Sunday, January 28, 2024

Tula Hexies

Quilting Hearts & Wreaths has been my hand work since it's gone into the quilting frame. This week I took the time and finished hand sewing Tula Hexies together.

This flimsy is hand sewn, not EPP'd. I really enjoyed the hand sewing, it was very relaxing and easier on my hands than EPP.

Here Tula Hexies is resting on a porch chair. 

Here's she's posing on the living room area rug.

And the backside picture. Pressing isn't all the same. I just pressed whichever way the blocks wanted to turn. This will be machine quilted so it doesn't matter if there is bulk.

A cute black Tula print was used for the top and bottom borders. I hand sewed it onto the hexies.

Half hexie blocks were used to finish the sides. The border fabric is a black & white strip which will look nice with all the bright fabrics.

I had planned that all the striped fabrics would be pieced into a more interesting design. To do that, you need to remember to cut the hexies larger then re-cut them into triangles. I forgot 😔 to cut them larger, that is why there are some striped hexie blocks.

Tula Hexies is 51" by 80". The hexies are 2" hexies. You measure the length of one of the sides. I was inspired to make this quilt after watching Hanne and Deb working on their hexies at the November 2023 retreat. Why do I call it Tula hexies? All the fabrics are designed by Tula Pink and purchased at Clothesline Creations in Middlebury, IN.

Tula Hexies will hang in the 'to be quilted' closet until sometime this summer then I will machine quilt her. I know the design I want to use so hopefully it will come together.

Linking to Kathys Slow Stitching Sunday, Stitching Stuff, Oh Scrap, Handmade Monday, Sew & Tell, Design Wall Monday, Craftastic Monday, Monday This 'N That, Monday Musings, To Do Tuesday, Favorite Finish January

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Dresden Stars, the Circles

The table runner for my friend has been pieced and we took it to be quilted at Calico Point. They said it would be approximately 6 weeks before it was quilted. I wanted to get it into their quilting line-up as fast as possible because this is supposed to be a birthday gift in April. Sorry, I neglected to take a picture, you'll see the complete finish after it's quilted and the binding has been added. Nathalie was very pleased with it.

Since the table runner is out of the way, I returned my attention to the Dresden Stars. Technically the pattern name is Dresden Star but I call it stars since there is more than one star in the quilt.

In my last post about Dresden Stars, I had started appliqueing the plates to the background fabric using a brown variegated thread. I'm using the same thread to applique the circles.

I've mentioned before that the fabrics for this quilt are from a kit I purchased many years ago, probably at least 17 years? The pattern is copyrighted 2006. Civil War fabrics don't really appeal to me anymore but the kit is here so I'm making this quilt.

I grimaced when I pulled the brown for the circles, more brown! I dug in my box of civil war fabrics I have on hand and found a large piece of fabric that was gifted to me when Deanna moved. I thought this was much more prettier.

I prepped two circles then sent a picture to Kathi and asked her which one she thought looked the best. We both agreed on the brown. I really like that blue/gray flowered fabric but that is what I saw when I looked at the block, not the Dresdens.

But now I look at the picture and think that fabric doesn't overpower after all. Oh well, it's too late, the brown has been appliqued

I made a change to the pattern and trimmed these blocks to 12.5" which is larger than Edyta specified but I want my quilt larger.

Kathi asked me how I'm making the circles so perfect. I'm using this product. I've used it before but I don't remember which quilt. 

Edyta has a paper template included with the pattern. I checked and the circle is the same size as the largest circle in Karen Buckley's large size perfect circles. 

I traced the circles onto the sheets then cut them out. When I ironed them onto the back of the brown fabric, I made sure I left a good edge of fabric. Then I took a needle and thread and basted the edge of the fabric, pulled it tight and knotted it. When I pressed the top of the circles, I had perfect circles! 

The left circle is the gathered edge of the circle. The center circle is a gathered circle before pressing. The right circle is after pressing.

