Archive for February, 2010

Happy Valentine’s Day
February 14, 2010

I wish everyone a Happy Valentines Day!

Actually I do not really know what to write about. I am having a hard time trying to decide on a challenging project to work on. I finished quilting the little spiral table top quilt. It was really easy to do on the new sewing machine. The extra space and the wonderful feed system made the whole process quite easy. I am still bothered by the red swastika showing in the design. I mentioned it at a couple of quilt shops (there were big sales this weekend), and ladies at both places said that they have seen similar things happen with other patterns. So it is something I need to watch out for from now on.

I am going to try this pattern next. It is called a chop-suey pattern. It has places where 8 points come together and I want to practice that. It also is supposed to take only 8 hours to piece. I bought the pattern 20 years ago when Alex was a baby. I remember it was on sale at the time. I was going to make a small quick quilt for him even though I was working 60 hour weeks. Actually I got more done then, than I do now. I think I wore myself out. I had forgotten about the pattern and found it when looking though a box of old magazines. Right now I feel I need something quick and easy to work on.

Quilt-Pattern

I still need to bind the “Crazy 8 Strip Teaser” quilt, which is the pattern name of the spiral table topper. To sew the binding, which is a bias printed plaid, I had to cut straight of grain strips and then piece then together on the bias. The 8 corners will give me lots of them to practice mitering. I was really lazy and didn’t press the seams before taking this photo.  The plaid was a little tricky to try and match because the lines are drawn wiggly.  I sewed in the white space between two lines.  From a distance and on a quilt with, lets say, a more noticeable design feature , it won’t make any difference if the seams show.

Matching-Plaids

Learning Curve
February 8, 2010

How hard should it be to make a small pieced table topper? Much harder than I imagined. Here are some things I have learned so far.

1. That I do not know how to choose appropriate fabrics. The printed diagonal plaid was really hard to make work, especially since the amount of fabric called for in the pattern didn’t allow me enough to chevron the pattern in any way. I had to settle on just keeping the solid color squares from touching each other. Even with some planning I still had a bit of ripping and switching things around. Also I need to pay more attention to value, some of the stripes blend into one another, others stand out too much.

2. I shouldn’t just glance at the pattern and think I know what to do. My squares go in the opposite direction than the way the design is supposed to go. This may have been a good thing, since the red stripes (which stand out too much) give off a swastika vibe, luckily they point in the opposite direction. I didn’t see that possibility at all when choosing this pattern.

3. There must be a better way to sew this pattern than going in a circle. It was really hard to keep the center points matching. I am thinking of breaking the pattern into quarters, then halves, then sewing one long seam across. That should work better.

Now I am going to try quilting this top to the backing. I will use the walking foot and stitch in the ditch. I will also use a straight of grain binding. The binding should be on the bias, but the yellow plaid fabric I chose is printed on the bias. If I cut on the bias, it will look straight of grain. I think the bias plaid will look better, though this topper is so busy that the binding probably won’t even be noticed.

Pieced-Top

I want to try this pattern again soon. I think it was a good beginning project because it brought up issues I hadn’t considered. I will think as a practice piece, and practice is always useful.