Tracyhttps://touchogrey.wordpress.comI'm starting my second half of life. I have been cutting fabric apart and reassembling the pieces for as long as I can remember. I also ride my horse, knit and garden in the Bay Area, CA.
I got the Posh Snowball top together. I wanted to add an outer border of the dark brown print, but I didn’t have enough left over. So I made another white and small square border, then cut and pressed the binding. I really like how this turned out, I am not sure how I want to quilt it though.
Yesterday I got the two quilts, Small Chickadee and the Bees, squared up and bound (above, right). I was pleasantly surprised at how nice the dark brown binding looked against the black. I was able to put the bigger Chickadee panel quilt on the frame too. I found a panto that has flowers and circles much like those on the fabric. It is called Thankful Flowers, and it takes about two hours to stitch a row. Thank goodness I had the sense to mount this top longways, as there are only 5 rows. Ten plus hours of quilting, it is a good thing I can multitask.
Speaking of, I have been working on this BOM by Elefantz, called Simple Days. I just finished the first blocks embroidery, and downloaded the sixth block of the nine block quilt. I have two more blocks sewn together, but its the embroidery that takes a while.
I am contemplating starting something new. I want to explore the curves a bit more, with the Sew Kind of Wonderful quick curve rulers. Maybe a table runner, since I finally received the fabric I ordered 5 weeks ago for one. I like this one, a bit mid-century modern, below.
Lastly, I received the pastel batiks I ordered for the borders of the snails trails baby quilts. Got one done yesterday, hoping to get the peachy one done today. I positioned the blocks differently on each, I can’t decide which one I like better.
The blocks for the Posh Snowball quilt are done. There was a whole lot of assembly line sewing going on for the past few days. Each block has thirteen pieces, after each segment is sewn together there is a curve to be cut. Then more sewing cutting and finally squaring up. This quilt is very rich looking, like a box of chocolates. I still need to cut and put together the sashing pieces, they will break up the rich darkness a bit. I did enjoy making these blocks, there is a certain satisfaction to sewing a curve that works.
Still stitching almost daily on the Newcastle Bouquet. I am still getting up the courage to start the border. I bought another batch of DMC and linen yesterday for a free chart, “Set Her Sails” from Susan Ache. I am planning on making it into a small pillow. The finished size is 12 x 11 ish. I want to leave it set up next to the long arm, that way while I am waiting for a row to machine stitch out, I can hand stitch a row or two. I have been resisting having two cross stitch projects going at the same time. But it is a slippery slope, and I really want to finish the Newcastle Bouquet before starting the Changed World SAL.
I’m also starting the third shawl in the Curious Handmade KAL, as soon as the yarn I ordered gets here. I didn’t stitch the second (of six) shawl, because it was another one of garter stitch. Too much garter stitch gets boring, this third shawl is called the Wild Bees Wrap, and it starts with a square center and then gets to be a long rectangle with the addition of side knitting. The pattern called for three colors, Blue, light blue and golden brown, of which only one was available in my stash. I managed to resist buying yarn for three days, but caved to a sale at Knit Picks.
Here in California, the summer colors are tan and brown. In May, the greens are peaking and by July they are done. The pretty hills are golden with the occasional live oak tree dotting them, and it’s dry. I just got back from visiting the east coast, where I was rained on during tropical storm Elsa. I even got to see a lighting storm, and local street flooding, good to be home now though.
Yesterday I worked on getting the snails trail blocks together to make tops, I decided on two small quilts as the pastel colors are so light I feel that a larger quilt would look more like a color wash. I will add a 4 inch border to these, one pink and the other mint, just waiting for it to get here. I have a large selection of batik fabrics, but it is mostly blues and earth/jewel tones. I also cut up all the scraps from the layer cake pieces I used with the accuquilt die. There were enough HSTs to make a doll quilt with.
I got another row sewn on the two quilts on the long arm as well. I don’t remember if I posted about these two, the bee quilt is from last year, and the chickadee quilt is from the left overs from the larger version. I am doing an Ivy leaf panto on them and just to make it more challenging, I resized it for the bee quilt. It takes a long time to stitch out one row, as there is a lot of back stitching. I like doing two quilts at once, a 108 wide backing and the same thread colors makes it a bit easier.
I am getting more stitching done on the Newcastle Bouquet cross stitch. The last picture I have is from June 30, I stitched a lot on it before I went away, and completed a few more leaves and such in the past two days.
