Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Bunches of Landscape Cards

     Since I finished the new treadle redo, I used the Singer 237 to make some cards. I used a 10 x 10" piece of heavy wt interfacing, layered it with a 10 x 10 batting, and layered scraps of batiks to make lots of landscape type areas. I put a watersoluble interfacing piece over the top and zig zagged the whole top with invisible monofilament thread (YLI) to hold it all in place. Then, I used black Gilde and added details in FMQ. After the sandwich was all quilted, I rinsed the interfacing away and cut the 10 x 10 into many smaller pieces, which I glued on cardstock. I was tempted to leave the piece whole, but I really needed some cards to send. I thought I took a photo of the fabric before I cut it up, but it was not on the camera. 
Watersoluble sandwich on treadle

Grand Illusions Shattered

    A couple of weeks ago, I took all my Grand Illusion blocks and put them up on my design wall, all except the whole border, just a couple of pieces on the the left, as my wall was not big enough. I turned my back and walked away 6 feet, turned and looked. I had to gasp for air. It was a total whirl of motion and I could feel a migraine would start if I kept looking. The wall looked like whirring food processor blades. Although I had seen photos of the quilt on the computer, almost 88" of it was overwhelming. 
   Don't get me wrong- I love Bonnie Hunter and her work. This is not any kind of slam. This was just a chaotic, whirlwind of pieces. I took off the green and neutral checkerboard and it helped somewhat. I tried a whole lot of colors in the sashing. I asked for advice from experience quilters. I put it away.
   Later on, I will take it out, probably use yellow sashing and make two comfort quilts out of it. The checkerboard blocks I will either use in a border or on a back. I have no idea what to do with the 80 border blocks yet. I am taking the no more mystery quilt vow right now.
   I did learn some precision piecing and assembly. If the quilt was smaller, I would feel better about not wasting fabric.
Yikes, it is coming to get me!
Maybe all yellow borders, leave/leave out the blue cornerstones?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Triumph! Celebrate!

     Yes! I finished the treadle resuscitation! October of 2013, I bought a treadle cabinet that was, um, rough. It had a Lotus in it which I am still trying to rejuvenate. The reason I bought it was to have a zig zag treadle. I bought a Singer 237 from Elizabeth in November of 2013 and serviced that. I loved hers when I visited her in September 2013.
      I could only refinish in warm type weather as I had to do all that work outdoors due to fumes. It was very time intensive and my husband was sanding the garage a good deal of the summer; then rebuilding the patio, limiting my space and depositing much dust. Irons were cleaned and painted. After all the old finish was taken care of (used Formby's Refinisher), I used Minwax Antique Oil finish. Did not like it. Then I used tung oil, glossy finish. Much better, but I learned something: Buy the treadle cabinet in the absolute best condition you can afford. Your time is more precious, especially when you would rather be quilting.
     Finally, my husband had time to screw it together and lug it upstairs. I plopped the machine in, put on the rubber belt, and sewed! I used the zig zag to stitch down many scraps of batik to make art cards with invisible thread, and then freemotioned on it with black Glide. It was flawless. Treadle triumph!! This treadle joins my parlor cabinet Singer 15 Tiffany. They are back to back in my sewing studio, aka old living room.
    Still have a few pieces of trim to glue back on.

With first project done!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Made fabric and Flowering Snowball block

    I love making made fabric from scraps. I usually do this on the treadle when I need something mindless. I also love curves and have been wanting to make a double wedding ring, but have held off for now. The other day when I was browsing the Modern Quilt block site on Flickr, I saw this beautiful quilt. I asked the poster what it was and she wrote that it is called the flowering snowball. I googled it and found a pattern. I tried two different colors for the curves- yellows and black and white prints. I think I will stick with these for now. I used template plastic, but may buy plexiglass ones.
   After doing all those curves in Circle Dance, this is a piece of cake. I don't even use a pin.

Cutting and cutting and have to stop!

      One of my goals is to tame the pile of fabric that is smaller than a fat quarter in the corner of my counter. It is sorted by batiks, childrens, and everything else. It makes me crazy. I use Bonnie Hunter's scrap saving system. The best thing is to cut the scraps right after you are done cutting out whatever. However, people give me a lot of scraps (Yay!) and they go into the piles. I hate taking the time from a project to cut. 

     For the past couple of days, I set up the ironing board in the kitchen and took my scrap strip bins that had random sizes and started to make set sizes. All of the 2 1/2" strips go in the flatter plastic boxes by color and stacked. The 3 1/2" strips go into a drawer in the Iris cabinet. The 2 1/2", 5", 3.5", and 2" squares each get a drawer in the cabinet. I started a bin for 1 1/2" and one for 2" strips, but not sorted by color. I actually filled 4 of those plastic bags from the grocery store with trimmings for this, so I must have done something. The pile looks a little smaller. I did not even get to the batiks. I think I can make scrap quilts now. Need more blades. I use the June Tailor shape cutter and the new Stripology ruter. I cut some on my counter and some in the kitchen. Anything to keep going.
All 2 1/2" strip boxes done by color
3 1/2" strips by light, medium and dark piles
Overflowing box of 5" squares by light, medium and dark.
Need a bigger box or more sewing.
The last cutting- leftovers from the backing of Circle Dance.
Hate cutting these, but it's fabric, right?
Blue, purple and green 2 1/2" strips
Neutrals, blacks, whites 2 1/2" strips
2" bin on left, 1 1/2" bin on right
     I was sewing Grand Illusion in between cutting to keep my sanity and I have all 25 blocks sewn and am working on connecting the green square strips now. I don't think I can cut scraps for a while joyfully.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Border makes it better!

     After dragging the top to the local quilt store, I chose a border fabric. After cutting and sewing it on, it makes a huge improvement to the overall look of the small Lemoyne star quilt. I think the yellow and the made fabric look stronger. Glad I persevered.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Grand Illusion in the Box!

    After considerable hours of sewing (on the Singer 15-91 and Featherweight) and cutting and mild curses, all of the Grand Illusion pieces are ready for assembling. This box represents so much time. As the clues went on, I did improve in the triangle piecing and cutting. The Easy Angle ruler really did help. I think it is so much more precise that sewing the diagonals on a square and cutting in half. It took some practice. Clue 4 looks a lot better than the earlier triangles. Unfortunately, they are all going in the same quilt.
    I assembled one block to see how the other 24 will look. The only cutting yet is the 2" yellow border. I can't yet preview how the border will look. I am amazed that I am this far. I do love the colors and use of scraps.
It is all in there, the whole top
The first block laid out