1/30/17

On my Design Wall

First, the EPP giveaway is still open. Just scroll down to Fourth WIPs Be Gone.

On one of my design walls is a new (yet again) baby quilt top.  Recently I sold some books at my Guild during their annual Yard Sale.  The only one that didn't sell was Nearly Insane by Liz Lois.  I brought it home and thought what can I do with it.  When I first saw it, I loved it, but then thought, "do I really want to make those finished 5 1/2" squares with all those teeny, tiny pieces?"  No.  However, I'd bought it and even tried to send it to another home with no luck. Then the light bulb turned on.  Why not make some of the blocks into exploded block baby quilt tops? Yes!   I like doing the math and the challenge of seeing if I can make them into 30" squares.

The size of the pieces rules out scraps - a winning situation for a stash buster. So I pulled some fabric, from one of my many bags in those closet drawers.  Here's Nearly Insane block #1 exploded to 30" square:

It's ready to sandwich and quilt.  This will be a neonatal quilt so I will do that myself.  It will come off the wall today and the previous top will go back onto it.  I added the last two sides and am now making four patches for the next round.
This one is for St. Anne's and will finish 36" square.

I'm suppose to be concentrating on two ---- (which I call WIPs) right now, however life does get in the way.  I was searching through my stash for fabric to give away yesterday and found:

It's only 18" wide, not enough to do much with, and a bit muted for me. I set it aside for donating.  Then in another drawer I pulled out a small panel (10 x 11). Looking at it I began to feel a "spontaneous construction" coming on.  This is the second time this has happened to me. Before I knew it, I was cutting up the striped material and sewing it to the panel to come up with:

That spontaneous construction still has me in its grip. I wonder where it will lead me next.

Linking up to Judy at Patchwork Times and others under my linky parties tab.  Beware of 'SC'.

1/29/17

Some of This, Some of That

First off the EPP papers giveaway is still active. See top, sidebar.  As to the stash:  Nothing came in - yeah.  Used bits of scraps for my applique block and hexies to the total of a 0.06 yd.  Another bit of scraps in leaders and enders hourglass blocks for another measly 0.04 yd.  Then I made a neonatal top using .62 yd.  and donated 2.13 yds of fabric to the guild. My YTD is now 12.93 yds destashed.  I'm going to have to be more ruthless as I go through piles of fabric and just "let go" of some of it. Sigh.  Do you have that problem?

I had made a goal of finishing off my hexie ring, doing a bit of FMQ quilting [curvy lines instead of straight] on that St. Anne's quilt and start on my next WIP (I refuse to call them UFOs -hehe) for 17 ---- for 2017 for last Sunday.  They turned out to be my week's goals. I did work on two of them and got a bit done. Here's the quilt in progress and one fourth of a scrap block:

As soon as I publish this I'm off to do some hexies and maybe get a motif in on my ancient one.  That should do it for this week's slow stitching.

What are you up to?  Are you doing some slow stitching today?  It's a beautiful clear, 80 degrees day outside.  The patio rocker is calling me to come out a sit a spell.  Hope you get to ply a needle today. 

Linking to Judy's Patchwork Times and some other linky parties in my tab above. Blessings,

1/26/17

Fourth WIPs Be Gone

Another Anna's Garden block finished being prepped.
My Anna's Garden is the WIP I'm working on for Judy's [Patchwork Times] challenge.  I won't get it near done but I'm several blocks further along now.

Many of you readers saw my DD's hexagons in my Three Kings post.  Well here is her finished wall hanging she's sent off to NZ for a swap.  I'm so proud of her.
What are you up to? Link up for a chance to win  105 (3/4"sides) hexagon  papers. Usual guidelines apply:   Leave me a comment for one chance.  Link your eye candy for another (link button below). Follow me and let me know for a third chance. Remember if you don't have a blog, you can always post a photo from a photo hosting service.  Please be sure there is some way for me to contact you. Ends next Thursday, midnight. Good luck.

1/22/17

Design Wall Monday

Got my second quilt top for St. Anne's done.  There are 6 tube quilt leftovers in this top - all were in the scrap bag I brought home to work on.  What's a tube quilt?  You take 6 strips of fabric wof and sew them together and sew the last to the first one to make a tube. You then cut this tube into tube strips - usually the size of the width of your strip.  Turn them right side out and pick a square you want in the first row of each of them - in the order you want. Rip out the seams at top of your first row to make a column of squares. Sew these strips back together.

