Friday, December 24, 2021

Happy Holidays and Some Charity Quilts

I have been busy finishing off some baby quilts and binding a slew of larger quilts for our Sweet Charity group.  This and the next quilt are from a pattern from our Guild neonatal group.  It was not tricky to make but I did change the instructions a bit to make it easier (and it didn't require any more fabric just a redistribution of the strips).  The hardest part was putting it on the design wall and getting the blocks in the right order.  There are two different blocks in this quilt -- one with white in the corner and one with black in the corner.  I don't know how you could even get it right without a design wall!

The next two are from the pattern that a fellow Guild member had posted.  This onne is also a bit tricky in the cutting and really works well to have a design wall also!  It is a "disappearing rail fence".

This one is a little more planned as I used green consistently in the middle and blue as the "dark".  Still haven't decided whether I like the slightly more planned or the more random placing of the colored pieces.

This is a very large pile of larger quilts that are donated to a variety of places.  I only made a couple of the tops and my friend Dianne did all the machine quilting.  I then did the binding on all of them -- 12 by machine and 4 by hand.  I have gotten really good at machine binding but still like to sit and do the binding by hand in the evenings.  I only have one more to do the hand binding on and I will be done for now -- time to clean up my sewing room a bit -- a chore I do whenever I finish a bunch of projects.  This includes cutting random batting pieces into  narrow strips (for rugs or purses) and cutting leftover pieces of backs into strips and squares.

Happy Holidays to all my friends and followers!!!


Thursday, December 2, 2021

DJ Quilt Almost Finished and a Few Birds for Your Viewing Pleasure!

Well, birds first!  This is a Clapper Rail which is an  infrequent visitor and very shy.  He hid out awhile and then came back out.

This is an Eastern Phoebe, a frequent visitor to my daughter's back yard fence.
This is a Forster's Tern and there were a lot of them visiting down at Ft. Fisher.

This is a Kildeer which is a frequent visitor down here!

Another shot of the Clapper Rail.

This was  my second audition.  The first which is what I thought I would use was inserting a white piece before this darker piece but I just didn't like the look

Auditioning borders and this was the final decision.

It's all together except for the binding which I am in  the process of sewing down now.  I am very happy with sewing it in quarters despite the fact that this was a very difficult quilt to do this with because of stitching close to the edge.  I made a few mistakes and it is a little wonky in places but overall the picture doesn't do it justice!  I used a dark brown batik for the binding and hopefully, I will get it in the mail by the end of this week.  This will be the last picture!


Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Making Progress!!

Well, the main  part of the La Passacaglia is all sewn together.  I have already added some pieces not in the pattern and still want to add a larger chunk on the right hand side and on the bottom.  Know what I am going to do but just have to do it!

Then I have to dye some background which is now complicated by the fact that our washer doesn't work and I need that for washing out the dyed fabric!!  I want to test doing applique with the papers and glue still in to see whether I have to do the washing of the piece before or after applique.

This is the first quarter of what I am calling DJ4 all machine quilted.  I have since finished the machine quilting on all four quarters.

This is a closeup of the stitching that I am doing in the whitish areas -- it is a double arc.  I have decided not to do it in the green.  I have done a lot of outline stitching in all the little blocks which is mostly invisible as I used matching thread as often as I could.  Quilting this in quarters made the job much much easier!  

Here is the right half of the quilt sewn together.  I messed up a number of times and thankfully the back is a very busy batik which hides some of the extra seams I had to do.  I was in a hurry and it was the end of the day -- big mistake but correctible.  It was very difficult to sew the sections together as there was so much quilting fairly close to the edge where you sew them together.  Lots of pins held it together and it mostly lined up.  I didn't make that mistake today.  I finished machine quilting the other two quarters and will wait until Friday to attempt to sew them together and then sew the two large sections together.  Then all I will have to do is the borders and binding.  It will be a decent sized quilt when done!


Wednesday, November 17, 2021

November QBTS Meeting

We had a great time in our inside November meeting.  Everyone had on their masks and we indulged in some pure play!  We were asked to bring one fabric that expressed ourselves plus scraps of six other fabrics and we weren't supposed to try to match.  I certainly didn't have anything that remotely matched!

