While I am making good progress on the vintage double nine patch blocks this week, I got a bit bored with them this afternoon. I decided to take a bit of a break today and I worked on my July row for my RSC15 project. I mentioned earlier that the block that Mari decided on for the month of July was a bit labor intensive. Because of this, I opted out of the Classic Stitches BOM just for this month. I will go back for the August row.
Instead, I chose to make a row of simple bow tie blocks. Red is the color for July for RSC15 and that is a fine color for a bow tie. This will be my power tie row. I love the blocks and think they would make a great quilt all on their own. Excuse the weird colors on the picture below. I took this in my sewing room so it the lighting was sub-par.
I wanted to add some bigger rows to the quilt. So far I have five rows that are made of six inch blocks, one row with 7 & 1/2″ blocks and this month I made 10″ blocks. To avoid doing the math needed to create 10″ blocks, I used the Block Fab HD app on my iPad that I have mentioned previously. While I like this row on its own, I am not so sure I like it with the other rows that I have made.
When I lay out the rows together, this row is so huge and chunky. I may just leave it for now and see what the block is for August. If I make another row or two of ten inch blocks, it might balance out. If not, I can easily make a new row of bow tie blocks. They go together quickly.
The more I look at this picture, the less I like the huge row of red. If I just shrink them down to 7 1/2″ blocks – that might give it the balance it needs. Then the bow tie blocks would be the same size as the light blue water wheel row and would be different from all of the six inch rows. Do I call this a finish for RSC15 for this month? I doubt it. Me thinks I will be making more red bow ties.
linking to Let’s Bee Social, So Scrappy and Crazy Mom Quilts.
Ahhhh….. what a great Sunday. Never got in the car once. That is the best sort of day. After a little bit of housekeeping in the morning, I spent the majority of the afternoon in my sewing room. Life is good.
I finished the sixth row for my Classic Stitches BOM quilt (hosted by Mari over at Academic Quilter). The color for RSC15 in June is light blue. Mari wisely chose the water wheel block (what is better for light blue?) The block was very simple once I got the pieces cut. The previous five rows that I made consist of 6″ blocks. This month I made 7 1/2″ blocks. Kind of fun to see the difference in size. I need to vary the sizes a bit. Maybe I will make a row of tiny blocks next month and some oversized blocks in a later month. Here is my row for June.
Somehow this row is a bit longer than 60″ so I may have a challenge on my hands when I stitch the rows together. But that won’t be for months, so why worry about it now?? It was too hot out to really hang all of the other rows, but here it is with two others.
This is going to be such a fun quilt to finish up. Looking forward to seeing what color and block are on tap for July.
Last week I spent most of the week in Sacramento with my daughter. While she was in class I did what any other self-respecting quilter would do and hit up a few quilt shops. Actually of the three stores I went to, only one was a true quilt shop. The other was a huge sewing machine store that sells fabric along with machines and long arms. The third was Hobby Lobby, only because I had never been to one before. Visiting these three businesses confirmed the fact that this obsession has turned me into a fabric snob of the worst sort.
Hobby Lobby was exactly what I expected. Low end fabric and so many novelty prints. I suppose this is the right place for moms that are sewing clothes for their littles. The fabric is of a lower quality and I wouldn’t put it into a quilt but for an outfit that will be outgrown by summer’s end, it is probably just fine. Didn’t buy a single thing there.
The sewing machine shop, Meisner’s, had a smaller selection but the fabrics were good quality. They had a 40-60% off section which sucked me right in. I found the backing that I will use for the 1940’s vintage double nine patch quilt that I am just starting. It was a steal which is nice because I needed 4 1/2 yards.
I had the most fun at a little shop called Quilter’s Corner. I had been here once before during a Shop Hop. Their selection is fairly extensive so I had fun looking through the shop.
I found a piece of Kaffe Fassett that I wanted to go along with a jelly roll that has been sitting on my shelf for a while. I have an idea for a quilt but that is on the back burner for a bit while I get the double nine patch going. It is going to be so pretty tho! Love Fassett’s shot cottons and these colors are wonderful.
Also from Quilter’s Corner, are these two pieces. The print is from American Jane’s newest line. Several months ago (maybe last fall?) Sandy Klop, the designer of American Jane fabrics came to speak at a guild meeting. It was interesting to listen to her and even more fun to look at the quilts she brought to show us. After the meeting, I purchased a set of 1/2 yard cuts and started a quilt with them. It is maybe 1/3 of the way complete. Looking at it coming together, I thought it lacked yellow so I was happy to find these pieces.
