Monday, September 30, 2013

Block Remake

As the quilt top has neared completion, I liked Block #1 less and less... so I decided on a redo....  sat down with my seam ripper, a cuppa coffee and disassembled the block.   If I had enough fabric, I would have just started from scratch but I didn't...   so...  rip-it, rip-it, rip-it!

Remaining fabric is limited... so much so that I had to make fabric to get four 6" squares from the new back ground fabric.

Here's how Block #1 looked on the last mock-up I did...

The former background fabric was a soft, watery-looking beige/green batik.... but just too much light fabric when put with the others.   I like the new block much better!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

QAL Progress: Not much longer til a finish

The Aiming for Accuracy QAL Lesson #14 was posted Thursday but there was no getting to it until Saturday.   I need to be rested and have a cuppa coffee by my side for this stuff.

The second part of this week's lesson was to sew the components of Row B together.

Of course, I couldn't wait... so I sewed Row A to Row B!   

What appears as black fabric is actually a dark red violet/purple... and hard to photograph.  Next week, we'll be doing connector blocks and assembling Row C.  After that, all we have is the borders.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

16-patch Progress

I definitely hit on the perfect after-work sewing project... so relaxing to just sit and sew and not have to think much...

From two FQs you can get seven 8.5" (8" finished) blocks.

For inquiring minds, the print fabrics are "Picket Fence" by Chloe's Closet.

The prints make me smile just looking at them....

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fabric/Sewing/Quilting Therapy

I think the title encompasses all that goes into making a quilt... and playing with fabric and sewing is, for me, very good therapy.   And therapy, we all need a little from time to time...  for me, more so recently due to the stress of work and some minor health issues.  

Oftentimes, I'm too tired when I get home from work to tackle anything complicated that requires me to think, so... I decided on a simple "feel good" project that I can work on at my own pace...

Yup...  a 16-patch quilt!  I've been wanting to make one ever since I've seen several 16-patch sew-alongs in the past year or so.  Since I'm shopping my stash this year as much as possible, I dug out these FQs...

If you're interested in moving some stash or using up scraps, this might be the project for you as well.  There are several good tutorials online... here is THE LINK to one.   

And here is a little eye candy that inspired me...

Happy sewing!

Monday, September 23, 2013

QAL Update

Over the weekend, I finished up Lesson 13 of the Aiming for Accuracy QAL over at the Quilting Gallery.  The top third of the quilt top is now complete!

No, the photo's not straight but it was the best I could do.

I had to pull another batik FQ because I didn't have enough of any one light-to-medium-light print to make the checkerboard blocks.  I'll use the light turquoise print again for other of the small finishing-up blocks to spread it around a bit.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Project Complete

I love the weekends and the chance for some fabric therapy so I finished up my math project yesterday afternoon...  and I was pleased to see that it worked out.   

The fabric is so NOT me but I still like it...   hope my daughter likes it though.

I have to say that assembly goes smoothly on the fourth tote!    


"Wait!  What's the difference between this one and the others you made?  Why all the math?" you ask?  

Well, the prints in these fabrics were much larger than the fabrics I used for the other totes...


...and I didn't want to chop it up into small squares.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Up to no good...

Life isn't challenging enough so I decided to take some fabrics from stash... a little figuring...

...and see if an idea of mine would work out!   Ya never know until you try, yes?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

1 of 5....

....reasons why grandma still sews on badges and patches.

P.S.  This was my son's Boy Scout shirt.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Casserole Carrier Completed!

I finished the casserole carrier thingie this weekend and I think it turned out pretty well.  It was easy to make... the hardest part was finding time to get to the store for the D-rings. 

I found some bronze/grey D-rings and chose those over the shiny silver ones or gold ones since they blend in better with the fabric I chose...

The original casserole carrier is 22" square with a fold-over-from-the-back binding.  The strap is 1.5" wide, sewn down after the body of the carrier was quilted and, it appears, after the binding was sewn down.

The tabs for the D-rings are the same width and the D-rings are also 1.5" in size to allow room for the strap to go through twice.   (I had 1" D-rings on hand but they were just too small...  you'd never get a loop of handle through them with the tab fabric attached.)

Changes I made:

I goofed and cut out the backing/outside the same size as the top/inside (22" square)... so I needed to do a regular binding.  But that's no biggie...

I sewed the strap and tab ends under the binding and then stitched across from binding side-to-side for reinforcement.  I think it makes for a neater finish.

