Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Design Wall Progress

 Yesterday Tuesday quilter Diane brought over the two 4x8' styrofoam panels and we proceeded to trim and mount them on the new big studio wall. As you can see we had to make a space for the phone and internet outlets, but it is only about a foot square missing from the whole. The crown molding and floor baseboard meant we had to trim the 96" length to 89", but it was simple with the use of a craft knife. Luckily I had a brand new 90x108" batting to cover the green styrofoam and we were off to the races! Right off the bat we put our rail fence star blocks and 9 patches up and began to sew more parts. 

 The blocks are 18.5" and we only need a dozen to make our top, so we are well on our way. 

 Today I removed the previous blocks and put the Thursday quilter's  Dutch Wax batik blocks up and I await further instructions from Joan who has the final count of how many blocks we will need to complete this project. Only 30 blocks are sewn into a piece (the top 5 rows) at this time. 8 inch blocks.

 Meanwhile I have been anticipating Autumn! Here's a cardivest made from Red Poppy merino by Martha Stewart and Cascade Casablanca  wool, silk and mohair. This vest is unassigned, meaning I don't have a waiting recipient, so it is available to you. The sizing is 42" bust, 50" hip and 31" in length. 

I am dying for the leaves to change color to this combination and so enjoyed imagining them while I knit. There was enough yarn to knit a matching scarf, to finish off the ensemble. The price is $100 plus shipping, ($14) check or paypal. Email me. SOLD


Sunday, September 22, 2019

Living Room to Sewing Room

In advance of cooler weather (pray it comes soon) I decided to switch to the larger living room space, which has the advantage of a large blank wall where I can install a 8x8 foot design wall. I moved the  rarely sat upon furniture out of the front room and into the sunroom, and at the same time brought all the necessary sewing furniture into the new space. The addition of the dining room table (we're now eating in the kitchen on the round patio table) means I have the quilting setup ready for me to start in quilting our Tuesday group quilts. 
I like a house I can reconfigure to suit my needs, which as you may know, change often. I have a rule that all my furnishings must be movable by me. Nothing too heavy or bulky. 

 The one end of the room has recessed lighting but floor lamps provide brightness for those soon to come gloomier days. (really, I can't wait, I am so over summer). I am borrowing one of my sister's Janome 6500P machines, so all our workhorses are the same. But I really want your help in finding the best set into table for my machine. I have one that is great but the price doubled since I bought it and I am hoping you may have a table that your machine sits in that isn't wobbly and makes it pleasant to sew for hours on end. Please be specific with brand and model if you can. Email me.

 This is the space for the big design wall which will arrive on Tuesday, thanks to Tuesday quilter Diane who has volunteered to go to Lowe's and get it for me. I have a little car nowadays, so I must rely on my pals. We are getting .75" styrofoam insulation boards, and I will be using Command picture hanging strips to attach them to my wall. I have used these before and they work great. Now that I have newly painted walls, I have waited a week or more to let the paint harden, and being semi-gloss, I am praying that the stickers stick as expected. I've already hung the smaller 4' square design wall, and of course it is staying put nicely.

 Here's the quilting set up and a side view of the table I have had for years. Really sturdy and fits my machine specifically. 

 The mini design wall has the Thursday's blocks up. These are from my stash and are ancient. Dutch Wax batiks. Simple design shows off the fabric to it's best advantage. More blocks are ready to add, but I will wait to do that when the new bigger wall is up. 

In the meantime, our Tuesday group has been sewing strips and 16 patches and we have three ideas going at once. Patsy has tried out this block and then of course I had to jump in too. Mine is different because instead of strips for the center, I added a nine patch. So fun!

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Tops to Share

Our Thursday group finally met, after missing a week due to painters in my house. Now my heart's desire, white walls, are done and I am thrilled. Mostly because they fixed all the booboos that were annoying me, and that's a big relief. We had finished blocks to sew together and in less than an hour, after eating our snacks and catching up, we assembled this top, which was #3 in the voting. This is a very scrappy version of Delectable Mountains, but still, it looks pretty darn good, if I say so myself. We did have some matching up problems (mostly me) and they eventually got fixed, so none's the wiser. It is huge. About 56 x 96". Someone said, it's a quilt for a tall gal. Ha!
To refresh your memory...we began with two 10 inch blocks and sewed them 1/4" along either side of the diagonal line. Cut them in half and then in fourths, and reassembled. That was the very easy part. Had we considered contrast a bit more than we did, the design would be more evident. O well. 
Speaking of contrast...The Tuesday group blocks are done and I have half sewn in strips and on the board ready to add to the main already sewn set. The red and white hourglass blocks really define this simple two block quilt, proving that you don't have to be fussy to be dramatic.
  We have just about used up all of our light prints and that means we are itching to buy fabric to supplement our design ideas. This must be prevented! We must use our creativity to make quilts with what is plentiful in the stash. I am certain it can be done.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Flying Geese Star

 For my Tuesday quilters I like to teach a basic block, like 4 patch, 9 patch, hourglass, Delectable Mountains, etc. This time we did flying geese blocks and then used them to make a star block. 
This sort of thing is all over the internet, so nothing really new here, but I am posting it, because all the info on this will then be in one place for my quilters. This recipe makes 'in the neighborhood' of a 6.5"block. 

 The Parts: 4.5" square for the background,  3.75" square for the center of the star, four 2.5" squares for the geese, or triangles, and four 2" squares to fill in the background.

 Place two squares on the big square and draw a diagonal line through them, sewing 1/4" seams on either side. 

 Cut on the line and press open thusly.

 Place the remaining two 2.5" squares on the point of those pieces and mark a diagonal line across, sewing 1/4" seams along both sides.

 Cut along that line and press open. Voila. Four matching flying geese blocks. But wait, there's more!

 Sew two of the geese blocks to the 3.75" square. The remaining geese get a 2" square sewn on either side. 

 Sew the combined geese and little squares onto the sides of the block, nesting seams. Press open.

 There she is. A nice star, no waste, and points remaining. Phew! I used my cut scraps bin for this block, and only had to adjust (trim down) one 4 inch square scrap to make the 3.75" square.
In the future I will use up those scrap bits by making flying geese and stars and eventually have enough for a top. Nice.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Picking up the Needles Again

These days, after quilting with friends, I like to sit in front of the TV and knit. Luckily I had something started from the last time it was cold out and it was nearly finished, so lucky me to have a project ready to complete.

I had taken names and offered yarn choices and this was the choice of previous recipient Katherine Mc. Noro Silk Garden and Cascade Venezia, a luxurious blend of merino and silk. So luscious to knit and wear. If I am lucky and have enough yarn left, I like to include a matching scarf like this. Plus, make a little doughnut ring to hold the ends of the scarf, instead of a bulky knot.

 Here's a casual way to toss on the ensemble. 

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Choosing the Layout

1. Our initial Delectable Mountain blocks were arranged thusly. Perfectly fine, but now we have oodles more to add to the mix and how should we set them? Note that the two joined parts of the block are rectangular rather than square, so orientation is a consideration. Set this way, horizontally, we can increase the width by adding more blocks in the rows and then more rows for added length.

2. With the same blocks turned 90 degrees, the length is greater than the width which might be very helpful in reaching our desired size, 60 x80". And the negative spaces are starting to look like zig zags, Nice, 

 3. The arrangement gives us medallion shapes, and is more than 6o" wide (the length of the 36x60" table) in this layout. 

 4. Similar medallions, arranged horizontally. 

 5. A zigzag is more visible in this setting, but care must be taken to select good contrast, as the design gets lost otherwise.

 6. In this setting, the blocks were arranged in rows with the darker on the bottom and then the next row with lighter on the bottom. Design clarity is still a bit weak with this arrangement. But then again, this is meant to be a scrappy quilt and not a really traditional version.
Please help make our choice and vote for your favorite setting.