Friday, February 27, 2015

Our little Grace had her 7th birthday yesterday.  I think it amazes me more now than when my kids were little at how fast the time goes by.

Another birthday, another postcard.  Sometimes the postcards I make are great and sometimes they are okay.  This one goes in the okay pile.

Front

The cats are cute.  But I do wish I had used the gray thread on both of them instead of the black.  It's just a bit too dark.  Cats do have crooked ears don't they?  These certainly do.  That gives them character. This looked a little better when I drew it out on paper.

Back



Grace showing the bag she made at 4-H



Well, now that is it Friday I'm about as happy as can be.  I'm ready for a Saturday of sewing.  And after seeing a beautiful pink and gray sunrise I'm ready to do some more sewing on the pink "I am" quilt.

It's hard for me to see colors like this and not try to translate them into quilts.  Do you do that too?  There is obviously way too much dirt on my windshield.  I started to write bugs but it's still a little too early for them.

Have a great Friday and an even better weekend.

Julie

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Some More Pink

The pink is still fun to work on.  But quite frankly, it's not much fun to post about.  There just isn't much to show that looks like anything is getting done.  I will say that I worked at least 10 hours over the weekend on this top.  This is one where I should have been keeping track of my hours.  It has occurred to me that each of these blocks is ONLY 4" finished. And that a twin size quilt is going to add up to a lot of 4" blocks. But it does seem like it's taking forever.  Even to me.  This time I have some rows sewn together though.  So see, there is hope.

I started and ended the weekend sewing session making more setting blocks.  I've already shown some of the Jack in the Box.  But here are a few again.  I think they are more level than that on the wall. 

There were also some of these Shoo Fly blocks.  They gave me a little trouble since to my mind they are based on a nine patch setting and I needed them to be a four patch setting.  It was a little difficult to figure out the math (even with a calculator).  I just was not getting them to divide well at all.  I ended up cutting my pieces just a little less than 1 7/8".  The way I wrote it in my notes was to cut them just to the right of the 1 7/8" mark on my ruler. 
Hopefully, that makes a little sense.  Anyway, if you'd like to make your own 4" Shoo Fly block then I would suggest you make the 1/2 square triangle pieces a little over-sized and trim them down to just a shade under 1 7/8".  I tried cutting in between the 6/8 and 7/8 marks and that was too much.  My blocks were too small.  There was more time spent on these four little blocks then I'm sure was necessary.  I'm sure it would have been simpler to browse the web until I found a pattern the right size for my project.

Another part of the top I worked on was the sashing in between the rows.  I had started cutting the gray sashing into 1 1/2" strips to finish at 1".  When I sewed the first two rows together I wasn't very happy with the results.
1" Sashing
The way these rows are put together very few of the letters are going to line up from top to bottom.  There are different size strips separating the words and setting blocks on every row.  With the 1" finished sashing it was too apparent that they don't line up.

1 1/2" Sashing
So I ripped out the narrower sashing and made it a little wider.  It was cut at 2" and finishes at 1 1/2".  By the time a little quilting goes in there it will look just fine.

As of right now, I have five rows sashed together.  Using the wider sashing means that I will need at least one less row of words.  And that means I have an extra word.   Oh, well.  Maybe something else to work into the border or on the back.  If you have a strong opinion about the color gray for the sashing please don't hesitate to let me know.  There are several reasons I went with the gray.  One - I have a lot of it.  Two - It makes me think of the words being underlined with a pencil mark.  This quilt is for a almost seven year old that is in the 1st grade.  They do a lot of writing in pre-lined workbooks in the first grade.  And several other reasons could be added.  But it's not too late to make a change if needed.

Another weekend or two and this too shall be in the "to be quilted" pile. Yes, that is me, mocking myself for making a lot of quilt tops and quilting very few.

Have a terrific rest of your day.