We were then given Modge Podge for glue, canvas board and a brush.  We had been instructed bring scissors and trims as well and there was a bag of trims on the table.  We were then told to just collage!  Every once in a while, we had to pass a small piece of our fabric to someone else at the table.  This is just a very few of the 43 creations made in about 3/4 of an hour on a 12 x 12 inch canvas.  It was great fun!

This was mine which is not nearly as neat as some of the above!  The marbled pink fabric was my expression.  I used pieces of the fabrics that were passed to me from fellow table members as well as what I had brought which was truly random!  The comment was that it looked like a quilt block!!  Can't get away from what I am familiar with I guess!

We had quite a few quilts for show and tell but as usual, I don't have names for most and am afraid I will get wrong the ones I think I have!!

This is the back of the next quilt which was made for a much anticipated baby named Alice!

This was entirely made by hand using English Paper Piecing which of course is how I am doing the La Passacaglia!  Beautiful use of colors as well. I believe she said she had it machine quilted which I what I plan to do as my pieces are so small, hand quilting would drive me over the edge.

This and the next picture are the back and front of a quilt by Ann Millard using a quilt as you go method of construction which I may try myself one of these days!

This was a huge quilt done by Anne Hope Marvin from several Dresden plate squares she was given.  I believe she said it was all hand quited as well.  There was a beautiful whole cloth quilt done by June Bell which I was not able to get a good photo of.  Pandemic seems to have inspired a lot of people to do hand work as a stress reliever.

A Quilts of Valor top ready to be quilted!

A really cute baby quilt inspired by last month's half square triangle workshop!!  Really nice!

There were three Habitat for Humanity quilts turned in but I could only get pictures of one of them!  I have to get back to doing a couple of those!


Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Baby Quilts Finished!

I finally finished up three baby quilts and handed them in yesterday.  This was inspired by a quilt one of my guild friends posted.  I did it on point rather than the traditional way as I thought I would like it better.  I didn't!!

This was the original layout which I do like better.  I have several ideas on color combinations etc.  I have been trying to do 4 baby quilts a month.  It is a great way to try out different blocks, settings and arrangements before you commit to a big quilt!

I finally finished this one also and still have enough blocks for another one!!  I think this will make five quilts I have made from this fabric and i have enough more different sized blocks to make a couple of more!!  To say I am sick of looking at it, is an understatement!!  It makes great stack and whack blocks but the fabric itself is boring!

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Real Progress on Passacaglia Quilt and the Newest Dear Jane!

I always take pictures along the way for a good reason!  I can many times spot a booboo before it gets any further and it certainly was the case with this one although I got along further than usual!

This is the third quarter of the quilt with the correct orientation of the naughty block!

Each of the quarters is now done.  The batting arrived today so I will contemplate starting the quilting soon!  I am doing it in four separate sections so I will have to divide up the batting accordingly

The four quarters are mostly done and I only have to stitch the top and bottom together and add a couple of more rosettes to round things out.  I had to get it on the design wall to make sure things were properly aligned.

Here I was testing out a potential background color.  I haven't yet decided when to wash out the papers and fabric glue.  I also haven't decided whether to include the star points on the outside or not as they will be very difficult to applique down.

I am still finding blocks I made last summer while being laid up and this is the latest baby quilt incarnation!  I am going to put a medium blue border and then a dark blue binding to calm it down a bit.  I have made so many tops with this fabric which I picked up very cheaply in a Joann's sale!  It is perfect for stack and whacks.  


Friday, November 5, 2021

Getting Down to Business with My Latest Take on Dear Jane

Well, here is the whole thing spread out across two design panels!

I still have some moving around of blocks to do but am ready to get start sewing everything together.  I have decided to do the quilt in quarters as I think the machine quilting will be a lot easier that way.

Here is the first quarter one.  It takes about 2 hours to pin and sew.

This is the second quarter sewn together.  It is the top left and the above was the bottom left.  Easier to see the detail in these smaller sections.

I haven't been taking a lot of bird pictures as there are still so many people at my favorite haunts and the birds simply don't like all that company!  Rainy days are my best bet but there haven't been too many of those!  It doesn't help that I can't do  a lot of walking these days especially on uneven ground.  


Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Working on a New Quilt with Old Blocks!

