Monday, April 25, 2011

Design Wall Monday 4-25-11

On the design wall today:

This is a happy quilt (see for the pattern.)  I need to sew it together but I'm not sure that will happen this week or not.  To see the center fabric up close go here

To see what is on other people's design wall visit Judy's Patchwork Times.

Goals for 4/18/11
• Make 4 small bow tie blocks and then sew the border on the double bow tie quilt. √ Done 
 • Finish up the little Easter quilt from 1994 swap blocks. Didn't even look at it.... sigh
• Make the backing for the last mystery quilt.√ 
• Quilt one charity quilt, Jenny’s red and yellow quilt, last mystery quilt. 3/4th through the last mystery quilt but nothing else. 
• Enjoy Easter – lots of services that the choir will be singing at so I won’t have as much time to sew this week. Wonderful service.

Goals for 4/25/11
• Finish quilting on mystery quilting.
• Quilt 3 small charity quilts.
• Quilt Jenny’s quilt.
• Sew Happy Quilt together.
• Sew Easter Quilt together.
• Start needle case for Small Quilts Talk swap.

Hum, after last week and not getting much done I'm not going too wild with my goals.  If I had really looked at last week's goals I might have started the charity quilts before the mystery quilt. 

Instead of quilting yesterday afternoon I read One Was a Soldier by Julia Spencer-Fleming. This is the 7th book about Clare Ferguson, Episcopal priest, former Army helicopter pilot and in a complex relationship with the local chief of police, Russ Van Alstyne.  This particular book was so good that I read it in less than 24 hours.  Darn, now I can't anticipate reading it and who knows how long before her next book will be out.  I highly recommend the books in this series.  Check to see if your local library has this series.  I was able to read the series in order and I'd suggest doing that. If you like to read mysteries with well developed characters try this series.  (off of my soap box...)   

Happy Quilting All!  

Friday, April 22, 2011

Wait!  It was just Monday, why does the calendar say Friday?  

I try to post 3 times a week.  Some times I succeed and sometimes I don't.  I may be able to squeeze one more post in before Monday. All I can say is the week has gone quickly.

Yeah! The double bow tie top is done. (stuff in the top right corner are pieces from another quilt...) 

I even found some white fabric I had recently gotten to use as a backing.  This will be going in the newly remodeled bathroom so I need to finish it off.  Unfortunately, it comes behind several other quilts waiting for quilting.  Now to see if I can find towels & rugs in these colors! 
What is wrong with this picture? And, it isn't the seat that is torn apart.  Check how high the steering wheel is?  Yeah, not right.  Evidently the shaft that holds the steering wheel broke.  Great excuse to get a new ride on mower.  When I get a chance to play on it I'll post new pictures.  Of course, Pat say the new one is much faster and a lot of fun.  I'm hoping the new one has power steering. 

I spent part of day quilting on Ruthie.  I was doing free motion with little flower designs.  After most of the quilt is done I am getting better at it. Hopefully tomorrow I will finish it.  Sure love the Red Snappers I use to attach the backing to the leaders.  It makes it so easy to load a quilt.  Pictures soon.  Time to think about dinner. 

Happy Quilting All! 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Design Wall Monday 4-18-11

This is the first of two kits I am making for Quilts for Kids.  It is fast and easy and lots of fun to work with new (at least to me) fabrics.  It's on the list to be quilted. 

And the double bow tie quilt with borders almost done.  Notice that little bitty brown and beige bow tie in the top left corner?  That was my sample to make sure I had the right size.  The piano key border will be cut down to that size . . .  approximately 3" or so.  I have some green I will be using for the corner mini bow ties.  This top is almost done. Yeah!

Last Week's Goals

Goals for 4/11/11
• Finish 2nd  border of double bow tie blocks.√ all four borders are made.  Need to add corner blocks.
• Make one of the Quilts for Kids kits.√
• Easter blocks – start design and make any extra blocks needed.  (Ok, it’s a repeat.) √ have some extra blocks made.  Need to figure out final layout.
• Chunky Churn Dashes are still calling me…. Answer the call! No more planning on doing this one for now.
• Pick up more charity baby quilts and quilt one.
•Decide on backing for last mystery quilt…. Buyor put it together.
• Sew next border on bees quilt and figure out backing. I’m retiring this goal for a couple of weeks.

Goals for 4/18/11
• Make 4 small bow tie blocks and then sew the border on the double bow tie quilt.
• Finish up the little Easter quilt from 1994 swap blocks.
• Make the backing for the last mystery quilt.
• Quilt one charity quilt, Jenny’s red and yellow quilt, last mystery quilt.
• Enjoy Easter – lots of services that the choir will be singing at so I won’t have as much time to sew this week. 

