Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Big Fat Queen on the Wall!!!

I blogged about this quilt in my previous post ...and here. But check this out:

It takes up my entire design wall!!! And, that's not with the border. It will be difficult to baste (I spray baste). I might need some help from my husband. Anyway, I love the optical illusion. It's great. Now I need to work on sewing all 42 of the blocks together! Just thought I would share due to how impressed I was with the enormousness of this project (is that a word?). Google confirms. I also had a seam ripping moment. I had accidentally taken the orange block and the turquoise block and sewed them along the diagonal with the wrong side of fabric facing the right side (after I cut it). Sew, I had to rip those seams out and sew them back together without using the line/double seam/cut technique. And I have to say, I saw a seam ripping technique on Leah Day's blog that said rip every 4th stitch and then pull it apart. (It may have been a comment on a post, as I cannot find it.) It worked wonderfully. I'm surprised I had never heard of that before.

Since I already finished the Modern Mini Challenge (voting starts March 5th), I made some progress on this one. I will post when it's time to vote on the winners of the MMC. Please come back then and show me some love :) (votes). I blogged a little about it here. I'll send out a reminder.

Please comment, +1 me, follow and share this with others!

Anyway, until later.


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Monday, February 27, 2012

It's Good to Be the Queen...

So, I'm making Log Cabin blocks, then drawing a line diagonally on the back of one, sewing a seam on both sides and cutting it in half: 

It gets repetitive and boring, so I have to work on it a little at a time and intermittently work on something else :) It's from a pattern called A Simple Welcome that I saw on Easy Quilts from McCall's.  It's going to be a Queen sized quilt, so it's a big deal since it's my first one of this magnitude. There will be 42 of these blocks and a six inch border. In the end, this quilt will belong to my mother.



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Friday, February 24, 2012

Cat Scrap Fever!

My tiny little scrap bin is starting to overflow. I had to take a picture of it while I was digging through it. I was looking for scraps to use for the Modern Mini Challenge. I blogged about it in my previous post.

I am making the mini for Mitch and he gets very excited about the scraps when I pull them out. The are like toys for him. He sits under my cutting table while I am cutting off selvage and grabs for the danglers :)

But most of the time, these are the places you will find him. He likes to meow at me while I am working. And of course, his motor is always running.

Anyway, I just can't believe that it has taken so little time for me to build up my first scrap bin. I must say there are some juicy nuggets in there!


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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Modern Mini Challenge, Printable Fabric Labels, and a Simple Welcome!

I haven't written on my blog in awhile, so I thought it was time since I had a spare moment. What I thought I would do was share some of the things I've been working on since my Block of the Month post on the 12th.

The first thing I wanted to share relates to something I blogged about here. I wanted to know how you sign your quilt. Of course I always try to use some sort of fabric on the back that relates to The Wizard of Oz. But I really needed a way to put words on the back. I decided to purchase some printable fabric sheets from Avery:

In the photo you can see the box it came in, and the sheet on the right is my first printed label. I ended up putting it on the back of this quilt.

The fabric sheets are fusible, so after I cut it out with my rotary blade, I ironed it to the back (after I washed the quilt). It seemed to work out well, but I have asked my Aunt Carrie to let me know when she washes it if it held up. For the label design I used my digital scrapbooking software, My Memories Suite, to create it and then print it.

I have also been working on the Modern Mini Challenge at Ellison Lane Quilts. I decided to make a mini for our cat, Mitch. He really needed something to lounge on in the kitchen. I noticed that he really liked laying on my works in progress or my unused batting, so I am making him his own quilt.

Above is Mitch laying in the kitchen in his favorite spot on towels that we used to wipe our feet when it is wet outside. (The back door is in the kitchen.)

I decided to go with colors that match the kitchen. Three of the walls are painted Candied Yam (obviously not the wall in the picture with Mitch above). And, I thought slashing and sewing would be the most modern piecing technique I know how to do.

The back fabrics are pictured above.

Anyway, I will blog about that more when it's time to enter the contest.

I have also been working on a queen sized quilt for my mom. I am using a pattern that I found in the latest issue of Easy Quilts from McCall's. It's called "A Simple Welcome." 

Here are some pictures:

I suppose I will blog about that when I finish it.

Anyway, I should get busy!

Until next time,


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Sunday, February 12, 2012

I be BOM'n...

I've been doing the free tutorial at Craftsy for the Block of the Month. I just finished February. There are 2 blocks every month (20 total) and they are designed to teach you new piecing techniques. January was an Asterisk and a Wonky Pound Sign.  February was a Chunky Chevron and a Balkan Puzzle (Windblown Star). The cool thing about February was it focused on half square triangles and 2 different ways to make them. I was very impressed. My second finished quilt was made with half square triangles, but I sewed them together individually and did not realize there were other techniques that could be easier and save you time. 

The first technique (used on the Balkan Puzzle) was to add 2 inches to the size of the finished square and then sew the two fabrics together all along the outside of the square (all four edges at once) then you cut it on both diagonals. You end up with 4 squares from one, already sewn together after you cut it.

The second technique (which I like the best) was to add one inch to the finished square (even though you only need 7/8 inches added) then draw a line on the diagonal of one of the fabric square backs and sew the 2 fabrics together a 1/4 inch on each side of the line, then cut along the line. You end up with 2 finished squares, but what I really liked about it is that you have to square it down to the finished size which makes them come out as perfectly finished squares. Sometimes when making the half square triangles the old fashioned way, they come out wonky. This makes them perfectly shaped!

Anyway, here are the photos:

I used fabric that I had in my scrap pile for most of the stuff, but some of it was fat quarters that I had picked up over time. I hope you enjoyed! I am looking forward to March. It's called Foundation Piecing, but that is all they information they give you. I have no idea what that is, and I'm not going to Google it :)

Until next time!


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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Who da BOM?

So I decided to do my first Block of the Month. I started late so I just finished my 2 blocks for January. I have to say that I am using techniques I have never used. In fact, as an amateur, I never thought I would use these techniques, but I am glad that I tried them. I had fun! I followed the January BOM from Craftsy. It was fun and easy. I did not follow all the background fabric/sashing requirements, I just used whatever I had on hand. So, it's scrappy, .... and wonky... and helplessly devoted to the scrap bin. But, I'm having fun. Picture below:

The first block is an asterisk. The second one was a wonky pound sign..... FUN!!!!

'til next time.


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My third quilt is finished.

Well, I am moving right along. This is the first quilt that I am giving away. When I was with my Aunt C. in Virginia for Thanksgiving we went to a quilting store (Quilter's Corner). She picked out the kitty cat fabric. (She likes cats and her favorite color is red.) I promised she would be the first person I give a quilt to, since she gifted me my Pfaff sewing machine!

 I think it turned out nicely. Below is close up picture of the fabric she picked out. I picked out the rest of the fabric to go with it.

I used a pattern that we got from the same quilting store. I changed it up a bit and used black for red and red for black. I also made the inner border black and the outer border the print.

 This is what it looks like on the back:

 My favorite back fabric was the "Meowsterpiece" from Michael Miller fabrics: 

And, I put my signature Wizard of Oz scraps on the back, as well as some ants, because she is my "ant." (It's an inside joke with us.)

Below I was getting ready to spray baste it on my design wall. I use tons of newspaper to make sure nothing else gets sticky!

I did a stippling (about an inch) all over the quilt.

I foresaw that the black thread was going to definitely show up on the white on white print, but I went with black because most of the rest of the quilt it would be unnoticeable. I just tried to make sure that I did not stop in the white, although as you can see in the photo directly above I stopped and the quilt moved before the needle went back to the down position. I left it in as a reminder that I did the quilting myself and I am just an amateur :) Besides, I think it gives it some character and reflects my hard work and how difficult it was.

I feel like I get better and better at it as I go along. The FMQ is starting to feel more natural. I owe a ton to Leah Day for her stippling quilt alongs at the Free Motion Quilting Project!

As you can see, it truly is a kitty quilt. For some reason, Mitch (kitty) loves cotton batting and finished quilts. If there is one in the room, he has to lay on it :) He likes to lay in the kitchen a lot, so I think I may make a mini quilt just for him. Right now, he lays on the rug or towels that we dry our feet on when it's wet outside.

Now I am working on a quilt for my mother, but I have also been dabbling a bit in a Block of the Month project from Craftsy. It was a free online course that is supposed to teach you several basic piecing techniques. I thought it was a good idea since I mostly sew rectangles and triangles together and I need to expand my abilities. I've never done anything like a Bee or BOM.

Until next time...


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