Monday, March 23, 2020

Tribute to Unknown Quilters

     On National Quilting Day, I pulled out a stack of churn dash blocks found in a bag of donated materials. People give me stuff because they know I make and give comfort quilts. Sometimes, there are some gems of fabric or blocks found among the home dec and cut off curtain pieces. 
     The 29 blocks had some name stickers or names written on the seam allowances. I determined they were made in 1999 (some had dates next to their name) and they came from Illinois, because LLQA was written on a few block backs. I looked up LLQA and it is an association of guilds in Illinois, but I could not find a contact to call or email. I would love to let them know about these. (Cheryl, are you reading?)
    If I placed the blocks 5 by 6, I was short one block. It seemed only fitting that I should make one as it was National Quilting Day. The workmanship in every block is superb. I wish I could thank them all. It was a joy to sew these.
    I decided on sashing them and auditioned a bunch of fabric. I chose a cream and white polka dot because it keeps the nostalgic flavor, but adds a modern twist. For the cornerstones, I went through my 2" scrap drawers and chose a variety of colors and designs that were a similar flavor and value.
    Because I have used the webbing method I learned from Wanda before and just saw Bonnie Hunter's quilt cam where she webbed a small block quilt with sashings and cornerstones, I webbed the whole top and just need to complete the rows. Everything stayed in order. I will chose a fabric for a 4" finished border so this can be a good size comfort quilt, which has already comforted me.
     Thank you to the unknown lovely quilters in Illinois from 1999! I will copy the names off the back of the blocks and post them soon. 
Auditioning sashing
Cornerstones arranged
Blocks set up for webbing

All webbed, rows need to be sewn. Then borders
On a different note, my orphan blocks have been awarded by drawing a name. Lisa Marie- you won. I emailed you and need your mailing address. 
Thank you to all who entered.


Saturday, March 21, 2020

Happy National Quilting Day!

     Wishing all you quilters and fabriholics a Happy National Quilting Day! Now go stitch something! 
      I couldn't find clothesline or something to string across my yard, so the fence had to do with only two- one vintage and one new.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Orphan Adoption

    Cynthia Brunz of Quilting is more fun than Housework, is sponsoring another Orphan Adoption with links on her blog.
Quilting is more fun than Housework     This is a good time, with cleaning out all my studio, to offer something. In some bags of scraps given to me for my comfort quilts, I found these blocks. They are made from Cherrywood Fabrics and are 6 1/2" unfinished and there are 18 now. It looks to me that someone made intricate blocks along with the 365 quilt block patterns, but petered out. I would have. I love the fabric and the blocks, but I have too much to work on and will not get to these in the near future. The package includes the blocks and some Cherrywood fabric as seen in the photo.
     If you would like these blocks to complete, add to, or otherwise create a finished quilt, make a comment. On Sunday evening, I will have my granddaugher pull a name from the comment requests and I will announce it on Monday on this blog. I will mail them to you if you have proper email info and able to give me a US address. 

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Aliens have landed

     The aliens/superhero quilt is finished. All quilted and bound and labeled. When I find out when and where I can mail it, I will wash it, remove it from the dryer with gloves, put it in the tote bag which is also ready, add a card and book, and then plastic zip loc bag it, put it in a box and mail it to New Jersey for the little guy.
     I loved to quilt it and some may think it is over-quilted, but I love the texture. Once it is washed, it will have that lovely texture crinkle. The backing is an ombre dark blue that I have been saving for something. I think it works here- it is not faded, just ombre. And yes, I see the block error in repeating (saw it when I got to it in quilting).

Friday, March 6, 2020

The aliens are coming

     I did figure out a quilt for my cousin's grandson who is three and  facing real nasty surgery to repair a birth defect. Previously I shared some quarter square blocks that did not work. This quilt was inspired by the geometric quilt ideas from Quilted Twins. I fussy cut the squares to showcase the animal or alien or superhero. My idea was that as the little guy was laying in bed, he could "I Spy" all the various characters hopefully distracting him from his recovery. 
    For the shadows, I did not use solid fabric, but a dark blue with black spirals. The lighting does not do the quilt justice. Too wet and icky to photo outside.
    I used some alien green fabric for the outer border and some blue fabric that had some scrubbed character to it- think it is a Lori Holt. I own some in green also. I thought it would make a great border for some quilt when I was fabric shopping in Ohio. 
     The backing is ombre fabric I had for a while, and a friend gave me the cartoon superhero word fabrics used in the center. I think the back goes together well with the front.
     Now it is loaded on the long arm and trying to get it done.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Zig zag all done

