Sunday, November 30, 2014

Trying for a finish..............

I have had the backing and batting for this quilt hanging over a rail of my longarm frame for almost 2 months.  Finally yesterday I sewed the seam in the backing, loaded it and quilted it.

I chose this gray/beige Jinny Beyer print for the binding.  I didn't want to emphasize any one color with 9 different color blocks in the quilt so I went neutral.

I have just a narrow band of it showing here and it looks good with the front and backing.  I cut the binding but didn't sew it on yet.

I also sewed the last four blocks and played with the layout.  I'll check it later today to see if I'm still happy with it and then sew it together.  There are some old fabrics in these blocks, from the late 1980s and early 1990s all the way up to a few new ones I have purchased in the last few years.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

A little progress..........

Four blocks were sewn yesterday.  I had errands to run and knitted for awhile.  I even made a casserole with turkey leftovers and froze 4 meals for the coming weeks.  Refer back to this post for the book and the beginning of this quilt.

The sewing is done on the parts of the last four blocks.  4 across by 5 down will measure about 64" x 80" so it will be a nice large couch quilt.

We finally made it above 32 degrees yesterday and today is supposed to be in the 50s.  I guess that means I need to get outside for some final winterizing today. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Design wall play.............

It is time to take this quilt top off the double design wall so I needed to try the border auditions.  This print, another by Keiko Goke, was my original choice for the border.  After seeing it next to the quilt I changed my mind.  I tried a stop border too and didn't like that either.
Then I tried the black background print that is like the white one in the quilt top (positive/negative prints).  I think that is what I am going to use.

I got all of the fabrics pressed and cut for the remaining 12 blocks for this new quilt.  If you haven't been following along, here is the post where I show the book and the first blocks.  In this post I first showed this block (third one down) as a possibility for a layout.  I took the 16 pieces from 4 blocks and played with them before I sew the rail fence blocks.  This first layout is every other block turned a quarter turn.
This layout has all blocks in the same position.  The solid border between blocks that is formed could go horizontal or vertical.

Fabric choices would be important for these layouts.  I think it would have to be more coordinated instead of contrasting like I'm using for the rail fence layout.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just a quick photo to show I have added 2 more blocks.  This photo was taken under different lights than on previous days.  Thanksgiving dinner went well last night.  The turkey was especially moist and delicious.  We actually sat down very close to the time we had planned.  It isn't easy to get it all to the table at the right temperature and on time.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Two blocks and baking...........

I didn't get much sewing done because I had an oven marathon.  I started out with the lowest temperature and first made Chex mix at 250*, then shortbread cookies at 300*, next frosted creams at 350* and finished with muffins with dried cranberry pieces at 400*.  I started at 4:30 and finished at 7:30.
I decided to play with the pieces before I sewed 2 blocks.  The first was the pinwheels above, then I tried repeated verticals offset every other row.  I think this second one might be interesting with the right fabrics.

Then I did one pinwheel with border.  This could have every other block turned a quarter turn or a positive/negative fabric position option laid out as alternating blocks.

Then I took the 2 completed blocks to the design wall and changed position of every other row to make a vertical zig zag.  It is time to move the blocks to a double design wall before I add more blocks later this evening.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

4 more blocks, 2 layouts...........

I made four more blocks last night and tried 2 layouts.  I think the one on the left looks like rick-rack bulls-eyes.  Today I need to vacuum the living/dining room and do some baking.  Our Thanksgiving is going to be Wednesday night.  If you missed yesterday's post, that is where I gave info about the source for this pattern.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Revealing the new book............

This is the new book I am so excited about.  I love the cover quilt--I've never met a zig zag that I didn't like--even though this one is really a rail fence variation.  This book was written by Sujata Shah whom I became acquainted with through The Root Connection blog.  She had published directions for this quilt on her blog (zig zag tutorial tab at the top of her blog) and it is one of my favorite quilts.  She uses a large variety of fabrics in her quilts so I was immediately attracted to them.
I like the method for this quilt, oversized strips with a gentle curve sewn into them and then trimming it to perfect squares to make the block.

There are other layouts suggested too so I may have to make some more of these blocks in a different assortment of fabrics and try one (or two) of them too.

I have my first four 16" blocks up on the design wall.  With this busy week I plan on making a few blocks each day and sewing the top together by the end of the week.

Be sure to check out Sujata's blog.  She shows the whole stack of quilts that are in the book.  If you scroll down you will see more as she prepared to go to Houston to Quilt Market.   Here are a couple more of my favorite quilts on her blog (the red ones).

Also check out C&T's website to see more quilts from the book.  If you like free form piecing, you will love this book.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Saturday happenings............

Since I missed the 2 Thursday sew-ins this month I decided to make some more of the blocks at home for this quilt.  This would make 2 great table runners too.  

This is what I have been reading.  The first day I thought I would read a couple chapters to just get into the story.  When I finished chapter 10 I made myself put it down.  Yes, it is a good book.  Yesterday morning I went to the car dealer for an appointment to get the lock on my driver's side door to work.  I figured it was a computer thing but I was way off.  If was a broken part and damaged wiring, $455 and 2 1/4 hours later I had read over half of the book and was on the way home.
I have finalized my fabric collection for the new quilt.  I took out a few that were in yesterday's photo and added a few.  Today I'll so some cutting and start sewing.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Gathering fabrics...........

