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Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Design Process

I have made more than a dozen baby quilts for people I worked with at Hobby Lobby. I usually just found a pattern I liked and went with what gender specific colors I needed. I've never made something with a specific theme or color or even style for someone, it has always been what I was in the mood to do. This last one was different. Everyone kept telling me they are going to do the Winnie the Pooh theme. You have to do something with Winnie the Pooh. I didn't give in until the gender was determined because I have a pink and white one going and if it had been a girl, she would have gotten that one, but since it was a boy and I didn't have anything in mind or in the works I thought I would give it a try.

My first thought was I might do a 1600 quilt with all neutral strips and applique a Winnie and a honey pot on it. I couldn't find a pattern for a Winnie and when I mentioned this to my friend Donna she said "let me embroidery you a Winnie".


He was so cute, but the idea for the 1600 in all neutrals didn't feel right. I tossed around several other ideas, even went so far as to cut 3.5 inch squares in red, yellow, blue, green and neutral thinking I could set them in diagonal rows. Just wasn't sure of the placement of Winnie.

Then the other night when I was working with some cut off HST from another project it hit me. Make HST from those 3.5 inch squares and put them together in color sets. I had bought two different Pooh fabrics and this block imitated  the kites in the fabric. The blocks finished 5 inches so Pooh was 2 wide and 3 tall that would work out great. Then I decided to frame Pooh before adding the blocks. My thinking was if I cut that inner border or frame 1.5 inches then I would  need to reduce Pooh from 10.5 by 15.5 to 9.5 by 14.5. So is anybody else surprised that when I added the top and bottom border it measured 16.5 instead of the 15.5. Yes I forgot to subtract for both sides, DUH. So I had to rip those off and trim Winnie a half inch all around so that he would stay centered. Johnny got a big laugh about my math issue. I said it was an engineering design flaw. After I got this fixed the blocks went together nicely. I did have two blocks that I have to rip because of incorrect color placement. I planned to putting another small red border to match the frame around Winnie and then add the Winnie the Pooh fabric.
I was very pleased with the project to this point. It was the border fabric that started giving me a hard time. I just didn't feel that it was right. It didn't add anything to the quilt, maybe even took away. At this point the top is only 32 by 37 so I felt like I needed borders or more blocks.

I had 2 yard of the border fabric and I can't begin to tell you how many times I cut it wrong, changed my mind, ripped and just plan old over thought it.


Here it is with side borders, not even going into why I cut those first, yes it was one of my mistakes. I hope you agree they just don't do anything for the quilt. Johnny suggested I walk away from it awhile. So we went out to sit on the porch and while enjoying the fresh air I decided to take the borders off and add a hanging sleeve and just make this a wall hanging. I think that will be better for the embroidered Winnie. Rather than piece all the scraps for a back I a just going back to the store and buy more fabric. I have enough of the red to bind it in and I will just leave it as is.

Saying all this, I really admire all those quilt pattern designers out there. I don't know how they do it. 

 Happy stitching,

Teresa

Monday, February 20, 2017

DWM 2-19-17

I don't have anything new on the design wall, thank goodness. That is not to say I have not started anything new, it just means I have finished what I started. I have been on a scrap pillow kick this week. This is the second one. I posted a picture of the first on yesterdays post.
When I was pulling 1.5 inch strips for the first pillow I found a little plastic bowl of 1.5 inch squares plus a lot of loose squares in the drawer so I had to do very little cutting to put this one together. This one is a 16 inch and the first was a 18 inch  pillow.

I also have 64 large half square triangle ready to go the the guild work day tomorrow. They are made from 10 inch squares. I haven't seen the pattern they plan to use yet.
This was my focus fabric and I just pulled other bright fabrics to go with it. Hopefully these will make one quilt. The goal is 8 to 10 twin size quilts to go to Child Heaven, the charity of the New Beginnings Guild.


