Friday, April 29, 2016

Ripples in one Charity Quilt Top, a Flat Charity Top and Woodworking Progress

Well, it's totally appropriate that I finished the second try at my green Quilts for Kids top today, as my top has ripples. I've read that ripples are a problem in quilts, but until this project I'm not aware that anything I put together had them!

First, I removed seams from the dark green crosses I put together a couple of weeks ago so I could rearrange the fabric into a different configuration.

After deciding to make things more symmetrical and on point then I worked on what to put in the corners.
After deciding to use up more of the pieces in this one quilt, rather than saving them for a second quilt I sewed things together.  I started by sewing the seams just to see how things would work.
After checking to see the appearance I trimmed the corners and put different fabric up just to decide on what fabric to use for the borders. I'm pretty sure, at this point everything is still flat.

I measure and sew the top and bottom border, and that I think is when I start to see this huge balloon of fabric.  After sewing two borders on, I remove one (or maybe I removed both) of the borders and sew the outer seam without any thread as I sort of remember seeing someone do that in a quilting session and I think they did it to help fit in two different sized fabric pieces.

I can sort of press it on the design board to get it almost flat so decide to storm ahead and sew the borders on.

But now it looks like this:
The ballooning seems to start farther back, somewhere in the pieced corner area.

There is no way I can make this flat pieced the way it is.  : (

I don't usually use the seam ripper, but I'll remove the seams so I can return to the flat stage again.

Hopefully I'll figure out where I went wrong and learn from the experience AND end up with a nice quilt for Quilts for Kids!

I've made no progress on this month's OMG husband quilt as I really wanted to have this second charity quilt ready to quilt.

Dinosaurs Love Veggies Pattern
I didn't even share though this other charity top that I cut and put together at the last quilting Saturday group session.

They had patterns that were printed out and boxes of fabric for us to pick thru, but really the choices seemed slim unless you wanted juvenile or patriotic designs.

The pattern is really written up well and I'm going to get or check the book out from the library!

There is a chart telling me how many strips to cut of each fabric, and what second cuts of the strips will be too.  Then it tells me how to assemble the quilt blocks, and how to finish the quilt top.

It's not that much fun though for me to just follow directions.  But I guess I need to take a step back and do more of this before I storm ahead with just trying to put fabric together the way I did for the green ripple quilts for kids project.


On the woodworking front, I've made progress but haven't been completely successful there either...

Medicine cabinet insert.  I hadn't removed the existing medicine cabinet when I was measuring so my measurements are off.

The teacher said he could help add a frame so it would fit, but then I would be losing a lot of space to put things so I put this project aside for now.

And stormed ahead with making soil sifters or riddle.  My Dad had made me one with a 1/4 inch mesh that I used so much the wire mesh broke thru.  By mistake that got thrown away so I have been without for while.

So here is one of my new riddlers!  I made one with 1/4 inch mesh and one with 1/2 inch mesh.

I let the size of the mesh drive the end size of the riddler, so it's two feet square.

The legs fold back so it will be smaller when being stored.

Even though I haven't tested using this model, I'm going ahead and making a third one as a gift and taking photos to document the steps for making it.

Step One: Cut the boards.  Because there are two of the same size I mounted a stop so both boards would be the same length.

Step Two:
I put the pieces in a vice and sanded the rough sides off.

Step Three:
I arranged the wood and then used clamps to secure the boards.

Step Four:
Got the bit for a drill so I could make pilot holes and then screw the pieces together.  This took awhile for me to figure out.  Have to hold the end and twist to put things in then remember which way the device should turn to put in or remove.  There is also a little bubble to look at to help put the hole or screw in so it's at the right angle. I tested the size of the hole with a piece of scrap wood.
Step Five:
For each corner make two pilot holes and then the screws in.  I didn't time myself, but this took so long that I wasn't able to finish the third box during the class session.  I had a very hard time pressing the bit into the wood and getting thru.  Maybe I should have clamped the box so it was connected to the worktable so I could have used two hands!

Step Six:
Cut the mesh and fold back the cut edge to make it less sharp.

Staple or screw the mesh to the box.

Cut wood strips to cover the edges of the mesh, and screw in.

Cut legs, put screws in.  I just used scrap wood for the legs.  The teacher said really I should use something else (a bolt and nut?), as this might unscrew after a couple of years, but to get it done and because it would work for a while, we used what he had in the workroom.


Now in theory at least, I can proceed with removing the grass, getting rid of rocks, planting a few native plants and applying mulch to the two areas in the front yard.

Stay tuned!

: )

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Purple Missing U and Virtual Reality

Got an email request for a variation of the Missing U block (Sunday Morning Quilts - Nyberg and Arkison). The blocks will be collected, sewn together and quilted by volunteers. The resulting quilt will be presented to someone in another subgroup of quilters who has just been diagnosed with cancer. I hope it provides some comfort to her.

The second email I received about the project gave the end size of the block, noted that purple would be a good color, and that the seams did not need to be straight. I tried my hand at making the variation of the Missing U block, but I couldn't keep to the guidelines as I think the white bit was supposed to have 90 degree corners. Since my fabrics had so many dark shades, the handprint size rectangle of white was just too stark. I made this during my Saturday quilting group session a couple of weekends ago.

I remember the Sunday Morning Quilts book was well written and that I enjoyed reading it and thinking about the blocks. This is the first time though that I actually tried to make one of the blocks.


My husband is teaching some classes on virtual reality and I've gotten to go with him to some presentations. It's a very interesting concept.

