Monday, November 28, 2016

Design Wall Monday--11/28

Off my design wall is a couch quilt for DD Erica.  I had all the blocks made by a couple of weeks ago but didn't get the chance to assemble the top until the day after Thanksgiving.  My sewing room (our former family room) had been cleared out to make way for furniture moved from the living room while we had tables and chairs there for Thanksgiving crowd of 21.  We had a great time as always and enjoyed all the family togetherness. Grandsons Cove and Hunter were very popular, naturally. 

It was so nice to just open my sewing desk Friday morning and get started assembling the rows.

The pressing instructions for this quilt (Star-Crossed, APQ magazine April 2016) ensured that all seams nested.  I only had one block where I pressed one seam wrong and otherwise everything matched up well.  These 16" blocks make a fast quilt top. 

DD Erica came over Sunday morning to help me pin it.  QC was provided by Mini. 

She takes her job pretty seriously, lol.

Quilting commenced after a trip to the garden shop on a very windy afternoon.  It was nice to sit in the warm house and quilt straight lines.  Not sure what I'll do in all the white background as yet, probably something very simple, using invisible thread, I think.

This beautiful flower arrangement my brother gave me on Thanksgiving has opened and looks wonderful with the lilies blooming.  Love the color mixture!  See more Design Walls on Judy's Patchwork Times.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Design Wall Monday

Nearly Thanksgiving--my favorite holiday!  My design wall has two turkeys, for two nieces, this Design Wall Monday.

Emma's turkey, Thomas, is all ready to go to his new home.  I bound it in a dark purple Thimbleberries print from stash.  

Hannah's turkey, Tomasu (she loves all things Japanese), is pieced, backing and binding are made, just awaiting sandwiching and quilting.  Hopefully I'll get the quilting completed tomorrow night, maybe even finish it off with the binding.  It is surprising how much binding it takes--about 80" of binding was required for each 16x18 little quilt.  It has been fun to see what the young ladies chose and I hope they will enjoy their patchwork turkeys for years to come.  (The original pattern is "Give Thanks" from The Quilted Basket, and I purchased it at Helen's Hen House in Missouri in 2012). 

See more Design Walls on Judy's Patchwork Times

 I've also been spending time with an embroidery UFO, this is Poinsettias and Pomegranates.  I find I cannot work too long on the 32 count linen without my vision going blurry.  I did finish all the pomegranate blossoms in between coughing and sneezing attacks that kept me home from work the other afternoon.

I'm pleased with it so far. There are a border, corner blossoms and a basket to complete for this pincushion pattern.  I may just decide to frame it instead. 

Our long-delayed baseboard project is complete at last.  DH Grant and I spent an hour or two prepping and painting Saturday morning doing touchup and final coat of paint (this pic was of the install and not the final look). We are expecting 21 for Thanksgiving dinner and can't wait to show them off.  Naturally, now I want the baseboards redone in the rest of the downstairs to match, and fresh paint in the sewing room and kitchen, etc etc.  The home improvement list never ends!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

So Far this November

Things are busy around here, but not as much in the sewing room as I'd like.  My sister and I have reupped for local guild positions, I'll be secretary again and she's sharing the communications position with another member.  We're hoping to have a fun year with a new board and a chance to introduce new ideas.  My sister bought an IPadPro and is letting me use this to type up the notes at meetings.  This should save me some time since I've been handwriting everything so far and rarely get to the computer timely to get the notes typed up and then uploaded much in advance of the next meetings.  

Last month's guild challenge was free motion quilting on a small handmade item to donate to the guild that could later be sold for fundraising.  I pulled out my "small UFO" box and found a block I made last year.  Eureka!

I was originally in this pic I stole from Flickr, but looking half-asleep so I cropped myself out!  I'd say the little spools are about 5" tall.  So happy to have this off the list of unfinished objects crowding my sewing room.

All the blocks got done for the Starcrossed quilt for DD Erica.  I went to her house to layout the quilt, lacking floor space for these 16" blocks.  Her cat Lucy provided QC.  I'm hoping to get some stitching time to get the top together soon.  I have two small projects to finish first, though, for my nieces.  Another turkey is laid out on the cutting table to assemble, this one is Hannah's. 

Hannah went more brown on her turkey and more creamy with the background.  If I could get to my sewing machine, I'd start sewing those squares and triangles together. However, my sewing room is currently crammed with furniture as we finally got baseboards in our living room, a gift from my kids and husband for my birthday.  We had the 16' long baseboards delivered and they were lying in the living room, stacked about 7 inches high.  I managed to nearly kill myself tripping over the stack and smacking into the tile floor.  I will blame this on the fabric I was carrying, hurrying to the washer!  I fortunately got my hands up fast enough to break my fall, but my left shin took a hard hit on the baseboard edge and my lower leg has been swollen and numb for 10 days.  My left shoulder isn't very happy either.   We immediately moved the baseboards to the garage, but bending over to the floor to paint them was no picnic either, can you say hamstrings too tight? Not too pleasant painting in record heat, either. Anyway, they are now installed by a handyman and the unfinished part of the wall is nicely trimmed, four years after we had laminate installed  in the living/dining room.  Sheesh. 

