Thursday, February 04, 2016

"Try it, you might like it!"

Remember when you didn't want to try some new, "suspicious" food, something your mother had just made and you balked at trying it?  And she would say "Try it, you might like it!"    Many quilters avoid a Pineapple because earlier experiences didn't work well, or you used the paper piecing, not always a favorite, or you had issues with the bias, but --- I had NO problems with this project, probably due to the excellent pineapple ruler I used AND the DVD I purchased thru Annies Craft Catalog, by Gyleen Fitzgerald of   I tried it and I LIKED it! 

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

NQR -- Vacker Vinter Bat -- Other Side of our Studio

"Beautiful Winter Boat" - That title is Swedish (no umlaut on my keyboard over the "a").  The other name for the boat is "Luuckintuse" ... no correct spelling known.

According to my Swedish Father, Luuckintuse was a creature who lived under bridges and came out to "get" bad children.  Over the years it became a threat word for anyone in the family, adults too, who misbehaved, lost their temper, swore.   We think a Luuckintuse was something like a "Troll" - never sure.  They would come out from under bridges, grab bad children, and only let them loose if church bells rang.  (I bet I have that description messed up!) 

This is a current, finished project of DH.  I made the sail, which developed some crookedness after I broke one of the lines a few minutes ago, while cleaning off the table, so we could take photos! 


What would we do without our hobbies? 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Pineapple border, machine quilting, and a few little quilts

Border possibilities - Piano Key?  uh, nope, I like this one.
 I basted this in the house - it's about 63" x 63" -- sorta do-able on my sewing table.

And this morning ... ta dahhhhh!  I am so excited to begin the machine quilting - my favorite part!!!  I started with a Schmetz 14 quilting needle, but right away, it skipped, so I changed to a Schmetz 14 topstitch and voila.  Happiness!  This is an allover, kinda lighthearted in feeling, center is a swirl with a posy and then an echo around the posy.  This was inspired by Christina Cameli, in her recent MQ book.   LOT of seams, my machine goes thru them.  (Janome MC 6500, no stitch regulator). 

 Here is the top quilting thread - a King Tut variegated.
Here is the backing I found, on sale - Yeahhhh Pats Creative Stitchery!!!  Back thread is white. 

New subject - these are 2 little quilts I made starting with 9-patches, cutting the 9-patches, and rearranging the pieces.  For whatever reason, I have always LOVED making blocks and then re-cutting them.  They are too small for Linus quilts so I just look at them!  8-))) I call them 9-Patch Puzzle.

Friday, January 22, 2016

A friend saves vintage blocks, and a Pineapple Beginning

What a great way to start the day - aren't they beautiful?  Look at the giant white ones in the middle!   

In mid-November at the Guild give-away table, sat a large stack of vintage blocks.  Kinda sad and not well done but .... I grabbed them, shoved them in my friend Jody's hands and said, "Here make something of these!"  Poor woman - I didn't even give her a chance to object but she's creative, energetic and gets things D O N E !  Hmm, lots of piecing, by hand, not sophisticated, yet beautiful in their humility.   Some lady was using her time wisely, using what she had.  There is even some fussy-cutting. 

In mid December, (yes, less than 1 month later) Jody dropped by my house with a big wrapped "something" under her arm with instructions "do not open 'til Christmas" ... well of course I failed that edict.  After she left, I opened it ... and cried with joy. 

Look what she did with the "unloved" blocks!!!  She repaired some, added the inner black sashing, added the dark border purchased when she and I had attended some quilting function together.  She often finishes her quilts with a sliver of color against the binding.  She then washed it all, and those blah, tired-looking blocks turned into something beautiful!!!   Quilters make and give quilts away - we seldom receive a quilt, especially one with meaning.  How lovely  that she gave these blocks a real life.  It's prettier than this photo, and is now my TV-watching lap quilt.

  Above is the backing - perfectly lovely!  Thank you Jody!!!

New project ....

a Pineapple Quilt, using 2 slightly different blocks.  I'm loving it!  This design came with a DVD purchased thru Annie's Catalog/Craft catalog, and the DVD features Gyleen Fitzgerald.  (I LOVE my quilting DVDs!)  Oh My Gosh, I am loving this one!!!  I DID purchase her ruler  (about $14) which I also love.  Each block came out exactly correct, square and true.  (There is another ruler at Annies, but with more lines, options, cost - I chose the simpler version)..

If you have never made a Pineapple block, and are not paper piecing, you really need a ruler made for this technique.  The block is very easily pulled out of square and is trimmed and checked after each round.  These strips are cut at 1.5 inch, and the block finishes at 8 inches.  Also, her technique trims the blocks from the back.     

Thursday, December 31, 2015

All Day Sew Participants, others as well!