Don't forget to visit Patchwork Times to see what other bloggers have on their design wall today. You may have to look down a post or two to find the Design Wall Monday post. Enjoy your surfing! 

Happy Quilting All! 

Friday, April 15, 2011

1/6th Yard?

Yep,  Quilter's Corner in Midlothian, Virginia sells one sixth of a yard.  A bit more than an eighth, less than a quarter.  And, exactly what I needed to finish off the double bow ties.  Yep, sorry to admit it but I've been shopping over the last few days.  Most of them were bargains, but not all.  The pink will be the backing for the last mystery quilt.  I had nothing to back it that I liked.  

Quilter's Corner also had little packs of fabric that were called something like bits of fabric approximately a yard. They were pieces 9 by 12" ... not the strips shown here. So no good if you want a backing of a big hunk of fabric.  These pirate themed fabrics caught my eye for some boy charity quilts.  The best part?  It was $6. I didn't get good enough close up but the yellow and white background fabrics are monkey's with multicolored scarves, pirate style, over their heads.  Really cute.  I'm thinking I can make a couple of Happy Quilts as shown on Mary Quilts website.  Take a few minutes to look around her site if it is new to you.  She has some wonderfully easy quilts that would be great for charities or to keep for your own use.  Happy quilts are fast, easy and happy.  I'm hoping I have enough go with fabrics so I don't have to buy any more. 

That didn't end my shopping spree. Wait for this bargain.  I haven't been in a Hancock's fabric store in years.  Frankly, there were none close to me.  But now there is and I finally visited, and a great time too.  They were having some spring sale and had bolts of various differing fabric on sale for $4, $3, $2 and get this, $1 a yard.  Being a thrifty person I hit the $1 a yard table looking for backing fabrics.
Success.  The fabric on the left is a major name brand fabric which I got for $1 a yard.  I bought enough for a charity quilt -- lap size.  And the one on the right, bears reading books together, was $2 a yard. I bought enough for another charity quilt and to use a bit on the front.  I think I spent $5.50 for all I bought.  And, both were nice quality fabrics.  Overall I feel like I got a lot of very usable fabric for a small amount of money.  Now to make up some quilt tops to go with them.  And, the always present problem do I have enough fabrics in the right colors to go with them?   Time to go find out.  

Happy Quilting All 

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Reason to the Rising Cotton Prices

I found this blog from Sabra at that talks about the many reasons cotton fabric prices are going up (and up.)  I knew of the weather problems and a bit about India and China not exporting as much but the concept of a soft dollar hadn't crossed my mind.  Transportation costs have continued to rise.  If you'd like to get a better idea of some of the things that are impacting our cotton fabric check out this FabricLoversBlog.  I, unfortunately, peg how high cotton fabric is getting from my time in the mid 90's working at a quilt store. Cheaper quilt store fabrics were about $6 a yard.  The high end stuff was about $8 and I seldom would even consider that fabric.  So that makes today's prices seem outrageous.  And, might be why I do tend to use the stash rather than buy fabric. 

That said, I personally assisted the economy today with a little internet shopping for clothes.  And, a little shopping at JoAnns for two pieces of cotton.  One is going to be used for the backing of this quilt. 

 The other is a white on white that I was getting low on. (Darn, I didn't read the coupons correctly so I didn't get 50% off of each of them.) But it wasn't all that bad.  

Yikes.  I never post twice in one day but I was impressed with that article about cotton prices.  So, there you go, two in one day.  

Happy Quilting 

Design Wall Monday 4-11-11

On the design wall today . . . 
I finally got back to the double bow tie yesterday afternoon.  I may have some issues with the border.  I prewashed my charm pack and the darn fabric shrank.  So, what should be 1 3/4" by 5" isn't. And, it didn't all shrink to the same degree. I think that has to do with whether it was cross width fabric or length of fabric.  So, I'm trying to decide if I have enough pieces left to make the borders bigger than 2 1/2" wide and make it all around the sides.  The directions say to sew the pieces together 

and then cut in half so you have two strips the width of the quilt top by 2 1/2" wide.  Clever and fast way to make pieced border but it isn't going to work this time.  Sigh.  I'm going to continue to make borders and hopefully I will have enough to go all around the quilt.  I may throw some of the back ground fabric into the borders also. 

I want to make the bee quilt not square.  So what do you think of this set up?  One set of borders will be cut at 2 1/2" while the other two will be cut at 4 1/2".  It would give a bit more length than width but wouldn't look totally weird.  I'll also have a fairly large hunk of fabric left to start a pieced backing.  While I was hunting around for some blues Friday I found several nice pieces that I didn't remember I had.  (Who remembers every piece until you see it and say, I remember getting this one!)

