Monday, November 25, 2013

Let's all eat more Pie!

(this is Lifetime Quilt Number 50)

I would like to let you know, as I reflect on my many blessings, you, my blogging friends, add so much to my life. Thank you for making my small life so much fuller.

I'm taking the rest of the week off, my baby girl is home and I plan to enjoy every minute of our time together. There will be nothing but shopping, game playing, movie watching, cooking, and most importantly laughing, going on here.

No sewing to speak of, that can wait.

I'll be back on Monday!

Best wishes for a safe and happy week, to you and your family, wherever you may be!

Friday, November 22, 2013

More is More

How about more Wild Air?

Wild Air is the pattern by Carrie Nelson for Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.  I started my quilt in a class sponsored by the Corn Wagon Quilt Company in Springville, Utah.  After blogging about my Wild Air I received a note from Julie, who was also in my class, along with this picture of her finished Wild Air.  I thought you would enjoy seeing her beautiful quilt as much as I did.

Julie used Glace by 3 Sisters for Moda for the majority of the pieced blocks and Basic Grey Blush also by Moda for the red border.  A funny story about Julie, she has since moved from Utah, and my first reaction was, " oh no, you must really miss the Corn Wagon Quilt Co",  because I remember Julie being very active in several of their classes, but then Julie told me she now lives in Temecula, California, yes home of the Temecula Quilt Co!  How could she be so lucky, Julie said the nice ladies at Temecula Quilt Shop have welcomed her into their fold.  The next time we're moving, I'm insisting we move to a town with an active local quilt shop!

Besides getting ready for Thanksgiving, I'm also counting down to Christmas.  I got my Countdown to Christmas quilt, headboard cover, pillows, and wall hanging out the first of November.  I love this set so much I start counting down to Christmas early.  Also, if I'm going to the trouble to change the fabric on that headboard, it's going to be out for longer than one month!  This is my guest room.

Here's my Christmas in the City wall hanging.

When I'm in  my sewing room, Cooper likes to hang out right next door in this room, he gets a great view of the goings on out on the street, he's always on guard for the UPS, USPS or Fed Ex men.  I know I have a package getting ready to hit the doorstep before it's even out of the truck.

Well since this is a white quilt, and since it is out for a couple of months, I thought I would put an old blanket over Countdown to Christmas for Cooper to lay on when I'm sewing.  As you can see, Cooper was having none of that, he must be excited to have this quilt back out too, to push that old comforter out of the way.  (the bedroom set, including that great headboard where you can swap out the fabric is from Pottery Barn)

And finally, a starlight update.  Thank you all so much for all the great and supportive comments regarding my little problem with starlight, by Camille Roskelley for thimble blossoms.  Knowing you've had similar issues made me feel less foolish.  And between your comments and the passage of time, I'm feeling better about the whole thing.  I'm also taking your advice and working on the un-sewing a little bit everyday.  Once I have the blocks apart and trimmed I may even work on something else, then put those starlight blocks back together, a little break would be good for my soul I think.  Two comments really stand out, Vicky's comment was, "a quilt so nice you'll make it twice!  That's my new mantra,   I think because it's fun and true!  And Ann said, "Sometimes quilting is a humbling experience", and she is right, this was a humbling experience, but I'm better for it.   So really, thanks so much for feeling my pain.  And like I said, I have a fix for this.  If you want to feel some real pain go visit Nicole's blog, she just finished her Clover Schnibbles table topper only to spill hot wax on it, I'm not sure there's a fix for that, but I sure hope so, I feel your pain Nicole!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Bump in the Road . . . .

So here's my stack of pieced triangle units for Starlight, the pattern by Camille for thimble blossoms.  (click here for pattern detail)  They went together perfectly, and by using the Creative Grids 60 degree triangle for the pieces and parts, the points lined up perfectly to create the required 1/4" space above those triangle points.  So the only thing left to do was to put the pieced triangles and large floral triangles on my design wall and start sewing everything together.  

