Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Next Project in the Works

Strip quilts have become very popular so I took a look at the various strips that I have leftover after binding my quilts.  I almost always use a 2 1/2 inch strip for my double fold binding and I have a bucket full of short and medium length pieces that I've saved.  I took them out and sorted out the brighter, jewel tones from the grayed colors, threw in just a few lighter pastels and a few darks for interest and came up with this bunch.
I've now ironed these and sewn them together randomly.  The random part was hard for me since I'm more of a matchy-matchy kind of quilter.  I'm trying to do more scrap quilts and get away from the matching.  So I closed my eyes, plumped the pile up and picked a strip to sew.  I only threw two back using this method.  I layed them out on the floor, side-by-side in long continuous strips, but wasn't wild about that look.  So I've decided to go with a Bonnie Hunter design from Quiltsville.  It is a modified log cabin type contruction that I think will go together quickly and use my strips efficiently.  I need to cut some center squares and I'll be off to the races, so to speak!

This is the Quiltsville design I will be using:

I hope to have a design wall featuring these strips soon.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Not Bound, but Quilted

Today I quilted the Dandy Blocks top with free-motion clamshells.  My mind drifted and so did some of the clamshells!  You might say they drifted with the tide, if you look closely (no - I don't recommend looking closely).  A member of one group I'm in told about a quilt she made that had a traditional top and a modern backing (both in kids' fabrics) that made it sparkle.  Well, I borrowed the idea and did the same with this Dandy quilt.  The top has the 30s reproduction fabrics and a classic block design, while the back has very modern butterflies ... I think a little girl will like both sides.  I'll get it bound tomorrow morning.  Here's a picture of the detail with the backing showing:

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Quilting Finished

Last night I finished quilting the 10-Minute Block quilt.  The photos show the quilt and a detail of the ring of hearts that I quilted into the squares that look like applique but that really result from the block's construction.  The rings are free-motion quilted, so don't expect computer-driven perfection!  Another top is on the frame and I hope to finish it tomorrow.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Bag No. 5 and Quilting

I finished Bag No 5 for the Zihuatanejo Bag Project and those 5 bags are in the mail.  There is a posting on the Creative Chicks blog that, due to a change in plans, they now have enough bags.  I have an email into them to see if I need to send in the original 10 that I signed up for or just this five that are done.  I sure wouldn't mind sending 5 more since these bags are cute and easy to make - and it is such a good cause.  We'll see if any more are on the horizon.  This fabric was leftover from two earlier projects - one is the top called Laundry Day at the Beach that is in the stack waiting to be quilted.  It'll be done soon ...
Bag No. 5

Laundry Day at the Beach

I also have actually started quilting tops like I said I would.  This is the one that is on the frame now.  It is the 10-Minute Block top made with the leftovers from another quilt.  The middles of the blocks (here it's that center block with the butterflies) will get marked with a template for a ring of hearts, so this top is taking a little longer to quilt, but I'm making progress now!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Did You Celebrate Fibonacci Day?

This Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons image is from
the user Chris 73 and is freely available at

Why did I picture a Chambered Nautilus today?  Am I finally making an art quilt?  Oh no, not me … but the Golden Ratio [and in geometry, the Golden Spiral as in the Chambered Nautilus above] does make for a lovely quilt – see a wonderful link at the end of this post.

Yesterday was Fibonacci Day and I missed it.  It is called Fibonacci Day because the first four numbers in the Fibonacci sequence are 1123 (although a zero precedes it).

Leonardo da Pisa (nicknamed Fibonacci), a mathematician, was born in Pisa around 1170 AD and is best known for a simple series of numbers called the Fibonacci sequence.  The series begins with 0 and 1. After that, it uses the simple rule of adding the last two numbers to get the next:            1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, etc.

The Fibonacci sequence appears consistently nature – in various ways in seeds, flowers, petals, pine cones, fruit and vegetables, among others. Some plants branch in such a way that they always have a Fibonacci number of growing points. Flowers often have a Fibonacci number of petals, daisies can have 34, 55 even 89 petals.  Seeds of a sunflower appear to spiral outwards to the left and to the right - and there are a Fibonacci number of spirals.  This arrangement keeps the seeds uniformly packed no matter how large the seed head.  Isn’t nature wonderful?

