Friday, May 6, 2016

Ironing and Using Antique Linens

Do not iron your antique linens until you are ready to use them. I damp iron everything, testing the fabric with a lower setting until I am confident it can take the higher heat. To dampen my antique linens I spray them with distilled water mist or take them straight from the dryer, not quite dry, to the ironing board.  I set the iron on the "no steam" setting and go at it.

I prefer to starch my linens, this makes them easier to handle in the sewing process.  Be aware that starch breaks down and gradually turns linens yellow and then a nasty brownish color.  It can hasten the breakdown of delicate antique linen fabrics and all but ruin a fine organza or lightweight linen in just a few years.  But, since I am not a purist, I don't care. 
This is a less than perfect piece. Which makes it a great candidate
to be cut up. I haven't found just the right use for it yet!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Using Linens

I'm using some of my collection of lace, doilies, tatting etc. For these pieces I used some of the family stuff to give as memories of the loved one to the family.
What fascinated me most about them is the background, both of these are made from the same piece of background fabric.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

A Work in Progress

I decided that I needed to make small memory pieces of the family hand work.


I usually look at photographs to decide the finished size. In this case 8" x 10" which would be easy to frame. I started by piecing some fabric. Quilting came next. Then I started adding trim. In this case a piece of tatting I painted and some trim from my collection.

 Some kind of doily needed to be added. I have nothing small enough so, with the help of youtube, I crochet one myself.
















Note the stitching on the hexi.

Now I need something to help balance the design. A folded hexagon was perfect.
























Maybe more than one.














Three is perfect!




















Finished, framed and ready to give.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Running Stitch Fabrics turns 5!

If you haven't visited them, now is the time.

Let the Birthday Bash Begin . . .
Starting April 30th, all regularly priced fabric, off the bolt, will be marked down 25%. One yard
minimum applies on all sale fabrics.

Marissa will be doing a Quick Curve Ruler demo on Saturday, starting at 11. You will love the new "One Wonderful Curve" book and, of course, it will be 15% off.

On Sunday, Noell will be demonstrating English Paper Piecing. This old technique is new again!

During the sale, customers will have a chance to win a party "favor" or an additional percentage off fabric at time of purchase - 5% or 10% more!

One lucky customer may win a certificate good for 25% off their purchases for an entire year!*

100s of bolts have been added to the clearance section and marked down to 6, 7 & 8 dollars per yard! The clearance section will be bursting with bargains! So big, they will be in the classroom!

The sale ends Tuesday, May 3 - which is their actual BIRTHDAY. Drop in on our Birthday for refreshments and to enter the Birthday Drawing.

Running Stitch Fabrics
213 1st Ave S
Kent, WA 98032
*excludes items that are already on sale.

Friday, April 29, 2016

One Woman's Personal Belongings Her Linens

Once considered an important part of a woman's personal belongings, vintage cotton and damask table, bed and bath linens are often wonderful examples of the loom and needle arts. Textile weaving, lace tatting and embroidery could take craftspeople hundreds of hours; the resulting pieces were treasured, loved and passed along through families. And sooner or later, some are given up to the marketplace, for new owners to enjoy.

These are some of the pieces from my husbands family.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Circa 15 Fabric Studio- An Unusual Quilt Shop

Love this store! Large and bright, filled with beautiful fabrics. High quality quilting cottons and
notions, but also nice selection of lawn and voile.  I like the way they display the pattern for projects above the fabric racks and ample parking spaces outside.  Very excited for this new addition in Seattle's fabric stores!

Circa 15 Fabric Studio
www.circa15fabricstudio.com
264 Central Way, Kirkland, WA 98033
(425) 309-9553
Open 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Sunday, April 24, 2016

About Needle Tatting

4 needles, with small and medium threaders with cutters.
Needle tatting in progress. A completely closed ring of 5ds segments with a picot loop between each is shown. Another uncompleted loop is still on the needle.

Needle tatting originated in the early twentieth century, but did not become popular until much later. A tatting needle is a long, blunt needle that does not change thickness at the eye of the needle. The needle used must match the thickness of the thread chosen for the project. Rather than winding the shuttle, the needle is threaded with a length of thread. To work with a second color, a second needle is used. Although needle tatting looks similar to shuttle tatting, it differs in structure and is slightly thicker and looser because both the needle and the thread must pass through the stitches. However, it may be seen that the Victorian tatting pin would function as a tatting needle.

In the late 20th century, tatting needles became commercially available in a variety of sizes, from fingering yarn down to size 80 tatting thread. Few patterns are written specifically for needle tatting; some shuttle tatting patterns may be used without modification.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

I Can't Belive It ... I'm Tatting

Once in a while I get  bee in my bonnet. I have wanted to learn to tat for years. I've tried. The first time a woman I knew tried to teach me, I failed. And while she was an expert at tatting, she wasn't so much as a teacher. (Or maybe I wasn't much of a student). Any way her shuttle and I just didn't bond.

