Saturday, February 10, 2018

It's Been A While.......

Cataract surgery, that's my main excuse! It's a struggle to sew/quilt with one eye working and the other fuzzy still! My second surgery will be Tuesday and then things will begin to make a little more sense. I do have a contact lens they gave me to help the left eye cope meanwhile since my old specs really make my brain crazy! It's far from perfect and I still have poor near vision so I walk around with a pair of "cheaters" and that's a pain too! All in all the first surgery was a great success and after one week I had 20/20 distance vision, pretty amazing to see so clearly with that eye and notice even a difference in colors.
In another month I will be able to get new specs, progressive lenses again and should have fantastic vision if the first eye is any indication. This surgery is simply amazing.
However I have struggled to continue to sew and quilt, as challenging as it has been it's too hard to give it up altogether.
This latest baby quilt is done as of today, and I hope to deliver it tomorrow. The baby is only about a month old so I am not too tardy!
I am very happy with this pattern a Missouri Quilt Company design  called the Crown Block Quilt. I used scrappy yellows, a leftover print for the center and constant for both grey and white backgound with a Minkee backing. The blocks are about 25" so I only needed four and they went together fast using my little portable design boards to set up the blocks and transport them to the machine.
 I did not attempt to embroider the label on Minkee because of both the pile and the stretch. I used Superior Sew Fine #50 thread and the Glide magnetic bobbins which I love and no batting, the Minkee is all that is needed.
Yesterday Sailor Grandson brought a stack of his newest uniforms for names and other labels.
Navy uniforms also have the name on the right side of the pants above the pocket. 
This fabric is tough, heavy duty enough for sails I think and almost impossible to get a pin through. In fact here's how most of the pins ended up, and these are the heavy boutonniere pins I use for pinning to the canvas leaders on the longarm!
I also managed to stick myself a couple of times, it's hard to judge where the pins will emerge through a few layers of this fabric. I think sewing these should be termed "hazardous duty" LOL.
I have sewn awards, rank, badges and name tags and done alterations on uniforms for three generations for nearly fifty years. As one man retired from service another swore into the Military, husband, son and now grandson and this is the toughest uniform fabric I have ever encountered, guess the Navy does not intend it to wear out fast! I was a little concerned about how hard it would be to sew through all those layers and the super dense labels but my little Bernina 240 sewed through without a hiccup, it could have been silk. 
 Here they are all done and ready to deliver tomorrow, this young man deploys to the Middle East next month, leaving behind his wife and baby daughter.
This evening I returned to sewing Bonnie Hunter's "Ringo Lake", finishing up the last of the piecing clues and now ready for construction.
 I think this is how it goes together, but I printed the final clues when we were in Boston after Christmas so I have to search them out! I have no idea how many blocks I will get as I halved the number of all required parts and will just have to see how it turns out! It's very pink looking and the blue I used is rather quiet. It might need a bit of of a "pop" for the border I think

Saturday, January 20, 2018

New baby Quilt Update

This one is now on the longarm, and hopefully quilted in the next couple of days, I plan to work on it after church tomorrow because the expected baby is on her way via C- Section as I write!
The construction process was interesting as the plan below shows. 
I have only had one other quilt pieced in odd shaped blocks before, but in this case it was simple and everything went together perfectly flat and square.
 I have a few of these little design boards that really helped
 to keep all the pieces in order as I sewed.
I worked on only one section at a time to avoid confusion!
Its much prettier in actuality, does not photograph well but perhaps quilting will help that. I dithered around about quilting design thinking to do something custom and modern but it did not suit so I am doing E-E freehand feminine feathery thing!
We had our monthly MeetUp today, only four of us there but we all made some progress. I managed to piece the 35th. Ave BOM, I am so pleased to have that one done it is not my favorite. I paid no attention to the order I sewed the blocks together and it probably made no difference?! Add that one to the other half dozen of my own quilts awaiting the longarm!
The blocks have their own sashing that makes a secondary pattern so I did not add more and there will be no border, it's already 45"x72" and will probably be a baby quilt. I have some pink and grey striped fabric that I think will work for the backing.
 I had to search the internet for "Quadriga Cloth"- it was manufactured by Ely and Walker Dry Goods Company and has a special finish that makes it appear similar to a polished cotton, very soft hand and fine thread count. The company went out of business decades ago so this is likely a vintage fabric. It's only 36" wide and was given to me at some point years ago! Any further information would be welcomed!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

New Project!

But before I could begin, I felt the need to do a bit more on Ringo lake. I have a very difficult time with UFO's, I am a finisher at heart and I can only wonder at those who have mega numbers of Partly Sewn Projects! It would make me very unhappy to have so many unfinished quilts.
I also needed a little wine to help me along! Because I make these Flying Geese four at a time they have to be trimmed and it's a very boring chore!
The pattern I chose for the next baby quilt is called "Triangles At Play" by Sarah Ruiz and it may be downloaded free from It will be a very speedy project I think.
I am using only two colors, those the mom-to-be chose, yellow and grey. I managed to get all the pieces prepped ready to sew later tomorrow, after church and a visit to see great granddaughter Paisley!
 I did take a little time out for a quick, healthy dinner, Aussie lamb chops smothered in mushrooms with organic salad greens from my friend's garden and oranges from mine and another glass of that nice red Zinfandel, yummy!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Two More KS Quilts Off The Longarm, And A "Friendly" Border!

