Sewing Room Dropcam

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Not much sewing done in the last week

The only work I've done in the last week is get the next round of the blocks ready.  After washing/drying/starching/ironing a bunch more CW pieces, I cut two strips of each fabric and sewed each strip to an ivory strip.  Each strip pair, 48 of them, will be cut into 4 sections so there will be 2 blocks of each fabric.

I've had other things on my mind and things to do to get ready for a vacation that I'm leaving for tomorrow.  My sister and I are going to New Hampshire for 5 days.  Yeah, maybe a strange place to go in April and the weather reports say that the highs are in the 50's!  That's going to be tough for a born-and-raised Californian, but I bet it will be beautiful at the grand old hotel in the country.

We're attending an event with seminars and activities, a comedy show, dinners, etc.  It's a social gathering of people interested in the subject and I look forward to meeting people and making friends there.  No, it's not about quilting.

Monday, April 12, 2010

First block done

I did just one block to see how it would come together and found that I need to adjust the seam allowance one more tick smaller than 1/4".  I like that control on my Viking Sapphire, can move the needle left and right .02 at a time.  1/4" is 1.8, this is done at 2.0 so I need to move it to 2.2.  It was slightly smaller than the 9 1/4" it needed to be so I starched and blocked it to stretch it.

I love this color combination but they will all be different.

Triangle Magic

For the latest quilt I need to make 384 half square triangles and I wasn't looking forward to that part of it.  That is a lot of marking and sewing and cutting to use the method where you sew 1/4" from both sides of the middle of a square.  Then I remembered someone on a message board writing about a program that she has where you print a sheet of whatever size finished triangles you need.  I didn't know what the program was and searching came up with Thangles.

Thangles are pre-printed strips of paper that you lay on top of the two fabrics you want to make the HSTs out of, sew on the lines and cut them apart. That wasn't exactly what I was looking for, to have to buy different packages for different sizes. 

After some more searching I found the Triangle Magic program from Quilt-Pro Systems.  I purchased, downloaded, and installed it.  I printed one sheet of 1 1/4" finished size triangles and used some scrap fabric to do a test.  It came out pretty good.  Better than good. 

I cut a strip of CW fabric, a strip of Ivory, and cut a printed page into three strips with each strip having 8 HSTs. Probably not even 10 minutes later I had 8 HSTs sewn, cut and pressed.  That's enough HSTs for one block.

Now that is a usefull tool!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Nothing new under the sun

I just saw the quilt called Flower Power in the Connecting Threads catalog I got in the mail and I was shocked. The quilt that I made for my grandaughter is very close to that.  It has almost the same flower shape, using the same fabrics, blocks set on-point, stacked colors on the flowers, etc. even the sashing fabric is the same as what I used.  I could hardly believe what I was seeing! Now I feel like people will think that I copied that one. :( I've never seen it before and I had looked at that fabric online many times but didn't purchase until there was a special sale on it.  I always look at the kits and patterns associated with a fabric that I'm buying and I would have seen it if it was there.  It's still not on the website, just in the catalog.

There have been times when I thought I had an original idea and then see something like it but this one is way too close.

Step one

Well, it took a lot of steps to get to this point so maybe it's Part 1.  I sewed 2 strips of the same fabric to either side of an ivory strip and cut those into sections to make the corners of the 9-patch blocks.  I then sewed two ivory strips to either side of a purple strip and cut those into sections to make the centers.  Sew the three sections together and make a 9-patch.

There are two blocks of each fabric with different purple centers.

I think I will make 48 blocks instead of 35.  With 35 blocks the quilt is 61"x81" and I'd like it to be a little bigger than basically a twin size.  I put 6 more pieces of CW fabric in with a load of laundry this morning to make 12 more blocks (I have 36 done with 18 fabrics).

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Civil War fabric quilt

This evening I started working on the quilt I posted recently with the vines and hearts.  The Civil War fabrics I have are all in 9x11 pieces so I had to figure up how much of each fabric I needed. 

I cut 2 strips from 18 different fabrics. Each 2 strips will eventually make 2 blocks so I'll have parts for 36 blocks, 18 of each fabric.  I decided to make all of the centers of all of the 9-patch blocks out of 3 purple fabrics.  The sashing blocks will all be in the green fabrics.  I chose green because they will be all around the edge of the quilt that tie into the green vines.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Started the quilting

I have been agonizing over doing the quilting on a "good" quilt.  I went back and forth about doing it myself, but I'm not good at it, so do I not do my better quilts myself or do I just make quilts that are suitable for a panto for now?  I started the quilting and I thought it was so bad that I almost gave up.  "If I quit now, I can take out the stitching I've done so far and have someone else do it."

Wow, that is some defeatist thinking.  I finally decided that it's my work, all of it, good or bad.  The feathers aren't great and who knows what the rest of the design will turn out like.  But it's mine.  I'm not going to get any better if I keep putting off working on real quilts. 

