Tag Archives: patchwork

Threads of Resistance Top

As with most items, the top took about twice as long as I planned for it. But here it is.

Threads of Resistance

~20 x 24

Not much is changed from the sketch.  However, it always amazes me how different a colored design looks than the black and white sketch. I pondered long over using two shades of red for the broken sign, and I’m not sure I made the right decision. There would have been more continuity with all one shade, but I didn’t want bright in the “dirty” bottom. And I wanted bright at the top. So let’s hope the fact of red, if not the shade, is enough continuity.

First I enlarged the design to the size of the quilt, played with the arrangement of the red pieces, then drew lines completing the curves. Next I traced the design onto freezer paper for templates. Before cutting the templates, I carefully labeled each piece with a number and its color, plus I made registration marks so that pieces would end up oriented correctly. (There were a lot of small squarish pieces that would have been easy to mess up.) When doing a design with fewer pieces I don’t make two copies, but this time I knew I’d get confused.

What took the most time was figuring out the order of assembling pieces so I would avoid Y-seams. That done–and written down, I started assembly.  Although I am rather comfortable with curves, I worried that the small pieces that made up some of the curves would distort more than large pieces do. So I didn’t cut the large blue pieces till I saw how the narrow curves fit on the master drawing. Besides ironing the shelf paper onto the fabric, I also pinned because I was worried that much handling would dislodge the templates and i needed the labels until units were recognizable and the registration marks till I got them transferred onto the fabric. Keeping the paper on the pieces worked for the slight curves, but the large ones required stay stitching just outside the seamline, stitching that also was a guide for seaming.

Now to ponder quilting design and thread. Red threads? All or part? Match color of thread and fabric? Hand or machine? Big stitch for accent?  While that is germinating, I’ll turn to the Riley Blake challenge top. And keep thinking titles: Currently thinking Over 350 or Deregulation.

I’ll be linking with Finished or Not Friday and Off the Wall Friday–buttons in the sidebar.

 

 

8 Comments

Filed under design, quilting

Last 5 Weather Blocks

I guess it is time to get with the program and finish off this 2016 project. So here are blocks for August-December

weather-aug-dec

These are ready to put with January – July, blocks that have been patiently waiting. (If you click back to the early post you will have to scroll way down to get to the weather update.)

October . . .

weather-oct-2017

. . . I think it is safe to say, was the most boring month! If I had divided temperatures into groups of 5 instead of 10, I’d have been able to switch out only 7 of the grass green squares.

The design definitely works out best in a strip setting instead of monthly setting, as you can see from the others in the Facebook group. But I had to try. The image in my head was of calendar dish towels.

I’m aiming for 50 x 70 for the AIDS camp that I make several quilts for; here’s hoping one of the participants is a weather geek. I’m thinking of 1-inch strips between months and a narrow border on the right. On the left a wider border with the key to the temperatures. In keeping with the dish towel look, the top border will have “2017.” And the bottom “Portland Highs.”  So now to make the letters and numbers.

I didn’t get to use red for 100s or purple for 20s. I’d have been able to use the latter for this January–at least three days, so cold does happen here. Hot not so much.  I’m pondering using them for the letters and numbers and/or binding.

ETA: Linking with Moving it Forward Monday–button in sidebar.

4 Comments

Filed under design, quilting

Fall Quilt Retreat

It was time for quilt retreat, and I wasn’t about to take the ocean quilt.  I need lots of time and space to design as I go. Luckily I had three kits left over from the last retreat, so I didn’t have to think much, just grab.

I finished this child sized charity quilt top.

6-in-squares

40 x 60 inches

A couple years ago I was making kits for a friend’s project. I kept out some to finish myself, the ones that needed more arrangement than alternating matching blocks . This is the last of them, so I’ll have to start cutting again. It took about half a day to assemble at retreat pace. For me that is slow because I stop to talk a lot. Others power along and finish up way more. Still others think more and are slower. We each have our preferred pace.

