|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on October 11, 2011 at 1:20 PM||comments (0)|
Yesterday was Thanksgiving in beautiful, sunny Canada, and it was the warmest Thanksgiving I recall at 80 degrees F.
Between that and on-going concerns about Dad (and hospital visits) after his latest heart attack, I haven't been online or sewing as much as I usually am. I did, however, finish block #2 for the Bible sampler. The tutorial will be up on Saturday.
Since it's a Bible block wedding sampler, I'm going to start posting cutting instructions to wedding and marriage-related blocks as well; they'll be up at the end of each month.
This week, I'm linking up to
BOMs Away Monday - What A Hoot!
Manic Monday Linky Party - Sew Happy Geek
Fabric Tuesday - QuiltStory
and for the first time,
Design Wall Monday - Patchwork Times
As my W.i.P. Wednesday #14 for October 12 I'm linking to
Freshly Pieced's WIP Wednesday #47 as well as today's WOW at
|Posted by email@example.com on September 28, 2011 at 1:00 PM||comments (0)|
What a busy week. Not busy sewing, but busy behind the scenes again, on the computer. Happily, before I got wrapped up with computer stuff, I did manage to finish pressing all the fabric for Peaceful Pathways, the Bible block wedding sampler and my next Elizabeth's Sampler. I appear to be stalled on the Farmer's Wife sampler for now, but those little blocks are no problem to piece - although I haven't gotten into the ones with the weird geometric-shaped templates yet!
I've been on Blogger for almost a year and back in the late spring, I decided I wanted to build my own quilting website. It wasn't anything I needed to rush into, so I didn't. I've played with it off and on since May, trying to decide exactly what direction I wanted it to go in.
There are a LOT of blogging quilters out there so it's hard to find something original with which to interest people. There are a lot of tutorials and block libraries and how-to advice for every aspect of the art, as well as posts featuring various quilters, quilt alongs and BOMs.
One thing I haven't seen is an extensive library devoted solely to pieced Bible sampler blocks, although there are sites that feature Bible blocks of various styles .
I'm going to build such a library; I blogged about it yesterday. The plan is to discontinue the Blogger blog and move it over here.
However, I learned after I signed up with webs.com that you can't import a blog into their site. You can link a blog, but not import it, even though they have a blogging application. I'm completely redesigning the blog from the ground up and moving most of the posts, one at a time, but not all of them. The problem is that I can't move the comments you've all left me at Blogger over the past number of months!
When I'm done, the Blogger blog will redirect to this website. I have a lot of work yet to do on it, such as posting a variety of photos in the Photo section once I've finished moving posts. It's going to be an ongoing W.i.P of its own, but I'm enjoying it and I never would've thought I'd enjoy playing with basic, simple web design. I doubt I'll play with much fabric until next week, but by next Wednesday's W.i.P. post I'm hoping to be back at the sewing machine!
To see what everyone else has been up to this past week, visit Lee at Freshly Pieced.
|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on September 14, 2011 at 4:15 PM||comments (0)|
As I consider my current works in progress today, I notice that I'm still in the very starting stages of two projects, stalled on one and about to resume my languishing Sunflower Sampler, which is the first quilt top I ever made and is waiting for further hand-quilting.
|Peaceful Pathways by Esther Aliu|
Peaceful Pathways is one that's in the starting stages, but farther along than it was last week! I've now tested and pre-washed my red fabrics and will pre-wash the white this weekend. I'm selective about when I run my laundry machines because Ontario hydro is billed by time of use and to run the washer during the day costs twice as much as to run it after 7 pm or on weekends. I always forget Esther is a day ahead of where I am, so today is the 15th of the month where she is and part 2 of the BOM has been released!
Project #2 still in the early stages is my Bible block quilt. I've done a tutorial for the first block, which will appear in the October issue of the Ruby for Women e-zine. After making block #1, however, I took a look at the variety of colour in my pile of fabric for this quilt and decided I had best test and pre-wash these fabrics too! My background is white with little green flowers and the other colours include various shades of blue, purple, red, brown and yellow.
Yesterday I started the soak, and it's a good thing I did! Connecting Threads' fabric is great and I've never pre-washed it before, but the colours I've used haven't been quite as diverse either. Some of my blues lost colour, as did the brown, red and orange. I think to not prewash would've spelled disaster when this quilt was laundered down the line.
