Current obsession is this vintage quilt from Granny Loz in Australia that I first caught a glimpse of at FMQ goddess Karen's blog. Actually I owe another Karen thanks for sending me there. Am determined to learn to free motion on a domestic machine and have been wanting to make a hexagon quilt. That blog is the perfect intersection of these two desires. Her skill set is extraordinary and I'm avidly reading all her tutorials and planning on going through the archives too. Between Faeries and Fibres, Leah Day's Youtube channel, Diane Gaudynski's classic book and at least 15 minutes a day hopefully I'll pick up a few skills of my own. In the mean time, isn't this quilt a beauty?! Love the colors, the fussy cutting and the shape of the lozenges...
Thursday, July 24, 2014
This has to be the weirdest marketing stategy. This is the label from the women's gardening gloves I just bought. Macho or what? Am not sure if I'm supposed to be weeding flower beds or on on some paramilitary special ops mission.
It seems symbolic as I've been at war with the manufacturer of my overpriced and over-engineered sewing machine. After months at headquarters it still couldn't sew a balanced stitch. It was very emotional as I've been loyal to the brand since I started sewing. My dealer is amazing. Even though he didn't sell me this machine he was so upset on my behalf he offered to trade it on the spot for no additional $$$. Have come home with a different brand a new Janome 8900 with a table and every optional accessory imaginable. Little time to sew but so far I love it. Between this and the portable Juki I am set up for life...
Hope all your sewing adventures have been peaceful!
Friday, July 11, 2014
I had a long list of grown up things to do this afternoon but decided to do some sewing instead and work on the quilt from the previous post. These disappearing hourglass blocks are still really fun to make. Maybe I am easily entertained but it still seems like magic when the pieces are rotated and the stars appear.
Am finding that the bias edges work in your favor as you can gently manipulate the fabric so that the seams nest without using pins at all. Except for the hourglass stage, there is no iron pressing either until the block is complete to avoid unnecessary handling which is saving a ton of time. The blocks are turning out remarkably similar in size. If they are off in any way they are off identically.
Sorry about the lousy photo but the camera phone was again closer. The lighting is not so great either. I'm experimenting with these new florescent floods in the hopes of reducing my electricity use but they create more of a spotlight effect compared to the wider glow of halogen bulbs. Not sure whether economy is going to win out on this one...
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Sometimes you need to make a quilt quickly for someone who won't appreciate your more improvisational efforts. Recently I found this pattern called "The Disappearing Hourglass" by the Missouri Star Quilt Company on Youtube. It was designed to use pre-cut layer cakes but you can use any size square. You need equal amounts of a solid or very tiny print and whatever prints you want to feature. I used some Kaffe Fassett fabrics and a blu-ish Kona grey which looks much darker in these not-so-great camera photos. The blocks are so easy to make and the process is really fun.
Take 2 squares in my case the solid and a print. Layer them and sew a ¼" around the edge:
Then cut them corner to corner:
Open up, press, arrange and sew together to create an hourglass block:
This is where it gets interesting. Cut the block in thirds. Mine measured 12 ¾" so my cuts were at 4 ¼" but yours will vary depending on the size of your initial squares. Cut from the center seams out:
By rotating the pieces, a star is born!
There are lots of bias seams but with a good dose of Best Press or starch at the start there are no problems assembling these stars.
In the original quilt the blocks are set straight but I'm leaning towards putting mine on point.
I'm always amazed by the engineering abilities of quilters. Thank you MSQC...