Monday, January 30, 2012

Design Wall Monday 1-30-12

 A very productive week.  Here's what I was working on yesterday  -- 

The borders are on the Planet Patchwork New Year's Day Mystery.  Yikes that pink looks, well, really pink.  
Unfortunately this was a narrow fabric so I actually had to piece all four borders.  But doing it on the diagonal helps hide the seam and I can't tell where the seams are from this photo.  
I hope to get this on Ruthie today so that maybe I can have another finished quilt for January.  I've been buying a little fabric so I need some bigger finishes if I don't want to start the year out by buying more than I use! 

I also decided to start the Small Quilt of the Month challenge on Kathy Tracy's Small Quilt Talk group on yahoo.  She announces a quilt from one of her books each month and members make that quilt.  If we are diligent we'll have 12 little quilts made.  I wasn't going to make it but decided to give it a try yesterday.  I'm making this Mourning Quilt with just 4 blocks -- Yikes these greens seem really bright to me.  I think they are a bit more subdued.  Last night I cut out 3 more blocks.  I'm using some fabrics that are reproductions from two quilts in the Smithsonian's collection.  One is Little Sister quilt and the other is Rising Sun, if I remember correctly.  I've had what is equivalent of a Layer Cake for many years. (Heck, over 15 years... yikes time flies when you are having fun!)  I've only began using them in the last 2 years or so.  

For my Leader Ender project I'm putting the pieces together of my Carolina Christmas, a former mystery on Quiltville.  I'm working on putting together the sub units that eventually become this unit. I'm getting very close to getting all the sub units done so I can make these blocks.  Then, it's putting it all together. I look forward to getting it done before Christmas! LOL.

Last week's goals -- almost all done and some even more than planned! 

Week of Jan 23, 2012
Quilt Twister quilt
Quilt 12 Days of Christmas quilt √ and bound
Sew secret project together √ and quilted
Spend 15 minutes a day cutting scraps into usable sizes not too many times this week
Clean the oven (ok, set it so it cleans itself but I hate the smell of it…so avoid it frequently!) √ And did the racks too!
Clean top two shelves in the refrigerator (blah!)
Finish putting the rows together of NY Day mystery
Post at least one more blog during the week

Week of Jan 30, 2012

Make binding and bind the still secret Scrap Squad quilt
Quilt and bind the NY Day Mystery quilt
Make 3 more of the Mourning Quilt blocks, put it together, quilt it
Quilt Twister quilt
Finish clue 5 of Carolina Christmas
Back to working on the FCQ Equilter’s donation quilt 5 blocks needed
Clean 2 more shelves of the refrigerator
Clean the stovetop really well

Have you checked out what other folks are working on?  Remember to check out Patchwork Times.  Judy has her QOV quilt along top posted.  Hum, I have some of those stars from a different project.  Maybe I'll make I'll set them this way rather than put them with the other blocks which don't look right together.... just thinking here...  

Happy Quilting All! 

Sigh -- either my iPhoto or blogger is messing me up here.  All of my pictures were cropped to just show the blocks -- not the extra on the side.  But I reloaded them twice and each time I get the original picture which isn't showing in iPhoto.  Sigh.  And, spacing, and... oh well, it is what it is. B.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

12 Days of Christmas is DONE!

I put the final stitches in the binding last night.  It took me about 24 or so days to get my 12 Days of Christmas mini quilt done.  But I do love it in the reds and whites.  Sad thing is I don't have enough wall space for all of the Valentine's Day quilts I've made.  And, my dog is notorious for getting things off of tables so I doubt it will be sitting on a table like it was for this photograph.   I hand quilted in each of the blocks except #1 as I didn't have a stencil nearby at the time.  I did not quilt in the little border either.  I made my borders narrower than what the pattern called for.  I thought the borders as given in the directions overpowered the little blocks.

Today I loaded my first Scrap Squad quilt on Ruthie.  She was purring away with no problems.  YEAH! She has been feeling neglected as I haven't had any thing to put on her since late November.  After I finished with the quilting, I began putting the borders on the quilt I showed Monday.  I'm going with the pink borders and should get them on tomorrow. And thanks to all the folks who gave their opinions.  I need to figure out how to use that tan/brown fabric that was choice #3.  I've had it for a good long while!    Maybe I'll be able to put this quilt on Ruthie on Monday.  I have the backing -- can't remember if I need to piece it or not.  Probably.  Bummer.

