Thursday, October 20, 2016

Sew Tweet - Songbirds finish

This little baby quilt has been in the works since May and is finally finished!  It's machine quilted with Baptist Fans. The curves make a nice compliment to the straight lines of music.

I simply adore it!  Maybe it's because I'm a musician.  Who knows?

There was a photo of a similar quilt in an old magazine advertisement, and I realized I had a leftover piece of that background fabric from IKEA.  Of course I had to make it!  Sew easy!  Essentially a background panel with birds applique'd on top.  Even the border is a stripe fabric and not pieced.

ME and Dr. B. say that their nursery will have a north woods theme, but if they have a little girl maybe I can convince them that this one will fit their decor.  If not, I'll have to make another one. What a shame (wink.)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Circa 2016 top

Unexpectedly, I had time to work on a quilting project last weekend at the lake between mulching leaves and pulling out boats.  Circa 2016 from Temecula Quilt Co. came up north with me.  It went together more quickly than expected, and today I finished putting the borders on.

My little pieced blocks are in fairly random order.  Following the exact placement just didn't want to work out.  Sometimes I hadn't made the block, other times the colors I used didn't look right.  (Whatever possessed me to use gray backgrounds on a few??)

Fortunately, I had made enough extras of my favorites and it all worked out.  I even have enough left over to make a couple of small quilts for gifts.  Stay tuned!

Temecula Quilt Co. has pulled the free pattern off their blog now, but it can be purchased from their web site.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Fishing for ideas

The last round in the Gwennie sew-along was to add 'something fishy.'  Seemed easy at the time!  lol

In my files I actually found a quilt pattern called "Something's Fishy," a free pattern from  Maywood Studio that I had downloaded.  You can get the free PDF file HERE.  Super cute!  Looked easy, and it was.  But..... it just didn't flow with the rest of the quilt.

Blocks were out of scale (no pun intended!)  I used some of the same fabrics used elsewhere in the quilt, but they looked wrong and just didn't POP.

So, I added a touch of lime green and they became their own quilt top.

The Gwennie sew-along is finished, and mine has been speaking to me all month saying "Don't add any more.  I'm done!"  So, it will stay crazily on-point without adding anything in the corners to square it up.  I'll try and find a nice Navy blue to add a 2 or 3 inch border and binding.  Quilting it with an all-over clamshell or scalloped waves design might take care of the 'something fishy' requirement, but I'm calling it good!

I'm giving up the guilt.  My quilt, my rules.  Right?!

And, I can log using up 3 yards of scraps for the Gwennie Medallion and 3.5 yards of scraps for Something's Fishy.  Now, that's going in the right direction!

The leaves are turning colors.  Autumn in Minnesota beckons.  It's time to turn from piecing to quilting for a while.  And there are quite a few UFO's in the closet that need some attention.

Here's to a productive quilting season!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Photo finish

Just a quick post to show this finished table runner made from border fabric.  The original post is here.  Quilting was done with a walking foot, and the binding is on.  It has an autumn look doesn't it?

I ran a little short on fabric for the backing, so I searched around for ideas and found an 18-inch pieced block to make that would fill in the gap.  A little whimsical for me, but it works.
The rest of this week I'll be scrambling to put together my quilting demonstration booth for Bloomington Heritage Days this Saturday.  Look for photos next week.  I'll be taking my new treadle machine "Peggy" with me for the day.  Praying there won't be rain.  I don't think she'd like that very much, even though there will be a small pop-up canopy!

If you're near Bloomington, Minnesota I hope you can stop in and see me on Saturday.  The History area will be open from noon to 6pm.   Heritage Days is being held on the grounds of Nativity of Mary Church and School.  Free park and ride from Kennedy High School and Normandale College all day.  (There's no room for parking on the festival grounds.)  Music, bands, food stands, historical re-enactors, bingo, inflatable games, car show, lots and lots to do...

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Executive decision

A little clean-up was happening in the sewing room this week.  (There's a lot more to do yet! lol)  I came across some Ohio Star blocks and Courthouse Steps that I had been using for Leaders & Enders a  year or so ago.  Other projects are in the works now, and I realized that I probably wouldn't be making more.  So, an executive decision was made.  Time to put a top together and call it good!

A yellow border helps draw out the yellow centers in each Ohio Star.  But, I was a little short on fabric.
What to do?  Well, instead of piecing in several verticals, I went with one horizontal seam.  Odd, but it worked!
And from the front, it's hardly visible.  Makes me feel so connected with quilters a hundred years or more ago who 'made do.'
That little yellow block in the corner was my solution to matching the pieced 'half courthouse steps' blocks in the first border.  I didn't want to figure out how to make a pieced log cabin that looked right.  So lazy!

Here's the whole works so far.  I'm contemplating a piano key border next.  Or maybe it's just good enough as is is.  What do you think?  And should I swap out those yellow corners for a dark pieced block?  It's amazing how different quilts look in photos than in person - to me at least.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Gwennie Stars

Just a quick post to update this past month's sew-along.  The theme was 'stars'.   My quilt was asking for a dark background, so the stars are on a navy and blue mini-print.  I don't usually use these bright colors, but the center basket was an orphan block from a quilt challenge to use these particular colors and work out of my usual comfort zone.  Turns out I loved that quilt, and I'm loving this one too.

The stars aren't sewn on yet, but Labor Day weekend and the Minnesota State Fair are upon us, and it's crazy busy around here.  You get the idea though.

Looks like the next (and last) theme is 'something fishy.'  I browsed through my quilt patterns last night for an idea.  I have a free download of  "Something's Fishy" from Maywood Studio.  The fish blocks are on point, and will be just the thing to use for the four corners to turn this quilt back into a square quilt.  Serendipity!  I'll have to start searching the stash for fabrics.

So much fun to see how all the other quilts are turning out.  Every one a unique artistic creation.  No two alike!  Love every one of them.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Tiny pieces

This week the pieces going through my machine have been tiny!  My 1-inch bag is nearly empty, as is my 1.5-inch bag of scraps.   First I worked on some log cabin/courthouse steps alternate blocks to a sew-along from Quilts by Cheri.  They used 1-1/4 inch strips.  An unusual size for me, but it really cleared out my scrap bag!  I've been procrastinating on the applique blocks that go with them.
Courthouse steps 10-inch blocks
Last week I gave away my little mini log cabin quilt, so I made another one.  That used up most of my 1-inch strips.
Log Cabins 11x14.5 inches

Cutting up the 1-inch strips gave me a bunch of little 1-inch square leftover pieces.  A quilt in this month's American Patchwork and Quilting caught my eye.  It featured cheddar blocks in a 9-patch arrangement.  I had some bright cheddar yellow in the 1.5-inch bag that just seems too bright to use for anything.  Bingo!

My interpretation of their Cheddar Broken Dishes quilt used itty-bitty 4-patch blocks with the cheddar yellow.  Those 4-patch blocks finish at 1-inch!  Seriously tiny! It's not easy to work with pieces that small. They tend to twist on me as they go through the machine, and things get wonky.  But it's fun to get those scrap bags cleared out!  I even used up some leftover binding pieces to make a multi-colored binding.
Cheddar 4-in-9 patch  18x22 inches
Binding is just pinned for now.

No more tiny projects for a while.  Nothing left to work with in those scrap bags!  If there's a mini quilt that catches my eye, I'll have to up-size it and start using scraps from my 2-inch bags.  Truly though, I need to get motivated to quilt up some UFO's instead of constantly starting every new project that catches my eye.