Thursday, June 22, 2017

Star Dance Blocks

I put a lot of miles on my sewing machine last week working on many projects. This week we're putting all our efforts into making hay so I'm out in the fields driving tractor. This week's posts were written last Saturday and are highlighting what I worked on.

I took Nearly Insane down from the display wall because she became too large for it. My wall looked so empty so I pinned all the Star Dance blocks that I had pieced so far to the display wall. Don't they look cute?

Several weeks ago, a friend called while I was sewing and we chatted for a long time. As we talked away, I kept noticing the stars and thinking the cutest star was the green star (bottom center) that had 2 different fabrics in it. I decided to change things up for the June stars.

I added red to three of the blocks.

These blocks are all yellow but I mixed the fabrics. In the top right block, I made the center with yellow fabric and the corners with white. These changes don't show very much.

The final 3 have the same fabric in each block.

The yellow stars brightens up the rest of the stars. I see I need to make more purple stars.

This pattern is called Star Dance. The stars finish at 4". My quilt will be larger than the pattern.

Linking to - My Quilt Infatuation, Finished Or Not Friday, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, TGIFF!, Crazy Mom Quilts, Show Off Saturday, Scrap Happy Saturday

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

What's On The Clothesline?

Last week we had planned to dry bale hay but the weather didn't cooperate. We changed our plans and this week we're planning on wet baling and wrapping the hay. (If you want to read about what I'm talking about, read this Word Press post from several years ago.)

I put a lot of miles on my sewing machine last week working on many projects since we weren't making hay. This week's posts were written last Saturday and are highlighting what I worked on.

At the Jane Stickle  Retreat in April, I pieced 3 crib quilts. I didn't talk about them when I showed what I sewed at the retreat. I decided to wait and display them when they were completed.

When I returned home, I pinned basted them, then set them aside, ready to be quilted whenever I had time. Last week they were quilted, bound and washed.

Three quilts (same pattern) quilted 3 different ways.

My favorite way to quilt crib quilts now is with spiral quilting. I just like the way the spiral compliments the straight edges of the blocks. 

The dotted yellow fabric makes this quilt come alive.

For the back of these quilts, I used flannel. I needed to add pieces to the red.

Spiral quilting is easiest if you just line up your foot next to the quilting and just keep on going.

Unfortunately I didn't have enough dotted yellow fabric for the next 2 quilts and substituted the stripped fabric. It didn't look the greatest, but it was what I had on hand. It does look better now since the quilts are quilted.

The 2nd quilt was quilted with straight line quilting. I just did it trying to go straight. The lines are anywhere from 3/4" to 1/4" apart.

And the back of the quilt.

The first two quilts were quilted with my Elna Excellence 720 sewing machine. 

The thread I used on all 3 quilts was Gutermann 100% polyester thread. The spool hold 1094 yards of thread. This thread was also used in the bobbin. I find white thread works well with most quilts.

The 3rd quilt was quilted on my Baby Lock Melody machine. I wanted wavy lines on this quilt. My Elna does have a curved line decorative stitch but I can't elongate it like I can on my Melody.

Wavy line quilting. 

And the back of the wavy line quilt.

The pattern for these quilts came from the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of Quiltmaker magazine. In all their 2013 issues, they took a block from one of the quilts in that month's issue, and enlarged it to crib quilt size. The name of this pattern is "Go Baby, a big block baby quilt".

What changes would I make? Next time I would add a border to the quilt.  Supposedly this quilt is 40" square when finished but after washing, they measured 38" square. I personally feel that is too small but they are what they are. They will join the pile of charity quilts that are accumulating for donation in the fall.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Hand Quilting

This week much progress was made at the sewing machine and not so much at the quilting frame. 

Two more blue churn dash blocks are partially quilted and two more white squares are fully quilted. Slow progress, but still it is progress.

Linking to - Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching, Show & Tell Monday With Bambi, Em's ScrapbagLove Laugh Quilt, BOM's Away!, Esther's Wednesday WOW!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

More Yellow 4-Patch Blocks

The original plan for this week had been to spend it making hay. However, the weather has not cooperated, so I've been stitching as fast as I can before I need to head out to the hayfield.

