Posts Tagged ‘Clown School’

Progress

April 23, 2019

Now that my memo board is up, I’m trying to get into the habit of writing down what I’ve done when I leave the studio. I often feel like I’ve done very little but when I see it written down I feel more productive.

April 9

  • Sewed the binding, front and back, on the March snowman wall hanging, stitched the coal pieces and did the embroidery. It’s finished except for a label.

Snowmen Will Melt Your Heart: Going in Like a Lion, Coming Out Like a Lamb

I did the applique stitching as the quilting. I used the triple stitch on the machine to do the whiskers on the lion. Probably should have chosen a darker thread because they don’t show up so well. This was my first time stitching the binding on completely by machine. I think I cut it 2.25″ for .25″ binding on front. Stitched in the ditch on the front to catch the back. Occurred to me too late that I should have used my stitch in the ditch dual feed foot. Next time.

April 10

  • Sorted the floral 16-patch blocks into my quilt and other quilts. This is the first sort. When I lay them out, more or fewer may be needed for my quilt.
  • Sewed the binding to the front of the bargello (I Used to Be a Layer Cake) wall hanging
  • Trimmed Flying Home to ready it for binding.
  • Cut some scraps with the Accuquilt
  • Cut paper templates for fussy cutting Serengeti kit from Jinny Beyer.
  • Pieced the front of the Schnauzer pillow cover

 

I found the Schnauzer piece on the freebie table or peddler’s table at a quilt show. I really don’t remember where I got it. The paw fabric came from stash. My brother has had 6 rescue mini-schnauzers over the last many years. This will be for  him. I need to get a pillow insert, then make the back. I’m not quilting it.

April 11

  • Did some hand sewing of binding on bargello (I Used to Be a Layer Cake)
  • Went to guild
  • Went to sale of former quilt shop owner’s stuff. Bought too much fabric.

April 12

  • Traced and fused seaweed and anemone for Clown School and cut them out.

 

These are some honking big pieces. Fortunately I had a roll of 36″ wide fusible that I bought a while back. Perfect size for this project.

April 13

  • Went to Stella Rubin’s with Baltimore Applique Society. Saw some fabulous antique quilts but we weren’t allowed to take photos of them.
  • Went to Jinny Beyer club
  • Sewed the binding on the front of Flying Home

April 14

  • Sew and Tell meeting at my house. There were only 4 of us out of the 10. It wasn’t our usual day because of Easter and Passover.
  • Sorted scraps and cut strips with Accuquilt for Gyleen Fitzgerald pineapple blocks.

April 15

  • Did some hand sewing on the bargello binding  (I Used to Be a Layer Cake)
  • Sorted scraps and cut pineapple block strips with Accuquilt

April 16

  • Hand sewed bargello binding  (I Used to Be a Layer Cake)
  • Made 4 good pineapple blocks and 2 bad ones.

 

The good blocks

 

The bad blocks. I went off the rails on the last two rounds on these. Sewed the last two rounds on the wrong edges. Then cut the side off one of them. The one I didn’t screw up the cutting on could have been used with the others, I guess. I gave these two to Linda to do something with.

April 17

  • BAS meeting. Debby Cooney showed chintz quilts from her collection and Polly Mello’s collection.
  • Reviewed 5 older magazines. Getting rid of 3.
  • Made two pineapple blocks.

 

I haven’t taken a picture of the two blocks yet but here’s the back of one before I trimmed it. I think I showed in a previous blog a pineapple quilt made by one of my guild members with stars in the sashing. In Gyleen’s method, the 8th round won’t even show on mine because it will be in the seam allowance. This time I used 2″ wide pieces to serve as both round 7 and round 8. I think this must be how Carol did hers but we haven’t had a guild meeting for me to ask her. This way is much easier and wastes less fabric.

