Sew She Did

When I first started my blog, I wanted to name it “Sew she Did”.  Remember the old story about the little red hen, she has a lot of work to do, but no one wants to help her?  The story ends with the hen making/baking bread, by herself, and eating it all by herself.  At the time I had three teenage children at home, and I was that hen.  I know it was partly my fault for not instilling some kind of work ethic into that trio, but it was frustrating at times.  The sheer lack of (their) motivation was astounding to me, sewing time was my salvation.  Just me in my studio, making my things, all by myself, with the satisfaction (usually, LOL) of a job well done.  Sorry, I digress, unfortuneatly, the name was already taken by someone else, so I went with Touch of Grey instead.  That’s a story for another time.  Fast forward to now, the teens are adults and moved out,  I still do most of the chores, but they stay done for longer, and there is a lot more sewing time.

This quilt is named “Sew She Did”, I have two more borders to attach, but its 80 percent done.  It is a quilt that I designed, chose fabrics for, cut out, and sewed together, all by myself. 😉 IMG_4386

There will be a red coping strip and then a final border of red and white on point squares surrounding it.  I was going to go with a simple border of plain strips, but since it’s a show quilt, I felt I had to push the envelope a bit.  I did the math, figured out the sizes of the squares and triangles to make it work.  There was a 3 3/8 ths measurement involved, but it worked.  I’m hoping to get the borders attached before Sunday, as I want to bring my machine in for a spa treatment. IMG_4385

Linking up today with For the Love of Geese for Put Your Foot Down #8.

Mama Said

This fabric line, Mama Said Sew by Sweetwater/Moda, has become my focus for the next few weeks.  It’s discontinued and there is a 2.0 out there, equally nice.  I think I’ve had this FQ pack for about four years, and looking at the left overs, I’m hoping to be done with it this summer.  The first quilt I made with it, Sewing quilt is on the frame and being quilted with a cute sewing themed panto that has pincushions, scissors, needle and thread and a spool of thread.  Each row takes about 40 minutes to stitch out, only four more to go.  The second quilt I am still piecing, this one is going to be my PIQF entry this year.  I am hoping to finish the blocks, two more to go, this weekend, and get it all together before I go on vacation.

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Then I’ll be able to quilt it for the next five weeks, I think that I can do it, even with a bit of procrastination.  I was able to find a yard of the coordinating white on white print on Etsy yesterday.  I am determined to use up the rest of this pile of scraps, maybe do a simple alternating 2 inch square quilt, controlled scrappy quilt to finish the scraps.

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After the PIQF quilt, my ‘To Do List’ looks like this:

  1.  Finish Minuet Mystery (borders and quilt)
  2. Sew Mama act 3 – piece
  3. Baby girl quilt for a friend (August Baby)
  4. Play Date quilt – quilt it
  5. Growing up Odd – quilt it (finally got a 118 wide backing
  6. Berties Year – quilt it (got backing and poly batting)
  7. Bind Christmas quilt and woven quilt (need bindings made)

Vacation First!  This is a non quilting trip, I think I’m going to bring my current knitting project, The Floating Shawl.  Or I could bring the hand work wreath project Shiny and Brite that I started a few months ago.  I got all the tracing and the coloring in part done, just need to start on the embroidery accents.

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Linking up with Judy today at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday today.

 

Progressing

I feel like I’m making progress this summer, with my quilting that is.  I finished a pile of quilts, photographed them and posted them to my store.  My stack of TBQ’d tops is shrinking, although I’m about to add three to it.  Last summer we were in re-model mode, so getting anything done was difficult.  This summer seems wide open, so far.  I have a week long vacation in Oregon coming up in July, but other than that, open.

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to my PIQF entry.  I have three ideas that have been expanding in my minds eye.  This one started yesterday.

I have been making blocks up in EQ8 for the past few weeks, in order to use up the last of the ‘Sew Mama’ fat quarter pack I opened to make the Kaleidoscope quilt.  There is a lot left over, and it seems like I’ll be able to make at least twelve different 16 inch blocks.  My idea/reasoning is, one of my quilty pleasures is BOM’s, the Sew Mama fabric is all about quilting, I’ll design and make my own BOM. However, it’ll have to be compressed into 58 days, entry date is 8/28, minus days in OR, equals 58 working days.  Unless I like my two other ideas better, or develop them into more than an idea, it’s a plan.

Linking up with Judy at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts today for Design Wall Monday.

