Friday, January 31, 2014

Blocks all done.

All of the blocks for the Tumbling Charms quilt are done. They are "made fabric" not really charms but the layout  is the same as Tumbling Charms from the Missouri Star Quilt Company. I was so happy to find a bunch more blocks already made and some partly made.
This is not the final arrangement but just the way I put them up on the wall to look at them all at once. It will  need to be tweaked so I think I will take it with me next Saturday and get some  input from the ladies in the church group. I think it needs a pieced border but I will get some other opinions about that too.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

More Blocks

 Another day staying in to stay out of the cold,  another day to make blocks. I emptied the shoe box completely and found more made fabric squares and some that were partly done. I finished them up and trimmed all of them to 5 inches. I need 7 more squares before I add the Kona Bone strips on 2 sides. I think a piano key border might work well; everything is moving along fast enough so I think there will be time to do the piano keys.

Below is 2 views of my work area for this project. I thought I was going to have company today which would have meant I had to clean it up a bit but the cold  kept my sister in law at home so I left if as it is. She wouldn't mind the mess but the room is small and it would have been necessary to make some room to work.

It will be cold again tomorrow but maybe we will see some sunshine. Maybe not.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Snow Day

We don't go out in the snow anymore if we don't have to. It is 9 degrees out now and the snow is still coming down but it is nice and toasty inside.

This is looking down the street from our second floor apartment and now the streets are snow covered and there is no side walk showing anywhere.
It has been a good day to stay in and sew.

 I do  not have my Bernina back yet so I can't quilt. I decided it would be a good day to work on the blocks that the kids at quilt Camp made this summer. They "made fabric" sewing strips on 6 inch squares of phone book paper. The squares were trimmed to 5 inches and 2 1/2 inch strip were added to 2 sides.

Some of the blocks were done well   with no problems but there were a lot of issues. There were very narrow or very tiny pieces at the edges and in the corners that would have been lost completely in the seam, there were nonexistent seams in some places that revealed themselves after the paper was removed, there were some places that had several  layers of fabric at the edges because the fabric wasn't trimmed away before it was covered with a new strip. All of the blocks had to be trimmed down a little because there were some a lot that didn't measure up and never would.
I did some repairs taking off the 2 1/2 inch strips and fixing them and I whacked off some corners and edges and sewed on new strips. I tried to find scraps that were the same as what I whacked off so the quilt would reflect the choices of the Quilt Campers. This quilt will be auctioned at the Youth Group Dinner Theater event this spring at our church. It is a fundraiser that helps with the cost of the mission trips the youth group is involved in.
There are not enough blocks to make the size quilt we want and time is running out. We will have to do some creative thinking, or more likely, creative sewing.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

A flimsy and a scarf

I finally finished adding the borders to my Triple Four Patch quilt.  I would have finished sooner but I had several busy days with non quilting things. Monday the weather was good to drive so we dropped off my Bernina to be fixed and it turned out to be a long day of driving due to taking the long way home. I didn't feel like doing any sewing after dinner.

You can see my Janome Gem lightweight traveling machine in the lower corner of the photo. It is a nice little machine for piecing and has a much nicer straight stitch  than my Bernina but I am eager to ransom get my Bernina back with all the features I bought it for. Maybe MY straight stitch will be better too.

I can't get back any farther in my room and right now I can't move the machine any farther away from the design wall due things that don't belong in my room taking up space.

I added 2 sides and mitered the corner and the miter looked good but the corner wasn't square. I went on to other 2 side borders and did the miters differently and they came out perfect. I went back and redid the first corner and now they are all square.

I finished my scarf and I like it but there are some things that could be better. It is much shorter in length and makes it awkward  to wrap and requires some fussing to get it looking right. I am not an experienced knitter and know almost nothing about yarn and how to read the labels so when I was shopping for needles and yarn I finally just went with the color I liked and hoped for the best in the weight. All in all  I think I came pretty close but I forgot that I had a second skein of the same yarn just in case I needed it (actually I couldn't find it so I thought I didn't buy it after all) and when I came to the end of the yarn I was 10 notches short of what  the pattern called for. The pattern said to knit to 42 notches or the end of the skein it, it called for a larger skein but I didn't think about whether or not all skeins were the same size. I learned a lot from this scarf. Making all the dish cloths helped me become better at the actual  knitting but this taught me about choosing and buying yarn.
I also learned that I have a lot more to learn.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Flimsy ......almost

