Saturday, July 4, 2020

No Clever Title

The redundancy of using "update" on every other post is getting boring!  Yes, I'm still sewing nearly every day, yes squirrels pop up often.

There has been good progress on Dreamweaver, along with frustrations. I spent a long evening auditioning and making more applique pieces for the streamers, using Steam a Seam fusible product. 


Some smaller circles and layered shapes fleshed out the design.  I was able to group similar fabrics on several of the stems. 


I left the appliques overnight but didn't end up making any changes the next morning before heating up the iron to fuse down the pieces.  It was quite a chore to peel off the backing papers and reposition everything the same way; I'd taken separate photos of each streamer to guide me.  I removed all the pieces before moving the quilt top to the ironing board, and replaced them as I moved on to pressing the applique pieces on each streamer.  My idea was to use 40 wt thread to add some stitching to each leaf/circle after all the fusing was finishe.  Despite the description on the Steam a Seam packaging, the adhesive DID gum up the needle and caused thread breaks.  After a frustrating attempt to clean the needle with an alcohol wipe, a change of needle size and thread weight to finer strand, the thread continued to break.  The packaging claims no edge finish is needed once fused, but I'm not sure I trust that.  Perhaps after washing I can try stitching the edges again.  In the meantime, the backing is ready to be assembled and I have batting on hand. 

While cleaning up the Hoosier cabinet's table, I pulled out a box with finished log cabin blocks from last year.  These were from Julie's Log Cabin Loonies sew along.  I made mine with 1.5" strips and they will finish at the odd size of 7.5".


Mini supervised the layout tries, as usual.


I had found a sort of star layout online  here which I pinned a couple of years ago.  However, after laying out my very scrappy blocks, I did not feel they had high enough contrast for this layout  A search on the Katy Quilts blog for a finished quilt in this layout was nonproductive.  There are endless ways to set log cabin blocks, of course.  I think this next one is called Light and Dark. 


I think it works better for my scrappy blocks, do you?  I have a total of 80 blocks to play with so they went back in the box for now...I've got a bunch of quilting to do!

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

What I'm Working on Wednesday--Multiple Projects

I seem to be unable to settle in to one project for very long currently.  Stalling on a major one usually produces this condition.  In this case, the Dreamweaver quilt and all its applique has been hogging the cutting table.  I've pulled out the table on the Hoosier cabinet for an additional cutting and auditioning area. 


My DIL was happy with the progress and agreed with adding more applique.  We decided some smaller circles over the larger solid ones would help them stand out less. I had already cut a lot of leaves from the Steam a Seam fusible but needed more sheets.  Also I wanted to pick up some floss for another embroidery project.  Happily, although limiting customer volume and requiring masks, the larger local fabric store in town is open. 


I was able to find all of the floss colors for this thrift store scored Blackbird Designs pattern, and then wandered about the rest of the store.  There were 20% off tags on many of the bolt tables.  I found a good option for the backing of the Dreamweaver quilt, then perused the fat quarters while waiting for the cutting table traffic to clear. 



Well I HAD to buy these $2.00 fat quarters, didn't I?  I always need neutrals and picked up the fun stripes and a couple of blues as I seldom buy blue fabric.  I could have bought a lot more FQ but had to consider how stuffed the FQ storage drawers are...and put some back, lol. I want to make some cloth napkins and fat quarters work well for that. 

While avoiding the applique, I worked on the Perkiomen Valley blocks from last post.  Trying to figure out how to nest seams when the blocks were going to be twisted and turned was impossible, so I pressed all the seams open after chain piecing the block pieces.  I got annoyed by trying to stick my scissors between the pieces to snip the chain thread while holding them in my hand, so did this instead:


I laid the joined rows  on the table, pulling down the just  added row to the limit of the chain thread, and snipped through the now visible chain. 



When laying out the first few sets of squares and HSTs before piecing, I noticed I was choosing a blue for the center, and went with that for the remainder. Above the blocks are looking good in a straight set layout....


...and here more dynamic in "The Stacey" layout, after a fellow guild member.  This is just a small corner of her layout, which I showed last time. The top is now complete. 

Another "squirrel" project jumped out when I was pulling charm squares for the Perkiomen Valley blocks.  I have acquired mini charm packs over the years, usually as freebies, but seldom use them.  A well aged Bubble Pop charm pack by Sandy Klop along with a sweet green and white background fabric pull from stash and I was on my way....

The Moda Love Quilt I have made in layer cake and charm pack size, but this is the first mini charm pack one I attempted.  These squares and HSTs are little!  This is a free pattern from Moda. 


Pen for size reference.  Since I used my Bloc-Loc trimmer for all of the HSTs, the rows went together pretty smoothly.  I did have to restitch a few seam allowances that got skewed, but it wasn't too painful.  This will likely become a pillow cover with the addition of more of the background print and leftover mini charms. 

...now back to applique pieces for Dreamweaver....



Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Bouncing Around

There are a lot of different new projects swirling around in my brain, making it easy to ignore the several dozen (cough) already in progress. Generally new ideas barge in when I am looking for something else, or am trying to use up leftovers. I'm still on a baby quilt kick and while cleaning up the cutting table after the houndstooth baby quilt, I got to thinking about using up all the bonus HSTs from that quilt. Several years ago, during the Thomas Fire disaster in our county, we made quilts from 12" finished Perkiomen Valley blocks, many of which were donated from all over the continent--and overseas.  The shaded blocks can be laid out many different ways. One of our guild members set hers in a pattern that came to be known as "The Stacy".  It's a very dynamic setting.


I decided to crop just a corner of the layout for a 4x4 setting to use up the odd sized leftover HSTs that are 4" unfinished.   I chose solids and graphic prints from stash in many colors for the dark half of the block, and light solids and a few prints for the light half.



Many scraps and 5" charms got cut for the 16 blocks needed for this setting.  I also sketched a Drunkard's path block substituting for the HST.  That would be fun to play with too.  The ideas never stop coming!


I quickly wrote up my plan on an index card, as lately I have come across too many baggies of parts that were specifically grouped but without any idea what I thought they were going to become!

While waiting for Telemedicine visits to commence during the work-from-home hours, I like to have some stitching to pick up.  Last week I finished the Lizzie Kate Summer Sampler remix ...

...and think it turned out cute.  This was from a $.95 thrift store find of a couple of years ago, a design from the 90s.  Rummaging around in the tub of embroidery stuff today, I came across an even older item to stitch.  I did have some floss with it so at some point it had escaped the bin for a time, though nary a stitch was yet made.


The packaging says it was printed in 1987!  There were some long lags between patients today so the rind of the watermelon was finished.  Red floss is at the ready for tomorrow's lags.  I'll need to pull out some black floss for the seeds as well. 

I have a few pics from our Father's Day gathering to show next post.






Monday, June 15, 2020

Design Wall Monday--Baby Quilt Finishes

I'm late to Design Wall Monday, but there are lots of great posts already linked on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog for enjoyment.

There was a lot of binding finished since the last post.  I completed four baby quilts for Philanthropy donation for Guild. 


I forgot to take photos of the bound quilts and had a fellow guild member take a few after I dropped them at her place. 
Pink binding for the girly cupcake and ice cream parlor quilt...

Pezzy Print in black and white for the farm animals. 


Speckled aqua for the X-Plus block quilt.

I pulled out another unfinished guild project and scrapped a larger  Houndstooth quilt for a baby sized one.  I had to do some block unstitching to include additional colors, and a little bit of trimming of the pieced blocks, but in a couple of hours the top was finished.

I made the blocks with 10" and 5" cut squares in reverse colorways, paired and stitched on either side of a drawn line down the center, and then cut apart.  There was a pile of already trimmed striped blocks at 9.5" and that sped things up a bit.  Jenny Doan of Missouri Quilt Co has a different method starting with 5" precuts and yardage to make the striped blocks, but I like these big ones which make a quilt with far fewer blocks.


This subtle print fools the eye, right?  This should quilt up fast with likely some channel stitching.  I have some bright plaid print fat quarters for the backing.  These are going to a Mom and Baby exercise class, which hopefully will be able to meet someday again soon. 

..And that leads me to the countdown for our next grandson, who is now 10 weeks from arriving!  We also heard the news that he will be getting three more cousins later this year, identical twin girls arriving in December via our nephew and his wife, and a boy cousin from our daughter-in-law's sister and her husband.  Happy news to celebrate is a very good thing!

Monday, June 8, 2020

Design Wall Monday--New Blogger and Binding

Design Wall Monday comes around again.  See more design wall's on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog. 

Amid all the world's problems, small frustrations seem to get amplified while "hunkering down".  Blogger now forcing all of us to move to the new platform by the end of June is one of them.  I previously had tried the new platform but did not care for Google Photos.  Their editing choices were far less broad and did not allow me to do what I wanted.  I am continuing to use Picasa but don't know if that will be permitted.   Here's my first try:


Usually when I upload photos, they are small but I can click to make them larger before saving the blogpost; I was able to drag the image to a larger size in New Blogger.  These little blocks were made from cutoffs of the Summer Breeze quilt last shown on 5/18/2020.  I decided to make a doll quilt for guild donation--do you like my heart block?  The plain strips are 1-3/4 inch so these are little blocks. 


Yesterday was an all binding day.  I took this pic after I had attached the binding on the tablerunner on the left.  Quilting the tablerunner was a late night exercise.  I originally started quilting with a three-step stitch that I frequently use, but after several diagonal passes felt it was too small and busy and ripped it out.



New Blogger won't let me adjust the size of this photo, but you can see the ghost of the stitches.


Another quilt that got binding was the Jewel Box quilt I got back from David's Quilting early last month.   I am going to hand stitch this binding down, but the others were machine done.  New Blogger is not allowing this one to enlarge either.  Sigh.

Going to hit post!