Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I can tell it's going to be a weekend of sewing.  And to make it even better - it's a long weekend, I'll have leftovers to eat, Bonnie Hunter's new mystery starts, and Temecula Quilt Company just posted the final letters for the Alphabet sew a-long. 

Here is what I have thus far with the Alphabet blocks.

I still need to remake the "G" block for the red quilt.  Then I'll get at making the rest of the letters and the rest of the extra little blocks.  If I have enough of the checked fabric I may remake the extra blocks with the checked instead of the solids. 

It seems my quilting blog world is all excited about the new Bonnie Hunter mystery. I know I'm looking forward to starting it.  Maybe I'm just looking forward to cutting into some of my new fabric. 
This is the older fabric I had set out to use and since then I've been able to pick up a few more pieces.


Not all of the fabric in the picture above is for the mystery.  The gray piece is the one I bought for my constant.  However, for the last couple of days I've been thinking about using brown instead of gray.  If I did that I would have to use something else besides the black too.  I'm pretty sure before I cut into anything I'll be laying out my fabrics again.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I have a lot to be thankful for especially my family.  My two kids, their spouses and my two grandgirls. They mean the world to me.  I'm also lucky enough to have my mother and two sisters live in the same town.  That allows us to spend some great times together.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Julie

Monday, November 24, 2014

It's Monday!

Today it's Monday and that's a good thing.  It's a good thing because this is a short work week.  And as much as I like and appreciate my job, I also like days away from it too.

This was a weekend of ups and downs.  I finished the Quiltmaker quilt so it needed to be washed to get the marking pen out of it.  As I have said on here more than once - I ALWAYS PRE-WASH.  Yes, it doesn't matter what color it is I always pre-wash my fabrics.  It's a habit to set it on the washer as it comes in the house and not move it to the sewing room until it has been washed.  Years ago I worked at a sewing factory making garments and all of the fabric that came through there had been sprayed or soaked in formaldehyde to keep bugs out of it.  They may be using something different 25 years later but I bet they still put something on it to keep the bugs off.  Anyway, I digress.  I put my lovely quilt made of pre-washed fabric into a washer with not one but two color catchers, set it on cold and proceeded to make a mess.  One of the red fabrics in one of the blocks bled in two places.  I believe I literally stomped my feet as I was cussing bad words.  Then I cried.  Then I threw the wet quilt into a plastic garbage bag and headed to Great Plains Quilt Company in Burlingame where I proceeded to cry some more and ask for help.  Kathy Smith is always willing to give suggestions.  She and two other ladies gave me a couple of ideas which I tried.  By the time the quilt went in the mail this morning to Quiltmaker is still had red where it wasn't supposed to be but it was much lighter than before.  I had emailed Carolyn Beam at Quiltmaker and told her of the issue.  She said not to worry that was what photoshop was for.  Well, I feel minutely better now.  But I'm still devastated over it.  Life goes on.

And since life goes on I decided I needed to sew.  Sunday morning I got up and started cutting out some turkeys from the pattern that was given on Bee In My Bonnet  .          

Here is the table topper I made from Lori Holt's pattern.

Run Turkey Run
This makes me smile.  I made mine in fall colors and it turned out just the way I wanted it to.  Instead of drawing the legs on free hand I set one of the points of my ruler on the turkey and drew the legs down each of the sides. Otherwise, these turkey legs would never have come out any where near the same.  I very happy with it.  This will give me something new to put on my table at Thanksgiving dinner.  I will say that putting those red pieces in there for the wattles was not really something I wanted to do.  However, I know that the red that bled isn't in there because it is in the trash.  Yes, I went through all of my stash and cleaned out the red that was the culprit. 


Unfortunately the selvedge edge had been removed from what is left so I don't know who the manufacturer of the fabric is. I think it was bought in Baldwin City a couple of years ago.  I do know that red is one of my favorite quilt colors and that this particular red is in several of my quilts.  I'll be looking for a different way to wash any of those quilts in the future.  The letter "G" from my Alphabet quilt a-long is made from this so it will need to be remade.  I also have at least two tops that are done but not quilted that have this fabric.  I will probably be taking out the blocks and remaking them so that I don't have to worry about it in those tops.  What a mess this one little yard of fabric has caused.