Edyta had said to use freezer paper but this worked much better and it doesn't need to be removed. It's supposed to wash out but I didn't try a sample. My friend Lynn uses this product all the time with her applique.

Finally, here is a picture of a finished block. All 18 of the blocks are finished but I only took a picture of this one. And yes, the variegated thread does show some but I didn't have the stress of dealing with invisible thread!

And the backside because someone always wants to see how it looks.

I used a zigzag stitch to applique the center and the dresden plate. I finger pressed the background fabric to make the diagonal lines. Finger pressing irons out easily. I left long threads when I started and stopped, then pulled them to the back side and knotted them several times.

The next step is the sashing and the setting triangles.

Linking to Midweek MakersWednesday Wait LossNeedle & Thread Thursday, Put Your Foot Down, TGIFF!, Whoop Whoop Party, Finished or Not  Friday, Off the Wall Friday, Beauty Pageant, Patchwork & Quilts

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Hearts & Wreaths Border

The first border on Hearts & Wreaths is quilted and it's a long border too! That why I like to quilt on the long side, it feels like I've accomplished so much more. Here are pictures moving from the left side to the right side.

I am glad I decided to add the single line in between the double quilted lines. The cotton batting doesn't have the 'lift' that a wool batt has but they can still look poofy. I don't like my quilts to look poofy.

This border is 8.5" wide but I could easily reach to the top of the border. After I took the pictures, I rolled the stick several times and I'm ready to start quilting the blocks but there are sections of side borders to quilt on each side also.

Here is a link to the first post I wrote about Hearts & Wreaths. It includes information about the quilt and also a link to the pattern.

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Quilting Hearts & Wreaths

The border quilting of Hearts & Wreaths has reached the center. I did add a single line in between the double line. 

Yes, I know this is going to add to the quilting but I like how it looks.

Linking to Kathys Slow Stitching Sunday, Stitching Stuff, Oh Scrap, Handmade Monday, Sew & Tell, Design Wall Monday, Craftastic Monday, Monday Musings

We received snow in the snowstorm that went across the US. I'm not sure how much we received, anywhere from 6" to 8". It's cold now. It was -6*F at 6 am. I asked Siri what that was in celsius, -21C.

That temperature does not include wind chill factor which those of you in more temperate climates have probably never heard of.

This weather is perfect for hand quilting.

Here is a link to my first post about Hearts & Wreaths way back in August 2021. And here is a link to the Quiltmania magazine which has the pattern for Hearts & Wreaths.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Dresden Stars and a Table Runner

I've started this year off resolving to stick to my list and not be tempted by squirrels! Since the Dresden Stars plates have been pieced, I'm starting with this project.

The next step in this process is to applique the plates onto the background fabric. In the pattern, Edyta tells us what size to cut the background fabric. She didn't add any fabric in to be trimmed. I don't sew like that, I have to have a little extra so I can trim. 

The fabrics used in this quilt are from a kit I purchased a long time ago, they are no longer available. I measured the back ground fabric several times to make sure there was enough fabric for me to cut a little bigger. There was, I did and it was okay!

I'm not going to hand applique these plates. They are to be machine appliqued and the first block is sewn, just 17 more to do!

Edyta said to use invisible thread but I'm done trying to use that stuff. I'm using a variegated brown thread with small zigzag stitching on the outer edge. It does show some but I can live with it. The center circles will be appliqued after the dresdens are all stitched, then the blocks will be trimmed to the correct size.

Remember how I said I was going to stick to the list with no squirrels? I have a friend who has asked me to make a table runner for her, I said yes. It shouldn't take that long but this means the dresdens will have to wait longer.

Calico Point was open on New Years Day so Nathalie and I went fabric shopping. I asked her what color fabrics she wanted and she said BLUE!!!! Be still my heart! Really, she did say blue without any prompting from me!

