Monday, September 27, 2021

LCT Progress

Since I got back from vacation I've had a few minutes to sew, so I'm working on getting the LCT blocks sewn into rows. Here they are on my design wall today. 


Each row needs the final two blocks added, then I'll be ready to sew the rows together. 


I haven't been sewing at home as much lately because I've been going to PCQ's sewing room and helping out with charity projects. Last week it was dresses for girls around the world, and this past Saturday it was Zippy Strippy bags. More about those in another post. 

Maybe I'll clip this project together as is and take it to Wednesday sewing, where a bunch of us gather to sew on our own projects and then go out to lunch. Maybe I can get it to a finished flimsy this week.


Link ups: Small Quilts and Doll Quilts, Love Laugh Quilt

Friday, September 24, 2021

Dresses

Wednesday was a sewing day for making Dresses from the Heart for an organization called Dress a Girl Around the World. One of the PCQ members is an ambassador for this organization, and she facilitates the making of hundreds of dresses each year. 

Everything was already cut from previously donated fabric, and kitted up with the elastic and bias needed. We knocked out a couple dozen dresses on Wednesday, and members took home kits to finish.  

I made four dresses, but they were already cut out so all I had to do was sew them up. Here are two in the medium size.


My other two were size large, so, goofing around, I "modeled." I'm petite and the large size would fit me, so I'm sure it fits older tweens and young teen agers. The size small dresses would fit preschoolers, and they were just too stinking cute, but I didn't get a photo. 


The dresses we made will be sent on to an organization that will include them in shoebox gifts. The boxes also contain small personal items and school supplies. The boxes may be the only thing of her own that a girl ever receives. 

Sewing with a group is always fun, and I'm sure we'll be doing this again in the future. 


Monday, September 20, 2021

Stash Enhancement from Florida

Nothing new on my design wall this week - it looks just like it did last week because I've been away, at my favorite beach. Unfortunately it rained all week. But that just created more opportunities for shopping at my favorite Pensacola fabric store, A and E Fabrics. 

It's huge, they stock everything, and they sell at exceptionally good prices. 


They gave me permission to take some photos. You can see more at their website,  https://www.aandefabrics.com/.  No affiliation, I just like shopping there when I'm vacationing in the area. 


The store is huge, and although parts of it are currently being reorganized, they have the fabrics organized nicely by category, with a whole wall of batiks and acreage devoted to Halloween and Christmas. Those are all large quilts hanging above, so you can get a sense of the vastness. And it's jam-packed. 

For in-store shoppers (not the website) an extra discount is offered on the color of the month, which in September is Orange. I stocked up on a few oranges. My orange and coral selection has been depleted since I cut strips for my Coral Strippy HST and my Snake Quilt. 


What I really wanted to shop for was white-based low volume prints. I struggled with enough variety in my Log Cabin Triangle blocks, so I was pleased to find several white-with-color low volume prints. I wish I'd had these when I was making the LCT blocks.


Of course I couldn't resist a few stash enhancements, just because.... Light prints, not necessarily low volume. The large speckled print actually has a lot of lemon yellow, pickle green, and bright teal green in it. I have a lot of those colors in my stash, so this print will coordinate with them and enable me to make use of some of what I already have. 


The prints below were chosen to harmonize together, all from different collections in different parts of the store. I've been thinking of obsessed with ways to play with the Kool Kaleidoscope method and I can use these together in a project. 

All in all, I had to find room in my luggage for 14-1/2 yards of fabric to come home with me. Looks like my stash report will take a hit this month. Not a problem at all, just an investment in additional resources for creating, right? 😉 

I'll wrap up with a photo of my beach taken during a rare sunny moment.

And what it really looked like all week.






Monday, September 13, 2021

LCT Blocks

For the Log Cabin Triangle blocks I'm making now, I'm using bright white background prints for the low volume parts. I have quite a few different prints, but not enough. You can never have too much variety in a scrappy quilt! Since I don't want the same print to land next to itself in the final layout, and I have to carefully place the blocks in the correct orientation, I decided to lay out on the design wall all the parts and logs so I could arrange them before assembling the blocks. Then I can take two of the blocks off the wall, clip the parts together, and chain piece the pair. 


