Friday, February 27, 2015

All I Ever Do

I'm feeling pretty good tonight. I haven't written, but not because I wasn't quilting. I just didn't take any pictures.  When last I wrote  I  just wasn't in the mood for quilting. That feeling passed pretty quickly. Since then I finished 3 of the 5 tasks on the list and started two other small quilts. The piecing was done at Studio 3 and I didn't have my camera along. But tonight I finished quilting the 9-patch stars  and took it off the frame. I tried to get a photo that showed the quilting.  I wanted mostly simple straight lines reminiscent of the way antique quilts are quilted. Now for the binding.

I finished the border on the Union Square quilt. It's still at Studio 3 waiting to show the Friday class which has been cancelled 2 weeks in a row. Snow last week and family matters this week. Not my family but most of theirs.

I also finished the binding on A Good Bet. As soon as the flannel wall is avialable I will shoot a picture of that.

While I was at Studio 3 Wednesday night I came across some little diamonds I'd wanted to use to make an Oak Tree block to frame and hang on the wall behind my Boyd's Bears sitting on a park bench. It's only been 2 years since I thought of that. The diamonds are together but I stilll have to finish the block. The little applique the tree trunk will require won't hold me up for long.

I also made some Cracker Box blocks you will probably see next time I write.

So now the short list looks something like this:
1.   Bind 9-patch Stars
2.   Join blocks in Penny's Irish Chain
3.   Finish Oak Tree Block
4.   Quilt another top
5.   Finish Cracker Box top
6.   Plan a few more to make.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

6 Hours of Therapy

I understand it is pretty normal behavior to start another quilt before finishing a quilt that was started earlier. That is just what I did on Thursday when I got together with the gals at Studio 3. We packed our lunches and worked on our quilts for 6 hours. Almost a mini retreat! I cut and pieced a bunch of Cracker blocks.  I think the reason for starting so many quilts is cause we are excited to see our latest idea of fabric and pattern, come together. And perhaps there are not so many finishes  because at some point we know what the quilt will look like and in my case anyways, I don't need another quilt.

 My list of current projects is something like this:
1. Pieced border on Union Square
2. Join blocks in Penny's Irish Chain
3. Bind A Good Bet
4. Put my 9-patch stars on the frame
5. Always a few comfort quilts waiting for the frame
 I hesitate to call these PHD's. I think I reserve that name for if they get put on the shelf in pieces.

 Notice I never did quilt my 9-patch stars. Instead I loaded these 2 little comfort quilts. I put them together from leftovers of other quilts that are waiting to get quilted.These each took only
1 1/2 hours to quilt, after I decided how to quilt them. I sure liked that they went on and off so quickly.  I'm thinking maybe I will do a few more little ones soon. For years I have been saying that a little quilt would be perfect project to try a new technique, but I haven't been motivated to even figure out what techniques is that  I might want to try.  I am too busy enjoying what I am already doing. 

Yesterday I spent the day at Sew Many Pieces quilt shop in Richfield, WI celebrating the shops 1st Anniversary. Mickey asked if I would come and demonstrate from The Thirtysomething Block Book. I was glad for a reason to visit the shop. I liked it more than I expected! I guess I thought she said she had lots of modern, but she had a real nice mix. I wish she were closer.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Waste Triangles No More

It seems there are lots of quilters that use  a method to add a triangle on corners of patches that yield waste triangles. The method goes by many names, I call it folded corners.

You are likely familiar with the method where you'd cut a 2 1/2" square, place it over the corner of the patch where you want the little triangle, sew diagonally across the little square, flip, press and trim the underside waste triangle(s).

If you don't like the little waste triangle there's a way to avoid making them. You need to cut the two patches of course, but you will cut them exactly how you see them plus seam allowances. It's easy enough if you can sew a quilter's 1/4" seam.

Instead of cutting the little squares to sew and flip ( usually 2 1/2" squares")  you will cut triangles.Pick your favorite way. 2 7/8" squares cut once diagonally or an Eazy Angle Type ruler on a 2 1/2" strip.

Then to cut your larger patch, cut the base shape the measurement given in the pattern. Then trim the corner (where that square would have been stitched) before sewing on the triangle. In this example, trim a triangle 2 1/8" tall, measured on the short edge. I don't have all the triangle rules so I am not sure what line you'd use, so measure your tool. My Easy Angle ruler and the Omnigrid ruler are at Studio 3. I can measure them tonight and edit this.
 On Judy Martin's Ultimate S45 ruler,use the 2 1/8" line.

And I can tell you on this Creative Grids 45 triangle ruler,  use the 1 3/4" line.

I am editing this to clarify that doing it this way you are just trimming the little triangles off the larger square and there aren't two layers of fabric being trimmed off here. This picture is showing position of ruler on larger square. I had already sewn loose triangles on in the corners. And yes there is a bit of waste with the little triangles from the big square but none from a small square! Just saying, some gals don't like all the waste and this is another way. And some of us don't mind the waste but don't find folded corners to be an especially accurate way to do it.

There is a ruler that has these trimming templates printed on it in various sizes. It's the Rotary Mate ruler by Trudie Hughes. Contact 
Hope this helps.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

What I've Done

I've been playing on my wall. It's sure more fun than climbing the walls! I've made a bunch of the Penny's Irish Chain blocks and now I need to decide how I want to arrange them.  I thought I might like them placed in a Rainbow fashion rather than Randomly. It really helps me to decide when I see a photograph of them. I'm sharing the photos here but for kicks, I used the "auto contrast" setting in Picasa on the one photo. That feature doesn't usually deepen the tones so much. Which do you like rainbow, or random? I thought I was done piecing the blocks but when I put the blocks on the wall I found I still have plenty of 6.5" squares cut and since I have the scraps I may as well make more blocks.

I've also finished the quilting on "A Good Bet". I still have threads to tie-off and need to trim and bind it.

I've also planned the quilting for the next quilt to be finished. I wanted some simple diagonal lines similar to the way most antique quilts were finished. I also wanted to plan them to be as continuous as possible. Then I thought the diagonal lines alone are kinda boring. So I added a classic design.  I think the motif with four petals is called the teacup flower. What do you call it?

Monday, February 2, 2015

Feeling Moody

We have about 6" of snow on the ground. Hard to measure since so much of it was blown around and drifted so much. At any rate, it is enough to keep us out of the woods.That is fine with me cause I'd rather quilt when it is so cold outside.
I've made some progress on my Irish Chain blocks at Studio 3. I hope to finish them by the end of the week.

 I finished these1930's blocks and arranged them on the wall. I still need to cut the muslin for the sashing and setting triangles but I am kinda bored with it now so I think I will pack it away for another day. I think the Bin Bust challenge from the Stashbusters group should have included an incentive to bust the bin. I typically get tired of these fabrics before the top is done. It would be nice to find someone to take them off my hands.

 I am in the mood for quilting on the longarm but the sun is finally shining so I won't go do that till the sun goes down. I hope the mood lasts all week! I've got half a dozen quilt tops lined up ready to quilt, a few for church and a few of my own.

I have waaaaaay too much church fabric here and I find it overwhelming. I picked through it again and pulled out a big boxful to take  back to church. I'll ask the ladies there for suggestions - other than pillow cases. I'm leaving here 2 tubs of novelty prints. 1 tub with extra big backs and tops ready to quilt. 2 tubs of scraps already cut to size- including random strips for string quilts and log cabins etc. And another tub of coordinating fabrics for future kits. Somewhere in the mix is quite a pile of orphan blocks too. It seems I plan and organize and push that stuff into piles more than do any sewing with it. And we have 5 tubs of fabric at church too. They hold flannels, homespuns and pieces for quilt backs. My goal for the rest of winter is to ignore all those tubs and focus on using my own fabric. I could use a good challenge. Wish me luck.