Sunday, May 31, 2009

Stash Report Week # 21

This was not a good week for Stash Busting. My Birthday FQs arrived and then I took a road trip.

When I was home this week I spent time hand quilting quilting, but I did decide I had to do a bit of piecing and made one 12" block.

Fabric Added this Week: 16.25 yards
Fabric Added to Date: 148.75 yards

Fabric Used this Week: .25 yards
Fabric Used to Date: 42.872 yards

Net Stash: +105.878 yards

Road Trip!

Thursday night my DH took me to one of my favorite pizza places for my birthday. On the way home we decided to look for a wireless router since our router is just about dead and a small TV for DH's office. We knew exactly what model TV we were looking for -- it has both a count down timer and an alarm clock -- we just hadn't gotten around to purchasing it yet. What we didn't realize was that all of the local Wal-Marts had redone their electronics sections and no longer carried the TV in question.

Seven Wal-Marts later DH gets on line to see if he can find it. He's not positive, but there may be one in Omaha, NE, Indianola, IA or Miami, OK. Even though Miami, OK is closer by 40 miles, I'm rooting for Omaha or Indianola, IA.

Friday morning I call my friend S and tell her I'm going on a road trip. I don't know where to, and knowing that will determine if we leave after work/dinner or in the morning. She's game.

Mid-morning I get the word that we are going to Oklahoma. But since it's only a 3 hour drive if we leave after dinner we'll have all day to shop hop home. So that was the decision. I picked up S for Friday night dinner with the girls. We ate and then headed south. We checked into the hotel, then picked up the TV before crashing for the night.

Saturday morning we got up and made our way back to Kansas City leisurely, stopping in quilt shops in Joplin, Carthage and Nevada. There were 4 more more or less on the way home that were participating in an 'official' shop hop, but by the time we got to Nevada we were wore out and more importantly out of money.

I fell in love with a quilt hanging in a shop. Normally I'm not big on having the identical fabrics someone else has in a quilt, but I couldn't identify what exactly it was about the quilt which made me like it. I'll be making 'The Night Before Christmas' which is the pattern in the bottom right corner of the book pic using the blue and white fabrics in the fabric pic.

We had a good time, but this trip did nothing to help me reduce my stash.

Squishies in the Mail

I belong to several on-line quilting groups and participate in a couple of birthday swaps. As a result May is a month of Squishies. For the past 4 or 5 years I've participated in a centralized FQ swap. The hostess gathers the FQs from all of the participants at the beginning of the year sorts them back out and then the week of your birthday you get a package of FQ in the mail. The FQs I received this year are pictured above.

The second swap I participated in this year was a decentralized block swap. We were divided into several groups so the # of blocks wouldn't be overwhelming and we make a block for the group members and send it to them for their birthday. We were allowed to specify colors and blocks if we desired. I picked the Pennsylvania block in blue and white. I plan to alternate these blocks with blue and yellow star blocks. Maybe by next year I'll have a birthday quilt.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Hand Quilting Update

I've completed 2 1/2 more blocks on my nephew's quilt and have 9 1/2 more to go. I'd like to finish this quilt up by the end of June for my 2nd Quarter UFO, but I don't know if I'll get it done. I may have to pull out a baby quilt and quilt it to have a finish this quarter.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What's on My Design Wall?

Earlier this week Judy over at Patchwork Times asked "What's on Your Design Wall?

My first was response was "What design wall?"

It's not that I hadn't thought about it, but rather I hadn't figured out how to implement it -- unless you count the floor.

When I redid my quilting space last summer, one of the things I wanted was a design wall. Although I can't call it perfect, I decided the wall would go over the brick fireplace. It's not as though we ever use the fireplace.

Anyway, I hadn't worked through the logistics yet. The biggest hold back was how was I going to hang it, and that depended on what I was going to make it from. Unless it was the other way around.

