Sunday, December 27, 2015

Final Finish for 2015

     Today I finished sewing a scrappy binding on the Scrappy Duo lap quilt which makes it the final finished quilt for the year.  If you want to make one, you can find out more about the pattern here

      Saturday I spent most of the day playing with scraps and “made-fabric”. 

I already had a piece of made-fabric about 15 by 15” that I wanted to use for a 4” finished border but I needed more that was similar.  Here is the pile of scraps I pulled to use and there is a piece of made-fabric in the middle.  After free piecing a section, I trimmed it to 4 1/2" for the border.  The larger trimmed pieces became part of another section.

Today the top is finished.  A niece is expecting in May and she wants a garden theme for the nursery.  I hope she will like this. 

 If you are in the Columbia area and want to try playing with crumbs and made-fabric, Saturday morning, March 19th I will be teaching a workshop at Midlands Technical College, Harbison branch. You can find out more on their website.

Enjoy a few minutes of sewing or quilting!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Time for Some Quilting

    Today we had multiple periods of strong downpours so it was a good day to stay in and quilt.  I am very glad I did not need to go out shopping.  All my holiday shopping is done so I pulled out an already sandwiched project and started quilting.  The top was made by Fons and Porter's design called Scrappy Duo because you end up with 2 quilt tops.  Quilting is over half done.

Here is a close up of the quilting.  I used light gray thread and meandered on the colored fabrics and did a FM motif in each white area.

Wishing everyone a joyous, safe holiday and

Friday, December 18, 2015

Holiday Season Happenings

    I hope you all are enjoying this holiday season as I am.  I had family visiting last weekend. As we and our children age, it is more difficult for my sisters and brother to all get together so last weekend was special.

   I am now the owner of a small condo near granddaughters and this week I have been painting and planning for some other work to make it my own. The new paint color (on the left) is just a little lighter but fresh. 

   I have enjoyed spending some time with granddaughters also.  One afternoon I did find the time to pull out my black, white and red scraps for some improvisational sewing.  These blocks are in the log cabin format. 

     If I don't post again before Christmas,  I .....Wish All a Blessed Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Made-Fabric Pieces

     I know it has been awhile since I posted.  I have mostly been working on more Christmas gifts.  a My youngest granddaughter enjoys dress-up play so I decided to make a princess dress for her for Christmas.  The past year she has been wild about purple so I spent at least 3 days making a dress.  I used an elegant dress pattern ( Simplicity 1508) and changed a couple of things  to simplify.  That is a lot of time to spend making a dress-up play dress, but I can do it so I did.

    I have also been playing with my green and blue crumbs to create made-fabric.  I free-pieced some more made-fabric to add a row to a top and then found I had too much green in them and decided to piece more with more blue.  This top is now 52.5” by 76.75”.  I may use the print fabric at the bottom left as a wide border to make it larger. 

Since I already had several mostly green made-fabric squares pieced together, I made a few more and put together a small top (40.5 by 52.5”).  This may also get a border to make it larger, although I like the modern feel of it without a border. 

My stash of green crumbs is now very low and I am ready for a break from free-piecing.  This coming week will have my guild holiday gathering and my church quilt group.  I better get busy thinking of some treats to fix.

Enjoy this special time of year and maybe a few minutes of sewing as a break from the hustle and bustle.   

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Finishing Up Projects

    Hope you enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday as much as I did.  I certainly have much to be thankful for. 
    During this holiday season from now until New Years, I goal is to use a few minutes each day to sew / quilt and finish up projects.  I made a great start this past week and finished 3 sets of placemats.  Two of the sets were started last year when the wedge pattern was a JoAnn Fabrics class which I taught.


I wanted another set as a gift so pulled from my stash and created 4 using cobblestone type blocks.

I love the texture created by quilting them with one of my favorite Leah Day designs called “Echo Shortcut”. I have used it many times.

    I am a fan of Big Block quilts for quick gifts and comfort quilts.  There are numerous books out but all you need is to do a little math.  This finished lap quilt uses 3 ½” strips (3” finished) to form 4 rectangular log cabin blocks. 

