Saturday, October 26, 2013

Name that Block - clue 2

Here's some progress on the block.

The strips were sewn together. 

Then pressed and stacked like this. 

Any guesses?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Name That Quilt!

Here's a few shots of what I did today on a new quilt project. Can you guess what two blocks I'm making?

I picked out the colors and started making strips.

Piles and piles of strips! The dark brown will be the backing fabric.

Easy angle ruler to the rescue! Cutting half square triangles are a snap with it.

Some of the strips stayed as strips and some of them were cut.

I know there's not much to go by in this post but start your guesses! I am making two different blocks with these cuts. Come back again to see the progress and see if you're right. You can guess as many times as you want until the block is done! Then, guess the name of the quilt!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Apple Core Sunset - Complete!

I'm so thrilled to see the completed quilt. This really was a wonderful experiment for me.  Apple Core Sunset wound up in a very special project!

The sun has circular shapes in it and rays are beaming out from its center out into the sky. 

The sails of the boat have off-kilter triangles for dimension and interest. 

What is a lake without waves? 

Tomorrow, this quilt will be sent off to its home in New Hampshire. I hope it brings much warmth to the little boy who carries his grandfather's name. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Wrap Up - October 18 '13

Most of my week was spent on one thing.

Apple Core Sunset / Baby Quilt - You can read about the background to this story at this post.

Appliqued the boat onto the "scenery" panel.

Auditioned and chose a nice dark blue border.

Added a lower section and mounted the sandwich onto the longarm. It's ready for quilting!
I plan to complete it and send it off to its new home in NH next week!

FMQ Practice - Another Leah Day tutorial that I put on my sampler: Cursive Fs. I stitched the top row in from left to right, as though I was using a pen to paper. The second row was stitched in from right to left. I had to analyze the way the letter F was written: up to the right / around and down / loop to the left and repeat. Then, I could figure its opposite and stitch it in backwards: up to the left / around and down / loop to the right and repeat. You can see the opposite slant. It took a few before it was easier and more fluid.
I try to write backwards or upside down or with my non-writing hand. It's no longer writing but drawing and makes the brain think differently.  It can be really fun! I like the way they both look.
Instead of filling my panel with the same thing in each row, I thought it would be good to try out different sizes of Cursive Fs. I like how puffy and textured my fabric became with this pattern. I would have never thought it would do that unless I tried stitching it out for myself.

Here it is inside the outline of a leaf. Nice!

This is a light week for me. But I still want to give a big shout out to all the super sewers who visit me through the FMQ Friday post! I would love to hear from you; please give me a shout back!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Time to Quilt Apple Core Sunset

This is a custom made quilt for a special baby boy who was named after his grandpa. Unfortunately, they never had the chance to meet; grandpa lost the battle with brain cancer years ago. But the power of family is an amazing thing. It survives. It remembers. It lives on.

It was asked of me if his name and birthdate could be stitched into the waters of the quilt. How could I refuse? When you look into the sea, the foam spells it out.

An additional section was added to the lower section of the quilt to get it to length. This is a crib size blanket measuring out at 40" X 60".

I chose a nice sturdy blue print for the back of the quilt to survive the many launderings to come. I think it will look great on both sides! Don't you? 

On the rollers it goes. I love getting to the point when it's time to fire up the long arm! I foresee what I'll be doing in my immediate future.
If you would like a custom made quilt, please contact me! We'll get it done!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Auditions for Borders

A make or break time for your project. Picking out the fabric for a border. Time to do some serious auditioning!

I thought this sand color matched, but it's tone was too light. And it looked like sand, which would have been awesome by the shore line of the water, but not around the entire quilt.

Black can be an interesting choice. A nice dark neutral to keep your eyes on the center panel. It was too mature. Close, but I wanted to look for something else.

This mottled blue was better. It gave the dark border that I wanted and still kept it in the baby boy blanket realm.

Yes, this is the right choice! Tomorrow, I'll sew it all on!

Many thanks to all the wonderful colors that tried out for the role of "border" tonight. Perhaps I'll cast you in another audition soon!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Apple Core Sunset Sailboat

The main panel of the top is coming together quite nicely. The strips of land, sea, and sky were sewn together. Now, it's appliqué time!

Little stitches bring the boat onto the waters and the sails up into the sky. This fabric looks like it has rigging through it!

The overall effect is so pretty. I can't wait to see it with the quilting on it!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Round Robin Blocks

In my quilting club, we have 2 long term  projects going on.

In one, you chose two colors, made a block, bagged it up and then passed it on to someone else in the club. That person makes a block to go with yours. This is done until our last meeting and in June we will get our bag back full of blocks to make a quilt top with. Fun, huh?!!!

This is the one I did for my person. 
Greek Cross!

It matched up next to her original block, a pinwheel, quite well. Now it's tucked away in her bag and ready to be swapped over to the next quilter at out club meeting on Saturday. 

I wonder what's in my bag. 

The other one is a block that needs a border added to it. Here's what I added to the one I got. 
The lady who made this is my craft show partner in crime. :)  I hope she likes the ocean because my border was covered with waves of the sea. The yellow corner blocks keep it bright. I think it looks nice!

Have you participated in a round robin? Did you enjoy it?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Wrap Up October 11 '13

I did a lot of things in ThistleFire this past week. Hope you enjoy peeking in on it all!

