Aug 7, 2007

Ridin' the Rails and other stuff

I believe that I am about to "ride the rails" a bit though I did not officially sign up for the challenge Finn suggested. First, I didn't think I had enough blocks laying around here for inclusion in an abandoned block quilt. I had some appliqued butterfly blocks that the Belles had made, a nine patch basket block Theramae made, some oversized bowties from Beverly had done and some old BOM's of mine. Well, maybe I did after all.

I started pulling out block bits---some block components that were not stitched up leftover from previous quilts, a stack of peach colored HSTs from the snowball and Ohio Stars. I found a pile of odd sized big flying geese that needed to be used some way but the size discrepancy made the originally planned Cyclone blocks out. I also thought I could part with 4 log cabin blocks that were leftover from a quilt made for me in my old moderator days on a yahoo group---after all, I had the quilt and had not done anything with the blocks in about 8 years.

So I started in: the peach HST's turned into 5 churn dash blocks by raiding my 2 inch strip bin. The flying geese I trimmed down into HST's---the broken dish strip of 7 blocks. The remaining HST's of any color and stripe--friendship stars with hollow centers, six of them. I had a nine patch basket started when I demo'd it to the quilt group but hated the colors so I made another one from leftover backing bits. I finished the nine patch star that had been pinned to muslin for demo purposes. I stitched 3 "Here and There" blocks (those arrow looking things in the center top, from an early fall Quiltmaker in '89)

Then I looked at the old log cabin blocks. None of them measured the same size and I have had hard time dealing with that much non-precision. I pulled them apart Sunday evening and saw where the things had gone wrong. Yesterday I re-cut them---logs cut 2 1/2 are just kinda big in the first place--and re-sewed them back in the order they had been in---just remodeled. So now what???

Well, I got a phone call from my mom telling me that she had some blocks that she was sending (among other things--quilt tops for Pam's Mexico project that I will quilt up and donate for us). From her description, some of them might fit right in to the scheme of things. After all, two of the Wyoming Star blocks are hers (peeking out from underneath that green Grandmother's Choice). I'll hold up till the box arrives before I start tweaking things in EQ to see how this can all go together. I think I have two donation quilts in the making

What else? The boring but necessary. Errands. Fixed some reuben sandwiches for lunch and reheated Sunday's leftovers for supper. A search, cursorially, for the leftover basketweave blocks. Here I am making more as scraps arise and I cannot find the original bunch! I cut and sewed binding for two quilts, pressed some for two others but not the stuff I made yesterday. Pippi has developed an attachment for the pressing/cutting table lately so I have a hard time working around her when she is all stretched out. She is right in arm reach for pets and loves so I am not complaining. I am not ready to quilt the tops that it goes to yet anyway. Next week, but not this one. I am having too much fun piecing.

This is what I am supposed to working on---5 appliqued house blocks for the last of the row robin obligations. One is supposed to represent my house so I could make it a green ranch if I chose. It has to be done by Friday and the three day retreat I am going to. Fortunately it can be machine appliqued but I am half wondering if it might be easier to just do it by hand.
The stumbling block is that she cut the pieces out intending to hand applique them so they need to be trimmed down. That's not the part that has me puzzled though. There is no template available to get the shape drawn to cut out the fusible. How do it get it from that to stuck on the background?? I like to window that fusible stuff out so the piece is not so stiff so I don't want to just slap the stuff on the pieces. Suppose I can copy those sections and get a reasonable size replication?? Where do the windows and doors go in the scheme of things? Won't know till I try. Best get with the program..............
Oh, one last thing. Ginny, one of the members of my local quilt group, has just received word that two of her quilts have been accepted into IQA in Houston. She has a website where the quilts can be seen HERE--one of the accepted is a self portrait Faces in Cloth V and the other is her FIL, Faces in Cloth IV. Very talented girl.
1:25 pm Edited note: Woohoo---copying the sections worked! I trimmed the two sections with straight edges down by a quarter inch all around and then copied off the peak-y one but made sure it was evenly cut first. Copied it and then I can rubber cement the piece to template plastic so I can cut the fusible. The roof piece, I did a little differently and just copied it, marked off the quarter inch lines all the way and then glued the corrected piece down to the plastic. Still need to cut those down to size and then mess with the Steam a Seam.
Also I thought of one other thing that I was asked about in comments and had meant to include in my post: what/how did I mark the quilting stencil for THIS quilt. Mechanical pencil with 0.5 HD (I think that is right--can't find the extra lead to verify) lead and a light hand. Then I washed the quilt with a Shout Color Catcher to get the markings out. Most of the lead disappears as you quilt but not all of it -- there is always an errant marking. You can use regular #2 pencils but be sure to keep a sharp tip on the pencil to keep as light a line as possible. I got a little Fiskar sharpener, free, from an office supply concern when I ordered enough 18 x 22 quardrile paper to last me a lifetime -- that thing is wonderful! Dual sized and mechanical but it works better than my battery operated Bostitch sharpener that probably needs the knife replaced. But I digress--for colors you might try Berol Verithin pencils from an art supply house. They come in myriad colors even the turquoise that we associate with wash out markers. Depending on what background color I am marking I have used red, silver, yellow. Test first though.
Now back to applique work. lchj


  1. Very cool left over blocks, I'm sure you can make a lovely quilt with all of them. Thanks for the pencil tip. I used that to make the lines for embroidery but not quilting lines yet. I'll try to light pencil lead and see what happens!

  2. Hi Linda, welcome aboard! That phrase has a whole new meaning now, doesn't you climb aboard to ride our Orphan Train with us..*VBS* Glad to have you's not a big deal if you didn't sign up, you could join anytime at all. Looks like you have a great start on "stuff" to work with. The more varied and strange it is, the better. Probably there shouldn't be much of any rhyme or reason to what falls into "orphan" blocks group.
    It's lots of fun and very forgiving.
    Your parts look great to me!! And I do the same thing, make up blocks or repurpose blocks from parts. Good job on those log cabin blocks! I'll add you to our group over at the Train blog. Hugs, Finn

  3. It's good to know the train isn't all the way out of the depot . . . yet. I keep thinking about jumping on, too *s*

  4. Perhaps I need to jump on this train? lol I've lots of orphan blocks... About your house pieces..I would've just sewn fusible interfacing onto the pieces and turned inside out and ironed on, Eleanor Burns-style. Thanks for the pencil tip..(no pun intended!) :-)


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