Saturday, May 19, 2018

No T-squares Allowed

This top was started in 2010.  The Rail Fence variation was made from 2 sets of 6 different fat quarters, one set given to me by a dear friend who gave them to me for my time spent helping her pin a quilt for that would be a gift for her first grandchild.
The top was once dubbed strawberries and chocolate but cherries and cupcakes are scattered on one fabric of the scrappy back.
The quilt was on Patience, the HandiQuilter, when we were packing to move.  Unfinished, with only borders needing quilting, it was rolled up, bundled in a pillowcase, and tucked away.  I resolved this week to get it out of storage and complete the borders, and then ready it for binding. 

My goal has been achieved with little else to applaud.  The computer guided patterns were a poor choice because they only accentuate borders that have only the appearance of being straight at brief glimpse or great distance.  No one will be permitted near the quilt carrying anything that looks like a yardstick, tape measure, or T-square.  

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Elm Street Quilts May OMG: Collaborating

This sweet quilt top is the first effort of a new friend.  Wendy has asked me to help her finish her quilt.  I have made a back for the quilt and my Elm Street Quilts May OMG is to quilt this top for her so she can bind it and give as a gift at a baby shower in June.  This is not the first baby quilt I have collaborated on but it will be the first quilt quilted on the longarm quilting machine that has replaced Patience, my Handi Quilter 16.
Second try on the photo didn't improve the view.  I guess my phone just isn't seeing the delightful collection of fabrics like I do.  :(   

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Fun Colors, Cool Product!

Update:  The B'Seal bag clips are a great product for sealing bags but they have become more flexible with use at the quilting machine and I won't be recommending them for that use since they popped off the end of my backing and I had to resort to pinning to finish a quilt.  Additionally, the new heavy leaders on my machine won't allow me to use the light tracks mentioned in the paragraph below either.  They only worked with the pillow ticking leaders I had made for the HandiQuilter that I no longer own.  Joey, a blogger is using Mondo bag clips and they have worked well for 3 years according to an entry on Facebook.

In a recent effort to try another quilter's tip, I bought some 1/4 inch PEX tubes and light tracks at Home Depot as a thrifty alternative to Leader Grips, an expensive system that is a faster method than pinning a quilt back to leaders.  While faster than pinning, the light tracks have not become more flexible with use and the next size up in diameter is not available at local stores.   Also, I haven't succeeded in getting a clean cut for shorter segments of the lighting track.

Red Snappers are a similar and slightly less expensive notion that work similarly to Leader Grips.  The local company that makes them also makes a chip bag sealing product that inspired the quilters' product.  I thought I might try the bag sealing product and have found that it is compatible with the PEX tubes.  The gripping section of the product fits easily but securely over fabric and the PEX tube in the leader casing.  I now have a fast and easy solution to pinning quilt backs to leaders and I love the yummy colors.  I am getting more so I can use them at the quilting machine and in the kitchen.
A package of 24 will be all I need with a couple of 6 foot PEX tubes in each casing for long quilts: B'Seal Bag Sealing Product

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Elm Street Quilts OMG April Link-up: Three Yards to the Finish Line

While I was not fond of the fabrics in the 3 yard quilt kit I purchased from my local quilt shop, the top is done and will be quilted soon.  Here is my completed Elm Street Quilts April OMG, now known as Whirligigs in a Flower Garden:
My original plan was to put the flower border second but there was so little fabric for the narrow border, it had to be the first one, making the whirligigs or windmills appear to be surrounded by the flowers.  Also, I disregarded the measurements for the borders and just used up the fabric that remained.  I have the backing and binding fabric purchased.
Currently, I am without a longarm as I am upgrading to a new system and all quilting is on hold until the new machine is installed and I have completed a practice run.

Another finish for the month was a quilt top kit I picked up at our local quilt show.  The top has been dropped off and will be completed by another quilter since I am between machines.  This top was made for Quilts Beyond Borders.  The kit contained 42 scrappy strips, several were repeated a number of times.  I didn't like the suggested pattern with the frequent repetitions but a simple rail fence style quilt with a piano key border worked well with the fabrics.
Another quilt is in the works, a design called Stained Glass by Cozy Quilts.  I am having so much fun sewing quilt tops, it is difficult to switch to gardening now that spring has finally decided to show off its colors and offer us some warm sunny weather.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Elm Street Quilts April Link-up: Three Yards

I purchased 3 yards of coordinating fabric and then decided I didn't like it.  What do I do?  Use it up and get it out of the house!  But, I am running short of fabric for the design I thought might work.  Nevertheless, I am determined to finish this top for my Elm Street Quilts April OMG.  It will then become a charity quilt for the county chaplains who are called out to assist with death notifications and other emergencies when a chaplain is requested.

This is the design that I started with:
Unfortunately, the block dimensions I came up with are too big for 3 one yard cuts.  I will have enough for the blocks but not for the borders as pictured.  I will have to come up with another plan.  That will be a mystery until the next Elm Street Quilts Link-up.

One row of completed blocks:

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Planning a Next Project

Inspired by one of Sharon's quilt at Adventures in Fiber I finally broke open a moire print jelly roll thinking I could easily find a 2.5 inch strip version of her quilt, one Bonnie Hunter calls Delectable Mountains. 

Watch Teresa at Down Under make the block with two squares:

Unfortunately, any pattern that said it was jelly roll friendly was for a fee and I wasn't going to pay 10 dollars for a single pattern design and an E-version at that. I finally settled for a used Strip Tube Ruler booklet that came to under 10 dollars because I had some bonus points on Amazon, I already have the ruler, and because it had several different patterns and more than one size quilt for each pattern. One called State of Grace will be perfect for my bright and solid appearing moire print strips. Author's website for the book I found on Amazon:

Strip Clubbing

See the quilt State of Grace:

Even though I found close up shots of State of Grace, I could not figure out how to use the Strip Tube Ruler to make cuts in a strip set. My brain just didn't see how to even arrange the strips into a set to cut and end up like the photos. Must be age or the dreary winter weather that is still plaguing us.

I have a layer cake of nearly solid crayon brights squares. I might try making a zig-zag or reflections version but with so many versions I have seen in my searches, a different layout might appeal to me when I actually arrange the blocks.  

Want to try a quick and easy project featuring just a few blocks?  See a table runner layout here:

Elm Street Quilts March OMG Link Up: A Good Month for Quilting

Spring is here but our weather is still mostly cold and rainy.  With only one day of sunshine that was not claimed with other commitments, I was able to start work on garden duty.  Otherwise, finishing up the quilts I started in February was an easy chore.  Both the sew and slice quilts for my Elm Street Quilts March OMG have been quilted, bound, and a label attached.

The quilt for my new grandson was made larger than the second one below because Jonah is already walking and I wanted him to have something that would fit on a toddler bed.  The whale on the label is from Embroidery Library.

This one is for a baby shower.  It was made from scraps and remnants from the one above.  The applique for the label is an Accuquilt design and while having the die for cutting the applique makes the embroidery go faster, it is not necessary.  Templates to cut out the animals with scissors are included.  I purchased this set from the designer's website on Etsy:  V Stitch Designs

The back took as long as the front to piece.

Faux piping binding attached with a serpentine stitch.
 My knitting has been neglected but I squeezed in a test knit for designer on Ravelry.  Her booties are adorable and usually more detailed but we were working on a re-write of an early pattern that will have more sizes and the option to knit all sizes in the round.  This pattern is simple but attractive.  I like knitting socks and had a stray skein of sock yarn that would only make one adult sock so I volunteered to make a size medium and yes, I knit both but not two at a time like I make my socks.