Monday, April 30, 2012

Design Wall Monday 4-30-12

My design wall is lonely.  I was gone most of last week and nothing was on the wall. I just ran upstairs and threw these two little blocks on the wall so I could have something to share.  Pitiful isn't it? You can see more design walls by going to Patchwork Times.

Now, honestly, it isn't that I didn't do some piecing and quilting last week.  I got the rest of border two on my Scrap Squad #2.  I also cut border #3.  I'm hoping to get it on today or early tomorrow.  Then I'll be on a quest to find backing fabric.  

It has slowly dawned on me that it is really expensive to make a backing for a quilt from 42 to 45" wide fabric.  I figure I will need 2 1/2 yards of wide backing fabric @ $20/yard.  Hum, $50.  But I need 7 1/2 yards if I piece my backing -- so $10/yard.  $75.  That's assuming I can find fabric at $10 a yard. I know $20 is high for the wide backs but it's a nice round number and easy to figure.  So, before I piece this twin size backing I'm going to either call or go over to the two closest quilt stores to see whether they have any wide backs.  And, I'll look at JoAnns again as I know they do have some.  If I can't find anything I'll check to see if I can piece a back from various fabrics used in the quilt.  But, honestly, I don't have all that much left.  I might need to order this on line but I really would like to support my local stores first. 
These are two blocks that I'll be sending out shortly to various locations.  I have several more hearts to make before I can drop them off at the post office.  I also have joined a 6" charm swap on Small Quilt Talk yahoo chat group.  It's for light colored reproduction fabrics.  I bought mine a while ago but just didn't get to the cutting part.  Hopefully I'll get it in the mail today.

Week of April 23, 2012
Finish FCQ Charity Quilt on Ruthie
Finish borders on Scrap Squad 2 and measure quilt top. well only the last border to go not as far along as I wanted to be
Make heart blocks, siggie block and FCQ BOM
Dinner with Jen, Brian and Sophia
Work the FCQ Quilt Show Thur – Sat. 
SHOP at vendors!
Drive up and back safely!

Wow!  I got most of what I wanted to do done.  Of course, they were things I definitely was going to do.  Here's what's up this week. 

Week of April 29, 2012
Get the last border on the SS#2
Make 4 heart blocks
Cut charm squares for swap
Get blocks and charm squares in the mail
Find and prep backing for SS#2
Pull out and work on FCQEquilters quilt… it’s time to get it finished
Figure out if my net book can be resurrected… it’s lost its memory!
Quilt another charity quilt
Dust, vacuum, clean bathrooms…
Ladies and Gents -- go back up your hard drives NOW!  My little net book is used primarily for listening to audio books while I'm in my studio.  However, it is also the computer that Electric Quilt is loaded on.  Honestly, I'm not as good at it as I should be but all the designs for my 1800's block of the month are (were?) on that computer and no, I did not back that up.  Do you hear that crying and wailing?  That's me thinking about having to reproduce all those designs.  I'm hoping I can get this thing back up and running and that maybe the designs will still be there.  (Am I a dreamer or what?) I regularly back up my Mac.  Ok, enough wailing.  Time to get going. 

Happy Quilting 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Visiting Maryland

When I drove up to Maryland on Wednesday I got to visit Kevin, Sophie, Brian and Jenny.
Casey and Homer were happy to see me.

I interrupted Kevin from work to have lunch together.  Yikes, 3 different monitors and 2 computers. 

After lunch I spent a few hours with Jenny, Brian and Sophie. 

Sophie has a lot of things to tell us.  Here she is clapping away.  I got to give her a bath and help get her to bed before I headed to Columbia to enjoy the Faithful Circle Quilt Show.  

I'll post a few of the quilts from the show over the next few days.  

Happy quilting all!  

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Design Boards Are Groovy

I have been looking for a method to get really smooth circles when quilting with Ruthie.  And, I'm thrilled to say I've found it!  Design Boards are the answer.  I think they are groovy man!  I've been getting my boards from Urban Elementz.
Here's what the board looks like sitting on the back side of Ruthie's table.  See the black circle?  That is a band that holds two boards together.  This Baptist fan is the one I just tried now that I have two boards.  (Working with one board was -- ugh... not great.)

I agreed to do several twin size charity quilts for Faithful Circle so I am trying to get one done each of the times I'm scheduled to come to Maryland. (I've succeeded too!)  This design gives a really nice feel to this quilt.  I've got plans for using it several more times on quilts I'm finishing.

The close up. 

Today I'll be at FCQ's quilt show working various locations.  It should be lots of fun and, oh my, there are vendors to visit and I have a list!  I hope to be able to post some great quilt pictures some time this week.  

