Monday, September 12, 2016

Collecting Souvenirs - Sizing Discussion

Don't delay any longer -- join in on the fun!
It was a fabulous weekend for me and my family. We were able to thoroughly enjoy the outdoors and what feels like the winding down of summer. We still have many warm days scheduled according to the weatherman, but the mornings are much cooler letting us know that it won't be long before we get to hibernate indoors. This morning was a shivering 44 degrees and when I went out to open up the chicken coop, I swear I could hear the girls shout 'close the door'!  LOL

Terry brought up that the Oregon Souvenir was a larger project than she had imagined it would be and I wanted to talk about it for a moment. THANK YOU Terry! Comments like this are wonderful and I encourage others to let me know their thoughts so we can discuss them and perhaps make a souvenir that really will be uniquely yours.

Oregon's souvenir is a perfect souvenir to make 'any size.' I recommended that she consider making it half size or even three-quarter size. She had already planned on taking it to the copy shop to have printed so instead of having them print it full size, just let them know what size you would like it to be. Because we used fusible web for the applique and stitched it via our sewing machine, the size really can be any size you would like, including "larger."

Let's open up discussion for this souvenir. Let me know your thoughts and questions. Don't hold it in because whatever your question/comment is will undoubtedly help other people out as well.

Also, because I am the tour guide and because none of the attendees have to endure long lines at the airport, we will NOT be visiting the destinations in the order I mentioned in my earlier post. I'm going to bounce around to make it more interesting.

Please request your passport now if you want to receive the next souvenir for free. I really want to give away my patterns and knowledge to you as a thank you to all of the wonderful people who taught me various things during my lifetime. If you sign up after we have already visited a destination, you can still receive older souvenirs for $4.99 on my Craftsy page, but I really want you to have them for free.

Signing up is easy. Leave me a comment letting me know you want to participate and then become a follower of my blog. Only 2 steps are necessary....easy peasy!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Oregon Souvenir Finished!

View from my Window (2016/09/08) -- JoJo Hall
Well, technically I still need to add a sleeve and label to the back, but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I painted the voids of snow where I had machine quilted to capture more of the mountain appearance. I added crystals for the stars (larger in the sky area and smaller in the water area). I may still add a sliver of a moon to the right side but for now, I'm letting it rest.

I added a black binding to simulate my bedroom window, and I love it how made the picture pop!

For this souvenir, we played with:
  • paper backed fusible web
  • glue basting
  • turned under edge
  • hand embroidery stitches using floss and yarn
  • played with color using fabrics from our stash
  • sewing applique via sewing machine using zig zag stitch
  • fabric paints
  • crystals
  • machine quilting
  • getting outside of our comfort zone!
Well, what do you think? Is this the type of small but fun project that you are comfortable with trying out new things? What's the worst that could happen? Okay, so painting on the finished project might be a little scary, but hey---I did it! And it was fun. 

I may mix it up a bit and visit a different destination than I mentioned earlier so if you haven't requested your passport, please don't delay getting in on all of the fun! I need to hear from you before we depart from Oregon in order to receive the next souvenir for free. Become a follower of my blog and request your passport today!

Don't forget that I am here to help so give me a shout if you need to.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

How in the world do I machine quilt snow or better yet 'voids of snow'?

Sometimes the planets align themselves just perfectly. I snapped the picture above yesterday morning during the weather report. Thank you to our own KPTV weatherman, Andy Carson!

Check out that snow on the mountain. See those gray areas? That's what makes snow on a mountain so darn cool. If you had just a sea of white, it just wouldn't have the same effect. So if you are a person similar to me that struggles with machine quilting because you never know what to do, sometimes just following mother nature is the best route to take.

Take your snow top of the mountain and start playing. An easy and fun way to play with designs is to purchase double polished clear vinyl. You know the vinyl covering that is used to cover outdoor furniture or used to make a clear plastic pouch. Then pick up a a dry erase marker and a rag that you don't care to get all dirty. Now you can lay your vinyl on top of your quilt and draw out designs that you thought might look good. You can see perfectly how it is going to look and if you don't like it, just wipe it off with your rag. I auditioned my design prior to stitching it. Unfortunately, I was not born with the gene that allows me to quilt 'off the cuff.'

Snow Cap for Oregon's Souvenir - JoJo Hall
Quilted snow cap for Oregon's Souvenir - JoJo Hall
I've drawn my sky quilting areas in but am not convinced this is it....or is it? LOL

How do you prepare for quilting your tops?

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Decisions for your dogwood tree world travel adventure
Designing on the fly
How is everyone doing? I haven't heard a peep from anyone yet. Labor Day weekend is here and I'm sure lots of you are busy with family and/or getting ready for school to start. Our charter school started class last Thursday. There were lots of happy first graders happily starting their first day of school. The joy in their voices was enough to make anyone smile.

