Saturday, July 14, 2018

Hallows Scrap Back

I bought more of the black and finished the back of the Hallows Log Cabin. I also bought a gingerbread colored brown to make mug rugs. There is an actual practice called CHRISTMAS IN JULY among fabric artists, who buy their materials in June and have already got projects going.

Here I am with a Hallows quilt and still need to baste, machine quilt and bind it. It is only a couple of inches larger than the top but will work as long as I take time during the basting process to line it up. There are lines on both sides so it is essential that they do line up and if they go wonky, it won't be too bad a look. I will attempt to pin so they join in the center as well as going outward to all four sides.

I found a kids paper project that I used for a pattern to make a mug rug and did get a start on it this morning. I had to adjust the corners on the arms to make it work but did. I've got enough for 5 of them after cutting two WOF strips and some white for the background. They become a 9-patch. I want to make one up before going on with them, just in case it doesn't work out.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Need Fabric

There isn't enough of the black tone on tone to finish the back, so its off to the fabric store on Saturday.

I am really glad I selected black to do this sashing, and also that it is cut 2.25". At first, it mattered which fabric laid next to others. And yet, it became quite random as the rows were joined. Even looking at this pic, I can see where other choices might have happened. Again, Hallows fabrics are so busy and bright. Black gives your eye a place to rest from it all.

The side-to-side measurement will accommodate the top's side borders. There are enough blocks to make two more rows to extend the back, but at this point, it might be long enough. Six across and 8 down. In fact seven might work. I'll buy enough black to do the binding too and finish the quilt by the end of August and ship it out as soon as it is done.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Making 8" Blocks

Hallows scraps were saved in many sizes, the largest of which are 8" squares. As a result, I joined smaller bits so they measured 8". And now what?

Halloween fabric prints are incredibly busy. Even if the square is cut from a single fabric, it is still busy. I want to do a sashing but am not sure what will work better and coordinate with the front, which is black and white with orange. Colors are vivid so nothing light or pastel will work. Too much orange, or black already. I thought about a bright, deep yellow, which would complement the orange on the other side, and found a black that auditions better and is on hand. I have black. I do not have the yellow. The challenge using such a scrappy back is in matching it to the top. It is important to check all seams and clip threads.

Sigh. Math. I found one site that set up the formula, but calculated it for 12.5" unfinished blocks. I am using 8". The scrap of black I found is a tone on tone. I drew the layout and have first started with the side pieces to join them. I am not sure how much fabric will work, so made the cut at 2.25" and will do the center part first. I have another solid black to make an outside border. For as much of this Halloween fabric I used for the top and the bottom, there is still a lot of it left for another project.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Fabric Panel Books & a LC Top

I love being able to use batting scraps for this project. I am one page short of batting, but made great progress.  All the pages are together except one for two books.

It surprised me how quickly these went together, though the project has a few more steps to slip stitch closed the bottom of the pages, top stitching around all of them, and joining the centers with a vertical stitch to form the book. I am not sure if the pages will get quilted for stability or how to do it. Directions do not give that as a step, however, batting will shift if not secured. I may do another seam next to the top stitching seam or run a few horizontal stitches before putting the pages together.

Next, I pulled more projects in the bins out to finish tops, match with backs, and get them ready for basting. Again, it surprised me, though shouldn't, that there were a number of projects without notes-to-self. I guess that means I will get to choose what happens next and use the creative thoughts I have NOW. Some of these projects have been sitting awhile.

I finished a Log Cabin Hallows scrap top. The darker pieces are all black prints. 'Scrappy' means gathering in a very random manner, and 'scrap' quilting means some thinking and planning while using scraps on hand. I have so many scraps that I want to make the back from them with the intention to use as much of the holiday as possible. Thing is there is no pattern for the back, as of yet. 

This top turned out so good, I would like to make the back as close to stunning as this top is. It was more planned using all the spider web on white for the entire white side, using the same fabric for the center blocks, then making the borders. Yet, all from scraps on hand. So it would be considered a scrap quilt. Even though the back is also made of scraps, to get it to look nice, it needs structure.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Bargello Top Finish

I don’t think I will make another Bargello. I don't like the fragility of cut seams this might have. Maybe not, but it wasn't a pattern that sparked joy in me the way Log Cabins do. Next I need to buy flannel for the back and get it basted. I have several quilts ready to baste that I want to work on.

Next project is a couple of cloth baby books, one for alpha and the other for numbers. They will be a mid-August birthday gift for a Nanny who works locally with two toddlers. I found the panels at one of the local fabric stores and can use batting scraps to line the pages. Everything is cut and needs pressing next. It seems to be an easy project. It surprised me how many options for these books are for sale. I have not seen the quilting panels before and so bought both that were available.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

First Half of the Bargello

According to Wikipedea, Bargello is a type of needlepoint embroidery  consisting of upright flat stitches laid in a mathematical pattern to create motifs. The name originates from a series of chairs found in the Bargello Palace in Florence, Italy, which have a "flame stitch" pattern. Traditionally, Bargello was stitched in wool on canvas. Embroidery done this way is remarkably durable. It is well suited for use on pillows, upholstery & even carpets, but not for clothing. In most traditional pieces, all stitches are vertical with stitches going over two or more threads. Traditional designs are very colourful, and use many hues of one colour, which produces intricate shading effects. The patterns are naturally geometric, but can also resemble very stylized flowers or fruits. Bargello is considered particularly challenging, as it requires very precise counting of squares for the mathematical pattern connected with the various motifs to accurately execute entered the quilting world in modern times.

The first step in joining the colors was relatively easy. Each jelly roll was joined to form a tube. Then, if I am following directions correctly, strips of varying sizes were cut to form the wave. This weakens the end seam stitches a bit. I numbered each of the strips, and then started pinning and joining them. Each strip that was cut was a different graduated size going from narrow to wide and back to narrow again. Only one tube was cut in strips and numbered. And only 6 strips from the first tube have been pinned, joined and pressed. This is not a one-day or one-sitting kind of project. 

It is, as was written above, very challenging. My guess is that consistency is key to make this work. From all I read, starting with solid rainbow colors makes it easy for the beginner. This pic represents the first jelly roll. The full impact of the quilt is yet to show itself.

Friday, July 6, 2018


When I was a grrrl still living at home with my Parents, one of my tasks was ironing. I hated ironing. Back in the day, cotton wrinkled so bad. Well, it still does. And now, as a part of quilting, one must 'press' seams open, or 'press' to get wrinkles out from washing. 

Pressing is different from ironing. It is not the sweeping motion. It is a downward action that doesn't move the fabric to stretch it or ruin the bias cuts. Some quilters press seams open and some say that open seams are more fragile and prefer to press them 'to the dark side'. It really depends upon how the final quilting will be done, and so you have to know what your plans are. 

Today is a pressing day for me. I want to press the seams on the comfort quilt (no photos until the recipient has it in hand), and press the seams on the Bargello. This is the perfect time to check seams to ensure they are joined with that 1/4 inch to hold up to use. I plan to press the top seams open and the back seams to the side. I've thought about how I will quilt this project and plan to use white thread to go with the background of the top. I want back seams to have the strength of side pressed seams and think that I will quilt this one a bit more than usual just for the added strength.

As for the Bargello, well, it is still a WIP (work in process) so one step at a time with it. Today, it gets pressed and each section made into a tube. Admittedly, I am way beyond my comfort level with it and am second guessing everything I do with it. Already, I am concerned with my color choice on it. It is my first Bargello, and will be a learning experience.