Archive for August, 2009

Pineapple Quilts

I taught Mom to make the Pineapple quilt from the Quilt in a Day book using their 12.5 inch ruler and this was her 3rd one.
I pieced mine a couple years ago after Sandra from Stashbuster showed me the book and how she makes the blocks. She suggested 1.75 inch strips (they’re trimmed down) which is what I used. I’m just waiting for Accuquilt to come out with a 1.75 inch strip cutter for the GO cutter so I can make another!
I really recommend this method for making them.


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Mail

Lots of fun stuff in the mail today. First, a pineapple top pieced by Mom. I’ll quilt it and we’ll donate it at Christmas along with another one we’ve already finished.

These two tops are from my friend Cecile – I’ll quilt these and donate them (they’re both so cute!)
And from Nancy, a stack of backings already pieced for my HeartStrings quilts. I can’t tell you what a huge time saver it is to have backings pieced for so many of the donation tops. Between Sheree, Tish, and these ones from Nancy I’m in good shape and I’ll be sending some of the backings to Maine next month for the quilts we’re going to tie at the sew-in.

Now I need to go write thank you emails and let everyone know their goodies arrived safely.

And for my finale

I pieced batting, loaded, and quilted this HeartStrings top pieced by Sue and her Oroville/Chico California group using a line type meander from Patsy Thompson’s DVD.

You can see it drawn out in her free download — page two is the version I tried. Click on the photo and you might be able to see the quilting better.

This one was a bit of a challenge because the strings are flannel and there was a lot of bulk. There are a couple more flannel ones in the group they sent and I’m leaning toward taking those to Maine next month and tying them.

This was the first time this summer I wrote down a *to do* list and I checked off everything (and more) with a couple hours to spare.
  • piece some more diamond string blocks – check
  • piece and machine stitch a binding — Three done not just one
  • finish up instructions for the diamond string blocks – done and posted
  • load and start quilting a top – pieced the batting, loaded, and quilted

Bindings made and stitched on

Not one but three bindings made and stitched on – – of course, they’re just kids/lap size quilts but you’re still impressed right?
More of the green stripe binding being used here on Deborah’s top — I just love quilting tops from her, they’re always so cute.

A little break from sewing is need so I’m going to do a little computer work before heading downstairs for some quilting. 2:15AM and still going strong!

Are you a speed piecer?

I’m not. I piece blocks in sets, throw them up on the design wall and admire them for a while. See those bright reds? They were scattered across the top but kept distracting me so I put them to work creating a secondary diamond.

40 blocks done, I need to make a decision about borders soon. I usually don’t border my string quilts but I think I want this larger without having to make it 2 rows wider.

On to binding for a bit.

First hour

I’m starting with trimming and cutting. Two small quilts trimmed and ready for binding, muslin foundations cut, and thanks to the Go, a bunch of center strings cut and I’m ready to start piecing.

Ready for an all nighter?

In case you hadn’t realized it — I’m back on a night schedule but with Keith just home for the weekend again I don’t want to sleep the days away so I’m going to work all night and then we’ll go out for breakfast, run some errands and come home and watch some golf — at least that’s the plan. Keith just headed up to bed so it’s time to get to work.
On tonight’s agenda:
More diamond string blocks
piece and machine stitch a binding to have it ready tomorrow for hand stitching
finish up instructions for the diamond string blocks
load and start quilting a top.
I’ll report in and let you know how it’s going.


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A finish

Amid all the computer drama yesterday and today I did manage to make a few more diamond string blocks AND I finished binding and labeling this HeartStrings quilt.

I love how this turned out, the looks of the grid, the fact it’s really soft and cozy, and the striped binding was just perfect.

I have more work to do but my brain is tired – I think I’m going to head to bed with my book.

How did I not know this??

Sheila is my new BEST friend! She suggested I google the page and then click on “cached” which is beside the linked address and it worked — they’re all there so I can even go back in and check the ones I reloaded last night to make sure I didn’t leave anything important out.
I’ll still have to reload the photos and cut and paste the text in but I keep all my photos used in a tutorial in their own folder already resized for the page so it won’t be difficult.
Thanks to everyone who checked their files for me – you can bet I’ll be more carefull about keeping copies of ALL the pages.


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Can you help?

