Monday, February 17, 2014

Fab 4 Quilt Along Prizes

We were all on this ship in the sixties, our generation, a ship going to discover the New World. And the Beatles were in the crow's nest of that ship. 
John Lennon

So do you like to be rewarded for your hard work?  If you have been working on a Fab 4 Quilt Along quilt you have a chance to WIN a nice little PRIZE bundle.

Here it is:

I looked around and tried to pick out some things that reminded me of the 60s.  I know many of you were not born yet but since I lived through them I found a few things that I think you might enjoy.  Since it's the month to celebrate The Beatles why not have a quilt pattern by that name?  Debbie Bowles does great patterns with a modern look and excellent directions.  The quilting stencil has a modern look to it and would be great on a contemporary quilt.  Then the 60s were all about peace and flower power so how about two fat quarters that are all about flowers.

Everyone who shares their project on the linky party in  THIS FAB 4 QUILT ALONG POST will be in a drawing for this nice little bundle of goodies.  The linky will be open through the end of the month.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Rainbow Scrap Challenge

Walk in the rain, jump in mud puddles, collect rocks, rainbows and roses, smell flowers, blow bubbles, stop along the way, build sandcastles, say hello to everyone, go barefoot, go on adventures, act silly, fly kites, have a merry heart, talk with animals, sing in the shower, read childrens' books, take bubble baths, get new sneakers, hold hands and hug and kiss, dance, laugh and cry for the health of it, wonder and wander around, feel happy and precious and innocent, feel scared, feel sad, feel mad, give up worry and guilt and shame, say yes, say no, say the magic words, ask lots of questions, ride bicycles, draw and paint, see things differently, fall down and get up again, look at the sky, watch the sun rise and sun set, watch clouds and name their shapes, watch the moon and stars come out, trust the universe, stay up late, climb trees, daydream, do nothing and do it very well, learn new stuff, be excited about everything, be a clown, enjoy having a body, listen to music, find out how things work, make up new rules, tell stories, save the world, make friends with the other kids on the block, and do anything else that brings more happiness, celebration, health, love, joy, creativity, pleasure, abundance, grace, self-esteem, courage, balance, spontaneity, passion, beauty, peace, relaxation, communication and life energy to...all living beings on this planet. 
Bruce Williamson

After all the different kinds of things nature has thrown our way here in the South the above quote seemed appropriate!  Rain, snow, sleet, ice, clouds, sunshine, falling trees, freezing temps, warm breezes and even an EARTHQUAKE have rocked our little corner of the country this week.  We should all do our best to enjoy each and every day because each and every one is a PRESENT!

I wanted to show the block I have made for this month's Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  Pink has never been one of my favorite colors so it took some rooting around to come up with these.  I do have some pastel pinks but not many.  I want this project to be bright so I tried to avoid them and mauves, which I seem to have an abundance of from the 80s and early 90s.

I am really loving this block and thinking of making more of them so I can have two quilts. One to keep and one to give away.  I can't say they are being made from scraps unless fat quarters count.  My scrap bins only contain strings and pieces the size of my hand or smaller. Everything else in my stash is sorted by color.  I do have a few drawers of various size pieces up to about 8" squares but so far none of them have been in the right colors.

I want to start the blocks for the other projects I showed in last months's Rainbow Scrap Challenge Post.  The Amish Batik Quilt has a black background.  It calls for over 9 yards.  I have that much in a solid but I'm not sure it's all cotton.  I have a whole bolt of this animal print shown below.  I'm not sure I like it for this project.  What do you think?

I have over 6 yards of this Jinny Beyer Paisley.  I'm thinking of using it with this jelly roll by Blank Textiles.  This is the quilt that caught my eye.  Again I'm thinking a solid rich black might work better.  What do you think?

So do you think I should use the gray/black prints I have or go with a solid black?  I have a few yards of solid black that would probably be enough to use with the jelly roll project. Using the stash is one of my goals of course but I will buy more if I need to.

Fab 4 Link Up Party

I know you, you know me
One thing I can tell you is you got to be free
Come together right now over me
The Beatles

Are you ready to party?  I am still working on a couple of my Fab 4 projects.  I hope some of you have one going too!  I am going to leave this linky open for the rest of the month and I hope you will be posting your projects.

I said I would give you some hints about how you could make this project a tribute to The Beatles.  Here are my ideas:

  • Applique the name(s) of The Beatles 
  • Stitch or Applique one of your favorite lyrics
  • Add a silhouette of your favorite picture or image of The Beatles
There are many sites on the web that have images you can use.  As long as you are doing it for yourself and not to sell you should be OK to use it.  If you plan on entering it in a quilt show I would strongly suggest you seek permission.  Copyright law can be touchy.  Needless to say The Beatles have enough $$ to have it enforced if they so desire.

