Monday, September 26, 2011

Progress on "I Spy"

     Sewing the "I Spy" blocks into rows went quickly.  I have to stop to attend Quilt Mavens which is an evening bee.  Just wanted to show you the progress.  It is going to be a Christmas present.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

"I Spy" A Rainbow

      After church I pulled out “I Spy” squares (63 different 5" squares of novelty fabric), cut light strips and pink squares.  I like a variation of the Disappearing Nine Patch pattern.  Instead of sewing the nine patch together and then chopping it up before sewing it back together in an altered state, I like to precut the pieces so I can chain piece the subunits. 

       We had quite a thunderstorm move through this evening.  I unplugged the computer and sewing machine.  Afterwards I saw a beautiful rainbow.  It was most unusual because I could see both ends from my yard. Also for a while there was a double rainbow.  I took some photos but, of course, none are as pretty as the real thing. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

More UFOs Found

     This morning I packed away the star blocks until another time. I like these 4 together and think it would be fun to make the quilt with many different kinds and sizes from the same fabric.

     Then I started cleaning and organizing.   I found another UFO.  I don’t remember when ( several years ago) Diane S Hire spoke at QSC’s spring meeting and taught a workshop.  The workshop was process oriented instead of project oriented so I came away with pieces.  This may have been my first exposure to improvisational piecing.  From the pieces I pulled out I only needed to sew one seam and was able to square up 2 blocks at 12 ½”.  I just noticed that I have not added the cross pieces on it but I’m sure I can do that later.  Diane called them Tic-Tack-Toe 4-Patch blocks.  I found 2 tails and a piece of “Hopscotch” which she suggested for a border or run.  Now my pieces are neatly pressed and in a new container with the class handout and some fabric pieces.   Maybe some day I will find a project into which I can insert these pieces.  

Friday, September 23, 2011

Making Stars

     I attempted another Needlestar block.  I did not follow Paula’s instructions carefully and did not line up the center point of the template on a line of symmetry in the fabric design so the design does not match up on the legs or around the center.  I still like the final result even though I did not cut it correctly.  

Later this afternoon I used the same fabric to make a LeMoyne star with 45 degree diamonds.  It has been a long time since I made one. It took about as long to piece as a Needlestar ( was a little easier ) but is not as dramatic.   

I could put 3 blocks together for a table runner and use the rest of the fabric for a totally different project or make some more star blocks to go with these.  I have not decided. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sewing on Projects in Progress

     Today I have worked a little on several projects.  I added a double frame to the scrappy bargello so it now measures 40 by 58”.  I plan to piece more scrappy bargello for 14” border pieces.  When added, the top will measure 68 by 86” and fit a twin bed with a large drop. 

    I finished one Needlestar block.  When I look at it from a distance, it really looks good with the pattern repeating all around the center.  When I look closely, it is not so perfect but it is together.  I have a lot more of this fabric.  Do I want to make 8 more of these blocks?
     Tonight I teach the beginner sampler class.  They will be working on half-square triangle units and several blocks that can be made with them.  There are a large number.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My Sewing and More from the Show

       Last night I pulled out my UFO from several years ago when Paula Nadelstern was here for a week of workshops.  I took 2.  I only finished one block from her puzzle quilt book and part of one Needlestar block  which is a simple form of kaleidoscope block.   I enjoyed her classes but found her techniques to be very labor intensive.  She traces fabric designs and cuts 8 or more individual repeats of that component.   I have done several stack-and-whack quilts and hope I can adapt that technique to finish at least one project from Paula. 
    Today I also pulled out my fans from Charlotte Angotti’s class and added a couple of borders.  It now measures 52 by 64”.  I am thinking of adding a border of squares and a plain border.  It could finish at 70 by 82” which may be large enough for one of the quilts the VA hospice unit has requested. 

Here are the first place wall hangings from last weekends show. 
Large pieced

Large Appliqu├ęd

Art Quilt with a lot of thread painting.

More from ACPQ Show

  I promised more photos from the show so here are more of the winning quilts.
This quilt won Best of Show and 1st place for large bed applique.
 Here you can see that the background is grid quilted every half inch.
 The next quilt won Best of Theme which was barn quilts.  It also placed 2nd for applique.
 I heard that she used computer software to print the barn photos on the wedding ring pieces.

The next quilt placed 1st for mixed technique large bed quilt and the special award for Exemplary Hand Applique. 

 This quilt won a special ribbon for Exemplary Piecing.

 This quilt won a special ribbon for Best Hand Quilting and placed 2nd for mixed technique large bed quilt
 I plan to post more later.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Home from Ashe County Piecemakers Quilt Show

       I had a great time visiting my sister and her husband for the weekend and attending the quilt show in West Jefferson, NC. I am very proud of my sister’s work.  She is the one who inspired me to start quilting.  For this show Irene entered a large bed quilt,

a mixed technique large wall-hanging,

2 pieces of quilted clothing,

and 3 fiber art pieces ( 2 pins and a bowl).

