Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Jelly Roll Race Quilt!!

Yesterday, I participated in a Jelly Roll Race.  It was a lot of fun and I left with a completed quilt top!  The winner won free long-arm quilting of her quilt.  Lucky gal!

Jelly Roll Race
Now I need to get it loaded up on my frame and uncover that Juki!!

Keep on Stitchin'!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Retreat - 2nd Block

Finished the second block for the Summer Quilt that I'll be working on at the retreat over the Labor Day weekend.  Now I can feel comfortable cutting out all the pieces for the paper piecing project.  Because I had limited fabric, I wanted to conserve as much as possible.  Paper piecing is not known as a conservative way to cut fabric!  It was suggested to me to try printing out templates from EQ software and setting the seam allowance larger than the normal quarter inch.  This gave me templates larger than needed and allowed me to cut fabric in the shape of the template while still giving me plenty of wiggle room for paper piecing.  It also shaved off a lot of fabric waste.
Summer Quilt Block 2
These blocks and cut fabrics can now be put aside for the retreat.  I'll let you know how much progress I made on this and the other project after the retreat! 

Keep on Stitchin!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Retreat Project #2

I spent a good amount of the day yesterday coming up with another project to work on during the retreat.  I'm thinking...as much as I love paper piecing, I don't think I can work on this non stop without losing my mind!!  So...I remembered I had purchased a jelly roll and a couple of charm packs in Christmas fabric - Moda's Jovial collection, actually.  Surely I could come up with that was fairly mindless to sew on while taking a break from concentrating on paper pieceing.

After playing around in EQ7 for hours (and loving every minute of it!!), I decided on this simple quilt.  After seeing the picture, I see that I have to make sure I don't have any red strips on the outside of a block!  But you get the jest of the quilt, I hope.

Christmas Star Strip

Pretty mindless, don't you think???

Ok, I can now get back to what I was supposed to be doing yesterday....working on that second test block for the Summer Quilt!!

Keep on Stitchin'!

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Retreat! A quilt to work on!

I'm so excited to be going to a quilt retreat (my first one!!) over the Labor Day weekend.  Only one person and I know each other out of the 12 that are going.  A couple other ladies (from whom we found out about this retreat) and I are on the same Yahoo group.  It will be a wonderful weekend, sewing, and getting to know new people.

So, I need a quilt to work on.  I had purchased some fabric a few years ago to make a quilt to throw over the back of my couch in the summer.  I pulled out the fabrics, scanned them into my EQ7 software and started playing with blocks and quilt layouts, keeping in mind I only had so much yardage.  I already knew I wanted to do some paper piecing at the retreat and as luck would have it, the July and August blocks from Carol Doak's Mystery BOM were exactly what I had in mind!  WooHoo!  So here's the EQ7 layout.

Summer Quilt 58"x58" EQ7 Image
And here is my first test block.  You might recognize this as the July block from Carol Doak's Mystery Quilt BOM.

Stay tuned for the other test block in a day or so.

Keep on stitchin'!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Funky Chicken - July Block

Another great Funky Chicken from Fat Cat Patterns!  This one uses stitches from both the Bernina Cutwork Software as well as the Bernina Embroidery Software.
July Funky Chicken
July Close up
A big hat's off and wave to Trish who made using the Cutwork stitches easier to manipulate in the Embroidery software.  Pssst...I got Trish hooked on doing these adorable chickens, too! <giggles>

Guess I'm caught up on July BOMs now.  I'll look around my sewing room and see what I want...er...what needs to be worked on!  Maybe I'll do August's Carol Doak block......I don't really see that pile of unfinished mess over there in the corner........

Keep on stitchin'!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Craftsy - July Block 2

Another BOM for July finished!  This Dresden block has a more modern feel to it.  Same method of invisible applique by machine as with the first July block.

July Block 2
Sorry about the colors.  This picture turned out a bit flourescent-looking!

Hmmm..what's next...Funky Chicken block, I believe!  Already spent some time in the software, so I'm ahead of that game a bit.

Keep on stitchin'!!

Craftsy - July Block 1

This month we are doing Dresden blocks.  This first block is traditional-looking with the pointed blade.  I didn't have any Dresden blade templates in my stash and the wedge rulers I do have were not the correct angle.  So I made cardboard templates.  Pffffttt!!!  I've sure gotten spoiled to acrylic templates!  Still used my rotary cutter with the cardboard templates and only sliced off a little on one end of one of the templates.  Thank goodness I have acrylic templates for circles!! The blades for this block are cut 4".

July Block 1
I used monofilament thread to applique the inner circle and outer blades.  I adjusted one of  the blind hem stitches on my machine to a very small stitch length with a narrow bite.  (Bernina folks, I used #3, width and length = 1.1.  I also mirror imaged so the bite was on the left.)  This gave me a stitch that is practicaly impossible to see.

Working on the second block today.  Still a Dresden block, but it looks totally different.

Keep on stitching!

Friday, July 13, 2012

In Color Order - July HST Block

I'm on a roll today!  Got another block done.  I have to tell you, I'm a poky block maker.  Maybe that's why I'm having such fun with the BOMs.  Too much fabric has been wasted by me cutting out all the pieces for a whole quilt only to find out that somewhere along the line I've screwed something up!  This one block at a time...cut and sew...suits me fine!  Because of past screw-ups, I made it a habit to make one block at a time.   So, Slow As Molasses Sue pokes along like the proverbial turtle!  Hmmm...may be I should change my blog name....Not! ;-)

July 2012
Pretty block, don't you think?

Keep on stitchin!

