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Archive for the ‘piecing quilts’ Category

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…

08

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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I was excited to join a mystery quilt group and this one started in January.  I didn’t follow her schedule very well with cutting the first weeks of January as I was trying to get things done before our trip to Ohio.

It is called a Mystery Quilt because the end result is a mystery.  We didn’t see any of the finished quilt or a photo of a pattern.  We had cutting instructions for 2 weeks and then a piecing clue each week.  When a new clue was posted, the old one was removed so we had a week to get our instructions for each clue.

After I had a week home to catch-up and rest, I did my cutting the next weekend.  Just for the neutrals it was 48 pcs this size, 80 pcs another size, and 392 pieces another size!  Plus soloist fabrics.  Whew!

mess 01

I chose to use all neutrals because that plastic bin is grossly (& embarrassingly) overflowing yet there is nothing in there that ever works with what I need it to do.  As well, I’ve liked seeing the low-volume quilts that came around a year or so ago.

fabrics 03

I gathered a big basket of fabrics (closet organizer basket) that were all smaller prints and not many added colors in the fabric.  We also needed a 1 yd piece of a soloist and I chose turquoise and found a piece a bit over 1 yard.

I did all the cutting and did not make a dent in the basket I had cut from and neither from the overflowing bin!

fabrics 02

(Since then I have sorted and pulled some not neutrals that had wandered into the wrong bin and have straightened what is in the bin a bit so it fits better.  There is still plenty!)

fabrics 04

Since I started late, I saw some of the quilts posted in progress.  After 3 or 4 clues had been posted I quit looking at the page so that I wouldn’t waver from my original plan of randomly placing my neutrals and have lights & darks all scattered.

I like my scattered look but also have loved seeing the color and value arrangements others have done.  Such fun to piece the same pattern in a group and see the myriad of options!

I had cleaned up and added new parts to my Featherweight this winter so had it upstairs for the short days and long evenings.  I pieced all of this top on my FW.  It sews a perfect seam.  It is a slower speed than I’m used to and no bells & whistles.  I had to relearn the habit of bring up the needle at the end of my stitching.   🙂

piecing on FW 01

The machine was ready but my arranging of my sewing corner was not but it actually worked well with the machine on the library table.

piecing on FW 02

The piecing goes better with the Little Foot I got before they made 1/4″ feet! Yes, there was a time…. LOL!  It is a bit wider than the FW foot and feeds easier.

Here is clue 1 —
clue 01
Maybe this will help explain my scrappy neutrals and the turquoise soloist.  The clues are just 1 page a week (or less) and we are only told where to place the soloist fabric.

(I realized I have a lot of photos so I’ll make this several posts.  Don’t hold your breath …. I’m consistently inconsistent in my blogging… as you may have noticed!)

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