Thursday, April 30, 2020

Rainy day sewing........

I loaded this quilt on the longarm on Tuesday but I didn't change the needle until yesterday morning.  I quilted it shortly after lunch.  I didn't even have this one on my 'to quilt' list.  A friend pieced the top and left it with me along with her flannel scraps when she moved away. I had it tucked into the garment bag with other small projects and when I spied it I thought it would be a great 3rd finish for this month.

I pieced the batting using the 3 step zig zag to hold the butted edges together.  A plain zigzag seems to make a ridge that is too compressed and sometimes shows on a finished quilt.

A medium size meander seemed just right for this quilt.

I sewed the binding on later in the afternoon.

Since the front has pink and lavender and flowers I decided pink was appropriate for the back and binding.

I ended up with the elephants panel in the crazy pieced African fabric quilt top.  The quilt top is 40" square.  I could have spent another month on this trying different fabrics to frame the panel but decided I have spent enough time on it.  I could have used any one of the panels but this one just fit the spot best.  I also could have trimmed down the blocks and then I wouldn't have needed a border around the panel but I just couldn't do that.

It rained almost all day yesterday but I took this photo a couple days ago.  The tiny blue flowers on the Brunnera are such an intense color but the camera just doesn't pick that up.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Still playing............

I have filled in the space between the panel and the blocks which are sewn together as 2 side panels and a top and bottom row.  I still haven't decide which panel or for sure what fabric will fill in the space around the panel. I hope to decide all of that today.

Both of these panels have the same fabric surrounding them.  I surprised how different the intensity of color is in the crazy pieced blocks in the 2 photos.  The camera is adjusting for the contrast between the panel and the blocks.

This is the early Peony plant, getting tall.

Last summer when trying to dig out an invasive plant in a flower bed I dug up the Coralbell on the right and put it in a pot.  They don't even lose all their leaves in the winter.  The one on the left is from a flower bed in the back that is too crowded so I hoped to grow it to a larger size before replanting in the ground.
Last night I finished knitting a dishcloth using up ends of 2 balls of yarn.  There wasn't much leftover.

Yesterday morning I decided to sew all the masks I could with the leftover elastic.  These 5 were done before noon.

Then last night I did 4 more and now I'm out of elastic until my mail comes on Thursday.

The photos below are the 20 last masks I made for the company that wanted 60.  This is for my reference purposes.  I'm sure you are tired of seeing all of these.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

#2 finish for April 2020

I chose a black with white floral print for the binding and got it sewn on yesterday.  The quilt ended up 64" x 83".
The floral fabric is nice on the back.  That is 2 large quilts done this month off my list of 16 large quilt tops at the beginning of the year.  In my categories a large quilt is one where the longest side is more than 79".

I also made the remaining 20 masks for my order of 60 for a company and I'll have them on my post tomorrow so I have a reference to look back to.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Quilting again.........

This Seeing Stars quilt top has been waiting since 2013 to be quilted.  The batting was already cut for this one and the backing fabric was on a hanger next to the top.

The quilting is randomly spaced straight lines.  My top thread frayed out at least a dozen times so I need to change the needle before I quilt another one.

I think this backing fabric is at least 40 years old.  It might have been purchased at a SoFro store in the late 1970s.  I have always liked it and knew someday the perfect quilt woud need it on the back.

I will do the binding all by machine on this one so I'll look for an appropriate fabric today.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Spring IS coming..............

The Redbud trees are starting to look a little pink. They typically bloom late April to early May so they are right on schedule.  

All of those little green spikes are Lily of the Valley.  It is very invasive and chokes out everything else.  I have given up trying to dig it out.  

In the sewing room....I made 8 more masks, sewed the long seam in a backing and got the backing and batting loaded on the longarm.  I'm also trying to clean up the cutting tables where I haven't kept up with putting fabrics away and corralling all of the scraps into one spot.  Hopefully I'll have all of the tables cleared off by tonight.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

More masks..........

An opportunity came along to help a company where my granddaughter's husband works.  They needed 60 masks by next Friday and would pay for them.  I have donated the 150+ that I have made so far for cancer patients, family and friends but decided to take this one paying job.  There are 10 in this combination of fabrics.
I had a lot of these two fabrics so I used the combination on another 22.  Since I had only ordered enough elastic for 50 more masks and I had already used some of it I had to order some more.  It should be here Tuesday.

I have enough elastic left to make 8 of this combination so that will be 40 out of the 60 finished today.

It is getting close to the end of the month and my regular readers know I always have a self imposed quota I like to meet of quilt tops and finished quilts.  I will have 2 days before the elastic arrives to work on that.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Elastic arrived............

I received my order of 1/8" elastic yesterday.  I ordered from an ebay seller on the 18th and received it on the 23rd.  I carefully read where the seller was mailing from to be sure I wasn't ordering from another country.  This order came from Virginia.

Then I started making masks again grouped by thread color.  I had gold thread on the machine when I started so I did these 3.

Next I changed to light blue on top and medium blue in the bobbin for this group of 7.

I switched to medium beige on top and sewed the blue one that has beige on the reverse side and then put in a beige bobbin to finish the rest of this batch of 6.

