Thursday, September 30, 2010

Gray or grey?

A few days ago Cheryl at Naptime Quilter blog asked her readers, which way do they spell gray/grey. You may want to check out the link and read all of the responses she got.  I thought it was very interesting.  She inspired me to pull out my gray fabrics too.  Gray is the 'new' wall color this past year and I believe it enhances the other colors used with it.  I have everything from a very light gray to charcoal.
I can't resist putting them into a value run, just like I do with all of my other fabrics.

Here is a group I have had folded together for about 6 years.  I may never make anything with them but it makes me happy to see them together.

Now I have to add a little color to my post.  This is the aboriginal dot from Kaffe Fassett.  I'm sure a lot of people passed over it without a second glance but I consider it the 'solid color' fabric that I will use with his other prints.

Before I walked away from these fabrics I had to put them in a color order following the color wheel sequence.

I received a package in the mail yesterday too, that I will photograph today and show tomorrow.  First I have to work 4 hours today at the sewing machine store. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It was a chocolate chip cookie night...........

I was feeling a little down yesterday being the adult to my dad who is like a child now.  I decided I needed cookies!  And what better than cookies with chocolate.

I trimmed the little squares I had made the night before.  This group is 2.5" square.

Some of them were large enough to cut 3" squares from so I will start another little container for that size.

I also have a few 2" squares that I made way back when I started these.  They may all end up in the same project.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A package arrives......little bits.........prewash or not

I went to church sewing circle yesterday afternoon and we worked on the preemie layettes and got 7 of the pillowcases sewn.  Shortly after I got home the doorbell rang.  There was a package..............

Of course it was fabric! equilter had sent me a gift certificate because I order too often, LOL!  No really, it was a 'thank you' gift certificate, which had an expiration date, so I had to use it!

I chose some half yards of the newer batiks and a couple other pieces.  I'll admit I did spend a few extra dollars too beyond the certificate amount.

I sewed some more of my little bits pieces last night while I watched 'Castle'.  I haven't pressed them yet.  The little container is getting pretty full so I'll have to decide what I'm going to make with them.

Once again I am getting a lot of questions in the comments that are from anonymous or names without an email link.  I don't want to address all of them the next day and I don't usually answer comments with a comment on my own blog, so........ there is an email link on my right side bar.  If you really want an answer, please email me.  I answer all emails.

I will talk a little about prewashing or not here though because I got several comments 2 days asking about it.  I have discussed this before so I went back to that post and copied and pasted what I wrote previously.  I never wash my flannel fabrics because that would make them too soft to cut and sew easily.  They will all shrink the same in the finished quilt.

I have been asked by a couple readers whether I prewash my fabrics. I only prewash my batiks, which don't have any sizing or finish on them anyway. When the first ones came out they smelled so waxy and sometimes even had little pieces of wax still on them. I got into the habit of washing them to get the smell out. They don't smell anymore but I am still in the habit of washing them.

I don't wash any of my regular quilting fabrics unless I am going to use a fusible web (Wonder Under, etc.) on them. If you leave the sizing in them, it repels the fusible eventually and it will start peeling away. Shrinkage on good quality fabric is 2% or less, that is 2" per 100", 1" per 50", 1/2" per 25", etc.

I make most of my large quilts about 4" larger than I need them to be so even if there is some shrinkage in the final product, it will still be large enough. Drying a quilt until it is totally dry in the dryer is the easiest way to shrink a quilt if that is what you want to do. Drying them for about 10 minutes in a dryer then laying them flat to dry and smoothing them with your hand while damp is the best way to retain the original size.
I know you don't all agree with me.  I can't see washing out sizing and then spray starching sizing right back into the fabric.  If it makes you happy, or your allergies demand it, then washing is right for you.  As far as colors running, that is whole other subject and Color Catchers have solved that problem for most people.  Most of the color running is dead dye that just goes down the drain and doesn't collect on other fabrics.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Slow down Sunday..........

I did more wandering around and looking at things than anything else yesterday.  I was looking for something in my basement and ran across these containers with 1.5" and 2.5" strips of flannel fabrics.  Some are regular flannels and others are the brushed Moda's.  One year for Christmas I gave 10 flannel quilts to family members for Christmas.  I have also given a friend a plaid flannel baby quilt, a great nephew and his wife a flannel couch quilt, and last night a sister in law a flannel quilt to match her new living room.  I have enough flannel stash for another 10 quilts, most of purchased at sales.  I haven't started a flannel quilt for a couple years so I think this is the year to do it again.  A couple of them will be 6.5" squares with lots of variety of plaids and stripes.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Garden walk, fabric chosen

The Honeysuckle bush has berries.

