Monday, May 3, 2021
Monday, April 12, 2021
This one was printed lengthwise on the fabric so in my mind it was not useable without cutting it apart. I cut all the squares and of course they were not exactly square. I cut them all square by cutting a bit less than 1/4 inch into the printed "sashing" between the squares . It worked out well but it gave me 5 3/4 inch squares to work with, kind of an odd size. I cut my sashing strips 1 1/2 inches from red fabric which was almost exactly the same shade as the printed sashing.
In addition to the lettered squares there are 2 squares with several of the animals in the square and no letters. That made 28 squares and setting the squares 5 to a row and 6 rows, I needed 2 more squares.
I thought of pinwheels but 2 or even 3 colors in a pinwheels seemed be lacking. I found some 16 patch leftover blocks that had all the colors in the quilt and I took the rows apart from 2 of them and added the rows to 2 other blocks and made 25 patch blocks that fit the corners exactly. So.... there they are and I am not certain they are the best choice. In person they are much brighter and the colors are a good fit.
I am ready to add a bright blue speckled fabric for the borders and the backing will be the same. If I have to piece the backing, I might make pinwheels. We'll See.
Tuesday, April 6, 2021
I have been cleaning and sorting and purging and making a ever enlarging mess. I do have a plan in mind but until I can move some of my sorted things along, I am not making a lot of progress.
Sometimes you just have to sew, even in the middle of the chaos. I have a lot of cat fabric and as I have mentioned before A LOT of scraps. My new neighbor has 2 young cats who have no quilts. I can fix that. The cat who received the quilt I made last month was pleased with his quilt so I am encouraged to make more. Cat quilts are fun to make and I have a number of cats in mind to be the recipients. I have plenty of raw material for making quilts and they will hopefully use up a respectable amount of fabric and batting. I will also be able to keep on sorting and purging and when I need a break I can make cat quilts.
This is front and back of a previously made quilt. It is about 24 inches square. I had used odd shaped scraps of assorted cat fabric and a lot of short strips. I quilted in the ditch around the strips.
Below, is the quilt I just made. It is also about 24 inches square and it was a panel so it just needed a border. I quilted around the squares and around the individual cats. I am using only what I have so although I would have liked to use a print on the back to hide my quilting stop and start knots, I used a plain allover print. That's what is nice about cats they won't care.
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
Thursday, February 4, 2021
Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Sometimes it seems as though nothing is going to be quick and easy.
After I finished basting the center panel of the Alphabet quilt, I stitched 2 more letter sections. I went much easier than removing pins but all the turning I had to do using the walking foot turned out to be a huge struggle, much more than I expected it to be. I came to the conclusion that it could not be any worse to do it free motion and it might be better, and it was.
I took a break to do something and when I returned to my machine the foot control would not work. I checked everything, it was plugged in, I could move the needle up and down manually by turning the wheel ,the machine turned on and off the way it always does, there was nothing that appeared to obstruct the full compression of the pedal. This pedal is not a genuine Bernina but it was half as much less than the cost of the Bernina and all the reviews on amazon were good. It worked perfectly from the day I started using it until that day. I was completely frustrated and needed to consider what to do next. I moved furniture and set up my other machine for quilting. I have never used this machine for quilting and though it was far from ideal, I thought it would work. It did not. I could not get a decent stitch.
I asked my friends for help and one of them was going to let me try her foot pedal to see if the problem was my machine or my foot pedal. I go my Bernina up on the tale again and just on the off chance that the foot pedal would work I tried it and it worked.
Somehow a sheet of wrapping paper found its way onto the table next to my machine. There it is, stitched right on to the back of the quilt. I started to cut it away but looked at the stitches and saw that they needed to be removed. I have no idea where that wrapping paper came from. I don't remember seeing it in the last 15 years. The 4 foot table next to my machine is right inside my sewing room door and often I will set things there that I need to put away somewhere else. I had been digging in my hall closet for something and that is probably where the wrapping paper was hiding before it flew across the hall onto my table.
