Friday, February 28, 2014

Happy Friday!

The flimsy is done! Man, old Mr. Murphy visited a LOT during the making of this quilt top!! Besides the issues I had discussed in my previous two posts, I starched and ironed my sashing fabric, put it on the cutting table to cut and guess what?  It had shrunk by FOUR inches!!! FOUR. . . I was squeaking by with what I had but I thought I was going to be able to make this entire quilt top from my stash. . . umm, not meant to be.  So I had to go shopping ;)  

I will say that there are not many points in this quilt. . . most of the points at the edges of the blocks are . . . well. . . hmmm. . . nonexistent is a good word lol.  It's my first attempt at double pinwheels and I decided there is a lot going on with the fabric in this quilt.  It's not really going to matter.  And I don't think the recipient will notice. . . unless she reads this post. LOL  I'll do a comprehensive write up when I finish quilting it.  I need to finish my next top before I start quilting so it might be a bit before that happens.  Here it is!

Just LOVE how these materials play together!

Chopped the top off this one, it was windy, I was snapping away furiously!

Close up of top half

And bottom half

Any suggestions for how to quilt this top are very welcome! This top has not spoken to me at all.  Not one peep.  Didn't even mumble a word about thread color! Although I'm thinking maybe a variegated pink. . . or maybe just white what about yellow. . .  I have never done quilting with white before. . . can you believe that?? I love the look.  Maybe this shall be the first. And maybe this baby will talk to me from the design wall as I work on these:

Sorry about the shadow, literally trying to snap pictures before they blew away!!

Thought maybe the colors would show better at and angle.  I don't think there is a good way to get the yumminess of these Oakshotts in a picture!
These are SOOOO much fun to make!!! I am totally improving it at this point.  I really really hope I have enough fabric. . . Maybe I will take pictures as I make the next couple so you can see how easy they are to make :) They are 12 1/2" tall.  My original plan was to make all of them with solid centers and outside logs with the print between.  As I was piecing these, I thought "self, why don't you alternate the triangles solid outside, print outside?" OK that made sense in my head, now that I have typed it I'm not sure. . . LOL What do you think? Alternate triangles or keep with the current theme of solid on the outside? So many decisions! I have a lot of these babies to make so I'll keep making the solid theme until I see which way you guys vote! 

Almost forgot! I got my Oakshott Cotton at Contemporary Cloth.  I have looked everywhere (US) for Oakshotts.  Contemporary Cloth definitely has the BEST selection.  They have fat eighth bundles, fat quarter bundles AND yardage! AND the customer service cannot be beat!  I ordered and had an email issue (my email bounced theirs).  When I emailed them the response was pretty much immediate.  All was good.  BUT, not long after Sondra (owner) herself emailed me, apologized (even though there really was nothing for her to apologize about) and thanked me for my patience.  Seriously, I'm sure she has other things going on, this was not a big deal but she took the time out of her day to send me an email.  I think that is pretty extraordinary!  I have had experiences with many online fabric shops.  Some good/great service, some reallly really bad.  I'm rating Contemporary Cloth in the EXCELLENT category :) And no, I am receiving nothing for this, I just think it is important to rave about getting good service.  And seriously, you are not going to find a bigger selection of Oakshotts from a state side online shop, I've searched high and low :)

I'm off to make more triangles! In the mean time, I am linking up with Amanda Jean over at Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday, Sarah over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get WHOOP WHOOP!, and Lindsey over at Fort Worth Fabric Studio for Fabric Frenzy Friday.  If you are here from there, welcome! If you have any thoughts on quilting the first top or how to proceed with the triangles, please share your ideas! If you haven't been to these linky parties, check them all out for a HUGE dose of inspiration and join the fun!! :)

Until next time, keep on quilting!

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Double Pinwheels - Progress!!

Ladies and gentlemen, we have progress! :) I finished all 12 of the double pinwheel blocks, YAY! I pondered a little bit yesterday about how to proceed and decided - I'll start on the other side of the design wall and put those blocks together - I decided this was a better plan than standing there sticking my tongue out at it! haha So I started piecing and guess what?  They were all cut right except for the last two!! Now this isn't so bad!  Do you ever do this? Run into a glitch, throw a tantrum and walk away for a couple of days? ;) AND, I am soooo glad I decided to check the measurements on both the print and the light pink for size before recutting. . . I thought the print triangle was too small.  Turns out the pink triangle was too big!!  And those were the last two squares I had cut. . . I might have started celebrating early and cut those triangles after a glass of wine. . . grin And even better? The block I had started with creatively sewing - I didn't have to rip it out and was able to finish the block with no issues - even better!! :)

Here are some pictures of the blocks just waiting to be sewn together:

They are 'squared up' . . . a close inspection will confirm this is my first attempt at double pinwheels . . . going to lose some points for sure!

