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42.1 Fabric Refolding During Watching Dr Who and Sewing Room Organization

November 17, 2017

I started watching Doctor Who when it was on BBC America during the episode “The Time of Angels” and “Flesh and Stone.” What was this that the woman in the series kept counting down, and she couldn’t open her eyes, and these scary creatures who only moved when you weren’t looking?

Anyway, since then, I have been pretty hooked! We watched the episodes of Eccleston and Tennant, and I even said, “hey, isn’t that the guy from Harry Potter? as the bad guy from one of the middle books.” These were watched haphazardly, back and forth, and one at a time. I was loving the energy of Smith, and catching up as I was getting along.

After this last series with Peter Capaldi leaving us fairly soon, and a very long, dry year (<9 months, I hope) before regular, steady episodes to be coming out, I decided this was the fall to rewatch the television series in order from when they came out in 2005.

Why talk about this with a quilting blog? Well, it was a constant background this late summer/early fall to my fabric refolding project.

Earlier this year, I took a picture of my cutting station. You can see on the right side a lot of fabric on the wire shelves where I used to store ALL my fabric. And under my cutting station, I have stacked two shoe racks found at either the container store or home depot that I had purchased over the years. The top is just an ikea tabletop and the whole thing just sits there, behind which is my batting that is not designated into various projects yet.

On the left side of my picture, you may be able to see, or not, that I have scraps of various sizes cut up and ready to use.

Right now my 5 inch squares of cool colors are bulging and ready to use. I can usually pull out easily a 5″ square for anything I wish. I think I may decide to do a quick scrap quilt with 5 ” squares and white borders.

I was looking at the other parts of this setup and figuring out how likely it could be to refold my fabric so it wasn’t so tight and narrow and slide it into the various sections of my shoe dividers.

So I took my fabric out, section by section, put on Doctor Who in the background, mainly going from the beginning of “new Who” – starting in 2005 episodes, and background binge watch 134 episodes once I figured out some of the timing of some of the specials. Thank goodness to Amazon Prime that has this available to watch!

I unfolded fabrics and refolded fabrics. Ironing most, straightening up edges that needed straightened up, cutting up and creating more 5″ squares. Here’s my neutrals side that I have built up over the years.

And here is my fabric color side. Bottom so purples and multicolors, and ombre colors, and black and whites, and blues and blue-greens.

I still have a place to stash my fabric scissors, my blue tape (magic), my extra 1 gallon and 2 gallon baggies. Also reds and pinks and yellows.

Surprisingly this is most of my fabrics. Now my wires can house my finished tops and basted tops & bottoms.

I am thinking of relocating my fat quarters into a different area, but that would require removing them from the sections. OF COURSE, I decided this AFTER I got about everything put back into place.

I do have some repurposed DVD shelves that we weren’t using, so they found their way into the sewing room as well. I am thinking as I get out fabrics to use, as I put them away, I will sort them into fat quarter size or less, and half yards and higher. The half yards work well here in the shoe racks, and the fat quarters should work on the DVD rack once they are folded again to the right size.

Back a year ago, I decided not to move my thread rack. I had bought several of these tubs with the locking tops and they work well in my closet, and so for my large thread spools I have kept them in place.

Maybe I will pull them back out later, but if so, they will go somewhere else other than a thread rack.

My little spools I keep getting extra gifts from my aunt and a few times it has been small spools of thread.

I found a littler version of my other bins for the small spool storage.

Here are the bins that have now replaced what I used to use gallon bags for.

My UFO’s live here on the side of my closet and I even found some larger ones at Menards that fit perfectly with the other bins. There is plenty of fabric found here on the side as well. The other side of my closet is almost the same. I was going to try to get the larger sized boxes that fit a 12×12 block and perhaps I still will, but I keep missing the sale on these boxes that I saw one time.

Also this year, I lost the zipper pull on my main small vinyl bag that housed my most used supplies for traveling. This would be things like my glue stick, seam ripper, hand sewing needle, and so on and so forth.

So I purchased this in a set of makeup bags on amazon, and I am liking it so far, seems to be a good substitute that hopefully will be able to survive some abuse.

I haven’t still felt after a year of getting everything exactly the way I want it in my sewing room. I still use a rickety laptop table for my machine proper, which the benefit of is that it can wheel up next to my computer desk to make sewing more accessible from my computer.

