Sunday, January 19, 2014

Mindless Piecing

A few years ago my life was upside down, but as we all know, trying times will pass and we carry on.  During this time, I needed something to do that didn't require much any thinking.  Cut 5" squares, put them together and sew a straight line.
 The end result was tons of blocks that I did and swapped out with an online group.  I love every one of these blocks; they represent a tough time in my life and are proof that we can move forward and be positive and productive.  I've decided to make some new pillows and since my furniture is chocolate brown leather, I thought this would be perfect.
 Two tops are together and layered, and I'm going to hand quilt them in pink thread.  Straight lines using the 1/4 " tape to keep me honest!  Having something small to quilt will be much easier to manage when I'm spending time at my guy's place.

Three pillows will be perfect, two are pieced and I think the third one will have an appliqued center with the blocks around the outside.  Once all three are ready to put together, I'll shop for some home dec weight fabric for the backs, put the zippers in, and bind them.

If you are watching the football today, good luck to your team!  I think both games are going to be exciting, there sure is a lot of Seahawks Fever here in the NW!


Friday, January 17, 2014

Class Sample Remnants

Anyone who has taught quilting will understand the dilemma of what to do with your samples.  Sometimes I just make a few blocks in a different colorway, but this time I was teaching Dresden Plates and wanted to show a variation.
 I love the vintage Wagon Wheel quilts that I've seen in books and on blogs.  I chose batiks for my sample and machine pieced the wheels and hand appliqued the outside and inside edge.  Since I had 2, I made a third one and put them together for a table runner.

 Over the years, I've made a runner for each of my girlfriends and I have one more person to gift one too.  She had seen the gecko pattern which is from  Fiesta Mexico by Karen Kay Buckley so I knew she would love this.

My friend has a place in Mexico so I thought this would be perfect for her.  I fused the gecko's and did a straight line of stitching around the raw edge, then machine quilted it around the appliques and the wheels.  Wavy lines filled in the background and a variegated thread was used in a narrow wavy line along all the seams.

Since this was a "make as I go" type of project, I did not have binding fabric from any of the pieces used in the top.  Not to worry, Fabric Etc had a few batiks for me to choose from and the group consensus was this one.  I think it's perfect.  Now to finish the hand stitching on the binding and gift it out!


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Next Find

It didn't take long to find a project that was very close to finished. This little top was made from the bonus blocks from my Sisters Choice blocks and was inspired by a vintage quilt published in Small Pieces, Spectacular Quilts.

The 1/2 sq tri's that make up the star finish at 1 1/4"  The four setting triangles are all different sizes as this is a wonky star.  I layed the star over muslin, and then marked the fabric for the shape to cut. 
I had the piecing gods on my side that day, as the 1/4" stop border made it the perfect size for the pieced border.  It's a touch wavy, but once I wash and block it out, it will be flat straight and square!  Just how I like my finished pieces.

Yet again, I was going to hand quilt this piece with feathers in the cream setting triangles that are a funky shape and size.  Instead of folding it back up, I decided to mark the feathers and get it ready to hand quilt.  So I started drawing feathers and more feathers and more feathers, then shook my head and loaded it onto my longarm and got it done!
I love the cheddar in the outer part of this piece, all the blacks/creams are civil war prints and the cheddar just seems to compliment all the scrappy prints in this piece.  It finished at approx 29 x 30.  It's a little small where I have it hanging in my house, so I will move it to a different wall.  It's my favorite liberated piece to date.

It's great to finish a piece and get to enjoy the rewards of the time spent with a project.


Monday, January 13, 2014

The Process of Cleaning

If only I put things back every time I finished with them, I wouldn't end up with the messes in my sewing room and the rest of my home.  Oh well, at 50+ years on this planet, I don't think it's going to change much in the years to come.

I'm trying to find my cutting table, it's buried.  But when I try to sort/tidy/put away, I just keep coming across things that need to be finished.  So here's my clean up story. I pulled out a bag of green scraps and started pressing and sorting and purging.

No point in putting them back in a box or a bag, so I started cutting and organizing for another mock Pineapple block quilt from Bonnie Hunter.  This is the perfect quilt for me, I love the finished look, all the choices of layout and the ability to use up lots of odd duck fabrics.
The center of this block is 3 1/2" square and is perfect to use as a "leader/ender" and I like to make this quilt in stacks of 10 blocks.

I've got two blocks finished, only 98 more to go!

OK so I didn't get very far in finding my table............stay tuned.


Saturday, January 11, 2014

January 11th Already

Happy New Year

Yes, I feel like a pathetic blogger/quilter and for someone who is unemployed, it's even sadder.  All the time in the world and not getting organized.  Oh well, this too shall pass.  I truly believe busy people get more done and having a job keeps me on a schedule that I like.  I continue to apply and interview and I'm confident that the right opportunity will present itself.  In the meantime........

I have been working on all my own projects and have made some headway in the clean up of the sewing room.  My Sisters Choice is 35% bound and I continue to take a few stitches at a time.  With all the football this weekend, I'm confident it will be completed before bedtime on Sunday.
 There ended up being 81 blocks set on point and the finished quilt is approx 100 x 100.  I chose to bind it with scrappy blacks, I really thought it needed a frame to finish it off.  All the shirtings were swapped out as well, so the variety of them is fabulous.  Quilts made from swaps have the potential to be amazing.   This will be taken to Arizona and go on  the spare bed at my fathers winter home.  I've claimed it as my room, as I'm  the one who visits the most often.
The center 9 patch blocks were from an online swap and the variety of color and print is amazing in this piece.  I absolutely LOVE this quilt and I'm glad the final home for it is where I can enjoy it for a few days per year.  It might just spend a few nights on my bed at home before it travels south.
With a busy top and lots of seams, an all over texture is the perfect pattern for this.  The original plan was to hand quilt it, but I think that's my plan on all my tops! *insert belly laugh here*

If you are a football fan and your team is still in the hunt, I wish you tv time and lots of luck this weekend!
I will be stitching and cheering on the Seahawks!