Monday, February 28, 2011

Design Wall Monday

Last year, my Florida quilt group asked if we could make "StacknWhack" quilts this year, so over the summer I went hunting for a fabric that I just loved.  No sense making a quilt just to show the technique.  When we were travelling in the Shipshewana, Indiana area I found this lovely Hoffman floral, so 8 pattern repeats plus about a half a yard came home with me.

When I arrived in the fall, only one person had found fabric, so she and I matched repeats and cut "block kits".  She has gradually been making her blocks, but until a few days ago, my "kits" sat in a plastic bag waiting for the perfect background fabric.  DH spotted the creamy buttery fabric, and I've finally begun to make the blocks.
Here are the first 4......only 16 more to go!
I make kaleidoscope quilts, using the "Magic Stack n Whack Quilts" book, every so often.  Interesting fabrics seem to come in clusters, and it is fun to see how the blocks turn out.  This method uses the matching repeats of fabric, in this case 8 repeats, cut into triangles, with each one identical to the next in the layer of 8.  You can preview the blocks using two mirrors, but it is more fun to see the pattern revealed as you finish each one.  I always make a few blocks right away, then continue to make the rest using the assembly line method.
If the idea of cutting 6 or 8 layers of fabric at a time, you might want to try just 4.  I had 4 repeats of the fruit fabric remaining,(only partial width of fabric), and was determined to use it all.  I lined it up, pinning the layers carefully, re-cut the selvedge and one perpendicular edge.  Then I measured how much fabric I had, and determined what size of squares I could cut to use the most of the fabric.  With squares, you get to decide which corner faces toward the centre of the 4-patch for each block.  It is fun to turn them and see what happens.  Here are the 12 blocks I was able to make from the remaining fabric.

Check out what everyone else is working on at Judy's blog.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Stash Report Week 9

Used this week  0 yds
Used year to date  61.375 yds
Added this week  8.125 yds
Added year to date  19.375 yds
Net used 2011  42  yards!

I'm still ahead of the game, but my net used number is shrinking!  Of course, I am only calling the fabric "used" when my projects are completed, so I'm sure it will turn around soon.
  I realized that my collection of neutrals was quickly dwindling, so I picked up some on sale at Joann's.  I still had some of the fruit fabric from the stack n whack projects, but I had to add some more of the darker green fabric.  Then I attended the Tampa quilt show on Friday and 5 fat quarters that I can add to my redwork stash, jumped into my tote bag!
 I finished two more redwork fairy tale blocks from Bobby Socks Quilt Co.  The Princess and the Pea is the only block with another colour, as I just had to stitch the pea in green thread!

I just love the smug look on the cat/tailor's face in this interpretation of the Emperor's New Clothes!
I also pieced blocks 10,11 and 12 for the Raggedy and Friends BOM from the Painted Quilt, and I'm almost finished the embroidery on block 10.  A busy week, even with two sets of visitors and a quilt show.
Now head back over to Judy's blog to see how everyone else is doing.......

Friday, February 25, 2011

Lovely Day

I managed to stitch a few seams before my friend arrived at 8:30 this morning, and we headed off to the Tampa quilt show.  We had a lovely time, catching up on news, talking about the quilts - lots of lovely quilts.  We brought a lunch, so we headed out to the car for a quick bite, then headed in to the vendors.  My friend picked up 2 yards of a lovely rust colour fabric - she makes quilts for "Victoria Quilts" in Ottawa ON which are given to cancer patients.
When we had our fill we headed home, and beat DH and her husband by about 2 minutes (they had a great round of golf)
These 5 fat quarters of white, black and red found their way into my tote bag!  They will be a great addition to my stash of fabrics to complete my redwork projects.
After our return home, our next-door neighbours came over (all 6 of us are good friends), and DH and I made a lovely beef/broccoli stir fry with rice, and DH built one of his great salads.  We added a bottle or two of wine, and some home-made whole wheat bread and dinner was served.  We laughed and talked and ate and had a great time.  Coffee and cheesecake brownies rounded off the evening, and then our friends had to head home - an hour drive ahead of them.

Tomorrow things will be back to normal, whatever that is!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thursday already!

 These birds visit our yard from time to time.......

