Monday, February 21, 2011

Plugging Along!

Isn't it amazing how fast our minds work to dream up lovely ideas for quilts, and then how slowly it is to actually MAKE them! Sometimes I need a lot of self-discipline to stay on an "older" project that has lost some of it's freshness.
One thing that seems to help me is to work on two or three different piecing projects at once. When I alternate back and forth, it makes it seem all new again and I re-capture that energy and motivation.
As I work on Roll, Roll, Cotton Boll, I also slip in a few blocks of Sister's Choice, too. There are so many different steps on RRCB that still need my attention that sometimes I change the step to get variety. Here is the picture gallery of my progress:

My table is fairly strewn with units to be assembled yet into the Prickly Pear blocks for RRCB. But you can also see that I just HAD to try making up a couple of the split and then resewn string blocks. The last few string blocks that I did had some light powdery blue scraps in them. I was very worried that the blue might not play nicely with all my creamy neutrals. But my sister, Anne, who had come to help celebrate my wonderful hubby, Felix's 64th birthday, took a look and loved the blue! Here she is in her gorgeous tapestry jacket!
This is the sister for whom I am making Sister's Choice! Here is the latest Sister's Choice block that I snuck into production:

For lack of a design board, I just pin them onto a large scrap of corrugated cardboard. I'm using as many Civil War reproduction fabrics as I can afford to, but the quilt will not be a purist piece. I just love how they are coming out! I'm budgeting 2 years to finish the Sister's Choice Quilt! LOL!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pillowcases Galore!

Some of my wonderful followers wanted photos of my pillowcases and a photo tutorial of how to make them, so here goes!

The first pillowcase, in lavender herbals fabric with an ecru cuff and lavender accent flange, also sports an ecru lace overlay on the flange. The lace was topstitched down just before I sewed up the side and bottom seam. I think that I could have added it right on top of the flange inside the 5-layer "sandwich."

Here is the finished pillowcase shown first so that you can identify the fabrics chosen for the body, accent flange, and cuff.
Using the regular rotary cutting method of Width-Of-Fabric; cut a 27" length of the body fabric, an 11" length of the cuff fabric, and a 2" length of the accent flange.

Next, with an iron, crease the accent flange strip in half with the WRONG sides together the long way such that it will be 1" wide instead of 2" wide. A bit of pressing spray starch helps "glue" it together.

Now you are going to stack your five layers of fabric. Start with smoothing out the cuff fabric (bright pink) RIGHT SIDE UP. Then place the accent flange fabric (dark burgundy)on top of the cuff with the two raw edges right along the raw edge of the cuff fabric.
Next, place the body fabric (rosebud print), unfolded, with RIGHT SIDE DOWN and raw edge lined right along the stack. Smooth the body all out and then ROLL IT UP into the middle of the cuff fabric.

Lastly, flip the further edge of the cuff fabric OVER THE ROLL to make the fifth layer of fabric in the stack.
Now I usually don't bother to pin things that are not critical, but I'm warning you to pin this every 4" so that stuff doesn't slip around.
Carry the roll to your machine and stitch a 1/4" seam. Then, turn the roll inside out, which will expose all the right sides of the fabrics.

Trim the selveges off both ends.
Now sew a scant 1/4" seam down the sides and across the bottom of the pillowcase with the WRONG SIDES TOGETHER or RIGHT SIDE OUT. I know this seems bass-ackwards.
After it is sewn, turn the pillowcase inside out and resew the seam using a 5/8" seam allowance that will capture all the raw edges inside your perfect French Seam. Turn it right-side out and it's done!

Nice Job!!!! Slip it into a tyvek mailing envelope and send it to your far-flung family & friends.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Valentine's Day Done!

This week was a lost week for RRCB because I chose to make up a whole slew of fun pillow cases. They were all in rosebud or hearts themed fabric and came out great! I used the standard tube style method to make them which is a little like a magic trick.
But alas, I have no pictures! For one thing, I feared my sisters would read my blog and see their Valentine's Day pillowcase gifts before the mail arrived with them (as they were mailed out today). It's a wonderful one-size-fits-all gift and has no calories!
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