Sunday, August 27, 2017

Last Sunday

Tomorrow I go back to school for meetings.  There are fun things planned for staff to reacquaint themselves with each other.  And I feel that there are several new directives in place for kids to be more productive.  ( No phones; they all have computers.) 

So I am trying to get several things accomplished.  I did get some cleaning jobs accomplished.  Yeah for the windows.  

But here are the latest:

First up: my embroidery; I have not touched in in over a month.  It felt good to work again.  I need to plug, plug away at it.

Second, here is the latest Blockheads  # 25. 

And lastly something fun. I have organized my Halloween colors and searched patterns to make a row quilt.  And I had fun making this cute little witch. She and her friend, Froggy, need buttons for eyes.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Schoolhouse rocks

I am getting anxious, just like many other moms and teachers.  Summer is winding down. I am counting the last of my quilting days.  Ugghhh.  I really was able to quilt lots this summer. But the party has to end sometime.

Next week back to school meetings. And then Labor Day weekend and then SCHOOL.
The fun of a new schedule with new kids.  A new year, a new beginning. At least that is what I keep
telling myself.
 Image result for back to school

So on that theme: here is my latest "experiment"  
The schoolhouse block?

I pulled out some fun colors and started the School house blocks. It took me several tries to master the paper pattern pieces.  Oh, to shoot a printer someday!
 ( Pattern originally from All People Quilt  Home for the Harvest by Carrie Nelson)

The trick: that pesky peak to match the chimney.  Using their paper pieces for the roof   KEY in my estimation.  Also make sure to print to scale. 
And as the pattern shows there is a mini.  Yeah! for minis!!  I don't know why but I have always enjoyed the smaller sizes, maybe because I am kind of smaller as people go.

And here are all my houses thus far: big and small. 

Linking up to Let's Bee Social and Midweek Makers.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Dots and dashes and no beans

A couple days of fun.  Yes, a weekend of summer weather to enjoy with an outdoor art show and grandkids, plus some quilting in between.

First up dots an dashes:  these are 2 baby quilts for the NIC unit at the hospital for those premie babies.  I was compelled to make something bright and non girly for little guys as my youngest grandson spent 2 months there last year after he was born. He had been a mere 2 pounds 15 ounces and so small. The staff there was incredible both to him and his mother.

I loved the squares and had fun with one and half inch strips. Blocks were squared up to 8 inches finished and then sashed with corner stones.  The quilting was using pounce and a stencil.  The first one is then completed with echoes in the spaces between.

The second is quilted with little pebbles. Finishing the last bit of quilting was a challenge as I really struggled with this one on my domestic machine.  I spent several hours taking out and restitching to take care of long stitches and tucks. 

So all that is left is securing one binding around the edges.  Hooray! Another UFO off the list.

Another project in the mix is the latest blockhead number 24 :  Corn and no beans by Carrie Nelson.  Or as one of the other designers labeled it : the triangle challenge. Here is my finished 6 inch block with all 36 half square triangles.  

And as I don't possess triangle paper in 1 inch finished size, I utilized this method:

1st step take measurement of finished square  (1 inch)   add 7/8 inch  = 1 and 7/8 inch.
Double it =  3 and 3/4 inches.  Cut 2 squares of each color:
I used Best Press prior to cutting to make the piecing easier.  What a help!

Draw diagonal both ways and either mark center line or mark and sew 1/4 inch away.
I happened to locate a notion in my drawer for this. 

Sew both ways on both sides of the line

Cut into blocks  1 and 7/8 inch from both left side and then turn and do it again creating 4 squares.  Lastly cut on diagonal lines. Here is a picture of both steps.  Slick!  Really worked easily to make 8 accurage half square triangles AT ONCE!

Linking up with Kathy's Quilts,   Design Wall Monday, and Monday Making.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Football runner

We interrupt this blog to bring you football  season.   ( and a short break from other quilting projects.)