In order to get them back on the wall in the same place they came from, I've numbered them. I took a Sharpie and labeled two of my clips so I could keep all the parts together. 

Then I chain pieced, still keeping the remaining pieces clipped to the block.


Even after all the logs were attached and I was pressing the blocks, I kept the numbered clips attached so I could remember which block went where in the layout. 


Now all the blocks are done and laid out on the wall. 



Link ups: Small Quilts and Doll Quilts, Love Laugh Quilt





Monday, September 6, 2021

Another LCT Remake

Remember my Log Cabin Triangles? Check out the 2016 QOV Block tab above. 

I made an original LCT quilt at Girl Scout camp retreat years ago. I liked the modern layout, so I offered the block and the pattern as a free tutorial for QOV. My own QOV quilt has long since been given to a veteran.


Because this pattern has a lot of pale negative space, I made another version last year to brighten up a dark hallway in preparation for selling our house.  My SIL admired it so I gave it to her.


I need another version, possibly as a teaching sample, for a trunk show in December so I'm piecing a new patriotic version. This time I'm using bright white low volume prints instead of creams and ivories, and only red and blue for the triangles. 

Starting the blocks: 

The first few blocks on the wall: 

These blocks are so fast and easy to make. I'm hoping to make good progress on more blocks this month, in addition to my other ongoing projects.

Back in 2016, the LCT block drive generated hundreds of blocks for Alycia in Colorado, QOV of Eastern Missouri, QOV in the Loop (U City MO), and several other QOV groups around the US. Even someone from Canada used the block for an all red-and-white version for a Canadian QOV group. 

The tutorial for the LCT block is still there for anyone who'd like to use it for QOV or any charitable purpose. A smaller version in kid-friendly colors would work for Project Linus or any social service agency that works with kids. 

If you make a quilt using my LCT block, I'd love to hear from you and see your version! 


Thursday, September 2, 2021

The Striped Kool Kaleidoscope

A true squirrel project, started and finished this month. I was intrigued by the possibility of using striped fabric instead of pieced strata for a Kool Kaleidoscope quilt. I found a stripe that might work in the PCQ club's stash and ran with it. 


I really like how it turned out. Bold, clean, graphic and interesting!


I definitely want to play with this concept again. 

I kept the quilting minimal to keep the quilt soft and drapey, and to not take away from the graphic piecing. Just some straight lines following the seams and the stripes, and a bit of meandering. The medallion features in the quilting on the back, too. 


This quilt finished at 37" before washing and will be donated by the PCQ club to the family services agency we support. I see it as a baby quilt because of the colors and size and because babies at first see graphic black and white before their vision matures. 


I'm including it in my Rocking Chair Quilts series, see tab above. 


Link Ups: My Quilt Infatuation, Meadow Mist Designs
Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Alycia Quilts, Wendy's Quilts and More


Wednesday, September 1, 2021

August Stash Report and Goals Update

Boy, August sure flew by quickly! A couple of trips to local fabric stores with new friends helped with some stash enhancement. Some of my planned projects moved forward, and a totally unplanned project captured my attention. 

August Stash Report:

IN this month: 5-1/5 yards (Borders and backing for original KK, 5-1/2 yards.)
OUT this month: 6-5/8 yards (Striped KK, my fabric for top, back, binding: 3-1/8 yards. Binding for navy/yellow Strippy HST donation quilt, 1/2 yard. Backing and sleeve for How Many, 3 yards wide goods.)

IN YTD: 68-1/8 yards
OUT YTD: 72-5/8 yards
YTD Net Change: 4-1/2 yards out. 

Finishes this month include donation quilts mostly or partially made with fabric from the PCQ club's stash. I'm counting only my own fabric used. The navy and yellow Strippy HST is almost all the club's fabric except for the binding. 


The Striped KK was totally unplanned but came about because I thought the strata concept used in the real Kool Kaleidoscope could work with striped fabric and I wanted to try it out. I used striped fabric and background from the club's stash, and my own B+W swirl print, backing and binding. The club's charity committee will give these quilts to the hospice or family services agency we support. 


Those are my finishes for the month. Some of my other projects progressed, others were ignored in favor of the Striped KK. 