Here is where my projects are so far:

This one needs at least one more block.  I would like to have another row but I am not sure I have enough of the white tone on tone.

I did get another row on this one.  It is now a 25" square.  I could keep going to crib size or just add a border for a table topper.  I'm thinking about which to do.

The pieces are cut for this one and mostly sewn into the small units.

Here are the original designs I did in EQ back in 2002.

Now let's see what you have been up to!  I will be announcing what PRIZES I will put into a GIVEAWAY for those who participate tomorrow.


    An InLinkz Link-up

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Grow Your Blog Winner

I am already kindly disposed towards you. My friendship it is not in my power to give: this is a gift which no man can make, it is not in our own power: a sound and healthy friendship is the growth of time and circumstance, it will spring up and thrive like a wildflower when these favour, and when they do not, it is in vain to look for it. 
William Wordsworth


It's time to announce the Winner of the Grow Your Blog Giveaway.

I have been following with GFC.

Congratulations Vicki!!! I will get your keychain in the mail as soon as I have your snail mail details.

It's been a week of contrasts in the weather here.  Today is sunny after rain last night.  Remarkably there was some patches of ice that survived the rain and warmer temperatures of yesterday.  I'm sure they will be gone later today.
I thought you might like to see a picture or two of the contrasts in my life.  The pansies were briefly overwhelmed by the sleet and snow.  They had recovered and were fine yesterday.

Inside the house is a different story.  My begonias have been in bloom for a number of weeks.  These are fully open now and are a lovely shade of pink.

Here is a closer look at their delicate beauty.

My violets are still blooming away also.  You can see more of them in this post from the first week of January.  Like I said they have been blooming for a while.

We watched the grandkids last night.  Today I am sore from picking up the baby.  He will be 9 months next week and weighs about 27 lbs.  He is crawling and pulling up.  Needless to say he is determined to get into things he shouldn't and must be picked up and distracted in another direction.  I don't pick up heavy things on a daily basis so I am feeling it today.  He is a sweetie and a very happy little boy.  

I haven't gotten any new pictures of my projects made yet.  I'll get that done this afternoon and have more to share then.  I will also get the linky up and running for the Fab 4 Quilt Along tomorrow.  Hope you have something to share!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Of all these friends and lovers there is no one who compares with you.  And these memories lose their meaning when I think of love as something new.
The Beatles, In My Life

Happy Valentine's Day!

Now you can't say you
didn't get one cheesey
Valentine today!

The snow and ice that hit Georgia, and a lot of other states, will soon be a distant memory.  We survived will no damage.  Our lights stayed on and I was able to sew for most of the time.  The only problem I had was convincing my husband to stay home since I knew no one else would bother to show up for work.  He is so bored when he doesn't go to work!  Heaven help me when he retires!  

The Leland Cypress trees looked more like firs.

The bare trees were frosted with ice. The road was iced over.

Since my knee problems started I do not want to fall.
I took my cane out with me on my picture taking walk.

You can see how deep the sleet/snow was in the yard.

Most of what we got was sleet which did not stick to the trees very well.  We did get enough of it to turn the ground white and cover the roads so they were too slick to drive on.  Then Wednesday night and Thursday morning we got a little snow that stuck to the trees.  The sun come out before noon and it was off the trees by mid-afternoon.  Today almost all of it is gone except for the patches in shadow and on the north sides of houses and roofs. 

Are you making any progress on the Fab 4 Quilt Along?  Margaret sent me a picture of what she has done.  She decided to use scraps.  While I have not done one that way it does use them up.  Her's is very scrappy.  You could do one with scraps using certain colors in specific patches also.  She blogs at Margie Stitcher.  It was fun to look at her blog since my daughter Margaret goes by Margie too.  Here is her project so far.

Thanks for sharing Margaret!  I hope more of you will be working on it soon and sharing more pictures.  I need to figure out how you can share on my Flicker group and share that with you.

Today is the last day you can sign up on my Grow Your Blog Giveaway.  If you haven't done that yet please do!  Next week I will be sharing some prizes for the Fab 4 Quilt Along with you.  I also have my 200th blog post rapidly approaching and I will soon reach 100,000 page views too.  What should I do to celebrate those momentous occasions?  Hmmmm....

My husband recorded the special show for The Beatles 50th that was on Sunday.  We have been watching it a little at a time.  It is amazing to me how many great songs they did and how hearing them stirs memories of my youth.  Notice I did not say mis-spent youth.  Since I married at 18 and was a mother at 20 I didn't have much time to be in touch with my inner Wild Child.  LOL

I'll be back soon to share what I've gotten stitched up this week.  In the meantime I'll leave you with another bit of cheese.  Smile and enjoy it!

