Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Oh, NO!!!

See that little snip? It happened when I was trapunto-ing the center.
See those very tiny stitches where the center is appliqued down? Yeah, too tiny for the seam ripper. I ended up using a needle to unpick them. I was able to replace the center.

Unfortunately there's 12 of these centers that I'm working on. See description here of what I'm doing  to make them not look and feel lumpy.

After I snipped the one above, I was super careful to keep my fingers between the seam allowance and the center fabric when I trimmed the next one. So I snipped my finger. Yeesh! Fortunately I didn't get any blood on the project.

So why am I going to all this trouble for these Dresden centers? Because this quilt means a lot to me and I want it to be of a good enough quality that I can enter into shows. I was inspired by something I saw at AQS Paducah in 2017, and I'm hoping this one can be entered into an AQS show when it's finished.
EQ Rendering of design

Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts

Monday, September 24, 2018

Starting a CSQ Baby Quilt

The traditional guild I belong to, CSQ, has chosen a new-to-us charity for the next year. I can't remember the name of the organization, but they support military families while the service member is deployed. One of the things they do is provide baby showers to expectant parents. So we at CSQ are making baby quilts.

I pulled a cute stripe from my stash which actually came from the most recent CSQ fabric swap. Gender neutral with touches of orange and green, perfect! A few friends from stash, nice cheerful brights, and here's my palette:

I'll keep it simple, just patchwork squares. I need some easy, mindless sewing.

One of our members does a lot of screen printing, and made muslin labels for us:

I'm hoping I can turn these fabrics into a finished baby quilt before too long.

Link ups:
Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Em's Scrapbag
Love Laugh Quilt

Monday, September 17, 2018

"We Don't Like Lumpy"

... said my friend Margaret. 

The lumpiness we were talking about has to do with the centers of my Dresden blocks.

Can you kind of see the ends of the Dresden blades behind the gold center?

The background fabric has been cut away from the backs of the Dresdens so the batting will fill in when they're quilted. But even if I cut away the background from behind the centers, the seam allowances will still leave a ridge.

It feels lumpy, and as Margaret says, we don't like lumpy.

So I went back to my original test block to find a solution. Here's the test block, and you can see the lumpiness in the center here, too.

The solution is to stuff the centers of the Dresdens, like trapunto. I'll cut circles of batting, one big enough to fill in the entire center of the Dresden, and another to fill in within the seam allowances to avoid that ridge. Remember circle templates from way back when? Handy tools to keep! (Photos not to scale here)

The herringbone background fabric has been cut away from behind the blades, leaving just the center. I unpicked the seams to open it up.

The tails of the blades were did not extend evenly inside there, so with the "flaps" opened up, I carefully trimmed the seam allowance to about 1/4". Very carefully, because I didn't want a slip of the very sharp pointy scissors to cut anything else.

I laid in the larger of my two circles of batting, then laid the smaller one on top, and pushed them into the deep part of the center to fill it out. I tried with the smaller circle first, backed by the larger circle,  but on the right side of the block it was still lumpy from the seam allowances. It's much smoother with the larger batting circle filling in the entire Dresden center.

Next I pulled the "flaps" back into position and basted them closed. Because this will be buried deep within the quilt, it doesn't have to be pretty.

Voila, no lumpy center!

Seems like a lot of fussy work, but to me it's worth it for the Red Project, which is special to me. I can feel and see the difference; maybe you can see the difference in these photos, too. Margaret approves.

Now to do the same to my 12 red Dresden blocks. That'll keep me busy for awhile, and now that I've explained the process, it won't make for very interesting blog posts, so if I don't post for awhile, you'll understand why.

Linking up with:
Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Em's Scrapbag
Love Laugh Quilt

Friday, September 14, 2018

OK, Maybe It's Not So Bad After All

I still wouldn't say improv is my thing, but this little Nurses for Newborns quilt maybe isn't as bad as I originally thought it was. Anyway, it'll serve the purpose, a Tummy Time mat for a young baby.

Simple wavy line quilting to keep it soft. It'll crinkle up  a bit more after it's washed.

Backing from stash. Personally, I like the back better than the front.

My stash is becoming depleted of suitable prints in large enough pieces. Since I knew I wanted to use the stripe from the front for the binding, I was able to find a green that works.

This makes N4Nb quilt # 8 that I've made this year.

The Nurses for Newborns quilts are due at the November 10th meeting, so I'll make two more between now and then.

Link ups:
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Crazy Mom Quilts

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

September N4Nb Quilt

In my Nurses for Newborns quilts, I'm trying for a variety of boy, girl, and gender neutral. I'm making one of these little 24" x 36" quilts a month for STLMQG's charity project. Here's where I'm at so far:
February, March, April, and May




Looks like a boyish one should be up next. I have some leftover prints from the recent baby quilt in blues, and some greens from stash that could work.

I kind of like how they look laid out in stripes like that. Maybe I'll just sew strips together and see what develops.

Here are the WOF strips sewn into a strata, and cut in half.  The plan is to cut a strip from across the other half, reverse the direction, and insert the strip so it bisects the quilt across the middle.

No photo of that result. It was disappointing.

I've learned that if something is not working, sometimes I can salvage it if I cut it up and rearrange it. So by doing that, this is what I ended up with.

Not wonderful, but it'll do. Once again, confirming that even the simplest improv just isn't my thing. It was definitely a learning experience.

I'll get it quilted and bound and add it to the pile of N4Nb quilts to turn in in November. Even though it's not great design, it will certainly serve the purpose of a Nurses for Newborns quilt.

Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts

Monday, September 10, 2018

He Likes It

Grandson CJ's  Big Boy Bed Quilt was quite a hit. 
Sorry for the blurry pictures; 
it's hard to keep an excited three-year-old still.

 We were playing I Spy and he was finding all sorts of things. 
He pointed out an "excavator" all on his own. 

Very gratifying!

This is why we make quilts, isn't it?!!

Scroll down to Friday's post for images of the whole quilt.

Link ups: 

Friday, September 7, 2018

CJ's Big Boy Bed Quilt

Grandson CJ is 3-1/2 and he has graduated from a toddler bed to a big boy bed (twin). So of course I made him a quilt for it.   Ta-da - finished!

I got it back from the quilter on Tuesday, and finished putting the binding and label on yesterday. Perfect timing; I'll see CJ this weekend.

As soon as I put the final stitch in, I hurried outside to take some photos. It was about to start raining, and it's supposed to rain all weekend.

The back is pieced from leftover fabrics from the front.

CJ chose the focus fabric. I pre-selected some prints and showed him images of them on my laptop, and asked him which one was his favorite. He chose the same print two days in a row. Now a few months later, I hope he still likes it! Here are some of the prints shown closer on the back.

Some of the prints are directional. When I planned this quilt, I laid it out so that no matter which end is at the head or foot of the bed, and which side is toward the room or the wall, the print in the border and the blocks hanging down the side of the bed would always be right side up. From a three-year-old's eye level, that's mostly what he'll see.

Here you can see more of the border print and some of the swirly quilting. 

And of course he needs a pillowcase to go with it.

I hope he likes it. 

Linking up with Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, and TGIFF, hosted today by Katie Mae Quilts