 

One and a Half

This week is more than half done.  My plan for finishing three tops is slowly becoming a reality, however, probably not going to be finished this coming weekend.  I got the Playdate top put together, still needs borders though.  That freed up the design wall for the Minuet blocks.  Once I got them up there though, I realized that they needed to be put on the floor to really see how they work together.  It’s scrappy, but I only used seven fabrics and white, I have to shuffle the blocks around to avoid matching pieces where they join.

Mancuso has announced the theme for this years PIQF, it’s “Quilty Pleasures”.  They are also doing a Mid Century Modern theme again (3rd Year).  Entry info and forms are here PIQF.  QP is a pretty broad category,  my pleasures are lots of pieces, color and currently, triangles.  I recently bought the pattern “Alaska” from Laundry Basket Quilts.  It’s on my list of quilts I want to make, and I have been playing around with it in EQ8.  I want it to be a little bigger, so I added two more rounds of blocks.  This would be a challenge to get done before the August 27th deadline.  More thinking will be done.

 

Last night I was knitting on my Sea Gleam shawl and realized that my stitch count was off by two.  Normally not a big deal, and sort of normal for me, but when it involves lace, it looks bad.  I had to pull out ten rows, about 4000 stitches, sad face. On a bright note, I have memorized the lace motif stitches.  Curious Handmade just released the second shawl in the series, “Floating”, so no rush – eye roll.

Linking up with Denise at For the love of Geese for Put Your Foot Down #6 today.

 

DWM

Hmm, DWM, divorced white male?  Nah, Design Wall Monday.

It seems like last week I was pondering starting a new project.  I had just finished binding 5 quilts and feeling pretty productive.  This week I find myself in the middle of finishing up three tops.  The Play Date quilt is on the wall, it needs sashing and borders, but all the blocks are done.  I thought I would put it on the wall and see if there were any matching blocks near each other.  I can’t look at it for too long though, it’s too “crazy on the eyes”  It must be a quilt that one has to step back from in order to really appreciate it.

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Then there is Scrap Dance Minuet, a mystery quilt from From My Carolina Home . The final step was released this past week.  I have put together half the blocks so far, I may have to finish them up before the Play Date quilt, as they are taking up my sewing table space.  Only 12 more to go, I’m making the twin size.

Finally, the postman brought me the twelfth month of the Christmas figs BOM.  Fabrics for the sashings and corner blocks.  Lots of sashing, this quilt finishes at 78″ x 96″,  which reminds me, I have to get a backing for it.  Lately I’ve been shopping at Backside Fabrics for my backings.  Good selection and fast shipping, plus their prices are pretty good too.img_4292.jpg

Oh yeah, I got the extra skien of hand dyed yarn I ordered to finish my Sea Gleam Shawl.  I got lucky and it is from the same dye lot as my first two.  The lace edging is requiring a bit more concentration, plus the rows are quite long at this point, about 400 stitches.  I breath a sigh of relief, when I get to the end and I have the right number of stitches left.  No one likes to un-knit that many stitches and lace too boot.

Linking up with Judy at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday this week.

bindings

This week I finished up four small quilts and one medium in a binding frenzy.  My LA is taking a rest, maybe I should load up another, after I give it a good cleaning and oiling.  This week’s weather hasn’t been conducive to the needle arts, too hot.  I got the June installment of Mrs. Millers Apprentice BOM done.  I realized that I hadn’t gotten the June installment of Christmas Figs yet, I gave them a call and now its on its way here. Yay!  I really want to finish that one.IMG_4282

I want to work on the Play Date quilt, I still have to finish the triangle blocks, the square blocks are done though.  Its very sparkle-y, I have a cute unicorn panto in mind for it, hope some 5 year old will love it back into pieces.  My good friends daughter turned 16 late last year.  When she was born I made her a crib size quilt, pretty water colored hand-dyes and off white kona.  This quilt is still used every day.  I repaired it once by quilting on a new backing and binding on it about 8 years ago.  It has since deteriorated to shreds held together with thread and some batting, (not very attractive).  I made a simple pillow case for it, with an envelope opening, out of minky.  Now she can keep it close to her at night and contain its “lovey” qualities.

I had to take a break from the Sea Gleam shawl knitting, as I ran out of yarn.  Luckily, it is made by a local (same town) yarn dyer  “Serendipidye” AND they had a skien of the same yarn/dye lot.  Don’t know what I was thinking when I started the shawl using this yarn, as the amount of yardage needed is clearly stated in the pattern and the yarn was labeled with its total yardage too.  My math was a bit off that day.

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Linking up with Denise at  For the Love of Geese for “Put your Foot Down” today.

