Monday, January 31, 2011

Pineapple Quilt, still a WIP

Finally, it's all together, but I still have to fasten down the triangular units in the semi border. After all the handling adding borders, all those seams need pressing AGAIN!

I LOVE how you can't tell where the quilt top ends and the border begins.

DH (below) thought the last border should have yet another triangle on the corner, but it would have to be very large to fit in with the style of those previous triangles. I thought it should not be there at all. I put that little rust swatch on the outer corner, not what he had envisioned. I don't like it there either but ... Opinions? I DO like the rust color though.

I may have to wait for a warm spring day to actually baste and quilt it, or else haul in the basting tables from the garage through all the danged SNOW!!!

The blocks are 6 inches finished - the quilt is about 62" x 72".

Now, suggestions needed - what kind of quilting?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Linus Quilt. Streak of Sunshine

I've NEVER had problems with binding, that is, the sewing the two ends together, and had no qualms about trying a new method -- the one where you overlap the two ends, the same about as the width of your binding -- LOL -- a slight mistake -- I twisted it, but I DID like the method.

Next time I will quilt it in the ditch, or diagonally. I did swirly balloons, (one circle inside another) and am not thrilled but... it's done.

This "Streak of Sunshine" from, is simple, quick, and effective. I've had that purple quilt-y fabric for years -- LOVED it, but could never think of how to use it.

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, that backing! Looks like 60ish fabric, doesn't it?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New and Improved

Warning - NQR -- ranting!!!

I used to think I had some "smarts", using computer office applications. I have recently 'upgraded' to Windows 7, and installed Office 2010 on a new office computer. Well, I didn't actually install it, because that was too complicated, too frustrating, too unmanageable, too non-understandable. And as usual, I'm thinking, "It's my fault", "I'm too decrepit to learn", "maybe I have Alzeimers", "it's time I really retire"! We've all been there, so my words are the same as you all have said, each time you get computer equipment that is "new and improved." Let me tell you, this it taking all my energy, sleepless nights, nightmares, to learn even the basics, all over again.

My instruction book is 1297 pages, much too heavy to read in bed, for gosh sakes! Where do I even start? Because it's "Not like it used to be", maybe I should start on Page 1?

Then, just when I thought I was gaining some proficiency back for my day's work, something wierd started happening. I wasted 6 work days trying the usual System Restore, Repair, Uninstall, reinstall, uninstall weather program, additional virus scans, etc., etc., etc. All to no avail. I called in our "computer" geek-member helpers and it took THEM several days, frustrations, hair-pulling, downloading a new program from Microsoft, going through the uninstalling, reinstalling, activating, re-activating, product keys, licensing, and again, same problems. Finally, after much trepidation, an important file was deleted on the REGISTRY -- always a NO-NO! but voila!!! I'm up and running, again.

Some kind soul had donated the computer and programs, so I am so very grateful for their gift -- just NOT grateful to Microsoft. But am extremely grateful for our diligent computer helpers!

Maybe I can get back to quilting now.

... I feel a little better!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Road to a Friend's House is Never Long

Is 90 miles one way too long? My friend Chell moved from my area, but found a location more suitable for them and their horses, and country/western life. We decided we'd try a "Sew Day" every few months, between meeting at Quilt Guild.

This is my amazing, spacious view on my drive. I started my life living in Chicago -- what a change in scenery, but I DO love it.

Finding my way took written directions and a hand-drawn map, and also discovering that the phrase "Oil Road" was a good description for the locals, but I missed it. Chell had warned me that if I hit the Wyoming line, I'd gone too far. Oops, there's the Wyoming State line! OK, turn around, and with one telephone call I recovered and found my way.

Chell was working on a strippy Kaleidoscope Quilt, and I was working on a Sizzlin' Strips. Surprisingly, we each managed a lot of progress, as well as good conversation, a delicious lunch, and warm friendship. I LOVED watching the horses outside our window, gamboling about, maybe thinking of spring!

