Monday, August 29, 2022

A New Piecing Project for Social Sewing

My design wall today looks much like it did last week with the Cube Challenge laid out, except there's a gap where I've taken down the middle columns to add the background to the ends. You can see what it looks like here. This is a work-at-home in my own studio project since it requires measuring for each background strip.

I need a new project to sew on at Social Sewing on Wednesdays. No worries, I have something. Last spring when Quilt Diva Julie sent me a donation of black and white prints for my club to use for donation quilts, I kitted up a couple of projects for future piecing. Now it's time to pull one of them out to work on. 

Inspired by some things I saw on Pinterest, I'm combining colorful four patches with black and white bricks. I had some mini charms of solids so I've been using them as leaders and enders. 

Not quite enough, so I hit up a friend who a) works in solids a lot and b) loves and keeps small scraps, and she gave me enough to finish the quantity I need. 

You know how leaders and enders soon take on a life of their own and become the primary project? Well, that's the case with these. Now that I have enough twosies, I'll take them to Social Sewing and make four patches. 

I rarely work with precuts. These little mini-charms are supposed to be 2-1/2 inches. They're a little large and I'll have to square up and trim the four patches when they're sewn. I can do that at Social Sewing, too; I think the club has a 4-1/2" square ruler I can use. 

So between the Cube Challenge project at home and this one at Social Sewing, I have plenty of piecing projects to keep me busy for awhile. 

Link ups: Small Quilts and Doll QuiltsLove Laugh Quilt

Friday, August 26, 2022

A Successful Test

 That project I mentioned on Monday, a table topper to test my quilting plan for my Dresden Plate medallion quilt, turned out successfully. I used my friend's curved ruler and the ruler foot attachment for the BSR and carefully quilted curves in the blades.

With careful attention to holding the ruler and moving the quilt, the ruler work went surprisingly smoothly, as long as I took my time. I attribute the success to the small, manageable size of the project. The background quilting is a simple stipple so as to flatten it and not detract from the focal feature. I like the spirograph quilting enough to attempt it on my Dresden Plate medallion quilt, where it will truly be the focal point. 

This project has a third purpose as well, a teaching sample for the binding class I'm teaching next week. It's just the right size to demonstrate my glue-basting method. I will partially attach the binding, then demonstrate the rest in class. 

Three birds, one stone. Success! 

Link up: Alycia Quilts

Monday, August 22, 2022

A Trip and a Test

 Last week DH and I took a little break from the Phoenix heat and visited some friends who live near Durango CO. We've been friends with them since our college days, and every time we get together, no matter how long it's been, we just pick right up where we left off. 

It was so nice to visit a cooler area! We had the use of a condo near Purgatory ski area and it was very comfortable. We went hiking, easy hikes for us flat-landers who aren't acclimated to the elevation. We hiked to Spud Lake, beautiful scenery. There's a beaver lodge in the lake and we saw a beaver. 

We visited Silverton one day, not on the train, although we've done that in the past. Another day we went for a 4-wheel drive on the back roads behind Purgatory ski area. The rocky road winds around to where the lifts go up to. Incredible views! This is looking toward Potato Hill (aka Spud Mountain) from the top of one of the ski runs. 

It was really nice to take a break and visit our friends. But since this is primarily a quilting blog, let's catch up with what I've been doing in the studio since our vacation. 

I'm quilting the green Dresden Medallion quilt. A friend is encouraging me to try ruler work on my domestic machine. She loaned me a couple of rulers and her Bernina ruler foot, not stitch-regulated. Then I found a ruler foot attachment for my BSR, and I've been practicing with it. 

So far, though, I've been doing mostly walking foot and FMQ meandering on the medallion quilt. I did use the curved ruler on the orange peels. Not horrible, but I definitely need more practice. 

I may have a plan for quilting the center Dresden Plate but I need to test the idea and practice with the ruler. I can practice on any quilt sandwich, but to test the idea, I need an actual Dresden Plate to stitch on. 

