Saturday, July 31, 2010

Stash Manicure's Give-away

Rae Ann at Stash Manicure is having her end of month Giveaway here.  I am entering it...of course I'll win, at this time only about 140 people have entered,,,,and it is only the first day.  The odds are really with me...but I won't win if I don't try, right.  This is a great site.  I have had fun checking out ways to use my stash...and seeing the results of everybody's work.

Cross your fingers for me (unless you entered it also, then good luck to you too).

Friday, July 30, 2010

Week six - coming down to the wire - Quilt-Along

I am so antsy, wanting to get these finished and put together.  Don't know in what order yet, every week I create new surprises in blocks.

This week is no different.  I am pleased with the blocks.  I had very little trouble with them...a little trouble with 'New Album".  I had to put together the top and bottom rows first to be sure of my measurement on the middle one.  I need more practice, but as a whole everything turned out okay.

Week six, blocks 11a and 12a

Week 6, blocks 11b and 12b
I got tired of the wooden background behind the blocks, so I got a neutral fabric and laid it out.  No as much contrast on some of the blocks, but it got rid of some of the yellowish in the photos.

Completed blocks, Quilt A

Completed blocks, Quilt B

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Thoughts on a New Design......

No picture..Can't show you..have to tell you.

Those of you with DSL (or some such fast internet) might not have had this happen.  But those of us who are still on dial-up and/or satellite link or twiddle-the-thumbs-waiting-for-it-to finish links which are slower and more frustrating may have had this to occur.

Have you ever been at your blog, anxious for it to appear so you can get on with your life, and tried to move down the page when it has not quite finished loading? I did today, and what came up was a series of beautiful striped lines colored like my blog all up and down my screen.  I thought to myself, what a beautiful blend of colors, they would look so good on a quilt!  Then, alas, my computer gave one more courageous effort, they disappeared, and my blog page came up.  Could not freeze it so I could capture it either on a camera or otherwise.

Ahhhh, well,,,, some things are never meant to be.......

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Challenge completed!

I challenged myself to finish basting this top,,,,and I did.  Gotta go exercise so this is quick.  I baste this way because I find myself moving the top this way and that so I feel more secure if I am a little rougher on it than normal. 

Reporting this has been a challenge also.  After finishing the above paragraph, I had to put this in draft  mode and leave for my exercise class in Big Town, an hour away.  We came back home to be greeted with thunderstorms and a satellite provider that could not get through.  Everything has calmed down, however.

Borders done, top completed,

I finished my construction quilt top.  I decided to add only one more border to each of the sides.  The blue stands out so I was afraid that two borders of blue would be too much.  So it now waits until I can baste it.......whenever that can be.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Changing my Mind in Midstream....

I started this simple panel quilt earlier this month so that I could be finished with it was supposed to be one of those "quick and easy" ones that we sometimes squeeze between two WIPs that are a little more mind-intensive...
 After I was done I thought, Ooops, too narrow (35") for the planned "giftee".  So I was in the market for another side border , which, of course, was not in my stash.  Last week, my DH and I went to the Big Town and I was able to drop by my LQS.  I found a good color, but it acted like a border-wrecker and insisted on being squeezed between the two borders on the sides instead of just being satisfied laying on the outside.

So, being the whuzz that I am, I complied with the fabric, ripped apart the side borders, and will be adding the blue where it wants to be....once I get it cut.

Now I am playing with the idea of adding an outside border of blue (not as wide) so that each original border will have it's partner. (I'm a sucker for happy endings).  That decision will be made after I see how this turns out , and if I have enough fabric....

Friday, July 23, 2010

Week 5 of Quilt-Along Gang

Well, what do you's not even late Sunday evening and I have finished with the assigned blocks for this week.  I am learning values and color combos, even if it is in the "don't do this category".  I have all the blocks in front of me at various times during the week and even I don't know how the quilts will turn out!

Anyway, here they are in all their glory....
Week 5, blocks 9a and 10a
Week 5 blocks 9b and 10b
Completed blocks, Quilt A
Completed blocks, Quilt B
BTW, I picked out the color sashing for both quilts,,,that you will have to wait and see later. 

Now to add the link at Amy's and look at the other quilters' blocks......

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tuesday to Tuesday - One Week Challenge

Amy's at it again... She is having a one-week challenge.  We chose something to do and get done this week, starting today and ending next Tuesday.

