Sunday, January 30, 2011

Block 7 - Layer Cake Quilt Along

My version of the Layer Cake Quilt Along, sponsored by Moose on the Porch, Block 7 - Designed by Celene Perkins, Perkins Dry Goods. Celine named the block "Spin Wheel." This was by far the most challenging block for me, however, I learned a lot and ENJOYED every stitch. I am pleased with the way the block turned out. The pinwheel points are not perfect and I believe there needed to be more color distinction in my fabric choices. I am learning quite a bit about hues and values as I venture further into this world of quilting.

My lone bird is facing front and center. Leave it to me to select directional prints for learning new quilting techniques. Live and learn! However, I do have a stubborn streak which has plagued me for many, many years!
The above picture is my favorite - absolute favorite! All of the seams in this block, which had many small (well small for my skill level) pieces - and lots of pieces on top of that - are laying down! - with NO screwed up seam directions! And, Mr. Seam Ripper went into action ONE time - ONE time - did you get that? - ONE time for Mr. Seam Ripper on this block.

There is no picture; however, I have my 9 patch lap quilt turned into a completed quilt top - just needs borders. I would have finished today but was not pleased with the border fabric I had purchased. That fabric will make something else one day and I get to make a fabric shopping trip! Yeah!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Quilts for Queensland

Early Morning Cutting - Lots of 4 1/2" Squares

One of Six Completed 9 Patch Blocks 

Try my best I could not get a photo showing the true colors of this quilt top to be. The fabrics are truly very pretty - muted and very, very serene. With the massive clean up and rebuild Queensland is looking at, I hoped some sweet lady would appreciate a bit of serenity.

I've emailed Retro Mummy with my intent to send to her a completed, lap sized quilt top for her generous offer of completing the quilt. Go check out her blog - she has the first Quilt for Queensland ready and it is Beautiful!

I have had a rather productive morning - ironing, measuring, cutting, laying out, sewing and Ironing. Did I mention I have been IRONING? Could anyone possibly guess ironing is my least favorite part of the quilting process. My mother swears I begged and begged and begged to learn to iron so she taught me. Gotta love mothers!

Happy Quilting to All!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Moving On!

I took a serious look at Blocks 5 & 6 of the Layer Cake Quilt Along. Both were a bit "modern" and did not seem to lend themselves to the overall look of my material (quilt). Determined I plowed on. I started Block 6, did not like the look I was getting and decided (wrong decision!) to become inventive - you know alter the block to my taste and not waste material. The result was an absolute MESS! This block will not make it's way into this quilt.
My MESS!   
Please do not misunderstand me. The above looks nothing like the block design. And, the original design was lovely just not right for the look I was going for. I scratched Block 5 - as it too would be lovely in a more modern quilt top. The block said NO! - not this time - and I moved on!

So, then I really did get inventive! To my surprise I like the result. At the moment it is my favorite of the blocks. I fussy cut one of my favorites out of Eden by Lila Tueller, "matted" it like a picture with Crackle by Kathy Schmitz and put the piece in a fancy frame made out of the Eden.
My "Design"
 I did discover "designing" is major WORK! And, on my day off? Phew! Wanting a 6th block so I could theoretically be "caught-up" in the Layer Cake Quilt Along, I turned to the Internet for guidance. I suddenly remembered a block I had seen just earlier today on Learn 2 Quilt Online. Chris Dahl's block was perfect for my quilt. Thanks Chris!

I am pleased with the result. Remembering the unruly geese of last weekend, I tried a new game plan, I carefully carried only the pieces "seam by seam" from my design area ALL the way across the room to my sewing machine, sewed the seam and came ALL the way back to my design area to carefully check "direction" before proceeding. Does ALL the way across the room and ALL the way back count as exercise??? Chain stitching is faster! Today I left the chain stitching to the experts and my seam ripper got a rest!
Block 6 - Yeah! 

This is the end of sewing for me for today. Believe me - I quit in the Nick of Time! See how much thread I had left!
Tomorrow, with new thread, I am devoting to the sewing kits for the the Queensland, Australia flood victims. I may also start on some fairly simple 9 patch blocks for the Quilts for Queensland (see button on my side bar) that Retro Mummy is graciously offering to turn into quilts. The people in the flood zone need all the help, love and support we can provide.  Happy Quilting to All!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Ice Storm Hits Florida

Awful weather alert - Ice Storm Hits Florida.  Okay, okay I was getting a wee bit tired of hearing 71% of the United States was covered in ice/snow and the only state not enjoying effected by the winter weather was Florida. This really is an early morning picture taken from the parking lot at my office. However, one might say this is man-made ice. The sprinkler system ran and it was COLD here last night! Happy quilting to all!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Heart Shaped Needle Case for Australia

Are you following the Be Mine Blog Tour? You should be. There have been some really great "free" projects.

