Saturday, September 22, 2012

One Row, Just One

I had a big idea.  About a year ago.  
Here is what I had done, a year ago, not the sunflowers, the Rings of Flying Geese block.  (I just didn't move the sunflowers when I was playing with the geese.)  I was in love with this Ring of Flying Geese block!  And I was on a kick, I did a Ring of Flying Geese swap, I made several for another group, and then I lost steam and put everything away.  

Fast forward a year - because some ideas just need to simmer and sometimes you need time to pass to get back to a time-consuming block.
Some of the blocks I made were not the right size, as you can see with the one on the right, and that was discouraging.  This comes from not having the print settings correct.  Here is a link to the pdf pattern, for clockwise and counter-clock wise rings.  Your printer settings should be 'print actual size'.  I just love making several blocks all the wrong size.  I wasn't sure about making a whole quilt of Ring of Flying Geese, these are work.

What I really wanted to do with this was make a flow line - but I wasn't sure how to make it work, back then.  
I think I figured it out.  
I am in a group where I had to make a single row to pass on, and the next person will add another row.  When the top gets back to me it should be a finished quilt top.  
Because I already had a few blocks made, and the fabrics set aside (for a whole year), I thought I would resurrect this idea, and build on it for this new project.  I'm glad to have the bag back that all this was in sitting on a shelf for a year.  

I took two of the Rings apart, and started to work on the counter clock wise sections to make the flow work.  While sitting and sewing, and sewing (these pieces take a long time to make)  I decided to add OMBRE to the mix.  I looked up ombre, and though I thought it was Spanish it is actually French and it means shading from dark to light.  Ombre hair is all the rage, since I am not bold enough or have enough money to upkeep ombre hair, I am going with an ombre quilt row.  (Ignore the bottom two blocks).

All week I was working on these, every night I said, I'll get this row done tonight.  And every night I would get a few sections done, each block is 4 sections.  The top two sections are clockwise and the bottom two sections of each block are counter clockwise.  All those pieces!  I can not imagine now making an entire quilt with these.  In the above photo, none of these sections are sewn together.  First you have to pick off all the paper, because it is PAPER PIECING.  This part sucks.

Here is the finished row, all sewn together.  The pop of color is Kona Melon. I love how this turned out.  But, I think I can give this block a rest now.  That was enough paper piecing for a long while.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday - Sew & Stash

I've been winding down bees, but I'm still in some, because I like them and the peeps I meet in them.
I have a lot of bee blocks from previous bees I want to get together, which means I need more 'me' sew time instead of 'bee' sew time.
Here's one of many, I have all the blocks, just need the time and motivation to put them together.

In the meantime, I've completed all the blocks for Gone Quiltin' Bee .
So,  four of us chose Granny Squares, and 3 of us chose Star blocks.  Must come from that, oh, I have to have what she has motivation.  I know, that's what I thought after I made a granny square in this group.   I've been in groups with some of these ladies before, and I hope to see them around again.  I have learned that I like this type of bee,  only six months long with two Queens each month.  

This block goes into QAWII group.  There are 25 of us, and each of us chose a theme for our blocks.  The package for each person makes a loop around the world, everyone making one block and adding it to the package before sending on. Ever make a bee block and then just want to keep it?  I wanted to keep this one!  I only had a fat quarter of the background.  Rats.  

This was for FrustratedQuilter who wanted interlocking or geometric blocks.
These are all her blocks together, so far.

Making her block made me want to make a whole quilt with those colors!  I just love Kaffe Fassett Paperweight fabric.
I went through and searched all mine out, because I figured I have used up a lot of this fabric and might need to order more.
Maybe not.  Rats.  I found even another colorway after I took the photo.

Another favorite of mine is Kaffe Fassett Aboriginal Dots.  If I have made something for you, this probably is in the block.  These dots are versatile.  And I don't need to order any of these either.  Rats.  

I'll have to keep searching until I find something I need to order.

Friday, September 14, 2012

More Minky & Charm Swap

I've been on a Minky kick lately.
It took me some searching, but I found my basket full of Minky.  Like, I knew I had this basket somewhere, and it's pretty big.  Where was it hiding?  In the closet, in the back, hidden behind more outdated fabric.  And I had a whole yard of flannel in this basket for the baby receiving blanket I was making!  Bonus.

I broke out the neglected 180 to sew the edges of this blanket.  I learned from this one that I wanted the edge stitching to be wider, and this baby has a 9 mm opening.  It is gigantic.

See?  If only the 'bobbin low' beep worked - she would be perfect.  But she sits in the closet mostly, because she isn't the newest Bernina in the house.  When I bought this one, I was going to do ALL this embroidery.  Ha!

