Friday, October 31, 2014

Drunkard's Path top.....and African fabric quilts collage.......

I decided this was the right border without looking for another one.  I cut it 1" wider than I had it on the audition photo about a week ago.  I am very happy with it.  I'm linking up to the 'Cross the Drunkard's Path' sew-in, link on the right side bar.

I did the collage of all of my quilts made with African fabric and forgot to include this one. I decided to post the collage today too so they at least would all be in the same post, even if not in the same photo.
Some of them are just partially African fabrics and 3 are all African fabrics.  I tried to manipulate the sizes so that they were close to the actual size differences between them.  The photo should enlarge if you click on it.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

African fabric quilt top............

My 2 friends came over to sew yesterday and that was the push I needed to make the decisions about the border on this quilt.  I decided a random order of the color sections was the way to go.  I was able to get 4 matching corner blocks out of a large print African fabric.  This is my favorite of all of the quilts I have made from this group of fabrics.  I will try to round up all of the photos and make a collage of my African fabric quilts.
After I finished that top I went back to unpicking loops for the bottom half of the Australian fabric Trip Around the World.  Then last night I sewed the center seam on 12 strips and sewed them together, one long seam from top to bottom.  This quilt should finish around 62" x 78".  I just wanted a large couch size quilt.

I am thinking about teaching this TAW class again locally (Sandwich IL).  If you live anywhere near me and are interested, email me here.  I have a special rate for anyone who has taken the class before and wants to participate.  I am hoping to teach it in November and again in January.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Only a little sewing........

I only got a few more loops unpicked on the bottom yesterday.  The next task is to sew the top strip to the bottom strip so that every final seam will be vertical, top to bottom in the quilt.  If you sew the top and bottom half separately, you will have one crosswise seam crossing all of those vertical seams and it tends to look a little ripply.   I prefer to have a nice flat top with all vertical seams.  
Two friends are coming over to sew today so the first thing I will do is work on is the African quilt, slicing the stratas for the piano key border.  Then I may start sewing a section of this quilt.
I had to hurry to get a photo of my pretty tree.  It just turned yellow a couple days ago and the leaves will be falling quickly.  This is a volunteer maple about 12-15 years old.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Progress on the Trip Around the World quilt.....

Now I am working on the right quarter of the top half of the quilt.  This means the fabrics are stepping down one fabric at a time.

I also auditioned the center to be sure I like it by pinning some loops for the bottom half on the wall in the color sequence.  I decided I liked it so I continued unpicking the rest of the loops.

To make the fabrics move down one at a time you look at the bottom 2 fabrics of the previous strip on the design wall and unpick the next loop at that seam (where my thumb is).

Now all of the loops for the top half are unpicked and on the wall (18 fabrics is 35 strips, 17 on each side of a center strip).

The bottom row of squares is the center row from top to bottom on the quilt.

For the bottom half of the quilt, look at the bottom square on the first row and you will pick that square totally out of a loop.  You don't want 2 center rows and you do want the same fabric at the bottom of the quilt that is at the very top.
I unpicked 3 strips on the bottom half last night and quit for the night.

Years ago my son in law travelled to Australia and he brought me two tablecloths.  Neither one is large enough for the back of the quilt but I figure out a way to use one or both on the back.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Australian fabric Trip Around the World

It was finally time yesterday to unpick a seam in each loop for the trip quilt.  How do I know where to unpick it?  Unpick the first strip anywhere and put it up on the design wall.  Then the next strip is unpicked between the top 2 fabrics on the previous strip.  You can see my thumb is on the seam to unpick.  Don't over analyze, just unpick it.
The correct way to use a seam ripper is to lay it flat on the fabric and slide the point under a stitch.  I have seen too many people use it to jab at the stitch.  I slide it under every 3rd stitch and cut.  Since I had to hold my camera in my right hand I had to hold the ripper for the photo with my left hand.  Normally the fabric is laying against my left hand and I use my right hand to slide the ripper under the stitch.

Then the seam just pulls apart and you can pick off the little thread pieces.

I have 18 fabrics so I needed to unpick 18 loops.  This gives me the top left section plus the center row.  The bottom right corner would be the center of the quilt when all of the loops have been unpicked.