I tried out several new FM motifs and practiced a different FM motif on each fabric.

     One border type motif that I tried I will use more again.   Here is a drawing since it does not show on the quilt.  I may even try to use it in an overall design.

     I use to love sewing my own clothes ( still enjoy sewing for granddaughters); however, the past few years I have been so captured by quilting that my wardrobe has suffered ( and I hate to shop.) On my list of things to do during this holiday season is the make myself a new dress or two. 

Hope you get to enjoy a few minutes to sew / quilt every day.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Easy Comfort Quilt Finish

     I found a simple strip pattern; great for a charity/comfort quilt at 48” by 60”.  Of course, it could be made larger.  The pattern is Strip Tango from My Quilt Infatuation

     I checked by stash of 4 ½” strips and cut a few.  The trick was finding strips at least strips 20 ½” long not counting selvedge.  When you cut from a fat quarter, many may not be long enough; so check first.  Five strips should make a block 20 ½” to finish 20” square.
     When free-motion quilting, I used this quilt to try out and practice numerous border motifs, a different one for each fabric used. I also marked off even sections with a soap sliver as a  guide to stitch the motifs about the same size. 

     Hope you try Kelly’s pattern and have fun sewing and quilting.  

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Debbie Clarke Visited Guild

    We enjoyed having Debbie Clarke from Stitchin Therapy and her husband at GCQ guild to present a trunk show of her watercolor quilts and an afternoon workshop.  I am sorry that I neglected to get a good photo of her to share; however, I did get a nice photo of some of her samples for the workshop.  Her quilts and tips have inspired me to try more watercolor quilts after I do more shopping for dark fabrics to use in borders. 

     In the afternoon workshop she was very helpful as she gave each participant individual attention on fabric value and help tweaking layout.  Here she helped Martha use the red viewer to discover true value.
and Lynne checks her value sorting.
Here is Lynne's piece as she made progress.

If you have not tried watercolor quilts or a colorwash quilt, I encourage you to give them a try.
On her blog Debbie shares tips and tutorials that will inspire you. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

One Finish and Another Sandwiched

     Tuesday the sun came out and we have had 2 beautiful days.  There was a good crowd at GCQ Day Bee.  About 15 Bee members participated in a block exchange.  Judy only needs to finish the binding. 

Beverly made her blocks into a King size bed runner. 

Bonney showed a zigzag quilt she made as a gift. 
Jean participated in Anita's Mystery and is almost finished. 

MaryLou  and Judy hosted for a wonderful morning of sharing. 

    This morning we had a small group for the church quilt group, but we accomplished a lot.  Martha and I helped each other sandwich 2 quilts. Gail finished piecing all the blocks for a shadow quilt.
Yesterday I finished quilting a comfort quilt so this afternoon I added the binding.  

More quilting to come.  Hope you enjoy some time sewing or quilting.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Sandwiching and Basting

    No major sewing / quilting has gone on here for the past week.  I did finish a Christmas present for my guild Christmas in July fabric exchange, but I don’t want to show it now and spoil the surprise.
     Last night I cleared my craft table so that this morning I could sandwich a couple of lap quilts for quilting.  The craft table is perfect for sandwiching.  For smaller up to twin size quilts I clip the top and bottom and tape the side of the backing so that it is smooth and snug (no wrinkles). 

Sometimes they are small enough to only use half the craft table and clip all sides.  Next I lay out the batting. 
     I prefer spray basting; however, I have learned ( after mopping sticky floors ) to be careful to control the angle of the spray and not to spray close to the edge or the spray baste will get on things you don’t want it on.  After the batting is spray basted, I position the quilt top.  Carefully folding it back a section at a time, I spray baste and lay it back; patting it in place so as not to distort the fabric piecing. Next I use 1” curved safety pins to pin baste around the edge.   

     I now have 2 ready to quilt when I feel inspired.  Tuesday morning will be taken up with Day Bee and half of Wednesday with be church quilt group sew day. 

