Monday, May 26, 2014

DWM 5/26/14

Mindless playing with easy pieces:
Same size etc. as CSQ Charity Quilt in last week's post,
using some of the bargain fabrics I recently got in Paducah.
Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Stash Report 5/25/14

Yesterday we drove past a place that sells fabric by the pound. DH said, "You can't go in there. It would be way too embarrassing for your stash report."

Nothing in this week and nothing used that I can count yet, but I should be able to count it next week. I'll tally the monthly totals next week.

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times; check out how everyone else is managing their stash over there.

Monday, May 19, 2014

DWM 5/19/14: A little charity quilt

The guild that I belong to is starting a charity project. The organizations that will receive our quilts are still to be finalized, but likely will be the U City PD (kids' quilts for when the officers unfortunately have to remove children from a bad situation) and the Missouri Veterans Home of STL (wheel-chair size quilts for veterans).

Last week I started playing with bright colored patches and came up with this little top, shown here on my design wall:
Now it's a finish!  For anyone who might be interested, I put together a little tutorial for it, which you can find here.
CSQ Charity Quilt, 40" x 48", 2014
Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times - check out everyone's design walls over there!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Stash Report 5/18/14

I went to Paducah on Monday to deliver all my book stuff to my editor. WHile there, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to visit Hancock's and Quilt in a Day, now, could I?!!!

Let me tell you, two weeks after Quilt Week is a great time to visit Hancock's of Paducah. All the hordes who visited during Quilt Week generated tons of bolt ends and remnants. I scored lots of 3/8 to 1-yard cuts of all sorts of good stuff, including Kona cotton in white and black, always good stash additions. I picked up a couple of remnants and FQs at Quilt in a Day, too.  The stash definitely grew some this week!

Yardage in, 10.625.
Out, 4.6 yards for a sample donation quilt (more tomorrow)
Monthly and YTD totals will be tallied at the end of the month, but the stash is definitely ahead.

some half-yard cuts of low volume backgrounds
and a Kaffe Fasset remnant
pink & grey, because my stash was lacking in these colors
fun bolt ends and remnants

OK, I didn't have an immediate plan for these so they're purely stash enhancement. But at bolt-end prices, I couldn't pass them up.

Linking up today with Judy at Patchwork Times; check out everyone else's stash reports over there. I'm sure everyone is doing much better than I am this week at keeping their stash under control!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Bloggers Quilt Festival - My Entry

This year for the first time I'm participating in Bloggers Quilt Festival. I'm entering my Charmed Snowballs quilt into the Small Quilts Category.

Charmed Snowballs is still one of my favorite quilts. It was so much fun to make! Click on the tutorial tab above for the link to the instructions.
Charmed Snowballs , 2013, 40 x 49"

Linking up with Bloggers Quilt Festival over at Amy's Creative Side. Check it out!

Friday, May 16, 2014

CSQ Charity Quilts

The other day at my guild's Council meeting, the charity committee was discussing plans.  I offered to put together a quick tutorial for something easy and versatile, that could be suitable either for children or veterans (wheel chair size). Members who want to participate can choose whichever works best to use up their scraps or their stash. Here is what I came up with:

CSQ Charity Quilt, 40" x 48"

Here is the top I made to test the pattern:
CSQ Charity Quilt Top, 40" x 48"

For anyone who is interested, here are the instructions:

Fabric requirements: Please prewash all fabrics.
Top center and outer border: assorted scraps for a total of 103,  4-1/2” squares. You can get 9 squares from a WOF strip so 12 WOF strips should be sufficient. Cut WOF strips 4-1/2” wide, then sub cut into 4-1/2” squares.
Inner Border: 3/8 yard.  Cut 4 (four) 2-1/2” WOF strips. Remove selvages and trim 2 (two) of the strips to 36-1/2” and the other 2 (two) to 32-1/2”
Binding: 3/8 yard.  Cut 5 (five) WOF strips, 2-1/2” wide.
Backing: 1-1/2 yards, at least 42” wide.
Piece squares into rows of 7 (seven) patches each. Make 9 (nine) rows.
Join rows together for center of quilt.
Attach 36-1/2” inner borders to sides.
Attach 32-1/2” inner borders to top and bottom.
Piece remaining squares into strips of 10 (ten) patches. Make 4 (four) strips for outer borders.
Attach a border strip to each side of quilt center.
Attach border strips to top and bottom.
Layer, baste, and quilt as desired.
Machine-finished binding is recommended for durability.

