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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Another twist

Three things to be happy about:
(1) eggs scrambled with that substitute crabmeat stuff
(2) a matter of no importance
(3) spontaneous road trips

Well!  After a breffus of scrambled egg substitute and other substitute stuff, I went with Charlene and Pat to the new Costco in Wheaton Plaza (Maryland).  We missed the grand opening, and I wanted to check it out just because, so we went.  I didn't get a photo but it's a nice store, plenty of parking, and you access it from a mall entrance.  I had to go right in and check out the new ladies room (don't ask) while Pat and Charlene bought cards at the card store across from the entrance - different and handy!  It was a bit crowded - why are there so many people out wandering around on a Monday morning - don't they have to be at work??!


I woke a bit early yesterday morning and started thinking about the cut along I posted about, and how I was making even more scraps and crumbs every time I cut my shapes from the large scraps! 

Then I said - hey!  That star Rosa made is very pretty, why don't I make some scrap yardage and cut a few triangles from that too??!

Just to test out my theory, I made a couple big pieces and layered them with a light background fabric and cut them using the 6-1/2" die...

Here are a few layouts... I'm not so sure.  I only made four pieces and it's a bit hard to see what they'll really look like, but one question I'm asking is do I want to use that light background or should I go with something a bit darker or brighter (like red or gold)?  Definitely I should use something that reads as solid, a medium or large pattern would kill the design!

And another thing I need to be aware of is the size of the scraps - see that blue strip and the brown one?  They really stand out and could potentially change the shape of the block! 

I'm also wondering if I should try using a smaller HST die - I have a 4-1/2" that's part of a "value die" (three shapes on one die) and there's a 3-1/2", but if I use either of those the scraps need to be smaller.

Something to think about!  I need to think quickly because if I want to invest in another die right now, Joann's has them at 40% off until May 4th. 

Have a great day, sew forth and sew on til later!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Cutting along

Three things to be happy about:
(1) hitting the snooze button
(2) time to think
(3) sour cream and onion potato chips

As I type this I'm eating a handful of Pringles sour cream & onion flavored potato crisps.  I don't think they can truly call them "chips", although I don't know what difference it would make - none of that stuff's any good for ya anyway.  Sure is tasty though! 


The Die Cut Scrap (Make Later) Along has officially started, and yesterday I was a busy little miss using my Accuquilt GO to cut triangles.  Ebony suggested using the 5 x 6 thousand pyramid isosceles triangle for this cut-along, but because I don't have it and don't want to spend the money right now, I thought I'd just use one of the dies that came with my Accuquilt starter set.  So, the 6-1/2" half square triangle it is!

The fabric that I pulled a few weeks ago and pressed?  Well, most of it had to be re-ironed - isn't it interesting how wrinkles can settle in fabric while it's just lying around?

I meant to keep track of my time, but because it was broken up I forgot to take notes.  But I did count the number of HST's I managed to cut ...

Scraps that were too small to fit the 6-1/2" die were cut into 3-12" squares for the x and plus  blocks I started kitting up some time ago; anything left from that went into the crumb box.  I found a few WOF pieces that were just right to cut 2" strips from too - the bin is getting full!

I haven't reached the point (yet) where I'll separate these by color family... maybe some day if I don't use them fast enough!

So that's what I've been up to; I hope you had/will have a quilty day, sew forth and sew on...

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Guild meeting

Yesterday was another great guild meeting, I just love show n tell - it's my favorite part!

Rosa shared this star she made from her scraps; she had a lot of black and white scraps that she just couldn't throw away - she said I was her inspiration.  I don't think I've ever done one with a controlled color palate for the center, so she inspired me right back!

She used black and white for the center, and the points were made from a wild assortment of scraps... er, crumbs.  It was fun seeing all the tiny little bits that ended up in the corners and in the star tips; they added just a tiny little hint of what the larger piece was like.  I love it, Rosa!

As I mentioned before, last month's meeting included a cobblestone workshop - Deb and Rosa brought theirs:

you gotta love the black and white dress forms on the back of Rosa's...

Look at a close up of Deb's quilting, it goes so well with the cobblestones...

There were two jelly roll quilts finished, from the race we had a few months ago. 

I have two that I haven't finished yet, they both need borders.

And here's the result of a "color chip" challenge that Deb participated in at Capital Quilts in Gaithersburg, MD...
the two colors she drew were the gold and the white.  Very creative piece!

I'll have more show n tell later; have a great Sunday, sew forth and sew on...

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A baby finish

Three things to be happy about:
(1) the click of poker chips (if poker is your thing!)
(2) crocuses
(3) rereading Peanuts  comic strips (Linus rocks!)

