Friday, March 30, 2012

Killing Two Birds ...

In October my art group made confetti landscapes. You can read about my experience here. I wasn't happy with how mine turned out. Then I realized that I didn't make a landscape so much as a background. Bird one: this little piece became a UFO.

My quilt guild issues a challenge every January and it is due in April. This year's challenge is "the view from my window." It must include 3D embellishments and can not use the color black. Bird two: the challenge due date is looming.

My plan was to use my UFO confetti landscape/background (which fortunately did not include any black) as a background for my challenge piece. And here it is, minus the binding.

The story: a Mourning Dove couple has built a nest in our neighbors tree right outside our dining room window. We watched the happy couple court and then build a nest. Now one of them stays in the nest at all times. I assume that there are eggs in the nest. So I have titled this little piece "Love Birds."

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Urban Nine Patch Variation Update

I finished the top yesterday.

The colors in this photo are pretty accurate. The background fabric is Kona Snow, the rings are Kona Celery, the other fabrics are Wrenly prints, Dazzle prints and some unidentified older prints from my stash.

I even got the binding and backing fabrics picked.

The binding will be the top fabric. I used it for the half square triangles in the blocks. The backing is a fabric I purchased from Equilter during their end of the year sale.

I'd like to get this one basted today but I have quite a list of things I have to do today before I can start on my list of things I want to do.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Urban Nine Patch Variation

I made a few Urban Nine Patch variation blocks at my retreat a month ago. I finished up the last ones Tuesday evening. I will just apologize now for the terrible lighting in the photos used in this post. I took them Tuesday night and I knew they would be bad, but I didn't want to wait until daylight hours to finish them up. The colors are not accurate but you can see the layouts I was playing with and that is the most important part at this point. I'll get a better photo sometime soon during the day time.

First I should explain that I sewed my outside curved pieces on opposite of the way the tutorial tells you to. I don't know why! I am just not able to follow a pattern exactly I guess.

Here is the first layout I tried, sticking with my original block construction for all blocks.

In these next two I tried doing some blocks curved in and some curved out.

I really liked both of these. However, in the end I decided to stick with my original plan and made all the blocks the same. I know that I will be making more of these blocks since I will be teaching this pattern as a class at my local quilt shop.

Aside: I started a new job today at my local quilt shop, Heartstrings and Heirlooms. I will be taking over the shop blog also. If you click the link you will see that the blog is currently in need of some love.

Here are all the finished blocks.

Maybe today I can get them all sewn together and decide if I want to put a border on this or not.

If you want to make some of these blocks yourself, the ruler you need can be purchased here and the free tutorial/pattern can be found here.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Urban Baby

Recently I bought myself a Quick Curve Ruler from Jenny of Sew Kind of Wonderful. I am in love with the curved shapes you can make with this ruler! I am participating in Jenny's Urban Nine Patch Quilt Along. I'll show you my progress on those soon.

However, with the ruler you get a free pattern for the Urban Runner. I don't use many table runners in my house but I really liked the pattern so I decided to triple it to make a 42" by 52" baby quilt. First I made a bunch of the curved units then played with them.

Layout 1:

In this layout I was trying to stick to the original pattern only using three print fabrics instead of two. I only had half yard cuts of the prints which is not enough to triple the pattern. You'd need 3/4 yard of each print for that.

Layout 2:

In this layout I just flipped in pairs the units in the even rows. I liked this better than layout #1 but the colors are not symmetric. Usually I prefer asymmetric layouts, but not this time for some reason.

Layout 3:

For this layout I rearranged layout #2 to make it symmetric. I also tried having two pink columns then two orange, then two blue, etc... Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of that one for some reason, but I didn't like it.

I chose layout #3. And here it is all pieced.

The print fabrics are from the Dazzle line and the solid is Kona Slate. I have another orange print from the Dazzle line that I plan to use for the binding.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Modern Monday Quilt Along

I missed last week because of our trip to Orlando. Since I was gone until Saturday evening, I didn't have time to get last weeks block made before Monday morning. However, I did get caught up this week!

