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Archive for the ‘Quilting’ Category

Feb 2017
This IS the BEST way to spend a February weekend!!  Dear, dear friend from Texas flew to visit ME!  I realized that in all these years, I’ve only had family visit, never a girlfriend.  This was the best weekend of quilting, sharing, encouraging, eating…. EVER!!

 

She is a hand-piecer but wanted to try my long-arm!  I let her!  LOL!!  My thinking was that I’d start it, she’d do a bit, and ask me to finish.  She loved it and did her whole quilt – a throw size.

This is in the evening after she had just arrived that day!  I’d be way too tired to think.  She did an amazing job!


Put any 2 ‘retired’ homeschool moms together and what do they do…?  We took a historical field trip!  This is an old stone bridge on some property we rent where a famous future President crossed following some local debates.  It is cool to see, the weather was so mild we were sliding in mud!, and it was a good time to be out and hike.  Thankfully, we took a driver and slightly OK photographer.


We were dressed for February, not for fashion photos!  It didn’t matter, we were together!


The middle of our mild winter, she saw a few bits of snow fall and the pond behind us had ice on it.

She got so comfortable with the machine she added her name to one of the near-solid blocks.  She also added a bit of glow-in-the-dark thread for fun on this quilt!  We were so excited when it really glowed!  (by Superior)

I added the binding by machine and she had her quilt ready to take home with her!  She left 3 other quilt tops for me to quilt and bind for her.   She hand sews the bindings.  All had wonderful labels that she lettered while she was here.

She also got a junior version of English Paper Piecing class.  I’m no pro but it was fun to play with fabric together.  She also organized and culled my batik fabric bin.  Clearly she didn’t cull enough as the lid still doesn’t fit on!

Monday night we threw in a trip to one of my quilt guild meetings.  In February, we don’t usually have programs scheduled but she loved it enough she promises to go to a local guild near her!  #cough

At the airport and sadly it is time to say good-bye.  We had realized we’d never run out of things to talk about.  I needed to get a jump on the traffic.  And really just.in.time!  It backed up a ton behind me and in the other direction as I headed out of the city.  Sad to send her back home.  Thankful over the top that she came to visit!

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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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Once I had my detail guidelines marked and the ideas mostly in my head and a bit on paper, I was able to load and quilt.  I only got the detail quilting done and then the customer work was flowing in fast so I took it off my frame.  A hard choice to make but I knew I had enough quilting done, plus added a few pins for basting, that I could put it aside.

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I used a turquoise and purple variegated thread; Superior Rainbows 802 Brasilia Blue.

This was on & off my quilt hanging rack 20 or more times while other quilts were photographed!

Some of the detail quilting —

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So then it waited from early March until August.

I took a week to quilt a baby quilt and finish this mystery quilt.  The Olympics were on TV so I had that as my background noise a lot while I did the small fill-in quilting.  This took a bit over 10 hours of quilting time.  I quilted  during the day a few hours at a time and 2 nights until 10 p.m. or after to finally get it done.

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I knew my current bobbin was nearing the end as I was nearing the end of my quilting and prayed I’d make it without having to wind one more bobbin.  I made it with this much left!  Yeah!  10:20 p.m.  #yawn

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I had it just draped on a chair until a weekend when I could trim it and sew on the binding.  I walked into my studio one day and it was like this and I just had to have  a photo.  I was so glad to finally have the quilting done on one of my own quilts.

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I added the soloist turquoise for binding and once that was on, it had really completed it!

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I really like this and I’m not sure I want to give it away now!
Pattern is available at Colourful StitchesSymmetry Square  it is an e-pattern.  I suggest it!!  No special tools needed.

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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.

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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!

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(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!)

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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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The D guild has a lot of activities to participate in this year.  One I am working on is the UFO challenge.  At the beginning of the year, we turned in a list of 4 quilts we wanted to finish.   I just made the list off my head, without looking for what I had or was small or far along.

– wholecloth baby quilt
– Texas Swoon
– K’s 1930’s reproduction sampler
– Mystery quilt

I missed one line that the months to show these were specified and I took the baby quilt to show just 2 days before I gave it away in the wrong month!  When you show one off your list, your name goes in for the drawing in December for a good sewing light.

They are kind and checked me off anyway.  I have another baby quilt in progress so for my own sense of self, I may take that for another month to show UFOs.

I had the thought to get out the ’30’s quilt in April to see if I could get the top done for the May meeting.  Hmm… I can’t find it.  I worked in the winter on cleaning in my sewing room.  I didn’t see it then.

So on Sunday, I continued cleaning in there and doing more organizing.  Oh my!  But the tubs are getting stacked and organized and labeled with black sharpie marker on hot pink duct tape!  🙂

No 1930’s quilt…..

Finally, a lightbulb lightly flickered in an obscure part of my brain.  I have sewing things in boxes in a storage area (under the light that turns on with switch #4).  By wiggling my way between boxes, rubbermaid tubs, and the curtain/wall, I started peeking in boxes.  I found several sets of exchange blocks just waiting to be joined for many more quilt tops!!

And I found the 1930’s quilt box!

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I have 17 blocks.  ???   I found 2 more in a ziploc that need some hand embroidery so that has moved upstairs for the time I sit down.  Not often.  And then I’ll recount and do a layout and see what I would need to add.

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Quilt Show with Friends

I was able to go to a quilt show with the added bonus of seeing some friends that I don’t see very often.

A few quilts from the show …

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Song Birds ???

 

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I ♥ the miniatures!! (note standard size rosette ribbon)

 

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Love the farm scene!

 

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Yes, I gravitate to house quilts… by a group, pastels, and vines over the thin sashings. Great work!

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Modern is another favorite along with all the quilting here.

 

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A whole wall with a whole year of quilts and then close-up of the last one. Stunning!

 

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Favorites – flowers, pinks, black & white, texture, different fabrics, 3-D, spectacular quilting

 

I took a class and just got this far…

The class was instruction to make the center to either hang on point or straight but the inside the squiggly yellow line. The instructor had many examples of how she had used this same pattern for a medallion on other quilts.

The class was instruction to make the center to either hang on point or straight of the part inside the squiggly yellow line. The instructor had many examples of how she had used this same pattern for a medallion on other quilts. My tiny triangles for the star points are on the table at the end of the class!

It was a paper piecing class but I like to do paper piecing.  I’ve done a lot of methods and will still stick with “mine”.  But we had a good instructor and I enjoyed meeting my table partner.

To a sponsored pajama party….

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…and had a blast with cheering and laughing until our sides hurt.

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our table princess ~

 

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Seeing special friends that came for the show too! ♥

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