Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Purple, Black and Horses?

      When I asked a mom to tell me what her daughter liked so I could make her a comfort quilt, she said, "Purple, Black, and Horses." Yikes, I did not have any of those fabrics. I am sure Alycia would know what to do about the horses, but I started browsing fabrics. I have been supporting Quilted Twins because of their dedication to helping Ukranian refugees, both with quilts from the US and supplies from Becky in Poland. So, I started with them and found a line of fabric by Ann Lauer called Horsin' Around. I admit that I am not a big fan of that style fabric, but this quilt is for a young girl that is. I ordered three whites and three blacks, two panels- one black, one white, and purple and blue background fabric all from the same line. I hardly ever do that, but I thought it was necessary for this project.
    The pattern that I used, Crown and Anchor, was one that I had made some sample blocks using indigos. I thought it would work well. Instead of the recommended fat quarters for the quilt, I tried to use the panel horses for the center columns and the different yardages for the two outer columns. I even drew up a nice graph paper map. I numbered the fabrics and tried to proceed in an orderly fashion.

     Maybe it was the roofing job going on, maybe it was the infected dry socket from a tooth extraction, but there was mental confusion, and I had the hardest time cutting the pieces to go in the right places. Eventually, I just cut out all the pieces for one block before I cut for another and put them on the wall.  Complicating matters was there was not enough purple available for all the background, so I had to use the blue and cut very carefully. For whatever reason, this was one tough quilt to put together. It measures 64 x 81 before binding.

With a small border so the points won't end up in the binding

    So, finally all sewn together. I luckily found, on sale for $3 a yard locally, the small tossed horse print for the backing. I can't believe how hard this was for me to get all in place. I am satisfied with it, but I don't love it. I am not making this pattern again. Yes, I know, I discovered a big smudge on the camera lens when downloading all the photos which is why there is a blur in all the photos in the lower right.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Another one found its home

      A little while back, Quiltdiva Julie sent me some tops to finish as comfort quilts. As soon as one gets finished, a request comes in.

A great combo

This past weekend was no exception. I finished Blithe, a man from my cardiac rehab group, who had a heart transplant 12 years ago, received a kidney last week at the Cleveland Clinic. They let him come home to Buffalo for the weekend, and then he had to go back on Monday.
     I had just finished quilting Blithe and binding it. I quickly scrambled to make a bag, card and wash the quilt so I could deliver it to him Saturday morning. I had to move so quick that I did not get get a shot of the bag with quilt block pocket or the quilt package. I thought I had, but no. It has been a crazy two weeks because we got a new roof and they were here for 2 weeks hammering, etc. and flattening my garden. I also had a tooth pulled that was just filled and it got infected, so I have been barely under the radar.

     I quilted it in the same pattern on the solid blues, but a different pattern in each row of light values. Julie provided the wonderful back. 

     Ron certainly looked terrible when I dropped the quilt off and I am praying the kidney will kick in and do what we mostly take for granted every day.

    Thanks to Julie, I was ready for this call.
     And I realized after unloading a lot of photos, that I had a huge smear on the lens which is why the photos look odd in the lower right.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Fire and Ice all jelled

      I bought 2 great jelly rolls of an Anna Marie Horner line that I thought would work for Fire and Ice. I followed the instructions to the T, marked everything with blue painting tape, measured 4 times, then cut. When I tried to lay out the first set of strip sets, the right pattern did not emerge. I asked my husband, can you see where I went wrong. He took the strips, looking at the pattern photo,  figured out the pattern and the result was I had to reattach the tube strips and correct the  numbers so that the opening strip numbers would work. The first part of the pattern, the top, took a long time to get right. The second half, the bottom, was a lot easier as I used the correct numbers I had jotted down on the pattern. I still can't figure out where I could have gone wrong from the original pattern numbers. The segment sizes were correct, but the numbers for ripping out between were not.

