Monday, April 30, 2018

Hmmm...really re-thinking the name Happy

Really starting to rethink the name of my Happy quilt. 

I am doing this in a Quilt-As-You-Go method, and I have quilted the first row...which measured 12 1/2" x 60 1/2" prior to quilting and after quilting measured 12" x 58 1/2".


The checkered row is the next row and has not yet been quilted, but look at the difference in lengths. 

Every other row in the quilt is checkered, and I was not going to quilt the checkered row until after I had the rows on either side of the checked row sewn on.  This is going to be interesting!!!

Anyone every had to deal with this situation, I would sure like to know what you did.  I am new to Quilt-As-You-Go techniques, and this one has me stumped.  I posted the picture and question on the Quilt-As-You-Go facebook page, and so far the responses have all said that there will be shrinkage, and I should quilt all the rows before joining them together,  but that is not what I wanted to do.

Oh a happier note, here is my sweet little Lorelai, sitting out in the grass (weeds) this beautiful afternoon.  Now how can I be upset with this little doll to bring me so many smiles?  See that left foot kicked up - she sat with one foot or the other kicked up like that while in the grass. 
And here is Lorelai's big sister - Adeline, out for a spin in the grass in her  car.  She finds joy and fun in everything she does.  Notice the static electric hair do?  Can it get any cuter that this?

And guess what....there is another little girl due to arrive in October.

I am so blessed to have my eleven grandchildren that bring so much happiness in my life.  So what's a little quilt shrinkage when my family is still growing.


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Is Happy a Jinx Name?????

I am going to quilt my Happy Quilt in a quilt as you go method, quilting each row individually. So yesterday, I got Row 1, the Sunshine Row, all pin basted and ready to quilt.  And this is where my fun day began.  Once I finally decided on a pattern for the Sunshines, I used a blue water soluble fabric pen to draw the lines.  First sunshine looked great - I am excited. And then.....the rest of the story:
  1. Moved on to the second sunshine, and I grabbed a blue highlighter pen (same blue color case as my water soluble pen case) instead of my blue fabric marking pen and 3/4's around the first square before I realized my BIG goof. I immediately tried to wash it out, came out of the yellow just fine, but would not wash out of the orange fabric.After trying every kind of stain remover and detergent in the house, there was nothing to do, but make a new block. Fred now has a nice blue highlighter - I don't even want it near my cutting table ever again. 

2. In the process of taking it out, wouldn't you know I cut a slit in the background fabric of one of the good blocks.  It is less than half an inch, but  right in the seam line.  Sigh....another problem.  I ironed some fusible pellon on the back to keep it from raveling any more and hopefully hide the cut.  You can still see the slit but I think it is secure. I need to mark it with a safety pen so I can be sure I quilt over that spot

3.I cut out the new sunshine block and started sewing it together.  Of course I had my machine set up for quilting, so I had to remove the autofeed foot, remove the machine quilting thread and bobbin, and then set it up for machine piecing. 

4. I had the sunshine block nearly complete - to the stage of sewing the "rows together, and dang, the points were way off.  What in the world happened???? I had been so careful to make sure I had true quarter inch seams and straight seams.  So I go back and look at my instructions - I had cut 2 1/2" squares for the points and should have cut 2".  Well this could not be fixed.  So I had to cut out a whole new block and start over.

5. Got the new block cut out and sewn together  then had to stitch it back in the row.  This was complicated by the fact that I had already started quilting the row and had it basted to the batting and background....and this was not a block on the end of the row.  The block on either side was attached to the quilt sandwich.  The first side was no problem but the other side was like sewing in a tube. I was almost half way across, and wouldn't you know, I ran out of bobbin thread.

6.After refilling another bobbin, I finally got the replacement
block sewn in.....and then, I guess I had stretched the fabrics and was getting a pleat when I tried to smooth it over the batting.  So I had to take each seam in a little so it would lie smooth.

7.Then reset the machine for machine quilting, marked the new block with a blue water soluble pen and got to quilting.  All of the sunshines are now quilted  and I am back on track. my dismay,  I am seeing some bleeding  of the yellow hand dyed fabric I used for the backing through to the quilt top.

Geez Louise - this is not supposed to happen.  I always pre-wash my fabrics!!! 

 No panic....I will just put a whole box of dye catchers in the washer when I wash this quilt and if that doesn't work, well you know, bright sunshine sometimes gives the sky a yellowish tint - right?

For now...its time to enjoy a good cup of coffee and contemplate on how I will free motion the background.  Tomorrow is another day......

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Happy Quilt

This is a Row by Row printed in McCall's Quilting Magazine, 2016 as a mystery quilt with each issue having the next row.  I am making it in primary, scrappy colors and when I look at it, it just makes me happy - So the quilt is now named HAPPY.  

The plan for this quilt is to use it in my grandkids play room where there is a twin bed, and thus I need to make it "sturdy."  The pattern called for fusible applique, but I am doing the method my Mom taught me of turning the edges under with a running stitch and then blanket stitch over that, leaving the basting stitches in.  Only difference is I am machine blanket stitching since handwork work is a challenge for me these days. 

Having fun with this pattern - next row is made of churn dash blocks, one of my favorites.  There is the row of squares between each of the other rows. Several of the women in my club are making this one with me and we are trying out different techniques on each row.  Its fun to see it being put together with different fabric themes.

Recently I purchased sunglasses with reader biofocals. I needed a case  that would easily fit in my purse.  After searching the internet for some patterns I combined two different patterns to make this simple case with the Seminole pieced insert.  This was a fun quick project.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Twiling and Star of Bethlehem

My guild is so fortunate to have a member, Sherri Turevon, who is an excellent designer and is chairing our monthly block challenge.  She has come up with a Block of the Month for embroidery each month and then framed in a pieced border.  The blocks are beautiful, and we stitch in the stitch of our choice.  I am doing some twilling and back stitch on mine.  I have seen several other ladies' work and they are all equally beautiful, all done differently, so far.  I was thrilled to discover I could do this work even with my wounded hand.

Here are my first four blocks:

January - Snow Crystal

February Hearts

March - Shamrock

April - Butterflies

With the help of my husband, I was able to get my Star of Bethlehem quilt wrapped on the boards for basting, and then two friends, Darlene and Brenda, came over and helped me get it thread basted.  Its now on the hoop, ready for quilting which hopefully I can start soon. 

I was so excited to discover I could do some paper piecing, that I kind of overdid it one afternoon, sitting on my porch and stitched for over two hours. Needless to say my hand was swollen and hurt a lot when I stopped.  Went to therapy yesterday, and was told to take it easy - that I had actually set my progress backwards :(   Soooooo...have to limit hand sewing to 30 minute intervals, followed by 30 minute handrests for the next few days.  But it sure was fun!