Sunday, January 27, 2013

Serenity Quilt-Top Done

This quilt was easy to put together  I enjoyed playing with the fabrics, especially the Kona Bay, which was fabulous to work with. This quilt is partially based on the pattern Cozy Grinchmas.  Some of the design ideas I began with did not work out.  I was able to find blocks that where a better fit with the design. I had planned the center panel, first border and 5.5 inch squares border as it is in the original pattern.The square block border is made of up fabrics from the Serenity II collection by Kona Bay. I ordered them on line and they where even better in person. The texture is wonderful and the fabric feels heavenly. I had expected to follow up with another border compiled of Seminole blocks. This did not work on several levels. First it was too distracting. The size did not work with the overall design. I decided that I did not want to show that much of the grey fabric. At that point I changed it to the side panels. I think the simpler approach was best.

The last design change was adding the cornerstones on each border. I decided I needed them on the new row and just carried them through to the end of the quilt.


You can see where the first cornerstone is. I felt the quilt would be out of balance if I carried the side panels across the bottom. The cornerstone worked better.

Actually the last design change was the border. I had planned on a 6 inch border with the gold pine trees fabric. When I got the fabric I realized the the gold was a lot bolder than I expected. I ran the idea past my son, who also felt it was a little bolder than he liked. I cut back the border to 4 inches. Then added a final border of the Diawabo Selection (for E.E. Schenck Company). I felt it set the quilt off and provided consistency throughout the quilt. The colors in this fabric had some of the same colors as the center panel.

So the top is done. It seems to be a recurring theme, but I am waiting for fabric for the back.  Hopefully I will have it by the end of he week.

2/22/2013- update

quilted and bound 2-22-2013
Corner detail after quilted and bound.
Close up of quilting
 As nice as a quilt top may look when it is finished, quilting brings it to life. This design was a perfect choice (nice job as usually Sandy). The design adds texture, but does not distract from the fabric. It's perfect. This is for my son Tom and his eyes just light up when he saw this quilt finished. I may add he is hard to impress.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Serenity Quilt- Starting a new quilt.

The fabric has been waiting, neatly stacked and stored for over six months. All other projects are out of the way. It is time to start a new project. This quilt is for  my "baby boy". (Actually he's 30.) He's the only family member who does NOT have a quilt from me. Mostly it's been because he did not seem particularly anxious  to have a quilt. There is no special occasion, or reason. But who needs a reason! Momma just wants him to have a quilt.

He likes modern and oriental style. He likes black and uncomplicated designs. He has dragon tattoos. So for that, and several other reason I decided to make a quilt revolving around a dragon theme. He likes things understated so I am hoping this quilt will be elegant too. I am attracted to the simplicity of Japanese blocks I have seen. It's like the fabric does the talking and the piecing does the walking.  After finishing Easy Street, with lots of complicated piecing this is a relaxing quilt to make. As I read about Japanese quilts I am attracted to the symbolism. I will incorporate some of that into this quilt. Some of that symbolism determined the fabrics I chose. The quilt has a center panel made of the dragon fabric.

Fabric for Serenity Quilt.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Jana in her own words.

My name is Jana and I will be 11 in April. I have been sewing with my grandma ever since I was 8. I have been making quilts for a year. My favorite colored fabrics are pink,purple,red,and blue. Look at papa don't peek to see the secret project I am making for my dad.

This is our sewing space.
I like to organize my pins by shape and color.

This is me sewing one of the blocks for my dad.

This is me ironing a block for my dad.    I LOVE TO IRON!!

Do you know someone my age who likes to sew?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Jana and the Sugar Block Club

My granddaughter Jana has been sewing for a little over a year. As she likes to say, she is going on 11. Last year we did the Craftsy BOM. At times she decided the block was too much (paper piecing) and instead we did a wonky, scrappy block or more Ohio Stars. As she likes to say "It does not matter what we do, we are just having fun".

Jana  has been out of commission for the last month or so as she needed to have a spinal fusion. Surgery is over, and the worst part of the recovery. She is getting stronger each day. Despite wearing a back brace she is back to sewing. It is working out great because her activities are limited, no gym or recess, or rollerskating, climbing trees, walking in creeks, etc. Sewing has been a great way to fill the time and be creative.

We looked for a project for the coming year. She has one planned for her dad...we will blog about that later. But for now she decided on the Sugar Block Club (which we keep calling the Sugar Bowl Block of the Month). It promises to be a modern twist on some traditional blocks. Each month there is a new block and a recipe for something sweet. A link to that BOM and Stitchery Dickery Dock is on this blog. This month is  the Snow Blossom block and Banana Cream Whoopie pies. Jana changed it to Pumpkin Cream Whoopie Pies..After all we are just having fun.

Here are some pictures of Jana's progress on the first block.
Inspecting her work
Proud of the results

Happy with the results!

Oh yes, we can't forget the treats!

So good and so sweet!

 So besides sewing and quilting Jana is interested in another adventure. She wants to write together too. So she will be appearing as a guest blogger at times on this blog. After all we are just having fun, and quilting, and writing together.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Spring Teasers

Spring teasers.

Banana Cream Hellebore

It really is not good to just sit in front of the computer or even the sewing machine.

Sometimes we just need to see blue (or in my case grey) sky.  Cincinnati has constantly changing weather. Just a few weeks ago we had snow. This weekend it is in the 60's, but starting tomorrow it back to the normal lows in the 20's and highs in the 30s. Taking advantage of the heat wave, I put on the muck boots and sloshed through the mud and raindrops to capture a few pictures of what is peaking out of the garden soil.I was pleasantly surprised.  So everyone take a few minutes to go outside and see what is new in your environment.

It is no coincidence that the garden and seed catalogs are showing up in the mail, competing with the quilting magazines for our attention. Around April it will be a battle.  I did see some fabric with beautiful cherry blossoms online.  The quilts are winning, for now..

Easy Street Top together-Now for border?

Finally the top is together. Hurray! I am one happy sewer. This is the most difficult quilt I have done and have learned a lot. I am still uncertain if/what to do for a border. I think construction wise a border will keep the edge from stretching. I will keep a watch to see what others are doing. The contenders for the border are in my previous post.
 Mio Dio...after reading that some one found a problem with their quilt I decided to give mine a critical look. I discovered I put a piece in backwards in one of my 9 block....of course it would have to be right in the center of the quilt...If it was anywhere else I would ignore it. I guess I will be doing some ripping tomorrow.  That is it for today.

You can see the edge is greens. Selection 1 below would probably blend and not be a design element.

Fabric arrived-Border on-On the way to Sandy for quilting.


Friday, January 11, 2013

Easy Street-blocks done- choices, choices

Horray! I finished the last block for Easy Street tonight! I started to lay it out, but the kids have the family room occupied and there isn't enough space in the basement sewing area.

So the lay out, labeling the rows and sewing them together waits for tomorrow. I have decided to do a small border on the quilt. Mostly because the edges are on the bias and I think a small border will frame it. I am going to make it no more than 2.5 inches. For the most part the natural edge has the green and yellow leaves print. Visually this creates a darker green edge so I am considering a green border. .The picture below if the four corners, so you get an idea what the edges look like.

. Here are some of my ideas for the border, and perhaps the binding too.

1. closest to pattern and color
2. similar pattern darker border
5. blends with color, texture to frame

3. dark frame
4. Lots of limey cheer
You would think it would be easy to pick a border. To complicate it the back is purple, but will also be pieced with teal and greens. I will probably use a purple binding.Or the same green as the border.  Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Easy Street-Block B- I am seeing stars!

I have all my A blocks done> I have four to do of Block B. I was very happy when I realized that this block had those star centers. I hope to finish my next four blocks one day this week and start assembling the quilt by the weekend. I need to either redo or make new flying geese to finish my blocks. The ones I have are kind of wonky, they don't fit.

These is a sample of the blocks laid out in the pattern. I love how it comes together.  I do not think I will put a border on. On second thought I may put a small, 2.5 inch border just to keep all the edges from stretching. I doubt that I have enough of my scraps to do it, but it should not be too difficult to come up with something that compliments the quilt.

Block B. See how the stars show up when the houses blocks are placed around the center block.Before I put this together  I played around with a purple center.  It really shows up. I plan to make some with matching centers for the back of the quilt with the purple houses I made in error.

The fabric in the center of the block above is one that I fell in love with and added through out the quilt.  There is some of the limey green in it, but it ready presents as a darker green. You can see with the darker greens below the purple star is not as prominent.

I have been having fun putting all the combinations together. I admit that my quilt is more of a controlled scrappy. I had a smaller variety of each color to start with, maybe four or five of each color family. I do think there is enough variety to make it interesting.
Another block with my favorite green fabric

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Easy Street Step 8 - Reveal Block A


The reveal and step 8 was posted New Years Day. For those new to Mystery Quilts, a reveal is when you are given the last step, a picture of what the finished quilt should look like and instructions on assembling the quilt.  Step 8 requires 16 blocks of Block A and 9 blocks of Block B. Here is a sample of the Block A. I need 16 of these lovelies. As of tonight I have 9 completed. My goal is to get at least two completed every night until they are done. Once these are completed I have 9  Block B, 15 inch squares to do. As I put these together I am very happy that I picked such a neutral background. The blocks with the gray bicycles where supposed to be part of the background too. However, when I experimented with them they took over the block so they have been sent to the scrap box for another project. I got my new grey and white fabrics today. I am keeping all the background tone on tone. It seems to work well so far. I will post again when I have all 16 blocks completed. Happy Piecing!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Easy Street - Step 7

Things are winding down for Easy Street Mystery.  You may wonder what happened to Step 6. It only consisted of putting a piece of background fabric on a flying geese. Mission was accomplished fairly easy. Step 7 of Easy Street consisted of 12 large triangles and 4 small triangles. I placed two triangles together to make a block.  I was so excited to see the star.Until the design was revealed and I saw I was wrong. And my imagination was just getting away with me. The reveal was released this morning and it turns out these are actually corners and edges.

You may recall when I first did the step 5 with the houses I did them all wrong and made them purple with teal roofs. I had to do a second set the right way. Well I decided to go ahead and use a few of
them in some of these blocks. I actually like they way they look.

An Example of Two Triangles from this Step.

I mentioned in my last post that I was waiting for more fabric. I am still waiting, but I decided to go ahead and use some of my original fabric for 3.5 inch squares in the reveal Block A  The larger blocks show the variation in the fabric.  I also found some quilt backing that is working well for the background blocks. I still need more fabric, but this has kept me sewing until UPS knocks on my door. The last blocks and reveal was posted on Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville this morning.. The blocks are going together fairly well.

These are the four corners.