Sunday, February 24, 2013

Craftsy BOM 2013-Old School VS Modern

This weekend my granddaughter Jana and I have been catching up on the Craftsy BOM for 2013. We where not sure if we where going to do it. Jana started with the Sugar Block Club as her project, but the second month was paper piecing. Now neither of us have the patience, so for now that has been put aside.

Jana and Grandma (me) with a cool pincushion grandpa made.

We wanted  our own project, but one we could do it together. We decided that we each will do our own Crafts 2013 BOM quilt. For the last few months I had been picking up reproduction fabrics. This not usually my taste, but I was feeling a little historic, thinking about ancestry, etc and thought I'd pay a little homage to the past and use this fabric.

Jana on the other hand is a thoroughly modern 10 year old. She is into light and bright, wild and funky. As you can image her fabric choices are electric.

Since we got a late start we spent our weekend catching up. We have both done lots of log cabin blocks, so January was an easy assignment. It is actually very interesting to see the difference fabric makes in a quilt.

Modern Jana on left- Reproduction for Grandma on right
February assignment is 3 blocks with partial seams. Neither one of us had made  blocks with partial seams before. The video lesson was very helpful. You will love Jana's philosophy. "Grandma you make yours first, that way if you make a mistake by the time I do mine we will know the right way", she said.

I have to admit I did get a little turned around. But she was right by the time I got mine done we had figured it all out, worked out the kinks and hers came together easily. She was a little nervous at first, but quickly gained confidence.

Jana with  January and February Blocks

You might notice that Jana likes to sew in her pajamas. Are there any of you out there who do the same? Jana is also still wearing the back brace from the spinal fusion she had on December 12th. Hopefully she will be able to stop wearing it after her next appointment the end of March. So for now she is just taking it easy.

Modern  vs Reproduction

If I am being honest I must say I am finding the modern more inviting, but I am sticking with my fabric choices. I am going to sneak a few more colorful pieces in along the way. This quilt is about learning new skills and quilting together so we have room for flexibility.

 All of our blocks plus her new pincushion. It's made from lace wood. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Back for Tranquil Waters

Each week is a different theme. This week's theme is scrappy triangles. 
I have entered the quilt below for this week's show and tell.
Click the Show and Tell button to link to the site, 
and for more information about entering the weekly give away.

This quilt  is called Random Break

Oh, I am so proud of myself. After giving up on the backs for the last two quilts I am on the way to finishing the back for Tranquil Waters. In an earlier post I shared that I was making pinwheel blocks with my half square triangles. I was surprised that the leftovers went as fast as they did. The center piece basically used up my scraps from the geese.  I needed to improvise on a few blocks to balance everything out. The current back is 49 x 49. The quilt front is 72 x 72. So I have a ways to go. I am considering just using my Kona Bone to make a big border. I think 8 inches might work. There should be just enough extra width and  length for the long arm machine. Fun, Fun, Fun!
another view

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Finishing Tranquil Waters front- back next

Pattern-Tranquil Waters by Tula Pink
Hurrah! Another project reached a milestone. The top is together. I wanted to take a nice picture in natural light. But it is like a swamp outside. Thawing and freezing, freezing and thawing, mushy and mucky. So just another throw it on the floor and get a picture for the record.  As simple as this pattern is I could not get it together without one mistake. The last three blocks in the last row where put in upside down. (my bad). I had just started to press when I noticed. That is what happens when you are too stubborn to put down the quilt and go to bed. It was an easy fix.

This weekend my granddaughter was here so much of our time was spent on her special project for her dad. Just check out the Papa Don't Peak page for her updates. I have started piecing the scraps from my geese for the back of this quilt. Between those pieces and my extra fabric I am confident I will have enough to do a back.

Lots of fun with half square triangles.
I am calling it Random Breakout. Because most of the blocks will be pinwheels. However, because of the variation in the  fabric it won't actually show that way. You can see this in the picture above. There will certainly be some odd blocks as I transition from one group of colors to the next. For now I am sewing four squares together to make the pinwheel block. I have not decided on the layout. And will probably be a random placement. I am not over thinking this thing. Just picking up fabric and sewing it together. The most tiring thing is that since I am using scraps all of the squares need to be trimmed to 4 inches before I can put them together. I am sure it will be worth it in the end.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Tranquil Waters goes together, lessons learned

I alway say I want to learn something new from every project. The lesson learned today?  It is, what looks simple is not always simple. After doing a mystery quilt with Bonnie Hunter and getting used to her detail instructions I am spoiled. Not every pattern,  even those you pay for have as much detail. So you (I) have to really look at the illustrations to discover what the directions don't tell.

