Thursday, July 27, 2017

Time to hit the beach?

I wish.  But no trip to the beach for us this year. 

DH has his days full getting the back yard ready to put up the new shed.  Everything that was in the shed that the storm blew away is keeping safe and dry under our gazebo. 

Concrete blocks are piled up everywhere while he levels out the area where the new shed will go.  Of course we are having heat warnings.  This couldn't have happened in spring when our weather was prefect for working outside.

Sew, the closest I'll be getting to the beach this year is by making a wall hanging.
It's the third from the book DH gave me. 

I used the DIY spray baste again.  It's working really well.  Holds the three layers together long enough for me to quilt.  No damaging the earth with aerosols.  No stinking us out of house and home with the fumes from the commercial stuff.  And a huge cost savings!  A win/win all around.

Next wall hanging in the book is a bird house.  The fabrics have been selected.  Today will be spent tracing the shapes onto the fusible web.  I may even get to ironing the tracings onto the fabric. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Wall Hanging #2

The second wall hanging from the pattern book DH gave me is finished!  This one came together quite quickly.  And I figured out a way to make it easier to machine stitch around the appliqué pieces!

When either zigzag stitching or button hole stitching around the appliqué pieces that are very different in colour or value it's easy to see where to stitch.  But when stitching around a piece that is similar in colour to it's neighbour, that's a different story.  I use a clear foot but with my poor eye sight it's still very difficult.

An example is where the white bunny ears are on the back ground fabric.  Or the light yellow wings lay on top of the darker yellow body.  Or check my last post and the orange feathers on the owl.  That's where I could really have used this simple idea! 

What solves this issue?  Well, it's my favourite marking tool.  Crayola Washable markers for kids.  Trace around the shape you are having problems seeing under the sewing machine foot and that solves the problem.  It all comes out in the wash!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Another series of quilts.....

Ages ago DH gifted me with a quilt book of fun wall hangings.  He included two fabric kits as well..  I finally got started (and finished) the first quilt found in the collection:

I wanted to use spray basting to secure the top, bat and backing.  Naturally the can of basting spray I had was plugged.  No matter what I did, nothing would come out.  Nothing!  Shaking the can told me that it was at least half full.

Time to experiment with DIY spray baste. 

2 cups of water and 1/2 teaspoon salt brought to a boil.

Mix 1 cup of water and 3 teaspoons of flour mixed to remove any lumps
Slowly stir the 1 cup of water and flour into the boiling salt water.
Turn down heat
Stir until flour/water mixture thickens
Pour into a spray bottle and and 1 cup rubbing alcohol. 

Spray the batting and lay onto the backing, smooth.  Let dry a bit and then press.
Spray the other side of the batting and place top onto the bat.  Smooth, let dry a bit, then press.  Let dry completely.

It worked quite well providing the spray basted quilt is not moved until completely dry.  (Ask me how I figured that out....)

I will definitely be washing this quilt right away.  Having flour in the quilt makes me think of bugs.  And we can do without that problem.  But for a temporary basting spray, for small projects, this mixture works quite well.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Finally....I can show you Eileen's latest design!

A while back I mentioned being fortunate to be chosen to test a pattern for Eileen who is PineRose Designs.

Finally the testers have permission to post photos of their table runners. Check it out!

There is also instructions for the long ends of the runner to come to a point instead of the squared off version I chose to do.

Eileen's patterns are easy to follow.  Most importantly there are no miscalculations when it comes to fabric requirements.


I'm currently working on a pattern by another designer.  The kit was a Christmas gift from DH a while back.  The pattern calls for four WOF (width of fabric) 2" strips.  These strips are then to be sub cut into twelve 14 1/2" lengths.

The quilt store that made up the kits put in 8" strip of the fabric to used in this step.  You can cut four 2 strips out of that with no problem.

