Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Back from vacation

Hi everyone!  I was gone for a while!  The hubs and I went on vacation to see our daughter in Maine.  It was great!  Maine is so pretty.  If you know Bernie from Needle and Foot, she wrote a great little column talking about good things about Maine, which you can find HERE.  Of course, the best thing about Maine for us is seeing our daughter!

We got back a little bit ago and I've been writing like a madwoman. I have to get some things on paper while I still remember what they are!.  I did finish up this star:

This is the aqua star for the Framed quilt, which I think will be done this week! No promises, though.

I also worked some more on the quilt I'm making with 1-1/2 inch squares:

I now have 9 of these blocks, with more started. I have enoughsquares for another pink block, though next up is lavender, followed by turquoise/teal.  Really amazed that I had enough of each of those, but I did.

After these come the greens--lime, dark green, and light green.  It's looking like I'll have 16 blocks at this point, which I think will make a nice sized quilt.  I'm really hoping to get 20 blocks, but the sorting is really tedious.  Really wish that I had just made blocks and not sorted by color.  And what do you think of a tan/ beige block?

I'm on the fence.

While we were in Maine, I had the opportunity to meet up with the aforementioned Bernie of Needle and Foot!  She was vacationing with her family in Maine the same time we were there, so we met up for lunch and a bit of quilt shopping. (Her post about our lunch is HERE.)  It was really an amazing thing that we got to meet since she lives in California! It was really great to talk (and talk) and shop. Here's my picture of us:

Don't we look like people you'd like to go fabric shopping with?

On the way back from vacation, the hubs and I also got to stop and have ice cream with Nancy of PugMom Quilts and her husband Mike.  And LarryPug! He is the sweetest pugboy ever, and he even got a bit of ice cream. It was great to sit and talk with them and have a nice, relaxed time.  I wish we lived closer so we could get together more often, but it has been wonderful to get to actually know some blogging friends.

Have some great sewing time folks!  I have to go do some actual work now, but I really am planning to have that Framed quilt done really soon.  Cross your fingers! 

Bridge to Canada in Lubec, Maine!

Sharing at Sew Fresh Quilts and Oh Scrap!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Framing work

It's a beautiful day today!  I got back from my conference so inspired and ready to work on new things.  You know how you go to a quilt show and see so many pretty things and just can't wait to get home again and start sewing?  That's how I feel after conferences.  Very motivated!  I know, I'm a total weirdo.

Thankfully, the renewed energy extends to my quilty projects!  Before the power went out last week, I was working on this:

I don't know why the camera washes out yellow greens.  This is actually a beautiful color!

This is the first thing I finished when I got home, even before I put in the laundry.  Then I still had energy, so I went ahead and finished off another one:

For those who have forgotten (and it's been forever since I worked on this) these are two of the remaining blocks for one of my Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilts from last year.  These are 24-inch blocks made from the Moda Love pattern (free!).  The stars have crumb centers, with the rest being made from scraps, including white scraps.

I had visions of finishing this this week, since I thought there was not that much more to be done.  When I opened the project box, though, I found these two stars that needed frames, plus:

Yep, the orange star needs a frame, too.  Saddest of all is this:

The aqua center doesn't even have a star at all!  So there's some more work to do, and then I'll be ready to put this together.  I think it's been in a project box long enough, don't you?

Hope you all are inspired and motivated and happily working along on your projects!  Hey, it's very warm outside, so why not stay in the AC and sew?  I have some writing to do, but then it's back to the projects!

Have a great weekend!

Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and soscrappy.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Power outage

Ever have the power go out at your place at a really inconvenient time?  That just happened to me!  It has been hot and stormy, on and off, for a few weeks now.  Not that big a deal really, but this week the power went out during a strong storm.  Not usually a tragedy, but this time it stayed out for about 8 hours.  Just when I had a bunch of sewing to do!  And laundry, and the dishwasher! And the air conditioning was out too, of course!  So, instead of finishing what I had planned, here is my big finish for this week:

These are potholders for my daughter.  Why buy them when mom can make you exactly what you want?  She chose some really cute fabric, I think.  It has all these "cooking words" on it:

These were fairly easy to make.  I just cut circles out of the fabric and some Insulbrite, (I traced around a salad plate) then layered them, lightly quilted, and then bound them with bias binding.  In retrospect, it was silly to cut the circles first.  I should have quilted it first and then cut the circles, but I wasn't thinking.  For the smaller ones, I just trimmed the sides of the circles to make an oval.  It worked for me. 

I'm also supposed to make some kitchen curtains for her, but the power was out so I didn't get to those either!  Oh, well!

Sad unmade curtains!

The other thing I was going to do was staple some ironing board fabric on my small ironing board (which I use all the time!), but I couldn't because I really need to use the electric stapler for that. I had a decorator fabric on it as a cover, but it's gotten really scorched and I'm hoping the silver fabric works better. Oh, well again! Use your imagination!

Hope all your projects worked out this week!  The hubs and I are at an academic conference, which is why it was so critical to do all those things the day the power went out.  Good thing my real-people clothes were all ready to go, or I might have to try to look professional in t-shirts and capris!

Have a wonderful weekend!  Here's hoping you don't have power troubles!  Or weather ones, either!

Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and crazymomquilts.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Intricate Stitches--Aqua

He everyone, and welcome back for another exciting block in the Intricate Stitches quilt!  This month's color is aqua, with lime green accents, and I have the perfect block for these colors.  Here it is:

This is Crow's Foot, a block from Ladies' Art Company catalogue from 1895.  There are several variations based on the placement of the lights and darks in the block.  I chose to do mine this way, but flipping the colors around would make it look completely different.  This is number 4184 in Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia, and was originally number 118 in the LAC catalogue.

[On an unrelated note--can we just talk about the Encyclopedia for a second?  I love this book, but wouldn't it be great to redo it in computer-generated drawings instead of hand drawings? I know there's probably software that replaces it by now, but I still like the old-school way so I can relax on the sofa and page through it and daydream.  I just want the drawings to be clearer.]

This is a pretty easy block, so let's get to it!


For this block, you will need 3 colors plus a background.  I used a light aqua, a darker aqua, and lime green.  My background is Kona white (which I am liking more and more).

From the light aqua, cut:

4 3-1/2 inch squares
1 4-3/4 inch square
4 2-3/8 inch squares

From the dark aqua, cut:

1 3-1/2 inch square
4 2-inch squares

From the lime, cut:

1 4-3/4 inch square
8 2- inch squares

From the white, cut

4 3-1/2 inch squares
1 4-1/4 inch square
8 2 inch squares

Done with the cutting!


You know the drill by now--make a bunch of units and then combine them into a gorgeous block.  Let's start with the flying geese.  Use the 4-1/4 inch white square and 4 2-3/8 inch aqua squares to make 4 flying geese using the heart method.  These should measure 2 by 3-1/2 unfinished.

Next up is the half-square triangles.  Use the aqua and lime 4-3/4 inch squares to make 8 hsts using the Magic 8 method.  I don't usually want to link to another person's tutorial, but this one is so popular and works so well that I recommend it to everyone.  You should have 8 2-inch hsts that will finish at 1-1/2 inches.
A great example of why you have to be careful when cutting!  I had to remake this because I cut too close to the stitching. 

The last unit to make is the "houses."  Use the 3-1/2 inch aqua squares and the 2 inch lime squares to make the houses.  These are made like the conventional way of making flying geese.  Draw a line on the back of each of the lime squares, stitch on the line, flip, trim, and press.   Make 4.

That's it for the units!


Take 4 of the white 2-inch squares and stitch one to each side of 2 of the flying geese.  Make 2.

Stitch a dark aqua 2-inch square to an hst as shown.  Notice that the hsts are oriented in different directions.  Make 2 of each.

Take the units you just made and stitch one to each side of two of the house units as shown.  Pay attention to the directions of the hsts.

Take these house units and the flying geese units and stitch the flying geese unit to the bottom of each of the house units.

Next, take the remaining single house units and the remaining geese, and stitch the goose to the bottom of each house unit.  Make 2.

Then take the remaining hsts and the remaining white squares and stitch them together as shown.  Pay attention to the position of the hsts.  Add the units you just made to the white 3-1/2 inch squares.  You should have 2 squares with the blue hsts pointing in one direction and 2 with them pointing in the other direction.

Lay all of the units out as shown:

All that's left is to stitch into rows, join the rows, and press.  Stand back and admire your block!

And here is the block with all it's friends:

Don't those look great?   This is going to be a great quilt!  And at this point, we're more than halfway there!

Have fun making your Crow's Foot block, and come back July 5 for another exciting installment!  As always, feel free to ask questions if necessary.  I'd love to see pictures!

Linking to Let's Bee Social, and soscrappy for RSC16.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Something cheerful

Good golly, it's June.  How did *that* happen? (The older I get, the more I say that.  If I stop saying it, will I stop getting old?)  No big surprise--we are having another rainy day.  Not sure about this weather pattern, but here's the perfect cure for a gray day:

The only dry spots were actually on the massive tree!

How cheerful is that?  I made this from Connie's free Chinese Forget Me Not tutorial at her blog Freemotion by the River.  It happens that she posted this tutorial a few days after I purchased some orange and yellow batiks.  I loved the colors of my batiks, and Connie added the turquoise flowers and I was sold.  It's so pretty!  If that's not inspiration, I don't know what is.

Connie's tutorial is for an Accuquilt cutter, which I don't have, but it was easy enough to cut the pieces myself.  The tutorial is really clear and it was pretty easy.  I made the bias stems with my bias tape maker.  The flowers are raw edged and are made from a poinsettia template I found on the Internet. Did you know that you can just use a soft pencil and trace the pattern right from your screen?  It worked great!

I hope everyone noticed that this is actually quilted! To do that, I actually built the applique on top of the layered pieced top:

There is no fusible in this top.  I just stitched it all down right through the layers, which quilted it as I went.  The background has a simple meander that I actually did last, after all the applique was in place. This was not without problems:

Overall it worked out okay, though!  I am really pleased with the finished product.  It's so cheerful, and I love these two colors together (even though they seem to be strobing in the pictures).  The one thing that I might do is add buttons to the flower centers so that they stand out a little better.

Hope everyone has a wonderful--and dry--weekend.  We are going to the ballpark!  I hope the rain is finished by then!

Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and crazymomquilts, and  Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River.