Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Quilting Interuptus ---

No quilting going on the last day or so because 
Sophia came to visit. (And Jenny and Kona.) 

We spent a couple of hours at Quilter's Corner in Midlothian yesterday.  It is a really nifty quilt store and they were very gracious to all three of us. (Of course, Sophia was a big hit.) I got another piece of fabric to put with the 6 yards I have for the backing. Jenny bought some wonderful reds, yellows and oranges to make a BRIGHT quilt. Should be great. 

Today we took Sophia to see Grandpa at work.  She was a big hit there too. (What's not to like about a 10 pound bundle of cuteness?) We also went out to lunch where the waitress and hostess were gaga over her. Yea, Sophia certainly does the cute thing well! 
Here she is modeling her new little cap.  Hum, can't see the cute leaves on the top.  It will keep her ears warm when the weather finally cools down.  It was way too hot here the last few days to try on the sweater.  

Tomorrow they head back to Maryland so I will get back to quilting.  I don't think  I'll get the big scrap quilt done by the end of this month.  I may go back to working on the Christmas tree skirt as I'm pretty sure I could get that finished this month.  I'll keep you posted.  

Happy Quilting All! 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Design Wall Monday

Nope, not showing the design wall today -- but I am showing a design bed! The top is done, kind of. But, how did this top get so big?  I'm pretty sure I am going to take off the floral border at the top.  I will be making shams for the pillows.  

Next up is figuring out the backing.  I have a 6 yard piece of fabric so just need to see if I have something I can add to it and I'm pretty sure I'm buying a batting for it either tomorrow or Wednesday. 

Visit Judy's site for more Design Wall Monday photos.

Jenny, Sophia and Kona are coming today for a few days.  (woop! woop!) So we'll be out and about especially a quilt store or two as Jen has a new project in mind. 

Saturday Pat and I went to the Festival of the Grape in beautiful, downtown Powhatan.  The weather was great and the crowd plentiful.  Enjoyed some decent wine.  And we got some bottles for the collection. 

I'm spending the day mostly cleaning, a little trip to the grocery store and playing with Sophia and Kona.  Dinner will be in the crock pot in a few minutes. Life is good.  

Happy Quilting All! 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Slow and Steady

Nancy left a message on my morning blog today to remind me that slow and steady gets the job done.  Yep, it does.  Today I put on 5 border strips.  Three of the pieced borders and two of the floral borders. Tomorrow, if I can, I will put the last two floral borders on. Yippee!  The end is in sight. I might have gotten all the floral borders done except that corner half square triangle was sewn on wrong and I had to take it off and redo it on all four corners.  Luckily only two of the border strips had actually been sewn to the quilt. (also, the right hand border above is just laid down, not cut to correct size or sewn.) 

Before I started the floral border I laid it out on the bed it is going on.  Yipee, it looks like it will fit nicely.  (Now, fingers are crossed that it doesn't shrink up with the quilting.)  

I've got a piece of fabric from my stash that should work well as the backing although I'll have to add to it as I'm sure I don't have enough fabric.  I'm hoping to use the gold for the binding as it will go with both the front and the back. 

Dinner is almost ready so I'm off to get it served.  Nothing hard tonight as I sewed until 6:45 or so this evening!  

Happy Quilting All!  

Plugging Along

The first side of the border is now on.  

Do you know how long it takes to make this border?


Or so it seems.  If I were really smart I would have planned a bit more on paper.  Both sides are taking uneven number of blocks. So I first thought I could have different blocks leading up to the corners.  I made the extra blocks and laid out the actual borders.  Um, no, I wouldn't get matching opposite corners.  I got ugly differing corners.  Yuck.

Back to the book for some ideas.  Except the ideas were for different border blocks nothing for a nice pointy border.  While looking through I saw several borders made out of a square in a square.  Hum, if I can't fix the border at the ends, I certainly could in the center.  Thus the little floating square in a square. 

