Archive for the ‘Quilting’ Category

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…

Comfort Quilts

February 8, 2016

I’m happily sewing away in sunny Arizona with the quilt groups I belong to here, and concentrating on piecing Comfort Quilts this year. It’s helping me deal with the loss of my father, and will hopefully benefit the people who will receive these quilts.

 

American Patchwork and Quilting magazine sent me an advertisement last year with a free quilt pattern included, and I made a variation of the 2.5” square and 4.5” x 2.5” rectangle shapes used in 2015. The simple shapes captured my interest, and I decided to make a few more variations utilizing them.

 

The first quilt I made was this one:

First Comfort Quilt 2016

 

All the fabric was purchased in Arizona, and the colors are strong. That was my intent, and I’m pleased with the result. The binding will be in the dark blue, and should nicely frame this quilt.

 

The second quilt is this one:

Second Comfort Quilt 2016

 

And was I ever surprised when a visitor took one look at it and said that’s the Missouri Quilt Zipper Quilt. Now I’d never seen the Missouri Quilt Zipper video, but it was the first thing I checked out when I returned home. Sure enough, it uses the same shapes – little different measurements – a different arrangement, but these two patterns are sure enough kissing cousins. ­­­­­­­

 

That’s okay. I’m still having fun with these shapes, and will most likely make 2 more variations. In fact, one was started yesterday. This one uses very different colors – a solid white, with many prints received from a dear friend (Beth) who didn’t want to use the prints color palette anymore. It’s not a color palette I use often either, but I am most definitely having fun using them in this project.

 

The usual sightseeing, shopping, and relaxing is also going on. The restaurants down here are wonderful, and I’m oh so happy to be in the place my heart calls home.

 

Hugs…

Comfort Quilt

September 27, 2015

My creativity is slow in coming back.  I’m missing my Dad horribly, but know that he would want me to get busy doing what I love to do, so I thought I’d make a quilt – a simple quilt.  Something that would soothe me as I made it, and comfort someone when they received it.  The time was right to create a Comfort quilt.

I love scrap quilts.  The only problem is I don’t have a lot of scraps.  What can I say?  I make a quilt, then donate the leftover fabric to my local quilt club.  I even donate leftover blocks.  It’s my way of attempting to control my fabric collection.

Browsing through one of my shelving units, I had a light bulb moment.  What if I selected a print with a small repeat, cut it up into little pieces, and used just that one fabric for the printed scraps?  Hmmm.  It might work.  Here is a picture of the fabric I selected:

Rectangle fabric

And here is a picture of the quilt top, with my little black TV in the bottom of the photo:

Rectangle top

Does that not look like it’s a scrap quilt?  I sure think so.  It all coordinates, yet there are blues, greens, reds, and yellows in there.  And it’s so easy.  No searching through a scrap bin, no trying to get colors that play well with each other, just simply cutting 2.5″ strips  from one fabric choice, sectioning them, and sewing them together with the solid colored fabric.

The original pattern has the columns next to each other, but I’ve always wanted to make a strippy quilt, with an area for some fancy quilting, so I used muslin strips between the pieced columns.

The quilt top isn’t finished yet.  The muslin strips have to be added to the top and bottom, but I was so excited by this concept, I had to share it with all of you.  Now somebody else might have thought of doing this, but at 12:30 am, it came to me, I started sewing, and by 3 am, the first column was already made.

Hugs…

Disappearing 9 Patch and Finished a Bracelet

July 31, 2014

Yesterday, I hosted a small group of creative friends at my house, and we explored Disappearing 9 Patch as shown on this site. Yes, I’m venturing into the modern quilt genre.

As usual, I skimmed the directions and didn’t follow the 4 + 5 rule. In my defense, I started sewing at 11:30pm, and I’m not all that cognitively with it at that time of night. Some blocks had 4 prints, some 5, some 3, and this is what I ended up with:

9 patch wonder

My version was made with Moda fabrics from 1999, and I ended up with a very soft, very romantic looking disappearing 9-patch.

Fabric choice is everything with this technique. Batiks would be great, Asian inspired designs, solids, just about anything would look great with this. If you used a large print, I’d cut 10″ squares or larger though, so you wouldn’t lose the design when you quarter the 9-patches.

This small piece was made from 6 blocks, and I will make another 3 blocks today so I’ll have a nice sized square. It will be the center for a Comfort quilt. I used 3″ squares as I had a stack of them already cut, but everybody at the meeting was cutting different size squares – all larger. It will be interesting to see how different they will all look.

On the jewelry front, I finished a bracelet I started in June:

random bracelet

This was really easy, and the delay was caused as I was having problems locating beads in my collection with holes large enough for 2 strands of leather cording to pass through. I had to resort to making some tubular peyote stitch beads – which took a little time to make. After making two of them I decided if I wanted to wear the bracelet this year, I’d better go bead shopping. JoAnns had the perfect wooden beads on sale, and a few other goodies, so they came home with me – not quickly.

Here’s what happened. I purchased the beads, paid for them, got home, and they were not in my bag. I didn’t realize it till 11:30pm. What is it with me and feeling the need to be creative at 11:30pm, but having issues at that time of night?

I digress. Of course, I couldn’t sleep after realizing my lovely beads were MIA, so called the store as soon as they opened the next morning. Yup, they had them behind the counter. The sales clerk didn’t put all my purchases in my bag. My husband had our car, so I couldn’t hop in it to go get them. By the time he got home, the store was closed, and then I realized, it was a 30 minute drive to go get those beads, and I’d wait till I had to do other shopping in that area. It was a week before I got back to the store.

Then my natural predispostion to procrastinate set in. The only reason this bracelet got finished was because I had to clear the ktichen table for yesterday’s meeting. And that is the end of the story of my very easy to make 6 week bracelet.

Hugs…

More Dyeing and Finished Table Runner

July 27, 2014

Ater painting that “ugly” fabric using gathering stitches, I wanted to see what would happen with a piece of silk fabric I had in my collection. This time I sewed straight lines 2″ apart on a fat quarter:

Silk Original

I gathered it down to 2.5″ and used some thickened Procion MX 8147 Deep Purple dye on one side, and a mix of Procion MX 8147 and Dharma 300 New Black on the other side:

Painted

I can’t stop myself from saying, is that not gorgeous?

I added soda ash to the thickend dye, and painted on the fabric while it was dry. Then it was wrapped in plastic, and put outside to batch in the sun for 5 hours.

There is virtually no color run off when you rinse silk – gotta love that – and the result was the beautiful fat quarter. Now what to do with it? It’s too lovely to go back into the fabric collection, and quite frankly, my fabric collection is going to outlast me. It’s about time I use some of the lovelies.

And speaking of lovelies, the table runner is finally completed:

Finished spicy tablerunner

It took awhile to complete the quilting as I used a decorative stitch on my sewing machine. All that double stitching takes longer to complete, but it was worth it. And if anybody will be in the Brockport, NY area, you will be able to see this is person. It will be on display in the A Different Path Gallery from September 5-26, 2014, along with my First in Flight piece.

Hugs…