Monday, April 28, 2014

Design Wall Monday



Today I will get a few more rows sewn together.  I am working from opposing corners in towards the middle sewing diagonal rows.  I started with 3 charm packs of Moda Glace I wanted to use.  The red is from a new Moda line called Collections 1852.   The pattern is similar to many of the Granny Square quilts being shown however I did not want to piece individual blocks so, I arranged the squares on my design wall instead.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

March Report

I went over budget this month and didn't use up enough fabric to compensate for bringing more in.  As a matter of fact, aside from buying more, I did very little sewing this month.  I hit a wall, in fact, got stopped in my tracks, figuratively, not literally!  Aside from going on retreat at the beginning of March I basically unpacked and didn't sew the rest of the month.  More on that later.  So, what did I get this month?  Well, I went to the Fat Tuesday sale at Threads of Time in Danville and bought a handful of FQ's there.  I bought a beautiful stack of 1yd cuts from the sale room at Glorious Color for 2 Kaffe quilts I'm collecting for, and I went to Always in Stitches in Noblesville and picked up a several 1yd cuts there when I was having my machine serviced.  That did it! Over budget, but very happy with my purchases.  I resisted, so far, getting a FQ roll of Plum Sweet, and another of Cotton and Cologne, both beautiful lines.  So, I did have a wee bit of restraint.  Next time, I hope to show progress on the Ice Cream Quilt as I have all the fabric collected for that and it's ready for cutting.

I knit 3 more dishcloths in March and I finished the binding on this BOM that I started here a couple of years ago.  I am pleased with how it turned out even if it did take longer than it should have to get it put together.  The pink and brown blocks were made from scrap fabrics not layer cake (10") squares.   I also re-knit the fingerless glove that I took apart a couple of weeks ago.  And, I quilted a few quilts on my longarm.



Our household project these days is the task of clearing out and cleaning out so that we can eventually down-size.  A little at a time....

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Feedback

I would send feedback to Google blogger if I thought it would do any good.  I had trouble getting pictures added to my last post.  I thought I had gotten them in place but it turns out I didn't. So, if you had looked at my blog over the past couple of days only to see words and no pics, I believe I have corrected it.  Onward...

I have the week off.  I had planned a trip east to visit family but it didn't pan out, so I'm here.  That's okay I guess.  There are many things to catch up on.  As I've always admired the Lifetime list Thelma keeps on her blog Cupcakes and Daisies so I started putting my list together.  It's just on an excel spreadsheet for now while I collect info but, I plan to add a tab at some point.  If you haven't looked at Thelma's list you should.  It's like going to a quilt show!

I updated the list of quilts I've quilted on my longarm(s).  I'm up to 183 and feeling good about how I can further develop my style/niche of quilting.
 

I finished cutting 180 7" squares from my flannels, which hardly made a dent in them, and I cut a few 2 1/2" strips as well.  Now I have a pattern in mind for the strips so I will cut a bunch more.  It's from kathy doughty's book Making Quilts.

It's snowing today so I will "go" for my walk indoors today (on the treadmill) and watch Foyle's War. I've decided to spend more time exercising/walking and lifting light weights.  If I walk for an hour then I can get fairly close to 10,000 steps during the day, at least close enough for me.

My body is still on the "wrong" side of DST...hope you are adjusting better than I am!




Friday, March 7, 2014

February report

Here's what I bought in February-

I bought the kit to make the Dottie Frames quilt in  Kaffe's new book Quilt Grandeur, a magazine, a couple of wonderful and interesting neutrals for my stash, and a few quarter yard cuts from Jo Morton's new line called Woodlands that is mostly rich darks.  True, it was more than $100 but I also had a gift certificate to use! So, I ended up being over my $100 goal by $5.71.  I can live with that.



