Archive for the ‘Quilting’ Category

Delilah Orbit Blocks

October 17, 2017

Nope, not finished with this month’s blocks yet, but thought I’d post a progress report.  Two out of four are completed:

Lots of points, lots of Y-seams and all totally done by sewing machine.  That means lots of stops and starts with short seams.

I am really pleased with how well the points match, but struggling with the color selection.  I love the first one, but the second one is “meh” to me.  I do love the little bunny in the center, and the rich orange and blue combo though.  And now that I’m dissecting the block, it’s not all that bad after all.  Guess I needed a little distance from it.  It isn’t one of my favorites, but it plays well with the rest of the blocks.

On a personal note, it’s the end of gardening season.  Yeah for that!!!  I love having fresh veggies, but I hate processing them for storage.  Some get frozen, some dehydrated, and anyway you look at it, it’s a lot of work.  I am so glad I’m done for the year, and now I can get out of the kitchen, although I have started baking fresh bread again.

I will totally enjoy using the garden veggies this winter though – which is why my dear husband puts in a garden.  They get served as side dishes, put in soups, and added to multiple recipes.  Just for the heck of it, I’m going to list everything I did.

Dehydrated zucchini and made plenty of meals with it.  That zucchini is one prolific veggie.

Dehydrated tomatoes and enjoyed lots of BLTs

Froze green beans, and made lots of green beans, potato and spaghetti suppers.

Froze corn and had not one, not two, not three, but 4 plantings of corn on the cob being harvested.

Froze sweet red peppers and stuffed enough of them for 22 main meals.  Also made lots of sweet red pepper sauce with them.

Froze onions – chopped them for easy use in Instant Pot meals this winter.

Used carrots, parsnips, onions, leeks and Brussel sprouts in meals

Lettuce for fresh salads

Made marinara from zucchini and cherry tomatoes

Roasted Chinese chestnuts

It’s a wonder I got any sewing done since the garden started doing it’s thing.  😉

Hugs…

 

 

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Delilah North Star Blocks

September 28, 2017

Ta-da, I finished up this month’s blocks, the day after I received next month’s blocks (Orbit).  No breather in between blocks this time, and it is all good, because everyone who has already done the Orbit blocks, says they are not easy – not one little bit.  It was great to get them a little early this time around.

You see, Orbit has the dreaded Y-seams in them.  Ah well, I’m not going to borrow trouble, but instead bask in the glory of completing the 5 North Star blocks:

These were a joy to sew, and I’m oh so pleased with how well the points match.  They finished to the correct size too.

These blocks are a mix of kit fabric, what I already owned, and what I purchased for this project.  The recently  purchased fabrics were primarily low volume fabrics.  I did not have a lot of them in my fabric collection, and one of my local fabric stores – Sew Creative – came to the rescue.

The oldest fabric used in a block was from the 1970’s.  Yes, the 1970’s.  There were only scraps left, but that’s why I have a scrap drawer, and to be honest, my scraps have way outgrown their “containment” area.  There will be a lot more projects featuring fabric scraps appearing here soon.  And then again, maybe not so soon.  😉  I’m not exactly a speedy maker, but I do so enjoy creating.

Hugs…

Delilah Fairhaven

September 15, 2017

I almost quit making this quilt over these blocks:

I love the design.  Did not like making them one little bit.  The centers are definitely wavy, and it was my fault.  I used a combination of regular weight quilting cotton, with some lightweight lawn.  The weight difference between the two fabrics caused the waviness.  As a result, I’ve collected all my lawn fabrics, and placed them aside so they can be used together in another project.

The first block I made was the one on the top.   The second block was the one on the bottom, and I like the rainbow star quite a bit.  The third block I made was the one in the middle and was the waviest.  I really thought I’d get better at making this design with practice, but alas I do believe this didn’t occur. It does appear to be the scrappiest, and that was the effect I wanted to create.   There are actually more different fabrics in the first block, but the border fabrics all kind of blend with each other – which was my intent – so I don’t think that block appears as particularly scrappy.

