Saturday, January 31, 2009

January Challenge

Well here it is Jan 31, but I finished my challenge table runner last night. Nothing like waiting until the last possible minute. It's been a busy week here in Moosestash land! This pattern if anyone is interested in a freebie from Red Rooster Fabrics. Check them out if your interested.

I have a label I need to finish for a quilt to be auctioned for the Boston Marathon. We are sponsering one of the runners who is running for Paul Newman's "Hole in the Wall Kids Gang". As soon as it's finished I will post photos.

May all your stitches by happy stitches.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Going Green with thread

So you have a ton of threads that you clip and toss each day you quilt????? Well, I decided to save them up and and do something with them. Oh great you say another pile of stuff you have to save. Of course! Isn't that the quilting way! :-) I found a great little jar that I keep next to my machine and every time I cut off threads I just toss them in the jar. Machine embroidery threads, long arm quilting thread, old bobbin thread, anything that I consider a string!

While I had seen it done, I had no idea just how much fun I was in for until yesterday when I turned all these little pieces of stuff into the a most delightful piece of fabric. With the help of heavy weight water soluble stabilizer, and some time to play, I was able to come up with this.

The original plan was to use it in my Alphabet album, but I am seeing a wonderful wall hanging out of this now. So I guess that means I have to start saving things all over again. Thinking about all the fun yarns on the market, that they make scarves out of, some have little blobs of stuff in the yarn... Hummmm if I was to save all the little dog ears I cut off as I construct my quilt blocks, and sprinkled them on top of the threads next time.... Wonder what that would look like! Does this open a new door as to just how small a scrap can be, before you really have to throw it away????? Oh so many ideas. I am going to have to sew 24 hrs a day to get them all done!

Give this a try though, you will be delighted to find that it is quite easy and very fun to do. While I did this on my longarm, there would be no reason that it wouldn't work just as easily on a domestic machine. Drop those feed dogs and play. Put on some great music and just have fun. It's a great time to play with some of the free motion quilting that you want to practice on too. It isn't going to show when your done, so you can practice all you want here. Just make sure that you cover your piece with stitching well. A word to the wise, if you think your done with the stitching, keep going. Those little pieces of threads have a way of sneaking out when your not looking! You need to have them tacked down in all directions.

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Drum Roll Please

After looking thru literally hundreds of photos, I have started to narrow down those that I want to use. And those that I need to find negatives for and get prints, to scan into my computer. This is definately the most difficult part of the project. The "Apples" on this page are my sons who are now 25 and 27. My how time flies.

I started out with a very simple layout for this page and basic stitching. Hope this gets your creative juices rolling. We will be adding more fun things as we go.

A few things I want to share with you is that when you are stitching, you will want to do that before you attach it to the Peltex, or it will make an indent that will be seen of the other side of the page. Not the look I was going for. So I stitch on my background fabric and have it entirely done before fusing it on to the Peltex. Another little tip I have found is that if your sewing room is like mine, little threads seem to come from no where. Those little threads will show thru on a light colored background if your not careful. I have cut down on this problem, by vacuuming my cutting table just before cutting the Peltex. I then right away cut my fusible and attach it to each side of the Peltex and leave the paper on it until I am ready to attach the completed page. I found this to be the easier way to deal with threads.

You will also notice in the photo that there is a faint line running down the right side of the page. This is actually a chalk like that I drew, so I knew where the side tab for binding the pages will fall when the book is complete. When I get the reverse side of the page done, I will be stitching a straight line stitch down this line to get that little indent so the pages will turn nicely. I am planning to also to a nice satin stitch around the page once both sides are done to finish it off. For now the reverse side will be left blank. It will eventually be the opening page of the book with a dedication of some sort. I would love to have a current family photo taken for this page also, but 3 guys who have no desire for a family portrait! Hummm. I will just wait until our vacation in October. We are taking a cruise and they always take photos of you getting on the ship. It tricks them every time. :-)

Happy Stitchin!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

A word on photo printing on fabric

So now we are looking at those wonderful photos you want to add to your albums. Just how do we print them to fabrics, you say? This is really easy thanks to all the wonderful products on the market today. I use a combination of the products pictured here. The colorfast inkjet fabric sheets come on a sticky back paper and run thru your inkjet printer on a normal setting perfectly. They do come with a price tag though somewhere in the range of $10.00 for 3 sheets to $25 for a 10 sheet set. The more economical method is the Bubble Jet Set 2000. At about $18 for a 32 oz bottle, it is quite the bargain. You just cover the bottom of a flat pan with the solution and lay your fabric in it for 5 minutes then let it dry. Of course you don't have the luxary of that perfect sticky back paper to attach the fabric, for running thru your printer. It will take some playing to see just what it is your printer likes the best. I have had good results from ironing to freezer paper as long as I put it in the printer right away. If I let it set, things came off in my printer and jammed it up nicely. Nothing that couldn't be fixed, just took some time. When choosing fabrics to use, you want to look for something with a very tight weave. Southern Belle is a good choice, or my favorite is Sateen, which is readily available at JoAnn's Fabrics and Hancocks for about $6.00 a yard. The mercerized finish on Sateen allows for a nice finish to your photos. On a side note, I find that sateen is the fabric of my choice for fabric dyeing also because of the finish on it. Colors seem to dance on the top and I love that look.

