Saturday, February 21, 2009

Constructing a CQ Block from the centre out

I've had some good success lately piecing cq blocks from the centre out, so I thought I would document the steps that I took.
This little chicken scratch heart motif will be the centre. Chicken scratch was the first technique of SharonB's new "Stitch Explorer 2009". Check out other people's examples on Flickr's stitchexplorer group.
The colours I am using are purples and turquoises.
I placed the centre piece in the middle of my backing at a slight angle.  I will trim the gingham a little later when I decide how much of it will show. 

For the second piece, I tried it against the first piece to see where it would sit best. 
I pinned it to the centre piece at a slight angle, right sides together. You can see the extra gingham at the top that I decided I did not want to show.   

I sewed and pressed the second piece.  Now that I have the second piece attached, I cut the centre gingham patch down to the shape and size that I wanted.  (I often begin with the centre patch already cut to a 5 or six-sided shape.)

I lined up the ruler with the next side of the centre block.  This will be the cutting line. 
The second piece has been cut to follow the line of the centre block.

I am trying out the third piece.

Third piece pinned, ready to sew.  The end pins, top and bottom mark the end of the underneath fabric.  If you sew the whole strip, you will have to unpick the ends of the seam in order to trim the turquoise fabric.  So mark either end of the underneath fabric and machine sew only to the pins.  

The third piece sewn and pressed.  The ruler is placed along the centre block's third side. 

I marked the cutting line with a disappearing marker.

I cut the turquoise fabric along the cutting line I had drawn

Testing the fourth piece against the sewn patches.

The fourth piece pinned in place. 

The fourth piece sewn and pressed.  The cutting line is drawn, following the line of the gingham block.  

The lilac piece is trimmed, and trying out the fifth piece. 

The fifth piece pinned in place. 

The fifth piece sewn and pressed. 

The fifth piece trimmed, following the line of the centre block.  As you work around the centre piece, the seam line gets longer.  Up until now the new piece of fabric covered two pieces of fabric.  This new piece will have to cover three:  the dark turquoise, the gingham and the purple. The alternative to using one long piece of fabric, is to join two pieces together. 

Trying out two fabrics that will be joined for the next strip. 

For me, the easiest way is to fold one of the pieces of fabric over, pin it to the second piece so that the join is at an angle, and then top stitch with large stitches so that they can be taken out later. Here, the two pieces of fabric have been joined and are now being tested for placement. 
Now they are pinned in place.

Sewn and pressed.  It's a bit difficult to see the shape of the block here, but looking at it critically, the right hand lilac piece is too big, and the left hand joined piece also is too big. 

I played around with two pieces to cover up the two larger pieces on either sides of the block. 

Pinned and ready to sew.

When it looked balanced, I pinned, sewed and pressed the pieces.  

I turned it over and trimmed off the excess. 

The top edge has a bit of the backing showing.  It needs another strip.  The two triangles, maroon and turquoise (bottom left) also need something added. 

A piece of purple velvet is added to the top, reducing the size of the turquoise and filling in the gap.  And a long triangle of deep purple satin has been added at the bottom. 

When all the pieces were in place, I tacked around the edge, about 1/4" in, and then zig zagged all the way around to stop the fabrics from fraying.  Now it is ready for seam decoration and embellishment. 

Note added later:  Here is the post that shows the embroidered block.  (I tried to place it here, but it went up into the instructions.)  It was a "Hearts and Flowers" block that went to a crazy quilter who needed some cheering up.

If the tiny doesn't work, it is the next post after this one.  

Constructing a CQ Block from the centre out part 2

Embroidered and embellished.

Storing all the stash

On CQforNewbies, there's a discussion going on about how folks store their stash. I've been involved in loads of different crafts in my life and none of them have stashes that grow so much and so fast as crazy quilting! I began last March with one small box of "fancy" fabrics and some DMC floss. Now I am bursting at the seams! I have a great wall unit that takes up almost one wall in my bedroom made by my handy friend. The unit is just adjustable shelves and 12 x 12 x 12 cardboard boxes covered with wallpaper. Most of the boxes have fabric sorted by colour. The centre open unit is scrapbooking and genealogy. There are 42 large boxes and 6 small, three quarters of them with fabric.
In my living room I have a small corner where I do cake decorating. My handy friend used an old door, a big sheet of arborite, an old sewing machine table and an extra support to give me lots of workspace. Underneath all of that are three rolling drawer units supporting the door and giving me lots of storage for beads, charms, buttons, and threads. All the drawers are used, most are full.
Within the larger drawers there are two plastic containers with beads or threads.
This system works for me. But I am at capacity and must stop adding any more stuff. By the way is there a "stash anonymous"?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Memories of the past

Before I emigrated from England in 1960 to Canada, I started this quilt from bits of left over fabrics from skirts and dresses I had made for myself. it's completely hand stitched. I used 6-sided paper pieces and wrapped the pieces of fabric around them and tacked them all separately. Then I oversewed them together. Well, I don't like brown and I didn't finish it. When I joined our Seniors club about seven years ago I donated it to the Club where it sat in a cupboard for another few years. Well one Tuesday when I wasn't there, out it came, into the frame and the ladies went to work! I'm so pleased it didn't end up in Goodwill!

Anne and Rita working on the quilt.

Weather update

A few days ago I posted a photo of our roaring creek. I had warmed up and rained for two days which sent torrents of water down towards the lake (about 2 kms) away from me. This was how it looked today. The creek is back to normal but has left hundreds of ice floes all the way down.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Grand Motif Swap

Sounds very posh! A group of crazy quilters are taking part in a swap of motifs. This is my first time trading motifs, this is what I made:

East End Cake Decorators - February's Workshop

Lots of babies being "born" and sweet little cradles being crafted on Sunday at the EECD workshop. Lynn ran the workshop and instructed on how to make a cradle from two sizes of heart cutters. The red Wilton heart cutters worked really well. Other members brought samples of different cradles and cutters. A good time was had by all!
  • Lynn is shaping the baby's head and body.
Here the pieces have been cut out from gumpaste. The large heart piece is the head of the cradle, the smaller one, the foot. The other pieces are the base, and the side rails. There is also a molded baby. Our members concentrating on getting the pieces cut just right. Lynn now has the rails attached to the bottom. The finished cradle on the right is prepared ready for a canopy. This shows that the basic cradle can be enhanced and added to. Lynn prepared the canopy beforehand. For the posts she used glass swivel sticks which will go into holes already made in the heart plaque.
Diane K.'s heart cradle with her canopy design.
Here are more cradle designs. On the left a small sugar molded cradle, the centre is another design using cutters. On the right a larger sugar molded cradle. and in the front, a bare bones cradle made as an experiment. Because the bottom points of the hearts were left on, the cradle needs some kind of support underneath to keep it from falling over. The sugar molded cradles will be offered as a workshop at a later date.