Block 25:

And Block 26:

I am still really enjoying this quilt along! We aren't quite half way through yet either. I usually spend more time agonizing over which fabrics to use than I do actually sewing the blocks. LOL!

Go over to Caroll's at Attic Window Quilt Shop to see her block. Then go over to Jenifer's at 42 Quilts to see what we will be making this week.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Overdue Finish

I was able to finish my house block yesterday.

I even had binding already made from the driveway fabric in my binding stash. Score!!

Not as glamorous as finishing a quilt, but it's still a UFO in my book - I finished cutting up the fabric I was given almost 2 years ago to use for charity quilts.

There are a few bits and pieces left which are too small for the sizes I was cutting. I will take it to my next guild meeting so someone else can use it. It feels good to have that corner of my sewing room floor cleared out.

I'm linking up with Susan of Blackberry Creek Home Arts for the Little Green Quilters. Click over to Susan's blog to see what other Little Green Quilters are working on.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My House Block

My art group decided to do house blocks. Each of us made a house, between 12" and 18" per side, any style house we wanted using any technique we wanted. They were due at our February meeting. Mine wasn't finished. Our March meeting was Tuesday. Mine still wasn't finished!

Yesterday I got it quilted. Finally!

It took me most of the day to quilt it. That included a trip to the quilt store to buy more blue thread for the pebbling of the sky. The plan for today is to get the binding, sleeve and label done. It should finish at about 18" square.

I gave Hattie the day off and quilted this one with Bernie. I didn't want to disturb Goldie who napped all day on her quilt which is laying on Hattie's table! Also, I wanted to use the walking foot for the straight lines on the house. I had not yet free-motion quilted with Bernie so I gave it a go. He did a great job! (FYI: Bernie is my Bernina 380 B, Hattie is my HQ Sweet 16)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Coffee Bags

My parents returned recently from a trip to Hawaii. My mom saw lots of bags made from coffee bags and sent me pictures of some of them. I asked her to get me some bags to play with.

Ideas are percolating for these babies! However, I have a few other projects I need to finish up before playing with these.

And in case you were wondering, Goldie still loves her quilt.

This photo was taken this morning and she is still there as I write this post.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pre-Trip Project

Before leaving on our trip last week I needed an iPad cover. The first one I made went to my mom since she went on a trip in February.

I followed the same patterns but this time I added handles. Both sides are the same. I was in a hurry. I did make this one about a quarter of an inch wider than the first one so the iPad slides in easier with the cover attached.

I like the idea of handles and these handles work well. However, they were not the easiest to attach. Truth be told, they were a real pain to attach! If I make another one of these I'm going to have to rethink the handles.

This bag has no raw edges inside. If I had assembled it as two pieces (front and back) instead of four (two outside pieces and two lining pieces) these handles would have been much easier to attach.  

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Break Report

We went to Hogsmeade for Spring Break!

It was magical!

We ate at the Three Broomsticks

Bought chocolate frogs at Honeyduke's

Window shopped

Saw the Hogwarts Express

Soaked up the ambiance

The highlight of the trip was going to the wand ceremony at Ollivander's. One child is chosen from the audience to participate in the ceremony. Guess who was chosen from our show? Yep, my boy. He was totally awestruck. If you have seen the Sorcerer's Stone, the wand ceremony is a pretty close replica of the scene in the movie where Harry buys his wand. We, of course, bought the wand that chose him. He is practicing with it. I hope he can master the cleaning charm, scourgify.

There is lots more to do at Universal in Orlando. Suess Landing was another big hit.

I won't bore you with all of the photos I took. Suffice it to say we had a great trip! If you ever get the chance to visit Orlando, we recommend Universal Studios Islands of Adventure.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Modern Monday Quilt Along

Block 24:

I haven't put up all the blocks recently so I did that for a photo.

Looks pretty good so far. I have no idea how I will put these blocks together yet so the photo above is just a group shot.

