Saturday, February 6, 2016

Project Quilting Season 7 Thread

This week's Project Quilting challenge is about thread. This month's Small Quilt Challenge is about hearts. I decided to combine both challenges and make something I could send to a loved one.

I started out with a quilt sandwich and lots of thread.  I usually use a simple background that has a high contrast with what I add, but I liked this fabric, and thought it would give a softer, more mature, look.

I used the embroidery stitches on my machine to add a variety of stitches in all of the threads I had chosen. The plan was to stitch everything on one sandwich and then cut out the individual shapes. A heart for the heart quilt that I could send to my daughter. Maybe a rectangle to turn into a spool of thread. And if there was enough extra, a circle for Circle 365.

I then cut out the heart from it, using a template to make sure I had the right shape and size. I decided that using different threads was enough for the thread challenge. This doesn't look like it would work too well as a spool of thread.  I cut another, slightly smaller, heart for myself. When I make something for someone else, I have learned to make one for myself too, especially when it is small and easy, like this is. Economy of scale and all that.

The original plan was to apply this heart to a background to make a postcard, but I really liked the idea of a quilt that was not a square or rectangle. I also wanted something that was bigger than a postcard.  If I am going to mail it in an envelope anyway, I could make it any size I wanted!  This idea also fit with the idea of finishing by Sunday's deadline, so I finished the edges off with satin stitches.

As a bonus, there was enough leftover sandwich to make a circle. Another bonus is that I didn't have to take a quilt off the board to make room for it.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Circles 65

I am sure by now you are sick and tired of seeing the guilt-inducing finished quilts, and want to see something that has no chance of being finished anytime soon.  I am happy to oblige.  I have 65 circles completed. 

I used an embroidery stitch from my machine for this one. Trying to put some calmer colors in this section.

 A pieced one. The center square finishes at one inch. I made a nine patch and trimmed it into a circle.  It is a combination of precision and improv piecing, in that it is precision until it doesn't work right, then it is improv. I'm not getting out the seam ripper unless I absolutely can't get it to work.  The pattern idea came from a recently published book that is going through a blog hop.  I wrote the name down somewhere...

The idea for this car was also on a blog. It was a pattern on a project. The passengers fabric is an African print that was used on a BOM.

This one is about rules - who has the right to make them, knowing what the rules are, of breaking them deliberately or accidentally, of enforcing them, and the reasonableness of the punishment for breaking them.

The circle fabric is from Cheddar Cheese and Crackers. The design looked like a stream to me.

Copying the idea of a pieced background from another Quilty 365 participant.

Copied the idea of a half applique and half embroidery circle from another blogger.  I kept the blog open on a tab so I could properly attribute it, but then accidentally closed it. Mine is not as neat as hers, so maybe she wouldn't want the attribution.

Here's the whole week's worth altogether.

And sewn into the previous section. I don't know how I managed to get it to fit without a vertical sashing strip. This is three rows of week three.  There is a lot of red in this section. I need to add more red to the weeks 1 and 2.

Only 300 more to go!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Quilt Reveal: Cheddar Cheese and Crackers

Once upon a time, on January 13, 2010 to be exact, I started the Cheddar Cheese and Crackers quilt. This is what I had to say at that time:
I know I was going to finish African Circles before starting a new quilt . . . .

I know I said I was going to make circle banner quilts, or finish some UFOs, or at least start on one of the quilts that are already kitted up and not started. . . .

But I also said that I was going to take advantage of little projects when they called to me. And Lori at Humble Quilts is making a doll quilt called Cheddar Cheese and Crackers. It's a doll quilt, how long can it take?

This post had me laughing out loud. Yes, I actually said that. I'm sure I said it tongue in cheek since I did know by then that quilts can take a long time. I'm pretty sure though that I didn't think it would would take six years.

The post also shows that I haven't changed at all, because so many quilts, in various stages of completion and ones that have never been started are still floating around in my head, as you can tell from my last two posts. 

Cheddar Cheese and Crackers is finished now.  Let's give it some love, shall we?

Each of the pieces in the checkerboard are one inch finished.  The light spaces have been hand quilted diagonally in both directions. Some of them have been made to practice making small stitches, others to practice consistent stitches, and the rest of them to just get 'er done.

I gave this reproduction quilt a modern take by using batik prints for the checkerboard.  There are a variety of different batik prints but they look pretty similar in this quilt.  The light background crackers and the cheddar fabrics honor the pattern's roots.

Each of the cheese slices have a different circular design hand quilted on it. My affinity for circles has deep roots.

I used a triangle for a label.  The quilt finishes at 22" x 22" It is a beautiful day outside so I was able to go outside without a coat (in February! It's 60 degrees!) for these photographs.

I called it a doll quilt in 2010, and I was thinking that it was really too big to be a doll quilt, but Amanda says it is just the right size for her. The wind posed this picture.

Linked to:
Let's Bee Social #110 
Wandering Camera February 2016
because I practiced my photography skills finding different places to show off this quilt. Throwback Thursday because this is an old quilt as well as a new quilt at the same time!

One Monthly Goal for February

Since the Cheddar Crackers is nearing completion, I wanted to make a plan for what I will finish next.  Therefore, it is time for

Right now, I have a lot of quilts that have some or all blocks made, but have not been pieced together into a top. This is creating clutter in my sewing space, and I have decided to clean that up by turning some of these blocks into a top. I'd rather clean by sewing than, well, cleaning.

Therefore, my one monthly goal will be to take all these loose rail fence blocks and turn it into a top this month. It is quite possible that I may even be able to turn it into a finished quilt this month, but I don't want to promise that. Better to keep the goals realistic, right?


Why these? Because they are the ones that have not been put away. The Elephant Parade and Life of Plenty and other blocks are tucked away in drawers or boxes so they don't bother me as much. 