Julie

I apologize for using the word "sashing" so many times in this post.  When I hit the spell check it high lighted each and every one of them.  If sashing isn't in the dictionary, it certainly should be.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Pink Progress

Any progress is exciting to me.  And this weekend I finally made some progress on putting together a few of the quilt rows.
Grace's "I Am" quilt progress.
Isn't it coming together great?  This was just what I had in mind when I started thinking about doing this quilt.  I've been calling it Grace's "I Am" quilt.  I started thinking of it as a "You Are" quilt.  But I don't want her to read "You are beautiful.", I want her to read "I am beautiful".

Right now each of the rows finishing measurements are 4" x 60".  I plan to add a narrow inside border and a wider outer border to make it a twin size quilt.

This is what the rows looked like Saturday morning.
See where I had spacers on some of the ends and not on others?  Nope, I didn't like that.  So all of those had to be removed and that amount had to be added in the row.  All of the figuring I had done the week before wasn't going to work.  I did a lot of ripping and resewing.  But it was well worth it to make it look like I wanted instead of just what what was easier to do.

I also made quite a few 4" setting blocks.  So far each of the rows has different setting blocks.  I think I've come up with enough different patterns that none of the rows will be the same.  That means I'll have quite a few leftovers from the little blocks I've already made.  Maybe they can go into the border or on the back.  Since my planning hasn't made it that far there is still time for that decision later.

Here are a few more of the filler blocks I made Saturday.

One row of the flying geese blocks have already been used to the left of the word "Sweet". I'm hoping to fit them in here and there.  Otherwise, I'll just make enough that they will be on their own row with a word or words.  I really like the small block to the right of the flying geese.  It is a "Jack in the Box" block.  I've made quite a few of them before.  This time I just made the sizes smaller to end up with a 4" block.  The butterfly blocks are with the word "Daughter"  That bright pink polka dot was some of the yard sale fabric I found at a church sale a few months ago.  There is only a small piece of it.  The butterfly pattern is all over the web right now as it's quite popular.  My directions for it came from a free pattern Lori Holt had on her blog in a row by row quilt. One of these days I'm going to have enough bright colored fabrics to make that quilt.  The pattern for it can now be found in her book "Quilty Fun".

And there you have my Saturday in a nutshell.  I spent half of it ripping and resewing and the other half making very small blocks.  And to top it off I spent a couple of hours at a Minnie Mouse birthday party for my granddaughter Allison.
Allison at the zoo.
This week I'm going to link up with Judy at Patchwork Times since I haven't done that for a while.  

Have a great Monday!

Julie

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Birthday Cards

Last year when my little granddaughter Allison turned one and I stewed and stewed over whether or not I wanted to start making her fabric postcards for her birthdays.  I have been making one every year for her older sister Grace.  But I wanted something different for Allison.  So I had a terrible plan to make her a flower block each year until there were enough to put a quilt together.  Well, that's one way to test whether or not your thread will hold up over the years.

This was from last year.
Flower quilt  block for Allison's 1st birthday.

Over the last year I've regretted my decision to not make Allison postcards too.  After all she can't pick up a quilt block and carry it around.  Or read it, either.

So here is Allison's birthday postcard for her 2nd birthday.
Postcard for Allison's 2nd birthday.

Back of postcard

You should never look too closely at my applique work.  It's usually acceptable, but rarely great.  It is however, done with love.

Now to figure out a postcard for Grace's 7th birthday.  Wow.

Happy Tuesday.

Julie


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

More of the Same

Yes, today I bring you more of the same.  The pink is even getting a little old to me.  However, I'll be looking at pink for quite some time to come.  It's actually coming together quite nicely.  But I'm pretty sure that it isn't going to be a quilt by the time Grace's birthday gets here the end of February.  This may be one of those quilts that gets drug out until Christmas.  But that would mean I'll have to figure out a birthday present in between now and February 26th.

This is a terrible picture of what I had done as of Sunday morning.





