Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Retreat Report 2: Charity tops and work by others

I was able to complete four tops at retreat that will turn into charity quilts when completed.

The first is a simple pattern I have shown before using 4" squares and 4" by 6" rectangles (measurements are cut sizes). I was able to use up the last of the orange print with this top.

The second is a pattern my mom sent me that was handed out at her guild. It's called Cuddler's Blocks. Her guild calls charity quilts Cuddle Quilts.

It was a fun one to piece and came out a good size. The blocks are 9" finished and I added an extra row to make it a bit longer. Now that I think about it, the pattern called for a border. I don't know if I'll add a border or not though.

I was in charge of the Retreat Mystery Block again this time. I opted to do something quite different from what we have done in the past. I had everyone bring 2 fat quarters and I brought my stash of 6" squares. I had them choose two 6" squares that would coordinate with their fat quarters and then border the block with their fabrics. Then I showed them how to cut their blocks and we exchanged the pieces. When the dust settled we had made 35 blocks. A few people chipped in to make a few more blocks so that we ended up with two quilts from the blocks.

One of the ladies could only stay one night and since this block was pretty easy, we finished up the blocks before she had to leave on Saturday. This gave me the opportunity to get both tops put together at the retreat! Woo hoo!

Bev was again working on her donation quilt for the Stephanie Miner Breast Cancer Walk that happens here in October. She makes a T-shirt quilt each year from shirts she begs, borrows and steals. At the retreat she was working on the back.

Can you believe that this is going to be the back?!!! She already had all the t-shirts ready for the front and got the blocks basted before she left. She quilts these as she goes and then puts them together after they are quilted.

Lastly, here is Janet with her guild mystery quilt from a couple years ago.

She just had the border left to do at the retreat. This is the same quilt I made for our bed. You can see a photo of it here.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Retreat Report 1: Urban Nine Patch, Shopping and Pin Cushions

I did a little shopping on the way to the retreat, stopping at Kathy's Fabric Trunk in Del Norte, CO. I purchased some half yards of sale fabrics.

And a stack of $1.50 fat quarters. One of these was free for retreat goers. Kathy is so good to us!

Here is my table at the retreat.

On the end of the table you can see a stack of four completed charity tops. I'll show you those tomorrow. Next to the tops you can see my birdie pin cushion I won in the exchange. I also won a little Tigger one I plan to give to my son.

I have the pattern to make the bird and even bought some candlestick bases for it at a local thrift shop, but I haven't made one yet. Now I don't have too!

My main retreat project was going to be my Oh My Stars quilt. However, I got side tracked by the Urban Nine Patch quilt along project and never got out the Oh My Stars project. I made four Urban Nine Patch variation blocks.

I'm calling them a variation because I put the outer curved pieces on a different way than the pattern said to. If you are not familiar with this quilt along you should check it out! It is hosted by Jenny of Sew Kind of Wonderful. You do need to use the ruler Jenny created to make the curves. She sells them on her website. The ruler is very easy to use and Jenny's instructions are very clear in the tutorial along with lots of photos showing exactly where to place your ruler. She also has a video demonstrating how she sews the curved pieces together without pinning. It is very easy. Just go slowly and breathe!

I was hesitant to purchase the ruler because I have had bad experiences before with slotted rulers for cutting circles. Even with the smallest 18 mm blade I could barely cut one layer of fabric. I asked around before purchasing this Quick Curve Ruler and all the good things everyone told me are true. I had no trouble using my regular 45 mm rotary cutter and easily cut four layers of fabric with the ruler. Some might say the ruler is pricey at $24.95 but the price includes shipping and you do get a free table runner pattern with it that is very cute. The Urban Nine Patch pattern is available for free on Jenny's blog. I have several ideas for things to do with this shape so for me it was a good investment.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Modern Monday Quilt Along

Block 22:

The above block was my first retreat project on Friday afternoon. I had a great time and got quite a bit done which I will show you later this week.

Caroll already has her block posted. Go to Attic Window Quilt Shop to see it.

The block tutorial for this week looks really fun! You can check it out on Jenifer's blog, 42 quilts

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Retreat Time!

Today I need to pack up for my guild retreat this weekend. I am leaving as soon as I can tomorrow morning. So don't expect a post from me before Monday at the earliest. I may not have my Modern Monday block post up until Tuesday next week. It all depends on when I get home on Sunday.

I got my projects packed yesterday.

My main project for this weekend will be my Oh My Stars quilt along project. All of the star tutorials have been posted and have them on my iPad.

The other projects I'm taking include some simple charity projects, a couple jelly rolls for an idea I want to try, supplies for the retreat mystery block and my fabrics and ruler for the Urban Nine Patch quilt along.

Switching gears, I want to show you a cute panel my mom sent me recently.

I just love these cats. I have several ideas for how to use this but haven't settled on one yet. When I opened this out and showed my son he said, "Oh Mom! That is too cute to cut up!" So I will just be adding borders but exactly what kind of borders is yet to be decided.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Quilting Issues

I'm having trouble getting my Noodle Surprise quilt quilted.

