Monday, November 25, 2019

A New Mess

I've been working steadily in the sewing room. I was so pleased with how I got all my fabric to fit in place, but now I think I want to rearrange a bit more. I ended up with 2 big empty chest drawers. It shouldn't be hard to think of something that would be reasonable to store there.

When Lisa was here the other day she saw a quilt in my Documentation Binder and she asked if it was big enough. They liked the 96" square I made for them a few years ago.

Well, here it is and no, it is only 72" x 78". BUT it was made from scraps and it didn't have a border so we could easily make it bigger. She decided it would be cool to help me with that. So yesterday she came over and started cutting from the scrap drawer. Made quite a dent in it too. She did a great job cutting. Next I will have her cut the triangles and pair up lights and darks. IF she wants to do any actual piecing that's up to her. Otherwise I could do all the sewing. It was nice to spend the morning with her in the sewing room again.

While rummaging in the closet I came across some blue and gold squares I abandoned years ago. About 33 years ago. They were partially joined to make a checkerboard. I had plans to applique over the seams to make a Rob Peter to Pay Paul quilt. Years ago when I started it I wouldn't think of just fusing those curved patches over the seams. And satin stitch applique didn't interest me. Maybe it has to do with my hand applique skills at the time, but it was bad, so I ditched that effort but couldn't part with the fabric. I've been pushing it around in the closet a long time. I decided to shed a little natural light on it and brought it out to finally be finished.

2 Hours later I had fused some squares over the middle of each square and had it quilted! Now I just need to locate the blue to bind it. Some little kid will enjoy it. It sure feels good making room in the closet by finishing things.

I've been planning other new starts. I even cut out a quilt kit and put it on the shelf for piecing later at Studio 3. I have a few more I'm thinking of starting.When I run out of daylight then I head to the longarm. And sew it goes.

Monday, November 18, 2019

To Continue

Work continues here in the sewing room. I have all the fabric put away with the exception of the tabletop basket of scraps I keep there to collect scraps as I work. I will plan to sort that sometime this week.
All week I've been hoping to get the pieced border on the Ohio Star quilt. Finally Sunday I had time alone and got that done. The blocks are 6". The triangles in the border are trimmings from cutting equilateral triangles for a charm quilt. I thought they were too big to toss so I thought of 6"Ohio stars. I didn't even make the first one and changed my mind about each star being so scrappy. I made half a dozen blocks before I remembered the reason for making the stars was to use those little scrap triangles. SO by then I was in love with the little Ohio stars and decided they would look great with a pieced border with scrappy triangles. As usual when I started I was unsure of the setting, setting fabric or the pieced border and the quilt evolved as I worked on it.  I think it turned out pretty awesome. I love the classics.
As I cleaned and sorted things in here and the closet I came across 6 tops waiting for their borders. That will be high on the priority list this week. Some of those tops have been waiting a few years already. It'll feel good to put them upstairs with the other tops.
I chose 2 of my own quilt tops to quilt next. The first is one of the three applique quilt tops I ever made. It is red and green and gold Virginia Reel pattern I think with a swag border. I used  water soluble Solvy to applique the swag. I wanted to remove that before I quilt it so this morning I did that in the tub and immediately I saw that I didn't finish doing the applique on the swag pieces. After drying it till damp I pressed those areas and finished the applique this afternoon. Yes with a blind stitch by machine. I plan to load it on the machine to begin quilting tonight.

I'm trying to catch up with everything including my quilt documentation binder. I can't seem to get a happy combination of camera and printer so I have refrained from printing out pictures for the binder. I'm doing it anyway.  There are a few quilts that I never photographed though they are a few years old. Like this sampler made with batiks. A couple of other quilters at Studio 3 did these blocks.  Only I set them with triangles to frame them.  I showed at least part of this before the border was on.
Time to go sew.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Photo test

So a little searching goes a long way sometimes. Lets see if I have this figured out.

Damn. too easy.If only google could label things correctly . . .
So this star is finally quilted 30+ years later. Enuf said.

Stash assessment

I thought I better write before I forget everything I did. I've been pretty busy in my sewing rooms.
To finish where I left off in the last post, here is one more top that I put together this summer from a layer cake. I added a few more fabrics to the mix to reach this size. I like it. Even these huge 16" stars. I think I'll do it again someday but with smaller pieces.  I'm still trying to decide if I want to add a border.

Last Friday I brought home from Studio 3 a few empty project boxes. Finding room for them on the shelf in the closet was easy because there was a void where they had been before. This is a walk-in closet, 5' x 10' dedicated to my quilting. On one wall is fabric for church on  a book case  with a few novels for future reading. There's also a dresser still pretty full of fabric for garments. I open those drawers occasionally. And yes, promptly close them.  On the opposite wall is more of my stash, particularly scraps, project boxes filled with kits or ufos and backing fabric.

