Food for thought.

Memory is a wonderful treasure chest for those who know how to pack it.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Where is the time going?

Summer is coming to an end soon.  Kids are getting ready for school.  I feel like time is flying by me and I am getting nothing done.
 
I did finish the QOV quilt top and of course it is a challenge quilt again, but I just can't wait 10 months to share it with you so here is a bigger peek at it. 
 
 
I literally  used up all my Americana scraps and even had to buy a few more pieces to get it done. 
 
I will be attending the Grand Rapids AQS show later this week and will be looking for something to back this quilt and just maybe I can have this one 100% done WAY BEFORE it is due. I even cut out the binding tonight. 
 
I, also, got some mail this week. 
 
I used a gift certificate that I got from Nancy at Christmas time  for the Fat Quarter Shop and ordered this.
 
 
There's nothing like getting a Christmas present in August!!!
 
Aren't these yummy?
 
 
I don't think I will be running out of piecing thread for awhile. 
 
Well, I need to start thinking of what I am going to pack for Grand Rapids. 
 
I should have some pictures to show you when I get back. 
 
Have a great week!
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Does this ever happen to you?

All your blocks are done.  You've pinned all your rows.   You've been sewing all day. 
 
You get to the last row and .....(sigh).
 


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Does it pain you????

Do you sometimes feel squeamish when you cut up a favorite fabric?
 
Do you feel like once you have cut it up, you won't be able to look at it and fondle it in your stash?
 
Well, I am starting to feel that about my Americana fabrics that I cut up for my QofV quilt.   I cut then ALL up.  There is not one piece of Americana left in my stash and I am feeling a little sad.
 
 
I laid some of them out last night.....
 
 
and quickly realized that I needed my "white" (or in my case, cream) to add a little spark to this quilt.
 
I didn't have one piece left in my "cream" drawer, but tonight I did some more searching because I really wanted to make up a block or two so I could take some measurements and figure out just how many blocks I need, how many strips I needed to cut, etc. 
 
Well, in my golden section of fabrics I found this......truly my last piece of Americana.
 
 
Definitely one of my favorite fabrics.  It was just a scrap.  I think I may have used this one on a back of a quilt, so there wasn't much, but I cut it ALL up, too. 
 
Now this is what my blocks look like with a "light" in them. 
 
 
I like them much better. 
 
Now to do some figuring as I am sure I don't have enough of this flag fabric for all the blocks.  I may have to buy maybe a couple different lights and mix them all up. 
 
I have sewn 12 blocks already and I am left with 172 red/blue strips and only 16 golden strips.
 
I was thinking of making the quilt somewhere in the vicinity of 70 x 80. 
 
Now I have to do the math and see just what else is needed before I sew any blocks together. 
 
This will be a quick quilt....scrappy.....and hopefully very loved by some veteran later next year. 
 
Ok...on to the dreaded math. I probably should just dig up my EQ and do it the easy way, but I haven't used it in so long it would probably take me longer to figure it out than it would to just draw out my blocks and figure out the math. 
 
Ok...I am happy, even though I am going to miss these fabrics in my stash, I am going to love making this quilt and giving it away.    
 
 
 
 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Quilts of Valor on my mind.....

My guild and my retreat that I go to in June every year have designated Quilts of Valor as our challenge for the year. 
 
I saw a quilt while browsing blogs just yesterday and thought that would be a good idea and should have saved it, but I didn't think I would be thinking of starting one this early, but I have a friend who has hers all done for next June!  Geesh!!
 
So I pulled all my Americana fabrics today just to see what I had and cut them all in strips.
 
 
If I can remember what that quilt looked like, this is the layout.
 
 
In going through my stash, I could only find reds and blues in my Americana theme.  I started thinking "where did I use up all those fabrics?"
 
So, I started looking through the house and came up with at least three Americana-type quilts.
 

 
This one is an Alex Anderson quilt that I made in 1999 (my all time favorite) and I just cut up the last of some of these fabrics.
 
 
This one is a sampler.  I forgot to look when this one was made, but I don't think any of these fabrics were cut up tonight.
 
 
Another one of my favorites.  Now I know some of these fabrics I still had and this is an old one, too.
 
I actually cut up all my blues and reds but there was not one cream with stars or flags left in my stash.  I did purge all my small pieces of fabrics last year and that may be where some of them went or maybe I just used them up, so I am going to have to go buy some more keeping in mind that I don't want to "build up the stash" at this point. 
 
So, stay tuned for what I come up with for my Quilts of Valor challenge.
 
I haven't posted much lately.  Doesn't seem like I have been doing much, but I did bind the last two quilts that I quilted.  One of these days I will get them outside to hang and take some good pictures of them finished and then post them, but for now, I hope you are getting some stitches in and I hope my motivation is back (since I straightened up my sewing room today) and just maybe I will have a new quilt to show soon.
 
