Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Garden clean up, putting stuff away......

I worked outside today while it was still cool.  A couple hot days are coming on Thurs. and Fri.  I have 3 of my porch pots moved to garden spots to have the porch clear for company.  Then I carried things that don't belong in the dining room to hiding places.  I finally made it to the basement in the evening to play.
I cut some more triangles from the remaining Liberty of London fabrics but couldn't cut the fabric above.  That is 9" from left to right to give you an idea of the size of the print.  I also cut the 2 other fabrics I showed yesterday.
Then I added the new fabrics to the design wall.  I ordered one more quarter yard bundle of mostly blues and greens so I'll wait for them before I go any farther on this piece.
The squirrels have been busy chewing off the green coating on the walnuts.  They always choose the same branch to sit on to do it.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Some play time.......

Here are 2 fabrics that I was thinking about using in the equilateral triangle quilt.  I think I'll cut one batch of each and see how they look.

In between many other things I did yesterday I sewed the borders on 8 more diamonds.

Here are all of the diamonds so far.  I am going to add mostly reds and purples after I sew the last 6 that are hanging at the bottom of the design wall.

This Phillip Jacobs fabric is one of the purples that I will add to the diamond quilt.  This is 1 yard of fabric so you can see the flowers are large.

I mowed my back yard last night.  It hadn't been mowed since my dad went to the hospital on Aug. 11.  Luckily it is shade grass which isn't as thick as regular grass.  I wore my tennis shoes this time.  Last time I mowed I wore sandals and my hip hurt for 5 days afterwards.

Dad seems to be adjusting to his new home.  Assisted living was what he has needed for awhile and we were pushed into finally making the decision with the hospital and then nursing home stay.  I hope he will be able to go to the family reunion at the beginning of October.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Trial layout...........

I was way too tired to do any sewing so I just played with the layout of the equilateral triangles.  I hadn't decided how often the black ones would be in there so I took one triangle of each fabric and a handful of black and several black paisley and put them on a design wall.  I still have 4 more fabrics to cut plus I have a few older fabrics that I think will nice with this selection so I'll probably add them.  At this point I think it will just be a totally random layout and will look like a scrap quilt.

Everything but 2 items is out of Dad's apartment now and I have the Lifeline equipment boxed up and ready to take to the post office today.  I need to deliver some little cans of pop to Dad so I will see how he has adjusted after a day at the assisted living.  Where has August gone?  I feel like the month was stolen away from me.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Another busy day..............

I can't do a post without a photo so here is a little of my stash.  The fabric up on end on the right on the top shelf is the Liberty of London that I am cutting into equilateral triangles.  Next to it is Martha Negley prints.  The rest is Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably fabric.
My company left yesterday morning so I had sheets to wash along with my dad's laundry.  We are moving Dad to an assisted living facility today.  It is a better fit than the nursing home.

I have a bridal shower at my house next Sunday so I'm starting to work on the grass that hangs over the edges of my sidewalk.  When I get that all pulled out I have to clear the front of my flower bed so I can move all of the pots from my front steps to the garden.  I need to have the steps and porch cleaned off for easy access to my front door.  It is going to get hot later in the week so I'll work on this project in the morning while it is cool.  I'll leave the final cleaning of the living/dining room until Thurs. when it sounds like I'll have the a/c turned on.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Diamond play.......

There are 4 new diamonds up on the wall but I forgot to take a photo of them separately.  I cut several new ones and paired them with 1.5" strips.
I still have a lot of 1.5" strips left to choose from for new blocks.
I got another new die, this time from AccuCut instead of AccuQuilt.  The black piece is the size I have been cutting and will finish at 3.5" tall.  I wanted the huge one for large prints.  This is the bottom of the die board, not the cutting side.
The weird fabric I showed yesterday is made by Alexander Henry and I would estimate that I bought it between 1991 and 1995.  I have 31" by the full width for those who wondered how much I have of it.  One of my readers has it in another colorway.  I like the boldness of Alexander Henry prints.  They don't seem to follow any trends but just do their own thing.

