Saturday, October 16, 2010

Buttons and Ribbons and More!

Hello dear quilting friends.

I am May Britt from Norway, or perhaps more know as Abyquilt. Perhaps you have visited my blog Abyquilt some time.

Last weekend I got a mail from Madame Samm telling me I was the 1000th follower. How fun was that:) And now some wonderful Aurifil thread is in the mail for me. A quilter always need thread so this is a great prize.

At the same time Madame Samm asked me if I could be a guest blogger. OMG....what do I write about. A lot of thoughts running through my head. At that moment I had no idea what to write about, but I said; Yes I Will do it, I am sure I will come up with something. And so I did :) Hope you will like to read about:

Challenging your friends and stash.

I have a lot of very good quilting friends. And about exactly one year ago I got the idea to challenge two of them. We were going to have a "Quilters Christmas Party" and this was the perfect time to introduce them to a creative challenge.

I looked through my stash and found some buttons and laces. I packed one button and 12 inches of lace in an envelope (similar to everyone of us). And the challenge was: Use these items and make a mini-quilt measuring 8x8 inches. And in every challenge we had to add stuff from our own stash. Not to buy anything new to get it finished.

When they got the envelopes they was very surprised and I could see the ideas was tumbling around in their heads. A little bit scary, a little bit "what on earth do I do with this" and a lot of fun. I knew the girls were going to be very creative. And we agreed that the mini-quilts had to be finished the next time we met some months later. So we had a lot of time to finish it.

But guess who was sewing the challenge only a few days before we met? LOL

And here are the results of our first challenge.

I made a scrappy mini-quilt using the button in the middle of the flower and the lace as part of the ground. Notice I have made use of selvages. I love using selvages in small quilts.

Hanne made a christmasquilt using the button to hang adventcalendar packages on. And the lace as a decorating border.

Bente (no blogger) made a cute Christmas angel using the button as the head of the angel and the laces as angel wings.

We had all the same button and the same laces to use, and look how different they all came out. And we all agreed this was so fun that we had to continue this challenge.

And Hanne had already made ready the second challenge for us.

She gave us a piece of light fabric, a zipper and some silk ribbons. And this time the title of the challenge was: "On the road."

This was really a challenge for me because I have tried to do embroidery with silk ribbons earlier with no great results. I think this time we had similar thoughts about "On the road". Giving a zipper it has to be a purse. The zipper was okay, but what about the silk ribbon?

Both Bente and I used the same pattern to make our purses. This have a very easy way to sew the zipper and I love this pattern. Mine is the one to the right and Bentes the one to the left. Do you see what I did with the silk ribbons. I tried and tried to make some beautiful flowers, but with no good results LOL So I just did a simple border on my stitchery. Bente managed to make some flowers.

But where have Hanne used her silk ribbons on her purse LOL. She thought the ribbons was too bright to go with the checked fabric, so she gave it a coffee bath. But where is it???? She attached it to the zipper to pull it.

So you see everything is allowed. We can use as much or as little we want of the items we are given in the challenge. And we can as Hanne change the colour of it by dye it. Using our imagination is so fun.

Are you bored reading about our challenges? :) If not over to the third challenge we had.

We have all taken a turn to give the challenges and now it was Bentes turn to do it. And this was really a tricky one she had put together.

Each challenge has a "text" telling us what to do and it is up to ourselves to interpret it. Bente gave us a small button, a red felted heart and some lovely rose fabric. The text was: For joy and pleasure , to be useful, alone or together in a small group. And how to you interpret this one????

It gave me a headache LOL But finally I made a little needle holder. It can be used when I sew (joy and pleasure), and I can use it alone or together with my sewing friends.

I guess the other girls also had to break down the text and then start making their things. Hanne mad a lovely cover for her coffee jug. And Bente made four items; a bookmark, a little makeup purse, a tissue keeper and a another little purse.

And I had already the fourth challenge ready for my friends. When we show our finishes from the challenge, we are also given the next challenge at once.

This time I had chosen to give them some skin fabric, 3 red buttons and some laces. And the text was: Sov dukkelise (translated to english; Sleep little doll) This is from a Norwegian children song. I guess this was an easy challenge, perhaps not so many ways to interpret it.

I had never made dolls before and it was so much fun. Of course I should have read the pattern better, because my doll had very stiff arms and legs. It said, stuff the arms and legs up to the line (which was in the middle of the arms and legs LOL). Do you read the pattern exactly every time???? But I am very happy with how it turned out. It was so fun and I know I will make more dolls.