Here's what I completed in February:





Starting with the pink dishcloth, I did a little knitting, completing one dishcloth, one scarf and UNknit  one fingerless glove to re-do.  I completed 33 blocks from various projects-adding a couple more Ohio Stars to the pile, a couple more split nine patches and bow ties and second Saturday sampler blocks.  Bonnie's next challenge just came out last week too so I cut 3 rectangles for that from some leftovers already next to my cutting mat!  Hey, it's a start!




I'm sewing down the binding on this one so, I'll show it in full another time.


And I made a little progress on the baby quilt...



Hopefully I will get it completed this month because the baby is here!

All in all, I had a pretty good month and I hope you did too!  Now, if only Spring would come...



Monday, February 17, 2014

More Show and Tell




This is Lydia's version of Sparkle Punch that I just quilted for her.  I love her sense of color.  It's such a fun quilt front AND back!  She used up most of her leftovers by piecing them for the backing.  Isn't it wonderful?!  The quilting pattern is called Blackberry.  It has lots of movement and the spiky pattern looks good with the star points, doesn't it.  

This is a sample I did for a new gadget I have for my machine called a Groovy Board. It lets you make perfect baptist fans even though my machine does not have a computer program hooked up to it.  I think it came out very nicely for a first try and I can't wait to use it on a real project very soon.  If you want me to quilt this for you let me know!

My sister-in-law made this quilt top and I quilted it for her using a Robison-Anton thread that's called a super bright polyester.  It's finer than what I usually use but I thought it would be just right for this quilt since the blue ginkgo fabric has a metallic line running through it.  I love the way it turned out.  She hasn't seen it yet, I've got to put it in the mail tomorrow.  

Up close it's easier to see the pattern.  It's called Mandarin Lace.  
Well, the weather has gotten quite nasty again this afternoon and I was glad to be able to get my errands done in the morning so I could stay home the rest of the day.  Hope you are staying safe and warm...and that maybe you have time to sew today!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A new project

March is rapidly approaching and there is a new baby coming! My nephew and his wife are expecting their first child, a boy.  I finally have a plan and have started cutting and sewing the baby's quilt.  On Tuesday, as I was catching up on blog reading I hit on Rachel Griffith's blog ps i quilt.  She is doing a review of the quilts in her book quilts made with love.  Check out the one called look to the stars.  That looks like a perfect baby quilt to me!  So, as the snow began to fall, I drove to the quilt shop and picked up a copy of her book and a couple yards of Kona Snow ( no pun intended) and a couple 1/4 yards of blues.  I made one change so far and that is to use 2" finished half-square triangles instead of 3" finished.  It will make a smaller quilt if I leave the rest "as is" but I think the smaller size block will be better for a baby quilt.  So, I am cutting 2 1/2" strips and using my easy angle ruler to cut already matched pairs of strips.  Having put dinner in the slow cooker is giving me a little more time to work on this today!
I hope to share pictures of my version of this quilt very soon!  But in the meantime, if you need to make a quick quilt gift for someone check out her book for some wonderful projects.  

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Quilt Cash - January report

One of my goals for this year was to spend less on quilt stuff and use more of what I have.  I know some people are keeping track of how much fabric has been used vs. purchased but I have decided to make my challenge based on $$.  So, how did I do in January?  The envelope please....I started the month with $100 in my envelope and I have $5 left.  I spent $13.86 on some cotton yarn and a case to store it, which I intend to use to knit some dishcloths for gifts.  I spent $26.09 on some new Kaffe dots which will go into Dottie Frames quilt in his new book Quilt Grandeur.  I spent $11.52 on a magazine and another piece of fabric and $43.34 on 2 nice zippered pouches in which to keep projects,  some sale fabric, a half yard of reg price fabric and thread.  I'm sure I could have done without the sale fabric, and probably the other piece as well so I'm a little disappointed with that.  I like magazines but don't get them very often.  Seeing it in black and white like this should really help me tighten up.  On a positive note, I sewed up 103 blocks so, surely, I used some yardage, it's just so hard to tell how much (and it doesn't look like there's ANY gone!).  I also started knitting a scarf with yarn I already had and that I'm glad to get out and into something.
One of my other goals was to exercise more and eat better.  With as cold as it's been I've done more hibernating than anything else but I did get on the treadmill a little-very little.  I will keep trying to improve on that this month.   How is everyone else doing with their (quilting) goals?
I just realized there were no pictures for you! So, here are the Kaffe's I bought.
Aren't they the perfect antidote for a cold winter?!  I thought so, too!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A Productive Snow Day

