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Archive for the ‘piecing quilts’ Category

Jan 2017
I send boxes to be shipped to my friend, Trish, every year.  Most of the items are for distribution to the local Honduran families to which they minister.  I’ve made and sent quilts before as their homes don’t have heat and many nights can be down in the 50’s!  I don’t want to sleep that cold and not have a quilt or blanket so they are really needed.  Mostly it is my time and I use fabric I already have.  I have yet to make much dent in the fabric stash so I’m glad to make someone happy with a warm quilt.

I also send school supplies, kitchen items, and small gifts for the Christmas packages they make.  I like supporting them because my funds and the gifts go to the people who need it most.  And Trish & her family continue to minister, teach, and train the ones they help in the economically poor country.  They don’t just drop a gift and never return but continue to make sure the family knows about God’s love and to make sure their physical needs are being met.

Last year they had some of their gifts stolen so I hope that quilt is keeping a  young person warm and they feel God’s love from my work.

This year, I made a quilt in colors for Trish’s room as she’d been talking about them moving houses to allow for their son and growing family to move into their bigger home.  I thought a new quilt would be nice for her new room.  This kept me so busy the month of January to try to get it done as a few customer quilts had started to come during my weeks of vacation. (Stay-cation, of course, but I was trying to quilt for me.)

Loaded on the frame.  I forget the exact dimensions w/o looking up the notes but I think it was 96″ square.

Each star triangle got about the same but freehand quilting motif.

It was a last minute piecing idea to put piping in between the borders.  It wasn’t a smart idea either! Besides being tedious, now my triangle points were all cut off! Argh!!

And my triangles didn’t fit my corners properly.  I decided it didn’t matter in the overall look of the quilt and I wouldn’t mind it if it was my quilt!

I pieced the backing from leftover fabrics from the front and I had clearly cut way too many triangles for the borders!  

It is easier to show the quilting from the back sometimes.

So as not to be removed, I incorporated my label into the back of the quilt!  I appliqued her initial and then wrote my words on the lighter fabric along her “T”.  I added narrow fabric strips along the bottom of the label area on a 45′ angle while I pieced the backing.  I found it fun to decorate the back as I had done on the Pencil Quilt last fall.

In one of the borders, I also backwards quilted a special message to Trish that I was going to tell her about when she received the quilt.  I’ve not heard from her or if the quilt made it safely to her or not.  :\   It sort of makes me sad but I know that she is very, very giving and could have given it to someone who needed it instead of keeping it for herself.   (Hence, the label that can’t be removed.) I also know it isn’t possible to run such a ministry they do on their own and send notes to everyone that sends boxes for them.  I loved making this and would love to make a giant star quilt for myself sometime and add all the heavy freehand quilting.  It was a lot of fun!

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I bought this cloth book in a kit to make the quilt several years ago.  Finally, I was tired of waiting on myself to have it done at Christmas  so I made it!  I had the 2017 quilts finished for customers and the 2017 books caught up for The Farmer.  Time to quilt for me!

Since it was first printed to be a child’s cloth book, I cut apart each page to use as a block in the quilt.  The kit included fabric to make the pages all the same size.  I quilted around the animals and the first line of story on each page.

The border quilting was a fast double scallop and loops (ornaments) and the small decorative blocks in the quilt design had a freehand loop and leaf depending on which way I was moving at the time so they go different directions.

 

The last page tells of the animals welcoming the baby Jesus, The Great “I AM”.  Also the name of the fabric line.  A quilt shop in SD put the kit together to create the quilt from the book.  When I bought this at a quilt show, they said it was their last kit.

Since I had the binding on but not wrapped by Christmas I finished the hand-sewing the week following Christmas and plan to keep the quilt out all winter.  Someday a little one might come visit me and we can read the story while keeping our laps warm.

My first time to use a corner and fast label!

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I was really glad I could get to the IQF – Chicago quilt  show this spring for all 3 days.

On the first day, I had a few hours and saw some of the quilts as well as some of the vendors.

I had a class in the afternoon and I was first to sign up and ask to be teacher’s pet so I was the helper for the class. I had the ribbon to add to my nametag and afterwards I got a pin.  (So much un-Wow factor there!)   I checked with the Education​ office 45 mins before class was to start. Soon after one student was able to buy the class from someone else but came without even a pair of scissors! She got a quick class list and went shopping. On top of it, she had never taken a quilt class!

