Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Multi Tasking

I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble. 
Helen Keller


I know you have been waiting with baited breath to see what else I have been up to or when I would get around to posting about it.  Well, you need wait no longer.

I now have 12 Scrappy Trips Around the World blocks made.  I put them on the design wall to see if they would be big enough to border for a charity quilt.  Nope, not liking it that small.  Apparently I came to this decision a while back also because when I looked in the tray that was holding the strips I had pulled for this project I found that I had already paired 8 more sets.  I guess I'll be making a total of 20 blocks or this one.



I cut some more 2 1/2" strips on my Accu Quilt Studio Cutter.  These will be going into some charity quilt kits.  I may make one top from them.




I have been pulling some fabrics to use with this die.  I outlined the cutting blades with a silver marker.  It really helps when placing your fabrics down to cut.





Here are some of the fabric combos I have come up with so far for the Blazing Star.









I did iron out the wrinkles after I took the photos.  Now I just need to cut some strips from the fat quarters and yardage and I'll be ready to run them through the cutter.  I decided to use batiks so the the right/wrong side of the pieces want be an issue in this very directional pattern.  Of course the danger in doing this is getting the position of the lights and darks reversed in some of the blocks.  I haven't decided how big it will be or if I will be putting sashing between the blocks.

So that's a little of what's going on in the studio.  I've also fired up the longarm and am making progress on a quilt there.  I'll share that when it's done.

Linking with:  Linky Tuesday

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Bits and Pieces

A bookstore is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking. 

Jerry Seinfeld


No, I haven't fallen off the side of the earth.  I'm still around and hopefully I'll be making my presence know a little more often here.  When I got back from Texas I began seeing a nutritionist to try and get some help with a few chronic health issues that have been causing me to have very little energy and other problems.  After 2 months on my new diet I am beginning to feel better and have a little more energy.  

As I was explaining what I am to be eating to a friend a few weeks ago she said "Oh, I'm familiar with that diet.  If it tastes good spit it out."  Of course it isn't quite that bad.  It's really a clean food diet, as organic as I can make it but I'm not too obsessed with that point.  No gluten, very few carbs.  I don't know about you but changing the way you eat takes a lot of time and mental energy.  My husband and I had gotten used to eating out a little too often but sometimes we just don't want to cook.  Now I am back to cooking more and eating a lot of salads.  This and the more frequent trips to the grocery store have of course changed my daily routine more than a little.

I have managed to get a little sewing done in the studio.  Here is some of the things that I have done for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I am behind in my posting them so I am sharing all I've made so far.






I got the directions for this block off a blog a few years ago.  I love the movement of it.  I would give you a name for it and who designed it but I have no idea.  The PDF was not copyrighted nor did it have the blog name on it.  I know it was off a popular blog but I haven't a clue as to which one it was.  If you know let me know.  If you don't let this be a lesson that if you want credit for something... PUT YOUR NAME ON IT!!!

 Perhaps you remember that I wanted to make this Storm at Sea Quilt.  







I have all the blocks finished except the Square in a Square ones are missing the final triangle.  I left it off until I get them on the design wall and decide if I want to use the color layout that was in the magazine or not.  The layout will decide the color of the last triangle so that is why I'm waiting.  I'm using the hand dyed fabrics that I ordered from Vicki Welsh for this quilt.  I had a set of 5 batik fat quarters that worked for the center squares.  I'm not sure what I will be doing for the borders.  I'm pretty sure I don't want to do the Monkey Wrench blocks that was in the magazine.

I did use Marti Michell's templates to cut it out and it went well in the cutting and sewing.  I know many people paper piece Square in a Square blocks but I don't see the point.  If you cut them carefully they go together well.  The magazine had templates for all of the blocks to be paper pieced but I didn't  make them like that.

I went ahead and finished the colorways.  Since the pink and red, yellow and orange were both in the same blocks it doesn't follow the monthly colors picked exactly.  I'm kinda curious to see how it will look all together.  The only thing I didn't like so far is I would have liked a little more value difference in the purple blocks.  They are together now and not likely to change.

I have a few more things to share but I'll share those another day.  Tell me if you have had to change your diet drastically and what results you had in the comments.  I'd love to have a little empathy.  LOL

Linking with:  Rainbow Scrap Challenge and Design Wall Monday 
                  and Show and Tell Tuesday

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Quilt Con Quilts

In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. 

Kahlil Gibran


Here as promised are a few pictures from Quilt Con.  If you have never been to a large quilt show you should make it a goal to get to one.  While I am not a fan of large crowds I know there are plenty of shows that do not have the large attendance that you will find in Houston or Paducah.  I heard that there was about 10,000 at Quilt Con but it did not seem crowded.  Remember this is a total for all days and much of the time a large number of attendees were in classes or lectures.

