Louisa Enright's Blog

Mainely Tipping Points

Archive for the ‘Quilting’ Category

“Happy Quilt”

with 5 comments

Turkey Tracks: January 16, 2021

“Happy Quilt”

I’ve been busy this week: cataract surgery on my left eye happened on Tuesday and a week of healing, eye drops, and check-ins with family and friends followed. The left eye was really bad with seriously impaired vision that was starting to affect both eyes. It is now AWESOME! I have light and clarity back now, and I am delirious about my renewed vision. The right eye will be done Feb. 2nd. It all feels like a miracle.

Plus, I was totally able to do the procedure without being put to sleep—which would have meant a risk for me with my mast cell disorder/histamine reactions and would have been maybe pushing the envelope too far alongside the drugs they used to prep the eye. The whole process was totally interesting, and afterwards, they only had to check my blood pressure a few times, and I could just go home. I could tell right away that my eye was seeing things it had not seen in some time—and that has gotten better and better every day.

BUT, I put the binding on this baby quilt for a local baby born on the 11th before I left for the cataract procedure, and during this week, I was able to sew down the binding. I called it “Happy Quilt,” and it is made from a collection of Riley Blake fabrics I had in my stash that really needed to be used.

I got into this project via friend Betsy Maislen who was also making baby quilts. She used the Bow-Tie block, and when I saw her growing quilt top, I got hooked—especially as I wanted to do something for this local baby. Here’s Betsy’s quilt top, so you can see what drew me into this project:

Betsy used a pink binding—and the quilt is back from the longarm quilter. She is now making another baby quilt from Bonnie Hunter’s “Winter Blues” pattern, which we both have purchased now.

Here’s “Happy Quilt.”

And now I am back to hand quilting my “stripes” solid scrappy quilt and working on the January project for The Color Collective.

Today is rainy and way too warm—all the snow is melting. But I am looking forward to a rainy day of sewing.

Written by louisaenright

January 16, 2021 at 10:19 am

Project 3 of The Color Collective Arrives Tomorrow

with one comment

Turkey Tracks: December 31, 2020

Project 3 of The Color Collective Arrives Tomorrow

The fabrics are here and have been washed, but not yet ironed.

The dark one is a very rich navy dark blue.

Meanwhile, “Pips” is almost done. I have one more row. So pics of the top will follow soon.

And now we are living through the last day of 2020. Tomorrow we will be celebrating the start of a whole new year.

Written by louisaenright

December 31, 2020 at 9:08 am

A Quilter’s Table

with 4 comments

Turkey Tracks: December 28, 2020

A Quilter’s Table “Bee Sewcial” Quilts

I have a treat for you.

Debbie of A Quilter’s Table posted pictures in her blog of her #BeeSewcial quilts over the past years, and they are fun to see.

This group (#BeeSewcial, which you can see on Instagram) gives each other “prompts” that solicit improv blocks that will be made into an improv quilt. They work in solids only.

Our local modern quilt guild has been doing this “prompt” method started by the #beesewcial quilters as a challenge for those in the group interested for the past two years. We do not limit to solids. I occasionally put blocks I have made for each person’s blog on this blog.

Even if you are not a quilter, it is fun to see Debbie’s wonderful improv quilts. If you are a quilter, you might want to follow her blog.

https://aquilterstable.blogspot.com/2020/12/puzzling.html?showComment=1608726149138#c8519443474142047893

Written by louisaenright

December 28, 2020 at 9:13 am

“Marrakesh” Quilt Done

leave a comment »

Turkey Tracks: December 26, 2020

“Marrakesh” Quilt Done

Marrakesh is such a bright, happy quilt.

It is the first project for Sewtopia’s and Tara Faughnan’s online class The Color Collective in season 3. This project was all about color combinations and how color can change the look of a block. I also learned some new techniques—one of which was a new way (for me) for making flying geese

The block on the middle left is a happy accident. I cut the wrong side of a unit which emphasized the navy blue rather than the orange. I left it as I liked it.

I matchstick quilted on my domestic with a pale blue-grey thread, but every now and then I ran in a gold, or a pale orange, or a coral. You don’t really notice them overall, but they do add some interest and complexity I think—though it makes for a lot of re-treading of the machine.

The backing is “Newsprint” by Carrie Bloomston, and I had enough of the pale orange to make bias binding.

I did put a hanging sleeve on this quilt, but I don’t have a hanging place right now. Well, there is one place, but I’m waiting to see what other projects we do in The Color Collective this year.

Written by louisaenright

December 26, 2020 at 12:40 pm

“A Gaggle of Geese” Quilt

with one comment

Turkey Tracks: December 17, 2020

“A Gaggle of Geese” Quilt

It’s done!

It’s been such a fun project AND is a real stash buster.

I took a chance and used black and white striped binding cut on the bias, and I think that worked really well. The backing is Carrie Bloomston’s 108 inches wide “Newsprint.” Combining “Newsprint” with the black and white bias-cut binding and fairly colorful fabrics is something I like a lot.

