Wednesday, November 15, 2017

On to November

There was a small amount of sewing going on here last month. I have pieced almost 60 of the star blocks needed for my Lil' Orphan Scrappy.
And the leader/ender 16 patches are totaling about 30 now.
But I haven't been able to sew for several days now.  Sabra, my beautiful red Golden Retriever has been diagnosed with a soft tissue cancer and all my attention has been for her.  She is doing pretty well although a bad reaction to acupuncture nearly finished us both off yesterday. Fortunately, she recovered and we are fighting the good fight again.  As more health issues in my family are needing attention, I will be switching to some handwork to sooth my soul.
We could use some prayers from those who pray. And as Thanksgiving comes next week, we can be so grateful for the God who hears us and holds us in His hands.  God bless you all with His saving presence and peace! Psalm 121

Monday, October 2, 2017

Backing up to September

Summer seemed to get busier and hotter! I'm quite happy to move into Autumn. In August I made some table runners and a little quilt for my sister ♥
They were made with some fabric purchased from Connecting Threads that I liked. A nice feel to it and wouldn't it have been nice if I had taken pictures?!
I then sewed scrappy mostly black, some brown and one maroon selection of 2" squares to make a table runner for our family room. This was wonderfully mindless and relaxing and I could squeeze in sewing time for just a few minutes and still accomplish something. It's hard to photograph black but here it is doing its job.
The last week of September brought some better sewing time as I headed northeast to Arnold, California and joined about 20 other quilters at a retreat hosted by Lynn Wilder of Sew'n Wild Oaks. I shared a cabin with Joy from Joyful Quilter and enjoyed the beautiful mountain setting. We sewed, ate delicious food and chatted 3 full days.  I worked on a pattern from Lynn called Lil' Orphan Scrappy using some beautiful fat quarters of Wild Orchid by Blackbird Designs. My progress almost completed a heart...which has nothing to do with the pattern it just looked fun on the design wall.
My first block
I have been busy sewing since I got home and am up to 20 blocks.
While at the retreat I did a little gift sewing as well so pictures of that might show up in December or January. I'm happy to be home again but this was such a great time with wonderful people. I hope to do it again next year.
Linking to Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Metro Rings with probably too much commentary!

Inspired by a couple of quilts at my local quilt store, Quilter's Cupboard (Atascadero), I purchased the Quick Curve rulers by Sew Kind of Wonderful.
After all that curved piecing with the smaller quilt, I was ready to give this a try.


Initially, I was really impressed with the instructions and with what you could do with this ruler, getting the arc consistent and not wasting much fabric.



There was a lot of squaring up to do after sewing all the blocks together and I think it was here that I started seeing a problem. I had followed the directions closely though and couldn't see what I had done wrong. The background pieces were not the same in each block and I couldn't really figure out what to do about it though I tried trimming to get them uniform and then tested sewing them together. That wasn't helping but I plowed ahead since all the blocks were already sewn together. 

I went on to sew on the corner connector pieces hoping this would fix some of the issues I was seeing. No, it didn't and the pattern's squaring up instructions were a little too "casual". Fortunately, I realized that I needed to figure out a consistent measure for the corner pieces so that when the blocks were sewn together, the triangles would meet to make up that square. 

The pattern had said to watch a YouTube video about curved piecing that I had watched but it was at this point that I also found one specific to Metro Rings. It mentioned not pressing the blocks until both sides of the background pieces were sewn onto the rings.  This may have been the defining mistake I made but I'm still not sure. The overall effect of the design is still clear in the finished quilt but I am really not happy with the inconsistent points (or complete lack of) in the inside rings as well as the inconsistency of the how the outside pieces come together. After looking further on their website at blog post comments, apparently I am not alone in this frustration.  I am going to try again with the added information that came from the Metro Rings video.  I have added the measurements that were not included in the pattern for keeping the connector triangles accurate and I will see if I can't get this to look like it was designed. I do think there is hope! but you really need all the information before you start working with this ruler.
I used Hobb's 80/20 batting and Feathered Curls pantograph for the quilting. 


