Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Princess ready to go

     I finally finished quilting the Princess quilt for a friend's child, bound it, washed it, labeled it and just waiting to connect to deliver it. Of course, my granddaughter wants one now. I don't know if I can take that many princesses again.

Bordered and ready to quilt

     The One Block Wonder newest quilt is all sewn up and ready to choose a backing and quilt. I love it.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Disappearing 4 patch sample block

     Sometimes I just need to make something new without thinking about what it will become. I saw this cool 4 patch disappearing 4 patch or teresa down under and had to try it. I started with 5" blocks. Here are my finished sample blocks. I think a whole quilt out of these would be terrific.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Newest One Block wonder sewn

     All the rows have been sewn. I just love it. I have been searching for another fabric to make a new one, no luck so far. Now I have been trying to get the borders decided. I used every hexagon minus two halves.

The skinny border decided,
I am leaning to the right side fabric for the larger border

Some disassembly required

     A quilting friend of mine brought me a machine that she got for $7.00 at Savers Mart. She wondered if I could find a home for it. The first thing I did was disassemble everything that could be cleaned. I copiously oiled everything, delinted the whole bobbin area, removed dust bunny families from the needle bar area inside, etc. Then I polished all the metal pieces. The belt needs replacing and now all that remains is to clean the oxidized surface, assemble and test the stitching. I hope it gets claimed for a sewing home. I have enormous fun doing this- getting cruddy metal back into humming as a wonderful precision machine!

Bits and pieces, bit and pieces

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

A whale of a quilt

     What I mean is the size. The biggest I ever quilted. It just fit on my frame. Yikes. I was asked to quilt the President's gift. Our guild's term for president is three years- from quilt show to quilt show. At the end, the president gets a gift. Like a wall hanging, scrapbook, etc. This year we were asked to make blocks. When the quilt, backing and batting showed up, I fell over when the quilt was unfolded- it was immense. I had to keep the quilting simple, but interesting. I only had 2 weeks to quilt it as it had to be bound and labeled in time for our party. I was relieved to get it out the door. 
Can you say fill the frame?

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Happy Vintage Surprise

     With the help of a friend finding the fabric, I was able to create the Christmas card design that was in my head. The fabric matched the sketch I did days earlier. I am not going to show the cards now as they need to get in the mail. I have to write them out, but all else is done. 
     However, the fabric needed an edge and the stitches on the Singer 401 just were not the right thing. I had some novelty yarn left from when I knit funky scarves and tried to think how to attach it. I tried to use a zig zag over it, but it kind of looked mashed. I opened the vintage manual from the 401 and looked for ideas. Lo and behold, there was a foot designed to couch yarns and do some other stuff. I dug out the box of attachments and there it was. It seemed rather tinny and small and I thought it was going to be a joke. I screwed it on, used the blind stitch, and it sewed the trim on flawlessly and easily with no learning curve. I was so surprised- and grateful. I don't need another reason to love my vintage machine collection, but this was a real good one. I sewed all 100 fabrics to the heavy interfacing with the trim. Yes!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Cool Kaffe HST asymmetrical

     A while back I got suckered into buying some Kaffe charm packs (MSQC got me again). I made HSTs with Kona Ash Gray. All trimmed with the Bloc Loc ruler. Played around on the wall until I found an asymmetrical design that appealed to me. I had another urgent request for a comfort quilt for a woman whose cancer came back aggressively after a short remission. Her whole family is having a crisis of a time. So, I thought this waiting in the wings quilt would make a good choice. I thought of one friend who always drafts things out, so I used graph paper to get an idea of where I was going because working to work on long diagonals, I needed to know where I was when rolling the quilt. All the Kaffe prints got the same curved ruler treatment. 
    I did use a lot of ruler work and to be honest, I don't like holding those circle and oval templates down. It gives me neck fatigue and sore shoulders. I need to find something to be grippier on the bottoms or forgo rulers. I was very happy with the quilting. The first photo is before washing and the others are after. I always wash my quilts after quilting before giving them away. They get packed in a nice tote bag with a book and card and pocket quilt. This package went out Sunday.
Washed, more texture

Back after washing

The diagram plan

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Thinking hard, looking for a pop

     I finished the side triangles for the double hourglass. They are light blue, which does not show up well in the photo. It has been very gray here, and even with the lights in the house, it does not show up well. White was too stark and darker values took away from the diagonal play in the blocks.

