Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Be My Neighbor: Block 4

SSWe have reached the first quarter mark in the in the Be My Neighbor Quilt Along. I found House 4 a little less finicky than the last block but we are introduced to a new technique again. Both Esther and I chose to make the quarter square triangles (QST) differently than how the pattern instructs. We used the same method but trimmed our final blocks with different rulers. 
Both of us cut two 5.5” squares of each color that was in our QST and placed them right sides together, marked a line down the diagonal and sewed a quarter inch on each side. We than cut on our marked line, and pressed to one side just like a half square triangle. Than we placed our two Half square triangle units right sides together again this time with opposite colours touching Seach other and nesting the seams in the center. We than again marked the diagonal (this time across the previous stitch line), sewed a quarter inch in each side and cut them apart on the marked line again. I pressed my seams open here for a little less bulk, Esther pressed to one side again. 
Esther used her 4-in-1 half square triangle ruler from Creative Grids to trim her blocks and we did a short video of this which you can view on our Facebook Page.
I used the 4.5” Square Ruler also by Creative Grids to trim my blocks. I laid the the diagonal line on the ruler on one seam and used the halfway markings on the ruler to make sure I was square all the way around and than trimmed them quick using my rotating mat. 
I am currently working on two quilts that combine to have 192 QST units and 192 3patch QSTs that finish at 4” which is the same as the ones in this block so I have gotten lot of practice in the last couple weeks. 
One other thing I did while making my blocks was to pin the squares for the house roof in place while sewing them. With them being so large I was scared they would shift while I was stitching, so I just put one pin in the center to hold it, this also made it easy to make the trimmed portion into a half square triangle without any re positioning. 
Wanderlust was delivered this week, and I know it is super popular with all of us that work in the store so if you want some you better come in store quick. This line  has small prints in amazing citrus colours inspired by Indian Clothing. I love the neutrals they are perfect for scrappier backgrounds. 
I have a little more baby sewing to finish off this week before Friday's post so that's what I hope to spend tomorrow doing.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Staff Profile: Esther

Every day at the store we meet new people and reconnect with others. We hear about what is happening in your life, who the next quilt you are making is for and upcoming family events like weddings, graduations and new additions to the family. You share with us about your vacations, or how busy you are at work currently, the joys and the heartaches of daily life. We love this, it makes all of you special to us and you become our friends rather than just another customer walking through our doors. 
SToday when I was picking out some fabrics for a car seat cover I said I needed a blog idea for this evening, Jennifer suggested the idea of doing a profile on everyone working at the store, and when the words came out she looked like she wanted to take them back because Esther and I jumped on the idea. I have been contemplating the idea for awhile now, and it turns out I wasn't alone, and so for the next few weeks I will be doing a blog post on each of us. Hopefully this will help you to learn a little more about each of us. Logically Esther is up first. 
Esther married my Dad, Jim nearly 28 years ago. They live and work on a Dairy Farm just east of Coaldale. Together they have had 6 children. I am the oldest, Carrie is the youngest and we have two brothers and two sisters in between that. Three of us are married now and we all still live close to home. Esther has 5 grandchildren now and two more expected in the next few months. Our family is really close and we all come home for dinner on Sunday Evenings. S
The majority of our family is big into water skiing and several years ago my dad expanded the dugout in their backyard to be large enough for a water ski course and a boat. Esther spends a lot of her summer on the water driving the boat and swimming with the grandkids. In the winter she loves going on water ski trips to Orlando, Florida.
SEsther loves being busy and taught home ec at Coaldale Christian School for 7 years, often with cooking for the first semester and sewing the second. She had little kids at home during this time, and her only stipulations were that she could only do one day a week, and her kids had to be able to come with her. When they moved to a bigger dairy farm 10 years ago, Esther gave up the teaching to be more involved with the bookwork of the farm. 
Esther has been sewing since a very young age. She started out with sewing clothes for herself, and she made her wedding dress which was absolutely stunning. As us children grew up she made a lot of our clothes, I remember so many new dresses for church and special occasions, new school outfits, pjs and even swimsuits. Our dolls were often decked out in outfits that matched our own. She also did some upholstery work, recovering chairs, tractor and boat seats. 
She sewed my grad dress, and two of my sisters as well, Carrie graduates next year and I'm sure Esther will find the time to make hers as well. She also sewed my wedding dress and I loved how I got a one of a kind dress that was 100% unique. S
When we kids got to old to sew for, Esther took a break from sewing and started Scrapbooking, she made some amazing books and had a lot of fun but found it to be less relaxing and therapeutic than her sewing was. 
SThis is when she got into quilting, she took her first class from Tammy 12 years ago and has been hooked ever since. Since than she has made more quilts, table toppers, bags and wallets than she could ever count, recently she has added some rugs to the mix as well. Many of her quilts and toppers have been given away to family and friends, and I have multiple quilts in my house that she made for me, my husband or my kids. Up until about two years ago Esther preferred to work more with the traditional fabrics, and her stash of Kansas Trouble Fabric is pretty incredible, but she has branched out and loves working with pretty much anything, but still prefers lines of fabric rather than pulling fabric from multiple designers. 
Esther never does anything halfway and so she bought Chicken Feed Quilts, nearly two years ago, with her husband's complete support and encouragement. She loves owning the store and has no regrets whatsoever. She has made lots of changes in the store, and I know she has more changes up her sleeve. 
The next profile will be in a couple weeks, as next week Tuesday is Week 4 of our Be My Neighbor Quilt Along. I hope to spend some time this week doing some sewing for my little one,a nd will share some of the projects with you in a couple weeks. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Be My Neighbor: Block 3