With the shop closed today I have some extra time to sew and share!  So here is a tale which is probably very familiar to many of you!  When I was re-organizing my space the other day out jumped some Second Saturday Sampler block kits dated 2005!  Jeesh, of course I knew they were lurking somewhere but did they have to jump out at me like that and stare at me and demand attention?!  So, what's a hoarder, umm, quilter, supposed to do? I decided they needed to be made asap and stop taking up precious space.
Yay me! Here are the blocks from Month 2 & 3.  This year the choices were batik, red & green, blue & cream.  I collected all I could of the red & green and the blue & cream.  I have at least one of each month except January of which I have none.  No matter since I didn't have a plan at the time. (Obviously, right?).  There was another choice as well.  Instructions were given for a 9" finished block and a 6" finished.  I'm partial to smaller blocks so I have decided to make the 6" finished size.  Next, follow me here as we go further down the rabbit hole, when I began cutting for the 6" blocks there was so much fabric left that I could -almost- cut out a second one.  Hmmmm.  Now that stash is starting to pay off.  The blocks in the right hand column are Month 2 blue.  The kit fabrics are in the top block.  The only one I didn't have enough of was the center square (a 2 1/2" square- I've got that covered!). Month 3 blue I added the light blue to make the tiny pinwheel stand out. And, I found a scrap of the same dark blue in my stash to make the large pinwheel!  Amazing!  Month 3 red/green I again added the fabric for the tiny pinwheel and I added another fabric for the large pinwheel.  That's 3 little baggies out of the drawer! 21 baggies to go.   I even know what I'll do with them all when I have them made but that's a tale for another day.  Happy sewing!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A couple more pictures to share

This morning I got a couple of small errands done before our next big snow arrives tonight so I'm ready for it.  I could use a little extra sewing time if we get snowed in....but then again who wouldn't?!
Anyway, here is a little more show and share of my activity the past couple of weeks.
A test block for string-piecing a spider web quilt.  I've got bags of small pieces I'd like to use up and this might be a good project for them. These are paper pieced according to directions on Bonnie Hunter's website.  There is one difference though as I choose to piece the kite shapes as well.


I've re-arranged the basement (again)! I love having a sitting area next to the fireplace and we've been using it a lot more since we moved the couch here.  



This is the side of the basement you see first as you're coming down the stairs.  Much more open than before and I like having a work area next to my long arm.


Darn! I forgot to get a picture of this one when it was finished.  It's a vintage, probably 40's quilt top, simple nine patch, but oh so cute once it was quilted and bound in a little black and white stripey 30's print. 



How cool is this?! I didn't do this one; it's from Exuberant Color.  I think I have an "old" block or two that I'd like to try cutting up like this.


This is a test block from a YouTube video by Missouri Star quilt company called the disappearing pinwheel.  I think I would make mine from all different background fabrics instead of just one and that would make a nice quilt to donate. 

I have 16 blocks made so far for my Scrap Vomit quilt.  I think I'll make 35 to make it queen size...but then again maybe I'll just make it twin size for one of the extra beds.  Hmmmm, I'll know when I get there that it's big enough.

I've been working on Celtic Solstice too, little by little.  I have a small pile of blocks and several piles of bits and pieces.  It will probably take me all this year to get it done but that's ok.

I'm making lots of 4.5" Ohio Stars, just because I think they're so cute.  Maybe they'll go into a medallion style quilt to, maybe they will be in a quilt by themselves.  I don't know if Julie has started hers yet.  She just finished a project so maybe she'll get a chance to start making hers.  