Every day there are fewer blooms on the Rose of Sharon bushes.  It is getting colder every night but we haven't gotten down to freezing yet.

I have 2 colors of Asters again this year.

There are volunteer plants all over the place.  I plan on pulling a bunch of them out as soon as they start to fade.

I chose some fabrics for the kid pillowcases for the shelter but I didn't get it washed or cut.  We meet Monday afternoon so I'll need to get it done today.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Washing fabric, cutting pillowcases.............

I washed the fabric for the pillowcases and then cut them out while I watched a couple season premiere shows on TV.  There are 15 in this pile.  I have 4 more partially cut but need to find a couple more fabrics to pair with them.  These will be for our church project for the residents of a shelter.

We went from 90 degrees on Thursday to 60 degrees yesterday.  I opened the windows in the morning to cool off the house and then had to close most of them because it got too cool.  I'm ready for the happy medium now.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Kaffe embroideries

I don't know why I hadn't heard about this package of embroidery designs.  I was browsing an online store that had notions on sale and there it was.

Most of them relate well to his print fabrics but I haven't figured out a couple of them.  I haven't opened the package yet.  Yesterday I had lunch with my brother and sister-in-law one last time before they leave.  I spent part of the afternoon catching up on the book I had been reading.  In the evening I searched for fabrics to use for pillowcases for another project at my church.  There is a shelter in a neighboring town where women and children stay so we thought we would do the pillowcases before Christmas.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

All of the blocks are done.............

Here is the last combination of fabrics that I chose.

All of the blocks are up on the design wall but I can see a couple I have to move.  With 3 blocks of each set of fabrics, it is a challenge to not get 2 of them in the same area or row.  There are 63 blocks, 8" finished block size, 56" x 72".  I wonder if I could stick with the triangles long enough to make the second border a sawtooth one?

Last night Dad had all three of his kids at the apartment for a meal.  He was smiling!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Post #1300, I like those round numbers.........

Both of my brothers and I were in the same house today, something that happens rarely with one living across the country from the rest of us. 

Here is the combination I chose yesterday.  I wanted a deep purple and it was hard to find it's partner.  This green batik had the colors in it that I wanted even though I don't care for the print.
I have the pieces made for all 3 blocks but was too tired to sew the last 2 together.

I have lousy cell phone reception so I called the company for the third time to try to figure out what has happened to the signal in the last few months.  They still can't give me an answer, but PLEASE don't leave us.  I don't see how I can stay with them when I have no bars, one bar, or roaming most of the time.  It's frustrating.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Back to the triangle quilt........

I made 6 more blocks last night, 3 each of 2 combinations of fabrics.  They are on the ends of the first 2 rows.  If you click on the picture and enlarge it you can probably see where all 6 of the blocks are.  I am glad I added the gold/orange because the quilt has little life now.  I thought it was too dull before.  I just have 2 more combinations of two fabrics to choose and I think a really rich purple should be one of the fabrics.

Monday, September 20, 2010

three bags full.............

The Goodwill truck was parked at my church this weekend, so one bag of clothes went there yesterday morning.  Then I spent the afternoon going through more clothes which I will take to a local pantry this morning that also has clothing and household goods available for the recipients.  I actually filled one more bag after taking the photo.  Two of my winter coats are in there.  I decided it was time for a new one after wearing the 2 of them for 10+ years.  They were in very good condition even though they are that old and classic styles.

I am going to the QOV leader's house this morning to choose fabrics that 2 of the ladies will cut with their Accuquilt cutters.  Then I have a couple more errands on the way home.  My brother and his wife should be here some time this afternoon.  I'm still going through piles...............

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Diamonds rearranged

I left the picture full sized instead of trimming it so you can judge the size.  This is 2 - 48" design walls so the space is 96" wide and 84" tall.  I was trying for a sunrise or sunset with sky and ground, but there isn't enough variation of colors and the 2 light blues are totally out of place.  I can see working with this after cutting about 50 more fabrics to put into it.  I think I'll finish the triangle blocks while I think about this.

A friend and I went on a house walk yesterday.  It was raining while we visited the first 3 houses but after we stopped at the clubhouse it stopped raining for the last 2.  It was fun to see how other people decorate their houses but I didn't get any ideas to use in my own house.

Last night I talked to my childhood friend who has cancer.  She told me about her trip to a Chicago hospital to have her stem cells harvested in case they need them later to treat her cancer.  It was quite an ordeal but she is a strong amazing woman.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Diamonds again....

