Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

 Some of our most loyal fans know our secret... shhhhh.
We are FROM San Francisco but currently located in Plymouth, Massachusetts. We hope that doesn't cause you shock and disappointment-- we're still in "the city by the bay."

Plymouth may not be as glamorous as SFO,
but it's been a case of "Bloom Where You're Planted" for us. And it does have its fun, especially on Thanksgiving Day! We actually made 7th on a list of "Most Overrated Places to Visit," even beating out the famous location below!

Yes, this is our claim to fame-- a rock!

This is supposedly where the Pilgrims set foot when disembarking from the Mayflower. We're skeptical, but it does have its own history now. See that crack in the middle? That happened when the British tried to forcibly take it away from the colonists, because it was a powerful symbol of freedom. I can just picture the two sides pulling on it like a tug of war, then having it split in half while everyone falls backwards! Truly, a great moment in history.
It is currently enshrined in a monument on Water Street, to prevent tourists from chipping pieces off.

The Saturday before Thanksgiving, our Rock puts its red sneakers on, and they let it out of the cage for a parade.

Now you don't see that at Macy's do you?

So, we just wish you a Happy Thanksgiving...
it's the same meal, but always a little bit different circumstances for each one of us, year to year. We are having a quiet one with just the four of us. We sincerely hope wherever you may be, you have much to be thankful for today.


San Francisco Stitch Co.,
from "America's Hometown"

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Dot Zero

Yesterday was the first day that it was absolutely freezing here--
after weeks of Indian summer, it dropped down to 28. 
So it is officially time to hunker down in our cabins!

I treated myself to a little recreational sewing-- those of you who know me best, know I have my business which is sewing, and my hobby, sewing. "Dot Zero" is definitely hobby sewing-- I'm planning on entering a challenge next year, and if it comes out the way I have it in my head, it will head to other shows too-- ones that have a "whimsical" category.

The challenge is to use polka dot fabrics-- I really don't like polka dots and don't own any polka dot fabrics (except for my beloved grunge). But that didn't stop me-- I decided to make my own dot fabric by stitching together "snowballs," and, of course, embroidering dots.
So 156 snowballs later, here's where we are.

 After thinking about it, there is one "dot" I really love, and that's the one that's going to be in the middle-- can you tell what it is?

Yes, please.
It's that spot I gaze into every morning.

This was a coffee art mug rug I designed a couple of years ago-- 
I always wanted to make a bigger piece with it, and the one I embroidered for "Dot Zero" is 7 inches wide. 
It looks so realistic!


Don't ya wanna just wake up and smell it!

I want this quilt to be beautifully pieced. Most of my quilts are all about the embroidery, but I've been piecing for much longer than I have embroidering. Here's a couple of things I've learned.

The key to great piecing is pressing your seams the right way. If you are buying a pattern and it doesn't have pressing diagrams, move on. For the snowball seams to "nest," you have to make "innies" and "outies" as shown with the seams above-- very much like belly buttons.

Pinning and starch and two other great ingredients for perfect piecing. Sometimes when you pin, you are only looking at the top seam-- but you really need to look at the whole patch. That's why in the photograph above, it looks like just one patch is there-- but really there are two, perfectly placed on top of each other, paying attention to all four sides. You will be able to feel when the seams are in perfect alignment if you press correctly.

I am making bigger blocks of nine. So once I have the rows together, I make sure the seams in alternate rows are pointing opposite ways. That insures the rows will also nest.

Seams with a lot of fabric should be pressed open.

 And there it is! Perfect piecing just does my heart good. But, of course, I only do it after I've had my coffee!! XOX

So that's my homage to caffeine.
After I have it sewn together, the quilting will all be drawn, digitized, and machine embroidered. Quilting should be so much more than decoration-- it needs to add more to the story. So there's a few surprises still in store. I like to draw people in to my quilts, and if you look closely, you'll be rewarded!

So if you ever see one of my quilts, pressing your nose up to it is highly encouraged! Maybe I'll even rub it with coffee grounds for extra points...