Sunday, June 30, 2013

Studio Update

The attic refinish into a studio is about to move into phase two.  Pat with a little help from me will be doing the finishing.  Here's the story so far in pictures. 
Before the refinish but with all the stuff moved out for the most part.

Scaffolding and the ramp -- main way in and out of the attic so we didn't have workers tromping through the house. 
Breaking through the roof to add the windows.


Windows are in! 
Insulation going in.
Wallboards are here and ready to be installed. 
Flooring -- Pat's installing it. 
Bamboo free floating flooring is going in eventually.
The room to the left.  Can you see my Bernina and Featherweight set up under those windows? The long wall to the right of the windows is going to be a gigantic design wall!  My cutting table will be to the left of the windows 
Ruthie the long arm will be set up on this side. To the right will be a sitting area with a couch, table and reading light. The air controlled closet is behind where the couch will be. 
Here's my current dilemma: 
These bookcases are being moved into the new space... but where do I put the "stuff" until that is done?  My sewing time may be coming to an end for awhile cause I won't be able to find anything soon. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Triangle Thursday #19

June 26, 2013
Bow Tie Quilt
This design is number 3608 in Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns. It was published by Aunt Martha publishing, probably in the 30s.  At the end of the directions I’ll show some other ways to arrange the blocks. Click here for a printer ready version.

Cutting directions are for 6”
Number to cut
Background Squares
Cut 2” squares
Bumble Bee Frabic
Cut 2” squares
Bumble Bee Triangles
Use 1” template
We will be constructing this block by making each of the 3 ½ (unfinished) blocks that makes up this setting.
Here’s what the pieces look like, well, 3 sets of the pieces!  I had already made one when I remembered to take the picture.  
Lay the triangle on one of the background blocks making sure the cut off edges are even with the square’s sides.  Sew ¼” away from the long side of the triangle edge.  (This is like sewing a square on the diagonal but you’ve already removed the part that you cut off!) I cut the yellow off after I ironed the triangle over.  I also recut to 2” if needed.
Next up, lay out one of the blocks to look like this.
Sew the squares into rows.  And then sew the rows together.  When ironing, I decided to “twirl” the center seam in hopes of being able to nest the seams in the block.  Hum, didn’t work out quite like that.  And, honestly, I don’t have the patience to figure it out.

Here are a few ways you can lay this block out. 
With additional blocks this one will end up making
the open circles shown at the beginning.
This is how I laid out my block to sew. 

I’ve made bow tie blocks off and on for years.  Often I use left over fabrics to make a 6” finished block.  Here’s the measurements: 3 ½” colored fab and background fabric. 2” squares for the bowties.  Ok, you can also use the 2” template to create the block with leftovers.  Four will make a 12” finished block. 

Here’s a baby quilt I made several years ago using this pattern and 6" bow tie blocks as compared to the 3" individual bow ties we made in this pattern. 

Happy Quilting All!  


Monday, June 24, 2013

Design Wall Monday 6-24-13

It's been a while since I finished this little beauty but it had to wing its way to England before I could show you.  I'm a member of Kathy Tracy's Small Quilt Talk yahoo group and this small quilt was made for a swap.
I was very happy with the quilting in the border.  It's evenly spaced, I mean nearly perfect.  (Yes, I am bragging just a bit. But I am really thrilled how well it turned out!) Here's what I did to achieve that. 

I carefully measured the sides of the quilt and then cut tracing paper to fit.  Then I quartered the paper and folded it.  At each fold I center one of the "Xs" so that they were in the correct position.  Then I drew in the remaining straight lines.  I basically did the same for the corners although I didn't draw a full X. Then using Bubbles, the domestic sewing machine, I quilted right through the paper on the lines.  Voila!  Instant, (well, not quite that instant!) perfectly spaced quilting.  
When we send these little packages we try to add some other goodies.  Here's what I added.  I made up a little kitty cat mug rug because my partner, Val, likes cats.  I think I should have used a bit heavier embroidery thread for the nose and eyes.  With the spotted fabric you can't really see the face.  
Here's a shot of all the little goodies I sent. The right side purse is a snap purse.  Left side shows a couple of pieces of fabric -- one reproduction the other has the feel of reproduction -- wait, I think it is the other way around! 

Here's the little quilt Val sent back to me.  I haven't quite figured out why I like this one so much but I do.  I love the border fabric.  I like the color combination -- a red, white and blue that doesn't scream patriotic red, white and blue.  Slightly country but it doesn't scream country.  Just a perfect little quilt from my point of view.  Thanks Val. 

