Wednesday, July 31, 2013

What's On the Wall Wednesday

Design Wall Wednesday

Words To Live By finished blocks.
I have them on the design wall because I love looking at them! 

Block eight is "in progress"...I still need to blanket stitch the leaves and stems.

Block nine came in the mail today.
I think this will be my mostest favoritest block--Love Birds in a Heart with Rose Buds--crazy sweet! 

The little freebie blocks are pretty fast to stitch up and they are so cute!


Bonnie Hunter has a new Leader and Ender Challenge started: the Split 9 Patch. It's an awesome block with tons of possibilities. The previous leaders and enders challenge (spools) are so much fun to sew up though, so I think I will continue making them. I have more than 200 so far.

Visit Esther Aliu's blog for Wednesday's Works in Progress parade!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

July Schnibbles "Lincoln"

My Lincoln quilt for the July Another Year of Schnibbles project almost became a UFO. Despite my best intentions of having the quilt done a couple weeks ago, I am coming in just under the wire.
I had Lincoln loaded on the frame last week, but no time to work on quilting.
I have to say this was a really fun quilt to piece.
It would be perfect for a beginner--no matching seams (except for the blocks)
and the floating stars can't lose their points!

I just finished the binding today.
I was inspired to do an outdoor photo because of the beautiful shots Joanne at The Patriotic Quilter has been doing with her quilts.
This is a fence near our parking area next to our driveway.
Up North you need extra parking areas for visitors, boats and such. Nothing special, but the light was pretty good. 

I used a pantograph called Flirt. 

A "designer" back. I got to use up a lot of stash on that!
I will be putting the label on tonight and call it done--yay!

Be sure to visit Sherry and Sinta at the end of the month to see the Schnibble parade!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Productive Week

Before I spent two days doing intensive long arm training, I was able to finish up my EQ7 July Summer Drawing Series Block Three. I've been doing 2 blocks each month, but this month was an applique block using Patch Draw. I just ran out of time to be able to get a second block done, but I am really happy with the block I finished. 
My lesson printouts

My completed block

I think it works okay with my previous blocks.

I signed up for four classes with Mary Beth Krapil, a Handiquilter Educator. The classes covered freehand designs, ruler work, pantos and groovy boards, and most importantly, thread, needles and tension. I learned a lot and I am going to try to follow through and do at least a little quilting everyday. 

She did a lot of marking on the fabric with chalk to show us different designs.
This one is called E's and L's. Or maybe it was L's and E's? 
This is a tiny version of E's and L's stitched out. 

This was one of my favorite free hand designs--Mary Beth made it look so easy! 

There were lots of other fun designs and I have tons of photos on my iPad to refer back to. 
The classes took place Friday and Saturday at Country Fabrics.  Deb and her Mom took really good care of us foodwise. I'm pretty sure I gained about five pounds in two days!
Of course, there was a lot of shopping therapy since we all had to have every tool Mary Beth demonstrated! 
I won this fun charm pack in a drawing!

On Friday night, we were encouraged to bring our UFO's to get ideas on how to quilt them. That was a lot of fun...I think I got some pretty good input--now to just get those UFO's on the machine! 
I happen to have my Lincoln Schnibble loaded on the HQ16 right now. I plan to do an all over pantograph design on it. 
Not too much longer to find out what happens with these little guys.
I have all 31 stitched and ready to go! 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Skinning a Quilt/A Big Finish!

A confession: Yes, this is an example of my machine quilting. Gulp. 
(I can hear you laughing.)
Here's my explanation:
This was one of the very first quilts I put on my HQ16 over six years ago. I had no idea that you should stitch in the ditch to stabilize the blocks or do a practice stitch-out to test thread tension! Or maybe practice the designs. 

 I like to think that now I can do better. 
That's why I did this:

This is called Skinning A Quilt.
The tool I'm using here is an eyebrow trimmer, but other acceptable tools for skinning are a scalpel or seam ripper.
The point is to get between the backing and the batting and strip out all of the quilting stitches.
Hopefully without cutting into the backing fabric or (fingers crossed) the front piecing.
Needless to say, it's enormously time consuming.
I didn't keep track of the exact number of hours it took me to skin this quilt, but I was able to watch all twelve episodes of Mr. Selfridge on my DVR along with six episodes of American Horror Story that I had fallen behind on watching.
(By the way, I loved Mr. Selfridge and can't wait for Season Two!)
Here's a shot of the same quilt re-layered and quilted using a pantograph called Funky Fans. 
It's a Thimbleberrie's Row Quilt. I'm so relieved that I was able to get it skinned, re-layered, quilted and washed (to remove the thread fluff from skinning) in time to donate to the Camp Knutson Quilt Auction this year. It was one of my big goals and I'm pretty happy to have it finished. I hope someone likes it enough to bid on it. It is one huge quilt!
In the interest of time, I did the scrappy binding by machine. I think it added a nice detail. And maybe it distracts from the not-so-perfect (but better than it was originally) pantograph quilting! 

Monday, July 22, 2013

It Was Stitch Therapy Week!

