Saturday, October 10, 2015

Block #20 - 1930 Farmer's Wife QAL

The block was released on Thursday, two days after I had spend the morning playing catch-up.  So I was a little peeved and thought about waiting until the next one was announced so I could do two at a time.  But the current block was #20 - Caroline. Looking at the block I knew it was HST (half square triangles) and didn't want to do it as FPP (foundation paper piecing).  

Let me stop and interject here - this is not a book a complete newbie could pick up and figure out.  There are no 'step-by-step' instructions. I consider myself an intermediate quilter, but I am glad I am in this QAL for the tutorials.  I looked at the first couple and they weren't going about it the way I thought I wanted to do it - HST's.  Then I looked at Jess of The Elven Garden tutorial.  She constructed this using HST's.  And boy, did I learn a few things!

  • This block reinforced the premise there is no quilt police coming after me if I don't do it a certain way.  There are alternate methods on each block (at least up to this point).
  • I can press seams open!
  • Jess showed me how to line up the seams so the points come out sooooooo good.
  • As the leaders have said from the very start, this quilt is a learning process.  I can't wait to see what tips I pick up on the rest of the blocks.

There is still a bit of work on the points, but, boy, it's so much closer than it would have been if I had done it my usual way.  Plus, I probably wouldn't have figured out the big blocks are QST (Quarter Square Triangles) rather than HST.

Once I got my measurements figured out for the blocks, with Jess' help "Caroline" was a breeze!  I can't wait to see what I learn next. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Flannel, Flannel Everywhere

With cooler temperatures having arrived and a sale at Joann Fabrics, I decided to make everyone a quick and easy pj pants.  On those days when we aren't rushing around to work and school, we all like to get comfy and I thought some flannel pants would be great.  Big, baggy, soft and warm.

I had assistance picking out the fabric for everyone.  She liked the fabric so much I had to reclaim from her in order to cut out the pants.  Luckily, there is enough left over from each to make her a 'wild' pair of pants this week so she can be comfy and warm too.

Wrapping up in the length of fabric seemed like the thing to do last Saturday morning.  Guess my idea of warm, soft and comfy was spot on, pants or not.

Texter was excited about her pair of pants and couldn't wait to get into them.  Now the question will be how to get her out of them to wash them!  I had enough fabric I made eye masks out of each fabric.  Lady K refers to the as 'eyes'.  Savvy and Texter's bedrooms are light and they were both excited to have an eye mask to wear to cut out the light, especially for afternoon naps.

While in the flannel mode, I bought this plaid to make into a 1890's dress for the Big Read at the library in October.  I haven't used flannel 'shirting' before, but it is so soft.  A little thin, but with the apron I have planned to wear over it, it will be fine.  I have a pair of lace-up shoes which look old fashioned I will wear with it (maybe-depends on my bunion!)  My plan after the Big Read for this is to keep it as a night gown!  The style of the dress is big and loose and it will make a great 'granny gown'.

Once the dress and a couple of aprons made, it's time to start on the mock-ups for the cosplay outfits Savvy and Texter want for next year.  And I have the Farmer's Wife 1930 QAL starting next week.  Luckily, that will be stretched out over the next year.  Lots of plans for time at the sewing machine!

NOTE:  I forgot I had written this post almost two weeks earlier.  Everyone loves their flannel pants and Texter picked out 3 fabrics for cotton ones.  

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Farmer's Wife 1930 QAL - Week 2

This week I am playing catch-up.  With sewing for the Big Read (and life in general) I only got one of the 3 blocks completed.  Well, actually, since I am doing 2 of each block, I got 2 out of 6 done.  So today I ignored housework in order to get caught up.

I am still amazed at what a difference fabric selection makes.  Same blocks, different styles and colors make it a totally different quilt.

Some of the things I am learning and liking or not liking so far...

  • Going to have to figure out getting the printer to print out correctly.  Right now I am having to 'guess' at some of the sizes of the block pieces. Don't think the directions are the best in the world or all that clear.  I would not like to be a beginner and not have this group to fall back on. I don't understand on some of the blocks why we were suppose to cut out triangles and deal with bias edges rather than making HST.  But then, that's me.
  • My points are becoming a bit better, even when I feel like I am guessing at the size of the pieces.
  • It takes almost as long to figure out what fabrics I want in each block as it does to make the block.  I am also finding myself paying more attention to the direction of the design and how it flows in the various directions.
  • Pressing seams...I can tell there is going to be issues further down the line.  With some of the blocks and how intricate they are, pressing is going to be important.
With four blocks down, there are only 95 more to go.  I hope I am as pleased with the last four as I am with the first four.  Now, onto pj pants for Texter!