Sunday, January 31, 2010

2 more stars

I made 2 more stars with more purple and less green and I like them. I need to do some more like that. I added one more light fabric, the points on the left star and the corner squares on the right block.I have the blocks on a small portable design wall that is only 30" x 40" so they didn't all fit.
I finished 3 Preemie quilt tops but didn't get them quilted yet. I have one more to go for the Jan. quota (see yesterday's post).

Saturday, January 30, 2010

5 busy blocks

I got 5 blocks sewn together, and even though it is a color combination I like, this quilt just isn't me. All of these blocks are really busy so the next 5 will be plainer to see if it gels a little better. I don't usually judge something so early into the project because its true personality doesn't come out until all the parts are made. I cut 4 more fabrics to use in it, some more lights and a purple that has orange and green here and there in it. I have only used two of them so far in the blocks above.
Julie challenged anyone who wanted to join her to do one charity item each week of this year. I said that I would work on mine just once a month and do them all at once. I started the first preemie quilt for our church donation to a local hospital and will do 3 more today to fulfill my January quota. In March I will have to do 5 to have 13 done for the first 13 weeks of the year.

I have never been known as a cook and I use just basic simple recipes. Last night I made a big pot of chili and 6 of these will go in the freezer so I will have some instant meals in the next month.
One of my amaryllis buds is starting to open so I hope I will have some flower pictures in a couple days.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Not all are batik.......

Of the fabrics I showed yesterday, the ones on the left are batiks and the ones on the right are regular quilt fabric. The limey green one on the right is a Patrick Lose print from 1996. I cut a few of every size piece I needed just to try some blocks. I didn't have enough pieces cut to complete a block so I didn't sew anything yet. I can see I need a couple more light fabrics. I cut some more pieces after I took this picture so I can finish these 2 blocks and play with some more.
I didn't want to go out Wed. because I thought it was too cold and instead I went out yesterday which was even colder and ran all of my errands. I hope I can stay home most of today. The icy weather is south of us but we might get snow tonight.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A possible group

I have started to pull fabrics for the star quilt. I want it to have a moody tapestry look but with a little spark. I'm not sure if this is it, but I will probably cut a bunch of pieces in all of the sizes and layout some blocks.

Fabrics pulled at 11:15 p.m. That is why everyone should have a stash.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Have I had enough fun yet?

I got the next straight border sewn on the wavy top and I'm wondering if I'm done with it. If I followed the book this would be on point and there would be one more round of triangles (even bigger, even wavier). Do I really want an 83" square quilt that wouldn't fit any size bed properly and is way too big for a wallhanging?My first thought was to make a strip pieced border with the checkerboard in the corners and then finish up with another darker print border around that. Then I thought maybe I need to view a plain border and be done with it. That isn't necessarily the fabric I would use for the plain border. It just happened to be dark and a size I could prop up on the wall without cutting into another piece of yardage.

While I let this rattle around in my mind I will go on to another project.


Here is the quilt that was in the background of yesterday's paperwhites picture. I have shown it before back in 2007. I know a lot of you are new readers since then but it is all in my archives. I'll put the link to the original post at the bottom of this post. It's name is Memories which you will understand from the story in the other post.
Here is a close up of one block
and another.
Go here to read the story.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Working on a store sample

I was called in to work today because the owners had to leave for FL for a funeral for his 47 yr. old brother. I have been working on this ABC quilt for over a year now, usually just on days that I am working at the store which are few. I spent most of the day reacquainting myself with what I needed to do to finish it. I have the first row sewn together but all of the rest of the rows are waiting for at least one block to be finished. The directions are lacking in my opinion so it takes longer to do. I decided to go ahead and embroider 2 of the remaining 4 blocks that needed to be done.
My paperwhites are blooming now and my amaryllis will be blooming soon. Actually last year's bulb has a bud too so there will be 3 stalks of flowers soon. The color will be a surprise.

The first year that I had paperwhites I wondered what was that strange smell in the house. I finally realized it was the flowers. I enjoy the smell now although the first time I thought it was strange.
Our old snow was all melted except the piles along the streets and driveways. Yesterday it flurried all day and now our town is coated in white again. I don't think it is going to amount to much accumulation but it is COLD again. My van sits in a heated garage most of the time and it is going to have to sit outside all day today while I work. I hope it will forgive me.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Testing for accuracy..........

This is a block in a quilt in Kaffe Fassett's Kaleidoscope of Quilts.
I decided to test the accuracy of the cutting directions before I dive into it. Everything was exactly right so now I just have to decide what fabrics I will use in the quilt.
As you can see this quilt was made by Liza Prior-Lucy and she used fabrics from another designer from the Rowan/Westminster company. I think this one has the feel of a tapestry because the background in most of the blocks is a medium to dark fabric. I think maybe I will use some batiks in it.
Yesterday was one of those days where I really can't say what I did all day. I guess that means I was relaxing. After I got home from Dad's apartment last night I trimmed the mossy quilt and I think I was successful. I will cut the next straight border today and then it is time to piece the last strata for the final triangles.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

My play day..........

