Monday, March 31, 2008

Finally some CW sewing...

More they get more complicated and have to be done with paper piecing, it takes longer and you seem to get less accomplished.

Love Letters, Pg 221....Lonesome Place
LL Pg 233....Privilege of Communication
Diary, Pg 49....Texas Rangers
D Pg. 125...Misfortune

Calling all thinking caps....

I'm in a search for a block pattern ladies...I saw this block made in an antique quilt that Bonnie Hunter had on her blog here. She even made her own blocks here. Loved the block, especially the white cross in the center of the antique, so off I go in search for Quilter's Cache searching Album Cross blocks. Uh..nope! Then I'm reading bloglines and I start to see these blocks all over! Mereth had some made in her post here that are spectacular...Libby has a whole quilt under her goodies with blocks here.

Bonnie called it Album Cross, Mereth called them Album them whatever you'd like but can anyone point me in the right direction? Pattern source, block name, anything. These are just up my alley for the CW fabrics.
Thanks ladies.

UPDATE: I knew you guys would know the right name! You gave me several choices to choose from and most of all suggested BLock Base for EQ. Funny thing, I went over to EQ to check it out and watched the video about the product. As the lady is going through the choices, she picked reproduction quilt patterns from 1855 and across the screen comes THE block...right there! I might just pick up Block base this week. Either way, now I am all set! Thanks again everyone!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Faux Paper Piecing...

I already made one skimpy tutorial on how to FAUX paper piece in August 2007, but several people have asked and emailed for more instructions. This is something I learned from Judy Mathieson, but I dropped a few steps, like sewing with a bare needle on the lines.

SO this is a very LONG post. I used a simple block this morning that didn't actually need paper piecing but hey, all for the cause! The pictures will be small, but will enlarge with just a click. Remember, the words precede the picture. Read the instructions...look down at the picture. Let's begin....

After taping my freezer paper to the book page, I start by laying my ruler down and copying the 6 inch outer edge of the block with pencil. Make sure to leave enough room with the ruler so that your pencil line is truly on the line. After drawing all the lines, I add the outer seam allowance to the block to make it 6.5" total.

My finished pattern on freezer paper. I always leave a bit of paper past the seam allowance lines and cut later since the freezer paper can shrink a tiny bit. I lay down the ruler a bit before the pencil line and then slide my fingers up under the paper and fold up the paper creasing with my fingernail against the ruler edge. Careful to get right on or before the line. Remember, the line is where you want your seam to run, so be accurate. *I recently learned a new trick that works fabulously to get precise fold lines...Place down the ruler and lightly score the paper on the line with your seam ripper. VERY lightly please! But it makes folding so precise and super straight!

My pattern with all the fold lines done! Every pencil line that will be a seam needs to be folded and creased. Put you first piece of fabric down on the pressing board, wrong side up, and center your pattern over the piece making sure you have evenly placed the extra fabric around all edges. See the fabric? Now, fold back the paper on either side, use you 1/4" inch ruler or the Add A Quarter ruler and trim the extra fabric away for a neat 1/4" seam allowance. Put right sides together, all lines up evenly, ready to sew. Carefully lay down your sandwich to sew. Good idea to place a strip of notebook paper onto the sticky freezer paper because the foot doesn't like to slide well on the tacky surface. Begin sewing right along the fold line. It's okay if you ride the fold, as tightly to it as possible. See I'm sewing the seam next to the fold...papers folded over out of the way! No sewing through the paper. Very important: when you finish your seam, put up the presser foot and carefully grab the whole unit, making sure to keep the freezer paper and fabric together tightly between your fingers and then pull away from the foot and clip your threads. It's easy in the very beginning for the freezer paper to come loose from the fabric and while you can get it lined back up's a major pain!

