Monday, August 24, 2015

Review Update Sullivan Edge Ruler

About three years ago I reviewed the Sullivan Edge Ruler I'd picked up at Quilt Market from Pat Sloan.

I've used this thing a lot now. When I first reviewed it one of the things I had issues with was how do you tell if your blade is really staying sharper longer?

I still didn't figure out that part but I did discover that there is a big problem with the ruler that will completely dull your blade in one move.
Ever miss the edge of your ruler and scrap the plastic? Well doing that on the Edge will result in a blade that is pretty much useless after 1-2 times doing it. When it goes it goes fast. So I think it's one of those it works until it doesn't type things.

In the last month I've worked on over 15 quilts or projects of varying size. I've gone through 5 blades. It took to number 3 for me to realize what was going on and then number 4 confirmed it when I was paying attention and sure enough I hit the top of the edge instead of the side and I couldn't get the cutter to work again without sawing away.

So if you don't hit the side it works great.

Having the 1/2" and 1" lines a different colour make using it backwards, without the edge possible, which is what I'm doing for a lot of cuts when I may not be paying quite enough attention or my hands are shaky.

Over all, it's still a pretty good ruler. Do I like the edge? I still can't decide.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Charity Quilt

 On the 10th anniversary of my son's death I retreated to my sewing room. I grabbed the left over HSTs from the Barn Raising and went to work on making a baby quilt with the intention of donating it to the local NICU in memory of my little one who didn't get to come home.
 I managed to sew it and get it quilted and machine bound in the day and have just enough sun left over for a picture outside.

 I'm actually really happy with how it turned out and I added some heavier quilting to this one and I really felt a huge amount of peace just putting stitches into this one hoping that the child and family it goes to gets the prognosis we all wish for.

Monday, August 17, 2015

A Yuletide Snowflake Revisted

After doing my first Lone Star quilt I decided to give the Fig Tree Quilt's A Yuletide Snowflake a go even though I couldn't find the pattern in my sewing room, I had bought a second one of the jelly roll years ago after botching up the first one.

I figured I had enough of the know-how to now attempt it.


It actually went fairly well! Getting my strips lined up finally clicked so this one went together with much less seam ripping then the last one!

 I guesstimated at the size of the background pieces and think it turned out not badly. I did miss cut, or decided I needed 6 instead of 4 squares, so I don't have enough to do a second background border after the original so I'm considereing adding what I do have to this part and then using what was supposed to be a thin red accent border as a main one, or just adding the background I have and calling it a day. I can't quite decide.


 I don't think I will be adding any applique since with out the physical pattern I don't have the templates but I do think it will still be a good Christmas quilt either way.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

My first Lone Star quilt!

I was rather ashamed to realize I hadn't made a quilt for my dad yet, so for his birthday this year during my very marathon (and still going on sewing sessions) I decided to tackle a Lone Star quilt. 
I've been unable to find my copy of Yuletide Blessing Snowflake, which is a strip pieced lone star from Fig Tree Quilts that I'd attempted and abandoned many years ago, I think the pattern was from about 8 years ago.

I did it in Basic Grey's Sweet Serenade which is such a gorgeous line I really was sad to see it go. The soft orange and really the whole thing just works really well. My cell phone photography, not so much. I did goof on one of the strip placements but ssshhhh it's all good still. ;)

This is the first quilt I've been able to put on my frame without a panic attack in so long that I only did a meander star on it and a loose one at that just to make sure it got done! And I did it! I feel such pride in not having a panic attack that I feel the need to share. So I am. :D

What are you feeling proud about?

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Sailor Mini

I enjoy doing English Paper Piecing (EPP) but the time does add up so I love when I can figure out a small project to do with it and this time I was playing around with 1.5" tumblers, a mini charm pack of Barth-o-meow and this is what I ended up with!

I'm thinking of either embroidering or adding an applique with a name under the wheel since it wasn't 100% centered. One would think I'd know to check this better by now but oops.

What do you think? And what the heck should I call it?

Sunday, August 9, 2015

A return

 I happened to find a ziploc with a layer cake of Lilac Hill from Blackbird Designs and the project I'd started as a test for the pattern I did for Stitchin' Heaven a few years ago now.

 I really loved the fabric then and still do now. It really reminds me of my mom so it's no surprise!

I'd already done a block as a test of the math and had done the square in a square (SIS) units so there was mostly trimming, making some more half square triangles (HST) and SIS so I could have 9 blocks instead of the 7 I must have originally planned on.

I'm going to have to add some kind of border but since it looks like I got these blocks out of the equivalent of a charm pack I'm not too worried!

Do you think I should try for more blocks or keep it a mini? Right now it measures 14"/

Thursday, August 6, 2015

A new way to do hexies (at least to me)

  I love hexies. A lot. But the whole hand piecing thing gets to be a problem with my hands, especially piecing them together. Basting isn't too bad, especially if I glue baste but yielding a needle is a chore.

 I'd originally hoped to do a stocking but I only had a mini charm pack in Kathy Schmitz's Piecemakers but I couldn't make it work in hexies which is what I really wanted to do with these cuties.
As an aside, Kathy is a wonderful lady I met at Quilt Market a few years ago and I really did enjoy speaking with her.

The hand problem above was not going to stop me but the amount of fabric did until I just decided to make up a little hexie scrap mini quilt!

So this was made in only a few hours. There are 42 1" hexies. I glue basted them onto water soluble paper, then fused those to some Pellon #987F Fusible Fleece, which was layered onto a backing, before sewing them together with a zigzag stitch which just so happened to also quilt the entire piece. 
And just to be contrary I did do the traditional hand binding.

 The entire piece was then fairly stiff but after a trip through the washing machine you would not be able to tell that it wasn't quilted normally with no papers in it at all. 
The only thing I'd try differently next time is using one of the simple stitch patterns on my sewing machine. 

And there will be a next time! *Insert evil cackle*

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Another Barn Raised!

 I loved the last one so much I made a second barn raising HST quilt!
Which meant lots and lots more half square triangles, AKA HSTs.
Lots of them.
 Did I mention it was a lot?
And they had to be trimmed?
They did.
 It took awhile.

This time I used Timeless Treasure batiks, in Lemongrass I believe. I did think about doing an X layout, it was very tempting, since the block is the same either way.

But in the end the barn won out and another one was sewn up! I really like the way the borders turned out and in general how the added white looks.

 What are you working on? Do you ever do repeat patterns?

Monday, August 3, 2015

Barn Raising HSTs

 I've always loved both the barn raising and around the world layouts so decided my HSTs needed the treatment!

Here is a quilt made of from a jelly roll of Hoot Hoot from Moda that I've had in the cupboard for a while.
I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

Less so with the size being smaller because I miss cut about 1/3 of the triangles but hey such is the way of things and now I' have a bin of 3" HSTs just waiting for their turn.

It's bright and cheery if nothing else!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

"The It's Okay If You Sit On My Quilt Book" Review/adoration.

This is my favorite quilt book of all time.

 It is also one of my earliest additions to my collection of quilt publications and probably, ok most definitely, taught me more about quilting and how to breakdown designs than any other book I've ever seen.
Ms Hopkins, through her book, was vital to my quilting journey and I would put her book in my top-5-reasons-I-still-quilt list.

I adore Ms. Hopkins attitude towards quilts, quilting and math. They really helped get me into the "I-can-do-this" mindset that was helpful when I started designing my own quilts, and sometimes even just interpreting others patterns. It also has LOTS of ideas for using up HSTs in blocks etc, which is a wonderful thing for me because I really do love them.

I got this book long before EQ came into my life, and I still sometimes page through it just for fun or inspiration or the simple reminder to look at things differently to figure out the simplest way to create something beautiful.

 I don't know how many of the blocks in this book I've created over the years, many will have shown up elsewhere as well, but I do know I see quilts, patterns, and things in general differently after reading, or re-reading, this great beginners quilt book. And it is great for beginners, which is what I was when I first got this book. But even if you have been quilting forever you can always pick up something new, and there are a LOT of great blocks, how to see connector blocks, and several pattern layouts that you can then figure out from the information in the book. It's a workbook more so than a pattern book.

This pretty came out of taking a block and either taking it off point or putting it on (I'm really not sure which it would be!!) and adding borders, changing colour values etc.
I really enjoy Spa by Deb Strain, and have chopped up a layer cake and some yardage, so am hoping to eventually make this as big as I can. It's going to be a medallion with this as the center.

I know it's still available in a few different places online, or if you check around maybe your local guild, library or fellow quilt lover may have a copy.

It's worth a look. Especially if you ever wonder how do you do that? For most of the basic construction and deconstruction of patterns and quilts.

The lovely Mary Ellen Hopskins died in 2013 at the age of 89 so unfortunately her collection of, I think, 10 books are all that we'll see. I do recommend checking them out.