Monday, February 28, 2011

Design Wall

I'm making a quick stack n whack quilt for a charity quilt for the guild.The fabric is big flowers and the sashing I'm going to use if below. The triangles are only 4" because the repeat was only 12", but I think it will work.

I finished the UFO challenge quilt completely. It's even washed and ready to go. I might be keeping it, I just can't decide.

To see more design walls, check Judy's blog.

The fabric below is going to be in strips between and on either side of the stack n whack blocks.  I forgot to add that when I was writing the post at 5 am this morning. The pattern I am using is the same as this one.  The purple will be next to the strips of blocks, then the blue will be a long strip where there is white now.
This is the fabric I'm going to use between the rows of blocks.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Revelation

OK, I'll just start by admitting that I like home made chocolate chip cookies, light on the chips and heavy on the walnuts. I read some cooking blogs, and I remember reading about cookies made with browned butter. I was sitting here sewing, and my mind wanders into many and varied places, today it went to chocolate chip cookies. I made one big cookie last week for Sunday school class, so that didn't sound so exciting, but then I started thinking about those browned butter cookies. I'm pretty easily distracted, and the computer is right there next to the sewing machine, so I often stop to look something up that's flitted through my brain. Well, I started looking for the recipe that I read about that had gotten into my brain. Couldn't find it, but found many others. Most called for using dark brown sugar and I don't have any.

I kept looking, and came across a chocolate chip recipe that used browned butter. I decided that's what I wanted, but then I got to thinking that I have a good recipe already, why not just substitute the butter with browned butter.

So I did.

Oh my...I can't really say why they are so delicious. why that little change in the flavor of the butter makes such a difference, but it did. They are quite good, and interestingly enough, the texture is slightly softer, chewier and good.

If you have the need to try something a bit different  with your standby cookie recipe, try browning the butter. I did it in the microwave and it worked just fine. I didn't have to stand at the stove for 20 minutes (which is what one recipe said to do). Just be sure to use a large bowl (about 4 cups if you are going to brown a cup of butter) because as the water evaporates it foams up, a lot.

I'll be taking these to work, so that all the calories don't end up in me...I often share the calories!

Happy Sunday.

Cozy Modern QOV

I've got twelve of the blocks done, I only have 30 more to go, so 5 more rows. I like it, but it's a bit of a pain to put together. I feel the need to choose fabrics that are different in each block. I'm just not a scrap quilt person.

Friday, February 25, 2011

#10 UFO Completely Done

It is totally, completely done. I was going to call it done when I had the top finished, so I am pretty impressed with myself. I didn't think I would be able to do it. It is quilted and bound and everything. I used a black fleece for the back and binding. It's pretty heavy, or course with all that thread it would be. Finished size is about 46 x 57, so not really a great cuddle quilt, but a good kid quilt. I think I'm going to give it to our guild's charity group.

I can add it to my finished projects tab, and mark it as done on my UFO list.

This was the one UFO I had the most to do on, so whichever one is chosen next should be a piece o' cake.

Using Things Up, Passing them On

 Here is the quilting on Totallly Tubular. I need to trim the back and bind it and I'm 100% done.
 Do you see the groove on that bolt. That's from my rotary cutter, I guess I've used it some. I don't think there is a way to get just the bolt replaced, and it rolls really weird now, so I'm giving it the heave-ho (well, it's going into recycling anyway)
 And last, I have packed up three boxes for IBOL and sent them off. It's not pretty fabric, but I think it's going to be useful for someone. I included sewing needles, pins, thread and some scissors, so someone will be able to use the fabric for something....I hope. Helping make peace, one box at a time.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Banner Quilting

 This isn't a very good picture, but it does give an idea of the quilting. Gari suggested that lines radiating from behind the shield might work. I went with that. I'm looking at it hanging and not liking the wrinkling I see. I don't know if I want to add more quilting to stabilize it more.

I need to walk away for a while and see what I think in the daylight.

