Friday, July 31, 2015

Almost a month with no posts!

I don't know where July went - I was busy doing, doing, ... something, not sure what!

Oh yes, I did complete this Split Nine Patch, scrappy of course.  This has over 3000 pieces, but the "system" is from Jackie Robinson.  It's about 60" x 70".  I started machine quilting with my Janome MC6500 but ran into issues of stitches skipping when quilting over seams, and soon the quality was slipping so I finally quit, but by now there are small issues here and there, and my own satisfaction and patience has deteriorated.  Two trips for tech. maintenance did not solve the problem so I finished the quilt with another machine.  


Not knowing exactly what needed fixing, and after routine servicing, timing, threads, etc., I had a new motor installed, figuring all bases need to be covered before thinking of a new machine!  Neither the tech. nor I know how it will work until the next quilt.  The machine DOES sound better, smoother, less labored.  It could be a wear-and-tear issue as I had noticed odd problems during this last year that I thought were my own Senior Citizen issues, but upon reflection believe it IS the machine, not me. 

Above is a bit of the backing.  My quilting is a combination of innies, and outies, various swirls, circles, "bear claws" ... I kept the designs confined to certain "rows" ... I got bored with just one design.  The border is done with  largeundulating hearts, or, "fat ladies on barstools".   I learned to NOT do that border again with variegated threads -- shoulda used a solid color.  (Lesson #843!)

A few of my quilting friends gathered at a recent lunch.  Me in left background, next to Alice.  Other side in back is Carol M, then Carol L., then Kathy.   Anita joined us later, after the photo.  8-)))

Friday, July 03, 2015

Mom's Grandmother's Flower Garden (GFG) quilt, repaired

( I have shown this quilt previously, but wanted to document the end result, with repairs made.)

This is the back of my Mom's GFG quilt, that sat on a wood shelf for toooo long, being "saved for good".  Upon inspection, the acids had eaten clear thru - front to back, a person could see daylight thru the damage. 

Mom made it in 1936-37, as a young woman of 21, awaiting her first child, Kristin, when my parents lived in Chicago.  We think the lively prints came from garments that her SIL made, Kate, for her little girls.  

I had it for about 10 years before tackling the repair job, thinking it was "too hard." It lingered for about 10 years, but one day in 2014, I jumped in and DID it!  And I heard my Mother saying, "It's never has hard as you think it is!" 

This is the back - it's not perfect, just repaired.  The fold line was extremely weak or damaged, so I added an entire backing and batting across the quilt.  I quilted thru all the damaged area to hold the backing on, and more quilting thru the new rosettes I had replaced on the front.  I did not want to remove old parts, nor remove Mom's hand quilting.  Yes, it's a little lumpy - that's OK, I'm also little lumpy, yet still useful. 

No more holes.  I replaced parts starting in each center, all the way out to the  blue "path" , in some places, one hexagon at a time, as necessary, for 5 rosettes and a few more little places.  

(Above)  Isn't it beautiful? I think I see a new rosette --  right middle, yellow center, then light green with light reddish print.  Hard to tell, right? I appliqued right over the old parts.  NO ONE will ever notice the repairs, except a skilled  quilter or seamstress. 

(Below) New rosette on the left, with yellow print around the light green.

(Above)  Easier to find the new one.  Black print around pink, then another at lower right, a green print around a yellow print.

Later during repairs, I noticed that Mom had solid fabric around the yellow center, then a print.  That's OK.  It's done. 

I added a new binding, washed it twice on gentle with my "homemade laundry soap."  

Mom would be happy. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Texas Tumbleweeds, (Tornadoes and Tumbleweeds)

I am so weary of electronics - (a LOT deleted!!!)

Here are 36, 8 in. ladder blocks, all in the same green, but various light backgrounds.  Also 36 "star" blocks, in various shades of purples, cranberries, bright blues, etc.  ... analogous, with backgrounds of lights.  These are for Quiltville's "Texas Tumbleweeds" by Bonnie Hunter.   Because in western Nebraska we have experienced many spring/summer weather alerts, tornado watches and alerts, storms, hail, heavy rain, flood watches, I am calling it Tornadoes and Tumbleweeds.  I don't mind tumbleweeds.
 I was very pleased how well the units went together.  I didn't pin, and I used the "blue tape line" method on my sewing machine bed instead of drawing the diagonal line on each square that results in  triangles.  I had few errors, but you DO need to concentrate on which way the diagonals are sewn.

