Monday, July 18, 2016

July's Front Porch Report!

Today is the July Stitch Therapy meeting and I managed to get all my blocks together in time for class. I was hoping to get it quilted too, but ran out of time, Maybe next week???

I also found time to get the Front Porch basket block appliqued.  I am loving this project and if I had more time on my hands, I would just keep going instead of one block at a time. Mr. Moosebay kindly drove me to Minneapolis last week (to hang out with my sister) so I got lots of stitching in on the trip down. It's the perfect car project because of the large pieces. Coming up: the Watermelon Blocks!
Be sure to check out more Front Porch blocks with Humble Quilts HERE

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sunday Confessional

Today I am sharing one of my dirty little secrets....
I don't measure my borders.  
Quilt books usually tell you to measure across the quilt (sometimes in three different places!) and then measure and cut your border strip to that length. I eliminate the measuring step by laying my border strip directly on the quilt top. I actually do the top and bottom or both the sides at once by pressing the strips together and then pinning at one end. Then I line up one end of the strips along one edge of the quilt top as above. This is a small quilt, so I can anchor the strips into my ironing board.   

Then I smooth the top and the strips being careful to just smooth and not stretch anything. I do this across the center of the quilt. Here I am working on the top and bottom borders--the sides are already sewn to the top. 
When I'm sure everything is smoothed out nicely, I slip a small cutting mat under the end of the strips that I will be trimming off to size, line up a ruler, making sure everything looks square, and trim off the excess border strip.
To me, measuring the top and then measuring the border pieces is just asking for trouble. Knowing how my brain works, I would transpose a number somehow and end up with strips that are too short. This method seems more accurate and pretty foolproof---unless you slip up and cut into your top--something I haven't done
After that, it's just a matter of finding the center of the top and the centers of the border strips (I just fold, pinch and pin), match up the ends and ease in any fullness. There usually isn't too much fullness, but I always sew "baggy bottom down" and the feed dogs on my machine take care of it.
I know I can't be the only one that doesn't measure borders, but some quilters are quite shocked when I tell them my "secret". 
Here's the top all ready to quilt! I changed the finishing instructions a bit by cutting 1.5" strips for sashing and 3.5" for the borders. It will be bound in the same black fabric I used for the sashing.
Thanks to Dawn Heese for the adorable Little Wooly Basket patterns!

I also have to confess that I couldn't resist picking up this bundle of Edyta Sitar's Blue Barn when I stopped in at the quilt shop yesterday. Do I need more blue fabrics? Probably not, but at least it's just a fat eighth bundle!

Okay--now my biggest confession:
Yes! I started a new project--ack! I just couldn't stop myself----because there are birds!!!
I know, I am hopeless...
These are the first two applique blocks of five from the Facebook group Quilts by Cheri Friendship Group. If you don't already belong to the group, ask to join. You can find the block patterns in the file tab on the site page.
I'm going to be doing some Slow Sunday Stitching on these blocks this evening. I may even finish my Fargo Season Two binge tonight--only one more episode to go!
Whew! I feel so much better now that I got all that off my conscience! I hope you find some time to do some stitching!
Linking with Slow Sunday Stitching HERE
Slow Sunday Stitching

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Catch Up Day....again...

I was a bit behind on this week's 365 Challenge blocks, but now I'm caught up.
These are the seven blocks for this week...

...and these are the seven from last week. All of the 6" light blocks are complete and when I find some time, I will add them to the center medallion--we're on the downside of the hill now!!

The Circa 2016 blocks from last Friday were pretty quick to put together--simple little Friendship Stars.

With the rainy day earlier this week, I found time to start putting together the Lisa's Flower Garden blocks. My design wall is adjacent to a window, and I'm terrified that these blocks are going to be blown off the wall (it's happened before!), so my window is closed. I can hardly wait to get these all together so I can open the window and catch a breeze! Stay cool! 
Linking with Scraptastic Tuesday HERE

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Third Quarter Finish-A-Long list

I have only one "carry over" from my 2nd Quarter Finish-A-Long list--my Stitch Society wool hexagons. I really need to get these together! 
Second on my list is this top from a Temecula Quilt Co. Sew Along from last year. I just noticed that I hung it up side down on the design wall for the photo, but you get the idea!
It's not very big, so it should be doable.

I would love to find time to get my "How Does Your Garden Grow" top quilted so I can use it while my garden is still in a growing stage!

I meant to get these place mats quilted and donated to Meals on Wheel's last year--or maybe it was the year before....
Anyway, it never happened, so it's about time to get them done.
These were made using blocks from an EQ7 sew along to help learn the software. Do I remember any of those lessons??