While reading blogs yesterday, I found an idea I could run with. The quilter made button holes in the top of a flannel backed vinyl tablecloth and hung them on nails above her closet. It was a light bulb moment.

I purchased a package of 3M mini clips and hung them on the fireplace wall with the Command Strips. Then put button holes in the top of my tablecloth. I now have a design wall.

It's not as wide as I'd like, but until I work through the logistic issues, it will work. And who knows, maybe I'll discover I don't need a bigger design wall.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Stash Report Week #20

Didn't buy anything when I passed through the quilt shop Saturday, so nothing new purchased. Had I not sat down and quickly made the Peacock quilt top, there would have been nothing used either. I've been slowly working on my nephew's quilt. Finished the 4th block and started the 5th last night.

Fabric Added this Week: 0 yards
Fabric Added to Date: 132.5 yards

Fabric Used this Week: 3.75 yards
Fabric Used to Date: 42.622 yards

Net Stash: +89.878 yards

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Quilts from My Past

Blue Charm Applecore, originally uploaded by knitnoid.

I can't tell you for certain what it is I've been doing, but it certainly hasn't been quilting. Today i even went shopping -- as in clothes, accessories and kitchen ware. My friend T suggested I go home, take 2 aspirins, lay down and perhaps the urge would pass. After a couple of hours visiting various stores, not finding what I was looking for, I did just that. --OK -- I did bring home 3 new t-shirts. I found the cookware on-line and ordered it.. Then I finally sat down to the hand quilting.

So, here's a pic of a quilt I made for my DH. I purchased the WonderArc ruler and Applecore pattern at one of the quilt shows. Then I decided to make a blue charm quilt. I have no idea what I was thinking. Needless to say, I ended up collecting 200+ different blue fabrics for this quilt. It's not any bigger (about 70") because I decided to start working on it. This quilt was the last quilt I made in 2005, finishing it about 8:30 that evening.

Monday, May 18, 2009


Yesterday I was in the mood to sew -- and preferably on something new. So, I pulled out the peacock fabric and the pink and purple which came in over the last two weeks and made this lap quilt top from the BQ2 pattern.

If you need a fast quilt this is it. Large blocks, just a few seams. I started to track the time I spent on it, but since I kept getting distracted, I lost track. I know it would have taken me less time if I didn't have a directional print. I sewed 3 seams wrong -- at least to keep all the peacocks on their feet.

This top measures approximately 54 x 72.

Now the tough part. Figuring out how to quilt it.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Stash Report Week #20

It's been a really long week. Orchestra Concert Monday night that I audio taped for. Tuesday was the band tour (4 concerts, also audio taped) and evening concert (video tape). Wednesday I finally got going around noon and did a quick run through the MQS show and vendors -- Got away virtually unscathed there $2.55 for scissor tip protectors.

Somewhere along the way my pink fabric for the BQ2 came in. But I didn't get to work on it since I needed to St Louis. Of course that meant stopping at quilt shops along the way. Again, I did pretty good on the way over -- a pkg of Tiger Tape, and a thimble. It was the stop on the way home that did me in.

Who knew you could find a quilt shop open on Saturday until 8 PM? Corner Quilt Fabrics is located in the Warrenton Outlet Center and they keep mall hours - except for the occasional Sunday or holiday. I picked up 4 blue FQs - I've got a blue, white & yellow quilt I'm planning on making, and I need to make some blue and yellow blocks for a swap I'm in. I also picked up a couple of reds and a green for the extra blocks I want to make to go with the Christmas Swap Blocks. I can't explain the butterfly print except to say it was pretty.

So, here are the damages:

Fabric Added this Week: 7.75 yards
Fabric Added to Date: 132.5 yards

Fabric Used this Week: 0 yards
Fabric Used to Date: 38.872 yards

Net Stash: +93.628 yards

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Fabric Before the Pattern

Judy over at Patchwork Times asked which comes first -- the pattern or the fabric. For me, I think it depends. Since I tend to do 'scrappy' quilts, it's probably the pattern most often, but occasionally it's the fabric.

