Monday, July 30, 2012

Anticipating Autumn

 I've made only a few more leaf blocks cause I've been busy with the garden and the people I take care of.  One (of the people) has been particularly annoying lately. I need a vacation.

I am using a deep tone-on-tone brown from my stash as the background for the leaf blocks.  The color I call "creek bottom brown".  It is the exact color as the bottom of the creek complete with the leaves printed on it. I bought it after I saw a beautiful scene one winter day.  On the creek was the most beautiful ice I'd ever seen. It had a scalloped edge that  resembled eyelet lace. Along shore there was red-twig dogwood, golden dried grasses and the white snow. I thought that could be inspiration for someone that did applique. That's Not me. And no, I didn't have my camera with me that day.

So why I got the brown, I don't know. Now I have this luscious batik from Cathy Boo. I'm toying with the idea of using it with the leaves in a medallion set. I'll need to make a few more block before I can play with settings.  Maybe later this week.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Off the list

I'm still working on the pile of things I found laying around the sewing room. The Thimbleberries scraps were just a pile of 1 3/4" strips, so I made a dwarf version of the quilt "Autumn Applause" from my book S is for Scraps. It was nice to check another one off the list. And it'll be easier to tote this with me to lectures than the queen size version.

Notice I also made 3 maple leaf blocks. After seeing Judy's leaf quilt last week I was inspired to make a few when I was pushing around a pile of orange and yellow scraps from the Smoky Mountain Star.  It is still sitting out cause it is waiting for the border.  Yes, just one more of the items on the pile. Maybe tonight.

I've been liking the oranges and yellows for several months now and thought I'd do some sort of leaf design. After checking Google Images for autumn leaf quilts I decided to go with the traditional pattern. I guess there's no surprise there. I do have a setting in mind, but as always I will play with a pile of blocks and see if they try to persuade me to do something better with them.  I don't plan on a very big quilt so my block size is only 4 1/2". I love  them so far. Now, do I make red and green leaves, too?

I have NOT been quilting like I thought I would. We actually have been getting some rain, so I have been overdoing it in the garden, pulling weeds.  That means I hurt too much from weeding to do any quilting. It feels good though. So much is coming back to life and lots of new weeds have sprouted too. Today Mark warned me not to overdo it out in the garden and I said I had to cause he wasn't helping. 10 minutes later he stopped what he was doing and helped pull weeds in the flower garden.  I think that was the first time ever. Maybe his retirement won't be so bad after all.  So, I'm all smiles now and Brian is bringing over pizza . More smiles.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Miscellaneous Monday

Today I straightened up the sewing room and found a pile of miscellaneous projects hiding in every corner and hogging my cutting table. A few just needed a dab of glue, others are projects that were waiting for a decision on my part. The most recent addition are these antique Dresden Plates. The church ladies decided to use them for our next raffle quilt., but we only have 15. I'll make one more with my antique scraps. Then I'll show the ladies how to blindstitch applique the pieces to muslin.  I hope we choose the right color for the sashing.

Also on the list are a rooster  apron and hotpads and bonding together scraps of cotton batting using a fusible tricot lining fabric. The forecast through August is calling for drier and warmer than normal. I guess I will be getting lots of quilting done, cause working in the garden in this heat is the pitts.

For more inspiration, check out all the posts at Judy's Design Wall Monday.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Say Cheese

My last few days have been good. The cheddar Rolling Stone quilt top is done. It does get one more cheddar border but then it wouldn't fit on my wall. Mark says it has too much orange. That's what he thinks. It's the orange that is making me smile. Say Cheese. :-D

I also met my other goal for the week that I just set Monday. I finished the quilting on another comfort quilt. I hope to get another one going right away. May as well, it is still HOT outside. It did cool off a bit, and we still need rain so I haven't been working in the garden.

One thing I will be monkeying with this week is my new camera.  So far, I am not very impressed with it. I'll have to try a few different settings. Wish me luck. Sew long.

Monday, July 16, 2012

This, That or Some Other

I finished the quilting on the comfort quilt Lois put together. I'm happy enough with it, but it would probably be even better if I'd slow down. I'm still practicing that, but the machine is so light and it moves quite effortlessly. It sure is fun though and I didn't bother to mark a single line. Can you tell? Oh, well. I took this quilt off the frame and put another one on right away. It's been nice and cool in the studio and right now I'd rather be nowhere else. I'm glad I finished it in time to take to church tomorrow.

Since I put a few more kits together and made the Crumb quilt, I've made a mess in the closet. So I spent an evening organizing that. I came across this floral print that I thought would work with these extra 9-patches of mine. It'd make a small quilt unless another round of 9-patches were made in different colors.  I have more of the same pink If I decide to go with that.

