Sunday, February 28, 2010

Four Patch Stars

Jayme and I finished our wall hangings this morning. Jayme picked a complex block and added a lot of borders to hers. Jayme's wall hanging is light and fresh with cheerful spring colors.

She did a great job.

Same block, but mine is dark with dramatic oriental prints. I added pieced accent borders.

I think I've said before what I like about quilting the most is how two people can take the same pattern and make it uniquely their own.

Shhhh....don't tell Jayme...I just realized when I was looking at the picture that the center four patch on my wall hanging is wrong, it is a quarter turn off, her's is right.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Another Interruption

I interrupted working on my UFO pile to work on a UFO project. Guess what? I interrupted the UFO project with a new project! I know big deal.

Jayme is visiting for a few days. She brought the fabric she bought in December with her. The original plan was to make a table runner but she is getting ready to move into a new place and decided something for the walls would be better. She only had 5 fat quarters to work with and she has never quilted before, so I dug out the Quiltmaker's 100 Block magazine I won and flagged some possibilities. She chose the Four Patch Star, not a block I had flagged - nice choice.

To show her how to use a rotary cutter, etc., I did the same thing with her that I did last month with Ariana, I am also making a wall hanging using the same block.

We have finished for the night. Jayme has one more border to put on and I have two. Same block but we have done very different borders. I'll show the finished wall hangings tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

We interrupt this UFO with a UFO

So I've made a pretty good dent in the pile on the sewing table. I still have the flannel to make into a back for the disappearing 9 patch, the fall churn dash wall hanging to quilt and I've turned all the left over valentine squares into 9 patch blocks...but once I laid all the 9 patch blocks out the way I had planned I decided I didn't like it. Kinda blah. So I began searching blog land, magazines and books for ideas. In the mean time I wanted something easy to piece - to kill time with until I found the right project for the 9 patch blocks.

Nancy and I took a stash buster class last year at our LQS, the project was called Hot Pocket. It is a scrappy lap quilt made of mirror image flying geese. In my case they were mirror image wonky geese. Neither Nancy or I did anything with our blocks after the class. The last couple of times we have gotten together to sew we have been working on this project - neither of us is overly crazy about the pattern but we are both determined to finish the quilt. So last week I cut out the set in triangles, and laid the rows out on the design floor (okay, so maybe I just tossed them out on the floor). The last few days I've been stretching and pulling the blocks into rows then putting the rows together (lots more stretching and pulling). I have 10 rows done, and 5 more to go.

I'm going to float the quilt center with more of the blue fabric then add a small border.

I don't particularly like this quilt but I'm determined to finish it. I'm not looking forward to quilting this one either, some of those seams are really thick.

Happily I've found the perfect pattern for the 9 patch blocks. More incentive to finish the Hot Pocket quilt quickly.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sew In Results

I finished sewing the binding on this table runner last night. When I was making this runner I had an idea of how I wanted to quilt it. I've seen a few quilts online lately with narrow straight line quilting. I really liked the look, but I think it has be the right quilt for it to work.

I think it works with this one. Gives it a very contemporary look.

Each line is the width of my walking foot - about 3/8".
All done.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Night Sew In Rambling

My Mom and Ben are visiting for the weekend. They showed up about 4:30 this afternoon, so I didn't get to put my jammies on early and sew all night, but I did get the hand sewing done on a table runner's binding.

Have you ever made anything that just makes you happy? There is no reason it should make you happy - no special fabric, no special pattern, no special quilting - but it makes you happy? One of the things on my sewing table that I didn't mention before because it wasn't worth mentioning were 25 3" fabric squares I bought about 9 years ago. I put them on the sewing table pile to just get something made and get they out of the scrap bin. I made half squares with them then make this little table's about 8" x 12".

I can't explain why, but this little mat makes me happy...silly huh?

Yuki had a giveaway recently and I won. Today I got a package with a Jinny Beyer Compass Sampler Block, the fabric to make the block (pretty pretty greens) and the cutest little scissors.

Thank you Yuki! I can't wait to make this.

Isn't he handsome? Fred is my official quilt approver and tester. See how hard he is working here.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Making progress

I'm making progress on the pile sitting on my sewing table. I quilted two table runners over the weekend and the single churn and dash wall hanging today. I played a bit with the quilting on all of them.

I have a ton of stencils I've collected over the years and have only used a few of them. I have one that is a continuous line design made for a 9" block. I used it on this block for a few reasons: 1) I wanted to see how I'd like an all over design on a pieced block, 2) I wanted more practice doing free motion quilting on a marked design, and 3) I wanted to try using a different method to mark the design on to the quilt top.

