Wednesday, September 9, 2015

On the Grid--and Off!

I spent most of the week working on my grandbaby quilt that I can't share yet. In fact, I finished the top last night. Yea! Now to plan the back.

I didn't spend much time on the Big Quilt. It's been really hot and humid here this week and even though we have air conditioning, the room I quilt in is the farthest from the source, and it just wasn't comfortable most of the time. We did have a rain storm the other evening that knocked our power out for awhile. I couldn't resist treadling just to be able to say that I quilted "off the grid." (We treadlers are smug that way.) I only got a little bit done. The sky got darker and darker, and my little LED barbeque light that sticks on my machine with a magnet started dimming, so I couldn't see what I was doing. So this is all I got done:

Oh well. It is fun to treadle when the power's out. I've done it in the winter before, and it's a great way to stay warm. I do need to get a more powerful magnetic light, though.

I also got a bit done on my Fall Maple Quilt. A few days ago, Bernie from Needle and Foot asked me about the quilt construction, so I took a few pictures. The quilt is made with freezer paper templates. First, the design is drawn on the freezer paper, and registration marks are drawn across seam lines with colored pencils to help with piecing accuracy. The templates are cut apart and ironed on the wrong side of the fabric pieces, which are then cut out with 1/4 inch seam allowance. Then the pieces are joined puzzle style, matching up the registration marks. I learned this method from Ruth B. McDowell, and this quilt is one of her patterns. You can get more detailed instructions in her books. Here's how it looks in action:

Can you see the registration marks? Each piece is also marked with the section number and color.

Here are the same pieces from the front:

And joined together, back side. Seams are pressed toward the leaf parts to make the leaves stand out from the background.

And from the front:

Then they're added to other sections:

This is how much I got done this week--upper right corner with the red leaf and half a yellow one. 
You can see the pieces that aren't sewn yet curling in the humidity!
I've left a generous amount of fabric along the edges to trim when the top is done. 

This is such a satisfying away to piece. I love paper foundation piecing, but this way is just as accurate, and it's easy to tear off the paper, so for some types of quilts it's my preference for paper piecing. If you loved doing puzzles as a kid--or still do as an adult, I think you'd really enjoy this method. 

I'm hoping that by the end of the day, I will have this top pieced or nearly pieced. (The sewing goes really fast because the whole quilt is already laid out.) Then I need to clean up my sewing areas and put things away. The grand kiddies are coming this weekend and I need the guest room and living room for sleep and play. Yippee!! 

I'm linking up this week with Freemotion by the River, Freshly Pieced, Sew Fresh Quilts and My Quilt Infatuation. The buttons are on the right. 

Have a great week everyone! And keep quilting--on the grid, or off.


Bernie Kringel said...

Thank you for the explanation Janine. It seems confusing but it is always hard for me to visualize something - once I start cutting into it and following the steps, it seems to make more sense.
Looking forward to seeing the baby quilt!
It is so hot this week - yuk. However, we don't have the humidity that you have to deal with. Hope you get some relief soon.

Karri Garza said...

I feel you on the humidity. Sometimes, my water soluble marker disappears due to the humidity. Love the piecing!

Kaja said...

I love the idea of you treadling into the dark - that's commitment for you. I am also very taken with your paper project - the pattern really captures the movement of falling leaves - very effective and clever and I like the colours you have used.