Monday, February 16, 2015

Square and Triangles = Circle?

When I first saw this quilt block I couldn't get it out of my mind.  (For copyright reasons I'm not posting a photo but sending you to a pinterest image with the link to the blog post where the image appears.)  I'm not keen on appliqueing and kept thinking about how I could make a similar block using only squares, triangles, and rectangles.  I doodled some sketches.

Then I saw this block and wondered if little triangles around the center square would trick the eye into seeing circles, at least at first glance or from a distance.  I'm fascinated by angular shapes that sometimes give the impression of circles.

So I laid out some possibilities in fabric creating 12" squares.  Forget the colors and just look at the shapes.  I could go with one color in a range of fabrics, or more colors in a variety of fabrics.  So forget the colors.  Also look at the backgrounds.  From a distance do the center shapes look like circles?

With a center figure.

With a plain center.

With a second "circle" around the center and a printed background.
Those little rectangles would need triangles at the corners to truly give the impression of a circle.

With a muted background.

If I were to make blocks like these I ask myself if I would like all the "blank space" filling the four "corners."   Either the fabric would have to be interesting or the the quilting would need to fill and enhance the spaces.

Is this a real block, already created by someone else?  If so, does it have a name?  Anyone know?

So, that's what's on my design wall this week.  It's all play right now.

What are you playing with?

I'm linking this post to Design Wall at Patchwork Times.  Thanks, Judy.


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Hand Quilting Sunday Morning and Two Bibs

I thought I was making good progress on this quilt.  Then I took the hoop off to look at the back and, well, I have a long, long way to go.  Winter is a great time to quilt -- and it looks like we'll be having another 6 weeks of it.

I'm quilting diagonals across each block using masking tape for a guide.  With so many seams I knew I didn't want an intricate pattern to hand quilt.  The parallel lines are 1 1/2" apart and create a 4" square between two blocks.  I'll probably quilt another square inside that one using 1" masking tape.  I sure hope the masking tape doesn't hurt the fabric.  I've seen other quilters use it and they haven't mentioned any problems because of it.  

Looking through my fabric cupboard I happened upon this delightful fabric with vintage Valentine cards on it.  I've had it for years, probably bought on sale after Valentine's Day, and I've never used it.  Click on the image to see it larger or follow on Feedly and look at it there.  (Feedly makes the photos large enough to see details.)  Oh, and I took a few photos of some of the "cards" which you can see below.

I decided to use it for bibs for my grandbabies.  It's great fabric to camouflage all the food that doesn't quite make it to the mouth.  Can you tell which is his and which is hers?

I made scrappy backs.  I'll put the snaps on the backs tomorrow and then I can send them off.

I'm linking this post to
> WOW at Esther's Blog
> WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and
> Let's Be Social #58 at Sew Fresh Quilts.
Thanks, Esther, Lee, and Lorna.

I hope you're staying warm (in you're in the northern hemisphere) and working on something fun.


Monday, February 2, 2015

Quilts from a Sale at the Fairgrounds

The sale was one of those affairs where lots of dealers set up for a day or two to sell their wares.   

I love the vintage prints in this Double Wedding Ring but I'm not keen on the green and orange corner blocks.
Vintage Double Wedding Ring with Green and Orange Corners
The quilting in the "eyes" looks very Mary Engelbriet-y to me.
Vintage Double Wedding Ring with Green and Orange Corners

The colors of these wool hexagons delighted me.  This was not a quilt but several blocks.  They were not in very good condition.
Wool Hexagon blocks

These double nine-patches were blocks but not a quilt.
Double Nine-Patch Block

This huge tulip caught my eye, not just because of its size and color but also because of the handwork.  I think it was at least 12 inches long.  See a close-up of the handwork below.
Tulip Applique Quilt

Tulip Applique Quilt

This was a whole quilt but I could only get a photo of a part of it.  I just now realized that it's quilted with Baptist Fans.  (It's hard to spend too much time when others aren't interested in quilts, so I miss a lot of details until I see them in photos.)
Large applique flower quilt

I don't know the name of this block....

