Showing posts with label SewCalGal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SewCalGal. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

SewCalGal's Fall 2013 Machine Embroidery Blog Hop

DISCLAIMER:  This post has been written by my dear friend, Karin.  Due to my injury I was not able to fulfill my commitment so Karin offered to pitch hit for me.  THANK YOU KARIN!!!  (You'll find a link to Karin's Etsy shop on the left sidebar of my blog : Sew-Write Creations

I was so honored and excited to be invited to SewCalGal's Fall Machine Embroidery Blog Hop this year....of course, none of this would have been possible without Kelly's own personal "Fall", which occurred shortly after her Machine Embroidery Guild meeting last month.  I'm just tickled that she's let me crash hijack her blog once again!  So, let's get started, shall we?

Zandra Shaw, the owner/designer behind the Embroider Shoppe, is our featured designer.  Kelly had gone shopping before her accident and had selected a set of scissor keeps as the design she wanted to sew out. 

 I wanted to honor Kelly's original plan, so I elected to sew one of the scissor pockets for her, but which one was she planning on doing?  I really didn't want to pester her with embroidery questions while she was undergoing her therapy sessions, nor did I want to disturb her meals or sleep...what to do, what to do?  I looked at the 4 options, an owl, a lady bug, an ice cream cone and a bouquet of roses.  They were all so sweet, I knew she'd love any one of 'em.

Then it hit me; Kelly just looooves this picture of Farnsworth and his keeper that I took at the zoo one day.  Farnsworth is a Great Horned Owl that came to the zoo as a week-old baby and has been hand fed for the past year.  He's really quite special to us all and since he can't hunt for himself, he won't be released into the wild.  So, of course, I decided to sew out the owl pocket for Kelly!

A couple of years ago, I got hold of some samples of a new textile, from The Kunin Group, made completely from recycled bottles and other plastics, right here in the USA.  Its properties and feel are very similar to felt, but it isn't felt.  And it came in several colors and styles, but I thought this textured brown fabric would be just perfect for our little owl.

I read the Readme text file that came with the design, and it said if you want your finished product to look like theirs, you had to be sure to use the same colors they used.  Well........I don't usually do that....and this time was no different.  I picked out a lining fabric (they had suggested a small floral print - I chose a variegated batik with some speckles and swirls) and some Fall-inspired thread colors.  Here we are, all ready to sew.
I decided I'd better take a look at the instructions and Zandra's color recommendations, just to see if I understood the directions and had enough supplies all set out. 

Blue was the very first color to stitch.  Let me just say this about that....if you insert your bobbin and then  thread your machine and it makes funny noises, well, chances are, you didn't load that bobbin correctly.  And you might as well stop sewing and fix it before you get too far along.  Here's my trusty SeamFix seam ripper, hard at work.  It did away with those uneven stitches in no time flat.

 See how pretty they look after I fixed the bobbin thread?  That's one thing I noticed about Zandra's digitizing...she put lots of underlay stitches in there so the design fills up nicely without puckering the fabric.

 Here's a close-up of the detail that sews on each wing.  See how much coverage there is?  All those stitches lay nice and flat.  Oh, you may have noticed that little gap in the upper right corner...yeah, that might be a problem later..we'll see.  That's where the fabric shifted a little when I laid it into the applique outline.
 So here's my wing piece, all sewn out.  Looks pretty good, right?  Well, thank you, but I can't take any of the credit for that - I just load the thread up and push start.  (What could be easier??)
 So, here we go, sewing the back (body) piece.  Check out more of that solid underlay stitching.
 And the coverage of her fills...pretty cool, if you ask me.
Here is our finished owl, just hanging around, keeping my embroidery scissors safe and sound.  Do ya think maybe if I keep them put up in this little guy, no one will come steal them when the dog's fur is matted?  Well, probably they really are WONDERful for cutting matted furballs out.  Ask me how I know that!
Here he is again, hanging out with Hugo's Amazing Tape, a little closer to my sewing machine (hint, hint...after all, these ARE embroidery scissors).
 Now he's down on my cutting mat, hanging out with some Wonderfil DecoBob prewound bobbins.  They make embroidery sooooo much easier and efficient!  Oh, and that little gap that was in the upper right section of the wing?  Gone.  I was able to trim the pieces to match each other and you can't even tell where I goofed up.
 I bet you were wondering where that batik fabric went, weren't you!?  It's used as a lining, inside the wing piece, and on the back, to cover up the "wrong" side and the jump stitches.  So, really, if you didn't have matching or coordinating fabric in your stash, it'd be one's going to see it anyway.

Zandra's home is South Africa, but she's currently on a USA Tour giving free trunk shows, how sweet is that?!  You may want to check her schedule to see if she's giving a show near you.  If not, you can contact your local quilt shops or sewing centers to have them contact Zandra and see if they can schedule a special presentation for you and your friends.

