Thursday, April 27, 2023

New Leader Enders

     Since the nine patch stripe quilt is sewn, I need to supply some leader enders at the machines to keep going.  Besides the red crumb center blocks, I decided on two. Both are Bonnie Hunter patterns because they use size of scraps I save and can accumulate until there are enough blocks.
     The first one is Triple Treat as I have lots of pieces of 2 1/2" strips and 1 1/2" squares. This one is a free pattern on her site.

     The other one is Sugar Grove which is a new pattern ($) from Bonnie . It uses 2 1/2" strips that I use the Easy Angle Ruler for. This uses light and dark strips. By layering the light and dark together and cutting them, I put them in a basket by one machine to use this as my leader ender.

     These are 4 full blocks here. I webbed the blocks by column and ironed the layout on freezer paper to keep them in place. Got to go and cut some more.      
     I am not smart enough to figure out why the comments on the blog are not coming to me, if you know, pass the info on.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

The Stripes have it

     A couple of years ago (grimace), a woman at my quilt guild gave me a plastic shoe box filled with 2" scrap stripe squares. She knew I loved stripes (for bindings) and knew I loved scraps. The box was pretty full. I started to sew 9 patch blocks as leader enders. I tried a dark stripe center and then a light stripe center. I oriented all the light blocks in one direction and the dark in another. I chose the light centers. I made a lot of blocks, but had no idea what to do with them. I asked quilters experienced in scraps, but no one had an idea. I tried square in a square blocks with black and white triangles, but it was yucky.
     Then I pulled out my off-white scraps and fooled around with the stripes. I decided to put one square in the middle and frame it. Liked it. Then I combined the 9 patch blocks and the framed blocks, but it was boring on the wall. Then some fell off and tilted to suggest an on point layout. Hmm, sort of liked it.
     When I had eye surgery and could not see well, I started to put blocks on the wall and sew more blocks. I drew a sketch on graph paper and decided to make it 10 nine patches by 11 nine patches alternating rows with the framed blocks. I was obsessed with making them all. Then I was obsessed sewing them together which is a time consuming boring task. I used a stripe fabric for a thinner border and then pieced the outer border using off white with white fabric using square in a square corners.
     I can't believe I finished it all. However, my eyesight has not returned to normal. It is better than it was, but it is still like looking through a sheer curtain that moves. I put off the other eye surgery until this one clears.


All sewn

A stripe border and off-white border

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Ready to web- but when?

      I have two quilts that are ready to web and finish. However, I cannot see to do the seams accurately. My eye has not improved since surgery last week. I still have fog and no clear sight. I see the doctor in two days and lots of tears later. I have put off surgery on the other eye that was supposed to be in a week.

Magic Circles, from 10" squares I cut

Pixel Chain

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Leafing out

     No, not the branches on the trees here. The daffodils finally are opening and the hellebores have, but little else. The quilt's leaves are rustling.
     I have been absent here, not because of the weather, but between Easter prep, guests and making dinner, and then I had cataract surgery combined with glaucoma surgery. I am unable to see in one eye. My right eye is fogged out. It is supposed to last 3-5 days and I am going, frankly, nuts. The eyes are fighting for supremacy, I have no vision but fog in one eye, and I can do little. I am trying hard to do this post. I can't sew or cut or drive or read. The doctor says it is fine. I supposedly have the left eye in less than 2 weeks to do. Might have to be put off. Eyesight is a gift I highly treasure.

Just before eye surgery. Big Purple's first quilt. Rosie thinks it is a hammock.
The leaves done with swirls around them, straight lines in the corners.

Back detail

Backing blown by wind
     Thank you to Quiltdiva Julie for the quilt pieces, backing and awesome binding! I hope you enjoy seeing it. No recipient yet.

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Webbed finishes

      At the quilt retreat, I was able to sew two entire quilts by webbing and then, at home, I sewed on borders. I don't like to have a lot of seams in the binding, so I will put even thin borders on to help the quilt be more secure and less bulgey.

All sewn Disappearing Hourglass

With thin white border to bind against

All sewn at retreat

Dragonfly border sewn on at home. This completes the swap block quilt from years ago!!

Monday, April 3, 2023

Retreats are for progress

      Sounds counterintuitive, but going on a quilt retreat, if you plan for it, helps make huge progress in finishing quilts. I plan and take blocks that need to be webbed and all sewn together. I also take blocks that are laid out on freezer paper (ironed on) and put together those blocks. I take a couple of leader/ender projects. And snacks.
     Lately, it has been hard to get quilters to go on the retreats, which we do in March and November typically. We used to have 20 and a waiting list, now we get six, which is not as much fun. The place we go is Stella Niagara, an old school/covenant/mother house and sits on gorgeous land on the banks of the Niagara River above Lewiston, NY just before it empties into Lake Ontario. They feed us and we have our own bedroom and a large room to set up all our stuff and leave it there.
     As we finish projects, we load the railing into the room with them for view.

Some of the blocks sewn from Pixel Chain that I had ironed on freezer paper for portability and to keep the pieces in order.