I've noticed that one needs to be very aware of the odor of old quilts.  Sometimes the smell won't come out.  Still, I love to look at and photograph them.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

All Is Well

It's amazing what a good night's sleep will do for one's attitude about and insight into solutions to problems.  There was last night's mess that I didn't want to fix -- that I just wanted to be fixed.  I awoke with more energy and a clearer vision of the problems I would have if I just left the quilt back as it was.  I decided to remove the quilt top (that hadn't yet been pin-basted) and batting and increase the width. 

I added 8" along the left side in the photo above and the back is plenty big now.  It may not be as good as if I'd measured correctly the first time, but it will work.

Thank goodness for sleep!


Measure Twice

You know that old adage, right?  The one that says, "Measure twice, cut once?"  I worked in a wood shop for a few years so I know that adage.  But do I think of it when I'm working on a quilt?  Not usually.

Case in point:

The Sunday Morning quilt top laying on top of batting and backing.  Before making the backing I measured the top at 67 1/2" x 90".  I spent nearly a week making a scrappy back that measures 76" x 98", or a little more.  (I didn't think I needed to be too careful about the outside edges of the back being even so some sections extend wider.) 

I finished the back today, pleased to have batting on hand, pleased that I could get on with the layering, basting, and finally the quilting, which is what I really want to be doing. 

I pinned the back to the floor.  I layered the batting on top.  I carefully laid the quilt on top.  What?  How could the back not have 4" all the way around?  I measured the top again only to find that the real measurement is 74 1/2" x 90".  Disappointment set it.  I am so sad.

As I see it, I have three choices:
  1. Take off the top two layers.  Take out the pins in the back.  And add a strip of fabric along the width of the back.  (I have no interest in doing this.  I'm tired of working on the back of this quilt.)  Or,
  2. Remove one block along the width of the quilt top, thereby making it 67" wide.  Are the proportions out of whack for a quilt to measure 67" x 90"?  Or,
  3. Quilt it as it is and try not to let the top shift (and add fabric to the back if/when I find it needs it.)
Have you ever had this problem?  What did you do?

One more quilting lesson -- learned the hard way.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Scrappy Back In Progress

Scrappy quilt back for Sunday Morning quilt
- a mess on the way to becoming a quilt back -

Sewing together large pieces of fabric is so far out of my comfort zone that I almost backed out of a scrappy back for my Sunday Morning quilt.  It feels like a puzzle but without the help of the photo on the box.

The first challenge was whether to keep the colors light or use medium tones.  I thought if I used medium tones it would be like having two quilts in one, but I couldn't commit to the light and medium back to back so I've stuck with a lighter color range.

The next challenge was whether to use only a particular range of colors.  The quilt has a wide range of light colors -- tints! -- in it.

Then the layout.  Then the measuring, the cutting, the sewing.

I hope it lies flat when all the pieces are finally stitched together.  The layout has been in progress for a few days.  I hope the cutting and stitching will go quickly.  Only a few of the pieces on the lower right have been sewn together and, of course, I may change my mind again about the fabrics and arrangement.

I'm linking to
> Scraptastic Tuesday at She Can Quilt.  Thanks, Leanne.
> WOW at Esther's Blog.  Thank you, Esther.
> WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.  Thank you, Lee.


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Book List, 2014

A few years ago my daughter chided me that she hardly ever saw me reading.  I took that as a challenge and have been reading ever since.  I usually fit it in during bathroom breaks (which are sometimes longer than needful).

There are comments about some of the books, especially for the ones I really liked (or had a problem with).

Book of Ages:  The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin.  Jill Lepore
Benjamin Franklin’s sister, Jane Franklin Mecom, is an unknown:  a common, ordinary woman who lived a quiet life doing what needed to be done to stay alive and help her family.  She just happened to have a famous brother.  I love Jill Lepore’s writing style.  At times poetic, at times crisp, always interesting.  Near the end of the book she discusses the challenge of writing a biography about a person who left nearly nothing behind.  This is one of my all-time favorite books.

The World of Downton Abbey: The Rivalry and Romance Revealed, The Secrets and History Unlocked.  Jessica Fellowes

Mornings on Horseback: The Story of an Extraordinary Family, a Vanished Way of Life, and the Unique Child Who Became Theodore Roosevelt.  David McCullough
Teddy seemed a joyful person, interested, even exuberant, about life and learning.  I came away wishing I could have known him in person.  Teddy stands tall among my “favorite” men of history, as does his father.