I'll finish the pre-soak stage by the weekend (purple and another blue) and then wash all the fabric - including the white - together. Theoretically, the excess dye should be out of all the richer colours, but if not, I'd rather deal with getting misplaced dye out of plain white fabric rather than the white fabric in a completed quilt! (Shout Color Catchers are not available in Canada that I've ever seen.)
My Farmer's Wife Sampler blocks are stalled at the moment while I fiddle with all this fabric. But now that I'm done my summer quilt-along quilts, I want to get back to hand-quilting the Sunflower lap quilt that's on the frame in the basement. It shouldn't take long to do once I get at it and STAY at it till it's done! I'm linking up to Esther's Blog today, as well as Freshly Pieced. Check 'em out and you will be impressed!
|Posted by email@example.com on September 7, 2011 at 4:25 PM||comments (0)|
I wasn't sure if I was going to get this post done or not, but here goes. It'll be short because I've been focused on non-quilting stuff for most of the week. I did re-do two more Farmer's Wife blocks: Economy and Spool. They are now 6.5". I took my new template printouts over to Staples on the weekend and got them laminated finally, so I'm back in business with the FWQAL.
|Economy block and Spool block redone|
I also went on an expedition within the past few days. I still haven't started the Peaceful Pathways BOM but I have decided that rather than embroider the verses, I'm going to try stencilling! I haven't tried it yet, but I like the idea of using fabric paint on quilts. So, I went out and got my paint and a brush and a designer X-acto knife with a pink handle with which to cut my stencils! I have everything I need to begin Peaceful Pathways; now it's just a question of testing the fabric for bleeding before I start cutting.
During a separate excursion, I crossed into Buffalo yesterday and finally got some Magic Sizing. I don't know why it's not available in Canada, but it's not. I also found some Fabric Fusion Velcro: no more hassles trying to make Velcro adhere to fabric! This stuff is great! Just iron it on for 90 seconds and let your fabric cool and you're done! Oh yes, and while cruising around the Web on the weekend, I came across the Slow Poke Quilters. Hooray! That's for me! I'm an expert dawdler in life and am no different with quilting. I go at my own pace and will not be rushed. Things are more enjoyable that way.
Check out the linky fun at Freshly Pieced and Esther's Blog. As well, the September issue of the Ruby e-zine is now out! You'll find the latest Bible quilt update in it and it's also on my sidebar. I'm also linking to Quiltstory's Fabric Tuesday.
|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on August 31, 2011 at 4:50 PM||comments (0)|
Wow, a week has gone by already! It's been a busy one, yet somehow the busier I get, the less I seem to get done! Why is that?
Now that I know why my Farmer's Wife blocks were too small, I can re-do the twelve 6" ones and make them 6.5". I've decided I'll take the smaller blocks and use them on the back when the sampler gets that far along. Here are the first two of the twelve that I've remade, with the correct templates this time:
Buzzard's Roost and Eccentric Star
This is now my third Eccentric Star block and I like it! It went together quickly and I like my fabric choices. This is the second Buzzard's Roost block I've done and it's aligned pretty well for being nothing but triangle templates (except for the centre square). I realized I may have a problem with it upon laundering though because the red floral fabric hasn't been prewashed and I know the red will run. My white may become a batik-style pink, but I don't plan on giving this quilt away or trying to sell it, so it won't really matter. Guess what? They're 6.5 inches now! Hooray!
Here's what the first, 6" Buzzard's Roost (red) looked like. I haven't redone Cats and Mice (green/brown) yet, but I will.
I've also been making knitting needle cases this week. The original free pattern can be found here but after making the first one for my sister a couple months ago, she asked for some adjustments on the next two she wanted. Then the post office went on strike and held up the fabric. And I did two summer quilt alongs. Now I'm finally underway again and made my sample case with the revised pattern last week, after I revised the pattern. This week I've got the fabric cut for the next two and they won't take long to complete.
I also found a pattern for another quilt I want to make. I have the panels but I need the rest of the fabric for the quilt. It's so cute, and I love cats!
