Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Another applique block complete

Here is block four from the Baltimore Bliss pattern found here.
Before I began the blocks, I made a sample page of the fabrics, and assigned a letter to each.  Then I spent some time planning where to use each fabric, so that there would be a variation, but not too much of any one fabric. 

I decided to use the same green fabric for the large arcs found in each block.  I like the way they alternate position, being set square to the block or in a diagonal placement, like this block.  Block five is well underway.  Now that the new TV season is upon us, (and I like to check out most of the new shows), I need lots of hand work to do!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Design Wall Monday

I have two things on my design wall this morning - block three of the "Raggedies" redwork project, a BOM from Kaaren's blog and some more progress on my miniature paper piecing quilt.  (The flannel on my design wall is printed in 2 inch squares, for size reference.)
 I had forgotten how long it takes to make such tiny paper pieced sections!  I usually "assembly line" sew when I piece, and it is just not possible with this tiny pattern.  The original pattern, from a Miniature Quilts magazine from 1995, also calls for a pieced border.  DH thinks I should include it, as I've spent so much time on the project already.  I'll just see how it is going, as I still have all my Christmas shopping to do (we exchange with the family in October before heading south), as well as planning and packing fabric for my winter projects.  At least with DS2 living here, I don't have to clean the house and clean out the food before we go - he just carries on.  We're going to miss him when he moves on.
Let's see what everyone else is doing at Judy's blog.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Trying to Plan Ahead

This time of year, things always get busy.  We try to do all our last minute visiting, prepare the garden for winter, I'm packing projects to take south this winter, and the schedule gets really full.
Today, I decided to get ahead and make my BOM's for my quilt guild meeting in two weeks.
The pattern was provided at the September meeting, with colour suggestions.  We can make 1 or as many blocks as we want.  For each block handed in, your name goes into a draw, and one person wins all the blocks.  Occasionally the blocks are donated to our Community Quilts project, and sometimes, they are divided into groups and more than one person wins.  Some months there are lots of blocks, and others only a handful.  I won a couple of years ago, but as the pattern was a paper pieced one, only a few participated.  I brought my prize home, made a couple of extra blocks and had a 9 block wall hanging for "show and tell" at the next meeting!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Finished Pinwheel Flowers

Yesterday was sunny and little wind, so I recruited my two tall guys to hold my quilt for its final photograph.  This one does something for me, and DH loves it too.  I took a second picture in full sunlight, as it shows the quilting a bit better.....

Unfortunately, it also has some serious shadows as well !
Tomorrow, I'm off to my sister-in-laws to help her with some quilt problems, then on Wednesday we are providing a staff appreciation lunch for the nursing home where my Mother-in-law spent the last few years of her life.  They took excellent care of her, and gave us the peace of mind to do our normal travelling etc., with much less worry.  I'm in charge of desserts, so I used Marion's recipes for brownies, marzipan bars and snowballs (made with dates), along with some turtle bars and rolled oat shortbread.  My son hopes that there will be some left to bring home! 

Design Wall Monday

I finally got back to work on this miniature feathered star.  Last fall, I was looking through some old Miniature Quilts magazines, and rediscovered this project.  At some time I had drawn all the foundation pieces and tucked them into the magazine.  Of course, I didn't start it until we were doing the final packing to return north for the summer, so it got tucked away in a bag with fabric, magazine and paper piecing tools.  There are four of these blocks in the quilt, and according to the pattern, they finish 4 1/8"!  I think I am insane......
Check out what others are working on at Judy's blog.
Someone asked me if I quilt on a long-arm machine.  No room at the inn, plus spending life in two different locations would make this impossible.  For my piecing, thread painting, machine applique, I use my Pfaff 2048.
 For machine quilting I use my Juki.  Right now it is sitting on my old sewing table.  

DH made me a sewing table so that it can sit flush to the table surface.  When I got my new Pfaff, I found out that it was a bit taller, so we used the quilting extension table to provide a level working surface.  I sewed for many years with my machine on a table, and suffered many headaches and neck and back pain from the hours that I stitched.  My machine quilting has improved dramatically since DH made my new table.  When we are at our winter place, I use an old plywood banquet table, so DH cut a hole in it and made a box to attach underneath to hold my machine.  The table no longer folds, but it works beautifully.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

More Quilting

More variegated thread - blue for the blue flowers and pink for the pink ones.  The blue blocks were stitched with hooked feathers,

and the pink ones with large looping feathers.  I decided to leave the background fabric unquilted in this project, but I did stitch a design in the setting and corner triangles.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Back to Quilting

Finally managed to pin-baste the pinwheel flower quilt that I began here.
I began by doing some stitch-in-the-ditch quilting with monofilament (invisible) thread, stitching the plain borders, and stitching around the outline of each pinwheel.
I continued to stitch the yellow small flower pinwheels with some variegated trilobal polyester thread (nice and shiny), stitching swirls in each "petal".

