Monday, June 1, 2020

Vagabonds Challenge - Part 5

I have written 4 previous blogs about the Vagabonds 2020 challenge piece.

My quilting friends gave me lots of ideas on how to connect the 9 test pieces that I made.  YouTube also had some videos on how to connect "quilt-as-you-go" blocks.  We all immediately dropped the idea of adding binding in the quilt-as-you-go method, because it made this art piece turn into a traditional quilt.

 Other ideas from the brainstorming:
-  sew together the blocks without the binding and cut away the excess batting
-  connect the pieces with painted washers
-  quilt a background piece and mount them on top of the background
-  add some lighting
-  use shear fabric or mirrors behind the cut out pieces
-  use more of the fabric that was made from the yarn and threads
-  cut some of the pieces in half so that the layout could be different than a nine patch
-  include organza
-  face the pieces so that they are distinctly separate

I promised that I would do some work on my design wall and in my design book.  Here is what that all looked like in the process.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do, but I am drawn to using 8 pieces and mounting them onto a background.

Stay tuned for what I decided to do!  And happy quilting.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Vagabonds Challenge 2020 - Part 4?

I have previously written posts about the Vagabonds challenge piece.  I think this is Number 4.  But I'm not sure.

After I made the test piece, I decided that I liked the technique and result, but I didn't want to wrestle a large piece around the machine.  So, I decided to make some more pieces the same size with different backgrounds and different colorways of the printed pictures.

Here are the 8 other pieces:

These pieces have been so much fun to make.  Like playing!  I was able to use a lot of threads that I had on hand that were perfect for the satin stitch highlighting - 40 weight rayon, metallic, and heavy weight variegated threads. 

I placed the pieces on my design board and now I will have to figure out how to attach them together.  Hmm.  Well, I do have a lot of time on my hands.   So maybe more testing of techniques?

What do you think so far?

Monday, May 18, 2020

Vagabonds 2020 Challenge

I wrote several previous blogs about the making of this quilt.  It is the Vagabonds 2020 Challenge.

Since I was stuck at the house for the Stay at Home order for the State of Washington, I discovered that my patience and focus was compromised.  I had the whole day and every day to complete projects instead of distinct time frames around all of my social activities.  So, I actually got bored and flitted from one thing to another.  You know, out in the yard, cleaning closets, writing in my journal, eating too many snacks, playing with the dog, calling my friends .... the typical behavior of a procrastinator.  What?  Me?  No Way!

Anyway, it took me several weeks to get back to this challenge piece.  I knew that I needed to make a smaller test piece to refine the technique I wanted to use.  So, here it is.

I started by quilting a 12" x 12" background and making more of the yarn and tulle pieces.

Then I marked several places where I wanted to place these tulle "holes".  I stitched around the marking 3 times then cut out the inside of the holes, leaving about 1/4".

I placed the tulle on top of the hole and stitched it from the backside, so that I could see the previous stitching.  Then I cut the seam allowance to a scant 1/8".

I turned the piece back over and stitched the edges twice with a zig-zag stitch, set to 4.0 mm width and .60 mm length.

I had previously printed the photo onto fabric; this was backed with fusible web and cut out into shapes.  I cut out both the large circles and sections of the smaller circles.  These were stitched with  zig zag stitching.  And here is the test piece.

I really like how it turned out!

I'm not sure if I will make more this size and join them together, or if I will use this technique on the large quilt.  More to think about.

I hope you get ideas that you can try out on a smaller scale too.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Bee on flower painted art piece

I've finished another bee on a flower fabric art piece.  There is a huge pile of pictures that I've taken over the last several years of bees on flowers.  I winnowed down the list of candidates and this one made it the final 5.   Here is my original picture:

I traced the picture onto tracing paper.  Then, I used the Susan Brubaker-Knapp method of tracing the lines onto prepared for dying (PDF) fabric, painting it with fabric paints, highlighting it with thread and finally quilting the piece.  Here is the piece all painted and ready for thread highlighting.  You can see that I use a lot of different threads and colors for this step.

And here is the piece after thread highlighting and quilting.

All that was left to do was to make the wings.  I placed a layer of organza between two layers of dissolving product; in this case I used Solvay.

After the wings were stitched and the Solvay was dissolved, I let the wings dry and attached them to the art piece.

I hope you like it!

Monday, May 4, 2020

Emily's graduation quilt - DONE

This is the final post about the making of Emily's graduation quilt.

I did a little more quilting in the borders, then added the binding.  I think she is going to like it because just a few weeks ago, she changed her bedroom scheme to make it more to her teenage liking, and added the fashionable pinkish colors.  Now, she just has to get through what's left of her junior year and her senior year and she'll be gifted her graduation quilt.

