Monday, February 8, 2016

Design Wall and Chain Sewing

Happy Monday! Check out these gorgeous paper pieced blocks on my design wall! The ladies of the Nurture circle at do. Good Stitches made these in January and the blocks just keep coming in!  Waiting on one more block, in the meanwhile I need to start working on my layout for these.

Unfortunately, instead of quilting I've been spending a lot of time on this: studying.  These are my books for just one class! The sticky notes on the front tell me which chapters I'm *supposed* to have already read in them.

While listening to lectures for school I've been chain-piecing on an old project. Back around Sept of 2014 I started on this crumb project, sewing 1.5"x2.5" scraps of white and colored fabrics together.  I was planning to make a quilt like one I saw with a zig zagging design (similar to this one).  It reminded me of the old gum wrapper chains people used to make.  Anyway, I made close to 1000 little 2.5" square units and then lost interest.

Then, on last Friday's Finishes at Crazy Mom Quilts I came across the "Bonnie Lass" pattern, which uses the exact same units!  With my enthusiasm back, I have begun chain piecing the many, many, 2.5" squares into four patches that will measure 4.5" sq.  One of these days this might be a quilt, yet ;)

Linking up, a bit late, to Judy's Design Wall Monday.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

a Small Finish

It seems like I did an awful lot this week to still have not much to show on Friday :/  On Tuesday I completed a quilt top and on Thursday I made up 3 quilt backings, but none of that equaled a "finish".

Instead of a lanyard there is a clip on the back

I did manage one, small finish this week. I made my Modern Quilt Guild name tag!  Since the Tyler Modern group became all official recently we're all supposed to make name tags to wear.  I admit this will help me out a lot since I have such a terrible time remembering names!  I used the sketchy thread-fill FMQ technique described in this post.

I thought you might be interested in seeing my quilty to-do list.  Crossing things off this list gives me huge satisfaction!  Back to chipping away at it, hopefully I'll have a bigger finish next Friday!  Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts Friday Finishes.

PS- The February block drive for Covered in Love is on, check it out here!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Celebration Sew Day

Monday night I took my first exam of grad school, and it went ok!  In celebration I took the whole day Tuesday to sew.  No school or work, just sewing.  I was recently given 2 years worth of Saturday Sampler blocks by a member of the Tyler Modern Guild for Covered in Love (thanks!).

You may recognize the blocks on the right.  Another member of the same group previously donated me her blocks from the same sampler, done with a black background.  I decided to use strings for the setting this time. 

My initial pull for the sampler quilt

Part of the reason I chose strings is that I was recently donated 2 large boxes of fabric, one almost all strings, which considerably increased my stash.  It's so much fun getting to play with other people's scraps!

While I had the strings dumped out I set aside strings for a baby girl quilt I have coming up.

Sew helpful...

I wanted to use mostly white/low volume strings interspersed with some of the same colors from the blocks.  I cut them into common widths and sewed them end to end into loooong strings, then sewed those into panels.

It's definitely busy, but I think I like it.  Unfortunately there will be no more sewing today. It's back to the school grindstone and then work Thursday and Friday.  If you're interested in helping with Covered in Love, remember our February block drive is going on here!

Linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

I'm being stalked...

Little Miss always seems to know when I'm sewing and come to check it out.   When I'm piecing she likes to lay on the ironing board in the sunshine and the warm spot from the iron.

I'm watching you...
When I'm quilting she gets under the desk and watches, hoping a corner of the quilt will slip over the back of my desk where she can attack it.

Needless to say, if she succeeds at her goal it causes a nasty yank on the quilt sandwich under my needle. Then I hose her down with the squirt bottle and she runs away to lick herself. Of course she sneaks back as soon as I am distracted.

The other night I quilted until 10, then turned off the machine to work on school stuff.  Around midnight I kicked something furry under the desk.  Yes, she was still on guard, waiting, hours later for a sliver of that quilt to reappear. Silly cat.

