Monday, February 16, 2009

Feb 16, 2009

Another non-sewing day today, and I'll be gone all day tomorrow. But I did spend some time sewing yesterday evening. Just some playing around. A friend gave me a link to a mystery quilt block. I really like the block, but it called for 2.75" squares and rectangles 2.75" x 5" and makes a 9" block. Well I don't have pre-cut strips or squares at 2.75", but lots of 2.5", so I did the figuring and I can do this with 2.5" squares and 2.5"x 4.5" rectangles and get an 8" I did:
Then I played with the cut off triangles and made some 6" "maverick stars" a'la Bonnie Hunter. and a block that will be used with my crumbs...
And I did some more figuring. That Fractured Star block can be made 12" finished size using 3.5" squares and 3.5"x 6.5" rectangles, or 10" finished size with 3" squares and 3"x 5.5" rectangles....

Saturday, February 14, 2009

February 14, 2009

Well, Denny and the younger kids went to a basketball game this evening, so I finished the basket quilt top. The mitered borders went together without any problems and it is nice and flat. I intend to back and quilt this one myself and then I'm not sure where it will go. Maybe I'll keep it. I'll bind it with the green basketweave print I used in the inside border.

St. Valentine's Day (Feb. 14, 2009)

I sewed my two "Not So Ugly" sampler blocks today, and I like how they turned out. I wasn't sure if I was going to like the green with the "ugly", but it's okay!

I started sewing those mitered borders on the basket block, but I got what's new?

Anyway, after answering someone's question on Stashbusters about how to make a "magic-Nine-Patch" I decided to put a little tutorial here.

Step 1: Decide on a finished block size easily divisible by 3, and cut squares of your fabrics 1.5" bigger than that. For my demo I am making 6" finished size blocks, so my squares are 7.5"

Step 2: Place fabrics face together and sew down 2 opposite sides.

Step 3: Cut squares into thirds (2.5" from each side), parallel to seam you just sewed

Here's what you have:

Step 4: Sew as they have been paired up, light to dark, dark to light. Press seams to the dark.

Now you have this:

Step 5: place fabrics face together, lining up seams. Take a 1/4" seam down both short sides (crossing previously sewn seams.

Step 6: Cut parallel to the seams just sewn, 2.5" from each edge (1/3 of original square size)

Now you have this:

Step 7: Sew larger unit to smaller matching light to dark and vice-versa.

Press seams to the side with 2 dark patches.

You now have two 9-patch blocks of opposite coloration.

Friday, February 13, 2009

February 13, 2009

Denny took the day off work to clean out his shop, repair the back wall and install the windows we pulled out of the living room when we built my sewing room. So I was outside working all afternoon. A few years ago someone gave him a huge industrial lathe...built on a cast iron base, it must weigh at least half a ton. He decided to get rid of it. Problem is when the shop roof started sagging a bit he added an upright support which we had to manuever the lathe around. The only way to move it was to attach a tow strap to the van and pull it. we had to remove many parts that were sticking out, but we finally got it out of the garage. Now it's sitting next to the driveway waiting for a call to the junkman. I did do a bit of sewing after dinner. I sewed a label on the QAYG string quilt, as I will be sending it tomy Aunt next week. Tomorrow I will be home alone all morning and I think Denny and the kids can handle the rest of the shop clean-up without my help, so i intend to get in some serious sewing time. Hopefully I won't be too sore from the heavy lifting I did today!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

February 12, 2009

No sewing today. No quilt stuff. Kid stuff today. My baby lost her first tooth! Ginger will be 6 on May 31, 2009 and today she lost her first tooth. JoeE pulled it for her. And I got a little teary-eyed. My baby is growing up so fast!
Also today I bought a ticket to fly to Norfolk on April 22nd come home April 28. Gonna see that beautiful little 1 year old granddaughter (and her parents!)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

February 11, 2009

Another day, another quilt top done. And another one started. I finished the second baskets with 9-patches and rails top, that I laid out yesterday.

Then I went over to Mom's for a bit and helped her decide on and cut borders, sashings, and backs for 7 or 8 quilts. Someone donated a bag with 148 quilt blocks in it to the Ladies Auxiliary and Mom brought them home Saturday...these will be utility type quilts. The blocks are colorful, but wonky and mostly made with poly/cotton blend (looks to me like Palencia Broadcloth form Wal-mart). I'll try to remember to get some pictures when she gets these done.

