Monday, March 27, 2023

To Be Fixed

I thought I'd be posting soon about a finish from PCQ's latest community service sew day, my twin size top with the daisy print border. I took outdoor photos on a nice slightly overcast day; the light was good. 

And then when I was looking at the photos I noticed a problem. Blocks in one column got turned the wrong way. I guess I'll be spending some time with my seam ripper to fix this. 

I know exactly how this happened. There was a lot of activity going on and the room was noisy. Someone asked me something and I couldn't hear the question, so I got up and went to her. Usually I have the block or row that the new block is being sewn to on my left thigh and the block to be added on my right thigh, both sides stacked up in the right order top to bottom. When I got up and set the pile from my right thigh aside, then came back and picked it up to work again, I must have gotten it turned 90 degrees. I should have thought to check the orientation then, but I didn't, so now I get to unsew the row and fix it. 

And that's why I don't like to cut or work on complicated projects in social sewing situations. I'm easily distracted or I get to chatting, and then something as easy-peasy as this gets messed up. 

Maybe I'll get it fixed this week, we'll see. 

Link Up: Small Quilts and Doll Quilts

Friday, March 24, 2023

Finally Finished, the Coral Snake Quilt

 Whoo-hoo, after nearly two years of working on this at least a little bit every month, my Snake Quilt in coral, orange and pink is finally finished.

The blocks are 10", with the arcs all paper pieced and the background all hand cut from templates. The arcs were pieced in with curved seams. The layout evolved into two continuous loops that interlock. The top finished at 60-1/2 x 80-1/2" and after quilting the quilt is 58-3/4 x 78". 

The quilting was very tedious with lots of stops and starts. No, I did not bury all those thread tails. The quilt police would give me demerits, but I just reduced the stitch length for 2-3 stitches and backstitched at every start and stop. The grid finished at about 7/8" spacing.

I found the perfect backing print on sale on line, a print with tones of peach and salmon in it. 

This quilt is for me, not a donation quilt. My old sofa quilt will be retired and this will be my new sofa quilt. 

I've always thought of this as my coral snake quilt but of course I can't name it that because there is an actual coral snake and it is venomous. Ugh! The girls at social sewing who saw the top when I was piecing it thought it looked like the children's game Candy Land, so that's what I've been calling the quilt now. 

I'm very glad this one's finished because I was so tired of working on it. Now I get to actually enjoy using it.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Flying Geese Palette and Plan

I need a project to take on retreat in addition to something I already have planned. I'm in the mood for Flying Geese; I haven't made anything with Flying Geese lately. 

This will be yet another donation quilt. I looked through my stash to see what I have that might work. I pulled a few fabrics and added another from the club's stash. So far I have this palette plus white. 

The mint green, orange stripe, and multi floral were purchased in Paducah together last spring. I thought they played nicely together, and the orange floral that was already in my stash goes well with them too. I'll add a bit of white, and I need one more print in order to have enough variety in my blocks. I have to shop before retreat for another project I want to take so I'll look for something that goes with this palette. 

Here's the general plan. I'll just make random combos of geese so the final version will differ slightly from this, but this is the basic idea. There are lots of versions of FG quilts on the web like this. 

I'll shop this week or next and do most of the cutting ahead of time so I don't make too many cutting mistakes at retreat. When I get a few blocks together and up on the design wall, I can decide which print combos I need more of and only cut what I need. 

Using 6" geese, this should finish about 48 x 60" for a kid size donation quilt. I've made so many twin size tops lately that it'll be nice to make a smaller one. 

Link up: Small Quilts and Doll Quilts

Friday, March 17, 2023

Whoo-hoo - Actual Progress on the Chisel Project!

 After all the tribulations with my Chisel project - story here - I was finally able to make some progress at social sewing this week. I got the blocks sewn into rows! 

The girls at social sewing knew about the difficulties I've had with this project. They had only seen the block components and individual blocks, and I know some of them had reservations about how this would look. 

I put the rows up on the design wall in the Fiber Arts room so we could all see how this is going to look. 

Still very busy, but at least the strong value contrast allows the stars to stand out. My friends approved! 

Link ups: Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Alycia Quilts

Monday, March 13, 2023

Daisy Four Patch

 For the February PCQ Community Service sew day, we had kits made up for participants to make Four Patch Variation tops in twin bed size for the charities we support who have requested twin size. Since I was instrumental in making the kits (story here), I knew we had one with a cute daisy print so I chose this kit to work on myself. Disclaimer, some of the fabrics in this kit came from my own stash in addition to the club's, so I felt no qualms about nabbing this kit ahead of time. 

At our February sew day I got the four patches made and started laying out the blocks. I used a table and a flannel-backed tablecloth for my "design wall."

I started piecing the rows together but only got a couple blocks sewn in each row, then it was time to quilt for the day. Once home, I wasn't sure about the placement of the colors. I can see too many darks together in the photo above, so I knew some tweaking was needed. 

Once rearranged on my design wall where I could see the balance and placement better, this is the layout I ended up with. 

This quilt will be used as a bedspread on a twin bed. I placed the four daisy squares so that when the quilt is on the bed, right edge in the photo above on the pillow, the daisy squares will be centered around the top pf the bed. 

The palette was inspired by the daisy print, which will be used for the border. All the other colors were pulled from the club's or my stash to coordinate with the daisy print. I've had that white and blue geometric batik used in the four patches in my stash for years; it came from a quilter's estate way back when. This is the perfect use for it. 

