Monday, March 28, 2011

Design Wall Monday

Scrap quilting club was Saturday but I haven't had time to upload photos from the group yet; hope to do so in the next day or two.  Our project for March is Zigzag 9 pattern by Iowa Star Quilts.  I made the scrappy version with the white scrappy background in 2006.

A member suggested this project for 2011 club project.  Thanks Cynthie for getting us the patterns to work on this project.  Since I'd already made it in the traditional style.  I decided to make it in blues and greens (all shades).  Remember these units?

And here are my rows now sewn together.  When I took the picture I needed to press the rows before sewing them together.  The rows are doubled layered so I have completed this step.

My other time consuming project this week is Bloomin' Flowers.  I still need to embroider 2 main blocks and then 4 filler blocks (I think - can't remember now that I'm at the computer and I'm too lazy to get up.)  I've been machine embroidering the blocks while watching television.  At the same time, I'm cutting fabrics and piecing frames for the blocks.  Talk about multi tasking!  I'm still enjoying the process.  It now has every color family represented and now it's getting difficult to pick fabrics as I didn't make a plan when I first started. This is definitely not my usual way of working on a large project so I'll just have to see what I add next...

Have a great Monday and to see more design walls, visit Patchwork Times.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks: Blocks 35, 36 and 37

I didn't post blocks last week so I was two blocks behind, needing four blocks for this week; here are three of them.  Note that I'm working out of order of the monthly posting to get caught up.  I have basically skipped the applique blocks for now.

I have enough with the Valentine theme so I'm moving on to something new.  For my next blocks I will use African prints whenever possible.  I have collected so many of them over the past 7 years from a vendor at the Paducah and Nashville quilt shows.  I have mostly scraps, FQs and some yardage.  I'm trying to use the smaller pieces first.  These blocks will definitely be challenging in that I'm trying not to add solid fabrics into the mix.  We'll see how long that requirement will last.
Block 35 - Rose Twirls
#198 on page 70
by Elisa Wilson
Elisa's Backporch Design
24 pieces

This is an interesting block to piece.  With the technique shown in the magazine, you had left over pieces that I used to make an additional block.  The pieced triangles squares are also leftover.  I pieced these units together and may frame them to make 12" blocks for the quilt if needed.

Block 36 - Mini Pod
#157 on page 50
by Emily Cier
Carolina Patchworks
31 pieces

I just love this block.  I had so much fun fussy cutting the green fabric on the bottom as that's a great area to show case large prints.  I used the wrong side of the fabrics in the connector pieces as it was too busy with the right side of the fabric showing.

Block 37 - Infinity
#164 on page 53
by Vickie Eapen
Spun Sugar Quilts
26 pieces

Again, I love this block.  I also fussy cut some portions of this block for consistency among the African prints to break up the pattern.  The black stripe was included in the red print and I used it to separate some of the elements.


Bloomin' Flowers

I feel so bad working on the Bloomin' Flowers quilt when my Quiltmaker's Challenge blocks for the week are not sewn.  However, I made two of them tonight (plus one I made one last week) that will post early in the morning so now I only need one more for this week. 

I'm having too much fun bonding with my embroidery machine at the moment.  I have almost half of the quilt sewn out and 4 of 6 embroiders sewn into great blocks.  I have no idea where I'm headed with this quilt other than I'm using scraps that are in my studio that hasn't made it into my scrap bins.  The only regret so far is using green as a frame when I will be using it as sashing in the rest of the quilt.  I plan to leave it in anyway as I'm not that concerned about it to rip the block.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Design Wall Monday

I've had a busy, productive week.  I started out doing a little shop hopping in Troy and O'Fallon, Illinois with a friend.  Then I gave a presentation to our quilt guild about the Scrap Quilting Club and showed the quilts we worked on last year.  I limited each participant to 4 projects each and we still went over 20 minutes.  The program was a big success and I think we will have a few new members in the next two months.

Then I had my line dancing event on Friday so I decided to add embroidery to a t-shirt.  Well, the shirt got caught early on in the embroidery process but I didn't know it so I had to add another chick to cover the hole I had to cut to get the shirt to lay flat again.  
So I sewed out another one without any mishaps this time on a beige t-shirt..

