Saturday, October 30, 2010

Grandma's Bag

This coming week, I'll be starting to babysit my 2 month old granddaughter (yea!) and thought I needed a 'Grandma Bag'.  You know, a bag to bring books, toys, whatever for the visit.  I had a few sample blocks I pieced awhile ago and used those to make the bag.


I also sewed some applique on cloth diapers to be used as burp cloths.



So far I put the burp cloths, bibs, wrist rattles and 5 Little Golden Books in the bag.

At two months old, do you think I'm pushing it with the books?

Friday, October 29, 2010

UFO

After many renditions of the red/black dog quilt top, I've decided to put it in the UFO pile.  Perhaps with a little time, I'll warm up to it.  I have a different idea for Vivi's quilt.  I need a trip for fabric to implement it.  Until then I've been working on other projects.  I made another Morsbag from the pieces I cut out last week, a mug rug and a 4 inch square ornament.


The patterns for the mug rug and ornament block came from '300 Paper-Pieced Quilt Blocks' by Carol Doak.  I'm not very fast but I'm getting much better at paper piecing.  I'm actually enjoying it.

I've also started a yellow crochet afghan in a ripple pattern.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Not Loving It

I started Vivi's quilt yesterday.  I did have a plan (more or less) but when I realized I had enough black and that I could do without brown, I cut all the blocks to be the same - Counterpane.  I wrote last week that I'm going to try sewing without pins (to save my sewing machine) and I am trying.  This is the block by itself.


So far so good.  The seams match up pretty good and all of them look the same.  Next I started sewing the squares together.


Interesting.  I ended up kinda losing the Counterpane block but that's okay.  I think I like it - more or less - I don't know - maybe.  But this is the second block in, second block down and there are some others like it:


The seams don't exactly line up.  If I'd really had a plan or drawn it out and colored it, I would have realized that I could get the same design with sashing and cornerstones.  So where do I go from here?  Unstitch the mismatched portions and try again , leave it be or take it apart and add a sashing around the individual blocks.


I think I'll work on the mug rug and ornament block for two swaps I'm in and let this stew for awhile.  It would be easier if  'I' loved it.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Which would you choose?

Quilting or...........


Lily, of course!  I went down to visit her yesterday.  Mom is starting back to work next week so I'll be taking care of her two days a week.  I'm really looking forward to having her all to myself!

Got these pictures just down the road from their house.  Pretty interesting shots.




I like how everything, including the clouds are reflected in the lake.  With the weather being so rainy and overcast, most of the trees have gone by or lost their leaves but I got a couple of nice pictures of some of the trees in their yard.  Love the color and for once in a week, the sun was shining.





I finished the quilt top for the quilt that can't be spoken of.  I just need to purchase more fabric for the back.  I decided against the fabric I'd chosen previously.

Now I'm trying to 'design' Vivi's quilt.  I have to admit, I'm not really good at this design stuff.  Most of my quilts are 'make it up as you go along'.  I choose the focus fabric, some coordinating fabrics and go from there.  Sometimes I stick with those but sometimes I go with something else.  Except for the backing on the quilt that can't be spoken of, the design was chosen and implemented exactly as planned.  I'd like to try to do that again with Vivi's quilt.  Although since choosing the focus fabric, I've decided to go with two other coordinating fabrics.  Whatever.  You'll see when it's finished.

Hope you're having a great week.  Happy Quilting!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

He's gonna love it!

I finished the Star Wars quilt for Luke.  He's a big fan.

Star Wars 

the back
I used June Taylor's Print 'n Press sheets to iron on the photos.  I didn't want to quilt through the photos so I used Soft & Bright Needled Polyester Batting that can be quilted up to 10" apart.  I put two tacks in each photo but you can't really see them unless you look closely.  I'm pretty pleased with how it came out.

Today I'm starting another quilt but I can't write about it or show it until after Christmas because the recipient may read this blog.

