Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday Stash Report

I did a fair bit of catching up this week. Just this morning I finished Block 4 of the Hazel's Diary Quiltalong mystery. I had more trouble with this block than the first 3. The center part just seemed too small so the block doesn't look as square as it should. But, I really like how its turning out overall with the bright colors against the black background I'm using. I think I might be the only one working with a black background. Check out the Hazel's Diary Flickr Group for more photos from others doing this project.

Here are my first 4 blocks.

To see what else I did this week, check my previous post.


All fabric used this week went into the melons (petals) for my Joseph's Coat quilt.

Used this week:               .50 M
Used Year to Date:      16.75 M
Added this week:               0 M
Added Year to Date:     7.90 M
Net used for 2010:        8.85 M

Be sure to check out how everyone else has done this week with their stash use on Judy's blog.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Catching Up

I've been working on a few things all week in an effort to catch up with some of the projects I am doing.

1. Joseph's Coat - worked every evening for 6 days to get ALL the rest of the melon shapes prepared. I'm done that part of it!! YAY!! Now I can work on the applique...

2. Caught up on "Hazel's Diary Quiltalong". I have finished Block 2 and 3 plus caught up-to-date with Block 4!! These are 6 inch finished blocks so the pieces are rather tiny and can be a bit hard to get the points all lined up and meeting. But, as my Dad used to say... "They'll never see it from the highway!"

3. Finished assembling the feathered star block that was a tutorial on Erin's blog One Piece At a Time. I had a bit of trouble with this as it seemed like some parts were either too large or too small to fit together correctly. My block will probably never lay flat...

I've played a bit with the pink & yellow quilt blocks on the wall. I'm still moving them around a little but I hope that I will soon be happy enough with the arrangement to go ahead and sew it all together.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pink & Yellow quilt AGAIN

I am still fretting over the placement of blocks in my Pink and Yellow (Disaster) quilt because of the difference in value of the fabrics.

There are many ways to think about laying it out. As it is now, I have the lightest fabrics at the top and getting darker as you get to the bottom. Now, I am wondering if I should try putting the lightest fabrics in the center with the darker around the outer edges... OR I could use a diagonal idea with the colors and start with the lightest at the top left gradating to the darkest on the bottom right. OR, on the same diagonal idea, have the lights and darks of each color going the opposite direction.... **sigh**

Any suggestions are MORE than welcomed!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The hurrier I go, the behinder I get....

Can't believe its Sunday already! Where did the week go??
For the Friday Night Sew-In, I didn't work on what I had originally planned. (More on the ongoing saga of the my Pink & Yellow "Disaster" quilt later..) 

I decided to spend my evening working on the pieces for my Joseph's Coat. I spent a couple hours creating more freezer paper shapes and pressing them on to fabrics. The rest of the evening was spent cutting them out.
I did manage to get about a dozen melons ready to applique. (Pardon the picture... its hard to take pictures when both hands are doing something else. At least my bust shelf is useful as a tripod...) I also spent Saturday evening in front of the tv with the pressing board on my lap getting more melons ready.
I will still have a few more evenings of work to finish preparing the rest of the melons that I need. I thought that, since this is the most tedious part of the project for me, I would get it ALL done so I can just get on with doing what I enjoy, the applique.

All of the fabric I used this week was for the Joseph's Coat project (melons and background).

Used this week:          2.25 M
Used Year to Date:   16.25 M
Added this week:             0 M
Added Year to Date:    7.9 M
Net used for 2010:      8.35 M

Be sure to check out how everyone else has done this week with their stash use on Judy's blog.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Are You Ready?

Because, this Friday Night is the March Sew-In!!

I know what I will be working on... I have been stuck on the layout of my Pink & Yellow quilt. All the blocks are sewn together but, my design wall in the sewing room is not large enough to lay out the entire quilt.

I finally got a flash of inspiration yesterday when I remembered I'd bought a queen size flannel sheet on sale a couple of years ago. I had thought, at the time, I 'd put it away until I could find a matching fitted sheet the next flannel sheet season. I've never seen another one in this particular olive drab color. What was I thinking??

Anyways, I dug out the sheet and put it through the laundry. Thankfully, it lost a bit of the dye so it is now a dark tan. I am going to hang it on the wall in my guest room to use as a temporary whole quilt design wall!! I will transfer my P & Y blocks to it so I can see the entire quilt and play with the layout. On Friday night, I will be assembling my quilt top!!

What do you have planned?? If you aren't signed up yet, go to Heidi's Blog and register!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sunday Stash Report & Joseph's Coat Update

Wonder if anyone missed me last week??? I was out of town helping my daughter so I missed out doing my stash report last Sunday. It's OK though, because nothing has really changed in regards to the stash in the past 2 weeks anyway! I didn't even have time to work on any hand sewing while I was away. I was so exhausted when I got home that it has taken almost all week to recover. I guess my body is telling me that I can't do the things I once could.


Used this week: 0 M
Used Year to Date: 14 M
Added this week: 0 M
Added Year to Date: 7.9 M
Net used for 2010: 6.1 M


It seems that I was avoiding preparing more blocks for appliqué. I decided that I needed to find a simpler and more accurate way to accomplish the prep work of laying the pieces out and attaching them to the background fabric. I am just using freezer paper for the appliqués on this project so I need to remove the paper. Here is the method I have come up with that works for me.

1. Prepare the melon shapes by ironing the freezer paper shape to the wrong side of the fabric and cutting around the shape adding a quarter-inch seam allowance all around. I don't cut it skinnier towards the points. 

With the freezer paper side up, use a small brush to apply liquid starch to the seam allowance all around the piece. Using an iron (I use my small Clover iron), work around the shape turning the seam allowance under.


 I do my points a bit differently as well. This is what works for me. I turn both edges of seam allowance under and that leaves a bit of a 'flag' sticking out by the point.

I fold this bit back, hold it with my fingernail and wet it again with a bit of starch then carefully apply heat with the little iron.

This folds the fabric under the point and gives a nice sharp point on the applique piece that doesn't fray out so easily. If the 'flag' is a bit large, I sometimes need to make a second fold... think of a little 'Z' in the fabric right under the point.

2. Applying the shapes to the background.

First, fold the background square in half and finger press a mark on both edges. I use these marks to center the fabric over my template so that everything will be centered  on the background. Use a water soluble marker and make a dot where each set of melons meets. This is for placement.

 Lay out the melons arranging until they look good. Slide each piece back a bit so that they are still in the correct orientation but away from the center of the block.

I use Roxanne's Glue Baste to attach the pieces to the background. I apply little dots to one whole side and just one at either end of the other side of the center pieces. Line the melons up with the dots made earlier and press in place.

Voilà - no pins required. Doing it this way allows me to stitch down the one side that is held in place, turn the corner and then remove the freezer paper. I then add a few drops of glue to the turned under edge to hold it in place after removing the paper. Let it dry a few minutes and finish stitching the final side. Because I am using all different colors, I change thread to match each melon color.

For the shapes on the outer edge of the circle, only put glue on the inner edge of the melon. I am leaving the freezer paper in the edge pieces until the blocks are joined to keep them stable.

I can lay out the blocks much faster and get more accurate placement using the glue over pins. Also, there are no pins to poke me or to loose in my chair... The added bonus is that the pieces can't shift while you are stitching so my point intersections are much better!

I have completed 8 blocks so far and have another 3 ready to stitch. I'm hoping that I will now be able to prepare and finish enough blocks for at least the first two rows of the quilt within the next week. Sounds like it should be doable...