Quilting and Stuff by Knitnoid

Ladder to the Stars – Blocks Complete

Earlier today I finished pieces the 32 six inch blocks I need for my Ladder to the Stars. The star part comes in with the paper pieced sashing which I have not started. I was short pieces for one of the blue and white blocks which surprised me because I was positive I had cut enough fabric, but I made 2 more 4-patches and cut 3 more white squares to finish the block.

A few minutes ago I finished emptying the case I took to retreat with me a couple of weeks ago, and found the other pieces. Apparently the pieces fell in to the open case. Perhaps it is time to do a bit of straightening up in my sewing room.

Stash Report Week #18

These charms were my other purchases this week. I don’t have a lot of Christmas prints in my stash, but these spoke to me. I’ve already got an idea on how to use them, but of course that could change at least 2 or 3 times before I get it done.

This week I’ve been sewing on my 6″ block, the fabric was cut and counted last week.

Fabric Added this Week: 2.75 yards
Fabric Added to Date: 122.75 yards

Fabric Used this Week: 0 yards
Fabric Used to Date: 38.12 yards

Net Stash: +84.62 yards

Squishies in the Mail

Friday’s mail run brought two ‘squishies’ in the mail. One was this pair of blocks from the QIAD Birthday Block Swap. I signed up for this swap at the beginning of the year. We picked the color/block we wanted, then on your birthday everyone in your group sends you a block. I think I’ve sent out 3 blocks so far this year, have 3 made to be sent later in the year and need to make another 5.

My plan is to alternate these blocks with various blue & yellow stars. This of course is subject to change, but I have been buying yellow fabric, including these this afternoon:

As for my other ‘squishy’, it really wasn’t very squishy.

It was my new Martelli Rotary Cutter. I love this thing, and had completely worn out my original cutter. For the last week I’ve been using a Fiskar cutter which is OK, but my not my favorite. I’m SO glad this cutter finally arrived.

Apologies to Miss Genie

In my last post I mentioned Miss Genie’s stitches were long. Well, I forgot she’s an old fashioned lady. I’m not certain where I had her stitch length set originally, but last night I moved the lever all the way down, hoping for a smaller stitch. What I failed to recognize at the time was the scale is not the length of stitches as on QD, but the # of stitches per inch. To get a smaller stitch, I should have moved her lever up. Which I did to 12 and now I have a lovely line of stitching. Fortunately, I figured this out before I sewed too many of those 4-patches.

We’ve come to an understanding on stitch length and even a 1/4 inch seam – for basic piecing like the 4-patches. But I haven’t mastered the 1/4 inch seam when making HST from squares. When I had her cleaned up, I bought a 1/4 inch foot, but she has a tendency to send the fabric off ‘that a ways’ unless she has her nice broad foot on. So, I move the needle to the right (only 3 positions) and have a ‘stop’ of sticky notes for straight piecing. I’m not sure what I’m going to do for those diagonal lines of stitching.

Another positives about Miss Genie. I turn her on and she’s ready to go. With my big machine, QD, (Husqvarna Quilt Designer) I have a ritual I follow when I sit down to piece. Turn her on. Wait for the ‘music’ to stop, hit the stitch width button, hit the mirror image button, hit the menu screen twice, hit the needle down button and then hit the fix button. Miss any of these steps and I don’t have my nice scant 1/4 inch seam. There’s nothing more frustrating to realize that you missed the mirror image button and are now sewing with a wide 1/4 inch seam. I really must do more piecing on Miss Genie. She done a fine job on these 2 inch 4-patches I’ve been working on.

Aren’t they cute. I’m about a third of the way through them.

Meet Miss Genie

This is Miss Genie. She’s been hanging out at a friend’s house for several months waiting for me to get back to group sewing. Tonight I went and picked her up. My big sewing machine is still in the shop and I HAD TO SEW.

Miss Genie came into my life about 16 months ago. DH stopped at a garage sale and saw her. He knew most of my quilting buddies had a smaller machine to take to classes and retreats and figured I might like her.

He was assured Miss Genie worked fine the last time she was used, but was put up due to her previous owner no longer sewing. For $5 he figured I’d get a kick out of her.

Miss Genie came home. Clearly the individual selling the machine didn’t know WHY the previous owner had stopped sewing. It was right there in the bobbin case. She was jammed up big time. DH and I worked on getting the thread out of the bobbin case, pulled her open to work on the dust, dirt, smoke and decided to get a second opinion. For the cost of a tune up and a thread pin, I now had a ‘portable’ machine.

Miss Genie is not that much lighter than my big machine, but due to her compact size, she is a bit easier to carry.

Although she’s not my primary machine, she does sew a straight, albeit lengthy stitch. Tonight she allowed me to start on those 112 two inch 4-patches.

I may only have one done, but it’s made a difference in my mood. Not sewing for a week when I wanted to sew was driving me crazy.

Stash Report Week #17

More fabric came in than went out this week. Included in the incoming fabric is fabric to make my husband a shirt – or to use as the backing of his music quilt, 3 pretty yellow FQs, binding for my pink and brown quilt and 3/4 yard of a beige print I’ve been looking for to finish up another quilt. Oh, yes, I bought the red fabric I need for a new quilt I’m starting. I still need the gold and blue and will get it Tuesday night while it’s still on sale.

