Friday, June 28, 2013

Parade Ready

I finished Dulcinea.  

Once I had all those pinwheels spinning in the center of my quilt, I had no choice but to surround those blocks with geese, to keep them spinning.  My first inclination was to make the center geese units using  medium toned pieces and the sky unit using dark toned pieces.  Then I remembered my Toulouse quilt, and how the geese in that project were totally scrappy and how I loved that about that quilt, so that's what I did for Dulcinea.  I figure it's OK to steal the border from one pattern to add to another, since both patterns are by Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 106 - Dulcinea.
The pattern is Dulcinea by Carrie Nelson for Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.
The fabric is American Banner Rose and Prairie Paisley II by Minick & Simpson for Moda.
It finished at 49" x 49"
It has approximately 598 pieces.

Thanks for all the great comments regarding those sticks on the pinwheel blocks.  The secondary pattern was pure luck, but I liked how it turned out.  The strips for the sticks were cut 3/4" wide, to finish at 1/4".   My first attempt had them finishing at 1/2", but that was too wide.

So the parade is Monday, and this is one speedy pattern, you still have plenty of time to piece yours.

Thanks Sinta and Sherri for hosting this sew-along, I can hardly wait to see all the other Dulcinea quilts and what's up next!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Time's a wastin

As much as I would like to keep Coastal Lily on my design wall, forever, there's a Schnibbles calling my name and time's a wasting.  The June Schnibbles for Sherri and Sinta's sew-along is Dulcinea, and I've had this pattern on my To Do list for ages, I'm not going to miss out on being in the parade, especially a parade full of Dulcineas.

As a kid, I loved those cheap plastic pinwheels you would pick up at fairs or birthday parties.  I liked to put them on my bike and watch them spin as I rode, I also liked to swing my arms around as fast as I could to make them really spin.  I was pretty hard on my pinwheels, they usually only lasted a day.  So when I saw the pinwheel blocks in this pattern I immediately thought, "those pinwheels need sticks", just like the pinwheels I had as kid.  So I decided to add them.

I also thought the top would look like it had more movement if the pinwheels were going all different directions.

I'm using some Minick and Simpson fabric for my Dulcinea, American Banner Rose and Prairie Paisley II.

My favorite part of this pattern, you make the pinwheel blocks larger then square them up, they come out perfect every time.

The center is all done, and it only took one afternoon.

See that little green dot in the pinwheel block in the upper left hand corner?  That's a pin I use to mark the top of the quilt, like it would even matter with this pattern, but once I decide which side is the top of a quilt, I make sure it stays the top until I'm done.  And a lot of time, once the quilt is quilted and that pin is long gone, I can still pick out the top and hang the quilt or put the quilt on the bed with the top up!  I'm just funny that way.

All that's left is the border, I think it's looking good for me and that parade.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

C'est une finition

It's a finish!

And even though I'm a little sad this fun project has come to an end, it's hard to be too sad, because I love how it turned out.

This is Lifetime Quilt Number #105 - Coastal Lily
The pattern is Coastal Lily by Minick and Simpson (click here)
It finished at 76" x 86"
The fabric is mainly Happy Go Lucky by Bonnie and Camille for Moda
It has approximately 1,275 pieces.

This is the first pattern by Minick and Simpson that I have pieced, which is sort of funny, given how many quilts I've made using their fabric.  The instructions were great, easy to follow and I loved all the colored illustrations.  I think this pattern could be made using any type/style of fabric, and I think a scrappy background would really give it a great look.

I loved working on the stem blocks, they were a nice change of pace from the piecing and I feel like I added a few new tools to my toolbox because of them.  A few quilters have said they love the pattern but don't feel up to the appliqué.  Those dots were a breeze to make and if you don't think your skills are good enough to machine appliqué those berries then you could either glue or steam a seam them in place and tell your quilter to be sure to stitch around them when the top is quilted.

I've got a couple of friends in the process of making their own Coastal Lily, I'll be sure to link to their blogs when they're done.  There's nothing I like better than seeing the same pattern made using different fabric. And speaking of the same pattern made using different fabric, it's almost time for the AYOS Schnibbles parade.  I've heard from more than one person that the June Schnibbles pattern, Dulcinea, is a breeze and goes fast.  

