Friday, November 29, 2013

Baby quilt quilted....whew!

I finished the quilting on Owen's quilt Wednesday...I'm still not sure why I had so much trouble with thread breakage, but I was just glad that it worked! I made the label for the quilt too, so it's ready to finish. I will take more pix then.
I spent Thanksgiving in my hometown with family and had a great time!

We are helping my daughter move today...she recently bought a house. The weather is supposed to be cold, but dry so it should be a nice day to do it and she will have the rest of the long weekend to unpack. 

I'm doing a demo tomorrow at Cut Up and Quilt on the Sidekick ruler, so if you live in the area, come and see me there! I will be teaching a class on this tabletopper using the ruler in January!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Bits and Pieces

 Here are  some projects people have been working on that were started in my classes. I love when people bring the finished quilts back to show me!

I am off today, so have big plans...we'll see how much gets done. We are going to my hometown for Thanksgiving tomorrow and I have some food to prepare for that, plus I want to finish Owen's quilt today. Not feeling very excited about it since every time I try to work on it I have trouble, but I'm hoping I fixed the problem and the rest of the quilting will go well.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Rock Candy plus one!

I got the Rock Candy tabletopper finished yesterday....This pattern uses the 2 1/2" diamond and triangle section on the ruler so you can use jelly rolls or cut charms in half. I wanted to see how it would look to use the 4 1/2" diamond and triangle ( there are 4 sizes available) and I just happened to have some batiks handy that I was using for the colorwheel project, so I started cutting 4 1/2" strips and cutting them into diamonds.
I colorized this one using 2 colors for each pie shape and gold around the outside edge.

It's Conrad approved!
I haven't added the border to the outer edge yet, but you can see the difference in size between the two at this point. I definitely like this ruler, it's a precise and easy way to cut these shapes. It also cuts half triangles in 4 sizes, with I didn't need for this project.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A great Sidekick!

I spent some time playing with the Sidekick ruler by Jaybird Quilts the other night. I am demonstrating this ruler at Cut Up and Quilt next Saturday as part of their After Thanksgiving Saturday sale. Like the Hex N More ruler, this ruler has many functions, but I'm working on the Rock Candy pattern for this demo. The ruler is easy to use and she has many great patterns to use it on! I spent quite a bit of time rearranging these diamonds, but of course I forgot to take pix as I went. This is the final layout.

I plan on sewing this together today, but would love to finish quilting Owen's quilt too, so it's a good thing I cleaned last night! Yep, don't fall over in a faint...I am not sure what came over me, but I got a burst of energy after supper last night and cleaned for over 2 hours. I hope you are getting some sewing/quilting time on this cold Sunday. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013


 I've had another colorwash quilt on my design wall all week. This was the original idea, but everytime I walked by, the bottom row bugged me. There wasn't enough blending, it looked like a border. My original plan was to have the oranges to reds surround the yellows to the left and the purples to the right...but it wasn't working for me.
 So I started moving things around so that the lights all started on the right and worked over to the left around the yellows. With trying to blend the colors better, I ended up "stretching" it wider...
I like this better, even though the blending still isn't perfect. We'll see what it looks like once it's completely sewn together.

I have a UFO Saturday class today, with the Colorwheel Stash Swap afterwards, so it should be a fun day.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A milestone

I have a milestone coming up soon, my 1000th blog post. When I started blogging in 2007, I wanted a way to post about my classes for the people taking them as well as for other people interested in quilting. I hadn't read a lot of blogs at that point, but I loved what I saw.

I had sort of a rocky start, not really posting much to begin with. I'm not sure why that was, exactly, because I wanted to focus on quilting on the blog, and I am usually doing some type of sewing or quilting related project most of the time when I'm not work. I don't really consider myself a writer, per se, so I do have trouble with the writing aspect, sometimes. Part way through 2008 I started doing a better job of posting more regularly.

 I thought it might be fun to look through some of my pictures from 2007 just to see what I was teaching back then.

I remember that I loved this circular bargello when I saw it on a shopping trip with friends, so came home and started working on it. I had already made a couple of other bargellos, the one below was supposed to depict a garden scene with flowers, a stream and a rocky path. not sure if I succeeded, but I thought so at the time and had this quilt hanging over my bed for many years. 

I bought this panel while vacationing with my sister in Canada...I got one for my friend Jo as well and we put together wall quilts and embellished them with beads and stitching. I don't seem to have a picture of hers, but this is mine. 

A group of friends and I did a round robin block exchange. We gathered our own fabrics and passed them around monthly. You had to make blocks that were the equivalent of three 12" blocks....two could be 12" blocks, but at least one had to be equivalent parts. It was my first experience with a round robin and I loved it.

I designed the Potato Chip quilt around that time and have taught the class and sold the pattern many times. I made this quilt for a friend, so eventually gave it to him. A few years ago I made a new version.

A few years ago I made a new version.  These are just a few of the things I was working on back in 2007...I won't bore you with all my pictures!
 I'm not sure how many of my students actually read my blog, but I have enjoyed the blogging process and met so many wonderful quilters through this medium. I don't always have as much time as I would like to read other blogs, but try to keep up with some of my favorites as well.  I find it to be relaxing and inspirational to read about what others are doing in the quilting world. 

