Sunday, November 22, 2015

Clue ten, stitchin tips, agility tests and more!

Sorry, no video. I know you all LOVE videos and I actually really wanted to film this one but since it's just little ol' me, and no big studio, when it comes to video making I have to completely transform my living room. I use a 3 point lighting system, so that is three big tripods and 2 large umbrellas. Then the camera makes for a 4th tripod. Add that to a 5 year old, usually his two friends, a husband that walks with a cane and a dog and often the neighbor dog sneaks in..can you imagine??
(Hillbilly needs a studio.)

Then, even worse, it means the family has to leave me alone and be quiet. Pfft! It's just so much easier to photograph the steps, then you never even know the chaos going on around me while I write your blog post.
(My son just streaked by..and I do mean streaked.. see I am telling you. Chaos.)

At the bottom of this post I am hoping I can explain some helpful hints to those of you that have asked me some questions. I will film these hints eventually, but with the holiday and no school it might take until the next week.
For now I offer you this:


For clue 9 you should have 12 of these finished. 


Place two of them side by side as below and stitch them together.

When you finish you should have 6 of these little row thingies:
(That's a new one, huh? I TOLD you that after the first dance we would totally swing a different direction. )

Below of the back of two of them side by side.
I am going to use this photo to try to help some of you with your stitching questions.

Basically I think your questions can be summarized like this: 

"What do we do when the pieces are too large, for instance if we did a large piece next to a row with a lot of small pieces so all of a sudden we have fabric between all those pieces which makes the pieced row longer than the non pieced row". or "Some of my pieces came out larger than others, what do I do? "Ok first of all, you need to remember this is fabric, and fabric often has to be eased into place. When you sew sleeves onto a shirt you often ease a larger piece and make it work with a smaller piece.
 But the problem with EPP is we have those pesky papers. So the papers make it SEEM like we can't ease it into place.
Here is your handy tip of the day:
Just make that paper bow in submission to you. Don't take no for an answer. It will try. It will fight you. It will try to take control over and over again. But do not let it. Be strong! Be brave! Master the paper!
I actually ... you aren't going to believe this.. but
Everyone uses them..but for me they get in my way. Every time I take a stitch I am realigning it back up.
(Yes I know, this is where a video would be helpful. )

When I, for whatever reason, have pieces that don't fit quite right, I first am very careful with the direction I start with in my stitching. Then I make it fit by overpowering the paper. You wont believe how nice it lies when you take that paper out of there.  

On the photo of these pieces, I actually drew dots and arrows to show you where I knot and sew. 

1) Knot at the left of arrow one, sew right, knot at the end of the arrow at the joint. 

2) Knot at the right of arrow two, sew left, knot at the joint. 

3) Go way to the other end. Knot at the right of arrow 3, then sew left to the joint and knot it. 

4)  On four start in the middle and knot it, then sew right to the joint and knot it. 

5) Go back to the middle and make an X with your stitching, usually this is four knots for me. 

I sure hope that helps you understand a bit? A little maybe?
Until I can film it??


Due to the fact that I don't think anyone has clue 9 done, and that it's a big holiday week here in the states, plus people are trying to holiday sew, let's give extra time for this step. Its a super easy one so that helps.
Clue 11 will be released Wednesday December 2nd.
This gives you a week and half to catch up.
Sound good?

It's coming!

I know the next clue is supposed to arrive today, 
And it will. I just don't have it at midnight. 
Filming requires me to totally alter our living room, and I've not had the time to do that but today I'll do it early and get it uploaded. I'm trying to decide if I film it now at 2 am if it would wake the entire family or not. 

I've been asking the Facebook group and no one there has clue 9 finished yet so it's time to slow things down a bit. I'm not going to rush things for the holidays. So you'll get extra time to finish clue ten and it's an easy clue. 

Ok... I'll be back with a video! 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Time for the Final Dance!

Alright, from here on out the clues will be for you brave FULL Shindig dancers.
Its time to darn some more of Grandpa's socks.
At this point your quilt top should look like this: 

And for your next clue, I just did some editing on the clue 3 photo.
Yep, same stuff. Only doubled.
Don't forget to attach your diamonds at the top and the bottom of the Grandpa's socks when you are finished with them. 

Let's see, I have given you 12 socks to sew up.
So let's try one week..the next clue coming in next Sunday.
How does that sound? I know that is a lot to sew in a week, but clue 10 is a much smaller job so there will be catch up time.
Meet me in facebook and I must say I am VERY EXCITED to show you this part of the mystery. It changes from here on !!

So long, Farewell our First Dance friends!