Read more about Fibonacci at these sites:
This is the basis for a quilt that I mentioned at the beginning of this post ... Successive points dividing a golden rectangle into squares lie on a logarithmic spiral which is sometimes known as the golden spiral.
Image Source: http://mathworld.wolfram.com/GoldenRatio.html

You can see some gorgeous pictures of quilts designed and made using the Fibonacci Sequence at http://www.bryerpatch.com/gallery/fibonacci_quilts.htm

Happy Quilting!

Monday, November 22, 2010

One More Top

OK - I know I said I was going to quilt, but these blocks were just begging to be put together into a quickie top.  Our Sunshine quilt group has a monthly block lottery whereby half the blocks sent in are made into Sunshine donation tops and half the blocks go to that month's winner.  Each month has a different color scheme and I won the month that had black/white/red blocks.  It always amazes me how well the blocks "play" together when so many different people send them in.  This top has lots of polka dots, checks, puppies and kittens.  Just a fun top.  You probably would have wanted to work on it, too, right?!
And now my little basket where I keep unquilted tops is full so I should will get to quilting up a few!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Finished Another Flimsy

This afternoon, I decided to clear my "design floor" and finish up the top that I began showing in a previous post.  Of course, I went with the simplest sashing and borders.  Sometimes you just want to get something done and move on.  Know the feeling??  I'm calling this one Garden Critters and it will go to WTIL (Wrap Them in Love).  I wish I had made the background of the blocks the dark brown and then the design would have really popped, but live and learn.  It still is a cute top when you see it up close because of the cute printed fabric.  A good fabric can cover a multitude of sins!

And speaking of sins, the flaw is so obvious when you see the picture, but I never noticed until I uploaded it into this post ... and the row is going to stay that way ... I am greatly in favor of correcting the little things, but to fix this I would have to frog out (you know, rippit, rippit) the top border, part of each side, and the top and bottom of the top row, then sew it all back together - just not going to happen!  It'll be a test of some little kids' perception - keep 'em guessing if it was meant to be that way - I'm betting they won't mind.

I have now accumulated at least four tops (plus the one already on the frame) that need to be quilted and bound, so that will be on my agenda for the next couple of days.  Unless I get distracted .... a quilt magazine might show up and I'll have to stop and make sure I'm not missing out on the latest and greatest new projects  (and maybe it was a distraction that caused that top to go all wonky on me - better watch the distractions).

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Friday Night Sew-In Results

I was so glad that I decided to participate in the Friday Night Sew-In that I've added the button to link there on my sidebar.  Knowing that I was going to post my results really lit a fire of productivity!  I have been participating in quite a few block swaps, but never finishing anything, so I've decided to tackle one project every Friday.  Here's the process as I went along without a plan last night:
First I sewed the swap-blocks together

Then I remembered I had some dark blue in my stash, so I added a small border.

I liked the first border so much that I pulled a yellow fabric from my stash and added that - I'm going to miss this fabric when it's gone - it has cute tone-on-tone puppy tracks all over it.

And then I added some blue and yellow polka dot to bring the top up to the size I wanted (40 x 60).  I was thrilled that I was able to finish this top using up fabric from my stash.  This one will go to Wrap Them in Love.
I had a great time joining in with the other Friday Night participants.  I plan to do this again.  My thanks go to Handmade by HEIDI !!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Night Sew-In

Well, this is pretty late - but if you have nothing going on, hop on over to Handmade by HEIDI and join in with the Friday Night Sew-In.  There's even prizes!  Take some time for yourself and have a cup of tea and a cookie while you finish up a UFO or start a new project.  Tomorrow you can post your project and feel wonderful because you had some time to indulge yourself AND you got something wonderful accomplished.  What a good deal ...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sunshine Lotto Blocks

You know how sometimes you just have to break down and go ahead and vacuum and mop and maybe do a load of laundry?  Don't you hate when that interferes with your great quilting ideas?!  I did make it to the local library today to see the eye-candy in the Quilter's Newsletter Magazine.  I never make art quilts, but I do like to look at them and to see the quilt show winning entries.  Other than that, I worked around the house.

So, all I sewed today were two blocks for this month's block lottery for the Sunshine On-line Quilt Guild (see sidebar note).  I had worked with this fabric before and it was printed so wonky that it could drive a person nuts.  I ended up making just one pillow out of it a few years ago and stashing the fabric away.  I pulled the fabric back out today and made the two blocks to send in and stashed the fabric back in hiding ... the printed panel is just too off-kilter for me to work with!  I'll get rid of it a little at a time ... hopefully.

