Sunday, November 17, 2019

Progress on the Sunflowers

It's nice to actually be doing something new for a change after quilting all those tops.

The green is really a richer green than shows up here.  You can see that I did decide to go with a very thin strip of white going around the panel and I cut off a couple of inches from the width so that it is a square 24 inches.  And then the fun began!!

I thought I had calculated correctly the width of the different strips around the blocks but I ended up ripping out stitches twice on the first block as the first was too small and the second too large (I thought).  So I made four for the bottom of the quilt and after all this realized that my calculations for the second time I did the block were correct.  Oh well, will improvise as usual!!

I do like the effect of the different colors taken from the panel though.  For some reason the greens aren't looking as nice as they do in person,

So I decided I would add very narrow strips of the darker green between the blocks.  Shown here are much wider strips than there will be.  Just have to figure out what to do with the corners.  Hopefully my arithmetic skills will improve tomorrow.  Having a pencil and paper handy will help I think!

My current plan is then to add at least one more of the darker green borders and I am toying with adding some sort of black border as well.

Finished all the outside blocks today and it did take some time.  Here they are all done and situated.

Here I tested the adding of the green strips between the blocks but even at 1/2 inch, they are too wide so will have to undo a bit.  I knew the measurement had to be less than 1/2 finished but now I am thinking it will only be 1/4 of an inch.  Then I will surround them with another strip of the green and then think about what to do next (if anything).  Good to be creative again even though my arithmetic skills are being challenged!

 Almost finished here and you will notice no green between the tiles.  I must have made my seams to small or something but just no room for the green inserts which is okay as this is the way I originally envisioned it.

And here is the top completed (and even a little sunshine this afternoon).  I will quilt it and I think I will finish it with a flange binding with a little yellow and black as the main color.  Of course that means I will be machine binding it unless I can figure out how to do with hand binding.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Catching Up!

This is truly a miscellaneous blog with bits of what I have done during the past month.  This is a late afternoon picture looking over the Cape Fear River with lots of color in the sky.  

My biggest accompishment has been the basting, machine quilting and binding of 18 quilts!  9 of those were for the Neonatal unit at our local hospital, 3 are for Habitat for Humanity and the rest will go to the Sweet Charity group except for one which I will send to a cousin.  

My oldest daughter and I made our annual pilgrimage to Huntington Beach State Park down in S. Carolina but we were a little late this year and there were a lot of people as it was the weekend.  We didn't see too many birds but did spot our Wood Storks all off in a tree  This was a nice Great Egret and there were many of those.

We also spotted several Semi-palmated Plovers. 

They were joined by several Semi-palmated Sandpipers.

I took a drive around Greenfield Lake here in Wilmington a couple of weeks ago and the leaves are just beginning to turn there.

A very late afternoon trip down to the Air Force housing produced quite a herd of deer who didn't seem to care that they had visitors!

I also added to the quilts I had made this summer with these two baby quilts made from fabrics I had previously cut up.
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I have had this piece of Michael Miller fabric for years.  There were two yards and a total of 3 repeats in the length.  I have stared at it the last couple of years wondering what to do with it and finally decided to do a stack and whack even though I didn't have the repeats lengthwise.  There was a partial repeat across the fabric so I used that and decided to do a "posy" stack and whack .

I finally decided to use a full panel and surround it with the posies so that I would get to see the full panel which I really liked a lot -- the reason I couldn't just give this fabric away.  My plan at present is to surround the panel with a two inch green border and then surround the posies with varying shades of green and yellow.  Looking at the picture now, I am thinking some white might make its way in somewhere..  Currently the panel is 24 inches high and 26 inches wide and each of the little posies is 5 1/2 inches.  I will be using my hand dyed "solids" for the borders.  I may rearrange the posy blocks a bit as well.  We shall see how it develops.  My quilts generally tell me what to do not the reverse!

On the bottom is the green I am thinking will be a good border.

These three fabrics will surround the little posies (I think!).  They look better in person.

Monday, November 4, 2019

October QBTS Meetiing

It's been a very busy couple of weeks basting, machine quilting and binding all those quilt tops I did last summer.  I have made major progress and have 3 Habitat for Humanity quilts finished, 8 neo-natal quilts and 1 Sweet Charity quilt in the past 10 days.  I also have 5 more quilts spray basted and have actually run out of basting spray yet again!!  All I have left to baste now are the two big quilts that I am keeping.  Only one of those has be done by year end (the mystery quilt).  

There was a plethora of baby quilts at our October meeting.  This is an amazingly productive group!!!  I am only going to post some of them.

Our speaker was our own Ruth Humphrey who had an amazing display of over 25 quilts -- stunning work!!  I have included some of my favorites although I took pictures of most of them.

The quilt peaking through on the right was my contribution for this month.  I will have at least 7 to turn in this coming meeting!!

This is our speaker Ruth in her colorful vest.  I have only posted a few of the quilts she showed.  She is a quilter after my own heart as she does scrappy almost exclusively.  Even my very first quilt was a scrap quilt, before I had even heard the term!

I had several days when I couldn't upload pictures to Blogger so this is really late!!
I didn't post any of the show and tell pictures as I couldn't get any good pictures because of where people were standing.  Hopefully I will pick a better seat next time!!  There were many nice ones!

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Basting the Modern Way Using Basting Spray and Pool Noodles!