The nice thing about the American Jane line is that pieces from different collections work so well together. These will fit right in. Again though, this needs to wait a bit. I want to get going on the vintage blues quilt and if I pull any of these other projects out I will only distract myself.
Hope everyone had a great Sunday. I am so glad I found time to sew today because tomorrow we are headed back to Sacramento. When my daughter had her birthday in May we didn’t have time to celebrate it with her friends. She invited three girls and I am taking them to a water park tomorrow. For them, it will be a day of bikinis and squealing which she is really looking forward to. I plan to find a bit of shade and bring a good book to pass the time while they do their thing.
OK – while it doesn’t really seem possible, June is here. School is on its last legs and summer is around the corner. So crazy. Julia graduates from 8th grade (though this year the administration has quite vehmently changed the terminology from ‘graduation’ to ‘promotion’). Whatever it is called, it is a big change and she will move on to high school in August!
We spent Saturday and Sunday in San Francisco. Even though it is a quick 140 miles from home, we rarely go. This weekend was my daughter-in-law, Naomi’s, graduation from medical school. She is officially a doctor and we couldn’t possibly be more proud of her. She has worked so very hard over the past four years.
The ceremony was touching and, with about 100+ graduates, small enough that we could reallyt enjoy and see everything. Naomi will be starting her residency in Diagnostic Radiology in a few weeks. This will take them to Burlington, Vermont for a good four or five years. I haven’t been to Vermont so this will be a good excuse to visit.
I didn’t accomplish a whole lot in the sewing room last week. I made sure to do a bit of FMQ practice. I am trying hard to fit at least a little practice session in each week. This round was just a quick rectangle (7″x 8″) with a loopy figure eight running side to side. I used a tutorial by Rachel over at Stitched in Color.
This side looks reasonable. I purposely quilted with a light gray thread against the blue so i could see my results clearly. A bit uneven but not too terrible. The other side shows a bit of pulling or uneven speed, whatever it is that gives that “eyelash” effect on the curves. I put an Insul Bright scrap in the middle and bound it off to be used as a hot pad. I even machine stitched both sides of the binding, very quick.
Being the first of June, it is time to link up to Sew Bittersweet Designs for ALYOF. I have one last quilt top to finish up so that is the goal for the month. I made a batik nine patch back in August of last year. (Posted about it here.) I love this top and was sort of waiting until my quilting abilities improved before I put it together. Enough waiting. I am going to finish it this month!! The plan is to free motion it with some sort of all-over pattern.
While that is the main goal, I have others. (Of course I do!) I will make the row for June for my Classic Stitches row quilt. The color is light to medium blue for RSC15 which should be fine. I have quite a lot of blue scrap. Hopefully, I can continue to do a bit of FMQ each week, though quilting the batik quilt will probably make up a few of my practice sessions. Finally, I have a quilt idea that will use some of the 1940’s vintage fabrics that I recently received. I want to use this as a donation quilt for an event in mid-October. At minimum, I need to get the cutting done for that (hopefully I will get some of it pieced though.)
OK, that’s it for me – what’s on your list for June???
Setting goals on a monthly basis, as I have been doing this year, seems to make the time buzz by even faster. I am not sure this is a good thing. My goals for this month were to finish my Alison Glass Mini Quilt for my first swap, make the row of green blocks for the RSC15 project that I am doing, and to finish two bunk bed bags (a custom order for a friend). Here we are with four days to spare and it is all completed!
It was kind of one of those silver lining deals. I finished the bunk bed bags first (posted about them here). After that I completed the mini quilt. I didn’t think I would get to the Classic Stitches Row Quilt (my RSC15 project) but things are always changing, right? I was supposed to go visit some family in Houston last week but I was knocked flat with a succession of migraines. I ended up not going at the last minute. This was a huge disappointment for me, but certainly wasn’t the first (and won’t be the last) time that I have had to cancel plans due to migraines. Once I was past the worst of it, I was left with a couple of unexpected days to sew (that is the silver lining!) I cut into a pile of green scrap and came up with a row of Losses and Crosses blocks which were the Classic Stitches BOM for May.
I made the simpler version of the blocks that Mari offered up for this month. These blocks are a bit fussy and I decided I could only make so many 2″ HST’s without going crazy. I like the blocks though I think they are better suited to a larger layout so that the secondary patterns show up. You don’t get the full effect in one row of six inch blocks. If they are clustered together, the effect is very nice.