I wonder if I can finish it before August when I start the Changed World SAL. I got my pattern and floss, I had eight of the required colors in my floss collection, Yay! Today I want to serge the edges of the linen, I have a few other pieces of even-weave that could use an edge finish too. The edges don’t seem to be much of a problem with the scroll frame, but once I use the hoop to stitch, there is unraveling. I’m going to do the outer border of Newcastle in the hoop, too many color changes to be flipping the piece over and back.
This week I am starting a new quilt top, using Sew Kind of Wonderful’s Creative Curves ruler. I have a fat quarter bundle and some scraps of a R. Kauffman line called La Scala I want to use in the pattern called Posh Snowball. Test block done, I like it, not too much of a learning curve.
A few weeks ago I was shopping at Fabric.com (Amazon really) and got four things. They were on sale, a ten FQ pack of Liberty of London prints, two Timeless treasures Tonga treats 10″ batik and a Hungry Animals panel from Riley Blake. I have been wanting to make a snails trail quilt since I got a Block-on-Board die from Accuquilt last year. The 10″ Tonga squares were the right size to stack 6 at a pass on the die. I had some Snow color batik yardage in my stash that has a bluish tint to it, that became the background. It took me about an hour to cut the pieces for forty 8″ blocks. Most of that time was ironing the squares, for some reason, they fold them into quarters to package them. I think it maybe to differentiate their 10″ stacks from the Layercake branding. The colors of the Tonga treat are sherbet pastels, it’ll be a soft looking quilt. I am chain piecing these, step by step, but I had to make one as a guide. Not sure if I want to make two small quilts or one large.
I think I had a pretty productive June this year. I had three completely finished quilts, three finished tops, a finished shawl, and finished all the appliqué and corrected the errant block for Halloween figs. I also finished the quilting on Hampton Square and squared it up, no binding yet. Oh, and I sold four quilts this month too. Phew. I hope July works out as well.
The stitching on the Newcastle Bouquet is progressing, last night I got one of the flowers finished and the second bird started. I am thinking about how to do/start the borders. I might just leave them until last, stitching them around the finished center. I am worried that I’ll be off a noticeable amount on one side if I stitch them in sections (top, bottom and sides). Is it silly to have thoughts of the stitching lines not meeting after sewing them around for weeks? No amount of fudging or adapting the design can hide that. Ripping out stitches on 40 count linen is not for the timid. Believe me there are already enough smudges/fudges in this project that I have forgotten about them. I recently saw a new sampler, ‘Changed World’ by Scarlett house. I think it sums up 2020 pretty well. Judy at Patchwork times is going to start it as a SAL in August. I bought the chart and the called for linen, I’m going to stitch it in DMC colors, which I don’t have yet. Well, I may have some, but I’m not sure until I get the pattern listing. Did you know there are 489 different DMC colors? I think I have about half of them, why is that I never seem to have the ones I need?
For the past few days I have been working on a commissioned quilt. It is to be a gift from a proud grandma for her grandson who is off to college July 1. I finished the top yesterday, much thanks to: choosing simple pattern (double Irish chain), Accuquilt strip cutting die, strip piecing and chain sewing. 25 blocks done and assembled. The quilt could only be 55″ square as that was as big as the Minky backing supplied. Today, I am going to quilt it, I have a simple panto I like called Bayside, it does not take an hour per row. I will be taking the current quilt, Minuet, off the frame, I am using a strawberry and leaves panto on it that takes an hour to do one pass. In reality it takes even longer, due to thread breaking and bobbin changing. I don’t know what it is about that quilt, but it is trying my patience. Once I get the school quilt done, I’ll put the baby boy quilt (DH’s friends) on and then contemplate finishing the last three rows of the strawberry minuet.
In between speed piecing, I finished the ten pumpkin seed blocks I needed to finish putting the Halloween Figs BOM together. Forty seeds, it took longer than I thought it would. I may put some buttons over the centers of them, as I’m not really happy with the way the points look. I was able to put the top center together last night. I put it up on the design wall to admire it as I sewed all the scalloped blocks together for the pieced section of the borders.
That’s when I saw it, argh! I can’t leave it that way. Maybe today while I am watching the panto stitch, I’ll hang out with Jack and try to fix the block without tears and swear words. Other than that, I really like this quilt. It is a bit smaller (66×72) than I thought it would be, the Christmas figs version is a lot bigger (78×98). The soft grays and mellow oranges don’t scream Halloween, maybe I’ll add a hanging sleeve. It’ll be a while before this top is quilted though. My “to be quilted” pile is getting too big, to the point where I was thinking I should stop making tops and get it caught up. I can think of ten off the top of my head, five are queen bed sized. No time like the present.