The remaining leftover rails are also out and they are also bothering me, so I have chained all of them together into one very long row. I think I will be able to finish this top / quilt too, but again, no promises on this one.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Quilt Reveal: Dog Gone Cute

Dog Gone Cute is ready for a quilt reveal.

This is Lorna Mahon's pattern from Sew Fresh quilts.  She offered it on her blog for free.  She has many other dog patterns as well.  She is also getting ready to host an Ugly Sweaters quilt-along.

I adapted this one - okay, it was partly an error that I decided to keep because I thought it would get a longer nose this way.  Then I looked at Zeus and realized that I only see his nose when he is looking down but when he is looking up, I see his mouth and chin.  So I  gave the quilt dog a chin.

I quilted straight organic lines, like Lorna would do, but it looked like the Bad Dog picture in the Small Quilts photo album. He looked like he was in jail. I then quilted wavy lines between all the straight lines. I started on the right side, and didn't like the really wavy lines so I made them less wavy as I went to the left.

I bound it with a solid brown. To make sure it got finished this month, since I don't have hand work time, I sewed down the binding on both sides by machine.  It isn't perfect, since I am not used to doing to sewing down the binding by machine (and I was sewing from the front where I couldn't see if the binding was catching on the back), but I managed to get it done, and pretty quickly too.

I showed you the back of the quilt yesterday. With so many finishes so quickly and limited space, the improv elephant quilt didn't get to stay on the bulletin board very long.

It is 17"  x 17 3/4". To see other posts about this quilt, click on the Dog Gone Cute label under this post or in the sidebar. To see other posts about finished quilts, click on Quilt Reveal label under this post or in the sidebar. I think I finished more quilts this month than I did all of last year combined.

Wanda said that for each finished quilt, I can start three new ones. Who am I to argue with that?  So I have picked out three quilts to start!

Shirts Quilt

I received a stack of solid blue shirts from my brother-in-law and I have decided to make a quilt with these to give back to him.  I was considering all kinds of quilt patterns to make but I recently saw the Gee's Bend documentary, and saw a quick glimpse of a Courthouse Steps quilt. The steps are on two sides instead of all four sides.  It only uses two colors and there is very little of the other color.  I figure I could use a pair of jeans for my second color, and make this simple quilt that showcases the shirts.  I won't make it improv method though; I think he would prefer straight lines.  This will be a pretty big quilt though, even if it means I have to buy more shirts, so it won't be a quick finish.

Adrinka Quilt 2016

Debby Kratovil is offering an Adinkra Quilt 2016 block of the month.  I have decided to join her, because this quilt uses African fabrics in a beautiful way and I want to use my African fabrics. It is a simple quilt. Alternating blocks are pieced, and one design is appliqued every month. When I printed the pattern, it printed smaller than the size needed to make the block. This is probably my fault, since I didn't check to see if the printer was going to print actual size.  I was going to consider reducing the size anyway, and now I didn't need to. I decided to use the smaller size. I am going to have to remember to make my alternating blocks smaller.

Scrap Quilt

I am going to start cutting fabric for my next scrap quilt.  When I pull out scraps for the Quilty 365, I wind up having to put the remaining scrap away.  I think it would be better for me to trim these scraps down and get them ready for a scrap quilt.  I am thinking Quilt Vortex, which lets the scraps be the size they are for the most part.  I also want to start cutting fabric for the triangle quilt for my own bed.  I haven't made a quilt for my bed, and although it hasn't bothered me before, it is bothering me now. Mostly because my Walmart quilt is shredding to pieces day by day.

Linked to:
Fabric Tuesday 
Linky Tuesday 
Let's Bee Social #110

Friday, January 29, 2016

Quilting and Quilt Label

Hand quilting continues on the Cheddar and Crackers quilt. I am still hoping on finishing the quilting this month.

I machine quilted the Dog Gone Cute quilt using organic lines.  I am going to show you how I made the quilt label. This quilt label is sewn into the binding of the quilt.  There are several benefits of doing it this way. First, you only have to hand sew two sides of it, since the other two sides are under the binding.  Second, it provides a nice professional finish. Third, it makes it harder to steal the quilt since someone cannot simply take out the label without having to re-do the binding.

I first pieced together the bonus triangles that came from making the front of the quilt. You know, those bits that you are supposed to throw away.  Since this is a label, I tried to keep all the white places together so they would form a continuous space to write the information for the label.

I wanted to include the raw edges in the seam allowance of the quilt.  That left two sides that would need to be hand sewn.  Since this is pieced, I wanted to make sure that these hand sewn sides were neatly turned under.  To do that, I sewed these two sides rights sides together to plain square.

Turn it right side out and poke out the corner. Note that the other two sides are still raw edges.

Align the raw edges to the edge of the quilted and trimmed quilt and pin in place.

Then baste it in place using a smaller seam allowance than you will use for the binding.  You will notice that I also folded squares in half and basted the triangles in place to serve as quilt hangers.  I just have to bind as usual to cover these raw edges.

When I sew the binding down, I plan the path for sewing that includes the label. Which means that I start the quilting near the label if I plan to do the label last. I usually start with the label first and then work my way around the quilt.  When I start near the label, I don't have to tie off the thread to end in one place and just to have to move to do the label.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Circle Progress

I was planning on showing you pictures of my circles put together after I joined the rows of the 21 circles.  Even though I can't join the rows because of the size of the circle I just finished making, I am showing what they look like so far.

It is hard to photograph them all together since the rows are so long.

Each row is made up of three weeks.  Here are all the first weeks of each row.

Second weeks.

Third weeks.  I am now working on the third week of row three.

Linked to:
AHIQ - share your improv #5 
Oh Scrap! 
February Quilty 365 Linkup