     Now, I do need to put a border on it because I do not want all those seams in the binding. I have no idea what fabric or color to use to showcase all the movement, and not take away from the design. I am happy with how it sewed up.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

The star finally shines

      A project that had sat too long and needed to be met head on is a kit that I bought (rarely ever buy kits, but the price was so cheap for Hoffman digital fabric) for the Big Chevron Star. The pattern was confusing and I needed to make freezer paper pattern pieces in order to get the star points to sew and work properly. I can't just measure with rulers and get pieces to come out on diagonals reliably, but hey, that is probably just me.
     The part where I got stuck and the whole thing ended up in bag was when I started to add the background. It was floppy and not meeting up and it looked like a disaster.
      Recently, one of my good and knowledgeable friends and I met up and I brought the offending bag and asked for help. When we laid it out, it became apparent that I had not goofed, but the layout was goofy and needed some unusual trimming to work out. I got my head wrapped around that and worked on the background for each blade and assembled the whole thing into kind of a awkward looking top, but then was able to carefully trim and the top emerged. I added the top and bottom borders and now it looks great. Nice size comfort quilt.

See the wonky looking sections trying to come together?

Monday, April 25, 2022

Rippity rip rip solution

      Time for reckoning. This quilt top has sat in a ball in a bag long enough. It has to be dealt with. It is from back in Feb. 2020. It had a nasty curve and uneveness making it unusable. After dealing with another difficult quilt to fix, I waded into this one. I decided not to cut it into smaller blocks, but try to deal with it as it was. The pattern is free from Jo's Country Junction
     The story:
     I decided to unstitch a number of the worst looking curving seams  and press all the strips. I divided the quilt in about 5 parts. I searched through the stash and found strips that I could make 5 more sets of strips so I could add some good ones to help the curving. The seams I took out were very uneven due to the issues described in the archived blog. I repressed and restitched carefully. The long seams are too much for my mother who speeds everything under the needle to the allowance detriment.
     After some hours, I was able to rotate the quilt so now the strips go side to side and the added 5 strips plus a white one top and bottom make it long enough for a comfort quilt. I kept carefully sewing, pressing, flipping strips, alternating directions sewing the strips and finally, I was able to trim the quilt evenly and it presses FLAT!!!  I cannot believe I actually fixed it. It will make a great man's comfort quilt. Now to find a backing.

Monday, April 11, 2022

New Storage and refolding and rethinking

      I got this brain wave a few weeks ago about replacing the white bookcase that had my 1/2 yd. to 2 yard pieces in it as the shelves were too high and did not make good use of the space in the room. However, I was thwarted by a wrong order from Overstock that took over 2 weeks to clear up and put behind me. My husband extracted a promise from me that I would never buy furniture online again.
     So, in his woodshop, he made me a great storage unit. He put aside his plans and worked on my unit. The other day, I managed to mostly fill it. I had taken the fabric off the white bookcase and put it into plastic bins and had to organize it (culled some) for the new shelving. The whole unit is 40" wide now so it fits right up to the window. The shelves are less high so it is easier to remove fabric and put it back.

Yikes, white bookcase

         Fabric in bins in my studio  

In the shop

Empty corner ready

Ready to fill

Reorganized, breathing room

     You can't see the effort, the sawdust, varnish fumes and elbow grease, but it is not fast and easy like on HGTV.
      Isn't it just lovely?

Friday, April 8, 2022

Leader Ender currently

      My leader and ender quilt at this time is Scrap Jar Stars. I have all the 16 patches made, I am working on the corners, and then I will do the HSTs for the points. I am content to work on this bit by bit as it is scrappy and small piece components. All the centers are done (need 20 blocks) and I am making the corner pieces (half done) and then the HSTs for the points. I made two sample blocks to make sure it all works.
     I just keep a stack of the pieces next to the machine and keep feeding them through at the end of whatever I am piecing. It really is not confusing. I just keep things in the same places and can really make another quilt at the same time I am working on something more complicated.