Friday, January 25, 2013

Yet Another Flimsy

Hurray! The window is back for loading pictures in Compose mode! Could be it's been back for a while; Heaven knows I've been gone long enough. At least I feel very close to what's normal for me today. {whew!}

So while I've been away from the computer I made good on my threat to use that fast strippy technique again. I pulled out my flannel remnants though, not my already-cut scrap strips. I also used wider strips than were in the jelly roll packet of Pink Lemonade. My initial strip was a little shorter but I ended up with a flimsy virtually the same size as Pink Lemonade (previous post).

I managed to deplete the flannel stash somewhat but there's still plenty in there I'll have to deal with eventually. One yard of a blue plaid made a good border on this top, making it just big enough for a twin size bed.

I have backing fabric prepared, just have to sew up the long seams to make it a whole piece in the right shape. Then it can go with my son to La Conner Machine Quilting Experience for quilting.

I put the borders on my row-by-row quilt top since my last post too:

It's also ready now to be quilted. I even have the binding made, of the same print in the outer border.

I finished my Sketchbook Project and sent it in about a week before the deadline. Woohoo! Someday I'll load the photos of the pages and share them with you. Frankly, I find photo editing and posting a bit tedious. It's too annoying to do when I'm not feeling well and when I feel great I want to be doing other things. So there you are. However, yesterday I submitted a photo of my work space for the Encyclopedia of Work Spaces. It's free, go check it out!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Pink Lemonade Flimsy

Before we get to the Lemonade let me show you how the row-by-row flimsy stands:

There are one inch sashing strips separating each row, all of them pieced of the neutral prints I'd used in the blocks. I toyed with the idea of a couple of them being in color but decided to go with the simplest route instead. I believe it was the next day that I went back to my LQS to see what I could find for the border. I ended up bringing home some of the very same print I'd purchased for the quilt back! I didn't realize it at the time of course. Oh well. It will certainly provide continuity between the front and the back! I did pick up an additional print in a contrasting color that I'm thinking I will use as a narrow frame before the border. But I haven't been in the mood to tackle that. I wanted some color, some REAL color, after all those subdued hues.

Time to bring out the Pink Lemonade!

This was the equivalent of a jelly roll, 40 strips in mostly pinks and yellows. I added a few more prints and colors so I would have enough to make a 64" x 75" top. After hearing about and doing a bit of research into the 1600" quilts that folks were racing each other to make I decided to give that a try. It turned out to be quite fun.

It certainly was easy enough. The first step is to sew your strips together, end to end, until you have one long, l-o-o-o-o-o-o-n-g strip (mine was about 2400"). I did that on Phoebe, my smaller and slower machine. It was delightfully mindless. At least until I got near the end when I realized I'd better pay attention so I wouldn't end up with the same print repeating itself over and over!

Then I moved over to Ruby Blue for the long seams that create the top. She sews faster and would make quicker work of potentially boring sewing. Basically you take that long strip, fold it over on itself, and sew until you get to the bottom. Cut the strip in half at the fold that occurs down there, bring the end of the strip back up to the top again and do it all over.

I repeated those steps until I had a total of 32 strips. Such happy colors for a gloomy day!

I took the time to heat-set my seams between steps but I have not yet pressed them one way or the other. That will require something interesting on TV to listen to while I stand at the ironing board. Right now I'm just wallowing in the lovely summeriness of this top I created in two days' time. :- D

This process was enjoyable enough and so quick that I'm seriously thinking I will use it again soon. It could be that this is what I've been waiting for to use up my 2.5" scrap strips. I might like to try it with wider strips too... So many possibilities!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Nearly There

I don't know whether I'll be able to show you what I've been working on of late. There seems to be a glitch in the process for uploading photos...

Ah ha! Guess I get to do everything in HTML today. Not being a code nerd this isn't the way I would choose to work but if it gets the job done I guess I'll have to make do.

This block pretty much represents the way I've been feeling lately. I don't need any extra challenges, thank you very much.

I had a really good day on Monday. Wish I could figure out how to make that happen more often!

