Sunday, November 22, 2020

Sewing some quilt pieces

Yes, I am finally back to sewing on a quilt top.  Hooray.  It feels really good to know that I can see well enough to do this.  I confess that I am wearing some "readers" when I sew.  Then I pull them off when I go to iron/press.  It will take a while to get into my "system" sorted out since I need readers. 

Anyway,  after looking at the planned layout for this quilt - and the size it was going to be - I said "Nope, uh-uh,  think again."  
There is this quilt on my bed that I just love. I made it in sections and joined them together to make a big quilt that did NOT require having to shift the whole thing while I was quilting it. 

So, I decided to use it as a "guiding pattern"  - not exactly the same but the same type of plan.   I cut up some hand dyed fabrics and started making big old four patches. 
FYI it is  on the bed right on top of the quilt I love to sleep under.  Now I have two of my favorite things in this quilt - batiks and hand dyed fabrics.  I am using the same color - white - as the sashing, but I am making it wider. So each of these four patches gets white sashing attached and joined with another four-patch. 
This one still needs the outer border added.  Those will be 2 1/2" strips instead of the 3 1/2" strips I am using for sashing. Once those are added this section will be ready to be layered and quilted.  There will be eight of those sections that will be joined into one nice bed quilt. 
The redesign inspiration quilt is this one (in case you didn't click that link above.) 

That one is really densely quilted.  This one may not get quite as much quilting -
unless I change my mind.  I do love the crinkly texture on this one.




Until Next Time,  
Stay Creative 


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Two Scarves Completed

The lovely warp on my loom has been nice to weave on this past week.  I haven't been doing a lot else except following up on getting household things sorted and dealt with. For example getting the septic tank repaired - that is still on-going.  Also the insurance adjuster should be here Monday. 
Weaving has been a pleasant reprieve from those things. 

I finished one of the scarves last week but just had not bothered to get a photo of it. 

The second scarf came off the loom last night, so it is not truly finished but I can call it a finish.  This one only needs to have a good wash, then I will take it out wet and iron it.  After that it hangs to dry. Ironing while wet helps to marry the woven fabric together a bit better. When I do this, I pull the selvedges straight as I iron.  

Here is the second one.  As they came from the same dyed warp they look similar but have differences. 

Here is a photo that puts then side by side so you can play "find the differences" if you want to. 

Soon, I want to get back to the quilt blocks that keep staring back at me.  I think I have decided to change the layout completely and do this one in sections to make a larger quilt. 
I am thinking it will look something like this:

This will allow me to use some lovely hand dyed fabrics in those alternate squares.   And I have a lot of fabrics that I have dyed and also some that I have from Colorways by Vicki.
I am uncertain about the white background.  That could change as I start working on it. I may use a batik or a black for the background.  I will see what the muse decides. 

Until Next Time,  
Stay Creative 


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Back at the Loom

Several days ago I decided to make a new warp for my loom.  Making a warp is called "winding a warp." I wound this one from 4 white threads and one light gray thread.  The threads are a combination of cotton and rayon/bamboo.  Once it was wound, I set up my dyeing area to dye the warp.  The reason I love doing this is that the warp will have areas of color that shift and change as it is woven.  This warp is about 6 meters long.  I am hoping to get three scarves from it.  I used four colors of dye in the dye bath.  They are: golden yellow, fuschia red, turquoise, and razzle dazzle, which is a warm purple.

Here is the warp from the back of the loom. 

You can see how the color shifts as the warp progresses.  

And here is the first bit I have woven just to get it started. 

I weave these with a dark weft thread to make the color really pop.  
Interestingly, a white thread will mute the colors quite a bit. 

I am excited to be weaving these.  I have a plan for one of the three.  Well, you can say a 
potential plan. I wove another scarf as a commission but if one of these suits that person more, 
I will send this one instead.  I may offer the other two for sale or use them as Christmas gifts.
Either way, I will enjoy weaving on this hand dyed warp.

Until Next Time,  
Stay Creative 


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Looking at Options with Electric Quilt

My Left Handed friend posted about Swirls with the blocks she is making.  She messed up and was wondering about leaving the blocks as is.  
I decided to draft it in EQ and see what would happen.  Here is a quilt design using her block and setting it "straight." 
It really loses the nice faux curves that this type of block is known for.  Here is one in three colors, same block but different color arrangement.

After re-coloring it with all Darks for the colored part and rotating the blocks, it looks even better. 

And in case you were wondering - value really makes a difference.  Here it is with the "darks" as mixed values - dark and medium.
     It still looks nice but the curves illusion is less prominent. 
If I were making this quilt, I would prefer to make it with all lights and darks that are very close in value.  But for now, I am not making it. 

My current project (sorry no photos) is dyeing a warp to put on my loom. I made it long enough to make three nice scarves. I hope the dyeing comes out as beautifully as the last one I dyed.   As  a bonus, I put some fabric underneath the warp to "catch" some of the excess dye. 