SIt is week 3 of our Be My Neighbor Quilt Along. I am having so much fun making these blocks, it’s so nice to set aside all my other projects and pull this one out and work on just one block and than put it away again without it feeling like an unfinished project, in fact I feel accomplished each time another block is finished on time. I hope all of you managed to finish your Block 2’s, the ones I have seen are looking great. 
SThis block has just a little bit of appliqué. I used to shy away from any project that had the dreaded “a” word but not anymore. I still don’t love it and I am not very good at it all but they say practice makes perfect and so I shall keep on doing it. 
In the pattern the images are not reversed, which means if you were to trace the picture they give you right on to your fusible web or steam a seam and than iron that on to your fabric your bird would be facing the wrong way. What I did was trace the bird pieces onto a piece of paper, flipped this over and traced the upside down images onto my trans web. When I cut these out and ironed them onto the wrong side of the fabric my bird came out the correct way.
On my Art Gallery Block instead of the bird the pattern provides, I fussy cut one from one of the prints in my Color Master Boxes. I have enough left to use on the remaining blocks that have birds on them. 
To do the appliqué I did a simple zigzag on all the raw edges. 
If you would like you could do turned edge appliqué but I cannot give you any advice on this as I have never done it. 
Also there is a few more birds in the rest of the quilt, so to keep all my appliqué the same I wrote down my zigzag length and width in my pattern book, this way I won’t have to remember what size I did or test my stitches to get them the same. 
As it turns out the base of an Aurifil Spool is 1.25” so I traced that for the hole on my birdhouse instead of the circle they gave.
Here is the link to the pattern. I hope you enjoy making this block. 
This week at the store the GO dies are on for a buy more save more deal in addition to a free gift with your GO purchase. If you have been waiting to purchase a couple dies now is your chance. Esther also decided to add machines to the sale, so all three sizes the GO Baby, the GO and the Electric GO are all 15% off through Saturday. If you have any questions about them or would like a demonstration on how they work come in store. 
This week is another session of Grid Girls so check back Friday to see what we are working on this month, and due to appointments and school schedules I will be working for a little while tomorrow and a couple of hours on Friday so I will get some pictures of new fabric that has come in store and share them on the blog as well.