Category Archives: quilting

Irish Star #2; Top Finished

Scrap Happy Day’s coming up gave me a nudge to get the Irish Star stitched. So without further ado, here it is:

1 Irish Star 2 top finished

50 x 70

I knew it would be dark when I finished, so I took a photo half way through while the sun still shone to get closer to the actual colors.

1 Irish Star 2-4 rows

I haven’t decided whether I’ll quilt it or not.  It is large enough that guild will accept it as a top and either have a long armer quilt it or tie it at their monthly comforting-quilts sew days (when those happen again). Its destination is the HIV/AIDS “Strength for the Journey” camp, where each new camper is given a quilt. (And if the camp doesn’t happen this year, the quilt will keep till it does.)

I also haven’t decided what next.  Either I’ll quilt some child quilts that are in waiting or start the ocean-themed quilt that has been brewing for quite a while.

Meanwhile, I used the leaders/enders for the final assembly of the top to start on another quilt-along, Star Kissed. Tutorials for both Irish Star and Star Kissed can be found on Deanna’s blog, Wedding Dress Blue (here).

1 leader-ender

These will become a one-block baby quilt, 36 x 36 someday. I tend to reject the pastel squares in scrappy projects, so they have been piling up. A baby quilt seems a good destination for them.

To see other Scrap Happy projects, see Kate,s blog around the 15th. I’ll be linking with Finished or Not Friday, another Scrap Happy, and Oh Scrap! Links will be added when available. ETA And then because I have more time these days, I found Midweek Makers and linked up.

History of Irish Star #2

Started a year ago

Stars begun

Starsresumed

More stars

 

 

 

 

 

11 Comments

Filed under quilting

The Last Four Stars

I didn’t feel like I’d made any progress until I got the parts assembled and could lay out the block into a 9-patch.

1 star partial

At this point it almost feels finished even though there are several seams left to sew.

Plan A was to have the  quilt layout planned today.  Not gonna happen, and here’s why.  I’m going to need a whole day to assemble the alternate blocks once they are laid out.  When the design bed is opened, it takes the whole living room and is very awkward. Meanwhile once the quilt is laid out, I don’t want to pick it up till stitched together. This grouping just doesn’t lend itself to any stacking method I know that would allow me to keep track of what goes where. So a one-day sewing marathon is in my future. (And with the stay-at-home order there will be days.)

1 star alternate block

All the alternate blocks are at this point. Because I planned each star to have its own background, I need to synchronize those backgrounds with one square in each of its adjacent alternate blocks. So I can’t finish the alternate blocks till I know which stars will be next to each of its sides. And that won’t be known till I decide first where each star will go and second which parts of the alternate block will be arranged together beside it.

So, the final four.

1 4 stars

Hmmm. Yes, I see that oops. Funny how sometimes you don’t notice till you see a photo. At least this is before any more seams are sewn.

When I started making the star blocks,  spent a lot of time looking for the right square to put in each corner. But once I laid the blocks out with the alternate between them, I saw that the corner square blends so much into the other squares that it really doesn’t matter.  (You can see what I mean in the layout here or in the Irish Stars button in the sidebar.) So I have dithered a lot less since then.

Usually I’ve photographed blocks in even numbered sets, like the above. However, last time I had an odd number. That photo suggested another possible layout for a quilt without the chain alternate blocks. I had to check it out.

1 5 stars layout

I think that would make an interesting quilt someday.

The two end stars don’t have white centers. The white is the four squares that match the background being kept with them for when I finally get the layout planned.

It won’t be too much longer, just not today.

Linking with Needle and Thread Thursday and Oh Scrap! (Buttons in sidebar).

 

10 Comments

Filed under quilting

The Stars Are Out Again

After a long break (last touched in December), I worked on the Irish Star quilt along (button in side bar). It is more a quilt echo along now. WeddingDressBlue has moved on to another very interesting tutorial/quilt along.

1 stars

It is a nice change from the recent improv art project to do some repetitive chain piecing. There are things I like (and dislike) about each approach; moving among approaches smooths my interests out.

Now the plan had been to sort and put fabric away before starting a new project. Ah, but this isn’t a new project. (Rationalizing is one of my strong points.) I’d started on a stack on the table and these were at the bottom and just irresistible.  I also need to oil the machine and change the needle before I sew much more. Maybe tomorrow.

Now I have only four stars to go before I can plan the layout–my favorite part! This will be a good thing to do on one day of social distancing–now become stay-at-home. I really want to have time to sew all the parts together once it is lain out.

8 Comments

Filed under quilting

And “Solidarity” Is Finished

A little more than the original three-day estimate, to be sure. But with each closing, more time became available, and with it expansion of work to fill available time. I did end up quilting closer than originally planned; it was good to have the option.

I quilted everything except the sky then stopped. The original plan was problematic.

2 solidarity before sky

I’d planned straight lines with a scalloped bump for a cloud. First I stalled on where to put the bump. Then on how close to make the echo lines. Then on what to do with the little narrow spaces. If I hadn’t had three days to just look at it and think, I’d have quilted a big mistake. Finally I remembered advice from a quilting class: if you want something to recede, quilt it closely. I realized that all my previous ideas kept the sky at the same level as the buildings. So my old standby, meander. Or maybe it is stippling when smaller.

