Friday, December 28, 2018

First 20 Blocks Completed

Had to do an update with the first 20 blocks almost done.  Then I had to take a break and start cutting the half square triangles that are needed in the corners.

To make these kaleidoscopes, I cut 5 3/4 in strips and then used a 45 degree triangle ruler.  (You could use the 45 degree mark on a regular ruler but I decided to do it this way as I did have one of the specialized rulers.)  I did my geometry and decided that a 4 sq in square cut in half would give me about a 5 3/4 inch hypotenuse triangle which seemed about right.  I tested it and it was a tad big but that was okay, better too big than too small.

I should note that the tricky part of this was always putting the the light colored triangle in the same position when combining the sets of two to make four.  The two fours should be identical before you put them together.  Also when finger pressing each set of two, finger press the light/dark pair to the dark and then make sure you finger press the dark/dark pair in the same direction.  Then they nest nicely and you get a crisp intersection.  After the two pairs are combined and it is best to back stitch at the bulky end where the three seams come together or it will try to come apart when you put the two pairs of four together, I cut off all the little triangle ends before finger pressing the seam open.  After I combine the two sets of four, I finger press the last seam open as well and give it a good press on the back and then the front.  The last step of course is attacking the corners.

I couldn't help myself but had to see what it was going to look like so I attached the corners to the first 10 blocks.  It took a long time to cut out the half square triangles.  I think I have enough of the 45 degree triangles to make half a dozen quilts though!!  This is par for the course for me when doing scrap quilts.  I always cut way way more than I need.

I know I am going to like this quilt a lot!!  I even have a pretty good idea of how I am going to quilt it!  Now to just get 60 more blocks done!  I like to have quilts big enough for queen sized beds.  I have a sneaking suspicion my older daughter will snatch this one like she did the first in the series shown in the last post!!

The weather outside has been frightful so quilting inside delightful especially with my new sewing machine lamp!  I have completed the first 20 and have another 13 partially done.  This is not as fast as some quilts and it is obvious now that I indeed have enough 45 degree triangles to make many more quilts!!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

QBTS December Meeting and December Sweet Charity Quilts

Our December meeting debuts our new raffle quilt.  I really liked it and the quilting was beautiful.

And then they turned it around...

And this was the akk which was as nice as the front!!  Very creative and I loved it!

The following quilts were all part of our Christmas party show and tell.  

I had a hard time getting pictures of all the quilts as it was quite crowded with the tables all set up for eating so there were quite a few more.  Still don't have the ladies trained to hold them up for a little while too!

This was the quilt that I showed which I did a number of years ago.  It is called Winter in Rochester.  It is based on a Paula Nadelstern technique although all my own patterns.  The all white snowflakes that are smaller are silk screened with paints from silk screens I made up. It was very scary to silk screen over a completed quilt top!! The smallest snowflakes are free hand machine embroidered with silver metallic thread.

We did the next three quilts in our Sweet Charity group.  We had a smaller group today so only got three tops done.  Dianne does the job by herself of putting kits together and giving us instructions -- a lot of work plus she does most of the machine quilting as well!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Progress on the New Quilt

Starting to see what the blocks will look like.  There are three that have their darker colors here.  Need to add the beiges.

I started putting completed blocks up on the design wall so that they were in the right places but needed to reorient them.

Here you can see the first ten blocks almost done (missing their beige corners).  I added some yellows in using the backs in several cases.  I also did that to get some lighter beiges too.  As I mentioned before, this is made from leftovers from a previous quilt which was done with leftovers from a quilt done as a result of an Augusta Cole class.  

You can recognize that this is the most recent previous quilt.

This was the original mainly blue and purple quilt.  You can see the progression and they are certainly all very scrappy which is my very favorite type of quilt.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Finally Beginning a New Quilt!!!!

Finally starting a new quilt -- one that I have wanted to make for awhile.  I saw it pictured on Pinterest and took me awhile to figure out how simple it was.  However, the cutting is definitely a bit tedious!!  I am using leftovers and all the greens, blues and purples I could find down here where I have a limited stash.  I vow not to buy anything except an occasional back as I don't have a lot of big pieces.  Those right in front (the greens) are leftovers from the mystery quilt done a couple of months ago.  Some of the purples were also from that quilt.  What is not shown is all the beiges and lights I am using as the contrast.  I may use some yellow/orange as well -- that is yet to be decided!  My quilts generally tell me what to do as I get going.  Even quilted jackets disobey me and make up their own minds.

I couldn't help myself but had to start putting some patches on the design wall.  You can see it is a simple kaleidoscope block.

I don't have a lot of pieces cut out yet but had to start building.

Here you can begin to see the design which looks like circles when completed.  The Kaleidoscope blocks disappear.

This is how the block is set up.  I made my strips 5 3/4 inches wide in hopes that I will have something like a 10 inch block when finished.  I may introduce a yellow/orange or yellow as the half square triangles either on the light pieces or the dark pieces instead of the beiges I am using in the kaleidoscope pieces.   I am using a 45 degree triangle for cutting the pieces which is a little annoying and I am sure by the time I am done I will have far far too many as that is what  usually happens with my scrap quilts.  I am trying to use up all sorts of fat quarters I have had as well as fabric used in many many quilts already.  If there is only a little left after cutting a strip, I then cut some 2 1/2 in strips or 2 inch strips using whatever I have left.  They make great beginnings or four patches or log cabin blocks.

