Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Gold--

Finished quilt after blocking
Our book club read "Tales of the Yukon" by Robert Service. It is a book of poetry. I'm not excited about reading poetry. I've tried several times to enjoy poetry. . .it is not for me! The person who lead the discussions for this book also tasked us to write a poem. For me, writing poetry ranks even less on the scale than reading it does! Sigh. . .

Belonging to the group and participating in the activities has pushed me outside of my comfortable "box" more times than I can recount. In the end, there was one poem in the book that inspired me. It was a poem about the landscape which made me think of stars in the sky against a backdrop of snow. I've considered stars as bits of gold and those thoughts were the inspiration behind this project.

Auditioning the "coverage" strip
I did write a poem:

White snow glows

on a moonlight night.

Beautiful!

The entire project came from scraps. The design was from "Little Lone Star Quilts" by Lorraine Olson. The star was paper pieced. The diamond border, which is also paper pieced, took forever!

I quilted a grid design in the background fabric. The piece
was a little wonky so I soaked it to block it. The red fabric that I used as the star points bled on the background. I tried a variety of methods to remove the bleeding. While the bleeding was less definite, it was still evident.

Finished front
I considered my options and decided I could put a sashing around the star. I auditioned a variety of fabrics; but, went with a gold fabric. While I would have preferred no strip or a narrower strip, the wider strip covered the majority of the bleeding evidence.

To secure the strip, I hand sewed it in place. I liked how the yellow added to the effect of the star actually glowing. Additionally, the yellow/gold colored strip went well with the gold theme in the book. It was a fix that worked! 

It still was a little wonky; but, I decided a little wonky was better than any more bleeding! The piece measures 13 inches by 13 inches. I finished it in March of 2015. 

Label
I'd always thought that I would make another miniature quilt; but, I haven't! Miniature projects, while taking less fabric than larger projects, still take a lot of time! Accuracy of cutting strips, sewing seam allowances becomes even more important as the pieces become smaller.

I did enter this piece is several quilt shows. It won a blue ribbon (first place) at one show. I share this information because in none of the judges' comments was there a mention of the fabric bleeding. 

Hanging at a show
The judges' did comment that the yellow strip while unexpected added to the overall appearance of the piece. The comments included that the edges should be straight. There was a couple comments that there should have been more space between the gold strip and the diamond border and there were a couple comments that the spacing was good. 

There were no comments about fabric bleeding. It all worked out! 

This is my fourth post this month documenting past book club quilts. If you missed a post you can click the links and read the posts: Old Sames; Reflections; More Than Black and White. Documenting four posts was goal number two in my May list.

Because this project is all from scraps, I'm linking to Cynthia's blog at Oh Scrap/Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework.









Sunday, May 22, 2022

More Fabric Bowls--Gertie Writes

More fabric bowls
Hi I'm Gertie. I'm Terry's inner squirrel. I'm posting for Terry today since she is out of town. 

Before Terry left to visit her daughter, I convinced her to make four more fabric bowls. She took photos of all but one of the six that she created. (She gave one of the bowls away after a being in London a couple of days.) She could have made more bowls before she left but she ran out of time.

Terry planned to gift these bowls to friends of her daughter that she has met on previous trips as well as friends she meets during her stay. 

Home for one bowl

One of her daughter's friends inherited her mom's stash a couple years ago. Her mom's fabrics are not her style and she isn't a quilter. Terry thought that this friend might get a kick out of making fabric bowls with some of her mom's stash. Then, she thought perhaps, other people would like a fabric bowl so that was the initial inspiration behind making the bowls. I had to work REALLY hard to convince her to sew more bowls!

For the friend, Terry packed printed directions and enough stabilizer for the friend to make two fabric bowls. I hope that she will have fun with the project and will make even more fabric bowls. I also hope that she will share photos of her creations. She is a creative person and I wouldn't be surprised if she created her own directions for the bowls.