Then I stitched the green pinwheels in the border, using a green variegated thread.  I stitched large leaves in each part of the small green pinwheels.....

 Then continued with smaller leaves in the large pinwheel blocks in the border.......

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Finished quilting the problem quilt

This was one time that I wished I had a frame or long-arm machine!  This quilt really needed an all-over quilt design.  I decided to quilt the Baptist Fan pattern.  I made arcs from double layers of freezer paper, with a line drawn before cutting, showing the vertical straight of grain line.  I had to stop and pin each set before doing the free-motion stitching along the edge of the freezer paper.  It was a bit time consuming, but I did get it finished.
I then stitched my favourite "hooked on feathers" hooks on both sides of a curvy line in the plain pink border.  I used Superior King Tut thread #937 for all the stitching.
I hope this quilt finds a good owner at my friend's church Christmas lunch and sale in late November........ 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Block Sizes

For those wondering, my design wall is covered in flannel that is printed with 2 inch squares.  I bought the yardage back when everyone was making watercolour quilts, and this was recommended as a designing tool.  I still have my 7 baggies of 2 inch watercolour squares, sorted from light to dark, but have never made one yet!  I did try a project using the fusible interfacing marked with 2 inch squares.  It worked well, but seemed very stiff when finished.
My latest applique blocks will finish around 16 inches, and are destined for a queen-size quilt.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Design Wall Monday

I finished hand stitching the last applique shape on the third block last night.  I use silk thread and a size 11 needle, stitching about 1/8th of an inch apart.  I also use extra stitches at the points and the inward points, to make sure that they will be secure when washed.  The pattern is from Fat Cat Patterns.
Check out the other design walls at Judy's blog.

Friday, September 10, 2010

New member of my extended family

My brother and his  partner, Maggie, adopted a couple of donkeys last spring.  He was there to help with the birth of the newest member.  They are kept in a shed attached to the building where he works on his hot rod.  We plan to visit in person the next time we are in the Toronto area. (His shop is in a rural area northeast of the city).

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Finished Snowman Collector

I finished the simple, stitch-in-the-ditch quilting on Monday, then hand stitched the binding yesterday.  I then went back and did some outline quilting around the snowmen and trees, but I kept it simple as the fabrics and embroidery do most of the work on this quilt.  I plan to take it to Florida to freshen up my Christmas display this year!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Design Wall Monday

I'm having the worst time getting the colours to show correctly when I take a digital picture.  I think it is a combination of my old digital camera and the fluorescent lighting in my sewing room.  The dark squares in the checkerboard area are a warm brown, and there is a darker red and a great purple fabric in these as well.  I guess I'll have to start taking pictures in natural light!
These lovely Raggedy Ann and Andy blocks are from a BOM from The Painted Quilt Blog.  Kaaren adds new blocks on the 20th of the month.  Can't wait for the next one!  I have made a kit of the fabrics I'm using in the quilt, so that I can take it with me to Florida this winter, and continue making the blocks each month.
Head over to Judy's blog to see what is on everyone else's design wall today.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Adding yet another project!

My best friend called yesterday to ask a favour.  A member of her church had passed away, and her family had found an unfinished quilt - top made and matched to batting and backing piece included.  She asked if I could quilt it in time for their fall bazaar.
After it was delivered, I opened it to find this:
It is an oversized pinwheel quilt made of two blocks and a couple of odd borders.  I pressed it and starched it well.  When I unfolded the backing fabric, there wasn't enough to back the quilt, let alone make binding.  My friend had said to call if I needed anything, but I decided to use this project to help shrink my stash.
I cut the required pieces for the binding from the backing fabric, then measured what was left.  I didn't have enough of any one pink fabric to make a large enough backing, so I added one print to the sides, and another to the top and bottom.  More spray starch on the backing and I am now in the process of pin basting.
Choosing a quilting design to help this quilt will be a big decision.....