Monday, March 31, 2014

More...

Here is some information about the Strip Tube Ruler some of you were asking about.
 
 
You can find the instructions for using it at Cozy Quilt.  I picked mine up at a LQS and it sort of got lost on my sewing table until recently.  Very easy to use by making a "tube" of fabric strips by sewing your fabric, right sides together, on the top and the bottom (see the link).
Then rotary cut your HST.  This ruler can also be used to square up HST's that aren't first sewn into a tube (which is what I did for mine and I didn't need to "math" my way to figure the size I wanted). 
 
 
 
Progress continues on the Metro Rings Quilt.
 
 
Currently sewing all the pieced arcs (there are 96 of them!) together to form the 48 blocks.  Decided that the dark Kona gray I originally was going to use just wasn't working for me and opted for this fun, aqua polka dot.  The next step after sewing all the "arcs" into sets is to cut the setting triangle fabric.  These will go at the "top" and "bottom", as oriented here, of these pieces.
 
Cutting out the fabric was a bit of a challenge and a little bit tedious to someone who likes a more meandering and less organized approach to piecing a quilt top.  You cut strips the WOF (width of fabric) to cut your pieces out for the background and setting triangles.  Once that is done and you have your "arcs" sewn...it gets a lot better!
 
 
When the Swoon craze was going around, I downsized the pattern on my own with some wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Camille Roskelley has since come out with a mini pattern for this much loved block.  Four of her pieced blocks will make a 19" x 19" mini quilt.
 
 
My blocks (these photos date September of 2011!) ended up 11" x 11" sq. 
 
 
Four of them are sewn together using a scrappy sashing...but since these are the next WIP to be finished, I will probably take that off.  I've had suggestions of a table runner, but I have plenty of those right now, so I might take a page out of Thimble Blossoms book and make a mini quilt.
 
 
Hoping today finds you sewing, even just a little bit!
 
and
 
these are the linky parties to drool over for creative inspiration and motivational encouragement!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Monday, March 24, 2014

Metro Rings Scraps and Another WIP Off The Pile

higgledy-piggledy:  topsy-turvy, jumbled
 
 
Perfectly describes this scrappy quilt!  See the date tag in the lower, right corner?  April of 2010!
In this picture, I have just a few blocks sewn into rows.  Thousands of scraps from all over in a topsy-turvy jumble of chaos!
 
 
Finished almost four years later, it's one of my favorite quilts to look at and snuggle under!
A simple, all over meander meant "quick" quilting.
 
 
Another stripey binding chosen and sewn on during Ben's soccer practice.
 
 
 
Clear blue skies last week let me take a little trip for a photo shoot! 
 
 
I'm so glad I pulled this one out to finish...it's such a bright, happy promise of what's coming in the weeks ahead with Spring staggering slowly into our neck of the woods.
 
I also had a chance to play with scraps from the Metro Rings quilt I'm piecing and a new tool.
 
 
Kaffe Fassett, how did you know I would need these luscious tropical cools for a quilt to help a pair of newly-weds remember their honeymoon trip to Paradise?  And that the blue scraps would be too tempting to just leave wasting away in a pile?
 
Over at The Q and the U is an easy-peasy tute for a 21" sq. scrappy Rolling Stone block.  Which is sort of what I feel like right now.  Tumbling, rolling, letting the gravity of Life take me where it wants me to go.  Two graduations to plan for, a wedding, child moving out, child starting university full time, child starting high school, homeschooling, and a house and yard that are just as topsy-turvy as any quilt I could imagine!  There are days I feel like I don't even know which way is up!
 
 
As coincidence would have it, the blue scraps were right in front of a quilting tool I have never even opened.  Bought a while ago.  Waiting for the perfect project.  Awesome for squaring up HST's.  And the best part?
 
 
No math involved!  At all!  Whatsoever!  Huzzah!
 
