Friday, March 29, 2019

Helps to read the end of the book

     When I learned how to make OBW from a woman in my guild, I wanted to learn more, so I bought Maxine Rosenthal's One Block Wonders book. I got it on sale. I poured through it and have since made 3 more with another one cut and in process. 
     However, the other night, sitting in my new Morris Chair (wanted one all my life and hubby bought it for me for my birthday), I read past where the hexagon quilts complete. Lo and behold, there were octagon ones also. Really, I had this book for years and never saw this? And they sew into squares? What? 
     After I calmed down, I pulled out a fabric I bought for OBW that I had goofed with because the repeats are so small (12"). I thought, let me try an octagon one- I don't have to cut up a huge amount of yardage to try and see if I like it or not. Oh, yes, I like it! So much as a matter of fact, I had to buy some big yardage. I found a local quilt store with some Henry Glass Botannical Blooms. It is gone from everywhere else and bought it last week  (side note- my bad timing, this week all fabric is 20% off. Makes a difference when you buy 7 yards). First I will finish the Tivoli gardens fabric one, and then onto the big stuff.
Tivoli Gardens 12" repeat fabric

With the squares added enabling the blocks to be square. I just set the fabric in there, it will have to be cut into triangles and sewn on the top and bottom edges.
The 24" repeat Henry Glass Botannical print, 7 yards with (need 8 repeats for octagons)

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Need flowers now

     When Debbie of Stitchin Therapy posted a floral log cabin block, I was smitten and had to try it. Even though there were many other things I had to do, I followed the squirrel and made four blocks to see how they would look. 
     They use 2" squares and scrappy neutrals. I really needed these little bouquets of flowers. I think I will keep the squares 2", but that means I need to cut a ton. I have lots of 2 1/2" florals on my colorwash trays, but I will use the Accuquilt die to cut floral scraps. I have to cut oodles of 2" neutral strips also. I think it would be a good idea to do the cutting and then assemble a whole lot at once. 
     I have no idea how these will be arranged. I will make a garden of them first, and then figure it out. Just love looking at all those little floral patches. I did have purple snow irises open today and I almost fell over. The Hellebores have big buds, but no open flowers yet. 
     Thanks, Debbie!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Antique Lace quilt pattern

     I have no idea how Jenny Doan of MSQC keeps coming up with new ideas. One of her newest is Antique Lace using 2.5" strips. I had just bought 18 Kaffe strips at a downsizing sale. Instead of the white, I opted for Kona Ash because I did not want the white to be so bright, but the Kaffe strips to be more visible. 
    All the strips are sewn on both long sides of the WOF strips (a tube), a solid paired right sides together with the print. I had my mom, the zippy straight seam sewer, do that. The longer part is to cut all the triangles from the strips with the special ruler. The triangles cut at 3" from the seam line and are all trimmed before they are opened and pressed. Taking me a long time. 
    After I trimmed 2 pairs, I cut the necessary solids and made the first big block. I had to use graph paper to make sure I did not mess up the placements. I did one corner a couple of times anyways. I do like the look of it, and now eight more to do. Got to get those triangles trimmed!
The strip tubes sewn, 18 sets
Trimming the triangles with the Clearly Perfect Slotted Trimmer at 3" on the seam line
My graph paper cheat sheet
Block number one, eight to go

Monday, March 25, 2019

Binding and finishing demos

     Last Monday night at our guild meeting, my co-program chair and I did a workshop on binding and finishing. We showed a lot of examples and gave lots of ideas. It was not a step by step how to, but ideas and ways to make our quilts that much more special. No slab-o-borders to make things bigger. Elizabeth had lots of border samples and ideas. I had bindings and finishes. We have a video camera and projector so they can see on the wall a large version of what we are demonstrating. Works wonderful.
    When I was putting away my demo samples, I took some photos and will share some. Ask if you have questions. Maybe something here will intrigue you to try.
This small sample shows how I glue all my binding (Washable Elmer's) on and only use one pin. It is ready to sew. Quilting done on my Singer 301. I glued and ironed as I explained.
Twill tape sewn on edges. Learned this in a David Taylor lecture. It stabilizes the outside edges absolutely and piece hangs flat.
Use 1/4" Polyester twill tape- it is under the binding in the photo above. When the binding is sewn on, it is all covered. Opposite sides are cut exactly the same size and when sewn on, fabric has to fit the cut tape. No more waves.

Adding rick rack or trim under the binding for a custom look.
I glued it first with the same Washable Elmer's that I use for  binding.
I made a small placemat for the demo, Granddaughter claimed it. Rick rack or trim idea would be great on a quilt.
Hanging sleeves- Top has raw edge at top (misaligned at left so you can see it) that is sewn into top binding with a basted fold part way down for the fullness of a rod. After sleeve sewn in and after handstitching the sides and bottom, remove basting.
Bottom sleeve is sewn wrong sides together, seamed at raw edge. Seam pressed open and then sleeve is rotated so seam is at middle of back. The basted fold is done at the bottom and then rotates to front when back seam goes to middle of back. Handstitch all around or I use a machine blindstitch.

