Friday, June 28, 2013

A Few More Curve It Up QAL Blocks

Below are blocks 8, 10, and 11:

I have only two more blocks to make, blocks 9 and 12. I have the ninth one cut out. Hopefully I'll have time to put it together today.

I have run out of the Kona Slate solid I am using for the background. I purchased more but it is from a different bolt and is not exactly the same color. Grrrr! I do not know if I will be able to do the pieced sashing or not. I have an extra block that I will put on the back. I plan to do a test with it to see if the color difference will bother me or not if I use the slightly different color Kona Slate for the pieced sashing. If it does bother me, I have a back-up plan.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My Classmate

I finally got around to making myself a Classmate bag.

And a photograph of the inside.

One of the things I enjoy about working at my LQS is seeing all the new stuff come in and getting to try out the patterns. The down side is that when I make something it usually ends up as a store sample which means I don't get to actually use it. That is what happened to the first one of these I made. The pattern information and my brief review of it is included in the link.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Scrappy Trails

My Scrap Group met last week. We worked on Scrappy Trails quilts. Below is my finished top.

The pattern for this is from the book Cut the Scraps by Joan Ford. I am really enjoying using up my scraps. Having them already cut into usable pieces makes a big difference. This one is made from 4" and 2" square scraps plus some solid white yardage. The pattern in the book calls for 5" and 2.5" squares but it is easy to resize the blocks. My version above measures 45" by 54" at the moment. I haven't decided if I want to put a border on it or not.

Spooky throughly inspected the quilt while I was trying to photograph it.

At one point she stood on the board along the bottom of the fence to check the seams on the back. I wasn't ready with the camera so didn't get a picture of that. Not that you could see very much of her anyway. I'm not sure if I passed inspection or not. She usually reserves judgement until after it is quilted anyway.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Fires and Blocks

The big news in my area is the West Fork Fire. It is now a combination of three fires which have merged. It is 0% contained. The entire town of South Fork has been evacuated since Friday morning. This link with take you to the Denver Post website. Click on the link for the West Fork Fire. I didn't put a link to a specific story because it changes hourly.

These are photos of the smoke from my house on Saturday afternoon.

My house is the one with the red roof. This smoke is north of us but the fire is actually southwest of us, about 60 miles away. We are in no immediate danger, but everyone around here knows someone who has been evacuated or otherwise negatively affected by the fire, including me.

That ball in the middle of the above photo is the sun. About a minute after this was taken the sun completely disappeared behind the smoke.

Every hotel/motel in town is full as is the KOA campground outside of town and even the dorms at our local university. The local middle school has also been opened as a shelter and for folks to shower. I've heard that the Walmart parking lot has become an RV part too, but I haven't been out there to verify. I try to avoid Walmart whenever possible and this seems like an extra reason to stay away.

Instead, I have been making blocks. I'm trying to finish up the Curve It Up QAL. Below are blocks 5, 6 and 7.

I could have finished block 8 too if I didn't have to rip and resew half of block 6! I kept inadvertently turning the blocks before sewing them together. Sheesh!

So now I'm over half way done since there are 12 blocks in the quilt. There is also a really cool pieced sashing that I'd like to try. Jenny is starting another quilt along next week that I'd like to do too. I'd really like to have this one done before starting another! It won't get completely finished by next week, but maybe I can get all the blocks done.

Friday, June 21, 2013


While taking some photos one morning this week in my sewing room I noticed an interesting shadow.

Can you guess what could be making this shadow? See below.

Happy Summer (or Winter if you live south of the Equator)!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Zipper Pouches

I purchased a new pattern several weeks ago.

I didn't get around to making any until last week.

The pattern has instructions for three zipper pouch sizes. I made the large and medium. Both of these are 5" tall. The large is 9.5" wide and the medium is 7.5" wide. It is a very fun pattern and doesn't take very long to make. As with all of Terry Atkinson's patterns, it is very well written and easy to follow.

The pattern calls for fusible fleece but I used Soft and Stable for the two above because it was leftover from another project and still out on my cutting table. I'm sure the fusible fleece will work just as well, maybe even a little better since it would be fused to one of the fabrics. However, the pieces are pretty small and I didn't have any trouble using Soft and Stable instead of fusible fleece.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Scrap Jar Stars

My Scrap Group is meeting again today at my LQS. I finished the project from last month.

