Wednesday, June 30, 2010

the last 4 blocks

the last four blocks.
I like how the big stack of all 70 blocks looks.
70 nine-patch blocks
I made 39 of these blocks over the last 6 weeks; the others were made mostly last year.

More information on the 9-patch quiltalong is at crazy mom quilts' blog.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

vacation sewing prep

I've been getting a few things ready to sew while I'm on vacation.
hexagons for my dqs9 project
Some hexagons to sew for my DQS9 project. The green up there in the corner is maybe going to be part of this project, too.

stacked coin doll quilt
A doll quilt for someone... pretty sure the mom of this someone doesn't read my blog, maybe she'll see this though? This is quilted now, binding is made, and I'll hopefully be ready to hand sew the binding down on the trip.

And a few things not pictured: I have fabric and thread ready to make a cape. I don't have any velcro though--if the cape recipient could pick some up that'd be great. (yes, pretty sure she does read my blog)

I'm also preparing a sleeve to sew on a quilt that will be entered in a quilt show on my trip.
And bringing an unquilted quilt... gonna try out my mom's Grace quilting frame and see how I like it.

I made another peasant top for my girl the other day:
peasant top
It's from a thrift store pillowcase. I thought it was vintage but I found the tag and it's a Pottery Barn Kids pillowcase. 100% cotton, even. I made a matching one for her doll:
doll peasant top

I entered the girl's top in the Sew, Mama, Sew Make it/Wear it contest. I had hoped to make myself a skirt this month but I just didn't get to it. Maybe I'll make it in July.

Friday, June 25, 2010

9-patches week 5

I was hoping to have all 11 of the rest of these done this week. Not yet, though.
9-patches week 5
There are some interesting combinations here. Some of these are not my favorites (blue stripe!) but I think they will all look fine in the finished quilt. I used three fabrics in a couple of the blocks... I really wanted to use the rose print in the block with solid yellow, and same with the rainbow dot fabric (with the froggies), but didn't have enough of those two for four 2.5"  squares. I do have to say that the green viney print with the pink hearts is from my first ever quilt shop fabric purchase (circa 1997) and is still one of my favorite prints.

I finished two more 9-patches as leaders-enders while I was sewing my last bee block today, and I have the fabric picked out for the last two.
Block Swap 2 disappearing 9-patch
Here's my June block for Leslie of Block Swap 2. My first ever disappearing 9-patch. Hmm... I was thinking about doll quilts for my nieces today... this would make a quick and easy design for them.

And I finally finished up my Drunk Love blocks for Julie. These, for me at least, take some time and thinking. I really like the finished results though.
Neptune blocks for Bee Beautiful
I can't decide which one I like more. I really like the coral fabrics, but the green and navy blue look so good together too. I still need to sign my name on the siggie block. The solids in these blocks are Kona crush fabric, I'd never seen it before. It has a crinkly, cushiony texture and I really like it. I might get some for the sashing in my 9-patch quilt. 

Finally, I'll show you what I was working on first thing this morning--the back for my circle quilt:
circle quilt back
I couldn't make the back without piecing it. I used the more solid-ish fabrics for the pieced strip and I like how it turned out. Especially the orange part. This quilt is pin-basted now and ready to quilt, as soon as I can get to the quilt shop for thread. 

I'm linking up at Sew & Tell Friday again; go see what everyone's been making this week!

Friday, June 18, 2010

9-patches week 4

I looked through my pile of blocks last week and realized I only had about 2 with red fabrics in them! I guess I need to do a bit of stash-building in that area. I found a couple of good reds in a Love is in the Air layer cake I have though, and I like how they turned out. More orange, too.

I only need to make 11 more 9-patches and then I'll be ready to put this quilt together. It's going to be so cute!

I'm linking this over at Sew & Tell Fridays--go see what other people have been working on, this week!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Mom, can you make me a sword like my brother's?

My 10-year-old made this today--well, he made the handle and blade parts, and stuffed them, and I stuffed them some more and hand sewed them together. His brother just came upstairs and asked for one of his own. I'll have to get right on that.
I got this done last night, just in time--day camp started this morning! The colors are a bit off because (a) it was still slightly damp but I had to take the photo before I delivered it to Megan, and (b) it was starting to get dark. And I forgot to get a picture of the back. Partway through stitching the second "8" on, I remembered that my machine came with a knee lift bar, and I went and found it and attached it. It made it so much easier to get through all the pivoting required for sewing on the curvy numbers. The number seven is super easy to applique, by the way.

I love how it turned out--the slight fraying of the wave curve looks so cool, if I do say so myself! Wouldn't this design make a cool pool bag? Or picnic blanket? (Without the pack numbers, of course!)

And, guess what? I got the circle quilt top finished today too!
I used this piece of batting as my portable design wall--I was able to keep all the pieces in order once their placement was decided, and I just rolled it up when I wasn't working on it. It did make the pieces get a bit more wrinkled than they would have otherwise, but it was really helpful for this particular project.