What the bowl holds
Terry made some bowls low and squatting. She made some bowls deeper with a petal kind of edge. They traveled well in the suitcase. The first person that she gifted a bowl liked that the bowl was reversible. This person is a bicyclist and liked the print. She commented that the colors in the bowl (blue and yellow) would fit in well with her redecorating scheme. I call that a win/win!

Terry has gifted all but one of the bowls. So far they have been a hit. (I told her so!) I wish that she would have photographed the recipients with their bowls; but, I forgot to remind Terry to do it. Honestly, I don't know where she would be without me!

Terry used about half a yard of fabric from her stash which brings the total used from her stash to 37 and one half yards for the year.

I'm linking this post to Cynthia at Oh Scrap/Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework. I agree with Terry when she talks about Cynthia's link up, "Have a cuppa and be inspired with all the projects people are creating from scraps!"

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Old Sames--

Hand embroidery




Our Thread Tales book club read the book, "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" by Lisa See. The book is about the lives of two girls who are friends throughout their lifetime. In the book, they are "old sames" and that was how I selected the title of my project. 

One girl begins life with little affluence but ends up affluent at the end of the book. The other girl begins life with affluence but ends up without it.


Broiderie perse on the shoes




The girls learn the needle arts: Sewing, embroidery and weaving. They make their own shoes.  They had bound feet and one of the girls achieved the perfect size foot. . . .three inches! I made a "shoe" that was three inches to applique on my quilt.





Fan





The girls communicate with one another writing on the folds of a fan. I designed my own fan pattern and I made a sample which became my label. 






Label







All of my fabrics are leftover from other quilts that I made. This is a technique piece. This project contains a bit of trapunto, hand embroidery, paper piecing, broiderie perse, free motion quilting and more techniques than I can remember.



Back






Since the fan was a central feature of the book, I used a stencil to mark a quilting pattern as well as a batik fabric that was printed with fans.

I was fortunate to have visited China and was impressed with the massive gates that were in front of places of reverence. I made my own sort of gate with the medium blue fabric. This fabric also represented a fabric that the girls could have woven.


Front








I made this project in 2007. It was the second project and second book of our Thread Tales group. My London daughter has this quilt.


Sunday, May 15, 2022

Saturday Workshop #3--Applied Edge Appliqué

Applique shapes
Our instructor, Lorraine, has produced amazing applique quilts. It was great to see her demonstrate the technique she uses at a Saturday workshop at the end of January. Years ago, Lorraine had taken a class with Pearl Pereira to learn her method which uses freezer paper. 

I've played with making templates in a Karen Kay Buckley class. For this class, we used freezer to make our own templates. Lorraine provided a pdf that included a variety of shapes. 

My goal was to make one of each shape. We started with the heart shape. I followed her directions of making the freezer paper template. I used the grocery store freezer paper as I didn't have the other brand that she suggested. 

We used Mary Ellen's Best Press with a stipple brush to apply the starch alternative to the edge of the fabric. We worked in small sections and we used an iron to dry the fabric. After I had turned all the edges on a template, I let it cool. Once the template cooled, I removed the freezer paper. The applique shape retained its shape and I was able to reuse it!

I used a bit of glue to anchor the shapes and then applique all but the tree shape on my piece of scrap fabric. I finished the little sample in class. I haven't completed the sample because I'm panning to figure out how to incorporate the tree. At least, that is what Gertie, my inner squirrel, is telling me!

It was a fun class. I look forward to playing again with the technique. Since only scraps were used in this project, I'm linking to Cynthia at Oh Scrap/Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework

Posting about this workshop was goal number four in May list.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

More Than Black and White

Back
 Our book club read, "The Help" by Katheryn Stockett. At the time we read this book, I was participating in a free motion quilting challenge each month through sewcalgal's blog. (Darlene has stopped writing that blog. Her current blog is "Creative Latitude.")  Cindy Needham was the featured instructor for June. Cindy shared a swirl or blob shape that she encouraged those participating in the challenge to quilt a variety of fills in the spaces.

