Friday, March 27, 2015

A Few Little Tips (pun intended) and a Little Progress

Wait, what? Is this some kind of bad Michael Jackson parody of a post?

Nope.  There are a couple of badass tips here; I'm talking bad fingertips and badass quilting tips.

White gloves.  First up, I love my Machingers, and I'm not being paid or compensated to write about them.  I just adore them, and could not function as far as FMQ goes without them. Period. This is my second pair, already in need of a wash, as you can see.

Black gloves.  I heard about some quilting supplies available at Harbor Freight for a fraction of the cost that quilt shops ask (rotary blades for one) so in I went with my husband last summer.  I usually hang out in the car and read, so he knows the feeling of frantically shopping in a store you adore knowing your spouse is sweating it out in the car in the parking lot, "No really hon' take your time; I'll be fine right here."  This time, I decided to see if I could find these blades.  And I did. And yep, fraction.  Then I saw these gloves, well, several with rubberized fingers, and thought I would try some.  They are a little big, but they do grip just fine.  Sidenote: really neither of us do mind waiting in the car; I always have a good book to read, and my husband has his trusty iPad.

I needed the black gloves because of an incident earlier this week where I was NOT paying attention, NOT fully present, involving a razor blade and no, not my leg hairs, but the backs of two of my fingernails, not the tips.  Still painful to type, think continuously-getting-your-finger-pinched-badly-in-a-door sharp pain? You got it.  However,  I am making slow but fairly steady progress on Brrrrr Park,

First tree done
and I needed to wear gloves to FMQ, but could not and still cannot STAND anything brushing against said injured nails, or lack thereof.  Shiver.  So these gloves, that are a bit big, and do not grip my fingertips like my Machingers, worked perfectly, once I ever so gingerly and carefully got them on.

So did this app,

when I was figuring out yardage for a quilt for my husband.  Thank you to Cindy at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework for writing about it some time ago. It is just AWESOME.  And free!  I use it a lot, and I love it.  It's very user-friendly, clearly written by, or with input from, a quilter.  Anyhow, Jasmine's quilt for her husband inspired me to get this fabric bought already.  My husband had sent me several fabric suggestions, and I can't wait to show you once they arrive!  Let me just say that Alexander Henry makes some incredible prints. I'm a new fan of Nicole de Leon's prints.  Out there. And ya, badass.

On to tree number 2.  I want to treat the trunk as a unit, rather than emphasize the pieces it is comprised of.  I loved how I created channels in Scraps of Calm, and I wanted this look again, as most of the tree fabrics would lend themselves well to showing it off.  Out came the newsprint (bought thanks to Judy's sharing of a good source) where I sketched the trunk and then brainstormed quilting ideas.  A little Dot to Dot à la Angela Walters, a little fillers à la Angela and Leah Day, and it came together quite nicely.

Here are the lines quilted in:
Apologies for the not-flat pictures; I had to drape the quilt over the wicker loveseat on the lanai, during one of many rainstorms today.

Once they were all quilted, as well as the stitch-in-the-ditch quilting on the diagonal of all the HSTs in the tree, I could don my black gloves and go to town.

Um oops? Guess I did not drag my text to the corner of the photo!
I love how it shows up so well on this tree fabric.  See the roots?!

Here is the back of Tree #1:

I still have to do the swoop-dee-swoops in Tree #2' branches.  I'm waiting for the quilt to talk to me a little more about the negative space under the branches.  I've got an idea to use a part of the stencil there.  As for the setting triangles, they are crying for feathers.

Someone else was talking to me, crying for some playtime:
"How do you like me now?! Ya, I'm sitting on your new quilt, ON TOP OF your sewing machine. So pay me some attention, dammit!"
Linking up with some of the blogs on the sidebar.  I love visiting others, visualizing quilters, who, at any given moment, are hunched over their whirring machines, creating.

Putting some more beauty and goodness into this world.

Machingers (I got my second pair from Leah Day; my first from my LQS)
black (garden or work)gloves - Harbor Freight "Western Safety" brand, $3-4
rotary blades - Harbor Freight - 45mm is all I've seen so far, in the carpet section
Robert Kaufman app - available in the App Store of iTunes, free
newsprint - for sketching, for printing out paper-piecing patterns (Judy's tip), for doodling, practising FMQ with a pencil, etc.  on Amazon
Alexander Henry fabrics are everywhere, but we found these sites have a great selection:
Ladybutton Fabrics
Fabric Paradise


  1. Oh those trees are beautiful! Bella LOL gotta love her!

  2. Oh those trees!!! Seriously love!! I need to check out that app. . . you know me and quilty math - we just don't mix ;) LOL

  3. Your tree is looking so pretty! I love your detailed quilting. I need to do more of some quilts. I usually just go for a fast finish. And thanks for the reminder of the app. I want to try it out. I am really looking forward to seeing what you and your husband picked out for his quilt.

  4. Sandra those trees and your quilting are looking fabulous! i can't believe you are managing to put on gloves and quilt after your accident. Praying you get better every day!
    I love little Bella!
    Love the final thought you left us with - how you love visiting and "visualizing quilters, who, at any given moment, are hunched over their whirring machines, creating." It put a thrill up my spine thinking about what a creative, productive community of people we are!

  5. That's a lot of detailed quilting! Looks lovely. I don't have the patience to do that much intricate, dense quilting.


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