It was a nice show but I was not crazy about the way the quilts were displayed in zig zag rows.  I know that that creates more display space but I kept feeling like I was missing quilts as I walked down the rows.  I have read similar comments from others who were there also.  That was my main complaint.  

I took pictures of the cards hanging by the quilts and they follow the pictures of the quilts so you can see who made them and what they had to say about their quilt.

































I hope you enjoyed these.  The following two were in the American Made Brand Booth and I have no information on who made them but I did like them.





I am refraining from commenting on each quilt so as not to bias you with my opinions or comments.  I did like them all because I didn't take pictures of any that I did not like.
I would love to know what you think about these and which one(s) you like best.


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Marching Onward

Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward. 
Henry Ford


I am back home again and have had almost two weeks to get my act back together and get some things done.  Why is it that it takes me as long to get over my vacation as it does to take one.  Yeah, I know I just slow. 

So where have I been?  I was gone for 12 days and I went all by myself!  Needless to say it put a big dent in February.  Well, I drove all the way to TEXAS!  I spent a week at a resort and took most of 3 days to drive out and another 3 to get home for a total of about 2300 miles on the road.  That's a lot of driving!  Thankfully I had some great audio books to keep me company.  I didn't know anyone that would be able to take 2 weeks off to go with me so I decided to do it alone.  It was a good trip except for some rainy and cold days.  I stayed busy, I took my sewing machine and more projects than I could possibly complete.  I did get a lot done.

So why did I go to TEXAS?  Two reasons:  1) We had a week at the resort that we would lose if we didn't use it and 2) I had decided 2 years ago that I wanted to go to QUILT CON so this had been a goal of mine for a while.

Proof I was there!
 I didn't do any classes or lectures, just the show.  The above were the few freebies I got. Below is my one purchase, other than food, from the vendor mall.

I have been looking for this ruler for a while and finally found it.

I have already pulled some fabrics for the Urban Beads pattern.  Looks like I wasn't as done with solids as I thought I was.  LOL  Any of you used this ruler?  There are lots of patterns and if I like it I plan to try a few more.

I did take some picture of the show quilts but I will share them in a later post so this one will not be too long.

Here are some of the things I worked on while I was gone.  Most of these are projects that have been going for a while and I am more than ready to get them done.


This is a Stack and Whack that I started a few years ago.  I had about half the blocks sewn together and the rest were in 1/4 block units.  Now there are 12 completed blocks.


This is how I make the centers of blocks like this lay flat.  I am not a big fan of pressing seams open but I do it occasionally.  Blocks that have 8 or more seams in the center can benefit from just the center being pressed open like this.


This has been a travel project for me for about 4 years.  It has lived in my travel bag for that long at least.  Now all 96 blocks are made and ready to be squared up.  Then they get the design wall treatment.


I got all the 9 inch Churn Dash blocks made that I had cut out.  For some reason that was just 40.  I have cut out 2 more since I got home and then these will be ready to take a turn on the design wall.


The 12 inch Churn Dash blocks came up 2 short too.  There are 18 finished.  It would have been 19 but I found a flaw in one of the fabrics.  The remaining 2 are now cut out although I had to introduce a new fabric into the mix since I had done such a good job at stash busting with this group.  I'll be glad to be saying goodbye to the old calicos in these two sets of blocks.
When I worked at Cloth World the calico remnants were always following  me home.


I have shared this one on the blog a couple of times.  Now there are 182 blocks ready for the design wall.  I even got the new ones pressed yesterday.


I have had this one cut out for a while.  I cut it out at the same time that I cut out another one with these fabrics.  I'll share the link back to it when these are pressed and look nice.  They are from a magazine pattern called Cottage Romance.


So you will doubtless see these babies again.  Hopefully it will be soon.  Now to give my fellow North Americans hope for the future and an end to this long winter.  Here are a couple of nice pictures of what is in my yard now.  These are late.  The last few years they have bloomed in January.


You can see there are still more to bloom.  If you look real close you may see two pink hyacinths blooming in the center.  They got a little nipped by frost this week.  I'm hoping they will bounce back this week but we are to get lots of rain.


This weekend was delightful weather wise with temps in the 60s and 70s.  Just hang in there and quilt away all you snowbound people.  Spring IS coming soon!

Check back soon for pictures from Quilt Con.  I am also feeling the need for a GIVEAWAY. 
Anybody interested?



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