Finishing edges

Working on finishing up the edges on a few more pieces. I realized that I’ve had these leaf pieces for almost two years. Yes, I’ve been using them for examples, but it’s time for them to move on.

I did want to show and tell on the way I do these with the turned edges. I use fusible interfacing and stitch it so that the fusible is on the inside when it’s turned. That does a couple of good things.

Look closely at the edge of this piece.

You can see that when I trimmed the edge, I cut off some of the knots on the embroidery. That is not really a good thing for a textile piece! By finishing with the fusible, any loose ends are sealed within the backing and will not come loose.

The other good thing about using fusible interfacing rather than a piece of fabric is that no additional quilting is required. Of course, you can accomplish the same thing with a piece of fused fabric. Since I mount my pieces on a stretched canvas, though, the back doesn’t show, and interfacing is cheaper than fabric!

Only have a few more on the pile to get done and then I can figure out best size of canvas to use, what color to paint them and how many more I need to buy! Just looking over at what I have, I am certain that I will need some more. Hmmm….shopping in the craft store is NOT a hardship!

Need a couple by Thursday, though, so I’d better get busy!

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It’s Goldilocks time

My little rust fabric squares have been done for a while and sitting in a little stack waiting for some more attention. Because of the colors in the variegated floss I used, I was pretty sure of the background colors I wanted to use, but not exactly the size and placement of the pieces.

So………….on point on a piece of red wool. Good color, red is too big.

And then we tried the medium bowl of porridge………..er, a smaller square of red.

Still not quite right, and I tried a smaller piece so that the edges of the cotton hung over the wool a bit more.

Aaaah–just right. The full background layer will be a single piece of deep purple wool, but I don’t have any of that right now. I was able to find a small piece to try out the color scheme and it will work very will.

My camera exposure wasn’t correct, but you can see how deep this purple is. I think this layout will work just fine and I’ll have lots of opportunity for hand stitching embellishment. This Goldilocks will live happily ever after!

Progress in small doses

Started the quilting on the hockey quilt. I don’t usually do much walking foot quilting, nor do I usually simply outline block shapes, but that’s exactly how I began this project.

And when that part was done, you couldn’t even see it on the front!

I had to check the back to spot anywhere I might have missed!

Then I started in on adding additional quilting to the sections. I had some issues wrestling the whole quilt around on my machine and was momentarily discouraged. My lines were so wonky………………….yes, I usually have those uneven quilting lines, but these were really bad! And then I reminded myself that this was a drag-around quilt and it truly didn’t matter. At all! It simply needed to be quilted to hold it together. Wonky lines hold equally as well as straight lines and it absolutely shows the ‘hand of the artist.’

So I will continue in the wonky way and it should be finished soon. I have some free time this week and I’d like to stick to it until it’s done.

Potato chip quilting

There are some stack and switch techniques that are done with two fabrics at a time, making opposite or reverse blocks. I like many of those, but making them is like eating potato chips. You can’t eat make just one! Using the brown and light neutral needs that type of technique.

Brown is definitely NOT my favorite color–though it does rank higher than purple! My daughter asked why I was making a brown quilt if I don’t like it much. Simple–use up the stash! My thought on this one is that the brown and light/neutral will be high contrast and look just fine.

Simple technique, yet it makes unique blocks. Start with stacked squares–mine are 9″–and make two cuts straight across the stack. Measurements are random!

Take the center strip and make two cross cuts. Again, measurements are random. Switch the center squares and you are ready to start assembling the blocks.

Sew the side strips to each side of the center square. Then the top and bottom strips will be added. Now, remember that there are no added seam allowances here, so the top and bottom strips will be longer than the center strip now. You don’t have to match at either end, or you can start out even at one end.

After sewing, trim those extra bits off the edges and you have two blocks that are the same, but look different when you start arranging them.

Hmmm….these look crooked in the pic, but they are really nice and square!

Anyway, make blocks in the same manner, random cuts on all sides, and keep making and making like eating those potato chips. You can certainly stack more than one light and one dark square together when making those cuts. I don’t like to do more than 4 simply because those random cuts make for more variety.

So here are the first few I made. Some of my light is not as light as I might have wished, but it will work. I’m going to go ahead and make as many blocks as I can from the browns I have. If I decide that I need added color, I believe I have an idea of how to add that easily and effectively later. And I’ll have lots of time to decide what color will work best…potato chip sewing is a touch slower than production chain piecing!

 

 

Four Seasons

Is a seasonal series a cliche? It might be, but it’s what I ended up with. I started playing with fabrics and embellishments, as usual, and the seasons just popped up!

Does this say winter? It does to me!

I wanted summer to be exuberant and abundant…maybe should have had a few more beads, but this kinda gets the feeling across.

I really revved it up for fall. There were even a few more beads added after this pic.

And I totally changed my bead plan for spring after I found those sweet little butterflies in a bag, in the back of the bottom drawer of my bead stash!

Now the embroidery and embellishments are done and I’m ready to mount them on canvas…………..but I have to wait for the paint to dry. I’m using a soft gray and hope they will look good on that color. I’ll try it as soon as that paint is safe to touch.

Cliche or not, I like this series!

New games

As I said before, this week is shaping up to be very busy and sewing time is at a premium. I’m playing when I can and I have a new toy!

I succumbed to the allure of a new specialty ruler, the Classic Curves ruler by Sharon Mc Connell of Color Girl Quilts. I’ve been wanting to play with the Drunkard’s Path pattern again for a while, but wasn’t sure if I wanted traditional or improv. This decided it for me, along with the other possibilities she shows with the ruler. So, here’s my first try using it.

I’m also using some Sherrill Kahn fabrics that I have savored hoarded for years. I didn’t realize how much of that fabric I had until I grabbed it all off the shelf and unfolded it! Sheesh–yardage! I haven’t bought yardage in years…I’m a fat quarter buyer! This may end up as a very large quilt.

Hmmm….lots of waste fabric with the first few blocks. Each concave cut made from a single square leaves enough waste for a smaller convex piece.

That’s fine if you are planning on making two quilts and you want to buy twice as much fabric as needed! I hate waste and know that I will not make an entire quilt this way. On the instruction sheet is an alternate method of cutting the concave parts with less waste and I haven’t had time to try it yet. If I’m not happy with that, I will consider cutting this half of the pattern using a template. We shall see, when I have a bit more play time!

I also put together some basic step-outs for making a hanging sleeve. I have to do a demo for anyone at our next guild meeting who is unsure of how to do it. I thought it was a totally basic skill until I realized that many, many people never hang a quilt on a wall. They make them for beds, believe it or not!

I used a hunk of some of my oldest–should I say vintage?–fabric and every time a bit of that is gone, I smile! Happy to de-stash in any way I can!

Enough turquoise!

At least for a while. It didn’t take long to finish up the second turqoise quilt. The picture looks an awfully lot like the first one, doesn’t it?

It would be wrong if it didn’t! My fears were true, though, and I had miscounted and miscut. I had plenty of blocks, but they were all angled in the same direction! Eleven blocks left that I really can’t use…they can sit in the scrap box for a while.

The only real difference between the two quilts is that I used the mis-matched half blocks that I had cut also. It’s not immediately noticeable, but like twins, it makes it easy to tell them apart!

I saw a ton of ideas for more quilts during the retreat this weekend. Some were even ridiculously simple and easy and fast. I should only consider those for stashbusting, but I love Drunkard’s Path variations. I think I want to do one.

Improv curves or template curves? There is a new BIG cutting ruler out there that I might consider, but improv is my thing. What to do, what to do, what to do……………..oooo, and then I get to pick fabric! Fun times ahead for sure!