I was feeling a little discouraged by my City Sampler Progress. I felt like I spent last weekend sewing and sewing and sewing and not getting anywhere. Then, all of a sudden, the whole left side is together!
That side has 36 blocks, so I am not yet halfway through, but I do feel like it is significant progress. I also don’t feel as discouraged. I have hope that I will be able to get this top together.
I am thinking of putting the border on that side before sewing the side to anything else. I think it will be easier than wrestling the quilt when it is finished.
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 try not to put away projects, because that will ensure I never work on them
City Sampler – blocks all made and on the design wall. I have started to sash the blocks with the intention of putting the top together. I have to, due to some seam allowance issues, will have to adjust some of the blocks in some way – either ripping and resewing, adding a piece or two to the block, or with sashing. I am dealing with the problems as they come up in the piecing process. The big challenge is finding the fabric so I can replace pieces where necessary.
FOTY 2017 – pieces cut. Off the design wall. I am counting and resorting the pieces while I work on the City Sampler
English Paper Piecing Project– half hexies – I work on this generally at night in front of the TV, so I made slow but steady progress. I am still thinking of my friend Faye whenever I work on it. She says that I have to think of this as my slow project.
Serendipity Lady Quilt: I was kind of surprised that I made progress. As mentioned in a previous post, I finished satin stitching the pieces on this project and am ready to baste it for quilting.
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.
Handbag Sampler – this is the forgotten project. The blocks were teaching samples when I taught a sampler class the 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 have an idea and still have to crawl up in the far reaches of my fabric closet soon and see if I can find them. I haven’t even found a picture of all the blocks. Sad.
Lobster – I still have more stitching to do and then I need to quilt it.
Pies and Points from 2016 Victoria Findlay Wolfe class. Julie and I had a playdate towards the beginning of April. I brought this piece with me so I could cut more elements (Julie has a Sizzix). I lost my excitement about this piece and will have to get it back. I had to move this to the WIPs area.
Under the Sea: class project; The stitching has made the design much more appealing. I am also happier with the colors. I have worked on it regularly during Craft Night and am nearing the end of the embellishment. I keep saying that and, then, just add a bit more.
Black and Red quilt – This came about because of two other projects. I made a whole bunch of bias tape as part of my failed attempt at doing the Mighty Lucky Club a few years ago. Another part of the inspiration came from my class with Tina of Little Blue Cottage fame. This was going to be for a nephew, but I think it will be for one of my SILs and BILs. I have rectangles cut and some bias tape ready. My next step is to sew the bias tape to the rectangles like pickup sticks. I don’t have any photos of this, so you’ll have to use your imagination.
Who Am I? – This piece is up on my design and I keep meaning to work on it, but I haven’t. I am not sure why, but I don’t want it to end up like the Self-Portrait.
Small Projects in Process
Most of my progress involves thinking or just cutting.
4-Zip Organizer – part of Crafty Gemini Organizer Club. It is on my list, but I haven’t actually started
Chubby Charmer with Good Fortune charm pack – gift; not started.
Classmates Bag n.2 – I cut out all the pieces (except maybe the vinyl), but haven’t sewn. I have to get this done by the beginning of March as it is for a friend.
BAMaQG IRR –I have been working on this lately and am making progress. It is slow since it is hand quilting. I might add some more machine quilting to the project to move it along.
The MetroScape top is also finished and at the quilter
Theoretically, the Tarts Come to Tea is in the quilting process, though I haven’t worked on it in a while. Mom said she is really looking forward to me finishing it, which might be the incentive I need to get back to work on it.
Hunting and Gathering
30 Something: I continue to cut 1.5 inch squares. I am pretty sure I have the 800 I need, but I am not ready to sew them together yet, so whenever I have a chance to cut more I cut more. It will give me choice when the time comes. I looked at whether I could start piecing this, but I found I need to cut some other sizes. I got those sizes on the cutting sheet and have a cut a few. I need over 600 of a size something like 1.75×3.75. I need some more accessories boxes to organize these new pieces. I’ll have to think up a new name for this quilt, too, since I am not using 1930s fabrics.
Blue Gradation Quilt: cutting 2.5 inch x 4.5 inch blue rectangles. It has to end sometime. I wasn’t sure I was ready to put this together, but I think I might be. I might do a couple of gradation quilts in a row just to get the practice.
