Friday, October 21, 2016

Bored silly with my shadow quilt

I know that I really wanted to make a shadow quilt, but man! Working with just 3 fabrics is WAY out of my scrappy comfort zone.  Despite the fact that this quilt is small - just 33.75" x 48.5" - it took me much longer to finish it than it should because it just bored me.  Don't get me wrong, I like it, I just didn't like making it.
I put the seed packet panels in alphabetical order, or so I thought.  One is out of order, and I took it out and put it in wrong AGAIN!  Oh well, that's where it is meant to stay, I guess.
I imagine I'm not going to much enjoy quilting it either, so this will get done on the machine rather than by hand so I can get it done and move on to something else.

To keep me going while I finished this quilt off today, I started a new scrappy project.  When I peruse quilt images online during my lunch break at work, I keep finding myself drawn to this quilt:
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I've never made a strippy quilt before, so I thought, why not?  I pulled out 5" squares and made 4-patches, then cut some white 5" squares in half diagonally to make the setting squares.
You know the method of making 4-patches by sewing down two opposite sides of 2 RST squares, cutting in the middle, rotating RST, and sewing down two opposite sides again?  LOVE IT!  Especially the fact that it gives you TWO 4-patches!
This is much more my speed!  I hope to make significant progress on this quilt top this weekend.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Plotting and scheming

I haven't been sewing much, because I've been sucked into the wonderful world of online quilt stalking.  Oh, the beauties I have found!

I want to make one of these like Sew Katie Did.
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I saw a partial photo in a magazine of a quilt called Scrap Tease, so I went online to see a whole quilt, and fell in love with this version.  I would gladly tackle partial seams to make this!
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Forget sleep - I want to go down to the sewing room to start this fun quilt RIGHT NOW!

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Did I miss this Dear Daughter quilt-a-long because I only have sons?  No matter - I'm tempted to buy the pattern and make it anyway!
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Ack!  Gotta get off the computer and get into the sewing room!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Chimney Rock Block

I was determined to catch up on my Westering Women BOM blocks before the new block was released today, and I did it!  I did the re-drafted (read: no Y seams!) version of the block, and while it isn't perfect, I'm quite pleased with it.

But, considering my aversion to Y seams, can you imagine my dread when I saw September's block, which was released today?
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I'm redrafting it, no question!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Shadow Play

A couple of weeks ago, I followed along with the Shadow Block Mini Quilt Along, and I've been itching to give a shadow quilt a try.  I have a number of panel sets that I thought would make good focus blocks for a shadow quilt, so I pulled one out

and started cutting and sewing.

I didn't have much time to sew today, but I got enough blocks sewn together to get a sense of how it will look.  I'm accustomed to using white or cream backgrounds, so this golden houndstooth (?) was a stretch for me, but so far, I'm liking it.

I think I have 19 of these panels, and the blocks I am making finish at 5" x 6.5" so it won't be a very big quilt,  just a wallhanging.  Hopefully I can finish piecing it tomorrow.  This seems like a good candidate for me to try free motion quilting.  If this works out, this might be a good gift for my mother, who is quite the gardener.  We'll see.

I'm linking up with Monday Making (even though this is Sunday) since I'm sure it's what I'll be working on tomorrow, too.

Friday, September 23, 2016

I DID IT!!! (and I'll be happy to never do it again)

I've enjoyed participating in Barbara Brackman's Westering Women BOM.  Well mostly, anyway.  There have been two months so far where the block included set-in seams, so I've skipped those months.  I'm a wimp, I know.

But in light of my recent victory over my fear of machine quilting, I decided to suck it up yet again and give those Y seams a try.  First stop, March's block, Sweet Gum Leaf.  Lord have mercy, that block nearly killed me!  I labored over it all day long! (well, in between helping customers and restocking yarns and paying bills and all the rest that goes on during the course of a day in my shop)  But still, just one block to show for my day!

It isn't perfect, but it is done.  I can safely say I'll never make an entire quilt out of that block.  At least not without redrafting it to include all HSTs instead of those blasted parallelograms!  And even though I typically do needle turn appliqué, I sewed that stem on by machine just to be done with it!  Tomorrow, I'll give the other block I skipped a try, August's Chimney Rock.  You can bet the farm that I'll be doing the version WITHOUT set-in seams!

