Here’s the quilt top assembled:
Quilt Top With Borders
I like how the pale narrow inner border finishes off the pieced centre. I was just lucky with the outer border – not many fabrics to choose from and at first I passed over this one, but in fact the “golden” shade within this pink brings out all the tones in the top.
Next…. Now I have to piece a 14″ strip for the backing – this top has finished at 54″ wide. For the back fabric panel I need another 14″-16″ to allow enough excess width to assemble the sandwich.
I’ve just finished stitching the quilt blocks together into a 7 x 9 array. There was a lot of moving blocks around as they sat on the floor trying to get the colour, shape, fabric distribution worked out. I can live with how the quilt top has turned out. Some of the blocks come from Tula Pink’s 100 Modern Quilt Blocks; most are blocks I just made up from scraps, or from blocks I found on Pinterest. The distribution of light/medium/dark fabrics works out reasonably well – I’m happy with it.
It’s All About Pink – Blocks Stitched in 7 x 9 Array
Now comes the next difficult decision – how to border this array. I’m thinking it wants a narrow light sashing (probably 1″ wide) with a wide medium outer border, but maybe I want to piece the outer border in some way. I need to do a bit of searching to see what I might come up with….
In the meantime this is kinda what I have in mind:
Auditioning border fabric
Here is the Amaryllis for this year (2017) – now fully in bloom (with a fifth flower still to come, it looks like). I picked up this bulb mid-November at the Superstore where I do most of my grocery shopping. I decided on a pale one for a change (I have mostly bought red ones). I love watching the flower stalk appear and grow so quickly and then the flowers begin opening – one by one.
No second flower stalk from this bulb, it seems. Oh well, this one has lovely, happy blooms. I’ll enjoy them for the next week before they begin fading and then out it will go. I’ve never had any luck getting flowers for a second year.
And then I opened my Christmas bag of stuff from a friend yesterday and guess what – another amaryllis – this one a red/white blend. I can see the stalk already peeping out just the tiniest bit – another thing to look forward to.
Just finished the 63rd block. Laid them out – first pass – to get an idea of what the whole would look like.
Not bad, there’s a LOT to look at here, although one block has to be revised – I didn’t see the swastika until I looked at this image. I’ll make a replacement. I also need to array all of the blocks on the floor and walk around them for a while to make sure I’m happy with the layout – colour, shapes all reasonably distributed.
And then the big challenge – there’s not a lot of light pink batik available here in town so once I get these blocks assembled into a 7 x 9 array, I will have to go shopping for a couple of fabrics to border, back and bind the quilt. There’s nothing in my backing stash that goes with pink.
Overall, I am please with how the impact of the layout is “pink” – that was what I was aiming for. A lot of improvising has gone into this block collection – I didn’t have measurements for most of these blocks, while I worked a bit with graph paper, most of the time I started with an element and built around it. In effect each block represents a “sample” – the sort of thing I’d do to work out the dimensions of a block before using it in a quilt. Here, the sample is my end product.
I’m up to block 43! Just 20 to go (at least for the quilt top – I’ll probably work on more for the back – a dozen or so…)
What’s going on here is a lot of improvisation – some “standard” blocks accompanied by a lot of using up scraps to end up with 6 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ blocks.
The challenge is having enough light pink batik – I’ve got lots of mid-range fabrics and enough dark. I’m running short of the lighter values and without the light the blocks aren’t going to work. I may have to resort to a few printed fabrics – I’ve used just two so far and am trying not to use more but I may be forced to.
The Scrap Collection
This is what my cutting table is looking like at the moment. I’ll clear it up (actually throwing out pieces that are too small or narrow to be useful) when I get back from some errands.
Here’s where I began today – first a bordered square, then a 9-patch; followed by flying geese (using the leftovers from the geese corners to make an offset bordered 9-patch of HST), a disappearing 4-patch (which needed to be bordered to come up to size,…. You can see how this quilt top will unfold:
A Study In Pink – A Beginning
Yesterday I cut 9 1/2″ squares from each fabric in my pile (where the pieces were narrower I cut 10″ lengths). This is where I’ve started:
I’m hoping overall a sense of pink will predominate – there are lots of other hues in these fabrics but I’ve tried retaining pink (or a sense of pink) in each fabric chosen. I also discovered I had four gold/pink 10″ squares in one of my fabric boxes so I included them in the collection. I’ve used one, so far, for block construction.
Looking at the eight blocks I’ve done I think I’ll continue with linear elements rather than including curves (like drunkard’s path).
Fifty-five blocks to go!
Last quilt finished – I need to think about the next one. I just went through my batik collections and found a scrap bag (twelve 9″ strips) with “pinks.” Next I browsed the piles of individual batik cuts and came up with many more that could work with those original twelve.
Study In Pink
I still need a few more light pink fabrics – I’ll shop for them tomorrow. I also need to see what I have in daylight to get a better idea about which fabrics blend well and which should be pulled.
What am I thinking about doing with these?
Well, there’s Tula Pink’s “City Sampler” – a quilt constructed from a collection of 100 “sampler” blocks. Here’s one from Pinterest in grey/brown tones:another in a rainbow of colour:
(It’s a popular quilt — there are tons of images to be found), that suggest a way for me to think about my collection of pinks.