This is the time when we bid farewell to our friends that are only doing The First Dance part of the mystery. 

Now before I go on I need you First Dance people to understand one thing: The mystery was written for the FULL Shindig. When we began I realized that there were some that would be a intimidated by the full pattern so I found a good stopping point to make a much smaller pattern. That being said, I had to leave some design elements out until now or it would have been too confusing keeping the two mysteries separate all along. It was much easier to just keep them hand in hand up until this point. 

If you've picked up the hints along the way, then you will note that your pieces should be joined to your star.
Your quilt top should look something like this, only you wont have the little outer points sewn on
(mine is a FULL shindig so my points are sewn on). 

You should have 12 of these left, correct?

Ok we are going to place them in this wide zone here:

They should look like this. Now I KNOW we could have used diamonds here, but as part of the mystery for the full shindig the triangles were sewn on as settings for the blocks.
To finish the First Dance we had to take them and move them, so that left you with two triangles where a diamond could have been.
What's a few more stitches among friends?

Alright, now that leaves this little part that needs help.
What to do???!!!? ! ? !
When you were younger did you ever read those "Choose your own ending" mysteries?
The ones where you got so far and you could turn to one page for one ending or another page for a different ending?
Well that is what you get to do with your quilt.
I did not include the pieces because I didn't know which ending you would want to choose. You can easily just pop them out from any finished area of the quilt.

Option 1: You can just put a triangle in this place.

Option 2: Grab a diamond and two small triangles and finish out the design

Option 2 will look a bit nicer because it will finish your Pop Star.
But either way works.

Now when I first began this mystery I promised you that I would show you other options. The entire reason for this mystery was to show ways to use the "Grandpa's Socks" hexagon shape and think of it in new ways you had never thought of before.

What if you removed all your papers from above, ironed them all nice and flat again, recycled them, and what if you made this?
I am actually going to make this. If you will remember I had that really pretty soft purplish print that is still waiting on me and I want to make it into this pattern.
I will make my small fussy cut where the yellow is. It should be really pretty.

Ok, well I hope you have enjoyed your journey you first dance folks.
If you don't know how to finish your quilt edges, we will discuss that another day.
Now you really REALLY have to decide whether to move on with the FULL shindig or not because we are moving on with the very next blog post !

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Mystahhhry Along with Hillbilly: Shindig Clue 7!

Now is the time of the mystery when I, as the designer start to get nervous. 
I know that I love my designs, but how do I know that YOU will love the design? 

Here is what I do know: Some will like it and some won't. That's how it is. Because we are all different. We all have different tastes. 

After clue 7 those of you that are doing the First Dance only will have to make a big decision. Stop now or move on? Clue 8 is the same for both mysteries but clue 9 is when the first dance people say "So long", "Farewell", "Had a great time but it's time for me to go" , Or "I am still here but I am sitting this one out"... 


Maybe they will say, "that was fun, let's finish this thing", " I want to darn more of Grandpa's socks! " , "Take me for another spin". 

So decision time is coming my friends!

At this point you should have 12 Grandpa's socks all darned and ready to swing.

If you look at them closely, you will notice they are really the same, especially if you chose not to fussy cut your fabric. Below are the same two blocks. I just turned the right one.
Now I know this is when I'll get a few complaints. Why lead you on a path to sew the exact same thing? Well because MY design was designed for fussy cut pieces, so they had to be sewn as such.
On this one I even have directional prints.
(although as you will see later I thought it out wrong, glued some wrong and they won't be going the right way. I don't have enough fabric to fix them so they will remain that way. )

If you did the First Dance, you should have  6 of the left, 6 of the right. 

If you are doing the Full Shindig, you should have 6 of the left and 6 of the right. 

So for clue 7 you are going to attach them so that the pop fabric goes up and away from each other.
My gold is my pop.
See how they go away from each other?
(put them next to your star and you will "get it" )
Below is what the First Dance clue 7's will look like.

And if doing the Full Shindig, below is what your clue 7's will look like.
Mine is not as crooked as the pic makes it look. It just wasn't playing nicely for it's photo session. 

Now clue 8 has to be pretty self explanatory.
Get your star and see if you can't figure it out, bet you can!

