Friday, September 30, 2011

Half way there........

I had my annual eye exam yesterday so it was 2 p.m. before my dilated eyes were back to normal.  All I accomplished in the sewing department is half of the rows of this crosses quilt top.  It looks soooooo much better sewn together than it did in the designing stage.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Crosses Quilt Tutorial, Part 2, sewing

Make little number tags (or use an old calendar page) to pin to the first piece of every row.  I take the rows down off the design wall in a stack from top to bottom since that is the way I designed the quilt.
You will be sewing 2 rows at a time and this is the way they need to lay, to the right of your machine.  Why to the right?  Because if you lay them to the left they will eventually be knocked on the floor by your work in progress.

The uneven numbered rows (1,3,5 etc.) will always be at the top and even numbered rows (2,4,6 etc.) will be on the bottom (as in the photo above).  Pick up the first 2 pieces from row 1 and sew.  Pick up the first 2 pieces from row 2 and sew.  Don't take them off your machine.
Snip the thread between the 2 rows and bring row 1 back around to the front of the machine.
Sew piece 3 onto row 1.
Snip the thread between rows 1 and 2 and bring row 2 around to the front of the machine.
Sew piece 3 onto row 2.  Continue in this manner until all of the pieces are sewn in the 2 rows.  Your tags are on the first piece so you will always know which row you are working on.  Seams should be pressed up on uneven numbered rows and down on even numbered rows.  When sewing the rows together there will be one seam that matches about every10" so you can pin at those spots if you are a pinner.
This photo was taken before I took all of the rows off the design wall.  This one has 20 rows across and equal to 29 squares down so it will end up 40" x 58".  You can make it any size you want.  It doesn't matter if it is an even number of rows across or down.  I was done when I ran out of 2.5" strips in the box.  You might have a better plan.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What I did yesterday......

I sewed one more block for this quilt and then I thought.... what if I add a row of 16 patches across the top and bottom instead of 4 more 64 patch blocks.  I might even add a strip of a red stripe before those 2 rows are added on......maybe.
I sewed the last 10 rows for this piece and pressed it.  Then I noticed I have one stripe piece going the opposite direction than the rectangle is facing.  Should I take it out and turn it?

While I watched TV I cut the remaining 300 8" squares for 5 QOV kits.

I also took all of the photos for part 2 of the crosses tutorial but I was too tired last night to do a good job of writing it so it will be ready tomorrow.

So yesterday was one of the good days...........

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Crosses quilt tutorial, part 1 - designing

You need to start out with a few pieces placed in rows as shown, with each piece overlapping the bottom third of the previous piece.  I am using 2.5" squares and 6.5" rectangles but it could be 3" and 8" or 3.5" and 9.5" if you want larger pieces.

Then I add the 2 side squares for each cross.
The next row to the left starts with the top right corner of each rectangle matching the bottom left corner of the rectangle in the first row.  Notice on the photos below that each vertical row is a sequence of 2 squares, a rectangle, 2 squares, a rectangle, etc.
Now add the 2 squares to finish those crosses.  As you put each piece on the design wall, they should be just touching the fabric above them.  You will not want any overlapping because when you decide to switch a color from one place to another you will have pieces fluttering to the floor if they overlap.  Also when removing rows to sew you don't want to disturb the next pieces.
If you look at the base of the lightest cross you can see the pieces line up in a horizontal row, but the ones above and below are mismatched slightly.  This is how it will look in the designing stage.
If you look at the pink cross nearest to the top of the quilt, you can see the side squares are not lined up perfectly when designing, but a little farther down the row it is matched perfectly.  They will be perfectly matched when you sew it together.  At this point look over the whole design and see if your colors and values are distributed evenly.
On the upper edge I used 2.5" squares and 4.5" rectangles to fill in and make a straight edge.  There are also some single squares in this row.
The lower edge is treated the same as the top with reduced size rectangles.  If you look at the left edge, it is a 6.5" rectangle and one square with single squares filling in to make the edge even.  Since I was using all scrap pieces of 2.5" strips, I only had enough to cut the edge filling crosses with some, and enough to make 2 full crosses with others.

I will be doing part 2 on how to take the pieces off the wall and sew them.

Monday, September 26, 2011


If you would like to try to win some hand dyed fabric go over to Dye Candy's blog.  I own several pieces and it is wonderful!

Also I wanted to mention that I added a couple things to my blog shop, Wandaful Quilts.