In this regard I realized several things after I cut my the fabric. First some of the rectangles where fancy cut with designs centered..Opps... I didn't do that... I really does not show up from a distance and I am not worried about it...but just one of those things I missed.  Another of the tone on tone had lovely details I missed, like a submarine hidden in the design.  I had cut almost all the fabric before I "saw" it.. Oh well another little surprise.  Overall the quilt is coming together really nice. I have four rows together and four to go. The overall look is nice and the little details I missed? They can be our little secret.

Hopefully the front will go together tomorrow. And I WILL piece the back with my leftovers from the flying geese. Picture in the morning.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Tula Pink's Tranquil Waters

Salt Water Collection
Did you every pick up fabric or see a pattern that just set your heart a flutter? I am not sure why, but I fell head over heels for Tula's Pink's Salt Water collection. I was even more excited when I saw her web page illustrating the fabrics in a pattern called Tranquil Waters. I did a little search and was lucky that Fabric Shack had every single fabric I needed for the quilt. It was so easy how could I not order?  I think it is a combination of the colorway and the subject matter that won me over.

I have to admit that I really had not paid enough attention to  Tula's collections to really appreciate the detail that goes into the fabric. I am enjoying and appreciating the complexity of her designs. I think my favorite is the waves with all kinds of things bobbing along. Of course the shells are fabulous too. I like just looking for hidden details in the fabric.

This quilt is really simple. The pattern is 5 x 9.5 rectangles alternating with  flying geese the same size.Every other row rotates to create a  zigzag. If you have a good enough imagination it resembles waves.
All the rows stacked and ready to put together.

The instructions say to draw a diagonal  line from corner to corner in the 5 inch square.One trick I came up with is rather than drawing a line to stitch along I finger pressed the corners as I fold the squares. Once set I press them in place. I just open the square and stitch besides the fold. I can check my placement before stitching and trimming the extra fabric to make sure my orientation is correct.

This shows how the block flips with each row. I found pressing and setting the triangle in the corners a good method for staying organized.
Another fun thing is as I sew and trim the flying geese I end up with two triangles. I have been stringing these together and will have a nice collection of half square triangles when I finish.
Left overs from the flying geese.

I know I have pledged to use my scraps to piece a quilt back for the last two quilts. This time I mean it!  This  week I will be sewing the rows together. The instruction suggests assembling the rows vertically and then sew each row together. Usually my quilts require rows be put together horizontally. So even though the pattern is simple there is still something new to learn. I can't wait to see how it comes together.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Big ideas abandoned. On to the next project-Tula?

Okay. I have to admit that somewhere between the great idea and the implementation I have lost the will to piece the backs for my last two quilts.

Originally I had this fancy idea of using leftover sitting turkey (or house) blocks from Easy Street and this cool purple fabric for the back. I was really hot to do this, but when I got the quilt backing in the mail I did not like how the fabric felt. I am not sure why, perhaps too much sizing? I even washed it and it was still too stiff. By then all I wanted to do was get this thing finished and in the mail to Sandy, my long-arm quilter. As I  trimmed off the last of the treads one of the fabrics caught my eye. It was leftover fabric from the background to Bowman's Beach. It is a beautiful, soft fabric. The light bulb went off.  Maybe Sandy still had some of that backing fabric.That way the back would relate to the front.  A quick email and she responded yes.  Hurrah, problem solved.Quilt is now in Port Clinton, Ohio

I finally pieced the back for my newest quilt, The serenity quilt. Well I did not exactly piece it. I just sewed a seam down two pieces of fabric to make the back. I had purchase a lovely fabric with a Phoenix, which supposedly represents serenity. I had some cute fabric with the rabbit and the moon. I had planned to piece these into some wonderfully creative quilt back that would symbolize the many qualities I wish for my son. 

Well that did not work out well. When I saw the fabrics, they were nice on their own, but really just did not make any sense. Rather than over complicate the quilt I just decide to KISS..Keep It Simple Silly girl.  This quilt will be on it's way on Monday. I will be excited to see how Sandy brings it to life with the quilting. We had a nice discussion about what the quilting should look like on this last summer. I know it will be great.

So that brings me to the next project. Someday soon I will start the 2013 Craftsy BOM quilt. If the snow is not too bad my granddaughter may be here and I'll help her with block two of the Sugar Block Club. She will need help as it's paper pieced. Neither of us have done that before. It will be interesting.

I have two full size quilts I am considering. I am feeling closest to Tula Pink's Tranquil Waters. I ordered all the fabric a few weeks ago and it is just sitting there starring at me. Plus the other quilt is going to require some decision making and thinking. For now I think I am in the mood for following directions. I actually do not plan to change one single thing in this quilt. I am using every fabric suggested. No substitutions. It's a first. Tomorrow I will try to get some pictures of the lovely fabric. This will be my first project using either Tula's fabric or patterns. Has anyone read any of her books?