my creative pursuits with quilts and knits

Slow Sewing

The trendy term these days for hand stitching projects is “Slow Sewing.”  In the busy pace of life, it is a joy to slow down and create things with your own two hands. This summer I started a hexagon project using the English Paper Piecing technique of basting fabric around a cardstock template, then whip-stitching the pieces into larger shapes.image

The traditional shape is a called Grandma’s Flower Garden.

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I made a few of these (and I would love to swap more…check out the #hexiefriends on Instagram!) but, I have a hard time following the crowd at times. I decided to sew the hexies into a diamond shape

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with the ultimate plan of making an Argyle pattern.

argyle

It was easy to make this diagram in EQ7. Under the Quilt tab, select One Patch Quilt, and it defaults to hexagons.  The layout is a bit skewed since I didn’t start coloring on the correct row.  My piece will be turned 90 degrees, but I didn’t figure out how to rotate the quilt in EQ7.  I’ll probably be working on this for the next 20 years!

Here is another project that I had to put my own spin on…the Mitered Square Blanket.  This example shows the standard layout.

image from Confessions of a Sockaholic, found through Google

I loved the idea of a multi-color project, so I chose a bunch of colors, but instead of making squares, I had the brilliant idea to use a layout called “Card Trick” where each color combination is found in 3 blocks and they look like an overlapping deck of cards.

frontside

The blocks were fun to knit…way back in 2008?!?!?  The seaming got the best of me, however, due to all those zig-zags.  I think I have all the groups of three seamed, and even a good chunk of larger sections.  When I glance at the box where this project is stored, I always think that if I just sewed one seam per day, I could finish it up…and then I pick up something else to work on!

What projects have you set aside?  Is it time to finish them or donate to someone who will?

Sewing Day

Once a month, my mom’s quilting guild hosts a sewing day at a local Bingo hall.  It’s a great space with plenty of room for everyone to spread out.  And there is a great Italian restaurant a block away so we had yummy Stromboli for lunch.  I wish I were retired too so I could join the group more than once a year!

I packed three bags…one is my sewing machine and then I have four different projects to work on.   image

First, I added borders to the leftover Swoon blocks and brought the backing up to size.  I hope to get this quilted before school starts in a few weeks.    image

Then I worked on some HST for the Starry Night for Josh QOV quilt-along.

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The tables were a little too low for comfortable cutting, and I didn’t have the correct size ruler and mat,  so I set this project aside.  Sometimes it is just not worth it to “make do” especially when there is new fabric to play with! image I opened a couple jelly rolls and started a new design.  Unfortunately, I did not think ahead more than one step, so I spent some time ripping while making the strip sets!

It was a lovely day, but now I am back to longarm work.  I have another Aviatrix Medallion on the machine and we are expecting summer thunderstorms as remnants of Hurricane Dolores pass by.

Next Up

I have been hopping from project to project this summer.  Here is what received the most attention this week:

image I loaded a customer quilt on the longarm.  I am using a pantograph.  The quilt is Fire Island Hosta by Judy Niemeyer.

I showed the Swoon quilt in my last post about unfinished objects.  I got the borders on it to bring it to the required size for a QOV.

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Now I need to finish the back. This is the part I tend to overlook, which really slows down my progress.  I have a stack of quilt tops ready to be finished, but if I don’t have a backing, then the longarm sits idle while I move on to the next piecing project.  Talk about a Catch-22!!  If I get the back ready with the top it will speed up the whole process.  Easy enough in theory, let’s see if I can make it happen consistently.

I am using four leftover Swoon blocks for the back, and I have plenty of yardage in my stash to bring it to size.

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I did get the two wall-hangings quilted and they are ready for binding.

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I am sure I can find something on TV this afternoon for background noise while I sew!  What are you working on today?

Ravelry UFO Club 2015

I am definitely motivated by a challenge!  For the past few years, I have participated in a group effort to finish those lingering quilt projects that seem to multiply in the closet.  The second-ever quilt that I started back in 2005, the Underground Railroad sampler, is still not finished!  So here is my list for the current Summer quarter:

image I am starting with the Garden Twister and the Riley Blake fabric challenge.  These are small wallhangings, so they will be loaded on the longarm together and hopefully done this weekend.

Next is the Starry Night for Josh QAL hosted by AlyciaQuilts.  This will be a donation for Quilts of Valor.

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Last summer I swapped Swoon blocks with other quilters.  I requested patriotic colors so this will be another Quilt of Valor.  It needs some border and finishing.image

Here is the rest of my longarm pile: image

Top row includes (L-R) 4-patch Posey, Star Chain, Star Light Star Bright, and 3Ps in a Pod.

Bottom Row (L-R) Grand Illusion, Talent Show Jelly Roll, Mardi Gras Barello, 3D Trees, Mystery QOV, and Square-in-Square QOV

As I get time between customer quilts, I hope to make a dent in this list before school starts.  YIkes…that is in a month!!

Small projects

We have been on a family vacation, and I wanted some hand work to take along for the plane rides and long trips in the car.

I am using a skein of Dizzy Blonde yarn/colorway Run Amok to make a scarf.

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I wound the yarn into two balls, and I am waiting to see how long it is after one ball before I decide if it is too wide.  I generally prefer skinny, long scarves, but I am trying to keep an open mind.  Plus, I am basically lazy and don’t want to rip it out to start over!

For my second project, I jumped onto the English paper pieced hexagon craze.  No scissors on airplanes, so I prepped a bunch of pieces before leaving home.

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I am making diamond units, and I plan to use an argyle pattern, so there will be solid color sections with white Xs.  These are 3/4-inch hexagons so this piece will probably end up as a wall hanging.

True Blue progress

Today Vicki is taking stock of her dream projects, so it’s time for an update on my next BIG quilt.  My college class was nicknamed “True Blue 92″ so I am making a blue and white quilt with 92 stars.  I shared the layout in this post.

Here are the latest blocks.

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I am trying to use a different blue fabric in each block so it will take some time to collect that variety.  I am using patterns from Quilter’s Cache, and many are paper pieced.  I need to do more organizing in my sewing room to find the blocks I made when I first had the idea for this quilt…way back in the fall of 2013!

Alternatives

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I was putting together the blocks for the 2014 Mod Mod Sampler from Block Lotto, and here is my epic fail at sewing curves.  I have successfully made Drunkard’s Path blocks with quarter circles, but these semi-circles were too much.

I needed to come up with something else for that space in the quilt.  I looked at some traditional blocks, but this is a Modern Modular design.  So I improvised, first trying string piecing.

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Then I turned to my favorite bit of quilting, the 2-1/2″ square.  I had a stack of red and blue squares and I needed a 7×7 grid to make my 14″ block.  Here is the arrangement I came up with.

imageNow I just need one more 14″ block and I can finish the sampler.

I keep sewing the split 9-patch as my leader-ender project.

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I have sewn 76 blocks, and I want 120 to make a quilt top.

 

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