Friday, December 31, 2010

Year End Statistics

Here is my year end wrap up and it's filled with lots of numbers.

The good news is that I finished 34 projects in 2010:

You would think I did pretty good for 2010 but let me tell you some more about my year.  I started 2010 with 120 UFOs but ended with 140.  I have 20 more works in progress than what I started with.  How did that happen?  I started 52 projects in 2010 of which I completed 17; I also completed 17 UFOs (quilts started prior to 2010) during the year as well.  On my list for 2011, I created a total of 35 UFOs in 2010.  This was partly due to the creation of the Scrap Quilting Club where I sometimes made two or three tops to show different design possibilities.  Of the 140 UFOs, I have 42 tops that are ready to be quilted so that's good.  Now, I just need to do some serious machine quilting!

I have updated the 2010 Tab on my blog to show all the projects.  Please stop by and view them.  You can use this LINK as well.

If you list your progress on your blog, I'd love to read it.

Drawing Winner

It time to announce the winner of the FQ packet. 

I used a random number generator and this is what it returned:

Number 3 is Vivian of Sew at Home in Pine Ridge.  Congratulations Vivian; hope you enjoy the packet.  I'll e-mail you for your snail mail address.

Thanks everyone for participating.  I wish you all a safe and wonder Happy New Year!

-------------------------- Type-u-later,

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Quiltmaker 100 Blocks Project in Progress

I've decided to make my first twin size quilt with twelve blocks. The 13th block that's only half shown in this photo is so neat that I plan to make an entire quilt with this one using scrap squares.  To set these 12 blocks I ordered three fabrics from the Frolic collection. The stripe fabric in the sashing I cut on the bias as the stripe was printed on the straight of grain. I added unbleached muslin I had in my stash to separate the stripe from the blocks. I didn't want to put a plain sashing on the quilt since the blocks are so busy (sounds crazy doesn't it?). I felt plain sashing would actually detract from the purpose of the quilt blocks - to make a quilt out of my normal comfort zone as far as fabrics are concerned.  These are by far the busiest blocks I have ever made so I keep up the theme with busy sashing.  The chocolate brown kind of tones it down a bit.
Look at the sashing in the second row on the far right.  I tried piecing the bias strips but this is how it looked when it was pieced.  It was too distracting so that one will be replaced.  I still need to piece more sashings and cut more squares to go around the perimeter.  It sure feels good to start making something with the blocks.
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks: Blocks 13 and 14

Well, I cleaned my room enough to make these two blocks.  Hey, I was having sewing withdrawal.

13- Nouveau Riche
Block #181 on page 62
Toby Lischko
Gateway Quilts & Stuff
12 pieces

I have a quilt top made in the traditional setting for this block.  So, instead of using assorted fabrics for each piece, I chose 3 fabrics to make this block with.  I also changed the orientation of the left half of the block.  I think they look like flower vases and didn't want to turn it upside down.  I love this block and it was really easy to sew.

14 - Flutter
Block #199 on page 71
Patty Young
13 pieces

This was an easy block that was also fun to make.  It was just perfect to make during the holiday season.  I love that you can fussy cut the center square to add interest.

Please visit Judy D and Cathy's site to see their blocks too.  They are doing an excellent job keeping up with the schedule, completing the blocks the same week as me; instead of the following week.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Design Wall Monday

Last Design Wall Monday post of  the year!  I'm so proud of myself that I was able to post each Monday of 2010.  My last design wall is short and sweet.  The only sewing this week was on my drunkard's path blocks.  I needed three blocks to be caught up this week and that's what I made.  You can see close up shots of the three new blocks here.  I don't know how much sewing I'll get in this week as I must clean the sewing room first!
I had a great Christmas, spending time with my family.  Dy daughter got me really, really good.  I was invited Christmas morning to breakfast at her home with a few of her friends.  Don't ask me how I ended up preparing the meal.  LOL  I was a little behind in cleaning my home for afternoon guest but it all worked out in the end.  I received a few quilt related items, a watch I'd been eyeing for about five months, and a Wii.  Now I can go purchase Wii Fit Plus.  I so wanted the system, hoping it will encourage me to exercise. 

