Monday, April 30, 2018

Leah Day's Explore Walking Foot Quilting: Jagged Cosmos

Jagged Cosmos.

This one was difficult for me.

Leah's video directions are here:

After watching the video and reading the description in the book, I drew the design - make that tried to draw it.

I printed out the worksheet to help.  And referred to the sheet as I drew the lines on the fabric.  First I marked a point for the intersections and then drew four lines to divide the space sort of evenly (as Leah did in her video).  I sewed the lines though as two lines as they were completely marked.

Then I drew six lines in the section starting in the center for each one.  I sewed the design by starting at the top, going thru the center dot, and continuing on until I got to the bottom of the fabric for that line.  So in sewing it was three lines.  I did not stop near the center and tie off the thread. (I am not sure why Leah does that in her procedures for these designs that start in the center.  Eventually there will be a design that needs that, but so far - no need for the extra work.)  After I did those lines I repeated by marking six lines and then sewing the second three lines.

The mechanics require moving the fabric, which would be difficult in a full sized project but was easy with this one block.

It was sort of drag needing to mark the lines, but I knew if I didn't it would end up hopelessly ugly.

What was difficult was knowing where to stop and turn - and I mean just with a pencil, not on the fabric! Even with the marked lines I second guessed myself and made changes.

Here I removed most of the marked lines....

Maybe in the daytime the design will show up more...

The Hobbs batting used was Tuscany 80/20 Cotton/Wool.  It felt nice and firm.

After doing the piecing and textured blocks for Starry Bright Sky QAL with my cotton thread earlier today, the Isacord polyester thread that I use for quilting seemed very thin.  Or maybe it's just late in the day.

The end result looks nice, even though it was challenging for me to envision.

Took around 40 minutes for the stitching, and marking.  Does not include the time trying to draw on my own, printing, taping, and marking the first two lines used to divide the space.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Starry Bright Sky QAL - Textured four-patches - Centered Tucks with Bow Ties Month 3

I finished another textured four-patch for Alida's Starry Bright Sky QAL!

The link to this QAL block is here! The procedures for this are linked to from her site, they are from Teresa at Teresa Down Under.  

This one was intimidating for me as it involved some hand stitching...  The first time I used the same thread to do all the tying....  But then I realized it would be easy enough to do each one separately.

I brought the needle from the back in the seam to the center of the marked location, then looped the thread three times before returning in thru the fabric to the seam in the back.  Then I took a bite of fabric and brought the thread thru the loop, three time before I pulled the thread tight and cut it off.

Didn't seem stable to leave it this way!

It was important to bring in to the seam line, when I did not do that (instead I brought it to the center of the tuck) the stitching line was visible.  So if you are going to do this texture remember that!

I understand the reason for the stitching in the center the opposite direction, but I find that distracting, even though I used thread that was pretty close to the color of the fabric.  Now that I am comfortable with the knots I think I'd do two knots at that location, and maybe add a little bow tie to the center.  Maybe it would be too busy.  I'll try to try that later.

Starry Bright Sky QAL - Textured Four-Patches - Gathered Strip Month 4

This year Alida is adding a free event to her quilt along, textured four-patches.  The procedures for this are linked to from her site, they are from Teresa at Teresa Down Under.  What a great collaboration!

This was a easy block to make.

My only tip would be to use a different color in the bobbin, then it would be easy to know which threads to pull to make the gather.

To be sure it doesn't unravel I sewed at the exposed ends of the yellow strips - about 1/8 inch from the edge.

I found this darker blue so decided to start putting it in the quilt.  I hope it doesn't distract from the other shades.

Thanks Alida!

Here is the link to her blog with all the information:



I'm going to go to Ireland the end of June and July.  The first part I will be with my husband.  We will have a few days to get acclimated to the time zone and location, and visit a former student I hope in Ireland but in the north,  then his American cousins will be joining us.  We will have about 10 days with them.  Well, I will.  My husband is speaking at a conference for 3 or 4 of those days so he will be tied up with that.  Then we have 3 or 4 days staying at an Irish cousin's house.  I have only met her daughter and her friends but had fun taking them around a few years ago.  So we are staying at her mother's place - she has a guest house and wanted us to stay there.  The other American cousins will be at a hotel nearby and we will hook up with them for site seeing every day.  There is going to be a reunion party that we will be helping out with and attending.  Then we end with a few days in Dublin - and say our goodbyes.

My husband also will leave and I will be there a few days alone - then I'm pretty sure our son will come over and spend a week or so I think with me and Ireland.  Tips? Suggestions?  We don't have to stay in Ireland - we could go to Northern Ireland, or England, or Scotland.  It's all up in the air as I really don't know specifics.  We will be renting a car - hopefully an automatic - but at this late date will have to accept what ever we can get.

Anyway, if anyone happens to have any ideas, please send them along.  I'm starting to look up quilting links, but I really enjoy museums and walking about.  I've heard about the canal boats - that seems like a fun thing to do, but I think might be better with 4 people...

My email is linked in my profile.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Starry Bright Sky QAL: Pattern 4b Improv Piecing

I finished my second improv piecing block for April!

I went totally improv - adding extra stashing, extra colors to the points, and changed up the colors for the background.

Hope you will click to see how the other folks in the group interpreted the blocks!

Linking up:

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Leah Day's Explore Walking Foot Quilting: My "Rainbow Log Cabin" Part 17

Second corner - Done!
 +  = 139 minutes

Once I decided to get going this went very well....  I was more aware of the center area so think I worked it out so the lines might be centered there once the second side is complete.

I noted it took almost 12 minutes (of the 67 total) to mark the section. This is a stress free way to mark. Except for a break after the marking, all the sewing and burying of thread was done in one sitting. First I did the left side.

Then the right side

The second corner of the quilt is done!

 I was more mindful of the center slot so it is even and lines up with the piecing.

Of course the bobbin ran out the last 4 inches of the last line to be stitched.  I had to remove it and do two times before the stitches caught. But following Leah's directions, bet you can't see the place where this happened! (She has several videos on this. I believe this is the one that really helped me as it shows when she pulls the thread up it doesn't come up the same hole!)

Time to wind some more bobbins!

I'm behind in Leah's walking foot quilt along, but have been learning so much.  She will keep the videos up on her site so it's easy to follow along later.  Getting her book is a thank you to her for giving away the videos and a way to get extra information too.

Two more corners to go!

Not Quilting 

I've been getting photos from a friend of her travels in Europe.  What fun to get to share and chat while she is in Brittany, or see photos from Paris and London.  She is a dedicated artist and also worked on some handwork in preparation for a class she will be teaching.  Wow! We are members of an online group that used to be so much fun, but now is either dark or filled with more people who are writing about how they don't understand the group.  So it's not as much fun as it was. But I met her thru the group as it was before so I'm very happy!  

I had a pleasant lunch out yesterday with a friend I made in person after following her online for a while... She happens to quilt too, that was the initial reason we met.  I so enjoy seeing what she is working on, and getting to know her.  Last time we visited, she showed me how to tie a knot for actual hand quilting, but I haven't practiced that yet.  

I have met six women online and then in person.  They have enriched my life. I wish we lived nearer.

  • Audrey in MA
  • Carolyn in Jamacia
  • Shasta in OH
  • Mary from Panama in CA
  • Sujata from PA and CA in MD and CA
  • Claire in CA

I feel such a need to finish up the various projects I started so many years ago.  I showed my luncheon friend the photo of the first corner completed of my current project and said how I had at least seven hours more quilting on the project, and she just said "Well, it takes time to make a quilt."  It's good to hear that perhaps I am not too slow at doing the quilting!  

Perhaps we are all working hours and hours at our cutting table and sewing machine.  Fiddling with color and placement. I can't figure out though how some people have so many new posts on new projects.  How do they do it?  It's more than time management, it's knowing some secret that I missed.  Ann Holmes shares sometimes on her YouTubes that she has an assistant who does various parts of her projects.  Hmm.  And now that I think of it, I remember Eleanor Burns sister sharing how in some of tapings she used to be the one precutting the pieces and picking up the fabric Eleanor threw over her shoulder.  Now Eleanor has at least one assistant all the time.  

When my husband and I were both working we used to joke about how we needed another wife to get everything done.... I guess some marriages are able split the chores so things get done promptly and well.  I sometimes think though that I didn't sign up to do something all the time, so instead of embracing it an enjoying it, I resist doing it, or put it off. But hey, if it's something that needs to be done, might as well enjoy doing it! Or at least try to enjoy it... But how are people able to do so many things and blog about it in detail too?  There is some secret life lesson that eludes me.

So here are the life lessons I am now aware of every day.
  1. It will take longer for self-care as we age. I'm starting to have my nails done, hair cut, etc. on a more frequent basis - not on a regular basis. As long as I allow extra time for getting ready then I'm okay.
  2. We need to actually do what ever we are going to do.  Reading and looking isn't as good as actually doing.  I can't believe what an enjoyable time suck it is to click around and read different posts and articles. But to really learn need to do.  Need to cut back on web surfing (and TV) and spend more time doing.
  3. To develop a style need to start with a fresh ___ without clutter and excess.  Once the extra stuff is away, then there is space to have fun and decide what to add! I have many spartan areas in the house, as I'm still waiting for inspiration on what to have fun with and add... And I still have much paperwork to process (scan and shred). In quilting I think the clutter is learning the mechanics that interfere with the style, so I'm working on that.
  4. It takes time to ______.  And I'm working on enjoying the process and time spent doing the process.  I heard a discussion on NPR how it takes 100 hours of interaction to make a friend, so it's not just things that take time, people do too! I'm devoting time to friendships too.
  5. Keeping a written log to refer back to will help one see growth and changes.  I have enough history now in My Fitness Pal, Healthmate and Health now (1155 days and counting!) that I can look back and see what I was eating or doing and compare if I want to where I am now.  It would be even better if I could tag comments on days to pull up when I did something with someone, but since that isn't possible I stopped writing those notes in my account. Perhaps I should start up again in case their becomes a way to download that information...
Our son ate some bad food and was ever so ill this past week.  It is such a rare occurrence for this to happen.  It was scary. I thought for a while about taking him to the ER, but then remembered the last time I did that and how uncomfortable he was there.  One of my friends happened to call and she reminded me of BRAT - banana, rice, applesauce and toast.  What a life saver!  I added jello, saltines and clear soup and that really helped him on his way back.  Last night we added chicken and this morning he woke and was making a plate of food for himself of crackers and meat.  We had our weekly lunch together - although this time we got carry out and ate together at the table at home instead of eating out.  Things are almost back to normal for him. In the middle of his misery, I felt guilty that it felt good to get to be a mom. It's good to be needed and appreciated. And loved.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Leah Day's Explore Walking Foot Quilting: My "Rainbow Log Cabin" Part 16

I finished the second half of the corner.  Boy the point sure has a lot of thread!

It took about 40 minutes to do the marking and sewing, then another ten minutes to tie knots and bury them.

One down, three to go!

There are a few minor pleats on the back. But because this time I was starting at a line, the intersections are very good.  Next time I do a design like this, for the larger blue areas with the bright stars, I would first sew a square so I had a place for the start and end of the lines to go! I guess I should have made marks every two and half or three inches to have fewer spokes going into the corner....  We'll see how the quilt ends up!  If I had been better at visualizing how it was going to thread up at the corners I guess I would have stopped about 7 inches from the corner and put something else from that point on.

Leah Day's Explore Walking Foot: Concentric Circles

Leah is challenging us to do a weekly walking foot design on a quilt sandwich, then later we will join together to make a Marvelous Mosaic Quilt.

This week the design is concentric circles.

I started marking my piece last night, I was tired and decided to sort of use two different distances between the circles.  Guess I was sort of thinking of pinstripe with circles. I should have had the pinstripes so they were closer together to replicate the effect, but it looks okay as it turned out.

The batting is Hobbs Poly-down Polyester.  At certain angles the stitching really shows.

I'm not sure why it sort of bends in two places. The one area has the green triangle on the backing.  That seems to have caused something.

I experimented with tying and burying the thread before coming back to it, and just tying it off and then pulling it to the side to help me see where to end the joining stitches.  It did seem to help to pull it off to the side, but then I went back to burying and it lined up nicely.  So perhaps the best thing to do is to do it and get lots of experience.

I was feeling really blue when I started quilting this block, but I kept going as I didn't know what else to do.  I do feel better now, but not tip top. Dragging. It either took two or three hours to quilt this. I added the center circle after taking a photo and realizing the pattern had been broken and a circle that closer together was needed.

The first center lines were marked using various things in the room to make the circles, I just eye balled the placement.  The rest I used the guide on the walking foot.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Leah Day's Explore Walking Foot Quilting: My "Rainbow Log Cabin" Part 15

I'm sort of in the home stretch for quilting the quilt I'm using for my Leah Day Rainbow Log Cabin walking foot quilting practice.

