Monday, April 14, 2014

A Little Catching Up....

There's not a lot happening in the sewing room right now, but I thought I would post a few things before I  begin preparing Mr. Moosebay's dinner. I have to get an early start since tonight is our guild meeting.
This is last week's Jane Austen block from Barbara Brackman.
I am making my blocks 6" so I do a conversion in my BlockBase program. 

This is a mock up of Block 2 on one of my design boards. 


This was the second arrangement I laid out and ended up sewing together.
Unfortunately, I didn't notice that I left the setting in BlockBase to round to the nearest 1/8th inch, so my block was too big--not much, but too big--ack!!
Since I had to reverse sew, re-cut, and re-sew, I changed those half square triangles.
There was not enough contrast in the originals.
 I'm much happier with it now although cutting 1-11/16th inch squares isn't the most fun I've had lately!
My Triangle Sew Along top is all sewn together and ready to quilt.
I plan on leaving the jagged sides just for fun.
Gotta run so no links today--sorry!!!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Update

All of a sudden, it is starting to feel like Spring may actually happen! Yesterday was beautiful and so is today--perfect for a walk and a garden lecture to get in the mood. I know it will be about 7 weeks before I can plant any flowers here, but it's fun to make plans.
I think that's why I gravitated toward these stash fabrics for my Jane Austen blocks.
Well, maybe not the plaids...we'll see!
Yes, I've caved--but it was peer pressure--not my fault--haha!
 A group of quilters encouraged by Sharyn are going to do the blocks, so I have to join in on the fun, right? I think Elizabeth and her sisters would be wearing cheerful floral cotton dresses this time of year.
There will be 36 twelve inch blocks, but I am going to do a smaller version using 6" blocks.
Barbara Brackman will be posting a block weekly at the Austen Family Album blog.
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Sassy Quilter Triangle Quilt Along

So far, I'm keeping on top of the Triangle Sew Along.
There are 12 rows of 17 triangles. 

The triangles get sewn together in pairs.
As long as the blunt tip is facing up or down, you will end up with straight of grain on the top and bottom of your rows. It helped me to place a pin on the triangle facing up so I didn't get my pairs turned at the sewing machine. It's easy to flip them--trust me: I know from experience!

These are my twelve rows sewn across.
The rows will be sewn to each other in the next step on Friday.
When I randomly laid out my triangles, I had a bit of a star peeking out, so I rearranged all the triangles to get three big ones.
It's impossible to see them up close, but they magically appear as you step back from the design wall.
 

This has been SO fun to sew up!
 Since the triangles have been starched they go together easily and the the blunt tips help with matching.
I don't think I'll have any trouble staying on the timeline for this one!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Whew!

I only had time this week to be on the computer to check email--no, not even to shop! 
I filled in a little bit at Colorz for Quilts while Susan is in Arizona. It happened to be meeting day for Martha's Prairie Women group, so it was a fun day. 

Even more fun--this bundle of French General I picked up!

The April Stitch Society meeting was on Thursday.
Of course there were storm warnings, but I was lucky and managed to get home before the worst of it. These are a few more of the hexagons I finished from March.

I love the Cow Jumping Over the Moon.
We had a delicious ice cream dessert as a treat at our meeting.   

The Pansy is one of my favorites (so far). 

And I have a big finish!
 My Quilty Fun Sew Along quilt is complete!
The top, back and binding were made completely from my stash (which makes me pretty happy). I did purchase white batting. I was worried that a natural colored batt may change the white on white prints I used as backgrounds. 

I got to use up a lot of chunks of old fabrics for the back and some Kona solids for the binding.
I used Aurifil thread to quilt a pantograph design called Popcorn.

Lori's design for the label was pretty cute. Since it was a 16" square, I pieced it into the backing and quilted over it. It felt pretty good to not have to add a label after the last stitches of the binding were finished!

It looks like I have a pretty full calendar next week too.
Happy Sewing!!
 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Waffle Time

This year I have been trying so hard not to join in on a lot of Sew Along's.
I'm still attempting to finish up all of the projects that I started last year, but I can feel myself weakening! 
I've been toying with the idea of starting the Di Ford mystery in Quiltmania--okay, more than toying. I have to confess that I've made all the applique templates but haven't made it any further than that.
If I get started on this, I'll be using fabrics from my stash--probably definitely in brighter colors than these.
The little circle in a square border is part two from the latest issue #100.

I also signed up for a Crazy Quilt class from Kathy Shaw.
 I've always admired crazy quilting, so when she offered a free online class, I jumped on it. It's been fun to work on new stitches and she has some great tips. Luckily for me it's just a small project!
My Crazy Quilt block before adding any stitching or embellishment.
Kathy sent instruction for the block we will practice on--
this is about the size of a sheet of printer paper and basted onto muslin.
This class is closed now, but she will be offering it again later in the year.


