Saturday, July 30, 2011

FWQAL Week 9 (plus a few days)

I was going to try paper piecing blocks for this week because of some others in the group and their success with that method - but I don't really mind the templates.  once I got them sized correctly!  :-)

I do struggle with the triangles (though they're getting a little easier) and the blocks with LOTS of pieces...  so I went out of order and chose some blocks that seemed to have fewer pieces than others.

my 15th block - number 30 in the book - "End of Day" was deliciously easy to put together.  I spent a little time deciding on the pink fabric, but immediately liked the multi-colored polka dots against the black and white dots.  I can't remember what the pink flowers are called - they were ordered for Lili's quilt.  The others are Robert Kaufman "Pimatex Basics" and Lakehouse Dayz DotZ which I bought from  I know I've got the name of that fabric written down somewhere. 

then block #31 "Evening Star" which makes it seem as if there might've been a theme going in my head...  using that Amy Butler Water Bouquet fabric I love so well.  I bought it at Quiltology in Chicago, though it's no longer there.  I keep looking in the fat quarter bins as if it might magically show up again but it is a few seasons old.  Good thing there are still so many wonderful fabrics out there to enjoy.  and plenty more to come!!!  That's part of the fun of the flickr group - looking at other sewers' blocks is a peek into their fabric stashes and has made my fabric wish list grow quite long.  :-)

my 17th block might just be my favorite so far!  It's block #29 from the book - "Economy".  I think I've gotten better at cutting and piecing the templates as it turned out exactly at 6 1/2 inches and the points are pretty good on this one.  Sometimes my head can't seem to grasp the difference of the blocks printed square in the book and then being oriented on point in the finished quilt.    I'm especially proud of how I cut the fish and scallops for this block, but I swear there was a bit of head scratching over this one and then the squares seemed to keep turning and scallops this way and bubbles that ... maybe I'd been a little too long at the sewing table but anyhow this is another fabric I found at EQuilter - "Goldfish" in teal from Play Date by Patty Young for Michael Miller. 

so if I get 3 done this week, then I'll be caught up to the group.  if only I didn't need that pesky 9 to 5...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Header Done

and blog design updated....  probably have to futz with it again.  Storms a brewin and it was probably too overcast for getting a decent picture, but I wanted to replace the temporary badly enough to go with what I got today and worry about "better" tomorrow.  Tomorrow is another day...

Monday, July 25, 2011

summer sewing

so hard to find time in the summer to actually get to the machine.  course that's 'cause there's lots of fun stuff to do outside and more time for friends and I much prefer the heat to snow, ice and freezing cold, so I'm not complaining.  much. 

usually I can find a good chunk of time on the weekend to satisfy my creative needs, but this weekend there was an almost 3 year old in the house friday night (which thankfully translated into very tired dogs on saturday).  almost all of saturday was taken up with my first quincenera experience.  quincenera's kinda like a sweet 16 for a mexican girl - only way more extravagant.  like a wedding, a musical, a fashion show, a really loud family reunion and I don't know what else mixed together.  there were costume changes, multiple bands, two tiaras and a coach on the dance floor.  not a dancing coach - a Cinderella pumpkin kind of coach.  fun was had by all but the sewing machine. 

however, I found a little time to get going on this thing.  soon to be a more proper heading to my blog to replace that temporary one you see up there right now... 

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Frog and The Mermaid Quilt (Lili's)

the top so far...  possibly adding a border.  Lili wants a border, possibly more of the beige and some "french braiding"....  she chose these colors and fabrics and I think it's going to be beautiful - just like my (sort of) little girl. 

I started with this tutorial from Elizabeth Hartman's website 
for what she has labeled "Nine-Patch Lattice Quilt".
(Elizabeth Hartman is Oh Franson on the quilting blog circuit.)

At the same time that I was working on this, I started seeing a bunch of sampler quilts online and thinking that'd be a great way for me to learn more about sewing and quilting, so I added in some miscellaneous blocks to the design. 

Then along came the Farmer's Wife...  that and liking how the wonky 9-patch blocks came together meant fewer sampler blocks and more "crazy" 9-patches. 