And, even better.  I drew the square on graph paper and the first sample block was right on.  All the borders are ready to be sewn on but only one got on yesterday afternoon.  The border is attached to the gold side, the bricks to the left are the other side of the quilt folded around.  (See that sage green sticking out?  That's the foot stool the quilt was sitting on.  I pulled the extra quilt out to cover more of the stool. Just in case you were wondering.) 

Today I will be getting the rest of these blankety, blank borders on.  And, with any luck, the next border too.  Of course, I say that every day!  

If you are wondering about past design wall posts.  Both the bow ties and the Christmas tree skirt are on the back burner until I can get this quilt done.  Well, honestly, Christmas is months away!  (Unless I think about presents and then it's way too close.) 

Up next week -- A visit from Jenny and Sophia and Kona.  Woopee.  Raggs needs Kona to keep him out of mischief!  Let's hope she doesn't lead him into more mischief! 

Happy Sewing All! 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

1800's Quilt Finished

I finally finished the 1800's quilt from Moda Bake Shop.  Each square is 3/4".  Yikes, I found my intersections weren't quite as accurate as I expect them to be.  Can't see any problems now.  This was a quilt along at Small Quilts Chat over on yahoo groups.  The quilt as shown at the Bake Shop didn't have a border.  But I wanted it a little bit bigger.  Plus, it will be on a brick red wall I thought the blue border would tone down the really bright red.  I used a Bar Harbor charm pack and an old beige fabric.  I quilted it on my domestic sewing machine.  The backing is the same as the border.  It's so nice to have a finish! 

I haven't gotten as far on the pieced border of the Million Pieces quilt as I had hoped to. (Shucks, today I cleaned house and did a few loads of laundry -- not all that much sewing time!) I think I now have all the half square triangles made.  And, on the trip around the world 3 quadrants are completed.  And, the fourth one is probably about 1/2 done.  I try to sew one strip every time I sit down to sew.  Kind of like an ender except afterwards I always sew a part of a four patch as the real ender.  

It would be wonderful if I could just sew all day tomorrow but the cabinets and refrigerator are getting bare.  And, rats, it's suppose to rain all day.  But, grocery shopping I must go! Sigh.  When I get to the studio the plan is the to finish 2nd border of Million Pieces quilt. I keep thinking how much yardage I will have used when that quilt is done!  Talk about motivation. 

Happy Quilting All! 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Design Wall Monday

Um, er, make that ironing board design Monday here.  Last post I showed a beginning design idea for the borders of my Million Pieces quilt.  I wasn't particularly happy with the colors in the border so decided to use some of the same gold as part of the design.  And then I added some darker colors for the other side of the triangles.  Ooohh, I like that a lot more.  And, it will look more like a unit.  And then I realized I could make the next a plain border (and hopefully last border...) slightly bigger than the first two and voila! all of a sudden I would have enough width to be done with the quilt top. 
And the corner half square triangle will use the border fabric instead of the blue currently used.  Now that this design is set I can proceed to make the number of blocks I need.  I forget how many but I've already pulled all the fabric I will need.  I think that lighter blue in the top right corner is going back to the fat quarter bin... too light for this.  I'm not sure on the purple or the gold either. 

I've added a new button to the side bar. It is Sew Scraps Along at Pleasant Home.  Considering most quilts I am working on now are scrappy this seemed like something I would like to keep up with. 

Today I hope to finish the Million Quilt scrappy border.  Sew the binding on my 1800's quilt and perhaps get the last border on the Million Quilt too. (If I do then I need to deal with the backing fabric -- one of those things I hate to do -- piece a backing!) 

Check out other Design Wall Monday sites by going to Judy's Patchwork Times.

I'm off to the studio.  Happy Quilting All! 

Friday, October 15, 2010

For You Marge!

Marge and I have been chatting a bit . . .  not much really important just the day-to-day things.  She's leading a retreat in Lancaster County now so she may not see this right away but ... I dedicate this post to Marge. You can visit her web site here.   

