A Few Donation Blocks

I spent a lot of time over the weekend on cleanup projects: making a binding, making a sleeve, tidying, etc. In the process, I decided that some Bonnie and Camille 2.5 inch squares I was saving were going to be donation blocks.I dumped a bunch of squares into the bin I use for donation 2.5 inch squares. The bin overflowed, so I started sewing.

 I made a couple of donation blocks. THEN I realized that I could use those squares to make another Traffic Jam donation quilt, so I started in on making 4 patches instead of 16 patches. I thought about unsewing the two blocks I made, but decided that would be stupid and will just move forward with the unsewn 2.5 inch squares for now.

Of course, this means I am now working on two donation quilts at once, the Traffic Jam and the Blue Improv Donation top. Not sure how I will work that out, but need to go with what is of interest at the moment.

Journey 2 Nebula Seaside Progress

Journey 2 Nebula icon
Journey 2 Nebula icon
Seaside Table Runners in process
Seaside Table Runners in process

I made good progress last week on both Seaside table runners. I am moving forward.

I have to say, though, that I am out of practice with diamonds and my brain rebelled at the directions for this project. You can see from the photo that the rows point in different directions (look at the ends of the rows). This means the different units were not interchangeable and I had to piece them in different directions. My brain did not like it. Finally, I had to put the rows up on the design wall and look at them as I pieced. It took, what felt like, forever.

I also decided that 6 strips for each Seaside table runner was a better number so that the fabrics could be alternated. I was too late to add them to my red text table runner, but will add another fabric to Amy’s blue version.

Plaid Block Party Finished

Plaid Block Party completed - front
Plaid Block Party completed – front

I finished the binding on the Plaid Block Party last week. As I said in my last completed quilt post, handwork is somewhat delayed in the world of COVID-19. I have FOTY 2018 and the sleeve for Flying Around to complete as well.

In the meantime, I am very pleased with this quilt. I really like that Block Party block. Aside from being super easy, I think it looks great as well. I’d like to make another quilt with this pattern and have an idea of who the recipient will be.

Plaid Block Party completed - back
Plaid Block Party completed – back

My DH acted as quilt holder and didn’t quite have the wingspan to get it straight. I may not be able to get a better photo before I have to send it off to my cousin-nephew.

My goal was to use up my plaids, which, with the Plaid donation top, I have done. Yay!

Journey 2 Nebula Start

Journey 2 Nebula icon
Journey 2 Nebula icon

I did decide to join the Journey 2 Nebula project / Sew-a-Long (?) / Quilt-a-Long(?). As mentioned previously, this is a skill-builder for learning to use the Jaybird Quilts rulers, Hex N More** & Super Sidekick** (or Sidekick**) to prepare for the Nebula Quilt-a-Long. I am not planning on making the Nebula quilt, but I thought the skill-builder was interesting. I also thought it was a good idea to have a series of small projects so people could get used to using specialty rulers

When I gathered the supplies, I also got our non-Jaybird rulers that I thought would work. I borrowed the rulers from a guild mate because I didn’t want to buy them without trying them. Usually I jump at the chance to buy specialty rulers, but I am saving money and I have several rulers that do the same thing as the various Jaybird rulers. I am not adverse to buying one or more of them in the future, but we will see.

I did have to buy all of the patterns, but Pink Door had a bundle with a slight discount, so it wasn’t horrible, though I probably don’t really need the patterns for the projects. I certainly won’t need them long term. I count it as supporting a woman-owned small business.

This skill-builder was, I think, more popular than expected. There is a lot of grumbling about not getting patterns in a timely manner, not getting rulers and having the various fabrics (people seem to want the same exact colors as the samples) sold out. My patterns arrived on Monday, the day before the start. And, of course, there is no shortage of fabric at my house, so I was ready to go.

The first day was Tuesday and despite my plans to get the top of the Black Windmill finished, I started this skill-builder project. The first skill is diamonds – Super Sidekick** or Sidekick**ruler – and the  project is the Seaside table runner. I am no stranger to diamonds after making the Fabric of the Year 2010 quilt. I had my strips prepared, read the directions and started cutting using thee Super Sidekick**. Julie of Jaybird Quilts (not Friend Julie) made a video as well.

