Foundation Piecing Star

Paper Piecing in Progress
Paper Piecing in Progress

My class is doing foundation paper piecing.

I am not a fan of foundation paper piecing, but I do see it as an essential skill, so we are working on it.

In the past, I have taught this class using the New York Beauty block, which I love. I decided to change so that the block would focus primarily on the piecing rather than curves as well as foundation paper piecing.

The image above is one that I just can’t believe. I can’t believe such a weird looking compilation of fabric shapes can end up looking like the block below.

Cactus Compass block
Cactus Compass block

I used a pattern from Wombat Quilts (a really good site, if you haven’t been there) called Cactus Compass block. Even I made the block! Despite all the swearing and ripping, it came out pretty well.

Yes, there are a few fabric problems. I didn’t notice them until I was finished with the block and stood back to look at it. I don’t know how it happened, but such is the result of foundation paper piecing.

Two Quilts Ready for Binding

Colleen sent these two quilts back to me last week. Both are gifts. I have to bind them, which is a problem since I have about 2,000 hours of handwork to do and not enough time to do it. My normal handwork time is taken up now with a 6,000 piece puzzle. I am working on the sky – no clouds, no airplanes – just flat blue sky. It is taking forever. I need to get them done in the next month, so perhaps at Craft Night? At least neither needs a sleeve.

FOTY 2019 OOPS

Fabric of the Year 2019 - mid-November 2
Fabric of the Year 2019 – mid-November 2

Part of the process is ripping and I had to rip as I was very close to finishing the FOTY 2019 top.

The quilt top started out correct. It is not sewn together completely in the photo (left), but all of the pieces are where I wanted them.

I continued sewing -and it is a lot of sewing to get these Fabric of the Year quilts together- to make chunks.

FOTY 2019 - Letters upside down
FOTY 2019 – Letters upside down

When I had about 12 seams left, I realized that something had happened.  I had reversed a section somewhere along the process.

I can tell because the letters (white on red serif print) are upside down. I try to get the directional prints going in the right direction when I make these quilts. They do have a top and a bottom. I was nearly done sewing the quilt together. I could have gotten the quilt done before dinner if I had just continued. The question, however, becomes “will I notice this forever?” In this case, the answer was yes.

One good thing about this type of quilt is that I could rip out that one section, resew it and finish the quilt, which is what I did.

Except that I also tried to figure out where I went wrong. I know that on November 14 that section was oriented correctly. On November 23rd, it wasn’t. Sometime in that 10ish day period, something happened and that chunk was turned upside down.

It is hard to keep these pieces correctly oriented. By ‘correctly oriented’ I mean in the place I want them. Most people wouldn’t notice and in 10 years, I might not notice either. I notice now, however.

It is fixed and the quilt top is on its way to being finished.

26 Projects 2020 #11

I reached 100 yards used for the first time ever! I am super excited. Of that 31% was for charity quilts. Of course, I want some fabric.

Finished 2020 Quilt Projects

Five quilts are now complete for the year. I am even more thrilled than I was last month.

Finished 2020 Small and Non-Quilt Projects

This category covers bags, toys, aprons and knitting as well as other non-quilt projects.

I feel like I have made more of these small items, but I can’t find any others.

Doing Good

In Process
The ‘In Process’ is used to denote projects on which I am actively working or are on the design wall waiting for me to stitch. I am continuing to try not to put away projects. I find putting a project away ensures I never work on them, because I just lose steam.

Small Projects to Make or in Process

Most of my progress involves thinking or just cutting.