I didn't sew anything yesterday so I'm just posting a photo of 2 small design wallls that I put some inspiration on.  The one on the left you have seen before but I have added a drawing of a repeat of 6 blocks.  The one on the right will be in progress for awhile.  I think it will be a lap quilt when it is done.  I am working on the crosses quilt tutorial and hope to have it ready for tomorrow.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Rows all sewn.......

I had a goal to finish sewing the rows on this diamond quilt by midnight Saturday and I made it with 45 minutes to spare.  I haven't made any decision on borders yet and probably will finish the other 2 tops before I do make a decision.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

More rows, 2 quilts....

I have sewn the bottom right corner and after I took the photo I sewed the next long row in the left center.  Someone wanted to see the quilt with just the orange border without the dark strip first.  I had tried this first and didn't like the look of it with the tips of the dark sashing cut off.  I haven't made any final decision on the border yet.
I sewed 4 more rows on the crosses quilt.  I spread one row apart so you can see the repeat is a rectangle, 2 squares, a rectangle, 2 squares, etc.  I will do a tutorial in a few days on how to design this one and then how to sew it.

Friday, September 23, 2011

6 rows...

I had a busy day yesterday but I was itching to sew some rows on the crosses quilt.  I started a load of laundry at 9 p.m. and my 27 year old dryer was having fits and it took over an hour and a half to dry the clothes.  I like to get them out right after it stops when they are wrinkle free so I sewed 2 rows more than I wanted to while waiting.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lots of sewing.......

I spent the morning yesterday finishing the layout of the crosses quilt.  It will finish at 40" square and I think I will put 2 borders on it.  I was going to start sewing it but decided to work on the other 2 projects instead.
I finished making all of the edge pieces and sewed 2 more rows and sewed them onto the 4 row section on the upper left.  I was thinking that I should try a border. On the right is just the strip of the dark sashing fabric and on the left the 2 fabrics used in the setting triangles.  The only problem is that I don't think I have quite enough of the orange dancing leaves fabric.
While looking through all of my fabric to be sure I didn't have any more, I found the same print in the purple with orange.  I didn't think I would consider anything except the same fabric as the setting triangles but I really don't think this looks too bad, in fact maybe good.  I'll look at it again later today when I get home from my busy day.
Last on the agenda while I watched the 10 o'clock news was the checkerboard quilt.  I made one more large square and 2 more small ones.  I also cut all of the rest of the red panel fabric into squares.  I will need 5 more large squares to finish this.  This morning I am going to help choose some fabric for the Quilts of Valor project at our chapter leader's house and then I am meeting my childhood friend and her husband for lunch.  I may get some sewing done today, maybe not.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Little sewing, some shopping, visiting

I only sewed a few seams yesterday and didn't get them pressed yet.  I went shopping instead. I had a 30% off coupon for Kohl's and it ended today so I needed to go yesterday to be sure I didn't miss using it.
One of the things I got was placemats for the new kitchen table.  They are $7.99 food network brand on clearance for $1.59 and then take 30% off to end up at $1.21 each.
I needed a new bed pillow so this is the time to buy on sale and then discounted.  Besides that you earn Kohl's cash to spend later, free money.

After that I had a long visit with Dad and got to know one of his caregivers better.  He is doing well in his new surroundings.  It is much better than sleeping all day in his recliner like he did in the independent living apt.  There are other people around him and 2 little dogs.  He seems more alert and talkative.  I am taking his CD player over there Friday because he told them he would like to listen to music instead of TV sometimes.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Many things to show....

First I'll show how I used the red panel fabric. It's nothing too spectacular so I hope you aren't disappointed.  I started out wanting to make 16 patch blocks and made a mistake and was making 64 patch blocks.  When I realized my error I made some of the smaller blocks and then thought of that fabric to break up the checkerboard.  I have lots more blocks to make so the layout will change as I work on it.
I guess I have been living in a fog because I didn't realize this was the week the new season of TV shows start.  That means I'll get a lot more sewing done while I watch my old familiar favorites, Castle, the CSI variations, the Good Wife, etc.  I got more done on this one last night than I thought I would.  Only the top left 4 rows are sewn together as a unit.  I had sewn the individual rows on Sunday but got the edge pieces done and rows sewn together now.  I got a lot of the edge pieces bordered and I'm really glad I went with a consistent pair of prints on them.