This will eventually either be replaced with a handmade sewing table or a Sew-Ezi table. This works and works well until I start sewing fast and then if the machine isn’t sitting exactly right, it wobbles.

I have been thinking of reorganizing my sewing room. My cutting table is just a half an inch too narrow for my full cutting mat. If I can give up the large amount of space in the middle of the room that is (mostly) untouched, then I could upsize my cutting table, switch my current cutting table to my sewing machine.

But I am not ready for this as of yet. So a nice start is Doctor Who  and folding fabric that I have already done. I am not a quick one to make quick decisions. Quick decisions don’t normally work very well for me, but eventually I may reorganize more and differently. I don’t currently find I use my portable mini design wall. And when I do put something there, I look right past it for a couple of weeks trying to find it.

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42.0 Designing a quilt for the guild

November 10, 2017

Every other year our guild is making an opportunity quilt – sorta like a raffle quilt – for the guild. Our current one will be drawn for in a few more weeks.

Here is our current guild opportunity quilt that is just about out the door!

We used Tula Pink’s Modern quilt blocks in greys and blues. Bordered in green to help get the blocks to the correct size, and then grey sashing with subtly darker cornerstones. We were making these blocks from our own guild’s stash, and it turned out great because there is such variety in the colors used.

We did this with expressed permission from Tula Pink, and specific instructions for guild members with the patterns involved. Which makes sense for the designer to protect their own copyright.

***

Somehow for the next opportunity quilt, we were having a guild discussion and, sorta because I through out a question or two, I sorta attached my name out there for designing/picking the next one we do as a guild.

We won’t have to have the quilt fully made until like January or February of 2019, but I am trying to think early, think ahead on this.

Something about this project was nagging me. I spent a good chunk of time looking through quilt block books, scrap quilt books, this year.

I have been spending time flipping through my quilt-block calendar.

I usually flip through this and leave it up on a block that I would like to make, like the one in the picture above.

I went through lots of designs on electric quilt 7 and just spent time thinking and thinking and planning and planning.

I printed out several different types of quilts that would be fun to do.

I had some time away from my computer and away from Electric quilt. During the times I was away, I used my book of 1000 quilt blocks, and my calendar and started sketching by hand on my moleskin, and used my good coloring pencils for some design inspirations.

A few days I couldn’t find my moleskin and I used this sketchbook to get a generic idea for other blocks.

As you can see, I like the grid work already done, everything is much better attended to.

Something about this block drawing and coloring is very soothing.

I think some of these would be nice to add into Electric Quilt and then explore some other color ranges.

I also think I zeroed in on some designs that won’t work well with a mixed group, but will work better as a non-scrappy quilt, that I am saving for myself. Tell me a better way to start and desire to make many many more quilt starts?!

I was attempting to figure out what blocks would be interesting enough that one would want to purchase a chance at, but also easy enough to have people work towards the quilt together, that will work as things with their stash.

I kept coming back to a quilt design that I had done a while ago. That I had altered a while ago. A quilt block called Aunt Sukey’s Choice.

Over and over, I saw this design and kept thinking it would work!

I was able to make one block for the quilt, and I even showed it off to the guild. A guild member had a good suggestion about the middle portion being one piece instead of four smaller pieces and reworking the white sections nearby. I like this idea and it will help simplify the quilt a bit.

I tend to work in “cool color pallets” or “warm color pallets” when doing scrappy quilts.

I ended up reworking this quilt a little bit after showing it off to the guild. The one I had shown to the guild was just blue and green alternating. I was leaning towards cool colors anyway.

But If I think of this quilt block as a sort of “nine patch”, the half square triangle sections could look just as good in reverse as they do pointed out. And alternating reverse blocks with non reverse blocks would be good design in and out and have a good direction to the the quilt.

So this is my rework of this design, which, for the moment, I am calling Sukey’s Reverse.

I am going to write up directions to the quilt, This is the same block but with different colors and a reverse section next to a non-reverse section. Nothing harder than what was already done.

I am giving myself the option to use a small amount of sashing that could fit in between blocks with dark blue cornerstones if the quilt blocks are not squared up correctly.

A suggestion has been to get members to upsize the blocks and then cut down to the correct size before putting together. Also we could assign the half square triangle blocks to someone, and the four patch blocks to someone, and we could cover the various amounts of skill needed for the quilt.

If we’re smart, we can do this out of our stash.

