Friday, April 10, 2015

A Little of This, A Little of That....

Well, my Janome went in for servicing last weekend so my little work area has been empty all week....

In the past it has taken as long as a month for it to be returned but I'm hoping it won't be that long this time.  For now, to tide myself over, I focused on getting to some project cutting.  First up was the pieces for the next Wool Ornament BOM stocking:

With that it's all ready for stitching.  If my machine isn't back quickly, I should be able to sew this up using my old Euro-Pro machine which now bides its time as a "traveling machine".  Unfortunately, that function is fairly infrequent ever since my MIL moved to North Carolina.  The last time I used it, I felt it could also use a tune-up and I'm not sure if they service other machine brands where I take my Janome since those are the only machines they sell. 

I have two projects that have been sitting around for a while that will use solids.  As noted on my "Get It Done" list for April (and for March) I wanted to get them cut out so I could use the leftovers for other things.  One of those projects is Amy Butler's "Thea's Puzzle Quilt":

The wedges will make up the center blocks.  I'm debating whether to use a solid for the inner border as per the pattern or to use that pretty green and pink print instead (although that definitely will be the binding).  To decide, I would need to start laying out the wedges on the design wall and formulating the center blocks but that's not something I'm ready to do right now. The white Kona is for the outer border and the Kaffe print is for the backing.  For now, I'm satisfied that I've cut the wedges and freed the solids from this stash so all of this will be bundled into a box until I'm ready to get back to it.

The second solids project is Kathy Doughty's "Dreamcatcher".

I saw this when Kathy blogged about it on the Material Obsession blog prior to it being published in a 2012 special edition of Australian Quilters Companion called "Old Quilts Made New".  The issue even came with a DVD where Kathy discussed her methods for reinterpreting antique quilt designs to give them a modern flair.  At the time I couldn't find this issue stateside and actually ordered it from her shop in Australia!  Last year this quilt was included in (and on the cover of) her second (solo) book " Adding Layers - Color, Design & Imagination: 15 Original Quilt Projects from Kathy Doughty of Material Obsession". 

As you can see this one is not all solids -- it's anchored by big trapezoids cut from Kaffe Fassette's Marquee Stripes fabrics.  Kathy used three of the color ways (Husky, Bright and Pastel) whereas I'll also include the fourth (Contrast).  The solids are used to make quarter square triangle squares with red combined with various colors for sashing.  I started with a stash of various Kona solids and added a  jelly roll of the 28 new (at the time) Kona colors introduced in 2012. 

Putting these together will be a great for Leader/Enders!  With the project solids all accounted for, I can now prepare a quilting sandwich for Lori Kennedy's FMQ Mystery project. The mystery actually ended at the end of February but I plan to do it anyway for FMQ practice.  The other thing I want to use the solids for is to add bright colored Seminole pieced bands to the new kitchen curtains I have long planned to make.  If you are not familiar with Seminole piecing, you can see examples of it at the bottom of this tutorial offered by Sew Well Maide.  I've only tried Seminole piecing on a very limited basis so this is a chance to work extensively with the designs while doing some Spring sprucing up of the house. 

For the last of the cutting sessions I have also finally cut the border strips for my long simmering Double Wedding Ring project.  This has gone on and off my "To Do" list so many times but I'm really hoping to finally get this "put to bed" (figuratively and literally) by the Fall.

Whew!  I'm hoping to spend the weekend finally getting back to doing some hand work.  Next week, I'll try setting up my second machine for sewing.  It may take me some time to get used to using it again!

A Crafty Public Service Announcement:
April is National Serger Month!  Did you know that Baby Lock was the first to offer sergers for the home machine market?  To celebrate, you can pick up a free e-booklet of serger projects HERE. Go HERE to the Threads Magazine site for a chance to comment and win a set of serger techniques DVDs. 

Want to try to serge a quilt?  Many years ago I used Kaye Woods "6 Hour Quilt" pattern and made quilts for my sons using a serger. 

An updated version of the original pattern can be purchased from Craftsy HERE or her website HERE or you can watch her make it on YouTube HERE.


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