This was very interesting sort of class. Nothing I’ve ever done in my 30 years of quilt making!  It looks like wonky piecing but technically is applique.

At these classes, the machines are provided by a mainline dealer and there is a rep for every 3 classrooms. The rep gave an overview of the machine AND…. we found out the our carefully chosen specialty threads (on class list) wouldn’t fit in the machine.  It wasn’t a brand I’d suggest in the first place but that put a damper on things a bit.  I happened to have 1 spool that could fit in the machine so used that.  A few others had the rep wind their thread onto a bobbin to use as the top thread.  I think most in the class just had to use the regular sewing thread.  Oh … Brother, not for me!  Had I or we all known, at least I would  have brought a piece of tape, paperclip, and paper cup from SBx and made my thread work!  LOL!

Karen Stone was the instructor and had a long wait in the SBx line so was late for class.

Then the Education coordinator came to talk about other classes and the evening activities (ie trying to sell tickets) and the sewing machine rep came and talked too long.  (I guess maybe I should fill in the email survey…)  Finally it was class time but about 2:20, instead of 2 as we had all been waiting for.

The class was titled, “Remainderings” and as she taught we finally figured it out.  Very fun!

Karen gave a bit of an intro but mostly we just needed to watch her get going.  I like how she taught us 3 steps and then let us work on that.  She was right at our table or we’d congregate in a group of 5 or 6 around a machine while she’d demonstrate the next step again.  We needed the beginning steps learned before we moved on and she taught that well in class.  Once we all had a few pieces of the first half accomplished, she taught the final 2 steps.  I think all of us had one block completed through all the steps by the end of class.  Not that having “just one” block was a negative!  We had many blocks in various stages to jump right back into when we got home.

My first finished block.


Some of my pieces in progress when it was time to be done.

One of Karen’s blocks

 


Other students’ blocks.  The reason I needed to carry the 2 rolls of blue tape to the classroom — to hang our blocks on the wall!  Ha!


The blocks Karen had made to show us how they all go wild and play fun together!

I jumped right back into real life when I got home.  Maybe this weekend, I can sew some more on my class blocks.  I think it will make a very fun quilt!

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The last clue added the last row on the outside of the quilt.  The soloist continued a pattern to the centers and the corners.

11-complete-top
She also suggested piecing the backing from stash and I continued in my neutral pile.  And you know …. there are still more fabrics in the bin!  Her instructions included a bit of “sashing” on the back and corner posts.  I did all of this in neutrals but many in the group did another design of colors with this piecing.

10-back

I wrote the label on one of the backing cornerstones before quilting.

09-label

Planning the quilting….  I took a photo of the complete top, printed it in black & white, and then used tracing paper over that master to draw some ideas on paper.  In this photo, some is marked and I’m looking at thread ideas.

08-quilt-plan

Next up… quilting!

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It is rare that I get a chance to piece a quilt.  But there are gifts for special ones that go out ‘in haste’ here & there.

This is for a friend’s first granddaughter that is due soon. A family friend found me via FB and asked if I and any of our group’s quilters would like to make a baby quilt.   Sadly, our friend died 7 yrs ago and we thought it would be sweet to bless the daughter with quilts from her quilting friends as her mother would have been doing.  I was the only one that sent a quilt. The baby’s room is painted a golden yellow with accents in navy, purple, and fuchsia.

I chose the accent colors from my stash but just could not find the right background fabric for this.  I could drive 1 – 1 1/2 hrs each way to a modern quilt shop to try to find something which adds up to “take a day trip” with 3 hrs on the road, lunch out, etc.  I could have looked online for awhile and ordered but then I wouldn’t have it in time.  Or… I could dye my own!  My SIL was here and I was asking her help with choosing dyes off my color chart. Nothing was quite right and I was also looking for yellow dyes in the storage drawers.  There NOT on the chart but in my inventory, was pencil yellow.  Yes!  That was the color we wanted and I had bought that on a special – no longer made deal.  Of course, now I love it and hope to get some more pencil yellow fabric from my amount of dye.

06

The next day I dyed an extra amount of fabric than my plan needed just to be sure I had enough.  I was also making my own pattern so was just using my guesstimated amount of fabric needed.  I used about a 1/2 strength of dye.  I stirred the dye about every 15 mins for an  hour to have it more of a ‘solid but not quite’ coloring.  I was so excited as I think it came out perfect to what I wanted!
I cut the half-square triangles (HSTs) with my accuquilt Go! cutter.  LOVE IT!  I line up the fabrics that will be sewn together, right sides together, and they come out of the cutter ready to zip under the sewing machine.

