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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Still working on blocks

I'm still plugging along on my blocks that I've commited to doing for Quilt Along's. Remember these: here and here. These blocks are the ones I've been doing over at Sew Happy Geek. We're getting to the end of the quilt along,  then the hard part will be what to do with these squares. That's when I need to start practicing some Free Motion Quilting - eek! Onto the blocks since I've had these done since they first came out but I haven't posted about them yet.


The block above is called the Churn Dash Redux. Love how those red and black triangles are working. They just POP!


The last block I've finished so far is the HST Diamond. That red in the middle reminds of something that I should be staring at and it will change into something. It doesn't but it certainly looks like it could! I can't believe how just scraps of fabric that I've had laying around for years is turning into some beautiful blocks.

The last 2 blocks are the Quatra Star Foundation/Paper Pieced Block and a Dresden. Jenna has even made a video for the Quatra Star - love visuals. I'm more excited to finish up with the Dresden. I've been working on a little table runner with some plates in them that I almost finished yesterday that I will have later in the week.

Have a Great Day!
Since I typed this post up Jenna made a collage of some of the blocks participants have turned in. When I opened it up this morning I was so happy to see the Churn Dash Redux block right there on her page! Happy dances when someone actually likes what I've done, besides me! Go check it out: Collage of Blocks

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Quilt Show

I was asked by a good friend to go to a Quilt Show sponsored by the Great Lakes Heritage Quilters. I've never been to a quilt show and was so anxious to see all the different designs and quilts by people who are more proficient at this craft than me.


When we walked in we were greeted by beautiful quilts drapping the bannisters of the building. Some quilts were so old that they were tattered after being used and loved for so many years. Gloves were given so you could actually touch the quilts to get a better feel for the stitches that were involved. I was in awe of the beauty of these quilts and how different they became by changing out the fabric choices and colors. Below are the ones that stood out that I just loved.







These are just a few of my many favorites. In honor of the New York Beauty Quilt Along here are some quilts that caught my eye.





Aren't those beautiful! The scrappiness of the quilts is what really draws the eye. I love all the bright colors that they put into them. The NY Beauty QAL is going to be a challenge for me since I'm fairly new to quilting but I'm so excited to try it. I might be fooling myself into thinking I can do this but I'm going to try my best even if it means I have to Sew.Rip.Repeat numerous times. I actually think I'm going to use scraps to do this project. I'm more after the challenge of doing the block than making it for a purpose so I don't have to match a color scheme.

I'll have more later in the week of blocks I've finished and even what I bought at the Quilt Show.

Have a Great Day!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Baking

I've been sewing all week and decided it was time for a change. I decided today was a good day to bake some cookies.


Those are Milk Chocolate Chocolate Chips in there! Yummy! I wish I could take the credit for these delicious morsels, but I can't. I came across a food blog called Jamie Cooks It Up and I have to tell you the few things I've tried have been excellent. They even received the highest honor from 3 teenagers and a husband.


Jamie calls these Grandmas Chocolate Chip Cookies and they are the best hands down. I used Nestle's Milk Chocolate Chip Morsels insead of the fancy brand that she uses and for our family they never noticed a thing. We're just not fancy kind of people I guess. Hee Hee. So anyway I also cooked these 10 minutes instead of her recommended 8. Mine were still raw even after I let them stay on the pan like she wanted. I blame alot of the problem on my oven but you work with what you got. One of these days my wish will come true and the oven will take it's last leg and I can get a new one. Fingers crossed!

Go to Jamie's blog and make yourself some of these Chocolate Chip Cookies. You won't be disappointed!

Have a Great Day!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Final Solstice Stars

I'm sad to say my favorite quilt along has come to an end. I've been busy all month with Faith at Fresh Lemons Quilts making some really unique blocks. I've learned how to cut, make Half Square Triangles or HST's as the quilters call them, paper piece blocks which is actually sewing on paper and of course the obvious that I'm known to do is Sew.Rip.Repeat to some really great accuracy. First up is the last of the paper pieced blocks. It is called Star of Mystery. This block was so involved and it took alot of thinking and determination to be able to get this to the point where I liked it. You are actually sewing backwards and then flipping the fabric over. You have to really make sure you have plenty of fabric when you do the flip.


I tried to use the same fabrics as the Whirling Star Block. I really love this fabric line called "Sunny" from Joann Fabrics which is a local craft store. The yellows, grays, blacks and whites just pop!

Now the last block I actually did 2 times. I couldn't tell by Faith's sample how the colors were supposed to go because the pieces were so similar. I also couldn't wrap my brain around how it was going to look with certain colors of fabrics. I ended up playing it safe until I could see how other people on the Flickr group were doing it. The picture below is my first try at the Two Colors Star.


 
The block really is pretty even though this isn't what it is supposed to look like. The yellow pieces are actually supposed to continue down to the last HST. Since the block looks so different than what it is supposed to look like I changed the colors up for the correct version of the block. You'd never know they are actually the same blocks with the different fabric choices that I used.


