Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Mug Rug Swap (2018)

I've mentioned the quilting group on Ravelry that I'm a part of, Quilters Knitting. This summer they organized a mug rug swap and I jumped on board. Sign ups were closed June 15 and the mug rug had to be delivered by August 15. (In their hands, not in the mail.) One person organized it so that we were all given a person to send to and someone else would send to us.

The last week of July, I received this beauty:
Isn't it so wonderful?! Here is the back, nicely "signed":
And here are some detail shots of the quilting.
She said she is new to free motion quilting and pieces like this are great to practice on.
She did a great job.

Meanwhile, I had already been working on my mug rug. I had bought a pack of english paper piecing papers on sale when the local quilt shop closed earlier this year. I knew I'd do something with them!

June 9: The papers were small diamonds for making a star pattern. I pulled out some fabrics, covered some papers, and started playing with a design.
Soon I had the design laid out,
except I needed to make special pieces to make a straight edge. I simply took the three pieces needed to fill the space (bottom of picture below) and taped them together to make one piece (upper piece in picture below).
Then I could cover that one piece with fabric and save myself a bit of sewing. There was no need to make all those pieces separate.

By the end of the day, I had pieced together the centre star with the background pieces.
Isn't it so cute!?

June 10: All the pieces are sewn together and it is time to take out the papers:
Even though the diamonds were very small, I still punched a hole in the middle to make it easier to pull them out. After loosening the glue holding the fabric to the paper, I insert the seam ripper under that paper through the hole and pop the paper out. This is not only easier but saves a bit of wear and tear on the edges of the fabric.

Once all the papers are out, the pieces looks a little ragged,
but nothing that a session with an iron won't fix.
Look at all those furled intersections! I love it. This happens automatically, as long as you wrap your fabric around all the papers in the same direction.

This was a nice trial to see if ironing the fabric before washing out the glue would harm the iron or cause any other problems. It all worked fine and now I know I can do this on my Lucy Boston blocks if needed.

I did, however, go ahead and soak the piece to get out the glue before proceeding. After drying and ironing, everything looked neat and trim:

Next stage is to layer it with batting and a backing.
June 11: The quilting is done. I hand quilted it, outlining the individual pieces in thread that matched the colour of the front.
I had enough of one of the blues to use for the binding. It was a small piece, however, so I had to use a few short cuts of fabric.
The first time I tried to sew it on, I got a seam of the binding in the corner three times. So I took off the binding and started in a different place so the seams would land in the middle of a side instead.

Here is the backing that I chose to go with the binding:
It was a beautiful piece of orange and blue batik. I only had a small piece, but it was enough for this.

Here you can see some of the design made on the back by the different colour threads:
And here is the finished piece.
A mug rug in three days. I was done in plenty of time for the deadline, but then I decided to enter it in the county fair. So my poor recipient was forced to wait. On the good side, it did get a blue ribbon! :)
I mailed it yesterday and my recipient should have it by Thursday (August 9 - so plenty of time before the deadline!) I really loved making this piece and the final result, so I hope she likes it. I know she really likes stars in quilts, so I think I'm safe.

Monday, August 6, 2018

County Fair Quilts and Miscellany

The county fair ended on Saturday. I had one last turn sitting at the Home Arts table on Saturday morning. There were only two of the quilt block kits for next year's raffle quilt left and we sold them. They made 60 kits and they were all sold, which hasn't happened in a few years. The biggest reason was that we were selling them right there in the Home Arts building instead of at the fair office. Hard to forget to get a kit if it's right there in your face!

The theme is "Grandma's Scrap Quilt" and the fabrics are all 1930's/depression era fabrics. They used a limited number of fabrics, but each kit was unique in the combination, including a white, a yellow, and three prints.

And what about this year's blocks, "Harvest of the Grapes"? Here are all the ones that made it onto the quilt:
 (Mine is the third over in the top row.)

Here are the top six:
And here are the ones that didn't make it onto the quilt:

Some (if not all six) will be made into pillows next year.

I'm sorry I didn't get more close up shots of various quilt blocks because there were many good ones this year. Even the judges agreed:
 Here is the quilt made from the blocks from last year "A Day at the Lake":
(My block is the third one on the bottom row--the paddler.) This is the quilt that was being raffled this year. Apparently I didn't win because there was no phone call on Saturday evening. :( I haven't heard official results, but I think we sold more raffle tickets this year as well because the quilt was assembled and you could see exactly what you were getting.

Here are the pillows made from last year's blocks:
I didn't bid on any of them but I really love #3.

And now let's take a walk around the building and look at the rest of the quilts...(keep in mind that clicking on any picture will give you an enlarged version.)
The Grand Champion of large quilts!
This was in the same class as my nine-patch.

Another Grand Champion.
This is all hand stitched needle-turned applique. See the
detail shot below; it's incredible.

I think this was in the same class as my
red and yellow checkerboard quilt and no
ribbon for this one either!

A couple of traditional quilts - the double wedding ring
on the left and a drunkard's path in the middle. It's too
bad there wasn't room to hang them.
The blanket on the right is Swedish weaving ("huck" I
believe it's called). The black and grey are surface
embroidered onto a blanket of a specific weave. To
state the obvious, it was very pretty.

This is about where a lady saw me taking pictures and asked me in a challenging/teasing tone how many I was going to put in next year. She was surprised when I said I already had three in this year so I wasn't sure what the number would be next year. I think she got caught in an assumption, there.

I found this one so intriguing. It sort of looks
like a plaid or a weave but something doesn't
quite line up.
Then I realized it was because the alternating blocks
are 3x3 and 4x4. They don't really line up, except on the
outside edges. (See pic below.)

I really like this one too. It's one of those where
I could make lots and lots of simple blocks
and then figure out how to put them together
afterward. It's also the most modern of all
of the quilts displayed with the simple design
and plenty of white background.

And now for a few of the non-quilt entries that caught my eye:
Belle's dress!

In the class of flowers in unusual containers.
4H kids waiting their turn to
have their ducks auctioned off.
Getting pictures in the "winner's circle".
And that's a wrap on the 2018 Cass County (MI) Fair. See you all next year!

May I suggest?

I Say! or at least I did once...