That's all that's new here.

Happy Quilting Everyone!  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I've Got a Favorite, How About You?

I got quite a bit done in the studio yesterday and now have to make a decision.  Want to help? 

Here are three photos of borders for my New Years Day mystery from Planet Patchwork.

 Choice one as written in the instructions -- using the background fabric as the bigger border. 

 Choice two -- using a pink homespun plaid (very little contrast in the plaid...) 

Choice three -- using a beige/light tan fabric that happens to have little trees on it. 

When I started grabbing strips for this quilt I decided to use up as many of my green strips as I had precut.  Then I started throwing in some floral prints with green in them.  And, eventually I pulled some of the colors from the prints and added bits of those colors.  I added mostly pinks, burgundies and golds if I remember.  

I know which one I like best but which do you like?  My favorite is the pink as I think it makes the top sing.  The two others are fine but ho-hum.  The pink is a loosely woven homespun so I will need to do some serious quilting in the borders. And, I think I'll have to piece the borders but that is fine with me.  

Let me know what you think.  I won't be working on this again until at least Wednesday, maybe later. 

Happy Quilting All!  

Monday, January 23, 2012

Design Wall Monday 1-23-12

Good Morning! 
I'm not showing my design wall today because 1) go to this pic and mentally add 6 more,  and 2) what I am working on I can't show yet. I did get this lonely heart made for a block of the month opportunity. Most months Faithful Circle Quilters (in Columbia, Maryland and where I am still a member) gives us the opportunity to make as many blocks as we want to enter into a drawing.  I try to always do at least one because it is an easy way to USE up fabric with out getting more fabric back.  Well, unless you win the blocks.  They have the option to not have your name in the drawing.  I generally do NOT have my name in the drawing as I have several block sets I've won in the past.  

I finished the borders on my 12 Days of Christmas presented by Temecula Quilt Company. (scroll down to day one, you'll have to click on newer posts to see all 12 days.  When I started to spray baste the quilt to batt it up I decided I show you how I batt my small quilts.  First, I cover my cutting table with lots of paper -- I don't want any adhesive droplets hitting any thing extra. 

I lay out the backing, wrong side up and spray the adhesive over it.  Next I roll my batting up.  With just a little batting loose from the roll I carefully line up one edge and let it down to the batting.  Luckily I can reposition this if I need to.  Then I roll out the batting being careful to not get lumps or air bubbles.

There it is smoothed over the backing fabric.

The top doesn't roll as well so I just folded it over so I was only dealing with a small bit of the fabric first.  For some reason I like working from the bottom up.  I make sure I have enough backing around the edges of the quilt.  Then I unfold the top and smooth it out. 

Here it is all ready for me to hand quilt it.  I am trying Sulky KK2200 Temporary Spray Adhesive.  It comes in a small can but I've been told it lasts as long as the larger cans of other brands.  I always do my spraying in my studio and this one leaves no yucky order.  In fact, you can't smell it. (Or at least I can't.)  The spray comes out in a fine mist which makes it very easy to use.  Hopefully the sprayer part won't clog over time.  The down side is it is temporary.  Evidently it's hold will release within the next few days.  I got 3/4th of this quilted last night so I don't think it will be a problem. 

Last week's goals . . . . YEA! I did pretty well on all of them... 

Week of Jan 16, 2012
Visit Jenny, Brian and Sophia
Finish all blocks for secret project not quite – last 6 blocks in progress
Bind baby quilt-as-you-go √ all done
Make and mail out BOM for Faithful Circle Quilters √ will go in the mail today
Spend 15 minutes a day cutting scraps into usable sizes √ I didn’t do it every time I was up in the studio but most days I spent 20 minutes plus!
Keep the cutting table cleaned off at the end of the day

Week of Jan 23, 2012
Quilt Twister quilt
Quilt 12 Days of Christmas quilt
Sew secret project together
Spend 15 minutes a day cutting scraps into usable sizes
Clean the oven (ok, set it so it cleans itself but I hate the smell of avoid it frequently!) 
Clean top two shelves in the refrigerator (blah!)
Finish putting the rows together of NY Day mystery
Post at least one more blog during the week. 

