Sunday, July 31, 2011

CW Block 31: Empty Spools

Once again, looking at a photo of a newly completed block made me really look at the block.

Completed block...

Hmmm...  let's look at Becky Brown's "Empty Spools" block again...

Hmmm....  the stripes should be going the other way.   Since I already had 4 of the 6 pieces of this block cut out, I made another one.

Much better!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Placemats (pt 3)

At lunch today, the girls were telling their dad about the placemats I was making and mentioned that they didn't know what his favorite food was.  After a short discussion, I stored away one of those for future reference!

Presentingcoconut cream pie!

Now, it's time to start sandwiching and quilting placemats....

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Placemats (pt 2)

This morning, the girls and I worked on a placemat top for their mother.  Emma drew a picture...

...then the girls rummaged in my scrap bins for fabrics.  

Emma picked out all the thread for the machine applique.  I'm gonna convert those two to quilting, yes, I am!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


This week is a busy week... my daughter and her family are in the process of moving and are staying with me while they finish clearing out/cleaning their old house.  I'm keeping my granddaughters while the young folks do all the work.

I asked my granddaughters to draw me a picture of their favorite foods and I'm turning the pictures into place mats for them to take with them.  (This is not an idea that is original to me; I saw it on another blog months ago.)

Emma likes watermelon...

...and Chloe likes cupcakes!

I've not assembled or quilted the place mats yet... still works in progress.

Emma and Chloe also drew pictures so that I could make place mats for their parents as well.... but I've not gotten to those yet.  Playing with the girls keeps me busy...  

...I'm going to miss them.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Learning to "Web the Top"

I read Bonnie Hunter's post on "Webbing The Top" of a quilt and thought I would try to figure it out with the Smokey Mountain Stars quilt. I was concerned about the almost 200 blocks for which the exact orientation of each block was crucial to the quilt design.

 Photo from Bonnie Hunter's website here.

I couldn't see dealing with all the blocks webbed together as I tried to figure all this out... so worked in sections where the first two columns of adjacent blocks were chain-sewn together from top to bottom.  Then the each two-block set was sewn together with the two-block set directly below the first.  

I figured that if this method didn't work for me I'd go back to my old, time-consuming, and error-prone way of sewing blocks together.   Surprisingly, it worked AND was easy...   

Arrows point to the threads connecting the two sets of blocks.

When all three of the adjacent blocks were sewn together, it was on to sewing these blocks to each other.
With this method, there was no doubt about what side of one set of blocks to sew to which side of the next set of blocks.

Using this method, only one set of two blocks were not sewn correctly and that was because I did not have them in the "to sew" stack in the right orientation.  I caught the error at the next stage when it was easily corrected (only one seam to unsew).

Next, I need to sew the columns together and then move on to the sashing!  I'm glad I tried the "Webbing the Top" method... I know it saved me endless grief!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Wantobe Quilter Campaign

Hello, friends and followers!  I would love to welcome you

Stash Manicure has quilting supplies to giveaway FIVE times a week for 12 entire weeks beginning August 1st! 

Everything you might need to start quilting is included in this fantastic give-away... 
  • sewing machines 
  • irons
  • die cutters
  • cutting mats
  • rotary cutters
  • sewing baskets
  • scissors
  • batting
  • needles
  • rolling sewing machine bags
  • patterns, books, & magazines...
...everything you could possibly imagine to assist you in being a NEW Quilter

Even if you are an experienced quilter, you can win quilting stuff too...Tuesday and Thursday are give-away days for quilters!

For Wantobe Quilters, there are three things you need to do to enter this fabulous give-away:
  1. Email me your name, phone number, and email address so I can submit this information to the organizer, Madame Samm, because if YOU win anything... I can win something too!
  2. Be a follower of my blog.
  3. Be a follower over at Sew We Quilt @ Stash Manicure.
That is all there is to it! 

There are over 49 sponsors involved. I am pretty excited to be part of this, so  should you. 
PS - You will not be eligible to win anything if you do not register with a blogger where you see this message... like me!  You cannot enter at the Stash Manicure site.

Fine Print:  Because of the large number of prizes to give away, you will be responsible for paying shipping costs.  Madame Samm is a sweetie but it's not in her budget to ship all these wonderful prizes to everyone all over the world.  Madame Samm will find the most economical way to ship your prize(s) and will set up a way to transfer funds.

I would think that no matter how much it would cost to ship a brand new sewing machine to you, that cost would be well worth it!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

If you have any questions, please ask!  If I can't answer your question, I know how to track down Madame Samm!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

FNSI: Kaleidoscope QAL Finish!

Last evening, I finished sewing down the binding on the Kaleidoscope quilt.  I used strips cut from the three darkest prints used for the top.

This quilt was made as part of the Kaleidoscope QAL hosted by Elizabeth of Don't Call Me Betsy.  QAL participants will be posting photos of their finished Kaleidoscope quilts as they are finished.... so pop on over and admire the lovely quilts!

It never ceases to amaze me that the same exact quilt pattern, made with different fabrics, can turn out so very different from each other!

