Sunday, January 28, 2007

Weekend Projects

Forgive me, Blogger is having a hard time today. I hope this post comes out alright.

I had a productive weekend, working on many projects. Nothing finished though!
Here is my version of the strings quilt. I started this and then the next day went around the blog ring, and everyone was doing these blocks! I started these blogs in Sept. 2006 at a class with Billie Lauder. I am quilting as I go, so you may be able to see some quilting on some blocks. I put four strings blocks together to make a 12 inch block. Then I put four of those together in a row, and then quilt that row. Then I will put the rows together, like in Keryn Emmersons book, Beautiful Quilts As You Go. I am using a golden colored rayon thread to quilt because my son liked it so much.

Here is another Billie Lauder project. She has a method of making a 16 patch where all the fabrics are in a different place in each block. She shows this in More Quick Tricks. Anyway, I've had all the blocks done and put together and just needed to work on the pieced border. So I did all that border this weekend and added three sides of the final dark border. Uh, I don't know why I quit there and didn't do the other side. It is cut and ready to go but I just didn't feel like it. I added some fusible leaves to liven it up a bit, but I still don't know if I like this quilt.

And this is a photo titled "Wishful Thinking". This quilt is not finished yet, but maybe 2/3 done. I still have some quilting to go and the binding to add. But I was impatient to see how it looks on the bed. I am handquilting this, 1/4 inch inside the light triangles. It will have 1000 triangles when finished (really, I counted, 40 each row x 25 rows). I love how this is turning out, because it is for ME! I started it in Nov. 2005. Oh, yeah, it is handpieced too.

I bought this quilt top on ebay, around Christmas. I think the pattern is called Star of Hope. Does anyone know for sure? The blocks are about 15 inches square and there are two different pink prints and muslin. All handpieced.

Ok, now here is the story about Blankie. I bought this quilt before I was a quilter for my daughter. She never really took to it. However, my son, born almost three years later, carried it around like Linus. As you can tell, five years later is was worn OUT! It would not go thru another wash. DS and I discussed what we could do with Blankie to make him last longer. Should we make him into a pillow? Put him away for good? What to do? DS came up with the idea to make him a sleeping bag. So here is Blankie in his sleeping bag. However, I quilted the blanket in, so it is stuck! DS loves that he can stick his fingers in these holes to make sure Blankie is still in there. DS chose the fabric and since well, I was just a little bit short of the blue train fabric, there is a stripe of white trains. Notice the theme? My DS in NUTS about trains. Is that just a boy thing???

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Little Brownie Girl Scouts

My daughter is a Brownie and I was asked to lead the project to get the sewing badge. I saw in American Patchwork and Quilting (June 2005) this cute little yellow wool felt pincushion and thought that this would be a good project, as the girls are grade 1-3. So I made one to try out the pattern...mine is the red one. I reduced some of the stitching to make it easier and then cut out all the pattern pieces. We only had two sessions to sew and cutting would have been a whole session unto itself. So here are two of the hats the Brownies made. Some turned out better than others, but all the girls did a great job! They were very patient and did not stab themselves with the needles. I had them use big darning needles and six strand embroidery thread.

I am very pleased how these came out and so were all the girls. And everyone finished their hat during the second work session.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

So, I had planned to quilt today, but the best laid plans....

Aerin wanted to make a tote bag, and bread. So we made this little tote, the handles match the purple in the fabric. And she loves it. We put a super secret pocket in it. The bread turned out good too.

Then Ethan wanted me to recover his blankie. You see, he is 5 and has had this blanket his whole life. It shows. So we have talked about what to do to keep blankie in one piece. So today I made a sleeping bag for the blanket, and at least I get to quilt that although it is hard with another blanket inside. I left one place open though because he still needs to "smell" the old blankie. I'm such a good mom! :)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Plays With Fabric

Whee! I am playing in the scrap bin! I decided to put my strips in order for their size. I have a box of less than two inches, a pile for 2 inches, a pile for 2 1/2 , a pile for 3, a pile for 3 1/2, a pile for 4 and last a pile for 4+. The little pile by the bin is weird sizes or squares or need straightening or something. I will put the piles in the gray plastic bins in the back. These just have odds and ends in them. Can you see what a dent I have made in the scrap bin? HAHAHAHAHA, none at all. When air gets to the scraps, they expand. I am sure of it.

