Saturday, August 29, 2015

September Block Drive

Last month I asked you to send in flying geese blocks for Covered in Love and you did! I'll be putting that quilt together soon once the last few blocks come in.  But, it's a new month, and we have a new block!

This month we're making what I'm calling a patchwork mosaic block, using the color palette below.

These block are basically 9 patches made of 4" units that will measure 12.5" unfinished.  Each block has between 0-3 pieced blocks, the rest being unpieced patches.  Use pattered fabrics, please, no solids. Decide on the arrangement for your blocks and cut the needed number of solid patches to 4.5" square.

For the pieced blocks, you can make any block you want to that is 4.5" unfinished.  There's always a 4-patch, start with 2.5" squares. Or there are a bunch of blocks you could make from 2.5" HSTs.

You could make a log cab or court-house steps block from 1.5" strips.  You can make almost any paperpieced block by scaling it down appropriately.  Keep it simple or be as ambitious as you like. Have fun!

Arrange your pieces randomly and sew together into a 9 patch measuring 12.5".

(Edited to Add: View finished quilts here)

If you have blocks to send in comment here or send me an email at merlin775 at gmail for the address.  With your help we can make an awesome quilt :)

Linking to Sunday Scrap! and Design Wall Monday.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Twin Aggie Quilts

Howdy! That's what they say in College Station, home to the Texas A&M Fightin' Texas Aggies!

Sorry these are sideways, they were too long to hang vertically in my usual picture spot. Just, turn your head a little...
Hehehe.  To be honest, I am not particularly rabid about my college allegiances, but I did go to A&M (Class of 2010) and I had a blast there.  So when a friend asked me to make matching Aggie quilts for her nephews naturally I agreed.

The two quilts are almost the same, excepting that the logos are mirrored color schemes and placed on opposite sides. I found 3 A&M novelty fabrics and coordinating maroon and white tone on tones.

Since these are for grown men I made them 56"x80".  I would have gone a bit wider, but I wanted to avoid piecing the fleece backing which has a ~60" WOF.

I made the two logo panels using applique/reverse applique. For more on the process see this post.  I put an extra layer of batting behind all the letters, which made them stand up nicely.

For quilting I did a stipple but mixed in words that are significant to Aggies.  First I brainstormed a list which I kept by my sewing machine and mixed in as I went.  I had to brush up on my rusty cursive!

Well crap, I just realized that I spelled "Reveille" wrong
Aggies are famous for their excessive, some might say cult-like, obsession with a large variety of traditions. I had no shortage of significant sayings, people, places, and events to draw from.

Kyle Field, our football stadium. BTW it's really hard to sew a cursive uppercase "F"
I did not try to keep the wording all going right side up; I just turned them every which way.

"The Batt" is the student run newspaper
These quilts will not be officially gifted until Christmas, but my friend is excited about them and anxious to give them to her nephews. I really enjoyed getting back into the whole Aggie "thing" again.

Thanks and Gig 'em! ;)

Linking to Crazy Mom Quilt Finish it Friday.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

WIP Wednesday: Lots Going On

This sock monkey quilt has been in progress for at least a couple years for a friend of mine. Seems like I pull it out about every 6 months or so, look at it, and end up not finishing it. I do really like the sort of randomness. Maybe this will be the time it finishes...

The flying geese blocks are coming in, thank you to Valerie and Tish for their blocks :) If anyone else wants to contribute it's not too late!

Thanks to my friend Libby who sent in this top for Covered in Love. Just need to add some borders and it will be ready to go.

Finally, one of my quilts is going to its new home. The scrappy batik pinwheels quilt I made a while back is going to welcome a new baby! Packaged up with a bib and a lovey.

Linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Crumbs Coming Along

I've been working on these scrap blocks forever but I finally got them all sashed.  Now I can start arranging them and filling in the spaces.

Don't get your hopes up, this phase of the top will probably take a really long time, too :)  Meanwhile, I finished the top from the purple and orange blocks the ladies in the Tyler Modern Group gave me Covered in Love.

One of the ladies in the group long arms and she's going to quilt this one. Check out Jeriann's business page at I'm really looking forward to seeing what she does.

Linking to Oh Scrap! and Design Wall Monday.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Scraptastic Checkerboard

I love this quilt. I know, I love them all; but I especially love this one!

Scrap, scrap, scrap! (1008) 2.5" squares went into the making of this little baby.  I do wish that I had picked a slightly different shade of green so that it would have blended more with the blue. I really like how the purple and blue panels blend together so seamlessly.

I made this quilt from a series of 8.5" 16-patches rather than long rows. I almost always piece my tops in blocks rather than rows, it makes it easier to match the corners.

For quilting I FMQ'd a wavy line over all the seams to make a wavy grid. Not too terribly time consuming and it gives a nice effect.

What was time consuming was the binding. I decided to bite the bullet and try matching the bind to the panel colors. Time consuming, but so worth it :)

The backing is pieced around a large cut I got on clearance. I remember loving this fabric when it first came out. I finally waited long enough for it to go on sale!

This is another quilt being donated to Covered in Love.  If you are interested in donated quilts, tops, blocks etc. please click on the link to learn more.  This month you can also contribute by making flying geese for the block drive here!

Linking to Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Friday.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

do. Good Stitches Star Blocks

Got this month's do. Good Stitches blocks done before the last minute.  Briawna asked for red and white star blocks of our choice.  For one of mine I made this little Lonestar style block from this tutorial here.

