Don’t Call Me A Hot Head – Curtains

Don’t Call Me A Hot Head – Curtains

Sometimes you want a break from quilting, and sometimes the sun kicking your butt makes you take a break from quilting to make insulated curtains for the office.

When I sit at my computer in the evening, the glorious sun shares it’s wealth of color and heat – right on top of my head. I think I can enjoy it, but after about 6 minutes, I feel like I am on fire, and it takes me about 30 minutes to cool down and feel right again. Last year, I am ashamed to say that I hung a towel over the lace curtain. It doesn’t cover the whole window, just the part where the sun heats up my head.
Last Christmas, on the Eve, in fact, my monitor died. At 4 pm. I remember this because I thought “I have 2 hours before the stores close” and ran out and bought a 32″ flat screen TV to hook up to my computer. It worked, but the other window behind me glared onto it, so that I had to hang a sheet over that lace curtain.
So now what we have is a trashy looking office, which simply won’t do for a person of my taste and creativity.
Enter Timeless Treasures Suffolk panel!

Picture 56404

I decided to get two of these and cut them in half. I am not a fan of black backgrounds on fabric, so I will add some more color to lighten it up. I added a wide strip of sky blue batik, and a narrow strip of lavender to build it out to the dimensions I require.
When I use quilters cotton for curtains, I place a layer of thick white felt behind it, because the sun will shine through it, and wash out the colors. Now, if these were going to be “black out” curtains, I would add a layer of black felt instead, but I actually want a bit of sunlight to show through.
Once I have these two layers done, I move on to the batting, and backing.

Office_Panel

Experience has shown that no matter what color you use on the back, it will fade to nearly white, so now I just use Kona white.
It so happened that I needed more Kona white to finish the second of the “Twin” quilts, so I bought extra.
While cutting the back of the panels, I used the selvage for the edge of the liner of the cut out and had some extra in between, so I cut strips for the quilt. If I didn’t have the selvage, I’d have to hem it – only as a fray check because it doesn’t show.

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Don’t forget to notch it.

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The cutout is turned out and top stitched.

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A scrap is added on top of the cutout to finish the edges when it is sewn together.

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Before sewing all the layers together, you want to sew  the batting to the backing [about 6 inches] where you will leave it open to turn it out. You be glad you did when you go to hand sew it closed.

Curtains_Office_Layer

After it is sewn and turned right sides out,  I usually stitch right at bottom of the cutout, but that stitch placement didn’t look good on the front.

Curtains_Office_Back_TurnedOut

I use number 4 thick poly batting for the middle, and I quilt it according to what looks good on the front – not what the manufacturor says.

They are 27″W x 29″L and quite poofy!

I did not quilt these more because every stitch that has the sun behind it will show as points of light. You can see a bit of that in the Bedroom Curtains I made. If the curtain was bigger, I could have quilted the batting to the backing before sewing the front on to avoid the light comming through the stitches. These are small, and I will hand or gentle cycle wash them.

Curtains_Office_Finished_Back

The front

Curtains_Office_Finished_Top

Now when I go in the office, I am greeted by the amazing glow of big beautiful flowers.

Office_Curtains_01

Both of these pictures were taken on a sunny afternoon. Above with lights on, and below with lights off.

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Good bye Hot head! Now I can get back to quilting.

#InsulatedCurtains #WindowTreatments #DontCallMeAHotHead #SunIsNotKickingMyButt #Ahhhhhh

Ugly Jelly Part deux – Baby Quilt

Ugly Jelly Part deux – Baby Quilt

Ugly Jelly makes a baby!
This was an easy quilt, and fun to make.
I was asked by Brat to make, and I quote “a quilt” for another Navy friend. The thing is, this friend had twins! Great! So, I had to figure on making two quilts, both alike, yet different. My first thought was to make same quilt, but add a different element of color. Of course that is the easiest, so I chose a design I had recently made to use precuts. I bought the fabric:  one layer cake, and Kona’s color of the year for sashing, and thought “easy peasy” while waiting for my squishy to arrive. When I got ready to make it, I noticed Kona’s Flamingo Pink didn’t quite match the large floral prints of the layer cake that I wanted to use. Back burner!
So it sat a bit until I got this idea from a book to make pinwheels out of a strip set. I have over 50 jelly rolls, and still have some of those ugly ones that I made my first Ugly Jelly Quilt from in other colorways. Time to use them up! Thank goodness they only came in sets of 20 strips. I grabbed 3 rolls knowing I would pull out some of the more hideous ones.

Warning: The following image may not be suitable for sewists of fine taste.

