Saturday, June 27, 2009

Another Sheree's Alchemy Give-Away!

As the title says :)

Sheree is giving away another box of scraps. This time completely full of Amy Butler fabrics. I still have no clue who this designer is, but the fabrics are just scrumptious. The scrappy deliciousness that could emerge from that box.... Mwahahahaha. Of course, there is also included another Amy Butler pattern.

So, rush over there and sign up. Five ways to sign up. July 1st is the cut-off date. See Sheree's
blog for more details.

And now, to return to sewing 2.5" squares together to make the first of my borders for my nine-patch. I'm slowly understanding just how many extra squares I cut the first time around - not that I'm sorry!

Sewing Time!

So I had time to sew late last night, and early this morning...

quilt top,quilt-a-long

This is the quilt top for crazy mom quilt's quilt-along. It's about the size of a lap quilt right now, but I'd like it to be larger, so I'm going to be adding three borders: one row of scrappy squares, then a border of white four to six inches wide in which I'll applique a vine, flowers and leaves, then three or four rows of scrappy squares. I just have to get to sewing all those squares together, so they're ready for when I can pick up the white fabric. I only bought two yards of the Kona cotton, and it just got me through the quilt top. One yard should get me through what I want to do, but I'll probably get more, three or four yards maybe. It's such a nice, lovely feeling cotton that it'll be a staple in my stash.

I've got most of one more New York Beauty block done. I just have to sew on the corner, and I've got five done. I'll finish one or two more before I post pictures though. I'm definitely liking the more complicated NYB blocks though. They are fun, and the play of shapes and color in them make me a lot happier. Figures I'd like the harder to make blocks, wouldn't it?

In other news, I have the pincushion for the swap done. I just have to get it in the mail. I need to buy more batting, for three tops now and figure out backings. That'll be interested. They're fairly large tops, and I don't really want to do it all out of my stash. I'd burn through quite a bit of fabric - and I really want to save that stuff for tops. I do have some larger cuts, that might work, but they'd still be pieced backers. Not that I mind pieced backers. I actually really like the look...

Anywho :) That's it for now. I am going to take advantage of Zeb's nap, and get back to the sewing machine.

Update 11:37 pm:

I just saw earlier today that I have my first follower. SQUEEEE! I know. I'm a dork :) Hello, Michelle, and thank you for joining me. I'm so excited to know that someone out there in blogland is reading and enjoying ramblings :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Scrappy Give-Away and a Blog-Hop

So, I've been surfing random blogs, just because I can, and because I love to be inspired by other people's work. During my journey through blog-land, I came across Sheree's Alchemy and her give-away.

Sheree is giving away a Flat Rate Priority Mail box full of scraps. And such pretty scraps too. Just droolicious. So, I'm entering. I have to enter. I'd have so much fun playing with those scraps. The give-away also includes an Amy Butler pattern. *grins* Not that I know who she even is, but it's a cute pattern.

So, go visit Sheree's blog and enter. Entry ends on Wednesday, June 24th, and there are 5 ways to get an entry. Winner will be chosen by random number generator.

Another awesome method to win some cool prizes and get to know some really awesome designers is the:
Visit each one of the following blogs, leave a comment and be entered to win prizes. Each designer/blogger will host a free demo or pattern, introduce themselves, as well as have a give-away. And that's just a small part of it! Visit each blog on their day, and leave a comment on each one, and you'll be entered to win a larger, grand prize!

June 22. Gudrun from GE Designs

June 23. Heather from Anka's Treasures

June 24.Celine from Perkins Dry Goods

June 25. Roseann from Rosebuds Cottage

June 26. Sherri from This 'N' That

June 29. Kari from New Leaf Stitches

June 30. Terry from Atkinson Designs

July 1. Shelly from Cedar Canyon Textiles

July 2. Jamie from Scrap-bags

July 3. Mary from Quilted Treasures

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Paper Piecing...

