Showing posts with label Yoyos. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Yoyos. Show all posts

Friday, September 2, 2022

Yoyo Flimsy

I'm not even sure how long this top has been sitting half assembled. Wayyy too long! The problem really was that it was too challenging to keep taking it out and packing it away every day. Now I have a dedicated sewing space and I can leave it laid out. It went together quickly and easily in the end.

The pattern is Yo-Yo Rows by Terry Atkinson, from the June 2011 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting. So that is probably eleven years to get this far. 😂 it's probably ironic that the hand sewing went fast, and it was the machine sewing that bogged down. I used the extra large (60mm) yoyo maker from Clover, and that was a lot of fun to do.

The pictures do not do this one justice, it is quite rich.

I want to use a bright floral for the back. I'll have to dig through my stash and see what I can find.

Now I have to decide now if I want to switch my machine over to quilting, or finish another flimsy first. I think I probably have one or two more here that are also very close to done.

It's quite ludicrous that some of these projects have taken so long to complete! But I never doubted that they would be, and I have to say it is very satisfying to wrap them up even after all this time!

I was showing some flimsies to family earlier this summer, and they commented that they don't want to try quilting themselves because I am "so good" at it. I laughed and said there was 10 years of failure on my blog before I got to this point! To be honest that was probably even more discouraging. 🤣

But I'm finding the long learning curve and breadth of things there are to learn in quilting are what make it so rewarding. And I know I'm still just getting started, there's so much to explore. I'm feeling very blessed that I have the time and space to do that now! Happy quilting! ❤

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Pi Day

So, it's Pi Day (3.14), and I think I will take the opportunity to do a little catch up. First, here's a photo of new progress on an old, old UFO -- with circles -- that I've been working on again this winter:

This was the first project that I shared on my blog, back in 2011. I am amused to see that I also thought it would be my first quilt finish! One of the best things about blogging is that we can look back and see how we ourselves have changed over time.

It was a lot of fun to make the yoyos, and it was even pretty fun to applique them all to the batik strips. But, sewing those strips together with all the lumpy yoyos is quite a stinker, and I was completely stumped about how to quilt the big bulky thing. I think it may be the most impractical quilt ever! How will I wash it?

But the instructions are excellent -- the designer Terry Atkinson must have spent days doing math to get the yoyos all spaced so evenly. So that is a good fit for Pi Day! And as it comes together, I can see that it will be gorgeous, even if it only spends its time folded on the edge of a couch somewhere.

I'm halfway, and I've decided that two rows a day will be manageable. Right now, though, I am putting the borders on Allietare. And it's looking good too!

After I sewed the last seams and spread the centre out on the bed, I got out the tape measure. The moment of truth! The length and width of this square quilt were exactly the same, so that is the quilting equivalent of a "drop the mike" moment. I immediately put the tape measure away again!

And hey, aren't these cherries a good fit for Pi Day?

They are one of the easier blocks in the 150 Canadian Women quilt along, in honour of Canada's 150th birthday in 2017. I've been relaxed about this project, because so far it's been easy to sew two weeks' worth of blocks in one sitting. But I've noticed that the blocks are getting harder! So I want to get a little more caught up.

I've really been enjoying this project, and learning so much about significant women in Canadian history, who were never mentioned when I took history in school.

This maple leaf, with the light sky blue background and two kinds of stars, is for Roberta Bondar, the first Canadian woman in space.

Mostly I am sticking to the red & white colour scheme of the quilt, with just a few exceptions. These light grey and red floral fabrics just happened to be piled together in the cupboard. I liked how they looked, so now they are together in a block!

At the end of the day, another seven are done:

Pi Day will be a Sew Day here, in the deep freeze with some superfine, cold blowing snow. Not bad for us, since the worst of the snow is south and east of here. A Snow Day for many, so stay warm and stay safe, wherever you may be. :D

Monday, March 12, 2012

Yoyoing Right Along

I may not have been blogging for the past few days, but I've still been sewing!  I'm down to the last 19 yoyos on the yoyo quilt from the cover of the June 2011 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting.  I started with 38 strips appliqued with 10 or 11 yoyos each.  Now I've joined them into 19 long strips, and all that's left is to applique the last yoyos over the join and sew the strips together:

I am trying to be as random as possible.  It really is an act of willpower not to organize the colours!  My only rule as I was appliquing the yoyos was to not put two of the same fabric right beside each other.  Actually, though, I am a little sorry I did that now, because a truly random sample would have given clusters of fabrics that would have added interest.  Too late now.  But, for the rest I am going to allow the random universe full reign!

I have a couple more observations on the construction of the quilt to share.  First, for the background fabric, the pattern suggests a batik with a small repeat.  The need for a small repeat is obvious, but I am also glad that I went with a batik rather than a print.  These strips are handled a lot as you are appliquing the yoyos, but because the batik has such a high thread count there has been very little fraying.  So I would say that a batik is a necessity here.  Because the yoyos are so lumpy, there is no way that you could cut the strips wide and trim them down later.

