Saturday, March 29, 2014

Sew n' Social

This morning I took part in the Sew n' Social function hosted by the Region of York Quilters Guild. The idea was to make 18 baby quilts that would be donated to the Rose of Sharon which is an organization that helps young mother's and their children. The quilt kits were already made up and provided to us by the Outreach volunteers. All we had to do was bring our sewing machines and our enthusiasm!

I arrived a wee bit late and I did take part in a lot of the social part of the function so I didn't get as much done as I had hoped but I had such a good time...I met more people and that was really good! I even managed to get most of a baby quilt top pieced together and I just finished it up when I got home. These really are baby sized and will finish at around 36" square.

flimsy pieced by another Guild member
I also brought home one flimsy that another member pieced together and I will quilt it and sew the binding on it. I will make a point of getting them finished in time to bring to the next Guild meeting.

Friday, March 28, 2014

March Block Lotto

This month's block is will finish at a whopping 14". This is really outside my comfort zone because I usually make my blocks  a lot smaller. When I am working on a quilt I prefer my blocks to finish less than 9" although I have made some 12" but they were very large to me. It is not a bad thing to live a little and get outside of that comfort zone!

The guidelines this month are the background fabric had to be green and the light fabric could not be white. We are allowed to enter up to 4 blocks this month. I am itching for Spring so I did both of my blocks with a purple contrasting fabric. The green in the second block looks a little yellow in the photo but it really is a very pretty green. As you can see the second block has much higher contrast than the first. As usual, the instructions were perfect and very easy to follow.

Pop on over to Block Lotto to check out the details. It is very easy to join and participation each month is not mandatory.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Round Robin

I am very happy....I finally got my latest round finished on my Round Robin quilt. It looks so good in person but when I take a photo it really does not do it justice. I think it has an old world charm to it...really quite wonderful!
close up of the latest border
For my round, I added narrow strips of a solid neutral and a dark green and lastly the zigzag. I wasn't sure how I was going to finish the corners and I thought I would try to continue the zigzag somehow but I couldn't make it work out. I got the final corners figured out on the second attempt. On my first try they were off a 1/4" on the alignment of the zigzag. I think it was because I had made the corner blocks exactly 6.5" and when I stitched them together they didn't align at all. I recut the blocks and made them over-sized and I aligned the zigzags as I sewed them and then trimmed to size. I am pretty happy with the way they turned out. My square is getting big - it is 40" now.

When I went to Toronto the other day I picked up my sister's block and I just love it. She did a great job on the border. It is very simple but effective! Her square is smaller than mine - just 33". Now I have to figure out what I am going to do with it. So many much angst...and a ton of fun.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Done...Done...and Not Done

I finished hand stitching the binding on the latest two cuddle quilts that I made for the Guild at around 7:30 last night but it was already too dim to take any photos. I really like the way they both turned out but I especially like the yellow backing on this one and I love the striped binding.

So cute....I am sure the recipient will really like it too. I am glad I got them done and I will deliver them to the Guild meeting tonight. I really do enjoy making quilts for charity and I love that the recipients receive something that will hopefully warm their hearts as well as their bodies.

I didn't achieve my goal of finishing the round robin quilt that I posted about the other day but I was able to get the fabric washed that I snagged from my sister's stash and I did get some of the piecing done. Unfortunately I didn't get it all done in time for my husband to deliver to my sister yesterday but that's not really a problem because I will probably be going to Toronto again next week and I can deliver it then. I did make good progress and I don't think it will take too much more time to finish up.

I am planning on spending a good part of my day in my sewing room today. Hopefully, I will get as much accomplished as I have planned but you know how that goes. There are just way too many distractions and detours to be taken!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Round Robin - In Progress

I have done a ton of work on this block but I know it doesn't look like it! I thought I figured out how I wanted to make my border for my round and I made some test blocks but I didn't care for them. I had used the same zigzag design but used a solid beige instead of the patterned neutral fabric and it just didn't look quite right to me. So that idea went by the wayside and I got another idea. I got the border for the second idea probably about 85% complete and then decided it was not working out....grrrrr!!! The upside is that I just may be able to use it in a later round - hopefully.

I went back to my original idea and started making the zigzag blocks with the patterned neutral and I do like how it looks but I have just about run out of the dark green fabric that I am using.

I am going to visit my sister today to do some shopping and we also planned on swapping our blocks. I will pick up her block but she definitely won't be getting mine. Instead, I will shop her stash because I am pretty sure that she has enough of the dark green fabric in her stash that she can share some with me. I am confident that I will be able to move forward with my design and all will be well.

My husband will be going to Toronto tomorrow so if I can get right at it when I get home tonight I will be able to have my round finished and he can deliver it to my sister tomorrow. I still need to finish making the bottom section and then the corners (I do hope my corner blocks work out - fingers crossed).

