Sunday, September 9, 2018

Starry Bright Sky QAL: Foundation Paper Piecing Pattern 9b

This month is fun - we are doing a foundation paper piecing block!

I am starting with the second block, but have the paper part all ready for the first block too.  I'm busy getting ready to go to a wedding, and then dog sitting and visiting friends on the East coast so get to do that first!

It was an easy pattern to prepare and sew.  Completed it all in one sitting!

I like the way the paper lets you know when you have misaligned the pieces.  I had to add two extra bits of blue to fill the block out...

I've only done a few other paper pieced blocks.  The best was a beautiful deer design that I found online at Julianna's site at:

I sent it off to Katrin in Germany when I was mailing her some blocks she was compiling into a quilt for a friend with an ill child...  I just peeked at her blog and see she has been working on adding blocks to surround the deer block!

I'll link to the others once the link is available:

Starry Bright Sky QAL - Textured four-patches - Star Gathering month 7

I'm a bit behind in the optional textured four-patches part of the Starry Bright Sky QAL.  This month finally had time to get the materials out, read the directions and do the stitching. for the challenge for month 7.

I had fun relearning how to make the knots for hand stitching...!  I like the method where:

  1. Thread the needle
  2. Take the long end of the thread and place it on the needle so the end is near the eye of the needle.
  3. Wrap the thread a few times around the needle.
  4. Transfer to the other hand
  5. Hold the thread so the wraps stay, and slide the resulting knot so it magically appears near the end of the thread!

After I did some of the gatherings, I had to return to make it so more the fabric would be gathered.

Here is how it looked after I finished the stitching:

I don't have a steam option on my iron, so I left the work pinned on the board for a few days before sewing in the four patch.

Something was wrong with the tension on the stay stitching, but I thought it was making the noise when I got to a stitch that had to be sewn.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Starry Bright Sky QAL: English Paper Piecing Pattern 8a

Link to see how others interpreted this block:

In my quest to avoid hand stitching I found a site where I learned how to make an eight pointed star:

(I realized after looking closer that y-seams might be involved, so I jumped on the method taught at this site)

So here is my block!
I found a nice tutorial for marking the pieces that I may use another time (it's a variation of what I did two years ago when I did the hexagons for Alida's challenge.)

I need to get more comfortable with hand stitching, but pleased that I figured out a way to complete the blocks!

Starry Bright Sky QAL: English Paper Piecing Pattern 8b

I have trouble with all hand stitching.  So again I had to adapt the design and methods for the blocks.

I did make freezer paper templates for the design, but I put the pieces together and sewed them.  I decided to keep going and to sew the background pieces on too.  I was at a quilt away from home sewing event when I did this and I realized I didn't have the fabric I thought I had stacked to bring, so it came out a little differently than I had envisioned.  But I'm pleased with the effect.  (Originally I was going to put additional points on some of the pieces so it looked more like a star, but now it looks like a planet or maybe a meteor like we saw last weekend while in Colorado. Cool!)

I could have been more deliberate with the way the seams went, it could have added additional detail in the final block.  

To see what the others have completed click here:

Starry Bright Sky QAL: Fabric Weaving Pattern 7a

While I was in Ireland I ordered the wefty needles, I watched the videos I could find, and was really excited to try this new-to-me way of making fabric. -
Tumbling Blocks Madweave Tutorial (Wefty)

Fabric Weaving: Triaxial Tumbling Blocks Weave -

Fundamentals of Fabric Weaving with Mister Domestic -

I watched more than this while there and once I returned...  I decided to set things up using the bottom of a box I was given at Costco.  Worked well.  I felt good that I didn't go to store to buy the foam core board.

Also, I didn't have the recommended lightweight woven fusible, but I used tape to secure the piece and was able to remove it quite well.

So that wasn't the problem.  

Here you can see that I drew the grid on the box, and used painters tape to secure so I could remove it to the sewing machine...

I just need more help and different directions so I can get the correct pattern in my work.  Maybe an example where a different fabric was used for the different sections - just to get where to do the weaving! I'm not sure if my error was made in level two or/and level three...

So this is what I ended up with.  Not happy with it.  Maybe will make a pillow top, or maybe not.

Other people were able to do the design as planned, and some did not.  I submitted my block via email, I received the next month's pattern but just now it doesn't look like she posted my image on the linky.  Oh well.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

I Made a Purse for Ireland!

