A View of My Quilt Life

Friday, July 31, 2015

Setting Everything Together

I hit a LQS and found a great medium blue batik for the stop borders I think I need.

I was close to right - when pressed out the center section measured 37 3/4 inches, not 37 15/16ths inches like I thought. 

I like the idea that all the movement in the center is stopped by the blue strip and then the creams give a nice place for your eyes to rest but it's not completely quiet like a solid would be. 

Definitely like the one above as compared to the one below.

The corner units will need a blue stop border of some kind too.

And I have yet to figure out the gap spaces.  Hopefully, inspiration will hit as I stitch the center together.  This quilt keeps getting bigger and bigger as I design as I go.

Hope you have a great stitching weekend!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

What's Behind Door #1

This is Door #1 this week.

I personally framed in, hung this door and trimmed it out a few years ago.  This was one of Mom's long time wishes - a door on the hot water heater closet.  Before the opening was covered by a piece of wall paneling, backed by wallboard, and screwed in to the wall.  It was a giant pain in the butt to  access the hot water heater, not to mention cumbersome and heavy. Okay - just plain stupid!  Mom found the narrow door and enlisted my construction skills to make it happen. 

I had to add a few 2 x 4's and some lathe to get the opening to size - which suddenly became an issue now that we needed to get the heater out of the space.  Well, it turned out that since I was the one to build it, I was the perfect person to be here when the plumber arrived.

I removed the door and the trim work.  The plumber grabbed his Sawzall and cut out one of the 2 x 4's framing the space.  It was non-load bearing, so all was well.  That gave him just enough width to wrestle the old unit out.  Getting the new heater in became a two man job (not me!), as it had to be lifted up and wrangled around the existing pipes, before being lowered into position. 

The 2 x 4 was replaced, the door rehung and the trim work nailed back into place and we are good to go.  And I now know exactly what needs to be done for the next time, which hopefully won't be for many years! 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Big, Giant, Huge HST units

I didn't have any plastic or thin cardboard handy to make a triangle buddy to mark my lines on the giant batiks squares.

But I did have my Easy Angle ruler and it was just big enough.

These stitched up in no time at all.  As you can see, the corners are oversized.  I did this on purpose for two reasons. One - the measurement would have been something weird like 37 15/16ths inches; and two - this brings the center section up to about 60 inches square.  

Not Pressed Yet
That means I can piece more of the small hst blocks to make the rest of the remaining border if I want.  Which, frankly, I don't think so. I'm not interested in making a couple hundred more inch and a half hst units.

But I will have to come up with something to finish out the borders. Going to have to think on this one awhile longer.  And go find something else to piece in the meantime. 

Just looking at the pictures as I type this post, I think I need add a narrow blue stop borders around the center blue and cream section. Don't have any suitable yardage with me to audition for those, so assembly will have to wait - DRAT!!  Oh wait, there's a LQS about 20 minutes from here...

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Back to the Cutting Board!

Nope - no more batiks squares! Well, not little batik squares anyway.

I wanted to make sure I had projects for the evening hours so I grabbed a few extra things. Remember this? 

And then the deconstructed parts?

They came along for the ride. It's time to figure out the new layout for this quilt.  I knew I want to set the middle 9 patch on point.  But I didn't want just plain whole piece neutral setting triangles.  Of course not.  The math is tricky enough and since I decided to piece the triangles out of triangles, I just kicked the difficulty up a notch.  When in doubt - oversize them! 

I'm using the draw lines on the back & get two HST units from 2 squares method.  Since the HST units in blue and cream finish at 1.5 inches, I decided I'd use 6 inch finished  size cream HSTs to make my setting triangles, so that the scale related to each other.

Neutral batik squares

I cut the squares at 7 inches - they are huge!  The double stitching lines are all drawn on 40 of them. When I start stitching these, the batik squares will be my leaders and enders so I'll have two projects underway.  Stay tuned to see if my math is anywhere close to what it needs to be...

Monday, July 27, 2015

Finally - I Have Batik Squares!

It took an amazing amount of time to get all of the 2" batik squares cut!

Every time I thought I had all the batiks rounded up, I turned around and remembered another stash - like this pile.

I was running out of time to get things packed up so these strips were roughly cut from the batiks Teresa sent me last month.  I so have to include these special fabrics!

Wait - what??  Packed to go where? To Michigan!  Since I am still working remotely, when the the hot water heater at the Michigan house decided to die, Mom asked if I could come up & be here for the plumber to come do his thing. Fortunately, the Michigan house has DSL!  I'm thrilled I can help out my folks, still work and enjoy the peaceful surroundings!  Drake is thrilled that he got to come with me.  

Anyway, with time running short, I madly slashed my way through the green batik drawer, cutting down strips.  They filled an entire shoe box.

Sunday morning was devoted to cutting squares from the strips.  The final shot of red tin before any sewing commences.

Okay - confession time: The tin does not contain a square of every batik I own.  I have some hot citrus colors allocated to a specific future project that I won't risk running short on just to get my 2 squares of each color out of. Just. Can't. Do. It. 

Let the sewing commence!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Need Another Bin? Or Two? Or Three?

The cutting in between is coming right along.  I've worked my way through the blue, red, orange/yellow and neutral batik drawers. That leaves the entire green/teal drawer yet to be cut.  I'd love to get this done by tonight so I can start the sewing together this weekend.

