Friday, September 25, 2015

Small improv Lemoyne Star quilted. A Lot.

     I made a small lap quilt from made fabric for the Lemoyne Star, scavenged half square triangles and checkerboards discarded by others, and other fabric to tie the whole unit together. I finally loaded it on the longarm, and did lots of quilting on it. I am still pretty wobbly on the machine. I tried all sorts of patterns. I can do straight lines pretty well, but that is not what I really want to quilt.

The shadows come earlier now, will have to retake this soon.

Getting a clean(er) slate

     After a bunch of projects and rushing to finish the Red, White and Blue Stars, my sewing room was a big disaster. I spent an entire afternoon trying to put things away and simplify. I took before and after photos, and I am not sure if you can see the difference, but it certainly is so much more workable!
Tugger sees no problem with piles of fabric. More nests for him.
A bit overwhelming to start
Ready to sew. And make more mess.
I can see clear surfaces now.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Red, White and Blue for a veteran

     I don't often make red, white and blue quilts. However, a man who is our town supervisor- is a veteran who actively is involved in veteran activities. He was also a history teacher and is a true public servant. I found out this week that he had emergency heart surgery out of no where- just went for a check up and wham! Although I have comfort quilts on hand, I think he needed a red, white and blue. And quick.
    I looked through all patterns that I have earmarked on the computer and thought that this 5 Star from Mary's quilts would just be perfect. There were not a whole lot of directions there. It also gave me an excuse, um, reason to buy a 6.5" Bloc Loc Ruler for the HSTs. I had all the fabric from my stash except the border. I made sure I cut everything out, sewed all the components and pressed before assembling. I used the webbing technique taught by Wanda, Exuberant Color,  to put it together. Now I have to finish the quilt on the long arm and get this one on pronto.
With borders

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Fabric Shopping- Yes!

     After a Quilt Guild Consortium New York State Meeting last Wednesday, deep in the middle of nowhere Central New York State, we took a ride to Ithaca and visited Quilters Corners, I think one of my favorite quilt stores. Too bad it is three hours from me.
     I had a gift certificate and spent every cent. 
     First, I bought the end of the bolt, which was on sale, for a one block wonder quilt. I think it will be just the right softness, but enough color. There is over 6 yards there. Repeat is 24" so it should be nice and big.

    Second, I bought half yard pieces of fabric so I can add these to some Japanese fabric I bought on closeout over a year ago. I am planning on making Lattice out of Cultural Fusion.
New Fabric
Japanese fabric bought over a year ago

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Three Finishes, all bound and ready to roll!

     I tend to work grouping similar tasks. For example, I will do a whole lot of backings at once for tops and hang them together ready to quilt. Last week, I made bindings for 4 quilts and sewed on three. The last binding is a large quilt, and it is harder to glue bind- moving the bulk around. All three are comfort quilts, waiting for someone to give me a name of a recipient.
     The black/color strips were sewn as tubes, then cut to stagger the placement. I quilted a different pattern in each stripe to practice my quilting.

     Dancing Star was a Square in a Square pattern- finally completed.

     Goodnight Irene was a leader-ender scrap quilt. I did diagonal quilting with my new ruler and I am not real pleased with the shaky lines.


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

More Rail Fence Progress

      I am continuing to work on the Rail Fence Quiltalong with the Cultural Fusion Blog. I posted the nine I have done there, but no details. Following, for those interested, are some details that have helped me.

     I have nine blocks completed and 7 pairs yet cut. I don't know if I will make 2 small quilts or one big. So much depends on the colors. I used 6" pairs because I bought a Tonga Treats sale kit from Craftsy that included 6"-ish strips for a pattern, that when I looked closely, did not like. I added some of my own batiks. I could have cut the strips to 5 1/2", like in the Cultural Fusion book, but I did not want to waste a 1/2" of fabric. 
     After cutting the strip pairs the long way and sewing them, I ironed them and trimmed them to 5 1/4" wide (with my Stripology ruler), and then cut them in 5 1/4" blocks. I was able to get 4 blocks with very little waste out of each strip. I used spray starch instead of steam all through the ironing. 

     I laid the blocks out in the right configuration.

I placed the second column over the first- right sides together, ready to sew- chain piecing style.

I staggered each stack to take to the sewing machine.
Second color block set stacked to chain piece

 I staggered the remaining two columns to add chain piecing style. I did two different color block combinations at a time using them as leader-ender pieces so the whole block would be webbed together just needing the rows sewn. Then I pressed all the newly sewn seams.
All webbed blocks, just need rows sewn, nothing can turn out of place!

     The rows were then sewn, the greens block row, the next red/blue block row after, until all rows sewn (one color block row follows the other). Final pressing done on the rows. This way two color block combinations are made at the same time, economical use of thread, effort, and I don't get the orientation of the individual units mixed up and have to rip.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Tuckaway tote for present

     I have had this pattern for over six months. Really wanted to make it. Other things got in the way. One thing was I am terrible at is understanding written patterns. They make me sweat and feel idiotic. However, I went to a luncheon that was a birthday luncheon and did not get that part of the info. I went home, pulled out the pattern and some batik and set to work. Did a lot of head scratching and ripping but, pulled it off, put it in the mail and hopefully, it was well received, even if belatedly. I want to make some more, even one for myself. Here it is folded and unfolded.