Welcome to the Playroom at 14 Peonystreet!

Why we call it the 'Playroom': the place whence objects pleasing to the eye are brought from the drawing board to reality, after much discussion with the ancestors.....

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Jan Patek- Miami Valley Album Quilt- Dog Block

Dog Block!
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Below is a photo of my open toe applique foot on my Bernina,
in the process of machine appliqueing the dog to the background
fabric. I found the perfect stitch to use is the #3 stitch on my Bernina 180, which they call a "Varilock Stitch". I select this stitch on the machine, and reverse it, so that the "V" swings to the left as it sews. The Varilock stitch swings over to the left to catch the applique, then it swings back to the edge of the applique shape, sews two straight stitches, then swings back to the left for the next "V". If you don't have a stitch like this on your machine, you can also use a plain 'ol zig-zag stitch. Make it narrow and a little long, so that you're not doing a regular heavy line of applique, unless you want that effect.


 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Jan Patek- Miami Valley Album Quilt- Shoe Block


Shoe Block
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Another block done! Looks like pink shamrocks are blooming!
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I used the stitch and turn method on the shoe and flower petals, and the freezer paper method on the stems and flower centers.
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So where is the "Miami Valley" that this quilt refers to?
It broadly refers to an area surrounding the Great Miami River, and the Little Miami, Mad, and Stillwater Rivers in Southwest Ohio.
Communities include: Dayton, Middletown, Hamilton and Springfield, and other smaller communities.
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So- what's so special about this area as it relates to quilts?
Check the following links to find out and see the quilts:
They are described as folk art album quilts. To me, they look like kin to the Baltimore Album quilts- but much simpler and a little less formal.
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Hey, while you're in Dayton Ohio, check out the following:
The founder of this guild is Sue Ellen Wassem.
And a wonderful designer is/was a member: Janet Miller.
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Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Jan Patek- Miami Valley Album Quilt - Hands Block


Hands Block
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Another Day-- Another Block done!
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I used my stitch and turn applique method for the larger pieces, and traditional applique (needleturn) for the smaller ones.
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Did I tell you how much I love this pattern?
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To me, Jan Patek's design embody the American Country Style/Spirit, for quilt designs.
Her designs are easy to follow, for the most part have large, easy to work with pieces, with a
folk -art feeling. Her themes are definitely American country- farm life, country life, farm animals, home, early american.
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Love it-- and Love you too Jan! Thank you for your wonderful desigsn!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Jan Patek Quilt- Miami Valley Album Quilt- Fishbowl

Doesn't this look like a real fishbowl?
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I'm having fun with this quilt pattern. This is the Mystery Quilt I won last year from Jan Patek's blog.
This is turning out to be easier than I thought, and I love the results!

The applique method I use is what I call "stitch and turn". I use fusible interfacing. I trace the shape onto the "dotty" or fusible side of the lightweight interfacing, then place the right side of the fabric next to the smooth side of the interfacing. Then sew on the traced line, all the way around the shape. Then I make a slit in the interfacing only, turn the shape, push out all the edges and sometimes trim the interfacing out of the middle so it won't be so stiff-- especially on the larger pieces. Then press.

Next, place each shape onto the back ground fabric, pin in place and then machine applique. This stitch and turn method doesn't work too well with really small shapes-- like the fish, so I had to do traditional needleturn applique for those.

I also trimmed out the excess fabric fron underneath the layers of fabric, so it won't be so heavy/thick/stiff. It makes it feel more like traditional applique.

I made this fishbowl in a few hours. It was easy for me, as I already know the technique. You can see another explanation of the technique here. (click on the word "here.")

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Vintage 1948 Singer Sewing Machine


Vintage 1948 Singer
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I have been collecting sewing machines for several years now. My favorites are the vintage Singers. I love sewing on these machines! It seems like no matter how old they are, as long as they're not rusted out, they sew beautifully!! When found, they usually need a little TLC-- cleaning and oiling, maybe a new belt. I "found" this one and it needed a new electric cord, so I had one put on. It also needed a new belt, and a little rubber ring on the "gizmo" that you wind the bobbins with.

I feel you just can't go wrong with these old machines.  This one came  with a straight stitch foot and a couple bobbins-  no manual, but you can still get parts for these-just do a search online.

The tension is great, it makes the best straight stitch you'll ever find. I love sewing on these old machines because I feel like I'm sewing on a piece of history, and feel connected to all the people who've used it before me.

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