Minky is messy.  I have a lot of minky scraps now, and I would like to use them in an actual quilt, but I am very afraid of the mess this project will make.

I went around the edges twice on this one, extra hardiness.  Also, the bobbin ran out 3 times while sewing and I wanted to go over the starts and stops.  Then I remembered another reason I don't often use this machine, the thread that can be held on the bobbin is minimal.  Hate it.

I'm in a Japanese Fabric Charm Swap on Flickr.
I love the Japanese Fabrics!

I signed up for 2 spots so I could have extra goodies!

I'm fabulously early on this swap, mailing today for an end of September deadline.
That's because I only had to cut the fabric.

Miss Muddy.  

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Making Gifts - Pinterest is good for something

I made something from all that crap I've been pinning on Pinterest.  If you ever want to kill hours in the middle of the night and you have already used up FB and Flickr time, Pinterest is it.  I know this, I used to watch all the stuff I have on my DVR, now I hang out here.  

From Pinterest I have learned that some people have way too much time on their hands.

I prepared in advance for this project by purchasing all the supplies to make coasters.  And not having my actual list with me when I spontaneously shopped, having to go back to the store too, in advance of making these, to return the wrong wax and buy felt pads.
The supplies: 

Stone tiles from a place like Home Depot, stamps, StazOn Ink, Paste Finishing Wax, felt pads for the bottoms (screwdriver was to open Finishing Wax).
I read on the original directions that this was cheaper than buying made coasters.  I'm not falling for that.  Next time I will only have to buy the felt pads and the stone tiles, THEN it will be fairly inexpensive.  Having all the stamps and ink on hand is helpful.  

First, stamp on the tiles.  Oh, wait, first, wipe the stone dust off the tiles, then stamp.

This is one stamped, I over laid a bird on top of script.

This is how it looks after the Finishing wax is applied.  The drying time was none.  You wipe on with a clean white towel, and wipe off any extra wax.  Very simple.  Simpe = good.
Not all the tiles in my stack were useable, and I messed up a couple, not liking how I stamped them.  Those will be mine, of course, or someone I don't like much.

After drying apply the felt pads to the bottom.  OK, for me THIS was the hardest part.  Have you ever tried getting the backing off these things?  My fingernails were sore from trying to a little sliver in between the pad and the backing.  

The finishing wax keeps the stone water resistant, so you can put glasses on the tiles.

Makes a good gift for housewarming, hostess, or wedding,   They are heavy, not good for shipping.  I do like how they are uneven and have pits on the tops, very authentic, like I went to Italy and chipped them from stone myself.  In fact, that will be my story, I dug these out to the ground for you, bitches!  You better love this gift and I better see you use it!  

Nelly swimming.  She can still go in the pool during the day, but have to restrict her in the mornings and evenings because of the temperature cooling down.  Easier said.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sew time is any time

I've had some sew time here and there and I crossed a few things off my list.  The sew time for these was after 9:00 pm on Friday night, after getting up at 5:00 a.m. that day so I could get through all my stuff-to-do-list and have lots of sewing time.  See how well that worked out for me?

Starting with my last two blocks for a Bee, which was an August block, now done and shipped.  And that Bee is done - finito - and I didn't join another!  I will join more, I know I will, but I think I am putting it off until next year (can't believe I can even start saying next year) so that I can put together some of my older bee projects that are laying around making clutter.  

My rainbow star block for Moni - 

All her blocks so far - and these have been shipped out.

And I completed a small zip pouch for Modern Scrappy Bits.  I had bought a pattern at that fab store in MA, I used linen and a Kaffe stripe, which I lined with batting.  The problem with this pattern was that 1 - I had zippers previously purchased, and I put them I don't know where; and 2 - I had clear vinyl I had previously purchased, and I put it I don't know where.  The start of any new project must allow for time to find all the supplies you know you have and you just don't know where.  

It was only an hour search, the vinyl I actually found quickly, in a cabinet, but the zippers, it took almost the full hour.  I really contained myself not tearing the place apart.  Just opening drawers, cabinets, looking in bags and baggies.  In the end they were laid out sweet as can be under a pile of fabric.  

The rest of Modern Scrappy Bits is putting together some scrappy bits for your partner.

There is more to do - and I would like to get some things quilted this month.
Christmas is coming, there are babies coming that need gifts, and I need to use up fabric that has accumulated.  And accumulated.  And accumulated.
I am working on it.  

Nelly is keeping me busy.  And making me actually do some of that exercise stuff I sometimes talk about doing. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

WIP Wednesday

I am linking up with Freshly Pieced for WiP Wednesday - and in the WIP department, I have many to chose from, but only a few with photos.

I am working on a quilt with my Sister In Law.  

This is a Memory Quilt.

