Tuesday, April 30, 2013

To Boston with Love

I came across a  link to "To Boston With Love" today. Quilters and sewists are making 6 x 8 inch flags to show that we care. I made mine in about an hour and I hope friends in my quilting groups will make one too. they will be flown in Boston Memorial Day weekend.

I got all enthusiastic about it and wanted to make something right away. I used one of the motifs from my Spoonflower fabric and I stitched over the long connected lines with red thread.
This has no batting and it is stitched to the backing and turned; there is a 16 inch tie across the top.
Check out the link above for details and a tutorial and links to flags that others have made and posted on Flicker.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Made fabric starters

I left the small scrap pieces out where I can work on them when the mood strikes. I dumped them all on a tray that is 16 x 20 which makes it easy to look through the scraps and easy to clean up and put back in the box.
I decided that I should only sew 2 or 3 scraps together if these are going to be starters; otherwise they stay small if I continue to add very small pieces.

So..............Here we are, sometimes, something catches my attention and I get caught up in one piece. Instead of continuing to chain piece adding the second or maybe the third scrap I started adding more to one piece and I got a piece that was about 5 x 7 1/2, a bit big for a starter.

I added another piece that didn't go all the way across the seam and I made a cut at that place, then I had 2 pieces and I added on to them.

Now I have one piece that is large enough to cut a 6 inch square or I can keep adding to it  to make something that I can cut into shapes. The other piece is more of a starter size and it will be trimmed before I add anything else to it. Maybe I will just add it as is to the starter box.

I was feeling pretty good about cleaning up all the small pieces I had and making them into something more useful as starters for something larger. I found another small container that I been feeding with small pieces. I dumped them on the tray and decided to take a picture of them.

Oh my, this is starting to look like a lot more pieces.

I put a quarter on one scrap as a reference to show the size of the scraps and I moved the tray to a better place to photograph it.

What is in that bag under the tray?
Guess what!

More small scraps. When I cleaned up these were pieces that I didn't deem large enough to sort into color families.

I might be making "made fabric'
 for the rest of my life.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

15 minutes ? or more

I find it difficult to work for only 15 minutes but if I only had 15 minute intervals here and there I can see that I could still accomplish a lot. Yesterday, when I was working, I set the alarm on my cell phone for 15 minutes and then I set it for a 1/2 hour and then I set it for an hour. I am really not speedy and someone else would have accomplish more in the time I allotted, I'm like the tortoise instead of the hare;I keep going slow and steady.
I had the sewing room in order again and re-sorted the scraps by color and put them away. I had one box of small pieces that were to small to be of much use except as starters or centers for larger "made" fabric pieces. they were too small to put away with the larger strips and pieces (most people would throw them away). I started stitching pieces together to make "starters". It will be good to have shoe box of these on hand.
This is what I made yesterday. The largest pieces here are about the size of my hand and one or two of them are almost right to cut a 4 or 5 inch square. All the longer pieces have been put away for now so this is as big as these will get for the time being.

These five were  all made using something that had already been pieced. The two on top have pieces left over from the piano key border I just added to my Falling Charms quilt. That narrow red strip and the multicolor strip were trimmed off  the end of a strata.
The black and white  center was a left over 4 patch, the blue and yellow was a section of a Birds in the Air block that I sewed together wrong and the little red and black and white block was made with 1 1/4 inch HST's  that I put together from the pieces I cut away from connector corners ( I am never going to make a lot of those).

Starting next month the Basement Divas are going to work on making fabric, as in Victoria's  (Bumblebeans) "15 Minutes of Play" book.  We are all going to bring strips and chunks to put in a fabric pool for everyone to work on. I am bringing these along as starters for myself and for anyone else who would like to use them.  In the meantime I am going to see if I can use up this shoebox of little scraps.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Tree update and a flimsy

This is my view today while sitting at my desk looking out the window. It is a rainy, gloomy day but look at that bright green grass and the water droplets hanging off the tree branch. In real life they sparkle, a little bit of  bling; that cheers me up.

 Here are some more tree pics.
Top right was yesterday, top left is today.Maybe the difference is not noticeable in the photo but I can see the difference in how the filling out of the leaves is filtering my view of the other buildings. The bottom left is a close up from another angle. The leaves are not so bright green now; they have more of a bronze color than they did a few days ago. I can see the little maple seeds starting to grow but it is hard to gt a good shot of them. The bottom right is the oak tree that is closer to our bedroom window and I can see the leaf buds. I am happy to see this tree thriving as several years ago the whole top of the tree broke off during a storm. It seemed like the tree could not survive but it compensated by growing its lower branches veeeeerrrry wide and in the last few years it has been growing a new top. In the summer there is not much to show that anything happened to it.

