Monday, February 29, 2016

February OMG in the nick of time!

Block 4 is done just under the wire for February OMG.  I wondered whether I would meet my goal.  I was sidetracked with Gyleen Fitzgerald's QAL Pebbles, Bricks and Cobblestones.  I had to set that project aside and get back to appliqueing my houses.  I learned that I need to learn more about reverse applique.  When I cut the fabric and laid another piece underneath and stitched, I apparently had problems with bias stretch because my windows were all cockeyed.  Maybe starch would help.  I will have to learn more.  Thanks to Becky Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins for teaching me how to crease my edges before I stitch and to Liuxin Newman for teaching me how to applique the scant 1/8 of an inch for the lamp posts.  I struggled with the globes for the lamp posts, but finally managed to get them stitched.  I am so fond of houses.  I hope the fabric I selected for the church looks like stained glass.  On to Block 5.

Friday, February 26, 2016

OMG! The Block is not done!

 Thanks to Liuxin Newman, the ThimbleLady, I can make an applique a scant eighth of an inch in width which is what I needed for the lamp post on this block.  I haven't decided on which fabric to use for the globes so I will come back to this later.
Today my order from arrived. I look forward to working on Katja Marek's Hexagon quilt at some point.  Unexpectedly I had received an email that I was receiving an $8 refund.  Since one of the items in the order coincidentally cost that amount I thought that perhaps the item was backordered or worse, oh no, no longer available.  That was not the case at all.  There was a handwritten note on the invoice that I would be charged $8 less for shipping and handling.  Wow!  They actually only charged me the actual shipping costs.  They are a great company.  I highly encourage people to purchase their EPP supplies from Paper Pieces of Paducah KY.  
This is my reject for the wall of the church.  I drew the windows on the right side of the fabric with a Frixion pen.  Cut the opening, placed the window fabric underneath and stitched.  The drawn lines were ruler straight. When it was done the bottom edges of the windows were all slanted.  I decided that once I cut into the fabric and stitched, I must have stretched the bias.  I don't quite know how to prevent that when reverse appliqueing something.  Hmmm.  Next time I may starch the fabric to help control the bias, but of course I will have to starch and iron before I draw with the Frixion pen.  I will have to do some reading to find more about reverse applique techniques.  I did unstitch and reuse the little patches I used for the windows to redo this part of the church.
The buildings are now all stitched.  Chances are I may finish this block in time to meet my OMG.  It is still questionable but more likely than not at this point.  Whew.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Say OOPS I did it AGAIN!

I was finishing the house on the right and I decided to remove the Frixion pen marks on the edges of the windows.  I got out my iron and then...........OH NOOOOOO!! I forgot about the Frixion pen on the back for the back basting.  I need a sticky note or some other notification device that says STOP DO NOT IRON.  I had to get out my light box, which is a piece of Plexiglass that I lay on top of some under counter florescent light fixtures, and I had to redraw the section that the heat friction took out.  When I had originally drawn  the reverse image on the back of the fabric, I had not drawn in all the details.  My thinking at the time was that the houses would be created separately and that I just needed their placement and not all the details.  My goof gave me a chance to draw in the details.  I had better get a move on finishing this block.  OMG!! There is not much time left in the month to finish my goal.

I have been distracted with other projects.  I just ordered some templates from to make Katja Matek's quilt.  I have to stay focused and not dream about new projects before I get the current ones done.  

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Couching Away!

 After couching the window in the top house, I decided to do the speckled house as well.
This time I switched to the applique foot  #23 and placed the skein of DMC around the head of my machine.  I adjusted the width to 1.5.  The clear foot makes it much easier to find the corners of the windows.
Block 3 is still missing the head of the cat and a dog.  I decided I like the couching around the windows.  I wonder if it would be faster by hand than by machine.  Hmmmm.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Trying new things.

 Making progress on Block 4.  Houses 1 and 3 are appliqued in position,

 I used to use the overlay method that I learned from Becky Goldsmith & Linda Jenkins books.  Now I favor backbasting.  I use Frixion pens and a lightbox to make the drawings on the back of the fabric. It is hard when the patterns are printed on both sides.  I have been scanning and printing so that I only have one pattern is visible when using the light box.  Unfortunately, my mother's scanner is only letter size so I have to piece this pattern together.
While reverse appliqueing the windows on Block 4, I remembered that I thought I would couch something around the edges of the windows in block 3.  As you can see from the corners of the windows on the bottom story of this house, the loose weave of the fabric started fraying a bit in the corners.  I am hoping the couching will fix the problem.  I tried using my couching foot at first, but that works better for free motion.  The perle I was using wobbled a bit during the stitch out so I switched to my #6 embroidery foot with the hole in the foot.  I always have to think a minute or so about which direction to thread the foot (front to back is correct).  I have this directional confusion learning disability that plagues me every now and again.