There's not a lot left to do on my Flower Garden Crazy Mat--just a few more stems and the crazy stitching between the blocks. I feel confident that at least this one will get completed!

If I do get that one done, I will start this Summer Crazy Mat--so cute!

There are only two more Wooly Baskets yet to come from Dawn Heese--I'm pretty sure I can get this done in the next three months! 

Most likely this project will be going to quilt camp in October, but if I have time, I'd like to get the alternate blocks pieced for Civil War Jubilee and get it finished--empty bins are a good thing.
Getting all these completed would be a piece of cake if I wasn't doing so many Sew Along projects, but I'll do my best---or they may be going on the 4th Quarter List!
Linking with 2016 Finish-A-Long HERE
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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

July UFO

All of my wool applique blocks and nine patches have been finished and ready to be put together for a couple weeks. Maybe if I make this my One Monthly Goal, it will get done.

Last month the Stitch Therapy group helped me choose the fabrics for my setting triangles and binding. I also conferred with my long arm group to get some quilting ideas. Now I just need to apply myself!

I finally got caught up on the Temecula Circa 2016 blocks--I was several weeks behind.
I'm on my way to Minneapolis to hang out with my sister who is visiting from California--that means I'm going have some catching up to do on those pesky  365 Challenge blocks!
Have a great week!

Linking with One Monthly Goal HERE

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Friday, July 1, 2016

Gwennie Inspired Round Two!

 Humble Quilts
You may remember that this orphan block volunteered to be the center of a Gwen Marsden inspired medallion for the Gwennie Inspired Medallion QAL. 

Round Two's inspiration is "Childhood".
 I really didn't want to trim back my block and lose any of the green bird toile, so I decided to add my second round to the same background.  

My childhood inspiration was my Grandmother's Flower Garden and also the rick rack that decorated everything from aprons to tea towels.
I used to live with my Grandparents in the summer at their farm near Colman, South Dakota. I think I did that every summer from possibly age 10 (note: barn cats do not like to be dressed in doll clothes!) to 16 (when I decided I'd rather hang out with friends instead of cows).
My Grandma's flower garden was her pride and joy. If anyone came by, they always had visit the garden and admire the four o'clocks and hollyhocks and everything in between.  

I'm still deciding if I should add some fun embroidery to the rickrack--I love what Christine did to hers HERE

I hope you can see the sweet birds in the toile--love them!
The theme for round three (from Cathy at Big Lake Quilter) is Log Cabins--hmmm....
Linking up at Wabi-Sabi quilts HERE
and WIP's Be Gone HERE
WIPs Be Gone

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Compounding a Fracture....

One thing I really wanted to finish piecing at Quilt Camp in April was my Fractured top. 
Over the years, I have come across several versions of the Fractured quilt in magazines and online. I would tear out magazine pages or print off pictures (in the days before Pinterest existed--lol!) to put in my "someday" file. Eventually, I came across instructions to make the quilt in an Australian magazine, Quilts Down Under. 
Not too long ago, I also purchased Kathy Doughty's book that contains her directions for Fractured (along with lots of other great quilts!).

The (Compound) Fractured Tale:
I'm not sure why (sheer stupidity!), but even though I had Kathy's book with me at camp, when I finally got all my blocks pieced, I followed the chart from the Quilts Down Under magazine article for block placement.
Something didn't look quite right, but I checked and double checked and it was exactly like the placement guide, so I started assembling my blocks.
You probably know where this is going, right??
I had one more row to add when it was brought to my attention that the chart was all wrong. Not just in one place, but all over the place--ack!
Thankfully, Bev had made the quilt and knew that there were errors in the placement guide and I would need to use the photo of the quilt to get the blocks in the correct alignment. Or, I could have just used the chart in the book which is correct--yeesh!
I needed to remove eight blocks in various rows and rotate them, so I pretty much had to take half of the quilt top apart and put it back together. I packed everything up and set it aside to tackle at home.
Lesson learned --when it doesn't look quite right, investigate further!

After a lot of reverse sewing, mumbling and muttering,  I finally got my quilt altogether. It's not my usual type of quilt, but I love it. And I love that I was able to use so many fat quarters from my stash. I know it's hard to see in the photo, but I just straight line quilting in each "fractured" piece. 

This is a pretty big quilt--queen sized! I procrastinated all day and ended up having to take my photos into the sun--not the best way to try to get a decent photo--sorry!

And because I procrastinated so much this month, I finished the binding by machine with a blanket stitch to save time! 
Fractured was my June One Monthly Goal and also one of  my 2016 Finish-A-Long projects.
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