Monday, February 28, 2011

Design Wall Monday 2-28-11

Here's what's adorning the design wall... just a slight variation from previous weeks.  So the question now is do I use the piano key border or a plain border? Evidently we were to send two pieces of fabric that were used in the blocks.  I've sewn some together.  The top shows the red in the hour glass blocks and the left side shows a white on white.  I would actually use the same white that is in the hour glass blocks if I did the white.  Of course, I should tell you I don't really like white on the outside of quilts much, especially wall quilts.  When you put them on the wall the quilt fades into the wall too much for my likes. I'm thinking I like the piano key however I also think it needs a small stopping border before the piano key is put on.  Hum, would black be too much?  Or perhaps a white.  What's your opinion.  And, should I use the hour glass or something else?  (I have 3 already made so.... )  Or I could call it quits with the top and leave it without borders. 

These little blocks, 4.5" finished, are part of a signature swap on Small Quilt Talk on Yahoo.  I have to get 10 more made and in the mail.  Not a pressing time frame but it would really ring my bell if I turned them in early.  I am never early for anything! 

Have you gone to Patchwork Times to see what is on other people's design wall? 

Here's last week's goals:

    • Finish the stretched star quilt -- make & sew on binding.  Done!
    • Finish a surprise doll quilt... it needs to go in the mail to Heather ~~ waving at you up in Canada. Oops, not yet.
    • Add a border to the Valentine's Quilt. Oops, not yet.
    • Make the backing for Super Duper Easy quilt, Mysteries for Relay #13. Halfway, I didn't do the measurements correctly so this is almost done. 

This week's goals:
    • Finish a surprise doll quilt. I really need to focus on this! 
    • Finish the backing and quilt Super Duper Easy. 
    • Finish the Valentine's Quilt. 
    • Get the center part of the scrap quilt together. 
    • Finish the swap blocks. 
    • Pick something new to work on.  

My mantra for the week must be finish.  Let's hope I do a little of that this week.  That's it for today.  Happy Quilting Everyone. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

How Old Is Too Old?

Fabric that is...

            while chatting with Jenny and Brian this weekend I mentioned I had made my own bumper pads before Jenny was born.  And, that led me to comment that I still had some of the fabric left in my stash.  Brian's comment was it was way too old to have sitting around still.  So, what do you all think?  Is a 30+ year old fabric too old to keep in the stash and use?  

Yep, it's a calico.  No ultra sounds unless there was a major issue so we didn't know if we'd have a boy or a girl so the room was done in browns and yellows.  Which at the time I liked. I still like this calico although I don't think I've used it in any of my recent scrap quilts.  Hum, maybe I should cut a piece to put in the big scrap quilt that is currently on the back burner while I do some little projects,  although I am still using the borders as leader/enders. 

I loaded this stretched star quilt on Ruthie today and got it quilted in about an hour and a half.  Just large free motion stippling.  I cut and pinned the binding tonight but will be sewing it together tomorrow. 

I guess I wimped out on my goals for last week.  There wasn't much on the list: 

     • Sew on 2009 Bunny Hill BOM A Tisket, A Tasket.
    • Finish Sophia's sweater.
    • Load something on Ruthie. 
    • Enjoy a safe trip to Maryland. 

I did all but loading something on Ruthie last week. 

Here is a short goal list for the rest of this week.

    • Finish the stretched star quilt -- make & sew on binding. 
    • Finish a surprise doll quilt... it needs to go in the mail to Heather ~~ waving at you up in Canada.
    • Add a border to the Valentine's Quilt.
    • Make the backing for Super Duper Easy quilt, Mysteries for Relay #13.    See the top here

Hum, I may need to redefine the word SHORT.  I was pleasantly surprised to realize it wouldn't be all that hard to put together the backing for Super Duper once I found some fabric.  In fact, I was able to find enough of one fabric to use.  It won't take long to quilt although it won't be as fast as the stretched stars.  

Happy Quilting All!  

Monday, February 21, 2011

Design Wall Monday 2-21-11

This past week flew by.  Really, I saw the wings on the clock! 
Here's the design wall as I left it on Wednesday before I went to Maryland. 

These are blocks from an Internet swap from 1992 or 3.  I added the hour glass blocks on Tuesday.  Needless to say I think they really make this top sing. I thought I had posted about this before but I couldn't find a picture.  Brian was very impressed that I was on the internet in 1992 or 3.  We had a dial up connection so your phone was busy when you were on the Internet. We connected through Prodigy which had a very active group of quilters. 

Remember when I showed the Tucker Trimmer tool for making quarter triangles, aka, hour glass blocks?  It dawned on me it would work wonderfully on larger blocks.  These are 4" finished blocks. They haven't been sewn together yet but you certainly can get the idea of how they will look.  I need to make one more block.  (They come in pairs so, I'll have an extra one for the back too.) Don't forget to visit Patchwork Times to see what is on other design walls today.  

