Fabric Friday: Working On My Kona Sample Pieces

In addition to cutting 6 x 6 inch squares of fabric from my Kona yardage I have decided to create flowers as well. My plan is to devote a hanging file to each color and to clip the flower and the square swatch to the file, and place any fabric of that color I have inside the file. This is practical for me because I have the file drawers to accommodate this storage method and lots of hanging files that I had bought when I was a teacher, so I don’t need to purchase supplies to make this system work for me.

I’ve already made quite a few flowers for the system.

I’ve made a few flowers from the “Not That White” Kona collection. I won’t bother to show those at this time as I am showing them on my Low Volume Quilt posts as I create them.

I have made a few other flowers so far:

Above we have Parsley, Limestone, and Celery.

Here we have Pansy, Butterscotch, and Orange.

You’ve seen Sky, Butter, and Pearl Pink, which I showed in a recent Low Volume Quilt post.

Then we have Silver and Light Parfait.

I have some other Kona solids on hand for which I will need to make samples.

I’m adding to that number with an order of 23 half yards of Kona colors to build my collection. Most of these are new, but some of them are repeats of colors I had used previously. Most of them are neutrals or low intensity browns and greens. A few bright colors made it into the mix. Being a former teacher I simply couldn’t resist a color called School Bus.

When these new fabrics arrive I will get to work cutting my sample swatches and making my sample flowers.

There were three colors that I wanted which I was unable to obtain from the Fat Quarter Shop. They are Ash, Titanium, and Parchment. I hope they have not been discontinued. Perhaps they are simply out of stock.

I can’t wait to see the new subdued colors that I ordered in large pieces. I am considering doing a subdued log cabin piece, which is one of the reasons I ordered so many of these types of colors. A friend looked at my log cabin blocks and said, “That’s a lot of color.” So I thought, “What might they look like with a lot less color?” I’m going to find out.

The New Walking Foot Is Here

I have installed the new walking foot on my Janome Skyline S5, and it is working perfectly.

Above are the accessories that came with the foot. The top item is a quilting guide which can be adjusted to be used on either the left or right side of the needle. That is a big improvement over the guide that came with the standard issue foot that only worked on the right side. The next item is an open toe foot that allows you to better see the area where you are stitching. The item on the bottom of the photo is the stitch in the ditch guide, which is different from the guide I had linked to in a previous post.

I had misunderstood the description that was given to me of this package when I ordered it. I thought it was going to include a free motion foot. It does not, but that does not bother me because I already have a darning foot that works just fine.

I tried to show the difference between the old foot (left) and the new foot (right). I was unable to capture the difference in the photo, but suffice it to say that the one on the left works no more, and the one on the right works beautifully. The proof is in the sewing. I am quite certain that binding curved corners was the cause of the demise of the old foot. I heartily advise against this practice.

The foot came with instructions.

Janome provides good instructions. This cardboard sheet folds in half and slips into the open side of a plastic package which holds the accessories. I’ll be using the package for storage rather than throwing the items into my box of standard issue Janome accessories.

I used the new walking foot to finish the piece I was making for my night stand. I used it on the lighter sections of each block. Notice the curved corners on the binding. They are what got me into trouble in the first place, but I love them. I attached this binding using the A foot rather than the walking foot. You can be sure of that.

I think that the piece turned out beautifully.

It is worth mentioning how I achieve those curved corners.

I use my dishes as templates. Depending on how tight a curve I want I will use either the dinner plate or the luncheon plate. The dinner plate is pictured above. Below you can see the puckers to the left of the stitching that caused the problem with the first walking foot. I am wondering if anyone else has ever experienced this problem. I purchased a course over at Craftsy about using a walking foot called Creative Quilting with your Walking Foot, and I should probably ask Jacquie Gering about this issue. She is the teacher of the course. Needless to say I will continue to use the A foot to attach binding after breaking my walking foot due to puckers such as these that curved binding creates.

I trace the plate on a piece of printer paper and then pin that paper as a guide so I can cut the excess off the corners using a pair of scissors. I have considered looking for curved templates to use with a small rotary cutter for this purpose. If anyone knows of some good ones please let me know in the comments section.

Below you can see how nice the stitching is with the new walking foot.

Now it’s your turn to comment. Has anyone ever broken a walking foot, or known of someone who has? If so, how did it break? I’d love to know.