I started out using Quilt Pounce. I've never used it before. It was a bit messy loading the chalk into the Pounce dispenser, and even messier priming the Pounce. Result? Mixed. It was okay on the blue fabric (white chalk) but not very visible on the light green or print fabric. It may have been due to my inexperience and not having the dispenser fully primed - I will give it another try in the future so I'm holding out on final judgement. I ended up using Mark-B-Gone water soluble ink to mark the design. I've used this in the past and it has always worked well.

I like the quilt design with this block. It is almost tempting to use this design on the fall churn and dash, but I've already marked it with another design. I'll write more about it when it's completed. Currently I don't have any quilting in the blue border. I started to quilt a free motion loop and didn't like the way it looked so I took it out. Part of the problem may have been that I was still using the green thread and it really showed up on the blue. I may try it again with a blue thread - maybe. I did a free motion design in the print border, but the fabric is so busy you can barely see it.

For my Mom in Oregon and those of you snow bound in the east, this is a reminder of what a sunny day and green grass look like.

I also mowed and fertilized my front yard this afternoon. I'll probably be wishing for snow next week when I have to mow it again.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A little out of hand here

My next two quilts are going to be stash / scrappy quilts. I've been going through all my fabrics pulling greens, purples and creams. I have a huge pile of greens and creams, not much purple but I think I have enough for the project I have in mind (I don't do purple). But before I started cutting I had a few odds and ends that needed finishing up:

- found a flannel in my stash (remember the sale from the Ashland shop - bought 7 yards of a pale yellow flannel that was in the clearance room) to make a back for the disappearing 9 patch, got that all ready to put together, set it on the sewing table.

- marked and pinned the fall churn and dash wall hanging for quilting, set it on the sewing table.

- marked and pinned the single churn and dash wall hanging for quilting, set it on the sewing table.

- pinned the little scrap table topper for quilting, set it on the sewing table.

- cut out the pieces and parts to make another sewing mat, set it on the sewing table.

I have an extra large gift bag from the Dollar Store that I dump all my scraps in. It fell over, guess it was a little to full. I decided I need to be more organized with my scraps so I again went to the Dollar Store and picked up a few clear shoe box sized storage boxes. I sorted through everything, had to iron most of it since it had been really stuffed in the bag, then cut some 5, 2.5 , 2 and 1.5 inch strips from the bigger pieces, cut some 2.5 inch squares from the smaller pieces, and started a "strings" bag for whatever was leftover.

- found lots of left over squares from the valentine table topper in the scrap bag, decided I could make a small quilt from the left overs - 9 patch squares would be cute, have enough for 25 blocks, had a Kona white in my stash that would set them off perfectly. Cut out everything and set it on the sewing table.

- found MORE pieces and parts from the fat quarter bundle, decided I had enough to make a kinda sorta chinese coin table runner. Cut out everything and set it on the sewing table.

- found the scraps from the Stonehenge Illusion quilt, hmmm I think there is enough here to make a braided table runner...

This is where I decided things were getting out of hand. Four days after I started pulling greens, creams and purples, none of them were cut and there were a lot of other items ready for sewing on my sewing table, but no sewing was getting done.

I made the above 30 x 13 table runner this evening using the last of the fat quarter bundle. I swear all that is left of that bundle is one little 1 x 4 inch strip.

Everything else sitting on the sewing table should be fast and easy to finish. Nothing else is getting cut until the table is clear. But I also need a break from quilting, tomorrow I think I'll go to the movies and maybe splurge on some ice cream.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The very last bit

I took apart the left over quilt squares, sewed the odd width strips together, then made this little table runner.

I still have a strip of the sewn strips left over, I'm going to make those into coasters. I think I can squeeze four coasters out of what's left. Trying to use up every last bit has been too much fun.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Almost every last bit

Remember in November I bought this fat quarter bundle - 25 fat quarters in blues, greens, pinks and reds.
I made three of these cute little dogs out of them...

And three of these cute little skirts out of them...

They were Christmas presents for three cute little girls. While at my Mom's over the holidays I started working on a disappearing 9 patch. I finally finished it.

It is roughly 85 x 90 inches. This is a really easy fun quilt to make.

This is all that is left of the fat quarter bundle. Unfortunately the strips are not wide enough for the quilt binding. I think I got my monies worth out of that bundle.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Lesson Learned

Lesson learned today...

Measure your table tops before you make the table topper.