There just really isn’t enough time in the day-week-month-lifetime to do all of the projects I want to do. I saw another one the other day that I might be able to slip in while I do other things.
I went to The Granary before Friend Julie and I had lunch to wait for her. Just inside the door they have books and magazines, so I took a look at a relatively new book by Diane Knott called Scrap Quilt Secrets**. I have a lot of scraps so I am always tempted to see what clever things authors do with them.
This is an interesting book. There were a few projects in which I was interested. Not enough of them to actually buy the book, and my library doesn’t have it, so, at the moment, I can’t do a review.
There was one quilt I thought would be a great leaders and enders project. It is called 4 Patch Plaid and uses 4 Patches plus some strips and cornerstones. I see 4 low volume 4 patches and 5 colored 4 patches. I like this pattern, aside from the 4 patches, because it looks like you are looking through a window at an interesting 4 patch quilt. I can imagine making many 4 patches in between other projects and suddenly having enough to make a quilt.
**Nota bene: C&T did not send me a copy of this book and I have no affiliation with the author.
As I said in May, I have been using a version of Pam‘s spreadsheet to keep track of my fabric usage. My goal is not to get rid of my stash, though I do want to use my stash. This means I am not telling you my Net totals. To date I have used almost 82 yards of fabric, 18% of which is for charity. I am upset, but also enjoying keeping track of my fabric usage, because I can see that I am using fabric.
July To Do
Wash fabric AKA The Great Unwashed-no progress
Cut out 3 notepad covers for gifts
Finish cutting out Day in the Park backpack variation
Finish sewing Anna Maria Horner Multi-tasker tote -this was a gift I intended to give during Holiday 2013- sigh. Missed 2014 Holiday deadline as well. I made it for birthday 2016 and it was a successful gift.
The last time we talked about the Carpenter’s Wheel blocks I was trying out layouts. One reason these blocks are not next on my list is that I still have not decided on a layout. My mind keeps floating back to the round-ish layout I talked about after being inspired by Scraps Inc.
I think I really want to set these blocks in kind of a round layout and sew a million 2.5″ squares together to make it work. I might have to make a few more blocks.
I haven’t taken a photo of the layout, because my design wall isn’t large enough (I know I keep saying that) so I will really need to figure out how to take a photo and figure out if I need more blocks.
Even though I am planning to work on the Peacock, I am still going to show you the projects I revisted and tell you my thoughts about them.
The Stepping Stones was the first project to go up once the Food Quilt #3 was off the design wall. My other design wall where the blocks have been staring at me for weeks is just not big enough to get a good view of all of the blocks. I really thought I would work on this project next, but the Peacock called to me when I put it up.
This project needs more blocks. I think adding five more blocks along the bottom will be enough. It is a good leaders and enders project, so I will sew the new blocks while I work on the Peacock. After that, the center will be large enough. I want to finish off the secondary designs, which means adding a similar border to the one I designed for my previous Stepping Stones quilt.
As I have said many times, the photos in the book aren’t that good, so it is hard to figure out what part of the design should be emphasized. The edging blocks on the previous Stepping Stones were all different from the center blocks.
In my first version, the “ladders” are much more prominent. In the blue/aqua version, the stars seem to stand out. My colors on this version are a lot more distinctive. My first version was less murky than the book, but more so than this blue/aqua combination.
Here is a comparison of the two quilts/tops:
Looking at the two of them side by side makes me think that I may have already done enough to the sides and can start on the border blocks for the two sides and the top.
As I said yesterday, I finished the binding and back of the Food Quilt #3 and it is ready to go to the quilter. The top was already finished. I was trying to decide what project to work on next when I realized that I wanted to look at the blocks and projects I had been working. I started putting all of the projects up on the design wall and taking a look at them.
Pulling out a bunch of projects and putting a zillion blocks up on the design wall is a lot of work. I am exaggerating. None of my projects have a zillion blocks, though the Peacock and the Octagon 9 Patch do have a lot.
I could spend all week going through the projects with you until I made a “big reveal” and told you what I would work on, but I think you should know immediately that the Peacock blocks excited me most when I put them up on the wall. I am not sure why. Perhaps my eye is liking the dark colors?
I also realized that this is the first time I have seen these quilt blocks on the design wall.
The above photo shows a pretty raw layout, but not terrible either. I am still in that gradation mode, so I put the darker blocks towards the bottom. I don’t have a lot of the small blocks, so they will make an asymmetrical border.
