Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Nearly Insane Blocks

Since I've completed the Solstice Challenge quilt top, I've been spending my time piecing Nearly Insane blocks. There are 11 blocks in this row. The half blocks are already completed.

Here are the blocks that have been pieced so far.

This block is my favorite block of the row. She also has the most pieces with 73 pieces.

I did make a change with the direction of the HST's on one side. I can't believe she really intended for 1 row of HST's to be backwards. I think it was a case of better done than perfect.

I had planned to put the same flowered fabric that is in the center, into the pinwheels but I didn't have enough. Sure enough, after the block was pieced, I found more fabric.
I'm not very fond of this block. I think she would look better if I had made the very center strip alternating just yellow and white strips instead of scrappy. But I can live with this block and she is not going to be remade.
This block is made with older fabric and is a softer blue. She is a quiet, gentle block and adds contrast to her darker sisters. She also has my favorite design, paisley.

There are 2 dark fabrics in this block. The outside fabric is a dark indigo blue while the center star points are a little lighter dark blue. I don't know if the camera picked up that subtleness or not. This block is my #2 favorite block of this row so far.

This block was more tricky to piece with the diagonal pieces in the center and the different corners. The white triangles in the corners will show up better when the yellow sashing and blue cornerstones are attached. It was fun to see the pieces come together.

This is the bottom end piece. Her twin has been pictured here on my blog before, but it would have been way back in January 2016 when I first started piecing Nearly Insane.

There are five more blocks in this row. I have the next four blocks prepped, but the fifth block looks rather challenging. I'll let you know next week how that goes.

I won't have time to sew the rest of this week. The Pennsylvania grands are coming to visit for several days. They're bring their parents along too so we will have an full active house. 

Linking to - My Quilt InfatuationCrazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Show Off Saturday, Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework, Quilters Monday, Fiber Tuesday

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Saving A Quilt

Last fall I decided to wash the king sized double 9-patch quilt that we have on our bed for the first time. So into the washer (on gentle cycle with cold water) she went along with 5 color catchers.

I have read about other quilters having problems with their high efficiency washers when washing quilts. I also have a HE washer. I don't know if it was the washer or what but my red border bled, really bled. 

Some of the color catchers were pink but basically I think they were useless. They sure didn't catch the red color in this quilt!

I rinsed the quilt several times in cold water but it didn't do any good. I hung the quilt on the clothesline to dry and I've used it anyway.

What is interesting, to me, is how the white fabrics in the 9-patches didn't absorb the red dye and turn pink. But the white fossil fern fabric squares in between the 9-patches just sucked it up.

And see those red streaks on the blue fabrics, this is so annoying!

Last winter, on another blog, I read what they did to save a bleeding quilt. (Sorry, I thought I had the post bookmarked but now I can't find it!) They said to soak the quilt in HOT water with Dawn Pure dish detergent for 12 - 24 hours and NOT to use color catchers.

I checked at several stores, but I couldn't Dawn Pure, so I bought a bottle of Dawn Ultra Platinum. The label says it "Power Clean" - "powers away 48 hour stuck on food in seconds". Great, but can it remove red from a quilt? 

I've had the bottle of detergent setting on my kitchen counter for several months. I had to wait until it was warm outside to try this. I certainly can't soak it in the washer, I can't soak more than 20 minutes in my HE washer. And I don't have anyplace in the house to soak it other than the bathtub and I didn't want to tie up the tub for several days.

Monday was the day. I scrubbed a empty mineral lick tub, placed it on my garden cart and pulled it up to the milk house door. The hottest water on the farm is in the milk house because you need really hot water to wash the pipeline and the bulk tank.

I pulled the hose through the hose port and started running the hot water. The instructions said to add a good measure of dish soap, a good measure? What's that? I dumped approximately a cup in the tub, that should do it. I cringed when I put the quilt into the tub of hot water, because I never wash quilts in hot water, but into the hot water she went. I had a wooden spoon I used to push the quilt down into the water because this water is HOT, you aren't sticking your hands in there.

