Monday, December 12, 2011

FNSI - Results and Reminder

While I completely forgot to sign up for FNSI, I did spend the evening doing quilt related activities.  The first was to remove the silver cloth from my big board. This was something that Harriet Hargrave recommended shortly after I completed the board as the silver cloth is not ideal for pressing with steam - and she is right. It just took me a long time to agree with her.  I think the deciding factor for me was the corners of the double Irish chain - while they looked and felt straight going on - somewhere in the pressing, I got a lot of ripples and they are not as crisp as they could be.  So I grabbed Gus's all purpose tool that he won at Cub Scouts (I think for Popcorn sales) and started pulling staples.  Once I find the staple gun - it is stored in a very "safe" place right now, I'll replace it with a canvas drop cloth purchased at Lowe's hardware. The drop cloth has the feel of cotton duck, and the price was right. In fact, after taking out the stitching from the the center, I have two covers for my big board that I can use interchangeably.  For now, I'll have to fasten it on with the binder clips that I use for holding the backing straight when sandwiching a quilt.

I decided on the spots close to the blocks and bricks by the fire trucks variation for the DIC quilt.  The second project I completed on Friday was to sandwich this quilt, and I hope to get the quilting done during the week, and move on to the next quilt for the upcoming FNSI which will be on Friday, December 16th.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Catching up - The Inlaid Table Runner and the Double Irish Chain.

 In spite of hockey, I have found some time to quilt - and have made significant progress on two projects.

The Inlaid tile table runner is now ready for a border. Not sure why I photographed it on the spots (which is for a different project) but there you have it.  The border will feature a bold sunflower stripe, and will be mitered - thus the reason it is not on yet - haven't gotten to that chapter.  This project practiced YUMs - "Your Unique Measurements" - in which you are careful to check seam allowances to see if you need to adjust your cutting for the next section. I'll have to check to the other camera to see if there are pictures of the individual blocks, but I suspect not.  It looks more complex than it is - the basic block is done with four strip sets and then rotated as needed to obtain the final pattern.   Instead of combining the blocks into three strips of 9 blocks each - which to me would be a nightmare to then join, I joined blocks into pairs, and then sets of 4 and ended up with three large blocks made up of three rows/4 columns and finally joined those together - made me much happier in the end.

The next project is the Double Irish Chain. I really like how Lesley at PatchnBlock used a non-traditional color combination, and was thus inspired to try something different too.  I had originally thought this would be a good one for a traditional Garnet 'n Gold treatment (Florida State fans are abundant in my family), but decided to save those fabrics for another project.  Since my nephew Sean has a quilt top waiting to be finished (Shhh - don't tell his Mom), his older brother needs another one too - and hopefully both will be done before we leave for the holidays.  Christopher likes fire trucks - actually, Christopher appears to like anything with wheels, so this combination was born. 

There are three strip sets used in the X blocks and two more in the alternating block. However, now that we've learned about YUMs, we've also been instructed to wait to create the second block until the first one is complete and measured to ensure that there does not need to be any alteration made in the cut size of the center squares. Happily, I correctly set the seam guide on my machine, so was within threads of being the correct size.

Once the strip sets were made, this one went together fairly easily.  There is a trick to the pressing where select seams on the X block are fanned - reducing bulk and aiding in the joining of the blocks with the seam allowances locking quite nicely.

I did keep an eye on the various bits and pieces of the Dalmatians, though Gus claims that Christopher might not like them being cut apart and pieces parts showing up on some squares - but time will tell.

You can see from the back of the block where the seams were fanned on the X blocks - and how easily the two blocks joined together.

 This is the second to last project of Volume 1 (before the final exam) and with the holidays coming, I'm now moving on to the "borders" chapter. 

This particular quilt has four 1 inch borders and 1 wide border.  The question became - in which order does one place the spots and the bricks?

 And does that affect the relationship with the outer border- which will be fire trucks as I don't have enough of the dalmatian fabric for the final border?

So which one would you choose?  I did make a choice and now have 14 of the 20 border strips attached. Pictures to come in an upcoming post.  I am not mitering the borders on this quilt, though someone did point out that it might have made it much faster to create strip sets for the borders and then miter the set.  Oh well - six more times through measure, pin, stitch, trim, repeat... and then I can sandwich this project