Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Notes for Monday

First, the minion block of the day, then I pulled out a project that I started in June and put away for a couple of months.

This is a gift for my friend Rhonda Lopez. In late spring, she and her husband Steve bought a toy hauler and did some camping with the family over the summer. They call it their tiny house and I think it needs a quilt.

I bought a layer cake and some charm packs along with a black honey bun for the block borders and sashings. Well, let me just say that I didn't know the lint roller trick? And every time I work on this quilt, little black fuzzy dots are all over the ironing board, work table, sewing machine and cabinet, and me! What a mess!

Blocks are done and I've made 31 of these so far to use as vertical sashings between the blocks, so I have enough to do the layout and start sewing rows. I would love to get that done today and then resume the sashings. They have a lot of little pieces so aren't fast to make.

The last thing I did yesterday afternoon was play with fabric. I saw this quilt pattern in issue 51 of Love Patchwork and Quilting; it was made with the Blueberry Park line designed by Karen Lewis. I've already pieced two quilts with these fabrics and love them! Didn't have enough, though, for this quilt so I ordered a stash builder from Craftsy -- looks like there is every fabric in this huge line! Yay! There are some fat eighths, fat quarters and other larger cuts.


Pulled all of these (39) for Pixelated and still have 40 more cuts. Need more of the whites so ordered those. Think I might start this as a "row of the day" when I finish the minions blocks. 

Too much fabric, too little time! Need to lint roll the ironing board and make the block of the day...

Monday, September 18, 2017

Yesterday's Notes

Another sewing day -- yay! Fortunately, Dan had plenty of stuff to keep him busy so I got a few hours in.

First up, the daily minion star block. Those will be done on Wednesday and then I think I'll pick another daily block; that worked out nicely.

Secondly, finished piecing the body of the Paper Pinwheels quilt. Called Dawna Harrison (for those of you new to the blog, Dawna is co-owner of Bolts in the Bathtub, my local quilt shop) for a quick border width consult, but she's in Chicago learning all about the BERNINA 16 needle embroidery machines.

The quilt is only 48"x60" at this point and I definitely want to highlight the fun border print.


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Organizing Goals?

Funny what can happen while you're getting your hair done -- I was at Montage with Krista Victory styling my hair when we started discussing planners and the best ones out there to control a busy life. Krista had bought a pack of planners and was using two out of the three, so she gave me the mid size one, which turns out to be perfect!

So this is the part where I put in appointments, the never ending To Do list and log my activities for the day.

I found this free printable on www.aquiltinglife.com and use it to keep track of what I'm trying to do on a weekly basis. (I'll be willing to bet that my fabulous assistant, Monica, wishes I were using a "Blogging This Week" form -- go ahead, Monica, and design one!) It prints out at 8-1/2"x11" and my planner is 9"x7", so I took it to Staples and printed out a bunch at 84% (which I found out from planner bloggers is the "magic" numnber), punched them and inserted them right into each week of my planner. I've been using it for three weeks now and just noticed the column "Organizing Goals for the Week" -- really? When I'm traveling, I'm one of the most organized people ever, but at home?

Then I started thinking about all of my works in progress and how they are stored in various places in the house, garage, etc. Maybe I should do a binder that logs all this?

Another Staples run, a trip to Etsy to find a Project Planner form that I liked, and maybe I'll get some of this mess under control! A friend of mine, who wishes to remain nameless, told me she has 114 unfinished projects. When she said that, I knew I needed to corral mine -- I have no idea how many UFOs I have. Living in southern California, I tend to piece and design during the summer when it's hot and quilt when the weather cools down, usually around Halloween, until it heats up again around Easter. So right now I'm in piecing mode, filling out a Project Planner form for everything I touch, and filing it according to the stage it is in.

How do you organize your UFO's? Or are you one of these people that starts a project and follows it right through until you're finished? Any good ideas to incorporate into my system? I need help here!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Observing National Jelly Roll Day

Have you seen all the sales at your local quilt store as well as online? They're all featuring jelly rolls because it is National Jelly Roll Day! So to participate in this venerated holiday, I pulled out a project that I started in January at the Pieceful Hearts Quilters Guild retreat in South Carolina. I had purchased all the fabric at Spool when I taught there a year or so ago and got all of the 6" blocks sewn at the retreat.

The pattern is Paper Pinwheels from the September/October 2015 issue of Fons & Porter's Quilting Quickly. The pattern calls for 70 strips of the background fabric, making a quilt that finishes at 60"x84" and has no borders. I chose to make 80 blocks using only one jelly roll of the background, Modern Background Paper from Zen Chic for Moda. My quilt will finish at 48"x60" before borders. The pinwheels are a turquoise grunge, also from Moda.

This is what it looks like now after a couple of hours of laying out the blocks and sewing.

I think an inner border of the turquoise grunge fabric followed by the final border with the superheroine fabric -- all girls! -- will be perfect, although I don't know how wide I want them yet. When I bought these, I was thinking that newspaper prints plus comics would be a winning combo.
What do you think? And shouldn't the binding be turquoise?

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Now I'm a Westalee Accredited Teacher!

I've got some great pictures to share with you later, after I plug everybody into their chargers and my iPhone gets down to sharing pics with the iPad, but couldn't wait to share this particular tidbit: Along with four other Westalee instructors, I flew to Sew Steady headquarters in Eugene OR and attended a two day seminar with Leonie and Bill West, designers of the Westalee foot and ruler system.

Geraldine Wilkins (Living Water Quilter), Donna McCauley, Pam Varner and Donelle McAdams were the other four teachers who received our new bling:

Leonie assured us that the ruler foot is functional and we can sew with them, but I don't know if I want to!

