Thursday, February 26, 2015

Children's Disappearing 9 patch yellow version

       I have been cutting and collecting children's prints from scraps from others and trying to buy some pieces. The Creative Grids Stripology ruler and June Tailor Shape Cut Plus are getting a workout cutting 5" squares and 2 1/2" squares from scraps. I am trying to do an I Spy theme so no two squares are alike. I have enough to do another quilt in all boy theme and not quite enough all girls ones. I need 63 prints to make a 40" x 60" quilt. I tried buying some squares on ebay but I am disappointed in the quality of the fabric. So, hey, if you have kids prints you don't know what to do with, scraps and whatever, I will turn them into Gold Star quilts for the kids camp in July.
Nine Patches all sewn and pressed with fold so I know where to cut.
Takes 16 Nine Patches
Nine Patches cut both ways
All in a stack waiting for the design wall
Arranged on the wall

     All the columns are clipped in order. I will sew pile 1 and pile 2, starting with the top two, continuing sewing 2 together. The pairs are joined at the top and bottom with the chained threads.
     Then I will take pile 3, and sew them one by one to the first pair, second pair, etc. This leaves all the rows sewn held by threads so that each long row can be sewn the next. I have Wanda to thank for this brilliance in putting a quilt together. Everything is in order and together.
All sewn together, backing is ready also

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Purpose of Quilts

      Please never forget the purpose of quilts for you. In all the choosing, cutting, sewing, design wall, finishing processes, keep it in mind. Angela Walters today has a video on what quilters should not do, but tells a story of her husband's grandpa who was the one who got Angela hooked into quilting. It is towards the end of the video where she shows two special quilts.
      No matter how much joy or frustration I get working on quilts, the purpose has to be central. For myself, the purpose is to be used to bring comfort and coziness with an aesthetic anchor. My purpose is to use all my art skills, my quilting abilities, my design and perseverance to this end. Even a wall quilt has this purpose. 
      My husband's grandmother, Grandma Okie, whose machine I just refurbed, taught me this purpose, how to treadle and a lot about life. I miss her so much even though many years have passed since she died in March 1986. 
     One of the things she liked to do was thrift shop and find orphaned blocks and fabric which she would then treadle and hand quilt together. One of those quilts I used to keep packed away, however, I know what the purpose for this quilt was. Recently, my husband was not feeling well, and unusual for him, was resting on the couch. I put the quilt over him and he was joined by Tugger, the trouble cat. I had to take this photo and post it as a reminder of the purpose of quilts and the people who make them. Let us not make things more complicated and lose the joy.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Blue Improv finished

      Well, almost. I just need to handsew the facing on and put on a sleeve. This is going in a Fiber Art show on March 1st. I started this in the Hudson Valley workshop by Rayna Gillman. Had a lot of tears in this because I could not catch on to how to do this. At home, I put it together. I put it away and then a couple of days ago, quilted it on my lovely Singer 301. I added a facing instead of binding. Good thing I had put my tutorial on my blog so I could go back and look at how to do it again.
      I need to block it or something because it is pretty wavy now. It is 35" x 36".
 I used Isacord variegated thread- blue to light blue
Detail of quilting
Detail of quilting
Quilting on back, facing yet to be sewn down
Detail of quilting

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Cupcake anyone?

     My beloved daughter is a Phd Organic chemist who is teaching college chemistry part time and bakes and decorates cakes part time; sometimes on the same day. Professor in labcoat and baker in apron. Well, it is her birthday tomorrow, and of course, I would not bake her a cake. So, I make her a cupcake paper pieced as her Birthday card. I found the free pattern on Craftsy. It comes in 10 and 8". This is an 8". It fit in the mailer easier along with some dark sponge candy. Hopefully, she will remember how much her dad and I love her tomorrow as we cannot be in Meadville. 
    I made my share of errors and used the seam ripper a bunch, but I got it done. I think it is cute in a good way. I know she won't see it here as my family does not read or look at my blog.
Wish would have had more time to add some buttons or beads, but it had to get there
    Also, I added a hand dyed fabric border to the denim quilt and I really like it. Waiting for the longarm to finish it. Maybe another month. What a fun quilt!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Denim again, love denim!

