Saturday, March 31, 2012

T Stands for . . . Thankful!

Just in time for Sinta and Sherri's Schnibbles Parade, here's my "T Stands for Thelma" top. As I mentioned in a previous post, I thought this pattern needed 100 "T"s.

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 82
It finished at 58" x 58" and has approximately 782 pieces
The pattern is technically Bibelot by Carrie Nelson for Miss Rosie's Quilt Company (it pains me say that but for historical purposes I must be accurate)
I have around 50 different red fabrics in this quilt.

(Huge Gasp......It just dawned on me that I'm only 19 projects away from quilt number 100! I should be making quilt 100 next year! Oh my, the pressure of finding the perfect fabric and perfect project for my 100th quilt, good thing I have some time to plan . . . . )

I had a couple of rules when I was arranging my "T" blocks on my design wall, no like fabrics touching plus a diagonal row of upright "T"s going from the top right corner to the bottom left corner. ( I have no idea why the corner to corner row of upright "T"s was so important to me, but it was so I went with it!)

So I did the same thing I always do, put the blocks on my design wall, get the perfect combination, then go to bed and sleep on it. If it still looks perfect the next morning I'm good to go with sewing the rows together.

After spending so much time getting just the perfect combination, there's nothing more frustrating than getting your blocks mixed up when connecting them. And in my case, it's a four step walk from the design wall to the sewing machine, but somehow I'm able to jumble up those blocks if I don't have them marked. This is how I avoid that disaster.

Using a permanent marker, I wrote numbers on the tops of these pins. I keep them in this special pin cushion.

Before I take a row of blocks off my design wall to be sewn, I put a pin in the block, numbering each block.

I put the pin in the same place on every block, sort of in the upper left hand corner, but not too close where it gets in the way of sewing. I put them in the same place so I know how to orient the blocks. I leave those pins on until the entire row is connected, then I double check to make sure I didn't make a mistake. Then I take all the pins out of the blocks except for the pin that identifies the row. If this was the first row, then pin number one stays in the block. When I finish the second row, pin number two stays in the block. I usually sew row one to row two as soon as they are ready, and when they are pieced I take pin two off the project. Pin number one stays in that project until all the rows are connected. I always like to be able to identify the top of my quilts. (I don't know why, I'm just crazy that way!) So that's how I get that perfect layout every time!

Thanks Sinta and Sherri for picking what forever will be to me my very own pattern. I can hardly wait for the parade, hope to see you there!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Book Tour - Final Day

I can't believe it's over, hasn't this week flown by! I hope you've enjoyed the book tour and were able to stop by all the blogs and see all the blocks, projects and quilts that were made using the patterns in Monique's book.

So here's the Pyramid project in the book.

This quilt, which is a very generous lap size quilt, finishes at 61" x 72". All you need to make the center portion of the quilt is 4 brown fat quarters, 4 red fat quarters, and 4 blue fat quarters plus 2 yards of background fabric. Who doesn't have 16 fat quarters and 2 yards of background fabric laying around their sewing room. Add 1 1/2 yards for the outer border and 1/2 yard for the inner border and you have a lap size quilt.

So here are my blocks, (I added one more column than the pattern)

all pieced and ready for some borders. I think they look pretty good just like this.

And here it is all done! I could not be more pleased with that outer border. It does its job perfectly, to finish the quilt without over powering the center blocks.

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 81.
It finished at 72" x 72" and has approximately 1,157 pieces.
The pattern is Pyramid by Monique Dillard
The fabric is Simple Abundance by Bonnie and Camille

- Contest Now Closed - 

You have until the end of day Saturday, March 30th, to leave a comment on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday's posts to be included in the drawing for the books.

Nicole at Sister's Choice Quilts and Carrie at La Vie en Rosie are blogging about their projects today, be sure to stop by to see their creations and for more opportunities to win.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Book Tour - Day Three

So it's day three of the book tour, where I'm blogging about Monique Dillard's newest book, "Traditional Fat Quarter Quilts" Just in case this is your first visit, I chose to make Pyramid and am using Simple Abundance by Bonnie and Camille for Moda.