The dark pink solid is going to be the sashing fabric.

Because I want to finish another quilt at the same time I finish this one (want the recipients to get them at the same time), I am going to start cutting for another quilt today. . . guess what? MORE triangles! :)  Glutton for punishment huh?  This quilt is going to be made out of these Oakshott cottons (pictured below my ramblings haha) with a few prints. . . designed by who you ask? Kaffe Fassett of course ;)  They are being delivered today!  Did you catch that sale over at Craftsy?? They had yardage of several KF prints on sale for 7.99 a yard!! And the fat quarter bundle was on sale too - how was a girl to resist??? I think the yardage I bought might be turned into the backing for both of these quilts :) 

LOVE the colors :)

Close up of Fat Eighths

Close up of Fat Quarters

And what am I going to sew these lovelies into?  Guess what came in the mail yesterday? THIS :)

This is the Creative Grids 60 Degree Ruler - triangles up to 12"!!! Be still my big block lovin' heart!! :-D

OH YEAH! This is still coming together in my brain - yeah that dangerous place that doesn't do math well LOL BUT this is going to be a log cabin type triangle block modified from the Log Cabin Pyramid QAL over at Lady Havartine's blog.  I will start with bigger middle triangles and only put one or two logs on the fire ;) I'm thinking I want this quilt to be mostly solids so will do solid middles, a strip of print and then a solid log around the outside. . . We'll see, the plan is to kind of improv this one as I go . . . yeah that could be disaster in the making as well! 

That's my plan and I'm sticking to it!! Linking up with Lorna over at Sew Fresh Quilts for LET'S BE SOCIAL!, Lee over at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday and Kelly over at My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday.  If you are here from one of these parties, WELCOME! And if you haven't been, hop on over and get yourself a BIG dose of inspiration and join the party of course! :)

Until next time, keep on quilting!!

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Monday, February 24, 2014

A Little Rant and a Problem... :)

So I get a comment on a post saying I am a no reply blogger (thanks Val)! WHAT??!?!  I had NO idea! I know initially I was not a no reply blogger - because I was getting all kinds of replies to my comments.  And then they kinda stopped. . . kinda really stopped.  I couldn't figure it out.  Then I get the comment from Val.  How is this possible?? I went to the tutorial at On the Windy Side on how to change my status and she had updated her post for Google+ users. . . Apparently Google+ automagically makes your status as a blogger to no reply!!! OK, this might be old news to some of you but for me, being a new blogger - this was very NEW news to me! She posted a link to this tutorial for Google+ users.  Honestly, after reading the tutorial (and completing the task of making my no reply status disappear), I might just delete my Google+ account! GRR I totally get the frustration of seeing the no reply status and not being able to reply by email.  Honestly, how many times do you revisit a post after you have commented?  I admit, I typically do not, I am blog hopping throughout the day, I don't typically go back unless it was a post of a quilt that I must make . . . ok, that's a lot but still!!

OK, that's my rant, just thought I would post that so other people who are new to Google+ that they are now no reply bloggers until you go into your Blogger account and change back to a regular Google account setting.  I'm fixed now and voila! I am getting responses again :)

Now on to the 'problem' . . . my latest project is giving me headaches!  I am making the Pinwheels in the Park quilt, the tutorial and pattern are over at Sew Mama Sew.  These pictures are not going to be the best but it's what one can do at the wee dark hours of the morning :)

Yup, those are Brandon Malby fabrics! :)
I was SO careful when cutting for this quilt.  I knew accuracy in cutting was going to be key if I was not going to pull my hair out! I made sure when I cut the squares diagonally that they were all lined up perfectly.  I did not cut more than 4 at a time (that might have been my issue, I kept thinking, "self, you should be cutting one at a time").  I was very careful in making sure that I cut corner to corner and did not have any of those 'squared' triangle corners that are a giveaway that I had miss the mark :) So here is what I am dealing with:

Looking at this one I'm thinking NO amount of creative sewing is going to work! :(

BIG :( I decided to try to sew one block together and see if I could 'creatively sew' it and get the same size block . . . it's not exactly a flat block.  I did a scant quarter inch seam which barely caught the tips of the triangle.  And which also means creative sewing when sewing the four squares together to make the block :(

I sewed one of the blocks together wherein the triangles were exactly the same size.  This went much smoother but I have to admit, this is the first time I have cut all those triangles and all that bias without sewing first (doing the HST method where it is sewn and then cut has worked very well for me!). . .