There are other Westalee accredited teachers, but I think they are in Australia; the five of us were the first American teachers to complete this process. So here we are -- all ready to come to a store or guild near you and teach ruler classes!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Spooky Trees and Culcita

Yesterday I finished the outline quilting in the Spooky Ride panel blocks and then spent some time on Pinterest looking at ideas for spooky trees. I want to stitch a big tree going up the right side of the quilt in heavy 28 weight thread. I've chosen an orange and a gold from the Mettler silk finish line for the tree.

Here are the trees I liked the best:


Think those give me a framework to start with.
Also got two packages in the mail this week:

One was the Culcita box with the beautiful Lagoon fabrics and a Quilt Theory pattern.

They don't really work together as the pattern calls for Layer Cakes and there isn't enough yardage in 12 fat quarters to match up, but I loved the fabrics and the pattern, so they will go their separate ways in my (such as it is) quilting supplies organizational system.
I don't subscribe to the monthly Culcita box, although that is a slightly less expensive way to go. I preordered three months starting with the Alison Glass shipment last month.

The other package was my Fat Quarter Shop order:

Mini dots!! I already had the two yardage cuts in the lower right hand corner. Dots are such great blenders that I took advantage of the bundle sale and added to the dot stash.
Today will be a lazy Saturday, running errands and probably going out to dinner tonight with my husband, who has been super helpful as I've recovered from the foot surgery. Still hobbling and I'll be in a surgical boot for another few weeks. Get to start working out with my trainer again on Sept. 5! That date will get special stickers in my planner!

Plan for today: Have a happy quilty Saturday!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

One Down....

Posey Patch is in the washer to get all the marker lines out. I'm a big proponent of washing my quilts before I use them, show them in workshops or give them away. I got an email this week from my friend Paula Lidyoff about a nasty surprise she got when she washed a quilt. Her takeaway was: Always wash a quilt before you give it away so that any problems occur on YOUR watch! Bad situation, but good lesson. Sometimes we have to push through those teachable moments!

Next up: 


This must be Tiffany Hayes month! She did the applique on Posy Patch and designed Spooky Ride for Andover Fabrics using their Chillingsworth Spooky Ride fabrics. I bought the kit for this 70"x80" quilt at Bolts in the Bathtub (my local quilt store in Lancaster CA) and made it in a day or so at a retreat at Sierra Stars in Truckee CA.

Pinned it up with a scrappy pieced back and Winline wool batting.

Stitched in the ditch with Mettler's Transfil monofilament and now I'm ready to stitch around the characters, bats and other scary things in the panel squares. Here's my machine setup: Transfil as my top thread, Mettler 100% cotton, 50 wt silk finish thread in a yummy orange (#122) for the bobbin. Should get the outlining done today and then I can start on the spooky tree I want to stitch on the right hand side!


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

On the Mend

After foot surgery on August 1, I wasn't able to sew -- still technically cannot sew or drive because it was my right foot. However, I have played around in the sewing room and, while I can't piece worth a crap, I can quilt on the Q-20 with my left foot; the Q-20 couldn't care less which foot is on the pedal, pressure on the pedal is only telling the machine that you're sewing, not how fast you want to go. The two built in stitch regulators take care of that!

So I've spent portions of the last two days sewing in the background fills on one of my works in progress from a few years ago and should get it finished up tomorrow!


Are you pulling out any old projects to work on? It goes pretty fast because you already have so much done, right?

Monday, July 31, 2017


Don't think I ever posted a final picture of the Wishing Tree:

Double batting, lots of quilting -- I'm very happy with how it turned out!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Good Couple of Days!

I've been going back and forth this weekend, quilting on the Q-20 and piecing on my Dream Machine, working two projects at once. 

Grabbed this out of the Partially Quilted stack. The pattern was published in the April 2011 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting from Better Homes & Gardens; it's called Posey Patch. I did the piecing, my friend Tiffany Hayes of Needle in a Hayes Stack (great pattern line and she is a fellow Craftsy instructor) did the applique.

Yesterday I finished the curvy lines in the background; still deciding on what fills I want in them. Today I quilted feathers in the floral area around the inner star and did a freehand design in the pink squares that I found in one of Angela Walters' Shape by Shape books. Those books are a gold mine of ideas!

This is another design from one of the books; I did this with a ruler foot and a straight edge quilting ruler from Westalee Designs.

I started by marking two lines. The top one is 3/4" from the tip of the triangle, the second is 1-1/4", so they are spaced 1/2" apart.

I was able to do two adjacent triangles before cutting the thread and moving to the next pair.

Started in the corner where the two triangles joined, then used the spacing gauge tool to make sure I would hit that first mark. I'm using the 1/4" leg; since the outside of the ruler foot is exactly 1/4" from the needle, one side of the spacing gauge tool (let's call it a SGT, OK?) touches the ruler and the free edge shows the path the needle will take as you stitch along the ruler with the ruler foot.

Stitched to that top mark, then moved the SGT to the corner to align the ruler properly for that section.

Moved the SGT to the lower of the two marks and aligned the ruler to stitch to it.

Then stitched to that mark and back to the beginning to finish that boomerang shape. Repeated it on the other triangle, then cut the thread and did the rest of them. There are only 5 pieced blocks, so it didn't take that long.

Dan decided that this would be a good day to hang all of my stencils up on the wall next to the new machine, so I moved over to the other machine and stitched a few triangles.

Now they're easy to get to!

Back to the Q to stitch that same boomerang shape in the border triangles. Then I cut, sewed and pressed the binding. I'm having foot surgery in a couple of days and thought that maybe I could do the hand sewing on the binding while I can't use the machines.

Yep, it's my right foot, so no driving for two weeks! Maybe I can teach myself to sew with my left foot?

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