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Archive for the ‘quilting’ Category

Design Wall Tuesday-09.03.13

Well, I forgot all about posting yesterday since I was off and not hardly even aware that it was Monday, save for the fact that I’d remembered to shut off my alarm the night before.

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I have almost all the blocks cut for the Scrappy Diamonds charity quilt.  I would have had them all done this morning except I ran out of time to cut those last two corner triangles. I know that when the Today Show comes on, I have to shut down the studio and get downstairs and make breakfast or I’m going to be late for work. Given that today was the first day of school, I was expecting traffic to be a bear, which it usually is, although not today. Go figure.

This is not the final layout of blocks, they’re just thrown up there as I was cutting. I’m going to take all these with me to the next Stitchers meeting and sew them up there. They will also be sashed with Kona Snow. This is my first time with diamonds and 30degree setting triangles so I’ve got my fingers crossed that they will all go together.

If you haven’t already, here’s Judy L’s page, go and check out what everyone else is doing this week.

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The super-secret quilt was finished and delivered yesterday. I’m very pleased with how it turned out. My friend Margaret quilted it for me.  I’m grateful she was able to do it quickly.

Now on my design wall is a bunch of test diamonds for the next charity quilt. I used EQ7 to do the layout (just diamonds and setting triangles with sashing) and bought some rulers/templates with the hope that they’ll make the cutting process easier. What I did this morning was easy enough, but I won’t know until I add some sashing if the units will play nicely with each other. After I confirm that everything will fit together correctly, then I’ll cut more for the “real thing.” I’ll just kit them up at that point and take them to the next Stitchers meeting and do the sewing there.

So that leaves me with the next personal project. What will it be? I was gifted years ago with a fat quarter bundle of indigos that I’ve always loved but never had a pattern in mind for. Since they were all blue, I’ve added some beige/tan FQs and some maroon ones for a more well-rounded color palette. I have found a pattern I like, so I think I’ll work on that next. I don’t have a purpose for it, but I don’t think that’s a requirement, now is it?

That’s all for me, head on over to Judy L.’s page and see what everyone else is working on.

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The super-secret project is at the longarmer’s. The binding has been prepared and just waiting for the next step.

I have a new Stitchers project in my head (and in my Electric Quilt). It will be scrappy 60-degree diamonds with sashing.

EQ7 doesn’t have tools to deal with diamonds and triangles that require geometry to figure out. In my case, I found a layout in the library that looked like the diamonds should be 60 degrees, but you have to stand on your head to find out what the default angle is. Here’s how you do it: color a plain block in the layout and select it with the select tool (the black arrow at the top of the vertical toolbar). Then go to Print>Rotary Cutting>Preview>Zoom in>click and drag over cutting diagram  to see what the angle is. In the case of the 8″ x 14″ Variable Point the default is 59 degrees (close). The 7″ x 10″ Variable Point is 70 degrees. I didn’t want a block as big as 8×14, so my problem was trying to figure out a good size and keep it at 60 degrees. I want to be able to use either a ruler with a 60 degree mark or a specialty ruler in the construction, rather than templates.

So, at Stitchers yesterday, we talked about how to accomplish this but none of us could remember our high-school geometry. I asked about it later on the Info-EQ list and got a very detailed method which requires the Pythagorean Theorem. I think there should be a website that you can use to calculate this kind of stuff. It would be even better if it were built into EQ. After all the trial and error, I settled on a 6″ x 10-5/16″ diamond.

Anyway, that’s what’s going on over here, head on over to Judy L’s site to see what everyone else is working on.

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The super-secret project has sashing strips (a few rows still need to be sewn together) and next comes the two borders.

I thought I’d have it done by now, but I didn’t get any sewing accomplished this weekend.

That’s what’s on my wall, here’s what’s going on with everyone else at Judy L’s blog.

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I finally finished the latest Strippie quilt for the Stitchers group. My progress on it was interrupted by the dress and hat I made for Anya, plus I missed a Stitchers session or two.

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I backed this one with solid blue fleece and had more problems with it than I had with the Minkee I used on the other ones. I think if I use fleece again, I will just bind it.

On my design wall is my next super-secret project:

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This pattern is the cover quilt on the May/June 2013 issue of Quilty Magazine. I’m using the same fabric line, Moda’s Comma, which is really cute with punctuation marks: commas, periods, asterisks (or as the lady in the quilt shop called them, “jacks”). I’m making some modifications however. The original design has huge 10″ wide white borders, white backing and white binding. That’s just way too much white to be practical. Maybe if it was going to hang on a wall, but I hope this one will be used. The design utilizes a jelly roll, which I’ve never worked with before. What a time saver! But I couldn’t find the border, binding, and backing yardage locally, so I ordered them from Fat Quarter Shop. I hope to finish this within the next week or so.

