Friday, April 29, 2022

Quilting the Bolt of Lightning Quilt, Part 2

 Yes, I listened when this quilt told me it needed channel quilting in the lightning bolts. 

Not finished yet...
I'll trim it and use it as a teaching sample for a machine-finished binding class in May. 

Monday, April 25, 2022

Quilting the Bolt of Lightning Quilt

 I'm teaching a machine-finished binding class in early May so I need to have a demonstration sample ready to go. I specifically want a sample with points at the edge to teach how NOT to cut them off with the binding, so I'm using my Bolt of Lightning quilt. Here's the top on the wall before I fixed the layout problem. It's fixed and now the coral at the top matches the bottom, both ends pointing into the corners. Quirkier, more modern, and I like it better.

I didn't think about how I would quilt this when I designed it with such high contrast fabrics. What color thread??? It definitely doesn't want an allover panto. What I've decided to do is quilt it on my domestic machine so I can change thread colors as needed. 

I've started by stitching in the ditch along the diagonal seams, separating the black and white prints from the colors, and meandering in the prints. The I'm using a charcoal grey thread and the quilting totally doesn't show at all. 

Then I'll come back with thread to match each color and do something in those areas. Not sure yet if it'll be more walking foot quilting to emphasize the jagged shape, or just meandering to get it done more quickly. Walking foot quilting would look better but it would require at least three passes per lightning bolt, and that's a lot of quilt wrangling. But that's what the quilt is telling me it wants. We'll see. 

This project will be on hold for a few days while I go to Paducah. Anyone going? Want to meet up? Leave a comment and maybe we can connect while I'm there. I have a quilt in the show, # 508 in the Group Quilts category, HOW MANY, aka the WIGSP. I'm looking forward to getting together with some of my St. Louis friends, who have all moved elsewhere like me. And seeing some friends who've stayed in STL, too. 

Link ups: Small Quilts and Doll QuiltsLove Laugh Quilt

Friday, April 22, 2022

Blue Bars Flimsy in the Yard

After some tweaking, I was able to get the navy and pastel Color Bars blocks kitted up. Scroll down to Monday's post to see where I left off. I had a very productive day at social sewing on Wednesday, and I was able to get the blocks assembled to a flimsy. 

It's extremely windy here today so to take photos I ended up laying the top out on the rocks in the yard. Even though I weighted down the corners with rocks, the wind still had its way with the fabric. 

My yard is desert landscaping: fake grass and gravel. We've been adding potted cacti to the plants that were already there. 

We have two Palo Verde trees that are blooming profusely and dropping yellow blossoms like snowflakes. All that yellow on the rocks is Palo Verde petals. 

Murphy got in on the action. He doesn't like walking on the rocks, so he sat at the edge of the grass and sniffed the breeze. Here you can see more of our pot garden and our patio. This photo was taken about 10am. We get sun in the morning - nice in the wintertime! - and deep shade in the afternoon, which is the best possible aspect for a home out here. 

The quilt photos were taken from out in the yard. Here's the view we usually see from our patio.

Our yard is unusually deep for homes here, so we have lots of room for plants. We're slowly making it our own, but planting season has ended for the summer and will start up again in October. Every plant and tree in the yard is on a drip line watering system and DH has run lines into all the pots, so every plant gets water on a schedule. 

In the yard we have artichoke agaves, a lemon tree, a valentine bush, bougainvillea, Palo Verde trees, and a Yellow Bird tree. We recently planted an organ pipe cactus, just a baby now but they get big, and an ocotillo, not visible in the back right corner behind the tree trunk. On the mound we have boulders and two big clusters of barrel cactus, and a hedgehog cactus which is finished blooming now but it gets gorgeous orange flowers. 

In the pots on the left we have a desert spoon, something we named Flat Stanley because it's as flat and two-dimensional as a cactus can be, a Morroccan Mound, Clarence the lumpy totem pole cactus, pine cone cactus, and baby hedgehog cactus. On the right we have some kind of succulent, a Victoria agave, some artichoke agave pups, a bunny-ear cactus, an African Milk Plant, an Old Man cactus, a firestick plant, a mammalaria with pink flowers, a single barrel cactus, and another desert spoon. When we find interesting specimens we add them to our collection. The tall standing woody thing is a saguaro skeleton. 

