Monday, July 28, 2014

DWM 7/28/14: Prepping for Retreat

Today instead of my design wall, I have stuff spread out all over my sewing room. I'm gathering together all the things I want to take to work on at Girl Scout camp retreat.

First there are the parts for the sample of Kristin's quilt. Easy piecing, just a lot of 5" square patches. I'm bringing along a flannel-backed tablecloth so I can lay out the colors in the correct order.
Baggie with pieces for sample for Kristen's quilt

Next are the parts and pieces for the CSQ 30-Something challenge, due in October. This requires more attention and care because there's machine applique as well as piecing involved.  We'll see how much I actually get done on this one. If I'm too distracted I'll leave it for at home when I can concentrate.
30-Something challenge all kitted up

For a change from piecing, I'm bringing along a charity quilt to finish. Here are the front, backing, and binding. I'll get it layered and pin-basted this week so it'll be ready to go by Friday.
Charity quilt parts
Here's what the front of it looks like:
Charity quilt front

And if time permits, I can bind this one. I do all of my binding by machine, no hand sewing.
Ready for binding
Here's part of the front of it:
Blue baby quilt

I think I'll have plenty to do to keep me busy! Linking up today with Judy at Patchwork Times, where you can see what everyone else is working on.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Stash Report 7/27/14

No fabric in this week - yay!

And - I finished the special baby quilt top, so I get to count 2-1/4 yards out.

I'll total up the yardage in and out for July in next week's report. Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times; check out everyone else's stash management progress over there.

I can't show the special baby quilt yet because I don't want the recipient to see it. I know her sister reads my blog but I don't know if she does or not. These are the fabrics I used:

I have enough of the print for the backing and binding also. It's all prepped and ready to go.

Ready to go where, you ask? Well, I've been invited to a retreat at Girl Scout camp next weekend. One of my bee friends is a supervisor there and she has invited a few friends to keep her company between her other duties, so we'll bring our crafty and quilty stuff along and have ourselves a retreat. Should be fun!

Monday, July 21, 2014

DWM 7/21/14: Too Many Projects

I have a bad case of quilters ADD right now - I'm pulled in too many directions by too many projects. As a result, my sewing room is a mess, my head is spinning, and I've lost track of some of my priorities and goals.

These are the cut parts for the sample of Kristen's quilt. I'll kit them up for a weekend retreat coming up soon. Meanwhile I can send her the yardage requirements and cutting instructions so she can get the rest of her fabric and start cutting. Since the cut squares are 5", I'll suggest that she get a couple of white charm packs so she doesn't have to cut all those white squares. (Kristen's quilt was not on my July goals list.)

This luscious pile of batiks is for a guild challenge that's due in October. I've started working on it, but too many of my guild friends read my blog so I'm not going to show WIP pictures. The theme is 30-Something, in recognition of the 30th anniversary of Circle in the Square Quilters. (This challenge quilt was listed as optional on my July goals, as I hadn't been inspired yet when I made the list.)

This is what the wall looks like today:
  1. On the wall: parts in progress for the special baby quilt that's due in early September, maybe sooner. (#1 goal for July, get that top done. Haven't touched it yet this month.)
  2. On the ladder: Donation quilt top, back, and binding, all prepped. (#2 on the July goals list, get it quilted and finished. Haven't touched it.)
  3. On the hanger, the reconstructed DCD top. (This never was on the goals list. Lots of Churn Dash projects on the web inspired me to try one, and after it came out so ugly it became a personal challenge to make something better of it. Way too much time spent on it this month!)
I need to regroup, clean up, prioritize, and focus. I will begin today by cleaning up, because I have friends coming over for a mini-workshop in making flying geese on Wednesday. No way could we work in the sewing room in the state it's in now!!!

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times; check out all the design wall inspiration over there. So much inspiration is how I get so distracted with so many projects!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Stash Report 7/20/14

More fabric in this week...  Sometimes you have to supplement your stash in order to be able to use what you have.

In my last post I mentioned that my niece wants to make a quilt and she's chosen the design pictured there (see below), simple squares alternating with white. In order for me to write the yardage requirements, cutting directions, and piecing instructions for her, I want to make a sample so I can make notes during the process. I need 9 fabrics, and I had 6 of them. So I bought some to supplement what I have.

My colors are not the same as Kristen's because I want her to have the satisfaction of creating a unique quilt in her own colors, inspired by the pool blue she already has. But the analogous color scheme and the value relationships are similar.

