Friday, September 12, 2014

New projects

A few weeks ago I told you that Double Dutch, by Carrie Nelson would be my next project.  I’ve been working away at piecing the components.  

I have all the yellow half square triangles pieced and all the blue four patches pieced.  Now I’m working on assembling the “geese”.  Here’s half of one “goose” done:

In the meantime, I’ve bought three other Carrie Nelson patterns and have started two of them.  

At the beginning of the year, I said I wouldn’t join any quilt-alongs this year.  I lied.  I’m going to participate in the newest incarnation of Another Year of Schnibbles, hosted by Sinta at Pink Pincushion, and Sherri at A Quilting Life.  
September’s project is “Whit”, a Little Bites pattern from Miss Rosie's Quilt Company. 
  (image borrowed from Carrie Nelson's web site)

Little Bites patterns are meant to be used with Moda’s mini charm packs – 2 ½ “charm squares.  For my version, I am using fall-colored scraps.  I try to follow Bonnie Hunter’s Scrap Saver System, so I have a bunch of 2 ½” squares already cut, but for more variety I also cut up some 2 ½” strips and a few leftover 5” charm squares.  I had Kona Ivory on hand that I am using for the “sky” portion of the flying geese units and a brown swirl from Connecting Threads for the background.  I even have an overall leaf design fabric for the backing.  I love it that I can use all stash fabrics for this one and don’t have to buy anything new.

It takes a while to make these little geese, but here's the first 32 of 160.

They still need to be trimmed because I had to order the Mini Fit to Be Geese ruler recommended in the pattern. 

Carrie’s newest Schnibbles patterns result in larger, lap-sized quilts.  Since the quilts are bigger, Sinta and Sherri also released the October pattern, “Harvey” – a giant basket block.  I have a recipient in mind for this one, so I pulled a lot of purple fabrics from my stash to round out all the purple squares from four charm packs of “Lovely”. 
I haven’t decided on a background fabric yet – possibly a white with tiny purple polka dots, very pale lavender or very pale light green solid.  I need to decide soon so I can get working on that quilt too.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Hello September

What does September mean to you?  Besides being the month the kids go back to school, September is apple picking time in my neck of the woods.

Remember this log cabin block? 

I turned it into an apple block for my new September mini. 

Before cutting out the apple shape, I added fusible web to the back of the block.  I wasn’t sure it would adhere with all the seams, but it worked just fine.  Once the fusible web was attached to the back, I drew the apple shape on the paper backing, and then cut it out.  I also used fusible web for the stem and leaf.   

I used all scraps for this mini, as I usually try to do.  Once in a while, I have something really specific in mind that requires new fabric, but generally, I’m able to use scraps or fabric already in my stash.

After the fabrics were fused to the top, I basted the layers together and then quilted the design.  

I quilted in the ditch in a spiral around the “logs”, and then used a blanket stitch around the outside edges.

I’m really happy with the way this mini turned out!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Goodbye Sweet Maggie

Last Thursday our sweet, beautiful Maggie went to Heaven. We had 14 wonderful years with our girl.  We know she's running free, and digging holes, and in no more pain. Goodbye sweet pup, we'll miss you.


Friday, August 29, 2014

Racing the Clock

Baby Brennan isn’t due for another four weeks but he’s already head-down and my niece is starting to dilate.  My sister had to take her other daughter back to college this weekend, so I was asked to stand in as surrogate Grandma in case he decided to make an early entrance – yikes!  

I was both relieved and disappointed that the baby stayed put and I didn’t have to play Grandma.  Disappointed because who knows when/if I’ll ever get that chance again.  When and if my sons get married and have children, their wives will probably not want their mother-in-law there for the birth.  Oh well.  

I was relieved because that meant I could still get the baby quilt done before the baby arrives!

Since the basting went so quickly, I had plenty of time to do the quilting on Sunday.  Because the manufacturer of the 80/20 batting suggested quilting 2” – 4” apart, several of the quilt designs I wanted to try would not have worked.   

