Thursday, November 18, 2010

Crazy Jane - D-8

I've only been working on this project for over 6 years now, it's about time it had a name - so Crazy Jane it is. Cause I will probably be crazy before it ever gets finished! When I started this I had a hair brained idea that I would do one block every day and have it done before the year was out. So here I am, almost 7 years later and only 1/4 of the way finished. Oh well. I am going to strive for a block a week, and we'll see if I get inspired to do more!

I had hoped to finish this block sooner this week, but that didn't work out. But it's done, and looks absolutely smashing! I think it looks a bit like a snow flake actually. It was a very straightforward block, just applique the 8 pieces in place. Pretty easy. I folded the background block in half diagonally and horizontally and vertically to make placement lines for the pieces. I stitched the footballs first, then the diamonds. I used a neat technique of painting starch on the seam allowances before pressing them under to make them nice and crisp. (Then I got a little sidetracked and made a roll for my paintbrushes so I didn't have to stuff them back in a plastic baggie in my drawer.)

Pictures done, added a swatch to my sheet for this page and crossed it off the list! Next block is D-11 and it's a bit tricky. Piecing, odd angles and some applique. Might have to go study up on that one!

Happy sewing!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bargello Quilt, Second Thoughts

Well, maybe I was being a little too mean about the table runner last night. Or maybe it's the walking foot's way of catching on the batting and making it hard to get the whole thing out from underneath the foot every time. Or just maybe I'm in a little better mood today, and am almost done with the project so it's more fun? Who knows. But I finished up the last dozen strips and it went so much easier today!
I just used my regular foot today because I forgot that I had taken the walking foot off to hem some drapes last night. But it sewed just as well, and was much easier to use with the exposed batting. I didn't notice any distortion, but did have to watch the seam allowances, which wanted to flip. But it was still much easier!
So after I finished up the strips I trimmed the edges and put the binding on. And it looked terrific! Now if this way my design, I probably just would have left it as is. I'm a Less is More kind of gal and don't always like to add a lot of embellishment and extras to my projects. But the pattern called for some decoration.
But instead of the ones in the pattern, I chose to add some fairies cut out of the fabric I used for the backing. They look so cute on the runner! So now, I just have to edgestitch the cut-outs and just maybe look through my stash of pretties to find some beads, crystals or other fancy stuff to add to the cuteness. I guess even "plain Jane" likes to go a little over the top from time to time!
Happy Quilting

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

B is for Bargello

No, this is not a traditional Bargello quilt. This is what I call my free-form Bargello. I was inspired by a set of fat quarters, and this is what I did with them. I had a vision of the Northern lights dancing across the sky, and this was the best way I could think of to express that. I love it, and had a lot of fun making it!

Today I was working on a table runner that I am supposed to be teaching a class for in a month. It is made with a traditional, quilt as you go, Bargello technique. It's going to be really pretty when it's done, but I don't think it is nearly as fun as my quilt is. For one thing, sewing those strips down to the backing and batting and keeping them straight is not that easy. I keep having to adjust slightly, even though I am using a walking foot. Plus, I think all those perfectly matched corners are a little boring. And even though the quilting will be complete when I am done with the table runner, I really was able to add a lot of character with the quilting in my free-form quilt.

I am glad I tried this Bargello project, and even though I don't really like the technique so much, it's always a good thing to learn something new! Plus, the pattern is really well written and I haven't had any trouble following it at all. So, if you want to make a really pretty table runner for Christmas, I have a pattern I can recommend.

Happy Quilting!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Getting back to Jane - D-7

My quilting pal who is also stalled on her Dear Jane quilt and I decided to challenge each other to get back on the project. The challenge is a simple one, just make one block each week before the next quilt guild meeting. I hope this will spur me on toward getting this project finished within the next year or so - at least the top. I think I will want to hand quilt this one, so that part will probably take me a while as well.

This block is D-7 and it was super easy! I made the side triangles by piecing a strip of the blue with the white, then cutting into the triangles. The sides and center were cut in strips, I sewed it up like a 9 patch, the trimmed the corners to the correct size. Woo-hoo! Block 1 for November is done! Now to add the color swatch to the right card and put the block in the envelope for the D row. The next block is hand applique and I have it cut out in a kit, ready to go. So I will work on that through the week and have it done by next Monday!
Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Quiltsy Team Holiday Challenge

One of my teams on Etsy is having a challenge, just for the fun of it and bragging rights. I'm not in it, but you might like to go vote for one of the entries, they are all lovely! Just click on the picture to go to the blog and vote:
Don't forget to check out the challenge items and vote for your favorite!