I'm thinking of using the dark pink as sashing. . . Thoughts?
Me and this quilt top are having issues. . . I did the second pictured block on Saturday afternoon. . . the pieces are all on my design wall, which is in my living room (thumbs up to the hubs who totally puts up with my sewing studio in the living room!!).  I walked by it the rest of the day Saturday and just threw dirty looks at it. . . I would walk by it yesterday and stuck my tongue out at it. . . OFTEN grin This should take me a few hours to sew together. . . but I know it's going to take much longer. . . how to proceed. . . sew together the blocks that fit and re-cut the ones that don't?  Push on and continue with the creative sewing. . . ? I have enough material (which is highly unusual for me) to re-cut.  I had enough to use the material as accents with my next quilt but that isn't going to happen now, unless I can get this thing together and not have it be all wonky. . . and after taking that picture, it looks like that ain't gonna happen. . . .

If this has ever happened to you (I cannot be the only one! lol), what did you do? Bite the bullet and recut, forge on and creatively sew, throw the heap in a bin and make it the next UFO (I don't have any UFOs. . . I have a drive, I cannot leave something unfinished.  Remember, I'm less than a year into this quilting thing - there's still time for me to lose that drive and start collecting UFOs. . . and this might just be the top to start the trend!!!)?  

Oh, and if you have any ideas about why just some of those triangles came out wonky - please share!! Cuz right now I am trying to figure out how to tell the hubs that I am going out to buy a GO! . . . ;)

Linking up with Anything Goes Mondays over at Stitch by Stitch.  If you are here by way of there, welcome! And if you are so inclined, share your (mis)adventures in cutting and creative sewing ;) If you have not been over to Stitch by Stitch, head over and check out all the inspiration and join the party! 

Also linking up with Connie over at Freemotion by the River for Linky Tuesday, Alyce over at Blossom Heart Quilts for Sew Cute Tuesday (even though I'm not thinking of 'cute' when I look at these blocks right now!! lol), and Heather and Megan over at Quilt Story for Fabric Tuesday.

Until next time, keep on quilting!

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

'A Star' Quilt

I posted a quick post about finishing this top on Saturday.  I thought I would have it quilted and bound within a day or two. . . and then I decided to go a little crazy with the quilting ;) I followed the The Giant Vintage Star tutorial by Jeni Baker over at In Color Order.  Making the top was quick! First, the pictures :)

It's all washed and crinkly and ready to go :) The quilt finished at 68 inches square just like the tutorial said it would.  Guess I am getting better at those 1/4 inch seams!  Also, I used Quilter's Dream Wool Batting.  Those of you who have been following me know this is my go to batting - have only made a couple that were not wool and so far have had no issues with washing and drying.....

As I said, the piecing of this quilt was quick.  I was very happy I have a 22" square ruler to help me with both the cutting of the blocks and squaring them up.  I don't think the process would have gone as smoothly without it.  I also realized after looking at all of the amazing star blocks people are posting on their blogs lately, that any star block that is constructed using 4 blocks by 4 blocks could be used to make a quilt. . . my aha moment LOL I might be making another using a different star block real soon! :) If you have already had this aha moment ages ago and have made a different big star quilt, I would LOVE to see it!! Email me or leave me a comment!

All but one of the middle green squares came from my stash.  I miscalculated (yes, there is a theme of miscalculations running through this blog LOL) and came up short.  I couldn't find another green that even came close to this one and couldn't find enough of any other green that I wanted to substitute.  My problem was that I had gone through a 'buy every solid fat quarter you can get your hands on' phase and I had NO idea what the fat quarter was. . . . Bella, Kona, Hawthorne Solids . . . who knew?? Off to the quilt shop near my house because they have a huge selection of Kona.  Do you know that they had not one green that even came close?? Turns out green is not an easy color to match ;)  OK, I'm not going to 'just make do' yet, and I jump in my vehicle and go to another quilt shop that is close to the house.  Head to the green section. . . . look at fat quarters, nothing close.  And then I looked down, OHHHH that one looks close!  Not only was it close - it was exact!  YAY doing the happy dance in the quilt shop! grin I buy it and I am off to the races!  Turns out it was Bella Solids by Moda. 