So.... here is my flimsy! I finished the piano key borders and sewed them on this morning. These are the real thing not virtual borders. There is a 2 inch inner border strip that really doesn't show but it made easier the task of sewing on the piano keys. I'm not sure how I will quilt it but I will use Kona bone for the binding.

Now it is time to clean up the sewing room. For the last two days every time I put something down it got lost in the mess. I had to resort to putting the quilt on my bed to pin the borders because both my cutting tables are pure ordinary disaster.

I always feel
more energetic and ambitious
about cleaning
when the sun is shining
but this
is not going to wait for the sun.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Made fabric quilt

I have not had much luck in getting my sewing room in order because I have all my bags of scraps out and I kept dragging some scraps out to play. I even got them them all put back in their respective bags and I still couldn't leave them alone. I decided that the  only way I was going to get them put away would be to make a quilt. I have had a quilt in mind since last week so I went ahead and got it together. I showed the blocks up on my wall  in my post yesterday. I sewed the 2 1/2 inch strips of Kona Bone on 2 sides late yesterday. Today it is a partly done flimsy; I still have to make the borders.

This is a pattern from the Missouri Star Quilt Company called Falling Charms. Click on the link for the Your Tube video. The quilt in the video is so pretty made with a nice soft floral charm pack and that is what really caught my interest. After I started to play with making fabric I decided to make 5 inch squares and use them in a small quilt, maybe a baby quilt.

 In the quilt picture shown here the body of the quilt is a photo of the actual quilt that I sewed together today. I imported the photo to EQ7 to audition a virtual piano key border in EQ. This is a new feature in EQ7 and I dicovered it about a year or so ago; it makes pieced border decisions easier. It was either piano keys or prairie points. I have a lot of bright strips cut but not very many bright 3 inch squares so the piano keys it will be.

Of course that means
I will not be able
to put those bags of scraps a way yet.
I better get busy.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Black and white challenge etc.

The Basement Diva's met yesterday for our monthly meeting and the big reveal of our Black and White Plus one color challenge. You can read about it here and see the quilts.
This is my quilt and I have posted about it previously while it was in progress. I am not going to say anything more about it now.
AmysCreativeSide.com  Amy (from Amy's Creative Side)has her spring Bloggers Quilt Festival  coming up and I plan to enter this quilt and have a post about it at that time. it has to be a new post and not one that has been up before so I don't want to over do it to the point of boredom about this quilt.
I have been playing (for more than 15 minutes)with made fabric. I keep trying to put my bags of scraps away but something grabs my attention and I start playing with my scraps. I have about 22 blocks now and I put some strips and bits and pieces that I want to use up on the will above my machine. Each time I get back to this I do something a little different than the time before and different colors catch my fancy. It's good to do a little every day or so as it adds variety.
I have been trimming as I sit at the machine. I could say that it is in order to be more efficient but the truth is that my cutting tables are covered with bags of scraps that I sorted and got ready to put away and there is no room to cut.
A word of caution for you if you are cutting while sitting at your machine with a little cutting mat.
     If you are doing this............................................................don't do this.
 Fortunately the odd clunky noise alerted me that something was not right and I only took 3 stitches.

Friday, April 19, 2013

While yesterday was beautiful, today is gloomy and rainy and dark. But my enthusiasm is not dampened. Below are three shots of the tree outside our window. This is showing 3 days in a row this week. First there were leaf buds , yesterday they started to open and today when I look out the window the spring green leaves are larger and catch my eye. I can hardly wait to see them tomorrow.

Since yesterday was such a beautiful spring day and we decided to take a ride to see the Blue Herons nesting. I was not able to take pictures but this is a good link to see what we were looking at although even with binoculars we couldn't see this close up. http://www.shltrip.com/Heron_Rookery_in_Ohio.html
This time of year before the leaves are out you can see all the nests and the comings and goings and nest building of the herons. It is always impressive when we come around the  corner onto Bath Road and see 100 (more or less) nests with birds standing on the branches.

It is always a pleasant drive through the Metroparks roads that we can follow from  Willoughby from one reservation to the next all the way to the west side of Cleveland or to Akron.

Cleveland Metroparks is an extensive system of nature preserves in Greater Cleveland, Ohio. The various reservations, which largely encircle the city of Cleveland, tend to follow the rivers and creeks that flow through the region. Referred to unofficially as the 'Emerald Necklace',[1] the network of parks spans over 21,000 acres (8,500 ha) and includes hundreds of miles of walking, bicycle, and horse trails as well as numerous picnic areas, nature education centers, golf courses, and countless fishing spots. In addition, the district includes the zoo in Cleveland. Several of the reservations are adjacent to Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

One of the perks of going to see the herons is that we always make a little detour to go to The Polka Dot Pincushion quilt shop. There is a shop hop going on right now and the shop was busy but not really crowded and Jack told me to take my time and find what I was looking for.