It wasn’t difficult to use the ruler. There are pictures in the pattern and I was able to quickly cut two sets of diamonds for the table runners I want to make. Amy didn’t have the Sidekick, so, as I said, I used the Super Sidekick**. It is a big ruler, approximately 15×8.5 inches. I think the Sidekick** ruler would have fit my hand better, but beggars can’t be choosers.

I wondered the whole time I was cutting diamonds how the Super Sidekick** compared to the Split Recs Ruler **? I think they can both cut HRTs, but I didn’t’ try that. I’ll have to do some more research later.

Once I was comfortable with the Super Sidekick**, I got out my Creative Grids Turn-a-Round Diamond ruler. This ruler, which no longer seems to be available, cuts both 45 and 60 degree diamonds. I had to line it up differently, but was able to cut the same diamonds with it. I didn’t know I was cutting 60 degree diamonds until I started cutting with the CG ruler. The Jaybird Pattern doesn’t say anything about that.

CG Diamond Turn-a-Round ruler
CG Diamond Turn-a-Round ruler

My 2.5″ strips vs. the Super Sidekick** vs. Creative Grids Turn-a-Round Diamond ruler all measured 2.5″ differently. I am not worried about putting the table runner together, but I thought it was interesting.

I did start to sew, but I didn’t get very far. Stay tuned for more info.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

**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.

Various & Sundry 2020 #12

Administration

I have updated a couple of the pages, which you may not always look at. I updated the Ends donation quilt page and the Glossary. The Ends page shows all the Ends quilts I have made so far. I was amazed that I am up to 9! I hope people like them.

Fabric, Notions, Supplies, Books & Tools

I have joined with a Dutch company called Creative Fabrica. They are a creative startup and if you use my link to buy something, I will get a fee at no cost to you. I will be posting about them once in a while using my usual rules of being honest, but kind about what I like and don’t like. They have recently posted on their blog about inspiring quiltmaking blogs and I am first on the list!!! There are other more famous blogs included, but mine is first!!! At the moment they are graphics and font heavy, but are working hard to move their craft offerings to a separate platform and increase their offerings. I hope it will be great. Yes, I am taking a chance, but what the heck?

Emmaline Bags is a Canadian purveyor of Bag Clubs and hardware. Recently I received an email about some zipper pouches that had finally arrived in their shop.  They write “During the months of May & April, we were proud to know that the cost of making these zipper pouches paid for wages for many women working at the WORK+SHELTER production facility. ” If you are not up for making your own zipper pouch, perhaps one of these fair trade/fair wage pouches will suit your needs?

I clicked on a Hawthorne Threads newsletter. I was happy and sad to have done so. They have some fabulous fabrics. First was Pardon My French by Dear Stella. I don’t really buy very many novelty prints, but these are so happy! The flowers include gorgeous colors. The famous buildings of Paris is  just a fun print and how can I not love the macarons? Next is Parapluie. While I am not much of a fan of the colors this collection (a bit too wimpy), I do like the Paris Map in Spring panel. Would that make a great board bag? Why aren’t there more prints with Ferris wheels? I didn’t know Hawthorne Threads had a collection of solids. I’d love to feel the greige goods on which they are printed. It looks like they have about 24 different colors.

If you were never able to purchase the Johannes Itten Color Star, Katie Fowler’s Foolproof Color Wheel** might be a good substitute.

The National Quilting Circle has a short video on the characteristics of  rulers. It also gives some tips on squaring up blocks and how to cut different angles. this is short and basic, so it gives you a little taste.

Projects, Classes, Patterns & Tutorials

Anna Maria Horner’s Cadence quilt is available as a free download on the Free Spirit site. You can use a different large print than Hindsight focus fabric and it would look just as great.

Need to know about setting triangles and settings in general? Ebony Love has a comprehensive blog post about the topic.

Here’s another tutorial for a Scrappy Zipper Pouch from ColorGirl Quilts.

HolleyAnne from String & Story is hosting a Free Motion Quilting Academy. Cost is $197.

Thanks to Ronni, I found an article on how to do quilted lettering.

If you need another project, how about a Back-to-School themed block project? All the blocks can be seen on Patti’s blog, another  one I found from Creative Fabrica blog post in which this blog was included.

