Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cutting corners.....

Cutting corners for my blocks.  I'm trying to match the color of the spikes for the corners.  I see I have one fabric in there twice so I guess there won't be 72 different fabrics.  I haven't sewn the corners on the blocks yet.  In fact I didn't sew a stitch yesterday.  I went through a desk drawer and threw out old paperwork and emptied my shredder twice.  I have a few more years worth to go through.
I have pieces cut for the next 5 blocks plus some extra pieces that aren't matched in groups yet.  This pattern gives instructions for cutting the oversize pieces needed for each part of the block.  That way you know your piece will always be the right shape and will cover the area it is meant for.
I mailed 3 more wallhangings for my part of the show at Ciel Gallery in Charlotte NC.  The First Friday Crawl for March is  this Friday.  One of the wallhangings sent for the opening in February has sold so there is a space on the wall waiting for something new.  My package should get there today.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I sewed 3 more segments of the new paper pieced quilt that I showed yesterday.  I need to choose corner fabrics soon.  I want to sew the corners on as I go instead of waiting til the end.
I realized I needed to sort the scraps in the 2 boxes by size so I could find the ones that were large enough to cut corners from.  This is from the 'cools' box.
This is the contents of the 'warms' box all sorted.  Then I went through the piles of large enough pieces and eliminated any that I thought wouldn't work. 
We had a snow storm yesterday.  In the beginning it was coming down in little snowballs.  Once again we got a little less than they predicted but I heard on the noon news that we had 4".  It was hard to tell because it was a wet snow and it started compressing as the temperature went above freezing.  Yesterday I rescheduled today's Dr. appointment in Chicago for a day a couple weeks from now when hopefully it will be more pleasant to take that long ride.  You never know how much lake effect snow they might get there overnight.
The red cactus produced one more flower after 3 buds dried up and fell off.  My orange cactus has about 5 buds on it now.  I thought maybe it wasn't going to bloom this year.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A little fun......

I needed a new calming project to start while I work on the border for the Rattlesnake quilt.  This pattern calls for 18 fabrics which are repeated.  Why would you do that when you could have 72 different fabrics in the quilt?  You know how much I love variety in my fabric choices.  I have started out with pieces from my scrap boxes and will work my way into pieces of yardage on the shelves.  I doubt that I will use the layout on the pattern or the border they show.
I took another photo of the mini zig zag quilt with the light from the west window coming across the quilt.  This shows the randomness of the spacing of the quilting lines.  This is how I want to quilt the large Streak of Lightning so I will get it basted and take my time on the quilting.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Little Zig Zag......

I don't usually watch the Oscars because I haven't seen the movies nominated and I really don't know the names of a lot of the current actors and actresses.  I knew Barbra Streisand was supposed to sing though so I sewed the binding on this little quilt and did the hand sewing to finish it while I watched the show.  I was lazy and laid it on the floor to take the photo so it looks crooked but it isn't really.  I will take another photo today.  It is 18" x 21.75".

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Not the fun part......

I wasn't looking forward to sewing the cross seams on this quilt top.  Where 4 of the melon shapes come together, the bulk is unbelievable.  I did trim some corners diagonally but it was still a lot of layers at one spot.  I have mismatches but they are going to stay.
Last night I needed to watch more of Doc Martin on Netflix.  It is my Saturday night date.  I watched 5 episodes while I quilted this little zig zag piece.  I'm up to Series 5 Episode 4 now.
I'm doing randomly spaced parallel lines again on this zig zag.  I'm ready to choose a binding today.
My niece spotted this hawk sitting in my backyard when she and her mom visited yesterday.  Needless to say, there weren't any birds at the feeders for awhile.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A little more paper piecing....

I started sewing the Rattlesnake quilt together with the crazy pieced blocks randomly placed.  I was pretty sure that was my favorite until I saw the 2 photos on the computer screen and then wasn't sure.  I'm glad so many of you agreed with me that it was the best layout.  I want to come up with a new name for it though.  I wasn't in the mood to work on the border so instead I decided to finish the block on the right.  I found these in the box of paper piecing patterns and books.  The 3 on the left have been done for years.  The one on the right had 2 sections sewn and all of the pieces cut and ready to sew.  My A and B piles got mixed up after lunch and I pieced the wrong fabrics on one of each so to save the block I had to make the last 2 pieces wrong too and change the design.  It still needs corner triangles which are put on after the A and B triangles are sewn together.  I had a dark fabric cut to use but I think I need the corners to stay lighter if I'm just going to use these 4 blocks together.  The patterns are from Carol Doak's state blocks book.  If I decide to piece some more I'll wait for the corner fabric choice until I get more done.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Finally, 36 blocks............

