Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Beginning Blue Ridge Beauty

I spent some time this afternoon putting together some Blue Ridge Beauty blocks (Bonnie Hunter). I slapped them up on the design wall to see how they are coming together.
I like the way the pattern pops. So far, in the blocks that I have constructed, I seem to have a lot of mediums. When they are all sewn I hope I can spread those out a bit. Anyway, it is fun to see this taking shape.

I am off to a conference tomorrow. No sewing for a while.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

A couple little things this weekend

I ignored my schoolwork all day on Saturday and just sewed. I know. Tsk, tsk. But look at what I finished.
I completed Amish With a Twist BOM block #2.
I completed the March installment (Yes, I am ahead. Thank you Barbara for sending early!) of my 2013 Bee blocks. Barbara has been inspired by all the Scrappy Around the World fever that is spreading across blogland. She sent the green and the burgundy/brown and asked for a scrappy look for her blocks. Boy, did I give her scrappy. I grabbed random pre-cut strips from my stash without any concern for colors or patterns.

I also made some progress on my leader-ender project, Blue Ridge Beauty. I just can't make myself cut the triangles before sewing and dealing with exposed bias edges. That is a recipe for disaster for me. I just shot a bunch through the machine, cut them apart and squared them up. I have 164 HSTs completed.
All in all, I got a lot done this weekend. AND, today, I worked on getting my summer online course prepped. I made a lot of progress. My brain is done for the day.

I am linking this post on the Anything Goes Linky found here.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Another Good Sewing Day

First, the Twelve Trees wall hanging is up. Yeah.

I love how it looks against the green walls in my bedroom. I promise, this is the last time I will picture this project.

I completed the 12 star blocks for the first installment of the Amish With a Twist BOM.
This isn't how they will be arranged in the quilt, of course. I just slapped them up on the design wall. I have one more block to finish for the first installment of Amish BOM. I have also received my March installment of the bee I am in. I have a lot of work top do this weekend, so I don't know if I will get back to my machine for a while.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Some BOM Progress

I have completed this month's installment of the 2012 Designer Mystery BOM.
For some reason, I had quite a time getting this one right. I had triangles turned the wrong way and had to take it apart to reorient them...twice! I finally got it right. There are some really thick intersections in this one where the HST's come together.

I have started working on the first installment of Amish with a Twist BOM. Love the colors. I have four of the blocks done.
I have to complete eight more in this pattern with different colors and an additional block of flying geese. I might be able to work on this some more this weekend.

By the way, in yesterday's post I have now fixed the link to the fabric and instructions for my Twelve Trees wall hanging. Sorry if you tried it and it didn't work.

It was a good sewing day. Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Another Finish!

I have finished my Twelve Trees Wallhanging made with Oakshott Cottons. I got the fabric and instructions here.

I absolutely love this fabric. It just glows. I quilted in the ditch with my walking foot. I used variegated Sulky thread. I thought about quilting some swirls or wavy lines in the background, but when I looked at it after I outlined every piece, I thought, it's finished. I bound it in solid black. I am very happy with it. I have added the hanging sleeve and signed and dated the back. It is ready for DH to hang. I have several great spots in my house to hang it, but I think we will put it in our bedroom.

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Bee Blocks Finished

Here is a picture of Lizzie's block request. The pattern came from Moda Bake Shop. This was very fun and very easy to finish. Lizzie sent all of the charm squares and meekly requested two blocks. Easy peasy. No sweat!
These are now winging their way to Lizzie in Australia. They should arrive in about 1-1/2 weeks. Thanks for the fun time, Lizzie.

The rest of the weekend was pretty frustrating. All I wanted to do was get into my sewing room, but I had student work that needed grading. I will continue working on it today. I know a lot of people have President's Day off, but the university is not giving this as a holiday, so I will be in the office all day working. 

I am linking up today at Stitch by Stitch: Anything Goes Link Up here.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Blogger BOM Finish!

Today I finished the Blogger BOM in the purple/green colorway.
Now I wish I would have switched to light thread on the gray setting triangles, but once I started the quilting, I wasn't going to take it out.
Here is a detail shot of one of the blocks.
I really love the fabric on the back. I am happy, happy to be done with this. It is in the washing machine as I am typing this. It will live on one of the couches in the family room and I know it will get a lot of use.

I am linking up with Show and Tell Tuesday here.

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Frustrating Quilting Day!

I have finished quilting the blocks in the Blogger's BOM quilt. I did an all over meander, except I didn't quilt inside the gold cornerstones (except for a couple of blips when I accidentally crossed into the cornerstone). When you read about my experience below, you will understand why I am not picking out those stitches.

