Back in the Saddle Again

Isn’t it so very appropriate that my first day of sewing in my new little sewing room in my new little house also happens to be National Quilting Day!  I have been itching to work on a Quilt of Valor so I could use some of the wonderful fabrics my sister sent me a while back, and I found just the pattern in the Sept/Oct 2014 issue of Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting.  It is called ‘Anchors Aweigh,’ which I think is extra perfect as my dad was in the Navy in WWII.

Here is my temporary setup:

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I cut enough pieces to make a couple blocks just to see if I would like it enough to make a whole quilts worth. Sometimes the patterns confuse me and I get frustrated.

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By the end of my first sewing session, I have four blocks.

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They are not so difficult to assemble. I was a little worried since sometimes I have trouble with bias edges and this quilt has a few, but I was careful, took my time and enjoyed the process.  This is going to be such a cute quilt. I have fourteen more blocks to make before I have to decide on the sashing and cornerstones.

It feels great to be sewing again.

And here are all the giant hexie blocks I mentioned in the last post:

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The two big ones measure about 26″ across and the smaller ones are almost 16″.  They are really gigantic!  I tried playing with arranging them a little, but have no idea what they want to end up looking like.

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Any suggestions would be greatly welcomed.

Happy National Quilting Day!

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In The Merry Month Of May

Seems like each month finds me busier than the last with little to show as far as finishes. Well, here is what I have been up to:

Sewing Vest

I made this sewing vest for my Chattanooga Quilter’s guild exchange gift. It is based on a pattern called the “Mae West Bomber Vest” and has a bunch of pockets on the inside and outside to hold all your tools and even a pocket for scraps. I altered the pin cushion from a plain square pillow of fabric to the little hexie flower, but the rest is just like the pattern.

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I was so happy that I had this button in my stash — it looks like a rolled up measuring tape and goes with the sewing fabric perfectly.

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My friend Vicky got the vest and I think she liked it.

Paper Pieced Place Mats

I have been enjoying taking a paper piecing class taught by my friend Denise. We met once a week for eight weeks ending last Thursday.

Here are my second set of place mats — winter of course.  I had trouble with the nine patches in the one and decided to skip them in the other.  The trees were a little tricky, but I got them done. The snowflakes are fused applique on a paper pieced snowball block. These place mats are not quilted yet.

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are not quite assembled, but the paper piecing is done. I decided that rather than make two of each of these that I could make one of each and they would serve as our spring and summer set. That little flower block seemed to take forever, so one is enough.

Birds and bees — a fine combination.  I will probably take one of the bees and one of the cardinals and make them into coasters.

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Spiced Pumpkin

I started a new hand applique project – a kit by Jan Patek called “Spiced Pumpkin.” The picture shows the center block. When completed it will be about 40″ square.  Civil War reproduction fabric is a different style than I usually use, but I think  this wall hanging will be a great addition to the autumn decor. I have the leaves and one of the vines stitched down already.

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Sweet Hearts

I made these heart pot holders for my friend, Vicky’s, birthday gift and managed to get them to her only about a week late.

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More Hexies

Here is a new hexie experiment in progress. I had a bundle of fat quarters of the same print in different colors and thought they might work for this with a solid grey thrown in for balance. Not sure what I think about it yet.

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Quilt of Valor

I sewed a bunch of strips together in this red white and blue lasagna quilt. It needs nice solid borders, probably navy blue which I hope will calm down all the action of the fabrics and make a quilt that will comfort a veteran.

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Well, that pretty much catches me up for now. I hope your spring is full of love and creativity.

 

April

Here is the disappearing nine patch experiment. I guess I forgot to take a picture of it with the binding on, so imagine it with a purple binding the same color as those little blocks in the front. I gave this to Project Linus.

 

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These are the ATC cards I got from the March swap — the topic was “Feet.” This was a challenging one for me and I am delighted with all the clever cards I got back.

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Next is a panel that I quilted. It still is not bound, but when that is done I will give it to Ronald McDonald house.

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Although this is an old qult, the new part of this is that finally — FINALLY —  I got this crazy quilt hung up on the wall. I think I finished it in 2003, so it has been waiting for a long time.

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Here is  the 16th and final block for Pushing UP Spring. Now I need to work on the border and corner blocks before I can assemble this one. I am thinking of going over all the blocks and adding some hand embroidery before I assemble them. I think it would accentuate the big flowers and solid colors. It will probably take another year at my pace, but would be worth it.