But then I noticed that the large triangles that I cut, at the required pattern size, were not big enough!

My pieced triangle  units are an 1/2" larger than the cut triangles.  I could not for the life of me figure out where I went wrong, because I checked and double checked and squared up every step along the way.  Then a friend figured out my problem, using the 60 degree triangle created this difference.  

The pattern says, "Using your rotary cutter and small triangle template (or a 60 degree ruler)…." Note is says 60 degree ruler, not 60 degree triangle.  I cut my large floral triangles out first, because I wanted to make sure I had enough fabric for those big units plus the small points for the centers.  And I just barely had enough fabric as it was.  But had I not cut them first, all I needed to do was to cut bigger triangles and everything would be perfect, but that's not possible now.

So this is where I am, I have a beautiful stack of floral triangles and another beautiful stack of pieced triangles, but they don't go together, so at this point I figure I have 3 options:
1.  Throw it all in the trash.  (I bought the floral fabric in London, that's not happening)
2.  Buy more floral fabric and cut larger triangles and keep the pieced triangles as is.  (I really want to use this fabric, not fabric that's the same but not the fabric I bought.)
3.  Take the white triangles off the pieced units, un-sew the the pieced two triangle units, trim a 1/4" off those triangles, sew them back together, trim the white triangle units to a new size, sew them back on.

So really, I only have one option, and that's number 3, and that's  my plan.  I have started un-sewing the  pieced units but it's not fun, and the thought of trimming and sewing them all together again has really taken the wind out of my sails.

I keep thinking of how hard I worked last week each morning to get through my To Dos in order to get up to my sewing room to work on those triangle units each afternoon, all the while the large floral triangle units, that I cut first, were just sitting there, wrong.  I've lost that loving feeling for this project, I'm hoping once I get those pieced triangle units down to the size I need, and start putting everything on my design wall, things will look up.

If you're going to make starlight, I recommend using the Creative Grids 60 degree triangle, it makes the piecing a breeze, just cut your large triangle units a 1/2" larger and you'll be great.  Or better yet, measure your pieced triangle units, preferably after the first one, not the 124th one, and see where you stand, that's the size you need to cut your large triangles.  And  finally, I guess there's always the option of just following the pattern, but where's the fun in that!

Monday, November 18, 2013

A little Starlight

Starlight, by Camille Roskelley for thimble blossoms,  is a jelly roll pattern, but I'm using fabric from my stash, so my first order of business was to cut my strips.

The next step was to piece a few strips and cut some triangles.  The pattern provides a template but I'm using the 60 degree ruler by Creative Grids, it couldn't be easier to get things lined up and cut those pieces.

And here are all my triangles.  The floral fabric that I'm using for my large triangles is also the fabric I'm using for all my star centers.  

Normally, the first thing I do when I start a new pattern is to make an inspiration block.  I enjoy looking at one finished block as I make all the pieces and parts for the remaining blocks, plus it's a good double check that I'm understanding the sizes of all the pieces and parts.

This pattern is a little different, I can't really piece together a star block, because of the way the rows are combined, but here's a little peek of what a star should look like.

I'm thinking that center fabric matching the outer triangles looks pretty good so far.  On my last post I got a couple of comments from folks regarding working with these triangles and this pattern, but I have to say so far, I've had no problems at all.

A few corner triangles on these pieces and I'll be good to start working on those rows.

So far everything is coming together perfectly, but I'm really eager to see a finished star block.

Like many of you I'm cleaning my house in general and my ovens, refrigerators, and cupboards specifically,  in preparation for Thanksgiving.    But I'm very motivated to speed through those chores each morning to get up into my sewing room each afternoon.  Plus spreading the To Dos out during the coarse of a week makes them seem less like work.  It's more of the same for this week but you can bet I'll be racing through my daily To Dos to get back to working on Starlight.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Next Up . . .

