Thursday, April 24, 2014

Railway Baby - Nine Patch Quilt #2

Railway Baby is finished!
32" x 39"
 This is the second baby quilt I have completed from the nine-patch units I made up last year. (view the post with a quick-method for nine patch blocks here).
This was also my April finish goal for AYOLF - previously posted here.
I still prefer hand-stitching bindings, but this is the best result I have had with machine binding so far. I made it a bit smaller ( 1 7/8" I think), and it came out pretty sharp:-)
I love all the prints from this Layer Cake, and I love that I am able to complete three baby quilts from it, and I actually have scraps still leftover that could be made into a fourth :-)

The third baby quilt is a current work in progress, but it is going fast. I pieced the top by setting the remaining blocks on point, added a simple border, and it is currently on board Mr. Juki waiting for a final quilting decision! This is often a station in my quilt room where quilt progress is often 'stuck' for a bit - a glitch in the system so to speak. I do love this one though, I think best of the three:

Participating today with:
Kelly at My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday
TGIFF at A Quilting Reader's Garden this week,
Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?

Thank you for reading and have a great weekend!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Foundation Piecing a State Fair Star Block

Zoom  Zoom Zoom and it is Monday again!

Time again to share blocks over at What a Hoot for BOM's Away!
In comparison to the Sew Kitschy BOM Blocks I have been sewing from Kristy at Quiet Play, things were a bit shakier with this pattern for the State Fair Block! The paper sheets I used are from Lynn Graves, published with permission from a Judy Martin Book from 1990, Scraps, Blocks, and Quilts. (I probably even have it - I will have to check!) .
I have had this pack of sheets for ages, it will make a zillion 10" blocks. The lines drawn on the pattern are the cutting lines, and you have to remember to sew 1/4" to the left the printed lines.

It just seemed a bit trickier with all the sections, and it wasn't as easy to remove the paper as the tissue paper (!) I have been using, but really it came out nicely and I am pleased:-)
It has been added to my growing pile of Aurifil Blocks !

I will be participating in The Blogger's Quilt Festival coming up (May 16) at Amy's Creative Side,
Will you be there too?

Thank you so much for reading!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter Peeps!

Thought today would be a great time to share this little mini I made last spring!

Perfect for Easter, and I never did blog about it last year :-)
She looks curious, doesn't she?
I made a hanging sleeve, but then I never made the little hanger I intended...

Couple giveaways to share with you today!

Sandy at  UpstairsHobbyRoom is hosting a very generous giveaway this week!

And Sarah Quilts has a great fabric bundle as well

AND, one more to share - Lily's Quilts has a pretty awesome giveaway to hop over to too!

Lily's Quilts

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

How I bury SHORT threads... A 'How I do it Tutorial'

One of the blogs I enjoy following, Quilter in the Closet, has begun a new linkup for quilter's to share tips and tutorials. I love the concept and thought I would share her link and add a tip of my own!

The blog is written by Newbie Jen, and today her host-post is a tutorial titled 'How to bury threads' (when Free Motion Quilting). Her procedure is the same as my own. Reading it really made me smile though, recalling how much more time I used to spend doing this in the past, before I discovered self-threading needles! When I first began quilting at my machine, clipping tails was considered a great taboo by the quilting community, and although I was not part of a guild, nor did I show quilts, I read so much about it in magazines, that I thought I must NEVER be caught clipping a seam! Ha Ha!

These days, I do still bury ends most of the time, however if it were not for the self-threading needle it would not be nearly as often. I have become so fast with this needle, I general tuck-as-I-go, when I have stitched just 4 or 5 inches away from my start! I personally think there are safe ways to start and end stitching for utility quilts that look beautiful and will hold up well without tucking; back-stitching, tiny stitching, and back-tracking is more acceptable than in the past as well. Still, for any heirloom or show quilt, tucking is the way I will go!

The tip I want to share with the linkup to 'How I Do It', is how I handle really short tails that result from breakage, or from the inevitable, and dreaded, empty bobbin.
This thread is pretty short, and would be hard to thread in a needle, even a self-threader, right? With the method I use, I can tuck a tail that is less than an inch. Do you know my tip already.. OR...  are you prepared to be amazed?

I take my trusty self-threading needle, and stick it in the in bury point,
grab that little thread, and click it into the eye!
Pull the needle up and trim! Easy Peasy!

When I run out of bobbin thread, I generally lift the thread from the last 8 or 9 stitches, tie and bury them. If I am not in the mood, I start my new thread an inch or so back and do some small stitching to anchor the unsecured stitches..

That's it! Hope you all have a fab Easter weekend -
(I can't wait to show this new baby quilt BTW, calling it Scrambled Nines!)