Now I need to decide if I should piece the back or not. The back will be made from (mostly?) the large floral on a brown background that's in the very bottom right corner. I could do a simple pieced strip across the back, but I don't know if this quilt needs it or not. Maybe I'll start something new while I think about it.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

9-patches week 3

Got them done. I need to go through and pick out fabrics for next week's blocks.

It has been a crazy day--3 inches of rain during the morning and early afternoon. I forced my poor children to help with some housecleaning. There was a lot of weeping and wailing but they made it through and I even gave them the Wii controller so they can watch Netflix later on. We had a neighborhood barbecue and my youngest didn't start her nap until about 4:45. And I still need to finish up the Cub Scout flag for camp, today! I just have 4 numbers left to sew on, and two surfboards on the back. I'll show a picture here after I finish it up.

Friday, June 11, 2010

doll quilt swap 9

I am excited to be participating in the 9th round of Doll Quilt Swap on flickr! If you don't already know about it, it is a huge swap that is a ton of fun. It's a secret swap in that nobody knows who is making the quilt for them. People post in-process and finished pictures of their quilts but don't reveal who the recipient will be. This swap has a couple hundred participants and there are several "swap parents" that each take care of a group of swappers to make sure things go smoothly.

Anyway, in the discussions on flickr, they have asked for people to update their profiles with some information about what they are interested in. This will help my swap mama pair me up with someone great! I decided it would be a good blog entry, too:

things I love in quilts--
*includes fabrics from more than one "line" (I will make the rare exception especially if it's basic grey but I think you generally get more depth and scrappy happiness if you use fabric from more than one designer)
*clear, bright, happy colors
*a little bit of crookedness here and there, sometimes
*white can help those clear colors stand out really well!
*the wonky shoo-fly block is sooo adorable
*little (or big) square in square blocks (really? I know you are shocked)

some quilt patterns I would love to make:
finished hexagons (I have some started)
another churn dash (I made one and gave it away and didn't even properly blog about it.)

Dear Jane (hahahaha... someday.)

I also made a photo mosaic of some of my favorite quilts on flickr. Some of these are not mini-quilts but they are gorgeous and inspire me so I had to include them.
1. Doll Quilt Swap I:  for lej619, 2. Doll Quilt Swap I: received, 3. Square Quilt, 4. DQS7 my sent quilt..., 5. placemat received, 6. My lovely Kaffe Fassett quilt top, 7. scrap 9 patch, 8. Shoo Fly Quilt - DQS8, 9. hex front mini quilt dqs8, 10. dqs7, 11. DQS8 quilt received, 12. Doll Quilt Swap 8

I'm excited to be in this round of the swap, and can't wait to find out who my partner is so I can think up something really fun to create! I have loved making a few swap mini quilts over the last year and a half or so but miss them, too. So this time, I'm pretty sure I will be making a twin for my swap quilt that I will keep.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

lucky me

I've been wanting to write about the bag I won in the May giveaway for a while.
Isn't it pretty? I won it from Julie at I've been taking it with me to the pool in the mornings (while the boys have swim lessons)--it's the perfect size for a couple spare diapers, a book, a snack for my youngest, and my tiny purse fits in there too.

And today, my prize from Blogger's Quilt Festival came. I won a cute pincushion from Cindy at sewing on the edge. I got to pick one from her shop and I decided on California Dreamin'.
The pincushion is filled with crushed walnut shells, and has a nice weight to it that my fiber-fill pincushions don't have. I love the piping around the edge. And yes, I'd love to go to California, but my sister and parents are making me jealous by telling me about their southern Utah adventures this week. It is killing me to hear about their hikes in Zion National Park--I wish I could go there soon!

Also, this afternoon I finished up my potholders for the swap at our quilt guild tonight.
They are Happy Camper hens (made from Moda Happy Campers fabric). I hope whoever gets them doesn't mind the machine stitched binding! While I was making them I was thinking about all the different fabrics that would make good chickens. I might need to make some more modern ones.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

summer's here

School has been out for just over 2 weeks now. Here's a list of some things that have been going on here:

*swimming lessons for my boys--they are taking 4 weeks of lessons this month. Today was rained out though.
*decluttering. I am off and on with this but doing pretty well. What is working right now is focusing on the number 50--put away or put in the donation bag or trash 50 items (total) from one room or area at a time.
*taking my toddler daughter to urgent care yesterday to get a bead out of her nose. Thrilling fun. The wait was about 4 1/2 hours and then it took about 10 seconds for the doctor to remove it. I'm so, so thankful to have had a friend offer to watch my boys so they didn't have to come, too.
*finding out today that apparently the computer we thought was broken for 2 months wasn't. Maybe I can post to the blog a little more often now.

