Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Rookie Mistake

Remember that longarm that arrived just before Christmas?  

I finished one practice baby quilt and started another small Christmas quilt when tension problems caused me to abandon that one.  

Then life got in the way.  First, Christmas and a New Year party, then a retreat, vertigo, a trip, more vertigo, church committee meetings, and fear.  I vowed (to myself) that I would get a quilt on the frame and get back into a routine before the end of this month.  I had taken the stitching out so decided to start again on that little Christmas quilt.  I also changed the bobbin thread back to the original thread that came with the machine.  

I got the back pinned onto the Take-up and Back leaders -- no problem.  I got the batting smoothed out on the back.  The top was loaded on the Top leader and I pulled it up onto the batting.  It was time to baste the three layers together ... I couldn't remember how to turn the machine on!  I'm not joking!  I looked and felt everywhere I could think there would be a switch.  

So, I was finally back in business!  Cruising along until ...

I forgot to check if my batting was long enough for the top!  Oh, well, another day. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Almost Famous

At least that's how I felt when one of my projects showed up in a Google search!  Here's the back story:

At Devo and Sew on Tuesday one of our newer members who is a pattern designer and teacher was leading a  workshop using Deb Tucker's Studio 180 rulers.  Part of the block of the day was what some people call a square-in-a-HST.

I know that block by another name and when someone after class asked for further direction on how to make them, I started to say "Just Google M..." when I realized that the teacher (who was sitting at my table) might prefer to make a sale so I bit my lip.  Until she said, "Go ahead; I'm always looking for alternate solutions."

So we Googled "Mary's Triangles" and photos from my 2014 blog appeared! (Thankfully, they were appropriately attributed to my blog.)  Not only that, it said there was a tutorial on my blog (June 11, 2014)!  

It is such a versatile block.  This is the quilt I was working on at the time -- nothing but MTs:

And this is the lucky recipient who has since passed away from metastatic breast cancer.  Her husband told me how much she treasured this quilt.

I told the story in this post (December 15, 2017).

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Pardon the Interruption

I was ONE seam away from finishing the wall hanging flimsy that I teased you with in Sunday's post. 

Then DrEaMI (drop everything and make it) popped its pretty head into view by way of Julie/Julie's Quilts and Costumes.  She had made a sweet small quilt using the pattern "Around the Twist" by Trudie Hughes from her 1986 book Template-Free Quiltmaking.  

I have always wanted to make that quilt.  I pulled three fabrics, started cutting, and three days later I have this to show.

I used two fabric remnants from my stash that limited the size I could make.  It is 41" x 50", a nice size for a wheelchair quilt.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

A Somewhat Busy Week

When I last left you, I thought I had resolved the churndash dilemma for Cynthia's block drive.  
Well, sad to say, after all that I went through, my blocks were still 1/2" too small!   

I debated about making more of that same size for her to use in a single quilt.  Then I thought, "nah!" I'll just make the remaining 4 mini-dashes into the correct 12-inch finished size.  And as long as I'm at it, I'll make more of that size to go with them.  

That occupied a good portion of my early week.  Tuesday was Devo day and I took my latest two batik projects for show-and-tell.  I am still auditioning border options for Granny's Stars (begun in 2016), but I think a light yellow batik (not shown) is the winner.

I did a quick repair of a hole in Zinnias (begun in June 2022) and got the last two columns attached in time to show.  I will add a narrow white border on each side to stabilize the seams and that will probably be all as it is already 72" long.  

While at Devo day, I assembled the rows on a third batik project, Driftwood (begun January 2023), but didn't have enough time to get the rows together.  That will be on the docket again in a couple of weeks.

After a morning with the Devo gals, I headed to my last physical therapy session for vertigo.  I had been vertigo-free for over two weeks so I was released.  I have to admit I was one of those patients who rolled her eyes (literally and figuratively) when PT was recommended, but I'm SO glad I went through with it.  The Epley maneuver did the trick.

I was in and out the remaining days of the week, but did manage to spend some time in the studio every day.  A lot of that time was just cleaning up the mess down there, but I also managed to make good progress on a new wall hanging.

Stay tuned for future developments!

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Another One of Those Days

Do you ever have a day when 6th-grade math escapes you and the simplest detail makes a mountain out of a molehill?  

I'll go back to the beginning.  Cynthia Brunz/Quilting is More Fun than Housework periodically collects blocks from other quilters which she assembles into compassion quilts for specific causes.  This spring she is requesting red/white/blue churndash blocks in two finished sizes, 12" and 6".  I was happy to contribute some blocks leftover from a previous project.  Rats, my blocks were labeled 4-1/2".

I could frame them out to be 6-1/2" unfinished but, wait; the center of a 12" block calls for a 4-1/2" square which I could replace with my mini-dashes!  So I proceeded to use the measurements in her pattern for the side pieces.  I cut 2-1/2" strips, stitched a white and red strip together, and cut them into 4-1/2" segments.

Oops, apparently my 4-1/2" label meant finished size.  So I made another stripset, cut into 5" segments.  Then I made corner units, again using measurements in the instructions.  Except I forgot that there were TWO 2-1/2" strips in each set.

Duh!  It was about that point that I realized I needed to reduce the strip size to 2-1/4" to compensate for the larger size of my center square which meant my corner HSTs should be 4" unfinished.  To make sure my math was correct, I made a test corner.

Good thing I only made ONE of these because they were supposed to be blue and white! 

Whew!  Success, at last.

PS:  That first photo is the second block.  It doesn't pay to get cocky!