Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Collection Quilt Finished

I started a new baby quilt, piecing the easy string blocks on my treadle. I love to treadle, but frankly I am not that accomplished on the treadle and string piecing is about all I can manage with any degree of skill. I borrowed a recent idea from Bonnie Hunter and cut the clocks diagonally to insert a contrasting strip. Had I been thinking ahead on this, I would not have used the white prints within the string pieced blocks so as to afford better contrast with the blocks when the white strips were added. Other colors didn't look quite right, so white it is! It will make a satisfactory little quilt for a boy.

I finished the Collection quilt by Carolyn Friedlander. It is hand appliqued and machine quilted. I love that she is doing patterns for applique in a modern style. So much of what I used to do in applique now looks Victorian to me or cutesy whimsical. Neither is a style I like very much. Or at least not enough to stick with finishing a project that has so much handwork in it. One of the small lozenge shapes in the orange section near the bottom of the quilt is way too small. Not sure what happened there, but I can easily remove the offending piece and applique another on that is the correct size.

I seem to be in a bit of a Carolyn Friedlander "rut" these days. I am working on her paper-pieced "Local" quilt which features houses. There are also two projects from her book, "Savor Every Stitch", that are in process. I also can't seem to stop myself from buying her fabrics at the LQS. Not a bad rut to be in, methinks.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

And Then There Was a Baby Quilt

A day spent with other guild members doing some scrappy foundation piecing resulted in this small baby quilt for a local organization. I used up a chunk of fabric that has been lurking in my stash since my early days of quilting. How do I know this?  One of the corners was notched to indicate it had been washed. A procedure I know longer bother with. Neither the washing nor the notching.  There wasn't enough of it, hence the different colored piece in the center. Once it's quilted with orange (?) thread, it is not going to be greatly noticeable. I hope.

I am making the 2017 BOM, Halo Medallion, designed by the late Sue Garman for thequiltshow.com. Due to not taking the photo straight and some over cropping to compensate, some of the star points have been nipped off. In real life, they are all there with a quarter inch of background around them to spare. The paper piecing was straightforward, but there were 19 sections to sew together after paper piecing and I sweat bullets to get the pieces to line up nicely. Not perfect, but I can live with it.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Cleaning Up

I have not touched En Provence since our group sewing day on December 31. Our guild's quilt show is fast approaching in March and while all six quilts that I am entering are finished and labeled, none have a hanging sleeve. I have figured out a method of sewing the sleeve on using the sewing machine, but it still takes time.

This week I made and sewed on the binding for this quilt:

I made a flanged binding with the main color being black and the flange a black and white print. It is not hard, but I can't sew it on quickly because it is done flipped over to the front and sewn in the ditch. With the high contrast between the white and black, it required slow sewing. I used an invisible monofilament thread as well which helped quite a lot. Here is a closeup of the binding. And, of course, as things happen, you can see one of the places where I veered up out of the ditch onto the black. Sigh. I will fix that before show time.

I have been working on the Carolyn Friedlander BOM, "Collection" over the past year. It is all hand appliqued within the blocks. I like to hand applique but have tired of what I consider the rather Victorian aesthetic I see in many of the patterns. This was a breath of fresh air and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. I realized that there was only one relatively simple block left to do, so I pulled out the project and worked on it last night. Tonight should see the last block completed.

A second Carolyn Friedlander BOM, "Local", a paper-pieced pattern, has also been resurrected. I only finished 2 out of 10 blocks so far. The paper-piecing is not difficult, so with any kind of motivation, I should be able to get this finished by the end of January. It's good to have a goal in any event.

I really like her patterns, which you can see here. Neither "Local" nor "Collection" are shown but I think that's probably because they are still being offered as BOMs. I have "Grove" and the fabric for it. One of the ladies in my guild made "Catenary" as a commission quilt for the gift shop at the Jefferson National Monument (i.e. "the Arch") here in St. Louis. The Arch is a true mathematical catenary arch as designed by Eero Saarinen. I also have made a quilt from Carolyn's book, "Savor Every Stitch."I wish there were more quilt designers who made modern applique patterns.

Bonnie Hunter is currently mostly at home in North Carolina for the next couple of weeks and has pledged to spend one hour a day cleaning out and straightening up her sewing space before allowing herself to sit down and sew. I tried that out this morning and accomplished more than I thought I would.  Especially as at least half the time was spent petting the fabrics and looking over the projects I unearthed.

I have now earned myself the remainder of the day sewing, so I think with that, I will sign off.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

The Big Reveal & Haste Makes Waste

Bonnie revealed the solution to this year's mystery quilt, En Provence. I was so excited that I quickly made up a few of the remaining blocks so I could make one 15" star block from the quilt. There are enough errors in this block to require an hour's worth of reverse sewing. Haste definitely makes waste. This is as far as I got on En Provence. There are a few more blocks sewn and a couple of sashing pieces, but nothing is sewn together yet. To see all the other fabulous finishes, visit Bonnie's Myster Monday Link-Up.

I made up one block from the airplane quilt in Bill Volkening's "Modern Roots" book.  The tail portion of the block involves appliqueing a triangle onto a dark rectangle. I want to be able to quickly machine piece this and also feel that a pieced section for the tail will be more durable in the long run. I drafted a simple paper-pieced pattern that was easy to make. The original is a vintage pattern and was made with the appliqued pieces. There are also circles appliqued onto the wings, but it reminds me too much of the rising sun emblem on Japanese war planes. I will be leaving those off as well unless I can find a good photo of the US Air Force emblem and if so, might use that instead.