I decided to go with 5 blocks across by 5 blocks down. I'm going through a square quilt phase.

And here's all the blocks connected.

Tomorrow I'll share the final picture where the border has been added. It makes a huge difference and really brings the whole quilt to life.

I've enjoyed reading all the comments you've been leaving. I am so inspired by the quilters with jobs, kids, classes, other hobbies, and all manner of distractions who still manage to find time to sew. Although the time and situations differ for each quilter, we're all the same in one regard, we try to squeeze in the most sewing with whatever time we do get. Oh and for you folks who can't wait to retire so you can sew 40 hours a week, I thought the same thing, you'll be so surprised how fast your day flies by, and not in front of your machine.

Since this seems to be such a popular book I'm happy to be able to give another book away for today's post. To be eligible to win another chance at another book just let me know how much time you spend on your computer each week for quilting. Time spent reading blogs, checking out Pinterest, updating your own blog, shopping, and checking and responding to email.

I try to limit myself to around 10 hours a week, but every now and then I sit down for hours at a stretch just to get caught up. I am easily able to keep up with reading my comments that are routed to my phone. It's nice to have conversations with quilters all day long. I think my time on the computer is time well spent, my confidence, creativity, and enjoyment for quilting have immeasurably increased since I started blogging.

- Contest now closed - 

If you not done so, you can also still leave a comment on Day One and Day Two posts for other chances to win.

Two other folks are participating in the book tour today,

Monique has a tutorial and is giving away a book and some rulers, I'm sure Denise has something great going on too, don't miss out!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Book Tour - Day Two

Welcome to day two of my book tour for Monique Dillard's latest book, "Traditional Fat Quarter Quilts".

Of the eleven projects in the book, I picked Pyramid for my project. Monique named all the projects in the book after solitaire card games. Growing up, we weren't really a card playing family, Yahtzee yes, cards, maybe some Crazy Eights but that was about it. While I was working on Pyramid the quilt I got to thinking about Pyramid the card game and looked it up. It's fun!

It's a fairly simple game, goes fast, and I win more than I don't. I found the rules at Wickepedia, click here if you're in the mood for a little Pyramid solitaire!

So here's a nice close-up view of Monique's blocks for her Pyramid.

She chose 4 different blue fabrics, 4 different brown fabrics, and 4 different red fabrics for her blocks. I changed mine up a little.

I went with one green, one brown and one red fabric for the outer pieces of the block but went scrappy for the center block.

Here's what my block looks like!

The response to yesterday's book tour post was wonderful, thanks so much for stopping by and talking about your vacation, or lack of vacation, plans. Talking about vacation reminded me of the time I asked a co-worker if they had a nice vacation after he'd been out of the office for a week, he said, "we left town with the kids, there's nothing about that that's a vacation"! Some of you are in the same boat. Deb shared that not only is she gong to Ireland, she's attending a quilt show there! That's pretty much my definition of a perfect vacation. Several folks are looking forward to vacations with family. I take a vacation every year with just my daughter, we've yet to pick a place or a date but I'm counting the days!

- Contest now closed - 

Yesterday's response was so good I decided to give another book away for today. So if you've not done so, leave a comment on yesterday's blog for an entry for one book and leave a comment today for a chance to win the another book.

For today's comment I would love to know how much time you get to spend on quilting, what's your weekly average? I don't spend much time in my sewing room on the weekends, my daily goal is two hours, and I get that most days, some days more, so I would say I get to spend 15 hours a week working on a project. I'm retired so my days are pretty much mine to do as I please. Some weeks I get in more time if my husband is traveling and Cooper cooperates. So what's your number?

Today, Lisa/Stashmaster is blogging about her project, Spider, and also giving away a book, be sure to stop by!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Book Tour . . . .

Greetings and welcome to the book tour of "Traditional Fat Quarter Quilts" another wonderful fat quarter book by Monique Dillard.