The second time, one of the local quilt shops offered a class on needle tatting. I thought 'oh boy' now is my time. Be alas no success!

But last week at the International Quilt Festival - Chicago, there was this booth,  Handy Hands, and they knew all about tatting. So I bought a book, set of needles and a ball of yarn. And I'm pleased to say with the book and YouTube, I'm tatting!


Friday, April 22, 2016

Laundering linens

   The proper way to launder linens is to hand wash them.  On the most delicate pieces consider using something like Linen Wash, a lovely non-detergent liquid soap made especially for vintage, antique and delicate textiles. On more robust linens consider useing Oxy Clean, followed by a normal laundry soap. For rust stains, try Whink Rust Stain Remover but don't leave it on too long.  This is strong stuff. Just a drop or two will make most rust spots vanish before your eyes.  Read the label carefully before using it.  It works great!  It also helps remove blood stains and anything else with a high iron content.

    I prefer to use the washing machine on a delicate setting using cold water. Hot water releases impurities in the pipes, so if you have an old house you will find more rust spots on your whites after the wash than before if you wash them on "hot" unless you have a filter. I have found with Oxy Clean that hot water is the key so I heat my water in the microwave in a huge plastic bowl (only practical for pre soak in small batches). The trick with the washing machine is to make sure you use enough water.  If you overload, things won't get as clean and they will come out terribly wrinkled.

    I almost never use chlorine bleach.  It's just too harsh.  On the rare occasion that I do I rinse twice (using the washing machine) and on the 1st of the two rinses I pour in a 1/2 cup of vinegar to neutralize the bleach.

   



Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Embroidery - Star Stitch



Uses: Decorative accents, stars, flowers, in a row for a border, disperse randomly for loose filling or stitch close together for denser filling.

Starting at the top, bring the needle up at the outer edge, and down to the center
Continue stitching in a clockwise direction until you have 8 evenly placed stitches to create a star.


















Friday, April 15, 2016

Again with the samples

More samples, this time with threads too.








Surprised me, these two threads are so
similar
on the spool, but stitch out quite differently!

I do live this slight difference these variegated threads make after stitching.





Tuesday, April 12, 2016

From Chicago Snow to Seattle Spring

The month of April is characterized by rising daily high temperatures, with daily highs increasing from 54°F to 60°F over the course of the month, exceeding 70°F or dropping below 48°F only one day in ten.

Seattle, has a Mediterranean climate with dry warm summers and mild winters. The area is covered by forests (61%), built-up areas (17%), oceans and seas (17%), and croplands (4%).

I'm soo ready for spring!  This is my view from the kitchen window.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Festival - Chicago

I  got up this  morning to snow! All I could think was give me a break...it's April  already!









Today we played with Joining the Blocks- Quilt as You Go Style!
Here are some happy students

These ladies were working so hard, they didn't realize I was taking a picture.

























We also did some Stitching Through the Layers Quilting Design with Straight Lines. Had so much fun, I forgot to take any pictures!



Festival continues

Today we played with paint...Paint, Glorious Paint!

Deb at play

Judy at play


Friday, April 8, 2016

International Quilt Festival-Chicago

The before
I'm here at Festival! What a blast!
Lots of quilts

Shopping

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

International Quilt Festival - Chicago

Tomorrow the International Quilt Festival - Chicago begins. There is still a space or two in my classes. The supply lists are short. Come PLAY with me!

Thursday
Morning - 107 - For the Love of Color
What you always wanted to know about color but were afraid to ask. Understand color concepts that
quilters use – balance, pattern, texture, dominance and the many moods of color. We will play with a large variety of fabric samples, laying them out to experience for ourselves the magic we can create with glorious color.


Afternoon - 110 - Fantastic Fabric Foiling
Bring your projects to life with instant (and permanent) glitz and shine. We will apply foil using avariety of adhesives and make use of a variety of ideas that make it easy. Traditional and non-traditional quilters will learn how to incorporate foil into real show-stoppers!





Friday
All day - 200 - Paint Glorious Paint 
Come play where the possibilities are endless and rules are few. Fabric paints enrich your projects before you begin sewing—or after. We will use stencils, rubber stamps and finger painting techniques to make ourselves look like a room full of Picassos. This is magic is waiting to happen!



Saturday
FULL
Morning - 302 - Joining the Blocks: Quilt-As-You-Go Style
Learn to join pre-quilted blocks using several innovative techniques. Go home ready to make larger machine quilted quilts without all the work of trying to get it into your machine. The Quilt-As-You-Go method allows for more detailed quilting using a standard sewing machine since you're only quilting a small section at a time.

 
Afternoon - 310 - Stitching Through the Layers: The Art and Elegance of Straight Line Quilting
This workshop focuses on straight line quilting designs! You've made a beautiful quilt top – now what? Melody will show you, step-by-easy-step, how to decide on the right quilting design - what works, what doesn't and why. Perfect for hand and machine quilters, both traditional and art quilts.