I quilted this with my walking foot on my Janome 7700.  Mostly I followed my quilting line but I did mark some of the lines.  I have to say that the marked lines are straighter! I used two different threads for the quilting, both Superior Masterpiece 50# cotton threads.  OK, so I would have preferred 40# but I did not notice until I got home that it was 50# . . . note to self, check that!  One matched the bright green exactly and the other matched the blue in the center exactly.  I did a line of quilting in each of the squares and changed thread. . . I decided this would be faster than marking the entire quilt. . . I think I may have been wrong about that!

So now I am pondering my next quilt. . . next two quilts actually.  One is going to be made from my Kaffe stash, the other from the Oakshott cotton that was delivered today.  At least I did the happy dance in the privacy of my own home today!  

Linking up with Kelly over at My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday, Sarah over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a WHOOP WHOOP!, Link a Finish Friday over at Richard and Tanya Quilts, TGIFF being hosted by Amy over at Crafty Shenanigans, Amanda Jean over at Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it Up Friday and Lindsey over at Fort Worth Fabric for Fabric Frenzy Friday.  There's a lot of partying going on! Kick off the weekend right and go check them all out and get some inspiration! :)

Until next time, keep on quilting!

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

How I fell in LOVE with Kaffe Fasset :)

Before I tell you how my love affair with Kaffe fabric started, first I have to tell you a little story as was told to me by my mom.  I had been sending pictures of my quilts to my SIL who also quilts.  We would exchange various texts and I would ask for her advice on borders and such.  One day, while at my mom's house, my niece, Nora, told her mom she wanted quilt.  When her mom asked her what kind of quilt she wanted, she replied "A Judy Quilt" AWWW!! How sweet is that and you know she's gonna have her Judy Quilt! 

That story was told to me right about the same time this happened:

I had seen KF (going to use that, it's shorter and I might be using it a lot in this post!) but wondered "what on earth would I do with it?" Then, I stumbled onto a post on a blog that I have been reading every day for months, Exuberant Color, written by Wanda Hanson. I have spent HOURS on her site and never noticed that she has a link in her sidebar that says "Quilts made with Kaffe Fasset Fabric" . . . DUH!  I never noticed that link until I saw this post. The quilt top on the right - O.M.G.!! I had to make that quilt . . . with my own little twists of course!! AND it is the perfect Judy Quilt to give to Nora!!  The KF Parasols fabric! The 'floating' effect! I did some quick math in my head (those of you who have been following along on my little journey are gasping - NO, don't do math in your head!! grin), went online and ordered me up some KF Parasols in black and a few other KF fabrics - Jupiter - multi, Targets - red and Blue Ombre. . . and stalked the mail man until the fabric arrived! I decided I was going to use the Creative Grids Curves for Squares ruler (all of the dirt on my love for this ruler can be found here) for the pinwheels to give the quilt some movement - like it would need anymore!! grin  Started with 11 inch squares for the pinwheels and ended up with 10 inch squares.  OK, I'll stop rambling, here's the good part!! PICTURES! :)

This is the only picture of the front I had! I kind of harassed my SIL for pictures ;) Thank you, dear!

This pic was taken before it was finished - you can see the quilting if you look close :) More on the pieced back in a minute...

Close up of one of the blocks when it was quilted.

Don't you just LOVE LOVE that parasol fabric??? Made me smile every time I worked on this quilt!
OK, now for the pictures of the quilt in its new home!

I'm guessing it might have been windy ;) Thanks for being the quilt stand, Nora!

Back inside to thaw out!

I did A LOT of spirals on this quilt :)

I put Nora's name in all four corners.

I totally forgot that I did that double spiral design in the border!

LOVE this quilt! And LOVED the handwritten thank you note from Nora :) 

So what did I learn when making this quilt? Ummm. . . let me count the lessons! LOL First, NEVER do math in your head (OK, maybe that is just me)!  Second, don't get so excited about seeing how a quilt is going to turn out before thinking about how big to cut setting triangles. . . it never occurred to me to cut them larger than the 10" square at which the rest of the blocks were cut. . . I cut ALL of the setting triangles at 10" . . . had a little (very little) left over fabric and when I went to sew them together. . . DOH!  I cannot tell you how many quilt shops I called in the Phoenix Metro to find KF . . . FINALLY I found one - put that aside I told them, I will be there within the hour!! When I got there, I got more of the black to do the setting triangles and then saw the Parasol fabric in blue!!  OH MY! I decided the border must be made of it! :) So I bought that too - there was no way I was walking out without it!! ;)

On to lesson number three. . . what to do with all of those triangles cut but not being used. . . . Sew them together and piece the back, that's what!! You know, lemons, lemonade, all that jazz. . . I think it turned into quite the design feature :)

Since making this quilt (in December), I have bought a TON of Kaffe fabrics - of course I have! Did you go over and look at the KF quilts on Exuberant Color?? If you haven't and you love eye candy, check it out!  Stay tuned because you will definitely be seeing more KF quilts here too!!