 I came away with this, it is not what I was looking for. There was something about the large motifs in the wide ( 5 inch) stripes that gave me an idea. How do you explain why one would buy something that was not the colors I am currently drawn to and want to work with, why I would fail to notice that there are only 2 large motifs and not 6 as I thought,  and why now that I have it home I can't envision what I wanted to do with this? I am not unhappy with it but I am puzzled as to why I bought it when I  made a promise to myself that I will only buy what I need to finish something or what I am so charged up about that I am going right home to start it. I was looking for fabrics to go with my scrappy trips. purple, yellow, blue green, green and orange. I think only the green might work the rest are too tonal to go with the mostly clear bright fabrics I have already used. Go figure!! 


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Made fabric

I received this sewing machine carrier 2 years ago for my birthday and then for Mother's Day my daughter gave me another. The one she got me is smaller and is a better fit for my Janome Gem, which is the one I take with me most of the time. They reside under one of my cutting tables and  because this one has no machine living inside I use it to store my scrapsin Ziploc bags, sorted mostly by color; there is also a Ziploc bag of stripes. Usually, when I am going to make something with the scraps, I take them out of the bags and put them in shoe boxes by color or stripes and  arrange the shoe boxes on my cutting tables. When I am finished the scraps go back in the bags and I stack the shoe boxes and it works pretty well. It is much easier to look through one shoe box that a whole scramble of different colors and it is easier to store in bags than make room for a bunch of shoe boxes on my shelves.

Yesterday our group at church met (we had a lot of show and tell but sadly I forgot my camera). I had some things to take with me and they were kind of heavy to carry so I decided to put them all in my larger sewing machine carrier. That meant that all the Ziploc bags were out piled on my cutting table.

Well as long all the scraps were out I thought that I might as well make a few pieces of free pieced fabric. This is what I have to show for my efforts. I know there are some more but they have hidden themselves among the scramble of scraps on one of my tables.There are some small pieces among the scraps because as I looked for the next piece to use they got covered up. I am not sure if I will make these larger and cut shapes for them or if I will squares these off at 5 or 6 inches (or more (or less). I have no real plan and ideas flew in and out of my head as I worked along.These are to put in my "Parts Department" box. I am borrowing that term from Gwen Marston and Freddie Moran.

I think I will randomly select some scraps from each of my Ziplocs and put them all together and work from that and put the rest of them away again and leave them there until I use up the selected bunch.

Does that sound like a plan? 
I think so but we'll see.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

A Finish

Yesterday, I finished this little quilt; it measures 39 x 48. Gwen, one of the Basement Divas made the top from a set of my leftover blocks that she received as a prize at the Jelly Roll Race. She offered to finish it for me but I felt a bit guilty that she had taken the time to make the top from what was intended to be a whimsical, non serious prize and decided to finish it myself.
I bought some backing last week and I layered it up yesterday morning and finished it today.  I quilted it with the Bernina # 4 stitch with blue thread in the sashing and on the binding and with multicolor thread that went across the blocks corner to corner and through the sashing junctions.

Close ups showing quilting,the setting triangle fabric that Gwen added, the backing and the binding.

Friday, April 5, 2013

A peek at a finish etc.

I finished the hand stitching on the binding the hanging sleeves on my Black and White plus Red for the Basement Diva challenge. My wrists and my thumbs are still complaining a little today but that will pass (at least I hope it will). I am not going to show the whole thing today because I am going to wait until April 20 when we have our big reveal. I have shown it in progress and here is a peek at the binding. I found this back and white Michael Miller Bar Code Stripe at a LQS and I cut it on the bias.

I am happy with it. I think I should probably print a label with the rules. I should have signed it with free motion stitching in a lower corner on the front. Maybe I can still do that.
I  have not been doing much other sewing this week. I have cleaned cabinets and drawers and have a pile of thing to give to my kids. I have boxes of keepsakes that are never looked at except once in a while when I go through things to declutter.

I found some of my daughters artwork, probably from 3rd grade; there are several  pages fastened together.
Below is a booklet of hers with what appears to be book reports or maybe answers to  questions about something the class read. I have no idea what grade this would be. I am impressed with the neatness of her hand writing.

This is my husbands Cub Scout scrapbook. It is at  67 to 70 years old as Cub Scouts were 7 to 10 years old when he was in Cub Scouts, maybe that is still the age range.

I meant to give this to our son along with his Cub Scout Log book. He was in scouts up through high school and he was a scout leader when his boys were in scouts.
I gave John his book on Wednesday when he has here for dinner along with some artwork and things he had made. There was a book from high school with poetry and essays and other writings of the students from English class as well as a few drawings from students. He appeared to enjoy looking at it.
I have some boxes yet to go through and I will be giving both of my kids some more things from their childhood and also things from their children.