Monday, March 31, 2014

On my design wall today

After a delightful visit with my son, daughter-in-law and two adorable grandchildren, I am back in the sewing room. Here is what my design wall looks like today.

You may have noticed that I have been working with lots of red and teals lately and that is inspired by the decorator fabric to the left of the design wall. Just before we realized that we needed to sell this house and move again, I had purchased this fabric online to make drapes for my living area. Due to some weird snafu the company shipped more than I ordered and I have lots of this fabric ready to set the decorating tone for wherever we end up. Good job I love the fabric! Anyway, I figure I can make lots of quilts in these colors that can be used anywhere, walls or beds or as throws and it gives me something to have fun with during this long time of waiting for this house to sell.

Here are a few more of the finished pomegranate blocks for the Jacobean Elegance quilt. I just love how they are turning out.

And I have started on Part 2 of the Di Ford mystery. These are little rosettes for the corner blocks of the next border. They are made up of 1/2" hexagons and squares.

And I have pulled these fabrics to use in this round.

And despite thinking I was finished with Mysteries and BOMs for awhile, I have pulled fabrics for Barbara Brackmans's new Block of the Week. This one focuses on Jane Austen and is on her new blog, the Austen Family Album. As a huge Jane Austen fan, I just could not resist this one. Each week a new block will be released as well as some information about Jane Austen and her life and times. It starts on April 6 and I can't wait. These fabrics are primarily from an old Moda line called Chelsea Boutique. I just loved this line when it came out but could not find it in my LQS so it was my first FQ bundle purchased online. I have been hoarding it while looking for the perfect project and I am finally ready to use it. I have added some teals and reproduction fabrics and have some yardage that I found on sale a few years ago.

And finally, this week's installment of McCall's Quilting Make it Your Way quilt along blocks. Some simple 9 patch blocks to add to the mix. All the blocks made so far are on the design wall but not arranged as they will be in the quilt. I am surprised how much I am loving this one.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Tuella and Friends quilt finished!!

I am so happy to have a quilted and bound quilt to show. Due to my back surgery in September, I have been unable to do much quilting for the past year. Pain both before and after meant that I could work on tops but no actually finish them. But knowing that I am going to visit my grandchildren tomorrow gave me the incentive to give it a try. I have still not used the longarm since moving to this house and I did not want to even think about trying that so did this on a domestic machine.

I am so happy with how it turned out. I thought I would just do some in the ditch stitching and outline the appliqué but once that was done I knew a few details and background filler would bring it to life. Here are a few close ups of some of my favorite blocks.

My quilting is by no means perfect but I am so happy to have a finish and look forward to hanging it on the wall in my granddughter's room. My DIL has been patiently waiting since Sarah's arrival almost 6 months ago!



Thursday, March 20, 2014

Soupçon Part 6

The FPP is finished, yippee! I have even removed all the papers and that means that Soupçon part 6 is finished. Now I just have to decide if this project is finished or if I want to continue adding borders to make it bigger. Karen of Faeries and Fibres did a great job with this Mystery QAL and I certainly learned a lot and am pleased with the results. Thanks Karen!



Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Just piecing

Wow, I can't believe it has been almost a week since I last posted. I have not done any hand sewing this week which is very unusual for me, but that doesn't mean I have not been busy sewing. Instead I have spent time in my sewing room doing some piecing. Hopefully this time away from hand stitching will give my wrist a much need rest. I find that sometimes a pain develops when I have been doing too much appliqué or embroidery and a little break is in order.

So here are the next few blocks that I am making for the McCall's Quilting Make It Your Way Quilt Along. First up are some little stripy squares. I started using random sized strips but soon came to the conclusion that I preferred those with the 1"cut strips. So they don't all look the same but that's OK.

Then those squares were used to make the corners of some star blocks. I think this is just such a fun block.

These 4 will make the center of the quilt and you can see a few more stars that will be used. I look forward to the next part on Friday as with each section I am liking this more.

I have also started work on the last part of Soupçon. I added this black border and like how it grounds things.

The final border is made using foundation paper piecing and I am slogging through this bit. Though I have done FPP before, this technique continues to be my quilting nemesis. I just really hate doing it even though I love the results. And in this one I was questioning those results as I made my way through this mess.

So now I have finished 2 of those borders and am thinking they look OK. So back to the sewing room to finish those last 2, I can see the end in sight! Maybe then I can reward myself with a little hand sewing.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Make it your Way Quilt along and finished center

After looking at several stripes to complete the center of the Di Ford Mystery I decided to use the stripe I purchased a few weeks ago while visiting my sister. Once I added it to the appliqued center I think I made a good choice. I really love the one shown in the pattern but am happy that my quilt will be unique.

I also started a pieced project using only fabrics from my stash. The majority of the fabrics are from the etchings line by a Moda. I had purchased a jelly roll, charm pack and then much later a layer cake as well as some yardage. And I still didn't know what to do with the fabric so the other day when I came across McCall's Quilting Make it Your Way Quilt along I decided I would finally crack into those fabrics. I have also added a few more fabrics, I just have difficulty making something out of just the fabrics from one line of fabric. This quilt uses several different scrappy blocks and here are the Friendship star blocks from part 3.

I was able to make all of these from the jelly roll by using the Easy Angle ruler. Finally I have figured out how to make HST from 2 1/2 inch strips that finish at 2 inches.

