Tuesday, July 31, 2012

No News is .......

just that. No news. I've got to focus on my borders, (are you all just sick of hearing me talk about these borders?) But since I've committed by dating the center of the quilt, I don't want to risk not finishing this top by years end.

No, this isn't something new, I was just playing around with a bag of 1/2 sq triangles. I can see some applique going on the corner squares, if this ever makes it to a top.

My work and social life are busy for the next while. I'm out of town this week, have company when I get back, and then I'm out of town again. Plus we are rolling out a new job at work and I'm helping out in the training. It may mean a few shifts through the middle of the night. Ouch!

So....I'm going to take a bit of a blogging break. Showing my appliqued borders again and again, well, I'd rather not bore you.

If you are going to be up in the NW Washington area, there is going to be a great exhibit in Bellingham. You can read all about it here.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Border Action

I couldn't believe how much I was itching to stitch tonight.  Two full days off work and I didn't touch a needle or thread. My weekend was amazing, the Amphetheater in George, WA is a spectacular venue for a concert, I'll definitely look at their summer schedule next year.

As for stitching, I've put away my 4 block hand quilting project.  After rinsing out the last of the blue lines, I was still wanting to hand quilt, but I resisted.  I've got to get back to my borders. I'm working from my scrap bag, and decided the border needed some grapes. Call me crazy, but I'm making enough circles for 4 - 5 clusters for the top and bottom border. I think it will play back nicely to all the purple in the center.

I'm totally sucked into the Olympics, such an amazing representation from countries all over the world. Everyone is a winner, just making it that far!

Enjoy your week

Friday, July 27, 2012

On a Journey

It's a road trip weekend. My sister and I are heading over the mountains into Eastern Washington.  We've got tickets to see Journey, Pat Benatar and Loverboy at the Gorge Amphitheater.  A 100% non quilty weekend.  The weather is supposed to be hot and sunny, a high of 90 and a low of 64.  That sounds like heaven, it was in the 50's this morning when I went to work. 

I'll leave you with a photo of my current obsession.  I'm still working on finishing up the cross hatching in one direction, I'm almost ready to pack it away for a few months, get back to some applique and focus on finishing my Beyond the Cherry Tree.

Enjoy your weekend, quilty or not!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I'm In, I'm In!

Do you know that song? I'm in With the In Crowd? Dobie Gray sings it and it's fun. That's all I can hear running through my mind since I got this email yesterday.

"Anne and I look forward to having you join us on Lopez next June for a fun-filled four days of sewing with Gwen!"

Yes, THE Gwen Marston. Four days. Yes 4 days, Oh my, I am ready to bust, I'm so excited. I know, it's not until the middle of next year, but hey, a girl has to get excited about some things in life.

I'm in with the in crowd
I go where the in crowd goes
I'm in with the in crowd
And I know what the in crowd knows

Anytime of the year
Don't you hear
(Havin' a ball)
Dressin' fine, makin' time

We breeze up an down the street
We get respect
From the people we meet
They make way day or night
They know the in crowd is out of sight

10 months, 10 days to go, but hey, who's counting? hmmm, I wonder how many sleeps that is?


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Winding Bobbins

Seriously, that's what I did last night. Wind bobbins, trim bonus 1/2 sq tri's down to 1 3/4", sew strings together. This was after longarm quilting for a few hours, and then I put in about half an hour of hand quilting. All things that make for a boring blogger. Nothing is even photo worthy.
How are your projects progressing?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Girly Girl

This is the cutest quilt pattern and M wanted the quilting whimsical and girly. Feathers and curls did the job.
I had to grid the border, this is a pieced, scalloped border, so the piecer had no option but to have it scalloped before quilting.
Love the lady bugs and how the border has the big dots and flowers mixed in.
And this is all boy. Here is the final layout for my churn dash. For a baby quilt it's going to finish at 36 x 48, the perfect size.

I didn't have my camera at The Applique Society meeting today and I missed sharing some fabulous projects. This is my favorite group, I learn something every time we meet and it doesn't get any better than that.

Thanks for stopping by,

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Changing Directions

I've been spending quality time with this project and the closer I got to having the cross hatching finished in one direction, I've stayed motivated. That's the goal, get the corners finished, set it aside and start the opposite grid this winter. But I couldn't wait, I changed direction to see how the grid will look. Now I can finish the first direction and set it aside.

Bright churn dash, perfect for a baby boy. The baby is due in a few weeks, the quilt will not be done. That's ok, I'm making it as a swap. The great grandpa is going to make me a bird house in exchange for the quilt. We have a deal, our swap must happen by Dec 31, 2012. He's built a row of western styled houses for his yard, they are fabulous. He's building me Annie's Ale House for my back yard.
When we asked the mom what she would like for a quilt, she said color, motorcycles or cars, blue, green, orange. I think this fits the bill.

We had summer, the flowers finally bloomed, and then the rains came. Good grief. I officially have given up on the gardening.

Here is Miss Molly, she looked so cute hanging over the railing, I usually show off Annie the dog, so Molly gets some face time today.
I'm off to my Applique Society meeting this morning, BTCT border #3 is going with me, I've got to revive this, I'm so close to finished.....I will finish it this year.
Congratulations to all who got their acceptance notices for Houston, job well done.

Have a great weekend

Monday, July 16, 2012

Another Finish

I'm working my way through my customer quilts. This top has been keeping me busy since last week. With my sore knee, sore toe and a kink in my neck, I can only work at my longarm for a few hours at a time.

Note to piecers: Do not scallop the edge of your top until it's quilted.  M was told this after she had already cut the outside edge.
I love this collection of fabric,
I have bolts of a black/white/pink collection.
I even have a pink/blk/white Storm at Sea cut out and in a box.
I could pull this out and get to work on it.
Or not.
It's such a privilege to quilt for other people.  I've got one more to do for M, it's loaded on the machine and I shall get busy on it this week.

Here is my finish.  The last of my paper piecing blocks that I prepped a few weeks ago.  Yes, the precision from p.p'ing is lovely, but good lord, I'm glad I made this block at home.  My potty mouth probably would have got me banned from the quilt shop.
Now to tear out the paper on my stack of blocks, I've got The Closer taped, and this is the perfect task for sitting in front of the t.v.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

JT2 Update

I got two more p.p.'ed blocks finished this week. Only one more left from my stack of prepped blocks. Seriously, could the pattern designers made a Bears Paw block in a size that does not require paper piecing? I know, it's a free pattern, no complaining allowed, I'm just sayin......

I've grouped my pieces together, I know this is going to be great when it's all done. I have some applique blocks that are next, and then I will pull out everything and see where I am at. I think I might have the first quadrant blocks done and that would be great.

Even my garden has gotten into the red and white. I didn't realize this until I uploaded these photos to this post! My bounty of raspberries and daisies.

My back yard is now breaking out in bloom, my hydrangea bush is loaded (with small) blooms, but last year I only had 3 flower heads on it. As for my vegetable garden, well,that's a different story. I'm starting to think my veggy seeds were placebo seeds! Even my zucchini plant has struggled, seriously, who can't grow a zucchini?

I'm definitely a better quilter than a gardener. I'm off to the studio, I'm almost finished a customer quilt and I have her last one next in line, I'd like to get it loaded on my machine today.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

I Was Looking for a Book

Today was the day I was going to find a book I have been looking for. It's in my house, I know that much. All I want are 3 letters to make my initials for my BTCT last border. I know the book is here. In the meantime, I started cleaning and sorting and opening bags and boxes. I wasn't expecting to find the book in them, I was curious as to what was tucked away in them. First I pulled out these.
20 vintage Dresden Plate blocks I bought on ebay. Remember that slippery slope I fell down a while ago? I don't look on ebay anymore. I digress....the plates certainly look vintage, but someone has stitched them onto a poly/ctn poplin type fabric, so I started unsewing them. Whoever did this was going to make sure these plates never came off the background. I got 2 removed and gave up.
Today I decided they should just all get sewn together, add a border and call it a finish. I don't have to love it, I can donate or gift it, but I do need to keep it on my list of projects to work on.
Then I found these four blocks, all folded up and tucked between a few trays of strips on my thread cabinet. They were from a class I was teaching, oh about 7 or 8 years ago. Since putting 4 blocks together is less work than 20 blocks, I started on this. Decided it needed some type of sashing, pulled out the solid blue, perfect! Cut strips and trim to the right length, perfect. The last little bit off the strip went to the center 9 patch. Then it needed a border. Since the print is directional, I contemplated how to cut the borders. I pondered this and decided this is going to be a table cloth, so I put all the prints going from the center out. Blocked the corners with the solid blue. Put it in the pile of quilts to be quilted. Hey, it's out of the block pile and now into the top pile, I consider that a win!
My dog is getting old, I'm now buying into the fact that she won't live forever. Thought I'd snap a few pics of her. She turned 13 this month. Her Dr. says she will live 12 - 14 years. :-(
Annie aka Anna Bananarama the super dog!
I hope everyone who made the trek is enjoying Sisters, can't wait to cruise around blogland next week and see all the fabulous quilts that hung in the town today.

...who is still looking for a book!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

It's the P Word

Yup, I'm still paper piecing. Last night and tonight I was able to sneak in bits of time.  My skills sure could use a boost with this method.  Yes, that's a blob of glue you see, I shorted myself and didn't realize it until the block was finished.  So a little dab of glue will keep it all in place and I should have a few threads to catch in the seam allowance.
Oops, I did my flying geese backwards.  I put all the pieces on the table, matched it all up to the pattern and was very careful to make sure the 1/2 sq tri's had the red on the outside corners, I was sure it was all correct.
Am I going to change it?  Not in this lifetime, a finished block is better than a correct block when it comes to this quilt!   What skill to you need to brush up on?


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sticking to the Plan

Since I did all the pre cutting for the paper piecing with JT2, I'm going to focus on getting these blocks done and then have a look at where I am at. I know I'm behind on the applique, but I've decided it's all getting done using the fusible method. Here is my next p.p.'ed block.
When I want to watch some tv, this has been keeping my hands busy. I've shown it before, and I'm making good headway.
You can still see some blue washout, I'm working my way out to the corners, then will mark the grid in the opposite direction. All the applique has been outlined.

