Friday, October 12, 2018

Finally Friday--Variety Post

Is it just me, or was it a long week?  We were pretty busy at work, two days this week I never even got a chance to sit down for the first three hours of the day, as I was catching up on my notes between the doctor's patients.  
Tonight I'm sitting down typing this as we have a rare lightning storm.  For the second time in  a week we found ourselves standing outside with our neighbors watching the sky; the first time was for the SpaceX rocket launch on Sunday.  We are about 80 miles south of Vandenburg Air Force Base, where the launch took place.  We all watched in wonder as the rocket soared.  I took these pics with my phone.
This is after the separation of the first part of the rocket. 

And this blurry shot is of the rocket returning to the Vandenburg.  My daughter described the perfect landing of the rocket back on the base as "like parking a car".  Very cool to be able to see this successful launch from our neighborhood. 

Lori of Humble Quilts blog is having another Fall sew-along which she is calling Sajou, after a fabric shop in France (I've linked to Part 1 on her blog).  Being preoccupied with the paper piecing earlier in the week, I caught up through Part 2 yesterday morning before work.

Here is my center before  stitching.  I mostly used fabrics from a swatch sample of Dargate Treasury a guild member gifted me several years ago.  It seemed the perfect time to cut into it for this small project.

I pulled some pieces from stash for variety, and a stripe for framing the center in Part 2.  Here's how it looks now, at about 13" square:

Since I started my version after Lori posted Part 2, I was able to orient my flower center so it is upright in the on-point setting.  Looking forward to Part 3 and the finale next week.  

There was fun mail this week when I received some needleminders I bought from the Spinster Stitcher.  I have been reading Coni's entertaining blog for several years after finding it through Carol's sidebar blog list (Polka Dot Chicken).  Coni is making and selling these needleminders to help pay for a kidney transplant.  Meanwhile, she is on dialysis three times a week and sometimes is able to stitch while she receives her treatment. 

I purchased the two cups and the witch's boots and received a free Stewey-minder, of her cherished pooch who had so many adventures before succumbing to cancer.   I put the green star travel cup to use immediately while I finished up the Lizzie Kate Tiny Tidings stitchery.  

It turned out pretty darn cute, if I may say so myself :)  Perhaps a plaid ribbon around the sides of the frame and adding a hanger are left to do. 

We have family in town this weekend for my Dad's birthday, so I'm not sure how much sewing room time I'll get.  There is a new toy in my sewing room I'll tell you about next time.  Happy Weekend!

Monday, October 8, 2018

Design Wall Monday--Abstractions Violet Craft

On my Design Wall is an FPP--a foundation paper-pieced project.  Our Ventura Modern Quilt Guild was graced with the talent and artistry of Violet Craft for a workshop over the weekend.  She graciously allowed any of her Abstraction patterns to be used in the class.  I chose Elevated Abstractions Mt. Hood and took my color inspiration from Mr. Domestic's version of Violet's quilt. 

My goal was to use only stash fabrics and I selected solids and prints.  I think I got in about 200 steps going back and forth from my fat quarter stash chest to the cutting table choosing and cutting fabrics, 200 more from the sink to the dryer to the ironing board prepping the fabrics, 200 more to load everything into the car, and 200 more for two trips from the car up to the meeting place, lol.

The design I chose has 46 templates, each template has a different number of pieces.  Violet demoed her method to our group, then walked around helping individually as needed.  We required a second group demo to fully grasp her method, some were newbies and others experienced but with a different method.  My sister was doing the Wolf Abstraction and piling up parts very quickly with her large templates, whereas I was much slower to get mine going.  Nevertheless, by day's end I had completed the first four template sections and sewed them together.  
At home, I sewed the top two mountain templates and when I laid them out for final assembly, I discovered a mistake.  The tan fabric on the bottom left template was the wrong color!  Thankfully it was an outside piece and easy to remove.  Violet advises not tearing out the paper templates until the quilt is completed, and that tip saved me tons of time, as I had the pattern and stitching lines to go by. 

A couple of hours later, all the sections had come together.

Yay!  All my seams matched up the way I wanted them to and I'm liking my colors and prints.  Only 39 more to go....:)

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

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching--October 7

Slow Sunday Stitching is here again, linkup hosted by Kathy of Kathy's Quilts.  