Goals Update: 

August Recap:

1. Make a backing, quilt navy and yellow charity top for long arm practice; bind the quilt. DONE

2. Finish hand sewing binding on How Many, (the WIGSP) and start attaching the sleeve. Good progress. The binding is done and the sleeve is more than halfway stitched on. 

3. Continue working on Kool Kaleidoscope to a flimsy. Progress but not a flimsy, the center is pieced and borders are ready to be added.   

4. Continue making blocks for the coral Snake Quilt. Progress; 25 blocks of 48 are now done. 

5. Start working on the color challenge project. Not touched. 

6. Practice FMQ on at least one of the remaining batik race pillow covers. Done, using a leaf meander pattern. 

Other: Pieced, quilted and finished a version of Kool Kaleidoscope using striped fabric. 

Snake Quilt block

Pieced Kool Kaleidoscope

FMQ Leaf Meander

September Goals: 

1. Add borders to the Kool Kaleidoscope top and make backing. 

2. Continue making blocks for the Snake Quilt.

3. Start working on the color challenge project.

4. Start working on a new version of LCT QOV for a trunk show coming up in December. 

5. Practice FMQ on another pillow panel. 

6. Finish hand sewing the sleeve on How Many. 

Looks like September will be another busy month. I've been going to Wednesday sewing in the quilting room and that helps to make progress on portable projects like piecing. There's a group that gets together on Monday evenings (called Hot Summer Nights) and going to that has been helping me get the handwork done on How Many's binding and sleeve. 


Link up: Mid-Week Makers at  Quilt Fabrication

Monday, August 30, 2021

Piecing and Quilting the Striped KK

Recently I posted that I was intrigued by the Kool Kaleidoscope* concept and tried it out using striped fabric. Here are the parts cut out and laid out on my design wall. 


Since then I've gotten it assembled according to the instructions from the video. Ricky recommends pressing the wedge seams open for less bulk. Even so, I found it difficult to get them to come together precisely. And spinning the seams to reduce bulk doesn't work very well with open seams. 


I'm very disappointed in how my center turned out. I kind of have a reputation as a precise piecer and I'm a bit of a perfectionist. Even following the instructions carefully and using the seam ripper a few times, this is the best I can get it. This looks bad to me. 


No wonder he recommends using a print that will camouflage the center! 

I found a fix for the problem. I appliqued a small hexie over the center and cut away the bulk from behind the applique. It looks intentional and it's much flatter. 


Here's the finished top on my wall (sorry for the slightly skewed photo): 


For quilting, I'm going with a combination of walking foot and FMQ. Since the seams are pressed open there's no actual ditch to stitch in; if I stitch in the groove there, I might break the piecing threads and the seam could come apart. So I need to stitch next to the ditch. I followed the wedge seams, the piecing seams within the wedges, and selected stripes in the fabric. I want the quilting to be soft, not dense and rigid, since this is intended as a baby quilt. 


In the curvy print areas I used a medium meander and in the background I used a small meander. 


Here's a section of the back: 


Hopefully I can get this bound soon and then it will be a finish. 


*Kool Kaleidoscope free video instructions from Ricky Tims of The Quilt Show


Linking up with Small Quilts and Doll Quilts and Love Laugh Quilt

Friday, August 27, 2021

Quilted!

I had an opportunity to quilt my first quilt on the PCQ club's long arm earlier this week. A friend who's also newly trained helped me. Whatever I didn't remember from the training, she did, and vice versa, so we did okay. There was an experienced quilter in the room part of the time who advised us as well. We quilted the navy and yellow Strippy HST charity quilt I pieced last month. 


The quilting is not good, but not terrible either for a first attempt. We learned too late, after we'd already done one pass, that the panto I chose is actually for borders, not supposed to be an allover pattern, but it worked well enough. We had a little trouble figuring out the alignment when we advanced the quilt, but we got it worked out and it came out relatively even. 


Because of the high contrast in the fabrics, no matter what color thread I used it would show up a lot on half of the quilt. I chose a medium yellow; it blends with the light yellow prints but shows up a lot on the navy. 