I got several wonderful little gifties back.  Val really was thinking about the fact this little quilt and goodies were going across the pond.  She sent me a piece of fabric that was commemorating William and Kate's wedding.  And, I'm sure the ribbon with the heart is also from that time.  I'm sure there aren't all that many American's with this fabric!  

She also enclosed postcards and that cute little note book.  Wonderful swap.  And, I have to say Val really spoiled me.  Thanks bunches! 

Here's last week's goals.  Not bad but I wasn't as focused as I should have been! I'm not putting a lot on this week's goals as I hope to focus on these few things and get them done! We'll see. 

Week of June 17, 2013
Finish one or two little flag quilts√ tops done
Make 2 more heart blocks
Finish flannel charity quilt
Make brown bag block
Begin working on a quilt from the 1800’s blocks
Pack up a box of books
Applique more orange peels√ 

Week of June 24, 2013
Finish flannel charity quilt
Make brown bag block
Begin working on a quilt from the 1800’s blocks
Pack up a box from the shelves that will be moved first.
Keep working on the orange peel blocks

I'll be linking up with Patchwork Times this morning.  Go over and look at what folks have on their design walls. 

Happy Quilting All! 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Stash Enhancement

Lookie, Lookie!  I've been adding to my stash.  Well, with the help of my kids that is! Here's what I've been getting.
I'm thinking of making a paper pieced fancy star wall hanging with these. Yummy batiks. These were purchased with a gift certificate from Jenny.  Thanks bunches, Jen and Brian. Woops, I also bought a yard or so of red fabric as I seem to go through it fast! Some how it didn't get in the picture.
No clue about these. The top is a pale lavender batik and may end up with the ones above.  Maybe a charity quilt at some point. 

Kevin signed me up for a monthly fabric delivery.  Yummy greys came.   I'm not sure when these will be used but it is great to have them to choose from.  Thanks Kevin and Aimee. Jenny gave Aimee the same gift for her birthday, I think.  So Aimee was all for sending me this too.  
As you might guess my fabric usage is going to be nil this month.  Well, I'll make a little dent in the amount brought in but not all that much.  But, how can I complain when I love all the fabs I got!  And, I am finishing small things and if I'm lucky I'll have one charity quilt done before the end of the month. 

Pat and I tried to make pizza on the grill this week.  Hum, we need to refine the whole plan starting from the crust up.  We chose a veggie pizza without red sauce.   First you grill the pizza dough on one side. (After you figure out how to get it to the grill without falling apart -- key is parchment paper. )
 You make sure your toppings are close by.  Ooops.  I didn't have enough olive oil so had to go back for more.
 Here's the final product.  The bottom was cooked too much. (Remember going back for the olive oil?)  It was a good first try but it needs a lot of refinement.  We'll see if we want to try again or just do pizza in the oven! 

Happy Quilting All!  It's time for me to hit the studio and finish that charity quilt. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Retreat Rewind

Twice a year I go on quilting retreats.  They are both sponsored by quilt guilds.  They are wonderfully refreshing and offer quilting time without pressure of cooking, cleaning and doing the laundry.  And, they "feel" very different. I wouldn't miss either of them.  Here's the story of the Faithful Circle Quilter's retreat from a couple of weeks ago. 

It was a rainy Friday when I backed my car close to Sharon's and off loaded my stuff.  She agreed to drive through the pouring rain, across the Bay Bridge and to the location on the Eastern Shore.  We made one stop to meet some of the retreaters for breakfast. Yep, we were ready to leave shortly after 9 am. Next year, we'll have to plan to attend rather than just show up.  It was a great way to start the weekend. 

Next stop the local quilt store, Peggy's Sewing Center in Centreville.  I was in the shopping mood and found several pieces of fabric to buy.  And, it's always fun to help others pick out their fabric.  Here are Sharon, Mary Beth and Eleanor finding some fabrics.  There was a good selection of fabrics and very reasonably pricing.   

The rain continued to pour down.  We hung around a little longer just to stay dry. Ha!  It made no difference what so ever!  We were parked close but still got wet.  A short drive brought us to the retreat location, a Methodist retreat center.  The rain continued unabated.  We decided to unload with the car backed on to the sidewalk as close as we could get to the overhang.  We still got drenched.  Although the machines didn't get hurt at all!  Some retreaters had to immediately change into dry clothes they got so wet. Sharon and I air dried just fine.  
Food was plentiful and tasty.  Sharon and I room together and set our machines near each other but we tend to sit at different tables at each meal in hopes of chatting with all the other retreaters.  Discussions were always lively with whatever group we sat with. Wow!  I didn't realize I also had evidence of the rain.  Check the windows in the back to see how much rain was coming down! 