Hanne mad a cute little Tilda "Good Night"-doll. Look at the tiny little teddy bear the doll is holding.
Bente made covered clothes hanger with a little doll on. She even reduced the size of the doll a lot. How difficult it was to stuff these tiny arms and legs.

And behind the cute little doll she have sewn a secret pocket for her jewelery.

So you see how these challenges really have made us think and create. We all get the same items in the envelope and the same text. When we are doing these challenges we keep it very very secret and do not tell or show on our blogs anything until we meet and have our show and tell. And it is always so fun to see how the others have interpret the challenge. And how different the results are.

This is the fifth challenge that Hanne gave us some weeks ago:

Some stripes of yellow fabric, and the text is: A lot of light and warmth (also from a Norwegian song). She also gave us a beautiful box filled with candy. I guess we need some brain-food to figure out what to do with this challenge. I have NO idea yet.

Hope you have enjoyed reading about our challenges and how fun we have doing it. We are going to continue with this for a long time.

Now I have one challenge for you.
Challenge some of your friends.

Pick two or more friends to participate, look through your stash and find something to use (remember it has to be similar to all), and make up a text. Then invite your friends to coffee and give the challenge to them. Agree how many days/weeks you have until the next meeting when you have a show and tell. It will be so fun.

I always end my posts over at Abyquilt with a saying, and so I will do here:

Saying for today:

A friend is one of the nicest things you can have,
and one of the best things you can be.
~Douglas Pagels

Big quilt hugs from May Britt.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Switch to google chrome vs old google browser, you will see both sides of blog! of Thursday October 14th..

I noted on my laptop ( old google browser)  vs desktop( google chrome)
As soon as I upgraded to google chrome
on my laptop, I could see both sides of the blog.

I suppose this may be the solution for some 
of you who have been experiencing problems.
Thanks to those who offered assistance, sew appreciated.
Technology being what it is, changes, we have to move

Now who said ICE CREAM?

When all else fails, it is time to lick 
our wounds, in this case it may be Browser problems..
I am using Internet Explorer and and can see both sides...

so let's be patient...I brought you all some ice cream...

I think the consensus is .only some can see the right side of Stash
meaning== white right???

Has this ever happened to anyone else???

I guess we will just sit and wait 

Please let me know who can't see the right side
and who can?
Tell me your browser woes between

Stringing it together

Hi, I'm Wendy from Sewing in the Wendy City!
I am blessed and honored beyond words to be allowed to share at Stash Manicure!

One of my greatest stashbusting adventures was this quilt:
It's a string quilt, made using this tutorial.  It's fantastic.  Please go check it out sometime.  Try it.
You'll be glad you did. 

Here's the wonderful part about this quilt:  it requires very little measuring.  And very little concentration.  You just make string blocks like a machine.....

It was my husband's Father's Day gift, and the first quilt I've made just for him.  
{he loved it, by the way!}
He requested something extra long since he's a rather tall fellow and blankets are often too short for him.  
It measures 70" x 96".
Machine quilted on my trusty vintage Bernina.

I decided I'd hack up a lot of the fabrics I had been gifted, that I had purchased for other projects that never materialized, the fabric I got home and realized I didn't like, and the fabric that I'd swear someone else put in my bag because it wasn't even my taste the minute I got home!  
Ever buy anything like that?

But when it all comes together, it's lovely.  Well, mostly.  We'll get to that....
And so for this project all I bought was the muslin to base my string blocks on.  
And I used up piles and piles of strings.  

Acres of them. 

Metric tons of strings.  
And the back?  It was pieced using large things I had.  
Some gifted, some I'd bought for things but hadn't used. 

I keep the binding leftovers from all my quilts, and so for this one I cleaned out my binding scrap bag for a scrappy binding.  
Now... here it's true confession time.  
I cleared out a lot of scraps.  And I wasn't picky.
But then...  I got to the end.  
And there were some fabrics I just hated.  
Even in strings.  They drove me batty!

So I pulled out the blocks I didn't like and made this little quilt.  It measures about 30" x 40". 
I happily donated it to a silent auction to raise money for a worthy charity.

And then I had another realization.  A real "manicuring" realization.

And you know what, if I didn't like them enough to put in a string quilt, 
I was NEVER..
going to use them.

I packed up 2 priority mail boxes full. 
Stood on them to seal them.

and posted on my blog that if someone would claim them, 
I'd send them to whoever wanted them.  Free.  Happily.
I sent them on.  (This was back in March.)
And I felt better!  manicured, even.    

Thanks again for letting me post!  
Stop by and see me sometime....  
love from

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Halloween Raw Edge Applique

Hello to all my fellow quilters! My name is Rachel and I have a blog called Scrapendipity Designs. My blog is a catch all for my quilty and crafty endeavors.

