Thursday, February 27, 2014

A New Quilt

A couple months ago, I was cleaning out my desk drawer and I found this note that I wrote to myself quite some time ago about a quilt that I really liked. At the time, I thought it would be a perfect quilt for a guy and I wanted to remember the pattern and I also wanted to remember the blog where I found it. Well, the slip of paper got stuck back in the drawer and I just rediscovered it and the timing is perfect because I am ready to work on a quilt that doesn't require a lot of decision making. You know.....I just want

first four of blocks
It really does feel good to work on a quilt that I think is a great design and that is quick and easy to work on. I am using 2" x 3.5" rectangles from my scrap bin but I am pretty sure that I will need to cut some more from my 2" and 3.5" strips so that I will have a lot of variety. I am going really scrappy but I am holding off with the brights and 'girly' looking fabrics.

second set of four blocks
I have made two small batches of blocks and I don't know if you can see this but there is something wrong with the second batch.

positions reversed
Here is a closer look at two blocks - one from each batch. The block on the left has the light and dark in the correct position. I guess it just goes to show that there really is no auto-pilot when it comes to quilting. You do need to have your brain engaged even when working on simple block designs!

This photo was taken through my second floor sewing room window this morning. It started out as a clear but very cold day and then all of a sudden we started having snow squalls and there are white-out warnings as well. The snow just in front of the window is the top of my garage - we have so much snow!!! I am so ready for spring.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Winding Ways in Pink and Brown

I was feeling like I needed a bit of a change so I pulled out my bin that contains all of the parts that I have cut for the pink and brown Winding Ways quilt that I am making for my niece Kim. I made up a few more blocks but I really expected to get more done than I did. It has been so long since I have made any new blocks that I have forgotten how long it takes me to make just one.

I did spend quite a bit of time pinning, pinning and more pinning so that I would just be able to get to sewing but even with that preparation I didn't get too many completely finished.

I do have several more sections almost complete - enough for five more blocks. They just need the center section added to finish them up but I have had enough fiddly sewing and will just work on them a bit at a time as the mood strikes.

I haven't counted the finished blocks recently but I think with these latest six done I should now have at least 31 blocks completed....still a very long way to go before I have enough for a quilt.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Round Robin

I was in Toronto a few days ago and I picked up this block from my sister Cheryl. This is her center block for the round robin quilt that we are making with/for each other. Does it look a little familiar? Let me show you mine again....

I delivered mine to her a couple weeks ago and even though she didn't have hers ready at the time she did show me the block design and fabrics that she was going to start with. I just burst out laughing because we had chosen virtually the same block. What was even funnier was that she had also chosen the same fabrics that I did but she had changed her mind at the last minute. We just couldn't stop laughing about it because it was just so freaky. I have the problem of trying to work with the colours she has chosen. I don't have a problem with the browns or neutrals but that blue/gray is going to be a challenge. It really does not want to play too well with either blue or gray. We do have lots of the same fabrics in our stashes because very often when I buy something I give her a piece and vice-versa but I want to try to avoid using the exact same fabrics that she used. I have a month to get it all figured out and finished before I have to deliver it to her.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Engineer's Quilt

I finally got brave enough to load my husband's quilt on the frame yesterday. It did take courage because once I had it loaded it meant that I was committed to quilting it. Once loaded, it just sat on the frame waiting patiently because I needed to bolster up some more courage to actually start quilting it. I planned to try and learn how to use a ruler on this quilt and it was really intimidating me.

I have never done ruler work and this quilt proves it! At this point, I am trying to do stitch in the ditch but really it is stitch and miss the ditch  most of the time. ;-) It is taking me quite a bit of time to get used to following along the ruler and I have many jerky veers off the straight line and not only that, my straight lines are very frequently not in the ditch either.

I have had a few very startling moments because I must have hit the ruler at least four times - that will certainly get your heart pounding and jolt you back to reality!!

I am going to work on it some more this morning and I am actually looking forward to it even though I am still a bit intimidated by it. I know that I can only get better each time I try. I guess that is the best thing about starting at the bottom - you can only go up.

Monday, February 3, 2014

February Block Lotto

I have already made my Block Lotto blocks for February and I think this bead block pattern is just so cute! They weren't too difficult to make although I was quite intimidated by them when I first looked at them. The machine applique scared the * out of me but they really are just quilt blocks so I went for it. I don't think I did too bad of a job either considering this was only my second attempt at machine applique.

The instructions provided by Sophie of Block Lotto were very clear and my blocks turned out the correct size.

I used a compass to help me make my circle template. There is a circle template included in the instructions that you can cut out and glue to your template material but I felt it would be easier for me to just draw my circle on a scrap of file folder.

I used glue to hold my fabric circles onto the backing fabric and that allowed me to remove the pins and it all stayed in place for me as I was sewing it to the background. After the blocks were cut in half, it was a bit of a challenge to align the two semi circles together to complete each block but it was easy to overcome.

I think these bead blocks would work beautifully with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge and I think I will make some each month.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Hand Quilting

I had hoped to get my Seven Sisters quilt completely marked with the all-over Baptist Fan design over the past week but I just didn't get it done. I did get just over half of the quilt marked though and I think that is certainly enough for me to be able to start some of the hand quilting. It is always so exciting to take the first of many stitches that need to go in a quilt.

I woke up at 5 am this morning and after laying in bed and gathering my thoughts for 30 minutes I climbed out of bed, made my cup of tea and started working on my quilt. I have big dreams of finishing the quilting within a certain time frame and I hope I can make it happen. Not that I am trying to rush anything but I do have a few more Seven Sisters quilts that need to be done! This morning I did get 4 full fans quilted and each fan has 5 arcs. I won't do anymore until later tonight or tomorrow so I can rest my under finger. I haven't hand quilted for a while so I need to build up my callouses and I don't want to overdo today and then be too sore to do any at all.

I am being quite brave with my thread selection and have chosen blue this time and I can't wait to see how it turns out. I am not a 'show' quilter and my stitches are irregular and crooked and I honestly don't stress about it. I want my hand quilting projects to be all about the joy of quilting.

I am linking up with Kathy's Quilts - Slow Sunday Stitching.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Scrap Happy Saturday

Last night I had intended on making some blocks from my pink scraps for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge but I got home a bit later in the evening and I just didn't have it in me to do any sewing. So I spent some time in my sewing room this morning making a few things for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

From my pink scraps, I managed to make two bird blocks and some pink and cream hsts.

I had already made the remaining two blue sampler blocks a couple days ago and I took a photo of all of the blocks together. I think they all look pretty good together.

Even though I have been using scraps for the sampler blocks not all of the pieces get used up and there are bits and pieces left over. I have a ton of small scraps that need to be used so I also made some blue crumb blocks that will finish at 3". These crumb pieces just seem to multiply when I am not looking and they just keep accumulating. I know that once they get turned into usable pieces I will eventually use them so making crumb blocks will be part of my goal for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

I am linking up at soscrappy's - pop on over to see lots of wonderful inspiration for using up your scraps.