Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Slow going...

I'm working away at a couple of things right now. I'm back at Three of a Kind, a pattern from Judy Martin's book Scraps.
 I have 26 of these blocks done, so only 10 more to go, plus all the single square units that go around the outer edge.
The other thing I'm working on is the quilting on my sampler quilt. I'm using this one as a learning tool for all kinds of things, tight background fills around applique being one of them.
I've decided I'm not a fan of McTavishing, although maybe this wasn't a good piece to try it on. From what I've seen, that technique requires larger open spaces than what I have here. But I do like the look of that back and forth "C" shape. It has the added bonus, when done near the applique, of filling the background and outlining the applique at the same time. It took me doing half of the center appliqued area before I discovered this. This could be a very good thing to know when it comes to quilting both Cactus Rose and In Full Bloom. I've also added those three in one bubbles to my repertoire, and I am trying very hard to master curved cross hatching. Who would have thought it was so hard making sure the ruler was turned the right way? So far, I have one out of the four sections that I've done that are done correctly.

This one is right.                                                                         This one is wrong.


Because I've decided this is a learning piece, and not a show piece, there will be no ripping. It will be a graphic lesson in how not to do it. I'm trying new techniques inside the sampler squares, as well.

The royal blue background in all the sampler squares are testing other very dense fills. I like the way it is making the pieced portions of the blocks stand out. But, it is all very time consuming. I'm giving myself to the end of the week to finish this. If it's not done, I'll take it off, and work on the quilts I have waiting for customers.
 I think I'll spend the rest of this evening working on more Three of a Kind squares, and then later on, some knitting.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Stash Report, Week 16, 2014

First of all, I'd like to wish everyone a blessed Easter. Christ the Lord is risen........ hallelujah!! We are having a small family dinner tonight, ham and scalloped potatoes and cole slaw. It's all in the oven, and it's starting to smell rather good around here.
I've been busily sewing and finishing things this past week. A little of that shows in the stash report, but most of it was counted before, or started long before I started keeping track of stash usage, so to count it now sort of feels like it's cheating, although I don't really know why.

Used this week:                 1.1 yards
Used this year:                 34.8 yards
Added this week                0 yards
Added this year:              35 yards
Net added:                             .2 yards

Hopefully, this week I'll get back into the black. I have plans for doing sewing that actually uses stash while finishing projects. I did finish 2 this week, one of which I blogged about here. The other one, I'll show some pictures tomorrow. I have a leaders enders project that is to the assembly stage, and then I also want to get back to Three of a Kind, both of which will add to my yardage used stats, hopefully enough to off set the fabrics that I know will be coming home with me from a quilt show at the end of the week, as my collecting of black and white fabrics continues. I'm linking up to Judy's Stash report. Then, I'm going out to sit and knit in the glorious spring sun.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Happy Dance... Cactus Rose is a finished top!!

 I'm in celebration mode! Can you hear me cheering?!?!... this quilt is finally finished. I have been working on this pattern, called Cactus Rose, a design from Judy Neimeyer, for at least five years. I first wrote about it on the blog here, back in February of 2010. I would work on it for a while, get overwhelmed and call for the men in the white coats to come and get me, and then put it away for a while. It was on my finish it list for last year, and didn't get touched. I was determined that this was going to be the year, and here it is! Yippee!! Woohoo!! Whoop whoop!!
 Here's a closer view of one of the corners. This whole thing, as in all Judy Neimeyer designs, was paper pieced, and then hand appliqued. The background was done using four of the very light shades of the Fossil Ferns fabrics. I think the original used a batik.

And here's a close up of one of the center blocks.
There has been so much nail biting, smothered bad words, and all kinds of stressful wondering why on earth I ever thought I could do this moments while working on this quilt. And it was all worth it! This one is moving to the very top of my to-be-quilted-next pile. I'm going to link up to some celebratory linky parties with this one. Finish it Friday, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop and Link a Finish Friday. I'll also link up this post to  The Lovely Year of Finishes Party at the end of the month. I entered this as #75 in the goal setting party. The next time I write about this quilt will be when the quilting is started on the long arm.. I'm so HAPPY!!

