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 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 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, then I would have to face bears too.  LOL.
Happy stitching. 
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