Thursday, November 24, 2011

Popsicle Sticks and the Fifth FAB Birthday PAR-TAY of 2011

Happy Thanksgiving to my quilting friends south of the border in the U.S.A!

Today is my birthday.  I am the fifth and last FAB to be celebrating my birthday this year.  We have postponed the PAR-TAY until the new year--either January or February.  With 5 busy people's schedules to organize, Thanksgiving celebrations, Christmas and New Year's celebrations, we have all agreed that we will have more time to relax and celebrate after the New Year.

In the meantime, I have picked the quilt pattern that I want to work on during my PAR-TAY day.  I have chosen Popsicle Sticks from Atkinson Designs.

This is my test block.  I am glad I spent the time to put together a test block ahead of the quilting day as I now know that I will make the most efficient use of my fabric if I use WOF strips rather than FQ's.

I still have many fall coloured / themed fabrics in my stash to pull from so this will be another quilt from my stash.  I am planning to make my quilt King sized - 112" x 112".  I will need 49 of these 16 inch blocks made from 2.5 inch strips of fabric.

Terry Atkinson mentions on the pattern jacket that you will need 4 jelly rolls (2.5 inch strips, 42" long) or 50 fat quarters.  She goes on to say that if your fat quarters are smaller than 18" x 21", you will have to allow extra yardage.  When I was making my test block, I found that fat quarters did not work for me--too much waste.

This is a copy of the quilt from the pattern jacket.  This quilt is simple but effective--a take off from the traditional Rail Fence quilt pattern.  I have my strips cut and I am ready to PAR-TAY!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Green Work Basket Block #1 - Ivy

I have started a new project.  It is a good idea to have a handwork / portable project available for those times when you are travelling, watching TV, etc. 

This is block number one in a basket series by Bee Tree Designs.  There are a total of 12 blocks--each with something different in the basket.  The designs fit nicely on an  8.5 inch square.  The level of detail on some of the blocks and the size mean these are quick-to-stitch so this project will take some time to finish.

I am using two strands of DMC #988 and a backstitch to do the stitching.  In hindsight, I should have likely used three strands of floss to make the design stand out more, but it is now done and IIWII.   


There has been a lot of discussion on the Internet about Pilot's Frixion pens for marking designs on fabric.  I tried the green Frixion pen to mark this design and I love it!  The ink is thermo reactive and can be removed from paper with friction.  The ink can be removed from fabric by applying the heat of an iron.  I also read somewhere that someone removed the ink with a blow dryer but I haven't tried that yet.  At 65 degrees Celsius, the ink becomes translucent (invisible).  The ink reappears if you cool your piece to -20 degrees Celsius by putting it in the freezer so be careful what project you are using this ink on.  Previously, I was using a permanent ink marker to mark my stitching designs onto fabric.  If I happened to make an incorrect line, I had to live with it and work it into the design.  With the Frixion pen, I can just use the tip of my iron to remove the mistake and remark.  I am not so sure I would use the pens to mark quilting lines on finished quilts, but for marking red work/green work, they are perfect.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Button Up - Merry Christmas

Linda thought it was time for a reward project on Saturday.  You can always count on me to join in on a fun, quick project.  Linda and I seem to specialize in taking turns leading each other astray.  LOL

So Saturday's project was Merry Christmas, a cute pattern included in the Button Up Collection from Joined at the Hip (BU #21).  The Button Up quilt series is a group of seasonally inspired 28" x 48" quilts that button onto a quilted foundation for easy decorating with the change in seasons. 

Although this is my first Button Up, Linda has completed several already.  I need to button hole stitch around my star and then this will be ready for quilting.  The pattern calls for some paper key tag disks available from stationery supply stores to be made into ornaments and to be stitched on the branches, but I think I will see if I can find some suitable buttons instead.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Minnesota Hot Dish - Finished Flimsy

This is my queen sized version of Terry Atkinson's Minnesota Hot Dish.  This quilt is now finished to the flimsy stage and has moved to the waiting-to-be-quilted pile.

This is a copy of the pattern jacket.  I believe this pattern is now out of print.  Atkinson Design patterns are great--never disappoint--no surprises--always end up looking like the pattern!  I know it seems funny to say that.  Shouldn't quilts end up looking like the pattern if you follow the pattern instructions?  Although this is what we expect when we purchase a pattern, many designers do not take the time to thoroughly test their pattern designs with real quilters and you end up frustrated at some point in the construction process.