I took this picture before I headed out to work at the college on Sunday.  I wanted to start figuring out the details to put the rows together.

There is a lot of spare time in my work day at the college.  I'm busy first thing in the morning and at the last of the day and in between that I usually do a lot of reading.  This time I was able to put a lot of numbers down on paper.

I counted out letters and added in the 1/2" sashing in between each letter to figure out how much extra space I had to get to the 60" width I want.  I'm planning to add a border to finish out the width.  I'm lousy at math so luckily all of my blocks are the same size.  Just not all of the words are the same length. There will also be more than one word on several of the rows.  Hopefully, my figuring is right and the rows will all come out the way I planned.


The first row sewn together.  Okay, the only row sewn together, so far.  I also made yet another word and have another one cut out.  So a little progress was made.

On to other news.  My sister Cathy tells me that there is a picture of my quilt in the newest issue of Quiltmaker.  It tells about it being a block of the month.  I haven't seen the issue yet.  I'm really excited to see how it all turns out.  Quiltmaker posted a picture last week on their blog but I was asked not to write about it on my blog yet.  They weren't quite ready.  I'm patiently waiting until I can post MY first picture.  I'm told they will let me know when.  I think I'll head to the store a little later and see if the new issues are out yet.  I think they usually go in the stores later than they are mailed.  I'm not a subscriber my Mom is.  We live about five blocks from each other.  She gets a couple of magazines and I get a couple of different ones and then we trade back and forth.  We've done it that way for years.  As of yesterday she hadn't yet received her copy in the mail.  But my sister who lives less than two miles away got hers.  Go figure.

Have a terrific Tuesday.

Julie

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

This week I have been working on the blocks that will go with my words.

4" Blocks
These blocks will all finish at 4".  So far I have between 10 and 20 of each block made.  The most labor intensive blocks are the stars.  I have the most of them because they've been my leader/enders while I've been working on the words.  The second block down on the left is the only one of those.  I wasn't quite sure I wanted to make more.  But looking at this picture I think it will work out just fine.  It will add good scrappy color.  I have a couple more block patterns in mind but haven't had the time to get started on them yet.


These are the only two words I've done this week.  I've just spent most of my time on the little blocks.  One of these days I have to figure out what size I want to end up with and how to get the rows to that size.  Putting together one row is easy.  Making the rest of them that length - not so simple. The piecing of the blocks is the easy part.


Here's another picture of the rest of the words that are done.  Just to keep it all on the same page.  It doesn't however, all fit on the same wall anymore.  A few more words and a lot more little blocks and I'll be ready to start setting it all together.  That should read - tearing my hair out.

Speaking of hair.  Why don't people who cut hair check the haircut anymore.  I may have just got the worst haircut I've ever had.  And by the time I try to get both sides the same length it really will be a mess.  I should go back and make her straighten it out but the last thing I need is for it to be cut any shorter by a mad stylist.  This too shall grow back out.  Thank goodness.

Have a great rest of your day!

Julie

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Thursday Update

My title to this post actually makes it sound like a Thursday update is going to be a regular occurrence.  Probably not going to happen.  I usually don't spend much time sewing during the week.  This week has been a little different.  Maybe because I can't sleep and maybe because these blocks are going together so fast and easy that it makes it a little more fun to spend time at the machine.

So here are the new words I've made.



And here they all are together.  I'm running out of room on my wall though.  As you can see I still need quite a few words.  Not a problem.  I have a two page list of possibilities to choose from.  And it seems like I think of more every day.



I still haven't decided for sure how I'm going to sash the rows.  I've cut narrow 1 1/2" strips of gray to put in between them.  It almost makes it look like lines that you would write on.  I'm leaning toward that.

All of the pinks are different.  But I have been using the same background on more than one word.  And I'm running out of background fabric.  I have been working with half yard cuts for more variety and it looks like I'll need a couple more.

Have a great Thursday.

Julie