I'm gathering fabrics for a new quilt.  I have a new book and I love the cover quilt.  I'll be sharing a mini review of the book and the start of the quilt on Monday.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The ones that didn't work........

When I was choosing reds for the trip around the world groups I found fabrics that won't work.  They are beautiful fabrics and I obviously liked them or I wouldn't have bought them.  It is hard to decide what kind of quilt they would work in.

I love this stripe fabric and really would like to use it.

I love the colors in this one.

I'm sure I'm not the only one buying hard to use fabrics.

This would probably be the easiest to use in a quilt but the color isn't consistent enough across the width for TAW.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Seams sewn.............

I have finished the piecing on this quilt top.  I will probably add a border to make it a generous twin size.  I have another print in the Keiko Goke fabrics that will resemble a piano key border without all of the piecing.  I'm repeating the photo of the strata for this quilt.  The sewn quilt always surprises me.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

More red.....

The second part TAW class went well yesterday.  It was a chilly day, 18 degrees but we were toasty warm in the basement.  I had the students bring fabrics to practice putting in order for TAW quilts in addition to working on their quilts.  While they were all busy cutting, unpicking or sewing I chose another red run from my stash.  The run at the top is the one I showed a couple days ago with some minor changes.  The bottom run is new.
Since the fabrics make a complete loop I wanted to see them with both the light and the dark at the centers of the selection.  This gives me a better idea of how the quilt will look.

Today would have been my dad's 101st birthday.  He passed away last year 3 months shy of his 100th b-day.  I didn't get to see him on his 99th 2 yrs. ago because I had just had the radioactive seeding treatment/surgery on my eye 4 days earlier and I was wearing a bulky lead patch over that eye and was supposed to be isolated.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

21 strips out of 35............

Another 8 top to bottom strips were sewn into a section and added to the first section of 13 strips.  I have another strata ready to cut so I can finish the design.  The second TAW class is today.

Monday, November 17, 2014


While I was finishing the cleaning in the basement I decided to straighten my red/rose/coral shelf.  I started pulling a run for another TAW.  I have 2 stripes in the 3rd position from the right.  I wasn't sure which I liked.  The floral stripe 3rd from the left will have to be cut on the lengthwise grain if I use it because the stripe runs crosswise.  It changes to different groups of flowers and I'm not sure it would be consistent enough to use in crosswise cuts.

The cookies are baked and I hope I get a good turnout of the art quilters today.  

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Some stash..........

These are my Italian cotton fabrics.  They are the same weight and silky finish as the Liberty Lawn fabrics.  My daughter brought them back from one of her trips for me.  I have used small amounts of several of them and made a pillow cover with the one on the left.  

Today I will be baking cookies for the art quilters' group which is coming tomorrow.  The basement is pretty clean so just a touch up is needed.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Partly sewn.......

The thirteen rows on the left are sewn together and pressed.  I started unpicking more pieces and then wandered off and did a bunch of other things.

It didn't reach 30 degrees yesterday, mighty chilly!  Monday and Tuesday are supposed to be in the low 20s and then we will warm up to above freezing.  I didn't get all of my pots emptied yet so I still have some outside work to do.

Photos below of what is blooming at my house.  The pink/white 2 tone are still blooming too.


Friday, November 14, 2014

Errands and progress.............

Yesterday was errand day, almost 3 hours worth.  It was 30 degrees and windy, too early for winter.  I started sewing the long seams from top to bottom of the TAW quilt on the part I had unpicked.

I also sewed the last strata and sliced one that was ready for that step.  I'm hoping to get most of the designing part done today.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Busy day............

The student who drove the farthest for my TAW class, 4 1/2 hours, stayed at the Best Western on the edge of town so she finished her second class yesterday morning.  The other students will come back next Tuesday.  While she sewed I decided on the center of my quilt and did more unpicking of loops.

Later in the afternoon my dryer repair man came and while he worked on it I sorted all of the small pieces of Liberty Lawn that I bought about 20 years ago.  These pieces are around 6.5" square.

Back in those days there were no die cut packs of fabrics available.  Some of these are torn along one edge and cut with scissors on the other 3 sides.  They are not all the same size although the label said 6.5" squares.

There was also a little bag of approximately 3" squares.  Some of them are the same prints as the larger squares so I think I got them all from the same store.

There was also a little package of scraps, anywhere from just under 2" wide to almost 4" wide.

Near the end of the time that this store carried the Liberty Lawns there was a regular quilting weight fabric about 54" wide.  All of these 3" pieces are that weight.  I have 3 yardage pieces that I bought of it at that time too.
These are my duplicate pieces.  I'm wondering if there is anyone reading who has a more current collection of the Liberty Lawn that would like to trade some pieces with me.  The fabrics in the top 2 rows are about 20 years old.  I'm not sure of the time period of the 3 in the bottom row..I think I have found 2 trade partners now.  Thanks everyone!!!