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Archive for the ‘Just Takes 2’ Category

Here is a photo of my March blocks for Just Takes 2. A feathered star and a compass. Both are in need of pressing, but they are stitched and the seam allowances are graded. I did not photograph the flying geese, as they are not all that interesting and this pattern is calling for multiple sections of them. I think this is an unusual compass as it is division is by sixths instead of eighths.

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I have the pine burr block cut out. So I should be able to complete that one and be all caught up by the end of the weekend. The next pattern release is scheduled for April 1 which should be assembly instructions for the first fourth of the quilt. It is coming right along.

As for the feathered star medallion top, I have one more border side to stitch on and I will have a complete “flimsy”, ready for photos. Here is my next machine project

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Fat eighths have been arriving in my mailbox for the Boomerang exchange. For most of these fabrics, I have a block in mind so I will sew these up and post them to their owners next week. As for handwork, I am also several weeks behind on Dear Jane, so I will be prepping block packets to catch up to the schedule.

We have had a very warm period for our section of the US in March. My daffodils started blooming yesterday and the roses are beginning to leaf. I never got them pruned last fall, so I need to have time outdoors to clean up the beds and do that task. It has been hard not to be sticking seeds/plants in the dirt, but I have to remember that a cold snap is still possible. Today is rainy so I will not be out in the dirt, but in the studio completing that top.

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I have been working in my spare time to catch up my blocks of the month. Here is a shot of blocks from the last two releases. I also have the flying geese done, but they failed to make a photo. This leaves me the pine burr and feathered star. I am almost halfway through the star, and plan to carry over the pine burr into the next release. One block behind is not bad, and I need a break from the blue.

The feathered star contains several sized (or oriented) triangles, so here is a tip. To help keep them straight so I don’t place a piece incorrectly, I have written the template letter in the seam allowance. It is in pencil so if I need to erase it I can, but being in the seam allowance, I don’t typically have to worry about it showing to the front. I can also consolidate the project into one bag because the pieces are marked, making it more travel friendly. No need for a baggie of A, B, C etc. My husband was appalled that I was hand piecing a block with so many individual bits, but it is a perfect candidate because it can be continuously stitched. All those feathers can be done with a few lengths of thread by adding the next piece instead of knotting off at the end of each seam. It is so much faster than a foundation method for me. Even though there are over 75 pieces, it should be quick.

We almost had a disaster in my studio last night. I went in during nap time to hear a strange dripping sound. The roof was leaking! I called DH and my boss (I keep books for a contractor) and we got it fixed quickly. God is good because I caught it quickly, and it was only a lifted shingle. Having that knee-wall open allowed me to see it. No damaged books/fabric or soggy insulation to mold. In order for the crew to get at the leak, I had to empty all my “stuff” from storage. It is an even bigger mess in my upstairs than before, but DH has set aside time to get the shelving finished so I’m waiting to put it all away. There is a path to the machine, so I’m going to keep stitching anyway.

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I’m still plugging away on the special order quilt top. Only one more appliqué block and I can start final assembly. Yeah!! I tried to sew late last night, but found a few problems with my pattern. Either I did not measure properly, or something is calculated wrong. I just wanted to put together parts and not think, so I went to bed. Fresh eyes are a great thing. This morning I will sit down and recalculate, make changes etc. It is when I have projects like this one that I miss the days of full time sewing. Now I am rising before kids, waiting for nap time and bed time to get my work done. I love the flexibility to “work” while home with my littles, but sometimes I think having an uninterrupted stretch of time would be wonderful, just to be able to get in the zone.

I do want to give a big thank you to Grace Frame Co. I have one of the original models of the floor hoop that they produced and really love it. I wanted to add some accessories that are not standard to the catalogue, so I contacted customer service. A girl can only ask, right? They were so good, prompt response, and willing to work with me. They were upfront about what the could and could not do, and allowed a special order to fit my needs. Kudos to them and thank you! I am a very happy customer and highly recommend them for all hand quilting needs.

For the record, I was looking for a smaller hoop and a set of edge tools. They were able to sell me the edge tools seperately, but did not have an extra hoop that was compatable with my stand. I’d hoped that something might be forgotten in the corner of the warehouse, but glad that I did not order a current model to find it would not work after opening the package. I appreciate that they did not sell me on something just to have a sale. Honesty is wonderful and this is why I keep coming back.

As for the JT2 project, the new set of blocks came out yesterday and it includes a feathered star. I am so happy to see this classic, challenging block make the cut. I was only able to finish up three of the last set, so I have six total to get done in the next two weeks. This will be my next focus.

For now, I need to thread a needle. Happy stitching!

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Yesterday was spent in court for jury selection. While I appreciate the safeguards that our judicial system has, the day was ponderously slow. I had the forethought to bring some sewing, and I completed the first February installment of JT2. Many people marveled that any would sew by hand. There were a few comments like “my grandmother did that” and one “I want to see it finished”. Perhaps the most humorous comment came from one ignorant fellow who offered $10 for a finished queen-sized quilt. Needless to say, he is not interested in purchasing at my pricing.

As for the blocks themselves, they were easily assembled. Geese are geese, and as long as they are properly scaled, any method included the recommended foundation piecing can be used. I accidentally reversed the value placement, but will leave it as is. My second block has a few issues. The first is that I failed to notice a mirror image in the block construction, so some seams are incorrect. I still get the star center, but if this was in three colors, the chain effect across the top would be interrupted. It is also too small by about 1/4″. I’m not sure if, due to my environment yesterday, I took a deeper seam or it is a pattern issue. Since I’m the one who converted a foundation pattern to rotary, the blame lies with me either way. I think I’ll try to skinny up the seams first before recutting the whole block.

The next installment of JT2 releases mid month, so look for more two color blocks after Valentines day.

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JT2 set 2

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Here is my second set of blocks for Just Takes 2. The schoolhouse and Jacob’s Ladder finish at 9″ while the remainder of the grouping will be squared down to 6″. I converted one pattern from paper pieced to templates. With careful measuring, it was easily rotary cut. I also chose to do the fan with templates, and since I was on the lazy side, I pulled out the Press and Seal.

Press and Seal is a product produced by Glad for use in the kitchen as an alternative to plastic wrap. It is slightly sticky on one side as opposed to a cling style wrap. When I used this for template material, I simply press a section onto my pattern and trace the sewing lines of a shape. I cut it out and apply to the fabric. As I cut the fabric I add my seam allowance to the shape. I will leave it applied to the fabric as I sew, instead of tracing around it and removing. My stiching line is the template’s edge. It has several plusses and minuses. I’ll start with the positive aspects.

1. It is clear so tracing is easy.
2. It does not require heat to bond, so no hot irons which is a big plus with littles running around.
3. It is flexible, so the templates are easily to manipulate. When I am insetting a curve, it flexes as I work instead of pulling off the febric.

On the down side:

1. It is clear, so when applied to fabric, it can be easy to lose sight of the edge. It can be a chore to differentiate shiney template edge verses matte fabric. I would be so happy if it came in colors.
2. It is tricky to cut. At times I pull out a craft knife instead of scissors.
3. It can be stretched especially in the cutting process.

For me, this product has a place in my studio. It allows me to quilt with templates around the littles. I don’t have to wait until I can print from the computer or plug in an iron. It is not a perfect solution, but one to explore.

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