Sunday, January 22, 2017

Simply Sweet (1/2017 FNSI III)

I can't believe I finished this quilt top in a weekend!  Of course, I did not finish the laundry and some of the housework!

(I  need a design wall, but I no longer have a good place to put it.)

The four patches were pieced from a charm pack of  Northcote Range (Moda) in 2012.  They were done shortly after the assault/brain injury, and I don't know why I didn't finish them sooner, except that life became even more complicated, and I just persist in designing quilt after quilt in my head, and it takes much, much longer to create a real quilt.

This did take many more hours than I would have predicted.
 The four patches include all but a few of the charms from the pack, because the stripes were large and wouldn't have worked.  Five strips of seven 4-patches.  The rose on white strips were cut 2.5 inches, and the borders were cut six inches. And now that it's all assembled, it still reminds me of quilts from my childhood, except that where I grew up in the Midwest most of the quiltmakers at that time would have used a solid white instead of the rose print.  I just love that rose print.  I also have another pack of the charm squares, but not enough of either the blue or the rose print to make a twin to this quilt.  It's about 46" by 56", and will be smaller after quilting. I don't have yardage that will work for the back (imagine that!), so it will be a while.

It's so quietly sweet and simple. So, I'm naming it Simply Sweet.
While it's just the top, I'm going to count it as my first finish of 2017.  It was good to focus on this quilt top instead of other things, like the national news, for example.  (I'm pretty sure there has never before been this kind of ugliness this long after a Presidential election within my lifetime.) And while I was praying for whoever will receive this quilt, I'm also praying for my 20 year old nephew Thomas who's been hospitalized in Houston.  So, good use of my weekend.

Back to work tomorrow, and expecting more winter weather.

I linked to Freemotion by the River, Let's Bee Social and My Quilt Infatuation.

Happy quiltmaking and creating,

Saturday, January 21, 2017

January FNSI Two

This is how far along I am now....

I've finished three strips of seven four-patches.  I haven't decided whether to make two more or just one more.

 First I added smaller triangle to the top block and bottom block of the strip set.

 Then I began attaching the larger triangles to each four-patch on the diagonal and setting those sets together.

 This is the large print I plan to use for the borders and the spacers between the pieced strips.

My brother-in-law pointed out that my niece Blanche is now five, and I've had this fabric since she was a baby.  Of course, it's far from my oldest fabric, but given how much I like it, I'm not sure why it took me so long to use it.  The four-patches were already pieced when I opened the project box.

I'm getting a bit frustrated about how little I get done, but chores like laundry pull me away from piecing.  Oh, and I did have to use my seam ripper several times.

The wind is howling, so I'm going to bathe and snuggle in bed with my knitting and a book--and try not to think of how little I accomplished because I have a lot more done than when I opened that box yesterday.

Happy quiltmaking, knitting, and creating,

January FNSI Sewing

This is all I managed last night, and all I've managed as of 11:00 this a.m.  I have spent hours looking for rulers, specifically for a 25 year old Omnigrid triangle ruler that is no longer being manufactured.

I'm thinking this means I am probably going to have to order Bonnie Hunter's new Essential Triangle Tool. For today, I'll have to make do with something else, and rejoice that I relocated some rulers I'd stashed on a shelf and forgotten. I didn't forget the rulers; I merely forgot where I stashed them!

We had wind, rain, sleet, and snow this morning, so we cancelled our Victory Prayer Quilt Sew-In. Now the snow clouds have dissipated, but the wind is so high that with the temperature a little above freezing, the snow is both melting and evaporating.  I'm thinking I don't need to go out and check how bad the mud is, right?

Happy creativity, dear readers,

Friday, January 20, 2017

Decisions, Decisions!

I get to participate in Friday Night Sew In!

The hard part is in deciding what to do on this rainy/snowy night.  (Yes, we need the moisture--someone should write an anthem to that theme!)

I've narrowed it to these choices:

Borders for Mrs. Lebo's Legacy.  The two fabrics at the top may or may not become inner borders.  The red on the right will be the outer border.

I may use either the blue or the yellow for inner borders, or maybe both, if I have enough blue left for binding as well.

 This is the College Girl's panda quilt, for which she chose fabric in intermediate school or mid school and which finally was bordered with five different sets of unpieced strips because for years I thought I'd do piecing around the blocks.  Then I decided finished was more important.  She cuddled with it until she went back to the university, and it still needs a binding.

These are for my eldest brother's prayer quilt.  (The tactor panel is under the fabrics.)  Quilt is planned, but nothing is cut.

This is an unfinished prayer quilt from years ago--I'm leaning toward this one because I'd have to do only some minor triangle cutting to get it together.

This is the honeybee quilt I said I'd work on next, but I haven't finished designing it.  Since I want to spend time actually sewing, this probably won't win.

