Saturday, April 27, 2013

Sew Sunday

Went to a great meeting with the Virginia Beach Modern Quilt Guild - we had a secret partner pillow cover swap this month.  My partner likes brights so I used Kona solids and a few Kaffe Fasset shot cottons to make a bright cheery pillow cover.  The fist photo, before quilting, is not so bright, the second after quilting shows the colors much better.  Next month at the VBMQG meeting someone is coming in to talk about photographing your quilts.  And not a moment too soon.




The red line quilting is YLI Jeans Stitch thread.  This is a thick thread, and some people only hand stitch with it, I have been able to quilt with it, using Aurifil in the bobbin, and using either a jeans needle or quilting needle, extending the stitch length, and slowing down the machine.  It doesn't always turn out perfect, but it does look great on a piece if you have the patience to work with it.  

I received a pillow cover  - and I'll have to put up a photo of that as soon as I get one in daylight.  I like that this group reads you, and my partner gave me the perfectly colored pillow cover!

Angie - if you are reading this, here is your pillow cover!  It is simply gorgeous!  And I am holding it hostage and want to keep it for myself  will give it to you next meeting!


Here is another pillow cover made by a new quilter - Katie, she is so sweet, creative and a real plus to the group.  And we can't believe she is new to quilting!  I am going to copy this one day. 


Today I have so many things I would like to accomplish, it has been a slow sewing week, and I really want to spend quality time with Sully.  But I also want to clean off my sewing counter, catch up in blogland and flickr,  and put some fabric and other sewing essentials where they belong, instead of the floor where they are currently living.  I will probably do that first and just think about sewing for the 6 or 8 hours it will take to find the bottom of my counter.


If you would like a 'Sew Sunday' button you can find it on the right side bar or in the 'Sew Sunday' tab.  My linkz should be working better now - it will show your thumbnail, I'm still working out the glitches, so bare with me!  

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Bunnies Make Me Sick

Sick like ill, not like 'they suck'.  Seriously.  They are my worst allergy, so naturally we have five buns; all in the house.   I spent too much time with them a couple of days ago, and I was out of it for two days.  Sneezing, coughing, red zombie eyes, water works - all of it.  Someone said, well, why don't you wear a mask.  Who wants to wear a mask when cuddling with these, I ask you?  And anyway it isn't the mask that would help, it would be the not touching of my eyes after handling the buns that would do me best.  


I think the lady 5 aisles over in Walmart would prefer I wore the mask anyway, the one that jumped and screamed when I sneezed like I was Jack the Giant.  

Anyway, my energy level was zapped, and I slept on the couch, which led me to stare at the mantel and wonder why it looked so drab, blah.  The stars are from, ahem, Christmas.  You know how you just stop seeing something when it is right in front of you day after day?  Yeah.


I ordered up some of the photos I had been not printing and procrastinating about getting into frames.  I did not even have any framed from last years wedding or the gran coming on Christmas.  Off to it!


Now much better.  I have a mirror I'm going to put up behind the frames, as soon as I find it.  

I finished a project I started about two months ago.  This is one of those Pinterest things that look ohh, so easy when you look at the photos and read how easy peasy the author made the project.  This was not easy.  Oh, the painting was easy, we picked colors that matched Calvin's room.


This is just a painters canvas, painted, obviously, and I added his name at the bottom.  (As if we don't know who he is?) My idea was to paint over the letters, then peel them off and have a void of the name.  It didn't work out that way. In theory, this was a good idea, in practice the paint bled under the letters. 


And getting a one month old to not scream while you dip his feet in paint and plant them on the canvas, try that.  There was no mention of this screaming in the directions.  There were smears which had to be painted over, and we had to plant the feet a second time, and more screams.  


Finally yesterday I remembered to buy the white pen and a small paint brush to paint inside the outline of the letters and write the month under the feet.  And yay, we are adding on when he is six months.  Can't wait.


I only managed to work on a block in the last two days, these are two of the blocks for VBMQG BOM.  I am using Alison Glass Lucky Penny and a fat quarter pack of Oakshott cotton Ruby Reds.  I love love this combo, I can't wait to get to more blocks!  


I did get a nice book order in, and I spent some time thumbing through pages while holed up on the sofa.  It has been awhile since I bought any quilting books, and it was nice to sit and peruse new projects.  I am definitely in on the Tula Pink City Sampler QAL on flickr - there is actually a second QAL happening by The Intrepid Thread, so I think I can combine the two!  Maybe; might be one of those 'sounds good in theory' things.


Tonight we are going to a movie - a special showing of two episodes of Star Trek NG the third season, remastered for Blu-Ray.  It's pretty cool, if you like sci-fi, still watch Star Trek, and say things like 'resistance is futile or Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra' like we do.  Not afraid to be a nerd.  Back to my regularly scheduled sewing starting tomorrow.  