Leave me a message stating what favorite item you received during the holiday.  I'll draw for a winner of a Moda Half Moon Charm Pack at 12 Noon on December 31st.  It has 42 squares so some are duplicates.  Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and wishing you a Happy New Year!
To view more design walls, visit Patchwork Times.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Drunkard's Path Blocks 4-6

Would you believe that I completely forgot about making drunkard's path blocks?  Even when I realized it I thought I needed to make only 2 blocks; wrong, I need to make 3 to get caught up.

Block 4
 Block 5
 Block 6

Here is a collage of six blocks I have made so far.  I may have to remake blocks 1 and 2 to match the others but I'll worry about that later.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Design Wall Monday

I finished my daughter's Christmas quilt.  She fell in love with it.  I chose to upload this picture of her asking for matching pillowcases too.  She is too funny.  I did tell her that they were easy to make and I'd be happy to show her how to make them.  I used Judy L's method for applying the binding.  In the past I'd apply binding to the back with sewing machine and then iron to the front and sew down with the machine from the front.  A few times I tried appling to the front but didn't like the effect of the stitching on the back.  With Judy's method, you pin the binding to the back without pressing and sew from the front.  Because the binding isn't pressed to the back, stitching next to the seam line makes the stitch almost invisible from the front.  Thanks the the tip Judy.

I made Blocks 11 and 12 from Quiltmakers 2nd edition.  To see the blocks, go here.  While making those blocks and piecing the remainder of the Christmas quilt backing, I made three more scrappy trip around the world blocks.`

At guild I won this Happy! cake layer in a guild raffle.  Now I want to work on the Layer Cake Sew Along.  But wait...I can't do that until...

I catch up with the drunkard's path blocks.  I completely forgot to make one last week so now I need to make two of them (could be three - I need to check) so that's my task this week, nothing else.

To view more design walls, visit Patchwork Times.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks: Blocks 11 and 12

11 - Spectrum Square
Block #151 on page 47
by Linda Ambrosini (no website)
10 Pieces

I'm making easy blocks this week due to the holidays.

12 - Boxed In
Block #171 on page 57
by Julie Herman
Jaybird Quilts
28 pieces

I used scraps to cut my squares as I'm using a fabric line for my first set of blocks.  However, you should be able to make this quilt with pre-cut squares already in your stash.  Just add a background fabric and this one will stitch up in no time.

To view more blogs participating in the challenge, click on the Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks tab above.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks: Blocks 9 and 10

This must not be my week to work on the blocks.  I did more ripping on these two blocks than I would have on an entire quilt.  Nothing wrong with the instructions; just my head that's muzzled with sinus infection AGAIN and it's becoming irritating.

9 - Pinwheel O'Strings
Block #123 on page 33
Rachel Griffith
P.S. I Quilt
40 pieces

This was a fun block to make, especially since I used Jamie's technique on her tutorial.  It was great not having to tear away a lot of paper.  Actually, I picked this block so that I could try this technique before making my next string quilt.  Thanks Jamie!  I had to rip one quadrant and resew strings together as I cut the block too small. Gee, this took way longer than necessary.  I do like this block with the half inch finished strings, has so much character.

10 - Tile Works
Block #162 on page 52
Monique Dillard
Open Gate
49 pieces (although mine has 45 pieces)

I have 45 pieces because I made 4 rectangles to replace the HST/square units that were cut in the same fabric.  Excellent block and it would go together very well if you make sure you cut the pieces the right size as I apparently didn't because two of my geese were too big and I thought I cut the exact same sizes for the pieces.  Again, must be sinus brain because it's definitely my error.

I put my blocks on my design wall and took a picture.  They are so cute.  My local quilt shops do not have any more of this fabric line in stock.  So I shopped online with and found a few shops that had the fabric line.  I was able to see all the stores with the fabric line in stock and I was able to check their prices so I comparison shopped as well.  I LOVE this site when I'm in need to a specific fabric line.  It has the best search engine; just my opinion.  Any way, here are 9 of my 10 blocks.  I'm trying to decide if the first quilt will have 12, 15 or 16 blocks.

