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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

WIP Wednesday

What am I working on?  Trying to figure out how to navigate Instagram.  I tried to avoid going to this app, it just seemed like one more thing to suck up free time, like Pinterest.   I am finding that some people are moving away from Flickr and using Instagram more often, I felt as if I should make an addition to keep up.  Sometimes it seems I have to spend more time figuring out how to navigate new media sources to get my photos and blog out there, and not enough time creating.  It's a choice, I know.  I have gained so much from Flickr with new quilting buds, new ideas, new ways to look at quilting - I hope Instagram will offer the same.  You can find my link on the right sidebar along with all the other ways to find me (bloglovin!, Flickr, Pinterest, email) I'll have more going on there soon, I promise!  I'm still not going to Twitter, it will be my lone hold out.  

Conversation this morning:

Him:  What are you putting on your feet?
Me:  Shea Butter.
Him:  Butter???? Why are you putting butter on your feet?
Me:  Not butter, Shea Butter?
Him:  And what is Shea Butter?
Me: ....(long pause)...... I have no idea.  
Him:  Well, by all means keep putting it on your feet then, but keep it away from my biscuits.  


Baby bumper pads in progress on commission.  My first time making bumper pads, I'm combining a couple of instructions I found.  I bought the pads on Amazon and the fabric is Sarah Watts Timber & Leaf.  


The patchwork sections will face the interior of the crib.  I have all 6 put together and 2 quilted with fusible fleece as the backing.  The bottom deer fabric will be face out of the crib, and I lined these pieces with a lightweight interfacing.  


Linking up with Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday


For anyone just stopping by, I hope you will want to visit again.  

I have a Postage Stamp Block Swap on Flickr with a mail date of May 1, check it out!


Keep Calm and Quilt On!
Mary

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Step 5 of 12 Steps

This challenge is with a small LQG, we have been friends and a group for many many moons, we started meeting through  a local shop owned by quilt teacher and lecturer Charlotte Angotti.  Charlotte moved and closed up shop, but we continued to meet and Charlotte is still a part of our small group, when she is in town.  

Every year we set a challenge or two for the group and participation is voluntary.  One of the challenges we started at the beginning of 2012 was based on the Twelve by Twelve group.  Some of us had seen a display of the blocks that group made in Houston in 2011.  We settled for a color theme for our blocks and set up a two year schedule - which almost none of us followed!  We are a fly by the seat of our pants group if ever there was one.

Peacock was one of the colors,  I had skipped over that color last summer, I just didn't have a great idea.  A few weeks ago I went through magazines to discard and came across a quilt that inspired my Peacock block.  I can't find the magazine now (of course), but the quilt had a bird in the center with swirls around it and the bird was appliqued wool.  I do remember that the date was 2007.  


The directions said she had used a bit of 505 to keep the wool in place and then blanket stitched around the edges with her machine!  Wow!  I can do that.  Seeing as how about 3 years ago I invested a sickening amount into wool and an attachment for my machine to felt wool because I was going to make all these wool projects.  

This is my first time using the wool, except for sharing it with someone else who actually uses wool.  


I used a stabilizer underneath and carefully blanket stitched the edges.  I used the 505 sparingly, and pinned the pieces for stitching.  Then I embellish stitched still with the stabilizer underneath.  The background color is Kona Peacock.


I quilted a regular sandwich after putting down some of the embellishment stitches.



Here are most of the Peacock blocks from our group, great variety and many different interpretations of Peacock.


These are all the blocks I have made for this challenge - I have 2 more in the pipeline.



Keep Calm and Quilt On!
Mary

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sew Sunday

I will be working on baby bumper pads today.  Just realized the mama I'm making these for is due in about six weeks, so they have moved up the priority list.  What if the baby comes early???  I would die from embarrassment, since I've had the fabrics and the bumpers for over a month.  

In the mean time


The blog button is located on the right side bar if you would like to add one to your blog, and you can link up at the bottom of the page.  

Here is a sneak peek at some things that went on last week at my LQG retreat:

Some Sewing



Some cutting


Some visitors


Some of our 12 Steps Blocks 


I put together my son and daughter in law's signature quilt, their first anniversary is in May



Friday, March 22, 2013

Bloglovin! Claimin!

I have to do this


damn google reader

I'm using feedly on my phone and iPad.  I have to say I like this blog reader, I've never been able to read the blogs on my phone before and it is convenient.  It seems most people are going to bloglovin!  You can always still go to blogger and read your blog list there, I do that on my laptop.  Variety!  

I did much sewing last week at a drinking eating ice cream  sewing retreat.  I'm too tired today to load all the awesome photos from there.  It is such a treat to spend a week with girls and getting their input on your projects.  Although I made a bee block and now I can't find it.  At least is was one using my own fabrics so I can remake it.  

