Saturday, September 29, 2012

Wow! Look what I got in the mail!

I have been part of the Doll Quilter's Monthly swap for several months now.  I have received some very wonderful small quilts as part of this swap.  This one is from Barbara Black at My Joyful Journey. I love the fabrics.  Barbara took colors from the focus fabric to use as background in the star blocks.  The shiny silvery fabric in the nine patches is really beautiful.  It is quilted with variegated thread that matches the colors in the fabrics.  She must have known of my love of dark fabrics.  This one is a great addition to my wall of small quilts.  I am skipping the October swap because I am just not a fan of anything spooky, and that is the theme. 
 This is a very fun and talented group of quilters.  It is not to late to join, if you are interested.  I love the small quilts for so many reasons. They actually get finished, which is a big plus.  I can use fabrics from my stash which is mostly made up of small pieces of fabrics and scraps.  I get to try new and fun patterns and quilting techniques.  I get to add small quilts from quilters all over the country to my collection.  What could be better?
Joyful quilting, everyone.

New blocks

Here is this week's Grandmother's Choice block, New Jersey.  I like the block, but I think I would like it better with the fabrics reversed.
Yep.  I like it better this way.  I decided to start another set of these blocks using my batiks for the darks as well as the lights.  I only have four to catch up on and two of them are relatively easy, so I don't think it will be a problem.  Of course, I have to do that sunflower again, but it will only make me a better piecer, right?
Then, because I didn't have fifteen or more other things needing to be finished, ha ha, I decided to try something new.  I have seen this idea several places.  One I love was done by Nifty and can be seen here - Nifty Quilts, and another I love is here - Quilts and Dogs.  In both of these, the design looks different because of the way the wedges were put together.  I am going to do this with the scraps in my bins as I get time.  This will be a long term project, but a fun one.
Tonight, Tom and I are taking photos at a wedding, but we are doing the photo booth corner without the booth.  I have been busy putting together props for the last couple of weeks.  It should be fun.
Until tomorrow, joyful quilting, everyone.

Friday, September 28, 2012

The block that took a week . . . .

 . . . . and is still nothing to write home about.
As some of you know, I have decided to play along with Barbara Brackman's new Block of the Week program over at Grandmother's Choice.  This week's block is the Kansas Sunflower.  When I looked at it, I decided I would skip this week.  Then I realized that part of why I joined the program was to grow my skills.  After all, it is important to keep growing as a quilter or all my work will look the same.  Some people think this would be a good thing, having a signature look and all, but I am not one of those people.
The first thing I did was select the fabric and cut the pieces.  I have decided to do all the blocks with my wonderful selection of paisleys and light colored batik.  For this one, I decided two fabrics wasn't going to work, so I grabbed another batik.  After I cut everything out, I took the time to draw all the seam lines on each piece.  I learned from doing another block with Y seams that this helped quite a bit.
I pieced all the light points to the dark shapes, then pieced them all together into the star.  I don't know if this is the easiest way to piece this, but it worked okay for me.
Next, I pieced in the center circle.  So far, so good.  When I pressed it, it lay flat as could be.  Drawing in those seam lines really was a good idea, even with the extra time it took.
Today, I finished piecing the outer wedges, then pieced it all into the circle.  This is where things started to go astray.  If I was going to do this again, I would machine applique the star circle onto a background square.  I may take this apart from the background and do that, but I really wanted to piece the whole thing this time.  It is hard to see the difference in the fabrics in this photo, but the star does stand out better in real life.  I honestly don't think I will do another one of these, but who knows.  I am thinking of making another quilt at the same time using my batiks, and I may really want the sunflower.
Here is what I have so far.  I look forward to seeing what Ms. Brackman sends our way tomorrow.  I am hoping for something a bit easier this week.
Once again, I want to send you over to the flickr page to see some of the stunning Kansas Sunflowers others are making.  There are some real beauties.
Joyful quilting, everyone.