Wednesday, July 31, 2013

New FOs!

I have been looking forward to sharing progress with a couple new projects with all the party peoples playing with Cat Patches this week! The NewFO is really one of my favorite linky parties; where else are we encouraged to continually, and shamelessly start new projects?

I began cutting and piecing the HST for my husband's Birthday quilt, and have quite a stack completed. He helped me design a Ty-like layout in EQ6, and I think I will actually be sticking to this plan (remains to be seen - that is what I always think!)
Risking a juvenile look to it, I tried to avoid the kid prints and such, but a few here and there cannot be avoided! And I made a couple custom fabrics for him as well, here are a few that will be 'snuck' in:
A very rough glimpse of the future:

My next NewFO is actually an old UFO that I have mentioned in past posts. Now that I have my design wall clear, I have space to play with some blocks I made about 7 yrs ago. (I thought it was longer than that, but re-calculated!).
I have oodles of triangles and blocks for this, but here are some I have been playing with:
The pattern is inspired by a quilt in Quick & Easy Quiltmaking, A Patchwork Place/Rodale 1993. I was overwhelmed with the layout when I packed this up for storage - the sails were not contrasted enough and things just weren't coming together. I am still unsure I will include the lighter shades, or the lavenders, but I do think I will make one quilt in this style. I took a few blocks out for now, the ones with red - maybe these will become a pillow. Or something!

And, this week I will also be playing with yet another layout for thesel. Did I mention I have a lot of these boat blocks? So, I am not sure yet if this will be a full quilt, or maybe two baby quilts, but I am having fun playing with them. I made a template yesterday to give them a bit of a twist, and I will share that progress with next week's BOM post.
I have lots of Block Talk saved for Monday!
Linking up as well to Lily's Fresh Sewing Day. Have you seen the star quilt finish she just posted, made by her Siblings Together Guild? My favorite quilts have always been those made by many people. I love the surprise when something with an  improvisational aspect comes together as if it was planned all along, and the story behind them makes them all the more special.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Label for Madeleine

A bit overdue, and well worth the wait, baby Madeleine was born July 18th!
I promptly pulled out her A Shower For Madeleine and began embroidering her 'label' along the backside of the binding.
I have a bit to learn about embroidery (!), so I did have to rip out my first attempt. This is looking better with only one strand of floss. Her full name is long, & I will add the DOB, Made with Love (of course), and I get to sign it with the title 'Grandaunt'. I wasn't certain my correct relation and called my mom, who has a genealogy passion, and she cleared it up for me. This adorable little girl is my nephew's first baby:-)  I think the label will run about 18" when complete.

Today is my husband's birthday. Not that it snuck up on me or anything, but last night I pulled out some fabric for a quilt. For this project, I will need more black on white, maybe a bit of blue on white, and more white on blue.

Some of these I have saved over the years, with Ty in mind. And I tore into a Reunion Cake for some of those. I have been collecting various reds for some time now for a red and white quilt. I recently swapped 10" scrap lots with Astrid, who blogs at Red, Red, Completely Red . With a name like that, I thought she may have some fun stash to swap, and she did not disappoint!

From Astrid's Stash to Mine!
From my Stash to Astrid's!
 Last night, I explained to Ty that I do not have a gift. He likely thought I was kidding (he loves gifts, and I try not to disappoint!), until I pulled him into my sewing room, and showed him his new quilt.
I showed him the picture I was inspired by, with a zigzag type of pattern I had in mind, from and old issue of Miniature Quilts Magazine.
I detected the slightest hmph, and my pulse quickened. This is far from the Mondrian Quilt we have talked about so much over the years. So I whipped up a quick layout on EQ6, and he tweeked the design in a more Ty-like fashion.
Before bed, we talked about changing one column color, so this morning I colored in some options, this being my favorite:
I should be able to spend some time on this tomorrow. Today is All-About-Ty-Day :-)
We are excited his sister and husband are in Vegas, visiting from Alaska.

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday:-)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Fabric from Down Under!

Lucky me, I recently won a giveaway from Little Mushroom Cap (One of my favorite Blogger's!), and have been anxiously checking my mailbox since I heard the news, even though I knew it would take a while coming from Australia. Alas, it has arrived & It is even better in person, Amira has great fabric sense!
 This morning I went straight-away to her site to let her know it is received, however I was side-tracked when I found her Churn Dash Tutorial, the newest block for her QAL. The focus of the QAL sampler blocks is the quilting, (done each month / quilt as you go blocks) -- a topic I need to relax with, so I went right to work cutting into my newest stash. I couldn't select just two fabrics, so I pieced in the third print. And I thought the selvedge title was appropriate for Vegas, so I left that in there too...
Lucky Penny Churn Dash!
I set a goal this weekend to clear my design wall for the backlog of projects in queue. The Hearts and Flowers Blocks have been there way too long - my heart was just not in it. I enjoyed making the monthly blocks because I enjoy the group of gals that meets monthly, but with no one in mind to receive it it was hard to motivate on it. I knew if I took them down, the blocks would never be completed, so I hemmed and hawed, but I came up with a plan,
And I tackled it!
I am going to fold and pack it away now that I have it together and actually like it, and I think it will be great fun to quilt it when the time is right. The bottom row is not attached, I am not positive how I will finish those two corners. I like them plain, but not sure so that will be decided down the road. I removed five blocks before I liked the quilt. Two of those will be pillows, or go into the backing.
 Linking up with What a Hoot for BOM's Away! 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday Morning Blocks

