Thursday, January 29, 2015

Winding Ways Reveal

Last night I hurried home from work, shoved furniture around, vacuumed, and started laying out blocks on the living room floor. My husband, coming down the stairs, remarked about all the circles. It was a little thrill to see them all appear as I added to the rows. 
Can you see them?  My customer and daughter were amazed when they came in the door. I asked them to help me find any like fabrics touching in the copper blocks and they didn't find any. I suggested one change, and they agreed, to move one row from the side to the bottom. I just don't like square quilts!  

This photo is a side view; the turquoise "heart" will be on the upper right when all sewn. 

It felt great to see all the blocks in place and get compliments from my project commissioner!  She's ordering Minky for the backing and will pick up just a bit more of one copper fabric for the binding. MATH again!  Now to sew all the rows...

Monday, January 26, 2015

Design Wall Monday--1/26/2015

On my design surface is the ongoing commissioned quilt I've been working on, Winding Ways.  I'm happy to report that another task has been crossed off the list. 


The last blocks have finally been pieced!  I cut these with my Accuquilt GO die.  That helped a lot by making all the pieces identical. 


I did seem to need a lot of pins on that final joining of the curved half sections. 


36 Copper blocks, 36 Cream blocks, and 9 mixed blocks with turquoise equals 972 pieces sewn.   The quilt commissioner and her daughter will be coming over one night this week to help me play layout and switcheroo.  From now on there are no more curved seams.  I will have to match a million points but all the seams will be straight. Yay for that!

See more Design Walls on Judy's Patchwork Times.  

My sister and I went to the Road to California show on Saturday.  We walked around for about five hours straight and had a great time, though the four hours of driving there and back was tiring with the high winds we were having.  I went to bed early and fell asleep reading a new pattern.


There was a lot of replenishment of neutrals, but also some fun batik bundles and a taste of cheddar.  I didn't find the Sew Kind of Wonderful pattern I was looking for, but did come home with another for the Quick Curve Ruler (Metro Twist).  The Little Bites pattern "Whit" was the one I fell asleep reading :)  The crowd thinned late in the afternoon and we were being handed free items right and left, including the Gammill bag that can be worn as a backpack, and a tape measure.  I took many photos of quilts and could have taken a couple of hundred more.  I'll share some in another post--so many talented quilters out there! 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Design Wall Monday--1/12/2015

On my design surface today is the result of an Ugly Fabric challenge block from my local Modern Quilt Guild.  Boy, was that fabric ugly.  I did play with the Quick Curve Ruler a little first before cutting into the 12.5 piece of ugly fabric. 


My practice pieces didn't square up perfectly, but with more practice I'm sure they will.  I did watch the videos, which appeared completely unrehearsed, but adequate :)  Of course, then I decided to use a different shape and set to work by cutting the 12.5 block down to 10".  My sewing was off, probably because I pulled the convex piece too much, therefore the squaring up meant my oval piece ended up smaller. 

I added back the excess cutoffs of ugly fabric to make the block the required 12.5" square.  I thought it looked like an Omega sign.  You don't notice the ugliness of the fabric now, do you.  It will be interesting to see what the other ladies made of their ugly fabric. See more design walls on Judy's Patchwork Times

I spent a great deal of the weekend moving stuff from here to there in the sewing room to get my new desk constructed and moved into place.  All went together fine, although I did develop a lovely blister from hand turning all the screws.



Unfortunately, the desk was too low to fit the storage pieces under it as I desired.  Things on paper so often don't match reality, no?  I MacGivered a setup with some ramekins to see if the carts fit, then set out on an odyssey to find bed risers.  None worked and I ended up with some bun feet and paint.  I had to unscrewed the threaded bolts in the feet and paint them, but it all worked out.  Total cost for desk, feet, and paint was about $150.


The desk gives me a lot more surface area to junk up work with.  The remainder of Sunday afternoon involved a lot of sorting, tossing, and rearranging items for the bins.  They still need some labels. 



