Sunday, September 29, 2013

T Shirt Quilt

After much procrastinating,  I am finally getting back to the T shirt Quilt. I have it together in vertical rows and I have one row layered up and  have started to quilt it. I quilted in the ditch around each block and now I am quilting inside of each T shirt section. I have to decide what I want to do for each shirt and what color thread to use. Some of them are easy and others, not so much. This is one has been fairly easy and there is a little more quilting to do on it.

There is one shirt that is  really large because I had to include  all of it. There is a large area in the center that is kind of  "painted" (stiff) all one color and it needs some stitching but I am not sure how it will work as there is nothing to follow, just one 7 x 14 area of dark blue sky.

Oh well!
This is not an heirloom quilt;
it's appeal lies not in my quilting

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Flimsy and some Anvil blocks

I finally sewed all the HST's  together and got the borders on the baby quilt.

I still have to piece the back. I am sure there is a rule of some kind: If you have a large piece of fabric for a long time and audition it many times and eliminate it many times, right after you think you will never use it for a border or backing and cut a hunk out of it, you will find a use for it that requires extra piecing because you took a hunk out of it. I have some striped fabric that has all the colors from the border fabric and I will use that to extend the backing and also use it for binding.

 I finished a couple  more anvil blocks. I intended doing it on Saturday at the Basement Divas meeting but I did not get around to it. I really didn't get anything done but I took a lot of photos. It was a good work day and everyone was busy. the block on the lower right is Lynn's block. I will  be mailing these to Victoria (Bumblebeans).
We all decided that we like these blocks best set on point. I am going to  have the Friendship group make Anvil blocks for me next month and I will be setting them on point.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Baby quilt

I have been busy trimming my HST's to 2 1/2 inches and I finally got them all on the wall, all 256 of them. I really made about 40 or so more than that because I needed more color variety as I go to the last few rows. they won't go to waste but they will not go into another HST only baby quilt.
I did a little figuring and if I made 2 1/2 inch finished HST squares, I would only have to make 144 and if I made the quilt with 3 inch finished HST's, I would only have to make 100. Next time I will probably make them 3 inches and I will have a more even number of pieces from each color family. I didn't have all these things thought out ahead of time for this first baby quilt. I don't play to make a lot of these but maybe one or two more baby quilts.

It is hard to spot a mistake sometimes if the  angle Is the same even though the colors are reversed as in the block on the left. Sometimes after undoing the seam it is easy to make another mistake if I am getting tired.
Eventually I get it right. However after the second mistake I usually quilt and come back to it later. it is up on the wall I have four 16 patch blocks on the left and I plan to sew the rest of the patches into 16 patch blocks instead of long rows.
I didn't worry about arranging the colors other than not having big clumps of the same color together anywhere.  After I had a few rows up and sat back to look at it I realized that it was never going to matter. There were about 40 different 6 inch squares to start and each made 8 HST's . That is a lot of color and pattern and with that many prints any sort of organized plan was not going to happen.
I used to make a big fuss about placing everything in just the right place and then when I started sewing everything together I would get mixed up somewhere and I couldn't tell where anything belonged.
Now days my plan of attack is random abandon.
After all
Random is Random!!

Monday, September 16, 2013


Instructions for making half square triangles 8 at a time are all over the Internet and I got an add in the mail for a quilting magazine that had instructions inside the flyer for HST's x 8. Lori, one of the Basement Diva's, showed me a little piece that she is making with only HST's and it started me thinking about making a baby quilt for the closet at church. I am not going to put another tutorial here but these are a few things that work for me.

When I make HST's I do not bother with 3/8 and 7/8 but round up to the nearest half inch or whole number. I am going to square up anyway and for me it is more accurate to have a tiny bit more to trim. When I make HST's one at a time I often chain piece and use "The Angler" and sometimes after cutting between the stitched lines my seam allowance is a bit skimpy. If I am going to make 8 at a time I do not want 8 skimpy seams. I find it easier to sew straight on a marked line so I do not bother with the diagonal cutting line and I don't mark the cutting horizontal and vertical cutting lines either as I will be using my ruler to cut.
If I use my Quick Quarter (blue Marking tool I can draw both the stitching lines for each direction without moving the ruler. Sometimes (when I can't find my Quick Quarter marker) I use my ruler and lay the quarter inch line exactly corner to corner to mark. I like to use a Papermate mechanical pencil because the point is always fine and sharp.