Keep Calm and Quilt On
Mary

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Woody Woodpecker

I joined the Forest QAL because I am in love with the woodpecker block.


This is a paper piece group, and I was ready for it.  Almost.  Two years ago you couldn't get me in the same room with a paper piece block.  I'm still learning, becoming more adventurous and trying more difficult blocks.  I only wanted to run from the room screaming once with the tiny pieces on this block.  Maybe twice.  He turned out fantastic, except I should have made his feet darker, they don't contrast enough with the tree fabric I used.  I'm calling him Woody Woodpecker.  The next block in the series isn't too bad, but the third one I may really run around screaming instead of just thinking about it before the block is finished.  Woody only took me a whole afternoon, I'll tackle the next two when I have two days with nothing to do.  


I finished up another bee - which should have been done in January, this is for Shelley who I was seeing this past weekend and knew I could deliver it in person.  She wanted strips of prints inserted into a solid square.  I kept putting this one off, because I knew she wasn't working on the top yet.  And it worked out, because when I saw her she changed my background color, which went perfect with the leftover pieces from my Pantone Emerald Challenge Quilt.


One more bee block, this one for Simply Solids on Flickr, this is for March, she requested a night time city scape.  I thought the yellow looked like lights on in the buildings.


Keep Calm and Quilt On!
Mary

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

From This to That

I have been involved in a year long challenge with a local group.  We divided up into small groups of 3 and we each had a starter piece that we passed to the next person in the group.  The rules were - you could not take apart a seam.  That was it.  You could cut, add, take away, change - whatever.  Exciting, excruciating, and expressive all at one time, shaken up like a martini.

This is what I started with to pass to the first person.  Very soft, nothing precise.  I did pass along extra fabrics that went with these colors, not that they were obligated to use them, but I do like reds, browns, and oranges and sometimes other quilters don't have those colors.  The blue piece is a linen, and I am enjoying adding linen to projects these days.


The #2 person passed this to #3 person, she had joined some of the improv patchwork pieces and added on


#3 person then passed back to me and she had added applique - which I loved (the flowers are appliqued on to a piece of the blue linen)


I closed my eyes boldly cut off the applique section. Next I made handles - thinking I was going toward a back and front of a bag, but this could have gone anywhere.



 I quilted the sections but not too close to the edges so they could be added to if the next person wanted




I then passed to person #2 again and she added gorgeous variegated thread quilting around the applique



She passed to person #3 who added some pieces to the sides, and which I unfortunately didn't photograph.

When I got the last pass I moved forward to turning the whole project into a bag, this was a challenge for me because I had already quilted on the two pieces and they weren't the same size.  I was able to enlarge the smaller section by adding pieces and batting to the sides.  Then the problem was the bag was too large to stand up on it's own with the batting, it wanted to fall over.  So I shoved two pieces on Timtex in there to stiffen up the sides.  And really, I shoved and man handled.  I thought I would love Timtex when it first came out, and I know it has it's purpose, but it is difficult to maneuver.   I made box corner bottoms, I didn't really want to because that took away from some of the patchwork sides, but it was easier than trying to figure out how to make sides and a bottom.  I added a liner of a Kaffe Fassett print that is browns and oranges (of course).  




I'm glad my bag idea came through, I am now in love with this patchwork bag that my quilty friends helped me make.  I'm calling it Orange Martini, Shaken not Stirred.
To view one of the projects from the other group visit Shelley 

Keep Calm and Quilt On
Mary

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sew Sunday Link Up

Yay, it's Sunday, a day when I try to relax and work on crafts, sewing projects, bee projects, no matter, as long as I can sit down at my machine and work at a fun pace.  What are you working on today?  

Grab your button on right side bar.

I finished the top for the Pantone Emerald Challenge, now I'm debating if this is it, or does it need more.  I'm going to have to enter it today so a decision will be made.  I didn't quilt it yet, so it will go in the 'quilt top' category.  


Here is where I first wrote about my process and the fabrics I used.

This was a complete improvisation, I did cut the beginning strips with a ruler, but after that I cut up the strip sets free hand.  It was at this stage that my husband came in and wondered why nothing was squared up, why the lines were all wishy washy, and he said 'I just don't get it.' So that is what I am calling this quilt.
I Don't Get It.


I did have to square up the center of the top to be able to add borders.



I Don't Get It is very narrow, only 42" wide


Finished right now at 62" X 42" 





The button is on the right hand side bar!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Buckets Lists & Noteworthy Winner

I have read all the entries for this give away - and I became intrigued with many of the bucket list items that were submitted.  Travel definitely won the day for the most entries.  Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, were all popular destination wants.  Some were quilt related, the Houston Quilt Show, Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, making a particular quilt or learning a new technique.  

