Thursday, November 27, 2014

Holiday Curves with the Quick Curve Ruler

Last month I shared some of the blocks I'd made with the Quick Curve Ruler and the Curve It Up! pattern from Sew Kind of Wonderful.
Block 7 - Log Cabin.  I saved this one until the last because I knew I would have many strips leftover from cutting the other blocks.
Block 11 - Drunkard's Path.  I cut this block twice.  The first set of pieces is lost somewhere in my studio.  I'll find it.  Probably sometime in the spring.
Block 1 - Star Block.  This one is an example of how playing with the blocks can really create something different.
I played with layout a little.  (Yes, that is my design floor.  I still don't have a design wall.)  These blocks are big.  The finished size is 16" by 16" which is much bigger than the blocks I usually work with.
I don't often work with sashing as it can be tedious.  Sewing 12 blocks together takes so much longer when you have to fit in all those sashing pieces and corners.  This quilt really wanted the sashing, though.  And I still had plenty of the background fabric (this quilt has four different white-on-white prints for the background).   When I had finished adding the interior sashing I had run out of the background fabric so it was time to see what I could do for an outer border with some of my other holiday prints.
I pulled a couple pieces of red that would work for the outer sashing and used some scraps for the corners.  I pieced the binding from several strips so it will be just as scrappy as the quilt.  I've already got the backing fabric but I don't have any white batting.  I buy my cotton batting by the roll so if I want to use anything other than unbleached 100% cotton I have to make a trip out or buy online.

I wonder if I can get it quilted before the December holiday.  We shall see.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Quilters Quest - Fourth Day, Final Shop - The Scrappy Apple

The story of my adventures on the Quilters Quest Shop Hop continues:
On the fourth day of shop hopping I grabbed my quilting buddy and we headed out to Virginia.  The last stop on my 2014 Quilters Quest Shop Hop was The Scrappy Apple in Winchester, VA.  This shop is way off the beaten path for me (about two hours from home) but I love how friendly and open Kelly is when I stop in.  Sometimes I can even get Darling Husband to take me because there is a Camping World nearby. 
Kelly had some really amazing quilts hanging up in the shop.  I snapped a few pictures with my phone.  I love the swoon block.  I really should make one at some point.
I'm pretty sure this one is Night Sky by Jaybird Quilts on a white background.  I will have to make one of these someday.
This is the Quilters Quest quilt from the Scrappy Apply.  This is the quilt I've decided to make so this is where I finished quest.
Here is my Quest finishing bag!  Doesn't it look great filled with the last of my loot?
There were some little treats inside.  I also picked up some fat quarters, a postcard pattern and some of the "bolt of the day" fabric.  The last thing on that list is the yards and yards of gray fabric that will become the background for my Quilters Quest quilt.  I'm looking forward to this one!  I think I've stocked up for the long winter months.

Did you participate in a shop hop this year?  Did you find new shops to visit and meet more quilters?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Quilters Quest - Third Day, Third Shop - Capital Quilts

The story of my adventures on the Quilters Quest Shop Hop continues:

Last Quilter's Quest was the first time I'd been to Capital Quilts in Gaithersburg, MD.  Such a great shop filled with fabric, machines and helpful people.  
This year the Quest quilt is just as stunning as it was last year.  Last year I made their quest quilt and I couldn't be happier with it.  Now, if I could just remember to take it with me one of these times I go down that way!
I was so excited when I found the Super Sidekick by Jaybird Quilts.  As you know I have a bit of a ruler problem.  I have many and I want more.  I used the Sidekick for a mini quilt and had a great experience.  The Super Sidekick was a natural fit.  I also found some more fun fruit and vegetable fabrics to add to my growing pile.  I should come up with a pattern for those soon.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Quilters Quest - Third Day, Second Shop - Jinny Beyer Studio

The story of my adventures on the Quilters Quest Shop Hop continues:

Our second stop of the day was Jinny Beyer Studio.
Jinny's quilts are just amazing.  They play with color intensity in a way that has a finished look that can be breathtaking.  This is the quest quilt.  The applique is beautiful and I know that even if I managed to make the lone star design I would never finish the applique.  The colors are beautiful!
I was overwhelmed and had trouble deciding on the few things I did pick up.  I added some beautifully bright batiks to my stash along with the quest strips and pattern.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Quilters Quest - Third Day, First Shop - Kelly Ann's Quilting

The story of my adventures on the Quilters Quest Shop Hop continues:
The third day I met my quilting buddy and we headed out to Kelly Ann's Quilting in Warrenton, VA.
Look at this huge selection Halloween and Ghastlies fabric!
I really need to pull out all my Halloween fabrics and make something.  Otherwise I'll just seem like a hoarder.
In the far back room they have so many fun and playful quilts hanging.  I had to snap a couple pictures.
Kelly Ann's had a really good-size collection of American Made Brand solids so I picked eight colors and got a 1/2 yard of each.  I see a solids quilt in my future.  Why is that Wonder Woman fabric in there?  Because sometimes you can send a text and your friend will cry out "buy me a yard!" from a hundred miles away.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Freedom - A Leaders and Enders Quilt

Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville fame shares her patterns with quilters around the world.  Bonnie is all about scrappy quilt-making and that is an idea that I can totally get behind.  The block design can be found on her Quiltville under free patterns.  A friend gifted me several different fabrics and the box had some red, white and blue fabrics.  This inspired me to pull some more fabrics from my stash to make up scrap-filled quilts.
I started this quilt back in March 2014.  This is my bin full of finished half-square-triangle blocks and the red, white and blue squares to make the split nine-patch.
I finally finished up all the blocks and had to play with the layout.  These blocks spent months being made while other projects were on-going.  Learn more about Leaders and Enders here.
This took way more moving of blocks than I thought but I finally came to a final layout that I liked.  I did sneak some wonky star blocks into the layout and I love how they work with the rest of the quilt.
When I was finished sewing all the blocks together the quilt asked very nicely for a couple borders.  I was happy to oblige.
I embroidered the label directly on the backing fabric (that red fabric).  The backing for this quilt is wide flannel that I pre-washed to control shrinking in the final quilt.  We'll see how well this works out when I wash the finished quilt.
I even got the whole thing loaded onto the frame!
And finished making the slightly scrappy binding.  Four fabrics just isn't all that scrappy.

A Quilting Chick

I'll be linking this one up with A Quilting Chick because, well, I have a leaders and enders project and she asked.  You should totally go check out the rest of the link members to see what they've been doing.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Quilters Quest - Second Day, Third Shop - Cottonseed Glory Quilt Shop

The story of my adventures on the Quilters Quest Shop Hop continues:

The last stop on the second day was Cottonseed Glory Quilt Shop in Annapolis, MD.  This shop is close enough to home that I visit much more often than some of the other shops.
Cottonseed Glory always has the special "buy 10 fat quarters and get one free."  I never walk out of there will fewer than 11 fat quarters.  This time I picked up some more solids.  How can I call myself a modern quilter if I don't have very many solids?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Quilters Quest - Second Day, Second Shop - Material Girls Quilt Boutique

The story of my adventures on the Quilters Quest Shop Hop continues:

I love this family-owned business.  They are so welcoming and I wish I lived close enough to take classes with them.  Their classroom is great!
The second shop my DH took me to was Material Girls Quilt Boutique.  I'm tickled when I pop and and they say "Welcome back!"  This quilt is hanging in the classroom.  It is the Moda Modern Building Blocks quilt.  I really like it and was hoping to get the block instructions but it seems this only comes as a kit.  I have enough fabric (can you hear The Bitchy Stitcher laughing at me?) so I didn't want to get the kit.  I may have to play with some of my scraps to put together something similar. 
Again I failed to take many pictures.  This one is from the notions wall.  A friend of mine was looking for this ruler and I wanted to let her know where she could find it. Creative Grids rulers are my new favorite for general cutting.  I have two and when I find another I can't live without it will be coming home with me.  This is the 6.5" by 12.5" which is a great size for trimming and smaller cutting.  I also have the 6.5" by 24.5" for cutting width-of-fabric pieces and strips and the 4.5" by 12.5" for smaller cutting.  
Here is my collection of mad loot from Material Girls.  I picked up a small pile of American Made Brand of cotton solids.  This is a nice alternative to Kona Cottons if you want a fabric that is made in the United States from cotton seed to fabric.  I don't have confirmation of this but I've heard from quilting educators that Kona Cotton greige fabrics are created in at least seven different countries.  That can create a great deal of differences in quality of fabric, shrinkage rates and quality of dye and color-fastness.  American Made Brand only has 62 colors to compete with the 303 colors that Robert Kaufman offers but I think supporting U.S. industry is important to my country's economy.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Vintage Revival: Model 66 - The Bobbin Race Wick

What the heck is a race wick?
I'll admit that I didn't know until I read about it.  There is a little piece of red felt that sits in a spring on the side of the ejector mechanism on the Singer 66/99 machines.  This little piece of felt is oiled and keeps the bobbin race lubricated.  I think it is a really ingenious set up.  The down-side is that many people remove this little bit of fluff thinking it is just more lint built up in the bobbin area of the machine.
Removing the bobbin slide plate and the needle plate is easy.  The next step is to get the bobbin case out of the machine.  This seems really straightforward.  Just lift that little finger on the left and rotate the ejector mechanism to allow you to get the bobbin case out.  You don't have to remove the feed dog to do this but you may need to move the machine to get the hook to rotate to a better position so you can get it out.
I did have to remove the feed dogs to get the ejector mechanism out.  On the underside of the machine is the screw that holds the feed dog.  This will have to be adjusted when you put it back in.  I couldn't get the ejector mechanism out without removing the feed dog.
There is a set screw (not shown) on the underside of the machine that holds this mechanism in place.  You will have to loosen it to get this out and then back in again.  Here you can see the spool pin felt that I'm going to sacrifice for the race wick.
This machine has some surface rust and some gunky old oil.  I pulled loads of chunky bits of old fluff out of here as I worked.  I don't think any of the rust I did find will affect the machine for decades.  These machines were over-engineered to a point of beauty.
Removing the spring-screw thingy (I made that up) that holds the wick is easy.  Just unscrew it by hand.  It is much longer than you think when you first start to loosen it.
I cut the wick using the photos on this very helpful blog post from Color My World With Warmth. I made sure it was almost to the base of the spring/screw so I knew it wouldn't come out.
In this picture the wick is actually a little too long.  I trimmed it once I got it into the machine and saw how much too long it really was.
There it is back in the machine.  And the wick is just touching the race!  I may have to adjust (trim) it, but for right now I'm pleased.
It took some more maneuvering to get the bobbin case back in there, but I got it.  I really did surprise myself with how easy it was to get it out.  I'm glad I got some more of the gunky out of the hook assembly and the bobbin case.  Now all it needs is some test stitching to make sure I didn't break something.  I also need to make sure the feed dogs are properly set.  That will take some test sewing, too.