Off to get ready!  Happy Quilting All. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Design Wall Monday 4-23-12

Yikes, don't post for a week and everything looks different on Blogger!  Or so it seems to me.  Now that I look at it everything I normally use is there and it looks like this new compose screen will be easier to work with.

Not on a design wall but here's what I did yesterday.  How fun is this!  I took my embroidery module lesson yesterday at Cottonwood Quilt Shop in Charlottesville.  It is a bit of a drive for me but I really like the folks there and they have a great variety of fabrics. This was my first attempt and I basically just used thread I had on hand.  Now, I really wonder about that purple tear drop looking thing under the first n.  What's with that? 

Last week I showed you one string block I completed.  Here are 6 that I finished and I threw in a yellow sashing just for fun.  I'll be delivering these to Jenny this week.

Drop by Patchwork Times to see what else folks have on their design walls. 
We've had a lot of rain recently which means I have a lot of dirty dogs!  Here's a paw that belongs to Raggs.  YUCK! And look at the towel -- argh... and this has been going on for days!  What brilliant person bought a cream colored rug for in front of the door? Ragg's really looks slightly pink where the red mud has been on his fur.  Double yuck! 

How did I do on that long to do list?  Not so good.
Week of April  16, 2012

Get 3 borders on Scrap Squad 2√ 1 and a half done
Prep backing SS2
Load and quilt FCQ Charity Quilt√ in progress
Finish 9.5” blocks for FCQ Equilters Charity Quilt
Tea with the neighbors
Backing for flamingo quilt
Make misc. blocks: Jenny’s strings, heart blocks, opportunity block FCQ
Mail quilt for Alycia @ Quilts of Valor
And for the coming week: 
Week of April 23, 2012
Finish FCQ Charity Quilt on Ruthie
Finish borders on Scrap Squad #2 and measure quilt top
Make heart blocks, siggie block and FCQ BOM
Dinner with Jen, Brian and Sophia
Work the Faithful Circle Quilt Show Thur - Sat
Shop at vendors! 
Drive up and back to Maryland, safely

So not too much quilting on my to do list this week that I can show next week.  But I'll have plenty of photos to share of the quilt show and some of Sophie by then.  Happy Quilting all! 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Design Wall Monday 4-16-12

I was all set to pay up to keep photos on my blog but I also removed some excess photos so all is good as of this moment.... we'll see whether I can post the few pictures I have for today!  
 The Quilt Bee group I joined is making a block a month for the Queen Bee of the month.  April is Jenny and she wanted string blocks.  She gave everyone the green with navy blue dots and a list of colors to use.  Here's the first block I made for her.  I volunteered to make 6 blocks so I need to do a few more.  But I'm having a heck of a time getting the paper foundation to feed smoothly.  I'm trying telephone book paper next if it's wide enough.  I'll scour the house and see what other thin paper I might have around. 

Remember last November when I went wild and bought way too much fabric from the quilt guild's auction?  Well these little Winnie the Pooh pages were in the collection.  I've bordered them and now will square them to the same size.  Except... the purple is really strong compared to the other colors.  There really isn't much of a story line so I may run the purple and blue diagonally and fill in with yellow and green... it might look better than scattered.  I need to buy more purples -- I really like the color but I don't have all that many pieces of it. 

Week of April 8, 2012  How did I do last week? 
Continue on Scrap Squad #2 -- finished center
Find a leader/ender quilt to work on
Load and quilt Charity Baby quilt
Package and Mail quilt to Alycia @ Quilts of Valor Well, quarter of a check mark -- I found the box
Make a mail heart blocks.. oops! 

Week of April 16, 2012
Get 3 borders on Scrap Squad #2
Prep backing for SS#2
Tea with neighbors/shoe shopping and lunch out
Load and quilt FCQ charity quilt
Finish 9.5" blcoks for FCQ Equilters charity quilt
Backing for flamingo quilt
Make misc. blocks: Jenny's strings, heart blocks, FCQ bom
Mail quilt to Alycia @ Quilts for Valor
Embroidery class with Bubbles, the new Bernina
That should keep me busy this week.  Word on the street is the gal pals will be shoe shopping on Thursday... I really want some new shoes... I plan on dumping a pair or two if I actually find any.
Don't forget to visit Judy's blog, Patchwork Times to see what else is on design walls across the internet. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Block of the Month 1800's Quilt April

Block of the Month 1800’s Quilt – April
Unfinished Blocks are 9.5”

April’s block is Album Cross.  This block shows up in many quilts from the 1800s.  You can see an example of one made in the 1840s at International Quilt Study Center and Museum.

