Wednesday, November 7, 2018

On Ringo Lake - a Flimsy Finish

 Since Bonnie Hunter is getting ready to start up her yearly mystery quilt - I thought I'd better share my top from last year's to prove I did get it done.
 I actually finished up the top early in the summer.   I designed the border to use up extra blocks that I had laying around and because I wanted the top to comfortably fit our queen size bed.  I like how it gave it a tiled look.
 I finally got around to photographing it about a month ago and now I'm finally blogging it.
 I know it will be a while before it's quilted, although I do actually have a quilting plan in place!
And as you can see - photographing a flimsy with even the slightest breeze can be a real challenge!

This year I have no plans to participate in the mystery quilt.  I will save the instructions, "just in case", but I am planning to actually do some Christmas sewing, which I usually avoid at all costs, so I know I won't have the time.  And I really should finish some other things that are laying around....

Anyway, this was a great experience and if any of you are wondering whether you should do one of Bonnie's mystery quilts - its a great learning opportunity!

Monday, October 22, 2018

A Workshop with Mary Fons - Spider Web Quilt

At the end of August I had the chance to take a workshop with Mary Fons.  It was a great day, she is an excellent speaker, and writer, and blogger, etc....

I usually try to take at least one class/workshop a year.  Its usually about all I can manage :)

 We talked a lot about contrast.  That spider web quilt behind Mary is what the workshop was about.
 My fabric pull.
 My goal was to get at least one complete web done by the end of class!

 Goofy selfies.  I am the worst at selfies.  Just ask my teen daughter!

I came home and started cranking out more blocks.  Or units, or whatever you want to call them.

 Someone in the class explained to me about using a card for folding the lines for paper piecing.
 And I bought an add a 1/4" ruler.
 Life changing.

 My original plan had been to make blocks until I ran out of that turquoise at the top.  However, I had a loooot of purple - so I headed to the stash to find some more turquoise.  You can see that I have 4 different ones now.  I'll have to get out the design curtain out and see how I want to approach assembly.
 I do have all the papers out - so whenever I get back to a piecing mode (I'm in quilting mode right now) I'll be ready.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Mini Dresden Progress Update


I have spent the late spring, all summer and early fall working diligently on my Mini Dresden English Paper Piecing Project.  If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know that I keep updated with the plates as they are finished, but today I thought I'd talk a bit about the process.

I talked about the beginning some in this post - and will probably repeat some of that info here, too.

I start by using my Silhouette machine to cut out cardstock papers of the petals/wedges.

It takes 12 papers to make a plate, I've got 100 plates done, so I've used at least 1,200 papers. That doesn't include the basted wedges that haven't been sewn together yet - so probably towards 2,000 papers at this point.  So glad I can make them at home.

In my first post I showed you the box of "squares" I was working with.  Here's a photo of what's left:

That stack in the upper left is all the same fabric.  It will not all get turned into wedges.  In fact, it may end up in the fire....
So, I just lay out my wedge.
Trim off a bit of excess fabric.
Use one of my tiny paper clips to hold the fabric to the paper. 
Here is a bunch, lined up and ready to baste.  I am not actually basting to the papers, but am basting in such a way that the thread will not have to be removed.  

 I bring them pretty much everywhere.  You just never know when you are going to have waiting time. 

This picture was a couple of weeks ago.  I just wanted to see them all at once.  I am totally embracing "more is more" 
 When I have a set of colors basted, I organize them by fabric and number.  Above is anything less than six.
 These are the sets of 6 that are not yet sewn.
 My last two assembled plates.  The above bothers me a bit, being half and half, but I will probably leave it. These are numbers 99 and 100.

 I plan on appliqueing onto a scrappy neutral background. The biggest decision right now?  The fabric choice for center circles.  Navy? Cream? Black? Brown?  Change it up for each one?  Definitely a long way to go before I have a finish.

 My finished stacks.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

A Pencil Case for my own Noodlehead

After just a few weeks of school, WD acquired a very bad habit of leaving pens and pencils in his pants pockets, that then ended up in the wash.

Not cool.

He suggested the solution would be a pencil case.

I decided free is best, so I googled for a pencil case pattern and found the one from Noodlehead

And in an afternoon, I had a pencil case for the boy.

Not necessarily my finest piece of technical sewing, but as you can see, it was almost instantly dirty.

Friday, October 12, 2018

A Christmas Quilt Finish

Woo Hoo!
A Christmas Quilt finished before Christmas.

OK, so it took a whole year, but hey, you can't win them all. 

Looks like that was the last time I mentioned the top in my blog.  Well, as you can see, I did add some more borders, I wanted it to be big enough for Mini's bed.  My goal is someday to have a Christmas quilt for each bed.  At the rate I'm going, the kids will start moving out first...

The finished product!  The pattern is called "Take 5".  You are supposed to start out with 5 pieces of 5/8 yard coordinating fabrics. 
 The whole quilt is flannel, front and back.  I quilted in a large loop.  Partly because it was easy, partly to warm up for the Log Cabin quilt that I quilted, and mostly because I used a polyester batting.  A fluffier one, so fancy quilting is unnecessary.  Why fluffy polyester?  Someone gave me a bunch of batting.  Use what you've got!  And it does make for a very warm and cozy quilt.
 I pieced a bunch of scraps into the back.

 Including chunks of the selvedges.  Now I'll always know the fabric line.  :)
I even remembered to get the label on.  Just need to get that filled out.......

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Somewhat Random Thursday - Late Summer and Early Autumn

I really love the Autumnal season.  As long as it behaves itself!  We've actaully had a rather warm and rainy one, but here are a few photographic highlights.

 One of the most amazing things we've seen is three male deer in our yard.  Generally male deer do not hang out together.  With three young bucks together, I'm thinking the mythical 30 pointer must be out there somewhere.....

I've been doing a little bit of preserving.  I made four fruit jam.

And Wild Grape Jelly!!
Cook and smash
Giant seeds from the grapes.
And lots of jelly.  It's surpisingly good.

 Beautiful colors seen out during one of my walks.