I've had New York Beauty paper piecing patterns printed for about six months now, from Ula's Free Patterns. I've been debating actually using them for about a month. I've been hesitating because I've never paper pieced before.

Today, I finally got motivated and pulled them out:

I like the look of the blocks (Update 6/26 - I changed out the black & white print in the second block to a black on grey print) , but paper piecing just feels like so much work! It doesn't feel as intuitive as normal piecing does.

As you can see the fabrics are fairly coordinated in each block, but I'm not looking at these blocks to have the same colors all the way through them.

I don't want to stop, but I definitely need something to keep motivated. What do you think? Do the blocks work? Is this the beginning of a scrappy New York Beauty quilt?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Stash Additions and More...

Well, after Joann's Firefly summer sale and my eBay splurges, I have added more to my stash once again. I don't think I will ever be able to declare a hiatus from purchasing fabric - most fabrics lines just aren't available in stores long enough for me to do that. Nor can I resist walking into a fabric store and petting the pretties :)

The three horizontal fabrics are for my crane panel. Well, except for the repeat stripe. It's in the wrong colorway. I couldn't tell from the craptastic photo of it on the eBay auction, but I only spent $2.99 on it, so I really can't complain. I'll just make do with what I have in the correct colorway.

The verticals, from left to right: King's Road "Belle" in the rust colorway. I really, really, really want to find some of it in the ruby red colorway. To. Die. For.

The pink is a large scale Tracy Porter print. I absolutely adore her designs. The bluey flowers are just an addition of two yards or so to the yard already living in my stash. I love this print. The pale pink is a very traditional print, which is sort of an odd purchase for me now. More and more, I've been getting into very bold, graphic prints. The paisley I thought was just fun. I couldn't resist it. And the last floral is from an Asian-inspired line carried at Joann's. I just liked the color saturation in it.

And now to rave about the eBay purchase I was waiting for most eagerly: the Sewline Mechanical Pencil.


It is, hands down, the best tool I have ever used to mark a quilt top (and I've used everything, from soapstone and graphite, to a silver pencil, to a regular pencil with very soft lead, to those "vanishing" ink markers). I tested both the white and black leads (made of CERAMIC!). They went on so smoothly and with the amount of pressure I would use for regular writing. Then, the real test... Could I remove the markings? Oh, hell, yes. So easily too! Even better, I could hardly tell where the markings had been. After washing the quilted top, I won't be able to tell at all.

Seriously, buy this mechanical pencil. You will be so happy you did. I'm already planning to go back to eBay and purchase the pink, green and yellow leads.

In other news, I'm nearly done with the pincushion for my swap partner. I'm really enjoying the process of making it. It would be done, but I was waiting for one last component to arrive, again from eBay. No pics yet - I want it to be a surprise when my swap partner opens her package up. I also picked up a small giftie to add to her package. Hopefully, she likes it :)

I'm also done with all of my nine-patches for the
quilt-along. They're sashed together, and I've got the sashing stripes done. Just have to stitch them all together, but this is what the blocks look like put together:

I decided to go with a plain white cotton - it's been forever since I purchased just plain white cotton. It's a Kona cotton - Joann's started carrying them recently. I'm in love! I love the feel of this stuff in my hands. It's so nicely woven, with nice weight and texture. Definitely my choice of brand whenever I have need of a solid in a design from now on.

Well, I think that's enough rambling and typing for the day. I have sewing to do!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Time to Say Good-bye... a project.

I've had the pieces cut for a Double Wedding Ring quilt for eons. I loved it when I started. I still like the basic idea: bright orange wedges surrounding melons and centers of a lovely teal, marbled batik. Machine pieced, accuracy was not a problem at all.

The problem?

I've had it for eons. Okay, four years. Not really that long in the life cycle of a quilt top, at least according to my history.

