"A very Merry Unbirthday to you, to you. A very Merry Unbirthday to you." from Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland"

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Another Star Block

The Radiant Star block designed by Eleanor Burns and published in Quiltmaker's winter issue of 100 Blocks:

I made this block twice.  The first time, the last three seams did not line up, and the lateral lines of the stars were off.  I was going to give up because the damage appeared so big, but while dozing last night it came to me that I should take it apart and start from the beginning.  So I ripped every seam out, measured each piece to be sure I cut correctly and began again.  This time it went much better.  No fabric wasted, just thread.

I have sewn outfits that didn't give me as much trouble as quilting gives me, at times.

I order fabric online and on sale, and over the past year in different orders was able to get quite a few prints of this line which I'm using for the Radiant Star blocks.

This is much different than my usual pastels, flowers, or cute images, but I think making the stars in a mix of this fabric will be nice. 
I didn't use this mix but will do eventually.

I didn't practice FMQ today (can't rip out stitches and sew at the same time,) but SewCalGal gave us a link today to a blogger who I enjoyed reading.  You may already be familiar with Geta's blog, but if not it's worth visiting.  http://cadouri-din-inima.blogspot.com/2009/10/free-motion-quilting-tips.html 

I did learn another thing today.  Those short seam rippers are for the birds!  I'm getting an ergonomic seam ripper as a New Year's gift to myself. 

Have fun with your crafts.
God Bless You.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

January FMQ Challenge

For those participating in the FMQ Challenge that SewCalGal organized, the January practise was to make leaves.  http://sewcalgal.blogspot.com/2012/01/welcome-to-2012-free-motion-quilting.html  The leaves look easy to make, but I've found that consistency takes practise, and I have a tendency to lose the smooth curve that makes for a nice leaf.

Go Patriots!
God Bless.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Radiant Star Block Practise

We had a snow day here today, so I spent the day, and I mean "the day" making the radiant star block in the Winter 2011 issue of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks.  Began well enough and seemed to be proceding correctly.

So far, so good.

Getting smug.

Uh oh.  Big oops.  The center seams do not match on the vertical. 
I unstitched quite a few seams and resewed.
Now the vertical seam takes a detour. 
I was really enjoying myself until that final seam. 

Fortunately the fabric is dark and printed so it isn't very noticeable.

Tomorrow I shovel snow. 
God Bless.

Monday, January 16, 2012

More Free Motion Quilting Practise

I practised feathers and other squiggles this weekend.

This design I saw in Maurine Noble's book, Machine Quilting Made Easy, and I like it because it is easy and has a nice look. 

I really like making G Clefs.

God Bless.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Practising FMQ for The Challenge

SewCalGal's Free Motion Quilting Challenge http://sewcalgal.blogspot.com/p/free-motion-quilt-challenge.html  is a year-long session for anyone who wants to improve their skill at this facet of quilting.  Darlene of SewCalGal sent an email with a link to a quilter's video of how she makes feathers, and after watching her method I've been practising them today.  I haven't made two alike yet, but that's why we practise.

Edit:  This is the link to the video: http://joanne-threadhead.blogspot.com/2011/03/free-motion-feather-tutorial.html 

What is difficult for me is that feathers are done backwards,  beginning from the bottom and working up, so I can't see the stitches that I have to sew over.  That's my excuse, anyway, for the wavy lines:)
God Bless.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Scrap Bag Block and Another Lone Star Pattern

This is the fourth block in the Treasure Chest Quilt from Quilt in a Day's facebook page. 
My four blocks so far. 

I missed the Lone Star sew along that Sue of Quilt Times  http://quilttimes.blogspot.com/  held this past Saturday.  I guess I'm not ready yet, but I do have my fabric chosen and plan to begin cutting this week.  I was going through my quilt magazines looking for a pattern when I came across this ad:
So I visited the Janome USA site, found the pattern and printed it out. 
I'm not rushing this project, even though it was a spur of the moment decision to do it.    It's an advanced quilt project that has numerous challenges, such as offsetting the strips accurately, then cutting them in a 45 degree angle accurately, and sewing in the set in triangles.  I've read that one of the biggest challenges is to not have a puff in the middle of the star after the points are sewn together; in other words having it all come together and be flat.  And I am visiting the sites that Sue's quilter friends are mentioning, because every bit of knowledge helps. 
I did think about ordering Eleanor Burns's book on the Radiant Star, but a revised edition is coming out this month so I held back.  The Janome directions seem to be good, and I do like the applique on this design.

God Bless.  

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Effort to Organize and Radiant Star Plans

I'm hoping to make this year a "buy very little fabric" year.  So I needed to get a handle on what I have so I can make an efficient use of it.   I read some ideas for cleaning up stash and organizing it, and since my sewing area has fallen into the "path to walk through" condition, I am making a stab at putting things in order. 

I began by putting on Threadbare by Monica Ferris (a mystery audio book) and then digging through the scrap bag to find pieces to cut into 5" squares.
The colors and prints are very mixed. Sometimes loving fabric so much makes me hesitant to cut into it, but this size is easy to work with and I love how neat they look.  Just doing this one group used up about one quarter of one of the scrap bags. 
I also found bigger pieces that I will square up and put into a fat quarter category. 

For the bigger pieces I am wondering if the "comic book board" method of folding is a good idea.  Has anyone else tried this?  This is what I saw that I liked:  http://cuttopieces.blogspot.com/2011/02/fabric-folding-tutorial.html.  Here is another one: http://www.thatgirlthatquilt.com/2011/01/mini-fabric-bolts-tutorial.html.

Sue of Quilt Times http://quilttimes.blogspot.com/ sent out the invitation to join and support her in her project to make a Radiant Star Quilt.  The button on the left shows the version Sue is making.  I'm joining in for the challenge.  I found this design in one of my older quilt books:
However, I couldn't get a grasp of the directions, but I found a block by Eleanor Burns that enlightened me.  She designed a  12" Radiant Star block for the latest Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks issue.
Thank you, Eleanor, for making it clear to me. 
I have no idea of what fabric/colors I will use, but if I keep up with my organizing efforts, I may stumble upon the perfect collection. 

God Bless.