Monday, January 16, 2017

Catching Up On Labels Part 3: Two More Done and Simply

I got two more of the quilt labels done over the weekend.  In both cases, I did not have plans for the labels prior to now so had to think about what I wanted to do.  Ideally, my top three preferences when making abels are to use a light colored backing so I can just write the label information right onto the back -OR- piece a light colored strip or space into the backing to write on when the quilting is done -OR- make a special pieced (or applique) block label using fabrics (or the block design) from the quilt top to echo on the back and provide a label space. 

The first of the next two quilts that I had pledged to do labels for is my (Carrie Nelson) Schnibbles quilt called "Tribal Scratch":

The back of this little quilt is the same as the "binding" -- that's because this was "bound" by turning the green and brown batik print backing to the front around the edge and mitering the corners.  A pretty print but too dark to write directly onto.

The other is my "Merrimac Dresdens":

As you can see below, the backing of the Dresden quilt is light but has a dense repeat design (the flower block from Lucinda Ward Honstain's "Reconciliation Quilt") so was also not a candidate for writing directly onto the back.

Of course since both are already quilted it was also too late for inserting a label strip.   I seriously thought about piecing a special label for both.  Particularly for Merrimac:  the first idea I thought of was to do a Fan block (a quarter of a Dresden plate) with a muslin center and sew it into one of the back corners.  However, the problem with both of these quilts is that I don't have any more of the fabrics used in the tops to piece a coordinating block with.  For Merrimac, I thought I had a few leftover Dresden blades but found I had cut them down to make the squares I needed for the little Tucker quilt.  Even though I still have a considerable stash of other Civil War repros, I wasn't up to snipping out bits from the remaining yardage to make the block blades.

So at that point, like I did for another Quilt Alliance Pledge label, it was time to dial it back a bit.  Was it possible to just simply find a square of coordinating fabric that I could write the information onto for each quilt?  Fortunately for that I did have good options!

Prepped for some Slow Sunday Stitching.

For "Tribal", I had some of the border fabric leftover from the gift quilt I made for my neighbors awhile back which went fairly well with the backing.  For "Merrimack", I decided to just snip a piece of the selvedge from what I have of the remaining backing fabric.  I love that I can also use it to identify that fabric as well as document the quilt.  It also blends in well with the back so is there but unobtrusive.   Here are both finished up:

Simple and now done!

Once again, I am reminded to try to give consideration to the label issue as I'm making a quilt.  This way if there is a need to save or conserve fabric (or even buy a fat eight or quarter more if need be), the time to do that is while the project is still current.  From the last session I learned that it's also a good idea to sketch out a label idea if you have one.  Don't only rely on remembering it in the event you don't get to the finishing until long after the top is made.  This way when you're ready for this step, your original idea will already be waiting for you and you will be less likely to procrastinate executing it because you don't have to think up an idea for it. 

So one last label to get done and of course it's the hardest because I have to get my quilting muscles back in shape on my old sewing machine!  Hoping to put that one to bed this week so I can move on with a clear head to the other projects I have planned for this month.

Monday, January 9, 2017

En Provence Update Instead of a Link Up

Having got a very late start on Bonnie Hunter's latest Quiltville mystery En Provence, I had hoped that by working on it during the Quilt-A-Thon days, I might at least have all the parts ready to show for today's final link-up.  Nope!   Go check out all of the finished quilts and tops and blocks in progress that ARE ready for posting over on the Quiltville blog here.

In fact, what was I thinking?  How could I have expected to have all my parts done in a few days when she started this mystery right after Thanksgiving and gave everyone a whole week to construct each part  and two weeks to get the top together.  Just another example of me needing to better define "Realistic" in my SMART goals.

That said, I'm not bummed just re-setting.  So last I left off, I had gotten 147 of the 221 neutral four patches for Part 1 made up.

I was out of the stash of lighter neutrals that I had pulled from the general and QOV stashes and was planning to go buy some more while working on the rest of the parts of the mystery.  However, during the QAT,  I was also working on my Quilt-As-You-Go blocks.  As I was packing them away after the stitching, what did I realize? 

I have a big piece of white-on-white fabric that I used for the alternate squares in the QAYG blocks!  I already have a lot of the QAYG blocks cut out and am pretty sure I won't need all of this fabric.  So I'm cutting a couple of strips to use to help make the rest of the four patches as well as add to the strips already set aside for the other parts of the mystery.  The good news is these will be good leader/ender and "15 minutes a day" piecing for the week.

Also during the QAT, I cut strips from my dark fabrics for four patches for Part 3 and to make the units for the other parts.

Today I got to the light purples on the left above that I wasn't able to cut. 

The purple four patches are another "15 minutes a day" piecing stash.  After all the four patches are done, I'll move on to cutting and piecing neutral and dark purple HSTs for Part 4. 

Then it'll be back to finishing up the labels and moving on to setting up for stitching the wholecloth project.   Hoping this week can continue to be as productive as the weekend.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Slow Sunday Stitching 1/8/17: More On the QAYG Project

The Half-time Report

I've been participating since Thursday in Judy Laquidara' Quilt-A-Thon for January.  She used to do these regularly and has just restarted them this year.  If you want to join in there's a monthly schedule on her sidebar for the rest of this year's dates. 

