Friday, 9 February 2018

Bon Voyage

This is it. The day is finally here. We are leaving tonight to go to the airport for an early morning flight.
Did I get all of the Four Patch top together? No, but I did get this cut out and sewn.
2018-02-08 17.14.08 Aren’t they cute? I have had this fabric for a while and could not decide on a way to use it. Finally I just cut it up and sewed it. Better done than dithering.

Totally off the cuff, improve, making it up as I went. I can see I cut the blocks off a little to close but too late. There is one more border to go on but that will have to wait until we return.

And checking off to-do lists, I also got the Jacob’s Ladder quilt delivered. My friend was over the moon delighted with it.  She sent me a picture this morning of it on her bed.
Resized_20180209_102236It was a total surprise to her that she was going to receive it. The joy of her seeing what was in the gift bag is as big a reward as one could ever wish for.
And now off for some of this:
2015-04-03 11.28.19

 And this:

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

New UFO project

Well, since it is a UFO it really isn’t a “New” project. But having finished my previous UFO it was time to pick another one.
2016-01-04 14.55.15This is the first picture I can find of them in my files. Four Patch Revisited from Adventures with Leaders and Enders . 2018-02-07 12.02.11 January 4th 2016. It was a Four Patch challenge that Bonnie posted about, and I jumped right in.  I put a twist to it in that I decided to make the four patches with plaid shirt for one side and a solid of a colour of the shirt on the other half. Well, not really a solid, but dense enough to pass for one at a distance. That didn't last very long, and I kept the idea of the shirts but got less picky with the companion block.

I did get all the four patches for the centre of the top together and the layout done by November of that year. And rows clipped together it has sat in a plastic bin since. Mostly because I’ve been doing more deadline, gift giving quilts since then. And also because I thought I needed 300 more four patches for the border.
2016-11-08 08.54.39
So, while puttering  working hard in the sewing room finishing the bindings,  I pulled out the box of four patches, did a count, rechecked the pattern and jumped in.
I didn’t need 300 and I had over half of what I did need. Plus a whole stack of 1.5 inch strips I’d cut up while taming the shirt pile a few months ago. This looked do-able. And sure enough, in a few hours of sewing time I had them all finished.
Hubby swapped out my bedroom machine so I’m back in action upstairs, webbing the rows together. And downstairs, I’m putting the neutral border squares together with four patches.
All of this will come to a full stop in a few days as we pick up our suitcases and head off on our vacation. But I bet I can get a good portion of it done before we go.  So now to link up with Jo and see what is happening over at the Country Junction

Sunday, 4 February 2018

BOM update

Linking up with Jo for the Block of the Month Challenge:
I did get one of my BOM done last month.  Well almost all done. It was supposed to have embroidery in the centre block. However any time I spent working on this was spent looking for my embroidery hoop.
Only to discover when I did find it and put the block together, that I had traced the design on the wrong side of the fabric.
2018-02-04 14.19.27 Not sure if I am going to re-trace the numbers. Too much else going on right now to think about it.
I did pull another pattern for this month and selected fabrics for it. So on track with that.
2018-02-04 14.20.17-1I haven’t started cutting yet.
Instead I’ve been trying to print more shapes for my hand-pieced Double Wedding Ring project.  Looking back through the documents, it seems I first downloaded this from Inklingo in September 2014. It has dragged on so long due to being a hand project that only comes out when we are traveling.
And since it is an Inklingo project, the only way to get new pieces cut is to print them on the fabric with my ink-jet printer. And that is not going well. It is refusing to load the waxpaper-fabric combination. I don't think this is because of the combination as it does this to me with paper also. But it is frustrating as heck.  I need these printed so I can take them when we leave next Saturday for the Caribbean. 
So back to pushing buttons and trying over and over to get this to load.  Or I just make a template and cut them individually. It is doubly frustrating since this is the only reason to have this printer and I kicked up a fuss to buy it because it was supposed to work so well printing Inklingo. Definitely time for a vacation, everything is going haywire on me.
Addendum: I called in my IT guy. Hubby came and spent some time problem solving the issue. He finally got two pages printed for me before going back to vitally important things, something about a foot long ball or a show in half time. I don't know what he's talking about.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

A UFO Finish at last

At long last my neutral Jacob’s Ladder project is a finished quilt. Still a few threads to weave in or cut off. And the top of the label to hand sew. But those are the fiddly bits and hardly count.
Looking back to see now long this has been a work in progress, it really started when I purchased some beautiful Japanese yarn-dyed fabrics at a guild meeting. That would have been in February, 2015. That was the winter that I tried to take part in a quilt guild only to discover that I spent more time buying fabric at meetings than sewing.
They didn’t seem to have get-togethers where they just sewed on their own projects, instead had classes in Art quilts and stuff I wasn’t interested in plus days of charity sewing which ended up being on days I was working . 
But back to this bundle of fabric. I tracked down where it had come from, And was very pleased to see she is still selling this fabric bundle, although the price has gone up. Maybe I’ll splurge someday a buy some more.Japanesefateights
I picked them up thinking of doing Swing Your Partner from Scraps and Shirttails.  However, after starting to cut the first few blocks, I realized I had made a significant error. The pattern called for fat quarters of 16 fabrics, I had something called a fat eighth.  Not enough fabric to get all the pieces for the block.  And now had a whole bunch of it cut into 2 inch and 3.5 inch strips and triangles.  I needed another pattern that would use those sizes and shapes.
They sat for almost a year before I found a use for them. The 8 inch Jacob’s Ladder block uses the same pieces only not as many. So I was able to repurpose what I already had cut and sewn. Did that. Not enough blocks for a decent size top. Project sat some more while I did other things. Then along came the Quilted Twins with their taupe bundle. And in no time at all, (well a couple of months since I see that I started posting about it in October), a finish.
2017-10-26 14.39.49Trying to use every bit of these Japanese fabrics, I even pieced together leftovers.
2018-01-28 15.30.57

