Saturday, January 25, 2014

We've got our quilts to keep us warm.

The Snow is snowing

The snow, is snowing, the wind is blowing, but we can weather the storm. What do we care how much it may storm.....We've got out quilts to keep us warm.

This is the lovely site that met us when we awoke this morning.  Even the cat does not know what to think.

BRRRRR. This week it has even been too cold to sit and sew in my basement sewing area. I do have a space heater, but with single digit and below zero temps all I wanted to do at night when I got home from work was lay on the floor in front of the fireplace. I've got nothing done this week.

This weekend we are a tropical 20 and the sun is peaking out. The quilt is waiting and I am itching to get to it. Last weekend I had three rows put together. I completed the other three today. All that is left now is the border. I decided to cut those pieces out so tomorrow I should be able to complete it.

Even more fun is coming my way. My long arm quilter, Sandy, called to say Lazy Sunday is on it's way back. I sent Celtic Solstice up to her this week.

This is my progress on my current project.

There is not enough light downstairs, so I just tossed it over a bed. The borders are three inches, so this will be a nice size when it's finished.

Thanks for checking in and stay warm.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Easy Does It

Sometimes I like to just piddle around with a project. I don't do any production sewing or string piecing. I just do a block or a row at a time. I like to watch the quilt grow and see how things will come together.

That is what I have decided to do with the quilt I am making for my nephew's birthday. He is interested in antiques and likes greens, blues, purples. He is not into hip and modern. Last week I introduced the quilt that I am making for him. I started with 35 strips for my 16 piece block. It wasn't enough, so I keep cutting and sewing until I had 36 blocks. I decided to reduce the size of the quilt from the book. It appears to have been designed to tuck around the pillows and I doubt this will be used on the bed, but rather tossed on the back of the sofa, ready to wrap up in on a chilly afternoon or evening.

Work in progress.
This weekends task was to begin making the sashings and assembling the quilt one row at a time. I was not in the mood to just made 86 sashes, so I decided to put it together row by row. I could hardly wait to see how the star shaped cornerstones looked. I am a little disappointed.

Looks more like crosses than stars to me.

When I started to piece the sashes I felt the points of the stars where rather small. The pattern said to use a  1 3/4 inch square. I wondered if a 2 inch would have worked better?

Still does not look much like a star to me.
I'm not sure why it is not showing up as well as it does in the pattern. Perhaps I should have used a solid purple?  I think the solution is to not tell anyone that it is a star. Let them think it is an X or what every they like.

As of now I have three rows completed. There are six rows and sashes around the quilt. This is going together fairly easy and I think it was have a old fashion look to go with the family antiques my nephew enjoys.

Here are the first three rows on my "design floor" in my basement sewing area.

I hope to get a row done each night, at the very least have it together before the end of the month. Hopefully when it's quilted those pesky star will be more noticeable. Thanks for checking in.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

New Year - New Projects

What to do, what to do? We finished our 2013 projects. Okay, there are few final touches needed on those pesky sampler quilts. We decided to quit while we are ahead, add a border to frame it and call it complete.  Next week they will be sent up north to my long arm quilter. She will do her magic and I am sure we will ooh and aahh when they return.

The 2014 Craftsy BOM of the month is all about color theory. My darling granddaughter isn't interested. "I am learning about color theory in school," she said. I still added it to my cart because I was never into art in school, or else it just feel out of my brain somewhere between 1966 and today. I do not know if I will make the quilt, but I will at least watch the lessons and hopefully apply what I learn to my projects.

Jana has her ideas. "We've been saving those strips all year. I want to do a strip quilt". I am sure there will be some trimming involved. I'll show her some of Bonnie Hunters strip quilts to see if she wants to use one of these patterns or just do her thing. I am betting it will be a combination of Bonnie and Jana.

Jana's strips
The first project I have for the year is to work on a quilt for my nephew. He has some medical issues and I think he will enjoy have the quilt. He also likes antiques and old things, so I have decided to make a traditional quilt. Green is his favorite color. His son says he likes some purple too.
I found the quilt I am making in the book Quick Colorful Quilts for Beautiful Beds, edited by Rosemary Wilkinson. I found this book at Ollie's. It was a bargain. Oh happy, happy. I think the quilt will be perfect.

