Thursday, August 31, 2017

Something from Nothing - a String Quilt

mmm not bad, considering the bin of strings I started with!  Of course, the bin is still full.  The blocks are sewn on phone book pages.  These blocks are 7.25 in. unfinished.  I don't mind removing the paper at all - it's a pleasant, mindless project.

Some of the blocks were getting kinda murky and dull-looking so I started sewing in some skinny, jazzy bright colors on the dark side.  Problem solved.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Anniversary, and Ruler Work Practice

Our anniversary is same as Eclipse Day - flowers arrived early, because of all the activity planned tomorrow, big "E" day.  Our little town of 8900 is in the center of the pathway and good grief, so much planned, so many people expected, so many flights in and out and even rumors of a few big name "movie stars"!  We are not accustomed to "traffic" but already 1 day prior to the big "E" day, ... hey, it's a ZOO  out there!  
New subject -- I've been practicing ruler work - this quilt begged for straight lines.  

Originally I tried this ruler made especially for what I thought would be useful - mmmm - not sure it works well for this project, but perhaps on another design.  More practice me thinks! For this project, the straight edge is not long enough before hitting a stop point.  Re-adjusting the ruler each time means delays, and more possibility of a mis-stitch.  

Below is one of my quilting feet - notice the high edge around the foot, meant to keep a ruler  from sliding getting under the needle, but also it slides along the edge of the ruler, keeping the line straight.  However, note on the right of my foot, how the assembly is rubbing slightly against the ruler - it does not actually impede movement but it 's close and something to think about, if choosing a ruler.  Also, there is a lot of "stuff" in my view, hard to see behind the foot, but it can be done.  I did a lot of peeking, up, down, leaning left and right to be sure my ruler was lined up accurately. 
 I found this short, ruler in my stash, a freebee when visiting this Denver shop - it works great!  It is thin so be sure your ruler foot had high edges.  You need a little ruler that slides around easily, doesn't get caught up on seams, but slides over them but also stays put.  Tricky?  Yep! 
Some of my lines - turning corners and then readjusting was difficult without little crooked stitches.  I did used a dark Sharpie to fix some of my mis-stitches on dark fabrics as my thread showed light.  Thread buildup was my problem at the center of the triangles, but then I learned how to stop short before going back the other way and then I learned Jump Stitches when moving from one area to the next.  My first 2 or 3 blocks had to be redone several times -- practice helps a LOT.  
I marked everything, using a Frixion pen in purple along with a white ceramic pencil.  This is not a fast project for now but gets faster with practice.  Perhaps, in time,  I won't need to mark each block. 

DH and I both agreed we are liking the overall effect.  This is before sandwiching.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

"Critter Comfort" - DONE

The back is as attractive as the front - just goes to show - use that old fabric you've been saving and put it on the back.  I was concerned I'd have "wrong" fabrics next to other "wrong" fabrics.  Nope - it's all just fine and dandy!   The narrow "sashing" adds  appeal - again, I used a variety - makes things interesting!  The  quilt binding is black with a tiny lime green flange, sewn down on the front.  I found it impossible to keep my stitches from showing in a wrong place on the back. Half showed on the black binding, half on the backing - was unable to sew consistantly. Perhaps a slightly wider binding?  Sharpies can be used for many things.  8-)

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

"Critter Comfort" - progress

Above is the back of my kid-friendly Quilt As You Go.  I already had the squares of fabric, 77 of them, planning to use them as backing on an adult quilt.  That idea sorta lost it's luster, thinking of sewing them all together, then quilting them on my DSM.  But, when using them for QAYG on a kid  quilt, and sashing them with novelty fabrics, they looked less intimidating.  Also, I DID foolishly begin to plan the backing squares to be in a planned pattern ... uh, no, don't go there Elaine Adair!
Here are 3 rows together,  (to myself)  upper left corner is a Sturgis motorcycle.  There are 8 rows, 48 blocks in all.  I see the remnants of numerous kid quilts!

Putting the blocks together was easy.  There was a lot of non-traditional flopping back and forth, so some sort of labeling was needed.  There was some organization of fabrics and colors, not a lot.  The back sashing was cut just 1 inch, and front sashing cut 1 1/2 in. then folded in half.  The seams/batting nested together nicely.  It was not easy to get the back sashing seam threads in the right place so as not to show -- I was only partly successful.  A busy backing would help.  

This is not a quilt for a show - it's a quilt for a little kid - he/she won't care if seams show.  I will  simply bind it, not add borders.  Actually, making this little quilt was a delightful experience -- I had been wanting to do something different, and those cheerful critters made me happy! 

This gal has a lovely QAYG project with instructions on her video.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

QAYG, "Critter Comfort"

QAYG is a great technique to use up fabric bits (in case no one ever told you!).  It also eliminates the final quilting as it is machine quilted by sewing strings to the precut backing/batting pieces.  The backing pieces were already cut, cutting the batting pieces went fast, and sewing the kids prints/strings took 3 days - that's all.

Back in the '80s -- (that would be the previous century!!!!), I learned Quilt as you Go, from Georgia Bonesteel, the only quilt program  available on TV.  It was aired on the Public TV, coming from North Carolina.  She is responsible for this lovely addiction!

I'm trying this method, slightly modified from the original.  Many tutorials are available all over YouTube.  I've used strings, and the sewing goes to the edges of the block, and I will machine sew very narrow sashing to front and back, between the blocks.  That's the plan, but have NOT started that part yet.  Here are 49 blocks that are trimmed to 8 1/4 inch.  The only constant is the white diagonal.   I DID make a dent in my kids prints hoard as well as my batting scraps!  Blocks will be set 6 x 8 (one extra).  Some of the blocks look clever together, most are accidental - the white center strip gives the blocks continuity.  Bbacking squares are a variety of fabric.  

Here is kinda what they might look like when putting 4 together, without sashing for now.  Note, the cats and the cat food cans!  Toooooo cute!  
One fabric of green polka dots and monkeys was given to me by Kathy, a fellow resident and quilter, who passed away unexpectedly recently.  Thank you Kathy - I used it for good purpose.