This row quilt is growing and growing. I am trying to decide if I want to keep making all of the rows with six inch blocks or if I should make some rows with larger blocks to add variation. I need to decide this soon since I am nearly half done.
The mini quilt turned out great. Very glad to have this finished and also that I am able to link up with ALYOF since I missed that boat in April! I just packed it up to ship it off to my partner in Michigan. Kind of hard to gIve it up so I really hope she love it! I am excited to see what sort of mini I will receive.
I have quite a bit of Alison Glass fabric so I made a pieced back for it.
I love the dense quilting.
My points match up well which I am quite proud of. I have been working on precision and it is finally improving.
Looks like it is time to think about what to work on in June! I have several things in process so it will help to block it out and make a plan.
OK, May is going to be busy. We have my daughter’s 14th birthday (yikes!). I have a family trip planned that lasts nearly one week and we have my daughter-in-law’s graduation from medical school (double yikes!!) Lots of activity going on so I am trying to be reasonable.
My main goal for the month (which will by my ALYOF goal for May) has to be the completion of my Allison Glass Mini Quilt. The swap has to be mailed out in the first part of June so this needs to be at the top of the list. It shouldn’t be a problem as the top of the mini is done. I need to make the back and quilt it up. I want to make the quilting shine and as I still consider myself a newbie, I need to spend some time with this. I also want to make an “extra” giftie to include with the mini using some of the Allison Glass scrap. Here is what I have left to make the backing with as well as an extra. I should have plenty of fabric.
Second to the Allison Glass Mini is a custom order I am doing for a friend. She frequently has her granddaughters for the night and they sleep in bunkbeds. She asked me to make two hanging bags so they can have books and stuffies up on the bunk with them. The bags will hang from the rails of the beds. These are already cut and 1/2 way done so I shouldn’t have any trouble finishing them up. Hoping to do that this week. I am using a polka dot twill by Riley Blake and lining the bags with the lovely “Wander Woods” print from Wee Wander.
Third on the list is to make this month’s row for my Classic Stitches Row Quilt that I am doing with Mari over at Academic Quilter as my RSC15 project. Tomorrow she will post the block that is to be made for this month. Luckily May’s color is green – I love green and have a bundle of scraps for it.
That is it for goals. Anything that is accomplished beyond that is a bonus.
This weekend was our local quilt show. It was great fun and so inspiring. I want to share the quilt that won Best of Show. This local artist, Sandra Bruce, is amazing. I posted about a class that I took with her last spring to learn her process called “Material Matrix”. It is a great process that takes a photo and divides it into patchwork squares by overlaying a grid on it. Sandra is an excellent teacher and a brilliant artist. Her portrait of Clair is approximately 4′ x 5′. Really striking, it is a perfect portrait of this sweet girl. When I was oohing and ahhing over the portrait, Sandra pointed out Clair to me. I asked her to pose for a picture and, while she probably thinks I am some sort of stalker, she did it for me.
Below is a closer look at the quilt. Sandra’s ability to create the human expression with bits of fabric never ceases to amaze me. If I remember correctly, she used 2 1/2″ squares to create this. Click on the link above if you want to check out her gallery. She does travel and teach so you never know, maybe she’ll be in your area some time. If she is, it’s totally worth your time to work with her for a day or two!
Finally, have you seen the list for some of the instructors at 2016 Quilt Con??? This was in today’s issue of the Modern Quilt Guild Newsletter. Absolutely. Amazing. I am so excited and am considering whether this might be my first time attending. It is in Southern CA in February of 2016 so it would be fairly easy for me to attend.
Big question is, how would a person even choose which one(s) to take a class with??? Most of my quilty heros are in this line up. It’s too good to be true!! Are you going? C’mon, you have a nearly a year to figure it out!
Well, I didn’t think I would get to these this month but I did! For RSC15 (Rainbow Scrap Challenge), April’s color is purple. I have been following along with Mari’s Classic Stitches BOM over at Academic Quilter and the block for April is a simple one titled Delectable Mountains. Lucky thing she was doing a simple block because this has been a really busy month. I just managed to squeak these out in time. I didn’t want to fall behind. Skip a month, thinking you’ll come back to it, and somehow it gets shoved aside.
I love these blocks though. Simple strips of the main color and the background, does it get much easier than that?
A whole mountain range of majestic purples!
The row quilt is growing!
