Fussy Cutting/Printing – Lots of Photos

There have been a few questions about how I fussy cut and print the florals for the Pickled Lady blocks so I thought a short tutorial might be the best way to describe the method I use.   Lester is watching rather intently.

When I decided to make the Pickled Lady blocks, the first thing I did was print one of the clam shapes on a piece of plain paper which I had cut to the size I would be using.  Once that was done, the interior of the shape was cut out along the stitching line and I had my window template.

I identified a few flowers on this piece of fabric that were going to be perfect for fussy cutting.  Once that’s done, I start looking for one of the flowers that’s near the edge of the fabric.

This is where the window template comes into play.  Once I’ve found a flower that I want to fussy cut, I place the window template over it and move it around until the flower is in the centre of the clamshell.

If you look closely at this shot, you’ll see that I’ve got the quarter-inch line on the ruler placed on the printed ruler line on the paper.  When I cut out my window template, I cut off about an eighth of an inch along two of the edges of the paper so that I could use the printed ruler line on the paper to line up with rather than trying to line up the edge of the ruler with the edge of the paper.

Here I’ve cut along two sides of the fabric, once again using the quarter-inch line on the ruler lined up on the printed line on the fabric.  The printed line is directly above the cutting line of the shape and that gives me the perfect placement when it comes to ironing the fabric on to freezer paper and getting it ready to print.

The selvedge is still attached.  I leave it on when I’m fussy cutting as sometimes there will be a flower at an edge that I want to use and I will need a sliver of it to have a large enough piece to iron on to the freezer paper.  I know it will be cut away once the shape is printed, so I don’t worry about it.  In this case, the majority of the selvedge will be cut away even before pressing it to the freezer paper.

Once I’ve cut the top and right side, I remove the window template and cut the bottom and left side of the fabric piece.  At that point, all I need to know is the size of freezer paper I’m using to cut the fabric to the right shape.  Then it’s simply a matter of pressing it on to the freezer paper and printing my shape.  Here you can see that while the selvedge was still attached, once I cut out my shape there will be none of it left.

Once that’s done, it takes only a minute to cut the shape out and then start stitching.  Smudge hopes you found this as relaxing as he did.  In fact, he was unimpressed when the printer started as I think it woke him up.

A bit of stitching and a  few minutes later, I had a Pickled Lady block finished to add to the stack.

The back.

And Then There Were Three

Blocks stitched and shapes printed for three projects on Wednesday, that is.  Project one, the big pink and cream stars.  One more finished so there are now three completed.  Tuesday night I started thinking about different settings for the big pink stars and have decided on one that will include 6 of the large stars and some other elements.  Three more big stars to go and then the setting and it will be done.

The pieces printed and cut out for the remaining three big pink and cream stars.

Project two, two of the Pickled Ladies done.

Lots of clamshells printed and cut out for project two.

Lots of the shapes needed for the arcs also printed and ready to cut.

Project three, the Harpsichord Quilt.  One new block pieced and pressed.  Smudge was determined to be part of this photo — you can see his shadow.

Lots and lots of black and gold octagons and the little coloured squares printed for project three.

While my printer wasn’t going quite as quickly as in the video I showed yesterday, it was humming along for about half an hour last night.  I like working on projects in groups of three.  Getting the freezer paper sorted out made it all so easy.  In next to no time I had the fabric pressed to freezer paper and printed for all three of  this Wednesday’s projects.  Perhaps if I keep doing this for the next couple of weeks I can have all the pieces printed and ready to stitch for another 3 or 6 projects.  What other ones?  The Summer Picnic Dish, also known as pickle dish.  The Rouenneries Drunkard’s Path — I have another 3 sets of charms to print for that one.  The Storm at Sea is definitely on the list for next week.

For the most part, the cats had no interest in what was going on.  Lester had a nap.

Smudge was looking a bit bored, I think.

One Purple Pickled Lady

This will probably be the darkest of the Pickled Ladies.  The purple is quite rich but I couldn’t resist the flowers in this print.  I’m going to try to fussy cut another couple of flowers from that print to scatter throughout the top.  I’m leaning more and more towards making this a bed-sized quilt, partially because I just love making them.

The back:

In half an hour last night I had all my diamonds printed and cut out for another few of the big pink star blocks.  The setting for the blocks is already figured out as well as the border I want to use, so I’m hoping to finish it this year.

