Monday, January 25, 2010


This past weekend was not the greatest sewing weekend I've ever had. It certainly seems that I spent a lot more time with this: which surely is the BESTEST seam ripper on the face of the earth....

than this:
Everything I did was wrong. Ever have those kinds of days? No matter what I did it was wrong, and sometimes wrong twice. Don't you hate it when you sew something, unsew it, and then do it wrong EXACTLY THE SAME WRONG WAY AGAIN!!!!!
I finished assembling the blocks for the Primrose Inn quilt. Look at all the squares -- and lots of opportunity to put them together i n c o r r e c t l y. Need I say more? Amazingly I managed to get them all together by the end of the weekend. Phew.

And actually the squares were a breeze compared to the triangles for this little baby. Look how innocently it is sitting there auditioning border fabrics. Don't let it fool you. I am actually shocked that one of those corner yellow blocks still exists as it was resewn so many times. I decided I wanted to put these blocks on point. No problem, I thought, I have a chart with the measurements for the setting and corner triangles. But somehow I managed to miss the sentence that said to cut the side triangles in half diagonally TWICE.
So, sew, sew, sew. Hmmm. Corner blocks seem to be too small. The chart must be wrong. (Isn't it amazing how easily we can fool ourselves into just KNOWING that the mistake is someone else's???) So I made a guestimate and cut bigger ones. Hmmm. Way too much triangle -- out of proportion to the blocks. So, read the directions again, and there it is, big as life, cut twice. So unsew all that is together and cut those suckers in half again, and, at last, here we go. And I thought I had too much of that border fabric. Hah!!
So, anyway, I really liked the light peach check on the right of this picture. I thought it might "countrify" the bright colours. And, it was not really as washed out as it appears. Mr THQ vehemently voted for the brighter orange. So I went with it and, what do you know? He was right!
I used to not show tops and wait until things were quilted but the way things have been going lately I better show what I can when I can.
A success, so it was time to go for more. Set out all the blocks for this quilt. After more than 30 minutes I still could NOT find any lay out that would prevent like fabrics from touching. I finally gave up and just started sewing them together.
So, how does it happen that between the floor and the sewing machine the blocks get all mixed up? Does that happen to you? I figure it's like the law of coils. You know that one, don't you? You carefully coil up a garden hose, or a long extension cord, put it away carefully, and the next time you go to use it the whole thing is all tangled up in knots. And it does this! There must be a law of quilt blocks that works the same way.
Anyway, since I couldn't find the perfect layout, I just went for it and finished putting the blocks together. Now the question is, border or no border, and if so, what shall it be?
Oh, well, enough of my tale of woe. It's almost enough to make me glad to go back to work on Monday. Well, not quite.....

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Quilters ADD and a winner!

Well, as fitting for a post with this title, expect to jump all over the place! But I won't make you hang on until the end just to find out the winne of my blogiversary giveaway. Let's get that out of the way up front. Easy to make little paper numbers to draw when there arre only six entries, and despite her assumption that number one is never the winner, this time number one is indeed the winner! Paulette, if you will email me your address I will get those patterns off to you right away. I hope you enjoy them!

So, what have I been up to you might ask? Everything. Ever since I got into the fat quarters I keep getting in deeper and deeper. First I was searching through the fat quarters to find the right ones for patterns in the "Laps From Fats" book series; now I am just playing with fat quarters for their own sake I think. Just look at some of the combinations I have come up with. So I have come full circle. Now I am looking for patterns to go with my fat quarter combinations.

Love this navy with rust flowers. I think it is an old Thimbleberries fabric. Here are some nice rusts to go with it. Now I just need to pull some browns and greens and figure out what nice fallish thing to make. At least there is plenty of time before fall comes around again! How about this? At least it is more seasonal. I have had that little pink bunny toile fat quarter for years and years. I was always going to use it with pink solids but just look at that stripe with it! That came in a citrus-y fat quarter stack I acquired fairly recently that you will see further down in this post. This stripe looks really good with the bunnies and will let me add in some chartreuse (my current favourite colour) and purple to my bunnies. Cool. Now, what should it be?
Ahh, isn't this a nice combination? That bottom one on the far right is the background for a "Laps From Fats" pattern and all these will go with it. It's kind of a churn dash/through the barn door pattern, a favourite of mine. Love that dark rosey gingham. Looks like there's some Pat Sloan and Fig Tree in there, too.
Okay, how about this one? Again, I have been aging that lemon black and white stripe fabric for-ever. I have actually had it paired with the yellow and black dotted fabric for awhile. Time to add a little more to it. I think this will make some nice Ohio stars with the lemon fabric as the centers and the black, yellow, and greens as the star points.
These just kind of got plopped together and I love the white with aqua and red with aqua together. Not quite so sure about the roses in the foreground. I have quite a bit of the first two fabrics so I should be able to come up with something good for it. I've been seeing lots of aqua and red around in blogland recently.
I subscribe to this magazine. And it still exists. Unlike "Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion" and "Country Home". Sad. Oh, and Gourmet. Not quite so sad as I only read Gourmet in the dentist's office, on airplanes, and such, as it was a bit, well, gourmet, for me. Anyway, seems like so many magazines have ceased to exist recently. Although, have you noticed that the survivors are offering great deals for subscriptions? Desperate to get their circulation numbers up I guess. Cheap enough that you would only have to buy one or two issues a year to cover the entire year or more. I got offers too good to refuse for "Martha Stewart Living" with "Everyday Food" thrown in, and for "Country Living".
Oh, well, I digress. Again. I loved this cover quilt, and wouldn't you know, there's lots of red and white and red and cream in the fat quarter bins. Can hardly wait to do this one. Glad it's not too Valentine's Day-ish as it probably will barely be started by Valentine's Day.
Recently I was in one of the LQS I don't visit too often and they had a display quilt I fell in love with. It was a free pattern from Moda. So I went to the Moda site and printed it out along with this one from Blackbird Designs. Guess which one I have already cut and started? Not the one I fell in love with, no, not me. This other one. I had just the right background to go with just the right fat quarters in the stack. Kind of bright pastels. I already have a few blocks of this one finished.
As promised, the citrus-y ones. I found the other colourway yardage just about the time Kim showed her Valentine's table topper, and somehow everything got smooshed together in my mind, with these blocks as the result. They haven't been trimmed down yet and I haven't decided if I will use Kim's layout or do some sashing with the yardage, but the blocks are finished.
And, yes, my sewing table and sewing room are a capital M mess right now, how did you guess? I have just been working a bit on all of these things. Progress has been made, though. Remember the 9 patches from the last post? Here is the next step -- bigger 9 patches. Just need to sew them all together. I like these colours, too.
It's funny, the 9 patches will end up being 12 of the smaller blocks across and 12 down. But sewing them into the bigger 9 patches seemed to go really fast. On the other hand, sewing all the blocks together for the floral quilt seemed really tedious. It's really only 13 blocks by 13 blocks, so it shouldn't have seemed such slow going but it sure did.
And really and truly the reason I am in the middle of so many things is that I like to chain sew and I want every item to be meaningful. I started out sewing the floral blocks together from both ends to the middle but that gets all tangled up really quickly, so I started alternating between it's blocks and putting together blocks for other projects. See, makes perfect sense, now doesn't it? And makes the quilters ADD look a little less serious. Maybe...
I am truly amazed at how much I like this quilt now that it is all together. It is pretty big -- I finally looked at the pattern and it says 65 X 65. So, another top onto the "ready to be layered and quilted" rack. I really need to get busy on that rack as I am not sure it will hold too much more. Soon, soon...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date...