When the quilt was covered, I turned off the water and pulled the wagon into the garage to soak for 12 - 24 hours.

On my way out to the barn this morning, I pulled the wagon out of the garage and up to the milk house. She was looking good. I filled another tub with cold water and placed the quilt in it to start rinsing out the soap. I let it soak, went and did some of my morning chores, came back, swished it around and put it in a different tub with cold water. I did this for 6 rinses. When I was done with my chores, I squished the quilt into a 5 gallon pail, took it into the house and spun the excess water out in the washer.

When I hang a quilt on the clothesline to dry, I always hang it so the right side of the quilt is on the bottom, out of the sun. And yes, the backside of the quilt is from mom's stash. Mom bought yardage, not fat quarters. 

I ran errands while the quilt was drying. When I returned home an hour later, it was very windy and the quilt was about ready to blow off the clothesline.

I brought her into the house and she's back on our bed.

She looks so much more like the original quilt I made. There are some 9-patch blocks that have pink fabric in the blocks but the white fossil fern fabric actually looks white again. And the light blue sashing is blue, not purple!

The pink did not disappear from this block but she looks better than she did in the picture several photos above!

What a relief, my quilt looks lovely again.

So what did it? Did the hot water or the soap make the red dissipate? 

I hope I never have this problem again, but if I do, I'm going to try soaking the quilt in hot water without the soap to see what happens. Rinsing a wet king sized quilt is not the easiest thing to do much less doing it 6 times!

***Monday evening update - Karen left this link to Save My Bleeding Quilt. I remember reading this information when I read the post on the other blog about a bleeding quilt. Just in case you need the information.***

Linking to - Quilter's Monday, Fiber Tuesday, Esther's Wednesday WOW!Sew Fresh QuiltsMy Quilt Infatuation, Crazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Show Off Saturday

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Churn Dash Quilting

Every stitch I quilt is one more stitch towards being finished. 

This week the left side border and two churn dashes were quilted. 

Also the bottom of two white squares were quilted.

I hope you have a good week with your slow stitching projects!

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

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

182 Day Solstice Challenge Quilt is Finished!

I'm finished!! I finished the 182 Day Solstice Challenge quilt on Saturday, May 20! This challenge started December 21, 2016 and goes through June 2017. I assume it goes through the 21st since that is summer solstice. Pat Sloan is releasing a block a week for a total of 25 blocks.

Before I started this project, I had decided that this would be a charity quilt. She needed to be 60" by 80" and I wanted to make something different than I normally, something bright, cheery and modern. (Sounds like the quilts I normally make are dull, dreary and old fashioned!)

About the time block 5 was released, I had decided I wasn't really interested in making this quilt but I kept accumulating the patterns. Every month I would power sew the patterns collected the prior month or two. If I didn't like a block I didn't make it but I added a block that wasn't one of Solstice blocks. And yes, I did make duplicates of several of the blocks. 

This is my quilt flimsy and she is very different than the type of quilt I normally make. The top measures 60" by 84" and will be donated to the MCC Comforter Bash held in October. Yeah, I don't have to quilt her! I feel a wonderful sense of accomplishment that I persevered through and finished this quilt top. 
Which block was my favorite? This one.
Why you ask? Because it did NOT have a single HST in it.
Which block was not one of Pat's blocks? This red and yellow Carpenter's Wheel from Quilter's Cache. She measured 24" square and replaced 4 of the 12" blocks. My son thought she didn't really blend with the rest of the blocks. Too bad, I put her in anyway.

Please don't think I'm criticizing or bashing Pat Sloan, it's not her fault I don't like the quilt. I might as well accept the fact that I personally don't like quilts that have all the blocks set next to each other. They're just too busy for me. And yes, the obvious choice would have been to put sashing between the blocks to break them up but sometimes you just have to say done is better than perfect

Also, I set the blocks my own way. If I would have made all the blocks and set them Pat's way, the quilt would have looked very different indeed and have been larger.

So what am I going to work on now? Nearly Insane of course.