How bout you, do you bury threads? Join the conversation over at How I Do It!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sew Kitschy Coffee Pot - April BOM

It seems my foundation piecing skills are improving, well, my confidence at least :-)
This month I chose to alter the pattern for the Sew Kitschy Block of the Month led by Kristy at Quiet Play. Ever have the urge to change a pattern up for your own quilts? As I make this quilt I have in mind the property I visited in the summer's of my childhood; my Grandfather's cabin in Canada. I am going for a rustic and simple vibe. Enamel hot pots came to mind when I saw that this month's block is a tea pot. Putting my vision to paper was easy enough. Figuring out the reverse image and sections seemed a bit more complicated than I had thought, so I just dug in, starting with Kristy's pattern for the lid and knob. From there, I improv-pieced, just wingin' it!

Bet you didn't even notice the counter isn't level!!
hmm, maybe you did...

Here is how they are all coming together...

Yep, looking at it gives me Cabin Fever ;-)

Linking up today with Sew Kitschy April Blocks Party,

AyliN  Nilya for Monday Maker

And with Lyn at What a Hoot for BOM's Away!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Aurifil BOM for April!

Aurifil's designer of the month is Angela Yosten. I enjoyed reading her interview, and she shared a photo of her favorite quilt, a beautiful red and white Bear Paw hand-quilt by her Great-Grandmother. It was the inspiration for the block she designed for Aurifil's BOM.

Here is my version..
I am not sure what type floss Angela used for her stitching - I used a thick DMC, I think it is size 8. I like the rather large stitches, although I probably should have marked my lines first:-)

Of course, I added my version to Aurifil's Flickr Group for my chance to win this month's thread giveaway!

Downloadable instructions are at the bottom of Angela's interview -- Enjoy!

Linking up with Lyn at What a Hoot for BOM's Away!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

WIP with a finish goal for April

Sometimes fabric seems to go forever!
MORE leftover baby blocks! Square in a Square setting
Last year, I cut into a Layer Cake of nursery prints (from Quilting Treasures?). Without a plan in mind, I whipped up a bunch of nine patch blocks using a speedy method I shared here. It was one year ago almost to the date - I finished two baby flimsies at that time..
Baby Nines!
I completed the first quilt in short order, Baby Nines, & was really thrilled to sell it in my Etsy shop.

I came across the second flimsy last week, added a simple border and sandwiched it. It is unnamed officially, but reminds me of the railway, so I have been calling it Railroad Baby...

Railroad Baby has been selected as my one main goal for a Finish in April with AYOLF over at Fiber of All Sorts.

I was still left with 24 blocks, and yesterday I played with the square-in-a-square idea, pulling four fabrics that seem to suit them all well and hopefully pull them all together.  Here is a close up, so you can get a nice peek at my new Three Blind Mice (Catnap) fabric. ..

Lizzy House Catnap, purchased on Ebay $6.99 yard. Sale is over, but it is still a SHOP worth a peek, & I just noticed some nice Tula bundles offered..

MMM, so cute! I think this last baby quilt will be 'Scrambled Nines' :-)

Thank you for reading today, check out more Work in Process at  Lee's Freshly Pieced (and a great giveaway this week too!)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Flight Plan!

Pretty, eh?
It looks so simple to me now, all bundled brightly on the screen, but I actually spent a considerable amount of time in March, choosing the 32 fabrics and cutting one strip from each. I don't have the three yards background fabric required, so I have set this project aside already.
Actually, I almost forgot about it until this morning when I realized it is the perfect project to share with the NewFO Linkup Barbara hosts at Cat Patches!

I selected a pattern to follow that I found in American Patchwork & Quilting (December 2013). It is called Flight Plan, designed by Kimberly Einmo.
Photo borrowed from Robert Kaufman site!

I have toyed around for years with batik fabrics for my Mother-in-Law. She actually bought the first bit of my batik stash while we were out shopping together. Stored away, I have loads of blocks that were intended for a quilt for her, and I figure this is a good time to share old snapshots and introduce one of the many, not-yet-released UFO's in my hangar:

These blocks are made with fabrics she initially chose.

The more blocks I made, the more it just did not feel like the right quilt for Donna. I think I was leaning toward a natural, desert-like tone utilizing all the oranges she was attracted to. But Mom likes lots of brights, and this was getting too dull.
I snapped photos with different layouts,

But none were just right.
I was disappointed when I tried culling the cool blocks,

But I did like playing with those blocks I had pulled,

Someday I will pull all these back out and figure out who and what they are really meant for!

For now, I am so pleased I have decisions made and (almost) ready-to-roll with a Flight Plan for Mom!

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