I'd just returned Wednesday from traveling to Southern California for my granddaughter's 1st and my son's 32nd birthday celebration. I blogged about craftwork I'd seen during my time away touring the battle ship USS Iowa. Please check it out in my previous post.
Earlier this month I'd joined a second quilt guild, the Diablo Valley Quilters, and attended their April meeting. Friday, I joined in to help at one of their monthly outreach workshops. They are a very friendly and welcoming, not to mention an extremely productive and talented, group of women. I was surprised to find we were able to get 42 sandwiches layered, pinned, folded, and ready to be distributed among the members for quilting, all the while chatting away cheerfully. These quilts will go locally to children with health issues and/or struggling mothers.
It takes me a while after I return from traveling to get back in the sewing groove so my personal sewing this week was quite scattered and unfocused. I made a few more checkerboards for the quilt I am revealing just bit by bit. Here are the checkerboard blocks in four colorways. Hmm, is this how they will be assembled? Nope. The assembly plan is yet to be revealed. They tickle my fancy though, nondescript mini-prints that they are.
There are four of each checkerboard color so that gives a bit of clue. But they are rectangles... not squares!
Here are leftovers from the cut strips prior to slicing into squares. I may checkerboard them for adding interest on the back or save them something coordinating. They also qualify to be just scraps - but useful ones.
I cut and joined the binding for the two strip quilts I'd assembled a couple weeks ago (April 15th post). I cut it my normal 2¼" wide. I am going to attach the binding to the quilt edge French binding style, doubled over as I usually do, but this time I will not press or crease along the soft fold before attaching.
I read somewhere that if the binding is not pre-creased along its length, the hand sewing portion goes more easily and smoothly. The binding fabric is supposedly more accommodating if there is a soft curve rather than a crease. That way the outer binding fabric can be a bit wider than the inner binding fabric since it needs to wrap a further distance around the edge. There is freedom for this adjustment if the crease point has not been pre-determined. I am a tiny bit nervous that the two edges will shift along the stitching line relative to each other while being attached but I guess they won't if I'm using my Pfaff with the built-in dual feed feature. Besides, even when I have applied my bindings hard pre-creased, the two edges could have shifted relatively to each other anyway; but in my experience, that has not been the case. Skipping ironing in a center crease may also save me a few steamed fingertips. These strip quilts are not yet sandwiched and quilted so the binding step is still a bit in the future. Once I try this new technique I will report back if I find this approach to be better in practice.
I dutifully picked out my mess-up on the Simple Gifts FMQ (April 22 post) and continue to echo quilt just one or two gifts each day that I sew. Twenty gifts from the green and red columns are complete and one column of five aqua blocks is complete. I only have five gifts to echo around twice more to finish. Let's see... 25/30... I am at 83%! That is a grade of B for completeness. My quality is getting better but needs work. My outer two echoes are straighter than the inner stitch in the ditch and the first echo. As an example, that first echo below the left bow loop in the aqua fabric is really wobbly and drifted wide. I think that area may be a do-over, but not until all are finished at least once! Then I may re-evaluate that decision depending on how difficult it is to find those stray lines. The green thread does kind of blend into the aqua fabric...
This past Sunday I went with my husband and younger son to an Antique Fair in Petaluma CA. Look at the great desk I bought, made from an awesome Vintage Singer treadle base. It has been extracted from the back seat of the car where I rode 90 minutes with it plastered to my left hip. So far it has made it only as far as the inside of the garage. But I have plans for it! More in a future post.
For now, I am hooking up to today's Freshly Pieced post for WIP Wednesday.