These are my newly arrived Anne of Green Gables fabrics--from Penny Rose Fabrics.  But I haven't designed anything yet.
 I do love these Anne fabrics--not only are the colors restful but happy; the prints seem to have more fidelity to one of my childhood favorite books, which I reread every few years.
(I was sooo excited when the Little House on the Prairie fabric line was announced, but they just weren't that true to what I imagined was in the novels.  So Little House on the Prairie will have to wait until someone else designs a line.)

This preprinted panel is almost quilted, but I think I'll wait until tomorrow to quilt it.  It's a workday for our Victory Prayer Quilts group, but snow and ice could change my mind about making the 40 mile round trip drive despite the fact that I'd love to have some social time with the ladies in our group.--I'd also probably want to drag along a sewing machine, which would probably be my turquoise hand-crank Singer 15 clone, although if the snow is light I may just use one of the sewing machines that are already there.
I need to decide so the evening can be productive as well as treasured.  I'm thinking hot chocolate would be helpful--as soon as I spread out my hand-knit wool socks to dry.

I hope all my readers get time to Friday-night-sew too--even if it's something small or knitting or embroidery.

Happy creativity, everyone,...

Friday, January 13, 2017

Moda Bread 'n' Butter on Sale

If you love the jelly roll in my Dresden quilt, you might want to know that Eleanor Burns' Quilt In A Day has it on sale today for $19.97.

In addition to this jelly roll, I used four strips of other fabrics, less than 1/4 yard for the yellow centers, several yards of white, fabric for a first border, and have ordered three yards from this line for a larger outer border.

I have no financial interest in Quilt In A Day, although I do make purchases there.

Happy Quiltmaking--especially if you are about to get socked in by winter weather!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Mrs. Lebo's Legacy VI

Blocks 8 and 9 of my checkered Dresden are finished!

Last night we had no internet access, and that made it a perfect time to give 100% of my concentration to applique.  Although I was very tired, I appliqued block 8.  It's true that without the distraction of laundry, a movie, or music, I managed an entire block in just under an hour.

Tonight I decided to forego distractions and applique the last block.

They are such happy blocks.  They remind me of the colors in the Dick, Jane, and Sally readers.  Since I really wanted to learn to read, I really loved those books.  Some of that carries over into my response to Sandy Klop's fabrics.  Most of these prints are from Moda's Bread'n'Butter by American Jane [Sandy Klop].  Now that these are done, I'm sorry that I resisted quilting with these colors for so long.  My excuse was that they don't go with my house.  However, I'm getting old, so I'm tossing that excuse out the window!

I'm not sure when this quilt will be finished.  I can probably get the blocks set together this weekend, but I'm going to have to order more border fabric.  I've decided I might as well go all out and use a red print!

The message our ISP posted on their phone system was that most of their New Mexico customers were without service, and they didn't know when it would be restored.  When I finally reached a tech support person later that night, she said the outage might be connected to our wind storms, but she really couldn't say for sure.  At the moment our service is slower than when we were on dial-up, so I hope they get it fixed soon, preferably before the next round of wind and storms arrives. We're currently at 0.04 Mbps.  So, now we have more recent experience with what internet service was like in the  "old days." Something like this certainly makes us grateful for the technological advances of the last few years.

Happy quiltmaking,...

Monday, January 9, 2017

Mrs. Lebo's Legacy V

Still at work on the applique for these checkered Dresden plate blocks.  Here's what I have so far (in fast photos because I have too much to do before bedtime and too little time to do it). I also don't have a handy place to take good photos, so I'll do that later, but these show the variety of wedges created from one 42 strip jelly roll of American Jane's Bread 'n' Butter and four additional strips of fabric.

The seventh of nine blocks is about half done and under the needle of my treadled Necchi.
I'm using a 2 mm stitch length with a 1 mm zigzag. This experience really has me wishing for a hand crank machine that does zigzag, but I'm not at all sure such a machine exists. I think by the time Singer had built in zigzag the machines could no longer be converted to hand crank. One lesson learned: assemble the wedges, glue baste the center circle (I used Elmer's water soluble school glue--dot, dot, not a lot), pin to background square (heavily spray starched square); applique center first, and fine tune pinning of wedges and then applique them.  That works much, much better than appliqueing center to the Dresden plate before placing it on the background.

I promise to shoot better photos in better lighting later. I'm feeling a little shaky because right now our winds are 39 mph at 49 degrees with intermittent precipitation and all this noisy weather  makes me more than a bit discombobulated! The wind speed is predicted to drop after midnight.  I certainly hope it does! I'd fall asleep to music, but if I do, it's likely I won't wake up when my radio alarm goes off at five in the morning.

Happy quiltmaking,....

Friday, January 6, 2017

Mrs. Lebo's Legacy IV - Progress

We had major weather overnight, making this a perfect day to work on my Dresden plate quilt.

 I did decide to use the yellow print for the center of the plates.  This gave me the chance to revert to my old ways of applique.  I cut the circles from card stock, and got out an ancient piece of beeswax, and my treasured thimble that was a gift from an elderly lady in Cleveland, Tennessee when my grandmother's thimble, complete with a monogram D, disappeared.

