Thursday, March 31, 2011

Working With Crumbs

   Some quilters call them scraps but I like the name Bonnie Hunter uses for small scraps of fabric - "crumbs".   Today I pulled out my unfinished brown crumb top and free pieced several 6 1/2" blocks.  Then I decided to free piece "LOVE".  That went well so I decided to make it into the sentence "I love brown" which I think would be a great title for this quilt.

I want to make it a good lap size.  Right now without today's pieces added, the main portion is 40 1/2"  by 481/2".  I plan to add to one side to make it 42 1/2 by 48 1/2" before I add the sentence or more blocks because then I can more easily add 6 1/2" blocks all around.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Used Orphan Blocks

   It feels good to finish a quilt and also to know I used several orphan blocks in the process.  That was the project for today.  The top was actually pieced a month or so ago.  Today I quilted and now it is bound and finished.  It is not big but should be a good size for someone in a wheelchair or who sits a lot. The blocks with strip inserts were fun to make to fill spaces and go with the orphan blocks. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Duffle Bag UFO

   I have finished another UFO - a quilted duffle bag.  At least 3 years ago Pat Kerko taught a workshop at guild on making a quilted duffle bag.  I made one and liked it so much I bought the fabric to quilt myself and planned to make 4 more.  I quilted 2 batiks with cotton batting soon after the workshop but it did not get cut or sewn until today.  It is a great pattern and I hope to get the others done before 3 more years.  Here is the one I finished today.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Productive Afternoon

    This was a very productive afternoon.  I have 8 small quilt kits all together for my church quilting group.  I have been pressing, planning, cutting and organizing.  Some are strips and some are different size squares.  I wish I had a chart that shows how many of a certain size square can be cut from an average WOF strip.  It takes too much time to do the math.    For first time patterns I worry that I have not included enough fabric in the kit; but I don't have time to make each sample to check exactly how much it needed.
  Now I need a break to relax.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Playing with Designs

This has been another no sew day; however, I’ve been doing tasks connected.  My church quilt group inherited some unfinished projects some of which we are trying to finish.   One has trimmed pictures of Indians with fusible web.  I found some fabric in my stash with similar colors and an Indian type design that I thought could be a possible background fabric.  Do the Indians get lost or would they look better on a plain background?   

I love to play with designs in EQ.  Wednesday a member of my church quilt group picked out a scrappy design from “Garden Path” blocks in Scrap Quilts Using Fast Patch by Anita Hallock.  I drew the block in EQ and started playing with variations that would be easy and the size we want for prayer/comfort small quilts.  Here is the first block variation and sample quilt. 

Then I changed the block again and here is the sample quilt.  I think this is more interesting.  The blocks are made from a half-square triangle and squares pieced like a nine patch block.  

Friday, March 25, 2011

Preparation Day

   I did not get to sew today but I feel like I accomplished a lot.  My church quilting group needed some light background fabric to go with many donated dark prints.  I found some good fabric, bought 12 yards for a great price, got it washed and pressed.  I also took some time to prepare the cutting and setting instructions for a couple of prayer/comfort quilts.   This evening I did the cutting for another project and now all the pieces are cut and ready to sew.  Tomorrow I hope to get several kits cut and packaged. It has been a good day.

Getting Adjusted to New Arrangement

    I finally had some sewing time in my new sewing room.  That does not mean I have not sewn these past days.  Tuesday was charity sew day for GCQuilters.  Wednesday was sew day at church for SQG.  Thursday while I washed quilt fabric and organized, I did a little sewing on clothing.   I altered a skirt for my mom and repaired work pants for my son.  I do still enjoy sewing on clothing occassionally.   Then I feel free to spend a lot of time quilting.
   I looked for foam core board to make my new design wall.  A worker at Lowes suggested sound board.  I have not bought it yet because I want to try sticking a straight pin in it. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

New Sewing Room

     I have most of my new sewing room organized although I have not sewn anything in it yet.  I still want a new design wall.  You can see in the photos, I have two spaces.  I am excited. 