  • One Hour Basket for organizing my decks of cards – Creative Strength, mindfulness, etc. I may switch to one of the Minikins or a Catch All Caddy projects for this purpose.
  • One Hour Basket for my stuff that tends to accumulate on the dining room table. I may switch to one of the Minikins projects or a Catch All Caddy for this purpose.
  • One Hour Basket for DH’s stuff that tends to accumulate on the dining room table. I may switch to one of the Minikins projects for this purpose.
  • Retreat Organizer – another project from the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club, also on my list, but not yet started
  • Ultimate Project Organizer – another project from the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club, also on my list, but not yet started
  • Officer gifts for January 2021 – working on the project and nearing completion
  • Sew Together Bags – I am making 3 of them for gifts.
  • Ultimate Carry All Bag – Bag-a-Long for BAM – I have the inside pockets made and am struggling with the front pocket.
  • Westchester shirt – this is a Crafty Gemini pattern. I bought the fabric at PIQF in 2018 and just need to make it. The pattern comes with a video, so there is hope it will be wearable.

Handwork

I decided that some of my projects are in a different class because they are hand piecing or embroidery or beading. They take longer. Thus I created a new category and have moved some projects here.

Ready for Quilting

FOTY 2019 – ready to take to the longarmer

In the Quilting Process

In the Finishing Process

  • Black Windmill
  • Red Scribbles

Still WIPs
I still have WIPs. Who doesn’t, after all? A project in the ‘UFO’ category means I am stalled. A nicer way of saying UFO is a WIP. The list is a lot shorter and the projects are newer, for the most part.

  1. Handbag Sampler – this is still the forgotten project. It should be on the UFO list. The blocks were teaching samples when I taught a sampler class some time before I started writing the quilt class sampler tutorials. I found one block recently, but otherwise I actually don’t know exactly where the blocks are hiding. I crawled up in the far reaches of my fabric closet to see if I could find them and they weren’t where I thought. I am sort of mystified as to where they could be. I haven’t even found a picture of all the blocks. Sad.
  2. Lobster – I think I might make this into a tablerunner for the buffet. I think that will be a good and fun use of the piece even if the colors aren’t quite right for the dining room.
  3. Pies and Points from 2016 Victoria Findlay Wolfe class. The last time I worked on it was when Julie and I had a playdate in April 2018. I brought this piece with me so I could cut more elements (Julie has a Sizzix). I lost my excitement about this piece shortly thereafter and still have to get it back. Thus, I had to move this to the WIPs area.
  4. Pointillist Palette #4: Fourth is a series of 6 quilts; needs tiny square patches sewn together. No progress.
  5. Self Portrait: started in 2006 at a class at Quilting Adventures in Richmond, Virginia. I am still stalled on this again. As one of my oldest (I am pretty sure) UFO, I put it on my blog and out into the Twitterverse and Diane suggested that I not consider this as a self portrait. I think that strategy is a great idea. I am now trying to think of a new persona for her.
  6. Serendipity Lady – I am still planning to take this piece to be framed.
  7. Who Am I? – This piece is still languishing. Perhaps having a larger design wall will help me regain momentum. The amount of satin stitching I was facing was a problem until I thought of BIAS TAPE. I am going to make the words with bias tape, perhaps different widths, then I won’t have to sew the satin stitching. Red Scribbles and Friend Julie helped me come up with this solution. Now I just have to do it!

Various & Sundry 2020 #16

Happy birthday to my YM! He’s 24 (OMG!!) today!

Other Artists

Bonnie Hunter had to move her FB page. Find the new one and the sad, FB tale of woe on the new page. She did finally get the problems with the old one worked out, so now there are two pages! More bang for your buck?

Projects, Classes, Patterns & Tutorials

Sara Lawson came out with four new patterns this month. She sold them as a bundle at first, but that sale is over. They can be purchased individually. One of them is a sewing machine bag. One of her testers has written a tutorial for adjusting the size of the bag if it won’t fit your machine.

Kirsty from Bonjour Quilts has written a tutorial  for matching patterns on a quilt back. You could use for other purposes as well.

Sharon from Color Girl Quilts talks about the Stitch Pink blocks in a recent blog post. I talked about the Stitch Pink project in a recent V& S post.

Sharon also has updated her website and the new shop is really easy to use. Very tempting, especially since she is having a sale and donating 5% of sales to the ACLU through the end of 2020.