2 soliarity sky quilted

But I didn’t want to let the cloud idea go, so I did a wee bit of padded quilting. I’d meant to do two, but there wasn’t enough space on the left to get the padding stitched in and cut around.

Then I tried a new way of facing that I’d learned in Elizabeth Barton’s Mod Meets Improv class on the Academy of Quilting. (I was reminded of a tailoring class I’d taken years ago where at every class the instructor said of some technique, “If you don’t learn anything else, this technique is worth the class fee.” I feel that way about this facing; however, there was much else worth while too.) And the quilt is finished.

2 solidarity finished

And I can still go to the post office and get it in the mail. Time will tell if the three shows Stretching Art and Tradition is scheduled for will take place. Meanwhile I have enough books, fabric, and yarn to keep me occupied and enough food to eat for a week or so. I hope the rest of you are coping with this coronavirus thing.

ETA: As I expected, the first show has been postponed till June. I’d have had till May to complete it.  Glad it is completed.

History of this quilt

Stretching Art theme for 2020 and sketch

Embroidery and beginning improv

Improv finished

Template section finished

I will be linking with Needle and Thread Thursday , the Clever Chameleon, and various Friday linky parties. (Buttons in sidebar)

Linking with Free Motion Mavericks too. But, full disclosure.  The bottom half quilting was done with a walking foot. FMQ from the “river” on up.

Also linking with So Scrappy.  and Oh Scrap! The bottom section is made from true scraps; the upper from pre-emptive scraps–IE, cut from fabric purchased for another project.

 

 

12 Comments

Filed under design, quilting

Building a City

In the previous postI showed the rally/march; now I am working on the city background.

2 city partial

The next time I design a city, I’ll make it require fewer than five L-seams! In the above photo, three are finished. I had originally planned to cut and piece buildings so that the seams would be straight, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought it would break the buildings up too much. Photo was late afternoon while there was still some daylight, so the colors are pretty true. I had all those grays on hand because I am planning another quilt with city buildings. I don’t think I’ll miss the little bit of each that I used for this piece.

Now that the city portion is finished, there was less light, so the photos are darker.

2 city portion pieced

Several of the plain colors are oxford cloth, and it is really flimsy to work with. (I didn’t want to use starch because the piece will not be washed.) You’ll notice how ripply in the first photo. I tried an old embroidery trick of ironing it wrong side up on a thick bath towel, and it smoothed right out.

And here’s a preview layout.

top plus march

I still have some curvy green to add and the river. It seemed easier to make the buildings as if they were the whole section, then to cut away the curve later using freezer paper templates. I have an extra inch all around in case piecing or quilting loses inches (required size is 18 x 36), but templates seem safer than improv for the curves of greenery by the river.

This portion also took longer than I expected, since I’d not originally planned the L-seams. But I haven’t been working constantly.

I plan to link up with Needle and Thread Thursday (button in sidebar) Oops; not happening this week.

ETA: I had thought it would be finished by Scrap Happy day, but with all the cancellations because of the coronavirus, I had free time and you know the saying: work expands to fill available time. The bottom “march/rally” portion is all made of scraps. The city from pre-emptive scraps since the fabric was bought for something else. 🙂 All from stash.

Check out other scrap projects at Tall Tales From Chiconia.

 

8 Comments

Filed under quilting

How about Four?

Not four instead of three, but instead of one for the improv piecing (estimate had been made here). Here’s why:

2 improv detail

I knew I intended to make tiny pieces; I just didn’t know how long it would take. Good thing I have some wiggle room in the schedule! A comment about the letters.  They were too small to make curves (This one is the smallest, 5 threads high), so O and D look the same.  I hope the context makes this read “wind” and not “wino”! At any rate, the improv piecing is finished.

2 piecing (improv) finshed

My only nod to perspective was the decrease in size. The letters in the signs in the foreground are 10-14 threads high. I aimed for 10 but sometimes missed a thread.  I ripped out really bad errors but not skipped threads.

Tomorrow on to making the templates for the top portion.

Linking with Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Friday (button in sidebar).

7 Comments

Filed under quilting

Piecing

After two days, I begin to think I might actually finish by the 20th–my goal so that I won’t have to pay extra postage for 3 day or (gasp) 1 day service.

I finished the hand work this morning, made the big pattern, and made a mess looking for fabric, Then I started the improv part. I’m not trying for any realism, like making people shapes. I’m just aiming for the energy of the crowd.

2 piecing bottom half

Some pieces are attached; some are just placed to audition. At first it was hard to make the pieces as big as I wanted the for the “front”; then I had trouble sizing back down for the “distance.” So there is some adjusting to do.  The embroidery on the “posters” didn’t end up graded in as many sizes and I’d originally intended, but I think it will do.

They get quite small in the back.

2 piecing top half

I see my sketch of the “city” at the top is too light to show. The smaller sketch is here, in case you didn’t see it a couple days ago.

The plan is to finish the improv tomorrow and maybe start the “buildings.” Another day for quilting and another for facing and label and hanging sleeve.  I might not have to cancel any activities and still have plenty of time to finish. Optimism is a good thng, right?

Linking with the Clever Chameleon’s Colour Tuesday and Oh Scrap!

6 Comments

Filed under quilting