Carefully lay down the piece, still holding it firmly together with the freezer paper, and carefully open up your seam. Press open with your fingers and here's the tricky part... If you iron this side of the freezer paper...yuck! It sticks. I carefully turn my iron or hold it over the paper and use the tip to press just the seam open as best you can. Now holding both together, flip it over, fabric against the board, and lay the paper down for pressing. If you feel like the seam didn't get pressed well enough, pull gently on the piece to make sure the seam is opened fully. Lay down the paper, holding everything in place and press with the hot iron. I take this opportunity to press everything back down nicely. This is how the piece looks all pressed from the fabric side of the freezer paper template. Two sections done, I've trimmed the other side of the center section for the 3rd piece and I'm ready to place right sides together again. Here's the finished center, pressed to the freezer paper. Now, I'm ready to start making the triangles. Pick any one and fold back the paper and using the ruler again, trim the seam.Once cut, lay the next piece, right sides together and center it...ready to sew the next seam. I do this by laying my whole freezer paper piece onto the piece laying on the table with the right side up. Some like to put the piece down while looking at the fabric pieces. I usually peek at both sides just to check I've got right sides together. If you hold the piece up to the light, you can peek and see that the dark triangle is going to easily cover the area inside that marked triangle. Can you see the fold lines? Now I have 2 triangles added, and I'm ready to do the other two.Keep going around adding all the pieces until you are done! The finished block, untrimmed.Lay out the ruler on the paper side and center it carefully, then trim 2 sides, and the other 2 sides.Gently pull off the paper, careful of the seam edges, they can stick and frey.A finished block...
Cool thing about NOT sewing to the paper...I get to use it again and again...see all these blocks I can make using the same pattern and just adding a few more pencil lines and folds!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Civil War Diary Block choices for the 8th week...

Since we had no takers, I volunteered to make the choices again this week. Now these again are ONLY suggestions and you can do any or all that you wish to make. I picked 8 of them so that if you had already done one, you can pick and choose.

Diary Book:
Pg.49.... Texas Rangers
Pg. 135.. Surrender of Vicksburg
Pg. 247.. Sugar Cane
Pg. 269.. The Farce of Reconstruction

Love Letters Book:
Pg. 163... Nothing Like an Affectionate Wife
Pg. 217... Guardian Angel
Pg. 243.. Circumstances Are Such
Pg. 265... Angel Visits

* I'm gonna require you to read Pg 269's entry for The Farce of Reconstruction just because I think it's such a good diary entry, this lady was thoroughly and completed pissed off! Man was she ever mad that the South had lost. Being a Southerner myself, I can totally understand! *g* Should be a good variety of hard, easy, and paper pieced.

You can get the pdf for the whole list by emailing me, OR ask in comments. But you must have an email I can send it back to...not thingy. Seriously ladies...I'm not hunting down emails. Look in my profile, click my email and send the request.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

CW blocks done...

Here are the blocks I got done today and yesterday...The more pieces the longer they take to make, especially when you do paper piecing or in my case faux pp'ing...

Troops Arriving....D Pg. 75Mail Delivery.... D Pg. 85Visit To Town... D Pg. 127Another Death...D Pg. 75
At Last a Free Man... LL Pg. 267
Everyday Chores... D Pg. 235

Prize winning goodies!!...

Everyone should know that Dawn recently had her 500th post extravaganza over at her blog...well I was one of the lucky few who had their name drawn out of the bowl and became the recipient of something wonderful from Dawn's sewing room!

....and Wonderful it all is too! These are all the goodies that arrived yesterday afternoon in the mail!

One of Dawn's cool tiny pieces quilts, made from all those bits and bobs left over from making other quilts. Each piece belongs to something else and it makes each one special! It's made from her heart and it will sit proudly on my end table with a nice candle on it! Of course...chocolate, and that's a big bar ladies. Only reason it's not gone is the steady supply of chocolate kisses I keep around.

Check out this fabulous little sewing kit stuffed to the gills with more goodies! 2 of the tiniest needles I've ever seen which I can't wait to try, thread, threaders, pocket scissors and a needle petal puller. I've never seen one like this before and it will come in handy as we all know it's hard to pull through seam allowances when hand quilting.

Thanks Dawn for the load of special treats! ALL of them! *g* I'll use every one and keep them always to remember your special event and your special friednship!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

More CW blocks...

Look at this very cool block... amazing how tiny these little pieces are getting. I know I am way behind on these blocks and while I was marking the ones for this week I saw this one and got to thinking. Could it be done without paper piecing...? as long as you sew lots of fabric around the center square, you could trim down? Just making sure to keep the diamond on point and not let it get wonky. SO I grabbed fabrics and off I went.

D Pg. 195...Bull Run....
It is a bit tough to keep the ruler straight and cut perfectly, but go slowly and it works out great. Helps to have a small ruler and one that has the grid for each of the 8th inch lines. I have a small 4" ruler that's gridded like that and it comes in handy sometimes. I wish I had used a lighter blue so the brown box jumped out, but I'm not keen to take it apart and re-do those larger blue pieces. They all can't stand out, and it works well enough color wise.

D Pg. 117....Games Music and Knitting.....
LL Pg. 21...Sorrow's of War.....

I got another one done yesterday, but haven't gotten a picture yet. Finally got my foundation paper for doing paper piecing and realized I really don't know anything about true paper piecing. I think I need to read a tutorial. I'm so used to folding back and trimming and then sticking everything to the freezer paper. I wanted to do that, but the pre-cut freezer paper shrinks! Did I mention that... really sucks that it shrinks so badly. Wonder if I could pre-shrink it before sending it through the printer?? Huh?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Everything done but the hand sewing...

I have to sew down the stars, add on a small flag and sew up the side ...and done for this month!

**buttonsagain...NJ stands for New Jersey. It's the Twelve Triangles quilt in the New Jersey Quilts book. Hence the name...NJ twelve Triangle blocks.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Lordy, who knew...

You don't do any Sweet Land of Liberty blocks for 7 weeks and people forget! LOL!

I should have said huh! All done and ready to do the house tomorrow! These were fun but paper piecing takes a while and they had to be done in 3 sections. But they are so darned cute! Now to finish the house tomorrow and this packet will be done.

**I'll send out the pdf. You can't edit them so I'll send you a new one each time if you ask me, or you can save it and add to it it too!

today's project...

Googly dolls! 2 more ladies to make and I go back to making CW blocks. Good thing too since I'm so behind. Haven't begun last weeks and more will come tonight or tomorrow.

BTW if you need a list of all the CW diary and love letter blocks so far that have been suggested, let me know. I have a pdf file that I can send you.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Bits and bobs...

Problem with having 80 million projects going at once is that you have 80 million projects once. You get a bite at the apple each day and never feel like you quite had a full meal. However, I've never been happier sewing, so I'm not changing a thing. Just need to keep juggling and doing things a bit here and there.

One thing I need to spend some time with is the Sweet Land of Liberty BOM for this month. I'm copying the patterns for this weekend so I can be done before the next one arrives. I just finished up the stitchery on the Four Seasons BOM and got the piecing done, so I can mark that caught up.

Next on to doing more NJ blocks. I can't make enough of these things.

It's so nice to have the blocks cut and waiting for me in a plastic tub...not all of them, but any interesting fabrics I come across as I do my fabric shelf re-do. Lordy, has that been a job! I know you all laughed at my "messy" shelves, and said they were very neat. But to me they weren't orderly and in categories and color piles. I'd gotten so used to shoving back what I had used on the top and not where it belonged. Now it's almost complete! All swapped for extra CW room and most of it is re-folded to the long version of folding and moved about. I still have a huge bunch to re-fold and 2 bundles to wash, but I'm getting there.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

books a million...

Several new books have come to live with me in the past few weeks thanks to some suggestions from Patti...some of which were made to her by Kathie. While suggesting books, Patti mentioned a duplicate book she had purchased and asked if I wanted the extra one. Of course! So it arrived to live in my book collection. Thanks again Patti!

Every time Kathie shows a new book with wonderful antique quilts, I run off to search for a used copy to add to my collection. I couldn't pass up getting this book for $15, especially since it sold for $75 when it came out! I have another great recommendation waiting at the bookstore for me now!

The state quilt books are also special and such fun to read along with just drooling over the pictures. I try to get a few new additions each year, and recently I've started to go back and acquire some of the earlier books put out years ago that I missed. One I found was North Carolina Quilts.

I love the stories, this quilt was made by a 6 year old girl who wanted to make her first quilt...a T-block quilt like her Aunt who lived in the house. Her mother said no fearing it would never get finished. Her father solved the disagreement by telling her if she finished the quilt by her 7th birthday, he would give her $1. Her Aunt decided the 9 patch was a better first quilt choice and her quilt was completed by her 7th birthday, with 5 of the harder T-blocks included!

A picture of a minister's wife with her group of quilt students...probably all 5 and 6, holding up their round quilt blocks.

More blocks to show later! Back to the sewing machine!