Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Stars and Stripes

Well, with all the cold weather we have been having, what better place to be than under a quilt.  I started quilting this little lap quilt that measures 55X55 last week.  It has hung in the closet for awhile and was another perfect candidate for big stitching.

 This is the fourth stash busting quilt I have made in the last couple of years. The previous post tells about where I found the block.  I focused in on some red and blue fabrics then used some muslin trimmings from previous quilts to give me some contrast.

My reward for using stash fabric is being able to purchase some fun backing fabric.  I found this fireworks print last fall and knew when I saw it that it would be perfect.

Doesn't it look wonderful with the striped binding and the front of the quilt?

I must be quilting too much these days, because Max interrupted me while I was trying to take a picture, so I decided to give him a little attention.  It might be that he knows this quilt is special!  It is getting mailed out tomorrow to my brother in law, Gael Kent.  When the first block came out from under the machine, I knew this quilt had to go to a veteran.  My brother in law served in the Air National Guard and now that he is retired he heads a funeral detail unit that honors veterans that have passed.  So Gael I would like to present this quilt to you, for your past and continuing service. Your service to our country and your dedication to your fellow veterans deserves recognition. So Tom and I, and Max want to thank you!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Stitching along!

Do you start the year with resolutions, I have really have never done that.  I do try to set goals for myself.  One of my goals this year was to get some quilt tops quilted before any new starts.

Some of the quilt tops hanging in my waiting area have quite a few seams and busy prints.  This makes quilting them with fine quilting stitches a bit challenging.  I have always wanted to try big stitching, which involves perle cotton and a larger needle.  Well, I have to say, I am absolutely loving the process. It was difficult for me to adjust to larger stitches and I definitely need to keep working on keeping those stitches even.

I did come across this great set of videos on You tube by Jo Glover.  There are five short tutorials and one is a gallery of quilts she has done.  I just love the look. 


I haven't quite made the adjustment to using size 8 or 12 perle cotton, but I do love using the #16.  So last weekend I got my QOV marked and started stitching . It is not a very large quilt measuring 53X53.  The blocks were stitched last summer using a tutorial I found on 15 Minutes of Play BumbleBeans Inc.  I use the paper pieced pdf that is included.  

 There are nine of these triangle galore blocks in the quilt.

I am outline quilting the center triangles that make up the hexagon. Then, I am doing a star point shape to mimick the shape of the red points of the star. I am using a double line on this to help emphasize it.

 The navy blue back ground is a diagonal line spaced one inch apart.  So of course I can't help but name this one Stars and Stripes  I can not believe how much faster this is moving along.  I have two stars and one border to finish up.  Most of that will get done today as I stitch along with the other slow stitchers on Slow Stitching Sundays.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Pay off!

 It has been a long winter, although down here we don't get very hard winters, but we have had our share of lower than normal temps.  I am really getting sick of looking a that bermuda grass that stays brown till we get much warmer temps. Hopefully there will be some signs of spring  soon.  I have kept busy stitching on a few projects, mostly hand work, which is slow going.  So slow, that sometimes, I wonder if these projects will ever get finished, but then I remind myself that I do enjoy the process it is nice to reflect on what those stitches produce. So this morning, after a few last applique stitches, I have the four blocks for my pumpkin seed done! Mind you, I don't have it assembled into a flimsie yet, but sewing four blocks together shouldn't take too long.

 Also after spending a couple of months of basting hexies, I drew out my design.  I wanted to make a frame for a center medallion block, which turned out to be harder than I thought it would be.  I finally got it worked out and started sewing the flowers together adding the background filler.  I  really have enjoyed stitching them together. This is my progress, 181 hexies stitched together!

After another cup of coffee this morning and once the sun comes out I will go back to marking my Quilt of Valor quilt.  I am excited to get it into my new hoop.  Again I will be using perle cotton #16, to big stitch this quilt.  So even though sometimes it doesn't feel like I am making progress, it is good to look back and see how far these projects have come.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Slow Slow Stitching

Thought I would update you on my hexie quilt today.  If you have ever worked with hexies you know it involves slow slow stitching.  I did make progress this week, in that I started to assemble my medallion block.