Linking to - Quilter's MondayFiber Tuesday, Sew Some LoveSew, Stitch, Snap SHOW, Sew Fresh QuiltsMy Quilt Infatuation, Finished Or Not Friday, TGIFCrazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Show Off Saturday, Quilting is More Fun Than Housework

Sunday, May 21, 2017

More Quilting

The 6th row of white blocks are finished along with the bottom points on the row 7 churn dash blocks.

I know the pictures all look the same each week, but this is what I'm working on.

The left side border with the first quilted white block.

The next two blocks. Actually there are 4 blocks with this design in this row but I'm just showing you 2 of them. The other 2 blocks look exactly this these.

The right side white block and the right side borders.

Back view of the quilt in the frame. Notice the blue square-in-a-square border. After that border gets quilted, there is 9" more of border to be quilted. I'm getting closer to being finished. It also looks like there might not be enough batting! No problem, I'll whip stitch more batting along the edge.

Before I'll get to that pieced border, I have to finish the center of the quilt. Two more churn dash rows and a row of white squares.

Linking to - Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching, Quilting is More Fun than HouseworkShow & Tell With Bambi, Em's ScrapbagLove Laugh Quilt, Quilter's Monday, BOM's Away, Esther's Wednesday WOW!, Sew, Stitch, Snap SHOW

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Making Progress

I appreciate all the kind comments you all make each week. I don't always respond but they are appreciated anyway.

Yes, every stitch is that much closer to be finished. I have been enjoying my quilting time which is good because you just can't speed up hand quilting.

I've finished row 6 of the churn dash blocks and the bottom half of row 6 white squares.

The right side border, ready to be rolled then start the journey back to the left side.

The quilt is rolled and ready to start the quilting again. Whoever designed this quilting frame was brilliant. I love my Grace frame!

I made some purchases at the resale table when I was at the Jane Stickle Retreat, to make crib quilts with. Two of them are finished.

These two flannels remnants were sewn together to make an easy crib quilt that measures 43". I did an easy straight line quilting. 

The red flannel pieced with the yellow flannel is perfect for the backing.

The binding is a red cotton. I personally don't like to use flannel for bindings.

The 2nd crib quilt was this animal panel. She was quilted with spiral quilting.

I like the spiral quilting and I pin the layers together closely but my spiral quilted quilts always end up a little wonky. Oh well, it will still keep a child warm.

The quilting shows up best on the back. Again I used pieced flannel for the back. I think striped bindings look so nice. This fabric gives an illusion of bias binding but it's not. The fabric was printed with the stripe already on the diagonal. She measures 41" by 52" and is a charity quilt. 

Isn't it wonderful to see green grass again? I'm so glad spring is here even if I don't have as much time to sew anymore.

Linking to - Let's Make Baby QuiltsKathy's Slow Sunday StitchingQuilting is More Fun than Housework, Quilter's Monday, Show & Tell Monday With Bambi, Em's ScrapbagLove Laugh Quilt, BOM's Away, Fiber Tuesday, Sew Some LoveEsther's Wednesday WOW!, Sew Fresh QuiltsMy Quilt Infatuation, Finished Or Not FridayCrazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Show Off Saturday

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Rainbow Scrap Challenge

The RSC color in March was red but I made green blocks instead. Now it is May, the color is green so now I am making the red blocks. 

Nine little 4" finished star blocks. The stars are for the Star Dance quilt. Of course I'm making the quilt larger than the pattern calls for.

15 4-patch blocks are completed.

I finally took the time to figure how many blocks I need in a row, 15. So I pieced the additional purple and teal blocks I need. I may need more later but at least I have the minimum amount finished.

Linking to - Quilter's MondayBOM's Away!Sew, Stitch, Snap SHOW, Sew Fresh QuiltsMy Quilt Infatuation, Finished Or Not FridayCrazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Scrap Happy Saturday, Show Off Saturday

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Still Quilting

There was hand quilting this week, just not a lot of it. 

Half of the churn dash blocks on row 6 are quilted and the bottom halves of the white squares are too.

I hope you have sometime to relax today and do some slow stitching on whatever project you are working on.