Cross stitching is progressing too, I am branching out to the left side as I would like to stitch the other bird. While looking for something unrelated to sewing, I found this small cross stitch piece. It is the first one I made, a dimensions kit, that used wool and Aida cloth. It looks pretty good, I re-framed it. I have made a lot of little X’s in the past 35 years.
I worked on a new quilt pattern yesterday, made 20 blocks in two sessions. I did take a break to do some errands, including going to Costco. I haven’t been in the store for almost 18 months, I had been using InstaCart shopping service though. I was very excited to see they have finally added self checkout! After the excursion, I came home to put it all together, today I’ll add the borders. The pattern is available in three sizes from Elizabeth Eastmond at Occasional Piece Quilt . Its called Sun and Sea, I did the 10 inch block version, called Summer Snowcone, being that hers is red white and blue. Remember the “Bomb Pop”, the RWB ice pop that made your mouth blue? I think I may have some novelty fabric around here with bomb pops printed on it.
Since I had enough Halloween fabric from a recent trip to LQS, I used it. The line is called ‘Ghouls and Goodies” by Stacy Lest Hsu for Moda , I added white, black and acid green Moda solids. The border will have the pumpkin print with white and green triangles.
The fabric for the commission quilt came in yesterdays mail, pretty quick too. Maybe USPS has gotten their act together in Texas. Things I had ordered from shops there previously had taken two to three weeks, even with priority mailing. Lots of cutting today, the finished quilt will be 60″x 60″ – 25 blocks in Irish chain.
Due to the very hot weather last week I was able to complete a few more things. Staying inside with the air-conditioning and sewing was very appealing.
Not the best picture, but I completed the Chickadee panel quilt. I had to draft a slightly smaller block for the border corners, fortunately I had enough solid fabrics to do so. I think it looks like a tapestry, its large enough for a twin bed. I should iron it too.
Next up is an Irish chain top for a friend of my DH, who is going to be a father in the beginning of July. While I was finishing the Chickadee quilt, my DH passed by and told me that this friend’s wife was going to have another baby. I told him that was nice to hear, he then came up with the idea that I should make them a quilt. Hmm. I had just committed to making a graduation quilt for a friend of a friend, which had to be done on July 1. I had just ordered the fabric for it, so I did have a few days “open” so to speak. I “whipped” up this quilt top in a few hours, strip piecing and chain sewing to the rescue. I also used up some backing scraps, the dark blue small squares. I think the farm animals are really cute.
Last up, I finished the Curling Mists shawl Thursday night. I still had to block it and let it dry, so I didn’t quite make my finish and ship date of Wednesday. I figured that was the latest day that I could ship it and have it be received by the birthday. I did send a card though, that will get there on time 🙂 . The next shawl in the series was revealed, in the Curious Handmade shawl knit a long. It’s a half circle shawl with stripes of star stitch and stripes of garter stitch. I’m not sure I want to make it, I’m a little tired of garter stitch right now.
Next week, the fabric for the commissioned quilt should be here, and I can get that done, I have a quilt (can’t remember the name) on the frame right now, that I made in august 2019, as a mystery quilt. I chose a cute strawberry and leaves panto for it, unfortunately it takes about an hour to quilt out a row. I have seven more to go.
I got the borders attached Friday morning, the Reflected Harmony BOM/kit is a top. There were a lot of pieces in this quilt, I think it adds to the subtle contrasts in the pink and white fabrics. Some of the blocks have 49 pieces, some 23, it was sure nice to make the 3×6 flying geese for the outer borders though.
Finishing a top means I get to start a new one. I bought a few coordinating solids to go with the Chickadee fabric panel and borders I had in my stash. I wanted to do something similar to this quilt on the left, I saw on Pinterest. The Chickadee panel is an awkward size, 23 x 42, and what I ended up planning to do is centering it in 9 inch blocks and surrounding it with the border print.
It is a more common size that way, and it only took me about an hour (insert eye-roll) on EQ8 to figure out the measurements for an inner border to make the 9 inch blocks fit evenly around it. Last night I cut most of the pieces for the blocks. This is the same block I used for the two other Julie Paschkis designed fabric tops. Those tops used the Catkin line and the Folkloria line, I still have a few yards of other JP lines, but I think will set them free in the regular stash.
Also on Friday, I finished the appliqué on the Halloween figs block. Now I only have 6 more pumpkin seed blocks to do and I can get this top finished and in the TBQ pile.
My Curling Mist shawl is growing too, I am nearing the 80% point now. These rows go a bit more slowly, as they are over 200 stitches long. I really want to finish it this week, as I have to get it in the mail for delivery on or before the recipients birthday in 10 days. I think I need to do about ten rows a day, if I want to be really productive, I’ll knit and quilt at the same time. That way I’ll finally get the Hampton Square quilt done too.