I don’t have a favorite block here, and all I can say is I’m really glad I’m done making them.  If I had to make more, I’d fuse those darn melon shapes in place.  They were a royal pain in the you know where to sew, and I’m hoping I can iron them flatter, or that the quilt batt will absorb some of the waviness.

The design is awfully pretty though, isn’t it?  And I did do a great job of matching points – even if I do say so myself.  😉

Hugs….

Comfort Quilt 15

September 8, 2017

I’m sure I’ve made more than 15 Comfort quilts, but this is number 15 since I’ve started taking pictures, posting them on my blog, and remembering where the photos have been kept.  There were 2 laptops, and 1 desk top involved with storing photos, so it’s no wonder I lost track of some of them.

Comfort Quilt 15 blog

The bottom half of this photo is an accurate color representation of the quilt, and I absolutely loved making this one.  The colors are so happy.  It was hard to give up, but I have a lot of quilts in my home, and I do so hope whoever receives it will love it as much as I do.

This has some batik fabric I purchased in Tucson, some Japanese themed fabric, some florals I received in a swap, some 4th of July fireworks printed fabric, and some Christmas fabric I purchased from JoAnns in it, and they all played very well with each other.

This is the last of the woven themed designs I’ll be making for now.  Creating Comfort quilts is an excellent way to explore variations, and I thoroughly enjoyed making the 5th in this series.

Log Cabins are calling my name, but I’m not 100% sure I’ll go that route for my next group of Comfort quilts.  I have a few books on my dresser than have intriguing designs in them, so a little research is in order.  Till then,

Hugs…

 

Prep for New Project

July 16, 2017

I recently purchased a few of Jen Kingwell’s patterns, and haven’t decided if I’ll start It’s a Small World or Queens Cross yet.  Both use circles, so I thought I’d look into making applique circles.

One of my friends – Sue – lent me her sets of  Perfect Circles.  These are made of some sort of plastic in different sized circular shapes, and designed by Karen Kay Buckley.

Okay, I watched Karen’s you tube video, plugged in my iron, turned it on, cut my fabric circle, stitched around the edge, pulled it tight with the circle shape inside, and painted the edges with sizing.  Plopped the iron on top, and walked away for a minute or so, came back, lifted the iron, and the fabric was still soaking wet.

Hmm, I looked at the iron, and saw it wasn’t actually turned on.  Turned it to cotton, put the iron on top, walked away for a minute or so, came back, and the fabric was still soaking wet.  What the heck? Is my iron broken?

Traced the cord to the electric outlet, and it wasn’t plugged into the electric strip.  Oh there was an iron plugged into the electric outlet, but it wasn’t the one I was using. LOL

You see, I keep two irons in my sewing room: one small travel iron, and my larger one for yardage.  Seems I had plugged in the little travel iron, turned it on, but picked up the other iron to use instead.  This was definitely a “duh” moment.

Laughing out loud, I picked up the little travel iron, plopped it on top of my little fabric circle, and waited the recommended 20 seconds.  Lifted the iron, and this time I was rewarded with a nicely dried circle.  YES!!! Success!!!

circle 1

Lesson learned, love the templates, will purchase a set for myself, and have only about a few hundred more to make in my future.

Hugs…

 

 

 

 

Delilah Shooting Stars

July 9, 2017

I’m all caught up with my Delilah TOM and had a great time sewing these 2 blocks:

Block 3 a mine

Block 3 b mine

I’m really trying to use the fabric from the fabric kit, but find myself using lots of fabric from my collection, and altering the fabric I do use.  12 fabrics from the kit, and 20 from my collection in the above two blocks.

I’m pretty sure this situation has developed because I am not going with the flow.  I am approaching each one of these blocks with an idea in mind – like changing values.  No way could a fabric kit meet specific goals like that, especially since I change my mind with each month’s blocks.

I’m loving the fabric I receive each month, and am using colors outside my comfort zone, so am very satisfied with the fabric kit, and this entire project.  I’m learning something new, and having fun interacting with the Facebook community.

