Sunday, November 27, 2011

Row by row ...

.... my quilt top is getting sewn together. I'm at the half way mark and moving along quite nicely. :o) The bottom 4 rows are done, just in case you are wondering.Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sewing along ...

... on my Slice of Pie. Here is Kim Diehl's version on the cover of her book and .... .... here is mine so far. A little bit calmer for my eyes.

The blocks were actually quite fast to do up. The sashing is not. There are a gazillion squares and since my design wall is upstairs and my sewing machine downstairs in the basement .... well, I just had to come up with a plan.

To start with, my squares get sorted into lights and darks and are sitting on two pieces of styrofoam boards (recycled bits). Do you like my pin keeper? It has a magnet on the bottom and my pins don't fall out. Very important with kitties helping me. BTW, I purchased this bowl at Wal-Mart in the automotive section. This layout allows me to pin a couple of rows onto the design quite quickly. We like quick, don't we?

Then, pieces of paper got numbered (two per number and two per alphabet letter). This is where it gets easy for me to get a pile of sashings and go sew them together. Follow me along ...

... to a row of vertical sashings. Yes, all vertical rows get the pink paper. Since I'm not working with the corner squares yet, I take one of the letters and pin it to the top of the row square. All the other 3 squares in this row will go to the back of this top square and this tells me what order to sew the squares together.

Now, what do I do with the 2nd. letter paper? It gets pinned to my design wall to tell me that the row A that I just removed will get returned to this same spot after it has been sewn.

For the horizontal rows, use the cheddar cheese colour paper squares and proceed using the same method (i.e. the purple will go on top of the pink and the pink on top of the turquoise and the turquioise goes on top of the navy print.). The corner squares will not be done at this time (they are the red/white/blue print on the left and the yellow stripe on the right).

There is enough in these two piles for 12 sashings. So, down to the basement I go to sew them together.

I have this obsession with keeping my squares to be sewn on the straight of the grain (sog). This dates back to my days of sewing clothes and nothing makes clothes fit better than cutting out the pattern on the straight of the grain. Same for sewing for quilting (except where the bias comes into play). In this case, for the vertical rows, arrange your squares with the straight of grain (sog) going up and down (or north and south).

For row D, this is the order which they were on the design wall. When you take your D pile, place the bottom square from the pile close to you and then place the next one from the bottom of the pile against that one and so on until you have the top square with the paper on it at the top of the row. Sew squares 1 and 2 together and then squares 3 and 4 together.

On the right side of this photo below, you will see how the above sections have been sewn together. Now take another pile (letter C) and arrange them going from bottom to top. Sew squares 1 and 2 together and then 3 and 4 together.

At this point, clip the threads holding row D (see the two sections above my scissors?).

Now, sew sections 1 & 2 to 3 & 4 as shown below.

Clip the threads holding row C (the ones above my scissors in the photo below).

Row C (photo below) shows the two sections that need to be sewn together.

In order that I don't get mixed up, all the vertical piles (pink paper) will get sewn together first. Then the horizontal piles will get sewn (cheddar cheese paper) following the same procedure as described for the pink paper vertical rows.

After pressing (in this case, the seams are being pressed open), here are my 12 sashings ready to go back in their correct places on my design wall.

To help me keep track of vertical and horizontal rows that have been sewn (believe me it gets confusing after a while and I got tired of checking and double checking the rows)), a pink and cheddar cheese paper gets tacked to the side indicating that the rows has been done and I can proceed to the row below and work on them. I guess by now you have realized that I am a bit of control freak, eh? What can I say, except my sign is Virgo! :o Anyway, this method has sure worked out for me.

Shall we do some more sashing? There is a ton more squares still to be added to the design wall. On the other hand, perhaps not. Miss Hank keeps showing up and I have learned not to try to move her off because she will get ticked off and one swipe of her tail and those squares will be everywhere. This is my cue to walk away and return later.

Have a great day!

Here in Canada, we celebrated our Thanksgiving last month. To my American friends, have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Slice of Pie, anyone?

Who doesn't love Kim Diehl's patterns? This block is from her Simple Graces book called Pie in the Sky.I was captivated when I first saw this block at Debra's when we (there are 3 of us in this group) met at her place this past September and she had quite a few of these blocks on her design wall. Well, you know what happens when something is just staring at you in the face? Mary (the no blog lady in our group) went out and bought the book and she has been busy collecting some FQ's to make her version. Guess what happened to me ..... yep I'm making one too! Except (you know there is always an exception with me) my background has neutral fabrics. Again, these blocks keep growing ....

.... and growing.

Oh dear me, another project! :o)

Have a great day!

Monday, November 14, 2011

SSCS 2011

This will be my fourth year that I've joined Chookyblue in her annual Secret Santa Christmas Swap. This is just a wee peek of what I've made for my swap partner and this is all that you will see until after Christmas! :o)Hmmmm .... I wonder what I'm getting this year? Dear Santa, I've been good this year!

Have a great day!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Off the shelf

It is about time this project bin came off the shelf and those drated borders get put on. Bias strips for the vines are needed and they are being made while I watch TV in the evenings. Everything else is there all prepped and ready to go. These will be my final borders. The fabric was there in the bin just waiting to be pressed and cut. Sigh .... What can I say about borders, except ugh! :o)

Have a great day!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Simple hand quilting

You all know how much I love hand quilting and still try to keep a hand in keeping that method alive. Over at Caron Mosey's blog, there is a list of hand quilters who are linking their blogs to a post that she did about hand quilting and how it is slowly but surely fading away. Sadly, hand quilting is going, going but not gone. Die-hards like me and others will ensure that it stays around. From time-to-time, machine quilting will show up on some of my quilts, but I save special quilts for hand quilting. So, hop on over to Caron's blog and go visit all those other hand quilters and help celebrate hand quilting. Since this post is about hand quilting, you should see some of my hand quilting up close. A lot of you have already seen my Klosjes (spools) quilt but you will be interested in seeing some photos again ..... right? :o)

The following are close-up shots ...

Whenever a basted quilt is on my lap (in a hoop or by itself), one of my girls always shows up to see what I've been up to ....

.... and sometimes, both girls show up at the same time. They know when it is time for me to take a break and sit back and relax and perhaps we all can have a snooze.

It is fall here and that is always the time to have a hand quilting project on the go. There are so many to choose from; but one top will get basted ready for those cool/cold nights that soon will be popping up. I know the girls are waiting for a new quilt.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I thought that any more trips to our cottage was over for this year, but I snuck in one more visit. It was cool, but a good wood burning stove kept us nice and snug. This morning photo was taken in the screened-in porch and you can see a bit of the screen. It was a beautiful morning ..... bright and cool with just a bit of mist on the far side of the lake. Fifteen minutes later and a thick fog rolled in. Still, the sun was trying its' best to peek through. It was so quiet and serene. A glorious morning.

One of the main chores for this visit was to remove the docks in the lake. They have to come out every year, otherwise the spring ice would demolish these docks. The boys are waiting patiently for more helping hands.

Frost on the dock makes for a slippery time with wet rubber boots.

I did get another 12 blocks of my Got Dots done ..... yep, I'm a happy girl.

Have a great day!