Monday, April 20, 2015

Enthusiasm for Hexagons

After a delightful visit to a not-too-far Quilt Show, I came home with enthusiasm for Hexies!  I have no idea how they will be used.  Right now, I'm enjoying looking at them!     
That punch is from Fiskars (under $10.00), an accurate paper punch that I found invaluable for making the papers.  I would NOT do this project without that tool! It doesn't work on plastic, or Mylar, or fabric, only heavy paper, aka as junk mail.  Use the dull paper card stock - shiny is slippery.  My method:  punch a bunch of papers, then with a regular office-type paper punch,  make a hole near the center of each paper (for removal later), take a square chunk of fabric (don't worry about accuracy here - just make it large enough), wrap it around one side at a time, and take 2 stitches from the back.  Then, without cutting your thread, go to the next corner, fold the fabric over the paper edge and take a stitch, folding neatly at each corner, etc.  After fabric is neatly affixed to the paper, trim the extra from the back with a sharp scissors.  MESSY bits everywhere, but you might want to hand quilt these little jewels.  Those stitches stay in -- they do not go thru the paper, only thru the folded fabric.  I used quilting thread.  The used papers are removed with tweezers, or pointed tool, when it was needed to sew on the next hexie and many of them can be used again. 
There are many methods, this was mine.  These hexies finish at 1 1/4 inch, even though the punch size is called LARGE.  Note - they are not as difficult as we have been led to believe.  I did 4 rosettes in 2 days of too-much-TV.  These hexies are a perfect take along project.  All the supplies fit in that little tin box to the left of the photo. 
My fumble fingers learned the technique quickly.
The plastic bag has hundreds of punched papers - I had fun with the punch!     

Friday, April 17, 2015

QOV, Done!

Done, done, done, but I'll still wash it before mailing it off.  I LOVE having a place to hang my quilts for photos.

Below - I added a narrow red flange before the binding, for a little big "extra".  Since I had so many curly designs in the center, I used plain straight lines in the border.  Goodness, look what the camera did to my blue fabric border!  The design was a subtle diagonal black line on blue!  8-)))

Yeah, I can start on another project! 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

QOV Quilting - Pinwheels and 4-Patches

Machine quilting -  I started with one overall design, and it morphed into another, and then another and then another - no self-discipline!  There are lots of curves, spirals, banana-type fill-ins, and then I got really crazy and started making sun rays erupting from paisleys -- they are my favorite!   All of this quilting is done with the original quilting foot that came with my Janome 6500 MC, a standard DSM.
However, a surprise occurred near the end of this project.  On a whim, I again tried to use/learn to use the 3 combination feet for a low shank Janome.  I made up a practice sandwich, and didn't experiment on my nice QOV.  Until today, I have had NO success using these feet, and was totally disgusted with that purchase.  The only thing I've done differently today, is that I used Sewer's Aid on my thread, and tried the feet for at least the 6th time, and voila!!!!  HOOOORRRAYYYY!  I've had to do some eating CROW following this happy surprise.  I MQ'd 2 of the borders on the QOV with no problems at all. Go figure!   

The quilting toned down my backing stripes a bit.  I LIKE it and didn't purchase anything more. 

 They look good together. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

More strips - darks

Wow  - kinda confusing with that checked fabric in the foreground!

This is more of Strip and Slash.  I posted the lights a few days ago, today I'm working with the darks.  There are 2 configurations - one on the left and twice as many on the right.  I'm not sure of my calculations  but I think this might finish at 14 x 18 blocks.  ???  They are small blocks, about 3.5 finished,.  

Instead of being worn out from yard work during our false spring, I am energized enough to attack this project after cleaning up gardens.  There are numerous sewing steps, but they are easy -- one can sit down and sew through all of one thing at one time - there is not a lot of careful measurements.  Today I layed 10-12 on the cutting mat and cut through a bunch at one time.  After cutting, I kept one configuration in one basket, and the other configuration in the other.  I'm not sure the separation was necessary but ...   Hey, those cheap plastic baskets from the Dollar Store are wonderful for sewing projects, and they stack so neatly afterwards.

Except for some experimentation with lights and dark triangles, the 2 values have not "met".  That's another step. 

I'm LOVING using up my bits and pieces of fabrics - MOM, I turned into FRUGAL YOU!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

What Shall We Do Today?

Mom would wake up each morning, and ask of us kids, "What are we going to do today?  She wanted us to think about a project, of which there were many on a small farm.  We learned to NEVER say "I'm bored" because if we mentioned that statement, she'd find something really AWFUL for us to do, which might involve a shovel, manure, weeds, dead chickens or heavy lifting --- you get my drift. 
So, a few days ago,  feeling a bit bored, I asked myself, "What shall I do today?"  especially something that wouldn't use the word "Money" or "go to my favorite LQS" so this is what I started, using only what I had on hand, my lights and my darks.  I DID try to stay within certain colors.     

This is the THIRD of this type of quilt, called Strip and Slash, by Jackie Robinson.  I purchased her DVD years ago, from 9-Patch Media.  A few days ago, it was under $10.00. 
This starts with "a lot" of strips, both narrow and wider, sewn in two configurations, pressed appropriately, and then cut in more strips, and sewed back together, clipped, pressed, then cut diagonally!  Whew - a lot of steps, but they are easy .  I'm using up my scraps -- so it's FREE, right? 
Below is my basket of lights, all sewn together and cut diagonally, and now I'm working on collecting my darks, reddish browns, purples, etc.   I couldn't stand waiting to see how they would look together and made a few of the darks so far.  These little blocks will finish about 3.75 - small!  But holy smoke, do they make excellent use of scraps.  Chances are YOUR scraps will be in the colors you already like.   I am aiming for 12 x 14 blocks, plus borders. 
These blocks kinda match because I used the same strips.  They will be more mixed up when I have a few hundred!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Importance of Borders

A fairly simple border on this QOV made it even better!  It's approximately 65" x 75" .

This will be mailed to Alycia of, who does a fantastic job of getting these QOVs out to soldiers. 
I'm happy with this outcome.  Now, I need to quilt get busy quilting!