Tula Pink’s quilt consists of 100 different blocks – I don’t intend following her directions or making the blocks she suggests, although there are a number there that might get pieced as I go along. My plan is to start creating 6 1/2″ (maybe 7″) blocks, each unique, with the fabrics I have collected above — crosses, rectangles, half-square triangles, flying geese, log cabin, bordered squares… until I accumulate 63 blocks. That will give me a 7 x 9 array which, with borders, will give me a good lap-size quilt.
So, first a quest to find 2-4 more light pink batiks, then begin constructing blocks….
Lots to look forward to.
Here it is – just completed. A tiny bit wider than the original tools organizer but I was reluctant to make it narrower since I wasn’t sure how much width I was going to lose when I added in the zipper sides. Big-ish isn’t a problem, too small would have been.
So you can see the welted zipper opening on the front. What isn’t obvious is my name in the lower right – I chose the wrong colour embroidery thread! Instead of the lime green I should have used a golden orange (up close you can see the name, it just doesn’t hit you in the face).
New Exterior Case
The pattern (which I linked to yesterday – scroll down the blog entry) was helpful for dimensions and some overall construction suggestions, but because I wanted elements between outer and inner fabrics I couldn’t quilt the pieces and had to carefully think my way through construction. Not having the outer and lining fabrics on the sides not quilted was a bonus – it helped with zipper installation because I could apply the zipper to the outer fabric, then add the lining enclosing the zipper seams.
Applying the binding was a slow process – having to stitch through anywhere from 8-12 layers of fabric meant I needed to take my time although the machine handled the job perfectly well (with a new sharp universal 90 needle). In the end, I’m happy with how the binding turned out.
Here’s the interior:
Interior With Tool Pages From Original Organizer
The point of this project was to create a new case for the tools organizer – the original “pages” of pockets were fine – they just needed a new cover. Since the pattern has directions for making these pages, I may actually attempt one more – the cover is loose enough to accommodate another. What isn’t visible are the two pockets on the inside of the organizer covers – one zippered, one closed with some velcro.
Although I suspect many of the sewing ladies at Sew With Vision would be interested in making an organizer for themselves I have a feeling the sewing around these small round corners to apply binding is more difficult than many of them would be willing to attempt. I’ll take my organizer into the shop to show it off and ask what that the staff think.
Don’t know what’s next.
Finished this morning! I quilted both the narrow inner border and wider outer border over the weekend. That left the binding for today.
After my water aerobic class I pieced the binding fabric – six 2 1/2″ strips, joined end to end. Attached the binding to the back, then folded it over the front and stitched it in place using a decorative stitch.
I used the same fabric I used on the back for the binding – it blended with the many grey and beige fabrics in the pieced quilt top quite nicely. The back was completed by splicing a single width of fabric and inserting a strip constructed from leftover squares from the top, and some strips of the background fabric and from the inner border. Simple, but turned out fine.
Now onto a project I’ve been meaning to take on for a while. I have a Pfaff sewing tools carry case that came with one of my previous embroidery machines – I’ve had it for years. It’s reached the point where the outer case is falling apart – the binding has worn through on all the edges. So while the inner “pages” with zippered see-through vinyl compartments are still fine, it’s time make a new outer case.
I came across a pattern for a sewing tools organizer like the one I have.
Pattern for Sewing Tools Organizer
I bought some bright batik for the outside and a muted blue for the lining. I’ve spent the evening doing the prep work – I’m not exactly following instructions – I’ve added a welted zippered pocket to the front of the case, as well as a pocket on the inside of the front, and another zippered pocket on the inside of the back. The instructions recommend quilting the outside and lining fabrics but in order to put the zippered pockets into the outside and inside of the case that wouldn’t work. So instead, I’ve used a rather stiff fusible interfacing on the back of the outside fabric and a layer of quilt batting with the lining. When it comes to sewing the elements together I will have eight layers of fabric to stitch but it looks as if my new Pfaff Creative Icon will be up to the task – I will just sew more slowly than I normally would.
I have a basket of socks beside my chair all in need of repair – the heels are worn (some worn through, hopefully the holes are still small enough that a heel replacement will do). The pair below, however, is a left over from the previous batch of repairs – put aside because they needed more than a heel replaced – the back of the leg was also worn through to the point that I knew I’d have to cut it off and reknit part of the leg – a rebuild, not a repair.
I decided to work on them after I’d calculated the time it would take to rebuild the socks – about 7-8 hours compared to 25 hours to knit a new pair.
Before / After
This is the before and after – the before sock has already been set up with stitches picked up on the leg and across the instep. Next steps are to cut close to the carrying thread, pick away the extra rows to get to the stitches on the thread, pick up stitches on the leg, extend the leg, create a heel, and then the difficult/tedious part – grafting back the foot. It’s worth saving the foot beyond the instep because it still has lots of body.
It took me about 4 hours yesterday to do the prep work and rebuild the sock on the right. It’s now a wearable sock for a couple of more seasons.