Friday, August 26, 2011

In my stash.......

This is one of the wierdest fabrics in my collection.  I thought I should share it with you.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lots of pieces.....

This is the selection I have cut so far in the equilateral triangle shape.  I have a few more to go and I think I will cut more of the black paisley print too.  I have a yard of it.  I think I have about 1000 pieces cut so far.  I need to cut more solid black too and then it will be time to start playing on the design wall.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Diamond day.........

We had a rainy morning yesterday so we didn't leave the house until noon when we met my son for lunch.  I got borders sewn onto 4 more diamonds while it rained.
Here is the whole bunch on the wall with the next batch paired up.                         We went to see "the Help" yesterday afternoon.  It was actually my second time to see it and I enjoyed it even more the second time.
Dad had the last of his antibiotics last night and he is getting a lot of physical therapy at the nursing home.  He is enjoying having all 3 of his children visiting him this week.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

More cutting moments......

My company had some places to go today so I got a little more cutting done.  I did a stack of diamonds and then cut triangles from the leftover pieces.  We had beautiful weather yesterday, the kind that you wish the whole summer was like. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

A little cutting time......

While waiting for the laundry to be finished I snuck in a little cutting time.  This die cuts 10 equilateral triangles at one time.

It was hard to see all of the cutting lines in that first photo so I spread them out.
I ordered a couple quarter yard packs of the quilting weight Liberty of London prints to go with some of the larger yardage pieces that I found on sale.  Now I see that Glorious Color has all of them on sale.  This is the group I am cutting with the above die and I'm adding solid black into the mix.  I will continue cutting them in spare moments over the next few days and hopefully try some layouts on a design wall by the end of the week.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Company arrived safely....

No photos, no sewing, just checking in for those who would check on me if I missed a day posting.  Company arrived safely, fun time ahead.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

More cleaning....

I had to get serious and finish the cleaning yesterday.  Mostly it is moving things out of the guest room that really don't belong there anyway and then vacuuming.   The only thing fiber related was packing up these 2" strips of floral fabrics that I sold in my blog shop, Wandaful Quilts, to mail out.  Last night I mowed my grass and it was getting dark by the time I finished.  I'll check it out this morning and see if I missed any spots.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Cleaning, errands, etc...........

Not much to report today.  Yesterday was full of things to do but none were sewing.  I took this photo a couple weeks ago when the baby goldenrod was at its prime next to the lavender Rose of Sharon.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Colorwash/Watercolor quilts....

Be sure to visit Debbie for Part 2 of her strip pieced watercolor lesson.  She is working on part 3 already.

Also another talented blogger wrote a song for me.  Check it out.

Diamond progress again......

I have only sewn a few more diamonds since the last photo.  I had to switch over to house cleaning mode.  I will have company staying with me from Sat. through Wed. so the guest bedroom will get its annual vacuuming.  Well that might be an exaggeration.  It probably gets vacuumed a little more than that.  I have one corner of clutter that will finally get cleaned up.  I always need a deadline to make it happen.
I like a clean dish towel every day so I finally went to day of the week towels.  When you are retired you don't look at the calendar as often.  I need all the help I can get!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Colorwash and other things........

A blogging friend of mine also does the colorwash/watercolor style quilt.  She has started a tutorial for one way to make them.  I made this one following directions by Deanna Spingola and then added my own free form raw edge applique.  Debbie has added some wonderful applique to a lot of her pieces too so you should scroll down through some of her previous posts too.  I have 2" strips of floral fabric available in my blog shop, Wandaful Quilts.  Scroll down to the second post from the top.  If you go to a store to buy fabric 1/8 is the least you can buy so buying 2" strips will save you a lot of money.

