Blocking weekend

Somehow, I've ended up with several things that need blocking.  I didn't get to all of it.  The Simply Delicious applique quilt...I don't quite know.  I got it into the washing machine and pulled it out before I hit the start button.  I'm so afraid that the unwashed fabrics in that quilt will run.  But, I have to figure out something.  I just wasn't quite ready on Saturday. 

So, I decided to do the green quilt and the little miniature.  And, I dropped them into the washer and saw some threads that hadn't been knotted and buried on the green one.  So, I let Rob move regular laundry forward while I tied knots.  And, tied knots and tied more knots.  And, then, I had to pick out some quilting and replace it to get rid of a couple of puckers on the front of the quilt.  I clearly wasn't as ready as I thought I was.  But, I finally got it all done and we washed it.  And, another story begins.

I've changed brands of wool batting.  I'm not going to say who I've been using, but when I would wash a quilt for the first time, it stunk and I'd have to wash it again.  The quilt I washed Saturday had to be washed three times.  To wash out a smell that must have been in the batting. 

But, I finally got it blocked out.  Both of them. 

This quilt is not square.  This quilt is never going to be square.  The center of the quilt is more densely quilted than the rest.  And, while that gives it the effect of one quilt lying on top of another, it causes the center to pull in.  It's not too far off, tho, after the blocking.  One side is a little more off than the others.  So, I'm going to measure the quilt along the center line and cut my sleeve that width and ease the difference into that longest side and hope it works.  I actually think it might.  I'd like to get a sleeve and a label on it and take it to show and tell at the next guild meeting. 

Early Saturday morning, I decided to try blocking my needlepoint piece.  LD had given me advice and I'd been reading and watching videos.  First thing that went wrong was the iron.  I don't put water in my irons.  I spray my fabrics with water from a pump sprayer and then iron them.  So, I put water in my iron to block this piece and when I pushed the steam button, it leaked out the side of the iron.  Fizzle.  No steam.  That probably means it's time for a new iron.  And, then I spritzed the work and started to work that in as steam by ironing through a pressing cloth.  That clearly was not changing the shape of my piece.  So, I wet a towel and my pressing cloth and put my work in the middle, like a sandwich and ironed over it all.  And, the next time I tried to pin it to the board, I tugged and pulled and added steam...and all of a sudden, something let go and it became flexible and squared right up...almost perfect.  Again, one corner is a little pulled out of shape, but the framing mat will cover that. 

This is from the back.  I'll pull the tacks and show the front in a couple day.  But, I'm pretty proud of my back.  It's not as nice as the back of the piece I'm working on now, but it is admirable for a first effort.  Very neat and flat. 

Lest you think I'm a slacker that just played with making wrinkly things lay flat again, I also cleaned out cabinets in the garage.  I got one large unit cleaned out and cleaned out the shelf where I keep all my tools and paints for the mini house and upholstery supplies and that big tub of leftover yarn.  (Ugh)

Then, I got to my storage.  And, decided that could wait for another day.

Yesterday, I made smothered chops and a large pot of stew for us to eat this week and two loaves of cinnamon raisin bread.  And, I finished quilting the baby quilt and cut the binding.  But, that's a post for another day. 

I will tell this funny story.  A quilter recently asked me to help them find a hopping foot for their machine.  I'm not any better at answering questions than I am following a pattern.  So, I told her how to find one and shared my experience for maintaining them so they last a long time and talked about how they will eventually wear out.  On Sunday, my Bernina was making a terrible noise.  Terrible.  And, it was frustrating me.  So, I'm doing everything I can...moving the thread cone holder, re-threading the machine, oil the bobbin hook, clean the feed dogs, change the needle.  Then, I took it completely apart and oiled and lubed it (never a wasted effort).  And, it was still loud. 

It was my hopping foot.  I'd worn it out.  And, it wouldn't hop, so it was clicking and grinding and catching.  And, a drop of oil didn't make a difference.  Fortunately, I buy these feet in quantity, so all I had to do was find another one.  But, it just goes to show, soon as I talk about something wearing out, it will.

Everybody have a great week!  It's going to be a busy one at work again.  My boss has a big presentation on Wednesday, and he's anxious and that's never good for anybody.



Anonymous said...

Your quilting and needlework are magnificent. Keep up the good work. I too cleaned out a few cabinets. Makes me feel so good to get that done. lum

Rebecca Grace said...

I don't think blocking is slacking at all! I'm personally afraid of blocking... It's one of those quilting processes that I wish I could learn from a more experienced quilter in person, because I know my quilts would be better off for it!

Anonymous said...

I don't wash my fabrics before quilting unless RED or something extra scary..........get a box of Color Catcher sheets in laundry area of grocery. I have used them for years. TWO thrown into to the finished quilts wash or it is is LOTS of color or Big...sometimes three or four. It will catch all the released colors and your quilt should come out just fine.
I am finishing Dear Jane now and I was looking at so many colors and maybe a sheet or two more than that. They work.

Dot said...

Ummm, your name and the word slacker simply do not belong in the same sentence.

Your needlepoint looks wonderful. It looks to me like it's all done in single stitch, the slowest one and the stitch that allows for the most detail. With all your quilt production, you have also finished this piece relatively quickly. It is another example of your un-slackerness.

Aren't there color catcher strips to add to a load of laundry/sewing projects? I just googled and found Shout brand. Never used it, but when I was costuming, that is what I would have tried.

Looking forward to seeing your Simply Delicious quilt when it's ready.