Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What's on my Design Wall

I've had a very nice Memorial Day weekend, and I hope you have as well. Some of the tributes on tv have been hard to watch. It is good, however, to be reminded that our freedom comes at a cost. Tonight Diane Sawyer is doing a wonderful tribute to the Vietnam Era vets--which is what my husband is. So in honor of Memorial Day I thought you might enjoy seeing one of my "flags" which is on display all the time in our living room. It's a padded cover to one of my Longaberger baskets. I purchased this cover in Dresden, Ohio. And what a fun place that is!

A few more flags flying near our fireplace mantel. Even my Jim Shore angels are red, white and blue!

This little quilt is the "One Patch Doll Quilt" from Civil War Sewing Circle. I had a leftover charm pack from another project and decided to use it up. It's called "Java"  and is made by Moda fabrics. This is the first quilt that I've quilted with my new Bernina 820. It has a stitch regulator, and is it ever fun machine quilting with that little attachment! I really enjoyed working on it. I changed up the border as I wanted to use up my charm squares with minimum cutting and no waste.

These are the blocks currently on my design wall. They are for the "Union Stars Quilt" from Civil War Sewing Circle. The blocks finish at 12 inches. There are two colorways, the one above has a blue center and large red triangles. The alternate block, below, has a different blue center with large blue triangles. I made a few mistakes that had to be corrected. I made 2 sets of hourglass blocks and my math was way off and they wound up being way too small. So I had to remake those. And in another block, I sewed 3 hourglass blocks from one fabric and the 4th from a different red fabric. I didn't spot that until the block was completed, so I had to rip that part out.

Isn't that ziggy print in the center a hoot! I have no idea where it came from! Here's my design wall with the 12 blocks on it. I'm very pleased at how they  turned out. The next step, of course, is to make the sashing and cornerstones. And I'm pleased to say this is another quilt made only from my stash.

And I just now noticed the mistake in the block on the bottom row, middle. I guess that's a good enough reason to get those blocks up on a design wall. You notice things that you otherwise might not notice! Okay, so I guess I'm not quite ready for sashing and cornerstones...have to do a little frog stitching first (that's rip-it, rip-it).

That's it for today! I've been working on another "Leader and Ender" project that uses 2-1/2 inch strips of fabric from my stash. But that's for another day! Till next time, keep stitchin!


Sunday, May 19, 2013

May Thimbleberries Quilts

Our Thimbleberries group had a nice show and tell this week. The "Log Cabin Pines" project above is not due until August, but Carol had gone on a sewing retreat and got a few projects ahead of us.  

Here's a few Teapot quilts. Pam's quilt above is from Cottage Quilts, and Wanda's Teapots, below is from our Pint Size Traditions book. It's actually called "Tea Time" and was the project due in April. I do want to make this quilt as I have some darling fabric with teapots on it. I think I'd actually like to make the bigger quilt to showcase that fabric in the border.

Wanda made "Pine Berries" above, the May quilt, but didn't add the applique to to the corners. I love her fabric border choice! The "Flowers in Bloom", below, is my March project. I was determined to finish it, rather than start another quilt and then have two ufos. I have decided I won't be making each project in Thimbleberries, but hope to actually piece, quilt and bind 6 of them.

The quilt above is called "Table Topper Square." It's a bonus project from our Pint Size book, and one that I had made some time ago. I sent it to my longarmer and had her quilt those gorgeous feathers in the borders. It's a simple little quilt that looks darling when displayed for a patriotic holiday.

Here's Pam with a pine tree quilt above, made totally from her stash.

 Two darling tote bags! The first tote is called the "Professional Tote." sorry, I forgot the name of the 2nd one. But don't you love the kitty fabric!

Not a Thimblerries project, but I admire her for getting all those hexies together. And here is Ann Banks, below, the owner of "JoJo's Quilt Shop" and don't you know she is actually sewing! Ann is working on hexies, too,

Another cute tote bag above, and another project below that Carol finished while on her sewing retreat. Carol is the queen of paper piecing, and I'm sorry I don't know the name of this project.

And here is our project for May--due at the June meeting. It's called "Glory Be." The blue field gets little gold stars embroidered on it. Carol is making all her Thimbleberries quilts this year with these fabrics. She intends to sew them altogether into a bed size quilt at the end of the year.