I have several block finishes to share for BOM's Away Monday!

Finished my June Block for Hello Moon by April Mae Designs:
Finished a border and mailed a Patriotic block for the Add-A-Border Group:
I used an orphan block, made at quilt guild a few month's back, to make a bedside organizer:

I posted  a tutorial for the Lemoyne's Star Block back in January, but this was the first block I made at Guild, with some scraps I had grabbed to play with. Just so happens my bedding is brown and black, and I have no room for a nightstand the way we are arranged in there, so I fashioned up this little caddy for magazines and such (ie, earplugs for emergency use!).

I have quite a few projects queued up for the design wall, but I have not wanted to remove the Hearts and Flowers blocks until I at least sew them somewhat together. I keep changing the layout around. I am working on a central background heart. I had this going on:
 Then I removed two blocks that weren't working, and moved those top ones to the bottom.

Still not happy with that red stripe heart there at the top, I tried swapping it,

I like the idea that the bottom of the quilt will have  a lot of the royal for background, so I moved those with royal to the bottom. I'm thinking it needs a few little heart border strips between some of the blocks. Or sompin. I am pretty tired of looking at it, but it is all in pieces and not ready to come down. I thought for that top heart, I can move it up an inch or two and add royal triangles on the bottom of the block, leaving a 1" or so strip of light blue under the top red heart. Not sure that'll make sense to you reading. In short, it will complete the large royal heart, and move that upper heart up even more, and I guess that is where I should start next. Not loving it, but it is getting better:-)

Friday, July 5, 2013

Quilting Purple Kisses, & A Coupla Finishes!

Do you spend too much time choosing a quilting design for your quilt tops?

I have really been working to improve my planning so that once a quilt is basted and ready to roll, it doesn't sit around waiting for me to change my mind repeatedly while mulling over sketches and old FMQ swatches. I have made several tops with the quilting actually in mind prior to the patchwork being completed, and it is nice - if I actually stick to the plan. Inevitably, some new idea pops into my mind though, and I set about sketching all different options to contemplate.

Under the Juki today I have Purple Kisses, the quilt top I finished this spring with Christa's Quilt Along. I am not sure exactly my quilting plan on this one, but I spent enough time thinking about it and decided to get a move on. Christa presses seams open when piecing, and I pressed all the four patch seams open. I knew that I wanted to avoid in-the-ditch quilting on open seams and decided to first outline the pattern that I want to emphasize.

For the purple X's, I will probably channel two more lines to connect them all.

I like the pattern the O's make with the snowballs included. I have in mind a line pattern - kinda like the NM flag, but it leaves the center snowball open and undecided. Maybe some sort of filler, but probably I will try to mimic the purple part a bit, with whatever ends up between the lines. Maybe someone from Leah Day's FMQFriday will have a great idea;-)

We had friends visit from Washington State this week, passing through from Southern California on to the Grand Canyon. They were hit hard with the 115 degree temps and we did not go touristing on The Strip, but stayed home with the A/C. Lovely visit, our favorite kind:-)

I managed a couple finishes for Friday sharing:

I quick-stitched-up-and-mailed these tiny little trees after I read Amy's plea for Village Blocks

At last, the binding on Terry's Log Cabin is complete!
I enjoyed a good chuckle this morning when I read yesterday's post at Lily's Quilts, on being 47.
Two weeks ago, I happened upon this little treasure at an estate sale..
This needle threader gizmo is the type of thing I would see at a craft store and walk right by.
But oh, I have found it to be so sweet. It saves all kinds of time. I have even left my quilting room to use this gizmo, which is now part of the living room décor. How thankful I am for this find!

If you look, you may be able to see the knot in my thread right at the base of the needle. Am I the only one who stitched who-knows-how-many bindings without realizing this trick? Another time saver I am now thankfully aware of...

I finished up two more orphan-block pillows.
Both are backed with chenille and include hidden zippers.

I have several projects in the works I had intended to blog about this week. Although I have continued to read posts I follow, I do not write from my phone and have not been posting or commenting for awhile. I look forward to doing a bit of blog-touring this weekend:-)

Linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?, TGIFF

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