Thursday Tutorial-triangles

Grab a stack of fabrics from the scrap pile. Cut a square-ish chunk from the stack, any size with which you wish to play!

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Stack and cut triangles–right up my alley. Make a cut right through at an angle on one side. Your second cut should start down a little from the top on the other side. That gives you room to trim without cutting off your point after the block is sewn together.

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Switch the center triangle by moving the top one to the bottom of the stack and sew each side…and I hit a “Duh!” moment. I sewed the full cut side (right side in the picture) first and then sewed the shorter cut side.

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It will work, but take a closer look at the top.

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It’s supposed to have the full cut side covering that shorter cut side! I did sew the rest of  them the correct way.

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Make quite a few and get a feel for the best size in which to  trim them. You can always add a strip to a small one, if you need it.

Don’t forget that these can be more like rectangles than squares when you make them this way. And they don’t even all have to be the same size. I only made the height on each of mine the same for ease of assembly.

You can certainly make these with only a couple of fabrics at a time. There will be a bit more variation of the angles that way. I had such a huge stack of fabric that I kept cutting and sewing until I had enough for an entire quilt!

I also thought about mixing these with solid color blocks or with other pieced blocks, but those are variations for another quilt, another time!

Next time we’ll look at my favorite quick block…wonky nine-patch.

Un-sewing it, too!

Just a quick note to continue a bit of my process explanation. When I have my design line machine stitched into a piece, I don’t always follow it exactly. Mostly that machine line does get covered up, but when it doesn’t….

that’s when I have to go back in and pick out that stitching. It’s really not something that can be overlooked!

And now I’m going back to the first section and filling in the big, blank areas. I originally thought I would be doing that with the machine, but it simply wouldn’t look right to me.

This a big project and it will take biiiiig time. I’ll not show this much more until there is significant progress…could be a while!

Instant gratification

I was craving some sewing machine action today and I wasn’t at all picky about what I was going to do. However, I have such a huge stash, I can always find something pretty with which to play.

This panel was in a freebie pile at an art group meeting several years ago and I really love it. I snatched it up but then left it sit on the shelf…sigh.

It was a no brainer to get a section ready for quilting and get to stitching.

It may be nice at some point to make a tote out of the other sections, but quilting is what I was after today. And I got it done!

A happy little wall hanging, about 28 x 31, and a day of relaxation for me. Win-win!

I was reprimanded by my black and white strings that I got out a couple of weeks ago. They had some teal yarns sitting by them and were getting impatient to be used.

In an attempt to create a flower in a bit of a different manner, I spread out the strings onto fusible and made this…

which is really not at all what I had in my imagination! But it’s what I have on my table and I’ll work with it. I put it onto a piece of turquoise organdy, of which I have tons.

I’m not sure of my next step, other than a bit of thread sketching to start. I want to have layers so the organdy may get cut up a bit, too. Now that those fabrics are being used and not sitting there giving me dirty looks, I’m ready to plunge into a little thoughtful creativity.

And for my sitting in front of the TV hand work, I’m still playing with making coral.

Between the stitching and the lawn mowing and flower planting, I don’t know how I had time to be UN-quarantined! It’s good to be home and to have time to play.

Cleaning? Sorting?

Yes, cleaning and sorting are words not usually associated with activities in my studio, but they actually happened. It all started with a desire to begin a new project.

I have had this little bit of weaving for a couple of years. Not too long for one of my UFO’s.

The intention was always to place a rhinestone zipper on it and add ‘stuff’ to finish off the thought. Well, first it was going to be a lime green rhinestone zipper and a white on white weaving……………………….

The only zipper I could find (years after they were popular, of course!) is way too big for that background. Then I was headed in two directions–find another background for the zipper or to find other fibers to put on the weaving. Yarns and ribbons seemed easier to find this morning, so that’s where I headed.

Ummmmm….

Little bit tangled and messy. And just like that, the project was abandoned. I spent a lot of time sorting and detangling this mess, figuring that a bit of time spent now will save lots of time when I’m ready to use the trims.

I wasn’t sure if it would be worth it, but when I had it done and all in a drawer, easy to see,

yeah, it was worth it.

And, yeah, I will need to have a do-over on advancing a project, but at least I will be able to access the items I need.

Aaaaaand, it IS springtime and I’m working on plants and flowers. Rainy days give me studio time, but as soon as the rain quits I need to finish up those outside projects. I found a couple of garden items that I just HAD to have, too.

There might be one more, but I really don’t have a spot for it. Do I want to make a new area so that I do? Don’t know, yet, but I might! A trip to the greenhouse will need to happen first!

Thursday Tutorial-square in a square

I was reminded today of some quick slash and switch techniques that I use all the time. Rather than send you searching through 1600+ posts, I thought I would review some in a few tutorials.

Here is a 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. You don’t have to match at either end, or you can start out even at one end.

After sewing, square up and you have two blocks that are the same size, 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. It’s good contrast that I’m aiming for with this one.

I’ve been making blocks in groups of 4 and sticking them up on the design wall as I go. I’m thinking there will be a need for a spike of color before it’s done, but I will make all the blocks before I decide.

The plain brown didn’t get it for me. I decided that I needed a touch of a color to pep it up and found a bit of turquoise that looked pretty good with the brown.

And the fun variation is to make the cuts off center and wonky.

Constructed in the same manner, but angle your ruler while making the cuts.

Simple and always unique! Next time, let’s review triangles.

 

 

Strange Week

There is not a real passion project going on in my studio right now. I’m working on bits and pieces of things and not completing anything! I’m posting things on IG and FB now and then, but I feel like I’m spinning my wheels. I’ve gone through times like this before and I know that eventually I will dive headlong into something. Meanwhile, I pick at this and that, plodding along.

This is the back of the seascape project I’m working on and this is the exact reason that I try to do any embellishment before I put a back on and quilt it.

I thought I would sit and make a few post cards. Usually a quick and easy way to use up scraps. I made this and then got distracted by wondering about adding paint

I added a light whitewash over the design and I’m pretty sure it added exactly nothing to it!

Then I tried a darker turquoise wash and I liked it a bit better, but still not doing much for me

I picked up this bit of cardstock and INC (Infused Newsprint Cloth) and put a little thread sketching on it.

The fabric is a technique that I learned from Margarita Korioth and I got a notion to try to make a little more. However, I also wanted to experiment a bit and NOT follow the instructions!

Look at all this luscious Chinese and Japanese paper, all laid out, ready to become one with the fabric!

And the result…………..

I’d have to say it’s pretty much a failure. So next time I’ll do it Marga’s way!

Putting crystals on this piece of fabric is time consuming.

My plan was to use up all those crystals and be done with them. HA!

I have almost as many left as I used. They can go back in the drawer again…too boring! But it made a nice table runner or bright spot for the wall.

So, little bits of things while waiting for the next happy idea to jump into my brain. I’m satisfied with busy work until then…relaxed and content.

Spare moments

Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday are the days that I try to help my grandson get his schoolwork done, so there is never much stitching on those days. Yet there are always times when I can grab a few moments to pick up a needle and get a bit of sewing done.

I was not too thrilled with the orange coral knot stitch that I began my orange coral with–

And that was the second stitch attempt. But I stuck with it and added some more stitching and silk ribbon in an attempt to make it prettier.

I like it a whole lot better now.

Moving on to the next one now…but I think I need to review embroidery stitches again to find something fun!