Welcome to my blog, we're talking about quilting and other good stuff. I'm glad you stopped by ... look around, add a comment, become a follower if you feel inclined, tell your friends about me, and come back soon!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

Have a blessed day!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Half-square triangles on the GO

Three things to be happy about:
(1) curiosity
(2) favorable reviews
(3) switching to iced coffee

Yesterday I wanted a break from the crumb piecing, I felt like cutting something!  When I was looking for a book I ran across Spectacular Scraps,  by Judy Hooworth and Margaret Rolfe.  I bought this book back in 2000 because even then I was attracted to scrap quilts.  It has a lot of pretty quilts made with half-square triangles, so it was just what I needed!  Years and years ago before I was as into quilting as I am today, I bought Barbara Johannah's Crystal Piecing.  This book has an interesting concept about half-square triangles; Barbara created 256 combinations that can be joined with each other to create unique block settings!  Sometimes I play around with two numbers  - say 25 and 201 - and see what the combinations look like in a quilt.  I got some pretty interesting settings, I recreated all 256 combinations in EQ some time ago to make them easy to play with.  I said all that to say:  some of the HST combinations in the Spectacular Scraps book remind me of the Crystal Piecing method.

Many of the projects in the book are two-color quilts and they're all so pretty I couldn't decide what colors to go with!  When I was talking with my sister I said to her "hey Shell, give me two colors!"  She chose yellow and pink, so I went digging through the scraps I ironed a couple weeks ago and found a few red and yellow pieces.  Now they're all a-tumble ... oh well.

I'm choosing all shades in the color families from burgundy to gold to reddish-purple, pale yellow - anything and everything goes!  Right now I'm just in the cutting stage, I'll make a decision about the setting later on.

Using my 3-1/2" die I cut  a few sets, looking good!

Here's a heads-up when layering... although they say you can layer up to six pieces, if you use a lot of small pieces be aware of the "bump" where they overlap.  You may end up trying to cut 8-10 layers at that point - ask me how I know!

That's it for now, have a great Saturday, sew forth and sew on...

Thursday, March 28, 2013

scrap happy again

Three things to be happy about:
(1) silent wishes
(2) the art of reading faces
(3) varying an old recipe

Have you ever clicked on the BlogHer  links on blogs that have ads?  You can find some interesting blogs that you might not otherwise get a chance to see.  Or how about this one:  try exploring with the "Next Blog" button at the top of different blogs!  I did that once and went to a quilting blog, then from there to another quilting blog, then that one sent me to an art blog(??!) then something relating to symphony music - hmmm...  It's almost like Forrest Gump's box-a-chocklits, you never know what you're gonna geyet.  I give you no guarantees y'all!

I'm still having fun playing with all my scraps!  I have an abundance that I'm playing with... scraps from Rosa and Charlene and Deb and Pat - I'm just plain ole scrap happy!

I've been using two methods for piecing them together: I sew scraps to a strip of fabric until I get a pretty good chunk, then I cut them into squares - or I set them aside as large pieces.  The other method is piecing as described by Victoria Findlay Wolfe in her book 15 Minutes of Play  whereby you sew scraps onto a central piece in a log cabin-like arrangement. 
pieced two-by-two
Both methods work beautifully; the second method is useful if you're working with odd-shaped pieces.

For a change I thought I'd make a few square-in-a-square blocks, just to see where it took me...

I immediately thought "star!"  Here's my test block:

I made the square in a square center block 6-1/2", then cut the side pieces at 3-1/2" x 6-1/2" to get a 12-1/2" star.  I also used scrap yardage for the star points... I'm making those points larger next time!  They're really cute on that star, but the scrap yardage I cut them from was something like 3", cut diagonally across.

Finished star...
see how small those points look?  I think bigger will be better in this case!  I'll cut the point pieces at 4-1/2" and cut them diagonally... make it worthwhile to fool with. 

The center was made larger than the outside strips on purpose, you know me... Miss Do-Your-Own-Thing!  And here's a tip... notice in the diamond above how the two outside edges are the same pink fabric?  If you have a really large scrap and you don't want that particular fabric to be all in the same place, just split it and sew a smaller piece in the middle of it.  Make sense?

That's it for now, enjoy your Thursday - the last one in March!  Time flies whether you're having fun or not, sew forth and sew on...

Monday, March 25, 2013

Southern Comforters quilt show

Three things to be happy about:
(1) making a perfect omelet
(2) a clean house
(3) unlocking a heavy dead bolt

Is there anything better than a quilt show? 

Nope, especially when your friends enter their quilts and one of them wins a Viewers Choice award! 

Fellow Uhuru Quilters Guild member Nadine is also a member of Southern Comforters guild, and she won a 3rd place ribbon for her wall hanging, Japanese Zen.

Charlene, Pat, Felicia (The Slow Quilter) and I dropped by the show and had a pleasant afternoon looking at all the gorgeous quilts - great eye candy!

Look at this sweet baby quilt, it's the perfect kind of quilt I like to make if I'm under a tight deadline - fuss free, uncomplicated, yet elegant. 

This setting is going on my baby quilt list, gotta make it!

And what's a quilt show without at least one Baltimore album-type quilt?  This one is just gorgeous! 

There was another one done on a black background that I didn't realize I didn't get a picture of.  It was done completely by hand, and I understand it took years and  years to finish!

And oh!  There were two Quiltville mystery quilts - Orca Bay (left) and Roll, Roll Cotton Boll

Isn't it interesting how using a different color way can make a pattern look so different?