     In a scrap quilt workshop presentation for my guild a while back, I did a number of quilt ideas including Zig Zag by The Happy Zombie.
     I finally got around to making the backing. I used some leaf fabric donated by Gwen stretched to fit with some funky dots. It is about 62 x 80. Once again, I used striped fabric for the binding. I had some real wide stripes which worked perfect with this design. The orangeish tone on the white is chalk from marking as I do not wash the quilt until I find out who the recipient is. It is an easy quilt. even though it is on point. I used Glide Celery on top, Linen PremoSoft in the bobbin. Hobbs 80/20 batting. All quilting done freehand on my now fixed Nolting NV longarm.
     I still believe quilting makes the quilt.
    This will be a comfort quilt when I receive a request.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Another one pieced and a sample

     I have a 110 year old Singer 15 treadle in a parlor cabinet. I love the stitches. I needed some relaxation, and not being a big TV watcher, I webbed the gray and color batik rectangle blocks. It was very satisfying. So, another top done and ready for quilting. I got the idea from Sarah's Rockin' Rectangles lessons.
         I got a comfort quilt request for a little boy who is going to undergo some scary surgery. I tried some sample blocks of broken dishes with dark colors and light prints. I put them on the wall and looked at them. I don't think they have the punch I was hoping for. I think I will try another pattern I saw from the Quilted Twins and scare up some super hero, monsters, and dinosaur fabric which are his likes.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Valentines times 54 plus one heart

     Every year I make Valentines cards. I try to increase the recipients, but it gets harder every year. It is my gift to the people I know and love.  I love to make them, but hard to produce so many. Maybe because I feel each one has to be unique and stitched with a lot of variety. I used to silk screen them, but gave up silk screening to focus on quilting.
    I had an idea in my head, so I started sewing about 18 x 21 pieces of made fabric. I used white felt as the base and did the stitch and flip method of sewing strips on (raw edges set my teeth on edge). Then I used ribbons and stitched them over the fabric. 

I  made three of these slabs
    Evaluating the pieces, I made heart templates (2 shapes out of template plastic and traced the hearts on the made fabric with a think black sharpie. I cut them out carefully with my excellent Karen Kay Buckley scissors as I packed them together so I would have little waste. I had some plain home dec canvas type fabric that I cut into rectangles, sewed a thin metallic gold thread line around, and then frayed the edges to the thread. 
     I pinned the hearts in place and sewed the hearts to the canvas with a black thread and zig zag stitch. I experimented with other stitches and different sewing machines. I did try my Kenmore 1040 (the Ketherweight), my Bernina 830, and the 401. The 401 did the best job with these, so all the rest of them were zigzagged on it.  To make the cards, I used the Ketherweight, a 301, a 401- love giving those gals a workout.

     The rectangles with hearts were glued on blank cards bought in packs of 50 at Joann's (coupon of course) with Quick Grab Tacky glue applied in 9 dots. The insides were stamped with a Valentine greeting, signed, and into envelopes, stamped and in the mail. The intown cards mailed Monday, the out of town ones last Thursday.

     It was 2 years ago- Feb. 7, 2018, I had a heart attack shortly after dropping the out of town cards at the post office. The other ones got mailed when I was in the ICU. Luckily, they were all ready.
      So, you can see why I approach that day apprehensively. This Feb. 7th, while in cardiac rehab (3 X a week), there was a problem when they read my blood pressure as is the custom before and after exercise. They said my heart was skipping around. I called the cardiologist and they set an appointment later this week for a Holter monitor. I called my primary and she got me in for an EKG immediately which showed a whole slew of PVCs. I never had them before. Accordingly I am a bit freaked out but the cardiologist did not seem concerned. I don't know how you can go from normal one day to bunches of PVCs the next, but I did. I sort of feel like a ticking time bomb at the moment. But the cards are out.

Another Katie's Quilt

     MSQC has a pattern called "Katie's Quilt". It is a bit unique because you sew charm squares on both sides, cut in half, sew in strips and then make 4 patches. I had some bright charm squares that Gwen gave me and added some others. The white lozenge shapes are made by snowballing the rectangle corners with black triangles. I used the Simple Folded Corners ruler for this instead of sewing diagonally on a square (hate that method, I am never on the line). 

     Since there are so many polka dots in the little squares, I picked a blue border that had big subtle dots in it. In piecing the backing, I used neutral grays. The scratchy gray polka dot I had been hording and the large fan, dot print I also got from Gwen. I think they look great together. Someone in my guild has a real aversion to backs pieced like this and I know I will hear it during show and tell.