As I was putting away the boxes I noticed a few other boxes with leftovers from finished tops. I do not want to get in the habit of leaving scraps in individual boxes like that. So I emptied them and started straightening the shelves. In the process I was trying to decide which projects I would pull out next to take to Studio 3 where I piece. It's not like I needed another project there but I like to have options depending on my mood.
 In the end I emptied a few boxes I was through with, I condensed my other boxes of scraps, I found other bundles of coordinating fabric waiting its turn to become a quilt and placed those in the empty project boxes. That part was particularly fun. I'd vaguely recalled some of those purchases so it was like going shopping all over again but for free!

A few boxes from the top shelf labeled "Parts Department" came down. This is where I stash patches if I cut way too many of a patch. This is different from scraps because in the Parts Dept. there is a quantity of the same patch. Could be 12 could be 200 if I change my mind on a fabric after cutting! I made about 20 blocks from the boxes earlier this week. Some of the patches have been there almost 20 years, and I still love the fabric! I still have another dozen blocks planned from the parts Dept to sew together waiting in line at Studio 3. Stay tuned and you'll see the others.

As I'm rummaging in the closet I'm looking for some of my most recent fabric purchases. Couldn't find them anywhere. Did I mention yet that yes, I ran out of room to store my fabric in the usual places. I didn't feel good about that. Took quite a while looking for that fabric when I remembered that for the first time ever I put bundles of coordinating fabric in a few canvas totes and hung them back on the wall looking innocently like they had before I put fabric in them. Oops. So they came out of hiding so I can begin to plan to use them. It can take some time sometimes to decide on a pattern for a group of fabric. Yes, sometimes I choose the pattern first and have to hunt for fabric. It works both ways for me. I made a few plans for quilts from some other bundles I found in there. That might have meant scribbling a note or sketch of those plans to go in the box.

All of this led to reorganizing my main stash in the sewing room drawers. Boy does it need it. Not sure how I plan to arrange it yet. I went through all the drawers of fabric and found scraps and fat quarters out of place. Refolding alone opens up space. I found a few fabrics meant for backs. That led me to the backing stash and organizing that. When I found I still had too much to fit in the drawers its back into the closet into the other dresser where more fabric is stashed. So I sorted through 2 drawers and rearranged more. Like I said I'm not done yet but so pleased I am doing it. I can see I am going to have to plan lots more scrap quilts.

Also this week, I was able to get a few small tops quilted. Some are out of the house already. This brown star was started as a committee project for guild. We never could get it to lie flat. It was my fabric so I kept it when it was abandoned. This was about 33 years ago. Maybe 7 years ago I reworked the setting triangles to get it flat and finally quilted it the other day. Then after quilting the pastel Twin Peaks quilt for a baby I bound it.
 If I could figure out Google Photos I'd share more. Tips welcome.
And the weeks not over.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Still At It

I've been back in the sewing room for several weeks now that it is autumn and cooled off outside. This is the year that we had 7" of snow for Halloween. Not only have I been in the sewing room but down in the quilt cave too, quilting some tops for the church ladies charity quilting. The following quilt tops I finished this year, 2019.

I will start with the sampler I left off with in March. I finished it shortly after that post it just took a while to get a good picture and get me back at the computer. I still want to add a border of the background fabric. Why I stop at this point (so often) and don't get those borders on before the picture is beyond me. I'll try harder.But really I've been leaning more towards no border on the quilts. If you recall this was truly a "What's in the Box?" project. a planned project I abandoned along with directions. However many pieces were cut so I just got creative and designed blocks with what was  cut. Fun. Fun.

This star and chain pattern is a classic no  matter which star and which chain blocks you choose. I used scraps from a Civil War charm quilt I'm still working on for the star points. The rest was from the scrap box at Studio 3.

This leaf quilt didn't turn out as planned. I designed a quilt for Studio 3 where 3 shades of sky blue were used from light to dark across the quilt. I didn't really plan to do it myself as I have several leaf quilts but I made the attempt. I just didn't like any other prints for the leaves. All the leaves in this top are from the same fabric I've had in the stash for years. Mark suggested alternating the block backgrounds and I think he had a good idea. No border is planned.

I've been wanting to make some pinwheels lately, so I did!  I cut the kit for these next 2 kits last winter I think. I dug deep in the scrap archives for the green and jewel tones. I have to hunt down the green for the border. I hope I can find one/it. I stopped making blocks when I ran out of gray background. I like that approach to determining size. I just wish most people understood that every size  quilt is useful.
Edited to change photo with border added.

The pinwheels below right I made with some1930's prints back in 2014. I inspired myself this time and
used my Civil War prints to make the variation.

 I made more but they will be shown in the next post.

Just a little test

I would like to blog more but with software and hardware changes I have trouble keeping up. So I just wanted to load this little quilt for the record.Actually I'd like to do a big one with this pattern.
Did I ever show my tulip quilt table topper? Probably. But then maybe not cause I can't get a good picture with my phone. I'll have to try Marks phone.Oh he'll  love that. More soon. I'm working on it.