Thursday, July 21, 2016

A Fun Day Sewing With a Friend

I had a very pleasant day today sewing at the home of a friend. Eleanor made some beautiful pillows for her living room. 

I love how she put this decorative accent strip on the back. She came up with the idea because she didn't have enough black fabric for the back. What a happy accident/innovation!

Here they are on her sofa and chair in her living room.


Last year I made this quilt to give as a gift. Now that I have given it, I miss having it in my trunk show, and I miss having it as a class sample, so, I am remaking it. I worked on making strip sets for it today.

 I sewed 8 strip sets together today. These are really fun, since I have my strip sets already grouped together, it takes virtually no concentration. But it is fun to play with arranging the fabrics in each strip sets.

That is what I did today. I hope you had a fun day today. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Strip Piecing

Here is how I am making this quilt.

As I said before, I am working from this drawing.

You can see the creases in the above photo. First I fold the photo on the row I am about to make.

I choose the fabrics you want to use on that row. Each square on this drawing represents one inch. I use this to figure out how wide each strip should be. I just count the number of squares, and add 1/2" for seam allowance. For example: see the gold color? They are 3 squares across. So I cut a 3 1/2" strip of that color fabric. The next color is 2 squares across, so I will cut a 2 1/2" strip of that fabric, and so on. I am cutting each strip 16".

You may have noticed that the colors in the photo are a bit different that the colors in the quilt. These things usually evolve as you work on them.  

This is a photo of the next strip set. I forgot to take a photo of this, but I used painters tape with numbers written on it to help me keep these strips in the proper order.

I will make 1 1/2" cross cuts on this strip set. My quilt has 4 repeats across. I am cutting 10 pieces from each strip set. I am sewing 5 of them end to end. 1 more than the number of repeats. Then sewing the remaining 5 from end to end. I do 5 instead of 4 because you need some extra to make sure you can end it where you need it to end.

That statement will make more sense if you ever try this technique. Since this quilt is a mirror image, I am making 2 copies of each row. One for each end of the quilt.  

Here is a photo of a row laid out next to the quilt where it will be attached. 

Here is a photo of the 2 new rows attached to the quilt.

 I could keep adding to this central piece, but I think I will not attach the next 2 rows, but use them to start another panel. That way I will not be lugging the entire quilt around the whole time. I will show you what I mean in a later post. 

I hope this inspires you to give it a try. I think it is really fun.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

What I Am Working on Now

 These days I am working on 2 quilts. Several years ago I made this quilt.

I self published a pattern for this quilt that is available on Etsy. I always wanted to make another quilt that is more like the center of this quilt, and repeats the diamond motif throughout the quilt.

Here is my drawing.

Sorry for the glare. I made the drawing on EQ. I took it to a copy place to enlarge it, so it would be easier to see. The paper they printed on was slightly glossy. The bottom of the drawing, with the green crosses is the center of the quilt. The quilt repeats in a mirror image from there.

This is what I have so far.

Tomorrow I will talk more about how I am doing this. 

Since it is midsummer where I am, I am sewing in my living room now. My usual sewing room is upstairs. It is a beautiful, cozy nest in the winter, but I only have one air conditioning unit, so it is not easy to make comfortable up there without making your  downstairs too cold, or costing a fortune, or both. So, in the summer, I set up a sewing station in my living room.

The quilt on the free standing design wall is what I am using for "leaders and enders".

I am working on a quilt commission that will be airplanes on a sky background. The abstract sky will be made from the kaleidoscope block. Here is the drawing for this quilt.

I have the entire quilt laid out on the design wall in another room, but I have transferred a quarter of it onto my freestanding design wall.  I have just started sewing on this. I only have 6 block centers done, so it will be quite awhile before it looks like anything.That is what I am up to. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Blog Reboot

Gosh it's been a long time!

Last winter I had 2 temp jobs. One I had to get up at 4:30 am for. I am not a morning person, and at the end of the day, my brain was so scrambled that I could barely write my own name, let alone a coherent blog post.

It has been a busy first half of 2016. Rugs to weave, teaching jobs and trunk shows hither, thither and yon, other trips and retreats. At times I went months with out even seeing my sewing machine (except and retreat-thank goodness for retreats!).  Through all of that, I totally got out of the blogging habit. Just as bad, I got out of the habit of taking photos when I WAS sewing. When I did take photos, uploading, and editing photos became an obstacle. But, I finally, finally got some photos uploaded and organized. 

Back in November, (shamefully, 2 whole posts ago) I wrote about starting 2 new quilts, and using them as leaders and enders for each other. Since I have to begin somewhere, let's begin with those quilts. They are both completed tops now. 

This first one is already at the quilter's.

This is the quilt that was inspired by seeing the new leaves come out in the spring, and the way they look against the clear, bright blue sky, and older, darker leaves and evergreens.

I had made a couple quilts using one of these motifs in the center, see those quilts here but I wanted to try a quilt that used several blocks. I was initially planning to make 12 blocks and lay them out 3 by 4, with no border, but as I was making it, I decided that it needed a border.

The other is a just a top, but I still have to make the back.

Again, I wanted to try this motif in repeat. 