Finally, thanks for the great comments you left while I was piecing Coastal Lily, this really was outside my normal style and I really appreciated you letting me know you were enjoying the change of pace.  I'll probably go more traditional with my next project, but I enjoyed working with these bright colors too much not to do it again soon.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Getting Closer - Coastal Lily

All the bloom blocks for Coastal Lily, the wonderful pattern by Minick and Simpson and available here, are pieced.

I have to admit, as eager as I am to see this quilt come together, I was a little sad when I pieced the last block.  I enjoyed making each and every one of them.

So the next step is to come up with the perfect placement of each one of my bloom blocks.

I'm one of those quilters that suffers from "no like fabrics next to each other" syndrome.  But since the blooms were all made from different fabrics, all I had to worry about was the berries and stems, so coming up with the perfect spot for each block went very easily.  

After I'm finished with finding the perfect spot for each block, I always sleep on it and give it one more look the next day with fresh eyes before I start assembling the rows.

My design wall is just barely big enough to accommodate all the blocks but I'm making do,

and even using the floor, which pleases Cooper to no end.

For some reason that dog loves to lay on my works in progress.  If I'm not watching he'll wad all the pieces into a ball and lay on all of them, like he wants to lay on as many pieces as he can at once.

It's hard to shoo him away and off my projects sometimes.  Poor Cooper's had a tough year with being sick and losing half his hair.  See his pink skin through his thin hair?  But he's better now and his hair is coming back, in patches and places.  I still think he's a cutey, but not so cute that I didn't give him a sweet potato stick to sleep elsewhere.

I'm sad to be finishing up this quilt, not only have I had no quilt drama, it's been uplifting, I think it's those cheerful colors.  But I refuse to miss this the next Schnibbles Parade, this month's choice, Dulcinea, has been on my To Do list for ages and I'm running out of time so I can't drag out Coastal Lily much longer.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Happy National Pink Day!

I'm all for any celebration that turns a ho-hum regular day into a let's have a  little fun day.  

Here are just a few of  my favorite pink items that set on my sewing room table.

My pink clock radio, that also holds my phone which allows me to listen to books while I sew, my pink  magnetic pin holder (if you don't have one of these you must get one, even if it's not pink, it's made by Clover) my pink coaster, pink polkadot thread clippers, pink light, pink sewing owl, and my sewing machine even has a touch a pink on it. That's just the pink things on my table, don't even get me started on the pink things all over that room!  But the pink pretty much stops there, I don't think I have any pink in any other room in the house.

I bought a pair of pink cropped slacks this spring and I feel like a dental hygienist or med tech anytime I wear them, but I plan to wear them today.  I also think a pink strawberry milkshake is a must for this afternoon.  I hope you squeeze a little pink into your day today.

Thanks so much for leaving your comments and answering a question on my Diamond Traditions book tour giveaway post.  I enjoyed reading each one.  I found your answer as interesting as the question you chose to answer.

The question that I get asked most often is "what do you do with all your quilts?"  

We use them!

Here's Cooper enjoying a nap on A la Mode.

And Leap Year usually rests right here.

But some mornings, this greets me as I pass through the living room.

I promised to select and announce the winner this weekend.  Folks were asked to leave a comment by the end of day Friday, and frankly, with all the time zones all over the world I wanted to make sure everyone, regardless of where they lived, could leave a comment on their Friday. I think I'm good.

And the winning comment is #133, (randomly selected by the person who leaves that wadded up quilt in that red chair)

Sallie from Sallie's Sampler.

Sallie's comment was,
"I started quilting 20 years ago when I made my first queen-size sampler. Thanks for the giveaway!"

I hope you're ticked pink to be the winner Sallie!

Thanks again to everyone who entered the giveaway or stopped by just to look at the book and my quilt, and thanks to Monique Dillard for asking me to participate in the tour.  It's been all fun.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Bloom, Bloom, Bloom

28 bloom blocks pieced, only 8 more to go!  
My design wall can't hold any more.