Which explains why these little fellas were so easy to sew into these:
 
 
All I can think of when I see these is ocean.  Beach.  Water.  Summer!
These blocks ended up at 9 1/2" sq unfinished.  So fun to make and easy to stitch together.  I know, I know.  More blocks without an intended purpose in sight...but aren't they gorgeous colors to work with and look at!
 
Maybe a wall hanging mini?
 
 
With a green block in there in place of a blue one, just for fun?
 
Linking up to some great blogs where I never fail to find inspiration and smiles!
 
and
 
 
Happy Spring!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Monday, March 17, 2014

Metro Rings Quilt for Jon and Rebecca

Thank you for all your kinds wishes and prayers for my mom and our family!
  Thankfully, her oncologist here okayed her and started her back on a "heavier" chemo last week.  We will know how this drug is working in two weeks when she has more testing done.
 
 
While we are waiting...Life keeps going on.  As it should.
And I am thankful for all the things that keep me busy.  Keep me going.
 
Our oldest son, Jon, is getting married at the end of June. 
What do you do when you love to piece and quilt and your child gets married?
Make the happy couple a quilt.
Which means playing with beautiful fabric, trying out a new toy and sewing.
Happy therapy!
 
 
 Jon's fiancĂ©, Rebecca, and I sat down one night and looked at paint palettes online at Design seeds to get an idea of colors.  I then went to the Kona website to match solids.  Then I began searching online for fabrics from my favorite designers to translate our idea into fabric.  What I have pinned at Pinterest found a perfect match in Pat Bravo's line Poetica.  Unfortunately, no one around here carries it and it's out of stock in most places online.
 
Kaffe Fassett's Collective Fall 2013's line had similar colors, but with an intensity my son liked better.  I was able to find the lavenders, blues and greens in a roll at a shop in Indy.
 
 
These are so nice to work with!  Soft and silky....yum! 
 
 
 
Just a few of the prints in the roll!
 
 
 
 
They also liked the Double Wedding Ring pattern and I was so excited when my Quick Curve Ruler from Sew Kind of Wonderful and the pattern for Metro Rings arrived!
 
 
Here is Jenny Pedigo's finished version.  She is such an awesome designer and quilter!  Thankfully, she has tutorials on YouTube for helpful hints and how-to's for the ruler.
 
After a hideous, scrappy trial run that didn't involve the Kaffe's (thank goodness I practiced with scraps first), I settled on this design.  Interlocking rings of just two colors.  The greens for one ring and the blues/purples for the other.
 
Here is my inspiration.
 
 
 
Using the greens from the Kaffe Fassett collection and some complimentary stash fabrics, I managed to get all forty-eight green "arcs" cut this week.  They need a slight trimming after a confab with Dawn from The Quilt Shoppe.  Exciting news from her!  She's featured over at Moda Bake Shop with an original pattern called "Finding the 4 Patches".  And, coming soon, a quilt she designed will be featured in a quilting magazine!  So excited for her and love watching her designs go out into the world!
 
 
She had the quilt at the store and it is so happy and cheerful!  I want to make one now too!  I also saw the quilt for the magazine.  There is just something so cool about knowing this quilt is headed where it is.  Seeing it before the world does.  Goofy, I know.  But very cool.  Like a secret you just can't wait for others to know.
 
One of my goals this year is to look in the WIP pile for flimsies and unfinished projects to work on.
In April of 2010, I started "free-piecing" with scraps.  Anytime I go to a quilt shop, I ask if they have a scrap or cast off basket.  You can usually scam great pieces of beautiful, fun, happy fabric to play with without buying yardage.  That way, you get to try out all the new lines or just pick your faves instead of getting stuck with patterns and colors you discover you really don't like.
I have commitment issues.
 
 
There are scraps from all over the United States in here since some were sent to me by other bloggers as scrap packs or were gifts from bloggy friends.  I sewed some of my favorite scraps together, then squared them to 6" and sashed them with 1 1/2" strips of more scraps.  I added a block here and there as I went along.  There are seventy-two blocks and it's a nice twin bed size-ish.  It's like an I Spy Quilt for fabric addicts!  Moda, Kaffe Fassett, Joann's, Sandy Henderson, vintage...
I'm so glad basting on the wall is easy and quick and I don't dread this part of the process anymore.
 