Part 4 is Diamond blocks and I really struggled with these. I decided to use my charm squares to cut the 3 3/4 " x 5" rectangles and then proceeded to cut them all diagonally in the same direction. Oops, half were to be cut in the opposite direction so I wasted half of the charm squares. And then despite careful sewing they were coming out small on one side. With lots of tweaking I finally figured how to make them work, well close enough, and I am so happy to be finished.

Actually it is nice to have a piecing project on the go again and this is a fun one though I am a little unsure of my fabric choices so far. But the setting is very different than in these photos so hopefully it will be OK.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Benjamin Biggs Block 3

First a thank you to all who expressed concern about my little dog Emma. She seems to be mending well and is getting back to her crazy, barking annoying self. I feel awful admitting it, but this dog is not my favorite. She has been difficult from the start with behavioral and physical problems but like any family member, we do our best to treat her well and accept her just as she is. Does anyone else have a dog that goes nuts with barking and running around every time they even suspect that the printer might be used? You can't even sit down at the computer without her going crazy and before surgery she would jump on the couch and climb on to the table to attack the printer. But, on the other hand, her antics make us laugh and she is a constant source of entertainment even if she does not like to cuddle and has such a strong startle reflex that she will attempt to bite anyone that accidentally disturbs her while she is resting. But enough, let's get back to quilting.

I did finish stitching the Soupçon but since it looks the same as the last picture there is not much to share there. But I did get my 3rd Benjamin Biggs BOM by Just Takes 2 finished. I am doing these blocks at 12 inches and that made the stems for this block really tiny. So, after considering several options, I decided to embroider the tiny cherry stems using a chain stitch and 2 strands of embroidery floss. The leaf stems are made with 1/8" bias strips and the circle is done with a 1/4" bias. I just needleturned the cherries but I had forgotten how unforgiving Kona solids can be when using them for appliqué. Something about the weave and heaviness of the fabric makes it difficult for me to get nice curves. And then I made it worse when I pressed the finished block. Oh well, keeps it looking antique. I should have used the perfect circle technique but I actually enjoy just needleturning circles. Maybe next time!



Friday, March 7, 2014

A Soupçon and a doggie update

I have been very busy stitching all the tiny hexagon flowers for Soupçon this week. Lots of cutting and sewing which was really rather time consuming but now that I have arranged them on the border, I am pleased with the results. My hexagons were 1/16 of an inch smaller than 1/2 " due to the scaling setting on my computer so the original placement was not going to fit. Instead I decided to just arrange them evenly around the border and they are now ready to appliqué. I opted to add the borders before appliquéing them on to make sure my placement came out even.

I will be sitting in my chair stitching for the rest of the day so I can keep an eye on my poor little dog who had surgery this morning. A few weeks ago, when we were out of town, she was on the leash sniffing around a grate in the ground and her leg slipped through the grate. It was dark and DH did not notice that she was in any pain, nor did she bark or whimper at the time. But by the next morning she was limping and we took her to the vet when we got home. The first visit was inconclusive and we opted to have her on pain meds for a week to see if she improved. Sadly she did not and this week an X-ray determined that she had a problem in her hip that required a major surgery. Hopefully she will recover fully but the poor wee thing is just sleeping and shivering so I need to stay close. An expensive week so there will be no more fabric shopping for me!!!


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A New Month

Wow, it is already March and with a new month comes new mystery blocks and BOMs. First up is the Quilt Doodles mystery block. This month is the tree block shown here with last month's house block. I really enjoy how quick and easy these blocks are, perfect for some simple sewing at the beginning of each month. Since this makes a twin size quilt I am looking forward to a fun winter quilt for one of the grandchildren when it is done.

Before starting this month's Benjamin Biggs block, I want to finish this installment of the Di Ford mystery. I do not really have enough of the large leaves in my fabric do do the corner leaves in broderie perse. Instead I have made a pattern for the leaves and found a green that looks suitable to me. The hexagons are darker than Di's but I am OK with them and may add a bit of embroidery if they seem too dark later. I am still struggling with the stripe border but may have found something that will work.

Last week I visited my sister who winters here in Florida, about 2 hours from where I live. She had asked me to come and do a trunk show and appliqué demo for her quilting friends which was lots of fun. We also went to a few quilt shops in her area. Since DH just started a new job and I had been saving for this trip, I did a little fabric shopping. I actually found a few great finds, including that piece of red and pink shown just below the stripe. I had been looking for that fabric for years and found it for $6.99/yd. I was so happy I bought the end of the bolt! And maybe that stripe will work for my Di Ford mystery. The rest are possible additions to LE or the mystery. Hmm, I see I am in a repro phase!

Finally the latest installment of Soupçon was released on Friday. There are two different borders suggested and I decided to go with the hexagons. But when I printed out some 1/2 inch hexagon template sheets I forgot to turn off the scaling setting on my printer and my hexagons turned out 1/16th of an inch smaller than 1/2 inch. I did not realize til I had cut almost 100 hexagons so my hexagon flowers are a bit small. As a result they will not fit the border as suggested but that just means a little adjustment and hopefully it is a happy accident. Here are my first 6. Only 18 more to make! Guess I better get stitching.



Monday, March 3, 2014

Giveaway winner

Eek, I almost forgot to announce the winner of Kevin's book, the Quilters appliqué workshop. So here goes. The winner is Cathy who said

Blogger Cathy said... much talent in one family. The book is wonderful. Thank you so much for a chance to win. Hugs

February 26, 2014 at 9:34 AM

I have already sent an email to the lucky winner. Thanks so much to everyone who entered!