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Friday, December 31, 2010

One row done

Wow, that took a long time to sew just three sections together!  There are 25 blocks per circle plus the 5 blocks between them.  Interesting to see how much length sewing them together took up.  It looks so small now.  I had to measure out what it will be with the two rows of 4-patch blocks all around it to satisfy myself that it would be a good sized quilt for my daughter's full-sized bed.

After a couple of stops and starts about how to press the seams I finally decided on pressing the center block seams open and then each row going opposite directions.  That seemed the best to me and reduced bulk where it really mattered but cut down on pressing everything open.

It's not totally perfect but good enough for me.


This is my latest design called Horizon.  I started with the center that I loved and then created a design to go around it.  When I was thinking of a name for it I thought of Surf & Turf?  Where The Sky Meets The Sea?  Then I thought, Horizon.

I worked on the design today after I had made one of the inner corner star blocks.  I didn't like how blank the white area looked so I added more star points. Better to make changes now after making just one of them than later.  I can use this one for a pillow.

I started on another quarter of the center block this evening.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Almost Half

I've been working on this almost exclusively and it's about to the point of getting to me!   It helps to break the piecing up into chuncks and do a batch of different block types.  Today I got the flying geese and the triangles done to complete the first half.  Whew!!!

I am really tempted to sew this together.  I've been putting it off because there may be changes in the lights, especially the flying geese blocks, and I don't want the other half to look too different.  But I want to!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's starting to look a lot like...

An actual quilt!  I just love seeing a quilt start to come together.  I have 20 of the center blocks, 40 flying geese, and the triangle points to do and then I can get it all sewn together!!  (after I get more ink for my printer and the paper piecing)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Jewels Progress

Just a little progress in the last couple of days.  I finally got the layer cake of lights and all of the 4" HSTs are sewn and need to be pressed and trimmed.  I'm not totally happy with how light they are but, I'm done buying fabric for this quilt!

Five of the center blocks are done and I still need to make 36 more 2" HSTs to complete those.  That's pretty quick to do.  I am pressing the seams open when joining the 4 pieces and they're going together really well. All of the dark pieces for the 96 triangle blocks are cut out.  Haven't done any more flying geese because the ink ran out for printing the foundations.

Just keep plugging away and it will get done eventually. :-)

Friday, December 17, 2010

More flying geese

Did another 12 flying geese blocks today, working on it off-and-on during the day.  One third of them are done, have another 48 to go.  These are the most time consuming of all the blocks so getting this out of the way is a good chunk of the work. 

I ordered a layer cake of batiks in lights that I will use for the HSTs and the triangles.  I only need 10 pieces of that for the HSTs (each layer cake cut into 4 squares).  The rest will be for the triangles though I'm not sure yet if I have enough light jelly rolls strips for the flying geese.  Just figuring it out as I go since it's scrappy.

A little Holiday Cheer...  My cat with her new sweater.  She seems to like it!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Paper piecing today

This evening I worked on some of the flying geese blocks.  They're so small that I'm paper piecing them, printed from EQ7.  The lights are from jelly rolls cut into 3 1/2" strips and I was able to use the cut-offs from the ends of the strips after cutting the squares for the HSTs out of fat quarters.  I guess that's one advantage to using small pieces.  ;-)

I started out with this a couple of hours ago...

And just finished up with these 12 blocks.  Still need to trim them but it's late and I'm tired.

I always have an audience when I'm sewing...

Signing loan papers today

I'm buying a second house!  I saw this house on the very first day I went out with my agent and I got goose bumps.  That morning I had posted that I was sending up thoughts that I find the perfect little cottage for me.  It is a darling little house, the agent called it a Fairy Tale house.  It may not look it in the pictures but there is something about it.  Anyway, we called about it right then and found that they already had a pending offer on it.

I looked for months at houses, almost every weekend, and only one compared to this and it also had an accepted offer when we called.  Then, I got an alert email that there was a new listing that matched my criteria and it was THIS HOUSE!!  I called my agent and said to offer on it NOW!  The previous deal fell through so it was back on the market.  There were two other offers and appointments for two viewings that day and they accepted my offer!  I just knew this was the house for me.

There are 3 bedrooms, 2 upstairs, and the one downstairs is big and has hardwood floors.  Perfect for a sewing room!  It's part of my plan to retire early at 55 (in 8 more years) if at all possible and the payments are tiny compared to what I have now.  I'll rent it out until then or one of my children will live in it.