I had never sewn these smaller log cabin blocks together so I finally decided on a layout and sewed it. It measures about 42" square right now so I could leave it that size and give it to a baby or put borders on it and make it a wallhanging.Then I took the little cut away triangles left from the strip quilt class sample and sewed them together and squared them all to 1.5" and made a little 5" Lady of the Lake block. I had some Kaffe triangles in a pile so I sewed them into squares and made an 8" star block.
Next I started cutting some strips off my Kaffe fabrics in preparation for a couple more quilts.

Jean's solution worked pretty well on my wavy piece yesterday. I spritzed it with water and patted it down and let it dry. Then I did it a second time and it is laying pretty flat. I will give it one more shot today and then I will mark the cutting line and staystitch before I cut it. When I piece the strata for the last triangles I will cut them and then staystitch the 2 bias edges before I sew them onto the quilt.

It got pretty warm overnight and our snow is almost gone. Never fear though they are predicting new snow next week.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

See how it waves..............

No I'm not talking about a flag. I'm talking about the edges of each round of triangles on this quilt. I couldn't believe how wavy the first round was and I won't even pretend it was easy to square it up and remove the over sized edges. I tamed it with the green print band and then added the next 4 triangles. I am pretty discouraged with it and don't know if I even want to piece the last round of triangles.I know somebody is going to tell me to spray starch it until it is stiff. I already know that is a possible way to tame it, just not one that I ever use.
When I trimmed the first triangles, the points of the black print weren't in the centers of the sides so it is already not nice. I know with this round that I am going to measure out from the centers to be sure that doesn't happen again.

Referring to yesterday when I said maybe I would make a red one like this..............I don't think so!!!

I think I'll give this piece a couple days to relax on the table and then I'll decide how to trim it.

Friday, January 22, 2010

I really wanted that red.............

I kept auditioning different fabrics for the narrow borders that separate the stripped triangles and with the red in the center (see yesterday's post), nothing seemed to be working. If you go back to the post where I show the picture from the book, the second and third narrow borders blend in to the strip colors. With the red in the center I needed a contrast, something that introduced red, and everything just jumped out and screamed "border". I gave up and pulled the darkest coloration in "lotus leaf" which is the same print as the 3rd border in the book, only a different colorway. I think it works well as a center print and I could fussy cut 2 that look alike.

As far as the red goes, well I could make a red version of this same quilt, or I could just move on.

What do I do when the pain goes away?

The pain of my migraine was finally gone last night but I felt like a zombie so I just sat down and sewed everything that was laying on the table.I can't just sit and watch TV. I have to be doing something so I pulled out all of my Kaffe books and looked through them.
Thanks for all of your opinions on my auditions yesterday. I haven't made a decision yet. I'll start sewing the next set of strips and keep staring at it.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Still auditioning

We have had drizzling icy rain, starting last night leaving an icy sheet on the driveways, a little thaw today, and more ice tonight. I developed a migraine about mid morning so I spent part of the afternoon sleeping it away.

I want to try the 2 red toned fabrics for the center. Here is option 1.
and option 2 below.
On option 3 I changed to a different color Ikat checkerboard.
I haven't made a decision yet. I will eat my evening meal now and go back and look at the photos. I can always just start piecing the third sets of strips for the last triangles while I make a decision.

More auditions

I think the yellow in the Philip Jacobs print is too bright for the Kaffe fabrics. I have pulled some more PJ prints and the red is a Kaffe print. I have enough of the red for outer border too. The flower on the top left might work. I only have a half yard so it wouldn't end up being the border.I left this picture in a larger format so if you click on it I think you will see the fabrics better.

Another round of triangles

I got the next set of strips sewn together and cut into triangles. As I was reading the instructions yesterday it says the triangles are too big and will be trimmed after adding. That is good because they aren't all exactly the same size. I cut 2 squares of the Ikat checkerboard to see if I like it. I have it in a couple other colors too.I tried a lot of Kaffe fabrics as the other 2 squares but didn't find anything I really liked. Then late last night just before heading to bed I pulled out 2 Philip Jacobs prints that I have enough of to do center squares and borders. It was too late to see if they would work so I just snapped pictures and turned off the lights.
I was asked to teach a class with the pattern below. Check it out on the company's site. It is pattern GE-134. I don't even want to type the name on here because it will invite unwanted comments. What was she thinking when she named it? You couldn't do a search for it without getting a porn site. Yes it is catchy and cute, but maybe too dangerous for Internet browsing and searching.
It uses 2.5" strips so I am testing it with some leftover strips from another project.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A continuing story

When I write the blog post each day I forget that some of you don't read my blog every day. I thought there was some confusion (from some comments) about the H block and that some of you didn't know I designed and drafted the block and that I have already made one quilt top with this block. I went back and put a label on each of the posts that refer to it so you can go to the label list on my right side bar and click on H block and it will take you to all of the previous posts. I decided to put a link here to the post that explains the "H" (besides the fact that my last name starts with H) and shows where my inspiration came from.

