Monday, July 31, 2017

Design Wall Monday--last of July

On my design floor is the Cross Reference quilt I've repeatedly shown before (APQ Magazine April 2017).  I trimmed the last five blocks to size and finally got to the layout portion of this process. 

First go, with the rust blocks all lined up.  Son Nick wanted the blocks to be random, after I sent him a photo, so switcheroo took place and a couple more swaps of the blue cross blocks. 

I nearly gave myself a heart attack when sewing up the rows and laying them back down on the floor, thinking I was short a block!  But then I realized I had to add a corner triangle.  Thank goodness for cellphone pics documenting the layout to help with brainless moments. Once again, I will differ with the magazine's categorization of this as a "Beginner" quilt--there were 320 points to avoid cutting off while joining the rows in my smaller version than the magazine pattern.  No WAY would I have attempted this as a beginner!  As it was, I tried to keep the cut off points to below a third (cough).  Next I'll need to cut the three borders and attach them.  I've no firm ideas on how to quilt this yet, but they will come.  

See more Design Walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Sunbunnet Sue Almost in Time Out

Sunbonnet Sue Goes to the Orient was almost stuffed back in her box for a time out last night.  It wasn't really her fault, though, it was MATH.  I carefully cut the the center appliqued portion to size for my border panels.  Alarms began to ring when I needed to ease excess while attaching the top border section.  That looked horrible.  I then tried taking up a small amount of the block HST seam allowances in the bottom border section.  Even worse looking!   Finally I took the sections apart and remeasured.  Merde--no seam allowance on the width of the applique center.  Sigh.

Brainstorming, I decided to add a coping strip, and chose black fabric after auditioning the green and orange. The MATH for this twisted my late-night brain.  I had to rip out the coping strip on one side THREE times and recut a new strip eventually, but finally saved Sue from the time out box, where she surely would have remained for an eon. 

I'm quite fond of the coping strips, now that they have been beaten into submission. Sue almost looks like she is in a doorway.  If I were more artistic, I could sketch in a scene behind her.  I'll ponder that idea while I choose a backing and quilting design. Only a couple more days of the month to get this finished for the UFO Challenge.

Friday, July 28, 2017

UFO of the Month Progress--Sunbonnet Sue

Yesterday I set about tracing and finalizing colors for the small applique project, Sunbonnet Sue Goes to the Orient, June's July's UFO  (oops, went back in time!)

Lots of little parts.  Hmm, I'm not that great of an appliquer, but I'll press on.

The background is a piece of white linen blend fabric.  I fussy cut the sleeves from another oriental print on hand.  I like it.  The hair needs a little adjustment as it is not even on both sides (#tinypieces).  Since I love green, I first chose that color for her toes, but decided to bring in some of the pink that makes up the HSTs that will surround Sue. 

At first I thought the pink print was too distracting, but with the HSTs around her, the pink toes stand out less.

I used a scrap of muslin for her face and hands.  Sue will barely squeak into my frame of HSTs.  I'm pleased with the project so far.  Preparing for curse words when it comes to stitching...or maybe I will skip that entirely and just fuse her in place for this wallhanging.

The pattern comes from this vintage 2005Quick Quilts magazine.  Okay, I'm off to get the iron heated up before I have to pick up and take my 98 year old MIL to the eye doctor.  Wish me luck and patience with both!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Rick Rack Nines Quilted

My fellow guild member and quilter, Georganna, finished Rick Rack Nines and I picked it up today.  Sneak peak pics of the border had me very pleased and I was eager to see the whole quilt. 

I chose Baptist Fans for this very scrappy quilt made of  9" swap blocks I finally put together years after the blocks were made by the Quiltbuddies Yahoo Group I was in. 

More of the endless cheddar fabric in the borders.  Georganna said the borders demanded special treatment...