Today I had a fun afternoon actually quilting my next Little Women Sewing Circle project using my new Bernina Stitch Regulator. Unless you have one yourself, you might not understand my excitement! I actually got the whole thing finished (well, it is only above 22 inches square! I did the first part of the machine applied binding, and am planning to finish the hand sewing part tonight. Hopefully, I'll be able to post a photo for you next time! Till then, keep stitchin!  Mary

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Wayward Girls

 Our monthly sewing group dubbed "'The Wayward Girls" met May 4th and had some fun projects going on. Pam and I are both working on our sampler quilt and making great progress. Pam's are on the right above, and mine are on the left above. That's "Double X" on the top and a "Flower Basket" on the bottom. We are both making our quilts as a "no-buy" which adds to the challenge of a project.

These are Pam's blocks, above. The chain link block in the lower right corner is the alternate block.

Here are my blocks above, with the chain link block connecting everything across the top of the quilt. We've both decided that we will have to mix the sampler blocks up a bit, as the first blocks we did were a little color heavy compared to the latest ones we've done. I have finished the June blocks already...the double star and the 4 friendship stars. The next 2 blocks are contrary wife and contrary husband.

Pam uncovered a quilt book from the 70's in her stash, and although she didn't like the cutting instructions, she liked the look of a particular Log Cabin quilt.

She's not sure who she'll be giving this one to, but she said it's looking very much like a quilt a man would enjoy. I agree! Looks to me like it is mostly Jo Morton fabrics. Another no-buy quilt, too.

My project is from the Kathleen Tracy book "Civil War Sewing Circle." I believe this one is called Scrappy Stars Doll Quilt. I was auditioning the border fabrics above and below.

My finished top--I chose the medium print floral as the wider 3" border. Because I made my corners dark you see the "X" more than you see the "8-pointed star." The star finishes at 4 inches. I added the sashing and lattice to my design. I just didn't want to mess with all those seams coming together if I set the stars up against each other. This is also the first quilt I've made with purple as the main color. It was fun and different for me!

Carol took our Shared 9-patch and is making it in red/white/blue for a relative that is in the service. She has won an award and Carol wants to put a logo design in a center medallion surrounded by the 9-patch blocks and alternate solid red or blue. (By the way, Carol is a frog-lover!)

Once she described it to me, I had to graph this up really quick in EQ. Carol was trying to decide the number of red rows and blue rows. It will make up to about 50 inches--Carol wants this to be wall hanging size.

Carol's print fabric, above, cut into strips to make the 9-patches. Here they are below on my new ironing surface, getting a press job.

Here's what the block looks like. The upper right corner is a 9-patch, the lower left corner is a 4-patch. You have two 2-1/2 inch cut white squares and add a 2-patch to them.

Carol had some Thimbleberries projects to show, but since our meeting is this coming Thursday, I'm going to save the photos for then.

And last but certainly not least, is a picture taken yesterday on Mother's Day of our 3 grandchildren. That's Henry and Hadley, and the baby is our new "Kian" celebrating his first Mother's Day with his cousins. Love love love you little darlings! It was a perfectly beautiful day. Hubby and I were able to spend the day with both sons, both daughter-in-laws, and our 3 grandchildren. The weather was clear and sunny in the upper sixty's and we had brunch at the beautiful old Roanoke Hotel in Roanoke, Virginia. I decided I would need a little time off today to play so am taking a vacation day. I'm headed up to my sewing room....have to get something ready for our Thimbleberries Thursday meeting!

Till next time, keep stitchin!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Sewing Circle aka Little Women

Our Little Women/Sewing Circle group met today and we had a good time, as usual. This little quilt was a fast and easy project to make. I love how everyone was so creative with their border treatment fabric. Pam (above) who is loyal to the colors of red/white/blue, used a border fabric with Texas blue bonnets.

That's Charlotte above, peeking out from behind her quilt. She's making hers in red/black/tan and is thinking about setting all the small quilts together in one large top--just like she did with last year's projects (below).


Charlotte said she almost didn't want to bring her quilt to show us, because she looks at it and sees the "mistakes" in it. We have to learn to not be so hard on ourselves! We all told her that she did a fabulous job on this project. Charlotte gets 10,000 bonus points for creativity, and 20,000 bonus points for finishing her project!