Be sure to join me in visiting all the other talented ladies to see what they've sewn up for SewCalGal's Fall Embroidery Blog Hop:

Monday, Nov 4th
Tuesday, November 5th
Wednesday, November 6th
Thursday, November 7th
Friday, November 8th

A big THANK YOU to Kelly,  SewCalGal and Zandra...I had a lot of fun sharing my little owls with you all!


Want to make your own scissor pocket or one of the other beautiful designs at Embroider Shoppe?
If you answered YES, then hop on over to the Embroider Shoppe and leave a comment on this post telling me which design is your favorite.  The winner will be announced on Monday, Nov. 11th.

A little birdie told me that the Embroider Shoppe has 25% off all of their Christmas designs so you won't want to miss out on the sale.


It's Kelly here, I just want to say...we get by with help from our friends!

With much gratitude,

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Free-Motion Quilting, with Patsy Thompson

SewCalGal is delighted to be back as  a guest blogger at IHAN today.   

Kelly introduced me to Patsy Thompson, Free-Motion Quilting Expert, Quilt Designer, Teacher, Author, Doctor and all around amazing woman.  A few years back, Kelly knew I was interested in learning/improving my free-motion quilting skills.  She recommended Patsy's videos for free-motion quilting to me and needless to say, I was I've been delighted with all of Patsy's DVDs ever since.

I enjoy watching Patsy's DVD again and again, and even take them with me when I travel.  My attitude is "If I can't take my sewing machine with me, when I travel, I want to feel like I'm working on my quilting skills by watching Patsy's DVDs".  

Patsy's free-motion quilting  (FMQ) videos are high quality, easy to follow, well organized and will take you thru the steps to help you create spectacular free-motion quilting.  She has a well rounded collection that are grouped into excellent categories with corresponding titles:


SewCalGal recommends the Fast and Free DVDs for those new to FMQ. Patsy goes thru the basics and will help a beginner gain confidence, learn great habits, and trouble shooting skills.  You'll soon be doing FMQ on your own projects, after watching these DVDs and be amazed how beautiful "your" FMQ looks!

DVDFastandFreeVolume.5 FastandFreeVolume2 

SewCalGal recommends the Vines and Leaves DVD to those interested in FMQ, from all skill levels, interested in creating a variety of styles using vine and leaf motifs.   Patsy covers basic vines and leafs, as well as many signature motifs that are easy to create and really look great on your projects too!  


SewCalGal recommends the Fun with Feathers and Feather Adventure DVDs for confident beginners and those with advanced levels of FMQ experience that are interested in learning a variety of styles for creating spectacular feathers using FMQ.   Patsy does an excellent job covering basic feathers, but she also has many signature styles of feathers that you can easily apply to your projects, as well as make into your own style.  Her techniques for creating feathers have been one of the easiest for me to learn and I'm sure you can master them too, with her DVDs.

FreeMotionFun1 productimage-picture-free-motion-fun-with-feathers-volume-2-24_t280 FreeMotionFunWithFeathersVol3 PatsyThompsonFMFwithFeathers4 FeatherAdventuresVolume1

SewCalGal recommends the Hyperquilting manual to those that are confident with FMQ and want to learn Patsy's two step technique that creates amazing visual impact on your projects.  There are various FMQ Experts that teach a two step (two different threads) style of FMQ, but Patsy's "Hyperquilting" is one of the best I've ever seen.  You can apply this technique to your projects for every day quilts, art quilts, as well as heirloom quilts, but I'd highly recommend you gain expertise on this technique' if you want to "dazzle" quilt judges and have fun stitching award winning quilts!


I hope you can tell why I trust Kelly when she recommends product to me, as well as why, like Kelly, SewCalGal can happily recommend Patsy's wonderful FMQ DVDs and Hyperquilting manual.    Don't forget you can find all of these wonderful products at IHAN.  You may want to start with buying one, but you'll soon find you'll want another for a Birthday Gift, Anniversary Gift, Christmas Gift, or some other gift.  So be'll want them all.  Of course, I've recommended to Kelly that she come up with a special bundle collection of Patsy's DVDs (after all Patsy's DVDs are better than the James Bond DVD collection)!  

And, while Kelly is currently with her mom in the hospital, IHAN is continuing to ship customer orders on a weekly basis.  The IHAN team is helping to fulfill orders.  So, don't hesitate placing your order with IHAN.  

If you would like to learn more about Patsy and her designs, you can find her at: 

 Post  written by SewCalGal

THANK YOU SewCalGal....excellent review of Patsy Thompson's work!!!

For those of you who are local to the Toledo, OH area, Patsy also hosts classes at her studio CLICK HERE for more information about her classes and studio.   I hope you don't miss Patsy's free tutorials on her website....they are excellent.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Swimming as fast as you can?