Today Carol's Crafty Creations presented an adorable heart shaped needle case and scissor holder. I LOVE it!  And, I had an idea when I saw Carol's pattern presentation. Remember Guntree Designers is asking quilters to prepare "New Beginnings Kits" for quilters effected by the horrid flooding in Queensland, Australia. What a wonderful way to send our love and encouragement to these quilters in need - a kit including this lovely heart shaped needle case and scissor holder. Both pretty and practical!

Just a thought to all of you. Happy quilting!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Queensland Flooding

The flooding in Queensland Australia is devastating. Last year I participated in a FRIENDS Swap sponsored by Khris of Sew Prim Khris. My wonderful swap partner was Leanne of Stitch Selection. Both of my blogging/quilting friends live in Australia - not in the flooded area; although Khris has family directly effected by the flooding.

Quilters, I have found, are loving, generous people. This is a time of need and there are things each of us can do to make a difference. Please join me in helping where we can.

On my side bar you will find a lovely pink flower which is a link to Gumtree Designers. These loving people are organizing a drive to assist quilters in the flooded areas. Please take a moment to visit this site. Your help and prayers will be much appreciated.

Directly under the lovely pink flower on my sidebar you will see the cutest stuffed pig - his name is Percy - and Percy will link you to Stitch Selection and Leanne's request for Huggles (soft stuffed toys) for the children of Queensland. Please check it out. The children who have been displaced by the flood will certainly appreciate a Huggle made by you.

Go visit Sew Prim Khris. You will find under her post of 01/12/11 a list of sites/organizations prepared to assist in these difficult times. Follow your heart. Thanks.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Bumpy Flight - Happy Landing

Where is Air Geese Traffic Control when you need them?  The block I selected to work on for the Layer Cake Quilt Along sponsored by Moose on the Porch yesterday had 12 - count them - 12 HSTs, which became Flying Geese. These little critters have a designated flight pattern. We require ORDER!  My geese had minds of their own. A couple of them changed directions between the layout and piecing processes. Bad geese! Since Geese Traffic Control was apparently sleeping on the job, I used a cattle prod seam ripper to correct the geese. In the end all are safely flying and there are no congestion issues in my quilt.
Layer Cake Quilt Along Block #2

Block #2 (my 4th) was designed by Vickie Eapen of Spun Sugar Quilt. Lovely design and a pleasure to piece. Vickie is also the organizer and first designer in the Be Mine Valentine Blog Hop which yesterday (01/09/11). If you haven't already, go check out the her adorable hearts ornaments - she is offering the instructions for free.

Miss Snitch Hard at Work!

No wonder the geese thought they could fly any old way they wanted! They had been watching the master snitch cat being sneaky and uncontrollable! Happy quilting to all!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Busy, Busy Day - Loads of Fun (and some progress)

Yesterday was wonderful. First I found Jackie of Canton Village Quilt Works' super tutorial for HSTs - see my post from yesterday morning. Thanks again Jackie!

Then I was off to Quilting by the Bay for the Scrap Buffet. I was handed three Styrofoam boxes when I walked in the door. I followed the long line of customers to a very large table piled high with all kinds of scrap material in various sizes and shapes. The instructions were simple. We could fold, jam, cram, whatever all the scrap material we could get into our "little" Styrofoam boxes. As long as no material hung outside of the box the cost per box was $5.00.
LOOT Spread Out! - Quite a Bit of Fabric!
My plans for the LOOT are some colorful mug rugs for an 8 year old. I am having visions of a very "sophisticated" tea party in the near future.

Off I went to meet with a lovely group of ladies who get together once a month to create. I did not take my machine this time. The visit was my first and I wanted to get to know everyone. We are scheduled for February 5. I will be there will all my quilting "thingies" - ready! I had a wonderful time visiting. The ladies are extremely creative!

And, I am catching up on the Layer Cake Quilt Along sponsored by Moose on the Porch. I now have three blocks out of the five published.
My Starry Starry Block!

Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life designed the Starry Starry Snowblock. I fussy cut the center to get the adorable little bird where I wanted her. My HSTs yesterday's post are pieced into this block.
My Basket Block!
Sarah Vanderburgh of Sew Joy designed the Basket Block. The picture does not do my block justice. This one is my favorite so far. The fabric I selected fits the "basket." I have part of another block cut out. But I was getting tired and decided to stop before I did some creative cutting!

Cha Cha Says She Has Had ENOUGH of the Quilting!

Poor, poor kitty. She strongly dislikes me participating in any activity in which she is not the center of attention. Also, no is her least favorite word ... unfortunately, no is often required when Cha Cha tries her paw at sewing!

Remember the Be Mine Blog Tour starts today. See you there.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Dilemma Solved! Thanks Jackie!

Check it out!  3 1/2" HSTs - Yeah! As I have said in previous posts I am participating (on my own time schedule) in a Layer Cake Quilt Along sponsored by Moose on the Porch. I had my 4 1/4" blocks all pieced with those little tabs sticking out the ends. The instructions were to then square up to 3 1/2". Okay, and how do I do that? Major dilemma! This was last night, so I went to bed!

The first blog I read this morning was Jackie, Canton Village Quilt Works. Jackie must have read my mind. Her post today was a tutorial for making HSTs. I now have 8 3 1/2" HSTs and it was so simple. Thanks Jackie!

I am starting to like my living room lamp as a design wall! Ha! Ha!

Quilting by the Bay is having a Scrap Buffet today. All you can fit into their container for $5.00. See you there should you be anywhere close to Panama City, FL.

Afterwards I am joining up with a few ladies for a quilting day. This will be my first time and I am so excited. Happy quilting to all!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Spotted Giveaways

I was a sewing last night! I am well on my way to finishing block #4 of the Layer Cake Quilt Along I've been talking about. Now please do not get confused. I did not magically sew my way through blocks #2 and #3 to be well into #4. I found the instructions to #4 first, so started there. Hey, they are all going into one quilt top and the "production order" really does not matter. Hope you guys have a wonderful day!

Here are two great giveaways I spotted browsing the Internet this morning. Check them out!

Giveaway(s) - Sew Fabulous Quilt Shop is having a giveaway for a 9 piece Isabella by Lisa Tueller fat quarter bundle. Hop over and check it out.

JayBird  is sponsoring a giveaway for Lisnaweary Quilts. The prize is a Crimson Burst Quilt Kit - absolutely beautiful!

Happy Quilting to all!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Layer Cake Quilt Along

Okay. Okay. So I am slow .... slower than a 100 year old turtle. A while back I purchased the fabric - Eden by Lila Tueller for Moda - the dark green is Crackle by Kathy Schmitz LLC for Moda for the Layer Cake Quilt Along sponsored by Moose on the Porch. Now most people who committed to the quilt along are waiting patiently for the release of block #5 (they have actually completed blocks #1, #2, #3 and #4). I, on the other hand, just the moment completed my block #1. Better late than never!

The block is called the "Alabama Spinner Block" and was designed by Gene Black from Alabama. I fussy cut the center block because I simply did not want to attempt the circle Gene put in his design. I mean - come on - this was my first attempt at cutting and sewing half square triangles. My star points are not 100% accurate but I am pleased with this first attempt. 

And, you gotta love the fringed lamp displaying my prized block! Lacking a design wall and wanting a straight shot at the block, I elected the living room lamp as "holder." Sort of suggestive of a New Year's Eve lamp shade on my someones head!

This took me hours! I will eventually finish all the blocks - I will! - however enough for tonight. Happy quilting to all!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Day 2011

2011 has arrived. I was sound asleep when the new year arrived but am up bright and early to enjoy the day! The weather is rainy and cool - not the cold we had for Christmas. Yesterday, I ironed and ironed and ironed fat quarters. Ironing can wear one out! Today I get to cut into my lush fabrics. Yeah!

I put an adorable New Year wish on yesterdays blog, a blog button I located on the Internet of an angel wishing you God's blessings in the new year. This morning the blog button had timed out (or whatever they do) and wanted me to buy the service. You get what you pay for - free was 24 hours apparently (ha!). Enjoy the for real "free" picture I replaced the angel with. A lovely picture of Cha Cha cat sleeping away New Year's Eve. May God bless your New Year!

Giveaway(s) - Green Fairy Quilts has Dilly Dally - one layer cake and one jelly roll - for two lucky winners. Go check it out.

And, remember to drop by Stray Stitches for Linda's giveaway. I posted about it yesterday.