Jeni from In Color Order is having a sew-a-long using her drawstring bag pattern. She has a post on tips for choosing fabrics and one on using scraps for bags in addition to showing regular fabrics. Remember? I used one of the patterns for the bag I sewed for the Juggling Balls. I really like that pattern. I bought some twill ribbon (not sure if that is the right word) last time I made one to make it easier to thread through the casing. I also don’t like turning small strings like those the drawstring bag requires.

Are you doing the Bonnie Hunter Mystery, Grassy Creek, this year? Check out the Grassy Creek Mystery tab for the color choices and the first clue. I am going to collect all the clues and then see if I want to make the quilt. I don’t plan on using the colors she selected, if I do it. I am planning on using colors from a photo of a house nearby  I took YEARS ago. Alternatively, I could use a group of paint buckets that has a selection of fabrics I like, but looks very like my Frolic! color selections. IF I decide to make the quilt.

Camille Roskelley and Maureen McCormick (yes, from the Brady Bunch!!) are doing a quilt-a-long using Camille’s Flower Girl pattern. Hashtag is #ABloomingBunch.

Svetlana of Sotakhandmade has a new video tutorial for her scissor keeper (AKA scissor cozy) pattern. I made a couple of these last year and I think they make great gifts.

Svetlana also has a good video for making the front pocket of a pouch (Devon pouch??). Using the techniques int he video and your own measurements would allow you to add a front pocket to other bags.

Frau Schnitte shows her Yve bag in one of her posts. It is available as a pattern, but only in German.

Articles, Media, Exhibitions and Shows

One of my Spiky Stars blocks has been made into a virtual quilt and is being displayed on the website of the Toledo Museum. By this I mean that my block is one in a sampler quilt virtually stitched together. The website says “nspired by the Toledo Museum of Art’s upcoming exhibition Radical Tradition: American Quilts and Social Change, TMA organized a COVID-19 Virtual Quilting Bee in advance of the exhibition opening. Nearly 100 quilt squares were submitted from across the United States. Community members submitted both traditional patterned quilt blocks and those addressing aspects of life amid the current global pandemic, which marks a moment of change and uncertainty on a global scale. Many of the squares were digitally stitched together by The Electric Quilt Co. and can be viewed below.”

Sara of Sew Sweetness has a new video on how to remove rivets.

The New York Times had an article called “What Could Be More Comforting Than a Quilt Coat?” about ‘quilt coats’. Remember wearables from the 1990s? Rachel Clark? This is the second NYT ‘quilt’ article that has annoyed me because it is poorly researched and incomplete.

Barbara Brackman has a short video on the history of her Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns. The blog post where is read about it talks about the upgrades to Blockbase as well.

Barbara Brackman has post about an exhibit of Women’s Suffrage quilts. My favorite is the ‘Votes for Women’ quilt. Remember Mary Poppins?

The New York Times (you may need a subscription or check your library) had an article about making cloth masks more helpful in keeping away the virus. The main points are:

  • Three layers are better than two (check out Craft Mask Maker if you want to buy masks)
  • Flexible material is better
  • Ties are better than ear loops
  • Face shields should be used with a mask
  • A well-fitted mask protects the wearer

Fabric, Notions, Supplies, Books & Tools

Sew Tites** are a favorite notion/tool of mine. I find them useful for areas that pins** won’t go through and WonderClips** won’t reach. They have come out with another new version, the Sew Tites Magnum, which is designed for loading quilts onto longarm machines. I am sure they can be used for bags as well. Let me know if you try them on your longarm.

My students and I had a discussion about where we buy fabric, supplies, notions and tools. Carrie talked about My Favorite Quilt Store. After just a quick look, I love it. I haven’t bought anything from them yet, so the eCommerce process might put me off, but we’ll see.

Carrie also mentioned ModernQuilter. This is a great shop as it includes a lot of my favorite prints and designers. Some are similar to what FabricParty has, but in larger cuts.

