Monday, October 22, 2012

Design Wall Monday-October 22, 2012

Yay, this is finished except for the binding. I finally decided what it would be and will put it on today after work. The baby will be born tomorrow, so I'll wait for the name, quilt it into one of the blocks and send it off.

Here is the next baby quilt. I won't finish it quite yet...I have  a wedding present to finish first, so it's ready to go with me to California and be delivered at Christmas time. I have to admit I think I like this one better. It is going to have white for the sashing and the rest of the background. I am going to move the first three and last three letters so that there only need to be the two blocks in the corners. I like the shapes of many of the letters in this one better than the first. These are not sewn together yet, so I'm going to change the Y. It's the only letter I don't like on this quilt. I'm going to have the tail drop straight down, like this Y.

I was at IKEA yesterday and found this. It's in the form of a twin duvet, but there is plenty of fabric for the back of the alphabet quilt. Though there are Swedish letters, I can go with it. The gray quilt is backed with green fleece. It is a mottled color that matches the R very well.

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

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Alphabet Blocks Idea

What do you think of the tumbling blocks in the corners? I think they might be fun. I've got all the letters done and I like them. It was fun to go through my scraps and choose colors that I thought would work. I like these letter shapes much better than the previous ones. The only one I'm not too happy with is the Y, I may have to redesign that and make another one. The H is a little spindly, and maybe there should have been holes in the B, and maybe the A.

Putting the letters together was a bit like a puzzle, and I may have at least one or two more quilts in me yet.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Design Wall October 15, 2012

Here is what is on the design wall at the moment. I finished the first alphabet quilt and decided to do at least one more, but with a few modifications to the shapes of the letters. I used graph paper to draw them out, and am being a bit more intentional about the shapes and colors I am using.

Here is the plan with the altered letters. I found some free graph paper online and printed out 8 squares to the inch, because I'm making 8 inch squares, then I just count the squares to know how big to make the pieces. It makes it much easier.

Here is the finished top. I like the way this one came out too, and now I just need to quilt it. I think I'll probably use gray thread for the quilting, though I may end up using matching or complementary colors for quilting the letters. I planned to use a fleece back, but perhaps I'll change that to flannel, much more baby friendly.

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

Sunday, October 14, 2012

And Another One

I had such fun with the last one, I decided to make one more of the three baby quilts with the alphabet. I modified it a bit this time, and am actually going to make it more or less look like this, I started and have already made 10 letters. I want to follow the colors I used on the plan this time, and make them more to plan.

I like the colors so far. I decided to use prints this time, but monochromatic so that they look almost like solids.I also decided to use white as the background, even though it's a baby quilt. I guess the recipient can worry about keeping it clean! I plan to make it machine washable, so that should make it a bit easier.

Alphabet Quilt Top

I like it! Now to quilt it. Don't know what I'm going to do, but I'll figure something out. I want to make another one using prints...and I was thinking white for the background, but that just doesn't make sense for a baby quilt.

It was fun to piece the letters. I didn't really plan, just looked at the shapes and made them up as I went along. I will change a few I think...the O, the P and the R for sure. Maybe A and V.

Fun quilt and didn't take too long, but it did make a mess. Fleece for the backing/batting I believe.

I don't know if I'll get this done it time, but if I do it's off for the new baby on the 23rd.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Design Wall Monday, Oct 8, 2012

Here is the boot pattern, almost done. The border and cord are actually drawn in this picture because I don't have a new picture yet, but that is the what I want it to look like. I'm still sewing down the binding and I decided to use thread to paint the cord, so it's not quite so bold, but it's fun. I don't know if I'm going to do more quilting on the background, or if so, what I will do. It's kind of plain, but I like it

This design is base on a quilt by Tula Pink. I changed some of the letters to look more like the letters and I really like it in solids. I think I'll work on this one this week. Three babies are due in the next six months, one on the 23rd of this month. Maybe I can get one done!

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

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Another Plan

The next plan. I like it. I saw something similar online, but at the moment can't remember where (just Googled "modern alphabet quilt" and came up with this one by Tula Pink, here ) and decided I could do it, but with my own twist. it is. I just bought some gray, and I have solids I have been wanting to play with. I don't remember if the gray is this dark or not, but if so, I still think it looks cool. At the moment, two babies on the way, one a great niece, the other a co-worker, so time to get going.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

What does this....have to do with that?

 What does this....

...have to do with that?

Well, Joe asked that I make some bacon peanut brittle, so I did.

He thinks it's just marvelous, and I think it's OK. I don't really notice the bacon flavor, so I don't think it's a big deal, but if it makes my honey happy, well, there you go.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Paper Piecing Fear and Loathing-Aid

 I have, up until yesterday, always hated paper piecing. I have only experienced frustration and have never been successful. I had looked at books, tried different papers, bought videos, but still no success. I think part of the problem was I never found a pattern that was paper pieced that I wanted to do that I couldn't do with regular piecing. I am confident I would still fear and loathe PP except that I found a pattern I wanted to do that couldn't be done the "regular" way.

