About Gretchen

I am a retired public school teacher and media specialist and University lecturer. Total retirement is new to me, but I’m adjusting.

Project Update

I finished the wall hanging for the church auction. I am happy with the way it turned out and hope it does well at the auction. I am fairly certain that I am not a big fan of fusible appliqué, although I admit it was quick. I don’t think I will do it on Getting to Know Hue. I’m pretty sure that one will be hand appliqué.

Here’s the finished wall hanging.

I have also been working a bit on the third Rosette 2 for La Passacaglia. It is going to brighten up a bit in the next couple of rounds.

And I decided I was no longer feeling the look of the Kimberly Einmo Spinning Stars quilt I started at the same time as I started Lone Star Explosion. The first star block I made didn’t have enough contrast and I’m not really fond of the other block. 

I still like the fabrics so I will repurpose those. I haven’t gained a project box with this move though, because that one is broken and will have to go away. Sigh. But there is one less project to worry about.

Quilt on!

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Books on Monday – Quilting on the Go…English Paper Piecing

Welcome back to Books on Monday. We still have a couple of months worth of this before I run out of books that I have purchased, so expect a post on the second and fourth Monday of each month.

Today we are looking at Quilting on the Go…English Paper Piecing by Sharon Burgess. Yes, the link below is an Amazon Affiliate link which will help to support this blog.

 

Now, if you are a regular reader of this blog, you know I like to do hand work but English paper piecing is just not my thing. Which, of course, is why I never planned to purchase this book even though I liked the look of lots of the patterns. I didn’t plan to purchase this right up until Linda Franz announced an Inklingo pattern for Celestial Stars, the cover quilt. I am a big Inklingo fan and plan to purchase the pattern soon. Here is where you can get more information on that.

Now you know why I am holding this lovely book in my hands, let’s get to the information. First, I have marked 9 patterns in this book that I would consider making. Pretty good for a for a technique I don’t like! And let me talk a little about the beautiful job the publisher did on this book. It is gorgeous and sturdy! The covers have folded flaps so you can use them to hold your place if you are so inclined. (I’m not, because I’m a former librarian and that seems sacrilegious to me.)

Let’s look at what is inside. The illustrations in this book are numerous and beautiful. The projects are made in bright fabrics that appeal to me, so, of course, that helps. And the variety of projects (all of which are lovely) just makes me want to make all (or most of) them. Some of the projects use blocks that I would not have thought of as EPP blocks (all the better!), so there might be other ways to make them.

The book begins with lovely pictures – several pages of them. Sure, the Table of Contents and Title Page are also there, but I spent most of my time looking at those pictures. I may not want to make stacks of EPP hexagons, but I’ll happily look at lovely pictures of other people’s efforts in that direction.

I think the best way to go through the book from here would be to do an annotated Table of Contents, so here we go!

  • Introduction – Exactly what you’d expect from a friendly author
  • Project Gallery – Pictures of all the projects with the page number so they can be quickly located in the book. A very nice touch if you ask me!
  • What Is English Paper Piecing? – A one page definition
  • Papers and Templates – Includes a tip on making your own
  • My Essential English Paper Piecing Tools – Begins with a picture and continues on to describe each item and how she uses it.
  • Techniques – All the information you need to do your EPP like Sharon Burgess.
    • How to glue your papers – No thread basting for Sharon!
    • Preparing papers with curves – How to ease those curves into shape.
    • Joining your pieces – There are a couple of great tips for joining some of the more unusual shapes, like clamshells
    • Strip cutting your fabric – In case you aren’t planning to fussy cut
    • Fussy cutting – In case you are.
    • Including EPP in any project – Tips for trimming up your project
    • Hand stitches – Whip, Running, Blind
    • Quilting – Very basic mentions of what happens. This is, of course, not the focus of this book.
    • Binding – A brief discussion of how to bind.
    • Metric conversion chart – Sharon’s an Aussie. This also contains a glossary of terms.
    • The next two sections are listed in the Table of Contents under Techniques but actually show up after the projects section.
      • Templates – All the templates needed for the projects in this book.
      • Resources and acknowledgments – Exactly what you would expect.
  • Projects – As I mentioned before, there are some great projects in this book. I strongly recommend you look at them. And make some!

Just so you are aware, I have no affiliation with this book or author. I purchased my own copy of the book. And, yes, I plan to use it!

Finish-A-Long Q4 – Finish Number Two

After several years, I have finally completed what I’m now calling Lone Star Explosion, a quilt I began in a class with Kimberly Einmo at the 2014 Grand Rapids AQS show. Here are a few process photos.

Possible blocks

Layout possibilities.

Here’s another layout possibility.A possibile star.This layout?

A possible blockAnother possible block.

My final layout plan is a mixture of two of Kimberly Einmo’s suggestions. Here it is before the white borders were added.

Here it is all quilted, bound, washed and dried. The binding is a fabric from the collection (Ink Blossoms) that I found online and thought I might use as border fabric. When I tried it out, I didn’t like it, but it makes a great binding.

Here is the quilt in use for reading! It will actually probably end up on a wall somewhere, but for now…What have you been finishing?

Quilt on!

I Am Still Alive and Kicking

Yep, I am still hanging in here. I have even been doing some quilting and have a finish (and am very close to another. Honest.

I’ve been hand sewing the binding to the back of Lone Star Explosion and it is now washed and finished. Stay tuned for its official finish post.
Then I moved out of my comfort zone and did a bit of fused appliqué. This is a small wall hanging for the church auction.

Carolyn saw this wall hanging in an LQS and told me that if I made it for the auction, she’d buy it. So I was trapped. Here it is all ready to quilt.