Cindy talked about dividing and conquering the spaces. I had a little piece of a white on white fabric in my scrap bin. I layered it with a scrap of muslin for the back and a scrap of two battings. One batting was 80/20 and the other was 1/2 layer of wool. I used this sandwich as my place to play with the design. 

Because the fabric was light and I wanted my thread work to have a high contrast, I quilted with black thread. When I finished quilting the blob and background, I wanted to do more. Cindy's fill stitches inspired me to make a tiny quilt repeating one fill stitch. I decided the tiny quilt should be added to the project.

Label
I added another chunk of fabric to the backing and to the top of the piece using the quilt as you go method. Fortunately, the batting extended so I didn't have to add more batting! I made this section the invisible sleeve. Then I added my tiny quilt to the center of the top. 

What was serendipitous about adding the tiny quilt was that I now had a place to add my label.

In the bobbin, I used cotton thread. In the needle I used a variety of thread and thread weights. I used polyester, cotton and metallic threads. I used the metallic thread to match stick quilt the top of the piece. I matched the color of the threads in the needle to the color of the bobbin thread. To make a darker and thicker line, I stitched over the area multiple times.

Front

Reading the book, I knew I wanted to focus on the two colors: black and white. This little project then became my book quilt. The premise of the book was about life in terms of being privileged white or being black who served the white community. I named the piece "More Than Black and White." Too often we think of situations in black and white or right and wrong. In reality, life is full of a lot of shades of gray!

When I looked at the front, I felt it was too plain. As I have written previously, my grandmother taught me how to sew. To honor her, I try to use something from her sewing basket in each of my projects. Usually, it is the thread that I stitch around the outer edge of the project.

In this case, I used the black buttons that were in her button box. I added a few beads. Tom Russell inspired me to add the buttons and the beads. Tom died in 2015. I enjoyed reading his blog posts and watching the segment that he filmed with Sharon Schamber on The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims. 

Again, my granddaughter liked this piece. When I photographed it recently, she wanted me to photograph her finger with the quilt to show the scale of the fills. I finished the piece in 2012.  It is small--9 1/2 inches wide by 15 3/4 inches high.


Sunday, May 8, 2022

2022 Temperature Quilt--Post 3

February and March

I believe that Gertie was correct in wanting me to add more background fabrics. As my inner squirrel, she sure makes me think multiple times about fabrics, techniques and projects!

While I'm still not sold on a different background every month, I am warming to the idea of adding one or two more fabrics to the purple than I'm currently using. Gertie is still working on me to reconsider!

I took a photo of February and March rows together. The original background I planned to use would have been fine. The three boxes on the left are the spacer blocks that I use when a month has less than 31 days.

February-March view

Adding the purple, however, contributes to the overall eye impact of the project. When I return home, I'll determine if I add one more fabric, two more fabrics or none!

As I create more rows, I am enjoying al the English Paper Pieced blocks! My plan for stitching the rows together for now, although Gertie may convince me to take another tact, is to wait until the end of next month before stitching the rows together. I'm concerned with how heavy and bulky the piece will become. I think adding rows to each side will make it easier for my body to handle the added bulk and weight. 

Let's see!

Closer view of February-March
Since I'm using scraps from last year's temperature quilt, I'm linking to Cynthia and Oh Scrap/Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework.

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms! I arrived in London on Mother's Day in the UK (March 27). My daughter and I both agree that two Mother's Days are definitely an improvement over one celebration. Yesterday my daughter treated me to a manicure/pedicure. I haven't had a manicure since March 2020 before the pandemic. I haven't had a pedicure since April 2021! It was heaven. 

