Sunday 25 October 2020

Fall Frolic

Fall Frolic is done. Now I just have to pack it up with Licorice Allsorts and send it on its way. Licorice Allsorts is for the oldest son of the nephew for whom I made Fall Frolic. I was hoping to make the quilts for his oldest daughter and youngest son and send them along as well, so that no one felt left out, but I must get the Stitch Pink quilt done for my niece. Plus my daughter has requested a bed-sized quilt, and I'd like to give her that for Christmas. And I don't want to have to store my nephew's and great nephew's quilts until I get the others made. Plus I've got more masks to make... (I'm sick of masks).

I used the pantograph Fall Flurry by Bethanne Nemesh from Urban Elementz

and Wonderfil Fabulux thread in Majestic Sunrise for the quilting. 
You can read my previous post for more info on this quilt. 

Meanwhile, i finished the quilt top for Practice Makes Perfect 3. 

I would have rather done the border in one of the other colours rather than grey, but I've pretty much used up any large pieces of the original 5 colours used in Practice Makes Perfect. That's why I ended having to alternate the green and blue triangles in the corners of this one. One thing I noticed about this solid fabric - it really wrinkles easily. It's not like most of the print fabric that I use. So, I almost hate to take it down off the design wall until I'm ready to quilt it because it will require a very thorough pressing - again - before quilting. But, as I said, I've got those other projects that need to be done. So, this one, along with Practice Makes Perfect 2, will have to find a home on a shelf until I can get to it. 
Back to Stitch Pink, I have finished block 3, Monkeying Around. 
Frankly, I find this block embarrassing. It looks like I didn't cut the pieces big enough and then was too lazy to redo the block and just added extra strips of background fabric on the bottom and one side to make it big enough. But that's not what I did. This is actually the pattern. Perhaps if the extra strips had been print fabric instead of background, it might have looked more like a design choice rather than an afterthought. I get it - this is a 5-patch block, which can be very challenging to make into a 12" block. Templates were what was needed, and if I had to do it over again, I would have made my own templates so that the block would have finished at 12" without the extra strips. But I really don't feel like making it over again. I might consider it. I'll see how quickly I get the rest of the blocks done and how much fabric is left. 
I have to say, though, that this block kind of makes me feel the same way as these hot pot holders. 
From the top, they don't look bad, but my sewing machine wasn't liking this quilting and I ended up with thread loops and nests on the back. 
I'm not sure what was going on and I didn't have time to try to fix it, so I will be keeping these potholders. I intended to give one of them, together with a crocheted dishcloth, to someone who was leaving our office for a job elsewhere, but there was no way I was gifting something with that kind of mess. I would be ashamed. So, the individual got two dishcloths instead. 
Block 4, Flower Power, was next. 
I'm still puzzled as to why the instructions call for making HSTs by cutting individual triangles instead of putting two squares together as much as possible. Regardless, I'm doing them how I want to do them. 
I was hoping to get another block done today, and I still might, but I had a couple of lengthy phone calls and I still have to do laundry. So, quilting will pause for now. 

Monday 12 October 2020

Too Many Projects on the Go

While working on Practice Makes Perfect, I decided to see if I had sufficient fabric left over to make the practice quilts for the two Angela Walters classes I own. One is Quilting With Rulers: Free Motion Made Simple, which I own online (hopefully, the new Craftsy will get our pre-owned classes sorted out soon). And the other is Help! How Do I Quilt It?: A Machine-Quilting Manual, which I own on DVD. Like the previous class, these are both taught mostly on a domestic machine, so I will have to be creative to make them work on my longarm. But, after all of the time and effort I invested in Practice Makes Perfect, I really am not in a hurry to do another quilt using free motion or rulers. I just wanted to get the quilt tops done so that they'd be ready when I am. And I can put the remnants of the fabric in the scrap bin. 

This is the quilt top for ruler practice, which I will call Practice Makes Perfect 2. But I had gotten sidetracked while working on Practice Makes Perfect, and started on something more interesting. 
I think I will call this Fall Frolic. It's made from the Jordan Fabrics pattern, Teatime, and it gave me the opportunity to use my Strip Tube ruler for the first time. I am actually farther along than this picture shows, needing only one more border and then it will be ready for the longarm. It will be for my nephew, Andrew. 
Back to making practice quilt tops, I got this far on Practice Makes Perfect 3 (pattern from the "Help!" class) and discovered that my HST border was too long. I've been revising the instructions as I saw fit and even though I starched the fabric before cutting HSTs, the bias still stretched. A LOT! I have some ideas for how I'm going to remedy this, but I wanted to work on something more fun for awhile. (I also made templates for the paper-piecing part - those diamonds in the centre - because I realized that I would run out of fabric if I did it all with paper-piecing). 

I had seen this video and thought that those quilts would work for baby quilts. Not that I have run out of ideas for using HSTs in baby quilts. But I certainly am not opposed to finding and trying new ideas. My local quilt shop sells precut metres of fabric for $7/metre and I resolved to give this a try. So I picked up 3 coordinating fabrics the next time I was in the shop. 
And this is what I tried next. 
This one is the Jigsaw quilt, demonstrated by Misty starting at 17:29 in the video. Full cutting directions are not provided, because, of course, they want to sell the book, which you can find here:

(And if you purchase through this link, I'll actually earn a small pittance. I have no idea how much because it's never happened so far). 
I'm going to keep this author's books in mind because I really like the idea of a 3-yard quilt and they will be great alternates for HST baby quilts. Unfortunately, I don't currently have backing fabric for this one, but that's not a big problem since I also don't have a recipient in mind. 
Meanwhile, I did a little doodling. 
This is one of the quilting designs (or at least my version of it) in the "Help!" Not bad for a non-doodler, eh? But I don't think I will ever master the serpentine lines!
October started with daily emails of quilt block designs from Moda arriving in my inbox. These are part of the #ModaStitchPink project for Breast Cancer Awareness month. I don't usually join Quilt Alongs, since I already have more than enough projects to work on. However, my oldest niece, Julie, celebrated her 50th birthday on October 11th. And her favourite colour is pink. Plus I have a sister who is a breast cancer survivor and an aunt who died at 95, who was a breast cancer survivor as well. So, I thought, "Why not?" Especially since I like trying new quilt blocks. I picked up several pink fabrics at the quilt shop, including a very pale pink solid that I'm using as the background. And I added some pink fabrics from my stash, and started making blocks. 
I think I need to move purchasing a new camera higher on my priority list. My cell phone camera just doesn't capture colours very well. 
I've only got the first two blocks done so far. As usual, I don't always follow directions exactly if I know a method that I think works better. In the above block, I used the no-waste method for making flying geese. 

I hate wasting fabric, or trying to figure out what to do with triangles that I've had to cut off corners. So, this method works really well for me. 
I told my niece that it would be a combined birthday and Christmas present and she'd probably get it closer to Christmas, but I didn't tell her that it's a quilt. I suspect that she'll probably guess. 
Well, back to the studio. In addition to these project, I've also got some more masks to make.