Sunday, June 28, 2009

Holy Cow! This thing is really quick and easy. NOT!

The part that is taking me the longest is placing the blocks, which is normal for me. I've decided that my commitment issues extend into quilting too *sigh*. I can't believe that I just sewed the strips together last night and I've already got all the blocks done. The pattern has you cut your strips into four triangles which then are flipped and sewn together to make two blocks as shown in my previous post. The whole thing has only taken a few hours... I'll have to fiddle around with this for a little bit longer and then take a picture of it when I think it's the way I want it. I find that taking a picture and then getting away from the quilt for awhile and then taking a look at the picture later on provides a fresh perspective and helps me spot things that need to be changed.

Update - 4:00 pm Ummm...Silly me - let's rethink the really easy part, okay? I decided to sew some of the strips and join them together. It is a real bear to try and match up the vertical stripes - I'm not having much luck. I've probably ripped out as much as I've sewn. There's also a ton of fabric at the corners when I'm sewing the strips together and the blocks are on the bias so I've got to be careful not to stretch them - yuck! I'm stepping away from this for now. Thankfully it's only a large-ish lap size.

Update to the previous update - 4:30 pm Okaaay. I just noticed a blurb in the instructions. "When the moon and stars are in perfect alignment, all the intersections of the stripes and prints will perfectly match when assembling blocks! Careful cutting and accurate quarter-inch seam allowances will match most stripes between blocks." In other words, if you are a perfectionist, don't even think about attempting this pattern.

Yes, they're certainly funky...

So...I was looking at the instructions included in this pattern and it has you press the seams open. Very strange - I've never sewn a quilt where seams were pressed open, have you?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sew Day and So So Brownies

Okay, so the strawberry cheesecake brownies were just okay - the recipe went into the circular file today. We had a good day sewing. I finished a quilt for Alsley's bed that had been waiting for binding for over a month. Here's a picture of him enjoying it :o) He's too unsteady on his feet to jump up into the dog bed, so he's got one on the floor now. The quilt will give him a little cushioning on top of the egg crate pad and also gives him something to "fluff."
I started sewing strips together for the funky stripes quilt tonight - they don't look like much at this point, but tomorrow I'll start cutting them into triangles and putting the blocks together. It should be interesting to see what they're going to look like in any case.

Friday, June 26, 2009


*Big, heavy, sigh of relief*

I am SO ready for the weekend - it seemed like this past work week would never end! We found out this week that salaries are going to be frozen - no more increases for the foreseeable future. On the upside, we've still got our jobs and they didn't take away the 401K matching which is my main concern. I have a friend from work coming over to sew tomorrow, so I decided to try out a new dessert recipe. It's so much more fun to sew and eat! Strawberry Cheesecake Brownies (mmmmm - nothing like strawberries, cheesecake, and chocolate!) I can't wait to dig in! My friend is bringing breakfast food, I'm going to put on a nice big pot of coffee. Hopefully our machines will be humming along by 9:00.

I'm planning to start the Funky Stripes quilt top tomorrow. Isn't it just the best excited feeling when you get to start a new project? This one looks like it will go pretty quickly and since my godmother is very artsy and her favorite colors are reds, purples, emerald green, and royal blue, the Kaffe Fasset fabrics should be just right. She lives in Connecticut, so she'll certainly be able to use it when the weather cools off in the fall.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thursday's "in the bag"

A couple of years ago, I spent several months in the Reston, VA area for work. While I was there, one weekend I was talking to one of the women in the hotel where I was staying and found out that she also was a quilter. She told me that Jinny Beyer had a studio just down the road in Great Falls. Naturally, at the first opportunity, I went there to visit. I bought a few souveniers, including this pattern and the fabrics to make this bag. I use it anytime I go on a quilting weekend. It holds a ton of stuff too! I also purchased a pattern for a backpack (purse) that I thought might make a cute diaper bag, but it was a little too small for that purpose. It is really cute and someday I'm sure I'll be hit with an inspiration to whip one up. Happy Thursday everyone :o)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The heat is on

Happy First day of Summer! It is NOT the first day of summer here in FL though - the a/c here has been running 24 hours a day, seven days a week for about two months now.

Today the heat index was up to 100 degrees by 9:45 a.m. Too hot to even think about sitting on the beach or sewing - just the heat coming off the light bulb on the sewing machine is too much. I went to church early, stopped by to see my Mom, and then headed home. I gave Alsley a bath because his allergies are bothering him and he's still shedding like crazy. I took a shower and now am enjoying a day of rest.