April 18

  • No guild meeting because of Holy Week.
  • Fussy cut animal blocks
  • Designed the fussy cut animal block quilt
  • Auditioned fabrics for fussy animal alternate blocks
  • Arranged the animal squares

April 19

  • Cut and pieced the alternate blocks for the fussy cut animals
  • Sorted scraps and cut strips for pineapple blocks

April 20

  • More hand sewing on bargello (I Used to Be a Layer Cake). Unsewed the part that has to be redone on the front. A short area of the top ended up not getting caught under the binding.
  • Cut binding strips for the T quilt
  • Prepared the T quilt binding strips that will have the label stitched into them.
  • Sorted scraps and cut strips for pineapple blocks

April 21-22

  • Fixed the binding on the front of the bargello (I Used to Be a Layer Cake). Finished the hand sewing of the binding. Yay! Will blog about it another time.
  • Prepared the binding and sewed it on the T quilt. Finally!
  • Sorted scraps
  • Assembled 4 columns of the fussy cut animal quilt into two pieces of two columns each.

If you’d asked me what I did, I’d have said not much. By writing it down, I feel like I accomplished a lot. This is an unusual amount of time in the studio. No guild meetings because of Holy Week and other church activities. No appointments. Nothing requiring me to be out of the house. That will be changing soon.

 

Rite of Spring

April 8, 2019

Everyone has been asking how it got to be April already. Count me in that group. Didn’t I just report my January progress last week? I feel like I haven’t done much but I’ve been really busy doing it. Saturday I completed that annual requirement of filing income taxes. I was quite agitated by the time that was done. The Republicans’ so-called tax cut resulted in an increase in my taxes of $4500 over 2017. Yikes! I headed to the studio to calm down.

A couple of years ago I matched my floral fabrics with greens and cut strips for 16-patch blocks. It doesn’t pay to do anything but simple sewing when I’m upset so I got out the bin to finish up the blocks. There are enough blocks for many quilts. Here’s the result. These are just plopped on the way as I finished pressing them. They’re not sewn to each other or arranged or anything like that. I was much calmer after finishing these.

 

I took the previously finished blocks out of the bin and discovered that stack wasn’t just finished blocks.

 

The pile on the right is the finished blocks. The pile on the left is the blocks waiting to be completed. Oy vey! Here’s what came out of that pile on Sunday.

 

I was thinking that there were lots more finished blocks so I went digging in the UFO closet. Found this bin of completed blocks. Now, that’s more like it.

 

 

Now that ALL the blocks are finished and won’t fit into one bin, it’s time to sort them into the blocks for my quilt (all my favorite blocks, of course) and the blocks for donation quilts.

Here are random shots of other things I’ve done since the early February report.

 

First block for Baltimore Garden class still in progress. For the March class we were supposed to have the block ready for the flowers. The block is ready to have the first part of one of the flowers stitched. I got a start on the freezer paper pieces for our April class homework. I don’t think I’m going to be ready to sew a bird’s eye by class time.

 

4-patches from 1.5″ squares.

I laid out blocks I made a couple of years ago at retreat. I laid them out at retreat and had one left over. Someone said I had to make more to finish another row. So, I brought it home and made the blocks but it sat. I neglected to take a photo of it on the design wall. It’s now packed up to go to retreat next month for block assembly. I’ll save the border work till I get home from retreat.

 

4-patches made from the leftovers of the blocks I forgot to take a picture of.

 

Some string blocks.

 

More string blocks.

 

 

 

 

 

Blocks for the checkerboard top.

 

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Laid out the Sweet Poison blocks and trimmed them to size.

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Made some pink 16-patch blocks.

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Got the borders on Mocha Meringue and made the back with leftovers and some added fabric from stash.

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Assembled these 9-patch blocks and added a border. This started with already made blocks from the freebie table at guild. I made a flannel back for it so it’s ready for the quilter.

