Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Design Wall Monday 9-29-2013 Ooops! A Day Late

I have a great reason to be a day late on my design wall: 
Welcome to the world Elise Mae!  
Born Friday, October 25th.  She weighed in at 9 lbs, 3 oz. Here she is at less than one day old. 
Here she is at about 2 days old with her proud Daddy, Kevin.
And Mommy Aimee and Elise just home from the hospital. 3 days old. 

Ellie joins our other two grand daughters, Sophia and Natalie. 
Grammy and Peka are proud as can be! 

Nothing else to show this week since this would trump anything I showed! 

Needless to say it did impact what I got done this week. 
Week of October 21, 2013

Border bright and white 4 patch
Load and quilt Michelle’s Black and White√ loaded but waiting for new thread
Trim and bind baby quilt from June retreat Trimmed but no binding applied
Try lace applique on embroidery machine problems with applique software…
Load bright and white 4 patch on Ruthie
Sew together pinwheel quilt
Sew up 3 pillowcases √ well one was done and one pinned.
Border Shaded 9 Patch No time!

Hopefully I'll get more done this week! 
Bind June retreat quilt
Load and quilt bright and white 4 patch on Ruthie
Quilt Michelle’s Black and White
Make binding and bind Michelle’s Black and White
Sew together pinwheel quilt
Sew up 3 pillowcases
Border shaded 9 patch
Help out at photo session at church Sat.
Make desserts for Election Day bake sale 

That's it for today.  Time to make some progress on this list! And, October is coming to an end really soon and I need a few finishes besides pillowcases!

You can still check blogs across the internet at Patchwork Times

Happy Quilting All!   

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Triangle Thursday #26

Cactus Pot
This design is number 700 in Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns. It is attributed to “Oklahoma Farmer Stockman” periodical. This design was published in January, 1930. Go here to get a printer friendly version. 

Cutting directions are for 6”
Number to cut
Triangles –
4 rust,
6 background
2 brown
Use the 1.5” template.  Or cut 2 rust sqs., 1 brown sq., and 3 background squares at 2.5”. Draw a line down the center and sew ¼” from each side, trim to 2” unfinished. If you have trouble making half triangle squares cutting the squares slightly helps to make more accurate units.   
Large Triangles
1 rust
1 brown
Use the 3” template. Or cut 4” squares and follow the procedure above.
Background Squares
2 background
2 background
2 x 3.5”

Here are the pieces that will make up this block.
Make half square triangles:  Sew the triangle sections together. I actually cut one pair as a square so I followed the directions above for that.  You will end up with 4 rust/cream and 2 brown/cream small triangles.  Then sew the larger triangles together.

Layout all the pieces as shown above.  Be careful to keep the half triangle units going the correct direction when you sew them together. That’s a major reason I pin my pieces together.  Sew the 2 pairs of rust/cream triangles together. Sew a brown/cream to the short side of each of the cream rectangles. I generally pressed all seams to the darker fabric.  Sew a pair of triangles to the larger triangle unit.  Sew one of the cream squares to the other triangle pair. Then sew that to the other side of the larger triangle pair. Next, sew the rectangle/HTS (half triangle square) unit to the bottom of the main unit.  Now sew the last cream square to the other rectangle/HTS unit.  Sew that unit on the block. 
You are done! Sorry I didn’t think to take pictures of how I sewed the units together.  A picture would definitely have helped.  

Happy Quilting All! 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Back to Drawing and a Baby Quilt

Yes, I'm finally going to announce a new winner for the Mighty Bright Sewing Light drawing.  It's number 5.  Wait, that means nothing.  It's TwynMawrMom and I suppose that means nothing to all but a few of you but I know it is Ashley in Philly. She has adorable twins who I haven't seen in years.  She wrote this in the comments section. 

"I remember when you started the blog! I thought the whole idea sounded so 'high tech' to me and now I'm enjoying blogging as well. Thanks for the inspiration as always. I have two machines, both Singers, one is a serger. I haven't named them (well I have many names for the Serger but none of them fit to print). My "main man" Singer is how I sloperate, so we call it a Singer-Sloperator. It would love a light!! :)"  

So Ashley, I actually have your mail address and I will get this out to you this week.  Thanks to everyone who entered the drawing. And, I apologize for being so late getting this finished.  

