Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Ambitious Quilting

 I started my quilt using Salt Water fabrics by Tula Pink.  I am quilting it in sections so that I can be a bit more ambitious in the free motion quilting areas.  I find that it can get quite unwieldy to twist and turn a piece if its too large.

The central section is pretty colorful, so I used a straight line diamond pattern:
 I drew it out to scale beforehand, so that I would know where to place the lines.
The pale gray sections were the place to do free motion,

 I decided on a pattern of seashells and seaweed, with little pebbles to fill in the side areas.
First I did the central swath, then I filled in the pebbles on the sides

 Before I started, I got inspired by leafing through "In the Studio", by Angela Walters, who has some really good information about how to plan out your quilting designs, especially with a view to "modern" quilts:
 One of her suggestions is to sketch out ideas before hand, so I tried that.  I did find it helpful, especially to figure out some seashell designs.
 I also warmed up by doing a little swatch
I enjoyed the whole process, and now I am ready to add another section when I come back to this project; it will use the turquoise fabrics, plus more gray!
I'm not quite sure how large I'll make this quilt.  part of me wants to make it large enough to use on the bed, but that's pretty big!  we'll see.

I'm linking up again to the WIP website, here , so be sure to click on that link to see what others have been doing this week!  Also, hello to all you who are visiting from there!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Four Crosses

This is the Four Crosses quilt that I made using the Parson Gray fabrics.
 I'm not alone in observing that these fabrics seem like they would be great to use for a "man's" quilt.
 My new photo taking system has a drawback for when the quilt is wider than the wooden frame:
Have you noticed that I've combined photos into little collages in the last two posts?  I am being influenced by the gorgeous photos collages posted by FacileCecile, whose blog is on the sidebar!

As for the design of the quilt itself, it is derived from the Seven Wonders Quilt that he had a picture of in his booth at Quilt Market last autumn,

You can download the pattern for it here!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Internal Metal Purse Frame

 This is the second purse that I made using this hardware: (the "internal metal purse frame")
 I wanted to show you how to use one of these because it is easy to do, but hard to figure out if you're like me.

It helps if you've made a tote bag before sometime.  This one is a simple tote with a lining and two straps. 
 So all you do, is when you sew the lining and the outside of the bag together , and you insert the straps, just add a folded over rectangle of fabric into the seam as well:
 Then you dismantle the frame by pulling out the little screws at either end that hold the two sides together.
 run each of the metal tubes through the fabric rectangles, and then put the post screws back in how they were before.  There are two other little ends that you screw in to the ends of the posts so that it is all secure!
If you missed my other post about the bag made with a ribbon panel, it was here
(On this bag, the handles were sewn on later, not sewn in between the lining and the outer piece)
(Oh, and of course if you want to use try this out yourself, I tracked down a source for them and placed an order, so I hope we'll have them available at the shop in a couple of weeks, in 3 sizes!)

Future Random Posts

As part of my setting up the new laptop I noticed a lot of photos that need culling.  I'd like the photos I do keep to be either of people, or ones that are useful and I want to keep.  Going through the folders and deleting useless photos is now my new hobby.  I also notice photos that I took for a reason but haven't blogged about them ..yet.... So, I might make some short posts that are absolutely detours from the continuity of my life.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Strenuous Day

Yesterday we went to town and got me a new laptop.  I had been thinking about this for the past several months.  My laptop was getting a bit beat up, and I wanted to get a new one before it gave out. I spent most of today transferring data, loading programs and making sure things worked.  There was a lot of data to move!  I know that you can take it in and have someone do that for you, but by doing it myself I am more aware of what's there, and what to do if something needs tweaking later. 
However, it was quite a chore.  In between waits for things to load, I managed to get some sewing done.  It wasn't as much fun as usual since my mind was more on the computer tasks.  Also, I was so wrapped up in it and determined to plough through, that I didn't get to the meeting of the Saskatoon Modern Quilt Guild, which I was sorry about. 

I did finish my Four Crosses quilt!  It was later this evening when I finished hand-stitching the binding, so I'll have to take the photo tomorrow,   but this shows the quilting in progress:
 Because it was a bit on the bigger size for me to quilt on my home machine, I kept it simple for the quilting, just sewing vertical lines. 
This is the system I worked out a couple of days ago for taking photos. 
 I used the suggestion about the bulldog clips, and just clip the quilt to the top of the vertical  wooden pieces. It's a frame I already had, that I use for some temporary shelving.  The only space that works right now to take such photos is in our unheated sun-room.  I'll fine-tune this system when the weather warms up.
This is another little quilt that I got the binding stitched on to a day or two ago:
 It's a small Christmas quilt. 
Hope you had a good weekend! 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Start, Finish, Repeat

I started a new project today, but then again, I finished one as well, so I'm holding steady in my number of ongoing projects.