Here's what one looks like: 

You can usually cut six columns, and lots of times there's a bit left over.  The last four columns on the right are leftovers as well as the first one and the one with the buggy print. Going up on my design wall as soon as I finish sewing it together is the next one from the bag.  I made the nine-patches today.  They came out 7.5" square. So now I have to decide what I'm going to add from the bag to make it 36" square. I'm auditioning the yellow.


Tomorrow I plan to work on my hexies, do a bit of quilting with my DSM, and start on my next 17 UFOs in 2017.  How about you?  Linking up to Judy at Patchwork Times and a couple of other linkies in the tab above. I hope you get to sew today. I'm linking to Cynthia's Oh Scraps.

1/21/17

Slow Sunday Stitching & Some of That

I'll be finishing this one and hope to start on hand stitching the last two.  That is my goal.

As far as the stash report, I used only .03 yd this week by making an RSC block, little bits for my applique block, and that teeny, tiny sampan.  I did pull a piece, 3.25 yds worth, to donate to the guild. New YTD total of use/donations now stands at 10.08 yds destashed! 

Where I did use fabric was in putting together this top from another bag of scraps.  This one has mostly strips in it.  But since it is St. Anne's fabric, I can't count it toward destashing.  The three columns on the right aren't attached yet.  Need a few more columns to make it the right size - 36" square.  The letters are four the parish children colored at the June festival. So for now it is on design wall #2.

Off to bed - read that by getting an extra hour of sleep each night you can lose 10 pounds in a year. Sounds like an easy way to diet.  I don't get enough sleep - 6 to 6.5 a night is not enough.  

Nighty - night.

1/20/17

Doodlling Fairies

While I like to draw, since I'm a quilter, I mostly design in my head, from a photo, with EQ software and sometimes paper and pencil, I haven't yet caught on to the habit of doodling  or coloring, except when I have a new quilt motif I want to set in my brain.  However, I do know that youngsters (and adults, too) love doing this these days, so I took Doodletopia Fairies (Draw, Design, and color Your Own Super-Magical and Beautiful Fairies by Christopher Hart to my volunteer position at our Parish school library.

As you can see the girls (3rd - 5th grades) who came in at lunch were enthusiastic about it:




I love the difference in each of these. The eyes and lips are so expressive as well as the ears.  This would be a fun interactive book to give as a gift for those who like to doodle (ages 8 and up).  This well known author includes illustration tips with drawing, designing, coloring, and crafting activities. 



Received this book (published by Watson-Guptill Publications)  from Blogging for Books for this review. A great book to have on hand when the granddaughter comes over.  

1/19/17

Third WIPs Be Gone Post

Hey, I finally found my sampan!  It was tiny - only 3/4" square.  I use the Crafty Applique method to treat it and make it fray proof.  Then I cut it with very sharp scissors.  People and DH had suggested that I paint it on, but I was too afraid that if I messed up,  there went the quilt top.  Once cut I ironed it in place and then hand stitched it using a straight stitch.

When I gave it to my friend on Tuesday, she was amazed.  She'd forgotten all about it (was about 10 years ago she gave the center to me), but the minute she saw it, she remembered the class she took to make it.
  We're calling it: On the Yangtze River.

Measures @ 12 x 16
I quilted it with Superior Invisible thread, a 70/10 sharp needle using a straight stitch. I stitched right next to the folds - it made it look a bit like trapunto.  I also used a navy blue art pencil to color over some of the whip stitches that showed.  A second WIP gone in 2017.

I'm working on my third Anna's Garden block - my WIP for the month.  Here's how far I've gotten:
What are you up to?  Leave me a comment and I'll come by.  Blessings,

1/16/17

Some of this, Some of that

First my destashing report:  Used a few scraps for some string blocks - about .10 yd.  Used a few pieces to make more hexagons - another .05 yd.  Made a few more units for En Provence and a few pieces for the Anna's Garden block - .05 yd.  Pulled and sorted out of the stash 6 yards to give to the Pay and Take Corner at the guild meeting tomorrow.  My YTD use/donation now stands at 6.8 yds destashed! 

Design wall #1 hasn't changed. Design wall #2 now has my first 2017 RSC block which is also my first Winter Solstice block.