I think this line of fabric, called "Quilted Purr-fection," is slowly being discontinued so I'm going to have to order it soon if I want it!
|Posted by email@example.com on August 24, 2011 at 4:40 PM||comments (0)|
I spent this past week on a Farmer's Wife block blitz. I completed 8 of them altogether, so I now have 30 done. Farmer's Wife Sampler weeks 8 and 9
1- Spool 2- Checkerboard 3- Churn Dash 4- Century of Progress 5- Northern Lights 6- Puss in the Corner 7- Wrench 8-Maple Leaf
I kept up a Canadian theme with Northern Lights and Maple Leaf. Maple Leaf uses the same fabrics as Churn Dash, but Churn Dash almost looks camouflaged - lost in the leafy jungle! Century of Progress was a neat one to piece but may it may have been easier to deal with the bias seams if I'd paper pieced it instead. Wrench is the same as Churn Dash, only in two colours instead of three. That one and Puss in the Corner fell together easily. So did Checkerboard, which is only the second block I've put together on point. I love the fabrics I used for Spool. Here are all thirty blocks laid out on the floor:
I don't need any more projects at the moment, but I must say I am in love with Esther Aliu's new BOM, "Peaceful Pathways." I've never done a red and white quilt because I'm leery of working with too much red fabric: with my "luck" it'd run and my white would be pink! I've put this quilt on my to-do list though. My fabric arrived this week, again from Connecting Threads:
I don't usually pre-wash my fabric, but this I am most definitely going to! In the next few days I hope to begin my Bible block sampler as well. That fabric has arrived, but I want to finish planning my design on EQ7 (I love that program!) before I cut into it. My sampler will be comprised of 30 blocks, but I'll be posting a lot more than 30 on my BOM site before I'm done! Linking today to Esther's Blog and Freshly Pieced which are two of my favourite places to go for quilting inspiration!
|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on August 10, 2011 at 1:45 PM||comments (0)|
Farmer's Wife QAL weeks 6 and 7. I fell behind on week 6 because I was wrapping up the kaleidoscope quilt, so I chose four easy blocks to play catch-up with:
Rainbow Flowers, Friendship Star, Flock, Economy
I like Rainbow Flowers because it's reminiscent of a Log Cabin block. However, the problem I had with it was reminiscent of problems I have with the Log Cabin as well. For some reason with those blocks, they don't turn out the right size. Usually I'm out by half-inch on the completed Log Cabin blocks I make, and I was out the same half-inch on Rainbow Flowers!
Turns out, I was also half-inch shy on Economy! I'm not sure why - obviously my quarter-inch seam allowance and/or my cutting accuracy is wonky. I'm 98% sure the problem lies with my seam allowance, but I've never taken the time to check it. I use a quarter-inch foot on the machine so for now I remain in the "close enough" school of thought. (Part of the problem may well be the speed at which I run my machine too.) I'm a perfectionist when it comes to cutting, but not so much with my seam allowance. Figure that one out!
I never did plan on putting all 111 blocks in the same quilt, so I'll separate the blocks that turn out 6" finished from the proper 6.5" finished blocks and I'll put them in a separate quilt. Cats and Mice and one or two other blocks ended at 6" finished size too.
Flock was downright easy after the Birds in the Air block a few weeks back. Same with Friendship Star. It was easy because I've done it before.
I notice I have a lot of yellow and blue in my blocks so far - I'll have to vary that up some.
I spent some time with EQ7 and finishing designing my Bible block sampler this week as well. I ordered the fabric yesterday, will write my next post for the Ruby for Women ezine in the next day or two and finish organizing my Bible blocks so I can start to post them on my Block of the Month site in the next few weeks.
I also made progress on my Summer Series Sampler blocks, which you can read about here.
First 22 blocks
|Posted by email@example.com on August 3, 2011 at 2:45 PM||comments (0)|
Finished Kaleidoscope quilt
close-up of quilting
After losing a day ripping out the binding and redoing it, I can happily say that I finished my Kaleidoscope quilt yesterday!
I do not like machine quilting on my domestic machine and I'm glad I didn't go with any larger a quilt than the 12-block baby size! I'm sure it gets easier with time and practice, but I just don't see how people can wrestle with huge quilt sandwiches and not pull their hair out.
