Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Monday, July 21, 2014
It is now well over a year since I last posted on this project, which is my variation of Bonnie Hunter's Scrappy Trips Around the World. After I finished Edward's quilt this project became more insistent, so I have been working on it again, on and off. In American football they say "moving the chains," because if you keep moving steadily down the field, 10 yards at a time, eventually you will score a touchdown.
I think this is going to be a whole summer of "moving the chains" as far as my projects go. No exciting plays, just steady work. For example, this Scrappy Trips project is not great for blogging. With its two colour scheme, all the blocks look pretty darn similar:
Although this second block shows the danger of text-based fabrics in the upper left corner, where "hello" has become "hell," lol.
I also will have quite a few offcuts left over:
Each strip set yields seven or eight 2.5" slices, and only six are needed for each 12" finished block. With 12 blocks finished, I already have enough leftovers for more than 3 blocks, and I am debating what to do with them:
- I could add another row to my quilt, which is currently planned to be 5 x 5 rows, or 60" square. My planned layout requires an odd number of blocks though, so it would have to go up to 5 x 7 rows, or 60" x 84", which is quite a bit bigger and a whole different quilt, really.
- I could put them on the back, but it wouldn't match up well with my quilting plan.
- Pillow covers. Maybe more pillow covers than I really need.
I'll have to see how it goes. In the meantime, I'm also still trimming hsts for my redesigned double star blocks, sewing a few hourglasses for the Hourglass Ticker in the right sidebar, piecing Texas Stars, cutting and appliqueing baskets, and doing a whole range of stitchery projects. I have a vague plan to finish one BFF block every Wednesday until that project is done. That will take me through to November!!
So, lots to do. :D
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Yesterday I was finally able to put the last few stitches into the second motif from Month 4 of Rosalie Quinlan's Best Friends Forever. It's been a frustrating time since my last post because I spent most of last week flat on my back after a stretch intended to make my back better made it much, much worse. I should know by now! No machine sewing to show, but at least I was able to do this hand stitching.
I tried a different stitch combination on the leafy border this time. Here's a (very dark) photo of the work in progress:
It looks like the middle of the night, doesn't it? Actually it's the reflection of the blue sky through my north facing window. This project has been a real trial to photograph...
But anyway, you can see that the pattern had the same rounded leaves that so far I've been backstitching. I did still backstitch the leaves in the centre for variety. For the leafy border I used a light green twisted chain stitch for the middle of the leaves, and a darker green regular chain stitch around it to preserve the feeling of the "line." It took a few tries to get right, but I'm very happy with it!
And, since it worked so well, I tried the same technique on the tulips at the sides:
I'm pretty sure I'll be doing this again.
I'm halfway through the next motif as well, but I'm keen to get back to my sewing machine now that my back is feeling better. And I'm finally getting organized on this project too. I'll try to post that one next!
Monday, June 30, 2014
I am thrilled with how these big prints* are working with the little baskets so far! And I am realizing that the whole quilt will be fussy cut...even the backgrounds!
It just doesn't seem right to leave the large background prints to chance, when the baskets are so carefully composed. The dotted fabric above, and the zig zag below, are all scissors-cut. It's not actually that bad. Easier than trying to line up the rotary cutter, I decided.
The quilt will not be particularly scrappy. I have four background fabrics in the "dove" colourway -- the dots, zig zags, some butterflies and stylized flowers. I also have four main basket colours -- green, turquoise, orange and pink. Since everything is already so structured, I've decided to use a consistent formula matching up the baskets and backgrounds. All the zig zags will have green baskets, and all the dots will have turquoise baskets (although the fabrics themselves have a lot of variation).
I expect that this will make the final layout a breeze. Plus, it will reduce decision paralysis along the way, while making it easier to keep track of where I am. Especially since I don't have a permanent design wall.
So, 8 down, either 171 or 305 to go!
*Note that the green bamboo fabric is my stock, photo-background fabric, not part of the block. It's so useful for photos that I may never put it in a quilt!
Saturday, June 28, 2014
Now that Edward's quilt is finished, I've been thinking about this project, which I started at the same time in November 2010. The last time I pulled it out I had taken apart all these squares and I planned to wash them, re-cut and re-assemble them. This week I decided to skip the washing and go straight to the re-cutting.
All the red HSTs went from 4 1/2" to 3 1/2":
And all the yellow HSTs went from 2 1/2" to 2":
Is this a good idea that I would recommend to others? NO! This is pure stubbornness on my part. I have been using the June Tailor half and quarter square triangle ruler, which is very accurate, but still awkward and tiring to use. I started with a plan to make four blocks in a single batch, and I ended up just managing the one, because I simply couldn't cut any more HSTs.
The block is now 12 1/2" unfinished. It's not perfect, but it'll do. I have redesigned this quilt at least a dozen times, and I am ready to see the back of it. As it stands now, I will only need eight of these large blocks. Hopefully I can manage that!
I am worried, though, that I may have to buy more of the purple and black background fabrics. Those corner squares weren't in the original design! It's Kaufman Kona, so at least more will be easy to find.
Saturday, June 21, 2014
|Black, White and Read All Over, 64" x 64"|
It is straight line quilted:
I like quilting double lines like this, because it fools the eye into thinking the lines are straighter than they are!
In the close up you can see that all the fabrics have some kind of kanji script, either real or imaginary. So theoretically, you could "read" the quilt. Hence the title:
You can see the label was optimistically stitched in 2012, lol! The design is from Carrie Nelson's Schnibbles Times Two book. She sews the label to the back before it is quilted, which I tried here as well. I worried about it catching during the machine quilting, but it didn't. With all the problems I did have on this quilt, the label wasn't one of them.
The backing is a new flannel sheet that I got on sale. It really was too heavy for my old machine, but the new machine handled it fine. I like the masculine Buffalo check!
So, Edward's quilt is my second finished flimsy, and my second finished quilt. While we were out taking photos, I took a better picture of Nine Patch Jubilee as well. That was my third finished flimsy, and first finished quilt:
Where is flimsy number one, you ask? LOL. Packed away. Maybe I will get it out some day, maybe not.
Anyway, it feels great to finally have this one done. I even have a 3" scar on my forearm from one of the basting pins that came open when I started the quilting in 2012! But it's fading...
Best of all, now I have room for a new project in my sewing area! Home Sweet Home will get the nod, I think.