I am interested in the CriCut since Julie got one and cut out Cotton Candy pouch for me. There was a recent discussion I saw where I heard about the Easy Press. From what I understand, it is like an iron, but presses [interfacing?] various things on to fabric. Looking at the blog post makes it seem like an iron and I wonder if it is necessary if you have an iron or better than an iron?

 

 

 

 

**I use affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item link in my post. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.

Creative Fabrica Promotion

As mentioned, I am an affiliate of Creative Fabrica, the digital marketplace with machine embroidery designs, quilt patterns, fonts and designs. They are currently hosting massive Black Friday promotions and I have signed on. Read about the promotions below!

Creative Fabrica November 2020 Promotion
Creative Fabrica November 2020 Promotion

Get unlimited access to quilt patterns and machine embroidery designs

If you are familiar with Creative Fabrica you might already have heard about their premium All Access Subscription. It gives unlimited access to all digital products on their site: machine embroidery, quilt patterns and other needle craft patterns, plus fonts and graphic designs.

For Black Friday they are offering their premium subscription for just $1 (96% discount) for the first month, and thereafter you pay $19/month (35% off).

View deal

Creative Fabrica November 2020 Promotion
Creative Fabrica November 2020 Promotion

 90% off on over 1 million designs and patterns

If you aren’t interested in getting Creative Fabrica’s subscription plan, they will also be hosting a site-wide sale with 90% off on 1 million+ products. This is the moment to purchase the fonts and graphics that you have been eyeing all year. It is also possible to purchase the Full POD license with the 90% sale products, so that you can get products that you can use as-is for your print on demand stores.

View sale here

The sales end on Tuesday, December 1st at midnight PST / 03:00am EST.

 

 

 

 

 

**I use affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item link in my post. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.

Two Exteriors

Dresden Exterior for Sew Together Bag #2
Dresden Exterior for Sew Together Bag #2

I finished two of the exteriors for the Sew Together Bags I am making.I have quilted the third one, but still need to make the embellishments.

I was able to quilt all of them as leaders and enders while sewing together the chunks of FOTY 2019.

The first one shown includes the mini Dresden Plate I talked about the other day. I made the Dresden Plate for class and added it to the exterior. You might think the placement looks weird, but I didn’t want any of it to be cut off. I wanted it to look ‘modern’ as that is an aesthetic the recipient appreciates. I also wanted as much of it as possible to be seen, so I placed it within the seam allowances (fingers crossed) and above the center line. You may be able to see the pins I used to mark the center.

I appliqued it on using straight stitching this time. My center circle is slightly un-circular and I will have to see if I do something about that.

Embellished Exterior for Sew Together Bag #1
Embellished Exterior for Sew Together Bag #1

The second one shown is using a simple line of 2.5 inch squares, some of which have been truncated, because of the size required for the bag. I like the 2.5 inch squares I chose. I think t they go well with the green, but the text prints also have happy thoughts.

The quilting on all three is very simple, straight line quilting. I think I have done more quilting this year than in the previous few years. I don’t feel any better about it, but I am not embarrassed by my efforts either.

I want to be clear that mostly I felt like trying out some new things and thanking some friends for being friends, which is why I decided to make these. It’s not like I don’t have 3,000 other projects in process.

Jawbreaker in Situ

Jawbreaker in situ
Jawbreaker in situ

My niece received her pillow and sent me a photo of it on her couch. She is in the process of rearranging and refreshing her house. She said the pillow goes very well. I am pleased.

It looks like she could stand a few more cushions. I will keep that in mind as I make other items. 😉

I finished Jawbreaker in mid-October. I sent it off fairly quickly, but it took me awhile to send the pillow form (laziness, disorganization). She sent me a thank you note, but we think the thank you note took a beach vacation, because I received it almost 3 weeks later. My niece is very good about thank you notes.

Creative Fabrica Promotion

Creative Fabrica Banner Quilt 3
Creative Fabrica Banner Quilt 3

As mentioned, I am an affiliate of Creative Fabrica. They are having a promotion and I have signed on. Click to access the promotion.

