Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Phebe - finished!

Phebe is finished and ready to go to the machine quilter!

But not before I redid something that's been bugging me. Do you see the red appliqued diamond shape next to the red dogtooth border? The pattern recommended appliqueing this shape but I never could get a really sharp point so ...

I paper pieced the diamond shape which I think looks better. Unfortunately, it didn't always meet the corner so nicely in the other blocks but I've decided its OK.

So, the backing has been pieced and tomorrow I'll be meeting with Jan, the machine quilter. I'm looking forward to seeing her ideas for quilting Phebe.

I've already been looking around my sewing room to see which project I should pick up. I'm afraid there is no shortage of projects to keep me busy!

Until next time, Mayleen 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Phebe - "Frames" 14 and 15

Here's Phebe as of a few hours ago! I'm still not so sure about the fabric I chose to use in the setting triangles and spacer strip but I felt it was the best choice. The seams are noticeable and, I didn't think this one through, I should have cut each setting triangle exactly the same.

I did have to make the spacer strip wider than the pattern calls for since my star border is longer than it should be. I have one more strip of fabric to add and then I plan to check if anything needs tweeking.

My goal is to finish Phebe by the end of the month and I think I'm going to make it!

Until next week, Mayleen

Saturday, January 18, 2014

14 on the 14th in 2014

I was inspired by another blogger to begin going through my sewing room and either donating, repurposing or getting rid of 14 things each month. My plan was to do this on the 14th of each month but you notice today is already the 18th.! I'm just a little behind. In my defense, I did start gathering things together on the 14th.

This pile includes crazy quilt projects from years ago, fabric, a sewing kit, applique thread that always knots when I use it, a guild twilling class project gone bad, a wood organizer thing, empty starch spray bottles, a Holly Hobbie doll pattern (?), a cell phone pouch, freebie pins from quilt shows I didn't attend, extra sheer bags for guild New Member gifts from last year and a lap quilting frame. Some of it may end up back in my sewing room but it better have a place to go and a use this time!

This past week I also made a simple flannel baby blanket for my daughter's baby shower. Those are Prairie Points as edging, my first time making them.

I've also been continuing to piece the Variable Stars for the last pieced border on Phebe.

 Do you ever feel like you're being watched? Clyde wants into my sewing room so bad but he's not allowed because he likes to chew on my house plant! If I have the door open, I surely have to have the spray water bottle with me or Clyde will sneak in. You can see it in the picture before this one.

By the way, I seem to be running a home for cats named after criminals! Jesse James has joined Bonnie & Clyde and will be making his blog debut soon. There were a few spats in the beginning but all three are now getting along (most of the time).

These aren't all the stars but I have finished piecing all 56 of them. Some need pressing and two others will need redoing or some tweeking. Next week, I hope to begin putting together that last pieced border. Border fabric choice reveal coming soon!

Until next time, Mayleen

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Uh, Oh!

This past week, I stitched on the last of the dogtooth borders and narrow brown borders. You probably have no idea how happy that made me! Next I began cutting the pieces for the 4 inch finished Variable Star blocks. While I was doing that, I began having pain in my shoulder and wrist so I cut what I could and have begun piecing.

Because of my experience making the Ohio Stars, which ended up very wonky, I'm paper piecing the Variable Stars. I think they're turning out much more accurate but I'm also being very careful when pressing. Ironing is probably the reason the Ohio Stars were wonky.

Here are some of the cut pieces awaiting assembly.

This is the second block I was putting together and yes, its the same photo above. I thought (still do!) its a nice block except for one thing!

The blocks are supposed to be set on point! I was so careful to fussy cut that I forgot about the setting and will need to remake the center square. Not a quilting catastrophe but just wanted to be very real about my quilting process. Things do not always go right but can usually be fixed!

Here is block #1, just to show you what its supposed to look like. Only 55 more to go! 
By the way, this is border fabric possibility #1 from my previous post. I've decided to finish the star blocks and lay them out on the possible border fabrics to see which one looks best before deciding which one to use. The issue with using this particular fabric is that the seams will be noticeable especially where flowers might join.

Until next time, Mayleen 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year from Phebe and I!

December wasn't necessarily a very busy month for me but Christmas preparations, illness, snow and an ice storm kept me from blogging as much as I wanted to. The ice storm wasn't as bad here as in other areas but the streets were ice packed and as a result, my husband was involved in a minor car accident just before Christmas which totalled our car. He wasn't injured but it did add a little stress to our holidays!

So, here is Phebe as she is today. She measures about 68 1/2 inches square and is getting too big for my design wall. I have two fleece covered 4x8 foot sheathing boards which I use for my design wall. They're great because they're lightweight and I can store them one in front of the other but unfortunately, my sewing room isn't large enough to have them both set side by side. From now on whenever I take a photo of Phebe, I'll need to wrangle the boards out of my sewing room and into the living room. Its quite a process.   

I'm ready to add border #12, the last dogtooth border, and I have either made a mistake, read the instructions wrong or am expecting something different than the pattern. The dogtooth border points are not lining up with the first dogtooth border points. I don't know if you can see this in the photo above but the white triangles are about 1/2 inch off. If you've made this quilt, could you let me know how your border 12 fit?

To correct this, I'm going to move the first triangle up 1/2 inch and add the needed triangles at the bottom of the border. This and some careful pinning and stitching should make the points align or come closer. I noticed the "Primarily Quilts" photo of the original quilt shows it pieced this way.

All of the border 12 strips are pieced and ready to stitch to the quilt after I make the necessary corrections. After that, another mitered brown narrow border which I'm happy to say will be the last one!

Of course, there is the question of the last border fabric. Ever since I began working on Phebe, I've been looking for just the right fabric to use in borders 14, 15 and 16. It needs to be a small busy print to hide the seams and it needs to be a light tan or brown so it will set off the dark brown mitered borders.
These are the four fabrics I've purchased in my quest to find the right border fabric and I'm not really happy with any of them. I've decided against the middle two fabrics because they're too dark.

 This is the fabric on the far left. I like the actual fabric the best but I don't think its the best choice for the border because due to the larger ecru flowers, the seams will show more. Did I mention that two of the borders are only 1/2 inch finished?

This is the fabric on the far right of the border fabric choices photo. Its the best choice at this point but I'm still not convinced beyond a shadow of doubt. Maybe it will look better with the Variable Star blocks pieced into it.

OK, this is where all of you readers can tell me I'm over thinking the whole fabric choice thing, LOL! Or, on the other hand, if you've got a better fabric suggestion please send it on.

I wish you all a Happy New Year full of meaningful relationships and experiences, especially the quilting kind!

Until next time, Mayleen