This book was published by C & T Publishing and is available now. If your local quilt shop doesn't carry it you can order it here.

I was so happy that Monique asked me to participate in another blog tour for her latest book. I wasn't sure I would ever hear from Monique again after last year's tour.

Just in case you've forgotten, last year I made Crazy Eights from the book "Fat Quarter Winners", which I named Monique's Quilt. It's Lifetime Quilt Number 69 if you want to take a peek. I absolutely love it. But I didn't make it exactly like the pattern in the book, instead of going scrappy I used one background fabric plus I added a pieced border. It was my first book tour and I didn't know, until a few folks "kindly" pointed it out, that agreeing to do a book tour, then changing up the pattern of one of quilts in the book tour was rude! (who knew!!) But luckily Monique was great about me making changes to her pattern and thinks all her patterns are just a starting point for whatever we want to make. (whew, what a relief!)

Monique runs a pretty easygoing book tour, pick any project you want, using any fabric you want, blog about it any way you want and give away a book. Who wouldn't sign on for that!

The book has directions for 11 different patterns, and each pattern provides the fabric and block requirements for multiple size options. Each pattern is named after a solitaire game.

All the patterns appealed to me but this one, Pyramid, was my most favorite by far. It was probably the red nine patches that initially caught my eye, (shocking I know!) but I also liked the looks of the main block, a block I had not made before. I don't think any of the quilts I've made in the past look anything like Pyramid, a change is always good, right? So I'll be blogging about Pyramid this week.

One thing that I like about books over single patterns is all the color. I love the great big colored pictures of the finished quilts, piecing directions made easier with vibrant color illustrations, plus this book provides a nice closeup shot of the finished quilt so you can study the blocks and the quilting. It's eye candy for sure.

Another thing that appealed to me about Pyramid was the fabric, Park Avenue by Three Sisters for Moda. I recognized it since that is the family of fabric I used for Eventide, which is currently on my guest room bed. For some reason it just made the quilt seem familiar, seeing it in a fabric that I like. But I'll be using a different family of fabric. Having just hung A-Mazing Abundance (Lifetime Quilt Number 60) in the living room, I was reminded that I still have more of that wonderful Simple Abundance fabric by Bonnie and Camille for Moda. So that's what I'm going to use. I think it will be fun to see how different, or not, this quilt will look using the same fabric for a different pattern.

As part of the book tour I'll be giving away one "Traditional Fat Quarter Quilts" book. To be eligible, leave a comment on each post where I blog about Pyramid this week. If you leave a comment each day, you will be entered multiple times.

 - Contest now Closed - 

I always like to learn a little something about the quilters who stop by my blog when folks are leaving comments for a giveaway, so how about for today, let me know if you're planning on taking a vacation this year, and if so, where are you going! If I don't do some serious planning soon, I won't be going anywhere!

Several other bloggers will be participating in the blog tour too, here's the schedule:

Monday - Me
Tuesday - Lisa - Stashmaster
Wednesday - Denise - The Quilter's Window and Monique - Open Gate Quilts
Thursday - Sherri - A Quilting Life
Friday - Carrie - La Vie en Rosie and Nicole - Sister's Choice Quilts

Be sure to stop by each day this week for more Pyramid updates, chances to win Monique's new book, and links to the other participant's blogs.

One last thing, everyone is invited to leave a comment for a chance to win, regardless of your address. However, if you are an international address, you'll receive an electronic book as opposed to the bound book.

I think that's it, let the fun begin!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Take on down, pass it around . .

One hundred blocks of "T"s on the wall . . . .

One hundred blocks of "T"s . . . .

I'm not the only one working away on "T" Stands for Thelma, here's a cute story about two more "T" Stands fors . . . that are done! click here

Monday I'll be participating in a Blog Tour for Monique's new book, "Traditional Fat Quarter Quilts", or as I have renamed it , "More Fat Quarter Winners by Monique". Be sure to stop back by. I'm up first and there will be giveaways and a whole week of fun with some pretty nice bloggers. AND I heard that the person who gets the biggest response on their giveaway wins a prize, like Monique's dog Tillie or something.....I hope that's not just an ugly rumor because I'm in it to win it or in this case her!

