Friday, October 31, 2008

Another Dilemma

In my quest to finish things, I thought I would work on one of the many small kits that I have collected. This is a kit for a baby quilt that I 'won' on eBay a while back. All the fabric is precut and there was a sample block included with the instructions. The finished size according to the instructions is 30" x 43".

Here's my problem. Take a look at the PINK sample block. Besides being badly out of square, you notice that the white square has had the center corner chopped off. Also the top right of the block looks like it was trimmed and the diagonal line is nowhere near the corner in order to get a nice match with the next block. Some of this is due to trimming but the center point of the white square is due to that square being too large or the triangles on either side being cut too small.

I made the green and purple block using some scraps. Since I can't make the small triangles larger, I cut the center white square down by 1/4" from the size that is in the kit so that the triangles that are sewn to either side will meet in the center to give a good point on the white square. The large triangle is then quite oversized and had to be trimmed down, which I did after the block was sewn. 

I believe the original block size was meant to be 4 1/2" unfinished (possibly). After trimming, the maximum size I can get is about 4 3/8" which really is not so far off.

My dilemma is this - Is it more important to get that nice join on the white, recut the 50 some white squares in the kit and loose some of the finished size of the quilt, OR should I sew the block with the white square the size it is which will chop off the center corner of the white square as in the 'kit sample" but will result in a larger finished quilt.? What would you do?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Finish #2 in Finn's Challenge

I've been challenging myself to stay OFF of the computer and spend more time in the sewing room. Now, its starting to pay off! Here it is... the Late Summer's Evening mystery quilt top totally pieced complete with borders! I'm counting this as a finish for Finn's challenge. It measures 84" square so I had to take the picture outside on the clothes line since I don't have a big enough empty floor space to lay it on!

I keep looking at the center block and wishing I had used a bit stronger yellow, or maybe even a red, as the pale yellow seems to almost disappear. The thought goes through my head that I should pick out that center square and re-do it...

I had mentioned in a previous post the English Paper Piecing mystery that I signed up for at CD Designs. Here are my steps 2, 3 and 4. It is interesting guessing how this might go together, but then, we don't know if all of these parts are joined or if there are other pieces to go between them yet. All in all, its a fun project with an easy time line. Each step is easily finished in about 3 hours.


Keep on stitchin' until next time!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Finish #1 for the challenge!

This was a hand applique class taught by Doreen, a member of our local guild, Prairie Rose Quilters. Once the center was finished, I added borders with Cathedral Window miters. I wanted to hand quilt this piece in order to learn the process a bit better. This is the second item that I have hand quilted. I finished it with a zippered back so it can be used either as a pillow or as a wall hanging. This is my first finish for Finn's New Years Eve Challenge!
My first hand quilted project was this table runner which I made last summer (pre-blog). It is actually a "Quilt as you sew" project but, after it was sewn, I felt it needed something more. I adapted a stencil I had for the border and the triangles, then did some straight lines. It proved to be a great portable learning project during my recovery from hip surgery. My hope is to be able to do more hand quilting as I find it very soothing.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

What am I doing!

I haven't got back to working on my mystery quilt borders... actually, it's called "Late Summer Evening". This mystery came from a site called The Quilt and Needle. Here are all my borders waiting patiently for me on the design wall door of my sewing room. If you like mysteries, they are planning another mystery quilt weekend probably on December 6th and 7th. 

Ok, I can hear you saying "What the heck have you been doing??"

Well.. its not like I am sitting on my hands - I always seem to manage to find things to distract me! Like - this English Paper Pieceing mystery from CD Designs. This is done completely by hand and new steps are posted every Saturday. This photo is of step one. See all those pieces of paper? ALL of those will be used in making this project which will finish at about 26" around for a table topper. Those triangles look kinda little...

But wait.... that's not all! I also found the quilting forum at Garden Web. They are doing a monthly "Lotto" block which I thought would be fun to join. I finished two blocks that are now on their way to the host. There are many other interesting groups to find in the home forums. 

And then, of course, there are all those other wonderful blogs out there for me to discover like these I found this week:

My Quilting Porch

Thoughts from a disorganized quilter

My Yellow Farmhouse

So, thats my excuse(s) and I'm sticking to it! 

