Sunday, November 30, 2014

Common Bride -- Finally Started

A few years ago I saw the pattern for Common Bride by Edita Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts at a shop in St Jacobs.  I didn't buy the pattern the first time because it looked so complicated and I wasn't sure I want to get involved in somthing that complicated.  A few weeks later, I ended up going back over to St Jacobs and buying it.  I sat down at some point that year with the pattern to go over it and analyze what was involved in it.  That's when I discovered I hadn't really analyzed a pattern in years -- lots of $10 quilts with Elaine telling us what to do.  But I did eventually work my way through it.
Started collecting fabrics and looking for blogs of others working on the quilt.  Didn't find many although I did find Karen and Sue.  This fall at a local quilt show there were 6 completed Common Bride quilts by a group of friends.
Last weekend Elaine had a sit and sew day so I took the snow flakes to stitch and 24 1.25 inch wide stripes to sew for the four patches.  At a sit and sew day, Elaine does all the pressing and ripping.  I sewed all the stripes and Elaine pressed them (THANKS!)  Stitched a few snow flakes and then decided to work on the four patches.  Got all 24 stripes cut and piled then started to stitch.  I never did get around to giving Elaine any of those to press (it was getting late in the day).  This week I finished stitching all 200 (+ 3 extras), pressed them and piled them in a box.

waiting to be marked

 I need to mark each one as they get set into an 8-pointed star.  Almost 10 years ago, I bought a hand piecing book and tool.  The tool has been hanging from the peg board in its package ever since.  Friday night I unwrapped it and with my pencils and sandpaper board (fine sand paper glued to a piece of cardboard), I marked 8 diamonds and 8 four patches for stitching.  The red and white pencil has white lead and Mickey regular lead.  Might need to find another colour for the red & white pencil as the white doesn't always mark well on some of the dark fabrics.

marking tools
Saturday morning I started to work on the first star.  It still needs another round of diamonds set around it to bring out almost square and then 4 triangles to finish off the block.  This one is done by machine but I may change my mind and do the rest by hand.  Its important to start and finish on the dot.  The seam is 1.5 inches long.  Its fiddly on a machine.  I did some of the 4 patches pivoting as suggested and some as two separate seams.  I found the two separate seams easier and tidier. I did a similar block years ago in a guild workshop and ended up switching to hand piecing as I found it easier with the tiny seams.  I don't think my opinion has changed.  This quilt will probably end up as a combination of machine and hand pieced.  The applique will be hand since I like applique.

wants more diamonds
Back -- finger pressed only

The advice in the pattern was to hold off pressing until the end so I've just been finger pressing. This is star 1 of 25.  Still need to cut several hundred diamonds and mark them as well. I recorded Outlander this fall and still haven't watched anything. Hopefully the show will make marking go faster. Lots of prep work to do.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Winter quilt and hello

Hello to those who have come through Sew Sisters blogathon. I hope you are enjoying the blog hop. You can find other Ontario quilters listed here and here.  I've been quilting since the mid 1990s. I started out sewing and giving the cotton scraps for my Mom. Eventually I started a quilt of my own and Mom lost the scraps but we had fun quilting together.

This quilt has been sitting in a box on the floor for two years. Its designed by two Canadian Quilters It's finally in progress. All the fusible pieces are cut and most are in place. There are a few stars and a snowman arm still to add but they overlap some seams so need to wait. Here are all the fused pieces waiting to be stitched

One snow flake is done. Only (?) 23 left to go.
This is an unstitched snow flake up close.
The big snowman is stitched and the threads are ready to be buried. I started to do the scarf last night but the thread broke and got messy so I quit and went to sleep. Hopefully it will place nice today
I finished the three hearts and have soaked, dried and pressed them. The left one used a Pellon wash away, the centre a fusible interfacing and the right a wash out stabilizer. The last was the easiest to prepare with the tools and had a nice edge to applique against. Surprisingly there wasn't as much difference between the three once the washout products were removed although the centre one is a tiny bit stiffer but not as much as I expected. The Pellon was a little thin and flimsy for the prep work so I think I'll save it for other uses.  The one I used was really meant for threadwork not applique.

Now to take what I've discovered and start preparing some of the back log of applique.  Love Entwined and a Christmas quilt are waiting for more prep work.  I'll probably stay with my freezer paper on top or traced shaped for large shapes but this glue basted method should be good for the smaller more intricate shapes.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

New Projects and an experiment

I'm linking up with Esther's WOW

I had a couple of days off work as the office is closed for Remembrance Day and I took Monday as well to have a long weekend. That gave me a chance to catch up on some errands and to dos.   The Remembrance Day service from Ottawa was really good.  I watch it on tv most years.

I have two community outreach quilt tops for the guild almost complete.  The kit was short a piece of yellow for one border.  Unfortunately, I don't have anything in a similar shade so I've labelled it and set it aside for the guild meeting next month.

At a quilt show last month I bought a nativity pattern -- its a laser cut black scene and I needed to pick a fabric for the background -- like a stain glass.  I went through the collection of "pretty" fabrics and found several that looked promising -- until I put the black cutout on them.  There was only one that I liked so its trimmed and the cut out is finger pressed in place.  I need to take an iron to it but still have a chance to change my mind until I do.  In the meantime its hanging on the design wall. 
 Once pressed, I'll sandwich it and stitch the edges of the design to quilt it.  The top still needs trimming for the curve.

In 2012 I bought a kit to make a Flakey Friends quilt.  I went to a guild anniversary dinner and the speakers were Canadian Quilt designers.  This one ended up being irresistible.    I had thought I'd get it done before some surgery that year but it didn't happen.  Its being sitting in the shipping box on the floor behind the cutting table ever since.  Yesterday I got most of the pattern pieces traced and trimmed.  I need to look through my collection to find more fusible.

Some pieces are onto fabric waiting to be cut out.  Some fabric is waiting to be cut and some fusible is waiting for the fabric. 

At the sewing festival a few weeks ago I watched a demo of the Appliquik tools and bought some.  The three hearts are an experiment using the tool to prepare the appliques but each with a different material inside for preparing against.  The first is a Pellon wash away which was a little light for preparing against.  The middle is the iron on interfacing that is part of the appliquik line.  The last is a wash away fusible that can even run through the printer.  One I have the three of them stitched down, I'll wash the sample and see how things feel.  I'd like to use this on a few applique pieces I have on the go (like Love Entwined) but I want to see how it feels with the different fabrics used in the preparation.