Those that visit my blog know that Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday. In fact I have Halloween decorations up year round! The funny thing is, I never actually made myself a Halloween quilt. I have been collecting Halloween fabric for 2 years, but because it is my favorite holiday, I always felt it had to be the perfect quilt. This year I decided to change that and I ended up making two Halloween quilts. One of them is an applique quilt called 'Don't Drink and Fly'.

I know that applique has been talked about on this blog as a great way to manicure your stash. It gives you the opportunity to use up all those scraps you have hanging around. I am a lover of scraps. Many of my scraps come from other people, for which I am very grateful. I prefer to work with other people's scraps as it gives me a larger variety of scraps than I could ever come up with on my own. Not too long ago, I organized my scraps by color.


I have considered mixing up the colors and organizing them by size, but since doing applique, I have found the color method to be the best one. You can see that I am a little slim on some colors, I am always on the hunt for a new set of scraps to refill my buckets!

The 'Don't Drink and Fly' pattern is from Eat Cake Graphics.

If you have never seen their quilts patterns before, be sure to check them out. They are so much fun!

When I received this pattern, I had never done applique before. I tested a few different methods, and found most of them to be too time consuming for me. I finally decided to use raw edge applique for this quilt. The pattern calls for needle turn applique, so I had to be careful about getting everything facing the right direction when I made the quilt with raw edge. Today I am going to give you a quick tutorial on how I did raw edge applique for this quilt top. Since my quilt top is already done and I didn't take any process pictures with it, I will be making a small wall hanging instead.

Steam a Seam Lite 2


Sharp scissors
Light box or Sunny Window

Fabric requirements
All fabric can be found in your stash! That's what is great about applique, the pieces are small, and you can easily use scraps you have hanging around. When I am done the tutorial I will show my completed quilt top and the one from the pattern, you will see that I changed a lot of the colors to fit the scraps I had on hand. I was also able to find a large piece of fabric I could use for the background, again a bit different from the pattern, but it works and it got that fabric out of my stash!

Step One
The first thing you want to do is prepare your background. My wall hanging will have a solid background and a border. I chose two fabrics from my stash for this.


You want to iron your background fabric really good, I prefer to use starch, but it is not necessary. Having an unwrinkled background will make laying out your pieces much easier.

Step Two
Once your background is pressed you want to trace the basic layout of the pattern to the background fabric. When I did my original quilt I just taped the pattern right side up to my window, but you could also use a light box if you have one.


Next tape your ironed background fabric over the pattern, face up. Be sure to center everything right where you want it to go. For my wall hanging I am only doing a small portion of the pattern, but for a full quilt design, you will want to trace everything now to ensure that it is all centered properly.


Trace your pattern to the front of your background fabric using pencil. You only need to trace enough lines to get an idea for placement of your pieces. Remember, some of the smaller detail parts will be on top of other pieces, so a placement line on the background would not help much.


Step Three
Next we want to get our pattern traced onto the Steam a Seam Lite 2. With Steam a Seam, the material gets ironed to the wrong side of the fabric, because of this we need to reverse the pattern before we draw our lines on the Steam a Seam. If we do not, we will end up with a mirror image of our pattern and nothing will fit with the background lines we just drew.

The first thing I do is turn over my pattern taped to the window. Now the pattern is taped with the back facing out. This gets me my reverse image I need to trace.


Now you can just trace each piece of your pattern on to the Steam a Seam. For the edges that are supposed to look like the are under another piece, draw a dotted line on that edge. For all the edges that are supposed to look like they are on top, draw a solid line. When placing the pieces on the Steam a Seam, you want to leave about a 1/4 inch next to any dotted lines, you do not need to leave much space next to solid lines.



Step Four
Now that you have your pieces traced, you want to pull scraps for each piece.


Iron all your pieces nice and flat (again I personally use starch). Then rough cut each pattern piece out from the Steam a Seam Lite. I do not cut on the lines yet, leave a little edge around the whole thing, and a little more than 1/4 inch next to the dotted lines.


Now peel the paper that does not have your pattern on it from the Steam a Seam Lite and iron it to the wrong side of your chosen scraps according to the package instructions.


Step Five
Now that your pattern pieces are ironed to the back side of your fabric, you want to cut them out. When cutting, you want to cut directly on the solid lines, and you want to leave about a 1/4 inch edge on the dotted lines. This will help you tuck these pieces under other ones.


Here's a close up of one of the pieces so you can see the extra bits next to the dotted lines.


