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Archive for the ‘Quilting’ Category

Sept 25

It seems to be 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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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.

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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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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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04-stitch

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.

03-draped

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!

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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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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I am a member at 2 local quilt guilds and both of them had guild shows this year.  One weekend and then the next.  I gave more of my time and resources the first weekend to the smaller guild and where I attend more regularly.

Here are some photos from the first weekend ~

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Beginning of set-up.  We rent a church gymnasium and then have quilt hanging poles and all the system to make the show a go in a gym!  These workers are so smart and speedy.  I need to get trained to help out for next time, I guess.

overview of show

I’m guessing there were about 4 more rows than the 5 you see here.  Quilts are able to hang on both sides of a rod across the top that is covered in clean fabric.  I appreciate the good care the quilts are given with this display.

Here are some quilts I liked and could get photos —
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04 9 patch variation page

 

The smaller quilts are pinned to a carpeted wall or displayed on a table.
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This guild offers a challenge area for each show and here is a photo of all the quilts entered in the challenge.
2221I thought there were 10 entries but maybe just these 7 I got in my photo.

Here is a collage of the quilts I took to show —

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Top Row L to R: My signature quilt from 2009 of guild members and some quilting friends. Infiniband Encased is made for a hanging in JP’s room. My scalloped Christmas tree skirt. Bottom Row is me with my challenge piece and K’s signature quilt from her high school graduation.

 

I spent most of the first day there.  In the morning, I was a white glove volunteer… keeping an eye open all around and letting others see the backs of quilts if they wanted.  I had 2 of my quilts appraised in the early afternoon.  The ladies in the guild are so sweet to hang out with for the day!

I didn’t take many photos at the other show with limited time and I took the same quilts for display.

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Beautiful wool applique blocks above

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I liked seeing the contrast of lights & darks in this quilt as well as the lovely feather quilting.

I decided in the middle of these shows that whenever it randomly happens that both shows are in the same year, I’ll only participate in one.  Both had different rules for entry of quilts, neither followed the rules, and it was another plate I didn’t need to spin during harvest!

But meanwhile… I love quilts and seeing what others are making locally without the big time of an international show.

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