Archive for January, 2011

A change in plans

I’d planned to quilt today but it was snowing! So the morning was spent piecing blocks for the Churn Dash and Stars quilt while I watched the snow out my window. (I don’t know why it took me so long to move my sewing table in front of the window, I love it here).

After that a few hours of that, a walk in the snow to lunch and the coffee shop. This top is coming together much quicker than expected so I’ve been thinking about the next one I’m going to piece which is the Carpenter Star I drafted the other day. I did work up brief instructions for my version and posted them.

On my design wall

Are you shocked that I have something different to show two weeks in a row?

I’m just throwing these blocks up as I make them so placement will be adjusted as I get more blocks made — those three darker stars won’t stay lined up like that.

My Sunday plans

It’s very unusual for me to be up for the sunrise but this morning I was in my sewing room working on my new Churn Dash and Stars quilt. Watching the snow flurries as the sun rose.

We went out for breakfast and now I’m heading back upstairs to work a while. We’re expecting more snow today and while everyone else seems tired of it…I’m not!

Stash Manicure

I’m the guest blogger today at Stash Manicure where I share instructions for this quick little quilt pieced earlier this month and inspiration for other Rail Fence Quilts.

While you’re there, check out posts from the other guests and start using that stash!

The Fans are assembled

It starts out as my least favorite part of quilting and then about 2/3 of the way through assembling the top, I start getting excited about finishing it (yes, I consider a completed top a finish!) and I stop procrastinating and push through until it’s done.

Overall I’m very happy with this quilt although I don’t think the photo does it justice. (That bottom right corner isn’t smoothed out – it’s not the piecing!)

The brown setting triangles are a little clunky looking but I think it will be an opportunity to quilt something pretty – in gold thread  so it actually shows.

Do you travel?

I love to travel …. to visit family, see new places, hang out on the beach!

It’s just January but my travel plans for 2011 already include

Visits to Virginia, Georgia, and Florida to see family
Visits to Cocoa Beach and the Dominican Republic to laze on the beach
Visits to Denmark and Berlin to explore new places
A visit to Boston, one of my favorite cities
A visit to Michigan to explore my inner liberated quilter at a Gwen Marston retreat!!

I can’t wait to see where else my travels will take me in 2011.

I can’t seem to stop…

After quilting the top this morning I started assembling the fan blocks but assembly being one of my least favorite parts of quilting, I decided to get another binding done instead. I’ll get back to the assembly tomorrow.

This was from Nancy’s group in CT and will go to Alycia as a QOV as requested by Nancy.

I did it!

ALL the donation quilts that were here before Jan 1st 2011 are DONE! All the non-HeartStrings tops are DONE. And with this HeartStrings top I quilted this morning I MET my challenge goal for January with 5 days to spare!

Top was pieced by Pat and quilted with a swirly version of Dwirling.

Of course, there’s plenty here left to quilt — 2 tops from Mom, 3 HeartStrings tops that came in this month, and lots of my tops. I’ll be binding these last ones over the next couple weeks too but I feel such a sense of accomplishment and excitement about the year ahead and focusing more on piecing quilts.

This and that

A new photo of my sweet Caleb from Adam.

Blogger and my iPad are finally playing together well – commenting has gotten easier without the need to sign in multiple times and I’m loving Flipboard to skim through all the blogs I have set up in Google Reader.

During a sleepless night a couple weeks ago, I found an episode of The Tudors to watch on the iPad (NetFlix for Season 1&2; iTunes for Season 3&4) and I’m working my way through all of them…now up to Season 3.

In trying to reset my sleep schedule I made it worse if possible. Now I’m sleeping from late afternoon through the evening which leaves me with no time with Keith…up all night, sleeping all morning is better! Need to try and reset again tomorrow.

Finally a question. Do you watermark your photos? I actually like it when people do then if I save a quilt for inspiration and use an idea from it months later, I know who to credit.

When I remember, I do watermark my quilts and designs with my blog address rather than my name (so people can find me again!) but I tend to turn it off for my scenery photos and forget to turn it back on when I’m working on the computer. I did just download an iPad app to make it easier to watermark the ones I post from here.

Blowing up blocks

I love blowing up star blocks to make a quick quilt! The first one I’d ever done was years ago from a Fons and Porter magazine. Terri’s been quilting a Carpenter’s Star on her site that inspired me to play with my own version for a quick donation quilt.

Today’s milestone

The last NON HeartStrings donation top is done! Pieced by Cheryl and quilted with the pantograph Eb & Flow (chosen because it gives a flag waving effect which I thought was appropriate with this race car/checkered flag top).