Now I can move the strips one at a time from the left edge to the right edge and see every fabric as the center.  I have moved one strip here.

And now I have moved one more strip.  The pink center is getting larger with each move.

The top left corner could also be a choice for the center.  The next photo is this photo flipped 180 degrees to show that.


I think I will move a few more strips before I make a decision.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

More fiber therapy.....

I didn't sew at all yesterday, just petted some fabric.  This is another of Kaffe Fassett's new fabrics for fall 2014.  I love the black background one.

The stripe will be a little trickier to work into a project but I had to have a little of it. All of the colors in this one are nice but red is my favorite followed by gray.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Drunkard's Path Decision..or indecision...........

I sewed the top of the Drunkard's Path together yesterday and then tested black binding (on the right) and black border (top left) but neither one spoke to me.

Then I tried a print border with a black background.  The print is also in two of the blocks.  I like this better but may audition a couple more fabrics.  This isn't an outstanding quilt by any means but it is one else has this fabric collection and therefore there will never be another like it.  I'm linking to the "Cross the Drunkard's Path" quiltalong - link button on my right sidebar.

The problem I had with comments not coming to my email box has been solved.  I think it was Comcast's fault.  Since emails weren't coming from my friend who also has Comcast I knew something was wrong.  She told me my emails to her were all in her spam folder.  I checked the Comcast webpage and I had 85 comments being held hostage in my spam folder.  After 3 days of this, things were back to normal.

Friday, October 24, 2014

The new quilt.........

This is what I did with the 8.5" squares that I showed yesterday.  I decided it was so much fun slicing the blue and green blocks on this quilt that I wanted to do it again but slice as many times and wherever I wanted.  The fabrics are 95% Vicki Welsh hand dyes and 5% others that I have had in my stash a long time.  I cut all of the big squares from warm colors and the 1" strips are a wild assortment from all of my scraps of hand dyed fabrics.  I will save this project to take to our next sew in the second Thursday in November.

Today I want to sew my Drunkard's Path blocks together but I also need to get outside and cut down some more weeds and peonies in the gardens. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

I didn't want to do it.......

Today is our twice monthly sew in day and I needed a project.  I didn't want to carry my heavy machine so I couldn't continue on any of the 3 quilts in progress.  I didn't want to do it.....but I have to start a new project today.  I die cut 8.5" squares and pressed all of the scraps so I'm ready to go.

I have some kits of 2.5" squares of African and related fabrics on my Wandafulquilts blog.  There were 4 kits, now only 3 available.  I needed the aluminum trays that I was storing these squares on so I made kits.ALL KITS ARE SOLD!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

More border strip sets........

I sewed the green strip set and then I looked at the remaining strips and saw that there were enough to make a purple and burgundy set.  I sewed them last night and just pinned them all up on the edge of the design wall.  It's time to cut sections out of them and decide on the order of colors.

I did a lot of cutting of scraps yesterday so I didn't get a lot done on any of the 3 projects I have in progress.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Scrappy quilts.........

Today I am linking to the monthly Scraptastic Tuesday.  There are lots of other bloggers linked so if you like scrap quilts, check them out too.  

If you have been reading my blog for very long you know I use lots of different fabrics in each quilt.  I get bored if there are too few choices in the quilt. 
One of my favorite scrap projects is my colorwash quilts.  These two are made with 2" squares, however I work with 2.5" and 1.5" squares too.  I start out cutting the largest squares from my scraps, then go down in size as the scrap becomes smaller until I have cut it all up.

I made the top piece last night and the bottom one a few months ago.

Here is a link to more colorwash pieces that I have made.

I think the back is pretty neat too. 

This is part of my collection of 2.5" squares.  I store them in the disposable aluminum cookie sheets and they nest together.  I can stack more than 20 trays in one large storage bin.  There is a photo on this post

Colorwash is achieved through separating values and here is a post that simplifies the sorting.

Monday, October 20, 2014

African quilt......

Here are the green strips that I am auditioning for another section of the piano key border.