Low Volume Quilt Progress: Post Ten

This week I broke out the solids from the “Not That White” Kona collection. I made 18 new flowers bringing the total of flowers for the Low Volume Quilt to 112 flowers.

I made eight flowers using the Cream fabric.

I made seven flowers using the Ivory fabric.

These two fabrics are really not the same, so I will put them side by side so you can see that clearly. Cream is on the left, and Ivory is on the right.

As promised, I made one flower each using the very light pastel primary colors I had recently purchased.

Pearl Pink

Wow. The Snow fabric center almost looks blue in comparison to the Pearl Pink petals. This may have something to do with the way that Aperture autocorrected the white balance.

Sky

and Butter

The Cream and Butter fabrics are quite similar, which is to be expected I suppose given that butter is made from cream. The Butter is more vivid than the Cream, however.

Cream is on the left and Butter is on the right.

The jury is still out on whether or not the three primary hues will find there way into the final quilt. I have to remind myself that contrast is lessened when one gets distance from a piece, so they may work out after all.

As usual I am linking up with Jessica’s Monday Morning Star Count Those of you visiting from there might enjoy reading about my experience using my broken walking foot. Then there is my post about my acquisition of new Kona solids, as well as my two year blogiversary post.

Happy Two Year Blogiversary

It was two years ago today that I started posting here.

Last year I switched from wordpress.com to wordpress.org and had high hopes of adding some affiliate links with amazon.com to earn a buck or two, but that hasn’t happened yet.

The big thing that has happened in the past year is that I have upped my content production due to my new found interest in machine piecing, specifically my log cabin work.

Adding that content to the English Paper Piecing content I have been doing since the blog began…

and I am now posting at least twice a week.

Plans for the coming year include sharing my adventures with machine quilting and finishing up a few unfinished objects, and perhaps even getting on the stick with those amazon.com affiliate links I keep promising myself I will add.

Fabric Friday: New Kona Solids

I put in an order for more Kona solids from The Fat Quarter Shop, and was able to save some money with a coupon code that I got through email for Robert Kaufman fabrics which was good through August 15th. I bought quite a few yards of the Morning Glory and Sweet Pea fabrics that I need to complete my Log Cabin Quilt. These are the outermost colors that appear in every block as shown below.

In addition to large quantities of Morning Glory and Sweet Pea yardage, I purchased one half yard each of the following thirteen colors.

From left to right are Pearl Pink, Sky, and Butter. I had high hopes that these colors might hold potential for making flowers that are seemingly colorless to add to the Low Volume Quilt. Unfortunately, when you get larger pieces of these fabrics away from the more saturated colors on the color chart these fabrics actually seem to contain much more hue than one would think based on how the small chips appear on the large chart with all of the other colors next to them.

I will make at least one flower of each of those light primary colors though. I want to be able to hold them next to the patterned flowers just to confirm my feeling that they are too colorful to add to the quilt.

Next up are Orange, Light Parfait, and Silver.

I purchased the Orange to use as a complement to the Terra Cotta in the Log Cabin Quilt. I have some ideas about creating some blocks exactly the same to unify the central portion of the quilt. I think putting the Orange on the light side while moving the Terra Cotta to the dark side might be interesting. So far I have used the Terra Cotta on the light side of blocks even though it has a relatively mid range value.

The Light Parfait and the Silver were purchased for possible use in the Low Volume Quilt. The Light Parfait will probably not work, but the Silver holds more potential than the Sky does.

Next up are Raisin, Pansy, Caramel, and Butterscotch. These four colors are for use in the Log Cabin Quilt.

 

Next up are Limestone, Celery, and Parsley.

These may or may not find their way into the Log Cabin Quilt. I may not need them for that, but I wanted to add to my selection of greens that go well with the Sweet Pea fabric.

Celery is the lightest green that Kona makes, and I had hoped, as with the light primary colors, that I might be able to use it in the Low Volume Quilt, but I doubt that it will word well. It has too much hue, and is too dark a value to appear to be white.

I may have to put in a small order of Kona solids soon. While I am well equipped to design the lighter side of a unifying block for the Log Cabin Quilt, I think I am a bit short of the darker colors. I’ll give myself a bit of time to think about what I might like to order while I turn my attention to making some solid flowers for the Low Volume Quilt. I’ll be cutting into my solid “Not That White” fabrics for that.