Until Next Time,  
Stay Creative 


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Sunday, November 08, 2020

Creativity is a Survival Skill

This year has been interesting so far. (And personally, I wouldn't mind it being less interesting for the rest of the year.)   Creativity is helping a lot of us survive - both by making masks to help avoid viral infection AND by working with our hands to maintain our mental health. 

 
And "Hand" work is what I have been doing. I find that I am slower since the cataract surgery because I can't see close work as well.  I haven't yet found reading glasses that work well for me.  I am sure I will in time, even if I have to have the optician make them.  Rest assured it will all work out in the end.

Here is where I am on the hand embroidery.

I need to do something in the thumb and then decide how to finish the palm area.  
Part of the creative journey is making decisions.  



Until Next Time,  
Stay Creative 


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

Threads

The different types and brands of thread that we use for sewing and quilting fascinate me.  Some quilters swear by one or two brands and never vary.  Others use what is least expensive.  I have a variety of threads that I have amassed in my stash.  Which one to use - and why?  I can't offer any answers but I know that some are better for different things.  

My Public Library has a "Things" collection that can be borrowed.  One of the things that interested my geeky mind was a USB digital microscope. I had no plans when I borrowed it a couple of days ago.  Then inspiration hit. What if......  What if I put threads from various manufacturers  side by side under the microscope?  What would I see?  

Gathering a variety of threads from whatever was close at hand, I put together an interesting collection. 
The players are: Glide (polyester)in a cream "linen" color.  Aurifil 50 weight in a medium blue. A Coats machine quilting cotton in variegated reds, another Coats machine quilting cotton in orange. And a purple Essential cotton from Connecting Threads.  (the burgundy colored  one was just for label reference in the photo.) 

Let us look closely at these players. 
You can see that the cream colored Glide polyester shows almost no loose fibers but is less twisted than the others. This is probably due to difference in fiber type.
The purple CT Essential thread is twisted tightly  and shows some fibers peeking out. The orange Coats machine quilting cotton thread was a surprise in that it shows almost no loose fibers.  You may notice that it isn't twisted as tightly as the Essential thread.  The blue Aurifil 50 weight shows more loose fibers than I expected in this photo. It has a nice medium twist that is somewhere between the Essential and the Coats. 


This photo uses the same blue Aurifil for reference since the red Coats thread was picked later.  I was trying to find a different Coats that wasn't a machine quilting thread but I must have put that somewhere "safe" as I could not put my hand on it.  
Notice that the Aurifil shows no loose fibers in this photo - I have no idea why. Perhaps  the bit closer to the end had been handled more and was frayed a bit.  The red Coats is twisted more tightly, consistent with the orange Coats. Again there are virtually no loose fibers. 

All of these threads were purchased or given to me.  I am not being sponsored by any of these vendors/manufacturers.  The simple fact is that I was curious and had the right tool to look at them. And of course, I thought that some of you might find it interesting also. 

What does it all mean?  I don't know.  I do know that loose fibers in a thread create more lint.  If you use a "linty" thread you will need to clean out your machine more frequently.  As a side note, quilting through batting pushes more fibers into the machine also.  So clean the bobbin area more frequently when doing that. 
What will I change based on this?  Honestly, I will continue to use all of these threads.  I was surprised that the diameters don't seem to vary much on any of this lot.  That means they are all acceptable for piecing. Personally,  I prefer one of the cottons for piecing and would not use the poly for that. However, I love the Glide poly for quilting. 

I hope I didn't bore you too badly.  Now you know that I am very geeky in some ways. I am always ready to learn something that relates to things I do.  I hope you are also. 
In a few days, I plan to get back to sewing/quilting. Looking at these threads was inspirational for me. 

Until Next Time,  
Stay Creative 


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Tuesday, November 03, 2020

The Promised Photo

My internet is finally working again!  To be honest, I have not gotten much accomplished to show you.  However, here is a photo of the tree top that fell in my back yard.  


It doesn't look that impressive in the photo. For perspective,  the top of that piece that is impaled in the ground is above my roofline. My neighbor's brown "barn" in the background is as tall as my house. 
All of those trees have to come down!  If the entire tree had fallen --it would have been bad. 

I hope you are all doing well.  I have missed you for the days my digital life was "on hold."  I am not going to try to "catch up" on posts.  I will start from here and go forward. 

Until Next Time,  
Stay Creative 


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Sunday, November 01, 2020

Surviving

You might know that hurricane Zeta passed right through my area. Unfortunately my power was out for three  very long days. My second eye surgery for cataract was Wednesday. The hurricane came through Wednesday night. It was interesting getting to the doctor for the follow-up checkup on Thursday. At least they were open even though the doctor was late getting in because he had no power also.
That said, the surgery went well, and the eye is improving.
The hurricane took down half of a pine tree in my backyard. My brother and his wife brought their tractor and carted away the tree and the debris. I helped as much as I was able to help.

At this point I have power but no internet so I'm posting from my phone. 
I attempted to add a photo but the service is slow and it would not upload.



Until Next Time,  
Stay Creative 


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.