I only have a couple of solid blocks, which I talked about adding as tests. The lavender definitely doesn’t work in the current location. I kind of like the way the top of the quilt (without the small border blocks) is not straight. That begs the question of what I would put to make the edges straight. I am definitely not making an edge like that.
My other immediate thought upon stepping back was that the gradation was nice, but that blocks needed a bit of space between them. I might be backing off that thought, but I will put some black behind and in between the blocks to see.
This quilt requires more work, so I may quilt one of my projects while I look at it, try things and rearrange.
There was a Sew-in this past weekend (4th of July in the US) and I spent most of the time working on the finishing aspects of the Food Quilt #3. I finished the binding on Saturday and the back on Sunday. Even though I have other projects on which to work, this felt like a coup.
The piece is about 101″x 86″. Yes, it is huge, which means that I don’t have a full picture of the top or back. The YM was gone, it was cold outside and I don’t have a room large enough to lay out the back or top. The above photo is part of the top with a bit of the back peeking through.
Of course the back is larger. Again, I have shown you only part of it due to the size.
I am pleased that this is done and will see about getting this and FOTY 2015 to the quilter soon.
In my previous machine applique’ tutorials, I used designs where the direction of the motif didn’t matter. When I went back to review the tutorial (yes, I do use my own tutorials!) in preparation for doing some machine applique’. I was preparing to applique’ letters, which have a definite right and wrong way. I realized I had omitted directions for using directional motifs (where the direction of the motif matters, such a numbers or letters) for applique’, so I had to figure out how to do them again.
In order to understand this tutorial, you will need to look at How to Applique’-TJW and the 3 Fusible Applique tutorials (pt.1, pt.2 and pt.3). All of these are part of a whole.
Draw out your design. I used a pattern for the letters I wanted to applique’. You can draw or print your design. There are a lot of free clipart you can use. Since I had a pattern, I laid out the pattern, placed a piece of drawing paper over the letters I needed and drew out the design using a pencil.
Trace over the pencil lines you used to trace the design with a Sharpie. The lines should be dark. Make sure the Sharpie does not bleed through to your table.
Flip your drawing paper over and put it on your light box. You can also tape it to a window or sliding glass door. The wrong side of the letters or directional motif will show through.
Using your Sharpie, trace the letters again on the wrong side of the paper. You will be tracing the backwards image of the letters.
Leaving the paper taped to the window (or laying on the light box), tape a piece of paper backed fusible, paper side UP, over your design which is on the window or light box.
Trace the backwards design on to your paper backed fusible using a Sharpie. **Nota bene: my Sharpie tended to smear on the paper of the fusible. I couldn’t find a pen that worked well, so be really careful to keep your hand out of the way to avoid smearage.
Once finished, remove everything from the window or light box.
Place the fabric you will use for your directional motifs right side down on the ironing surface. The fabric should be sized slightly larger than the fusible.
Place the fusible on top of the fabric with the paper side up. Make sure no edges are over your ironing surface.
Place your applique’ pressing sheet over everything.
Press according to the directions on the fusible package.
Once you are finished pressing, you will have a piece of fabric with fusible on the wrong side. The motifs (letters) should appear backwards and you will see the wrong side of the fabric.
Decide on which scissors you will use. I always have a fight with myself about this. I don’t want to ruin my Ginghers, which are super sharp and great for cutting out detailed types of designs by using them to cut through paper. I also don’t want to ruin the edges of my motif with a pair of papers scissors that will not be sharp enough to cut through the fabric. I have a pair of Fiskars that I end up using for this task. Not ideal, but the best I am willing to do.
Once you have decided on scissors, cut out your designs (letters, in this case). First I do a rough cut, then I cut with more detail.
Layout your background fabric on a flat surface, right side up. I use my ironing board, so I don’t have to move the motifs in order to press. If I have to sew two pieces of fabric together to make a large enough background, I press the seam open.
Take each motif, one by one, and peel off the paper. Carefully place each prepared applique’ motifs in their desired location before moving on to the next one. With motifs such a letters, I use a ruler to make sure they are straight.
You should be able to see your design correctly. If you are using letters they should not be backwards and you should be able to read the word.
Place your applique’ pressing sheet over everything.
Press your applques so that they are stuck to the background fabric.
Set up your sewing machine with the correct colored thread and a foot suitable for zigzag or satin stich.
I set the zigzag to 3.5 (width), 0.7 (density). I like my satin stitch to be a little open, but you can adjust it to your favorite length and density.