Another part of any quilt show that I always enjoy is the vendors... I looked but didn't touch!  I was able to resist buying fabric, patterns, and books, although I saw a very interesting book on selvedge quilts.  Take a look at this beauty:
Isn't that gorgeous?

After closing out the quilt show we had dinner at the Texas Road House restaurant; I hadn't been there before and I enjoyed eating roasted peanuts while we waited for our table.  Everybody just tossed their empty shells right on the floor - very kitschy (did I spell that right??).  With the boot-scootin' music and spontaneous line dancing in the aisle, we thought we were deep in the heart of ... someplace else.

Wanna see what I had?
I got the bbq chicken and rib combo - is that a lot of meat or am I crazy?!  You need to know, 2/3 of that plate came home with me!  After eating a hot dog and chips at the quilt show, I wasn't hungry enough to put all that away!  I also nabbed a bag of their peanuts on the way out...

They give you a paper bag at the hostess desk, and you're free to fill it from the peanut barrel in the waiting area.

Well enjoy your Monday, snow's almost gone, athough I've known it to snow on Easter Sunday!  Sew forth and sew on til later...

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Wee Bee cutting it up!

Three things to be happy about:
(1) the history of your house
(2) a lucky guess
(3) the sound of tap-dancing shoes

At yesterday's monthly Wee Bee meeting the overriding theme was "gadgets," where several members showed and/or told about useful gadgets they found or were using.  Among the gadgets shown, Yetunde (Sistah Stitch-a-Lot) demonstrated a gel marking pen that is permanent until you apply the iron; Pat showed us her collection of objects that she uses as stilettos when sewing.

In keeping with the gadgets theme, Linda (Sew-N-Crazy Quilter) and I took our Accuquilt GO cutters to the meeting so members could cut fabrics.  I must say there was a big variety of dies available - two heart shapes, squares, strips, triangles, circles, you name it ... something for everybody!  Linda even brought in a variety of shapes she had cut from scraps, to show what's possible with the various dies.  After a short tutorial on how to use the cutter and dies, how best to align the fabrics, and where not to grab ahold of the dies, several people got to cutting!

And another great Bee meeting goes down in history!  Sew forth and sew on til later...

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Combing thru my scraps

Three things to be happy about:
(1) the end of winter
(2) the beginning of spring
(3) that curious time in between

Today's the second day of spring and we're expecting snow flurries!  The weatherman said it's snowing at the Vice President's residence; I looked outside of my residence and there's nary a flake - curious!

Recently I was gifted a humongous amount of scraps from Deb in my guild (hi Deb!!) and I'm in my element!  You know my two rules about scraps:  (1) the more you use, the more you have (2) other people's scraps are more interesting than my own!

I was going through the bags and finding a lot that will go beautifully in crumb blocks, and a lot that I put into my GO pile - look at these great Alexander Henry prints:
Beautiful elephants!

These have possibilities...
lots o' blocks for a future project!

And look at this strata, what a find!

See what I mean?

And look what I found for my little solids play - who knew!!
There's gold in them thar scraps! 

So much scrappy goodness - you know what I'll be doing today!

Sew forth and sew on til later

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Prepping my scraps

Three things to be happy about:
(1) finishing touches
(2) tools of the trade
(3) getting organized

Isn't that a nice looking pile of scraps?  I've been busy behind the scenes pressing the scraps I pulled from two containers! 

As I was going through these I noticed a few I might pull out and cut into strips rather than the half-square blocks, I noticed a few that would make great neutrals if cut into strips.

On the other hand, some of the scraps are so ugly they'll have to be cut small - look at that horse!  And the tiger - *shudder*  Is that a piece of Alexander Henry fabric??

But the good thing is, progress is a good thing!  I started out with this:

Now that spot looks like this:

We're moving right along! 

Enjoy your day - this is the last day of winter!  If you're snowed in you still have today to complete your "snowed in" project - sew forth and sew on til later... 

Monday, March 18, 2013

My wild goose chase

Three things to be happy about:
(1) being alert
(2) delighting in the details
(3) Lucky Charms cereal

Actually I never liked Lucky Charms cereal, even when I was a kid, all those bitter tasting marshmallows.  No matter how many times the cute little leprechaun pranced about and declared "they're charmingly delicious!"... it didn't convince me, no ma'am.

I'm pleased to say that I finished the flying geese/goose quilt I made, based on Bonnie Hunter's antique find!  I'm naming this one Wild Goose Chase because oh man did I have a wild time piecing these homespuns!  I didn't know I had so many homespuns until I started using them ... I didn't know I didn't really like homespuns that much until I started using them!  They're pretty to look at but I'm not too keen on that loose weave... maybe next time I want that look I'll go with shirting.

Notice the difference between the two pictures?  The first strips I put in looked way too skinny, so I made them 2" wider; I like the difference!  It's the same fabric, I think time of day makes a difference in the way the color shows. 

I found a large piece of deep brown fabric in my stash that's perfect for the back; it has a farm moif... horses pulling hay-laden wagons, workers sitting on the fence.  It's a perfect back, and there's just a little less than 1/4 yard left - scrap!

At guild meeting Saturday I taught a workshop on my cobblestone quilt, it was very well received. I think they liked the technique, it's a very easy and fuss-free pattern...

Azalia finished one first!

Deb is going with bright colors; isn't it amazing how different the blocks look?

Rosa is using black, white and a touch of green!

I liked Deborah's fabric, I wonder if JoAnn still has it?  I need some for my colorwash quilt!
That's it for now, enjoy your Monday.  I have a podiatrist appointment then perhaps a manicure... need to kill some time til 11:30 so I can park on my side of the street - there's street cleaning Mondays and Tuesdays.  Sew forth and sew on til later!