Monday, January 5, 2015

Design Wall Monday--2015 begins

On my design surface is a simple table runner I had every intention of finishing this weekend, but best laid plans...

These simple 9 patches and some white triangles stitched up quick enough.  I also found a piece of backing easily in my bin of Christmas fabrics.  The binding fabric was more elusive. 

I settled on this fat quarter and hope there's enough to make it around the runner.  I may have to do a single fold binding, which I find harder to deal with than a double fold.  It's those trickier corners, I guess.  See more design walls on Judy's Patchwork Times.

Grandson Cove was a champion sleeper on his overnighter here New Year's Eve--went down easy and woke up 11 hours later, a happy boy.  After his Mama picked him up post-breakfast, DH helped me with the tree undecorating and then I spent a number of hours gathering and putting away many more decorations before our family New Year's BBQ.  Today saw the last of the decorations finally packed away and stored in the garage.  There were some additions to the collection this year:

DD Erica bought a lot of ornaments in Glasgow, Scotland while there in October.  The pretty beaded thistle she gave to me, but she hung the others on our tree too.  Don't you love the Highland cow?
The bagpiping Santa is pretty special.  Such great detail, love it.  I also added to my advent box display.  My father in law made me a 24 sectioned wooden box over 25 years ago and I've had the same box fillers for most of those years. The openings are about 2.5 inches square so items have to be pretty small to fit.

These glass figures are positively tiny standing at the end of the box.  It is surprisingly not easy to find small enough decorations to fit in the boxes, so I was happy to see these.  Finally, I did get my holiday greetings printed, folded, photo inserted, addressed and stamped yesterday.  Better late than never! 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

More Holiday Cheer

All of us being adults, there are few surprises at Christmas, but we did have a good time opening our presents.  Among the lovely gifts I received was one DD Elaine gave me--a ruler I desired:

I'm planning to try it out on the ugly fabric challenge project :)  The advice in the instructions says to practice on scrap fabric first.  I'm sure that's sensible.

An unexpected gift from grandson Cove was this treasure:

"I heart my Mimi"--so cute!  Some of my favorite photos of that adorable baby. 

I did order myself a couple of gifts that my husband said "Merry Christmas" to.  Both are for streamlining and unifying my open, cluttered sewing room.  First is what is actually a computer desk, very simple, white, and open.  This will house an added scrapbooking storage bin cart.  The plan is to have three of the carts under the desk, which in turn will free up space under the cutting table, which in turn will allow room for my extra sewing machine, now occupying space in my husband's music room.  There will likely be a lot of things moving around in the near future!  This includes the current desk sitting next to my sewing machine desk:

This belonged to my mother-in-law.  She gave it to me maybe five years ago when she moved to a smaller unit at her senior living complex.  I thought it was mid century blond but it is maybe older than that--1940's?  While I like it, the storage is minimal and it isn't being used for housing a sewing machine.  I can't seem to find anything like it in online searches so have no idea what to ask for it if I sell it. Pondering...

There was some holiday sewing post-Christmas, more trees. 


These are improv trees from Amy Smart's tutorial. I used only two colors in my previous use of this method, for the crayon challenge I showed before, but free of that restriction, this deep red complemented the Cotton + Steel charm pack prints.  Leftover scraps for ground and trunk were easily added.

 
A little batting, rattail cord, stitch and turn, a little handquilting, and these were quickly snapped up by my daughters, niece and daughter's friend. Quick and fun. Tonight we will keep Cove for his first sleepover, and celebrate the New Year tomorrow with a family BBQ.

I think the best Christmas gift I gave this year was finding a new place for my sister to live.  This happened fortuitously when I called the mother of a friend whom I knew has a big house and sometimes rents to others.  Timing is everything--she had a room available and has met Kathy on several prior occasions so knows her already.  Serendipity!  Kathy's daughter is here visiting and will be helping her move to the new place before she heads back to St. Louis Jan 2, where she is starting a new job after being unemployed for many months.  Wonderful news for all--Happy New Year!