Yes indeedy, I am late for my very own blogiversary! What do you make of that? My first post was January 5, 2009. And here it is already the tenth. But it is a very binary day -- 011010. October 10 will be even better -- 101010. But I digress. Every blogiversary deserves a giveaway now, doesn't it? So in keeping with the custom, let's have a giveaway!

Since I am 5 days late to the party, how about 5 patterns? It's a bit of an electic collection cuz I am an eclectic kind of quilter. We have 2 primitive items, one is the wool bunny runner that I finished a while back. Well, finished is a relative term. It still needs to become a pillow. Then a little cottage-y baby quilt, a Christmasy one, and a scrap user-upper.

But wait, there's more. A couple of years ago a friend gave me a quilt a day calendar. Alot of those days were A for applique days, let me tell you. I couldn't bear to toss any of them though, so I will throw them in. Then it will be up to the winner to toss them. Or maybe the winner will be an applique fan so they will be put to good use!

So, we need giveaway details now, don't we? I notice that alot of giveaways now are being used as traffic builders -- become a follower, link to me on your blog, stand on one foot, etc. For me blogging is not a popularity contest. I blog because I love to read other people's blogs and want to contribute. And because I have enjoyed the back and forth with some of my commenters. So let's keep it nice and simple. Leave a comment and I will draw a name next Sunday, January 17th. Be sure to leave your email address if you don't have a blog link so I can find you if you win. How bad would it be to win and not be able to get your prize because you can't be found?!
So, here we are in a new year. I have a few little, ahem, quirks, and one of them is counting the spools I use during the year. 2008 was a 55 spool year. 2009 was only a 34 spool year. But 2010 is off to a great start, it's already a 1 spool year!
So what have I been up to that has used a spool up already? Remember the red and green blocks I was working on? Well, I finished a LOT of them. In fact, all sewn together they are too big for my design floor. Here's a look:
More of it:
I had a bit of a time deciding on the sashing. Since many of these scraps are really OLD I considered choosing the sashing by fabric date. Here is a contender from 2005. A litte too cutesy I think.
Here is another contender, and well, the ultimate winner. 2002!!! Wouldn't want to use any fabric before it's time, now would we? And I think it turned out to be about as perfect as can be. Maybe I'm on to something with this date thing....
I like to cut my binding when I finish a top. That way I know it's done. Of course, then when the quilt is quilted I have to find it, but that's a problem for another day. I use this little red check from Joann's alot for backings and bindings. It nearly always seems appropriate. Could be since I use so much red.
So, what else have I been up to, you ask, during this long hiatus? If you remember, I decided a few months back to separate my fat quarters out from my fabric colour stacks. Many of my fat quarters are fabrics that I just don't like a whole lot. Why did I buy them you might ask. Well, mostly because they were in adorable little fat quarter bundles that just couldn't be resisted. So I decided to make a couple of quilts out of just my fat quarter collection.
I am certainly prepared as I already own these books. I have made a couple of quilts from them already (not necessarily from fat quarters) and there are many more tempting ones.
For one of them I decided to use up all the large florals. You might have noticed I don't do much with florals. The blocks are finished and a few rows are already sewn together. Again, a little big for my design floor but I think you get the idea. This one has been quick and fun, and amazingly, I think I am really going to like it!
Here are blocks already made for another. You can't see them very well the way they are stacked up, but these 9 patches are all ready to make into bigger 9 patches. If you have really good eyes you will see the stack of kind of repro -- old fashioned fat quarters underneath. They were going to be the next one from the fat quarter books but I have reconsidered and decided to make a quilt from one of the Kim Diehl books that uses at least 50 different fabrics. It calls for chubby 16ths. So that's next up after these tops are completed. Unless of course, I change my mind again.
So, just to recap, be sure to leave a comment by Sunday, January 17th, and those patterns and A for applique days can be yours. Talk to you soon.....