Go visit Judy's Patchwork Times to see what is on everyone else's design walls. 

 I also learned how to drive the ride on mower yesterday.  I thought I could help Pat with the lawn mowing efforts.  Of course, I need to get comfortable at a speed other than super slow.  As he said, I was going to use all the gas and get only 1/4 of the lawn done.  2 acres?  Whose bright idea was it to buy a house on 2 acres? 

Last Week's Goals 4/4/11
• Make 3 blocks for Guild Opportunity Quilt
• Print labels for guild members.. (I volunteered to do this…)
• Finish quilting baby quilt on Ruthie
• Sew double bow tie blocks together and start borders
• Put the last border on bumble bee quilt and decide if more borders are needed. Started but need to actually cut and sew! 
• Easter blocks – start design and make any extra blocks needed.
• Do something with chunky churn dashes.
• Organize recipe 3 ring binder and make divider pages. Let’s try this one again folks. 
Hum, I'm seeing a trend on these bottom three goals.  Maybe they should be off for next week. No need to keep saying I'll do it if I don't. 

Goals for 4/11/11
• Finish 2nd  border of double bow tie blocks.
• Make one of the Quilts for Kids kits.
• Easter blocks – start design and make any extra blocks needed.  (Ok, it’s a repeat.)
• Chunky Churn Dashes are still calling me…. Answer the call!
• Pick up more charity baby quilts and quilt one.
•Decide on backing for last mystery quilt…. Buy or put it together.
• Sew next border on bees quilt and figure out backing. 

Ok, off to get my day going. And, to wish my brother Larry a happy birthday. He's an elder, he remembers floppy disks and taught computers at UC Berkeley from the 70's until he retired a few years ago. Congratulations on another year.  

Happy Quilting. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Quilts for Kids

Last year I made one quilt from a Quilts for Kids kit.  See it here.  I haven't been reading a lot about these on the various blogs I visit so I decided to see if they are still offering kits.  Yep, they sure are and you can order yours from Quilts for Kids. From the home page go to How To Help, Request a Quilt Kit. I requested 2 and they came in a week or so.  I am getting so bored with my own fabrics so it is a real treat for me to make one of these kits.  I enjoy sewing with new fabric.  One of the things Quilts for Kids ask is for you to consider sending a quilt from your fabrics also.  So when I was upstairs taking my pictures I also grabbed 3 fabrics that I think I can make into a quilt to send back.  I'll have to see what I can use for borders and backing though.  

These are cute and will be so fun to make up.  And, then I'll make my cat fabric into another quilt.  I will probably wait to start on them next week.  (Stay focused, stay focused... remember the goals.)  

I spent a bit of time working with Ruthie today.  Argh.  I didn't have enough backing fabric provided so that I could leave my Red Snappers holding the bottom of the baby quilt. I wasn't sure what to do until I remembered reading that some times folks sew an extra piece of fabric on the bottom of the back.  I grabbed a 1/4 yard piece of yellow and sewed it on the purple.  Not to worry folks, the yellow will be taken off; it's just adding length temporarily.  I took the quilt off the frame, sewed the yellow onto the purple with my domestic sewing machine and snap the quilt back on Ruthie.  If I spent a 30 minutes doing it I would be surprised.  So I now have 3 blocks left to do.  I'll finish it up probably Thursday cause I'm going out with some friends tomorrow. 

We're looking forward to friends coming in Thursday so much of the day will be spent cleaning house.  And, the bathroom remodel is done. Well, not exactly.  The contractor is done. We had the wrong faucets so we've sent the others back and await the new ones.  The glass door for the shower is on order as is the mirror and the new lights.  This has not been the smoothest remodel.  Dust is every where from the new walls even though I've dusted and vacuumed.  The bathroom was cleaned by the contractor's people but I'll have to clean it at least once or twice to get more of the dust gone.  And, I really need to polish up the wood cabinets.  We were going to get new ones but decided the old would do fine with a new top and a good polishing.  I'll share pictures when it is really done.  

Now off to read Cream Puff Murder by Joanne Fluke.  I get a kick out of these mysteries.  (How can such a small town have all these murders?)  Plus Joanne always has recipes.  I've made some of them and have gotten rave reviews of them.  I'll have to check the list of her books to see if I've read all of them. 