She received a manicure and pedicure too. Miss A went along with us to the West Lane Salon. One of us started with the pedicure while the other of us started with the manicure. With that arrangement, one of us would always be available to jiggle and hold Miss A. Miss A, now eight weeks old slept most of the time we were there. Honestly, holding a sleeping baby is wonderful!

Three generations on Mother's Day
The business owner, Melissa, brews a wonderful cup of Vietnamese coffee and she is a baby whisperer. Miss A was asleep after about five minutes in Melissa's arms. Melissa smiled proudly then exclaimed. . ."it's really the white noise from the hair dryers that does it." White noise or not, Melissa knows exactly what her customers' needs are---no matter their ages !



Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Reflections--

Label

Our Thread Tales book club read "The Glass Blower of Murano" by Marina Fiorato. In the opening pages of the book, the author describes the scene of the lights playing across the water at night. The description made me think of molten glass. The molten glass made me think of marbled fabric.

A number of years prior to reading this book, I had purchased a few small pieces of marbled fabric at the Stash Bazaar. I had intended to border the fabrics and place the pieces together. That idea never felt "right" to me so I continued to enjoy the fabric hanging on my design wall. After reading that description, I pulled one of the fabrics and decided to make it my project for the book.

Finished front
To make the project larger, I added a couple of borders to the marbled fabric. Using bamboo batting and sulky thread, I quilted the lines that were printed into the fabric. I finished the edges using Vicki Pignatelli's facing technique. There is something freeing about cutting an organic line which becomes the edge of the facing. This piece is small--12 3/8 inches wide by 11 1/2 inches high. I finished the piece in 2011. 

I enjoyed the finished piece so much that for years it hung in my studio where I could easily see it as I stitched.  I took it down when we were on the list to evacuate because of huge fire that occurred in our area in the summer of 2020. I packed it along with all my other finished quilts. 

Now, it lives with my group of "small" quilts from which I select one or two each month to display around the house.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

April Recap and May Goals

Mom and daughter when I arrived
My goals for April were:

✔1. Piece all the days of February together for the 2022 Temperature quilt. ✔Maybe, I'll get a bunch of the March blocks together too! I'd like to be caught up with this project by May. Although, I may not have enough of one of the fabrics to stay caught up. Time will tell! This was my one monthly goal. Check out others' goals at Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal April Link-up

✔2. Write four posts that feature book club quilts from the past.

✔3. Write a post about the virtual Saturday Workshop classes that I've taken since January. 
I listened to the following books:
Audio: 1. Kingdom of the Blind/Louise Penny 4.5; 2. A Better Man/Louise Penny 4.5; 3. All the Devils Are Here/Louise Penny 4.5; 4. The Madness of Crowds/Louise Penny 4.5; 5. And Every Morning The Way Home Gets Longer/Fredrik Backman 4; 

Granddaughter one month after my arrival
It's been a great month. I've walked many times to Borough Market. I've had a cup of coffee at favorite coffee shops. My daughter introduced me to a pain au raisin at one of her favorite places that has become a favorite for me too. I like shopping on Saturday at Spa Terminus market. We've taken Miss A, the youngest granddaughter to the Tate Modern and to the Textile museums. She slept through some of each visit.

I've eaten Spanish Tapas at Bravas Tapas located at Saint Katherines Dock. (I plan to enjoy other food there on a week day when it isn't so busy.) I'm slowly working my way through the bread, biscuits and loaves the German Whole Grain Baker offers through a little stall available Fridays near my daughter's flat.  I've enjoyed take out from Nando's and Dishoom.

Fabrics for April 30 in temperature quilt
I've had fun cooking Ottolenghi recipes with my daughter. So far, every item that I've made, I would definitely make again. Gertie wants to write posts about the dishes we've created.

Best of all, I've enjoyed watching my granddaughter grow! She's rolled herself over from back to front a handful of times and at seven weeks old she weighs eight and half pounds. 