365 Thanks Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life.  John Kralik
Excellent.  It motivated me to be more grateful and to say so.

Glitter and Glue.  Kelly Corrigan
Her profanity was a problem for me.  (It seems to me that an author cheapens herself, maybe even makes herself seem less intelligent, by using such language, especially when the book is written in the first person.)

A Coal Miner’s Bride:  The Diary of Anetka Kaminska.  Susan Campbell Bartoletti
I have coal mining ancestors so this was of interest to me.  Written for teens. 

Still Life With Bread Crumbs.  Anna Quindlen

The Clock Winder.  Anne Tyler

The Moon-Spinners.  Mary Stewart

Calling Invisible Women.  Jeanne Ray
A light, fun (and funny) read.  Clover walks out of the shower one morning and can’t see herself.  (Have you ever felt invisible?) 

The Ivy Tree.  Mary Steward

Airs Above the Ground.  Mary Stewart

The Stormy Petrel.  Mary Stewart

Thornyhold.  Mary Stewart

Step - Ball - Change.  Jeanne Ray

Nine Coaches Waiting.  Mary Stewarrt

Orphan Train.  Christina Baker Kline

Madam, Will You Talk?  Mary Stewart

A Wolf Called Romeo.  Nick Jans
I enjoyed learning about this legend of a wolf and about wolves in general.

The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion.  Fannie Flagg

The Romney Family Table:  Sharing Home-Cooked Recipes and Favorite Traditions.  Ann Romney  

Fifty Children:  One Ordinary American Couple’s Extraordinary Rescue Mission into the Heart of Nazi Germany.  Steven Pressman
Excellent.  What a challenge.

A Perfect Day.  Richard Paul Evan

The Care and Management of Lies:  A Novel of the Great War.  Jacqueline Winspear

Big Stone Gap.  Adriana Trigiani

The Book Thief.  Markus Zusak.
About several youth and their families living in Nazi Germany.  There was some blasphemy.

Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Little Golden Book.  Diane Muldrow

Picture books
Fred Stays with Me!  Nancy Coffelt, illustrated by Tricia Tusa
The Art of Miss Chew.  Patricia Polacco
Because Your Mommy Loves You.  Andrew Clements.  Illustrated by R. W. Alley.

Picture books about potty training.
Once Upon a Potty.  Alona Frankel
I’m a Potty Champion.  Kitty Higgins
The Teddy Potty Book:  Say Goodbye to Diapers.  (No author)
The Potty Book for Boys.  Alyssa Satin Capucilli
My Big Boy Potty.  Joanna Cole
Prince of the Potty.  Nora Gaydos
It’s Potty Time.  Tracey Corderoy
Ian’s New Potty.  Pauline Oud
You Can Go to the Potty.  William Sears, M.D.
Done with Diapers!  A Potty ABC.  Rebecca O’Connell

These Is My Words:  The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901.  Nancy E. Turner
Semi-biographical; based on the life of one of the author's grandmothers.  What challenges she faced!  I liked this quote:  “Mama told me to make a special point to remember the best times of my life.  There are so many hard things to live through, and latching on to the good things will give you strength to endure, she says.”

A Life Intercepted.  Charles Martin
Martin is one of my favorite authors.  His main characters are usually men who, though not perfect, behave in morally upright ways.

She Left Me The Gun:  My Mother’s Life Before Me.  Emma Brockes
Non-fiction about a woman trying to learn about her mother's life.

Paw and Order:  A Chet and Bernie Mystery.  Spencer Quinn

The Snow Child.  A Novel.  Eowyn Ivey

Have you read any good books lately?  Can you recommend one or two?  I'm always on the look-out for a good book to read.


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Three Things

ONE.  I'm hoping not to buy more fabric until I've used more (much, much more) of the fabric I have.

TWO.  I need to layer a quilt and begin hand quilting.  I'm at a loss without handwork and I finished the most recent quilt nearly a month ago.  The one above is the next to be quilted.

