Wednesday, March 22, 2017

National Quilting Day

March is National Crafting Month and the 18th was National (and Worldwide) Quilting Day.  

And where was A Quilter's Path?

This month quilters get to celebrate with knitters and crocheters and other needleworkers, not to mention rug-hookers and stampers and jewelry-makers and scrapbookers.  As you can tell, I fall firmly in the needlework category.

Sadly, though, very little sewing has been happening.  As it turns out, this month is also when the hubster and I headed down to Florida and Tennessee to visit family.  The morning after we returned, our new refrigerator was delivered.  We spent a fair chunk of the day removing packing materials and moving food around. Today and tomorrow we are having central air installed -- my entire stash had to be removed from the closet, and my sewing room is temporarily unusable.

So, all good things, but no quilting so far.  But I did manage to finish up a few projects before I headed south.

Welcome, Leo!

My niece's second baby, Leo, was born in January.  His quilt was all done except for the quilting before he was born -- a new record!  It's the same disappearing nine-patch that I made for his cousin, JJ, just in different fabrics.  Aren't these little guys cute?

I took it to my local quilting group at Riverhead Vac and Sew, my new LQS, to help me choose a border fabric.  Never would I have thought of yellow, but these wonderful ladies picked this one, and I just love it!  It has red, orange and blue flowers that pick up the main colors in the quilt.

I used a simple cross-hatch to quilt the main part, but I decided to try a free-motion vine motif in the border.  To say that there were imperfections would be putting it mildly, but it was [mostly] pretty nice.  And finished not a moment too soon!

My Funny Valentine

My mini-quilt for February was (surprise!) a Valentine.  Actually, it was to be four small Valentine blocks going in four directions, but in the end, only one block turned out well enough to submit to public scrutiny.

I had a jar full of narrow (1"-1-1/4") red and pink strips that I hadn't used in my failed attempt at teeny-weeny four-patches.

I wanted to string-piece them and then sub-cut to make the patches for the heart blocks.  Bonnie Hunter suggests using pages from an old phone book to stabilize the strips.  Phone books are hard to come by these days, but I had last year's copy of one of those local Yellow Pages books that they drop on the end of your driveway.

I sewed the strips to the pages until I had enough to make the patches.
Mistake #1:  I should have sewed the strips on straight and then cut on the diagonal.  Sewing on the diagonal required longer strips.  No biggie, but annoying.

Mistake #2:  I pressed as I went along, after sewing on each strip.  With the paper still attached, the seams of course had to be pressed to one side.  With such tiny strips, the units ended up being almost entirely three layers thick.  This was bad enough for the square units, even worse when making the HSTs.  The thickness made it difficult to get nice points when sewing the units together.  That's why three of the four blocks ended up in the doggie bed.  Yes, you could see the missing points from the Brooklyn Bridge!

Mistake #3:  Nah, never mind.  I won't go into sewing units wrong sides together.  You understand.

Still, the remaining block looked festive and got its moment on the quilt hanger before March rolled in.

March Hints of Spring

Several warm periods during the winter had the crocuses and daffodils peeking through by late February.  I didn't want to think about March winds, and St. Patrick's Day is, after all, only one day.  So this month's mini-quilt is a daffodil.  I love the border fabric!  Only the flower is quilted, with straight lines creating the look of the ruffled trumpet.

And check this out.  The AC guys had to move the table with the quilt stand.  They backed it up to a south-facing window.  The shadows from the seams make it look like a stained-glass quilt, if you can ignore the lines from the window behind it.  Lovely.

See you soon!  Happy Spring!