Saturday, September 24, 2016

Halloween Town

I think this might be my favorite Halloween quilt of all that i have done. But, boy, was it trouble. haha The blocks are done with the embroidery machine. Background fabrics are batiks, there is some applique, and there is a piece of batting behind each embroidered block. Then add backing for the quilt...and batting...and it makes for a thick sandwich. I broke 2 needles quilting this. Those little pumpkin cornerstones were killers. These designers make these kinds of blocks a lot, but i now skip putting the batting in the block. It is approximately 50" square.

The front is a scary halloween night...


Here are the blocks. I can't pick a favorite...i like them all.





The embroidery designers are Anita Goodesign...they are fabulous






And the back is a fun Halloween print.


The binding is the same batik fabric as the 'ground' in the blocks. 

Thread used was Glide light gray for the top and Bottom Line copper for the back. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Leather Elephant

This went much quicker than I thought it would. And I can tell you that quilting on good leather is much nicer than quilting on the Uncle Johnny leather. haha    Uncle Johnny worked in the stock yards his whole, who knows where he got that calf hide. hahaha

I got the pattern from an UJ magazine called Make it with Leather (formerly The Craftsman)...dated April 1975.  The man never threw anything away, but i am happy he kept these magazines because I have 7 more animal patterns to use.

The picture in the magazine...

pic in book.jpg

The pattern...full is 22" square....more or less....


Here you go... This black leather is a cow soft and nice feeling.


And a bit from the side. I used 2 layers of Warm and Natural batting.

front 2.jpg

A few close ups

close head.jpg

close feet.jpg

I quilted over the elephant lines more than once so it would stand out....but the bushes were just quilted once usually...unless i was traveling to another area.

close bushes.jpg

For this one, I tried sewing pieces of leather binding together...just like fabric. I did the binding the same as the last one....cut a piece 1", folded it over, and sewed it down. I stopped about 1/4" from the corner and cut the thread. Then folded the corner down and sewed to the next corner. It turned out pretty good. 

binding and corner.jpg

The back is a piece of cotton fabric from the stash. And i put a hanging sleeve on this one. I will hand stitch it down tonight.


And a couple of back close ups

back head.jpg

back close 2.jpg

I used Glide for the top thread...a silvery gray...and So Fine light brown for the bobbin. Two bobbins did the whole thing. I did have some thread breakage issues toward the end. I solved the problem by changing out the needle. But that first leather longarm needle quilted that first little horse, the sampler, and 90% of the elephant. I think that is awesome.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Leather Sampler

Here is the finished product. I am in love with leather....thank you Cathy Wiggins. (perhaps i shall blame you later..haha)  And thanks to Uncle Johnny who had a thin piece of calf hide that i could practice on.

It quilted up without a problem. It is about 16 x 21". 


The first set of individual blocks...

It is surprising how leather works in an embroidery machine, with a regular domestic sewing machine, or with a long as you use a leather needle it's all good. 

And using the leather dyes is so easy. If you put 2 coats of dye, the color is darker than with 1 coat. 


This started out with 4" embroidered leather blocks. I just stitched the cross stitch outline on the embroidery machine and then painted the sections with leather dye.

hearts and star.jpg

This is all from one piece of calf skin that i got from Uncle Johnny....except for the black leather binding and hangers. 

little squares.jpg

Sewed through 2 layers of leather when attaching sashings without a problem.


Quilted up without a problem....through one or two layers of leather. I used So Fine black thread on the top and bobbin. First I just quilted over the lines where I sewed the sashings on. Then I thought it needed a bit more and quilted something in the middle of each block. Then i thought the border needed a little something, I put some arcs there. I had a ruler for that.

star in square.jpg

The back is just a piece of black fabric and the batting is a piece of something I had leftover from another project.


And a close up of the back..

Cut 3/4" strips of black leather (from the expensive leather that I bought at Tandy Leather) for the binding and the hanging strips. I just folded the leather over the edges and sewed them down. First did the top and bottom, then the sides. I didn't attempt any mitered corners on this one. ... maybe next time.

I believe the next leather experiment with be an elephant....on black leather. wish me luck

Monday, September 19, 2016

Grandma's Country Album, a Robert Callaham pattern

Finally, I got this quilt off the's been on there about 3 weeks. I finished piecing it January 16, 2014. It started out at 96x100, but after quilting is now 92x96. I used a very thick batting....which gave me issues in itself, but i wanted to see how it would look. This was hand appliqued with felted wool. I am happy to be finished with it but I do love how it looks.

It is a Robert Callaham pattern...i have done 3 of his. He likes to challenge you.


There are always birds...


birds 2.jpg

And lots of flowers....

block 1.jpg

Some of the purple markings have not all faded away yet...mainly because parts of it was rolled up and air didn't get to it. 

block 2.jpg

This block got piecing and applique..and crazy quilt blocks in the corners.

block 3.jpg

I don't remember how many 2 inch squares made up the sashings...i think over 500...they all got CC.

block 4.jpg

There is usually a heart block... I like the way the thick batting makes the applique stand out more. 


This time there was a pineapple...


And there is usually a vase... I did the same meander in all the borders around the blocks.




Sometimes I quilted over the applique in this block, because the center pieces were larger. But, mostly i just quilted around them. But i did put a vein in each leaf.

corner 2.jpg

And there were 2 pieced blocks....round, pieced blocks....challenging for sure...


pieced 2.jpg

The back is a muslin


A couple of back close ups...

back border.jpg

I like this scribble background fill. I stole that idea from Cathy Wiggins in her leather work.

back scribble.jpg

I did different background fills for each block.

Thread used was Glide off white for the top; So Fine #407, beige for the bobbins. I used 25 bobbins on this quilt. Most i think i have ever used. I did use Glide Jade to sew down the binding. Normally, i would use the same thread that i used to quilt it, but i didn't want the off white to be so glaring on the dark green binding.  The binding is the same fabric as the little skinny green border.


Now that this is finished and the frame is empty, i am going to play with some leather. Stay tuned.

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