Wednesday, February 22, 2017

More Blocks = More Fun!

Courthouse Rock, Sage Bud, Chimney Rock
I got three more Westering Women blocks done yesterday. They are called Courthouse Rock, Chimney Rock and Sage Bud.

My Chimney Rock block looks nothing like the block that Barbara Brackman showed on her blog. I used the alternate method to make this block to avoid those crazy seams and I got my dark and light triangles in different positions. It just goes to show that fabric selection and placement can give the same block a whole different look. I think it looks pretty good though!
My photo skills just don't do these blocks justice!
I am so happy with my progress with these blocks. It really does take me a very long to time to make each block. Trying to decide on fabric choices really is time consuming but a lot of fun.

I am so lucky to have so many repro scraps to choose from because I ordered a lot of reproduction scrap bags from here quite a while ago. I see now that they don't seem to offer the reproduction only scraps any longer - too bad. Because my repro collection of fabric is mostly scraps it can be a challenge to find just the right fabric in the right quantity. It is almost like a scavenger hunt and it is so rewarding to find just the right bits and to put them together. I want to use mainly cream/beige, brown, blue and red in these blocks and I am finding that I do have less options when it comes to the blue family, but so far so good!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Westering Women Blocks

Platte River, Hill and Hollow, Independence Square, Indiana Territory, Lone Elm and Sweet Gum Leaf
Over the past two days I have been digging into my repro scrap bins and I have actually been making some blocks. I already had the first two done - Independence Square and Indiana Territory and I added four more.

In the photo you can see that they are mostly large blocks just about 12.5 inches unfinished except for one lonely little block. That is the first block in the series and I 'accidentally' made it 9 inches. I could that have happened??? When I took the photo I noticed something else about those blocks stuck up on my design wall. Block number 6 named 'Hill and Hollow' has a wee issue and I don't just mean that my pinwheel in the center is a bit off. I tried three times to fix the center and that is my limit! No, it's that darn patch in the upper right corner section. That is going to need a bit of surgery to fix!

No problem, out came my trusty seam ripper and after a bit of this and a bit of that and then re-ripping and resewing because I made the same mistake....voila!
Oh that is much better. Today I plan to carry on with my journey...

Monday, February 20, 2017

Blue Cheese is Ready for Quilting!

Finally, a finished top!
I love quilts and I love to make quilts. As a matter of fact, I love just about everything about quilting but in particular I love finished quilts. There was a time, several years ago, that I would start a quilt and I would work on it until it was finished. I could and would work on one hand piecing/quilting and one machine piecing/quilting project simultaneously. I may have even started piecing a second quilt just as I was coming to the point of doing the actual quilting but I never, ever, had so many quilt projects underway sitting idle and taking up space and cluttering my mind as I now have.

It was like an assembly line, but a fun one and I enjoyed the process immensely! I would finish so many quilts and pass them on to their recipients and I felt really good about it. It worked perfectly for me. Over the past few years, I have taken on and started so many quilts that I have been feeling really bogged down and I don't like it. I don't like it one bit so I am going back to what worked best for me.

In January, I had hoped to finish three quilt tops -  I did get the Ugly Christmas Sweater quilt turned into a top but then I decided it needed a border - so not finished. I needed some time to think about how I wanted to proceed and I think I now have a plan. Blue Cheese did get some attention but was not completed and I didn't even touch Westering Women. So in the end I didn't get any of them to the finished quilt top stage in January but stuff happens in life and I will just keep moving forward with the plan.
ready and waiting for a border
The good news is that I have finished my Blue Cheese quilt and it is ready for quilting. February is not January but I am happy none-the-less! I am thinking of using blue for the backing but if I don't have any blue fabric that works for me then I just may use a beige/cream fabric.

I just want to see some finished quilts coming out of my sewing room!!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Pizza Box Challenge

I am so glad that I am finally getting my energy back! I didn't bounce back from the flu as quickly as I had hoped but it seems that I am definitely on my way now.