Nicole of LilyElla has another Sew-a-Long starting, The Mini Maker Case. The previous Sew-a-Long was for the Undercover Maker Mat, which Friend Julie and I both made. The Mini Maker Case is a case made specifically for an Oliso Mini Iron. OMG! These mini irons are so cute. I even thought they were cute when I only knew about the pink and yellow options. I went to the webpage and saw that they also have turquoise and orchid! The latter don’t ship until the end of November, but still in time for Christmas, right?

I trolled through some of Sara Lawson/Sew Sweetness’ Pinterest boards and found a number of interesting things. There is a tutorial on making piping. It is pretty comprehensive and talks about materials as well as techniques. There are some good images as well, including one that shows selvedge and bias on a piece of fabric. As an alternative, I found another piping tutorial. Linked from the first piping page is another tutorial on adding piping to the handle of a cosmetic case. This tutorial could be used for your Mini Maker Case! There is another link to a tutorial on sewing the bottom of bag in the round.

I also like the round cushion tutorial. I think the basic idea isn’t very different from how I make the pet beds. I can see making one of these for one of my nieces. A stack of them would make a great decorative element.

I joined the Spencer Ogg FB group because I could get a free hand sanitizer pouch pattern (it’s now for sale). I never really thought about such a thing, but when presented with the option, I thought it would make a good gift. It turns out that there are tons of patterns for the same kind of thing.

Another gift is a lip balm/lipstick (if we ever need such a thing again!) carrier tutorial. The thing I like about this item is the way the D-ring is used. The site has an easy way to create a PDF from the blog post for the pattern, so you can save it.

If you are still sheltering-in-place, you might have time to start a collection of small  gifts for the upcoming holidays or future birthdays, guild gifts, etc. DIY Joy has a post including 49 free small projects using your scraps. This post aggregates posts from different sites. Not all are great projects, but there are a few gems.

Xawam has a holder for woven ribbon posted on her blog. The post is in German and I didn’t find a tutorial, but you can get the idea and make one of your own.

Want to reduce your use of Saran Wrap/cling film? LilyElla has a pattern for reusable bowl covers. I think this is a great idea. We have some that are made from plastic, but are washable and reusable. Sadly, they are very poorly made and dying a quick death. The only issue I see with the LilyElla version is that one can’t see through them. Things go to my fridge to die on the best day, so I would have to figure out some fabric that I could, at least, sort of see through.

Other Artists

Ebony Love has left the Craft Industry Alliance. In her blog post, she explains why. She has some good graphics on what is racism, including implicit racism. I am not lecturing here, just providing a source of information. As a former law librarian, I appreciated the comments she made about the contract. I don’t know a lot about this situation, but it seems like she may be right in that the poster did not want to hear the answers. One of the lessons here is to read REALLY READ any contracts you sign. This is a good reminder for me to remember that another lesson is to assume kindness if there is any question.

Ronni talks about honoring finishes on her blog. What a great post that I haven’t thought about. She says she immediately starts a new quilt when she finishes one. I do that as well without truly honoring the finish. I have to think of how to do that.

Julie of Pinkdoxies briefly touches on a question from her husband, “don’t you ever get tired of quilting?”. While this is not the subject of the post, it is an interesting question and it stayed with me. I have so much interest in quiltmaking that I don’t think I will ever get tired of it, because there are so many aspects. There is always something new to try, someone new to meet, new fabric to enjoy. What do you think?

As a bonus, the post mentioned above shows some beautiful quilts.

 

 

 

 

 

**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.

Black Windmill – All the Blocks

Black Windmill - all the blocks
Black Windmill – all the blocks

I worked over the weekend on getting the rest of the blocks made so I could start to sew the piece together.

I admit that some of the greys used as foreground (not-black) are too close in tone to the blacks to be true backgrounds. I am going to leave them to add to the mystery of the pattern, if there is a such a thing.

26 Projects 2020 #8

Finished 2020 Quilt Projects

I got three quilts back from my longarmer at the end of July. Thus, I was able to get more finished, which feels great! I am still continuing to shorten  my UFO list, which you have seen on various posts. Progress is always good.

Finished 2020 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. I just lose steam.

  • Black Windmill

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 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 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 – have the pattern and the supplies. Need to start so these are ready and I am not scrambling at the last minute
  • Ultimate Carry All Bag – Bag-a-Long for BAM – I have the inisde 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

In the Quilting Process

In the Finishing Process

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. FOTY 2019 – this is now on the list since 2019 is over and I have the squares, theoretically, ready to sew.
  2. Handbag Sampler – this is still the forgotten project. It should be on the UFO list. Too bad I don’t have one. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Pointillist Palette #4: Fourth is a series of 6 quilts; needs tiny square patches sewn together. No progress.
  6. 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.
  7. Serendipity Lady – I am still planning to take this piece to be framed.
  8. 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 am facing is still a problem.