I hope you have a great day with someone you love!  We get to keep the grandkids for a while tonight so my son and DIL can go out to dinner.

Linking with: Live a Colorful Life

Monday, February 10, 2014

Fab 4 Quilt Along Progress

Love is like a flower, give it time and it will grow  
John Lennon 

I hope by now that some of you are making some progress on the Quilt Along.  I thought I would share a few pictures of what I have been up to.

This one I cut separate pieces for.

For this one I have used the strip piecing technique.
A 5 1/2" square ruler comes in handy!

Make sure you consider your color placement in the rail units.

It can make a dramatic difference in this layout.

Here is a different colorway.

Which way do you think looks the best?

Of course if you choose this layout there is a different emphasis
and fabric focus of where the eye is drawn.  I joined this one in 
rows and I plan to add one more to this one and then I think it 
will be a good size for a table topper 25" x 25".  I may add a 
border to it.  Do you think it needs one?

One method of putting the blocks together is to join them 
into four patch blocks.  Pay close attention to the way 
everything is turned because it will make a difference.

Linking with:  Patchwork Times and Stitch by Stitch

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Fab 4 Quilt Along Instructions

And when the brokenhearted people

Living in the world agree

There will be an answer, let it be 
Paul McCartney

Are you ready?  Got your fabrics pressed and rotary cutter handy?  It's time for the fun to begin!

This design is based on 5 inch finished size blocks.  This makes it very easy to figure out the size.  There are just two blocks both simple.  The MOST IMPORTANT THING in making these blocks is to have an accurate SEAM ALLOWANCE!  Since one block has just one seam in both directions and the other one has thee in just one direction, any discrepancy in the seam allowance will make the blocks not finish at the same size.

There is also a personal decision of whether you want the finished design to be visually balanced or not.  If you use an even number of blocks you will get a design that looks like this.

Here you can see that two corners have 4 patches and the other two have rails.  

If you go with an odd number of blocks you can have all four corners alike.

Then you need to decide if you prefer 4 patches or rails in the corners.

The decision you make on these preferences affects the total number of blocks of each type you will have to make.  These are not the only layouts that you can do.  Look at my previous post HERE for some others.  I have a few more to share later.  It has been interesting to see how playing with two simple blocks can give so many design options.

OK, are you ready to start cutting?

For your 4 patch blocks cut 3" wide strips.  You will need them from 2 contrasting fabrics.

For your rail blocks cut 1 3/4" wide strips from 4 different fabrics.

Now you have to decide if you want to do strip piecing or cut individual sized pieces to sew together.  If you choose the latter cut the 3" strips into 3" squares.  The rail fabrics will need to be cut into 5 1/2" lengths.

Which way you choose for assembly is up to you.  I have done it both ways.  For the smaller projects I don't think it makes much difference in the time.  For a larger project I am using the strip construction method.  I am making three different sizes and will be sharing them with you later.

Here is the number of pieces you need for the following sizes.  Like I said you can make it any size you would like but the yardage and number of pieces to cut will change.

CUT FROM:      

                                3" STRIPS                     1 3/4" STRIPS
                                    from                                      from
                               2 FABRICS                       4 FABRICS

                              4 PATCHES                            RAILS
                               3" Squares                      5 1/2" Lengths

WALL                          16                                             8

RUNNER                     32                                           16

LAP                              120                                          60

QUEEN                        324                                        161
Black, White & Red
85" x 95"

QUEEN                        320                                        160
80" x 100"

Now one more option is to change the size of the blocks.  Maybe you would like to use Charm squares or a Jelly Roll.  That's fine.  It's your quilt so make it how you would like it to be.  I will be back with some more hints for design layouts.  I will also have a link for my Flicker Group so you can share what you are doing.  I can't wait to see what you do with the design!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Fab 4 Quilt Along Fabrics

I get by with a little help from my friends.  
Ringo Starr

I am hoping that some of you out there are looking forward to this little quilt along.  I've been working on my samples this week and I wanted to let you know how much fabric you will need.  I also thought I would go ahead and let you know what it looks like since it is not a mystery quilt along.

Here is a couple of versions of the wall quilt or it could be a table topper size.  I played around in EQ7 for different colorways.

As you can see there are a couple of ways you can set the blocks shown here.  There is one more I'll be sharing.  You can make any size project you like.  How about a lap quilt?

If you want to go for it here is how a queen size quilt could look.