Keep Calm and Quilt On!  
my friends!
Mary

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

When Not Sleeping

I have nights when sleep is not reliable - not my friend - and generally pretends I don't exist.  Some nights I watch a movie, sometimes I clean, and sometimes I sew, sometimes I do all of these.  Last night, or rather, very early this morning I sewed.  

I've been wanting to make myself a Noodlehead divided fabric basket, so I did.  This one went quick, I cut all the pieces at the beginning, like the directions said (didn't do that the first time), skipped the binding on the pocket (but wish I hadn't),  used Kokka Japanese linen / cotton blend fabric (the hippos), so didn't have to line with Pellon (do like that part) and used cotton twill for the handles instead of making them.  

Ta Da 

I know the hippos are upside down at the top of the basket but they flip with each row, just plain dumb luck they landed upside down on the top row.  I really thought it out to make sure they were at least going the right direction (instead of sideways) for the basket, so next time I'll work harder on them being right side up on the top row.  No progress photos either, I just whipped it up.  


I would have changed out the thread for the pocket top stitching to purple to match the handles, but I changed to those handles at the last minute, and the pocket was already sewn in.  I thought at first these handles would be too much green, but then decided what the heck, it's for me it can be as green as I want it.  My stitching isn't perfectly straight around the top - it was 5 am by this point.  I will go a little slower with the next one.  

Before the endless no sleep night, I finished paper piecing an arrow (Craftsy pattern) for this round of Traveling Quilts and I added a row of flying geese.  This top has a special Native American vibe to it.  





Photos not the best - my camera was not cooperative so I used my phone.  I hate doing that, I need a new SLR camera, or rather I would like a new camera, but also dislike doing all the research and price checking involved.  

I am linking up with Quilt Story , because I finally remembered to post on a Tuesday!  

Fresh Poppy Design

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sew Sunday

What a week - Spring is here and the yard beckons, and the deck, and the lawn furniture, and the flower beds.  Then it turned back cool and rainy - so yay, back to the sewing room.  



I did get to finish the borders on this top.  The corners required more work after deciding on what I was doing with the borders, I had to make additional diagonal strips to have the corners match up with the rest of the diagonal strips.  Do you get that?  Because I'm confused reading it.  
I really like this, and now I won't want to give it up.  But I will.


Finishing up a few bee blocks - this one for Modern Mavericks - we are making black and white modern dresdens.  Anything goes, I like those directions.  


And these are the last two blocks for the 3X6 bee.  I have to get them out on Monday.


I'm scared to list what I need to work on today -
VBMQG pillow cover for swap
Postage Stamp Blocks for swap 
Traveling Quilt pass
Stripper Quilt pass
Back for finished top
Paper piece blocks for Forest QAL 
I hope to have at least a few of these to show later in the week.  And then edit my blog for spring, add some more blogs I read to the list, fix that Instagram link - I can't remember where I got those cute little link buttons for flickr and pinterest, so I have to find them all over again and make anew.  
I'm practicing on Instagram - I like it, I think.  Figured out how to follow and I'm working on that #hashtag thing.  My follow button is on the right side bar, if you want to look me up - I'll be happy to follow you too!  



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

WIP Wednesday

I am trying trying trying to get this top done.  It is confounding me.  I had plans to finish this last weekend, but the borders tripped me up.  


I did finally figure out which bee this was from - a bee from long long ago - Threadheads - a bee where I made my first mod mosaic block, first dresden plate block, and first X and plus block.  

My troubles began because this top looked fine just the way it is, without a border.  But I was determined to use this fabric in the borders.  The fabric in the front - Joel Dewberry Aviary2 in the purple color way.  The whole reason I picked this block and wanted to make this quilt.


So I tried just putting the fabric by itself next to the top.  I felt this just framed the center, looked very stark, and I thought I could do better. (bad night photo)


Then I made 12.5" blocks that matched the center blocks.  Luckily, I am a hoarder collector organized individual, and I had all the fabrics and cut strips together from sending out these blocks ever so long ago.  And I had all the blocks together, it amazed me just a little.  



This isn't really talking to me either, except to say 'not quite right'.


Next, I cut those just sewn together strips and blocks in half.  Now, I'm starting to see where I want to go.



I am able to utilize both sides of the cut in half block - thank goodness, was so afraid I was wasting so much - The hardest part is making sure I have the birds in the fabric going in the correct direction.  I could have mixed it up, but i think it will finish better with the birds sitting up instead of going every whichaway.  ( another bad night time photo)


Linking up with Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.


Keep Calm and Quilt On!
Mary

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sew Sunday

I also had a Sew Saturday.  
And look.  A clean surface.  It happens.  Rarely.  We won't talk about the other surfaces in the room, or the floor, I have artfully edited the photo to only show the table.