I was trying to think of a good picture to post - so here is a diaper bag that I made for Emily - It was a summery, beachy looking bag (big surprise, right?). Before she was born, I had looked high and low for a well-made diaper bag that was cute and not too expensive - when I couldn't find what I was looking for, naturally I made it :o) It's an adorable bag - a little bit of a pain to make, but worth it. The pattern was in the May/June 2004 Fons & Porter Love of Quilting magazine and it was called Designer Tote Bag. It reminds me of those Vera Bradley bags.

This bag was quilted with a scallop stitch that look like waves. It has three outside pockets and pockets to hold bottles inside. It's a little bit faded because it's been washed many, many times over two years, but it has held up very well to the wear and tear. My daughter loves it too because it's very light to carry. I made another one with Kaffe Fasset fabrics - the next time she brings it over, I'll take a picture of it too. If you have the chance to get hold of the pattern, these bags make a fabulous baby shower gift that will surely be used.

Friday, June 19, 2009

More Scrappy Trip Blocks

Okay - here's an update - I finished the additional eight blocks and I think I'm happy with this layout. I always have to take a picture and marinate for awhile until I'm sure that I'm completely satisfied before I sew them all together. I still need to press the blocks, but I'll wait until the sun goes down - I just can't bear the thought of standing over a hot iron right now. The a/c has been running all day long *big heavy sigh* The free pattern is available at Quiltville under her free pattern section. There are scores of great scrap quilt patterns on her site.
Last night I sewed another eight 6-strip tubes and cut them into 2.5" strips, so over this coming weekend my goal is to put together 8 more scrappy trip blocks. I'm really liking this - it's putting a dent (albeit a small dent) in my huge amount of scraps. Also, summer has really arrived here in FL - it's too darn hot for me to be outside. I'm still a New Hampshire girl at heart and am miserable all summer long down here. This is where I belong (it's the coast of ME in case you couldn't tell)

Someday, I'm going to make a concerted effort to organize my scraps. I'd love to iron it all and figure out a good way to store it by color. Allie just posted that she found a chest of drawers at a yard sale to store fabric in - it's a great idea. I found an armoire some time ago that is in my bedroom. I really don't like it in there because it takes up a lot of space visually. I'm thinking that someday when I get a 'real' sewing room, I'll put it in there and use it for storing fabric - it would hold a ton of it. Well, happy sewing everyone...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Scrappy Trip

I just got home from sewfest about an hour ago, mixed up some cupcakes, and popped them in the oven - we're celebrating two birthdays tomorrow! My Mom will be 82 and my youngest daughter will be 27. I got sixteen blocks done for the scrappy trip quilt, so I decided to lay them out on the floor just to get a peek at what they'll look like when the go together. They are a great way to use up stash. I didn't follow any sort of color scheme, anything goes in this quilt! I'll continue to cut my scraps into 2.5" x 16" strips and add more as time goes by.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Stashbusting Weekend

We're having a sewfest this weekend with a goal of using up some serious amounts of stash. We decided to make a bunch of blocks for Scrappy Trip Around the World Quilt tops. Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville web site is one of our favorite spots on the web because not only does she provide tons of ideas for quilts, but she also shows several different versions of them - it's great. So, for this weekend, I'm going to be immersed in scraps.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

#1 on the "To Do" List

Another one bites the dust :o) Now...what will round out my top three UFOs? There are so many projects from which to choose.

I went to the quilt shop yesterday to pick up my Mom's quilt - it turned out beautifully. I picked a nice light cotton batting and a floral pattern for the quilting done in ecru cotton. I stayed up until 1:30 this morning sewing the binding on - got two sides sewn down before I went to bed. Just finished a little while ago.

By the way - I found out who made the paper pieced Christmas Tree pattern below. I was Bob Coon and the name of the pattern was "Christmas Window." It was sold by Keepsake Quilting back in 2005. Unfortunately, the pattern has not been made for over two years, so I am out of luck as far as buying it unless I can just happen upon one. So, what did I do? I bought the quilt at the quilt store. I'll post a picture of it when Christmas rolls around again (which will be here before we all know it).

Update to the top three UFOs: Okay I added a new #1 - Funky Stripes for my Godmother (maybe her birthday July 21st???). I also exchanged out the Ladybugs on Parade quilt for Em with the Angel Houses quilt - the Ladybugs on Parade is a full size quilt, and she's still in her crib, so this one is probably a better size for her right now. I haven't forgotten the Roman Holiday quilt, but I needed to take a break from it, you all know how that goes I'm sure.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Can anyone help me find this pattern?

I saw this quilt in a quilt shop, and would like to make it. The problem is that nobody in the quilt shop knows what the name of the pattern was or where it came from. Please, please - if you can, ask all your quilting friends. I have tried web searches, but have not yet been able to come up with anything. I suspect it may be an older pattern (?).