So, I decided to give it one more shot. One of the biggest problems I had was wasting fabric. There is no way around that, but when the motivation is there, I am willing to let that go. The result of not wanting to waste fabric was that I had problems covering all of the space on the patterns, and I couldn't get over it. I bought a video a while ago. I understood at the time that Carol Doak was a queen of paper piecing and I saw the video at a local quilt store and bought it. I watched it at the time, but since I wasn't convinced that the method was worth the trouble it really didn't cause a change in my attitude.

Yesterday, because of the pattern I found that I wanted to piece, I watched it again. It was very helpful, except for one aspect. I think this video was made to be a companion to a book, so she gives specific instruction about how to make specific blocks. She doesn't tell how to figure out what size piece of fabric to precut, and that is a big part of my problem. I went online and did a bit of research about how to figure out the size necessary and one blogger said to make the pieces 3/4" larger than measured. Because of my problems about covering the foundation I decided to go with it.

The ruler you see in the lower right of the picture above has lines every 1/8th inch. I used that to lay over the parts of the foundation and made them 3/4" larger. The foundation pattern underneath the ruler is a guide provided to piece correctly and I wrote the measurements I came up with on it. With the Singer block that I made I just listed each part and put the measurements on it, but this was a bit easier. Then I decided to go for it and cut the pieces out for the whole block. I then pinned the pieces to the foundation they will be sewn to.

The block I am making today is this one. I really think it's cute and I'm considering making it for our guild auction in a couple of weeks. It's taken me about 2 1/2 hours so far to prep, let's see how long it takes to make.

So if you have given up on paper piecing, or never tried it because it seems too might want to reconsider!

I'll post a picture when I'm done.

DONE! Again it's after dark and the color isn't great, but isn't it fun?

I'll need to figure out how to embroider the words.


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Design Wall Monday, 1 October 2012

See what I did! This is the first successful paper pieced thing I've ever made...and I like it. I finally bit the bullet and followed some instructions. Make the cut pieces 3/4" larger than needed. Follow Carol Doak's TSP and baste the pieced together first. I don't love paper piecing and I'll never make a whole quilt that's paper pieced, but for the special project I'll be willing.

It's not perfect but I did it. I'm going to make a tote for my Featherweight so I can take it to Austin in February. It's not quite finished. It needs the needle bit and the spool bits near the bobbin (the blue square above the R is thread). I got the pattern here. It's a free download and I like it a lot. The color of the block isn't right in this photo, but it's close. I was looking for a wallhanging to make, when I came across this pattern and decided to give it a whirl.

Since the retreat I've been pretty productive. I got the Peach Melba top pieced...still needs borders. According to the pattern, 8 borders, but I don't think I'm going to make that many :^). I think I'll settle for just 3 or 4. I'm thinking a thin  light border, then a thicker dark and maybe a final one...I don't know what color. It's currently about 60 x 72.
Then I finished this jelly roll top. I had this ready to go for the retreat but my machine was acting up so I didn't get it done. I sewed this Friday in between coughing, sleeping and drinking lots of water.(I have a nasty respiratory thing--a bit more than a cold because I have gunk in my lungs--so I stayed home on Friday.) I need to add some more to it to make it useful, but I did make a jelly roll calculator to figure how many and what width needed for any size top. I did that Monday before the cold hit. I blogged about it here.

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

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Jelly Roll Race Top

It didn't turn out as I planned, but I think it looks OK. The blob of light green on the left side toward the middle is not good.  I think I'm going to add to the length and the width by using a trick one of the local quilt shop owners uses. Probably add the horizontal band right in the middle of the light green, that should help.

Here is an example from another retreat attendee. I really like it. I don't think I'll use the flying geese, but I'll find something that will work.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Peach Melba

The blocks are all together, now I have to decide what I'm going to do about the borders. In typical Judy fashion she has 8 borders, one which is pieced. If I add all the borders it will finish at 92 x 104. Right now it's 60 x 72. I guess I need to decide what I'm going to do with it, then I can decide how many borders it needs to be the right size!

If I decide I want all the borders, I don't think I'm up for the 178 blocks at the moment. I feel lousy...cold or something. It must be a virus, because about 5:00 I started feeling much worse.

On to bed and if I'm feeling better tomorrow, more work on this one.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Peach Melba Layout

I think this is the layout I'm going with. There is only so much moving around I can do. There isn't anything that looks too much like a clump. Now to sew it all together.

