Here on our small Island we have been relatively lucky this Winter in terms of snow and treacherous road conditions - compared to the rest of the country I think we've had a cake walk. That came to a screeching halt last Wednesday though. The photo above is of my drive to work on Wednesday morning. Much of the time I wish I had a small car. I long for a Prius. or a lime green VW Bug. This week, however, I was very glad to be driving my trusty 1995 Ford Explorer with 4WD. I would not have driven without it. Many folks did not get out of their driveways and the roads were sparsely driven - although schools didn't close until Thursday - or maybe it Friday...
I got new bird food and added some suet to the feeder at work. This little guy spent a lot of time hiding in the food dish protected form the wind and snow!
The crows were wishing they could join in at the feeder I think!
The sun came out towards the end of the day n Wednesday for just a bit - as the wind kicked up and the temperatures fell. Overnight we had more snow and the slush that had formed during the day turned into black ice. The temperatures were in the teens for the next few days.
I wore a sweater at work for the first time all winter!
Some of you may know that I am a snob when it comes to applique. I have always love needle turn applique - as slow as it to do - it looks so good when it is done well. I have seen, and tried, many machine applique methods that purport to be nearly invisible do I was quite skeptical about this class from the get go. Taught by Carolyn Hewitt (formerly Hedeen) who teaches at "Gathering Fabric" in Woodinville, Washington - this class may just have changed my mind and made a believer out me. Unfortunately, she does not have an on-line presence or I would have been delighted to have been able to provide you with her information. She is available through Gathering Fabric.
Carolyn's color are soft - she adores pink and her quilts are what I might call 'folk-ey'. Absolutely beautifully composed and perfectly done- with applique that truly is almost invisible. Here are two of her quilts. Her attention to detail is so darn good!
Below you can see how nearly invisible the stitches really are.
Below -the stitches on the back of the fabric
Carolyn uses freezer paper (her preferred brand is Jenkins - and, after trying both I can see why. It's a bit thicker and gives you a nice edge to "give the fabric some memory before pressing". She uses a Hobbico sealing iron. I like these too - they have a nice point to get into small spaces. Liquid starch is on the materials list - I had some Sta-Flo already mixed but Carolyn uses another brand. I think - but am not 100 percent positive - that it is Mary Ellen's Starch. She uses invisible thread in the top - I think her brand was SewArt (I like SewArt or Superior monofilaments the best) with a 50 wt thread in the bobbin. I tried it with a regular prewound cotton bobbin and had good results - and I also think that the Bottom Line (also available through Superior) would would exceptionally well - it's my next experiment). She suggested a size 70 or needle. I think what sets this technique a bit apart is that she uses a VERY shallow zig zag stitch. Shallow enough that it would work on the straight stitch plate of many sewing machines. On my Bernina 153 I used a 1.5 - or slightly less- on the width and 1 to 1.5 on the length. The thread just picks up at the edge and leaves a small hole where the stitch is. I also found that by simply running your thumb over the stitches you can make them ever more nearly invisible. I am [pretty excited about this technique and am so glad that Janet tugged me a little to get me to go with her !
We had a good turn out of 18 for the class. We are always delighted to be able to use our Senior Center as a classroom. Great lighting, kitchen and light. What more could anyone wish for?! Carolyn said that she generally teaches classes of only 6 at time, but this number seemed to work out well and we were all grateful that she made the trip to our island (by ferry) even in such nasty weather!
Gee - I wonder whose machine this could be?! My beloved 180 stayed home.
I have been considering another sewing machine -
but I don't think I would ever want to give up my Orange Delight as a trade in!
I had a group of ATC's that were sue to be mailed this weekend. These are made for Roses On My Table ATC swap group. The theme for February was "Love". I have a thing for angels - they represent love to me and so these cards used them as them. I painted Lutradur with acrylic paints and inks; stamped using stamps by Sherril Kahn and Making Memories and then textured and stamped a brass heart for the focal element. Phew! I made the deadline with not a moment to spare!