Monday, June 17, 2019

Dear Jane - Kites

Drum roll - finished the corner kite blocks and thus all the blocks are done for the Dear Jane quilt.  Now just to get the borders sewn to the center and begin quilting.  I am definitely going to machine quilt, there are just too many seam in these blocks to make hand quilting pleasurable to me.

I patterned my signature block after Jane Stikle's block.  She had written "In War Time" on her quilt, as she made it during the Civil War while her husband was away fighting.  I chose "In Turmoil Times" as I began this quilt the day before "9/11" and it just seems to me that since then our country has just been in turmoil. 

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Dear Jane Triangle Borders

Woohoo...finished the triangle borders this morning.  I have included some close up pictures of the Top and Left borders, but just now realized I never took pictures of the right border....guess that will be my next post.  But for now, I am on to the 4 corners.  I debated on using the sashing fabric for the solid triangle between each pieced block, but decided on the scrappy look, much like the ones in the original quilt.  I am glad I made this choice, as I love the way it looks, even thought it is VERY busy looking.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Dear Jane gets a new dress :)

Well maybe not a new dress, but new sashing that holds all the center blocks together.    When I first started making my Dear Jane in 2001, I chose a solid beige for the sashing so as "not to detract" from the blocks.  I also chose to sew the sashing onto the right and bottom side of each block, so that when I attached the blocks the sashing would be complete as I thought this would make lining up the blocks easier. 

About half way through the process, I remember thinking that I did not like the sashing, and it really did not look that neat.  I finished the top and packed it away, never finishing the quilt...mainly because I was simply unhappy with my sashing choice and the way I had sewn the blocks to each other.

There was also one block (Row M3) which is the last row in the quilt that I could not get to come out right, so I made my own design.  Sounded good at the time, but really bugged me that I let that block defeat me. 

Soooooo, when I decided to finish the quilt a couple of weeks ago and began working on the triangle border blocks, I got the quilt top out of my hope chest, and still did not like the way it looked.  I decided to rip the quilt blocks apart and add new sashing. For one week I ripped out the old sashing.

I also cut 5" squares of featherweight fusible pellon to put on the back of the blocks to stabilize them and also allow me to cut them to the correct size.  Many were fraying badly and some of the hand stitching had made them fragile. 

And I also made block M3 over to match the pattern.  I will keep my original block for the back of the quilt.

I will hand quilt with the Baptist Fan pattern, but since I will stab stitch, the pellon will not be difficult to stitch through.

And here it is, all put back together again. 

I am so pleased with the sashing I have chosen.  Its still a light beige, but not enough beige to take attention away from the blocks. I also has a tiny flower design of white on beige that I think soften's the look.  I did not know that the original Dear Jane was in a Trip Around the World color layout until I had most of my blocks done and was so sad that I did not make mine that way.  But you know, no way was I going to go back and re-do my blocks.

I also changed the method I used for putting the sashing on.  Picture on the left is the old sashing and on the right is the new sashing.  In many cases with the old sashing the sashing was uneven and the blocks were not in alignment.

I have completed the top border of triangle blocks.  I debated on using the sashing fabric for the alternating solid triangles, but decided to use fabrics from my stash instead, just like the original Dear Jane. An earlier post had the first 8 blocks I had made for this border, and I am showing the closeup of the remaining 5 in this post.    These triangle blocks are a real challenge for me.  I am paper piecing those that can be machine paper pieced and appliqueing all the others.

TR #9

TR #10

TR #11

TR #12

TR #13

Monday, May 13, 2019

Dear Jane Returns

I began my Dear Jane quilt on September 10, 2001, the day before the horrible day September 9/11.  I kept a log for a long time of each block when I finished it and what happened on that day.  Unfortunately I did not keep doing this for all the blocks.  I completed the 4.5" blocks for the quilt center on February 21, 2006 and have not worked on it since then.  Now, 13 years and a few months/days later, I have decided to finish the quilt.  I completed the first triangle block TR1 on Saturday, May 11, 2019.

I am machine paper piecing whenever I can, but on TR7 I had to do reverse applique.  I first tried English Paper Piecing on this one, but that just did not work.  The reverse applique worked fairly well, although points are not as crisp as I get them with paper piecing.   Following are the "kites" I have completed as of today.  Kinda of wonky, but done!

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Feathered Star - Marking and Basting the quilt

 Today was my day to get my Feathered Star quilt basted together and onto my hoop for hand quilting.  I purchased the backing and batting yesterday, washed the backing over night and ironed it today.  I wanted to draw some of the quilting lines before basting the sandwich together.  This is a pattern I recently used in a Sashiko class, and really like it.  Not sure about the star center, but I think I will carry the lines into the center.

These are a couple of tools I use in marking that I  thought I would share.  The Leonis blue water soluble marker I order off Amazon.  They are the best I have found so far and come in a pack of 10 for $15. The little sponge applicator is used to erase mistakes - simply dunk in water and the wipe across the line done in error.  My friend Martha told me about this trick and even gave me some of the sponges and the cute little Ball jar.

Here is the quilt being basted.  I use boards to roll the backing and top on, and then thread baste for hand quilting.  My good friend, Brenda, dropped by to learn this basting technique and then stayed for several hours to help me baste it together.   So fun to have a friend to help!   Tomorrow I hope to finish up the basting and get the quilt in my hoop :)

Friday, April 19, 2019

Pemberley applique do-over

This is a wavy border on the Pemberley quilt I am working on.  I began appliqueing this wavy border and dots while I was still recovering from a brain concussion and fractured skull.  It already had one do-over when I had to remove all the dots and re-applique them as I had placed them too far from the border and they were going to be cut off when I trimmed the border to the correct size.  Hmmmm, I blame that on I was not thinking straight .
Here is a closeup of some of the applique - stitches are too big, thread color makes no sense and obviously show a lot more than they should.  I do think that was because I was not seeing as clearly as I am now, or maybe not thinking right.  A couple of  weeks ago, I began to see the poor applique, and thought I would just leave it as is - not all that bad, besides who will notice when the quilt is finished???  But then every time I look at the quilt, I think..I really need to fix that applique.

So now I have finished all the "chubby dresdens" that make up the next border and am ready to sew that border on.  But I just can't do it until I fix the applique.  So I started tonight, ripping out the previous applique stitches and doing-over in less conspicuous stitches and color.  Why I used a light ecru thread is beyond me now, I know better than to do that.  So I am re-doing the applique with a light grey thread and making my stitches just in the fold .  I am not an expert in needle turn applique, but those doggone stitches were really bothering me.

Whew....that feels so much better.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Feathered Star quilt top finished

This is the design I settled on for the pillow cover on my Feathered Star quilt.  The quilt has 12 embroidered blocks surrounding the feathered star and I carried the embroidery to the pillow cover.

The dark blue blocks were made using a Seminole piecing technique. The "nine patch" is supposed to finish at 3" square and to my surprise, it finishes at 3 1/4 inches.  I was so careful to consistently sew using my quarter inch presser foot, so they consistently measure 3 1/4" all the way across the border (both top and bottom).

 This really messed up my calculations on how many I needed to make the borders.  But all's well that ended well - I think they came out ok.  I think I need to reposition my needle a little to the left to get the seam to come out exactly 1/4"

Now to get it basted and ready for hand quilting.  I plan to use #8 perle cotton thread which is what I used for the embroidery - but it will be white.  Quilting will be big stitch.