I think the cables are a great choice.  The green print backing was a Road to California find from Pineapple Fabrics, 108" wide backing.  Georganna commented that it had a very nice "hand", and I agree.  The quilt just fits on our Cal King bed.  The inspiration setting was from Bonnie Hunter's Rick Rack Nines quilt (Adventures with Leaders and Enders book) but my blocks are a lot bigger.   Very excited to have this finished top finally become a real quilt that we can use.  Hubby Grant likes it too, bonus!  I have a lot of binding to make and apply so I'd better get to it :)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Stitching Weekend

Sewing room was abuzz with iron, needle, fabric and thread this weekend, as I tried to finish a long list of items to enter into the County Fair.  My first project was the Twilight Hopscotch block pillow, which was stalled at the usual stage, quilting. I told myself to "start by starting", and got the stitch-in-the-ditch portion done, added some straight lines to the corner squares, and then filled in with a very basic stipple in the background.  The star center seemed too empty, so added square in square shapes helped without bringing too much clutter to the simple star shape.  
An envelope backing and regular binding for the finish and this 16" pillow was ticked off the list.  I'm happy with it.   The cheddar fabric in the star has appeared in sooo many quilts, as I bought most of a bolt when the local JoAnn's store closed years ago.  Wish I had a bolt of that Marsha McCloskey background print, I love it. 

Modern Row Robin was next on the list.  It was already a quilt sandwich stalled at the quilting stage.  I doodled some ideas in my Bullet Journal and came up with a plan. 
The overlapping squares seemed just the right fit for my skills and patience, given the time crunch. Bravely, I just started marking squares and rectangles with my ruler and Hera tool.  The walking foot got quite a workout, as did my arms, turning this quilt so many times.  

There were a lot of threads to bury, and a hanging sleeve to sew on by hand, but I applied the binding entirely by machine. The top and bottom rows I made, from Heather Jones' Half Log Cabin class at QuiltCon. It is a very energetic quilt, with all the bright colors and contrast, but I like it.

Unfortunately I ran out of time and none of the quilts got a label, as I spent time adding a hanging sleeve to another quilt and closing binding corners.  All told, I have six quilted items entered--2 larger quilts, a baby quilt, two minis, and a pillow. The projects that didn't get finished will have to wait for next year's Fair, including the Metro Twist quilt, boo hoo.  C'est la vie! 

My sister was waiting for me at the Fairgrounds when I got there 1/2 hour from the entry deadline!  She entered some preserved goods as well as an Art Quilt.  The crocheted items seemed to outweigh the quilt piles, but I hope there are lots of great quilts to see when the Fair opens August 2nd. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Design Wall Monday--Yep, more of the same

On my Design Floor are the last five Cross Reference blocks for the sofa quilt for son Nick. This quilt pattern is labeled as "Beginner" by the magazine (APQ April 2017), but the simple shapes belie the complexity of sewing 31 pieces into a 9" finished block, combined with an on-point setting requiring setting triangles, plus three borders.  I would label this intermediate in difficulty.

I sure love the way these blocks look.  This was the only sewing I did all week, between three evenings out and babysitting the grandsons one afternoon.  I got thinking back to the first quilt I made Nick, finished in July 2009, and went rummaging through the photo files. 

He wanted only black, blue, and gray in his quilt.  These blocks only had 20 pieces--far less than the 31 pieces in his current quilt blocks, lol. 

Poor light and a bit blurry in the photo, but this 88x96" quilt turned out pretty well, I thought.  It was a pattern called The Big Easy, from an APQ publication, Quilts and More, Winter 2006.  I doubled the number of square-in-square blocks for my version and made it larger--Nick's criteria being that his hands wouldn't pass the edge of the quilt if he spreadeagled them, and he is about 6'4", so you can imagine his wingspread!

Also on my design floor is one block from Kim Diehl's Twilight Hopscotch quilt pattern that I plan to turn into a pillow for the County Fair.  I have less than a week to get everything done. Yikes. 

See more design walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Design Wall Monday--July 9th

Happy Monday!  On my design surface today are the final blue blocks for Cross Reference (APQ mag April 2017), which I am making for my son.  I had hoped to have to top together by the weekend but that obviously didn't happen, between the hot sticky weather and a Saturday quilt class.  

Two fabrics are repeats and three are new; the cross block centers are fun and easy to sew and I enjoyed that part.  The tiny setting triangles, not so much!  I got the quilt's final cream setting side triangles and corner triangles cut as well.  Borders will have to be cut once the center is sewn as I'm making fewer blocks than the directions call for and will need to measure first.  I'm hoping to have all the blocks made by the end of this week, but have three nights out planned, so we shall see.

I have a finish to show, however small, lol!