 This sterling thimble with nice, deep serviceable dimples is lovely, and a great consolation for the loss of my paternal grandmother's sterling and gold thimble.

 I gathered the circles around the cardstock and then pressed them well.  Handwork is slow stuff, but the circles needed to be circles.

 The interfacing method didn't work well at all, despite careful stitching and turning and pressing.

 The applique is being done with a tiny zigzag on my vintage Necchi treadle.  I sought out the Necchi years ago because I wanted to treadle a machine that could zigzag.

 I quickly realized I needed an open toed foot for better visibility, so I pulled out these two.  Necchi BUs are high shank machines.  I'm not at all sure of the intended purpose of these feet.  The one on the right is working just fine, so I didn't try the one on the left.

 The one on the left is covered with this textured plastic/silicone(?) piece.  I'd love to know its intended use. (Edited to add: Gypsy Quilter says it's for sewing on buttons--so the foot will hold them in position and not damage them.  See her comment below.)

 Here's the first block completed.  I did begin and end the zigzag with long thread tails that I pulled to the back and knotted for security.

Although it feels like the applique takes forever, it is nearly invisible and is taking a lot less time than hand applique.  Hopefully, Dolly Shreve Scheer, who did incredible hand applique, and whose partially finished applique inspired me over 40 years ago, would approve.

Since this will be machined quilted, I'm not trimming away the background as I did with the first Dresden plates I created long ago.

I awoke several times last night with the roof being pelted with ice.  When I braved five degrees this morning to do minimal shoveling and wheel the garbage out to the street, the snow was quite powdery above the layers of snow pellets. When I was a kid, all the adults said that if the temperature reached 10-degrees, it was too cold to snow.  Clearly not the case today east of the Sandia mountains in New Mexico. I'm not sure it reached twenty today. Despite ample sunshine, nothing melted. We cancelled our appointments, stayed in and, aside from cooking, I worked on my quilt.  The College girl watched Poirot, napped, and texted friends.  (She learned this week that her acceptance to graduate school is sitting on the desk of the Dean of Students, who will be back on campus on Wednesday.  I'm delighted with how hard she has worked and of the success she is building for her future.)

As these storms move east across the U.S., I hope everyone stays warm and happily busy.

Happy quiltmaking, knitting, etc.,

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Mrs. Lebo's Legacy III

At last, I have nine sets of wedges together.
I was getting concerned that I would not have 180 wedges; If I had not cut a one 4-strip set from other fabrics, I would have been short.  As it was, I needed three more wedges.  I managed to get them from scraps.  I did go looking in my stash, but I've rarely used these colors since maybe the 1970s, and the 100% cotton fabrics we could find back then were rarely this high quality.  (Thank you ,millions of quilters and all the manufacturers and shops who share our passion and our dollars!)

Then when I had them all together, I found this lurking about! Oh, well!

This is going to be one very happy quilt!

I used to have a design wall, but no longer have one up--and no good place to put one.  I don't think I mind.

I need to decide what size to make the centers and whether to make them yellow, red, or blue.  Right now I'm leaning toward yellow if I have enough fabric.  They will remind me of English Chintz China, something I love but will never be able to afford.  I also need to decide on the size of the background squares.  Jenny Doan suggested 22 inches for the Missouri Star Quilt, but I haven't decided yet.

We don't know how much snow we'll get out of our current storm, but this is a perfect quilt to be making while it happens!

Happy quiltmaking,......

Monday, January 2, 2017

This Is Taking a While

I'm at the step where each point is getting ironed.
I've ironed about half the points. The fact that I want lots of variety in the Dresden plates means I want all of the wedges to be ready, so the pressing all at once seems the best way. I'm watching some You-tube videos while I press. Quilt-it!, the long arm quilting show, has posted several full length videos, and a lot of them contain valuable information for domestic machine quilters as well as long arm quilters. I really like Quilt It! - Episode 701 - Curing Continous Confusion with Deborah Poole (It's so much easier to stream them via you-tube without having to use the HDMI cable.) Still this is such a boring task  it's also easy to doze off!
Happy quiltmaking,....


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Mrs. Lebo's Legacy - Today's Progress

A bit more done on the checkered Dresden plates:

Two boxes of blades sewn. (Very happy that I managed to do all this sewing, on a treadle, at that, without my knee hurting. I'm thinking the P.T.s had it taped wrong because it's so much better now!)
The next step will be to flip the points and press them.

When I was a child the days leading up to New Year's Day were filled with cleaning, laundry, and any other work my parents could think of.  That was because mom's mother was very superstitious and said that whatever people had to do on New Year's Day, they'd have to do every day of the year.  I'm not superstitious, but in addition to attending church and Sunday school and, later, baking the lasagna, I'm hoping to do some knitting, quiltmaking, and reading.  That sounds like a great start to 2017.

Happy New Year!--
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