I quilted with a medium grey thread that disappeared into the backing fabric and didn’t make any bold statements on the front of the quilt. And I used the Check and Chase Pantograph from Lorien Quilting which added some great texture.

The block is 3 by 6. And now I’m wondering about working with an even larger block. That will probably happen along the quilty road. In any case, this quilt is a delight—big enough to cover a bed well and bright with interesting fabrics.

Written by louisaenright

December 17, 2020 at 11:07 am

Ongoing Quilty Projects, December 2020

with 4 comments

Turkey Tracks: December 10, 2020

Ongoing Quilty Projects, December 2020

As usual, I have multiple quilty and garment sewing projects going on. I move from one to the other as my momentary interest prompts. Joy and engagement prompts me, not stress to finish anything.

The as yet unnamed flying geese quilt is getting its binding sewn down at night. I’ve got a few more nights on this one. But I have to say, I’m really pleased with this quilt, and it was a huge stash buster. The striped binding was a risk, but I think that it is working really well. It is just fun.

Marrakesh, designed by Tara Faughnan for The Color Collective online class I’m taking, is ready to quilt. I started the first line of matchstick quilting and realized there was a HUGE fold in the batting, starting about 1/4 of the way down. How on earth…??? I put smaller quilts I’m going to quilt on my domestic on the longarm to layer and pin. I can’t imagine how I missed a fold in the batting along the way. The quilt WAS pinned more intensely, but I had to put it back on the longarm and take most of the pins out and then repin it. And, yes, the fold was bad and thick, so there was no choice. Anyway, I’ll probably spend some time with Marrakesh later today. I can watch tv from this spot I’ve set up. I really enjoyed Selena The Series on Netflix, by the way. I had no idea about this story.

I’ve got the rows sewn together for this very interesting quilt inspired by one Tara Faughnan made. She has classes on color in which she uses her quilt like this one as an example. I need one more row at the bottom—which should be lighter. It will finish at 50 wide by 60. Easy Peasy. I’ve taken a ton of pictures along the way while trying to check and recheck how the colors are working together. This quilt is made mostly from my solid scraps, not my larger pieces of solid fabrics. I think it will need a dark binding to hold it all together…

”Trees” is now the only leader/ender quilt, and it is growing slowly, which is ok. It is based on a block designed by Amanda Jean Nyberg of Crazy Mom Quilts. I think it will finish at 8 by 9 rows. And it, too, is meant to knock back my solid scraps, which it is doing.

The two Sugaridoo quilts are all ready to go on the longarm—as soon as I figure out how to quilt them. And the second project from The Color Collective is all ready go—my fabrics are washed and I’ll iron them soon. This project is all about curves.

Then, there are two garments that are all cut out and ready to sew, but neither is something I can wear right now, so they are still on pause.

I’m busy and engaged, despite being alone and staying away from people. And I’m grateful for my sewing projects. They can pass a lot of time, for sure.

Written by louisaenright

December 10, 2020 at 8:42 am

“Funky Rail” Quilt

leave a comment »

Turkey Tracks: December 4, 2020

“Funky Rail” Quilt

My “Funky Rail” quilt is all done. This pattern is from Sajata Shah’s CULTURAL FUSION QUILTS book, which I love. I will be doing more patterns from this book and will likely make this one again in different fabrics

Sajata Shah’s method for forming these blocks is different and amazing. I could never visualize a concept like this one on my own. The block is so lively and fun.

I pieced this backing from leftovers from the front and from my stash.

The line of rectangles is made from the trimming off-cuts from the block pieces. I couldn’t just thrown them away.

I quilted with an antique gold thread, which worked well I think. And the pantograph is “Check and Chase” from Lorien quilting.

I’m using this same pantograph for my wild geese quilt, which is now on the longarm.

More rain is coming in, so I’ll probably get this quilt longarm quilted soon now.

Written by louisaenright

December 4, 2020 at 11:29 am

“Marrakesh” Quilt Top

leave a comment »

Turkey Tracks: November 30, 2020

“Marrakesh” Quilt Top

For the first project of Season 3 of the online class The Color Collective Tara Faughnan designed her “Marrakesh” block and curated a selection of 12 Kona cotton colors. (Amy Newbold of Sewtopia hosts this class. And congrats to Amy as she is now setting up an actual quilt store building in addition to her online business.)

Marrakesh is pieced and is all about manipulating color for different effect. (My top needs ironing, but I won’t do that until I get ready to layer it. And to protect the exposed seams from coming apart I staystitched the edges.) Precision is the name of the game here, and I learned some new piecing and trimming tricks. Tara’s method for trimming blocks with a 45-degree angle is really good and something I did not know.

I probably should have done more with the coloring page Tara included, so that’s a lesson learned. If I were doing a bigger top, I definitely would lay out the colors first. Other class members used different backgrounds as well—both light and dark. The greys are really nice, and one person used a rich red that is just yummy.

