Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A Jump Start on Next Years Creativity!

When in doubt about where to get guaranteed inspiration, I head for the Ribbon Room at Nancy's Sewing Basket. Nancy's is located on the top of Queen Anne Hill in beautiful downtown Seattle. I have been making my pilgrimages there for most if not all of their 37 years in business!


The Ribbon Room
Buttons & More.
Grosgrain (cotton, rayon, poly stripes, vintage.)
Silk Embroidery and Satin ribbons
Double Face Poly Satin
Passementrie trims
Wired edge
Pipings and Rattail
Stretch trims
Silk Millinery Flowers
Hat Veiling, new, vintage & birdcage

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Guest Artist - Carol Bellamy

I received this from Carol yesterday:

HI, Melody.

I finished my quilt and gave it to my granddaughter today.  Your techniques were used in joining the twelve blocks.

This quilt started as a panel that was meant to be turned into a soft-cover book.  I cut apart the twelve pages, added sashing and cornerstones to each block, then quilted each of them.  Using the techniques I learned in your class in Houston, I then added the turquoise sashing and borders, then finished with the binding.  

It's called I Spy in my Garden and was for my Granddaughter, Makena.

Thanks so much for offering the class at Houston.  Your technique works beautifully - and is easy.  I will definitely use it again.


Saturday, December 26, 2015

Quilting Inspirations

I get my quilting inspirations everywhere! My tusty camera is always in my purse ready to photo an idea when I see it!  

Surprise! this image was an ATM machine!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

May your day be filled with magic, wonder and family!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

More Folded Fabric Fun

Folded fabric is a fun addition to any embellished project. Add a few hand or machine stitched motifs to increase their appeal. I cut 4" circles, starch until stiff and do all the folding at the ironing board. 
Fold to find the center.

Fold opposite sides to the center.

Fold the other two sides to the center.

Fpld all four corners to the center.

Embellish with either hand or machine stitching. Finished squares are 1 1/2".

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Inspiration from the Gracie Studio

SY-4 : Handpainted Chinese scenic panel created in the same manner as those produced in the 18th and 19th centuries.
SY-600 : Handpainted scenic with de in metallic tones on a pieced blue background.Inspiration can come from many places. A friend send me this link to the most wonderful site you just have to check it out!   

Friday, December 18, 2015

Embroidery Feet

Sometimes called "appliqué" feet, they are particularly suited for decorative stitching. The bottom of the foot has a wedge shaped indentation which allows even satin stitching to glide under the foot without dragging. The angle in the indentation makes it possible to turn curves easily. It is available with open toe and clear feet. The toes of the foot are shorter, compared to a regular zigzag foot, for greater maneuverability while sewing.

Melody’s Tip: The metal and transparent feet work well with lighter weight fabrics, the bridge of the foot provides additional fabric control and helps prevent tunneling.

Embroidery or Appliqué Feet
Satin Stitching

Corded Satin Stitching


Attaching Ribbon, Trims and Lace


Bobbin Work

Blind Hem

Stained Glass

Decorating Fabric

Crazy Quilting      

Sewing Buttons and Bows

Circular Stitching

Top Stitching

Thready Bar Tacks

Super-fast Binding and Piping

Twin Needle Stitching

Twin Needle Stitching with a Long Zigzag or Serpentine Stitch


Melody’s Tip: There are a number of feet that will appliqué wonderfully, in most cases the best one is the one you own. 
Top Stitching..

Closed toe foot supports fabric which promoted good decorative stitching.

Thready Bar Tacks
Open toe foot allow very good visibility for Applique.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

About Color

File:Rgb-colorwheel.svgColor,  is the visual perceptual property corresponding in humans to the categories called red, blue, yellow, etc. Color derives from the spectrum of light (distribution of light power versus wavelength) interacting in the eye with the spectral sensitivities of the light receptors. This is why I prefer to study a color wheel that is based on how we see color NOT how to mix paint.