Sneak peak

I brought my computer up to the studio today with the thought of posting shorter posts, but more often. Alas, the internet connection up here is worse than downstairs. So, I'll have to make do with iPhone posts. I loaded one of my own quilts, the Pieceful Kwilter BOM I did four or five years ago. I am going to try out a bunch of new things in this one, starting with the curved ruler, piano keys and filler in the border. The textured fabric makes it kinda hard to see what I'm doing, but it will also hide any goofs I make while on this learning curve. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Customer Quilts 2014

I'm sitting here at my computer with my second cup of coffee. That means I have some clarity of thought. Enough to have decided that I really have to come up with a way not to procrastinate things I want to write about here. It seems that, once I am up and truly moving, after finishing said second cup of coffee, I get so busy that, although I think about sitting down to write, I don't actually do it. So, I'm going to try and do some posts at this time of day, and see what happens. The other thing that's been going on preventing posting to the blog has been atrocious internet service lately. It takes forever to load stuff, or the signal is dropped right in the middle of what we are trying to do. Uploading pictures takes what seems like forever. DSIL is going to call the provider and see if they can't come up with a solution for fixing the high speed internet that isn't high speed by anyone's definition of the word. There, that's my complaint for the day.

 This is one of Charlene's quilts. It's an Edyta Sitar pattern from one of her books, although I don't know which one. I love the colours and fabrics Charlene chose for this quilt. The floral is lovely, and the greys work beautifully to highlight all the colours in the baskets. The greys she used in the basket blocks makes them look like they are casting a shadow, and give the piece a lot of depth.
 The top part of the baskets got continuous curves, and the baskets themselves got a curvy cross hatch to give the impression of a woven basket. The grey background setting areas got a swirly type feather. I love doing feathers of all shapes and descriptions.

The swirls continued out into the narrow red border. I couldn't get a picture to show up the quilting in the floral border or the floral setting triangles, but it was more of the swirly type feathers. This was a fun quilt to do, from start to finish. Thanks Charlene.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday Stash and Stitching Report, week 15, 2014

 Well, I fell off the no buying wagon big time this past week. But It's all for a very good cause. These two fabrics here, to the right, are for Avery's third birthday that is coming up next month. He is a huge Thomas the tank engine fan. So, I'm going to make him some pillow cases and some pajamas, and maybe a valance type thing to cover the workings of the roller blind in his room. The stripe is for the pillow cases and valance, and the scattered trains are for the pajamas.
 Then this gorgeous diagonal stripe is for bindings. I love me a diagonally striped binding.
 And then, while blog surfing last week, I came across this post by Teresa and decided that I just have to do some of those blocks, which led to the beginning of collecting black and white prints. I won't be starting it for a while yet. I need to get more of this type of fabrics, and I still have a couple of finishes to take care of.
And that brings me to today's slow stitching. I have a little bit of stitching to do on the green stem of this flower on Cactus Rose, And I can declare the hand work part of this quilt done. And, better yet, most of the paper piecing for the rest of the borders is done as well. Another evening should finish that part of it. I just might make that goal of getting this quilt done by the end of this month. So very, very exciting!!

Anyway, back to the stash report, since it appears my delaying tactics didn't work.

Used this week:                                       .9 yards
Used this year:                                     33.7 yards
Added this week:                                   10 yards
Added this year:                                   35 yards
Balance:                                                1.3 more yards in than out.
That ends the first stretch of using more than I've bought since I started keeping track of my numbers. I'd better get busy making some new quilts, since the stuff in the UFO's has already been counted. Hey, that's a great reason to start something new............... must..... remain.....strong......finish.......UFOS......
I'm linking up to Judy's Stash Report and Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Purple Triple four patches

 These purple strips from last week,
became triple four patches this week. I really enjoy working with this colour. I think it's one of my favourites. Although, thinking about it now, I don't wear much purple. I wonder why that is, when I like the colour so much? I just might have to do something about that, sometime. I'm halfway through getting the squares I need for this particular quilt. I'm doing an 8x10 layout for it, requiring 8 blocks in 10 different colours. I have lots of single four patch blocks, as well as double four patches that will go into borders for this quilt. It is fun working on this particular quilt for this rainbow scrap challenge. There are lots of other people working on fun projects at Scraphappy Saturday