I didn't take a picture of some of the others I'm working on....maybe next time.  I'm up to 50+ Split Nine-Patch blocks as my Leader/Ender Challenge, so that's about 25% I'm guessing.  No matter, they're fun and quick.  And, I'm still making 3" bow ties and 2" bow ties.  And, I "found" some Second Saturday kits from several years ago that I had collected and not made yet...those will be my February challenge, to get those made up and out of storage!
I hope you stay safe and warm throughout the storm...it has just started snowing here....

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

More Projects

Here is a set of four napkins I made yesterday and sent to my mother for her birthday next week.  She will be 84 years young!  I wish I was going to be there but it's so unpredictable to travel in the winter that I avoid it.  Anyway, the napkins were made from 10" squares so they finish at 9 1/2".  She plays bridge a lot so I thought this fabric with tiny playing cards on it would be fun for her to use when it's her turn to host the bridge group.

Start with 2 10" squares layered right sides together for a napkin that finishes at 9.5".  Sew around with a 1/4" seam leaving an opening to turn and then edge stitch after turning.  So for a set of four napkins I cut 8 squares from 5/8 yd.   Did you notice the rooster pin cushion? It's cast iron with wool insert for pins.  Isn't it the cutest? It was a gift so it's one of a kind as far as I know.  Aren't I the lucky one!


And, here is another quilt I quilted, this one was made by my sister-in-law.  Her piecing is unbelievable!  It is so precise and lays so flat.  I think she called this one Chinese Candy Corn.  I used a pantograph called Froth and Bubble on it with a thread color called Wheat.



Finally, who can resist this shot of  Lucy, my father's pup, sitting on the hearth taken at my Dad's house.  He lives in a house built in the 1870's.  That is not a typo, it is almost 150 yrs old.  This is one of four of the original fireplaces. I'll have to share more of this historic house some time.  And I'll double check the date but I think I remembered it correctly.  
If you are where it is snowing again I hope you stay warm inside and have time to work on one of your UFO's!  I pulled out a knitting UFO to work on this evening.  Let's get those projects done!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

I can't watch!

These football games are too hard to watch...so, I'll sew and cut and press and blog and take a peak every few minutes.  I wanted to share a little trick I've come up with to help me stay organized while I'm cutting scraps.  This may be something many of you have already figured out to do but I just began doing this and I hope it helps me stay organized and get more scraps cut up and out of the bin.  I'm using a Cheat Sheet!  I have several projects going at any one time, don't you too?  For some projects I already have baggies of pieces cut and ready to sew.  For most, I cut a little then sew a little.  Case in point, for the new little Ohio Stars I'm making ( 11 made so far on my one-a- day challenge for 2014!), I'm pulling civil war fabrics and selecting pairs.  Well, after I cut a couple of sets for stars, and some to share, I really didn't want to put those fabrics back in the bin to end up with even smaller scraps.  So, I use my Cheat Sheet to help me determine what else I could cut out of those fabrics....bow ties? four patches?  2 1/2" squares?  2" strip or squares? My Cheat Sheet helps me remember what projects I'd like to have more pieces for and what size pieces it requires.  It lists in size order what projects I'm cutting for making it easier for me to cut it up while it's already pressed and neat and on my cutting mat.  Who wants to have to press and straighten edges and measure again?   I hope it helps!  And I hope you get to sew today too!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

First finish of 2014

I finished webbing Scrappy Trips whilst we were snowed in this week and I've chosen nine 1yd pieces to make the backing...I'm not buying yardage for this one.  It will be scrappy from start to finish!!

Here's one of the quilts I quilted on my long arm.  This is Natalie's second quilt she ever made! She did such a nice job on it.
 For the backing she chose minkee.  Don't you just love how it shows off the quilting?  It was quilted with an all over pattern called Tickle.
So I had a productive couple of days while the snow fell.

And, of course, I have to share this little video of our backyard...such a pretty scene.