 

Went to Target this morning and got some Command picture hanging strips so I could get my memo boards up. This door is at the bottom of the stairs so I will see it first thing when I go into the studio. My Target is being renovated so everything has been moved around. While I was looking for what I needed, I found those cute hexagon wood magnets and the pins with hooks. Do I need the hooks? Beats me but now I have them. I must have dry erase markers somewhere but Target had these neat ones that have a magnet and eraser built in. The dry erase boards are magnetic so that’s perfect. I’ve already filled up the bottom board with things that are pending just laying around the studio waiting for a turn. The top board contains the tasks that need to be done next. If the boards stay stuck to the door I’ll be a happy camper. In the process I discovered that the door doesn’t latch securely so pressing on it pushes it open even if it is closed. Have to get my handyman on that next time he’s here.

Things I don’t have pictures of: February snowman is fused. March snowman is ready for binding and needs the coal pieces added. Haven’t started April and it looks like maybe it’s going to get skipped for now.

Clown school: I made a list in January of tasks to do each month and lost it. I did get the background pieced. That was so hard. Cut 2 pieces of fabric and sew them together. Now I need large pieces of fusible web. I think I bought a roll of the long stuff so I need to find it and see if it’s big enough.

Ladies of the Sea: I did get the final ship done. Discovered that I used two stands of floss for some of the embroidery then got confused and switched to one strand. I have to go back and redo about 3 bits on one of the sails so they all match. Polly thought I could leave the big sail as it is since it has two rows of tell-tails. I realize y’all have no idea what I’m talking about but it’ll show up here one day.

Looks like I’ve done more than I thought. Now that the memo board is up I can make notes about what I’ve done when leaving the studio.

 

 

January Projects

February 13, 2019

We have a bunch of geese that commute to the farm near my house every morning. Every night they fly back to their night time hangout. Their flight path is right over my house so we hear them every morning and evening.

A couple of weeks ago we had extremely cold temperatures for this area thanks to the Polar Vortex. This pond where the geese like to hang out froze over. I decided to stop and take a picture last week. I was surprised to see that the geese are sitting and standing on ice. When they’re not on the pond, they’re in the fields looking for food. The day I took the picture the temp got up to the low 70s. The next day it was 20 degrees cooler. In one week our temperatures went from the teens to the 70s. Is it any wonder I have four coats of different weights hanging on the hook by the garage door?

I realized last week that just as Pigpen goes around with a cloud of dirt around him, I leave a trail of stuff when I’m working on certain projects, particularly applique. Here’s my dining table while working on my last Ladies of the Sea ship. There was also a nest of stuff next to me on the couch.

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Yes, that’s the Christmas tree on the right. A couple of friends came over and we moved the tree into it’s new storage bag with rolling stand and wheeled it out into the garage where it will live. One hitch in the git-a-long was that the tree is taller than the doorway. We managed.

Look at that mess on the table! I try to be neat but sometimes it just doesn’t work. I did get the block finished by Grad School class on Monday. That was the goal for this ongoing bucket list project.

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Unfortunately, when I washed the block, the lighter tan ultrasuede used for the masts bled. See the tan smudges next to the left edges of the sails? I’m going to try Vicki Welsh’s advice and pray that it works. I’ve used this piece of ultrasuede on other blocks but it looks like they are ones that haven’t been washed yet.

New bucket list project for this year was Snowmen Will Melt Your Heart by Curtis Boehringer. The January block is Building a Snowman. The pattern showed it done in black, white and gray. Yuck. January is bad enough without a black, white and gray wall-hanging. One of the benefits of having a large stash is that I got this from it:

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Is this not adorable? The backgrounds are bluer in person than they are showing on my monitor. I doubt the photo shows that the black for the hats is a sparkle fabric. Looks like little ice crystals all over the hat. I used a string of asterisks stitch that look like snowflakes to stitch the snowmen. The rest of the pieces were topstitched. All edges were turned under before stitching.