Here's Grandson Hunter in some fall leaves.  He and his big brother, mom and dad had a weekend away at Bass Lake with friends recently.  What a happy little guy :) He generously shared his cold with me at my birthday brunch last weekend, but I'm glad it's this week and not next.  We'll have about 21 for Thanksgiving dinner this year and enjoy gathering all together in our newly baseboard-enhanced room! I have a 5 day weekend planned and hope to get stitching time then. 

Monday, October 31, 2016

Design Wall Monday--10/31/16 Happy Halloween

Design Wall Monday again.  Well, another week passed quickly, with not too much time in the sewing room.  However, some of it was spent with my grown niece, Emma, making Thomas. 

The photo is a bit overexposed, but you can tell what a sophisticated turkey he is.  Emma picked through my precut scraps and we pulled larger pieces and fat quarters for more choices.  Though I gave away the pattern for this mini quilt a few years ago, I had the one I made for  myself to go by.  Emma enjoyed using the Accuquilt GO cutter to chop up the scraps to the 2.5 width, then we crosscut them with the cutter for squares.  It was a fun couple of hours.  Thomas now has a pieced backing and I'll get the quilting done soon and have Emma choose her binding fabric. 

See more Design Walls on Judy's Patchwork Times. 
 I kept the GO cutter out to lower the volume of this scrap bin. 

 So great to get a new pile of light scraps in the 2.5" precut drawer.

Other tasks last week included getting a new kitchen faucet, thanks to son Nick,  a plumber who got us a great overstock deal AND installed it, and DH Grant who put up these pretty new patio lights.  We had our house painted this gray blue-green a couple of months ago and the 25+ year old builder grade lights had to go. The first two new lights went up just fine but the third one had to be partially disassembled to change the too-long mounting screws.  Naturally there was a trip to the Home Center involved to complete the project, but only to buy clear caulk to seal the backplates from rain.  We actually did get some of that wet stuff here in SoCalif, just about 1/2 inch to kick off our rainy season, enough to ease the fire danger some.  Fingers crossed there will be more rain in the next 3-5 months.

Our Halloween was pretty light, only about 80 trick or treaters--in the past we have had a few hundred, but that's to be expected on a school night.   We played favorites with the grandsons to close out the evening.
Cove requested to be a ghost and Mama made him this costume from some gauze, draping it over his cute leggings and long sleeved shirt.  Clever and simple, perfect for a 2 3/4 year old.  Baby brother Hunter sported some bones :)   Too cute!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Design Wall Monday 10/24/16

On my design surface is the Starcrossed quilt (pattern by Corey Yoder in APQ mag April 2016) I've been working on for DD Erica.    All the pieces are now cut for the two different blocks I'm making, 10 of each, and subsections ready to go.

The plum print on the lower left is a shot cotton in plum and black with a gold ginkgo print.  Unfortunately I don't recall the maker, and my local fabric store doesn't have point-of-sale info on their receipts.  Next trip I'll check the bolt!

Photographing purples is sure a challenge, especially at night!  The leaves are not large but the spray is so pretty.  I love ginkgo trees and leaves, and we have quite a few in our neighborhood. 
This closeup shows the shot cotton base in the 4.5" square I cut for a feature block. 

Unpicking of the inner corner chain was necessary to add the ginkgo print for this cross block; it is kind of a signature thing I often do, one block different as the "heart" of  my quilts.  I'll be happily piecing and pressing away on these big blocks for the next week when I have time. 

Last week our MQG had a sew-in for philanthropy.  I'm so glad my suggestion to have weeknight sew-ins has worked out--the Masonic Lodge building manager is very generous in letting us come in when the room is not being used for one of their events.  We worked on assembling some donated blocks and I had help from two members in marking and sewing pieces for houndstooth block kits I had cut from fabric purchased by the board.  

The Guild president picked this blue and gray and I think it looks great so far.  All the pieced blocks got made and I managed to get a few squared up to demonstrate the layout.  For the guild blocks, I started with 10" and 5" squares for the pieced blocks so precuts could be used.  The solid alternate block is 9.5".  It is really simple construction and there are so many ways to change it up.  I have another kit to sew up as well before handing off to another guild member at the next sew-in in a few weeks. 

See more Design Walls on Judy's Patchwork Times.