Hope you're having a good weekend.  Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

24 More Sleeps

and two of my granddaughters are coming to stay with me for a few days.  Yay!  So, who gets the bed, the couch and the floor?  Not!  I bought two cots - from Walmart - $25 each.  One for the livingroom and one for the bedroom.  I set one up today to be sure I could do it.  Not sure if I'll just leave it up (and trip over it) or take it down.  Take it down, I think.



I took my new machine in for repairs today.  My fault.  I wrote in an earlier post about sewing over pins and that I'd never had much of a problem.  Well, that was the kiss of death.  About a week ago, I bent a pin that broke a needle, that caused a burr, that caused a scrape, that broke a needle....(I don't know why she swallowed the fly).  Actually I broke 4 needles on my last quilt while free motion quilting.  I think it was because I tried to speed stitch over the center part of the pinwheels (too thick).  But I didn't think I should wait any longer to get it looked at.  It took about 15 minutes from set up to tear down to fix it and no charge (nice!)  I also found out why I couldn't always get the needle threader to work.  And I found out that I was missing one last guide for threading.  When asked why I had my needle position so far to the right, I stated that I used the side of the foot as a 1/4 seam guide.  He wanted to know why I don't use the 1/4 inch foot....I had to admit that I sew over pins.  (big pause)  He said 'don't talk to me about pins' and shook his head.  As I was leaving, his last words were 'watch out for those pins'.   Can an old dog be taught a new trick?  We'll see.  I'm going to try sewing without sewing over pins.

On the way home, I stopped at JoAnn's for their Moonlight Madness Sale.  I had 5 - 40% or 50% off coupons but everything that I planned to buy was already 40 - 50% off so....I just bought some extra items I hadn't planned on (thread holder, embroidery scissors, needles, 12 1/2 inch square ruler and a fat quarter bundle).  Overall,  I saved $76 dollars.



Isn't this the cutest fabric?  It's for another granddaughter's quilt (Vivi).  Now she can play with the dogs.  Mixed message?? Hope it's okay.

Monday, October 18, 2010

It's in the bag...

I came across a pattern for a bag that seemed pretty easy to do.  It states that it can be done in 20 minutes if organized.  Well...let's just say that I wasn't organized.  I don't really know how long it took but...it was more than 20 minutes.  I wanted a fall bag so I chose some fall fabric leftover from a pillowcase I made last week.  I cut out what I needed for the handles then I needed a piece 18"x20".  I didn't have that much left so I used some of the orange on it too.  Then I reread the directions and realized that I needed another piece 18"x20". So I used the last of the orange and added a piece of another orange fabric to measure 18"x20".  I proceeded to make the handles and sew them to the front and back bag pieces.  One handle I did correctly but the other I attached  twisted.  I didn't realize it until after I'd reinforced it.  So, I 'unsewed' it and sewed it correctly.  Next, the directions said to place wrong sides together, sew around then turn right sides together and stitch to create a french seam.  I didn't realize until I started to turn the bag inside out that I'd stitched the wrong side to the right side.  So, I 'unsewed' it and sewed it correctly.  In spite of everything, I love the bag.  Here it is:



The one thing I will do next time I have to piece the fabric is to do a french seam at the piecing seam so that there won't be any raw edges, but this is okay for me.

I had enough fabric left over from each of the grandchildren's quilts so I cut out the pieces to make each a bag to hold the quilts for gift giving.  I think I'll sew the bags at a later date.  Next time it should take about 20 minutes.

Hope you had a good day.  Happy Quilting!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

October BOM

I finally got around to making the October Block of the Month for Eons Quilter's Passion group I belong to.

  
top left  Log Cabin   top right  Chimneys & Cornerstones    bottom left  Courthouse Steps   bottom right  Pineapple

The log cabin is this month's block but the others are given as variations.  I thought I'd do them all.  The Pineapple came out a little wonky because I didn't measure the beginning correctly but there's so much going on that it's hard to see.  I think I'll try that one again sometime but with less pattern.