FOTY 2018: I have started cutting 2.5 inch squares for the 2018 version.
Pink Gradation Quilt: cutting 2.5 inch x 4.5 inch pink rectangles
Spin Wheel: really not started, but supplies gathered. I might have to cut some more background fabrics. I probably have enough fabrics and just need to decide to start.
Windmill quilt: Still hunting and gathering. I am supposed to be cutting a variety of greys for the background, which required the purchase of a new template. Cutting is very therapeutic, so I should try and do it when I have a few minutes.
Gross usage is just over 10.40 yards YTD. My net is at about -.60 yards. I got 10 yards of fabric for my birthday and it is early in the year. Stay tuned.
I don’t know what this piece will be. I think I will make it into a block and hand it over to Peggy to see what she can do with it. It would be a good center medallion to a baby quilt. Others could make similar blocks and it could become a larger quilt. I still have a lot of green, so we will have to see.
In order to add a gift to Maureen’s bag, I made her a pincushion. Unlike the bag, the pincushion went together very smoothly. I had some of the pieces and parts from my last round of pincushion making on the cutting table. They weren’t crappy, just unused.
I picked out some other scraps from the unsorted pile on my cutting table and came up with a great selection. I am pleased with how it looks and don’t think it looks thrown together or disjointed at all.
I saved time by not using selvages for the back. I just used a piece of the batik. As usual, I filled it with a combination of wool roving and Beanie Baby pellets.
Maureen is stepping down from her role as Supreme Leader of CQFA. I decided that we needed to give her a gift, so I organized the bag gift that I do at BAM.
I got started on it kind of late, so the bag I made is a simple Jane Market Tote. I thought I had some African Fabric, which Maureen would have liked, but I have been cleaning out my fabric bins and that must have gone to a better home in a recent purge.
The project didn’t go super smoothly. I had to rip out the whole thing once I had sewn the outside and lining together and done the topstitching. Sigh. Somehow the linking was way too large and was sagging on the inside. I couldn’t live with it, so I ripped it all out. I had to trim the lining and then sew it all back together. It wasn’t terrible, but not ideal either. I think I must have turned the lining the wrong way when I boxed the corners. Hopefully, I will remember to check next time!
The members will bring notes and gifts with which to fill the bag.
The Green Strips donation top and back is finally finished and ready to take to BAM.
I made it from green scraps and a yard of Kona Cream that Amanda gave me. The scrap bin is right next to my sewing machine, so I can reach in an rummage without even getting up! It would be a bad thing except I have to get up to iron and cut, so I still get steps in.
The block was inspired by Alison, as I think I have mentioned, though she does hers on a foundation. That is probably a good idea, though I didn’t have a lot of problems with bias.
I dragged down the green bin and pulled out some yardage I didn’t think I would use for the back.
I talked a little about the CQFA Retreat a few days ago, which discussed a lot of the projects on which I worked. A number of projects were worked on and finished.
Angela, of course, made the bag in which they placed my birthday gifts. I was not suspicious at all, because I didn’t think anyone besides Julie knew about my birthday. I crack myself up sometimes. 😉
Bron found a wonderful piece of fake fur at FabMo. It isn’t fur like a fur rug, but was like velour, but had longer hair. She made a shawl out of it and it looked elegant and fantastic.
A friend of hers is going to a wedding in St. Petersburg and will get to wear it. It is so wonderful that we told Bron to make sure she gets it back. I have to think of a place to wear it so I can borrow it. 😉
Julie’s first finish was an apron. She bought the pattern and fabric after seeing it at PIQF. She wrote about it on her blog. She did great fussy cutting on the pockets.
Lynette worked on a batik quilt using squares. I love the sashing she worked on. I also think the lavender background was an innovative choice.
This is a good choice for a retreat project IMO, because it is something that takes a lot of time. It can just be worked on the entire weekend. It also doesn’t need a lot of attention to detail so the maker can pay attention to the banter around her as well. I know Lynette machine quilted one of her mom’s small quilts first.
Rhonda worked on a piece she started at Craft Napa and we all kibbitzed on that project. We also saw her finished Dropcloth Sampler squares. FANTASTIC!