Check the following blogs to see their blocks.  They look so different because of the fabrics used.
JUDY     CATHY     SARAH    
NORMA (no blog yet - as of yesterday she'd made 7 blocks)
Kathy, Karen, Debra, and Cynthia will be joining in the fun sometime in January

Monday, December 13, 2010

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Assignments

I haven't started my blocks for this week yet.  I've decided to post the blocks I've chosen to make for the rest of the year.  That way you can get them done early if you choose or work on them as planned.  I tried to pick easier blocks (less pieces) as we neared the holiday season so here goes:

Week of 12/12/10:
  • #123 Pinwheel O'Strings page 33
  • #162 Tile Works page 52
Week of 12/19/10:
  • #151Spectrum Square page 47
  • #171 Boxed In page 57 (you should already have pre-cut squares for this one)
 Week of 12/26/10:
  • #181 Nouveau Riche page 62
  • #199 Flutter page 71
So far I have 4 participants that have started their blocks.  Two online (Judy and Cathy) and two in my guild that meets in our homes (Norma and Sarah).  Sarah started a new blog and I'll add her to the list when I upload my next two blocks.  Shout out to Norma - "We got to figure out what's going on with your blog page so we can include you too.")

Design Wall Monday

I've kind of bounced around this week.  Had a lot of non quilting related activities but utilized my time at home very well.  I finished the Christmas top for my daughter.  She will love that it has pink in it.  I used a few traditional Christmas prints as I didn't want to purchase anything (other than the starting FQ bundle I'd purchased for this purpose).  I used the scraps from the blocks, remaining FQs from the bundle and a few from stash to piece the scrappy border. I took pictures late at night and the colors are way off.  Also, it's too large to photo at home.  I'll upload another photo when I pin baste it this week at work.

How many panels do you have in your stash that you're not going to use?  I have quite a few holiday panels.  I also know that I didn't purchase over half of them.  I've been given stash a few times of sewers cleaning their studio and I just cannot let the stuff go in the trash.  So,  I pulled a few from stash to make this center for the back of the Christmas quilt.  It's now big enough for me to frame with additional Christmas prints from my stash.  It took two photos to show all the panels, but they are sewn together.  I'm certain the designers didn't plan for them to be used this way.

The fabrics for this rag quilt was already cut by another quilter who wanted it gone from her stash.  She'd gone as far as to sew blocks into 3 rows then decided not to finish it.  Of course it ended up in my stash and has been hanging out in my studio for about two years.  I got tired of moving the bag and decided to finish it this weekend.  It's only two layers of flannel and the only quilting is as the blocks are joined.  I will donate this quilt.

These blocks and units were made while working on other projects.  I need twenty blocks to make my first quilt.  I have enough strip sets sewn to make at least 30 blocks and strings ready to sew to make an additional quilt or two.  I'm still trying to get rid of cut strings, squares and other shapes in my studio.  To get more information on this project, see my Tube UNsewing post I uploaded last week.

To vie more design walls, visit Patchwork Times.

-------------------------- Type-u-later,

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tube UNsewing

Have you sewn tubes of strips together that you then need to slice into some magical number and then unsew a seam in each slice to create your design? I've done this many times when making bargello and other strip quilts. Every once in a while my brain will leave the building and I open the wrong seam and have to re-sew it back together. This just happened to me recently and I thought you might enjoy my process of where the unsewing should be done.

I had a lot of 2.5" strips leftover from sewing bindings on the million quilts I have made. I had filled three shoe boxes with them. I'd use some of them for scrap projects or make scrappy bindings but the pieces just kept growing and growing. I decided to use Bonnie Hunter's scrappy trips around the world pattern to get rid of a chunk of them.  They'll make great quilts for some of my family.  So I sat down in front of the television and cut strips approximately 16" long.  Those too short were placed back into the box.  After all the sorting, I now have one shoe box that's not appropriate for this project.  I'm happy already.

Once I sewed my fabrics into tube I cut them into slices.  The photo below show slices I cut from the sewn tubes. (Not originally part of this demonstration, but notice that I pressed the seams open except where I sew the top and bottom seams to make the tube. The purpose is to keep it flat while I make my cuts.) The first thing to do is to grab your seam ripper and take a seam apart. For this project, it doesn't matter which one.

