Starburst Unsquared

Starburst Unsquared

A few things got me excited this week.

Not because it was -15  degrees on one day, 55 degrees the next, and 20 degrees with brisk winds and snow today. Nope, not that kind of excitement. Something about harsh weather that relieves you of responsability, and frees you up to play. Work was slow and I only had to work my 4 ten hour days, then off to stay in my jammies for the next 3.

I got to play with my new Tula Pink Rotary Cutter. I like it, and it’s pretty!

Tools_Cutting_Rotary_TulaPink

I got yet another 36×60 cutting mat. I now have 3 of them lined up under my bedroom rug to make a 60×108 cutting surface. I normally used two of them together to square up quilts after quilting and before binding, but I’ve been wanting to add another, and of course I had a coupon.

My local Quilt shop got in some Kaffe! It’s not a HUGE selection BUT they had the very one I needed 3 more yards of, for my OBW!

There has been a sudden intrest in my Jenny’s Starburst Quilt Enlarged layout post, and a request for directions make a rectangular one.  For a little added fun,  I did 3 Starburst Unsquared layouts in Kaffe! I updated the page, so they’d all be in one spot.

Enjoy!

#StarburstUnsquared

2017 Recap – Happy New Year!

2017 Recap – Happy New Year!

One year ago today, I started a new job that would give me more time to tickle my creative fancy.
I am in several FB quilting groups, and have seen women who have made dozens of quilts in one year, and a few who have made one quilt in a dozen years. I don’t know how either of those people did it, but I chose not to be intimidated by them. It’s not a race. It’s a journey – and what a journey I’ve had!
Lets see, I have made 11 quilts, all but one [Sunbonnet Sue] of which I gifted.

An Exploding Block quilt for Hubbys Grand Daughter


Exploding Block {head]

Minne Mouse baby quilt made from Strip sets.

Minnie To The Max

A pinwheel with crosses quilt made entirely from remnants for a special lady

Remnant Quilt – Why We Make Quilts!

Same strip sets made with same fabrics resulting in very different quilts for a set of twins:

I call this one “Stripped Pin wheel”


Ugly Jelly Part deux Stripped PinWheel

and  this modified Arkansas Traveler which is NOT paper pieced.


Ugly Jelly Part deux Gets Prettier – Arkansas Traveler

When a hurricane hit Texas, myself and some others sent quilts. Patriotic ones went to the first responders, and other designs were to be handed out as the first responders saw fit.

Rhombus Star


Texas Gets Red Bandanas – and some love

S block, and “Bob and Weave”

Texas Gets More Love

Finally Sunbonnet Sue has a home in my quilt as well as my heart


I want what I want – Color Story

I rushed to make 2 more to gift for Christmas.

InterWeave_Finished

[This is what quilting flowers on a stack and whack with a domestic machine looks like]

StackWhack_Quilting

Of course I stitched in the ditch everywhere else.

StackWhack_Finished

In addition to the quilts, I made . . .

A dish drying mat

Dish Drying mat – Because You Just Can’t Buy Awesome

A cat trap [to keep her off my fabric]

Cat_Trap

When things got heated this summer, I made 2 sets of “Don’t Call Me A Hot Head” insulated curtains

Insulated Office Curtains

and sleeveless top made from leftovers

Quilty Top – Sleeveless shortcut

I designed [and had my husband make] a thread stand that beats that plastic one all to heck, with it’s 3 spool holder and pre-tension for when you need a little more control. and of course you don’t have to unthread your machine to wind bobins!

Thread_Holder_wTension_02

I also designed [and had my husband make] a “Bed Mate” for my Rocketeer that holds my diagonal sewing guide [The Angler], so when I sew diagonally, I don’t have the draw the lines, and when I change the bobbin, I don’t have to line the needle back up with the guide.

Rocketeer_Binding_SetUp_01

I figured out the best way to make Frankenbatts – hint: it’s not the zig zag stitch.

I got better at sandwiching [still looks like a Crime Scene but I’m quicker now] and binding.