Well, the wrapping paper stitching is gone and I have another hour or so to quilt. I may not finish this quilt this month but I might.
Sunday, January 17, 2021
My bright idea with the 1/2 inch applique pins wasn't such a good idea after all. The first motif, the numbat, was really easy but the octopus was not! I had to reposition the quilt many times while quilting the octopus and the little pins kept slipping out. There was not as much twisting and turning and stuffing the quilt under the arm of the machine with the numbat. I did some more quilting on the pinwheel border while I thought about what to do. Removing the safety pins as I quilted was really hard at times for my old fingers so I decided the easiest/fastest option was to baste the panel. It is taking a long time but I know it is going to work out better/faster in the long run.
The numbat and the octopus are quilted. Below them, you can see my basting and the 3 1/2 inch needle I am using. I have some long needles from making cloth dolls and they are fairly easy for me to hold. However, it has taken me over a week to almost finish basting the panel. There have been too many interruptions and not enough "getting back" to the task at hand.
I am not so sure I will finish by the end of the month; who knows how many more times I will need to do something I hadn't planned on or how any hours I will have to sit waiting "on hold" during a necessary phone call. I am going to set my timer for 15 minutes when I can't have a big chuck of time and I will get it finished. We'll see how that works.
Friday, January 1, 2021
This photo is the somewhat unorganized pin basting. I had pinned all over the panel to flatten out any bubbles and wrinkles. I knew I would do a little more pinning when I started to quilt.
Tuesday, December 29, 2020
Well 2020 is almost gone and it is almost time to take down the Christmas tree and put away all of the Christmas quilts and various Christmas items.
I usually get a few new Christmas items each year but I tend to keep everything and get it all out and use it. Jack and I both like to look at the tree and remember who gave us each ornament and where or why we bought things. Of course there are homemade items from our children, grandchildren great grandchildren and friends. This year we got a new artificial tree, much smaller than our last one but much fuller and with more lights. I won't show all my Christmas quilts and table toppers etc but this is the tree with many of the things that bring back good memories.
We have enjoyed looking at it but we will enjoy the unobstructed view of the birds that come to the feeder outside our window and the squirrels who come for peanuts on the window sill.
Happy New Year
Saturday, November 21, 2020
It feels good to have this top finished. It has taken me a while to get it finished due to interruptions. However, there was another reason it took so long. I didn't have a solid plan for this quilt. I changed my mind more than once as I went along and all along the way I had to make decisions about what to do. When I bought the fabric I was going to use the striped fabric for the borders and the music note background for the back, very simple. By the time I got home I had already decided I would make a few pinwheels with the solid fabric. The solids stash has turned into a pretty hearty supply after my purchases for the Framed 9 patch and this was a good way to use some of it. I think I went back to the shop and bought more of the music fabric a few days later.
My few pinwheels turned into 40 pinwheel blocks for the side borders. This is a 6 inch pinwheel block and 7 blocks fit perfectly for the side borders, after I fixed my mistake with the inner border.
All the time I was working on the border blocks my mind was working on the top and bottom borders. It was like a program running in the background.
I made four corner blocks with the striped striped fabric pinwheels on point and worked out the size to cut the corner triangles to make the blocks six inches. All the while I was taking care of other things that I had to do and this was running around in my mind. I was running out of background and I knew if I made a mistake in estimating the size to cut for what I had in mind I would not have enough. I called the shop and they still had some of the fabric. I picked it up the yesterday and knowing I would have enough fabric even if I changed my mind or made a mistake, I forged ahead.
I decided to make the borders with the striped pinwheels on the ends and a 9 inch section, with one 6 inch block and one 3 inch half pinwheel block, on each side of a center striped on point pinwheel block. I measured every thing and made the center blocks with oversize triangles then cut the block 6 high by eight inches wide and it fit. I breathed a huge sigh of relief.