THREE.   I don't have a piece of fabric large enough for the back of this top (or any of my finished tops).  This means I'll be piecing a back from fabrics I have on hand, including cotton and linen, yardage and pieces.  I think it will be almost like making a second quilt top.  It's the first time I've tried piecing a back from only "scraps."

These are the fabric possibilities.  The photo's a little dark but I hope you get the idea.

It's always hard to choose backing fabric when the fabric in the quilt top is so varied, especially if I don't want a plain fabric.  Even though the top has all pale fabrics, there's a variety of colors - cream, pink, blue, tan, white, and colors between.

It should be fun.  It will feel like a huge success if I can sew small, medium, and large pieces of irregular-shaped fabric into one large back that lies flat (that may be the hardest part) and looks appealing.

Wish me luck!

I'm linking to Design Wall -- January 5, 2015 at Patchwork Times.  Thanks, Judy.


Friday, January 2, 2015

Four Corners Bound - the Last Finish of the Year

I finished very few quilts in 2014 -- maybe only this one -- but that's okay.  The pleasure of playing with fabric, of planning and sewing a quilt top, of hand quilting, are enough for me.  But I do like to share finishes -- and this one was a long time coming.  I began hand quilting it June and finished the quilting in December.  A long time!  I added the binding during the 2nd week of December but because of work and Christmas activities I wasn't able to finish it until last Friday night.

This is the quilt I stewed over because I knew the binding would cut off the points of some of the squares around the edges.  It did but now that it's finished, I see that it's okay.  It's just another step in my learning.

After I wash, dry, and take some decent photos I'll write another post with all the stats and what I learned in making it.

I'm linking this post to
Thank you, ladies.

Happy New Year!


Monday, December 29, 2014

The Twelve Days After Christmas

I'm so sad that Christmas is over.  There's such a wonderful lead-up to the day -- good cheer, music, a festive atmosphere -- and then on the 26th it's as if Christmas never happened.  My gentle celebrations of the holiday will continue a little longer with carols, lights on the tree, and maybe a Christmas movie.

I heard "The Twelve Days After Christmas" for the very first time a week or so ago.  It seems appropriate to share it now.  (And then I'll go back to some carols.)  Merry Fourth Day of Christmas to you.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

My Christmas Wish for You

Much of joy and Christmas cheer,
Health-a-plenty through the year,
Shadows light and sorrows few.
This is my Christmas wish for you.

Merry Christmas, friends.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Binding Uneven Edges

The hand quilting is finished on the the Plaid Churn Dash.  It only took about five months - for better or worse.  I wasn't in a hurry and it was a little warm to sit under a quilt during the summer months.

When I laid it out to cut off the extra batting and backing I remembered the unevenness where some of the edge triangles join, shown at the bottom of the photo below.

I asked you readers in an earlier post what you would do in the case of a quilt made years ago before you had enough experience to be successful and whether you would try to fix those large triangles around the edges.  Most of you recommended leaving it and chalking it up to lack of experience, which is exactly what I did.  I think I'll be doing some fudging when I stitch the binding on.

I hope to stitch the binding on tomorrow and then I can begin hand stitching it to the back.

I'm linking this post to WOW at Esther's Blog and W.i.P. Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.  Thank you, ladies for hosting.


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Late but Sincere Wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you've had a wonderful
Thanksgiving Day,
rich with blessings
with gratitude.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Monday, November 24, 2014

Searching for a Border

The top is stitched together but I haven't decided about a border / borders.  The top is a little on the smallish side at 54" x 72" so it really needs a border.  I thought narrow red then wider tan then a piano-key string border but it didn't work (and I forgot to take photos).  Then I thought narrow red with piano-key strings, but I didn't think that worked either.  Next I considered strips of red sewn together into a wider border.  (I don't know how I managed it but I have a lot of long red strings.)  My next thought was a dark, medium-width border.  I'll have to fold or cut some fabric to try that out.  Size isn't the only reason it needs a border, though.  As it is, it looks incomplete to me.

I worked hard to get the blocks stitched and ironed before family comes to visit this week.  I'll put it away now but after Thanksgiving I hope to pull it back out and give it more thought.

I'm linking this post to WOW at Esther's Blog.  Thank you, Esther.

I hope you're staying warm!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...