Monday, March 26, 2012

Design Wall Monday - March 26, 2012

Over the past week I made three more grannie square blocks and began piecing the border for the blue asterisk block quilt.  I also spent a few hours practicing my free motion quilting which I documented in a previous post.

When making the grannie squares I was not happy with the amount of waste when using squares for the background triangles.  I had cut squares the same size as the others, sewed them onto the ends of each row and then whacked them off when trimming up the block.  Yesterday I figured out the size of background squares I needed to cut to create setting triangles instead.  The pieced blocks turned out much better and were easier to make. 

I know, I'm spelling "grannie" differently than most people.  That is intentional on my part because, while these blocks are similar to the crochet granny squares, they are not an accurate representation.  They sure remind me of the crochet version though and I plan to make a bunch more. 

Be sure to check out Patchwork Times and see what others have on their design walls this week. 

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Sewing!!1

Friday, March 23, 2012

March 2012 FMQ challenge

 This month's Free Motion Quilting challenge tutorial was presented by  quilting expert, Ann Fahl.  Ann provided excellent advice and insight about how to improve your quilt stitching skills. 
Check out SewCalGal web page for more information and inspiration.

As Ann suggested, I gathered my quilt stitching designs and doodles into a notebook.  I also practiced sketching and doodling the four designs she provided before I tried stitching them out on my practice sandwich.  

I used King Tut variegated thread with  a 80/12 top stitching needle by Superior Thread. 

After the loops, stars, swirls and flowers I ventured into making some baptist fans and then some feathers.  

All in all I enjoyed this month's challenge and am pleased to see improvements in my skills.  I'm also more confident in making the necessary tension adjustments to my machine as they are needed. 

Thanks for stopping by............Happy Sewing!!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Design Wall Monday - 03-19-2012

This weekend I was able to prep and begin making another asterisk block quilt.  In keeping with the monochromatic phase I seem to be in lately, I chose to use various blue fabrics.  Please note that missing from the design wall are the white vertical and horizontal sashing strips I will be adding between the blocks shown.  I'm thinking of adding a white inner border the same width of the sashing and then the pieced border of leftover blue fabrics.  

I also was able to make four more of the grannie square blocks.  In the project box I have five more ready to sew together.  It sure has been fun playing with the squares and trying to figure out which ones I want to use together in the same block.  The quilt layout has not been decided yet.  I started an EQ file for this and experimented with creating an alternative block.  It's too soon to tell (in other words I haven't come up with another block that I like.......yet).  

Thanks for stopping by.  Let me know what you think.
Happy Sewing!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

New Free Quilt Pattern

I just added the Kitty Cozy Quilt pattern to the "Free Quilt Pattern" page.  If you would like a copy of the pattern, please email me and I will send it to you.  

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Our Snow Birds

Snowy Flamingos
It snowed here again last night.  And again our temps are just hovering around freezing so it’s been more of a mix of snow and rain.  The flamingos that guard our pond have been keeping century but they’ve had to pay the price.  Notice the snow on the top of their heads.  I may have to repaint them this year because the sun has caused them to fade.  

Don’t ask why I like pink flamingos.  Up until a few years ago I thought they were tacky and cringed whenever I spotted them in someone’s yard.  They are usually accompanied by nomes, whirliegigs and other yard statues.  I somehow crossed over and now I like them.  A few years ago we were having problems with a visiting great blue heron who loved to snack on the goldfish in our pond.  The pond guy said that if you get a replica of one of them (at about $80) and place them next to the pond then others would not invade the territory.  After that I kept looking for the cheaper flamingos with the idea of painting them the grey-blue of the heron.  Do you think I could find any flamingos?  Not one……until two years ago I found a couple in a dollar store.  I snatched them up and promptly put them in the yard.  Then a friend made me these larger, wooden ones which, from a distance look pretty real, I think.  The plastic ones are now up at the lake adding color to my little garden area.  Well, actually, they’re tucked away for the winter months.  When I go up to the cabin in a few months, I’ll take them out, dust them off and plant them in the garden along with some petunias.   

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Design Wall Monday - Mar 12, 2012

It's been a busy week and I haven't spent much time in my sewing room.  I did get the taxes done!  Whew! What a relief.  I also spent time researching and choosing a new long distance phone carrier as well as working on the design of the new Pine Point web site.  Recently I purchased a web designing software and now I have to figure out how to use it.  

I have a lot of 2-1/2-inch squares cut from my old fabric scraps and had been wanting to use as many as possible.  I saw someone (I'd give you credit, but I didn't take note of the source web page) was making these blocks and called them "grannie squares".  It's been years since I crocheted, but back in the day I made several granny square afghans.  This block is perfect for using up those pre-cut squares I have and it's been fun playing with combinations to achieve the grannie square look.  I decided to put a pretty square in the middle surrounded by light squares and then dark squares for the outer ring.  One thing I don't care for in making these is that there's so much starting and stopping which I think wastes thread.  I can only chain piece in small quantities because I'm trying not to put squares in the wrong place.  

Our little quilt group met on Saturday and I was able to get two blocks done.  I probably could have made more but I had a good time visiting with my sewing buddies.  There's about six of us "regulars" and a few others that come when they can.  We meet for four hours on the second Saturday of the month at our church.  The room we use is nice and big and we have access to several of those 8ft long tables, too.   

Thanks for stopping by.  Be sure to visit Judy L at Patchwork Times to see what other quilters have on their design walls this week. 

Happy sewing!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Design Wall Monday - Mar 5, 2012

I finally made one of the Dreamweaver blocks by Peggy Martin.  As I've mentioned before, I have enrolled in several online classes and Peggy teaches the Quick Strip Paper Piecing class.  

I like the look of this block, how the star points intertwine.  Unfortunately I don't have any more of the light purple fabric so this will be the only block of it's kind.  

I also like her open weave sashing so I decided to frame this block using her technique.  I still need to add some black strips around the outside.  This will eventually be a small wall hanging, probably for my bedroom.  

Thanks for stopping by.  Leave a comment if you like.  Be sure to check out all the other Design Walls that are linked to Judy L's blog.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Asterisk Baby Quilt - Done!

It's always good to be able say "Done" about a project. 

I finished up the quilting a couple of days ago. Then I had to decide what fabric to use for the binding.  I chose the purple check because it adds a bit of contrast and compliments the lavender polka dot backing fabric.  I machine sewed the binding to the quilt front and then hand sewed the binding on the back.  I considered machine top stitching the binding, but I chose instead to do the hand stitching because, even though it takes longer, I like the finished look. 

Before I washed it, the quilting lines showed up quite well, but now they blend in so much it's hard to tell the design I used.  Since I quilted the interior all over with leaves, I chose to do some squared spirals in the border.  I think I will add the square spirals to my quilting design notebook for future use.  

I have a pastor friend of mine lives on the Colville Indian reservation in Washington State and she likes to give handmade quilts to parents when they have their babies baptized.  I will donate this quilt to that purpose.

I'm also working on creating a pattern for this quilt so I can share it with others.

Happy Sewing!!!  
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