Wednesday, May 26, 2010

How they fit together

Murky photo dang it .. anyway, putting these blocks/now rows together looks harder than they are. See the red unit on the left, with the muslin triangular border? It's first to be sewn on, in this row. I.e., start from the left and work to the right.

Then the green plaid is sewn along that solid line.

Then the muslin square (above, partial seamed) where you just joined to the green plaid, etc., etc. It truly is not difficult, just cumbersome. The squares on the lower edge of the blocks are not completely sewn yet - that will be done for the NEXT row. Amazingly, most of my corners match pretty well -- these new angles present wierd and unexpected joints.

Don't be afraid of this pattern. It would be stunning in batiks, or without the square inset, or mirror imaged, or two colors or ...

On another subject - WOW - we had a doozy of a storm Monday! It's hard to tell if there was a tornado, when the wind is blowing sideways at 70 MPH, full of leaves and branches and hail, obliterating the sky - the noise was awful! Most of us hang around to 'see' what's happening! Dh was standing in front of the glass door, facing west, watching the hail and debris hit the window, that was coming FROM THE WEST. DUhhhhh - shut the big door, dufus!!! About the time we decided it was time to head for the basement, it was over. We had no damage, not even my poppies or hostas as they were protected. The town lost some very big trees.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

38 Churn Dash blocks, while Arabic Lattice Blocks are 'cooking'

Sometimes you have to let your blocks 'cook' for a while (Arabic Lattice), so you can look at them, figure what's next, does it need a border? etc. So, with my fingers were itching to do SOMETHING, I decided to use some 1 1/2 in strips and some 2 1/2 inch strips, already cut, to make 'a few' Churndash blocks. (A "few" turned into 38 so far. I think I need 56 for a whole top.) None of the blocks are duplicates -- I LOVE how the colors play with each other. Some are lovely, some not, but all are interesting. If you sometimes feel you are in a rut with your colors, a scrappy block like this is so much fun - pairing up colors you've never used before can result in some lovely surprises. If some are just 'too much' you can always use them as the label! And so far, ALL the fabrics came from my boxes of pre-cut pieces.

These are 6 inch finished blocks and will be alternated with a quarter square of 2 colors.

This is my second Churndash quilt - the first one was hand quilted and I NEVER get tired of looking at the unexpected color combinations on that first one.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Arabic Lattice, Keepin' On

You can see the second partial seam, folded slightly back. This arrangement looks more confusing that it really is (above).

However, I'm so smart (uh hemmmm - NOT!) I clipped the instructions tn the window blind! It really goes together well, you just need to remember HOW it goes together well.
Tonight I put the third row together.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Arabic Lattice - John Flynn

Quilt Guild yesterday with John Flynn, and today we are working on Arabic Lattice - what an entertaining block, with many variations. He was also teaching an All-Day Friday class on another pattern, which I did not attend.

Below are 4 of M's blocks. Many of the attendees started with a kit -- every one of those plaids was so bright and cheerful. We started with the center 4-patch, then added the first fan, using a partial seam. They work up very quickly. My templates are for 6 inch blocks. They also came in a 12 inch size. As many of the kits were purchased, it was not necessary to purchase the templates, unless you wanted them.

I wanted to set mine "offset", and made a lot of blocks before the class, using many of MY plaids saved for years. (I like to be prepared!) Note the bias edges on the long outside, NOT the best idea, but when firmly starched, they held up nicely. (My ironing board top sure needs replacing now!) I liked the effect of the diagonals in the plaids.
Below - Many of the 'offset' square suggestions were dark in value, but I wanted mine to be light. Then that square appeared TOO too light, so I played around with tea staining. I still don't know what I want but ... The left is original color, right was a quick dip in strong tea. Occasionally a too-light value in an already-made quilt can be spritzed with a tea bottle, kept permanently in my sewing area.
One row laid out.
This pattern (with the offset square) requires 2 partial seams. Confusing at first, but one step at a time, and it quite do-able.

