Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Friendship Block

I finally got around to making Gwen's Friendship block. I always grumble (to myself of course) when I have to make something that requires thought and creativity and I always procrastinate. Gwen gave us instructions for making a "shop'  of our choice from the pattern "The Shop Ladies" by Sue Pritt. Sue has several really sweet patterns on her website that are worth checking out "Sweet Seasons Quilts".
I read the instructions almost 2 months ago and set them aside until Monday when I read them over several times before I formulated a plan of attack. Once I decided on what kind of shop I would make the rest was fairly simple, not really easy with cutting all  those little  dresses but simple.  Some of the parts were stitched together and some of them were fused. I don't do a lot of fusing so that part was kind of fussy for me. After I sewed the first floor together I decided to put a name in the window so I scanned the background fabric and then made a sign in Word and printed it on fabric. I thought it might come out the same but it  is not as bright as the yellow background fabric in the window. I wish I had printed it on the window fabric but I didn't know what I wanted to do when I was at that point.
Gwen will add trees and lampposts when she puts the blocks together. I decided to skip putting a flower pot or anything else in front of my shop but I did consider a topiary. When Gwen gets all her blocks together she can decide if it needs something else.
All in all
it really was
 a fun block to make.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Jellyroll Race.

Yesterday was the annual Basement Divas' annual Jellyroll Race. this was our third race and the most fun yet. The quilts were better this year too
I am always slow and came in dead  last in 2013 and 2012 I came in next to last only because the last place person had a problem with her machine. So.... this year I cheated  I claimed a handicap and sewed 2/3 of my first seam at home. I did tell 2 people before the race just to keep things on the up and up. Even so, I did not come in first but second.

My second place quilt.
  Everyone had a good time. There were snacks, 2 short term power outages, dance breaks, an over the top lunch (as usual)and a lot of laughing and fun. and There were also prizes for everyone.  Everyone received a participant patch, made by Lori signed by everyone there, and a goodie bag made and filled by Judy with a Twinkie, Hershey's miniatures and a bag of snack chips. I was going to take a picture of the contents after I got home but they had disappeared before I got around to it. Jack enjoyed the snack. He has not been eating sweets since January so it was a really special treat.

Photo here shows my empty goodie bag and my other prizes. A 1 1/4 yard and a quarter piece of Alexander Henry fabric with giraffes and rhinos and some of Lori's little left over HSTs.

Below is a shot of the whole group with our quilts. Mary Ann has only her unsewn Jellyroll because her machine refused to sew yesterday.

Participants in the Annual Basement Divas 2014

 Everyone needs fun times like this and I am so happy to be part of this fun group of great friends.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A finish

The weather cooperated on Monday and I was able to pick up my Bernina. It is running well and it seems that all of the issues have been taken care of. After dinner Monday I started quilting this little quilt that was all  layered up and I almost finished quilting it on Monday. It is so nice to have the knee lift on the Bernina again. I set it aside yesterday and got back to it this morning to finished it up.

 I used this orange fabric for the backing and binding. I bought this last year for backing for another quilt and I didn't like it. I didn't like it for the quilt for which I bought it but I also didn't like it at all. I had 6 yards of it and I used a little bit of it for scrappy Many Trips Around quilt and didn't like it there either and only used a couple of strips. I gave  away half of what I had left and when I was looking for a back for this quilt I thought it was a good way to get rid of  use up the rest of it. I still have a piece 14" by WOF and now guess what. I like it A LOT. I guess it just needed the right quilt to show up it's bright cheerfulness.

These shots show how I quilted it with the Bernina #4 stitch which I also used on the binding.
I had planned to use a variegated thread in primary colors but ran across this bright citrus colored thread and with the orange  binding and backing it was a better fit.
I  finish all of my binding by machine any more. It is easier on my old hands. I used to sew it on the back and turn to the front but lately I sew it on the front and turn it to the back and fuse it down with 1/4 inch Stitch Witchery. Then I stitch it on the machine from the front. I either stitch in the ditch, for a more serious quilt, or for something more whimsical I use the #4 Bernina stitch. I am very pleased with the results. Today I ran out of 1/4 inch Stitch Witchery and I cut 1/4 inch strips of Wonder Under and peeled away the paper before I tucked it under the binding and it worked well too.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

More Snow

I am a little bit embarrassed to complain about the snow here in NE Ohio; it doesn't compare to some areas of the country. We have not been snowbound for days on end and we have been able to get around most of the time without problems. However today makes the 4th Sunday in a row that just as we were ready to leave for church the snow was coming down thick and heavy. So... for the 4th Sunday in a row we have stayed home. It is often not safe to walk around our car in the parking lot here at home to clean off the car and when the snow is coming down like it was today it is not always good at the other end. Jack says at our age a fall could be life changing so we stay home. There was a lot of  grumbling going on here.