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Next is the a green stripey quilt I made at my first Onderful One Fabric quilts class. I have made three quilts in this same style but somehow this one got quilted last. I really like it though. As you probably know, these are made with border print fabric cut and sewn together to make it look like lots of intricate blocks. This is similar to a technique called Hidden Wells where you sew fabric into strips and then cut them the same way. I had about four yards of this striped fabric and ended up using nearly every bit of it. I think I had less than a 12″ square of it left.

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Here is a chair we got at a yard sale that now resides in my studio.  Although it is in like-new condition, or maybe because it is, I have it covered with a throw to minimize the cat hairs that will inevitably attach themselves to it.

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Check out this hexie pin cushion. I think the hexies are 1 1/4″ on a side and this size makes a very nice pin cushion. I filled it with crushed walnut shells.

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I can mark off another one of my UFOs to finish this year. I allowed one month to get all these blocks assembled. I had all the smaller squares together and just needed to put the blue and grey flying geese around the sides. There are 49 blocks and I just finished them last week. Another month will go for sewing the blocks into a quilt top with borders.  I think I am a little ahead of schedule on UFOs this year. Hooray!

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This was my April lotto block contribution – a wonky log cabin. I really like it and plan on making some for myself.

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Finally, I signed up for a paper piecing class where we are making place mats for each of the four seasons. this is Autumn. I don’t have the faces on the scarecrows yet — that will be some hand embroidery. Oh, and of course I am making one for me and one for Raymond.

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Well that finishes last month.  Ok, there are a couple other things, but I have to keep them secret till after guild meetings and such. Check back again to see what I get up to in May.

 

Still Marching Along

Ginormous Tote

At the March meeting of the Chattanooga Modern Quilt guild we had a sew- in and learned to make this ginormous bag. I love mine. It is so big I can carry a couple of big quilts in it or a lot of different projects.  I used a ‘cheater’ fabric that was printed to look like hexagons sewn together for the body and the straps are some really old fabric that I found in my stash that almost perfectly matches one of the hexies in the print. I thought that was very cool. I tried something new with this bag — I used a satin fabric for the lining. I think that will make it a lot easier to put things in and take them out because it will cut down on the friction. ??????????

Janet found this idea at

http://studioloblog.wordpress.com/2013/09/17/tutorial-ginormous-quilters-tote/

so if you want to see how to make one just click (or cut and paste if the clicky thing doesn’t work).

Pizza Box Blocks

After the Chattanooga Quilters guild missed two meetings because of winter weather, we finally got together in March and got to finish up the Pizza Box Challenge that we had been working on throughout 2013.  Everyone got their pizza boxes back and we got to see the blocks all together.  Here are the ones that were in my box:

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Aren’t they wonderful!

And here they are with the extra ones I made during the year. I wanted to be sure the pattern worked before using someone elses fabrics. That gives me twice as many blocks to play with and this way, I can remember everyone who made blocks for me as well as what blocks I made for others.  This picture shows them lined up the usual way.

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This one shows them arranged on-point. Either way will look very good with a little sashing and a border or two. Right now though I think I like the on point version better. It will take a while to decide on placement of the blocks, but that will be fun when I get to it.

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This was such a fun project. I love my new blocks and am pretty amazed at how much care was put into each one.  They will become a treasured quilt that I will enjoy sleeping under.

I probably mentioned when this round robin began that Lauren wrote a cute murder mystery story to go with the block exchange. Each month she told us about a different potential killer and his or her motive for committing the crime.  It added an extra dimension that kept us interested.  This month the mystery was solved and the culprit was taken into custody. Great job Lauren!

Studio Changes

I had an idea to move things around in the studio and after a couple of days of trying to ignore it I gave in.  Maybe it is that spring cleaning urge.  I switched the cutting table, the design wall, some plastic drawer and ironing board around.   I think it is nice to change things up every now and again, and I am always trying to find that perfect arrangement.  Here are some pictures of the new look.

The ironing board and design wall where here where then cutting table is now.

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The design wall is where some plastic drawers were.

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The ironing board and plastic drawers are where the cutting table and its pegboard of tools were.

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One more look, this time from the door looking in.

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 I think this will work out pretty well for a while — at least until my next idea comes along.

November Accomplishments

Well, it doesn’t seem like I got much done in November.  Here is the finished spiral hexie heart quilt:

Spiral Hexie Hearts

It measures about 30″ at the widest point. We are planning on hanging it on the wall as soon as we figure out how.  I have already started on another one with only three fabrics which should show the spiral and the hearts much better.