Sometimes, when I finish one quilt, a quilt where I loved the pattern, the fabric, and created no drama for myself start to finish, plus throw in sewing with friends, a project like Nantucket,  it's sort of hard to start something new, something that will be as fun, as rewarding, and as satisfying as the last project.  I don't think I'm going to have that problem this time.  This is going to be my next project, "Starlight" by Camille Roskelley for thimble blossoms.  (click here for pattern)

This quilt is my new favorite size, 67" x 70".   I've found that quilts around that size are easy to work with, and can either be hung in my living room, thrown over a couch, or centered on my bed.  You can either make a template to cut the pieces for this quilt or use a 60 degree ruler. I bought one of those 60 degree rulers ages ago and have been looking for a reason to use it, now I have one.

Of the two quilts shown on the pattern cover, I'll be leaning more towards this one, the lighter one.

Besides using that ruler for the first time, I'm also going to be doing something a little different as far as the fabric for this top.  This is the print I'll be using for those large setting triangles, the green dot triangles in the pattern.

It's a Liberty of London print that I actually picked up at the Liberty of London Department Store this summer.  I'm fussy about my florals, as a matter of fact, I don't even wear florals,  I wear stripes or solids.  Some florals to me are "too granny",  some are "too whimsical", others are "too cartoonish", but I thought this floral was just right and so me, pink and red, what's not to love!  I thought Starlight would be a great way to showcase that floral fabric.  Those setting triangles are 8 inches top to bottom, a nice size.

The problem is that this is the only Liberty of London print I have, I don't even know if this was part of a family, and obviously I need more fabric for this quilt.  I almost always work from a family of fabric, sometimes, if I'm feeling really crazy, I may combine a couple of lines from the same designer, but unless it's some sort of super scrappy pattern, it's one fat quarter bundle or layer cake getting me through a project.

So I got out all my happy fabric bins and started pulling fabric.  Luckily for me it was a sunny day, good light was a big help.

I just laid the Liberty fabric next to my fat quarters and started selecting fabric that I thought was a good match.  The floral print has the following colors; dark gray, pink, orange, orange red, deep red, and a light and dark gray green.  Not a lot of colors really.

So after I pulled fabric that I thought matched the floral print, I made sure that all the reds, pinks, oranges, greens, and grays played well together, which eliminated some of the prints.  The greens were the hardest.  I also paid attention to the volume of the prints, I didn't want a large majority of the prints to be too bold, so bold that they would overpower the floral triangles.

So this is where I am, totally outside my comfort zone by selecting all this fabric.  I hope I got it right, time will tell!  I'll be heartbroken to cut and use that fabric and then not love the finished project.  I can hardly wait to get that fabric cut and few pieces up on my design wall.  Unfortunately it's that time of year when getting any real time in my sewing room is a rarity.  I've started my holiday chores, getting the carpet shampooed, cleaning out the spice cabinet, getting the lawn and trees ready for winter, and the septic tank ready for company.  I've had more people coming and going around this house this last week than I've had all year, plus my lists now have lists,  but things are shaping up, maybe I'll squeeze in some sewing time this weekend.

Keep your fingers crossed that it all works out for me!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Nantucket, all done!

This project was nothing but fun.  I enjoyed every minute in my sewing room while working on this quilt, I loved the reds and I loved the pattern.  I changed my quilt ever so slightly, for the border I made my 9 patches out of the light background fabric and used the tans for the squares.  The center stars are more of a controlled scrappy, not a full blown scrappy.  Oh, and I added 9 tiny stars to that outer border, a suggestion from a friend.

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 120
It finished at 67" x 67"
The pattern is Nantucket by Minick & Simpson
The fabric is Midwinter Reds by Minick & Simpson for Moda (wovens and cottons)
It has approximately 1,187 pieces.

Be on the lookout for more Nantuckets, several quilters are sewing along with me.  And it doesn't matter who finishes first or last, we all just need to finish.  The quilt it too pretty not to be on your bed, and soon!  