Now back to the blocks.  The first one went together quickly.  The second block not so fast.  I was attempting to do a color value with the lightest in the center, and gradually going darker towards the edges.  I found out there are not a lot of light orange fabrics.  My solution?  Dye some.

That little piece of light orange fabric came from my friend Beth – thank-you Beth – and had a stark white background.  First I tried changing the white, so I vanilla dyed it.  I use vanilla instead of tea as tea is acidic, and I’d really like this quilt to last awhile.

The vanilla solution darkened the background, but it just looked sad.  Out came my textile inks and clear aloe vera gel.  This is my favorite medium to use to color fabric – quickly, easily, and it’s washable after being heat set.  Well, it took me a good long time to mix the correct orange from my blue and yellow inks, but I got it.

That second block also has a piece of fabric from my friend Sue – thank-you Sue – the green and yellow squiggly fabric on the upper left.  This block will hold lots of good thoughts as I will always think of these two friends when I look at it.

Then I did a bad thing.  I cut one of the corner pieces of fabric off grain – as I really wanted the words to go in one direction.  It’s on the right side of the block, and I’ll have to make sure the block that goes next to it, will be on the straight of grain, because that triangle walks to a different drummer – not a nice precise drummer in a drill band, but a drummer who has a mind of his/her own, and wants to go on a walk about after having too much to drink.  😉

Hugs…

 

 

Comfort Quilt # 14

July 10, 2016

I finally completed Comfort Quilt #14 for my local quilt club, Genesee Valley Quilt Club. It’s hard for me to believe I’ve made this number for donation, but am very glad I started taking pictures of them in the past few years. I sure as heck don’t remember my earliest donations, let alone have photographs of them.

 

This photo is truly horrid. I had to use the flash – in broad daylight no less – and the colors are dark. It is what it is, but I loved making this quilt:

Comfort Quilt 14

 

Judy Simmons shared this pattern (That’s a direct link to the pattern.  It’s free.), and it is oh so easy to make. I adore the woven effect you get. It looks like it was complex piecing, yet it isn’t.

It took me forever to make this quilt though. First I injured my shoulder, followed up by another injury on my knee – on the leg I use for my sewing machine pedal. Even with a few delays, this quilt was a joy to create.

All is better now, and the quilting and binding went like a breeze. I used decorative stitches for the quilting, and buttonhole stitch for the binding. I wanted to try both ideas out, and am glad I did.

I learned don’t bother with either of those ideas if you’re sewing on black fabric with black thread. Nothing shows. If you’re going to take the time to sew decorative stitches, let them shine. Use a contrasting color, or better yet, a metallic.

I actually thought about using gold metallic as the floral fabric has a touch of gold metallic outlining the motifs, but realized these quilts were going to get hard usage, and the metallic thread might not have held up. And honestly, metallic threads can be scratchy. Scratchy doesn’t fit with the concept of a nice cuddly quilt.

I’m going to cut the fabric for another one of these quilts using the same print, but a different solid color – a nice rich creamy gold.  I’m still deciding if the skinny strips will be the print, or remain as the rectangle shape.

This will be kitted up and brought with me when we travel back to Arizona. It will be very nice to have all the fabric cut, and just sit and sew. I’ll bring the backing and batting with me too, so I’ll be able to totally finish this on vacation.

Isn’t that oh so organized of me? 😉

 

Hugs…

Arizona Table Runner

May 7, 2016

The last project started in Arizona has been completed – the Mystery Quilt project – which ended up being a table runner:

Tablerunner

 

 

I am not a person who enjoys mystery projects. As soon as I finish one step, I want to move on to the second step. With mystery projects, you have to wait till each succeeding step is released. Waiting is not something I enjoy.  I also like focusing on one project at a time, so mystery projects and I have never been compatible.

For some inexplicable reason, I agreed to participate in this mystery project, and am I ever glad I did. I learned about the 10 Minute Block – which I altered as I didn’t like the big expanse of fabric in the corners. I fused strips of contrasting fabric down the middle of those corners, so the scale of all the pattern pieces is similar.