I am currently in the process of finishing the binding on this and will post some finished pictures in a day or two.

Up next this weekend is my Saturday Sampler block since Saturday, Monday and Tuesday are block pickup days.

What have you been doing?

Quilt on!

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Craftsy Class Sale

It’s hard to believe the holidays are on the horizon, but the good new is there’s still time to harness your creativity. Grab any Craftsy class at $19.99 and get to making something special for the season. This sale begins Friday, November 10 at 12:01 am MST and ends on Sunday, November 12 at 11:59 pm MST.

Click here to get your sale classes and help support this blog.

And quilt on!

Books on Monday – Scrap-Basket Strips and Squares

Yes, in cleaning up the sewing room I discovered a stack of books that I could review. So, yes, there will be a few Books on Monday posts on the second and fourth Mondays of the next few months. Since today is the fourth Monday, here we go. Remember that this post will contain Amazon Affiliate links which will help to support this blog.

This week we are looking at Scrap-Basket Strips and Squares: Quilting with 2 1/2″, 5″, and 10″ Treasures by Kim Brackett.

Kim is the author of other Scrap-Basket books also, most of which I own. Obviously, I like her design aesthetic. This book is no disappointment. There are 18 projects in this book and I marked 15 of them as projects I might be interested in making. I have a ton of precuts, so it is realistic to imagine that some of that may actually happen.

One of the first things that I appreciated as I looked at this book is the fact that Kim mentions in the Introduction the fact that the fabrics used in the projects in the book would most likely have been discontinued. She then gives tips for people who want to make a quilt as close about as possible to those in the book even if the fabrics are no longer available. I’ve not seen that anywhere before and I found it very interesting to read.

After the Introduction, there’s a section called “Things to Know About Precuts” which includes information about how to deal with the pinked edges among other things. This is followed by a page called “Special Piecing Techniques” which basically describes how to do folded corner units.

Next come the projects. As I mentioned previously, there are 18 of them. Each of them gives cutting instructions for those who prefer to use scraps in their projects in addition to the cutting directions for the precuts. The directions appear to be vey easy to follow, although I have not yet actually made one of the quilts. As I read the directions, I can picture how I’d do each one, so I’m hopeful.

After the projects comes a page of resources, including identifying the fabrics in several of the quilts. This is followed by a page with Acknowledgments and About the Author.

Overall, I have plans for this book and recommend it if you are looking for scrappy quilt ideas.

Quilt on!

Deep Sunday Morning Thoughts

Not really. Just a few random updates.

First, I now have a clean sewing room. Yes I took all the movable stuff out and rearranged and put things away. I still have several things to put back, but I’m very close to done and my cutting table is no longer a collector of junk.

Here’s how the room looked when I moved all the stuff out:

Part of putting stuff back in the room included setting up my new backup/class machine which is now named Sophia. (Ella, my big machine, is at the spa.) Here she is in all her glory.

Once she was set up, I had to make sure she worked. So she and I put together this block for Layer Cake Explosion.

We will probably do more later, because my Lone Star Burst came back from the quilter and it’s binding time. Of course, binding is a bit easier to make with Ella and her laser, but Sophia and I can handle this!

Quilt on!

Update

Just a brief post to show you the little that I’ve been up to since taking the Lone Starburst to the longarmer.

Thursday I remembered that I needed to make my two blocks for the Saturday Sampler. I managed to get them cut out on Thursday and assembled on Friday. My hand slipped while I was trimming the top block to 15 1/4″ but I was too tired to deal with fixing it then. You can see the problem in the lower right hand corner of the top block.

Saturday morning I felt more like tackling the problem and fixing it. You can see the results in the picture below.

I also did some work on La Passacaglia during the football game watching portion of the day. I have the first star wreath of the third Rosette 2 nearly completed, but I haven’t taken any pictures yet.

I think next up really needs to cleaning up the sewing room.

What have you been making?

Quilt on!

Pondering Life’s Anomalies

Yes, that title makes it sound like I’m thinking deep thoughts today, but not really. I’ll explain.

Yesterday I got out the Lone Star top to put the borders on it. You remember this one, right?

The one that had one side a full inch longer than the others, right?

Well, yesterday I decided to get brave and do those borders, I measured through the center and made the borders for two sides, neither of which had to be eased to fit the border. I was a little confused because I thought one of those first sides was the long side, but I measured through the center again, cut those borders, and attached them. Still no easing required. Totally confused.

I had measured multiple times when I found that side was an extra inch long! All I can figure is that in pressing the heck out of it and whacking the seams to flatten them, the other three sides lengthened just enough… Oh well, never look a gift horse in the mouth, right?

I also pressed some of my wide backing fabric and trimmed it to fit and took this quilt over to my most LQS to go out to the longarmer. It should come back in plenty of time for a finish this quarter. I just have to decide on a binding color. I don’t have enough of the white background fabric to make the binding, at least I don’t think I do, so I either make a scrappy binding or use the yardage I have from one of the prints that I purchased. The borders are the white.

What have you been up to?

Quilt on!

Q4 Finish-A-Long Finish Number One

Yes, really! I have a finish already. Of course, it wasn’t a very big reach to finish these table runners.

In the previous post, you saw the first table runner finish – the Christmas table runner.Today I  basted and quilted and finished the other three table runners I was planning.

This one will join the Christmas table runner in the church auction.

And these two will probably live here with me, along with the Fall table runner from the previous post. These are all made from the same pattern and were very quick to make. I had originally thought I might try some free motion quilting but I decided that the walking foot quilting looked pretty good with this pattern. And it was faster since I feel somewhat proficient at it.

This will be the official finish post for these table runners and will get linked up with the Finish-A-Long post at the end of the quarter.

Quilt on!