I was planning to have Kim quilt this but there isn’t really much quilting space for her artistry. I guess I need to suck it up and do this one myself – just stitch around the appliques. Someone who likes to embellish would have a great time with those snowflakes on the background of the center piece. Unfortunately, that someone isn’t me. But, you never know. Stranger things have happened. And, Hell did freeze over (Hell, Michigan). Each block is supposed to have the name of the month embroidered on. January, broken into three sections, would be to the left of the big snowmen. Ending with the Y just above the pieces of coal that I see ended up on the points of the snowflake. Looks a little weird but it’s not going to change. Anyway, this also was finished for Monday’s meeting. So far, so good.

The second new bucket list project is Clown School. My goal for January was to acquire the rest of the fabric needed. As large as my stash is, it doesn’t have a lot of pieces over a half yard. And, we’re supposed to buy stuff to support the store that lets us meet there. And, they give us a 15% discount on Grad School days. I did accomplish the goal for this project. Yay! The remaining fabrics, just black and white, I believe, will come from stash. That’s the plan, anyway.

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The third new bucket list project is Baltimore Garden. This is a long term project so you’re not going to be seeing a block every month. We had our first class at the end of January. Our assignment for the February class is to prepare a block to be ready to sew. I’m still searching for the perfect fabric for the flowers. I have a 1.5″ strip of a probably discontinued Fairy Frost that would work very well I think. A road trip with Polly and Vera is planned. I’ve already bought two possibilities for the flowers. I’ll probably end up with 20 yards of fabric before I’m happy. I also need binding for a large queen quilt that is a gift to my BFF from junior high school. I’d like to use a Fairy Frost for that. Polly is still dithering on sashing and borders for Ladies of the Sea. If we can’t find what we want at Webfabrics in Purcellville, Va, it probably doesn’t exist.

The Good Fortune mystery fell by the wayside in mid-December when I took my machines for maintenance while I was gone for the holidays. My Janome 9400 stopped winding bobbins the night before I took it in. I had not had good experiences with this machine ever since I got it mid-2016. After talking to the Janome regional rep at a show last June, I took the machine up to Glory Bee’s in Fallston, MD. I wrote up my tale of woe so whoever looked at the machine would know my history with it and my dealer’s so-called technician. Gloria, the owner, spent over an hour with me when I picked up the machine, making sure I knew certain things and showing me some features she likes. She said the tech spent quite a bit of time working on it. It now sews a straight seam with correct tension using normal thread. Before, I had to change the tension before sewing every single time. It’s like having a brand new machine. If I can forget the bad times, I might actually come to like this machine.

I was able to sew clues 5, 6, and half of clue 7.

In the grad school class, we celebrated Eleanor’s 90th birthday. Mimi had each of us make a block, then she and Kim finished the quilt we presented to Eleanor. Isn’t Kim’s quilting gorgeous! My block is third row down, second from left.

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I started going to my guild’s retreats two years ago. When I tried to sign up for this year, I was too late – it was full. Oh, no! Got word the day before my birthday that a space has opened up. Yay! Great present! Now I need to see if my roommate from the last two years is going and wants to room together. The spring retreat doesn’t offer single rooms.

The last of the current checkerboard blocks were made. Time to sew them up into a quilt or two or three.

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I met all my January goals. Small goals help with that. Can/will I stay on track in February and meet my goals for the next Grad School meeting? We’ll have to wait and see.

Thanks for visiting. I’d love to read your comments.

I’m Delusional!

December 9, 2018

Every year in Mimi Dietrich’s Grad School class, a project is chosen for the group to do. Most of the folks participate but not all. It’s fun to see 20-30 versions of the same project. Some years Mimi makes an executive decision and sometimes we get to vote. For 2019 Mimi wanted to do some design by Lori Holt but when she put it to a vote, she was soundly defeated. Only a few people wanted to do such a simple applique design. More on 2019 later.

One year we couldn’t agree on a single project and ended up with 4 or 5 different groups. No one liked that. Instead of having show and tell with the entire group, it was only within the project group. We agreed never to do that again. We ran into a similar situation when trying to choose a project for 2017. Everyone wanted to do something different so Mimi came up with the idea of a bucket list album quilt. Album quilt covers a lot of territory from a simple quilt with a bunch of different blocks to a Baltimore Album style quilt. Polly and I chose to do Sue Garman’s Ladies of the Sea.