This was by far the most frustrating quilting day I have ever had. I can't count the number of times my top thread broke. Sometimes I only went a couple inches from a fresh start and it would break again. Sometimes I could quilt about a quarter of a block. I tried rethreading the top thread (many times), rethreading the bobbin (several times), cleaning dust out of the bobbin case (once), changing my nearly new needle for a new needle, going VERY slowly, etc. It didn't seem to matter what I did. It just kept breaking. At first I thought it was when I crossed a thick seam allowance, but that wasn't always the case. Sometimes I was in the middle of an open area with no seams. I used good quality thread. I had Superior polyester in the bobbin and Sulky cotton on the top. It happened so many times that I stopped leaving tails to bury in the batting; I just took a bunch of small stitches and took off again. I was at the end of my rope. I would restart and think, OK, don't have any unpure thoughts and it will work this time. Then it would break again. Damn! Oh. Maybe that was my problem...I sometimes use bad words.

On a brighter note. I was really happy with the fabric I found for the backing.
Can you read that? It is Regent Peacock by Alexander Henry from  2009. I found it at Hobby Lobby. I don't usually pay so much for fabric that I buy from there, but it was a good brand and is really good quality. I think it is really appropriate for the colors I have on the front.

Here is my question of the day: Can these things be washed?

 I have never used them as garden gloves, no matter how they look. They really pick up color from fabrics. I use a lot of dark fabrics, apparently. Have any of you ever washed them? I don't want to ruin them, but they look pretty bad.

That's enough b****ing for today. Thanks for stopping by.

I am linking up with Nicole over at her blog Bold Goods. The link button is on the right: Let's Get Acquainted Monday Link Up. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Top Assembled

I have added the piano key borders and the solid corner blocks to the Blogger's BOM quilt.
Here it is on my design wall. I prepared the backing fabric, attached it to my work table. I made the quilt sandwich by layering the batting on it, and aligning the top on those layers. I am now pin basting.
I use binder clips to secure the quilt sandwich to my work table. I have bent safety pins for basting. I use a Kwik Klip to help me close the pins and save my fingers. I am looking forward to quilting this one and crossing it off my list.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Progress on Blogger's BOM

I have been working on my Blogger's BOM. I am really happy that adding the solids in the sashing and cornerstones has toned down the black.
I used Kona Purple for the sashing strips and Kona Caramel for the cornerstones. I didn't have enough fabric left from my blocks to make the piano key border 6" wide. I made them 4.25" wide like I did on the Christmas colorway version. I think I will use solid purple for the outside corners.

Thanks for checking up on my progress.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A couple more finishes!

Yeah! I have a couple more finishes to share.

When the new year began I made my list of projects (UFO's, WIP's, wish list, etc.) I had two projects with deadlines. I have now finished both of my deadline projects. The first was my granddaughter's big girl quilt. The second is a baby quilt for a co-worker who is expecting her first baby in April. Here it is:

Isn't it cute? I bought a kit that included all of the materials HERE. The piecing was very simple because the fabric does the talking in this one. I selected the Very Hungry Caterpillar based on the Eric Carle book because my co-worker teaches reading and language arts methods so children's literature is an important part of her classes. I think she will be pleased. I am feeling pretty happy that I have this done so far before the deadline.

The other finish is a bit of a surprise. I had planned to work on my Blogger's BOM in the purple/green colorway. I have purchased the fabrics I need to finish it. However, yesterday, I got a call from a friend inviting my husband and me to a Super Bowl watching party. Now DH and I are the farthest from being football fans that I can think of. I only watch the Michigan State Spartans play football and I have no interest in pro football. But we are going to go for the food and friendship. I'll let everyone else take the seats by the TV. Long story short (too late for that, isn't it?), I wanted to make a hostess gift for my friend who has hosted us so many times. Anyway, I put aside my previous plan and started working on this gift for her.

I made a wine tote. I will take her a bottle of wine in it and give her the tote. I found the pattern and instructions HERE. I have had this in mind for a while and had found the fabric on clearance at Joann's. I have enough fabric to make several more. The hardest part about making this tote was the binding. I wanted it to be rather narrow because I wanted to improve on the sample pictures I saw. First I cut my bias 1.25". That was way too narrow and I had to take it off. I then cut the bias 1.75" and it was just right. I had to trim some of the seam allowance in places where I had sewn wider seams. It was surprisingly difficult to maneuver this on the machine. That's my excuse. Anyway, I am pretty happy with the way it turned out. When I make more of these I am sure it will go faster. I am trying to think of better ways to construct this. It would be nice to make one for two bottles.

By the way, do you notice that my pictures are better than usual? I have a new iPhone 5 and I can't believe the improvement in the camera. I have never had a camera of any kind that took such good quality pictures. I am anxious to show you all what DH has set up for me in my sewing room using my iPhone 5. If I understood the technology better I could construct the post myself, but he will have to help me. Look forward to that one, coming soon.

Thanks for stopping by. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Rabbit, Rabbit!

It is the first day of February. January is gone. I wanted to be the first to say Rabbit, Rabbit. I will be posting this weekend about the interesting things that have been going on in my sewing room.

Our weather overnight was horrid. The University is operating on a two-hour delay. It should be closed, not for me because I live very close to campus, but my students have long drives to get here. I worry about them on snowy and icy roads.

Thanks for stopping by.