Friday, December 2, 2016

Pansy Charity Quilt - Finish

 I didn't share this quilt yesterday with the others since it is different.  I had the Pansy fat quarters from an acquisition at some point.  I decided to cut 9" blocks and find some matching fabrics for simple patchwork. 

 I had originally let E do the layout.  It wasn't symmetrical enough for me, so I redid it.  I think she's still mad.  I did a scrappy border for the quilt of the fabrics in it.  Just trying to use things up around here. (insert maniacal laughter)
 The back is red yardage I've had forever.  It was pretty stiff sewing, but is soooo soft after washing and drying.
 I've been doing my basing on the table, when I can.  Easier than the floor.
 I wanted to talk a bit about the quilting.  I did large meander on each of the four quilts.  If you do it right you can quilt around the safety pins and then take them out at the end.  Much quicker. 
  More frankenbatting with this one and the final measurements are approx 40" x 57".  I will have to hold on to these until our next guild meeting, which is almost two months away!


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Double Pinwheel Blocks and Quilts - Three Finishes

Finally sitting down to write up some posts.  I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving (US).  I've enjoyed these past few days between Thanksgiving and Dec 1.  They've felt like a gift of extra days.  Now that December is here, its off to the races!

On to the subject at hand.  You'll remember I was doing lots of prep work and basting the week that our power was limited.  Then I did a bunch of quilting.  Over the holiday weekend I finished up four of the quilts.  Three of them are related and I'm going to talk details today.
 You will remember this quilt from a few months ago?  It was a gift for my niece.  The pattern is called Snowballed Pinwheel from Missouri Star Quilts.  I had enlarged it to use 10" squares instead of 5" charms.  When I did that, I knew with a bit of extra sewing I would be able to make extra blocks instead of making throw away fabric piles.
 Here are the pinwheels before the snowballs are added. 
 Each corner got a brown snowball.  Now, if you will notice I didn't just sew the corner to corner line, but added a second line of stitching.  This line should be .5" from the first, to leave you with two 1/4" seams.  So basically I sewed around each block twice.
 Then you can cut off those extra pieces that you've sewn.  I like this picture, coffee, phone and quilting.  Pretty much my life.
 This is the Snowballed Pinwheel block that went into the original quilt.
 This is what the bonus blocks turn into.  I ended up with a pile of blues and a pile of pinks.  They've been waiting around to be finished into charity quilts.  I made three.
 The blue one.  Finished around 50" square.  (my niece claimed this one, as well)

 The pink one. 37" square.

 Pink & Blue with big borders. 30" x 38".

  They were all quilted with a big meander.  I quilted each one in about an hour.  The bindings were all put on by machine.  The batting varies between the quilts.  I did do some frankenbatting - same types together!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Really Random Friday 11.18.16

 A bit of randomness today. 
I didn't use my sewing machine at all this week once the Falling Charms quilt was finished.  Our breaker box was failing, so we were low on electricity, plus lost water and heat for a few days.  Fortunately the weather has been unusually warm and everything was officially fixed yesterday afternoon.
I've been cutting out and basting things.  I'm ready to get quilting!
 A few short weeks ago a friend asked if I was interested in what she thought were flower petal fabrics from an older gentleman at church who had lost his wife.  I said I would take a look at them.  This is what it was! A pre-cut kit from the 1930s.  It was complete!  Never touched.  It had been opened out of the original bag and put into a ziploc, but even the original bag was inside. 
 These are the pattern and instructions.  You'll noticed they called it a Friendship Circle, rather than Dresden Plate. I had originally thought I would go ahead a piece it all, but in talking with a quilt historian I know, we are thinking it might be of more value to leave it as is.  We are investigating what to do.  If you have any knowledge or suggestions, I'd be happy to hear them.

 I picked up the Mondo Bag pattern.  Looking forward to making one, once I decide on fabrics to use...
 Also in regards to vintage fabrics - a lady of the quilt guild passed away and many of her items were set out for guild members to take home if they were so inclined.  I picked up the above fabrics - gave them a very thorough wash and airing. (grrr mothballs)
 And finally, this is Juniper the Apocolypticat.  She had been wandering our neighborhood for 2-3 weeks, without a home.  A neighbor drove up our driveway 2 Saturdays (tomorrow) ago to see if she was ours.  The girl's father wouldn't let her keep the cat.  I said we could keep her and if anyone was looking for her to send them our way.  No one has shown up, yet.  She is a clean 6-9 month old calico.  Sassy, though.  Has a lot to say and gets quite mad that we won't let her outside, so I suspect she is a barn cat that wandered off. She has gained quite a bit of weight since we got her, too.  Our other calico is not amused, and the big black cat doesn't care too much, unless she gets too close. The house does seem to be big enough for the three of them, at least, and she is even getting used to the dogs.

She is sitting in an open window this morning. What I am sure will be our last for a while, temperatures are going to drop later today and we will finally be seasonal. 

Have a great weekend everyone!  I'm looking forward to getting my sewing machine set up again.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

WIP Wednesday 11.16.16

How about a WIP Wednesday.  Actually, I feel like everything lately is a WIP.  I recently saw someone musing on the difference between a Work in Progress and a UFO - Unfinished Object.  For me the WIPs I'm actively working on - the UFOs are sitting in a box somewhere.

Anyway - since I'm not using my sewing machine this week due to some electrical work, I've been prepping things.
 Cutting scraps from The Mine Craft Quilt into squares- and putting the rest away.
 Basting one,
 and Four quilts (so far).  The three double pinwheels are all cut offs from This Quilt in March.

