Nori's Stuff - Gardening, quilting, cooking and dogs

Archive for September, 2010

Quilting

September 27, 2010

Skimpy Border

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Stopper border attached

I’ve got a Guild Board meeting tonight.  If Karen’s there I’ll pass this quilt top on to her.  It really needs one more border, maybe a 3″ or a bit wider.  I don’t have anything in my stash that will work.  The quilt came out really nice.  I love working with batik and the pattern looks complicated but is actually a quick sew.

Quilting

Last bits

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Precise cutting, sewing and ironing produce perfect pinwheels

I’m down to the final bits on this sampler.  I’ve got all the partial blocks cut for squaring up the top.  I still don’t have a plan for the border.  Once I get all the assembly done I’ll dig through my fabric to see what I can find that appeals.

This pattern only work with batiks.  The long narrow points will get lost in a heavier fabric.

Quilting

September 26, 2010

Starfish

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Starfish

It’s rainy and dismal today, so the colors in the photo are muted.  This is a decent sized test of the Starfish” block.  I’ll have to come up with a more representative name, maybe “confetti stars”.

There are enough blocks to make a small comfort quilt, depending on what I add as a border.  The finished size of the blocks is ~38″x~40″.  I may have enough background fabric scraps to make the necessary half-blocks to fill in the outside edge.  The three blocks on the right end will have to be used as filler blocks.

The blocks for this quilt go together amazingly quickly because the fabric is strip pieced before the blocks are cut.

I think I would like this pattern better with a dark background, but then we all know I prefer dark background quilts where the bright colors can really pop.  One of the dark fabric I used as pinwheel fabric is a blue/black that would be perfect.  I’ll have to keep an eye out for more of that fabric.

Quilting

September 20, 2010

Wood quilts

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Carved wood quilt

Fraser Smith carves beautiful wood things, including quilts.  I love his stuff.  I’m so intrigued by his stuff I have to try to replicate a few.

This quilt pattern is one I’ve been working on for a while.   I’ve figured out a way to strip piece it.  It goes together amazingly fast but is definitely an advanced pattern as Y seams are a must.

Starfish quilt test

The is a test of the strip piecing method of constructing this pattern.  The background for this test is leftover backing from the Ichthy bog coat.  The pinwheels are scraps from my stash.

Gardening,Hydro/Aquaponics

September 6, 2010

Pennyroyal of plenty

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Pennyroyal crowding itself out of the upper filter

I was looking back through my posts and updating post tags and saw the picture of the biofilter I took at the beginning of what we are laughingly calling summer.  What a difference.  Next summer I’ll see if I can find a yellow canna to add to the mix.  The orange and red are lovely, but yellow would rock.

Gardening,Hydro/Aquaponics,Plant Wall

Kissing aphids goodbye

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I’m still battling aphids in the plant wall, but I am making headway.  Instead of seeing a dozen, I’m seeing an occasional very lethargic speck of green with legs.

Jill at JMH Water Gardens gave me a recipe for a fish safe aphid spray that seems to be working really well.  The fish are alive and the aphids aren’t.  I see that as being the measure of success.  Oh, did I mention it’s cheap to make out of common stuff?  Yeah, that too.  Blend oil into a beaten egg white, store in the fridge.

Jill’s recipe says 1 cup of oil to 1 tbsp of egg white.  I confess to not being that precise.  Store in the fridge, mix a bit with water in a spray bottle and spray.  I did say I wasn’t that precise, didn’t I?  Her instructions say 2½ tsp of the egg/oil mix to 1 cup of water.  I don’t need that much at a time so I mix a little over a teaspoon to ½ cup of water.  Spray as needed.  It doesn’t keep so dump what you don’t use right away and mix new each time you need it.

Quilting

Quiltable Bog

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Layered and trimmed

Mark and cut the sleeve

Soluble stabilizer cut into ~3

Stitching and trimming - note the layer of stabilizer between the fabrics

Clip the inside corners

Press. Isn't that a luscious paisley?

This is what the sleeve cut will look like after the stabilizer is stitched together. This gives the quilter a visual break for the quilting.

This is the step by step of preparing the bog coat for long-arm quilting.  If you don’t know the basics of bog coat construction, you’ll need to bone up for this post to make any sense at all.  Because this post has a lot of pictures, they are thumbnail size.  You’ll need to click to see the enlarged version of the image.

Because the fabrics and batting I purchased were all pretty close to the same size, layering and trimming was pretty simple.  Press all three layers, stack them with the fabrics right sides together and the batting against the fabric that will be the main outside fabric.  Trim the selvages and square up the cut edges.  Once you have the stack of fabric and batting trimmed, pin the edges to keep everything aligned while you’re cutting and sewing.

