Thursday, October 16, 2014

Current State of Affairs

The current state of affairs around here is quite the mixed bag.  I feel behind on everything and the end of the year is rushing towards me at top speed.  A number of deadlines are looming.

This is the current state of my sewing room.  It's amazing anything nice comes out of this disaster. Someday I hope to see the tabletop of the Hoosier cabinet again...

On the cutting table currently are this batik table-runner, layers basted and binding cut, ready for quilting.  I've promised this to my dad.  His birthday was this week and I skipped the party due to catching a cold.  My dad never wants anyone who is sick to show up and possibly infect him.  Plus Cove was there and I didn't want to get him sick, either.  Today I'm home from work due to said cold. 

These mug mats were made for the guild meeting--at the last minute, of course.  I had some tumblers precut and matched up some other scrappy leftovers to fashion the mug mats. 

Simple stitch and turn and some minimal quilting. I like to have little things like this on hand to give as gifts.

I think I mentioned my sister and I joined the local Modern Quilt Guild, a couple of months ago.  This month we signed up to provide snacks for the members.  Kathy made a blackberry cobbler and announced that "none of it better come home with her".  That started a run to the snack table.  I made the fabulous dark gingerbread that Trader Joe's sells this time of year, and provided whipped cream for the topping.  That was popular too :)  Some members rented a table for $5 each to sell their surplus items.  I came home with these fabric chunks.  There are William Morris prints and a bundle of coordinating fat quarter prints tied with the ribbon.  These will fit nicely in the stash dresser. Can't beat the prices! 

Winding Ways block parts are slowly accumulating, but not fast enough.  I am way behind and already have been working on them between coughing attacks.

Of course there is baby spam.  Here's Cove this morning with his basting brush and plastic box.  His father laments that he is stretching out all his pants when he crawls.

But Cove helps out with the laundry he makes!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Design Wall Monday--Oct 6, 2014

The continuing saga of the Winding Ways quilt is on my design surface today.  I started with the focus blocks to give me inspiration to keep working at all those curved seams.

The only straight seam in the whole block is the 1/2" joining of the center bridge piece between the block halves!  Otherwise it is curve curve curve.

I worked until late last night to complete all nine blocks that have the turquoise parts.  The rest of the blocks will be copper and cream. 9 completed, 81 to go! So far, so good.  Trying not to stress about imperfections in the block centers--that 1/2" wide bridge piece is darn fussy to get right.  I've resewn a couple of block centers but have been satisfied with them for the most part. Turns out I've used block parts as leader-enders so work on last week's design wall hasn't progressed.  

And now, more baby spam!

Cove is standing in his crib--and everywhere else now.  Good thing he is short or he'd be out of there in a minute!   See more design walls on Judy's Patchwork Times.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Design Wall Monday--9/29/2014

On my design surface today is what I'm calling "Rescuing the Medallion Star", a revamp of a quilt top that was given to me.

There were three different combos of the two prints and one neutral I'm using for the border sections.  Though the pattern gave directions to sew strip sets and then cut 1.5" segments from each, I used a shortcut I learned from Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville to speed up the process and keep the pieces matched, but carried it one step further by marking the paired strips and sewing 1/4" from the marked line before cutting it apart.  Not a new idea, by any means, but one that improved my accuracy.  I always did have trouble getting those small pairs all exact.

I'm not sure I would use this method if I had several dozens of blocks to sew for a quilt, but in this case there were only 12 blocks.  It was faster for me to use scissors to cut them apart on the marked lines, so that's what I did.

So far, so good!  I plan on using these block parts as leader-enders while I make dozens of blocks for the Winding Ways quilt. 

A long cutting session on Saturday at a guild sew-in saw all the remaining pieces get fed through the GO die cutter and fill this box. I believe I now have enough block parts, but given my MATH history, we shall see!  It was a busy Saturday, including a haircut where I left 4" of length on the floor, the sew-in, and an engagement party for a nephew.  We got to see this little guy twice this weekend:

Grandson Cove sure looks like his Mama in this photo :)  He's 7 months old now, has two teeth, is crawling like crazy, pulling himself up to stand any time he can, and as our daughter said, mowing down all food offered to him.  What a joy he is in our lives!

See more design walls on Judy's Patchwork Times.   

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What I'm Working On Wednesday

It took until Sunday, thanks to a bout of what has been diagnosed as probable diverticulitis, before I got a chance to go to the fabric store and get a couple of additional copper prints for the Winding Ways custom quilt.  This being Fall, I didn't think it would be difficult to find such colors, but it has been!
These are two Hoffman prints.  The one on the right was from a Christmas collection, but seems to blend well with ones already cut.  I've washed and ironed the new prints and just need to cut them to width for the GO! die cutter.

Due to my MATH error, there also was not enough of the neutral fabric for all the blocks.  I added these from my stash.  Now to get a long cutting session done... 

Among the projects languishing  ripening for years in boxes in the Hoosier cabinet is a quilt top I didn't make. 

My former boss's wife made this, sometime in the 80s, perhaps.  I already cut off an additional 20" piece from each end of what I'm calling a Medallion Star.  My plan is to take away the 80s by breaking up all that blue print with something lively.
 Like this border idea from an APQ Calendar pattern.  I like the two colors woven in and out and am using a brighter white for the neutral to add some cheer.

When my former boss gave me the bag with the quilt top some years ago, there were lots of pieces of the fabrics his wife used in the quilt.  I still have plenty of the berry colored print, but none of these blues or creams--I've used them up in other scrap quilts already.

This is the pattern book that came with the calendar.  It was surprisingly hard to find berry/wine colored prints right now.  I always seem to be looking for fabric colors and prints that aren't easily available!  I'm hoping I can squeeze out all the sections needed.  As for the rest of the languishing ripening projects in the Hoosier cabinet, I have plans for most of those too :)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Design Wall Monday--Sept 15, 2014

On my design surface today is a commissioned quilt in progress.  I'm making a Winding Ways quilt for a friend's sister and brother in law's 50th wedding anniversary. 

It's going to be mostly a two color quilt like this one on the APQ magazine cover (February 2013).  This pattern and article covers use of the Accuquilt GO! Cutter Winding Ways die and using Layer Cake precuts.  Maybe that is why the directions for this 80" square quilt give a mind-boggling yardage amount for the front of the quilt--6 1/4 years EACH of assorted cream and blue prints.  Excuse me, but I think 12 1/2 yards of fabric is a bit much for the front of a quilt! 

Using the die cutter, I got enough pieces for 30 block centers for the positive blocks, and 30 block pieces for the negative blocks.  This was from six cuts of fabric 5/8 of a yard, which is less than four yards total, even with cutting a 2 1/2" binding strip from each print, and fabric waste from the die cutter.  I did underestimate how many blocks I need to make for the 9x10 layout I plan (8" blocks), so need about two more 5/8 yard cuts.  That is still over a yard less than 6 1/4 yards estimated just for the blocks and not including the binding.  I realize they give an overage but it seems way over!  Next I'll cut all the cream fabric with the same die.  Sure does shorten by many hours the work to get these shapes for the blocks.

See more design walls on Judy's Patchwork Times