The quilt is designed by Alison Wood. .

My blocks will be green and the stars will be purple.
Samples of blocks

I have cut  35  3 inch strips. As you can see it's a simple 16 patch block. The finished quilt is 82" by 107". I am not sure if I will make it that big. It is six blocks wide and 8 blocks high. I will see how my fabric holds up and may subtract a row or two. I am optimistic about how this will turn out.

Next post will be about  another new project. Thanks for checking in. Happy sewing!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Quilting Together again-seeing progress - Celtic Solistic done.

The holidays are behind us and my granddaughter Jana and I are finally able to get together and quilt. For the last month her quilting was put on hold. She has not touched her quilt since before Thanksgiving but this weekend she was getting anxious to get it done. There where a few blocks to complete, assembling the blocks into larger units, and finally putting it all together.

My thoughts are occupied with Celtic Solstice. Bonnie posted the reveal on New Years Day and I think it is fair to say that thousands of quilters have been busy as bees since then. I am doing the queen size (smaller version). Today I finished the center.

Center of Celtic Solstice

I had some problems assembling it. I think that was due to some imperfections in my units. A few were a little short or too skinny. All in all it did come together fairly well. I read in a post on Facebook that one writer does not think imperfections show up as easily on a scrappy quilt. I think she is correct. Up close I can find a few miss matched seams, but once you step back they really do not show up.

This week my goal is to get the borders on, at least the white border and then sew the blue and orange triangles into the required strips. They where the first units I made, so they have lots of imperfections, so we will see how it goes. If they are too bad I may scrap that border.

.......Updating on January 7th........ It's done. With help from my facebook friends I figured out the tri-rec border, then added the final border. I'm just waiting for backing to come in the mail and off it goes to my long-arm quilter. Yeah!

added a darker green border to calm things down a bit.

I like this pattern so much I plan to make another, but simplified version. I hope to make it in blues, golds and yellow. No four patches, just blue 3.5 inches squares. The chevron blocks will be white, gold and yellow. I am trying to achieve the look of a starry night. This will be a holiday quilt so it will only be 5 blocks by 5 blocks and I will probably put a nice size border to frame it....

For now I need to focus on getting this one done...and a few other nearly finished projects.

My granddaughter finished piecing the center of her Craftsy 2013 BOM. She has decided against the half square triangles border. She plans on a plain blue border. She says she tired of this quilt, but also she likes it as it is. I agree with her that a pieced border may distract from the quilt. She picked some wild and crazy fabric, which resulted in a very vibrant quilt. I think she did a great job of balancing the fabric through out the quilt.  At times she did things her way. For example the flying geese blocks and the Triangles near the basket. She just played with them until she liked what she saw. Both of us ran out of background fabric, but found ways to finish without it being too obvious. In her case it really was design choice to not use background fabric in the flying geese. I think it was a good idea. Despite being only 11 I think she is developing a very nice eye for color. I can't wait to see this quilted. She does not know what she is going to do with this. She may hang it in our sewing area for a while, just for inspiration.

Only a plain blue border to frame it and it's done.

On the other hand, my "old school" quilt has been sitting in the bin since Thanksgiving. It's wonky. The bottom is a good inch wider than the top. With the holiday's I just put the thing away in disgust. Today I got it out and think I've figured it out. It seems to will be fairly easy to fix. I am going to do the pieced border, but will put it on hold until Celtic Solstice is completed. Mine looks boring next to Jana's. You can see where I ran out of my background fabrics. I'll applique something in the background fabric when it's quilted to bring it together.
My old school quilt top.

The jury is still out on sampler quilts. I did learn some new blocks and a few new tricks. I did my first applique, which turned out pretty nice. At times it was frustrating, like when we did the Y seams on the star block..never again..And Jana swears she will never do another Dresden plate, or circle. We loved the basket, but hate that curved handle. The spool blocks where neat and we loved learning how to make four flying geese at once. The best part has been the memories we have created over the last year as we both learned and worked on our quilts. Now we just need to think about new projects for 2014.

A satisfied quilter.