The problem is when you sub cut  those strips.  Lets see.  14 1/2" plus another 14 1/2" is 29".  A width of fabric is 40" to 42" normally.  Depending on manufacturer.  40" minus 29" leaves you with 11".  Just how is one to cut yet another 14 1/2" piece in order to get the three sub cuts from each 40" strip required for the pattern?

No one can blame the quilt shop.  They included the fabric requirements listed in the pattern.  Naturally I didn't start making this kit when the quilt shop might have had more of the fabric.  My solution?

These strips were to be used as sashing to join and go around four 14 1/2" squares.  I used the 2" strips to join the four squares.  Then four more strips for the top and bottom.  On the sides there are 1" strips.  The thinking is that the eyes go to the centre of the quilt and next to the top and bottom.  I'm hoping that the narrow strips on the sides will not stand out like a sore thumb.

After working with this designer's pattern I think one can see why I appreciate PineRose Designs.  There is never this problem with Eileens patterns!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Yet Another Quick Fall Quilt

You never know what treasures one will find when cleaning a sewing room.  All these kits just waiting to be made.

Saturday's quilt was a little one 6" x 10".  Super fast.  Or it would have been super fast if I had remembered to follow directions. 

After preparing the appliqué pieces the next steps should have been sandwiching the top, bat and bottom.  Then lay down the appliqué pieces, iron to secure them in place.  Then button hole stitch around all the pieces.  For some reason I skipped (unintentionally) the part about sandwiching the three layers. 

When did I realize I had missed a step?  As I was stitching around the very last appliqué piece.  Not a disaster, but more work.  Now I have to sandwich the three layers and then do some quilting.  Instead of using the button hole stitch for securing the appliqué and doing the quilting at one time.  Fortunately this is a very little quilt so the fix didn't take very long.  A few veins in the leaves and lines on the pumpkins and call it done.  Stupid mistakes are soooo aggravating!

I was going to start the next kit today.....How To Build A Snowman.  But not now.  Over 10,000 people have been evacuated with the BC forest fires.  Time to get back on the Bailey and get at least two quilt tops turned into finished quilts.
Add these two to the three or four I have ready for donation quilts when the call comes out.   Keeping everyone in my prayers!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Quick Fall Quilt

Today I came across a storage bin full of kits that I had totally forgotten about.  Some I had purchased from Sew Divine (my local quilt shop) and quite a few that were gifts from friends and family over the past few years.  Mostly DH and DS.

With nothing planned for the day I decided to make up the first one in the pile.
After reading the instructions (yes DS....I actually RTFM), I went to work (   Four hours later, which included a break for lunch, here's the first kit completely finished:

Now to decide if I work on the quilt that's on my frame.  Or play with another kit.  I noticed another lovely fall hanging in that bin.....

Monday, July 3, 2017

Birthday Quilt Finished

I was asked to make a Florida quilt for a friend's husband.  The catch was the quick turn around time.  The request came last Thursday and the husband's birthday is this Wednesday.  One week to make the quilt.

A quick search turned up the centre of a quilt I got started making with left over pieces ages ago.  It was put away when a new project was started and forgotten about.  Time to get a few borders on this centre.

At least I had kept all the complimentary fabric needed in the same tote bag.  No time wasted trying to find just what was needed in my stash.  It was all there waiting.

A day or so later and the top was ready to go on the frame.  No batting.  Off to the store to pick that up.  Then, what I thought I'd use for backing just would not work.  Off to the fabric store.  Fortunately I found just the right fabric on sale.  It was the end of the bolt.  Only 5" longer than what I needed. 

Bailey felt like sewing.  Only time I had to stop was to change the bobbin.
Even the binding went on smoothly.  This is too easy.  I was right.  Way too easy.

I used a decorative stitch on the top to stitch the binding down.  It looks great on the front of the quilt.  Turn it over and it's very wavy.  I'm not pleased with that at all.  But the front looks great!  So I'm not redoing it.  I just know that it wouldn't be any better the second time around.  Hope he likes it!