Wednesday, August 31, 2016

More on Frixion Pens, and DONE with "Heinz 57"

Hand quilted!!!  D O N E!

My last post included info on using the hair dryer to whoosh all the Frixion lines away.  I misspoke  - many of the lines reappeared later, where I had used the hair dryer.  Oh dear, PANIC time, but then I followed directions (!!!) and used my iron.  I had resisted the iron because my blocks had been marked with the traditional  blue pen - you know, the ones where you absolutely CANNOT use iron on them -  and I was afraid of some possible error.  I used the Frixion only on the border gridwork, and they disappeared with the iron.  Whew!

This quilt is called "Heinz 57."  It's 74" x 84".   There are 49 blocks in the top and 8 leftover (equal 57 varieties) that I'll put on the back - kinda late in the plan but .....  The blocks were made about years ago, and I remember the absolute delight making them - using 1.5 inch and  2.5 inch  leftover pieces.  The blocks are each different.  Each one was put together little regard for "matching" other than light and dark placement, and I LOVE how even "mismatched" blocks look great and present new color combinations, previously not considered.  The dark green border on each block gives continuity.  I'm remembering I could not stop making those cute blocks!!!! 

I did not continue the grid quilting to the edge.  It seemed 4 lines was enough.  This is a country-like quilt, all hand quilted.  I have a small hole in the back to repair, and another on the top, where seams pulled apart.  (Check those seams, Elaine!! before basting it).

Finally, thank you Ms. Victoria, of Park Hill Farm blog, for helping me figure out to make "My Blog List" on my page.  I will add more.   

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Frixion Pen, and New Spider Web

I am hand quilting, have worked out to a wide border that has side setting triangles.  The fabric in the side setting triangles and also in the border (soft green and white stripes) are the same fabric.  I'm doing a lot of grid quilting that must be marked,  and decided to try the Frixion pen.  Of course I was afraid but ... the lines totally disappear with heat.  Instead of using the iron for heat, I threw the quilt-in-process over the bed, and  used the hair dryer.  OMgoodness, those lines disappear like magic.  The pen tip is just like a slender ball point pen.  It's made by Pilot.  I wrapped a big bulky rubber band around it to be sure it was not used for anything else.  I'm very pleased.

If you have not done grid quilting (hand or machine), by all means ... plan ahead.  When there are multiple places where you plan the grid, remember that it all has to be equidistant or creatively altered.  I realized my 1 inch lines would NOT be perfect as it went from one space to the next, so some different ideas had to used - not brainy, just thought out.   DH helped.  8-)))

And here is new project, based on Karla Alexander's system, a spider web.   She advertises the Creative Grids Rulers.  This video is also on YouTube.  She does a nice "ending" to her spider web, so they aren't just "cut off" at the borders, and that is what I learned at a recent trunk show she held at Pat's Creative Stitchery.  Below is one block.  4 are needed for a completed spider web.  

I've made this design before, but this is a different approach.  Below are the "kites".  When blocks are together, the "kites" provide their own design.   Karla has written a number of quilt books.  Her "thing" is sliced, slid, shuffled strips.  
Below are 4 unpressed strata, to be cut into wedges.  Each set of "Strata" is made of 5 of the same strips, but in a shuffled order.  There are 7 wedges in each strata, meaning that there is some mixing of the wedges to make 8 as needed for a "web".

And .... wonder of wonder ...these are NOT scraps, I bought  these FQs specifically for a "special" project, like this one.

Friday, August 19, 2016

An Original Anniversary Gift

DH surprised me with this unique Anniversary Gift.  He planned a 2 hr. plane excursion this morning over these lovely Sandhills.  I live in a town of 8900, far out in the boonies, western Nebraska , and I wanted to show YOU how open and wide the spaces are, outside of town.  Photos were quickly shot from the plane  - you won't recognize anything but they DO show you the landscape.  It was a lovely gift - something we'll both remember for many years. Our plane was a 1976 Cessna Sky Hawk, piloted by a talented and knowledgeable pilot.    

Below - east of town, there is a LOT of space.
 Below - see the dot?  Our shadow. 8-))
 OK, I'm a quilter -  was inspired by the lines! 
Despite being a dry climate, there are many small lakes in the Sandhills.  Most are not good water. 
 I think this was Crescent Lake Recreational Center - a waterfowl sanctuary. We saw a lot of white pelicans.

Below - one pivot, this  crop looks like corn. Some of the dark blotches in the back are lakes, others are cloud shadows. 

Below - 6 pivots all together.  There is a car or truck on the road, that little dark splotch before the "Y" on the road.  A pivot is an irrigation system, with a well in the center and a huge spraying contraptions that move in circles, irrigating the various crops.  These might be corn.  
 We had lightning and an unusual heavy rain last night, and saw 3-4 blackened areas that had been struck by lightning, burned, and apparently distinquished by the unexpected rain (no photo).  Signs on highways are remind motorists to beware of range fires, a serious danger in dry seasons.  

The "Sandhills" cover large areas east of my home.  Fields appear pockparked with humps and hills, many sprinkled with cattle, deer, some antelope.  From the air, we can see huge farms and ranches, waaaay off from main roads.   Large amounts of land is necessary for cattle. Farms/ranches of 100,000 acres is not unusual.

Below is my town, Alliance.  
75% of this town's economy, is related to railroads.  I counted 25 parked trains as we flew over, currently parked due to EPA restrictions on coal emissions.  The trains carry coal, from Wyoming.  A fully loaded train will be 130 cars long.  At times I've wondered if there is anything left of Wyoming, due to the many trains full of coal that pass thru this area.

Below - DH and I, two old fogies living in the fast lane - our 18th anniversary!   A very good day!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Something from Nothing


I only meant to clear out a bunch of old strips - none of the strips seemed like they would "go" well together, but sometimes a person has to try new things.  The last logs were the darkest - good plan!  I WAS trying out the Creative Grids 6 inch Log Cabin Trim ruler, feeling positive and smug that it would add nothing to the process but,  uhhhh, I WAS PLEASANTLY SURPRISED with the accurate result!  The original casually-cut leftover strips were anywhere from 2 inches to "sorta" 1 1/4 inches. Narrow strips have a tendency to wobble and stretch during construction and pressing, and the ruler is designed to trim up the logs perfectly after each round.  Logs finish at 3/4 inch. 

The back - it is surprising how homely fabric cut into squares and set into some sort of pattern can make a pretty backing!  I've used this technique frequently, cutting the squares at various sizes, depending on the size of the quilt.  How far back does that red gingham go?

I found it helpful to draw the backing needed onto graph paper to help determine how many of each square was needed.  Save the extras for another quilt backing.

This will be a donation quilt - but I LOVE looking at it for now!