I made the last block and sewed the corner pieces onto two of the crazy pieced blocks.  I then hunted for my corner pattern to cut the pieces for the last block.  Remember, I just picked up everything and put it away for my company Monday.  It only took me an hour to find where I had put it.  This layout has the 2 eyes and mouth in the corner OR where I fell apart when I got to the last 3 blocks.
This layout has the 3 blocks placed randomly in the layout.  I haven't sewn the corners on the last crazy pieced block so I can change them if I decide I need another color.  I can't decide which I like best so I'll start on the 2 border strips while I contemplate it.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I only need one more...........

Here is Rosemary smoothing out the final edge of her log cabin quilt.  The blocks are paper pieced and finish about 4.5".  Since she made some random fabric placement and some dark/light diagonal halves she just put them together in a random placement.  I just love it.  I give her almost all of my scraps so I recognized a lot of the fabrics as we basted.
After we finished basting I got out my boxes of orphan blocks.  These are all batiks.
More batik orphan blocks.
Last night I pieced 3 more blocks.  I haven't sewn the corners on the crazy pieced blocks yet so the fabric may change.  I will also have to figure out if I want the 3 crazy pieced blocks near each other or scattered randomly.  Actually if I put the third one in the bottom corner it may look like 2 eyes and a mouth.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

30 done, 6 to go..........

I made 4 blocks yesterday and added a strip to each of the other 2 crazy pieced blocks so they will be large enough to cut the melon shape out of. I may shuffle some blocks around when I get the last 6 done, but I'm pretty happy with the layout right now. I'm going to draw out a border strip to paper piece to put at the top and bottom to make this into a rectangular quilt.
My friend Rosemary is coming over today so we can baste her latest quilt, a paper pieced log cabin with 4.5" blocks.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Busy day.........

One more block....that's all.  The art quilters came during the day, the quilt guild meeting with a friend doing the program at night.....I was just too tired to go down and move the blocks and take a photo.  I made one block and went to bed early, 11 p.m.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Finished cleaning, 3 blocks and a bloom......

The art quilters group is coming today so I had some last minute cleaning to finish yesterday.  I baked 2 batches of cookies and got 3 blocks pieced.  I had to move the blocks to a design wall where I can't get a good photo so I'll put them on a double wall when my company leaves and take a photo.  I have 25 blocks done now out of 36.
The cactus with the 2 buds that I thought was going to be white turned out to be pale pink.  I have another bud now on the red one after 3 buds dried up.  Another one has one bud too and I think it might be one of the 2 tone ones.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Red Random Plank....done.....

I got busy first thing in the morning yesterday to get the binding sewn on this Random Plank quilt.  I did it all by machine.  I tried to cut the dotted fabric straight along the dots and only one small area is off a bit.  It is on the left about a third of the way up from the bottom.  It ended up at 74.5" x 99".
I finished 2 blocks and started a third one while I watched 2 episodes of Doc Martin on Netflix.  I'm near the end of season 4 now.  I decided I will use the crazy pieced block (shown yesterday) in the Rattlesnake quilt, and maybe I'll try to sneak a second one in.  I have all of the fabric chosen now to complete 36 blocks and I have an idea for borders at the top and bottom to make it rectangular.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

A day of progress............

I am finishing up some sewing at the far end of the basement where I haven't vacuumed yet.  I sewed the final 2 borders on this Streak of Lightning so now I can baste it and quilt it.
I had hoped to make 3 Rattlesnake blocks but I settled for 2 and some other fun piecing.
The flannel scraps were piling up and I was itching to have some fun with them.
I am so tempted to stick in a block like this.
I had an empty space so I stuck it in the layout with the rest of the blocks.  I am so tempted.....

Friday, February 15, 2013

16 blocks........

