snug

snug

Saturday, March 25, 2017

New York Beauty - Block #4

      I have finished my New York Beauty Blocks #4.    So many pieces and curves!


      My sewing of the curves is still a work in progress.   The smaller ones are so much more difficult than the larger ones!  In either case, so many pins!  
      I am also beginning to run out of usable pieces of some of the fabric scraps, so I have to audition different fabrics for each little part! 

        .
     The pieces are, more or less, meeting up satisfactorily.   Almost done!  One more New York Beauty block, and then I will make my hanging.

     As I walked by my basket of pysanky (wooden polish painted Easter eggs), I realized that I have real fondness for a riot of patterns and rich colors!

     I am pleased to have been invited to speak to another quilt guild next month, and am working on that presentation, as well as finishing up a class sample and syllabus for a class I expect to be teaching this summer.  It is so nice to share my love of quilting with others.

Enjoy the beginning of spring!
Take care,
Gretchen

Friday, March 17, 2017

New York Beauty - Block #3


      I have finished my three test blocks of New York Beauty Block #3.  As you may recall, I am testing out some patterns in anticipation of working on a quilt for my guild's quilt show in September, with the plan to use some bright and cheery Kaffe Fassett fabrics which my sisters generously gave me last year for my birthday/retirement.   I am testing the blocks, and testing my skills, with some left -over Kaffe Fassett material from an earlier quilt.  I am unexpectedly madly in love with the moodiness of these fabrics and how they all go together!  My plan (dictated the size of my fabric selection)  is to do 5 different New York Beauty patterns.
     I am getting much better at the paper piecing of the fan portions, and really like the spikiness of this pattern. I am now removing the paper backing before sewing anything else and also trying to leave a bit more on the sides, since some of my earlier blocks have been a little off.   I am still having some issues with sewing the little bands to the corner piece. Such a tight little curve.

The messy piece before trimming! 

Trimmed! 
 


     Each finished individual block will be 8 inches square.  As I near completion of these blocks, I am trying to decide whether to make a table runner (which would be quite wide) or make a wall hanging which would be 32 inches square.   I have enough fabric to insert setting triangles if I do a table runner.
Auditioning the blocks as a table runner.

Another close up of Block #3 next to Block #1

Trying to visualize the wall hanging! 
      I need to get these blocks finished up since I will have to get started pronto on the quilt if I have any chance of finishing it in time!

     I also was able to quilt and bind three small quilt tops made by another guild member for my guild's charity.   I used a bright varigated Aurifil thread to complement the bright and diverse fabrics in these tops.  I also practiced finishing the binding by machine, rather than hand sewing.  
Two of the three charity quilts.  I must not have taken a picture of the third!  
Happy St. Patrick's Day, and have a good week!  Thanks for visiting my blog!

Take care,
Gretchen

Friday, March 10, 2017

New York Beauty - Block #2

     I have completed three blocks of the second New York Beauty pattern.  I am glad I am doing this sample before I try a full quilt.  I am still struggling with the pieces coming together properly.  Some parts seem too small!
     I am using copy paper as the base, which is pretty heavy and clunky to use (but free since I use scraps).  I am working on a way to streamline the piecing of the "crown" portions so to cut down on excess material to be trimmed off.  I have also discovered that removing the paper before piecing the curves together makes it a lot easier to pin and sew.  Making progress.  I intend to make a total of 5 blocks to start as samples, then get to the business of my "real" quilt.   I must admit that these fabrics just take my breath away!



This one doesn't seem even close to square!  I'll make it work, somehow! 
     I had already sewn the first block samples into a large square block, and now that I am continuing the project, my current plan is to use three of each new pattern to wrap around the middle.  I won't sew these together until I am done.  I may come up with some other plan as I go.   A table runner, perhaps?? 
Here is the beginning of my work on Block #3!  LOVE these!  


     I did have a finish this week, although NOT a quilt-related one.   When I decided to retire, I ordered up some wall paper to replace the paper in our guest/kids' bath.   I thought having a project would be a good idea.  Little did I know that I would be so busy I wouldn't get to it until now, more than a year after the wallpaper was purchased, and almost a year since retiring!   I haven't wallpapered in a while, and this was not pre-pasted! The bathroom is narrow and has tall ceilings, but I plugged away, and am delighted with the results!

Before.  (I was already starting to remove the paper at this point!) 

After.   It feels fresh and light and airy (and goes nicely with the green tiles! 
     After some glimpses of warm weather, we are again getting cold and snow.    Have a great week.
Take care,
Gretchen

Friday, March 3, 2017

Queen of the Sea Baby Quilt


The finished quilt on a windy day!

     One of my cousins is about to become a grandmother, which calls for a baby quilt.  I usually use fabrics from my overflowing stash to create a quilt, but in this case, the baby's room was decorated with fabrics from Moda's Queen of the Sea line.
     Unfortunately, by the time I learned of this, that line was not readily available.  After a bit of internet searching, I was able to locate 5 mini-charm packs, and one yard each of the turquoise and coral fabrics.  
The fabrics
     With these limited pieces, I decided to make a quilt with some 16 square blocks.  I started by just chain piecing the 2 1/2 inch squares together, only watching to make sure that I didn't put two of the same together.   I was binge-watching "Empire" while doing this.  

Chain piecing

A pile of pieces

Setting up the blocks

Laying out the blocks to eye ball for balance
     I was trying to get the quilt to finish at least 40 inches wide, and so added 1 inch (finished) strips as sashing between the 16 square blocks.  I then cut strips from the yard pieces to finish at 3 inches for the coral inside border, and 3 inches for the outer turquoise border.  I ended up using the coral for the binding as well.
Previewing the layout

With the white sashing 

Almost done!

Done.  I should have paid a bit more attention to the border on the right hand side to separate the big "wheels". 

I used a large meandering pattern for the overall quilting, and used some leftover backing material for the back.  

What did I do before I discovered Clover clips?  

The finished quilt.  Soft and pretty.  It finished at 40 x 49 inches.  
     The baby shower is this weekend, so I can safely post this now.  I hope that my cousin and her family like it!  
    
     I just finished the top of a baby version of my rainbow in a box quilt for a class sample.  I will be getting into teaching and am excited about that opportunity.  I am also continuing to work on the test pieces for the New York Beauty Quilt, and brought home some charity quilts from my guild to quilt up before the next meeting.  I'd better get sewing!  

Have a good weekend!
Take care,
Gretchen