I started a new cross-stitch project by accident.  I know, hard to believe!  When I was cleaning up my sewing room I came across a couple of framed Aida cloth blanks I'd bought recently at Hobby Lobby, and remembered the Lizzie Kate Tiny Tidings pattern I scored at the thrift shop last year (for 95 cents!)

The framed blanks are 14 ct and the pattern called for 32 count, so my stitchery will not be as tiny as the Tidings on the pattern, but fit perfectly in the frames.  Despite searching through both mine and my mother-in-law's floss boxes, I did not have all the recommended colors.  No matter, I started with the wording, of which I did have the proper red.

The green sections of the plaid I completed in a long session Saturday night, and was eager to start on the last element today.

This funny looking head will turn into a cute puppy face when I add the remaining stitches, nose and eyes.  The pattern came with a heart charm for the puppy's collar.  In reading the directions for attaching the charm, I learned that a chart symbol I had interpreted as another green color was actually an overstitch with off white floss to go over the muted green to create the plaid. Oops.  No matter, I like my three color plaid better anyway!  I will enjoy finishing this off and having it displayed for the holidays. 

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Three for September Wrap Up

The September challenge I set for myself, working on a different WIP for three days at a time all month, has been a great motivator and I have gotten some finishes that were long desired. I chose 10 projects and either moved along or finished 8 of the projects.  

#1 was the placemats for my nephew and his bride.  Goal was met of finishing the four placemats and mailing them to the happy couple.  

This photo shows the colors truer than the final shot with the aqua floral binding.  Nice to check off that fast finish for the first project, as I was already working on it, lol!

#2 was Garden Pinwheel, a quilt made from bonus triangles from the Rick Rack Road quilt here.  
I was stuck on the applique border.  Using the GO cutter after applying Steam a Seam2 fusible to the leaf fabrics was a big help in moving this quilt top along. 

Since I already had completed the back and binding, it will be next in the quilting queue. 

#3 was Jewels in the Curio.  I started this last year on National Sew a Jelly Roll Day, from a  Civil War Homefront Jelly Roll my mom and dad bought me years ago.  It is a Moda Bakeshop pattern. Goal was to assemble the finished Jewel Box Blocks into a top and work on the three borders. 

I finished the top and reassessed the border pieces that I needed were cut.  I also chose a neutral from stash to use for two of the borders instead of trying to cobble together scrappy ones, a decision that had stalled the quilt. 

#4 was Sunbonnet Sue Goes to the Orient.  Sue had stalled a number of times, having been started about 4 years ago with bonus triangles from this quilt I made in 2006.

After a cutting error when trimming Sue's linen background meant I had to add coping strips that looked like a doorway to me, I added the oriental lantern embroidery.  She is all finished now, with a facing on the back made from Japanese fabric my sister in law brought me from a trip to Japan. 

Simple quilting was all that was needed.

This sideways pic shows how the top facing covers the shorter side facing, eliminating bulk in the corners.  I made skinny channel to hold a bamboo skewer or knitting needle for a hanging sleeve.  So happy to have Sue finished at last, so many years after the original idea struck.

#5 was Zig Zag 9 patch, a quilt started from a block swap with an online Yahoo Group.  I assembled the top a couple of years ago...2012! (cough) a la Bonnie Hunter's quilt Rick Rack Nines, and it went to the quilter in 2017; the binding was machine sewn on in June this year and it has been waiting since then to have some missed stitching repairs and get a bath. I took it to the laundromat today and it is a finished quilt at last. 

Our CalKing bed is too wide for the zig zags to run vertically, but I still think it looks good.  The Baptist Fan quilting was my choice, and I love the texture.  So pleased to have made a bed sized quilt for US at last. 

#6 was Go Four It, a Leader-Ender I've been working on for a few years, based on Edyta Sitar's quilt in APQ magazine, with a twist.  Quilt MATH finally being worked out meant I needed to find a setting fabric for my layout.  Luckily I have found one.

The Jan Patek fabric I found at the Santa Barbara Quilt Guild show a few weeks ago is now washed and ready to cut.  I can finally turn this Leader Ender into a real quilt.  

#7 was two unplanned "squirrel" project tablerunners from a Kim Brackett book.  Inspiration struck to use charm squares instead of yardage and I assembled two tops before running out of steam.  Both are now finished. 

