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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Log Cabin Star Quilt is Finished!

Thirty minutes ago I finished my quilt!

I am very happy with how it turned out. I didn't plan it to be a Christmas quilt, but the colors do suggest that it may have been made for that holiday. It seems appropriate that I finished it during Christmas week.

All of that binding I showed you has been sewn on:
In honor of the big event, I even changed all the bed linen this morning to my favorite 1000 thread count sheets.

I can't wait to crawl in this bed tonight!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Look I Have Flowers Blooming

I put flowers inside the center of my latest star color combos. These have rusty/brown triangles on the ends (the others had purple). I am amassing quite a collection of star blocks.
They are quite entertaining to make. I don't know just what I will do with them. Nor do I really care. I just make them because it's fun. Sooner or later I will have an "ah ha" moment and decide what to do with them.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sunday Morning Inspiration

What do you think of this paisley fabric

with this blue leopard fabric?

You are probably thinking that nobody in their right mind would put these fabrics together, aren't you?

While playing around this morning, I decided to make a test block with the paisley fabric.

Although I really like the paisley fabric, I think the block falls a bit flat. There is nothing terribly wrong with it, but I just think it needs a little zip, a bit of zest, ....

The block needs some bling!

Now, that's more like what I had in mind, although the center leaves a bit to be desired. That stripe was not a good choice.I should have taken more time to make sure my seam did not cut across to make it look crooked.

I thought the fabric combo had promise, so I continued on with a different center and different star points.

Bingo! I am loving this one! In my world blue leopard does go with traditional paisley.

Here are the two blocks together.
I a liking it. I can see me making a whole bunch of different stars in this color combo. I think it would make a good "man" quilt.

Geez, I had planned to clean up my ironing board this morning. It's full of the fabric scraps I've been working on all week. I need to use it to iron clothes (what a concept!).

Until I took a break to make this blog post, I was working on sorting my little scraps into piles of the same fabric so I can more easily find what I need.

Isn't it amazing how many pieces of fabric a shoe box will hold? LOL. I must get back to work.

3:00 p.m. update:
I went to Walmart and right after the above post. While there I saw a plastic rolling cart with drawers. I decided to buy it and put my scraps in the drawers.
It works great. I used see thru platic bags to hold the different fabrics.
After about an hour of sorting, I had it filled. I think I will get one more later this week.

It does feel good to have a little bit of organization in this room. Now I have to go iron the clothes that inspired the whole project.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

What Did You Do with Your Extra Hour Today?

I started a table runner to go with my purple glasses. I am beginning to visualize a purple/green tablescape in my near future.

I've had one of those weekends where I happily reveled in domesticity. I left my home only once to go to my Mom's for a few hours. I seem to need a weekend like this at least once every six weeks.

Saturday I baked two apple pies with a combination of Ida Red, Fuji and Gala apples.

I recently saw a recipe using Grand Mariner (orange flavored liqueur), so I decided to toss this little bottle in. (To be perfectly honest I can't even taste it in the pie, so it would probably have been enjoyed more had I saved it for a Margarita)

Speaking of Margaritas...whenever I made one, I squeezed a fresh lime for each drink. I just couldn't waste the wonderful lime zest, so I tossed the squeezed out halves in a plastic bag and froze them.

Now whenever I need a little citrus zest, I just grab a frozen lime half. Orange zest would have been best (to go with the Gr. Mariner), but I didn't have an orange.

The pie turned out pretty tasty even though nobody would know it had the liqueur in it. DH really seemed to like it.

I was up very early Saturday working on the rose quilt.

In my haste to finish it, I left out one piece in the last border and had to spend about an hour picking it out.

But after about three hours of work, I had it done. It fits perfectly on my bed with the borders hanging down at exactly the planned spot. I love it when something actually works as planned!
I think I began piecing this on September 3, so it took exactly two months. It feels good to be done (they get hard to work with when they get so big!).

Now I must decide which one of my seven completed quilt tops will be this year's winter hand quilting project.

Monday, October 29, 2007

It Keeps Getting Bigger and Bigger

I've been working on the gigantic quilt. It's getting huge! I put the "flying geese" border on today.
I had planned to put two on each side, but guess what?

I ran out of the background fabric again! It happens all the time and it just forces me to become creative. I found this purple fabric I just bought on my fabric spree last week.

