Quilting and Stuff by Knitnoid

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Quilt Cabinet

cabine

As many quilts as I have given away, I have numerous quilts that I’ve kept. We keep them on the top shelf of the hall closet and it is nearly impossible for me to put them up or pull them down. So, I’ve been looking for something accessible for me to store them in. Oh, but I have to keep in mind, I really don’t have any place to put another piece of furniture.

Well, all of that changed this morning. I’ve been keeping my eye on Craigslist looking for an affordable pie safe and a few weeks ago I saw a stereo cabinet on the free list. I was too late, but I added that to the things I was looking for.  This morning I spotted this cabinet about 40 minutes after it was posted, and sent the link to my husband. Turns out he had spotted it and had already heard back from the guy when I sent the link to him.

I was worried about the dark glass, but I think it’s going to be just fine. Now, to gather up a few more quilts to put in the cabinet.

 

Nearly There

backingnearlythere

 

I took out the 8″ block and replaced it with the 7″ yellow and blue/pink batik pinwheel in the middle. The quilt hangs so much better now. I need about 28 more inches in length and it will be done. I’ve got most of the rest mapped out.

therestoftheback

Working Organically

backingB4I’ve been working on this backing ‘organically’  — no real plan just pulling blocks and sewing them together.  But last night I started to worry about whether or not I have enough parts and pieces to make this top 72″ x 90″.  It’s time to put pencil to paper to graph out the bottom portion of the quilt.

map

That’s when I discovered that it’s not that I’ve got the quilt pinned to tightly that’s causing that buckling, but rather I’ve managed to get an extra inch of fabric in the middle of what I’ve pieced so far.

extraThere are two issues.

  1. The 8″ square made from the pink and green pinwheels is 8″.  I only have 7″ of space there. Solution – I’ve got a big 7″ pinwheel that I’m going to add a 1″ strip to the bottom of and put in a 7″ x 8″ block.
  2. The 8″ blocks to the left of the pink and green section I squeezed into a smaller space than I should. This also explains why I needed to trim the butterfly fabric on the left hand side by some weird #.

8inchsection

 

So, it seems I’ll be doing a bit of frogging tonight after dinner.

Half a Back

carribacking0908

 

I’ve been sewing bits and pieces for two days and I have half a back.  I just hope that I have enough blocks left on the wall and the deep recesses of the orphan block/pieces box to finish it.

backingblocks

orphans

Flying Fabric

sewingroom

I started to title this post ‘Why Make Things Easy’, but opted for ‘Flying Fabric’ as there is fabric and blocks everywhere in my sewing room. Blocks on the ironing board, yardage & quilt pieces for 3 different quilts on my desk & cutting table.  Tiny HST units on the table beside my machine, tumbler or fabric for tumblers in 2 different spots and more parts and pieces stacked on top of the challenge quilt tops.  Oh, yeah, there are parts and pieces on the design wall.

Fabric is flying around here.

So, why did I consider the other title? Because it would have been so much easier to just pad blocks to 12″ and make 6 columns of blocks. But instead, this is what I’ve come up with so far.

backingtop

 

Of course now that I’m doing this, I’m concerned that I’m not going to have enough blocks for a 72 x 88 backing. We’ll see what I get done tomorrow. I’m going to go watch the baseball game.

Past the Halfway Point

backing-229

229 squares cut, another 181 squares to go to hit 410. I’ve emptied one shirt box, although I am filling it up with bits and pieces which need to be cut up into the Scrap Users System. But that’s for another day perhaps in January after I get past my latest crazy challenge of finishing 12 quilts in 4 months.

I had high hopes for this week.  Get all the squares cut and the smallest backing made so I could quilt the Orange Disappearing 9-patch next week.  However, I had a vicious attack of hives and it knocked me for a loop for a couple of days. I don’t ever recall having hives before and have no idea what set them off. Tomorrow is another day, so perhaps I’ll get more knocked out then than I have the last couple of days.

 

Gorgeous Fabrics

handdyed

 

My photo doesn’t do these fabrics justice.  These are gorgeous fabrics.  They were hand dyed by Vicki Welsh. She sells her fabrics in her Etsy Store. I received these by way of a drawing from participants in her UFO Busting Challenge.

 

They arrived yesterday in the mail. It was a wonderful pick-me-up.  I stayed up late Wednesday night to watch the meteor shower and then Thursday was one crises after another at work and back-to-back conference calls. Midday I had about 5 minutes which I used to check the mail.  I opened the package and exclaimed “These are gorgeous!”  I think I said that 4 or 5 times before I got back to my office a the other end of the house.  I know I heard my husband say “You said that already” at least once.

I cannot wait to use these fabrics. But I think I’m going to pet them for a while.  They are gorgeous!

Squishie in the Mail

squishie0615

I follow Aunt Marti over at 52Quilts.com and I participate in the monthly UFO Parade — some months.  Each month there is a drawing from the participating quilters and this month my name was drawn!

This is a wonderful prize pack — a pattern and the mini charm packs to make the little quilt, as well as a 2″ ruler.

Thank you Aunt Marti.

