Thursday, April 11, 2013

It's A Good Old Fashioned Barn Raising!!!

Here's a quick pic of my daughters barn far...each set of doors contains a picture of her with her VIPP's (Very Important Pet Projects). From Lucky the Llama at 6 mos old, nuzzling her 3 year old forehead to all grown up Student Dr. gowned gloved & scrubbed in doing her first Vet School spay on a well draped little terrier.
It's been almost 2 years since her graduation and so this is quite a bit overdue, but I'm determined to have it done to take to her when we go to her wedding in June. 
Keeping everything from going cattywhompous has been a big challenge in sewing and squaring up these blocks as there is so much bulk in seams where the two sided doors, both upper and lower level are set in. Where the uppers are set in there are four layers, including the stiffer photo fabric.  The lower doors also have black crossbucks so there are 4 layers in the top and bottom corner of each door when set into the seam between the wall unit and the stiffer photo fabric to keep straight.  Would I do a few things different IF there were a next time for this quilt?  You betcha!!!!!
I have to pick a fabric for the four outside corners now...I'm thinking it's time for a foray into the fabric stash!
The original barn quilt appeared in the March/April 2010 issue of Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting.
The yellow/gold is much brighter in person.
Gotta Make Hay while the Sun Is Up!  Better get to it!
(And Yes....that is one of my Country Charmer blocks peeking out from the upper corner!)
Nancie Anne

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

In Like A Lion & Out Like A Flock of Lambs!

Just a quick little post to share the progress on the quilt that my Quilty Friend & I worked on this past month for our boss after she announced her retirement.  Last Thursday was her last day at work and Friday we all got together at a restaurant to celebrate with her!  I handed her the bag with top and back in it and the waterworks started before she even began to pull it out to see what it all was!  Then she saw her Sheepies and the waterworks really got going!
Fortunately, I was prepared with the required pens because we had two people attend who had not gotten the opportunity to sign the quilt back yet.

Here's the top, made mostly from my stash...we are still talking about making our very own little black sheep to keep.  I've always been drawn to the underdog...or in this instance...the "under-sheep"!
The design is Nancy Halvorsen of course, from her book Star of Wonder.
After quilting the shepherd & sheep will get their eyes.

This is the back.  We made 4 Sheep for the back.  Three bear the signatures of our OR staff and surgeons.  The fourth sheep is the quilt label.  Since the Sheep on the quilts front have several seams, which would make signing more difficult, we chose the single pieced sheep from the pattern Rise n' Shine by Chicken Feed Quilts.  I fused the heads and tails on and hand buttonhole stitched around those pieces and ta-da! they were done!
Part of what I wrote on the back goes like this:
Created for (Boss Lady)
In Honor of Your Retirement as
Manager of Day Surgery
March 28, 2013
You Have Shepherded Us Well,
And Yet...The Best Is Yet To Be...
From The Whole Flock of Us!
Made expressly for you
(you know who(s)!)
I am not a paid spokesperson for the following products, but here goes...
Sharpie is making a new Fine Point No Bleed Stylo pen that we used for signing the quilt.  I was really happy with the result and usability of these pens.  Having done this kind of project in the past, we found that this pen is fine enough to have a nice crisp signature, but not so fine as to catch and pop on the threads as much as the other permanent pen that crafters often use for these sorts of projects. 
They come in a 2 pack for just under $4.  They are a straight skinnier version than the usual Sharpie and are black and silver.
I tested these pens on a scrap of muslin before turning people loose with them, to see how they felt and to make sure they wouldn't bleed when all was said and done.  Wet the piece down with cold water and pressed it dry with no sign of fading, running or bleeding.
I ran the label block through my printer before Mr. Sheepies body was cut from it.
I write what I want to and try to size & balance things out for the best presentation, then I print it on paper first and hold it up behind my fabric piece and the pattern if applicable, to make sure it fits and decide if any adjustments up, down or to the side margins are needed,
keeping the seam allowances in mind.  I dropped this one down a couple of pegs to allow the addition of the sheeps head later, then off to print on fabric.
When I print labels such as this one, I cut it to standard printer paper size 8.5" by 11". 
I fuse an 8.5"by 11" piece of freezer paper to the back and then iron another 1" by 8.5" strip to the leader edge of the paper to add more stability so that the printer feed takes it up more evenly and readily.  I also hold the tail end of my paper/fabric just to help it get started with gentle pressure...first comes a deep breath to steady myself, then, not holding too tightly but just enough to give it that little boost to make sure it gets started right.  The rest is up to the printer.
With both signature blocks and label blocks, I heat set, heat set, heat set using a dry iron.
Another project ready for the quilter!  Then binding and a sleeve and finally we'll call her in for a visit and to collect her flock and take them home!
Have a Wonderful Sheepie Day!
Nancie Anne