Here's hoping that each one will be better than the last.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Quilting design

I printed the Vintage quilt outline from EQ6 and started drawing a quilting design on it.  My design may be bigger than my skills but, have to start somewhere. 

I like the center part of it and how the frame actually looks like a frame around a picture.  The second frame I like too.  I drew cross hatching through the 4-patch squares to give a break in the pattern and to make the frames the focal point.

What I'm not pleased with is the corner sections.  I like the feathers on each side of the basket but not the pieces in the corner or the pebbling.  Need to try different designs in the other 3 corners but I like the concept overall.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Vintage top is done!

It's finally done!!  It seems like it has taken longer than usual to do this one.  It wasn't particularly hard and there aren't a large number of blocks but, I guess the center added a lot of time to it.

I plan on doing cross-hatching in the center block but don't know what the rest of the quilting will be yet.

Simplifying the CW border

Looking at that border I thought let's be realistic here.  That is a lot of little details that I probably wouldn't want to do so I did a screen print of it and did some changes in MS Paint.  I would do the vine in 1/4" bias tape, maybe a tad larger, and the tendrils could be done during quilting with green thread.

This looks a lot more manageable but the applique would need to be done on the border strips before they are attached if I want the vines to go into the seam at each colored side square.

Something for the Civil War fabric

Since I decided to not do the Dear Jane quilt I've been thinking of what to do with the 200 different 9"x11" pieces of Civil War repro fabric that I have.  I saw this today in American Quilter magazine using batiks but think it's a good choice for an old fashioned look.  The squares are 1 1/4" finished size!  I added the hearts in the center and the border but that is changeable.  I am still looking for something that catches my fancy more than the hearts, maybe tiny baskets.  The hearts give it a country look.  The squares would be all different colors, just didn't want to color all of them individually in the design.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Mitering the corner

Yay!!!  The mitered corner came out just as I wanted it to! 

I sewed two sides on to make sure how it was going to line up and it's almost perfect.  I lined up the point of a red scallop with the seam between the center blocks and measured the quilt and the border.  The quilt measured 30 1/4" from center to edge, which is exactly what it should be.  I then marked the center of the border and measured out 30 1/4" on each side and marked it.  I then lined up the center and end marks with the quilt and sewed it on.  The second side was the same except on the end that would meet the first border I measure out 30" from the center (minus the 1/4" seam allowance of the first border), marked it and sewed.

I begin the miter by folding under one border at a 45 degree angle and lining it up where I want it to be. I do a very light mist of starch to make that edge crisp and press it.

Cut a piece of fusible a little bit smaller than the length of the miter.

Lay the fusible under the top border a little over 1/4" away from the folded edge. Lay the top piece back down and press to fuse.

After it has cooled, lift the top piece and peel off the paper.  Lay it back down, making sure it lines up where you want it, and press to fuse.

Let it cool so it doesn't pull apart and fold the quilt back to expose the pressed line.

Insert the needle exactly where the side border seam stitching meets the pressed line.  Sew on the line.  You can mark the line with pencil if you like.

Trim off the excess fabric. This is why the fusible is placed 1/4" from the fold line and it will be removed when trimmed.

Vintage body is done!

Sewed on the last two rows this morning and the border fabric is in the dryer.  I like this!!  It's old fashioned and cheerful and just makes me smile.  It's about 72"x72" (haven't measure the border repeat so I don't know exactly) so it's a twin size.  No idea what I'm going to do with it but I don't always have a recipient in mind.  I do them just because I want to make the design.

The border fabric will need to be starched, pressed, and fussy cut and I need to do some measuring to figure out where to place the scallop design so that the corner miters come out at a nice spot in the repeat.  Might be done with it this weekend!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Just a little update

The Vintage quilt is still waiting for the last two rows and the border but I haven't felt like working on it this week.  Still waiting on the delivery of fabric for a quilt for my son.  I plan on making a French Braid in red, black, white and gray for him and his girlfriend.  I asked and those were the colors they wanted.

I received the Fusions jelly rolls but it was totally not what I thought it would be from the website description.  I thought, and the other quilters on the message board agreed, that the description meant that they would be all different.  They're not.  Out of 80 strips of fabric I only have 46 different colors.  The most of any color range that I can get out of it is 6... 6 blues, 6 pinks, etc.  I am not happy with it and contacted the seller.  They said that they didn't intend to "confuse" me and that I could return them.  OK... I am no longer "confused" and have come to my senses and the realization that they won't be getting any more of my business.

I was also in a car accident.  While commuting to work there was a sudden stop in traffic and I had to slam on my brakes to avoid hitting the car in front of me.  The car behind me didn't stop and ran into the back of my SUV.  The other driver complained of chest pain and was transported.  I seemed ok but developed a headache and now I ache all over and my left shoulder really hurts.  That's where the seatbelt was.  The other car hit so hard that the spare tire storage well inside the back of my SUV is about turned inside out.  From the outside it doesn't look like there is anything but scrapes on the bumper, which is why no one even asked if I was OK, I guess.

The other car

Inside my SUV