I do, however, like attaching the binding by machine. I enjoy hand stitching it, but when you want to get it done, it goes faster by machine and doesn't look too bad if you stay in the ditch. (This quilt was the first time I've attached binding completely by machine.)
I'm quite impressed with myself and the job I did on this quilt because I set myself a goal to have it done by the end of Elizabeth's QAL, which was originally set for August 4. I met my goal!
It meant I didn't get any blocks done on my Farmer's Wife sampler or my Summer Series Sampler, but that's okay. The Farmer's Wife will be easy to catch up on and my goal for the Summer Series Sampler is to have it done and ready to go to the LQS for quilting by the middle of September. This should allow me to get back to other priority projects that have taken a backseat for the past month.
back of Kaleidoscope quilt
All that's left to do with this quilt is label it, print a couple photographs of it and put its specs in my hard-copy portfolio.
Thanks to Elizabeth D at "Don't Call Me Betsy" for a thoroughly enjoyable quilt along - the first I've participated in!
|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on July 27, 2011 at 6:10 PM||comments (0)|
I haven't blogged here in the past week because I've been busily quilting. What a concept, eh? I'm trying to get caught up and set myself up for some finishes so I can return to my UFOs from earlier in the year. These recent projects have been skill-builders though, so that's time well spent! Here's what I've accomplished this week: Farmer's Wife QAL week #5
I have now completed eighteen blocks. Above are blocks #17 and #18: Cats and Mice and Buzzard's Roost respectively. I'm happy with my fabric choices, although Cats and Mice was finished before I realized I'd used my Summer Sampler fabric for it! That's okay though.... That block had many little triangles so I didn't nail the alignment perfectly, but it looks good from a distance.
I used the templates for Buzzard's Roost, which also utilized various sized triangles except for that centre square. Because of that it's not as aligned as I'd like either, and both blocks came out at 6" instead of 6.5" finished size. However, because of the bias edge factor involved I think they'll stretch to the requisite size when I sew them to sashing. I think Buzzard's Roost would've turned out better if I'd pieced it as flying geese units instead.
The beauty of this sampler though is that you don't have to use all 111 blocks, even if you decide to make them all. It just depends what size quilt you ultimately decide to make. So the option remains to either redo the sub-par blocks or omit them altogether when it comes time to make the quilt. Here are the first eighteen completed blocks:
Summer Sampler Series I think I like working with 12" blocks better than the 6" ones because the pieces are bigger and easier to put together. The 6" ones help fine-tune my technique though, so I should be fairly accomplished by the time this Farmer's Wife quilt is completed! I still haven't tried paper piecing. Blocks 5 and 6 from last week were both paper pieced and they're sharp-looking! I've printed off the tutorials and have every intention of making them, but I'd like to have an open uninterrupted block of time in which to concentrate on what I'm doing. I don't imagine they'll be too difficult, and skipping them isn't an option because I'm very much an all-or-nothing person. If I miss any blocks, I may as well scrap the ones I've made too. Speaking of the ones I've made, I am impressed with the way the three I did make turned out this past week! Check 'em out!
Block 4 - Flower Garden Path (alternate piecing method)
Block 7 - Six-pointed Star. Probably the most precise block I've ever cut.
Block 8 - Lucky Pieces
|Six of eight - (top row) Sawtooth Star, Greek Cross, Mosaic, (bottom row) Flower Garden Path, Six-Pointed Star, Lucky Pieces||
On top of my week's piecing, I also marked my Kaleidoscope quilt top, basted it and began quilting it. This is only the second quilt I've machine quilted and it's tedious. I'm hoping it'll get easier with experience. On the plus side, I sprang for my first can of 505 temporary adhesive and spray basted it rather than using pins. I'm not sure I'm a convert, but I was impressed with how easy and quick it was. No overspray or any other kinds of problems!
|Posted by email@example.com on July 20, 2011 at 1:55 PM||comments (0)|
As well as the Farmer's Wife Sampler blocks, I've been working on two other samplers this week and my kaleidoscope quilt is waiting to be sandwiched and quilted. I marked the kaleidoscope quilt yesterday and bought some 505 temporary adhesive so I'm going to give my first attempt at spray basting a go! I refuse to baste with thread and I'm hoping it'll be easier to quilt with the layers lightly glued together rather than pinned.
