Saturday, May 28, 2011

More blocks and some HSTs

Excuse the lousy photo, please.  I just wanted to show that I made three more blocks to go with the yellow.  I had to go to the fabric store for something else, so I picked up a couple of small cuts of the blue and purple pastels.  I am not really a pastel kind of person, but I think these blocks turned out sweet.  I can't wait to see all the blocks other people have made for this presentation quilt.
I also decided to tackle pressing all the little extra HSTs left from piecing En Vino Veritas.  There are almost 300 of them.  I have decided to keep the pile at the end of the ironing board and do a few each time I go to press a seam.  That way, they will get pressed eventually.  While I was pressing these, I remembered that I had already pressed the ones from Farmer's Market, so . . . .

This little piece is only 7" by 8 1/2" without the borders.  It will be another AAQI quilt.  I have pulled the top and bottom pieces to audition as borders.  I really don't know which one I like better.  What do you think?  I still have so much of this fruit and vegetable fabric left.  I am thinking about creating a jelly roll as a swap for something else.  I will let you know and see if anyone is interested.
Have a wonderful long weekend, everyone.
Joyful quilting,

Friday, May 27, 2011

Guild blocks

Today, I spent some time making blocks for my guild today.  This one is the BOM that is due in June.  One of the things I like about my mostly traditional guild is the opportunity to practice my piecing skills.  I am getting better at making my corners and points meet.  I am also getting better at cutting and sewing with a 1/4" seam.  I think it is all because of making these blocks pretty regularly.

This is one of the presentation blocks I am making.  I will make another one in pink and white.  The only downside of participating in all these block making opportunities is that I often don't have the required fabric.  Until recently, I did not have any white on white.  I looked through my stash bins today and found only two pastels that weren't batiks.  I really thought I had more, especially purple.  I guess I should buy fat quarters of these kinds of colors every now and then so when I need them I will have them.

My quilting tastes are very eclectic.  I really like a traditional style quilt with star blocks.  I also like a good churn dash quilt.  I am drawn to old fashioned feeling fabric like those designed by Kansas Troubles.  Then there is my love affair with improvisational quilting.  I really enjoy pulling scraps and sewing them together to make new fabric and then building something with it or around it.  I love the colors in the new fabrics out there, but I think I may just be a bit too old fashioned to really appreciate all the patterns.  I do appreciate the talent out there and the fabric companies who support these artists.   My biggest problem is that there are not enough hours to make all the things I want to. 

 I did take a little time to make a bit of crazy cloth by cutting up a D9P block I made back in January.  I will be using it to cut up and make a more traditional block.  Oh, how much fun I have in the studio!

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a wonderful long weekend.
Joyful quilting, everyone.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A little of this, a little of that

At last!  The intuition quilt is finished and I have been snuggling under it for a couple of days.  Yes, it is chilly and raining again here in Renton, Washington.  I try not to have issues with the weather around here.  After all, it is what it is, and I have chosen to live here knowing that.  However, this time of year, I do yearn for 75 degree days with beautiful blue skies.  At least, I have this quilt done to keep me warm.  I have decided to call it "Self Portrait."  It has a bit of controlled chaos, and that pretty much describes how I am most days.  It works for me, though.
I always love getting squishy envelopes in the mail, and this one was a real surprise.  Karen G at K's Quilting Corner sent me a thank you note with this totally cute thread catcher inside.  As you can see, I have already put it to good use.  I love the colors and the fabric and just the convenience of having a little thread catcher right there on the table.  Thank you so much Karen.

I spent a little time today making heart blocks.  This one was made with my crazy made fabric.  They are freehand and a little wonky, but that is intentional. I used a double buttonhole stitch for the upper heart, and a fancy flower pattern for the bottom one.  I am getting better at this machine applique, but it is still pretty new to me.  I would like to get really good at it before I tackle a big project I have on the drawing board. This block is 8 1/2 inches square. It will be going to an online quilting friend.

This one is going to be my next AAQI quilt after I use it as an example of what you can do with the rainbow of geese I am teaching my guild next week.  Again, I used some of my crazy made fabric for the heart.  My wonderful husband really likes the one above, but this heart doesn't make it for him.  He does like the rainbow geese, though.  I used a single buttonhole stitch for the heart and I pieced the curves for the rainbow arch.  I am calling this one God's Promise.  It is 9 1/2" by 8 1/2".  I think the binding will be a dark color and the back will be more of the background color.

The last thing I worked on today was to get En Vino Veritas up on the design wall.  All the blocks are sewn, and I am pretty happy with the layout.  There is supposed to be another row, but I wanted the bottom and the top to look the same, so I left it off.  Now I have six extra blocks.  I will probably make a pillow out of four of them.  I haven't made a pillow in ages, and we could certainly use some.  The process for making this quilt has been a bit repetitive, and when that happens, I tend to make mistakes.  I only messed up twice on this so far.  I intend to be more careful piecing this all together.  Hopefully, I will make progress on that tomorrow.
Thanks for stopping by.
Joyful quilting, everyone.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The seam ripper is my friend

I couldn't resist posting this photo of our lilac tree/bush.  I grew up loving lilacs.  My grandmother wore Avon's lilac water all the time, and it is a smell that takes me back to her warm cozy home every time.   This year, our lilac has more blossoms on it than it has had since we moved here.  It smells so wonderful as you walk through the gate to the back yard.  I will probably cut some to bring in the house in the next couple of days.  I am so excited we have this tree and that it is in full bloom this year.
In more quilty news, I spent the bulk of the day yesterday working on Hokule'a.  I finished piecing the circle of geese and am very happy with the results.  When I laid them over the star compass, I decided I really did not like the job I did with the double button hole stitch on the star compass.  I didn't like the color of thread I selected, either.  So, what is a quilter to do?  I got out my trusty Bernina seam ripper and started carefully taking out stitches.  Have you ever spent time taking out double button hole stitches?  Believe me when I tell you it is not much fun.  It took the better part of the afternoon and evening.  I had to quit when my eyes gave out on me.  I finished this morning.  Then, I went to the store and picked up more King Tut in a color better suited for the project, and started over again.

My first mistakes were twofold.  I did not use a fusible, and I did not use a backing.  Beginner's mistakes, I know.  I don't know what I was thinking.  This time, I used both, and I am much happier with the outcome.  Here you can see the geese all pinned down and ready to sew.  I am going to hand stitch them down because I don't want the stitching to show.  I am pretty proud of this piece so far.  I designed it and made it myself, from drawing the pattern, to making the foundation pieces.  Imaging my surprise today when I picked up a copy of the new Quilter's Newsletter to find something very similar on the disc that came with the magazine.  Now, people are going to think I copied it, but I did not.  I hope this does not become a problem when I enter it into our guild show in August.  Any suggestions?
One other project I worked on today was putting together little kits to teach curved flying geese to my guild next week.  I decided to do a rainbow of flying geese with them.  This is what each participant will get.

I will be with my granddaughter the next couple of days, so see you on Thursday.
Joyful quilting, everyone.