I so excited and wish I could move there now!  It's an hour away from me but very close to my three children and grandchildren.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Getting set up for some major sewing

I straightened up my sewing room after finishing the French Braid and binding the fall-themed throw this morning and got everything organized to work on the Faceted Jewels quilt.  All of the 4-patch blocks are done, except for the dark/dark ones in the sashing and border, and the darks for the HSTs are cut out. 

I'm cutting the squares at 4 3/4" for a 4" unfinished size.  If I was doing the 4 1/2" unfinished size like I had originally planned I would be cutting them at 5 1/4".  The "official" size to cut would be 4 7/8" for a 4" finished size HST but really, I'd rather just trim it down a bit than mess with that.  Especially a block like this where accurate piecing is so important.

Speaking of getting precise piecing there's something else I do.  At the bottom of the picture are 3 HSTs.  The first one is just pressed and for most things that's fine with me.  For this quilt I want that seam very crisp so before I trim it I give it a little mist of starch and press again, like the second one.  The third one has been trimmed to 4".  Overkill?  Probably for most patterns. :-)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bound and Done!

It is so satisfying to get a quilt totally done and bound.  It's a long road getting there and the binding takes hours to do when it's so close to finishing. :)

I need to wash and dry it (that's always scary!) to get out the starch and the Elmer's glue used to secure the binding before sewing it.  Then make a label and get it boxed and wrapped for Christmas.  I can hardly wait for my son and his fiance to see it!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Whole Week Off Work!

Finally got around to putting some time off on the calendar at work and I chose next week so that I could get stuff done for the Holidays.  Ok, I don't have a whole lot to do just for that but it's a good reason anyway! 

I'll get the french braid quilt done first.  It's still on the frame and I'm on the 4th roll of the quilt.  It's coming along slowly but shirley.

There is another purse to make for my daughter.  I am undecided whether to make a Bow Tucks or the metal frame purse that I got for her but never made.  I'll have to take a look at it again and see if I want to tackle that.

I ordered a set of Harry Potter movies for the grandkids and some other things online that SHOULD be here this week.  I'll have to be mindful about listening for the door but maybe my SUV being in the driveway will be a deterent to whoever took my fabric delivery.

Went to Kohl's last night on a break from work (Yes, I didn't leave work until after midnight last night) and got the shoes that my 3 year old grandson wants.  He saw the ad paper and mamma says that he keeps asking if she got his shoes!  They're Dr. Seuss, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish shoes.  So Cute!!!

Off to get started around the house... or maybe just some coffee since I haven't been up long after the late night!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Got a quilt on the frame tonight

I had hoped to have this done last weekend but something went awry with the delivery of the backing.  It was delivered on Friday at 4:30pm but when I got home from work there was nothing on my porch.  It's happened before that someone stole a sweater that I ordered for my daughter at Christmas.  After that my neighbor across the street would get my packages until I got home.  She moved quite awhile ago and I haven't had any problems since but, I suppose that someone took the package off my porch.  I get deliveries several times a month on average but it's probably the gift season that prompts people to steal them.

I called and they replaced my order at no charge to me with 2nd day air delivery.  I am grateful that they did even though I feel bad that it was necessary.  I'll have to have things delivered to my work.  I've seen news online that people steal deliveries, watch for them to take.

The backing is a marbled black, wide-width, that I got washed and dried this evening.  It takes me at least a half hour to get a quilt fully loaded, basted, and ready to go.  Maybe more, I didn't time it.

The pantograph is Sun, Moon and Stars in a pretty dense pattern.  I chose it to go with this quilt specifically.  I should have this done in a few days since I will probably only work on it a little bit for the next couple of days after work.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Bow Tucks Tote

I've been seeing this bag all over the quilting community and I finally got the pattern because I was buying fabric online and I needed to purchase $4 more for free shipping.

Made this one for my son's girlfriend since she loves penguins.  I looked all over Joann's for penguins and there were a few of them but they were very obviously Christmas fabrics.  On my second round through the bolts I noticed it.  They also had their handbag handles on sale for $3.99 so I got 4 of them.  It would save having to make the handles.  I had the black and the yellow/orange in my stash.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

First block done

I got this block done this morning and I LOVE IT!!  I love the fabrics, the colors, and the pattern.

I don't have a lot more parts done other than all of the 4-patch blocks.  I am having a hard time getting more of the right type of light fabrics, something without too much pattern on it.  The ones in the corners are a little iffy to me, it might stand out too much.  There's only a FQ of that so it should be fine, I guess.