Friday, March 21, 2014

Cuddle Quilts

For the past few weeks I have been feeling a bit out of sorts and really haven't been doing much sewing at all. I finally started feeling better a couple days ago and realized that I needed to get myself together and make these cuddle quilts for the guild.

If I remember correctly, I picked up these kits way back in October or November and I had planned to have them finished and delivered for the January guild meeting. Well I didn't attend that meeting because it was going to be the annual Merchant Night and I would have been too tempted to buy a lot of fabric that is not in my budget at this time :(  ......and then I totally missed the February meeting.

These little kits really are quite quick and easy to sew together. All of the materials are provided including the batting, backing and binding. I quilted these yesterday and I trimmed the edges this morning. Today I plan to sew the binding to the front and over the next couple days I will hand stitch it to the back. I need to have them finished for Wednesday and I know I can get them done.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Round Robin

I was in Toronto today and I stopped by to visit with my Mom for a few minutes and met up with my sister Cheryl as well. We were both finished working on the round robin quilt tops so we did the swap today. This is what my quilt top looks like now - I am so excited! I think she did a great job on her border and now I have to figure out what I am going to do next. I do have a few ideas and hopefully one of them will work for me.

This is her quilt top after I had my turn with it. I added the two narrow borders in a neutral and dark brown around the center block and then added the pinwheel border. When I first got the center block I felt like it was going to be a real challenge to work with the gray/blue fabric but once I started digging through my stash I realized that I had quite a bit of the same colour in multiple fabrics. How did that happen??

I found one fabric that had a similar blue with a small brown print and then I found a brown floral type fabric that also had a similar blue and a bit of red. I knew I wanted to add red to her block so that worked out perfectly. Next I dug through my parts bins and I found quite a few of the red half square triangles and they were perfect too!

I hope she likes what I have done to her block as much as I like what she has done to mine!

I am looking forward to seeing what we both come up with for this next round. This round robin thing is a lot of fun!!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Scrappy Love

I just finished putting all of the blocks together for this quilt and I just love it. It is just so scrappy and fun! Even though I used darker coloured fabrics I think this design would work wonderfully with feminine fabrics as well. For this quilt I decided to stay away from really bright or really feminine fabrics because it will be going to one of my nephews.

At this point, the top is approx 72" x 84" but I do still plan to add a border. I haven't decided how wide I will make the border but it will definitely be scrappy too.

I have already pulled a stack of 2" strips in various colours that I plan to use for the border and I will get to work on that tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Chaining Away

Over the past couple days I have been stitching away chain piecing all of the rectangles into segments to make the blocks for my latest quilt. I need a total of 168 blocks for the quilt and I already have 30 blocks completed. I am now on the home stretch to finish the rest of them. I just need to finish sewing the two final strips to each block and I don't think that will take too much time as long as I sew them in the correct orientation. ;)

In my photo I don't think it looks like there are enough pieces made to make a whole quilt but there are enough parts to make a quilt 72" x 84" without borders.

I have used up a ton of rectangles from my scrap bin but I also cut a whole ton more from my strip bins, just to make sure I had some variety, so now my rectangle bin is overflowing again...hee...hee. So far, these blocks have used 1344 scrappy rectangles - now that is what I call stash-busting!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Mercer County Star

Mercer County Star
This is the second block that has been released for the Threads of Memory Block of the Month hosted by Barbara Brackman at her blog Civil War Quilts.

For this block I was able to select most of my fabric from the grab bags that I purchased here. The fabric I chose to use for the corner blocks came from my stash although I did originally have a different fabric chosen from the grab bags but in the end I liked this option best.

I really want to order more of these grab bags because they contain such a wonderful variety of 1800s type fabrics. They are perfect for me because they really do enhance the fabric that I have in my stash. I will have to wait to save up some funds for them first because the shipping cost is quite high and I won't order until I have enough $$ to buy many bags so that I can really fill up a big box of goodies!

These blocks are wonderful and I am really enjoying making them and there is an added bonus in that it is so interesting to read the blog postings that go along with them. At just one block a month it is really quite easy to keep up with.
Portsmouth Star and Mercer County Star

I took a photo of the first two blocks together - they are lookin' good!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Design Wall

I have been continuing my work on the new quilt that I have just started and it is just so much fun to work on. It only uses rectangles - light and dark - in the design and it is simply simple! I just love how quickly it is coming together and I love the way it looks on my design wall. It has such an old-fashioned, warm and homey look to it that I find so comforting.

Today, before I start making any more blocks I am going to dig through my 2" and 3.5" strip bins and pull out all sorts of dark and light strips and cut them down to 2" x 3.5" rectangles so that I can add more variety to the top. My rectangles bin is still very, very full but it is a lot of the same old, same old!