Sunday, August 31, 2014

Quilt Like An Eagle Quilt-Along

I haven't done any piecing this week--too busy quilting Gift Basket--but...
Quilt Like An Eagle

I've been wanting to do a version of this quilt for years, so I'm happy to have the motivation of a sew-along! 
I was first drawn to this quilt when Quilter's Newsletter published this pattern in 2002.
It uses the center motif of an early 19th century quilt. 

In 2005, Quilter's Newsletter published an article about this quilt.
It was inspired by the previously published pattern, but this quilter did some research and based her version more closely on the original. 

This is a photo of the original quilt.
 The quilt is made from hemp, as so has become known as the Marijuana quilt!

Barbara Brackman wrote about this quilt several years ago HERE. As Barbara points out, Jan Patek has a version of the same eagle in her book Flags of the American Revolution--you can see it on the cover:

Flags of the American Revolution
I just got this book in the mail--it was a Bobbins Bargain a couple weeks ago.
The eagle pattern from the magazine needs to be enlarged, but the eagle in the book looks to be about the size I will want to use, saving me a trip to the printers.
There is also some information on the quilt from the National Museum of American History HERE.
I'm not sure how my version will end up, but I will be doing the center similar to the Ever Vigilant version. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Just Another Woolie Wednesday

Wow--the month is almost over and I have done almost NO stitching on my Stitch Society hexagons! 
I felt I should at least do the monthly project, so I used one of the sampler hexies as my centerpiece. The pillow pattern showed how to add the 60 degree triangles to create a star. the pattern also has a ruffled edge made from wool, but I chose not to do that (because I'm lazy, but mostly because I abhor ruffles!). My triangles looked a little bare, so I stitched in some little paisleys I made up--just the shape with a little flower.

The pillow is very practical too.
It's supposed to be used on the lap as support while stitching. I have several friends that use a pillow for this purpose. I'm determined to try to get used to it. It does work great when working Colonial knots

I'm so glad we are winding down on the Sunflower Gatherings Summer Block of the Week!
It's been pretty stressful trying to keep up with this project during a busy summer.
I hope I remember that next year!!

I changed this one up a bit....
...subbed Colonial Knots for the stars in the centers of the little blue flowers.

This is the last block of the summer--yay!
But once this is all stitched down, I have a lot of piecing to do!

Friday, August 22, 2014

August UFO complete!

Before I loaded the Gift Basket quilt on my HQ16, 
I wanted to be sure to get my August UFO quilted up.
red cross quilt
This is the Blue and Gray quilt from the book The Blue and The Gray by Country Threads.

red cross quilt
I added some blocks to make it lap size--"borrowed" that idea from some quilting friends.

red cross quilt
I almost forgot to do the rounded corners.
I hadn't cut my binding on the bias, so I wasn't sure if it would still work.
But it did--yay!
 I ran out of my blue binding fabric, so there are a few bits of red in there--I love "making do"--just makes it more interesting to me! 

I really wanted to hand quilt this one with a big stitch and red pearl cotton, but there is no way I could do it with the arthritis I have in my wrists.
My machine quilting was kind of an experimental free-hand Baptist Fan.
 Hopefully, it will look better the next time I do it--haha!
I used Mountain Mist Blue Ribbon 100% cotton batting--it shrank up so cuddly and crinkly--love it! 

And finally, these old fence boards I white-washed back in July....

...were made into a few shelves like this one.
Thanks Mr. Moosebay!

(above quilt pattern by Jo Morton: Prairie Basket from Yesterday's Charm book)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Gift Basket and Stitch Therapy Update!

The Gift Basket top has been done for a few days.
Here's sneak peek before it gets loaded onto the quilting machine.

I have to say that the blocks went together like a dream! The blocks are 8" finished and both the handle section and basket section are 4". As long as the center of the block is always pressed down and the joined blocks are pressed up, and because of the half basket in the alternate rows, every seam locks together and sews up perfectly!