One of the other samplers I've been working on is my Bible block wedding sampler: it's still in the design stages. I've spent some enjoyable hours playing with EQ7 and the Connecting Threads "Batik Paradise" files that I imported to it. I'm almost ready to order the fabric!
The twelve blocks we're doing came from Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns. While the book isn't required, I went ahead and ordered it because Amazon had it and I'd been looking for it previous to this quilt along.
Three blocks a week isn't something I'm going to keep up with, given all the other projects I have on the go. But it's a nice change to make 12" blocks again after all the 6" Farmer's Wife ones! Also, these Summer Sampler Series blocks are more complex than what I've done before, so I want to make sure I do them right the first time! Here's the first one I made: Mosaic. It went together quickly after I chain pieced the sixteen HSTs.
The second block I did was Greek Cross. It was another easy one.
Monday, I looked at what block #4 was and I think my easy-piecing days are over for this quilt along. Flower Garden Path, in Brackman's Encyclopedia, is a thirty-six square block! That translates into piecing 32 half-square triangles, unless you use the alternate pattern that Kate posted, which I just might do!
Being Wednesday, block #5 is now posted, and it's paper pieced. I've never done paper piecing before, but the Star block tutorial looks clear enough.
|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on July 13, 2011 at 4:35 PM||comments (0)|
It's Wednesday and time for a work-in-progress update! It's been a couple of weeks since I've done one. I'm linking up today at Esther's Blog and at Freshly Pieced. Check 'em out and see what everyone else is doing!
I actually accomplished a fair bit this past week. I made my blocks for the Farmer's Wife Sampler and got ahead of the game in the Kaleidoscope quilt along at Don't Call Me Betsy's. Not only did I piece my twelve kaleidoscope blocks, I also put them together into the quilt top and just finished sewing the border on today.
The border I used is the rest of the border I'd originally cut for Elizabeth's Sampler. Just as the grey and pink made that quilt look extremely washed out, it had the effect of toning down the bright colours in the kaleido blocks. On the former quilt it had an undesirable effect; on the latter quilt it has a desirable balancing effect.
Now - what to do for backing? That'll be the next decision since I've already decided how I'm going to quilt it. I have enough fabric in my stash to use - it's just a question of seeing what exactly is there.
A few photos:
The triangles randomly laid out on the floor before sewing began.
A block sewn together: multiply by twelve. I'm glad I chose to do the baby quilt!
completed top with border sewn on
|Posted by email@example.com on June 22, 2011 at 2:30 PM||comments (0)|
After a couple of slow weeks, I finally made some great progress on my WiPs. I started block #2 of my Spring Garden embroidered quilt and have had to review a couple of basic embroidery stitches since it requires more than cross-stitch. I have a feeling I'm still doing the stem stitch slightly wrong, so I'll have to check a second reference with better pics to give me the feel for it that I used to have. I don't like the light blue cross-stitch in the ribbon because it's not overly visible. Hopefully the purple and green of the lavender will bring it out. If not, I'll change the ribbon colour on future blocks.
I also got the rest of my 55 yo-yos cut out! So now it's just a question of stitching them before I figure out how to do the rest of the pattern of this special project I'm doing. The project consists of eleven yo-yos in each of five different fabrics. I'm done two of the fabrics and below is pictured the raw materials for the remaining three fabrics, plus their batting.
I've spent a bit of time with EQ7 too, trying to figure out how to use it. I'm still in the experimental clicky phase but I'll watch the videos this weekend and see if I can't make better sense of it. The Bible quilt is taking greater shape in my mind, but it'd be nice to be able to transfer the ideas to the software since this will be a lengthy project. My plan is to release it as a mystery BOM.
And it appears I've officially gotten on-board with the Farmer's Wife Quilt Along with the completion of block #1: Attic Windows.
I'm using scraps from my stash for this quilt. I've printed off the templates for the first ten blocks which'll get me current to the end of June and I'll be on schedule with this QAL starting July. I'll also likely do weekly updates every Tuesday, in the fashion of Elizabeth (Don't Call Me Betsy) and Lee (Freshly Pieced). I also plan on doing these blocks in order because I'm an orderly, symmetrical type of girl!