And now on to new business: I have started another Kaffe quilt. I got some of the pieces cut to length while my art quilters' group was here. I don't care for the print Kaffe used in 2 of the center blocks and the border so I will look through my stash for a substitution. I have some of the checkerboard Ikat fabric for the other 2 center squares. I decided to wash it before I use it because it is a hand woven fabric, and a rather loose weave so I didn't get very far on this yesterday.
I pieced the strips for the first 4 triangles.
It was a little scary cutting the triangles since there wasn't a pattern, just the instruction to cut 3 triangles and then piece the 2 end pieces together and cut the 4th one.
This is how they will be placed around the center blocks except that I took the picture from the wrong angle.
I should have been over here at the flat edge at the left. Refer to the picture in the book and you will see what I mean.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Starting a few H quilts

I had fun with the art quilters yesterday. After they left I decided to work on a pile of H blocks that I had cut on Sunday. I have more than one quilt started here. Since my last name starts with H I have a lot of H relatives that I can make a quilt for. I am going to make blocks now and then with different types of prints and store them all in a box until it is so full it will be time to sort through and make a couple quilts. I have several here that are flowery/pastel and some brights so there is the beginning of 2 quilts anyway. Maybe a third quilt with that brown swirl/spot combination.After my hair cut this morning I should be able to just stay home and did into a project.

Monday, January 18, 2010

More stripes

There is always a good sale at at the end of the year. The final markdown is 60% off so I got these stripes for $3.58 a yard. There were more colors but I held myself back, LOL.The art quilters are coming today, so the cookies are baked, the basement is clean.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Dotty done

I spent most of the day yesterday vacuuming the basement and I doubt if you want to see a picture of my vacuum cleaner or my feet moving to keep up with it. Thursday night's Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice were re-run on TV last night and I was glad I didn't have to watch them on my computer monitor. While I watched them I cut and sewed the binding for the dotty tablerunner and hand sewed the back of the binding. This one is 15.5" x 29".The camera lens curves the top and bottom edges when in real life they are straight. I took the pictures by laying it on the hardwood floor at my feet. I think I get straighter pictures when I pin it on a design wall and step back to take the picture.
Today I have 2 batches of cookies to bake and some last minute straightening up in the basement to prepare for the art quilters tomorrow. It looks like we will have good weather.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Am I done yet?

I cut some more stripes and made a few more blocks. I think this one is almost done. I really don't want a large quilt of it. I think it is more interesting as a small piece. I'll make at least one more medium size square and a few more small ones for variety.I have cut up about half of the strips that are sewn together for this next one. That means it might end up about twice this size. I think the blocks are 8" so right now it is only 24" x 32". It is all still just loose triangles on the design wall so I can play with the arrangement some more.
While I watched 3 programs on TV last night I quilted this table runner. I made the top about 3 years ago. I used fusible batting again (Hobbs Heirloom fusible) so the layers stayed together well while I quilted back and forth across the width. I'm going to use the black with white dots that is laying under it for the binding.

I had to do some paperwork for my 96 year old dad yesterday to finish up my mother's estate. It was warm enough that I could take him to the bank for the guaranteed signature that was required. He hasn't been going out much in the last few months. He prefers we bring in the evening meal 2 times a week instead of going out to a restaurant. I'm happy with that too. Then I don't have to sit near a bunch of coughing and sneezing people. I haven't had a cold for almost 7 years now, ever since I started drinking my healthy smoothie in the morning with my Cheerios and cashews. I hope my luck holds up for some more healthy years.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The binding is done!!!

I had missed a couple TV shows this weeks so I watched them on Comcast's On Demand. Then there were 2 new shows last night too so I worked on the binding through 4 shows and the news and finished it. The arthritis in my thumbs is screaming at me. Here is the whole quilt again. It is hanging sideways on my design wall here. It ended up 73" x 95.5" so it will fit on a twin bed.
If you have been reading my blog for a long time you may remember the inspiration quilt is in one of Kaffe Fassett's books and is called Beaded Curtain. I modified the pattern by making the color groups smaller. I kept thinking of argyle when I looked at it even though it isn't a true argyle. The prints are Kaffe Fassett fabrics, the plainer fabrics are mostly batiks and all of the filler/background are a regular print fabric that looks like pastel paint splatters.

Now that my official 4 finishes for January are done, it is playtime for me. That is right after I clean the basement in anticipation of my art quilters' group who will be here Monday.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Stripe stash

I didn't accomplish any sewing other than a few inches of hand sewn binding yesterday. While I was in the basement cleaning up I was moving some boxes around and opened my stripes box. I have been using stripes as binding for over 20 years so every time I see a stripe at a good fabric sale I consider whether I need it for my collection. It is fun to shop in the stash in the hours that no quilt shop is open.A couple years ago when I was making my "all dots" quilt I cut 3 different widths of stripes too. I thought a dot and stripe quilt would be pretty exciting. I even thought an all stripe quilt would be exciting.
I may have to try some of these stripes in one of the 2 patterns that I have used the Kaffe stripes in.

I have a finishing class to teach today. If I have any pep when I get home I'll work on my binding.