Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Block Progress

        Today was a busy day for me around the house, but every now and then I would steal 15 min or so and sit at the sewing machine to work on some projects.  I am simultaneously working on two projects and during my short bursts of sewing time I made 5 more string blocks and the Sawtooth Star blocks for the table topper and place mats I am making.  I am impressed at how much I got done during those several 15 minute sewing sessions.  I really felt like I didn't have much time at the machine today, but when I take a peek at the blocks on the design wall, I must admit I got more done than I realized.

Tomorrow looks to be another busy day with three of my kids out of school.  My oldest has two more days left filled with exams, but she also has early dismissal at 11:45. So between kids, chores, and school pickup, I may have to do 15 minute sewing intervals again tomorrow.


Monday, May 30, 2011

Started the String Blocks

I sewed together all the 9 patch and border strips this morning and got a start on the string blocks for the shirt quilt I am making.  Only 20 more string blocks to go, but I need to cut up more shirts.  I had only cut the sleeves during the first cutting session, and that has gotten me pretty far, but now I need some longer strips for these string blocks, so back to the cutting table I go.   

Earlier today, when I was cutting out my 24 base squares for my string blocks, I also cut out the pieces for some place mats and a table topper.  They will be for my good friend's grandmother. These should be quick and fun to sew up.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Finished the 9 Patches

This morning I finished up all the 9 patches for the shirt quilt I am working on.

I will have to sew them to the sashing later on tonight though, because right now I am off to a matinĂ©e to see a pirate movie with the kids and after that I plan on hitting the craft stores for their Memorial Day Weekend Sales.  Hope I find some good loot.  :)


Monday, May 23, 2011

Side Tracked with The Abbey Bag

I got the new Connecting Threads catalogue in the mail the other day and saw this cute scrap bag kit.  It is The Abbey Bag pattern and uses their new line of sewing themed fabrics.  I thought they looked really cute and ordered myself a kit.  It came in the mail Saturday and I started on it right away.  I finished them both up Sunday afternoon and can't decide which one I like best. I suppose I could keep one at my cutting table and one at the sewing machine.  :)

Very seldom do my two cats sit by each other, they usually prefer opposite couches, but this morning I guess the sun coming in the window and the soft quilt made them both want to relax in the same place.
Jasper and Sheen


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sewing Progress

I got a little bored cutting shirts, so I decided to shift to sewing for a bit.
I got all the sashing strips sewn together yesterday and half of the nine patches.  
I have a pile of squares ready to go for the rest of nine patches, and once those are sewn together I will start the string blocks.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Slow and Steady Progress

Cutting these shirts into strips is taking way longer than I thought, but I am making steady progress.  I have all the strips cut for the sashing and most of the squares for the 9 patches in between the sashing.  I took a small break from cutting and sewed a few sashing strips together and a small 9 patch.  Only 34 more 9 patches,  53 sashing strips, and 24 string blocks to go.  :)

While I was cutting and sewing, I had my daughter cut off the buttons of a few more shirts so I can cut more strips for the string blocks.  In the photo are two sets of sleeves I will cut next. Hopefully I can finish cutting the rest of the shirts up by this weekend and get sewing on the top next week.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Start of Something New

During my craft time the past couple days I have been cutting up men's shirts.  My husband's Uncle died last summer and his Aunt has asked me to help turn his old shirts into quilts for her children.   So far I have cut off the collars, button plackets, and seams of 8 shirts.  There are many more shirts, but this will give me a good start.

I am going to make a slightly smaller version of this quilt on the right.  It seems easy enough to figure out the pattern just by looking at it.  If I knew the name of the pattern, or a link to who posted the photo, I would add it here, but unfortunately that isn't the case. When I snagged the photo years ago I didn't think to rename it to something that would tell me where I found it.  Instead I put it in my "Quilts by Other People" folder.  Now I am really wishing I knew who posted this so I could link to their site, so if anyone knows who made this quilt, please let me know so I can do just that.

Thanks to Natasha of Scraps-A-Plenty, I now know the blog where this photo is showcased.  You can see it as the banner photo of  JulieKQuilts.  The pattern can be found in Evelyn Sloppy's book Strips and Strings. Thanks Natasha!!  


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Last of the 5

Last night around midnight I put the last hand stitch in the binding of my pink Zig Zag quilt.  This one was the last of the 5 quilts that I basted all on the same day at the end of March.

I can't decide if I like this quilt.  Some of my daughter's friends, who came over while I was working on it, said, "oh I really like that," and sometimes when I glance at it I really like it too, but on occasion when I stare at it too long I think, "ew, I shouldn't have used that shade of pink".  The main reason I made it was to try out a technique posted by Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts.   So I am undecided as to what to do with this quilt.

In between the 5 quilts I basted in the end of March, I finished 6 other quilts and one diaper pouch.  They are all pictured below (except for one which has to stay secret till June 2).  They all had deadlines for the end of April/May so I made them a priority over this zig zag quilt.  I suppose that is another reason why it took me over a year and half from start to finish for this pink and white quilt.  Since it didn't have a preset destination or wasn't needed for a special event, it kept getting put at the back of the to do list.  

The last photo of my cat napping on a quilt at my sewing machine is now a finished quilt, but I don't want to show that one all the way until it is revealed at my next quilt guild meeting in June.  It is for my guild's yearly challenge.  The theme for that challenge was 9 patch.  In June all the quilts from the challenge will be revealed at the Hartsville Museum and be on display all summer for everyone to see.  I am excited for that meeting.