( I am linking up with the TGIFF group today!  If you're visiting from there, welcome, if you want to check out what lots of others have been finishing up this week, press here, TGIFF

I am so loving the new Salt Water fabric collection by Tula Pink for Westminster Fabrics.  There's just something about the color combination that I am drawn to right now:
 coral, pale grey, lime green, turquoise, teal,
Yes, they really are the colors of the sea,
 this is the start of a new quilt I am sewing,
 but if you are interested in other quilts using this collection, you must see the five free downloads that are available!
i don't know which one I like most...
 Color Blocks

Anchors Aweigh:  
Tranquil Waters:

 In addition to the free patterns, there is a kit for the Salt Water Hexie quilt:
(we have several of the kits in stock, they have 1008 pre-cut fabric hexagons, paper pieces, and the pattern)

And I finished sewing the binding on to this quilt,
 It is a Yellow Brick Road pattern, with some large fussy cut pieces of fabric blended in with the pieced blocks. 
And finally, this is the current state of my Color-blocked Chevron strip quilt,

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Plus Quilt (Tutorial)

There are always things to try out in quilting.  I was able to combine two of these things in one project!
I've been admiring many "Pluses" or "Plus sign" quilt projects.  Heather brought hers to a Saskatoon Modern Quilt Guild meeting and that tipped me over the edge from admiration to "wanting to make one myself".

Another thing I wanted to try out was a product called "Quilter's Grid Fusible Interfacing"  It is an iron-on interfacing that is marked with grid lines.  Sometimes the grid is marked into one inch squares, and sometimes two-inch squares.  We had some in the shop that was a two inch grid.

I thought that the pluses quilt would be a perfect project to use the fusible grid for because it's all sewn from the same size of squares.
The idea of it is that you place your squares on the grid, and then iron them on so that they stick to the fusible side so that you are able to handle it as one piece instead of sewing all the little seams individually.

I took photos of the process in case you want to try it too!
  First spread out the fusible grid.  you have to make sure that the bumpy side is facing up, because they are what will melt to stick to the fabric.  I found that I had to put some light colored fabric underneath it in order to see the grid lines
 I decided to cut my squares at 3 inches.  That way they finish at 2-1/2" which is a scale that I thought would be nice.  I used the scraps of "Curious Nature" and "Seven Wonders" fabric by Parson Gray (David Butler).
 I just started at one corner to place the squares on the grid.  Each plus sign needs 5 squares, so I precut several sets of them.
 It was a little tricky to figure out how to make the design.  This surprised me, because I thought it was pretty simple looking.  Who knew.
 Because the fabric squares (3 inch) are not the same size as the grid (2 inch), they take up one and a half squares on the grid.  This is pretty easy to figure out. 
 After a while I filled in the edges of the pattern with partial plus signs.
Next, I dragged it all over to where the iron was, and tacked them down, being careful to avoid getting the iron on to the extra edge of fusible around the edges.
Then I cut away the extra fusible all around the edges and pressed it really well so that the fabric was well fixed onto the fusible. They will still pull off, so you have to handle it a bit carefully.
Now, to sew the squares together, you can just fold over one column of squares at a time, and sew a quarter inch seam.
 Sew all the columns.( I also stay- stitched the edges.)

 To sew the columns into rows, you want to be able to alternate the direction of the seams to reduce bulk.  To do this, you just clip the little quarter inch place between each of the blocks.  Its okay if you cut through the sewn threads.  Then you press the seams in each row back and forth
 then you are able to nestle the intersections when you sew the seams,  Trust me, this all makes sense when you are doing it.
 After you've sewn all the rows, press the seams all to one side,
 The interfacing adds a bit of body to the piece,
 I think that I'll make this piece into a cushion cover, as it will finish at 17-1/2" x 35".
If you wanted to make a large piece using this method, I would do it in smaller chunks to keep it manageable.

P.S. Remember that there's a giveaway you can enter up until the end of February, for store entries, see here, for blog entries, see here,
thanks for all the entries so far, Good luck!


Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Since I made my list of ongoing projects a couple of days ago, I seem to have caught a case of Finishitis.
Yes, I seem to want to finish up some items before embarking on some new projects.  I have two pressing new things to start, but first I must finish at least one before starting a new one.
ongoing paper piecing hexagons,
 This is how far I've gotten on my Paper Pieced Hexagon Diamonds project.  I think I'll start to refer to it by a new name that's a bit shorter, perhaps "Three Diamonds" or "Diamond Rings",
 When I was working on it two days ago, I noticed that my cup seems to match the quilt perfectly! 
 Yesterday I finished this table runner.  It only needed the binding stitched down, so it wasn't very onerous
table runner with ribbon
I made it to try out some of the new ribbon we got at the store.  The ribbon with the pomegranates on is designed by Sue Spargo for Renaissance Ribbons.  The wide yellow and gray ribbon was from my stash, and is an antique French scrap.  The background fabric is a piece of silk I also had in my stash.

This morning I worked on my "Happy Chevrons" quilt.  It too is in similar colors to my hexagon quilt... I guess the whiteness of our winter has me searching for spring colors!

I think I'll hook up to the WIP Wednesday group today,

If you are visiting from there, welcome! 

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