Above is Scrap Jar Stars. The link will take you to the tutorial I used to make the quilt. Mine measures 45" by 60". Unlike the tutorial, I sashed each block which creates a nice secondary pattern. I quilted it simply with an all-over meander using white thread. The binding is some really ugly fabric from my stash. The binding is so narrow that you can't tell that it is ugly fabric. Perfect!

I love the back of this one.

The hearts is an IKEA print I won in a giveaway. The dots were purchased from a year or two ago. They go so well together that they could have been companion prints.

I don't normally put sleeves on charity quilts but this one will spend some time as a shop sample before going to charity. Thus it needed a sleeve.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

An Experiment - Take Two

You can read about my first try here. Since I had another 1.5 yard piece, I decide to give tea dyeing a second try. This time I used only 10 cups of water and 1 family size tea bag. I also only left the fabric in for 10 minutes.

This time I got exactly what I wanted!! I'm so excited. This will become a background for some embroidery. Next step is tracing.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Group Portrait

I finished up a project for my art group. We each made a self portrait 12" by 12" quilt. I took them all and attached them to a quilted background.

I'm thrilled with how this has turned out!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday Finish

I have had a fairly successful week of finishing things up. My husband and son have been at Boy Scout Camp all week. Spooky and I have missed them, but we are both enjoying the quiet and leisurely pace of a week on our own.

This little wall hanging was made as a class sample sometime last year. It measures about 37" square. Square quilts aren't my favorite, but it works well for this design. I tried an all-over modern flower motif for the first time. I've been wanting to try this design for a while. It is a design from the book Free-Motion Quilting with Angela Waters, Flower Power on pages 67 and 68.

Here is a close-up.

Rest assured that this quilt was thoroughly cat tested.

I turned my back for a minute while quilting it to fiddle with my iPod. Spooky took the opportunity to crawl in underneath the quilt and inspect it for me. I passed inspection.

I plan to keep this one for now. It is a nice size for my house and will go well in my living room.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

An Experiment

Monday morning I tried tea dyeing.

I used a large pot, family size tea bags and 1.5 yards of fabric. I put 16 cups of water in the pot because it looked like enough to be able to submerge my fabric in. I brought this to a boil then added 10 tea bags. I let that steep for about 20 minutes.

***The amounts and times were all just guesses. I have never done this before.***

Then I removed the teabags, put the fabric in and then put the teabags back in because I was hoping for some dark spots from where the bags rested on the fabric.

I let it sit like this for an hour. Then I took out the teabags and dumped out the tea in the sink. I started to rinse the fabric in the sink then realized there was an easier way.

I put the fabric back in the pot and carried outside. I clipped the fabric to the clothesline and got the hose. I sprayed the fabric with the hose on both sides for several minutes and left it to dry. I did get some light areas but didn't get the dark spots I was hoping for which is probably a good thing.

When it was dry I noticed that it smelled a bit like tea. So I put it in the washing machine. I was also hoping that washing it would lighten it up a bit since it is darker than I expected.

Above you can see the results. On the left is some the original fabric I started with and the right is the dyed fabric. It is darker than I wanted, but I will try washing it a few more times because I have read that this will fade the tea dye a bit. It has not been dried in the dryer or ironed yet so hopefully that will aid the fading process. And if it doesn't fade that is okay too. I will still use it because it is close enough to what I had in mind. The dyed fabric is for a specific project that I hope to begin working on soon.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Lunch Bag

I have been wanting to make myself a lunch bag for the days I work at my LQS. I found this tutorial by Ayumi on the Pink Penguin blog. It is very similar to what I had in mind so I decided to give it a try!

It measures about 9" wide by 7.5" tall (not including handles) by 5" deep. It is a little smaller than I expected, but I'm going to use it a couple of times before I decide if I want to make a slightly larger version.

It has a drawstring cover.

And it is fully lined inside the bag, but the cover is not lined.

I didn't read the tutorial carefully enough to realize that it would have raw edges inside the cover. I had already cut my cover fabric when I did realize it, so I just zig zagged these edges. I think it will be fine, but if I make another, I'll cut this piece a bit larger so that I can do a double fold to hide these raw edges. Or I may take the time to figure out how to make a lined cover.