And I finished the third of my last year’s leader-ender block tops.

l-e-blue-sashing

~42 x 60

The blocks were pieced and arranged and the sashing cut. And I had labeled the rows clearly enough that I could remember my plan even after a year. This one took about a day, retreat pace. This one is the same setting as the inspiration quilt (here). The first two are here and here in case you missed them.

ETA: It is amazing how much difference a sashing color can make. Mishka used black (in the inspiration link above)  and Deanna at Wedding Dress Blue used white (here). I needed a color because the group I donate to prefers less white, but black would not do for a child quilt.

With all the people at the retreat, I should have asked someone to hold it for a flat shot, but I didn’t think of it, so back to the sofa shots.

Remember the Sunny Lanes block? (here, if you forgot) One of the quilters was doing just what I had been thinking would work well with scraps. Here is her top.

sunny-lanes-top-with-red

This is what it can look like in a top.(Yes there are a couple blocks that need repair. It was an exchange and a couple blocks didn’t follow directions.) I really like the red, but I haven’t decided on what color I’ll be using for the stabilizing colors. Meanwhile, the 4-patches will make a good leader-ender project, and I need another.

I also pieced the blocks for a Rail Fence twin size quilt. You’ll see it when it is together. And when that was finished, I knitted on a pair of socks. It was a totally good retreat–I’d packed exactly the right amount of projects, always a challenge.

ETA: Linking up with Oh Scrap!

19 Comments

Filed under Fiber Art, quilting

Another Start–The Ocean Quilt

Perhaps the title should read, Another Shift in Priorities.  December suddenly seems close and I have two projects due then. So all other pieces in progress move to the back burner.

The ocean quilt has been planned for a long time, in general concept: Work the traditional ocean-wave block into it. A diagonal line. Tans to one side for beach. Blues to the other for water. It is the details that have not gelled. Should the shapes be square, diamond, or triangle? Should they be the same size or variable? Then along came curved strips, and I was ready to begin.

The traditional ocean-wave block looks like this.

ocean-waves-quilt-block

And it is usually set in an all over pattern. Here is a link to Kat and Cat’s quilt so you can see the overall traditional look. Some day I may try that, but not for this quilt.

My first step was to gather many blue fabrics; now that is one of my favorite parts of planning. The other day I got them out and arranged them dark to light.

blue-fabrics

Some of these are fat quarters, which went well when I was thinking small pieces. I may have to get creative now that I want longer, wider strips.

Now come some less interesting steps, like cutting squares and sewing half-square triangles (HSTs).

480-squares

Here are 480 2-inch squares, patiently waiting. I did avoid drawing the diagonal lines with the Clearly Perfect Angle tool from New Leaf Stitches.

perfect-angle-tool

I think it was meant for modern machines that are mostly in white cases, but I can see the three places to align the squares. (It is set up so you can either sew with a 1/4 seam allowance as I am here or directly from point to point.)

But I don’t know any way to avoid pressing and trimming. Since those steps are not very photogenic, there will be a pause until I have something interesting to show you. Meanwhile, linking up with Kelly’s Needle and Thread Thursday.

11 Comments

Filed under quilting

Sunny Lanes–more tips than tutorial (and weather update)

Last year I participated in Foot Squared Freestyle (F2F). The time came for me to receive my blocks, and I did (link here if you want to see them all; scroll down to March for mine). I had planned to make my three after I saw if any color/shade was needed to balance things. I’d also made Sunny Lanes for everyone and planned to make one for me. That is what stalled the process. I needed yellow-orange and didn’t have any. I finally bought some and prewashed it, but by then I was on to other projects. So I am finally back, and here is my finished Sunny Lanes.

sunny lanes orange finished

12 1/2 x 12 1/2

Since I made one for everyone, I thought it would be fun to see what variety color differences can make for one block pattern. (There are only 11 because I started a month late.) A reminder of the rules: Members could make any pattern 12 1/2-inch block using the colors chosen by the recipient.

After seeing all those, you want to try one, right? I foresee a quilt in my future using scraps for the squares and a unifying pair of colors for the HSTs.

A 12-inch block requires 8 HSTs (Cut four 4-inch squares of two colors–I allow oversizing and trim to 3 1/2 inches.) and 32 2-inch squares (they will finish at 1 1/2 inches).