Forgive me for throwing in housekeeping goals but I figure it will get done if I admit I have to do it. I noticed I haven't been posting many blogs between Mondays so I'm adding that to my goals for the week.  

Here's a new picture of Sophia -- she was cuddling with the cat on her changing table... 

Have you looked at other design walls across the internet?  Check out Judy's Patchwork Times. 

Happy Quilting All! 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Design Wall Monday 1-16-12

Here's what I'm working on: 

After our regular meeting at Country Piecemakers we had a baby quilt sew-in.  This is done in strips and quilt-as-you-go.  I precut my strips to fit the size batting I had in my stash.  And, I didn't really want to spend days working on this charity quilt so I cut bigger strips.  So my striped fabric in the center was about 7" wide if I remember.  That is laid down first right side up* on top of the batting and backing which is pinned together.  

Then you just put the next strips on right sides together and sew along the 1/4" seam. Flip, iron and put another strip down. In a couple of hours I had a 36 x 45" quilt ready for binding.  I had to sew a line of decorative stitches across the pink to hold it in place as it was pretty large.  I plan on using the pink to make the binding.  * Except, I didn't follow directions exactly.  That pink is actually right side down and it is staying that way!  I have to decide if I want to use the wrong side for the binding or use the right side.  Decisions, decisions. 

These fun stars are from Bonnie Hunter's Carolina Christmas several years ago.  I got frustrated with the the whole project when I first started.  I've pulled it out a couple of times and not gotten very far.  But for some reason I'm having great luck with it now as an ender project.  So I'll keep plugging away on it.  It'll be half size unless I have a wild hair to cut more of everything. 

Last week's goals:

Week of Jan 9, 2012
Make heart block or two √ at least 1
Make sample blocks of BOM for Guild √ go to yesterday's blog if you'd like to join us
Write up and print out instructions for BOM
Make and mail out block for Faithful Circle Quilters didn’t happen
Keep making blocks for the secret project… at least 6 √ most are done
Keep making blocks for the Komen donation quilt oops
Clean off cutting table regularly
Spend 15 minutes a day cutting scraps into usable sizes
Make star blocks from Carolina Christmas as leader/ender project√ several are done but not all

Week of Jan 16, 2012
Visit Jenny, Brian and Sophia
Finish all blocks for secret project
Bind baby quilt-as-you-go
Make and mail out BOM for Faithful Circle Quilters
Spend 15 minutes a day cutting scraps into usable sizes
Keep the cutting table cleaned off at the end of the day

I have started a block of the month quilt for my guild and will be posting it on this blog the Sunday after the second Saturday each month until November.  Please check it out by clicking here.  I'm doing reproduction fabrics for mine but it definitely would work in any of your favorite fabrics. Since it is a sampler quilt I'm not giving fabric requirements.  I've gathered about 20 pieces of fabric that I want to use.  I do plan on buying some background fabric so it can "hold 
together" the quilt.  Let me know if you are joining in.

And, on another note.  Does anyone know how to make buttons that folks share to draw attention to their blog or sew along?  I'd like to have one for the bom but I don't have a clue how.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.  

That's what's happening in my corner of the internet.  Check out Patchwork Times to see what's going on in other places.

Happy Quilting All! 

**** Is it just me or does blogger drive you crazy when you can't keep the space between the lines even?  When I copy and paste the goals I get more space in between.  But all the other text on this post was typed directly into blogger.  And, it isn't all the same distance from the lines above and below. ARGH! Thanks for letting me rant.... b.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Join Me in a Block of the Month 1800's Quilt

I volunteered to plan and run a block of the month for my local guild.  I thought I would share it with my readers if you'd like to play along.

