Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday Finds #3

  I'm not sure what I spent my week doing, but I know I was busy.  Sometimes the time just gets away from me.  So I am pulling in a couple of pins I found a while back.

From Molly Flanders blog
   If you are in need of a different type of border idea, look at this one.  It's from Molly Flanders blog.  There is a good tutorial on creating a spike border that is a no fuss, not precise, very relaxed attitude style.  In other words, anything works, and no worry about the quilt police pointing out your points are not right!  I think it would be great for just about any scrap quilt.

From asquaredw blog

To go along with the spike border, I found another tutorial that will give you a more precise piecing for the border----if you prefer for all things to be the same.  This is from asquaredw blog  .   She refers to them as HRT---half rectangle triangles.  I am no math whiz, but she is it seems!  It's a good tutorial for creating the HRT.

   As always, please visit the original blog posts that are linked in bold print for the information and tutorials.  Pin from the original post--not from here--to have a direct link to the information.  I am only sharing the source not the info.
   And a a daily scan of your computer.  There is so much spam and junk out there right now.  Don't spread it around....scan.  That includes adware scans.  Be safe when browsing.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Working on the blended border

 It's Let's Book It time..... you can find the linky party and info at Vrooman's Quilts.   This is the only sew along I have committed to this year because there is no pressure, only encouragement to create from one of those bookmarked or saved patterns that fill my shelf.  Last year, this kept me motivated and this year I am sticking with it.  I hope you will consider joining in!

   My Let's Book It project began with this here. 

And I continued with details on my this post.  

And now, I am onto the border for the English Garden quilt.

Please ignore my mess!   I am finding this very relaxing and enjoyable........

    I set up a work space to work on small sections for the border of the English Garden quilt.  Rather than do all the reaching and stretching and then having to shift it all to the ironing board, I did this!   I have a small design board that is felt covered and only about 2' by 3', which is a perfect size  for my small worktable.
   I cut the fusible interfacing into 6" strips that are 20" long.  I can easily move the whole set up to the ironing board.....slip the pieces and interfacing off and press.  I am trying to use up a lot of my "stash" of extra 2" squares that have been hanging around for a while......and I have spread them out around me as I work.
I can arrange a few pieces between regular chores and then return and continue.  For this project, it is working well.

And how does it look on the wall?  First section up.......

  Another  section added and I can begin to see the shadows and sunlight play around the edges.

   I have 3 sections up now.  Remember that this will shrink quite a bit as the seams are sewn.  That's what I will do next so I can determine exactly how much I need for this side, which is really the bottom.  Nothing like starting at the bottom and working your way around and up!
Linking to Let's Book It........  
Happy stitching.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A personal Quilt Tale

  I love sharing quilt stories....I call them quilt tales.  These two things  happened recently to me.  It gave me a warm heart to know how my family does feel.

I got this text message and photo from one of the "grandpups"

Dear Grandmom- Thank you for making us lots of quilts.  I'm snuggled in on this cold snowy night.  Mommy keeps trying to make me go out... Please tell her 6" of snow makes that request unreasonable.  Lots of love- Nicolas

  You have to love that cute face.....of course, I think this is just a plea for another quilt!

  Then over the weekend: 
Dan's journey
  When my brother abruptly moved for a job a couple of years ago, we pitched in and did a lot of the packing up.   The weekend he was allotted for the pack up did not make a dent it what had to be done.  Luckily, his house had a storage area off the basement that could hold most of everything he was leaving.  Sir Old Man put a lock on the door and then helped me pack box upon box, and made multiple trips to drop off donation items.

Under the Sea..not quite finished

     Over the weekend, my brother called and said he would be up this week to clear out and take care of the items he left.  I questioned why since his older son is living in the house now.  He replied that there were some things missing....things he said were valuable.  I thought that odd because we did not remember anything of "value" being put in there.
   Then he said, "The quilts.  The quilts are gone.  I looked for them at Christmas.  I was afraid to tell you."
    Shocked, I said,....No, I have the quilts.  We were concerned about mildew or mold and stored the quilts under the bed.  He was relieved--a lot--and I was surprised/pleased to find out he considered them that valuable.   The three photos are part of his collection of quilts.....I can't find photos of the others.  I need to take care of that.

 Moral of the story:   I am reminded of Sally Fields accepting her Oscar many years ago....."You like me. You really, really like me."    Yes, our families do like our quilts.  In fact, they have placed a high value upon them.  Even if they never say so in words, our quilts are valuable to them.  Make more!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Project folio...testing sample

    A couple of weeks ago, I shared a pin I found  for a travel tool case....see it here.    Dana at Stormy Days commented that I might need to add a flap, as the design allowed the tools to slide out.   Ah, good point.....I needed to think about this one before trying it.
  Yesterday afternoon was spent trying a test sample to see where the problems were in the change of design I came up with.  This is not a tutorial, but a look into my creative process including the problems and possible solutions.    You can see my page of notes, and scribbles as I work and change things.

    First, I altered the size.  I wanted to be able to put my 9 1/2" junior ruler and a small mat in the side pockets.   I decided to add/try a double pocket on the left side.  That makes the left edge very thick.....I may not use the double pocket.

   Second, I turned the tool pocket on its side.  It is in the center section.  I also ended up adding an extra strip of  fabric to the bottom because I thought the pocket was too short.  Another problem to solve here....the center tool pockets are too tight.  I need to add a bit of fullness there.  I will change the shape of the pocket when cutting and add about an inch to the top of it.

   Third, a flap closure was added to the right side by making the length longer.  This creates a tri-fold folio style.  It also allows a spot for some wool felt to be stitched down for pins, and a smaller pocket too.