I'm especially happy with that Starbucks block - used Steam-A-Seam 2 for the applique.  Perhaps a little commercial, but I thought it might be cute to look back at when she's older and remember our treasured moments together at the coffee shop. 

A couple of the other blocks were found online.  wish I could remember where the circle of geese came from.  I'll have to work on that and add it in...  I've seen it used multiple places, so shouldn't take too long to figure out who posted it.  I'll have more info with future posts of this quilt as it progresses.  Meanwhile, check out the ohfransson link for the 9-patch pattern.  It's very adaptable and you make multiple blocks at the same time, so it's a good inspiration for a fairly quickly-made quilt. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Scotties in Progress

at the quilting step of this quilt.  this was originally the back to the pickle dish quilt.  I'm not sure how I'm going to quilt the pickle dish, but every idea I have would clash with this pattern being on the back of that quilt.  and so instead of 1 quilt, I get 2 - yay me!!!  you can never have too many quilts...    

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Farmer's Wife Quilt Along

I have joined a Farmer's Wife Quilt Along group on Flickr.  I think there are actually several groups doing a QAL based on the book (The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt by Laurie Aaron Hird).  I happened upon this particular group through another blog (  She and are the group admins.  Like a number of the members, I tried to resist - it's a year-long project, I've already got too many projects going, and the blocks are pretty darn small.  Still, at this moment there are 701 members and it's fascinating to see how different the same block pattern can turn out just by the choice of fabric. 

I think it's week 8 of the quilt-a-long, and the guideline is 2 blocks per week.  I've got 14 done, so a little bit of catch up in my future... 
I skipped through the book for the bottom right block - #73 Rainbow Flowers.  I needed an easier one to complete - and, frankly, I couldn't face another triangle today.  These sampler blocks are a great way for a self-taught sewer to learn new skills and get some practice.  I guess I'll get better at piecing the triangles, but it certainly isn't a natural talent for me.  That darn Red Pepper Quilts comes up with the most fabulous quilts using lots of triangles.  perfectly pieced - points all matching and everything laying flat.  stunning.  good to know where I can find 'em 'cause I don't think it's going to be here....

Also finished this week the triangly purple/pink block top left - #13 Buckwheat.  love the colors, but I'm probably going to have to come up with a very sedate sashing for this when it's time to put the blocks all together.  My plan at this point is to make 2 laptops instead of one bedsize quilt.  bit of brightness for the couch, and then there's no fighting between me and the teen over who gets the blanket during movietime.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Pickle Dish Quilt

The top is done...  took me almost a year - mostly because this is my first encounter with curved piecing and before this, I really didn't have much sewing experience.  In fact, the first few blocks were so awful they had to be scrapped.  also took so long because it kept getting pushed aside for other projects.  Since this one's for me there isn't really a deadline, but I hope I get it done before winter comes around again.  since my California dreamin' is still just dreamin'.   

but the longer it took me to put together, the more reasons I found for going back to the fabric shop!!!  hee hee... 

also my first experience with paper piecing - works well and kind of fun until you have to rip all the paper off.  I'll probably be finding paper bits under the couch and around the apartment for awhile.

My mother made a number of fan quilts when I was younger (and hated that my mother was a QUILTER!) and I think that may have been one of the reasons I was attracted to this pattern.  Making the fan parts of the pickle dishes was fun.  hardly mattered that there were 96 of them.  yup - 96.  so take a good look - might've been fun to make and I'm sure I'll love it on my bed, but it's probably the first and the last pickle dish I'll be making.

I love the wild unrestrained colors and patterns Kaffe Fassett uses and have a couple of his books and lots of his fabric.  sorta feel like you have to actually use one of the patterns in the books if you're going to buy them - and this is the one that jumped out at me. The design is from Fassett's "Quilt Romance" book.  I changed the border, and obviously the color scheme.  It might look random - but there is actually some thought to all the color in this - check out my quilt geek notebook!  (This is the part where MY daughter is embarrased that she has a QUILTER mom.)

Here's my first attempt at trying to get a photo of a bed-size quilt top. 
and that's my first blog post - I'm sure it'll get better with practice.  just like quilting.  :-)