My goals for May are:
1. Continue piecing blocks for the 2022 Temperature quilt. I am as caught up as I can be. I've a little system in place, I piece one block a day and I'm keeping up! On day last month, we had six inches of snow fall at home. I didn't pack any snow fabric because I can't remember the last time there was measurable snow fall in April! When I return home, I'll add that piece of the cube and I'll finish April. This will be my One Monthly Goal. For more inspiration, please visit: Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal May Link-up
Possible cross stitch projects

2. Write four more posts that feature book club quilts from the past. The books will be: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See; The Glassblower of Murano by Marina Fiorato; Tales of the Yukon by Robert Fortune and The Help by Katheryn Stockett.

3. Work on my book club quilt for the June reveal. Last month I created my plan and drew it on a piece of fabric which I then layered and basted. I plan to complete the majority of the piece with hand stitches.

Another small cross stitch kit
4. Write a post about the third virtual Saturday Workshop that I took earlier this year. That workshop was about an appliqué technique.

5. Work on a cross stitch or beading project. I worked on 
one project last month.

6. Gertie has twisted my arm and is planning to write a cooking post. What dishes will she feature? Hm m m m. . . 


Finally, Happy May Day. When I was a kid, we use to make little arrangements and leave the arrangements on our neighbors doorstep. I lived in an area where you knocked on doors. . .there weren't doorbells. After we had knocked, we'd run to where we had stowed our bikes. We'd ride our bikes to the next house and repeat the process. We always thought we were so smart in not getting caught. . . well, I'm sure the occupants figured out who left the bedraggled flower bits because our garden had flowers that bloomed before others in our area. 


 

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Alice's Roses-

Back of quilt

Our Thread Tales book group read, "The Desert Queen" by Janet Wallach. It is the story of how Gertrude Bell influenced the Arab world. While reading a historical biography is dry and painful, Wallach is masterful at telling Bell's story. I appreciated being able to review how culture and history has shaped that portion of the world.

I'm not into camels; but before my car accident in 2009, I enjoyed gardening. Bell loved roses and developed a rose garden with stock from England. Growing roses was the inspiration for this piece. My friend, Alice, who was moving from the city to the coast, had a group of us over for breakfast one morning. She invited us to take anything that was laid about the house so she didn't have to pack it! 

Label detail
Alice was an avid gardener. Her roses were always beautiful. I always admired that she cultivated beautiful blooms in a climate that produced black spot, mildew and paltry blossoms on my roses. At her breakfast was a box of linens. Among the linens was a pink tea towel with a cross stitched Victorian style lady walking behind a picket fence as a decoration. I picked up the linens.

A week of so after our breakfast, I took a class from Cindy Needham. Cindy is the queen of turning old linens into special works of art. Using Cindy's stencils during class, I drew a design on the tea towel. Of course, I used a rose as the center of the design. I incorporated as many of Cindy's tips as I could in this small project. If you have the opportunity to take a class from Cindy do it. She is a fabulous instructor.

Project front
I used Hoffman's Radiance as the backing. Sadly, Hoffman no longer produces this beautiful fabric. To get the trapunto puff effect, I used two battings--Dream Request which is a thin batting and Hobbs wool batting which produced the loft.

I used metallic threads to quilt the outline of the rose. I quilted the background with silk thread in the needle and cotton thread in the bobbin. 

My oldest granddaughter loved this piece. Partly because she likes the color pink and partly becomes she liked the texture of the quilting. She would tell me that roses are too "prickly!" It is her finger that you see in the photos.

February and March blocks
I quilted this project on my 1630 Bermina in 2011. This is
the fourth book club project that I have documented this month. Documenting four book club projects was goal number two on my April list. If you want to read about the other three quilts, the link is connected to the following project titles: Grandmother's Flower Garden; Ouch and Crossroads.

I've written this before; but, it bears repeating. Belonging to this book club has pushed me outside my "box" when it comes to quilting techniques. I've read books that I wouldn't have considered and enjoyed them. Most of all, I have loved the discussions, activities and reveals that I have had with the group.