The Red Green Blue (RGB) color model is an additive color model in which red, green, and blue light are added together in various ways to reproduce a broad array of colors. The name of the model comes from the initials of the three additive primary colors, red, green, and blue. RGB (copyright free)color wheel 

One thing about Seattle, the winter skies are grey. I miss all the colors I see the rest of the year. Maybe this is why my quilts are often so filled with color. I took this picture last summer. For me it exhibits the perfect Complementary Colors. Those colors located opposite each other on a color wheel.

The same complimentary colors, much more subdued.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Stitching with Thread - Machine

It shouldn't be any news to most of you about me and thread! I love the stuff. Sometimes I just stitch on the fabric. I might even have a reason, adding a color, some sparkle or maybe I just feel like stitching to see what happens.
This is stabilized with light weight iron-on interfacing. Purple candle light (YLI) is couched on with purple machine embroidery thread through the needle and in the bobbin.

The left side shows the fabric unstitched.
Stabilized with medium weight tear-away attached with temporary spray adhesive, stretch (triple or lingerie) stitch. Turquoise 40 wt rayon thread stitched vertically and pink machine embroidery thread stitched horizontally.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Machine Stitching

By now you must know about my love affair with thread. I can't help gushing about the stuff. I am thinking about quilting my next project, so I am making some thread samples.These are all easy threads to stitch with, they are really piecing threads, but my machine doesn't care. They are very easy to sew with, I recommend that you try them.
These are all variegated threads. Notice how different they stitch out.

Friday, December 11, 2015

More Fabric Folding Fun - Hexigons

Start with any size circle you like. I press my circles with starch to make them very stiff. I can do all the folding at the ironing board, and the hexi's hold the folds very well.
Next, to find the center of the circle fold the circle into 4 halves and finger press. Fold one side to the point where it’s at the center.

You can iron as you go, It doesn’t matter here whether you work in a clockwise or counter-clockwise position, just continue to fold the next point to the center of the circle.
You can use either side, just place a button in the center of the folded side to hind the edges. I like to decorate them with stitching before attaching them to a project.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Folding Fabric - Prairie Points

Making  prairie points can be a fun way to add a little pizazz to your small quilt.I prefer to starch the fabric before I start folding. This gives me a stiffer fabric which holds the pressed creases much firmer.
First, cut an assortment of squares to fit the quilt you are making.

Press in half.

Bring corners (selvages together) to the center and press.
Never one to miss the opportunity to embellish, I like to add a bit of thread to my points.
Machine stitching.

Hand stitching.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Time to say good bye!

All good things must come to the end. It's time to say good bye!

 PS some time this week I'll have a fun post on BERNINA's We All Sew blog!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

BERNINA Ambassador Retreat

Designed by Debra Rutlage
One of the things I love most about Retreat time, is the opportunity to learn new stuff. We always get to sew something interesting.

We made these great mug rugs, with a flip and sew method using the embroidery module. Easy simple ad sooo much fun!
 Opportunities to use new, to me at least, feet. These amazing feet, #95c Binder foot and Binder attachment #88 bind beautifully.

Check out all the info on the BERNINA USA web site!

Friday, December 4, 2015

BERNINA on Thursday

Thursday was my day in the Q room, that's long arm and short arm. What great machines!!!The dream of creating a machine simple enough for a beginner to master and robust enough for the professional is embodied in the BERNINA Q 20 and Q 24 Longarm machines. View the You tube video.

The perfect fabric for play!

And I played!!!


Thursday, December 3, 2015


Arrived in Chicago last night, safe and sound. Our class at the BERNINA Creative Center starts with show and tell.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Tomorrow I'm Off to BERNINA

As a BERNINA Ambassador, I was invited to Aurora Illinois and the home of BERNINA of America.
Jeanne C Delpit
Manager of National Events
BERNINA of America
What a treat!
It is my opportunity to sit in a classroom and learn all kinds of wonderful things! Stay tuned.