Yesterday was so much fun reading which panel was your favorite for the African fabric project.  #1 (zebra on orange background) and #2 (3 masks) got the most votes. It makes me wonder if I had put them in a different order would the same 2 have gotten the most votes? I also wonder if I had said 3 faces and 2 faces instead of masks if there would have been any reference to what I call a "theme" quilt in the comments.  I think of African masks as ceremonial or celebration items and never attached any thought of the current situation to them.  I have tunnel vision though.  No criticism of your broader view.  #3 (elephant) and #6 (2 masks) were the next highest votes.

I'm not going to make a rush decision so maybe by Monday I will have an answer.  Thoughts going through my head: #6 has always been my least favorite of all of the panels so if I wanted to sell this as a wallhanging that might be the one I use. Also what I use as the fill in fabric around each panel is going to change the look so I will be experimenting with choices there.  If I decide I'm going to keep it for myself I would choose my favorite panel.  So many random thoughts to get to the finish...

Thursday, April 23, 2020

7 batik panels, which one?..............

Luckily I had just looked at these panels recently and knew where they were.  We had them at a quilt shop I worked at and when they went on sale half price I bought several of them.

#1 zebras on orange

#2 three masks

#3 elephants

#4 zebra landscape

#5 packed zebras

#6 two masks

#7 rainbow zebras

The panels are in the 17" - 19" size range and the spot they need to fill is 20" x 20" so a border would be needed to make them fit.  Some would need light borders and other dark borders so the look will change when they are added.
I have a couple favorites, how about you?

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

African crazy piecing progress.........

I made 2 more blocks and took them down to the ironing table.  This is what they look like before trimming.

This is the rest of the batch that was waiting to be pressed before trimming.

Here are the new trimmed blocks with the original six that I made earlier.  They are 10" finished size blocks so I'm not sure where I'm going from here on the project.  I do have several batik panels with African scenes on them that  might look great with these blocks.

This is a leftover block which will probably get used somewhere.  It is nice to have an extra block in case one of the others doesn't work too well.

When I was done sewing all of the blocks I sorted all of the left over scraps by size and bagged them separately.  I'll have to cut some more pieces from yardage if I make more of these blocks.

I ended the day making 7 more face masks.  I'm out of elastic.  My intention when I started making them was to sew them until I ran out of my 75 cent packages of elastic. (The 75 cent packages of 1/8" had 4 yards in them and the 1/4" had 3 yards.)  I broke down and ordered some more 1/8" elastic a few days ago and it is on its way to me.  It cost me 84 cents a yard.  Each yard is enough for 2 1/2 masks.  Doesn't this sound like a grade school math story problem?  The end decision is that when I run out of this elastic (50 masks) I'm done making them.  I do have some more of the t-shirt strips to use in place of elastic so that will be the very last batch.  I have used over 12 yards of batik fabric so far and was happy to use up some of my least favorite ones and large scraps.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

African fabric crazy piecing............

Yesterday I opened the box of finished African crazy pieced blocks, partially made blocks and lots of scraps.  I decided I would make more of those blocks before I pressed and trimmed the yellow/black/white ones from yesterday.  Then I can press and trim all of them at once.

I now have 6 finished blocks previously made and 5 new ones ready to trim.  The scraps left in the box will be sorted by size now so I can make a 12th block.

This is my happiness photo for the day.  Many of these quilts will be shared when the need arises.  The second from bottom shelf is all baby quilts.  This is one of 3 places where I store my finished quilts.  Occasionally I'll take all of the quilts off a shelf and open them, refold them a different way and then re-stack them.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Sunny day project............

I guess sunshine was on my mind yesterday when I chose a project to work on.  It was a beautiful sunny day and I got some more garden cleanup done.

Last night I pulled out the box of yellows and black and white scraps and continued making blocks for a project started in January this year.  I haven't pressed and trimmed the blocks yet but I made 6 new blocks that will be 5" finished, one that will be 7.5" finished and one 10" finished.  I already had 7 10" blocks and 1 5" block made.  I will be adding a positive/negative pair of black and white prints with these blocks for the project.  I have no idea how big a project it is gong to be at this point.  I'll just play until I get tired of it.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

An old project.............

I might have started this project about 5 years ago when Debbie first posted her quilt and directions for the block.  At the time I pieced these 4 blocks and cut pieces for 8 more blocks.  Somehow the 2 parts got separated and I finally just sewed the 4 blocks together figuring it would be a nice table centerpiece mat.
Two days ago I found the ziploc bag with the pieces in it so yesterday I made the 8 additional blocks.

Then I sewed them together into a really long tablerunner.  The blocks finish at 9" so this will be about 18" x 54".  I haven't decided if it needs a light or dark binding.  Light would just let the dark areas float and dark would contain all of it.  The person who might get it has a dark table.

I had a request for some child size face coverings so I used the t-shirt strips again instead of elastic for those tender little ears.  I laid the one adult size there so you could see the size difference.

I'm still undecided on this project.  Here it is without sashing which is what I had in mind when I started the project.  This post shows the last thing I tried with sashing.  

As I went back in my blog to find that link I found a bunch more posts that have photos missing now.  Someone thought it was posts with the word mask in it but many of the posts didn't have any mention of them so that isn't the problem.  I will go back and try to repost the photos.....which will take me a couple hours.  I am disgusted by this.  I have seen spots with missing photos on other blogs too so it isn't just me.  Did we really need any more stress right now?

I will finish with a close up of the Jonquils....just because I think they are beautiful.