Saturday, July 21, 2018

Spider web on my wall

   I began to assemble the blocks for the string spider web project.     This is where it began with large triangle sections with a center kite shape piece--the black and white print, and strings on the sides.    It is hard to get the full picture of how it will come together from this, so hang on. 


   I elected to go easy on myself and ordered pre-cut foundation papers from Missouri Star.  A big life saver for me.  The sections are large....13'' on the long side.   Four of the triangle units are joined to create the center "star" and the web appears as the blocks are joined. 







  What a difference on the design wall to see things come together!  So far I have 5 blocks on the wall.  And the webs are beginning to appear.  One thing I am seeing are the ends....tiny points are going to disappear when I sew the blocks together.  So that's a tip....don't go too small on the ends of the string section. 


   I am going for 12 at this point,  but I think 15 will be the end.  With borders it would be a twin size and probably very heavy with all those seams. 







  For some variety, I am quilting a little each day on the log cabin floral quilt.  The center sections are done in swirls and I am adding feathers and loops in the border.  I thought I would use a green thread for the border.....but it matched so well I couldn't see where I was stitching.  A switch to a medium gray was a sight saver on this one.  All was going well until.....I ran out of bobbin.  That means a good cleaning is due as well. 

  So I will be tearing papers and cleaning Hot Legs for my weekend workings. 
Happy stitching. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

New leader and ender

   New leader and ender project was announced by the Scrap Queen, a la Bonnie Hunter.  She based it on an antique quilt she discovered .  It is called Jewel Box Stars.     Link is to her PDF.

   I have made a couple of jewel box quilts, and like the block a lot, so I have begun setting up a basket for  my leader and enders.  A small basket that can sit by my machine for the pieces, and a larger basket for finished units.
   Guess  you can see....my fabric selections are not  just anything, but floral scraps.  I saw a version someone shared on FB on the forum  that was done in florals.  I was hooked from that point on.

  The whole point of a leader/ender project  is to work on it between other things.  By breaking down the block into units---like HSTs and 4 patches---- you can stitch one or two up at the end of a row of blocks that you are joining  for a top.  The aim to keep a unit under the needle at all times rather than cut thread and move on to the next row, etc. 
Example would be between my string blocks I would join 2 strips that will be cut into 2 patches for my 4 patch units.  Do another string block, stitch a pair of HSTs to make a unit, then another string block, and so on.   It does require some planning and matching of fabrics for pairs.....go busy work while watching TV.  Or just as a change of pace when you have a few minutes before dinner. 

 This is one of my favorite leader and ender projects.   Charming Bricks, the larger wall hanging, was done as a leader and ender in 2015.  It is based on a pattern published in 2007 in McCall's Quilting.  Here's the post with details

  I also did a full size gifted quilt, and a door banner using the same technique/idea of the bricks. 
  So periodically, you can expect me to rave on about the L/E units as they begin to accumulate.  I won't be over-achieving on this one but rather electing to enjoy the progress. 
Happy stitching.

Monday, July 16, 2018

More string things

  String blocks of course are a project to use leftovers strips and strings on.    I did 4 more sections for a spider web block.   I really like the black and white print for the center star shape.
 But I am drowning in strings here.











  So coiled baskets are a way to use some strings.  And it gives me a project to work on when I am sitting outside,  or watching TV, etc.  I am sorting strings into color families  to add to the clothesline.  Glue stick and  those mighty clips sure make it  easy to control the ends.
   I am thinking ahead to gifts for the neighbors this year.  A nice basket of cookies will work :)








 A tip I learned: 
   I set up the Featherweight in the living room and have been eating up the strings making spider web blocks.    I began to have some issues with the FW.....it began gathering the fabric and then the thread would snap.  I cleaned it, I re-threaded, found an extra thread or two....on and on.  Still something was not right.  On one of the FW forums I asked a question about it  and was told to try a different thread.   That was it.....the FWs were built  well before our newer, very thin, lightweight threads.  They  often slip thru the tension disks throwing the tension off ---making the machine think there is no thread? maybe.  I had been using an end of a spool of Aurifil and also some Soft Touch thread. A little heavier thread solved the problem.  At least this time.....
    And with that, I will get some laundry done and sew a bit between loads.
Happy stitching. 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Returning to regular programming....

  Sorry for the absence of a few weeks, although I have been reading and following most blogs.
    I have been dealing with blood pressure drops that leave me completely wiped out and exhausted.   My system is very sensitive to any change, and nerve pathways to the brain and organs do not always function as they should.  This is just part of the Pernicious Anemia condition.   The medication adjustment made by the doctor last month we thought would take care of it, but  the condition quickly returned.  Cutting pills in half just doesn't work because nothing is consistent.  So finally the wonderful pharmacist joined in and we hope her suggestion will work. 



  With that said, the sewing room has been visited very sporadically.   I would go in there and stare at the garlic knot top and knew it needed more.  A border or edge to finish it off.  Why work on blocks and then just stop with nothing to frame it.  Finally over the weekend, I decided on adding a flange band and then a simple border. 