Now I feel the need to baste 5 more quilts so I can have something to work on in between customer projects and quilts that need to get done for special days like birthday's and upcoming holidays.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Cat Nap

Of all the quilts to sit on in the room, I wonder why my cat, Jasper, always likes to sleep on the one I am working on.   I am halfway done with this pink Zig Zag quilt, but Jasper is sleeping so sound I will have finish it once his cat nap is over.


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Don't Faint...

I have actually finished a project two and a half weeks before it is due!     

This is my version of the Candy Bar Pinwheels quilt, the May pattern for the "Le Petite: A year of Small Projects".  This is a small quilt that I plan to use on my rectangular coffee table in the living room.  I started it on Mother's Day and finished sewing the binding on this afternoon. 

Usually I am up till the wee hours of the morning the night before in order to get my projects finished on time. So this feeling of being done early is rare and feels very nice.  And this isn't just a top finished in the nick of time, it is actually quilted and bound.  A true completed finish. Yay for finally overcoming my desire to procrastinate! (at least this one time anyway)

I used a charm pack from Connecting Threads called Abigail's Garden.  I don't usually buy charm packs, or any precuts for that matter, because when you add up the fabric that comes in pre-cuts and compare it to the price paid for yardage, you sometimes end up paying $12 to $15 a yard for pre-cuts while regular yardage is about $8 or $9.  With such a huge price difference, I figure I can do the cutting myself and I usually stick to buying yardage.  But when I was at the Connecting Threads website buying orange thread for a different project, I saw that they had a some charm packs on sale at a great price so I bought a few to try.  I admit they were easy to work with (the pattern called for 2.5 squares, which meant no waste of the 5 inch charm), and I enjoyed having a whole variety of different fabrics to work with. So perhaps when I find more charm packs at a price that brings them closer to yardage prices, I may end up adding a few charm packs to my stash.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Fabric Postcards

I finished up some postcards this week for some of my swaps.  
One of the swap themes was flowers, so I made these.

Another theme was Houses.
So I copied an idea from Lynn.  She had previously sent me this postcard.

Here are my versions.

Thanks for the inspiration Lynn!!

My last swap theme was Bridges. I took one of my drawings and printed it out on white fabric.  Then for more emphasis, I stitched around the bridge and waterfall in black thread.
I hope my swap partners like my sketch


Friday, May 6, 2011

Quilting, Quilting, Just keep Quilting....

This quilt was made by a guild mate of mine and I did the quilting for her on Wednesday.
She doesn't like heavy tight quilting so I quilted a loose all over swirl pattern for this one.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Quilting with the Cat

My cat, Jasper, came and sat on the quilt I was working on this afternoon and decided to take a nap.  Since he sat on the opposite corner from which I was working on, I let him stay while I finished up that section.  By the time I got to the corner he was all snuggled up in the other end of the quilt.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

My April Le Petite - Brocante

Here is my version of the Le Petite Challenge for April. I wanted something bright and cherry to drape over the couch for summer so I made my version slightly larger and more rectangular than the original. It measures 40 x 64

It took me forever to make my fabric choices for this quilt.  That was the whole delay in my starting, trying to decide which fabrics to use,  but I finally picked out a base fabric and was able to get a move on this project.  I started with the black Debbie Mumm fabric, which I have had for years.  I bought it on sale not sure what I was going to do with it, but for such a good price I figured I could eventually find something to do with it.  Now it is finally having its turn in the sun, literally.  Once I had that base fabric picked out, it was quick work to add  6 coordinating tone on tone solids to go with it and then I got to cutting.

I started sewing the top Saturday morning, did a few house chores in between, went into town to get some groceries for the week, and then stayed up super late to get it finished in time for the parade on May 1rst.  Which is now today....

I am so excited about how it turned out, that I wanted to blog about it right away. Now that its picture is up, I better hit the hay. Hopefully while I rest, I will dream of a good way to quilt this bright beauty.  :)


Friday, April 29, 2011

A day at the beach

My kids had spring break this week, so we drove down to the beach and spent a few days with my parents.  Unfortunately it was the same days that the rain storms swept through the east coast.  But we did have a small window when it didn't rain so the kids and I headed to the beach with the dogs.

Facing the ocean, the sky was actually pretty clear and the sun was shining hot enough to give us sun burns.  But...

When you turned to look behind you, the gray clouds loomed over the sand dunes.
We stayed for about an hour and a half and then went back to grandma's house where we visited and played games.  Even though the weather was bad we still had a good time on our break.

We got home late last night and today I was inspired to make some beach postcards.
They are for one of the "open theme" postcard swaps I am in.

 I have also finished cutting out my fabric for the Le Petite Challenge for April.
I am cutting it close to the deadline again for this one.  
I sewed two of the quarter triangle squares together and that is all the sewing I have done.  So I know what I will be doing tomorrow.  Luckily the easy part is left.  The hardest part for me is trying to decide which fabric from my stash I want to use.  I stare at my fabric shelves for hours testing out color combinations.  I pull out a fabric and then put it back because I'm not ready to cut into it yet.  I told my daughter, who was watching me and questioning my process, "I haven't had that piece of fabric long enough to cut it yet.  I want to stare at it a couple more months before I make anything with it."  She just rolled her eyes and left me to my madness.  :)