OK, so I got off topic a bit - what started out as a quilt post turned into a yard post. Oh, well, they're both works in progress. 

Linking up with Alycia Quilts for Finished or not Friday

Monday, April 18, 2022

Color Bars, a PCQ Community Service Sew Day Project

The project for PCQ Community Service for April was quilts for adults. The quilts will go to the local hospice we support and are much appreciated by the families of the patients they serve. For April the committee made up kits for the sew day, using the Color Bars pattern (see tab below header). 

We had about 18 or 19 kits made up. It took several sessions of cutting to cut all the strips, even using the die cutter, to make that many kits. We used mostly the club's stash for the dark colors and some light prints we had ordered in bulk for the lights. The prototype is typical of the colors in the kits, warm neutrals for the lights and random darks: 

I had also cut some pastel strips from my own scraps and from bits and pieces from the club's stash. These were much more multicolored and varied than the light neutrals (low volumes) for the kits. It used up a lot of leftover binding strips and backing off-cuts, as well as some one-off scraps.  

Knowing that in merchandising, navy is often the base color that grounds a palette of pastels, I used some navy from the club's stash for dark strips for contrast. This kit is one of a kind, and I nabbed it for myself to sew at our sew day last Saturday. 

I was able to get all of the blocks with dark outer strips made at the sew day. 

And a good start on the light blocks, but I didn't get them finished before it was time to clean up. 

Since then I was able to finish the blocks and put them all up on my design wall. 

It needs a little tweaking, then I'll label the blocks and kit it up for assembly at one of my social sewing Wednesdays. It'll be 60 x 80" when sewn, a good size for an adult throw as preferred by the hospice. 

I really like this palette, very soothing. I hope this quilt will bring a little comfort to a patient and family served by our hospice. 

Friday, April 15, 2022

Bolt of Lightning Flimsy

This is the first of many, I hope, charity quilts for our local family services agency to come from the fabulous box of black and white prints sent by Julie

I love the variety of prints - Thanks, Julie! - and the cheerful colors. When this flimsy gets quilted and has the quilting texture rather than just piecing seams, it'll be even better. 

I see a design decision that I'm second guessing. See how the upper coral bold of lightning parallels the green, but the lower one veers off? Now I'm wondering if I should make them match. If so, which way? On the one hand the eye likes to see them all going the same way as on the right. On the other hand, I really wanted this layout to have some irregularity, which is why the blue and green stripes aren't parallel and there's more negative space. That's what I was going for on the left. Either way it's an easy fix at this point. 

This was a quick finish, but it's been so windy here that I haven't been able to take photos until now. Finally, a calm morning, but as always here, the sun is wicked but the shade is too dark, so you get bright sunny pictures. 

Linking up with Alycia Quilts and TGIFF

Friday, April 8, 2022

A PCQ Charity Quilt, Finished

When I was first developing easy patterns for PCQ to kit up for charity quilts, I thought we needed baby quilts among other sizes. So, I made this prototype in baby quilt size, using fabric from my stash. The top finished 37-1/2 x 45".

It turns out we need quilts that are a little larger, closer to 45 x 60".

I had barely enough of the grey print to make three more blocks, but a bit more of the lavender. Six more blocks made a 45" square, but still not big enough. So I added accent strips of purple and used the lavender print for borders. The top came up to 45 x 58", close enough. 

Since it was always intended to be a PCQ charity quilt, it was eligible to use the club's backing and batting. Last week at social sewing I was able to get the batting cut and the backing pieced. I quilted it on my domestic machine at home, and now it's a finish. 

For speed and ease I gave it an allover meander. Except, I added flower-like shapes within the meandering, in each of the lavender blocks and in the borders. This was a new-to-me attempt at something more than just a meander, and while it's nowhere near perfect, it's pretty good and I like the result. 

Can you see the motifs on the front? They show up better on the back. I used more of the lavender print from the front for the binding. 

So now it's a finish, just in time for show and tell at PCQ's spring luncheon next week. 