 When I am cutting and trimming small pieces I use a small cutting mat. When my first large cutting mat wore out I saw that it was getting bald in the same few places and it was when I cut and trimmed small pieces. It is much more economical to replace these small mats.

 When I use HST's I almost always press the seams open. I find opposing seams at the corners are just that, opposing, and they push against each other.

This is where I am now. I am trimming the HST's to 2 1/2 inches. that container top left has about 128 that need to be trimmed, next to that is my trimmings and there is my trusty lint roller. I use the lint roller on my cutting mat to pick up the little pieces that transfer to the backs of the pieces I am trimming and then get stitches to them when I sew. In the foreground are stacks of 8 HST's on top of a shoe box cover.

Here is what I have up on my design wall I have 13 more rows to go. When Lori was showing her HST piece she mentioned how she didn't realize show small it would be. Same here! somehow starting with 6 inch squares did not translate to 2 inch finished squares in my mind even though I worked it up in EQ7 and figured out how many I needed.

At least I made enough and I don't have to go back and cut more squares and draw more lines etc. I am thankful that I am not making a large be quilt instead of a 38 inch square baby quilt.
The next one will be larger squares.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Friendship Blocks

Yesterday morning we were awakened at 5 AM by Jack's cell phone ringing. It was a wrong number but by the time he got up and turned on the light and found his phone I was wide awake.  I tried to go back to sleep but after 15 minutes I realized it was futile so I got up. I am always surprised at how much I can accomplish before noon when I get up early.
I did some preparation cutting and joining strips for the T shirt quilt borders and sashings  in order to be ready to layer and start quilting when the backing fabric gets here.
What to do next...... Friendship Blocks! I needed some 6 1/2 inch squares of Halloween fabric and I had previously unearthed a fat quarter with several different motifs.

I wasn't sure if they would be alright as Maryann asked for  orange, lime green, purple and black  strips for 2 sides of the square to make wonky block. I wasn't sure if the blue background would be OK. I had checked with her and she said they are fine.

I dug out my bright strips and my black fabric and made the two blocks. When she gave us our instructions she told each of us where to position the motif squares so they would all be right side up in the quilt. The strips were cut 2 inches and the block was to be 13 inches and left untrimmed so she could do that herself. Because when you wonkicise a block, the size sometimes comes up short,  I used some 2 1/2 inch strips on the outside. That will make it easier to trim. It is my guess that she will trim to 12 1/2 inches.

I had missed a number of meeting this past year and I have blocks  I received from at least 3 years that I have not made into quilts.
I thought that maybe I would not join in the block exchange this year and only go to the meetings when I could get there. I realized that I really like to make the blocks when given the instructions and color palette.
It makes me explore new possibilities and try something new. Oh, and not to forget once a year I get to request either 2 or 3 blocks, depending on the size, and I get to make a quilt without making all the blocks myself.

So what if I have a stockpile of blocks!
No one is ever going to check up on me
 to see if I used them yet. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

T Shirt Quilt

I have been working on the T shirt quilt. It is not a very colorful quilt so I wanted the sashing and borders to have some color. I figure red, white and blue is a pretty safe color palette and I found some striped fabric which I think that is also pretty safe.

This is what I worked out in EQ7.

The plain colors are the background colors of the shirts and the stripes are a good representation of the striped fabric I bought.

Those little plain squares in the sashing are small logos that needed to go into the quilt  and that was the best place to put them.

I ordered some blue fabric for the backing and that might go where that blue fabric is at the bottom of the vertical row on the left. I have to see how it looks.

I plan to quilt this in sections. The left section will be the border and the row of T shirts , the center will be the T shirts with the long sashing strips on both sides and the right side section will be the shirts and the right border. I like to do some quilting in the T shirt squares by outlining the motifs and writing and it is so much easier doing the quilting when the sections are a relatively narrow width.
I am still deciding if I will add the top and bottom borders as part of the sections and have long vertical borders or if I will add the top and bottom last for the long horizontal borders, which is the way I usually add my borders. Adding them last is more work for this quilt and that extra work would be two 65 inch lengths of hand stitching as I do the finishing on the back by hand after I put the sections together. I can think about it and make that decision when the backing fabric gets here.