While shopping for the extra fabrics I needed, I found this fabulous dot in Kristen's colors, so I bought some for her. She can use it along with some of her pool blue for the backing. I'll be able to count this yardage out when I send it to her.

So, total in this week, 3-3/8 yards.

I counted the yardage used for the ugly Churn Dash top in June, but I used an additional 3/4 yards remaking it, so I can count out 3/4 yards. I'll tally up the totals in and out at the end of the month. I really need to get busy and finish something so I can count some yardage out!!

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times - check out everyone else's stash management efforts over there.

Friday, July 18, 2014

A Reconstructed Flimsy

A marginally less ugly top...

I took apart my ugly top, cut my Churn Dash blocks into fourths, and used them DNP style. I added some red ones, as several commenters suggested the addition of red. I played with layouts on the design wall. This is what I ended up with. At least the balance of light and dark is better.
Disappearing Churn Dash, 39" x 42"
When you slice up a nine patch, which is essentially what a churn dash is, you lose 1/4" on each side of the cuts. That's why the little red and teal pieces are offset by 1/4" here. Kind of interesting, sort of... At least I didn't have to match up all those seams!

Because of unstitching the original top, there was some fraying of the seam allowances and when I resewed everything together I lost some of the points. Oh, well, this will have to be good enough.

Still not loving it, but I've put enough time and energy into it and I'm sick of looking at it. I'll set this aside for awhile because I have deadlines and commitments that need my attention. Later I'll quilt it and donate it.

Linking up with Friday Finish over at Crazy Mom Quilts and Whoop Whoop Friday over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. At least I can call it a finished top, not just a waste of fabric.

In other quilty news, my 12 year old niece wants to make a quilt. She has almost no sewing experience, so we'll keep it very simple.  Here's the design she selected. It'll be throw size, about 50" by 59".
Kristen's Quilt

She's sending me a swatch of "mottled pool blue" fabric which is her color inspiration, along with her favorite colors of teal and purple. I'll go through my stash and see what I can contribute. After that Kristen and her mom will have to shop for the rest of the fabrics she'll need. Meanwhile I'll make a sample and write out the instructions for her. While I'm doing that, she's practicing good scant 1/4" seams on scraps and looking at video tutorials about rotary cutting.

This should be an interesting experience because Kristen lives in Tulsa and I live in St. Louis, so we're doing this all by e-mail and tutorial. Her mom, my sister, doesn't sew a stitch (in fairness, she's very musically talented and I'm tone-deaf), so mom isn't going to be much help if Kristen gets stuck. Maybe there's a Girl Scout leader she can turn to.

Wish Kristen luck with her project! Maybe we'll end up with another quilter (and fabriholic!) in the family.

Monday, July 14, 2014

DWM 7/14/17: The Ugly Churn Dash Saga Continues

If you remember the saga of the Churn Dash top that didn't turn out well (here and here), I decided to take the top apart, cut the blocks into fourths, make some more with red in them, and reassemble it Disappearing Nine Patch style.

Here's what my design wall looks like today, with stacks of parts pinned to it:
I spent some time last week unsewing. I also made the little red units. Because I didn't have any more of the dot fabric for the center of the Churn Dash, I had to use some of the sashing strips and construct those 1/4 Churn Dash units individually. I still have several CD blocks to cut apart and some more that haven't been unsewn yet.
Hopefully this week I can get them laid out in a pleasing arrangement on the wall and get them resewn into a new top.
In other news, my elderly neighbor is moving into a nursing home tomorrow. I'm giving her this quilt.
Trellis, 62" x 74"
I made this top a long time ago, before I ever got EQ5. Remember when hinged mirrors first came into vogue for designing? I designed 1/4 of this quilt on graph paper with colored pencils and then used hinged mirrors to determine the complete design. It's actually just Nine Patch and Kaleidoscope blocks. That was back in the late '90's or very early 2000's I think. I didn't have the skills to machine quilt it at the time, so it remained a UFO until 2006. Since then it's been hanging in the closet. Now it's time to go with Dot to a new home.
Linking up today with Judy at Patchwork Times. Check out all the inspiration on everyone else's design walls over there.  

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Stash Report 7/13/14

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times for Stash Report Sunday -

3 yards in - backing bought on sale at LQS.
Nothing out. Moving in the wrong direction!

Have you heard about the New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop? Check out my post below, then click on the links to meet some new blogger friends.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop

I’ve been a quilter forever, it seems, but I’ve only been blogging for about a year. So, I’m participating in the 2014 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop.
Let me introduce myself – my name is Jan. I’m a wife, mom of one grown son and DIL; daughter, sister, friend. I live in the greater St. Louis MO metro area.