I think the Rattlesnake quilt is coming to life with a little more red in it.  On the pattern Karen has 20 blocks with red corners but I'm not going to have that many.
I only got one block made yesterday.  I finished loading a quilt on my longarm in the morning and quilted a few rows and then met a friend for lunch.  We ended up talking for 3 and a half hours.
When I got home I finished the quilting and trimmed the extra batting and backing.  I'm planning to use the dotted fabric for the binding.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

More cutting............

I cut the red corners for the Rattlesnake blocks yesterday.  Here are 6 of them paired up with the other 2 parts of the block.  Then I loaded a backing on my longarm and did some vacuuming.
I got 3 blocks sewn while I watched CSI and the 10 o'clock news.  That makes 16 finished out of 36, or out of 24 if I make it rectangular instead of square.  I have almost enough fabric cut for all 36 blocks so I'll have to see if I can stay interested in it.
I just happened to walk through the kitchen when the sun was setting.  It was really more red in the lower part but it came out pink in every photo I took.  You can see I have a lot of wires and branches to look through to see the sunset in town.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

a 3 block day.......

I made my first Rattlesnake block in the morning yesterday, another before I went to visit Dad and the last one last night.  I would have made one more but the rest of the foundation papers were in the basement.  There are basically 3 color groups, dark, light and red.  Each block is supposed to have one part from each color group in it. I have only done one with red corners so far.   One of my readers reminded me that this is the year of the snake in the Chinese calendar.  It looks like I picked the right year to make this quilt.
I started digging for more reds and came up with 9.  They look too light here but they are deeper toned than they photographed.  I have started cleaning the basement for my art quilters who will come next Monday so I will get these cut today and the extra put away. Once again I have 4 tables to clear off.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Back on track.......

I'm back on track with 2 blocks made last night.  I will take another photo of all of them on the design wall after I make 2 blocks tonight.  That will make 12 finished so it will make 3 complete big blocks.  I got these done in an hour and a half so maybe I am speeding up a little with the construction.
There was only one bud on the pink cactus for one big beautiful flower.  The white one has 3 buds but I doubt they will all bloom.  The red one had 5 buds but only 2 bloomed and the other 3 dried up.  I am thankful for any blooms that I get.

Monday, February 11, 2013

One block and other sewing....

I spent some time looking through a box of flannel scraps for more choices for the Rattlesnake blocks.  I found 2 similar reds.  I didn't have quite enough of one so used one piece of the other and even pieced 2 smaller pieces to make the last red piece at the top left.  I don't want this quilt to look too planned or perfect.  I would prefer it have a few blocks like this.
I only had time to make one block because it was time to sew some more preemie gowns for church sewing circle today.  There are 20 here which will be parts of 10 layettes.  They want 2 gowns in the extra small and small layettes and one gown in the medium and large size layettes.           

Sunday, February 10, 2013

More blocks and a finish.......

I made one more Rattlesnake block yesterday morning and then grouped the 6 blocks for a photo shoot.
I made one more block last night.  I thought I might get faster piecing them the more I made but this one still took me an hour to make.
I loaded this Stack and Slash quilt yesterday morning on my longarm and then quilted it in the late afternoon.  I sewed the binding (same fabric as backing) on all by machine so it is done.  I did my favorite wavy line grid on this one.  It ended up 55" x 68".

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Choosing a backing......

I spent a long time going through my large pieces of flannel to find a backing for the Stack and Slash quilt.  I had enough of this pink print (purchased at a great sale price) but I didn't think it related well enough to the front of the quilt.  I found several more that looked good but there wasn't quite enough of any of them.
I had pulled out this boring beige flannel when I was choosing fabrics for the front but decided to look for a different one.  In the end this is the one that looks the best.
It is actually a Moda Christmas fabric from about 15 years ago.  It says Peace on Earth below every little drawing of buildings.  I know I bought it on sale at the end of the season and I actually have enough left over to make a couple matching pillowcases.
Rattlesnake progress:  I got 2 more blocks made.  It takes about an hour for each which includes tearing out the paper.  It happens to be newsprint paper in this pattern and it tears out easily.  All of you that do paper piecing know what my floor looks like in the studio after tearing out the papers.  No matter now neat you try to be, little pieces of paper fly onto the floor.
I did a favor for a friend and she surprised me back with a gift certificate to Batiks Etcetera.  I had a lot of fun shopping at their site and was surprised to get an email the same afternoon that the package had been shipped.