Sunday, March 29, 2020

Back to Mindless Sewing Trying to Keep Busy!

I finally finished machine quilting the two quilts using my ice dyed mandala blocks.  These were the result of trying to find some new settings to show off these blocks which need to be the center of attention.  As a result of doing these, I tried some new machine quilting techniques on the hotpads I showed a couple of blogs ago.

I really liked this one.  Both of these used my hand dyes exclusively except for the back on the large one which used a gorgeous piece of fabric my sister gave me from Hoffman.

This is the aforementioned back!

I am back to doing baby quilt tops again as life is really a jumble now and I need something totally mindless to do -- which does challenge me a bit to try some different things with these simple simple blocks.  I am addicted to four patches!!  Have probably made close to 500 the past couple of weeks and haven't made a dent in my scrap bag!!

Another of the same!

I overachieved on cutting 4 1/2 inch colored squares and this was my first thought on a different arrangement.  I didn't care for it.

Moved some around to make it a bit more random but you can see that there is a pretty controlled color palette in all these quilt tops.

Another one done but boring to do so won't probably do too many more like this.

I had seen a version of this on Pinterest and thought I would try my version.  You will note I have two of the blocks going in the wrong direction!  Funny you don't see that until you take pictures!!  I always take pictures before finishing up a top (and even doing that have an occasional slip).  I do like this arrangement a lot.  I am starting to run out of white though (of the non-PFD variety) so may have to actually go buy a bolt when on super cheap sale at Joann's.  

I have finished half of the putting together here.  It should end up measuring about 35 x 35 before I put on some borders.  
Some birds in my daughter's back yard for your perusal!  This is a Yellow Bellied Sapsucker.

This is a beautiful Bluebird who posed a lot for us the other afternoon.

Her ever present cardinal in all his glory!

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!!