Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Progress Report for August

This is the first quilt... done awhile ago... "K-5"

And this is the one from the leftover strata ... It is about 72" square

I was going to do this... which is pretty...

But decided instead to do this... which goes with the decor in our loft...

Busy? Yup. One more being pieced, one more being quilted ...

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Flying Geese and Half-Square Triangles

Those quilts with a zillion small pieces sewn into 'flying geese' or 'half-square triangle' can be intimidating. Not only that, when the pattern asks for triple-digit quantities of them, I just moan. However, there are a few tricks...

This week I've rediscovered one in which you can make 4 flying geese at the same time. The first set of directions I found used 5" charm squares, but another author suggests 5 1/4." She gives full instructions, pictures, and the formula for different sizes. Here is a link that includes this method, plus three others, with charts to show how big to cut the pieces. Flying Geese Methods

As for the HST method, it makes 8, yes 8 of them at one shot. It works really well and I've not seen this one before (mainly because I never looked until falling in love with a pattern that needs a zillion of them).

In this method, the instructor uses a special ruler to draw the sewing lines, which is totally unnecessary. Just draw each line corner to opposite corner and sew 1/4" on either side of it. No need for that ruler/gadget.

Other videos and instructions give variations, like pressing seams open (don't like it because you can see the seam through the light triangle fabric). One has a different formula for the size of the square you need, and had I used it, mine would have been too small. The formula should be "finished size of HST x 2, plus 2" and this gives very little to trim off. So if you want a 2" finished HST, use two squares that measure: 2 x 2 = 4, plus 2" = 6". The link to the free video (at least it is free right now) HST - 8 at a time.

I've not cut the 4" centers yet, but this is my first stab at what I might do with them, an old familiar design, but there are many variations . . .

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Leftovers again

Several months ago I made a quilt from greenish strips of scraps and gave it to Quilts of Valour. The leftovers were fairly large so decided to make another 'leftover' quilt. This one went through several design tries before I settled on the last one... which is still not completely sewn together, just the bottom part. I didn't have much of the dark green (background is darker than the picture), but there is enough to add a few inches of border after these pieces are sewn together.

Okay, so I'm Scottish, and it feels good to use these leftovers. The cost of some background material and backing isn't too outrageous, so my penny-pinching tendencies are very happy.

Didn't like the hole in the middle
Okay, just turned it 90 degrees

Figuring out how to sew it together happened while I was taking a prayer walk and thinking about something else entirely. Funny how that happens. Hoping that the quilt design will be the same sort of 'gift' as right now, I've no clue how to quilt it.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Another one made from leftovers

This one needs a label and a name. One of my kaleidoscope quilts had several pieces of strata leftover. I didn't want to throw them away so bought some background and backing to go with it. This one is 72" square. 

My design wall is otherwise occupied so took this picture with the quilt tossed across the bed. The close-up shows the texture in the background created by my first panto design. It was a challenge to quilt, but the result suits the bits and pieces. See K-5 HERE.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Problem solved, but not without pain

That panto with the straight lines did manage to get stitched on my quilt. I could not find any solutions (other than buy the software) so tried to watch the laser and stitch it with a ruler. If the panto had been wider than 6" and my machine arm longer than 18" and my body any shorter than 5'4", it would not have worked. As it was, parts required standing on my toes.

Here are the photos. I finished it yesterday and today started applying a facing to finish the edges. I'll post more pictures later.

The pain? My attention wandered as I worked, and while it did, my machine decided to take a bite out of my hand. Sorry, no gross photos. The goose egg went down in a few hours and the black and blue showed up the next day. No blood, but the part that hit me (micro handles) did break the skin. No griping. It was worth it... I think.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

A question?

I've a modern quilt loaded on my longarm and was going to do a quilting panto with lots of straight lines. I designed this one myself and do not have the software for the machine to just do it for me. The photo shows two rows.

I tried a few inches and had to unsew it because what seemed straight with the laser was impossible wavy. It looked awful and I had to pick it out. 

Having never marked a quilt already on the machine, does anyone have any tips? I've made a stencil and could use chalk, then quilt it with a ruler, but this could take forever. Is there any way to do this that will not give me a headache and a sore back?

I could change the quilt pattern, but it is perfect for the quilt... and maybe I'm just a little proud of myself for coming up with it? Sigh!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

With Scottish blood in my veins, I cannot throw away parts and pieces. The last post, Modern Towers, was made up of leftovers from another quilt. It was so satisfying, so I'm trying another. This time the leftovers are from K-5, a kaleidoscope using Ricky Tim's method. (Click on K-5 to see it.) You make strata and cut out mirror-image pieces. It is great fun, but leaves many triangles of strata. I sat down with a sketchbook and came up with a way to use them. 

First, I cut them all the same size with the lines going parallel to one right-angle edge. Then went to the local fabric store and found a complementary color for the background. From this, I cut pieces to join the bias edges, and strips to attach them to the rectangular pieces (also leftovers). 

This picture is the leftovers up on the wall with the background pinned to it. The strip is actually 12 triangles, so about 52" long x 6" wide. I decided the quilt size - it will be narrower on the left, wider on the right. Next task is to cut those pieces, sew them, then get a backing/batting and put it on the machine. I'm going to use a modern, angular panto to quilt it. More photos soon!

P.S. Kali's Cherry Tree also got a "Viewers' Choice" - I am so blessed!!