You may not have noticed but I did not give you step-by-step instructions for your tree or flowers. This was on purpose. Don't groan because I want to encourage you to play. Play with abandon which means play wildly and without limits! You did this when you were young and all through grade school. You didn't worry about the outcome. You just played because it was fun playing. I want you to dig deep and step back into your youth and grab that curiosity you had. 

What if I (you):
  • used bias fabric for my tree and tree branches.
  • used a combination of fabric and thread
  • used knitting yarn and hand embroidery stitches
  • didn't put a tree on it at all
Originally, I had a pattern for your tree and exact placement for each and every flower. After I printed it out and stared at it, I decided that you should make your souvenir unique and different from mine. You can make it look exactly as mine if you wanted to but maybe it would be better to give you the road-map but allow you to take detours along the way.

I love my flexible ruler. It allows me to play around with shapes that I would not be able to do freehand with my chalk pencil. I had no idea where to start so I just started at the bottom corner on the left side and made a curve with the ruler that I thought looked nice. I drew it in with my pencil and made another curve. I made curves off of curves. Look at your trees and how limbs jet out from limbs. Remember you cannot see the whole tree in this scene. I've caught only a snippet of the branches in the photo. Capture that foreground and it will give you a more dimensional, natural look. I thought the scene without the tree was too flat. It was pretty, but the tree brought it to life.

Once you have drawn your tree shape, it's time to make flowers. I used some precut 2-1/2 inch strips that I had in my stash. Three of the strips had the same colors but different patterns. I chose to use all three so that the sizes of the flowers and voids of colors would be all different but similar. 

Apply the paper back fusible stabilizer to your fabrics and draw your flower on the paper side and cut out the shapes. I did different sizes like the pattern you have. I cut a few, laid them out on my drawn lines to see how it looked. Cut more, played more, repeat. I repeated the process until I liked the fullness of the flowers on the tree. I ended up with nearly 50 flowers. It took me a little while to do this part but don't despair.....the results are worth it.

Now you must decide what your tree will be made of. If you choose fabric, you may want to glue baste your branches in place first. Then apply your flowers.

Since I decided to hand stitch my branches, I fused all of the flowers in place, then went back and stitched the branches. I used a heavy chain stitch and knitting yarn. I love the look of the heavy chain stitch. It is an easy stitch to learn even if you have never done any hand embroidery. And if you want to learn how to do it, Mary Corbet is my hero on any hand embroidery stitch you could ever want to learn. She is my go-to hero and I am pleased to introduce you to her if you didn't already know her.

Here's a close-up of the stitch for my branches:

And because enough is really never enough, I decided to add in some hand embroidery to every single flower. I love how it looks.

The stitch I used is called a daisy stitch in two colors. Mary's how-to link is HERE.

When I was all done, I added in some paint to each flower. The paint I mentioned in this earlier post is what I would consider similar to applying shimmer eye shadow. There is a color but if you are light-handed, it is mostly shimmer with some depth. I started off adding it to only a few, but then the others looked sad and left out so everyone got a little color!

What do you think? Are you having fun?

Next it's quilting time!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Time to sew our Oregon Souvenir

Welcome back to View from my Window:
Oregon Souvenir - View from my Window - JoJo Hall
The picture above is of the finished top before quilting. Further pictures of the quilting process will follow.

At the end of this post are three videos that I prepared while I was stitching. I'm really green at videoing so please know that I will get better. The last video I left the video turned so that you could see a closer view of the stitching.

Process pictures:

This is how the back looks after glue basting and ironing fusible areas down

Front after glue basting and ironing fusible areas down

Mountain & top of snow sewn to sky and with trimming afterwards of mountain

Bottom part of snow on mountain sewn
Tearaway removed from snow
Stabilizer covering tree line and reflection of tree line
Stabilizer removed
Reflection of mountain stitched
Reflection of mountain trimmed and reflection of snow stitched
Front showing zig zag on mountain top

Videos: Click on the enlarge part of the video so that you can see a bigger view.

Video 1 - Stitching the top of the snow.

Video 2 - Stitching each side of the mountain and removing the stabilizer from back.

Video 3: Stitching bottom of snow.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Welcome to Oregon -- World Quilting Travel Adventure has begun!

Welcome! It's finally here, and I'm thrilled you are here with me. Everyone who requested their passport has received an email from me with their Oregon souvenir/instructions.