Years and years ago, I participated in a couple of block exchanges of Dear Jane blocks which were very small and pretty intricate. They finished to 4 1/2  inches square.  I got really hooked on them and made close to a 1000 even though originally  there were only about 200 different ones.  Included in this count was another sampler set of blocks found in a 30's quilt.  Altogether, I made three quilts -- one with blocks I made in addition to the exchange blocks which were much more colorful (exchange blocks were all two color), one with batik blocks (one of the exchanges) and one with the 30's blocks.  I donated both the book and about 200 blocks to a quilt club for a raffle.  I also used about 50 as borders on two quilts I finished.  I thought I had about 50 left!  Turns out I had never used the original two color blocks from the exchange as well as the 50 more colorful blocks!!  My online friends and I got to talkiing about the blocks which is when I discovered I had 235 blocks left!!  So it inspired me to use them finally.  My original thought was to use this format but using white bocks instead of alternating the blocks but I found that the blocks with the darker edges didn't look good with the darker half square triangle blocks so I decided to use even more blocks and put the darker edge blocks surrounded by white and the lighter blocks surrounded by the darker triangles  I had originally intended to use only a few of the blocks from the original exchange but found they were almost all having light edges so i am utilizing quite a few with my multi-colored blocks.

This is the progress after day one.  I am so glad I discovered the easy way to make half-square triangles -- eight at a time as this made the process much easier.  The darker triangles are cut from leftover backing batik fabric that was extra-wide.  The lighter fabric is (believe it or not) another really really light extra wide batik that I bought figuring it would be great for hand dyeing!  The coloration is so faint, it looks pretty much like the muslin that had been used in the original blocks!

And this is where it stands today!  I am trying to decide what color to use in the next rows of half square triangles as I want to save the darker fabric as  borders.

I was able to use up all the multi-colored blocks and quite a few of the original two color blocks.

Here are the two versions of the disappearing rail fence pattern.  I thought i would like the on point version better, but I don't!  I am thinking I will make the next one using all blue for the outside strip and all green for the inside one.  Then it will be on to using some of the red, orange and yellow strips I have.  I hardly have any purple strips left as that is one of my favorite colors.  I haven't put borders on these yet but will get to it!

Although I don't have a picture here, I have sewn the top part of the Passacaglia quilt together and will start on the bottom two quarters tonight.  My design walls are both filled with the above quilt pieces so no option for taking pics right now!  I am hoping I don't have any big winds too!


Sunday, October 31, 2021

Playing a Bit...

I have had online friends for probably close to 30 years now.  Way, way back, we did a couple of exchanges of blocks for a "Dear Jane" quilt.  I overachieved big time and ended up with many more blocks than I needed for a king sized quit that I made with blocks that were not in the exchange!!  

I have donated probably 200 blocks, and used probably 50 as borders on two smaller quilts and still have 51 blocks left which are pictured here.

We recently got in a discussion of these blocks on line so I dragged them out and now am planning to do a quilt from them.  I surprised myself by realizing that I had never done anything with the original blocks from the exchange so I have 185 of them as well!!!  Sigh... As I am a compulsive finisher, these will get used before too long!

One of the quilt club members down here posted a picture of a quilt she was making which I think she called disappearing rail fence.  I really like the look of it so decided to go into the huge bags of 2 1/2 strips and see what I could come up with.  

You basically sew three strips together with a light at one end and then whatever you want for the other two.  I chose to use a medium value in the middle and a dark on the outside and limited my palette to green and blue shades.  After I sewed the strips together, I cut then into 6 1/2 inch squares -- you get six per strip.  Then you cut half of those diagonally from left to right and the other half right to left so you end up with four piles that look like this.

I always make one block first to test the pattern I had figured out.  Too bad my first block was wrong, wrong and wrong.  Couldn't figure out why I was only using half my triangles!  So rip apart I did!  

This is the correct format.  I actually managed to sew them together wrong a second time but finally stacked the pieces as you see above so I wouldn't do that again!  The rest was fast and uneventful!

Here it is up on the design wall mostly done -- have one row to go!

Here it is all sewn together just waiting for borders now so it will be the official 40 x 40 inches.  It is 34 x 34 now.

I turned it on its side to see what a diagonal set would look like and really really like that so I have a bunch more blocks done and have to make a few more and that will be done!  I do have a thing for diagonal sets! 

I do have some more ideas for different things I can do.  It is really good to find something I really like to do with the bags of 2 1/2 strips that I have besides making 4-patches!