Sandie suggested the name. I've never tasted or seen peach Melba, so I did a Google image search and found this photo. There are a lot of similar colors so peach Melba it is. Keep the peach in from Judy's title and add the twist.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Because I'm Me-Jelly Roll Quilt Math

Because I am who I am I figured out how to figure out how many strips and how wide to make the strips for a particular size quilt. This is an excel spreadsheet and if you want to make one  yourself  you could do this as well. The yellow boxes are the numbers you enter. You could set it up just as I have by entering the formulas in the cells I've pointed out. For example: in cell A3 type (without the quotes) "=(A2-0.5)*32". Because you sew and cut 5 times the length of the quilt is always 32 strips. You can vary the length by changing the width of the strip.

To figure out how wide the quilt will be, work backwards. Each time you sew and cut the width doubles, so if I want a quilt for a queen size bed, and I want it to be 80 x 100 I first entered 2 1/2 as the strip width but that only gave me a length of 64 (the finished width of a 2 1/2 inch strip is 2 inches). I then put in 3 inches and got 80 inches for my length.

For the length I decided I wanted 100 inches, when I enter that into the third yellow box, the number doubles to 3200 inches. When I divide that by the length of strips I have (44 inches) I get a result of 72.7 strips. I would make that 73 strips and cut off a bit.

If you want to use the spreadsheet I made to try it out, it's here.

The chart below is just for reference. Have fun.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Design Wall Monday September 24, 2012

I went to a guild retreat this weekend and this is what I made. I actually have more bits done than this, but this is what I have on the design wall right now. It is based on a free pattern from Judy Laquidara. If you are interested it is here.

Her quilt is much softer than this, so I'll have to find a new name...peaches and dreams is her name I'll have to add in some kind of read fruit... strawberries? .... apples? ....berries???

It took quite a bit longer than I expected to get even this much done. There are 30 of the large rectangular portions and 90 of the smaller. Then in the border are 178 more. I'm not ready to work on those yet.

Here is the room we sewed in. There were 47 of us at the retreat and about 40 of us were in this room. The retreat was held at Christ Haven Lodge in Florrisant CO, a very nice facility.

It was fun, I will go again if we have another one (I think we will.)

If you want to see more design walls, check out Judy's blog.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Design Wall-September 17

I am working on a word quilt, my first. I don't know where I'm going from here...I don't know if there'll be more words or not, but I'm pretty pleased with the way this came out. The yellow isn't really that orange, but it is certainly high contrast! I may makes some log cabin blocks to go around, or I may do some low contrast words around this. It was fun. The A and the M were a bit hard to do, but by the time I got to the N I figured out how to do it, so that was good.

I bought "Ordinary Courage" by Brene Brown, that is where this quote comes from.

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

Saturday, September 15, 2012

I'm A Little Weird

 I am going on a quilt retreat next weekend. We are going to do a modified jelly roll race. We will have the long strip of strips sewn together before we begin, and then will make the rest of the top. I bought a jelly roll from Connecting Threads of all solids. They are not all clear colors as I prefer so I was afraid that I would put it together and not like it, so....

I decided to see if I could figure out how it would turn out before I made it. The diagram to the left is my attempt at figuring  it out. I'm sure there is a mathematical way to do it, but this was easy for me.

It made a diagram in Paint with 40 rectangles in two rows. I numbered them, then cut them in half, moved them flipped them two ways and continued to that until I'd done it five times.

This diagram was a bit too messy so I did another one on graph paper that was easier to read . I then used this diagram to place the strips on the design wall to see how I could distribute the colors and make is something I think I would like.

Then of course I had to actually lay out the strips and then label them so I can put them together in the right order.

Here is what I came up with. The white sections are the design wall and the white squares on the strips are the numbers from the above diagram. :^)

 I'm glad I took this photo, because it will be interesting to see if I got this even a little bit right. If I follow the same pattern of cutting the strip in half and sewing it back together it should come out close at least. I think I am going to put squares between each strip. I bought gray, but I think white will probably be better

And then I had to take a picture of my view. It is just beautiful today. The aspens are changing color, the sky is beautifully clear and the air is just a bit crisp...almost Fall.

I haven't been quilting much lately. I don't know why I go through such ups and downs, but I am going to try to quilt a bit each day. We'll see if that works out.

I love it, so I should do it instead of sitting in front of the computer so much!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Progress-and Design Wall

I made one more hexagon, so four full hexagons left, then half and quarter ones. They are supposed to have the middle hexagon appliqued on, but I decided to piece them. I sew the hexagon sides to the center all around, then sew the seams between the sides. Not hard, but a bit fussy.

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

Now the big project that's done...from this... this!