I also finished the top of the Star Wars quilt but I don't want to show it until it's done.

I've had a cold for the past few days so I haven't really felt much like sewing.  Yesterday all I did was lay around on the couch most of the day.  Today I feel somewhat better.  I don't make a good patient

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I can't do it....

I tried but my head hurts and my throat is sore.  I think I'm coming down with something.  Today was a no quilting day.  I've tried to enter all 150+ Blog Hop Fall Giveaways.  I almost made it.  Only 30 or so to go.  Today is the deadline.  Last chance.  But I've been on this computer for 7.5 hours and I just can't do it.  It would be fun to win something.

On another note...I think I may have to figure out a new way to hang wallhangings.  This isn't working.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Another Finish

I finished quilting and binding Tina's quilt today.  Here's the photo:

Windblown

I purchased the book '300 Paper-Pieced Quilt Blocks' by Carol Doak to try more paper piecing.  I think I'll try a couple of the 'label' blocks to put on the 'Christmas Quilts'.  I'm hoping to get going on Luke's quilt tomorrow.

Hope you had a good day.  Happy Quilting!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Accuquilt GO!

Awhile ago, I got caught up in all the hype and purchased an Accuquilt GO! Starter Set.  As you see, I paid a lot of money for it.  I've had it for about a month now and here's what I think.

I've only used the 6.5 inch square (for a quilt) and the value die (2.5 sq., 4.5 sq. 2 inch 1/2 sq triangle) (for scraps).   I find myself trying to plan some of my projects around what I can do with the GO! however some of the cuts have been inaccurate.  It takes time to check each piece.  (perhaps I'm trying to cut too many pieces at once).  Personally, I wish I hadn't bought the GO!  I think I'd have been happier with the 'Baby' had I known they were coming out with it.  But I still would have to spend considerably more to purchase the special dies I want (sunbonnet sue, leaves, rose, bugs).  Rather than spend anymore money on this, I plan to just cut my own applique pieces.   I don't think you really save that much time with the GO! because you have to precut your fabric in order to limit your scraps.  If there's a way, I hope to return it.  Sorry if this sounds so negative. I think I'm in the minority. 


Update:  I checked the return policy and I can return it within 45 days of order date minus 10% re-stock fee.  I called Accuquilt and was told that it would be minus 10%, plus the cost of the two dies and the cutting mat as well as shipping.  I told them I needed to think about it some more but with my calculations, I should still be receiving approx. $400 back (that's allowing $50 for shipping).  Will need to confirm.  I will be returning it.


Update to the Update:  Accuquilt has agreed to accept it ALL back for only the 10% re-stock plus shipping.  This seems like a satisfactory solution.

I love hearts

I've made a lot of different heart blocks this past summer and I've found another heart block - paper pieced.  As I mentioned in another post, I've tried paper piecing a couple of times before and found it difficult.  But I watched this tutorial about paper piecing, purchased the 'add a quarter' ruler, purchased the book 'Show Me How To Paper Piece' by Carol Doak, followed the pattern and here's what I came up with:


Besides working on this, I've been washing and ironing fabric.  I also started working on  Luke's quilt.  Here's what I've done so far:

Design in progress
Today, I hope to put the sandwich together on Tina's quilt and begin the quilting.

Hope you have a good day!  Happy Quilting!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Autumn in New England

The weather is so beautiful today - sunny, nice cool breeze, trees in color.  It just doesn't get much better than this.

I've been indulging my latest fascination with pillowcases and the color orange.  I made these two fall pillowcases for myself.



My bedroom is really starting to look like fall.  I may have to do something about the curtains though.  They don't exactly match with the bed.  Oh well.

Hope you're having a great day!  Happy Quilting!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Advice

Want to add a little excitement to your life?