Craft Show - at the Knights of Columbus in Latham. Someone bought my Purple RITY quilt! (it's on the lower right corner of the picture)

Coat Lining Repair - actually, it was a lining insertion. Out with the old ripped lining and in with a new gorgeous one! And I made a scarf to match with leftover fabric. Way too pretty to toss!

Apple Core Sunset - this sky is going to be part of a baby quilt! Here is what I was playing with for a layout of the center panel.

FMQ Practice - I had big aspirations to stitch out FMQ patterns. So far, I have three done!

So far, so good! I hope you are enjoying your time in your sewing room. Lots to do before the holidays. Come on back to see me again!

FMQ Practice

Did you ever have a gorgeous piece of fabric that you find passing by because it's "not the right color" or it's "too plain" or "there's not enough" and it goes back in the stash box? Here is my fabric that seems doomed to not be a part of a quilt.
I love the color peach. Unfortunately, this fabric has been passed over too many times and I figured it was a good swatch for some FMQ practice. I pressed it flat, then pressed it folded in half the long way, then folded it and pressed it in half the short way, and then folded and pressed each half into thirds, which gave me a panel of 12 small panels. I made up a nice quilt sandwich, using a backing fabric that has been passed over quite a few times, pinned it up and there was my workspace!
If you have explored the free motion quilting project site for more than, oh, a minute, you would discover hundreds of stitch patterns to use for FMQ. The demonstration videos that Leah makes are so helpful. This site has brought me into the world of FMQ. The first year, I pretty much just watched
the videos. This past second year, I have been stitching! The other day I thought, during a moment of enthusiasm, that I was "going to try them all" and this practice panel was to be my first dozen to stitch up.
Here's Day 1 - "Shadow Waves"  I have used this pattern on borders. Very nice look!

The next one is Day 2 - "Etch n' Sketch"  There's something about this one that I like. I think it's the rounded edges. It's got a fluid feel.

This one is Day 3 - "Gentle Flames"  You just get drawn into this shape. The triangles give good movement and keeps your eyes moving.

The dilemma of what to put on my 12 panels came to mind when I came to day 4. It was like day 3 only with pointy tips. I thought perhaps I should put all edge-to-edge designs on this panel. So that's what I'm going to do. The next one to add would be "Cursive Fs", then "Matrix", and so on. Then, the panels will be handy for holding up by works in progress to do some auditioning. I don't know if I'll get all of Leah's patterns done or not but this is a fun side adventure!
That new machine I got is just great with FMQ. I decided to call her Lacy, short from her model name, Legacy. I usually don't put a name to a machine, but this seems ok for some reason. Actually, all of my sewing machines have names. There's Lacy, Daisy, Humungo Illiundo, and Sergio Fabrico. Funny!
What do you think of FMQ pattern panels? Make up a sandwich and stitch out some audition swatches for yourself! It's fun and great practice!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Apple Core Sunset Idea

Remember when I was working on this?

Here's an option for apple core sunset. 

It needs a sailboat, don't ya think?

This would make an amazing kid's quilt. I'll present the idea to someone who asked me for a sailboat quilt for her new grandson!

That's what I'm playing with for Apple Core Sunset.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Coat Lining, Buttonholes, and a Surprise

I had someone ask me if I could set the lining of the back panel into a winter coat. The old one was wearing out. I can do that!

Linings are made of slippery, fraying fabrics. You know what that means? I got to use Sergio Fabrico! He is perfect for this sort of job!

The serged edges will keep everything nice and neat. And a piece of leftover fabric was a nice size for a matching scarf. 

I just envisioned that swatch as a useful accessory. That is an unexpected bonus to my customer. Can't wait to give it to her!

She also gave me a second request for 12 buttonholes across the top of a curtain panel. I can do that! 

So I overlapped the to edge, measured out where the holes needed to go and got the buttonhole attachment on Lacy. (That's my new machine's name, short for Legacy)

I have to admit, my new sewing machine was flawless at stitching these out. Very happy with the results. The most frightening part was cutting the slits in between the stitches! 

The right tools bring forth good results. What is your favorite tool in your sewing room?

Show Fun

Check out our table!

When you walked in the building, you saw quilts!

See the one in the lower right side of the picture? That's my Ringing In the New Year pattern and it was sold. Bittersweet for me. Almost like seeing a loved one off to a new life. 

But the show went just great! I look forward to another, once I figure out when and where!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Wrap Up - October 4 '13

I have been focusing on putting the final touches on some things for the craft show I'll be at tomorrow. The business card receipts are printed. The produce name tents are packed. The car has all the goodies in it. I think I'm ready to do some selling!

Here's a few things that came out of ThistleFire this week.

BFK Flowers - DONE! This took up most of my time this week. But it was worth it! It's quilted and bound and labeled. All ready to go to the show!
FMQ was added on the flowers, leaves, and borders.

Holiday Runners - Last minute additions for my craft table. They have minimal FMQ that is mostly SID.

OPP - Got a couple of photos from happy recipients. That is a great thing! Seeing your quilts in action.
Jen's Ringing In The New Year

Gail's Blue Star Challenge
There it is. My week in fabric. After this weekend, I'll be focusing on some projects that people want done for the holidays. Got a lot coming up; I hope you'll keep stopping by ThistleFire to see it all!