Carolyn, one of our far flung members, sent Bron some squares. Bron brought them with her to make a quilt. She started out by redoing some of the squares in an Improv kind of way.
We all thought the fabrics were ‘very Carolyn’. Bron added a lot of the angles and worked to make the pieces around the same size. She got to about this stage when we had to pack up. Again there were lots of opinions about the blocks.
The quilting fairies were watching over Angela as she machine quilted a donation quilt for BAM. She ran over a safety pin without even noticing and there was no harm done to her, the quilt or her machine. WHEW!
Nancy worked on some embroidery for a class she is taking. Dolores worked on beading. Jen was putting together silk squares and was planning to applique’ some of her wool work on it.
I really like seeing everyone’s work and how they are working. Well worth the effort.
I am a little sick of the Half Hexie Star project, so I switched to Big Stitching the BAMQG IRR. It never ceases to amaze me how much progress I make when I actually work on a project. It has been awhile since I worked on it and it is a nice break from EPP.
I had to get back in the Big Stitch groove, which was difficult. I finally figured out that I couldn’t do it when I was stitching in a seam allowance, because of all the layers. That means I am doing some stab stitching in addition to the Big Stitch.
One of the challenges I have is what quilting designs to use. Right now I am just echo quilting. I don’t know if I want to do more, if curves will work with Big Stitch or if there are other designs I should use. I haven’t handquilted a lot. When I have done it I have mostly used echo quilting to highlight the block designs. Occasionally, I have used stencils. I’ll have to look at some books and see if I can get inspired.
I spent the day last Saturday in a BAM class with Jen Carlton Bailly. I don’t really need to learn about curves. I have done them in the Sampler class and I have just finished the MetroScape top, which had about a million curves. Still, I wanted to be in a class with JCB and I love the vibe of BAM, so the more time I can spend with those ladies the better.
Jen is friendly and energetic as well as a good and patient teacher. She seemed to be everywhere in the class. She was also cheerful and smiling the whole time. I found her to be approachable and not standoff-ish.
The crux of JCB’s class was the template set she sells. She uses these to create a variety of different looks with curves. Of course, I bought the whole set and I am glad I did. The variety of different things one can accomplish with this set is fantastic. By looking at the patterns JCB sells and the quilts she has made, you can see the definition of a series.
At the time I bought the template set (when I signed up for the class), she was giving a discount to class participants, so I also bought the Turbine quilt pattern. In the class, I started in on this pattern, which is not difficult, once you have mastered JCB’s method for creating circles.
She tries to alleviate fears with her patterns and techniques while making interesting designs. I am not afraid of curves, though they can be frustrating at times. I am also not afraid of cutting into a block I have already made.
I made two of the turbine blocks with my own twist. I decided, after making the two, that I will make one more and create a tablerunner instead of making a quilt. I like the pattern and like the technique, but don’t want to spend the time on something like that. I am more interested in the designs that look like more of a ring.
This sort of design has been on my mind since I saw Sue Arnold’s version done in Pointillist Palette fabrics about 1,000 years ago. This is really interesting to me and if I do a quilt, it will be using more of the templates to cut out more of the blocks.
Gerre decided to work on the Lantern pattern, which uses the same technique, but different placement of the fabrics and different orientation of the blocks.
I can see making something small using this pattern as well. The opportunity for scrapiness is fantastic. A pillow cover, perhaps.
All in all it was a good day. I was pleased to meet JCB, pleased to be sewing and be with my BAM pals.
The other day, I went to visit my friend and sew. DH was out until the evening and it was a good day to go and hang with a friend. One thing we do together is eat cornbread. My family doesn’t like it and Gerre loves it. Every chance we get she and I enjoy it together. We also took a nice walk around her neighborhood, which is filled with lovely Victorians.
We didn’t skimp on the sewing, however.
I followed up on Jan’s idea from the retreat of a textured cube. Jan works at a local museum as an Exhibits Coordinator, so she is always doing interesting things with fabric for the museum. This time she had found some 6 inch squares at FabMo. For the kinesthetic aspects of an upcoming exhibit she decided to make fabric cubes. I thought the YM would like something like this for stress relief. I took Jan up on her kind offer of squares and and made this cube on Gerre’s second machine. Since the squares were already cut, it was pretty quick to put together
I also started working on some fabric bags. Before I went to Portland I had about 30 small gifts to wrap. I didn’t have small bags so I was forced to use paper, which, for me, is a special kind of hell. I decided that I would make a bunch of small bags. In this case, some gifts arrived too late for Christmas and I decided to use the In Color Order drawstring bag pattern.
