Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cleaning up, cutting triangles..........

I had to pack up the few things left from the garage sale so I could move my car back in out of the sun.  Then it was time to start cleaning the basement in anticipation of the art quilters visit on Monday.  By evening I just wanted to cut up some more of the scraps into triangles.  I am trying to decide what group of fabric I want to use for the Hunter Star blocks.  I will probably use a 3" finished triangle square and a 6" plain square instead of the 2 and 4" that I used to test the layout that I showed yesterday.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

And the winner is...............

The randomly picked number is: 46

Lowest Number
Highest Number
capitolaquilter said...
How could you not want those blocks? I do , I do... most of the time, I love hot weather but that's probably because it's a rarity and not humid with the coastal fog keeping it at bay. Good for you having another garage sale, wish I lived close and could rummage through your rejects!
Thanks everyone for entering for a chance to win the blocks.  Capitolaquilter, please email me with your mailing address.

The weather was pretty nice up until 1 p.m.  It was cloudy and there was a nice breeze, but once the sun came out it was hot and muggy again.  I sold LOTS of stuff at the garage sale.  The way I look at it is I can pay someone to haul it all away or price it reasonably and have all of the customers hauling it away for me. 

I mowed the front lawn later in the afternoon after it cooled off a little.  A friend showed me how Hunter Star can be made from 4" finished squares and 2" finished triangle squares.  I had to lay it out to get my fiber for the day.

Friday, July 29, 2011

A giveaway.....

Yesterday was another social day with former co-workers from a quilt shop.  When I got home I got my garage ready for one more day of garage sale.  My neighbor to the north is having a sale and I found more things when I was cleaning the attic that I needed to get rid of so I'm doing it again.  It is supposed to be hot and humid too so I'll be crabby at the end of the day.

That isn't what you want to hear about though if you read my post title, lol!  I found these 4 blocks when I was looking through a box and I don't want them.  They are 9.5" square.  If you would like to win them, comment today and at 11 p.m. CST today I will draw a number and announce the winner tomorrow.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

It was an 'every thing else' day........

Some days plan themselves so you might as well give in and go with the flow.  Errands in the morning, a pleasant phone call from a friend in the afternoon, visiting Dad and taking pizza in the evening.  There were lots of other little things not worth mentioning and the day was over.  I looked at this pile of hand dyed pieces and tried to decide if I should cut some shape out of all of them with my Studio cutter and then I'll have leftovers which will be fun to play with.
You may have recognized them as a scrap bag from Cherrywood.  I went to the website and see they have raised the price a little on them.  I bought this bag(s) more than 5 years ago.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cutting time...........

Yesterday a couple quilting friends came over in the morning and they helped me choose a border for a store demo quilt.  I got in a little cutting time while we talked.  I will need to have a separate box for each size triangle as I get more cut.  So far I'm cutting finished 2", 3" and 4" triangles out of scraps.  I love quilts made of all triangles so when the boxes are full enough I'll start sewing them.

I finally went to see Harry Potter's last movie and thoroughly enjoyed it.  The ending didn't seem exactly like the book so I had to reread about 20 pages to see where it differed.  My house seemed so quiet when I got home after the loud movie!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Black and white, and a little color.......

I'm playing with border ideas on the black and white piece I showed yesterday.  No decisions yet.
I picked the first tomato from the 2 plants I have in pots.  It is Early Girl and they are a medium size tomato.
I purchased the large diamond die for my Studio die cutter.  So far I have just cut from scraps.  Now I need to get into the yardage.
Here is one idea for them in Kaffe's book "Simple Shapes, Spectacular Quilts".
I bordered one diamond to see how I like it.  I pinned the yardstick up there so you have an idea how big this is.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Not a stitch all day........

I couldn't get  motivated yesterday to do anything so I'll share some photos I took last week.  I have a box of pieces and parts that maybe will be made into something, maybe not.  I had made a strata of 6 fabrics white to black and then made 2 different kinds of blocks from slices of it.
I think I can safely say that I made the strata and blocks more than 15 years ago so I think they have aged properly.  I decided to lay out both kinds of blocks together since there weren't enough of either to do much.  After I took this photo I sewed them together and it is about 18" x 30".  I think it might become the center of a baby quilt or small lap quilt.  I thought I would just play around with borders.  I hope it gets finished before another 15 years though.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

cutting again........