Have you done a Linus  quilt (or quilts) yet?  That's on my "to-start-doing" list!

I finished up the little cobblestone quilt I was making for my neighbor's new baby, I wanted to take it to guild meeting for show n tell before giving it to them.

This pattern and layout is from the workshop I taught at last month's meeting, it will be interesting to see how many finishes there are!  You can see some of the blocks they made here 

There were some very pretty fabric combinations being used.

I used the fleece I got from Hancock's on the back, it was a joy to work with!  To quilt it I just made a wavy horizontal line, every so often doing a sort of innie-outie circular twirl.  I echoe'd that line from side to side, making more random twirls (does that make sense?). 

Anyway, here's a closeup!  Good enuf for a 3- month-old baby who won't critique it - by the time he's old enough it'll be pretty worn anyway!

Well that's it for now, guild meeting today.   The center where we meet bumped us up an hour earlier today, they rented the room out from under us for a party later on.  Let's see... quilt guild meeting vs wedding reception... hmmmm...

Sew forth and sew on!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A week in which nothing happened

Nothing worth blogging or bragging about, at any rate!  It's been a week since I last blogged; just checking in to say hi to y'all.

Completed taxes - check!
Applied for new passport - check!
Found lost passport the same day I applied for the new one (can't stop the process or get my $135 back) - check!

Hope to blog at ya soon, sew forth and sew on   :o)


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Getting there

Three things to be happy about:
(1) baseball trivia
(2) continuous learning
(3) a gift that is truly a surprise

Do you like my new calendar over on the right?  Does it cause the page to load too sloooooow?  If so, I can easily remove it, just let me know.  It's a cute little add-on but I don't really need it - give me feedback!

Yesterday was the first day of the Die Cut Scrap (Make Later) Along over on the Love Bug site.  She's giving a very good overview of what we'll be doing, along with the schedule - check it out! 

Also yesterday I got all of the bug jars pieced, they'll make a cute quilt!

The original pattern called for a 1-1/4" bottom strip, but when I did the test block I used a 2-1/2" strip by mistake.  I realized it didn't make a whit of difference, the bigger size will help make the overall size of the quilt longer (which is what I need), so its a win-win situation.

I just have to decide on the layout, make the bottom border, then piece them together and I'm all set.  This really is an easy block to make - you gotta love easy blocks!

And as if I don't have enough to do...
I'm joining in on the Hello Moon quilt along, it looks like fun!

This calls for a strata of 9 different greys for the moons, so while I was out yesterday I picked up some 1/8 yards  pieces to add with what I already have.  Also, I found this nice piece of Kaufman fabric in my stash that will do nicely for the background.
They look nice together!  I'm already behind by four months, so I'll play catch up soon.

That's what I'm up to, have a great Tuesday... sew forth and sew on til later!

Monday, April 8, 2013

A finish and a start

I should say an "almost" finish!  I got the Cobblestone baby quilt pieced and quilted, but I haven't attached the binding yet although it's sewn together.  Because I used fleece on the back without a batting, it's a bit thinner than a normal quilt, so I chose to use a 2" wide binding, which I cut with my GO cutter.  Always glad to have a reason to use that cutter!  I'll have a picture to show you tomorrow.

Little Isaiah across the street will be two years old this week so I thought I'd better finish the quilt I thought about doing a year ago, lest he's packing his bags for college before I get it done!  I've never done a bug jar pattern but I think they're so cute and I wanted to give it a try.  I found a really easy bug jar pattern on About.com that goes together quickly - Janet Wickell does a really great job as the quilting site guide. 

So I shopped my stash and pulled some kiddy-like prints - fishies, frogs, kitty-cats (they have a dog), birds for the kitties to chase, flies for the birds to eat ...

Some of these fabrics were used in the 3-month old's quilt that I just finished piecing, may as well get rid of it.  Isn't it interesting... at one time I would have said "oh no, I can't use all this  particular fabric, I might need it again!"  ???  Can't use it because I "might need it"?  Then, if or when I do  need it, does that mean I won't use it because I might need it some time in the future??  Mind boggling stuff that only a stashologist would understand, I tell ya!  (stashologist: one with a degree in stashology)

I found this piece of bug-jar fabric that I'll use on the back...
I don't remember where or when I bought it, but it's perfect for this little quilt!  And I have a cute idea for the bottom edge that I'll fussy-cut pieces from this fabric for...
The bug jar blocks will be 12", set 3 x 3 without a sashing.  I want the quilt to be 40x50, so side borders will widen it enough and the bottom edge will make it long enough.