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Image borrowed from Sue Garman website

Yes, we’re insane. What made you ask? We started block one in January 2017. Polly has been waiting for me to finish my ship blocks and catch up with her. The last one should have been finished in April 2018. My excuse is that I moved last year and couldn’t work on it for a few months. How much longer can I milk that excuse? The shipyard had a lengthy work stoppage this year. I just finished a block on Friday at sweatshop day. That’s what Polly and I call it when we meet at Spring Water Designs open studio day. I have two more blocks to finish. One just needs the embroidery and one has half the wreath applique finished so needs the rest of the applique and the embroidery. It would be really nice if I could finish these by the January meeting. Of course, then we’d have to make final decisions about setting and borders. We’ve been dithering a lot about that.

2018 was Jo’s Floral Album, formerly Anna’s Blue Baskets. I didn’t intend to do this because I was still working on the ships but found myself buying a background fabric. I’ve managed almost 3 of the 9 blocks using the Anna’s Blue Baskets pattern.

So, on to 2019. It’s another bucket list year. I’ve got so many designs I want to make. I checked my pattern inventory and found 200 applique designs I want to make. Ai-yi-yi! That doesn’t even include the pieced quilts. How to decide?

One of the grad school gals assigns quilts to TV shows and works on them while that show is on. So, she has a Dr. Phil quilt, a Wheel of Fortune quilt, etc. I was thinking maybe having multiple projects would work if I assigned them to days of the week. Not sure I’m that disciplined, though.

A couple of months ago I bought background fabric for this project so, apparently, it’s going to be one of the projects. It’s a large wall hanging and I already know where to hang it in the house. Hopefully, it won’t take long to make.

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Clown School by Carol Morrissey

Finding Nemo is one of my favorite movies so when I saw this pattern at a show I had to have it. My co-worker, Phil, and I watched the movie in spurts on the way to and from lunch when our co-worker Bill drove. One day Vadim joined us and sat in the front with Bill, while Phil and I, in the back, were mesmerized by the movie. Bill looked at Vadim and said, “The DVD player keeps the children very quiet.”

Another project I’ve wanted to do for years (The pattern came out circa 1997, I believe) is Snowmen Will Melt Your Heart by Curtis Boehringer. You can view an image of a quilt someone made. I will be doing each month’s block as a wall hanging rather than a quilt with all twelve blocks. For the wall hanging version, each block has a border design specific to the month. So, this will be new project #2.

Because two new applique projects in addition to the two already in progress aren’t enough, I’ll be taking a year long class for this quilt, assuming the class hasn’t filled up in the last few days.

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I did say I’m insane. This is Baltimore Garden by Barbara Burnham. Barbara showed the original quilt and her blocks years ago at a Baltimore Applique Society meeting. I started urging her to publish a pattern for the quilt. Every month I would bug her about it until she finally showed up with a completed book. The book was published in 2012 so it’s about time I started working on it since I was one of the people begging her to publish it. When I talked to her at guild last week, she said this is the last time she will be teaching the class. Barbara’s version was made using only 3 fabrics and a background. I will NOT be doing that. My background will also not be a light neutral. I bought a darkish green fabric for an applique quilt background years ago. While trying to decide whether to buy it, the store employee, Robbyn suggested using fall colors with it. That sold me! It should be perfect for this quilt. I hope I have enough of that fabric. I need to find the book and see how much it calls for. Choosing the applique fabrics will be a challenge to get the values right so everything shows up.

We always say that the quilt will tell you what it wants. These tell me they want to be made now. Guess I have to listen to them.

Wanna know how many Grad School projects I’ve finished since I joined in 1999? Two. I didn’t participate in the project every year but still, a pitiful showing. We won’t talk about how many total UFOs I have. Let’s just say I’ve got a lot of work to do. I’d better live a very long life with all my faculties.

I’m delusional but it keeps me off the streets and out of the bars.