Sunday, July 29, 2018
This past week there was not a lot new happening in the sewing room, but I did join a local craft night at Superbuzzy Quilt shop after work one night, and put a few embroidery stitches in while chatting with some new acquaintances. One of the other gals was a town native like me so we had a fun conversation; I also learned the shop owner lived in my childhood neighborhood. Small world, in a town of 100,000!
I spent so much time chatting I didn't realize until later that I used the wrong color for the butterfly, and those stitches had to be pulled out. Oh well.
I had Friday off work so I got the last Thomas Fire quilt bound and ready for our Guild's last official giveaway event Saturday. It was another big quilt that fortunately I found an appropriate binding fabric for in the stash. We had a good turn out of volunteers, making quick work of setting up tables and arranging about 300 quilts to give out. We had some early lookers, but held off giving away any quilts until the appointed hour. Lots of folks who lost homes had registered for quilts, and the huge number of quilt choices was overwhelming to them. We held up quilts and chatted about the Perkiomen Valley blocks we got from 49 states and a number of countries that turned into the tops and quilts. We still had a lot of quilts left at the end of the event, but gave away over 100. Our practically free office space that has been Thomas Fire Quilt Central will expire at the end of August, and we hope all who are still in need of a quilt will collect one there. We have been watching news of the other huge fires burning in California, particularly the Carr Fire near Redding in Northern California, where so many homes have been lost, and horribly two firefighters killed, and several residents. Our thoughts are with them.
The sewing room is emptier now, without the Thomas Fire quilts and Fair projects filling it up. Today after some patio time with embroidery, I virtuously mended some sweaters that have been waiting months for a five minute repair job. Mini caught some rays while supervising.
Quilt projects in play include the Jewel Box blocks that are ready to assemble into a top, however when stacking up the row I noted that some of the blocks are spinning the wrong way, which means they won't nest properly. I'll have to take them apart and resew, which I am not looking forward to. Sigh. Perhaps I'll skip over to the Christmas quilt I showed last time. It is ready to lay out and assemble!
Monday, July 23, 2018
Off the Design Wall! It was a sweatshop weekend trying to finish everything I wanted to enter into our County Fair, with the deadline of Sunday at 5:00 pm for turning in entries. My main project was the Metro Twist baby/wall quilt. I made the bias binding from a purple woodgrain print and rounded the corners using the Quick Curve Ruler, and even made a hanging sleeve.
I spent many hours hand stitching down the binding to the back, but I did a lot of it while sitting out on the patio enjoying the summer skies and a nice breeze on Saturday. I'm happy with the way it turned out. It didn't get a label, but someday it may be a gift for a baby so I'm okay with that.
Next were two squirrel projects, a pillow from the Frolic Turnover (Sandy Gervais) made into Broken Dishes blocks, and the Yarnover tablerunner.
I was happy to find this aqua blue flower print and the binding fabric in stash. I used the same quilting stitch on the pillow back hem. This is such a great way to make a pillow cover, assembling it just like a quilt with the bound edge. I overlapped the back pieces by about 3-4 inches.
I think it turned out well. The pillow form I used was a bit flat but I thought it would be better for display at the fair.
The other squirrel entry is the Yarnover tablerunner (Anka's Treasures) from Mini Charms.
After some simple stitch in the ditch I decided to add the embroidery detail, again with a stitch from the Husqvarna. I selected it from the "utility stitch" section, but liked the way it kind of echoed the yarnover points. To these three projects I added the set of four Tea Time placemats, the Big Bag of all dotted fabrics I made a couple of months ago, a modern tablerunner I finished for Sewtopia, and the May Stamp cross-stitch in the hoop, so 7 total entries. Sadly I didn't end up finishing Sue Goes to the Orient, but chose backing and binding and plan to make a mini quilt.
My timing was good for getting down to the Fairgrounds, there were a lot of folks sitting around waiting for something to do. We all had a laugh when I pulled out the Metro Twist and had a bunch of thread tails still sticking out. A kind volunteer gave me some scissors to trim them off. They were pleased that I had already looked up the categories I thought were right for my entries, saving a lot of time. A few more people trickled in the last 1/2 hour of the day. I'll look forward to seeing my entries when the fair opens next week.
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Sunday, July 15, 2018
I'd call it flitting from project to project, but I'm not that lithe or speedy! Ignoring the big pile of binding was easy, as the weather was still pretty toasty. I played with more squirrel projects last weekend when it was too hot to sew under the hot lights or to iron.
I had a container of precut 2.5" squares, mostly green prints but also some solids, and laid them out with the "garlic knot" shape as I used in grandson Hunter's quilt.
The final layout included more white and some knots turned the other way. I can't say when these squares will get sewn together but they were fun to play with. It's almost looking mid-century inspired, to me.
