So now it is time to cut more strips of white and sew them which will happen over the weekend.
Today I finished sewing the second color bar on the 50+ quilt blocks; I cut the fabric strips over a week ago but did now sewing anything since my current episode of trigger thumb (a story for another time) was acting up.
So now it is time to cut more strips of white and sew them which will happen over the weekend.
Earlier this week, I cut the white fabric for the next set of block pieces. Today I sewed and ironed them; all 52 blocks; 50 plus 2 extra. I am now 2/6th of the way through sewing the blocks. I have laid out the grey (gray?) and will cut those pieces tomorrow and possibly sewing.
This week I started to cut the fabric. I like to cut as I go that way I am moving around and not doing the same thing for hours on end.
I started by cutting the 50 center squares and the fabric for the first bar (gold fabric); I did this Wednesday evening. Today, I was going to meet friends for a long walk and breakfast but since it's been raining it became a sewing day. After sewing the first gold bar, it's time to iron; then cut the strips for the second bar; then sew the second bar and then iron again.
Next up cutting more white and the gray/heather. That will happen later today and I will sew that set tomorrow.
Now that I have what I need to make the quilt, I have to clean up my sewing area and tables.
Way back in the mists of time, I flew from California to Texas to attend the Houston Quilt Market and International Quilt Festival. This is a massive quilt show and vendor hall that takes over the Houston convention center for a week. While I was there, I bought a cutting table and a sewing (machine) table that folds up and rolls, has lots of drawers and the sewing tables allows for the sewing machine to drop 'inside' for storage, when the extended table sections are folded up. It is way cool but weighs a ton!!
Now, during the past year of the pandemic, I had made a mess of both tables because I had placed all my Temari and Yubinuki supplies on them; let alone the dust and other schmutz that gathered.
It took a good 2 hours just to sort the yubinuki supplies that were on the cutting table and to put them away. The sewing table had to be sorted and vacuumed since there were rice hulls (the center material of a Temari ball) everywhere; this took another hour or so.
The first picture is of the cutting table with just one leaf opened up; that is the width I need for cutting.
The second picture shows the sewing table with my sewing machine and the ironing board to the side so I can press what I sew.
I am ready to actually start cutting fabric.
Two weeks ago I identified 12 quilt shops between Houston, Austin and SA (San Antonio) that I would consider visiting for the fabric hunt.
The furthest east one, The Quilted Skien, is in La Grange (not all the way to Houston) and it is a 2 hours drive each way. I was there 3 years ago when I was driving around as part of the Hill Country Yarn crawl. La Grange is a VERY old town with the court house in the center square and big ol' Victorian style homes AND the Texas quilt museum is there so i figured that now that I was "fully" vaccinated, I would drive out there to look for fabrics and visit the museum as my first stop on the fabric quilt hunt
This weekend I went out to La Grange on local roads passing many classic large Texas ranches, big stone gates at the driveway, cattle grazing on the acres and massive ranch homes off in the distance; plus wild flowers dotting the fields. Along the way you also pass a lot of little towns of just a post office, gas station and market. The roads while in good condition are only 2 lanes but have a speed limit of 60 mpg; I was doing 50 so I could look and would be passed, on the double yellow line, by big ass dual wheel pick up trucks and getting flipped the bird; but what ever.
I arrived in La Grange to find many shops around the square closed (out of business); I had called a head and knew the quilt shop was still open. The shop was empty so I spend some time looking at the selection of fabrics before looking specifically for the quilt; so I knew where to focus. The shop owner asked about what I was looking for and I explained the quilt and showed here the pattern. She agreed that a tone-on-tone would be good for a modern quilt and pointed me to some fabric collections that I like. During this time we also talked about the Snowmageddon, from last February and the hail storms just 3 weeks ago. I looked at several other collections to see if I wanted to mix up the fabrics but never found anything as good; I then selected a white-on-white. She carried the bolts to the cutting table, I got a package of needles for my machine and bought 3 spools of 100% cotton sewing thread and checked out. 1.hours later, I was done with the fabric hunt then I was done with the "great" wedding quilt fabric hunt. I did not think it would be that easy. I was expecting to visit at least 2 or three quilt shops.
I then wandered over to the Quilt museum and saw an exhibition of blue and white quilts. Unfortunately no photography was allowed but I saw some really nice quilts.
I have completed the fabric hunt in one weekend thinking it was possibly going to take at least 3. Now to clean up my sewing area and get to cutting.
In The Great Wedding Quilt Project - Part One, I said that the quilt pattern had been identified and purchased AND that the largest quilt size was a double but my niece wants a queen size quilt. In this blog post I am going to cover, in general how to change the size of a quilt, not change the size of the blocks.
For making any quilt larger, you have to know how many extra blocks you need. Normally that could be as simple as adding an extra row and column - kind because the column has to take into account that extra row. But this quilt has the blocks set on point so it is a bit more complicated. You have to figure not only the full blocks but the half blocks along the sized plus the quarter sized blocks that go in the corners
Once the number of extra blocks is known, then the number pieces (squares, rectangles, full, half and quarter triangles, etc.) that make up the block can be calculated. From those numbers the amount of fabric in square inches or millimeters is created. And finally, the yardage can be determined.
Now, with my engineering background, doing this math, using Microsoft Excel for the calculations (not taking any chances especially since I am dyslexic) is easy for me; you might think --
WTF, I don't even know where to start to do all that math!!!
Have no fear, there are books for this!!
