Friday, September 22, 2017

SEPTEMBER FAT QUARTER QUILT ALONG

Another month under my belt, well at least 3 of the 6 done.  I am wondering if this goes all the way through the year.  So far unlike my normal block quilt alongs I'm keeping up.  
These look more complicated then they are.  For 5 1/2 inch squares which I think is small they go together easily.  

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

FALL PROJECTS

Last year I worked on this fall runner for my sofa table.  Finished it up and stashed it it the closet waiting for fall to come again.  However, it was supposed to have a companion runner for our entertainment center, which I cut out and started the blocks but never got very far on it when I went on to other things.  Now is the time to finish that up.  


The blocks are mostly all cut out and sewn together.  
And construction begins.  It will measure 18 my 72 when done.  I am having to make up a few blocks to finish out those measurements.  It is a pretty straight forward project, although choosing the block combinations is a bit of a thinking process for me.  
Fall is quickly on its way here, we have gone from the 100 plus temperatures to the 80's so I had better get moving on this.  


Friday, September 15, 2017

OCTOBER GUILD CHALLENGE

In the early part of this year my guild threw out a color or theme challenge to make an 18 by 22 inch quilt/art piece based on the flower or gem of a month.  I drew February, so was working with violet or amethyst colors.  
I have been working at improving my paper piecing skills and decided to use them to make this piece.  The triangles came from an idea based on the Star Blazer featured on Modern Quilts Unlimited.  I modified the size by 2 inches shorter to match the measurements required.  The 45 degree side strips I ended up actually drawing my own paper piece pattern on copy paper.
The one thing that was a particular challenge was facing it rather than a binding.  I have never done that before.  
Thank goodness for Internet tutorials.  I printed off several, did a good deal of reading them over and ended up with a really good results.  
I really like the result of this nice facing.  My last small project on it will be to put a split hanging sleeve on it.  It will eventually go to our guild quilt show in January 2019 and Pacific International Quilt Show in Santa Clara in October 2018.  A nice finish for this piece.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

TWO CHARITY QUILTS DONE & A BABY QUILT KEEPER

I finished off two more charity quilts in the last week or two.  My 1800's fabrics are quickly becoming tops and off the the guild charity program.  
This one really isn't 1800's, but I didn't have anything except these strips of it, so it got thrown into the mix.  
This one ended up just being 4 inch strips finished.  Easy to make and it went off this past week as well.  
This quilt I unearthed when I moved fabric from one storage area to another in my studio.  It was complete except for the side borders.  Why I just left it at that and tucked it away I have no idea.  Once unearthed I finished it, quilted it, and bound it.  It is a keeper to be put with a couple of other baby quilts I am stashing away for just in case gifts.  

Friday, September 8, 2017

PAPER PIECING

I have had only a little bit of experience with paper piecing.  However I recent purchased a pattern from Carolyn Friedlander called Eads, and also downloaded another pattern called Star Blazer by Modern Quilts Unlimited.  I decided to try my hand with Eads first and see where I was with this newer to me method.  
This first block came out really well.  So I was on to block two.
Hmmm!  There was a problem I left out piece #5, just skipped right over from #4 to #6.  My first lesson I learned in this process.  Be sure to cross off the pieces as you sew them so you keep track of which one is next.
Well I have the first two blocks of nine for a wall hanging done.  I'm please with my progress, but now I know I would be able to tackle the Star Blazer.
I managed a great start and along the way I have learned several tips and tricks.  

When I get ready to add a new piece I cut my area at 1/2 inch from the sewing line.  This helps get rid of a lot of extra fabric and it also made it easier to show case in the area whatever pattern on the fabric I wanted to show.  I then once the seam is sewn I recut them to a quarter inch.    
Before I sew on the new piece I have been taping it down with Invisible Duck or Scotch Brand Acid Free tape.  I found it help not to have my piece double over on the seam line and then require me to rip out the stitches which are very very tight.   I do have to say that you waste a lot of fabric, but I cut my pieces at least an inch larger all the way around from the suggested cuts.  I know they will fit then. 
 The paper pieced area is done.  On to the next part of my piece. 
This is not a finish for me, I have found I really like paper piecing.



Tuesday, September 5, 2017

CAT RUNNER

My daughter asked me if I could make a table runner for a fund raiser she was involved in that helps pay for spay and neuter of feral cats.  I looked for a pattern to avoid purchasing cat fabric, and finally found a picture diagram of a pattern.  Unfortunately they gave you no measurements for the pieces.   So I winged it!  




That tail was a bit of an issue, but I finally got it figured out.
This guy was a bit easier, mostly because I had already made enough mistakes on the first one that I knew somewhat how to proceed.

Well it is ready to spray baste and start quilting.  That will be the easier part given the lack of a real pattern.

Friday, September 1, 2017

FREE MOTION QUILTING

Free motion quilting has been a real challenge for me.  I just have not been able to wrap my brain around it.  I have managed to dodge it by coming up with all sorts of cheat ways to get around learning to do it.  I have drawn designs on tissue paper and sewn on the lines and then pulled the paper off.  I can get great quilting done that way, but all that paper pulling is a real chore.  I have learned to meander by putting my sewing machine on a serpentine stitch and turning my quilts this way and that to accomplish a nice pattern.  That works, but there has to be a easier way.  So I finally gave up and took a four day class on free motion quilting.
And here I was for four days.  I am told it just takes lot of practice.  Well four days at 8 hours each sounds like a lot to me.  I am exhausted! 
Well practice we did, and I did get somewhat better at this.  Sort of.  
This is my final project practice piece.  Not perfect, but I am doing better.  I took my Bernina 125 with the free motion darning foot, but I have a Bernina 750 with a stitch regulator that probably will work a bit better for me.  I am still not sure that I will ever become really accomplished at this, but I guess I am on my way a bit to being able to master it eventually.  WITH PRACTICE, yes I know!