I kept getting told to use a block or pattern that was either free or get permission to buy the book. And depending on my pattern writing skills, my guild members may ALL agree in the end. But this is what I wanted to do from the outset, take something familiar and then make something new with it.

If this pattern is already out there and possibly popular, please let me know, but this was something I truly created from a block pattern and a good design program. I am liking the blues on all the outside blocks, and the other colors on all the inside blocks I think this will ground the quilt but also have a nice variety of colors and interest and fabrics!

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41.9 Medallion Dreams in the Summer

November 3, 2017

As you might have seen I have a few other things on the design wall I stared at this summer. Some of these are inspired by the round robins I was part of a few years ago, and yes, I still love my round robin quilt and it’s my most cherished quilt ever, even though it’s taking a break currently waiting to be sure that no more water is coming down the ceiling from it’s normal place.

Here’s an old picture of my round robin quilt before it was quilted. But this will give you an idea what we are talking about with round robin and medallion quilts.

I made a post about How Round Robins work, with that post being the center of a trading round robin & medallion quilt parts and pieces, and here was the final picture of all the other round robins that we did that year. Some of the pictures below I was part of early, some was part of at the end. Very high levels of creativity!

For this year, I decided to make at least 3 medallion quilts from the starts I have here. These will sorta follow the round robin rules, but I don’t have any other quilters to trade with for these. So whatever I turn out will be my own round robin creativity. Which is the fun part.

First medallion

I had a left over block from my blue and red and purple cathedral windows type quilt. I decided to make it into a medallion quilt. Here’s an old picture of the quilt. I use it all the time, nice lap sized quilt!

I have the block bordered and was originally thinking pillow, but why not just make it the center of a new quilt?

I am thinking something like this would be a nice finish for my first medallion quilt of the summer. Some of the design is inspired by the wrought iron fences from one of the quilt vendors I saw. And yes I also want to make some form of wrought iron fence applique quilt. This is just the design from the base blocks in EQ7 from the block library.

I still haven’t yet completely committed on this first medallion quilt, This might be the last round, but I am currently stuck on the “second round”. I do like what I have here, but in thinking of fabrics that will go with this, I am not exceedingly sure. Which might be telling me to make some sort of change to this second round. I think I like the 3rd round good, even though it’s a combo of the applique pieces provided by electric quilt designers.

The first medallion quilt I have not decided any fabrics beyond what has already been done.

***

Second medallion

The second block I want to also medallion / round robin quilt, I have all the fabrics for it, but haven’t settled on a design yet for the second round, but I have some basics started. This center I got from the guild show last year 2016 as either someone else’s unfinished top/block/medallion.

I wasn’t the only one who saw it and liked it, I am intrigued by the fact that someone didn’t just finish this little joy as is, but for me, I am thinking, we need to do something nice to this and make it the center of attention. The nice coral and yellow blocs are pretty small.

I have been collecting fabrics to match this medallion already.

Some of the fabrics I have also include some bonus pieces from my Arkansas Crossroads Quilt.

I keep bringing the half square triangles (the things in the lumps on the right) to various sewing days and other things to trim them down but every time I get them out to sew with, I decide to work on something else. I am thinking these pieces will either have to be an outer round, or I will have to double and triple them up in an earlier round. Here’s the start of playing in electric quilt 7 with this quilt. I am not totally sold on the design yet, but it’s a start. I found these blocks interesting to work with. Probably too much yellow, but don’t worry, I will adjust or switch.

Third medallion

A third block I also have had for a while is this dark blue with red flower block.

This block I had purchased at the fabric recycles place and I thought it would be fun to challenge myself to making something new with it.

I actually was the one who put the orange border on the quilt block already. This quilt I was going to try to “medallion up” at home at the same time as working on the other medallions of the round robin quilts. Little did I know how much I was putting into their designs and how much that would take.

At that time, I picked out most of these fabrics, but not yet designs.

I haven’t worked a lot with the red orange yellow pallet and I am liking the start of this one too. I need to recreate this one in electric quilt and see if I can spark something already. Maybe this one needs to be multiple medallions on point settings since I haven’t done too many of those yet. I think I may start with that idea and see where it goes.

An update to Electric Quilt 7 just came out – EQ8 – and I purchased it! Looking forward to using it instead to push these designs forward!

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41.8 Sewing in Spurts in Summer 2017

October 27, 2017

This past summer, I have not been exactly away from my sewing machine. I’ve not exactly been glued to it either.