I started sewing as a child and always wanted to be a fashion designer, so I majored in fashion design in college. I’m retired from a career in apparel, textiles and footwear product development, where I worked as a pattern maker, designer, material librarian and color specialist. Now I’m focusing on quilting as part of the next chapter in my life. I have a small book in the works with AQS, to be published next year.

I’ve been piecing and quilting since the early 1990’s.  I’ve been a member of Circle in the Square Quilters since 1992, and their hand piecing group since 2000. Like many long-time quilters, I started with traditional quilts. Since then my skills have improved and my tastes have changed, so now I design my own quilts and they’re more original and/or more modern-ish. I love EQ7 for designing!Although I don’t consider myself a Modern quilter, I am a charter member of the St. Louis Modern Quilt Guild.

Here are some of my favorite quilts:
Legacy, 2007, made for my dad’s 80th birthday. The words printed in each block are the titles to memoir stories that he wrote. Machine pieced and machine quilted by me. Twin bed size.

Loop in Motion, 2006, hand pieced by members of CSQ Piecing Group and machine quilted by me. 60”. Made for a challenge to commemorate the 100th anniversary of University City MO, which holds a festival in its Loop neighborhood called Loop in Motion.

Loop in Motion

Celtic Lullaby, started in 2005 and finished in 2011. 96” queen size. Hand pieced and hand embroidered by me and members of CSQ; hand quilted by Modesta Basler. Accepted into AQS Paducah in 2012.

Celtic Lullaby

Charmed Snowballs, 2013, tutorial here. Just a fun little quilt made for no particular reason, but I like the way it turned out. Machine pieced and machine quilted by me.
Charmed Snowballs

Big Print Beauty, 2014, twin bed size. Long arm quilted by Darlene Pratte. Made to illustrate a lecture I gave about working with large scale prints; pattern available.
Big Print Beauty

Everyone participating in the New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop has been asked to offer a blogging tip and a quilting tip, ask a question of other bloggers, and tell a random fact about themselves. So, here goes:

Blogging Tip: Sharing the oopses can be more beneficial than showing the latest finish, although those are satisfying to post, too. I always learn from the comments people leave about my mistakes or challenges, and I always appreciate their input.
Quilting tip: Master the scant quarter-inch seam, which should be one thread-width narrower than the 1/4" mark on your ruler. This is to accommodate the thickness of the fabric as it's folded over when pressed. Piecing comes out so much better: correct measurements, nice points, flat and square flimsy (not wavy or bowed) when the piecing is done with a good scant 1/4" seam.

Question: What do you like and not like about the content of the blogs you follow? Instruction? Finishes with glamour shots of projects? WIPs? Project oopses and design challenges? Occasional life and general chitchat? Other?
Random fact about me: I white-water rafted through the Grand Canyon.

Please visit the other New Quilt Bloggers participating in the Blog Hop.  Here are the links to the bloggers posting today, and you can click on the button on my sidebar for links to additional participants.
Since my blog is very much a work in progress, I'm linking up with WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.

Monday, July 7, 2014

DWM 7/7/14: Not much going on...

Here's what my design wall looks like today. I haven' t had much sewing mojo lately so not much has changed. The only change from last week is my attempt to mock up borders around the center of the bad churn dash top.

I had several comments last week about how I could salvage this top. Some suggested adding some red, to improve the balance of light & dark, perhaps adding the red to the sashing. Another suggested I import photos of the existing blocks into EQ and play with options. Good suggestion! I tried it, and although the photos didn't work, drawing the blocks and adding my fabrics did. I played with some options but didn't really like any of them.

Then I played with cutting up the Churn Dash blocks DNP style. I added some red ones and some all-stripe ones. Here's one possible layout. I like the streak-of-lightning effect but the color placement needs to be mixed up, which I can do with actual blocks on the design wall. This could make a cute table topper for someone who has red, yellow, and teal Fiesta ware.

The only sewing I actually accomplished last week was a black nylon pouch to attach to the handlebars of DH's bike. He's riding in the RAGBRAI later this month and he wanted somewhere to keep his reading glasses. So I made a little pouch that attaches with Velcro, just big enough for his glasses, map, phone, and a couple tubes of energy gel.

I didn't post a stash report yesterday because I had nothing in and nothing out last week. I'm not counting the fabric used in the churn dash top until I either remake it into something good, or give up on it and call it a loss.

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times; check out everyone else's design wall over there.