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

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Mid September Report

This month is racing by even faster than last month, at least for me--tell me I'm not alone in feeling that way!  First, my sister in law Laura received her quilt in the mail and called me right away to thank me.  She had seen it person in flimsy stage, and only in pictures after, since I entered in the County Fair.   I love to have the new owners of my quilts smiling with their gift!  So pleased she loves it.



I'm still working on the 40 bags in 40 days idea and have gotten a few areas straightened away.  At least 12 bags went out the door to the charity shop one day, I've sorted a lot of mail, recycled magazines, folded and reorganized linens, and made lists of areas to tackle next with specific plans.  I've bought bins and slide out shelves and cleaned out the fridge.  If you like organizing, or need ideas, a fave blog of mine is IHeart Organizing.  Lots of DIY and simple wish-I'd-thought-of-that budget-easy ideas.  One of her ideas I lifted was bins for the fridge to hold like items.  I found some very inexpensive plastic bins with handles at Big Lots and have now corralled the yogurt/cottage cheese snacks into one, and put small leftovers in another--you know, those orts in plastic sandwich bags that get lost behind the eggs and go bad.  Isn't it great the ideas you can get from others? I'll share an idea my sister found novel, and one my mother introduced.

My sister said she had never thought of doing this, which I have done for years.  I cut through the packaged ground beef in the tray before browning for tacos, etc, just to help break it up more easily in the pan.

I often forget to, but my mom always does this to chip bags when the contents are low--cut the top the bag down.  A simple thing but one my brain had not thought of.  Another kitchen hint: I buy a stack or two of plain white, very cheap washcloths every year and keep them in my dishtowel drawer. When cleaning messes that are truly grimy and/or disgusting (cat gack, anyone?), I simply throw out the washcloth with the mess.  Having on hand a box of cheap disposable gloves for such messes is handy too.  And now, back to sewing.


This morning I finished up this set of placemats for my daughter's friend who is moving away for her senior year of college.  Simple wavy line quilting and machine binding.  I've had this poppy fabric for about 10 years but the green mottled fabric is from JoAnn's.


They are two-sided.  I used a green bottom thread when sewing down the binding.  Meanwhile, the Winding Ways project is continuing.  Some quilt MATH blew up in my face and I underestimated how much fabric I needed.  But it isn't a hardship for me to pick out more at the quilt shop :)

Lucy the cat has been keeping me company while I sew.  Her favorite spot is next to my floor lamp.  The addition of a plastic bag has made her heart go pitter pat.
She's been either in or on the sack for the past week!

Friday, September 5, 2014

August Leftovers

I haven't quite adjusted to the fact that it is now September, thereby the title of this post.   The sewing time has been slim around here, but there has been some fabric passing through my hands.  Sarah and I met at the fabric store last Saturday to pick out fabrics for a quilt she's commissioned for a 50th wedding anniversary gift for her sister.  My favorite part is always picking out the fabrics!  It will be a three color quilt, but it is against my scrappy nature to have it be three fabrics.  Thus, the hunt was on for coppery prints and a turquoise accent.


The color is a bit off in this photo, but the general idea is cream and copper with one contrasting turquoise circle.  I've got the fabrics washed and hope to get some cutting done this weekend with the GO! die cutter.

Meanwhile, I finally got the label on the ombre quilt for my sister in law Laura's birthday, who has been patiently waiting for a month for me to get it in gear.  


With my daughter Erica and Google's help, I gave the quilt a fancy French name (I blurred out part of this photo).  I hope Laura enjoys it for years to come.

There were a lot of leftover squares and strips of batiks in the bin when I hunted for a remnant of the cream batik to make the label for Laura's quilt.  I remembered an inspiration photo I'd pinned a few months back and started laying out my version of the tablerunner. 
 

 It will finish about 16x54".  My dad is already asking about buying it from me!



I'll have to wait and see if I can part with it once it is quilted. I love these batiks.  Also in the works are a set of placemats for a friend of my daughter's who is about to start her senior year at university.  Coming up right after the Winding Ways quilt is a baby quilt for a friend of my other daughter's.  Seems my machine time is scheduled for the next couple of months!  But tomorrow it is Mimi and Papa time again.  We get to babysit Cove all day while his mama is at work.  Here's a recent photo of our barely 6 month old grandson, who is crawling everywhere and has sprouted two teeth: 

Sporting some skinny jeans--note the perfectly cuffed pant legs, courtesy of his dada :)