For the second block I went an easier route and made something up. I'm sure I'm not the first person to ever make this block, but I didn't follow a pattern.

I'll be getting these in the mail ASAP, thanks for the fun block, Briawna!  I'm linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Wood Block Stamping on Fabric

Remember the wood block stamps I got? I tried them out using this tutorial and it worked really well up until the rinsing part.  As soon as I got water on the fabric the dye ran into the whole thing and turned it a light pink which stayed.  The dye was originally a nice dark maroon on white fabric.

I's kind of a nice tone on tone thing, I'm calling it a design feature instead of a bug.  Dye folks, any suggestions? Maybe I should iron the fabrics with a hot iron to try heat setting before any rinsing?

Two fabrics, about half a yard each. One monkey and one hummingbird print.

Overall I'm satisfied with the result. I have a navy dye I'm going to try next.  Also, blocks have been coming in for Covered in Love!

Summer sent in some blocks, you can check them out on her blog here.  Here they are are up on the wall with the blocks I made.  If you missed it before, I am asking anyone who wants to contribute flying geese blocks for Covered in Love this month. You can find the original post with tutorial and color scheme here.

Linking to Judy's Design Wall Monday.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Veronica's Wedding Quilt

This is the quilt that I started last Tuesday with this fabric pull and finished that Thursday so that it could fly with me to DC on Friday for a wedding. Whew!

(100) 8" HSTs
At 80" square this is one of the largest quilts I have ever made.  Since it's a wedding quilt I wanted it to be on the big side, plus Veronica already has 2 of my smaller quilts. I made this pink T-Rex quilt for her back in the day :)

Veronica and her fiance were two of my roommates during college. And now there getting married! We're getting all grown up! *sniff*

To get the quilt done in time I used a quilt-as-you-go method and quilted the rows onto the batting as I went in 3 sections.  Once the quilting was done I joined those 3 sections together and then joined the backing to the top.

Speaking of the quilting. I went simple with wavy horizontal lines in a butter yellow. At a few places along the lines I quilted in some cursive words, the ingredients for a successful marriage :)

If you're wondering why I waited this late to make a wedding quilt, when obviously I knew for a while that my friend was getting married, it's because they live in a tiny tiny DC apartment (think less than 500 sq feet). Since I know they really don't need any more stuff and they already had 2 quilts, I didn't think they would want another. But then I talked to Veronica on that Monday and she said they would love another quilt, so there you go. My quilts are worth the space :)

For the backing I found a neat Moda print, Simply Style from V and Co.  I had to piece a seam right down the middle, so I did my best to match the pattern.  I really like the graphic, two-tone design for the back.

Congrats Veronica and Jonfen! It seems like just yesterday we were in college together. Wishing you many more years of happiness.

Me and Veronica in 2007. (The ugly clashing clothes were on purpose!)
Linking to Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Friday.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Midweek WIPs

I buckled down and basted 3 tops last night for Covered in Love.  First one to be quilted is this pretty Chain Links quilt.

Besides quilting up tops, last weekend in DC at the Natural History Museum I picked up two wood block stamps on clearance. Can't wait to try these out today or tomorrow.

Hope you are finding lots of time to sew!

Edited to add:

FYI, I am following this tutorial here, more or less.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Rory, as in Rorschach

Rory is a kitten of mystery and intrigue. So who is this tabby girl who moved in so quickly after Wilson's disappearance? Where did she come from?  I thought you might like to know :)

Rory's story begins before I lost Wilson. Boyfriend's mom is a cat lady and feeds a dozen or so feral cats at her house in the city. Back in May we noticed a young and very pregnant tabby start hanging around. Any then one day, she wasn't pregnant anymore, uh-oh!

Mama cat resentful but settled now that she has her babies back (there are 4 although you can only see 3)
As most of you in the US have probably heard, Texas had unseasonal, monsoon-like rains this spring and mama-cat chose to have her kittens under some bushes with precious little protection from the elements. Also, she was on the neighbor's property, and we weren't how friendly he feels toward the cat colony next door.

So.  I asked around and my boss at the hospital said she would take mama-cat and her kittens (until we trapped them we didn't know how many there were) for barn cats at her place in the country. When they were 6 days old boyfriend and I trapped mama-cat, gathered up her 4 little fuzz balls and loaded them into the back of my car.   This was the day Wilson went missing, but I didn't know that yet.

As soon as we knew Wilson was missing I knew I wanted to get one of those babies.  I waited 5 long weeks, visiting a few times to play with the kittens, until they were 6 weeks old.  Rory is the prettiest of the litter hands down, but I was a little worried about her being timid and skiddish.

Well, I needn't have worried! Even since she got settled in she has been the queen of the household.

She is definitely a mama's girls; she's a people cat. She hates to be left alone and will meow pitifully if we close her in a room. She sleeps under the covers on the bed at night and she thinks I hung the moon. 

It's good medicine for me when I'm missing my Wilson. 

Yesterday Rory turned 10 weeks old. We are in the midst of potty training ;)  If it works I'll be sure to let you know!

PS- Mama-cat and Rory's 3 siblings are doing great.  They have gone from "barn cats" to inside/outside garage cats with a cat door and everything.  The kittens don't know the meaning of hunger and mama-cat is warming up to people. She thinks the whole food and shelter thing is pretty swell.