Between two days of company, and my Wednesday quilting group, very little has been accomplished this week!
I still have 4 repeats of the fruit fabric remaining, and some of the light green and purple fabric, but I only had about a 3 inch strip of the darker green remaining.  Finally found some at a shop on Monday, so I plan on using up every bit of the fruit fabric before heading home in April!
I've also been keeping up with "Raggedy and Friends" offered at The Painted Quilt, but Kaaren gave out the patterns for the final 3 blocks a couple of days ago, so of course, I decided to finish them as well.  I have all the pieces cut, and a few assembled, and I have marked the redwork designs on the 6 small blocks, but they too are calling.
With the end of February, the snowbirds in my quilting group have begun counting how many weeks we have left, and a bit of panic has set in.  On Wednesday, everyone was very productive, and I was kept busy running from table to table answering questions and solving problems!
Tomorrow morning, a good friend who is visiting in the area, will be picking me up at 8:30 so we can get the the Tampa quilt show early.  Another friend of hers is joining us there.  DH and my friend's husband have a tee time, so they will be busy too.  DH and I just discussed dinner plans, and have decided on a beef broccoli stir fry.  I can marinate the beef overnight, and even cut up some of the veggies, then it will just be a matter of cooking some rice, and whipping up the stir fry - a quick dinner after a busy day.  I still have some cheesecake brownies leftover from our recent visitors, so dinner should be quick and easy.
Off to the sewing room (and a bit of laundry thrown in!)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Design Wall Monday

Here are the finished "Tossed Fruit Salad" place mats.  I like to use my leftovers, and these 4 blocks and the 4 used in the runner were leftover after making the wall hanging shown here.
I decided to reverse the colours in the backgrounds, and I used the lighter green to finish the runner and the darker green for the place mats.  I only have about 6 inches of the darker fabric remaining, and I'll have to look for a bit more.  I still have 4 repeats of the fruit fabric remaining, and I'll have to figure out a plan to use the remainder.
Check out what everyone is working on this week at Judy's blog.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Stash Report Week 8

My fabric from the Fabric Depot arrived this week.
 I ordered a yard each of these 5 pretty batiks.  No project planned, but I'm sure they'll find a home soon.
 I also ordered 3 3/4 yards of this lovely cream, from the Hoffman Challenge line of fabrics.  It has the perfect tone to use as background for another pinwheel "stack n whack".  I just have to get the fabric washed.

Used this week  6.375 yards
Used year to date  61.375 yards
Added this week  8.75 yards
Added year to date  11.25 yards
Net used 2011  50.125 yards

I finished my Tossed Fruit Salad Runner and 4 placemats this week.  Pictures coming soon....
Check on everyone's progress at Judy's blog.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Two More Finished Redwork Blocks

I have one more completed, and am working on number 10 - only 2 more to go!  Thanks to Bobby Socks Quilt Co.
I'm making cinnamon raisin fruit bread today, and some oatmeal cranberry scones.  Friends are dropping by this afternoon, and I hope to have the bread finished in time so they can take one with them when they go.....

Thursday, February 17, 2011

On a positive note

All the disruptions in my life have a positive side - I've been finishing lots of redwork!  Here are some more of the fairy tale series from Bobby Socks Quilt Co.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My House is a disaster!

The living room and kitchen are intact, but the rest is torn up.  The underpad was full of water, and the wet was slowly wicking across the room and up the walls, so DH has pulled back the carpet from the end of our bedroom, the closet and the linen cupboard and removed the underpad.  The carpet is laying on every plastic thing we own, with the fan blowing underneath, to attempt to dry the floor and the carpet.  Since mold and mildew are rampant in the south, we have to get things dry before we can attempt to make repairs.
Our spare room is full of closet and linen closet contents, and our large dresser is in the tiny hall.  If you turn sideways, you can get through to the bedroom and bathroom.  If we had planned to do work, everything would have been moved in an orderly fashion, but water doesn't wait for anyone.

On the up side, quilting went well.  Quite a few tried "back basting".  A few loved it and plan to make an applique project soon, and others will stick to fusible applique with machine stitching.  Two quilts were pin-basted, another person began her bargello jacket, and various other projects were being worked on at the same time.

The plumber returns tomorrow, and I think I'll spend the day sewing.....

Plumbing update

The plumber finally returned about 4:30, with DH following at 5.  DH supervised the repair, but it still isn't done correctly, but the leak is stopped and the plumber will be back on Thursday.
We have water again, but the hot water pressure in the tub is very weak, so everything has to be taken apart again and checked to see what is happening to cause the problem.
DH used the shop vac to get another gallon or so of water out of the rug, and we have a bit of damp in the bottom of our closet as well.  The drywall is soggy, but we think it will dry just fine.
DH was wondering all day - why he chose to do the repair right away.  It was one drip about every 3 hours, and could have waited until he was home to supervise.
He's headed out to get me a re-supply of cold meds this morning, and I have to get all my stuff packed for a day of quilting with my group.  We meet from 11-3.  At 1, I am doing a demo on "back basting" for non-template hand applique.  There are a few who will try.  It means more stuff to pack!  Still have some working on their sweatshirt jackets, as well as various other projects.
Off to pack......