I'm also participating in Shelley's "The 350 Blocks Project" in which you make blocks all year to see how many you construct.  If you get to 350 blocks, you're eligible for prizes at the end of the year.  Last year participants made over 35,000 blocks!  What's fun is you decide what blocks you're making; they don't go anywhere. It's all fun.  And the two 2017 projects above will help me keep making blocks.  Here's her badge, and Angela's, too.
Link in paragraph above.








What are you up to?  I'm working on my sampan, my Anna's Garden block, and thinking what top to make next as a baby quilt.  Leave me a comment and I'll come check your blog.  Blessings!

1/14/17

Third Time

the charm - or mark the seam and save yourself stress!
I've hand stitched this hexie to my ring three times because I didn't mark it.
See the hexagon at the end (at lower right)?  First I sewed it to the blue pink line. Wrong, Then I sewed it to the all blue line except it was with an all green line. Wrong again.  Note to self - mark which lines go together to save the seam ripper -lol.  I'm now working on another six piece hexie.  But the St. Anne Workshop is over, so I'll have time for other stuff now. Yeah, I've survived my very busy second week of the month. Linking to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching and some other linky parties - see my tab above.

Oh, and I finished prepping that block:
Blessings!

1/12/17

2ND WIPs Be Gone

One more leaf and another block of Anna's Garden is done!
  The color is a bit off because I had to take this photo at night.  These are going so much faster than before.  I've already copied the next pattern, numbered the pieces and cut them out.  On a roll.

1/9/17

En Provence

The first project I worked on during last weekend's Quiltathon was En Provence.  I finished a few units I needed to fill in spaces and it was ready to lay out and label for assembly.
I'll make the border units another day.  Yes, mine is going to be a one block table topper measuring about 33" when I add the border.  I really like it and am so glad I played along on Bonnie's Mystery.  Go here to see more versions at Bonnie's post today.  Thanks so much, Bonnie.

1/8/17

Some of This, Some of That

First off, stash report.  I actually bought something which is stash enhancing (lol -meaning I have no plans for it, however it does have purpose).  The 1 yard large print is to start a special collection for my first Susan Carlson inspired wall hanging.  I so admire her work.  She's planning on having an online class and I so look forward to it. I think it is the only way I'll ever get to take one of her classes.  The second piece (2.66 yards) is to start replenishing my neutrals.  I've seemed to have used up most of them in the past year.  This situation gave me the go ahead to buy something for a change - bliss!

I've pulled 4.26 yards from my stash for the back of a commission quilt.  Yeah!  It will be a long time quilting project, but that's okay.  I'll use it to practice FMQ for at least 15 minutes a day.  It is a t-shirt quilt.  So, my first stash report is 0.6 destashed.  


Today was the fourth and last day of the Quiltathon (see sidebar) and I got zero sewing done because it was Three Kings Day here at our household.  We had 11 family members gather for this holiday event which closes the Christmas season for us.  Presents were exchange and we played the steal game.  Fun was had by all. And yes, that's a hexi flower you see in the photo.  My daughter had me over for a day last week and asked me how to make hexies.  She took to it effortlessly. And that's her first flower - fussy cut even. Did I mention that she can make clothes without patterns?  Just like her Grandmother.  So while we were having dessert she was prepping hexagons. She's making a swap piece due soon.  I know she'll get it done.

Yesterday was spent getting ready for today.  It was busier than I thought, but I did make a small start on my next applique block.  Here it is as the final photo from my first Quiltathon weekend.  
While this is not actually hand stitching - it is prepping to start hand stitching in 2017.  I hope you had a good day. Blessings,

1/7/17

A recipe

When I already have frozen bananas for Banana Nut bread, not interested in making banana walnut pancakes, or the banana is just too soft/old for eating out of hand, I bake it like my Puerto Rican Abuela taught me.
1.  I line a tray with foil and place my banana on it.
2. I bake it in my toaster oven set at bake, 350 degrees and place on "stay on" setting. 
3. Bake for about 5-8 minutes until it is brown all over.
 4.  Place on a plate and slit the top side of the banana.
5.  Spoon out the warm, custard like banana and enjoy.  Tastes like Banana Creme Brulee.  And for decadence, put dark chocolate syrup on it.  Yum.

Quiltathon still on - go to sidebar for day 3.