On another note, I did meet my goal to finish the blocks for February in the temperature quilt for 2022. I  exceeded my goal. I also finished the March blocks and I've kept up with the blocks for April! For this post, I'm including the photo of my February and March blocks. Next month, I'll write a post about my progress. Please check out the following link to see others who have met their April goals! Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal - April Finish Link-up

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Upcycled Apron--Saturday Workshop #2

Using the seam ripper as a guide
Upcycled Apron was a Saturday workshop. I made an Upcycled Apron for each of my granddaughters when they were much younger. They grew out of those. I made them an apron (here and here) out of a tea towel. They grew out of those some time ago. This workshop was the perfect excuse to provide them with a larger sized apron.

Based on my granddaughters' likes for prints and colors, I purchased two size medium men's shirts at Goodwill. I purchased one because it was blue and had an animal printed on it. I purchased the second shirt because it was a dark grey with pink stripes. The two shirts cost $12. I did not pay attention to fiber content although both shirts are mostly cotton. I would have preferred to have purchased a shirt with a breast pocket; but, I chose the print/color over the pocket!

Collar detail
In this post, I will document the process with the blue print shirt. First, I cut up the side seams and around the sleeves. I followed our instructor's tip to leave the flat felled seam , if there was one, on the side seam for stability. Next, I removed the back of the shirt starting at the shoulder seam. Then I ripped the collar apart and removed the extra fabric from the shirt back. I determined a slight curve to the front of the apron. I cut away the excess fabric. I finished the edge of the fabric. Bev, our instructor, used bias tape on her sample to clean finish the front arm edge. 

I have lots of bias tape from my grandmother's stash. In the stash were several packages that paired well with the shirts. Our instructor, Bev, demonstrated how to use our seam rippers as a guide to sew the double fold bias tape. This

Auditioning the outer pocket
positioning tip was genius. I actually stitched the bias tape using one pin at the beginning of the seam!

I slipped the raw edge of the top front back into the collar seam and I restitched the edge of the collar. When I stopped to take a photo of the stitching, I realized this shirt had a pointed collar which was a great design feature.

Then I followed Bev's next direction to stitch on close to the edge on each side of the placket. To ensure that the plackets lined up on top of each other, we pinned the layers together between the buttons. We placed the pins vertically in the placket. Starting at one end of the planet, I stitched to about one and half inches from the bottom of the second button. From that point, I stitched straight across the placket. Then I stitched down the other side.

Closed outer pocket/recycled cuff
I determined where I wanted to place the pocket which was about an inch above the second from the bottom button. Then I cut the bottom two buttons off of the shirt. The ties came from the back of the shirt. I cut the ties to be two inches wide. I used the sleeves to make the large front pocket.  

I interfaced the main pocket because I planned to place an outer pocket on it. I also found that the shirt was made using the wrong side of the fabric. To have more contrast, I constructed the pockets with the right side of the fabric out. Before I stitched the pocket and pocket lining pieces together, I constructed the pocket and placed it on the main pocket. 

A second option to open the pocket . . .
unsnap it. . .
The cuffs on this shirt were constructed so that they looked liked the decorative snaps were cuff links. The group participants gave me ideas about how to reuse the cuffs. Their ideas helped me preserve the snap feature of the cuffs. 

I added bias tape to the top edge of the outer pocket as an accent. I repurposed the flat felled seam of the sleeve. I turned it into loops to hold a tasting spoon or just to be decorative.

I stitched close to the edge of the pocket and then a quarter of an inch away from the first stitching. Along the top edge of the pocket, I stitched next to the inner edge of the bias tape.

Collar detail
Then I constructed the main pocket. I added a wider pice of bias tape to the top edge of the pocket. I centered the pocket over the placket and stitched around three sides of the pocket. I also stitched down the center of the pocket so that there were two sections to the main pocket.

