Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Help Wanted

Hi, everyone!  I'd love some feedback on this, please!  I've got my Hunter's Star blocks all sewn into rows ...


... then sewed the rows together.  Lots of points to try to avoid cutting off, but I got through it with most of the points intact.  More or less.

Once together, I started auditioning fabrics for the borders. Inner first. I thought this would be perfect:


I didn't have any more of the hideous green that's in the body of the quilt (on the left), but this one comes mighty close.  I don't have a lot of border options due to how much fabric it calls for; this is a very large quilt!  My thoughts (which I now question) were something along the lines of - that green is so ugly I should use one just like it for the inner border!  Seemed like a good idea at the time - and it's very true to the period.  (Civil War Era.)

Here I am, happily sewing it in ...


Everything was just fine until I neared the end.  I was lightly holding onto the border strip underneath and noticed it was getting shorter than the top ...

"Son of a ..."

I may have uttered an HBO word.  Or two.  Or more.  What's that saying?  "Measure once, cuss twice"?  Yeah.  Then I thought, well, heck, the border had to be pieced anyway, due to how long it is, so just grab another 2 1/2" chunk of it and sew it on.  Yeah.  Great idea.


Wouldn't it have been an even better if I'd grabbed the same green?!?  I didn't even realize what I'd done until I posted the shot to social media.  Chalk that one up to being color blind and a tad rushed.  Son of a ... let's just keep going.  My husband (best husband in the world, I might add) said it adds charm.  He's a keeper.

I kept going, adding the rest of the borders and trying to measure better this time.


It's not as wavy as it looks there, but to be honest, it IS a little wavy, since I didn't measure well.  ARGH!  At this stage, I was in the "starch, steam, and quilting could take care of that" stage.  Hopefully, anyway.

Then, I looked to see what Civil War repros I had that could work for the outer border.  I really like this blue:


But that's where I'm stuck.  Do I hate the green?  I'm not a green kinda gal, but it can work.  Do the green and blue not go?  Do neither of them work?  

Someone whose opinion I greatly value (my quilting mentor from years ago) said she doesn't think the green works at all, but that she likes the blue.  Too much of a statement from the green.  Maybe that's it -- I could see how the green could overpower the quilt.

I'd love to know what you all think.  I MIGHT have a soft brown I could substitute for the green -- or I'm sure I have muslin.  I hate to rip out (especially that much), but I don't want to be unhappy with this.

I won't be sewing for a few days still -- we're having our main floor carpeting ripped out and replaced, so we have a lot going on.  Please drop a comment or let me know on FB or email.  I'd appreciate hearing your thoughts!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 1, 2019

It's The Look On His Face!

Hi, everyone! I wrapped up another old project recently - still going through that stack of UFOs, trying to finish things up. This time, it's another small wall-hanging:


I'm calling it "Eagle And Stars".

As I recall, I appliquéd the eagle for something, had tried my hand at paper-piecing some 5-pointed stars, did some practice writing ... then just decided to put it all together. Fair enough, right? The eagle is an original, and let me admit fully that I AM NOT AN ARTIST. Seriously - check out the look on his face:


It totally cracks me up. When I hang it, I must hang it where I can see that face.

I quilted using this thread:


YLI Variations. I used it on the Forgotten Pyramids quilt, too - again, trying to use things up. I'm happy to say it is now gone.

Oh, I didn't use it all. I threw it OUT! That and every other spool like it. I could not get my machine (which is perfect) to hold a consistent tension with it. Too loose, too tight, no amount of adjusting sufficient to maintain any steady look. IN THE TRASH. I used to like it - a friend suggested that it could have been because it was older thread. That makes total sense, but let me add that the King Tut threads I have that are the same age don't treat me like that. LOL. Anyway, it's gone now. Long live the King!

For the binding, I once again did the "sew to the back, bring around to the front" machine-style:


Other than the on-going tension issues, it worked out fabulously!

I like how the star area came out:


I had initially quilted it differently - as well as the sashing - and ripped it all out.

Ask me if I'm glad I've finished this one!


As always, thanks for reading!

Sunday, June 30, 2019

A Little Miscellaneous Post

Hi, everyone!  I keep meaning to mention the topic of pens to you.  I've never had great luck with marking pens on fabric - either they don't come out, they come out before you want them to come out, or I can't see them.  I usually end up using a pencil or for dark fabric, chalk.  Obviously the problem with chalk is it comes off very easily.  I mean, that's a plus, too, but it makes it hard to mark a whole top, you know?  Then ... I finally discovered the Frixion pens!  Where have these been all my life?

I initially took this shot because my bobbin ran out THREE INCHES from the end,
but I thought it was a good look at the pen markings!

I bought a set off Amazon - blue, black, pink, and white. WHITE! It takes a few seconds for the white to show up, but then there it IS! And it all stays on until you hit it with an iron. Totally awesome! If you haven't tried these out yet, please do. You won't be sorry!

I also had promised to show you the Wonky Army Star quilt once it was hung up! We put it at the bottom of the stairs. It's a bright, open area and some of my husband's military things are already on a shelf there. Perfect!


It would have been too dark in his study, but this way, we can both enjoy it every time we head down the stairs!

I'll have a couple more updates for you soon!

As always, thank you for reading!

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Forgotten Pyramids

Many thanks to my friends for helping me name this one.

Forgotten Pyramids

It was another one in the stack of "UFOs" that really needed to be quilted, bound, and hung! I remember piecing it ... I just can't exactly remember when it was. Yikes. Let's just say it was quite a while ago!  All of the triangles are from fabric samples a friend and I used to get when we lived in Korea from a shop in Texas.  I think I pieced it after we left there ... maybe while we were living on Fort Riley, KS?  '97?  '98?  Somewhere around there!