In other news, you may remember that this month I asked the members of my do. Good Stitches circle to make paper pieced blocks from the Forest Quilt Along.  The ladies from the Nurture circle have been troopers with such a difficult block and here are the first 3 all together on the design wall.  You can see some more of the blocks, which have been made but haven't made it to me in the mail yet here.   Thank you, Nurture circle! You guys are rockstars and this is going to be such a cool quilt!

Linking to Patchwork Times Design Wall Monday.

Friday, January 29, 2016

December's String Diamonds

Happy Friday! The first of the string diamond quilts is done!  There are 3 of these, which were made from blocks collected during the December blocks drive for Covered in Love.  The response to the end of the year block drives were so overwhelming that I actually had to take January off to catch up. BUT, I'm ready to go again.  The link to February's block drive is at the end of this post.

Unfortunately I failed once again to wake up early enough to get the really good light, so we have to deal with some sun flare in the pictures.  These pretty, swirled string blocks I quilted with spiral squares in matching thread colors.  I did the in between brown diamonds, too, so the quilting ended up quite dense.

The quilt measures 60" square.  For the backing I used a white print that is busy enough to hide all the places my tensions wasn't quite perfect with the colored threads.

On the back are the labels, one for CiL and one listing the names of everyone who contributed blocks that month.

February's block is an easy one, a traditional split nine patch in nice earthy colors.  Be sure to check out the link if you want to participate.

Linking to Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

February Block Drive: Split 9s

Hello quilters! After our January hiatus I am (almost) caught up and ready for another quilt drive in February.  In case you've forgotten, or your new around here, most months I post a block design so that anyone can participate in Covered in Love.

Covered in Love provides quilts to the families of patients who pass away in the hospital. And while we love to receive finished quilts and tops I realize that that's a big commitment for most of us.  Block drives give everyone who wants to the ability to contribute at a comfortable level, one block or twenty, and together we make awesome quilts!

For February we are making split nine patch blocks using the above color scheme.  Theses are easy blocks; I have a simple tutorial below.  If you want to participate email me or comment (make sure I can reach you) for my mailing address!  Try to post mark your blocks by the last day of the month, but if you're running late that's usually fine. Just send me an email so I know there are more blocks still in the mail.

Our color scheme this month has lights and darks. The light fabrics are cream, off white and soft greys.  The dark fabrics are evergreen, dark sea-foam green, navy, denim, and dark grey.  Make sure there is plenty of contrast between your dark and light fabrics.

For each block you'll need:
(3) 4.5" light squares
(4) 4.5" dark squares
(1) 5" light square
(1) 5" dark square

Take the 5" light square and mark a diagonal line along the back corner to corner. Place it right sides together with the 5" dark square and sew 1/4" on either side of the marked line.  Cut along the line to yield 2 half square triangles.  Press toward the darker fabric and trim to 4.5" square.

Layout your block as shown above, with the darks on one side and lights on the other.  If you are making several blocks you can swap half square triangles between them to increase variety.  Sew together in rows and press.  All done!  The block should measure 12.5" square.

Click here to see some of the 18 (yes, 18!) block drive quilts we made last year.  Thank you to everyone who has supported and continues to support my little charity!

Linking to Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Still Diamonds on the Design Wall

If you saw Monday's post I had one of December's string diamonds quilts on the wall.  I got that one sewn up. Then on Tuesday I did the second one.  And today the last one is laid out ready to be sewn!  This top ended up being the one with the least coordination between the browns, but I still think it looks alright.  Somehow this one also ended up with a lot of blues in it.

I realized a couple days ago that I have used up all of my backing fabrics in bright colors, so I ordered some more. I usually order backings from Connecting Threads.  In their clearance section they have a lot of fabrics for less than $3, so I can order enough for a back for less than $10.  Plus if I spend over $50 shipping is free.  I've ordered loads of fabric from them over the years and never had a problem with the quality or the colors running.  I'm not sponsored obviously, just a plug for one of my favorite fabric sources :)

And here's the obligatory Rory photo.  She's holding down that stack of blocks like a champ!

Linking to Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday.