Friday, October 30, 2015

The Pro quilts Little Boxes

     The Nolting Pro, not me. First quilt off the new machine. This was so much easier. I was not fighting the machine. I did not try using the ruler yet. I made all the sashings a square spiral and each column, I made a different pattern. This is a free pattern from Liz. I have another Little Boxes with blue boxes that needs the white sashing cut and sewn on.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Print knocks it out of the park

     The double hourglass quilt on point was driving me crazy choosing a fabric for the corners and sides. I tried all manner of off whites and whites. Wanda suggested a print. I dug through my stash and found a yellow with brown dots. Yes! It made the whole quilt work and made the diamonds sparkle. Thanks again, Wanda. She is the best!
    Now to find a backing and get it on the longarm.
Fabrics pinned at sides, nah
Just what the quilt needed!

Rail Fence rearranged

     Can't decide if I should go the 4 x 4 (72 x 72) or go 3 by 4. If I do, I have 5 blocks left over. So, do I make 7 more blocks for another quilt, or do I have more orphans?

I guess the light yellow block needs to be removed.
     I had to unpin another quilt to put this on my design wall, because when I turn my back, Tugger (Mr. Trouble) attacks blocks as soon as they hit the floor.

Rail Fence rolled out

     I finished all the blocks for  Rail Fence and laid them out to see. The finished size for each block is 19". The quilt, if I use this layout, will be 72 x 72 which I am not sure is ok for a comfort lap quilt. I tried a 3 block by 4 block, but the scale of the zig zag seems too big to only go three repeats. I tried a couple of layouts, but am not sure what to do yet. This is when it would be helpful to have some one else in the room for feedback. Besides the cat.

Changed upper left corner only with an extra block 
Scrambled the blocks around
Although asleep on another floor, as soon as the blocks
hit the floor, trouble shows up to do his scrambling

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Last Quilt on the 18"

     The pink Disappearing 9 patch was my last quilt before the 18" Nolting exited. I did all the borders with l's and e's but each square I quilted a different pattern. I have to get better some how. Just needs binding now and a girl who needs it.
Quilting Detail
Quilting Detail



     I showed the Double Hour glass blocks earlier and was able to lay them out. I did a straight layout. Hmm. The dynamic blocks looked boring. I left the room for a while and when I came back, I tilted them on point. I don't like sewing blocks on point because I cannot chain sew them into a web. I always get confused on point because each row is a different length. I have to take it off the wall one row at a time. When I finished Emma's star, I thought I was through with on point for a while. 
     However, the tilt brought back the sparkle I saw when I made the blocks. But now, I needed eight more blocks to make it a decent lap size (as shown by the white paper blocks). So, dig out the stash and cut eight more lights and eight more darks. Even though I cut 2 1/2" strips regularly from scraps and have them sorted by colors, there were no more strips that would work, so I had to make a mess digging fabric out of the plastic boxes. I did sew all the strips and cut them into the triangles. They are all stacked to chain sew.
   I have not decided what color to make the side/top/bottom triangles. White may be too stark, maybe an off white? 

Tried moving some around
2 sets of reject blocks- colors don't work with the others

Absolutely new!

     The hard thing about being a quilter is that is a lone profession most times. Thanks for reading, it makes a difference to me. 
      I made a hard decision to spend more money and upgrade my used Nolting inside the 6 month allowable window because I was struggling with the frame and the new Pro has adjustable handles that can come out in front of the machine. The new Nolting 20" Pro, in purple, came on Thursday. My dealer, Delightful Quilting and Sewing, dismantled the used one I bought and left a sparkling new machine in its place.
      I wanted to celebrate after sewing on it as it moves like melted butter and the handles take all the strain off my shoulders. However, no one I know even cares that I bought a new machine to show off what it can do. The cat did jump on the practice piece as I was working, but I don't think he was doing it out of excitement. I know I will be able to make lots of comfort quilts and hopefully some art  quilts. I am pretty excited.
The quilt, Little Boxes is first on the machine
It is all about those handles!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Stars all sewn up!

     I made one Emma's Star and it was given away as a comfort quilt long ago. This one sat in pieces for a time because I lacked the fabric for the corners. Finally I just chose one for all 4 instead of piecing it. It needed a border and a dark one seemed best after a lot of tries. Now, to get it quilted!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Some Quilts Unlimited snaps

     Quilts Unlimited is up in the beautiful View arts center in Old Forge until late November. I took a few photos of ones I liked. The show was not as large as it was in the past and overall I thought it was sparse. However, enjoy some quilts.
A whole cloth quilt, painted in center, check out how the quilting extends in the border
Applique, interesting binding/borders
My daughter's favorite. Well done, a real memory quilt 
Brighter than it looks here. I thought it was inventive.
My favorite. She takes a classic block and puts such a neat spin on it. Won nothing, boo!