I used the second cuff as a breast pocket. I didn't realize that the cuffs had these decorative snaps. I thought it would be fun if the snaps were usable so I made the pocket accessible by the snaps! 

Regarding the ties. Using the shirt back, I cut a strip that was folded the bias that was about 2 inches wide. This gave me two ties. I pressed the fabric in half, then pressed the edges to the center fold. Next I folded the edges inside and pressed the strips in half. I stitched next to the outer edges of the tie. I tied a knot into one end of each tie.

Finished apron

I inserted the other end into the seam finish and stitched the seam finish in place. This is a great way to finish the ends of the ties.

Although, I didn't use any of my fabric stash in this project, I did use my grandmother's bias tape. She would have said it was a good use of the tape. She would also have been tickled with me making an apron. She wore an apron in her house. That apron was a dust cloth, a carrier for garden produce, a place to put some of the mail in addition to keeping her clothes clean.

I think I'll wait for Christmas to gift the apron to my middle granddaughter. Next Christmas she will be nine years old. She might enjoy getting a cookbook to go along with it. She cooks with her mom and dad. When she visits us, she cooks here too. She likes stirring and enjoys making soups among other dishes. I like her delicious cobbler fillings best.

I'm linking to Cynthia at Oh Scrap/Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework. This was goal number three on my April goal list.


Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Cross Roads--

Placing the strips




Our book club read, "The Time Traveler's Wife," by Audrey Niffeneger. The story is about a librarian who posses a gene that allows him to travel uncontrollably back and forth through time. I was inspired to create the feeling of slowly coming together or slowly disappearing. I had a piece of printed fabric that contained red, black and gray circles. I fused a stabilizer to the back of the print. I cut out strips, but didn't use a rotary cutter in light and dark. 





Grey circles and red diamonds




Once I had a selection of strips, I have myself an hour to arrange the pieces. I gave myself a limit because I knew I'd agonize for days about the placement and I didn't have days to spend on the project. In about fifty minutes, I was finished. I turned the light out in the studio. The next day, I surveyed my layout. I changed two strips. 




Detail of applique and background quilting



Back



Label
After I had fused the strips into place, I auditioned gray circles and red accents. I decided the red accents added the most. I kept those and added more. I removed the gray circles.











Next, I machine appliqued the edges. I used invisible monofilament thread. 












Finished front







The reason the piece is small is because a friend gave me a piece of 80/20 legacy batting to try. This was about the size of sample batting. I was happy to have a test. I decided that the batting was not my favorite. I stippled quilted in most of the background, I found that the background was flatter than I had anticipated.

















I do like the view of the quilting from the back of the project. The texture of what quilting can add to a project is one of the reasons that I enjoy the quilting part of the process so much.


I used YLI 100 wt silk thread in the needle to quilt the background. I used Aufifil 60 wt cotton thread in the bobbin. It went together fairly quickly. I made a flange as part of the binding. It was fun to make. I made it in 2011!



 

Sunday, April 17, 2022

2022 Temperature Quilt---post 2

Getting ready to baste
In reviewing my post from last Sunday, I realized that I hadn't shown the steps in putting the block together. I'll share my process in this post.  There are a variety of methods of basting and sewing the blocks together. While I haven't done a lot of English Paper Piecing (EPP) and only a tiny bit of hand piecing, I find the process meditative. I like having a handwork project going. My friend, JoJo, introduced me to EPP. I'm glad that she did! 

My die cut paper supplies and template came Paper Pieces. I have no affiliation with the company. I have always had great customer service and my orders have arrived sooner than I had expected.

I start with cutting the shape using a template that is about 3/8 inch larger than the card stock paper. I center the paper on the fabric. Using my nail, I fold the fabric over the edge of the paper. I take a basting stitch in the center of one side. I use a double strand of a strong thread. I leave the knot on the right side of the diamond so that it will be easier to remove when it is time to do so. 