I was gone most of the evening, but I did work on the single basket block I had leftover. It will finish out as a 45" square quilt. Here's the start:

Tomorrow I hope to work some more on this. I actually have already added the triangles needed to make this a square and cut 6.5" borders of the floral strip fabric. I just need to attach them and miter the corners, and decided not to attempt that late at night. But tomorrow will be a busy day, as I have to bake a fudge filled cheesecake and take it up to church for the Knights of Columbus' Outback Steak Dinner (Ladies Auxiliary provides desserts, Outback provides the dinner food). And then we will be out all evening for the dinner and other plans. And I just looked at the time! Yikes as busy as tomorrow is, I better head to bed now (12:50 a.m.)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

February 10, 2009

So, did I work on my "ugly" today? No! I let myself get sidetracked on the computer today...didn't have breakfast until lunchtime. But we did do schoolwork. And some laundry. And the house is a little neater. I put teh Amish Diamond blocks I won up on the design wall and settled on placement and will sash them in black...but I didn't take a picture. Ginger was terrified by tornado warnings this afternoon and we had to keep an eye on the TV to make sure we were not in the warning area. The storms were north and west of us. Then we did get some thunder, lightning and rain early evening, but no tornadoes here. When I put the Amish Diamond blocks away, I decided to pull some blocks out of my swapped blocks drawer. I thought I had twelve 15" basket blocks, with the baskets on the diagonal. I put them up on the design wall, but for my symmetrical mind it would take 16 blocks to use them all together, so I decideed I could sew 4 together to use as a center medallion for the Nesting robin on tyhe scrap quilting forum. Here it is...the start of a scrappy nesting robin.

Then I thought "Well, why not make two more 4 block quilt centers?"So I did. Then I looked in the drawer and found 9-patch blocks and rail blocks.
I used those with a basket center and a couple of hours later I have one top done for Sunshine, and another on the design wall, same layout. And I found a 13th basket block that fell on the floor and I've started another top with that i the center on point, borderd so far with a floral stripe. SO tomorrow may net 2 finished tops.....

I also decided that after I show it at guild Monday, I'm going to send that QAYG String quilt to Aunt Gerry, my godmother, who just had a birthday.

Monday, February 9, 2009

February 9, 2009

Well, I haven't started piling up things on the cutting table again, or the sewing table, but the reorganization/decluttering of the sewing room has stalled out. It got clean enough to work in and so I've been sewing. Sunday was 2nd Sunday of the month, so I sewed some red and white blocks for Sunshine Lotto...but I think I'll just donate them all...I sure don't need to win any blocks!

Today I finished my Quilt-As-You-Go (QAYG) string quilt. My first finish for the Stashbuster's UFO Challenge. Blocks are Quilted as the strings are sewn to backing and batting, then joined together with sashing strips front and back. I did this one totally by machine.

I also decided on a fabric for the Stashbuster's Ugly Sunshine Sampler. Challenge was to pick a Not necessarily ugly fabric (2 yds) to be used with some yellow or orange in the blocks. I've had my fabric (5yds. of it!) for maybe 5 years...about time I use it!

Monday, February 2, 2009


I have definitely made some progress in the sewing room reorganization. The cutting table has been cleared and is usable. all that is on it now are cutting mat, tools, pen basket, and small sizes of patches being cut for scrap user system...just small piles now but as they grow I'll find some small storage bins to keep them in. And the sewing table has been cleared and is oh so easy to use with the modification to fit the new machine done. The stuff on the table is what I am working on right now and will easily be put away when I am done or need to work on something else. I will spend at least 15 minutes today on further scrap cutting/purging, and another 15 sewing.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Bowl Sunday...part 1

I didn't get as early a start on my SuperBowl Sunshine sewing as I had hoped, but for good reason. I asked when Denny could get the sewing desk modified to fit the new machine and he started it right away, before church this morning. Then when we got home he managed to finish it just about in time for the kick off. It fits great and what a difference on my back. I finished sewing together a crumb quilt top. I really do see a difference in the speed of sewing on the new will do 1600 spm....Fast!!! Now I need to eat something and then back to sewing....quilt as you go string blocks to use up some of the strips and strings I cut from scraps yesterday and a pile of batting squares that were taking up space in the closet.