I mentioned I was taking a bargello class at Quilt U on the web. Well, here is my little finished top. I really liked how it turned out. The teacher was not too thrilled with my fabric choices. This is what she said "Rebecca, I like the fabrics you have choosen, however I think your colour range is a little too wide. With a lot of colours, you will lose the Bargello effect. Can you try using perhaps the blues and oranges with the print, and obmitting the purple and gold? Let me hear your thoughts. " So I considered her opinion and then kept my own colors. I was reading McCall's Quilting With the Pros II, December 2006, and there was an article on Kaye England. Here is her quote. Q: What is a common shortcoming among many of your students and how do you help them overcome this? A: I think a lot of women don't value their opinions enough. I work real hard to help my students trust their judgment rather than ask their friend in class because I want them to feel confident with the skills they already have. ... (Design Tips) 1. Focus on value as opposed to only color. 2. Trust your own judgment. 3. If a block isn't working out, you can always use it to make a potholder. Some people act like this is brain surgery, but I remind them that it's just a block." So, anyway, my point is, it is my project and I like my colors. I was a little offended as I did not ask for her advice on my color choices anyway. I realize that she was only trying to be helpful, had the best of intentions, is the teacher, etc., but it is MY project. I will be the one living with it.

And with the fabric left over from that project, I made this. This cute little bag, called the ScrappySak, takes about 6 fq's total. It is designed by Nancy Mirman and Ellen Hauben, Design and Planning Concepts, 17 Summit Circle, Somers, NY 10589 (914)277-5210. This is not a hard pattern at all. The directions are very good and the pattern comes with full size templates.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Today I altered some pants for a friend. I have to say I love my Janome 6500. It makes all kinds of sewing so easy. I can put in the zipper, finish the edges and then make a hem in just a jiffy. There is no sewing that seems like a chore when it is so fun!

I am working on Study in Wool Shirts #4. I am sewing the edges and then will be finished. Ok, so after four quilts with the same wool shirts, I am TIRED of working with the same fabric! But I am almost done with this project. This last week I made another set if valances (in light green) for the same lady the quilts are for. There are two 210 inch, two 120 inch and one 100 inch valances. For each valance I sewed the length three times, one for the hem and two for the top to put in the curtain rod. Can we say a lot of straight stitching??? But once again, it was not a hard project.

I am taking a bargello class at Quilt U and have picked out my fabrics. I will keep you posted on my progress over the next few weeks.

Another UFO finish this last week. These cute little ornaments for my mom. They are her Christmas present, I'm just a little behind! :)

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Whew! Here it is Saturday, and I am actually getting time to breathe. The kids are watching movies and I am in my sewing room, cleaning, organizing, working on this and that.

I am sqaring up the placemats for my brother, getting ready to add binding.

I am getting the quilting design together for my scrappy quilt from, like this quilt Then I am going to quilt as you go from Keryn Emmerson's book, Beautiful Quilts As You Go. I am using a sort of Hawaiian design from EQ6. I got EQ6 for Christmas and I love it. But then I loved EQ5 too. Anyway, I am still messing around with it, as you can tell.

I am putting away the triangles from 1000 Pyramids. And looking for a pattern for the leftovers. Anyone know of patterns with 60 degree triangles?

I am adding the finishing touches to my Round the Year Quilt. My quilt group started this January 2006. Everyone made a January block, only the size was stated. It could be pieced, appliqued, embellished whatever. Then we passed the block to another person and got a block. Everyone added a February block. Once again, only the size limited our options. By the end of the year, we had each made twelve blocks, one for each quilt, and received a quilt back again. It was really a great experience and everyone kept up, and all the quilts are beautiful. We are planning a show session in Febrary.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

I am back from Tucson, my family visited relatives there for Christmas. However, I haven't got my stuff back together and straightend out yet. But here is a photo, because we all love those.