Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Another top almost done

I had plenty of dark pieces cut and as I was going thru my scraps I put in a separate pile some gray, pink, and white prints that I used several years ago. I decided to cut up what I had left and use it in this next herringbone quilt. I had to piece several of the fabrics together to get a big enough scrap to cut to size so I would have enough of the grays for this top.

Tonight I will trim it and get it pin basted together.

Monday, November 20, 2017

19th finish for 2017 and R.I.P. Malcolm Young

I started out the weekend by mowing the back yard. It was like a hayfield. It took me over and hour to get it done. That was hard work and I was tired! It looks so much better. I needed to get it done before the rain rolled in on Saturday. While I was mowing there was a big buck having lunch, but my mowing didn't seem to bother him. After all he is used to mowers since he is a city deer! I couldn't get a picture of him.

I finished another herringbone quilt and here it is. It finished 42" x 52 1/2". I had a awful time with my quilting thread breaking when I was free motion quilting this. I am still not sure what the issue was, but I kept at it and got 'er done!

I have the next one on the design wall and I will show you it tomorrow.

Saturday Malcolm Young passed away. He was one of the founders and rhythm guitar player for the band AC/DC. You know how much I love AC/DC; after all I spent a good part of 2016 making that art quilt with AC/DC t shirts. Malcolm had left the band three years ago due to dementia and that is what caused his death. R.I.P Malcolm Young. Say hi to Bon for all of us.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Top done and how I trim the herringbone quilt tops

Another herringbone top done! Yeah! It turned out 42 3/4" x 53 3/4" which is about the size I was aiming for. This size will be just right for baby quilts and so I can use regular width quilting cotton for the backing.

I thought I would show you how I trim the herringbone tops. First I trim off the triangles on one side. I have two cutting mats lined up end to end, I have my 72" metal ruler, and two bricks wrapped in fabric. I lay the quilt out nice and flat and I line the ruler up along the staggered edge. You have to be careful not to stretch the top since your outside edges will be on the bias so easy going on the smoothing!
Here is a close up of how I align the ruler

Now sometimes if the pieces grow a bit in the sewing process so the ruler is not always at the very edge of the triangles you will be cutting off. I recheck to make sure the quilt top is laying flat and if it looks good I just go ahead and cut.

The metal ruler I am using is an 1/8" thick and 2" wide so the rotary cutter glides along for a nice cut. The bricks hold down the ends so the ruler doesn't slide. I also use my left hand to hold the ruler as I cut. I bought the ruler at Home Depot - no I am not sponsored by them. Lowes had a similar ruler but it was made in China and the markings were painted on. The Empire ruler was made in the USA. It cost me less than $15.00 and I use it all the time along with my 60" metal ruler which I bought years and years ago.

I turn the quilt and trim off the other side. You can measure from the cut edge to the edge you are going to cut to make sure the width is consistent.

Now I have a nice pile of triangles to make HSTs!

Next I trim the bottom of the quilt top. I use my metal ruler along with my big 24 1/2" square plastic ruler to try and get the cut as straight as possible. When you only have two points of reference for this cut, lining the square ruler along the side helps a lot!

I turn the quilt top around and cut the top. Here I only have one point of reference so again I use the big square ruler to get a straight cut.

I guess I didn't need to add this piece on! LOL!!!

I will then fold the quilt in half and check to make sure that it is squared up ok. I have been off a bit on one of the other two tops so I just trimmed on a tiny bit to make sure the top was nicely squared up. The bottom line these are just giveaway baby quilts and they don't have to be perfect, but I still want to do a good job on them and not end up with something way out of whack. I hope this helps!

So you know I will be working on finishing this quilt this weekend and probably putting another one up on the design wall. I have a bunch of 4.4" x 16.5" pieces of pink that are leftover so another herringbone top will be made.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Lots done!

I now have the two halves of the current herringbone quilt sewn together. Tonight I will sew the partial seams to join the two halves, trim the top, and then get it ready for quilting.