 I did not take a photo of one art pin or the bowl but you can see she took home a lot of ribbons for her wonderful work.  
        I entered my brown crumb quilt.  The show was judged by Scott Murkin and he liked my crumb quilt.  It won Judge’s Choice.  I am very pleased and encouraged to do more crumb piecing. 

       If you are not familiar with Scott’s own work, you can check out some here.   
       The guild also had a challenge which my sister entered but I will show that piece tomorrow with more photos of other ribbon winning quilts from the show  

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Snowman UFO# 7 Finished

       Tuesday I took the snowman wall-hanging to Day Bee for input about whether to add more snowflake quilting.  They advised yes so I added a few simple free-motion snowflakes in strategic places and then decided  enough.  I added the binding and sewed on 3 dimensional details I had to remove while working ( large buttons, bell and pompoms).  I also added a couple of snowflake buttons to the most unadorned snowman.  Now UFO # 7 is finished.  These snowmen were part of a guild block exchange years back;  I don’t know who made the one on the top left.  I will ask at guild next week when I show it and hopefully someone will know.  

      Today was sew day for my church quilt group.  I played with scrap 2 ½” strips and made my version of lego (compost) blocks.   They were very easy and I like the look.  I’ll show a picture later.  We had a request for some small pillow forms to be stuffed.  I pulled out from our storage about 12 orphan blocks.  We picked out backing fabric, sewed and they are ready to be stuffed. They were a perfect use for the orphan blocks. 

      Early Friday morning I will head to Jefferson, NC for the Ashe County Piecemakers Guild show.  I hope to have some wonderful photos from there when I return Monday.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Using Embroidery Machine for Quilting

       After stitching-in-the-ditch to stabilize the snowman quilt, I thought it would be nice to meander snowflakes all over the quilt around the snowmen.  I looked for some help.  I found Leah Day’s “icicle lights” which I like ( )

  but decided I wanted something larger and a variety of shapes and sizes.  Then I had the idea to use my embroidery machine for quilting.  I have seen others do this and my embroidery machine does not get used enough.  I have several snowflake designs.  I made a fat quarter size quilt sandwich to test designs.  I knew they had to be open and not dense.  Here are a few I tried.   A couple were too dense.

I picked 3 I really like ( a variety of sizes and types) and started on the actual quilt. 

You can see them better on the back. 

This photo is from the front.  I still want to do many more of all 3 kinds.  

Friday, September 9, 2011

Quilting the Snowmen Wall-hanging

  The Snowmen have a scrappy border just like the sashing.  Today it got sandwiched and the quilting started.  I used the walking foot to quilt in-the-ditch for the sashing and border to stablize the quilt.  Next I will free-motion around each snowman.  I want to practice some free-motion snowflakes to sprinkle in the background.   That is all the quilting for today.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Snowman Block Swap UFO

        I finally started working on the Snowman UFO.  In 2006 I received 10 blocks in a guild swap.  Some were squares and some rectangles.  Some are on a light background fabric and some dark.  They ranged in size from 6 ½” to 12 ½”.  I struggled with all kinds of layouts and decided to only use 9 and not to use one with a black background fabric.  Then I decided to trim the 3 larger ones down to 10 ½” square so there was not such a large variance in size.   I had to temporarily remove a few 3D components to better work with the blocks.  Next I added 1 ½” strips to the sides of the only remaining rectangle because I would have had to trim off too much of the snowman to make it a square.  I did not have any similar background fabric so I chose to go scrappy. 

I cut a stack of 1 ½” and 2 ½” strips and framed the smaller blocks to make them all 10 ½”.  

I was still considering various settings and sashing but then went with all scrappy.
This is how it looks now.   I still plan to add a scrappy frame around the whole thing. I am very happy with the progress. 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Saturday Quilting

  After putting a load of laundry in the wash and vacuuming most of the house, I started quilting a small charity quilt for my local guild  Several members contributed appliqued and embroidered blocks; someone else added sashing and a border.  I volunteered to quilt it. I used the walking foot to stitch-in-the-ditch around the border and the sashing.  In each block I practiced free-motion echo quilting around the designs. 

A child should love it.  That is all the quilting for today.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Small Crumb Lap Quilt

      I have not had much sewing / quilting time in recent days but made time today.  I finished quilting the small crumb lap quilt.  I stitched in-the-ditch for all the sashing and border then used a free-motion design in each square.

      I save scraps of binding from projects and since this quilt is scrappy, I thought it would look good with scrap pieces of binding.   Several of us in our church quilting group have enjoyed crumb piecing and  this will be a nice small comfort quilt.