Saturday, June 27, 2009

Not quilted but pretty cute!

We are getting ready for a VBS at church this week. Here is my grandson, Lane, modeling the mascot costume. I have made mid-size puppets in the past and when asked to create the dog head, I had no problem saying "OK".

Dawn made the paws. I struggled through following directions on the head. My-Bad is I hate to follow directions! Decided not the make the body and let the character wear white overalls and a long-sleeve white t-shirt instead. It is way to HOT here to ask a teen to wear fleece!

I will share 'after' photos when we see this outfit come to life tomorrow night.

Here's COOPER getting ready for a game with the kids.

be good cw

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pick & Choose (my way) Scrappy w/solids

You can pick your friends and you can pick your nose but
you shouldn't pick your friend's nose!
Don't know why I find that amusing, I just do.

One thing I like about my quilting-cyber-friends is that I can view their work and not have to make one myself. After all if I see a project I can enjoy the pattern, materials, or story about the piece. I am an adult and don't have to have one of everything other's have.

However, some of the quilt bloggers I like to read have a bad habit of showing the same piece over and over as they work on it. I try warn them to stop but it falls on deft ears. Why is scrappy so addicting?

Case in point: Erin decided to do a scrappy quilt she saw in a mag.
No big deal, I have the same mag and have already decided I don't like the project enough to give it a second thought.

Not Erin, she jumped right in and started showing off completed blocks. (I think hers looked better-) I was still able to enjoy her progress and not commit to making my own. To me that is the true test of self-control- Let her do the work, I will look at the pictures, everything will be good.

The other day I saw that Nancy-Rose has been posting her lovely blocks and showing signs of competition with Erin for who is getting theirs done first. (I don't know if $$ is being wagered but you never know with us OCD types!)

Seeing that both gals are getting close to the end, I thought "Good for them!" That is until Erin posted a couple of more blocks. That did it, I added the Pick & Choose to my "TO-DO" list. There, happy now?

I would have been fine just having it on the list if I could quit thinking about it. I didn't want to copy any-one's. I love scrappy and considered using a cream on the backgrounds to make mine a little different. I doodled out how to strip piece it. I know I told myself I already have way to many UFO's to start another one. I was figuring the numbers just in case I changed my mind.

Then yesterday while digging though some older hand-me-downs, I found the stash that put me over the edge. Two large zip-lock bags of pre-cut sqs. I am guessing the original quilter was going to make 9-patches with them.

I immediately realized I could use them for an interpreted version of the top Erin and Nancy were making.

It is amazing how fast construction goes when half the cutting is already done for you. THANK YOU to the friends who shared these pieces with me. Makes me realize how much fun others are going to have in the future when they get gifted my PIGs, etc...

I spent about an hour last night cutting solids for this top. The tri/sqs and the 4-patches are good blocks to know how to do. I made mine smaller b/c that is what I had to work with.

Earlier this year I purposed to bust stash and work solids into my scrappy. Two points for me, I am doing both!

Notice to all cyber quilters: Plz don't start anything new until I get a few things finished.- bet you won't listen!

part II: just for giggles I decided to add or edit in my progress so one can read it start to finish (if/when)

I am proud to say that my 'blocks' are coming along. I have down graded this project to a L&E (leaders and enders) I hope to work this in between other TO-DO's in the coming month. Each block is more exciting than the last!
I tend to get tired doing the 'same' thing over and over. Even though this block is just two 4-patches and two 1/2 tri/sqs it is keeping my interest for the time being.
Nancy posted her more traditional scrappy version, which got me thinking about setting strips and borders. Mine is so busy that at first I was happy with the idea of just setting the blocks in groups of four and then those 5 x 5 for the center of the top and figure out a border later.
Then I 'found' this beautiful scrap. Who doesn't just love paisley (other than me who doesn't love it?)

I always say if you don't like a fabric you just haven't cut it up small enough. I think this plays very nice in a 1 3/4" setting sq. with a matching size black strip.
I need to make a few more sets before I start setting them together. I tend to figure it all out and then set it aside. This one is totally cut out. I am leaning towards using the extra paisley in the outer border in a saw tooth pattern. (don't hold your breath- it will be awhile)

Two points for me, one for totally using stash, the other for working solids into each block. Two more points for having and using black paisley! While we are awarding points, you can't tell it yet but I snuck in some checks, plaids and polka dots while I was at it. - cw

Be good- cheryl

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Butterfly Me to the Park....

