Thursday, March 19, 2009

Never Too Many Pictures

I get so excited when I have a finish, I can't get enough photos! It's like I want to *pin down* the joy I feel. So please bear with me. :)

It turns out I had just the right shank button in my vintage tub. Perfect.

I've never done a top-down pattern before and *really* liked not having to sewing it all together. When I was done knitting, I was done! I took this to work yesterday and showed a few coworkers who also knit or sew or craft. The unanimous response was to get a pained look on their face and say, "Oohhhh... it's sooo cute!" We always like things that are small scale, but it is sweet, and sooo soft. :)

And of course the Dbl Four Strippy. It feels huge; a queen after all, but when we tacked it to the side of the house, it didn't seem that big.
I'm not exactly resting on my laurels, but I'm pretty happy.

Getting Those Tops Quilted

I was reading Nancy this morning and got so excited! She points her readers to Joanne from Split Stitches who has offered long-arm quilting for rock bottom prices, in an effort to stimulate the economy. Well it sure stimulated me! What a great prospect for all of us with a closet full of tops. :)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Baby Cardi Nearly Complete

It was a challenge to pick up 134 stitches along the edge, mostly because I'd never done it before, but four rows of garter stitch and it'll be finished.

We'll be seeing the family in about a month, so I can give it to them then. I hope they like it!

Show n Tell

Some have called Show n Tell, "Bring and Brag". Well at guild I think that's okay. Other quilters KNOW what it takes to get to a finish sometimes.

Borders ripped and replaced, intersections resewn... and I still love it. It's a good thing, 'cause it'll probably take me three months to machine quilt it! DH and I were going to tack it to the side of the house for a photo, but the weather is wet and windy. Today I'm resting in the recliner with knitting. It feels good. :)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday Nonsense in the Office

It's being called Pink Friday, the day pink slips go out to teachers and management; it doesn't help that it's also Friday the Thirteenth. I work at the County Office of Education, you can imagine what the atmosphere is like.

So I had to laugh when a co-worker sent me one of those e-mail games. Copy the e-mail, fill in the blanks with words that start with the first letter of your last name, use real words and names, not made up and then forward to ten people. :)

1. Your last name: Roberts
2. A four letter word: Rate
3. A Boys Name: Randy
4. A Girls name: Rachel
5. An Occupation: Receptionist
6. A Color: Rose
7. Something you wear: Ruffles
8. A Beverage : Raspberry smoothie
9. A Food: Radishes
10. Something found in the bathroom: Rouge
11. A place: Rockport
12. A Reason for being late: Rabid animal
13. Something you shout: Reach for the sky!

You can play if you want. You can't use the same boy or girl's name if your last name starts with the same letter. Try it! And Happy Pink Friday!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Quilter's Blessing

Kind words from a fellow quilter:

"May your seam ripper be sharp, your stitches loose and your fabric firm."

If you have to rip, at least it's good to know there are others out there experiencing similar struggles. Thanks Quilt Pixie - See February 16, 2009.

Return and repeat

I don't think I post too many of my struggles while quilting, and lest my gentle readers think it's 'all good, all the time', I thought I'd share the latest when I tried to attach the final borders to the Dbl Four.

The squares in the pieced border alternate red-brown-red around the quilt. When I decided to sew pieced units into the corners, I made sure the color of those squares continued the pattern, red-brown-red. I sewed the solid red to the pieced border, then laid that next to the quilt.

What the?? Red-brown-brown!!

So I turned it around and laid it against the other side of the quilt. ARGH!! Brown-red-red. How did this happen?? Well without thinking, I sewed the solid red to the pieced borders on the wrong side. Hmmm... what's the *fastest* way to rip 105" x 2?

This is my ripper, which sometimes doubles as a rotary cutter. :) I put a light tension on the seam with my non-dominant hand, tick the blade against the exposed stitch and rip! It goes so fast you wouldn't believe it. In the past I used to pick the seam clean afterward, but now...

I use my sticky lint roller to pick the loose threads for me.
Oh-kay, back to sewing the right side to the correct border, I'm back in business... Only maybe not quite yet.

I've ripped and re-sewn this seam twice.

And I've ripped and re-sewn this seam twice. This was not fun. This was so much like *work* I had to push back and take a deep breath. This is where I left it at bedtime last night. I still have the other border to reconstruct and attach.

And I do this to relax??

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Continuous Strip Quilt

All that red and brown must've gotten to me, I took a sharp turn last weekend and pulled fabric from the two and a half inch strip bin; blue, green, purple, jade, teal, etc. It was great! I wanted to make Finn's Continuous Strip quilt (no link) and I wanted fast, no-thinkum sewing.

The bin before

The bin after

The color palette

The pile of strips was actually three times that size because I wanted my quilt to be 45" x 66", so I pieced 42 yards.

This is how I sewed the strips together, quick, on the diagonal. Lay them RST forming a reversed 'L'.

Bring the right hand corner down until it touches the opposite edge, crease with your thumbnail.

Open it up and use the crease as your stitching guide. Continue pulling strips from your pile and sewing them to the continuous strip. I found I preferred to work with strips that were 22" or shorter, I figure the more variety the better! I didn't measure as I went along, but stopped and measured about every half hour, so that I was getting up to move around too. I found I pieced on average 10 yards every thirty minutes, cool!

Trim all.

And I actually threw these away. It was so freeing, I can't tell you. :) I rationalized, if I stitched them again, they wouldn't make good HST's because the contrast would be too low.

Press open.

Next fold the strip in half RST and sew along one long side. Cut the bottom apart and press open, fold in half again and sew along the long side, and do this again and again. It's sooo fun! Everytime I opened it to press, I was delighted by the color play.

Here it is at 16 strips - or 32". Lila came to inspect my work.

On the next row, it turned the vertical into the horizontal. I love it! I didn't know it was going to do that, but I really like it. I was ready to do another one with a different set of strips to see what it would look like!


Machine quilted

This took me a Sat/Sun to sew and 2-3 hours to machine quilt on my Janome. REALLY fast for me. I was so psyched!