This blue/white top has been waiting patiently in the wings since May to be sandwiched and prepared for handquilting.  This I plan to do in the next 7 days.  I usually baste by hand, using embroidery thread and long stitches.  Usually I overbaste, because I never know where I will be while sewing, and have had experiences of my basting not holding.  Granted, that was quite a while ago, but it was a nasty experience!

So count me in, Amy....thanks for the chance to finish something.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Amy's Quilt-Along, Weeks 3 AND 4....I'm caught up!!!!!

The title says it all.  I have caught up with the crowd and am riding high!

Without further ado, may I present.....Quilt A progress:

Week 3, Blocks 5a and 6a

Week 4, Blocks 7a and 8a
As of Week 4, Completed blocks, Quilt A

Now onto Quilt B.....

Week 3, blocks 5b and 6b

Week 4, blocks 7b and 8b

As of Week 4, completed blocks, Quilt B

Friday, July 16, 2010

Time Out to Fill My Cup

This past week I have been working on Life-Tasks....those simple mundane things that have to been done eventually...paying bills, buying groceries and small items needed around the house, cleaning (altho very little of that!)....and working to get caught up with Amy's Challenge. 

Right now I am taking a few minutes for myself... a cup of coffee and a book.  This one was given to me a couple of years ago by my newest DIL and son.  It is an inspirational book and one that I can pick up, turn to any chapter and read a few peaceful words. 

The author uses the name and picture of each quilt to convey thoughts or inner feelings in each chapter.  Lovely book.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

3D Math is done!

It is bathed, dried, and ready to mail!

I finished my flannel quilt for my GS, along with it's "foot label" on the back. It actually is a free  rail fence pattern. This is the second quilt that I have made out of this material.  The light plaids are slightly different, but otherwise I used the same material.  I even have a little more, mainly the solid green, if I want to make something else. 

I named it 3D Math because the original pattern showed a solid black square and I did not like the bluntness.  I spend a lot of time checking and rechecking my math so that I could put a small piece in the middle of the square to break it up.  At the time, there was very little of that green plaid left, and that had a lot to do with the size of the piece. Later, after the top was pieced, I ran across some more of the same material, in New Hampshire, at Keepsake Quilting, and it was one of the fat quarters I got on sale there. So I was able to use it in the binding as well.

The "foot label" is the actual outline of my GSs foot that he sent to me. I am going to use it, along with the rest of the family's feet and hands in a quilt in the days, months, years, to come,,,,whenever I can get to it.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Amy's Quilt Along, week 2 blocks

Well, this has been an experience.  If one learns by mistakes and goofs, then my learning curve is off the chart.  I measured, remeasured, and still cut wrong; I sewed the wrong side to the wrong side even after Amy warned me about doing wonky things and to recheck positions, and went through about 3 or 4 choices (with cutting) before I was semi-satisfied.

BTW HINT: Did you know that if you are undecided about combination of fabrics and already have one cut, that you can lay the cut pieces down on an uncut fabric and see what it will look like?? I positioned the two 6 1/2" pieces on several fabrics and it worked like a charm.

Also, as noted before, I am making two quilts, one of which is sorta, kinda, really out of my comfort zone.  But I had bought a lot of fat quarters of this series and wanted to see how I would handle it.  I am finding out.  It is kinda fun, but I don't know where it will lead...(quilt A, if you haven't already guessed).

Anyway, here are the pictures:  have fun! Yes, you can click on the pictures and get the full effect.

Blocks 3 and 4, quilt A

Blocks 3 and 4, quilt B

Sewn blocks, Quilt A

Sewn blocks, Quilt B

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Simple Pillowcase

Glancing through a home decorating magazine, I came across an idea for a throw pillow.  However, the idea evolved while talking to my DH.  He scrounged around in his closet and came up with a favorite, now-to-small rugby shirt which I conficated.
The next thing I needed was a simple bed pillow. Now you get the idea.

I slid the pillow into the fit! I played with the idea of adding batting inside the sleeves and leaving them on.  This might be a good idea if giving it to a grandchild, so that Grandpa's arms could be around him when he was sleeping....but I decided to cut them off instead.  Perhaps that would work with a short-sleeve shirt.

