Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday Focus

Normally I like to do a post on what I finished during the week, but I haven't had time to turn my machine on until today.

I am just smitten with the Quick Curve Ruler.  I used the ruler to make these pumpkins.  I wanted to try another pattern to see if it was easy also.  I looked through the book, then I settled on one of the free patterns from Jenny's blog.  Way back when, our quilt group was going to give the poinsettia pattern a try but never did.

I can say that it was really simple too!  The hardest part with these blocks is trimming them up.  It really isn't hard, but I can never figure out which way to put the ruler on the block.  It seems really silly, but I swear I have to turn the ruler 4 or 5 times before I get it right.  Being a leftie, I am sometimes challenged in the rightie world.  This is not my normal color range, but I am enjoying playing with the softer colors.  This is likely to become another pillow.  It will finish at 20"

Do you see those little bits of color behind the block?  You need to look really close.....

 I couldn't tease you and then not show.  These are the new bolts that just arrived.

 I have been tied up most of the week with serving shift dinners for my family. Delaney at 5:00, Gavin at 6:00, Mason and Estelle at 6:30 and be at the play at 7:00. That makes for a crazy evening!

My son, Gavin is one of the brothers in the play Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

I am proud of him for his hard work in learning all the steps and the songs. He is doing a great job.

My host daughter is not in the play, but the other 2 exchange students are.  This is their first experience being on stage and they are doing an excellent job (especially since English is not their first language)

The beauty on the left is from the Czech Republic, and the one on the right is from Germany.

Tonight is the last performance so I will be going to support them.  Delaney is in the choir and is doing a great job.  All the sets are really amazing.

Saturday is a wrestling day, but maybe Sunday I can have some sewing moments.

Monday, March 16, 2015

DWM - Something New to show

I had hoped to work on my blue/brown/green strip stack quilt this weekend, but I still didn't have my 1/4" foot.  I don't like to work on a quilt with more than one machine, so I went with a different project.  I bound two quilts and passed them along to a friend for hand work (thank you, thank you)

This isn't actually new, it is on the UFO list from last year.  It is the canned pears pattern from Fig Tree.  Beware that if you make it larger, your columns will be different lengths.  I put it away last year because I didn't want to deal with how to make them even last year.  It is now in one piece and I have the tiny 4 patches for the checkerboard done also.  It feels great to have this one down to the borders.  Since I made it bigger, I need to figure out what size to make the inner border so that the pieced border will fit.  Time to turn on my math brain again.

My group also played with the quick curve ruler.  I don't live in the Southern Hemisphere, so it is a little out of season.  Several people from the group made pumpkins.  Mine are the tall skinny ones in the middle of the bottom and the fat ones on the lower left.  A few of Ellen's beads also made it into the photo along with pumpkins from the other members.
I really enjoyed using the ruler and I can see me making more projects.  The instructions were easy to understand and the curves were easy to sew.  I love how all the pumpkins turned out so differently.  

I hope to do a little quilting this week and maybe sew a few more strip stack blocks.  My new feet for my machine arrived on Saturday.  Life is too short to spend it looking for lost items (especially ones that can be replaced so easily).

It won't be long and my flowers should be popping up from the long winter rest.

Stop over to Judy's to see what others are working on.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Bring it on Mr. Winter!

I know almost everyone is sick of snow, but I say "Bring it on!"  Another snow day today = more quilting time for me!  I quilted a UFO, and that wasn't even on my goal list.

I actually finished another quilt from the UFO mountain.  I may have even finished mine before some others in the group (like Ellen).  This has never happened before.  These are the blocks from the Lewis and Clark sampler that I taught many years ago.  I added the alternate blocks and set it on point.  I will take some better pictures once the weather isn't so gloomy.  

I mentioned in yesterdays post that I have been doing a fair amount of running for my kids.  Along with show choir, I get to watch my son wrestle.  It is a really hard sport for me to watch.  I am told that I make quite the funny facial expressions.  I don't think bodies are supposed to bend like they do in wrestling.  This is my son getting a pin last night.  I am quite certain my neck would be broken if I twisted it like that.  

Is it too much to ask for a fog delay tomorrow?

Monday, March 2, 2015

Monday - How can that be? can it be March already?

I have nothing new to show on my design wall.  It looks exactly the same as in my last post.  I have wrestling and show choir going on.

My DH had a problem with materials on a job so he switched gears and put the flooring in the boys room.  It went very well until the very end.  We are one board X 21" short.  That is the way projects always work out at my house.  We had to go buy another box of flooring for that 4" X 21" piece.  UGH!

Since the flooring was essentially done, that pushed me to get the paining finished.  I had the base coat of taupe on the walls, but I didn't get the stripes or the accent wall complete.  I looked at several tutorials on stripes, and I am pleased with how well they turned out.  I also managed to get the accent wall painted (sorry about the turned photo).  It is the dark blue.  The best part is both boys like the colors and the flooring.  Once we get them moved back into their room, we can work on the last bedroom that needs attention.  

I quilted 2 customer this weekend.  I quilted both of them with the pantograph popcorn.  I think it is the perfect choice of pattern.  It is funny that I received two different quilts with basically the same colors.  It made the thread choice really easy!