Linking up with Whoop Whoop Friday over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Friday Finish over at Crazy Mom Quilts. Check them out!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Frustrating WIP

It's been awhile since I've been able to post about what I'm working on. Remember this?
Pin Basting Dresden Rows

I'm working on machine quilting it on my Bernina. It's been frustrating.

First, what color thread to use? The backing is chevron stripes on a white ground. On a test sample, I tried brown thread in the top and white in the bobbin. I ended up with white thread showing on top and brown showing on the back. Definitely not OK.  I tried brown in the bobbin. It was OK on the top, but I hated how it looked on the back, so unflattering to the chevron stripe fabric.

So I'm using microfilament invisible thread for both the top and the bobbin. Problem #1 solved.

I started with SID between the Dresden rows and the brown. Lots of pivoting, but so far so good.

I knew I wanted stippling in the brown areas. After some tension issues and some ripping, I was able to  FMQ the brown areas.

Next, I wanted to follow the linear shapes of the Dresdens in the rows, but I couldn't work out a way to do it with the walking foot, and my FMQ skills are definitely not up to the challenge. I sketched what I thought would work. I tried - and ripped out - three different attempts to try to quilt those shapes in linear patterns. Have you ever tried ripping out invisible thread?

I ended up going with simple chevrons across the Dresden rows. It requires marking the pivot points, so I made a template for the dots. The stitching is very slow going, lots of pivoting which means wrestling the bulk under the machine every two inches. But, problem #2 is solved.
Chevron Quilting in the Dresden Rows

I have two of the Dresden rows done. Now, I'm almost out of thread. I've had it for years, there's no label on the cone, I have no idea where I got it, and I need more to finish the quilting. So this project is on hold until I can find more thread.  Wish me luck in solving problem #3!

Even though there have been a few setbacks with the quilting, I still like this design. I'll find the thread and get it finished soon.

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday - check it out.

Monday, May 12, 2014


Leaving in a few minutes to take all the book stuff to my AQS editor in Paducah.
All the Book Stuff Ready to Go

I hope they like it. I know they'll have to cut a lot, to get it down to 32 pages. I really want to know more about the next phases in the process. I guess I'll learn some today and find out the rest as we go along.

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times. Check out everyone's design walls over there today.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Stash Report 5/11/14

More fabric came in this week...

Those marketing folks over at Michael Miller Fabrics sure know what they're doing. They give MQG members who want to participate in their challenge a bundle of six fat eights. But of course one needs more, or additional coordinates, or background, right?

After finding a few coordinates at Hancock's of Paducah, I still needed more of the orange they provided, as well as some charcoal Painters Canvas for background, so I pushed buttons. Much to my dismay, a certain on-line shop that promotes Fat Quarters now has minimum 1/2 yard cuts, or 1 yard cuts if it's sale fabric. So instead of getting 1-1/4 yards total, I ended up getting 3-1/2 yards.
Michael Miller Challenge Fabrics and More

I also found something I liked on the free table at guild yesterday, so that came home with me, too.

So, yardage in this week, 4-5/8 yards.
Yardage out, none.

I'll tally the totals at the end of the month. My goal for the year is to break even. I'm kind of deep in the hole now, but I have some WIP's that I plan to finish so I hope I can at least come close.

Check out other stash reports over at Patchwork Times.

Monday, May 5, 2014

DWM 5/5/14: More First Saturday Blocks

Here's what I have on my design wall today: It's month 10 of the Quilted Fox's First Saturday block of the month, and I have the main block and the alternate block done. Here are nine of each.
First Saturday Main Blocks
First Saturday Alternate Blocks
Here's what they looked like laid out together last month (with the oops alternate block, which I still haven't fixed.)
First Saturday blocks
I'm still not loving these blocks, especially the main block. There will be 12 of each when the series is finished. I may just make two baby quilts, use them for FMQ practice, and donate them. Or they'll just remain a UFO forever. Or, if anyone else who's doing these blocks wants more, I'll sell them.