 
It took a week of quilting in between all kinds of stuff that kept me busy to get this bad boy finished.
I started sewing the back of the binding on last night while waiting for Ben at soccer practice.
 
Ahhhhhh!  Another WIP off the pile.  That makes two for this year!
 
Linking up with the gang again this week
 
and
 
and you can keep track of me here
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Monday, March 3, 2014

Well.....

Here at our house we've had a wild week or two.
First of all, I want to tell you about my mom.
Eight years ago she was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer.
Her initial prognosis was 3-6 months.
We were crushed.
 
 
There was some good news when it was discovered her initial diagnosis was incorrect on the type of cancer cell...she then began what would turn into eight years of radiation and chemotherapy with surgery thrown in just because we looooove hospital stays.
(disclaimer, we handle stressful situations here with lots of humor!)
 
Those extra years have allowed us to spend more time with her and for her and my dad to spend time with my grandpa during the winters at their homes in Florida before Grandpa passed away.  I'm so thankful they had this time together!  She's seen grandchildren graduate and two of them get married.  She's gone to softball, basketball and soccer games.  She's been able to share in the lives of two great-grandchildren.
She is a strong tower and we love her.
 
About three weeks ago we received the bad news that her current round of chemo isn't working and her cancer is progressing.  She was sent to Indianapolis for a second opinion on treatment options and possible clinical trials.
We are seeing her doctor back here in our town to consult on hopefully continuing chemo.
Please keep my mom, and our family, in your thoughts and prayers!
 
One thing about cancer is that Life continues on no matter how much you want it to stop and let you breathe.  While we were in Indy for the second opinion, we met some incredible people who were creating watercolor bookmarks for cancer patients and cancer awareness.  Each cancer patient could choose a kit to take home and create something as part of the healing or coping process.  They invited us to come and paint with them after her appointment, but we'd had a long day, information overload and just wanted to get home.
 
The founder and I spoke about how the creative process is a stress relieving and healing one.
She paints to help her with the loss of her daughter, and I quilt for a number of reasons, but right now it is a quiet balm to my soul.
My hands stay busy.  My mind can wander.  And pray.
 
So, in the midst of the last two week's countertop full of dirty dishes, unswept and unmapped floors, undusted furniture, empty refrigerator (pizza and eating out was waaaay overdone at our house!), kids and hubs living out of laundry baskets and ungraded papers....I sewed.
 
Don't get me wrong, we still did school at home, kids got shuttled where they needed to be...but it was the bare minimum for me to get done as a mom because I was grieving and hurting as a daughter.
 
Once again, Pinterest was part of my week.  Cruising through other people's lives and projects for inspiration, encouragement and pictures of beautiful things.  I wasn't going to blog for a while, but my mom faithfully reads my posts and always asks me when the next one is if I miss too many weeks.
 
Love you Mom!
 
The Moda Bake Shop had a very easy, but elegant pattern that caught my eye.
I wanted to sew for therapy, but it was all I could do to get Ben through his Algebra I lessons last week, so any kind of quiltey math was going to push me over the edge.
 
 
See how simple and lovely this is?  This recipe size makes a baby quilt.
No complicated computing or thinking!
 
 
The recipe called for candy packs (2.5" x 2.5"), but I had these two charm packs (5" x 5") in my stash.  Saved for a rainy day.  Well, I needed some sunshine and cheer!
 
 
The cutting went very smoothly and was mind-numbingly soothing.
White Kona and some osnaburg.
The instructions on the Moda site were simple and easy to follow for piecing.  Once again I learned I should press, press, press for better fitting seams.
 
