Monday, October 17, 2011

Crumb Quilt-Along #6

Last night I began working on Log Cabin blocks for the Crumb Quilt-Along sponsored by Jo's Country Junction. Here's what I learned from this phase of the project.

You can put more than one of your Log Cabin units face down on a single strip to quickly add the same fabric to all of the units at the same time. (You probably can't see the long strip very well in this photo because it's white -- just like the table.)

As your block approaches its finished size, it's a good idea to use really wide strips. Had the red heart fabric been 3/8 of an inch wider, this block would have been ready to trim.

Instead, I had to add another light strip and then off-set the ruler so that the final light strip would be triangular rather than an impossibly skinny rectangle.

 Here are two other finished blocks. A fourth one is almost done, but I need to post before leaving for work.

As Jo suggested, I'm going to use these blocks for the corners of the quilt. My colors for these are quite a bit darker than the previous blocks. Log Cabins always scream, "Contrast! Contrast! Contrast!" while I'm sewing them. So what can I do but obey?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Crumb Quilt-Along #5

Due to circumstances beyond my control (a.k.a. "real life"), I'm a week behind on Jo's Crumb Quilt-Along. So this week I've been working on liberated blocks made with triangles. When I rummaged through my drawer of white scraps, I discovered that I had a lot of small, white triangles.

I paired them with rectangles like this and sewed down the hypotenuse of each triangle using an approximate 1/4 inch seam.

Then I cut away the excess colored fabric . . .

. . . and pressed open the resultant square.

I found that I could also pair single white triangles with any colored scrap of approximately the same size.

Here are some of the 1/2 square triangles I made:

 And here are the three blocks I finished:

I like these blocks, but even though I did them without any measuring, they don't look very wonky. I suppose that's because I started out with the precut white triangles.

I look forward to doing some Log Cabin style blocks next, and hope to be caught up to everyone else by the end of the week.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Quick & Easy Sewing Machine Cover

My mom has decided to convert her second bedroom into a sewing and craft room so that she can leave her sewing machine set up all the time. 

  When I visited yesterday, I noticed her new sewing machine cover. It isn't pretty, but it keeps her Singer 500 dust free.

She made it by cutting across a tee shirt just under the sleeves and then sewing the cut edges shut. That's just one seam since the body of the shirt is a tube and there's already a hem on the bottom. Of course, that mostly cuts off any cute logo the shirt might have had since those are usually positioned on the upper chest.

I suppose you could preserve the logo by making your cut just under the neck. But then you'd have to cut down the sides in order to make a symmetrical shape. And you'd have to cut off some of the bottom because it would now be too long. And then you'd have to hem it. Too much work!

I have some pre-quilted fabric which I bought a couple of years ago in order to make a cover for my Bernina. It's still sitting in my closet because I'd much rather be quilting than sewing a machine cover. But I think even I could spare the time to make one of these.


Actually, my mom didn't spend any time at all making hers because it's a repurposed icon cover. She makes these tee shirt bags to protect her icons when she's transporting them to and from her painting class. (An icon is a religious picture painted on a wooden board.) The one in the photo, Our Lady of Sorrows, is still in progress. If you're interested, here's a link to Sacred Image Icons, the website of her teacher. (Warning: it plays music.)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Crumb Quilt-Along #4

This week we are doing Nine Patches and Four Patches. (You can see all of the steps here at Jo's Country Junction.) Usually, I can't get to my crumb project until Friday, my day off. This week I had to work on Friday, so I didn't actually sit down at the sewing machine until Sunday evening.

Fortunately, I had quite a few trimmings left from previous projects which  I thought would give me a head start on this week's blocks. Unfortunately, I was half asleep.

I'm not very satisfied with this little Nine Patch. I surrounded it with precut half-square triangles. It just looks blah. I think that the value of the inner triangles is too close to the value of the outer ones.

This little four patch is even more disappointing. Not enough contrast, I think. I put the pink half-border  on in an effort to perk it up a bit. I think I'll have to make a few more Four and Nine Patch based blocks just to prove to myself that I can do it