Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesday Ramblings

Pottered around the house yesterday and pinned the tumbler quilt sandwich.  Outside to water the garden bed, I also enjoyed one of my favorite daylilies... a volunteer that's a bit different from the regular orange ditch lilies... this one has a rosy/rusty tint...

I wish I had a zillion of 'em!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In other news, Marj of Eclectic Quilter is having a give-away to celebrate having over 100 followers.  Yea, Marj!  She is giving away a couple of very pretty, filled Knick Knack Sacks.  

Don’t bother entering the give-away because I just KNOW I’m gonna win!   *lol*
Be sure to check out her flower BOMs… just gorgeous!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Tumbler Progress (part 3)

I have to say sewing together tumbler blocks to make a quilt top is about as easy as it gets.  Didn't get much else done around the house yesterday (other than a nap) but did finish sewing the top together.... AND it was light enough outside for me to take an artsy photo...   *lol*

I took another photo of the flimsy inside so I could compare. Love my "design wall"....

You can get an idea of the size this way.

The backing is already out on my cutting table and ready to go...

Today is a teacher workday... to make up for a teacher workday that turned into a snow make up day for students earlier this year.    

Woo. Hoo.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

What is 247?

Two hundred forty-seven is the number of tumbler blocks I was able to sew together yesterday!  Seven rows were sewn together...

...and six rows wait to be sewn together today!

                                                    7 rows 
                                                + 6 rows 
                                                  13 rows

...that means just 6 more rows to go!  I see a quilt sandwich happening next weekend!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tumbler Progress

A busy l-o-n-g week at work but I finally got the last of the tumbler blocks cut out this morning.  

Each stack has no duplicates so I don't have to keep track of when I last used a particular fabric... unless I do this, I'm guaranteed to end up with the same fabric being adjacent rows.

It was difficult sorting fabrics into lights, darks, and mediums... some are just too close to call.   I'll start sewing rows of blocks together today but first... a cuppa coffee!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

My Frugal Ancestors

...would be turning over in their graves!  Did a little figuring yesterday... the results were quite shocking... to me anyway!

About a month or so after I dreamed up the tumbler quilt idea, I found a magazine that I thought might be helpful... save me some time doing various calculations...


The pattern calls for using 5" squares of various fabrics (charm squares) and provides fabric requirements for four sizes... crib, twin, queen, and king.  Based on those figures, I estimated I'd need appx 700 blocks for a large throw-size quilt for Daniel.

Now... I assumed that the blocks cut from the 5" charm squares would be 5" on the base and 5" high.  Well, you know what happens when one assumes things.... yup... that's when U make an ASS of ME.

Turns out the tumbler template/pattern included in the magazine is 3.875" wide at the base x 3.5" high x 2" wide at the top of the tumbler.

I love math and actually enjoy changing patterns to the size I want or figuring out measurements and fabric requirements for a quilt I've seen online... so I did a few calculations.

  • Charm square block= 25 sq in
  • Tumbler block cut with neon yellow tumbler template = 20 sq in
  • Tumbler block cut according to magazine pattern = 10.0625 sq in

Hmmm... with more than half the square inches of the charm square cut away... we're talking a lot of wasted fabric over those 700 blocks... in fact, over half the square inches will be cut away!

So... I am staying with the less wasteful day-glo tumbler template and therefore... I don't need 700+ blocks!  Who knew, all those years ago, that math would come in so dern handy?

Note:  The tumbler quilt in the magazine is a "charm" quilt where you're supposed to use a different fabric for each tumbler block.  Personally, I think it would be more fun to try and find two blocks that matched... and I'm all for using every bit of fabric possible...  waste not, want not!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Woman with A PLAN!

After the panic subsided, I came up with a reasonable goal for completing the tumbler quilt... the end of June.  One thing about college graduates... they don't mind getting late gifts! My nephew majored in something like "historic preservation" and I thought a tumbler quilt in 1800s reproduction prints would suit him to a "T"... might even make him interested in pursuing a specialty in historic/antique quilts!