I had my strips cut ahead of time for another Sizzlin' Strips. My colors are very bright and vibrant, although some appear kinda wishy-washy, maybe they look that way against the carpet. One thing about making Sizzlin' Strips is that one never knows how to arrange them - there are a million possibilities! For now, this is a first random layout.

I LOVED having someone else fix lunch, an incredible chicken tortilla soup, and dessert (foggy photo) of an apple spice dump cake -- we DID consume a good portion of it. I could have had yet another piece, but then would have needed a nap instead of sewing. LOL Can't WAIT for our next "Sew Day."

My drive home was mostly in the dark and wow, did I ever learn the importance of a thorough headlight cleaning! I could barely see and had to follow the headlights of the vehicle ahead.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pineapple Border, Fiddling

What on earth is THAT? OK, I'm wanting to continue elements in my pineapple quilt, into the border. I've used this technique before, and while not perfect (yet), I like it! Rather than piecing the border in hundreds of pieces, I'm adding the insert, those triangular pieces that are not hard to make. However I DID graph it on paper, just to be sure. (It's amazing how clear things become when I first draw them!) They deliberately finish taller than my first cream border, because I wanted the effect similar to how the blocks are looking.

All the paper has been removed. This photo shows the pieces basted to light-weight fusible interfacing, then they are turned, pressed on a Teflon Pressing Sheet (an amazing invention!) and inserted. Later, I will fuse them down well, and then use invisible thread to sew them down with a blind hem stitch, and THEN, do the quilting.
With all the colors in this quilt, I wanted those corner units to be a consistent green and coral. They are visually obvious in the finished quilt top, so I wanted to repeat them in the border. If you try this, the side inserts are green and coral, while the end inserts are coral and green - be sure to check before completing them all. I have one side to add the cream border to make - maybe this week. Then border #2, etc. They will be easier and quicker.

This last photo shows how the triangular unit will look inserted, and overlapping the cream, going INTO the green (or whatever color I put next). The green is just for audition only. I plan on having 4 borders in all, and at the corners of each border, I will add a quick corner, again copying the element from the quilt center.

I've had fun making this one!

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Other Side of our Studio

From time to time, I post what my DH is doing on the other side of our little "Studio." Usually his projects are boats, but this wagon appealed to him.

This is a Conestoga Wagon and literature says these wagons originated in Pennsylvania (U.S.A.), in late 1700s, and were pulled by a selected breed of draft horses, called Conestoga horses, often 17 hands high, a breed considered extinct. This wagon was capable of carrying 8 tons of stuff, through rugged territory. They were used for commercial purposes and also by early settlers, until the advent of the railroads.

He built the amazing undercarriage on this wagon, exactly like it would have been built, in reality. This entire project took him 95.5 hours to complete. The wheels (to me) are the most impressive, and were made one spoke at a time, in a special jig, with a metal band outside the rim. I made the (easy) feed sacks and bedrolls (inside), and canvas cover.

One side of canvas was left open for viewing. That's a feed trough hanging off the back.

Our Studio is small - if he rolls his chair back while I roll my sewing chair back, we bump. And lately, I even have my sewing desk expanded, taking up even more room! We need a bigger house to hold all these projects!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

63 Pineapple Blocks - DONE

OK, paper piecing IS messy. I let it all go to the floor, and don't worry about the mess, then vacuum each evening.

I only used what was in the strip box - and I wasn't particular with my choices - they only had to be very light, and very dark.

My machine has an auto thread cutter and then I can just start another seam - there is no fiddling with the threads, they don't get jammed, I don't have to pull out a few inches to keep it from tangling. Between my knee lift, auto thread cutter and then just starting on the next sewing, this paper-piecing goes fairly quickly. I don't know if I'd like paper piecing without these gadgets!

Here's the beginning of the last block!

Because many of my blocks were so scrappy, the larger corners did not always look so good next to one another, and I wanted some way to coordinate all the different fabrics. I used a same rust and mossy green on the corners, alternating them.

Look at the improvement! I cut those little quick corners at 1.5 inches.

Most of the rows are together and I'm letting the whole top 'cook' while I come up with a good border.