Saturday, October 17, 2015

Back in the groove.

     I know its been awhile, but cooler weather always makes me dream about quilts, so will share what's been going on in my life.  Vacationing in Ireland took much of my August, so not much accomplished.  It is a beautiful trip which I would recommend to anyone.
I saw lots of quilt inspiration.

And beautiful scenery.

     As soon as I returned, it was time to gear up for our guild's Bonnie Hunter event.  We started planning two years ago for her to visit and do a trunk show and two workshops.  It was a big success with visitors from several states, but I'm glad it is behind us.  We immediately rolled into the planning for our annual quilt show, which took place three weeks after the Bonnie Hunter event.  It was last weekend, so I'm beginning to finally feel like my life is my own.  Here are a few pictures from the quilt show.

     I always get the urge to sew Halloween projects this time of year and this year was no exception. 

     I'd also been wanting to try these Missouri Star/Jenny Doan patterns.  The Disappearing Pin Wheel blocks that make Shoo Fly and Churn Dash blocks.  They are certainly quick and you can make a large quilt in a short amount of time, but they do have some drawbacks.  There are lots of bias edges, for one.  I used Best Press, which helped, but when quilting them, they still wanted to pucker under the needle.  The other drawback is they are not a standard size, so you can't mix them with other blocks.  I thought I would make some hourglass blocks to use as alternates, but they weren't the same size.  So, if you haven't tried them, just be aware.  They are not your Mother's quilt blocks.  
Here's my other experiment.  I bought a ruler for free motion quilting at a recent quilt show and tried it out on some of my Halloween table runners.  I think it is something I will use often, once I get a little more practice.  

See my nice straight line along the seam line?  

     Here is a project that has been languishing in my UFO bin for about six years.  It was a block of the month mystery quilt from Jan Patek.  I only did part of them because I didn't like the construction method and was having shipping problems.  I had two more appliqué blocks to finish, then find a way to arrange them into something resembling a quilt.  I placed it on my UFO challenge list for the year, but had been avoiding it for several months.  I did finish the appliqué eventually, although I changed the construction method to paper piecing, which was much easier.
Then it was time to try to put it together.  All of the blocks were different sizes, so first I had to come up with a common denominator, so they would fit together.  The only thing that worked was two, so all blocks were trimmed or built out to a measurement divisible by two.  

Then, I made graph paper mock ups of each block and started arranging them on a large piece of graph paper, with each square counting as two inches.  After about two evenings of craziness, I had a plan.  Now to construct the filler blocks.  I did some four patches, square in a square, and log cabins, depending on the size of space I had to fill.

Here are some of the sq/n/sq blocks in the upper left.

    It is finally together and is a big relief.  I think it needs a tone on tone border to tame it down a little, but the biggest part is done.
     I hope you are enjoying this autumn weather as much as I am.  Get outside as often as you can, but keep on stitchin'...