Thursday, May 24, 2018

Summer Light


  A new wall hanging, door banner, or table runner.......this is for a donation to my guild's silent auction for the annual quilt show.  I debated on omitting the border.........but opted for making it  bigger for use as a banner.  I used straight line stitching  for the quilting. 


   The border is a very deep mottled green.  And I thought it needed a pop of color  to set it off. 










 The accent strip is a flange.  It is a 1''  strip that is folded in half.  The raw edges align with the edge of the pieced center.  I stitch it in place first with a long stitch.  Then the border is attached as usual.   That leaves the accent flange loose.  It is nice to create dimension.
  For the color of the flange.....it is a buttery tan.  I like the way it brings out the yellow tones in the piece.



  And as I finish up each project, I have more scraps to deal with.  The extra binding from the banner was cut to make garlic knot block.  Guess I will just make these until I am full!
   



  The garlic knot blocks were begging to be played with too this weekend.   I joined 4 of them together to hang on the design wall.  I decided that the pieced knots will all go in one direction and create the "neutral knot" in the background.
   I have about 40 blocks made and another 15 or so clipped together to be sewn.  I treat myself to stitching a block together when I only have a short amount of time to sew.  Just for fun:)


  The string star is being pinned today, so it can go under the needle soon.  Happy stitching.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Rope bowl

 Sometimes a project has several factors that brings it to life.  In this instance I needed something to sit on my thread cabinet  to corral pins and scissors and such.   Everything I tried just slid off and I was quite concerned I would scratch its beautiful surface without a mat or something.   Secondly, the scrap strips were exploding out the drawers again.

 
 That's when I got inspired to make a large coiled rope bowl  for holding all those necessary items.   It has been several years since I played with the rope bowls, so I went to Pinterest to gain ideas.   Plenty of tutorials and such there, so I won't even think about doing one.
   Then I sent Sir Old Man to the hardware store for me.  I need clothesline rope.  He has learned it is better to just do as I request.  I am sure he thought I was forgetting that I have a new dryer that works great. 




    I pulled out the strip drawer and decided to cut the 2'' strips to 1''.  More twisting required but it looks neater with a narrower strip.  I can see I need to give the top edges a hair cut now! 
   Anyway, I covered lots of rope, probably 30 feet, and used lots of clips to hold things in place.   Then I filled a bobbin to match to taupe Isacord thread I planned to use.  It took me a couple of sessions to get everything zig-zagged together. 
  Bowl is about 10'' across and about 4'' high.  With the mechanic dish of pins to weight it down,  it does not slide around.  Success! 

  This is a fun project, and could just inspire me to make a few more.
Happy stitching.

Friday, May 18, 2018

From roses to coasters

   A week of rain brought the blooms out.  This is one...just one...cluster of blooms on the small heirloom rose shrub by the back porch.  There are probably 200 buds/blooms on it right now.  Very lightly scented and just perfect to enjoy inside. 

   With all the rain, I have not gotten a lot done....rain equals pain.  So I have worked in spurts and short bits to get anything accomplished. 

  Sir Old Man took me to quilt guild this week.  We had a great program by Joyce Walton and her quilting journey.  She does some traditional work, and is exploring painting art quilts too.  I was inspired by her "made fabric" borders.  Leftovers sewn into blocks similar to crumb piecing. 



  It brings to mind the cobblestone blocks that Wanda at Exuberant Color shared.     
 
    I used the cobblestone blocks for the background  in a favorite wall hanging, Heads Up.  I think I still have a box of leftovers from this project.   I need to look for them :)







 


    Update for the string star......decision made.  I cut the backing this morning.  It will not get larger after all.








   I had a few leftover blocks that did not make it into the star top.  And I sure did not want more leftover parts.  I elected to turn them into small coasters!  Much more usable that leftover blocks. These finished up at 4''.   

   Now to get the floral log cabin pinned....happy stitching.


Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Variety and options

  Time just gets away from me and blogging takes a hit it seems.  I did not realize it had been a week since I posted.  I was able to get thru most of the items I put on my list to accomplish last week. 

 
    I had the floral log cabin up on the design wall, and in need of squaring up the edges.  Got that taken care of and decided I needed a small border at least.  So I added that.  Now, she needs pinning and quilting.  I ordered batting and it arrived yesterday, so I am putting that onto the list for the next week or so. 













   My container of leader and ender 2 patches is filling up!  I keep a stack of them next to the machine to use when I am joining blocks, and rows, etc.  I finally got the mess of them pressed open.   

 Here's my  Leader/Ender method....a la Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville. 
   Any leftover strip of binding or other piece 2 1/2'' wide gets cut into squares.  I keep a tray of them on the cutting table.  Every so often or as needed I sit down and match them into pairs.  These are then stacked up and clipped together by my machine.  At the end of the row....use a 2 patch L/E.   That leaves something under the machine needle as I prep for the next row/block. 




  Part of the 2 patches were stitched as I put together this small lap quilt of string blocks.  The blocks were 5 1/2'' unfinished ones I had left over from something.  So this is only 40 by 40 inches. 