Drats anyway,

Julie

Friday, November 21, 2014

Oh, happy day!

Yes.  Oh, happy day! The quilt for Quiltmaker is done!  I put the last stitch in the binding last night.  It has a label.  What more could it need.  Washed - that's what.  Tonight I plan to put it in the washer with at least two color catchers.  I'm hoping that all of the blue washable marker comes out of it.  I tried taking it out with a wet cloth but that seemed like a hopeless endeavor.  So now I'm hoping that after all of this hard work that I can put it in the washer and have it come out a-okay.  It needs to go in the mail.  Quiltmaker is taking the pictures now for the March/April issue and they want to advertise the quilt a-long in that issue.  Hurry, hurry, hurry.  At least now I can get back to sewing. :)

I do have a couple of Christmas gifts I would like to get to.  I've vowed this year to only give away what is actually done.  Last year I gave Jesse the orange quilt as a top.  It's still a top.


And a very pretty top it is.  (Wonder where the pictures of the finished top are at?) It will make an even prettier quilt when I get it finished.  I know I won't be quilting it with the Baptist Fan pattern.  That pattern will be saved for smaller projects in the future.

Nothing new to show today.  I haven't even done my alphabet blocks.  But I intend to get some sewing done this weekend. 

T.G.I.F.

Julie

Friday, November 14, 2014

I keep messing with my blog.  Trying to make things easier to read.  A few weeks ago I changed the font and a few colors.  Yesterday I attempted to adjust some of the widths of the columns.  That didn't work.  When I got on my phone and looked at the blog it didn't fit as well.  So today I've hopefully put it back where it was.  I also tried to install the "Pin it" thingy.  I followed the directions to the letter.  No, it didn't work.  So when I tried again it wouldn't let me because I had already installed it.  This making a blog do what you want is not as easy as one might think.

On a different note.  Bonnie Hunter's mystery "Grand Illusion" is getting ready to start at the end of the month.  I had already decided that I don't want to use all of the same colors as she is using.  For one thing I don't have those shades of color in my stash.  Anyway,  I NEED some more fabric.  But at $12.00 and 13.00 per yard it's hard for me to get enough fabric to make much difference when I'm trying to make a scrappy quilt.  So I decided to buy some online this time.  I am now, and have always been a clearance shopper.  A few years ago I had bought some fabric from Connecting Threads.  At the time I was unsure of the fabric that I got.  It had a heavier feel to it.  Well I have used every single bit of that fabric.  I've not had one problem while pre-washing, cutting or sewing with it.  I've also washed some of the quilts I've made with it and those quilts have washed just fine.  Anyway, I headed back there again.  Look at all I got!
There is over 13 yards of fabric here.  They were having a sale of their fall fabrics and they had a great selection of clearance fabric.  One thing I really appreciated is that I was able to buy 1/2 yard cuts of the sale fabrics.  Most of this is going in the new mystery quilt.  But some of it (oranges) I just couldn't resist for the price.  I paid less than $60.00 for all of this.  The only fabric I have some question about is the black piece that can barely be seen.  It's a batik and it wasn't printed very well.  But as small as the pieces will be cut that won't matter.  This has all been washed and it washed well.  It also has a good feel to it. 

Where a quilter buys their fabric is a personal choice.  To me it's more important to have some fabric I like then it is to do without because of the price.  I'm the kind of quilter who is willing to risk that 20 or 30 years from now my quilts might be a little more faded than someone else's quilt.  Okay, I've been on this soapbox before and I'll most likely get on it again.  But enough for now.

As far as what I'm working on goes - I'm still quilting.  But I'm farther than I was a few days ago.  I plan to get a lot of sewing in tomorrow while all that snow falls outside.

Have a great day!

Julie

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I'm So Busy My Head Is Spinning

Yes, just like the song "Dizzy" only insert a different word.  I'm so busy my head is spinning, like a whirlpool it never ends.  Actually, what never ends is the quilt I'm working on.  And luckily for me it's my Quiltmaker quilt.