This is a long blog post because we have just arrived to our first destination -- my beloved state and home -- Oregon. If you have never been to Oregon in person, you need to add it to your bucket list. Allow me to give you some tidbits of the state:
  1. Oregon is pronounced OR-UH-GUN, never OR-EE-GONE. We can spot newcomers pretty quick.
  2. We have a truly unique state flag. It is the only state flag that is different on each side.
  3. Portland, Oregon has more breweries than any other place in the world. We must love our beer!
  4. The deepest lake in the United States is in Oregon -- Crater Lake, which is pooled in the remains of a volcano. We love Crater Lake.
  5. Oregon residents own more than 1/4 of the country's total llama population. Who doesn't love llamas!
  6. We have more ghost towns in the nation -- with 82.
  7. We boast having the largest cheese factory in the world -- Tillamook Cheese Factory, in Tillamook, Oregon. I love Tillamook Cheese!
  8. Oregon's name is believed to have come from the French word 'ouragan' meaning windstorm or hurricane because of the wickedly powerful Chinook winds of the Columbia River. Trust me on this one. The wind can and does HOWL here without ever taking a breath in the winter. We do NOT love the howling winds!
  9. Oregon is one of two states in the U.S. where it is illegal for you to pump your own gas. You must allow the attendant to pump your gas.
  10. At last count there were more than 500 vineyards in Oregon. Okay, we love our wine as well.
  11. Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood served as the backdrop for the legendary movie, the Shining.
  12. We have a city in Oregon called Sisters and another city in Oregon called Brothers. We love our siblings as well. Also, Sisters, Oregon, is internationally recognized as having the largest outdoor quilt show.
  13. The largest concentration of wintering bald eagles can be found in Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex.
  14. Oregon has more than 7,000 bridges, including 53 covered bridges.
  15. National TV hit, Grimm is filmed in Oregon. We love our Grimm!
I love the feel and beauty of Oregon. The mountains are spectacular and there is a huge amount of forest here. In fact, 48 percent of the total landmass in Oregon is forest, and approximately 60 percent of all of the forestlands in Oregon are owned by the federal government. If you want to get away and enjoy nature at its best, Oregon is a hard place to beat.

I love the next picture of Todd Lake. Having the mountain as the backdrop really calms the uncalmable.
Todd Lake, Deschutes National Forest, Oregon
On most days, the view from my bedroom window is of Mt. Hood. I adore that view. The souvenir for our visit to Oregon is a rendition of my view with some exaggeration. Okay, maybe more than a little exaggeration. There is no water seen in my view so there obviously is no reflection of Mt. Hood in the water. We can see trees somewhat so the tree line smoky view could be true. We do have two dogwood trees in our front yard so I imagine taking my camera out and on a perfect picture day capturing the mountain, the sky, the tree line and the water, and the reflection of the mountain and the tree line in the water. I manage to stand just so so so as to capture part of my dogwood tree in the foreground. 

So without further adieu, Welcome to "View from my Window." This is as it looks on my design wall. I am getting ready to quilt it and will post additional pictures as the month progresses. I plan to add stars in the sky and having a few stars reflected in the water. This will be accomplished with crystals. I also plan to add a half moon to my portrait but I haven't drawn it yet. The size before quilting is 30 inches wide by 26-1/2 tall, which is a perfect Souvenir Size and size for experimentation and play!
JoJo Hall's view from my window
This next group of photos is to give clarification on the process of getting your portrait to the point of quilting it as shown above. Each person that requested a passport has been emailed the pattern and instructions. I will not be posting them here. If you are late to our travel adventure, the instruction packet will be available on my Craftsy page on September 15. The cost is a low $4.99 if you missed out on the cutoff and would like it. Request your passport and become a follower today and you will receive the next souvenir for free---Alaska!

Print off all six pages of your instructions, and then following the instructions to either print the pattern on your home printer or take it to your local printer and have them print it for you on a large format printer. 

Once your pattern is ready, you get to do some fabric hunting in your stash. I am pleased to tell you that I bought ZERO fabric for this landscape. I even found some tree fabric for the back and leftover batting to use with it. This is a great stash buster! If you plan on washing your landscape, please consider washing your fabrics. I blogged about my washing of the fabrics I used HERE.

Pattern printed and taped together
Layout checked to verify each pattern piece matches
Once you've chosen your fabrics, lay them out as shown in the picture above and try to visually see if you like your selections.

If you like them, pin and mark as instructed in the instructions. Remember there are no seam allowances in the pattern pieces because I designed it with fusible applique in mind. However, I decided to do a turned under edge for the mountain and reflection of the mountain so I marked exactly as shown on the pattern, but I cut oversized on the top of the mountain so I had an edge to turn under.
Pin through pattern pieces and mark pattern using chalk pencil
Mark pattern with chalk pencil
View of line drawn
Line drawn at top
Fold down on pencil line and press with dry hot iron
Using small dots of Roxanne Glue-Baste-It, then press
Add fusible web to the backs of the remaining fabrics and cut out. Don't forget to cut out the water and sky to the sizes shown in pattern. Don't panic looking at the bottom part of the snow. Take your time cutting it out. You want all those funky points and such.

Fusible added and cut out along pattern
This is a lot to throw at you for the first day. I will post again tomorrow and include additional photos as well as a few videos showing the stitching process. Don't feel rushed. Take your time and enjoy the process. Choose your fabrics and then stare at it for awhile to make sure you like it. If you do, get everything cut out and come back here tomorrow while we sew it all together.

If you missed the deadline for September's souvenir, the pattern and instructions will be available on my Craftsy page for a low $4.99 on September 15. However, if you sign up and request your passport and become a follower of my blog between now and the end of September, you will receive the next souvenir for free. So don't delay any longer, request your passport and become a follower today!