my creative pursuits with quilts and knits

WIP Wednesday

I have a forced day off since my daughter is home with a sore throat.  She is tucked into her sick bed on the couch with a marathon of cartoons, and I have some extra time in the sewing room!  I am still working on Bonnie Hunter’s Grand Illusion (remember to print out the pattern if you want it free…she will take it off her website soon for future publication).

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The green checkboard rows are the sashing.  There will be additional borders.  If I can stay organized enough, I put tops together in a “twosy-foursy” method that I learned from Jackie Robinson.  I made myself some notes…

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Since you don’t want to end up with double sashing, some blocks get one, two or three sides sashed and then attached to other blocks.  My grand plan fell apart rather quickly, while I was trying to do multiple rows instead of an orderly progression.  I haven’t needed to rip anything yet, so it’s all good.  I just need to slow down and work step by step.  This is a perfect place to incorporate some leader-ender squares!

Epic

Today, 3-14-15, is a mathematician’s dream – Pi Day of the Century!  A friend of mine has posters in his classroom of all sorts of Pi puns, which I thought would make a cute quilt.  Now I will be on the hunt for small prints to make this work.

My first effort:  Cherry Pi(e)!

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Very simple process for a raw-edge applique block.  Find a pi symbol you like online, and print it as a five inch square.image Layer the paper on top of your focus fabric (cut a square 5-6″), on top of the background, which I cut at 6-1/2″.

Sew along the printed line of the pi symbol.  Tear away the outside of the symbol.  I left the middle paper in place for stability while I trimmed the fabric on the outside of the stitches.  Be careful to only trim the focus fabric – NOT the background!  When you are done trimming, remove the rest of the paper, and you are done.

I am looking for pumpkins, American flags (the song…), other fruit, etc.  Even a Mustache for Tom Selleck as Magnum PI, LOL.  If I can find pots small enough, that would be a cute block also…or a fussy cut shepherd, inspired by another tasty recipe.  What are your favorite Pi(e) day puns?

Free Motion Quilting

My best customer is keeping me in business ;-)  Thanks Mom!  She is a certified Angle Play (TM) instructor, and this is a class sample.

image (not wrinkled in real life, just laid on a chair for a quick photo)

I matched the thread to the rows and did a free motion swirl design across the blue sections and a fern feather across the yellow parts.  Here is the back detail.

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I think of the blue section as Landscape fill, since it can look like elevation lines on a contour map.  Here is a sketch of how it is quilted.  You can also search through Leah Day’s tutorials for a similar design.

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First break your space into smaller sections, then go back and echo the line.  I use alot of gentle S curves.image You can add a swirl here and there for more interest.  I also add a touch of McTavishing, which is a slightly different effect where one end of the curve always hits the same point.  This is a good filler design for borders.

I want to mention that if you ever see a quilt you are interested in purchasing, please contact me.  I am open to selling my work and I do quilt on commission.  I can teach workshops too!

Sunday Sewing

I finished a small quilt for my best customer…my mom :-)  We agreed on a pantograph so it was quick and easy to get this done as a sample for a class she is teaching on using stripes.

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I tried to get a close up of the panto design, swirly paisleys  image

I also made two more blocks for my True Blue 92 quilt.  The pattern is Double Friendship Star (pattern from Quilter’s Cache website).

image  While my students were taking final exams, I sketched out a final layout, but of course now I can’t find the scrap of paper with my calculations!  The plan is to make 92 star blocks to represent my college graduation back in 1992.  I chose 9-inch blocks, and I will make 2 of most of them.  Then I realized, the quilt will be HUGE, and I think I figured out a way to make some smaller blocks in the center and corners and keep the overall size around 90″ square.

Mystery Revealed!

Bonnie Hunter, at Quiltville, revealed her layout for the mystery quilt, Grand Illusion.  I love the shimmery effect, it makes me think of crystals and snowflakes.  I only had time to put a couple blocks together.

Here is the basic center with three of the weekly clues:

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I was going for a scrappy look, but I had a larger piece of the checkerboard pink print, so that will show up most often!

And then we added one more unit for sashings with some solid cornerstones.  TA-DA!

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On-going projects

I had hoped for more sewing time this vacation, but family outings have taken priority.

i managed to get clue 5 done for the Grand Illusion mystery:

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We (all of us MQAL followers) are anxiously waiting for Friday morning to see if we will be sewing more units or if it is time to put things together. You can find the mystery details as well as many other patterns and tutorials at Bonnie’s website (www.quiltville.blogspot.com)

In between clues, I have been working on some other UFO’s.  Over the summer I joined a Swoon block exchange. The blocks are in rows and I have a plan for borders, and have even started on the back!

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I also finished the December blocks for the Mod Mod QAL.

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Both of these are destined for Quilts of Valor.

Knitting Finishes!

I have been in a scarf/cowl knitting frenzy for a couple months, mostly because there is such luscious yarn to work with!  I have mentioned my “Dark Side of the Moon” scarf, from the rainbow colorway by Must Stash Yarns: image  I used a simple pattern to knit a garter stitch scarf which lets the yarn shine.

Next was the Bar Hopping Cowl in a limited edition Lorna’s Laces colorway inspired by Frozen.

image  This was a gift for the director of my daughter’s holiday ice skating show.

The most recent finish was a moebius cowl using a pattern by Cat Bordhi.  This was a gift for a fellow math teacher.  I used Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light, which is deliciously soft.  With 47″ needles, the circumference of the cowl is only about 15″.

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I do have another shawl on the needles.  My daughter’s group was invited to take their skating show to a nearby town for a performance on New Year’s Eve, and that means rehearsals every day between now and then.  Prime knitting time for mom!  I grabbed a skein of multi-colored sock yarn which is turning into a pretty hideous shawl.  A reminder for the new year: Life is too short to knit with ugly yarn!

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