That's Celestia's quilt above, with another creative border choice. Love it, Celestia!
Another scrappy squares quilt finished, above, for Celestia. Such a fun and easy quilt to make.
These two projects are called the "10-minute table runner" and since Tammy had 20 minutes to spare, she made 2 of them ;-) A patriotic one and a Halloween one. She even added little white ghost buttons to the Halloween one. You can find the video on You-tube on how to make it.

And lastly, the fun easy quilt below, by Judi. She is working on reducing her stash, and this is a "no-buy quilt." Good job, Judi. Judi, Pam and Charlotte do their own machine quilting, so when they're done, they truly are done with them!

I almost forgot to show you my quilt! Here it is above. I do love a good blue and brown quilt...I hope you do, too. We are really enjoying the projects from Kathleen Tracy's book. She has a very nice blog, check it out at sentimentalquilter.blogspot.com . She frequently has give aways, and free quilt patterns from time to time. She does small quilts with a historical influence.

And lastly, I hope you all have an enjoyable Mother's Day tomorrow and can spend time in person or by phone with your mom. My precious mother is 93 and I cherish every minute I have with her. Hubby and I will have brunch with our 2 sons, 2 d-i-ls, and 3 grandchildren. What a fun day! And I have a vacation day scheduled for Monday, so I get to play in my sewing room too! I hope you have a good weekend as well! and till next time, keep stitchin!


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Sewing Room Reveal

Hubby and I have been working hard in my sewing space, and I honestly cannot wait until the entire project is done to show you our progress. Here is the first area we worked on--my shelving unit/display space. I'll give you the "before" pictures first!

So, as you can see above, it's very messy with stuff overflowing onto the floor space nearby. I also use my sewing space for scrapbooking, and it's very easy to collect too much "stuff" in proportion to my storage space. I suspect I'm not alone with that problem!

I started after dinner on Friday by emptying the shelves, and then hubby dismantled them. He's using two of the units in his office space, and the third unit is going in our guest bedroom to hold some of my sewing overflow.

Here's Les working on the new Ikea Expedit unit. He only needed a rubber mallet and power screwdriver. Two of the boxes were light enough that we carried them upstairs unopened. We opened the other two boxes in the garage and I brought the divider pieces upstairs while he assembled the unit.

We actually bought the Expedit unit in December, and bought the white storage boxes for the bottom row then also (see photo below). I have quilting magazines in the six magazine holders. I keep American Patchwork and Quilting, Scrap Quilting magazines, Fons and Porter and McCalls Quilting for about 3 years. Then I go through them and clip out and keep the plans for only the quilts I really am interested in making "some day."

Woot! woot! It's altogehter! This was soooo fun to decide what I wanted to put in the storage unit. I started with the top of the unit...4 of my favorite mini quilts, my wonderful Madeira thread box, 3 of my favorite tins, and a Longaberger sewing basket.

Here's a better picutre of the top shelves (above) and the bottom shelves (below). I am wrapping some of my larger pieces of Jo Morton fabric (see the two units on the far right) on comic book boards. I do enjoy the colorful fabrics on display.

More fabric, books and magazines. The pink boxes hold my card making supplies and finished cards. My room is above our 2-car garage and measures about 17 feet x 17 feet. We originally used the room for our media room...it held both of our computers, and our large screen tv, and a huge "media-room couch." I sewed in a 10x11 foot bedroom, and it just wasn't working for me! So we agreed to move our tv viewing into the living room--which we rarely used. We moved out the big screen tv, the huge couch, and his computer desk. And the space became all mine! I know I am really spoiled, and I so love this space. I can spend the entire day in it and be happy as a clam.

One final look at my new Ikea shelving unit. I just love it! By the way, if you're an Ikea fan, have you discovered ikeahackers.net ? You can find all kinds of interesting things on that website. Projects that people have made with Ikea products and adapted or changed are featured with photos and how-to directions. It's quite the fun place to visit! They have a wonderful cutting table that I might have to do someday.

That's how far we got on our Saturday organizing extravaganza! Thanks for coming along with me. I have another corner of my sewing room ready to show you...that will come up next. It's my cutting table before and after photos. The before photo should make you smile! I'll share that with you soon. Till then, keep stitchin!