I ordered the Farmer's Wife Sampler book online last Thursday and with the Canadian postal strike, Chapters sent it UPS instead, so it was here on Monday. It would've taken a week via Canada Post, so I guess that offsets the fact that I have six yards of fabric coming out of Ohio lost in the twilight zone due to the strike.
I'm looking forward to attempting my first Basket block with this quilt along and there are some weird-shaped templates in this book that I've never worked with before! So it looks like there'll be a certain amount of decoding involved with some block assembly because the Farmer's Wife book doesn't go into a whole lot of "how-to" detail. Basically: here's your templates, here's what the block should look like, have at 'er! Since I'm also a rotary-cutter type of girl, my accuracy could be touch-and-go using templates to begin with. It's a learning experience, but I don't really care how big my blocks are as long as they're consistent. Attic Windows is 6.25" because I lost a quarter inch squaring it up. That's no biggie, as long as none of my blocks are smaller than 6.25" completed size. I've run into the quarter-inch square-up discrepancy before!
I plan on attempting all 111 blocks (110 actually, since block 20 Churn Dash and block 111 Wrench are the same thing), but I'm prepared to scrap a block or two if they decide to be stubborn and give me too much grief!
Tomorrow Elizabeth posts the cutting directions for the Kaleidoscope QAL, which I'm also looking forward to. As if that's not enough on the go, I've printed a couple of basic knitting and crochet patterns off of Ravelry and am reviewing my knitting technique by making a purple dishcloth. How kewl is that? I now wish I hadn't gotten rid of all my knitting needles and crochet hooks! I had all that stuff when I was a crafting teenager, but got rid of it thinking I'd never use it again when my carpal tunnel was so bad in my 20s and 30s.
|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on June 7, 2011 at 3:45 PM||comments (0)|
Yayy, I'm posting a work-in-progress update and it's still Wednesday!! Woohoo! I fell behind when I was sick for a few days (I'm feeling much better, thank you!) and for the past two days I've been trying to play catch-up. I think I'm just about there finally! I don't have a lot in the way of photographic updates, but I did complete the cross-stitching on block #1 of my embroidered quilt WiP. That's one block down and 17 left to embroider, before beginning the hand quilting process! Think this quilt might take a few years to complete, LOL?
I also had Amanda from Ruby for Women, which is a social networking site for Christian women that I belong to, approach me about writing monthly updates on my Bible block quilt progress for their ezine! I jumped at the chance, you betcha!
I also managed to get Wentworth County Quiltworks.com up and running, but the site's still a little sparse! I want to add photographs, tutorials, and one day, a little Quilt Along community to it, or maybe some BOM stuff - we'll see what happens over time! I'm open to suggestions and all the help I can get!
Speaking of quilt alongs - I've also been preparing this week to participate in my first ever QAL over at Don't Call Me Betsy's! I'm really looking forward to it but that'll have to be a topic for another post! Stay tuned....
For more Wednesday Works in Progress, head over to Lee's at Freshly Pieced!
|Posted by email@example.com on June 1, 2011 at 5:05 PM||comments (0)|
Things are moving ahead with the antique Sunbonnet Sue quilts! It may not look like it when this completed 20-block quilt top:
has become this pile of 20 individual blocks cut through the sashing:
But sometimes you have to backtrack before you can move ahead! In this case, the top sashing was ripped and couldn't be fixed, and I have my reservations about the sturdiness of the sashing, period. Since there's no point quilting something that may not hold together for the long term, I decided to take this quilt top apart and redo the sashing before I quilt it. This pile of fifteen Sunbonnet blocks pressed and squared up nicely!
They originally looked like this - crooked and limp! The plan is to put them together first in a quilt-as-you-go style. Then I'll finish taking the sashing out of the other twenty and put them back together.
Also, I'm almost done block #1 of this Rose of Sharon cross-stitch, for my embroidered quilt:
Happily, it's been a productive week! For more Wednesday Works in Progress, head over to Lee's at Freshly Pieced, which is really at Don't Call Me Betsy's this week. Esther also has a WOW (WiP on Wednesday) feature here.