I had taken a photo - mine is denim with different colors for the zippers.  I added more pockets.  Very pleased!  Off to the airport now!

How to Make a Cross Body Phone Bag

Tips for doing the Zipper

Monday, June 11, 2018

YouTube: Making Packing Cubes

Mainly need a long zipper to do this.

Have to scroll back all her talk about going to DisneyWorld, but in the end, directions seem clear and the result is very nice. I think she starts the actual sewing around minute 7...!

Friday, June 8, 2018

Managing My Inbox

It's fun getting email. If I did not sign up for blog updates and newsletters my email activity would be very slow. I use gmail for most of my email. I have my work and volunteer emails set up so they go into my personal inbox, and I handle everything from there. It's very convenient. 

I set it up so my default email is my work email, and that helps me organize and find work related emails.

However, it means too often I either do not read emails including blog posts or newsletters, and when I do read them I do not delete them.

My gmail box has been almost full for a long time. 

So now I'm going through and unsubscribing from lists and newsletters.

As I unsubscribe I code the last email with a blue star, and delete all the unstarred messages.

This way I will be able to see how many emails I receive after I unsubscribed, and I will be able to see emails coded with any star (showing interest on my part), and if I want to resubscribe I can see an example email to help me decide.  I also could activate my blog roll on this blog to help me remember to visit sites...

It's slow going.  When I started I had used 99% of the gmail storage.  Now it's at 94%. I thought it would be lower, but that's what it says.

I've tried deleting emails by the date, or the from address - but this time I'm actually unsubscribing.

Some of the services people use for their lists have a spot where I am required to click on why I'm leaving. The choices seem silly.  - I don't want to receive emails.  - the emails are spam   - I did not subscribe  - not what I expected.  At first I was filling out the Other option as I wanted folks to know I enjoyed their emails and posts, but needed to cut back on emails.  Now I just click I don't want to receive these emails..

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Denise & Katie Austin’s 6-Minute Toning Workout

Not sure if embedding this video in a blog post will work, but thought I'd try!
Denise & Katie Austin’s 6-Minute Toning Workout

Monday, June 4, 2018

Starry Bright Sky QAL: Curved Piecing Pattern 6a

I had the pieces for this block in my stash....  A while back I had this vision of making a blue and yellow dot quilt, but it wasn't coming together.  It was this selection of fabric though that I have been using for the Starry Bright Sky QAL this year.  These are my longest to have favorite colors: blue and yellow.

I had to trim to make the correct size...

I'll link to her linky:

(almost forgot to do this, but she emailed me I won the second gift for last month's drawing and that reminded me!)

It's really fun to see how everyone is interpreting the designs.

Starry Bright Sky QAL: Curved Piecing Pattern 6b

This is my favorite kind of piecing.  I did it differently than Alida had in her pattern, but the result is similar and I think very nice.

It's really fun to see how everyone is interpreting the designs.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Expenses: Basting Spray

I went to pick up a prescription for our little dog today, and JoAnn's was a few doors down from the vet's.  I had received an email about two 50% off coupons, so thought it would be a good time to get some basting spray.  They had three different kinds of the basting spray.  So I got two of the types I had used before and the only one they had of the other kind.
Expenses: $48.43

I remember seeing a recipe online for making basting spray.  I think I will search for that and experiment.  This spray stuff is a tad expensive, but what really bothers me are the aerosol cans.


I also decided on another design to add to my Picasso Tic Tac Toe quilt.  I extended the crosses so they are in the border section.  I was hoping JoAnn's would have some thicker thread, but I didn't see any.  So will wait to add outlining to all the pieces when I get that.  I'm going to go ahead and start the quilting someday.

I've been gathering all our financial files into one place so it will be easier to scan and shred the papers.  It will be my interpretation of The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up Book by Marie Kondo.  I read her second book a few years ago, this is the first book.  She says to gather all the items in one category in one place and to go thru each one to design what to do with it.  She says to start with clothes, so I did that after reading the first book.  My closet is still in good shape.  These papers are for the most part going to be scanned, so the organizing will be done by the name of the file.  And once I'm done then I will have empty boxes!

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Expenses: Needles

Went to a Beverly's that lost it's lease so is closing - they are clearing everything out.  The day I went it was 30% off.

I picked up so needles that I hope will be useful to have!


Starry Bright Sky QAL - Textured four-patches - Cross Tucking month 5

I completed Alida's Starry Bright Sky QAL fifth textured four patch challenge!

