Monday, January 18, 2016

Design Wall Monday

Man, it's been a busy month already!  But I do have some sewing to share again. First up, the UFO challenge project I selected from my many UFOs to finish for guild.  This started with a monthly challenge of fluorescent color.  The orange is surely bright but not really fluorescent, but I really like the way its turning out. 
 This is Metro Twist, from Sew Kind of Wonderful and the Quick Curve Ruler.

It takes a bit of rewiring your brain every time you play with the ruler, but it isn't hard.  I cut a bunch of parts for the blocks.  I found that I did not have enough of the orange for the pictured quilt, but decided I must have planned to make a wall hanging for just that reason.  Notes, people!  Make notes!

Also for guild, we are making dog and cat beds for a rescue organization.  Good thing most animals are colorblind because these are made of totally random fabrics!  They are about 16x20" finished.  The rescue place was recently flooded out and will be grateful to get these next month.  I'll quilt and bind it this week.  
I've joined the scrap challenge at SoScrappy.  Blue is the January color, which is hardest for me since I use very little blue in my quilts, generally.  I decided to make Churn Dash blocks in two sizes.  This is a 9" block and I'll make 4 1/2" ones too.   I just love Churn Dash!

Finally, I finished a long overdue Christmas gift that needs to get delivered this week.
Simple 6" 9 patches and some setting triangles and sashing.  I again used a holly leaf for the small squares, so easy to do.

There was a lot of burying threads but I felt the simple design needed simple quilting. 

The backing is some leftover from my Christmas Quilt.  I actually hand stitched this binding, which I rarely do these days.  I do enjoy handwork and have plans to pull out the wool applique for another old quilt UFO to work on.  

See more design walls on Judy's Patchwork Times. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Continuing Timber Tale

The Timber Quilt (Alison Glass pattern), now several months past due for a wedded couple, remains in pieces, but much bigger pieces!

There were four of the narrow angled strip sections, two of which were mirror image.  After constantly realigning the first group on my cutting mat, I finally got smart and used a visual aid. 

Ah, much easier!  The finished size of the section was the outer limit of the tape, so it was easier to see where the strips were to go.  The layout was complicated by this being a rectangle rather than a square.  There are a couple of squidgy areas I will have to be careful to enclose in the seam allowance so as not to leave a hole. 

Here are the completed four corner sections laid out with the center section.  Next, neutral colored sashing will be added along with outer borders in Silver Kona.  I'm making the quilt a little bigger than the pattern calls for, but not as big as the optional 15" border.  So some MATH will be required.  Therein lies the current stalling... It was my intention to get this quilt top together over my Christmas holiday, but sadly I did very little sewing.  Time to get back to it.

I pulled out my four patches and cut a bunch of corner triangles, as I thought I could use them as leader enders while sewing the Timber strips.  But that didn't work out because of the uneven length of the strips.  My sister stopped by while I was counting out how many hundred four patches I have (there are about 300 in this photo).  She almost had a stroke, as small squares affect her deeply :)  I have yet to decide how I will put these together once the triangles are all added.  Originally I was going to set them like the Go Four It quilt by Edyta Sitar for American Patchwork & Quilting, but I have seen some other layouts I like too.  A long term project can be a good thing.

Monday, January 4, 2016

2015 and Christmas Wrap Up

Happy New Year!

As per usual, I'm a little late to the Wrap Up game.  2015 was a very busy year in both work and personal life hours and it sure contributed to less sewing/quilting/stitching.  I did not make many large quilts but there were a lot of smaller projects completed. On the whole, there were a lot of things I kept or finished for myself--I know, right?  I also made a TeePee for my grandson's first birthday.  He loves it.

There were also a lot of starts and stops on multiple projects, not shown here!  My final finish of the year is the little tree runner, which I gave to my new friend and manicurist. 

 These improv trees were left over from last year's guild challenge where I picked two crayons (mine were old gold and green) .  I sashed them with this pinecone print. 

I had fun doing some straight line quilting with a little detail within the trees.  

Christmas was hectic, in that DH's 96 year old mother was taken to the ER by ambulance on Christmas Eve with abdominal cramps and difficulty breathing.  She checked out fine, except for high blood pressure, and we took her home, but our Christmas Eve gathering with our kids got pushed back a bit.  Grandson Cove, 22 months, was revved up but adorably so.
Very serious as he starts in on a big gift from his Uncle Nick.

 He removed every single bit of wrapping paper before checking out his gift.

 A basketball hoop!

 Cove had a great time inside this large gift bag, in which we kept throwing tissue and wrapping paper and he would pop up and down.  I caught his Mama and Auntie's reactions.

He wasn't quite sure about Santa at the Mall, but at least he didn't cry!

This Santa at the tree lot absolutely dwarfed the little guy.  

And his parents reported that he said about this extra large tree, "Take home".  

We feel very lucky to get to see our kids and grandson often and look forward to the next grandson arriving in March!

