Sunday, February 12, 2012

Monogrammed Hankies

From the time they were old enough to wipe their own noses, my grandchildren have always used hankies instead of tissue. I love that. Not very many people use hankies anymore - I wonder why.

There are some beautifully monogrammed and embellished hankies out there that certainly should not be used for its intended purpose, but the kids love and use hankies all the time.

I bought hankies for each of them and monogrammed their first initial in the corner. Here's how they turned out.

That should just about take care of the 2011 Christmas projects I needed to complete before starting this year's projects.

Hmmm, what should I start next?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Free Motion Quilting

OK, I'll be the first to admit that stitching in the ditch is a safe and easy way to quilt baby blankets and wall hangings.

However, I want to be able to do more than just stitch in the ditch, so I'm practicing my free motion quilting skills this year thanks to a group of online FMQ'rs who generously have agreed to provide some tutorials and tips to help us improve (see FMQ link on the right side).

I put together a couple of quick quilt sandwiches for practice and gave it a whirl. Man, it's tough! My machine has a stitch regulator which I tried and miserably failed at. It also has a darning foot which I tried and liked a little better, but my stitches are not even and there are some pointy spots that should not be there.

The stitch regulator would be a fantastic tool to use if I can figure out how to get my speed and hand movements coordinated enough to keep the silly thing from beeping at me so I'm willing to put up with the beeping until I'm able to perfect my stitching a little more.

I'll probably also use the darning foot just because it somehow seems more comfortable for me but the stitch regulator is calling my name and I must go try it again.

Like the little train in the nursery rhymes, my new mantra is, "I think I can, I think I can." It may take me all year, but I am bound and determined to improve my FMQ skills!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Crazy Quilt Blocks

As always, this has been a crazy, busy month. I fixed the super hero capes that I made for Christmas so that they fit the boys better. Then I created some crazy quilt blocks for a round robin and some quilt sandwiches for FMQ practice.

My portion of work on two crazy quilt blocks is completed. Years ago I did hand embroidery and only just last year started it again. Needless to say, I don't feel that my stitching is up to par with many others in the group, but we all have to start (or begin again) somewhere so I jumped in with both feet and am doing my best.

I've been collecting different threads, ribbons, and other embellishments whenever I see them in local stores and trying out new stitches and new techniques.

Working with very narrow silk ribbon is something I really want to get better at so I am practicing every chance I have. In my stitching library at home, I have some how-to hand embroidery stitching books from years ago and there is a ton of online tutorials and information which I find absolutely invaluable. Thanks to everyone who contributes their time and talents online so that we can all learn and feel more confident in our skills.