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

T is for . . . .

Time to work on the March Schnibbles . . .

Since this pattern is really "T Stands for Thelma" I figured I should make my top out of, what else, reds! This is my red scrap bin,

and this is how full it WAS!

And this is how full it isn't!

I was able to cut all the pieces I need for my project from that scrap bin. In some instances I only had a piece big enough for the border, but that's OK with me, some of those little pieces are all I had left of some of my favorite reds. Looking at this quilt will be like looking at all the red quilts I've made so far.

I'm using TheAngler 2 for this project, so I don't have to draw the lines on the back of all those squares.

It's going fast.

I've seen three finished "T Stands for Thelma" projects online so far. This is an easy project, you still have plenty of time to make the parade. Nicole made hers in a day!

Monday, March 19, 2012

French Vintage Finish . . . .

French Vintage is FINISHED!

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 80.
This quilt finished at 62" x 62" and has approximately 2,634 pieces.

I think I say this a lot, but it is definitely true this time, this quilt looks prettier in person. The outer blocks aren't as dark as they come across in the picture.

I really like the red and gray checkerboard for the outer border.

This is one of those quilts that takes a few minutes of studying before you take it all in.

Here's a review of the blocks:

center four

middle twelve

outer twenty.

I could not be happier with this project. It was fun to piece and I enjoyed watching it come together on my design wall. From the response this pattern has received, I'm guessing I'll be seeing a lot of these quilts on other blogs.

Well, now that French Vintage is all done it's time for the next project, a project that's close to my hearT, and I'll give you a hint, it doesn't start with the letter "B", it starts with the letter

The clock's ticking, are you getting ready to work on your March Schnibbles too? I can hardly wait to see the parade, I hope you're in it!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Spring is in the air . . .

I heard on the news yesterday that over 1,000 cities set record high temperatures yesterday, my city (haha I don't live anywhere near a city) was one of them. Forget spring, we've hop scotched into summer, which made my next quilt pick for the living room so easy.

This is Lifetime Quilt #60, A-Mazing Abundance. The pattern is Ashcombe, by Carrie Nelson for Miss Rosie's Quilt Co. I just love this quilt, it may be one of my favorite top ten quilts and I can't even tell you why. It's just the right combination of fabric, interest and color. It sure makes me happy to have it out.

(Every time I blog about my living room quilt I get at least one question about that rod. It's just a regular drapery rod from Home Depot. I bought the rings there too, they are right next to the rods.)

I got some other spring things out while I was in the mood,

some flowers for the dining room,

and a spring runner for the kitchen island. And YES, the freak of nature poinsettia is STILL hanging in there. As long as there are red leaves on that plant I'm keeping it!

This week Nicole, at Sisters Choice, and Carrie at La Vie en Rosie, blogged about their various sewing accoutrements and accoutrement containers. I just love peeking into folks sewing spaces, I thought you may want to see what I have on my sewing table.

That plastic document holder on the left holds the pattern and notes for the project I'm working on along with the rulers I use the most for that project. I like how it keeps my space neat and open, yet right there when I need something. That little flower on the far right waves back and forth at me when the sun hits it. One minute it's just setting there, the next minute it starts dancing up a storm.

I keep pens, pencils, reading glasses, rulers, scissors, and rotary cutters in this pink leather box.

Items that are too small for the pink box stay here. Do you keep tweezers nearby? I'm amazed how often I use them.

I noticed that Carrie and Nicole kept extra presser feet close by, not me! I'm a place for everything and everything in its place kind of girl.

my sewing machine came with this holder for my feet and this is where they stay. If I take one foot off it goes in this box while I use another foot. I'm not sure why I do that, I'm guess I'm worried I may lose one or something.

No feet are walking out of my sewing room!

Enjoy your weekend!