I have enough of the pale, pale orange to bind it—I have white, too, but am hesitant about using white for binding. The orange would have to be straight cut, and I prefer bias binding, so I’m still thinking about that issue. But I have not decided. This quilt, at 45 1/2 square, would make a nice baby quilt, or a table topper, or a wall hanging. I’ll put a sleeve on it probably. And I think I’ll quilt something a bit wider than up and down 1/4-inch matchstick lines. I have to do some measuring, and I’ll use a thread that kind of disappears. Perhaps a pale grey or a pale grey-blue. Or a mixture of those. Even a pale orange in places might be nice.

This one has been fun, and Project 2 drops tomorrow. The fabric for it has arrived, and it is lusciously delicious!

I was warned that the strawberry red—the middle one—ran, so I handwashed it. And, yes it did. A lot. So, I also hand washed the darker red, the orange, and the dark blue. The dark blue and orange were fine; the darker red ran a bit. I rinsed them all in a mild vinegar solution and rinsed again to be sure.

I’ve also read elsewhere that the Kona blacks are running, so I’ll be careful with those as well.

I don’t think we need to wash many quilting fabrics today, but I do as I react to the dyes. Plus, I don’t like to wash and dry a quilt I’ve just finished. I like them all crinkly and soft, yes, but for a time I like them not crinkly. There is no right or wrong here, but people do tend to fall into one camp or the other.

Today we are getting a big storm in the early afternoon that will go through until tomorrow. We need rain, but I could do without the wind. The ground is so soft in this warm weather we are having, and high wind will bring down trees. In any case, I am all ready to go for Project 2 tomorrow!

Written by louisaenright

November 30, 2020 at 9:32 am

Bits and Pieces in Late November 2020

leave a comment »

November 25, 2020

Bits and Pieces in Late November 2020

Winter is closing in now, and we are in the darkest time of the year.

But there are seasonal gifts to view, witness these beautiful red berries against the grey sky that I saw in my travels the other day. We’ve had some cold days, but I have not yet switched out my cotton socks for my warmer winter ones. That day is coming though.

I’ve spent some time playing with using up the scraps in my solid scrap bin. I had a lot of leftover bias strips sewn together and cut from projects like The Color Collective Lone Star quilt process and the Sugaridoo QAL rows (the pink strips). What if I used them on fun and funky “tree triangles” that so many people are making these days as they rise to quilter Nicholas Ball’s challenge.

I’m working away at the first project from Season 3 of the online class The Color Collective, hosted by Sewtopia, with designer/teacher Tara Faughnan. The first block is called “Marrakesh,” and it allows us to play with and manipulate color choices that can radically change how the block appears. There are also several construction methods that I have never made, and that’s always a fun learning curve.

I have 4 blocks done now—they will finish at 15 1/2 inches each.

I’ll make at least two more and may stop at creating a rectangle wall hanging. Who knows. In any case, I’m sure these blocks will get moved around more. If I make more, I’ll definitely stop at 3 by 3 blocks, which will be a bit larger than 45 inches square. Or a longer 2-block wide rectangle wall hanging. Time will tell…

I keep moving around these four blocks because I see something that just needs to be changed, but then I see something else. I definitely need more blocks.

Mid November Quilty Update

with 2 comments

Turkey Tracks: November 13, 2020

I have FOUR quilts to longarm now—each is all set up with all their parts organized, including their labels and bindings.

And while my quilt room is feeling MUCH less tangled with projects now, the bed in the adjacent bedroom is piled high with these projects.

First up to quilt will be the Wild Goose quilt, seen here on the design wall a while back:

Next will be the funky rail fence quilt designed by Sajata Shah and which can be seen in her book CULTURAL FUSION QUILTS.

The TWO Sugaridoo QAL quilt tops are finished as of yesterday. These two quilts have been a year-long journey. Here’s the rainbow solid one. You can see a piece of the backing fabric on the cutting board. I wanted something quiet, though I was tempted by the very bright choices others are making. I am going to bind in the darker grey accent fabric.

Here’s a close up pic of the LAST row, row 11.

Row 11 is so graphic. It was so fun to make. And in general, I have learned a lot during this project and have now 12 new patterns and several quilty methods new to me.

Here is the Cotton+Steel version:

And a close up of those bottom rows:

I have absolutely no idea how I should quilt these quilts. At 70 by 90, they are just way too big to be done on the domestic machine with a grid. And I don’t do intensive longarm quilting with rulers. I just don’t. And I don’t like intensive quilting on a functional quilt as it makes them too stiff. So I will do something overall—either freehand or with a pantograph.

I have TWO leader/ender projects on the design wall; each is endlessly fun and are using up the solid scraps. The tree block is inspired by a quilt by Crazy Mom Quilts, and the striped quilt is inspired by a quilt by Tara Faughnan.

AND, in the relatively clean quilt room, I will now wade into the first Color Collective project as the white background fabric I ordered arrived this week.

People taking the class are showing their completed blocks now in the online social media groups (FB and Instagram), and their different color choices are so fun and so inspiring to see.