And with that, it will be off to my oldest sister who has yet to receive one of my quilts. Hopefully she won't be bothered by the inconsistency.  Thank you for reading to the end of this long post. I hope the information helps someone.
I have moved on to sewing simple squares together :-)


Sunday, July 23, 2017

July and my Double Wedding Ring Quilt

July has been a good month for sewing here. It feels so good to spend time pushing fabric through my Bernina! Though most of what I'm showing today was actually sewn years ago. I think it was about in 2005, I took a class from a local instructor, Mary Russell. She had designed a specialty ruler for the double wedding ring block. Her quilts were beautiful and I set about making the rings to applique thinking I knew exactly how I was going to quilt this as an online machine quilting group had some great ideas. I finished the top pretty much that same year and then felt the trepidation of actually quilting the feathers that I saw on the ones online.  It sat. And then I was less enthused about the feathers and it sat longer. Finally at a quilt show I saw ring quilts from Sew Kind of Wonderful that had a very different look and I was inspired!  Eventually I bought curved rulers from The Quilted Pineapple and well it sat a little longer... Till after practicing on the little mystery wheel quilt, I finally jumped in.  So all that to say, here it is... finally done!


There was much to learn in this process. I didn't mark this until I had it on the quilt frame.  Before would have been better but I think I was still intimidated with the design.  In fact, even after the first couple of rows, I was still overwhelmed by how much quilting was on it.  My DH had to talk me into leaving it.  I quilted on for several days and just stayed committed. 
I was pleased and surprised that when I took it off the frame, it was still soft and not stiff with thread.  We are hanging this on a wall but it could actually be used to cuddle up with.  Getting the curved crosshatching consistent will be more to learn in the future but I've got to say that these rulers from The Quilted Pineapple are wonderful. I am actually kind of enjoying the look of it now though won't be repeating this process any time soon! 

So I promised a few more pics from the quilt show. Here are some more favorites.
A Gypsy Wife in pastels!


 Boston Terriers...in Chicago not Boston but still cute :-)






And specially for a friend who just attended a goat yoga event :-) Nama-a-aste!

Linking here to Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop it up, Friday!




Thursday, June 29, 2017

Too far behind to even title this!

Way back in February (I think), I asked a friend if she needed help with her En Provence. She hadn't started yet...so we met for breakfast and she showed me a variation she had seen using blacks, greys and whites.  I liked it too so we set about gathering fabrics and met to figure out how to make it happen. Another friend offered up all her neutral 4 patches as she had stalled after the first clue. A collaborative quilt :-)  Julie set to making the dark 4 patches and I started with quarter square triangles. I had some skill building to do with this step and improved along the way somewhat.
Next I started the triangle in a square blocks and treated myself to the Loc Bloc ruler to make them. This was fun and I got hooked on making all these smaller units.

This is the last pic I have. Julie is hand sewing the binding finish.
I quilted a swirl and hook version that I learned from a watching Angela Waters video. She is really good teacher! (Julie chose the red for the binding...not the black)

Our local quilt show was this last week in San Luis Obispo.  The 7 area guilds come together for this show every year.  Seven Sisters Quilt Show is named after the mountain (hill) range from SLO to Morro Bay. A fun show and I was encouraged to finally show a quilt when my friend told me to enter the curvy Wheel of Mystery. This really was me practising so I never thought about showing it while I was quilting it...or I would never have been able to finish! It was such a stretch for me.  But I filled out the forms and it was included in the show. I was shocked to learn that it won a sponsored ribbon (as in not judged for skill...someone just liked it)!  It was picked because the quilting was planned and different than others.  Thank you Sew Kind of Wonderful, Judy Madsen and even Karen McTavish! who I have learned from and follow their design ideas.
I have to say this certainly made the show fun for me this year! It was my first time to enter a quilt. More quilts from the show...