Now I'm feeling myself getting sucked into the Triangle Sew Along from the Sassy Quilter--looks like a fun way to use my Grant Park fat quarters!
The fabric requirements call for third yards but fat quarters can also be used.
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Check it out HERE

Step one was to starch and press our fabrics.
It takes a lot longer to complete step one than the cutting in step two!
We need 204 triangles for the quilt top.
I used 26 fat quarters and could comfortably cut 8 triangles from each of them. That gave me a few extras to play with.
I stacked 4 fabrics at a time so the cutting went very quickly.
My 60 degree ruler doesn't have a blunt tip, so I had to find a line on my ruler so I had a flat quarter inch at the top of my 6" strips when cutting the triangles.
Ready for Step Three!
This is going to be a fun one.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Stitch Frenzy

This has been a crazy week of hand stitching!


Last weekend, I finished up the embroidery on my practice crazy quilt block. It was fun to try out different stitches that I hadn't used in ages. Many years ago (too many to recount), Avon used to sell crewel embroidery kits. My local Avon Lady hired me to stitch up some of the kits as sales samples. It was a fun little job for a "stay at home" Mom. I learned to do a lot of embroidery stitches to complete those projects and some of those stitches are showing up in the Crazy Quilt class.
Now that the stitching is finished, we will be adding lace, ribbon embroidery and beading.


On Monday the last block of Quilty Fun was posted and it 
 also included a little embroidery.
I just finished up that pincushion too--more fun stitches!
The bee block completed the center of the quilt.
I'm "testing" fabric from my stash for the borders.
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One of the adorable Bertie blocks by Bonnie Sullivan of All Through the Night
Wednesday afternoon I taught an embroidery class at Colorz for Quilts. We practiced some of the unusual stitches that will be used in the Bertie Through the Year blocks, a program that starts up in April at Colorz.
This is for you, Linda!!

Thursday I realized it was only 7 days away from my next Stitch Society meeting and I hadn't done any of my hexagon designs aside from the one I put on my notebook cover.
Some of these blocks are very labor intensive--luckily there are a few that will be pretty simple too!


Today I am taking a breather from hand stitching and doing some major cleanup in the sewing room!

(the Avon link above goes to my friend Del's page. She is a "stay at home" Mom with lots of little ones. I love to order my favorite Avon products online--with a $35 purchase you get free delivery right to your door! That's not an endorsement--just a happy customer.) 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Another One Bites the Dust!


Yay! My Country Threads 2014 Block of the Month quilt is finished.
 I call her Scrappy Happy since she is definitely scrappy and she makes me happy--happy to have used up some of my stash-haha!
I ended up appliqueing my initials and the year finished in that big hole in the center.
You may have noticed that the outer checkerboard doesn't work out in two of the corners. That's the way it's written in the finishing instructions and at first it really bothered me. I knew if I added a one inch inner border, I could get it to work out "correctly", but later decided to just go with the mismatched corners. I think it adds to the "make-do" feel of the quilt.

I skipped the Breezy Point Sew-In last week so I could get Scrappy Happy  loaded onto my HQ16.
There were a couple hours spent pressing the top and backing.
I removed zillions of threads--those home spun fabrics are ravel-y!
I put a new needle in my machine, oiled her up, and wound multiple bobbins.

The following day, I planned to be up bright and early to get Scrappy Happy quilted.
Oops--hair appointment on the calendar!
 I didn't get started quilting until almost noon,
but the Cinnamon Roll quilting goes really fast (and it's fun!).
Scrappy Happy was ready to bind by dinner time.

My thread choice may have been a little light for some areas,
but I'm trying to use up the massive amount of King Tut "Sands of Time" that I have in my thread stash--more making-do! 

I used up scraps and left over pieced units on the back.
The label is made from a couple of extra half square triangles.
That large plaid was a 2 yard piece I picked up for $4--yeah!!
I guess you can tell I just kind of slapped it all together. I was more worried about it being square rather than how it looked.
Make-do!

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Karen from Log Cabin Quilter sent me her latest blocks--she is right on schedule!
She's also working on an awesome basket quilt that I am dying to start--
check out her site for a link!!

Here's a heads up if you haven't heard about the Kansas City Star book program. Every Thursday they have one of their books for sale at 75% off with free shipping. After you purchase 5 books, you will get a book of your choice for free! This week's book (expires B/4 Thursday) is Minick and Simpson's Victory Girls.


I've been eyeing this book for quite a while and this week it's only $6.24!
You must enter the code BOBBINS75 to get the deal.
I advise signing up for their newsletter, so you get an alert every Thursday.
I have 3 books to go before I get to pick my free one....

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Challenges!

Since I was finally able to install my Electric Quilt 7 program on my new laptop (learning Windows 8 has been a huge challenge!), it seemed like it would be fun to design something for the Red and White Quilt Challenge  hosted by SewCalGal.
red and white quilt show - Design It
Read about and see other quilt designs HERE
I wanted to design something that would use my newest Accuquilt die, the Drunkard's Path (I was forced compelled to add it to my cart so I would qualify for free shipping).

 This is what I came up with:
I call it Moon Phase! 

The finished size will be 58" x 65" (16 by 18 3.5" blocks for a total of 288). It looks like I will need 3 5/8 yards of white fabric and 1 7/8 yards of red. That will be perfect since I have a yummy 2 yard pack of Cherrywood Scarlet that I have been saving for a red and white quilt! I'm going to have to measure up some of my white pieces--hopefully I can work from my stash!

Visit Insights from SewCalGal to keep up with the Red and White happenings!