Do you blog about quilting? What is your favorite thing about quilting blogs?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

All my seams in a row...

After sewing all of the rows of my colorwheel quilt together, I got ready to press them. Since they were still connected by thread, I wondered if it would be hard to press them in alternating directions, so I got out my smaller travel iron and just pressed every other row the same direction and then turned it around and pressed the remaining rows the other direction.
It worked pretty well. Then I started sewing them together...pinning first. I thought about trying it without pinning, since they were connected by threads, but I don't have very good luck when I don't pin, so I always pin when sewing rows together.

Getting close to the end!

One final press, pressing all the long rows in one direction.
And it's finished! Now to quilt.

I did spend some time trying to quilt the baby quilt I loaded last week, but I am having nothing but trouble with the top thread breaking. I tried basically everything I could think of ...changing needle, rethreading, adjusting the tension, and I'm still having trouble with thread skipping and breaking. I have adjusted how close the quilt is to the machine, as I think that might be the problem (maybe the thread is catching on the quilt on the roller bar? Iknow it's a long shot, but I am out of ideas.) But after messing with it for a couple of hours, I had to quit for the day so I don't know if that fixed it. I still have to go back and redo a couple of spots before I can move on. Luckily it's not very big!
I spent some time after work helping my daughter pack last night...she is buying a house, so is starting to be buried under boxes. I can't wait until she gets moved in...hopefully in about 2 weeks.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sewing some colorful rows together

 I spent some time yesterday sewing some colorful rows of squares. I lined them up on this platic lid so that I could carry them from the design wall in my kitchen to my sewing area. I numbered the rows going across and going down the left side so I wouldn't get confused as to which end was which.   I sewed them into rows and left them hooked together. I've seen this technique, but never tried it.
 It worked great for this quilt. I just kept adding rows to the rows I had sewn, and when I was finished I had all 15 rows sewn together, but linked. Even if I cut them apart now, they are sewn together correctly with the row marked on the end.
 I know that people do take them at this point and sew them together, but not sure how easy it will be to press them going opposite directions first. I have the iron heating up, so I will know soon. If I have to cut them apart at this point, it's not really a big deal either.
 I am excited to see it finished so I'm off to sew! Have a quilty Sunday!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Colorwheel stash play

 It was a busy week, but I managed a few hours of playing with the squares I have been cutting for the Colorwheel Stash Assessment I've been doing with my sampler classes. It's been interesting to see what everyone comes up with as far as the basic twelve colors on the colorwheel. I had hardly any yellow, so did a little stash enhancement to get a few more. We are using the colorwheel to see if we have a good blend of color.  I've been letting them take some of my squares from each color section.
 I can see that where I blend from yellow to green needs some help with more yellow-greens. The picture below looks a little better, I think. I am not laying them out in a square grid right now, just laying them out to see how they blend together. The first project will mimic the colorwheel we've been playing with, but using many more fabrics.
 I don't have a lot of true blues, it seems...more teals and bluish greens.

Next week I am hosting a Colorwheel Stash Swap after UFO Saturday so that anyone who wants to can come and swap squares with each other. They can enhance their stash of squares and see what else they might want to stash hunt for to fill out their collection. I am teaching a workshop in January for anyone who wants to make a colorwash quilt out of their squares. I plan on making a few different quilts to help the creative process.
 I spent some time this morning going through my batiks, as I hadn't cut any squares from them yet. I found lots more purples of all variations and a couple more reds to fill out this design, plus some more of other colors I think I need. I am getting excited to start making a few projects with these squares!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A new sampler class begins...

Monday night I started the classes for the newest Sampler, StarLuna. Laura brought her last sampler, Fly Away Home, to show me her progress. That sampler has a lot of piecing to put together the center, but is definitely worth it! I am excited to see it when she has the borders on!

We worked on the StarLuna block for our first class....3 of the 4 quilters finished their blocks! Lots of interesting colorways...

I'm heading to the hospital to see baby Owen tonight after work. I didn't end up working on his quilt last night after all. After cooking dinner, and cleaning up a bit, I played with arranging the stash assessment squares while I watched tv. I'm off on Sat. so I might wait until then. I do better quilting in the morning anyway and it won't take me long to finish it. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Baby will get here before the quilt is finished!

...but it will be close! I got the quilt for my niece's baby loaded on the machine Sunday afternoon and wound some colorful bobbins.I'm using a multicolored So Fine thread.

I only got one row quilted but hopefully I will be able to quilt a few rows tonight. 

 The panto is Mini Will O'...makes a nice circular pattern, which I thought would be fun with the jewel shaped patches.
 The binding is ready to is the same fabric that I am using on the back. My little nephew is due to be born today, so he will be here before his quilt is finished...but I should have it finished soon. Hopefully his grandma got his quilt bound so he has that to cuddle up in!
Later...The baby arrived safe and sound...8lb. 1 oz. They are naming him Owen....I can't wait to see him!