Thursday, August 29, 2013

Starting Jubilee

There has been very little quilting on my schedule in the past couple of weeks but I did manage to start the cutting process for Jubilee.  I'm looking forward to sewing this one.  I'm planning some quality time in the studio over the long weekend.

What are your Labor Day Weekend plans?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

New York City Quilt Shop - The City Quilter

On Saturday, Miss Main Street and I went on a mother-daughter pre-college outing to New York City (a bit over an hour by train from where we live in NJ).  We were in the neighborhood of the The City Quilter so stopped in. 

Miss Main Street grabbed the husband chair and used the time to check her Twitter feed.  I looked around.  The store has lots of NYC-themed fabric (most of it of their own design), plus a selection of just about everything else in quilting fabric.  The quilts below were displayed in the batitks and Asian section.

The quilt hanging below was made from batik fabric and used a pleating technique from the book Modern Neutrals.

Even though the shop is relatively small, the selection is quite good and I managed to find a few things I had to have.  Two yards of a neutral that looked like a good background fabric and this charm pack of aobut 100 different solid colors, from the Michael Miller Cotton Couture line.  I'm not sure what I will do with it but could not resist.

Then I saw a sample on display, a wallet made using a special metal frame.  I bought the pattern and the frame.  I'm thinking of adapting the pattern to make something that will hold hand sewing supplies.

Leaving City Quilter, we went to a flea market.  We didn't see anything worth buying but did catch a few people dressed in ways that could be called performance art.  We then made our way to Chelsea Market.  This place is worth a visit if you are in the area.  Besides the eateries and food vendors, there are some artisans selling their wares as well as an Anthropologie store.
We capped the day with tea at Bosie Tea Parlor in the West Village.  Great tea (many varieties on the menu), with small sandwiches, scones, macarons (salted caramel is their most popular flavor), and pastries.  A good place to rest your feet and have a chat. 
I'll miss my girl but she is so ready, and so excited, for college.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Calling All French General Enthusiasts!

Did you know that French General makes home decorating fabrics?  I'm on Calico Corners/Calico Home's email list and received the news that they are carrying a line of home dec fabric from French General!

The home dec fabrics are not exactly the same as the quilting fabric marketed by Moda but they will certainly coordinate.  You could redecorate your house to match a quilt you made.  I love the French General collections but unfortunately, the colors are not a match for my yellow, green, and raspberry (please don't call it pink in front of Mr. Main Street) decor.  So I don't think I will be getting any soon, but you could!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Thinking Ahead

While pulling fabrics to use in Jubilee, I got a good look at what is left in the basket of Fig Tree fabric.  I have a number of fat quarters, a few from one collection and a few from another.  I have a lot of partial fat quarters, used in one of the quilts but not used up completely.  And then I have a lot of lights. 

In each of the Fig Tree Harvest quilts I've made so far, I've used a single background fabric.  The lighter prints from the fat quarter bundles haven't fit into any of the projects so far, and there are quite a number of them left.  I started thinking ahead to what I could do with them.  At the moment, I'm thinking Log Cabin, with these lights as the light side of the block and scraps from the brown, caramel, green, and red fat quarters for the other side of the block. 
Of course, I've been known to change my mind!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Fig Tree Harvest Update

I spent some time in my "studio" on Saturday, straightening up my supply closet by refolding fabric and generally giving the place a good cleaning.  It was more satifying than it sounds, especially now that I can look at those neat piles of fabric in the closet.  I didn't get a picture because the closet is so dark inside that photos don't turn out well. 

Once that was done, I started pulling fabric from my stash for my next project, Jubilee by The Pattern Basket.  This will be another in my series called Fig Tree Harvest, an effort to use all the Fig Tree Designs fabric I have accumulated.

Despite having made five quilts so far, the four shown below(clockwise:  Hello Sunshine, Summertime, Globe Trotting, and Keep Calm And Sew On), as well as the yet un-named LeMoyne Star quilt (I'm leaning towards It's Complicated), I still have loads of Fig Tree fabric left.

I started with three fat quarter bundles, a fat eighth bundle, two layer cakes, a partial jelly roll, a few odd fat quarters, and a few one-yard cuts.  I bought two charm packs for the spool quilt and added backgrounds.  Somehow, I still have loads of fabric left; the basket never empties!

My posts will likely be more sporadic over the next few weeks.  We are in the process of packing Miss Main Street's belongings in preparation for taking her to college.  We plan to work in some more parent-child and mother-daughter activities before we drop her off, though.  That, on top of work, will leave less time for quilting or blogging.  But I won't disappear entirely.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Metro Waves - Ta-Da!

Yes, I turned this pile of curved pieces of fabric...

...into this quilt top.  (It is hanging a little wonkily from the clips on the rod but I assure you, it looks better in person.)  It is 36" by 50".  I still need a name.

How about a close-up?  After a better pressing and, of course, quilting, the vertical seams will not be as apparent.  It will become a baby quilt, to be held in reserve until needed.  I still need to trim the top and bottom straight.  Is that something I should do before or after quilting?

