Monday, June 27, 2016

Applique Blocks

I was learning to use Karen K Buckley`s perfect circles for my 1857
sampler quilt and made few for here as well. I machine appliqued them using a white cotton thread. 

B-1 Bachelor Buttons

 I used a wash away fusable for the tear drops. Above you can see the background fabric through the white, but below you cannot.

C-9  Jane`s Tears
I used the fusable for the leaves but not the circles.

F-13  Tour de France

 I was at the Just Takes 2 retreat in Shipshewana back in November and Brenda Papadakis, Dear Jane herself, showed me what I was doing wrong with the back basting technique. I was not using a fat needle to do the basting. With a fat needle, I am using a tapestry 8, the holes in the background fabric become the stitching guidelines. I have used this technique a lot since then and love it. However, it is not so easy to make all sides exactly the same. Hmm. Need more practice.

G-3  Four Leaf Clover


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Choosing Colours

The next bunch of blocks will all have a square-in-a-square theme and be foundation pieced. 

That is . . . when I get to them.


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

On the Design Wall

It is hard to believe that it has been a whole year since I did any work on this quilt. So much for good intentions. Life has been very busy this past year with family, studies, travel and quilting.

These are the 25 blocks that I have made so far. Three are not complete. This leaves me with exactly 200 more to go. I could plan to do 10 per month or 1 per week or 1 per day. But I have decided to start with one. I am using bright colours and each fabric will be used 2-3 times. With my luck, I would end up with the same colour and same design side by each as one of my granddaughters says.

I have gotten somewhat obsessed with hand as well as machine applique the past 3 years and started no less than 10 big quilts with several others on the wait list. I have completely completed 2 of these quilts and trying to complete a few more. You can read about that on my other blog Quilting at the Farm.

So my plan here is to make 1 block then  make another. If all goes well, I will eventually make 198 more and finish this. It is the brightest thing I am working on right now and find it refreshing.


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Stay Tuned for More Quilting Jane at the Farm in 2016

It has been a very busy fall for me as I was away 4 times and mostly  worked on hand applique as I traveled. I took a quick road trip to Bennington Vermont in October to see the original Jane Stickle Quilt. The friend that went with me is organizing a bus tour there for Sept 2016. It might be fun to go see it again.

I tried to take lots of pictures of the original. We were not allowed to use a flash and some of my pictures are blurry, but you can still see lots of the original blocks. It is nice to be able to blow them up on my big computer screen.

I also visited my daughter and grandson in New Brunswick for 10 days. That was fun. I will be returning there next week for 3 weeks to help out as her second baby is due soon. I plan to take along some hand applique. Since I am doing this DJ2 by machine, I doubt that I will take along some blocks unless I change my mind and take some blocks to prep. Now there is an idea. But I have to be careful as she has an 18  month old who gets into everything. So no pins.

November I took the 8 hour drive to Shipshewana Indiana for the Just Takes 2 retreat with Dear Jane herself, Brenda Papadakis and Gay Bomers. That will be a definite annual event. Linda Collins from Australia and Quiltmania will be there. After returning home, we made applesauce. 137 jars of it.    

December I went to Europe for 2 weeks to visit family. I completed all the hand applique on the  Criswell  Quilt and machine quilted it quickly. I gave it to my aunt in Poland for her 90th birthday.
Again, I only took some hand work. I am still stitching circles on my Beyond the Cherry Trees blocks. And I started on the Morrell Quilt. What is the Morrell you ask? It is yet another sampler quilt from the 1850's that Di Ford Hall created a pattern for. You can see more on one of my other blogs.

I have been having great difficulty uploading photos to my blogs. It took about 2 hours to upload 3 the other day. So, I will see what we can do about that. I might have to go visit somewhere with fast internet. Until then, I will keep on doing what I am doing.


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

C-1 Trooper Green's Badge

This is another relatively easy block. You could trace or photocopy the pattern from the book to do by foundation piecing.

I measured the different elements and pieced it.
Starting with the center, I measured across the square and added 1/4 inch all around and cut a white square that was 2 1/4 inches.

Next I cut 2 squares from the focus fabric  2 1/2 inches then cut them across diagonally to get 4 triangles. I like to have a straight of grain on the outside of the triangle if I can to avoid all the stretching and distortion that happens with bias edges.