I have more Midwinter Reds fabric, this won't be the last quilt you see using that fabric from my sewing room!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Nantucket Progress

So now that the big center stars are done for Nantucket,  I've started working on the border pieces.  I've had several things going on outside my sewing room but have enjoyed small stretches of serenity while in my sewing room.

The piecing is easy, relaxing, and I'm loving all these reds.  I'm also listening to a good mystery book (Cuckoos Calling by Robert Galbraith) while I sew, it's all made for a great week.  Several of my friends are also sewing away on Nantucket which adds to the fun.  

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

9 Big Red Stars?


Here's the center of my Nantucket top.  I'm showing you my whole design wall so you get a feel for the size of those stars, they're huge!

 I'm adding some of the plaids/wovens from the Midwinter Reds collection and am not going totally scrappy like the pattern.  I can hardly wait to see how these big star blocks look surrounded by 9 patches.

Here's a little refresher of the original pattern.

Darlene at Quilting Daze, Vicky at LA Quilter, Sue at Cozy Little Quilts, and Jennifer at Seams Crazy are sewing along with us. Their blogs are in my blog list so be on the lookout for their Nantucket updates as well as the ones from Nicole/Sisters Choice, Lisa/Stashmaster and Sinta/ Pink Pincushion.

We're just getting started, so feel to join the Nantucket sew along too, the more the merrier!

Monday, November 4, 2013

And the winner is . . . . .

Gail is the winner of the Midwinter reds layer cake but the other winner is

Of the over 180 comments left for the Midwinter Reds by Minck & Simpson for Moda layer cake giveaway, 85 folks said that fall was their favorite season.  I loved all the reasons people gave for loving fall as much as I do,  it appears no matter where you live, you have a wonderful fall.  Several people mentioned loving fall for the colors, and that's definitely the case for me, the browns, golds, oranges, and most importantly the reds!  I hadn't really stopped to think about it until several of you mentioned that.

Second place was spring, with less than half the number of fall comments, with 40.

Here's what surprised me most, winter beat out summer!  Winter got 16 comments and summer got 11! I think more sewing time and Christmas pushed winter over summer, and who can argue with that.

And several people just love whatever season they're experiencing at the time.  I've never lived in an area that didn't have 4 defined seasons, I'm not sure I could, I do love the changes, all of them.

I spent some time this weekend packing up the Halloween decorations and getting out the Thanksgiving ones.  It's a pretty easy transition, I just pack up the pumpkins with the faces and leave out the plain ones.  My mantle is an easy fix too, I swap out the Halloween plate with this Thanksgiving one, the colors work for both.

And it was also time to swap out the quilt in the living room.  I hated to take down Hallowe'en 1904, I loved seeing that quilt hanging every day the month of October, but I have a new fall quilt to hang this year, Wild Air.  This quilt had a rocky start.  I signed up to make this quilt at a class, and it was around Spring Market crunch time, and the only picture of the pattern that was provided was in black and white.  I didn't have much time to select any fabric so I went with this Jo Morton print from her Annandale line. 

Well when I got to class and saw the actual quilt, in beautiful spring colors, and all my other classmates projects, who were using spring colors, I sort of fell out of love of my version of Wild Air.   I finally finished this project, in the fall I think,  and just recently got it back from my quilter, Connie Lancaster, at Quilts Plus in Indianapolis, IN.

I could not love it more and am thrilled it's now hanging in my living room.  The pattern Wild Air by Carrie Nelson for Miss Rosie's Quilt Co is available for download if you think you too need some fall Wild Air in your life! (click here)  I wish I could take a picture that really gives you a feel for the richness and beauty of this quilt, it's the epitome of fall, my picture does not come close to doing it justice.

Whew, see what I mean about that pattern, mine could not look any different, but in this case, different is a good thing! I think  Nicole at Sister's Choice is going to be working on Wild Air as soon as she finishes Nantucket, and I think Nicole's version is going to look closer to mine than the pattern cover, which is the nicest complement a quilter can give another.  