Once I had all the HSTs sewn and pressed, I laid out part of the center design.

07

Sewed the top together…

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And this also shows some of the quilting marks I made before I loaded it in my machine for quilting.  I had guidelines for the circles and divisions of 8 or 4 per ring.

11
First the detail quilting in a variegated thread that stands out on the lighter fabrics.

01-b

The finished quilt – quilted, labeled, bound, & washed.

12Close-up of a corner and you can see the circular designs.  The background fill thread was a matching yellow and a finer size thread.

04-b

The back of the quilt. Once again, without going to buy the fabrics, I pieced the back from other fabrics in my stash.  🙂

I appliquéd the baby’s first initial and a heart, then pieced in the diagonal piece of fabric for an accent.

label 01
I had help from my family & friends on the label verse but I found it fitting since the mom has never met me. It was just a gift from God, with love from one of her mom’s quilting friends.  Sent from Illinois to Mississippi.

02-backing-b

The one who contacted me and the new mother were surprised at how well it matched the baby’s room.  Yeah!  I loved this quilt and had a hard time putting it in the box to ship away.  It was a gift of love so I knew I needed to send it.  It sounds like it was well received.

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I corrected the previous post that we get clues for this every WEEK.  So the first few weeks slid past me quite fast!  One quiet weekend in January, I did the cutting. Then I worked in the long evenings that week in getting caught up on the clues.

Clue 2 had us making a pile of 9-patches and Clue 3 added in some long rectangles.  Also for clue 3, these sets were combined and added to the center like this.  I’m just pulling random neutrals for my scraps, though making the rectangle parts go together per piece.  She tells us where the soloist fabric goes.

clue 02

Clue 4 was another pile of 9-patches.  They get monotonous so it was OK to break those times up!  I was working about 1 clue a day still so it was good for me to have a change of pace.

clue 03 and 04 combined

Clue 5 is below and added the outer row, where I marked off the center already completed with the dashed line.  By now, some of the other quilts posted on the group are showing very fun color arrangements!  I’m trying hard to not be swayed.  The writer is encouraging my randomness.  Good to get out of a planned box!

 

clue 5 900 b

Below, Clue 6 has been added as an outer row again.

clue 06 b

More to follow….

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A new baby great-niece needed a new quilt and even tho by now she had added several months to her age, I found fabric I loved and chose it for her quilt.  Part of it came from a store gift certificate that I had been awarded accidently by the change of one character in our usernames.  However, I still found something to fulfil the gift certificate and quite a bit more so all were winners on that part!  This is what I chose.

I chose the spool block from the AccuQuilt system that makes quick and accurate cutting work for me.  Here are all the HSTs made and the blocks laid out for assembly line sewing.  Just 9 blocks but many pieces.

Blue stars & pink and red spools.

I decided to use leftover pieces for an artistic (random) border and used filler fabrics so it all fit together.  Pink swans for the outer border.

The flimsy top top needed quilted and now to play with thread.

The quilted and washed top.  Striped binding – my favorite!

Close-ups …

 

The texture…..

I used Sue Heinz’ circle maker for the circles and wreath areas that I then used as guidelines to place the quilting.  It is unique, adds another element of design to the angular piecing and is just plain fun to fill in with freehand quilting.  I pull that tool as often as I can on my personal quilts.

When the quilt arrived to her owner, I received this back in return!  A tiny one sitting to read on  her quilt!

And as she grows (and I delay my blogging) Miss #4 in this household, still enjoys reading on her quilt!  I think she looks like a precious doll!  In fact, I named this the Reading Quilt because so many of her photos show her reading!  What great fun!!

I chose to make all my great-nieces & great-nephews quilts and now as of this writing (12/17) I have one nearly 18 months and another 8 months and a negative 4 months!!  Oh dear!!  So much work and not enough pleasure sewing.

When this one received her quilt, the others brought out their quilts for a photo op as well.  Melted my heart.  All my quilts plus one from a great-aunt on the other side.  🙂   These kids should be cozy! I hope they know they are well-loved! Maybe we great-aunts could have given them a gift card to welcome their birth but I doubt they’d be loving the gift card like this.  ♥

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