WHAT were they thinking?

I had some templates cut for me at the local hardware store years ago to use for fussy cutting, so I found my 3.5″ one, and drew a line 1 1/8th inch from the top across to 1 1/8th from the bottom on the other side, and made a test strip. I cut it, assembled it, and liked it. I later added little feet to the template so it would float over the seam, and not move while I cut them.

Each strip set of 2 will get  8 pieces to make 2 blocks, with some serious leftovers. Only 3 more squares = not enough for another block. I will worry about that later.

The drawn line shows up better if it is on the ‘down’ side. Simply line up with the seam, and cut.

Stripped_PinWheel_Cut_01

Turn and cut again

Stripped_PinWheel_Cut_02

Turn again, and cut again.

Stripped_PinWheel_Cut_03

 

Once more.

Stripped_PinWheel_Cut_04

2 stacks of 4 pieces, and here’s the leftovers. If I was doing a 2 color quilt, I could use these better, but I’m not.

Stripped_PinWheel_Cut_05

These blocks can be arranged either way.

Stripped_PinWheel_Blocks_Makes2

I would need 56 blocks to do a 7×8 layout bringing it to 42×48. That’s 56 strips sewn into 28 pairs.

Stripped_PinWheel_Fabric_UglyJellysAgain

Once I removed the more hideous ones, I replaced them with some pink strips cut from Timeless Treasures.

Stripped_PinWheel_Fabric_TimelessTreasures

I will never buy a roll of strips from this company again. I still have 6 more reminders of this mistake.

After all the strip sets were sewn, I set up an assembly line in front of the TV, and cut the whole thing while watching one single movie! The 3.5 template set on my small rotating cutting board enabled me to spin and cut on all 4 sides without moving the template.

Yes, that’s a sandwich baggie taped to the side of the table.

Stripped_PinWheel_Sit_N_Spin

Meanwhile my Sew Sampler box [by Fat Quarter Shop] had arrived on the same day as my new wooden wall paper roller. The SS box contained a seam roller tool by clover, so I tried both. I wanted to like the wood one that was only $8, and I might have, if not for how nice the clover one fits in my hand, plus is exactly as wide as the seam. It retails for about $14. Again, I never would have bought this, but since it came in my box, I am really diggin it! In fact I went to a newly formed Featherweight group a couple of towns away, and showed them what I was working on, and a lady there was so impressed with the tool, that she bought one on her phone while I was there. The other ladies were fascinated [after I explained what a Sew Sampler box was] that I get Christmas  delivered to me once a month!

Stripped_PinWheel_Blocks_Assembly_No_Iron

 

Then I made an assembly line sewing station. I lined them up, and ran through 4 sets of 2 at first, then took the first two off the chain, pressed them with the seam roller, placed them together, and ran them through, completing one block.

Stripped_PinWheel_Blocks_Assembly_Chain_Piecing_02

Then 2 more sets of two, cut two more off the chain, put completed block asside, rolled the seams, place together, and run them under the needle.

 

Stripped_PinWheel_Blocks_Assembly_Chain_Piecing

Every 3rd piece in the chain was a completed block until they were all done.

Stripped_PinWheel_Blocks_Assembly_Chain_Piecing_01

 

It took longer to arrange them on my “quilt wall” than it did to sew them.
The whole thing was done in a weekend.

 

Stripped_PinWheel_Blocks_Arrangement

 

Tips:

1. When making the blocks, because the colors all meet in the center, you don’t have to focus on matching the seems so much. Instead, focus on  matching the edges of the fabric, and you won’t have to trim or square up these blocks before sewing them together.

2. When sewing the blocks into rows, I did not press the seams until they were all sewn. That way, I could press one row’s seams to the east, and the next row’s seams to the west, so they all nested. Yes, I press to one side so I can [say it with me] stitch in the ditch.

3. I have a set of numbered pins, that I used on the first block in each row, because order is sew important on a scrappy quilt like this! It takes a lot of work to make stuff look random. [the tiny white circles in quilt below are the numbered pins]

Stripped_PinWheel_Assembled_Top

I will quilt this when I get the second one done.

Stripped_PinWheel_Top_50x55

Now I must mull over how to make another quilt out of the scraps! Ugly scraps. Ugh!

Stripped_PinWheel_Fabric_Leftovers

Stay tuned. It gets prettier! I promise.

#UglyJellyQuilt #UglyHasABaby #IfItsStillUglyYouDidn’tCutItSmallEnough #QuiltInAWeekend

Seams Sew Easy

Seams Sew Easy

. . . . not to staple the packaging to the product!