I am so glad that I have this quilt finished and have enjoyed all the steps.  I still have to wash and block it and all the blue markings will disappear.

I hope you have cherished grandchildren in your life too!

Monday, April 27, 2020

Elongated Hexagon Quilt - Final

This is the final post about the making of the elongated hexagon quilt.  I wrote 4 previous blogs while I was planning and making this quilt.

I did all the quilting in 1/2" vertical rows and I used white cotton thread.  It ended up being 38" W x 56" H.

Here it is all completed! 

And the back:

I hope you've enjoyed seeing the process of making an intuitive quilt in the modern style.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Vagabonds Challenge - 2020 - Part 2

This is a continuation of a post about the Vagabonds Challenge for 2020.

I had so many ideas in my head for this quilt, and it was very difficult to narrow them down to the quilt that I wanted to make.  My intention was to try a different technique, or a combination of techniques, to give the look of a 3 layered quilt with cut outs.  I don't know which layer will be which, so I decided that I would try to make up some sample pieces.  Then figure out what I would do for the full size quilt.

I knew that I wanted to print the picture in several colors onto printer friendly fabric.  Here's what those prints looked like.

I don't know if I will sew these together or cut them into pieces and piece them with other fabric.

Here's what I want in the three layers:
  Circular cutouts with some sheerness and some thread embellishment.
  A layer of the printed fabric.
  Some kind of stuffing to add dimension to the circles.
  A layer of painted fabric, also with circular cutouts.

I made one of the potential layers out of two layers of tulle, and many different colors of thread, yarn and ribbon.  these were stitched down and then pressed slightly.  I have no idea how I am going to use this, but it's one of my ideas and was kind of fun to just play around.

I can't wait to see how many nights I will lay awake while these ideas peculate in my head.  Stay tuned!

Monday, April 13, 2020

Emily's Graduation Quilt - Almost done?

This is a continuation of posts about the making of the graduation quilt for my granddaughter, Emily.

I quilted the white spaces with the design that I drafted up.  Then I quilted the diagonal spaces with lines interspersed with the letter "E".

The diagonal spaces going the opposite direction were quilted with the 8" x 3" oval ruler from Quilter's Apothecary.

All I had to mark were the center lines.  I love the quilting rulers from Quilters Apothecary because they have great holes to place your fingers in to hold the rulers in place, or they have wonderful stand up handles.

When that was all completed, the quilting in the white spaces looked too sparse.  So, I decided to add some background quilting to pop the designs forward.  Here are the before and after photos.

In the borders, I used the same oval ruler from Quilter's Apothecary to form the petals, and used their 1" inside circle ruler to make the circles.  I'm pretty sure that it will need a little more quilting in the background and I haven't yet determined what will look the best.  The other thing that I like about the quilting rulers from Quilters Apothecary are that there are etched lines that make it super easy to line up the rulers just where you want them.  I added tape to the rulers so that I wouldn't lose my place.

I hope you still like where this quilt is heading.  I sure do!

Monday, April 6, 2020

Elongated Hexagon Quilt - Part 4

This is a continuation of the posts about the elongated hexagon quilt.

The pieces were sewn together in rows, then the rows were sewn together.  And yes, there are a lot of Y seams in this quilt, or any hexagon quilt, for that matter.  (I wrote a previous blog about how to sew together a hexagon quilt and there are great tutorials on the internet. )  And here is what it looked like after it was sewn together.  It is 40" W x 56" H.  I'm not totally sure that this is the direction that I like the best.  I'll take it to my small quilt group for their input.

I plan to quilt it in straight rows.  Not matchstick size, but close together; perhaps 1/4" apart.  When I get the quilting done, I'll show it to you in another post.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Elongated Hexagon Quilt - Part 3

This is a continuation of the posts about the elongated hexagon quilt.

After playing around with the placement of the pieces, I marked all of the corners so that I would know where to stop and start.  But, before I started sewing it together, I felt like it was way too busy and needed something to calm it down.  I originally DID NOT want to spend that much time on this quilt, but as it progressed, I became interested in playing some more with the layout.  I even lost a little sleep while my brain was thinking about multiple quilts.  Egads!  How on earth did I jump from an easy quilt that I intended to donate, to thinking about multiple quilts?  I guess that's just how we quilters think. The ideas just don't stop coming.  Or to put it another way - I suffer from TMITSIL.  (Too many ideas to sew in lifetime).  And lookout because its catchy.

I decided that I really like the deconstructed modern quilts and the ones that were called "shattered".  The idea of this modern take on a quilt layout is that you gradually leave more and more white space between the pieces so that they merge into nothingness.  (Is that even a word?).  Here are some of my ideas as I worked them out on my design board.