     I have cleaned out some; but as you can see, I  still need to get rid of more.
I still have some storage containers in the old room that have not found a home in my new sewing room.  I'm not sure about where I want them.  They may be able to stay in the old room because it will be mostly a guest room. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

No Time For Sewing

    My house is a wreck because I'm rearranging several rooms in my house and moving furniture while I have a sister and brother-in-law visiting to help.  My sewing room is moving to a new space so the old sewing space can become a guest room.  I will have 5 sewing machines in the same room including my grandmother's treadle machine, a portable, and a serger.  I still need to establish my design wall and move fabric storage so there is lots to do before I get back to sewing.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Quilt Storage Bags

     This morning while waiting for it to warm up so I could work outside I made 2 more quilt storage bags out of unbleached muslin.  Last night I found my stash of 36” wide muslin and decided it would be perfect for pillowcase style bags.  I cut pieces 40 ½” long, made a 4” hem along the selvedge edge and then stitched French seams to form the pillowcase.  I made 4 last evening and have already filled them with class sample quilts and others that needed storage.
     My son, John, and I did a lot of yard work.  We trimmed some tree limbs, cut back lantanas and butterfly bush, and cleaned some flower beds.  He mowed front and back yards.  I swept out part of the garage.  The yard looks great.  He has earned some relaxed reading time and I’ve earned some fun time playing with fabric.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Student Tops Ready to Quilt

       Tuesday evening 2 students mitered their borders and got their tops ready to quilt.  I love what they have done. Check them out.  They have very different colors.
I would have posted photos earlier except the weather interfered with my DSL connection.
       Wednesday morning was sew day with my church group.  I did not get much done because for some strange reason Tuesday night after class I had not packed my sewing machine pedal where it belonged. found it after I returned home.  It was one of those days when my brain just was not functioning normally because I also told them to cut some strips the wrong size.  Ever have one of those days? At least they cut them larger not smaller and I do have more fabric the same.  I'm looking forward to a much more productive day today.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

UFO # 3 Finished

      I am hand sewing the back of the binding onto the rainbow row quilt.  The row exchange at GCQ started about the middle of  2009 so it has not been too long getting finished.  My son John likes it.  I enjoyed doing the free-motion quilting because I tried out a different design in each row.   Several I had not tried before.  I think my stitch regulation also improved.  Here are a few of the stitch designs viewed from the back because you can see them better.    

      I started this morning looking for the pieces and the directions for a UFO started several years ago when Paula Nadelstern was here.  I found some parts but have not yet found the directions for one workshop of hers that I took.  In the looking I did get some organizing done and some cleaning.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Borders Attached, Handwork and More

    Yesterday I attached the borders for the class practice quilt stopping at ¼”, so it is waiting until class next week to do the final stitching of the miter so I can demo.  In this photo I have the miter folded in place.  This will be a very nice comfort quilt when donated.

    Because I had to change allergist and start my shots over with new serum, I have had to spend at least an hour a week waiting in the allergist’s waiting room so I decided to take along some handwork.   These are some of the hand appliqué blocks I have done recently.  Eventually they will be part of a child’s quilt.   I prepared the pieces with freezer paper templates, starched the edges and pressed with a hot iron then removed the freezer paper.  This method works great for gentle curves.  The problem is that some of the animal shapes have tiny parts, which don’t do well.  These I have tried to needle turn which is not my strong skill.

     Last night I also spent a couple of hours planning for the move of my sewing room.  I am changing my current sewing room back to a bedroom and changing my current den into my sewing room.  I drew the rooms to scale and pieces of furniture I want in the rooms.  Then I played with the pieces to try out various layouts.  These changes will also necessitate changes to my living room arrangement, which I am finding the toughest. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

3D Stars Class Practice

    Tuesday evening was 3D Star class.  Most of the ladies have made great progress on their quilt tops. It is fun to see the variety of fabrics they have chosen.  I’m sorry I did not take photos.  I will next week if the ladies don’t mind.   I demonstrated a construction step and then they practiced using fabric I provided.  They could keep their block and piece as a model; however, several shared them  to complete the class practice sample which I plan to give to a charity when finished.  Today I have done a little more work on it and am about ready to sew the last 2 rows on before finishing the borders.

     A friend loaned me a library copy of Karen McTavish’s Whitework Quilting.  I have done trapunto on 2 quilts but would like to do a whole cloth whitework quilt or some color trapunto.  That is another quilt or 2 on my list of quilts I WISH to make someday.   I love to spend hours looking at the designs and dreaming about what I would do. 
     Now back to work.