When Time Runs Away

I realized it has been TWO months since I wrote a blog post!  Time has certainly run away from me.  When I travel for any length of time, I always feel like I have so much to catch up on when I get home.  My trip to Alaska was fabulous.  In fact, it was so great, that another opportunity has arisen and I will be making a similar trip NEXT August.

My wonderful sister-in-law; Carolyn, known to many as the One Block Wonder Woman   suggested a QUILTING CRUISE !  She has suggested this before, but I always said no, because the cruise lines were not Princess Cruise Lines.  I’ve been busy building loyalty status on Princess, and was edging my way to the top level and didn’t want to miss out on those loyalty perks. Well, she picked up a flyer at a quilt show recently and low and behold, the quilting cruise will be on a Princess ship.  So; we are doing a 10 day trip out of San Francisco next August to Alaska and taking advantage of the 4 days at sea to learn and sew with like-minded people. This trip will include Sitka and Haines Alaska, which are new ports to me.  Of course, booking this trip and looking ahead at which class(es) to take etc has kept me busy. The big details are worked out; and in the coming months I need to figure out air & hotels; but for now, I am sliding the trip into the recesses of my mind and getting back to my current projects.

Would you believe I have a UFO finish?  It only took me 25 months…..Back in Sept of 2017 I took a class with Sandi Blackwell and used her method called Square-Agonals to make this –

Square-agonals BEFORE the cut

After some “slicing and dicing” of the block –

Spiral Out workshop

I reconstructed according to the SPIRAL OUT pattern, and ended up with this great project –

Square-agonals project

I brought it home from the class; did some quilting and then set it aside…..for 2 years.  Well, I had a 3 day Sit & Sew Camp at the end of October and got busy and finished up quilting.  I can’t believe I let it sit for 2 years when just the borders needed quilting.  I got the quilting done on the first day of sit & sew camp, and started making the binding. On day two, I finished making the binding and made a hanging sleeve too.

Spiral Out

Of course, I used my favorite binding method “Susie’s Magic Binding”.  (If you follow me on a regular basis, you KNOW that this is the only way I do binding anymore. All by machine!!  LINK to the method at the bottom of this post.)

Binding went on and the project was completed….sorta….It still needed a label.  More about the label in my next blog post! (SOON….really……)

Before I show you the back…I have to confess I was lazy when I quilted this back in 2017.  I used my Janome 8900 and let the machine do a locking stitch instead of being good and pulling my bobbin thread to the top.  While it looks ‘ok’ on the front, the back looks like a lot of “thread throw-up”.  You know, chunks where the top thread and the bottom thread get all yucky.  Since this photo I have used my micro tweezers and gotten a lot of it cleaned up, but it is NOT show worthy, and certainly not “judge” worthy.  Lesson to myself.

The other lesson is about “details”.  When I pulled this out to “finish” I could not remember what thread I had used to do the quilting. WHY didn’t I just pin a note to it..??????  Hindsight being 20-20, I won’t do that again.  When I did the quilting on the last two borders (the cream and gold border and the green), I ended up using a different thread.  I see it; but maybe others won’t.  The original thread was a silver variegated Superior Fantastico thread.  The thread for the last two borders was silver Bottom Line thread from Superior. It is slightly different, since the Fantastico is 50 weight and the darker silver runs through it.  The Bottom line is much finer at 60 weight and all but disappears.  (Wish I had used it on the entire project in hindsight).

So; here is the back…..and on the outer borders you can see how the thread is almost invisible.  And yes, I pulled my bobbin thread to the top and tied off…so it is a little cleaner all around the borders.

Back of Spiral out

So, here we are, nearly the middle of November and in two months I have one project finished…..at least to talk about.  I have a Christmas project underway that I can’t share until Dec 26th.  I will “write” and “photograph” along the way, and just save that post to publish after the item is gifted.

I’ve had lots of other activities going on, and will save them for future posts!  I won’t wait quite so long for the next blog!

Go hug a Veteran and thank them for their service!