I took a picture of the fabrics for you to see. 

Linking to To Do Tuesday, Midweek Makers, Wednesday Wait LossPut Your Foot Down, Needle & Thread ThursdayWhoop Whoop Party, Finished or Not  Friday, Off the Wall FridayPatchwork & Quilts

Sunday, January 7, 2024

And the Quilting Begins!

Hearts & Wreaths wasn't in the hand quilting frame by January 1 but the 5th was pretty close! Marking a quilt just takes a long time, at least it does for me.

There is a quilting motif going in the corners of the blocks. This motif is called Feather Design. I'm not sure where I purchased it, but you can order it from The Stencil Company, #586. The stencil I'm using is 6.5".  

The 2nd motif is Heart block and I purchased it at Yoder Department Store. This stencil can be purchased at EZ Mark Stencils and is #166A. It is also a 6.5" stencil.

Here is a close up of the corner after being marked. I'm lightly marking with a silver marking pencil. I did take a picture of the pencil but that disappeared to wherever pictures disappear to in cyber land.

This diagonal design is used in the background of the applique blocks. It doesn't have a name but is identified as SCL-268-16. It is 16" and was purchased from The Stencil Co. I've used this as a background in another quilt but I can't think which one right now. The diagonal lines are 3/4" apart.

The last several years I have been using my Grace quilting frame to hand quilt but I've never been satisfied with the side tension. That is why I've decided to put Hearts & Wreaths into the old sticks and stands frame, that is my own name for this type of frame.

This is how you start. The 4 stands in the corner, the shorter 72" sticks are on the stands, the longer 108" sticks on top. 

I measured the center of the long sticks and pinned the backing fabric in place. Next is to layer the batting on top of the backing fabric. I'm using a Hobbs 80/20 cotton/poly batting. I have used wool batting for the last several quilts I've hand quilted, this time I decided to use cotton. Why, because I felt like it.

Obviously the quilt top goes on top of the batting. The center of the stick is marked on the stick. The selvage is on the long sides of the quilt top. You can see the horizontal line which will be the edge of the quilt. The selvage will be cut off when the quilt is trimmed for binding.

You can see in the above picture the stick fabric is attached by tacks approximately 1.5" apart. I've quilted on sticks that had the fabric attached farther apart. I'm fussy about tension so I tacked mine closer.

Hearts & Wreaths has been pinned onto the batting. This is a side view.

I'm going to start quilting this long side. My Grace frame wasn't long enough to stitch large quilts on the long side. Quilting on the short side adds bulk to the roll and in that type of frame, the whole quilt is rolled on the roller.

Hearts & Wreaths measures 82.5" by 96". Instead of using longer side sticks, I used the 72" sticks. The 20 blocks in the center of Hearts & Wreaths are set 4 by 5. I've started quilting on the long side of the opposite side of this picture. When I've rolled in 3 rows, I'll reset the quilt to quilt the final side. That is months away though but I'll show you the process when it happens.

I'm sure most of you are unfamiliar with this type of frame. Putting a quilt in this frame is a LOT faster than the Grace frame. I don't have to roll back and forth a bunch of times!

I'm using white YLI brand hand quilting thread which I purchased at Yoder Department store for $8.50 a spool. YLI Thread can also be purchased from Red Rock Threads if you can't find it at a store close to you.

Here are my quilting tools, ready for the start!

All leaves will be stitched in the ditch. I'm also stitching along one side of the black embroidered vine.

The first corner is quilted! The space in between the double lines is 1.75". I may insert a single line of quilting in between each double line. I don't think the wider space will look right since the diagonal lines in the center blocks are to be quilted 3/4" apart. There is going to be a LOT of quilting on this quilt.

I've been on a break from hand quilting since I finished Lady Jane last July. I'm ready to go again!