I have another block of the HSTs done and the pieces for another 4 center blocks.  I just can't get into making ALL of one type of block until I get all my fabrics together.  I'm off to the fabric store to find some and taking the block with me.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Floral fabric designs

When I'm sitting around and watching (listening) to TV, I often play around with EQ7.  I have many of my fabrics imported, which I usually do when I purchase something online, so it's like playing with my stash.

I got this fabric some time ago with the idea of doing a French Braid with it but, after doing that pattern for my son and his girlfriend I'm not sure I want to do another just like it.  This is what I've come up with so far.

This is such pretty fabric that I want something that makes the fabric the star of the quilt.  I think I would only use the Bali Handpaints that very closely match the colors in the border fabric and flowers.  The large flowers are kind of between a purple and a pink, like the blues are leaning towards purple in the smaller scale prints.  I also like the idea of choosing just one of the colors, specifically the yellows in this appeal to me.

Just some ideas but never know what the final design will be until it's made. :-)

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Quilt for My bed

I've been on a quilting mission this long Holiday weekend and got three of them done.  I believe that there are only 6 more tops to quilt and I'll be caught up.  I have the backing and batting for at least 4 of them.

This one is for MY bed.  I posted about the fabrics and the design here and I found out when I got them that it goes perfectly with a silk duvet cover and sham set that I have.  My adjoining bathroom has beige, blue, and dark brown too.

I am so happy with this one and just love how it goes with my bedroom.  It's soft and feminine with light colors to balance out the heavy furniture.  I'll get it bound this week so I can actually sleep under it.

The quilting is a pantograph called Woodcut Camellias.  This was an intense pattern to follow, a whole lot of points!  It wasn't flowing at all and for the first day my top thread was breaking every couple of minutes until I gave up when the bobbin ran out.  The next day, with a new bobbin, it only broke a couple of times.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fall quilt

I made this top earlier this year and got it quilted on Friday.  The pattern is a layout from EQ6 that I added the leaves and the outer border to.

I wanted something simple for snuggling and the colors go with my family room. The backing is dark green flannel so it will be soft and warm.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Fresh off the frame

Finally finished the quilting on my daughter's quilt.  She picked out the fabric, Metro Market, and I did the simple design.  I combined the basket blocks with Warm Wishes.  I was soooo careful about the placement of the sashing strips, thought I had it all layed out correctly but, you know how it usually happens that SOMETHING turns out wrong!  The first row doesn't have the red and black strips done the right way and I didn't notice until the whole top was sewn together and I wasn't going to take apart a whole row to fix it.

I'm going to bind it in black by machine.

96 little blocks

All of the light/dark 4-patch blocks are done for Faceted Jewels and I stuck them on the design wall.  I like these colors!  It gives me a feel of how the whole quilt will be, monochromatic and subtle.  I don't want it to be TOO subtle or the round block design will fade away.  A total of 105 4" blocks are done, only 370 to go....

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Still waiting on the fabric delivery

I am at a little bit of a standstill on the Faceted Jewels quilt.  I got another 4 sets of light/dark JR strips sewn together to cut into sections and I think I only need to do one more pairing to complete all of the light/dark 4-patch blocks.  I was running out of lights then remembered the JR that I got of Fusions that turned out to not be what I needed for a certain quilt.  I got out the strips and took out all the colors that will go with this quilt.  I don't want to get too far ahead before starting to incorporate the other fabrics.  I've done that before and it can really stand out when there are some blocks that contain totally different fabrics that don't appear anywhere else.

I ordered another Capuccino Balipop, a 14 FQ set of Ice Tea, and a wide Tonga Leaf for the backing.  I decided that the batik yardage that I have is not enough variety for the large triangle and HSTs.  I am pretty sure that these, along with the 4 beiges I ordered, is enough for the quilt. :-)

So... since I'm not working on this one I turned my attention to finishing the quilting on the one that's in the frame.  It's been there for months but I am so bad at long arm quilting that I didn't like working on it.  Just bite the bullet and get it done!  I don't know that I would ever want someone to see this up close and hope my daughter doesn't mind.  It's just a small, fun quilt that she picked out the fabric for.  I need to get this done and off the frame so I can do the French Braid by Christmas.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Started on Faceted Jewels

I know, I know, there are other things I could be working on but... I started on another quilt.  I'm waiting on delivery of black quilting thread for the french braid and I don't feel like starting on the vines for the CW quilt though I did get the strips cut out for them and did a test of the bias tape maker.  It worked good.