This enterprise was interrupted by my mother's request to hem her pants.  She had 2 pairs that were too long. They were both very light weight and one light weight.  I had to cut them off so I needed to refinish the edge.  I used my overlock foot with a double overlock stitch.  I have tried this before on wovens and not been successful.  On knits it works quite nice.  I then tried to use a twin needle to finish the hem because that was the manufacturer's original look on one of the pairs of pants.  It did not work at all.  I looked like there was a cord between the row of stitching.  I had to unstitch that double row.  Urrgh!! Oh well, try and learn.  I got out my blind hem stitch foot instead.  It worked very well.  The next day I actually got to try out the twin needle again.  My mother was stripping her bed and asked me to lift the mattress so she could change out the bed skirt.  The one on the bed needed repair.  I used the twin needle to reattach the gathered skirt to the nonwoven base fabric.  It worked quite well. I had used a ball point needle in my machine to hem the knit pants and when I went to change the needles back, I found that I had more than one out and about.  Oops.  I did not know what kind or size they were.  I tried to use a handheld magnifying glass to no avail.  Then I tried my phone's camera.  Almost worked.  I went to the app store and found a lighted magnifying glass app.  I was able to figure out that one of the needles was a Schmetz 100/16 (see below) and the other was an Organ 90/14.  I did not want either of them.  I switched to a Superior Titanium the right size for Bottom Line because that is what I wanted to use to couch the Perle.  Back to Block 3.

Friday, February 12, 2016

On to Block 4

Many moons ago I spent some time selecting the fabrics for the backgrounds of my House Blocks and a selection of fabrics that I may choose for the rest.  I banded them together in rubber bands but failed to record on the bundles which group was meant for which block.  At first I was annoyed with myself because I needed to decide again what was what  Then I realized it was an opportunity to enjoy again the fabric choice part of the process.  Remember to find pleasure in the process.  I made my background choices for Block 4.

 Then I went through my fabrics, cut out some pattern pieces and choose fabric for the houses and stored them in plastic bags.
I was marking my pieces to reverse applique the windows.  I decided to use some fray check on the second house.  I am impatient so I grabbed the iron to dry my dots of fray check.  We all know what happens when one irons Frixion Pen markings.  Oh well, time  to remark my windows.  I keep wondering why people don't pronounce the name of that pen like I do.... "friction".  I believe that was the manufacturer's intention as friction either created by rubbing or heat erases the pen marks. Hmmmm.  

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Gyleen Mystery Quilt

Clue 1 of Gyleen Fitzgerald's Mystery Quilt was a lot of fun.  I found a lime green fabric with stars that I had been wanting to use up and it seemed to fit the criteria for the soloist for this quilt.

I  cut some polka dots for nine patches for Clue 2, but decided that Gyleen's were much lighter than my selections so I rejected them and found dotted white fabric.

I started next on the bricks for Clue 3.  I went to my patch box and decided to use some more of the blue with brown patches.  I grabbed four square patches and cut them in half for the centers of the bricks.  I soon realized that they were a half an inch too short.  I should have read the directions more carefully.  To make my 5 by 2.5 patches wider, I stacked them in a random staggered fashion and sliced them at a 45 degree angle.  I inserted a piece of brown with blue fabric that was from the same fabric line as the blue with brown and sewed in an extra piece.  With some more leftovers from another project I made my bricks.

There is one patch in Clue one that I think is too dark.  Hmmmm?????   Then I packed my bags and headed to up north.  I brought my scraps to my sister's house.  She has a new Accuquilt Go Big.  I had a cutting party that lasted several days and I refilled my patch box.  I continued my journey to NH to spend some time with my mother. 
For Clue 4 I decided to use the polka dots that I had rejected for Clue 2.  I struggled with the fabric selection for 4 patches.  I had wanted to use some more of the blue with brown patches that I had used in Clue 1.  They were looking like goal posts.  I decided to wait until clue 5 was released. Uh Oh! I should have known more bricks were in the works but I am at my mother's and my stash is in DE.  Hmmm.  When I had my cutting party at my sister's, I did decide not to cut this leftover miss cut border strip of pin dot that was left over from a quilt made 40 years ago.  That with some patches from my patch box became my bricks for Clue 6.  
I also made a couple dark nine patches.  I still do not have something for my 4 patches.  I decided to take it off the design wall so I can use something from my stash.  I also decided to replace that one patch from clue 1 that I decided was just too dark.  I replaced a purple patch with a peach one.  So far so good and so much fun. I still do not have my four patches made.  What to do?  

I have to pack it up because OMG I need to finish my project for the one monthly goal at Red Letter Quilts.  I think I need to look in my stash to finish Bricks, Cobblestones and Pebbles.  I do not have anything with me for the 24 bricks that must be going in the next round. The biggest patches in my box are only 6.5 inches.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

February OMG

Eenie Meenie Minie Moe.....
Which Project will have to go....
On the linky for all to see.....
Let it be me or me or me....
Block 4 of Yoko Saito it shall be!