I chopped off the corner in this pic, but you get the idea.  This is from her Cross My Heart quilt in Scrap-Basket Surprises.  I had fun with the specialty stitches on my machine to add detail to walking foot quilting.
Above is the larger tablerunner, and below is the mini, from the same Prayer Flag charm pack that had languished in a drawer for years. 

#8  was the Medallion Star rescue quilt.  I inherited this early 90's top from my former boss, whose now ex-wife was clearing out her old craft projects.   I had chopped off some of the dated background fabric and made a new pieced border of my own 3 years ago.  

It became a sandwich and stalled during the quilting stage in 2017.  It has been stuffed under my cutting table waiting for more quilting for over a year.  I had spray basted the quilt and needed to iron it flat again before adding more quilting today.  While still not finished, it is very close to becoming a real quilt at last. 
 Walking foot quilting in the border chains...

...and surrounding the star points.  I have the four corner squares left to do in the burgundy, and a plan for the remainder of the borders.  Now September is over and I feel great about all the time I've spent in my sewing room this month. 

The two projects that didn't get touched were Barefoot in the Park, a Christmas quilt which is a layout, switcheroo and assemble the top job, and the other is framing the Mason Jar embroidery I recently finished.  I'll get to them :)  

I plan to revisit this "Three For a Month" idea in the future whenever I get overwhelmed again.  It was fun to touch each of these quilts and finish a few. 

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Three for September--Narragansett Browns Delivered

Three for September --I worked on a different WIP for three days at a time all month.  

The main WIP I wanted to finish got a label Thursday morning, and yesterday my sister and I showed up at our Uncle Fred's senior living facility to deliver the quilt. We surprised Uncle Fred in a common area, in the middle of a card game with three ladies, one of whom was familiar with our family through her sister (whose son married my best friend Toni. Still following?)

Uncle Fred obliged by letting me drape the quilt over him blanket style.  Never very talkative, he was still quite pleased and enjoyed the feline QC photo I showed him--he has a cat that looks like my Mini.  The ladies were all very complimentary and I appreciated their kind words.

Disclaimer on the next pic: I am lousy at selfies!
A bit blurry, but still wonderful to have gotten this pic. As we were leaving the facility, coincidentally the sister of the card player was coming in and we stopped and chatted with Mrs. Weeks. (Aside to my best friend: How about that, Toni?)

I sent a picture of the finished quilt to Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville, the designer of Narragansett Blues from her book MORE Leaders and Enders, and she posted it on her Facebook page with very nice words about my version.  Lots of folks liked my quilt, which made me very pleased.  

Good news was also received from my nephew and his new bride--they received the package and his wife "loved the placemats, as they matched her kitchen".  Such a sweet thing to hear.  

Tomorrow I will wrap up the Three for September self-challenge.  It has been a good time.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Design Wall Monday--9/24/18

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

Off my design wall is the "Squirrel" mini quilt, another Three for September WIP (I'm working on a different WIP every three days this month).  I got this mini quilted and bound yesterday.  This pattern is Cross My Heart from Kim Brackett's book Scrap-Basket Surprises.  The prints are Prayer Flag by April Cornell.

I used one of the fancy stitches on my sewing machine and a neutral cream thread, to play up the sort of Boho look of the prints.  The design shows up better on the mini dot backing.

I also pieced a Frankenbatt for the larger Cross My Heart runner, and cut and made binding for that one.  There was no sewing today but a bunch of clean up in the sewing room after work, as the housecleaners are coming tomorrow, yay.  

Last night I sewed up some missed spots on the machine binding on Narragansett Browns, and the quilt got a bath today. 

 There was feline QC after the binding was stitched.   Mini made sure to nap-test as well.

Are you guys sick of seeing this one?  Well, hopefully it will be going to its forever home this week when I give it to my uncle.   I'm going to have to just show up to his senior living home as he doesn't answer his phone and didn't respond to my email either!

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Three for September--Squirrels

Three for September--this month I am choosing a different WIP to work on for three days at a time.

The Squirrel problem in the sewing room is a constant despite the lack of nuts or other foraging foods...unless precuts are considered foods!  For the next Three for September project, I have two tablerunner flimsies that were the result of thumbing through the book Scrap-Basket Surprises by Kim Brackett, seeing the pattern called Cross My Heart, and needing to try out my idea of using charm squares instead of scraps.  Naturally, this inspiration came at about 10:30 p.m., but I remembered a charm pack of Prayer Flag by April Cornell in a drawer, so it was a Late Night Squirrel.  

The celery green solid was in the stash and worked nicely with the Prayer Flag prints.  I am choosing from stash this daisy print from JoAnn's for backing and a Jinny Beyer print in gold for binding on the larger of the two tablerunners. 

This placemat-sized runner will be backed and bound with this mini dot in a faded red.  Nothing fancy for the quilting but I will be happy to have these off the list.  Kim Brackett has a new book out called Scrap-Basket Bounty, and I'm sure I'll be needing that book too--I love her designs.

Also off the list is the Narragansett Browns quilt, my version of Bonnie Hunter's Narragansett Blues quilt. I finished the binding today and aside from a label, it is ready to be gifted to my uncle.  I hope to have photos of this quilt being delivered tomorrow.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Things are Perking

It was a busy weekend and week so far, two family birthdays and a trip to a quilt show, then evening appointments two nights this week.  While it seems I have suspended my Three for September project, actually I am still working on several at once. 

My sister, sister-in-law and I snuck off on Sunday to attend the Santa Barbara  Coastal Quilter's Guild show. It was very well organized, with many volunteers and good vendors.  We had lots of fun shopping and signed up for some of the prizes.  My sister played on a new longarm machine and is contemplating upgrading.  I didn't take too many photos, but loved this quilt.

Yes, this is a quilt of a reflection.  The Santa Barbara Mission is a beautiful active mission and the site of many events through the year.  I loved this smallish quilt, measuring maybe 24x30.  We had a fun couple of hours seeing everything and bumping into guild members.  I found some bargains and a possible contender for one of the Three for September WIPs.  And my sister Kathy later received a call saying she had won the Singer Featherweight drawing prize!  How about that?  She is so excited.  I hope to get my hands on it occasionally too. 

For the Go Four It quilt I bought this Jan Patek fabric from The Rusty Crow.  She packages up yard size cuts and discounts them, $8 each.  My layout calls for 3.5" setting squares and also outer setting triangles so I bought three packages.  I did not want to have too small of a print in the background, but also not one too distracting that would overshadow the pieced blocks. 

I think this subtle colored print will work.  Opinions welcome.  Have I mentioned quilt MATH in awhile?  I have counted and recounted and recalculated the numbers for the square in squares yet again, to find that I have over a dozen extra of the colored sort, and am short by about a dozen of the neutral.  Jeez.  I'm very pleased to have found a background fabric at last, though, so this WIP will move along.  

Sunbonnet Sue Goes to the Orient got more attention too. I found this quilt facing tutorial on Terry Aske Art Quilt Studio site (  I cut the facing strips two inches wider for the top and bottom, and two inches shorter for the sides as suggested.  The tutorial included cutting out a very small piece of ONLY the batting from the corners, this is about a 5/8" square (I forgot to get a picture before I sewed on the facings so it is laying on top)

The pieces are stay-stitched to aid in rolling the quilt front to the back a smidge.  The top facing will overlap the side piece when  folded to the back (this pic shows the top piece on the right).

Look how sharp that corner turned out.  I cut my facings wide and will trim them down a bit before handstitching to the back. Getting close to calling this a finish!

I spent a couple of hours today sewing a binding on another Thomas  Fire Quilt.  We still have people requesting quilts.  At work we had a patient today who lost their house in the fire.  He was very excited that their house plans have been approved by the City and soon they may start new construction.  Grant and I took a drive up into one of the worst hit neighborhoods the other day, and while there were lots cleared not much new construction has been going on.  We saw dozens of lots, many of which are for sale; most of the neighborhood went up in the 60s and original owners now in their 80s are not rebuilding.  I'm sure it will be years before the hundreds of homes lost are replaced and insurance settlements satisfied.  We will keep giving out quilts until no more requests come through.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Design Wall Monday--National Sew a Jelly Roll Day Update

For Design Wall Monday, I have the results of my work on National Sew a Jelly Roll Day.  I had a great time on Saturday making blocks from a jelly roll of Badda Bing, a fabric line from Me and My Sister designs.  There was a lot of cutting of background yardage, but after that was finished I cut the jelly roll strips in batches so I could have the constant reward of sewing them up as I went :)

Happy Tiers is the Me and My Sister pattern I am using, from the April 2016 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting (pattern for sale on their website).  I just love the cherry prints. 

The pink, blue and red prints will each make 5 block rows, but since I only got two orange and three green from the jelly roll, they have a joint row.  I paid more attention to the cherry print on the diagonal so the cake looks striped--the dark blue one in the upper right.  There will be a red one just like it.  There are only a few more blocks to sew before I can start assembling with sashing.  The magazine pattern called for 2 1/4 yard of background, but I was able to cut all the pieces, with extras, from a two yard piece of  Kona White. A fun, fast quilt in the making.  I will repeat this with the other jelly roll, Meadowbloom.  

Also on Saturday, to keep things going on my Three for September WIP play, I got the quilting done on Sunbonnet Sue Goes to the Orient.   

Very simple stitch in the ditch and outlining Sue.  I decided not to quilt around the lantern embroidery.  I'll use the same gold print for the facing; I found a tutorial I like that eliminates the bulk in the corners and keeps them from getting too rounded.  

See more Design Walls on Small Quilts and Doll Quilts

Saturday, September 15, 2018

National Sew a Jelly Roll Day--Happy Tiers

It's National Sew a Jelly Roll Day, and I am ready to cut and sew!

As I mentioned previously, my cousin asked me to make quilts for his two young granddaughters for Christmas, and I was happy to oblige.  I sent him a bunch of photos of quilts from my magazines and we decided on Happy Tiers, a Me and My Sister design, in the April 2016 issue of APQ magazine.  Recently I ordered two Jelly Rolls on Etsy and bought Kona background fabric locally. 

I didn't want the quilts to be too "young" and chose brights that are not babyish for this graphic, fun pattern.  

 Pretty and sweet smaller scale prints with cherries.

Love the name of this line!  These gals are fun to talk to at quilt shows, lots of energy.

  More saturated colors with lots of white, and inspirational phrases.

Meadowbloom by April Rosenthal.  I will leave it up to my cousin as to which quilt goes to which granddaughter, after they are made.  I'm headed to the cutting table right after breakfast :)

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Progress on Sue: Three for September

Three for September:  All this month I am choosing a different WIP to work on every three days.   

It was Sunbonnet Sue's turn, as noted in my last post, who has been going to the Orient for some years...(cough).  I brought Sue with me to an appointment Monday to have my iPhone serviced. (FYI: Best Buy has authorized Apple Services and can change your iPhone battery for $29.  The $29 price is only good from Apple through the rest of this year, then it costs $79 again.)  I sat and stitched in the car for awhile and got a couple more lanterns done.  When I got home, I had to rush to finish a pincushion for a guild swap, which I didn't take a picture of, and finish a binding on a Thomas Fire Quilt, before going to our meeting.  I didn't get back to Sue again until this morning, so am over the three days, but it's my WIP party so I'm not too fussed about it!  

The embroidery was finally finished and I ironed away the Frixion pen markings.  Maybe I've looked at this too long, but I'm not entirely  happy with my composition.  It's staying the way it is, though.

I also chose a backing fabric.  My sister-in-law Laura bought this and some other beauties on a trip to Japan a few years ago.  If I have enough, I'll make the facing from the same fabric.  Then it was time to choose the next WIP.  Since I woke up cold this morning and had to use a throw quilt, I am choosing the Rick Rack Nine Patch.  

I sewed the binding on several months ago and when machine stitching it to the back, missed some spots, which must be hand sewn closed.  Then I will need to take it to the laundromat for its first bath as it is HUGE.  A label will follow and then it can be declared a Real Quilt and come live on our bed.  Here's a pic from last year when I got it back from the quilter. 

This is a Bonnie Hunter design though I used swap blocks that were made from 3.5" squares so a lot bigger than her pattern (Rick Rack Nines is from the Leaders and Enders book).  I love the Baptist Fan quilting.  If I finish up the hand stitching quickly, I will return to Sue and also start prepping the two jelly roll projects for the National Sew a Jelly Roll day.  Lots of cutting to do. 

I also cut and made binding today for  Narragansett Browns as well as another Thomas Fire quilt that was a donated top made from a jelly roll.  The TF quilt is an odd size at 64 x 100 so lots of binding was needed.  I'd like to get all the bindings done tomorrow, if I can.   Off to sew....