In other news, I shipped out 4 of the projects that I adopted out for the Quilty Adoption Event last weekend.  Congratulations to:

  • "Miaismine" for winning the Tropical Fish project
  • Christina P for winning the Snails Trails project
  • Kelly O for winning the Christmas Stars project
  • Jackie for winning the Flannel 9 Patches project

I've emailed Anonymous at valekort at yahoo dot com as the winner of the Scrappy Spools project, but haven't heard back.  If I don't hear back by the beginning of next week, I'll choose a new winner.  Thank you to all of you who volunteered to take some of these projects off my hands.

Since I've divested myself of 10 projects in the last 6 months, I couldn't help but throw my name in the hat to adopt someone else's orphans.  I scored these pieced setting triangles.
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Woo hoo!  I love the idea of pieced setting triangles, but doubt I'd ever take the time to make them.  Now I don't have to!  I do have to come up with a project to set them with, though, and the prospect of that just excites me!

Have a great weekend, everyone!  Tomorrow is my 45th birthday, so I'm having a 45% off sale at my shop, you know, to ensure that I won't be sitting there sad and lonely at work on my special day.  Last year it was a blast, people there all day long.  Hopefully tomorrow will be the same.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A finish!!

My friend, Doreen, whom I met when I was doing my block drive for Hurricane Sandy relief, stopped by last Friday.  It was great catching up - she lives in Minnesota and I live in Virginia, so we don't see each other often, as you can imagine!

Anyway, I mentioned wanting to go ahead and machine quilt some quilts, rather than poke along with my hand quilting on everything.  Not that I'm giving up hand quilting - I love it too much to do that! - but it would be nice to have a few more finishes under my belt instead of just flimsies.  It turns out she's been teaching free motion quilting, so she gave me some pointers and a pep talk.

On Saturday, I put on my big girl panties and gave it a try.  I changed the needle, I dropped the feed dogs, I fiddled with the tension, and I doodled all over a little quilt sandwich I had made for that purpose.  I had fun, but I definitely need to do more practice before I actually use free motion quilting on a real quilt.

So, the feed dogs came back up and I gave the wavy stitch on my machine a try.

I really like the way it turned out!  And I love the fact that I had quilted a whole quilt in a matter of just hours!

Yesterday I sewed the binding onto the front and today I hand stitched it down to the back.

A finish!  This one has to be a record for me - I started this project on Labor Day, just 16 days ago!

Time to get my Charlie Brown Quilt ready for quilting, I guess.

Monday, September 19, 2016

New Life For Old Blocks

Participating in the Quilty Orphan Adoption Event made me dig around in my orphan block drawer.  It's a big drawer, and there are A LOT of blocks in there.  I found a set of twelve 6.5" string blocks.  Alone, they weren't enough to make a quilt, but if I made them into HST blocks, I'd have 24 blocks, which, with a border or two, IS enough to make a small quilt.  That was my mission for today - to turn those sad little string orphans into a quilt.

Piecing went quite quickly, and I added a white inner border,

but then spent a ridiculous amount of time auditioning outer border fabrics.

No one fabric seemed right to me, and then it hit me - a pieced border!  I have all those precut scraps, so I pulled out the 3.5" bin and set about piecing a border.  I love it!  The chevrons remind me of Charlie Brown, so that's what I'm calling this one, the Charlie Brown Quilt.  It measures 34" x 45".

While working on the Charlie Brown Quilt, I pulled out more orphan blocks and set about sewing them together as my Leader & Enders project.  One of my goals this year was to make an orphan block quilt to replace the one I made years ago and used to keep in the car for road trips and sleepovers and visits to the drive-in theater.  Somehow, that quilt disappeared and I miss it, so today I started on its replacement.  What fun to sew orphans and scraps into chunks!  I've made 8 so far, all somewhere between 9.5" and 16.5" square.  This will be one riot of a quilt!

My favorite.  These dresden plate blades are left over from a quilt I made for my sister nearly a decade ago!

I really like this chunk, too!

I'm linking up with Oh Scrap! and Monday Making.