Step Six
Now we need to get our pieces on to our background fabric. Lay out your background fabric, find each piece and peel off the paper from the Steam a Seam Lite, and place the piece on the background.

Do not iron it on yet.


The Steam a Seam has a little tack to it, so your pieces will not slide around. Place each piece on according to your drawn guide. Keep in mind pieces that should be over and under each other, and remember that you have a little bit extra on the pieces that should be under something else, so those edges will not line up with your guide exactly. Use your pattern as a visual while you are doing this. Since the pieces are not ironed on yet, you can move the pieces around, or trim a few things, until you get the look you want.


Step Seven
Once all your pieces are in place as you like them, iron everything down. Remember you cannot undo this! So be sure everything is as you want it before you iron.

Now you can add your borders and finish your top as you would like.


I hope this tutorial helps you do a raw edge applique quilt. This type of applique is very quick and easy. Once you have your top complete, you can sew around the edges of each piece with invisible thread or like colored thread to tack everything down. I have not done this yet on my quilt.

Here is a picture of the 'Don't Drink and Fly' quilt from the pattern:

And here is my version of this quilt:


I have not done all the details on this yet, but you can see that many of my fabric choices are different from the pattern. This is because I wanted to use the scraps I had on hand. I did not have to buy a single piece of fabric to make this top! Applique is a great way to trim down your stash, I hope you will give it a try.

I have enjoyed writing this post for all of you, I hope I can come and visit again some time soon. Until then, be sure to check out my blog, Scrapendipity Designs. I have a post up today that shows some of the Halloween decorations in my home, and the other Halloween quilt I made this year. I also have a binding tutorial that may be of some use when you are finishing up your quilts.

Happy Quilting!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Draw today for Jane's Fabrics 1930's fat quarters and Quilt Taffy -winner announced for Guest Blogger

leave a comment
on "How will  I contribute
to Stash Manicure?"

Good Morning Rae Ann,  
Dahling Manicurists 
and over the top Sponsors...

( get yourself comfortable, pour yourself
 a favourite beverage, 
we are going to sit and chat)
Oh you might want to take notes...
get a pad, I will wait...)

"The doors we open and close
each day decide the life we live" 
Flora Whitmore
How true this is~!

This seems a befitting post today, as it is Thanksgiving weekend here in 
Canada. I am truly thankful for sew many things. 
May I share them with you?

1st on my list is Rae Ann, this delightful lady with
 such a tender heart , who reached
out to me and in her most suggestive way asked me to take over
this wonderful blog. Love you sweetie!

2nd  on my list, is YOU, the dahling manicurists- to- be 
who come to visit, leave comments, followers who add Stash
Manicure to your blogs...YOU make it possible for
 me to manage it, schedule guest bloggers, 
blog hop to find the best manicurists...
entertain YOU, inform YOU...
.....Love you sweeties..

3rd on my list... Our Sponsors...and I would like to touch on them
individually if you don't mind. 
OHHHH Love you MORE!
yes I do wink...

Jennifer at Shabby Fabrics . I adore this lady,
she never says no to me, and she should, but I am sew glad
she doesn't. She has the most incredible online store
 of dainty, pink, soft pastels fabrics that make
 you want to pull up a chair
and plead with them to wrap you up in all of their luxurious
yardages of exquisite hand picked collections..
Ok, sew that's just

Each month Jennifer has agreed to offer a Fat Quarter Bundle
 to the winner of our QUILT Banner contributors.
1 chance in 5 to win. Pretty good odds I would say.
And all you have to do is send me photos of your quilt
that correspond with the colour of that month. 
 For instance....Orange to Rust quilt photos
for November's banner...
December will be Red and White
January anything in the Blues...
( give you heads up)

On November 2nd one of the contributors
be it Amber, (top right)  Cori ( top left) 
or Belle (bottom right)
 will win this...
the other 2 is mine in the middle and
 Jennifer from Shabby. bottom left
( we are both disqualified, but why???? lol) 

Red Rose Farm bundle..Sew good luck!
On behalf of all the winners, present and future,
you touch our hearts in warmth Jennifer...
Each month Jennifer will be offering up a new collection!

Next....Quilt Taffy
What can I say about this lady named Corrie...?
Dependable, Irresistible, Customer Focused,
Exemplary Service...
And she happened to believe in me right
from the beginning. She knew I would win
something in the Moda/Schnibbles Contest.
And I did, came in 2nd...
Sometimes all you need is 1 person to believe in you...
Ahhhh chokes me up to say, I believe in her too...

You have to check her link to her store, she always
has super deals...And Corrie will be offering
this  in the next 24 hours...
Are you paying attention.?.