Go to your favorite on line book seller and enter "quilt math" and over 2 dozen books will be listed. This is my favorite which I bought in the 1980's and is still published today - Taking The Math Out of Making Patchwork Quilts.
Its a great book that covers, straight and on-point sets, mattress sizes and quilt sizes for them; adding sashing, borders and more. Then it becomes easier to know the number of blocks and the yardage.
I would like to also mention that there are some websites that have quilting calculators.
Before using the books or a calculator, take a quilt pattern and run the numbers for a know size and verify the numbers align - remember the pattern may round up the yardage required.
Many emails later... we have a quilt that I am going to sew. It is called Upwards and it is a modern quilt design based upon a log cabin pieced block. The pattern only goes up to a full sized quilt but I am able to do the math to increase it to a queen sized quilt. The background will stay white as will the gold/brown sections. The gray will be replaced with a heather (blue/gray) and the black will be replaced with a navy blue.
I am thinking that I want the 3 colors (gold, heather, blue) from a single color collection that way they "go together" with tone and pattern(s). The white may or may not come from the collection because some collections don't have a white but a cream and that is not what is wanted.
I now have to find those fabrics. Yes, I could go on line and get them but I am always afraid that the colors are off due to photography issues as well as the monitor's color balance being off. BUT I am browsing the big online quilt shops for ideas. Then in about 2 weeks I will start going to quilt shops between Austin and San Antonio to see what fabric collections they have and with luck I will find what I want. IF a shop does not have enough, then I will google an online shop and see if I can get the balance that way.
As for the back, I will get extra fabric and do a a pieced back, with large panels so it co-ordinates with the front, if not give them another "front" to use. What fabric color for the binding has yet to be decided.
Let the fabric hunt begin!!
Last month I received a text message from my niece; who I refer to as "The Wonder Baby", but that is another story. She texted to tell me that she is following in the family tradition of "ELOPING". My cousin Amy eloped, I eloped, my sister eloped for her second marriage, and now my neice is!
Yes, technically telling her mother and I that she is eloping, is not really eloping but since she is not having a formal wedding and they are going to another state; well it qualifies in our family's books.
So what does one give your only niece as a wedding present? It has to be something special that can also become a family heirloom and in my opinion that present should be unique and thus one of a kind. One of a kind items can be bought and even commissioned but why not actually MAKE the present. So that's what I am going to do.
Through out her life, I have made her quilts; I made her first one when she was about 4. I let her know what I wanted to do and that I needed some input from her so they would like it. We have now traded almost a dozen emails and have settled on a pattern and "colors" as well as the size; I will pick the final fabrics and then sew it and get it professionally quilted. I will go visit them when it is time to give them the quilt.
Here is picture of The Wonder Baby with her mom (my sister) back in 2002! Below this picture of my niece is a picture of one of the many quilts I have made her. This quilt, made in 2000, used the satin from my mother's wedding dress, in the some of the stars.
happened - the move is done
Three weekends ago the moving van arrived from and I spent the day directing the placement of boxes and furniture. It was a very hot and very long day but it appears, so far, that only one item broke; it was an old cheap table that I bought for my first apartment so it is no big deal. Here are pictures of that..
Three days after the moving van unloaded, Erich arrived from California in his car crammed full of the last items that he needed while still there, to close up the house and turn the keys over to the realtor. He was exhausted from packing for 4 months, getting the house ready to sell, and driving 3 days to get here. He took the week off to recover which meant, NO unpacking, sleeping in, taking naps, and just sitting around with Boots.
To celebrate us being together, again/finally, we went out to dinner at the Clear Springs Restaurant for dinner of scrimp, cat fish, hush puppies and the best onion rings. And just as we were finishing, a couple came up to use and introduced themselves as they saw my California Blacksmith Association T-shirt, that I was wearing; they were from Arizona but had been members of the CBA, in the past and they now lived in the area and he makes small forges. Here's a picture of Erich at dinner. We also spent Saturday unpacking the kitchen.
This week was the 30th anniversary of the day we me so to celebrate, we went to a small private concert at the Blue Rock Studio in Wimberly where we saw Matt The Electrician. It was a nice evening consisting of some refreshments, 2 - 45 minute sets, a 3 song encore. We arrived left to drive to the studio at 6 pm, arrived at 6:50 pm, the doors opened at 7 pm, the concert started at 7:30 pm, and it all ended at 10 pm and we were back home just before 11 pm. Here are just a few pictures that I took (no pictures during the concert). Now to go unpack the pantry
... Running the Nazi gauntlet.
Most times when we (Erich and I) send care packages across the pond, we are sending it to Mike & Elisa who, if you don't know already, live in the northern end of Scotland.
What do I usually send them?
Well items like:
But this time the care package is going to Albania, for my sister Suzie. BTW, She now goes by Sue but to me she is and always will be Suzie!. Why is she there? Well she is following a long held dream of working with the Peace Corp and so almost two years ago she started the application process and she is now in Albania.
What is in this care package?
She does not write on her blog every week but so far the posts have been really informative and in some ways funny. Here is a link if you want to read about it.
Laurie lives in central Texas with Erich a.k.a. "the shop elf"- her hubby of 30+ years and Cowboy Boots, the cat; her metals studio including 100+ hammers and 300+ chasing tools; her sewing studio which has a sewing machine, a closet filled with fabric, hundreds of skeins of embroidery floss and perle cotton, silk and other materials, and Mrs. King the dress dummy; two weaving looms, assorted knitting needles, tubs of yarn; lots of books; plus a plethora of geeky tech gadgets and more.