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Great plans....

I was feeling better this morning, and DH was planning to play golf, so I figured I'd get lots of sewing done.   NOT!
DH was fiddling with the faucets in the tub this morning, complaining about a drip (that I never heard).  Called the plumber, and he came right over - just as DH was leaving.
He was back and forth, getting parts, and there was lots of noise coming from the bathroom.  Finally he turns the water back on to test the connections, and says everything is fine.  I paid him, and he left.  I headed out to sew, and about 15 minutes later I decided to check some measurements for my project with EQ.  As I head into the house, I can hear water running.  
The bathroom floor is flooded, and I can hear water gushing from somewhere inside the wall.  I tried to turn the water off, and also the the tap to the water heater, but the water is still running.
Next step is to call the plumber and leave a message.  More mopping.  The bedroom rug is becoming wet, so I get out the rug shampooer to suck up the water.  Call a neighbour, who shuts the water off at the main, so at least the water is not flowing.  Still haven't heard from the plumber.  I finally got the floor mopped up - 4 buckets and lots of wet towels later.  I have also emptied the rug shampooer at least 3 times.
The plumber left a mess behind when he was finished, and tracked bits through the house, but I was planning on leaving that for DH to tidy up.  Now he'll have a lot more to deal with.  The access to the plumbing is behind a heavy armoire, and I can't  pull it out, so I don't know what condition the wall is in........
The moral of this story - no more repairs unless DH is going to be around!  He's still not home from golf, and I'm feeling shaky and feverish, and mad.
Wish I could start this day all over again!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Working on Tossed Fruit Salad

This is the second set of 4 blocks.  I decided to use this set for the runner.
 I had to make half hexagons, using 2 light and one dark triangle for the placemat blocks.  Half had the dark triangle on the left and half on the right.  I then had to add a "half-triangle" piece to form the square corners.  To fill in the sides, I stitched two "half-triangle pieces together to make a fill-in piece.
 Here is the first stitched block.  I don't usually use many pins, but I used them to attempt to match the seams when stitching these blocks.  Now I have to figure out what and how many borders I want to add to make each placemat.
I was surprised at how much I managed to finish, as I finally caught DH's cold, and have been working in a fog all day.  I tried to have a nap, but my eyes wouldn't close, so back to some more sewing.  DH is feeling better, so he's making dinner tonight.

Design Wall Monday

Happy Valentine's Day!

 DH and I spent yesterday at Animal Kingdom at Disney World.  We both enjoyed a day in the sunshine, even though it wasn't very warm.  We were getting a bit of cabin fever, after spending a week with DH's serious coldOther than grocery shopping and my regular Wednesday quilting group, we were home the rest of the time.

I finally finished my "Scrappy Pineapple Blossom" quilt!  I did the quilting in bits and pieces when DH was sleeping.....
The block pattern is found on Bonnie Hunter's site.  She has many wonderful scrap patterns - great when you are trying to use up those bits and pieces.  I used the "cut-off" triangles to make pinwheels, then set them on point in the border, as I was trying to make this queen-size.  The green fabric was the remaining of a (I'll take the rest of the bolt) purchase, several years ago.  I brought it south to use as the backing on another project, and used it all except a couple of left-over strips that will reside in my bins until the next scrappy project.  I backed the quilt with some great Kona muslin that I had picked up on sale last winter, and I used left-over binding strips to make the binding scrappy as well.  
I quilted the pinwheels with the same "daisy" design that I used in the light squares, as seen here.  The neutral borders just have some wavy lines and some circles quilted in them, just to even out the quilting.  The outer border has an undulating line of quilting with leaves and flowers that change as they wrap around the quilt.  I used a variegated thread, but it doesn't show up well, and didn't photograph well at all!  It was fun to do, but lesson learned.
When I made "Fruit Salad" last year, there were 8 "block kits" leftover.  I stitched the blocks together, and added the first 2 points, and plan to make a table runner and 4 placemats  to go with the wall hanging.  I had to figure out how many and what shape triangles are needed to make the blocks square, but now it is off to the sewing room!
Check out what everyone else is working on, at Judy's blog.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Stash Report Week 7

I finished the queen size Pineapple Blossom quilt!  Slow going this week as I spent lots of time with DH. (He seems to be on the mend now).

Used this week  16.875 yds
Used Year to Date  55 yards
Added this week  0 yards
Added year to date  2.5 yards
Net Used  52.5 yards

My totals will take a hit next week - my ordered fabric is scheduled to arrive on Feb 17!  Off to take pictures of the quilt.....

