Monday, September 30, 2013

A Little Fusing Going On!

I finished another UFO this week - back from 2010! It's about time, I'd say. It began as a class with Laura Wasilowski and is a small wallhanging, 15" x 12". Quite fun and a little on the improvisational side, too. Free-hand cutting, fusing, bonding, stitching, and it's done. For more details, see my other blog HERE!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Improvisational Table Runner

 This quilt began with scraps from my fall tablecloth of last year. I had saved the leftover fabrics in a plastic bag for a smaller project.
 I pressed the strips and tried to decide how to start.
I added a few more fabrics from my scrap basket that might go and decided to cut some rectangles and strips and began putting them together. That is how the large tablecloth was made.
 This is done rather randomly and really just what piece might fit to another. The rectangles are all different sizes, no measuring, just sewing. After all, if they went together once then they will have to go together again in a smaller project, right?
 After getting close to 20 blocks sewn, I just put them up on my design wall to see what they looked like together. I just made them fit sort of like a jigsaw puzzle, trying not to put same colors right next to each other.
 Eventually it looked like this. The table top was 20" x 41" so that was where I was headed size wise. I could always either add to this piece or trim away.
 I finally decided upon the top row and sewed most of them together.
 The next sections I put together in large rectangles, just as that is how the blocks seem to want to fit. It is quite fun to figure it out as you go. . .no perfect half square triangles to worry about, no exact size, just sew and see what you think. Add a strip if needed . . .
 Here are the 'parts' before sewing them all together.
 And here is the completed top. I did have to trim it down some as it was too large, even allowing for a little shrinkage after it was washed.
 Now it's quilted and bound!!
 A close up. . .
 one more close up. . .
and the backing. . . pieced of course with leftover fabrics. 
Here it is completed and on the old sewing table. I am officially ready for autumn and today is the day!!   I need to put something interesting in the marble bowl that my son-in-law brought me from Afghanistan this spring - the colors are perfect!
Here is the fall tablecloth. I must not have shown a picture last year after it was finished but it's one of my favorites. Happy Autumn!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Miles of Binding!

 I have had 'miles' (it seems) of binding to do this past week but it is all finished. Here is Evelyn's Album, completed, even with my initials on the front corner, just like the pattern, actually.
 I saw the quilt of Lisa Bongean's at a quilt show and this is how it was quilted around the hearts so I used that idea - I'm a big fan of feathers anyway.
 Just a close-up of one of the other 12 blocks.
 I quilted Not So Easy Street weeks ago and put the binding on by machine but did not get the hand stitching done until this weekend. It is a large queen size quilt.
 I put several different black and white fabrics on the back when I found them all on sale for $5.00 per yard. Since I needed 9, I could not resist that price and piecing them made it a little more interesting to me anyway.
I found another purple batik for the binding that went great with the inner border. I don't know if I'll be doing any more mystery quilts for a while - at least not this large - LOL!!!
Happy Stitching!!
A few weeks ago I decided to give myself a challenge of quilting or making a "quilt a week". Now I know this may seem pretty crazy but I have many UFOs and leftover scraps from other quilts all in little bags, waiting to be made up. So, I began this in July - gave up on the idea since I had a busy August - but resumed again last week. Here is my other blog to motivate me with my challenge. You can also find a link on my sidebar.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Words to Live By - SBOW 2013

 You know when someone asks you how long it took to make a quilt that you just stutter around and realize it is next to impossible to really say . . . or at least that is what happens to me. Particularly appliqué. I mean, I can't even believe how long it just took me to do this one large central block and I did it!!! Three hours just to trace the words, color them in and lay out the appliqué and bond it. Never mind that I had the squares already sewn together, pressed with seams open and my overlay was already made and my wool pieces were traced, bonded to Lite Steam A Seam 2 and cut out, ready to go.
 So, here's a little tutorial of how it worked and what pen/s worked for me to do this inking. Above are the Words after they are halfway completed.
 Here is the pattern which had to be taped together and still was not complete (see top). I had to just 'fill in the space' with the rest of the leaves and berries and bird but I'm used to 'making do' so I managed. I thought maybe there was another place on the circle where the leaves were just the same, but there was not.
 I ordered this special Pilot permanent pen for inking as recommended with the pattern, in fact I ordered 2, but when I did my first test, it ran around the edges so I used my ever dependable Micron Pigma Pen size 05, for all the other blocks. See the Family block below. 

 However, as I traced these words, I realized I was going to be a long time so I got out my size 08 Micron Pigma Pen. It was still not filling in well so I discovered the Graphics Micron Pen which I had bought once, not knowing what I'd use it for but this was perfect. It was smooth to write with and filled in the large letters wonderfully.
 On the back I had already ironed a piece of freezer paper where the words would go so the fabric would not move while I was tracing. It helps tremendously to do this. When I was finished, I just peeled it off. Btw, it is virtually impossible (even with a light table) to see through two layers of dark (seam allowance) fabric and freezer paper so I had to draw my V by looking.
 Okay, so onto the bonding of the wool. I took my fabric to my ironing board, put my overlay on top of the block, using my centering lines for a guide and put two large straight pins sideways into the ironing board to hold it in place.
 I found where the appliqué pieces were supposed to go, gently lifted the tracing paper overlay and placed them on the fabric, lifting and checking to be sure they were in the proper place before I finger pressed them down to stay with the Lite Steam a Seam 2. The pieces are a little tacky so it helps hold them in place.
 Now I have everything in place but the circle. Since it is an extra layer on top, I waited until all the other pieces were bonded with a steam iron before I laid it down, again, checking with the overlay in place. I just steamed a few seconds, lifted the iron, steamed another area, to keep from burning the wool. 
I then laid my circle down, steamed some more and here is the completed block. . . minus all the hours of stitching that will come later. I like to prepare most of my appliqué and have it ready to stitch. I have finished a couple of blocks since this is a BOW but now I have weeks of stitching to do. And then, the finished quilt which can be seen at Primitive Gatherings has literally hundreds of half square triangles to set it off. It will be beautiful and hopefully worth all this effort put into it.
Happy Stitching!!