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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.