Sorry for the long post. . . SO much to tell about this quilt! Back to real time for a second.  I am quilting the Medallion Quilt and hope to make a good amount of progress tomorrow.  It is going a little slower than I had intended but is looking good so far!! I just love how quilting adds dimension to a quilt don't you??  Maybe a Thursday finish on this one? . . .

Linking up with Connie at Freemotion By The River for Linky Tuesday, Heather and Megan over at Quilt Story for Fabric Tuesday, Sew Cute Tuesday over at Blossom Heart Quilts and Needle and Thread Thursdays with Kelly at My Quilt Infatuation.  

Until next time, keep on quilting!!

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Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Cool Quick Medalion Quilt Top

OK, this top took absolutely no time whatsoever - and I was pretty, well, shall we say anal about cutting :) It took me longer to plan where the colors were going to go and what fabric I was going to use as background than it did to sew the top together!  This one could easily be completely sewn together in an afternoon, gotta love that!!  I followed the tutorial for Giant Vintage Star Quilt by Jenni Baker over at In Color Order.  I'm just going to post a picture of the top for now, will post all the details in a day or two - how crazy is that??  Less than a week start to finish! I have the quilting all planned out and bought the thread, this is going to be all kinds of awesome when it is finished. . . if I do say so myself :) 

OK, it's too late to take the picture outside and I should wait til morning to post this and get a better picture but you just know that ain't gonna happen ;) This is a cell phone picture taken inside. . . colors are a little brighter.  I will have outside pictures of the finished quilt soon! :)

On to putting the back together!  No, it is not going to be like the last one HAHA
Until next time, keep on quilting!!

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Friday, February 14, 2014

A Friday Finish :)

SIS is finished! I have to say, I LOVE how this turned out! The back was a total PITA to piece but so worth it in the end! I think I might just like the back better than the front!! Going to show pictures first :)

Washed and crinkly - LOVE it :)

My husband did a good job in picking out the sashing and inner square colors doncha think? :)

Another close up :)

I could get the entire quilt when it was turned sideways... just flip your computer LOL

Last one of the front, pinky swear!! :)
 On to the back, pretty much my favorite part of this quilt! Is that wrong? grin

Lined up pretty close. . . again, there was definitely a certain amount of luck involved here!!

Love how the open parts of the back look like squares :)

And the other side :)

Just a few more
I flipped the picture but it didn't look right. . . just tilt you head ;)

Last one! Thanks for hanging in there!!
The stats on this quilt:

Finished size: 72" x 84"

Fabric: Xanadu by Moda Jelly Roll and Charm pack, yellow square around charm - Sunnybrook Farm by Exclusively Quilters, white sashing front and back - Painter's Canvas by Michael Miller in White, border and binding - Xanadu by Moda, yellow and tan on back - I think this is Sketch by Timeless Treasures. . . 

Batting - Quilter's Dream Wool

Quilting - Quilted on my Janome 7700 with King Tut Sunflowers thread.  I used my walking foot with stitch length set at 4.5 for the middle of the white sashing and the rest of the quilt was FMQed with very little marking.  I decided to leave the outside squares unquilted because I liked the puff :)

Overall, this was a fun quilt to make.  I had issues with the back but that had more to do with my math skills and no solid plan before I started cutting. . . probably not the smartest way to go when one has just enough fabric to finish the job! I blogged about the pattern used and my process here.  The pattern called for a 1.5 inch strip around the charm.  I used 2 inch strips and had NO leftover from the Jelly Roll strips.  Nice if you don't want to have scraps :)

One thing to note - when you are buying Jelly Rolls and Charm Packs - make sure you know exactly how many are in the pack - the Xanadu packs had 40 pieces.  If the pack had 42, it would have been perfect for making a 6 block by 7 block quilt.  Because it had 40, I decided to make the square around the charm bigger and do 5 blocks by 6 blocks and use the leftover blocks on the back.

Already have my next top over half finished! I've been saying I have been itching to start another project!! Will be posting on it as soon as it is finished! :)

Linking up with Amanda Jean over at Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday.  If you are here from there, WELCOME! If you haven't visited Finish it up Friday (really, is there anyone who doesn't visit this linky party??) hop on over and check it out! You are sure to find some inspiration!!  More inspiration over at TGIFF! Linking up there too :)

Until next time, keep on quilting!!

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