I don't know if the cat is going to enjoy it right away, but I think she will eventually. She is still a little tentative, so it might take her a bit. We don't have it attached to the ceiling beam yet, and I don't know if we'll need to. She only weighs about 10 pounds so it probably won't wobble. It is 8 feet tall and 24 inches in diameter. the circles are 16 inches (pre-cut and available at Lowes). I still have to adjust the top "room". It's a bit too close to the one below so she can't quite get in there, but I only screwed it into the three poles, so it won't be a problem.

I ended up doing most of the work myself. Joe was gone all week at a retreat, so other than covering the poles, I did everything else. I got a couple of nicks and scratches, and my back hurts some, but I feel good about the whole thing.

Yay me!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Back to it

I'm finally back to getting stuff done, working on the cat tree and a new top (not that I need another top, but it's fun...we do need the cat tree though, new cat.)

We got Maggie a bit over a week ago. She is a very sweet cat. We've been without a cat for almost three years and we decided it was time. She is a talker, it is quite funny to me because Buddy almost never made noise. She plays around with the mouse we got, tossing, batting and chasing it and meows the whole time. She also chases her tail, I've never seen a cat do that before. I bought a scratching post, but she hasn't used it. I caught her scratching at the couch and one of the chairs, so a tree it is.  
It's based on this tree, but will have shelters at the top and bottom of the tree. It will also reach to the beams in our living room so if she wants she can walk across the beams. I have no idea if she'll use it, but I certainly hope so. Maybe I'll buy some catnip to get her interested. I have all the parts cut and ready to glue and cover, then screw together. I hope I get it done soon. 

I'm also working on Amy Butler's Sexy Hexy Love quilt. It' a free pattern if you're interested you can find it on this page (about the middle of the page). 

I chose all blues. I had them picked out for a different top that I decided not to make so they were waiting to be used for something. Instead of putting them away, I just decided to use them for this quilt. I've finished a couple of the hexagons. They're pretty big so the quilt only takes 7 full hexagons, 4 half hexagons and 6 quarter hexagons and then it's done. I cut out all the pieces then stacked the fabrics together that I thought might work.

Well got to get to work on the cat tree. I can never work on just one thing at a time

Sunday, July 15, 2012


76 trombones, 76 days. A long time without blogging. I had some adventures in the mean time, and I hope to get back to quilting and blogging regularly.

Let's see...I stopped at the end of April. In May I started in earnest planning for the trip to Europe for our 25th anniversary. I made clothes, made itineraries, made reservations. At least I did some sewing. We went to Germany and Ireland. A week in Germany and two weeks in Ireland. Joe's mom is German, and we lived there for two years, so we wanted to see the relatives again and also see Berlin (which we had never seen). We had never been to Ireland and though neither of us has any Irish ancestors that we know of, wanted to see what it was like. We rented a car and drove...a lot. We figured about 3,000 kilometers, so .... a lot!

It rained every day was was beautiful nonetheless.We have loads of are a few.

Grianan Aileach Ring Fort view

Fuchsia (they were everywhere)

Cliffs near Dun Aonghasa on Inis Mor Island
Joe on the Ceide Fields--the Centre in the background. 

Right now I'm working on cleaning the sewing room...first steps first. Then back to quilting and more regular blogging...and more pictures, soon.

Monday, April 30, 2012

May UFO Challenge

The UFO for May is one I've had around a long time. This was a guild round robin sometime before 2003. I know because we went to Germany for two years that September, and I made this before that....sometime.

It's wall hanging size, and I don't know what I will do with it once it is finished. I guess I could, you know, hang it on a wall.

I made the center block, and provided the fabrics for there rest of the quilt. I like it, I wonder how I'll quilt it.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Painted Stairs

 Here is the fun I've been having, painting and also trying to make a couple of rain jackets for Joe and me. We are going to Ireland this summer, and I understand it rains nearly every day, thus the raincoats.

Back to the stairs. They have been unpainted, unfinished pine and quite ugly for a while. I got tired or looking at them, so researched how to paint stairs. I've primed, painted two coats of the  yellow border and one coat of the green. I need to paint one more coat of the green, then top it all of with urethane. I was trying to figure out how to make the paint more permanent. You can get deck paint, but it is oil-based and quite stinky (or so I believe). I was reading lots of information on the net, and one (or more) people said to top it off with urethane. Well, it works for hardwood, so why not paint. I know it will eventually scratch, but I'm OK with that. It certainly looks better than it did before. I guess any change is an improvement.

No quilting lately, but still, stuff is getting done.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Design Wall-April 16, 2012

We had an interesting morning...the snow was heavy and wet. We had about 6 inches and it was nasty, but beautiful to look at. The sky was beautiful and a lot of the snow is already melted.

The quilt for April is done. It's kind of small, but I think it will be a nice baby blanket. I have a niece who is pregnant, so maybe for her. The backing is blue fleece, and it will be cozy.

If you want to see more design walls, check out Judy's blog.


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