 Our local quilt group is meeting soon and some of us wanted to make a donation type quilt, Linus or kids quilt, etc.  This demo is totally for those who wish to participate and use this particular design (Hourglass?).  While it is beautiful made in "adult" fabric, it is not difficult and really cute in kids fabrics.  Some of our gals are not familiar with this technique so I thought I'd post it here.   My project is made with cuts from width of fabric, (WOF) coordinated lights and darks kids prints.       

First, cut your strips ahead of time, before we meet, if possible,  at 2 1/2 inches.  Each strip set makes 2 blocks, each block is approx. 8 inches unfinished.  Cut your strips from WOF,  or you can piece shorter strips.   
I used this Companion Angle ruler, by Darlene Zimmerman - it is perfect for the job.  If you have one for "side setting triangles" (Fons and Porter) that will also work.   I am not familiar with other rulers but I'm sure there are many.

Sew one light and one dark strip together, using 1/4 in. seam allowance, press to the dark.
Good tip!  See that orange bit of tape?  I placed it on the back of my ruler with the tape's top edge at the 2 1/4 in. line.  It is thick and kinda catches at the right place.  Be careful - there are a lot of numbers, lines, but the one I am interested in is the 2 1/4 line -- it is in the center of this ruler, and that will be the matching point so it should be exact. The line on the ruler indicates 2 1/2 and shows the arrow down -- you want to pay attention to the mark above the orange tape.  Very important.  (The tape is a quarter inch in width. )
Above is the ruler position for the first cut, and below, flip your ruler around, for  the second cut.  Use your rotary cutter.  Be sure the seam line (where the stitches are) is always at the 2 1/4 in. line.  As you move along the strip set you might need to "clean up" your cutting line just a tad, now and then.  Don't get mixed up with the 2 1/4 in. line when you flip your ruler around. 
 You should get 8 wedges from each WOF. 
 Lay the block out -  I'm using a variety of combinations.  I found it best to make/sew one block at a time.  Lay the 2 quarters together, and run it through machine, starting at large dark end first, so that the seam that was pressed to the dark, goes into the machine facing away from you.   Use care as these edges now are all bias.  Note that (below) both halves are in the same configuration - be consistent. 
 Sew the 2 halves together, matching intersections.  I finger pressed these - you might want to put a pin at intersections.   The seams all abut each other neatly.  You may have to stretch a tiny bit here and there, to ensure good intersection, but since they are bias, matching is easy.  Be gentle. 

 Be consistent with how you feed the blocks into the machine.  Can you see where I removed the last 2-3 stitches on that last seam with my seam ripper (below)?  Pull them out on one side (seam ripper), then flip the block over and remove them out on the other side - don't trim the threads.  Open the tiny center seam up, and press all seams in a clockwise direction, press all flat.  The center will press neatly as well.  If you have been consistent with your sewing, pressing and sending them thru your machine consistently, as above, they will ALL line up with each other as you put all your rows and blocks together, and all seams will abut and lie flat.  If they don't, relax and have fun anyway! 
At this point I am using a variety of fabrics, anything that a child will enjoy - I am not concentrating on one color or a "perfect" quilt - I just want it to bring pleasure to a child.  I will spread my various blocks around.  I may set them on point.  You might aim for a quilt that is 5 x 6, about 37" x 44" or so, or 30 blocks, then plus border.  That would be a generous size quilt.  Perhaps 4 x 5, plus border?  Your decision.  The blocks finish at 7.5 in. 

For the group, if you wish to participate, bring your supplies, pre-cut strips, and if you don't have enough fabric, feel free to use some of my pre-cut strips or fabric - I have plenty.  You may also borrow my rulers for our time together, if needed.  My fabrics tends to be mostly young boyish fabrics.  That Companion Angle ruler is one of the less expensive and I use mine a lot - it was a good purchase many years ago.

See ya soon!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Snowblowing for Seniors, and Quilt of Many Pieces, ("Bank One")

Yeahhhhhh - I can still do this job!  What IS it about a heavy snowfall, and feeling closed in?  We have enough food to last until May!
The day was cold, blustery, but I WAS having fun, even when I forgot to turn the chute away from my face!  DH decided I wasn't going to have all the fun!   
Below is my current project on my living room "design floor."  There are 3648 pieces, blocks are 3.75 in.  This is a SYSTEM, Strip and Slash, inspired by Jackie Robinson.  Blocks are now sewn to each other and I am getting rows together.  I opted for a less complex layout, hoping the quilting design would not present problems. 

I chose many purple and orange fabrics.  I LOVE that blue glow!  Thank you for your shirt, Sean. (Sean once worked for Bank One and had a company shirt.)  Scrappy quilts NEED one fabric that does not quite "go".   
Here is a closeup.  12 to a block, and 304 blocks, 16 across and 19 rows = 3648.