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.