The next clue release will be via video because I will need to be showing the First Dance people how to make a finish.
THEN we get to twirl in an entire new direction for our Full Shindig folks.
Can't wait!
See you with that video hopefully no later than Sunday. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Days off means taking a moment to day dream

As most of you know, I just took two days off from the world. I grabbed up my kids..well not the middle child because he's never around..and we enjoyed some much needed time together. Amy, Stephen and I all went trick or treating Saturday night, then Sunday I took Stephen to the Fun a Farm so he could enjoy one last day of playing in the corn. Then we met Amy for a dinner at Golden Corral and then headed over to a hotel with a small indoor water park. The hotel...was AWFUL. It was a Ramada Inn, but it was old and dirty. The water park was FREEZING. They permanently closed the hot tub. I couldn't even tolerate the cold pool, so  leaving Amy andStephen  there I went back to my room to take a hot bath. The water in the tub came out yellow. The next morning Stephen and I went for our free hot breakfast, and the dining room was freezing too! No thanks, never again. We came home Monday morning without even taking another dip in the pool. 

Monday afternoon I got down to business sewing for the mystery. I know I'm leading this thing, but you all have to know I fly by the seat of my pants. I have no idea what's going to happen one day to the next. I didn't know I'd be working 7 days a week when I started the mystery. So just know I'm thankful for your patience with me. 

Here is as far as I got yesterday before I went to bed. Since all the little rows are sewn together, I know the rest of the parts will be quick to sew. I'm not super pleased with my directional fabric prints. They might prove interesting...if we can call it that. I love the colors though so no changing! I not sure if I'll get my other first dance one even started, since it's time for that to almost end. On a good note, I have three days off a week from now on so that equals sewing time! 

Now, one of the things I did this weekend was start thinking on business goals. Where do I want to go, what do I want to happen? 
First I started with the basics:
1)  I KNOW that someday I'll need to be back home full time. I'll need my business to support us when Jerry gets sick again. 

2) I know that I need to pay off as many bills as I can before then, so I need to work as long as I can. 

3) I still want my shop. The plans for Hillbilly Quilt Shop have changed a bit, adding a few things I think would help support it in this town off the beaten path. 

This weekend Jerry and I spent some time outside looking at our yard, and some empty lots available next to us. I also looked at a place that's available for rent. Weighing all options and our needs we decided to build right here on our property..but it's not ours yet and won't be until his disability gets approved. Our lease states we can't place any buildings on the property, but that's not stopping us from drawing it up, getting details on prices and preparing. 

In making plans, I'm really thinking out what I want to sell in the shop. You are going to laugh but I think it's going to have the name Hillbilly Quilt and Candy Shop. There are no other shops in this town. No gas stations. I'm going to bring in old time candy. It will be a hit with tourists and children alike! 
I'm also going to start making hand made items. Not a ton, but a few. I want a kitchen area where I sell things like apple butter, jams and jellies. I want to add in towels , both plain and embellished, hot pads made from Ahhhhs, and rag rugs to the candy and kitchen retail area. 

For the quilt shop, it will still specialize in paper piecing and hand embroidery. Only I'd really like to add in machine embroidered items as well. ( long term goal). I am considering making the building two floors with a classroom and fabric warehouse up top, I need to see if a ramp is feasible.  

Of course this is all future goals. Here in the now, I'm still working on my book plans. Forever wishing for that book aren't I? Do you know hand sewing takes forever? Well I get three days a week off a week now, ..can we say sewing time?! I'm hoping to plan the next mystery soon, only I'll pre blog and pre video for it before I even start it. I'm learning  folks! 

When we moved,  the flow of my things  just was not working. So this weekend I took everything out of my closet and off my walls. Besides working for Ozark Fabric today, I'll be working on this mess. 

Jerry is helping me get new better shelving so I can try to survive sharing my bedroom with clothes, fabric, quilt shop supplies, etc. I have TONS of patterns not placed on the website, because I couldn't easily get to them. I want to add new notions and floss but I need organized first. So today that is my goal. 

I'm going into November with much excitement. The new job opportunity to catch up bills and put away money for my goals just thrills me. ( although I don't like food service so I'm not sure the job itself thrills me) . I'm excited to have the time finally to get books underway and sewing finishes. 
I'm loving that my web site is gaining momentum and that my Ozark friends continue to support me so much. 

It's exciting to see even my husband getting behind me and supporting the new Quilt shop here at home. In just a minute he's taking me to the Amish outbuilding shop to see what my goal is going to cost me. That way I can go to work at the new job tomorrow with my goal in my head. 

I'm may run things differently than any quilter, designer, writer, instructor, shop owner than you've ever met, but I'm just a Hillbilly and I like it that way. 

P.s please comment and tell me what you think about the Hillbilly Quilt and Candy Shop complete with old fashioned candy, butters, jams and jellies, tea towels, hot pads and rag rugs. I seriously cannot wait.