Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Quilt WiP: "It was the 80s" - Block 10 (tentative)

Block 10 in Pat's "Solstice" is a take off on the Irish Chain block, but with different sized squares along the diagonals.   It has an X type visual presence in the finished quilt.   I have a block from the old quilt that is an X block that I'll be subbing in. 

This is another one of the blocks that was undersized.  In addition, all the bias in this block and my poor piecing skills back in the beginner days caused it to be VERY skewed.  I had to trim it down to 11.5 inches to even get it close to square and I couldn't get the corners to line up, no matter what I did. 

So another 'floating' block brought out to 12 x 12 (finished).   It's actually good to repeat this in a couple of places around the quilt.  Once looks like a mistake.  More than once looks like a design element.  

Sub for Block #10
I'm marking this block as a 'tentative' substitution. It has VERY strong colors, and may be overpowering in the final layout.    I will replace it with Pat's block in blue and cream with the pale rose accents if that proves to be the case.

The Solstice Quilt on Pat Sloan's blog with the blocks and layout.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching - February 18, 2018

Good morning, Slow Sunday Stitchers.    Are we stitching slowly on any given Sunday?  Or are we enjoying a slow, relaxing Sunday by stitching?  If the later, it's not me this week. 

I'm getting this out in a hurry using Saturday's progress to date because I have to be at the church in an hour.  For those of us of the Roman and Anglican persuasion, Lent has started.  Despite all the church related stuff going on with Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday this week, I did make some good crafting progress.

Finished Block #7 of "Aunt Lottie's Garden".   Easy enough applique that I did this block at work over my lunch time.  I'm grateful for good lighting at my desks in both offices!

And  I prepped Block #8 (marked and basted) so that I can work on it over my lunches at work in the coming week.

Dutch Beauty has had about five hours of attention since I picked it back up at the first of the month.  And that is a page finish!   J/10 is in the books.  On to the left side of K/11.   The new area is an arbor that frames the center of this row.   I have the top (by the bird with the cherries) and the bottom (the thicker bit in the row of grass) established, but there's a LOT of very complex stuff to fill in between.  Five hours still to go on this rotation; we'll see how far that takes me.  

And the test knitting is well over half finished.   But no photo to share as of yet.   The designer is hoping to publish by the end of the month, though.

After church, there will be some of this.......  Yep, the binding is on Scrappy Sister's Choice at long last.   Took me most of yesterday afternoon and I still have three corner miters to do, but the hand stitching WILL start today!!!

One other thing happened this week.   I bought ticking to put new leaders on my quilting frame.   I have a Jasmine 2-rail frame.   When I first set the frame up years ago, I used plain muslin for the leaders and over the years, it has disintegrated.   This is the 'real deal' ticking - heavy and thread dyed, so it should last better.   I still have to get some tap in staples to install the ticking, but hand quilting is going to happen sooner instead of later.   Hopefully I can make a run to the hardware store at some point this week so I can get everything installed.

No matter if you are stitching slowly or enjoying a slow, comfy Sunday by stitching, ramble over the Kathy's Quilts and see what everyone else is up to.   (Link to this week's round up link party.)

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Quilt WiP: Scrappy Sister's Choice - BINDING

There's been an awfully lot of this going on at my house today:

Yes, the binding is finally going on the Scrappy Sister's Choice!   Nothing like wrestling a full sized quilt on a 3/4 size machine set up on half the dining room table.   Tight quarters are a thing, evidently. 

But on the other hand, there's a ton of cozy hand sewing coming up to go along with the colder weather that's supposed to be coming in.   The forecast is for 62 with a thunderstorm on Monday and 32 and snow on Tuesday.   The last time it was supposed to snow, it barely flurried.   With my luck (and having to work in the out of town office on both days), it will be a blizzard.

(Later) It's now late afternoon.   All four sides are on.  I managed to stab myself several times with the pins, but only one time was enough that I bled.  And NOT, thank goodness, on the quilt!!

I am going to do machine sewn miters on this puppy.   I'll report in how that goes. 

(Later still)  The verdict.  Sewn miters are slick, tight and even.   Fiddly, but no worse than standard miters.   One down, three to go, but I think those will have to wait until morning.   Or maybe after church.  I'm tired and that's a recipe for disaster.


Quilt WiP: "It was the 80s" - Block 9 (Tentative)

The next block is the huge (32 inch square finished, or 36 inch square with the borders) center focal point section.  The individual units are 8.5 x 8.5 unfinished.   That's bigger than a couple of the blocks in this quilt!

That's a LOT of fabric, and I don't want to use up my replacement and left over fabrics on this block only to run short on the later blocks.  We still have 16 blocks to go, after all!

Plus there are these:

These are the four oversized (18 inches finished each) log cabin blocks that anchored the corners of the original quilt.  When I first envisioned reworking this quilt, but before I found Pat's pattern, I had planned on using these four blocks as the focal point.  If I don't use them for this block, they will make up a big piece of the backing.