Now to share the quilt Jenny and I made for Aimee and Elise Mae.  Jen and I thought it made more sense to make one quilt from the two of us rather than each making a quilt.  So when I was at the June retreat in Maryland I found some elephant fabric at the local shop. Aimee loves elephants.  Being a modern woman (what? who, me?)  I quickly snapped photos of the various pieces and texted them to Jenny so she could help decide on which one we wanted.  She liked the orange and I gathered a few extra pieces to go with it.

We each made some big blocks and then Jenny cut them apart and sewed them back into a quilt.  She dropped the top off to me at some point and I quilted it and did the border using the striped fabric. I found a great elephant panto at Urban Elementz.  I enlarged the elephant a bit and copied and taped it together to use it on the quilt.  
I changed the tail and decided afterward that perhaps the original tail would have been easier to quilt and make it look good.  Too late! 
It seems pretty bright here but in reality I don't think it is quite that bright.  Here's the photo I took at the retreat before I wrapped it.  It was early morning and the sun was shining on it. It doesn't look so bright.  

Aimee was tickled with it.  In addition I made her a custom hospital gown which allows her to nurse without baring all.  I forgot to get a picture of that but here's what the beginning looked like. (More elephants.)
This is a free pattern from Creations Sew Crazy and Lazy Girl Designs.  You can get your own PDF version here. I spoke to my friend Janet who works in a hospital nursery and quizzed her about  some of the instructions on the gown.  First, no I didn't need to make an open shoulder.  And, wouldn't it be fabulous if a mommy could nurse through it without taking half her gown off.  Hum, I've sewn enough clothing to know how to make that happen, kind of.  I basically added two seams to the front -- think of princess style dress.  I added fabric where the breast would come through so I could have it finished rather than raggedy.  I sewed the princess seam leaving the "slit" open to allow easy access to the breast.  I did make the back a bit bigger so there would be enough coverage back there!  Aimee loved it.  She particularly liked the nursing slits.  I hope I can get a photo of her in it when Elise is due -- Monday!  Well, you know babies, they come when they want.  She's a big girl according to all the testing. She might already be a 9 pound girl.  Hum, sounds an awful lot like her daddy! 

Here's Aimee in her cute T-Shirt at her shower. 
It's too bad I didn't get a better picture of her and the darling little sweater someone had knit for her.  Aimee's a scientist and loves all thing scientific.  Check out those bones! We found some fabric with skeletons on it where the bones were accurately labeled. It is in her collection now.  

And here as a funny conclusion to this post is a cake that was made in her honor for her shower. If you are easily offended you might not want to look at the cake picture.  Once I figured it all out I wanted to howl with laughter. In fact I did when I shared it with some of the gals at the retreat when I got back there.  Hi Mom! 

Time to get back to my studio.  Happy Quilting All! 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Design Wall Monday 10-21-13

Here's what's on the wall:
The 9 patches are cut using the X-Block ruler which gives the bottom lay out.  I decided to make this a bit longer thus the two extra rows of blocks. Now to finish up the inside and start thinking about the borders. 

I laid these blocks out to start thinking about sewing them together.  I was thinking I might need another block to go with these.  My biggest concern though is that lite aqua background.  It really stands out.  The red block has red polka dots in the background . . .   I received these blocks and a LOT more from my FCQ Equilter group.  (Hum, the blocks above came from them too...good that I'm finally making some progress on them.)  I will play around with them some more and see what I can do about them.  

I'm trying to finish some small quilts and use up some of the blocks I have hanging around.  These two will be donation quilts, eventually. 

I did well with the goals this week.  Yea! 

Week of October 14, 2013

Sew the shaded 9 patch together
Clean the studio√ well more of it at least
Sew the bright and white 4 patch together
Load on Ruthie the baby quilt from June retreat√ and it’s quited!
Attend Women’s Club meeting
Attend Powhattan’s Festival of the Grape! Yum√ unfortunately the weather didn’t cooperate. 