Design Wall Monday

 I've had a productive week. Thanks Judy, for suggesting the UFO challenge. It seems when I work on getting "the assignment" done, I get a lot of other stuff done, too. First, I finished the UFO top for this month. Right now it is on my table being pinned because I am getting this one done, done, done. I was a bit exuberant when I finished it, you can see that post here.

Then I also finished another UFO, not one from the 12 for the year, but another one that I didn't even know was a UFO. It is for my niece who is pregnant, a baby quilt. I got the fleece on Saturday and finished quilting it yesterday. I did it simply, but it is done. It is in the box ready to send today. The shower is in California on Saturday, so I'm sending it to my sister so she can bring it because I'm not exactly sure where the shower is. My sister is so good to me.

And I cut out all the pieced for another QOV. This one is going to be a while. I'm going to get it done between other work. I've finished 5 blocks out of 42, so it will be a while. You can see the rectangles don't look exactly rectangular, they've got the pointy thing going on in the corners, but I think it will be fine.

And today, I quilt the church banner. That's my only job for today. I've been avoiding it because I really don't know what to do, but I'm going to figure it out today and get it done. I have to quilt it, add the tabs to the top and line it. I don't know if I'll get all of that done, but I'm going to give it my best shot.

To get inspired and see what else people have on their design walls, check out Judy's blog.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Another one Done

I find it every interesting that working on getting a UFO finished really motivates me to sew a lot more. Even when I don't like the one I'm working on. I hope this one gets to the party on time. I'll send it out tomorrow. I thought I'd already had it quilted...oops, so got it done today.I finished the top sometime last year. I can't find the post now, but it was in the middle of the year. I like the way these types of labels look. Easy to make and personal.

A Couple of Questions

I'm sitting here sewing the binding down, and my mind wanders. I think about all kinds of things, and sometimes I stop and look them up (I used to read dictionaries and I have the internet). A couple of things that were wandering around. 

Since I took a class back in 2003 or 2004 I have been pressing all of my seams open in all of my quilts. I remember I started then because I had lots of seams coming together in one spot and it would have been a big lump if I pressed to one side. I am a bit of a geek, so I did some looking online to see what other quilters thought about the open versus to one side pressing. One remark that sticks with me is that clothing seams certainly have much more stress than a quilting seams (in most cases) and they are pressed open, so obviously the stitching we are doing currently is plenty strong for pressed open seams, and then on more item about why we pressed to one side. When all quilts were hand stitched together, some of the stitches were larger and farther apart than we get with machine sewing. If those were pressed open, then you might see the batting through the seam line after a time.

It makes logical sense to me that pressing one way or another can't make the stitch stronger. The thread is the thread and the stitch is the stitch no matter which way the fabric goes...does that make sense to all of you, or am I a bit biased because I like the look of open-pressed seams and want to justify them?

Second question: hand or machine stitched binding? I stitch all of my binding on by machine. It is much quicker (and that means it will get done) and it is much stronger and longer lasting (at least than my hand stitching) for quilts that I expect will be thrown in the wash machine and dryer. I know if I ever wanted to enter a quilt in a show I would have to hand stitch the binding down, but I really don't make quilts to be put in a show. I get all the affirmation I need when I give a quilt away and get thanked. I make quilts for being used. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with putting quilts in shows, just not for me.

Second questions: do you hand stitch all your binding down? Why. If you machine stitch do you feel like you're doing a less than excellent job finishing?

Sometimes when I am sewing on the binding I feel like I'm just slapping it on, but I like the way it looks. I don't try to make it look like it is hand never comes out well when I do try. I celebrate the stitches I put in the binding...I make them obvious...I SHOUT them!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Tah and Dah! UFO #10

Do you see that? Do you see that top over there? Do you know how many pieces that top has in it? Neither do I, but it's a LOT.

The best thing about it, the VERY best thing about it? IT IS DONE.

I can't say that I like it, but it is finished. You know tha saying, finished is better than perfect? In this case, finished is better than anything. I am going to put some sort of border around the top, probably a black border and then I can really call it done.