When I have plenty of fabric, I cut 8 squares of each potential color and make my HSTs and play around. I add the extra squares to my collection for scrap quilts for later use. So I tried three color groupings for the current block.

I started out thinking I wanted the medium brown in the corners, then saw the bright red beside the stripe and thought I’d like it. Last I tried the gold, just in case. In the abstract it was my least favorite, but I ended up liking it best. I thought the medium brown too distracting and the red too bright. I wait till the 4-patch pieces are sewn to fiddle with the direction the corner ones will go–sometimes a diagonal line, sometimes more rounded. Much easier to rotate one piece than four each time.

After making 3 or4, I finally had a system.

Three challenges for assembly: keeping the HSTs going the correct way, keeping the colors where you want them, and pressing the seams so they will nest when assembling the next seam (of course people who press open don’t have to worry about the latter).

I lay the pieces out on my 15 1/2 square ruler.

I start chain piecing with the small squares, L to R, top to bottom. I do not cut them apart until after they are pressed, and I leave the thread bunny (or leader/ender) attached to mark the top. I press seams in alternating directions. That way each pair will nest.

SL string

It would have been smart to show the wrong side, but you can see some of the fold directions. And the thread bunny.

I snip the pairs in twos as I lay them in their place on the square ruler. Then, again moving L to R and top to bottom, I stitch each four patch segment.

This time pressing is a major issue only for the center 16 squares because they will meet up. The corner ones do not matter. I lay all pieces back in place on the ruler and carry it to the ironing board. I press the seams in the two in the center-left column down and the ones in the right up.

Now you have the choice of assembling the center and the pairs of HSTs then assembling the whole as if it were a 9-patch block or assembling row by row. I have found the latter easier as it requires fewer breaks.

I sew pairs down one side, then down the other, then sew the middle seam, making four strips. I lay them out and press in alternate directions. Nothing left to do except the final joining seams.

I hope to see some of your variations on Sunny Lanes.

10/3/17 Linking with Quilting Jetgirl’s and Late Night Quilter’s Tips and Tutorials

And after I come back from vacation, I’ll lay out blocks, make my last two and start setting them together.

BTW I will be without WiFi on most of vacation, so won’t be responding to comments till I get back.

Also while catching up on blocks, I finally made June and July for the weather quilt.

June block

June 14 1/2 x 14 1/2

Yep, that orange is for highs in the 90s and that is what we had at the beginning of June, 97 to be exact.

July

July

July was cooler and pretty boring colorwise. Too bad I hadn’t planned on different colors for each 5-degree increment.

And here are all the blocks so far.

weather-Jan-July

There will be cream sashing between eventually. Most weather quilts are done in rows (some samples here) instead  of blocks and look better, but I’ll finish what I started.

See you in three weeks.

6 Comments

Filed under quilting, Tips and Tutorials

Practice Stitching Curves

Buried among my orphan blocks were these strips of squares. It amazes me how almost modern the print, and the setting is even gray.

O-strips

They have a long history, only part mine. They lived in a basement among other sewing things, as squares, not strips. I don’t know how long they had been there, but they smelled musty, so much so that I got accused of smoking (in a non-smoking apartment) when I pressed them. The owner of the house was moving to a nursing home, and her relative, who was in my guild, was giving out the UFOs. This was at least ten years ago.

I took them along to a retreat as a filler in case I finished other projects faster than expected; sometimes it happens. I did,  so stitched the squares into these strips. It was before rulerless cutting was in vogue, but these irregular squares appeared to have been cut without a ruler or marking. Add to that my inexperience at machine piecing (hand piecing comes out right because you sew on the seam line) and irregular 1/4 inch seams, the strips were quite wobbly.

So they sat, waiting for me to trim them straight and do something about the bubbles. Also they needed something to  double them to make an adequate sized quilt.

They were sitting out when a member of Sunshine (link in the sidebar under quilt groups) issued an Olympic challenge–make a quilt using the Olympic colors while watching the Olympics. Noting that the colors in the print were all the colors except black, I started to plan.

