Monday, April 15, 2019

"Slim Pickin's" - from that box of scraps

These blocks were started about 2 months ago, and are from Bonnie Hunter's latest book, she calls hers "Daybreak".  They went fast, and yes, I pulled much of the fabric from that never-ending gift box of scraps I keep mentioning.  This is 1 project of 6 from that gift box.  (3 others in process)  

Yesterday I spent hours struggling with "the perfect" border, rummaging thru books, Youtube and my brain, all to no avail.  In the end, best solution was, "Keep it simple Stupid"!  The supply of scraps was nearly totally picked over so that's why I named this quilt "Slim Pickin's".  Off to the LQS to match some of the border fabrics!    These border squares are 1 inch finished and I strip pieced them with 4 strips at a time, sometimes piecing the strips to get the needed lengths.  Important - press to the dark on each strata and they go together fast.  

The blocks are set 6 x 7 , and are 9 in. finished.  Here it's folded up on itself - too large for my Design Floor!

Friday, April 12, 2019

"Scraps Rule"

(I MQ on a DSM).  This is the 3rd, finished project from the gifted, never ending box of scraps.  Projects 4, 5, and 6, are in process!!!  

DONE - I used my "stuck-in-the-house" time well (2 blizzards), finishing up this quilt, called "Scraps Rule".  I used rulers on the lights and free-motion quilting on the dark.  Opinion on ruler work ... ??? this is new to me, and it did slow my progress considerably, altho I got faster.  I bought one thick ruler just for this project, but used a traditional 2.5 x 6 in. ruler for the most part.  The MQ foot that I use glides, does not hop, so my traditional quilting ruler (thin) worked well.  I actually broke my expensive MQ ruler somehow, didn't break the needle, just the ruler!  ARGH !  I glued it back together and still wonder how it happened.  The machine quilting foot apparatus somehow came into contact with that thick ruler and WHAM BAM!!! so I'm guessing I put the thick ruler in the wrong place at the wrong time.  

The large triangles are 60 degrees, and the smaller triangles are made with the Tri-Recs ruler.  The quilt measures approx. 70" x 80".

The finished product is visually pleasing, altho my ruler work leaves much to be desired - no quilt show winner here, yet I consider it's completion an accomplishment, considering the lengthy practicing, rethreading, unsewing, sighs of frustration.  I also learned my machine does NOT like to sew in a backward direction when machine quilting.

Here's the back, again making use of stash fabric.  It's "almost" perfectly square. 

This was inspired by, a free pattern, altho I always end up going in my own direction, once I get "the bug".  Thank you Bonnie Hunter for her fabulous, never-ending ideas. 

Tip on making a backing like this.  I used MSWord to make a graph with the required visual dimensions, then print it out, color in what squares I have to verify I have enuf of each value.  It's worthwhile to consider half squares around the borders. Of course you can just lay them out where they fall but I wanted a defined pattern.  Alternating lights and darks would also be cool, or a kind of Trip Around the World or .... and remember you can piece those backing squares as well, or use leftover blocks or ...

Monday, March 25, 2019

Takes 2, Learning Techniques, I just noticed ...

I've been tempted to make each of these "Disappearing Pinwheel" quilts for some time but making ONE quilt with many of the options is better.  Easy, Peasy, right!  These started from Jenny Doan, of Missouri Star Quilt Co., that many of us watch on Youtube.  She makes it look so fast and simple.  


Got too ambitious!  ... When trying to remake the 2 miscut units, I was overwhelmed with "hey, what are the measurements"?  Well, that's the beauty but also the beast of this method!  Little time is spent measuring.  These start as a package of 10 in. squares, plus 10 in squares of yardage. 

One block later, I was still mentally stalled with unknown measurements, inaccurate cutting,  and adjusting to this new-to-me method.  So this is what I did to get closer to accuracy.
1.  I used more starch than normal.
2.  I restuck the blue tape on the back of my ruler, with much more accuracy.
3.  I affixed sandpaper bits on the back of my ruler.
4.  I changed to a larger mat that I could turn around on the table instead of ME turning around the table.
5.  I adjusted to Quick and Fast method instead of perfect points and exact measurements.  Hey, Elaine, it's not a Baltimore Album quilt - it's a fast quilt!

These blocks make up fast, I did 3 in about 20 minutes.  Here's all the blocks I'm making.  Some are nearly duplicates.  Large prints don't look great.  I don't know what's next as far as sashing or border - I need to get back to another almost finished quilting/ruler project.

Another subject:  I just noticed I'd already shown this Pineapple Quilt with the top part all traditional pineapple blocks and then how interesting it looked when I added the 2 alternate blocks. 

It's waiting for border in that stack of quilts that's accumulating across the living room.   

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Blizzard over, time for quilting!

These photos are for my own journey - everyone else in this part of the country has similar photos.  It's been a doozey but thankfully no downed lines, no outages, and temps remained tolerable.  I couldn't get off the deck or anywhere else to take better photos - waaay too much snow, but we all agreed, we were fortunate.  Conditions were NOT fortunate toward the other (eastern) end of the state, where  sadly, floods caused terrible damage.  

