Friday, March 20, 2020

Keeping Busy

Now that I have my Juki  back, I am getting some of my machine quilting done.  This was the first to be completed and is now on my  bed.

This shows some of the quilting.

This is the stack and whack I  was working on in the workshop.  It will go to Sweet Charity as soon as I get batting and get it quilted.

I also have quilted two wall hangings that feature my kaleidoscopic hand dyed blocks just for fun.  As soon as I get the binding done, I will post pictures of the completed projects.

I was not particularly pleased with the quilting of those blocks so I decided to do some experimenting with different machine quilting looks.  I took four of the kaleidoscopic blocks -- each about 12 inches square - and chose a different technique for each one seeing what I liked best without messing up a whole quilt top.  I am getting there.  To make the blocks useful, I backed them with the heat resistant quilted material used for pot holders so that I would have hot pads!!  They match my daughter's pillows so I will give a couple to her!

Here are the four.  Don't kow whether you can see clearly but the first one was an attempt to follow the pattern, the second one used the orange peel pattern, the third was just four straight lines bisecting the block on the square side and the diagonal, and the fourth was just an endless circle.  I am okay with the minimal stitching for this use but don't think it would be great in a quilt.  The second and fourth ones might have some use for certain blocks but the first -- trying to follow the pattern - still would be my favorite though.  I have decided in the future to not try to follow the pattern exactly but to superimpose a roughly right pattern on top.  Didn't have time to do today!

It was much nicer to sit on my porch and watch the ocean waves while reading a junky book!  I am beginning to get a little stir crazy though with everything cancelled, grocery stores empty and no idea whether I will be able to have my much needed ankle surgery scheduled in May.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Leftover Stack and Whack Blocks from Class -- Some of My Samples

These are blocks I made from leftover fabric with which I backed another  quilt!!  It was really pretty ugly material but worked up well into these posie blocks!  I have put together a bunch of dyed fabrics to border them which I will get to eventually.

This corona virus thing has caused the cancellation of about everything which includes the monthly quilt guild meeting.  As I am old and have asthma, I am being pretty cautious these days.  I am scheduled to have elective surgery in May and hope that will happen! If it doesn't, it doesn't, I guess!

This is the stack and whack I was demonstrating with in class.  I almost liked the fabric but am not thrilled with the blocks.  They are okay but not exciting.  The fabric had  a decent repeat but still not enough variety.  Sometimes the ugliest fabric make the best stack and whacks.  This might have worked better as a hexie!

I surrounded each of the blocks with black as nothing else seemed to work and I did audition a bunch of colors!

Here I auditioned some fabrics for the borders.  The basic fabric is on the side and I didn't go with the dark green as an inside border as it just didn't work.  I used a very pale pale yellow for the sashing as white was too stark.

The top is finished now and will post it in the next blog.  

I am currently machine quilting a top I made last summer which is pretty big.  Basting it was a disaster as the basting spray just wasn't sticking for some reason.  I think I should have washed the back first maybe.  There will be some tucks in the back but the front looks good and the back is such a dark blue, the tucks won't show too much thankfully and they weren't as bad as could be expected. It won't be in any quilt shows!! Standing and basting something this large is torture with my bad ankle and heel.  So I will be keeping to smaller items until i get this all taken care of!  I can do them on my tables with pool noodles sitting down!

I should also comment that I had a sewing machine melt down in February.  The top tension on my Juki fell off and then the Juki decided to stop functioning due to my attempt at repair!  So off to the  closest dealer who is two hours away! He cleaned it all up, greased it (didn't know you were supposed to have that done periodically) and it works l like new now!  Well, after my Juki failed, I went to use my Featherweight which had worked just fine just a few days before.  The belt was slipping terribly so onto Amazon to order a new belt.  Then I pulled out my old Bernina 830.  Of course the light decided to not work on that but at least the machine functioned!!  So onto Amazon again to get a light.  Well the new belt came and the FW worked for about a minute and then didn't again.  I then noticed that the motor was wobbling a bit (it is not easy to get a new belt on a machine) and found a screw that was loose.  I tightened that up and all is well.  New belt and new light on the Bernina!!

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Stack and Whack Workshop!

Well, one of the reasons I have been again negligent about my blog has been that I had volunteered to teach a Stack and Whack posie block class with my guild in February.  Had to get my act together and have things done in various stages.  This is an example of what one lady did in the class.  I might add the class was only 5 hours long with some time off for lunch and the ladies got a lot done.

This is the fabric for the above blocks!

Here is another set of blocks and

This is a strip of the fabric!!  I think all the ladies got it for sure!!

Another set of blocks and

this is the fabric for the above!

I blew this one up extra large as I don't have the fabric picture but it was horses.  Ann has since finished this quilt top and started another and announced she was hooked.  It came out really really well!  Another of the ladies wrote me telling me that she was hooked as well.  I started the class with the warning that this was really addictive!!

Just a couple more of the blocks!  The ladies did extremely well at picking out good fabrics for this technique which is very dependent upon the choice of fabrics.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

QBTS Neonatal and Show and Tell Quilts -- Better Late than Never!!

 There were literally so many Neonatal quilts this month that we had gridlock trying to show them all -- 44 altogether.  I managed to donate my 13 this month so that definitely helped the total.  You may recognize at least two of mine in this picture!