I have made a few quilts with panels and if the borders are simple it is easy. If you make blocks and the panel doesn't give you any excess fabric to trim away without trimming away something you want to keep, there is math involved. This panel had a row of blue scallops at the top and bottom that I trimmed away. That made the sides easy but I had to work to get the top and bottom right. In the end it wasn't hard and I'm happy with it. There is also a little something fun to hunt for. Three of the pinwheels seem to have caught the wind from a different direction. It must have been those high winds we had last week.
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
The last time I went to the quilt shop for more green fabric to finish the second Framed 9 Patch quilt, I bought an Alphabet animals panel and some fabric to go with it. That kept me on track to finish the F9P so I could start the alphabet quilt. There have been delays and interruptions but I have made some progress. However those interruptions frequently lead to problems. When I am undecided about how to proceed I usually have more than one idea about what to do next. When I come back to the project after the interruption I somethings pick up on an idea that I have discarded and go ahead with it.
These photos are the top and the bottom of the panel with the 2 side inner and outer pinwheel borders. This is an example of what happens when I am interrupted. I meant to sew on all 4 inner borders before the pinwheel borders. There was a strip of blue scallops on the top like the one on the bottom. After I added the pinwheel borders to the sides I was in a quandary over what to do next. after looking at it for a while I realized the I had meant to cut off the scalloped strips. I undid the stitches for a few inches where the inner borders were stitched to the panel and cut away the strip, added the inner border strip and re-stitched the inner borders to the panel. At the top left, you can see where I have not yet stitched the end of the inner border to the panel. It wasn't hard to do and it was a lot easier to do than anything I might had done if I had proceeded without fixing my mistake.
I need to decide what to do for the top and bottom borders .Each border block is a 6 inch four patch with 2 pinwheels and 2 background squares. The space between the corner block is 25 inches. I will figure it out so it looks OK.
So this is where I am now. I am going to make more of the 4 patch pinwheel blocks and I am not sure what I will do next. I may not get back to this for a few days. I want to do it when I know I can work without interruptions. That may be a while.
slightly over whelmed with everything. I have an appointment Friday to get our healthcare squared away. That is almost finished but I need to make sure that Jack's pharmacy insurance will cover all his meds.
My curbside grocery pickup order drives me crazy every time I place an order. The website keeps changing, They seem to be doing something every single time to make something "better". It is never better.
As if I didn't have enough to confuse me, I got a new "smart" phone. I have really lagged behind on technology. I thought all I ever wanted to do with my phone was make and receive calls. Then I was pushed into texting so I could get in touch with my grandchildren. For all the curbside pickups, I found I needed apps to make it easy. My old phone was so out of date I couldn't download apps. I ordered my phone and managed to get it set up. With the the help of some You Tube tutorials, I am learning. I connected my phone to Bluetooth in my car and downloaded some apps. Yesterday and today I had video phone calls with my grandson and 18 month old great grandson. I said Hi to Elijah and his Dad told him to say "Hi to Gigi" and he did. That was special; it makes all the fuss of learning to use my new phone worth the effort.
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
I have finished the second Framed 9 Patch. This one is smaller than the first one by 2 blocks in each direction. F9P 1 is 9 x11 blocks and F9P 2 is 7 x 9 blocks. This one was a little easier to handle physically.
This is the back of the quilt and I was happy to see that the pattern of the floral stripes worked out the way I planned. The pattern is symmetrical and straight along the sides and where the quilted sections are joined. It was quite an effort to get it layered up straight. After the first section I gave up trying to do it in my sewing room on the plastic top Lifetime tables and put another leaf in my dining table and put my big cutting mat on the table and used my bulldog clams on the ends to get the backing taut and smooth and I used masking tape along the sides to tape it where the sections were too narrow to reach the sides of the table. I could move my cutting mat to protect the table under the whole layered section when I was pinning. It was frustrating but it was worth the effort to make the floral strips work.