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My Favorite Quilting Notion — Today April 28, 2010

Posted by Pam in KC in notions.
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My favorite quilting notion varies by what I’m working on. The current favorite is this seam ripper.

Yesterday I pulled out Dancing Flowers to finish up. Applique is not my favorite, but darn it I want to finish this wall hanging. Just two more blocks. Besides that, I finally decided on and bought sashing fabric for this and the coordinating king size quilt, so I need to get the top done, so I can pull a backing so my numbers don’t look so bad Sunday. But I digress.

I’m using invisible thread on top, black in the bobbin. I’ve set my machine to a blind stitch at .03 length and 1.0 width – in other words tiny. Instead of placing all my pieces on the background to verify they are in the right place, I started with the stems. I thought they might be a tiny bit high on the background, but I wasn’t worried. It wasn’t until I had two stems, two leaves and one of the two part flowers on the background that I admitted defeat and knew I had to rip it all out.

Tiny stitches. Invisible and black thread on a black background. Ugh.

But this wonderful seam ripper came to the rescue. I was able to slide the blade between the pieces and the background to slice the thread where it bit into the piece. Had the whole block ripped out in no time. I still have to pull the bits and pieces of thread from the background, but that won’t take long. Then when I do this block again, I’ll verify ALL of the pieces before I start sewing.

Stripy 4-Patch Backing April 7, 2010

Posted by Pam in KC in notions, Quilts.
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I really do need a better name for this quilt. I stopped by the library and checked out Quilt-Lovers’ Favorites Vol. 2. They call the quilt — or one similar to it — Candy Stripes. But back to the backing. This is really growing on me. Two widths of the fabric wasn’t quite long enough for the length of the quilt. So, I pieced another string of 4-patches to insert in the middle. It turned out really cute. I don’t know if I’m going to attempt to center the strip, or let it fall where it may — which will be an inch or two off from center.

If you don’t have a Companion Angle Ruler, or something similar, consider getting one. I became a fan of this ruler and the Easy Angle ruler after working on one of Bonnie Hunter mystery quilts. This strip went together so much easier that the ones on the front. On the front I cut triangles from squares – and I can’t promise you I cut them on the diagonal twice so the edge was on grain. One reason this top sat so long was I didn’t look forward to squaring up the strips. I still had to square this strip up, but it was so much closer to being ‘right’.

Well, off to sandwich the quilt. Have to pull out the ‘big board’ now.

The Doorbell Rang April 2, 2010

Posted by Pam in KC in notions.
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It was the mailman and he had two packages for me. One from Connecting Threads and the other from Overstock.com.

Last week I started to place on order with Connecting Threads and then asked my friends if they wanted to go in on the order with me to save on shipping. They did. Now I have to divvy up the thread and get it to them. The red fabric is for my cornerstones for Texas Braid I’ll be making next month. The white shirting is just because. The kit in the back is 30’s fabrics for a sewing kit and two book covers. I don’t know if I’ll make the kit up or just put the fabric in my 30’s bin for my Sylvia’s Bridal Sampler blocks.

The package from Overstock.com contained 2 5-count packages of Martelli rotary cutter blades. Earlier this week I put my last new blade in my Ergo 2000 (love that cutter!) and discovered I had a “flat”. Almost couldn’t get the bolt out to remove the new blade. When I finally got it loose, I discovered my generic blades had cut a grove into the bolt! I had always heard you should use the Martelli blades to prevent this from happening, but I’ve never had any problems with the generic blades I’ve used in the past. I pulled out my spare bolt and ordered new blades.

SBS Block Due 10/25 October 24, 2009

Posted by Pam in KC in notions, SBS.
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A10 – Bachelor’s Puzzle

Today S, T & I went to the Original Sewing & Quilt Expo here in Kansas City. It was the first time I attended the event since it moved up to the KCI-Expo Center.

They had some great quilt and garment displays and of course vendors. I nearly made it out without buying anything.

The very first booth got me — although I made it through the entire show and circled back to make my purchase.