Following a panto is harder than it looks! I have a whole new level of respect for professional quilters. All the steps to get everything loaded on the frame, and the practice it takes to follow the panto with the laser, it'll take me a lot of practice to get more proficient. I'll help my friend with her project when she does one so we both get practice. 

The back looks really good because the thread color blends well. Most of the fabrics in this quilt came from the club's stash, including this backing. 


I'll admit, using the long arm for the first time was a bit stressful. But I'm looking forward to future opportunities to quilt charity quilts for the club so I can get more practice. Because there are so many people who want to use the long arm, one can only sign up to use it every three weeks. And if you don't use it at least once every three months, you have to take the training again. Maybe next time I quilt on the long arm I'll do a freehand meander from the front of the machine instead of following a panto from the back. It would actually be faster, easier, and less stressful. 

This quilt is a donation for the club's charity efforts. I'll put the club's label on it and wash it, and it will go to the hospice we support. 


Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Alycia Quilts


Monday, August 23, 2021

Intriguing Concept

 While making my Kool Kaleidoscope* I was intrigued by the concept. So far my KK looks like this.


It works because of the sewn strata, strips of fabric sewn into stripes. What if instead of sewing strata you used a striped fabric? 

I found one in the PCQ club's stash that could work, and something for the background. There wasn't enough of the stripe for all the rounds, so I added a black and white print and some yellow of my own. I used mostly the same templates as in my original KK above except for the outer round. 


Interesting. Using striped fabric works but if I'd had more of it I would have placed the stripes differently in a couple of the rounds. I used every available inch of the stripe and my B+W swirl print. I might play with using striped fabric in this type of kaleidoscope design again some time, if I find the right kind of stripe and companion prints and can get enough of it. 

When sewn up and quilted this will be a 36" baby quilt and the club can add it to the donations they give to the local social services agency. 


*Kool Kaleidoscope is a free video series offered by Ricky Tims of The Quilt Show. 


Linking up with Small Quilts and Doll Quilts and Love, Laugh, Quilt

Friday, August 20, 2021

Finally!!!

 Whoo-hoo!  Finally! 


Like everything during Covid, it took much longer to get than quoted due to lack of parts, but it finally arrived. Fun!


No, we don't play golf. It's just a second vehicle so one of us can use it to go to activities within the community and the other can use the car when needed "outside the walls." 


Certainly something to celebrate this week! Whoo-hoo! 


Monday, August 16, 2021

Kool Kaleidoscope Progress

Work on my Kool Kaleidoscope* continues. A couple of friends are making KKs as well, and it's fun to see how everyone's KK is coming along. Our color choices are so individual, and the Kaleidoscopes are stunning. 

Ricky's directions specify pressing the seams between the Wedges open. Knowing that 12 seams would have to come together in the center and it would be very bulky, I made a small test "center" to see how it would look. I was not happy with the result. 

I prefer to press the seams all to one side, so they would spin at the center. Pressing to one side also makes it possible to stitch in the ditch for quilting later. 

Starting with the first quadrant, all seams were pressed and the center point was squared up, with extended points from the Nose trimmed to 90 degrees. This already reduced a lot of excess fabric at the center.


The top two quadrants were seamed together, and likewise the bottom two quadrants.


Then the two halves were joined. 


I was able to spin the seams at the center to minimize the bulk, and press it as flat as possible. 


It came out okay, not perfect, but flat and not obnoxious looking. 


I can see why Ricky recommends using a print or blurry fabric that will camouflage the center. 

So here's my KK so far, Wedgies and Butts added and all the Wedges sewn together. 


Sorry for the crooked photo. It really did come out square and it lays surprisingly flat. I was afraid it would be wavy or bubbly but it really came out better than I expected. When you see the whole kaleidoscope you don't notice the seams at the center. 

Next up, borders. I went shopping last week and picked up more of the black batik and the accent colors, so now I can work on finishing the borders. 


*Free video lessons from Ricky Tims of The Quilt Show. No need to subscribe or be a member to watch and participate. Wedges, Wedgies, Butts, and the Nose are actual parts of the pattern. More info here.


Link ups: Small Quilts and Doll Quilts, Love Laugh Quilt, Quilt Fabrication