I used the Quick Curve Ruler from Sew Kind of Wonderful to cut the pieces for this quilt top.  And a combination of the Metro Wave pattern, Jenny's instructional videos, and my own creativity to get it all together.   I have some cut curves left over.  I am thinking of turning them into a pillow sham.
Sewing the curves is really not difficult.  This ruler has opened up a whole new world of curved piecing to me.  What will be next?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Double Wedding Ring Love

One quilt top partially made and I've convinced myself that sewing curves is no big deal so why not make a double wedding ring quilt.  Why not?  In fact, I'm so in love with the double wedding ring that I wasted spent a few hours one evening viewing quilts on Google Images and Pinterest to get ideas. 

How about this one?  Or this one?  (Click over to see then come back because I have more to talk about.) 

Sew Kind of Wonderful (designer of the Quick Curves Ruler I'm using for my Waves quilt) has several takes on the double wedding ring:
So I could make a version using my Quick Curves Ruler and one of Jenny's patterns.  But I've also found several ruler/template sets made especially for the double wedding ring design.  Creative Grids has one, Simplicity has one (looks a bit odd), and Marti Michell has one.   There are also dies from AccuQuilt Go but they fit the larger machine only whereas I have the Go Baby model. 
If anyone has used one of these, I'd like to know what you think of it.  I like that the Marti Michell version can be used to make some other designs, like orange peel and Robbing Peter to Pay Paul.  Oh boy, so many choices!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Making Waves

I'm working on Metro Waves using my Paris Flea Market fabric collection.  I cut my wave pieces from 10" wide strips.  Although I've departed from the original pattern instructions, I'm sticking with the designer in one area:  cut a little bigger than necessary then trim blocks to size before sewing together.  Except instead of blocks, I have long strips to trim down to 9.5" wide.  This will allow me to even up the edges, where although the wave pieces went together easily, the edges are not all perfectly even.

To help with the trimming, I cut a wave from paper and taped it to the wrong side of my 9.5" square Omnigrid ruler.  I can place the ruler on my strips with the paper wave lined up with a curved seam.  This ensures the ruler is centered on the strip before I trim from each side. 

This made the trimming easy. I started at the top of a strip with the paper curve aligned with one of my curved seams, trimmed along each side, then repositioned the ruler further along and cut again.  I repeated this the length of each wave strip. 

The result is a much cleaner edge on each strip.  I think this will make it easier to sew the strips together into the quilt top.

I did not do much sewing over the weekend.  Mr. Main Street and I decided it is time to replace our 1992 Volvo station wagon with a new car.  I think we got our money's worth after 21 years of service!  The car actually still runs very well but whenever something needs to be replaced we have to wait while they locate parts because Volvo doesn't make them for this model any longer.  So we spent Saturday doing a little shopping and comparing and I think we found the one.  We are supposed to pick her up on Tuesday.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Quick Curves For Real

I'm using the Quick Curves Ruler and Metro Waves pattern from Jenny Pedigo for my current project.  Monday's post was about my test/learning block.  Today, I start on the real quilt.

First, I read the instructions in the pattern.  And there I hit the first snag.  She designed the pattern so that the waves in every other row are pieced with a seam running through them horizontally.  This allows the quilt to be constructed from conventional rectangular blocks but I don't like the idea of all those seams breaking up the pattern on the fabric, especially when I chose this design to really show off the fabric.  I can see where it works with the solids in the pattern cover example quilt, especially when coupled with Jenny's dense machine quilting (if you want to be inspired by machine quilting, just visit her blog, SewKindofWonderful), but I don't think it would be a good look for my project. 

So I quickly developed construction Plan B.  I cut out all the curved pieces and am sewing them together in vertical rows that I will then sew together into the quilt top.  I did not have any trouble sewing the curves together using Jenny's no-pin technique.  Except when I finished, my strip was kind of puffy looking and did not lie flat. 

But that's nothing a good pressing could not take care of.  The picture below is after pressing all the seams in one direction with a little spray starch. 

So far, so good.   Just need to keep at it.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Quick Curve Ruler

My new project uses the Quick Curve Ruler designed by Jenny Pedigo.  It looks like a regular quilting ruler for rotary cutting except it has a curved shape printed on it and a curved channel that the rotary blade fits into to cut the curved shapes.  And I'm using one of her patterns, called Metro Waves

Jenny's blog, SewKindofWonderful, has lots of examples of quilts made using the ruler, as well as her tutorials for cutting and sewing.  She makes it look easy but I thought I better test it out before cutting into my precious Paris Flea Market fabric stash.  First, I cut the curved pieces.

The markings on the ruler combined with the groove for the rotary cutter make it very easy.  Then I sewed them together.  Jenny's technique does not use any pins.  I was skeptical but it worked out just fine.  I got the hang of it pretty fast, worked up a rhythm, and got several curves sewn together in no time.  And after trimming, I sewed the rows together.  The seams lined up perfectly.

This is my test block.  But enough testing; it's time to move on to the real thing!

If this works out well, I see a double wedding ring quilt in my future.