Louisa Enright's Blog

Mainely Tipping Points

Archive for the ‘Quilting’ Category

Turkey Tracks: Improv Inspiration

with 3 comments

Turkey Tracks:  February 6, 2020

Improv Inspiration

When I’m stressed, I feel soothed when I am doing something with my hands.

Here’s what happened while the Impeachment process raged:

These blocks were inspired by our Mt. Battie Modern Quilt Guild’s challenge “Bee Inspired”—which itself was inspired by the quilters who make up the “Bee Sewcial” improv project.  (You can see their work on Instagram and the blocks for each completed prompt on Mt. Battie MQG projects on Facebook.)

My prompt turn will not come around until next November, but I had a workshop with Amy Friend on foundation piecing curves this fall.  And, I have two books which I love and used to play with making these blocks.  Nicholas Ball’s INSPIRING IMPROV and Sherri Lynn Wood’s IMPROV HANDBOOK FOR MODERN QUILTERS.  I have specified solids with clear colors—though some of the colors above are darker than I specified.

Yesterday I made myself take my sample blocks off the design wall.  But between now and November I can’t guarantee that I won’t return to this kind of play again.  It is kind of interesting that my prompt does come in November…

I have returned to putting binding on two finished quilts, setting up the Galactic and Gumdrops projects for The Color Collective online class I’m taking, and finishing up making blocks out of extra materials left over from other projects.  More on that later.

Here’s what’s on the design wall now:  Then Came June’s Checkered Garden Quilt made from leftover solids as a leader/ender project.

The blocks are 14 inches.  I don’t know.  I think this one needs to be 5 blocks by 6 blocks (70 by 84).  Right now it’s 56 by 56.  Thinking on this…   Hmmm.  4 by 5 would be 56 by 70.  That’s a good lap size too.  Will try that next.

And of course I’m still moving blocks around…

 

 

 

Turkey Tracks: Best EPP Tip of the Year!”

with 2 comments

Turkey Tracks:  January 31, 2020

 

Best EPP Tip of the Year

 

I’ve been working on this English Paper Piecing project for about a year.  It’s the “36-Ring Circus” pattern by Jo Anne Louis.

It has been VERY slow going, and I realized I am avoiding it whenever I can.

Why?

The curves are really hard to manage, especially when sewing a block into the rows of six blocks.

 

Tara Faughnan in THE COLOR COLLECTIVE, from Sewtopia, to the rescue!

Tara taught in a recent month’s project to use ARTIST TAPE on the FRONT of the block to hold the seam placement firm.

Artist tape is used to mount watercolor art to mats in order to frame them.  The tape is heavier and stickier than something like the blue tape one can when painting a room.  Though blue tape might also work—but maybe wouldn’t be reuseable???

After one places the tape, one then does a flat back stitch on the back side of the piece—and it works best to just keep that line of stitching very narrow.

Wow!  Now this project is going much faster, with much less stress.

And the tape worked well to insert the block into the row as well.  Two more blocks, and I’ll have two rows of six done.

Here’s an image of what this quilt will be like when done—though I am attempting to use Cotton+Steel/Ruby Star Society fabrics for the centers and solids for the rest.

Written by louisaenright

January 31, 2020 at 8:59 am

Turkey Tracks: My Sugaridoo QAL Rows So Far

with one comment

Turkey Tracks:  January 29, 2020

My Sugaridoo QAL Rows So Far

We have a number of new quilters at Coastal Quilters these days.  Our CQ president, Tori Manzi, who is an internet wizard, found this Bernina-sponsored Sugaridoo QAL (quilt-a-long) and encouraged CQ members to do it.  A bunch of us are…  This QAL is meant to teach all kinds of quilty methods and lasts for a year.

Irene is Sugaridoo—and she quilts and designs patters, is multi-lingual, and lives in the Netherlands.  She is also totally adorable—a very happy and sunny personality.

You can join up anytime—all the info is on the Bernina website.

Here is the schematic for the year—you can see that each row has an accent piece in the dark grey.  I am doing this rainbow version in Kona solids, but there is another version as well.

We have completed three rows now: 1, 5, and 12.  Row 1 is made with the freezer paper method, which I have grown to really like.  The other two rows really need to be pieced.