After choosing 9 fabrics I did a test block to see if I really like it and guess what - I do!! 
After just a few minutes cutting and sewing, I have a great start on the quilt with a nice jar-o-frogs!

I want to thank everybody for checking in and giving a shout-out for your location.  I've visited some of your blogs before without realizing where you were, and your shout-out gives me a chance to visit blogs I never saw before.  And guess what - I totally forgot I had joined UnRuly Quilters until I saw that Lynn at Alamosa Quilter is a member too!  Oh man! 

Such is life when you're either absent-minded or uber-multi-tasking - sew forth and sew on...

Thursday, April 4, 2013

A little side trip

Is this Thursday already?  Where did the week go!? 

Sometimes when I look at my log I'm intrigued to see where my visitors are coming from - places like Colombes, Opelousas, Madrid, Oswego, Sheffield, Kaposvar... if you have a minute leave me a "location" comment!  Just say "Hi, I'm from _____"  I think it'd be fun to see how many different places check in!

I wanted to stop playing with triangles for a little bit to make a baby quilt, and I thought I'd back it with fleece without a batting.  My friend Renea mentioned that the soon-to-be-closed Hancock Fabrics had a lot left, so Monday Felicia (The Slow Quilter) and I went to check it out.  I'm glad we did!  They had a whole section of fleece, and I got a nice 2-yard piece at $1.10 a yard.

I wanted a pattern that was quick and easy and fuss-free, so I went to the cobblestone pattern that I've used before.  I highly recommend this pattern if you want to make an attractive quilt on short order, the blocks work up very quickly.  The most "difficult" part is deciding which fabrics to pair together - piece o cake!

The blocks for this one are sewn at 6x6 and 6x12 (finished); my goal was to get a 36 inch center.  As I sewed each block I just put it on my design wall in no particular order, I'll rearrange them and start sewing the quilt together today. 

There were some cute fabrics in this quilt...  I like these little animals:
is that Curious George on the green?  I've seen a lot of sock monkey fabric lately!

I didn't just buy fleece at Hancock's, I also bought three pieces of red fabric that I couldn't resist.  They had some very pretty Christmas fabric that I got at 90 cents a yard, what a deal!  At that price I didn't mind buying two yards; I understand they'll be closing Wednesday or Thursday of next week (April 10 or 11).  At this point the discounts were 70, 80 and 90 percent off.

Of course we had to eat after shopping!  We dropped into a Japanese restaurant next door to the Hancock's but we only stayed a hot minute - it was dark in there, but not too dark to notice how grungy the menus were, yuck.  I was forward enough to ask the waiter why they were so dirty, "Uh, well, we're about to order some new ones soon, I don't know when but they're coming."  Pu-lese!  There was hardly anything on the menu that didn't include beef, which I don't do very well, so Felicia was nice enough to agree on someplace else.  So, we had a nice lunch at Appleby's - I had the shrimp alfredo with side salad.  It was pretty good!

That's it for now, enjoy your Thursday.  The cherry blossoms haven't peaked yet, I think the official date now is in one or two weeks.  Sew forth and sew on til later!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Mail call, testing HST blocks

Three things to be happy about:
(1) April fool jokes
(2) flower shop windows
(3) an audition that goes well

I love receiving packages in the mail!  I was a winner on Char's blog hop giveaway and it came Saturday afternoon, yes!  Lots of good stuff was in the envelope - Utility Quilting  by Carolyn Forster, a pincushion and a dish cloth (made by Char herself!), a collection of 6” charms, and two skeins of DMC perle cotton.  Thanks, Char!!

My half square triangles look very promising!  I saw in the front of my Spectactular Scraps book that the authors show all 256 four-patch triangle blocks, and they credit the concept to a French monk, Dominique Douat, 1704.  Evidently he was into mathematics in decorative patterns; I wonder if he was a quilter?  Whatever.

In the book the authors made quilts using several layouts that they identified by number; I sewed together a few patches to see how they look - this is block #1 in the book:

and here are two layouts using that block:

In one layout the yellow stripe will stand out, the red stripe in the other one.

And here's their block #5:

I laid out a sample block; each layout has four of the blocks put together:

I like this one!  I can see that I'll need to cut a bigger variety of fabrics though.

Block #6:

And here's my layout:
this one's okay, but for all of these I can't really be sure what they look like til I add more blocks.  

I can start with the basic 4-patch block and mirror image the one next to it, or rotate the units right or left. It's easy to play with these on my design wall, I can see lots of fun ahead! 

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