NFL icon by SlamItIcon  Yes, football is upon us.  American football that is. And practices have started with a few preseason games. I couldn't tell you much about that.  But I have read some of the sports sections.  I am a fair weather fan.  

And although I live in Wisconsin and do support one team, I am not against any other team except for the week we may play your team or if you beat us in the Super Bowl.

  Mind you again, I do support other teams as I grew up being a Cleveland Browns fan and even watched 2 games in the baseball stadium it used. So don't hold that against me either. 

Back to my digression.   I had visited my LQS which has a row for this year's Row by Row.  It was appropriately named: Go Sew Go. In green and gold colors.  Letters for the change of wording were extra.

In case you want it: Franks Sewing Center in Waukesha, Wisconsin. They are great with sewing machines and I get mine regularly cleaned and adjusted there and it is 32 years old. 

So I bought a kit of the Row by Row.  Easy instructions and blocks already cut out.  Hooray!

Loved the piecing for the flying geese as it used the above method.

It went together: Zip! Zap Zoom!  and in case you didn't see it coming: 

Here is the top for the runner:  

I need to machine applique the letters and finish it...  will have to search for additional fabric.
It is for my daughter, an avid Packer fan.  She is going to put it up on the walls of her cubicle on either game days or Fridays.  

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Rows of hearts

Back that truck up! Not really.  But here is where my hearts were 2 weeks ago.

And I just wasn't feeling this as a center with  a large space of white and then a border of these.
My creative mind has been contemplating this for a while. And I just didn't like it and had been searching for inspiration.  So over the weekend I ripped it apart.

(Here is one block close up.)
And I decided I would put the blocks in rows and put fabric strips between them.
So I cut out many more setting triangles, pieced a few more blocks ...

And here is what I now have: 50 hearts minus the last one all in 5 rows. Each row is 85 inches long.
Great for a full sized bed.  Now to finish the ends.  And cut and sew lots of leftover 30s in horizonal strips.
And I hope it will kind of look like this:

Here is another version of the same heart block I saw at a friend's house. Cute!

Back to the sewing machine!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Quilting with pounce in circles

Working on another UFO.  Yeah! to work on more projects toward completion. 
These are 2 baby quilts about 36 inches square.

Love the bright colors and the piecing was so much fun... but that was last year. 

So I needed to quilt it.  And have had this spiral quilt stencil for a while. I thought it would be a good design for this quilt.

Then I wanted to try the Pounce that has been sitting in a drawer.  I checked websites and used instructions as suggested: You don't "Pounce" it.  You tap the applicator and then rub the applicator  across the fabric.  Yes it worked quite well.  I even have a blue chalk and 2nd applicator for light fabrics.(purchased at 75 % off.)

And here it is: 
Now for my advice:  I did first apply it on the fabric prior to layering it.  It worked fine. 
But it also works after layered and even on top or around my pins. It generally is easy to see, just not on my bright yellow. 

My only problems were more about following a spiral design using my domestic sewing machine. The center design was easy to manipulate and follow. But as it grew in size, I found it harder to evenly coordinate my quilt to follow the spiral. Part of that is due to the issue of  a blind spot behind the needle. And you really need careful and EVEN feed through the machine.   Part of it was due to not being able to see the Pounce design and judge the 1/2 inch lines. 

I unsewed: aka ripped out quite a bit.   I also re-stenciled the design as needed to complete. The large size of the spirals were just to unwieldy for me personally. I opted for smaller ones and had to add additional spirals to complete the top. 

 But all in all: I like the pounce.  ( Your hands get a little tacky from the corn starch/ powdery stuff.  I would use it as needed versus marking the entire quilt first.

Here is the mostly quilted top.  I think I will add a little in the open spaces.

My family went to the State Fair.  And I of course, went to see the quilts to get ideas. Several ribbon winners were from my guild. 

But here was a wall outside the cow barn that just spoke, "Quilting idea!"

Linking up with Small quilts and Doll quilts
 and Monday Making and Main Crush Mondays.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Quilt guild: Judy Hasheider

I am lucky to come to meet many quilters from Wisconsin.  Last night at our guild meeting we had Judy Hasheider for a speaker. ( This was not a picture from last night.)