This is the top I started earlier this week that was suppose to be a scrappy rug.
I was making a few butterfly blocks to show a How To and decided they would be perfect as a border to my now "newest utility quilt". I think I will name it: Butterfly me to the Park

I trimmed my center to 40 1/2" x 40 1/2" and added butterflies all around. I had just enough of the pieced strips left to cut a 3" outer border.

Top measures 60" sq. I will use a thicker cotton fabric for the back and no batting. The strips were originally set on sheeting so that will give me a good weight.

I haven't decided if I am going to machine quilt it or tie it. I like both for drag along quilts. This one is prettier in person so I may quilt it and save it for a gift.

Now I just need to come up with something to use those green grasshoppers on!

For some reason, I seem to find it humorous that when I write a post on a project I am working on that by the time I finish it has changed (the project and the post). Here's where you can see my grasshopper material.
I am seriously thinking I need to make 24 'crumb blocks' to mix with another set of scrap butterflies- I am kinda liking how they play so well with scrappy pieces.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Butterflies, a mini tutorial

I have been meaning to do a little 'butterfly' tutorial for the folks who requested packets of these little beauties. The give-away went pretty well. Everything got mailed out (only a couple of days late) and I have heard back from most that they have received their new TO-DO scrappy project.
I am very excited to 'see' what becomes of my former UFO's

Step 1: Place your 8 1/2 (or larger) background fabric on the paper pattern I sent you. I like a diagional setting- but do as you like. I lay out my wings and tack to the background fabric with a glue stick. The machine stitching will keep it secured, you just want the glue to hold it in place. (rain drops NOT puddles w/the glue)

Step 2: Use whatever stitches you like. These were intended for raw-edge applique. I have seen then finished by hand, colored threads, indivisible thread, overcast stitch, zig-zag, chicken track, and various others. The only one I am not a fan of is satin stitch b/c the pieces are small.
I prefer an overcaste stitch on the outer wings. (this example is a little small for me, but I forgot to set my stitch length. -my bad)
I like to do a chicken-tracks or a zig-zag down the middle of the wings to secure both sides.

Step 3: Do the Antennae in either embroidery, machine stitch, or my favorite permanent marker!

These can be set in numerous ways. (again with the scrappy) I like a 2 1/2" sq and tend to use them in strip sets a lot. (That's why I use an 8 1/2" background)

I sometimes like to use a solid fabric in the lower wings and body.
Still scrappy but a little more controlled.

Finish your piece in the style of your choice and when you get time, share a picture.

I seem to like to quilt flowers on my butterfly quilts.

Many THANKS to all who took a set to work on, I hope to see many, many butterfly projects finished this year!

be good cw

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Picnic Quilts part II

Don't ask me why I am up so late posting- it's a long story. I just did a quick write up about using strips to make a utility quilt to have for picnics (all who like to picnic say "I").

Here is a quick tutorial on how my brain works late at night or how to have fun with someone else's strips.

I had several strips of different widths from my friend, HOPE's stash. Over the years when I laid them out, I imagined I would follow in her stitches and turn them into pot holders or table runners (how fun would that be to use decorative stitches on the seams and have a lovely piece to have out when company comes to dine) A table runner was highest on the TO-DO list until I realized just how many seams there on these babies.

Not only were the pieces different widths, they were all different lengths too.

I decided to limit myself to an hour start to finish. This is what I decided to do:

There were 6 small strips all about the same length. I sewed 5 of them together to form a rectangle for my middle. (Not "My" middle, the middle of the quilt) At this point I am leaning towards a rug that I can use as a gift.

After the 'center' is sewn, I straightened up the edges to prepare it for the next strips. I decided to add rows in a court-house style. This way I didn't have to worry about width of each row. Sometimes on the thinner strips I would sew two together before I added them to their side.

I trimmed up the edges each time but didn't 'worry' about width. I planned to use the longer pieces to start going around log-cabin style. (But I didn't) Don't you just love a having a plan and not sticking to it?

After a couple of court-house rows, I had to make a choice between having material for two rugs or one small quilt top. Even though I really need another rug (just kidding) I went with the small quilt idea.

After all the rows were added it measure a whopping 42 x 48 (ish). I can't wait to pick out a fabric for the back- this one is going to get a cotton back and machine quilted with a batting to make it thick enough for a play quilt (if I am good enough to share with one of the babies) or make a travel quilt to carry in the car.

Here is the top laid out on its new backing. I 'found' a fun material that is 60" wide. Not the traditional "ants coming to a picnic" This one is jolly green grasshoppers- probably a good thing I stopped to jot this down, maybe I can sleep on it and change my mind as to the backing in the morning. (For some reason that fabric is starting to 'bug' me.)