Armed with some peanut butter M & M’s (they are so awesome!), I quilted straight lines with the walking foot along the sides of the squares.   


I used a variegated blue/yellow/green thread that blends in nicely.

I even had enough time left over to make the binding.   

There should be plenty here for the both the baby quilt and the September mini.  If that baby will just hold off for another week, I’ll get that quilt trimmed and bound.  I’m hoping to have enough time over the Labor Day weekend to also get the September mini quilted and bound. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Basting with boards

After my double knee replacement surgery, I can’t get down on my knees anymore to baste a quilt on the floor.  Last week I mentioned that I was going to try basting with boards, a method that would allow me to sit and baste.  We made a trip to Lowe’s and purchased two vinyl 1 X 2 boards instead of wooden boards – they were very smooth and straight.   

The boards came in 12 foot lengths so I asked an employee to cut them into 8 foot and 4 foot lengths.  I can’t imagine hand basting or machine quilting anything larger than 8 feet wide (96 inches), while the 4 foot width will be perfect for most baby quilts and wall hangings.  

I brought my large 36 X 60” cutting mat upstairs to the dining room table to protect the table and replaced the dining room chairs with my rolling office chair so I could roll from one end of the quilt to the other.  I had a little trouble getting the fabric taut enough to get started wrapping the boards, so I got out the painter’s tape and used that to tack the fabric to the board.   

It worked perfectly.  After that, I had no problems keeping the fabric taut while I wrapped it on the boards.  I followed the directions from this blog post.

I was all done basting the baby quilt in under an hour.

My verdict – I will definitely use this method to baste a quilt again.  It was quick, easy, and comfortable.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Next Up – Double Dutch

I have a list of UFO projects as long as my arm.  The vast majority of my UFO’s are Schnibbles quilts that need to be quilted.  I have the Ohio Stars that needs sashing strips and then to be assembled.  I have Anne’s Log Cabin quilt that needs some bad quilting removed and then to be re-quilted and assembled.  I really should work on one of those projects next, but that’s not what I’m going to do.  I’m going to start a new project and I’m so excited!  
Have you seen Carrie Nelson’s (Miss Rosie’s Quilt Company) newest patterns?  They are fantastic! I want to make most of them.  I bought the PDF patterns for Double Dutch and 7 Letters.  Even though I have a bunch of charm packs already, The Thrifty Needle had a sale last week – 30% off all charm packs.  So, I bought more.  I bought some background fabric at Joann’s and ordered more.
First up will be Double Dutch.   

So far, I haven’t used the same or even similar fabrics for any Schnibbles quilt I’ve made and most of the time that’s worked out okay.  I had one epic fail, though.  It was Amy Lou Who.  

I really love that pattern.  I really love the fabric I used, Paris Flea Market.  I really hate the quilt that resulted.  The reds stick out like a sore thumb and the neutrals aren’t neutral enough for my taste.  It’s all too busy and, at the same time, too blah.
I hope I’ve learned my lesson.  This time around, I’m planning to stay close to the colors Carrie used in her sample.  I will have “yellow” and “blue” flying geese.  Instead of the linen that Carrie used, I’ll be using a very pale grey, Kona Silver.  I love almost all the fabric collections by 3 Sisters, the designers of the Paris Flea Market line.  When The Thrifty Needle had their recent sale, I picked up a couple charm packs each of the Lario and Printemps lines by 3 Sisters.  I’ll be using the yellows from both fabric lines, the pink and blue from Lario and the aqua from Printemps.  

I’ll save the reds and creams from those charm packs for another project.

For the yellow background, I’m using Kona Meringue.  For the blue background, I chose Kona Baby Blue.  All the charm squares that need to be cut are finished and I even started sewing some of the half square triangles for the “yellow” geese. 

It’s always fun to start a new project!