I'll tear this off the design wall and work on the cheddar Rolling Stone quilt  next cause my goal for the week is to finally put that quilt together and finish another quilt in the studio.The cheddar is cut waiting for me. Oh, to have the patience of fabric. I'm still practicing that too. Now to go check out a few other Design Walls.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

It all adds up

 I didn't get any quilting done cause I've been busy watering the gardens. But I did get this next comfort quilt on the frame. I didn't recognize it as  a kit I put together cause Lois often has other ideas. It's the same block, but she arranged the scraps randomly and then sashed it. Also Lois sometimes contributes her own fabric to the kit.

I have been grabbing minutes here and there to get some sewing done.  The borders are ready for the cheddar Rolling Stones quilt and the blocks are done and the cheddar has been shrunk.  Hope to cut it tonight when I get back from town and running errands. And Yuck, It's hot out again. Nuts! I've got paperwork piling up too.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Shrinking fabric

Working on the crumb quilt inspired me to go through  my scraps. As a result I made this handful of blocks that will go into samplers for church and one rolling stone block for my Cheddar quilt.
I have 2 more blocks to make and I can put the Cheddar quilt together. First I need to preshrink the cheddar. I am a firm believer in preshrinking.  Not sure why I bother with the antiquey fabrics cause to me, the puckers are part of the old look.

The best way to preshrink is often debated. Some quilters don't shrink at all cause they like the puckered look or the sizing in the fabric when they cut and sew. Some just prewash a regular laundry cycle and hope to get any excess dye out at the same time. Some believe that you simply have to get it wet and it will shrink.  And some think that it needs the heat when it drys. Maybe it's time for an experiment.

I give it a short cycle in the washer and dryer and hope to get it out of the dryer before too many wrinkles set. I DO like to iron but I am not nuts. And WHY do I believe in preshrinking. It's simple, I don't like surprises. It probably goes back to my youth when I made a beautiful red crepe blouse. Mom washed it and it shrunk. Not happy with mom. Maybe if I hung it on the hangar long enough, it would stretch out and relax like the bridesmaid dress of my daughters. It shrunk, but the lining didn't. Shrunk by at least 5". Months later the dress and the lining were the same length again.  I wouldn't expect that to happen with cotton fabric, but still, I just prewashed the back for the raffle quilt. Starting with a big 108" square hunk of fabric it shrunk only 1" in width AND 7" in length! making it a mite too small. I've also seen 44" cotton fabric shrink 4" in width. So today I shrink the cheddar.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Crumb Quilt done

Yes! I survived the heat wave of 2012 while hubby was home on vacation. Must be cause I was able to sew. And yes, I was able to sew cause of the heat wave. He was bored. It was toooo hot even to go to the lake.  Sew, I was able to get the crumb quilt together. Too much fun.

It's rare that I put a sashed quilt together without cornerstones. Getting the blocks lined up isn't easy, but I succeeded here.

I discovered a trick I will have to try again. I was working at a sunny window and could easily see through the fabric to see that the seams were lined up. Great tool, the sun.

The crumb quilt is now in the stack to be quilted. The stack is only 6 quilts high, not counting my personal tops.The raffle quilt should be done today, too. I intend to make a bigger effort to quilt a little every day. That's opposed to piecing. I tend to do that while I talk on the phone.

I hope you were able to quilt through the heat. Check out the links on Judy's page to see what everyone else has posted on Design Wall Monday.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

I must be quilting

I must quilt more than I think I do. Here is another comfort quilt that I quilted. I left it in the studio and found it when I loaded the raffle quilt.
I must not quilt enough though. I forgot to change threads on this and quilted with white where I wanted to use blue. Good thing it wasn't important.  Also on the raffle quilt, I forgot to line up the first row of the panto correctly, so that goofed me up a bit. At least I didn't have to do any ripping. That is what I get for not using pantos very often.

With Mark off of work this week and temps hovering around 100 degrees I am pleased to be getting some sewing done even though he has me helping him with a project outside! With him retiring soon, I have been practicing for his retirement. "I still have work to do." Paperwork is next. Let's see if he understands why my  office door is closed. I suppose he will have to practice that too.

Monday, July 2, 2012

2012 Raffle Quilt

I guess my wall needs to be a bit bigger! I put this quilt top on the frame today. It's the raffle quilt for St.Peter's Fall Festival. I need to get it quilted in the next week so Rita can get the binding on and we can get it on display.  I'm afraid I'll run out of thread before I'm done with it so I better go order some more.

If you recall, this is the same block I used for my block exchange, shown here. It sure was a good choice for a group project. Floating the star allowed all the blocks to be trimmed to the same size so adding the sashing was a breeze.

My crumb blocks are done. I made them 12" instead of 10", so I ended up with only 20. I hope to sash those next.

Welcome to everyone that's stopped by through Judy's blog. She has a great thing going with her Design Wall Mondays  where you share  a link with her.  But I guess you already knew that. Check it out if you haven't.