Saturday, February 25, 2012

Making progress, and a wonderful gift in the mail

A week ago, I won this fantastic giveaway at Spontaneous Threads. Stephanie is cleaning out craft and quilting supplies.  The box arrived today, and it was jam packed with goodies, like this fabric above.  Look at this one.  It is so stinkin' cute.

See the birds on the chairs?  I am going to have to find something wonderful to make with it.

Look at the cute coin purse.  She also included three extra zippers just the right size and one of those metal purse clasps.  I have long wanted to make a purse with one of these.

Yummy yarn.  Now I can crochet that scarf I have been thinking about.

Lastly, there is crafty goodness for projects with Bella. 
Stephanie is going to be doing another giveaway in March.  I suggest that you keep watch over at Spontaneous Threads so you have a chance at getting the wonderful March box.

The Primitiva quilt is coming along.  I got all the nine patches done and put up on the design wall.  I then started putting up squares in the corners of the orange blocks so that the snowballs would all be as random as the rest of the quilt.  I may have done this in a very inefficient way, but it worked for me.  After I had all the blocks the way I wanted, I carefully pulled the orange blocks down and stacked them neatly.

I nearly finished marking the squares and pinning them on this afternoon.  Tomorrow, I will start sewing.  I have marked them so I will get the extra half square triangle units I want to use in the second quilt I will be making with this fabric.  Whoo hoo!  A two-fer.
The last thing I did in the studio today was to play with some scraps.

I got some pieces sewn, but mostly I just pulled more scraps to add to what I was building.  I have missed just playing.
It will be interesting to see what comes of tomorrow.
Joyful quilting, everyone

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Don't forget to go here to enter the Pass It Along Box giveaway contest.

Bella's pre-school class (read moms here) is making a quilt for their annual auction.  I have nothing to do with this project except to make Bella's block. (You may read a little frustration here, but it is a story for another day.)  Bella said she wanted cats in a window and hearts on the front. I was given the green pieces and a bunch of scraps.  The only thing I pulled from my fabric is the kitty print.  The name is embroidered, as well as the stems and leaves of the flowers.  I haven't done much embroidery for a very long time, and I really enjoyed doing this.  Maybe I will do more for another project.

The other thing I worked on today is Tom's Primitiva quilt.  It is really hard to get all the colors right for these fabrics.  I am close on the orange, at least on my computer screen.  I have sewn a total of nine of the nine patch blocks.  Keeping them random has been interesting.  The orange blocks will become snowball blocks, creating a secondary pattern of stars, and I want to make sure the corners are different from the squares they will touch.  This is going to be a very bold quilt, and it is great fun to work with all these wonderful colors and designs.
I will work more on this quilt over the weekend, but I also want to get started on a couple of other projects.  I would like to get started on my lone star quilt.  I am debating whether to cut individual diamonds or create strata and work from those.  I have seen it done both ways.  Do any of you have words of wisdom about how I should proceed?
Joyful quilting, everyone.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Pass It Along Box needs a new home

This drawing is now closed.

Last week, I won another traveling quilter's box from Katie at Katie's Salt Marsh Path.  I love these boxes.  They have such treasurers in them.  This one is about half books and patterns and half fabric. I like the mix.

The fabrics range from two packs of 100 2" squares each to some yardage.  There are a few fat quarters, including four that coordinate well, and some baseball print.  There is a Curio by Basic Gray charm pack and a Riley Blake charm pack.  There are five orphan blocks that are made from coordinating fabric.

I love the Lotus Garden patterns and the Dogwood Delight.  I also love the bug jar quilt pattern.  I almost took one of these, but went for another one instead.

There are some great books, and some wash away foundation paper.  There were two packs of the paper, but I grabbed one to play with.  So, what did I take?

I took one of the wash away paper packs, three fat quarters, three books and an applique quilt pattern.  I am determined to improve my hand applique techniques.  This is what I put back in the box.

I put in three books, a pack of Steam-A-Seam 2, an older edition of a Fons and Porter quilting magazine with some really nice quilt patterns, and three fat quarters. 
Now, it is time for the box to move on.  Here is what you need to do if you want it to visit you.
1. You must be a blogger so you can "pass it on" to another blogger and keep us posted about where it's going.
2. You must be willing to ship it on to the next person.
3. You may take anything you like, but for every item you remove, you must replace it with another item.
    Items do not need to be new, but if they are not new, they must be gently used.
4. You may fill the box with:  orphan blocks, books, patterns, notions, rulers, and definitely fabric.
5. There is a note in the box that logs where the box has been.  Please add your info and place the note          back in the box.
Sorry, but because of shipping costs the box cannot be shipped internationally.
You know you want to see everything inside.  Leave me a comment and I will announce on Sunday, February 26, who the next lucky recipient will be.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Organizing for Randomness

Do you remember this beautiful group of Primativa from Andover that I bought from the wonderful Julie at Intrepid Thread?  I started cutting into it Saturday morning, but not until after I did a bit of quilter's math.
(I would love to teach classes on quilter's math the way I do it.)
Anyway, I knew I had to figure out a method to get random in an organized way since I was using these 18 fat quarters to make Tom's quilt.  I saw a quilt on a blog and asked the maker if she used a pattern, and if so, where she got it.  She said she saw the quilt in many places, and just made her own pattern.  I love to make patterns, so I drafted one that would work with the Primativa.

The first thing I did, after figuring out the math, was to cut the fat quarters into 3.5" strips.  I got five from each piece with a narrow strip left over.  I cut two strips from each piece into 3.5" x 3.5" squares and set them aside for the snowball blocks.  The first blocks I need to build are nine patches.  I wanted to sew random groups of three 3.5" x 22" strips together to make this work.  In order to get these really random, without repeats, I used the narrow left over strips.  I cut them into thirds to have three of each, then put them in groups on the cutting board.  Then I built the strip sets, following the mini examples.

I was so excited when I got them all together, and it all turned out right.  The bonus is that I can now build mini wonky nine patches for another project.  Maybe a baby quilt or a doll blanket. 
After I sewed all the sets, I cut a series of 3.5" strips.  Of course, I had to put a nine patch together to see how my plan was working.

One of the things I had the hardest time with when I started quilting last year was to get the seams ironed the right way.  I don't like open seams for many reasons, so I need to make sure to get them pressed in the right direction for nesting.  Sometimes, that is just really hard for me to figure out.  This time, I made sure all my seams were pressed in the same direction when I built the strip sets. Then I could turn the center one around as needed.  Here, on the backs, you can see that seams are going just the right ways for great nesting.

All that prep payed of in a beautiful random block with corners that meet nicely and lay nice and flat.  Now, I have 27 more of these to make, and no two will be alike.
As you may know, if you are a regular follower of my blog, I am not one to go out and buy a bunch of fabric from one line.  I don't often see many that I like that much, and I am very mindful of how I spend my limited fabric budget.  When I first saw this line, I immediately fell in love with the colors and the designs.  As I was pressing each piece before cutting, I couldn't decide which design was my favorite.  These are colors I love to use together, and I couldn't believe someone would put them all together in one line.  I think of this as my first "Modern" quilt.  Wait until you see tomorrow's post with the bright orange snowball blocks!
I am having a very good project year so far.  I am not finishing much, but I am having a great time creating tops.   I hope you are having a great quilting year, as well. 
Joyful quilting, everyone.