Thursday, February 28, 2013

Jacob's Ladder of Love

My husband is trying to hold the quilt up all by himself.
I have been sewing the binding to the back of this quilt and I finished it today. This quilt has been patiently waiting for me to get it done and I am very happy with the way it turned out. It finished at 71" x 80" and I used a variety of blue and neutral fabrics for the blocks.

This quilt will be going to my nephew Jake. His Mom, my sister Christine, chose the backing fabric for it and it is quite a surprise....dragons. Jake was born in the year of the Dragon and she felt it would be a perfect fit for him. I can't wait until he gets to use his new quilt.

I can't resist showing a picture of what my back yard looked like this morning. It was a perfect day to spend cuddled under a quilt and adding the finishing touches to it. It has been snowing off and on all day today - I do hope that warmer weather is on the way - Spring would be most welcome here!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

RSC 2013 - Purple Boy's Britches

I woke up early this morning - let's just say 3 am early and I started thinking about quilting and realized that I only had a couple days to make these blocks if I wanted to finish them in February. After having a cup of tea I headed into my sewing room and promptly stitched up a block. I already had all of the pieces cut out so I just needed to sew them up.

This is the first one I made. Isn't it a beauty? Just one is supposed to have two black corners and two white corners...darn!! And the worst part is I thought this block went together fairly well for me. Thank goodness the error was on the outer edges of the block and it was quite easy to correct. Maybe I should just stay in bed when I wake up so early!

These blocks really are very challenging for me to make and my seam ripper gets quite a workout.

Many of the seams are on weird angles and it can be a wee bit frustrating to align them properly. Admittedly, as I sew each block together I am getting better at it although I am pretty sure I will never be able to claim that they are perfect. I just hope I remember the sewing technique for these blocks when I make them again for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge in the colour for March.

I also know that I could make things a lot easier for myself if I just split the white triangles into two sections. That would allow for 4 square sections to be joined together and it would allow me to sew straight seams but it would also give me extra seam lines that I don't want. If I always take the easy way out then I won't learn new skills either.

Don't they look pretty all together. Of course, the colours will be all spread out in the finished quilt and it will look like a rainbow of fun.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Scraps From Scraps

Unruly scrap bits
I feel so virtuous - if only for a fleeting moment!  For those of you who read my blog regularly, you know that I have an overwhelming scrap problem. See this post if you are into seeing pictures of the evidence. This morning I cut out the britches portion from my purple 3.5" strips that I need for my Boy's Britches blocks. Please keep in mind that these 3.5" strips were leftover remnants from earlier projects (think scraps).

Tidy scraps and britches pieces
Once I finished cutting the required pieces, instead of just throwing the bits and pieces into my scrap bins, I cut them down right away. Virtuous huh? If I had a piece of the 3.5" wide purple fabric that was longer than 6" it went back into my strip bin. The rest of the scraps from these pieces as well as the leftover bits from the purple mini baskets and mini stars have been cut into pieces of varying sizes from 3.5" squares to teeny tiny triangles that will finish as .5" squares - I know, it's okay for you to call me crazy! There are still a few bits left that will go into my crumb bin and string bin.

The britches pieces are cut on an angle and the scraps created are an elongated (scalene) triangle. I have decided to leave them as they are and possibly turn them into kite shaped pieces to go into another quilt at a later time. I still have the pieces left from the pink britches that I made last month but they are not as uniform in size and shape. I will make a template later today and use that to cut the kite pieces into smaller equal sized bits. Scraps from scraps - how exciting... er...I need to get out more often!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Purple Mini Star Blocks

Purple Stars
Pink and Purple Stars
I just finished sewing up my purple mini star blocks and every time I look at them I have to smile! Aren't they the cutest little blocks? These minis will finish at 3" - I don't have a design plan yet but however I use them they are going to be adorable. Hop on over to soscrappy's blog to check out the links that have been added for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. There are always so many wonderful projects to see and it is not too late to join in. There is no pressure involved with the RSC but participating really does help to use up some of the scrap stash.

I still need to make my Boy's Britches blocks but there are still some days left in February even though they do seem to be disappearing very quickly!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Finally - Some Sewing to Share

Holy maka-doodle it has been quite some time since I have posted. I have been around and working on home projects - just not sewing at all. Over the past few days I have taken little bits of time and cut some pieces for my mini basket and mini star blocks that I am making for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge and today I finally started sewing some baskets together. So far, I have made 13 purple basket blocks that will finish at 4".