Another of mine on the left!

 Didn't notice until I blew up the picture that  another of mine is in this picture!!

There were tons more but for some reason, this entire  blog's worth of pictured didn't appear on the blog despite initially appearing and looking okay.  Have no idea what happened but have decreased the number of pictures I will post to see what happens.

There were lots and lots of Show and Tell as well.  So I am only posting a few.

Thought this was really cute!

What a wonderful snake by Betty!

 I thought this was wonderful!  How gorgeous!!

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

February QBTS Meeting -- Trunk Show by Sheila Plock!

Our program for the February meeting was a trunk show by relatively new member, Sheila Plock.  She originally hails from Penna and says her fabric choices for the earlier quilts really reflect the area.  I can really identify with that as my quilting has really changed (color preferences) since moving down to NC.  I use a heck of a lot more white and bright colors.  I really think you are affected by your surroundings.  Sheila makes primarily scrap quilts (of course my favorite as well).  Her quilts were just beautiful in person and my photos don't really do them complete justice and I did miss a few at the beginning but tried to get most of them.

I added a second picture of this one so you could see the detail and obvious fussy cutting i some of the stars.

I will post a second post with some of the neonatal quilts and our show and tell in the next blog!  It was too much to include in one!

Saturday, February 15, 2020

What I Have Been Doing While Not Posting!!

I did happen to come upon this sunset while driving home from a long day of fabric dyeing (more later).

Another view and one I loved because of the juxtaposition of the blue sky and the colors of the sunset down at Ft. Fisher!

I got tired of doing the quilt that has the four patches and then long strips of either the black on white or the white on black.  I did several of those and decided I would try this as an approach and I liked it so will  probably do more like this when I am in a baby quilt mood again.  It is faster than the other version!  

This is an alternate view of this block which I may also do!
This is the main reason for not posting!!  I finished machine quilting and binding 13 neonatal quilts to be delivered to the baby group at guild this month!  In some the quilting was better than others but they are done!!  Each one measures 40 x 40 inches and most have been posted in previous blog posts!!

One of the things I am going to do next is to do another one-block wonder with this Great Blue Heron panel.  My sister gifted me with enough for a quilt a few months ago.  i got my feet wet with the Canada Goose one I did a couple of months ago so am ready to start on this one!  

I am teaching a class on "stack and whack' next week so have been trying to get examples of the different types together.  i am only doing a posie quilt (4 patch stack and whack) for the class as it is the set up that is the teachable piece.  Once you get the basics of setting it up, the rest is basically the same only using different rulers and number of repeats.

So I thought I would use this fairly uninspiring piece of fabric to illustrate hexies.  I have cut up half of it and made half hexies out of most of those pieces so i can illustrate a one block wonder.  i also sewed some together to show full hexies and the kinds of settings you can use.

All the hexies are assembled here but in two pieces each.  I don't think this is a very inspiring set up and have found I really  am not crazy about one block wonders unless  using a panel or just the right fabric -- one with lots of large areas of wildly different colors and shades.  i think these blocks would look better with each hexie standing alone.

Here are three blocks completely sewn together.  i think you can see the patterning and the radial symmetry that I love more clearly.  Of course, mistakes will be much clearer too!!!

And here is how I spent my last Sunday!!  I wanted to have some light colored fabrics and especially yellow and light blue so I did simple gradations.  The lightest blue pile is a gradation of ProChem's Basic Blue with 8% being the darkest, the yellow is a combination of 6% Sun Yellow and 2% Golden Yellow as I wanted to tone down the Sun Yellow.  Unfortunately, evidently some of the Golden Yellow didn't totally dissolve, so there are some orangey spots on several of these but very usable nonetheless!  The darker blue is a gradation of Deep Navy.  I was very happy with my results.  I still have a ton of pfd fabric and may do one of my massive overdyes one of these days.  i am thinking using primaries and then overdyeing with a series of neutrals. When I do these, I get 35 yards in a day!  I do have 25 yards here though!

I also want to participate in a Guild Challenge to create a floral piece 18 x 24 inches and have been searching through my photos for the right image.  Hmmmm.....

And a Canada Goose for your viewing pleasure.

Friday, February 14, 2020

QBTS January Meeting - Show and Tell!

Well, haven't seen much in the way of birds as either the timing or the weather has been off at low tide!  Canada Geese have taken over the local lake where I used to see all my ducks.  I did see this lovely Great Egret down at Ft. Fisher one afternoon so included him for your viewing pleasure!

A Habitat for Humanity quilt.  i have been putting a lot of kits together for myself and have enough for probably two or three more quilts that I will do or this worthwhile and fun project.

A really nice sampler quilt.  Of course as usual, i don't have names -- sorry!!

Another pretty sampler!

Nice  beachey quilt!!
Beautiful quilting!  

Loved this one!!  So reminiscent of yellowstone!!

Our program for this meeting was a presentation of all the products that are sold by the Martelli Co.  i have bought one of their rotary cutters in the past because so many people raved about them.  I found it okay but since i do most of my rotary cutting sitting down, i didn't find it as comfortable as people have commented and i suspect my sitting position was the reason for it.  it was an interesting presentation and i hadn't realized the extent of their products.