Sunday, November 29, 2015

GO! Tea Towels

So this week's GO! Sew is a pair of tea towels.

So cute! I used the AccuQuilt GO! Fowl die and the Queen of Hearts dies when making these up. I made the all in blue version first and just outline stitched the appliqué. Afterwards I looked at it and wished I had buttonholed it. When I did the second tea-towel, the red and blue version, I used machine buttonhole -- and yes, more of a pain in the neck but also much more in that vintage spirit. So, buttonhole it is.

I really wanted a vintage appeal so I pulled out my 30's reproduction bin that includes a few bits of actual vintage fabrics as well. These pretty blues go way back!

I just love the one with the blue stripes and pretty flowers.

And the fabrics weren't the only vintage bits either. I've inherited sewing boxes from my mother, my grandmother, and my mother-in-law. The bits of rick rack I used came from the sewing bins. Some of those bits go way back as well, particularly that yellow one.

And then there was the thread (because I inherited a bunch of that as well -- I remember my mom sewing clothes for me, back when it was cheaper to sew your own than buy in the store . . . ).

Those bits of blue scrap were all that was left of the one scrap of rick rack!  And look at the wooden spools. I love them.

From the top: how about that 10 cent pricing for a spool of thread, or the one that has the information stamped into the wood rather than a bit of paper?

And then there's the 30's reproduction fabrics.

So bright and happy. Of course, you know you're old when your scrap pile probably counts as vintage in and of itself. I bought those fabrics to make a baby quilt for my nephew. Now he is headed off to college. Vintage is a relative term!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

GO! Christmas Hot Pads

So this week's GO! Sew is more little Christmas gifts. The hen and rooster hot pads I did earlier worked so well, I decided to try some Christmas ones as well.

These were fun to make. I'm getting a little better at free motion outlining. Or at least I've learned to go slow enough I make fewer mistakes.

I really love this deer die -- so pretty and elegant.

For reasons purely mysterious, I had trouble with the binding on the one with the dove. Which is why I am absolutely positively not taking a picture of the back.

Isn't the snowman adorable? This one is my favorite, I think. I even managed French knots for his eyes! I lightly trimmed the mittens, so they aren't quite as fat as the die cuts them.

I have a few more to make for gifts, so it's a good thing these whip up so quickly.

I used a bunch of dies with these: the 8 inch circle (perfectly sized for hot pads -- and I can run the fabric, batting, and InsulBrite all through the GO! just fine). Then there's the deer, the dove, the 2/3/5 inch circles, and the holiday accessories dies.  Also the 2 1/2" strip cutter for the binding-- I was even able to cut the strips on the bias.  This GO! Sew challenge I gave myself is leading me to learn all kinds of new tricks.

So far so good on my GO! Sew a Week challenge. I've used my GO! to make up a project and managed to post on it every week since September 7. Which is to say -- go me! (Some puns just can't be suppressed).

I nearly forgot to mention! Thank you to AccuQuilt because I won Eleanor Burn's GO! Sampler book. The quilt on the cover is so pretty in pastels --

But, of course, the one that really spoke to me is the warm colored reproduction style on the back --

A project for the New Year perhaps?

Sunday, November 15, 2015

GO! Dove of Peace

As I was finishing up this table runner, I couldn't help but think of Paris and the other cities and countries that have so recently suffered at the hands of terrorists. I believe with all my heart that love is stronger than hate, that those who do good in the world vastly outnumber those who do evil, and that while peace remains elusive, the very fact we cherish it as a dream speaks to the best of who we are.

 I used three GO! dies in the making of this quilt: the dove, the 6" finished quarter-square triangle, and the 1 1/2" strip cutter (for single fold binding).  I rotary cut the central squares 6 1/2" (6" finished).

Wishing peace and comfort to the City of Light, to Beirut, to Russia and all who have suffered these attacks.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

GO! Hot Pads

Just playing around to see how well I like using the AccuQuilt GO! 8 inch circle for making hot pads. I'm thinking I'll make some holiday ones up for gifts.  Meanwhile, I used the GO! Fowl die to play with.

Those are cute enough. I think I might try some simple piecing in the background next time. Perhaps some snowmen in a simple snow and sky landscape?

Meanwhile, I've got some hen and roosters hot pads. As typical given my photo skills, I have to say they are more fun and colorful up close and personal.

This last one was the first one I stitched -- with a contrasting yellow thread, no less. Yeah, those are some hop, skip, and jump stitches I've got going there! But hey, they're hot pads. I can live with it. 

And I've got two bigger projects in the pipe line as well. I just got the Circle Rag die. I'm really curious to see how that will go.  Meanwhile, it's a beautiful fall day. The leaves are falling and the sky is blue.  Gorgeous days . . .  I'm doing my best to appreciate them before those cold winds of winter begin to blow. But when those cold winds do start to blow? There will be new quilts to snuggle under. So, there's that. 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

GO! Pincushions

With Miniatures In Minutes foundations 

Once again I'm using the GO! Equilateral die to cut out patches for the Pyramid Triangle foundation from Miniatures in Minutes. Here they are, cut out and ready to apply to the foundation.

Since I had an odd shape, I marked blue X's on the foundation to show which patches would go down first. 