Instead of marking the grid as it was described in the original posting, I modified so it is (I believe) as Alida did her block for the quilt.  That is I was consistent in the folding so it was every two inches.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

High Road Reader: Book Review of Zen Chic Inspired: A Guide to Modern Quilt Design by Bridgitte Heitland

High Road Reader has a review of a book full of creative and beautiful quilt projects:

Thanks Shasta!

WIP: Beginning Quilting of Picasso Tic Tac Toe

WIP: Piecing and Planning started October 2016.

I basted my Picasso Tic Tac Toe quilt at my last Monday quilting group, and today started the initial  quilting work.

Took 48 minutes to do the initial stitch in the ditching of the X blocks.  This was done using a walking foot and with only one thread break!  It's good to plan ahead.

Here is the back:

Another 45 minutes later and I had marked and added two doughnut circles, and marked a third more-like-an doughnut oval shape too!


I haven't decided if the ovals will be quilted so they are on top or under the X's so I put off the stitching of this for now.

So far have just been using a walking foot.  The batting is Quilters Dream Cotton, natural. (Won April 2016 as part of Quilt Qwazy Queens Blog Hop.) The thread so far is Leah's 40 wt. Isacord Polyester Embroidery Thread Silver.  I'm using an Ultimate Marking Pencil (White - iron off) and really liking how easy it is be press draft versions of the design away!

So I yet another Work in Progress.  I'm pleased that things are in progress at least!  : )

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Leah Day: How to I Quilt This?

Leah has a really good video with tips for planning how to quilt a project:

Leah Day's Explore Walking Foot: Pinstripe Curves

This video was little irritating as Leah mentioned several times that she wasn't sure the method (of using the walking foot itself to guide one while sewing curves) would be successful. I mean: First, she put the design in her printed book, why would she even consider putting something that might not work in the book? Second, it seemed very clear that it would work as she already had guided us in making other designs where she mentioned using the foot itself to help with the placement of the design. It seemed disingenuous and was distracting to me. But I worked thru that quickly.

It is a nice design to sew and as always her directions are clear.

To change it up, I put my original line on the diagonal, and I'm pleased with how it turned out.  It isn't perfect I can see that, but hopefully will turn out well in the final quilt.

I quilted this on Hobbs Tuscany 90/10 Silk Polyester.

I also went back and redid the center of my Super Wobble example. I like this version more so I'm glad I took the time to do that. I could tell doing this that I have actually learned and feel more comfortable working with the walking foot.  Once again I'm glad I got Leah Day's Explore Walking Foot book and have been following along with most of the videos.

At my once a month Saturday group I trimmed up most of my completed sample squares so they are all at 15.5 inches now.  Leah had suggested we mark the square and then sew a victory lap around the piece, but since I didn't have the larger ruler at home, I did it in the reverse order... I used the automatic sew button on my Brother for the edge stitch, seems to go faster and was easier than pressing on the foot pedal. It was a good place to use the bobbins that were not full, as it was easy enough to see when the bobbin was empty and replace it with another one.  Some of the bobbins stopped feeding even when there were a few feet left, but it was good to use what I could.

I didn't time how long it took to do the trimming as there was a lot of chatting and eating done during that time as I was with the group.  I forgot to time how long it took to do the edge stitch on the pink, but it took 45 minutes to do the edge stitch on the green - and that includes a lot of bobbin switching.

Now that I'm perhaps winding down on this Marvelous Mosaic Quilt project I am again faced with the choices I made on the fly when I was preparing the practice sandwiches.  I picked green first as it was handy, and my husband told me he didn't like green so I have been using it to use it up - mainly in charity quilts.  I really think at this rate he would just be pleased if I finished anything that stayed in the house.  I pulled the pinks as they were handy and I had several shades.  Now I'm reminded that I had won some fabric at a party and I think that was in the back of my mind too... Since I was using colors that I didn't care about it seemed somehow I could use that fabric for binding or sashing - but honestly I forgot about it until today when I was taking photos. The blocks look impressive to me.

There are still ten more designs to do with Leah's videos - she has thirty in her book.  She suggested we pick the twenty we like the most to put together for a quilt.  All along I thought I would use all my blocks and just have a larger quilt.

So here is my progress so far.  I already made two extra blocks so would end up with 32 blocks unless I add more.  (It would be easy to make an additional 4 blocks and end up with a quilt that was 6 x 6 blocks if I wanted!)  Two of the greens are not quilted yet, they are there once to show what will be two blocks with each of those colors.  (Each color so far has been used two times.) I have more greens and pinks in my stash, but was too tired to put down more today to see how it looks.  And I put the fabric I won at the bottom - you can see the green and pinks.  I particularly don't like the one with the faces, but thought perhaps as binding they wouldn't be highlighted? Maybe that fabric should just be saved for something else.

Here are just the pink blocks completed so far:

The blocks look lovely together in the afternoon with the stitching highlighted.

Here are just the ten completed green blocks plus two extra green fabrics:

I thought, from something on her blog, Leah was going to walk us thru a new way of putting the blocks together even though it wouldn't be in the Explore Walking Foot book, but the video she shared is the way she has shown us before.  I did that for a charity quilt.  Finished up okay.  I have to think about how to put these blocks together, I think I'd prefer wider sashing.  But if I end up using all the blocks then it would become too large.  So maybe I'll do one with the greens and one with the pinks and one will be larger than the other.  I don't know.  I can't keep thinking about it or I won't get anything done! Any suggestions are welcome.

Not Quilting

My husband and I made dinner together last night.  New to me recipes, they sounded good to me when I found them on the web.

The man down the street had dropped off some lemons so I wanted to use them in the meal.

I had forgotten some ingredients at the store so had to pick them up when I picked my husband up from campus, the recipes took over 45 minutes to put together and that's with both of us working pretty much all the time. 

The results were good but not delicious.  And it turns out our son doesn't like dill, so that made it sort of a flop.

My husband and I do not cook together very often, it's too bad these were the recipes I picked...

I had a wonderful morning with a newish quilting friend - she showed me her home and then we went to the mall to an appliance store and looked at the displays and dish washers.  She and I both want to redo our kitchens, her dish washer has broken so that is top priority for her.

My husband and son went to Ohio last weekend for their second Hamvention together. While they were gone I sewed, rearranged some things in the garage and went thru boxes.  Scanned and shredded away.  It was a good way to spend the time I guess.  They were tired when they returned, but said they had a good time.  They were again not able to go to Columbus so they again missed the German Village there. I went to meet Shasta at Schmidt's Sausage Haus und Restaurant two years ago.  I look forward to more visits sometime!

Well, I'd better think of something delicious to make for dinner!  If you have read this far, thank you!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Leah Day's Explore Walking Foot Quilting: My "Rainbow Log Cabin" Part 19

Final corner done!

This time I took a chance and started on the right side.  I still did the right half (marked below) and then the left half.  I don't think it makes a difference if I do it this way or in the order way Leah taught.  It took a little less than two hours - including the marking and hiding of the threads.

So I started putting the tape down from the center and went to the edge, then started sewing on the edge, removed the tape and quilted the next tape, etc.

Here is the last corner:

When I flipped it over I was disappointed to see the tiny folds.  Some of the other corners have little folds too, but this one had more...  Hopefully once it's washed these folds won't stand out.

So here is the quilt now:

I mentioned at the beginning that I had pieced this way back - like 25+ years ago.  I looked at different Irish chain designs and decided I wanted more colors so I made it so there were five colors. I was surprised at how it looked once I started sewing things together.

I knew I was supposed to have more backing fabric, but it seemed I would be wasting fabric to do that.  Now I know I should have had the backing at least four inches all around (and I can use the pieces in some other project so it's not wasted anyway) one inch is not enough.  You can see how tight everything is for me now.

I had a friend help me with the basting, but I cut it too tight and it wasn't centered properly so the batting is shorter than it should be too. The batting is Quilters Dream Cotton, natural. (Won April 2016 as part of Quilt Qwazy Queens Blog Hop.)

Anyway, now I have another quilted top, ready for binding. The quilting is following the directions by Leah for the Rainbow Log Cabin from her Explore Walking Foot Quilting book, and I am really pleased with the detail.  I used Leah's 40 wt. Isacord Polyester Embroidery Thread Silver.  

I have 25+ year old fabric to make bias strips for rust binding.  I remember when I finished it I was thinking a different color would have been better, but oh well.  I know I'm going to be cutting off the nice points at the center of each side as I didn't make this all correctly.

In addition to the backing and batting issue, I should have been more consistent on where the corner stitching ended.  I'm just writing this here to hopefully remind myself for the next project I work on!