I saved and pressed the 1200 or so cut-off triangles. 
My trusty Janome is going back to the shop.  In the meantime, I dragged out an older Viking.  It machine quilts OK, but throat space is limited.  I found the correct "insert" for my sewing desk, and steeled myself to re-learn this machine's idiosyncrasies.  

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Long time, no see

 Funny little Log Cabins - just playing.
 Hah, a project all ready to baste.  Even managed to set the garage swept out beforehand!
 Ready to machine quilt.
However, my usually trusty Janome MC6500 is still acting up.  I did all the checks, thread, new needles, tensions, cleaned, dusted, and even solved this snarl along the way (how did it DO that...look closely - giganto snarl all over the top!)  OK, I can fix that part, but it's going back to the shop Monday.  I'm disheartened to have my machine uncooperative and been unable to do any machine quilting since it came home from the shop months ago, only straight sewing, so, something is still not right.  Exasperating - can only take a few inches of stitches, the thread skips, breaks, etc.  Groannnnn,

However, I DO have the required 72 blocks made for Bonnie Hunter's "Texas Tumbleweeds" but when I get back to it, I'm going to name it "Tornadoes and Tumbleweeds".  We've had many, many storms, tornado watches and warnings, and rain which is almost always accompanied by hail.   We have tumbleweeds here as well. 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

All Day Sew

Last week, May 19,  another wet heavy snow.  Good grief - spring takes a long time getting here!  Generally, we don't plant petunias or tomatoes until June 1.  We are at high elevation, 4000 ft., which accounts for late snows!  My poor droopy "birthday" Linden tree. 

Below is my finished top, a Split 9-Patch.  I'm loving the final result!  Back to the quilt shop for more batting!  This "system" is a Strip and Slash" by Jackie Robinson. Now, a name for this project of over 3250 pieces!  The value are very rich in person. A blogger (Fat Quarters) taught me how to keep warmth in the light neutrals by adding some pastel pinks, yellows, blues.  

Yesterday was our local All Day Sew and we were working on this design.  Jody made the red one we used for our example - what a great scrap user.  I think this was a free pattern from Blank Quilting called "Hot Flash".  (By the time we were half way done, all of us (10) decided we HAD to make this one for our own use as well!  It's all 2 1/2 strips. 
 One block.  Be careful which way they are cut - easy to cut incorrectly. 
End result was 6 x 7, 12 inch blocks.  Then a plain border, then a checked border and a third plain border.  We managed to get all the blocks together, then sewed the rows together into a top.  Carol took it home to quilt on her long-arm.  This was about 5 hours of work, including lunch time.  We have a talented group of ladies, each of us with various skills and talents.  And yesterday we had a new "joiner" -- 8-)))  Many thanks to our hosts and hostesses, Gene and Nancy.  This quilt will be raffled to support Masons children's programs.  We are all waiting for the tickets - we'll each be first in line! 
 Uh oh, I didn't want to stand on a chair for this photo (below)! 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Birds, Goodbye Loved Avenger, Split 9-Patch

We have been enjoying lots of finches, (blue) buntings that I thought were Eastern Bluebirds, Indigo  Buntings and that brown/black one on the barn feeder is a Rose Breasted Grosbeak.  

No owl these days - we think the little ones might be hatched, and parents are sitting on them, based on dates of several years ago.   Several years ago, I had photos of the new owlets perched on my deck on June 24.

My much loved car (Avenger) is getting traded in.  It is almost 20 years old, I am tearful and sad  with my decision, but it is low and I have to FALL into it, and CLIMB out - very hard on knees, and both actions require a lot of UUMPHF and groans.   8-))  It's been a wonderful, reliable car.  There is little room in back seat for my quilting girlfriends, but someone else is going to have a nice little red car with lots of zoom! 

Split 9-Patch -- this is all the rows put together - looks a little washed out!   It's about 52 by 60 in.  I will add some borders and bring it up to about 60 x 70 in..  

 Perhaps this brick/like print for a narrow border, then this light pinky-orange for 3 or 4-inch border.  The blocks (each HST) finish at 3.75 inches.   There are 3256 pieces in the center.  Wowsa!   I've LOVED making this one, and finding many bits of suitable fabric.  Again, this is called a Strip and Slash design by Jackie Robinson and the 3 or 4th I've made, and the setting is a Split 9-Patch.