On the outgoing side of things, I cut the binding for my OTR and have it sewn together and with the quilt top, and I cut the pieces for the new quilt I’m starting. 32 six inch blocks. Boy are those pieces tiny. 4-patches that finish at 2 inches. The cut pieces fit into a single sandwich bags. What have I gotten my self into?

Fabric Added this Week: 7.5 yards
Fabric Added to Date: 120.0 yards

Fabric Used this Week: 2.29 yards
Fabric Used to Date: 38.12 yards

Net Stash: +81.87 yards

Retreat Flimsy Four

This is the last of the quilt tops I finished at the retreat. This is my husband’s music quilt.

It started innocently enough. On a road trip, I stopped in a quilt shop and saw some music fabric and picked up a couple of FQs back in the Spring of 2003. At the time, I was still knitting, and quilting had not taken over. DH suggested that I make him a quilt, using just music fabrics using a repeat from each fabric. I nodded, the quilter in me wanting to piece, and started collecting music fabric everywhere I went.

Fast forward 5 years and now I have two drawers full of music fabric, only a handful repeated. I continued collecting since I hadn’t started the quilt, and had no idea what I was going to do. DH’s idea was beginning to look better and better.

Then I saw a quilt on the Quilt in a Day forum that someone had posted. She had taken squares of floral print and set them with sashing forming stars. I knew then what I was going to do with my music fabric. I wish I could remember who the quilter was to thank her for the inspiration.

Before I left for retreat, all the sashings were pieced, the top half of the quilt was sewn together and I had two additional rows sewn together, so it came together pretty quickly.

There are 168 different fabrics, no two a like. I even printed my own square, scanning in an original composition my husband hand wrote, Large Egg Rag.

Naturally, this didn’t make a dent in my music fabric, so there is another music quilt in my future some day.

P.S. I just found the link to the inspiration quilt.

Retreat Flimsy Three

It seems it doesn’t matter how careful I am when I’m packing for a trip, I will always leave something at home. This retreat was no exception.

A week before I left, I pressed and folded all of my border fabrics and quilt tops I was planning on working on. Everything had to fit in my tote bag as there were 3 of us hauling sewing machines, stuff to work on, clothes and bedding to the retreat and it had to fit in my Escape.

Saturday morning I pulled out the Old Tobacco Road and realized I had left the pieced cornerstones at home, but I did have 6 extra flying geese with me. What to do?

Well, I could cut some pinwheels from the extra geese, but that would only give me enough for 2 cornerstones. I ran around bumming yellow fabric, but when I realized how many little pieces went into the cornerstones, I opted to use a single yellow, cutting into the 1/2 yard I purchased on my way to the retreat. Yellow solved. That left the green and purple.

Purple was easy. I had not cut off the ends of the bricks to square the quilt up, so all the pinwheels came from the end bricks. I just had to borrow a ruler. — no I didn’t take my ruler since I was just putting borders on the quilts.

The green turned out to be easy enough as well. I had two choices. I had two different greens with me for the inner border. I could use one of them, or I could go scrappy by pulling apart some of the 2-patches I was sewing into 4-patches as leader/enders. I opted for the 2nd choice.

With the exception of the borders and the aforementioned yellow, this quilt was from my stash. I try not to buy fabric for mystery quilts, so when picking the fabric I had to come up with a color palette from my stash. I picked green, yellow and purple, thinking Mardi Gras, but the quilt doesn’t say that to me. In fact, after I had half of it finished I was wondering about my choices, but as I added each section to the quilt, I decided I liked it better. All I have to do now is pick a name.

I’m thinking something about spring plowing. The purple/lavender reminds me of the blue/purple plant that tends to grow in the fields before they are planted around here.

Retreat Quilt Flimsy Two

This is my Stack-n-Whack that I started at the April 2006 Retreat. A couple of months after the retreat, I had about 1/2 of the blocks done and then the quilt was put aside for something else. Last year it was on my list of UFOs to work on. My goal was to get it to the top stage. I took it to the Kansas Troubles Quilters Retreat this past November with the intention of finishing it, but decided it needed something besides the floral border. I tried several fabrics and then someone handed me a dark green paper napkin. It was just the thing to set it off. So then I had to locate the fabric.

I found a pretty green batik, which is next to impossible to see in the picture. There is a 1/2 inch green border separating the floral border from the body of the quilt. That was the easy part. I spent quite a bit of time crawling around on the floor figuring out how to square up the quilt. Fortunately, there were blue and black alternating tiles on the floor which made this much easier. Sure wish I remembered to take my knee pads with me.

Retreat Quilt Flimsy One

In addition to visiting with friends from across the country (I think the count was 13 states) and meeting new people, my goal was to get the borders on my quilts. I took six quilts — 4 just needed borders, one needed the blocks sewn together and one is a stripy quilt which just needed the strips sewn together. I got 4 done to the top stage. My Black and White Strip Twist was the first quilt top to be finished. I started this quilt Super Bowl Weekend. It’s a Bonnie Hunter/Quiltville.com pattern.

We arrived Thursday afternoon around 2:00 PM. After setting up, I got to work. There was plenty of space to stretch out the quilt to measure it without getting in any one’s way. Has the power not gone out in a ’10 grid’ area, I would have finished it Thursday night. Instead, I went to bed early and got up Friday morning about 5:30 AM. I am NOT a morning person, so this was unusual for me.