The second thing to watch out for is how you deal with the thread tails from the yoyos.  In the demo video, which seems to be gone from the site now, they suggested that you just bring the thread tails down through the centre and to the back of the yoyo.  This turned out to be poor advice.  This is what has happened to several of my early yoyos:

The stiff hand quilting thread has a tendency to pop up out of the yoyo.  Later on I started to pull the thread tails back down inside the fabric on the same side as the knot, and there has not been any problem with those tails.  I will have to get myself a self-threading needle to fix the threads that have come loose.  Fortunately, it is not a big disaster, just an annoyance.

Hopefully it will not be too much longer before this one is ready for quilting too!

Related posts:

December 2011 - first post - Yoyo Alchemy

December 2011 - yoyos finished - 409 Yoyos!

February 2012 - Return of the Yoyos

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

All Yoyos, All the Time

They were predicting a big storm for us this morning, but when we woke up it was all clear.  A few hours later, though, it looks like this:

Last gasp of winter - hopefully!

No lake view today!  But wet snow like this is pretty photogenic, I think:

For me, it doesn't matter what the weather is like, because it's all yoyos inside:

This is all I've been doing for days.  I don't know why these are so obsessive, but I finally realized that if I ever want to do anything else I'm going to have to finish these first.  There are 38 strips, and I only have 6 or 7 left.

My plan now is to get this flimsy done, and the nine patch, in addition to Edward's quilt which is already ready for quilting, so that I can set up my sewing area for quilting and do all three at once.

Before I finish the nine patch, though, I really am going to get started on Sedona Star.  It's been on my calendar twice already, but then something else comes up and I end up sewing yoyos again.  I've printed the Month 1 templates on the Ricky Tims' Stable Stuff.  They look ok, but printing them one page at a time, as the instructions recommend, was a big pain in the neck.  I don't anticipate any problem with the piecing though, so I think that once I get started they will go quickly.  Month 1 will, anyway, I am a little concerned about Month 2, but one step at a time!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Return of the Yoyos

Those of you who have been reading since the beginning may have wondered whatever happened to those 409 yoyos?  Well, I had a few challenges to sort out with them, but now they are back on track:

I spent a couple of weeks waiting for the new binding fabric, because I wanted to make some yoyos from it as well.  Then it took me a while to cut the background strips, and a while longer to make the template and mark the yoyo positions.  But the biggest challenge was figuring out the best way to sew the yoyos down.

I made five samples before I was happy with my method.  I really wanted to preserve the nice pleats that the Clover yoyo maker produces, and I didn't want to flatten the edges too much.  But they also needed to be relatively firmly attached.  The instructions called for a running stitch around the edge.  The method that worked best for me was to take a very short tack stitch inside each groove of the yoyo, quite close to the edge:

This is a surprisingly strong way to sew them down, and with the short stitches on the front the thread will not be exposed to much wear.  And, it is going very quickly now!  I am 1/4 of the way done with only a few days of work.  I am choosing the yoyos completely randomly by closing my eyes and sticking my hand in the box.  So it is fun and very motivating to see which one will be next.  The only time I throw one back is if I get two consecutive ones in the same fabric.  Otherwise, anything goes!

In the end, though, I don't think this will be the most practical quilt.  The yoyos are quite lumpy, so if you were making a bed quilt for a young person it would not be very comfortable to sit or play on.  Mine will probably be a sofa throw.  I have a feeling that it will spend most of its time folded at one end of the sofa, and only used if I am cold.  But it certainly is a fun project!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

409 Yoyos!

Here they are, all 409 completed yoyos!  I am actually a little sad that this part of the project is over.  It's been fun catching up on my tv shows while making them.

The next step will be cutting the background fabric into long strips and sewing them down.  Here is a better photo of the background, a brown batik:

The pattern suggests that the yoyos be sewn down with a running stitch and strong hand quilting thread, rather than an applique stitch.  I have tested this and I like it.  If I take the stitches between the gathers I can preserve the dimensionality of the yoyos, which will be nice.  I'm really hoping that this next stage will be easy enough to do in front of the tv as well!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Yoyo Alchemy

There are a few quilts in the running to see which one will be the first one that makes it all the way to completion.  You would think that since I am making them, I would know which one will win, but I really don't.  Smart money, perhaps, would be on this yoyo quilt I am making, the one from the cover of American Patchwork & Quilting last spring:

I was immediately enamoured of it when the magazine came out, but with many other projects to do I did not start making yoyos until a few weeks ago.  They are completely addictive!  I am using the Clover extra large (60 mm) yoyo maker, which makes them super easy and beautifully even.  The magazine has a great video tutorial on how to use it here.

It is fun to see how all your more dubious fabrics are magically transformed when you make them into yoyos.  I managed to use up a few duds from my stash, but I will admit that I have been buying nicer fabrics as well to feed the yoyo monster.  The quilt calls for 409!  These two Farmer John's Market fabrics are good examples of the amazing transformations of the yoyo maker:

And it's hard to go wrong with these fabrics from Brandon Mably and Kaffe Fassett:

Don't worry, not all the yoyos are red!  In fact, too few were red, so I am sticking to red at the end here.  Right now, I only have 40 left to do.  I am hoping that sewing them to the background will be equally compelling.  Happy stitching!
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