Sunday, November 29, 2009

I forgot to mention

Somewhere along the way while figuring out how many squares to cut for the checkerboard border I messed up and so I have 40 extra 4" four-patches. I have to decide if I want to use them in the backing for the quilt or start a whole new top...maybe a simple row quilt with bright strips between checkerboard strips.....this is how one quilt leads to another and on and on!

I just wanted to try a block....

Last Sunday I came across a block pattern I wanted to try. It's a paper pieced, 12" block, found here . I liked the block, but decided I didn't want to do a whole quilt top's worth of blocks. Paper piecing is nice but gets tedious. So I decided to use the block as a center for a nesting robin I had started doing and not finished because it was getting too big and I didn't like it. The rounds were to add a round using triangles, add a plain strip, a stop sign border, a rail fence or braid border, add applique, add a checkerboard border, and add stars. Since the whole list had already been selected I decided to combine some. So I did a round with stop signs and rail fences alternating and put stars into my applique round. I really am pleased with how this turned out. Now I just have to decide how to quilt it. I don't think my typical allover meandering style is what this quilt calls for....time to grow a bit! The inner black with bright dots strip I used was leftover from that baby quilt, but I really want to bind the quilt with this fabric as well, so I called the shop in Texas, and ordered 2 yards. It just works so well with brights that I want to have some for future use! This quilt was made just for the fun of it and I will be donating it to my guild's community projects. We give quilts to Allie's house (kids in chemotherapy) and to Abbott House (a place for children who have had to be removed from an abusive situation) and I think some child will get some cheer and encouragement from this quilt!
After finishing the top today I decided to do a few blocks for an upcoming lotto.
The top right block was pieced, a circle into a hole. That was tedious! The other 4 are appliqued. I made a freezer paper circle, ironed to the back of the circle fabric, cut around leaving an approximate 1/4" turn under allowance. Than I applied starch and turned the allowance under and ironed. After applying a bit more starch to the edge and ironing stiff and dry, I removed the freezer paper, pinned the circle to a slightly oversized square, and top-stitched close to the edge with invisible or color coordinated thread. I think I may do a few more blocks.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My thrifty Mother

Look how my mother decided to deal with strips of batting trimmed from the edge of quilts. She can't bring herself to throw away something perfectly good....
I'll admit I scoffed at the idea a bit, but she did it anyway. And it really does work. She loosely wove the strips of batting together and then zig-zag stitched around the edge of the resulting batt. This lays flat, and is as flexible as a regular batting. It is extra thick because weaving makes it double, but with cheap polyesterbatting this is not excessive. And in the one Mom has layered and basted already it seems to look just fine. Lesson learned:don't throw away anything! Alright, maybe not....

Friday, November 20, 2009

Baby Quilt and Lotto blocks

Well, I didn't have any baby appropriate blocks in my stash, but I decided to make a disappearing 9-patch, and picked out 9 fabrics...just a FQ worth of each gave me leftovers. I started with 4" squares of fabric and ended up with 10" blocks. It went together very fast. The most time was consumed trying to decide how to quilt it. I think the total time spent was 6 hours or maybe a bit less. Anyway it turned out nice. Unfortunately Gabe took the camera on his youth group trip,but Denny showed me how to get pictures off the camera on the phone. I used his phone to take a picture of the Baby quilt.
Then last night I got back to the lotto blocks I had started Monday before the baby quilt interrupted me. I finished them up this morning and took a picture with my phone, which unfortunately has a scratch across the lens. Johnny was eying the blocks as I was sewing and commented that they were "nice blocks".
Now I have to get busy. My little slave driver is ready for her spelling and reading lessons. She wants to get done quickly so she can go over to Grandma's to sew.

Monday, November 16, 2009

No pictures today.

After a very productive Saturday, I was gone most of the day Sunday. I did get some lotto blocks started. Maybe I'll finish them up this afternoon since we're done with school and a I have a couple of hours to get ready for Guild meeting. Denny wants to know could I make a little girl baby quilt to give to one of his students whose becoming a daddy at age 48. needs to be done by Friday. My immediate answer was "No", but I really should see if I have some appropriate blocks on hand that I could throw together....but it won't happen if I spend too much time on the computer!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

And yet another!

Here is the final quilt top of the day for me...

The box for Bev has 7 quilt tops in it now. I think I can probably fit another two or three in there, maybe by week's end... and here is a picture of the top Mom donated.

Another one done!

So I went and pulled out my box of UFO's and found Hope of Hartford blocks I won in the lotto over a year ago. Twenty 10" blocks. I picked out 9 that played well together and pulled out some 2.5" strips of 30's repros and was able to finish this already. I have another 9 blocks on the design wall and need to go hunt for sashings and a border. But I think I'll eat dinner first.

Getting back in the groove..

This week I have been getting back in the quilting groove. I finished the ABC Quilt which will be gifted tomorrow
Here you can get idea how it looks with the quilting of the letters.

And then I pulled out a box of orphan blocks/rejects I had been sent for making Sunshine quilts.
The first 2 were super simple. The Christmas fabrics had been cut into 9" squares, I just did an alternating layout and added borders.
The next one had 2 different blocks made, but not really enough for a quilt top and I had no fabric to make more of the same blocks. So I put together what I had and found a print that picked up the 2 main colors and pulled in the blue as well. Then I added the fun polka dots.

So that makes 1 quilt completed this week and 3 tops for Sunshine. Today I am spending the day the sewing room. 1st on the agenda was a set of hour glass blocks . I had to trim them all to a consistent size and decided to alternate with crumb blocks . I added an inner border andthen did crumb block borders as well. So make that 4 tops for Sunshine....and when I went to show this one to Mom she added one of hers to the box as well.
Next I plan to pull out my UFO bins and see what I can find to complete another top quickly. I want to fill a Priority Mail box and get it off to BevB ASAP...

I almost forgot...I also quilted a quilt for Mom's Care Quilts group. She felt the quilt needed something other than straight line/walking foot quilting. I had said I might bre able to do it, and Wednesday she asked could it be done before Dad leaves next week so he can deliver it. I said I'd be able to get to it Saturday (today) but then decided to get going on iot that evening while everyone was gone. I surprised turned out pretty good, and since Mom's lights were still on at 11:30 when I finished it I took it over. Was she surprised, and thrilled. Here is the front.
I first did the straight lines with the walking foot, then did free motion around the magnolias. Then I just tried out some free motion designs I had seen in a video. Since it has a solid maroon back and I used natural color thread, the design rally shows up well....just don't look too closely, because it's far from perfect!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Busy Week

The weather cooperated and I was able to get the new siding on the front of the house painted. No small task, as I found it best to brush the paint on rather than roll it. 2 gallons of paint applied with a 3" brush....can you say "sore arms"? But the resultse are worth it.
This is just a glimpse of the color scheme. Excuse the construction mess. Eventually (hopefully next Spring) there will be a raised bed vegetable garden here, surrounded by a fence. We are slowly re-siding the whole house with concrete siding. This is the first side done. The end around this corner should get done this month if we have decent weather.

I got the alphabet quilt top pieced, and have it basted and ready to start quilting just as soon as I pull myself away from the computer. One week until the baby shower it is a gift for....better get busy!

Monday, November 2, 2009

After months....

I'm finally working on a quilt again! I am making a quilt for a friend's baby shower which is on Nov. 15. Having a deadline is motivating. I have had these ABC blocks for quite some time. I set them out in alphabetical order and left spaces between for solid squares which will have their letters quilted on them....This will count as a UFO finish when I get it done! Now I have to rush to get a few errands done before my board meeting tonight at 7:00.