Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bound and ready to go...

Posted by Strlady at 8:59 AM 4 comments
It's been so hot here in Texas it was a chore to get a picture of my latest quilts.
Decoy still has not been photographed because it's so bright it has washed out the little color it has.

But this Bibelot (or T for Thelma) quilt has been bound and photographed!


Ready for a Schnibbles parade!


I've named it Puppy Dog Tails...


I think it appropriate. LOL!

Friday, July 20, 2012

When a quilt is born...

Posted by Strlady at 5:00 AM 6 comments
I love the moment when you take all the pieces you have put together and lay them out on your design wall, floor or whatever surface you use to "stage" your quilt.

It's like a piece of impressionist art. Up close it looks like a mess but when you step back, the magic happens and it's everything you expected... Most of the times. LOL!

Anyway, last weekend I did NOT finish my Petit Four quilt but I made a good dent.


I got all my sashing done...


Put the final handles on the baskets..


and started playing with the layout.


After a few tries, I found something I was happy with...


and started putting the rows together.

I was curious about how do you all keep track of your rows?
I take a picture of my layout as I play with the blocks since I find that the picture allows me to "see" any holes in my colors or any dark groupings.
When I'm happy, I pin a number on the row. I also use colored pins to group the blocks in a row. I always group Red, White, Blue, Yellow, Black and Green. Since I always use the same colors I know that the red comes before the white, the yellow before the black, etc.
If I lose track, or question my setting, I'll pull up my picture and refer to it.

This weekend my sister was watching me refer to my picture and she asked me, what I used to do before the digital age... I said, I would live with the mismatched blocks!! LOL!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

New travel project...

Posted by Strlady at 5:00 AM 6 comments
With Petit Four wrapping up (more updates on another post), I'm left with the need to find a new take along project. I find that I travel quite a bit for work and having something tucked in a ziploc bag ready to just grab and throw into my carry on is a blessing.

I find that not having a hand project readily available has me full of anxiety so I decided to look for my next project. Which ever project I chose it would be a long term project and one that I won't keep track of.

My original thought was to make this:


I like the small baskets that look more like padlocks than baskets but what I love most about this one is the medallion in the center and the scalloped borders.

Option two was this one:


This one is bigger and has a unique design where the quilt has a different pattern on the edges and incorporates nine patches between the baskets. The baskets are also more defined. I don't like that the baskets are in two pieces (the handle is a separate piece) but I like that they are larger...

I consulted with the most opinionated ladies in my life and the feedback was unanimous in favor of option #2.


The pattern is called Trick or Treat and is in the book When the Cold Wind Blows by Blackbird Designs. BTW: This book is AWESOME! I love love love the projects in it.

I recently went to a not so local quilt shop to take advantage of an awesome sale where I picked up a good start on my palette for the quilt.


I have a few more pieces on order but I think I need a bit more of the dark cheddar.

Does anyone know of someone working on this one?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tooltime Tuesday?

Posted by Strlady at 5:00 AM 11 comments
I thought I'd share a "recent" find. It has been sitting in my closet for about 8 years.

Last summer I went to a retreat with the Dallas Modern Guild and I was diligently working on one of the  last few quilts for my daughter's dowry set when a friend saw me cutting strips and suggested a "better" way  that would not involve spending an arm and a leg on an AccuQuilt Go machine.

Then she brought out this "ruler"....


I said.. I have one of those... someplace...

She looked at me with the look that says, you're an idiot because you are not using it!
:)

I proceeded to explain that I didn't know how to use the darn thing. My 42" WOF didn't fit under the ruler and I had some reservations on folding the fabric. She gave me "the look" again and pulled me over to show me how to use it.
I <3 my guild buddies. They pull me into the 21st century kicking and screaming.

Since I KNOW I'm not the only one out there that has this tool collecting dust in the closet, I thought I'd share my newly acquired knowledge...


So the first thing I do is fold the fabric. The 42" is folded once right from the bolt, but since I prewash all my yardage, I bring my selvages together and refold.


After I have a nice clean WOF fold, I fold again. 


This time I don't bring the bottom edge all the way up to  the first fold but I fold it up enough so that the resulting width fits under the ruler.


