Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Diamond Progress

Great news!  There is progress on the diamond scrap quilt!  I've got two afternoons of work to show off.  Here's it's current state.
Not a lot, huh?
It's been incredibly slow to put together.  Half of my time is spent figuring out how to piece this top.  Total improv piecing--there is no pattern.  But once I get one 'block' figured out, the others in the row flow pretty smoothly.

Remember, this quilt is made from small, triangular scraps
leftover from the still unfinished, at least for applique, diamond quilt (see Cutting Diamonds and Sewing Diamonds).  They are sewn down the middle to make light, medium, and dark diamonds.
To make the horizontal row, I used a small AnglePlay template to cut the pieces for the four corners.
Even though the angle wasn't quite right, I managed to rotate the piece a smidge when sewing so it worked correctly.  
Rather do that with a bit of fudge room, than spend time figuring out what size rectangle to cut!
The center diamonds were easier.  Attached a triangle to each end, and sewed a strip in the middle. 
Sounds easy, but I did have to make sure the points lined up across the row.  To do that, I used a ruler to line up the points, then made a mark in the seam allowance for where the next point needed to be.  See the arrow below.
Then pinned the point and the dot,
and the result is perfectly lined up points across the row!
And I'm totally loving the peach background fabric with the teal diamonds.  Part of the shop hop mission, besides finding black on white prints, was to purchase a background fabric for this quilt since there was nothing in my stash.  Mission accomplished on both counts!
Now to get back to sewing!  Sew, rip, repeat!
Happy Quilting!



Saturday, June 14, 2014

Howard, There's a Fox in the Chicken Coop!

Well, not really.  But if there was, I'm sure the mayhem of chickens flying all over would look something like this!
I love this quilt, and decided to name it after a family story.  My grandfather (Howard) would not give his son money to go on dates.  So, the son stole the family chickens and sold them to get some money.  The neighbors knew, but my grandfather didn't know that the fox was his own son! 

Even though there is no fox in this quilt, the chickens sure act like there is!  Here are closeups of all the crazy chicken blocks.  Love the multi-colored spinning tail in the bottom left!
And the yellow feet marching in a  circle, bottom left, or what looks like a piece of fruit in the center, bottom right.
Below, parts of heads, bodies, or tails make a variety of different blocks,
from bold designs, top right, or more delicate, flower like designs such as bottom left.
And the last two, either with the design on the edge, or more inside.  I love them all!!
For the quilting, black Glide thread outlined all the chickens, both in the border and in each block, with a loose meander in between each chicken.  I didn't want thread to obscure the pretty designs!  In the orange border, there's a chicken wire design
that continues, unbroken down the sides, and picks back up at the bottom.  
With a bit of marking, it was easy to stitch.  Chicken feed, that is pebbles, fill in the orange triangles.  They have to have something to eat!

Now to put a hanging sleeve on it, and enjoy it!

Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Fusible Applique Techniques

The last post showed the same quilt pattern, one in pastel fabrics, and one in primary fabrics.
And each used fusible applique, but in different ways.

The pastel ABC's and 123's where done using a technique in which the fusible is only on the outer 1/4" edge of the fabric.
The reverse of the design is traced onto one side of the fusible, and roughly cut out, leaving fusible beyond the outside edge.  Then another cut is made 1/4" in from the edge, on the inside of the design.  This skinny, stringy piece is then fused to the wrong side of the fabric.  The fabric and excess fusible are cut away on the outside, leaving something like this.
The paper backing is peeled away, and the letter gets fused in place.  Adding a stabilizer on the back, the fused letter gets a blanket stitch edging.
And on the backside, the extra backing and stabilizer are trimmed away, without cutting the applique.
This technique removes any bulk or stiffness the applique might have, and also eliminates show through.  That was my concern on this quilt, since everything was so pastel.

On the primary quilt, the letters and numbers where completely fused in place.  No need to worry about show through on this quilt.  And I didn't fret about stiffness either.  So the blanket stitch wouldn't pucker, I used a paper like stabilizer on the backside,
which I tore out afterwards.
Identical quilts, different techniques.  And I think that the technique used really depends on the quilt.  A complete fuse may work fine, but for some quilts, maybe not.  Possibly a completely different technique of applique is warranted.  It really all depends on the quilt, it's use, and my time.

Applique.  To be continued...

Happy Quilting!


Monday, June 9, 2014

ABC 123

This ABC quilt has waited for almost 3 months to be quilted, and now it's finished!  Done in primary colors,
it's my same pattern as the quilt top I used for testing an Innova machine, except that one was in pastels.
Also, there was a slight change in the design--no four patch squares in the primary one.
Here are some quilting closeups.  The background is a simple arching fill, with ruler work in the blue and yellow parts, and a swirl design for the green strips.   The Innova made those so simple!

This one also has a machine sewn binding, using a interesting technique to form the green piping. 
A Yahoo list mom suggested it, and I thought I would try it on this quilt. Certainly gave this quilt a neat finish!
Update: check out the piped binding tutorial!

Happy Quilting!

Monday, June 2, 2014

June Book of the Month

Browsing through my local library's new book section, I came across this one from 2013, Diamond Chain Quilts by Barbara Cline. (affiliate link)
Now I know it's not from my personal library, but there's something I saw in it that sparked my creativity.  Remember my leftover diamond pieces I was playing with?
And this?
So, the goal this month is to not necessarily make a new quilt, but build on ideas I've started.  Goodness knows, I have plenty of those!

I hope that you, too, find something to spark your creativity, and that it gives you the needed boost to finish up a project!

Happy Quilting Everyone!