Sunday, January 31, 2021

Zebra with borders

      Because of the busyness of the Zebra stripes, I knew it needed a border. I tried a whole bunch of ideas but settled on a green diamond fabric. The color was perfect and the fabric had enough busyness to be part of the stripes. If I was making show quilts, the fabric would all have to be cut so that the diamonds all went in the same direction, but I am not a show quilter and I cut all the fabric strips WOF.

     I tried cornerstones instead of meeting those diamonds in the corners. I found four blues I liked and let my granddaughter (8) choose because she has a great eye for color and can explain why she chooses things. Now, I will have to find some backing that will work with this quilt and get it ready for quilting.

Choosing the cornerstones

All sewn on

     This is the Zebra pattern from Lynne Tyler

In her blog, she also talked about a new cutting mat. I needed a new one, so I bought the Rhino Mat, 2' x4' which has no lines and is translucent. The company was very good in delivering and I love it. It works so much better than the two mats I had there and cutting caught in the crack when cutting.

It went flat after this pretty quickly

Now it fits right next to my pressing mats.
This is a working studio, so there is lots of different stuff out
which bothers some people, not me.


Saturday, January 30, 2021

Trying to reimagine a kit project

      A long while back, I bought a kit from Craftsy because it was so ridiciculously cheap. It had a batik jelly roll. Unfortunately, when I made the included pattern, the color blocks in no way went together, so the whole thing went in a UFO big bin. 

     Recently, I cleaned out the big bin and made smaller boxes of UFOs depending on what state they were in- all the pieces cut and ready to sew, more needed to be cut, ones with problems, sample blocks, etc.

UFOs by type and labeled in each bag front as to what it is and
what it needs instead of one big plastic box

     When I found the made blocks, I decided to make two quilts with a different pattern. I added the framed four patch block for the orange blocks. I laid the pale blocks over so you could see these colors just did not work together.

     Then I tried a whole series of colors for the borders. The only thing I thought that worked and kept the orange blocks focused was a darker gray. I know it is a Kona, but I don't know which one. I have tried to find out what color it is so I can order it as no one around here has it. I think it may be slate. It has a real blue cast to it. Grays photo so difficult.

The Kona gray I need is at the side.

       So now, I am stuck again. I want that gray and all I have is a fat quarter. Anyone have any ideas to figure out what Kona that dark, bluish gray is? I have not been able to find Slate in stock.

      I am going to make the pale blocks in the same design. I chose a turquoise for the frames on the 4 patch blocks. It is all cut and ready to sew.


Sunday, January 17, 2021

Zebra spotting

      No, not the animal, the quilt Zebra. I was able to sew all the blocks and get it together. This pattern is from Lynne Tyler, from her Etsy shop. The variation of mine is the Firebird. I was asked to be a pattern proofer for the blocks. I have a whole slew of blocks that did not work in this layout, so I need to make an arrangement of those and just sew them together.  I have a green diamond border picked out and will show that in another post.

    After I sewed the half square rectangles together, I did use webbing for the whole top and it worked just fine, no mistakes. I learned I have a hard time cutting pieces when I have to repeatedly move rulers for each block to cut the sides. It fit together fine. I used fork pins to pin the HSR because they held the seam better than single straight pins. 

Layout when I knew I needed some other blocks as the purple/green ones were awful. I placed idea fabric to the side of the layout to see what I thought.

Layout with new fabric blocks added, others removed

All blocks sewn, border choice awaits

Fork pins at seam intersections so they meet 1/4" down from edge

How I pinned- flower pin pushed through where seam should meet, then fork pin inserted
on either side of the seam, and then flower pin pulled out.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Either it is very early or very late

      The Christmas Tree quilt is totally done. Quilting, binding, label attached. I even washed it so it is all plumped up. So, depending on your point of view, the quilt is very early or very late.

The quilt with plaid binding before washing. When washed, it puffed up and the binding lays flat. Because I do glue binding, it looks wavy here now, but it isn't.

Back of quilt- Panel plus additions


Oh, and that boo-boo I cut into the border edge? I found two scraps of border fabric, front and back, and sewed them to the edge of the border, right sides facing the quilt. Because I sew on vintage machines, bulk is never an issue. 