I decided just to add 6" of that fabric. It's the part that will be the beginning of the fabric that hangs down the side of the bed. I wasn't really happy with it. Finally the idea occurred to me to make three of the corner blocks with the same background. I am more pleased now because I think it looks more like I had planned it to be that color.

You may have noticed that I have not sewn all of this on yet. I need to lay it all out on the bed first to make certain that the purple falls down the side as I am planning. If it does not, I am in big trouble! That, by the way, is one of the big pluses of making your own quilt. You can really custom fit the pattern to your bed. Personally I like a few extra inches up toward my neck so I can pull the quilt way up to my nose. I always make my quilts with plenty of extra fabric at the top.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Now that I Know Who Killed Genevieve, I Can get Back to My Quilting

I just finished reading my book and am feeling rather smug since I'd guessed the big surprise ending. I did not, however, know who the killer was until it was revealed. All in all, it was a good read.

I've been quietly working on the rose quilt blocks for the past 3 weeks or so and have finally finished enough for another border. I get a little bored making the exact same thing over and over so I have changed the flowers a bit. You can't tell from this picture, but most of these aren't even roses anymore.
They are not sewn together yet. I need to lay them all out on the bed first so I can see if the border will fall in the right place on the bed. It's a little tricky when the center is a rectangle rather than square.

I'll worry about all that later this weekend. Right now I need a big swig of A & W root beer!

Have a great evening.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Next Thing I Knew it was 2:30 PM

All day today I was working on the next border for the rose quilt (I need to think of a name for it).

At first I auditioned the log cabin blocks again.

They are just too visually heavy and it's not likely they will end up in this quilt. Since I have only made six of them, it's no big deal. I may turn them into a table runner (my current favorite thing to use up quilt blocks gone bad).

Almost immediately after I rejected them, I though of using the same border I put around the original rose block.
Bingo! It was just what I needed to do.

However I had a few problems and had to do some tearing out.
It is 1000% more painful to tear out when you are doing foundation piecing with tiny little stitches. Unfortunately I did not lay out the top and bottom border before I sewed all the blocks together. I should know by now that it never pays to take shortcuts! It ended up that I had made 2 extra blocks. ARRRRRRRGGGGGGGGG...there was nothing to do but rip it out.

Anyway I finally finished and I am very, very pleased.

Now I have a problem. The quilt is 56" x 42". Only a baby size. I don't have enough of the same fabrics left. I am in BIG trouble now! I will have to think this over for awhile.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Scrap that Idea

I spent most of last evening working on six log cabin blocks for the rose quilt border. I got up at 5:30 a.m. and immediately started working on them again. By 6:30 a.m. I had decided they just didn't work.

Better to scrap the idea after only a few hours work than to continue and not be happy with the finished product. While I was making these, I watched Paula Dean's talk show. If my hands weren't continously busy under the sewing machine, I would have clicked the remote to another channel. That woman has become totally obnoxious, loud and downright vulgar. I counted at least four blatant sexual references. What a change her show has made since she got such an elevated sense of self worth.

Well, enough of that. Let's get back to qultin'!

After only a few minutes considering what to do in place of the rejected log cabin border, the ideal solution appeared. It would take no work at all because I already had all the blocks sewn. Hmmmmmm, would they really work? I grabbed them and started putting them all around the center.

Voila! I can't believe how perfect it is! I am one happy camper this morning.

Friday, September 14, 2007

9-Patch Rose Block

I only made 4 more rose blocks this week. In the beginning of a new quilt it's easy to go like crazy, but very soon the excitement fades if you are doing repetitious blocks. I need to renew my enthusiasm so whenever I had a free moment today, I was thinking about how I could incorporate the rose into a center block.

I couldn't wait to get home from work so I could try out my idea. What do you think of this 9-patch block? It's fairly large - 24 inches x 18 inches.

My idea is to start with this as a center block and then do something with courthouse steps log cabin blocks radiating from the center and the 100 roses for the border. That could be a problem since the block is not square. I could just make a bunch more of these blocks, but I don't really like qults made from a bunch of blocks in a row. I like the blocks to form a secondary all over design. I'm sorry, I realize many of you don't have a clue what I am talking about, so just disregard this part. I need it here so that I remember what my thoughts were!

