|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 23, 2011 at 5:35 PM||comments (0)|
My last dozen Farmer's Wife sampler blocks have finished at 6" instead of 6.5". I was mystified: my cutting is accurate, I've been very careful to press and not iron the seams and when I finally checked my sewing machine seam allowance, it was fine.
Here's a shot of the laminated template sitting on top of the paper template. Look at the size difference - it's at least an eighth of an inch.
So there's that mystery solved. My next question is, with eighteen of my blocks at an unfinished 6.5" and twelve at an unfinished 6", do I want to re-do the twelve and make them 6.5", trim down the eighteen and make them 6" (which will lose some nicely finished points), or add little borders to make the 6" into 6.5" blocks? (I did that with some early Log Cabin blocks and didn't like the result.) Half-inch discrepancy is too big to be able to ease the fabric successfully.
Alternatively, I could equalize the number of 6" with the number of 6.5" and just make two smaller, different sized quilts. That's another option and may be the option I go with.
At any rate, I've now printed off lizquiltz' 15-page template document and double-checked it and these templates are the right size. It's not a big deal to shoot over to Staples to get these ones laminated too.
("What's the big deal with the templates?" you may ask. Well, the CD that came with my Farmer's Wife book was broken, and although I've contacted Sharon Rustad for a replacement, I've not heard a thing from her. My guess is she's buried under requests for replacement CDs. Rather than fuss about it, I figure if I make a collection of semi-permanent templates, I won't need the CD.)
I'm linking to QuiltStory today. Check out the Fabric Tuesday eye candy over there! It's delightful!
|Posted by email@example.com 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 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 12:20 AM||comments (0)|
For this week's blocks I did Buckwheat and Butterfly at the Crossroads. Buckwheat, pictured below, is the first piecing I have ever done on point and I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out! This turned out to be one of those blocks that looked more intimidating than it actually was, but it's also the first block I completely templated and I think that made the difference. Using the templates, all those triangles fell together like nuthin'. Wow, was that a relief! The block was done in brown in the colour combination in the Farmer's Wife book, but it turned out well in various shades of grey.
Butterfly at the Crossroads is one of my favourite blocks so far due to the colour combination I used, along with the fact I did the "crossroads" in a third colour. The original block only used two colours. It also lined up perfectly and I just think it looks really sharp! I also used the templates for this block. I had tried piecing the HSTs from squares, but decided it'd be easier to template eight pairs of triangles rather than trim them. I'm done sixteen blocks now and have been thinking about how big a quilt I want to make this. I'm not sure I'll do all 111 blocks since I don't plan on doing a queen-sized quilt. But I may, knowing that I don't have to use them all in the same quilt. I also may use a straight setting instead of finishing them on point. Typically, the blocks will come from the Farmer's Wife book, but what I do with the finished blocks will come from inside my head!
|Butterfly at the Crossroads||
|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on July 12, 2011 at 3:50 PM||comments (0)|
|Birds in the Air and Bouquet||
Birds in the Air is a washout because of the fabrics I used. My second fabric was absorbed by the floral primary fabric, but that's okay because I wasn't sure how the points were going to line up anyway. Turns out they aligned not too badly, so that's a block I can always redo down the line if I want to. Otherwise, I'm sure the whole block will be absorbed by the other 110 blocks in the quilt. Bouquet surprised me. I thought it'd be tricky because of the weird template shapes, but it turned out really well!
Broken Dishes and Broken Sugar Bowl
Broken Dishes also surprised me because I thought it'd be a walk in the park to put together, yet it took me three tries to get those points lined up adequately! It goes to show you, you just never know. I did Broken Sugar Bowl one night when I was tired and not paying attention to the layout of the block pattern. It also took a couple tries to get all the colours and pieces in their proper spots, but once I finally did, I was happy with how it looked.
Calico Puzzle and Contrary Wife
I broke from making the blocks in the book's order with Calico Puzzle and Contrary Wife. I chose them because they were easy and I didn't have a lot of time. I'm going to start going in random order and crossing the blocks off my list as I make them. Some of the upcoming ones look tricky so I'll try to balance the harder blocks with the easier ones. There's no point inviting frustration! Contrary Wife is the first block I've done that I've used the same colour scheme as the book. It may well be the only one too.
|The first fourteen blocks|
|Posted by email@example.com on June 28, 2011 at 8:45 PM||comments (0)|
I've played catch-up and have eight blocks done on the Farmer's Wife Sampler quilt. I think I'm pretty much caught up and no doubt will get ahead in the next few weeks because I enjoy piecing and these blocks came together nicely! Being the observant individual that I am (insert tongue-in-cheek smiley here), I just realized the blocks are in alphabetical order in the book! Here's what I've got so far:
Attic Window got the FWQAL ball rolling for me and I was pleased with how it turned out. Purple and yellow is one of my favourite combinations.
|Autumn Tints and Basket|
Autumn Tints is one of my three favourite blocks in this group. It's all square and turned out perfectly, well, square! Basket was fun to put together until I got to the handle. It's not on there too straight because I hand-appliqued it and I had trouble getting it to lie flat. Steam helped, but I gave up trying to get that left side "just so."
|Basket Weave and Bat Wing|
Basket Weave is also known as Rail Fence and I've wanted to make one of those for a while. Rather than fiddle with the templates, I strip-pieced it and cut my four small squares, sewing them together in the prescribed directions. It was a breeze to put together. It's another of my three faves for ease of construction and the fact I made it all yellow. Bat Wing lined up better than anticipated, but not without first ripping one of the seams out because it was wayyy off-centre! And that was after ripping a seam out because I originally sewed the wrong edge of a triangle to the right edge of another triangle and it didn't look right at all. Once I got both right edges together, it looked the same as the picture and the edges aligned properly!
Big Dipper is the third of my three favourites in this group. It turned out square and the colour combination is sharp. Rather than use the templates, I sewed squares together and cut them to make the HSTs so originally the block was quite a bit larger than the finished 6.5". I carefully trimmed it and impressed myself with the finished product.
|Bow Tie and Box||
Bow Tie looked awkward to begin with but after taking a closer look at the templates, I realized it was one of the easiest to make. I like how it turned out. Box caused me some problems at first because I decided to sew and cut squares into half-square triangles as I did with Big Dipper. The only thing was I forgot to include my seam allowance, so the HSTs turned out way too small! Back to the drawing board and my lime green/lemon yellow block became sunflower yellow and dark green - the same green that's in Attic Window. I'm not impressed with that colour combo because I think it looks too dark, but I'm sure it'll blend well with the rest of the hundred-odd blocks left to make. I haven't yet sewn Birds in the Air or Bouquet. Birds in the Air is cut out and waiting to be sewn and Bouquet still needs to be cut out but since it has a lot of template pieces, I want to look at it and see if I can shortcut it somehow. I like to do what I can to avoid working with the bias edges of triangles. Next in line after Birds in the Air and Bouquet are Broken Dishes and Broken Sugar Bowl. They don't look too hard. I do love it when a plan comes together....
|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org 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.