 

 

**I use affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item link in my post. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.

FOTY 2019 Nearing Completion

FOTY 2019 - late November 2020
FOTY 2019 – late November 2020

After sewing all the pairs together, I really started to pick up speed. I spent a few hours on Saturday and a few more on Sunday making progress. I have about 12 more seams to sew before I finish the top. Yay!

It is still large, but I am always amazed at how much smaller pieces end up as the seam allowances disappear.

EPP Pentagon Ball

EPP-Pentagon Ball
EPP-Pentagon Ball

I finished my large-ish EPP ball and really like the way it came out.

I fussy cut some favorite fabrics and then spent several hours during Craft Night and some guild meetings basting the fabrics and, then, sewing the ball together.

I used the last bits of my bag of fiberfill to stuff it. Normally I would add some Beanie Baby pellets to the stuff to give the ball some weight. However, I plan to give this ball to a 1 year old and I don’t want her breaking a lamp or giving one of her parents a black eye when she throws it.

I think these balls would be fun for people of any age, though the fun could get out of hand at a family event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

**I use affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item link in my post. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.

Mini Dresden

Mini Dresden Plate
Mini Dresden Plate

We will be doing Dresden Plates in class next week (we are off for Thanksgiving, which gives me more time to prep), so I made a mini Dresden Plate. It is a little different from the tutorial I created before. Mostly it is different because I made the ends of the petals pointy rather than round. I might make a short tutorial talking about making pointy petals. We’ll see.

This Dresden Plate is a little larger than 7 inches in diameter. Petals were relatively easy to make. I sort of used the tutorial on the V& Co website, but really I just looked at the sizes and they type of wedge then did my own thing. It could have gone very wrong, but I got lucky. I am going to use this as an applique on a Sew Together Bag I am making.

More Donation Blocks

I made more donation blocks before I started working on the Charming Donation Top.

I am pretty pleased with the colors. I decided that I would try to use the donation blocks in a quilt top. The guild is still keeping up with making quilts, but moving them between people is harder and giving out packages of blocks isn’t working very well. It is easier for the Community Giving team to provide a quilt to be quilted. We’ll see how this works.

Gift Sew Together Bags

I decided to make some Sew Together Bags as gifts. I know I have whined and complained about making them before, but I was reminded how useful they are when I was using my Embroidery Sew Together Bag for Craft Night. I have a couple of friends for whom I want to make something special and these will also be useful.

I know I should be working on the UCAB! I can’t seem to get myself to do it, but I really need to get it done.

Cutting for STB gifts - November 2020
Cutting for STB gifts – November 2020

I spent the day on Wednesday cutting the pieces. I didn’t get all the way through the fusible nor did I have time to quilt the outside, but I am much farther along than I was before I started.

I didn’t bring the binding fabric, so I have to cut that, but all the other fabric pieces are cut.

Even though it is fiddly, I do want to make a pincushion for each bag. I have added them to all of my Sew Together Bags and I think it is a very useful feature.

Piecing for Sew Together Bag Exterior
Piecing for Sew Together Bag Exterior

One thing I am going to do is to try and embellish the outside. I am going to add a little piecing to the exterior. The pattern, which I have said is basic at best, talks briefly about ’embellishing’ the outside, but doesn’t give specifics. Since I have two Sew Together Bags of my own, I measured the outside of one of them and have an idea of where to place the added piecing. It will look something like the above example.

I read some of my posts again and found that this is a hard project. I have some good advice for myself. I will try to take it. 😉 I know that I will be able to do them relatively quickly.

Fabric of the Year 2019 4 Patches

Fabric of the Year 2019 - mid-November 2
Fabric of the Year 2019 – mid-November 2

I am making good progress with FOTY 2019 once the pairs were sewn together. There is a lot of sewing, but the larger the chunks I have to sew, the faster it goes. I am hopeful that I will be done with this soon and can move on.