See what I mean.....
Keep it
Sleep on it?

I am open to suggestions- cw

Monday, June 15, 2009

Scrappy Scrappy (Strips from HOPE) Utility Quilts

When Hope passed away her daughters gave me a couple of boxes of her scraps. I have been working the cotton in to my projects for several years. Hope loved to strip piece and was know in the area for her lovely scrappy place mats and pot-holders. I received a small sack of strips she had sewn onto old sheets. I would think of her every time I pulled them out and put them back. I just didn't have a project I 'had' to do with them....until Saturday.

Our church was having a 'watermelon' in the park get-together after Sunday evening service. I really wanted a take a new to me park quilt and HOPE's strips were going to be the perfect pieces to use. I have been doing my best to work from stash and had several thick fabrics set aside for utility quilt backs. HOPE's panels sewn on sheeting gave me a nice thickness so as to not need a batting.

This made such a neat utility quilt that I had to make two. When asked 'where' I got the colorful quilts from, I replied: "A friend helped me, she did her part 12 yrs ago, I did mine yesterday!" What a fun way to remember a friend that was such an influence on my quilting.
I credit her for me not ironing, or using pins (just kidding-)

I haven't decided if I am going to "tie" these or do a quick machine quilting. I might just do a zig-zag down the strips and call it good.
The smaller one is about 48 x 65 (ish) The larger is 60 x 72. Both are going into my private collection.
I hope to get many, many picnics out of these before I pass them on to one of the kids. The "left over" strips from this batch were sewn into a 36 x 48 piece that I plan to quilt and use as a rug. I may even use some of my 'fancy' stitches on it to add texture and embellishment. The rug will be used in my sewing room (until one of the kids swipes it for their house).
I zig-zag stitch around the edge for decoration so I don't really have to tie the quilt. These are fairly heavy and not likely to 'blow' away. On my lighter picnic quilts I set a weighted bean bag on the corners to keep the breeze from turning it into a kite. be good cw

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Scrappy Stars by request for SAM-

Before you get excited, I mean the post about the scrappy stars is for you. The quilt is ALL MINE- baby!!
Glad you like it, I had a blast making it, just wish I could get a good picture, the colors are something to see.
Hoping to quilt it for our bed.
Don't look too close at the seams, remember I don't pin- my bad.

The stars are 12 /12" blocks and the setting strips are 3 x 2" WOF.
The blocks look smaller than they really are. After I get it quilted I will put it on the bed to get a picture of it. Love how it hangs over the sides!! Yeah finally a big, big quilt. 105 x 126 (ish)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Controlled Scrappy Stars---

Linda and I worked on getting this future wedding gift sewn together tonight.
I call it a controlled scrappy b/c it is mainly blues and lights (yellow, cream, tan).
The stars are 6 1/2" & 12 1/2" blocks. The solid prints are 6 1/2" There is no rhyme or reason to this top other than this is how many blocks were turned in.
I "cut" sets of 6 inches off a handful of blues and yellows. The other sewers from church added their own fabrics and made either the large or small blocks. Several did not get theirs turned back in (traveling to China for the birth of a grandchild is exempt).
On paper this should have been a larger top but in the spirit of making do......... this is what we got!

Amazing what a border will do to enlarge a top. 2 1/2 inner 4 1/2 middle 6 1/2 outer borders was an easy way to add 24 inches to this piece.

Justin & Amy's wedding quilt June 2009 - be good cw

Ok Help Me Out-

Thanks Lane, I have been adding friends and trying to get caught up on every-one's posts. Please bear with me, my brain is not wanting to play 'let's learn something new'. If I don't have you on my follow list and I should, please tell me. I am not real sure if I am doing this correctly yet.

I have a couple of small projects that need attention today but I will be back on the computer tonight and want to get up to speed.

Oh the butterfly give away went pretty smooth. Most everyone is getting theirs about now. I have heard from almost half that I mailed too. I expect CANADA will get theirs early next week.

I need to learn to post pictures- you will love what I am working on now. gotta get cw

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Starting Over- Maybe, Maybe NOT-

Our blog site has been down and I am getting a bit restless waiting to post. I haven't made the decision to start a new to me blog, but just in case I need to, I want to have a place ready. I think I may have tried to sign in on blogger before and lost my info. Any hints or suggestions to the ones that have struggled switching before.

Of course I used my old site to save all my favorite links and friends. Hopefully it will be back up and running soon and this can serve as my go to when I am down place.

What's a quilter to do when the home site is being worked on? (I know, bust some stash and keep checking in) be good cheryl