Fill'r up with Inspiration

    My daughter had some time off and asked if my husband and I would like to visit Old Forge, NY where we spend one week each August in a rented house. When your daughter, who lives 3 hours away and is married asks you,  you go. Of course it was beautiful and of course, it snowed. All day Saturday. We stayed in a motel that harkens back to the 50's. Because we stayed on the Pond, we could walk to most things in Old Forge. A lot of the businesses were closed for the season, but because it was some big kayak paddlefest, it was full of people (guys in plaid with beards) wanting to eat and so we found good food.
   We walked to the View where the Quilts Unlimited show went public on Columbus Day. I was in the show a couple of years ago, but it is juried now, and I hate quilt rejection and I did not submit anything. We walked in the snow and got soaked, but, hey, we are from Buffalo, NY and can handle it. However, my husband went on the last boat cruise on Raquette Lake and had to ride on the top in the open for almost 2 hours. I would rather walk in the snow and look at quilts. 
    I am posting some photos of what the area looked like. It was great inspiration that filled me up on the insides and was drop dead gorgeous. My next post will show some quilts from the show, but today, it is Adirondacks inspiration all the way!

Motel in rear, has not changed in over 50 years. Hmm.


Friday, October 9, 2015

Tough to tackle

     I am not a restorer of quilts. I make new ones. Someone from church asked me to redo a quilt that an aunt had made her. I said no. They quilt came to me anyway in a plastic bag. My husband said immediately to put it in the garage. I did a post on its awfulness at that time.
     After washing and washing, I have moved it about 30 times and looked at it. It is made of upholstery fabric and a kind of polyester knit that was disintegrating and was tied. I had taken it all apart- batting, backings (more than one), binding (again sewn over), and tried to think how to fix it.
     Finally, in September, I made my mind up to get it done and out. It was not a good quilt when it was made, and it was not going to be attractive no matter what I did. I had to rip off the blue polyester strips holding the upholstery coins together- it could not be patched. 

Huge mess. I bought some bottom weight navy twill cotton for the strips and borders. Ripped it to length, sewed it to the coins. Added the bottom and top borders. It was a wobbly mess. Advice came in that I should have staystitched the upholstery fabric. Too late- it was going to get finished. 
    I put it on the long arm the long way across and basted it every 5" to keep it stable. Then I quilted it all in long lines along the longest direction. Ripped out all the basting. Put on a green plaid type binding. Bundled it all up and it went back to church on Sunday. I had thread/string crud everywhere with this beast- BUT- I finished it and it is gone. It literally sucked all the joy out sewing for me. It really did not look great- but it was clean, serviceable, and solidly sewn. I do not like the way it turned out, but did not know how else to restore and move it out. Trying to get it out of my mind.

A layout to sew and some pillowcase presents

     These diagonal variation blocks have sat in a plastic bag for a while. I think because I was going to make 2 comfort quilts out of them and have to add a lot of borders. The border fabric choices had me hung up. I put all of the blocks, but 4, on the wall, and I like the way it looks without any borders. It is a bit bigger than the comfort quilts I usually make, but that is ok, it looks good. This is easy block that I got from Liz at jellyrollfabric. It uses WOF strips, 2 1/2" colors and white WOF cut in half the long way. I sewed a fat, skinny, fat, skinny together using up all the jelly roll. Then, the strip sets are paired right sides together and sewn into a tube. The tube is cut at 45 degrees into triangles that open up into blocks. I marked the tops of the rows with painters tape and will sew them into a web first.
Blocks will finish at 7"
     My son in law, the other half of the chemistry professors duo, had a birthday last week and I did not get these done in time. They are finished now, and he will get them when they visit tomorrow.
     I can sew quilts and flat things pretty good, so pillowcases are up my alley. I take a lot of time and thinking to choose the body, sleeve and accent stripe, but sewing goes quick.

New Block Starts

       The fabric I bought in Ithaca with the flowers, I have cut into making One Block Wonder. A friend got me started because I forgot how to do it (it was over 1 1/2 years ago). I have all the triangles cut out and made some sample blocks.

Triangle sets

     I also had made some strip pairs for my mom to sew. I am now cutting them with a triangle to make double hourglass. 
     These blocks, just the first from the strips are just made from two contrasting WOF strips sewn the long way and then I used the Companion ruler (it makes a nice blunt point for matching ends) to cut triangles out of the strip. I sewed four matching triangles together for a block.