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.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Quilty Adoption Event - 5 projects up for adoption

Edited 9/21/16 - this event is now closed.

Honestly, getting these projects out of my sewing room isn't going to free up a lot of physical space in my room, but it will free up some mental space - I'll feel better knowing that someone else is will work on these projects rather than just let them linger in a cabinet like I have.

I have no requirements for adoption - make it for yourself, as a gift, for charity, whatever.  I will ask that you send a photo of your finished project if you think of it; it does my heart good to see what has become of my orphans.  In fact, here is a  link for one my orphans from the spring that was beautifully transformed into a charity quilt by Lisa.

For this event, I have 5 projects, A thru E.  Let me know in the comments which orphan you would like to adopt.  If you'd like more than one, that's fine, list all that you'd like.  I'll keep this open until Wednesday, September 21, 6 PM EST.  I'll do a drawing if more than one person is interested in an orphan, and I'll ship them out to the winners at my expense, hopefully no later than September 24.  I am located in the US, and will only ship within the US - so sorry, international friends!

Be sure to check out the other items up for adoption at the link up on Cynthia's blog.  Ready?  OK, here goes:

A. TROPICAL FISH by Cindi Edgerton paper pieced mini
I was visiting my mother-in-law many years ago and didn't have any stitching with me, so I walked over to her local quilt shop and picked up this pattern.  I made those first 4 fish by hand, and decided, not only do I not enjoy paper piecing, I also don't enjoy hand piecing.  Back into the tiny package it went.  Whoever adopts this project will get 4.25 pieced fish, and unused foundations for 25 more tiny fish.

B. SCRAP HAPPY SPOOLS by Cindi Edgerton paper pieced mini
If you read my comments about the fish project, you know I have no patience for this spools project.  I inherited this from somebody, complete with precut batik scraps.  It looks like only 2 of the tiny blocks have been attempted, but I didn't really inventory the whole thing.  I know there are more than enough unused paper foundations to make the pattern and there seems to be enough fabric, too.  Any batik loving paper piecing mini makers out there?

C. SNAILS TRAILS PLACEMATS muslin foundation pieces and pattern
Uh, how did I end up with so many foundation piecing patterns?  Not my cup of tea.  This orphan consists of 24 stamped muslin foundations for Snails Trails blocks that finish at 5.75".  The accompanying pattern tells you how to make 4 placemats with the blocks, but you could just as easily make a small quilt.

Here's another one for you mini makers out there.  I'm not sure how this made it into my possession, but this was started as a hand pieced mini quilt.  3 stars are already pieced, another one is partially pieced.  The seam allowances are already marked for any of you who do hand piecing, but you could just as easily finish this one on a machine.  There is an accompanying photo, but there is also a note on the photo saying "not exactly like photo."  I'm guessing she was planning on using setting squares between the stars, rather than the sashing in the photo.  Any takers?

OK, this one was mine, but I'll be honest, I have NO IDEA where I was going with this.  There are four 9.5" double 9-patches, eight 3.5" 4-patches, ten 3.5" colorful squares, seven 3.5" white squares, twelve 3.5" x 9.5" white rectangles and eight 3.5" x 12.5" rectangles.

Please don't let these orphans languish in my cabinet.  Won't you take one home with you?

Sunday, September 11, 2016

A Productive Day

Since I own a retail business, Sunday is the first day of my weekend.  Most Sundays, I lay around, reading and napping in between snacking and bits of housework.  This morning, I did my housework early because I had a friend coming over for brunch.  Since it was the first time she'd been to my house (even though we've known each other about a decade!  Why did it take me so long to get her over here?), I gave her the two-cent tour, including a peek in my sewing room.  How embarrassing!  My sewing room is a PIGSTY!!  She's too kind to say anything, but I was motivated to do some cleaning and organizing down there today.

After pulling aside some fabric that she mentioned liking to gift to her, I listed some in my ETSY shop.  After all, de-stashing some fabric was one of my goals this year, and so far, it has gone quite well, with anywhere from 2-5 fabrics finding new homes each month.  Whatever did we do before the Internet??
Brazen Blue Birds by Patrick Lose for Timeless Treasures - I bought this fabric because it was so stinking cute, but I can't for the life of me figure out what to do with it, so into the ETSY shop it goes (after lopping off a couple yards for my friend)
I also pulled out, photographed and prepped a blog post for 5 projects that I'll be listing in Cynthia's Quilty Orphan Adoption Event this coming weekend.  Last March I was able to send out 5 other projects to new homes, and while this doesn't clear a ton of space in my sewing room, it does make me feel better about that ridiculously long list of UFOs I catalogued in January.
One of the "orphans" I'm putting in the Quilty Orphan Adoption Event.  I learned after starting this that I don't much enjoy paper piecing.  I'm listing 2 paper piecing minis and one foundation pieced project.

I selected, cut and washed the backing for the quilt I pieced last weekend.  The plan is to pin baste it tomorrow and attempt to machine quilt it this week.  Those of you who know me know that I am a hand quilter, but I don't want this quilt to be added to my To Be Quilted pile.  Besides, I need to learn how to machine quilt, and the only way to learn is to do it, right?

I cut into a small mountain of scraps, clearing my cutting mat of the clutter that had been encroaching upon it from all sides, yielding 61 precut scraps for the scrap bins.
Doesn't look like much, but there are 61 squares in those piles, everything from 1.5" to 5"
And I even managed a little bit of sewing!  I'm up to 7 blocks for the Quilts of Valor Block Drive.

Add to that the floors I swept and mopped, the loads of laundry I did, the dishes I washed, the meals I prepared, and I'm surprised I'm still standing.  Time to go finish my book and drift off to sleep.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Quilts Show 2016

Our local quilt show was held at the end of July at the county fair.  I meant to post photos right away, but...
As usual, I was putting my last stitches in my quilt as they were hanging the last quilts.  When will I ever stop procrastinating??? Despite the proliferation of machine quilted quilts these days (which I totally understand and admire and am NOT knocking!), I love that nearly 15% of the quilts in this year's show were hand quilted!  Here's mine:

3rd place small/medium hand quilted
Close up of the hand quilting
I volunteered to be a hostess at the show and enjoy the quilts at my leisure.  Here are some of my favorites:

1st place hand quilted small/medium by Maureen G.
2nd place hand quilted small/medium by my friend, Sandra S

Surprisingly, the only 'modern' quilt in the show, by my friend, Sue L
She realized she was never going to finish her hex quilt, so she chose a different setting, by Maureen G
The colors of this grabbed me, by my friend Joan W
This one is also by Joan W.  Can you tell she doesn't do muted colors?
Isn't the quilting fabulous?  Quilted by my friend, Gail C.
Best in Show by Cynthia A - I love traditional quilts!
Close up of Best in Show winner
The quilt I'd most like to snuggle up with.  My friend, Gail C, always includes so many fabrics and fun details in her quilts.
Isn't it fun?  Stars & circles & butterflies & ric rac & yo-yos & buttons, oh my!
I admire Judy Niemeyer quilts so much, probably in part because I know I'd never be brave enough to attempt one.  This one was made by Gwyn C.
I love color!  This one by my friend, Helen W. 
When I first saw this one, I thought it was a photograph!  By Lori H S
I love minis, and the scrappier, the better!
And finally, Judge's Choice was this wonderful crazy quilt.
Can you see those wonderful details?  I could study this quilt for hours!
Ah, finally, I can free up some room on my phone for more photos, yet still enjoy this year's quilt show here online.  I'm already hoping to submit TWO quilts next year, including a mini.  I love them, but have never made one.  I think it is time!