Here is one unit where the seam has been opened. Note the arrow by the seam line between the first and second fabrics. On another slice locate this seam and take it apart with your seam ripper.

When you do that, this is what you now have. The fabric at the top of the first slice is now at the bottom. Notice that the pieces are forming a stair-step design up and to the right. Go ahead and note the seam between the first and second fabrics on the 2nd unit as shown by the arrow. On another slice locate this seam and take it apart with your seam ripper.

Now you have three slices that look something like this, still stair-stepping up and to the right. Continue unsewing the slices by taking apart the seam between the first and second fabrics of the last slice opened.

This photo shows five of the pieces opened and the pattern is still emerging correctly. Go ahead and tackle the last slice.

Now here are all the unsewn slices. The dark blue fabric is dominate as it stair-steps from bottom left corner to top right corner. What if I wanted the snowman fabric to be in the center?  You'd simply move the left two slices to the end on the right.

Walla, you have a different arrangement. Any fabric chosen could be in the center with only a little rearranging of the slices.  I like my snowman in the center so I'll sew these units together.  Before pinning, finger pressed the seams open, you know the ones not pressed prior to cutting and the ones that were unsewed.  YES, pinning does takes time but I'll explain why at the end.

Here is my sewn block, made without any UNsewing mishaps that needed fixing.

 Here are four blocks sewn using chain piecing while working on other projects.

Here is the answer to the question in your head...I know it's there.  Why did I press the seams open instead of as instructed in the pattern?  The pressing options in the pattern works efficiently for piecing the slices into blocks.  Abutting the seams is great for this task.  I found that when I put four blocks together, too many of the seams were facing each other instead of going in the opposite direction.  This is very difficult to plan, especially if you want to randomly arrange your blocks prior to sewing them into a quilt top.  That would have taken too much thinking and planning ahead.  I like my seams pressed open (which I do on the majority of my quilts) because it makes for a smoother quilt top which is very beneficial in the quilting stage with so many seams.  Try it, you might be surprised!

I hope this will be useful.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Design Wall Monday

I been busy making blocks this week.  Here is a quick view of them.

I was so excited about the bear block that I made my first quilt top with the Quiltmaker blocks (okay, just one block but that's a start.)  I'll quilt it when I need the next baby quilt so I can add baby-to-be's name and date of birth before quilting it.

Friday was my craft guild meeting that meets at work after hours.  I usually cut fabrics there so I cut out units for patience corner blocks.  Since a lot of the fabrics were directional, I decided to use Anita Grossman Solomon's method she calls No Patience to cut the fabrics.  I plan to make 20 blocks and here are 12 of them.  I'll rearrange these when all the blocks are sewn.  If you want to see the technique, refer to the book "Rotary Cutting Revolution - New One-Step Cutting".  The arrowhead block technique that's being high lighted on many blogs is included in this book as well as in Quiltmaker's November/December magazine issue.  The book has an additional 6 quilts with the cutting for the pineapple and miter log cabin quilts being my favorites.  Before you ask, "No, I don't plan to make another pineapple quilt" at least not any time soon.  :o)  I don't think my daughter reads my blog as I'm too boring so I'll let you know that this is her Christmas gift.  It will be made to fit a full bed so I made the "super-sized" blocks.  It will still need borders to get it up to size.  What was so funny today is that my daughter came by today and took about six quilts to add to her decorating theme.  She already had about five or so from previous years that were never returned.  She tried taking my snowman collector bed quilt that we use on our bed.  I had to stop her at that point.  She'll appreciate having her own holiday quilt.
I started decorating for Christmas on Sunday.  I have a few more wall hangings to put up and then the tree.  I love decorating for Christmas but it sure takes a lot of time.  When a movie I wanted to watch came on television, I grabbed my 2.5" strings that were left over from making bindings (three shoe boxes).  I separated the long pieces from the small pieces and randomly cut them for a future project.  I keep working and sewed about 90 16" strips into pairs.  That was a good task while watching television.

To view more design walls, visit Patchwork Times.
-------------------------- Type-u-later,