I used two 24" squares of Warm and Natural/White (pieced from scraps) for the batting instead of the polyester batting used in the original. 

Ideas that popped into my head while working on this project:

1)  The quilting I did was more dense than the original and so the end product is about almost inch smaller than the original.  Next time, I would start with either a 23-24" square of fabric.  However, with the weight of a full casserole, I'm sure the carrier would stretch some.

2)  You could use the thermal batting used in pot holders for the batting if desired.... but I'm not sure it would be as soft/drape-y as normal batting.

3) I think this would make a great project for orphan blocks.  Four 12" blocks would make a casserole carrier 24" square, as would nine 8" blocks.   Who says you have to a solid piece of fabric for the top?

4)  Go scrappy!  I'm thinking a large, single log cabin block would be cool.

5)  This would be a great project to practice your quilting... straight or wavy line or free-motion.   Not perfect?  Who cares?  It's a casserole carrier!

To make a casserole carrier, you'll need:
  • 22-24" square of fabric for the top
  • 24-26" square of fabric for the back (unless you want to do self-binding)
  • 1 - 3.5" x WOF for handle and D-ring tabs
  • 1 - 1" x 44" strip of batting for handle and tabs
  • 2 or 3 - 1.5" x WOF for binding.
  • 22-24" square of batting or thermal batting
  • 2 - 1.5" D-rings
  • thread

1)  Make a quilt sandwich of the top fabric, batting, and bottom fabric; quilt as desired.  Trim edges.

2)  Make handle by pressing long sides of handle fabric together; then press 1/4" towards the center fold line.  Insert batting strip; fold and pin sides; top-stitch together.

3)  Pin handle diagonally across carrier.  Trim off excess length of handle and make two D-ring tabs; pin D-rings to corners as shown below.

4)  Sew binding onto the back of the carrier as usual.  Trim excess of handle and D-ring tabs so edges align with edges of carrier.  Before sewing binding down, reinforce both handle and D-ring tabs by sewing across each corner.

5)  Turn binding over raw edges, pin down; sew binding down.

6)  Pick off the 1 zillion threads that have attached themselves to your now completed carrier!   

"Now, how does this casserole carrier work again?" you ask.

Place covered casserole under handle.

Loop handle through both D-rings.

Draw up handle, closing the carrier around your casserole.   And now... you're ready to travel!

This carrier adjusts to fit most casseroles.  Shown below in this photo is a 9x13x2" Pyrex casserole with lid...

...and closed, ready to carry!


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Weekend Sewing

Before you get to excited about seeing quilty stuff, I need to let you know that I did a different type sewing this weekend.   

About twenty years ago, I celebrated when I sewed on the very last Scout badge/patch for the kids.   Woooo hooo!   Done at last!   Little did I know that the badges/patches would come back to haunt me.

I collected everything I needed and tackled a project that involved five Scout uniforms, a Scout sash, and sewing stuff on...  mostly moving stuff from one uniform to another.  
The oldest grandson, now a freshman in high school, 6'2" and growing, needed a bigger shirt so I tackled that first.

The shirt is a brand new design with (polyester) microfiber and all sorts of fancy details... but the fabric is slippery and oh-so-fun to sew on.  Thankfully, the sash is a sturdy twill...

Next, I moved badges/patches from #2 grandson's Scout shirt to #1 grandson's old shirt...

...then moved badges/patches from #3 grandson's Cub Scout uniform to #2 grandson's old Scout shirt.   Actually, this shirt was my son's first Scout shirt...  so all three boys have worn their dad's shirt now.

#3 grandson is still a Cub Scout but his rank is Webelos... and in his troop, Webelos wear the Boy Scout shirt.  

Not my favorite type of sewing but my son asked so sweetly to help him out!   How could I say "No"?   Especially when my grandsons are just as cute and sweet as their dad?

But I am going to draw then line when it comes to great-grandchildren's Scout uniforms!  I am!  You just wait and see...           *rueful smile*     

Sunday, September 1, 2013

QAL - Week 10

Here's my week 10 block...

....the "dark" part of the diamonds is a deep purple, not black.  Hard taking photos indoors when it's cloudy out.  I didn't want two 4-patch, square blocks on top of each other... and liked the idea of a 2x4 block.   So I did it this way instead of the way the lesson called for.

And now, we have 10 weeks o' blocks up on the design wall...

....just six more to go!