Using 45″ width fabric , the 45″ will be the vertical measure.  Purchase the amount of fabric you need to go around your body or to go from wrist to wrist over your shoulder, whichever is longer.

For determining how deep to make the sleeve cut, I do not follow the standard bog coat construction.  Physically, I have more real estate in the front than in the back.  It’s a girl thing.  Instead, I measure from underarm seam to underarm seam across my back at underarm level and add 2 inches.  That’s the amount I leave intact across for the back of the coat.  The extra in the part that has been cut to make the sleeve I will put to good use in the front covering said real estate.

Insert stabilizer between the fabric layers on both sides of the sleeve cut and between the fabric layers at the front edges, matching the edge of the stabilizer to the edge of the fabric and extending the stabilizer ½” beyond the end of the sleeve cut.  Pin in place.  When the garment is turned right side out for quilting, the soluble stabilizer will be sticking out of those seams.

The goal isn’t so much giving the quilter something to grab as it is to prepare the seams for construction after the quilting is complete.  The bottom, front and neck can be bound.  Binding the yoke and under arm seams would create bulk and the result wouldn’t be reversible.  I’m hoping this technique will allow the fabric seam lips to be slip stitched together inside and out  to create a completely reversible quilted garment.

For the sleeve cut I’ve stitched from the outside edge in, then across ¼” from the end of the slit and back out the other side, as if sewing the box for a welt pocket.

The batting in the seam allowance needs to be trimmed away to reduce bulk.  I didn’t grade the seam allowance.  There’s only a scant ¼” of fabric in the seam allowance, not enough to trim and expect the seam to hold together.

Clip the inside corners of the sleeve cut almost to the stitching so the fabric lays smooth once the garment is turned right side out.  This is the same thing you’d do for a welted pocket.

Remove all the pins holding the layers together and turn the coat right side out.  Make sure your iron is set to no steam and press the seams.  Don’t touch the stabilizer with the iron, it can melt and distort.

And finally, before it goes off to the quilter, the pieces of stabilizer sewn into the sleeve cut need to be sewn together ¼” from the seam allowance.  This “repairs” the cut making the cloth entire and allows it to lay flat for quilting.  Sew these pieces together so the excess stabilizer sticks up on the side the quilter sees while working.  This gives a visual guide so no quilting is done beyond the seam.

When the bog coat comes back from Karen I will trim the sleeves to the right length, trim the front to match the yoke and hand sew the under arm and yoke seams before adding binding.  Because this coat is reversible I want to sew the seams to allow a button hole in the seam allowance to allow the bottom edge of the sleeve to be turned up into an accent cuff.

For the next bog coat using this technique I will trim the sleeves to ¾ length and the front to the proper length before sewing in the stabilizer.  Once the coat is turned right side out and pressed, I will baste stabilizer to the remaining raw edges using soluble thread to give the quilter something to grab.  No trimming should need to occur after I get the coat back from the quilter.  I want the next coat to have a cheetah pattern quilted in a border around the edges which can only be done if the garment is trimmed to size and completely stabilized.  I’ll have to mark the front and neck openings so the border continue around those edges.

Pioneer Spirit,Quilting

September 5, 2010

It’s the turns that make life interesting

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ComeQuiltWithMe's coffin quilt pattern, a very large version (3"x4½") of the block I'm contemplating using

I’m working on a new quilt idea.  I’ve discussed it before, the koi pond repeat in some sort of watercolor technique similar to the sunset quilt.

I originally flirted with using the 2″ square dance block but have since veered toward a stretched hex (coffin, not honeycomb).  I’ve ordered some coffin shaped English paper pieces. They’re gonna take a while to get here because the shape isn’t a standard one for PaperPieces.com so they’ll have to draft it before sending it to the laser cutter computer.  Hopefully it’s not going to cost an arm and a leg.

This morning I had a flash . . . what if I created a stamp the size and shape I want.  I could stamp the image on the back of the material, do some pin matching and sew the seams by machine.  Y seams don’t bother me and I think I can pin and sew accurately enough to do the job by machine.  I wouldn’t have to trim super accurately, wouldn’t have to use a template, wouldn’t have to sew the blocks together by hand (English paper piecing).  Hmmm . . . You KNOW I’m gonna have to try . . .

So, ever the research queen, I’ve been looking at rubber stamps.  I found this really plain Jane website with rubber stamp construction info.  Next time I head into town I’ll pick up a blank stamp and see if I can carve what I need.  Before I do that I’ll draw a couple and try sewing and see what I get.