That's it, I'm spending time at my longarm, making a dent in those customer tops.
Hope your week is going well, thanks for stopping by.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up

Saturday was my sew day at Fabric Etc, and I was going to get all my paper pieced blocks for JT2 stitched.  I prepped them and was raring to go. After arriving and getting set up, visiting, watching Tracey demo her applique method and then 'quickly' trim up my star block, I was ready to paper piece.  Except it took me forever to square up a very wonky star.  I was shooting for a specific measurement, and I finally just squared it up. Thank goodness Carol had so many different rulers, I struggled with this task. 

And here's how much paper piecing I got done.
 Not much, I forgot how time consuming paper piecing can be.  It's my least favorite type of piecing, I think I've mentioned this before.  Here is Verna's JT2 in blacks and whites. 

Pretty fantastic..............and she is gifting this quilt.  I'll be keeping mine, if I ever get it finished.

 I got home Sat and added a 1/4" flange to one side of the star.  Error, it would not lay flat.  The seam needed to be pressed towards the star and that had the flange on top of the border.  Out came the seam ripper and off came the border.

Tonight  I decided to make a stop border 1/4" wide.  I must have had the quilting gods looking out for me as all the borders fit perfectly.  I thought I would have to be using Gwen Marstons method, "if it's too long, cut it off"  I was totally prepared for that, and yet, it all measured out even.

 Here is a close up of the inset strip.  I've stay stitched the perimeter, I do this on pieced borders when I know I won't get to the quilting right away.

I couldn't be happier with this piece.  All the 1/2 sq tri's are bonus blocks from my Sisters Choice.  I still have 100's more, but I won't be making another one of these.  The funky setting triangles are screaming out for hand quilting, so for now, this piece will be put up until I finish the 4 block applique that is getting hand quilted.

What did you sew this weekend?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Borders Added

I hope you are not sick of seeing my Beyond the Cherry Tree project. It's been a long haul but I'm sticking with it and I've started border #3. In the meantime, I've added the side borders.
The pattern shows the borders added "log cabin" style. I've changed things up, I've put the sides on and will let the applique just run off into the seam allowance.

The top and bottom borders are going to have a few additions, right now I'm stitching down the vine on #3. I will make decisions as I go along, I want it to be original and have some flowers/fabrics tie back into the center.

If you want to see the latest finish of a BTCT, pop over to Mimi's Passions.  She has just got her's back from her quilter and only needs to bind and label her masterpiece.  Go check it out!


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Decisions are Made

It pays to have friends who quilt. Last evening I spent a few hours talking quilts with L. She brought over some pieces that she is currently working on, and they are pretty fabulous. I should have taken pictures :-(

We went into my sewing room, looked as the star on the wall, and she immediately validated the cheddar and suggested I inset a 1/4" flange along the border. So here it is, decisions are made and I am moving forward. The star will float and I've put the 1/2 sq tri's together for the border. A 1/4" cheddar flange will be inset when I attach the borders. I'm seeing a dark binding, but it will be a while before I have to make that final decision.

I've got two borders sewn onto my BTCT and have started prepping the 3rd border. I've got the vine glue basted and all the marks for the cherries and leaves. I'm going to add some flowers to this border and the last one will have my initials appliqued.

It's back to work for 2 more days, I could get used to a 4 day work week! And we had perfect parade weather, nothing but blue skies all day today, finally.


Happy 4th

May you get time today to take in some 4th festivities.

I'm debating going to the parade, a lot of people come to our little town and I don't think my toe is going to be very happy inside a pair of shoes.

Maybe some gardening might happen, I need to plant some more seeds, not much has grown from the first planting, but I did see a few red spots in my raspberry patch.

Happy 4th!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Half Square Star

This is how I spent my Saturday morning. Sewing all these 1 3/4" 1/2 sq triangles together. The blocks are the bonus blocks from my Sisters Choice blocks. I have over 600 and this used up 200+  I choose plain muslin for the setting triangles. Since the shape of this star is very funky, I made templates for each of the sides, being careful to not stretch the piecing.
I can see along the outer edges of the star that I could have used dark setting triangles to give the edge more definition, but it's sewn together and it shall be what it is.
I purposely made the setting triangles oversized because this star is not straight and I haven't squared it up yet. I've laid out cheddar on one side and red on the other side. I might add a border of 1/2 sq tri's without using a stop border and then bind with a color. I will let this stay on my wall for a while, let the ideas marinate, before I go any further.
But it's not like I'm going anywhere.  Just when I felt my knee was good enough to start hitting golf balls and going back to yoga, I did this on Thursday night.  Needless to say, the ice packs have been back in use, I spent all day Friday with my foot propped up on a pillow and did some hand quilting while I plowed through season 5 of Mad Men.  Thank goodness my employer is so understanding, spending most of the day with it up and iced has made a huge difference in just one day.