  I have options noted on my list.....

  •  Add a strip around this as border or frame.  
  • Add more blocks to make it larger. 
  •  Add a frame strip and then add string row at top and bottom to turn it into a rectangle design.



 My last bit of variety for the week was sewing up this watercolor for a table runner.  Lots of rows mean lots of leader and ender parts:)    It needs a good squaring up and pressing before I get it finished.





   







   I stole this off facebook this week.  May I add.....each day is a miracle too!
Happy stitching.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Small foot rest!

   I hinted that Sir Old Man was working on a couple of small things for the sewing room.  I have been asking for a nicer foot rest to go under the sewing machine / and the quilting machine. 
   Up to this time I have been using an upside down  soft drink case  as a foot rest.  Ergonomically, it keeps my legs at a 90 degree angle while sewing. 
 
   While he was at it, he re-worked the foot pedal rest and made it fit a bit tighter.  No sliding around now of the pedal while I am sewing.  There is also one of these in the works for under the Tiara quilting machine :)


 Made of Baltic Birch plywood with a natural finish.  The bottom support has a shaped curved edge so it can rock back and forth  :)    It sits at a slight angle that is comfortable.  He added grooves across the top to provide some texture to kept my foot from slipping.    The size is 10'' by 12'' and about 3 1/2'' high. 

 









   I love the improvement in looks compared to the old soda crate.  And it functions great!


   I have errands to run this morning.....so I hope to visit the sewing room later today and put it all to use. 
Happy stitching. 

Friday, April 27, 2018

On point

    I love the look of blocks set on point,
but I sure hate the joining potion of the assembly.    To be clear it is the corners that make me batty.  So I tend to cut over-sized triangles to be sure everything fits.   I only ended up with one set that had to be ripped out....because of a setting triangle going in the wrong direction.  I am sure you never had that happen :) 

  Any way, by the time I reached this point 2 days ago, my wrist was in agony.  Inflammation from over use and low pressure system, I think.  So I haven't gotten the remainder of the border on, or even cut the strips.    For now, this top  is resting on the design wall.  I moved on to something less strenuous. 



  I sewed up a few more garlic knot blocks.  I had several people ask about how I would plan on setting them.......Not on point, lol. 

   So on a small design board I laid out a few blocks with all oriented in the same direction.   Interesting how the background of light comes together in a "knot" that goes in the opposite direction in this layout. 

  My backgrounds are all light...muslin, tonal beige, etc.   And since I am using up what ever I had leftover from other projects, not every block's background is entirely the same. 




  The second layout I tried is the linked in a circle style layout.  The background lights come together and form a large open space, while the knots form a circular chain. 

  Check Pinterest if you want to see full size tops and quilts for a better idea.    I like them both ways......but at this point I am undecided for the final layout. 

  This block is also called Arrowhead.  For my version I am using 2'' squares and the blocks sew up to 6 1/2'' unfinished.   I am using floral print scraps for the accent squares and trying to make a dent in my other 2'' strips for the main color. 
You guessed it....I am making little headway!



  I did mention floral fabrics didn't I?    For a detour I am sewing up the rows of this watercolor......probably a table runner to be donation for guild auction.    I can sew the rows, but not press until the wrist is less painful. 

   Sir Old Man will get the stitches out this next week.....and the eyes are done!   He has been in the workshop a few times.  He got sidetracked on a couple of small projects for the sewing room for me.   I will share just as soon as he gets them finished.    Happy stitching. 

Friday, April 20, 2018

Last blocks

   I cut and added the setting triangles on the floral log cabin on the design wall......and realized I was 4 blocks short.  Honestly, I can't seem to count anything correctly any more. 

  I stitched up the last 4 blocks and they need a good pressing.  So yes!  My adventure for the weekend will be rearranging the whole layout, and beginning to join the rows. 
  And since I seem to have forgotten how to count, I probably will need to cut another group of setting triangles.  I have the fabric because I bought extra.  A little voice told me so :)
   Looking at the calendar, I have kept my focus for the month  as this post said!    That is practically a first for me to not get distracted. 

  The sewing room has been reorganized and lost bits found.  I did not really move furniture that much, just more of a shifting  for more elbow room.  I kept finding ends and pieces of projects in different boxes.  I emptied 6 of them.  And now......
  The string bins absolutely are over flowing.  So I think I need to think about some mindless sewing and making up a big stack of string blocks for future projects.   




  I added a few more garlic knot blocks to my stack.   I pulled out the 2''' strips from the found leftovers  to make more knots.  I have 30 blocks made so far and at least 20 more sorted to make. 






   Sir Old Man had the second cataract surgery done this week.  He did very good, and is  being patient about being home and not doing yard work, etc.  By next week he will be able to do his usual routine.   The worse part of this has been getting up at 5 am to be there at 7 am.  Wow, does that mess up my sleep pattern.  But it is done with now, and we will return to regular programming. :) 
Thank goodness!
Happy stitching. 

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