Cut a piece of tearaway the width of your motif and twice as long
Fold the tearaway in half.
Pin the double layer of tearaway to the back of the background fabric. Pins should be out of the way of the machine foot.
Satin stitch all the way around each motif, carefully negotiating curves so the satin stitch looks smooth.
Trim and/or tie off all threads.
Tear away/cut away the excess tearaway stabilizer.
I mentioned the other day that I haven’t had a lot of time to sew lately. I have had a few minutes here and there, which I have used to press and cut fabric. This means more FOTY squares. There are a few from various projects as well, but the bulk of them thrown together look a little depressing. I’ll have to do a load of oranges or yellows to ensure that FOTY 2016 isn’t heavy on the dark side. 😉
I took this picture on one of my daily walks. This plant, which has become very popular as people convert to more water friendly gardens, is more and more prevalent.
The bottom of the plant is quite ugly, but the flowers are really gorgeous. This particular photo was taken outside of a restaurant where they have recently redone the landscaping. A large-ish area of these plants are in bloom and make the area look like a field of magenta.
Unlike previous palettes, I was disappointed in the outcome of this one. the neutrals seem ok, but the beautiful fuschia/magentas are not represented at all correctly.
I redid the palette, switching my option to Moda Bella Solids. This palette is better in that the fuschia/magenta tones are represented. However, the line must not have enough in that value range to accommodate the slight variations in color.
Finally, I pulled out my Kona color card and checked with my eyes. Indeed, the colors in the flowers are not adequately represented. Cerise (#1066) is close to the darker tones, but that lighter shade of purply fuschia is not included.
I find that playing with the PlayCrafts Palette Builder to be a fun and useful exercise. It really makes me look at the colors in a picture and analyze them.
Right before we had to leave for the NDGW Grand Parlor, I decided the front of the Heart Bag needed something more. I didn’t have a suitable button which I have put on other versions of this bag. Finally, I decided (perhaps SIL suggested?) to applique’ a heart on to the front. I cut out one of the hearts from the scrap of fabric I had left. I used raw edge applique to sew it on and an Aurifil thread that matched pretty well.
I don’t think the placement will be in the way too much and I sewed it very close to the edge to minimize fraying, though there will be some.
I am pleased with how it turned out. I think it breaks up the expanse of red just a bit.
The recipient really liked the bag, which was gratifying.
The other week I spent time putting 3 sides of the border on. I sewed the piano key border together while work on the donation blocks.
I was concerned that the black and white fabric I chose for the small internal border would interfere with the other blacks and whites, but I think it looks fine. Yes, that border touches the original blacks and whites, but since I didn’t use it in the original blocks, there isn’t much of a design problem.
The border fabric makes my eyes cross a little bit and looks out of focus in the photos. It has the distinct good quality of showing the seams where I sewed strips together to make them long enough to reach across the whole quilt. I didn’t have to sew the strips on the diagonal to hide the join.
I was working on another project that required a different foot than the quarter inch foot. This made my ability to sew donation patches together with any precision limited. I turned to an idea I had since I made my last journal cover. I had hoped that the CVZ/Paris Journal cover would be more of an exploration of low volume prints with just one bright spot. It didn’t quite work out as I intended. I kept thinking on how to do it differently.
With these two constraints, I started sewing dot fabrics together. I was very strict with myself on the background and the fabric. I stuck to dots on bright white. I think I avoided any creams or ivory backgrounds.
I was also very strict with myself on getting to the right size (top to bottom)- remember I use the Miquelrius journal #4— and then not being sentimental about cutting off nice bits of piecing. There is always more fabric, right?
Finally, I used a fun print, that I probably won’t use for anything else, for the inside.
I am pleased to have finished something after so much work on the Food Quilt. This project is also very cheerful and I will need a new journal soon, so I am looking forward to using it.
My Improv Round Robin has returned. Ruth had it for a couple of months because I wasn’t at the meeting last month and she wasn’t sure whether to pass it along.
She added the bottom part with the curves. It is an interesting addition.
I am trying to decide whether to try and get more people to work on it or whether I should just do some work of my own and finish it. I have some thoughts:
It needs some space around the edges. The outside top and right side might need some of the turquoise solid to provide some breathing room.
It is definitely not square and I need to figure out what to do about that, if anything.
I want to add more Flying Geese, which I will do myself. Perhaps I will add them on the right.
I am surprised that more people did continue the Flying Geese motif. The time constraints were daunting, however, so I understand.