DMC quilting needles have been my go to quilting needle for over 45 years! Last winter I wrote that DMC is not manufacturing quilting needles anymore. My friend Diane sent me this package of S. Thomas & Sons quilting needles. As you can read, this is the brand she has used for years.

I was quilting Lady Jane with the DMC needles I had on hand and decided to save the Thomas needles for the next quilt. This is the next quilt and were used in the above picture. Diane was right, they stitch great! I googled the name and here is where I'll be ordering them from.

People always wonder how long it takes to hand quilt a quilt. It depends on how much quilting is stitched on the quilt. I'm hoping to have this quilt finished by December but you never know, it may be longer! It will take as long as it takes, and quilting can't be rushed.

Blogger decided to center the typing on this blog today, why, I don't know. Blogger also does not allow me to respond to comments, they used to but no longer. Again, why? I don't know. I will try to remember to answer questions in my next post about Hearts & Wreaths.

Someone is sure to remark that they think quilting in a frame would be awkward. I've always quilted in a frame, that is what I'm used to. It's not better than using a hoop if that is how you hand quilt, it's just the way I learned to quilt. 

Friday, January 5, 2024

Quilts Planned in 2024, Hopefully!

 Today I'm posting a list of quilts I hope to make, or at least progress along in 2024. This is just a list in the order I thought of them. They won't be made in this order.

The first quilt on the list is Dresden Stars which has been started. The plates are made, now the rest of the quilt needs to be sewn.

I started piecing this quilt at the November 2022 Jane Stickle retreat.

Dresden Stars is designed by Edyta Sitar.

A gift quilt (no picture) has been started and needs to be completed this year so it's ready to be gifted in 2025. I don't have any pictures to show you. I'm designing it myself but the center is the Moda Love star made with 5" squares so I'm guess I'm not really designing it, just merely adapting it.

I'm enjoying hand sewing the 2" hexie blocks which I've now named Tula Hexies. I'm not sure how large this quilt will be but I know it won't be a huge quilt, maybe a good sized lap quilt, 60" by 80"?

Hearts & Wreath is going into the hand quilting frame as soon as the marking is completed and the backing fabric pieced. I started appliqueing H & W in August 2021

Since the applique is finished on Hearts & Wreaths, it's time for a new applique project.  That's going to be another leaf border, this time on Blueberry Pie.

The borders have to be cut and then marked. (You won't see borders happening until Hearts & Wreaths is in the hand quilting frame and Tula Hexies is pieced.)

The pattern for Blueberry Pie is found in the Red, White and Sometimes Blue book but it's not called Blueberry Pie. You'll find it listed under Writer's Block. I thought the name was rather unimaginative so I changed it to reflect the blues used in my quilt.

The pattern in the book does NOT have an appliqued border, this is my variation. I might or might not add flowers.

The fabrics for Fire Island Hosta queen were purchased several years ago.  Can you see on the pattern it says 100" by 100"? I've never foundation paper pieced this large of a quilt, this will probably be a several years project.

At the November 2022 retreat, Judy Jansen sent a BIG tub of quilting magazines home with me with the specification that they be donated to the Sewing Box at the 2023 Michiana Mennonite Relief Sale. 

After the retreat, we had friends come for a quick, low key visit to see the new house. Linda is also a quilter and I showed her the tub of magazines. We spent all whole afternoon paging through the magazines. After awhile they all started looking the same so we took a several hours break then started in again. We actually went through the whole tub!

While Linda was browsing, she showed me a pattern and said it looks like me. She was so right!

The pattern is called Radiant Blue and is designed by Marsha McCloskey. Radiant Blue is found in the January/February 2007 issue of Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting magazine. I had hoped to make this quilt in 2023 but it didn't happen. I certainly have plenty of blue fabrics!

I've also had fabrics pulled for Bonnie Hunter's Garden Party quilt for several years. Garden Party is found in Bonnie's Addicted to Scraps Book. Here is a link to quilts found in the book.

