Thursday, June 30, 2011

Angels in Blog-land

I've been blogging for almost six months and have virtually met a lot of creative, talented, friendly folk... but I never realized there were angels in Blog-land.

As you know, I'm working on Barbara Brackman's Civil War Block of the Week.  I decided to join in this year-long project in June and caught up with the blocks I was behind in two weeks.  I also decided that I would only use stash... mostly fabrics leftover from making the tumbler quilt.

Because the tumbler quilt is for my nephew, I didn't have a lot of shirtings because I wanted to have mostly the medium and darker colors.   So... my choice of light fabrics is limited and was growing slimmer with each new Civil War block.

One of my new blog friends emailed and offered me some shirtings from her stash, promising that she had plenty and would love to share.  She assured me that this was a gift and could not be considered me going out and buying fabric.  

Angel KD's package arrived today... and I should say the box arrived today!  It was like Christmas here around noon... my angel didn't send me a few shirtings... she sent me a ton of shirtings all tied up in a pretty bow.

I now have lots and lots of beautiful light fabrics to choose among...

...and look at this fabric!  It looks like antique cross-stitch!

My angel even sent a few reds "for spice"...

The fabrics are much lovelier than my very meager photography skills show and I'm eagerly awaiting this coming Saturday's Civil War block posting so I can use these gorgeous fabrics!

I never knew there were angels in Blog-land...

... I do now!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I Spy

A friend and co-worker is expecting a little girl in November and I wanted to make her a baby quilt.... particularly, an "I Spy" quilt.  

Because psychologists can have strong opinions about what best supports cognitive development in babies, I wanted gender-neutral prints, no "character prints," and bright colors...

The nursery is painted a color named "agave," which is similar to the turquoise border and binding.

I used fabrics leftover from one of the grandbaby quilts for the back...  Deb Strain's Love U line.

...and did simple diagonal quilting across the squares and zigzag stitching on both sides of the border.  I machine sewed down the binding since I figured this quilt would see a lot of trips through the washer and dryer.

Making a baby quilt is a such nice small project... and finishing something is definitely a morale boost, especially when you're working on larger projects!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I purchased the pre-cut I Spy squares from SewTogether on Etsy, who also has gender-specific I Spy squares and sets of rainbow colors.

So much easier and cheaper than finding and buying all those different prints!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Starting New Quilt A-Long (aka QAL)

I've joined in Don't Call Me Betsy's Kaleidoscope QAL!  Yes, yes... I know... I already have 1001 irons in the fire but this is just too cool not to join!

Sunday afternoon, I used Elizabeth's down-loadable templates and cut out all my fabrics.  It wasn't as hard as I thought it might be.

If you're interested in the fabrics and layouts planned by others in the QAL, be sure to check out the Flickr group!  Lots of lovely fabrics and some very cool layouts!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

This Week's Civil War Block

I was almost going through CW block withdrawal when this week's block was posted.  I was proud of myself... I did wait until after I had breakfast!

Block 26:  Barbara Fritchie

I am seriously short on lights / shirtings but I'm determined to not buy any fabric for this project... only fabrics from stash!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Camp Grandma

It's not truly a good ice cream cone unless it requires an adult to help you clean up afterward!

Why does ice cream taste better on a cone than when you eat it with a spoon?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Civil War Block #24

I've decided not to make any applique blocks (only one posted so far), so... with this block, I am caught up until Saturday!

Block 20:  New England

The blocks finish at 8" and a six by eight block layout will yield a 48" by 64" quilt without sashings, which I am planning on.  

My understanding is that there will be a total  of 52 Civil War blocks so I won't have to make/use four of these... and, if there are more than four applique blocks, I'll just make a duplicate block using different fabrics!

Applique may become my "thing" at some point in my life but it's not my thing right now...

In the meantime I have a three-day weekend and my granddaughters are coming over to spend the day with me!  Let the hijinks begin....

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Civil War Block #23

Here ya go...  it looked pretty good til I saw the photo...  need to work on lining up stuff better.

19.  Missouri Star

Oh well... practice makes semi-perfect!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The camera thing happened again... when I posted the photo, I looked at the block and thought... I KNOW I lined up those intersections with a pin, how could I have gotten SO off?

I looked closely at the actual block and realized that pressing a block while tired can lead to pressing errors.   I re-pressed the block and now it looks like this...

Still not perfect but better, I think!

A special thanks to my friend from The 4 Bushel Farm for reminding me that imperfections are "all part of the charm that handmade quilts have!"