This mini flag quilt's center was made two years ago, and it has waited a year for thread burying after quilting for binding to be made and sewn on.  I put the final hand stitches in the binding in Sunday. The HSTs finish at about an inch and were leftovers from the Kitchen Sink quilt.  The other fabrics are from scraps and stash. Love those deep indigo blue prints.  I simply machine quilted in the ditch and made Xs in the corner squares.

The Star Spangled Banner music print was in a gifted bag of fabrics from a guild member.  I'm considering entering this one in the County Fair.  It will need a label, something I seldom manage to add to quilts I keep!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Weekend Sewing

Saturday my sister and I attended the Moroccan Lantern class by Jen Carlton-Bailly (  Kathy chose to make the largest size Drunkard's path blocks at 6.5" while I chose the 3.5" size.  Jen's method included what she called "slop" in the templates, to allow for trimming to size after stitching.  It was a bit hard to wrap your head around the placement of colors at first, but fun to play with them! 

I webbed mine together while sewing to avoid turning the pieces out of order. The smaller size is really cute but definitely fussier to stitch.  Jen was a fun teacher and made many rounds of the room helping, chatting, and showing techniques.  I had no problems with the Essex Linen though several guild members expressed their prior difficulty with this type of fabric.  One thing about a darker background is the ability to use lighter prints without them getting lost in the background, which I enjoyed using from the charm pack of Wing and Leaf.

My finished block.  There is some incorrect trimming leading to non-matching points, but overall I enjoyed putting this together and will press on to complete more blocks.  I think a wall-hanging of 3-5 blocks would be fun and give me a chance to use lots more prints and colors.  My sister took Jen's other curved sewing class today, which included a lot of improv, and we will get to see her trunk show at our regular guild meeting Monday evening. 

Our guild has a challenge block monthly, which members are encouraged to donate for philanthropy quilts.  This month we went with our Fair Theme, "Rooted in Tradition".  I had pinned a block on our guild Pinterest board some time ago and had fun making this modernized Churn Dash block from a  tutorial at 42 Quilts for her Modern Monday series. 

I offset it when adding sashing to get it to the guild's desired 12.5" size, with the block being 6" finished.  So cute!  I had a lot of fun stitching this up.  There was also a lot of cutting in the sewing room today for the Cross Reference couch quilt for my son, still in progress.  More on that for tomorrow's Design Wall Monday. 

Friday, July 7, 2017

Fiddling About

It has a quiet week, home by myself without DH, and kinda boring (only relieved by a day with the grandsons!!).  We were home all day on the 4th--well actually Grant had to work some so it was I who was home.  Our kids were all busy so we had a very low key hot dog dinner and the only fireworks we saw were the illegal ones being set off all around the neighborhood.  My sister also had to work that evening, but she invited me over to try a recipe I had given her from BH&G June 2017 magazine, a peach Prosecco cake.  Kathy likes to cook and bake for relaxation and this cake had a lot of steps. 

She did a very pretty job of the whipped cream topping. Not having any mint to hand, she decorated with basil.
The cake layers were soaked in Prosecco prior to assembly.  It didn't taste like alcohol at all, and made for a firmer and nicely chewy texture.  Great summer cake, delicious! I see the recipe has been pinned on Pinterest, on a quick internet search.

We put up new wall lamps in our home office, with the usual "quick trip to the hardware store" prior, during which I went up and down the aisles of our local Ace store trying to find molly bolts for drywall.  Finally located them as hollow wall anchors, then had to figure out the right length and find 8 matching ones.  The first molly bolt we tapped in the wall decided to be obnoxious and Grant had to pry the bolt out with another tool.

My quilt guild president arranged a workshop this weekend with a friend of hers and we jumped at the chance to join in for some curved sewing.  I ordered the Drunkard's path templates for easier cutting, though the teacher, Jen Carlton-Bailly, is bringing paper templates for her Curve blocks.  These recent Shop-Hop acquisitions will be the basis for my blocks.

Background fabric will be an Essex linen in a black/white weave.  I think it will be dramatic and fun.  Meanwhile I'm making a list of entries for the County Fair.  I'll be creating a pillow cover from an already made block, and found the necessary stash fabric to finish it. 

I'd also like to enter my modern Metro Twist quilt, which is at flimsy stage.  I have a quilting idea and the backing already made. I'm considering rounding the corners, inspired by this quilt...which will mean a bias binding, but that is no biggie.  Pondering that.  Opinions?  