At the moment, I think this 9-patch block is workable. I will let it sit for a day or so and then look at it later to see if it's still something I want to pursue.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

You Might be a Masochist if...............

Even though you know it will take 4,000 itty bitty pieces, you decide to make 100 rose blocks anyway. The 4,000 pieces will be enough for just the border...the 8 inches that will hang down over the mattress on all sides. I have no idea what the main quilt pattern will be, but I am sure something will come to me as I piece along block after block after block after block...........

I must be either a masochist or an escapee from the local psychiatric ward.

Either way, I've completed 16 blocks so far.........only 84 to go!

My sister is nurse Ratched in the local psyc ward, so if I get admitted, I will at least be among family.

Do you all know who nurse Ratched was? Remember 'One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest" with Jack Nicholson? She was his caring nurse. LOL. From some of the stories my sister tells it's not a fun place to be a nurse. She gets spit on, punched at, and worse. She doesn't take any cr*p, though. She may be the baby of the family, but she's a tough cookie!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Scraps--the Goldmine of Paper Piecing

I hadn't sewn anything for three days. I was getting a little twitchy and needed my fix.

So I pulled a mix of reds/pinks from my tiniest-of-scraps scrap bag.

And I made these three rose flower blocks.

Each flower head is made from 30 tiny fabric scraps.
You need quite a fabric assortment to get an interesting mix for the flower.
I like these blocks, but so far I don't know what to do with them. They would make a mighty fine border for a king-size quilt--IF one had masochistic tendencies. You see I would need 100 of them and there are 33 pieces for the rose part of each block and another 7 for the stem/leaves bottom--40 pieces total per block. You do the math.........That's a lotta piecin' for a border!

So I will just make a few and wait for inspiration to hit.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Animal Paper Pieced Blocks

8/26/07 All 12 blocks are sewn together and I am working on the border blocks.
8/25/07 - I have finished 12 animal blocks. Now I must decide what to do with all of them. I am inclined to just sew them all together and add a 6-inch border, which will make a 48 x 60-inch quilt.

Pig Block (Added 8/25/07)

Polar Bear (Added 8/25/07)

Penguin (Added 8/25/07)

Camel (Added 8/25/07)

the color is off on this one. Those plain blocks are the same light gold color as in many of the other blocks, not green as they look here. This block is really irritating me. It was one of those that was not 4 inches and you had to add borders to make it 4". I thought I would add it all at the bottom so it looked like desert sand. Not a good decision! I should have added equal amounts to the top and bottom. Actually the author should have done all of that for me. This is a good example of when I said the book had one flaw....the author did not make all of the blocks the same size. If she had done it, I would not have messed it up by adding my own. If I wanted to design my own, I would not have bought the book.

Giraffe Block (Added 8/19/07)

Leopard Block (added 8/19/07)

Lion Block (added 8/18/07)

Donkey Block (added 8/12/07)

Rhinoceros Block

Monkey Block

Elephant Block

Last night I was in the mood to sew and made the little 4-inch elephant center. I wasn't sure what to do with him. After a little thought I decided he'd make a fine center for a star block.

I can see a safari themed baby quilt....maybe a different African animal in each center.

There is one little problem... I don't have a baby.

Maybe I could turn it into a tote bag. I think I would carry a fun tote bag with an elephant on it for something like library books.........I have never actually made a tote bag so I am not all that sure how to make a good sturdy one.

Hmmm....I will have to think on this on bit more.

Update: New block added (my battery died last night and I had to wait to take the pic). Lostroses, this one makes me think of you. :) (just recently lostroses got a magnificent big light-up flamingo for her yard. It's a beauty, too. Click here to see it for yourself.).

Patti asked me about the elephant pattern. Yes, it's from Margaret Rolfe's book. The book is called A Quilter's Ark and has over 50 little animal patterns. The book does not give you the star patterns. They are from a Carol Doak book, Simply Sensational 9-Patch Stars.

In my humble opinion, the Rolfe book has one irritating flaw. All of the blocks are not the same size. Like this flamingo. Instead of taking the time to design it at 4 inches, she tells you to add a little strip to the side to make it four inches. I hate that straight line. I think that the author should have made them all 4 inches. (The straight seam would look a bit better IF I had sewn it on the same grain, but my fabric was too short in that direction.) This one may be relegated to the potholder pile.
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