Eventually the rain began to taper off.  Well, midway through Saturday.  We wondered if the grounds would flood. But as long as the electricity flowed we were content with our sewing. We had a few of these turkey vultures hanging around.  After watching them for awhile we decided this guy was trying to dry off his wings.  He was sitting on one of the buildings that had the bedrooms in it.  
Here's Paula, our intrepid retreat organizer.  She did a great job finding this location and organizing our activities.  She made the pinwheel blocks that Sharon taught but somehow sewed them together differently.  But that turned out fine as Sharon used them as a design feature with a couple of more blocks.  We will have 2 more children's quilts to donate to kids in need once Sharon gets them quilted.  

Paula did a great job on gathering prizes for the weekend.  I was lucky enough to win one of them.  The most interesting item in mine was a hot pink plastic mesh.  I'm pretty sure I see a tote bag in my future.  Anyone have any patterns for plastic mesh? 
When the rain finally stopped we were able to walk down to a river that flows into the Chesapeake Bay.  Sorry I can't tell you which one. This is what I was looking at as I sat at my sewing machine.  I took a walk out to this spot to view the river and snap a photograph. 

Sunday came all too soon unfortunately.  Our big fear was getting caught in bridge traffic on the way home.  Several of the gals who came over after work on Friday night in the pouring rain ran into a massive traffic tie up.  Some were on the road (evidently not going anywhere) for four to five hours.  Just to put that in perspective the drive should have been about an hour, 15 minutes.  YIKES!  Happily there were no backups at the Bay Bridge on the way home.  I was sad to have the retreat end but I was on my way to visit the grands. 

Here are a few more photos of quilts from the retreat. First up are underwater things made by Stephanie.  The guild is having a Project Linus challenge.  Those participating were given a brown bag with fabric in it to use to make the quilt.  All of the fabrics are polka dots.  Stephanie used hers to make her various sea life.  Love how the background fabric works! 

This one is Eleanor's.  She's setting her thank you blocks from being our fearless leader.  She was buying the setting fabrics at Peggy's with help from everyone who happened to be there then. 
 And finally, Nancy finished putting this top together.  The blocks were a block of the month from a quilt store in the West, maybe Arizona?  She was tickled to get it to the top stage.  I wonder if she is planning borders or not? 

If you ever have a chance to go on a quilting retreat -- give yourself a gift and GO.  I get a lot done and have a great time with my fellow quilters.  This one is  even better for me because I don't get to see these gals all that often.  I was tickled to see several younger gals joining us this year.  It was great to make new friends!  

Happy Quilting All. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Design Wall Monday 6-17-13

Here's what was going on at retreat last weekend. 
My UFO Trip Around the World.  It started the weekend as 4 quadrants with different amount of rows.  I got the rows evened up, added additional rows to make it a rectangle and sewed it altogether.  I was checking the border at this point.  I decided to wait to add the border until I got home to make sure I had enough border to cover the mattress. This has been in the works for over 6 years.  

Nancy was making this cool top.  I loved how the colors worked togeher.  She got to the borders but I didn't get a picture of it. 

Kathleen was putting these units together.  I love all the polka dots.  She must have been collecting these for years! 

Sharon taught the group how to make the pinwheel block.  Everyone did great except for  Paula who was creative in her joining of the block.  But Sharon made a couple to match and used the different style block as a design unit.  I think I'd like to make a baby quilt with the alternate design and see what it looks like. 

Another cool top.  This might be Paula's but I'm only guessing based on the green shirt on the gal on the right.  

That's it for today about the retreat -- more later this week. 

I did pretty well on goals from two weeks ago .  Didn't have any from last week except to start cleaning off the cutting table. I did get a good start on that but the front side is already covered up with a new little project. 

Week of June 3
Finish thread holder
Finish heart and mail One is done but I want to make a few more
Cut extra fabrics for mytery quilt Didn’t happen!
Iron light blue fabric and batik
Organize and pack projects for retreat
Have lots of fun at retreat & get some sewing done
Visit the grands!

Week of June 17, 2013
Finish one or two little flag quilts
Make 2 more heart blocks
Finish flannel charity quilt
Make brown bag block
Begin working on a quilt from the 1800’s blocks
Pack up a box of books
Applique more orange peels

Take a look at design walls across the Internet by visiting Patchwork Times. 

Happy Quilting All!