Saturday, April 30, 2011

Now what?

I have been merrily making templates, basting fabric to them and sticking the pieces onto my design wall. Once the bottom areas get squared off, this section will be 1/4 of my quilt and will measure approx. 40" square. This is going together very quickly.

But .... stop .... how the heck do I sew all those pieces together? At first, I was just sewing pieces together and then had to ask myself if there was an easier way to sew them together. So, a plan was devised.

First, the hexagon shape (with the inside square) would get sewn together. Then I would sew one square to the bottom of the top hexagon and start working my way down one vertical row (see how the vertical rows have been separated on the photo below and, yes, a few squares are missing on the left vertical row). You will have to decide if you want to run your thread (on the back seam allowances) to the next section or secure and break your thread and start on a new seam.

Once a few vertical rows are sewn together, then I start joining the rows together.

Any hand piecing project can be approached the same way. My hexagon star project that you see on the left side (top photo) was sewn together the same way. A method makes the job easier and much more enjoyable.

Once a few sections are together, then I can start to remove some of the basting and paper templates. It makes handling a lot better. The templates on the outside edges are not removed until I'm ready to attach outside borders. This way, the edges don't get stretched.

The large white diamonds as well as the white square in the 9-patch are a variety of white fabrics and the centre of the hexagons are a variety of beige/cream fabrics. A couple of times a year, I buy the Moda Muslims FQ pack of white, beige and cream fabrics. They really help to keep the look interesting and each time I buy, the fabrics are new designs.

My paper templates get re-used a few times before tossing into the recycle bin. They get stored into a small bin and ironed to remove any wrinkles and the iron strengthens them up again for the next round of basting and sewing.

Pretty soon, all my fabrics will be cut out and stored away in their appropriate bins (see my previous post about this) and I can start to clean up my studio again until the next time a new project gets started.

My source for this project is EQ6 BlockBase software program. I will have to come up with a name other then D046 (that is the block name) or Puzzle Tile. Something a little more catchy is required, don't you think?

Do you want to see another version of this block .... go here. Susis made a gorgeous quilt.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Scrap quilts

Whenever a new scrap quilt gets started, I try to have a game plan so that the overall look of the quilt looks even. I don't like areas where it is too dark or too light.

First off, my plastic cookie containers get pulled (love to recycle), my templates made (for hand piecing projects) and away I go. The photo below shows what is in those containers above.

Usually, my quilt gets broken down into four sections and gets labelled A,B,C,D. Some fabrics will show up in all four sections and other fabrics in just 2 sections (like A and C or B and D) and some sections will have just a single fabric in them so that the look is unique.

Below, the units in the poly bag are all basted up and ready to go. The fabric in the containers need to be basted and they will be perfect for on-the-go work.

My scrap bins and pre-cut strips are getting pulled left and right and my studio is such a mess ... once again. :o)

Wonderful, another quilt from my stash!

Oh yes, happy days are ahead for me.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Travelling hand work

Wherever I travel, hand work always comes along with me. This time around, a section of this project has been chosen to accompany me. I just couldn't transfer them onto a piece of batting as it was just too confusing to get them lined up properly. So, the stars and the connecting hexagons all got pinned together while they were still hanging on my design wall. It all looks jumbled and wonky. They got re-pinned and smoothed out onto another piece of batting ...

.... and this is how they look now. Neat and tidy. I will be very happy to finish this section while I'm away.

To all of you that celebrate Easter .... Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Hand work

So, what do you do when the power goes out for a few hours (as it did today)? Why, pull out some handwork and sit back, wrap yourself in a quilt and sew. That is exactly what happened to us today and this is the project that was worked on. It has taken me a long time, but I think I have finally found my niche .... scrappy quilts. This is what I enjoy doing the most... that and old time patterns and hand piecing. Just can't get any better than that. These blocks were made using the English Paper Piecing method and they are all done by hand. Yumm .... To Geri in SC, you asked about my markers that I use? Go to the left-hand side of my blog and scroll down to the LABELS section and scroll down some more to MARKERS. Click onto MARKERS and read all the posts for do's and don'ts. Have a great day!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Rounding the corner ....

Once this corner is quilted, my klosjes quilt will be close to being 3/4 done. So, for now, I'm just chugging along .... While hand quilting, my thimbles dull my needles and my handy emery board (the kind with foam layer in the middle) is perfect for sticking my needles into to sharpen up and I'm ready to go again.
At the end of every week, I can see progress and the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter!

Have a great day!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Star gazing ...

My Sweet Dreams top has me at a standstill .... indecision about the borders. There is a 2" pink border that has been sewn on and that is all that got done. I could put on a floral outer border which is the same fabric used in the 9-patch blocks or I could add some prairie points on top of the outer border in green to add some more interest. LuAnn is going to a retreat soon and will take a photo of this quilt that hangs at the retreat location. I'll see what that person did with her quilt and go from there. In the meantime, this top will be just hanging around. So, what do I work on next? After digging through my UFO's, this project is next in line for work. A ton of leaves have been prepped .....
... for the borders of this top. There are only a few more stars to make and the fillers to be added and then I can do some serious hand sewing. Warm weather is starting to head this way and I will need some handwork when it is too hot to hand quilt.
Have a great day!