I finished quilting this one yesterday afternoon and hope to get it trimmed and the binding sewn on today. This one will go to Habitat which is the charity of the Quilt Lovers Guild. This was a fun technique for piecing the blocks and I may demo this to that guild. This is the third quilt I have gotten down to just handwork finishing this week. I guess when you don't leave the house for a solid week you can get things done. Not going to happen the same this week.


Happy Stitching,

Teresa




Sunday, February 19, 2017

Weekly Goals

Last Sunday  I made a list of 8 items to finish the week of February 12.

1. Quilt Hop N Blue --- done
2. Quilt Carol's Florida quilt --- done
3. Add borders and make binding for North Woods --- done
4. Finish top for brown bag project ---- still working on this one
5. Quilt red and black old top ---- done as well as the binding hand stitched
6. Quilt my Not a Wink --- it is loaded on the machine but haven't started yet
7. Piece 14 more bright Oklahoma Back Roads blocks and put top together --- done
8. Add mitered borders to blue and yellow top --- face it this one has been on a weekly list before and has not happened. If I don't forget it I will take it with me to the stitch group Saturday and get help.

I got a lot of other things done which bumped some of these items off the list.
I made this pillow. I saw it on Pinterest done in one inch strips but I have a drawer full of 1.5 inch strips so that is the way I went. I also made 64 big half square triangles for the guild charity project, just haven't taken any photos of this project.

I also got this one I am calling Spinning Out of Control quilted. I still need to sew on the binding but I will get that done this week so that I will have hand work for the next stitch day.

It has been a busy week, I didn't go anywhere until Saturday when I went to Hobby Lobby for the batting and pillow forms that were on sale. I got grocery's too while I was out. This next week I have more outings so may not get as much done. I am about to get a handle on all these piles of projects in the sewing room. Of course I am making the quilting pile a little higher but that is ok   I will get it done some day.

Happy stitching

Teresa

Friday, February 17, 2017

Guild Challenges

Since I am no longer working I have more social time so I joined two guilds. I also have a group that gets together to stitch one Saturday every month or six weeks. This group doesn't have a set date just plan it one stitch day to the next. Most everyone brings hand work but a few bring their machines. It is a fairly large group and we meet at the community center in Somerville.

One of the guilds - Quilt Lovers - has a half yard challenge. I came up with a plan for this one the very next morning and got started on it right away. I am very pleased with how it is coming along. However since it is a secret I can't share any pictures and the revile is not until December.

The other guild - New Beginnings Quilt Guild - had a ripped yard challenge. I wasn't familiar with this one, but was told to bring a yard of fabric to the last meeting.    We stood in a circle and passed our fabric x number of times and then we ripped the fabric we had in half. We kept half and passed the other half so many times then ripped that piece in half keeping half and passing the other half. We kept doing this until the last piece was about a 5 inch square. We were just dropping the pieces we were keeping in the floor and when it was done and you looked down at what you had to work with it was pretty daunting. I wish I had taken a picture of the fabrics before I cut them up. The only rule was you had to use at least half of each piece. You could add other fabric. We were supposed to keep the left over scraps in a bag so that everyone could see the original fabrics you had to start with on your project. I did take a picture of my scraps.
A pile of ugly, but as the saying goes if it is still ugly you haven't cut it small enough. We had to make something for ourselves, but it could be anything from a purse, pillow, table runner or quilt or anything you could come up with using your fabrics. Mine is done and the revile is in October. Johnny says I will probably loose it before then. Maybe not.

This morning I am working on blocks for this guilds charity quilts. I will post more on that later.

Happy stitching,

Teresa

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

News from the Quilt Shack

Yesterday the sun was shinning and it wasn't too cold, it was a good day to quilt. My quilt shack is heated and cooled but I leave the temperature set real low and then it will take a while to warm up when I go out there if it is real cold. But yesterday was a nice day and I had no excuse because when I finished the quilt I was doing Saturday for a friend I went ahead and loaded one of mine so that it was ready to go.