 

Link to Susie’s Magic Binding

 

Class project and Block 13 & 14 and Fabric Acquisition

I am only a week behind, but I am blaming it on  taking another class!  This post was to be short and sweet, as I am leaving in under an hour for a “fabric acquisition road trip” with my friend Nancy, but I got to wordy, and never got it posted! I acquired LOTS of nice stuff on that f.a.r.t……………. We went to shop at The Dusty Attic, in Fruitland MD.  The shop is closing out all merchandise in the next 2 weeks, and we concentrated our purchases in the 50% off room.  I picked up several 1 yard pre-cut neutrals for the stash, and 4.5 yards of a fantastic brown that has a wood grain feel to it.  I also purchased several “book” panels and plan on more story books for the littlest grandchild.  They were cutting Insul-Brite from a 56″ wide bolt, and I got a yard of it; which will be awesome for pot holders or a casserole carrier in the near future.  All the books were going for $5, and I picked up one about machine quilting.   We got some great deals, but it is sad to see a business you have dealt with over the years have to close up for any reason.

I got distracted last week and had to play catch up with the Pat Sloan’s quilt along.  Grandma’s Kitchen is currently on Block 14.  I finished Block 13 on Friday.  I thought it was time to work with the purple and the orange. I love the way this worked out.

Block 13 Grandma's Kitchen

This afternoon I was able to finish up Block 14.  Pat called it Salt & Pepper, and I thought about that when I picked my fabrics. I had this black & white Scottie Dogs fabric and think it depicts the pepper quite nicely!

Block 14 of 25 Grandma's Kitchen

My collection of blocks so far look like this:

Grandma's Kitchen 1-14

Going to need more yellow, orange and black in the coming weeks for the blocks.  I still have lots of the 1930’s reproduction fabrics I haven’t used.  (Today I was tempted by another yellow fabric, but decided that the print was just too big for this project!)

Are you working on the Grandma’s Kitchen quilt along too?  Pattern is by Pat Sloan and can be found here – Sew Along Pattern  

Beyond Block 13 & 14, it was Quilt Guild week in Dover for me.  Monday evening was the meeting and lecture.  Three of us from “lower slower Delaware” drove up together and attended the meeting.  I drove up and back on Monday evening.  I had signed up months ago for the class on Tuesday.

The class this month at Helping Hands Quilt Guild in Dover Delaware was with Sandi Blackwell.  The guild meeting and lecture was on Monday evening, and the class on Tuesday .  (Next time I decide to do a class the day after the meeting, I am getting a hotel room! It is an hour drive each way to Dover, and I had to hit the road very early for the class.)  Anyway, Sandi lectured on her Square-agonals technique and showed a lot of her different quilts during the trunk show. (Take a look at Sandi’s website).

The premise of Square-Agonals is to learn a special construction method and not have to cut any setting or corner triangles.  It was a fun project. I did my pre – cutting last week, and I was ready to sew!  We started out making a basic square in a square block, and sashing it.  We then constructed some interesting blocks made with rectangles that we cut on the diagonal and reassembled.

Spiral Out workshop

She showed a technique for aligning the points of the triangle when reassembling those blocks.  (Tips & techniques are explained in her many books). I did my stitching using my trusty Featherweight Bessie!

Bessie is working hard

I thought I set my 1/4″ and seam guide, but I goofed it up, and I had FAT quarter inches on my basic block, and they turned out “too small.  Sandi gave a quick solution which did not include ripping out the seam, and I was able to “repair the damage”.  I also rechecked and reset my 1/4″ and seam guide.  I think I had it up “too close” to the needle, but once it was checked and adjusted, all went well.  I assembled my pieces according to the pattern, and then Sandi showed us how to “mark” with her special tape, and get it ready to cut apart.marked and ready Spiral Out

This view is from the “other” side of the table.

marked and ready Spiral Out

 

squareagonals

My project was in 3 pieces when I left for the day, and I came home, had supper, and got busy doing some reassembly. (Look for more photos on Facebook…     Helping Hands Quilt Guild on Facebook

(The classes are held in a church with GREAT lighting, and great organization by the current VP – Mary Dawn.  I enjoy going up to take classes, but can’t do it very often.    )

Once I sewed the 3 sections together, it looked like this –

Square-agonals project

See how the tape on it was now on the “outside edges” ? The premise is to stabilize those cut edges because they are all on the bias and might stretch.  It got removed after the 1st round of borders went on.

1st round of borders on

At this point I realized I left my pattern instructions at the guild, on the cutting table; so a quick email to the guild vice-president and the instructions were sent to me in the mail.  Since we had done the pre-cutting, and I still had that worksheet, I had a photo, and could piece it together.  (One advantage to having everything cut ahead of time I suppose!!)

Got the pattern in the mail yesterday and here is the final result –

3 borders on

The project measures out at 32×52.  This afternoon I got it layered and have started some very “basic” quilting.

What are you working on this weekend?