Saturday, April 5, 2014

FNwF... Embroidered Quilting

What is one way to get perfect quilted feathers?  Let your embroidery machine quilt it for you!  For my Friday Night with Friends, I tested out some digitized quilting feathers.  I haven't used my embroidery machine for quilting before, so this was something new for me to try.

You may remember I have this small blue quilt top that I did for an online digitized quilting class at Quilt University.

I'm finally getting around to getting the quilting done for this top.  This is the quilt design layout for it.
Since this technique is something new for me, it is a good idea to test out the embroidery/quilting on a test quilt sandwich of the same materials used in the real one. The designs I tested tonight are shaded in yellow:

The center design of the quilt is done with two hoopings.  The first step is to hoop wash-away stabilizer, then baste the quilt sandwich to the stabilizer.
I use Vilene which is a light, non-woven, water-soluble stabilizer.
I then stitched my first placement line, and promptly had to rip it out.  The placement lines done on the quilt are supposed to be done in waer-soluble thread.

First un-sewing of the night.  Ugh.
 I knew I had water-soluble thread somewhere.  I bought it a long time ago, and never used it.  After digging through my sewing box, I found it!
I knew it would find a use one day.
I didn't realize this wash-a-way thread was so precious that they don't give you much on a spool.  I wound a bobbin, and it used up the entire spool before it finished.  So I wound off half onto another bobbin and used the bobbins for my top and bottom thread.  These placement lines are only needed temporarily so they will be washed out when the quilt is complete.

Placement lines stitched in wash-away thread.
I've been wanting to use this blue variegated thread that I've had, so I used it first, but didn't like the way it looked at all.  It looks like half of the feathers are missing.  I used a Sulky blue viscose thread for the second part of the design, and I liked it much better.
I don't like the look of the blue variegated thread used on the bottom feather.
To complete the center quilting design, I hooped another piece of stabilizer and lined up the design to match the placement lines of the first design.  I stitched the placement lines for the second hooping.  The lines matched up so all would be good.   The second design stitched out well.
Test of center design stitched.  
 I then test stitched the large triangle and double small-triangle area designs.

They came out good, so I figured my testing was done.   Then I thought the tread color was too dark to be used as quilting on the quilt top, so I restitched part of the center design with a lighter shade of blue that more closely matched this background fabric.

Final test of quilting feathers.
I liked this thread color much better and will use it on the quilt top.  Perfectly embroidered quilting feathers.  Testing finally complete.  

My FNwF got a late start and it was after midnight when I was done the testing part, so that was a good time to call it a night.  Now I'm inspired to embroider quilt my top!  I know what I'll be doing on Funday Monday when my friend comes over to sew.

Happy Stitching! 

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Gone Stitchin'...: FNwF

If you have time this Friday night, why not spend it (virtually) with Friends?

I just signed up!  Hubby is out of town, so I hope I will be able to spend some time crafting when the kiddos are set for the evening.

I have an idea to make a photo memory quilt.  I've found this one for inspiration, and am considering which fabrics I will use.  I hope to design it out in EQ7.  I also have some quilting to do that is overdue.

I would like to make a vintage photo memory quilt, similar to this one.

Follow this link to add your name to the list of Friday Night with Friends: Gone Stitchin'...: FNwF

Hope to see you on Friday Night with Friends.

Happy Stitching!

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Friday, March 28, 2014

A litte sewing time with a friend

Spent an afternoon this week with my friend Natalie while our kids were in school.  We worked on sewing Chemo Bag Covers.  This project has been inspired by Mathias Giordano, who is a local boy fighting bone cancer.  These covers are placed over a bag of chemo product while it hangs on the IV pole. It is a little something to brighten a patient's day who would rather not see the chemo bag.

Natalie is new to sewing so we had fun going over the basics of working the machine.

Natalie is very focused.
 She is a quick learner!
First bag completed!

We got a bunch of covers done!
Our finished batch of covers.
Click here to read the post on how these covers are made.

To read more about Mathias, visit the Team Mathias page on Facebook, or Mathias Giordano on CaringBridge.
Mathias and his soccer team.

Happy Stitching!

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Annie's Mystery Quilt Block 3

I'm finished with the third book in the Annie's Quilted Mysteries Book Club, titled A Midsummer Night's Seam.  Each book in the series includes a block for a mystery sampler quilt.  The first book's block was a Friendship Star block.  The second book's block was called Raven.  The last book in the series will also include finishing instructions to create a mystery quilt designed by the series' characters, Cotton & Grace.

The third block is called Roman Tiles with a Finished Block Size of 12"x12".

This block uses three colors, one each light, medium and dark.  I auditioned the same fabrics from the first two blocks in Electric Quilt again.  I decided to go with the yellow for my light color, a pink print floral for my medium and blue for my dark color.

If you want to make your own Roman Tiles block, here is my rotary cutting printout from EQ for this block.

EQ7 version of my Roman Tiles block.
Pieces cut.

Pieces laid out for assembly.

Each of the nine small blocks pieced.

Each of the three rows pieced

Roman Tiles block assembled.

Tonight, I'll started reading book #4 in this series!

Happy Stitching!

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Electric Quilt EQ7 for Mac!

