Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wednesday WOW–February 27


This week seems to be all about quilting.  I’ve been working on this small wall hanging and finished up the quilting today.


There’s a story about this quilt – isn’t there always?  It is from a Round Robin that my quilt guild did a couple of years ago.  Each month, we picked up a different quilt and added to it according to instructions.  The instructions were something like – use triangles or make a pieced border.


I decided to use this piece to try out some quilting patterns and generally get some practice.  I used lots of different motifs and that meant a lot of starts and stops.  It took almost as long to tie off and bury the ends as it did to quilt!


Here is the finished piece.  I am calling it “Windowsill Garden.”  I made the center block and chose the fabrics.  I have no idea why I put that red plaid in there, but everyone dutifully used the provided fabrics!  I suppose it’s not too bad – when viewed from a distance!  I really do like that first border, though.


And this is the back.  I changed the bobbin thread to match top thread and so the back almost looks better than the front!  I’m stitching the binding on this evening and then this one will be done.  I’m really trying to get some of my quilt tops quilted this year.  This is a good start anyway.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Serendipity Sunday–Windows

Today’s chapter is about cathedral windows.  I remember making a cw pillow once – back in the ‘70’s I think.  Pretty straightforward technique, but not like Jennie Rayment’s version.  She does like complexity!


I had a bit of a struggle getting it right at first!  Of course, I did not follow the measurements in the book.  I mean – a square is a square – right?  I just cut the biggest one that would fit from the fabric I had in front of me.  Of course, by being too lazy to dig out another piece of fabric, I ended up working twice as long and hard to get the first one done!  I even resorted to using a calculator – gasp!


Aaah – that’s better!  I think I’ve figured it out now.  At least it looks more like the illustration in the book – not to mention lying flat!


Here’s the final result.  Now I like that!  A small bead or button in the center and it has definite possibilities.  Feeling pretty proud of myself, I decided to go on to the next section.


Oh no!  This one involves geometry!  Gulp!  But I persevered . . .


Rectangles are a wee bit more challenging – especially since I went for a much smaller size.  Sorry this photo is blurry, but I think you can see sort of how it turned out.  And – because I apparently like torturing myself – I made four of them!!


Pretty cool, huh?  Hmmmm.  I think I see another pillow in my future!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Sunday Sampler

Earlier this week I showed you a sampler I was putting together.


Last year I spent almost a full year working my way through a book about Fabric Embellishing.  The posts tracking my explorations were the beginnings of what is now Serendipity Sunday.  At the time I was making the samples I had no thought of what to do with the finished pieces.  Most of them are fairly close to the same size – with a few notable exceptions – so the task of finishing them up was mostly pairing them up and adding a finished edge.

Then I decided to bind them together in a fabric book.  Well, that will work fine, except for that one piece that is much larger!  So I’ll make it the cover!  Now I need a back cover . . .


I printed a picture of the book and the dates and added some of the leftover sashiko embroidery.  At this point I realized that this should probably be the front cover.  Unfortunately, I’ve already started binding the pages together!  Oh well.


Speaking of binding – I chose a coptic stitch to attach them all.  When done correctly, it makes a neat chain stitch along the spine.  It does, however, take some practice and benefits from a little advanced planning.  Unfortunately, PLAN is a 4-letter word and rather scarce in my vocabulary!  But it was all a learning experience!

One thing I learned is that any stitched binding is probably going to be a lot easier if all the pages have the same kind of edge finish.  You can see here that I’ve used an envelop edge, satin stitch, ricrac, embroidered edge, top-stitching, and quilt-binding.  The two threads pass through inside the page twice in each direction.  That is really hard on some of these edgings!

But, I managed somehow, and I’m pleased with the result.  Most of the pages are from pieces I’ve already posted here – you can click on SSunday or fabric embellishing in the categories list to review.  Here are a couple that you might not have seen before:




Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wednesday WOW–February 20

I did not go to the quilt shop today.  Sarge was up early getting vehicles and house ready for the predicted winter storm and he informed me that if I wanted to go anywhere it would have to be on the ArcticCat!  Since I think it’s too cold to be riding on an open “scooter”, today seemed like a very good day to spend in my (warm) studio!


I was last down there on Sunday and I left this mess to be cleaned up before anything new can be started.  I’m afraid I’m not very neat while I’m crafting!


I left this project half done on Saturday, so that’s first on the agenda.  I finished adding the binding to these sampler pages and – once I cleared enough space – photographed the project.  So look for a post soon showing what it looks like.  Those polymer heads behind it are getting closer to being “ready for a close-up”, too. 


And I got a start on something new.  My goodness, it was a productive day!  Now if only they were all like that!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Serendipity Sunday–Triangles

This week I moved from squares to triangles.  The equilateral triangle has 60 degree corners, and my ruler has 60 degree lines.  It’s a good thing, too, because I don’t want to think about the messes I would have made without it!