Just one more top to quilt to meet my goal for January but not today….maybe I’ll pull out my knitting. I have socks on my needles that I haven’t touched in a month.

Drawing practice

Even though I’m not ready to quilt it yet, I’ve got a top that I’m already thinking about so after reviewing a little of the Pajama Quilter DVD tonight, I think I’ll spend some time drawing Dawn’s Wonky Stars in Space.

I’m slowing down …

but today’s task – quilting a top pieced by Tamera is done. Quilted with Double Rose Pantograph by Norma Sharp – an oldie but goodie. With just 2 more to reach my goal, I’m going to take a break the rest of the day.

On the design wall

Yes, there’s actually something new up there! I put the fan blocks up and cut the setting triangles  yesterday before the football began. I’m still working on my January challenge but this will be the first thing I do afterwards.

Here’s a close-up that shows the border fabric better. I might do a thin border between the setting triangles and the print …. maybe gold….maybe the blue…maybe none? We’ll see.

The fan blades were cut with the Dresden Plate Accuquilt GO die.

Done for the night

Two more bound today, both of these log cabin quilts were pieced by MaryH (#25 & #26)

I needed to print more HeartStrings labels and decided I was bored with the two I’d designed back when we started 4 years ago so I made up another version to use. I also made better use of my label fabric by printing more labels per page.

What’s on your agenda

Binding and football are my agenda for today but first, I just had to try the Fifty Four Forty or Fight block since I hadn’t used that GO die yet. For my churn dash quilt — I’ll used different colors and the squares are replaced with 4 patches but how cute is this?

If I didn’t love winter

… I would have been very jealous of Keith when he emailed me Thursday night and said he’d spent a couple hours on the beach. He’s home now but he was at a meeting all week ….in Cancun…while we had lows that dipped to MINUS 12!

Of course with him gone I’d slipped back into my sleep all day, work all night routine but I need to switch back to days so while I’ll stay up all night, I won’t go to bed in the morning — we’re going to go out to brunch and run a bunch of errands. I imagine I’ll need an afternoon nap but hopefully I’ll be back to just staying up half the night.

My big task for Friday was quilting this large donation top from Sharon. The pantograph is Halcyon again and it’s #24. With 10 more days left in January, I’m sure to get 5 more tops quilted or quilts bound.

My approach to color

Several people questioned my color cards shown in a previous post so I thought in addition to providing information about them, I’d share my approach to color in quilts.

My quilts usually fall in one of several categories.

Completely scrappy — everything goes — and as long as you use enough different fabrics it all works.

Monochromatic scrappy — I love taking a single color family such as green or red and using a bunch of different different fabrics.

Two color scrappy with a scrappy background

Two color scrappy with no added neutral

Autumn inspired – when I started quilting I lived in Florida and really missed Autumn and I’ve used the colors of Autumn in many of my quilts.

And a more coordinated scrappy color scheme, I will take a border fabric I love and pull just those colors for the quilt.

When it comes time to decide on a color scheme I basically use three tools.

One, I’m always looking at quilts and saving ideas for colors schemes that have nothing to do with the actual pattern of the quilt – I just look and save combinations that I love.

Two, when I see a gorgeous multicolor print – I buy it with the intention of using those colors in a quilt.

And three, I go to my color cards. As I was working on all those bindings — I kept looking at my shelf of blue fabrics and decided that it was time to do something with the aqua blues/greens. The back of the color cards have information about possible combinations and depending on what I have in my stash I can decide which combination to go with. (photo taken from the C & T website)

I did a quick search and it looks like the original cards that I have are no longer available BUT an updated version is coming out in February and available through the C&T website linked above or from Amazon.

A break from binding

My postcard for our family exchange is due soon so I took a break from binding tonight. I didn’t have a lot of time to devote to these this month but I wanted to go with the idea of winter trees. The first one has “snow” beads but I wasn’t crazy about how the white ones looked so for the second one, I used clear beads so there’s a tree with snow and a tree with ice. They’re kind of clunky but they’re done.

And while I still have plenty of work to do to meet my goal for this month, I’m already thinking about February and spending time piecing rather than quilting. I’m going to assemble the Fan blocks (they will be set on point) first but I’ve already starting pulling fabric – my thought is that I’d make both of these quilts using the same color scheme. We’ll see how it goes once I get started.

One more done

Another Log Cabin by MaryH is quilted with freehand spirals. Six more to go.