The last post of personal sewing was in May, when I was working on Grandma’s Footstool quilt, which you saw in full as a quilt in the Kansas City Regional Quilt Show.

The quilt now rests in the sun of these shorter fall days while I contemplate where it is going to permanently reside.

This next piece isn’t a quilt, but a metal “barn quilt” that I had to purchase at the show. I promised myself it would make it outside in my yard, but this wall still had an empty space, and I think I still like it here. For now. Maybe this is where Grandma’s Footstool will reside more permanently if I do move this block outside.

In June, I attended a mini quilting retreat, a weekend away with my sewing machine and several “mostly new-to-me” friends, although I am starting to get to know some of the ladies better the last year or two they are in my guild. The group of ladies I joined for the retreat have been sewing together for years and years and go to retreats every month. I got lucky last year in hitching a space at the retreat last year, and attended this year, and am going to try to plan to attend next year.

On that retreat, I used some leftover pieces to make a nice scrappy small quilt. This was actually made the last thing at the retreat.

I had the aqua and maroon four patch squares from so long ago in addition to the one in the middle with gold, I had brought with me the gold pieces and decided just a nice scrappy quilt (my size) with it. I am improving the borders as I rarely do a “plain border”.

The color in this quilt isn’t near as wonderful as what it could be in actuality. Something about the photograph tones down the colors here to ‘real life’.

During the retreat, I worked on quilting the small quilts I have had here ready to baste since earlier this year during March A Long.

This one was mostly “fish-scale” aka clamshell quilting. As I put these random pieces together last fall, I saw the main piece as a fish head and tail. One block got away from the design so it was going to be its own miniquilt I might as well put them together. Currently it’s just a pin holding the piece on the bottom together, but I like the flow of both pieces visually. The quilt above was leftover blocks from someone’s other quilt that I took the scraps. I can call this quilt something like Fish Scraps. Or Fish scraps and heads. If I ever get the gumption to put a quilt in my bathroom, I think this might relocate to there. Right now it’s got a great small space next to my design wall.

This mini quilt is super mini, like 1.5 feet by 2 feet. The half square triangles used were 1.5 inch bonus blocks. Isn’t this a nice setting for these tiny blocks? I couldn’t decide on a flange color so I went with three, blue sides, pink top and bottom, and purple corners. This is currently in the entrance to my quilting room. Simple. I was originally thinking of donating it to my guild show, and I still can, but I think I will have a hard time doing that.

The other quilt that was from the same leftover pieces from the same quilt. These were a little larger 1.75″ each half square triangle. I like the setting on these, and yes, the oranges/yellows cut through the diagnonal here. No name on this one yet. Again couldn’t decide on binding, went with a highly contrasted choice since that’s what this quilt told me it wanted. This quilt is a little larger overall, about 2.5 feet by 3.5 feet or so.

This quilt I have had pieced for several years but never had the edges pieced. I originally intended this quilt to have wonky borders and binding, and then maybe it was a year ago, I decided to add the black triangle border. Now on retrospect, I could have added another black border to the quilt before quilting and binding this.

The binding is a gold and black inner flange, set quite wide to get the effect of the pattern better, I had drawn out a year ago what I originally wanted the quilting to look like, but I never until this year decided to do the actual quilting in such a high contrast color.

This optical illusions quilt started off its life as a single ombre fabric that graduated from green to black. I was specific in how I cut the fabric up to piece back together, and most of that was done in 2012 – according to my notes and pictures. I am glad I went simple and bold on the center of the quilting, I like what the gold brought into this quilt, even though it was scary to quilt. Most of the quilting was done still at the retreat, but in the wee hours of the morning when there were no eyes on me at the time. Then I just got to sit and stare at this quilt for the rest of the retreat.

Speaking of sitting and staring, I finally got my applique hot air balloon sewn down to a white piece of paper. For a while this summer, I had the balloon floating over this scenery piece I picked up from a guild member at one of our guild quilt shows. I do like the affect, and I kept searching for tree fabrics until I realized that we are supposed to be looking at tree tops here. I am thinking I may not match these two pieces up this way anyway, and go with a different background even yet from what I here for the hot air balloon. I have stalled out on the basket, something I didn’t draw already, and I have sorta one made, but not really liking it yet so far.