Align the bottom edge of the fabric with the first line on your Short Cut ruler.


The left side of the fabric should extend just a bit from the first slot (this allows you to trim the  edge)


In the picture above I was cutting 1.5" strips. I fit my blade into the 0" slot and cut along the slot to  trim the edge, I then move to the 1.5" slot and cut again. Move to the 3" slot and cut again. Move to  the 4.5" slot and cut, so on and so forth until I get to the end...
I do move my hold on the ruler as I move along but it's more because I'm a newbie.


Lift the ruler and... wala! You have a gaggle of 1.5" strips.


My initial concern was that the folds would yield a deviation on the strip... has anyone seen the wonky  strips on a jelly roll? but I have not had that experience. Each strip comes out nice and straight.


Since I bought my Short Cut, June Tailor has made a similar cutting tool with 1/4" slots.
I bought one.

I hope you all will dust off your Short Cut ruler and give it a try.
The way I see it, the less time I spend cutting, the more time I spend sewing!

*** Thanks to my personal hand model, my sister Jess.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Etchings of a Decoy...

Posted by Strlady at 5:00 AM 7 comments
Ever have a precut bundle sitting on your shelf that caused your heart to pitter patter when you bought it but you cannot find a pattern that might do it justice? Or that after a while it has loss it's glow?


That is what happened with this little bundle.
It just lost it's glow after a pattern failed to "fit" it.

I sort of forgot about it...


Until this quilt.

Molly, a member of my guild, completed this quilt during the annual quilt retreat in January. I posted a picture of her with her top here. The pattern is Lincoln from Another Bite of Schnibble by Carrie Nelson.
I was so impressed with how the fabrics played together that I recalled my little bundle. I knew I had to find the right pattern for it. I decided on using another pattern from the same book Molly pulled hers.


The big version of Decoy by Carrie Nelson


I started my version after completing the Bibelot top at the retreat. 
By the time I left I had all of the blocks completed.


When I got home I started adding the sashing...


then the first border...


Before I knew it, it was done!! 
Soooo easy to make. 
Sooo typical of Carrie's patterns. 
Great directions make a difficult looking piece, easy to put together.


I also got this one back from the quilter's this week. Just a binding away from finished. I'll post a picture of the back when I get the binding in place.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Baskets and More Baskets!

Posted by Strlady at 5:00 AM 5 comments
It's been awhile since I gave you an update on this one but my Petit Four quilt (pattern by Fig Tree and Co) is almost ready for it's reveal...
The basket handles, which are appliqued on the block, have been my travel buddies for over a year. I take them every time I get on a plane. Little by little they have moved to the completed bag.


Out of the 36 basket blocks, I have two more handles to attach...


In anticipation of finishing the handles, I started putting together the 9 patches that will be part of the sashing...
Last weekend I finished sewing them all together and I'm now cutting the solid sashes. I'm hoping to call this top done by the end of this weekend!

Wish me luck!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Playing Catchup..

Posted by Strlady at 12:20 PM 2 comments
It's been awhile since I clued you all in on what I have been up to but rest assured all is well and I have been a busy beaver quilting away.

Over Mother's Day I went to the Dallas Modern Quilt Guild's Spring retreat and convinced my daughter to fly in from New England to share the weekend with me. I loved every minute!


I'm very laid back and sometimes it's difficult for people to understand that I am so happy to take a week off of vacation and just stay home quilting. Spending the weekend with like minded people is the great allure of retreats. You pack up your bags and head out for a weekend of sewing and sewing and sewing. It's a beautiful thing.

While I was there, I tackled my Bibelot quilt.


I had started it weeks before...


(back when it was the Schnibble of the month)


but I had not put the borders on.


I wanted to add a few more borders to enlarge it since it will be a present so I found this little puppy paw print fabric that complimented the Max & Whiskers line used in the blocks.


I just got it back from the quilter's.


I just need to put on the binding and it's ready for it's forever home.


My daughter also worked on her own version of Bibelot..


She is quilting it herself! 
It's the first quilt she has quilted herself. 
I'm thinking she is doing pretty darn good!

I have a few more quilts ready to share but I'll leave those for the next time.

 

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