I brought home the flannel and denim quilt I made for my parents about 12 years ago.  I figured this was a good time to wash it.  It is a lap quilt and Dad uses it a lot.  I won't take it to the nursing home because it would disappear over there.  Dad is doing OK.  He seems to be adjusting to the schedule there.  It is right next door to his apt. building so he is still just 2 minutes from my house.  He will be getting a lot of physical therapy to strengthen his legs and maybe will be able to go back to his apt. after his 20 days there.  We caught the pneumonia in the early stage so he didn't have any ill effects from it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Modular quilt tutorial part 6

The top is done and staystitched around the 3 edges that have seam ends on them.  The left side is all one piece except for 6" at the top so it didn't need the staystitching.  It ended up at 41" x 51".  All of the steps in the tutorial can be easily accessed by going to my Label list on the right sidebar and clicking on modular quilt tutorial.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Nice cool morning.........

I got up to the hospital about 7:25 a.m. hoping to get there before my dad's dr. came, but she had already been there and was gone.  There is a scene of the new Superman movie being shot up there this morning between 6 and 10 so she probably wanted to be in and out early.  A lot of the movie is being shot in the next town east of us (Plano, IL) where they have built fake buildings in the downtown area.  Kevin Costner is playing Superman's dad and the scene this morning was Superman as a small boy. 

Dad is doing OK this morning but his legs still aren't working right so I told him he will be going to the nursing home when he leaves the hospital and he's OK with that.  He asked me if there would be anyone to help him when he got there.  I assured him they will be there if he pushes the help button.

I have added some things to my Wandaful Quilts blog (link on right sidebar).  I have neglected it for too long.

Modular quilt tutorial part 5

This is the last entry of the tutorial other than a photo of the whole quilt sewn together.  I am down to the last 6 seams.
This is a close up of the part with the 2 partial seams.  I pinned them back so you can see where they are.  I need to sew the 2 horizontal seams first and then do the vertical seam which will finish the 2 partial seams.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Kindle cover

I worked on a Kindle cover for my niece last week and now we're trying to get together so she can try it for size.  Since I don't have a Kindle, I had to rely on measurements she gave me.  I made a prototype and then we figured how to tweak it to make it better.  I haven't sewn the button for closure on yet.
This is the inside with folded squares to slip the Kindle under.
I looked through my buttons and I like the bone button but it might be too thick and bulky.  I'll let my niece decide.  We could also use the button I have on the prototype.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Dad update~ups and downs

I went to the hospital early to be there when the Dr. came in.  Dad didn't know me....a real shock to me.  I went back later at 10:15 and he did know me, whew!  I can see it's going to be a roller coaster ride.  The next battle is to see if they can get him up walking today.  They are suggesting a nursing home.  For anyone new reading my blog, Dad is 97 1/2 so we are lucky he has been able to live in an independent living building this long.

Modular quilt tutorial part 4

After you finalize your layout, start analyzing how you will sew it together.  I had several sections that were simple to figure out so I sewed them first.  Now the section in the middle (tree/fish/giraffe) is the tricky part that will need at least 2 partial seams to assemble it.

Friday, August 12, 2011

things are a little better.....

Thanks everyone for your prayers and hugs.  Dad was better this morning but still some problems so he'll be in the hospital a couple days.  I'm hoping he can go home and have home health care again vs. going to the nursing home for a stay.

No photo............

I got a call just before noon yesterday that my dad needed to go to the emergency room.  I spent hours at the hospital and came home exhausted.  He has pneumonia even though he had the shot last October.  He has another problem I am more concerned about so I'll be spending more time up there today. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Other things I am working on......

I didn't want to put anything not relevant in the modular quilt tutorial so I will have 2 posts on some days. I chose more strips to go with diamonds and actually sewed a few but forgot to take a photo.

I also got the green border cut and sewed on and then about panicked when I opened up the black and white border piece and I didn't think there was enough of it to cut the design lengthwise on the sides and crosswise on the top and bottom.  I had to piece the 2 crosswise ones but luckily I found the pattern match in a piece that was large enough.  I don't know if this piece is done or if I should look for another green to make an additional border.  Or maybe a green and black border, or maybe it is done.