Hope you have an exciting day!  Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pillowcases

Ever since I saw this pillowcase tutorial I've been planning to make pillowcases for the grandchildren.  I purchased the fabric awhile ago but I've been so involved with making their quilts that I haven't gotten to the pillowcases before now.  But today it was a welcome break.  They're so much fun to make and work up so quickly.  Here's what I've done so far:



Colorful huh?!  What looks like a light orange color in the photo is really a bright orange.  Love it!  I didn't know I was an orange girl but lately I've been drawn to it.  I've seen some nice quilt kits in orange.  I think I'll try one at some point.

Hope you had a good day.  Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Serious Cravings

I've been following Weight Watchers for about 15 months and have been at goal since the spring but lately I've been having some serious cravings.  And I think if I eat chicken one more time, I'll die!  So today, I gave into the cravings:


I also bought ingredients for chili, taco chips with cheese, salsa and sour cream, hamburger and hot italian sausage.  A few days of this and I should be good to get back with the program.

I spent yesterday cutting up my purple fabric and trying to place it in some sort of order to use as a backing for Tina's quilt but after many renditions, I decided it was too dark.  So I started stitching it together as a quilt top.  Here's what I've got so far:


The colors aren't real clear in the picture.  The light colored squares and the middle panel are a lilac color.

 I noticed that after I stitched it together the first time, I managed to add 1 inch making it pretty floppy.  I 'unsewed' the panels, measured, cut and re-stitched.  Much better this time around.  I'm not crazy about the 'design'.  I think I might slice it up to see if I can make a more interesting configuration.  Anyway it's something to play with.  I can't move forward with Tina's quilt until the weekend when JoAnn's is having another sale.  I can get just the right fabric for the backing then.

Hope you had a good day.  Happy Quilting!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Free Motion Quilting Sampler

I've finished the quilt for Wild Girl and I'm so pleased.  After struggling with what to use as a border I chose to go with just pink.  I'm not happy with the fabric though.  I think it's Kona Cotton which I thought was a fairly good quality fabric but it's not only stretchy but also not as wide as usual.  (can't remember now what I measured).  As you can see the edges are more ruffled than usual.  Something I need to work on. (but not in this quilt)

Wild Girl's Quilt Front

The Back


 I practiced free motion filler designs from the book From Daisy to Paisley by Leah Day as well as from her 365 Days of Free Motion Filler Project.  I hope if she sees this she won't be too critical.  Clearly I need to practice but overall I'm pleased with the effort.  And with some of the designs, I took creative license.  In all, the quilt has 21 different designs.  They are:

Mario Vine, Name in cursive (back side), Abstract Leaf

Loops, Stipple, Pointy Paisley

Pumpkin Patch, Dresden Daisies, Misc Loopy things, Mario Vine


River Path, Mario Vine
Snake Spine (modified), Echo, Mario Vine
If you look up Mario Vine, you'll see that the leaves are supposed to be the same size and appropriately staggered but I prefer them as I've stitched them.  To me, it looks more realistic.  Anyway, I love the vine.

A good share of the designs don't show up well because they're stitched on patterned squares on the front or end up on patterned fabric on the back.  But these are the additional patterns:

  Sunshine, Basic Spiral, Spiral Illusion, Fern & Stem, Tear Drop Tree, Forget-me-not, Stitch in the Ditch, Heart, Spiral Triangle

Some of these are not Leah's but either something I came up with or something I must have seen somewhere else.

Now it's on to Tina's quilt (Windblown - that's the name I've chosen).  If that name has been used by someone else - sorry, that's what this quilt reminds me of.  I haven't decided how to quilt it yet.  Stay tuned.

Hope you have a good day.  Happy Quilting!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I am a cheater...

I confess.  I've always loved quilts.  Any kind of quilt.  Especially bed quilts.  But I haven't always had the time or $$$ to make one.  So I've cheated.  After seeing everyone's fall creations, I too wanted something new for fall.  But I'm busy with Christmas presents.  So I bought a fall quilt from the Better Homes and Garden Collection at Walmart.  Nineteen dollars.  Can't beat that.  Isn't it great?  Now I feel better.


Hope you're having a good weekend.  Happy Quilting!