Sunday, October 28, 2012

sewing in church

I was asked to make a stole for the congregation to present to our new senior pastor upon his installation this afternoon.
I've been working a lot lately and did not budget enough time to finish it.
I got the machine work completed at about midnight and put out the call to several friends to sit with me in the balcony and work on the binding during this morning's service.
We sewed through the hymns.
We sewed through the sermon.
We sewed through the offertory.
(We put our needles down during the prayers.)
We sewed through the postlude and well after the service.
Finished it 28 minutes before the installation service.

Thank you to Bobbi, Nancy, and Jennifer for keeping me calm and getting it done!

Monday, October 15, 2012

pink spools

I needed some variety in my pinks for my spool quilt, and my small group came through with giving me a nice assortment of 10 inch strips to make these.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

grandmother's choice--Alice's flag, Aunt Eliza's star, New Jersey

Getting caught up on Barbara Brackman's Grandmother Choice sampler with blocks celebrating votes for women. Still need to applique a star on the striped block.
Andy's grandmother, Catherine Sorace Cervasio, about 1930.
Born in New York City. She gave me Italian cooking lessons by mail when Andy and I were newlyweds.

Friday, October 12, 2012

tip # 24 threading the binding

When pressing binding, I thread it up through the grate at the end of my ironing board. This helps keep it untangled as I pull it up to press. On the other end, the pressed binding puddles on the floor.

Monday, October 08, 2012

hanging chads

Just back from my quilter, Suzette Fisher. The block is scaled down from one Judy Laquidara posted on her Patchwork Times blog.

Made from deconstructed shirt parts.
My blocks finish 4 inches square.
Darks, two 2 1/2 inch squares and two 1 1/2 by 2 1/2 inch rectangles.
Lights, two 1 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inch rectangles. Named for the effect of the notorious ballots.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

mood! swatch!!

Alas, no Tim Gunn.
I was in New York last week and made a stop at Mood.
It was fun to see the shopping haunts of Project Runway, and of course, the dog Swatch.

I picked up two pieces of fabric that I will share with my neighbor, Sharon.
I already used bits of them in these spool blocks.
Make it work!

Friday, October 05, 2012

tip #23 speed pressing

Along with chain piecing and cutting, there is also chain pressing.
I press patches one over the other,
I off set each patch by about 1/2 inches so the seams don't pile up.
Place patch and open with left hand, press with iron in right hand.
Pick up next patch, place about 1/2 inch to left, and press.
Over, and over, and over.
You get a motion and a rhythm going that makes the pressing go very quickly.

Think about what all happens with pressing.
The hot iron relaxes the fibers then dries them under pressure to smooth.
I usually set the seam, pressing the patch as it was sewn. This embeds the sewing thread into the fabric.
But, I find that when I speed or chain press, the warmth of the previous patch relaxes the next patch enough that I can press without setting the seam.

I also do a count as I press to give myself a running total.
In this photograph I was working in sets of 10 for the boatload of half square triangles I needed to make a bunch of trees.
The block (on point) is 16 inches finished. I use old flat plate (no steam) irons so there are no holes for the corners of the patches to catch in.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

tip #22 cutting off dog ears while chain piecing

I use the Easy Angle for making half-square triangles. It makes one dog ear when you cut the triangles. You can cut it off by using the notched end of the ruler. But, I like to leave it on as it helps me in placing the triangles correctly under the presser foot.
So instead, I cut the dog ear at the same time I cut the pieces apart, either with a scissors or with a rotary cutter.
One motion to cut apart the chain and cut the dog ear off.
You can not only chain piece, but also chain cut, and chain press! (coming soon, a tip on chain pressing.)