Instead of trimming to straight edges, I decided to use Sherri Lynn Wood’s curved seam approach to the irregular edges and darting to control the bubbles.

And I ended up with this.

O-top

Close to 40 x 60

If I can find my black, I’ll border and bind it in black. The border is needed because darting shrank some strips to 39 1/2, and that is without quilting or binding seams.

Now, about sewing curves. As you can see, these are quite gentle. I marked match-points on the first seam and noticed that they always met. So I didn’t mark any more, nor did I pin other than the first pin so that I’d start in the right place. I didn’t have to redo any seams.

Now we are told that it is easier to stitch when the concave curve is on top. In the past when I had S-curves I’d even start twice so that both halves could have concave on top. But on these gentle curves I didn’t bother. Yes, it is a little harder with the convex on top, but I developed a trick or two as I progressed.

This is one time to watch the needle. Even half an inch before the needle is too far away to match edges. I stitched till the two fabrics diverged to almost make a V at the needle, then with needle down, slid them gently together. Sometimes I had to repeat this every 3 or 4 stitches until I got around the convex spot.

Another thing I have read is to lift the top fabric high to aid in matching. I did not find that necessary. What is necessary is to handle the top and bottom fabrics separately, sometimes one in one hand and one in the other. Maybe lifting the top one high helps some to handle them separately, but I found it the dual handling that matters.

Occasionally at really tricky spots, I used a stylus (well, I never bought an official stylus, I just used my seam ripper) to hold the two edges in place near the needle.

One caveat: I don’t know how sharp a curve will prevent my method from working. I’ll keep using it till it doesn’t work and report back.

About the yellow curves. Here is a slightly better photo with them out of the fold of the sofa.

o center 2

At first I was going to sew straight strips, but it seemed better to continue with curves. For the first seam, I cut the blue and yellow together. Stitched. Then pressed away from the fabric that would become the narrow strip (toward navy in this top). I cut the fabrics for the second seam separately. I cut the yellow irregularly in what looked like pleasing variations. Where I wanted the yellow to disappear, I made sure to cut only 1/4 from the previous seam. Then I used the yellow as pattern to cut the navy.

Now to go hunt the errant black fabric.

 

12 Comments

Filed under quilting, Tips and Tutorials, Uncategorized

Block-of-the-Month Assembly

Three months out of the year I won the guild block-of-the-month pile–ending up with 26 after making only 15. Back in February, the pink ones quickly became a top (back made, but yet to be quilted). More recently I won the red-blue-gold nine and the totally scrappy six.  Along came a straggler that thought I had won pastels.

The straggler became a top for a doll quilt for the Toy and Joy project.

BOM pastel doll

I’ll be making doll/teddy bear quilts till the minky fabric is all used up, but the bag just doesn’t get empty. However, the fire fighters have requested more infant sized quilts (36 x 36). So I’ll shift my attention.

Nine 12-inch blocks easily make 36 x 36. Here are the red-blue-gold.

BOM red-blue-gold

The six block group required more thought. I laid out five.

BOM-5

I could use the sixth and make three more, or I could do something else. I thought and thought.

Once, long ago, I’d offered a challenge for people to send blocks with sides in any multiple of 3-inches. At the time I’d wanted to practice designing a quilt using variously sized blocks. What I didn’t anticipate was that without a color limitation, they wouldn’t play together even if I could arrange the space. I grouped them into color sets and put them aside. Maybe I should get them out. I arranged and rearranged the blue and white ones till I got four 12-inch blocks and added them in.

BOM plus 4- top

I decided it worked and sewed the top. The one remaining block will be combined with novelty fabric to become another doll/teddy bear quilt.

Now the two await backs.  I have multiple small pieces of flannel from which I’ll be making scrappy backs until it is gone. I have until the November or December meeting to finish these. Next in the stranded-block line up are the Foot Squared Freestyle (F2F) blocks–I still have to make my three as well as assemble blocks.

I’ll be linking with Let’s Make Baby Quilts (button in sidebar) when the link is available on Friday. And people visiting from that linky might also want to see the heart quilt on this blog entry, also a baby quilt.

 

11 Comments

Filed under quilting, Uncategorized