I mostly use my Featherweight to sew 1/4″ seams, but last month I decided to use her for flip and sews. You know where you place a small square piece on a larger piece and sew corner to corner, commonly called “sno-balls” I thought a darling daisy shaped seam guide  might be worthy of such a splendid machine.

Seams_Sew_Easy_01

My thoughts were not shared with the packaging department, where the wicked stapler vicously weilded his weaponry through the bag and the seam guide, tearing it in several directions.

Seams_Sew_Easy_03

I’m a fixer. I fix things. I tried to snap the pieces together flat to no avail.

When I spend slave-like-a-dog-cash on an 80 year old machine, countless hours polishing her to a fine sheen, more time selecting and assembling fabric to make a  tote with matching scratch free bed cover to protect her from the elements, I will not unceremoniously place a jagged thingy of any sort on her bed!

 

Seams_Sew_Easy_02

Hopefully Connecting Threads will replace this item, so I can get on with my life. I have a lot of snoballs to make!

  • Before I recieve suggestions on how to live without this seam guide, just know that:

1 I will not

2 I have other machines, and did in fact already use my Rocketeer to do some snoballing.

Q: what is it?

A: This picture of my Rocketeer with “The Angler” seam guide was a test after I refurbished it.  Normally, I would have made tiny holes to screw it into the bed instead of the tape. Anyway there are 1/4 inch lines on BOTH sides of the needle, plus diagonal lines to sew corner to corner without having to mark the fabric. The daisy shaped one has different lines, but works much the same way.

Thread_CrossWound_500_01

 

#SeamsSewEasy #BeeinMyBonnet #BadStapler #Rocketeer

 

Quarter Square Triangle from Layer Cake Alternative

Quarter Square Triangle from Layer Cake Alternative

Today, lets play with two 10 in squares sliced 4 times to get 8 Quarter Square Triangles, or QST’s.

I am a Jenny fan, and I do buy precuts, but many times I want to make additional blocks to make the quilt bigger, or I run into a piece in a pack that I don’t want to use for the quilt I am making.
This will require hitting my stash for co-ordinating fabric, and knowing what size that block is and how much fabric I need, would be helpful.
So if you want to know just what size block you get when you slice and dice a 10 inch square 4 times, like in Jenny’s  Checkered Lattice Quilt, here you go:

I grabbed some crappy scraps and sewed them right, or as I like to say “pretty” sides together with a 1/4″ seam on all 4 sides. In reality, I sewed these wrong sides together, but I didn’t rip the stiches out, because A: No side of this fabric was very pretty, and B: this was only an experiment.
PRETTY sides together folks!
I sliced my sandwich in half using Missouri Star’s wonderful 5×15 ruler in each direction.

Two_Ten_Inch_Square_Cut_8Pcs_01

Then I sliced the sandwich corner to corner in each direction, making 8 pieces.

Two_Ten_Inch_Square_Cut_8Pcs_02

Each piece will be a 2 color triangle measuring 4 3/4″ tall and about 9 1/2″ long.

The backside is shown here

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It is important to note that you get 4 with blue on the left and 4 with blue on the right.

Two_Ten_Inch_Square_Cut_8Pcs_Makes8QSTs_01

I sewed them together, matching up the opposite colors.

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If you do this, you will get almost 6 1/2″ block.

Two_Ten_Inch_Square_Cut_8Pcs_Makes8QSTs_04

If you trim sparingly, you will get 6 1/8 which is odd, so I recommend trimming to an even 6″ which I did not do here. It’s difficult to trim to 6 1/8, so I won’t do that again!

Make sure you get your corners better than I did below! See the top two? You’ll see them later in the finished block as cut off points!

Two_Ten_Inch_Square_Cut_8Pcs_Makes8QSTs_05

#WhyWeExperimentWithCrappyFabric

Two_Ten_Inch_Square_Cut_8Pcs_Makes8QSTs_06

and here’s our cut off points, right smack in the middle!

Two_Ten_Inch_Square_Cut_8Pcs_Makes8QSTs_07

Sewing those four 6 1/8 blocks gets you one 11 3/4 block, but if you trim to 6″, count on getting 11 1/2″

Two_Ten_Inch_Square_Cut_8Pcs_Makes8QSTs_08

Here’s the “pretty” side.  Ooops!

Two_Ten_Inch_Square_Cut_8Pcs_Makes8QSTs_09

 

 Alternative for additional blocks or Stash busting instructions:
I measured the results of the 8 piece cutting method, and discovered you can get the same cut with two 5″ squares!
Can you say “Charm Pack Hack”?