During yesterday's session, I set up to do some Slow Sunday Stitching today and got more done this morning.  I wanted to watch the NY Giants wildcard playoff game this evening and figured that if I got some of these blocks prepared in advance, I could sew on them while watching the game.  In past sessions, I felt the effort of stuffing the batting into the blocks took away too much time from the stitching.  I can get more of them done if they are prepped in advance. 

The last time I posted about these, at first I said I didn't know what batting I was currently using in the blocks.  However, I looked back through my posts and saw that in 2010 I had written about the batting:  it's Fairfield's Soft Touch.  Good to know because I used up all the batting I'd started with so need to get more of it for the next round of blocks.

Years ago I decided to make these blocks because of a "Quiltmakers Workshop" tutorial in the July/August 1998 issue of (the now deceased) Quilter's Newsletter Magazine (although they still keep a presence on the web).  I started quilting and subscribing to QNM in 2002 but back then, I was able to get back issues of QNM pretty cheap on eBay.  Sellers often offered them in sets of a whole year of issues for as little as $10 for the set.  As a result, I have a complete collection of them going back to 1984.  As time went on, I only stopped collecting them because the price of the issues got more and more expensive and were mostly sold one issue at a time.  Now that the magazine is no longer published, I've tried to pick up a few more of the earlier issues but I expect them to get even harder to get as time goes on.

We're expecting to have to go  pick up our minivan from the car dealer repair shop tomorrow so if I have any blocks left that haven't been sewn, I can take them as "travel work" for while we wait.  Ok, back to the game, we're down against Green Bay  14 - 6!

Looking to see what others are stitching on this blistery Sunday?  Head over to Kathy's Quilts and check out the Slow Sunday Stitching link-up

Patchwork Times Quilt-A-Thon - Day 4

Well, the weather outside is frightful and the warmth inside delightful!  It's cold here in New York City, 18 degrees and some places got up to a foot of snow yesterday after the early predictions only called for a couple of inches.  DH is still under the weather (pun intended) and DS1 started sniffling (he's the last in the house to get this) so I'll still be on the nursing shift today during this last day of Judy's first Quilt-A-Thon of the year. 

My plans for the day are as follows:
Set up more Quilt-As-You Go blocks to stitch on while watching this evening's playoff game. 

Evening Update
I got five more blocks set up so had ten ready to go for during the game.

More En Provence work.  I forgot to report yesterday that while cutting strips for the four-patches from what was left of the light neutrals I had originally pulled out, I also cut some strips for some of the later parts of the mystery too.  This way I'd have some of those fabrics for them as well. 

For today, I managed to dig out one more piece of light neutral from my Quilts of Valor stash and few light charm squares so will try to make up more four-patches (or if possible all the rest) needed for the project with these new neutrals and the rest of the more mid-toned neutrals already cut.

Evening Update
I got another 36 four-patches done (so a total of 147 for the weekend) but will need to find some more light neutrals and cut more of the mid-tone neutrals in order to make more. 

Staying with the four-patch theme,  I'd also like to start on the purple four-patches for Part 3 but we'll see if I get there.

Evening Update

I got strips cut from the dark purples for the four patches and for the later parts.  I wasn't able to get the light purples cut (the game started) so that and the four patches will have to be worked on during the week.

Definitely this evening:  Slow Sunday Stitching the QAYG Blocks while watching the NY Giants playoff game.

Evening Update
I got three blocks sewn up and with so many more prepped, may try to work on them between projects during the week.  Also finally got into flow on the prep so hope to make setting up blocks a regular weekly thing so they're ready for the weekends all the time. 

But Boo, Hoo, Hoo, the Giants lost (big time)!  Guess I won't be Slow Sunday Stitching through the Superbowl this year!

So a big thanks to Judy for reviving the Quilt-A-Thons and really hope to make time to do this next month! 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Patchwork Times Quilt-A-Thon - Day 3

Well so much for getting an early start to today's Quilt-A-Thon!  DH came home from work this morning and it looks like the bug that's been going around the house is trying to grab a firmer hold of him.  So the day started with nursemaid duties rather than quilting.

In addition it's snowing here and it looks like the 2 - 4 inches predicted is already down and the snow is continuing.  So now I'm really hoping they DON'T call about picking up our car from the shop today!

Now that I can settle in (hopefully for the day), here's what's on the agenda:

1)  Getting back to the En Provence   Part 1 neutral four-patches.  Hopefully I can finish them up today.

Evening Update
Got another 41 done so now my count is up to 111.  Only 110 more to go (but not today)!

2)   Prepping for Slow Sunday Stitching tomorrow

I want to get some of these blocks prepared in advance so I can sew on them while watching the NY Giants wildcard playoff game tomorrow afternoon.  I feel like stuffing the batting in the blocks takes away too much time from the stitching so I can get more of them done if I prep them in advance.  Hmmm, it might also be a good idea to prep some of these for "travel work" for when we go pick up the car too.

