Sunday, February 23, 2014

Split 9-Patch, and Windows 8.1 progress

Above is a version of brilliant border that a new quilting friend suggested.  Thank you Kathy G.!! Kathy is recently retired, a new member of our Guild and also visits our local sewing group - this gal has clever ideas!!

My chevrons are running vertically on this quilt and somehow, the quilt needed a way for the chevrons, or HSTs to END.  I will do the bottom the same way, but might put the treatment on the LIGHTS to see how that looks.  This was time consuming and DEMANDING, as I had used up all my little pieces, and had to make MORE strips, sewing together, cutting diagonally, resewing, etc.  

Here's how the quilt looks - it's not huge, just looks that way.  I'm working on bottom border today - remember this view is horizontal, but in reality, it runs vertically.

On the new Laptop front, and Windows 8.1, my frustration has diminished, as 8.1 is soooooo much easier than regular Windows 8.  Thank you for consolation from some of you, encouragement from a few others, and enlightenment from a few MORE others!!!

We opted for a large screen HP laptop, and since we seldom go anywhere and wouldn't expect to take this laptop, the large screen laptop is working for us.  It's a big large and clunky moving from room to room, but DH and I are also kinda large and clunky, so this laptop size is a good match.

Onward to playing with those little Split 9-patches!!!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Split 9 Patch Progress, and New Laptop

Above is my current project, a split 9 patch.  This one is totally "process" -- no one would ever make blocks this size the usual way.  This is from Jackie Robinson, and her method is Strip and Slash.  I have her CD and enjoy watching, just to be watching something quilty.  The individual squares are 1.25 inches, so the blocks are very small.  The photo is horizontal, but I'm going to finish it in vertical configuration.  Remember the lesson, you can use any fabric, no matter how ugly, if you cut it small enough!  I have a LOT of strips 2.5, and they were used as well as a lot of strips cut smaller. 

I think this is a perfect example of adding "twinkle" to a normally ho-hum quilt.  Look how the turquoise blue "pops"!  (it was accidental!) 

My younger brother and wife (also Elaine) visited over the weekend.  His goal was to help me pick out a new computer.  He worked for HOURS getting it set up - while I don't consider myself a dummie, I could never have done it myself!  I paid him back somewhat by sending them off with 6 quilts.  We encouraged them to take more of our stuff to help us downsize.  They went home with quilts, family paintings, and below he is trying to pack one of DH's boats.  

 And here is DH (below)  playing with the new computer/laptop.

Windows 8.1 is just FULL of "stuff" that, for now, (IMHO) we are finding useless.  Skype was fun for a day or so, taking our picture was entertaining, but I prefer e-mail.  OK, YouTube was good .   We had to purchase Excel and MSWord separately.  I know we will get better, but it's so full of gizmos, and stuff, and popups, and full-page pop-up ads, and "stores" to purchase more stuff, and unexpected screens in and out, enlarged or reduced screens for no reason, (?) no menus that are easily available, that I already ordered "Windows 8.1 for Dummies."  Bookmarks, so far, are unavailable, the URL bar, if I can remember an address, jumps in and out of the screen, and one never seems to "close" anything.  BING is the Search Engine (don't want that either).  If you are familiar with Windows 8.1, PLEASE send me some encouragement that it will get better!!!  I purchased the laptop specifically so we would have less stairs to maneuver.  This present XP is downstairs, and I really like it, but felt we should try to keep up with the times.

I made my living on the computer during my working years, using the computer as an aid to working using Windows XP.  This laptop seems more of a toy, with the goal being playing, and figuring it out, rather than using it for sensible purposes.

OK, enough whining!!!  I am thrilled I kept my "old" desktop.  8-))))

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Scrappy Project, Strip and Slash

 Whew - the last 2 months went by FAST!!

I'm working on a Strip and Slash, by Jackie Robinson.  I bought her DVD a while ago, enjoyed it many times, and last year made this blue one.  However, a friend needed a quilt FAST, and I needed something SHE had so we traded and I've started another.  (I wonder if the fabrics are some of the same???)

First, this is one excellent scrap user.  You make a LOT of DARK strips and sew them together.  

Then you make the same for light strips, and sew them together in precise configuration.  Anything goes in this quilt, just light or dark.  The pieces are small so they all blend in the end.  There is a lot of "process"  - something I enjoy.  Pressing is very important for successful abutting of seams later in the process, and Jackie Robinson's instructions were clear and accurate.  Her DVD also explains "twinkle",  and she also displays her own errors in color choices, which I definitely appreciated.

Using your triangle ruler, (note black tip on lower right extending past the edge of the black piece), cut all the 9-patches diagonally.  Notice upper left - that is about 1/4 inch "off".  If you've cut and measured fairly accurately during the process, you will have a quarter inch seam allowance between the lower left and upper right on that diagonal cut.  See ruler below.

Do the same for the light units.

 Sew all the light triangles to the dark triangles.  Matching along the diagonal is easier than it looks - there is a lot of "feeling" to get sharp points, and a 1/4 inch seam allowance is not followed.  One sews from "X" to "X".  I had to resew very few.

Below is just one arrangement of 4 Split 9-patches.  I was planning for a quilt 10 x 12 but made too many light ones, so expanded my plan to 12 x 12, but then made too many dark units.  The current plan is 12 x 14, or 168 blocks.  I'm close to my goal.  The blocks finish slightly less than 4 inches.   Can't wait to get it together - the arrangements are endless!