I'm using a Cappuccino Balipop for this quilt plus some brown batik I have.  I found that I can use the strips for everything except the large triangle block center and the corner HSTs.  Another four cream batiks are coming with the black thread so I can't do the HSTs until I have that.

The lights are more yellow than I thought they were but I really like this.  The flying geese and the triangle are paper pieced.  I'm doing this practice block first and have about a third of the light/dark 4-patch sections ready to sew the halves together.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

French Braid top is done

This one has been hanging around for awhile waiting on those dreaded borders.  I don't know why I have such a mental block about doing borders!  I've always disliked trying to get a long strip cut straight but I started tearing them and it is so much better that way.  I still put off doing them.  I am proud of myself for making good progress on two quilts this week.

The borders are wide but the braids are so long and narrow that I really needed to get some width on it.  I layed it on my queen sized bed and the borders hit the edge of the mattress very well.

I ordered black quilting thread yesterday so I really need to get the quilt done that's on the frame right now.  Hope to have this done by Christmas for my son and his girlfriend.

Monday, November 15, 2010

For my daughter

I've been thinking about the Faceted Jewels quilt and then I thought about my daughter wanting a quilt in browns to match her cream with brown pipping bedding.  She doesn't like frilly or flowery and she really liked the stack of brown batiks and balipops that she saw in my sewing room.  I'm sure I have enough since I have about 8 1yd cuts of various browns plus the balipops. I will need to get a few beiges for the lights though.  Ordering online is not a hardship. :)  I want to see the new Batiks at Connecting Threads and I need some black quilting thread anyway.

I think she will like this.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The body is almost done!

I put in a lot of hours over the last few days and almost got the body of the CW repro quilt done.  Don't know what I'm going to call it but I've been referring to it as the never ending quilt.  Maybe just Never Ending... with the vines and hearts.

This morning I got the two halves sewn together, turned under the seam allowance on the last five hearts and glued them on.  I don't feel like tackling wrestling with it to sew on the hearts yet and I still need to do the sashing strips on the top and bottom.

The fabric for the border and vines is washed and dried and waiting for me.  I got a bias tape maker, just the little plastic tool, and will be trying that for the first time for the vines.  Hope that goes easily as there is a lot of it to do!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I feel so much better now

After getting the round robin quilt done and mailed off yesterday it feels like a major weight off my shoulders.  I felt so light that I floated upstairs when I got home and I finished the machine applique on a row of hearts on the Civil War repro quilt.  I can now sew together the 4 rows (2 rows each section) and applique the hearts between them.  The last row of hearts is going to be a bear to sew since it can't be done until the two halves of the quilt are sewn together.

I didn't join this year's round robin. This is the first one I've done and not sure that it suits me.  I have so many quilts that need to be quilted, and so many designed that I want to do, that I need to hunker down and get them done.  Also need to spend some major practice time on the long arm if I'm ever going to get any better than doing pantograms with it. 

I'm excited about creating and quilting again!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Round Robin done!

Whew!!  I am so happy to be done and sending it out tomorrow.  Sure had a hard time deciding on what to do for the final round.  The funny-face snowflakes in the center along with the more traditional winter motifs threw me for a loop.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Figured this up while watching TV

That's what I call multi-tasking.  I'm pretty sure I got the numbers correct since it comes up with the same number of blocks both ways.  There are twenty-five 4" blocks across and down so that's 625 and adding up all of the different 4" blocks comes up to 625.  The quilt size is 100"x100".  With 3 blocks x 4 blocks it would be 76"x100.

The parts are all very simple, straight seams. 
This really doesn't look hard at all other than having so many small pieces.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

What is this quilt pattern?

I saw am Amish quilt today called Faceted Jewels and I really like it.  I did some searching online and it came up with lots of quilts with that name but it wasn't this pattern.  The Amish one was done all in different colored scraps and whites but I've wanted to do a red and white quilt and I think this will look great in that combination.

I did this in EQ7 using 4" blocks.  The parts are very simple and a lot of it could be done with jelly roll strips.  Just the two types of triangle blocks have sharp angles.

I think it would go together with blocks like this and pieced sashing strips.

I saw a quilt in a magazine that had these types of colors and it looked old fashioned and cozy and I was fortunate to find these jelly rolls and ordered them.