These go back to California as soon as I find a large enough box!
 I think this is Turning Twenty Again, quilted with Superior King Tut variegated Blue Nile
 in an all over freehand feathery thing!
 The batting is Quilters Dream Pink, 80/20 cotton poly.
 The same Blue Nile thread worked great on this quilt with another edge to edge freehand this time using Peacock feathers.  Batting is Heirloom 80/20 cotton /poly.
As I was quilting along I discovered a "wavy" border on one side. This has happened often enough that I have a simple fix to take up the excess fabric and avoid puckers and tucks in the quilt top.
You can see that with this much excess fabric it would be impossible to get a nice smooth result.
Undoing the seam and overlapping the fabric takes up the "slack" in the border, but I also needed to take out a couple of inches of the quilting I had done to allow for distribution of the excess fabric.
 Then use tiny stitches by hand to resew the seam before quilting over it.
I doubt that you can even spot the seam once it is quilted
In this close up you can just make out the re-sewn area. This is a handy idea to keep in mind in case you encounter friendly borders that wave at you!.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Bombo Genesis!

Our annual Christmas time vacation in the north east was a very chilly event, many days in single digits and nights at minus something or other!
Consequently we had a lot of time around the fire drinking warm/adult beverages, but I have done a little sewing too!
We attended a performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Love Never Dies”at the Providence Performing Arts Center, in case you didn’t know it is kind of a sequel to “Phantom”
We enjoyed it but found it less exciting than “Phantom” and the music not as catchy. The voices of all of the performers were top notch especially the young boy soprano playing the part of Christine’s son Gustav.
We went looking for a Brewpub after and ended up at Trinity Brewhouse. The Bisonburger was terrific and we chose our beers from a flight. I had a gingery beer called Screaming Viking, it was most enjoyable.
Some progress on “Ringo Lake”, close to finished on part #6. I appear to have left the coral FG at home so clue #7 is incomplete and I am unable to begin constructing the blocks.
 We celebrated New Years day with friends of the family coming over and I made a Pavlova, might seem a little strange with the temperature in the very cold zone but the house was warm!
We arrived home late Sunday night, weather issues delayed the flight departure from Boston an hour and a half. Monday night we watched the College Championships at "Fatsos".
Below is a mock-up of my Ringo Lake block, the turquoise is very washed out under flourescent light. As soon as I get the current KS quilt off the longarm [maybe tomorrow] I can get back to sewing on Ringo Lake then I need to whip up a baby quilt for a little girl who is due any day!
I am not very impressed with the color combo at the moment butI hope it will be better once the quilt is constructed.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

On Ringo Lake Clue #4 And Christmas Fun!

Last Saturday was the monthly quilt group MeetUp and I worked on Ringo Lake clue #3. Below are most of the number I need for my smaller quilt version, no idea when the rest will be done but I will probably take them and Clue #5 [due out tomorrow] to Boston to complete.
They are not yet trimmed either, this week before Christmas is just too busy. This is our week for the Boy and we have been busy with concerts, shopping, baking, gingerbread house making etc! Thank goodness no homework this week I think that might have been a struggle!
The concert was a great success and Elf #1 performed his role very well, never missed a cue and spoke more clearly than anyone else. He knew all the music, "we have six songs" he said. We were very proud of him and he was so excited to have us all there to watch. He said "the whole family is here!"
Some more serious cookie making this week and you can see it takes great focus and determination to get all those cookies painted with frosting! We found the silicon basting brush the perfect tool.
This afternoon was VIP day when the grandparents and other extended family helpers are invited to assist in the very sweet, sticky process of the gingerbread house construction. Matthew's house is a be-jewelled masterpiece.
And finally, we had a family dinner last Sunday and I had a nice cuddle with great grand-daughter Paisley, such a sweet cuddly armful, she is a snuggler! Don't you love the animal print leggings?!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

On Ringo Lake Clue #3, Just in Time!

Yesterday between Bible Study and our quarterly town hall at church, I got clue three sewn up.
Then we dropped in at Fatsos for salad and wings and after we arrived home I managed to get all my little blocks trimmed and pressed. I used the corner flip/snowball method, simply sewing squares on the diagonal on either end of the rectangles 
I am making a smaller version of Ringo Lake, halving Bonnie's numbers so it did not take me all day. I had prepped the fabric earlier in the week while I had a two day window waiting for King Tut thread to finish the quilt below. I had a feeling there would not be enough on the cone and sure enough ran out about halfway through. Fortunately Sewthankful is just next door in Mew Mexico and they have great prices and fast First Class shipping so the cone arrived today.

 I love the Circle Lord templates for quilts without a theme, this one with circles is gender and subject neutral! This is a large baby/child's quilt, 54"X74".
To top it off, a newer picture of great granddaughter Paisley, such a little doll, I am looking forward to seeing her Sunday at a family gathering!
She looks so much like her Dad with her Mom's dimpled chin!~