Every time I turned around Goldie is sleeping on it! She just loves this quilt for some reason. I had a terrible time getting it basted because she kept getting on it. I got a squirt bottle and soaked her with water, but she persisted in her attempts to "admire" the quilt. I finally had to just put her out to be able to finish.

Now that I am trying to quilt it she is continuing to hinder my progress. I was quilting last week when the phone rang. When I came back she had seized the opportunity again!

*SIGH* It's hard to be mad at that face and she knows it!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Modern Monday Quilt Along

Block 21

This one was suppose to be paper pieced. I didn't pay attention when printing out the pattern and I must have had it set to "shrink to fit" or some such setting because it printed out too small. Rather than try printing it again, I decided to just use the pattern as a guide and free piece the block. I had a quite a time getting the top part to line up with the bottom part, but it's pretty close.

Jenifer already has this weeks block posted over at 42 quilts. And you can see Caroll's heart block over at Attic Window Quilt Shop.

Friday, February 17, 2012

To Do List Progress

I have a finish this week! I attached our little 12" by 12" quilts to their quilted background and got the sleeve sewn onto the back.

By "our" I mean my art group, the Sew Silly Sisters. We haven't decided on a name for this yet but I'm calling it Scrap Basket Surprise at the moment. These were made using fabrics from our scraps. We brought our scraps to a meeting, then pulled fabrics that we liked from everyone's bags and divided them up as evenly as possible between us. Our instructions were to use only these fabrics and make a 12" by 12" finished size piece using any of the methods we had played with over the last year.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Noodle Surprise

Turns out I don't have any more batting so quilting Swoon will have to wait.

I basted my Noodle Surprise quilt over the weekend and started quilting it today.

I quilted in the ditch around the blocks and around the inner border to stabilize everything. That's not very exciting and if I did it right you can't see it from the front. Then I started quilting the blocks. You may have to click on the image to make it larger so you can see the motifs I've decided to use. In my usual style, I'm not marking anything, just using the piecing as my guidelines for the design.

Here is a picture of the finished top from October.

Our grass looks so green in this picture! It sure doesn't look like that now.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


My top is done.

I didn't need to add any extra borders to make this a good size for my dining room wall. I'm currently stumped by how to quilt this. Something will occur to me if I just leave it hanging on the design wall for a while.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!

I was recently featured on Craft Corners in their Best of the Web feature.

You can go here to read it. Mine is the last one so scroll down. While you are there you should take a few minutes to browse previous posts. Lots of good ideas all in one place and quite a variety of different crafts represented.

I've showed this before but I like and it seems appropriate.

keys to my heart

Monday, February 13, 2012

Modern Monday Quilt Along

My block 20 is pretty wonky.

My design wall was pretty full of Swoon so I didn't put up all the blocks.

Go visit Caroll to her version of this block. Then you can go visit Jenifer to see what she has in store for us this week.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Back in the Sewing Chair

Yesterday I finally got myself caught up with all the work that has been keeping me from sewing. Yay! I put in some really long days over the last couple of weeks so I am not working today - I'm sewing.

Here's what I made this morning.

I used this tutorial which I found through The Fabric Shopper blog. It turned out so cute and was pretty easy even with this being the first cathedral window I've made. It finishes at about 4" square. My winter guild retreat is coming up at the end of February. We are doing another pin cushion exchange and this is what I am putting in.

Last weekend I finished up my fourth Swoon block. Here they are.

This afternoon I hope to get these together with sashing and some kind of border.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Happiness is ...

a generous fat quarter cut!

Close up

This one measures a tad over 19" wide. Thank you Julie!! This is one of the Primitiva fat quarters I purchased from Julie at The Intrepid Thread. I'm using these fabrics for my Swoon blocks. Those of you playing along with the Swoon Along know how accurate you need to be to cut all your pieces from an 18" wide fat quarter. If you are off by an 1/8" you could be in trouble. All of the fat quarters I have purchased from The Intrepid Thread have been generous, at least 18.5" wide with the one above measuring a little over 19". The little extra allows me to cut my pieces on the true grain. It's a little thing, but it sure makes life easier!

Here is my third block, made with the above fabric.

And all three blocks so far. I think I will stop with four.

Still not much sewing going on over here. I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel though with the work I need to get done this month. I hope to be back to a more regular sewing and posting schedule in a week or so.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Modern Monday Quilt Along

Block 19:

I love this one!

Go see Caroll's version of this block at Attic Window Quilt Shop. Then you should stop by Jenifer's at 42 quilts to see what we will be making this week.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Oh My Stars! Progress

As I expected, I have gotten to do almost no sewing this week. I allowed myself an hour yesterday afternoon to make my Modern Monday block which I will show you on Monday. Other than that my machines have had to keep themselves company this week.

I did make some progress on my Oh My Stars! quilt along over the weekend.

I made a few more of the 12" stars. I do not like the fabrics I used for the one on the bottom right in the photo above. I decided to leave it for now and see how it looks with all the other stars. If it still bothers me after I get all the stars made, I'll make another one to substitute for this one.

I'm linking up with Susan of Blackberry Creek Home Arts. She is continuing the UFO Bust this year. I did really well on my UFOs last year and would like to continue. Click the link to go over and see what other UFO Busters have accomplished this week.