The hubs was incredibly supportive of me working through the news this way.  Not a word about empty underwear drawers.  Paper plates.  Eating out and take home pizza.
One day he even ordered me to buy pre-wound bobbins.  I didn't realize how tense I was until I kept breaking bobbins while trying to wind them.  His thinking was this was the less stressful (and cheaper way) to go.
 
 
I love that man!
 
 
You end up with six piles of foundation blocks.
 
 
That look like this when pieced together.
 
 
And here are the four finished blocks ready to be sewn into the finished baby quilt sized top.
I cut enough from my stash to make another four blocks, and when I find time to order one more each of the Moda California Girl and Honeysweet charm packs, I will have enough for a total of sixteen blocks which will yield four of the finished, large ones.  A nice cuddle sized quilt I hope.
 
I also finished up the quilting on the Bow Ties Value Quilt.
 
 
I basted it on a wall about a month ago.
Echo quilting in the "circles". 
 
 
Many colors and fabrics were auditioned for the binding, but a very small print stripe made a perfect compliment.  Not too flashy...to give the eye a rest.  Pleased as punch with it.
 
 
Very happy to cross this one off the WIP list.  A top that was started on February 2nd of 2011.
 
 
All washed and ready for a snooze.
 
Linking up with some amazing blogs this week to share my mom's story and maybe encourage others who are going through difficult times to just
 
 
and
 
You can find me here
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Lucy Boston Blocks

Thanks for the responses on the Caribbean Lucy Boston blocks!
It's so fun to choose colors and they are easy peasy to put together!
 
These blocks are also called Patchwork of the Crosses and Linda Franz has a great book and some helpful videos on her site.
 
I found out about Lucy Bostons or POTC blocks on Pinterest.  Go figure.  I was at a local quilt show last year and found a vendor selling the acrylic templates and paper patties and bought them.  I'm not using a book, just sort of (as usual) muddling my way through.
 
You can hand piece (English Paper Piecing) these blocks using acrylic templates to cut your fabric
 
 
 
and paper ones for piecing.
 
Some stitchers will baste the fabric onto the paper template.  Others will use a glue pen.
I use an Elmer's Glue Craft stick.
 
Here is the finished block I had cut out last week.
 
 
EPP (English Paper Piecing) is very relaxing and can be done on the go, while waiting on kids during soccer practice, and being on the ready to help kids with schoolwork.
(which means I sit at the table while they work, because as soon as I walk away to sew, they need me right now!  LOL)
 
Also on the table is the Bow Tie Value quilt.
 
 
I'm echo quilting the "circular" block.  Plain white thread.  Which I love!  There's just something so clean and simple about it.
 
This morning I surprised my family with pumpkin chocolate-chip muffins for breakfast.
Go me!
 
Stop by these linky parties for inspiration and something other than white (think I'm so tired of snow!) to look!
 
 
you can find and follow me here
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Monday, February 10, 2014

Taste of the Caribbean!

Did you have a chance to go visiting last week?
All those gorgeous projects on the linky parties?
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
These were just a tiny, small sampling of what's being created in the bloggy universe!
 
This week, I continued quilting my Bow Ties Value Quilt.
 
 
I decided on an echo quilt in the "circle" parts of the quilt.  Lots of turning the bulk of the quilt!
 
Here are two Lucy Boston's I had pieced late last year.
 
 
 
Decided to cut out another one to work on.
 
I frequently will turn a fabric over and use the reverse (wrong) side when I'm piecing.  Sometimes the fabric is just too "loud" and doing this softens the effect.
The orange polka dots were just screaming at me.
I flipped them and the pink Kaffe Fassett next to them.
 
 
Much softer, but not a lot of punch.
 
So I flipped the orange polka dot fabric back to right side up and I'm leaving the Kaffe right side down.
 
 
Much, much happier with this!
 
I'm calling these blocks my Caribbean Lucy Bostons!
 
Hope you have a great week and get a chance to visit all the linky parties for inspiration and encouragement!
 
You can also find and follow me