Here are the 4 blocks Sharon and I made from the class with Susan Cleveland.  I really like how they look.  So at least another 7 are planned.  But, don't hold your breath on when they will get done! 

This is the shrug I made for Sophie.  It's a bit big on her but that is better than being too small.  It was a bear to get the collar right as I don't think I followed the directions correctly -- or they are written incorrectly.  I just rewrote them the best that I could.  And, voila, cute shrug with collar and little trim.  The hardest part of the whole thing was the trim and, honestly it wasn't that bad.  The pattern is sized all the way to a 7.  So, Sophie, you may get another one some day. 

CUTE BABY ALERT -- yea, I visited Jenny, Brian and Sophia this weekend -- at least for a short time.  Saturday I stayed with Sophie so Jen and Brian could get out for some couple time.  We had a mini photo session so I could have new pictures of Sophie. (Note to self, print a picture so you have one in your wallet when folks ask to see her!) Her personality is beginning to shine.  She does enjoy laughing but she tends to be a pretty serious little girl.  And, man, she hates to take naps.  Sunday morning I watched her while they went to the grocery store.  Soph was suppose to nap.  Ha, she was crying like crazy.  So we had some calm times talking, playing with toys and another nap attempt.  Nope, not interested even though she was yawning and rubbing her eyes.  Bottle, nope, not going to nap.  Luckily the kids came home and rescued me.  I think Sophia was going to be bundled up for a nice walk in her stroller.  And, I know she'd go to sleep then. She turns 6 months this week. Note to Jenny -- see, I said I visited all of you not just Sophia. 
I'll have to post plans and last week successes (or failures) later.  I have no idea where I am on my projects and what I want to work on.  

Thanks for visiting and Happy Quilting All.  

Friday, February 18, 2011

Do Quilters Know How to Have Fun?

Susan Cleveland, pictured front left,  flew in from Minnesota so several of us from Faithful Circle took her out to dinner.  We went to G & M's for dinner. What a crowd.  We waited 20 minutes or so and then had fabulous meals.  Most of us had crab cakes.  Outstanding!  We stayed up a bit late to be fully functioning early in the morning but Sharon and I were able to be at the meeting early to set up. 

For those of you unfamiliar with Susan's work please visit her website, Pieces Be With You. She is a great teacher with some wonderful ideas and tools.  We took Piping Hot Curves - Macaroni as a half day class. Here's the quilt on which the class is based.

Here's what Sharon and I got finished in the 3 hour class. Susan has really figured out a great way to put the piping into curved pieces. 

I think I will be making a few more blocks so I at least have a 9 patch mini wall hanging using this great technique.  (Well, after I finish a couple of my projects currently in the works.) 

If you ever get to go to one of Susan's lectures or one of her classes, sign up.  She keeps you entertained the whole time.  She uses technology to enhance her teaching so you can really see what she wants you to do.  Sharon and I are contemplating going to the NQA show in Ohio and we're hoping to take another class from Susan.  

Today, we're hanging around, working on the 2nd block that came in the Macaroni kit. Need to reinforce that learning!  I'll be working on Sophia's shrug also.  I was following the directions and then realized the little collar I was building was centered over one of the sleeves.  WHAT?  I checked the directions and I'm pretty sure I was following correctly.  I ended up pulling about 10 rows out and then have rewritten the directions to do what I think it should do.  Hopefully the sweater will be done or nearly done by the time I go visit Sophie tomorrow. 

Sharon & I will be going out to lunch with another friend today and then get back to the sewing, or knitting.  
Happy Quilting All! 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Design Wall Monday 2-14-11

Happy Valentine’s Day
Hope you have something fun planned with your honey! We're going out to dinner after we drop a car off for service. 

Here's what's on my design wall today: 
I'm going up to Maryland for a class with Faithful Circle Quilters and I thought I would take a few bom's for the drawing.  Blues and purples... and the bug jars haven't been mailed. (Sorry Pam... eventually I'll do it...)  Don't forget to visit Judy's blog for some more great design walls. 
I finally tried this Tucker Trimmer this week.  WOW!  I had watched a demo at FCQ's quilt show last April/May and was intrigued.  You can make both half square triangles and quarter square triangles.  I tried it on this little quarter square triangle and what a difference it makes!  I made some 1/4 sq. triangles a year ago Nov and it took way too much time trying to get them trimmed perfectly.  With this, just line up the X and cut.  No big deal.  Hum, maybe I'll use this with the 4 1/2" Valentines Blocks from 1992.  Don't hold your breath on that but it would be way faster than what I was trying to do. 
So how'd I do with last week's goals? 

