Washing my Baltimore. Yikes!

Last weekend was Thanksgiving in Canada and, like most people we had a super busy long weekend.  We had the family over…just 26 of us!  I cooked a huge turkey and all the fixins!  Hubby bought himself a new camera, so we headed north to Meaford and Thornbury to take some awesome photos and to get some apples.  Is it my imagination or are the leaves really spectacular this year?

I also had a few spare hours, so I decided it was time to bite the bullet and toss my Friends of Baltimore into the washing machine.  Let me explain why I did this.

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I am not sure if you remember this, but when I washed one of the borders, some of the fabrics ran (red and dark blue) which shocked and upset me.  I was shocked, because I am very careful about pre-washing all of my fabrics. Since I used all the same fabrics in the blocks as in the borders and this was the first time any of the fabrics had run, I was really puzzled.  I was upset because my quilt had very distinct red and blue splotches on the background.  I finished the top and had it quilted, knowing that one day I was going to have to deal with those darn splotches.  Well…that day had come!

I talked to Colleen from Elite Quilting who knows everything there is to know about bleeding fabric and how to fix it. Imagine the look of sheer horror on my face when she nonchalantly suggested I wash the entire quilt in the washing machine with Synthrapol.  It took more than a little coaxing on Colleen’s part to assure me that all of the bleed marks would come out and my quilt would not be ruined.

So I gathered my quilt up, added a whole bottle of Synthrapol, put it in the washing machine using the hottest water possible, crossed my fingers and prayed to the Quilt Gods.  I stood there for 40 minutes and watched the quilt go round and round.  I called Colleen for some support…twice!   This is a picture I took of the quilt spinning around.  You can see that Bruin is as concerned as I am!!

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I am not sure why I felt compelled to stand there and watch.  I stopped the washing machine and opened the door just to check up on it a few times.  I was very thankful that all looked good!

Once the washing machine stopped, I gathered the quilt up in a clear bag, and whisked it over to my husband’s shop where we laid it out flat on some tables to air dry.  I was so very thrilled to see that all of the marks had completely vanished and, more importantly, my quilt had not fallen apart!! Yes, so much to be thankful for!

I am also working away on a scrappy quilt designed by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts called Trail Mix.  It is a great stash-buster.  Here are the strip pieced diamonds, which I am now going to go and stitch together!

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Tile next time…

Kerry

 

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I Turned A Corner!

When I stitched the first border of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”, I did what I do to all my blocks and borders.  I washed the border.  (I should mention that I pre-wash all of my fabrics in Synthrapol before I cut into them.)  Something odd happened.  For the very first time one of my red fabrics ran. Yikes!  You can read more about that post here.  If you remember, I Googled “what do I do when my fabrics run” and did exactly what I was told!  I went to the store and purchased Oxi-Clean and some colour magnet sheets so I could re-wash the border and (hopefully!) remove the spots of red.  The article I read also said to dry the fabric as soon as possible so, once the border was re-washed, I put it in the dryer and all was good.  The red marks disappeared!

When I put the border on the paper pattern to trim it to the correct size, I noticed that the the appliques didn’t exactly match what was on the paper pattern.  It looked like the area that was appliqued had shrunk in length.   I know that a certain amount of shrinkage happens because of all the stitching.  And the dryer would have caused a certain amount of shrinkage, also.  Certainly not the end of the world!  This is what I did to correct the (minor) problem…..

Just to give you an idea of  how much shrinkage there was, the bud is supposed to be where my finger is.  Just so you are not confused, you can only applique so far to the edge of the border, then the overlappping pieces can be glued and stitched in place once the corner block is added.

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I moved the bud to where it was “supposed” to be.  (Luckily, I had not stitched it in place yet!)

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Next, I cut the bias stem.  Notice I cut it under a piece of bias that crossed over it, so I could hide the join.

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I just added a longer piece of bias.

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Then  I added a leaf  to fill in the space.  Looks good to me!

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So once I shifted a few more pieces (and added 3 extra leaves) to fill in the space, the corner is finally complete!