Now if you are wondering what those three partial pieces of fabric at the top of the quilt are for, let me explain. I pinned up a tape measure so you can see approximately where I will be trimming the top side of the quilt.

If I didn't have those three pieces which represent my 12th row, I would have to cut where the lower row of measuring tape is shown in this picture. Cutting at the lower point would mean I would lose 4" in length.

As you can see I didn't need to have a full sized piece since most of the fabric would be cut off when I trimmed. This is something I learned over the last two weeks. I ended up salvaging the three odd shaped pieces from the points I had cut off the previous two herringbone quilts.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Cutting and scraps

After the floor refinishing guy left - he came to look at my floors and set up a date to do the work - I got down in the studio and started cutting more fabric for the next herringbone quilt. I cut fabric for 2 hours! I did find two pieces of this light pink fabric with brown circle. I sewed the two together and was able to get two 4.5" x 16.5" pieces.

Here is the pink scrap pile, well at least part of it. I was combing thru it to find pieces I could use for the latest herringbone quilt. I like to use as many different fabrics as possible and my choices are starting to dwindle.

Here is the pile at the end of the night. I found some 3.5" strips, there are lots of triangles, and patches that I used for zig zag quilts. Good stuff!

I found enough fabrics for the striped herringbone quilt and got started on sewing together the left column. So here is what it looks like now

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Cleaning, designing, and cookies - Oh my!

I have a fellow coming tonight to look at my wood floors that have needed refinished every since I bought the house. The house was built in the early 60's and the floors have never been refinished. I spent lunchtime yesterday and last evening cleaning up and clearing out stuff in the living room and two bedrooms that need to be done. I will work at lunchtime again today and then it is what it is.

I did make some bar cookies last night to give to the custodians and secretaries at the school. They have all been so nice since I moved into the high school. I got the recipe from Dessert for Two. They are a Twix type cookie bar. The caramel was quite hard after they had sat in the refrigerator all night so they were hard to cut, but they are rich and tasted good. Since I cut them while they were still cold - I let them set out for about an hour, but that was not long enough for them to come to room temp - so they kind of fell apart a bit. Lesson learned.

I was up early and just had to start designing the next herringbone quilt. I already had a bunch of pieces cut out, but I needed to trim the length and here is why. The first quilt I made the pieces were cut 4 1/2" x 18 1/2". The width of the quilt after I just trimmed off the pointed sides was 48". Way to wide for regular width fabric for the backing. I ended up trimming off 4" on each side.

The next quilt, the ombre one I just posted yesterday, I cut the pieces 4 1/2" x 17 1/2". Once I trimmed the triangles off the sides the width of the quilt was 45". I ended up piecing the back.

For this third quilt I am trimming off the pieces I already have cut to 4 1/2" x 16 1/2". The width ought to end up after trimming off the triangles about 42" which is perfect for using regular quilting fabric for the back. I found that 12 rows gives me a length of 53" after trimming. So here is the third and hopefully the perfect size. My thought for this one is to have a dark row, a medium row, a dark row, a light row, a dark row, a medium row, etc.

I am going to have to cut out more pieces. Now that I know what the perfect size is I will probably cut enough for two or three more quilts. I have this one pink fabric that almost looks brownish when I put it with the other pinks. It is the 6th piece down on the right

Monday, November 13, 2017

18th finish for 2017 and how to do the partial seam

Here it is - another finish. It turned out 44" x 53".

I used three colors of quilting thread

Isn't interesting how these two quilts look so different even though they were made the same way?

Here is how to sew the partial seam. Here is the quilt top before. You start sewing it together from the top.

Once you sew the first seam the rest just falls in place. I marked my first seam to sew with tape for you.

Here it is sewn

The next piece to sew is that lattice looking fabric

When I lined the fabric up - I always sew from the seam to the raw edge - the lattice fabric was a bit longer. No problem, I will just trim that off after I sew the seam

Next piece to sew is the thin striped fabric. I just put wrong sides together and sewed

I do press as I sew each seam. The next seam is the circle stain fabric. As you can see each seam just falls into place.