    In the 4 patches, I used swirls in each square. I used straight lines in the lozenge shapes for anchor the color squares. I used cross hatching in the large 16 patches to echo the diagonal feel of the black HSTs. The border uses Baptist fans. Around the inside of the border, I made paisley repeats. At first, I had a star in those corners. After I took the quilt off the longarm, I saw those stars were useless, so I ripped them out and FMQ the same paisleys with my Singer 301 in the same thread. Love the corners now.
The star did nothing to add to overall look
Corrected corner
Quilting detail
     This is a comfort quilt, recipient unknown yet. I used Glide Sky on top and Premo Soft Hawaiian blue in the bobbin.

Monday, February 10, 2020

A RWB finish

     Slowly I am finishing quilts. I spent January going through all my lists and charts, updating and analyzing. Conclusion: I need to double down and get some tops quilted. I need to finish piecing unfinished tops. I made a small list of first quilts to do. I also have a list of quilts I want to do in my Tracking three ring notebook.
     The RWB bricks has been pieced for a long time. It is smaller than QOV asks, so it will have to be given a different way. They changed the size since I started it. I liked quilting it because I could keep a constant with the star in the the white, and use different patterns in the stripes. I hand guided the stars, they are not perfect, but I like their character. I used Military Gold Glide on the top, PremoSoft Sky Blue bobbin. I love stripe fabric bindings.


Sunday, February 9, 2020

Uh oh, quilt on the wall, not the fairest of them all

     I do not like bad surprises. I never liked practical jokes. So when I put up Meet in the Middle strips (Kona white I cut and Kaufman jelly roll) as sewn, there was a nasty surprise. The quilt was way longer on one side and it has huge pucker issues, funky angle, like it has some inner angst. 
     I have made strip quilts like this, but not with the pieced prints, usually one print and one white. From the appearance, I can only surmise the flaws. One, the strips were sewn slightly off. Second, the print pieces were not sewn flush or they came off the jelly roll slightly off. Third, all the seams were sewn from the top down. Fourth, What the heck do I do now?

     This quilt was a collaborative effort by my mom and I. I can shoulder some of the blame because I sewed bigger chunks from what strips she had sewn because I had mismarked the pairs. The problem is, I would have to rip all those long seams and the Kona white and the Robert Kaufman jelly roll strips are extremely fraying. I am afraid I would lose a lot of fabric and more distortion if I ripped all those long seams.
     So do I cut it up? How? Will it still behave poorly cut up?  It will not steam or iron flat. Lot of fabric cost in here and I will entertain any ideas of fixing, changing, cutting, etc so this can be a quilt. Hate failing on large scale like this.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Another one prepped

     When making comfort quilts, I always try to have some that are more male oriented in fabric and color. When I find a reasonably priced jelly roll in this vein, I will purchase it for the big variety it gives. This is another kit I made for my mother. The pattern is a freebie, Meet in the Middle. Originally, I cut all the strips 10" long and had her sew 5 of them, short ends together, and then sew a white piece, 2 1/2" x half WOF, to make a tube.
     I cut the tubes randomly and layed them out. Then I numbered them. I glued the strips with dots in pairs, down the long sides and hung them on a hanger. Next time I see my mom, she can sew the long pair seams and press them open. Then I will have to glue up the next seams until all the strips are joined. It may need a white strip at top and bottom to make it long enough for a comfort quilt.

All numbered. I glued the long edge of pairs, 16 pairs of them.
Postscript: My mom did not sew all the edges I glued, but sometimes on the opposite open side which means the numbers do not line up across. I thought by glueing the one long edge, like the one between 1 & 2, and 3 & 4, and 5 & 6, etc., there would only be one side obvious to sew. If I would have pinned all the right edges, it would have been a nightmare transporting and untangling them. My plan did not work, and so I have to rip long rows that are not sewn on the glued edges in order for the strips to be in numerical order. Sigh.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

More HSTs in the bag

     Another HSTs bag was found marinating and these had black, white and greys. These also were parts of 2 layer cakes that were sewn all four sides and made into HSTs. I used the perfect slotted ruler to trim the HSTs befor ironing them open, so there were just 2 sides to trim. Much easier.
     I thought the black and whites had a lot of energy, so that gave me the idea to do zigzags. I used all the HSTs for this quilt. All numbered, clipped, and ready to web piece.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Modern stars swap complete and mailed!

     Every once in a while, I will participate in a block swap. I have to know it is going to be run well before I commit and I have to love the blocks. I am doing the O My Stars Swap with the modern version. They are due on Jan. 11th and I am thrilled to have mailed them out Tues. 7th, because the last time I tried to do a swap with Barb, I had a heart attack and had to drop out.
     I have no idea what kind of quilt I will make. I had to make 32 for the swap and I made an extra 10 for myself, but it won't be enough to make a quilt.
All of the solid colors I used.

We were instructed to press the last seam open.
I used my Seam Stick to do this as it works fantastically when there are lots of interesecting seams.