There is a FB page where people can discuss progress and post images.  There is a lot of discussion there about seam size versus unit size in order to create blocks and rows that measure correctly.  Irene, though, keeps telling everyone “not to worry,” that it will all work out.

The finished quilt will be something like 70 by 90 inches.

I seem to be doing two quilts however…

I’m not sure how that happened…

I’m using Cotton+Steel/Ruby Star Society colored fabrics with their neutrals as much as I can.  Who knows how this work out within the rainbow design.

Here are some close-ups of the novelty fabrics:

 

 

 

 

Written by louisaenright

January 29, 2020 at 9:53 am

Turkey Tracks: Kelly Launtenbach’s “Not Your Basic Blue Bag”

leave a comment »

Turkey Tracks:  January 16, 2020

Kelly Lautenbach’s “Not Your Basic Blue Bag”

I saw modern quilter Kelly Lautenbach’s BIG bag in the recent Simply Modern (#19) magazine’s article on her work.

I fell in love!

There are three sizes, and the BIG, original one is HUGE—big enough to hold 3 or 4 full-size quilts or, even, two of the small bag version.  There are leather straps (2 sets if you like and I did for a bag this big that could be really heavy) attached with 1/4 inch Chicago Screws.  I bought a hand-held leather hole punch set from Amazon for roughly $20 (Pro-Master Leather Hole Punch Set) which I really like.  As suggested in the article, I got the leather straps from Springfield Leather and the 1/4-inch Chicago screws from Tandy’s Leather.

NOTE:  the pattern cover page has a math error in that the finished width of this big bag is 32+ inches, depending on the width you use of Annie’s Soft and Stable.  I used the standard kit size of Annie’s 36 wide and was careful when quilting not to go below the 36 inches.  The pattern suggests 38 wide Annie’s S&S as the fabric layers will shrink with quilting, but you do trim to 36 by 42.  I did not want to buy 2 yards of Annie’s to get these extra 2 inches as the bag is plenty wide.

I would also use the spray baste product the pattern suggests if I ever make this bag again.  The bag is made from one BIG piece, which means there is lots of room for layers to shift easily when you quilt.  I just ran lines down the width and called it a day.  Use a walking foot for sure!!!

And note that the bag, when full, makes a big rectangle.  Also, sometimes the pattern is referred to as “Not Your Basic Blue Ikea Bag.”

The really cool thing about the Chicago screws is that they can be removed if you want to wash the bag.  I did use the screw lock (blue or purple) liquid on my screws to insure that they don’t jiggle loose down the road—which happened to the tiny, tiny screws on the Turn Lock on the Noodlehead Explorer Bag I made last fall.  I can get them open again; it just takes a bit more beginning muscle and a pair of pliers to hold the back of the screw in place while you turn the front.

I ordered 1 1/2-inch leather straps for this big bag.  I think they work well at that width.  Right now, this bag holds three full-size quilts and there is room for a 4th smaller quilt.  For a smaller bag, I’d drop back to the 1 inch leather strips.

The pattern suggests cutting some backing pieces to stabalize the screw holes on the inside of the bag.  I agree that’s a good idea, and it looks so nice.

I worried about the 1/4-inch screw working with FOUR layers (3 leather and the bag), but they did.

I love the way Kelly bound the inside seams—to avoid having to lay in the lining separately and turn the bag, etc.  Next time I will sew the binding on the right side in the ditch—so the seam line does not show on this side.  The pattern calls for that, but I was squeamish about catching the back, folded piece for sure.  I’m not good at that.  No one would care about seeing this seam line really.  It just looks like more quilting lines.

I loved the Chicago screws so much I took apart the handle I hand-sewed on my Noodlehead Market Basket and used these screws.  Steel-colored ones might have been classier, so I’m ordering both brass and steel screws next.  It takes 8 screws per bag.

And, again, I put reinforment leather on the inside.

Oh boy!  I am feeling the urge to make the smaller bag—maybe for a gift…

Ok, maybe for ME.

