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.