After I finished the last row of Nearly Insane, I prepped the pieces for the additional 13 yellow blocks I need for my RSC blocks. I added other yellows than the original 15 blocks so they would look somewhat different. Sorry the picture is dark.

I laid part of the blocks out on the display floor to give you an idea of the tentative plan for the quilt. This is a small version of what will eventually be a king sized quilt.

Obviously it will look nicer when all the colors are in the quilt.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Another Nearly Insane Row Finished!

I've finished the rest of the blocks for the current Nearly Insane row under construction. There were 11 blocks in this row, 6 of which I had completed in my last post about NI. I didn't have to piece the half blocks because I had pieced them earlier.

This block was fairly easy to piece.

All the blocks in the group were fairly easy, except #44.
I've decided this flowered fabric looks best if I just use a small amount at a time.

Sometimes I look at the pattern and wonder how this is going to work. I just keep sewing and they come together just fine.

Originally I had used the white fabric completely on the corners. But then it just stuck out and didn't blend in with the rest of the blocks. I used flippy corners and added the dark triangle corners.
I'm not fond of this block but I don't hate it.

What I don't like is the corners. I think I would like the block better if the  stripes ran diagonally instead of the way they do.

She's staying though

This is block #44 and was a challenge (for me anyway!) to piece.

I don't mind set in seams but not with pieces this tiny. I divided the background fabric in half and paper pieced them along with the diamonds. It worked! 

Because I was so busy worrying about the stars, I didn't put enough thought into the center pinwheel. I should have used a dark blue in place of the light blue. Oh well, I'm not going to redo her. Finished is better than perfect. 

Block #44 originally had 52 pieces but with the changes I made to piecing her, there are 76 pieces.

I'm keeping track of all the pieces in this quilt. Son #2 is an accountant. I'll give him the job of adding up all the numbers.

This is what my Nearly Insane looks like so far. The row I just finished is on the right side. I haven't attached the row to the body. I'm making the center in 2 halves. I'll sew them together when the 2nd half is finished.

I'm trying to make a row a month. This row finish is May's row because I started this row in May but I finished her in June. I'll try to make a June row this month if I have time, it depends on how the 2nd cutting of hay making goes.

Linking to - BOM'S Away, Quilter's Monday, Fiber Tuesday, Sew Fresh Quilts, TGIFF!, Crazy Mom Quilts, Show Off Saturday, Quilting is More Fun Than Housework!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Slow Stitching Sunday

More batting has been attached to the batting in the quilting frame. Progress in hand quilting has started again.

This is exciting because I can see the first square in a square border! I estimate it should take me maybe a month to finish this quilt, but who knows what all will happen between now and the finish.

I've started quilting at the right side and quilting my way to the center of the quilt.
The white squares are quilted. And part of the blue churn dash blocks are quilted. See the square in a square border peeking at the top edge?

Linking to - Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching, Show & Tell Monday With Bambi, Em's ScrapbagLove Laugh Quilt, Esther's Wednesday WOW!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

4-Patch Blocks - Rainbow Scrap Challenge

The grandchildren are gone and I'm back to sewing again. We're trying to finish up the 1st cutting of hay on our farm, so I need to sew something simple and easy. Something I can sew, put down and then come back to and not have to figure out what I was doing. Which is definitely not the Nearly Insane blocks.

I pulled out my yellow 4-patches and pieced 15 blocks. I didn't have a lot of different yellow to work with so some of the fabrics are repeated in each block.

I was organizing the books on my bookshelves last week ago and I found a tablet of graph paper that had been my mother's. I had forgotten about it. I now have my RSC quilt sketched out to see how many blocks I need of each color. I'm just piecing the colors, not gray or darks or the multicolored blocks. I need 28 of each color so I see 13 more yellow blocks happening this month. I will also need to catch up with the previous colors too but not this month. I want to have these all blocks pieced by the first of December so I can sew this together flimsy together and send her off to the long arm quilter in timely fashion next winter.

Linking to - Quilting is More Fun Than HouseworkSew, Stitch, Snap, Show!My Quilt Infatuation, Finished Or Not FridayCrazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Show Off Saturday, Scrap Happy Saturday