Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Quietly creating

A few weeks ago, I came home with this set of  scraps from a Super Bowl sale, and I have been tossing around ideas of what to do with them ever since.

Something about the neutral tones with the touches of pink was just very calming, and serene.  It was just the feeling I was looking for in an otherwise hectic February.   I chose a square-in-a-square block variation and sewed up the first block:

Not much contrast, I know, but I wanted more of a whisper than a shout.

Being a complicated block, it seemed best to paper piece it.  I turned to my trusty Electric Quilt software, and created a pattern, dividing it up into five sections:

Then, knowing I wanted to make multiple blocks, I took the time to figure out the approximate size to cut each fabric piece for the least amount of waste.  This was important, because I was working with some small sized scraps.

Piecing followed along pretty well, but I often had to stop and check to be sure I was using the correct  triangles that I had intended  in the right  spot.  I decided that a cutting diagram would be a good idea to help keep track of the pieces.  I used a file folder, and made a true-to-scale drawing of each piece.
When preparing for the next block, I placed my cut pieces on the diagram to keep track of where they belonged in the block.

Sewing  was a lot easier now that I had a way to keep things organized.  Here are the two blocks that I have done so far:

and here are the fabrics I have chosen for the next few blocks.

Now that I have the cutting diagram for reference, I can cut pieces for more than one block at a time, and know that I can keep them organized as I progress with the sewing.

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

A February Finish

I finally have a finish to show for February.

This is the table runner I made from the "Orphans and Scraps" sew along posted by Pam Buda.  I love the way it turned out.

It's kind of like a "Where's Waldo" with quilt blocks.  

Find the Courthouse Steps block...
Ah, there it is.

I have become a fan of using striped fabrics for bindings.  The tan/black stripe fabric was something I bought from a sale bin without knowing exactly what I would use it for, but I thought it was perfect for the binding on this runner.

On the opposite end of the quilted spectrum, I also finished this month's Block of the Month that I am doing at my local quilt shop.

In my time as a quilter, I have always referred to myself as a "jewel tone gal".  They have always been my favorite colors to work with.  I surprised myself with how much I have enjoyed using the Civil War repro fabrics.   Who would have guessed?

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Orphans and Scraps find a home

Remember these cute little blocks?

These are the blocks I made  from following along with Pam Buda on her "Orphans and Scraps"  sew-along.  In week five, Pam showed us how she set her blocks into a  miniature table topper that you can see here.

Pam encouraged us to come up with our own setting if we liked.  I was concerned that such a cute little table runner like hers might get lost around here, so I decided to make mine bigger.

I surrounded each of the blocks with Flying Geese units to turn them into stars.

Then I set them together with lots of two inch squares, and ended up with this:

It's a very busy pattern, but I love how the stars draw you in to look closer at the centers and you see the miniature blocks.

Once it is quilted, this one will be going on my coffee table. I think it will provide a nice bit of eye candy to accompany any coffee.
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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Granny gets her day

Happy Valentine's Day!

I made this quilt, called "Valentines for Granny" in the Spring of last year.  It was too late to enjoy it for Valentine's Day of 2012, but now it has officially been hung up in the living room to celebrate the holiday.

The quilt that was hanging in that spot before "Granny" replaced it was a winter quilt of an ice skater that I made back in 1999.

Our guild challenge that year was to make a quilt representing the upcoming turn of the century to the new Millennium. We were given a fabric with "2000" printed on it that had to be used somewhere in the quilt.  Can you spot it?

How about now?
Yup.  There it is in her earmuffs.  In order to bring the Millennium theme to the forefront, I quilted "2000" in the ice section at the bottom of the quilt as if the little skater had just traced it with her skating.
Lucky for me, it was a year with lots of "0's".

Have a sweet day!  My parents are celebrating their 67th Valentine's Day together today!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Snowpocalypse 2013

You probably heard that New England had a little snowstorm last weekend.   Poor hubby had quite a job snowblowing the driveway.

The next day dawned with a beautiful blue sky, and the sun came out, so we took advantage of the weather and took Toby out for a rousing game of "Fetch". This is our fourth winter with Toby, but it is the first time we have seen so much snow accumulation.  I wondered how a 15 inch dog would manage in a 24 inch snow pile, and he showed us that he was up to the task.

It all starts with a leap into the snowy abyss:

Then he bobs up and down as he approaches the orange "flying squirrel", creating his own tunnel through the snow.

On the way back, he wisely follows the path he created on the way out.

Eventually, he returns with his prized toy,

and is all ready to do it again.

Off he goes!

If you are a new visitor to my blog from Marlene at Stitchin by the Lake, welcome, and thanks for stopping by my little corner of the neighborhood.    Normally you would find quilt content here at Quilt Crossing, but Toby sometimes sneaks in and steals the show.   I also dabble in knitting, crochet and genealogy and have a love for British dramas.  Thanks for visiting!

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Finish It February

My local quilt shop had a Super Bowl sale, so I did what any quilter would do and supported my local shop.  I picked up a few fat quarters for $1.00 a piece, but I had the most fun going through her three large boxes of scraps.  The first fabric that caught my eye was a Tasha Tudor inspired print with this adorable little bird on it:
I think it's a wren.
The same fabric also had these sweet rabbits.
Rabbits this cute must surely be called "bunnies".

What's a woodland print without a wise owl?

Before I knew it, I was searching the  scrap fabrics to find coordinates for the woodland print.  I ended up with these:

The large piece of fabric on the right is one yard from a bolt that was on sale for $4.00/yard.   My head is already brewing with ideas for how to use this feminine collection, but it will have to wait for now.  My motto  for this month is "Finish it" February, not "Start Something from Sale Fabric" February.

I took the "Drop and Give me Twenty" pledge to do something sewing related for 20 minutes a day in February. Other than washing and ironing the above fabrics,  that hasn't happened.  (Don't you just hate it when real life  gets in the way of crafting?)  I have managed to knit for at least 20 minutes every day, so that counts as  progress, right?

My bottom line goal for February is to finish the sweater I am knitting, and to finish at least one quilt (including sewing down the binding) so that when our guild show rolls around this Fall I will have at least one thing ready to contribute.  Anything beyond that is icing on the cake.

A big snowstorm is coming our way this weekend, so hopefully I will make up for lost time.

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