This evening, the plans are to add a few more black background hexies to a few more flowers, so that they will be ready to attach. My goal is attaching four more flowers, not sure that will happen but I like to work towards a goal.
 This morning, while the sun is shining bright I am marking some blocks on my Quilt of Valor so that I can get it closer to going into the hoop.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

More Blue!

Joining  Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2014 has really motivated me to get some things done.  I completed the three blue blocks for my pickle dish challenge quilt.  But, being a typical quilter ,I also have other projects on the go, so this week, I pulled out the  blue hexies in my EPP box and made all of these flowers.

I just loved the reverse starburst  block that Kat featured on her blog.  Her tutorial was great and I decided I could use some more scraps and easily make one more block per month. 

Looks like the end of the year is going to be very colorful when I got to assemble these blocks into  quilts.  Making more quilt tops means  I need to keep on track with my hand quilting. My goal is to hand quilting  three quilts this year!   Number one,  my thousand pyramid,  was finished this week.  Now to get number two marked, sandwiched and into the hoop.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Gotta love those finishes!

My thousand pyramid quilt is a conglomeration of all things I love about quilts. I collected these fabrics over a couple of years, These tones are my favorites! It's scrappy!  The backing is a toile fabric and the quilting design is simple yet elegant.  It is bordered with black and has a wonderful cable done in a playful manner.  My favorite part is the perle cotton #16 I used to hand quilt it dances nicely with the fabrics and straight lines of the triangles that make up this quilt.

 close up of wine glass quilting design

 A bit breezy today as a cool front approaches

  Cable design on border
 black and white toile on the backing

 I think I have a found new place to take quilt photos!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Binding Clips

Santa was very good to me this year.  I have had the Clover binding clips on my wish list for quite some time.  I love hand stitching down binding, but as I would advance the quilt on my lap, I often would get a finger or thigh poked by the straight pins that I would use.  At one point I tried the hair clips but found that my binding would get a bit a wavy using them.   I really am not the type of person that needs every new gadget that comes out, but these clips did catch my eye.

Aren't they cute!  I love the thought that was putting into designing these little clips. Do you see how the red part is rounded to allow the fullness to be on front of the quilt.

They do a great job holding the binding in place on the back no distortion it lays nice and flat
That little curve makes all the difference allowing that fullness on the front!  I also have found they work great holding my hexies together as I stitch them.  As I have gotten older, that pinching that happens to hold the two pieces together can make my hand hurt, now I let the clip do the job and they are small enough that my hand has no problem supporting the work.  I have no affiliation with Clover, and am not a notions junky, but I do love these clips.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Where do I start?

I was hoping to have my pyramid quilt finished by today and was looking forward to using my new binding clips while sewing down the binding.  But, things don't always work out like we want.   The weather was so gorgeous yesterday, I just had to go out and enjoy it.  I only have three more cables to hand quilt as you can see in the picture, but my spool of perle cotton is almost gone, not sure I will make it.  Time will tell. But the good thing is, there is always more slow stitching projects to work on.

As you can see I have made a bit of progress on my hexies.  I even did a layout drawing for the center medallion, not sure what will happen beyond this but for now I just need to keep making flowers.  Then I can work on assembling the center medallion.
I also have the last block of my pumpkin seed to assemble.  I assembled the four pumpkin seeds I made from scraps this week.  They are ready to applique to the background that has been pre-washed, although you can see I need to do some pressing.  So I  am  linking up again with Kathy's Slow Stitching Sundays to get some inspiration  to get my projects moving along!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Week 2 RSC2014!

 If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you know that I am one who loves antique quilts.  My quilts are traditional patterns in traditional colors.  Lovely thought isn't it, sometimes that can become mundane.  A while ago I started following Kathy' blog and I got involved in Slow Stitching Sundays. Right up my alley! I loved seeing all the projects that fellow followers were making.  I noticed that many of them were also involved with Angela's Rainbow Scrap Challenge.   Since I set a goal last year to try and use up my stash, I thought why not, I have collected some black and white fat quarters and some batik fat quarters also a few online purchases that just ended up not being the just right shade,  this would be a good solution to use them.   So, I jumped right out of my safe place into a world filled with color.