Happy Quilting All! 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Design Wall Monday 4-4-11

Are you thinking of doing some quilting for the Japanese?  I wanted to but I didn't want to make a whole quilt.  I was thrilled when I found Tanya's web site Matryoshkamom.  Tanya and I emailed back and forth a little bit regarding her efforts.  I made the three red and white blocks above to help with her plan to make a few quilts for the people who have lost so much in the earthquake and tsunami.  Here's my call to you to help her out with a few blocks for her quilts.  Check her web site and see if you don't have a bit of red and a bit of white you can make into a 12" finished block.  I enjoy doing these type of blocks.  First, I'm doing something to aid in a worthy cause.  Second, I try to make a block that is new to me or challenges me.  And, third, I count every piece as used fabric!  That's a triple win situation for me. 

The block on the left is from one of Quiltmakers 100 Block magazines.  Cool but lots and lots of pieces.  Pinwheels Askew was simple and fast.  And for the last one I tried a technique in a book I've owned for years but had never done anything with it. I'm not enamored of the technique as it was hard to get an accurate block. The technique was to produce 4 of the  triangle sections (3 red, 1 white triangle.)  I think I'll keep looking for an easy way to produce that unit. 

All the blocks are done for the double bow tie quilt.  On to sewing it together and the borders. 

The above sisters choice blocks are for my equilters group.  I am going to continue to make some of these over the next few days and then mail them out.  They will be used in quilts for children. (more fabric out of my stash...) 

This is UFO is up next for finishing.  I've got 3 of the 4 sides of the first border on it.  Once done with the 4th side I'll need to decide if I want to do another  border using the blue fabric.  It is around 64" square now.  Should I add another border or stop at the gray? I think I need to put this on a design wall and see what it really looks like. The blue fabric has little bumble bees on it so I think of it as my bumble bee quilt.  I plan on quilting bumble bees in the blue octagons so I need to design or buy a bee stencil. 

Last week’s goals 3/28/11.
• Finish Super Duper Easy  
• Quilt and finish Valentine Quilt
• Finish all blocks for double bow tie blocks, sew together √ well, except the sew together part.
• Figure out the design for chunky churn dash blocks and make whatever number of blocks needed – Thought about it but didn’t draw anything up.
• Get the gray border on the Bumble Bee Quilt UFO -- 3 of 4 sides put on.
• Organize recipe 3 ring binder and make divider pages. Didn’t get to this one although I did write down categories…

This Week’s Goals 4/4/11
• Make 3 blocks for Guild Opportunity Quilt.
• Print labels for guild members.. (I volunteered to do this…)
• Finish quilting baby quilt on Ruthie.
• Sew double bow tie blocks together and start borders.
• Decide if more borders are needed on bumble bee quilt and do them.  Or get fabric organized for backing.
• Easter blocks – start design and make any extra blocks needed. These are from 1993 so it's definitely time to do something with them! 
• Do something with chunky churn dashes.
• Organize recipe 3 ring binder and make divider pages. Let’s try this one again folks. 

Time for me to visit Patchwork Times and go visit some other blogs to see what is on design walls across the country.  And then I'll be heading to the studio to get some sewing done.  

Friday, April 1, 2011

March Stash Report

March Stash Report

Fabric used:  7 5/8 yards
Fabric purchased (acquired):  2 yards
Net fabric USED from stash: 5 5/8 yards (yea!!!)
Year to date fabric used: 17 3/8 yards
Year to date fabric purchased: 26 7/8 yard
Net Year to Date Acquired : 11 ½  yards

Yep, I bought 2 yards of flannel for a bit less than $2 a yard.  It will be great for the backing of a quilt for the NICU at some point.  Hum, note to self – check to see what goes with that flannel.  Might be nice to get a baby quilt done for charity in April.

I am whittling away on having bought more fabric than I used.  Eleven more yards -- hum -- except I am running out of white on whites. Bummer.  I will try to be good this month or at least find a big quilt to finish. 

Hey bloggers -- did you realize you can copy and paste from Word into your blog? And, it keeps the type face and, in this case, the box I put around the report?  I'd done this once before with a fancy type face and it worked.  And, it worked for this report.  

I finished three quilts this month.  None of them huge but they could be considered baby quilt, mama quilt and papa quilt.  Today, I'm showing the papa quilt. It is the Super Duper Easy Quilt from Mysteries for Relay.  I started it last year in the spring and finished it Wednesday night.  I also tried a new style of free motion quilting on Ruthie.  I only quilted in the beige parts of the top which has left the  four patch area a little, shall we say, baggy.  I may go back and quilt around the 4 patches one of these days. But don't hold your breath. 

I've been chipping away at my weekly goals and several are completely done.  Now to get on to the ones I am not as interested in. 

Happy Quilting!