For the first piece, I attempted to follow Jennie’s measurements.  I say “attempted” since I am famous (notorious?) for misreading instructions and today was no different!  After just three rounds, the triangle sides were no longer equal and I could tell this wasn’t how I wanted the piece to look.  So I started over . . .


After some “Goldilocks” trials, I found the measurements that were “just right!”  Also, check out that funky stripe.  That should be interesting.


Here it is – ready to roll back some edges.  This is more like it!  This time around, I checked the corners on each round and adjusted so that the final piece is closer to being what I expected.


Rolling back the edges didn’t really help the light green one.  But the brown one is pretty cool.  How about a closer look?


I like it!  But, I don’t think I can imagine doing multiples of this – even if I could hope to get two or more that look alike.  There are several suggestions in the book, including putting six of these together to make a hexagon.  And, of course, some ideas for using other shapes for log cabin style blocks.

Um, no thanks.  I think I’ll stick with squares!  Thank goodness the next chapter goes back to something I can handle!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wednesday WOW–February 13

Back to the quilt shop for sewing today.


I made a bit more progress on the purple spikes today.  This is a very large unit, though, so there’s still lots more to go.


At one point, one of the others asked me if I was sewing paper!  I guess it is hard to see that there is fabric in there, isn’t it?  I was also told it sounded like a mouse was busy building their nest!  During those rare moments when everyone was quiet, my rustling papers were the dominant sound in the room.  LOL!  At least we can enjoy a little laughter to speed things along!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Serendipity Sunday–Building a Log Cabin

. . . block, that is.  But this log cabin block was a little different.


Before adding each round of “logs”, I added a folded square in each corner.  So, it might look like a pineapple block, but it’s not.  Because those angled edges are on the bias, the next logical step is to roll them back.


So, that’s what I did!  With a frame added, this block looks pretty impressive, I think.  I bet it would look nice as the center block in a wall hanging, with various borders added.


I like it set on-point, too.  I’ll have to do some thinking about ways to use this piece.  The book has a list of variations that I’d like to try.  Stripes would be pretty amazing!  So, I’ve marked this section as one to return to some day. 


For today, though, there was only time to do this one version.  While this is a very easy block to construct, it is more than a little bit of a time hog!  Sew one seam – get up to press and trim – sew another seam – press – trim – times 4 – baste triangles into place – sew a seam - - - - well, you get the picture.  Then there were those 20 bias edges to roll back and hand stitch! 

Actually it was the perfect activity for a cold, blustery day.  But I am soooo glad to be sitting down at the computer now! 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wednesday WOW–February 6

I’ve been kept pretty busy so far this week, so I’m afraid there are no new progress photos.  In fact, I could barely find the worktable this afternoon!  So first on the agenda was to clean up.


This is what it looked like at the very end of the clean-up.  Sorting papers and notes sometimes makes a bigger mess – at least temporarily.  That’s all filed away now.  Clean worktable.  Yay!


Here’s the cutting table.  Not quite there yet, but I think there’s enough space to square up that quilt.  All it needs now is binding. 

I really hope I can get some quality time in the basement tomorrow.  I have clay heads to finish, bodies to build, and dragons to design! 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Serendipity Sunday–Interlocking

Because I have already worked through one of Jennie Rayment’s books, there is bound to be a fair amount of repetition.  So today’s chapter on Interlocking Shapes went fairly quickly because I skipped through sections like squares, triangles, and hexagons.  (Click on the highlighted words to see the original posts.)


I did, however, try this version of interlocking hexagons.  Here one corner of each hexagon has been opened into a trumpet shape.  Those edges are loose now, but I think I’ll try some additional tweaking before the whole thing gets stitched down.  Just not sure what yet!

One thing I had not tried before was interlocking rectangles.


Since it is not an equilateral shape there was a little mental gymnastics involved to have these interlock correctly.   So I did more than one!


After studying this four-patch, I think I want to try a slightly different combination.  But not today.  I can handle only so much “mental gymnastics” in one day! 

Speaking of my mental capacity – or lack thereof – you MIGHT have noticed that I spaced on doing a Wednesday WOW post this week.  Apparently my brain was on vacation!  Anyway, here is the picture you should have gotten on Wednesday:


I’ve been pairing and putting edges on the samples I did from the Fabric Embellishing book I did last year.  My goodness, that was a lot of embellishment!  I plan to stitch them together like a book.  Still a few to go before I can show you a finished project, though.  If you’re just joining us and want to see what I’m talking about, go here to see the first post, or click on “fabric embellishing” under “Labels”.  There’s lots!

Hopefully, I’ll be back on track this week.  Providing my brain gets back on time!