There's been slow but steady progress on the row-by-row quilt that began out of my Parts Drawer. I chose to offset the 9 inch liberated stars within a twelve inch row. Once I had the ten inch tulip blocks set in a row I added a one inch strip on either side to bring that row up to 12" as well. The Bow Tie blocks were set into 12" X's, and the dark Churn Dash stars were also framed up to a twelve inch row.

At that point I decided to just make all the blocks into 12" rows for ease of assembly. The 9" Shoo Fly blocks were offset the same way the liberated stars were.

A lot of time has been spent trying to figure out how to arrange the rows to accommodate that single really dark row (the Churn Dash stars). While most of the rows have a light background, that one and the Bow Tie X's read as dark and medium respectively. That made it a challenge to balance out the values over the surface of the whole quilt top. Once I assembled the six inch Shoo Fly and Hole in the Barn Door blocks into two additional rows (that I left at 6" each) I was able to move things around more easily and get a better idea how the whole would look.

I think this is the final arrangement for the upper half of the quilt top. Below the Bow Tie X's will be another mixed row of 6" Shoo Fly and Barn Door blocks, then the row of liberated stars. For a time I thought I would be making dark sashing strips to go between certain rows. Yesterday I decided to just piece my short bits of 1.5" strips together end to end and use that for sashing between all the rows.

The next step will be to lay the rows out on my bed and decide which sashing strip goes where. After that it will be time to figure out what to do about a border. I need at least a 3" border all the way around to achieve twin size status. And in spite of all the fabric I've added to my stash courtesy of year-end clearance sales, I don't think I've got anything that precisely fits the bill!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Welcome 2013

I hope my readers had a warm and happy holiday season. We enjoyed time with family and didn't have to face any weather related challenges, thank goodness. This time of year holds special challenges for me so I've been out of commission more than I'd like. For my first post this year let me show you some of the gifts I made and one I bought for myself. ;- )

My daughter requested aprons for her four girls. The first two were made from really old yardage I had on hand. I felt fortunate to find a co-ordinating polka dot to use for the pocket. The trim I found at Jo-Ann Fabrics was the perfect addition to make the aprons really sparkle.

The younger girls aprons were made from different prints but the trim worked on their pockets too. The vertical strip you see on the right is one of the waist ties.

My friend C~ has a December birthday. I made this little ATC for her:

It was fun to do a bit of beading again. I'm not sure whether I'm going to follow through on my intention to complete the 2012 Bead Journal Project at this point. I have avoided signing up to participate officially for 2013. I seem to be making utility quilts more than artwork these days.

I made a couple of simple friendship blocks over the holidays too. Then there was the request last January for a snow person friendship block... I have struggled with fulfilling this block request ever since I first learned of it. I don't applique. It could have been pieced but I didn't get any intruiguing ideas to pursue with that process. Finally, on a trip to my LQS late this year I found some Battenberg lace doilies that I thought could work for the body of a snowman. Once I started playing around it didn't take long to develop a rather unique version of a snow lady!

The crown charm is inscribed with the words 'Be Bold.' The arms are made of a wood product. I don't know how well you can see them but there are plastic leaf beads sprouting from the limbs. You should be able to super-size the photo by double clicking on it. Looking at this now I realize it's missing something: my little signature sequin bird. Gonna have to stitch one on before the block goes to its new owner!

Finally, I bought myself a present this Christmas...

The deck of inspiration cards from C&T Publishing was actually in my stocking. These are colorful and will be fun to shuffle through as needed. The set of batik strips and additional cuts were my present to myself. The strip set is called Pink Lemonade by the manufacturer. It's the color palette I naturally gravitate to, pinks and yellows and oranges. Right now I'm thinking I will be making a reversible quilt for myself this year. It will be Pink Lemonade on one side and something with my other batik blocks on the second side. Before I can tackle that however, I have to finish up my Sketchbook Project and get it in the mail. And then there's the row-by-row quilt on the design wall that has been slowly growing... Hopefully it won't be another three weeks before my next post!