I have been able to do some of the things that were mentioned, some things are on my list too.  Mostly what I want to tell everyone, is that if there is a place you want to go, something you want to see or do - make it happen.  There are only so many tomorrows.  I don't want to be too sappy, but I do know this from experience and it isn't a nice experience, that if you wait too long or continue to put things off, sometimes it is too late to do it with the person you want to share the experience with.  

And now the winner of the fat quarter stack of Sweetwater Noteworthy fabric is


Comment #120 is from Gail Olney who said:

Gail Olney said...
I am following. Bucket list - see my grandkids, yet unborn, graduate from high school. My kids are still in college, so that means I want to stick around a while...
_____________________________________________________________________
And what bucket list item could be better than that?

Keep Calm and Quilt On!
Mary


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sewing with Sully

I have a new sewing machine, I mentioned him a couple of weeks back.  I waited for 3 months to get him in, from November til the end of February.  After I got him I decided he needed a name and I went with Sully, because he is a beast, but a good one.  I am currently taking a guide class, the second one is tonight.  While I am learning new things (I made piping!) I am also working on things at home to get used to  sewing with Sully.


Sully has needs.  First, something cute to put the accessories in.

Like a fabric basket.


I basically followed Pink Penguin's tutorial.  I modified the size to fit this photo of Sully, I printed the photo of the original Sully on paper backed fabric through my regular printer.  The basket body (I realize this isn't a good photo - it was 11:00 pm)


I used cotton/wool batting in lieu of the the fleece she recommends.  I did use the fleece on the previous basket I made, and I wasn't sure I was a fan, I wanted to give batting a try.  


The fleece might be a tad stiffer, but the batting seems to work fine too.
Sully's Stuff
That look on Sully's is sometimes a look I get when I know I've just made a huge mistake.


The bottom and the handles are made with Echino linen, the prints and lining are a variety that I thought went with Sully's colors.



Sully's Stuff


The main reason I jumped in and made this purchase is for quilting, there is 10" to the right of the needle for quilting.  So far I have only quilted on small pieces like this fabric basket - I'm working up to an actual quilt.  

I hope you'll be joining in on the Sew Sunday link party starting this Sunday 3/17/13 - there is a button on the right side bar you can grab.


Keep Calm and Quilt On!
Mary

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

String Block

One of the loveliest blocks I know is the simple string block.
It's colorful, can use up scraps, good size and most important it is easy.

Yesterday I was making up one for a swap 

Him:  You use the phone book?
Me:  All the time.
Him:  But you are always telling me to 'goggle it'.
Me:  Oh, well I never use it to look up numbers, that would be slow and cumbersome.  Have you picked up one of these things?  It weighs a ton. 
Him:  Ok, I'm afraid to ask - why are you using the phone book?
Me:  The pages are thin and rip off easy.
Him:  You're sewing it?
Me:  Yes!  What else is a phone book good for these days?
Him:  What are you sewing?
Me:  You could google it.
Him:  I'm leaving.
Me:  (silently) Yay........

Here is how you can make some pretty string blocks 
Start with pages you rip out of the brick book and cut them to 6 1/2" 


Some people have asked about the ink - I haven't had a problem with it getting on the fabrics.

Your center piece is the important one - I cut mine 1 1/4" to lay diagonally down the center of the square page.
This is Kona White - but you can make it whatever you would like.
Some people might pin the white strip or glue it down in a spot - I just lay it on there and eyeball it.  
Chose a variety of prints in your colors or even scrappy, cut these strips a variety of sizes.
Lay a colored or print strip on one side of the white center and stitch through the paper.
Do the other side.
(this photo shows a second color strip added on one side - but you get the idea)


I press these open before sewing on the next strip.  Lay your next strips down, trim for correct length, and fold back the paper - only sew on the fabric not through the paper.  The paper at this point is just a guide for size. 



Press after each strip is added.
When you have the entire paper covered, trim down the sides to the 6 1/2" size of the paper square.


You can play with the placement of the squares to make your block after they are all trimmed. 
I only had 4 squares for this one, but if you are making multiple blocks you will have a lot more options.


Now pull off the phone book paper before you join the squares together.
The paper rips off very easily.


Finished Block


Here are a few that I made for a Flickr Swap.  In this swap we used a cut 1" Kona white strip.


Right now there is a new round in the Flickr group that is swapping this block Here.
They have guidelines for the center strip and the paper, so read about it, but it is open to anyone.

My finished string block is going to Amanda in the QAWII Flickr group.
Here are all her blocks so far, she wanted aqua and grey with a pop of color.  My orange is really popping!



There is still time to enter Quilters Blog Hop Give Away (until March 14th)

 Sunday 3/17 I will be setting up the Sew Sunday link Party - you can be sewing, crafting, painting - let us see what you are up to on Sundays!  

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

You can grab the button on the right side bar - 

Keep Calm and Quilt On!
Mary