Thursday, September 18, 2014

My POTC

It has been a busy few weeks but not much stitching has been going on. My son came in for a visit which was great. He taught at Quilting Live here in Atlanta and it was wonderful that he was able to combine his work trip with a family visit. While he was teaching I decided to tackle my own Patchwork Of The Crosses block. I have seen so many of these around blogland that I had purchased the EPP papers a few months ago. I found a small piece of a bright striped fabric and a few other fabrics and came up with this block for my bright sampler. It is really fun arranging the pieces for this block and I like the finished result, a perfect reminder of one of the quilting trends of 2014.

I also appliqued a few bird blocks for the same quilt. These blocks are my son's design from one of his first quilt patterns. It is called Bird Crossing by Feed dog designs and remains on of my favorites. I really wanted a reminder of these birds as I made the sample of this quilt and don't really want to make another whole quilt but want these blocks as a reminder of his work.

Finally, today I have been practicing my Free Motion Quilting. My son was kind enough to help me baste a few quilts so I was all ready to go. I decided that I wanted to try McTavishing as my background fill. It kinda looks like swirling wind which I love with these fall leaves. I am really having fun with this design. Much easier than I expected and very forgiving though I am finding it pretty time consuming. I am really anxious now to try this pattern on a smaller scale on an appliqué project. I have so many tops sitting around ready to quilt that I need to get busy!!!

 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Correction

Oops, I was clearly confused when I wrote the last post and I am unable to edit. The Spiderweb block tutorial was on Bonnie Hunter's blog Quiltville. I apologize for the error.

More random sewing

I had big sewing plans for the last few days. First up was to add the border to Jacobean Elegance. I believe I have stated before how much I hate adding borders and borders with striped fabric are the worst. No it isn't the mitered corner that I mind doing it is cutting them. I end up rushing the process and the seam allowances are never quite perfect but at least this time I feel like it was worth the work. These borders really enhance the rest of the quilt and I am pleased with the result.

I intended to get the backing ready for this one today as well but sadly I got a bit distracted. Though I did get a backing put together for the charity quilt I shared in a previous post. That took much longer than anticipated as my backing fabric was not quit wide enough. I had to get a bit creative and that required a trip to my LQS for a wee bit of fabric. And then, despite plans to get another backing ready, I began playing with my bright scraps again and created this string block. I used the tutorial on Bonnie Sullivan's Quiltville blog for a Spiderweb block. I have always wanted to try string piecing and I had so many strips left from my Gypsy Wife quilt that I decided to give it a go. Well, the tutorial is great and the block turned out well but it was very time consuming so one of these may be enough!

 

Friday, September 5, 2014

I love Samplers

Yes, it's true. I just love sampler quilts. Mostly I love making sampler quilts because I make so many different blocks and I never get bored. Something about making the same thing over and over just cannot keep me interested. While some quilters just love to cut everything out at once and then sit and chain piece units before assembling the final blocks, I am more of a one block at a time kinda girl. Which leads me to my newest project. My SIL and I have been sewing "together" for about 1 1/2 years now. We pick a project and each work on it at the same time using our own fabrics and acting as each other's sounding board and cheerleader. We have worked on mystery quilts, online BOMs and sometimes just select a pattern to try. It is just great to have a quilting buddy and I think it has improved our piecing along the way. Our last big project was the Gypsy Wife quilt which I just loved doing and know I might never have finished without my buddy cheering me on. Anyway, we each also have our own projects that we work on and we are both hoping to work on Bonnie Hunter's mystery starting late November. But in the meantime we have started a new project called Sampler Magic by Lori Smith.

I found this pattern in my stash and decided it would be perfect for using some Christmas fabrics that I had collected several years ago. I am using this focus fabric that is just below these first blocks.

The pattern is easy to understand for an "old school" quilter like myself. No fancy or speedy techniques (though I do enjoy those), no making units larger and then trimming, just cutting out a whole block, arranging it next to my sewing machine and sewing it together. Bliss! I just love selecting the fabrics for each block though I must admit to having a little difficulty with value in a few them. But overall I am enjoying this project and I am certainly glad that my piecing has improved this year as some of the pieces are pretty small. So here are several more blocks.

And the first row is complete.

 

And just for fun here is my SIL's version.

 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Just Playing

Lately I have been having fun just playing with my bright scraps. I showed my Dresden plate blocks in a previous post and thought I would share my plan for them. Often when I am on the internet I come across an interesting block I would like to try out. It may be a technique I want to try or just something I think looks cool but I don't always want to invest the time or money into a whole quilt. So I head to my bright scraps and make a sample or two and hopefully someday I will have a bright, scrappy and unique sampler. Here is how I am doing so far.

This weekend I saw this fun block made of friendship stars set in a circle and I wanted to try it right away. The HSTs finish at 1 inch making a finished 9 inch block. It was fun but tricky keeping everything in order.

I also made this 12 inch star block from a tutorial that I had bookmarked a few years ago. Fun, but I don't think I will be making many of these as there were so many bias edges to work with.

And if you look closely at the first picture you might see a few little spool blocks that I saw on a Fat Quarter shop YouTube tutorial featuring Edyta Sitar. I really am enjoying this little project. I try to keep the blocks to 3, 6, 9 or 12 inches but I figure I can always add little bits to make things work together. I have no arrangement plan at this time and have no idea how it will turn out but this quilt is all about the process for me. And about using up those scraps!

 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Jacobean Elegance minus borders

After finishing the last of the appliqued pomegranate blocks I am well on the way to putting a Jacobean Elegance together. Just the final borders to add.

This past Friday was the monthly meeting of my quilt guild and a reminder of a need for quilts for children going into foster care inspired me to put this top together. Quick, easy and a great scrap buster. Most of the blue fabrics are about 20 years old! Hopefully it will bring comfort to some little boy.

Finally I have played with making a few Dresden plate blocks. I can't believe I haven't tried these fun blocks before but I am sure there will me more in my future. These will be added to my sample bright blocks which I hope to turn into a quilt someday.

Hope you are finding time for some stitching this weekend.

 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Soupçon finished

Wow, I can't believe it has been over a week since I last posted. I have spent less time blogging lately and more time sewing so at least I have a bit to show for my time away. First up is Soupçon which I finally quilted. I had actually planned to make this one larger but after moving into our new home I decided it would be the perfect thing to hang in the powder room once we got around to painting the walls. Painting was finished yesterday, a lovely teal color, so I got this quilted and bound right away. I had planned some interesting filler quilting but ended up just doing lots of ditch work to highlight the piecing. Simple quick and I like it.

I have also been appliquéing the pomegranate blocks for my Jacobean elegance quilt. These were all prepped about a year ago and I have been rather slow with them. I had saved them as a good transition project during our move and had even cut out the parts for piecing. I took a quick count of my finished blocks this week and was surprised to discover that they were almost done. That was just the incentive I needed to get moving on this UFO. The flying geese are all pieced and the appliqué blocks just need to be trimmed and I can get this assembled.

Since the flying geese were made using the sew and flip method, I used the trimmings to make 1/2 sq triangles which will be used in anther small project. Turns out I prepped one extra pomegranate block so I will use it to make a little pillow or wall hanging.

And finally I finished piecing the maple leaf quilt top. Since fall colors are not my favorite, I was unable to come up with a backing in my stash and trips to 3 different quilt stores were unsuccessful. Finally out of desperation I headed to Joann's and found one on sale that seems to work. Best of all my DIL approves!