Thursday, January 31, 2013

Snow day sewing...

We had a snow day from school yesterday. When you work for the school district, you get as excited as the kids when they announce no school. Even though you know you will have to make it up later on....

I spent the day doing quilt related things. I started out the morning working on a new design for a sampler class. It's just in the beginning stages, so not sure where it is going right now. But it's a start! Then I worked on getting the flying geese into some sort of order for the quilt I'm working on. This is taking way longer than it should because I'm not sure what I want to do, so I have to keep stopping to decide what to do next. It's way faster to just sew!

When I got tired of sewing, I got out some half hexies I cut when I was working on the Tasty Tablerunner braided quilt and put them up on the design wall as hexagons. Even though they will have a seam down the middle, they will still make a pretty pillow!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A gaggle of geese

I spent some time last night sewing up some flying geese. These are 1 3/4" x 3 1/2". Aren't they cute?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Pillow finishes and more geese

Gretchen sent me a picture of her finished Modern Cathedral Windows pillow! Isn't it awesome?
Karen's turned out pretty too, such a fresh, modern look with the teal and white. I have a feeling I will see some more finishes soon. This pillow goes together really quickly!

I think I finally know what I want to do with the borders on the flying geese quilt I have been working on off and on for awhile, so I cut some more geese parts last night and marked all the lines. I will be ready to sew them together tonight.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Lotus flowers & leftovers

 I spent Sunday working on sewing the blocks together for the Lotus Flower quilt. You always have these edges when you do this type of quilt. I guess you could leave the zigzags, but I'm not that fond of them, so I straightened the sides.

 I them stay-stitched all around the edge as these edges are stretchy because of the way the blocks are cut. I am considering a border, though I don't think it needs it. What do you think?

After I was finished with that, I got out the rectangle that was made out of the leftovers from trimming the black, red, gray Lotus. I decided to make a pillow, so added a border to the long sides of it, so that it would be 18 1/2".

Then I folded it so that it was 18 1/2" on the front, added some extra to the ends to make an envelope back. 
I think it's nice to have some pillows that match the quilt. I haven't done anymore with the triangles I've been sewing together, but they will probably be a pillow eventually too. What do you do with your leftover blocks or "pieces"?

Karen finished her teal Modern Cathedral Windows pillow top yesterday, too! Read about it and see it on her blog.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Modern vs. Traditional Cathedral Windows

I had a great time teaching the Modern Cathedral Windows Pillow class yesterday. Lots of ladies were eager to learn an easier way to make an old favorite.
 Some used motifs that they could fussy cut for the windows. I took closeups of these sunflowers because they have surprise "Meow" centers that you might not notice at first.
 This is one happy pillow. Jane said her grandson would claim this one as his own because he loves yellow.

 Several ladies chose a Christmas motif and we talked about how you could make a pillow for every season and just change them out. This pillow is made with an envelope back so it is easy to take out the pillow for changing seasons or washing the cover.
You could also make a table topper with this size, maybe adding a border to make it a bit bigger. It fits an 18" pillow.
 I did a demonstration of how you make the Cathedral Windows blocks using the traditional method with hand sewing. I like to know how things are put together and the students seemed interested in that method as well, though we all agreed that it would take a lot longer to make a project sewing by hand!
Everyone had a vision of where their colors would be and how they wanted the final project to look. It is so much fun to see all of the different versions.

 Love this cowboys and indians motif!
 Someone in my last Cathedral Windows class brought some show and tell that she had gotten at a thrift and pieces of someone's traditional quilt. She gave me one of the panels! It is about 14" square, so I brought it to class to share.  I passed it around so everyone could feel how heavy it was and examine the hand stitching. We were all amazed at the amount of work that went into making this.
 Here is the back....the individual squares are 1 1/2"! With this 10 x 10 setting, that is 100 little squares to make this 14" top. Unbelievable! When you make it the traditional way, you don't have to back it as it is already backed.
I plan on finishing the 2nd Lotus quilt today, I have the triangles all ready to sew together into rows, so it won't take too long to do...I hope! I am excited to see it finished!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Piecing leftovers

 When you cut out the jewel shapes for the Lotus quilt, you have lots of leftover triangle pieces. These are the ones from the Lotus I cut out over the weekend. I saved all of them from the black and red Lotus, and started sewing them together as leaders/enders while making that quilt.
 I have continued sewing them together as I put together the blue/brown Lotus, first into pairs,  then quads and then in set of eights, just grabbing them and sewing in no particular order.  So now I have to figure out what I want to do with them. I really do love to making something out of the's sort of like getting a bonus after you finish the quilt!
I worked on the blue/brown Lotus last night for awhile and have all the pieces sewn into the large triangles, so I am ready to sew them together.