I also took a picture of them with the pink blocks that I made for January - so cute! I have decided to go with the hst block on top of the basket and black base. I am not too sure yet what I will do with the baskets that I made as a test. At some point, I may remake them and replace the base with a black basket.

I plan to head back into my sewing room again to finish making the little star blocks that I have cut and ready for sewing.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Happy, happy!

I did get to do some sewing today and sure felt good. I just wanted to play around a bit, so I made a couple more Improv blocks. I like the one on the right but I am not too sure about the one on the left. I think it needs a little more attention before I decide to completely scrap it and start again.

It was fabulous to be able to spend time in my sewing room this morning. I was definitely feeling quilting deprived this week. On Monday, I went to Toronto with my husband in the morning and spent the day with my Mom and sister Cheryl. It is unbelievable how quickly the day disappears when I visit. I often take my dogs with me and they ride in their kennels and as soon as we get to our destination they are usually really excited to see everyone and can't wait to get out of their kennels. For some reason, Molly my miniature schnauzer, didn't want to socialize very much and wanted to stay in her kennel most of the day. This is very unusual for her - she definitely loves to be loved and totally enjoys all of the attention she normally gets.
Molly and Peanut - such good girls!

Tuesday morning was spent in the kitchen making bread, muffins and beef stew. By the time I got everything prepared and then cleaned up most of the morning was gone. Add in grocery shopping, laundry folding, etc, there was very little time for sewing. Molly still was not behaving normally, so after taking her and Peanut for a walk I decided to give her a good going over. When I got to her ears I found the problem. The poor girl has an ear infection. Off to the vet we went and now she has to have drops in her ear for 14 days. Thank goodness that whatever was bothering her was something that has a quick and easy treatment. I was worried about her like she was a child!

...and now, I am heading back into my sewing room. I am such a lucky girl!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Midget Block #70 - Four Leaf Clover

I am so happy with the way this block turned out. Every time I make an applique block I can see how much I am improving my applique skills. I did needle turn applique on this block and although it does not have perfectly smooth and rounded edges I think I did a pretty darn good job!

This block was fun to  make, I hand sewed the petals into pairs and then appliqued them to the background squares. Once that was done, I machine sewed the four quadrants together. Multiple techniques in one block - gotta love it.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Slow Sunday Stitching

So far it has been a very lazy Sunday morning around here. I am relaxing and doing a bit of hand applique on a midget block and I am really enjoying working on it. I am doing needle turn and it seems to be working out for me. Once I am done with that I plan to work on binding my Jacob's Ladder quilt that I finished earlier this week. See my pretty scissors - my sister Cheryl gave them to me for Christmas.

I am really excited that I have finally got the Jacob's Ladder quilt almost to the finish line. I need to make the label and attach the binding by machine today and then I plan to spend the evening nice and cozy under the quilt while I hand stitch the binding to the back. As far as I am concerned hand sewing the binding to the quilt is one of the best parts of quilting. I slow down and take lots of time to admire the quilt as I bind it and I get to reflect on the process of making it. If I am making it for a specific recipient I think a lot about that person as well!

Drop by Kathy's Quilts to see who else has taken the time to slow down and work on hand stitching projects. There are always so many great things to see - check it out.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Purple Week 1

I spent a little time going through my 2.5" square bins and strip bins and came up with a nice grouping of purple squares. I quickly stitched up these purple 9 patches this morning. Purple is such a rich and beautiful colour!

I added these four 9 patches to the eight that I made for RSC 2012 and I think I have a great group of blocks. They look like lots of fun to me - they remind me of purple bubblegum from my childhood. Drop by soscrappy's blog to see what other fun things were made with purple scraps this week.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Dear Jane - Sweet Tater Pie (B-2)

This was such a simple block and it wasn't too hard to put together except for the mistakes I made! When I laid out the freezer paper patterns onto the fabric I didn't pay attention to the actual fabric placement in the block and I placed it incorrectly.  I really must make sure that I look at the picture of the finished block in the book as I am laying out the pieces. At least I was consistent and placed all the 'like' pieces together on the print fabric and solid fabric respectively. I also forgot to take pictures of my process for making this block. I guess I was just in a hurry to see how it would look...and I do like it!