Leftovers from Tumbling Charms 38 x 37
To take my mind off the snow and get away from the grumbling, I put this little quilt top together with leftover Tumbling Charms blocks. The kids at quilt camp made these last summer when they were practicing 1/4 inch seams. There were enough blocks using "made fabric" that I didn't need to use these in the bigger quilt. Although I had planned to use them on the back I did not need them to extend the backing. I played around with these until I came up with a design for a row quilt. I had a  piece of the striped fabric that  has been sitting around for a couple of years; it was 2 yards by 22 inches and it is perfect for the sashing and borders. I will find something for the back from my stash or from the stash at church. This will go in our Caring Quilts closet at church and it can be either a baby quilt or a lap quilt. It is nice to finish something the same day it is started and nice to clean up the leftovers. I think I even have a smallish piece of batting leftover from something.

Friday, February 14, 2014

A Flimsy and a Confession

The Tumbling Charms quilt has reached the flimsy stage. I went with the turquois border and used the same fabric on the back. When I auditioned the border I realized that the blue green fabrics in most of the blocks really showed up with this border; it has a more cohesive look than if I had used piano keys. I think the dark fabric in this quilt (unlike the other quilt I made like this) made a difference and it needed one fabric to pull it together.
My Bernina is ready to pick up and I will soon be quilting this.

When I posted a picture of my patchwork hearts the other day I told a little lie. I said I was going to make a table topper or a banner. I really made valentines and sent them to my Basement Diva friends. I had not posted anything for a few days and they were the only things I had for a post so I wasn't completely honest I lied. However, I am thinking of making more and making a table topper or banner; that false explanation gave me an idea. We'll have to wait till next year to see if I follow through.

 I had one left and I hung it on my bulletin board

Monday, February 10, 2014

A Change of Plan

I sewed the Tumbling Charms blocks together today It is almost a flimsy but not quite. I decided that I will probably not use a piano key border. I auditioned the fabric we bought for the borders and backing and I like it. There is blue green in almost every block and the blue green fabric looks good.  When this is finished it will be auctioned at the Youth Group Dinner theater and Auction at our church. I think it will have a wider appeal than the scrappy piano key border. That is my opinion but maybe I am getting lazy so I am hoping for some feedback.

I shot these two photos when I had it partially together, sewed in groups of
 4  and 6 blocks.
I decided to have one more look before I went ahead and I saw something awry in the lower left corner. There was a group of 4 blocks turned 180 degrees counterclockwise.  This is an easy layout to get mixed up and I can hardly believe this was the only place I turned something around.

I am almost afraid to look it over again but I probably ought to, just in case.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Table topper? Wall hanging ? Banner?

Yesterday was another stay at home snow day for us. My Bernina is still not home so I can't get started on any quilting. It has been a long time since I made anything new for February decor.  Hmmm.... maybe a table topper or maybe a wall hanging. No, not a wall hanging I have a color wash wall hanging that I like. Maybe a banner, a heart banner, a made fabric heart banner, something quick, easy, whimsical, something not too serious.

So yesterday while the snow came down this is what I made from red, pink and white scraps and strips. They were easy and not too serious but they were not fast. I never seem to accomplish fast. When I am making something to cut into squares I don't use a foundation but for something that is going to be a specific shape, like a heart, I used a fabric foundation and after adding each strip, I trimmed it back to it the foundation. I also folded the foundation back and trimmed the seam to 1/4 inch. The foundation is a little over size but not so much the I don't see pretty much the way the whole thing will look when it is trimmed.

Is that compulsive? Well maybe but I like to think of it as intentional. OK maybe that is just another way to say compulsive. Now I have to decide on table topper or banner. If I make a banner I just have to fuse something on the back, trim them, and string them together.

Yesterday I got a surprise package in the mail. There was one 2 1/2 inch strip of fabric from Connecting Threads in this box, along with a letter of explanation.
About 2 weeks ago, I had ordered 2 Jelly Rolls one red and one blue. They discovered the blue rolls that they sent out to customers were missing 1 strip. They determine which strip they missed and sent them to their customers. I think that is pretty amazing.
When  I ordered them, I knew the  fabric rolls had unequal numbers of strips, one was 18 and one was 20 and I never counted them and never really missed one.  I sorted the strips in the order that I wanted to sew them together (for the Diva's annual Jellyroll Race) and I thought " I wish there was one white background with blue like that white and red one". Guess what? That was the one they sent.
Here are my strips all sorted in order and rolled up to get them out of the way. They are all ready to unroll and start sewing them end to end for another red, white and blue Jellyroll Race quilt.