Thought My Walking Foot Was Okay

I thought that my walking foot was okay after having done a few samples with it. I thought maybe I just hadn’t installed it properly after finishing my first walking foot project, and maybe it wasn’t really broken after all. So I basted the night stand cover for my side of the bed, and started to work quilting it.

I am using a medium value thread from the box of Basics that Mark Lipinski put together for Aurifil. I bought the box from Craftsy.

Above you can see how I used a continuous line to quilt the dark half of the block. If you start in the upper right on the crimson section you can trace the line all the way through to the final crimson section near the center. I used this quilting technique for the night stand cover I made for my husband recently.

A close up, however, shows that my foot was failing. In the dark purple area you can see where I overlapped my stitching after stopping to experiment, and then giving up on the walking foot altogether.

When the walking foot started to give out it made really tiny stitches, and I could see that the upper feed dogs were making contact with the fabric only intermittently. I traded out the walking foot for the standard A foot and finished up the above section, and also the remaining dark section.

You can see that without the walking foot there is some bunching up of fabric in the final dark section. Please forgive the cat hair. Lori decided to sleep on this piece a few times while it was waiting to be quilted.

I put the piece aside and decided to order a replacement walking foot. I couldn’t find what I wanted online so I called Pocono Sew and Vac. I was prepared with the part number for the even feed foot for the standard issue foot for the Janome Skyline S5. They don’t carry that part, but they had a package with a set of quilting feet which they assured me would work with the Skyline. They offered it to me for 40% off, so I took it along with two packages of Janome bobbins. The package has a free motion foot, and stitch in the ditch quilting foot, and an even feed (walking) foot. When the feet arrive I will finish this project.

I don’t need the free motion foot because I still have the standard issue darning foot, but it will be interesting to see if it differs. I am anxious to try the stitch in the ditch quilting foot. It is supposed to hold open the seam for you.

Low Volume Quilt Progress: Post Nine

This week I pieced 19 new flowers making a total of 94 flowers for the Low Volume Quilt.  Here they are.

I made nine of these:

I made nine of these:

 

And I made one lonely flower of a different pattern:

 

 

Those of you visiting from Jessica’s Monday Morning Star Count might enjoy reading my recent post about my first experience using a walking foot.

My First Piece Quilted with a Walking Foot

It all started when I attached my walking foot and did a little experimentation on the sample piece that I started at Pocono Sew and Vac a couple weeks ago.

I was feeling confident after that, so I pulled out the piece I created to cover my husband’s night stand. It will coordinate with a queen sized quilt that I will eventually create for the bed. I’ve been referring to that project as my Log Cabin Quilt. I started by doing come stabilizing stitching through the center most patches using one continuous line. I then quilted the blocks with a double echo of patches using one continuous line of quilting for each block half. This meant that I had fewer ends to knot and hide.

Here is a closeup of the quilting as well as the rounded corners that I decided to use for this piece. I really enjoyed using the walking foot. It felt really natural to use.

Originally I had intended to place this piece on top of the night stand so that the sides of the piece would be parallel with the sides of the night stand. After seeing how nice the corners looked, however, I got the idea to turn the piece 45 degrees and allow the corners to hang down in the front and the back, and to stick out on the left and the right.

When I changed the orientation of the piece, the curved corners were shown to optimal benefit. In addition to that, it became clear that the darker segment of the piece exactly fit the depth of the night stand. It looked as if it had been planned that way, even though it was merely a happy accident.

I decided to allow the plexiglass to remain as protection for the quilted piece. We like our coffee in bed, and it is easy to spill when placing a cup on the nightstand.

There is only one thing I am unhappy about. I appear to have broken my walking foot by using it to do the curved corners on the binding. Looking at the way the fabric bunches up below it makes sense that having more fabric on the left side of the foot may have put undue pressure on the top level feed dogs.

I can’t be 100% sure that the foot is broken, but after doing that binding it only works properly for a short distance and then it ends up giving me really tiny stitches for awhile. And the threads on the bottom get messed up a bit. I cleaned the machine just incase it needed it, but that didn’t help. It is really a shame because I didn’t realize that the curved corners might hurt the foot. What a shame. I was really enjoying the walking foot while it lasted.

Although my love affair with hand quilting is not yet over, my love affair with machine quilting (at least with the walking foot) has definitely begun. I’ll be purchasing a replacement soon.

Tonight I will be taking my walking foot to my guild meeting and comparing it to one that works to see if I can figure out what the problem is.

