Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Hexies, and GFG Repair

This is Mom's GFG (Grandmother's Flower Garden) quilt, probably finished in the late 1940s, and made with chicken mash feed bags.  She believed in "Save it for good."  The colors are chosen carefully, with artistic flair - there wasn't much time for artistry, having moved to a farm, from her easy life in Chicago, and having 4 kids, and the usual demands of a falling-down farm.  

I remember seeing it for years, on a wood shelf in a linen closet.  This is what happened  unfortunately.  

The major damage is in 3 places, along fold lines, and goes all the way through the back.

I've owned this quilt for about 10 years and it's been 10 years of "planning to think about starting to get ready and get organized and buy some fabric, to begin" etc., etc., but,  I actually DID start on repairs.  And, just like Mother's told us, it's never as hard as what we think!!!   I measured the size of the finished hexie, and make some plastic templates, casually cut fabric about the size of the hexie, and folded fabric over the template and took the 2 stitches at the corner and goodness, my first effort was finished very quickly - ADDICTIVE!  Unfortunately, the end product was a bit too small so I made more plastic templates a bit larger and voila - this one happened in only 2 evenings of watching TV commercials!  8-)))  My finished hexagon templates are not precise, but close.  Wish I had a better template.  

Here is a ruler, but it wasn't the right size to match Mom's Hexies.  The most confusing part is determining the "correct" size, especially since Mom's size was "off" standard.   There seem to be many ideas of how a hexie should be measured, so if you plan on making hexies, you MUST  understand YOUR particular method.  Side to side is one measurement, but point to point is not the same measurement.

I pieced mine over plastic Mylar - (no, I didn't need it to be Mylar) the stiffness made for a sharp edge/crease, but was a little hard to take out.  I had made a punched hole in each plastic, but removing with a pen point gave me fears of destruction, but they DID come came out with no damage.  I have a Fiskars Hexie punch on order, so I can do the NEXT project with all the same size papers/cardstock.  First efforts with cardstock was OK, but I had issues with sewing the cardstock into the hexies.  Groannnnn!

The binding on her quilt also needs replacing and thankfully, she made edges straight.  It definitely needs washing.  When I placed this rosette casually on the damaged area, it blended in so nicely!  I'm so glad I've begun repairs on Mom's beautiful quilt. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Hourglass, DONE

This one is DONE - I'm pleased.  It's 70" x 80".  It was too windy to hang on the fence.  The 2 light borders on each side of the HSTs, are a twining vine, with hearts/leaves that poke into the white part of the HSTs.  This was all free-form with the exception of the large side setting triangles when I used a template.  THAT is the only part I don't particularly care for - apparently I am a total free-form gal. I called mine an Hourglass, but I see it's the same as Quiltville Disappearing Spools.  

The last of the quilting was done with my new Janome feet.  They come 3 to the package, and include a round clear plastic foot with guidelines, so circles can be done well - that is my ultimate goal, anyway.  At first, I had problems but learned to loosen the pressure on the foot, and also unscrewed the spring on the new foot itself (less pressure), and voila, it worked.  PRACTICE was the key.

Notice the hint of GREEN in the grass. 8-)) 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

New quilting design

I ventured forth and tried a new quilting design.  The are basically 4  "S" curves back and forth, with a swirl at the end of 4, and then taking off in a new direction - something like a large McTavishing, (IMHO).  But as soon as I tried these, my hands just kept curving, swirling, filling in gaps, making "S" curves - they were not hard, and  watching it on YouTube made it do-able.  8-)   The thread is a light variegated King Tut that works well on my machine.  This quilt is 70" x 80", not a small quilt, and the backing is again, made up of 10 inch squares from stash.  

This Hourglass quilt should be completed in a few days.  I'm working on the border quilting.  

Warm days in western Nebraska have been filled with yard work, except for a brief return of winter and snow, now gone.  I do NOT overdo!  Also, one little screech owl is in our tree almost every day.  No owlets yet, but I presume there is a nest nearby.  

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Basting, heavy clamps, blizzard, camera repair

Whew - what a title!


Another backing planned with 10 inch squares - this uses almost 6 yds. of perfectly good fabric!  This backing takes about 2-3 hours to make, especially if the squares are cut already, something I do frequently with bits and pieces.  Also, remember these 10 1/2 inch squares are pretty close to Layer Cakes that cost a LOT!!!

Basting the Quilt 

The day was beautiful in western Nebraska.  I swept out the garage, then set up my 2 tables, put on the extension legs all in about 5 minutes.  Basting takes longer, but DH helped me and I even had large pins for him to help baste.  It was a nice time, together.  I use pins and spray, if I have it.

I tried using these heavy clamps on the ends and sides of the backing to hold the backing tight/taut. Each time I baste a quilt I try something different, with various results.  Since a quilt is frequently longer and wider than the tables, it's not easy to find clamps that will work on the edges of tables.  HOWEVER, THIS WORKED VERY WELL!  It was their weight, hanging on the backing that did the job - these are expensive, but the principal is good - any kind will do if they are heavy enough.   The small didn't work - not heavy enough, but the 2 larges sizes were great.  I can barely open the biggest ones -- they are tough!!!,  but they only have to clip onto the backing and their own weight does the job. I put 3 on a side.  

Here is the blizzard the day AFTER I basted the quilt - good grief - glad I didn't wait.

Camera fixed

Last thing, my camera quit for some odd reason.  It wasn't cheap in 2006, and I dread learning how to stumble through MORE techie stuff with a new camera, downloading, etc.  The camera repair place that I was bragging about a year ago, no longer fixes this version.  So, coming from a family of "fixers", I spent hours on the Internet today, searching for "fixes" and voila!!!!  We fixed it with alcohol, and wiping contact areas clean.  Easy-Peazy!  Happy Day!!!