Thursday, May 28, 2015

Friday Progress Report

This week has shown some progress on a couple of projects. Blooming Snowball from my Texas power sewing is ready to quilt, I just don't know how yet!
  It measures 60"x70".
The modern quilt I pieced before the TX trip was lacking a border so I added a 2" white strip to float the center design then made about 80 HST's to finish it.
 Now I have a corner dilemma, and after a trial of a pink triangle
I think I prefer a plain white corner.
What do you think?
In addition I finished up the iPad stand and have been using it in bed and it works nicely.
 The little decoration on the top includes a loop to make it easy to move the bag around when not in use.
 It even works with the little green iPad cover Leslie passed on to me for my iPad Air 1, it did not fit her Air 2
If you know me at all you know I love to use up scraps especially when it saves me money!
Looking at the cute paper gift bags in the stores I choked on the prices for small bags and decided to make my own. The scraps I chose are approximately 8"x10", if they were smaller than that I added a contrast trim to enlarge them then sewed a one inch hem at the top and threaded a length of narrow ribbon through. I sewed the little triangles across the bottom to make them three dimensional like a paper grocery bag and much more useful.
And they cost me exactly zero outlay, I already had all the supplies, I love that!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Blogger's Quilt Festival/Grey Bear

It is that time of year again when Amy's Creative Side hosts the very popular Blogger's Quilt Festival.
This year I chose this wall quilt pieced by Angela's daughter Hannah- I had previously posted about it here after the quilting was completed.
I still love how the "Grey Bear" quilt turned out, it measures 36" square.
Voting begins tomorrow, 22nd. May, so please click here and vote for Hannah's quilt!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

My New/Old Machine!

While in Texas I sewed on my friend's Bernina machines and decided to look for a used Activa to replace my Pfaff 2042, it is much lighter, only 17lbs. and has the knee lift the Pfaff 2042 does not.  It also has the very convenient Bernina feature of rear pedal foot tap to change the needle position, I like that. My friend did some sleuthing for me and tracked down an Activa 240 at a reasonable price on Sew it's For Sale and I coordinated with the owner to purchase it and have her ship it to me from Florida.
It has the large free standing extra table and the tool box as well as a couple of other interesting accessories like the decorative needle punch tool and needle plate, lots of extra bobbins and the bendable LED light. 
I needed to order a new insert for my Quilter's Cabinet to accommodate Activa 240 and it came a few days ago, now I am enjoying using my new/old machine, it will be a perfect travel companion. Eventually I may invest in a walking foot and SID foot for binding, but meantime I will default to the Pfaff 2056 with Integrated Dual Feed for binding, it does a very nice job but it's awfully noisy with the IDF I can't hear the TV very well!
 Over the weekend I made a few things to take to my retreat next month, selvedge pot holders and more funky chicken pincushions. We are five friends from more than three decades ago, can you believe we have kept in touch? Some of us were military families and have moved-and moved- and moved some more but managed to keep in touch mostly due to one valiant soul who lives in Colorado Springs. We will all gather at her home for a few days to catch up and find out all the things you don't write in a Christmas card! I can't remember if everyone sews, I know for sure two do other than myself but everyone needs pot holders!
Aren't they these the cutest funky chickens?
This is one of the projects from the power sewing week in TX, I have decided that I do not want to border it and the 5x6 block format is too small for a lap quilt even with ten inch blocks so I prepped fabric for another eleven blocks to make it 6x7, about 60"x70" bound. The blocks go together fast these curves are very easy to sew, just keep the convex curve on top and lift the fabric up as you sew.
It is definitely another feminine quilt, it seems that unless I use Fall colors, Red White and Black or CW replicas my creations are predominantly girly!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Finally Finished Friday!

The fights I have had with my long arm are [hopefully] over and "she" will behave nicely now! A tech from out of town came Wednesday and spent a couple of hours with the machine then after the tech left and I returned to the ruler work on the little quilt I experienced the same problem of thread breakage. I tinkered around a bit more with the single stitch speed and managed to get the baby quilt done and bound last night.
 Simply quilted and not too much, it needs to be cuddly 
 and with Quilter's Dream Angel batting it is soft and "drapey".
 It is backed and bound with the very cute "I love puppies" fabric by Heather Mulder Peterson for Henry Glass & Co. The thread is Superior So Fine on top and Bottom line in the bobbin.
Now just have to launder the quilt and it's ready to go for the baby shower next weekend, it feels good to be ready early!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Revamping My Design wall!

After visiting my TX friend and her wonderful, larger than mine sewing studio, I came home inspired to make a few changes. My design wall had been a sheet of 4x8ft. foam board propped against the wall in an unstable state, liable to move around and often overbalanced and "interacting" with the ceiling fan, not at all satisfactory! On occasion it would topple over and hit me on the head, no pain but great aggravation, why ever did I wait so long to change it?!
First I trimmed about a foot off the length so it would clear the outlet then had DH screw it to the wall with large washers to prevent the screws stripping out of the foamboard.
While we were at it I flipped the batting to the clean side and secured it all around with T pins-result? my old, revamped, newly efficient design wall!
Lined up there upon the wall are some of the extra triangles from the baby quilt, I saw a design on the 'net using a row of triangle hexies on a solid background and thought it would be a good way to use them up but there are still quite a few left- maybe for the border?
I also had DH make another improvement for me, my ruler storage board was on the work table taking up valuable space. I had admired my friend's ruler storage up on the wall, so DH attached some simple brackets to my board and now it is in a very handy place on the wall clear of my working surface. I might paint the brackets to match the wall if I still have any of the paint.

I think I am procrastinating the quilting on the baby quilt while I make a decision on design!

Post Scriptum
As you can see I am also experimenting with font changes, I looked around and this is the closest to  my own handwriting-but neater!  Let me know if you think it's harder to read than a regular printer font.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Triangle Baby Quilt Progress

Linking up with Heather at "Needlework Tuesday"
This has been an experiment, a first for me of this kind of triangle quilt.  I began with all these fabrics and cut a lot of equilateral 4.5" triangles. I have a lot left so there may be another triangle design in my future!
After sewing about three rows I hated it, way too crazy busy, simply awful! Eliminating the two black and white fabrics made a big difference then introducing a WOW helped tone down the design.
It's now ready to quilt and I haven't decided how to do that, I want something modern but not too much quilting it needs to stay soft and cuddly for a baby quilt.
It measures 42"x55" just about right for a baby.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Grandmother's Fan Quilt

After a bit of a hiatus from the LA I am back in the groove. The issue I had with timing seems to be ok now after countless re-timing, cleaning encoders, adjusting single stitch etc etc. It's really hard when the timing looks so perfect but the machine is still not sewing properly, the adjustments are so minor as to be difficult to even see, very frustrating! There is a perfect sweet spot, then a tiny bit either side of it that works and I am hoping I have found it again!
Once the new hook was installed then I had a tension issue, so it's been a rather unproductive week but today finally the GM Fan quilt is done, and I can move on.
It measures 62"x86" probably good for a girl's single bed.
The fans are individually quilted the balance an E-E floral, this is the fourth for my ALS friend. To add to the problem my machine did not really like some of the fabrics principally that floral border which is very thin fabric and probably a poly blend.
 Backing is a light pink solid, there's enough for binding and along with the other large quilt I need to get both bound and shipped back to MA. I hope by the end of the month.
For now it's back to the modern baby boy quilt with all the triangles, lovely, a new project a fun start to the week!