I'm sure I'll get to it SOMEDAY. :-)  There is a nice looking quilt in the October issue of American Patchwork & Quilting that uses 140 jelly roll strips in all different colors and I thought what a great way to use up those odd leftover strips from other projects.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Working on the final round

This is the final round on the quilt that I posted last time.  All the parts are ready to sew together after I spent some time this evening figuring up that I had enough 3-square sections to do the four sides.  I'm working on all 4 sides at once so that I can run them through the machine, chain piecing a section on each one, pin the next sections on all 4, then run them through again.

When I was cutting all the sections I put aside 4 of each, one for each side, and put all the rest into another pile.  I seperated those out into 4 piles and laid them out in rows.  Because I started out with different lengths of batik there were sometimes 5 of each combination.

I hope she likes it.  I was just so stuck on what to do with this round until I realized that I had all the colors that are in one of the other fabrics.  The piecing looks very like the multi-color fabric in the corner square and small strip.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Blog design fixed

I came to my blog one day and the whole design was messed UP!  None of the graphics were showing up, a bunch of errors, etc.  So, I took of all of the extra settings, the design template, and just set it to a standard template.  When I get around to it I will try to find another design that I like.

Ok, so I know that I haven't felt like doing much of ANYTHING for awhile.  I stopped eating meat about a month ago since that it what seems to make me feel worse.  I feel pretty good now but I also feel so guilty.  I have the last quilt here for the International Round Robin and I just couldn't make myself work on anything.  I had no inspiration about what to do with it, absolutely none.  It's been laying on my ironing board so it is out and visible and today while looking at it I had an idea.

It's got an overall Christmas design with snowflakes but it's kind of different.  The snowflakes are embroidered and have funny faces on them.  Then there are more traditional looking penguins, snowmen, and polarbears.  It has all these bright colors in the center, then it gets muted with very pale blues and whites.  I have a collection of fabric called Twilight Frost that is shades of blues/whites/greys that I thought I would use but it just looked so dull and uninteresting.

What finally inspired me is one of the solid borders around the blue/white snowflake row (can't see those well in the picture).  The fabric is tiny squares of bright colors and I think it looks great with all the other colors in the quilt.  The last fabric before my row is multi-colored bright snowflakes on black. Then I saw that in some of the center squares of the green and white blocks, there is a fabric that is almost just like it. I got out my batiks and started choosing colors that match that fabric.

It's a plain design but I like it.  It's not so busy to compete with the center snowflakes and penguins but, it's not so totally plain that it just fades away like everything else I thought of with the Twilight fabric.  It's bold enough to frame it as the last row but not too much.  In my opinion, anyway :)

The fabric is in the washer so I can get started on it tomorrow.  I'll cut the fat quarters into 2.5" strips, sew three random strips together, then cut them into 2.5" sections.  I don't need to fuss with measurements since I can add a row of squares or shorten some seam allowances to make the borders the correct length.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Feeling better

I've been off my feed lately with a couple of medical issues but I'm feeling better after a round of anti-biotics and a colonoscopy on Tuesday found there was no problem with my existing diverticulosis.  What a relief!!  All the things that went through my mind about what COULD be found but doctor says all clear and check back in 10 years.

So, back to sewing!  I have the borders ready to sew onto the French Braid quilt and then I can get back to working on the CW fabric one.  I received a letter from my aunt in Missourri a couple of days ago, an old-fashioned, hand-written one.  She's been giving me information about family genealogy and I decided to get a lap quilt done for her.  I have a top that is in fall colors with applique leaves that I will put a flannel backing on and get quilted for snuggling on the couch.

Because of my lack of energy I looked into juicing and ordered a juicer and some books from Amazon.  Maybe some fresh veggies and fruits will help with that.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Christmas Baskets

It's only August and I'm already thinking about Chrsitmas but, us crafters need time to prepare!   I just started canning so I thought that I would make up some baskets of preserves, cookies, and a canned apple pie filling.

I found these pie pans at Amazon for $10 so I ordered 5 of them.

I then went looking for baskets and I found a 12" round one at Papermart online.  They're only $3.29 each but you have to buy a case of 10.  That's fine with me, I can use them for the pie plates and for gifts of preserves.  I also ordered a 25 yard roll of 18" wide tulle in Ivory to wrap the baskets and make bows.  I can get packing shavings just about anywhere so I didn't order it there.

I can make potholders and hot pads for the pie pans out of some apple fabric that I have and make fabric tops for the jars.