Monday, September 15, 2014

Choose Your Own BlockAlong, 9/15/14

Welcome to this week's edition of  Choose Your Own BlockAlong.

Two things I know for sure about my block-along:

1. I am going to love this quilt.
All blocks are from Tula Pink's City Sampler Book. 
Block 5

 Block 6
2. It is not going to be the stash buster that I had hoped for.

How have I collected so much red and green fabric?? It may not look like much here but there are six stacks of fabric!
Starting this week, we will have a linky so you can show your progress and see what everyone else is up to. Please only link if your post includes at least one block in a series you are working on.

 Also, don't forget to check the progress of Rene' and Michelle.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Finish It Friday

In what seems like kind of a stunning development, I have not one but two finishes today. Neither of them are very large, but nonetheless they are complete.

Awhile back, I needed some graphic design work for a magazine quilt submission. I had designed four blocks and each block had two braided herringbone sections. I was able to get as far as this:
Terri was able to get it to this point, where each segment of the block was "exploded"--just what I needed.
I don't think I am underestimating it when I say that Terri is a huge Anna Maria Horner fan. For months, I had wanted to make one block for her using AMH scraps in the braided portion, not only to thank her for the graphic design work but also because she is a very special friend.
On the back is one of my favorite prints.
If you have an embroidery machine, you really need to check out some of Terri's designs

Next up, this top has been sitting in a stack for what seems like forever. I'm not sure exactly what was holding me up from completing it. I just was never sure what its final outcome should be--pillow? mini quilt? It ended up being a mini, 22" x 22". It's made from a set of Oakshott cottons called "elements" (at least that is what I think they are called--I'm not sure that this range is even available anymore). All the colors are "shot" with white thread, giving them a chalky pastel look.
I found the perfect fabric for the back.

I ended up doing some easy straight line quilting, which sure didn't take very long, which then made me wonder why I had waited so long! Anyway, I'm giving it away!
Just leave a comment and let me know if you have ever made anything with shot cottons. I'll choose a winner on Sunday, September 14.

And...Mark has been busy in his glass shop as well. He had two custom orders and they are so spectacular that I had to share them. They are 12" platters made from dichroic glass. Photos do not do them justice. These platters are simply stunning.
This is his equivalent of sewing with scraps. I can tell you that especially the bottom platter took forever to piece. Just look at these teensy little slivers of glass. Improv glass making at its finest.
After firing the platter first in the kiln (there are three layers of glass that need to be fused together), he then fires it again to give it the gentle slope.
If you are in need of some cool gifts, he I will be posting pictures on his Instgram feed, @doublediamondglass.

I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and TGIFF. Have a lovely weekend.

Oh, and don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Choose Your Own Block-Along Monday, 9/8/14

I'm so glad you are here for this week's edition of the "Choose Your Own Block-Along."  Rene' designed a button for us, and we have a Flickr group!

I spent a little time working on the plan for the Tula Pink City Sampler blocks. I have a list of eight block groups, and the number of blocks which will be in each group. Here is the breakdown:

White/green (low volume): 10 blocks
White/red (low volume):     10 blocks
White/red/green (low volume): 10 blocks
Green/white: 10 blocks
Red/white: 10 blocks
Red/green/white: 16 blocks
Red/green: 14 blocks
Green/red: 14 blocks

The first color(s) listed in each group is the color that will be emphasized. So, for example: the blocks I made last week were white/green and white/red:

This week I did two blocks from the next group, white/red/green:
Here are the four blocks together:
I can visualize it all in my head. Hope it works out.

Don't forget to see what Rene' and Michelle have been up to this week.  We plan on having a linky, too--we just haven't decided on how often. What do you think? Weekly, monthly, once a quarter? We hope you join us--here, Instagram, Flickr!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Finish It Friday

Now I realize that conventionally a quilt back would not be considered a "finish." However, just ask Carla. She and I completed all 111 Farmer's Wife quilt blocks.
 81 blocks on the front (ignore the fact that I put it on the design wall incorrectly)
We blogged about them every Friday for months. She completed the back to her quilt, sent it off to be quilted, unpicked some of the quilting, sent it off again, and then wrote a post about her beautiful quilt. In 2013.

Mine is still not finished. 

So. High on my priority list has been to finally complete the back so my quilt can finally be completed. Then I can finally write a post telling you what a wonderful experience this was, to make the same two blocks each week with a good friend, because it really WAS a wonderful experience. I can show you my completed Farmer's Wife quilt for the first time. And Carla can reintroduce you to her really stunning quilt.

I'm happy to report that the back is done so I'm considering it a "finish" this week.  By now the whole thing should be in the hands of my fabulous quilter, Dea, who quilts more than she blogs. :) Lucky for me.
(30 blocks on the back)
I can't wait to share my favorite blocks--you might be surprised--and one that I thoroughly despised.

I'm linking up here and here

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Choose Your Own Block Along:Starting a New Project

It always fascinates me how a new project gets started. You have a list of things to finish and you vow not to start anything new. And then, wham! You are pulling fabrics for a brand new project.

Awhile back, I found out that my good friends (and sisters) had some projects of their own in the works.  Michelle wanted to make the blocks from Tula Pink's City Sampler, and Rene' wanted to make her Dear Jane blocks. I have had the Tula Pink book for awhile and already had kind of plan formulating in my head.

They decided that doing a "block along" would keep them accountable. It sure worked for me when Carla and I decided to make all 111 Farmer's Wife blocks. (NOTE: I'm pretty good with the accountability portion of making the blocks. I just have trouble with the completion portion. Carla's quilt has been completely finished for a long time. Mine is finally off to my favorite longarmer tomorrow....)

So the three of us decided to form an accountability group. We would love to have people join us. Maybe Tula Pink's City Sampler isn't on your list, or you have never wanted to make a Dear Jane block. Doesn't matter. If you have a project to complete, I hope you will join us! The three of us will post our progress each Monday.  (NOTE: Did you notice it is Tuesday? Eek. I'm already a day behind. But yesterday was a holiday, right?)
Block 1
Block 2
I'm planning on going through the book and making the blocks consecutively. Debbie from A Quilter's Table has a great tutorial on creating a grid to keep track of the blocks. And that way I can get more of a handle on the plan that is floating around in my head.

You can see the progress Rene' and Michelle have already made.

I hope you join us and make some blocks of your own!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Flowering Snowball

I didn't actually snowball-along with Mary this summer, but I do have a flowering snowball quilt top.

When I made it several summers ago, I used a jelly roll of Sherbet Pips. 

Now that I have seen Mary's beautifully hand quilted version, I'd like to hand quilt this one. The back is already made, and now I'm at the point where my quilt-making usually comes to a dead halt--the basting step. I really need to work on that.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Fat Quarter Shop: Coffee Koozie

Fat Quarter Shop has a free pattern for a really cute coffee koozie.

I've made several of these before, but I particularly like the way this one is sewn together. It is geared for the cute little 2 1/2" squares from mini charm packs.  I had some leftover end pieces from another strip-pieced project that were perfect for this.  You make two-patch units, then lay the first unit on the left end of a piece of batting, layer another one on top, right sides together, sew along the right side and press open. Continue with the rest of the two-patch units.

You end up with this, all sewn to the batting.

Lay the pattern on top and cut.
Lay this piece right sides together with your backing, along with an elastic hair band on one end, stitch around the edges, leaving a space so you can turn it right sides out, stitch closed, add button and voila.

You can find the free pattern here and a video with step-by-step instructions here.

I'd love to show you this cute little koozie around my favorite coffee mug. I was sure I had taken a picture of it. Before I gifted it to a friend. Oops. (It makes a great gift!)