Friday, November 25, 2016

Sleigh Bell BOM - Month 5 - Wreath

This month's block for the Sleigh Bell Quilt is a wreath.  It is cute and was so easy to sew together.

I forgot to take a photograph of the "wreath" block before I attached it to the row.  The block to the left, the mitten, was last month's block.

Monday, November 14, 2016

New Quilts - Primo Plaids Bedding Ensemble

I decided to make the Primo Plaids quilt since I spied this quilt last summer on a website.  I love stars and love flannel so what a great combination and quilt for me to try to make.  I tried to get the free pattern first on-line...couldn't do it.  I tried to figure out what the size of the stars were....12 inch (finished) stars.  I just wanted to find some plaid fabric too...couldn't find much of a selection during the summer.  So I waited until I saw the kit on-line.  I actually saw the blue version of the kit on two web sites, well...I knew one was SLOW in the delivery to my home and the other was a bit faster so I went with the faster on-line retail store to get it to me sooner. Believe me, it was not cheap.  I found out why when I opened the package when it arrived.  The fabric is woven cotton, very thick and I thought to myself, what have I gotten myself into?  I have never sewn with this thick fabric before; does it actually fold over when I try to iron it?

This is the free pattern that was included with the fabric.  I really, really like the blue flannels. I thought it would be easy to do but I have a few suggestions if you decide to use the plaid flannels by Marcus Fabrics.  I will tell you my observations later in this post.

Each block is 12 1/2 inch (unfinished) square. The kit has enough fabric to make the quilt which is 94" x 94" for a good-sized queen bed.  I believe there is extra fabric to make the two pillows, instructions are included in the pattern.  I don't know for sure yet but I will let you know as soon as I get to the end to see if there is enough fabric to make the pillows.

Of course, the fabric is a bit "stretchy."  That worried me this morning when I started to cut the fabric.  I worried also about the directional nature of the plaids.  I chose to ignore it while I was making the first block.  I just wanted to get through this process and see what I could do to improve and streamline the making of each block.  I sometimes do not use the first block that I make because it does not look quite as good as the subsequent ones.

My tips:  First, I kept all of the fabrics at my cutting table.  I usually cut at the table (in my dinning room) and move everything to my sewing machine area nicely folded and take it back and forth as I need more fabric.  I decided not to do this as to not stretch the fabric. Second, I used my longer and stronger flower-head pins to keep the fabric in place while I sewed.  My small fine needles were difficult to see in the thick flannel and I was afraid that I would hit one of them or bend them.  Third, I also used water to spray on the cotton when I needed to fold the fabric.  I am was initially nervous about using a spray starch or the Mary Ellen's Best Press.  I may use Best Press, I think it will be okay.  Whenever I make stars, I always use Deb Tucker's ruler, Wing Clipper.  I tried it and it was not as easy as using regular cotton fabric.  I will try it again. Hopefully it will work better.   

Oops, I forgot to mention that I have a Janome Memory Craft 7700 QCP. Fortunately, it has a built in Dual Feed option.  I actually purchased the quarter inch foot at Rosie's in San Diego.  It helps immensely when there are think seams to sew through.  I decided to use this foot because of the added thickness of the flannel.  I have never had a problem whenever I use it. I have my regular sewing foot that jumps because of the thickness or continues to sew and not move.  If you this sort of feature on your sewing machine, I recommend that you try to use it. 

Well, that is it for now.  I will try to let you know if I encounter other problems.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The last blocks of the "Check Out the Stars" Quilt

Here are the last of the blocks for my "Check Out the Stars" Quilt.  I made a total of thirty blocks, two of each of the fifteen blocks made.  I will ask my youngest daughter to help me put it together. She is coming home next Saturday for Thanksgiving.  If she doesn't like some of the blocks I can easily make more.

On to making another quilt.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

16th Month - Flock of Feathered Stars

This is the 16th month of the Flock of Feathered Stars block of the month.  We have two more months of this BOM.  This month's block is called "Chestnut Burr."  It was very easy compared to some of the other blocks because it has fewer "feathers" and they were larger.

We have one more block that is in the book and it is 24" square.  It is the center square and I don't know if we have to do this block in one month and my question is:  what are we doing during the 18th month?  I can't wait to find out.

The photograph of the blocks is not accurate:  they are block and beige.  For some reason they are not showing beige tonight.  

We're getting close to the end of this BOM.  I can't wait to finish it and take to a quilter to finish.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

More Blocks - Check Out the Stars

I have a few more blocks to share of my quilt, "Check Out the Stars." 

These are three additional blocks that sewed since my last posts of blocks.  I have a total of 16 of 30 needed.  I am in love with this block because of the large pieces and ease of sewing it together.  There is nothing fancy about the block but it has been fun putting it all together.  The only thing that I don't care for are the amount of "turquoise" that are in the blocks.  Obviously, I have quite a bit of turquoise.  I went to my local fabric store and purchased a few more "blue" pieces of fabric to move it away from so much "turquoise."  I hope it works out.  I will let you know.