Last Monday was the July meeting of Stitch Therapy--only 2 more meeting left for this year!! Enjoy the "Eye Candy"!
Love the tinting!

Another finish--almost!
Yes, that's me hiding back there--haha! 

Carol has finished her Wish Quilt and brought these Linda Hohag (Brandywine Designs) wool applique blocks to share--aren't they adorable!? Susan will have these on display at Colorz near the wool section if you would like to check them out a little more closely.

And a couple of finishes of my own:
Grandmother's Choice Block 46: Barrister's Block
Block 47: Heroine's Crown
Only 2 more blocks to go!!!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Blocks of the Week, Blocks of the Month.....

Since Barbara Brackman featured some of my Dixie Diary blocks (and other awesome versions!) on her Civil War blog,  I figured I should get with it and post my July blocks that have been waiting patiently in a folder on my desktop. 
My latest Grandmother's Choice blocks:
Block 44: Star of Hope
Block 45: Aunt Mary's Favorite
I'm behind on my Grandmother's Choice  blocks--Block 47 was posted yesterday and I haven't made Block 46 yet.
I HAVE been walking two miles everyday and keeping my gardens watered and weeded, so I haven't been a total slacker! 
Dixie Diary: King's Crown (star version)
I was thrilled that Barbara also posted a link to my Star Applique Tutorial!
Dixie Diary: King's Crown (heart version)
I haven't decided on a setting for these blocks yet, but I do have an idea of how my Grandmother's Choice blocks will be set and I will be working on that soon. 
The July Country Thread's Chicken Scratch blocks--love spools! 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wednesday Works in Progress

There's lot of stuff in progress on Moose Bay! These are a couple of priority projects for this week:

Cutting out Lincoln went super fast using my Shape Cut ruler.
This is July's Another Year of Schnibbles choice. 

I got my walk in before it heated up outside and was able to get all these blocks sewn and up on the design wall yesterday afternoon. I'm still pondering the final placement. I wish I would have had more red in my layer cakes so the rail fences would have looks more like flag stripes. Oh well....

I fussy cut some tiny flowers from one of my French General fabrics. These are the applique dots that go around the Love Entwined compass. Mr. Moosebay couldn't find tiny washers for me on Sunday, but he did pick up these thumb tacks to help shape the dots. Too bad the Karen Kay Buckley Perfect Circles were too large for the outer ring of the compass--that would have been my preferred method. 

These were a bit difficult to get really flat since they couldn't be pressed from the back because of the pin. 
I'm ready to turn the edge on the outer ring and attach this to the center of my background. Hopefully I will get to that step before part three is posted!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Love Entwined and some July Progress

Here I am at the Eleventh Hour working on Part One of Love Entwined. Why do I do this to myself??
I chose to keep my background light so the points really pop.
I was so surprised that the center matched up--I'm going to feel bad about covering it! 

My original plan was to hand piece the compass, but in the interest of time I ended up paper piecing.
You know it's not my favorite technique, but it sure is accurate!
If you have any intentions of doing Love Entwined and you haven't printed out the pattern, go right now and do it! Part One will disappear on the 15th of July and since Esther is located in Australia, that means the 14th here, I think. 
The compass ring will be reverse appliqued.
I prepped a freezer paper circle to do that--this is the back view. 
I will have my little dots on by the end of today unless something comes up. I've already done my daily walk, watered my gardens and deadheaded the petunias.
Now I can sew with a clear conscience!  
"Ring" fabric ready to glue baste in place for applique.

I'm mostly using my stash of French General fabrics from the Rural Jardin and Maison De Garance lines, so my Love Entwined will be shades of blues and reds with some brown and cream.

My week has been pretty busy: I knocked a few things off my Summer To-Do list that has been such a relief to finish up. Monday was our July guild meeting and our speaker was Sue Poser, the owner of Gruber's. She brought lots of goodies with her and it was a fun evening. 

On Tuesday, Sandi and I attended a lecture on Rain Gardens. It was very interesting and the Master Gardener that did the lecture was great. I hope to plan a rain garden this winter and work on getting one set up next spring. 

I'll have photos of the rest of my July sewing next time. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Teeny, tiny blocks

How cute is this little block???

I had absolutely no intention of making the two inch finished basket blocks that Temecula Quilt Company recently posted. Then my quilting bud, Nancy B. sent me this photo of her adorable little red block.

Naturally, I developed a case of Teeny, Tiny Block Envy!

And, of course, I had to try one out using some of my blue printed charms.
These are what I would call "potato chip" blocks--you can't make just one!

They're pretty little compared to my 12.5 and 4.5 inch blocks on the design wall.
And they are so darn cute!!

The instructions for the blue blocks were to use the same background throughout. I'm using charms squares so my blocks are scrappy. I'm not sure how that will work out with the final setting, but I guess I will know on the 31st.
I have all the blocks cut out and set up on block boards next to my sewing machine. I won't be doing one block per day, but will get several done as I have time and hopefully they will all be complete by the end of the month.
Anyone else making these little cuties? Are you doing the scrappy blocks or the blues?