I sewed the triangles on opposite sides using 1/4 inch seam allowance. Pressed away from the center.
Then I sewed the other 2 triangles on and pressed away from the center.

Next, I squared it up being careful to have exactly 1/4 inch between the white center points and the seam allowance.

I sewed all the next strips on in a log cabin format.

I originally learned this technique a hundred years ago from Quilt in a Day. But I am more careful now.

Using the pre-cut 1 inch background strips, I sew one onto one side.

 Pressed it to the outside, away from the center.

Then, I squared up the edges and cut off the extra.

Sewed on the next strip.

Note that I did not measure and precut these strips. I just lined them up with one of the edges of the square.

Pressed it open away from the center.

Squared the edges.

Same for the 3rd side.

And the 4th side. 

I repeated this for the next round of border strips.

I pre-cut a strip of the blue a bit wider  than I needed to make sure that it was going to be big enough all the way around. 

I cut it 2 1/2 inches wide.


Second side.

Third side.

And finally the 4th side. Press it neatly.

Remember there is a significant difference between pressing and ironing. You iron shirts by gliding the hot iron across the fabric to remove wrinkles.

You press seams by holding the hot iron over the seam with out  moving to flatten the seams. This avoids stretching and distortion. Also, I avoid using steam for the same reason. 

Finally, I squared up the whole thing to 5 inches using my Dear Jane square up ruler. 

and TaDa!!

Another completed blocks.

Only  147 more blocks to go.


Monday, May 25, 2015

Thinking About DJ2 Again

I have come across a blog that has all the Dear Jane patterns available for free from Susan Gatewood.
I originally started this blog to provide instruction and encouragement to the class I planned to teach last fall  but everyone dropped out one by one and so I am just working on it whenever. I will not be doing exhaustive tutorials for all the blocks but will try to show the progression as I am working on each block.

I purchased the Dear Jane software when I started my first Dear Jane quilt 6 years ago. It took me about 3-4 years to figure out how to use the program. To be honest, I used to print the foundation patterns that spread the pattern across 2 sheets and then using scissors, I cut them out from the overflow on page 2 and taped them onto one sheet. Some of the pattern pieces were split over 2 pages. I now know how to use the "move" button at the top after I choose print, foundation pattern, preview. Not all the blocks show up and I have since learned to figure out how to do them on my own. And, I finally found where I can make up the layout and colour it in the way I want to. I am still not sure about doing the sashing in that black. I really like how crisp the bright colours look on the white.

I have been surfing the net to find more tutorials for various Jane blocks. Here are some from Granny Maud's Girl.

I recently joined the Singer Feather Weight Facebook group. I have been using my FW for the paper piecing for my Dear Jane and find it great for this. I also used the Featherweight to connect all the sashing strips.

I love how I can flip up the arm to get it out of the way then drop it back down again when I am ready to stitch. I do believe this was the very last block/corner kite to bring the total blocks to 225 using 225 different Civil war reproduction fabrics.


Friday, May 22, 2015

D-13 Field of Dreams

I have been trying to upload these photos all week and now here we are.
I figure if I am ever going to get any work done on this DJ@ then I should start with just 1 block.

This one is easily done by foundation piecing or just measure the finished pieces and add 1/4 inch all around.

So, I cut out the square and added  1/4 all the way around.

I ironed the triangles to the fabric and cut 1/4 inch all around.
Not too smart. I should have added extra around the outsides of the triangles. This is a good tip for all the foundation piecing that will be coming.
This way, when the block is all stitched together, there will be something to square it up in case you sewed it too small, which happens a lot with foundation piecing.

Next, I laid out all the pieces in the correct arrangement.

I had used freezer paper for this the first time around. Back then I did not have any idea what I was doing, so started photocopying all the patterns until I ran out of freezer paper. Dah!

Anyway, I still had the freezer paper templates so used them again. Much simpler than foundation piecing and then not having to tear out all the papers.

 Stitched on the opposites sides then pressing the top to set the seam before pressing to the blue.

After this, I stitched on the remaining 2 triangles and pressed.

It really was simple and fortunately,
It measure the exact 5 inches.