I had my sewing group over on Saturday and did not get a chance to work on 100 blocks this week as I spent my time cleaning and cooking for the group.  After they left, I finished the center of the scrappy stars quilt that was assigned to the scrap quilting club in February, due this week.  Not pictured is the prep work for this week's class as I forgot to take a picture.  We have a really neat project that I'll talk about after class on Saturday.

I started this machine embroidery project designed by The Stitch Connection.  If you want more information on the pattern, view this post I made last week.  This is 4 of 12 main blocks and those small embroideries are 2" finished and I needed 12 of them.  This project will definitely keep me busy.

That's all for now.  To see more design walls, visit Patchwork Times.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Today's Project

You're expecting to see one of my works in progress, right?  Wrong! Apparently I don't have enough on my plate.  I've really been missing working on a major machine embroidery project.  I was looking through my design files and selected three of my favorites from the thousands of designs in my library, lol. 

Tonight I started Bloomin' Flowers by The Stitch Connection.  I have worked on the Snowman Collector in regular applique (scroll to middle of page) as well as the redwork machine embroidery version.  I have quite a bit of both styles of their patterns so I decided it was time to "receive some return on my investment" so to speak. 

It took approximately 2.5 hours to prep, stitch and add the borders to the first block.  I am again impressed with the digitizing from this company.  The end result is always beautiful!  This block is not a quick-to-stitch one.  My machine's time clock displayed 46 minutes to stitch.  I found it took me at least 1.5 hours; I stopped counting the time.  This block has 41 color stops, not including the stitch out to get the applique watering can.  I decided not to stitch the watering can design but printed out the pattern full size.  I then traced it on the right side of fabric with fusible web on the back.  That also meant I was able to use a smaller piece of fabric than called for in the directions.

I decided to make my quilt scrappy instead of using one background fabric (both styles are mentioned in the pattern).  Matter of fact, the entire quilt will be scrappy; I just love a quilt with a lot of different fabrics.  Oh, yeah, here is my 1st block.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Design Wall Monday

I found some time on Saturday to finish the top for my supervisor's retirement quilt.  I added a 2nd border in all black since she really prefers a black/gray quilt.  The smaller blocks are from the scraps and I used them to make corner blocks.  Now I have to determine what type of backing fabric I want to use.  I don't have anything suitable at home if I want it to match.  I'll see if I can find something on sale at local quilt shop before piecing from stash.

I made a few blocks this weekend.  The first block is from the pattern; 2nd block and three 3-part squares are scraps from making the 1st block.

 I had leftover "Valentine-type" strings from making a previous block.  I used them to make my favorite type of string block.  Now I have all the blocks ready for a quilt; just need to find a stripe fabric.  I seem to be addicted to stripes in my sashing for the moment.

 Sunday I got a little time to make the last three blocks for this scrap club project.  I even started working on some of the sashing pieces.  Hopefully I can get this top pieced by the end of the week.

That's it for me.  To see more design walls, visit Patchwork Times

Friday, March 11, 2011

Choosing Fabrics for Stack-n-Whack Quilts

This post is to answer a question from my blog comments. We have e-mailed a couple times and a blogger would like more information on how to pick fabrics for stack-n-whack quilts.  She saw the progress I posted a few days ago while working on this quilt and wanted me to upload a picture of the original fabric that resulted in these blocks.

If you know me personally, you are aware that I try to help everyone to the best of my ability.  So, I have uploaded photos as well as 2 videos on this subject.  Please note that the videos are raw.  That means, these are my first videos, I'm holding the camera myself, I may say a term/technical term in error but you do know what I mean.  I DID NOT rehearse, just me rambling.

Here is the fabric I used in the blocks above.  All the photos in this post have been left large so if you click on them and then click again, you will see up close the fabrics details.