Happy Quilting. 
 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

I'm ruined.......

Normally, if I wanted to do a quilt quickly, I would do a meander or a panto and then be done with it; but, ........now I know better. 
 
Pre-Karen McTavish classes, I had decided on just doing a quick loopy type meander on this quilt....just to get it done and off the UFO list.  I had done this loop on one of my grandson's baby quilts and loved it and I wanted a quilt with it, too. 
 
 
But.....POST - Karen McTavish classes, all I could hear her saying was "if you say should I be doing this or that on a quilt?, the answer is Yes". 
 
Well, this quilt has been loaded on the Millie for over a week and it kept telling me that the meander was just a quick get it done and there was more I could do for it.
 
So...... I did piano keys in the border.
 
 
Geesh....I even went so far as to "turn" the quilt so that when I did the outlining on the little black border, I didn't have a bunch of starts and stops.  This was a first for me, too. 
 
 
The binding is made.
 
 
....so I will be getting to this right away.  I for one do not mind doing bindings. 
 
The one nice thing is that once this binding is on, the quilt will be 100% done since I had already added the label to the backing.  It was the one final block that was from the panel of numbers and letters, but since it didn't work out in the layout, I used it for the label.
 
 
I am naming this quilt ABCs, 1,2,3's, but I thought if  this could stand the test of time, I would name it Runkeeper in the Playground.  What with all the loops in the center of the quilt and the kids playing on the fabric, it looks like you are keeping track of their steps. LOL.  
 
 Anyways, I am amazed at the number of things that I learned in Karen's classes.  I thought I was going  for McTavishing and Feathers ( I have yet to try out McTavishing), but it is the little things that are really sticking in my head and  giving me those ah-ha moments. 
 
I am so much more pleased with this quilt than if I had just done a meander.  It looks more ......complete? professional? like I know what I am doing? 
Whatever..... I like  it.
 
Thanks for popping in to look. 
 
Now...hmmm...what to work on next?  There are plenty of tops I could put on for more practice.  I just need to decide. 
 
Happy quilting!
 
 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Dual challenge quilt reveal......

 
This week is the retreat that I go to every year and at the last minute I had to cancel.  So, I am stuck at home doing doctor's visits instead, but still wanted to not reveal the quilt until the day that everyone there in St. Louis at the Mercy Center does their reveal. 
 
 
This is my dual challenge (doing a Trips around the World quilt AND using a Hawaiian theme for the other challenge).  I had the top done in April and my mini group and I hung our tops out on the line on a windy day to get some pictures. 
 
I have since quilted it.
 
 
I did it on Millie using a panto called Banana Leaf (appropriate, huh?). 
 
 
 
 
This is the backing to show off the stitching.
 
....and here it is just coming off the long arm. 
 
 
It's a big one. 
 
I still haven't gotten to the binding.  I will use some of the pink batik to do that, but now that I am stuck at home, I have plenty of time to do that.  I had other projects that had a time limit on them, one of which was Rita's quilt which I was going to deliver to her at retreat, but it had to be sent via mail.  We are hoping it gets to her (she lives near St. Louis) so that she can bring it to show-n-tell, too. 
 
My friend Sandy is going to show the pictures to the group for my show and tell, so it will kind of be like I am there. 
 
Oh well, sad, but necessary. 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

A learning tool......

Just pulled this small wallhanging off the long arm.  Try to ignore the chalked in feathers 
 
 
I have been wanting to do this wall hanging that Eve made several years ago.
(Eve is a friend at a retreat that I go to yearly and that particular year she made "everyone" something that had her applique on it).  I thought it would be a good practice piece for  the long arm. 
 
 
This was my first time doing micro-stippling that I did around the appliqued paisley.
 
 
Also, it was my first time doing the orange peel.  I did this free hand rather than using a ruler. 
 
I, also, learned that you don't do feathers on a busy background. Either that or you don't use So Fine thread to do them in because you can't SEE them!!!  Maybe if I had used Glide, I would have been better able to see where I was going or where I had been. 
 
So of course, on the back, I have missed feathers, overlapped feathers, feathers going in the wrong direction, etc.  
 
 
I had used chalk to draw on my feathers some time ago....long before I took Karen McTavish's classes.  Of course, I didn't follow those.   I was doing my own thing and my own thing wasn't all that good, but like I said....this was a learning experience and I learned a lot.
 
Oh and to top it off, I now know how to add extra backing to a quilt that is already on the long arm. 
 
Don't ask. 
 
For as small as this quilt was, I learned a lot. 
 
Next......the ABC quilt is loaded onto Millie. 
 
Stay tuned.