Those of us who went on the Behind the Scenes tour at the American History Museum were lucky to see how the quilts are stored and get a little background on what must be done to preserve these quilts.  Here’s a short You Tube video that talks about how these quilts are being preserved. 

First decide on your three colors.  I chose dark for the triangles, light for the rectangles and a dark for the center square.  You can also reverse this, or use solids as either the rectangles or the center square so it could be signed since many of these blocks were used as signature blocks.   We will be making the block bigger and then cutting it down.  I starched my 8 ½” square because once cut on the diagonal the edges are on the bias; starching helps keep them from stretching.
Cut 1 - 8 ½” square of fabric (medium print in photo above)
            Cut in half diagonally twice to create four triangles
Cut 4 – 2 3/4” X 6 1/2” (light mottled print above)

Cut 1 – 2 3/4” square   (darker reddish brown above)
Referring to assembly picture below, piece into three sections.

The triangles are oversized and cross rectangles are longer than needed. You will trim them to size later. Press each three piece section away from the rectangle.  (You might want to change the direction this is pressed based on where your darker fabrics are. Mine are pressed to the triangles and to the center square.)
Then sew the three sections together.  Pin at seam junctures to make your matching easier.   Now that this is done it is time to square it up to be a 9 ½” block. 
I chose to mark my center square with a light chalk mark from corner to corner creating a “t” centered in the square. 

Next I layed a 9 ½” square up ruler on the block .  Any size 9 ½” or bigger will work but it sure was easy with this size! 
Don’t follow this picture exactly as I couldn’t figure out why I didn’t have an equal amount of fabric on each side of the block.  As I started writing up these directions I figured out I needed to place the 4 ¾” mark on the ruler where the “t” crosses.  Unlike this picture you should see about the same amount of fabric showing on both sides and the top and bottom.

If you have it lined it up correctly each corner of a 9 1/2” ruler will be centered in the rectangle.  Or on a bigger ruler the “O” and the 9 ½” marks will line up with the center of the rectangle edge.  Trim then turn the block to trim the other size.  If you have a cutting mat that is a turn table it’s a great time to use it. 

I notice when I threw away pictures from my Picasa account I must have thrown away the one of me that usually sits with the "About Me" section.  I'll get a new picture there shortly. (Or maybe much later, who knows.)  I do know that I got enough space to post this blog without buying additional space, which I have decided to do.  Really, $5 is pretty darn cheap when you think about it!  

I would love to hear from anyone who is making these blocks.  I'm delighted that 15 to 20 ladies are following along at the guild. (Not bad when there are only 45 or so members!) Life is getting a bit busier for me over the next couple of months so I hope to be able to get the blocks planned and directions written several days in advance instead of the night before!  (Yep, usually I've made the block several weeks in advance but I tend to write the directions the night before... Bad on ME!) 

Happy Quilting All!  

Monday, April 9, 2012

Design Wall Monday 4-9-12

               A Whole WEEK has gone by?  
                    I'm sure I don't have enough things done for a whole week to have gone by! 

Not much to show on the design wall... it's top secret for another few weeks... 

Ugh, er -- it's so top secret Blogger won't let me post any more pictures.  Any suggestions on how to resolve this without paying the big bucks? (Ok, so it is only $5/yr for something like 20 gig but heck, that's a half a yard of fabric and I'd have something to show for it.)  

My design wall photo would have been a stack of fabric showing what I'm using for Scrap Squad #2.  

On to my weekly goals:
Week of April 2, 2012
Continue on Scrap Squad #2  -- I’m going for a twin size quilt! √
Sew top of Flamingo Baby Quilt
Quilt one charity baby quilt
Make a couple more blocks for FCQ Equilters’ charity quilt – need to finish this off and send it to Pam!
Find some new sandals
Didn't do so well but I am making great progress on the Scrap Squad quilt.  The top without borders will be done this week. And, then I'll decide on the borders. 

Week of April 8, 2012
Continue on Scrap Squad 2 – finish center of top
Find a leader/ender quilt to work on
Load and Quilt Charity Baby Quilt
Package and mail quilt for Alycia @ Quilts of Valor
Make and mail heart blocks
Try to do a block for the FCQ Equilter's charity quilt... 

Short and sweet today folks.  I'm looking for suggestions on how to deal with the dreaded out of photo space on my blog.  Perhaps it is time to move to Word Press but honestly I hate to have to learn new things!! 

Happy Quilting All and don't forget to visit Patchwork Times for some great inspiration. 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Lookie, Lookie!