And I've cut out this shirt. This shot is of the wrong side of the fabric.  The right side is much brighter - it may be saved for Christmas, even though I had originally thought Thanksgiving.  Of course, I may not be sewing by Thanksgiving....

What are you working on?

Monday, November 14, 2016

Polka Dot Quilt

My daughter has a friend who was very recently diagnosed with Ideopathic Scoliosis.  The Ideopathic part means they don't know why.  She is scheduled for surgery this Wednesday.

When E came home with the news I asked if she wanted to make a quilt for her friend - there will be a fair amount of couch/bed recovery time.   Two weeks before surgery, E decided yes, so we quickly got to work.

I handed E my stack of Missouri Star Quilt Co magazines, because the patterns in there are fairly easy and straight forward, starting with pre-cuts.  Of all the patterns she could have chosen, she chose Falling Charms, which I had most recently used on this quilt.

 I had some charm packs of Riley Blake Polka Dots.
 Notice the number of charms in each bundle. This becomes important later.
Medium and small dots - and I went out and picked up more Kona White.  I seriously need to invest in some bolts....
I started cutting 2.5" strips and E started sewing, I pressed and trimmed, and we quickly had a pile of blocks.
 Laying the blocks out on the design wall my bed.  With help from our newest cat, Juniper- more on her another time.
 I promised myself I would let E lay them out however she wanted and not try to "fix" it. Its hard to see, but toward the top there are four blank spaces.  I had done the math, thinking each charm pack had 15 blocks.  They didn't, so we were four blocks short of a 10x12 layout.  After visiting all three stores in town that carry fabric, E picked out some pink and red that worked well enough - and we moved on.
 Laying on the rows to make sure everything was ok.  Found one mistake - its at the top of the picture if you want to look at it.  We got the whole top finished on election night.  It was going to be a late night anyway...
 The next morning I prepared the backing.  More polka dots.  These are from Joann, when I bought fabric at their closing.  That not matching block?  A signature block from the kids and adults at the girl's youth group.
 That afternoon I got to basting - with some help, and non-help.
Quilting is a loose wavy line along the zig-zags.  E didn't want much in the way of quilting, even to the point of asking me if we had to do quilting.  I explained that if I didn't, it would turn into a big, weird, lumpy bag/pillow thing.  I put the binding on by machine -partly for time and partly for sturdiness.  I was pleased with the wavy stitch. Also, I tried to talk E into a color binding, but she was having none of it. 
And so, a finish.  It ended up about 78" x 60".  Unfortunately I was unable to wash it before we had to gift it.  We are having some major electrical issues in the house right now, and since we have a private well, we have no running water right now. 
 It was great fun to gift it yesterday, and I even got a hug from the girl and tears from her mom. 

Friday, November 4, 2016

Efficiency - A Look Behind the Scene

 This quarter's theme had been my suggestion "I've got the blues".  I love blue in all its variations and had the theme as soon as I knew I had to suggest one.  I had originally though of something with music and raindrops - but after two visits to St. Louis and this floor, I knew what I wanted to do.

First I hit up the LQS for some watery background fabric.  While I have a lot of blues in the stash, no one big piece for something like this.
It was wavy vs. bubbly.  I went with wavy.
About two years a go a friend who was moving, gave me two paper grocery sacks of upholstery samples.  I pulled all the blues, fused wonder under to the backs and started cutting fish - free hand.
 And starting laying them out.  I did know that I wanted darker on the edges and lighter in the middle.
 In this picture you can see a couple things.  First, I moved everything on top of towels on the table, so I could iron on the table.  Second, I pushed the fish closer together.  This was when I decided that I wanted to add in more tiles for the edges around the fish.  I was originally thinking just the fish, but it wasn't quite the effect I was looking for.
 How I made the tile pieces.  I fused scraps of dark blues - something like 7-8 different fabrics of varying amounts - basically what I had laying around and guessing how much I might need in total.  Then I stacked them up and cut straight lines with the rotary cutter, moving the pieces around so they were not all the same shape and size. 
 If you ever decide to do something like this, make sure you peel the paper backing off first, before you do the slicing.  Ultimately less papers to pull off.

 Then I started laying down tile pieces, trying to make them fit the best I could.  Occasionally I would trim or cut to fit.  I can't imagine doing this for real tiles!
 Because of the varying fabric make-ups of the fish, I used a piece of parchment paper for pressing so I didn't wreck any of the fabrics.  Make sure to press as you go - a certain child walked by and knocked a bunch of tiles to the ground, not cool.  I was much more diligent after that about getting them at least tacked down in small groups.
 An in progress shot of my table.  After looking at this picture, I made the spaces between the tiles smaller.  I also filled in some open areas between the fish, as well.
 This shot is everything in place, ready for the next step;
 Choosing an overlay.  I didn't bring my quilt to the store, so it probably cost me more than necessary, but I bought four nettings to try out.
 I ended up using the upper left blue in this picture.  The navy was ok, but the I liked how the blue brightened it all up.  The light blue was too light and the pretty turquoise turned out to not be see through enough.
 As I mentioned in the reveal post, even Mr. Riley commented on how blue it turned with the net.
I did spray baste the backing, batting and top and then pinned the net over it all.  I don't ever use spray baste on its own.  I don't trust it. 

The binding is black - I did that to set off the blues of the quilt.

Two things I learned working on this quilt for you to keep in mind.
1. Make sure that everything is very solidly fused down before you start the quilting.  I had pieces trying to come off and move around after I started pushing the thing through the machine for quilting.
2. Quilting on the diagonal will distort your quilt.  It will.  Be prepared.  For this quilt, it wasn't a big deal, I just trimmed it back to square, but if it was a pieced quilt that needed to stay square, it would be something to keep in mind.