Our March sew day is coming up this Saturday so I have the rows all labeled and kitted up. The borders are ready to go, although they'll have to be cut to length once the top is done. I'm hoping I can get the top finished Saturday. 

I want this quilt to go to Natalie's House, the group home for foster girls, because the colors are brighter and more youthful than what we typically have in the club's stash. Most of the other kits we made up feature more mature prints and color palettes. Those will be better suited for the two adult charities we support, but this cheerful blue one with its daisy print can go to a young girl. 

Link up: Small Quilts and Doll Quilts

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

February Stash Report and Goals Update

 So far this year I'm doing well with using the stash, and I haven't bought any new fabric yet. That will have to change soon because I need red solid for a small Mariner's Compass project that's on the to-do list. 

The Cube Challenge was finished this month but the fabrics for the top and the binding were already counted. I cut the binding at the same time I cut the dark background, so I didn't count it separately. I never counted the backing fabric into the stash because I sent it out to the long armer right away so there's no need to count it out of the stash now. 

February Stash Report

IN this month: 0
OUT this month: 5-3/8 yards (Four Patch Shuffle top, 4-3/4 yards. Sashing border added to Spinner top, 5/8 yard.)

OUT YTD: 17-3/8 yards

YTD Net Change: 17-3/8 yards OUT

Goals Update: 

February Recap:

1. Bind jelly roll race quilt. Done and donated to the local family services agency.

2. Continue quilting Candy Land. Progress. All the crosshatching is done and I'm working on edgestitching around the snakes. 

3. Continue piecing Chisel project. Progress. Setbacks required changes of plan but now I have the blocks pieced and kitted up into rows

4. Continue working on plans for prep days and sew days for PCQ charity projects. Yes, we had a really good prep day for the February project and a well-attended sew day. At the Feb. prep day we were even able to begin some of the prep for the April project. 

5. Make a table topper for new sewing room cabinet. Done, no photo, it's just plain fabric. 

6. Make a small Mariner's Compass wall hanging for a specific wall space in the sewing room. No, did not get to this. Need solid red fabric. 

7. Quilt something on PCQ's long arm. No, did not get time booked on the long arm this month. 

Plan C

It seems like I was busy this month but there's not much to show for it. I spent a lot of time with my seam ripper on the chisel project when I found that Plan B didn't work and I had to move on to Plan C (see previous post).

March Goals: 

1. Finish Quilting Candy Land.

2. Finish piecing the Chisel project.

3. Plan and prep for April retreat.

4. Make a small Mariner's Compass wall hanging for a specific wall space in the sewing room. 

5. Plan and cut for a new project to piece at social sewing.

6. Quilt something on PCQ's long arm. 

It would be nice to finally finish the quilting on Candy Land. I can probably get the Chisel project top finished at a couple of sessions of social sewing. But the highest priority for March will be prepping for an early April retreat. I like to have projects cut and kitted up so I don't have to cut when I'm in a social sewing situation. I make too many cutting mistakes when I try to do that! 

No social sewing this week because there's a class going on in the room that day. Also, I'm having guests next week so there won't be much sewing going on while I clean up the sewing room and convert it to guest room mode. And of course no sewing while they're here. So if I don't post for a few days, you'll understand why. 

Monday, February 27, 2023

Plan C

 Earlier this month I posted about the project I'm working on at social sewing, my Chisel project using pieces cut with the AccuQuilt chisel die.

Plan A didn't work when I discovered that some of my chisel pieces were cut face up and some face down so they didn't all spin in the same direction. I came up with Plan B which would use the chisel pieces in columns with alternating left-right placement. Here's the EQ drawing for Plan B: 

EQ Plan B

Not wonderful, but the best I could come up with in EQ. However, notice that all the placeholder fabrics in the EQ drawing are blenders or batiks, nothing with a bold print. 

This layout absolutely did not work in my fabrics because it was way too busy. I didn't even take a photo, it was so bad. My fabrics include several bold prints in both the lights and the darks. With such a random layout and busy collection of fabrics, it was awful to look at. 

So, on to plan C. Plan C is like my original Plan A which makes stars. All the fabrics are cut facing the same direction. 
EQ Original Plan A

This means I can only use half of the chisel pieces I cut and I'll need to cut more going in the same direction. I was shooting for a twin bed size quilt but that's not going to happen. What I've ended up with will be a large throw. 

After more cutting and piecing chisel units at social sewing last week, I put the blocks and units on my design wall at home to figure out the placement.

See what I mean about busy prints? At least with this layout the value contrast makes the stars stand out which helps give it some sense of order. 

The blocks for the center were mostly sewn, but because I had to cut more different fabrics I unsewed some of the blocks and assorted in the new fabrics. Then I laid out the units for the border blocks. It was easier to do on the design wall than to make blocks and then try to lay them out with the same fabric not too close to itself. The border blocks have a dark piece substituted for one of the light pieces so the beginnings of new stars don't fall off the edge of the quilt.

As one of my social-sewing-and-lunch-bunch buddies said, this project has certainly been a learning opportunity for me. Yes, it has! This iteration will finish at 72" square, a large throw that can go to the hospice we support. 

I'm left with a pile of chisel blocks and units that spin in the other direction, not enough for another large throw like this, but at least a medium throw. I'll kit them up with an EQ printout and either save them to finish later or donate the kit. I've had enough of this project!!!

No social sewing this week, there's a class in the room that day. Just as well, I'm having guests arriving Saturday and I need to clean, get groceries, and convert my sewing room to a guest room. Busy week!