Monday, August 3, 2015

Design Wall Monday

Not much happened in my sewing room this week, although I did manage to get a few more pineapple blocks made this weekend.  Other than that, my time has been spent working on customer quilts.

Looking at some pictures of pineapple blocks, I kind of wish the template I am using (Creative Grids Pineapple Ruler) made one more round. These blocks are 10.5" unfinished, I'm thinking 12.5" might be more pleasing, and have a little bit more of the pineapple curve to them.  Maybe I'll consider that for the next one - I really don't want to unsew all those corner triangles at this point.

This week's plan is to get a few more customer quilts done - I need to finish up some smaller projects, so I can put the giant custom job on the frame this week.  And make some more pineapple blocks in my down time.  And find the table in my sewing room :(  It is a complete disaster in there, with fabric strewn everywhere, and not just the fabric for this pineapple quilt.

Drop by Judy's blog to see what everyone else has on their design walls today.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Stash Report - Aug 2

I have just a little bit of fabric out this week, but the overall achievement is 4 finishes this week!  I showed 3 of them on Friday, after a binding blitz.  The 4th is a Christmas tree panel that I've had since 2013.  Finally done - at least done to the point I could hang it.  Still trying to decide if it needs some additional embellishment - I bought some thread for bobbin work that I thought might work for tinsel, although it might be too white, rather than silver.  And I haven't decided if I'll add the lights or not. I think the answer is probably yes, but that might depend on the result with the thread.

Stash used this week
Bindings for 3 quilts (see Friday) - 1 yard
Christmas tree binding -  1/2 yard

Nothing in (yet).  This year, Northcott brought out a reindeer, and I've seen it in blue, so I suspect it will be be coming home soon. I wish I could find the wreath from last year, in blue. Maybe a web search is in order.

Stash totals for the year:
95 3/4 yards in
185 1/2 yards out
Total: 89 3/4 yards out
Drop by Patchwork Times for more stash reports today.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Friday Finishes

In honour of TGIFF and WIPs Be Gone, I present to you ... some finishes for this week!

First, my 1000 pyramids quilt.  OK, it's more like 60 pyramids, but you get the idea :)  This was made from leftover fabric from my Gananoque stars project - pretty much every scrap of leftover fabric. I even remembered to keep some of the background fabric set aside for binding.  It was quilted with feathers in all the borders, and a meander in the main part of the quilt.   This was a short-lived UFO, since I started the quilt earlier this year for a demo day at the local quilt shop (demoing the 60 degree ruler).

Next up is quilt from a panel I picked up at a guild meeting - back in early 2014, I think.  There's a second, partner to this one, but the binding isn't on that one yet.  I had the 2 panels, plus I think it was 4 fat quarters and a 1/2 yard of a striped border fabric.  Most of the fat quarters were used on the other panel, and this one got sections of the border print.  The cut was just a bit too short, unfortunately, for the size of the panel, but I did some piecing and made it work out.

I never would have picked that red binding, but as I was trimming the quilt, I found it on my cutting table. I think my cats pulled it off the shelf recently and I never got it put away again.  But when I looked at it, the red was a perfect match for some of the darker reds in the quilt, and I think it makes a nice frame for it now that it's done.

And finally, I have a little quiltie, made from leftovers from my Chain Reaction quilt (which still is not quilted).  It's 24" square, and will be a donation to the children's hospital through a guild, when meetings start up again in September.  I had some purple/blue and some green/blue 9-patches left over from Chain Reaction. But only purple and blue fabric left. I had to add an additional purple fabric, and I left the green 9-patches scattered in there for interest.

I'm also linking up to Link a Finish Friday and Can I get a Whoop Whoop

Thursday, July 30, 2015

TBT - Oh! My Stars

It's Throwback Thursday! And I've pulled out one of my poor neglected quilts to highlight today. This quilt was one of my very first quilts. It was started and the top was completed before I ever thought of blogging, so I have no photo records of the process. 

This quilt was a shop challenge at one of the local quilt shops, sometime around 2006.  Instructions were open enough that you could end up with almost anything.  Instructions like "make 4 star blocks (any size)"  "make 4-patch blocks (any size)"   "create a border using half-square triangles". Each month everyone received the instructions and 1 piece of fabric, which had to be incorporated into the project in some way.  One of the little tiny yellow squares has a chicken on it - because the fabric for that month was a square of barnyard fabric.

As I said, there are no photos of the process, but when I made this quilt originally, I had used a red fabric for the 1st plain border. I thought that would tie in with the red/burgundy fabric I used for the pieced border chain blocks.  But I hated it from day one. That's part of the reason the quilt sat for 3 years before I pulled it out to quilt it. When I did, I knew I'd never like the result. So I disassembled my way back to that border, and replaced it with the same fabric used in the last border.  I like this much better.

The pieced border just about gave me fits. I didn't know enough to know what I was doing, so it ended up being a lot more complicated to attach than I expected.  Rather than designing it with a simple miter at the corners, I pieced all the chain blocks, and ended up with some funky bits to join at the corners.  Personally, I'm amazed I managed to get the border to fit, given my lack of experience.  But that border I replaced is carefully sized (different on the top/bottom than it is on the sides) to ensure the pieced border fit correctly.

I machine quilted this on my domestic machine (Husqvarna Quilt Designer II) with a simple meander.  Based on the photos, the batting is polyester which is typical for my early quilts. I never actually posted a finished photo of this quilt. The one above, quilted but not bound, is the only project photo I had. Amazingly, given my tendancy to donate quilts, I actually still have this quilt so I was able to take a finished photo of it.

If you want to join the Throwback Thursday fun, rules are simple. Write a post (or revive an old one) about an old quilt or project that you have - maybe something from your pre-blogging days, or just a project you love that you want to show off again.  Please include a link back to this post in yours, and when you link up make sure you are linking to your specific blog post, not just your blog address.  You want to make sure people can find your post if they drop by the linkup later.