I am soooo excited!  I now have EQ7 running native on my Mac!!  No more VMWare or Parallels to a run Windows emulator needed. Happy Day!

The process to migrate my EQ7 (PC version) to my Mac went smoothly.   I own EQStitch as well, and Electric Quilt has worked out the licensing so that I am able to migrate my EQ7 to the Mac.  Electric Quilt still allows two active licenses at any time, so although EQStitch does not currently run on the Mac (maybe in the future??), I am still able to have both EQ7 for Mac and EQStitch on PC active at the same time.

 Here's how to get your EQ7 PC version up and running on the Mac:
  • Purchase a EQ7 Migration Kit.   This product will allow you to use your current EQ7 license on another platform.  The first step will be to verify your EQ License.  Make sure you have your EQ7 (not EQStitch) license ID and password.  I was a little concerned at first when I couldn't find my EQ7 disc.  I found it, along with the license ID and password, in the inside back cover of my EQ7 user manual.
  • This is a software download over 700MB in size.  It took me about 6 minutes to download with our Internet connection (we have FiOS).   The cost for this product is $24.95, which I thought was very reasonable.

  • Once downloaded, find the file in your Finder.  My file was Electric_Quilt_7.dmg. (.dmg is a Disk Image File.)  Double click on this file.  Your system will mount this disk image file, and a window will pop up with instructions.  Drag the EQ7 icon from this window onto your Applications folder, as instructed.  

  • The installation will then take place.  

  • It takes a few minutes to complete.  Once it is done, you'll see your awesome Welcome screen open in Electric Quilt 7!

Be sure to click on the link in the Welcome screen for the Read Me First information.  It does have useful information.

The second part of getting EQ7 for Mac to run like my version on the PC is to link the separately purchased Add-On Libraries.  The libraries files need to be copied from the PC side to the Mac.  Instructions for using Add-on Libraries are on the Migration Kit page.  

I added my BlockBase block library files and EQ Stash Online fabric library files.
BlockBase blocks show up without a problem.
The Add-On Libraries show up under the EQ7 Libraries.

One Note for EQStitch Users:   Once EQStitch is installed, project files are saved at .PJE files (instead of .PJ7) even if they do not contain any stitching.  EQ7 cannot open EQStitch files.  I had to explicitly save my project files as .PJ7 (without stitchings) so I could open it with EQ7 for Mac.  I only have a few projects that contain stitchings at this point.  I will just keep those projects with EQStitch, and not use them with EQ7 for Mac.

So, how does EQ7 for Mac run?  Quick is my first thought.  My original PC version of EQ7 running under a Windows emulator does run slow at times, and is very frustrating.  Now on the Mac, there is no more lag time.  Hooray!

I brought up my Annie's Mystery Quilt project, and it looks same as it did on the PC.  I even worked up the third block in the series (blog post coming next!) and EQ7 for Mac works just like it did on the PC.  No problems.  Wonderful so far!

Thank you Electric Quilt for investing in a Mac platform for your flagship product.  It will make many current customers happy, and attract many Mac users who have been waiting for a super quilt program!

Next on the EQ Wish List is EQStitch for Mac, please!

Happy Stitching!

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Another Sit-n-Sew Chemo Bag Covers

We had fun last night at our second Sit-n-Sew Chemo Bag Covers for Team Mathias.   Mathias Giordano is a young local boy who is fighting bone cancer.  Due to his dislike of seeing the chemo product bags, he has inspired a bunch of us to sew chemo covers in bright fabrics for other cancer patients.

This sew-in was an evening-time event to accommodate local friends who could not make the daytime event.  I even got one of my daughters to join in last night.

These bags are not for Mathias - they can be brought to any cancer unit and given to patients that want them.  This chemo bag cover project is spreading and the Levine Cancer Institute in North Carolina now has some covers since Mathias was there this week to receive his treatment.  Click here to read more about Mathias and how a chemo cover bag is sewn.

Photos Mathias' moms shared this week of Mathias receiving treatment in North Carolina.  Soccer-themed covers!

We had a handful of us stitching away in the classroom at our local Hobby Lobby store.  We finished over 50 bags with many more still chain-stitched together to be finished at home.




Tracy - A first-time sewer with her first chemo-bag cover completed.  :-)



Finished bags are starting to pile up!

It was a nice was to make some new friends, have fun and support a good cause.
To read Mathias' story, visit Team Mathias on Facebook or on CaringBridge.

Happy Stitching!!

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Annie's Mystery Quilt Block 2

I finished the second book in the Annie's Quilted Mysteries Book Club, titled Raven Threads.  Each book in the series includes a block for a mystery sampler quilt.  I did a post on the first book's Friendship Star block in January.  The last book in the series will also include finishing instructions to create a mystery quilt designed by the series' characters, Cotton & Grace.

The second block is called Raven with a Finished Block Size of 12"x12".

This block is only two colors, and I auditioned the same fabrics from the first block in Electric Quilt again.  I decided to go with the yellow for my light color and blue for my dark color.  If you want to make one, here is my rotary cutting printout from EQ for this Raven block.

My fabrics

EQ7 Version of my block

Pieces Cut

Block 2 assembled.

Today, I started reading book #3 in this series!

Happy Stitching!

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