I'll show more quilts next time. It was a lovely show!

more later :-)
I hope you all have a wonderful, safe Independence Day celebration!


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Hands2Help Reveal

I have my completed quilt to show. Supernova was showcased with some instructions by Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict here. I had some orange in my stash and so away I went. I really enjoyed making this.
Thank you to my sis helping with the quilt holding :-)
















For quilting, I wanted to use my rulers and do something different than usual....which are allover designs.  I struggled with coming up with something very interesting though.  I finally settled with just some defining lines.  It was not very exciting but I did get a lot better with ruler use by the time I finished this.

This quilt measures about 60" square.  It has Hobb's 80/20 batting and is sewn with Superior Threads Sew Fine and Bottom Line in the bobbin.
Supernova is headed to Emily of Em's Scrap Bag to give to someone going through chemotherapy.  Her charity is called Chemo Cozies. 
Thank you, Sarah for a fun design idea and for hosting Hands2Help!
Thank you to Emily for an avenue of sharing our quilts to cheer someone.

For anyone interested, I learned a couple of things with this ruler work business :-) 
I have not been trusting of the water soluble pens used for design marking but finally just went for it with this quilt. Long ago I had purchased a bottle of SewClean after taking a class from Pam Clark at a longarm convention up in Spokane, Washington (I think?).  I sprayed rather too liberally to get that blue ink to disappear and then found the quilt top fabric had some pieces that ran color. After finishing the quilting and the binding, I stuck it in the washer with just regular soap and a Color Catcher (purchased at my local market, not Amazon). The water took out all of the blue ink and the Color Catcher caught a lot of the excess color coming from non prewashed fabric.  I use to prewash everything but got away from it using precuts.  
I had gotten my fabric so wet with the SewClean though that fabric color had run all the way through to the backing.  This didn't come out with the first wash so I ran it through another cycle and this time added Synthrapol as well.  This took care of the excess color and the quilt was definitely clean :-)
I have since starting using yet another tool though besides SewClean...or actually...besides using my SewClean bottle which now just has water in it!
I am sewing on a Double Wedding Ring quilt that I made over a decade ago (!) and using that blue pen a lot.  This time if I want to remove the lines right away, I'm using a Sewline Aqua Eraser Pen. This was given to me in a big box of goodies from Moda that I was selected to receive a couple of years ago.  This is refillable using just water and maybe some dish detergent or whatever...I actually think just water will be be effective enough. It also is precise so I can just take out the line and not worry about dark fabric color running in the block next to where I'm using it. So thank you yet again to Moda for sharing this treat and useful tool with me. 

I am now deep into quilting the Double Wedding Ring.  It is going to take me awhile and with other things going on, I don't think I will get to work on it much very soon.  But I'm playing with my blue pen and curved rulers and learning a lot. I am also working with a friend making a Bonnie Hunter mystery from this past New Year's called En Provence. I'm having a great time making all the parts.
More later  :-)















Friday, April 14, 2017

Hands2Help 2017 Check-in

I had some fun sewing a bit this past month and so I have some pictures to show for it. The Supernova was pieced and sewn together...not without some unstitching as I managed to turn or just lay the blocks out wrong. Arggggh! Even found one in the very last corner after quilting most of it! I was able to pull it off the longarm and fix it without really much trouble though so all is good now. It amazes me how I can miss those things!
Choosing to play with rulers again, I ended up with a not very exciting design but one that was good still for practice and looked alright after all. 

After starting to sew the binding on, I was interrupted and came back to the machine to find this...
I waited a few minutes for the quilt blessing in progress.

But apparently it was going to take awhile. Then additional help arrived.


This wasn't appreciated but instead of arguing...Elinor just turned her back.
I wasn't getting anywhere fast but eventually the binding was sewn on.
More later :-)