Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Mixed Bag Progress

Lots of good sewing time lately has countered all the wet and windy cool weather we've been having in SoCal lately.  This is Falling Charms from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.  Very simple and fast block construction--there is a video on their website.  I used two each of 40 prints for my layout.

I have since sewn all the block rows save for one more seam to join the two halves of the center. I'll add narrow borders then hopefully cobble together a back from stash--I'm on a fabric diet as all my storage bins and drawers are groaning!  We had a sew-in for guild and I used a different charm pack to make 25 blocks for this same layout for a baby quilt, but don't have a picture of that.  

For guild this month, we were to make new nametags.  I wanted to make a more modern style than my simple embroidered one from a few years ago, but it wasn't until the last minute that I dove into my "extra parts" drawer and found some little HSTs to inspire me. 

I used another leftover large HST sewn to the top and bottom of my name, turned under and stitched around all the edges and popped the nametag in a badge holder.  Do you keep leftover sewn parts in a separate drawer?  I find them handy now and again, but that drawer is also full!

A guild member proposed a round robin of another sort, the Pizza Box Challenge, and a bunch of us signed up for that.  The Pizza Boxes contain one finished block of our choosing and whatever "must use" fabrics and instructions.  I made a version of a Grayscale Quilt block (Cluck Cluck Sew blog--she has a tutorial) that we helped make at Sewtopia New Orleans for victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting.  The Las Vegas MQG member who was cutting pieces had devised a quick method to cut from sewn strip sets instead of individual pieces.  

I used the same method for my larger block, adding a final white 12.5" strip to the outside.
I put in the background white and invited others to add whatever solid color they wanted.  We will swap to the next pizza box every month and get ours back in a year.  I haven't peeped in the box I brought home yet, but it was very heavy with fabric!

Here's my written instructions for the block I made:
Clear as mud?  I may get questions...:)

My sister also brought back the baby quilt from charms I showed last month, so I need to apply the already-made binding and create a label for Sid's quilt.  It will be good to get a few more finishes this short month with the quick charm pack projects.  With my sister having a longarm, the already finished quilt tops in my closet will get in line too.  I need a roll of batting, I think!

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Design Wall Monday-February 4

It's Design Wall Monday again.  See more design walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts

Is is just me, or did January go by in a flash for everyone?  Well, maybe not those stuck in the Polar Vortex...we've been getting plenty of rain and road closures due to flooding and mud flows from all the burn areas around here.  The hills are green green green, so pretty to look at, but all the grass can become fuel for fires later. 

I've been mowing down projects in my sewing room, trying to add stash fabrics to anything I can. The Moda Love Quilt quiltalong is going on now, and after making a layer cake sized Love quilt last year, I have wanted to try a different size, from a hoarded Bonnie and Camille Vintage Picnic charm pack.  I spent a great deal of time pulling neutrals and stash additions for the quilt--it became abundantly clear that I tend to buy off whites and not many light print backgrounds!

The charm pack had a lot more aqua and I had to sprinkle it around some.  I tried Bonnie Hunter's "webbing the top" method but had two blocks tangle and turn on me and had to take out seven seams to get them out of the red star center.  Of course they couldn't be on the edge!  This finishes at about 32" square so is nice wall quilt size.  #modalovequilt

I played with leftovers from the QOV blocks and came up with these little paddlewheels and windmill, so fun to put together.  I'll add this to the stack of blocks to mail in.  The QOV info said that while they accept other quilts, the majority of Veterans chose a patriotic themed quilt, when given a choice.

Since passing off a baby quilt to my sister to longarm for me, I got out the next priority project box.  I bought the charm packs and background fabric for this quilt probably two years ago--it is a long overdue gift for my son-in-law's  mom and stepdad.  I chose the Falling Charms Quilt from Missouri Star Quilt Co for this grouping: 

The Maison de Provence charm packs were from Connecting Threads, as was a neutral background.   Since I only ordered two charm packs of 28 squares each, I added stash fabrics to make up the 80 blocks for the 8x10 setting I want.  There is a very good video on YouTube for the quilt.  A jelly roll works but I cut the 2.5" strips with my Accuquilt GO cutter from yardage.  The squares now all have the first background strip on, and I got a dozen or so blocks done with the L-shaped sashing.  

Meanwhile, our younger daughter dropped a bridesmaid's dress alteration onto my list.  She called around but no one could make her deadline of Wednesday to shorten the dress before she gets on a plane for a friend's wedding.  So I'll be hemming a lot of chiffon and lining.  Fussy stuff but not a fit problem.  Erica laughed when she challenged me to find a matching thread for her mauve dress and I pulled out a perfect spool from the thread bins!  Stash is a good thing...except when it gets overwhelming. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Road2CA 2019

My sister and I headed down to Ontario over the weekend for a few hours to gaze at quilts and shop the vendors at the Road to California Quilt Show.  The layout was different this year and it seems we started at the end and made our way to the beginning of the exhibit spaces!  Kathy was trying out every longarm machine she could find and absorbing hints and problem solving techniques.  Meanwhile, I took pictures. 

This very cool portrait of a wolf named OR-7 caught my eye. 