 

Two_Ten_Inch_Square_Cut_8Pcs_04

Yes, two charms will make 2 of the same size QST’s as Jenny’s method above.
Note that these are not Half Square Triangles [HST’s] so you can’t sew them corner to corner.
You have 2 options.
1. Sew down opposite sides which will give you two of the same QSTs.
Cutting from the bottom left to the top right as shown, will give you two with the top color [blue] on the right, and the bottom neutral color on the left.
If you cut from the bottom right to the top left [not shown], you will get two pieces with your top color [blue] on the left.

However, once you turn one upside down to sew it to the other, they will line up perfectly for the checkered lattice quilt.
OR
2. sew down one side plus around the corner like an L shape. Cutting diagonally through the point where the stitch lines meet, will give you two opposite QST’s, one with blue on the right, and one with blue on the left. [shown with red number 3]

Now if you take these two opposites [red #3] and face them together, they won’t be opposite anymore. The two blues will be next to each other!  I only included this option  in case you need to replace a block or two. Misstakes happen!

Two_Ten_Inch_Square_Cut_8Pcs_05b

Lets take example number 1 and play a bit . . .

When you cut it, go ahead and cut it corner to corner, and remove those few stitches.

You will get 2 of the same pieces which will line up as opposites.

Now lets sew them together, and here is our square again. See the pretty side up? I can learn!

Charm_Pack_Hack_04

Even though this block cries out for prettier fabric, I have 2 quilts going on right now, and  I’m not getting out more fabric, so here is the Checkered Lattice block made with 2 crappy charms. It trims to 7 1/2 inches.

That means one charm pack [of 40 pieces] will get you 20 blocks, which if placed 4 across and 5 down, will get you a 28×35 quilt before borders.

2 charm packs +4 extra pieces makes 42 blocks to get 6 across and 7 down for a 42×49 quilt before borders.

When trimming/squaring up this block, make sure you get the 3 3/4″ mark in the center, and your corners on the fabric color change for the best results when assembling.

Charm_Pack_Hack_05

 

There you have it. A charmpack Hack by Yours truly,

PrettyCurious, author of WhatWerks

 

#CheckeredLatticeQuilt #10inchSquaresSliced4Times #PrecutAlternative #LayerCakeHacks #CharmPackHack #TheydontCallMePrettyCuriousForNothing #MistakesHappen

Rip As You Go?

Rip As You Go?

Some people like to have  knitting, crochet, or small piecing [hexies] projects handy, so when they find themselves in a situation that requires waiting, they have something productive to do. You’ve seen them in waiting rooms, mall benches, dentist offices, and the like. You may have been one of those people a time or two.

I have a couple of “Quilt As You Go” books, and they suggest that people carry around things to quilt.

I haven’t done any of those things yet, but when I had to have  my hair done last week,  I decided to bring something with me  that I don’t like to do.

A while ago, I found a wood lazy susan for $3 at a thrift shop. Of course I hunted down  a pink cutting mat to match Mustangs case tote, and had the mat cut to fit.  Them I made an awesome bag for it!

TurnTable_Bag.01

but it turns out , I don’t like the flimsy zipper, so I put the bag aside waiting for a better idea. Later I found one I liked, which sealed it’s fate, and mine. This bag has sat waiting for it’s proper zipper for way too long, so I packed it up with a seam ripper.

Yep, I may have just invented “Rip As You Go”

Any tears shed could be blamed on the coloring solution.

#ThingsIhateDoing #TimeSuck #RipAsYougo #HaveSeamRipperWillTravel #WeAllMakeMistakes #DontJudgeMe

Obey the Chocolate!

Obey the Chocolate!

I don’t know if chocolate is a quilter thing, or a ladies thing, but it is my husbands thing, so I try to keep some on hand.

Who knew Dove Chocolate would be an enabler?

A few months ago, I opened this one:

Buy_Frivolous

and of course I obeyed.

When I bought Frivol #8 last sumer, I told myself I wouldn’t get caught up in the “Got to have one of each” thing, but it turns out one can’t live with “Bread ‘n Butter” alone.

12_Frivols02

Why are  these in my office? Because I often find the cordinating fabric collections on sale, and I must buy them. That also explains the Windermere layer cake and the Songbird Gatherings mini charm pack. The Petite Prints Deux charm pack, and the Bread ‘n Butter Jelly Roll are hiding. One day, I will hear “Hello Darling, you must make me today” or “Little Miss Sunshine wants to come out and play” and I will be ready.

and I saved that Dove Chocolate wrapper in case he asks.