I finally sewed all the blocks together for the Triple Four Patch and I thought I was finished and ready to layer it up and add Prairie points after it was quilted but I decided to add a border instead, so it isn't a flimsy yet.
There is a mistake in the fifth row down on the right where the far right block is sewed to the block on the left. I have  one of  the little black and white 4 patches turned the wrong way. I saw it when I had 4 blocks together and I decided to leave it. It is one of two little surprises to find  in the quilt.
This is the other surprise. When I was snipping threads I snipped a little gouge near the upper left corner. In all of my squares of different sizes (and there are many, many... really many) there was not one single square or even a scrap of this fabric. This quilt really needed this fabric block so I fixed it with a little triangle of a similar colored fabric. In the overall picture I do not think it will detract.

The top measures 56 x 64 as it is now. and I think I will cut my borders 6 inches. That is the measurement of 3 stripes. I bought this striped fabric for something a long time ago and the colors were too deep in value for the quilt and I have tried to use it several times but it never worked;  this time I think I found it's place. I will  probably miter the corners. I still have a dread of mitered corners but they always turn out fine with out any problems. I think it is probably time to get over my aversion to miters.
My sewing room is still a mess with almost no room to work but I put this top together anyway and just walked carefully from my machine to the ironing board.
I did get my stack of Christmas quilts put away today but I think I am going to have to clean up a little more to have room to cut my borders. Now that I can envision a finished quilt I have my batteries charged up for a finish.
I hope my enthusiasm lasts.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Triple 4 patches etc.

I thought I would have a Triple Four Patch flimsy by now but I've had some interruptions. We had family over for dinner Sunday and yesterday Mrs. Scrooge (me)  got up and started taking the ornaments off of Christmas tree; that took ALL day. I bought some plastic ornament boxes to replace the old cardboard boxes that were getting dried out and  brittle. It took some thinking rearranging and  reworking to get everything packed away. I was determined to have it all together and not here and there and some things forgotten only to be put somewhere else where they would not be remembered until after Christmas. Jack would have been happy to have it up a few  more days but I think all in all he is happy to have his chair back where it belongs, closer to the TV. It is good to have the light coming in the room again now that the tree is not blocking the window.

I still have to put the Christmas quilts away. I folded them on the bias as suggested by Ann Fahl in a post some months ago. I washed up all the Christmas tablecloths, place mats, towels and other cloth stuff and will put them with this stack and wrap them with a sheet and put them on the top shelf in the linen closet. It is  a good place for anything that won't be taken down for another year as it  too high for me to reach with out a ladder and I have been discouraged from using a ladder.

 I  did get his far with the T4P blocks. they are sewed into foursies and sixies (the bottom 3 rows are sixes). this is the third T4P quilt I have done and each one was a different setting. I  made some of the blocks for this and I  thought the rest were from the friendship group  but some of them had labels on them from an Internet block swap from almost 15 years ago. I think they were leftovers that didn't appeal  color wise with the other blocks. This time I just put them up on the wall with Random Abandon and made only a few switches.

I should get this much sewed together today as I am staying in again today. The sun is out and it looks pretty good but the forecast for today is single digits and I see no reason to venture out.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year etc.

I may be a day late with my wishes for a happy new year but the year is  going to be around for a while so I am wishing good things for everyone throughout the year.

When I looked back over the quilting finishes for the year 2013 I was surprised that I had not finished very much and I was frustrated that it was hard to find photos of my finishes. I am not making resolutions but I have set some goals.
1. I am organizing my photos in a better way and keeping track of the finishes.
2. I am going to make quilts with the blocks I have waiting. That means  I am going to spend less time organizing and sorting and more time sewing.
3.I am going to make a real effort to  finish the hand quilting on my big UFO.
I think 3 goals is enough for now.
I am starting with this.
I have about 45 blocks, some that I made and many from the Friendship group. There are also cut squares and little white and dark 4 patches for several more blocks. I got them out yesterday and I will finish enough blocks to fill in a rectangle layout. Right now they are on a design board and a table top. I am going to have to take the Anvil blocks down from the design wall so I can lay this out and  really see how I want to put this together.
I expect to be snowbound for at least another day and we forgot to stop at the bank for quarters for the washers before the big snow hit us hence no laundry will be done here for a few days. I know I won't be taking my Bernina to the sewing machine doctor for awhile but I will have no excuse for not doing some piecing and getting a top or 2 put together. 
This is the big UFO that has been hanging around for years. I am going to put it in my Q Snap frame and keep it handy to work on the hand quilting. It would be nice to finish it this year.