Quilting photos are at the end of this post.  

 There is a garden gnome under that 4 ft. drift.  
 My neighbors back door, with a huge drift OVER the fence and right against her back door!
Huge drift (can't even see).  Getting into garage is impossible for now.   Homes are close together - finding somewhere to put snow is an issue.  

To self -- Remember to send a Thank You to the Bulldozer angel who wouldn't accept pay for clearing out the back driveway, and another Thank You to the family who cleared off the snow several days earlier, from the previous snow.  We have wonderful friends and neighbors, even if we don't know them.  

OK, Quilt-y stuff now.  I am working on a light/dark zig zag, 60 degree  triangle quilt  inspired  by Bonnie Hunter (free pattern on her site).  This is one of 5 projects, made from the box of scraps given to me.  I am proud of ME for using the gift.  And there is still more left over - perhaps a 6th project?  

Here is how I'm quilting the sides and the light triangles.  The lights are ruler work, the darks are more traditional (free-form) quilting.  It's taking a LONG time, even with this minimal quilting.
 Below - a proper ruler (left one) for Machine Quilting on a DSM, and my standard quilting ruler.  Since my quilting foot does not hop, and because of some interference with machine hardware, the slimmer  "wrong" ruler works well, while the "proper" ruler is less used.  I also replaced the larger, easier to handle screw that holds the foot on.  The replacement is very small, making ruler usage visually easier but I'd better not drop it while screwing that tiny thing in place.  

Below - The mess under the needle.  I have 3-4 rows MQ'ed.  Slow going with that ruler work, but I'm still a beginner. I've succumbed to frequent unstitching.  Solution seems to be where I position the ruler - on the seam or off the seam.  

Triangles seem to invite these wedge lines.  I am drawing the lines with a Frixion pen. They come out with the iron.  Seems like double work to draw them, then use the ruler to stitch them.  Stitching them without the ruler ALMOST produces the same line.  mmmm gotta work on that.  

Thursday, March 07, 2019

A "Thank You"

Oh dear, more snow predicted overnight - weatherman said 1-3 inches but by morning, there was MUCH more.  We live in town, so need to get the walk cleared, a big job for two Seniors, but we've usually managed. 

However, I shoveled a few days ago, but my body firmly said, "NO MORE" so  today was forced to call the Chiropractor to get my parts back where they belong.  Then .....who is that big guy clearing snow off my front steps?  And there on the sidewalk was his wife, and alongside her was their teenage boy, all shoveling our sidewalk AND even the front walk.  They were so bundled up, I didn't recognize them.  My heart was overwhelmed with their kindness.  Not only did they clear the front of our home, but then they proceeded to the back yard and cleared off the deck and  a pathway to the garage!   All this was done with shovels and muscles.  What kindness!  After these dear people left, we headed to the garage for my chiropractor appt. and when we opened the garage door, were MORE amazed to find the entire back driveway also cleared off. 

This is not the first time we've been the benefit of loving, caring neighbors.  Our days of helping others with this snow removal job is past, and we're now the beneficiary.  Sometimes kindnesses are found right in our own back yard.

"Thank you" to kind people who give to others, and never ask anything in return.  8-)))  Some days, life is so good, we cannot express enough appreciation.  

Monday, February 25, 2019

BASTING and puckers and pleats, OH MY. Pineapple project will calm my soul!

Basting a quilt top is my least favorite job.  I dragged one table from the garage to the house, across the snow -- it's heavier than I remember.  My top and backing are pressed nicely, batting was in the dryer with a damp towel, all is ready for the job.  This time I decided to use basting spray AND pins.  I did everything else just the same as previous jobs but for some reason, by the time I reached the bottom of the quilt, my carefully measured backing is no longer long enough - uh oh, how can that be?? 

Well, when I thought I was finished but short, I took it off the table and turned it over, oh my gosh, not just a few puckers, but now I had pleats!  Careless, ??? not concentrating ????  Disaster!  The top and batting are all OK (flat), sooooo, gathering my patience, taking a deep breath,  I removed all the pins  from the front, laid the mess backing/puckered side up on the table and pulled off the well-stuck basting spray, a little at a time, starting at the top and slowly smooshing out the puckers.  A yardstick stuck between layers helped to unstick a few inches at a time - laborious! Then I found my long needle and thread and thimble, and hand basted it all over again.  No wonder my backing seemed short, I had INCHES of fabric puckered in the back.  LIVE AND LEARN.  Never again will I use both basting spray and pins.  It didn't help when my last thimble dropped to the floor and rolled somewhere under DH's Lazy Boy and found it's forever home wedged within the under structure of the chair.

Ok, basting is done by hand sewing and this was successful.  Here's the back - you see I had already spent a lot of effort making the backing.  Hey, that's 6 yards of stash!

I am hoping to try some ruler work on this Bonnie Hunter inspiration.  BTW, this top front was made from the same "gift of scraps" from my LQS.  There are 5 projects made from that box. 

And here is another project from that box of scraps.  8-)))   I may make an alternate block, ala Hugs and Kisses, Gyleen X. Fitzgerald.  16 regular pineapple blocks made today.  I added the white fabric.