 

#ObeyThePrettyFabric #BuySomethingFrivolous #ModaFrivols #NoSuchThingAs TooMuchFabric

Minnie To The Max

Minnie   To The Max

Sometimes you just gotta do something relaxing, that doesn’t take much brain power.
This is that quilt.
I like fabric panels, even though I know there will be no lines . . . ahem . . . ditches to follow when I quilt it.

There’s a girl at work who is pregnant. One day, she  told me she would have 2 girls, and I asked if she was having twins. She said no, she had one girl already, and showed me some pictures of her family at a birthday party. The theme was pink Minnie Mouse. Probably a month later, I was drooling over fabric online, when I found some pink Minne Mouse fabric that reminded me of her. I threw  a couple yards in with my order, thinking I may make a baby quilt for my co-worker.
I was only thinking about it because I feared that somone else would want me to make them a quilt, too.

I have many thoughts on “Request sewing” but the bottom line is I don’t care for it. I really have enough to do, and I sew some out of need, and some for fun. The thing is we can’t control many things in life, but I can control what I sew.

peshaw! If you think you can get me to make you a $50 quilt and yes that is my piecedby.me water mark

Then I came across a Minnie panel with some pink in it, and decided I wasn’t going to overthink this, and just make her a darling baby quilt already! I would give it to her quietly, and hope I wouldn’t get any requests.
I ordered the panel, then cut strip pieces that I thought I would make a nice piano key border – something I haven’t done yet. Hey, why not practice on other peoples quilts?

When it came, I saw it was much too big to be the center of a baby quilt. Most panels are 24×44, but this one was 36×44. I hung it up for inspiration, and thought why not the back? That certainly solves two problems. 1 How to make a quilt out of a larger panel, and 2 what to put on the back!

Minnie_Backing

I had already cut 12 – 2 1/2″ strips of each contrasting colors, so I decided to do the whole quilt out of them. Notice the Remnant Quilt  pieces I was taking a “think break” from in the background.

Minnie_Cutting_Blocks

The 2 1/2″ strips were fed through Mustang when my brain needed a break from the remnant quilt process.

Minnie_Strips

I sewed the 2 contrast colors together, then sew those two strip sets together , alternating the colors to make a tube. Like I did for my Dish mat

The 6 resulting tubes of stips should cut to 8 – 6″ blocks each, but I got 9 out of mine. Normally, I’d use all 48 or [54 if you get 9] blocks, but I was limited to the size of the panel. I have some fabric left, so maybe I make another?

Minnie_Rows02

Once I joined the blocks to make a row, I pressed the first row on one direction, and the second row in the other.

Minnie_Rows_Back02

I usually press to the dark, but when I stitched the rows together, they were quite bulky, so I pressed them open, making a note to myself not to stitch in that ditch.

Minnie_Rows_Back_Pressed

I always place a pin in the top row to help keep me from sewing the next row to the top.

Minnie_Pin_Top

I arranged 42 blocks 6 across by 7 down, and quilted in the ditch diagonally in each direction.

Then I stitched around the  square in the center of each block, removing the pins after I completed each square so I wouldn’t miss one.

Minnie_Quilt_In_Square

The back looks kinda good!

Minnie_Quilt_In_Square_Back

Sometimes a contrast binding is called for, especially when the quilt contains large prints. I found some black fabric with white hearts, and used it for the binding.

Minnie_Finished_Binding

Finished!

Minnie_Finished

Yes, I did try to agonise  over thread colors, but went with pink on top and white on the bottom, and now I am happy I did.

Minnie_Finished02

My husband remarked that she may not know which side is the front!

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Just for beginer quilters who use home machines, the quilting was a cinch! Here are my crudely drawn quilting diagrams.

First diagonal lines in one direction

Minnie_Finished_SID_01

Then diagonally in the other direction

Minnie_Finished_SID_02

Then outline the whole design following the V’s  on the edge of the border.

Minnie_Finished_SID_03

Finally, I outlined the little squares formed by the pattern. This was easy to stop with needle down in the corners, and spin the quilt through the throat of my machine to sew the next line in the square.

Minnie_Finished_Stitch_In_Ditch02

Simple, and easy for a domestic sewing machine.

The monday I was going to give the girl this quilt, she was off for maternity leave already, so I gave it to her best friend to give to her. No fan fare was made of it, so I am happy about it.

I think I’m ready to tackle another quilt!

  • which I am already playing hooky from as I write this.

 

 

#MinneMouseQuilt #JellyRollStripPiecing #PanelForQuiltBack #NoSuchThingAsa$50Quilt #ThankYouForNotAskingMeToMakeYouaQuilt