Monday, September 30, 2013

A Special project

As I sit at my sewing machine, working on completing my Metro Rings quilt, I look to my left and see this:

These are shirts that belonged to my very dear father-in-law, who passed away this summer.

I would like to make a memory quilt  using the shirts, but have not been able to decide on a pattern.  I think the color palette suggests something red/white and blue.  My father-in-law was a paratrooper during World War II,  so I think a patriotic theme would be very appropriate.

One of the shirts is seersucker, and another is a poly/cotton blend.  I would like to use them both.

I think a dark background fabric might make the colors pop a little bit, but may also make the overall effect too drab.  A light background fabric may make the shirt colors themselves look dull.

It's hard to know exactly where to start.  I want it to be just right.   For now, I'm still thinking about it, and remembering the man, who is missed very much.
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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Christmas Curves

Had a great time taking the Metro Rings class I mentioned in my last post.  I managed to finish four blocks:

The pattern uses Jenny Pedigo's "Quick Curves" ruler.

You can see from the photo that the ruler has a curved opening to guide the rotary cutter to make curved cuts for piecing.  What started out a strip sets of Christmas fabrics, ended up like this:

You also use the ruler to cut background squares:

What I thought would be the trickiest part is sewing the curves.  Jenny's method uses No pins!  Sounded scary, but it actually was easier than I thought.  The curves are pretty gentle, and it wasn't too hard to get them to cooperate.

This was the class sample:

By the end of the class, everyone had made up at least a few blocks.  I took a few photos to share, but between the harsh flourescent lighting and my rinky-dink camera phone, the quality is not that great.  Please adjust for that.

First up is my buddy Linda's blocks.  She went with an Autumn theme that really made me think of the Thanksgiving table:

Another student went with a black and red Asian theme:


We also had a yellow and gray combination:

and a bold black and white on a blue background:

Our instructor was working on another version of her own,  using solids that we described as "watermelon colors"

Always fun to spend a day in the company of quilters.  I'm pretty excited about getting the rest of the blocks sewn.


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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Christmas comes early for crafters

I've always liked the look of the Double Wedding Ring quilt pattern, but was never ambitious enough to try it.  Then I saw this pattern called  "Metro Rings" by Jenny Pedigo of Sew Kind of Wonderful.

The pieced arcs are done with strip piecing, and then cut with a specialty curved ruler called the "Quick Curve Ruler".   I haven't got much experience in cutting curves using a rotary cutter, so when my local quilt shop offered a class on the "Metro Rings" pattern, I signed up.  Nothing makes muddling  through a new technique more fun than doing it  in the company of fellow quilters!

We have some homework to do before the class which involves cutting the strips and sewing them into strip sets.  I have decided to use Christmas fabrics for my quilt,  so  I have been sorting through the stash and pulling out the reds, greens and golds.  Haven't sewn anything yet, but my sewing table is covered with fabric strip combinations:

Even the sewing machine got called into the act:

It was fun to go through the fabrics and select sets of 5 strips that played nicely together. In each set I've chosen  a gold metallic fabric to use as the center strip.  I'm hoping that will make a nice design element in the finished quilt.

Taking pictures of the strip sets helps me to remember what gets paired with what while I'm sewing them.  As long as I had photos....I had to use them in a blog post.  :-)

Happy Sewing!

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Game Night

Friday night was Game Night.

Sorry Toby, I'm not talking about  a game of "Fetch".

My local quilt shop had a Quilter's Game Night.  We played a little dice game called "LCR" for "Left, Center, Right".  All it requires is a set of the LCR dice, and some chips.

Admittance to the game was three charm squares per round, and we played 6 rounds.   Themes for each round were decided ahead of time, and each player brought three charm squares to fit each theme.

To start, each player gets three chips. Then you take turns rolling the dice.  You pass your chips to the left, center or right depending on which letters come up on the dice,  or,  you keep your chips if you get one of the dots.   The player with the last remaining chip wins, and gets to collect all the charm squares for that round.  

The game is fun and fast.  You might have to give away all your chips on your turn, but the next turn your neighbor might have to give their chips to you so you are back in the game.

On Friday  night, the themes were  Blues, Solids, Batiks,  Autumn,  Christmas and Stripes.  Everyone wants to win the Batik round!  I ended up winning the Stripes, which was the one fabric style I thought I would have trouble using in a quilt.  However, my friend and fellow player Gwen was happy about the stripes so I gave them to her.

Our hostess generously threw in some door prizes, and I ended up coming home with a nice selection of Batik Fat Eighths.
The object of Game Night was not really about the fabric, its about a night out with quilter friends and sharing some fun. But these Batik fabrics sure make me smile.

And speaking of smiles, here's what the same batiks look like when you sneeze just as you are about to take the photo...



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