Later I made a larger teaching sample in the same pattern, no border, and that's the version we kitted up. Several PCQ members have already finished their quilts made from the kits we provided at the March sew day. At the luncheon next week everyone who made charity quilts from our kits will show them as a group. I'm looking forward to seeing them finished! 

Linking up with Alycia Quilts and TGIFF

Monday, April 4, 2022

Bolt of Lightning on my Design Wall

The box of black and white prints from Julie was so enticing, I just had to dive in and create something. I played in EQ8 and raided my stash for some cheerful solid colors, and came up with a project using half square triangles. I found solids in coral, turquoise, and green in my stash, not much of each but enough if I used them all. 

I sewed the HSTs at social sewing a couple weeks ago, but then put everything aside while my son and grandson were here visiting last week. My sewing room was converted to guest room mode for their visit. 

Based on my EQ plan, I started putting the HSTs on the wall. I didn't want just ordinary chevrons, so the layout has a bolt of lightning effect. To get the effect I wanted I needed some all black and white HSTs, too. 

Continuing the layout with the coral blocks; I had more of the coral fabric so I was able to balance out the top and bottom with it. 

The blocks will finish at 7" so the top will be 49 x 63" when sewn, a good size for a donation quilt for a teen girl. 

I used a variety of black and white prints, 7 in all, six from the box and one from my stash. I turned the black and white HSTs so the diagonal seam runs parallel to the blue and green.

 The colors are really much perkier than they look in these photos. I think this color combo looks good and will be suitable for one of the clients of the agency we support. 

The pattern is super easy, a 7 x 9 block layout of 7" finished squares. I chose to make 7" squares because I could cut 8" squares for the most efficient yield (least waste) from my WOF, to make two-at-a-time HSTs. The resulting 49 x 63" size is perfect for our needs. The blocks are now off the wall, labeled and kitted up so I can sew the top together at social sewing. 

Link ups: Small Quilts and Doll QuiltsLove Laugh Quilt

Friday, April 1, 2022

March Stash Report and Goals Update

I had a light list of goals for March because I knew I'd have some non-quilty things going on. DH and I went to Palm Springs for a few days, and my son and grandson came from Missouri to visit for GS's spring break. A good time was had by all. 

March activities did not include any fabric shopping, so nothing was added to the stash. A couple of tops were finished so I can count out the fabrics that were used in them. 

Blue Strip top inspired by Carla's scraps;
I'm counting only my own fabrics used in it for my stash report. 

March Stash Report: 

IN this month: 0
OUT this month: 5-1/4 yards (Teen Quilt teaching sample, 3 yards. Blue Strip top, my fabrics, 3-1/4 yards.)

IN YTD: 5-1/2 yards
OUT YTD:21-1/2 yards
YTD Net Change:16 yards OUT

I'm definitely reducing my stash so far this year. That will change in April. 

Goals Update: 

March Recap: 

1. Finish prepping kits and lead the project for PCQ Charity Sew Day on Feb. 12. Done; sew day went well.

2. Quilt the blue strip top, bind and finish the quilt. Not done.

3. Finish Winding Ways top for No Shame Train. Done, post to come next week (will figure yardage for next month's stash report).

4. Assemble the coral snake blocks into a flimsy. Progress; blocks are sewn into rows but rows are not sewn together.

 - Made new teaching sample top for PCQ Kid Quilt, suitable colors and size for teen girl.
 - Cut strips for more Kid Quilts and for Color Bars quilts; enough light strips for at least 8 more quilt kits are cut. 
 - Created new page under blog header to make charity patterns readily available. 

Teaching sample, kid quilt top in teen girl size and colors

April Goals:

1. Continue working with charity committee to make kits for Color Bars quilts and Kid Quilts. Participate in charity committee prep day Apr. 7 and sew day Apr. 16.

2. Cut and kit up pieces from donated black and white prints for charity quilts to work on at social sewing. 

3. Quilt the blue strip quilt on the club's long arm (booked for Apr. 13)

4. Quilt the lavender kid quilt before April 11. 

5. Travel to Paducah for AQS Show April 26-30; attend the show, visit with friends, and have fun.

These should be do-able. I'm especially looking forward to that last one!