Hope you enjoy some time sewing or quilting. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Time for Piecing

   I enjoyed a visit with granddaughters over Halloween but also found some time for piecing. 
The Scrappy Duo (pattern by Fons & Porter) top1 is pieced.  Check this post for more info on the pattern.  I don't plan to add a border.  It is already about 54" by 72".

The second party DUO HST top is together.  This one I want to add a border to it to make it larger.  It is currently 38” by 59” with 126 units.  Any border suggestions? 

I also enjoyed time free-piecing mostly green scraps into green “made-fabric”. I have a plan for it.  

 I tried working with scissors and some ruler-free rotary cutting to trim.  This was practice as I look forward to trying some of Sherri Lynn’s improvisational scores from her book The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters.

Hope you find time to sew and quilt. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

QOV and Trimming for a New Project

The Quilt of Valor (QOV) is finished, in its pillowcase, and ready to be delivered. 

     I was not ready to work on a big UFO so I started on some small projects.  Tomorrow is Comfort Quilt Sew Day for guild.  Last month I brought home some donated scraps which I spent the evening and morning trimming for kits.  Someone donated a bunch of large triangles which with a little trimming (using my Easy Angle and Companion Rulers) 

will be suitable for a resized version of “Remixed Geese”.
 I have been wanting to try this pattern.
You can find the free pattern from with this link.  She has several free patterns and tutorials on her blog. 

   The end of this week I'm looking forward to visiting with granddaughters for Halloween and maybe a sewing lesson for the older.

Hope you find some time to sew or quilt. Happy Halloween

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A Finish and A Start

     The quick baby quilt is finished and ready for delivery for the soon expected one. The light fabric is not solid.  It has a pastel multicolored dot which is not visible in the photo. 

      A friend and I were talking recently and I decided to make a Quilt of Valor for his cousin.  He suggested flag fabric and I found a beautiful one.  I plan to use the same block design that I used for the baby quilt except that they are larger ( 8” finished ) and will only use three fabrics for the whole quilt. 

     I went to see the state fair for a quick visit especially to view the quilts and arts and crafts.  My camera did not cooperate because it needed fresh batteries but I did manage to get one photo of a special prize winner.  This quilt is by Barbara Estep of Greenville, SC (entered in the 70+ division).

I am sorry they have to fold the large quilts for hanging so we can’t see the whole quilt.  I love these vines. 

*evening update*
After a day of sewing the QOV top is together.  Hopefully I will sandwich it tomorrow and start quilting.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Importance of Value

    Have you ever chosen fabrics you love; but when put together, the project is dead?  Yesterday I was reminded how important value is.  I have made numerous “I Spy” quilts over the past 8 years as I have collected small amounts of novelty prints. I pulled 80 squares to make a baby quilt.

Next I chose purple as the accent color and a multi colored stripe and dot fabric with a black background.  When I sewed one block, I thought it was okay.  However, when I pieced a couple of rows, I realized it died – WAY too dark. 

I set the already sewn blocks aside and pulled more novelty squares.  This time I chose a very light fabric to set off the novelty squares.  MUCH better! Value makes a huge difference.

I can’t throw fabric away and I REALLY don’t want to UN-sew the dark blocks so I hope to figure out a way to lighten and save them for a separate project.  Any suggestions?  

Hope you can find a few minutes to sew or quilt.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Small Accomplishments

     Super Girl dress was remade adapting the pattern for use of minimally stretchy fabric.  (The pattern was written for super stretchy expensive fabric.)  I was relieved that it fit perfectly. 

   While trimming up some scraps, I realized I had enough of one for alternate blocks in a child’s quilt so worked to put together the top. I added multiple borders to increase the size and also use leftovers.

    These fall panels have been in my stash for many years and finally got made into placemats.  I FM quilted outlining the designs & practicing speed control.

     I have a list of non-sewing things to do today.  I have been living with only a freezer and ice chest for a week waiting for a part which was installed yesterday.  It is taking a long time for the fridge temperature to drop to safe storage temperature. Tomorrow is sew day at church.   I want to take chicken salad for lunch but fridge concerns are holding up the making.  I plan to find a few minutes to create some made-fabric at least.

Hope you find a few minutes to sew or quilt!