    • Finish the center of the scrap quilt. (honest, I'll try!) Ok, not well with this one. I have all the rows done.  I have two of the borders done, ready to be attached although the center isn't ready obviously. I have the other 3 borders started.  But, the stupid center is not together yet. 
    • Buy the correct needles and finish the shrug for Sophia.  Well, needles are bought and the edge is started. How hard can this be it is only 5 rows with 125 stitches or so? 
    • Put the borders on the stretched star quilt.  Hum, quilt and finish it?  Borders are on it. Backing and quilt are hanging on Ruthie waiting for me to do some long arming. 
    • Work on 4" heart blocks from 1993.  Um, er, didn't happen but see above for the ruler discussion -- it may happen at some point soon.
    • Sew on 2009 Bunny Hill BOM A Tisket, A Tasket. Yes! I actually sewed a handle and a cat on a block and prepped some more pieces. 

Once again I have some successes but didn't make huge dents in my goals. This week's will be pared back as I am attending a Susan Cleveland class in Maryland and visiting Sophia.  (That's why I'm trying to get her sweater done.)

    • Sew on 2009 Bunny Hill BOM A Tisket, A Tasket.
    • Finish Sophia's sweater.
    • Load something on Ruthie. 
    • Enjoy a safe trip to Maryland. 
I close with our newly redone closet.  Last weekend while I sewed away Pat redid our closet.  It looks so much better -- I should have taken before pictures.

It sure looks great.  But my part will never be that neat, the story of my life. 

Happy Quilting All!  

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Guild UFO Challenge

My small guild here in Virginia is doing a UFO challenge.  I ran one of those for my guild in Maryland many years ago and was quite pleased to finish up several ancient UFO's.  We were asked to bring the UFO's to our meeting this month and fess up.  Well, at least that is how I viewed it... some just viewed it as show and tell with unfinished items.  And, man some of the quilts were gorgeous.  

As everyone stood up, told the history of their UFOs and showed them there was a lot of oohing and ahhing.  The program chair was writing a list of each person's UFOs.  I happened to go last and whipped out my printed list of items.  Needless to say I got a round of laughs at that.  As I explained, I am easily distracted and wanted to have a continual reminder of the items I should be working on for this challenge. 

So, with no further ado, here are my 7 8 items I want to finish between now and the second Saturday in August. 

1.          Fourth of July banner
2.      4” Valentines blocks 1992
3.       Bumble Bee quilt
4.        Super Duper Easy (Mystery 13)
5.       Bunny Hill 2009 BOM (A Tisket, A Tasket)
6.        Make Your Point Scrap Quilt
7.       Disappearing 9 Patch
8.        4” Easter blocks from 1993
 Some of these are ready to be quilted, others are collection of blocks.  I hope to get at least 4 of these completely finished (hey, I'm being realistic here!) I would be darn happy if I get 6 done, and I'd be floating if all 8 were finished. Wow, wouldn't that be something! 

Rather than continue about what I want to get done, I think it is time to go work on one of these!  Stop in tomorrow to see what is on the design wall.  I've been trying to work on things that you all haven't seen for the last 3 weeks or so!  
Happy Quilting All!  

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Finished Quilt Top Photo

Good Morning  or afternoon or evening... you get the picture. 

I promised a picture of the quilt top I finished last week.  Here is what I did with the Mysteries for Relay #13, also called Super Duper Easy.  Well, basically it was easy but no one said how time consuming. 

Unfortunately I don't have all the great wall space that the Poconos house had so the best I could do with this photo is spread it out on the bed and take a photo.  I finished  the star points half with the same dark points throughout the quilt and half in beige with a dark border.  The corners where the light and dark meet are half square triangles.  

I am ready to quilt it but I don't have any pieces of backing big enough (well that aren't 6 yards of fabric that I don't want to use on this quilt.) I'm going to reevaluate the stash and see if I can find two pieces of fabric I could put together to make a backing.  And, I think I'll look into triangle method of making a backing -- basically cut your fabric diagonally and then bring the top triangle down until you have the correct width/length.  It means working on bias but I sure don't want to buy more fabric after my wild January.  

Here's another Sophie picture from a couple of weeks ago.  (Hey, I haven't been doing a great job on quilting photos but I don't mind sharing Sophie.)  I almost had a picture of Raggs laying in the bookshelves last night but he moved when I got my camera. Drat. 

I finished the borders on the baby quilt but it will probably be given to a different charity as it is black mostly and that just doesn't make it as a baby quilt if you ask me! Didn't sew the last few days as I had a small group of ladies from the neighborhood over for tea and a craft.  I showed them how to make a card using rubber stamps.  They loved it so we'll probably do it again next month. I'll share the card fronts with you after V day.  

