Archive for October, 2011

New Glasses Case

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

By Ann

As if I didn’t already have enough crack potty and non-crackpotty projects on my to-do list, I suddenly decided some time ago that it was time for a new glasses case. My old one was done in a counted cross stitch design of tulips and had become terminally scuzzy. Once I realized how bad it was, a new one seemed like an emergency. So here is what I came up with:

I did not do the needlepoint for the case. I do not even know who did. I bought it stitched but  unfinished so many years ago that I can’t remember where or when it was. For a long time, I thought about using it as a large patch pocket on the front of a denim jumper, but that never happened. I found it stashed away in the basement closet at about the time that I became aware of the scuzziness of the old glasses case, so it didn’t take much thought to decide that now was the time to finish it as originally intended. That was a bit of a challenge because (1) it’s hard to stitch through needlepoint canvas and (2) it’s very hard to turn it inside out and then right side out. But I prevailed, and I have been using it for probably 2 months now. I like it. And using it got me a new glasses case much faster than figuring out my own design to use on the unstitched glasses case kit that was in the L. L. Stash.

Jim’s Quilt Progress Report

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

By Ann

Finishing the assembly of Jim’s quilt top proved to be more challenging than it should have been. First there was the border problem. I cut the border strips and discovered that I had plenty of length for all 4, so I decided to ignore the standard instruction to measure the quilt top through the middle, cut the border strips to that length, and ease everything to fit, if necessary. Instead, I just pinned the strips with one end even with one edge of the quilt top, stitched, and  trimmed off the excess border fabric. Big mistake. When I tried to smooth out the top in preparation for basting, I discovered major wrinkles and bulges in the borders. The major problem was that the borders on the long sides of the quilt were too long, so I took them off and re-sewed them properly. And I reminded myself  that there are probably good reasons behind most tried-and-true quilting techniques. As you can see, the re-sewn top basted quite nicely.

But before I got this far, I had to deal with another problem. Apparently my math skills aren’t always as advanced as I like to believe. I miscalculated the amount of fabric I needed for the backing. I had plenty of width, but not enough length. So I had to resort to a modification of the Pellegrino Signature Pieced Quilt Back. Fortunately, I had enough border fabric to add the necessary additional fabric to both ends of the quilt. Since it is hard to be certain just how large the backing fabric needs to be (there’s always a fudge factor to allow for shifting during basting and quilting), I wanted the extra fabric inserted several inches in from the edges of the backing so the I would not end up with a wide strip of extra fabric at one end of the quilt and one narrow one at the other end. Here is how it came out. I hope it shows up in this photo.

Another concern I had was with the size of the finished quilt. During All Together Week, we all thought that it was wide enough, but it seemed short. So I tried it out on a twin bed, and here is what it looks like:

As we expected, the width is fine, but it is a tad short. There will not be enough length for it to be folded back and up over the pillow. I intend to deal with this problem by making Jim a couple of matching pillowcases. 🙂

I have quilted 7 of the 12 blocks. They go pretty quickly. Then there is the border, which I plan to quilt with a simple braid pattern that I have and like. I think the biggest challenge with that will be marking the quilt. Then there’s the binding. I will probably bring the quilt to the Thanksgiving gathering so that Crackpots who wish to can get their hands on it again. What thoughts do Crackpots have about a label??

Fruit Stripe Placemat Problems

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

by Nancy

Sadly, progress on my Fruit Stripe Placemats has ground to a halt. Some of this is due to general busyness and allergy-related upper respiratory annoyances, but the main reason is that I’ve hit a problem while putting on the binding. I made bias binding and sewed it on to the front by machine, then blind-stitched it to the back by hand. When I had finished the first placemat, though, the edges curled under, and the placemat doesn’t lie flat. This is not good, especially when the placemats will be used by boys under the age of 10. I’m not quite sure why it’s happening. My one thought is that maybe I pulled the binding too tight as I was sewing it on by machine. Since I haven’t sewn the binding on to two of the placemats yet, I was thinking of trying to do it more loosely so that it has more give. If that improves things, then I’ll rip out the first two and try them again. Does anyone else have any suggestions?

Here is a picture, though I’m not sure how well you can see the curling:

Oct. 12 UPDATE: I finished hand sewing the binding to the back of another placemat where I tried to sew the binding on more loosely, and it lies flat. Hooray!!!

Crackpot Quilt finds End User!

Saturday, October 8th, 2011

By Ann

I finally delivered the 2010 Crackpot Summer Quilt to my friend Vivian, who heads the local child service agency I support. Here it is with its End User, who seems to approve. (-: