Saturday, December 31, 2011

Endless Strings

I have sewn 44 - 7" string blocks and hardly made a dent in the string bin, I think the quilt may end up bigger than originally intended.

I am really pleased with how it is coming together.

These are the first 7 days of the 12 Days of Christmas (3" blocks) from the Temecula Quilt Co.

Thanks for stopping by and all the best for 2012! Happy New Year!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sewing Strings

I have been sewing strings!

I never realized what fun these were to sew (now I see why so many people make them, and such a great way to use up scraps). I love piecing without much thought, very relaxing.

I started with an 8" square of paper cut from an old phone book. The 1+1/2" white strip is lightly glued with a glue stick. Four 8" blocks use 1 strip of fabric (cut the width of the fabric) with no waste.

The blocks are trimmed to 7+1/2" when all the strips are added (they will be 7" finished).

When I cut most of the strips the other day I cut them between 3/4" to 2" and later realized that I needed some wider scraps to make it easier when I came to the corners -

Luckily I had some more scraps left and found some wider ones! Yikes! I have decreased my scrap bins down to 2 from 3 though.

All kinds of fabric for these blocks - nice to see some old "friends".

I also started the "12 Days of Christmas" (a mystery mini sampler quilt) from the Temecula Quilt Co.
These are 3+1/2" squares (they will finish to 3"), today was day 4 (the four patch). Quick and easy!

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Stash Busting

For the past 3 days I have been cutting up fabric, trying to deplete my scraps.

I used the Rob Peter to Pay Paul die and the 3+1/2" Tumbler die for the GO!.

This is the RPTPP quilt kit. There are 128 centres (I inherited the off-white yardage, and also most of the scraps) and over 500 "melons". It should be a 70" x 84" quilt, although I might add a border.

This is the tumbler quilt kit. I am hoping that it will be a lap quilt. I will use it as another "leader & ender" project, alternating the off-white with the scrap tumblers.

I cut all the leftover pieces into 2" - 3/4" strips to make a string quilt.

My goal for next year is to use up lots of the fabric I have in my stash, having quilt kits all ready to go seemed like a good start.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Tumbler Quilt

I finished a Tumbler quilt.

This is my first "leader & ender" quilt (thanks to Bonnie Hunter!). It was a quilt that got pieced without much thought - great way to make a quilt. It is 50" x 60".
I cut all the tumblers last March with the 3+1/2" GO! die and leftover fabric from the Thread Head Quilt Along quilt. I pieced 23 tumblers in a row, and this weekend I was surprised that I had sewn all the tumblers - 20 rows.

I pressed the seams in opposite directions (I have made a mug rug with tumblers and pressed the seams in one direction - ended up with intersections that were too bulky).

After I sewed the rows together I opened up the intersections and press the seams in opposite directions also,

resulting in nice flat seams.

I decided to use a meander quilt design (quilted on my domestic sewing machine).  When I quilt this design I imagine sewing around pennies.

Free Motion Quilting on your DSM Tip -
If you are frustrated with attempting free motion quilting, and are using the plexiglass surround for your sewing machine, consider changing it to a larger surround (here is mine). Last week I quilted a wall hanging and thought it would be fine to just use the normal plexiglass surround. How frustrating!! The small quilt kept getting caught on the edges of the plexiglass. I realized that if I only had the plexiglass surround I would have given up on free motion quilting long ago.

I used a leftover piece of cotton batting, and had just enough of this beautiful fabric from my inherited stash for the backing. The quilt is all washed and crinkled now!
Time to cut up some more stash fabric for another leader & ender project.

Thirteen partridges under a maple tree - not a Christmas song but lots of fun to watch.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Friday Night Sew In Results

I added the last border on the Granny's Hankie BOM last night.

The only change that I made from the pattern was to switch the fabric placement for the corner nine-patches (otherwise it would have looked like a four patch in the corner and I thought that it should match the sashing).

I can't believe that the quilt top is finished! It is a monster 102" square (yes, DH and DS are complaining, standing on stools behind it - what would I do without them!). Now I have to figure out how I am going to quilt it - that will wait until the new year.

I also did a bit of work on a piece of Romanian Point Lace. This is my own creation, and I will post the pattern once I have finished it.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Pattern and Copyright

I finished knitting another hat.

I used 2 strands of wool for this hat (and for the first time ever made up my own knitting pattern -  to get the right size for my large head!)
If you would like the pattern I have posted it on Ravelry and (fingers crossed!) here is a link to a PDF for the pattern -

I really made the hat to go with this beautiful button I bought at the Victoria Beach Quilt Show last summer. It is made by a local, talented artist - Pat (blog - fishwifetales) in polymer clay.

Even the back of the button is beautiful.

The following is a short rant (I could, and have had lots to say on the subject)!
I planned that this would be my first pattern on Ravelry, but someone took that privilege from me and put one of my other patterns on Ravelry, and even lifted a picture from my blog without my permission (something not usually approved on Ravelry). I had to write in and have my pattern linked to me on Ravelry. I don't have a problem with my patterns or pictures being used elsewhere, they are, but people have always asked permission. We all work hard and take great pride in what we create - common courtesy goes a long way!
Whew! That feels good to get it off my chest! Thanks for listening!

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Finishing Some BOM

I can't believe that almost a year has gone by on some blocks of the month I started in January! It seems like yesterday.

This one is the EQ 2011 BOM. I can't show you the whole thing just yet, but it is all finished. It is a 35" x 41" wallhanging. The blocks are 6" each, and were fast and easy to make.

I am adding the final borders to the Granny's Hankie BOM. I will finish the borders up tomorrow at the Friday Night Sew In. It is going to be such a large quilt, the blocks are 16". The appliqué blocks were lots of fun to make, and I am so pleased with how the whole quilt is turning out.

BOM's are such a fabulous way to make a quilt (I am thinking of designing one for the new year).

Yesterday I made two pillow cases for my sons, as stocking stuffers for Christmas (Shhh!) - I am sure pillow cases are what all young men want!! I attended a demonstration at the Victoria Beach Quilt Show this summer on how to make "Sausage/Tube" pillow cases - it seemed like a wonderful idea that I had to try it. It took me less than an hour to make these two. Here is a great tutorial for them I found on You Tube.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Rag Quilt

 I set aside last weekend to finish up the Granny's Hankie quilt top, the last instructions for the BOM were supposed to come out on Saturday and I am waiting to use the leftover fabric for some Christmas presents. Saturday morning I was disappointed to learn that the instructions are being postponed. 

So I got out my GO! and the 8.5" square rag die,

and the flannel that I received from Marcus fabrics (fabric I was given because of some fat quarters that I purchased were too small), 

and in no time at all I had cut all the fabric up. 
I used a rotary cutter to cut the wool batting into 6.5" squares.

I had about 9 yards (I am guessing - I should have measured it before cutting) of 11 different fabrics from the Woodwinds line of fabric and the wool batting was leftover pieces.

I sewed two squares with the batting together by stitching an "X" through all the layers. I used a wavy embroidery stitch on my sewing machine to do this. All the stitching was done with a walking foot.

When I stitched the rows together I opened up the seams and moved the fringe out of the way the best that I could. I thought that sewing the blocks would be difficult with the pre-cut fringe but it all went together very well, just a few times the fringe was caught in the seam allowance. 

 This is when I had finished sewing the blocks together before washing.

 After washing and drying the fringe has "bloomed". I had to empty the lint filter on the dryer quite often (I am surprised that there is a quilt left). It is 63" x 43".

This sure was a fast quilt to make and so easy (not one pin was needed!). I would definitely make a smaller version when I need to make a baby quilt. I have never made a rag quilt before, but I hear that cutting the fringe is the hardest part - the GO! sure made it all a snap!
It was very messy to sew - very linty (hard on the allergies), so I had a good reason to give my sewing room a good cleaning today.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Friday Night Sew In Results

Last night I got an early start and finished up fixing flying geese blocks,

and got them sewn together and attached to a wall hanging I am making (it's a secret so I can't show much).

It is now all ready for machine quilting.

I also got the pieces ready for this month's Hop to It BOM -

 This morning I sewed all the pieces down (machine applique).

 Half way finished all the blocks now -

they are 12" blocks
Another productive Friday Night Sew In. The next one is set for Friday, December 16th.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Avoiding Unpicking!

I have 76 Flying Geese blocks to unpick and remake (I should have double checked my measurements for the fast flying geese), but I seem to be finding other things do to instead!

I have been making more braid for a piece of Romanian Point Lace.

I started another hat. The last one was too thin and so I am making my own version with two strands of wool. Hopefully it will fit.

I decorated the house for Christmas.

My computer is going back in the shop tomorrow, so I should have no excuse to avoid unpicking those flying geese.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Catch Up

My new computer has been in the shop for a week (hopefully all the problems are fixed!), so this is a long post - amazing what can get done when I don't spend time on the computer!!

I finished off the Dresden Plate quilt last Sunday (it is in my guest bedroom).
The quilt is 95" square. The fabric is Boutique by Chez Moi (for Moda) with Kona ivory solid for the background. I used Hobbs Tuscany Wool batting. The thread is Aurifil 50WT (in pink and ivory).

I had left lots of room for quilting. It is the first time I have quilted so much on a quilt, and with a plain background. The DP's are about 11" and the blocks are 14".
I free motioned feathered wreathes between the Dresden Plates. They are echoed and the centres have pebbling (like the dots in the fabric centres of the DP's). The Dresden Plates are quilted in the ditch around them and the centres. I also quilted a loose flower/feathered wreath over the DP's. There is my form of McTavishing (great link with video) in the background.

I did a serpentine feather border around all the DP's and then perpendicular parallel lines to the border.

 The 2" squares in the border have a continuous line quilted on every side (I found it really hard not quilt more that the recommended 1/4" away from the seams at the centre - but got lots of practice).

The outer most line I quilted after I had attached the binding (thanks for the tip Wendy), so that the quilting would look even.

The only marking I did on this quilt was the lines for the feathered wreathes (using various size lids and a Hera marker - just leaves an indentation in the fabric), plus I also marked the centre of the serpentine feather border

It is all quilted on my home sewing machine (Husqvarna 870 Quilt). I like to bunch the quilt when I quilt. It was a real pleasure to quilt.

I usually vacuum out my machine after I finish a big project - for this one I did it twice. It always amazes me how much lint accumulates.

I worked on some blocks of the month too -

The November Hop to It one (machine appliqué).
For December Hop to It BOM Joan picked block #2.

The December EQ BOM.

Now that all the blocks are finished I am working on the final project (we are not given instructions for that and have to create something on our own).

These are the borders for the Granny's Hankie BOM (Novembers instructions). They went together so well, the instructions are wonderful.

I did change the pattern slightly -

The pattern called for 4 1/2" squares (mine are black) for the corner blocks, but I didn't like the results, plus it was different from the picture.

So I changed them to 5 1/2" squares, now it looks like it is supposed to.

I finished knitting a hat,

and started on a piece of Romanian Point Lace (the pattern is one I designed).

Finally!! this last picture shows all three quilts that are on the guest bed now! My first large quilt that I quilted on my sewing machine (Spanish Steps), the first large quilt I hand quilted (Orphan Block), and my last quilt that I machine quilted.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!
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