This will be a blog post with very few pictures but just a reminder to myself so I won't forget how to get this done.  This technique is one I saw on Youtube and really is very easy once you get things all in the proper place.  It seemed so simple and yet later, I had a hard time visualizing what order things should be in so that it worked.  So here goes....

The equipment needed is three of those pool noodles, some straight pins and nicely ironed quilt top, quilt back and batting.

First, you need to roll those three components on the pool noodles.  This is done by (1) pinning the edge of the backing along the pool noodle in 4 or 5 places.  The right side of the fabric should be on the outside of the pool noodle and then, (2) carefully roll the fabric snugly around the noodle.  Do the same with the batting.  Do the same with the top EXCEPT have the wrong side facing out.

Now for the basting part.  Place the noodle with the backing in front of you and unroll it about 2 feet.  Spray with a basting spray -- I use the 505 spray.  I have used Sullivan's as well but that seems to put more mist in the air.  Next take the tube with the batting and starting right in front of you, roll it over the sprayed part neatly making sure there are no wrinkles.  I apply a little pressure, pulling it away from me once I have an edge basted down.  

 Next, spray the batting.  I don't attempt to spray the whole batt but do lines about a hand width apart as you would do with pins if you were pin basting.  Then take the roll with the quilt top and place it down over the batting.  Then you can pull the basted part toward you and roll out more of the backing and keep repeating the process until you have everything basted.

Here are the three parts all lined up right in front of me.  I actually did most of this sitting down as I am a bit mobility impaired right now.  Hopefully this time next year, I will be in better shape after planned surgery!

I have managed to get 8 tops basted this way over the last couple of mornings.  I now have batting to do several more.  So it is 9 down (one was already pin basted) and 15 to go.  This was a relatively painless way to go once I got the process down.  I had tried short cuts using only two noodles but didn't work nearly as flawlessly.  

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Just One More Post

In the process of getting things together for my winter in the south, I found this relatively ugly leaf print that I bought years ago.  I thought it might work up nicely into a four patch stack and whack and I think I was right.  This first set ended up being 6 1/2 inches finished (3 3/4 inch squares).  I then proceeded to try some that finished at 6 inches (3 1/2 inch squares) and then proceeded to do some that finished to 4 1/2 inches (2 3/4 inch squares).  I thought I would mingle them on point putting smaller finished squares between the big squares.  However....

This is the fabric which, although the pattern is big, only had about a 12 1/2 inch repeat.

The first bunch of squares on point (I always like things on point as seems to convey movement to me).

This is the second bunch of squares which finish to 6 inches and a test to see if I like the intersection and also to see if I like back around the squares.  No to the intersection and yes to the black.  I have found I really prefer with these "posie" blocks to have them standing some distance apart and individually framed. I really do like radial symmetry!!  

This is the third set of blocks which finish to 4 1/2 inches.  I am happy that you can still see a radial pattern in these even with the large blocks of color.

These will not get finished for awhile while I decide what to do.  These beg for some different settings which I always like to do.

I am heading down to winter home in a bit so unpacking my car will take a great deal of my attention for awhile!!

Friday, September 20, 2019

Spin Quilt and Probably Done for a Bit

The blue worked out well for the sashing!  I barely had enough to put a border around the outside and had to piece all four sides.  Luckily this is a fabric that literally doesn't show a seam if you are more than a few inches away!

As I wanted it to be at least 40 inches wide (it is 38 right now), I figured I needed at least one more border.  I tried several pieces of fabric that didn't work.

I finally decided to go with a very thin strip of the yellow from the centers and then found this piece in my stash which seemed to be perfect!!

And it's done!!  I have to start getting stuff together to transport south so probably won't get too much more done.  First, I have to get backings for all the quilts and match them up.  I made progress on this earlier today so hopefully that will be done today.  I have been gradually getting the strips downstairs -- they are really heavy as I compacted them in  2 1/2 gallon zip loc bags which probably weigh between 5 and 10 pounds each!!  I did this with all the 2 1/2 and 2 inch strips.  The smaller strips are just stuffed in baggies.  Hopefully I will have enough room for everything.  

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

New Totes and Spin Block Beginnings

Well as I said in my last post, I did make the two totes with the 16 squares I made with my new favorite block.  I think there will be more quilts using these colors and this pattern in the future.  Of course there will be variations as I get bored really easily!!

Another view of the totes, showing the lining fabrics.  The sides and the bottoms of the two bags are the blue that is in the handles and was also used with the quilt top in the background.  I think I will get through the whole two yards I had with these various projects.

This is the pile of 2 in scraps that is sitting next to the sewing machine waiting for a quilt!

Decided to do the "spin" block I had originally intended to do before I got side-tracked with the totes and the quilt!!  I actually auditioned a duller yellow for the middle but it just didn't do it so went with this slight orange yellow.  I would also see this as a red/blue/yellow palette which is an unusual combination for me.  I tend to stick with the secondary colors.  I really like this one though and it will be hard to give up!

All the blocks are done (although not in their final places yet) and am auditioning the blue as sashing and border and think it will be perfect.  I am not going to do any cornerstones with this one.  I may add another border or two but haven't decided yet.   I am starting to get my stuff ready to head south in about three weeks so good part of my strips stash has already made the trip downstairs.  

I do love this block and it is soooo easy, especially since I put the pattern on the back of one of my rulers which aids in the cutting of the blocks.  Also, very happy I have a 10 1/2 square ruler so squaring up the blocks is a cinch!

This quilt will be about 40 x 65 when done.