Since this was to be given to my DH (after all, it was his shirt!), I cut off the sleeves, sewed up the sides, and placed a cover inside the collar so the pillow would not show.

Voila! A pillowcase to go with his (UFO) crazy quilt.  The shirt cooperated, having a ribbed bottom which helped enclose the pillow within.

Did I throw away the sleeves! Definitely not!  I now have some more fabric to use in his quilt!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Quilt Along Blocks 2A and 2B

Here is my second set of blocks for Week One in Amy's Quilt-Along:

Block 2, quilt A

Block 2, quilt B

Quilt Along with Amy

Better late than never!  I found Amy's Creative Side and decided to join Quilt Along group.  It is the first time I have ever interacted with anyone in Blogland, and even though I am 3 weeks behind at the start, it looks like fun and her instructions/tutorials look easy, even for me!

So, being the glutton for punishment that I am, and not having anything else to do (see further down in post), I challenged myself to try two at the same time.  I couldn't decide on the two different types of fabrics that I liked and had available, so decided to give both a whirl.  They are going to be Quilt A and Quilt B, for further reference...
Quilt A

Quilt B
Now, understand that we are supposed to make 2 blocks per week.  The above is only the first block, so hopefully, I will be adding another post shortly.  I will try to catch up...eventually.

Now, why I am joining this quilt-along....   I have so many other ideas and want-to-do items that I first felt that I did not have to do this.  I have pillowcases to make, quilts to finish, self taught lessons on quilt-as-you-go to learn, patterns to organize,,,etc., etc., etc.

But you know what?  Everything I mentioned above is slotted for someone.  I have nothing going on just for the fun of there you go.  This may not be just for me, I don't know what I am going to do with the results, but it just sounded like fun.  So I am in for the long haul..twice!!

Those of you who are interested, check on my Pages listed...I plan to start one on this project.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Bits and Pieces.....

When I got my EQ6 last year, the manual, a very good one, came with it.  Being like all other paperbacks, it was difficult for me to keep the necessary page open without resorting to clips, weights, etc. 

So I went to an office supply store and paid a very nominal fee to have the original binding cut and replaced it with a spiral binding.  They did not cut into any of the print and it took only about 10-15 minutes at the most.  They also added a nice plastic cover.  Now, I can fold the pages back and there is not so much wear and tear on the manual. 

They could probably do this with some loose pages from the internet, magazines, etc also, with the realization that new pages could not be added to the pages already bound.

Talking about magazines and internet, I have filled the green spiral notebook with the plastic inserts/internet downloads.  So DH gave me a "slightly larger" notebook to play with.
Think it is big enough?  Sometimes these get too wieldy, but it will do as I progress through the organizational phase of deciding where and how to "catalog" my patterns, ideas, etc. 

A couple of months back, by request, I received the following package:
Yes, it was the cardboard middle of a package of paper towels, reinforced  and covered with scotch tape.  I am pleased that it withstood the USPS handling and the contents were intact.   My DIL had placed a roll of white paper in it, covered with outlined hands and feet of both  parents and 5 children.  The roll was secured with a small hair rubber band.

I am eventually going to make a quilt for them, using these outlines, also adding the 2 sets
grandparents prints as well. 

Right now, however, I plan to use one of the feet as a label on the flannel quilt I am finishing up for my oldest GS (11 or 12????), if I can embroidery all the wording on it. 

 I read an idea of creating a "light box" using one of those battery operating closet lights under my plastic extension table that I use with my Janome.  I don't have one of those, but my DH suggested this instead.In it's upright position, it is a good, cool "spot" light I got at Walmart.  It will just barely fit under the table, and being a cool light, will not heat the plastic up.  Hopefully it will work, as I plan to try it out shortly.

Have a safe Fourth!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Getting there...

Yesterday I cut and pieced together my binding for my flannel quilt.  I turned out to have more than enough fabric to handle the job.  In fact, I have some binding left over, and if I really want to, I might be able to squeeeeeeze another quilt using some cream/white flannel to use as background....

So I pressed the binding late last night.
This morning I woke up early, came in and sewed the binding to the quilt.  We went to town, ran some errands, stopped on the way back for some delicious BBQ and came home stuffed and unable to move. 
I have yet to make the label, but know what I am going to do, so hopefully within  a few days, give or take a day for traveling, I will be able to post the finished product before I mail it off to its' destination.