And speaking of Nantucket, we've picked up a few more members for our sew along, Janet and Jennifer left comments saying they were joining us.  Hey ladies, since you don't have blogs feel free to send any of us updates and pictures of your progress for us to share!  And Vicky, at LA Quilter, got a jump on us with some Nantucket sewing this past weekend.  Check it out here.  Vicky is working from the outside in on her Nantucket and has started on her 9 patches.

For those you who were unable to leave comments, your email was good enough, I put your names in the basket for the drawing with all the comments.  I'm sorry google was uncooperative but in the end you were in the running too.

And finally, thank you so much for all the kind comments you left regarding my blog anniversary and about how much you enjoy stopping by to chat about quilts with me.  Even though most of the time the chat is me chatting to you, you have no idea how much it means to me that you stop by and enjoy my blog and the quilts I make.  When I think of all the blogs and all the quilters and all the designers and shops competing for your time and attention, that you think enough of me and my simple blog to stop by is humbling, truly, thanks so much!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Midwinter Reds

Did you get any of the Midwinter Reds by Minick & Simpson for Moda?  Of course I did, you know me and red, but I didn't really have any plans for my bundle of reds, until now.  And now I almost have too many options.

Sheryl at the Temecula Quilt Co is starting a sew along where you can really use any reds, creams and beiges, but a layer cake of Midwinter Reds would work too, that's what Sheryl is using.  Right now the project is a mystery, but what she's started is amazing.  Check it out!

I borrowed this picture from their website, how could this quilt be anything but wonderful!  I'm in!

There's also going to be a new Schnibbles by Miss Rosie's Quilt Co. coming out any day now called Jersey Girl.  You could use any fabric for this pattern, but I think it's hard to top the Midwinter Reds that Carrie used.  Jersey Girl finishes at 36' x 36".  I'm in!

When Minick & Simpson introduced the Midwinter Reds fabric, they also released a few patterns made from that line, this is Nantucket.  I liked Nantucket OK, and thought the quilt probably finished around 36" x 36", Schnibbles size, but it really didn't call my name or get on my To Do list.

Then Sinta received a fat quarter bundle of Midwinter Reds for her birthday and decided she was going to make Nantucket and started looking for some quilters to sew along.  When Sinta asked me if I was interested in making Nantucket I said no because of the size, then she told me the quilt finished at 65" x 65".  For some reason that changed my whole perspective on that pattern and I said, "I'm in".  So in the course of one week,  I went from admiring my Midwinter Reds on my shelf to hoping I have enough to make all the things I now need to make.

If you're sitting on a bundle of that fabric, and don't know what to make, come join Sinta, Lisa, Nicole and I as we work on Nantucket, or join the hundreds of quilters that will sew along with Sheryl and her mystery quilt at Temecula Quilt Co, or wait a day or two and start your own Jersey Girl sew along!  Don't miss out, it's going to nothing but Midwinter Red fun!

I have a few blog anniversaries that I need to celebrate,  I've decided to celebrate my 4th year of blogging, (August, 2009) and my 700 post ( currently at 668) with a little Midwinter Reds giveaway.  This layer cake will get you into Sheryl's sew along, make a couple of Jersey Girls ( christmas presents or decorations maybe?) or give you a start on Nantucket, just add a few of your own reds and creams and beiges.

If the post office will deliver to your address you are eligible to enter, just make sure I'm able to contact you.  This fabric is going fast, and Jane at Bear Country Cottons has yardage and a few precuts still in stock.   She's holding one layer cake for me to buy and mail to you.  Just leave a comment on this post.

In your comment please tell me what season of the year is your favorite and why.  Mine is fall.  When I was younger I loved fall because that's when school started, new clothes, new shoes, "the smell of freshly sharpened pencils",  I loved it all. Now it means the start of football season and some of the best weather we have all year.  Fall is pretty hard to beat where I live.

Leave  your comment by end of day Sunday, November 3rd, I'll announce the winner on Monday and Jane will get your layer cake in the mail to you, probably that day, their service has always been excellent for me.