The Penultimate School Supply

Fountain Pens

Since my first days of kindergarten, I have been a school supply junkie.  I love ALL school supplies: from Crayolas to notebooks, paper clips to labeling machines.

Fountain Pens

But without a doubt, the PEN-ulitmate school supply is The Fountain Pen…It is the diamond earrings of school supplies.  Everything you write with a fountain pen seems more important…

Fountain Pens

You know I am kidding right?  Fountain pens are just fun!

Fountain Pens

I like the balance and feel of a fountain pen in my hand.

Fountain Pens

The cases and nibs are beautiful.

Fountain Pens

So, the next time you write a letter,

Fountain Pens

Treat yourself to a fountain pen!

You might also like:  The Art of Saying Thank You

WIP Wednesday-Umbrella Quilts

Free Motion Quilting, Umbrellas,

The weather in Minnesota has been, well…miserable!  The temperature has hovered between 20-and 35 degrees F all month and we’ve had three days of snow this week...When it isn’t snowing—it’s raining!  The good news…I’ve had a lot of time to quilt!

But even when I’m quilting…

Free Motion Quilting, Umbrellas,

I’m thinking about the weather!

Free Motion Quilting, Umbrellas,

I am still getting to know my new sewing machine…(Read more here)

Free Motion Quilting, Umbrellas,

And I find it has a different “feel” than my old machine–and a different sound, too!  Isn’t funny how one gets used to the sound of the machine…

Free Motion Quilting, Umbrellas,

I added some “wind” to the umbrella quilts… and in a note of optimism, I stitched flowers in the blue quilt.

Free Motion Quilting, Umbrellas,

Now I wish they would magically bind themselves…

Next week’s Tuesday Tutorial:  Open and Closed Umbrellas

Also, I have had a few requests to do a tutorial on The Flame stitch which is a part of the Fleur de lis motif from yesterday’s tutorial.  Watch for that soon.

If you like the tutorials, please do me a favor….send warm and sunny thoughts this way!

Tuesday Tutorial: The Fleur-de-lis

Fleur de lis, Free Motion Quilting Tutorial,

Today is Tuesday and it is time for another free motion quilting tutorial!  Today we will be working on the classic Fleur-de-lis (or lily flower) motif.  We have two motifs today:  The Basic Fleur-de-lis and The Deluxe Fleur-de-lis.

Let’s start with The Basic Fleur-de-lis.

Fleur de lis, Free Motion Quilting Tutorial,

I always begin with two drawn lines or “rails“.  They can be any size that fits your quilt.  For this tutorial, the rails were 1 inch apart.  Begin in the center of the rails and stitch a right Downward Curl.  (Find that tutorial here.)  When stitching the curls, make your first curl (the inner curl) small and the outer curl larger:

Fleur de lis, Free Motion Quilting Tutorial,

After you complete the right downward curl, stitch a left downward curl–Use the rails and try to keep your curls within the marked lines—“Stay in the lines.  The lines are your friends…”

Next, stitch a “Flame Stitch”.  I haven’t posted a tutorial on the Flame Stitch, if anyone would like one, please let me know…

Fleur de lis, Free Motion Quilting Tutorial,

The basic Flame Stitch looks like this:

Fleur de lis, Free Motion Quilting Tutorial,

For The Basic Fleur-de-lis, add a curvy line through the center of the Flame which will allow you to begin at the base of the next fleur-de-lis.

Fleur de lis, Free Motion Quilting Tutorial,

TIP-The Downward Curls and the Flame Stitch all meet near the middle of this motif.  Be careful to offset them so that you do not overlap your stitches.  When stitches overlap, the quilting gets  “thready” which is messy looking.

Fleur de lis, Free Motion Quilting Tutorial,

The Basic Fleur-de-lis:

Fleur de lis, Free Motion Quilting Tutorial,

For The Deluxe Fleur-de-lis, replace the curvy line in The Flame Stitch with two One-Pass Circles.  (See the tutorial here.)

Fleur de lis, Free Motion Quilting Tutorial,

After you complete the entire row of this motif, echo-stitch on both sides of the pattern.

The Deluxe Fleur-de-lis:

Fleur de lis, Free Motion Quilting Tutorial,

Fleur de lis, Free Motion Quilting Tutorial,

Tomorrow:  It has been raining cats and dogs for the past two days, so tomorrow’s Work in Progress is a small Umbrella quilt.

Next Week’s Tuesday Tutorial:  Umbrellas for you!

Thank you to all who continue to pin on Pinterest and re-blog.  Our sewing circle gets wider every day–and this week we met hundreds of new readers including many from the Russian Federation.   Thank you to  http://www.darievna.ru  who re-blogged the Easter Egg Tutorial. (I have to find a translator program to read it, but thank you!)

Note: All the photos and tutorials are for personal use only.  No commercial use…(I hope to publish a book some day…)