I have had fun cutting diamonds.  I'm running out of space on the 48" wide design wall, and this is too BLUE.  I'm losing interest.  I need to cut more orange, gold, red, purple or maybe I'm done playing with it.  I think I'll take them all off the wall and place them by color with the blue around the outside edge since there is so much of it.  I've told you before, I have the attention span of a kindergartner.  I sewed the other 2 blocks for the triangle quilt and vacuumed all of the carpeted area in my house.  Today I need to vacuum the wood floors and mop them.  I still have piles to go through.  I was happy to hear so many of you are pilers too.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Diamonds, trianges................

I cut a bunch of diamonds yesterday morning.  I took out most of the lightest ones and just the jewel tones up on the wall.  I'm still not sure where this project is going, just playing.............

I went to embroidery club in the afternoon and computer club at night.  To unwind from all of that socializing, I cut 3 more blocks for my triangle quilt but I only got one sewn together.  The parts are all made though.

I think this little spark of brightness is what was missing in this quilt.  I still have some more fabric combinations to choose.

My younger brother and his wife are going to be visiting all of us next week so I need to get the vacuum cleaner out.  They aren't staying with me so I don't have to move stuff out of the guest room.  I am a piler.  Give me a flat surface and I'll pile something on it!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The dreaded errand day.........

I had a bunch of errands to run yesterday morning and then I was off to a birthday lunch with the sisters-in-law.  Then it was time to call Dad to plan the evening meal.  Oh yeah, there was a nap in there too.  It is a good thing I set the timer because I was out in dreamland.  Between the time I call Dad (4) and the time I pick up my brother (5:20), I pulled out a pile of batik scraps.  I have to call Dad at 4 because he has to have a note saying he won't be eating there down to the dining room by 4:15.
I have no idea what this will turn into.  I just need to cut lots of diamonds and then play with them.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Bento Box top done!!

This will be the last time you see this top until I quilt it.  It would have been so easy to just add it to the pile that needs borders, but I stuck with it for a change and got it sewn on right away.  It is too big for the 2 design walls so it's a partial photo.
The border print is really a fairly bright green but with red in the print it doesn't photograph as bright.  Once again it is prettier in real life.

I got in the habit of walking by going to the fair 4 days in a row because it is a pretty good walk from the parking area to get into the fairgrounds and then a lot of walking while there.  I decided to walk downtown and mail my letters yesterday, pay my water bill at city hall and then walk over to the quilt shop and back home.  I'll have to drive it to see how far it was.  I think it is a little more than a mile and a half.  Now if I could just keep it up I might drop a couple pounds.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bento Box top, organization of squares

The Bento Box blocks are sewn together and I am auditioning the border.

Here is a closer view of the border.  I'm pretty sure this is the one I will use.

I staystitch the edge of most of my quilt tops before I sew the border on. This prevents the edge from stretching while adding the border.  I use my regular presser foot and move my needle to the right to stitch less than 1/4" from the edge.  The width of the foot is holding the edge secure while I stitch.  I use the 2.5 default stitch length on my machine.  I realize not everyone has the choice of needle positions like I do.

Yesterday afternoon was the sewing circle at my church where we make the preemie layettes.  I had done a lot of cutting at home where I have a large cutting table so I had the scraps.  Last night I trimmed some of the scraps into squares that will be used in the little quilts that I donate.
I use the same system that I used on the log cabin quilts that I made last month.  I bought a lot of the pencil boxes when they were on sale for 50 cents each.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The end of the fair for another year....

More quilts from the fair.

The one on the left was started in one of my classes.  The one on the right was made by a lady who was in my computer classes.

This one was made in another teacher's class at our sewing machine store.  One of her red fabrics ran into the white even with a color catcher.  I gave her some Orvus Soap to wash it with and the color came out.

There are lots of categories for knitting too.  Here is a little clothesline with some of the hats.  You can see the back wall with cross stich pictures up high, quilts and afghans below them and tables below them with lots of items.

I'm only showing a small portion of all of the knitted items.
Here are a few more of the beautiful cakes.  That is the end of the fair pictures.  I finished sewing the Bento Box quilt top but haven't gotten a good picture yet, maybe tomorrow. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

More variety from the fair..............

Four more pictures of quilts.  There are 1400 items of assorted needlecrafts displayed in this building.

I liked the way the candy corn was used to decorate this cake.  Wheat Chex on the roof was pretty neat too.

There were lots of entries in the jewelry catagories in the Arts and Crafts building.

Tatting and hand embroidery were represented.

I have always liked hardanger but have no desire to try to do it.  The ladies that enter this fair are pros at it.

I have one more day of fair photos and by then I should have the final seams in my Bento Box quilt.