I decided not to wash the corner block until it was part of the border.  That way, I could also wash the pieces that overlapped the borders and the block.  I filled the bathtub with just a few inches of water and placed the body of the quilt on the edge of the tub.  I may not sound like it, but I was starting to get a little stressed!!

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Once all the glue and starch was washed out, I pressed the water out and laid it out on a couple of thick towels to dry.   All is good!

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Til next time…

Kerry

Getting Ready to Start

I am eager to start the next block of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.  But, before I can start cutting and stitching, there are a few things that need to be done. First, I pre-washed the fabrics for the block, including the background, in Synthrapol.  This stops the colours from running.

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So, while the fabrics were soaking, I decided to start making my freezer paper templates.  I took a good look at the pattern.  I only had one thought:  that is a whole lot of templates, and a whole lot of tracing!  (Between you and I, tracing is the part I dislike the most!)  So this is how I avoid tracing…

This particular pattern is larger than an 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheet of paper, so it has been divided in four parts.

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I scan each individual sheet and import the images to my computer.

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Next I open up Adobe Illustrator…

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…and I scroll down and click on PLACE.

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The image then pops up on the screen like magic!

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This is the really cool part!  I hit REFLECT and the image….well, it reflects!  (If you use the needleturn method and trace your patterns on the right side of fabric, you do not need to reflect the pattern.)

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You know you have done this properly if the writing on the pattern is backwards!  I place a piece of freezer paper in the printer, click on print…

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…. and voila!

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Now, I am going to make one big pattern out of the 4 sections.  I trim the patterns on the dotted lines.

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I like my freezer paper templates to be double thickness.  So, I iron each section to a big piece of freezer paper and match all the dotted lines…like I am wallpapering…only better!

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Now I get to cut out every one of those itty bitty pieces!

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Here is a little something I want to share!

I use my light box all the time.  I love it…because I don’t have to trace the pattern on the background fabric.  Do you see a theme here?  Sometimes when there are multiple layers, it is hard to see what is underneath the pieces I have already glued in place. By gluing the leaves in place, I have covered up the flower that will sit on top of the leaves.  Confusing!   So here is what I do to make life easier.

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I use my applique pressing sheet and build the flower on it, rather than on the block.  This is also called “off-block construction”.

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I put just a dab of glue on each petal, and slowly add each piece, until I have a flower.

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I very carefully lift the flower off the applique pressing sheet…

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…and place it on the background.  Easy Peasy!

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Til next time…

Kerry

No surprises!

Four years ago, I fell in love with this pattern!  It is Sue Garman’s “Bouquets for a New Day”.

I finished eight of the 12 blocks and set them aside.  Other projects called my name!

Do you recognize this blue fabric?  It is one of the fabrics I used in Amy’s quilt.

I also have it in brown…and red…and green!

Anyway, I started thinking about these blocks and how much I would love to finish this quilt…soon!

But, I had a tiny problem.  I was not in the habit of pre-washing my fabric four years ago.   If I was going to have any surprises with colors running, I wanted it to be now and not later when the blocks were stitched into a quilt.  So I decided to wash the finished blocks in Synthrapol.  I am so glad I did!  The excess dyes came out of the fabric…and down the drain!

While Jenny and I  waited for the blocks to dry …

…I finished the 2nd block of Civil War Bride!!

Til next time…

Kerry

The bird is done…but the grapes are not!

This bird is taking on a life of its own!

So…here are the top feathers.

…and the back and head.

The side feathers are stitched on. I also added the band around his neck.  At this point I realized I forgot the beak.  I think I was just so darn excited about how the bird was starting to look..well..very bird-like!

…and finally the last piece of the bird is  stitched in place!

I un-stitched a small section of the head and tucked in the beak.  Now I can concentrate on stems and leaves and grapes!  Did I mention there are 98 grapes!

I am pre-washing the fabrics for the appliqued border on my Feathered Star.  I am not sure what pattern I am doing yet but I want the fabric to be ready when my idea hits me!!

This is why I pre-wash!!

I pre-wash all my fabric in really hot water and Synthrapol.  I just sleep better when I do!!