Carol Doak Mystery Quilt - July Block

Another block done with paper piecing the Carol Doak way!  I love how points and other spots to match come out so nicely.  Yep, I think I'm hooked on PPing!
July Carol Doak Paper Piecing
Carol has already released the block for August.  She is traveling....Australia, I think.  I may wait until August to do the August block.  Or not!  Whatever stirs the gravy on a particular day will influence what I do that day.  Today I plan to work on BOMs!

Keep on stitchin'!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Block Keeper #2 - Finished!

Keeper #2 is behind me now with 2 BOM stacks tucked safely away.  The label shows me at a glance what's in there and on which side they are residing.  I think they are happy with their new home!!
12 - 14" Block Keeper
Time to make more BOMs to add to the families! 

Keep on stitchin'!

Block Keeper #2 - Ready for Assembly

Quilting is done, the 2 pieces are bound, and everything's pinned in place.  This second block keeper will hold up to a 14" square. I'm sure it will get the most use as most of my blocks tend to be around 12".

Almost done!
This keeper was excellent practice for July's FMQ challenge.  Can you see the tiles piled on top of one another?  Better pics are on the FMQ page.

I still want to make one more keeper to hold 16"-20" blocks.  Eventually I'll get back into embroidery and those quilt blocks are usually larger.  Currently, the Funky Chicken blocks need a storage home...they are 16" blocks.

Stay tuned...the finished project will be posted soon!!  Until then...

Keep on stitchin'!!

Friday, July 6, 2012

FMQ- July Final

The challenge this month was fun - making quilt tiles.  I found I cannot sew a straight line free motion, so I drew out my tile lines prior to quilting.  Maybe one day, but unlike regular sewing, where I can eyeball a straight line, I can't seem to do that with those feed dogs dropped!!

So, here's my last practice piece on the fabric that will become a block keeper.  I'm using variegated thread on a dark olive green fabric.  In order for anything to show up, I had to change the color intensity.
The whole fabric piece quilted
Closeup of tiles
And in variegated thread on WHITE fabric!!!  Here is my challenge block.

July FMQ Challenge
I think this makes a very unique pretty look on a large piece of fabric, don't you?

Keep on stitchin'!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

FMQ- Second July Practice Run

This time I decided to eliminate the tile aspect of this challenge and concentrate on my quilt pattern and rhythm.  So much better!  You can't see much on the floral right side of this piece, but the back side shows the stitches very well.  Now you can see the design of the pattern.  Much better, huh?!!
FMQ Front
Back side of FMQ
This will be the inside of my 2nd Block Keeper.  Most of this quilting will be hidden, but it was a great place to practice and still have something useful.

Till next time, keep on stitchin'!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

FMQ - July Mess!

Need a good laugh??  Today is not my day for free motion apparently.  I thought I'd practice a bit on July's challenge from Angela Walters.  We are making quilt tiles.  Her sample has swirls inside the 'overlapped' tiles...which by the way those swirls are spot on perfect!!  Anyway, I want to use this challenge on a block keeper that I'm making.  I pulled out a piece of fabric that had only cutaway stabilizer behind it just to get the rhythm of the design I'd chosen to do.  This challenge is for any meandering type of quilting and mine is a sworled (yes I spelled it that way because it isn't a swirl and it isn't a rounded flower...) flower amongst loopty-loops.  Easy, right?? HA, I say..HA, I say again!  And I even started out with the design drawn on the fabric to get me going.  How can I go from doing pretty good to so awful????

Ok, enough talk...here is your laugh.

FMQ Mess!!
I will say that I got a tiny bit better by the time I completed this 14 inch square.  Surely tomorrow will be a better FMQ day...oh wait, tomorrow is the 4th of July...I may not be in the sewing room!

Have a great Independence day and be safe out there!!!

Keep on stitchin'!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Blocks Out of Control!!

I've got so many BOMs I don't know what to do with them!!  I have been pinning 4 of the BOMs to a small quilt I have hanging in my sewing room.  My pretty little stitches quilt is being obscured, wouldn't you say?  And the more blocks I pin to it the more they weigh it down.  Gotta fix that!  The FMQ Challenge blocks are stacked in a corner and that stack is really getting out of hand.
Current BOM Storage
So I decided to make a block keeper.  I'd looked on the internet and found several, but each one had something I didn't like.  I didn't want to use elastic in an X formation...it would put wrinkled stress marks on the blocks as I filled up the keeper.  I didn't want to insert the blocks into pouches, that might result in inadvertently folding a corner or edge of a block.  I wanted to be able to lay the blocks on top of each other and secure them without stress and without ruining the corners.  This is the result of my test keeper.
Keeper Closed and Secured

Open Keeper with FMQ Challenge Blocks
I thought I was making a keeper for 12" blocks, but by the time I got it quilted and the flaps sewn in, it became my small block keeper for blocks up to about 10".  I put a tab on the front, attached a metal eyelet, inserted a 1" book ring which holds a small binder clip, which holds a piece of paper with the name of the blocks inside.  The flaps have metal eyelets, too, and I used a small nylon cord to string them together over the blocks.  I added a D-ring closure.  I also used some plastic canvas I had around here purchased for what I have no idea and inserted some into the spine, front, and back.

The fabric?  Not very pretty, huh?  I'm using some of my "What was I thinking??" fabrics to make these keepers.  Here's a couple more fabric coordinates that I'll be using.  I rather like that green, but it was the only one that went with that 'other' fabric!  I love wisteria and when I saw this fabric (on top in the back) I immediately grabbed the bolt and began matching fabrics to it.  I get home and realize it had a definite oriental feel and I'm just not a fan of oriental decor.  But these will make great block keepers, don'tcha think??
What was I thinking???
By the way, I'm quilting these using the Juki/frame set up.  Gettin' in some panthogram practice with these.  Hmmm...is that the right word?  The more I look at it, the "wronger" it looks! LOL

Keep on stitchin'!