More Birds and a Little Quilting

The weather down here has been pretty dreadful the last couple of days but the rain stopped long enough for me to head down to the pier in Ft. Fisher and catch this beautiful Red-breasted Merganser diving for lunch.

There was a feeding frenzy that I could see from my porch this same morning.  They must have known the rain was coming.  There were lots of pelicans, gulls, and Northern Gannets.  They were diving like crazy.

This is one of the Gannets taken from way far away!!  They are a very striking bird and very visible even from great distances because they are so white with those black wing tips.  You can just barely see the tan colored head.

And finally the Coots have come to Carolina Beach Lake!!  This is the first I have seen them this year.  Everything seems to be a month later than usual.  Our trees are just changing color!!  I think this is all because of Hurricane Florence which ripped all the leaves off the trees before they were ready.  It was very odd to see all the new green leaves on trees in mid-October!!

First time I have seen a Little Blue Heron down at Carolina Beach Lake.  There have been a flock of Ibis hanging out there as well.

Although the light wasn't too great, I did spot a couple of Pied-billed Grebes down at the Lake as well.  There was an abundance of Canada Geese and Mallards one day too.  I think the Geese were the migrating kind as they don't stick around like so many do up north.

I have finally finished the binding on the other stack and whack as well as "quilt from hell".  I have been having a few issues with my sewing machine but did manage to get the machine quilting done on this one.  I had intended to do much more dense quilting in the light areas but the machine was not cooperating.  It looks better than this picture suggests.  Now to get the binding sewn down and I will have all the basted quilts done!  Now to just get the mystery quilt basted and quilted.  It may not get done depending on how well my machine behaves.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

A Little Quilting

After I left last spring, the art quilt group down here spent a meeting painting mugs at a local shop (which has now closed).  They challenged themselves to exchange those mugs and then make "mug rugs" for the mug they got.  They then wrapped them all and I passed around the mugs with their rugs to the new owners.  It was a really funn lunch and great mugs and rugs!!

I have been very busy finishing up the five quilts that Dianne helped me baste.  A couple of these quilt were short batting so first step was to sew strips of batting to edges where they were short.  Then the heavy duty work began.  I don't have a nice table down here like at home but jerry-rigged several tables around the sewing machine which help somewhat.  This is the "quilt from hell" which turned out to be pretty easy to free hand quilt!!  I just chose to free hand around each of the blue motifs and then do stitching within the hexagon.  I tried several different things in the beige areas but didn't like any of them so undid them and left them blank.  I am sewing on the purple binding now!

You can see the detail of the quilting here.  One corner of the quilt is a bit wobbly but we will declare that to be the lower left corner of the quilt!  No way am undoing it!  There was a lot of rippling in the top before quilting but that is all calmed down now.

 I am working on this stack and whack now.  It is going fairly well but best viewed from a trotting horse!  Haven't decided whether I am going to do some fussy quilting in the wider white area in the border and sashing.  
Have gotten quite a bit done.  I am doing the free motion stuff now which I much prefer especially when you have limited area as you don't have to do as much movement.  After I get this one done, I will only have one more to do.  I still have to get batting for the "mystery quilt" but did find some backing for it and then to get it basted.  I have pretty much decided what kind of quilting I am going to do as I  did a lot of staring at it when it was pinned on my design wall.  

My quilting process is to do the straight line quilting in the ditch to secure the three layers.  Then I go in with thread matching the motifs and free hand quilt within each of the motifs.  Unless you look really closely, you can't see the quilting as I may have three different colors of thread within a motif.!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Pleasure Island Birds Return

It has been a really sparse year for birds!!  Usually by now I have seen tons of Oystercatchers and Marbled Godwits down at Ft. Fisher.  So far this year, I have only spotted one Oystercatcher at quite  a distance.  I hadn't seen anything, even the Mallards, at Carolina Beach Lake.  I suspect the horrendous hurricane and all the water has something to do with that.  The waterfall totals for this year have surpassed the record set in 1877 by almost 20 inches!!  Above are the pretty male Buffleheads which I saw at Carolina Beach Lake on a nice sunny day showing off their irredescence .

I have seen quite a few of the Royal Terns down at Ft. Fisher recently.

On a very rainy day, I spotted these Forster's Terns on the dock, both sleeping most of the time!!  One woke up for a minute.

One very sunny day, I spotted this Cooper's Hawk.  I misidentified it at first!

My husband kept saying he was seeing lots of ducks down by the gazebo at Ft. Fisher.  I told him they were probably Scoters as I have seen them every year down there.  I finally got over to see for myself and was greeted by a male and female Bluebird sitting on the roof!  Mr. Bluebird is prettier than his female counterpart.

At first all I saw were a group of female Black Scoters, but eventually two males flew in and joined the group.  I took nice closeups so I could show hubby the differences between the male and female Scoters.

The second male with his tale up!  The sun was shining off that yellow bill.

This is a female Black Scoter and there were lots of them as well as male and female Buffleheads.

We had noticed that we weren't even seeing the usual number of pelicans and that they were flying across the island in different places.  Yesterday I could no  longer say that.  There were huge numbers of them down by the rocks at Ft. Fisher with Herring Gulls and even my first Northern Gannet for the season.  They were all diving for fish which must have been schooling there!