I am calling this one Hop N Blue. It is one of Bonnie Hunter's patterns, Hopscotch and Butterscotch. I have made this pattern several times. Things should have gone great, but I kept have a problem with my bobbin thread breaking or just loosing all tension. I was using prewound bobbins and I have used them before with no trouble. In fact I love that they have so much thread on them that you don't run out as often. My top thread was a Signature brand called Linen. My machine usually loves the Signature brand but I had not used this particular spool before. I finally got the whole thing quilted. It might not have been so bad but I was using a pretty heavy quilted pattern.

On my last row the thread broke three times on the first three designs but then finished the row out without breaking. My plans were to use prewound bobbin for the next quilt, but I had made up my mind if it started breaking I would go back to winding my own.


This was the next quilt I loaded. It has been pieced and hanging on sewing room closed door for several years. It even has mitered borders and the little black inner border is the flat pipping. I had to think about how to quilt this one with out quilting down that flap. I used a little darker thread on the top for this one and didn't have a bit of trouble with that same bobbin thread. I guess that other thread just didn't play well with others. Hopefully I remember this next time I want to use the Linen color.

I got these little blocks put together and borders on as well. I was a little unsure about the black inner border but really like how it turned out. I had to really think on cutting and sewing these borders since the fabric was directional. These blocks are also a Bonnie Hunter pattern called Oklahoma Back Roads.


I had to make sure and the little frogs were going in the same direction. Now to cut the binding and find something for the back. The friend I quilted one for on Saturday gave me two more to quilt. My plan it to get at least one of them quilted today.

Happy stitching,

Teresa



Monday, February 13, 2017

DWM 2-13-17

I spent most of Friday, trying to clean and organize my sewing room closet. It is a fairly large walk in closet but before Friday there was just no walk in to it. I pulled everything out that was piled in the floor and on top of the drawer units. It is still not exactly like I would like it but at least I can walk in and get to the stuff on the back wall. One of the items I found were these little Oklahoma Back Roads blocks done in brights. They were in a zip lock bag, only two blocks done but lots of pieces already cut. Besides project boxes I use bags for small projects and from the number I am coming across I certainly helped the stock go up for Zip Lock. I have made 14 more blocks and plan to set them together with a narrow black inner border and the frog on lily pad border. This will make a small baby quilt and it will be square which is something I usually avoid but I really liked the secondary pattern I got keeping the even number of blocks. Hope to get the borders on today.

I had a birthday this week and my hubby surprised me with this cake and a vacuum cleaner for my quilt shack. He even carried it out there and put everything together and vacuumed the room for me. It is amazing how much dust and lent you get on the long arm machine. I had said something about a dust buster but this is much better for getting up under the machine. I don't get up and down on the hands and knees like I did when I was younger. Face it, I don't do a lot of things I did 30 and 40 years ago.

Happy stitching,

Teresa


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Feb. finish

2017 Project List

1. En Province
2. Jamestown landing in green
3. Black and White disappearing nine patch
4. Split Rail ---------February finish
5. 100 patch
6. Three inch shoe fly
7. North woods - king
8. Black white and red rails ---------   January finish
9. Pink 1 x 4 x 16
10. Rick Rack Nines
11. Oversize Pokemon Dreams
12. Blue all around


The rusty split rails is my February finish on my 12 for 12 list. This is the one I had to get a little creative on the backing. I used five left over blocks to help stretch the fabric in order to have enough length.
I don't usually put a dark fabric on the back but I had enough piecing it this way and that got a large piece of fabric gone from my stash plus kept these blocks out of the orphan box, so it is a win-win.

I still have a baby quilt to make for one of my co-workers at Hobby Lobby. Even though I no longer work there I think the world of Gabe and I want to make a quilt for he and Victoria's first child. A friend has embroidered Winnie the Pooh for me so I am trying to design a quilt around him.
I had a plan but now that I have Winnie I have changed my mind. An idea came to me about 3:30 this morning (yes I hate when that happens) and I will have to see how that goes. Wish me luck.

Happy stitching,

Teresa