Friday, July 29, 2011

Chained Star Project: part 2

I almost had this project completely finished before health issues intrrupted everything.  Although I'm feeling much better and have little pain, I'm still being sent off to have tests done.  There's only one scheduled test left to do and I hope it's the last.  None have been horrendous, most have been annoying, and all have been time-consuming.  I have taken a redwork project along to work on in waiting rooms and I finished a block last week, so I guess I've accomplished something, but I'll be glad to have more time devoted to quilting again.  Here's what I had finished on the Chained Star wall pocket project.

After finishing the block, I backed it with muslin and used flannel as batting, then machine-quilted it with a loose meandering design being very careful not to quilt through the little pockets.

Then I used double-fold binding to bind the top edge only just as I would a quilt, only I sewed the binding to the back first then folded it over to the front and used a blanket stitch to sew it in place by machine.

Now it was time to make a final decision about what fabric to use for the back of the pocket.  Earlier, I had pulled two FQ's that I thought might work:
After holding the finished block up to them, I decided that the crayon print was just too busy and chose the striped FQ.  I cut this FQ to the same width as the block, making a piece that was 18" x 12.5".  I then cut some muslin and flannel (for batting) the same size.  Next, I placed the striped fabric piece on top of the flannel, pinned the quilted block to the bottom half, then machine basted it in place by sewing the sides and bottom with a 3/8" seam allowance.

I was about to pin the muslin piece on top when I noticed the leftover piece of the striped FQ.  It was the perfect size for another pocket!  So I cut a piece about 9" x 12" and folded it in half, right sides together, to make it 9" x 6".  I stitched around two sides, leaving one short side open for turning right side out.  I pressed the raw edges under 1/4 inch then sewed the opening closed.  After a good pressing, I machine stitched on the top edge (optional), then pinned this soon-to-be pocket to the striped fabric above the Chained Star block.  Using a decorative stitch, I sewed the sides and bottom of the new pocket to the striped back and flannel.

Then I thought, "What if I don't want to hang this on a wall?  What if I want to tie it to a headboard or to a curtain rod or to a walker or something?"  I couldn't find any ribbon the right color, so I improvised by cutting four 1/2" x 12" strips of red fabric.  I folded each strip in half then spaced them evenly apart at the top edge of the striped back and tacked them in place at the folded center of each strip.

Now it's time to pin the muslin to the top of all this and stitch around it, leaving a 4-6" opening for turning.  I hope to get that done tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Getting Back in the Saddle

Between health issues, Yahoo hiccups and painfully slow modem speeds, I haven't accomplished much lately.  I'm feeling better, Yahoo has supposedly recovered (so maybe I can actually send out my August newsletter), and I found a new ISP so my modem now works at 40k rather than 20k.  40k might seem like turtle speed to those who have DSL and other modern technological goodies, but it's seems to zip along at rabbit speed to me.  Maybe I can get something done now!

July's block for the "Cowboy" BOM is one I designed myself, so I thought you might like to see what happens when several are set together.

Here it is without sashing.  If you take a few steps away from your monitor (or squint your eyes), you'll see why I named this block Roundup.