En Provence Part 4

I went to Craft Night with dark blues and text fabrics in hand. The event was at SIL’s and she has the Peaky & Spike die. I planned to cut up the Peaky and Spikes I needed for the next step in the En Provence quilt.

Peaky & Spikes for En Provence
Peaky & Spikes for En Provence

I accomplished my goal. These are supposed to be purple, but I am not using purple in this quilt. I find purple to be a depressing color when I use a lot of it in a quilt, so I tend to shy away from it.I don’t hate it, I just have other favorites. Since I used blues in the recent 4patches, I am using a dark blue to go with those pieces

I had to dig through a lot of my fabric to find these dark blues. I used up most of the my dark blues on the Stars for San Bruno quilts. I don’t use dark blue that much, but I am finding that it comes in handy periodically. Not all of these blues are super dark. They are, however, different and darker than the blues used in the four patches.

I have started to sew the Peakys to the Spikes, but haven’t gotten very far. Small accomplishments.

Triple Star Progress

Lots of prep this week.

I suppose that is what has to happen at some point. I know I mitigate massive bouts of cutting by breaking it up, but occasionally, I can’t get away from it.

Triple Star background fabric
Triple Star background fabric

In addition to everything else I did at Sew Day, I also cut background squares for the Triple Star.

This was a task I really needed to do to make anymore progress on the piece, but was also reluctant to do due to space considerations. At Sew Day, I commandeered a large mat and table. I was able to lay out the book, the finished pieces, my rulers and still have space to cut. It was great and I got the job done quickly.

I still have foreground fabric to cut as I have been focusing my cutting on the 2.5″ x 6.5″ rectangles and using the Alison Glass Sun Prints layer cake. Before I can do much more I need to cut some of the smaller foreground pieces from other pieces. I don’t want to make a one fabric line quilt. I want it to be more controlled scrappy like the version I saw at Back Porch.

Triple Star Rectangle-Spikes
Triple Star Rectangle-Spikes

I did a little piecing using the pieces I cut and they are looking good so far. I am using the Janome 6600, which I talked about yesterday. They came out perfectly. There was no fighting with the machine. I used the “flippy corners” method and the machine did not eat the corners. It was a relatively painless experience.

More on Sew Day

I wrote about Sew Day the other day, I had more to say so here I am again.

Belinda's Block
Belinda’s Block

Belinda was making blocks for a donation quilt. I thought the design was great. It was great for all quilts, but especially for donation quilts.

The rectangles are 2.5″ x 4.5″, which is a size I am cutting for two future quilts, so not unfamiliar to me. The blocks can be made from any size rectangle as long as the rectangles are proportional.

Belinda used a Bali Pop, which looked really great. I thought that cutting rectangles from a variety of fabrics as I cut other fabrics up for my projects would be interesting as well – a scrappy look.

I figure that the blocks are about 12×12 finished, so making 9 would make a good sized donation quilt. I’ll see about making one once I have the other two, which are in process, finished.

Sew Day-July

Sew Day was Saturday and, as usual, it was great. My guild has such a nice, caring group of people. I feel so fortunate.

Thanksgiving Style Sew Day Setup
Thanksgiving Style Sew Day Setup

We have started to just put out a few tables and then let people add tables as they arrive. The day is very informal and people come and go as schedules permit. This also makes cleanup easier. If we don’t put out tables that go unused, we have less to put away.

Recently we have started to use a “Thanksgiving” configuration for the tables. This means one long table. It is hilarious and wonderful as well.

White - will be Sawtooth Star Legs
White – will be Sawtooth Star Legs

I took stuff to cut, though I did consider bringing my sewing machine for a minute. I am working on a database for a client and my neck and shoulders need to be pampered, so I just brought cutting. I didn’t even get through all the cutting I brought, but I did get A LOT done, which was great.

I cut some white to make the Flying Geese for my next Sawtooth Star donation top. I liked the one I made before and wanted to make one a little larger this time. All the blocks are made, but I needed to cut some backgrounds for the Flying Geese. I also need to cut some colored squares, but one thing at a time. I didn’t have the wherewithall to pull out many prints to bring. These are supposed to be from scraps, according to Jaye rules. I want to go through my scrap bins and find pieces I can use before I cut into yardage. I need 5.75″ squares, which I am unlikely to find in my scrap bins as my scraps are generally smaller, but you never know. It’s worth a look.

I chatted with Tim quite a bit. He has Janome machines, too. I always tease him about getting his 15k repaired. He had some issues free motion quilting and is now a little scared of the machine. I might go with him to get it repaired to act as moral support.

Tim also claims that he is going to make the Poolside Tote, so I am kind of waiting for him, but I want to get it done to test out the 6600 (more on that later), so he has better get busy.

