A quick trip north

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I went up to Seattle recently to craft with my cousin, Patti.  She had an almost finished fused fabric project that needed a couple of sewing details, so I brought my machine along.

What I didn’t bring was the power cord.  Argh!  Luckily, Seattle Leslie (as distinguished from Oregon Leslie in our fiber group) was willing to text her husband from her trip to the Midwest and he got out her spare machine to lend us.  Sewing can be a complicated multi-state business.

My cousin is generally a paper crafter, but occasionally she gets the hankering for fabric and floss.  Along with (parts of) my sewing machine, I lugged up bags of floss and batiks and WonderUnder fusing.

 

I stitched around some fused pieces of her camping scene that were losing their stick, and she added embroidery details – little clumps of grass, chains to hold up the hammock, French knot sparks in the fire.  I would love to have that camping spot!

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I fused some small geometric shapes and started connecting them with stitching, when I wasn’t knitting or walking their labradoodle – a dog so laid back that when it slowly wags its tail everyone around him takes note of how excited Teddy is.  Teddy is the chilled out dude of the dog world.  Our dog is a neurotic hyper wired mess in comparison.

Teddy in his usual mood:

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Now Patti is moving on to little houses.  She got a few embroidery books and websites to learn new stitches and at this rate She’s going to be stashing fabric soon I’m sure.  Fiber hobbies are addictive.

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Measurement woes

Strangeness is occurring in the Moroccan Tiles quilt.  I finished all the sashed four patch blocks yesterday, and then got my new 5 1/2″ square ruler out to see if they needed much trimming.  Only they weren’t 5 1/2″ blocks, it turns out.  They are a bit small, which I would assume is a function of my seam allowance, except that they aren’t symmetrically off.  Each block is 5 1/4″ x 5 3/8″.

I can’t figure it out.  I checked the fabric widths and everything was cut to the right size – 2 1/2″ print strips and 1 1/2″ silver sash strips.  Which points back to the seam allowances.  But they are so evenly off.  Every one is 1/8″ in height and 1/4″ off in width. The only thing that explains it is I must have changed where I was lining up the edges between sewing the first print and sashing strips together and when I sewed the two patches into four patches.  But why, after all this time, would I suddenly change seam allowance guides in mid quilt top?

The mysteriously uneven blocks - a fraction wider than they are tall.
The mysteriously uneven blocks – a fraction wider than they are tall.

I could have trimmed them all, but that was going to be a pain.  Instead, I cut the silver squares to be 5 1/4″ on each side to match the narrower measurement, and as I sew the print blocks to the solid silver blocks, I’m adjusting them slightly so that the silver seam allowance is a little narrower than the print.  Since I’m doing that for assembling strips, but making the edges more even when sewing the  strips together, the blocks are all ending up square and equal in size again.  Still a little small, since they won’t finish to 5″ as intended, but adding an inch to a border width will get me back to the needed quilt size.

The slightly adjusted alignment
The slightly adjusted alignment

That problem solved, I have about half the strips created and have been sewing the strips together in pairs, and now I’m hitting problem number two – my design wall is not big enough for this quilt!  I’m going to have to move back to the floor for some of this.

A's quilt in progress - assembling rows

I ran out of wall before I ran out of quilt
I ran out of wall before I ran out of quilt