1/5/17

2017's First WIPs Be Gone

See this bag:
 It was stuffed with fabric scraps from St. Anne's.  I brought it home and challenged myself to make quilt tops from it for our workshop.  I made three:
 The green monochromatic that I sewed on my treadle machine.
 The word quilt using letter squares from the June Parish Festival (colored by children).
And the really way out one with blocks that had been donated to us (the ones with the buildings).  It includes a Chinese garden, high rise apartments, urban forest, a Chinese restaurant inspired by the gardens, suburbs and aviation sightings in the sky. I started this last one Dec 27th, but just finished it  earlier in the week.  Below is what is left in the bag - not enough to make another top. But then maybe I can make a center and then add borders from some other bag - hmmm.


Three WIPs ready to be sandwiched, tied and donated.  What have you been up to?  Leave me a comment and I'll come by to see.  

January's Quiltathon

Day 4 of Quiltathon
Yesterday was spent getting ready for today.  It was busier than I thought, but I did make a small start on my next applique block.  Here it is as the final photo from my first Quiltathon weekend.  

Day 3 of Quiltathon
Started 8th block of Anna's Garden - 6 done years ago.  There are quite a few steps to getting to prepped stage.  The first is making a copy of the pattern.


Then I cut out all the pieces very carefully from the copy leaving a placement page (Zena Thorpe technique).


Then I prepare the freezer paper for making my templates (Pearl Pereira technique)
Take out your TEFLON ironing sheet.  Place paper shiny side down on the TEFLON sheet and iron with a hot iron for about 15 seconds - the paper will shrink a bit.

 Do this to a second piece.  Now place the second paper on top of the first with shiny side of second to the dull side of first.  Iron to fuse together. This should not take more than 15 seconds as you don't want to use up all the stickiness of the piece on bottom, but you want the two pieces to bond.


Let cool and peel off TEFLON sheet. Ready to use for templates.

I then start to pick fabric for the various pieces.  I let the original quilt be a guide to what I choose. After all, it was the photo of the original quilt that enchanted me to want to make mine.

Hopefully, more later - have to go dust and vacuum for tomorrow.
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Day 2 of Quiltathon

6:53 PM
Finished prepping a block of Anna's Garden (my #3 project in January's UFO challenge).  Tomorrow I'll start on another.

Dinner was easy as I took Judy's advice and cooked ahead.  Made meat loaf and pork stew (aka Goulash) in the days before the quiltathon.  Tonight I'll work on hexagons again.  See you in the AM of Day 3. 

9:27 AM  DH threw a diversion last night so no buds were prepped for the applique block.  He wanted to watch Dark Matter on Netflix, so of course I had to watch with him.  So I hand stitched a hexagon instead.  Doesn't sound like much does it?  It had six pieces and 8 seams so it took a while.

I also finished a green and print one - just not sewn on yet.  Can't do too much sewing right now, have to go to the grocery store for the Sunday event.  When I get back hope it will be warmer in the sewing room. Then I can get to that applique. 

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I signed up for Judy's UFO Challenge for this year.  Today is our first monthly Quiltathon where we sew like mad for a few days to give us a boost in whichever UFO we have to work on.  This is my post for the next few days of my progress - latest report on top.  You can read about this event here.

Day 1
5:09 PM
 Ah, after two batches of cookies and the delivery of a gift to a neighbor, I'm back in the sewing room - clean cutting table!  Got the flowers on my block (it's not so pink - see first photo at 1:13 PM.  After dinner I hope to do the buds, and it will be all prepped. Since I have 18 to go I think I'll prep as many as I can this month and save them for hand appliqueing while watching TV.

1:13 PM



I walked into the sewing room after lunch and realized what my next task was and that was to clear the cutting table after all my En Provence dithering and sewing.  The applique on the right is what I'll be working on next once I've straightened.

11:19 AM

Missing units made.  As soon as I'm off the computer, I'll pack it up.  I'll make the border units another day.  Now going to have lunch and work on the kitchen.  Need to make my grocery list for the luncheon Sunday.

8:18 AM
This is my En Provence units I laid out this morning.  I need to finish some units so I can take it off  my design floor.  I'm hosting this year's Three Kings Day family celebration, so the parts need to go in a box andout of the way.  I chose to make only a fourth of the blocks at each step.  Here they are laid out.  I'll make the missing units and stack them in a container for another day.  Mine is going to be a table topper about 33" square.