One I made a batch of mug rugs to give to some of my quilting friends. A mug rug is a little coaster that is big enough to set your cup or glass on one side and have room to put a cookie or little snack on the other side. Snacks are so important to quilters, you know!

I found a panel with a bunch of sayings about ‘friends’ and used them as the focal of the rugs. I spent a while trying to plan coordinating fabrics and finally settled on a bundle of 2.5″ strips that I got at the new quilt shop, Spool I knew they would all go together.  I marked a hexagonal shape around the sayings and then did some log cabin rounds till they were a good mug rug size.

Mug Rugs

I wrapped them and then randomly chose which one to give to which friend. It was a fun project, and I am sure I will make more.

I finished a pair of socks, I think this is the 20th or 21st pair. Wow!  These are more house slippers than socks because they are made with a worsted weight acrylic yarn which makes them heavier and thicker than socks. This brand is called ‘unforgettable.’ I gave them to my sister. There was almost enough left to make a second pair with short cuffs but I had to get another skein to finish them. I love these vivid colors. I gave this pair to my sister.

Rainbow Socks

I was telling a friend about the bibs I use to make for my grandmother and my mother-in-law out of dish towels, and decided to see if I could remember how before I tried to explain the pattern to her.  I use to call them ‘blouse savers’ when I made them for my mother in law. She liked to look her best all the time and these helped.

Bib

I am nearly done with ‘Pushing Up Spring,’ a block of the month I started two or three years ago. I love these bright colors too. There are sixteen blocks in all and this is block thirteen. Three more to go. Wow!

Pushing Up Spring 13

I worked on a few other things, but this is all that got finished.

PS: as you can see, I changed the look of my blog again. See that pesky little linky thing that shows up there on the left? I put that in a few years ago when I was in a block of the month and it only ever showed up half way and at the bottom of the page. Now I wan’t to remove it and can’t figure out how. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

Happy Day!

Zipper Bag & Hexie Update

I wrote this post yesterday and posted it — or thought that I did. Turns out that somehow I deleted it right after the posting. A couple of people on Facebook saw it, but then it was gone. So here it is again.

Zipper Bag

I made this little bag for my friend Sharon’s birthday. This picture was taken before I put the zipper on top. Somehow I forgot to take one of it completed. Maybe I will get a chance next time she and I are together.

This bag was assembled differently. I wanted to put  hexies on the outside, but didn’t want to fiddle with lining them up along the side seams, so instead I sewed the hexies into a ring and sewed the background into a tube to fit it. I didn’t quilt it at all because it is small enough to be too cumbersome to fit under the sewing machine. If I had started sooner I probably could have hand-quilted it, but this is what I did and I think it turned out fine. Sharon said she likes it and that is the important thing.

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Hexies

I think I showed this before — can you see the colors spiraling from the center out?

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I also showed you a few of these hexie hearts before, and now I have six of them. Don’t they look pretty in a circle like that?

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Next, I put the spiral and hearts together. Here is what it looked like after that:

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If I were to do this again, I think I would stick with one value of the colors instead of mixing them. I think the spiral would be more visible that way. Or I might start with the lightest fabrics in the center and progress through medium and darker shades toward the outside with the hearts being outlined in the darkest fabrics.  That could be interesting. Wouldn’t this design look interesting in shades of one color? I can see it in browns. Hmm, I think I have some brown hexies. Maybe that will be next.

Now, I am filling in the corners.  I tried a few neutral fabrics as a background, but couldn’t find anything in my stash that was just right. Instead, I decided to use the complimentary colors (red & green, blue & orange, violet & yellow) next to each other in the corners.  This picture shows the red and green corners finished and the yellow nearly finished.

I work on this in the evenings while we are watching television.

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That’s pretty much what I wrote yesterday. Sorry to those of you who already saw it and had to read it again.

What the Hexie is Going on Here?

As you know, I have been a little obsessed with making paper pieced hexagons lately.  I saw an idea on a blog recently (can’t remember whose, sorry) where they were sewn into a spiral design and thought that would be interesting. Of course I decided to go with the basic primary and secondary colors. Here is the first evening’s progress.

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I dived the center hexie into little triangles so the colors would all have a nice beginning.

Here is the next day’s progress.

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And the next. . .

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and a couple days later . . .

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And another couple of days . . .

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Where is this going to end?

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Remember this blue heart hexie? Well now there is also a purple one. I like the way they look next to each other like that — especially the little diamond shapes formed between them. Imagine that with white fabric, or maybe black diamonds.

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But wait, there’s more…

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I love hexies and I love hearts. I wonder where this idea will end?