Socks – Completed

Completed

Turned out to be a bit more interesting than I thought they were going to be – a mixture of stripe widths. They’ll add bright colour to an outfit.

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Beginning To Take Shape

The quilt I’m working on as part of the Improvising A Quilt class is beginning to take shape. I’m letting the fabrics dictate direction as much as anything. It’s kind of a medallion quilt in that it has a sort of central smallish block as my starting point, but it’s also a sampler – I’ve constructed some flying geese, some triangle-in-a square blocks, cut a long strip and a couple of different size blocks from my “tulip” fabric, assembled a log cabin block…

Taking Shape

I can see from the photo that I need more elements using the golden leaves fabric. I may also want a small amount of another colour for contrast but so far I have no idea what that might be. All of these disparate elements will get fit together with whatever sashing is necessary to assemble them into sections that I can stitch relatively easily. I’ve got about half of the elements I will eventually need for a good size lap quilt. I’m getting closes to having to make some dimensional decisions so I can start putting these pieces together.

The difference between a triangle-in-a-square block and a flying geese block is the height/base ratio – a traditional flying geese block is half as high as it is wide; a triangle-in-a-square block is closer to being square (it could actually be square if the height and base of the triangle – it would have to be an isosceles triangle – were equal). In my case I used an equilateral triangle so my blocks are a bit shorter than they are wide. I might construct some that are square.

I also want to do a couple of other traditional blocks on a small size scale to increase the detail of the piecing. Anyway, I will carry on. I have a couple of weeks to get a quilt top pieced before the group gets together again.

Convergence Quilt

Convergence Quilt – in progress

I’ve been teaching a class today on “Improvising A Quilt”. The women came with fabrics and ideas and wanting to explore ways of improvising on an idea and taking it somewhere.

What surprised me was to what extent the particular fabrics called for specific treatments. This one in particular – two complementary 1m cuts of Asian ombre prints both going from light to dark. They shouted out “conversion quilt“.  Jen hadn’t ever tried a conversion quilt, although I’d included a picture of one I’d made a while back and I happened to take that quilt to the class with me this morning. So convergence quilt it became.

Here it is – 22″ blocks cut from narrow to wide strips, interleaved and pieced, then cut again into narrow to wide strips, and interleaved, not yet pieced. This is going to be just lovely. The flow of colour and print detail is elegant. We don’t know, yet, how this quilt will develop beyond this central convergence panel but Jen has enough leftover fabric to come up with something that will work well with the panel.

This wasn’t the only fabric calling out for a particular treatment. Sheila had fabric to make something for her grandson – a fabric with images of soccer players, and three other fabrics with soccer balls, shoes. You have to keep the pictures of the soccer players intact – sash each then assemble them into some kind of quilt top? In the end she decided to offset the angle of the players which meant creating paper piecing templates for the odd shaped sashing elements and because the soccer player blocks were all different sizes, she decided to make all the blocks the same size which will make assembling the quilt top much easier. She’s gone home with four blocks completed. The sashings are all cut out and ready to be stitched to the soccer player images.

Nancy wanted to create a bed runner with Christmas fabrics using a slash and stitch technique – cut out blocks, slash them, piece in a narrow strip (usually 1″ which ends up 1/2″ wide), slash again, and piece, and maybe even a third time. She began with some red and green fabric scraps and inserted brightly coloured strips – but the focus was on the narrow strips. In the end she has elected to use a dark grey “grunge” fabric for the insertions which brings the focus back to the fabrics used for the blocks. Interesting how the fabrics dictate what has to happen!

We meet again in three weeks – enough time to complete piecing a quilt top. Then we’ll work on doing something interesting with the backs, discuss “in-the-hoop” quilting and get set up to complete the quilts. Looking forward to seeing how far they will have come.

Final Sock Remake

Final Sock Remake

Finally done with remaking and repairing socks. Four pairs (one was too far gone to work on so I discarded it). Three pairs have been returned to their home. I’ll get this one back later in the week.

Now to return to making new socks. I have a good supply of yarn in the yarn stash – enough to keep me going for the next three-four months.

Remodelling t-Shirts

t-Shirt With Lowered Neck & New Neckband

With the medallion quilt completed, today, I turned to clearing up the piles of stuff in my sewing room. At least six weeks ago I pulled four t-Shirts from my closet with the intention of lowering the neckline. The shirts had originally been high crewneck long sleeve t-Shirts which I’d bought so I could shorten the sleeves and end up with sleeves just above my elbow – that’s not something you can purchase, trust me.

I wore them last year, but realized I wasn’t wearing them this year because the neckline was too high. So I moved them from the closet to my sewing space intending to remodel the neckline. Finally got to that today. Started by cutting off the crewneck ribbing and dropping the front about 2″. Then I cut 1 3/4″ x 24″ strips from some t-Shirt fabric I have on hand, serged the folded strip to each t-Shirt neckline. Remodelling complete. The contrasting neckband doesn’t look bad at all. And it lays flat – I tried them on. (I should have used dark serger thread to stitch on the new neckband, but hey, the stitching can’t be seen on the outside.)

Remodelled t-Shirts

It’s true, t-Shirt weather is just about over here in Nova Scotia – maybe one more day warm enough to put on a short sleeve top. But these shirts are now ready for next warm season.

Dropped Neckline

Medallion Quilt – Completed!

Completed Quilt

Here, finally, is the completed, bound quilt. Just finished stitching the curlicues in the center of the medallion. In the end I straight stitched them on the machine, a couple of stitches at a time, in order to stay on the edge of the curlicue. I had set up a single run design to stitch them out as embroideries, but each of the four corners was slightly different, and I couldn’t align the first embroidery to stitch precisely where I wanted it, so I switched to plan “b”. It took lots of twisting and turning of the quilt (thank goodness it wasn’t any larger) to get each curlicue done.

Quilt Back

I used leftovers from the outer border strips to create blocks for the back. Their off center placement is intentional. I could have placed them somewhat closer to one another, but once the back was pinned in place I decided not to bother taking the whole thing apart to make that small adjustment.

Close-up detail of one corner – showing the embroidery in some of the “empty” blocks.

Corner, Showing Detail

The embroideries worked out well – I did seventeen in all (one a test run to make sure the design stitched out correctly). Doing the embroidery proved challenging, not because they were particularly complex designs, but because my embroidery machine decided, at that moment, to be temperamental – the touch screen stopped working properly and precisely positioning each embroidery took patience. (The embroidery machine is now in hospital being repaired and I’m working on a borrowed machine.)

The quilt still needs a label but that can wait until I get my machine back.