Beginning the basting
I work my way around the edges of the paper so that the entire section is prepared. Then I begin to stitch the edges together. I use a single thread of 50 wt cotton. I don't match the color because rarely does the thread show. I slide the needle into the edges and let the thread say 'hello' to each side twice. Next, I stitch a knicker knot at each corner to begin. These knots are surprisingly strong and are not easy to remove. (I know because from time to time, I attach parts in a new pattern!)

I lay the two edges together in a flat orientation. I slide the needle back and forth in a sort of ladder stitch. When I reach the end, I stitch another knicker knot. If I have a lot of thread, I may walk the thread by stitching under the fabric to the next edge. Or, I may slide the thread under the fabric a short distance and tie it off.

Stitch the edges in a flat orientation
I continue adding parts until I have constructed the block along with a piece of the background. Then I attach it to the month string. It takes me about an hour and 15 minutes to cut and stitch a section to the chain. 

After I had stitched all of January, I put it up on the design wall. What looked great close up, didn't look so great from far away. The value of my background fabric was too close to the value of a number of my temperature fabrics. Now what to do? I wasn't going to rip off all of those background pieces.

Gertie immediate began reiterating that I should've gone with the rainbow background. Again, the variety of fabrics was too chaotic for me. As I pictured the piece on a wall, my eye would look at the background fabrics and not the blocks. 

Back view of the blocks

As gently as I could manage, I told Gertie that while she had a point, all the fabrics was over the top. Perhaps, though, one fabric would work. That comment caused her stop chirping and start auditioning! She wanted to use the red fabric, it is our favorite color after all. In her words, "One can't go wrong with red." I agree with her there; but, in the end we went with purple. 

Gertie asked, "Why purple?" First, the background fabric has no purple in it, it has red, green, yellow and blue. Second, there will be few days that any purple will be used in the project. For sure, there will always be a contrast using it. 

This fabric was leftover from last year's temperature quilt project. There isn't enough; but because it is a hand dye fabric from Vicki Welsh, I can confidently order more which I will do. I've had great customer service from Vicki.

Front view of the blocks
My plan is to have the previous background become a border which floats into the rows. For the top three and bottom three blocks in each row, I'll use the border fabric as the background. I'll also use the border fabric for the first
three rows and the last three rows. The reason that I chose three is that months less than 31 days will have a spacer block which will be made from the border fabric. 

This week, we had a snow day. I can't remember a time when measurable snow fell mid-April. The kids had a snow day off from school and people built many a snowman! My husband said there were six inches at our home. A neighbor about four miles to the east of us had eight inches of snow! The snow was wet and heavy so there was a lot of tree limb damage. 

I write this bit about the weather because I chose to not pack any snow fabric for my temperature quilt! I'll "get" to add that diamond and connect the row when I return home.

Chocolate Easter egg
This month, I decided that I would sew a block or two to the March row; but, that I would also make a  block a day for April. My one monthly goal is to piece all the blocks for February. I've done that but will save that for post number three about this project.

In the meantime, I'm linking to Cynthia at Oh Scrap/Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework

On Wednesday, I posted about my Ouch quilt. I'm continuing to use Wednesdays as a way to document past Thread Tales or book club quilts.

Finally, happy Easter/happy Passover. May you be enjoying your own traditions today. My daughter introduced me to the tradition of chocolate Easter eggs in the UK for the kids. She has shown me photos of children with boxes of eggs. In the U.S., it is more chocolate bunnies and small brightly foiled covered chocolate eggs.

In the photo, I'm holding a vegan chocolate egg. It is hollow and I'm told that part of the fun is "smashing" it to eat it. I have marveled at the size of the chocolate eggs in the stores as well as the sheer number of available chocolates. I'm fortunate that chocolate isn't a favorite. . .otherwise, I'd be eating way too much of it!!