Monday, March 29, 2010

Design Wall Monday

Nothing really exciting is on the wall this week. As I told you last week, my daughter and granddaughter were here and I knew that I wouldn't get much done quilting-wise. That's not exactly true because I did get three t-shirt quilts done (two small ones and one twin-size). These all went to the same person and they should be arriving in the mail to her today! Don't you love getting packages, especially fabric, quilting books, etc. Anyway, I digress....

I've been doing a bit of embroidery and I've never felt comfortable leaving the room while the machine is doing it's magic so I decided to work on blocks for a mini (3") 9-Patch swap. Here's the progress so far and what's on the (portable) design wall.

I've signed up for 10 sets of 10 of each variation (LDL and DLD). That's 200 blocks total and I've got all of the LDL blocks done and 20 of the DLD done. All of the strips are cut and have at least the first seam sewn so it shouldn't take too long to complete them.

I'm making extras of each, just because I love the versatility of these blocks. They can be used to create a chain throughout a quilt, as part of a block, as sashing, or as a border. You're only limited by your imagination. As a matter of fact, I've been doodling some possible uses for these blocks. Who knows, perhaps they'll be used as the center of a star block, a churn dash or another fun block!?! I'm excited for the blocks that I'll get in the swap because I know that there will be some fabulous fabric choices. I LOVE that the rules state that there are to be only two fabrics per block, and that fabric used in one set cannot be used in another set of the same configuration (LDL or DLD). This is scrappy, yet controlled. Just how I like it!

The blocks aren't due until May 15th so I think I'll continue to make these as leader/ender blocks so I have LOTS of them done. I never know when I'll need these. I'm sure Bonnie Hunter will use them in a mystery quilt and I'll think I am SOOOO GOOOOOD because I'll have already done mine, or at least part of them. (Bonnie is know to have you make HUNDREDS of small units.)

Of course you do realize don't you, that as soon as I receive my 200 blocks, all other projects will be put aside so I can play! Now that doesn't mean that I'll complete anything right away; I'll just get to play!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Design Wall Monday

Not much on my wall right now because I have a visiting almost 2-year old granddaughter (Quinn) that is taking my attention away from quilting, plus I'm getting things ready for my class tonight. I should have taken the time to do this last night, but of course I didn't.

As to my design wall, there really isn't anything on it, but I am finishing up an embroidery order for the local high school basketball senior cheerleaders. This was a rush order because the mom who ordered them got her days confused and needs them tonight, not tomorrow. I have to leave for work in about an hour, but the last towel is on the hoop and I can toss them in the washer/dryer and have them ready before I leave.

While the embroidery is being done, I've been sewing more of the 5 inch squares to make my 4-Patch units. I am on the last of those. I decided to do this rather than something that might require concentration because I want to be able to hear both the embroidery and Quinn.

Quinn is at the table drawing pictures for me. As you can see, she doesn't care if she uses her left or right hand! It's fun to watch her switch. Yesterday she was drawing with both hands at the same time!

Check out what other quilters have on their design walls.
Go to Judy L.'s Patchwork Times!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Stash Report - Week 12

I sure feel like I should've used more fabric than I did this week! When I stopped and thought about it I realized why. I've been working on T-shirt quilts and they use very little stash. I still feel good about the progress and will post pictures of the finished quilts later. Two of the tops are completely done and I'm adding borders to the last one. I hope to have them layered and ready to quilt by the end of today!

I bought extra striped fabric to use for the guild retreat quilt and that arrived this week; plus, I bought the backing fabric for that quilt. I don't feel guilty for buying the fabric though because I know it'll get used soon and show up as a "used fabric" in a near-future report.

Even though I have grandiose ideas, I can't imagine that I'll have much success using fabric this next week because my 2-year old granddaughter is here. It's a good trade-off!

Here's the report:
Fabric Used This Week: 2.0 yards

Fabric Used to Date: 87.041 yards

Fabric Added This Week: 7.00 yards

Fabric Added to Date: 52.5 yards

Net Fabric Used for 2010: 34.541yards

Check out how the rest of the Stash Busters are doing on JudyL's Patchwork Times!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Design Wall Monday

Not what I had planned, but I have blocks 2 and 3 of the Thimbleberries Village Green Block of the Month up on the wall today. I picked up the blocks Saturday and was going to work on them later this week, but the schedule changed. I needed to work on something somewhat mindless (that means that the blocks had to go together without much work and the instructions had to be really easy to follow), because I knew that I would be up late and I didn't want to have to think too much. These blocks were perfect and the good thing is that they are done and I'm no longer behind!

