Friday, September 25, 2015

Let the Shindig Begin!


Here's a little Hillbilly opening number to get you in the mood. Get your tap shoes on and get your groove going!




You see..I had to post that dance because I PROMISED this Mystahhhhry would be via YouTube. But, quite frankly, I have nothing to film for the first clue..you all already know what the clue is!

CLUE ONE: 


Yep...take them big ol diamonds (well just six of them)... and make a star out of them. Then take your other big diamonds and baste them really good...then stick them somewhere to keep them safe. (I use gallon size zipping freezer bags.)

NOW IF YOU DO NOT KNOW HOW TO SEW/STITCH THESE TOGETHER, then please, please take a moment to watch my video called "EPP: Sewing Simplified". I explained it about as simple as I know how and I think it will answer most of your questions. It is very important that you sew your star in two halves before sewing it into a star. I talk about that in the video.

You can view the video RIGHT HERE. 



CLUE TWO: 

After you get all your large diamonds basted, then you can begin basting your large triangles with your fabric that you chose as your setting fabric. You don't have to baste them all at once and can work on them throughout our project.

I am so happy that even though I had a design change, I don't have to take out all the basting on my large triangles, and can use the same fabric with the peacocks.
 I keep basting work handy for when I am in the car or watching my boy play outside. I like taking basting on the go with me more than I do my stitching. 



CLUE THREE: 

Now I know that many of you already have your diamonds done, or at least basted so we won't wait very long for the next step. Normally I will NOT release them this quickly so don't worry those of you that are not ready yet! Our next clue will be released October 1st. 



Want to see some of the stars people have been working on? I know some of you follow this blog and don't go to the Facebook group..so here are some for your viewing pleasure. This first one is how I decided to sew my peacocks together, then the rest of them are just from a variety of people in the group. I posted everyones that had one made up to the point of writing this post.
Aren't they wonderful? Bet ya can't resist trying one before this is all over!
























Monday, September 21, 2015

How to Glue Baste for EPP. (lots of photos alert!)

While I have already recorded a couple of videos on the glue basting technique, there are those that learn better via blog/ photos.
I try to teach in a very step by step style so I think this will help alot of you that have been asking questions. 

Don't forget our Mystahhhhry Along with Hillbilly starts the 25th..only a few days away!
You don't have to do a SINGLE THING right now except pick out your fabric, but so many folks are working ahead and anxious to go.
The Mystahhhhry Along with Hillbilly Group is gaining excitement with people posting photos of fabric and stars!
(Remember we are only making ONE star!!)

Anyway lets get started. 

To prepare my fabric I starch and press TWICE with professional non flaking starch.
I don't use Best Press. It is not stiff enough to make me happy.
( You can view my little boy teaching all about fabric prep RIGHT HERE on YouTube.
Go ahead. Watch it. He's too cute to pass up!)


After fabric prep I make sure I am well stocked up on sewing glue sticks and refills.
I am pretty picky about my glue. I prefer the pink glue instead of the blue.
Bad thing is I have a bunch of blue on hand (I save the pink for you all that order it off my website.)
So my glue pen looks all gross in the photos. Well, the blue glue is a gloppy mess compared to pink so that's how it goes.
At the time of this writing I am out of glue in my shop, but within 18 hours more will be arriving via FedEx to save us and you can find it available for purchase RIGHT HERE.

Now, enough prep, let's get to the process.

I starch my fabric from the backside, and work from the backside.
This is why I never use templates. Or viewing windows.
I just use my fabric, my glue stick, and my paper piece to work.

I don't usually have any idea how my fussy cutting will turn out when I am working. I like the surprise for one and for two..most importantly... I can't tell from the front where I will find the perfect glue points. So I just work from the back and enjoy my surprise.
Confused... just watch:

Looking at this little peacock here.
NON symmetrical by request.
I grab my paper piece and start trying to find little points that I can line it up easily time after time for each fussy cut. I am usually happy if I just get three of the four sides of the diamond. You will rarely find the perfect spot on all four sides. Sometimes I can only get two points..and in that case I just am very, very careful to be exact each time. 



The middle dot in the flower below is the top point of my diamond. 



I often use "edges".  If a point doesn't really go anywhere I look for an edge that my paper piece can line up with a fabric design edge.
In the photo below, the right side of my diamond will be lining up with the bottom edge of that yellow flower. 



Now I do love it when I find little points on my fabric. For the bottom part of my diamond I'll be lining up the bottom point  or "V" of that peacock feather (pink circle at the bottom of the photo). 