 

The piece on the right on the top, was from way way back with a tilted four patch swap with Quilt Cabana Corner Sandi that I made for myself as inspiration. I was making a quilt top the way I always do, and I decided to cut it and I am wanting to quilt it and somehow attach the three pieces together. Possibly. I had this out to remind myself to quilt it, but this didn’t happen.

Also, this might seem less impressive, but I expanded a scrap quilt this summer to be bigger than it already was!

I believe this scrap quilt that you already saw pictures of last fall was on my design wall like this until I realized that if I turned it, I would get to use the whole design wall more efficiently and get a better chance at not duplicating too much.

***

I did have other sewing adventures this summer, but I am going to break them up into other posts. It worked well for me last month to write several posts all within the span of a few days, and I am currently on the same kind of roll here.

Several of these quilts were finished, but none of them are really large in size. It helps me to stay motivated to get small things done. And then they can be moved around my house and displayed there!

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41.7 Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival KCRQF 2017 – Part 5 – Quilts Focusing on Quilting

October 9, 2017

Hi, this is part 5 of a quilt show featuring quilts from the June 2017 Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival. I have decided not to post details about the quilts but I very likely have taken the information down of the quilts in the form of pictures of the quilt tags. I have put off this online quilt show long enough and have documented the quilts that I decided to show. I wish I could be more explicit here, but I am finally getting at least some recognition of some of the quilts that I enjoyed seeing at the show. Part 1 describes some of the show itself.

This is my own category of quilts that are based a lot on the quilting patterns. Not necessarily the categories put up by the show itself. Some of the quilt pictures below may not show the quilt in the entirety as they may be blown up to show quilting designs in detail instead of the larger picture.

This next quilt most of the texture is done with quilting “tightly” back and forth in an S shape. Looking up close to this quilt, the pieces are straight, but back from this long view angle, the whole effect of the quilt is curvy.

 

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41.6 Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival KCRQF 2017 – Part 4 – Applique based quilts

October 7, 2017

Hi, this is part 4 of a quilt show featuring quilts from the June 2017 Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival. I have decided not to post details about the quilts but I very likely have taken the information down of the quilts in the form of pictures of the quilt tags. I have put off this online quilt show long enough and have documented the quilts that I decided to show. I wish I could be more explicit here, but I am finally getting at least some recognition of some of the quilts that I enjoyed seeing at the show. Part 1 describes some of the show itself.

This is my own category of quilts that are based a lot on applique. Not necessarily the categories put up by the show itself.

This last quilt, I actually do know a little more about. A year ago, I attended an outside quilt show held by another guild. During this show, they had art quilt display where a few members of the art quilt guild (alliance?) showed and explained some of their quilts. This quilt was among the ones that was described and it was one of the most remembered quilt, by me, from that previous show because of the symbolism held in the quilt.

If you can read below, this tag describes the journey of refugees, but could also be translated to the journey of many people that are facing multiple challenges.

From what I remember, the first panel, the light blue on the top represents the people as they are originally. As time travels, there is more red /representing war/strife/ and we can see the narrowing of the group, and how there is a swelling of red and dark at the bottom.

The second panel shows the journey, and how there is still red and strife, and some groups split off and some are keeping traveling on, heading upward on the journey toward the 3rd panel.

At the top of this panel, there is still more violence and strife for some, and eventually by the end, the blue is finally settling in with the new areas, new people, new ideas, new outlook in green.

Forgive if I am not perfect in my memory of this quilt, but I found it fairly fascinating and beautiful as well. Using squares and colors and values as representations of a larger idea.

 

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41.5 Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival KCRQF 2017 – Part 3 – Paper Pieced quilts

October 5, 2017

This is part 3 of a “quilt show” from the Regional quilt festival in Kansas City held in June 2017. I have most likely documented names of quilt makers and quilts, but because of this lateness, I have decided not to match them up with the quilts I am showing here. Ask and I should be able to provide information. The introductory post about the festival itself is found in Part 1, and Part 2 are the simple & modern designs.

This part is my own category of quilts that I liked that I called “Paper pieced quilts”, which does not necessarily mean that the quilts were known to be paper pieced. I hope you enjoy the quilts in this part.

Close up of my fingers for comparison on size of pieces.

The next quilt had specific symbols on it and a guide to the symbol were pinned onto the quilt below. The guide says Hobo Quilts Glossary. I found this fascinating!

 

 

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