The pattern is available on Etsy.  Note that I blacked out the 22-inch figure for the original bag, which is wrong. It is more like 32 or more—depending on the width size of your Annie’s Soft and Stable.  And I added in black text the correct size on the image.  The other long sizes on the pattern are a big off as well.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/728254928/not-your-basic-blue-bag-pattern-by-kelly

 

Turkey Tracks: Bonnie Hunter’s Scrappy Irish Courthouse Pattern On Sale

leave a comment »

Turkey Tracks:  January 14, 2020

 

Bonnie Hunter’s Scrappy Irish Courthouse Pattern On Sale

I think this pattern would make such a great scrappy leader/ender project.

It’s on sale for $4 right now—for a download pattern—and the link is below.

 

https://quiltville.com/shop.html#!/Irish-Courthouse-Digital-Pattern/p/117044006/category=13038426

 

A leader/ender project is where you have block pieces prepped so you can feed parts through the sewing machine—instead of cutting your thread—while you are working on a primary project.  Leader/ender blocks can come into being faster than you think.  So, you are always working on two projects at the same time, but the leader/ender is much slower.  At some point, mine turn into primary projects.

 

 

Written by louisaenright

January 14, 2020 at 10:09 am

Turkey Tracks: Cotton+Steel “Slopes” Quilt

with 4 comments

Turkey Tracks:  December 21, 2019

Cotton+Steel “Slopes” Quilt

It’s finished, and I love it.

The design is by Amanda Jean Nyberg in her book NO SCRAP LEFT BEHIND.

I used all Cotton+Steel fabrics.  (They are now Ruby Star Society and released their first collection under a new manufacturer last August.)

See the little row near the top of small solids, which are not C+S.  Nybeg’s “Slopes” is made from solids, so her inclusion of this little row stands out more than mine.  Still, it’s kind of a cute surprise when your eye lights on it.

The backing and binding are also Cotton+Steel.

Here are some close-ups of these fun, often quirky, delightful fabrics:

One of my favorite fabrics is the one of bears.  And here you can see the little row of solid squares.

Written by louisaenright

December 21, 2019 at 9:41 am

Turkey Tracks: Season 1 Quilts From The Color Collective

with 2 comments

Turkey Tracks:  December 16, 2019

Season 1 Quilts From The Color Collective

I’ve almost finished all the six projects from Season 1 of the online class The Color Collective, hosted by Amy Newbold of Sewtopia.  Tara Faughnan designed each block and curated 12 solid fabrics for each project and Sewtopia mailed the fabrics to participants each month and published the videos that helped us with each project.  With each project, Tara taught us a new quilting method.

The first and second projects can be seen in the quilt below:  a machine applique circle method and a foundation pieced cross block.  I thought the two months’ colorways were compatible, so I combined them in this XOXO quilt.

The third project was this radiating log cabin—these blocks of mine are now sewn together and are being hand quilted with perle cotton.  This quilt will complete Season 1 for me.  I’m going to hang it in a bedroom.  On Tara’s website gallery you can see how complicated this block can be.  For one thing, it can be cut up to create whole new looks.

I went down a Lone Star rabbit hole.  I couldn’t stop making Lone Stars via Tara’s method.  I’ve always been afraid to try this block, but once started I could not stop.  There are two more blocks not pictured in this post.

But my favorite block, inspired by Tara’s larger Lone Star scrappy quilt (again, google her web site to see her gallery and her stunning LARGE Lone Star scrappy quilt), is this scrappy Lone Star—made from leftovers of the completed blocks.

This saw tooth block is made by drawing the design on freezer paper.  I love it!  I will always love this method and this design.  It can be varied by drawing, for instance, fat short triangles.

The final project is this 6-pointed star, all made by hand.  The design is drawn on to the fabric, and one sticks to those lines to keep everything working.  I hung this one in my bedroom, and I remain fascinated by how the design changes in different light.  Darker light makes some designs pop out or recede.

In order to keep up, I sometimes made a pillow of the design first, just to make sure that I understood how to make the block.  And, too, to see if I liked the block.  Thus, these pillows.

The method of the seasonal tree quilts come from Kathy Doughty in the book MATERIAL OBSESSIONS.

The Color Collective Season 1 has been a great ride!  My thanks to Amy and Tara for all the fun.  I’m now doing Season 2, and I’m really enjoying the projects.  I have learned so much over the last year, and it is all good.  It has been especially fun to work with solids as they are so graphic and modern.

Written by louisaenright

December 16, 2019 at 12:15 pm