Faith has some different versions on how you can finish these blocks and make them into a quilt but I think I'm going to continue on and try my hand at her Summer Sampler Series. The blocks in this series are the same size and I think they are quite similar that I just might be able to do something with all of them together. I don't have a clue what but we'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Have a Great Day!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

New York Beauty BOM

Call me crazy, over ambitious, excited or just plain geeked! While catching up on all the latest in blogland a post from Sew Sweetness and Sara caught my attention. Sara was blogging about a new Quilt Along that starts in March. While reading she also had posted a picture of a Mini Quilt that Katie from The Blue Chair had made. I have pinned on Pinterest a very similar piece a few weeks ago that I just loved.

Since indulging in this new found hobby of quilting I've come to really enjoy the art of paper piecing (I've only done 2). Well these BOM are all paper pieced. This must be my month of just going for it because I've joined the Flickr group (the very first member - eek!), downloaded the button on my blog and I'm now blogging about it right here. I'm now committed!

So I'm now off to finish start the other blocks that I've been doing so I'm ready for this to start.

Have a Great Day!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Blocks, Blocks and more Blocks

I've accomplished some more blocks for the Sew Happy Geek Quilt Along. Have I told you how much fun I'm having - I'm having fun! My husband asked me a few days ago what are you going to do with all of these . . . I have no clue is my answer. I'm learning and besides I figure it keeps me busy during the day when I'm not working. First up let me show you the Flying Geese Pinwheel Block.


I said I didn't like the white fabric with the blues, red and blacks but I must admit defeat when I say that fabric turned out great in this block. Instead of solid red I found this scrap piece of fabric that I had and used this. Makes my head a little dizzy sometimes looking at it because I literally can see the Pinwheel moving. The black fabric was an after thought and I'm so glad I stuck it in. The next block was the Fireflies Block.


The color choices on these blocks amaze me. I'm a very conservative person and using bright reds with black and white is really out of my comfort zone. I've been so lucky with the way these blocks are turning out. I must double check my measuring 5 times before I cut and then another 5 times to make sure I'm sewing the right pieces together. All my points are matching up and nothing looks out of place. Last block is called the Diamond Peek A Boo Block.


I wasn't to sure about the color choices that I made on this block, but once I took the picture I noticed how it just came together so well. I'm starting to get excited about finishing up the rest of the blocks to see how it is going to look all put together. Where it will go and who it will be for is anybody's guess.

Have a Great Day!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Another Star Quilt Block

I've been keeping up with Faith and her great tutorials in the Solstice Stars Series. First off I'll show you my first attempt at this block. Talk about being a newbie in the quilting field because I never noticed how the fabric bunches until after I took the pictures and posted them in her flickr group - Duh! So here is my gathered up mess:


I was shocked when I looked at this picture and saw all the puckering. It looks like I was trying to ruffle my way up the seam. So in honor of the name of this blog I actually did Sew.Rip.Repeat. This time I made sure that after every seam I sewed I double checked that there wasn't any puckering.


I am so in love with these fabric choices. I get a chuckle everytime someone comments on the flickr group on my fabric choice because I actually bought it at a chain fabric store in my city. The collection is called "Sunny" from my fabric store stand-by, Joann's.

I see the next scheduled quilt block is supposed to be up today and I got called into work so it will have to wait until another day. I'm having fun and I think I'm going to do her other quilt along called "Summer Sampler Series" that she has on her blog.

Have a Great Day!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Winter?


How can it be Winter in Michigan when I have this growing out of the cracks of my deck? It has been such a mild winter that I'm afraid of what Spring is going to be like.


So for now I'll go in the backyard and just savor these moments of winter and hope that we don't get a foot of snow soon!

Have a Great Day!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Craftsy Block of the Month (BOM)

In January I saw an email from Craftsy offering a free online class doing a Block of the Month by Amy Gibson. All my friends know me as always finding great bargains at the grocery store and clearance racks, so to find something to teach me how to quilt that was going to be free was right up my alley. I bought a Layer Cake at Joann's called Sunny with beautiful grays, blacks and my favorite yellow in them. I figured I didn't want to spend a small fortune on nice fabric since I didn't know how well I'd be able to piece this together and how many times I'd be ripping it out. Then I didn't know if I'd end up with a 12.5" square piece of fabric in the end. Well I'm thanking my lucky stars that I didn't spend that small fortune because I had to do each of the blocks twice - Ugh! Here are my two first tries at the Asterisk Block and the Wonky Pound Sign Block.



The Asterisk Block consisted of repeatedly cutting the fabric and sewing in strips of the gray. Talk about being scared to be cutting up such pretty fabric this way and that. I thought it turned out great except for the fact that I didn't like that the slash on the bottom left and going to the top right was showing its seams. That really bothered me that such a beautiful block didn't match perfectly. The Wonky Pound Sign Block also consisted of cutting up fabric but not as extreme. Actually this block was much easier but it didn't square up to the 12.5" that it was supposed to do. Doing some investigating I found I wasn't sewing with a 1/4" seam allowance. I assumed that when you have a quilting foot it was automatic - wrong! Back to the drawing board I went with the blocks.



After going slower and following the directions exactly the block turned out exactly the same way with the seams showing. After posting some questions on the forum I heard that everyone had this same issue and it was supposed to be that way. (I don't agree that it should and I'm on a mission to find a tutorial that doesn't have that ugly seam showing on one of the cross strips.) With the correct 1/4" seam allowance my Wonky Pound Sign measured correctly - Yeah Me!

The February BOM is out and I'm excited to jump right in. I'm off to my sewing domain in the basement.

Have a Great Day!
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