Modular quilt tutorial part 3

You need to continue cutting pieces of all of the fabrics you think will work and when you have a size where you want to stop, it is time to see if there is anything you want to change.  This is about 39" x 51" right now.  I knew I wasn't making a bed size quilt but didn't know when I would stop until I was actually working on it.  I can see several places that are 'mushy', not enough contrast between the pieces.  I need to look for a couple more deep blues.  I know this looks black and white on the monitor but it is really deep indigo blue Dutch Wax batiks.

Then I realized I hadn't used the Escher print I showed in part 1 so I cut a strip of it.

It wasn't quite long enough to put on the side of the quilt so I added a piece that was similar to the top.

This quilt made from directions in a Kaffe Fassett book is also a modular quilt.  All of the pieces are 3.5", 6.5" or 9.5" squares.
I had to make this quilt twice; two different color schemes.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Modular quilt tutorial part 2

I cut many areas into my chosen sizes, using about 1/2 yard of this fabric.  I cut several other fabrics too.  You have to just cut shapes to play with using the chart I gave you yesterday as starting point.
Then I went to the design wall and just started putting pieces up there.  You have to overlap slightly to make them fit while they still have seam allowances on them. I have the extra pieces not used yet to the right of the piece.  I also have 4 more fabrics cut into shapes since I took this photo.  This isn't the final layout but just a quick play time to see if it is going to work.  I will replace a lot of these pieces with the new ones that I cut as I go.  You have to decide if you want to cut every fabric before you play or just cut a few and play a little.

If you are making a small piece you want to use each fabric at least 3 times for a balance in the design.  If you are making a large quilt you might use 5-8 pieces of each fabric.

This is another quilt that I used the modular approach for.  I have 2 sizes of stars, 4 patches, plain squares in 2 sizes and large stars.
In this quilt I used the large star block as the main size and all of the combinations of small pieces made a block the same size as the star.  It was easy to sew together in straight rows unlike the hand dyed one with the partial seam in the construction.  This quilt was started in 2004 and finished in 2009.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Modular quilt tutorial part 1

This is the fabric that I am going to use in the next modular quilt so you will see it taking shape over the next few posts.  As I am choosing the fabrics I am thinking about the sizes I will cut the pieces.
Here are some more of the fabrics.  The smaller prints will be cut into the smallest pieces, the ones with a motif I want to see more of will be cut larger.
I like to work with multiples of a number.  In a lot of my quilts it is 3".  It needs to be multiplied by 2, 3, 4, and 5, or in other words, count by 3's.  So my modules will finish at 3", 6", 9", 12" and 15".  Once you have the numbers figured out you need to add 1/2" (.5) to each of them so my cutting sizes are 3.5", 6.5", etc.

The rectangles can be any 2 of the numbers such as 3.5" x 9.5" or 6.5" x 12.5" and of course all of the numbers can be cut into squares.  I know the large elephant will be in a 15.5" square.
This piece might be a long skinny vertical rectangle to get the whole design in one piece.  You can see in the photo below that is says Escher Heirs on the selvage.

I will start cutting today and continue the tutorial tomorrow.  When I make a modular quilt I just start cutting pieces and playing with them on the design wall.  I don't pre-plan my design.
If you go back to this post you will see that several of the fabrics I am using are a gift from a friend.  Thanks, Diane.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Little neckbands.....

I needed to finish the little neckbands on the extra small preemie gowns yesterday so they would be ready to take to sewing circle at church today.  One of the ladies will thread ribbon through the ribbing so the neckline is adjustable on the preemies.
I had 20 neckbands to do and I also washed 2 more 3 yard pieces of flannel to cut out other sizes of gowns at our workshop.
Chippy was out back yesterday so I captured a sequence of photos of him. 
One of the squirrels opens the lid on this feeder.  It has chewed off one of the tabs that should help hold the lid in place.
He sat on the pole for almost 5 minutes before he was ready to eat.
He filled his little cheeks for about another 5 minutes and then ran down the pole and disappeared.
I will try to get a tutorial on module quilts ready for tomorrow.  There are 2 different types, one that deals with math and the other where you just fit pieces as you go in more random sizes.