I'm off to the Y now. Happy Quilting All. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Design Wall Monday 2-7-11

What's on YOUR design wall today?  I have an oldie but goodie and a something new.  First the old:
I'm still putting the rows together on this.  I am a bit tired of working on this one so I did something completely different yesterday.  Here's the 5 rows that have already been sewn together.  I still have 2 rows to sew the blocks together.  There are 5 borders on this thing.  I've started one which is pieced triangles.  Three of the borders are strips sewn together.  Two of those are from strip sizes I have in my storage drawers so that will be very easy to make up.  One is 1 1/8th inches.  WHAT?  Yuck -- I'm having to cut those as I am cutting other things.  And, boy, you end up cutting a lot for a quilt like this even if I do keep strips of most of the sizes used for this quilt.  

And, now for the new: 

This is a design from Ursula Reike's book, um, er, More Quilts As Easy As ABC. (Ok, I'll be honest I own all of her books and I am guessing this is from that one not any of the others. If you want to know leave a comment and I'll get back to you!)  I call it a stretched star, forget what she named it. I have light gray inner border and a green outer border to go.  I realized after I had cut 60 triangles that I had wanted to cut the triangles out of the gray -- I thought they would show up better. Sigh. And, remember, that is a red cork board under those blocks. (Note to self hang a white flannel piece or a piece of batting so you don't have to pin every stinkin' little piece!)   Hopefully, this will be a top by the end of the day. 

Don't forget to hop over to Judy's Patchwork Tmes to see what every one else is working on this week. 

Here are two of the four bug jars I made for Pam of FCQ Equilters.  I haven't made bug jars for years.  And, I had a hard time finding bugs of any kind even though I have a good number of conversation prints.  So, next time I'm buying fabrics I'm going to look for some bugs ... Don't we all need bugs? 

I think I might have missed a correction on the cut sizes of the pieces next to the lids.  Hopefully these will still work for Pam.  I'm not sure I have a big enough piece to redo the blue bugs.  

When I checked addresses for this group the other day I realized I am up for the May/June time slot.  I was last in 2010 so I thought I had tons of time left to decide what to do.  Oops!  I guess I'd better think about this one.  I haven't even thought about putting together my blocks from last year.  Another thing to get hopping on. 

I did pretty well on last week's goals. HA! I lie!  I didn't have much on the list but I didn't get them all done! 

     • Finish rail fence quilt. (on Monday!)  Yep, that's completely done. I owe you all pictures of it! 
     • Finish the center of the scrap quilt. Half done.  Truth be told I got tired of sewing those things together.  So, it'll show up again on today's list. 
     • Finish the shrug? I tried to but I need a new circular needle to do it. 
     • Start the border on the Mysteries for Relay quilt. Finished and I owe you a photo of this too. 

I guess I finished 2 1/2 out of 4.  Not so good this time. 

This week's goals:
    • Finish the center of the scrap quilt. (honest, I'll try!) 
    • Buy the correct needles and finish the shrug for Sophia. 
    • Put the borders on the stretched star quilt.  Hum, quilt and finish it? 
    • Work on 4" heart blocks from 1993. 
    • Sew on 2009 Bunny Hill BOM A Tisket, A Tasket.

I guess that is it for goals this week. On Wednesday I am having some of the ladies in the neighborhood over for a tea.  So part of Tuesday and all of Wednesday morning will not be sewing time.  But until then I'll be sewing like crazy. 

Happy Quilting All! 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

January Fabric Stash Report

Well, this is one way to start the year.  I went wild buying fabric.  


Fabric Used:                6 1/8 yards

Fabric Purchased:       24 7/8 yards

Net Fabric Purchased: 18 3/4 yards

Oops.  I bought a lot from Connecting Threads to go with a fat eighth pack I got for Christmas 2009.  Now I can make a cute lap quilt with the stuff.  I've even got the pattern picked out.  Just need to stop working on time consuming scrap quilts! Here's the Connecting Threads fabric.  I also hit a 25% off sale at JoJo's with 40% off if you finished the bolt.  I finished a lot of skinny bolts.  I'll take pictures of that fabric sometime.  Hum, now how to dig myself out of this hole? 

I was pleased I got two quilts done this month.  Nothing like a deadline to get me to finish something.  I had hoped to finish a few spare blocks to send off for donations but didn't get them done.  Oh well.  

Later this week I'll get pictures of them and post the finishes.  But, you've seen the tops in the last couple of weeks.  They were both started and finished since 12/31/10.  Yep, finished and started in one month.  Wow!  (Of course, it helps that they were pretty easy quilts to begin with.) 

Guess what started to bloom?  My Christmas cactus is blooming like crazy.  It is in the back bedroom with wonderful light.  The one in the kitchen isn't doing a thing. Maybe I should switch the plants so the bigger one blooms too.  

I'm off to the Y to do a bit of walking.  I'm being pretty good about going 3 or 4 times a week.  And, believe me I do not like doing it.  I motivate myself by having a book on my Kindle that I am only allowed to read while walking... so if I want to know what happens I have to go walk.