She replied to some smart aleck comment I made about not really working on the Million Pieces Quilt. Her comment was "Sooner or later you have to finish the million piece quilt, I have another similar one to show you, LOL!"  ARGH.  Something new with a million pieces? Hum, that could bust a lot of fabric. Bring it on Marge and congratulations, you've inspired me to actually work on the borders. 

I think it is because it is hard to measure and cut accurately that I put off working on the borders of a big quilt.  I originally planned to add a smaller inner border and bigger outer border.  But I need to get at least 13" for the drop so I wasn't sure about the bigger border.  Here's what EQ and Pieced Borders the Complete Resource (by Marsha McCloskey and Judy Martin) and I came up with. 

First, you have to ignore the yellow sunflower fabric.  It is the ironing board cover. I tried to crop it out as much as possible.  The deep gold fabric is the first border actually sewn on.  And, yes it is two different sizes so that the next border would fit correctly.  I am not liking the brighter, more colorful blocks -- they detract too much.  The fabric at the back is the next border.  I think I will make some sample half square triangle blocks using the gold and then more mottled fabrics.  I think these whites are pretty stark. (Hey, I had some blocks ready made in my stash and it was worth a try!) And, by the way the red beyond the other border piece is the wall!  

And, I'll try with just the back fabric as a border.  I was trying to give it some more interest without putting a 10" border on.  We'll see what transpires. 

Today is an out and about day.  The Bernina is finished with her spa treatment so I will pick her up. I'm also going to the local Country Curtains store to see about some curtains for the living room and the dining room.  There are rods already there so all I need to do is find some curtains to go on them.  And, no, I really don't do curtains much.  

Yikes, it is time to actually get out and about.  I don't want to be driving in Friday evening traffic.  (but Richmond is so much easier traffic wise than the DC area!) 

And, here's a new pic of Sophia snoozing away in her crib.  Isn't she the cutest burrito you've ever seen?  (well, ok, I'm only slightly prejudiced!) 

Happy Quilting All! 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Look What I Finished!

This is for Sophia -- hopefully she'll fit into it around Christmas.  The color is wrong on these photos as it is a bright kelly green or Christmas green.  I finished the two pieces a week or so ago but just got the buttons on last night.  I can't wait for Sophia to come in a couple of weeks.  We may have to have a little fashion show! 

Here's the little hat, up close and personal.  I love the little leaf design in this set.  Although, darn it, I had to pay close attention to it as I was knitting it.  

This is the 1800'sVintage Quilt that was a pattern on Moda  Bakeshop a while ago. I am adding borders the same size as the 9 patches.  I think this was taken when auditioning border sizes.  I sewed two sides on last evening but didn't want to heat up the iron to put the other two on ....  you know what will be at the top of my to do list today!  

And, since I have a perfectly good walking foot on the machine I might actually quilt it.  It seems too small to put on Ruthie.  But, I'll need to do some thinking about what to do in the borders.  Could I hand quilt a cable in it?  Tell me what you think... do you mix hand quilting with machine quilting?  

Lots of quilts are currently in progress -- need to focus so I can get a few projects done this month.  I've already gone a bit wild on fabric purchases for the Christmas Tree Skirt.  Perhaps that will be my goal for the rest of the month -- finish a few quilts/projects! 

Time to hit the studio.  I'm so looking forward to tomorrow when the temperatures are going to be in the low 70's instead of the high 80's.  

Happy Quilting All! 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Design Wall Monday

 It's design wall Monday and I've got two design walls to show off today. 

First is this cork board (yes it is painted red and there is a pink boa hanging from the top right corner) in my main sewing room. 

This is as far as I've gotten on the trip around the world.  The bottom two quadrants are done. The left top is barely started and the right top is more than 3/4ths done.  

I've actually put another row or two on since this picture was taken. 

In the studio where Ruthie lives is another small design wall -- I have no room for a big design wall. Anyway this is the beginning of the tree skirt I am making for Jenny.  You start by sewing 3 panels that are 6 1/4 x wof.  Of course, there is a specific order you need to sew them.  Here are 2 done although I've covered the back piece up with the second piece.  The red doesn't appear this orange in person.  And all fabric has gold on it.  It's coming along quite rapidly at this point. 