 As I have said I am a little out of my comfort zone for this challenge, but I am hanging in there. Last week's block, started to make be wonder what I had gotten myself into. I had fun making it, but my brain is having a hard time seeing this quilt in my head.   But so many fellow bloggers seemed to like the block, so I decided to continue.  As I turned over the second block this week to press it, I almost panicked.  That gray isn't quite right, that is pretty ugly..............these were my thoughts.

    Then I remembered this is a challenge and I decided to make my third block in blue.  This one contained the hand dye blue out of Vicki Welsch's color wheel fabric pack.  Such a beautiful blue, I just loved the block.

  So, I laid them all out and WOW! I am so happy I pushed thru my fears.  So if you need a little push to get out of your comfort zone, head on over to RSC2014, there is a button on the right hand side of my blog that will take you to a whole new world of color and fun, anyway it is for me.  I only need three blocks of each color, so now I can't wait for February.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Wrapping things up!

I started this scrappy pumpkin seed quilt last year.  It is a four block quilt that I hoped to get finished in 2014.  The first three blocks have been completed for awhile, so it is time to get block four done so that the top can go to the holding area.  I love the colors in all the scraps and I am using a cheddar as the background, so it should be a great quilt to pull out this fall to quilt.
I love working on this kind of quilt, just sewing scraps together using a paper foundation and then pre-turning the seam allowances and with some applique stitches attaching it to the background.  I also love that there is a lot of solid background to showcase a great hand quilted design.
It is good feeling to get something closer to being finished.  When things stack up, it starts to drive me crazy.  How about you?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

On the home stretch!

Oh my! My post got deleted.  It was probably my fault, scrolling over those buttons can be dangerous especially when it the delete button. I worked so hard on that post but I will sum it up quickly.  No reason to cry over spilt milk.

I am starting to work on the border of my pyramid quilt. Since this quilt was big stitched and more of a utility quilt, I am adding a simple cable that will run off the quilts at the corner instead of turning the corners.

First I made some templates by printing out the cable and using some rubber cement to adhere it to some cardboard. We are so lucky today to have technology that allows us to print, scan, and resize with ease.

Next, I  draw a center line down the border so I can line my templates on it. Then I will trace around the templates using two of my favorite markers for solid fabric, that is my sliver of soap and the hera marker.
 I then trace around each template.
 This picture shows the results of tracing the set of templates twice with a sliver of soap.
 Here are the results when tracing with hera marker.
This one shows the difference between the soap and the hera marker.

The hera marker line is thinnner and I think I will use it for the rest of the marking.  This will allow me to mark as I go.  For me, this makes the task less tedious.  I love using these templates and the best part is you can save them and use them or combine them with other templates for future quilts.

Now I can settle down and start stitching my cables and head over to Kathy's blog and see what others are stitching today. It is getting cold and I can't think of a better way to spend the evening.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2014

Well, I have made a decision to join the rainbow scrap challenge for 2014 with Angela.  Today will be my first time to link up and share and I am looking forward to seeing all the projects.  I love that the rules are relaxed. Make one project, make twelve small projects, doesn't matter.

I love scraps mixed with solid background, so I can still showcase some hand quilting.  I also have spent the last year trying to use up leftover pieces of fabrics, but I had an  assortment of brighter fabrics that never seem to make it out of the closet.  So I decided  what a great way to use up these pieces and get them into a quilt. Then I was the lucky winner of a pack of Vicki Welsch's hand dyes called color wheel. When they arrived I put them next to my stack and oh my what lovely vibrant colors.

I bought this book, last year and wanted to make the pickle dish on the cover. So I have chosen this as my pattern.  I also had some scraps of black and white fabrics that have been sitting on my shelves way too long. To satisfy my love for a neutral background I will be using a tone on tone gray.

I only need 36 blocks to make this quilt, so it shouldn't be very demanding and I will have a quilt top at the end of the year.  So if you have scraps and don't have any idea what to do with them may I suggest linking up. Just click the button on the right hand side of the blog and find out the details.