I couldn't get motivated to sew on a project yesterday so I cleared off another table by cutting the corduroy scraps into 8.5" squares with my Studio die cutter.  Now I have 46 jeans squares and 59 corduroy squares.   I have a couple more pairs of jeans to cut and then I will start cutting some homespun plaids to add to the mix.
I have a pile of corduroy scraps leftover that are big enough to cut squares from 3.5" to 8" or they could be used in the irregular shapes that they are.  If anyone is interested in the pile I would just ask that you pay me back for the postage.  They have all been washed.
This squirrel is barely tolerating the bunny eating under the same feeder.  He already scared another bunny away.
Doesn't this bunny look like the Easter chocolate rabbits?  He stood like that for the longest time.  He is one of the skinny baby bunnies.  By winter the bunnies are quite fat.
Even though I am only about 60 miles from Chicago we only got a little shower while they got 7+" of rain yesterday morning.  Another storm rumbled through about 11 p.m.  We still have high humidity but we did get a little cooling with the light showers the last 2 mornings.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

It's a quilt top.......

I will take another photo with more light on it next time.  Some of the stars are dark, but not as dark as they look in this photo.   The quilt top is 38.5" x 48.5".  I will work on some borders next. 

This is my favorite star.
The lime green and blue flowers are all from the same print.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Checking out the flowers......

I have had the 3 big pots that sit in front of my garage inside for 2 days.  I decided to put them back out last night because it sounds like today might be partly cloudy.  You can see on the purple leaf to the left that this plant got sunburned.
The lilies don't seem to mind the hot weather.
The yellow lily hasn't bloomed well since I moved it 3 years ago.  This year however it had a lot of blossoms.
I got my hair cut yesterday and went to embroidery club.  Then I finished reading the last half of the last Harry Potter book.  Now I can go see the movie.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Jelly Roll Race a/k/a Random Plank quilt

Some tips to figure out how big your quilt will be and whether the strips are vertical or horizontal.
Here are the 3 quilts tops I made in one collage photo.

Measure the length of all of your strips sewn together and divide it by 32 (the number of strips in one direction on every quilt).  This will give you the measurement in the other direction after sewing 5 seams.  The 32 needs to be multiplied by the finished width of your strips (2.5" = 2", 3" = 2.5")

Here are some average sizes if you pieced it Random Plank (straight joining seam) like I did.  If you want to do the original diagonal seam shown on the video, it will be a little smaller.

2.5" strips--- If the number in the left column is smaller than the one in the right column, the strips are horizontal.  When the left column number is larger the strips will be vertical or lengthwise on the quilt.

40 strips = 52.5" x 64"
50 strips = 65.5" x 64"
55 strips = 72" x 64"
60 strips = 78.5" x 64"
65 strips = 85" x 64"
70 strips = 91.5" x 64"

3" strips
40 strips = 52.5" x 80"
50 strips = 65.5" x 80"
60 strips = 78.5" x 80"
70 strips = 92" x 80"
80 strips = 105" x 80"

Disclaimer:  I am only human, I hope I didn't make any errors, and the numbers above are approximate.  Mine came out a little narrower than planned because my seam was a touch wider than 1/4".

3 more blocks, and it was all I did........

It's a good thing I already had a bunch of triangle squares sewn so I could finish the last 3 blocks.  I am wiped out with this hot weather.  I guess it is the high barometric pressure that is really doing it, not the heat.

I put the blocks up on the design wall but didn't have the energy to rearrange them for better color balance. (or to even decide if they need rearranging.)  The 'cold' front is supposed to come through later today so I hope it brings me some energy.  This cold front basically just means scattered storms and then back to heat the next day.  I am re-reading the last half of the last Harry Potter book before I go to see the movie.  I want to be able to compare how closely it follows the book.  I have heard good reviews for the movie so I'm looking forward to it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Only 3 seams.........

All I accomplished yesterday was the last 3 seams of this Jelly Roll Race quilt.  It was made from a bag of various length strips with twelve 45" long strips of red or deep rose added.  I think it ended up 62.5" x 78.5" so it is a generous size couch quilt.  It has equal to 59 full strips in it.
I have a few new blooms in the front garden.
I had to move the pots that sit in front of the garage into the garage because of the excessive heat.  It looks like they will be in there for another 5 days.
The coleus can take the heat better than the sweet potato vine.  The tomato plants love hot weather so I'm expecting some results this week.  There are 9 tomatoes on my 2 vines and I would love to see one turn red.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

One thing leads to another.........

This hot humid weather has me worn out even if I don't have to be out in it.  Yesterday I started the day out by carrying the 5 boxes of scraps that were in my studio down to the basement where my die cutter is.  I didn't intend to start cutting pieces from them yet though because they will all need to be ironed first and I didn't want to heat up the basement.