Nov 2010 Lottery Blocks

The pillow I made several years ago.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tonight's Quilt Top Finish

The quilt top that I put together this evening was made from blocks I received in a block swap and is from a block pattern called The Dandy Block.  The block pattern can be found on Marcia Hohn’s website, called the Quilter’s Cache®.   That site has more quilt blocks than you can shake a stick at.  If you’re a quilter and haven’t visited, please take time to go see it … you’ll be glad you did!

Here’s the link:

And here’s my Dandy Quilt Top:
Made with 1930s reproduction fabrics - just like grandma used to make!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Whipping Along With the Bags

Today's finish was another one for the Zihuatanejo Bag Project (see sidebar button).  My Bag No. 4 uses another leftover strip from a 2009 quilt.  Here is the finished bag (showing a little of the pocket inside) and the original quilt.  The original quilt used blocks I received in a block swap from the Mailblocks Yahoo Group.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Another Project Million Amigos Bag

I finished up another one of the bags for Mexico (see button on my sidebar) with a leftover strip from a quilt I donated in 2009 as decoration.  I was interrupted in the middle of making the quilt and when I resumed sewing, the half-square triangle strips weren't the same size (it's that 1/4 inch thing striking again), hence the leftover strip.  So inspiration struck and I found a use for it on this project.  Not a bad idea to have a few orphan blocks around!  This one has a matching pocket inside.

Here's the bag and the original quilt:

Looking forward to quilting another top tomorrow!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Today's Quilt Finish

Last April, I won quite a few blue and white Monkey Wrench blocks in a block lottery.  This is my first finished quilt using some of those blocks ... there will be more since I won 45 blocks (wahoo!).  You might catch a glimpse of some orange in the binding - those are the basketballs - I used the same binding material as the backing.  It is a cute print with all kinds of balls used in sports.  Very boy-friendly!
Longer top than I usually make - 72 inches.

Glimpses of the binding and backing.

Shows more of the cute backing fabric.

And I found out by accident that today is the anniversary of when Sesame Street began:

     Nov 10, 1969 - Sesame Street
premiered on PBS, featuring Jim Henson's Muppet characters  and actors and cartoons. The teachings and antics of Kermit the Frog, Big Bird, Bert and Ernie, Oscar the Grouch and Cookie Monster filled the minds and hearts of thousands of preschool children, and the award-winning educational series was a tremendous success. Sesame Street was produced by the Children's Television Workshop.

I'll have to search out some Sesame Street fabric and make a top (hey, any excuse to buy more fabric works for me!).  Congratulations, Big Bird and cast.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What's in Process

I've just been dabbling at a few things - jumping from one project to another.  Here's a few projects that are now in the works in the sewing room:
(1)  The  Sunny Days blocks from this post
are growing in numbers and I’ve been fiddling around with a few layout ideas.

To see what dark sashing would look like.

No sashing - would need to have more blocks and add borders.

Don't think I want to add alternating dark blocks.

The secondary design has stars - would need to add one last column on the right to complete the effect.

 (2) A friend is a member of a church that is collecting gifts so that children can select a gift to give their parents for Christmas.  I am making a few of the criss-cross coasters from this site.  These are fun, look cute and most of all, are quick and easy!

Set of four - shows two criss-cross fronts and two backs.

Second set of four - didn't take picture of backs.

(3) I have cut out, but not quite finished the embellishments, on two more Project Amigos bags - see the button on my sidebar for more information.

That's it for today!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

More Quilt Show Pictures

Here are a few more of the great quilts displayed at the Cypress Creek Quilter's Guild's show on Nov 6th:
The cute matching mini was displayed with the large quilt.

Part applique and part paper-pieced

Beautiful machine embroidery is shown in a close-up that follows

Lovely stained glass effect achieved by paper-piecing

This picture doesn't do justice to the gorgeous florals

This was the only rag-type (or raw edge) that I saw, very soft and huggable

Beautiful applique - I noticed that many used professional machine quilters

The machine applique and the batiks were perfect together.


The use of wool made for a very rich-looking design

This is an example of a tube-type construction - very well made

You can see a little of the backing pattern showing thru due to the bright sun behind this quilt - it was as adorable as the front but I didn't get a picture - drat!

I loved the colors and this unique design

Very striking color combination

A very pretty stack and whack type design - her note says she started this in 1997 and a UFO challenge got her to finish it!