Thursday, November 19, 2009

Two blocks for Joseph's Coat

An update on my slow progress on my Joseph's Coat blocks. I have only completed two blocks so far. The first I did using the instructions as written by Kellie at Don't Look Now using glue stick to prepare the appliqué shapes. I think that perhaps my glue stick was old as it did not stick well. I found a newer one but I have found that the glue is still a bit sticky even after more than a week.

Since I was not able to find a local supplier of the Floriani Stitch and Wash Fusible nor a reasonably priced mail order source to Canada, I have had to resort to using freezer paper which I have in abundance. I decided to experiment with spray starch for prepping the shapes and found I liked it a bit better. I am able to get nice sharp points without any trouble.

Using freezer paper means that it must be removed at some point. I am stitching down one side of the 'petals' in the center of the block then removing the paper just prior to stitching the second side down. I took them out of the outer edge petals on the first block after stitching down the one side but soon discovered that they should be left in until after the blocks are joined as the outer edges have not stayed turned under. I was trying to make the block look nice to photograph and when I hit it with the iron, all those edges kinda got messed up. As a result of this lesson, the block on the left may not make the final cut unless I am able to do needle-turn on those edges. That will be determined when we get the block joining instructions.

Happy stitching!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Here I go.. making adjustments to Joseph's Coat

I spent most of Sunday doing the prep work for Joseph's Coat but not without a few problems.

My first problem was my compass. It would only open to a maximum size of just over 4.5 inches and the instructions call for a compass set to 5.5 inches. I decided to just go with the 4.5 inches which should make my blocks for this quilt finish about 9 inches which I think (hope) will be ok.

When I began drawing the circles, I discovered that it made a difference in how I held my cheapo compass. The difference in the circles could be as much as 1/8 inch off. I used some tape to secure the shaft of my pencil to the arm of the compass to keep it from wiggling and managed to draw my basic pattern.

I created the template and drew some petal shapes onto freezer paper as I have plenty of it on hand. I did do a trick to make lots of petals at once. I layered more sheets of freezer paper underneath the top one with the drawn petals. Then, I put a staple into each petal to secure all the layers.

I also used my Clover mini iron to heat bond the layers together BETWEEN the petals. You have to be sure not to get the petals bonded or they won't come apart. (Lesson learned) I then rough cut rows of petal shapes and continued to staple the next rows until all were cut. I took these to my comfy chair and spent an hour watching quilt shows on video while I cut all the petals out.
Once all the petals were cut precisely, I removed the staples and separated them. (This is when I discovered that some of my stacks were accidentally welded together when I did the iron tacking trick.. so I lost a few.)I've decided to just use scraps for this project so I got out all my strips and ironed the freezer paper petal shapes onto the wrong sides. I cut out enough to make one block and proceeded to glue the edges. This is when I discovered that glue sticks can get old and become useless. The edges would not stick down. I went digging and found another glue stick and it worked better although those pointy ends are VERY fiddly and difficult to get precise. I found that it was a bit easier if I also used the Clover mini iron to heat set the glue especially on the points.  (I may experiment using spray starch to prep my petals to see if it works better for me.) I had 12 petals prepared and the whole day was gone. Next, I need to decide just how big I am going to make this so I can find some background fabric to use. Right now, I am thinking perhaps crib or lap size....

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Don't Look Now...

Photo is from Don't Look Now.

Kellie has a wonderful, happy color filled blog called Don't Look Now. She is currently hosting a quilt-along doing a design she calls Joseph's Quilt. Everything about this quilt (and Kellies site and other patterns for that matter) says HAPPY to me... 

I was debating on whether or not I would commit myself to another long-term hand project right now but this is Oh-So-Tempting! When I was checking out some of the links to others' sites, I found many that didn't seem to connect so... in a moment of abandon, I posted a comment letting Kellie know. Seems now, I am the quilt-along police...  LOL  No worries but, I figure I had better jump in and start one of my own now! I posted my link to her Mr. Linky and... wouldn't you know it... it is going to an old post, not to this one...  I feel so silly...

I best be off to find some fabrics. I am thinking that I may just do this like the original Joseph's Coat and make it of many colors - scraps! Guess I better get a wiggle on....