,Lori Holt has been an inspiration to me in so many ways. I love her You Tube videos each Friday and when I saw her first "FlossTube" I was smitten!!
During my childhood, my mom encouraged me in many crafty pursuits. Although she wasn't a cross stitcher herself, she generously bought kits, fabric, and thread for me to pursue the craft.
As a young wife I continued to cross stitch many of my early home decor items. I stitched a large picture of a stuffed bear sitting in front of a wardrobe filled with quilts! Another patriotic piece, complete with a rippling flag and outstretched eagle, hung in our Americana themed entry way for many years.
Unfortunately, I am pretty sure that I hauled those pieces off to Goodwill a few years back, thinking they were dated.
Little did I know that cross stitching was making a comeback!
Oh, how I wish I could retrieve those pieces now!
After viewing Lori's first "flosstube" video (I didn't even know what that meant at first!), I began investigating the new patterns that had been published and the new threads that were available. I was astonished to see what I was missing out on! I started buying patterns and thread. I began watching other flosstubers. And I began searching out cross stitch shops both in my local area and online.
I have finished stitching a few pieces over the past year but this pillow is my first "fully finished" piece, meaning I did something with it once the stitching was done!
This Antique Scissors & Spools pattern is published by Shakespeare's Peddler. It is one in a series of "Antique" things including Baskets, Birds, Teas, and Keys (which is next on my list!)
Look closely at the finish to my pillow, I used an antique hanky as trimming. After making the pillow itself, I laid an antique hanky over the top and tacked down the lacy edges. Once the edges were secure, I carefully cut away the inside cotton fabric of the hanky!
And the back . . . I added a Lori Holt inspired finish to the back by layering scraps of wool and finishing it off with antique laundry pins! Oh, so adorable!
When I entered this pillow in the county fair this summer, it won Reserve Grand Champion!
I am so happy that I started cross stitching again this past year, after a 20+ year break.
I am loving it!
Have you jumped on this bandwagon? Have you taken up cross stitching AGAIN? Or maybe for the first time? Many quilt shops are now offering supplies and expanding this part of their store. Let me know what you're working on. Leave me a comment below!
Today I thought we'd take a peak BEHIND THE SCENES in my quilting studio to see my longarm quilting process. How do I prepare a quilt for the longarm? How do I plan the design for the quilting and how is that stitched it out.
Want to see?
When I initially bring a quilt into my studio, I look at the overall theme and color scheme of the quilt to determine possible quilting designs. I base my design choices on factors such as motifs I see in the fabrics, the pieced design of the quilt itself, and the intended recipient of the quilt.
Once a quilting design is decided upon, it is time to load the quilt onto the longarm machine.
I begin by centering the backing fabric wrong side up on the back take up bar. I secure the quilt with Red Snappers. These ingenious notions keep the quilt top snug against the bar without the use of pins! (You can barely see them sticking out from underneath the backing fabric.) I roll the backing fabric onto the back bar, smoothing out wrinkles and adjusting the fabric as I go. I then use Red Snappers to secure the other end of the backing fabric to the front take up bar and rolling all of the fabric from the back bar to the takeup bar closest to where I stand.
Next I load the quilt top by attaching the bottom edge of the quilt with pins to my leader fabric. Once this is rolled up smoothly, I am ready to add the batting.
I add the batting between the two fabric layers allowing it to float down over the front and rest in a hammock under the machine. Using the channel lock feature on my longarm, I stitch a perfectly straight line across the top of the batting, securing it to the backing fabric.
This stitched line provides me with a straight edge to be sure that the quilt top is square to the backing material. I pin the quilt top along this line and then hand guide a stitched line approximately ¼ inch from the edge of the quilt top.
Finally, I stitch the side edges of the quilt down.
The quilt is now securely squared up on the machine and I am ready to program a design.
I create a stitching area on the longarm tablet that represents the
size of the quilt. After choosing the design from the library, I
repeat the motif to fill in the quilt area, adjusting sizing,
minimizing gaps in the design, adjusting edges, cropping outside
of the quilt area, etc. Once I am confident that the computer
design is accurate, I am ready for my initial row of stitches.
Working left to right across the quilt, the longarm stitches out the design one row at a time. I fit in as many rows as I can in the throat space before rotating the quilt to the next area. After each advance, I check spacing and placement to be sure that I have the design lined up prior to resuming stitching.
I am always close by to insure that I notice empty bobbins or thread breakages quickly. I am constantly checking tension on the top and bottom of the quilt to be sure that the stitching is perfect.
When I reach the bottom of the quilt,
I hand-guide the machine as I pull out the pins and stitch the edge down.
This means I have one more pass and the quilt will be completed!
Before removing the quilt from the frame,
I unroll it completely to again check for tension issues or stray threads.
When I am pleased with the results, I trim the backing to be flush with the quilt top.
When your finished quilt is returned it is ready for you to add the binding.
So, that’s it!
My entire process from beginning to end.
This job is so rewarding! I love seeing your quilts go from three separate
layers to a completed treasure! You are all so talented in the many
different patterns, colors, designs, fabrics, and sizes that you make.
I am blessed to be able to see all of your creations.
I am a reader!!! And I have raised reading kids.
We are the reason the library puts limits on the number of books that can be checked out! (Confession: More than once, we have had to put books back on the library shelves because we had too many checked out at once!)
My favorite quote is
“Never leave home without a book and a snack!”
and I don’t. Besides my planner, I usually have a couple of books tucked into my tote bag when I leave home (because I may not be in the mood to read this one, so I need that one too!)
I have a stack of books next to my bed, books in the bathroom, books in the living room, a book on my elliptical (yes, I read while I exercise every morning!), books on hold at the library and a large queue of audio books on my phone!
One of my very favorite things to do while sewing is listening to audio books. In my book journal, I recorded 49 reads last year. I have a goal of reading/listening to 60 books in 2021 and as of the end of February, I have finished 12!
So I think I’m on pace!
Because I’m a reader, I was intrigued by this tutorial put out by Missouri Star Quilt Company this week. Isn’t this pocket pillow a great idea?!
A pocket pillow would make the perfect birthday gift for any aged child. Just tuck a new book in the pocket as well!
What do you think?
Another one of my favorite book related resources (besides your local library and the Libby App) is
The Read Aloud Revival podcast and website.
Check it out.
Your friends have been quilting and I have pictures of their most recent finishes.
I realized this week that I have the unique privilege of sharing in many of your most treasured milestones. Births, weddings, and graduations!!
Isn’t it interesting how we mark life’s transitions by making quilts. Many of this week’s featured quilts fit into these categories.
Beth has been busy making baby quilts for family members. Her quilts are adorable! The ABC 123 pantograph was the perfect match for the fabric in this quilt.
Beth made this one too! I just love this Curly Edge to Edge pattern.
Carol made this T-shirt quilt from college wear. We chose a simple meander pattern to finish it off.
Great job Carol!
And speaking of making quilts for weddings . . . Connie has made this cute, sparkly quilt for a
soon-to-be bride in her extended family!
This is the Feather delight panto.
Loretta pieced this super fun quilt top. We finished it with the Madeleine Scroll panto in teal thread!