Then I pressed both pieces towards the edge, inserted a tiny slice of batting, and trimmed the border edge even with the rest of the border. I used a litttle Elmers glue (washable) to hold that edge together when I sewed on the binding. The result I think is hardly noticeable.

The two miniscule scraps left.



All fixed

Friday, January 8, 2021

Triangles and Magic Stars

      Finally, I tackled cutting the rest of the triangles for the Zebra quilt. I was asked to proof the directions for it and made a couple then. I am not the best at moving rulers multiple times for one cut and not getting some slippage. This was a bit hard for me to cut which is why it sat for months. Today, while the grandkids were doing remote school, I  girded up and cut them, very slowly to finish cutting all the strip sets. There are four stacks for me to start and put up on the design wall. I have a feeling there are not enough color combos, although enough cut pieces, to make a top.

     The Joyful Quilter posted a pattern called Magic Stars  and it fascinated me as I have a basket of 10" squares I had cut. I pulled out the basket and made a few to see how it looked. After thinking about it on the design wall, I paired enough squares to make a comfort quilt. When I need something mindless, I will cut all the pairs. Very simple, no seams matching, just what you need sometimes.

Stack of pairs to be cut


Thursday, January 7, 2021

January on the waterfront

      For 26 years, my husband and I have gone away for two days to Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario for relax and recuperate from the year. We spend time and do our year planning and reflect on how we did the past year. This year, the border is closed and there is nowhere to go.

      On January 1st, we went down to the Buffalo waterfront which has undergone a huge transformation in the past 10 years. New this year is the almost finished built Carousel building and the Longhouse boat building structure. Normally, there is ice skating, hot chocolate, music, and so on. This year, ghost town. No one but us. Kind of eerie. I certainly hope this is not the end of the waterfront excitement. Couldn't even get a cup of coffee.

Canalside Bridge over slip for original Erie Canal

Black bridge in back over Ice Rink connecting to Explore and More Kids Museum

The Skyway out of Buffalo, General Mills cereal in back, smell of Cheerios all over.

Carousel Museum to house a Buffalo built Herschel Carosel

Carousel in front, Long House down the decking

Long House that is building a replica Canal boat

Long House, Buffalo News Building in back

The Little Rock in the Buffalo Naval Park

Tall building is Seneca One Tower undergoing rehab by Doug Jemal

The Skyway (I think it is beautiful- some want to rip it down) in front of the Cheerios factory

Abandoned grain mills that have LED changing light projections on at night,
Buffalo River in front, Lake Erie in back

Looking south from Wilkenson Point

Looking north from Wilkenson Point to Coast Guard lighthouse and Peace Bridge to right

Ugly wind turbines on the former Bethlehem Steel site to south.
Beyond breakwall is Lake Erie

Marble rubble from M&T Bank's Marble Temple torn down and
discarded on the waterfront in the 50s

Gazebo at Wilkenson Point on January 1st- gray day with sun trying to break through

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Well, mine is still up

      All but the binding is finished on the Christmas Trees quilt. My real tree is still up so I think I am good on the tree front. I hate to take the tree down because of the bright cheer it adds on these gray days and because it was from my tiny yard- I will never have 20 years to grow one again. 

     Most of the quilting went ok, just a little bad tension ripping. I had the plan in my head and it went as planned, so that is a plus. Plus, I liked the quilting. I used Celery Glide top and bottom. I need to make the binding but, I have glaring error. When I was trimming the border, because I had a new blade and was careful to not put my fingers close to the edge of my steel framing rulers, the ruler shifted and I cut a slice out of the edge. I cannot trim it even as I would lose too much. I am trying to figure out how to add in a strip, front and back, to hold the binding straight. Never done that one before. The steel rulers are slippery and I try and hold them at the edges, but there was that new blade to deal with.

Oopsie edge gouge- oh no!
Figuring out the backing was hard, but worth it. Started with a panel, but needed much more.

Backing sewn

Needs binding and fixed edge


Quilted Back

Detail of back