I have been a quilt piecer for a longish time, but those two words, finished size, still trip me up. I have been working on the Reflected Harmony quilt top this week. All of the block instructions give sizes in unfinished size, simple and consistent. I started to cut out the pieces for the 5th installment and noticed that it was a cats cradle block. I thought “I have a (Creative Grids) ruler for those!” I dug it out and the smallest size on it was 4 ½ inches. I really like this ruler/template because the blocks come out perfectly, and all the measurements for the pieces are on the ruler. I needed 64 CC blocks of one color way and 8 each of two other color ways. I spent a few hours making them and when it came time to combine them into the larger blocks, I saw I had a problem, the Cats Cradle blocks were too large by an inch, they were all 5 ½ inches square. Thankfully, I had had enough fabric to make them too large, but it took me a minute or two to figure out why. Ugh, right there on the ruler were the words ‘finished size’. In this case the finished size was 5 inches, which was my needed unfinished size. I calmly turned off the machine and left the room to work on a different project. The next morning I set to work cutting the blocks down to the right size. The CC blocks made with this CG ruler are quite forgiving, no points were lost and they are all very square and the correct size now. The next installment is Square in a Square blocks and flying geese for one of the borders. I have a CG ruler for the SinS too, and I have triple checked that it is the finished size I need. I even made one before cutting all the pieces, its all good.
I worked a bit on the Newcastle cross stitch last night, I challenged myself to finish the basket. I did, and it looks pretty good. Now to branch out and start another flower, there is one needed to the left of the basket.
Yesterday I got two more rows quilted on the Hampton quilt. I knitted on the Curling mist shawl while the stitch out was churning along. Each row of the quilting takes about 30 minutes, even though it is a relatively simple design. I am not very pleased with it, as there is a bit of drift, and the rows don’t exactly line up sometimes, mostly on the ends. It is not that noticeable, because of the busy-ness of the fabrics and design, certainly won’t win any awards for LA quilting. Speaking of, a friend was asking me about PIQF, and wanted to know if I was entering a quilt. I hadn’t really thought about it. Usually the entrees are due at the end of August, I went to the web site and saw this:
We will be Celebrating Thirty Years at the Pinnacle of the Art of Quilting at the Pacific International Quilt Festival in 2021!
IMPORTANT NOTE: At this time, the 2021 Pacific International Quilt Festival (PIQF)will be held October 14-17. Under the proposed future restrictions in the state of California, this show should be green-lighted to take place onsite at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Recognized as official Quilt Week in the city of Santa Clara, PIQF is proud to announce its thirtieth year! Join us as we celebrate the art of quilting. Whether you shop the aisles of the Merchants Mall for the best fabric, learn a new technique in *workshops taught by an outstanding faculty or admire the beauty of the artwork hanging in the quilt competitions and special exhibits, take part in the excitement that is the Pacific International Quilt Festival.
*Some workshops will be held virtually online.
So that’s promising. Further searching on the site didn’t yield any info on the competition though. There was an entry form button, but it wasn’t active. Mr Google gave no help, and the Mancuso site was super slow loading. I gave up for today.
Its not really a new BOM, but a new start. I bought this BOM “Reflected Harmony” as kit, all at once, a few months ago, or maybe last year, it’s a bit of a blur. The fabrics a very pretty, a line from Kaye England called Rhapsody in Red. I initially thought I could do one part a day, until I started the third one. Lots of little pieces (49) in these blocks, flying geese that finish at 2 x 1 inch, and making twelve of them slowed me down a bit. Thankfully the fabric provided is plentiful, I am pretty sure its discontinued and unavailable. Still I check and recheck my measurements and cutting, just to be on the safe side.
I made more progress on the Curling mist shawl, I am at 50 percent done. I decided to gift this to someone whose birthday is coming up. Which means I need to get it done in the next two weeks. The final stitches per row will be 270, and I have about 120 more rows. There are sections of garter stitch in-between the cabled sections, they go pretty fast. I have learned how to do the cable on the working needles, which is a game changer. Not having to use a separate cable needle to hold the stitches while making the cables is easier than I thought. Although these are simple single cross one cables, I don’t think I am ready to try a larger, say an 8 stitch cable. There is a point in working it that you have live stitches off the needle, very easy to drop and loose.
My stitching on the Newcastle bouquet is continuing, I am making progress on the basket and I got a few more leaves started. I would like to start on the lower border, but I think I need to do it in the morning when I am a bit more focused. My before bed stitching time is more for mindless filling in and not serious counting to make it fit.