Back to fabric sheets, there are a multitude of choices out there for fabric sheets. Printed Treasures, June Tailor, Miracle Fabric Sheets and EQ Printables are some. I have not played with the Miracle Fabric Sheets, but have had good sucess with the others. I tend to go with the June Tailor though, just because they are readily available in my area. Quilters Home magazine's Mar/Apr 08 issue, did a nice story on the differences between the brands comparing them to each other in different applications. I use the non fusible sheets, as I do some kind of decorative stitching around them anyway.

Note the photo above that shows you just what happens when you print to fabric that has not been treated. This came in contact with a few drops of water from the iron after it was printed. As you can see, it is important to treat your fabrics before you print. A very interesting experiment.

We are just about ready to start construction our page! :-) See you with photos in hand!

Shopping Spree

It was a good week to look for those special fabrics in my alphabet theme. 50% off everywhere I look. We all love to hear those kind of numbers at our fabric stores. I found some cute things on the clearance rack that was yet another 50% off too. It is a good time to start looking for thoses little treasures you need! Notice I did say need! :-) I also bought a bolt of Peltex with a 50% off coupon of course. So I'm off to the sewing room to start this project. I am sure you can tell just what fabric I will be using next. Off on the right, of the photo, possibly A is for Apple! :-) You'll get to see the finished page very soon.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I am taking the plunge won't you join it?

This is the time. With a long time love of photo's and quilting I have spent a considerable amount of time combining the two and playing with different techniques. Last summer at a mini class I attended they demonstrated 12"x12" wall hangings combining quilting and scrapbooking techniques. WOW!! They were so darn cute. I just couldn't get them out of my mind. With that and my participating in an alphabet fabric post card swap I have decided to join the two together and create a Quilted Family Alphabet Scrapbook.

Hopefully this will blog motivate you to get involved in this adventure too. I plan to explore different fabrics, textures, fibers, techniques and colors. Why don't you join me. Think of your own likes and dislikes and find a subject that "speaks" to you. It doesn't have to be an alphabet theme, just think about what you love. Cross stitching, sewing, gardening, cooking, you can journal anything you can dream of. If you are not that comfortable at a sewing machine, the traditional paper scrapbooking might be your better choice. No matter what you choose, when it is done, you will be the proud owner of something that came from your heart and chronicaled your passions and life. What better memory to have.

I am off to the store to stock up on "Peltex". This will give my quilted album pages the stiffness that I am going to want. I have gone back and forth on the fusible or naked types, and have decided for myself, naked is best. I will just add my fusible when my embellishing is complete. Again we all have our own preferances, there are many choices for us to chose from.

Here are some of the very basic particulars that I will be using.

* Pages will be 12"x12" each, but I am going to allow 1 1/2" extra on the left side, to later be joined together to make the book format I am looking for. So I will be cutting my peltex 12"x13 1/2".

* I have considered a variety of ways to join my pages together, and not sure I have come up with the perfect answer yet, but for now, I am going to be attaching 3 grommets to each page spaced like any normal notebook paper would be.

* Since for me this is an alphabet book, my search is on, for fabrics in the A-Z theme. I will also be going over my many photographs to find ones that will work with the theme of the page. For now, it is a collection process. Oh yeah, yet another pile of things for a project. :-) The story of my sewing room! Use what works for you. I am a big fan personally of zip lock bags. I can use one for each letter in the alphabet and store the photos, fabrics, and embellishments that might
work for each, in them.

*So meet me here in a week or so, and we will take the plunge.

Happy shopping and collecting!


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Moose Stash Quilting

Moose Stash you say? Where did that one come from.

The answer is a simple one, my love of Alaska and the wonderful wildlife there along with my piles of stash, prompted a friend to come up with the name. It was perfect. Another long time friend with a fu-man-chu mustache, kind of added the little spark to my logo, hence the droopy mustached moose was born. Purple of course for my favorite color.

Welcome to Moose Stash Quilting

I am starting this site to share my love of quilting and hopefully find the many others of you who have the same passion. By creating new projects, and using up my mounds of stash, I hope to inspire others to do the same. Little projects can be the milestones of life, and since life is a journey, lets take that step together.