     I participated in a batik star block swap with the Treadleon group. I made eight extra stars so I could make a 4 x 5 quilt, 12" finished blocks. My blocks are at the top and bottom and one is covering a very green star. My original 20 on the wall looked fine because the backgrounds were light value batik, but this grouping of stars needs some help. So I have been thinking of maybe skinny dark blue batik sashings, or not putting them all together. Just don't know what to do to make the stars pop. Again, poor lighting.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Another quilt, another home

     Finally, I quilted the Maybe strip quilt that I did a blog tutorial on,
     There was a time crunch because I got a request for someone undergoing treatment now. Although I had the backing sewn and batting cut, I was working quilting a king size quilt which was a favor for a surprise gift that seemed like it took forever. As soon as that big hummer was off the frame, I quilted the Maybe quilt, put the pocket on the tote bag, made the card, washed the quilt and packaged the whole thing up in my last XL ziploc bag. It was delivered to Brenda and now I have a second quilt loaded that is also a request. I had to take the photos inside due to rain, so they are not as good as they should be.

I love the pieced backing 
Quilting detail on back
Quilting detail on front

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Always seem to need more cards!

     Of course, there were occasions and I needed cards. My son and his wife's anniversary, a couple of birthdays, a baby girl, and thank you. I cannot make the same card twice- it is some kind of sickness I have. These used heavy wt interfacing, the Crafted Applique mod podge technique, and batik scraps. Just a little sewing for cohesion of design. Then double stick tape to cardstock. I already need more.
Anniversary card

Birthday card

Abstract fun

Monday, November 14, 2016

Just those pesky side triangles!

     The double hour glass layout is done, but I can't think what color the side triangles should be. I like on point quilts, but choosing the sides and sewing together is always a bit tricky. Have to do more thinking, but I really need that wall!

No turning back, it is sew time!

     I did a whole lot of layouts but decided on this one for the OBW and did the value check on it also. I have to work with the blocks that are, not what I might think I would like. I only had two half pieces left over. Four rows are all stitched together.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Love the OBW!

     One Block Wonders- can't get enough of them! They seem like magic- each one different and gorgeous. The trick is to find the right fabric- a big repeat (I like 24"), not a ton of background, and distinct, varied areas. Takes me a long time to find the right fabric. This is the fabric I used- bought in Meadville, PA at Fox's Sew and Vac: 
    After sewing the triangles, these are the first attempts at arranging. Got a long way to go moving things around.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Ready to sew up

     The Disappearing Hourglass quilt, MSQC pattern, is on the wall laid out, ready to label columns, and then sew. I used a layer cake and had twelve made blocks left over. I am going to try to set those on point with plain fabric blocks between. That is a stretch for me (math).
     Also, I have all the blocks sewn and trimmed for a double hourglass, ready to go on the wall after another quilt. It is such an easy block- sew 2 WOF strips (contrasting), cut into triangles with the Companion Angle, assemble into same fabric pairs, then 2 pairs together make a square. Then square it up.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Strange November

     Here in Buffalo, NY the leaves are still mostly on the trees. Things are blooming that did not all summer. Summer was a drought. No matter how much I watered, some plants did not flower much. Now that is November, when usually the frost has killed everything, there are some terrific flowers.

This is more flowers than this hydrangea had all summer
Endless Summer never got a bloom like this all summer

These red snapdragons are absolutely velvety and lush!

Autumn crocus more timely

The ginko got planted and you can see the size next to Miss J

Picking myriad of fabrics- next project

     When our guild was on its field trip to the Quilt Farm, I saw a quilt that grabbed my attention and bought the pattern. It was Harvest Dawn. I only bought background fabric and was determine to pick batiks out of my stash to make this. I pulled out lots of fabrics and tried to put them in a value scale. I need 42 strips, 2 of each color. I took multiple photos and changed the photos to black and white to figure it out. Now I have to cut strips from all this fabric.
First try, light to dark, 3 sets of colors
Problem in the dark values

Better arrangement 
Final colors to cut into 2 1/2" strips