Plus signed up for the Sew Sampler monthly box which gave me all sorts of ideas and gadgets to try this past year.

but the best thing about that whole year was I got to spend Christmas with my Sister and Mother for the first time in about 30 years! We weren’t mad at each other, well not really, but they had moved out of the state we all started out in, and we often went years without seeing each other. I have “a thing” – If you move away from me, I am not obligated to visit you, and if you want to see me, you have to come to me. Of course I don’t enforce it – as I hate the “critical cleaning” one must do in order to give the impression we live in a “Better Homes and Gardens” competition home.
This year I didn’t clean much, but not because of working 80 hrs a week this time. Nope because it was my year of selfish indulgence. Oh sure, I did things for others, it’s just in my nature, but I got to do more of “my stuff” and I ended it with a lot of doing for others, which is a kind of self indulgence in a way because it’s makes one feel good.
I traveled – not for Christmas to see my Mom and Sis, but ON Christmas to see my Mom and Sis. Yep I was at the airport on Christmas day. My mom had a health scare and didn’t come to my state this fall like she usually does, so she decided to visit my sister for Christmas. I decided to crash that party. The plane tickets were crazy expensive  but spending Christmas with Mom and Sis was priceless. I had started a quilt when I had bronchitus that I had found pre-cut in a bag of scraps gifted to me by a quilty neighbor, and the more I worked on it, the more I felt like it belonged to my Sister’s Daughter. I was right – she loved it and it was her colors. After buying the plane tickets, I went balls to the wall to finish it plus a quilted table cloth for my sisters Christmas table setting.

I wasn’t alone, though. I had my husband make about 50 pounds of pork sausage, 30lbs of which I brought with us  in an insulated bag inside another insulated bag as my carry on.
Our plane was so late that we arrived 8 pm instead of the 8 am it was suposed to, and the table was already cleared of the dinner we missed, so before taking my bag upstairs while they made up our dinner plates, I said “Wait!” and pulled the table cloth out of my bag and said “This is for you” as gaudy as I knew it would be considering her taste, I tossed it on the table and it fit perfectly.
Her taste in decor had been altered due to the passing of her husbands mother, and the home was now sprinkled with antique glass – something my sister never showed and intrest in – and since I used to sell antique glass on ebay for about 10 years, I recognised many of the pieces. but more than that I realised this was the first Christmas that my Sis and her Hubby weren’t having with his parents. They had both passed away, one at a time that year, and they had always spent Christmas with them.
So my Mom’s visit and my party crashing actually served as a distraction for what would have otherwise been a notable void in the festivities. If they thought there would only be 4 of them this year, they were mistaken.

InterWeave_Gifted

So, did I finish everything I started this year? Not quite, but I finished the important stuff.
People are important.
Hug your loved ones!

PS, if you can’t be there to hug them, you know what to do – make them a quilt!

StackWhack_Gifted

I can’t wait to see what 2018 brings!

#WhatchaGot2018! #HugYourLovedOnes

One Monthly Goal

One Monthly Goal

I never joined groups before because I didn’t have time. The short version is that since I’ve changed jobs, I do have time, and I’ve been having more fun too!

One quilty project a month seams a  bit daunting, but I’ve been doing it pretty much all year sew far. I mean 5 quilts, a set of curtains, dish mat, tool bag, and even a shirt made out of left over quilt fabric [with a pattern I got at an all day sew], sew I guess I really have been doing it all along. Why not join the OMG group? Sure, maybe I’ll join and then fall apart.  but I’ll try again. Sew here we go . . .

One Monthly Goal 

and something else I’ve recently joined because I didn’t have time before was the  fabric Shop Hop
which gave me quite the tour of internet fabric shops. It took me a week, but I found all of those elusive wabbits!

I can hardly wait to see what I come up with next!

Oh, and I’ll be posting a shortcut for making sleeveless tops out of quilt fabric soon . . .

Hint, my shortcut eliminates binding the arm holes.

but if you need to look at something pretty for now, how about this stock pile of KFC [Kaffe Fasset, Brandon Mably, and Philip Jacobs] fabrics for an upcomming Back To School project . . .

KFC_NotTryinToQuiltBuyin

#FunStuff #BackToSchool

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.

Curtains_Office_Cutout_03

Don’t forget to notch it.

Curtains_Office_Cutout_04

The cutout is turned out and top stitched.

Curtains_Office_Cutout_06

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

Curtains_Office_Cutout_07

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.

Office_Curtains_02

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

#InsulatedCurtains #WindowTreatments #DontCallMeAHotHead #SunIsNotKickingMyButt #Ahhhhhh

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.

Update: They sent another one out quickly, and it was not stapled to the packaging. Yay!

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

Two_Ten_Inch_Square_Cut_8Pcs_03

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.

Two_Ten_Inch_Square_Cut_8Pcs_Makes8QSTs_03

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, then promptly abandoned it. 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 [I mean, ya know from other peoples hair, not mine] solution.

Update: I finished the bag, and it only took a year! Once I ripped out the side piece [or ring], I didn’t bother ripping out the zipper. It was easier to just make another side piece and put the new zipper in that.

Finished! Circle Bag for Rotating mat

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