woolie project from Buttermilk Basin - piecefulthoughts.com

All I needed to do was add backing fabric and stitch around them. That part was easy. Stuffing them wasn’t. All those little points were a bit difficult.

This pattern is Trio of Joy Stars from Buttermilk Basin. The stars finish at 10 inches. I didn’t want them that big, so I reduced the pattern to 75% and I’m much happier with them.

To add the backing, I just laid the woolie star right sides together with the backing fabric and sewed around the star, leaving a space for turning. After stitching, then I cut the background fabric around the woolie star. It was an easier way to stitch them together for me.

I used a chopstick to get the stuffing into the points, but it didn’t work very well. The points were sharper than I expected, and it was difficult to get the stuffing into those little points.

If I were to make this pattern again, I’d make it into a wall hanging, just stitching the stars onto a fabric background.

Since they didn’t finish well enough for me to give them as a gift, I just decided to add them to my Christmas decorating.

Stars of Joy - finished woolie stars from Buttermilk Basin's Trio of Joy Stars pattern - piecefulthoughts.com

Thanks for all the comments on my Christmas stocking and my little Tomte in my earlier posts. A few of you wondered what a stiletto is, so I’ll see if I can get a post together soon to show you how I use it.

I hope you all have a grand weekend full of quiet moments and humming sewing machines! It’s time to get those Christmas projects done! What are you working on this weekend?

Linking up today with Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Crazy Mom Quilts and Powered by Quilting.

Wendy