Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Work, work, work retreat

     Our guild has two retreats per year from Thursday to Sunday. Last weekend was one and I spent a lot of time packing quilts that just needed assembly. I also cut 8 pillowcases and sewed all. I had a little project I called Phony Dresdens for the participants, another woman did hanger covers out of fleece and another did zipper pouches. So, lots to do. Someone cooks the food and cleans it up. It is of cafeteria quality, but I am not there to eat. There is always our snack table...
     I have been having issues getting photos off my camera card in the laptop. I have to keep taking it in and out many times before it registers- doesn't matter the camera card. I also miss Picmonkey since it went the pay monthly route and have been using Pixlr which does not have a white balance. I need to find a good editor with just the basics. So, doing the blog has become frustration. I was not able to get the pillowcases or projects off, so another time.
    First, the exploding squares. One quilt started with 6" center squares, the other with 4". When I got the 6" one home on the wall, I thought it needed a border and put one on. I think the 4" one may need another row although I have no more right now.
4" center square start
6" center square start
With 3" cut border

     I had some leftover squares from a MSQC pattern, Disappearing Hour glass, so I added some sashing and a border for another comfort quilt. I brought border fabric which did not work, but a visiting quilt store brought some yardage with a demo and I found the right one.

     The diagonal variations also was sewn and I decided to stay stitch 1/8" around the perimeter to help it stay truer when I put it on the long arm. Hope it helps.

     Alas, I could not assemble Sapphire Stars because I was short two blocks with yellow triangles. I know I made enough as I recounted them, but nowhere to be found. I made the two blocks last night and sewed the large large block so I can start sewing on the sashing.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Wild diagonals

     I have made this pattern before, but this time I used a black jelly roll I got on sale a while ago and a batik strip jelly roll sitting around. It is Diagonal Variations that I found at
My mom sewed the long strips- two sets- black color black, and color black color and then into a tube (sewn on the sides of the sets). I cut them into triangles that open up into squares. They sat for a while because I trimmed the last squares 1/4" smaller than the rest of them and could not make the decision to either make the quilt smaller or trim all the other squares. Finally, I trimmed them all and laid it out. It looks a bit wild.
    For the next 4 days I will be at a quilt retreat and hope to get this sewn together as well as other tops. They feed us, we sew and sleep- what is not to like about that?

All the trims

Friday, November 3, 2017

Mired in odd and ends

     I feel like I am slogging in slow motion. I am attempting to finish a whole bunch of languishing projects. I finished sewing our guild's mystery quilt and so the top is done. The reveal is not until January, so I am only showing the center block on the off chance someone from the guild looks at my blog. I am trying to cut and kit together about 9 other projects to take to our guild retreat next week so I all I will have to do is sew a lot of these UFOs together. So, math is involved and scrounging fabric and wondering what the heck I was doing the last time I worked on it. 

      Someone from the guild asked me to quilt her veterans quilt for our deadline on Monday. I sort of forced it in and for the life of me, I can not just quilt long lines all over. I chalk them in, and just can't do it- I have to add other things in each area. I used Military Gold glide. I did not trim it as she was going to trim and bind it. Hard to quilt someone else's quilt.

Sorry, not enough light to take a good photo of the back

Monday, October 30, 2017

Red White Blue Lightning

     I made this string quilt a while ago, but it has been sitting on a hanger waiting to be quilted. My grandson asked me for a quilt for his uncle Greg who is a veteran and coming to a Veteran Day Assembly at his grade school. Ethan chose this one and I quilted it in sort of a no nonsense, not fussy patterns. 
     The backing needed piecing because I wanted to stay with the RWB theme. I tried a bunch of layouts on my kitchen floor and sewed it up. I could not get any glamour shots because of the weather, so I will try for one outside when it improves. Sorry for the blurry front.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Love the indigo, but...

      I have a good friend who is a quilter and a former art teacher, like me. We are program co-chairs for our quilt guild. She has been wanting to indigo dye some fabric. Me, I would rather buy it from a dyer like Vicki. She bought a kit and white fabric and told me I needed to do it so we could share our experience with our guild. I stalled all summer and, finally, acquiesced last week. We bundled, clamped, rubber banded, etc. yards of Kona white ppd. We followed the directions and it is quite a miracle how yellow green water makes indigo when you pull the fabric out. 
     I am sharing some of the photos here as I tried to document what we did, but wet gloves and hurrying got them out of order. I did not include the too much white ones. Our biggest issue: folded fabric doesn't let the dye penetrate enough. We did not want much white fabric left. We wanted more indigo color. Elizabeth also stitched some designs, and they did not show up well. I loved the wine bottle shiboris. One I wrapped horizontally and scrunched down and the other, on a diagonal.
     So, okay, here is the rub: How do I cut these up for quilting without losing the designs? I am not making a quilt out of these as panels. Big HSTs? Just squares. I don't know. I do love the indigo color but I am wondering if using indigo color fiber reactive dye might work better. I think if I can get past the how do I use it, I might make- or rather buy- more indigo dyed fabric.

Diagonal wrap on bottle
Horizontal wrap on bottle

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

A surprise tree of life

     A woman in my Sunday Bible class, brought me a top she found in her recently deceased mom's trunk. She had no idea who made it, but she thinks someone in her family. I have known the woman for a long time, so I said I would quilt it for her mom's sake. I hardly ever quilt for anyone. 
     When I got home, I took it outside to air and was delighted to see the beautiful tree of life in indigo fabrics (love, love indigo). It is all handsewn, but has a few small holes in the red and a few in the blue. Have to figure out how to mend it before I load it on the long arm. If I could find some Invisifil thread, the quilting would just add texture not color. I think I  will use an unbleached muslin backing or a bone color Kona.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Two for further progress

     The two quilts I worked on in Bonnie Hunter's workshops are nowhere near finished. I did get all 20 blocks for Pineapple Blossom done, but I have decided to add sashing. I was going to make it bigger using 36 blocks, but I think I just want it done.
Just blocks

Needs cornerstones (neutrals)
     Not as much progress on Texas Braid as the pieces are smaller and not as much chain sewing. We did sew two of the same facing rows as leader/enders and then after lunch alternated sewing the other facing row ones. Just takes longer.
     Someone for show and share brought these two Scrappy Trips, big and small, that I absolutely fell in love with- still after a week!