Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Another serger lesson & another apron

Today I finished another apron. It too is retro in style but with a new bohemian fabric. I think my sister will love this one too.

My serger lesson was to learn how to use the ruffling foot. I got out my serger book and all of the feet that came with the serger and some scraps of fabric for practice. The instructions tell you to "use your left hand to hold this piece and your right hand to hold this piece". Then you need to use your other left hand to guide this piece thru the slop and your other right hand to make sure that the flat piece stays next to the cutting blades. And, if you have a spare hand, you can guide the finished ruffle out the back of the machine.

Well, I don't know - I only have one right hand and one left hand. Then whole thing felt BEYOND awkward! However, the resulting ruffle was gorgeous and done without sewing those basting lines and pulling up threads to gather. This will certainly take more practice, but it will be worth it!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Learning to use my serger AND "Going Green"

I think I have mastered the rolled hem stitch on my serger. I have finished 4 dozen cloth dinner napkins. They are so pretty! I used fabric from my stash and now have a whole basket full of the cutest napkins. This SHOULD cut down on the amount of money we spend on paper towels and paper napkins.

I have had a request to clarify the way I made my napkins. They are single thickness. I cut a variety of novelty fabrics and some orphan fat quarters to 14" square. Some of the fabrics were not big enough to do 14" so are a bit smaller.

I hemmed all 4 sides with the rolled hem stitch on my serger. This was really good practice for me becoming comfortable with what I needed to do to set up the stitch as well as changing threads.

Then, I put a dab of fray check on each corner and threw them in the washer. I wanted to see how they would wash and dry as I do NOT intend to iron these things!

They probably are not show stoppers, but they are fun and should work!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Retro Aprons

Retro aprons - I made my first today and I might just be hooked! Fun to make and cute, cute, cute.

Fat Quarters, Layer Cakes and Jelly Rolls, oh my!

I finally finished getting the remainder of my inventory listed on my webpage at www.ioniaquiltworks.com . Great deals on Moda pre-cuts! Check them out!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Starlight-Starbright Block A-13

Jane - You were a better woman than I ! I have tried piecing this block by machine, paper piecing and applique. I am not having a lot of luck. Enough for today. Tomorrow I may try this block my making little tiny freezer paper templates, ironing them to the fabric, adding 1/4 inch seam allowances and then hand piecing.

I'm off to make an apron! I really need to work with some larger pieces of fabric for the rest of today!

Friday, June 12, 2009

My Journey With Jane

This picture is of "THE" Dear Jane Quilt.
This is not a picture of my quilt.

“In War Time 1863 - Pieces 5602 - Jane M. Stickle” is painstakingly embroidered on the lower right hand corner of the quilt. This quilt masterpiece is now housed in the Bennington Museum in Bennington, Vermont. It comprises 225 pieced squares, triangles, and corner "kites." Many of the blocks contain pieces no larger than 1/4-inch square. Jane's completed quilt measures 80 1/4" x 80 1/4" and contains 5,602 individual pieces.
The Stickle quilt was made famous by Brenda Papadakis, who lovingly studied the quilt and drafted patterns for each of the intricate blocks. The patterns were made into a book and thousands of quilters across the world have re-created (or attempted to re-create) this quilt.

Given the fact that the quilt was finished in 1863, I would assume that Jane completely hand-pieced her quilt, no doubt without the very tools that today’s quilter deems necessary. In addition, today’s piecing methods do not always work for the blocks in this quilt. The journey becomes a learning experience in hand piecing, foundation piecing, miniature machine piecing, applique, etc. In fact, I soon learned that a combination of all of these methods and “what ever works” is the mind-set that is needed to complete each block!

It also becomes necessary to SLOW DOWN, enjoy the PROCESS instead of the RESULT and to become very good friends with your seam ripper!

My journey with Jane’s quilt started in 2005. I completed about 20 of the little 4 ½ in blocks, became frustrated and threw the whole mess in a box.

I came across these litle blocks the other day and decided that there was absolutely no reason why I couldn’t do just ONE little block a day - or even a week - but I did need to give this project another try! I also hope my piecing has improved enough in the last few years that I will be more successful and less frustrated!

In reviewing some of the hundreds of blogs and websites devoted to this quilt and the methods most likely to be successful in recreating the block, I see a LOT of applique. I HATE applique. I actually think I hate applique because I'm not good at it. So, I shall learn!