While I did manage to make my April row for the row quilt, I didn’t finish all three of my goals for April’s ALYOF. My hope was to make two table runners (which I did) and one mini quilt. I finished the top of the mini for the Allison Glass Mini Swap but felt like I would really be rushing things to sandwich, quilt and bind it before the end of the month. Since this is going to someone else, I really want a great finish on it. I am debating doing a circular quilting pattern on it and that will take some time. So, I won’t link up with the April finishes over at Sew Bittersweet Designs. Just couldn’t get it all done. Oh well. The top looks great though.
The colors are wonderful.
Two out of three isn’t bad. Sorting and washing all of the vintage fabric that I have been posting about has been time consuming. Also I had a number of Etsy orders to deal with so April went by in a blink. I will have to really think when I plan what I can accomplish next month. May is going to be a crazy, busy time around here and I doubt I will have as much sewing time as usual.
Hope everyone had a wonderful week and got in at least a little bit of sewing time.
Linking to Crazy Mom Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict as well as So Scrappy.
Another finish! Trying to get things all finished up for March. These stars are my RSC15 project for this month. The color is yellow and these turned out so cute.
Two of the stars have a bit of a mistake. However, I am calling this creative design. Mostly because I don’t feel like ripping it out. Do you see the mistakes? Hint, hint, look at the star that is second to the left in the picture above.
Here are the first three rows of the quilt. I am following along with Mari over at Academic Quilter. She is posts a new block for this row quilt the first Tuesday of each month. Looking forward to seeing what is up for April!
We are going to work on the house in Downieville this weekend so I won’t get a lot of sewing done. I do plan to take up some hand sewing. I am making some throw pillows for the guest bed and I am going to try hand quilting one while I am up there. I have never hand quilted before so we’ll see how it goes. Are there any tricks? Advice is more than welcome. I plan to quilt straight lines running on the diagonal. Hope everyone has a great weekend!
Linking to Angela at So Scrappy for this month’s RSC15 challenge.
I haven’t spent a whole lot of time at the sewing machine this week. Lots of regular life going on and my neck was being sort of cranky. But that’s ok. I did get a few odds and ends done.
For RSC15 I am working on the March blocks from the Classic Stitches BOM over at Academic Quilter. I only finished five of the ten blocks but they are really fun.
For the kitchen in our Downieville house we decided to put in pleated shades. In keeping with the vintage look of the kitchen, I ordered a Waverly plaid that was printed in yellow, blue and green to make valances. We have green and yellow on the walls and I just put a 1950’s formica table in the eating area. It is gray with turquoise trim and the chairs have turquoise vinyl on the seats. I love pulling all of the colors together with these valances. I made a valance for each of the four kitchen windows. Hopefully we will be up there working on the house over spring break so I can hang these soon.
I’ve also worked a bit on the quilting for the neutrals quilt. I have a newfound appreciation with my Hera marker (which is made by Clover). I bought this (inexpensive) little tool months ago and each time I use it, I am so impressed by it. If you don’t have one, this tool is used to mark lines for quilting. No worry about removing ink or chalk after you sew. It is so cool. I have been marking the lines on the neutrals quilt with it.
The lines aren’t always easy to see. But the indentation left by the Hera marker is enough to guide me along. I don’t mark more than two lines at a time because the indentation doesn’t last very long. If you mark a line and don’t like what it looks like, a simple spritz of water (lightly sprayed) will remove the mark, as will smoothing the fabric with your hands. I don’t know that I would rely on this for intricate marking, but for straight lines it works great. If you want a quick tutorial on using a Hera marker here is a brief video – though it is so simple, not much instruction is needed.
I am quilting down the center of each three inch square and when I finish this direction, I will quilt down the center, going the other way.
For the heart I used lines that were much closer together. I didn’t mark these, just used the edge of the walking foot to judge the distance. It seems to solidify the heart, almost removing the lines of the patchwork. Looking good so far. Should make my (ALYOF) goal of completing this quit in March. Yahoo!
I was lucky enough to have one of my sisters here for a couple of days to visit this week. What a treat. Even better, her son was also here briefly. My nephew and his wife live in Japan which means I don’t see him very often. We used to live next door to each other when the kids were growing up and I miss having them around all the time. Family visits are the best. That’s the update for the past week or so. Hope everyone is doing well and spending some time with at the sewing machine and some time hanging with family. Best of both worlds!
