Sunday, October 28, 2018

Me time!

 I am linking up with Kathy's Quilts today to join other hand stitchers as we add stitches to our projects. Kathy talked about the healing quality of stitching.  I  agree that putting in those hand stitches has a great calming effect.  I am currently hand quilting my Texas Star quilt.  I have it set up in the corner of the kitchen nook, so it is easy to go over during the day and sneak in a few stitches. I call that "me time".  For me, it's a time when all other thoughts go away and I just stitch.  It doesn't take long and I feel relaxed.  It's been a busy week here, but I was able to sneak in a few stitches!
Since this quilt is not made up of blocks it's hard to know how far I have come without laying it out.  Although, the quilting is nothing fancy I really like the way it softening the whole quilt and playing nicely with the stars.  It doesn't get better than that!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Marking with soap!

Well, no winners here!  Tom and I are not lottery players but with the big jackpot he picked up several tickets when he filled up with gas.  Of course, we had the typical discussion of what would you do if you won.  Of course, he said I would purchase a big long arm to quilt my quilts.  I am quite sure I would continue my hand work. Perhaps the scenery would change as I traveled around the world but yes those slow stitches would continue!  I haven't made a lot of progress to show you but this project is just there for "me time".  I did enjoy quilting that striped star. Not sure why I don't use more striped fabric in my quilts.

I had a question about marking with soap.  So, I thought I would include a picture of the soap sliver I use and what kind of line it makes.  I don't want to hear any comments about the oils and chemicals etc.  I really hate that part of the quilting community.  I am just sharing this cause I always seem to have a sliver of soap and I don't have to worry about not having something to mark my quilt. I simply use that last sliver of soap instead of throwing it out.  Simple!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Keeping it Simple!

 Sometimes keeping it simple is the solution!  I thought from the start that would be the best approach for my Texas Star Quilt.  But I had the idea that simple diagonal lines would be the way to go until I started marking.  So, I played around and soon came up with a new plan.  So happy, to now just enjoy putting in these simple stitches to turn this into a usable quilt.
I'm using a sliver of soap to mark my stitching line on the stars!
Love this striped star!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Weekly Update a little late!

Not a lot of time for blogging, but I thought I would do an update on my medallion and Texas star quilts.  I was able to finish piecing the eight sections of hourglass blocks to go with the center medallion.  I got into a rhythm and my eyes soon got very good at noticing when an hourglass block was turned the wrong way.  I still need to sew the sections together.  Right now they are waiting on the guest room bed. Safe and sound.  I need to do some math and shopping before I can go ahead with the border.  
This photo was taken before the last three sections were made.  It is a king size quilt which is hard to get into one pic, so this will have to do!

On Wednesday, I decided it was time to get my Texas Star quilt basted.  Basting is right up there with cutting as not one of my least favorite parts of quilt making.  But ironically, once I get started it really gets done quite quickly and I end up wondering why I kept putting it off.  I work on my kitchen island so putting in the pins is not back breaking.  I recently bought two wool batts, but I always check the tub of batting leftovers.  Yes, to my surprise there was enough Hobbs poly down to use for this quilt.  I had to sew the two pieces together but that is easily done.

Once basted a decision needs to be made about the quilting design.  I had seen an old Texas star that was quilted with double diagonal lines and I have always wanted to try that, but when I started with the hera marker I couldn't come up with anything that said yes this is it. I tried 1/2 inch to 1 inch space between the lines but nothing seemed right.  The nice thing about the hera is you just spritz with some water and all those attempts disappear. 

 So I tried the ever so boring quilting 1/4 inch from the seams but I didn't want to stitch around each star point.  So then I said why not sew around the whole star and then again around the hexagon in the center.  It still needed something.  Then I remembered the circles I had added to the border so I found a quarter and marked a quarter size circle in the cheddar center hexagon!  Perfect!!!!!! On the alternate blocks I am stitching 1/2 inch around the hexagon and adding a circle to the center!  I was pleased with both and it will be very easy to mark as I go!

My progress as of this morning!

I am loving all the circles!

I set my hoop and chair up in the corner of the kitchen eating area.  There is great light and I can watch tv or listen to podcasts with my earbuds.  I love having a quilt in my hoop for when I need a bit of zen time.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Progress Report

It's hard to blog about sewing together the same hourglass blocks. But, I do want to say of all the quilts I have made, this one is taking a lot longer to assemble into a top.  But the process has been going along smoothly and I am still enjoying watching each row come together. 

I have five of the eight sections completed so there is still a lot of stitching that needs to take place.  As I piece, I am thinking about the six-inch border that I need to attach to make this a king size quilt.  I have some ideas rolling around in my head and I am sure I will come up with something that will make me happy!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Smooth sailing for the most part!

Well, sewing this top together is going better than I imagined that it would.  I guess all the careful trimming and pressing has paid off.  I have really had to be careful with the layout however as it is easy to get one turned wrong and before you know it the whole row is wrong.  I am laying out each section on my kitchen island and then stacking each row on a cookie sheet pan.  So, as I stitch the rows I am constantly checking that the orientation of the little unit is right.    I had to unsew a couple of time because a seam flipped but for the most part, they are staying in the right direction as I feed them into the machine.

Section 1
I got a good start on Section 2 and I woke early this am to sew the last two single rows together.  When I opened them to press much to my surprise I found the lights together.  How did that happen?  It is early, and I did only have one cup of coffee.  LOL!  Well, I unstitched and carefully resewed so now I can move forward.  So here is what is completed so far.

The pic at the top is a more accurate interpretation of the true color. Taking pics before the sun comes up is never a good idea.  I think I will continue to sew this top together before basting my star quilt.  I don't want to lose my train of thought and I really need to clear the sewing table so I can press the top and backing before basting.