Linking to - Kathy's Slow Sunday StitchingQuilting is More Fun than Housework, Em's ScrapbagLove Laugh Quilt, Quilter's MondayShow & Tell Monday with Bambi, BOM's AwayEsther's Wednesday WOW!, Sew, Stitch, Snap SHOW

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Retreat Review - April 2017

I recently spent 5 days at the Jane Stickle Retreat held in Shipshewana, Indiana. As always, I had a wonderful time. Some people say "What happens at retreat, stays at retreat", but I haven't done anything I need to keep secret. I'm going to share my retreat time with you on a day by day diary basis. Be prepared for a lot of pictures.

Wednesday - The retreat officially starts at 3 pm when we are allowed into the conference room. See my sewing space for the next several days. See how nice and organized it is? Hmmm, maybe it isn't so organized.

I received my tulip quilt from Lori Null who long arm quilted her. For a great photo, I draped the quilt on the buggy in display on the west lobby.

Lori did a wonderful job with the quilting. I did select this feathered pattern for the large spaced area.

I wanted something similar for the border and she pulled this design, excellent choice.

She came up with her own design in the tulip blocks and in the chain squares.

She did a wonderful job and I am very please with her talent and skill on my quilt. 

Would you like to see the back? I had purchased the floral fabric several years ago for a different quilt and never used it. It wasn't wide enough so I added this section of white fossil fern fabric which shows the quilting quite nicely.

Another view. She used red thread to quilt the tulips. You can see the thread on the white fabric but not in the busy flower fabric.

I spent the rest of my day attaching the binding by machine then turning and finishing by hand.

I know the new have to have tool are the little Clover clips. I think they look like they could easily be knocked off. I use these hair clips and have for years. They cost a lot less too, at least in the area I live in.

I also sewed a sleeve on the back. When I went to hang the quilt Sunday afternoon, the sleeve wasn't wide enough. I removed the hand stitching Sunday evening, sewed a strip onto it and will hand stitch the sleeve this evening.

 Thursday - Starting around 5:30 am, I spent most of the day Thursday sewing the square blocks I need to surround the Wilfred & Cloves Medallion center. This is a pattern from Carolyn Konig's book Creating Heirlooms, One Stitch at a TimeThese blocks are stacked several inches high.

Of course I'm making it larger than the quilt in the book, so I've made double the number of blocks. Sometime this summer I will lay them out and then move blocks around; sometime, not this week though.

Also on Thursday, Nancy Mast Troyer, an employee of Yoder Dept Store, came and gave us a demonstration on applying misty-fuse to fabric. 
She also demonstrated using specialty rulers.

She used the misty fuse and rulers in making the Kaffe Clam Shell Quilt from the book Hearts and More by Sue Pelland Designs

Nancy did not make her quilt with Kaffe fabrics, she used her stash of 30's fabrics.

I and several other friends intend to make this quilt. My friends spent most their time at the retreat prepping for their quilts. I didn't. I do prepping in the peace and quiet of my home. I don't know what fabrics I'll use. I'm hoping to make a practice clam shell crib quilt sometime this summer using the rulers and see if I like this technique before I jump into a large size quilt. If I don't like them, the rulers and book will be for sale at the resale table at the November retreat.

Friday - I spent Friday working on 3 charity crib quilts. I always stick some projects into my kit bag just in case I need something extra to work on. I had prepped these crib quilts last November and took them to the fall retreat as just in case projects but I had enough to keep me busy. I decided to sew them this spring.

The pattern is titled Go Baby! and is found in the January/February 2013 issue of Quiltmaker magazine.

That year Quiltmaker was taking a block from a quilt in each issue and enlarging the block to be used as a Big Block Baby QuiltI thought this was an easy looking pattern and it is. 

I'm an early riser, so I was sewing along, making good progress when the lights flickered then the electric went off. I turned off my machine, then the lights flickered again and the electric came back on. 

I decided to go for breakfast. I didn't like this on and off bit. As I was eating, the lights flashed on and off several times. This was strange; this has never happened before at retreat. 

After eating, I went back to the sewing room and was considering trying to sew again when the power again went off. This time it stayed off. Then an announcement was made. There had been an accident on State Road 20 west of State Road 5, a vehicle had crashed into a transformer pole. NIPSCO had to replace the pole, hook up downed lines and repair the transformer. All of Shipshewana and the surrounding area was without power.

I had planned on driving to Caroline's later in the afternoon but quickly changed my mind and went in the morning. They were not in the outage area. {I forgot to take my camera along but here is link to Rosemary's blog where she makes a visit to Caroline's.} I purchased a some fat quarters for future projects and a few for my Nearly Insane quilt.

When I returned to the Farmstead Inn, the power was still off. I had taken along some embroidery, you know, just in case, so I sat, embroidered and visited with friends. I didn't get many stitches stitched when the power came back on. By then it was noon and I resumed sewing on the crib quilts.

At retreat, we often have an Amish meal or some other kind of activity at the Carriage House. This is a business run by Elaine Jones and her family. They are Amish and I enjoy visiting her place. She invited the retreat participants to an appreciation open house on Friday afternoon. Refreshments were her wonderful, delicious cinnamon rolls and coffee. 

One of the activity she provides is an old fashioned quilting. People can come and hand quilt at the old style sticks and stands frame. Everyone who quilts is allowed to put their name and phone number in a box for a drawing that is held at the end of the season. The prizes are one of the quilts that were quilted by the varying groups through the summer and fall.

She had several of the quilts to be quilted on display at the open house.

This quilt is in the frame and was standing on the sticks again the wall right now. There is a light colored border on the edge.

She said there was also a 4th quilt which was not yet pieced.

All of her quilts are made with solid fabrics, no prints.

She also has wall hanging for sale made by Amish women from her community. I asked permission before taking these photos.

Soon after I took this picture, the blue bargello was purchased and now resides in California.

I tried to get the pictures to be several across the page, but blogger and I are not agreeing how to do that. They will trail down the center of the page.

I loved this one, maybe I'll try it someday.

This one is my favorite. It looks a little dark here but the colors just glow.

These two were hanging on the west wall and the sun was shining in very bright which makes the colors look off. 

This is a full sized quilt. A lot of the quilts use light gray instead of white.

The fabrics in this quilt are blues, not gray.

There were more wall quilts but they were in a different room. There was a group in there who eating and I didn't want to interrupt their meal.

Show & Tell is held Friday evening. I didn't take any pictures, Rosemary always does and here is a link to her smilebox pictures.

After show & tell, I finished the 3rd crib quilt which I forgot to take a picture of.

Saturday -  Every month Amber of Gigi's Thimble and Amanda of Jedi Craft Girl have a Five Fat Quarter Fun project. Before I left home, I packed the January pattern, Cabin Fever, a bundle of fat quarters along with white background fabric I had on hand.

Because I hadn't done any prepping ahead of time, I cut my pieces early Friday morning. (I like early morning cutting, there are very few people in the sewing room up that early!)

I sewed during the day and had this top completed by 1:30 pm. This was a very good pattern, good directions and simple to make. I highly recommend it. However, there is 1 correction to the pattern. The directions say to mark all the 2 1/2" blocks with a diagonal line. You only need to mark 96 of the blocks with diagonal lines.

After I finished sewing this project, I cleaned and packed up my space. There were thunderstorms and heavy rains headed our way. I wanted to get my sewing things loaded into the car before the rain started.

Sunday - I had completed all the sewing projects I had brought so I pulled out the knitting needles and finished this dishcloth I had started at home.

I like using up leftover variegated yarn with a coordinating solid yarn.

I visited with my friends and finished it shortly before it was time for me to head home around 2 pm.

I hope you enjoyed my review of the retreat. I had a wonderful time and have many great memories. I really appreciate the great pictures Rosemary Youngs takes so I can link up to her blog and you can view what I miss.

Linking to - Show & Tell With Bambi, Fiber TuesdayEsther's Wednesday WOW!,  Sew Fresh Quilts, My Quilt Infatuation, Finished Or Not Friday, Crazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict