Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah I'm Done

Zipper's all pieced, hurray.  I started this quilt in 2015.  I've been known to say "quilts take a long time, when you don't work on them".  I can now add, "or when they sit in a project box".

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 196
It finished has 66" x 78"
The pattern is Zipper by Camille Roskelly for Thimble Blossoms. (available here)
The fabric is an assortment of Little Black Dress, Little Black Dress 2 and Black Tie Affair by Basic Grey for Moda.
It has approximately 570 pieces.

Even though this project spanned several years, I enjoyed piecing it together.

The pattern has several interesting looks and is a great stash buster.

Are you working on selecting your Miss Rosie pattern and fabric for the sew along?  I'm going to spend a couple of weeks working on my Long Time Gone project and don't expect I'll be starting my Due South until the middle of March, but don't wait for me, get started whenever you like.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

What's been happening in my world

There's not been much sewing going on at my house.

I tagged along with my husband on a business trip, which I would do more often if his business destinations were in great places, like this trip, on the beach.   Most of the time his travels are less scenic, and the weather not much better than where I am.

While sitting on the beach I studied this book,  Long Time Gone by Jen Kingwell.

I studied this book so hard the staples came out and all the pages came loose.  There's a whole lot of sewing going on in this quilt.

So much sewing that I've decided to spread the fun out over this entire year, making this my special Year of Thelma quilt.

The pattern is broken down into 6 sections.  I think I'm going to start with Section 2, it looks the easiest and least time consuming.  Section 5 will probably take me all summer.

Now I just need to decide on some fabric and get going.

Another task that I completed that was quilty related but not sewing related was my quarterly quilt refold.  If the quilt is folded outside I switch it to inside, folded lengthwise becomes widthwise, and so on.  I enjoy looking at all my quilts, organizing them again, usually by season, and putting them neatly back on my quilt racks and shelves.  They were a mess after my Pride of Prairie Trunk Show.  It normally doesn't take all that long, but my arms sure are tired when I'm done.

And finally, this is back out on my design wall, Zipper by Camille Roskelley for Thimbleblossoms.  When I blogged about losing my loving feeling for this top I got some great comments.  One quilter suggested making it a table runner, which I thought was a good idea, but making a bed runner an even better idea, and initially my plan.  Someone else pointed out that this quilt top was too pretty not to finish.  Well when I got this project back out I discovered I had more completed than I remembered, and it was too long and too narrow for a bed runner for my kingsize bed.

So now I've decided it is too pretty not to finish, I only need to add around 15 more rows.  I also now remember why I put this project in a project box.  I started the project using Little Black Dress, then decided to jazz it up by adding  Black Tie Affair,  both by Basic Grey for Moda.  To get the two fabrics to blend together I needed to un-sew a few rows, add some Black Tie Affair, then sew them back together.  That's where I am right now, separating what's already combined, then I'll sew some new rows.  The pieces are  all cut and ready, they just need to be sewn together, easy peasy.  And I'm not stopping until it's done!

And finally, thanks so much for the great response on Miss Rosie's Quilt Co's new book, Farmhouse Favorites, and joining me on a sew along.  There was such an enthusiastic response Carrie donated two books and I'm donating one.   The winners are Peggy in NJ, Debra from MD and Nancy Lewis from PA.  Nancy and Peggy, I sent you an email, I need your mailing address please. 

As far as the sew along goes, it's going to be very simple. Start when you want, do any Miss Rosie's Quilt Co pattern and finish by the end of 2017.  A nice way to wrap up the Year of Thelma.  I plan to start Due South the end of March.  Send me updates and pictures as you progress, I'll blog about any updates on Fridays throughout the year.  If you have a blog send a link and I'll add you to my blog roll call list.  And at the end of the year we'll have a parade of all the finishes.  I can hardly wait to see what you make, Due South so far seems to be the most popular pattern choice, I love nothing better than seeing the same pattern made with different fabric.  

Whew, I think that's it! Just one blog post this week, but a long one, I hope you made it to the end!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

How About a Sew-Along?

There's a new book out by Miss Rosie's Quilt Co., Miss Rosie's Farmhouse Favorites.  It's a compilation of some of Carrie Nelson's favorite quilts.  As luck would have it, they're my favorites too.  

The cover quilt is Birdseye, I made this quilt in 2011, it's Lifetime Quilt Number 77.  (Link Here). I get my Birdseye out in the fall, but it's made with Civil War Reproduction fabric, I sure would like a new one, maybe made using some of Corey Yoder's cheery Sundrops fabric.

The book has 12 patterns, and two of the patterns feature other MRQC patterns that I made.

One is Three Barns, Lifetime Quilt Number 102 (link here) using French General fabric.  I made this quilt back in 2013.  When it's not on the farm being photographed with sheep it's in my office.  I toyed around with changing up this pattern while I was piecing it but in the end stuck with the original pattern, a good call on my part.  I still love those fussy cut medallion centers in the cornerstones.

Lucy also made the book, Lifetime Quilt Number 142 (link here), which I made in the fall of 2014.

I love the quilt, particularly the quilting, those cobwebs quilted in the center of those background blocks became the standard pattern for most of the Lucy quilts I've seen pieced.   That quilt does not live with me, it has a wonderful and loving home in California, but I've already earmarked my calendar to make another one, for me, this fall.

So of the 12 projects included in this book, I've only made 3, something I plan to remedy.

I think first up for me will be Due South.

This pattern has been on my To Do list for too long, but not for much longer.  I think this Rifle Paper Company fabric would make an amazing Due South.

Out of all of the Carrie favorites listed in this book I'm sure there is at least one pattern that's been on your To Do list for too long.  Wouldn't you like to pick a pattern, some fabric, and sew along with me?

To make it easier for one person to sew along, Carrie is providing a book for a giveaway.  To enter  leave a comment on this blog post with your favorite Miss Rosie's Quilt Co pattern, one you've made or dream of making.  You have until end of day Friday, February 17th.  I'll announce the winner next week.

MRQC patterns are hard to come by these days, how nice to have a collection of them available again.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day!

I'm all for any reason to turn a ho-hum day into a fun day, especially in February, when most days where I live are ho-hum.  So today I'm wearing red candy heart socks, a red shirt, and cooking a red dinner set to red candles,  plus I'm eating any fine chocolates that come my way, guilt free.  So let's all celebrate Valentine's day today, big or small, and go back to ho-hum tomorrow.

And what better way to celebrate Valentine's Day than with a Valentine's Day finish?  (Ok, eating fine chocolates all day guilt free may be better, but not by much)

I fell in love with Bonnie's Love You Most quilt pattern immediately.  But I'm not one to jump on the bandwagon and piece the latest pattern craze, I have a schedule to stick to, and things to think about, like how to change it.  But then I remembered that this is the Year of Thelma-LX, and this is the year I DO jump on the latest craze, schedules should allow for some flexibility and more importantly, fun.

To add to the fun I gave myself a goal of finishing by Valentine's Day, which was a fairly unnecessary  goal, but luckily for me this pattern is a breeze to piece and I met my goal easily, no stress whatsoever.

I pieced the hearts first, this may be my all time favorite heart block.  It's the stripe down the middle, it just appeals to me.

My favorite heart, second row, first block.  I used up the last of my Vintage Modern pink on that block.  Although honestly, I love each one.  I love them so much I made two extra!

 I pieced the heart blocks in a day, one sewing day, which is probably more like an afternoon.

The hugs and kisses took longer, several days, but I enjoyed the process and time flew by.

I did change the pattern some, out of necessity, not out of a need to be different.  I didn't have enough aqua yardage to make all the hugs the same, so I made them scrappy instead.  Each block has the same hug and kisses fabric, but each block is different, if you know what I mean.

And here it is!

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 195
The pattern is Love You Most by Bonnie at Cotton Way
It finished at 72" x 72" (my favorite size)
I used an assortment of Bonnie and Camille fabric, no one family of fabric.
It has approximately 753 pieces.

I'm so happy I loosened up a little and pieced this top, a little spontaneity is a good thing. 

If you've not bought this pattern yet, give yourself a little Valentine's present and buy it today, you can make it anytime this year and be all set for Valentine's Day 2018. (click here for pattern)

I have a goal this year to not start a new project until I piece the backing and binding on the last one.  It's made me think about the binding and backing before I finish piecing the top.

Here's the fabric for the back,

it's by Riley Blake.  I figure after piecing a Valentine's Day quilt top why not finish it off with an over the top Valentine's Day feel backing.

And this is my binding fabric.

Bonnie and Camille basic.

I've not pieced either, but just having the fabric bought and in the house is an improvement over my past history, and I plan to piece both items today.

I hope you have a fun Valentine's Day, and if not a whole day of fun, at least a little fun, go buy your own flowers or candy if you have to, this day only comes once a year, why not enjoy it.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Swoon Finish

One quilt off my Lifetime To Do List, a project that was on there way too long, what was I waiting for?

The fabric is by Bonnie and Camille for Moda, I picked my favorite prints from several different lines.

This block didn't make the cut.

I like it, it just didn't pop when it was on my design wall with the other Swoon blocks.  That's OK, I'll put it on the back.  I enjoyed piecing each block and didn't mind making 10, honest.

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 194
The pattern is Swoon by Camille Roskelley for Thimbleblossoms
The fabric is by Bonnie and Camille for Moda.
It finished at 80" x80"
It has approximately 741 pieces.

I love how this quilt turned out so much I think I may have to splurge on a custom quilting job, after all it IS The Year of Thelma.

I think I'm going to try and squeeze this project in next, Love You Most by Bonnie at Cotton Way. (available here)

Over the years I've enjoyed seeing the Valentines Day projects and heart quilts pop up online, but I never saw myself making one, until I saw this pattern.  I think it's the hearts, I love their size and the slash of a different print down the middle.

My goal is to have it pieced by Valentine's Day!  But if I run a few days over that's OK too, it will be done and ready for next year.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Two "New" Finishes

Here's a couple of finishes I finally get to add to my Lifetime List.  Some time back,  Judi Madsen asked if I would be interested in piecing a couple of quilt tops for a book she was writing.  I'm always happy to do some piecing for a designer.  Selecting patterns, then selecting the perfect combination and placement of fabrics for a pattern, are tasks that do not come easily for me.   At my core, I'm a piecer.  And I love nothing better than putting the pattern and fabric decisions in someone else hands and just focusing on assembling the pieces.   It's like a quilting vacation.

This first pattern was a very fun pattern to piece, and deceptively easy.

So this is my Lifetime Quilt Number 161
It finished at 64" x 75"
The pattern is Star X-ing by Judi Madsen
It has approximately 357 pieces.

And this is how Judi brought that flat top to life.

Just Judi being Judi, lol.  Beautiful straight lines, small shapes, and her signature secondary designs.

I also pieced this top for Judi.  I love those big and little diagonal stars.

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 169
It finished at 90" x 90"
The pattern is Playtime by Judi Madsen
It has approximately 909 pieces.

And here is what this top looks like now.

I've never quilted a top, probably never will, so I'm no expert, I leave these things to the experts, and by expert I mean anyone quilting one of my tops, but the two things that I find very fascinating about Judi's work is that one, she comes up with these great designs, and then two, executes them with such amazing precision.

One last before,

One last after.

Simply amazing.

Patterns for piecing these two quilts, plus directions on quilting these tops, along with 4 other projects, are in Judi's latest book, Secondary Designs.

This book is available here.  I think you will enjoy all the patterns available in this book and studying all the quilting designs.  There are numerous examples and illustrations where Judi explains her process, many more than in most quilting books.

Luckily for one person, Judi is sponsoring a giveaway for her latest book.  Just leave a comment by the end of the day Friday, February 10th, on this blog post.  I'll announce the winner next week.

Congratulations Judi on a wonderful book, I'm humbled and honored to have been a small part of your creative process.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Block Play

Yesterday, Nicole at Sister's Choice Quilts blogged about a Courthouse Steps block sew along she saw online.  It got me to thinking that maybe that would be a good low volume project.  I have a huge stack of Bonnie and Camille low volume fabric that I think could make a cute low volume quilt.  I seem to be drawn to the bolder prints and rarely use the lighter ones.  I like the idea of a log cabin/courthouse steps block because they are real fabric eaters.

I'm thinking of going with 1 1/4" strips, wide enough to get a good feel for the fabric, but not too wide as to create a gigantic block.

This block finishes at 6 3/4".  I'm thinking of making all the center solids, but scrappy.

I'm also thinking that this would be a fun project to spread out through the year, maybe make a dozen a month or so.

I trimmed the block after each round.

Since I went with 1 1/4" strips I had some interesting results, I'm so glad I have this Primitive Gatherings ruler with the 1/8" markings.

Did you know that if your'e cutting strips for one of these types of blocks that you should cut your strips parallel to the salvage, lengthwise grain,  for less stretch and less distortion?   Try it!

Additionally,  I think you get better results when you press the seams open.