Check out Judy's blog to see how everyone is doing.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Got some quilting done today

I finally decided how to quilt the different areas of the pineapple blossom quilt.
 I quilted leaves and flowers in the light triangles and squares in each block.  These form a lovely diagonal line across the quilt top.
Here's a close-up:
Then I stitched feathered wreaths in the area where four blocks come together.  I like the method show in the "Hooked on Feathers" book.
 I still have a few feathered wreaths to stitch, as well as some half and quarter wreaths along the edge of the quilt top.  I still have to complete the quilting in the neutral borders, as well as some additional quilting in the pinwheel border.  More to come.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sometimes plans fall apart

I had great plans for yesterday - Sunday had been taken up with Superbowl prep and party, so I was anxious to get back to quilting.

DH woke up with one of his very rare colds, so off we went to pick up some cold medication and a few groceries.  When we returned home, a neighbour had called, asking for some quilting help.  I got DH settled, wrapped in a quilt, with juice and his first dose of meds, then headed over to help the quilter.  

She doesn't attend my group, but a friend had helped her start a quilt last winter, and she needed help finishing.  It is scrappy - not her normal project, and she was having difficulty dealing with so many different fabrics.  She was unsure of what to use for sashing and borders, so we tried several fabrics from her stashHer friend had always helped her decide how to make the borders, and she seemed totally confused about the whole thing. 

I came home a quickly drew the design in EQ7, so I could get an estimate of how much fabric she needs for the sashing, cornerstones, and two borders.  I tried calling her with the info, but had to leave a message - people are really busy here with many activities and outings with friends.   I'll try again today.

The rest of my day was spent coddling DH with soup, juice and snacks.  He seems to feel a bit better this morning, but time will tell as the day wears on.  Hopefully I can get back to my quilting today.  

At least we have lots of desserts leftover from Sunday - I made butter tarts, a home favourite, and a new recipe for cheesecake brownies.  I also made a pot of calico beans and a pan of cornbread.  We had enough food for three times as many people, so lots of leftovers.  We already ate the pineapple upside down cake that we brought home!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Design Wall Monday

I'm busy quilting a queen-size quilt, so my design wall is empty....
I do have a couple more redwork blocks to show, from the Fairy Tales BOM at Bobby Socks Quilt Co.
Head over to Judy's blog to see what creative happenings are on others' design walls.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Stash Report Week 6

Since I finished 3 baby quilts made from panels this week, I have something new to report!

Used this week     8.5 yards
Used year to date  38.125 yards
Added this week   0 yards
Added year to date  2.5 yards
Net used this year  35.625 yards

I did succumb to a batik sale, and I also ordered the background fabric for my stack n whack quilt, but I won't count them until they arrive.......
Back to quilting!
Visit Judy's blog to see how everyone else is making out in their journey to use stash!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Pin Basting and Pinapple Borders

 Here's the border on the pineapple blossom quilt.  I used all but two of the pinwheel blocks that were made from the block corners.
The border fabric was in my stash, and I used almost all of it - I think there is a 2-3 inch strip left!
Pin basting is such a tedious, but necessary task, when you machine quilt your own quilts without a frame.  Fortunately, DH helps.  That way I don't end up with a sore back for days.  
BTW, DH stands for "dear husband", and mine is a treasure!  
When we are in Florida for the winter, we head to the clubhouse in our community and use the large banquet tables.  I use large binder clips to hold the backing fabric taut, then layer the batting and top.  This morning's project was a queen size - the pineapple blossom scrap quilt.  Now I have to get busy quilting.  DH is off to the golf course this afternoon, so all I have to do is plan something for dinner for his return.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Another Small Quilt Finish

I finished my third "panel" quilt project.  I found the panel online a couple of years ago, then later discovered 2 more fabrics of the same line, in a clearance sale.  I used one for some additional borders, and the other made great binding.
 I had fun quilting sun rays in the sky and bubbles in the water.
 I just happened to have this wonderful  fishy flannel in my stash, so it made a wonderful combination.  One more quilt in the finished list!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Two and a half finishes!

I finished quilting the two baby panels on Monday, as well as half of the third quilt.  I stitched all the bindings on, and finally finished sewing them last night. (DH and I had a Disney day on Tuesday).
The first quilt has white flannel backing with cute jungle animals, and I used a pale yellow binding fabric with tiny white butterflies.
 The second quilt has yellow flannel backing with cute baby elephants and pale green binding.
 Here is the finished quilt.  I didn't do anything to the basic panel, just added quilting.  One will be a gift, along with the matching cloth book,  for my best friend's niece - expecting a baby in July.  The other will be donated to my guild's community quilt program.
I'll try to finish the third baby quilt tonight or tomorrow morning.
I'm off to pack for my Wednesday quilting group.....