So, I made a new test and practice sample. I hope eventually it will be a table topper, if it turns out okay. I plan to quilt the Dresden Plate portion like a spirograph, and stipple the background. This is also a teaching sample because I have a binding class coming up next week and I can demonstrate with this project. 

 Wish me luck with my test and my ruler work practice! 

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

PS - That beaver we thought we saw at Spud lake? DH got out his monocular and we discovered it was just a large duck paddling near the beaver lodge at the far edge of the lake. What a disappointment!!!

Monday, August 8, 2022

Cube Challenge Progress

The triangle strips for my cube challenge project are all pieced and up on the design wall. This will be a queen-size quilt when finished, about 98 x 98 inches. It looks a little wide for its height now but the width will shrink in when all those vertical seams are sewn, and it will be symmetrical. 

The next step will be to cut strips of the background to piece at the top and bottom of the triangle strips. I waited to cut them because I wanted to verify the size to cut based on the actual sewn width of the triangle strips. 

After that, just vertical seams, but a lot of very precise matching of points with lots of pinning. And careful pressing with all those bulky seam allowances to manage. 

Link Ups: Small Quilts and Doll QuiltsLove Laugh Quilt

A side note, I'll be taking a blogging break for a couple weeks due to some non-quilting activities going on. 

Friday, August 5, 2022

An Older Finish: So Inclined

Last week when I posted about my Dresden Medallion top in shades of green, I looked for photos of other quilts I've made in this palette and discovered that there's one I never photographed and posted about. Well, let's fix that here and now. 

This is So Inclined hanging in STLMQG's 2019 quilt show. 

The palette is one of my favorites, analogous hues ranging from yellow green to blue green, all shades from light to dark.

This started as a project for the Sew Bee Its, the bee I belonged to in STLMQG, when it was my turn to hand out sometime in 2014. Each person made a block and a border segment. I named the block So Inclined because of its shape against the background. Here are four blocks:

I provided a handful of precut wedges, the background fabric, and a template for the wedge. I asked the girls in the bee to stick to the palette represented by the swatches I gave them, and they did a wonderful job of following the color scheme.  

After the blocks came back to me, they sat for awhile. Finally a couple years later I assembled the top and put it on my long armer friend's wait list. I asked her for modern quilting, no feathers, and she did amazing ruler work. This quilt was finished probably in 2018 or maybe early 2019. 

At the time I didn't post about So Inclined because I thought I would write and submit a book proposal featuring this block and some others related to it, with several quilt patterns using the Inclined concept. But my book Cut and Shuffle Quilts was in work at the publisher at that time and there were some frustrations with the publishing process so I didn't pursue the book idea. 

So, this is an older quilt that's never been shared on the blog before. So Inclined, twin bed size. 

If there is any interest in a tutorial for the block and some layout ideas, let me know and I'll post one here. It's a much easier block than it looks. 

Since I usually photograph quilts against the wall in my backyard, I couldn't resist this shot with my baby lemon tree. See it's one little green lemon? Pretty foliage against all those organic greens in the quilt, I love it! 

Monday, August 1, 2022

My "Cube Challenge" Project

 The challenge for PCQuilters this year is "The Cube." The project can be anything, quilt, pillow, tote bag, whatever. It's due in March 2023. 

I found inspiration and how-to in a book purchased at the AQS show last April, Stunning 3-D Quilts Simplified by Ruth Ann Berry. I modified one of her designs in EQ and made my own version.

It's pieced in columns and here are most of the columns on the design wall. I pre-cut the triangles and kitted them up, and started the piecing at retreat. A couple more columns are still needed to complete the design, then the background needs to be filled in. 


The background will be very dark green Grunge, almost black. Rather than continue to piece the columns in triangles, I'll cut strips of the background fabric to the appropriate lengths and piece vertical columns that way. 

When finished, it should look like this EQ rendering. It'll be about 98" square when complete. Huge!

It's planned for my bed or to hang in my foyer. My husband likes it and it would certainly be a statement piece in the front hallway. 

I've seen a couple of projects others are working on for the challenge, and all I can say is Wow, there are some talented quilters in this group!