Book Review: Kitchen Stitches

Kitchen Stitches: Sewing Projects to Spice Up Your HomeKitchen Stitches: Sewing Projects to Spice Up Your Home by That Patchwork Place

I borrowed the book from the library right before shelter-in-place started. It has been in my ‘pedicure bag’ since March. I read halfway through it and then didn’t get back to it until the other day. I usually write my reviews while getting a pedicure. Since I haven’t gotten one in months (#thankspandemic) the review has languished. I decided that it was time to finish reading the book and start writing the review.

I originally borrowed the book because of the bag on the front cover. I don’t remember where I saw the cover, but I loved the shape of the bag, so I sought out the book.

The book is essentially a project book. Aside from the introduction, the book is made up of patterns, not essays. There is little discussion of inspiration for the projects. The book is organized into three sections: ‘get cooking’, ‘set the table’ and ‘add a little spice’. The projects are all easy to find using the table of contents. Each project is by a different designer. Natalie Barnes (pg.17), Kim Niedzwiecki and Amy Ellis are familiar to me.

The introduction (pg.4) starts out with a huge assumption, “if you’re like many sewists and quilters, you like to cook almost as much as you like to play with fabric.” This is not true for me and quite off putting. For me, any time cooking takes away from sewing. I like good food, but only for nutrition. I am not much of a creative cook and definitely do not like complicated recipes unless they yield 12 meals. My YM says that he would know if I won the lottery because I would hire a cook. The intro would have started off, for me, in a less confrontational manner, if the focus has been on gift giving or enriching home decor.

The first project section, ‘Get Cooking’ (pg.5-44), starts off with an image of some of the projects included. I always like it when there are photos of the projects organized somewhere. The fabrics used are very appealing. ‘Get Cooking’ probably has the most projects. The first group of patterns includes the bag that drew me to the book, called the Baguette Tote (pg.12-15), as well as two other projects. All of the patterns are 3-ish pages. There are a lot of pictures to assist in making the projects.

The projects throughout the book are presented in groups of 2-3 and, occasionally, singly. The items in each group relate together somehow. I think the projects are useful and practical. I get the sense, however, that they are more for show than use. For example, Insul-Bright is a common item in the supply lists. There is no discussion of what it is or what temperatures it can handle. I would have like to have a section discussing techniques for sewing for the kitchen, dos and don’ts and things for which to watch out.

In addition to the Baguette Tote, this section includes patterns for a variety of potholders, such as a double-handed hot pads (pg.20-22), oven mitts (pg.27-31) single handed hot pads (pg.35-37), hot pan handle holders, (pg.37-38). There are also tea towels (pg.33-34), a slow cooker cozy (pg.23-26), which is customizable, and a couple of different aprons.

Many of the projects are customizable, so you can fit them to your casserole dish or slow cooker. Also, this makes it easy to make something for a gift you purchase.

The “Set the Table” section (pg.45-76) is all about decorating the table using fabric. I have made lots of fabric napkins and we use them every day. I am glad I have them because we can wash them instead of tossing. also, I have used fun fabrics and fabrics that coordinate with US holidays, such as Mardi Gras and Labor Day, in addition to Christmas and Thanksgiving. I find making napkins, especially the ironing, tedious and am glad I don’t have to make any more for awhile. Still, if you don’t have an abundance of napkins, this book provides excellent inspiration. We also use a tablecloth instead of place mats so I would re-purpose the table mat and place mats into a table cloth or even a table runner.

The Bistro tablecloth and napkin set (pg.61-66) has a clever design. I might re-purpose the motifs into a table runner for my buffet. The applique’ seems like a lot of work for something on which people will spill red wine. Still, I like the applique’ motifs.

This section also includes patterns for a tea cozy (pg.46-49) and several types of place mats. There are also a variety of techniques. I didn’t find the fabrics in this section particularly appealing. The projects, however, were small and would be good for learning specialized techniques such as reverse applique’, embroidery, foundation piecing, all detailed in this section.