Here's a close-up for you to enjoy. 

 I've not even come close to falling out of love with this project.   It's usually about this time when I'm either questioning my fabric choices or pattern decision.  Nothing but happiness and fun in my sewing room.

Today is the last day to leave a comment on Monday's post to be eligible to win Monique Dillard's latest book, Diamond Traditions, don't miss out!  The questions answered the most frequently so far have been what is your least favorite and most favorite aspect of quilting.  We need to form some teams, I need the quilters who enjoy picking out fabric and don't like cutting on my team.  Isn't it funny, as a group, how we like and dislike different tasks? I love cutting the fabric and can't imagine anyone not enjoying it too!  

Monique is wrapping up the book tour at her blog today, click here to check it out.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Clown Pants

So I emptied my blueberry basket to make my Coastal Lily berry blocks, but I enjoyed  making those circles so much I turned that berry basket into a tomato basket.

I'm now making these.  Although I'm hand appliquéing these blocks instead of machine appliquéing them.  These little circles have turned into my way to unwind at the end of a day project.

The red dot is 3 inches across, and right now, that white block is 6 1/2 inches square, but I plan to trim  it down to 5 1/2 inches once they are all done.

I've  named this project "Clown Pants"

And hopefully, someday, before I lose my sight and sanity, I'll have one of these.

For those of you keeping track, this is now my 3rd red and white little project I've got going on the side.  First it was baby churn dash blocks, then I added my pineapple project, and now my clown pants project.  I maybe need to move these from my little side project schedule  to the regular project schedule.

Oh, and it's day three of the Diamond Traditions book tour, today is Lisa at Stashmaster's day, I'm sure she's made something great for the tour and it's another chance for you to win the book, stop by.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Still Blooming

I've added a few more blooms to my Coastal Lily project.  I've yet to make an ugly one!!

The Diamonds Tradition book tour continues today at Denise's blog, The Corner Stitch.  Be sure to stop by to see what project Denise has made and another opportunity to win Monique's latest book.  (click here)

Thanks so much for all the comments that have been left on my giveaway, I've enjoyed reading your answers to one my survey questions and getting to know you too.  It's been very interesting to see which question you decided to answer, there's been a little bit of everything.  If you've not left a comment you have until Friday to do so.

Monday, June 17, 2013

A Finish AND A Book Tour

Hello and welcome to day one of the Diamond Traditions Book Tour.

Diamond Traditions is the latest book by Monique Dillard of Open Gate Quilts published by C&T Publishing.  This is Monique's 3rd book, following Fat Quarter Winners and Fat Quarter Quilts.  This book is also a fat quarter friendly book.

As with Monique's first two books, this book has beautiful color pictures of all the quilts and quilt blocks, wonderfully illustrated instructions, and charts to help you make all the projects in an assortment of sizes.

Diamond Traditions has patterns for 11 different quilts. I was fortunate enough to get to piece a quilt for the book, I pieced Ocean Diamonds.  This is the first time I've had a quilt show up in a book, it's a fun experience for me.  I pieced this quilt way back in June of last year but could not blog about it until now.

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 83 - Ocean of Diamonds
The fabric is Memories of Provence by Monique Dillard for Maywood Studios
The pattern is Ocean of Diamonds from the Diamond Traditions book by Monique Dillard
It finished at 62" X 74"
Its has approximately 972 pieces.

Diamond Traditions is available in quilt shops and online.  Comparing the cost of one pattern to the 11 patterns provided in this book make this book a real deal!  If you enjoyed Monique's first two books I know you'll love this book also.

As part of the book tour, each blogger is going to answer the following questions, I hope you enjoy getting to know us a little better.

