Church Window wall hanging

Some of the blocks in the pile of Mile A Minute blocks needed a home today.  I had designed a small quilt on EQ7 to use twelve of the 6″ blocks.  It didn’t make much of a dent in the pile, but it is a start.

In the EQ7 quilt design, I had used solid or tone on tone fabric, but I’m in Maine and my stash is in New Hampshire.  I do have a suitcase of Robert Kaufmann Japanese fabric.  That is what I had to use.  At first, I didn’t like the wall hanging, but as I look at it, I like it just a little.  I may even decide to really like it when it is quilted.

IMG_2416Each of the 6″blocks were sliced in half and a one inch strip was inserted.

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Then, it was sliced in the other direction and another one inch strip was inserted.  When  one inch strips are inserted into a block, the size stays the same.  The blocks were still 6″. I did trim them a little as the sides are on the bias and there was a little stretching.  IMG_2420

IMG_2421I sewed  1 1/2″ x 8″ strips on the bottom and the left side of the block.  The strip on the bottom was a light lavender fabric and on the side was a dark blue fabric.  They were sewed with a back stitch 1/4″ from the end where they met.

 

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The strips were a little longer than necessary because the seam was mitered.   IMG_2423

Again, I trimmed the blocks to allow for the bias fabric on the right and top.

 

 

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A medium color fabric was used for the sashing around the blocks. They were cut 2″ x 7″. Another color was used for the setting squares.  It was used again for the setting squares of the outside borders.  The outside borders were cut 3 1/2″ wide and the length of the finished center.  They were the same dark fabric as the dark strips on the left of the window.

It looks as if the sun is shining through a stained glass window.  I’m not sure what color thread to use to quilt it, but am thinking of using the hand quilting look on my sewing machine.  Whatever I do, I want to enhance the 3D look.

This pattern would look great using a panel cut into 12 squares. I have so many ideas to use this simple, easy pattern.  I hope that there is enough information in this blog so that you can make a wall hanging from this pattern.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Nested Flying Geese

The Nested Flying Geese top is finished, except for pressing.  I will do that just before I quilt it.  This quilt top was started in a class at the Vermont Quilt Festival with Birgit Schueller.  It was the first class that Birgit taught using the nested flying geese technique.  Her instructions were accurate except for one item, which was a miscount of setting blocks.  It was easily fixed. I just cut 11 instead of the 10 that she told us to cut.  She was a great instructor.  The class was fun and I did learn a new technique.

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I learned more than the technique.  Last year, I bought a jelly roll of Kaffee Fassett fabric.  It was on sale and was very pretty on the roll.  It seemed to have lots of interesting colors.  I though that it would be perfect for this project.  My problems with the jelly roll started when I noticed that the edges were pinked.  That cut into the 2 1/2″ size that we needed.  Then the fabric was loosely woven with a small thread count. My background fabric had a much higher count.  This led to puckering and incorrect sizing of the pieces.  As most pieces were cut on the bias, the fabric shifted too much.  The colors were all grayed and not as pretty when the fabric unrolled as they were on the roll.   The quilt is dull.  I think that I’ll call it “Geese In The Foggy Rain.” Maybe a bright quilting thread will brighten it up.

The blocks were supposed to be trimmed to 5 1/4″ x 10″.  Due to the bias stretch and shifting, I could only cut a 5″ x 9 1/2″ block.  This led to some of the geese wings being clipped.  With all these problems, the quilt is still pretty.  When it is quilted, a lot of the problems can be quilted away.  It will make a great quilt for the beach.

Sometime in the future, I might make another Nested Flying Geese quilt.  I will heavily starch the fabric and  cut it from my stash. Then my geese will be able to fly without clipped wings.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

 

 

 

 

 

Dyed Fabric

It has been a wonderfully warm day.  There was a snall breeze which I enjoyed while sitting on the porch.  It is the best spot to pull paper from the back of a paper pieced quilt.  That should be done soon and then on to basting and quilting.

I did do some sewing and trimming this morning.  The pieces of the nested flying geese are ready to place in order and sew.  Somehow, they became out of order during the process of getting them this far.  I’m sure that they will find their way back to where they belong. This has been a fun project.  It was easy to sew.  All 60 blocks are trimmed to the same size.  It just needs setting squares and triangles.

My dyed fabric needed to be washed in Synthropol and rinsed in clear water.  It was easy to do in the back yard.  After washing, the fabric was placed on hanger and hung to dry on the closeline.  The rinse water was mostly clear, except for the red fabric.  I will buy some Retayne at the Maine Quilt Show at the end of the month.  That will help set the color.   After I process the fabric in Retayne, I’ll wash it in the washing machine with some more Synathropol.  I would not be happy if the fabric bled in a quilt.

I haven’t pressed the dyed fabric yet.  There is no need to do that until I’m finished setting the color.  After all the setting process is complete, I’ll place a piece of white fabric on the dyed fabric.  A sheet of teflon will be place under the dyed fabric. Then, I’ll spray it with water and press.  If the dye still isn’t set, it will migrate to the white fabric.  Hopefully it will be finished and I can use it.  If not, I’ll do the process again.

IMG_2395When we dyed the fabric, there was dye left in the bin.  We placed half yard pieces hin the bin to use the dye.  The pieces were not ombre dyed, but ate very pretty anyway.  Some of the names of the colors are, watermelon, sage green, butterscotch, wine, very green, and raspberry.  They are on a black table.  Wouldn’t they be nice in a quilt with a black background.

The dyed fabric goes from dark to light, except for the one on the right, which goes from saphire blue to purple rain. IMG_2397

The change of color isn’t noticible in the long piece, but when the top and bottom are placed together, it is very obvious.

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The fabric will look much better when it is pressed.  I’m not sure how I will use this fabric, but some day an inspiration will strike.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Back In Maine

It has been a fast two weeks.  First to New Hampshire. then to the Vermont Quilt Festival, then back to New Hampshire for one day and now I’m back in Maine.  I didn’t sew or quilt while in New Hampshire.  The only time that I entered the sewing room was to gather supplies for Vermont and then to gather them for Maine.  I will be settled for a while and get back to quilting. The advantage of going back and forth is that I can see the different flowers in my gardens.  New Hampshire is a few weeks ahead of Maine.  I did do a little gardening while in New Hampshire, but I could have stayed there longer to finish.  My neighbors tell me that my flowers are beautiful all summer.  They have my permission to pick a bouquet when they want one.

IMG_2297My climbing rose outdid itself this year.  It’s a good thing because both my bush roses didn’t make it through the winter.  Brambles have taken over.  They are all big thorns and have no flowers.  Very hard to pull out.  The primroses are blossoming in New Hampshire.

The poppies were in blossom in Maine while I was gone  There is only one left for me to see.  IMG_2393

 

 

 

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The quilts in Vermont were awesome.   This year the show was set up different from the other years.  The vendors were in one room and all the quilts in another.  Several of my favorite vendors were missing.   It was nice to look at the quilts without being distracted by all the good things for sale.

65188560_10219633625741763_7918170310694666240_nFor the past ten years, a group of six ladies meet at VQF.  We have started to make a challenge quilt each year.  This last year we all used the same pattern and made a five yard quilt. It used one yard of five different fabrics.  All the quilts were different. There was a large gathering when we revealed the quilts. Next year we are going to make a one color quilt.  There will be no white or black, even in the background.  The quilt can be any size or pattern.  We can choose any color we want.  I know what I want to make, but making it is down at the bottom of the list right now.

IMG_2311I took two classes while in Vermont.  The first was Ombre dyeing with Cindy Lohbeck.  Cindy has developed a technique for dying a single piece of fabric from light to dark.  My fabric is still in process.  When I finish the process, I’ll show some more pictures.

 

The second class was with Birgit Schueller from Germany.  She has developed a technique for inserting a flying geese into another flying geese.  We were her first class for this technique.  Birgit was very well prepared.  It was an excellent class.  My geese are not finished.  This quilt is on the sewing table and will be the first to finish, The geese uses jelly rolls.  I had a roll of Kaffee Facet fabric.  It was very pretty on the roll, but when I unrolled it, the colors were dull. I’ll have to use a bright thread when it is quilted.  Quilting always makes the quilt.  I will make this pattern again in brighter colors.   Maybe I can figure out how to make it smaller.  I had forty strips in the jelly roll, so I have twenty geese, two colors in each geese.  If I need more geese, I’ll switch the inner and outer fabrics and the geese will look different.  I know that I’ll sew much faster at home than in the class.  It won;t take long to finish the top.

In the meantime, I brough several more UFOs to Maine with me.  On good days, I can sew on the porch.  I sat out there this afternoon and there were no black flies. They drove me into the house in June.

There is more gardening to do.  I’ll have to squeeze that in.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

 

ufo and other things

I’m back in N. H.  The weather is beautiful.  My climbing roses are outdoing themselves this year.  Two of the flowers that my Dad gave me are in blossom.  I look forward to them every year.  I did make a list of what I “needed” to do when I came home.  I haven’t even looked at the list.  I’ve been busy.

Last Friday night was the Guild banquet.  Our speaker was Beth Helfter.  Beth devised a new method of making half square triangles.  It is called the Accordion sewn Half Square Triangles.  It was fascinating because I need to make lots of half square triangles for a border of a wall hanging that I am making.  Today, I thought I would make some.  It took three tries to get the procedure into my mind.  There are four steps in the procedure.  It’s really very easy and quick to make the half square triangles.  My final border will be finished very quickly.  Then I can think about quilting the piece.  This quilt is a challenge that will be revealed in September.