I did clean them up and press them; I gave them a Retro Clean Soak since two of them had the staining on the outer edges.   I'm glad I soaked all four blocks and not just the stained ones, as I did a 48 hour soak and had some fading of the rose print on the outermost 'log'.   From now on, I'll stick with 24 hour soaks. 

See the stains and the tear in the outermost 'log'? 
How about now?
And luckily, there was a 4 inch by WoF piece of that neutral left over from patching the Drunkard's Path, and that the tear was in the outermost 'log' so it was easy enough to replace.  I haven't sewn the center seams, though, because I'm not sure if I want them with darks or neutrals in the center.  

But this is a decision that I don't want to make until I see the final layout, borders and all.  So I'm punting.  I may end up making the other block in the end; we will revisit this section when it's time to start assembly.

The Solstice Quilt on Pat Sloan's blog with the blocks and layout.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Ash Wednesday 2018

"Remember, oh man, that dust thou art.  And to dust thou shalt return."

Somber words.   And true.   I actually like the simplicity and restraint of Lent.   A little self-discipline is not a bad thing either.  

I don't usually 'give up' anything for Lent, but add some type of spiritual discipline to my days.  For this year, I would REALLY like to get back to saying Compline every night.   At one point I was saying all four of the Anglican Daily Office services - Morning Prayer, Noonday Prayer, Evening Prayer (Vespers) and Compline (at Bedtime). 

I kind of miss that.  What I need to do is find an audio service for the commute.


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Quilt WiP: "It was the 80s" - Block 8

The first of the oversized blocks.   This one is 18.5 inches square (18 x 18 inches finished) and is a framed 'triple heart' applique block.  While it looked great in Pat's original quilt in her pinks and reds, in my blues, not so much.   Just a bit TOO 80s country.  I would expect it to be followed by a duck or goose with a wreath around its neck.

As it happens, I have another applique block I would like to use.   This Dresden Plate.

It has most of the original darker fabrics in it and will make a nice statement.   Pat's design has the applique floating over the frame, which I can't do without taking the block apart.  But I think a slightly narrower frame will work as long as my block ends up the correct size. 

Sub for Solstice Block #8

My 'frame' ended up quite bit more delicate looking than Pat's.  I tried to scale it down to account for the overlap and I think I over-did it slightly.   I probably should have done 2 inches cut, 1.5 finished instead of 1.5 cut, 1.0 finished.   (Pat's was 2.5 cut 2.0 finished.)

The Solstice Quilt on Pat Sloan's blog with the blocks and layout.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching - February 11, 2018

Ever have one of those weeks where you were scattered all over the place working on bunches of things and didn't make much progress on anything?   That was me this week.  After all the finishes last week, it was starts, restarts, "nah, I don't want to work on that, let's work on THIS, maybe not...."  Lather, rinse and repeat.

I finally settled on getting started on the applique on Aunt Lottie's Garden.  I sorted through the blocks, picked out the four purple corner blocks that will just need basted when I start on the borders.   Stacked all the other blocks up alternating the colors.  The first couple to be appliqued are green blocks.   The green ones have twelve blocks that need full applique - the pink has ten and purple just has eight blocks for the center of the quilt.  I have two of each color already done.

Doing the marking is quick.  I'm doing needle-turn applique on the vintage ones.  Most of the fabrics are light enough that I can just use a mechanical pencil.   I made a marking template out of one of my EPP papers by gluing it down to some template/stencil plastic and cutting it out with my metal straight edge and an exacto knife.  

Next I'll baste the flower garden set down onto the background fabric and away we go.   These are probably the easiest applique ever.  No curves, the straight lines are short and the points are less than 90 degrees.  

I did not get back to the socks on the knitting front.   I haven't mentioned it lately, but I do some test knitting and technical editing for a couple of knitting designers.   One of those requests came in this week, so I'm working on her project.   It's an honor to be asked to help bring a design to the marketplace, and there's usually a small remuneration of some type, but you un-knit, revise, re-knit a lot and I never talk about the actual design until it's published.  So my current knitting is on the 'down low'.  SHHHHHH

Counted thread embroidery wise, I waffled.   I got out the third project from Silver Needle Camp, decided I didn't want to work on it, put it away.   I have two big WiPs going on the needlework front.  Dutch Beauty is up next in the rotation.  I'll put the Silver Needle Camp piece into the rotation as the 'modern' piece.

I have used a rotation with my embroidery ever since I was a kid.  I usually have three pieces going at any one time - historic/vintage, pictorial, modern  and then a slot for 'finish or frame'.  Dutch Beauty is obviously the historic one right now.   Click the link above to see a 'whole thing' picture.  My late husband laughingly called it "the tablecloth" because it's a full yard of linen.   It's so big that the only roller frame that it would fit in is my quilting frame!  So I use a Q snap frame.

Working on the right side of page J/10
As far as the project that I meant to work on this week?  The binding on the Scrappy Sister's Choice? At least I got it made.........

::headdesk::  Getting it applied really needs to happen this week.
Kathy's Quilts Slow Sunday Stitching (link to this week's round up) has an Olympic competition.  "Slowest Stitcher".  Dutch Beauty is my entry - started 1/2/2000!