Saturday, August 31, 2013

Boy's Britches in Red

Blocks still need to be added and others need to be moved around
I have been making these blocks while I take part in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge and I am ready to call these blocks done and have started sewing them together into a quilt top. Silly me....I forgot to take a picture of just the red blocks before I started to sew the blocks into sets.

I am really excited about how this quilt will look when it is finished because I think it is going to be a fun, fun quilt. I have thought about other colour possibilities that could arise over the next few months but I don't want to make these blocks in neutrals, black or brown. I was debating whether I should add another set of seven blocks using fabric that doesn't quite fit into a specific colour category. You know those fabrics - they are multi-coloured and that can make it hard to decide just what colour to call them. They would look great in this quilt but to keep to the pattern of just using each fabric once in my blocks, I would need 28 different fun fabrics and I don't know if I have quite that many. I did go as far as pulling those types of fabrics from my 3.5" strip bins and from the pieces I have that are smaller than a fat quarter but I have changed my mind and put them all back.

This is the last week for red and I am looking forward to working with a new colour for September. Hop on over to soscrappy's blog to check out other RSC links.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Midget Block #82 - Old Mississippi

Oh my...I love this block! I can see such potential for a quilt made with this same block but in a larger scale. One day I will have to get back to it and play with it a bit. I did spend a couple minutes trying to find it in EQ7 but I couldn't find a block like it. I will definitely be doing something with it sooner rather than later!

With all of this block loving going on, for some reason, I didn't take very many pictures of it while I was making it. I did follow the instructions that were given and I paper-pieced it in four sections. It went together without any difficulty at all.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

New Quilt Beginnings

Test block - not perfectly square but I do like the way it looks!
My Mom is getting older and things are becoming challenging for her so I try to go to Toronto once a week or so to take her grocery shopping and run errands and such. When I visited last week I also took a 'whole lotta' fabric with me so that I could cut it using my sister Cheryl's GO Studio cutter.
This is what a bucket of fun looks like!
I have a new quilt in the works but I needed to make a sample block before I committed to cutting all of the fabric. By the time I did that I had run out of time and I had to leave my fabric behind. I had intended on cutting it all on my next visit but my sweet sister Cheryl cut it all for me. Lucky me...huh!!

I will cut these 1.5" strips into triangles and squares.
I have been waiting very, very impatiently to get my hands on that fabric so that I can start working on the blocks. Today was the day I went visiting again and I really couldn't wait to get home so that I could get started. I plan on making a few more sample blocks - some like the one I already made - and some with the flower print and yellow/green squares reversed.

I need to see how the blocks look together before I decide how I want to proceed with this quilt. I am making this quilt for my sister Kathlene and I think she is going to just love it!!!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Boy's Britches Blocks

I had a wonderful day in my sewing room today and one of the things that I worked on were these adorable blocks. I love how they look in teal! I have been making these blocks each month for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge hosted by Angela of soscrappy. Teal (or all shades that are not quite blue or green) was the colour for last month and I have only just got around to making my blocks but I definitely think they were worth waiting for.

The colour for the month of August is red and I have made a start on getting these blocks made using a variety of red scrappy pieces from my 3.5" strip bins. These blocks do take me a long time to make because they are so fussy. I use a template to cut the pieces and the wonky seams do try my patience but I think I will carry on with them tonight until I have them all done.

I am not sure what colours the next few months will bring to the Rainbow Scrap Challenge but I think I am going to call these done once I finish up with the red ones. I am really looking forward to sewing all of the blocks together into a quilt top and then facing the challenge of figuring out what the heck I am going to do about the borders. Not too sure whether I will just go with plain borders or something with a little more oomph. I think that once the top is together that it will help me make my decision.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Midget Block #79 - Diamond Cross

I really enjoyed making this block. I stayed close to the suggested colour scheme and I am pleased with the way it turned out.
That's better!
Alignment oopsie!

I did have a wee bit of unsewing to take care of because I was not careful when I sewed the two center half blocks together and I did not align the sashing at all. I just needed to rip out one small line of sewing and then stitch it back together with a bit more care.

This block used regular piecing for the inner sections and then paper-piecing for the outer edges. I don't know if you can see it in the picture, but, somehow I managed to make one white section too short and a blue cornerstone too long.

I didn't notice it until I tried to attach it to the block and it wouldn't fit??/!! How I did that I have no idea! It also was a very easy fix and once I took care of that the outer sections really did fit together perfectly.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

'Shoot for the Stars'

On Tuesday, I finished the quilt that I was making for my nephew Norman. While I was making it I was calling it the Stars and Nines quilt but now it has it's official name - Shoot for the Stars. I had been working on the binding on and off over the past several days in fits and spurts and all of those bits of time did add up to a finished binding and ultimately a finished quilt.

This quilt was made with scraps of red fabric that I took from my crumb and string bins. I turned those bits and pieces into 3.5" squares and they became part of the larger nine patches. I save even the smallest pieces of scraps and I am very happy when I am able to use them up in a quilt. I love the little nine patch border and corner stars that I added - I think they add a lot of interest to this quilt. Shoot for the Stars finished at approx 75" x 88" and I quilted it with a shooting star pantograph and used a neutral thread.