While sifting through the 2.5" strips for the 16 patch blocks, I pulled out all of the strips that weren't full width and cut pieces for this quilt.  This is in one of Kaffe's books and it calls for all 2.5" squares.  I couldn't see any reason to cut 3 of the same to sew back together to make the cross bar so I cut 6.5" strips for them and 2 squares to finish each cross.  I have no idea how large this one will be.  It's just a fun play thing right now.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I have started sewing the rows together and have put in 2 edge pieces so far.  I need to cut a lot of strips of the sashing for the edge pieces as well as the partial diamonds.  You can see I did move the lower pink piece one step to the left and it looks much better there.  I can see sewing this together being a week project instead of just a couple days.
I finally found a place to use this fabric.  I'll show you tomorrow after I show my art quilters group today.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

final layout?

Yesterday I sewed the final 11 diamond blocks, took all of the diamonds off the design wall and vacuumed the rug in front of them.  Then I sorted them by dark borders, light borders and center colors.  I think this is the final layout, and to be safe I put one pin in each because 4 times is enough times to do the layout.  I could move the 2 with pink centers toward the outside edge but I'll look at it this morning and decide.
I had a good day yesterday.  The sun was shining and it was cool out so I baked 3 batches of cookies, dug out all of the renegade raspberry plants that have migrated over from my neighbor's yard and worked on this quilt.
I promised a photo of the new table and chairs.  The table is 42" square and I can get 2 chairs in on a side so I could easily seat 6.  I thought maybe even 8 but I think there would be lots of knees bumping into each other then.  If only it would look this clean and uncluttered all of the time.  The door to my studio is to the right and I tend to let things wander out of there into the kitchen.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Last batch of diamond fabrics.......

I decided to add the extra row to the width of the diamond quilt which means 11 more diamonds.  I cut 2 new fabrics and used duplicates of some already sewn for all the rest.  I hope to get them all sewn today.   Yesterday I had a visit from one of my blogger friends who travels through this area a few times a year.  We had lunch and talked quilts of course.  We are both in caregiver situations so it was good to be able to talk about that too with someone who really understands.  She also helped me put the last 2 chairs together so my kitchen set is complete.  I'll take a photo soon so you can see the table too.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Thursday events.......

I rarely pre-order a book, but I had a gift certificate to use so I did this time.  This book came early in the morning.
Embroidery club at 1.
Computer club at 7.
Day over.
Yes, the book is good!

Thursday, September 15, 2011


My granddaughter needed some things sewn on her jacket.  That is the only sewing I did yesterday.
I remodeled my kitchen 5 years ago and have been looking for a table and chair set that I felt were right for the space.  I've looked at sets that were $800-2300 and I just didn't like them enough to spend that kind of money.  I wanted a simple style so when I saw a set for $189 at Target this week I decided to check it out.  The closest store didn't have any in stock but 8 miles up the road there is another store and they had it.
I figured for that price I didn't have to love it, just like it.  I sat on the chair and it was sturdy and comfortable.  I have a lot more respect for the price of chairs after putting in 11 bolts and 4 screws in each chair.
The dark wood is a nice contrast to my floor and cabinets.  The table only had 8 bolts so it was easy.  I got 2 chairs assembled and called it a day.  I didn't work on the diamond quilt.  I decided I probably needed a day away from it to be able to make a decision what is next.  I'm thinking now it needs to be one row wider which is 13 more diamonds.  We'll see......

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A couple layouts.....

I finished sewing the diamonds last night and then rearranged with most of the lightest blocks in the center.
Then I switched and put the darkest blocks in the center.  I think I like this a little better. I have added the photo from yesterday's post too for a comparison but of course all of the blocks weren't done yet when I took that photo.
Now I need to study all three of the photos and see which I want to use as a final layout.  I can't vacuum the rug in that area until this quilt is finalized and rows sewn or the pieces will go flying.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A few more diamonds........

8 more done, 7 to go.  Did you notice the teapot, pouring tea?  I only have 1/4 yard of that fabric so the teapot couldn't be upright.
Yesterday was my doubting day.  I'm near the end, 7 diamonds to go and I think it is too multicolor and spotty looking.  The one in the book had a limited number of fabrics, all repeated many times.  Of course I wanted to play with my whole selection of Kaffe, Philip and Martha fabrics.   I know that having all of the partial diamonds around the edge the same will pull it together some.  As soon as I finish the last 7 I will see if it needs rearranging.
Last night I visited a friend who has tree hydrangeas.  I got some bouquets a couple years ago from her but didn't get there on time last year.
She said you don't have to hang them upside down to dry but it was easier than finding a bunch of containers to stand them in.  These are in a wastebasket.  After a few days I'll bring them into the house and put them in vases.