Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Design Floor

Yesterday I saw that several blogs had posts like: "What's on your design board?"...Well, I don't have a design board.  Unless you count those mini boards that I made last week.  Usually, I just lay stuff out on my floor.

This is what was on my floor Sunday night...

...a bag of trimmed corners from my Jelly Roll Jive quilt.  They measure 1 7/8" untrimmed.  I'm thinking that I will just leave them that size and piece them in sets of four.  I sewed two sets together and it looks really nice.

I'm just not sure how it will get quilted.  All these little pieces are gonna be pretty bulky.  BUT, I've always wanted to do one of these. :)

This morning I took over the living room floor.  I moved furniture, vacuumed and mopped to get this nice clean floor...

I pressed my backing...

I taped it to the floor...

I love me some blue painters tape!  I smoothed out the batting...

 ...and the top.

Threaded 8 needles to start basting...and then 8 more...(I might be about 1/4 done).

My finger nail is shot...and it hurts! (How's that whine?!)

I'm gonna have to get this thing done...I locked everyone out of the house earlier, but they keep getting back in!  It's taken me about 2 hours to baste across the corners, the vertical center and the horizontal center.  I figure I've got another 4 or 5 hours to go...definitely a reason to pay someone else to do some machine quilting!

This is what Darren and Twin2 were doing while I was basting...
...a lesson in knife sharpening! They were so cute out there on the porch, sitting in the sunshine.  60 degrees in January?! I'm not gonna complain!


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Highlights of the Week

Well, a week has gone by and I don't feel like I accomplished much. I guess finishing 4 quilts in three weeks makes you expect a little more from yourself.

So, here is what I did accomplish...

 I finally got a Keurig! And I LOVE it!

We celebrated with Mere on her recognition by the Board of Education for an essay that she had written on the Holocaust.

Gram & Pap took the twins to Stonewall Resort for a mini-vacay and Darren and I went with the older kids after school on Thursday.

Thursday was also our first workshop for my quilt guild.  It was great to see everyone after a long holiday break.  I finished the top of a charity quilt and cut the backing.  I will assemble it next month.

I found another bag of 1/2 square triangles.  This time they were already stitched together and all I needed to do was press them.  They will be ready to go later today.  But I don't know what to do with them.  Any suggestions? 

I don't think I can blend the two sets...
...one is Kansas Troubles fabric and the other is Prairie Paisley by Minnick & Simpson.  Both are light & dark 1/2 squares.   But maybe later today, after everything is pressed and I get the table cleared from breakfast, I can spread them all out and see how well they get along.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Hidden Treasures

While organizing my storage closet, I found this box of Kansas Troubles scraps.  I was so excited because I was trying to figure out how to do the Craftsy Block of the Month without spending any money.  

That was one of my New Years promises to Darren...I wouldn't spend any money on NEW projects until I finish the UFOs that are hiding around the house.

I found a baggie of light & dark triangles.

I chained them.  I pressed them.  I organized them by color.

Now I have a bunch of small (maybe 2") half-square triangles.

So, with that done, I started my January blocks.

...The Asterisk Block...

...The Wonky Pound Sign Block...

I'm not a big fan of the slash and stitch method...I'm just a little too "Type A" and it makes me crazy when I can't get everything to line up.

I also make a few mini design boards.  These are so easy and I found them at A Bee In My Bonnet.  I made 6 10" boards and 2 15" boards.  I will finish them later this week, I hope. It's been a busy day around here...and it's a good thing Darren & the kids brought me Krispy Kreme donuts!  

I just love those guys!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Rag-tag Monsters

On Sunday, I pulled out the pieces for the twins' Monster Rag quilts.  There was still a good bit of sewing to do, but it went along rather quickly.

I was finished sewing the first one and by 8pm.  As the family settled in to watch Winter Wipeout, I started clipping.  I am so glad that I purchased these spring loaded scissors several years ago.  

These are the best scissors ever for clipping rag quilts.  They are from Heritage Cutlery and I absolutely LOVE them!

After 5 days, I finally found another opportunity to work on the 2nd Monster's quilt and I learned a very valuable lesson...

...in my house (where my bedroom is my sewing room), you cannot leave the sewing table or ironing board empty for 5 days.  This is what happens...

Everything migrates!  I spent at least 1/2 an hour moving, folding, putting away and rearranging things...then I had to vacuum...

...another thing I learned is that if I have a quilt or fabric spread out all over the floor, no one bothers my stuff & the room doesn't get as dirty.  But, if I pick everything up when I am done, they will wear their shoes on the carpet, bring in food and leave a mess that needs to be cleaned before I can spread out my stuff again!

Alright, enough complaining.  Here are the photos I took of the assembly of the Monster Rag Quilt...

The front of the quilt before clipping

The back

Close up of the monster fabric

Quilt after clipping
And finally, the happy boys...

...and their raggy Monster quilts.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Finishing Stitches

I spent today finishing the 9 Patch Variation lap quilt.  Darren is happy to have it done.  He says it has always been one of his favorites.

Since I have been packing and moving this one around for about 3-4 years, you can probably guess that it has been a bit of a bugger for me.  It was a project that I attempted when I didn't really know much about quilting.  With my Type A personality, I have fought with this project for a long time.  I was not able to match points and the smaller read squares kept taunting me every time I looked at it. 

A year or two ago, I managed to keep it out long enough to get the backing pieced.


Today, it got a quick quilting (just through the red squares) and I wrapped the back around to the front for the binding.  I don't usually do a machine stitched binding, but guess what...today, I did.  I will probably go back and knot the blue squares since this one will be living at the Fire Department after this weekend.

Once this one was finished, I decided to go ahead and look at my other UFOs.

My goal is to get these projects organized and finished before I buy more fabric for new projects.  AND, since they made it here, I can keep track of what I have managed to accomplish.
1.  "Monster" Rag Quilts (for the Twins)

2. Find a pattern for the left over Urban Indigo jelly roll & fabrics used in my red Jelly Roll Jive quilt (there are tons of pieces that I messed up by sewing the triangle to the wrong side of the fabric strip).

3. Cinnamon & Nutmeg Quilt

I found this pattern in an American Patchwork & Quilting magazine
February 2009

I've been collecting civil war reds, browns & tans for quite some time now.  I keep finding more to add to this collection.

4. Kansas Winter Jelly Rolls from Kansas Troubles

I think I'm going to do a "Friendship Braid" from Pam & Nicky Lintott's book Jelly Roll Quilts.

5.  Fun & Done "Zip Strip"
I started this one in a class at my local quilt shop in early November 2011.  I decided to increase the size from lap to twin (otherwise, I would be done) and then had to put it away to get ready for Christmas.  The pattern is from Prairie Sky Quilting and I highly recommend the Batting Buddy template. 

So, tomorrow I start to whittle away at my list of quilt projects that need to be completed.  By the way, these are ONLY the quilts...I have plenty of small craft bags that need to be finished, beachy fabric that was purchased for making aprons for everyone and my new desire to knit a pair of socks...