Wednesday was my Guild meeting day but I just didn't have the energy to attend but I did manage to get my Pizza Box challenge block done. Thankfully, one of the Guild members delivered it to the meeting for me. The theme for this box was 'In My Garden' and I worked on my block off and on all day Monday and I had it finished for Tuesday morning. I am so happy that I was able to get it done and have it delivered because it really would have messed up the exchange for the other participants.

These are the blocks that were already in the box including the one I added. I used Lite Steam-a-Seam 2 and it has a permanent bond so I didn't need to stitch the applique down. Honestly, I just didn't have it in me anyway. I think that the recipient of this box of blocks can stitch it down later if they feel the need.

The rules are that we must use some of the focus fabric, which in this case is the flowery piece, and we must also use some of the background fabric. I followed everyone else's lead and used the background fabric as a frame for my block. I cut my flower blossoms from the pink sections of the focus fabric. I found the hummingbird on-line but I can't for the life of me remember where. It was in an image of a block and I printed it and cut the hummingbird out to use as a template - a big thank you to the creator. I am pretty happy with how it turned out!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Blue Cheese

I think I have all of the blocks made for Blue Cheese and I have started making and adding the border sections to the outer blocks before joining everything together. This is what Blue Cheese looked like last Tuesday evening and I was feeling quite pleased with my progress. I figured I would have the top completed within a couple days.

However....I was feeling a bit scratchy in my throat and I was starting to cough and I had no idea that I was going to be out of commission for a week. I have spent pretty much the whole week in bed with the flu.

You know, I was contemplating getting the flu shot this year and my husband was quite insistent that I get it because the flu was supposed to be really bad this year but I decided not to. Right now I really regret that decision and I will get the shot next year. I have lost a whole week of my life and I am still not fully recovered.  Yesterday and today I am up and about the house trying to get my energy back but I am still not back to full strength. Thankfully, I am not working so I do have time to recover and get back into the swing of things in my own time.

Thankfully, piecing quilts is not a strenuous activity so I hope to be back showing some more progress on Blue Cheese and maybe even the finished top over the next few days.

Monday, January 16, 2017

I Did Good! :)

I have added the sashing and my Ugly Christmas Sweater quilt blocks have turned into a top. I think it turned out so cute! I won't call it a finished flimsy yet because I still want to add borders. I haven't decided on the border design so I packed the top and all of the extra fabric pieces back into the project box and it will stay there until I can decide what I want to do. Hopefully, I will make a decision quickly!

Over the past couple weeks I had spent quite a considerable amount of time tidying up my sewing room and putting away a lot of 'stuff'. I am so happy that I managed to keep with my resolve to tidy up as soon as I am done with something. I even turned these leftover stitch and flip corners into 2.5" bonus hsts and put them back in the project box as well. I don't know if I will need them for this quilt but I will keep it all together until I am completely finished. I am sure that staying organized will save me hours of rummaging around in my room trying to find something. :)

This is where I left off  at the end of November.
Next up to be worked on is my Blue Cheese quilt and I have pulled out the project box in anticipation of digging in. I think I only need to make the border sections to be able to finish it off.

My long arm is supposed to come back to me tomorrow. We will see if that happens because we are expecting freezing rain in our area overnight and into tomorrow and it may delay the delivery.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Ugly Christmas Sweater Blocks

Yesterday I did a marathon sewing session and I got the last blocks finished for the Ugly Christmas Sweater quilt. I think they all turned out great!

The next thing to do is to add the sashing and turn the blocks into a quilt top. Lorna from Sew Fresh Quilts designed this quilt and she used a very simple border and it does look good. I have been thinking about my border and I may want to make mine a little more substantial. I have to try out a few options before I make a final decision.

At the beginning of the month I stated that my goal was to get three different quilts that I have underway to the quilt top stage and this will be first of the three. Of course, designing and adding a different border will take more time but I think I would be happier with the result and that is what it is all about.

There are still two weeks left in the month and I seriously don't think I will get all three to the ready-to-quilt stage but I sure will have fun trying!