For instance, this peacock fabric:

Two years ago I found this fabric at Blessings Quilt Shop in O'Fallon, MO. I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do with it, so I didn't even know how much to buy. Ultimately I ended up with 4 yards, plus a yard of purple and pink to go with it.

I tried desperately to make an Irish Chain quilt, but before I cut into the fabric, I designed it in EQ6.

I just wasn't feeling the quilt, so the fabric has been sitting in my stash waiting for the right quilt to come along.

In April at the quilt retreat I went to, I saw a BQ2 (about 1/2 way down the page) made up in a Christmas print. Immediately I knew what I was going to do with my peacock fabric. I bought the pattern on the way home. After I started studying it, I realized I didn't have enough of the pink or purple fabric.

I found the pink easily enough online, but the purple was trickier. I sent an e-mail to Blessings, and they were able to give me the color # so I could find the fabric. Blessings keeps excellent records, for just such purposes, and yes, I did inquire to see if they had either of the fabrics before I ordered them elsewhere. The purple arrived last week and the pink was shipped today. So, as soon as the pink arrives, I'm going to make a pair of the BQ2 quilts.

Meanwhile, the Irish Chain waits for the right fabric.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Hand Quilting Update

Well, I've made it through three blocks since I got this wild hair last week. Using the floor frame has made a considerable difference in my speed. Seven not constantly in my lap has also helped my speed. At this rate, I think I can be assured Josh will get his quilt before he goes back to school in the fall.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Stash Report Week #19

Early in the week I opene a box of fabric which wasn't sorted. I was surprised to findthe exact blue and gold fabrics I need to work on my Ladder to the Stars quilt. I completely forgotten that I ened up buying extra last summer for the 12" version of the quilt. Admittedly, there's not enough to complete my 6" version, but there's enough to get started on the pieced sashings. So the cornerstones are cut, and I've got 3 of the sashings cut. The only other thing I pieced this week was the Kansas Trouble block for the Kansas Spirt quilt.

In coming fabric was limited to 2 yards of a deep purple to use in a couple of BQ2 quilts featureing a peacock fabric. The pink will come in next week and I should be able to knock out the quilt tops in no time. When I bought the peacock fabric 2 years ago, I wasn't certain what I was going to make wiht it. I also bought a yard of purple and a yard of pink to go with it. While at retreat I saw the BQ2 pattern made up in Christmas fabric and thought it would be great for my peacock fabric.

So, here's the report.

Fabric Added this Week: 2.0 yards
Fabric Added to Date: 124.75 yards

Fabric Used this Week: yards
Fabric Used to Date: 38.872 yards

Net Stash: +85.875 yards

Saturday, May 9, 2009

She's Still Helping Me

Last night after finishing the Kansas Trouble block, I went back to the hand quilting. I really need to get some better lighting. I'm quilting with black thread on black and I simply can't see. Seven's help is hindering me as well.

I finally gave up on quilting in my lap. A different hoop might help, but Seven wants to be in my lap at the same time and it just doesn't work well. So, I looked for my Q-Snap quilting frame which my parents bought me when I first started working on the DWR.

There's been very little quilting done on the frame, but I did use it to hold a blanket I cross-stitched. Anyway, got the frame setup, quilt loaded and sure enough, it needed a QCC inspection. Yep, Seven thought it was a nice place to hang out. I finally convinced her it wasn't a large hammock made especially for her and got to quilting.

I finished up the first block and started on the second block before going to bed. Who knows how much I'll get done today.

Friday, May 8, 2009

HST Orphans

How hard can it be? I know multiple ways to make accurate HST. But apparently it’s still important to READ the DIRECTIONS.

Last night I started working on a 12-inch Kansas Troubles block for the Kansas Spirit BOM at my LQS. I read the directions – they are using the add 7/8 inch to the finished size to make the HST. I prefer to add a full inch and then trim square using my QIAD Triangle Square Up Ruler. Sure I ‘waste’ those slivers of fabric, and it takes time to trim the square, but my HSTs are significantly more accurate using this method.

