Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Earlier this year I made a couple of large quilts for a friend. I kept the scraps and added Reds and Golds to my string pile.
I got so far as to cut 8" phone book pgs and tacked a 'red' to each on the diagonal.
Then it sat, (mocking me, I might add) for many months. I just never seemed to be in the mood to sew strings.
In my defense, I have been working pretty hard and I have been using my 'sewing time' to organize the sewing rooms. (I think I have using this excuse for a couple of years now.)
Anyway, one of my cyber quilting friends tried to gently nudge me into committing to 'string for awhile'. There are groups that are doing A-String-Block-A-Day for a month. For some reason, I just wasn't happy with the red fabrics I had for the center starting piece. (Traditionally the starter is a solid to make an alternate design when assembled).
One bit of advice my buddy gave was that 'strings' are such a great mindless sew.
That I pondered. I like to mindless sew, probably as much or more than the next gal.
That phrase was going to be my marching orders to start on the String Blocks.
Wrong again-----I did make a couple of trys by adding a gold to a dozen or so blocks. While doing so I got to thinking that if this was going to be mindless, I might as well have a little fun with it.
I started a new to me game, called "Flip a Coin" . Rules are simple, Once I start something, I have to finish (for this project only- future projects can still become UFO's at any time)
Once I complete a step, I then decided on a next step and flip a coin, HEADS I do what I was thinking, TAILS I think up something else.
I wish I had taken pictures as I went along (One does need to document madness, just in case) I didn't get a picture of the quarter but you can take my word for it. I am excited to show off the short version of how this process worked.
After sewing gold scraps to the red centers- I asked myself if I wanted to continue- the coin flip was "tales"- that quickly ended my string block project. With one "NO" and dozens of strips sew together, I thought I could make 4-patches and the flip confirmed. I took the paper off, folded the strips in half and eye ball cut each into 3 sections. I then sewed a total of 64 sets of red/gold.
I flipped to see if I should re-size- answer was NO
I wondered if I wanted to use these as centers for a scrappy log cabin- NO
Just b/c a process is mindless doesn't mean that one isn't thinking of other things. I considered the concept of adding borders to make the blocks larger- YES
I wanted to use black- NO
Green?- YES (One would think that I could just pick what I wanted, but where is the fun in that? Besides the green is dark enough that it serves as a black.)
I don't remember all the NO's but the YESes ended up letting me re-size the bordered blocks to 6 1/2" And set them together with out sashing (I was hoping for red sash with yellow setting sqs- that one was a NO)
Here I have a 1/4 of the top pieced and sewn, I haven't flipped yet to see if I get to iron it (lol)
Technically I need to finish setting the center before I proceed but I have a hard time staying on task.
The next couple of "heads" were choosing golds/yellows for the inner border, Green for the middle border (OK I had to throw that one a couple of times!)
I sewed the golds together in random widths, all came from the string bin. A couple were over 4" wide and probably shouldn't have been there but, I was glad to get to use them. I hope to get a 3 1/2" scrappy border. (I wanted 2 " and was told NO)
These need pressed, trimmed and attached. Hopefully in that order. As you might have guessed I am slowing down on the coin toss for every decision.
After I got the golds lined up, and confirmed that green was going next, I considered doing a scrappy reds for the outer border- NO- what? Do that again--NO (stupid quarter!)
Can I use a print? YES
Funny thing is I have always wanted to use this material in a quilt and just haven't had the right one. It matches perfect. It has reds, golds, and greens. I also have enough to do a 6 1/2" outer border.
I have a couple of things I have to do tomorrow but when I get home, I am locking myself in the sewing room and finishing this top.
I am thinking I only have a short couple of hours of mindless sewing left.
This was a lot of fun. Next time I need some no-brainer sewing, I am going to use the Magic 8 Ball!