Me too!  Yet, the faster I swim the farther it seems to be to that relaxing beautiful reef where they have everything under control and you can take a deep breath and let out a gust of air that lets every other fish in the school know you've doing just fine.

If you are like me....then you have lots to do and you need it done fast.  I thought I'd share some excellent gift ideas with you....and I'd love to hear about your excellent gift ideas too :)

In no particular order....these are some of my best gift ideas:

I can't think of a person over the age of 35 who doesn't appreciate getting a hand written note or letter....and I recently bought these beautiful note cards from Gene Black, Alabama Artist and Quilter.

 You can find them HERE at Gene's Etsy Shop

Gene's art is beautiful and his cards would make a lovely gift for anyone....and everyone.  The other thing that makes giving Gene's note cards as gifts is that it supports an artist to continue doing what he loves to do....create, sew and quilt.  A gift that keeps giving....that's what I call a win/win :)

Giving that continues to give....that is what is important to me.  I'm very blessed to have meet and know many talented artists in the past three years.  I'm so intensely grateful for all that they have added to the beauty of my life and their work makes the best my opinion. 
Here are more of my favorite artists that sell their work.  Buying from them....from their websites or stores....helps them pay for the expenses of their they can continue to create.  I know you have others whom you would love to support and I'm always open to hearing about them...just leave a comment after this post.

If you click on the persons name, you'll be taken directly to their website :)

 I have all of Susan's DVD's and would highly recommend them.  Her book is excellent as well.
She also sells her work....sadly for all of you....ya can't buy this one....Mr. McSteamy got this for me for Christmas already ....sorry!  (A total bold face lie...I'm not sorry....I'm tickled beyond all tickled)

I've known Kathy for several years and her work is excellent...down to the finest detail.  I've purchased several of her purses and given them as gifts over the years.  I can promise you the quality will be impressive! (I know this will embarrass her....that's ok....cuz I'm telling the truth)
Wildflower Shoulder Bag
Time to whip up a beautiful quilt?  Me either....Kathy has some ready to ship :)

Patsy and Ernie are both very talented artists.  I've purchased several of Patsy's DVD's and books and have learned so much from her.  Earnie, her husband and partner, does the work behind the quilting, machine embroidery and thread painting scenes.  He is the amazing artist who does the video work.  Earnie is also a wood worker and a skilled artist himself. 

Patsy has added many new Digitized Embroidery Designs to her website.  This Bird Block is just one example of her beautiful designs.

Hyperquilting is so much fun Patsy has done a wonderful job of  illustrating how you can add some pizazz to your projects by adding some Hyperquilting.

Patsy is very generous with her free videos as well....don't miss the opportunity to see some of them HERE.

Clyde's Workshop offers absolutely beautiful wood crafted Quilt Ruler Holders and Wall Mounted Quilt Ruler Holders that are made from a variety of beautiful woods.
I am fortunate enough to have one of these Wall Mounted Quilt Ruler Holders and if you missed my blog post about HERE.

Only a person who absolutely loved working with wood would make and sell these heirloom pieces for such an affordable price. You'll be so surprised to see the quality and the price....I know I was!

Pat absolutely loves being a quilt designer and teacher.  One of her greatest joys is traveling and teaching others to quilt.  She is definitely a people person and someone who exudes the true spirit of a quilter.

Spotlight on Neutrals is Pat's most recent book.  If you missed my blog review, you can read it HERE.

 Strawberry Pie is one of Pat's "Go-To" patterns when you need an excellent pattern and you need to get your quilt done quick.  Click HERE to see several of her other lovely patterns.

Pat also has some very fun cards :)
This one makes me smile and to see all of the other great know what to do....just click HERE.

SewCalGal's desire to share all of the insights and lessons she has learned about in the world of quilting and machine embroidery is what makes her extraordinary.   Not only has she hosted a Free Motion Quilt Challenge for the last 12 months, she has also hosted the following events:

Maintains an ongoing list of Quilt and Machine Embroidery Events

SewCalGal  is an excellent teacher and mentor and has recently taught at Quilt In A Day!!!

Did I mention the Contests and Giveaways that SewCalGal keeps the rest of us updated about?   I have such respect and admiration for her great work and have always respected the fact that she has done all of this work to promote others, teach others and share her enthusiasm for quilting and machine embroidery. 

Did you know you can now SHOP SewCalGal?  Yes you can!!!  Click HERE to see all of her favorites available from Amazon.   She receives a portion of each purchase and that money is used to subsidize the expenses of shipping prizes for giveaways.

Oh yes, and there is always I Have A Notion!!!  You will need to order very soon to guarantee your gift arrives in time for the holidays.  Don't like to wrap or ship?  Let me do that for you.  Just send me an e-mail with your list and the addresses, I'll do the rest. 

Stay tuned for more of my favorites soon!!!


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