The Red Tin is filling up though it can be hard to tell from the photo angle.

Notice the towering stack of blue squares?
A more meaningful measure is this:

Two inch strip bin filled to overflowing already.

I've almost filled a second bin and need another bin or two!  Yikes!

Oh, I'm officially dropping out of the 'Through the Prism' challenge - just can't get in the groove on it.   That meant I could strip the batiks out of that project bin and add them to the cutting table pile for the postage stamp and strip cutting queue. 

Yep - I'll be cutting squares from those charm packs too! No piece of batik is safe from my rotary cutter.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Switching to Slow Stitching

I haven't had a slow stitching project under my needle in quite some time.

The side effects of some meds require me to have things I can take up & put down easily right now - like cutting down some stash fabric.  And doing some hand quilting.  Remember this panel I picked up in Paducah back in April?

I got it layered last month and hadn't touched it since.  I picked it up the other day & got started - see my progress?

Not likely as I started with black outline quilting.  Here's the back.

Not a ton of work but it's a start and after the outlining, the stitching should get a lot more interesting. This one will be around for a while.

I must confess there is a big project hanging in the wings that I either need to move forward on or take a pass on. Just not sure yet. This week is the tipping point on it - stay tuned to see which way the decision goes.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The View of My Cutting Table

More specifically, the view of my cutting table right now.

Here's the process.

Open a batik drawer, grab out a handful of fat quarters, half yards, or whatever sizes pieces are hanging around in there.

 Take them to the cutting table and and start slicing off strips.

Every piece gets a 2 inch strip or two cut off.  And one of the 2 inch strip gets two squares cut off for the Red Tin.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat!

By working in sections on each drawer/color, the cutting is manageable.  It's something I can work on in the 'In Between Moments'.  Then it's not such an overwhelming huge project. Because, let's face it - cutting every piece of batik I own is going to take some time.  I'd just not rather it suck up all my dedicated sewing time.

However, while the Red Tin may have the capacity to hold all the 2 inch squares, the dedicated strip bin is getting rather full.

I relocated the 2 inch strips to another container. 

They'll need to be sorted by color family too, while I'm at it.  Wonder if the DH would mind helping with that project down the road?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Stitching the Rainbow!

Rainbow Pony Pad, that is.

Meet Dudley.
Dudley - Dressed up for youth day camp fun show
Isn't he the cutest little pony?  He's a small Shetland pony up at the barn and his color (all the critters are assigned a color for their individual equipment - halters, saddle pads, grooming boxes) is rainbow!  But his small size causes some fitting issues. 

Sempstress to the rescue - ANYTHING can be made over with a bit of stitching.  In this case, we found a gently used rainbow saddle pad that needs some serious shortening. Like 5 inches taken off the back length. 

Binding half sewn back on.
The bad thing - and it really on a minor issue - is that it has to be handsewn back together.  Even trimming the inner cell cushion back from the edge leaves canvas and a thick fleecing to be sewn.  The singer workhorse machine took one look at it, made an attempt using upholstery thread and said "No way. Not going through that!"  So it's back to me, hand stitching the layers together and then sewing the binding back on.  The problem is I am really short on utility needles around here and I've already broken one in half.  Have to be really careful to get the rest of the rainbow sewn with the remaining needle I have so as not to have to even go near a store.  Maybe I can put them on the shopping list for the DH.

And speaking of rainbows - more of the daylillies are blooming. A darker rose red and a double peach.

I need to find a pretty lemon yellow one to add to the collection.  And I need to split and replant them next spring. Right along with the monster hostas that have overrun the shade garden this year. You can just barely see the fern and the astilbe back there.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Stash Enhancement

Right - I'm the one who just said last week that I need to go through my stash and start cutting some of it down in to the most used strip sizes so that more of the fabric becomes something, not just hanging around looking pretty and taking up space.

I was innocently driving home from a midday meeting and decided to take some of my lunchtime break at LQS... or two. I know many quilters are enjoying the Row by Row experience during their summer travels.  I hadn't given it much thought and I'm not really inclined to take on another  quilt project right now BUT I like the fun fabric license plates.

And then a few fat quarters followed me home. It was too humid outside to dry these on the line, so I had to settle for the downstairs bathroom - the lighting is not great for pictures so image these brighter - purple, red, orange and blue.

And then more neutrals followed the fat quarters.

Colors are a little richer in person
The only good thing I can say it that these pieces have already had strips cut off of them and added to the scrap strip bin.  I even cut down 2 inch squares from the new fabric and added them to the Red Tin.

The process of cutting squares from the batik stash and adding them to the Red Tin has begun. Going forward, I am trying to continue to 'Shop the Stash'.  Just need to stop driving past quilt shops!

Friday, July 17, 2015

A Semi-Squishy Package in the Post

I LOVE packages in the Post.  This one was beautifully packaged and arrived quickly from April's 1930 Featherweight Shoppe.

Look at the orange rick rack!
Not only was it pretty but everything was carefully padded and protected, especially the light bulbs.

New bulbs, new needles, extra bobbins, replacement screws, more oil and motor lube.  The Featherweight Girls are going to be soooo happy tomorrow - Machine Spa Day!