I had this quilt figured out so it's just a matter of setting short term goals and keep moving!  I received several comments about using a GO! cutter... but I don't have one and don't know of anyone who does... including the LQS.  No matter... I have a handy dandy tumbler block template from Missouri Star Quilt Company(Link has video tutorial.)

The neon yellow (look at it glow!) acrylic template is made to fit charm squares... so I've cut 5" WOF strips and sub cut into tumbler blocks with very little waste...

And despite my youngest granddaughter's preschool graduation this evening....

...I manged to cut out over 200 blocks!

I'll get her done!

Gratuitous photo of my three little girls... otherwise known as my daughter and her two daughters...

It's hard to take photos of moving targets...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!

I'm not sure what planet I was on but I'm going to blame it on the fact that my nephew (or his mother, my sister) did not send out college graduation announcements.  So...  I'm now officially BEHIND with the graduation quilt project.  

So... any bets on just how quickly I can complete a throw-size tumbler quilt (including quilting it myself)? I do have the fabric but I have cut out not one single solitary tumbler.... and I'm gonna need over 700 of them puppies....

I'm gonna need some encouragement here...    cheering up, applause, etc. will be much welcome!

Thank you!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Down on the Farm

When my son was a kid, he hated anything and everything that had to do with gardening.  So it's ironic that he is now gardening in his backyard in raised beds.... has even called me for advice.

I liked his raised beds and so my son and his family gave me a 4'x4' raised bed thing for Mothers Day and brought it up this weekend and put it together.

The kit (purchased on sale at Lowe's home improvement emporium) required wood glue, which isn't something I typically keep around...so we made a run to Lowe's for that... and I picked up some veggies...  German Johnson tomatoes, some marigolds to plant around the tomatoes, some basil... and two kinds of cucumbers... burpless and pickling.  As my son was planting the cukes, he commented that one of them said crookneck squash.   

Hmmm... either the pot was in the wrong tray, mislabed, or some clown moved the markers for a laugh.  We did study the leaves but couldn't decide at this stage what type plant it belonged to.  So I have to wait and see what I actually got.... not a problem because I like squash if that what it is.

My son also got the boys to plant some cucumber seeds in an egg carton for later in the summer when the first bunch stop producing.  Gussie the Wonder Dog watched from the deck and as she patrolled the backyard.

My daughter and SIL brought their girls over after church so the cousins could visit. 

The girls were excited when they saw the raised bed out the dining room window....

After lunch, my SIL took the boys and Emma to play disk golf but Chloe was a bit under the weather (recovering from strep, poor dear)... so she stayed with me.  I let her pick out fabrics from my scrap bins and we made Snowy the Owl a quilt of her very own!

It was the first time a grandchild stood by me while I sewed... 

I did get an outdoor photo of the HST quilt...  but I guess I'm either not a good photographer or have no "eye" for taking photos of quilts... but here's the finished quilt anyhoo.

Quite a productive weekend...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Saturday Sewing

Somehow... Saturdays have become sewing days and Sundays are "get ready for the work week" days. 

First, I finished the second set of pillowcases that I will sent to Carol of Brown Quilts for her friend.

The border fabric came from JoAnn's and I love the print.  The main fabric is Moda Bella Solid... the first time I've used it.  It is uber soft and smooth and I will definitely be using it again!

The first set looks like this...

I'll get these in the mail this week.

This afternoon, I worked on sewing down the binding on the HST throw quilt... and I'm pleased to have been able to finish it. 

I'll take (hopefully) better photos tomorrow when it's light out...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Friday Night Sew In

Last night was Heidi and Bobbie's monthly FNSI and I had planned to work on sewing down binding..

A friend always says, "Man plans... God laughs!"   ...and my FNSI plans took a definite detour when my son called and asked if he and two of my grandsons... and my grandpuppy Gussie... could spend the night.  Love seeing them... and my daughter and my granddaughters came over and joined us for dinner.  After we ate, we started putting together a 4'x4' raised bed box thing that will be finished tomorrow.... my Mothers Day gift!