One of my favorites- Striped binding. I collect striped fabric for this. Sample of fabrics used, a binding cut, and one applied to a quilt (how it looks on the front and the back). I use 2 1/4" binding, sewn on the front, taken to the back. I machine sew everything.
Another favorite- Faux piping. Two strips of fabric- one 1 1/2", one 1 3/4" (the piping fabric) sewn together and presssed in half. On the back of the quilt, the Skinny flange fabric faces up when you sew it on (I glue and sew). Flip to the front, secure (I glue) and sew in the ditch of the skinny fabric and thicker one. If I am concerned about the stitching showing, I will use Monofilament.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

A prod got it going

     One thing about quilters' blogs, is they prod you to get going and pull out fabric or projects and get a move on. Wanda has been posting some of her One Block Wonders and I could hear the voices of the fabrics in the cupboard I have set aside for OBWs. I pulled out the Philip James one, in honor of Wanda. I ironed it and tore it in half along the half fold parallel to the selvedges, carefully cut 6 repeats, lined them up with pins, cut the strips and then the triangles. Then I layed out the repeats from the other half.
     I had to try out the cut triangles from the first strip before I cut all the others. I have made four OBWs and I still get such a thrill of joy when I sew the triangles and get such a cool design. All triangles cut and ready to sew! Thanks for the prod, Wanda.
The Philip James fabric bought long ago at a great price. Isn't it just gorgeous?
First strip, first blocks. Fun or what?

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Straightening up

     I had no big plans for National Quilting Day and I was coming off the worse head cold. I looked at the sewing studio and was overwhelmed. Over two hours later, it looked a lot better and I could get a handle on starting something to sew.
Yes, I have a lot of machines out. They all do something different and the treadle is just fun to use.
Much easier to see and work
      On the other side of the room, in front of the window, my new cactus plant is blooming. I got it for my birthday from the grandkids and it is a different kind of cactus from my Christmas ones. The blooms are a different shape. Love the precious pink colors. I bet Wanda would love these. Home Depot.


Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Card quilt finished and video

     Finally, I was able to quilt the card quilt and I did it on the Singer 301 as I thought it was too small for the longarm. I had some issues with the binding because I had a bad head cold and sewed it on backwards at first. I had to rip it all and do it all over again as I had no spare pieces to cut a new one. As a result, it is not as crisp and nice as I would like. 
     This quilt was from a card my grandson made me when I was in the hospital recovering from the heart attack last February and the fabric is mostly from Vicki that she sent me as a get well gift not knowing the colors my grandson drew the quilt. They matched. I decided to make the quilt. I did not quilt in the stars because I wanted to keep the hand drawn look. I used variegated rainbow thread as it seemed to replicate the crayon drawing better.

    I was asked to participate in a pilot of a new series for our local PBS station on spotlighting the arts by my painting teacher. I was was one of four artists interviewed. The link to the clip is not quite all edited yet for TV, but you get to see me talk about quilts and art. I am at the 12:20 mark. They condensed 45 minutes of interview into 2 minutes. Hard to watch yourself talk.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Can't get enough 2 X 4s!

      In preparation for quilt retreat at the end of March, I have been collecting quilts that are clipped together and just need webbing to assemble. I already had a clipped together 2 x 4 quilt using 3.5" strips.
     My mother was still bored. So, I cut up lots of 2.5" batik WOF strips, paired them up and sent them to her. She zip, zipped through them and gave me strip sets. She could sew WOF together, fold in half, cut and resew the strips so I could subcut them. She ironed them, thank goodness, so all I had to do was subcut them. Each strip set cuts  5 units, 4 of which are sewn in to two blocks, so maybe the extra single blocks I can sew into a strip for the backing. 
Strip sets
Pile o' blocks sewn
First blocks
      I was able to sew all the units into blocks, put them up on the wall and spend a couple of hours/days rearranging, taking photos and driving myself crazy. Finally, enough was enough, I numbered the top blocks and clipped the columns, stacking them into a ziplock until the retreat. 
     My goal was to have the columns move your eye up and down. Even though there are some real light and some real dark blocks, I have learned from Sujata Shah and Wanda that you need those blocks in there to add interest. Matchy matchy is not my goal.
Very first layout- top too dark and no contrast.
Orange rectangle too light, 3 blocks down, 4th from left
Darker orange resewn in, much better.
Final layout. Top left block is not that light- it is too close to a lamp. It is the same block as 5 down and 5 from left. It anchors the corner just fine.