The author is big on the Quilt-as-you-Go technique. It is a quick way to get a piece quilted, so can save time with certain designs. The Shattered Strips table runner and place mats set uses this technique. It is a good reminder of the method, which is also used for the Baguette Tote (pg.12-15), and I might take it to heart to make a quick table runner for my buffet. The interesting thing about the place mats is the pocket for the silverware. It is an interesting variation on a place mat pattern.

“Add a Little Spice” (pg.77-94) includes more decorative projects such as memo holders, a coupon (recipe) bag, and coasters. My favorite project in this section is the coupon/recipe keeper. It could be made as a little girl’s purse, or a bag for small item to put inside a larger totes. This project is described as attaching “to the handle of your shopping cart for an easy, hands-free shopping experience. Extra pockets provide room for phone, pen, calculator, wallet, and more.” These features are not shown in any of the photos and the inside is just implied. I would have liked an inside photo.

The “coasters with curves” are adorable and use the fat rickrack to good advantage. The wine glass charms and fridge magnets also use rickrack, though the small kind. I like the clever way the rickrack is twisted together.

There are many other kitchen related projects in this book. If you have wedding showers coming up and more fabric than budget, this book might provide the means to give beautiful, unique gifts using the materials you have on hand. The table runner ideas are really sparking my imagination.

There is no glossary or index. The last few pages of the book have short bios of all of the artists. The bios include the artists’ website or blog.

View all my reviews

Blue Strip Donation Quilt Finished

Blue Strip Donation Quilt finished
Blue Strip Donation Quilt finished

It wasn’t too long ago that I helped Tim put this quilt on the machine. The other day when I visited, he showed me the finished piece. It was even bound by Sue S! That made it a true group quilt. I was really pleased at how well it came out.

I finished this quilt in March of 2020, right after the shelter-in-place order, so this one is getting done much faster than the Purple Strip Donation quilt I talked about the other day.

Tim said that he doesn’t really like yellow, but this quilt was just cheerful. That comment made me super happy. I really love making cheerful quilts.

The quilting is a lot of swirls, which looks really nice. I am not sure  how he decided what to do, but I like what he usually chooses. Also, Tim is quilting these for free so I am not complaining.

Blue Strip Donation quilt back - finsihed
Blue Strip Donation quilt back – finsihed

The back is pretty basic, nothing fancy in terms of piecing, but it looks good. also, cheerful.

Purple Strip Donation Quilt Redux

Purple Strip Donation Quilt on the longarm
Purple Strip Donation Quilt on the longarm

I visited the Tim the other day. I had some things I wanted to give him (no quilts this time), so I stopped by. While I was there I saw that he had the Purple Strip Donation Quilt on the machine. I finished this top and back in March of 2019, which made me very happy.  I know he’ll finish it soon and I can’t wait to see it.

Traffic Jam Quilted

Traffic Jam Quilt quilted
Traffic Jam Quilt quilted

Tim sent me a text last week showing that he had quilted the Traffic Jam quilt. Yay!

I really like this pattern and it looks great quilted. Looking at it makes me tempted to make one with a red background and fabrics for the foreground that were mostly white with pattern. I don’t know how it would look, but the idea intrigues me. I definitely want to make another one of these quilts.

Traffic Jam Quilt quilted - detail
Traffic Jam Quilt quilted – detail

Tim quilted flames. He said he had an idea which didn’t come out the way he hoped. I think it looks great anyway and these donation quilts are a good place to practice quilting and other skills.

More Black Windmill

Black Windmill on the wall
Black Windmill on the wall

I put all the blocks I had made on the wall. I had a few leftover foreground fabrics, so I had to cut some black backgrounds to complete those. 

Now I am mostly in the process of moving the blocks around to create a pleasing arrangement.I am trying to make sure the backgrounds and foregrounds are mixed up. That is not always that easy. As soon as I have the arrangement I want, I will start sewing and that should be a quick process.

Black Windmill on the wall annotated
Black Windmill on the wall annotated

I decided that I would add an extra row of blocks in order to complete the Windmill shape. You can see what I mean by looking at the cross I added to the second photo. If you compare that block in the first photo to the block next to it, you will see that without the extra row, some of the windmill shapes are cut off. I want them to all be complete.

I am pretty pleased with my progress, but have more work to do.