For all the guest Bloggers
who schedule a date with me within
the next 24 hours, you will have a chance to win
this.....I know you recognize it...
BLISS.. by Camille 
lovely isn't it...
Can't I win

Please connect with me asap..
 Congrats Marlene...
You won this BLISS package!

Well you already know I read and I follow and I send pictures.
 What more you say? I bet I could schedule a date to be a guest blogge
r (she says as panic sets in). How about a tutorial? Now I'm hyperventilating!
 Just call me. No, you can't call - you don't know my number and
 I can't just be posting it now can I? I know, e-mail me! :) blessings, marlene

This is only open to those who book with me for future
dates, sew write if you want to win this....
I have my calendar open for November and December
Corrie, thanks again for believing I could do this!
You ROCK! ( sew does Des, hi Des)

Ohhhh can we talk, I really don't want 
to mention her name, to avoid a mass
crash of her email and site, but this is one
lady whom I admire for her faith in me.
I shared what I was doing here at Stash Manicure.
but she seemed to already be in the know...
She said "pick something and let me know
who I have to send it to?" 
R U kidding me???...she wasn't lol

If you have not seen their latest collections,
go take a peak and be sure to check out
Their cutting corners, great tuts
I see, jodi, Natalia * future sponsor...
mmmmm who will be next?

Ohhhhh you cannot imagine what I was trying to settle
on and the  quantity for our next big winner...
of our PLAN B Bloggers..
( must be followers)
These are guest Bloggers whom I have 5 already
( Wendy, Glen, Marjorie, Amy and Sarah)
pssst you will be in this draw btw...
and of those who come forward in the next 24 hours... 
and can write up
some DRAFT posts when I am stuck !
..You will be a vital KEY to 
Stash Manicures Success...
( and we  now you are really  A's) Ü

  post script...
The difference between Guest blogger and Plan B Bloggers
is that they will have DRAFT copies already written for me
sew if and when I am stuck for a post, I can just post theirs...

Sew for all those who become PLAN B  Bloggers
I have chosen a FAT Quarter Bundle of......
Sweet Divinity Cottons..
Take a peak at the whole collection

Again from my heart to yours mystery lady
at Riley Blake..Thank you SEW Much...

Next there is Jane...Jane's Fabrics

Although we have only come to know
each other just recently, I can tell you she is divine,
funny, thorough and dependable..
Isn't that what you want from someone
who has an online store....?
She was pretty quick in responding to my plea
for sponsoring, and she did not even hesitate..
I like her..and I know you will too...

Jane is offering this...
12 fat Quarter of 1930's prints...
Are they not amazing?..I can see a Schnibble quilt
out of this...
Leave a comment  on this post...
answering this one question...
"How will "I" contribute to Stash Manicure?
and please leave an address that I can reach you..
(are you a follower?)


Now this lady is my hero
for introducing me to this most
amazing quilt thread...I was a Gutterman
girl through and through until I began
stitching with her fine threads...
I hear, that many of the designers out there
love this thread...and I am no designer..but
I do know thanks to Carola
she is offering these spools of thread to our 
1000th Blogger....
May Britt 

They are 200m. spools 50 weight two ply Egyptian Cotton.
This Aurifil 50wt is a favourite for it's extra fine strength
 When piecing the thread assures accuracy as it does not add bulk
 to the seam which can reduce the size of a quilt block. 
Also a favourite for invisible (almost applique.)
I am sure May will find some use for...
Sew congrats to May...


(more sponsors...)

Like the divine jodi from Pleasant home who
was one of my first giveaways, she is such a gem,
a guest blogger too...
Natalia from Piece n Quilt
Moda, Martingale and the Fig Tree...they will
also be participating in future giveaways...

I am also working  with  4 more other sponsors..
More on them later... But as I said I cannot do this alone
and with these wonderful sponsors and contributors
of Stash Manicure, we all win.
Sew thank you from my heart to yours...

Okay I am now out of words ( aren't you glad) 
it is almost midnight sew realistically
it is Sunday...( I am not going to make a habit of this
posting on a Sunday...I am telling you that)
( this was a very special occasion)
Got that? lol...

No guest bloggers now till Tuesday October 12th, Rachel 
is our Guest Blogger for that day...
Be sure to welcome her like only you can do...

You may need 
this much time to absorb all of this...
and besides psssst  I need a REST...

It is Thanksgiving now, and I 
really truly madly deeply..
 thankful for all of YOU.

( I have a date now with my husband
and family)

ps. Carla...I have not forgotten you,
something special from me to you is coming!
send me your snail address please!