Mary was fluttering around setting up and helping people in her wonderful way. We chatted about the outfits I saw at the Heard Museum recently. The Retreat Committee met. I am signed up and can’t wait to see what they have in store for us. Gerre came. It was great to see her. Rhonda is finishing a super secret project. I can’t wait to share it with you all.

Triple Star

Triple Star - taken at Back Porch
Triple Star – taken at Back Porch

I have liked this quilt for a long time. The photo shows a version that I have admired multiple times at Back Porch Fabrics.

This version uses primarily Kaffe Fassett and Philip Jacobs fabrics with a charcoal (description not actual color name) solid background. I really like it.

As described in a previous post, I decided to make this quilt instead of the Layer Cake Explosion.

I am using the Alison Glass’ Sun Prints layer cake I bought for the Layer Cake Explosion QAL. There aren’t enough bright clear colors so I am throwing in some Kaffe and Philip Jacobs fabrics as well. I also have some Alison Glass Chroma coming soon and may add some of that into the mix.I want it to be as scrappy as possible while using supplies I already purchased. I can always adjust as I begin assembly.

I have the charcoal background I bought for the QAL, but I also have white, so we will see what I end up using. I want this quilt to be appealing and cheerful.

This quilt design is from Kim Brackett’s book, Scrap Basket Beauties. You should buy it. There are a number of quilts I have marked in this book to make. I need to get through this time of “must dos” before I can make any others.

*

I visited the county fair last week and was surprised to see a number of quilts in this pattern on display. I don’t remember ever seeing them in quilt shows or at the fair before and wonder if there was a class somewhere locally.

I love seeing individual variations on a pattern. The fair was a great place to see variations on the same pattern and it was so fortuitous that I am planning the same quilt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*-images ONLY are copyrighted NOT pattern or versions, ideas by above makers.

Boxcar Tote

Boxcar Tote by Green Bee
Boxcar Tote by Green Bee

Yes, I cut out another tote. Are you screaming at me? πŸ˜‰

Cutting out and prepping the Poolside Tote at the Scruffy Quilts Sewcial went so well that I decided to repeat the happiness with the Boxcar Tote. There were several factors:

  • I knew I would have very little time over the weekend to sew; AND
  • I actually knew when the Sewcial was
  • not to mention I would miss Sew Day

Also, I need to get this tote done in the next week or so as it is a gift I am giving in the next two weeks.

I bought this pattern on a whim from Hawthorne Threads in April. I liked the shape and thought this would be a great bag for a friend. I have a number of bag patterns waiting to be cut out, so I kind of surprised myself by gathering the materials for this one then finding an opportunity to cut it out relatively quickly considering when I bought it.

Boxcar Tote in pieces
Boxcar Tote in pieces

Again, the Sewcial provided the right kind of space and also a bit of sociability which enabled me to cut out this pattern and prep the pieces for construction.

I am using some cactus fabric I bought plus some of the winnings from the recent BAMaQG meeting.

It wasn’t all peaches and roses as I ran out of the stiffener. Fortunately, oh so fortunately, Scruffy had something similar and I was able to move on. Still, it took me less than 3 hours to cut out and apply the stiffener to the fabric (one side was fusible).

I was annoyed at the pattern, because the designer expected me to cut out square pattern pieces, pin them to fabric and cut the whole mess out. For non-square pattern pieces, I always make a tracing paper pattern, so the original stays pristine. Since these were squares and rectangles, I measured them and cut them out with a rotary cutter, not using a paper pattern. Not sure why the designer didn’t tell me the size of the rectangles. It wasn’t rocket science and seems like a crucial piece of information. I’d like to make another one so I wrote the sizes on the pattern and cut them out with a ruler.

This is a pattern with all squares and rectangles, which means I will have to insert the bottom (a rectangle) into place by matching up corner dots. Not my favorite method of constructing a bottom, but I am reserving judgment. I am thinking that I may make it a little differently the second time around. We’ll see.

I can’t wait to see how this bag comes out.Β  I really want to work on some bags. I am also curious to see the final size.

Poolside Tote in Process

Poolside Tote in pieces
Poolside Tote in pieces

I thought I would be able to sew the Poolside Tote together over the weekend, but no such luck. The project is still waiting for me to have time.

I was engrossed in En Provence and the Carpenter’s Wheel, as you know.

While the pieces laid on my floor (all horizontal surfaces are fair game for storage), I noticed that the random letters, in certain cases actually made words.

Hhmm.

Poolside Tote in pieces, annotated
Poolside Tote in pieces, annotated

I am not sure how I feel about that. I have pointed out some of the words I see.

The text fabric will be on the inside of the tote, so they won’t be very prominent. Making up stories using the words is a challenge.