Putting Together a Travel Notions Kit

sewing kit

In the past I’ve tried to put together a traveling notions kit — but invariably I dig into it when I can’t find something — or I add to it because I want to take my “favorite” notion with me.  In the end the boxes get rummaged through and I’m having to redo the boxes each time I head out with my sewing machine.

Now that I have a travel sewing machine, I’m going to try again. This time if I decide to take the “favorite” it’s going to go into a separate container to see if that helps. So, what’s in my travel kit?  Lots.

Working from the back towards the front.

  • Magnetic pin catcher and box of glass head pins
  • Extra bobbins
  • Zipper foot (it’s the only extra foot I have for this machine)
  • A couple of hand needles, thread puller, threader and dime (aka screw driver in a pinch) in a magnetic needle box
  • Size 80 and 90 machine needles
  • Thimble (I don’t know why, I don’t wear one)
  • Seam ripper
  • Marking pencil, extra lead, pen, pencil, Sharpie, fabric pen
  • Tiny Tigger (because all my quilt tops need cat approval)
  • Iron cleaner (found a one use tube, so why not)
  • Purple Thang
  • Paint brush to clean machine
  • HST line guide
  • Stiletto
  • Finger Iron
  • Screwdriver – flat blade reverses to Phillips
  • Snips
  • Stack of 1 1/2 inch squares for leader/enders
  • Flower head pins (partial box)
  • Tiny clothes pins
  • 3 AAA batteries for lamp
  • Scissors – large and small
  • Glue stick
  • Extra rotary blades
  • Curved basting pins
  • Retractable tape measures
  • Neutral thread
  • Rotary cutter
  • 1″ x 6″ ruler
  • Nail file, lip balm, hair band, tissues and glasses wipes

It’s a whole lot of stuff, but it all fits in my large pencil box.  When I get to the retreat, I have a cute little folding bag with pockets that I’ll sort the stuff out into so I’m not constantly rooting through the box.

sewingmesskitfull

 

Also going into the travel bag, but too large for pencil box is the led lamp on the left of the pencil box in the first picture, an empty spray bottle, a can of starch, the thread holder, a spool of painter tape, a sheet of freezer paper and the owner’s manual.

I’ve got a brief case which hold my extension table, a cutting mat and my chair “cushion”.

If I can keep this together I should be able to grab a project (fabric, pattern and any special notion not in the kit) and  the machine and travel to a sew-in on a moment’s notice. I’ve got a couple of “day” retreats later in the year.  We’ll see if it works.

Photographing Quilts

gradquiltdone-top-tweak

orcabaydone2

 

Photographing my finished quilts is always something of a challenge.  I don’t really have a good spot in the house to photograph large quilts. Lighting has to be right. Camera angles have to be right.  I know these things – but doing them is sometimes a challenge.

For Eye Fooler we got close. I promise the quilt is square — but the camera angles were off. Orca Bay on the other hand, I think I pretty much nailed it.

A few years ago my husband built me a quilt rack from some PVC pipe to fit on my fabric shelves.  The supports are permanently attached to the shelves, but the long rail stands in a corner somewhere.  Last night it was in the corner of the garage.

hanger3

It’s two 8-foot pieces of 1 1/4″ PVC pipe (that’s the interior dimension) joined together in the middle.  To try to keep it from sagging we slide a 5 foot piece of PVC in the center. On both ends he drilled a hole for an S-hook.  Then another S-hook is hooked to it and the gutter. That gives me some place to hang the quilt.  But now I need a sleeve.

I don’t always want a permanent sleeve on my quilt — and I read something several years ago on Bonnie Hunter’s blog.  She was having to un-sew the bottom edge of the sleeve.  The KC Star photographer said they would crop out the sleeve above the quilt. So, with both of these things in mind, I made a temporary sleeve.

I took a 9 inch long piece of 108″ wide fabric (it was left over from Eye Fooler) I folded it in half and took a 1/2″ seam.  108″ is wide–it’s what I had on hand, and it allows me to hang a king size quilt if needed.

hanger2.

 

I lined up the cut edge along the top of the quilt and used my quilt basting pins to pin along the seam.  Sure the pins show from the front up close, but do you see them in the pictures up above?

Once outside, with help from my husband, we slid the pipe into the sleeve and hung the quilt on the gutter. The excess sleeve simply bunched up on either side of the quilt.

hanger1

What’s great about this is there is no tell-tale lump at the top of the quilt.

This picture was taken around 7:15 PM.  The sun was far enough over the roof line I still had light, but no glare.   The camera was put on a tripod and I pulled out a level to make sure the camera was square to the world – horizontally & vertically.  Also it must be square to the quilt.

As it turns out the gutter is not square to the world.  So, once I uploaded the pictures to my computer, I used my photo editing software to make the top binding horizontal to the top of the picture.  Then I cropped the photograph from there.

As for the sleeve?  It, the pins I used and the s-hooks are all together waiting for the next quilt to be photographed.

Smaller quilts may still get photographed in the house — but I’ll use my new sleeve to hang it on the shelves instead of pinning the quilt to the shelf.