Quilt with Judy pattern, Fiddly Bits, shown at Sievers School by Judy Hasheider.

I have several patterns of hers and have been in a few lectures as well for techniques.

And here is my feathered star made after her wonderful instructions. She uses the Marsha McCloskey method in her books. Her lecture showed step by step how to assemble this completely taking the fear of the difficulty away.  I was ambitious  brave enough to attempt it.  And.... it came out well.  ( Just need to complete the quilting on this UFO. )

She is a wonderful quilter with such a great presentation style. Although, she does not say she is a good presenter, in her words, " I let my quilts do the talking."  So as she talked last night, her topic was Designing Concepts. Using stacks of quilts, she showed us how to vary so many things about a block or a pattern and make a completely new and original work using size, color, sashing, and more.
She would take a block and make it completely differently several times. It was just so inspiring.

Here is another of her quilts that has been published in Quilt Sampler for the quilt shop Stitcher's Crossing. ( which is no longer open)
"Cabin Tracks" (from Quilting with Judy)

Bottom line, if you ever get a chance to see her or go to her retreats, DO IT.  She really inspires you with fresh ideas and confidence.  I came away with the " I can do that!" mentality.  Just love it!

Here is her website:  It has retreats, patterns, and more!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Blocks and crayons

First, I finished the new Blockhead block of the week. I love seeing the different variations that each designer makes for each week's block.  Further, there are different color variations and tips and tricks.
I have improved my piecing skills as each block is only 6 inches finished.

Also shown is last week's block:
 We now have 23 weeks completed  and 25 to go.

The next project I started began as a challenge for a small quilt bee   We were to dye or alter  the embellishment. One person used paints with a fabric medium added and shaped sponges.  Another used Shiva paint sticks. One I was interested in was using Sharpies on fabric and then adding rubbing alcohol which gave it a tie dye look.

My inspiration was this pattern I have had for at least 10 years.

I then got out my box of 100 crayons from when my kids were young, traced the oak leaves, searched images online, and then began coloring away.  Afterward, I turned in upside down on muslin with newspaper as an added shield below it.  I ironed the crayon into the fabric.  

  I additionally, added more color blending and adding a darker shade overall, ironing again until I was satisfied with my leaves. 

Lastly, I began embroidering with  a backstitch to highlight the veins and outlines. Now to complete the rest of the designs. 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

16 Candles

Well, more like 14 anyway. But here is the table runner for birthdays.  Bright and fun and DONE!
 I attached a batik binding to finish this birthday table runner. I had fun practicing the stipple around the candles.

Next up:  Stash bee blocks  The queen for the month is donating quilts so I opted to make 3 and had fun finding matching lights with a bright color.  

Now for the continuation of my UFO:  here are the quilting designs applied using a stencil and Pounce.  My first  usage of it, despite being in my supplies for some time.   I think they will be very modern.  There are 2 quilts: 35/36 inches square to be donated to the Neonatal Intensive Care unit at the local hospital.

Linking up with Small quilts and doll quilts, Monday Makers and  Free Motion by the river.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

UFOs and blockheads

Yeah, I finally got some concentrated sewing time in.  I have spent several days with the grandboys. Darlings that they are, they contain so much more energy. I just don't have as much as I used to. 
We had lots of books and games and playing outdoors. 

Here are my replacement blocks as I have decided I am not as keen on the applique. These are 6 inch blocks, so I am getting lots of practice in precise small pieces.  I did use 1 inch triangle paper for the.   2nd one which is dark purple by the way. 


Here is the group together  including the few applique I did. One more to make for this week.

Here is the progress on my Hearts. I have the center 16 together with alternating white blocks and setting triangles. Now for a large white border followed by more hearts around that. I have been contemplating this layout, second guessing my original idea.  I need to mae 8 additional blocks. And fortunately, I saved the bag of original strips, just in case.