     I found a beautiful denim quilt on Pinterest that was from Alicia on Lucy's Quilts. She generously gave me the pattern. I cut more jeans apart and carefully pieced this together with hand dye fabric cut in 1" strips. I think it looks like stained glass. I had so much fun making this quilt. I just love it. The pattern is sheer brilliance with nesting sizes and nesting seams. I will put a border on it with hand dyed fabric, maybe about 2". It is about 56 x56 now. I just love hand dyed fabric. I don't want to make it. I just want to cut it up and sew it.
    Now, I need to cut up some more jeans. Fortunately, people gave me a bunch. I still want to make some landscape quilts with denim and hand dyed. The logistics are escaping me to get one over 36".
Sewing the units together

Finished but for the border

Monday, February 16, 2015

Grandma's 66 hums again

     Finally, I finished restoring Grandma Okie's treadle machine. You can see how much I have done if you look back. It took many, many hours. Lots of pieces were bent, broken, or missing. The paint on the bed was so incredibly dirty it took over a half can of TR3 and bags of cotton balls and a bag of rags. Grandma sewed constantly and sewed anything.
     It is going back to my sister in law to be reunited with its parlor cabinet. It is in my refinished cabinet for the photos because I had to test and adjust it. This machine is why I bought a parlor cabinet after looking for so many years. Mine is a 15 Tiffany which is hiding behind the 66 Red Eye.

Runs flawlessly and strong.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Valentine Cards

     In preparation for Valentine's Day, I made about 30 cards. Half of them were little quilt hangings. When I got them all in envelopes, I realized I did not photo them. They were 4" crumb hearts sewing into a square. I learned that I never want to make crumb hearts again. 
     Then, I did a paper piecing card (pattern free from Carol Doak's site) which looks very nice. I finished the edges with the 401 fancy stitches, otherwise all the sewing was on the 301. I had some blank cards with windows that I used for these. I was not making more little quilts to turn inside out and add a ribbon. I hope they brighten the day for the people I sent them to. I mailed about 30.

Card when closed

Revamping, cleaning and so on

     I finished some projects and sold the Bailey Home Quilter in preparation for the addition of a longarm coming in March. I cannot fit it anywhere in my sewing area or anywhere as a matter of fact except the basement. I have run a tape measure everywhere in the house and can come up with no other alternative.
     I divided my 2 1/2" squares into light, medium, and dark in baskets right next to my sewing machines for ease of making leader enders. I used to have them light and dark, but really, the mediums need to be figured differently.
     You can actually see the beautiful table my husband made and all the thread dribbles and lint are cleaned off now. I think this is a good use of my space as I work on multiple machines depending on what projects are flying.

Darks to left, mediums right

Just can't squeeze the treadles in the photo!

Modern sixteen patch

     I have been following Sarah Craig's  Sweet Sixteen Quilt Along. I had some 4 patches from making leader and enders. I love denim and had a bunch of it that I reclaimed from donated jeans. I thought I could use the denim and the 16 patch with a white background to make a modern looking 16 patch taking some liberties with Sarah's modern quilt in the post.
Now I need to quilt it, but have to wait for my longarm in March

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Alphabet Baby Quilt

    Last summer I bought a fabric panel, which I hardly ever do, that was a very nice graphic alphabet, not sicky sweet.
    I needed to make a baby quilt and took it out. There was no way to keep it intact as the panel was very narrow in length. When I went to cut apart the blocks, none of them were square on the fabric, so I had to be content that each block, although I would cut them all 5 1/2", would not be true to the black line border. I did not want them to be overwhelmed by sashing, so I cut 1 1/4" strips from 2 1/2" in my newly organized 2 1/2" strip bin. I thought the greens would complement and separate the blocks without calling attention to themselves. I was fortunate I had just the right strip colors and just enough of them.
    I chain pieced all the sashings, pressed, and sewed the blocks together. I auditioned many backgrounds, but they either overtook the blocks or fought with them. Finally, I decided on the yellow orange polka dot. I wish I owned every polka dot fabric. Now, I need to find a backing and get it quilted!
Chain piecing on the trusty, marvelous, speedy 301
First strips

Arranged on the wall
39 x 58 right now

Itty Bitty Four Patch Sanity, need 9 Patch

     I signed up for a class in April for a quilt called 99 Bottles in a book by Joan Ford. It is very scrappy, which I love and the quilt I saw at the quilt shop was done in batiks and white. It is a bit insane because the blocks are 9 patches that use 1" pieces. Now, I know I want to challenge myself, but I do not think I can cut 2" blocks into 1" and sew 9 patches. 
     While I am unsure where I gathered the idea in my internet quilt travels, I thought of a way to make 4 patches using the 2" squares that I cut out and save. While 2" is still small, it is not insane. 
     However, I still need to figure out how to do these for 9 patches, because I will lose it sewing 1" squares. So if you know, please comment!
     I started with a white 2" square and a batik 2" square and sewed seams on opposite two sides, using chain piecing.

     Next, after setting the seams, I cut them in half.
     Then, I pressed them open.
    I layered them, nesting the seams, with opposite colors (white next to color). The photo does not show them perfectly matched, because I am trying to show the nesting placement. The edges were matched up.
     Then the opposite 2 edges were sewn, chain pieced.
     After setting the seams, they were cut in half.

    Finally, they were pressed open. Voila! One inch pieces making a 2" 4 patch. These can be done using any size double what you want the square to be. 
    Now, if I can figure out a way to do 9 patches....