I had hoped to be getting the rest of the fabric ready for my large version of the Twister quilt and begin piecing that before leaving for work, but "Mom Duty" called. Lynn has been sick (sore throat, coughing, etc.) for over a week and went to the doctor on Wednesday. She was prescribed some meds and seemed to be getting better, until yesterday. She started coughing quite badly again, got a really bad headache, and ran a slight fever. Last night she developed a rash and the cough got much worse, along with the headache, and she had begun to be sick to her stomach. We assumed that the rash was from the medications and hoped that applying benadryl cream would help, but it just got worse. The poor girl had a fire-engine red rash covering just about her entire body and it was itchy and burning at the same time. Plus, her fever was getting worse (101.8). Off to the ER we went at 4:00AM!

Come to find out she has strep throat and has developed an allergic reaction to one of the meds she was taking. So now she has new meds and is off work for at least today. We got home around 7:30 and she's settled in for the day, trying to get some sleep, stop itching, be less lobster-like! I, on the other hand, have to be at work by noon and will not return home until after 8:00 tonight. I think I got the good end of the stick!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Stash Report - Week 11 and More

It's after 2:00pm I'm finally posting this weeks stash report.

Here's the report:
Fabric Used This Week: 3.0 yards

Fabric Used to Date: 85.041 yards

Fabric Added This Week: 1.125 yards

Fabric Added to Date: 45.5 yards

Net Fabric Used for 2010: 39.541yards

I had a pretty productive couple of days this past week and I love it. Check out Friday's post about the Twister quilt I made. I was intrigued after seeing Tamera's quilt on Mary's blog (thanks Mary for reminding me that it was Tamera's quilt), and just had to try it. I'm starting to pull fabric for a large version of the quilt and decided to go to the extreme opposite and use Thimbleberries-type fabrics. I'll keep you posted on that progress.

Having read that I made the Twister quilt in less than 5 hours, "knittingbrow" wondered what the next five hours would bring. Well that sounded like a challenge so I got busy. I quick-sewed a reversible purse using two kitchen towels. I love the look of this - so Springy and fun. The pattern is by designer Rebeka Lambert and I found it in the book Pretty Little Purses & Pouches, which Pat Sloan had mentioned on her blog a while back. I'll be on the lookout for cool towels now and can see quite a few of these in my future. I think they'll make great presents.

Yes, I realize that I put 3 pictures of this up, but I couldn't decide which side I like better :-)

I kind of felt like the clock was still ticking so I decided to keep going and went upstairs to retrieve my Pineapple Blossom from the pile of UFOs. This is one of Bonnie Hunter's ( patterns that I started a long time ago. Many of the fabrics were purchased in California when Jack and I made our first trip to South Lake Tahoe with my brother. Jack and I got married in 1999 and we made the trip within a couple of years of that. Now, I could figure out the exact year but what's the point? It was a long time ago! Anyway, I pieced the top about 2 years ago and started quilting it but didn't know how I wanted to finish it. Well, to make a long story short, when I retrieved it Friday afternoon I was going to rip out all of the quilting and start over but decided against it. This was one of those moments when I realized that it's important to begin and finish a project within a close period of time (at least within the the same skill-level time frame). The piecing was fine, but the quilting - oh my!! I'm sure I thought I was pretty good when I started this but boy did I find irregular stitch lengths, puckers, etc. I "threw caution to the wind" and just got busy. After the quilt was bound, I threw it in the washer on warm/hot and then the dryer and hoped that the shrinkage would be somewhat uniform and hide a multitude of errors.

I'm okay with the way it turned out and I'm pretty sure that this isn't the last quilt that will have to be treated this way! I'm kind of afraid to look, but have decided that it'll just build character, right?!?

Check out Judy L.'s Patchwork Times blog and see how other quilters are using up their stash?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Look What I Can less than 5 hours

A couple of weeks ago I saw a post on Mary's blog (see side bar for link to Making Scrap Quilts from Stash) about a quilt made using the twister ruler and I LOVED it. Well, to make a long story short I made a small twister quilt from fabric scraps in less than 5 hours!