My nephew has a wonderful future ahead of him and I hope he does shoot for the stars!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Midget Block #78 - Stepping Stones

I am happy with the way this block turned out even though it took me quite a while to get it made. For some reason I just could not seem to understand the instructions. Whenever I read them it always ended up as blah, blah, blah in my head. I just could not get it! I laid out the pieces on my work table and I still could not correlate the pieces I had with the instructions that were given.  I do have to admit, just between you and I, that every so often my brain does go into lock down and nothing goes in or out!

One thing I did notice is that some of the sizes given were incorrect (or at least they didn't work for me) and I did not notice it when I was cutting the pieces for the block. I did eventually clue in but even that didn't help me to figure out what I was supposed to do.

In the end, I needed to trim my little corner blocks once I constructed them and I also discarded the pieces that I had originally cut for the teal rectangular blocks. I was able to complete the block by doing my own thing for those four small sections. It worked better for me to just cut rectangles out of the teal fabric and then do stitch and flip for each corner. It did finish up pretty sweet though!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Quilting Fun

On Thursday I went to Toronto to take my Mom grocery shopping and to pick up my brother Aron, my sister Cheryl and her son Mark. My brother and nephew were coming to my place to help my husband put the insulation in the second half of the basement and to install the vapour barrier, but my sister Cheryl was coming here for fun!!
My sister Cheryl designed and made this quilt for her son Mark
Cheryl brought two quilt tops with her that she wanted quilted. The first one we did is going to her son Mark and it is just gorgeous. Cheryl designed the quilt herself basically just as she was sewing the blocks together and making each decision as she went. I think it turned out just gorgeous.
Quilt front and backing fabric - made by Cheryl for her son Mark.
I quilted it using a star burst pantograph and I am getting better and quicker at it too! This quilt was a big one - I can't remember exactly - but something like 80" x 90".

Baby quilt designed and made by Cheryl.
The second quilt is another one she designed herself for the unborn grandchild of one of her friends. It is just so cute...cute...cute!! I free-motion quilted this one with loopy loops and I love how it turned out. It was approx a 46" x 46" square and it literally took no more than an hour or so and it was done. I was kind of sorry it finished so quickly!

I love the new thread that I am using for the long arm. I did have a couple thread breaks on the larger quilt but I honestly think it was from operator error and not the actual thread. It is making it so much easier to work on the quilts now that I have changed to this brand of thread.

While Cheryl was here she needed to go to Fabricland to pick up some pink hand sewing thread. While we were there I did some damage. I really should not be buying any fabric but in my defense how can I resist when it is only $3-$4 per meter!

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Red

I can't believe that this is the second Saturday in August already. I didn't have anything to post for the RSC last week but I have made up for that this week.

I made four more red nine patch blocks and my collection is now complete. I need to start thinking about how I am going to set them and turn them into a finished quilt.

I also made some little basket blocks in red and in teal. I had started the teal blocks last month but just didn't get them done until this week. I have added these new blocks to my growing collection which honestly doesn't look like much. I have been making these blocks in every colour for the RSC but since they only finish at 4", they just don't appear to add up to anything at all.

I took a photo of all of my basket blocks in the little basket that I store them in and then I took them out to get a tally - there are 121 in total. I am surprised I have made so many - I guess they really do add up. It is probably time that I think about how I am going to put them to use as well!

I am linking up with other participants in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. You can check out all of the links at soscrappy's blog.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Dear Jane - Tinker Toy (B-9)

At first glance, this block looks to be very simple and straightforward but I found out that isn't quite the case. I chose a dark purple fabric with an all-over pattern for my Tinker Toy block and away I went.

I normally mark my cutting and sewing lines with a mechanical pencil and regular lead but this time it didn't show up on the dark purple. I looked through my pencil holder and a found a mechanical pencil that had yellow lead. It had belonged to my husband's sister and after she passed it was included in the stuff I received from her - thanks Wanda!

When I got to this point a sudden realization came over me...yikes...what do I do next. I seemed to have found myself in the middle of a bunch of inset seams. Lucky for me I was hand piecing so that made the solution quite a bit simpler than it would have been if I had been machine sewing.

I am happy with the way my block finished up but if I was to choose my fabric again I would definitely choose a directional fabric instead. The unique piecing design of this block is lost in my block because of the all-over pattern of the fabric. You can still see the way the block is pieced if you take a close-up look though.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Lazy Days of Summer

Over the past week or so I have taken some time to enjoy summer but lately I am feeling the overwhelming urge to get back to quilting. I have been doing bits of hand quilting here and there but mostly I have just been hanging out and relaxing.

This morning I pulled out the quilt that I am making for my nephew Norman. I trimmed it and made the label and I also attached the binding by machine to the front. All that is left to do is to hand sew the binding to the back and to tuck in the quilting thread tails and I will start that process later today while I watch a movie. I am looking forward to finishing this quilt and delivering it to my nephew.

Something else I have on my mind today, and that I am anxious to get working on, are the Priscilla Star blocks that I started a little while ago. After spending some time mulling it over, I have made a decision on the way I want my quilt to look. I was originally going to use all scrappy neutrals as the background with strings for the points but I have reconsidered that idea and have decided to use one fabric only as the background. I have washed and ironed this really cute mini floral fabric to do a test for the background of the string stars. I do like the fabric but I am not sure if it is the right one. It is a bit busy looking - I have a vision of a background print that is a little more subtle - but maybe this could still work?? I really do want the star points to be the star and not get lost in the background fabric.