Sewing quilt

I am still working on the triangle quilt, I have to come up with a better name.  I got all the blocks together and the first border, red, on.  I’m determined to get the final border on it today, it’s a fabric I got recently that is quilt themed too.  I had to cut it on the long grain, while keeping the words fairly perpendicular.  Now to measure and sew it together.

Been thinking of my next project, trying to avoid looking at the UFO pile.  I’m thinking crib quilt, I uncovered this fat quarter pack while looking for something else.  It’s pastel fairy frost, so sweet it hurts my teeth.  I recently got this pattern from The Flemings Nine (Etsy Shop) called Play Date.  Thinking it will use up most of the FQ pack, and YAY! more triangles.

There is still a whole lot of the Sew Mama Said FQ pack left, might be used in a sampler type quilt. What was the name of that larger block quilt?, I think it was about two years ago, oh yeah “Swoon”.  That may work for the Sew Mama collection, EQ8 will be employed.

The last installment for the Christmas figs, (this post has block pics Sewing and more ) BOM is coming up, sashing for miles, and the final put-together.  I’m happy for that, it’s been a long year of Christmas blocks and fabric.  Not to mention lots of useable scraps from that project.  In the meantime, I am working on this months four blocks for the Mrs. Millers Apprentice BOM.

I’m linking up with For the Love of Geese for “Put your Foot Down” today, as I missed my usual link ups due to good weather.  Good weather makes me stay outside and garden.  Here’s a photo I took of one of this years dahlia crop.  It’s like a Dream Big panel, but in real life.fullsizeoutput_9fc

Kaleidoscope

I am focusing on kaleidoscope quilts lately.  Something about those isosceles triangles, the octagons and the secondary patterns I am finding intriguing.  This quilt is a from a free pattern on the Moda web site called 2wenty-Thr3e .  I am using a huge fat quarter pack that has been languishing in my stash for a few year.  It’s a Moda line called ‘Mama said sew’.  The prints are red, black and grey with white, it is a nice assortment of pattern names, quilt blocks and graphic patterns. I added in the white and gray from my solid stash for the (right) triangles that make the octagons square.  I think I have enough to do  border or two.  I’m also using the Marti Mitchell Kaleidoscope ruler, so strips are quickly transformed into triangles.  Yay geometry!  Chain stitching these blocks four at a time, pressing and then pining them to the design board is calming to me.  I was going to say cathartic, but that word seems too serious and overstating the feeling.

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The weather here has been rainy and cold, very unlike May in California usually is.  I’m itching to do things outside, gardening and outdoor maintenance, but have to fit it in between the storms.  The weeds are much easier to pull now and the soil is easier to plant in.  Once the summer really gets here, everything dries up and waits for the fall rain.  The good thing is that I don’t have to turn on the drip systems yet, the bad thing is that I haven’t been able to see if they are still in working order.  My container veggies are growing nicely, and I planted some peas in my raised beds that I should go pick.  Staying dry in the sewing room is better though.

 

I finished quilting three quilts this week.   The photo below is of “Curls for Mother” a Wasatch panto.  After this quilt was done, I loaded a long piece of backing on to the frame and I am now quilting four quilts on it.  I feel like I am getting my moneys worth out of this backing.  Using the same pre-wound bobbin color for all four, as it matches the back, plus not having to load four quilts separately has its perks.  I’m on the third quilt, it’s an Irish chain, I have a bunch of roses in the center of the chain and I am trying to figure out how to fit trailing leaves into the chain parts.  The digital pattern I have is made for 2 inch squares and my squares are smaller, 1 ½ inches.  I thought about it for a while yesterday, and I have a few things to try today.  Keeps it interesting, I must admit.

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Linking up with Judy at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday today.

Mrs. Krabappel

IMG_4223Mrs. Krabappel, voiced by Marcia Wallace, was Bart Simpsons teacher.  She usually wore green and put up with a lot of Bart’s mischief.  This quilt is named after her.  I made it from Bonnie Hunters pattern, “Crab Apples”, in her book, Adventures with Leaders and Enders .