I spent most of the time we had together making the drawstrings. You’d think I would have gotten them right, but I think they are too long for the size of the bag. We’ll have to see. The bags will look nice, but this endeavor is turning out to be more complicated than I want so I will go back to my regular gift bag tutorial once I finish these.
All in all, it was a great day. I didn’t get as much done as I would have liked, but we had some nice conversation and the most important thing to me is that Gerre is getting back to sewing.
I decided what I needed was time and some space. Since I would have 30 or so uninterrupted hours at the CQFA Retreat, I decided to bring it along. It wasn’t a UFO I was intending to finish, but it was a good opportunity and I grabbed it. Finished is finished, right?
I gathered up all the pieces and parts and looked it over before I left. I also brought a couple of drawers from my scrap cabinet and a variety of other supplies. Clearly, I got serious about this project.
At the Retreat. I started cutting out fabric to match the pattern pieces I had made from fusible. It wasn’t long before I had all of them done and the piece was ready to sew. I arrived at the Retreat at about 2pm and had all the fabric in place by the time we went to dinner at 6.
The fusible got too old, so I ended up using a Sewline Glue Pen. It isn’t ideal, but it keeps the pieces down long enough for me to sew them. All the fabric is in place and I just have to zigzag.
When we returned, I started to sew – zigzagging down the edges. The state of the fusible was one reason I started to sew down the edges. I didn’t think it would last long.
The CQFA Retreat took place January 18-20**. Angela organized everything. She is a great retreat coordinator. It was held at Asilomar (yes, the same place Empty Spools is held ) and I had a great time.
Since I live an hour north of almost everyone else in the guild, I got there somewhat later. The retreat started at noon and I got there around 2. I left at about 10:30 and drove straight through. I finally stopped in Pacific Grove. First, I went to Tuesday Morning to see if I could find a wheeled tote for my travel sewing machine. Amy of BAM got a great one at TM and I am desperately trying to find one. No luck. I may decide to buy one at full price.
Next, I went to Back Porch. I have been there a number of times and love that store. I wanted to get lobster clips, because I have a bug in my ear to make another Roadtrip Bag. I didn’t find them but I did find a few other things. 😉
I also stopped and got some Thai food since lunch wasn’t provided on Friday, then headed to the location. Friend Julie, Angela, Rhonda and Lynette had already arrived and were working away. Once I brought all my stuff in and put my car away, I got to work also.
The first thing I did was make a pet bed for schnibble collection. CQFA doesn’t really do pet beds, but I really dislike seeing all that fabric (scraps) go into the landfill.
Then, I started in on Serendipity Lady. I really just needed some space and a chunk of time to fiddle with the tiny pieces. I had planned to just get her to the point where I could satin stitch her later. The fusible I used was too old, so I ended up spending the rest of Friday and about 6 hours on Saturday satin stitching. Now she is ready to quilt. I have decided to baste and quilt her soon. I want her finished and have made so much good progress that I don’t want to lose momentum. I have limited wall space, but may frame her like Kissy Fish.
After getting as much done as I could on Serendipity Lady, I worked on the City Sampler. Yes, I am digging out UFOs and going to town. This was a good move. I just did something and while I changed some of what I did when I got home, it wasn’t wasted effort.
I continued to work on the City Sampler until we had to start packing up. 🙁 I could have used more days. Of course. I am happy – REALLY happy – with what I got done and, as mentioned, want to carry over the momentum to my workroom.
**the weekend of my birthday! YAY! What a great way to spend my birthday!
I finally have a chance to post about this first donation top of the year. I used the edges Colleen cut off of the Triple Star quilt and a couple of half yards of burgundy, but on the pinkish side for the background.
The two burgundy half yards were old and I had never cut into either. I think they look well in this quilt, but I am not sure I would use them in something now.
I can’t believe I have made 7 of these quilts! quite a series without really trying. I have another to make from the edges of the Stepping Stones n.2