Lester had the last of the antibiotics last night so now we’re waiting to see if there will be a reappearance of the symptoms.

Smudge was draped over my legs as I was sorting the diamonds into groups for the big pink star blocks.

Another 7 Pickled Ladies

Now that the first of the big pink star blocks is done, I had to get back to the Pickled Ladies.  I’ve now used all the arcs I had prepared, so for the next few evenings I’ll be stitching more arcs.  There are 35 more clamshells I had fussy cut/printed that are all cut out and waiting for arcs.  Once I get those done, I’ll have to have a good look through my stash for some more florals to add to the mix.

While I haven’t counted them as yet, I think there are about 45 or so completed Pickled Ladies.  If I’m correct, another 35 will take me up close to 80.  If I’m going to make this a bed quilt, which is what I’m leaning towards, finding more floral fabrics that will work for this will be my primary focus for quite a while.

Lester is continuing to improve.  We are very grateful for that and I am particularly grateful that he’s an easy cat to pill.  He even got in a little windowsill time on Wednesday.

Smudge was exhausted from running back and forth along the windowsill chasing leaves as they went by the window.

Recap of Projects on List

It has been so long since I’ve worked on a few of these projects that I thought it might be a good idea to have a look at them again.  First up are a few of the 30 Pink Ice blocks.

Than a few of the 30 Patchwork of the Crosses blocks.

Looking at these first two pictures makes me realize how nice it would be to have a design wall!  I could lay out all 30 blocks for each quilt and photograph them. Reorganizing the living room is on the horizon, so perhaps a design wall can get incorporated into that reorganization.

Next up are a few of the harpsichord blocks.  While I had started putting them into the first row, I have quite a few more done but not added to a row yet.  That will be something that I think I’ll start doing every 10 or 12 blocks or so.

While only one Storm at Sea block is done, as shown below, I have the fabrics for my Stormy Seas quilt ready to print and have worked out how many of each shape I’ll need.  Perhaps this weekend I can get some of the printing done.

The Pickled Ladies, which have clearly captured my interest almost exclusively for the past month and a half.

Then the sunshine star clams which are almost twice the size of the Pickled Ladies blocks:

The final item on the list is the baby quilt, which is ready to quilt as soon as I find the right backing.  Who knew finding a wider flannel would be such an adventure?  I may end up making a pieced backing with some ’30s FQs for it.  No picture of it yet but as soon as it’s quilted there will be.

Every one of these quilts has been/is being made with Inklingo templates printed on my fabric.  It has made even complex patterns like the clamshell pickles simple.

Smudge looking angelic in lace.

And Lester curled up beside Mr. Q.O.’s desk chair.

Arcs for the Pickled Ladies

This is what I’ve been doing on and off for the past few days, stitching the arcs together to make more of the Pickled Ladies blocks.  Thanks to continuous stitching, it is actually quite quick to put one of these together as I’m only knotting off and starting a new length of thread twice when making each one — once at the beginning and once about halfway through.  I’ve seemingly settled into a routine of getting 10 or 15 of these arcs stitched and pressed.  Then in a few hours I can have them stitched on to some of the fussy cut clamshells.  It’s sort of fun to see 10 or 15 completed blocks at once before I start on the next batch of arcs.

Over the long weekend I came to the conclusion that I’ve got too many things on the go and out where I can see them.  My plan is to settle on 5 or 6 projects and keep them out but the others are going to be put away for now.  Orphan blocks may get turned into stitching books or perhaps pillows or perhaps they’ll just remain orphan blocks for a while longer.  While I’ve not completely decided, I think the ones that are going to the top of the to-do list are, in no particular order:

  1. setting the Pink Ice blocks into and putting the quilt top together
  2. finishing the Lucy Boston blocks and getting that top set together
  3. working on the Pickled Ladies and sunshine star clamshell pickles
  4. making more of the Harpsichord quilt blocks
  5. working on the Stormy Seas blocks
  6. quilt the baby quilt

I may add one more to that list but this weekend I plan to move things around, put things away and then reassess.  Knowing me, I’m sure some idea or another will come up and I’ll start something else but for now that’s at least my basic plan.

We got this shot late Monday night of the two cats clearly sleeping off their turkey treat.

Pickled Ladies and the Cabin Quilt

Two more Pickled Ladies blocks are done.  I have about 10 arcs ready now to add to clamshells, so should have a fair number of the blocks finished by week’s end. One of the things I want to do over the next week or so is figure out just how big I really do want to make this and then sort out the exact number of blocks I’ll need. Perhaps it will end up as a lap quilt, but I’m having so much fun making them that I don’t think I’ll want to stop there but may just end up turning this into a bed-sized quilt.