The Dancing Stars blocks are still hiding someplace in my sewing studio. I'm not actively looking for them, I'm more apt to run across the blocks when I'm not looking. If I do come across the blocks, they'll be sewn into a small quilt. Otherwise they can wait.

There are several compassion quilts that are pieced and ready for quilting and then donation. I'll quilt them sometime this year. 

The list is seven projects (I'm not counting Dancing Stars) which doesn't seem like many but several of them are very time consuming. I want to really focus on these projects and not get sidetracked by squirrels. I have decided I am not going to participate in RSC or the SAHRR this year.

What new projects are you anticipating starting this year?

Linking to Hugs & Stitches2024 Quilting Planning PartyPut Your Foot Down, TGIFF!, Whoop Whoop Party, Finished or Not  Friday, Beauty Pageant, Patchwork & Quilts

After writing the above post, I remembered I purchased papers to foundation paper piece a pineapple quilt from Gigi @ Gigi's Thimble. I missed her sew-along in 2022 but I work at my own speed anyway. This project may sneak in this year, I think it would be a good project to take to retreats.

I wrote the above post earlier in December then I went to my sewing studio to do clean up. I kept thinking about the pineapple blocks so I pulled scraps and small pieces of whites then cut strips. I pulled out a tub that has leftovers of blues and other yardage pieces too. I spent several days cutting strips so there won't be so much prep work to do before retreat in April.

In the meantime, Bonnie Hunter started piecing pineapple blocks and showing them on her blog. I was holding out on actually piecing a block but when I saw this post, I just had to make one block, just one! I decided to make my center like Bonnie's but using blue.

The fabric used in the center is from pieces left from the border of Lady Jane.

Bonnie's quilt is so striking because she's using black fabrics. I don't get the same effect with my blues. I think I'll make the rest of the blocks like normal. This block will be placed in the orphan box.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Quilt Change in the Rafters, Blue Easy Breezy

Saturday we switched the quilts in the rafters, from Christmas quilts to blue & white quilts. One of those quilts was Welsh Beauty. 

After the quilts were hung and the ladder put away, I vacuumed and cleaned up. All afternoon I kept looking at Welsh Beauty, it's a lovely quilt but it just didn't speak to me, it was too muted.

Finally mentioned to the farmer that Welsh Beauty just didn't look right, it didn't sing to me. He agreed and said he'll go get the ladder. I let him pick between two quilts as to which one would the replacement. The choices were the embroidered Double Wedding Ring quilt or Blue Easy Breezy Courthouse Steps. He selected blue easy breezy.

We both agree, this was a change for the better, easy breezy is much more colorful and brighter.

I need to sew a sleeve on the back of Welsh Beauty and display her on the blue wall in the guest room which means Dear Jane will have to come down. I have a lot of blue & white quilts!

When I showed quilts in the rafters in Sunday's post, Margaret left this comment: Your quilts are always so beautiful, and they make your house glow. It’s all so lovely! I’ve often wondered how you select fabrics for your quilts - the fabrics work so well with the patterns you have chosen. They don’t compete or try to overtake the quilt pattern. Do you have any words of wisdom on how to select fabrics? Wishing you a peaceful and healthful New Year!

I've never thought about it but I normally try to have my background fabric light enough that the darker colors show. I've noticed when I see quilts that have very figured background fabric, I have trouble seeing the design. Sometimes when I look at busy quilts, I don't see anything but a mishmash of colors. I don't know if there is something wrong with my vision or if my brain just doesn't comprehend the design.

Blue easy breezy is probably the busiest quilt I've ever made. I do easily see the dark blue chain and the parts of the yellow chain but some of the blocks that have busier background fabrics are a blur to me. But I do like this quilt because it is full of bright blues and yellow and bring some color to our dreary drizzly winter we're having.

Linking to  Hugs & StitchesTo Do Tuesday, Midweek Makers, Wednesday Wait Loss, Put Your Foot Down