Just the four corners to finish up. I spent a bunch of time looking at the book and the videos, then used tape to mark half of the lines for the first corner.

I decided to make the outside lines so they started half an inch from the inside of the last border, then I marked every two inches.  Then I put the tape down.

If I had done Leah's quilt then I would be using the seams as the starting point for the spokes, but my seams are not square it seems, so marking the line is what I ended up needing to do!

My corners were not square for that last border, so I put tape to mark a square place to be the exit point for all the spokes.

To avoid having to tie off the thread I will sew thru the tape after hitting the exit point. I saw a video where someone used tape that washed away, I will be on the look out for that the next time I go to a quilt store.

Including marking time it took 25 minutes to do these first two spokes.  Then I decided it would be easier to do when it was daytime and there was more light - and little Buffy wanted me to go to bed anyway...

The next morning:

It took 13 minutes to do the next two lines.

Hmm I'll need to double check that tape, it sure looks curved in this photo!

Well, I'm sort of on the home stretch, but there is a lot more work to do before I'm finished.....

Decided to add this as part of Part 15...

So that is pretty much an hour to do half of a corner.  - Seven more to go!  : )

Oops I should have left the masking tape in the corner, but at least know now it will release when I'm done...

Friday, April 20, 2018

Expenses: Marimekko fabric

Not Quilting

I met our son yesterday for lunch up in Carlsbad. A restaurant we had both noticed from the freeway, but hadn't gone to before. The Green Dragon It was a pretty restaurant, the food was nice. Afterwards he went back to work and I went to the Crate and Barrel outlet that was nearby in the outlet center.


Came across some Marimekko fabric.  I had to wash three times before the Shout catcher came out white.  That's a lot of water...  But I only had to pay not even $2 for my treasure from the scrap bin... It weighed in at under two pounds - that is how they charge for scraps.

About five fat quarter and larger pieces.
About 20 inches of this - in real life more Christmas
reds and greens.  They had bolts of this - $1 a yard.

Three pieces that were WOF, total a little under yard.
One large piece WOF, they have bolts of this.  Since it has washed well, I'm thinking of returning to get more.  Would be fun for a table cloth and napkins I think and as a backing for quilts too!  Would be fun to slice the fabric and rearrange in the quilt top...  Ideas...
Fabric is in the dryer now.  It would be next Thursday that I return if I do...

Since quilting, I have purchased two other bolts of fabric.  A Kona Cotton Green (from a fire sale at a quilt store) and a Moda sort of cloudy sky in blacks and greys (from a fundraiser for Balboa Park).  It has been really nice to know I had and could insert it in a project at any time.  Oh, then also there is the bolt of that stuff one uses for pot holders - also from the fire sale.  That I have only used about 10 by 20 inches of...! so it wasn't so far a good thing to get.... Since it's a little stiff, I may make some zippered pouches with it... but I'll still have yards of it in the closet!

I know some people live at the mall, but it has been over a year since I last went.  We need some new dishes, so I was on the hunt to see what was available.  Crate and Barrel, William Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Macy's.  Nordstrom doesn't have housewares but I went there too.  Nothing was really calling out to me.  We bought our last dishes at Ikea.  They are nice, but the surface is not smooth so it makes a noise when a fork scrapes to get food that has always bothered me.  Somehow though we have recently broken a bunch of dishes so we only have five plates now. And I have only three of the larger rectangle serving platters.  Looks like it could be they still carry the line of grey dishes.  Might be easier to just get more plates...  A few months ago the New York Times had an article about what to buy for a new apartment.  They had lots of nice ideas including dishes and potato peelers.  I got distracted clicking on the links and never made it back to bookmark the article itself. Wish I had...  Oh well! We have been married 33 years and have only gotten two sets of every day dishes.  The finish in my first set started sort of lifting off, I was afraid it was going to start chipping in the food!  I'm ready for a new set actually!

Leah Day's Explore Walking Foot Quilting: My "Rainbow Log Cabin" Part 14

I have now finished the larger concentric squares in the quilt!

25 minutes for the line one inch from the last line.

23 minutes for the final line, it was almost 1 1/2 inches from the previous line.  I wanted the square to reach the edges of the quilt, and it does that so with the binding the corners will disappear.  And that is a good thing since I'm realizing I didn't center the batting or backing.  For now on will not be frugal on the batting and backing so I have more give on the back.  

These designs are just right for the quilt.  I'm very pleased.