Evening Update
I only got five blocks set up for stitching. 
I'm hoping I can get a few more ready before game time tomorrow.
Well it was true that given the progress on the previous days and the continuing nurse duties, I didn't  get to much more than that.   Looking forward to the last day of Quilt-A-Thon tomorrow.  Part of  that needs to be setting up what I can work on in smaller increments of time during the week.    That's it for me for today!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Patchwork Times Quilt-A-Thon - Day 2

OK, getting a little late start on my day today.  Yesterday afternoon, DS2 announced that he had friends coming over today.  That meant the need to get the house from "Quilt-A-Thon" clean to "Company" clean.  I was too tired to do it after yesterday's session so figured I'd work on that first thing today.  Now that that's out of the way, it's time to join Judy's Quilt-A-Thon for the day and quilt!

Yesterday I left off with the neutral strips cut for Bonnie Hunter's En Provence mystery:

 Today, I'll be sewing them up into four patches and possibly moving on to another part of the mystery if I can.
Evening Update
Grrr!  A lot of telephone interruptions today so didn't get as much done as hoped.  I managed to get seventy-seven four patches made up of the 221 total that I need. 
Tomorrow I'll need to cut out some more of the lighter toned neutral strips to finish up the rest of the set.
I'd also like to continue the label work and try again to quilt the Cardinals label but we'll see on that.
Didn't get to the quilting at all.  One of the interruptions was a call from the car dealer about our mini-van that's in for repairs.  Unfortunately, the mechanic that was working on it has a stomach flu (and threw-up right in the shop yesterday -- yikes!!) which explains why it wasn't ready when promised but they're trying to have it ready for pickup tomorrow.  Hopefully, that won't be until late in the afternoon and I can get up early and get a little something done before we have to head out.  So that's it for me today, I'm headed to bed!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Catching Up On Quilt Labels - Part 2

With a little focus earlier in the week for the first two and some help from the Patchwork Times Quilt-A-Thon today for the rest, I got five of the eight labels I needed done for my Labels Pledge.

Flying For Cover

The bottom label is a transcription of a speech given by Angeles Arien at the 1991 Organizational Development Network that was based on the work of Milton Olson.  I had come across it when I was making the quilt and immediately wanted to incorporate it into the label.  You can see the same article quoted in a blog post of the Distracted Quilter from back in 2011 (and my comment on her post shows you how long I've waited to make this label!). 
Lincoln/Obama Embroidery Update
This quilt was labeled when originally made (bottom label).  I took some more of the original label fabric and sewed on the second label for the update.


The label for Brrr! was foundation pieced using Freezer Paper.  It's so much less tedious than regular paper-piecing because there's no paper to tear away.  The design is drawn on the paper side of the freezer paper.   The wrong side of the first piece of fabric is ironed to the waxy side of the template.  Each subsequent piece is then layered right sides together to the previous piece and you stitch along side the folded back section of your design.

The best part is that when you are done and pull the template away from the fabric, it is reusable! 

I had picked out this design back when I finished making the quilt top.  It is  #10 - Square In A Square from a great book called "Foundation -Pieced Quilt Labels" by Linda Causee (ASN 2001).   It was nice to take a look back through the book and note that this is the third label I've made from it.  I also used labels from this book for:

Bits 'N Pieces (2008)

Label #21- Chevrons:

I added the little silk flowers to hide the lousy job I did of turning the corners on the label binding.  Definitely a "design decision"!!

Label #12 - Flower Basket on the Alex's Baskets quilt (2009):


Now, getting back to the current label work:

Vintage Treasures



This quilt was partially made from kits from a 2004 Joann's BOM (that story started here).  They offered a preprinted blank label but I never got that kit and since I had substituted one of the fabrics used in it anyway, I decided to make a label with my fabrics but using the same square-in-a-square design.  I printed the label information out onto fabric when I had finished the top thinking that I would quilt it up quickly.  Unfortunately, that didn't happen until a year later so while I still used the label I had originally printed up, I did write in the actual finish date on it now as well.  I also added some of the extra clamshells I had leftover from the binding around it.

All Spruced Up

This was one case where I needed to make a label because I had cut a small hole in the backing (where the pin is) when I had trimmed the seams of the backing pieces and wanted to cover it up to protect the quilt.


I had originally planned to do a more elaborate pieced or picture label.  However, in the interest of getting this done quickly, this turned out to be the easiest label I did.  I decided to just take a piece of one of the fabrics leftover from the quilt, write the label information onto it and sew it on.

The fabric is a little dark so it was hard to get a good picture of the writing but it's there!

More Links For Labels

Another good thing that came out of going through the label stuff I have is that I found some more interesting "links" that I had collected in the past about good label techniques.  When I find stuff on the web, I generally print it out and put it in books that I have that correspond to the information. 

So you can find out about doing a "Curved Bias Quilt Label" from Joanna at the Seams Likely blog here.

Note:  "Seams Likely" is her old blog, Joanna now blogs over at Joanna Masko Quilts.

Krista over at the popular Poppyprint blog did a post back in 2011 about:

.....which you can find here!

Now back to the grind.  I'm still trying to get used to quilting on my old machine again so I can finish the Cardinals label.  After that only two more labels left to fulfill my pledge!