Here are are photos showing the campus of the last presentation - University of San Diego. Like all of you, I'm always looking at designs...

The Asian Heritage Society hosted the VR event on Friday, the next day there was a full day of sessions about Vietnam. Their logo reminded me of the Adrinka quilt Shasta is sometimes working on....

This is the the snazzy new computer my husband will be using to create and experience educational virtual reality lessons. The rear of the screen has a dragon with an eye that is white when the machine is on. There are function keys to press to change the color of the keyboard, the colors mean different things in the programs. There are stands in the room with gadgets to define the playing area so someone can put on the goggles to be transported to another experience.

Friday, April 15, 2016

2016 Finish-A-Long Q2 - The More Real Dream List

April 8 - 16, 2016:           Q2 proposed finishes linky is open
June 30 - July 7, 2016:    Q2 finishes linky is open 
July 1 - 6, 2016:               Tutorial week

Okay,  this will be my second list and I am getting more real this time!  My first 2016 FAL list was way too long.  I made progress on several items, but only finished one of them.  That Q1 Dream list ended up almost being a master list of things I want to finish.

This time I'm picking three older projects to finish completely!

1. My to be sent to friend in Colorado Tumbler Quilt - needs to decide about how to put the binding on. Will I add another row at the ends before actually binding? I don't know now.... This started the year just being basted, but the quilting was completed. Thanks to help from Candace at Saltwater Quilts and Cher at Marathon Quilter, the project is closer to being done!
Tumbler Quilt

2.  My Cultural Fusion > Bound for My Friend in Sweden Windmill Quilt.
Just needs binding to be done!

3.  My Husband Quilt - I need to finish putting the pieces together, to baste, quilt and bind it.  It's been a while since I have worked on it.
This is what it looks like now...

Here is the vision from 2013....

When the quilts are all bound with labels then they are done!

Hopefully before another quarter passes by in 2016!

These were also listed on my One Month Goal for 2016.  So far I have met the monthly goals, but the quilts are not finished enough for the FAL 2016 yet!

Jan 2016 Goal to quilt - Finish
Feb 2016 Goal to piece - Finish
Mar 2016 Goal to quilt - Finish
Apr 2016 Goal to piece

It's fun to have these different challenges to get me going on finishing projects up!

Play with Me QAL: 04-2016 GO/Embroidery

I am really having fun with these Play with Me QAL board game block pillows!

This month we made a GO board and used embroidery.

Click and see what the others have created this month!

This month it's a GO board, and the skill is embroidery.

I used this as an opportunity to get more familiar with my new Brother sewing machine.

I changed the foot as needed, but tested how the stitches would look on a sample piece of denim.

I sewed on the back as that was how I was marking my pillow top, and wrote the stitch number with pen so I could refer back to the piece.

I was pretty pleased with how well the stitches looked on the opposite side.

I thought the column of asterisks stood out and was narrow so picked that to start!
In looking up GO boards I found there are different number of lines but that the 9 x 9 was a good beginner's board.  

Some of the sites discussed how the cells were not to be square, but then there was discussion about how the size was very different and if the object was to make it appear square then it would also have to do with how tall the players were.  

I did find one place that said the cells have a ratio of 15:14.  Luckily this was easy to put into action as 1.75 inch is also 14/8th so I drew that for one direction and then did 15/8th for the other direction. I used a pencil and then a pen to mark the lines.  

I sewed the center lines, then consulted my husband on what stitches he wanted.  He requested that the inner lines all be the same, that there be a different outer border, and that the little dots (hoshi) be added with black thread.

Link One Equipment Dimensions
Link Two Seattle GO Center
Link Three Print out GO Board - see hoshi placement
Link Four - 15:14

I discovered that by unplugging the foot pedal of my new Brother 600i sewing machine, I can press a button on the machine to control the speed and to turn the machine on and off!  So all I had to do was guide the material so the lines were between the center of the foot.

So although this did take time, it didn't take as long as I thought it would!  The secret was in the marking and in having this cool new machine to sew fancy stitches with!

I had to fill the bobbin during this process, but I bet you can't tell where I did it.  I'm not sure I can find the spot again myself!

 This is what the board looked like once the lines and border were done.

I pinned the flap to the back and the zipper.
Doubling checking what will show on the flap.

This time I trimmed the corners before joining the front to the back.

Again added a row of top stitching. Note to self: the zipper foot should not have been used for this step.
Pinning the second part of the zipper in place.
Triple checking!

The Reward!
Here are my four pillows!

Click and see what the others have created this month!

Thursday, April 14, 2016


Two things:

1.  Mailed the stash bee block off today.  Even though it was sent to Canada, the postage was only $1.36!  I forgot to ask about tracking, I had asked when mailing blocks to Germany and it wasn't available so perhaps it isn't an option for Canada... She will receive within 5 to 7 days.

2.  I treated myself to a new pressure foot for the new sewing machine.  It's great.

  • Quarter inch piecing foot with blade for seam sewing
  • Accurate reference marking on 3 sides of foot for visibility and accuracy
  • Single hole foot prevents fabrics from sinking into feed dogs
  • Genuine Brother Made Accessory
  • For all 7mm feed dog machines

The other foot that I had was made of plastic and broke even though I put it in a little bag between using it.

This one is better as it has a little guide to put the fabric up against.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Stash Bee 2016 Hive 8 - April Block

The directions this time were easy to follow, and the request for solid white background and then black and white for the main part was right up my alley!

I again made a sample block to test the directions!