Friday, October 10, 2008

Ugly Mug Award

Marlene at Sipiweske Quilt Designs  passed this award on to me.  Thanks Marlene!! Be sure to check out her blog! This award is meant to "honor any blogger who crafts, sews, quilts - you know, makes stuff - no matter how crappy (or how good). An interesting way to say - I like your blog, like your stuff, and I'm pretty sure you have a good sense of humor." 

This is the first award I've received!! I'm thrilled and can't wait to nominate three others for this award. First though, I'll show you my ugly mug - the one I use every morning for my coffee. Yes, its an insulated type mug that came from a gas starion probably 10 or more years ago. I love it because its my kinda color! Besides, I usually end up getting sidetracked and if I didn't use the insulated mug, I'd constantly be drinking cold coffee, which I don't mind either but thats another story.

Now, I would like to pass this Ugly Mug Award on to the people whose blogs I enjoy and who will, in turn, need to pass this on to 3 other people. The nominees are:

Tracy at Fiber Babble - Tracy has a wonderful sense of humor and I really enjoy her blog! She quilts, sews, knits, crochets and I'm sure there's more. When my blog grows up, I want it to be just like hers!

Sue at Featherstone Quiltworks - Sue must have a great sense of humor - check out the picture of her favorite her halloween costume!! She is also a wonderful and talented quilter as well as an amazing photographer.

Mary at Making Scrap Quilts From Stash- Mary is a very prolific quiltmaker and designs quilts as well. I wish I could finish one tenth of the quilts that she does!

If you are interested in the origins of this award, check out "The Bitchy Stitcher" blog.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Those blasted UFO's

I have whole totes full of them. I know this because I just found another container full of tops, all of which are completed except for borders. Most have the binding cut and stored with them. I guess I was organized better at some point! lol 

I did a google search and found a site called The UFO-RPHANAGE for Quilters that has ideas for finishing UFO's as well as other topics. A couple that made me giggle were:

         "A stalled project gets a "time out". The project gets put away in a drawer or closet for a prescribed amount of time (days, weeks, months) and then is allowed to come out for another attempt at progressing smoothly. 

Personally, I am really good at this one except that I didn't set a time limit other than "some other time"! That's how I accumulated so many UFO's! I'm thinking I need to go back and put some dates on things.

         "Start a new, small project (wall hanging, table runner or simple baby quilt), that can be finished in a couple of days. Just starting and finishing one project gets me inspired to finish some of the UFO's that have been sitting." 

This one was how I justified working on new projects... and added to my UFO's! Everyone finds different things that work for them.

Seriously, there are some very good ideas there such as:

  • Set a timer for 15 min and work on a UFO before going on to your current project
  • Choose not to finish the project as it was originally defined. Use the blocks to create something else (like a table runner or a tote) and put the extra fabric back into your stash.
  • Get together with a group of others for a day of finishing UFO's
  • Make a list of all UFO's to see if there is a pattern of when you stop working on a project.

The last one made me realize that I have a problem with borders....  I'm not sure why as most borders are not difficult. Perhaps its just having a small space to work in? 

OK - I am going back in there right now to sew the first borders onto my mystery quilt!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Question about flying geese

I have a QUESTION about pressing flying goose/geese units that I am making for the border of my mystery quilt.  When you join two units together (or many units as in my border) do you press: a) --> the way they want to go (which is away from the point of the goose)? If you press this way you don't have a guide when you sew the next border on and could loose the side points..

b) <-- towards the point of the goose?? It seems that when pressing them this way, you don't get as sharp a point at the top.

What do YOU do??

So, while I wait for your input I'm mending the big "T" rip in my grandson's sheets! That's just one little way for gramma to say I love you.

PS:  Because "t" asked, YES I have finally got my new glasses!!  I can see!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Start of a new month

Thought I'd try another word cloud just to see how it came out this time.  Yay!! This one definitely looks more like it belongs to a quilter's blog. Wish I knew how to make the image larger.

By the way, I am STILL joining flying goose units for the borders of my Mystery Star Quilt!