John brought all his kits - wow - did we have fun pouring over them all, and naturally, many of us left with more than the supplies we arrived with. I bought a Drunkard's Path kit - these kits are all laser cut, leaving fabric edges neat and tight - no raveling -- with registration tics on those curves. NICE!

Thanks for coming way out here, John!

When we left the Convention Center, full of threads, dragging all our 'stuff' through the lobby, parts falling to the floor as we wheeled by, all of us worn out and weary, we were surprised to find the lobby filled with a formally dressed crowd, diamond decorated-women in long dresses, black formal dinner jackets, men with boutainerres (sp?), and there we were looking like frazzled hayseeds! I believe the governor was among them - didn't take photos, though!

Friday, May 07, 2010

Jody's Quilt, Finished Split 9-Patch, New Project

This beauty belongs to Jody (Goddess) who is a prolific quiltmaker in addition to all the other things she accomplishes. (well, she hasn't gotten her blog up yet ..., nag, nag, nag!) 8-))) It's called Blue Ridge Beauty, from Bonnie Hunter's Leaders and Enders book.

Here is the last (not-great) photo of my Split 9-Patch, to show the quilting on the narrow white border. I used a stencil and blue pencil (is that cheating?) Each of the wide blue borders are quilted differently from each other. Again, this might be my new best favorite, and "it turned out better than I thought it would!"

Soooo, I started another project (Arabic Lattice) and I am going to get hollered at - this is our next guild class with John Flynn, and I was given strict orders, to me personally, "Elaine, no pre-cutting!" Honestly, Vonda, the devil made me do it! I have a large collection of shirt plaids and stripes, having made many shirts, and also after visiting our local Mission Store for 50 cent shirts. I swear, I only wanted to try out the block and got carried away! But, after making one, I couldn't stop! Aren't they cute? Those outside triangles edges on the bias are heavily starched. Ya gotta have bias somewhere and I didn't want it towards the center 4-patch. That light square in the center is a muslin fabric. Maybe I'll change it to a different color square - not sure yet.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Easiest Quilting Pattern

A number of you have asked for the pattern I used on my recent Split 9-Patch, quilting on a DSM (domestic sewing machine). This is about as easy as it gets!
Note the starting point (lower left), and I left the curves 'open' on purpose, in this case. Most of them have 3 curves back and forth and then I would go off in the most open space to make the next curve. Sometimes I ended up in a space where I didn't want to be, so I made 4 curves to go in a different direction. (My real quilting lines are nicer than marker lines!) And sometimes I just had to do some curves back and forth to get out of a space, but always tried to copy the look of the curve. (In other words, not skinny curves in some places, and fat ones in other places.) They all have about the same curve (called a teardrop), even though some are small, others large and some are just back and forth, to fill a space. And sometimes you end up inside everything else, and have to stop and restart.

I usually make one unit of 3-4 back and forth movements, then STOP and see where I'm going next. And I don't go fast.

OK class, let's see your samples! 8-))) Remember, your goal is to add texture, NOT to see your thread, even though you'll see it. After it's washed, it should be much less noticeable! Also, your eyes and nose will be right there within inches of your stitching, seeing every stitch - do not get upset if your stitches aren't quite right! You'll get better and probably those stitches will not be noticed when it's done! Ya gotta practice with anything that's new to you!

Monday, May 03, 2010

I won, I won, I won!

This book I WON is absolutely luscious, from!! The colors are out of this world - even brighter than the DVDs! And I can slobber over it while I'm reading in bed, as opposed to watching her DVDs where I have to actually be somewhat upright!
I love that the pages are glossy and the print and drawings are easy to read (since I need to do the cataract thing soon!).
Am I lucky or am I lucky! I LOVE learning machine quilting from Patsy (and camera-guy Ernie)!

Since I have ALL of her DVDs, there is some duplicate material, but the photography is MORE than excellent and just demands a person sit down and try these designs. It's definitely eye candy.

This project (below)is not finished but I like to just look at it. Dh was peeking, daring me to take his photo, so I did! He almost suffered injury when I realized he still had a cigarette in his hand - yikes! I have more work, but quilters, I'm liking it! As always, I'll force myself to post it when finished.