Do you have any great blogs you refer to when working on your machine?  Vintage or otherwise I'd love to know.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Quilters Quest - Second Day, First Shop - The Crazy Cousin

On the second day of the Quilters Quest Shop Hop I managed to convince Darling Husband to take me to a few shops.  We made a date of it and set out on an adventure.  The first stop was The Crazy Cousin in Fredericksburg, VA.  The Crazy Cousin is the newest addition to the Quilters Quest.
I picked up some more Riley Blake Zombie Apocalypse fabric to go with some fat quarters I picked up ages ago.  Some more fat quarters to go into the growing pile of fabrics for the Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt and another license plate from the Row-by-Row Experience to add to my collection.  I really do need to figure out what to make with those plates.  I love all of them.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Quilters Quest - First Day, Third Shop - Bear's Paw Fabrics

Next was at Bear's Paw Fabrics in Towson, MD.
This is my mad loot from the last stop of the day.  The strips that are part of the shop hop are light and pretty.  The pattern is great and I'm already planning to make it using my growing pile of batik fabrics.  The rest of the fabrics, all fat quarters, are destined for the Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt that starts the day after Thanksgiving.

I'm so very sorry that I didn't take a bunch of pictures this year.  I took pictures of the shops last year because so many of them are new to me.  This year I was so excited about the shopping that I forgot my camera in the care more times than I remembered it.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Quilters Quest - First Day, Second Shop - Patches Quilting and Sewing

The story of my adventures on the Quilters Quest Shop Hop continues:

On Saturday my quilting buddy and I traveled back towards home by way of Patches Quilting and Sewing in Mt. Airy, MD.  
This shop is packed with fabric and embroidery and more fabric.  
I picked up these great fabrics and the fun pattern for the shop hop.  Look at those sparkling stars!  The paper piecing is taunting me again.  I think I know which pattern I'm going to go with this year when I go to use the strips that are part of the fun shop hop.

This is part of my stocking up for the cold, dark winter months.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Keep Your Head Warm

A few weeks ago Heather - the founder of the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild - issued a challenge to the guild: "The Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild Founders Day One Hundred Hat Challenge, or TBMQGFDOHHC for short. Or, how about the 100 Hat Challenge for really short."
The first few hats I made.
"The challenge to the guild is to sew 100 (or more) hats for the Early Head Start program kids. These children, ages 6 weeks to 3 years old, who attend the program are at or below the poverty level. As part of their daily routine, the wonderful teachers at the center take the kids outside to play. Quite often, they don't have hats in the cold weather to keep them warm. I'd love to be able to provide each child with a hat or two (one to go home, one to stay at the center.)"  Heather provided a pattern as a suggestion and set us all upon our task.
These hats were made by Amy and MJ.  Check out the other amazing stuff on Amy's Instagram.
Several members of the guild created hats and the race was on to make a bunch of hats for children in the Early Head Start program.
Here is my finished stack of hats.  54 in total.
I got to work making hats using my growing piles of fleece scraps leftover from other projects.  I created a simple hat that is four wedge pieces for the crown and a folded band.  I made them in two sizes.  Most of the hats were made using two or more fabrics.  If it was a scrap bigger than 6" x 6" it found its way into a hat.  a couple of these hats were made with five different fabrics.  I think I managed to thin the fleece scrap herd more than a little.

All the hats were turned in at the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild meeting on November 9th.  The total hat count was 150+.  Not too shabby for a two-week notice!
While I didn't do it for the prize, there were prizes to give away.  For making the most hats I received a copy of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 10.  So many fun blocks to make.
I also received this fun collection of charms.  Several others also won prizes of fabric.  The giant pile of hats was great.  Knowing that little heads will be warm this winter is even better. 

Since I drafted this pattern I'm thinking about writing a tutorial to make your own.  If you would be interested please let me know.  They aren't hard to make and fleece is such a forgiving fabric.