Every month at least one 9” block that was used during the 1800’s will be presented. Hopefully I will be able to give you a little history of either the block or the quilt I found it in. There will be 12 blocks plus a pieced center medallion on point. I chose 19th century reproduction fabrics to go with the time frame of the blocks.  I have been collecting them since the 1990’s when modern fabrics were patterned after two quilts in the Smithsonian Institution collection.  I have added to it over the years as reproduction fabrics have become very popular.  I have added a cream background fabric although I am guessing I will have to buy a bigger piece than the ½ yard I currently have.  Because this is a sampler quilt I have not figured yardage to make it.  Pictured below is the general look of the quilt. 

January Pinwheel Variation

The first block was chosen from a pinwheel quilt made in Maryland circa 1812 to 1814.  It is said that the quilt was made while the men were away fighting the War of 1812, 200 years ago.  The quilt is part of the Textile Collection of the National Museum of American History. Instructions for the reproduction quilt and a picture of the original can be found in the book, Quilts from the Smithsonian by Mimi Dietrich, (That Patchwork Place, ©1995  Smithsonian Institution) The block is a variation of a 9 patch using pinwheels.  The original quilt is made up of 55 pinwheel variation blocks with plain blocks between. We’ll be doing only one block! To learn more about the National Museum of American History’s National Quilt Collection you can 
Take a Tour of the National Quilt Collection
Cutting: from a light fabric cut 4  -  3.5” squares.
From both light and dark fabric cut 10  -  2.5”  squares. (20 squares in total.)
The Smithsonian quilt used the same light for both the pinwheels and the alternating blocks for the 9 patch as shown above. I used different fabrics because I didn’t have enough of the lighter fabric in the pinwheels.

Sewing: Draw a diagonal line down the center of each light fabric.  Pair up each light square with a dark square, right sides together.  Sew a scant ¼” from the line on both sides.  Cut on the drawn line.  Square up to 2” unfinished.  If your blocks are not quite big enough to square up cut the beginning squares to 2 5/8th inches.  Or use your favorite method of making 20 half square triangles that finish 1.5” or unfinished 2”.   

With the 20 half square triangles make 5 pinwheel blocks.  Sew the pinwheels as shown in the block.  Fan open the center seam to help eliminate bulk.  See picture. 

Sew into rows as shown. Press to the plain pieces.  Sew the rows together. 

The first block is now done. 

I will be posting one or two blocks or parts of blocks on the Sunday after the second Saturday of each month.  I plan to have the entire quilt done by November.  It should measure 36" by 36" before borders.  At this time I don't plan to put borders on it but once all the blocks are done I may change my mind.  If you have any questions feel free to comment or send me an email at

Happy Quilting All! 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

UFOS into 2012

Have you listed your UFOs (unfinished objects) for 2012?  I spent a little time today cleaning up last year's list and adding things I started over year and didn't finish.  From what I remember, I finished 6 UFO's last year.  Some were really old -- 1993.  Some had been started the previous year.  I was happy to wipe those 6 items off my list.  I added a few unfinished projects to the list but I still need to review my project boxes and see if I have any other projects that are being held over.  I think I came up with one less project. 

Here's how I keep track of these UFOs. Hum, try clicking on the photo to see if enlarges.  The last column is for when the project is finished. I have 36 UFOs.  And, the saddest part of the whole thing, I've already started 3 projects this year. One had to go to the back burner almost immediately.  Sigh. 

 Some time over the next few weeks I'll pick 8 or 10 projects to focus on finishing during the year.  I may not get all of them done but hopefully I'll move forward on all of them with at least half getting completed.  

I also will list and print out a list of quilts/patterns I want to make sometime during the year.  I wasn't as successful with that list last year.  I think I had 8 or 10 items on that and I did two.  

I have been diligently working on my secret project.  I have 12 more blocks cut and started.  Somewhere I need to find 2 more pieces of fabric as I need 14 blocks.  (Bummer...) 

I have begun to put the sashing on the 12 Days of Christmas Mystery.  With luck that will be finished tomorrow.  Well, at least the top will be done.  

Hopefully tomorrow I'll get to the studio earlier than I have recently.  To do that I need to go to the Y earlier.  Which means I need to get moving earlier... etc. etc. 

Happy Quilting All!