I quilted a diamond grid on it, then quilted a free-form rope in the borders. I decided to do the "sew the binding to the back, then bring it to the front to machine stitch" method. Sewing from the FRONT. I am SO MUCH happier doing it this way!

Sew to the back first, then bring it around to the front

Sure, my stitching shows, but it's all part of the "framing", right? I used the same thread I quilted with, so ... whatever. I'm happy.

I put little sleeves on the back that sewed right into the binding. I'll slip a tiny dowel through it to hang.


Yes, I had to hand-stitch the bottoms, but it takes like 5 minutes.

Action shot:


I sewed as close to that folded edge as I could.  So much easier for me!

Here's a close up of a corner:


Nice and crisp. Whew.

For the record, I don't think there's a "wrong" way to do the binding. This just is working best for me right now!

All done and ready to hang:


I just don't quite know where that will be yet, so it's hanging out with the LPs:


It really feels great to finish some of these old projects! This one has such a nice "warm Autumn" feel to it.  It will fit in a number of places!

Thank you all for reading! I truly appreciate it!

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Camp Casey Quilt - Done and Hung!

Hi everyone!  Another quilt I wrapped up is the Camp Casey quilt I showed you a little bit ago!  Here's a shot, binding on and after a nice wash:


I'm very happy that my many, many pencil lines came out nicely.


Detail shot of some of the quilting:


How about a look at the back?


You can tell that Maggie is impressed, can't you?

Here's a close up:


I'm really happy with my combination of straight-line quilting, other walking foot work, and free-motion quilting. And I LOVE the King Tut thread! (Sands of Time. Love it!!!)

And here it is, at home in my husband's office:


I was going to hang the Wonky Army Star Quilt there, but was afraid it would make the room too dark. This is a perfect fit!

I love finishing up any project, but especially love finishing "old" ones!

Thanks so much for reading!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

It Starts With A Pair Of Pants ...

Hi everyone!  Sorry I dropped off for a bit there!  Today I'd like to show you a fun bag I made for a friend of mine.  She had admired the denim purse I was carrying ... so I offered to make her one.  Not necessarily one like it, but a bag.  (Just as a gesture, one friend to another; I'm not going back into the "business"!). So ... as the title of this post states, it starts with a pair of pants!


They were my husband's. I'm sure he was done with them. At least he is now. 😀. No, really. He was. They are nice, sturdy pants made from a lovely sort of brushed denim? I'm not sure. But very soft yet strong fabric. And LOTS of pockets! I ❤️ pockets!

My friend spends a lot of time outdoors - she's my birding buddy, plus she is out with her Border Collies a lot, does a lot of hiking, etc. I wanted something pretty, yet functional and sort of outdoorsy.  I thought this fabric was perfect for the lining:


And what goes together better than grey and blue?!?  OK, maybe blue and white, but let's move on!

I cut a nice large rectangle around some of the pockets.  I wanted the bag to be a bit larger, so I added some denim panels to the sides.  I also cut two other pockets out to use inside the bag:


It seemed like a good plan!

I used a variegated black to white thread to sew the pockets onto the lining, and to do a little quilting:


You can't see it there, but I also decided since the bandana-looking fabric was quilt-weight cotton, I should put some interfacing on it.  I used some fusible that I have.  It no longer fuses.  That could have been why I did some quilting on the inside.

Anyway, panels all set and ready to build a bag:


Honestly, men's pants have the BEST pockets!  There were all sizes; I used as many as I could!

Here's one side of the bag, pinned to the ZIPPER (I know!) and set to sew:


Obviously, you can see my non-fused fusible interfacing there.  I also put two lines of stitching at the bottom of every pocket, just for added strength.

Here's an action shot:

Pins are your friends; just don't sew over them.

I was watching a quilt video the other morning while I was tread-milling and all I could think was, "Wow, she uses almost as many pins as I do!"  LOL.  Seriously.  I must pin.

Ready for the "ta-da moment"?  Here it is:


Very pleased with how it came together.  Here is a closer look at the "grab and go" straps:


They are extra-wide, then I sewed them in half so they'd be more comfy to hold onto.  They are made from seatbelt webbing.

And look at that double zipper!!!  I think it's from an old backpack.

Here's the other side of the bag:


And finally, a peek inside:


You can't have too many pockets - right?!?

I had a blast making this!  It was a total free-form kind of thing - I had no plan, just used what I had and had fun with it.  What a great project!  I hope my friend likes using it as much as I liked making it!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, June 21, 2019

Kansas Dugout Scrap String Quilt - DONE!

Hi everyone!  Remember the Kansas Dugout quilt I finished piecing back in January?  January?!?  I thought it was way more recently than that, but there you go.  Anyway - I finished quilting it and binding it a few weeks ago and thought I'd show you how it turned out.

Here it is, once I quilted and trimmed it:


I agonized over how to quilt it, then realized I LOVE doing the wavy lines. I mean LOVE doing them. So you know ... why not?

I dug into my 2.5" scrap basket for the binding:


I also pieced the back:


A Kansas Dugout quilt calls for two different sunflower-themed fabrics, don't you think?

I decided to go with the "sew to the front, pull around to the back, but still sew from the front to secure the part in the back" method, like I did on the runner.  I used a lot of pins this time, so I wouldn't miss the fold in the back.


The front looks OK:

Sunflower binding meets sunflower scrap.  💛

But I had too much flap past my stitching line in the back, if that makes sense.  Here's a look at the back:


And yet, it got the job DONE!!!  Take a gander:


As you can see by the Pickle, I had some help in the Studio.

Here's the back:


It feels good to have another old project DONE!

Thanks for reading!