Friday, October 18, 2019

Rail Fence Flimsy

I thought I was making great progress putting all of the blocks together to make this flimsy but then I noticed something really wrong. :(

My process for creating a flimsy from blocks is to sew them first into pairs, and the pairs into larger blocks sets, etc. I think when I was joining the larger blocks together I must have turned a couple of them 90 deg. in order to avoid clusters of certain fabrics. The problem with that is I ended up messing up the light/dark 'weaving of the rails'. In order to keep with the design/pattern I should have turned the blocks 180 deg. instead. Grrr....out came the seam ripper!!!!

Everything is fixed now but if there are any other mistakes then I am blind to them because I think I have a beautiful flimsy.

This quilt top really did come together fairly quickly even with my latest oopsie. :)  I still need to figure out a name for this quilt and to decide on a backing fabric but in the meantime it is currently in the 'waiting to be quilted' pile. :)

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Filling up the Wall

My design wall is filling up with these 36 patch blocks. :) The pattern calls for 80 of these blocks and I am just over half-way there.

I did reduce my stitch length when I sewed the strips into blocks in an attempt to reduce the risk of seams splitting along the edges but as you can see in the photo I am also stay stitching around the edges of the blocks.

Another thing you can see in the close-up photo - I have a lot of hit and misses when it comes to matching the seams. I had been sewing other things in between these blocks and therefore adjusting my seam guide. It would definitely appear that I had forgotten to check more than once to make sure it was in the correct place for these blocks...oops. I didn't bother to rip unless the miss was really egregious but even then quality control let some slip by. ;)

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Feeding the Beast :)

I did it! I finished stay stitching all of the 1.5" strips and I am so done with that. I completed the task over a couple sewing sessions of just feeding them into the machine one after the other. First one side and then the other.....boring!!! Thankfully this sewing machine is quite a beast and is just so fast. :)

There is definitely a drawback to stay stitching all of the edges and I discovered it when I tried to sew some more blocks together. With the edges of the seams locked in place it made it so that it was virtually impossible to manipulate the seams to fit when they didn't quite match up. I am very imperfect when it comes to sewing and I did have to deal with this issue more than once. ;)

Overall, I think stay stitching the edges was still the right choice to solve the seam splitting issue.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

First Block

I have been working on this quilt like a mad woman - I just can't seem to leave it alone. After sewing and cutting so much fabric I wanted to make a test block to see how things would look. I started sewing some of the 1.5" strips together to make the block and I discovered a major problem.

As I was handling and manipulating the strips to fit and sew together I noticed that some of the seams were splitting. Not good...not good at all. :( 

I thought I had my stitch length set small enough but apparently that didn't seem to help. The only way I can think of to fix the problem is to just run all of the 1.5" strips through the machine to stay stitch along both long edges.

One good thing though - my block looks great!

Friday, October 11, 2019

Split Nine Patch

Do you remember me? If quilts could think I am sure it is wondering if I had forgotten it. :) This quilt has been hanging around for quite a while now waiting for me to make some binding. Well it is finally made and ready to be attached so that I can hand stitch it to the back.

I am so happy with this quilt. It was my third attempt at custom quilting and I think I did a pretty good job.  :)

Now that Autumn is here I am more than ready to spend some quiet evenings stitching away with a quilt on my lap. :)

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Making Postage Stamps :)

After sewing strip after strip for my rail fence quilt and now for my Postage Stamp quilt I have been giving my sewing machine quite the work out. I am so glad that I have my Janome 1600 back in action....she is a beast!

For this new quilt I have started cutting my strips into 1.5" segments and all I can say is make sure to have a fresh blade in your cutter. I didn't start with a fresh blade and I really should have. It didn't take me too long to figure out that I needed to change it and it made all of the difference. The cuts were much cleaner and it became much easier and quicker to do the necessary cutting. :)

Cutting the strips into smaller segments can be very tedious and long sessions are just a bit too much for me. I like the process of completing several strip sets at a time and then cutting them as I go. It breaks it up into much more manageable sessions.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

String Piecing Set-Up

front view
I have a crumb station already set up and now I also have a string station and they sit side-by-side along the same wall. Gee....sounds so indulgent and really it is. :)

Making crumb blocks and string blocks is a very messy process. Having things set up and readily available to just sit down and sew as the mood strikes makes it a lot more likely that these bits and pieces will end up in a quilt. If I do feel some strange compulsion to tidy the space I can easily collect the bits and pieces of fabric and stuff them back into the bins.

view to the left
I have moved what I call my portable ironing station to the left of the machine so that I can press as I go. It is really just an old typing table on wheels - remember those??? - that I can move around to any location in my sewing room.

I am so very fortunate that I have a few sewing machines and enough space to be able to have this set up. Of course my sewing room is somewhat crowded but it works well enough for me. :)

I decided to use one of my Singer 301 machines for making these blocks because it has a slant needle and I can really see where the needle is going to stitch. Because these string blocks are light on one half and darker on the other, I need to be fairly accurate with the placement of those first strings. I have drawn a line corner-to-corner on my foundation papers and it is very easy to see this line for sewing accuracy.

I am ready to go!