Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Southwest Summer Quilt Block Tutorial

Summer in the Southwest is HOT, inspiring me to pull my deepest orange for this project!
I love the way it plays with this Echino NiCo Scooter Fabric!

Finished block = 13.5" x 17"
Although there are bias edges to be careful with, this is an easy block and a fun method...

1. Select three fabrics with good contrast.

2. Cutting:
     Fabric One: Cut your center fabric 6.5" Square.

     Fabric Two: Cut four pieces of the contrast fabric, (to be sewn next to the center):
          2 - 3.5" x 6.5"
          2 - 3.5" x 12.5"

     Fabric Three: Cut two squares of the outer fabric, 9 3/8" , then cut them diagonally in half.

3. Starch and press your pieces for best results when working with bias edges.
4. Lay your pieces out:
5. Sew one 3.5" x 6.5" rectangle to each side of your center square and press seams outward.
Sew one 3.5" x 12.5"rectangle to the other side of your center square and press those seams outward.
Sew one triangle to each side of your pieced square, and press those seams outward as well, toward the triangles.
6. Cut the block down the center first. Make three more cuts, 2" apart on each side of the center cut:
7. Invert the strips. This is the traditional layout, with the outer strips inverted to match the others:
This is the layout I selected:
8. Sew the strips together, preferably with a walking foot.
9. P ress the center seam open, and the other seams outward to complete the block.
Someday, this will be a fun tote bag!
Soon, I hope!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Giveaway Winner & Happy Mail!

Swapping fabric and making friends are definitely fun benefits of blogging! This morning I filled the Zippy Pouch I made for my 200th Blogpost Giveaway, and posted it to the winner!
I follow Kathy's blog, Running With Rocket, so I was pretty excited when Ty drew her name! Straight away, I went about looking for fabric bits she might enjoy. I only found one airplane print, but added a few others I hope she likes.

My mailman had been missing for three weeks and Ty and I were beginning to worry. We finally wrote a little note on the box, but then we heard the truck & raced out. We were happy and relieved that Mel is back and has only been away on vacation! Whew!

Then, he handed me a package! It is Blog-lovin of the best kind! This is the bundle of goodness I won last week from the lovely Mary of Quiltin' Grandma's Blog!
Lara, do you see the little bees on the pear? *Squish!*
I am in LOVE with the black & White Batik bundle! The blue batik has been added to a beautiful stack I am collecting for my mother's quilt, which I hope to get around to in the next year. Mary also included the sweet pincushion pattern. It is written to be used with wools and I do have some wool plaids hoarded, but they are not felted. I wonder if I can use them as they are for this hand-stitching project, since I don't have time this week to attempt felting... hmm..

Which brings me to the exciting week ahead! I am preparing some hand-stitching projects I can tote along to Alaska. Yes, ALASKA! I will be there for a month and pretty darn excited about it!
This means however, all my projects and plans for September are on HOLD!

I have all these little projects packed for the trip:
And now, hopefully, I can find materials to work on making pear-pincushions as well!
The EPP/UFO in the baggy is a Jinny Beyer Patchwork Ball, and this will be my September Goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes!
All of my blog posts will be drafted this week and posted from Alaska in September!
OMGosh, I hope I can stay warm in El Norte Grande!
Thank you for all the kind comments left on my giveaway post! I wish I could make a bag for each of you:) There were a few no-reply bloggers and if you did not receive a reply from me, you may be one of them! Many of you are aware of this status and leave email addresses for the drawing..
Another Bugger: As of recent, I no longer receive an email notification when readers with Yahoo email leave a comment. I find this frustrating and don't know how to fix it!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

WIP Wednesday, Checking in with Donna's Stars

I am making progress on Donna's Star Quilt! I took this shadowy-shot late last night. I actually wish I had not used bubbles in these squares - I thought they would go well since my swirl pattern elsewhere on the quilt also has bubbles. But now the littlest star points are a bit lost.
Too late now.
Live and learn;)

Not sure I will meet the finish goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes, but I did finish all four of the large, center squares! I think there are three more little squares, then all around the border yet to do.
Oh, and a binding.
FMQ is very slow-goings...
Oh, and a ton of bobbins - I wish I had kept count. Each large square took one full bobbin. That means a lot of time cleaning the machine.

With both of my machines, I stop and clean after each and every bobbin. The Juki has an additional door/access underneath that my old Bernina does not have. I don't clean that part every time, but did last night. You have to tip the whole machine forward and open the door, then all kinds of lint can be found. What surprised me though, was the oil that had run down the right-hand foot, quite a messy little puddle of it. The Bernina does not require as much oil the Juki does - I drop at each spot with just about every bobbin change on Mr. Juki. It seems excessive compared to the recommendations of the Bernina. Now I am a bit curious about maintenance of other machines...
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