Here is the fabric yardage with a hinged mirror on the corner at a 90 degree angle.  Please note that these are mirror images and not true kaleidoscope-type designs.  Yes, this is still connected to the yardage; I was able to not have the rest of  the fabric showing in actual photos.  In the videos you will see the additional yardage.
In this photo, the mirror is at an angle some where between 50-55 degrees. (I have not measured, just random). Note that more than 4 designs units are shown in the picture.
Another fabric choice appropriate for stack-n-whack quilts.  
In the videos I show how to use the mirrors, show fabrics that may or may not be appropriate for stack-n-whack quilts.  I hope you find the videos helpful.  Remember, they are my first and they are raw with errors. 

Video: Part 1 of 2

Video: Part 2 of 2

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Quilt Progress

I had time yesterday to work on the quilt for my retiring supervisor. I'm really pleased with adding the black sashing as it helped to tone down the red a bit. I still need to sew the final two rows together and then plan borders based upon amount of fabrics I have left.  I'm not sure yet if I'll get a chance to work on it anymore this week.
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Monday, March 7, 2011

Design Wall Monday

I've had a productive week.  I worked on various blocks, 4 of which is from Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks challenge.  The blocks with the primary colors is for a quilt I have cut out for a male member of my family.  I'm just planning quilts and will assign them to someone when I get them done.

Here are my blocks for the Valentine quilt I plan to make.  I've switched out some blocks.  The only glaring block that needs to be replaced is the left block on bottom row.  The yellow just doesn't fit with the others.  So, I'm still one block short.

I'm having difficulty keeping supervisors.  The last one I had retired in August of last year.  Someone in the department was promoted and I was hoping she'd stay at least a year.  However, she became a grandma and is planning to retire the end of April.  She and I started work 25+ years ago on the same day!  There is no way she can leave without a quilt from me.  She liked the four stacked posey quilt I made our previous supervisor so last Thursday I started one for her.  I took in three fabrics and she choose this black,grey, dark brown, and white print.  I almost cried as gray and black just isn't my favorite colors to work with.  I'm adding a little "Tea" to it by framing the blocks in red.  I did pick a red with black streaks in it so it would not be too bright.   I plan to use black sashing and gray corner stones in an attempt to tone down the red but first I need to frame the last 8 blocks.

I hope you enjoyed my design wall today.  To see more, visit Patchwork Times.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks: Blocks 33 and 34

Today I'm posting this week's blocks.  At the end of the post is the schedule for the month of March.

Block 33 - Dot Goes to School
#147 on page 45
Jane Quinn Quilting in the Country
6 pieces

This block doesn't show Dot going to school at all.  I did want to try the crayon technique so I made the word "love" in the center.  I have decided to make a wall hanging and use this as the center as I don't know how washing a quilt with crayons will hold up over the years.
Block 34 - Hugs & Kisses
#139 on page 41
Linda Lum DeBono
20 pieces

A very straight forward block.  I decided to use the same fabric for the pink squares instead of  two.  I also used the main print for my yo-yo center instead of choosing another fabric.  Basically I'm starting to run out of "heart" theme scraps though I guess I could cut some from yardage.

I hope you enjoy this week's blocks and don't forget to visit the other participating blogs on my side bar.

March 2011 Block Schedule:


Friday, March 4, 2011

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks: Blocks 31 and 32

Yesterday I finished my blocks for the week but didn't get a chance to post them.  I feel really good that I got them done before Sunday!

Block 31 - Norse Bloom
#102 on page 22
Karen Comstock
23 pieces

For some reason my block did not align with the layout diagram after sewing down my stems.  It was my first time adding the stems with this method so it's definitely user error.  I enjoyed making the block and will definitely use this one in my Valentine quilt.
32 - Cute as a Button
#136 on page 39
Amanda Herring
The Quilted Fish
25 pieces

Truly a "cute" block and I enjoyed making it.  I could have worked on rounding my curves a little more, but I was in a hurry to get the blocks completed.  I added a drop of glue to the 3-D tips to keep them from flopping in the photo.  I'll add the buttons after its quilted.
Here is a sneak peak of a few things on my design wall.  This one will be a quilt for a male family member; haven't decided who yet.
I'm having the worst luck with supervisors lately.  One retired last August and someone in the department was promoted.  Now she's leaving at the end of April.  I started this quilt for her.  I haven't promised to have it finished by her last day, but I'll try.