I learned about the Double Diamond ruler too, which was oodles of fun for the interlocking braid strip.

And last but not least, I learned about the Flights of Fancy 5 Minute block. By the way, none of the blocks actually took 5 or 10 minutes. Much debating, much rearranging, and much sewing and un-sewing took place, so I ended up spending lots more time on these simple blocks. Now that I know what I’m doing, these blocks would actually take 5 or 10 minutes to sew, but there had to be over 40 of us in this workshop, and trying to get everybody on the same page, at the same time, was quite a feat.  Our teacher did a great job leading this workshop.

I did change the layout a bit. The extra black strips between the blocks added some length, and the sashing added a bit more.

I am quite pleased with how this table runner turned out. The turned edges of the Cathedral window type blocks, and the braided strip added wonderful dimension, and I like the fabric choices.

Now to finish the quilting on my improv quilt, face it, attach a hanging sleeve, and label. I’ll share a photo of that as soon as I finish it. Hopefully, it will be including in an upcoming exhibit, and then I have a long list of scrap quilts I’d like to make, and garments to make.  Yes, I would like to make some items of clothing for myself.  I find I am drawn to skirts, and don’t have any casual ones in my wardrobe.  When I googled cotton skirts, I was appalled at the prices, so will see if I can manage to make a few – with pockets.  I gotta have pockets.

Hugs…

Comfort Quilt # 4

April 8, 2016

I’m back home and was highly insulted to see snow on the ground.  Yes, it’s April in Upstate New York, so that is not surprising, but I’ve been spoiled with all the sunshine and warm weather in Arizona.  Back to the reality of a volatile Upstate New York Spring.

Back also to my wonderful sewing machine.  I bring a small, lightweight sewing machine with me on vacation, and really miss my Pfaff.  No way am I lugging a 40 pound sewing machine around with me when I travel though.

This was actually a good thing this year as I tried my first QAYG project, and do I ever love the QAYG technique.  Never more than 6″ of fabric on the right side of the sewing needle, and oh so much fun to do all the quilting before you join the next section.

This is the fourth arrangement of the square and rectangle shapes I’ve been using lately:

I don’t know which orientation  I like best.

And this is the first time I’ve sewn the binding totally by machine:

2016 binding

Would you believe this is Christmas fabric?  The colors matched the prints beautifully, so I used it.  I used stitch 2.2.6 or maybe it’s 2.26 in my Pfaff sewing machine to topstitch the binding to the front.  It took a little longer but it did a great job of keeping the binding in place and looks just as good on the back as it does on the front.

I still have two more projects started in Arizona to finish, then have lots of ideas for future projects.

Hugs…

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day 2016 and the Birth of a QAYG Quilt

February 15, 2016

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day.   It was a wonderful day for me.

First I emailed a couple of dear friends to wish them a Happy Valentine’s Day.  My husband went clay shooting in the morning, and then we went out to eat at our favorite restaurant in Tucson.

It was a gorgeous day, 82, sunny, and I set up my outside sewing station (in the shade) for the first time since we arrived:

IMG_0004

There was a beautiful breeze – which is why my hair is in motion, and I got the first piece of a Quilt As You Go (QAYG) project completed.  The fabric prints are from Beth – thank-you, Beth, and the white fabric was mine.

Yes, it is composed of the same square and rectangle sizes from the last Comfort Quilts I posted, but doesn’t it look totally different?  It is yet a third setting, and the color choices are clear and crisp.

Another difference is I’m sewing fabric scraps together, then cutting some of the rectangles from the made fabric.  This adds more variety, and gives the illusion of a much more complex top.  It is so much fun, and oh so satisfying to actually use some of my fabric scraps.

I can not wait to see how this project develops.  I’ve never made a QAYG quilt before, but with the small harp I have on my sewing machine in Tucson, I thought I’d give it a try.

No presents were exchanged.  Instead we were gifted with a perfect weather day by Mother Nature – thank-you Mother Nature – and enjoyed every minute of the sun, gentle breezes, and beautiful sunset.

Hugs…