I did go out to fill the bird feeders though and finally figured out where the robin's nest is.  The robin has been 'warning me' as I walk to the back yard but I didn't find the nest in the usual place, the crook of the downspout.  If you look close you can see one adult and one baby with its mouth open.  The sun was glaring on the screen of the camera so I wasn't even sure I got this shot until I put it in the computer.
Then I was reading blogs and saw what Vicki Welsh is making.  I decided it was time to get out the fabric I have purchased from her over the last 2 years and USE IT!  But first....... I had to clean off the tables.
One table had a stack of blue jean legs ready to cut up for quilts.  I opened my 8.5" die and cut 46 squares.  One table cleaned off.......
Another table had the pieces of batik that I had sewn together last Wednesday for a Jelly Roll Race quilt.  I sewed the first 2 seams last night, the really long seams, so I have 3 seams left to sew this morning and then 2 tables are cleared off.
The star quilt is still waiting for its last 3 blocks but I can start dreaming about what shape I want to use for the hand dyed fabrics.  I love triangles but also considered a modular layout-lots of square and rectangular shapes.

Monday, July 18, 2011

4 down, 3 to go..............

Yesterday I sewed a lot more triangle squares and finally got in gear and made 4 new blocks.

I put the new blocks up on the wall and rearranged the ones that were already there.  The star corners are just placed there so I can see what it will look like; they aren't probably the colors that will be in the final quilt.  Some star corners would end up at the edge and extend into the border.  I'm trying to decide if I want to do that or just place plain corner blocks in those spots.
I know some of you think I am a good gardener, but the truth is I haven't spent quality time in the flower beds for the last 3 summers.  If you look closely at this photo you will see weeds and maple trees, and maybe a redbud tree.
This is the front of the same flower bed with the butterfly weed right next to the sidewalk and the shorter plants behind it.  Even the cracks in the sidewalk are overgrown.  I think I might be at the point where I will have to ask for help to get this all under control.  I can see 3 redbud trees in this photo.           It has been above 90 for 2 days with 6 more days of it predicted.  All I can say is I'm glad it isn't over 100 degrees like so much of the country is.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Star variations....

I made another batch of squares from pieces cut on my Studio die cutter.  I was talking to a friend yesterday and she didn't know there was more than one die cutter.  All she had ever heard about was the GO and she thought that was the name of the company.  When she asked why I got the Studio model, I said I liked the dies available for it better than the dies available for the 2 portable die cutters, the  GO and GO Baby.  I know a lot of people like the portable feature but I didn't think I would have any reason to take mine anywhere.
I made three stars with variations in the center.

I have 7 more stars to make and then I'll be ready to move on to a new project.  I will need to choose the fabrics for the last stars to balance out the colors.  So far I was just cutting from scraps with no rhyme or reason for the colors.
I have 3 colors of Rose of Sharon in bloom.
I think I may have another shade of lavender in a different location.
Unfortunately the Rose of Sharon reseeds and I have way too much of it.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

My new toy...........

On Memorial Day weekend Accuquilt had their Studio die cutter at such a bargain price that I had to buy it.  I had held myself back from considering it before because I was afraid I would just fill boxes with cut pieces to be sold at my estate sale.  I feared that I wouldn't take the time to sew them.  I shouldn't have worried about that though as I am cutting and taking them directly to the sewing machine.
Let me explain for those who haven't seen one of these in person.  Here is the die for the triangles used in my star blocks.  You can see that it will cut 6 at once but the real kicker is that it cuts 10 layers, so that is 60 triangles in one trip through.

If you are concerned that it wastes a lot of fabric, the waste is 1/2".  I just have to cut the fabrics a half inch wider than the cutting blades.  You can see the waste in the background.  I save all of that in a bag for a lady who stuffs pillows.

Now, on to the star blocks.  The Bear Paw die was on sale and I could see it's potential with components that finish at 2" and 4".  I wasn't sure at first what I would do with the long rectangle.

Then I came up with the idea for the sashing with a triangle square at one end of it to equal the 8" of the block size.  I knew that would make a friendship star.  Every other corner block has a star and the ones between just a square.  I have purchased a few more dies (3 of them with my garage sale money) and always ones that are on sale.  I'll be showing more in the future.

Some friends stopped to see me while they were in town and they mentioned my tiger lilies blooming.  I was so surprised since I thought I would have to wait until next week for a bloom.
Up close and personal, in fact so close I had brown pollen all over my hand and arm!  By the way my house isn't that tilted, it's the photographer who is a little off!