There are no pockets inside or outside, but I don't mind. Pockets are nice, but they are extra work and I don't think they are really necessary in every bag. I'm just going to put my lunch in this so I don't need pockets.

The tutorial is pretty basic. I wouldn't recommend it for a beginner because every step is not spelled out for you in detail. I've made a lot of bags so I don't need to be told every little thing in each step. I didn't have any trouble following along with each step, but I can imagine that a beginner might need a bit more instruction and detail than is provided.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Second Quilt from the Kit is Finished

I finished this quilt!

It is simply quilted with all-over loops. I think I may like the back better than the front.

It finished at 40" by 48" and the pattern I used is Fourth of July by Bonnie Hunter. However, I resized the blocks down to 4" finished because this fit the four patches I had already made.

This is the first of 12 tops I need to get quilted. One down, eleven to go.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Back Down to Eleven - Almost

Yesterday afternoon I decided that I should start on that pile of tops that need to be quilted because they don't seem to be inclined to quilt themselves. I chose to start with this quilt because

(1) it is relatively small
(2) I already had the batting laid out for it
(3) the backing was ready to go too and
(4) I knew how I would quilt it.

This is where it sits this morning. Waiting for me to continue stitching down the binding. We'll see what today brings. It would be nice to get another small quilt from the stack quilted today. My goal is to at least get the next one basted.

Thursday, June 6, 2013


With summer upon us, I'm finding it harder to stick to a regular posting schedule. I usually try to write posts a day or two ahead, then schedule them to post first thing in the morning. That doesn't seem to be happening. I am going to stop worrying about it.

I did some inventory recently. I have 11 quilt tops finished waiting to be quilted!

I need to do more quilting and less piecing for a while.

Edited to add: Ugh! Just found a 12th!


Having said that, I made a nice stack of four patches and half square triangles for my next Scrap Group meeting later this month.

The half-square triangles need to be trimmed and I can tell from the stack sizes that I need to make more four patches. I'm not counting at this, just making. If they don't get used for this months project, they will get used later for something else.


I am in the process of getting show forms filled out and turned in for my guild show. You can see the forms on the bottom left of the first photo in this post. The tape measure is next to the forms because the form requires measurements for each quilt. The show is the last full weekend in June, which is June 28, 29 & 30th this year. In addition, my LQS does a show every summer around July 4th. I need to finish one or two of those quilts in the pile for it. I have my quilts finished for the guild show.


I have started my next art group 12" by 12" project. The theme this time is "Spring" and the required technique is "stamping". I stamped some petals recently.

The plan is the put fusible on the back, cut them out and arrange them artfully on a background to form a flower. It looks stunning in my mind's eye. Time will tell how it looks in real life.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Tale of Two Charm Packs, Part 2

To read the beginning of the story, click here.

The good quilting queen finally had time to resume work on the charm pack quilt. Wanting to do something a little different from her usual, she listened to the quilt to see if it had a preference as to how it wanted to be quilted. It did.

The quilt wanted to be quilted with zig zags to accentuate the piecing.

The good quilting queen agreed. It took a little longer than an all over free motion pattern, but was worth the extra time for this quilt.

And the charm squares lived happily ever after.

The End

The details: Finished size is 40" by 48". Quilted with a green Aurifil 40 wt. The backing fabric is the same fabric as the side borders, as is the binding. It will be a charity quilt.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Impromptu Girl Quilt

I purchased a new pattern recently, Impromptu by Rachel Griffin. Click here to go to Rachel's store where you can get your own copy of the pattern.

The pattern calls for a layer cake and some yardage for background. I had a layer cake laying around with no assigned purpose and thought this pattern looked like a good use for it. The pattern makes a pretty large quilt, 90.5" by 90.5" finished. I didn't want to make something that large, so I just made fewer blocks.

I sorted the fabrics in the layer cake into three piles: girl fabrics, boy fabrics and gender neutral. This is the "girl" version. It is about 47" by 62" prior to being quilted.

The pattern is well written and easy to follow. A good pattern for a beginner or anyone who'd like to make a good size quilt pretty quickly. It's a great use for a layer cake or any fabric you'd like to highlight by using large pieces rather than cutting it really small.

The "boy" version will get assembled at some point in the near future.