Sunday, July 28, 2013

We've got spool fever!

I don't know how I missed it first time around. Apparently last year Bonnie Hunter introduced a Leader/Ender Spool Challenge.  As I understand it the idea is to use your scraps. The spool unit could not be any simpler. Just start with strips of 1.5 inch fabric. The smallest piece possible is 3.5 inches long. Next kit up some blocks, and when you have a spare moment or two you are ready to sew. Just keep sewing and collecting spool units. When you tired of it, make a quilt.  It's not a contest, there is no end time or number. Just you and your scraps. I love it! You can click on the Quiltville link in this blog to see the instructions, or try this link. If, and that is a big if, I did it right it will take you to the post  You can also see a link to the original challenge in the Quiltville block post. Go head give it a click! .Leader Ender Spool Challenge. 

I thought the spools where cute, and I have some scrapes. So Friday night I started to make some kits. It I didn't like them, I figure I could make a few mug rugs. Regardless there is nothing lost, and a good use of scraps. I made my first few units and I was hooked. They are so easy, and did I mention they are cute.

Spool Kits
Saturday it was rainy. We are caught up on our Crafts BOM, and I am waiting for the recent issue of Quiltmaker to finish my Bonnie Hunter, Lazy Sunday Mystery.  So what's a girl to do, beside sew?
I try to to an even number each time I sit down to sew, 2, 4 8, whatever. . I pieced off and on Saturday. My granddaugther Jana arrived in the afternoon. At first she was not excited about these, but helped pick out fabric scraps to cut into 1.5 inch strips..

Start with 1.5 strips. I cut strips and have them  ready in a zip lock bag

Curiosity finally got the best of Jana and she gave it a whirl. It took a few tries to get it right, but she did. And there is nothing like success to reinforce, so before long she was off to the races. Since she is learning we did things a little different from the instructions. She put a pencil line to help her know where to sew, and she clipped the extra fabric and ironed the outside pieces before sewing them to the center.

Aren't these adorable! They are Jana's first four spool blocks.

We sewed like mad until it was time for her to go home. We completed 82 units. We laid them out for the picture and decided that it going to take a whole lot of these to make a quilt, at least four or five hundred. We decided we didn't care. There is no hurry, in between projects we will keep making spools.

Our rainy day accomplishment.
As we played with our fabric and searched bins for scraps we noticed we where laughing and sharing memories of how some of these fabrics where used. We are calling it our quilting memories quilt. We will be sure to set a strip or two aside from each project we make to ensure it is represented in the quilt.  Hey, this could go on forever. So I guess we make spools until they can't fit into the bin. Then we make a quilt.

P.S. I am not sure I really understand the Leader/Ender idea, and how it works, but I do understand having scraps. And that is really all you need to do this fun and simple project.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Craftsy BOM-July- Tumbling Blocks

We are finally caught up. This month block was easier than we expected. We really like the way it was assembled in rows. Again the cutting was the most challenging part. It seems we are getting the hang of it because nothing was too wonky and the block went together fairly well.

As usual I got to put my block together first. If we run into a problem, we can figure it out on my block (Jana's idea.). I am still using the traditional fabrics. Initially I had a brighter yellow but it seemed to compete so I picked a softer yellow. I am okay with how it turned out. Honestly traditional fabrics don't keep me up at night, but I wanted to get out of my comfort zone with this quilt. Since we are learning lots of traditional blocks, I decided to use mostly traditional fabrics. I think Jana's quilt will be very beautiful and energetic, just like her...hey mine will be.... well traditional and solid, like a grandma. At least that is the plan. And the last part of plan, we are learning together.

Grandma's Old School-Traditional block

Jana, being in love with bright colors and modern designs picked some more Kaffee Fassett fabric. We thought the pink might be too bright, but it turned out just right.You can see that the block tops are actually triangles sewn together. This is a neat trick that made putting these block together a breeze. I think we had the most fun trying to figure out the fabric, and making sure we didn't sew the words upside down.

Jana's New School- Modern block

An experiment in photography, don't ask why, no one knows.

What a difference fabric makes.

We where a little giddy and silly after finishing these blocks.

Let me get that camera away from that girl!  The block is upside down!
I only look grumpy. I am actually proud of my block. I just can't figure out what grandma is doing.

Grandma! Did you cut off my head again?

Do you know what we are most excited about?  August's block is a basket with a handle, and September are the flowers to fill it up. We can hardly contain our excitement.

We may be a little late getting started with the August block. We are all heading to Port Clinton the first of August for a little swimming and fishing and visiting the Islands, and to visit Sandy, our long arm quilter.

Thanks for visiting and watching our projects come together!

Jana and Darlene (Grandma)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Crafts BOM- June- LeMoyne Star Challenge

The new school versus old school challenge continues.

We have met the challenge. The jury is still out on who won the battle. Was it Jana or grandma or the LeMoyne Star.  We humbly report the LeMoyne star was the winner. We finished the block, but it is far from perfect. Still it will go into the sampler quilt imperfections and all. After all as Jana reminds me. "No worry grandma, remember we are just having fun."

We promised ourselves that we would do each and every block in this quilt no matter what. The lesson to learn for this month was the Y seam. This task was actually fairly easy to complete. The instructions where clear and making a don't sew beyond dot helped the seams lay flat.  The problem seemed to be with our measuring and cutting and maybe even sewing of the diamonds. Jana has the "grandma you go first" rule. That way I can work out the kinks on my block. By the time she does her modern block we usually know what we are doing.

This was not the case for this block. Oh from a distance they are acceptable, but you can see that things don't match up very well. I made so many mistakes in sewing, or cutting, the diamonds that I threw out an entire strip, and had to start over. Jana, on the other hand, just picked them up and sewed the pieces together. Hers where nearly perfect. But we still had trouble for some reason. Perhaps it was uneven seam allowances, or some pieces where slightly different in size. My block was really out of whack at the center. Even after doing these two block I still do not really know what happened.

Jana's modern block:  I think she has a good eye for color. And she is not afraid to take a risk with her fabric choices.

More Kaffee Fassett fabric. It met in the middle, but had the beanie effect.

Grandm's old school block: Thank goodness the dark fabric hides the center problems.
This did not meet in the middle, for some reason it was really wonky.

You might wonder why we have an old tablecloth with duck tape. Well when it cracks or accidentially gets cut we just tape it up and Jana writes little inspirational comments on the tape. I could get a new table clothe for just a few dollars, but I just love her little messages.

Oh yeah, we got it done, but don't have plans to do this block anytime soon.

 Coming next (we mean later this month) - Tumbling blocks -