Do you see how many capital letters I have in this post? That is because there is no other way to show how delighted I am that I won't have to do any more work on this. There are so many freaking intersections that the only way I could possible quilt it across somehow. I'll figure it out so it can be out of my house.

It's 46 x 57, so two-thousand six-hundred and twenty-two inches of DONE.    YIPPEE!

Friday, February 18, 2011


 Here are the first three blocks of 42 for the next quilt of valor. I think I'm going to like it. It is sort of scappy but sort of planned. It comes from the book Cozy Modern Quilts by Kim Schaefer. Nice.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Get 'er done!

 This is one half of what I have done. It's a tube, so I can't show the whole thing at one time. I've got two more up-down sections and then I have to cut the tube open. I don't hate it as much as I did when I put it away, and it's not as difficult as I imagined it would be. I've given up on pinning each intersection...who can see if they meet or not anyway.

I decided to take the photo of the tube and make a mock-up of what the finished top might look like.

If nothing interesting (isn't that what we say about something that we don't want to insult?) It doesn't particularly wow me, but it will be DONE...and I won't have to think about it again. I don't know if I'll use this method again, but who knows, I could have a crazy moment sometime in the future.

 Oh, and see the pink and four-patch purple that were transposed in the lower right part of this quilt. I didn't notice, but one of my readers did and was kind enough to point it's corrected.

Thanks anonymous!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Design Wall-Working on the UFO

 Here is the first bit of the UFO for the month. I actually have 4 strips sewn together. It is a lot of work, but I'm going to try to get it done.
I also began cutting the other strip sets. I'm not sure if I am cutting them in the same place or not, because I wasn't clever enough to note where the first cut began on the previous set.

It's we'll see if they even go together.

If you want to see what other people have on their design wall, check out Judy's blog.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Teaching a Class

Back in 2010 (June) I did a 15 minute presentation about making Kaleidoscope blocks. A number of guild members said they would like to take a class, and I was willing and it's happening this Saturday. I (with my fellow teacher Jeanie) did a presentation tonight as a kind of introduction. I shared lots of fabric ( I have a ton) and talked about what kind of fabric would work well, and what wouldn't.

Today, I worked with Jeanie and we taught the class. We had 12 students and it was so fun to see and hear their excitement about the wonderfulness of stacking then cutting fabric and the magic that happens.We taught 3 different patterns, isn't that fun. I forgot to get pictures of the original fabrics but you can see how pretty these came out.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Design Wall

 Just finished quilting this quilt. I finished the top back in July. It's  a simple fleece backing and then sewing a quarter inch away from the blocks, nothing fancy. This is going to our charity at the guild this month.

If you want to see what other folks have on their design walls, check out Judy's blog.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Pinning Away

 Because it's a cold day (not snow day, just really cold) I have time to quilt today. I took out my UFO #10 and it's going to be slow to finish (I think). I'm pretty sure I understand the directions now, and I've got the first set of strips pinned together ready to be sewed (sewn?).  Once I have this seam done, I'll press and see if I really do understand what I'm doing.

I know this doesn't look much different than the last picture, but all the seams are now sewn, it's officially a completed top. I hope that doesn't mean it is now another UFO! The longer dark borders aren't supposed to have a seam, but I only had a yard of fabric when I started this, so didn't have a long enough piece to make one long border. I added the extra seam, and I think it looks OK.

When I get bored with the UFO I'll see about pinning this and getting ready to quilt.

How funny, until I just had a comment about the mistake in the quilt on the right side, I didn't see it. I guess I'll be doing some unsewing. Thanks anonymous!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

UFO Challenge for February -- #10

Here is the next UFO I am supposed to work on. Not my favorite, and probably a good idea it is on the list otherwise I'm sure it would languish in the container for  years.

I just found the book and I'm going to have to read through the directions to see if I can even figure out what I have to go to get this one done. I'm going to call this one done if I get the top done, including borders. If I get that far I'll be very happy. Oh, it is supposed to look like this when it's done.


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