Over the past few days some stitches were taken on the Cabin Quilt as well and two more of the stitchery blocks are done.

Tuesday was a grey rainy fall day.  The kitties took full advantage of the snoozing opportunities.  Smudge got himself really tucked into the kitty bed into an almost headless cat pose.

While Lester curled up with a teddy bear for a nap.

Fabric Choices for More Pickled Lady Blocks

Although I already have close to 30 of the clamshells printed for more of the Pickled Ladies, I decided to go through and pick out some other fabrics that are candidates for fussy cutting/printing.  Some of the ones I’ve picked out are shown above.  With any luck, I may be able to get 2 different clamshells from most of these fabrics which should take me up to 80 or so blocks.  My goal is to make approximately 120 of them and then either decide to continue and make it a bed quilt or stop there.

Work has suddenly become extremely busy, which meant that on Thursday I didn’t get a chance to visit many, if any, blogs and very few of the other clamshell club participants.  Hopefully I’ll get caught up on the weekend.

The cats are beginning to settle in for the fall.  Smudge was curled up on the sofa.

Lester was having a snooze in one of the cat beds, with one of his favourite toys nearby.

September Clamshell Report

Over the past month I have been working on these 6″ pickled clamshell blocks almost exclusively.  So far, there are 25 of  them done.  I first saw the block on Barbara Brackman’s blog back in June and fell in love with it.  When the Inklingo collections for the clamshell pickles came out, I got an idea almost immediately about the florals for the clamshells and black and white for the arcs surrounding each.  I’m calling this the Pickled Ladies quilt as I have visions of some very elegant, almost Audrey Hepburn-like, ladies in an upscale Art Deco bar.  Once I got the idea, I immediately started going through my stash for florals that I could fussy cut/print for the clamshells.  With the aid of a window template, which was easy to prepare by just printing one shape on a piece of paper that was 5.25″ x 6.5″, I was able to quickly cut my fabrics and print the clamshell templates on the back of each.

Stitching the blocks is much simpler than they may appear.  Putting each arc together is just lots of quick continuous stitching.  Adding an arc to each clamshell is a very quick stitch.  Stitching the pickled ladies together hasn’t begun yet as this will be at least a lap-sized quilt, if not larger, and I know I’ll want to play with the placement of them once the piecing is finished.

With the 11″ clamshell pickle collection, I have started this sunshiny quilt but I’m using an alternate setting and various colours for the end pieces of the arcs so that a little star-type shape appears at the intersection.  While I haven’t added to this in a week or so, it won’t take long to get this to a good size for a lap quilt.  Maybe in October I can tear myself away from the Pickled Ladies to add a few more blocks to this so there’s some progress.

That said, I have lots of clamshells printed and ready to stitch more Pickled Ladies.

As well as the pieces needed for a number of the arcs.

To see more clamshell quilts, go to Cybele’s Patch here and you’ll see the list of those participants in the clamshell club who have posted their progress this month.

Wednesday evening we were cooking some chicken for dinner.  Almost the entire time it was cooking, Smudge was sitting in the kitchen staring at the oven and meowing.  He seemed a bit impatient to get the bit of chicken we always give them when we cook it.

Lester was somewhat more restrained and just sat on the back of the pink loveseat staring into the kitchen.

Another Six Pickled Ladies

Now that I’ve been stitching these for a couple of weeks, I’m getting into a routine of stitching a few of the arcs each evening until I have 8 or 10 of them and then add them to the clamshells.  I think that process is faster as, once the arcs are done, I can easily stitch 5 or 6 of them in an evening on to the clamshells.  I sort of timed it and I think putting each arc together takes about 40 minutes.  Adding an arc to its clamshell takes much less time, as I can stitch 3 or 4 of those in an hour.  Tomorrow I’ll be showing these as well as another five new ones together with all the others that I’ve finished to date for the month-end clamshell report.

Looking out at the roof garden on Tuesday afternoon, I was surprised at just how many leaves had fallen on to the grass.  There still are lots of green leaves on the trees, but it’s sure a sign that fall is definitely here no matter how much I may want to deny it.

Lester got in some windowsill time on Tuesday.

While Smudge was reclining on a chair.