My Mother In Law - Sandy's Mother, passed away last year.  This quilt incorporates many things that Barbara loved like Redskins, Nascar, and cows.  

My SIL chose t-shirts and other clothing for her quilt and photos that we printed on fabric.

All the blocks are finished, and we chose a sashing.  I realized when working on this memory quilt, not to cut into the clothing too soon.  Too soon makes me emotional, and I want happy vibes to go into a quilt.  
This quilt is bright and happy with memories incorporated into each block.  
My SIL is not a quilter, but I wanted her to participate and make decisions so that the quilt means more to her.  We worked together on layout and clothing choices and we laughed at the cow fabric.  
Laughter is the best.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Best Quilt Shop Ever in RI! I mean MA!

I went to the wedding in Rhode Island - and let me just say that RI is gorgeous at this time of year, I can't speak of February, because I won't be visiting during any winter month.  I am a Southern girl - and we can't handle what New England has to offer in the winter.  By the way, Rhode Island, your state would go up a billion points on the list if you would just add sweet tea to your list of preferred drinks.

Here is where the wedding took place.

Could you just die?  

Anywho, this post is about a quilt shop I found in Massachusetts.  Whenever I travel, first thing I do is look up where the quilt shops are in the area.  When I first looked them up, they were all over and I was thinking I wouldn't make any on this trip, but after my first day in Providence I realized that no matter where you are in RI, everything is 20 minutes away.  It takes me 20 minutes to get to the interstate from my house, I can't even get across my own town in 20 minutes, let alone the whole state. 

My Mom and I ventured off one morning to Quilter's Stash in MA.  It was a, um, 20 minute ride.

You ever go to quilt shops when you travel?  I have been to many, and mostly I come away with just a little something from each one, to support the owners and the locality.  Sometimes I walk in and know I won't find much there that suits me.  And then sometimes, rarely; I walk in, and the heavens break open with angels singing and I think that I have stepped into my dream store, and I tell my Mom to pinch me after I push her out of the way to get to the fabric.  Quilter's Stash was just such a store.  (No Moms were injured in the procurement of fabric for this post.)

First, there was Kaffe Fassett right when you walked in the door.  I don't think Kaffe Fassett has this much Kaffe Fassett.  Quilter's Stash, you had me at Kaffe.

But there was more.  And some Brandon Mably and Amy Butler, but mostly Kaffe.  And really, there didn't need to be anything else in the whole store for me.

But there was, there was more to the store, more rooms, more fabric.  I finally tore away from the Kaffe Fassett section and peeked around the corner.  OMG.  The store goes on and on.

Then, there was still more.  I was finally seeing some of that Denyse Schmidt - Flea Market Fancy I've heard tell about, all over the blogoshpere and Flickr.  I bought some, yep me.

But wait, there is more - a whole room of sale fabric.

Wait - more - I was even becoming shopped out at this point. Australian Fabric lines.  These were too gorgeous to not pet.
(although my photo of these turned out a bit fuzzy, these were all phone photos)

This store, I love you, they carry Aurifil - not one store in my area carries Aurifil like this.

So, at this point I am planning my move to North Attleboro, MA to live closer to this store, (even though RI and probably MA do not serve sweet tea in their establishments, I might just have to live on something more like water) and maybe thinking of marrying this guy:

Who was the kindest, nicest, sweetest, most helpful, fabric cutting, non-Southern gentlemen ever.  I think he is taken, at least he is wearing a ring in this photo, and I guess, technically I am taken too.  I had to make myself stop shopping, I must eat for the next 3 days of the trip, although I can cut out 2 meals with the rehearsal dinner and wedding dinner - that is at least $50 in fabric right there!

A few of my purchases.  I had to ship home a box, I was worried about the weight added to my suitcase.  Also, boxes that come later are easier just moved right back to the sewing room before being noticed.  Let's just say, I filled a whole punch card that they offer to the regulars and got the discount - see that right there?  Saving money.

Quilter's Stash offers classes, block of the month clubs, Sew Your Support for troops overseas, and the owners are very kind and helpful, Sue and Barry Kassler.  There was another woman working in the store who helped me spend my money tremendously, and she was so sweet too, like sweet tea without the water.  I wish I would have written down her name, I'm terrible with the names.  If you are ever 20 minutes away from North Attleboro, MA, this store is worth the trip, maybe even a 30 or 40 minute drive.  

I know there are a lot of sweet tea references, but damn I sure did miss it while I was gone.  Hey, Northerners, proper sweet tea does not have the sugar added to the water after it is cooled - proper sweet tea tastes like you have added a little tea flavor to your sugar water.  Probably why the South lost, they were too busy trying to find sweet tea while up North where none existed.