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Civil War Block #22

Okay, so I was tired last night and only got one block done.   I'm still on track for catching up by the time the next CW block is posted....

18.   Union Square

I think I can, I think I can...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Civil War Blocks #18 - #21

I have to say these blocks are addictive...l wonder what I'm going to do when I catch up and have to wait for the weekly block to be posted?

11.  London Square

13.  Little Blue Basket

14.  Fox and Geese

16.  White House

Four blocks left to go...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Civil War Blocks #13 - #17

Now bad for only starting 8 days ago... of course, it's back to work today so I don't think I'll be making quite as much progress.  That work stuff... certainly interferes with one's sewing time!

Without further ado, the latest five Civil War blocks...

5. Kansas Troubles

6. Richmond

9. Birds in the Air

12. Louisiana

15. Fort Sumter

Seventeen down, eight to go... at least until next weekend when the next block is posted!   Plus, the Kaleidoscope QAL begins on June 23rd!  

Looks as if I'll be busy...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Civil War Blocks #7 - #12

Okay, I was a bum yesterday... other than hauling sprinklers around the yard, pretty much all I did was sew.  It was nice and I had fun...

So, without further ado, the blocks (Barbara Brackman's numbering system):

4.  Tears for Texas

7.  Log Cabin

10.  Lincoln's Platform

17.  Comfort Quilt

22.  Blockade

25.  Calico Puzzle (posted yesterday)

Twenty-five blocks posted and I've done twelve of them.  Not bad...  I should be able to catch up by the end of the summer!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Friday Night Sew In - June Results

I decided at the last minute to finish up the Fish Camp Trout Pond quilt top yesterday... the half done top was bothering me.

If you remember, I cut off 10" on one side because the quilt was practically square and wanted a more rectangular quilt.   Why 10" and not 12"?  Because I subcut that 10" into four 2.5" strips to make a pieced border!

After the pieced border was on, I added the plaid homespun border... and I'm done!  Quilt sandwiching will be happening this weekend!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The next Civil War block has been posted:  #25 Calico Puzzle. 
I will work on that this morning and also see if I can put together several more blocks as well. 

After my post yesterday about a blog that was breaking down the CW blocks for us newbies to traditional piecing, Jen of The Quilty Home shared that Ellen of American Homestead is also doing a step-by-step tutorial for each CW block!

Ellen is currently in Thailand on "The Last Hurrah Tour" but still keeps up with each new block posted!

Thanks for the info, Jen... I need all the help I can get with these CW blocks!!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Civil War Blocks #5 & #6

I'm skipping around among the CW blocks, selecting the easier of them to make... eventually, I'll have to start in on the harder ones...

If you're doing the CW blocks, you may want to check out Lillian's Cupboard, where the CW blocks are broken down a bit more to help those of us who are new to this type piecing.  Thanks to a new blogging friend for sharing the link with me!

You may be sure I'll be reading Lillian's blog for the more complicated blocks!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Just a reminder that tonight is the monthly Friday Night Sew In... where you set aside some time to be creative and then... the next day share what you've accomplished online.  The best part is visiting others' blogs to see what they were working on!

There are currently 119 creative ladies signed up for this virtual sewing bee... hope you'll join us!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What's Wrong with This Picture?

I've read on several blogs to use your camera to look at a block after it's completed to make sure it's done correctly.  The CW blocks are my first attempt at fancy piecing and I found out that the camera trick works.  Let me show you...

I promise this block looked just FINE to me before I took the photo!

I either need my eyes or my head examined...   

I spent a little quality time with...

...and ended up with this...

Looks a little better, wouldn't you say?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Congratulations to Miki Willa of Miki's Fabric Creations for winning the give away for the Civil War Block: #24: Ladies Aid Album!

Miki requested the block "as is" and it will be winging it's way to her in today's mail.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Third Civil War Block

I selected an easy block yesterday... it was a l-o-n-g day!

One of my blogging buddies made a comment about me starting yet another quilt top.  I guess I have begun quite a few this year... definitely more than last year.

I'm not sure how the State budget is where you live but things are grim here in NC... and the impact on school systems across the state will be devastating for the coming academic year.  The number of jobs lost already is far too many and additional individuals feel under scrutiny as the local school systems continue to look for ways to cut costs.

I had lunch with a young woman from Texas... a teacher... who detailed the cuts being made in education there.  She, like us, is grateful to have a job.   So far...

These CW blocks are short term projects... I get to play with fabric during selection and how the blocks turn out is entirely under my control.  

The best type of therapy for me right now...