Linking to Freemotion by the River and Let’s Bee Social. As always, links to these sites are available at the top of the page, under Link Ups. This post is also linked to Stephanie and Michelle at Late Night Quilter for Tips and Tutorials Tuesday.
Yesterday I spent the day recuperating from some sort of intestinal bug. I spent a bit of time pitying myself in the morning since I had spent a good portion of the week prior down with migraines. Once I completed that task (the pity party) I decided to move forward. One can only enjoy that sort of thing for so long.
I decided to look at www.vistaprint.com and play with designing a business card for Needle and Foot. The day prior to being sick, I was in our local kitchen goods store, The Wooden Spoon. (Isn’t that a cute name?) I was comparing the eight cup Chemex and the ten cup pot. I have a customer on Etsy that wants a ten cup cover and I had not yet made a pattern for that size. The manager was so gracious when I explained what I was doing and that I hoped to avoid actually buying the ten cup pot (they are sort of spendy and I already have the six and eight cup model). Once she saw what I was making, she asked for a business card to show the owner because she thought they might be interested in talking with me at some point. Alas, no business card had I. So I did what any other professional would do and wrote my contact info on a scrap of paper that I dug from the darkest depths of my purse. You should know that the nuns always gave me a hard-earned “C” in cursive/handwriting all those years back so it is sure that I left a gorgeous note. Hope they don’t lose it. Hence the need for something a bit more professional. Off to Vistaprint.
After I created what I thought looked like a good draft I submitted it to my Advisory Board of Five (aka my five sisters). Oh, the helpful information that I gleaned from them. The texting session went as follows:
Here it is, what do you think? I know the picture is blurred and I am working on that but how about the information?
I like the picture. Make the picture bigger.
Add ‘Quilter Extrordinaire’ under the name.
Now you can use the cards to put in those fishbowls at restaurants and win free lunches. This is the only reason I have business cards. I haven’t won yet but I feel it happening at some point.
Oh, I actually won a free lunch doing that at Noodles & Co. (In my old life.) <this advisor is currently retired.>
See, they pay for themselves.
Thanks. Now, do I order 100 or go big and get the 10,000 pack? Buying in bulk is always more economical you know.
Do they have a ten pack??
100 doesn’t seem like enough but 10,000 would allow you to wallpaper a room in the Downieville house <that is the house we are currently renovating.>
It is always best to have support like this when making critical decisions. The expertise and wisdom run deep within this group. If you don’t have this type of support I highly recommend you go out and adopt a few sisters for yourself.
Other than designing business cards (I bought the 100 pack, by the way) I did a little bit of sewing. Prior to getting sick, I decided to start working on the first row of Mari’s Classic Stitches BOM. She is making the first row with Broken Dishes blocks which are created with HST’s. I am not usually a fan of HST’s – all the trimming and squaring up that is required gets to me after a while. But the block is cute and I really want to do this row quilt for RSC2015. I dug in. The color for January is blue which I have plenty of scraps for. Unfortunately my first attempt was not entirely successful. I read the instructions wrong and made HST’s that were three inches when squared off. The instructions actually said to make them so they were 3″ finished (like when sewn into the block.) This means I should have squared them to 3 1/2″. Dang it. Luckily after making the first 24 HST’s I put them on the design wall to play with them. Soon as they were up there I knew they were too small. So that stack went into a Ziploc bag to be used some other day, in some other way.
I started over and it all went as it should. Got the HST’s put together (and it didn’t take long.)
It’s that trimming. Why isn’t there a better way? Or is there? Does anyone have any good tips for trimming HST’s? My method for making HST’s is to cut two square and put them right sides together. I have a little tool to draw two lines that are each 1/4″ from the diaganol. I sew those two lines and cut them apart down the center. The method works but maybe I am missing something wonderful that would allow me to love making HST’s? If so, please leave me a comment with your suggestion!! I will be ever grateful as sooo many blocks are based on HST’s.
Enough whining. The trimming was completed. The fun part is piecing the blocks. Here they are – almost done and hanging on the wall.
One good thing is that with this project, I noticed that my points are getting more accurate. Not all of them… but some actually look like this:
And, ta da! First row of the quilt is done. Yay! (Hard to take a picture of this as it finished at 60″ long and it is raining out. This will do for now.) Row one complete!
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Linking to Lorna at Let’s Bee Social and Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts. Both of these links are found at the top of my page, under Link Ups. Also linking to Angela at So Scrappy for RSC15 and with Megan at Sew Stitching Cute’s link up.