Yes, Quiltmaker got back with me regarding the quilt I submitted.  I'm told they "love it".  Well, I love it too.  But it's not finished.  When I submitted it I told Quiltmaker that I wasn't done quilting it and I wasn't.  But I had a good start on it.  I now have a better start on it.  I can, in fact, see the end in sight.  I got the green light on the quilt eleven days ago.  Since then I have put in hours and hours of quilting and I still have hours to go.  It is taking me approximately one half hour to mark and sew two units of Baptist Fans.  Just to put it in perspective a little.  There are twelve Baptist Fan units per row. And there are lots of rows.  I'm not complaining, mind you.  (maybe just a little)  I'm concerned that I'm taking too long.  I even took a day off work.  And may plan another day off next week.  Yes, that would help, I think I will.

Quiltmaker intends to use my design as a block of the month on their Quilty Pleasures blog starting in March of 2015.  I should have written that in all caps because that's the way it sounds in my head every time I think about it.  QUILTMAKER IS GOING TO MAKE MY DESIGN A BLOCK OF THE MONTH.  Really?  My quilt?  Can you tell this will be my first (not my only or my last) published design.

My daughter says I procrastinated about the quilting because of my insecurities about Quiltmaker liking the quilt.  Isn't she sweet.  Goodness knows, I just procrastinate when it comes to the quilting part.  Anyway, I'm working my fingers to the bone to get them this quilt. They need it for the pattern and the pictures.  Imagine that.  Sorry stress makes me sarcastic.  I'm actually enjoying some of the quilting because I am so excited about sharing this quilt.  I don't know though, how soon I'll be using this quilting pattern again.  Maybe never!  When and if I do, I'll certainly make the fans larger or farther apart.

Sunday afternoon I had had it with quilting and was four blocks x two behind on my alphabet quilt so I took a little time and got caught up again.
Aren't they cute.  I've seen where some people have figured out a few more of the blocks and started on the sashing.  Right now, I'm just happy to be caught up again. 

There you have it.  My week of sewing in a nut shell.

Happy quilting!

Julie





Monday, November 3, 2014

I am behind on making my alphabet blocks.  I printed the "Q" pattern this morning and I've only made it as far as the "O".  So there are two that I need to get made.  But before I do that I'm in the process of finishing up some quilting I need to get done on another project.

In the mean time here are pictures of the letters I have done.




I had a terrible time with the letter "N". The center of it was giving me fits. And apparently I don't know how to add.  I don't know why that sounds like it comes as a surprise to me.  I've never been any good at math.



It's a good thing that I always make the red blocks first since I had to keep starting over.  First I trimmed the center of the "N" too narrow.  Of course I didn't know that until the block was sewn together.  So I tried to make the center again and I cut the rectangle the wrong direction.  No matter how I turned it I couldn't get it sewn on right.  But I did get it sewn on wrong one time.  Anyway, the "N" is done.  And I made notes on the pattern about how it was made so when we get to the letter "Z" I won't go through all of that again.  But as I've said before, I love these blocks.  This has been a great quilt along with Temecula Quilt Company..

Since Halloween was only a few days ago I'll share a picture of my two favorite trick or treaters of the night.
Granddaughters - Peacock Grace and Monkey Allison
They both had a great time on Halloween in spite of how cold it was.

Happy sewing,

Julie

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Some more of my older quilts.

There just hasn't been much time to do any sewing this week so I thought I would post a couple of my old quilts today.

These two quilts I made for my granddaughter Grace.  She is now six and in the first grade.
Angels For Grace
This quilt I call Angels for Grace.  The pattern came from the book Comfort and Joy by Mary Hickey. The book is full of Christmas patterns but I changed all that to make it a baby quilt.  The original patterns has boy angels too, and is done in blues and reds.  The border on mine is one that I added and is not original to the pattern.  This is one of my first applique projects and actually one of my last too.  I had a lot of fun making it but not enough fun to make applique a priority for me.

Bugs in a Snowball
The second baby quilt I made for Grace was all about the fabric.  I found this bug fabric and just had to have it.  The snowball block worked out great for trying to fussy cut the bugs.  I didn't use a pattern for this.  It's just 4 or 4 1/2" snowball blocks and a couple of borders. It just occured to me that both quilts are purple.  (My favorite color.)  It didn't help influence Grace though.  Her favorite color is pink.

Grace Kaye Ann
It wouldn't be a blog post about Grace's quilts without a picture of Grace.

Happy Thursday!

Julie