Low Volume Solids

In addition to creating more low volume flowers this week, I’ve been thinking about adding some solids to the mix in my low volume quilt. Not long ago I purchased two fat quarter bundles of the Kona “Not That White” collection.

There are twelve Kona solids in this collection, and there are unfortunately specs of lint on my otherwise enticing photograph above.

The challenge might be matching these solids up with their sample chips on the Kona Cotton Solids sample card to create 6″ x 6″ sample pieces. By the way there is some strange photographic occurrence going on in the photo above, but you can get the idea of the variety of the solids.

The collection did not come with a list of the fabrics included, but a little research revealed a list online for the collection which I copied to help me with my task of matching the fabrics to the Kona sample card.

Matching the fabrics to the chips turned out to be much easier than I suspected it would be because the fabrics were packaged in the above order with Snow at the top and Khaki at the bottom. I didn’t realize this until I had started matching the fabrics from the bottom of the pile. After matching the Khaki and then the Parchment fat quarters I saw the pattern. All of the other color names simply fell into place for me.

It was lucky indeed that I had not mixed up the order of the pieces when I was photographing them before trying to match them up.

I found all of the colors on two sections of the Kona sample card…

And was able to easily label the fat quarters. The bundle included all but five of the above 17 colors.

For now the fat quarters are sitting on a shelf waiting for me to cut 6 inch by 6 inch samples from the short ends of each piece.The remaining fabric from those ends will be used to make solid hexagons, which I will store in meticulously labeled sandwich bags. I learned my lesson from throwing completed low volume hexagons in a bowl… never again, unless I really want to be random.

If I decide to use any of these colors in the Low Volume Quilt I will be ordering more of the yardage from the Fat Quarter Shop, which is my favorite source for Kona solids.

In addition to these variations on white I am considering purchasing some of the very lightest pastel colors. Some of them are so light that they could almost be mistaken for white. Those of you with a Kona Solids sample card can look up these fabrics that I am considering for purchase: SILVER, SKY, CELERY, PEARL PINK, BUTTER, LIMESTONE, AND LT PARFAIT.

I’m leaning toward SKY, PEARL PINK, AND BUTTER as primary colors to complement the patterned fabrics. I was a bit disappointed that there is not a really good light green. They are all too dark to pass for white under any circumstances.

As for my progress on the Low Volume Quilt this week?

I cut up a new fat quarter and basted it into hexagons. Here is a closeup of one of the flowers I made from it so you can see the pattern of the fabric.

I completed eight flowers from that pattern of fabric this week.

This makes a total of 75 flowers completed for the Low Volume Quilt.

Those of you visiting from Jessica’s Monday Morning Star Count might enjoy reading my recent post about my hand quilted foot rest.

Hand Quilted Foot Rest

I had machine quilted a foot rest for my husband, and fully intended to machine quilt the one I am making for myself. I even ordered a package of Pinmoor pin anchors to assist me in the process.

I batted, backed, and basted the piece with the help of the Pinmoor anchors.

It was really easy to do, and I would have jumped right into the machine quilting except for one thing, or rather five things.

I had purchased five new colors of quilting thread from the Pennington Quilt Works, and I was itching to use them. I ended up using four of them to quilt this piece. I used all but the lightest violet.

One thing I really love about the hand quilting on this piece is the way it comes together where the light strips meet the dark strips in the steps of the log cabin design.

To achieve this effect I had to make the thread travel through the batting to begin in the next location which was about an inch away. You can’t get that kind of fine control with machine stitching without traveling in a ditch or going back over preciously quilted lines. As I fondle this piece in my hands I can’t say that my love affair with hand quilting is over yet. I promise to give machine quilting a fair chance though.

Comfort zone… comfort zone… comfort zone… I will drag myself away from my comfort zone.

I quilted this piece densely with rows one inch apart, which gives a rather nice effect. Alternate patches would have been sufficient for utility quilting, but I wanted to do better.

You can not really tell from a distance that I used different colors of thread for the quilting, but if you get close up to the work it is more obvious.

Above is the green thread.

Here is the orange.

There is the medium violet,

and the dark violet.

There is the back. This is one of the very first fabrics I purchased when I started to quilt again two years ago, and I bought up as much of it as I could find through online sources when I discovered it was no longer available in stores.

I’m thinking that a Kona Moss binding might harmonize well with the front and the back.