Monday, December 28, 2009
The first one is a Disappearing Nine Patch made for favorite daughter in law, Kelly. It is happy and scrappy and she has it out on the couch. Kelly loves purples and if I had fabrics to make another I would keep the purple in the larger sqs.
I had to have my own Bargello, this one is still just a top. I keep thinking I am going to quilt it for our bed but don't seem to get around to it.
Raw edge applique and a 9-patch setting block made for an easy top to have on hand for the next Christmas baby gift.
I am always a fan of using the quiet book panels to make baby quilts. This is an easy setting methods, it looks good with or without setting sqs..
I could make Dresden plates forever. Especially out of scraps. This block is in the exchange quilt but I have made many quilt tops just using this block, it also looks good with setting strips.
I wanted to post a picture of this quilt last week. I looked all over in my photobucket for photo. I was getting pretty flusterated when my daughter reminded me that I still have it in my collection. Duh....!
Raelynn is holding it up and one of the grandkids is playing peep a boo behind it.
The applique dolls are pieces originally used as orniments, I used double sided iron-on to add them to a cream block. Then I used crochet thread to embellish each one.
I like puzzles and this top was made using 16 tri/sqs per block. Each green block has a red mate. Some of the blocks are reverse images of each other. The kids like to lay it out and 'find' the pairs.
I don't know why it didn't get brought out this season, I just assumed I had given it away. I keep these for December births or Weddings and use them in my home until gifted.
For some reason I seem to collect projects that no one else wants to finish. These pieces have to be from the late 1970's!
I picked up two panels from our Thrift Shop for $0.25.
My first thought was to raw-edge applique to solid blocks and use in a scrappy quilt. The colors are a little dated even for my stash so that idea didn't go very far.
Second thought was to do the traditional two sided-stuffed with fiber fill ornament for the tree- didn't take me two minutes to figure out I was not going to do that one either!
I want fast and easy- money/candy holders are the simplest things I know how to do.
One doesn't have to fussy cut or even sew a straight line. For these little give-a-ways, I used two pieces of felt on the back. I cut the outer felt in half to form a pocket.
Machine zig-zag around the entire figure. Add a ribbon to hang. "Stuff" with the candy/chocolate/coins or bills of your choice.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Today a couple of friends came over and we worked on the exchange blocks form a group trade. I had a couple of ideas on how I wanted to set the 10 blocks. This photo is the top sewn together and I am going to share the thought process
(I call this a WHAT WERE YOU THINGING TUTORIAL)
I like scrappy quilts especially when the blocks are different patterns, I have made a lot of Orphan Block quilts from the ones that just quite didn’t make it into a project.
I think it will be fun to see with the other nine gals do to set their ten blocks together.
One of my thoughts was to do a traditional 3 x 3 block setting with strip sets between the blocks and then using ‘my block’ on the back. This would have been a fast way to make a small couch throw size quilt.
Another thought was to make ten split blocks (light/dark) and set the 20 blocks 4 X 5 to make a larger utility size piece. With borders 68 x 80 (ish)
My Idea was to go with a black tone on tone and a pink print. My friend Mary on the other hand wanted a burgundy quilt. I let her pick from stash and ‘surprise me’. I am thrilled with her choices. This setting was easy to do--especially b/c she cut out the sqs. for the blocks and re-sized for me.
Another good friend, Dawn, did my sewing. She is fast, fast and keep the units going as we then cut and sub-cut, etc.
I made the applique butterfly block and used my extra black in the border to the top. I wonder if the other participants will use their scraps in setting their masterpieces.
Paper pieced star is from Gina, and the Thimble is from Shellie Zarina made the Shoo Fly Sharon did the RED block (a 4-patch/9-patch)This Friendship Star is from Nancy The Ohio Star in Novely print is from Jill
I will edit in the info on who made which block and hopefully link to each quilters blog post when they finish their tops. This was a fun project- Thanks to cyber-quilt friends and live body friends this top is on its way to getting quilted! cw