Susan gave me this delicious piece for the backing--it's from Edyta Sitar's Snow Birds line.
Some of the fabrics in the line have snowflakes, but they are very subtle--it definitely does not scream winter to me.
I'll be leaving it out year round once it's ready to come home after doing it's job at the quilt shop!

And here's some inspiration from the talented Stitch Therapy ladies!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Gift Baskets--almost there!

I'm making good progress on the Gift Basket quilt.
 It's a very easy pattern and goes together quickly. 
Since I have so many hand sewing projects in the works right now, I opted to do machine applique on the basket handles. I used the method I learned in class from Kim Diehl: open-toe foot, smoke colored monopoly for the top stitching and 50 wt. cotton in the bobbin. Oddly, Aurifil doesn't work for this technique, so my bobbin thread is a very light silver colored Masterpiece.

This is the setting I used on the Bernina 440--a very narrow zigzag.

The piecing of the basket block is so simple--only 4 seams!
This is seam one--a flippy corner.

The flippy corner block gets split...

...and attached to the main basket triangle--seams 2 and 3.
Then the handle piece is ready to add on--seam 4. 
Boom! Basket block done!

I had a little trouble getting my corners to come out nicely, so I tried a sneaky trick--glue basting!
OMG--why haven't I tried this before?????
Just a tiny dot of glue at the corners where you see the pins--awesome!

No reverse sewing on this puppy!

Now to do a little block placement tweaking before putting it all together. 
I immediately sewed my waste triangles (from those flipped corners) into half square triangles--not sure what will become of them, but when I need them, they are ready to go!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Gift Basket Progress

Gift Basket
I'm making the Gift Basket quilt pattern by Edyta Sitar as a model for Colorz for Quilts. As soon as I get it finished, there will be kits available at the shop. The fabrics are from her Snow Bird line for the most part, but there are a couple Daiwabo's and even a Jo Morton print thrown into the mix.
 The pattern is designed with just one background, but you know scrappy is more fun!!! 
Edyta suggests using a Clover bias tape maker to make the handles.
I didn't have the correct size, and I was eager to get started, so I used the pin method.
Please excuse my disgusting pressing surface---eeew!

Once the bias strips are completed, it's time to attach them to the backgrounds.
I traced the pattern template onto freezer paper and then ironed it to a piece of tag board and cut it out along the curved line.
Then I pinned the template to my pressing surface.
My finger pressed center line and also the bottom edge of the background rectangle slip in behind the template and lines up with the markings--easy peasy.

The bias handle strip butts up against the tag board template.
After gluing in place, the background pieces are slipped out and set aside for sewing.

Edyta suggests using fusible on the back of the handles to hold them in place.
I opted for basting glue--I'm using a ziggle (zig-zag wiggly line)
 of Quilter's Choice basting glue recommended by Kim Diehl--it's clear and really sticks!

I would find the approximate center of the handle strip and lay it at the top center marked line. Then the sides were laid in place on the glue and against the template. I gave the handle a good press with my iron to set the glue and get a nice sharp edge on the handle. The tag board made a nice edge to press against--I'll definitely use this method again--it was fast and easy.

Fifty six handles ready to go!

Friday, August 15, 2014

More Woolie Wednesday on Friday!

Here's the update on the Stitch Society wool hexies:
Aspen Leaves

House with Flowers

Quail--I think she's getting ready to lay an egg!



Watering Can


Sampler #2
The sampler hexies were so hard!
There was just a line drawing for the wool shapes.
We had to decide how to stitch them using our stitch patterns we have been given so far.

Sampler # 4
You can tell I didn't get too elaborate with the stitching.

Sampler #3
I'm using this one on our August project--more to come on that later.
I'm still working on Sampler # 1.

My first four blocks of Sally's World complete--they are on my design wall--so cute!

The Gift Basket handles are prepped and ready to sew!