Week of October 21, 2013
Border bright and white 4 patch
Load and quilt Michelle’s Black and White
Trim and bind baby quilt from June retreat
Try lace applique on embroidery machine
Load bright and white 4 patch on Ruthie
Sew together pinwheel quilt
Sew up 3 pillowcases
Border Shaded 9 Patch

I've added a bit more to the goals list as I finished more than I listed this past week.  I still need to do some putting away and straightening in the studio but I think I'll do that as an ongoing event.  I've found my cutting table is getting crowded with leftover scraps of fabric and "stuff." 

Don't forget to visit Patchwork Times to find links to lots of Design Wall Mondays. 

Happy Quilting. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

What Does Your Stash Say About You?

Have you really looked at the colors of your stash recently?  Neither have I until I started looking at craft organization and studios on Pinterest.  I noticed my stash is not light and airy looking like some. In fact, mine looks rather old and dreary. I am trying to change my stash especially with the "Short Stack" of fabrics I am getting from Pink Castle Fabrics.   

My stash. The third section from the right has solids and kid fabric on the top shelf; light and dark print fabrics on the second shelf and who knows what on the bottom shelf. The rest are color-ordered.  
Hum, this is where I go to when I start a new quilt or need to add to an ongoing project.  It seems really dark and old fashion to me.  I like bright colors and there are some hiding in these neatly folded piles but for the most part I have saturated colors that won't be washed out in a quilt.  Compare my stash, which seems large to me but probably isn't all that large, to what I found browsing through the Internet and Pinterest.

Very neat, nicely displayed, color coordinated.  And it seems like a good mix of light and dark fabrics.  A nice collection of fabrics that look like they will go with each other.  And, I'm swooning for the reds. (I'm sorry I can't figured out where I found this stash.  If it is yours please let me know and I'll give you credit for it.  It is beautiful!) 
I buy red fabrics frequently but I always seem to be out of them.  I'm making 9 patches now to go with my red, white and blue X-Block quilt and I'm having a hard time finding fabric that I can use without cutting into a 2 yard piece. Even my fat quarter collection has been decimated. 
Ooh, I like the shallower shelves, no problem getting the center fabric out.  I think this stash looks the most like mine.  A good variety of fabrics but a lot of darker colors.  Look at those greens and blues. Source: mayangel_46/flickrphotostream. July 2009)
Now, here's a wall of fabric.  And, it is well organized and easy to see and get to. 

You can see more of this sewing space at http://sweetmissdaisy.typepad.com/sassy_sweet_notes/fabric-or-felt/.  Anna Wight is sharing her mother's studio at the above location. 

Do you have a stash purchasing plan?  I really don't but when I am in the mood to buy for the stash (which, honestly, I'm trying NOT to be) I do take a look at my shelves to see what is low.  And, frequently it is red and purple.  Heck, I don't even use all that much purple, or at least I don't think I do! Mostly I try to buy only for specific projects.  I recently bought borders and backing for the shaded 9 patch which is now a top center.  The borders need to be figured out soon. 

Share your ideas of what your stash tells about you.  Are you a bright, light kind of quilter or are you using a lot of dark fabrics?  Modern fabrics or more old fashion? 

Happy Quilting All! 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Design Wall Monday October 14, 2013

Something new on the design wall but only because I had to get enough room to lay it out! 
These are the 4 patch blocks I started when I gave a demo to my guild on magic 4 patches.  I decided I would use charms from several charm packs and add fabric as needed.  Hum, the 8" finished block isn't quite big enough for the baby quilts so I did a bit of a stash search and came up with some bright red kid's fabric.  I wonder if I can get the borders and the backing out of the fabric I have? But I also bought some fabric while on retreat. What to do, what to do? 
Here's what's left to sew of the shaded 9 patch. I'll be using it as an ender to sewing the double 4 patch blocks into rows. 

Hum, my great report on fabric usage from last month may not hold up this month!  I've been shopping. The left side is yardage while the right side is fat quarters.  All of the patriotic fabric was given to me by Mary at the retreat. Thanks Mary! These will be in some sort of Quilts of Valor quilt/s.  The bottom green was purchased for the backing of the double four patch.  Hum, how much of that did I buy? It might be enough for border and backing.The reds are for cuffs for a pillowcase project Country Piecemakers is doing. (hum if I make the pillow cases this month I could have some fabric used up!)  The sailboats is for a quilt I'll be making for Faithful Circle Quilters for a Project Linus challenge.  I've got some polka dot fabric to go with it and I hope it all goes together.  We'll see about that.  The sad truth is I have more fabric that needs to be washed. I'll post it later. 