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Three beautiful quilts and a table runner have gone missing from the C&T Publishers booth at this spring's quilt market in Salt Lake City.  

SewCalGal has blogged about the missing quilts and has asked to help get the word out in hopes these quilts turn up somewhere.

C&T Publishers are offering a $4000 reward for the return of these quilts... no questions asked.  Reward for the return of one quilt will be based on the appraised value of the quilt. 

Check out their website for further information.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Decluttering and Organizing

The advantage in not being too good a housekeeper is 
that your guests are so pleased to feel how very much better they are.  
- Eleanor Roosevelt

I had several requests for the decluttering and organizing blog posts that D.J. sent me...  and I'm happy to share. 

Even though I read the blog posts Wednesday afternoon, there are a number of points that have stuck with me and will be used in my attempt at whipping the house into shape! 

  1. It's easier to clean an uncluttered surface (kitchen or bathroom counters, top of dresser, etc.) than a cluttered surface. 
  2. A cluttered house didn't happen overnight and decluttering will take longer than just one day. 
  3. Decluttering is not just taking stuff out of the house but also giving serious thought to what you bring into it.

My house may never be this decluttered but it is something I can work toward!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thursday Update

Yesterday, I managed to sew 6 columns of totally unconnected squares together into 3 columns...

...there would have been more sewn together except for a CERTAIN BLOGGER who shall remain nameless (initials are D.J.) who sent me URLs to three blogs about decluttering and organizing.  Since I am decluttering, the tips I picked up were great....  but reading the blogs did cut into my sewing time today.  *lol*

But that's okay... tomorrow is another day!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Design Wall Wednesday

I was good yesterday and didn't even turn on my sewing machine!  Two of the blogs I follow are posting about decluttering and I was inspired to start tackling my dump house.  Paraphrasing one post, all this STUFF didn't appear overnight and it won't go away overnight.... I'll just keep working on decluttering and it will get done eventually!

I did get all the Smokey Mountain Stars blocks up on the design wall...

For a big piece o' flannel held up by skirt hangers over a hall closet, I have to say my improvised design wall does pretty good....  only one block fell off all day.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Chain-pieced Out

Chain piecing has its own kind of zone... once you're there, you can sew forever it appears.

I don't think there will be any sewing done today... I need a break.

I may play with the completed squares on the design wall however...

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A Give-away!

Julie of Me and My Stitches is giving away one of her gorgeous pieces of quilt block jewelry.  The drawing is Monday morning, July 25th. 

Photo from Me and My Stitches website
You get to pick out the piece of jewelry you'd like from her shop... a very hard decision!  So many great choices!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Adventures in Plaids

Two years ago, I made a quilt for my niece who was graduating from college.  This was my first quilt and started me on the quilting road.  

One small problem... I have two nieces and two nephews who have graduated from college with no quilt from their aunt and another who graduates from college this year.  So, this year's challenge is The Niece and Nephew Quilt Project.

I have been collecting homespun plaids to use with Bonnie Hunter's Smokey Mountain Stars quilt pattern, along with two Moda Bella solids from my stash.  One of the solids is parchment and I don't recall what the other is... just that it's about the same value as the parchment but a little more golden.

Photo by Bonnie Hunter from her website

I cut out all the fabrics on Friday...

...and yesterday, I started sewing!  

Bonnie "double sews" blocks and saves the corners for another project.  I have no idea of how or what to use all those HSTs that will finish at 1.5" but I decided to give it a go.

It turns out that it's not as fiddle-y as I thought... and was actually easier than sewing a smaller square to a larger square because the two squares were already attached and all the big squares were chained pieced and still together.

After all the plaid squares were sewn to the 26 solid squares...

I moved on to the plaids...

The 42 plaid squares have two squares attached so it took a while but was do-able in one session.

Yup... lots and lots of fraying threads with homespuns!

I'm not sure what I'll do with all the little HSTs... I'll have 304 of those puppies when I'm done... but I'm sure I'll think of something!

Today I will be working on the 97 solid squares that get two of the small plaid squares.  

I think that will be enough for one day, don't you?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

CW Block 29: Railroad Crossing

One of the easier blocks posted so far, I made it complicated by fussy cutting...

I remembered that I had purchased a set of acrylic fussy cutting templates at the quilt show last summer!  The 3.5" template certainly made cutting out the center block much simpler.

Hmmm...  52 - 29 =  23 blocks left to go!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Yesterday afternoon, I did some non-fussy cutting...

...chain piecing will be happening today!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Quilting Finished

I finished quilting the blue-and-white Kaleidoscope quilt yesterday afternoon.  It was a good feeling...

I sewed a line on each side of the vertical and horizontal seams that connected the blocks together.

Then, I sewed a line that zigzagged across and down the white diamonds, only on the white fabric...

....crossing at the intersection of the points by stitching in the ditch.  It took two passes of stitching for each row of diamonds.

I'm pleased the way the quilting turned out...

...and will work on the binding tomorrow!