Monday, January 1, 2018

What I did on New Year's Day

I have always heard that what you do on the first day of a new year, you will do all year long.  So here is what I did today, and can only hope and pray the good times continue throughout the year.  I hope all of your New Year's Days were filled with family and friends.

My day started early around 5:00 and with machine quilting on  Toby's birthday quilt for February.  This is a Galaxy Star quilt and will be partly machine quilted with my auto feed foot, and partly with free motion quilting.  This is going to take me awhile to complete, but is still so much faster than hand quilting.

My whole family gathered at my house today for our traditional family dinner of pork roast, sauerkraut, lima beans, black-eyed peas, mashed potatoes and various desserts.  So today I cooked for my family.  I just had to make the port roasts and get the sauerkraut - everybody brought the remainder of the food items.  It was such a fun day, and my heart was full as was my house too.  There was a total of 23 of us and I had table set up on the living room, kitchen and dining room. 

But before they arrived and while the pork roasts cooked, I got a little English Paper Piecing in on my Jack's Chain quilt.

It is soooooooo cold today, I had the gas logs going in the living room and so enjoy stitching and watching the fire.

The remainder of the pictures are family groupings. 

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Board Basting a Quilt

I have tried many methods for basting a large quilt sandwich, but I believe this is my favorite.  I followed the tutorial "The RST Guide to Board Basting."  I did do a couple of things differently, but for the most part, followed the instructions.

I purchased my supplies, which are minimal, from Lowes.  I purchased two "marker" boards to protect my table top.  They are slick and easy to pin on.  Its kind of like the boards they used to make peg boards, but without any holes.  These were also finished so I think you could use dry erase marker on.  I needed two to get the width of my table - I think they are 3 x 4.  The boards for wrapping are PVC boards and are used in vinyl house covering.  They have a nice finish that tape will stick to.

This is where I was "wrapping" the boards.  I actually taped by fabric to the board before I began wrapping them just to make sure I had the fabric straight and it would not slip.  In the demo, the quilter simply folded the fabric around the board and then started wrapping. But she was doing a small quilt and I was concerned that my larger one would slip - so I taped it to the board.

I was very careful to keep it straight, but even so, the backing got a little off center creating a pleat on the back.  I guess its a learning process, and I did get the pleat out.  I have to wonder if I had stretched the fabric a little when pressing or if maybe it was a little off bias from ripping instead of cutting.
 In the tutorial, she recommended starching the backing 2 or 3 times, before wrapping - I only did it once, maybe I should have done it more.

 Here it is all wrapped and ready to baste.  In the tutorial, the quilter thread basted her quilt and commented she felt it held the quilt together better in the quilting process.  She does this for both hand quilting and machine quilting.

I chose to pin baste mine as that is my preference when machine quilting.  I do thread baste for hand quilting.

This process was so much easier as I could just sit at the table and pin it, rather than standing over a table and reaching  and hurting my back.  Also just unwrapped a small section of the quilt at a time, which help to keep it straight and flat.  This took me a couple of hours, but normally it would take me all morning - at least 4 hours.

And here is my pinned quilt all set for machine quilting.  This will be a gift for my Grandson Toby who has a birthday in February, so I need to get busy.  I have a couple of other quilts in the lineup for quilting as well, one for a baby shower in January.

Now to decide how I want it quilted.  I purchased some Aurifil silvery grey thread recently to try out on this quilt.  Its 100% cotton, 50 wt - looking forward to giving this a try.


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Schnibbles Reveille and Moda Blockhead catch up

Its a good day even if I am battling a cold and missed out on a shopping outing with three of my closest friends....well ok, I am having a little pity party.  Hopefully tomorrow I will feel much better, as my husband, brother and his wife and I are going to Old Salem.  I have always wanted to visit there at Christmas and looking forward to this trip for several weeks now. 

Yesterday I started working on a baby quilt for one of the expectant mom's in our church.  She is not finding out the baby's gender before delivery and I was in a quandary as to what kind of quilt to make.  I finally just settled on a scrappy and decided to try a Schnibbles pattern for the first time.  Its called Reveille and is in the book "Another Bite of Schnibbles".
I finished all the blocks last night and laid them out on my dining table. My blocks measure 7" square which is larger than they are supposed to measure according to the instructions (6 3/4")- guess I got a little too scant on my scant quarter inch seam.  At least I was consistent and they all seem to line up ok.  Laying out a scrappy quilt can be a challenge as I try hard not to have two colors the same touching.  I used 53 different fabrics in these blocks and thought this would be a snap to arrange - wrong!  I think I am going with this layout, although that bottom row does seem a little brown now that I look at the picture.  Maybe move those blocks around a right corner could use some brown.  Funny when I look at the picture I see a row of 3 blue arrows pointing the same direction.  Geez Louise, this is going to drive me nuts.
Moda Blockhead update.  There are 40 blocks out now, and I have made 39 of them.  This last block, #40 is a primitive bird on a huge branch.  I just cant seem to wrap my mind around primitive and therefore this block has not been completed.  Seems like I remember a pretty redbird on a branch in a Mimi Dietrich book I have, gonna look for it and maybe use that pattern.
Here are my most recent Moda Blockhead blocks.
Blocks 1 through 39

Block 36

Block 37

block 38

Block 39

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Irish Chain / Dresden Plate Complete!

 The day finally arrived when all the hand quilting was completed on my Irish chain/Dresden Plate quilt.  I say finally...but it was actually kind of sad as my hoop stands empty now and I so enjoy hand quilting.  But I have another in the queue (Bethlehem Star) and just need to get the border on and baste it together.

I would like to give a produce endorsement for Marcia Baraldi quilting mitts.  If you have not heard of these they are wonderful.
I found out about them when Linda Hungerford of Flourishing Palms taught a machine quilting class for our guild.  They are only available on line, to my knowledge, and cost around $23...and worth every penny. 
 They are very comfortable, with the straps made of a soft fabric that does not stress against your hands.  Fingers are free to thread needles, snip threads, etc.  The palm has a great gripper that allows you to easily move the fabric around.  I am not receiving anything for this endorsement - just thought y'all would like to know about theses great quilting tools.

Quilting on Chains.  Single line of quilting on the chain that crosses where the two chains meet.  Makes a frame around the quilted block.

Back of the quilt showing quilting on the chains.  These are actually on point - but took the picture at different angle.

Border quilting - I followed the light blue line in the border print to create a piano key type quilt pattern
Back side of border quilting
Final quilt - Now to make the label!

Jack's Chain - Rows 1 and 2

The first two rows of my Jack's Chain quilt.  I am having so much fun putting the rows together - all by English Paper Piecing (EPP). 

There will be border blocks to even out the edges, although I kind of like that wavy look on the left side. 

I have not joined the rows together yet, so all the outer edges still have paper in them, giving it a slightly wavy look.

This was taken on my dining table as my design wall is full of Moda Blockhead blocks.  The sunlight is wonderful in the dining room and you can see it shining through on the table.

Thank you to SoScrappy for sponsoring the Rainbow Scrap Challenge which ended this month.  This challenge kept me on goal for making the sweet 3" nine patches.  I hope she does another one next year, although I don't think I will start another EPP project this ambitious. 

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day with family and friends and can find some time in the next few hectic weeks before Christmas to get some quilting done.

Thanks for stopping by,

Saturday, November 4, 2017

RSC - Final Month

November is the last month of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge and I sure have enjoyed participating in this with SoScrappy and all the others.  I am doing Brown only for November rather than Black and Brown.

Once these are done, I will have enough nine patches to complete my Jack's Chain quilt.  I hope to have the quilt completed and ready to give to my wonderful brother Jack for his birthday in September. 

I have already completed 11 of the Jack's Chain blocks - with 35 more complete blocks and 35 partial blocks to go. I counted up the pieces that were needed for this quilt yesterday, and kind of wish I hadn't - as it is quite overwhelming:

Large Hexagons - 52
Half Hexagons - 16
Connecting Triangles - 470
1 " Squares - 3, 198
Total pieces = 3,788

Thankfully, I only have 20 more nine patches to make and that is the bulk of the pieces.

I am thoroughly enjoying the process though, and I know I will be a little sad to see it come to an end.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Moda Blockhead Update

Catching up with pictures of my Moda Blockhead blocks.  I have been getting them done each week, but just have not yet posted these pictures.  Just completed Block 35 - 13 more to go!
Block 31
Block 32

Block 33

Block 34 - was supposed to be primitive applique; but I decided to machine paper piece mine

Block 35