I cut my squares pairing the light to the dark and make 24 HST. They are trimmed and press and measure 2 1/2” unfinished. I sew them into pairs. That’s when I discover I have a problem.

The instructions say to cut the squares 2 3/8”, not 2 7/8” squares. I should have cut my squares 2 1/2”. Further review of the pattern shows me I only need 16 HST, not the 24 I ended up with. The other 4 light and dark squares do not end up as HSTs.

So, into the orphan pile go these 24 HST units. After dinner I’ll start over on this block – paying more attention to the instructions. Good thing I don’t need it until NEXT Friday.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Help with my Hand Quilting

Last evening while watching Dancing With the Stars, Seven kept trying to help me quilt. I persevered and got 1/4 of the first block quilted. When I got up, I sat the whole thing on the floor and went about my business. When I came back in, Seven was on top of the quilt 'inspecting' it as part of her duties as QCC - Quality Control Cat.

After the photo session, I moved the quilt.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

QD is Home and I'm Hand Quilting?

I got a call from the repair shop today saying QD could come home! She's cleaned and had two new light bulbs -- and she's still out in the car. I've got Miss Genie sitting in her spot and have gotten distracted with a bit of HAND QUILTING.

I don't hand quilt, like I don't hand applique. But both are changing. Several years ago I took a hand quilting class with the intention of learning to hand quilt so I could hand quilt my double wedding ring (DWR) quilt - the one that's still not pieced.

Over the last two weeks, I got to thinking that I need to practice my hand quilting before I start on the DWR. Meanwhile, my nephew's quilt still needs to have the pieced blocks quilted, and I haven't figured out how/what to quilt. These two thoughts resulted in deciding to finish up the blocks on the quilt by hand.

There are 15 pieced blocks. Hopefully by the time I get to the last block, my quilting will be decent and I'll have found a style that works for me. It's slow going at the moment -- I think I've only gotten through 1/8th of the first block so far.

2007 Main Street Stripers BOM

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Ladder to the Stars - Blocks Complete

Earlier today I finished pieces the 32 six inch blocks I need for my Ladder to the Stars. The star part comes in with the paper pieced sashing which I have not started. I was short pieces for one of the blue and white blocks which surprised me because I was positive I had cut enough fabric, but I made 2 more 4-patches and cut 3 more white squares to finish the block.

A few minutes ago I finished emptying the case I took to retreat with me a couple of weeks ago, and found the other pieces. Apparently the pieces fell in to the open case. Perhaps it is time to do a bit of straightening up in my sewing room.

Stash Report Week #18

These charms were my other purchases this week. I don't have a lot of Christmas prints in my stash, but these spoke to me. I've already got an idea on how to use them, but of course that could change at least 2 or 3 times before I get it done.

This week I've been sewing on my 6" block, the fabric was cut and counted last week.

Fabric Added this Week: 2.75 yards
Fabric Added to Date: 122.75 yards

Fabric Used this Week: 0 yards
Fabric Used to Date: 38.12 yards

Net Stash: +84.62 yards

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Squishies in the Mail

Friday's mail run brought two 'squishies' in the mail. One was this pair of blocks from the QIAD Birthday Block Swap. I signed up for this swap at the beginning of the year. We picked the color/block we wanted, then on your birthday everyone in your group sends you a block. I think I've sent out 3 blocks so far this year, have 3 made to be sent later in the year and need to make another 5.

My plan is to alternate these blocks with various blue & yellow stars. This of course is subject to change, but I have been buying yellow fabric, including these this afternoon:

As for my other 'squishy', it really wasn't very squishy.

It was my new Martelli Rotary Cutter. I love this thing, and had completely worn out my original cutter. For the last week I've been using a Fiskar cutter which is OK, but my not my favorite. I'm SO glad this cutter finally arrived.