The upcoming County Fair is upmost on my mind. As usual, I'll be working up to the last minute to get my projects done. #1 task was to get my Metro Twist quilt ready for quilting. I made a quick trip to the fabric store last weekend for thread and spray baste, and got the sandwich made on Thursday. It seems I got more spray baste on my fingernails than anywhere else, but the sandwich did get made before work. Saturday morning I got my machine all set up for quilting and started in.
Metro Twist is a pattern using the QCR ruler from Sew Kind of Wonderful. The neon orange was from a guild challenge a couple of years ago. I stitched in orange abutting the print pieces, then switched to gray to stitch 1/4" inside the curved pieces. I decided to quilt straight lines in the background and marked them with my Hera marker and a ruler.
I plan to round all the corners with the QCR ruler and bind with a bias cut purple binding. The entries are due next Sunday so I've got a lot of work yet to to. This quilt finishes at about 45x48", so about a baby or wall size. I have a bunch of threads to bury, binding to cut, make and apply,hanging sleeve and label to add.
We had a family barbecue Sunday and I enlisted daughter Erica to help me with border choices for the Yarn Over mini charm pack runner. I want to enter it as well in the Fair.
She liked the brown print with the green linen. I hope I have enough of the linen to make a matching binding. Another not-yet-finished piece is Sue goes to the Orient. I have dragged my feet for months adding some embroidered detail to the background, but finally got some lanterns traced to quickly stitch up.
I thought Sue looked like she was in a doorway, so needed something behind her. I'll backstitch the lanterns in black floss, then make a mini quilt. If I can manage it, I'll finish the binding on three remaining placemats---I've got the binding stitched to the fronts and pinned to ditch stitch. Oh, and if there is any time left, I want to make a pillow out of the Broken Dishes blocks I sewed up some weeks ago. Wish me luck!
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Friday, July 6, 2018
It is bloody HOT here in SoCal, meaning not much is happening in the sewing room. Those with air-conditioning may be getting something done today but not me! Earlier this week I continued the binding blitz with one of the Tea Time Placemats (Pineapple Fabrics Alice pattern).
...and this is the front--but they are reversible after all. I was happy with the navy dot but then got bored with binding and decided to let another project in. Squirrel!
Years ago I won a mini charm pack or two from Kate Spain, one or her fabric line became a pillow a couple of years ago. The other was a Fig Tree line called Buttercup, and a couple of weeks ago I pulled an Anka's Treasure pattern and the charms I wanted to use. Making mini table toppers is a fun escape from the big projects!
This pattern is called Yarn Over, from the Mini Charmers I booklet. Aren't these fabrics yummy?
Clever construction with good pressing directions, which I always appreciate.
There are two rows of sashing to add. I had this piece of Fig and Plum set aside with the mini charm pack, but looking at this photo, am wondering how the purple in the print is going to look with the Buttercup fabrics. It is a pretty narrow sashing at 2" finished. I may end up using it on the back. Anyway, it was fun to play with small pieces and finish the center in a few short sewing sessions.
We're off to babysit the grandsons tonight--our daughter and son in law don't have air-conditioning, but they do have a pool!
Monday, July 2, 2018
Design Wall Monday is here. My favorite weekend activity was again in play, there was progress on several projects--and a little cleaning up in the sewing room.
Rick Rack Nines received a few hours of attention. I did chose to machine stitch down the binding after all, in the interest in finishing this UFO that has been on my list for years. These 9 patch blocks were swapped many years ago, and I finished the quilt top in 2012, the quilting was done a year ago. Yikes.
For those who were in favor of the slow stitching binding method, never fear, wherever you see a binding clip is a place I missed the edge and have to hand stitch it. Sigh. I told my husband that I'll have this finished for our bed just in time for the hottest day of the summer, as it seems to be traditional for me! It is supposed to be 95 here on the weekend. I mentioned before that we don't have central air conditioning, yes? Fortunately the R2D2 room unit keeps the bedroom cool at night.
The Tea Time Placemats got trimmed and I cut and sewed the binding, so they are up next in the binding queue.
I'm happy with the blue dot and look forward to using these placemats after the 4th of July decor comes down.
While looking for something else, I came across another UFO box that needed more pieces cut in order to progress. Since the cutting table was half cleared off (cough), I prepped the fabric for setting squares and triangles for a Christmas quilt.
Some Charm squares and stash fabrics became large 4 patches last year. I purchased this setting fabric at Superbuzzy during the holiday season. It is a Lori Holt fabric called Cozy Christmas. I was so happy to find a light fabric with all the colors to match my 4 patches. The yardage was a bit narrow, so I just squeaked by in cutting the needed pieces for my layout of Barefoot In The Park.
I sure miss the Loft Creations blog and my friend Stephanie who authored it. Her design is double sided, my plan is to make just the front but I want it a bit larger so added another row of the 4 patches. Leftover charm squares will have circles cut and then applied to the setting squares as on the pattern picture.
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