Those who have been following me over the last few posts might wonder how I've gotten so much done when I couldn't get a decent stitch on my Baby Lock.  I found the directions!  Right where I expected them to be -- my filing cabinet.  Of course, I had to go through the stuff in the drawers carefully.  And, I think the directions were in the first drawer I looked in.  Nah, was I really that lucky?  

And, yep, I was threading the upper thread incorrectly.  What a difference a little mistake could make.  These two didn't take all that long.  Tomorrow I will decide whether I will do the last panel for the tree skirt or something else.  If I conitnue I'll need to find another piece of batting to use as I ran out of what I was using. I am hoping I have some of the same brand in my collection.  Otherwise, I'm using what I can find that feels about the same!  

Since it is Design Wall Monday, visit Judy's site here to see what is on everyone's walls this week.   Happy Quilting All!  

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Bread and Bernina and Finding "Stuff!

When last we chatted I was going slightly crazy looking for a tin of accessories for the Baby Lock.  YEA! I found it.  So I packed everything up to go to the quilt guild meeting and the lesson on the tree skirt. 

Boo!  I changed the foot, threaded the machine, wound the bobbin and put it in and tried to sew some batting together.  Key word there -- tried.  ARGH! A veritable crow's nest on the under side. So, I figured the bobbin was a mess -- ie maybe in backward.  Turned it around, begged a piece of scrap fabric cause I hadn't brought any extra and tried again.  And again, and again.  Everyone else was well on their ways to getting the first section sewn and I wasn't able to sew a stitch. Double ARGH.  I gave up and came home quite frustrated as I really wanted to get the darn thing started, heck done! So, yesterday I decided to take the rest of the day off. 

I decided I need to look at the directions.  But, where are they?  When I finish here I will go up and look through my filing cabinets. (Not holding a lot of hope for that as the movers took everything out of all the drawers and evidently didn't pay any attention to the order things were taken out.)  My hunch is I put the directions in there.  

Alternate plans if I can't work on this Christmas Tree Skirt:  I could cut the borders for the Million Pieces Quilt.  I might not sew them on until after I get my Bernina back.  I need to piece some blocks to make the backing of the table runner from a couple of weekends ago.  I could unpack another box of books/papers.  

Pat of Silver Thimble Quilt Co. wanted to know about the Focaccia Bread from several days ago.  The flavor was good but it was too dry.  Here it is ready to go in the oven.  I think it could have been a bit thinner and that would have helped also.  I am going to try it again but I'll watch as the dough forms in the bread machine and add some extra liquid if needed.  You can find this recipe here, from .  I get a daily email from All Recipes with about 5 featured dishes.  It has sure helped me expand my choices.  Some we love, some we hate.  It is easy to try something new with so much variety.  

I'm off to the studio to look for those instructions for the machine.  Who knows, I may need to take another machine in for a spa day.  

Happy Quilting All!  

Friday, October 8, 2010

Spa Day

Sniff, sniff.  No, the spa day isn't for me.  It is for my trusted Bernina sewing machine.  Yesterday afternoon I dropped her off for a clean and tune up.  It could be over 10 days but hopefully it will be a lot less.  So while she is relaxing, I'll be using a different machine.  Hum, decisions, decisions.  Should I use my Janome Gem?  Or my Heavy Weight Singer? Or perhaps the Baby Lock?  And, there is always Ruthie, the Nolting Long Arm.  