It’s going to be hard to part with this. But I can’t keep them all and I have a good home in mind for it. A close friend lost her father last year and I had promised to make a shirt quilt with her father’s shirts. However all he had left were the knit, golf- T’s that wouldn’t make anything remotely interesting.
So I’m going t20180131_154729o present this to her instead. She has commented several times, on Facebook pictures of the progress, how much she likes this so I know it will be appreciated.
I get to feel good twice, once for the finish  and second for making a friend happy.  Totally warm and fuzzy.
Now to link up: Jo's UFO challenge

Monday, 29 January 2018

Monday Update Jan 29th

Another week gone and very little progress on the string project.
Most of my sewing time was spent on the two quilts I was quilting and binding. A great deal of time in the binding, or more precisely the choosing of fabric for the binding. Coupled with the calculations and rigmarole of making continuous bias binding.  I know everyone has pretty well switched to the doubled over non-bias strip method. And I was doing that for years, including hand-sewing down the back.  But I have a binding attachment that I feel I should be using and I have discovered that it works better with the bias binding rather than WOF strips. Thus I am working at improving my skill with both the cutting and the sewing of the bias strips.
So here’s one of the finished quilts, the Bricks and Stepping Stones from Bonnie’s free patterns. Which I've shown several times but this is it, done, finished, out of here. Label on, binding on, just needs a good wash and it's ready to go.

2018-01-28 15.29.31 While I was doing all this, no string piecing got done.

20180123_171621And when I did try and squeezing in a few quick trips under the needle, I kept getting thread jams. Which probably means it is time to pull this machine out of the cabinet and get it cleaned.
Looking over at it now, I noticed a block that I did finish this week. However it wasn’t a string unit. It’s a totally new project, the Farmer’s Wife Quilt.  And I have three of them done.
2018-01-25 20.47.24
So that’s it. Now to link up with Jo and see what’s going on over there. 20180123_171757

Monday, 22 January 2018

Monday String Update

20180122_130640Well here it is Monday and time to link up with Jo and see what progress has been made on our string projects.
Very Little.
Like only two units done this week, plus some of the pieces I’m going to use as a border.
This is about the worst effort so far. And last week seemed to be just zipping along, full of enthusiasm. Until a head cold smacked right into me and knocked me into hibernation for a few days. Luckily it wasn’t anything worse and I did regain my energy level.
Which I channeled into finishing the quilting on the Bricks and Stepping Stones quilt
Bricks and Stepping Stones
20180122_130522and making binding for the Jacob’s Ladder. (which is the fabric rolled around the thread spool above the Spider units in the first picture)

Show Off
Oh and I had a brain storm idea about the border for Show Off, so I worked on that for a while. Becky’s pattern called for a piano key border which I had been putting off working on. (I’m quite good at procrastination).
Then while searching for the baby quilts the other week, I came across a strip of shirtings assembled for a bargello. The light bulb went off when it occured to me that I might get three strips of piano key border by subcutting it. ( Bonnie’s Scrappy Bargello pattern calls for 16 inch strips).  That left some more pieces to add on to make the side length but it gave me a quick head start. 
Of course this was only possible because I had forgotten the correct measurement for the border was supposed to be 5.5 inches. For some reason the five stuck in my brain and that’s what I cut. And that’s what I’m going with.
Now off to make binding for the Bricks.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

UFO Challenge Update

This week I can almost cross a two year UFO off my list. The neutral Jacob’s Ladder is quilted and awaits binding. It has been hanging on the basting wall for probably a month, while I was too busy with other things. However, I needed to get the Bricks and Stepping Stones quilt done as it is on a deadline. So Jacob had to come down, and rather than take it down unbasted, it got basted. And then it got quilted.
Now it just needs binding cut and applied. I started calculating for a continuous binding and even got the first cut of the fabric. I was so pleased to find a really good match for the border fabric in my solids, it is almost the same shade as the lettering, a really difficult greeny beige that goes with hardly anything.  The quilting in this one is  simple diagonal and straight lines with a heart loop in the border.
But I needed to keep quilting momentum going. So before I switched to the binding attachment,  I jumped in and basted the Bricks and started quilting. Almost finished today. Just one more row of the quilting in the body of the quilt then the border.
20180116_201837Not quite sure on the binding for this one, if I had something in mind, I’ve forgotten what it was. It is probably sitting in plain sight waiting for me in the sewing room. I’m feeling unwell tonight, not bad enough to say “sick”, just not myself. We have done really well at dodging all the illness going around this winter but had a very sociable weekend so might have picked up a bug. Thus, I am writing this up ahead of tomorrow's link up with Jo and putting myself to bed to rest.