After we got the boys in the bed, my son asked if I could sew on a couple of patches... one on my grandson's Boy Scout uniform and three on his.   By the time I finished, it was 10pm and definitely time to start thinking about bed since we KNEW the boys would be up at the crack o' dawn.

Not the sewing I had planned on... but sewing nonetheless!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Yesterday was also the birthday of Linda of Stray Stitches...   who, in celebration of this happy event, is having a give-away of some beautiful fabric!

Eight half-yard cuts of a fabric line called Jasmine by Pamela Mostek for Clothworks... gorgeous!  

If you'd like to enter the giveaway... hurry on over and sign up!  The giveaway ends on Monday, May 30th!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Baby Wolf

There is a local zoo that is more an animal rescue facility than a true zoo.  To help fund the enterprise, a small fee is charged to visit... and you can take a guided tour.  Since it's not a true zoo, you can get up close and personal with some of the animals.

My granddaughters loved seeing all the animals a couple of weeks ago and even got to hold a baby wolf... they were thrilled!

The baby gray wolves are now teething and will nibble on your fingers.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Lovely Quilt

Felicity of Felicity Quilts made this Supernova quilt...  I love it!

"Oceanic Supernova" is part of a quilt-along and I think I'm so drawn to this one because of the colors... the blues and greens came from a FQ bundle of Kona solids called "Poseidon"...

Check out the other photos of this fab quilt on Felicity Quilts... the back is super cool!

Monday, May 16, 2011

New Quilt Update

I amazed myself Saturday...   I made the quilt sandwich, pinned, and quilted the throw-size quilt all in one day.  Must have eaten my Wheaties or something...

Nothing fancy on the quilting... though I think this quilt pattern would make a nice one for FMQ.  I see vines in the white areas and flowers in all the print blocks...

I first stitched in the ditch on the 4-pc block lines... then did  cross-hatch/diagonal quilting across the center of the 4-pc blocks.

Today, I trimmed the quilt and made the binding...  then sewed it on.

Even clipped down the binding...

...so the binding is ready to sew down for this coming Friday's FRIDAY NIGHT SEW-IN with Heidi and Bobbi!

Not signed up yet?  It's not too late... just mosey on over and add your name to the list, sew Friday night, post about it on Saturday... and be eligible for a cool drawing on Sunday!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

How a Little Old Lady....

...sandwiches and pin bastes a quilt without needing to make an appointment with her orthopedic doctor.

I lay blocks out on the floor but anything beyond this isn't happening!  My knees just won't allow it.  So...  I use my dining room table, my cardboard cutting board, and some binder clips!

You know the type cutting board...  this is my second one.  The first cutting board fell apart after 25 years of regular use!  

Once you have the backing spread out on the cutting board, you will need some binder clips.... use 6-8 binder clips to attach the backing to the cutting board.

I don't worry about scratching the table surface because there is always fabric between the bottom of the binder clip and the table.

Next, the batting goes on.  With the backing clipped down, it won't slide around and you'll be able to spread out the batting and smooth it easily.

I use additional binder clips to hold the batting and backing to the cutting board.  The quilt top is next...

It's very nice to have the backing and batting secured as you line up the quilt top and spread it on top.

Once you have the quilt top placed, reach under the top and remove the binder clips.   Smooth, smooth, smooth the quilt top and replace binder clips to hold your quilt sandwich together.

If you discover a wrinkle...

...it's easy to remove the binder clip to smooth out the wrinkle...

...and then replace the binder clip!

After you've smoothed the layers to your satisfaction, it's time to pin!

Once you've pinned everything you can on top of the cutting board, unclip the quilt sandwich and slide it to one side...

...smooth, clip, smooth, clip... then pin, pin, pin!  

Repeat with the other side of the quilt sandwich and you're done!

I sit while pinning and my back as well as my knees thank me!