Now is when I get sloppy. SO MANY people in the EPP world are always saying, "Don't use very much glue". Well, true if using school glue. But if using sewing glue, on this huge diamond, GLOP that stuff on. I like zig zag and cover the entire diamond. (Not just in the middle as shown.)
WHY? Well because I did all that work to line everything up perfectly and I for sure don't want it to come unglued. It's happened. More than once. It made me sad.
So, I ignore everyone else in the EPP world, do my own Ms Hillbilly Thang and I cover that sucker.
(It still pops off easily later.) 



Turn it over, stick it on those points and you are good to go!
Now you just cut it out. 



At first I cut it out a bit messy just to get it away from the rest of the fabric.



Then I go back and eyeball 1/4" allowance, cleaning up the edges a bit.
You don't have to. I just can't live with a messy edge. It bugs me. 



Alrighty now we are going to glue.
To glue, you can either glue on the paper itself, or the fabric.
I tried gluing to the fabric for awhile, and some like that way better.
Ms Hillbilly likes gluing on paper.



One thing, no matter which way you go, is you cannot glue right on the edge. Leave that edge (shown with the pink arrows) of the paper unglued so that you can sew more easily through it later. 



Now just start gluing. One single line is enough. Start with your diamond/fabric top at the top EVERY single time. Then glue on the right side.
Stick that puppy down.
DON'T TUG ON IT! Just bend it over and glue.




Rotate counter clockwise once and glue the second edge. 



Rotate counter clockwise again and glue the third edge. 



Once you get the fourth edge done, turn it over and look how pretty! 



By always starting at the top, and working your way counter clockwise around, your little taggies on the bottom of the diamonds will fit together nicely when you get ready to piece your quilt. 



See? All tucked in nice and neat. 



Now, I don't usually glue the edges until after I've basted all mine down. (Unless I want to try just one to see if it meets my satisfaction. )
I actually take my first basted one and line it right up next to where I am working for the second one so that I can use it for a reference.
(Lay down and look at this photo. My ipad didn't want to turn it right no matter how I tried. ) 



Now, of my little peacocks above, I only had enough for 6 of my diamonds.
So I had to pick a different spot for my other 6.
This Mr. Peacock faces the other direction, which means he totally messes up my reference points.
I had to make some new ones.
 


I have no idea where the photos to the new  those went.
I probably random messaged them to somebody on Fb.
Sorry whoever got random peacock photos.
The point is I had to make new points.
And either way, they were not symmetrical and still look pretty neat.

Here are the first six peacocks, whatcha think?



Or there are the second six, like them better? 



Or here is every other one.
I'm not a fan. I will use one of the two above.
Will let you know which on the 25th!




Friday, September 18, 2015

Mirror Play

Even though we have not officially started the Mystahhhry clues yet, everyone knows that 6 of the 12 large diamonds create a center star. So when the first clue releases Sept. 25th...I'll probably release the second clue as well. 

I never use a quilters design mirror because I like the element of surprise when I sew my pieces together. I am almost always pleasantly surprised at the kaleidoscope I was thinking would turn out well. 

For my shop, a prebuy of beautiful fabric just arrived.  I could not help taking some photos for you. The photos are a bit muted as this is a soft print. In person it is beautiful! After testing a bunch of different prints, I do believe this will be my choice for this quilt. I like that its not my normal "blue" and that it's a softer look than I normally use. My husband might actually like this quilt! (He doesn't share my love of making kaleidoscopes. ) 

If you would like to purchase some, I looked at my distributor and it is already sold out. Fabric. com only has a few left as well..and I mean a very few. At the time of this writing they only had 12 yards. 
So.. you gotta be fast. It is called Tuscan Wildflower by Robert Kaufman. 

First of all let's look at the mirror: 

It is just basically two small mirrors (an 8 x 10 would work) taped together.
The one I am using I spent way too much for on a quilt website.


I especially spent too much considering I've barely used it and the tape is coming off, there at the hinge.
Save yourself money, go buy some small mirrors and hinge them with duct tape.


You need to use whatever paper piece you will be sewing with to gage the distance to open your mirrors. This will give you the exact degree, for the exact amount of repeats.
(If machine sewing then just make a quick template from paper).


Now for this first group, I am going to let the photos do the talking.
But I started at the top of the purple area just to the left of the center (bottom) of the photo.


Then I took photos, moving the mirror just an inch or so up each time. 






Then I moved over to a different repeat, this time just above that cream area in the top center of this photo: 



And I took photos working my way back down the print:








I have NO IDEA which diamond/star I will make.
I need to ship some orders and do some other things for my Ozark Fabric group today before I can play.
You will know for sure on the 25th..cuz I sort of have to decide before then!

Now hurry and buy this it Fabric. com if you want some! I've been watching MSQC and haven't seen them post it yet but hoping they do. I want some coordinates... and its cheaper for me to go there!
Otherwise I'll be meeting you at the other place to buy some as well.

Now I have to go hide these mirrors. They distract me!
Did I ever tell you I love kaleidoscopes?