I started with this bin of fabric and picked out 48 bright colored fabrics. I knew that I'd use black as a border because that would make the brights look great, but I didn't know about the outside border. I figured I 'd wait and audition fabric for that later.

Here are the 5" squares sewn together with a 3" black border. I decided to make the smaller version to start with and if I really like the process and finished quilt, I'd make the larger quilt which begins with 10" squares.

Here are the blocks after they've been cut and placed on the design wall.

And here is the finished quilt (30" x 36"), bound and hanging on the wall......all done in less than 5 hours!

I gotta go start scouring the stash for 10" squares!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Design Wall Monday

I've been working on the guild retreat quilt so technically that's what's on my design wall.

In reality, I have a blank design wall!

As you can tell, I decided to use the black sashing with mini 4 patch units as the cornerstones. This continues the chain throughout the quilt and I'm playing with using them in the borders as well, just altered a bit.

I work late tonight so I'm not sure how much sewing will get done, but tomorrow is a no work day so that looks promising.

Speaking of design walls....My friend Kare and I gave homemade portable design walls to all of the retreat attendees. We cut 1/2" styrofoam insulation into 16" pieces and covered one side with batting. We hot glued the batting to the back side, so I have no fingerprints left---I'm just saying.... Anyway, here is a picture of one with one of my blocks on it.

You do realize that when it comes time to put the last row together, I'll be wondering why I'm short one block. DUHHHHH! I think I'll go take it off the design wall now and put it with the other blocks.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Stash Report - Weeks 9 and 10

As I predicted, I didn't get a lot done this week because of a busy schedule but I did manage to add and use a small bit of fabric.

I'm continuing (slowly, but continuing) to work on the guild retreat mystery quilt. All the blocks are done and I'm adding sashing and putting rows together. I have no idea what the borders will look like. I keep coming up with ideas but I really don't want to buy more fabric for it so I'm just going to have to wait until the top is complete and work from there.

Here's the report:
Fabric Used This Week: 6.75 yards

Fabric Used to Date: 82.041 yards

Fabric Added This Week: 5.5 yards

Fabric Added to Date: 44.375 yards

Net Fabric Used for 2010: 37.666yards

Check out Judy L.'s Patchwork Times blog and see how other quilters are using up their stash?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

More Retreat Info

As I told you in my last post, I spent the past weekend at our annual guild retreat. This isn't an overnight retreat, but we do sew all day Saturday and until around 3-4 on Sunday. Many of the participants work on a mystery project, while others work on a project (or two) that they bring from home. I love to see what other quilters are working on and it never ceases to amaze me at how talented (and prolific) my fellow guild members are. I can't wait to see some of the finished projects! I missed it when the members showed off the challenge projects from last year. (I had to go home to meet my daughter's boyfriend for the first time!) Hopefully someone took pictures.

Along with the sewing and fellowship, there are lots of gifts given and prizes awarded. I was lucky this year and my name was drawn first. I won the table below and I love it!

Speaking of the guild retreat quilt, I had an opportunity to work on a few more blocks today and only have five more to make. I guess that once the blocks are done I'll try different layouts and make my decision. Thanks for all the suggestions - even though I originally only had two choices and now I have four! I'll keep you posted.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Design Wall Monday

The guild retreat was this weekend so the blocks from that are on my wall. The pattern calls for 25 blocks (set 5 x 5)with a scrappy sashing but I've decided to make 35 blocks (set 5 x 7) and have no sashing or a solid black sashing. Below are pictures of the two possibilities.

If I decide to use no sashing, I'll pieces at least one border using the same fabrics that are in the blocks.

If I use the black sashing, I'll use either the block background fabric as cornerstones or continue with the color created in the chain. I want to use the fabric below as either one of the borders or wide bias binding, depends on how much I need/have.

This fabric was my inspiration fabric. Isn't it funny how sometimes the inspiration fabric ends up being a minor player in the quilt, or not used at all?

I'm leaning towards using the black sashing. What do you think?

I'm guessing that this will be on my wall again next week because I have a full week of activities and I still have 8 blocks to make. Hopefully what will be reported next week will be the border(s) progress. Also, since I missed making my stash report yesterday I'll be sure to catch with that next Sunday.

Check out what others are working on by going to Judy L.'s Patchwork Times.