  1. When did I start quilting - I pieced my first quilt the fall of  2005
  2. What was my first project - Lifetime Quilt Number 1 - Click here to read all about it.
  3. Favorite Movie - I love movies, so this is hard for me, but I've watched "You've Got Mail" more times than I can count, so I guess I will have to go with it!
  4. Favorite Book - I love to read, so this is hard for me too, but I really enjoy books that make me think about them days after I finish them, and I love all types of books, biographies, mysteries, fiction, non fiction.  But if I have to pick one book I'll go with "My Losing Season" by Pat Conroy.
  5. Favorite TV Show - I love those bridal gown shows on TLC on Friday nights.  I don't care if it's "Say Yes to the Dress", "Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta", or "I found the Gown".  If it's Friday night,  I'm watching somebody pick out a wedding gown.
  6. Where I grew up - I grew up in a small town in the midwest.  All of my family still lives there, I was the only one who flew the coop.
  7. Dog or Cat - Not even close, this family is a dog family.  Although I'm allergic to cats so I've never been able to get to be around them.
  8. Hobby if I didn't quilt - If I didn't quilt I know I would have some sort of hobby, I'm not one to sit around and just watch TV, I would probably select golfing.  Quilting is a lot like golf, both hobbies are very time consuming, require expensive equipment, and practice if you want to be good.
  9. Sports - participant or spectator.  I love sports, my favorite sport by far is football, which requires me to be a spectator, but I also enjoy other spectator and participant sports.
  10. Least favorite part of quilting - Picking out the fabric!  It's not very often that I finish a quilt and don't think, "I should have used different fabric" or "I want to make that again in different fabric". 
  11. Most favorite part of quilting - The math!  I love checking all the math in every pattern I make and even redo the math on most patterns I buy.  It's like a game to me and relaxing.
  12. Biggest quilting inspiration.  I would have to say my quilts became more interesting and I became a better quilter when I started participating in Sinta and Sherri's Schnibbles quilt along.  Those little patterns let me be more creative with fabric, experiment with block sizes, and sometimes, change up the whole thing.  The things I've learned making those Schnibbles has seeped into all my projects.
  13. Sweet or Salty - Sweet!

This is going to be a week of fun and giveaways, please visit these bloggers to see their projects and for more chances to win Monique's latest book.

Tuesday - Denise from Quilter’s  Window -
Wednesday - Lisa from Stashmaster -

Thursday - Sherri from A Quilting Life -
Friday - Monique from Open Gate Quilts -

Giveaway now closed, thanks for stopping by.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Finally, something worth showing

So after the stems were stitched the next step was to add the berries to the stems.  I chose to machine appliqué my berries.  Once the berries were attached I tore off the stabilizer and squared up the blocks.
36 berry blocks all done!

I've also finished all 180 required geese.

The only thing left to do is make the lily blocks.

Since all the pieces and parts are ready to go, all I have to do is lay everything out, sew it together, press, and square up.  It takes less than 20 minutes to assemble one lily block, start to finish.

I think the hardest part is trying to decide which one to make next, so far I love them all.

Just in case you're stopping by for the first time in a couple of  weeks, this is the makings of Coastal Lily by Minick & Simpson.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Finally, something different

Let's talk about those berry blocks.  The berry block in my Coastal Lily block is the block that has the stems and berries coming out of the center of the bloom.  

Since I had to change the thread, the machine stitch, and the presser foot to make this block, I decided I wanted to make them all at once.

First I had to decided what stitch I wanted use.  After playing around with different options, I selected the stitch on the bottom.

I also used Totally Stable by Sulky, an iron-on, tear-away stabilizer.  

After adhering the stabilizer to the fabric, and using my Frixion pen, I traced the berry stems from the pattern provided.  You need to trace the stems after attaching the iron on stabilizer, do it before and your stems will disappear.  Ask me how I know!

I also traced the base of where the berries should be placed to make adding the berries later a breeze, and to make sure I stitched the stems into where the berries will be appliqued.

This foot made lining up and following my traced stem line so easy.

It was a day's work, getting the blocks prepared and stitching the stems, but a good day's work.

Next up, machine appliquéing the berries.

The pattern calls for cutting these squares an inch larger than required, then squaring them up, which I will do after I add the berries and tear off the stabilizer.

Added 6/13

I used a Pfaff Expression 4.0 to stitch the berry stems.  The decorative stitch number is 155 and the presser foot is the straight stitch presser foot.  I don't have a number for the foot but here is a close-up of  it.