It feels good to check something off my March goal list so early in the month.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Monthly Recap and March Goals

Judy reminded me yesterday that she needed a little inspiration on my blog.  I haven't posted because I haven't really done much sewing lately (besides at the retreat).  I had hoped to make a little more progress on my projects this month.  I was 2 out of 5 for my goals this month.  I am going to focus on the positives

I finished one quilt from the UFO parade.  I managed to get it quilted.  I have no idea what that shadow in the middle of the quilt is, but trust me I do not have a big stain on the quilt.
I did play with the blue scraps.  I also added a little brown and green.  This quilt will be 5 blocks long.  I am about 1/3 the way done with the blocks.  I have lots of pieces ready to put together.  

I am moving my other 3 goals that I did not complete to March.  
  1. Quilt 2 customer quilts (they are ready to go!)
  2. Bind my projects from January- binding is picked and ready to be made.
  3. Work on the t-shirt quilt
  4. Finish the blocks for the blue quilt
  5. Continue to work on my scrap-cut-a-thon.  I have 6 of the bakery trays lined with scraps. Instead of using these trays for projects, they have been filled with scraps.  It's time to cut them up and get them ready to sew.

It's hard to believe, but I have made a lot of progress in cutting my scraps this month.  In the process, I think I have cutting stations in almost every room of the house.  I don't think my family (mostly my husband) is a huge fan of my big messes.  Feel free to grab a scrap bag and cut along with me.

I have learned one thing about my scrap storage system.  I don't mix brights with other colors (country or reproduction) in projects.  I now have a bin for brights.  It is easier to merge these brights with the more muted colors if I need to than to sort them out.  I generally don't make a bright quilt with only one color, so I am going to let all my brights live happily together.

I am not cutting for a specific project, however, I have another pixelated project planned and also kitting together greens and neutrals for a Carolina Chain.  I love this quilt set on point.  It is a great scrap quilt as it takes 6" (3X 2" squares) or 11" (2X 2" square and a 2X3 1/2")  of fabric.  Since I just finished my log cabin quilt with 2" strips, and my blue/brown/green quilt is with 2" strips...I have plenty of leftover pieces.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Design Wall Monday

I had a retreat last weekend so I made some progress.  I finished my Valentine's pillow.  It was started and finished in the same year.  So far I am really happy with how my pillow form turned out.  I anxious to see how well the fluff of it holds up.  Those poly filled pillow forms from Joann's just don't keep their shape.  My family can flatten them in no time.

I put the bindings on two log cabin quilts and sent them home with a friend for hand stitching.  It is good to not have them on the final step.

I made several more blocks for my February blue project.  I admit that these are taking longer than I thought, but I am enjoying working with the scraps.  It feels great to use some of my fabrics that I have been accumulating.  I actually had to dip into my fat quarters from more of the dark blues.  I have about 1/3 of the blocks done.  I am making this for a gentleman that has been helping our family out.  I think it has a masculine feel.

Despite the weather conditions, we had a great turn out for the retreat.  It was nice to hear so much chatter and socialization.

Stop over to Judy's to see what others are working on this week.

This week I hope to make 10 more blocks and quilt one quilt.  Stop back on Wednesday to see if I am making any progress.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Mid-Week progress (WIP Wednesday)

I have continued to work on my blue scrap project this week.  I cut all the dark-ish blue from the blue scrap drawer.  It still won't close without force.  I was nearly certain I had plenty of pieces cut.  When I sewed them all I had enough pieces for this many blocks.  This pattern is a size modified quilt from the book Stripology.
I calculated that  I need at least 36 blocks (9 across and 4 down).  A large part of these will be half blocks, but they will take the same number of pieces.

I didn't have nearly as many pieces as I thought, so I dug a little deeper.    
I went through my 2" strip drawer and pulled out a lot more strips.  Then I started thinking about my log cabin quilt in the country colors and I remembered I had lots of left over country color 2" pieces.  That led me to dig through a few other containers with leftover pieces.  

I was a little nervous how the scrappy background would work, but I think it adds a lot of warmth and charm.It also uses a lot of pieces that I have laying around.

In looking at my blocks on the design wall, I think I need to add more brown.  After I made my sample blocks  (upper left) I decided I wanted more blue and less of the brown in green.  Now that I have a lot of blocks made, I think I need to add more of the brown.  

I am enjoying my new projects and playing with my (and other people's) scraps.

So I am back to ironing and cutting more pieces from this mess.  I don't think this will be enough pieces, so I plan to sort through some more fabric in my fat quarter containers.

In the process of looking for more scraps,  I was able to empty so more containers- quite a few actually.  Most of these contained the leftover parts of quilts that are now ready to quilt.  It is pretty exciting for me to see empty containers in my studio.  The snap lock container is the perfect height for fat quarters, however, it didn't work for me.  I just have too many (yes, it was painful to admit that).  I have sworn off fat quarters for the next several years unless I need them for a specific project.  I moved my fat quarters to a bigger container where I hope to start using them.