Friday, July 30, 2010

BlockLotto - July 2010 - Fireworks

BlockLotto - July 2010 - Fireworks

Directions for making the block:

Photos of Examples:

I again got a sneak preview for the BlockLotto pattern - I actually finished these the last week of June - but am on my honor to not spill the beans on the pattern before Sophie publishes the pattern on the BlockLotto blog so am just now releasing photos of my blocks.

It wasn't until Sophie posted the directions that I realized that she was thinking fireworks - what a clever lady she is!  On other sites this is referred to as * asterisks * - but Sophie realized also that *'s have only three bars....

The requirements were very dark background - bold color - end up 8.5 inch square.

First I did one block:

Then I went to my stash to pick out more bright fabrics. I cut the strips then soaked each in water to check for bleeding. After they dried a bit I ironed. I also cut out the background squares. I followed Sophie's directions and started with 10 inch squares (I think 9 inches would be okay with 2.5 inch strips actually).

I did four blocks - then four more and then took these photos after adding the second and third bars...

I used pins to show me where the top of the blocks were - helped when using Kona black for the background. I think it would be good to start with more centered first two bars - then to go crazy on the last two...

Fun block to make. I can see lots of possible variations too.  Some of these look like dragon flys instead of fire works...

I showed the blocks to A's friend (Ma) - she prefers the ones that are less wonky... (She really liked the baskets for June 2010 though!)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

WSF - FMQ Sampler - Basic Chevron (Beg)

I had sort of used this design in my first FMQ quilt, but I had only one column of chevrons.

The video is clear. This design is good to do at the end or edge of a quilt as you have to flip the fabric to start the alternating columns of the design. I drew a portion of the design on paper before gong to the machine (one column then did the transition).

Front Basic Chevron

Man, I’m just not getting this design. I even used soap to draw a line so I would know where the tip was supposed to be. I just could not get a point to show in my sewing. During the second column I was sure the sides were supposed to go up against each other, but in the third I lost confidence and made them go more so they were in between. This pattern seems like it should be easy to do, but I’m having troubles.

I’m not sure how to correct this.  Next time I will draw a complete block instead of just the first column and transition.  Will be moving on to the next beginning design in the next section of the quilt.
Back Basic Chevron
To be clear, this does not look at all like Leah's Chevron. : (

I have now finished the first section of the WSF quilt (there were two shoo fly blocks that were both treated with SITD).

Monday, July 26, 2010

WSF- FMQ Sampler - Sea Oats

This pattern is just like the previous one (Sea Algae) except there is a little loop at the end of each off shoot. 

Front Sea Oats

My loops are a little stiff looking. Also, I need to work on curving the off shoot. I was so concentrating on the loop and curving the end that I now see that the branches look really straight.

I had to change the bobbin during the last column of this design.

I only made four columns – think I should have done five. And changing the length of the offshoots would make it look more natural.

I also see now that in both this and the previous design I was supposed to have the offshoots all pointing in reverse direction from the question mark ending.  Especially with this one I was really working to get the drops so they were all the same - so it's good to have photos to compare! Amazing that I missed this important part of the designs the first time I tried them!
Back Sea Oats

WSF Sampler- SITD Wonky Shoo Fly

I decided to try just doing stitch in the ditch (SITD)for this block, but it looks awfully plain.  I'm hoping that I will appreciate having some blocks that have less quilting and so are softer in the finished product.

B was very confused about the location of my plain blocks and the patterned ones.  I could tell from him comments that not having a standard setting might not be his cup of tea.  But I’m hoping he will like it once it is done!  If not then I’m making a blanket or something for someone else to keep…!

WSF Sampler - FMQ Sea Algae

Before Sewing
Watched the video. Since it has been a little while since I have done this, I’m anticipating the curves might be a problem, but maybe not!

The end picture shows the design upside down from how she did the sewing… There is no flipping of fabric so that will make it easier!

Starts with sort of straight line that curves back and forward to the right. Then you go back on that line to the start of the big curve. Go down from that point to make another upside down question mark shape. Once you reach the bottom travel up adding off shoots to the inside of each of the question mark shapes.
Front Sea Algae
After Sewing
Making the upside down question marks were easier than I thought they would be. Traveling on the already stitched lines also didn’t seem as foreign as I thought it would be.

I am working with 8 inch squares so the amount of fabric covered is more than what Leah shows in her videos. I found myself sort of holding the needle while the machine was going and then readjusting where my hands were, so there are globs of thread on the back. I don’t think this is because of the needle or thread or bobbin tension, I think it’s because I’m sewing several stitches while moving my hands. So for the next design I’m going to try to stop the machine with the needle down – then readjust hands.

A bigger issue is that the lines on the bottom do not look the same as the lines on the top. The back has more sort of echoing that shows up as one stitch line on the front. This might be because I removed the pins so they would not catch on the side of the sewing table. So on the next design I will keep more pins in. Since this is a design that is done in a column that will be easy to do I think.

Added: I also see now that in both this and the next design I was supposed to have the offshoots all pointing in reverse direction from the question mark ending.   Amazing that I missed this important part of the designs the first time I tried them!

Back Sea Algae

WSF Sampler - Sandwich Preparation

First I taped the back, then the batting then the top to the table... Then I pin basted.

Showing the securing and pin basting of the sandwich
Then I used a walking foot to sew around each square..

Showing that each block has been stitched around
Then I was ready to start sewing the quilt designs!