Since it is Monday, don't forget to visit Judy at Patchwork Times to find links to Design Walls across the Internet. 

Yikes, last week I didn't make much progress on the goals so you'll see a lot of them again this week. 
Week of October 7, 2013

Sew the shaded 9 patch together√ not all rows yet
Clean the studio √ hum, not enough cleaning
Sew the bright and white 4 patch together—er, no
Clean downstairs√ dusted, vacummed and scrubbed
Find backing and load baby quilt from the June retreat. √ partially – I found a backing
Make breakfast treats for guild√ yummy Pecan Pie Muffins
Read a book √ several books got read which might explain why I didn’t get much done in the studio!
Have fun with Sophia, Natalie, Jennie and Brian when they visit √√

Week of October 14, 2013

Sew the shaded 9 patch together
Clean the studio
Sew the bright and white 4 patch together, decide on borders
Load on Ruthie the baby quilt from June retreat
Attend Women’s Club meeting
Attend Powhattan’s Festival of the Grape! Yum. 

Here's another reason I didn't get much done in the studio this week.  I embroidered the pumpkin head shirts. Sophie's is a bear and Natalie's is a cat. (I made this collage in Pic Stitch on my iPhone. I take all my pictures on the iPhone now but when I download them to my Macintosh, I delete the pictures on the phone. Oops, so these pics of the girls are the ones I didn't download and aren't as good as the individual pictures. You get the idea though. Pic Stitch is an easy app to use and I wonder why I don't use it more!!) 

It's time to get into the studio rather than playing on the computer.  
Happy quilting all! 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Triangle Thursday #24

Yes, I'm back to Triangle Thursday again.  Sorry for the long delay.  

A Dandy
This design is number 3124 in Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns. It is attributed to Clara Stone probably published originally in “Hearth and Home”.  It was also in a booklet called “Practical Needlework: Quilt Patterns” published in 1906. You can get a printer-friendly version of these instructions here

Cutting directions are for 6”
Number to cut
Squares to make small Triangles,  4 of the green and 2 of the red
4 green,
2 red
1 7/8” squares, sub cut on the diagonal once.  Or you can use 1” template. Should end up with 4 red triangles and 8 green triangles
Large triangles
2 yellow,
2 red
3” squares, draw line down the center.
Or you could use the 2” template
Center Square
1 green
1 7/8”
Square for little house units
4 yellow
2 ½”

Here are the pieces that will make up this block.
OOOPS!  I cut too many of the squares for the large half square triangles.  You only need 2 yellow and 2 red.

Start by making the square in the square at the center of this block. Fold the square in half and finger press at each center part. Refold the opposite way to mark the other two sides. Then fold each red triangle in half and finger press.  Match the finger pressed spots of the red to the green background square.  I pinned the two opposing sides and sewed.  No matter how you iron you are going to have a lot of seams meeting.  I ironed all to the red squares.  Repeat for the other two sides.

Make half square triangles:  I actually cut fabric for these so I marked the center diagonal of the square on the light square and matched right sides together with the dark fabric.  I sewed ¼” away from each side of the line. I cut it on the diagonal and then trimmed to 2 1/2” square. Alternatively, match a red triangle with a yellow triangle, right sides together and sew with a ¼” seam. Iron seam toward the red triangle.

Little house blocks… well they look like a little house to me! Trim the corners off the green triangles. I used the 1” template and then sliced off the little triangle bits.  It makes it so much easier to line up the pieces correctly.

Make sure you match up the green triangles to the yellow squares correctly.  Check the picture below of the piece as it is fed into the sewing
machine. There should be a triangle of the bottom fabric (yellow) showing through to the right.    Iron toward the green triangle. Then repeat with the other side. I always sew the triangles in the same order so each side overlaps the same direction. I know, it wouldn’t be very obvious but I do try to make them identical.

Once all the subsections are made lay out as shown below.  Sew into rows.  I ironed the center row  to the center block and the outside rows away from the center.  Sew the rows together and give it a good pressing. You’ve finished A Dandy block.

Happy Quilting!