It's been in storage for nearly all of its life cycle. I cut the pieces and had to put it away shortly after doing so - I don't remember why at this point. In that time, one of my cats got to the ziploc baggies and pieces got scattered about, especially during the moves. So, now I'm not even sure I've got all the pieces I cut. And, I'm not so thrilled about some of the oranges. I remembered some of the selections being so much brighter, more flame-orange. Instead, I've got some distinctly fall-like oranges in there, and it just throws the whole quilt off in my head.

Sure, I could take it all apart and start over. I just don't care to.

And yet, I feel guilty for abandoning this quilt. I've only ever given up on one other quilt, and that one I took the time to re-make (the Grandmother's Fan). I don't have the desire to do that with this one. Maybe further into the future...

But for now, this project is going to go far, far away. I'll probably donate it to the Salvation Army annual fabric sale.

On the other hand, this means that it's time for me to decide on a new project. My Grandmother's Fan top is completely pieced. The nine patches for my quilt-along are done, and I've purchased the sashing fabric. In just a few days, that top will be done.

I've got most of the fabric I need for my crane panel quilt. I found a steal on eBay the fabrics, and got another yard of the cream and one of the border fabric for $2.99 each.

I'm not sure what I'm in the mood to make at the moment.. I'd like to spread my wings a little, what direction? I have the sheets printed for a paper-piecing project - New York Beauty patches. Maybe I'll start that. Otherwise, the desire to make a Lone Star quilt has been rattling around for about six years. Maybe I'll finally I'll do that. We'll see.

Of course, I did splurge on eBay this week - besides those two fabrics for the crane panel, I purchased three yards of King's Road Belle fabric in rust. I wish it had been the red... That colorway makes me drool, but the rust is pretty too.

I also ordered the Sewline mechanical pencil. Of all my purchases, this looks to be the most promising! The leads are made of ceramic, erasable ceramic! If they work without leaving permanent marks, I'll be so happy!!! I got the separate eraser, extra erasers and white and black leads. If they're good, I'm ordering lead in all of the colors available. I know for sure green, yellow and pink are up for ordering.

I'm always on the search for a good, removable way to mark my tops for quilting. If these work, I'll be sure to spread the word.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Little Remiss in Posting

It's been a while since I got a chance to blog, but we've had guests over quite a bit over the last couple of weeks, and blogging while I should be playing host makes me feel like a very bad person.

To update:

The Grandmother's Fan top is completely pieced. YAY! I just have to pick up the batting and decide on a back. I'd like to do a back from a single fabric. This means ordering something online, because it's measuring in at about 90 X 90, according to the math. I haven't actually measured yet. I need to get enough clear floor to do so.

I also need to take a photo of this top - I did take one about a week ago, but looking at it made me realize that I'd put two of the rows on in the wrong order, so the quilt wasn't symmetrical the way I'd intended.

I have completed all of my nine patches for the
quilt-along. I still have to photograph the blocks and post them to the Flickr pool. This puts me well ahead of the deadline to have them done. I need to take a look at the photos of the completed quilt and determine how the sashing was done to continue to proceed. I don't think I want to wait for the deadline.

And... I have completed ANOTHER quilt! That's TWO in two(?) months!! I'm so excited. This one was Flying Geese I. I love, love, love the colors in this quilt top. Hands down, it's my favorite as far as color scheme. There were so many things wrong with the piecing - it was the first top I'd pieced completely on the machine. There were so many things I didn't know! This particular quilt was a learning effort from beginning to end.

What I find interesting about the photographs is that the stripe fabric washes out whenever I take a photo of the full quilt. If you look at the second photo, of the detail, it's a far more accurate representation of the colors.

Flying Geese I

Flying Geese I

Flying Geese I

I'm just super pleased lately with my quilting efforts. I've fallen in love with quilting all over again since the beginning of the year.

This Friday, I have to get to Joanns and spend some money on myself. They got some absolutely delicious red and black fabrics in that just make me drool. There's two or three fabric that I have to get two or three yards a piece of. Thank goodness this weekend is their Firefly sale, and I have several coupons for 50% off.