That’s all for me, go to Judy L’s page and see what everyone else is up to.

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turnstile block (EQ7)

I had seen a quilt with this block in a magazine and decided I would like it in a baby quilt. I looked for it in the EQ7 block libraries and also in BlockBase, but didn’t find it because I was searching on “pinwheel.” I had to ask around and someone else found it in BlockBase as “turnstile” although the pinwheels turned the other direction. By then I had already drafted it myself, which is the better way to go, because we all need practice with Electric Quilt, don’t we?

I made a 9″ test block, for an adult-size quilt and it came out very nice. I’m always hesitant to work with triangles but this was a breeze:

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Although it doesn’t look like it, it is square.

But for a baby/kids quilt, 9″ blocks are too big, because there are not enough of them to make for a good looking layout. So I tried 6″:

Test Turnstile block #2-Edit

What a disaster! When I squared it up to 6.5″, I lost my seam allowances on 2 sides and one side is not a full 1/4″.

So I tried it again:

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Much better!

But I also wanted to try paper-piecing:

Test Turnstile block #1-Edit

Holy cow, this is what happens when you don’t print a mirror image of the block. And to think I got the whole thing put together before I figured that out.

So I did that and tried again:

Test Turnstile block #4-Edit

It came out very lovely in the end, but not without some drama. I found that in one of the quadrants I’d switched the positions of the light and printed fabrics and had to take it apart and fix it.

This is why I don’t design many quilts on my own. Too much stress! LOL

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Pink Strippie Quilt

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I finished another Stippie Quilt, this time for my local charity sewing group, Stitchers. I backed it with Minkee, pillow casing it so that I didn’t have to worry about batting or binding. It was SITD quilted, about the only kind I can do myself.

One more Strippie is in the works, in primary colors. Stay tuned.

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This year the Quilt Festival in Hampton, Virginia fell on the same weekend as my church’s Women’s Retreat in Fredericksburg, Virginia. I haven’t been to every one of the quilt shows since I’ve lived in Virginia, but I wanted to go to this one and visit the Featherweight vendor for some bobbins and maybe other things.

I had two choices: go to the show on Friday and drive to Fredericksburg afterward, or go to Hampton on Sunday after the retreat was over. The latter wasn’t very appealing as it’s a 2 hour drive between the two cities and the retreat wouldn’t end until about 11:00 or 11:30, usually. Some people don’t stay for the Sunday worship but as I was the photographer, I felt I needed to be there. So I opted for the former and it worked out pretty well. Except that I ended up not taking many pictures that morning. Oh well.

The weather Friday morning wasn’t the greatest, freezing rain. I planned to get on the road by 9:30 but decided to wait to see if the weather got any better and by 10:30 it had changed to rain so I headed out. I got there at noon, caught up with the Stitchers group who had gotten there earlier, talked with them a little and then made my rounds of scoping out the quilts and cruising the vendor booths.

By 2:30 I was on my way to Fredericksburg. I have to say, I think this year’s show was disappointing. At least to me. I didn’t see any jaw-dropping quilts, although every quilt is filled with sweat equity and I know about how much work goes into them. I’m not discounting the craftsmanship but the designs didn’t excite me.

I have a developing interest in beading on quilts, so I limited my picture taking to those with beads. Oh, and my friend Margaret (from work and Stitchers) had one of her quilts on display so I got her picture next to hers.

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When I texted my husband to let him know I was hitting the road again, he asked me if it was worth going all the way out there just to stay 2.5 hours. It was, of course, I got my bobbins and talked to the Baby Lock dealer about the serger I want (still couldn’t afford the show price) and you never know ahead of time if it’s going to be a good show or not.

So here are the photos I came home with:

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If you went to this show and got more out of it than I did, that’s great. Maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn’t had to get out of there at a certain time. And the show always takes a lot out of me even when I’m not on a time constraint. But the Stitchers were there from 10-4 and they must have a lot more fortitude than I.

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Snap Happy II bag

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I want to talk a little about the pattern for this bag. If you have made one, perhaps you ran into the same annoyances I did. I don’t want to say the pattern was not tested properly, it’s just that the directions could use an overhaul. Read completely through the steps and make sure you understand each one before you start.

First off, the yardage requirements aren’t quite right. There’s no reason to buy a half yard (18″) of the fusibles when you only need 10″; buy one third yard (12″). Of course, too much is better than too little. I’d be really hacked off if that were the case.