Shoe shopping didn't happen this week...I'm hoping for next week.  But Diana and I did go up to Charlottesville to shop at Cottonwood.  Fun, fun fun!  I don't know how we do it but we spent over 2 hours at the shop.  I bought a book and some fabric.  The fabric on the left is for a Small Quilt Talk chat group 6" charm swap.  The batik on the right is probably for a rail fence swap at an upcoming retreat.  Heck, do I really need a reason to buy some fabric??? 
Pat made a special point to come back in the house today to bring me this box that was delivered.  What? A box for me?  From a name I didn't recognize??? Oh, yeah.  I won another blog contest.  (Have I ever told you how lucky I am???)  Thelma at Cupcakes N Daisies was getting rid of her "scraps" from making two quilts using Simple Abundance by Bonnie and Camille for Moda.  So, I added my name to her drawing and I WON!  She notified me Wednesday and I got this box today.
 Here's what greeted me when I opened it up.  
I just had to take the fabric out and play with it.  Yummy stuff.  And, you know I count every piece of fabric coming in and out of my stash... I haven't measured the smaller pieces but between fat quarters and yardage it is already over 10 yards.  Wowzer!  I have a plan for a quick (hopefully it'll really be quick) quilt.  I'd like to get it started and done in 2 weeks.  Hum, said that way it doesn't sound likely...but you never know!  I'll keep you posted though. 

I leave you with my neighbor Jennie's Peep House.  Oh yes, that is an honest to goodness Peep in a graham cracker house with flowers.  Too, too cute.  And, look at the edible grass...
Here he is all wrapped up. Jennie does a wonderful job on presentation. Notice his matching yellow bow. 

The side of the house with a lovely flower garden. 

Doesn't he look all snug in his beautiful house? 
 He's checking you out as much as you are checking him out!  Peep, peep!   Watch out little Peep.  You are on the menu for dessert tomorrow.  I'll let you know how it goes.  
I'm still putting all the pieces of the next scrap squad together.  I have most of the rows sewn.  I am adding 2 more rows on the bottom and 1 more column.  But, I'm having problems cause my design wall isn't quite big enough.  I hope to get some more done on it tomorrow.  If I can just get the center done I would be happy.  My new Quiltmaker magazine came in yesterday which means we will be revealing our quilts over the next 6 weeks.  Lots of cute quilts in this issue -- hum some more quilts I'd like to make!  

Pat and I will be singing two services tomorrow.  At least it's not three services starting at 5 in the morning like we used to do in Maryland!  For all who celebrate have a joyous Easter.  

Happy Quilting All! 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Design Wall Monday 4-2-12

Nothing I can show on my design wall... well, I could show you the picture of this project with a few rows sewn together... but I'm happy to show something new!

Remember I had make FCQ Equilter blocks on my goals list for a while?  I finished them.  It was fun trying the background technique combining the two fabrics with an easy curve.  I used the buttonhole stitch on Bubbles.  Also tried the tight satin stitch on something -- I think the tree. Yeah! Mark that off the list! 
Here's the completed top made with the X block from Anita Grossman Solomon's Rotary Cutting Revolution book.  
On to my weekly goals.  I did really well on the list from last week.   

Week of March 26, 2012
Go to Smithsonian’s tour of quilts√
Quilt Kay’s baby quilt√
Continue working on Scrap Squad #2√
Bind blue and green X quilt√
Make snowman block√
Send info FCQ equilters on next block√
Make a few more blocks for Equilter’s donation quilt… 

Week of April 2, 2012
Continue on Scrap Squad #2  -- I’m going for a twin size quilt!
Finish sewing top of  Flamingo Baby Quilt together
Quilt one charity baby quilt
Make a couple more blocks for FCQ Equilters’ charity quilt – need to finish this 
Find some new sandals

Not that many things on this week's goals but I really need to make sure SS #2 becomes a top this week.  Once that happens I can get to some of the other items on the list.  Have you checked out other Design Walls this nice Monday morning?  Go to Patchwork Times to catch up with everyone.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

March Stashbusting Report - 2012

Yes, it's time to admit whether I was a really good shopper or a really good sewer... 

Year to Date
  .25   yards
10.00 yards
5.125  yards
20.50 yards
4.875 yards
10.50 yards

And the answer is ---  I was  a much better sewer this month than shopper!  Yeah! 

I don't think I've ever gotten that much fabric used during a year.  I hope I can keep it up! Heck, I'll probably do really well as I will be trying to sell some of my older fabrics at the Peddler's Table at the Faithful Circle Quilt Show in Columbia, Maryland at the end of the month. Of course, I also have given myself permission to buy some fabric at the quilt show too so it may just balance each other.   

Now it is back to getting fabric used... time to do some sewing.  Stop back tomorrow to see what is on the design wall. 

Happy Quilting All!