  I really like how this ended up.....and it will move on to the "needs to be pinned" stack for now.








  About a month ago I talked about doing a spider web string quilt after a guild program presented one.  I had the big idea of making my own foundation papers from newsprint....etc.  Well, I am working on it, but got some help from  Missouri Star  and the Wacky Web set.   Thanks, Vicki, for commenting about this last time.  It has made life easier.   Plus I caught it on special :)



We have finally figured out what has been making a mess on our deck.....leaving deposits too.  Coyotes have moved into the wooded area nearby making nightly raids  in our yard.  They are way too close to the house and we have started leaving the lights on out back.  Also we have sprayed bleach mixture around the steps and by the workshop.   I believe they caught the nesting birds, Flickers, by the side walk.  The bunnies have disappeared, and so have the chipmunks. 
  We got lax for a few days and thought they were gone.  This morning Sir Old Man found the remains of a squirrel by the side door, and other remains near the shop.   So back to protecting our space.   They can have the woods, just avoid my house. 
   It will probably only get worse as more development is moving out our way.  The golf course has closed and big developers are sniffing around.  I may need to move to a mountain top......no, then I would have to face bears too.  LOL.
Happy stitching. 

Monday, June 25, 2018

Another inspiration photo

  I love getting emails from like-minded quilters -----who love floral fabrics. 

Cynthia sent a photo of her recently completed water color quilt.  Look familiar?

 Scrappy Trips is done in floral fabrics.  The pattern is available at Quiltville under the free tab with a full tutorial on the block.   Cynthia was careful to keep a very light and a very dark fabric next to each other when laying out the strips for piecing.  That is how she achieved the distinct design.

  I have explained this before, but once more for new readers.  This pattern is made in blocks that look like a large Trip Around the World.  The block is strip pieced and made up of 6 different fabrics.  When you look at the quilt, the distinct "block" you think is the pattern is really made of 4 blocks.  Here is the link to my post   that explains it in more detail. 

  I asked Cynthia is she had a large floral fabric stash or had she been on a big buying spree.  She acquired the floral fabrics from searching----wait for it--- thrift shops!  She used  curtains and sheets she found there.  What a super way to create a stash for this project!    And she did a really great job on the quilt.  She says this is the first of many more watercolor projects to come.  

  I am delighted to share these photos from others.  It  inspires me to keep at it.  And I hope it inspires and motivates you to jump in and try a project you love.  
Thanks for a great start to a very warm week.
Happy stitching.  

Friday, June 22, 2018

Layouts

  After messing around/playing with settings to fix the comment problem with the home grown fix from Amity Quilter post,  I was glad to get to the sewing room. Pat is our home grown, genius quilter/blogger to have found and shared this fix.  And we are all happy!

   In the sewing room......it was bitter sweet to put together the last, the very last garlic knot block that I had in the rope bowl.    The blocks have been in the processing line for a couple of months and I was addicted to pairing them up.  I had developed a system for assembly to keep things straight, and to stitch up a couple of leader/ender 4 patches in the process.





   And now to get a look at the design wall.....colorful knots of scrappy goodness!   I have one more row to sew into the 4 block unit to add to the wall.

   Then on to the joining and pressing to decide on borders or not.











   I had an email  from Lesley who has found my blog and begun a strip pieced water color creation.  She was wanting a layout to create a heart design.  I had to really go back thru the photo files to find my original heart.  This was from 2003 I believe.  I cringe now when I see it....so many things I could have changed, but that is how we develop .

  Anyway, I can see how the layout happens, but was not sure anyone else could.  I turned to EQ7 to set up a layout design to follow.



 The layout is based upon HST block with a light side and a dark side, much like a log cabin block that is half light and half dark.  This will mimic the strip pieced watercolor block, like in this photo.





 
   Here is the guide to layout the blocks for creating a heart  using a 6 block by 6 block design.  You can see that an extra 2 blocks in the center area are needed.  These need to be all light to medium with no dark.

 
   Enough for today.....I have goodies in the mail.  Can't wait to see them.
Happy stitching!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

No test.....this fix works!

Please comment because I believe the solution has arrived to our email/comment dilemma.  Big Thanks to Pat at  Amity Quilting    This is a link to her "home grown fix" to our communication problems. 
  You must change your settings and then change them back to where you really want them to be.  It took me a few tries but I got it finally. 

  From Amity Quilter  blog......" from Gayle of Mangofeet blog.  She advised that she has fixed her Blogger comment issue by going into the settings and adding a gmail address into the email comment block.  She received an email at that address requesting confirmation of this as a new 'subscription' for comments, and once she confirmed she started receiving comments again!"

Once you confirm and get email at the "other address", repeat the process and change it back to your original email.  And all should be restored to our original programming :)

  I am so glad that quilting bloggers are so resourceful because our Blogger support is on another planet.  Thanks, Gayle and Pat. 
Happy stitching.  
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