Second, I’m beginning to be a little wary of patterns that say “fat quarter” for yardage requirements. A fat quarter isn’t necessarily 18″x22″ anymore, it could be 18″x20″ or 21″. If your pattern makes full use of a fat quarter, make sure you know the layout of the pattern pieces before you buy your fabric. You might find yourself just an inch or so short. That’s what happened to me here. I opted not to make the pocket, which I would have made out of the lining fabric. The sleeve isn’t included in the yardage requirements for some reason. I wanted to make the sleeve out of the lining fabric and I came up a half inch short. So I bought another fat quarter. It’s no big deal this time because I have a lot of the outer fabric left, I might be able to make a whole second bag. If not one this size, then one of the smaller ones.

The next problem I encountered was understanding the step about fusing the fleece to the outer fabric. I did figure it out, but “fuse it down in the center?” I discussed this step with my friend at the LQS and she thought it meant to tack fuse the fleece in a line down the center. No, I’m pretty sure that’s not what it means. That’s not how I did it.

The step about inserting the metal tape into the casing doesn’t explicitly say if you should put it in the front of the casing, between the lining and the outer fabric, or the back of the casing, between the outer fabric and the lining (the outer fabric is sandwiched between the outside lining and the inside lining. The tape could have been inserted either way. Maybe it doesn’t matter). I inserted mine in the front.

If you’ve never made a box bottom for a bag before, you’ll never ever figure it out from the directions in this pattern. Do what I did and check YouTube, I found a couple of videos that show exactly how it’s done. Another detail that’s not mentioned is what to do with the extra triangular pieces after you box the bottom. I trimmed mine with my pinking rotary cutter. There was just so much bulk otherwise.

I bought a sheet of plastic canvas for the inside bottom on the advice of the LQS friend who said if you use cardboard and the bag gets wet… But I’m not sure this inside bottom piece is even necessary. The plastic canvas isn’t as sturdy as corrugated cardboard and really doesn’t do much of anything to keep the bottom stabilized/square. I’m open to new suggestions for that. I have enough leftover lining fabric to make another one.

The directions could benefit from better/more diagrams. The ones they have are adequate, except the one for the box bottom, which isn’t at all helpful. A photo would be better. I also used Electric Quilt to diagram the fabric cutting layouts for different options: with a pocket, without a pocket, sleeve, no sleeve, etc. That’s how I confirmed that a traditional fat quarter won’t be enough if you want to make the lining, sleeve and tabs out of it. You could make the pocket and sleeve out of the outer fabric if you want, and maybe that’s what the designer was thinking, but I wanted the whole inside of my bag to be consistent. A third of a yard will do it.

You can buy this pattern and more from the designer, Stitchin’ Sisters or from Create for Less. The pattern costs more from the designer but the shipping is half as much as from CFL. I just ordered the original pattern for the smaller sizes. I had purchased a metal tape measure from the dollar store but I wasn’t paying attention and got one that was 5/8″ instead of 1″. Maybe the smaller bags can use the smaller tape. We have a new Harbor Freight Tools store in town and this weekend they were running a coupon for a free 1″ tape measure with any purchase, so I bought some rotary cutter blades and got my free tape.

If you’ve made this bag, I’d love to hear your impressions of the experience and what you might have done differently.

 

ETA: there’s a few things I left out of this post. When I fused the fleece to the outer fabric, it must have shrunk the fabric a little because the outer fabric and lining were no longer the same width. I should have squared up the lining to match the outer fabric’s width because I had a problem with the side seams. I had to take a wider seam to make sure I caught the outer fabric in it. It ended up being no big deal, but I’ve made a note to do this square-up process if this happens again.

Also, when you’re sewing the French seam, go back and stitch along the casing again. This stitching takes a lot of stress when you’re turning the bag inside and right side out during construction.

My LQS friend gave me a very helpful tip that I wouldn’t have thought of myself: if you’re using directional fabric for the outside, add a seam allowance to the length of your layout, cut the fabric in half and sew it together so that your directional fabric won’t be upside down on one side. You’ll have a seam on the bottom, but so what?

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Design Wall Monday 02.04.13

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This is what I made this week. It’s called Snap Happy II and measures about 7″x10″.

It’s bigger than I need and I made this one more as a test than anything else. They have patterns for smaller bags and I’ll probably try that next.

The cool thing about this bag is that you take sections of a metal tape measure and insert it into a casing at the top. If you insert the tape the correct way, the bag flexes to open and close. I don’t know what happens if you insert it the wrong way, I guess it doesn’t work 🙂

That’s all I’ve got going for now, I didn’t get the other Strippie quilt started, that’s tomorrow’s project.

Check out Judy L’s site and see what everyone else is doing.

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