On Sew Saturday I finished everything (but the quilt) for a friend's nursery.


Crib Bumper Pads, Pillow, Changing Pad, and Divided Fabric Basket all using Sarah Watts Timber and Leaf, the choice of the baby Mama.  
Problems.  The pillow cover was just too large for the pillow form, it was loosey goosey.


And I sewed the label on upside down.  Oops.


After going to bed, and being kept up by the realization I screwed this up, I finally figured out I could still turn the pillow cover inside out and tighten up the seams, and un-sew the label and re- apply.  Oh, right, sleep. All good now.


I bought the pattern for the Divided Fabric Basket by Noodlehead  a couple of months ago and this was my first opportunity to make one.  



I had a couple of un-clear moments with the pattern, as  happens all the time sometimes for me when following a pattern.
I used the pellon 808 and the fusible fleece on the outside pieces as directed, and I think I'm in love, I will be making more, especially one for me.  (The back fabric is a Riley Blake fabric)


I bought a plain changing pad and added fabric from the line to the top to match the rest of the pieces for the nursery.


Today I am working on the back for a quilt - more to come on that one!




Friday, April 12, 2013

He almost had me at Basting Spray



Him:  Why is the window open?  It's freezing in here.
Me:  Oh, that's because I'm using this basting spray that I love.  Check it out!
Him:  Why would you want to use that?
Me:  Well, I'm saving time by not having to pin.  And then when I'm quilting not having to take all the pins out.
Him:  I think you should go back to pins.
Me:  Well, so far I love this stuff, it works great.  
Him:  It's a gimmick.
Me:  A gimmick?
Him;  Yes, you'll use up that bottle then have to buy more, pins you buy once.
Me:  Oh.  For a second I thought you might be concerned about the environment or something.
Him:  No, I want you to stop wasting money on gimmicky tools.
Me:  Well, then don't look in that bag over there.  

I went through my groups on Flickr - I was in over 200, and several were QAL I never did, some I joined but never contributed or participated, old  Bees, Swaps that were over.  Several I did exit out of (un-join?), but going through some of the old bees was a nice reminder of blocks that I had made and had made for me.  I'm down to around 170 groups now, and I am going through more.  It's Flickr Spring Cleaning.  


Some bee blocks I have made this week and sent on to their homes.  
Pebble block for Modern Mavericks  March block using r0ssie's tutorial.  I wasn't entirely comfortable making this block, I think if asked to do another I could make the flipping part a little better.  


Sewn Together April Block, only had to make 1 block, it's very soft and I can tell the quilt will be pretty.


Simply Solids for April.  These blocks were to be improv low volume with pops of the colors.  Should make an interesting quilt.  


Also Sewn Together, March Tiki Hut log cabin blocks, these are 6 1/2" blocks which she is going to use in the border of a quilt.  


These are my only 3 bees currently.  I'm also in three groups where we pass along the blocks or strips.  One quarterly group that finishes next week, I can rejoin this any quarter.  Two swaps that finish this month.  One is my own swap if you haven't had time to look at it yet, mailing date for USA participants is not until May 1, so plenty of time to make the simple scrappy Postage Stamp Block.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Q2 FAL

I am not good at these things.  These Finish A Longs.  I never seem to finish what I listed, not because I don't want to finish these.   I just seem to finish a bunch of other things because someone needed something or it struck my fancy or I bought some cute new fabric or the guilt fairy pays a visit.  I completely forget about what I put on my list and move on to new projects because starting something new is so much more fun than digging out something forgotten.  But I am an optimist, so I am going to link up with Leanne at SheCanQuilt and make a finishing list for this quarter.



These blocks have been on my mind lately, I thought of someone that I think will like a quilt made from them.  I will put the blocks together and quilt.  These blocks were made for me in a bee, and I have to go and search which bee it was way back when.  There are a lot of blocks and somewhere I have a photo of a bunch of them together, but I can't locate it.  I finally found a photo of one of the blocks and it was in my 2011 photos file, yikes!  Luckily, by a stroke of clutter madness, I know right where all the blocks are located and the extra fabric is with them!  


I want to add a border to this baby quilt top and get it out the door.  Since the baby is now four months old.  I put this top together from squares I had cut either too big or too small, I can't remember which, while making another baby quilt.  I had intended to finish this in March at my quilt retreat, but I had too many other projects going and this was way down the list.  


I am going to quilt 'I Don't Get It' that I made for the Pantone Emerald Challenge.  I had thought about adding more border to make it wider, but I believe I will leave it the way it is.  I have backing fabric now.  I normally use a wool / cotton blend batting for quilts that will be used, but I might use something with a lower loft for this one.  


That is all I am putting on my list.  I don't want to be completely unrealistic about what I might actually finish in the next three months.  

Keep Calm and Quilt On!
Mary