Windmill templates
Windmill templates

On a related note, I went through my various rulers the other day and organized them. One thing I found was the missing Windmill template. Sigh. Let me know if you want to make a quilt like this. All offers for the template will be seriously considered!

Rotary Even Foot :(

Janome Rotary Even Foot
Janome Rotary Even Foot

I had high hopes for the foot when I started to work on the covers for our dining room table leaves. I bought this foot when it came out new for my MC 9000.

Based on my reading, I thought this foot would help me put the binding on the covers evenly. I have never been adept at machine binding, but this tool seemed like it would solve my problems.

I started to worry, however, when I watched a few of the videos available on using the foot.  The videos I watched (4-5) did not show how miter or go around corners. The videos on attaching binding did not show how to start the foot and the binding nor did they say whether you needed extra at the end.  None of the videos showed a real project, only samples. None of the videos or the written directions talked about adjusting the pressure of the foot. I felt like the tractor foot wasn’t all the way down the whole time I was using it. I checked repeatedly and decided to leave it rather than getting out the machine manual.

Rotary Even Foot applying binding
Rotary Even Foot applying binding

I tried it anyway and determined that the foot might work well for machine quilting, but that my suspicions were true. The foot did not work well for applying the binding. It was hard to get the beginning of the quilted piece into the foot (not well documented in the videos or written directions). Once I was able to get the piece in, I found that the stitching line was nowhere near the edge of the binding, leaving a flap of fabric.  Once I fixed that, I found that the binding was not being applied evenly. Something was happening on the bottom of the piece (shifting due to operator error or machine error or foot error), so there were sections of the binding that were not sewed down.

One of the things I figured out was that I can probably use the tractor foot without the binding or hemming attachment for machine quilting.  One of my issues with machine quilting is seeing the stitch line while I am stitching. I think with this foot I would be able to see the stitching.

Sigh. I ended up doing a normal machine binding and decided not to care as long as it looked relatively decent.

Table Leaf Covers

Bookshelf fabric
Bookshelf fabric

Last Autumn we finally had MIL’s dining room table and china cabinet moved over to our house. Along with the table came 3 leaves and the associated pads. We didn’t want them to get any more scratched than they are so they have been sitting carefully in the dining room since last Thanksgiving. DH and I have been tinkering with measurements around making bags. A few weeks ago, after going through my backing fabric stash, I pulled out 6 yards of fabric that I don’t think I will use for a back. I took it to Tim and he quilted it for me.

Laying out fabric for table leaf bags
Laying out fabric for table leaf bags

Over the weekend, I put the first table leaf bag together. Getting that done required some visual pattern making.

I needed to see what the relationship was between the leaves and the fabric I had. One issue I knew I had was the width of the fabric. The fabric was standard 45ish inch wide quiltmaking fabric. 45ish was only just wide enough for making a bag if the leaves were arranged horizontally, but we wanted them vertical so the design of the fabric would be oriented the same way the leaves would be stored. This orientation brought up our second issue, we wouldn’t have enough fabric for 3 bags and the pads. I figured out how to make a bag for two leaves that would take up only one section of the fabric. Of course I could have used more fabric, but I really wanted the bags to match, if at all possible.

Single table leaf cover- finished
Single table leaf cover- finished

Eventually, we decided that the only way the project would work was to make the bags with the leaves horizontal across the fabric. Making the bags that way would ensure I had enough fabric and used it all most effectively.

I finished one of the covers over the weekend and moved on to the second one, which will hold 2 leaves. I am part way through it. It is going much faster than the first one, but that is to be expected. Of course, I haven’t gotten to putting it together yet.

Single table leaf cover- finished, showing one leaf
Single table leaf cover- finished, showing one leaf

I have some leeway in different areas because these will mostly be in a closet 11.75 months of the year. Still, I don’t want them to look crappy. They will most likely move on with the table so I want them to last.

Another Windmill on the Wall

Black Windmill going up on the wall
Black Windmill going up on the wall

I haven’t worked on this piece since July, because Red Scribbles was on the wall and red thread (for the applique’) was in the machine. Now grey thread is back in the machine and I am putting the piece up on the design wall.

I am thinking of calling this Black Windmill. I don’t really like the name that much, but there are more than cool colors in the foreground, so Cool Windmill n.2 doesn’t work either. It is looking good, though I have a lot of rearranging work to do before I can start piecing.