Please go over to see Caroll's block at Attic Window Quilt Shop and then stop by Jenifer's to see what we are making next.

I will be taking a blog break for the rest of the week. This week is Spring Break for my family and we have some fun things planned. I'll be too busy having fun to do blog posts. See you next week!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

12 by 12 Star

My 12" by 12" Star is finished.

It is hand quilted with a variety of 12 wt. variegated Sulky Blendables threads. All the fabrics are Kona solids from my scrap bag. I did have to use yardage for the binding. It is Kona solid in Navy.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Work in Progress

My art group has decided to do a series of 12" by 12" works on a theme. The first theme is "star."

My design is not the most original, but I like what the hand stitching is adding to it.

Our plan is to bind each one using the same technique and attach them to a quilted background, similar to what we did with our Scrap Basket Surprise

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Liebster Blog Award

Jen from The Quilty Home honored me with a Liebster Award. Thank you Jen!

This award is given by bloggers to their favorite blogs with under 200 followers. The Liebster Rules are:
  1.  Post about your win on your blog.
  2.  Link back to the blogger who presented you with the award.
  3.  Copy and paste the award to your blog.
  4.  Present the Liebster Award to 5 blogs that have less than 200 followers that you think deserve to be recognized.
  5.  Let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
Awesome! I love these awards because you get to know some really great bloggers.  It took me a while to pick my five because I want to share the love but also give you some good recommendations. I don't take this kind of thing lightly and the less than 200 followers criteria kept tripping me up. Here’s my list:
1. Alycia of Alycia Quilts. Alycia is a longarm quilter and is passionate about Quilts of Valor. She shows lots of Quilts of Valor, some she makes and some made by others. But don't think that is all she does!
2. Frauke of Quilthexle's World. Frauke is always working on something interesting. She does art quilts and dyes her own fabric. She recently opened an Etsy shop to sell her hand dyed fabric. Frauke lives in Germany but blogs in both English and German.
3. Denise in PA of My Life in Quilts. Denise is the one who pushed me over the edge into the Swoon Along. She shows a nice mix of modern and traditional projects for your inspiration. 
4. Deanna of Wedding Dress Blue. Deanna does the most amazing refashioning and she is the one who pushed me over the edge into the Oh My Stars! Quilt Along. She has some great tutorials on her blog for a nice variety of projects (both quilting and other crafts).

5. Pat of Color Me Quilty. Pat is a very new blog friend. She is the one who pushed me over the edge into the Urban Nine Patch quilt along. I asked her some questions about the Quick Curve Ruler. She responded quickly, answered all my questions and I took the plunge.

I'm seeing a trend here in my recommendations. Check out these bloggers but don't blame me if you also get sucked into a quilt along you weren't planning to join. You have been warned!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Modern Monday Quilt Along

Block 23:

Go by Caroll's blog, Attic Window Quilt Shop, to see her version of this block. Then stop by Jenifer's blog, 42 Quilts, to see what we will be making this week.

It's not too late to join in. Jenifer is planning to post 64 block tutorials for both Modern Monday and Traditional Tuesday. Each block measures only 6.5" unfinished so it isn't a big investment in time or fabric per block.

Friday, March 2, 2012

A Finish

Goldie's quilt is finished.

I finished the binding last night with Goldie laying on it!

I even put her name on the label.

I think she likes it!

Edited to add:

Quilt Details

Finished size is 49" by 69.5". The fabrics used for the front where from a group of 2.5" strips. The extra fabric for the border is a batik from my stash. The inner border and binding are Kona solid in Navy. Quilted with Superior 100% cotton 40 wt. The color is Sapphire.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Goldie's Quilt

I have decided to keep the Noodle Surprise quilt for Goldie (and myself). I have been wanting a lap size quilt for the sewing room anyway.

I ended up closing her out of my sewing room yesterday so that I could finish quilting it and get the binding attached to the front. Poor thing howled at the closed door for about 15 minutes before finding another spot to nap. Sheesh!!

I'll leave you with this detail shot of the quilting in the center portion.