The first one put all the pieces in the upper left corner and spread out the rest to the right and bottom.

These two moved the bulk of the pieces to the left of center and added solid pieces in some spots and fractured pieces in others.  Yuck, still too heavy.

This one seemed just right.  Lots of white space and shattered pieces.

Here's what I had to do to the pieces I had so carefully cut and marked to get the shattered look.  First, I sewed the white fabric onto the pieces, trying to alter the direction.

Then I cut the excess off, pressed the seams, and used the same freezer paper templates that I had used to originally cut the pieces.

It's a good thing I was somewhat sequestered due to the COVID-19 outbreak.  It didn't seem like I was wasting any valuable time that I used to have for volunteer work in the community.  But what a mess!  This is definitely NOT a zero-waste project.

I think I have more fabric than when I started.  The bind that I took to the quilt retreat still looks quite full to me.  Do you notice that when you're doing "scrap" projects too?

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Face Mask according to the AB Mask by a nurse

Many of my quilting friends are making face masks according to the AB-Mask-for-a-Nurse-by-a-Nurse pattern.  I made 5 of them this week, but changed the instructions slightly.  The great thing about this pattern is that you don't need elastic, which is almost impossible to find. 

Here's what I changed:

1.  I added a layer of non-woven interfacing between the layers of cotton.  This is to provide an extra layer of protection for our health care workers.
2.  I added a pipe cleaner (cut in half and used just the half) inside the top binding so that it can be molded around the nose.
3.  I placed the cotton pieces wrong sides together, instead of with the right sides stacked.  I think this makes the masks prettier.
4.  I cut the 1/2" seams down to 1/4" after sewing in the pleats, and before the darts were made at the top and bottom.  I found that if I did this after the darts were sewn, the dart seams popped open.  I did mark them while there was still 1/2" seam to insure proper placement.
5.  I sewed the binding on the sides before I sewed the darts and while the mask was still flat.
6.  The binding strips can be cut out of any fabric and don't need to be the same as the mask. 

There you have it.  It takes about an hour to sew one.  But if you do them assembly style and cut a bunch out and sew the steps on all of them at the same time, the total time per mask is reduced.

I have 3 nurses in my family.  One works in a Salem, OR hospital; one works in a hospice facility in Albany, OR, and one works in an Issaquah, WA hospital.  In addition, I have one doctor in my family who works in a private practice.  If you talk to any of them, they will let you know if they need these masks or not.  At least one of my family members is working with no PPE!  So even if you don't have any family members working in the health care industry, please use your fabric and skills to help them out.  And don't forget to make one for yourself!

Stay home and stay safe.  We are all in this together.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Face masks

The call for face masks has been circulating among quilters and sewers, who are working fast and furious to make them out of our stash of cotton fabrics.  I hope that this doesn't turn out to be hype like what happens after a natural disaster and people start making and sending quilts that end up in the trash.  The COVID-19 pandemic is REAL, and the need for medical equipment is real.  So maybe this is real too.

Most of the  YouTube face mask videos  that I've seen have you start with a small amount of fabric, and a little bit of 1/4" of elastic.   There are tons of them, so be sure to check them all out.

Silhouette Patterns  has a PDF and pattern for a more fitted and darted style.

Again, I don't know if this is a real thing, but it won't take that much time to make some for my family.

Here are the ones that I made.  I found that the 3-1/2" final size works the best, and I used pipe cleaners for the top so that it can be molded around the nose. 

I didn't have 1/4" elastic, so I cut strips out of some 2" wide black elastic.  It's not ideal, but it works for now.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Elongated Hexagon - Part Two

This is a continuation of a previous post about the Elongated Hexagon quilt that I made, based on a Ricky Tims pattern.

I fussy cut out the hexagon pieces from the Marcia Derse fabric.  This is the left-over fabric - Swiss cheese from the fussy cuts!

Then I started to cut the hexagon pieces from the strip sets, all at an angle.  I marked the freezer paper template with grain line direction; both right and left.  This way of cutting the hexies left way too much fabric in the strip sets.

I decided mid-stream that I needed to cut more with the lines of the piecing. I knew if I did some of the cuts this way, I could at least sew together the left-over fabric and get more cuts out of the strip sets.  In fact, if you want to do it this way, there is very little waste.

Here is what the original design looked like on my design wall, using only the diagonal cuts.

And here is what it looked like after I changed the placement of the Marcia Derse fabric and added vertical rows of straight cut hexies.  I liked that this showed off the theme fabric better, but still showed all the strip piecing.  It's busy!  If you like color, then WOW, this little quilt has it.