And finally, some changes for my followers who use Google Friend Connect, per Blogger Buzz:
In 2011, we announced the retirement of Google Friend Connect for all non-Blogger sites. We made an exception for Blogger to give readers an easy way to follow blogs using a variety of accounts. Yet over time, we’ve seen that most people sign into Friend Connect with a Google Account. So, in an effort to streamline, in the next few weeks we’ll be making some changes that will eventually require readers to have a Google Account to sign into Friend Connect and follow blogs.

As part of this plan, starting the week of January 11, we’ll remove the ability for people with Twitter, Yahoo, Orkut or other OpenId providers to sign in to Google Friend Connect and follow blogs. At the same time, we’ll remove non-Google Account profiles so you may see a decrease in your blog follower count.

We encourage you to tell affected readers (perhaps via a blog post), that if they use a non-Google Account to follow your blog, they need to sign up for a Google Account, and re-follow your blog. With a Google Account, they’ll get blogs added to their Reading List, making it easier for them to see the latest posts and activity of the blogs they follow.

We know how important followers are to all bloggers, but we believe this change will improve the experience for both you and your readers.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Design Wall Monday--a finish to share

A bit late, but I do have a finish to celebrate for DWM!  I finally got all the quilting done on the Christmas Quilt and it is ready to snuggle under on the couch.
I had to bump up the contrast to get the border to show as green and not black due to the nighttime shot, but here is the throw fresh off the sewing machine. 
 The back is pieced to keep the script print right side up :) 

Although initially I didn't think I really liked it, I persevered with the circles in the pieced blocks and most of them got a holly leaf detail in the center.  This was a very easy free motion design to do.  I felt the circles made the quilting a bit more modern.
I repeated the holly leaves but added berries in the border, and used green thread to keep the focus on the center blocks and not interrupt the dark green dotted print.  Desiring to use the green dot for the binding as well but having limited amount, the dreaded MATH dragon raised its head.

I had little of this red candy cane print that I used for the cornerstones and figured I had just enough of it to use on the corners.  I cut 12 inch sections of the red print at 2.5"wide and ironed them in half lengthwise like the other binding pieces.  I folded the red print binding segments in half and aligned the folded edge with the raw edge of my quilt top and pinned it in place.  Then I sewed the green dot  binding pieces to the free ends of the red print using a straight seam instead of a diagonal, measuring and cutting the green print binding only to proper length.
You can see in this picture where I joined the red print to the green print binding.  This procedure I did one at a time as I approached the corners while attaching the binding to the quilt sandwich.  I had to make a couple of straight joins in the green dot binding but they are really invisible.

This worked out perfectly and each corner detail measured the same.  It is so great when an idea and a sketch come together just the way one planned!  Unfortunately, when I washed the quilt for the first time, despite using a color catcher cloth, some of the red and green prints in the blocks ran--obviously a sign of not having been prewashed. My practice is to always wash all my fabrics before cutting and sewing, and certainly for any blocks that I might swap.  I'm sure more of this will wash out in subsequent laundering--this is a quilt for me and I'm not particularly concerned.  These blocks have been waiting to become a quilt for about 8 years.  So happy they are a real quilt finally.

See more design walls on Judy's Patchwork Times

Monday, December 7, 2015

Christmas Quilting

This Christmas Quilt got more attention, first with the very tedious stitch in the ditch which takes so long and barely shows on the front.  I'm not a perfectionist and this quilt is for me, so there was very little ripping involved--only for big mistakes! 

  Then I started in on the sashing and cornerstones. 

I free-motion stitched a sort of candy cane wiggle in the sashing and holly leaves in the cornerstones, all in white thread. This took a lot longer than I estimated, partly due to using a thicker thread and having to wind bobbins frequently.  Plus breaking two needles.   I had already decided just to outline any of the appliqued shapes, so that was the next task, fairly quickly accomplished.  While doing the boring quilting, I came up with the decision to treat all the pieced blocks with a simple circle of quilting.  I traced around a small plate on few of the blocks.

I'm not sure I like it.  I may need to add some stippling to the outside of the circle and then stitch in the ditch around the center square. 

The quilt will rest while I decide, and decorate the Christmas tree, which has remained strung only with lights for two days.  We went to Costco on Friday night because they had $46 Noble Fir trees, meeting our DD Erica there. We quickly found out why they are that low price when we saw the trees, completely bound in twine and leaning against a trailer.  No, you are not allowed to open the trees.  "It's kind of like gambling", the attendant told our daughter before we got there.  No thanks, I don't like the roulette version of selecting a tree! So off to Home Depot and the fun of picking out a favorite and comparing it to the others' favorites. Mission accomplished. 

In other news, grandson Cove's early Christmas present arrived and his mom and I put it together after he went to sleep.  I got this picture the next morning upon request.  Strapped in!   He had his first trip to Disneyland yesterday and I can't wait to see what he has to say about it :)