The next year of First Saturday blocks starts in August and the theme will have something to do with the forest. The colors are described as dark green and autumn leaf tones. She hasn't actually shown us the blocks, but it sounds like those colors will coordinate nicely with my family room, so I think I'll sign up again.

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times; check out all the quilty inspiration everyone else has on their design wall.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

April Stash Report and May Goals

Stash Report:
This is a bit awkward since April ended halfway through last week. I tally my stash report monthly and April hadn't ended yet last Sunday so there was still hope I'd use some yardage, right?
Yeah, like that would actually happen...

So, here are the April numbers. It was a very lopsided month.

April IN: 31.25 (French text binding, STLMQG free table, Paducah)
April OUT: 0.875 (3/4 yard for binding & 1/8 yard for bee block)

YTD IN: 111.25
YTD OUT: 73.8
YTD net change: 37.45 in.

April progress:
Review and edit all files for book: DONE
Check all calculations for yardage and cutting.
Check for consistent style.
Label all images and diagrams; compile list of them for managing files.
Check spelling & punctuation.
Photograph book quilts. DONE with help from a friend - Thanks Marilyn!
Keep up with bee blocks. DONE
Have fun in Paducah. Oh yeah, DONE big time!
Begin organizing all book files into AQS format & requirements. DONE

May Goals:
1. Print & organize all book materials
2. Deliver all book materials to publisher on May 12
3. Quilt Dresden Rows
4. Work on Michael Miller Challenge (requires purchase of add'l fabric for background)
5. Keep up with bee blocks
6. Design Baby quilt if time permits - not needed until September

Actually I'm keeping my May goals relatively easy - I've been pushing to get all the book stuff done lately and I think I'll slow down a bit now.

Michale Miller Challenge fabrics plus some enhancements
Baby quilt fabrics

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times; check out all the other stash reports over there.

Friday, May 2, 2014

A Friday Finish of a Different Sort

Whoo Hoo!!! The master bathroom is finished!
We've gone from old and yucky:
To new and nice:
Linking up with Friday Finish over at Crazy Mom Quilts and Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.
Quilt lovers, if you haven't seen yesterday's post about the cool 1930 Improv quilt I saw in Paducah, check it out below. 


Thursday, May 1, 2014

1930 Improv Quilt

Check out this antique quilt I saw in a vendor's booth at the AQS show in Paducah:
1930 Improv Quilt

The seller is not a quilter but deals in antiques. She described this as a child's quilt, about 4 by 6 feet, and well used. She acquired it as part of a collection from Illinois, but she has no idea where it originated or who made it.
1930 Improv Quilt

The fabrics in it date from the 1890s, including indigos, calicos, plaids & checks, and feed sack prints. Because the "newest" fabric in it is from 1929, the dealer dates this quilt at 1930. She says there are no 1930's fabrics in it.
1930 Improv Quilt, detail

It appears to be constructed in improv blocks and rows, starting from the center. The edges are finished with unmatched borders.

Center of 1930 Improv Quilt
The photos don't do it justice - it looked much more Modern in person than in these photos.  
Block Detail
Block Detail
If you look again at the top photo, you can see that the top and bottom fourths seem to have been created later than the center. There are fabrics used in these sections and in the borders that don't appear in the center, and the overall colors are darker and include more greens and yellows. I wish I knew the story behind that!
This quilt was priced at $3500.00. Wa-a-ay out of my reach! If I could afford it, I would buy it, pattern it, and publish it.  Wouldn't this make a great modern improv block of the month!
There are so many fabric lines available now to recreate this look, including some of Denise Schmidt's prints, 30's Playtime from Moda, Nana's Pantry by Connecting Threads, and ABC 123 by American Jane.  

 Linking up today with Really Random Thursday over at Live a Colorful Life.