To date I've only entered quilts in the Fair, but maybe this year I'll add a couple of cross-stitched pieces.  One will need to be framed and the other I'll finish off in a hoop.  It remains to be seen if all this will occur in the next 15 days or so! Right, I'd better get to sewing.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Design Wall Monday--Cross Reference

On my design floor is the project of the moment, a couch quilt for son Nick, Cross Reference (APQ mag April 2017).  As predicted, the simple B blocks sewed up quick yesterday and I laid out all the blocks I've made so far. 

The rust prints are reading a bit red in this photo but I like their counterpoint to the blues.  I'm happy with the Prussian blue Kona solid I chose for the B blocks.  Another five blue print A blocks are needed for my setting.  There are three borders and all the setting triangles to cut and sew yet.  I'm hoping to have this top done by the end of the week.  Nick's response to the photo was that his girlfriend can't wait to use it on the couch!

See more design walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts.  Have a Happy 4th!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

UFO Challenge 2017 update for July

Judy of Patchwork Times UFO Challenge Update: The UFO pick of June on my list was sending a quilt out for quilting, which I can check off the list as I sent out two and can't wait to get them back!  One has matching binding already made and the other I think I will seam together the many lengths of leftover binding I've saved, as it is a very scrappy quilt, and HUGE at 95x103.  

Judy chose the UFO of July as #12.  On my list, that is my Cocoa Baskets Quilt, which is at flimsy stage.  However, I am going to switch numbers, as there are quilts I want to complete this month to enter in our County Fair.  

#2 on my list is Sunbonnet Sue Goes to the Orient, a wall hanging.  I have some panels of long-ago made HSTs of Asian/Japanese prints to surround a center opening.   

Sue's applique pattern comes from an old quilting magazine issue from 2006. I'm having trouble deciding on fabrics, naturally.  The magazine's model had an orange hat, which I like and will duplicate.  I have solid black for Sue's hair and pants.  The magazine's model had two colors of pink for the blouse, but I like green and will have to search the stash and scrap bins for a lighter one to coordinate with the above option.  Or choose something else that catches my eye! 

The magazine pattern had no instructions for assembly other than to either cut the applique pieces with or without seam allowance!  I'll machine applique and use a fusible.  I really like the cover quilt with all those stripes and plaids--its a pattern by Gyleen Fitzgerald, probably best known for her Pineapple Trash to Treasure quilts.   

Saturday, July 1, 2017

July is Here

Like everyone else, I'm wondering how June passed by so quickly.  We're trying to enjoy the last few days of our staycation.  We had a lovely breakfast out Friday with daughter Elaine and our grandsons and I remembered to take pictures.  

 Elaine and Cove (3).

 Hunter (16 months) cleaned his plate. Good boy!
He burned it off running outside on the "tarmac" play area of this restaurant at the airport. You can see his grin as he was running away from Mimi.  Always so fun to be with these darling grandsons.  I'll have a full day with them this week as their daycare is closed for vacation  and Mama's hours altered by the holiday.

Cross Reference blocks are just about done.  I limited the rust blocks to 8 and that means I'll need 5 more of the blues.  Must decide if I will repeat a couple prints or try to make them all different.  There are about three more choices in the stash and I can live with a couple of repeats :)   Meanwhile a trip to Superbuzzy for the solid fabric for the "B" blocks was successful.  I cut the cream and Kona Prussian Blue pieces today. 

This pretty blue color always draws me in.  I got stitching right away and have the pieced small squares all done in their rows.  Only 11 pieces in these blocks so they will sew up much faster than the 31 pieced ones.

Also in the sewing room today I hemmed some pants for my Dad.  The fabric was a heavier brushed twill so I decided to use my zipper foot to make it easier to get close to the folded edge, which I'd never thought of trying before.  

It was very effective and I will remember that for future machine stitched hems.  My Dad has a small blue companion, Bear, who often has adventures of his own, which I've chronicled from time to time.  I got this picture from Dad the other day:

It was titled "Bear looking for leftovers in the Chick-fil-A bag".  So silly :)  

Our staycation will be over tomorrow but we have had some nice times and got things done around here--not as much as our ambitious list but enough to make continuing tasks tolerable.  Mail sorting, paper purging, filing, and paring down "stuff" will always be on the list! 

Design Wall Monday--Catching Up

 Design Wall Monday --See more design walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog.  I disappeared for awhile, due to computer issu...