On another note, the text fabric is VERY loosely woven and frays quite a bit. I might stitch the edge like I would a quilt with no border. I am just worried that another layer of stitching will make it hard to sew a bunch of layers together.

Learning Never Stops

Joel Dewberry Notting Hill Pristine Poppy (midnight)
Joel Dewberry Notting Hill Pristine Poppy (midnight)

I hate to shatter your illusions, but on many things I am no expert πŸ˜‰ and can always learn something. Recently I bought some home dec fabric to make a bag (or a couple of bags, really). I got it and realized I didn’t know how to deal with it.

I always pre-wash. I even pre-wash Jelly Rolls and Layer Cakes. The smell of the chemicals from the fabric when I iron unwashed fabric makes me break out in a rash. I am not ranting or proselytizing; I am not telling you what I do. There are no quilt police on this blog. I encourage you to do whatever you want that allows you to make many, many quilts.

I have made accessories and small items with home dec fabric before, but it wasn’t yardage. Mostly I used scraps from various sources, such as FabMo. I almost never buy home dec yardage so the question of pre-washing has never come up. Most of the home dec fabric I have used doesn’t smell (off gassing) by the time I get it, is in relatively small quantities and is made from specialty fibers so I don’t think of pre-washing.

However, with the bags I want to make, I am going to be pressing a lot and don’t really want to wear a mask while I make the bag, thus the question of pre-washing came up. I contacted Lindsay and Charlie over at Hawthorne Threads and they pointed me to a post on Make It Love It.com. It talks generally about pre-washing, but not specifically about home dec fabric.

I am using home dec fabric for the bag, because I want the added body and strength beyond quilt weight fabric. Will the finishes wash off and leave me with a limp mess? Can I replace the body/finishes with Mary Ellen’s Best Press?

Do you have any ideas, thoughts, wisdom to share? By the time you read this I might have already washed it.

Patches I Cut

2010 Patches
2010 Patches

You all know that I cut a patch from each piece of fabric I buy in a given year. You also know that I do this in order to decide if I like the fabric so I can buy more before it goes out of style. These are my Fabric of the Year (FOTY) patches and this year I am cutting diamonds. In addition to my FOTY patches, there are other patches I cut from other pieces of fabric. Lately I have been cutting from both new and old, but it depends on the project.

First, in the upper left hand corner are the 6.5″ blue squares. Some blue green snuck in as well. These are for a quilt I am making for someone who reads this blog, so I can’t tell you any more until I get it done.

Next, upper right, are the 4×4″ squares. These are for TFQ, because she cheerfully cuts many, many patches of almost any size and shape I ask. I am cutting these from any fabric that I get out of my fabric closet and all new ones.

Third, lower left corner, are the Tumblers for Julie. Her quilt is king-sized, so until I see her put the thing together and get it quilted, I keep cutting. Mostly these are from new fabrics, but I hauled out a bunch of blues lately, so this stack happens to be blue.

Fourth, in the lower middle, are Eye Spy hexagons for my SIL’s Eye Spy project. I buy very few conversationals, so I don’t cut many of them yet. I don’t know if she has started cutting from her own stash yet. These are fun to fussy cut. The exercise makes me look at my fabrics differently.

Last are the blue rectangles (2.5″x4.5″). I am in deep love with that rectangle shape I used for FOTY 2008. I look at the quilt every day at work and adore it, so I decided I wanted to make another out of blues. It takes a lot of cutting, so it will be here for awhile. After starting to sew the Blue Quilt together I am thinking that a blue rectangle quilt might not have been such a great idea.

Not pictured are the food fabric squares, 6.5″, I am cutting for my mom. She is making a replacement quilt for her step grandson, whose quilt was burned up in a fire. I will probably help her with it. We are seriously considering the Corner Store pattern from Pretty Little Mini Quilts, which is like M Dugan’s version on Flickr. I may try this quilt out myself, too. Back to my mom, though. I hope we do get to work on it together. I think it would be fun.

I also cut 2×2″ squares and make four patches as warm-ups.

Multitasking
Multitasking

I often press and cut fabric while I am on the phone. I am not much of a phone person, so there are only a few people to whom I speak on the phone for extended periods of time. On a recent conversation with TFQ, I was amazed to see how much I cut. I am not a fast presser or cutter, so I was pleased.

I hope this preparation doesn’t seem terribly schizophrenic. Sometimes it does feel that way, but I am so glad when I have enough of one patch and can just start sewing. I don’t like to do all my cutting at once and this is a good way for me to do it incrementally.

Sandy talked about scraps and what she cuts for scrap quilts on a recent podcast, so I don’t feel quite as crazy. It was interesting to hear what she said about the pieces she cut.