 This is the first quilt I made using this motif.

  I also finished my Dresden Plate quilt top. It still needs a back also. I will have to feed these quilts to the quilter gradually, so I can pay for the quilting. I don't have great photo of this top yet, but I did snap a quick shot when it was on the floor.

So, that is what I have been up to lately. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, December 7, 2015

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!

     Last week was a busy week, here in the village. The first Friday night of December is always our annual Christmas parade. I look forward to that every year. 

     The Saturday after Thanksgiving, I went around gathering greenery to decorate our garden fence, and City Hall, which is right next to the garden. On Sunday, several of us gardeners got together, and made the decorations.

    On Tuesday, I hosted my sewing friendship group, which is lovingly named by some of our husbands, and family members as "Quilt Cult". This involved some cleaning, and cooking. Sorry, I didn't think to take a photo of dinner, but is was a yummy pot roast. You'll just have to take my word for that.

     On Friday it was time for the much anticipated parade, so we decorated one of the gardener's pick up truck. Rhea drove her truck, as Julie rode as a passenger, while Melanie, Marsha, and I walked and passed out our sunflower seeds. We had seeds that were roasted, and salted for eating, and other seeds that were meant for planting.

     I am the one behind the camera. 

     Not much time lately for sewing though. I will get to do that soon, I hope. First, I have several more things I have to post on my Etsy site. 

     Tonight I am going to the Community Band holiday concert.

     That is what I have been up to lately. I hope you all have been having some holiday fun too. 
Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Trying Out A New Idea

Lately, I have been feeling like I am living in that TV commercial that says: Life comes at you fast. Fortunately, I have been doing many fun things that I should be blogging about. Unfortunately, I have been a very poor job of getting photos, either because I didn't have my camera, of phone handy, or I did, and it wasn't charged, or the light wasn't right, or it was raining. We have had SUCH a rainy fall. I feel bad about those on the other side of the country that are experiencing a drought. I think it might be because WE have all of their rain. 

A week and half ago, I went to speak to the Altoona Guild in Acworth GA. I had a really great time there! Those ladies were so friendly, and welcoming. Talk about luck! I was there for the meeting where they have their covered dish Thanksgiving lunch. What a feast! What was even more fun, since they start their meeting in the morning, I got to spend the night at my friend Mary Beth's. Mary Beth lives only 15 minutes away from Acworth. It would have been too exciting for me to get there on time from where I live which was 65 miles away, during rush hour, through Atlanta.

I am proud that I have FINALLY added some tabs to the top of my blog. I think that was one of my New Years resolutions for this year. 

I have done some sewing. 

While visiting Mary Beth, and meeting with my friendship group, I have gotten a few more dresden plates sewn down on this quilt. 

I have only one left to sew down, before I start connecting the sections, and sew down the second half of plates that I could only sew one side of since, they straddles 2 sections.

I also started another new quilt. I have written many times over the last year and a half over my wish to make a quilt about new spring leaves against the cerulean blue, clear, springtime sky. I guess this is a sort of ironic time to start that, but I have been collecting fabric for it for awhile, and I couldn't stand it any more. Here is a photo of my fabrics.


Here are a couple of photos I took of the sky and trees last spring. I was never able to get a photo that I thought really did it justice. 

Last year my friend Eleanor ordered this quilt for her daughters wedding.

I have always wanted to make a quilt that used the central motif in the above quilt as smaller blocks. I am thinking I will make 9, or 12 blocks for this quilt. Here are the first 2.

Not sure if I like the brightness of the green in the block on the left. I will have to see how it fits in with future blocks. It may get the boot if it doesn't play well enough with the others.  

I haven't forgotten this quilt. I started 2 new blocks. I am using these 2 quilts for leaders and enders for each other.

Ironically, both of these quilts are using smaller blocks from motifs that I had previously used to make a whole quilt. Here is the original quilt from the above motif, for those who may be new to this blog.

So, that is what I have been up to lately. Hope you have been having a lovely autumn. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Blogger's Quilt Festival

     It is time once again for The Blogger's Quilt Festival, over at Amy's Creative Side. 

     I am entering a quilt that I finished just a couple of months ago, called Lightning Strikes. I made this quilt as a gift for my best friend from high school's son, for his graduation from college.

     It measures 72" by 96". I hope it will come in handy for him, since after graduation he moved to Chicago! He does not see some colors very well, so I organized the design into lights and darks. All of the strips for this top came right out of my scrap bin, so I am entering this quilt to the scrappy quilts category.

     I am not the greatest at machine quilting. I am trying to force myself to learn, but really, I usually just send my quilts out to be quilted by my very excellent long arm quilting friend, Regina Carter. I joked though, that to get a professionally quilted quilt from me, you have to get married. Graduating just gets you one that I quilted myself. I quilted it on my domestic machine. It was about as big, or a little bigger than I can comfortably handle on a regular sewing machine. Here is a close up of my quilting, such as it is. Anyway, it was quilted with love, and won't be any less warm for some imperfect quilting. 

      Don't forget to check out The Bloggers Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side. There are always lots of beautiful quilt to see, and you can vote for your favorite in many different categories.

         Thanks for stopping by!