  From the outside, here is the folded folio.  I added a closure with velcro to the right side.    This works, but seems a bit flimsy.  I may need to make it longer to keep things in proportion.
   I also quilted the outer fabric first.  Then I added a layer of Pellon stiffener---thinking it would provide more body to the folio, which it does.  But it introduces a lot of thickness on the I will trim the Pellon next time so that it is about an inch smaller all the way around.

  This sample needs binding to be finished....but that presented a thickness challenge.  I think I have a solution for it.

   I cut the binding as usual and then pinked the edges, so that it is about 1" wide and double folded.  Note those pinking shears.....they belonged to my mother-in-law and are older than me!  They are heavy and stiff, but they are still sharp.
  My objective today is to add a strip of fusible web to one side of the binding.  The pinked edge will be fused to the inside.  Then the folded edge will wrap around to the outside and be top stitched in place.    I am not sure if I will like this, but that's what a sample is for....trying things.

    From the outside, the back is not as nice as it should be.  I do not like  the lines stitched over the quilted fabric very much.  I am debating on only stitching the tool pocket down through the lining fabric and the Pellon stiffener.  This would need to be done before assembly to the outer fabric.      Hummmmm.....Light bulb!  That might give me the option of not using binding on the edge.  I will be thinking this one through again.    That is just part of the creative process.  Hope I gave you a little insight to how mine works.    Feel free to throw some more ideas at me on this.  I might incorporate it into this.   Happy stitching.  

Sunday, January 25, 2015

English Garden--ready for the fun part

   On Friday all the rows for the English Garden pattern were joined.  The center was fully assembled and the inner strip border was added.
   While I was adding the final vertical  row, I found a block up side down.  Out came the ripper and luckily it was an easy fix.  But I made sure all the other blocks were in the correct position.  Thank goodness, it was only one block.

  Right now it is a good size throw, about 50 inches by 72 inches.  Yet there is more to come.  The watercolor border  is next, what I consider to be the fun part!

The fusible interfacing strips are cut and waiting for the design fun to begin.   My version is scrappy in comparison to the photo in the book, so the border will also be leftover parts and whatever else I have already cut into 2" squares.

 I took the time to prep a little for some leader/enders that will be used when the sewing begins on the watercolor border.   I chopped up some 2 1/2" scraps strips and short pieces into squares and filled a container with them.  Eventually they will become 4 patches to be used for something.....unknown at this time.

From the workshop:
  This is progress, really it is.  It's the leg sets for the bed and all the slats....sanded smooth and planed to the perfect size.  The mortises have been cleaned up and everything fits smoothly.  Sir Old Man has worked very hard on these, and is now almost ready to get all the pieces fumed.   But we will talk about that another day.  

Happy stitching.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Finds

   From this week's pins. Please visit these blogs to see the complete post and details.  I am sure they would love some company!

From Chasing Cottons
 Pop Flower Coasters......a little smaller version of a mug rug..... I found this at Chasing Cottons blog.  She has a good tutorial for construction and the pattern pieces are there too.   I love the op-art style flowers---they remind me of the 60's style art.  Wouldn't they be cute for a border, on a tote bag, or even for a table runner?

must try this technique: A Guide to Board Basting | RIght Sides Together
From Right Sides Together blog

  I have not tried this yet...but I am thinking I need to find some long boards.  I may need to "shop" for them in the workshop.

Board Basting from Right Sides Together
   This technique allows you to pin baste/spray baste / thread baste your quilt top while comfortably sitting at the kitchen table by using long boards for rolling your quilt.   There is a detailed tutorial on this technique, as well as the original by Sharon Schamber.  I thought this handy guide that she provided was worth a mention.

Quilt labels

  Labels----printable and a tutorial.  I use computer printed labels for my quilts with graphics from a greeting card program.  So when I spotted this freebie, I thought it would be a good idea to share them.   There is a good tutorial on printing them.  You can  edit the pdf  with your personal info for printing, or just print and write on them with a pen.

  If you find a really great "pin", send it to me.  Thanks, and happy stitching.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Try a doodle

  I had a little craft project in mind when Sir Old Man said he was hitting the Big Box store.  I asked him to bring me home a few---a handful--- of the paint chip/sample cards.  I had already visited one of the local paint stores and was surprised to end up with not the usual sample cards.  When did the paint companies change to these things?    Wavy edges, cut out holes, short and squat......I will  just have to trim them up.   I really need to get to more places than just fabric stores, don't I!

Here's what I had in mind.....idea stolen from make some bookmarks.  The ones I saw were done with stamps....but I never got into the paper crafting or scrap booking.  So I resorted to the basic doodling.  I pulled out all my markers and pens to try.  The results....
   Pigma pens do not dry and smear.
Sharpie pens are the same....smear.

  The best was the cheapest $ store variety.  A metallic gel pen that I dug out of the Christmas gift tag box!  And of course the real Sharpie marker with the ultra fine tip worked perfectly.
I spent a pleasant time just doodling and drawing dots and swirls, and a few feathers.   It's a nice way to practice those doodles for free motion quilting, too.

 Once everything was dry, I trimmed the sample cards to 2" wide with a rotary cutter----the oldest one I have that is set aside for cutting/trimming any paper product.

  I used a regular hole punch, then I dug into my bag of saved ribbon and cordings....for the final touch.  A few book marks with that personal statement.  A cute creative expression of what I do!
Now I am set for marking articles and projects for this year's Let's Book It!....or marking recipes, or reading a book, or sharing with a friend.   Take some time and try a doodle.  Then happy stitching.

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