The Wall Quilt size can be made from a few scraps and fat quarters.  I chose a focus fabric and background to use there.  The rails can be of colors pulled from the focus fabric.  An analogous color scheme or one from light to dark looks good there

SIZE               2 FABRICS                         4 FABRICS                          BINDING
                         for 4 PATCHES                 for RAILS

WALL                  1/4 yard                            1/8 yard                               1/4 yard
20" x 20"

RUNNER            3/8 yard                            1/4 yard                               1/4 yard
20" x 40"

LAP                      7/8 yard                            1/2 yard                               5/8 yard
50" x 60"

QUEEN              2 3/8 yards                      1 3/8 yards                           7/8 yard
80" x 100"
0r 85" x 95"

I haven't included any yardage for borders but you can add them if you like.  I will on at least one of mine.  Yes, I am making more than one size.  

So what does this Quilt Along have to do with The Beatles?  Absolutely nothing other than it occurs during the 50th Anniversary of their American debut.  I thought it would be fun to name it that since there are 4 of them and the units in the quilt each have 4 pieces.  If you want to make it associate with them I will be sharing a few ideas for that.

So if you are looking for something to sew on during the Olympics this is a nice easy project!  I hope you will join me and make at least a small one!
Please spread the word if you will be joining me and leave a comment too!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Goals for February

The true secret of happiness lies in the taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life. 
William Morris

Looking for the Grow Your Blog Giveaway?  It's HERE

January is gone and February is off to a sunny start.  It rained this morning for a while but we could go out yesterday without a coat.  Nice!  I don't think the cold is gone for long though.  Spring is coming, it can't stay cold forever.

I spent a good bit of time in the studio last month but I didn't get anything finished. SIGH!
I allowed myself some time playing and piecing.  I also spent some time planning a few NEW PROJECTS, not that I needed any more to do.  I just have to PLAY and what I have the most fun with is planning something NEW.  Anyone else have that problem?

The most exciting NEW PROJECT is the Fab 4 Quilt Along I planned.  You can read about it in yesterday's post.  I do hope some of you will join me!  I will have details up in the next day or two.

These were my goals for January.  I think I will just roll them over for this month because I made very little progress. Progress is noted in blue.

1. Grandson's quilt finish top, quilt and bind. I've got the border ready to sew on at least.
2. Tribble Trouble quilted  Backing made.
3. Bow Tie #1 quilted  Backing made.
4. Bow Tie #2 quilted
5. Applique quilt quilted
6. Charity Plaid Tumblers quilted
7. Do some embroidery on my machine.  Still haven't played with the new toy, sigh.
8. Design baby quilt. Baby comes in June, need to get started.
9. Cut out a quilt with the Accuquilt Studio cutter. Yes, I did that!

For February I'll be adding:

10. Get the Fab 4 Quilt Along Quilt made, photographed and ALL the posts done.
11. Get the Rainbow Scrap Challenge Block(s) made.
12. Make a few UFO Block of the Month blocks.

So just what did I spend my time doing?  Well I got a little ironing done.  There is always a large pile of fabric that I've pre-washed waiting for that.

I played with some of the Block of the Month blocks that I had designed when I had my shop and never finished.  I want to finish them because they fill several large containers in the studio.  I may even share some of the patterns with you in the future but I have to get them done first.  It took a while to sort out which fabrics went with which blocks.  I thought I had them all organized but I guess not.

I found one block that I could cut out the pieces with the Accuquilt Studio.  That was fun and they turned out so tidy and neat.  I still need to press the block.

I worked on my half square triangle quilt that I had started with a charm square bundle.  They are now all flying geese units.  Not liking this arrangement it's too scrappy for the chevrons.  I have a few more to correct and then I think I'll put them in rows of geese.  If it needs sashing strips between the rows I'm going to have to do some more digging in the stash.  That's what's on the design wall today.

I put one border together for the baby quilt.

I decided I didn't like it.  It was to heavy and dark.  So I tried again. It took all the focus off the star blocks.  I stared at it for days and it didn't work for me.

I think this one will work.  I left out all the solids and just used the dots.  I will add another border of the white dotted background to the outer edge.  The stars will remain the focus now.  But there is more to the story.  

Remember I said I had enough parts for another quilt?  Well I sewed the blocks together using 4 colors in each one.  I really like them much better.  Here they are pinned on top of the other blocks.  I need to decide how to sew them together.  Do I want the same arrangement or try something different?

There are 2 of each combination but by turning them differently it isn't obvious at all.  What do you think?

I did get busy and cut out a bunch of strips with the Accuquilt Studio Cutter.  This is the block I made for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  You can read more about it HERE.  I have several other projects planned to work on for that challenge too.

This is more than enough to keep me busy for the month.  Now if I can just get some finished I will feel better about having so many projects underway.

Linking with:  A Lovely Year of Finishes and Something Old Something New 
  and Design Wall Monday and Anything Goes Monday and Building Blocks Tuesday 
  and Linky Tuesday
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