What?  You're jealous?  Don't you have redundant backups?  (That's a technical term for several back ups. It is often used with sensitive computer information.)  Of course after I turned her over I realized I needed a machine with a walking foot for tomorrow's class on making a Christmas tree skirt. I had just bought 6 1/2 yards of fabric to make the tree skirt.  ARGH. My Gem doesn't have a walking foot cause I thought I would never use one on her.  The Heavy Weight doesn't get used much at all and I have no special feet for him.  And, then there is the Baby Lock.  I think I have a walking foot for her because I bought her because she was longer so I should have a walking foot for her.  Right.  So a quick trip upstairs tells me I have no idea where I put the tin of feet I have for her.  Shoot, I could have sworn I had seen that round, Christmas decorated tin.  So, where is it now??? (stamping my foot for emphasis.)  Well, I still have 22 hours or so to either find it or beg a walking foot from someone.  Usually if I quit looking I find it with out trying.  I'm hoping that will work for this too.  And, I'll check my trusty lists of what was packed in what box and see if anything might help.  

I've finished this little girl quilt and will be donating it to the local guild.  They give quilts to a hospital to use in the NICU.  As I understand it the quilts are placed over the isolets and then go home with the baby.  I inked the faces on the cat and the girl.  It is a very old UFO -- maybe 10 years or more.  I had to buy the brown and the outer green border to finish her up.  It's so nice to cross things off that UFO list! 

I quilted this one on Ruthie and used a stencil and my pounce to mark the outside border.  It looks pretty good but some of my curls are a bit flat.  But overall I was pretty happy with both the stencil and my quilting.  

Today I'm going to be working on the back to the table runner from this post.  I've decided to do 6" finished blocks with Halloween fabric.  And, then a bit of a border to bring it to the same size.  Then I will probably quilt it on one of my domestic machines so I don't have to have the extra fabric I would need if I put it on Ruthie.  We'll see cause see above, I will need a walking foot for that too.  

That's it for today.  I'll save my focaccia bread picture til later!  Yep, I've been cooking.  

Happy Quilting All! 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Design Wall Monday

My design "wall" was a table this past weekend.   Here's what I was working on at my guild retreat. 
I got one and a half quadrants done of this Trip Around the World.  It is a UFO started, um, 5 years ago or so.  Queen size, mostly batiks.  I need to put one of the quadrants on the design wall and take a photo so you can see what it really looks like.  

Here's what my station looked like when first set up.  These were really narrow tables and we each had one.  I was encroaching on my neighbor's table but she had brought two additional tables -- one for an iron, one for her sewing machine.  I brought too many projects (who knew it would take days to get 1.5 quadrants done??? It wasn't as if sewed all of the strata!)  

Jump over to Judy L's Patchwork Times to see others blogging about what is on their design wall. 

I thought I would want to do something besides sewing this morning but my projects are luring me to the studio.  

Happy Quilting All! 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

September Stash Report

September Stash Report

Fabric Acquired:9 1/2 yards
Fabric Used: 5 1/2 yards
Net Fabric Acquired  : 4 yards

Year To Date Report
Fabric Acquired:  37 3/4 yards
Fabric Used: 35 yards
Net Fabric Acquired:  2 3/4 yards  (OOPS!) 

This is late because I've been off at a quilt retreat.  Internet access was so slow -- rather sew than wait for the internet to come up.  

Really, there is an excuse for buying 9 + yards of fabric -- borders.  You all remember the million pieces quilt, right?  I've picked an inner and outer border for it.  Hopefully I'll get those on soon.  I have a big piece of fabric for the background but will need to add to it so it is big enough.  Then some quilting, a bunch of binding and a finish.  I'm optimistic this will get done in October.  And, wow, what a big finish that would be!

I've finished all of this quilt except the eyes and mouths on the girl and cat.  This will be a donation to my local guild for a local hospital to use in the NICU.  I wouldn't normally make a hand applique quilt for charity but this little girl was a long time UFO.  I was able to buy some additional green and a brown to make a couple more rows of border to make it a smallish baby quilt.  I'm happy to have her done and, soon, out of the house.  I'll get a full picture after I get the faces on.  

Retreat was wonderful.  I'll have some photos of what I was working on and some of the other fun things we did.  

Now, I'm off to read a little and take a nap.  I'm adding "bring my own pillow" to my list of what to bring on a retreat.  

Happy Quilting All!