It started out simply enough, I had a bunch of scraps left over from a layer cake I had used to make this quilt below. It’s from the pattern “Lombard Street” by Sassafras Lane Designs.  It was fun to make, paper pieced, and the Bonnie and Camille fabrics were cute with the turquoise.IMG_2032

I started cutting up the scraps into 1 ½ ” squares.  Then I added a few green fat quarters that were laying around.  Pretty soon the tree tops were done, and I was paper piecing the tree trunks.  I looked through my stash to find some kind of contrasting fabrics for the sashing and setting triangles, but couldn’t find any thing to match.  Luckily I was able to get more Bonnie and Camille fabric, it wasn’t from the same line, but they tend to use the same color ways and tints/hues.  My version is a bit smaller than Bonnies, I only had enough to make 18 blocks, hers is 25.  It used up most of the scraps, I probably have about 20 little squares left, and I had to supplement about a yard and a half of new fabric, so I didn’t make much of a dent in the stash.  It’s controlled scrappy :).

The second scrap project this past week was the baby quilt top on the right.  The one on the left is a Jolly Bar pattern from the Fat Quarter shop called “Egg Hunt”.  I cut the scraps into 3 ½” squares, sewed them into four patch blocks and then cut 1 5/6″ strips off the side and then bottom.  When I sewed them back together I got the cute square surrounded, sort of a disappearing nine patch approach.  Set on point with a bit of baby pink Moda Bella, surrounded with the rest of the scraps and a outer border of more pink.  The fabric line is Lollipop Garden by Lella Boutique Fabric.

I worked on part four of the Scrap Dance Minuet Quilt at From my Carolina Home  This has been a low key sort of project, I’m making the twin size version.  Clues are released on the second Friday of the month, I have about a month to complete the step, usually takes about an hour.  I’m using stash fabric that I got on sale a few years ago, so its also a controlled scrappy project.

On the frame today is the 1930’s scrappy top I made last year.   Wow, that was a shock, I didn’t realize it had been a year until I looked at the picture date.  This quilt was an attempt to use up the scraps from my 1930’s Farmers Wife quilt.  Still plenty of that stuff in a bin.  Going to be a rainy next couple of days, there will be quilting on my schedule, especially since I just stocked up on back fabric.

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Linking up with Sarah for “Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?” Friday.  Hope you are inspired to create something too.

Hands2Help Quilts

I posted about these quilts earlier this week, Quilting the quilts .  I wanted to add a little commentary to each one, for the May 5th link up.

These quilts went to Jacks basket.  The pink gingham one I originally made for a baby girl who was born recently.  I decided not to send it to the parents, as I felt, sadly, it wouldn’t be used or enjoyed by them.  I felt better about sending it to Jack’s basket, I know it will be appreciated and given to a child that will also.  The backing is Cuddle/minky and super soft.  I quilted this one with a fresh daisy panto.  The bright yellow quilt was made from the scraps of the larger one I made from a pattern “Triple Twenty”  by Doug Leko at Antler Quilt design.  I used 2 ½ inch strips instead of the 3 ½ as the pattern calls for and made pinwheels for the feature blocks.  The backing matches the fabric I used for the outer border of the larger yellow quilt.  The quilt came out smaller and a good crib size, I quilted it with a baptist fan motif.

 

These quilts went to Quilty Hugs.  The one on the left was a mystery quilt I made a few years ago.  I used a bunch of fabric from the “Catkin” line by Julie Paschkis.  Once I finished the top, I realized that the borders were wavy and put it in the closet to rest.  Last summer I pulled it out and fixed the borders and got it on the frame to quilt it.  I practiced using the software on my automated system.  I was able to place quilted motifs and did some free hand stuff in the sashing.  I then folded it up and put it back in the closet.  I came across it earlier this year, all it needed was a binding and off it went to Quilty Hugs.  The quilt on the right is one of Sarah’s of Confessions of a fabric addict Rockin’ Rectangle quilts called “Place your Bets”.  A quick and easy quilt to make, and I had two charm packs of a cute space themed fabric.  This one was quilted with a rocket and star pantograph.  I hope an aspiring young astronaut gets it.

 

These two quilts went to Merciful Quilts.  Both were made with the Triple Twenty pattern.  They were easy and pretty quick to make up, the blocks are large rectangles. The one on the left was made from stash fabrics and a 7 fat quarter pack of asian themed fabrics.  I did have to buy a yard of red kona cotton to finish it off.  The backing was a dark green print I had in stash too. I quilted it with a swirl and leaf panto, that was just enough to give it a little texture, the prints were busy enough.  The quilt on the right was also a pack of 20 Fat quarters, all bright oranges, reds and pinks.  The borders and white geese came from stash.  The backing on this one is a news print clipping print that has positive messages about love and life.  This one is also quilted with a baptist fan, but a larger size than the smaller matching quilt above.

 

 

Hope you were inspired to make a quilt or two for the Hands2Help challenge too.

Linking with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict today, check out what everyone else is doing.