An interesting story about the wolf in the portrait.

 I had to take a photo of this quilt, so realistic it looks like it belongs in my mom's art studio!

Next was a large quilt with a smile-inducing division..

...and description :)

I love this quilt made of all solids, very artfully combined in this design.  I have loved Lone Star quilts for decades and plan to make one someday. 

Nancy Rink is a quilt designer and a quick search of her website reveals kits for this quilt. We also loved the Cherrywood Fabric Prince challenge display, and were amazed at the dozens of quilts entered.  There was a good mix of modern and traditional quilts at the show, and so many vendors that were new to us.  We stayed until closing at 5:30.  Kathy commented that we had not seen a single person who knew us, so different from the QuiltCon show in Pasadena where many fellow guild members were attending!

My haul for the day included the Handsful of Scraps book by Edyta Sitar, who was vending at the show and I told her that we are residents of the same city.  She was very gracious and told us to keep in touch.  Unfortunately I did not get her to sign my book as she was just heading off with her very cute teen-aged son.   Her book also has a gorgeous Lone Star quilt pattern, very scrappy. 

I stocked up on plenty of green fat quarters and some 1/2 yard pieces, picked up the Jelly Roll Rug pattern and Latifah Saffir's Clammy template, some Aurifil thread, and a couple of Quilts of Valor block kits.  Biggest ticket item was the new walking foot with interchangeable feet for my Husqvarna Sapphire machine.   

I was curious about the QOV block instructions, a floating Ohio Star, and got into the kits.  Unfortunately the first kit's fabric strip was so badly curved as to make it impossible to cut the number of squares needed. Another kit's strip was short by 2" of the length for the number of background squares.   I pulled from stash and made up some extra block kits to stitch up. 

These are big blocks and fun to sew up.  I will make up a few more and get them mailed in.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Design Wall Monday, 1/21/19

It's Design Wall Monday.  See more design walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog.  

I've got a priority quilt on my design floor today, which progressed quickly from parts to a top over the weekend.  I used a pattern/tutorial from Calamity Jane's Cottage blog* for this baby quilt, having  already selected 25 charm squares I wanted to use.  The background fabric strips were simple to cut and I chain pieced the blocks in a short time.  Sunday after a breakfast outing with our grandsons and their parents, I laid out the setting I wanted and completed the top. (* Firefox gives me a warning about this site so I am not linking to it.)

I'm happy with the green background mixing with the grays and blues in the squares.  The tutorial includes using 1/2 charms as a border, but I think I'm going to add a solid background border to have the squares float even more.  The first version of this quilt I made last month with a white background and no border, for a newborn baby, however this quilt is for an almost 1 year old so I want to make it a little bigger.  Backing and binding decisions to follow...

The next priority quilt is also bordered charm squares that will sew up just as easy, the Falling Charms quilt.  Missouri Quilt Company and Connie Kresin (Freemotion by the River) both have tutorials.  I have a lot of cutting to do of 2.5" strips with my Accuquilt GO! for that project.  I don't often use precuts but they sure can speed things up.

Sunday's beautiful sunrise was capped by the Super Blood Wolf Moon lunar eclipse after dark.  Grant and I stepped out back multiple times to watch the eclipse's progress.  It's very hard to photograph the moon, even when it is covered up, but I tried. 

This fuzzy ball looks a little orange!  We had a great view of the eclipse here in SoCal, and I also looked at the Live feed from Griffith Observatory.  I read the next lunar eclipse is not until 2021 but it won't be a Super Moon.  I'll likely watch that too!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Rise Up and Planning

My doctor boss was out of the office on Monday and I feverishly sewed most of the day to get the Rise Up quilt top finished.  While the HSTs were all made, sewing them into rows was quite time intensive.  I used various parts of the Log Cabin Loonies blocks as leader-enders, pleased to be working on those again. 

I couldn't help myself, I had to make some single fabric arrows with the greens.  Can you spot all six?

Constructing the backing was frustrating as usual whenever cobbling together a lot of leftovers.  I had bought two 1 yard pieces of solid green, but naturally needed three.

At one point the backing was in timeout after a miscut. I had to retire to another room with caffeine and snacks until the backing decided to behave.  At guild, after show and tell, I handed the quilt off to my sister to longarm for me.  Meanwhile I will cut the binding and get it ready to apply before the end of the month deadline.  

It has been four weeks since my shingles outbreak and I'm feeling much better, even good enough to face the disaster of my cutting table scraps and clutter.  I sorted and discarded, filled a bag with strings and chunks to take to guild, and will shove the rest into the precut bins.  There was also a good look through the project bins and rewriting of the WIPS in this year's Bullet Journal.  

The list of 26 (!!) projects was in no particular order, but I do have some favorites and priorities on these pages--which are mostly quilts for  ME.  However, our guild is having a sew-in for baby quilts next month and there are a couple of good options for that from my list.  Primarily prepping fabric and cutting stands out for many of the projects.  Two quilts I "owe" as gifts are top of the list.  Quilt tops I've completed need scheduling time with my sister.  I know she wants me to get comfortable enough with her longarm machine not to need her there when I want to quilt; I'm not confident I'll ever be!