*getting ready for Cub Scout day camp. I don't have a boy going this year and so I'm not going, but I'm a den leader and have been helping with the preparations for our little crew of crazy guys. Here's the flag I'm working on for them:
photo taken with my droid phone, color corrected (pretty close, not exactly right) in picnik
My den leader partner in crime, Megan, and I worked on this today. She provided the old jeans/fabric (originally her mom's). I'm working on adding the pack numbers at the bottom. I think it's going to look really cool once I wash it and the denim edges fray. 
*working on some swap potholders for this week's KC Modern Quilt Guild meeting. 
*working on a service project idea for the guild too
*listening to Cowboy Junkies--Pale Sun, Crescent Moon.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Saturday Sewing

Here are this week's 9-patches. I think I have 45 done, now. The purple fabric in the top left is leftover from when I was a kid. I made a Barbie dress from it when I was 10 or 11. And the blue fabric on the top right is also from that same era. My cousins and at least one sister and I all had dresses made from this fabric for serving at our uncle and aunt's wedding reception. 

And here's what I've been working on today. The pillowcases are for a church service project. We had a goal of 150 pillowcases (part of the million pillowcase challenge) and we've already met that goal! I think we will have over 170 pillowcases when they are all turned in.

And I got some Batman pajama shorts cut out for my boys. The fabric is from a Savers bedsheet. I'm going to work on sewing them up this afternoon!

Hope you're having a good weekend!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

designing your own circle quilt--part 2--making your templates

I have 7 out of 12 of the full circles in my circle quilt pieced together--it's coming along. Today I have a tutorial for making your own circle quilt block template. In part 1, I talked about determining the size of your quilt and from that, deciding on the size of your quilt blocks. My quilt blocks (one quarter circle and the square it fits into) are 6 inches square, finished. Here's how I made my template:

Image 1. I drew my 6" square on a piece of paper, using the corner of the paper for two of the sides of the square. Seam allowances will be added later--don't worry about them for now.

Image 2. Using a compass, draw the arc of the circle while holding the pointy part of the compass on the corner of the square. You might want to draw a few different blocks, making the quarter circle section different sizes, to see what you like. When I made the template for my quilt, I had my 10-year-old draw up a few different sample blocks and in the end decided on one where the quarter circle is kind of large in proportion to the square.

Image 3. Cut out both pieces.
Image 4. Now we need to trace the templates onto cardboard. I used a cereal box. You can also get template plastic at quilt shops, if you want. Start out by tracing the straight lines of the quarter-circle shape using my quilting ruler. Add the seam allowance lines, again using the ruler. I had to place the ruler slightly less than 1/4" away from the first lines I drew, to allow for the thickness of my pencil lead. (A sharper pencil would have helped but I couldn't find a pencil sharpener.)

Images 5 and 6. Place the paper template on the cardboard next to the straight lines, and trace the curved edge. Or, you could use your compass, making sure it is adjusted to the same angle it was for the original  paper template.

Image 7. Add seam allowance to the curve. I use my ruler to make a series of small marks that are 1/4" from the original line, and then draw a line to connect them. Rotate the ruler as you go around the curve to make sure the marks, and the seam allowance you are adding, will be an even 1/4" from the original line. (I hope that makes sense. If you have another way to add even seam allowances to curves, please share!)
Image 8. The quarter circle unit with the seam allowance for the curve marked.

Image 9. The template for the square corner part of the block. I used a ruler to draw all the straight lines, and traced the paper template edge for the curve. Then added the curve seam allowance using the same method I used for the quarter circle template.

Image 10. Cut out your finished templates!

Please let me know if you have any questions or if this is confusing at all!
The next post in this series will address figuring out your fabric yardage requirements, and cutting out the blocks. I'd love to hear from you if you are working on a quilt (or thinking about it) using these ideas!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

mini-quilt Monday! (on a Tuesday)

No--it is not Monday! But it feels like it!

I finished up the green placemat-I love how there's a mix of some of my really old fabric in there, some from my nephew's baby quilt I made a couple years ago, and some newer stuff too.

I think that sewing the binding down by machine make the binding a bit ripply. I tried to steam out the wave, but it didn't really work. Turns out that my little girl is using these placemats to wrap her baby in; I need to make a bigger doll quilt for her.

This was my last finish for the Spring to Finish project--I got about 6 finishes done, not exactly the ones I had on my list, but I made good progress.
Here are last week's 9-patches. I'm really going to finish this one up, too! I have the first 3 for this week cut out and ready to go.

I got these fabrics last week for a super secret project. Well, the Blush is for a super secret project; the fat quarters are just for fun. My green selection was getting really sad. Natalia from Piece N Quilt had a great sale--thanks Natalia!

I've got a busy week ahead--my boys start their 4 weeks of swim lessons today and we're still easing into summer, working on routines and making sure they have enough jobs to do and not too much TV to watch. Also need to clean up from the long weekend!