 My daughters are taking me out for my birthday tonight, so it will be fun to have some family time!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Play day

  As I worked on the Lotus quilt a few weeks ago, I noticed other shapes that the jewels and triangles made that weren't as prominent with the color orientation used in that quilt. I noticed flowers, as well as hexagons, so I wanted to play with the coloring a little. I found some greens/blues/browns that I had purchased last summer, so started cutting jewel shapes and triangles Sunday night. I decided that all the triangles would be the same color, so that they wouldn't distract from the flowers I wanted to make.
They are pretty large pieces, so I wondered if it would look nicer to have them split like this, but I decided I didn't like it as well as the big floral look. 
 I did some digging to find a few more fabrics that looked good with these. I ended up not using that light blue in the center, but put it on the outer edge as a half flower instead because I thought it was too  light. I found a better blue with an uneven check that picked up the other blues better.
Once I had it all on the design wall, I had to figure out where to start. The pieces are sewn into triangles first. With the Lotus, you sew 3 identically colored jewel shapes into a triangle, then place them in rows and sew together.With this coloring, it was harder to see the triangles, so I really had to be careful as I put them together. I only took two off  the wall at a time to work on.
 I have one more row of triangles to make, then will be ready to sew them together. I have a class tonight, so hope to get back to it tomorrow night. It's so much fun to see the pattern come together, isn't it?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Mosaic fun

Saturday's Black and White Mosaic class was fun. This version of a stained glass look uses strip piecing methods and goes pretty quickly. You make squares like this, then put them together with sashings for the final quilt.

Lots of great colors!

 I am off today, so plan on sewing most of the day. While I was making the Lotus quilt, I could see a pattern the blocks make that looks like flowers, if the coloring is placed differently, so I cut out some more jewels yesterday using the HexNMore ruler. I want to play a little with the patterns you can get by placing the colors in different arrangements. I will try to remember to take pictures as I go...I do play around with different settings a lot but don't always remember to take pictures of the steps.
I went to Mangelson's yesterday and got more of the small dot print to make more pillows for the library. I was glad they still had it as it was on the clearance wall. If you live in this area, they have a nice selection on their clearance wall right now at 30 & 40% off.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I'm so behind on posting....

     This week has gone by so fast. My class last Saturday went well, with lots of ladies sewing feverishly to get their blocks made. It's amazing what people can get done when they have uninterrupted sewing time.    

 I had two of my three monthly night classes this past week, so that kept me busy Monday and Wednesday nights. It's fun watching student's skills improve as they progress on a sampler quilt.
I am still playing catch-up at school, as I try to familiarize myself and the students with the new library. All the books are in new places! I still have a list of things to get done, but it is slow going. It is hard to get into a routine too, though I know it will come. It sort of feels like a new job. But it is really nice to walk in to such a beautiful place to work each day and it will eventually come together.

My daughter and I went to my hometown for another great-nephew's birthday party Sunday. He was the second of three great-nephews born in the last year. I had a great is the birthday boy with his books from us. 
 Here is last month's birthday boy with his grandma.
 Love that cake!

Friday, January 11, 2013

That darn witch....

You might remember that I put up a display of Wizard of Oz fabrics and books to reflect our moving back theme of "There's No Place Like Home". The kids love the witches legs I made the best! I have gotten all sorts of comments, my favorite being "Where's her head?" as they try to look underneath to see the rest of her. And lots of them just have to touch them too! Most of the kids get the movie reference, but not everyone does. Some just think I like Wizard of Oz. It's been fun! I plan to move the legs around the library a bit for the next week or so, kind of like Where's Waldo, before I take the display down. 

My sister and her husband are flying back to Vancouver Island tomorrow, so some of my family will be bringing them down tonight. We will all meet for dinner and then they will stay here so they are closer to the airport for their morning flight out. It's been nice seeing her more this holiday season, and we'll miss them!

I am teaching the Peas in a Pod class tomorrow, so I will take lots of pix to share! 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Circle pillows are IN the window now!

 I brought the circle pillows to school and put them in the really is a big window! They are about 25" and seven of them don't cover it. They almost do if I don't bunch them up, but they look nicer piled up a bit. Guess I need to make about 3 or 4 more if I want them all the way across!
 I have some of the fabrics from the Circle and Spin pillows left, so might be able to piece something together for the fronts. Or I might go see if I can get some of the small, circular fabric I used on most of the backs and just make some pillows out of it.

It looks great with the rest of the pillows.

I'm still not used to the beauty surrounding me every day....but I do love it!
 I haven't taken any pictures of the mess I had left to clean up...unpacked boxes etc...but I can walk through now behind my desk, so it is getting better. I had put all of it behind the desk to keep it out of the way of the kids.....I have been open to kids all week, so have been working on it gradually.
Conrad looks so big now when he stretches out on the he's posing for me!

I have worked on the flying geese blocks and quilt some more this week, am figuring out the borders now. My stitching group meets tonight, so that will be fun. I always love to see them and what they are working on. I need to cover some pillows for my daughter, Rachel, so I might work on those tonight, if I feel ambitious. Sometimes we do actually sew!