Add your link, and check out some of the other links for some inspiration.  See my sidebar for a TBT button you can add to your blog.



Monday, July 27, 2015

Design Wall Monday - July 27

There's nothing new on my design wall today.  I've been working away on a queen sized custom quilt for a customer, so that's been taking all my quilting time this week.  It's almost done, so I hope to have more to show for my own quilting next Monday.

There were a couple of finishes this week, which I showed yesterday.   Drop by Judy's blog to see what everyone else is up to for Design Wall Monday.

And later this week, please drop by my blog on Thursday for a "Throwback Thursday" linky party.  I'll be revisiting some old quilts, and I invite you to do the same. Pull out that quilt or project you made before you were blogging, or one that never received much attention from you on your blog. Create a post about it, let us know where it came from, how you made it, or where it is now - whatever you want to say about your project. Then come back here and link up to the Throwback Thursday linky party.

Here's the code to add your own TBT button to your blog sidebar.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Stash Report

Not much sewing has been going on this week, but binding did happen, and thus a few finishes.   I finished the binding on my Regatta quilt - one of the New Year's Eve mysteries that I did this year. Also, as shown earlier, Gananoque Stars is now finished and ready for donation.

And, I completed my quilt for the Modern Quilt Guild Riley Blake challenge.  I had to buy the binding for this one (1/4 yard in) which means I should stumble across the extra fabric any day now :) but it's now done a whole 5 days before the deadline.

Stash out this week.

binding for quitie and challenge stars - 3/4 yard
binding for Regatta - 1/2 yard
backing for 15 degree MQG challenge - 1 yard
binding for MQG challenge - 1/4 yard

Stash totals for the year:
95 3/4 yards in
184 yards out
Total: 88 1/4 yards out

Drop by Judy's blog for more stash reports today.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Throw Back Thursday

Since this seems to be popular around the web, I thought I would start my own version of Throw Back Thursday on my blog. Every week I'll pick one of my quilts and revisit it.  It might be a description of why I made it, how it was created, or pretty much anything related one of my previous projects.  I have 99 to choose from, according to my journal so this should be fun.  Please join in. Dig up a quilt from your past (or someone else's) and blog about it. You can post a link in the comments to your own TBT blog post. 

On the menu for today is my Broken Lone Star quilt. This design was one of the first quilts that I wanted to make, when I started quilting.  I pictured it in blue & white, sitting on my king size bed.  But I was very nervous about making it.  So before I jumped in and purchased a pile of fabric, I decided to make a test quilt. A miniature version to ensure that I understood how it was going to go together and could do all the steps. This quilt was the result of that, and I blogged about it here after it was done.  This quilt is about 24" square, and hangs on the wall in my sewing room. 

I finished this in 2005, and then tried to get up my nerve to buy all the fabric I needed for my king size version and start that. Because I was working without a pattern, I had to do my own size calculations, and those kept throwing me off. I wanted the star to sit on top of the bed, and kept second-guessing my calculations for it.  Then, life changed and the project was shelved for a while.  Divorce, move, and adjusting to single life took over. 

When I revised my plan for this quilt, I no longer had a king sized bed to cover, so I redid the calculations yet again and sized it for a queen.  The piecing of this quilt predates my blogging days - wow, I hadn't realized that. So I have no pictures or record of the process.  The center of this quilt went together nicely. Having a miniature sample make this easier - I could refer to it to make sure I was keeping my strip sets in line. 

Then things got interesting. I recall that I had not planned the borders for this quilt. I got as far as knowing that I wanted the main star to fit on top of the queen bed, and about a 10 inch border on all sides.  So, when the center star was done I started thinking about next steps.

I finally decided on the Ohio Stars for the border. They are all pieced from leftover fabric from the main center. The quilt could have been a bit larger - a white finishing border perhaps.  After quilting and the first washing, the design is smaller and the borders ride up higher on the bed.

A finished picture of this quilt apparently never made it onto my blog, so let's remedy that now. 

Nope, that's not finished either.  We'll have to go with a photo of a well used quilt, 6 years down the road.  The quilt has held up reasonably well, considering I have 3 cats who get free reign onto the bed and any associated bed covering/quilt. Some of the stitching is breaking - I attribute that to using cheap cotton thread (I didn't know any better) and stitching straight lines on the quilt bias.  Quilt stretches, thread doesn't, so the thread breaks.  My 3 most-used early quilts all have this issue.

Quilting of this was done on my domestic machine, with a jury-rigged setup in my sewing room. I created a raised table to help support the quilt, and turned the machine 90 degrees so it was oriented like a regular longarm machine.  A better description of the setup is here. This worked out pretty well, and I used that setup for several years, until I bought my Handi Quilter long arm in 2012.

I quilted feather wreaths in the white sections. you can see where I should have quilted the inside of some of the wreaths, in the larger areas. 

(The colour is horrible here - serves me right for taking pictures in the middle of the night).

The star is outline quilted.  Interestingly, these stitches have not broken. Perhaps because they are stitch in the ditch - and thus reinforced by the piecing seams they are stitches along. Or, perhaps a slightly higher quality thread used here. I can't recall exactly which navy thread I used.

I love the way the dark thread makes the star outline show up on the back of the quilt, although I'm not too thrilled with the knots where I started/stopped my quilting lines.

This is where my stitches are breaking.  I did a simple crosshatch in the borders across all the stars.  The threads are not holding up. I suppose I should put this quilt on the longarm one day, and restitch the borders with something else to repair them.  The fabric in this quilt has all held up really well, and the quilt is lovely and soft after multiple washings.

Here is the quilt as it appears today