Next time I will show you my Ohio Star blocks.  I have made eight so far, again thanks to all the extra sewing time I got in this week! Yay!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Christmas is over

The decorations got put away today...and we are hunkered down for the storm which is supposed to bring several inches of snow.  I did some sewing and some quilting today too...while watching the Wild Card game with the Colts.  What a crazy game and how fantastic to have the Colts come out on top.
I continued webbing the top of Scrappy Trips- one direction is complete and now I'm starting the other direction and it's looking great!  I'm so happy with it!  I made a little bit of progress on Celtic Solstice...a few minutes a day and eventually blocks will come together to make a new quilt!  I have a cohort, J, and we've talked several times about projects we could make simultaneously and I think we've found one that just might get done..actually, she's much better about getting her projects done than I am mine.  We've decided to make 4 1/2" finished Ohio Stars!  Lots of them!  In fact, one every day this year, with a few days off for good behavior ( cutting days).  We both have lots of scraps in Civil War Reproductions so we'll be using light backgrounds with dark star points.  Doesn't that sound like fun?  I'll post pics of that once in awhile too.  I thought I had a pic of the baby quilt I quilted today for a friend but it's not here so I'll put that on later as well.

Happy sewing!  And if you're in the path of the winter storm stay safe and stay home and sew!  I know you have a project or two you could work on!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A perfect way to spend a snowy afternoon

We did inventory at the shop today so after I got home from that and had a rest and it was still snowing I could hear my sewing machine calling me.  Does your machine do that too?  I spent the rest of the afternoon making some more units for Celtic Solstice.  I'm not in any hurry to get it done but I'd like to get a little done each day.  I've used yardage and fat quarters so far but now that I have a good feel for it I'd like to add more variety by getting into the scrap drawers.  It's a spectacular quilt.  Bonnie did another outstanding job in color selection, pattern design and writing the clues.

Then I decided to finish the last block for Scrappy Trips and start webbing the top together!  I'm so excited to get to this stage and try another way of assembling a quilt top which will hopefully keep the blocks in the right place.  There are some gorgeous versions of this quilt on the internet.  My version is very colorful; it's quite a mish mash of uglies to pretties.  It only used up a little bit of  my 2.5" strip drawer because I kept adding to it when I came across something else I wanted to put in it.  I'm sure I have enough to do another one but if I do the next one will probably have more of a color scheme.  I cut up a bunch of my 30's prints for one...just in case!
Webbing the top together 

Hope you've had time to sew today!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New beginning for a new year

I love the new year.  So much potential and a chance to reset, recalibrate and acknowledge accomplishments.  If the past couple of years are any indication, I won't post often but I am doing so today so there's that.  In 2013 I completed 8 bed-sized quilts and I quilted about 60-70 quilts on my long-arm.  I sold my HQ16 and bought a Fusion, also a Handi-quilter machine.  I like the brand a lot and it does what I need.  I've had the new one since September and it's been a fantastic upgrade.
Some of my 2013 projects remain as UFO's: Hidden Stars, Bow Ties, And Cats to name a couple.  Some others got added to the list~and some were completed~hooray! In general I'm pretty happy about what I completed year!  
So, what will I change?  Not a whole lot actually.  I'd like to spend less on fabric.  I've got several stash quilts in the works, the one closest to completion is Bonnie Hunter's Scrappy Trips.  One more block to make and I'll start webbing it together.  I'm also working on her Shaded Nine Patch as a leader/ender project, and I started Celtic Solstice.  I LOVE how that one looks! I'll make the large size of that one.  Then I need to make a baby quilt for my first grand nephew!  And a graduation quilt for Emily which I was cutting strips for as I was cutting for Celtic Solstice.  And I will continue to quilt on my long-arm!
Away from quilting, I always need to work on the basics...exercise, eat healthy foods and watch my weight....so that I can keep quilting for a long, long time!  That "To Do" list doesn't ever seem to get shorter!
Wishing you all the best for 2014....and many fabulous finishes!