Thursday, February 20, 2020

Quilting and Surgery

Here's what's on the design wall for our Tuesday quilters. Batiks again, we are on a kick. The strippy blocks were leftover strips from trimming down fat quarters into 10" squares and 6.5"squares. I took advantage of another doorbuster sale at Joann's and spent $20 on batik fat quarters, just to round our collection. Woowoo!
But then everything has temporarily ground to a halt because yesterday I had partial knee replacement surgery.
It went great and I have no pain. Seriously. NO PAIN. I am walking around without the use of the walker, which was more trouble than it was worth and with the new knee, I have grown a half inch on my right side! Taller that is, not wider. So now I am planning more walking in the neighborhood and losing the accumulated weight that happened over my baking for the holidays binge. That's the thing about going to the hospital for pre-surgery evaluations. They weigh you, something I studiously avoided. Arggghhh, bad news for me. No wonder I always wanted  to stay in my loose pjs for the day.
I hate diet talk, and as you long time readers know I have been a dieter every now and then and have lost hundreds of pounds total, so I am not concerned about doing this in a hurry. Altho it would be nice to actually wear the nice clothes that don't fit me currently. Hmmm.
Prior to my surgery, I thought I wouldn't be able to negotiate our stairs very well and decided that we needed to temporarily move our beds downstairs to the front room. We have two front rooms and one is the bigger quilting room. Anyway, the bed frames disassemble easily and we could slide the mattresses down the stairs and voila, the room is plenty big enough to share. We have had separate bedrooms for ages since Dave has been ill and stays up all night. Now that we have reunited in one room, it turns out to be so much better for both of us, once I got him on a better sleeping schedule and as I am right there to anticipate his meds, (don't have to get outta bed and walk down the hall multiple times ) and can prevent lots of bad spells. On the bad side, he still wants to get up and eat something in the adjoining kitchen during the night, turning on the lights and making noise and waking me up. So it's not perfect yet. 
Now the upstairs is pretty much vacant and it occurred to me that this could solve another problem for me. I've regularly injured myself when I try to lift Dave in or out of bed when he is having a spell and I need help for those times, plus relief from constantly being needed by him. Sooooo, why not have a live in nurse or nursing student, preferably a husky guy, who could have two furnished rooms, an ensuite bath, laundry and half bath and parking on the premises, not to mention free wi-fi and a 50"flat screen.
So I am working on this as my new plan. 
But wait there's more. We are going to move the beds again into the sunroom and have more privacy and get our living room back. And I am converting our neglected pantry into a closet (having it done professionally) and adding some bathroom storage since Dave has tons of toiletries. Woowoo!
It never ends!

Saturday, February 8, 2020

quilts and snow

 Since I have been studying alternate Quilt as you go methods, I felt it was time to use the latest one in a real quilt. This Rail Fence Star was already on the finished-piecing pile and wasn't too big, (54x72") so I chose to begin with it and enlisted the aid of the Tuesday quilters. We had not planned ahead, so we unpicked the seams to quilt it in sections, using the no-backing method, just quilting through the top and batting, and then sewing the panels together and finally adding the backing and quilting stitch in the ditch between the blocks sections.
 This view shows the quilting, straight line, and with this method we didn't even use a walking foot. NO pleats resulted. Yay! The very last vertical seam on the left shows the join between quilted sections. 
 Then the backing was added and the quilting was simple, between each of the 9 sections of each of the 12 big blocks. Binding as usual. Of course more quilting could be added, but it really won't make much difference to the wear of this piece. It feels scrumptious and cuddly, just as it should.
 The Thursday quilters had a bye-week and missed a meeting because two members were in Japan! But the remaining three of us resumed and sewed these gorgeous batik half square triangles together. These panels will next be quilted individually and assembled for another qayg finished product. 57x76"

Weather is the big story today. Big fat snow globs have been falling since 7am and we have about 4 inches so far. 

 From the front porch. standing inside, of course.

 A big snow laden tree in our side yard. Such a sight. Not three days ago, we had massive amounts of rain and lots in our vicinity were lakes for several hours. This kind of snow is rare here, and will no doubt melt soon. I am staying home, happily just watching and knitting.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Another QAYG Method????

I could have said, "Wait there's more!" which I wouldn't have imagined, yet here it is, another way to quilt as you go. As I've said a zillion times before, I saw this method on Pinterest and went to the site of the tutorial.
And then to prove it for myself, I had to make a sample. Above is the front of the sample, made from little 5 inch blocks, quilted individually (just the top and batting, no backing fabric) and joined with 1/4" seams, graded at the edges, which is really important and the new idea with this method.  
 The seam is pressed open with steam or in my case a spritz of Faultless Original Hold ($1.98 at Walmart). Then I sewed the four blocks together, ready to add the backing fabric. FYI the batting I used is all cotton with a scrim, and I quilted the blocks with the scrim against the feed dogs. Hopefully this will lessen the amount of batting drifting into the machine, which I am not too worried about, just sayin'.
 The front looks flawless, if I do say so myself. No lumps or bumps which is what I would have expected. REALLY flat. Yay!!
I think I am ready to give this a try on a large scale. Just so you know, the backing fabric is going to be a large sheet and the blocks are going to be basted (pinned?) onto it. Then the quilting is first stitch in the ditch between blocks, and whatever other quilting would be needed to keep the backing from moving around, after that.  These combined five little blocks would be equivalent to one 9.5" block and I would think just a stitch in the ditch at the centers would do.
Note to self: don't use gingham for binding!

 For the record, here are the different methods of Quilt As YOU Go that I have used:
1. From the Fibermania blog via The Quilting Edge. Version I.
2. From this blog, You Gotta Try This. which included version II and version III.
3, And now version IV, here.