I placed the first two outer patches of each pincushion first.

Before adding the next set of patches that I could then sew top to bottom on the foundation.

Here it is with all the patches sewn onto the foundation.

At this point I cut the foundation to separate the two pincushions (since otherwise it would be just like me to forget and sew the two of them together). Below, the foundation on the left is trimmed and ready to Fold and Sew. The foundation on the right has its rows sewn together and just needs the paper removed. 

And the result? Cute little hexie pincushions!

There's the Pretty in Purple one:

But my favorite is the Red and White. So cute with some vintage fabrics that go way back.

I've got a busy week ahead, and I'm just not sure I've got sewing time on the radar. I'm hoping though. This GO! sew a week challenge has kept me moving on. Yeah, I'll have to squeeze some time in. Daylight Savings Time Fall Back.  Hey, I gained an hour!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Miniatures in Minutes

What are the book buying options?

Since Miniatures in Minutes is out of print, I thought I would show the options for those interested in purchasing it.

Print on Demand

First, there's Print on Demand which you will find at the C&T Publishing website. This, obviously, gives you a paper edition. The difference between print on demand and the regular print runs is that print on demand books are not printed onto glossy paper. The result is that the paper absorbs more ink and the colors are deeper and more saturated. In the photo below, the Print on Demand version is the lower book. You can see how the blue border in the tumbler quilt is darker than it is in the regular print run version (the book on top) and the colors are not as exact in all the little tumblers.

The book is otherwise the same. The foundations are included in the back of the book. For those who really like a book, print on demand is a good option. It's a little less pretty than the glossy paged version, but overall, the quality is quite nice.

Ebook from C&T Publishing

Another option is to buy the pdf ebook from C&T. Personally, I like this option a lot.  The layout of the pages is exactly the same as for the published book. Since I'm on a Mac, I read the pdf in Preview, but any pdf reader will work.

One of the things I particularly like about the pdf ebook is how easy it is to print off the foundations. The original print run has a large fold out at the back of the book. You orient the fold-out over a copier and away you go. The Print on Demand copy has the foundations on regularly sized and bound pages at the back of the book. Being able to print from the pdf ebook is definitely the easiest print option.

(NOTE: it is important to use a laser printer when printing the foundations. Ink jet ink will smear and run. If you don't have a laser printer, you will still need to use a laser copier to print your foundations onto translucent vellum. Even so, it is still easier to print the foundations off from the ebook first).

A Bit of Advice for Printing from the eBook
The page numbers on my reader are one page off from the numbering on the pages of the book. That's because the ebook version counts the cover of the book as a page. So, for example, what is noted as page four of the print book is page five of the ebook. When you are deciding what pages to print off from the ebook, be sure to use the page numbering from your reader. In the photo below, you can see that at the top of the page, the reader tells me what page it is on.

When I want to print off a foundation, I need to make sure to specify which pages to print. In the window below, I've selected pages 90 to 91 in order to print off the Pyramid Triangle foundation.

One thing I have to watch out for is the scale that the foundation prints off at. I'm not sure about what other readers and printers do, but my print window automatically scales the page at 96%.

So I change the scale to 100% -- which is what I need to get an accurate foundation.

Yes, I like the great formatting and the ease of printing from C&T Publishing's ebook version a lot.

Kindle from Amazon

There is also a Kindle version of the book. The great advantage of this version is that it is the cheapest version out there. Other than that, though, I don't recommend it. For one, the foundations are not included in the book. This is being looked into and meanwhile, if you have purchased the Kindle version, you can contact C&T Publishing to get the foundations. So, yes, it's doable.

On the other hand, the formatting is just not as neat as the pdf ebook version. For example, below is a look at a Kindle page (ignore the sepia page coloring -- that's just how I set my Kindle).

That's not bad, really. It's just off set pages and headings. But for contrast, below is what the pdf ebook version looks like. Much cleaner and looking exactly like the print version of the book.

What I've also noticed with the Kindle version is that as you change the font size (if, like me, you have aging eyes and want the font larger and easier to read), the formatting gets wacky. There will be pages with an image just floating there, and suddenly, directions aren't clearly tied to images. I think the book gets harder to follow.

For the record, I should note Amazon does still have some new books available.

So, here's my take: the Print on Demand version is great for having a print version to hold in the hand and page through. The ebook from C&T Publishing is great for the ease of printing off the foundations and its clear formatting. The Kindle book is doable but definitely not as neat an answer. I think it would frustrate the heck out of me if that's all I had to go on.

Also, duly noting, I still have a GO! weekly project in the works. Using the GO! equilateral triangles die and the Pyramid Triangles foundation from Miniatures in Minutes. I'm hoping to have it up tomorrow, but here's a (terrible) process photo for the time being . . . .

Sunday, October 25, 2015

GO! Trick or Treat

This weeks GO! sew was all about little drawstring bags. This time for a pumpkin carving party, so definitely Halloween.

These use the AccuQuilt GO! large Tumbler die, as I showed here.

Filled with treats:

A whole bowl full!

I think I made up 16 little bags. It's possible I may be drawstringed out for a bit!

Still pondering what this coming week's GO! project will be.  So many possibilities!