The top looks a lot neater now that it is sewn together.  I will cut sections of the strip sets (see yesterday's post) and figure out the order they will be sewn together today.

Yesterday none of my comments were forwarded to my email.  Did anyone else have that problem?  Is Blogger playing with us again?

Sunday, October 19, 2014


I think this is my final layout of the African courthouse steps blocks.  The border audition: these are the sewn strip sets I had for a previous African quilt I was going to make.  There are 3 sets there, orange, blue and gold.  Each one is the full 45" long so I can cut lots of sections out of them for a piano key type border.  I could make a green set too so I may audition that later today.  With just the blocks it would be 73" long and 49" wide so I thought about just putting borders on the sides for a better proportion.  I will know more after I get the ends and bottom sashing strips on.
The 4 blooms are on the ends of 2 leaves.  This is the first time I have had 2 blooms on more than one leaf at a time.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Drunkard's Path changes.........

The one on the left is the same as in yesterday's post.  I worked on it yesterday morning and the one on the right is the progress.  I'm not sure if it is done or not.  I'll look at it for a couple days while I work on my other 2 in progress quilts.
I sewed the top strip with cornerstone to the 24 blocks.  Now I'm ready to go to the design wall with them.  Then I can add end of row strips and bottom of the quilt strips and sew the top together.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Drunkard's Path progress...............

I put all of the sewn blocks on the design wall.  Then I added some that are just 2 pieces loose on the wall, not sewn.  I added the 3 blocks that aren't pieced and also added one of the Australian fabrics.  I'm not sure what I will do next, but this isn't doing anything for me.  I am linking up with the Drunkard's Path quiltalong.  The logo/link is on my right sidebar.  Check it out to see what everyone else is doing.

The tree across the street has more color every day.  It is also losing its leaves quite fast.

I just had to show this beauty one more time.  I may have to share another photo if it has 5 or 6 full blooms at once.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Stratas sewn.........

I took all four sewn stratas after I had pressed them and laid them out to simulate the effect I will get on this quilt.
The next step was to sew the last seam that makes the strata into a tube.  I trim the selvages off to have a straight edge at the left.

Next I cut as many slices as I can get out of the strata.  I usually have to do another straightening cut when I am about half way across the strata.  The next step will be to unpick one seam in each of the tube slices.  I do this at the design wall where I can easily determine which seam to unpick.  
The pink cactus bloom is almost all open.  It seems to be a darker pink than last year.

This colorful tree is in my backyard neighbor's front yard.  I used the zoom feature to shoot between the branches of my Redbud tree.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Serious sewing.......

I needed a serious sewing project now that all of the good shows are back on TV.  I first chose fabrics for this Trip Around the World on this post back in 2012.  I changed a few of the fabrics a couple months ago.  I needed 4 stratas for the couch quilt size and I have 1 3/4 of them sewn.  Tonight there are 2 shows to watch so I should finish sewing all 4 by the time the news and weather is over.
The tree across the street is looking prettier every day.

This is the view to my right as I stand on my front porch.  The neighbor's burning bush is a pretty deep pink and mine is a deep red.  There are still asters blooming.

The pink buds are starting to open on this cactus. 

There are only 5 days left to take advantage of the special sale on Lapel Sticks.  Go to this post and scroll to the bottom for the details.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Cutting 2 inch squares....................

It was a tiring day yesterday so all I wanted to do last night was busy work.  I sewed blocks in the morning for our church sewing circle project, in the afternoon drove 23 miles to church and worked with the ladies for a couple hours and then drove home through a heavy rain storm.  I dropped off 6 bags of clothes at Goodwill on the way home.  Luckily they have a roof over the drop off area so they didn't get wet unloading my van. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Drunkard's Path progress...........

This African fabric required fussy cutting.  The remaining fabric can only be considered scraps.

First I sewed some of the 7" blocks.  I won't sew anything together into big blocks at this point.  That will come after playing at the design wall.

I sewed 4 of the 3.5" blocks too.  It has been about 3 years since I made Drunkard's Path blocks so I needed some practice with the curves.  

I will be linking up with Vicki's "Cross the Drunkard's Path quiltalong" button on my right sidebar so you can see what everyone else is making.