In my previous post, “I Have a Tool For That!”, found here: https://oneblockwonderwoman.wordpress.com/2017/09/01/i-have-a-tool-for-that/ I promised that I would update you on how well, or badly, things went. And the report is that it went well. The only problems I had in making my Mariner’s Compass prototype block were all due to operator error, the major one being that at the very beginning, I tried to skip from Step 1 to Step 3, so the Step 3 directions simply didn’t make sense. It always pays to read carefully, but I tend to skim. I don’t know why I do that, especially when learning a totally new tool. Once I went back and read all the directions, everything went together fairly smoothly. I had a bit of a challenge getting everything lined up perfectly when sewing components together, but after ripping and resewing one set of components (The developer of the tool calls them pies and kites, because those are the shapes they end up being) four times, I finally figured out how much of the little extra tips to leave on the top and bottom of the seams joining them together. If you don’t get this step right, the edges are uneven and everything ends up looking tweaked. Here is the resulting “base” unit that I made.
As you can see from the photo, when this base is assembled, it leaves a hole in the center, the idea being you either applique or reverse applique a circle on that spot, then you applique or reverse applique your finished piece onto a square piece of fabric. The tool and instruction booklet come with handy template guides for both of these steps.
The next step was to figure out what I wanted to put in the center. I auditioned several different fabrics that would look good fussy cut, but nothing seemed just right. So I went to the internet and searched photos of Mariner’s Compasses for ideas. I saw several that had a smaller Mariner’s Compass in the center that I thought was very attractive. But if I did that, I would end up with the same hole in the middle, only smaller. Then inspiration struck! I have a tool for that! I have an embroidery machine and a computer program to customize embroidery to size or whatever else I desire. So I went back to the internet and purchased a Mariner’s Compass digitized design from embroiderydesigns.com. Then I experimented with resizing on the computer and stitched out a test piece. The colors and size on the first one came out all wrong, so I resized again and tried different thread colors, and the second one came out perfectly. Here is a photo of the center piece readied for applique.
And this is a photo of the two pieces pinned together.
I think this is going to be a lot of fun. My goal this year has been to add more machine embroidery to some of my quilts. I have the tools, which weren’t inexpensive, and I should try to get maximum use out of them. In the past, I’ve pretty much only used my embroidery tools to do labels.
I think this first attempt is going to make a lovely pillow. Or maybe I’ll save it and do some more compasses and make a quilt out of it. The website to get the Mariner’s Compass ruler and to watch Robin’s tutorial is http://robinruthdesign.com/
Speaking of embroidery, that is the theme of this year’s quilt show next Friday at the Hall, so there will be all types of embroidery on display along with quilts, and embroidered quilts. At the beginning of the year, our Guild was blessed to have a speaker/instructor, Leora Raikin, come and teach a class on African Folklore Embroidery. Her website is: http://www.aflembroidery.com/
It was a lot of fun learning her method of hand embroidery, and her kits have hand-dyed embroidery floss made in South Africa by women who make their living by making the floss. It is beautiful stuff. So one of the things that is going to be on display at the Hall quilt show is some of the embroidery work done by women who took the class.
Here is the pillow I made from one of Leora’s kits.
That’s all the news from the Central Coast of California for now. Praying for all the people that are battling wildfires as well as those who are having to deal with Hurricane Irma and are trying to recover from Harvey.