IMG_2269I took two small partially hand quilted to Maine with me.  I started both of them many years ago. They both have been sitting around for a long time. I decided to focus on one of them and finally finished it. Hand quilting is very relaxing.   It just fits on the center of my dining room table.  It will be my decoration for the month. This quilt pattern is one of my favorite patterns.  It is easy with all straight sewing.

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IMG_2273It’s June and Annie Louise needs a new dress.  Last month, my Maine chapter of the Pine Tree Guild had a teacup raffle.  My numbers were drawn for a few doll and doll dress patterns.  I also won a bag of fancy fabric.  Because it is June, Annie Louise had to have a bridal dress.  One of the doll dress patterns is for an 18″ doll.  It was perfect.  Thank you, Shirley.  There was some white brocade in the bag of fabric.  Thank you, Brenda.  Putting them together made a very nice dress.

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I think that it is time to look at my list and start doing what I need to do while here. I know that one of the things to do was to find  some more UFOs to finish when I go back to Maine.  One other thing to do is to gather supplies for classes in Vermont.  I should get busy.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Still Focused

I have been focused on the bag full of Mile A Minute scraps.  I knew that it would take a while, but I didn’t think that it would take three days of sewing.  The scraps were pressed down in the bag. They made a huge pile when placed on the table. IMG_2258

 

 

For three days I have been sewing, pressing, and trimming.  This was repeated until I had a piece large enough to make a 6″ square.  Then I did it again, over and over and over.  I really had to focus and not put it aside.

I did take a break and weed the last two gardens.  All the wild flower seeds have been planted.  The weather is finally warm, so they should produce plants in a few weeks.  The Iris are budded.  The Lupine is blossoming.  The gardens are coming to life.

IMG_2260When I finished  piecing the Mile A Minute blocks today, I still had a small pile of fabric left.  I’ve put it aside and will use it for a three inch border when I get to that point.  When I make a Mile A Minute quilt, I usually make three borders.  The first is a small border. The second is a Mile A Minute and is a bit larger. The third is larger still.

 

IMG_2268With all that work, I have a little over 200 blocks.  That is enough for several quilts.  I have already planned two quilts on EQ7.  Several more are in my head.  That is for a later time.  I will find fabric in N. H. to finish a few and make them the “Focus” of the day sometime later.

 

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Have a great day and happy quilting.

Focus

The definition of focus is:  Noun – Center of interest or activity.  Verb – Pay particular attention to.

Somehow, I don’t seem to focus on one quilting activity for a long time.  I flip from one project to another and it seems as if I don’t finish anything.  I have decided to announce to myself every morning that I will focus on one project that day.  It will be the only thing on my table.  Everything else will be out of sight.  Of course, gardening, cleaning the house and cooking will be allowed.

My new plan has worked for two days.  A bird or bird house block is due at the Guild in a few weeks.  I realized that I wouldn’t be here for the drawing.  I had to submit the block early.  This is where I really miss my sewing room in N. H.  I have no bird house patterns.  Also, no fabric except for the  Japanese fabric that I left here over the winter and the fabric for the Flower Wall hanging. I didn’t want to use the Japanese fabric so it had to be made with the wall hanging fabric.

IMG_2254The Internet is wonderful.  I downloaded images of several bird houses.  I was able to enlarge the images and used the computer as a light box to draw the bird house.  Ideas from several houses were used. The designing took most of the morning.  I couldn’t make a fusible applique as the Misty Fuse is in N. H.  Paper piecing was the answer.  I paper pieced the house and then hand appliqued the whole piece down.  That was all I did on that day,  A piece started and finished.   Focusing worked for one day.

IMG_2253Today. I finished the 12 fabric boxes.  All the hand sewing is done.  They just need the buttons which are in N. H.  The boxes are in the suitcase, waiting to go South.  Sewing the buttons on the boxes will be my focus for one day.  Or evening while watching TV.

 

There are a few projects left in the blanket box.  Most  are hand sewing projects. The hand sewing projects would be perfect to work on while sitting on the porch.  The weather has finally warmed up and is beautiful.  Every time that I sit on the swing, the black flies drive me inside.  I needed something to sew on my machine.  I had a choice of Dear Jane, a box of 2 1/2″ squares and a very large bag of Mile A Minute stuff.  The mile A Minute bag will be my next  focus project. There is so much in that bag.  I will have to focus for more than one day.  When it is finished, I will have lots of blocks to work with.  After all the blocks are made, I can put that project aside until I can get the fabric to complete the quilts.  I should have enough blocks for several quilts.

I have been working in the gardens in the mornings.  I am about half finished with the last one.  Then, I start all over again.  I can see some tiny green plants where I planted the wild flower seeds.  I hope that they are the flowers and not more weeds.  Time will tell.

IMG_2255The pretty, little purple flowers are under the birch trees again.  I don’t know what they are.  I didn’t plant them.  They come every June for me to enjoy.  The lupine are almost ready for their display.

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Focusing seems to work so far.  I wonder how long I will focus until I fall back into my old, bad habits.

Have a great day and happy quilting.