I worked all night and half of the morning too but most of the site is back up. Even with all the time spent uploading all the files again, I think it’s going to be worth it as the upgrades make the site easier to manage/write.
I only have 2 more pages to redo and they’re the most difficult. Did ANYONE save the files below to their computer and would you be willing to email them to me? Most of my documents are in PDF format but for some of the tutorial pages I type directly onto the page and I don’t have a copy of the verbage I used to describe the photos. I can rewrite like I did several other pages but it would be easier if I had the original file. The ones I need are:
Pillowcases
How to Tie a HeartStrings Quilt
Obviously, those are the two pages that aren’t up on the site now too but I hope to get them done soon esp. because they’re both frequently used.


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Rebuilding MaryQuilts.com

I managed to wipe out my entire site when updating WordPress so I’m in the process of rebuilding it since unfortuantely the backup I downloaded didn’t work either.
For the most part it will be just tracking down and uploading files but there are some pages that I built the instructions on the site rather than in a PDF file and those will have to be completely redone.
I’m saving the main pages with the same file names so those links will work if you’ve bookmarked them but if you bookmarked the link to the PDF files, you’ll have to update them because they have new link addresses.


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Doing what I want to do

I’d intended to quilt another top today, but decided I wanted to play in my strings. I sort my strings by color in the bins to the right but as you can see from the bin in front and the strings on the floor I haven’t sorted recently — that’s where all the bits and pieces get tossed while I’m sewing.

I decided to work on a rectangle string quilt — similar to the one I have instructions posted except that one was color coordinated to the border I was using and this one has everything but the kitchen sink. I also cut my black center strings narrower (1.5 inches versus 2).

My favorite tool when I’m making string blocks – my rotating mat for squaring the blocks.
I’m trying very hard NOT to think about what I should be doing (quilting tops, binding, finishing Adam’s top, starting Keith’s flannel quilt, and assembling the brown/pink Stars and Pinwheel blocks). I can’t quite manage to do what I want guilt free but I’ll keep trying.

Still quilting

Since I had lime green thread on the longarm from the Happy Block top I quilted last night — I decided to put another one on and use the same thread.
This top was pieced by LizA and is quilted with a pantograph – Bubbles. It’s one of my favorites for kids quilts.




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Playing with photos

I love the view from our back deck and I photograph it often (different times of day, different seasons).

My class assignment was to use 4 of the techniques we’d learned to create a page – probably why this wasn’t working for me since I was just working with a single photo.

In the end, I kept playing and while this doesn’t really fulfill my assignment – I like it better than anything else that I was coming up with.

More easy quilting

This is a HeartStrings top that I pieced at the MN/WI sew-in that was held in May — the blocks were made by other members and sent in for group quilts. It was a really popular project and we had tons of blocks to work with.

I quilted an easy wavy line grid over the quilt using the piecing lines for spacing.

And look at this cute backing — it was pieced (you can’t see the framing fabric) by Sheree from fabric donated for HeartStrings backings.
I’m so thankful for all the people who participate in HeartStrings — there are so many ways people help out from making blocks, to assembling tops, quilting, making backings or donating fabric. Can’t you picture how much a child in need will love this quilt?

I’m no artist

version 2 — I think I like this one better with the gold stitching lines breaking up the brown background.

version 1 — beaded flower centers on this one. I also tried a decorative stitch on the outside and didn’t like it that much so went back to the zig zag on #2.

I have more puzzle pieces but I think I’ll get back to quilting tomorrow. Playtime is over for now.

Postcards

Keith's just home for a couple days so I'm not doing much quilting but
I have been working on postcards.

a couple photos from my class

It’s a good thing I have unlimited access to these lessons even after the class is over because after a while all the techniques run together. Being able to refer back to the videos is a big help. Both these lessons were on creating frames but we used two different techniques.

This was a black frame but it didn’t show up against my photo so I changed it to white. Not sure why it’s showing with the outline — I expected it to blend into the blog background like the one above.

Do you procrastinate?

I’m very lucky that I have a few people who help me out by making backings for HeartStrings tops but I still have lots of them that are either smaller or larger than our standard quilts and those are the ones that wait for me to piece backings.
I was very good tonight and pieced 3 backs. Between these and the ones pieced for me — I’ll have plenty ready to load for the next couple weeks (assuming I keep waking up with the desire to quilt!)

So what have YOU been putting off doing?

Yes, another one

Yep, I got another top quilted today. This is one of mine — a Happy Block quilt that I made when HeartStrings was doing a special project earlier this year.

I’d thought about quilting a grid on it but realized that there were flowers and hearts just like my Wandering Dasies pantograph that was still on the table from quilting Lindsey’s quilt so I used that one.
Chesty doesn’t usually spend much time with me downstairs because there’s not a window he can look out but he’s been missing me this week and came down to visit for a while today.

Walking
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