It was the Bo-Nash booth with the Bo-Nash Bonding Agent. Apparently it can be used to baste quilts instead of the quilt basting spray. It also came with a tube of vinyl/leather repair, so I’m going to try and fix my car seats. I’ll let you know how it works after I use it.

SBS Block Due 10/11 October 10, 2009

Posted by Pam in KC in notions, SBS.
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H7 – Odd Fellow’s Chain

73 tiny pieces. The half square triangle units finish at 3/4″. Originally I planned to paper piece this block, but this evening I realized I could use my Easy Angle and Companion Angle rulers. All in all, the block went together quite well, it just took ‘forever’.

SBS Block Due 10/4 September 29, 2009

Posted by Pam in KC in notions, SBS.
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L3 – 54-40 Or Fight

This block has a template for the background triangle, but I’m not a big template fan when there are other options. Quilt In A Day has a set of Triangle in a Square rulers which I use, but since this a a six inch block, they were too big.

Then I remembered. I have a set of Tri-Rec Tools. I don’t know when I picked these up or why, but they worked great for this block.

A Week Without Quilting! September 5, 2009

Posted by Pam in KC in notions.
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Who knew that a missing ruler could cause a week without sewing? I finally found my missing Easy Angle Ruler in a pile of papers. Apparently when I was clearing (note, not cleaing) my desk it got grabbed up and put on the shelf.

But truth be told, I’m not sure much sewing would have occured this week anyway. Earlier in the week I was working on the finishing instructions for the smaller Kansas Spirit quilt and I’ve been cleaning the house.

Today and tommorow I’m hosting a couple of my quilting buddies and we are going to sew all weekend. I’ve got Taco Soup in the crock pot for lunch, and the chicken is marinating in the refrigerator. I’ve talked my husband into grilling it tonight by making an Italian Wedding Cake to snack on.

Now to pick something from my list to work on this weekend.

What Cleaning Does September 2, 2009

Posted by Pam in KC in cleaning, notions, orange crush.
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I did not set out to clean. However, I received a “ton” of fabric cast offs which needed to be put up. There is still more in the basement waiting to be washed.

When we redid my sewing studio/office, I made the decision that if it didn’t fit on the two sets of shelves, I had to find another home for it — whatever it is. A few weeks ago I looked through all of my quilting magazines and donated a 12″ stack. You can’t tell by looking my shelves, because I gathered up the magazines that were scattered through out the house.

The fabric is a bit tougher. But, since I’ve made significatant progress on my DWR, it moved out of the bin it’s in and into one of my project bins. I also pulled out the extra fabric from a couple of other quilt tops recently finished and either put it away or dumped it on my table to be cut up into scraps. That’s the pile on the right in the picture below.

The pile on the left if what I found when I cleared my cutting table off. I’ve midplaced my small EZ Angle Ruler. I misplaced the large EZ Angle Ruler at the begining of the year. I didn’t even know I had one let alone two, plus the Companion Angle Ruler until I started working on Bonnie Hunter’s Orange Crush. Now I can’t find either!

I guess I keep digging.

SBS Block Due 8/16 August 10, 2009

Posted by Pam in KC in birthday blocks, notions, SBS.
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B-7 Swamp Patch

For this block I used the Companion Angle ruler and 1 1/2″ strips instead of cutting squares into triangles. I’m not sure how long I’ve had this ruler, but I know until I needed it for one of Bonnie Hunter’s mystery quilt I never used it.

Now to file under ‘clearing the counter’ is this orphan block:

About a year ago a group I quilted with made a quilt to auction off for charity. I think the kits were from a shop hop quilt from a few years earlier. Given that I had a limited amount of fabric – and no way to get more – I started to make a sample block. Once I saw that I wasn’t going to have trouble with the block I made the ‘real’ block and tossed the sample block into the scrap box. Back when I was working on my scraps I found the pieces and pulled it out. It’s been sitting on my sewing table for the past 6 – 8 weeks. Last night I decided to finish it. I have no idea what I’m going to do with it, but for now it’s in my orphan block drawer.

Also finished in the last couple of days are a couple of Mini Bow Tie blocks from Quilterscache.com for the birthday block swap. Sorry no pictures, because the birthday ladies occasionally read my blog.