Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Raw Edge Circle Quilt

I'm back after almost 4 months and a lot has happened.

I doubt that most people are interested but because this is kind of a diary blog for me, I have to list events.

1.  My oldest son, his new wife, her son and Martin's two sons and his one daughter came to visit and it was wonderful to see them all.  Lora is wonderful.  They have just celebrated their first anniversary and are buying a house now in San Diego...with a view of the ocean!
2.  I had another birthday and my kids had a nice backyard party with lots of kids, dogs, chickens and badminton games. It was fun!
3.  My brother's lovely dd had her baby on August 30th.  I had already started a quilt for him so I've spent some time finishing it up.
4.  I celebrated with my grandson in September as he turned 13 years old.  He's well read, polite and talented, the perfect companion.
5.  Can't fail to mention that we had a long, hot summer and fall.  I was looking forward to cold weather.  And we've had a lot of rain in November. lol
6.  And, last but not least, I'm now 33 lbs. lighter than I was in March when I started on My Fitness Pal.

So, this entry is to show the making of Gavin's baby quilt.  I actually visualised him using the quilt at pre-school or as a floor mat more than a quilt.

 Always willing to lend a paw, Jules was there throughout the process....

 Lots of different fabrics were needed for this quilt and I tried to find lots of blues and greens.

But lots of lighter colors were needed to keep the quilt bright.

Half of the fabrics were cut into squares and the other half into circles.

 I finally figured out that it was much easier and quicker to use a circle template that I cut out of cardboard, and my rotary cutter.
I put four to six fabrics together, pinned them securely, then cut on the drawn line.
 Then a circle was matched with a square and sewed on.  It took some time to determine which fabric circles looked good with each square.

 Then the circles were sewn onto the squares and then..... the square with the attached circle was cut into quarters!

And finally, the circles were sewed back together
so that no circle looked the same.

I got my daughter to help with arranging the various circles.  The colors had to be mis-matched everywhere and just when we thought we had it, we would find a couple of touching fabrics that were the same.  Mostly it was only a matter of turning the offending block but it took some time.

Jules was a trouper

 The edges of the circles were raw so after I washed it, I added more circular stitching to be sure the edges wouldn't shred.

To quilt it, I sewed each square just to the side of each seam.

The quilt, unbound above and with multi-colored binding below.

 The back of the quilt showing the white embroidery thread that was used to quilt the circles...in the middle and again around the outside edge.  Both white and dark blue embroidery threads were used depending on how it showed up on the backing of the quilt.

So that's how I made the Raw Edge Circle Quilt for my new nephew.  I liked the wrinkly look of it after washing a couple of times.

Jaik is still hanging in and has put on a few pounds but he's not looking so good....bony boy is what I call him.  But he chased the laser light the other night so I have high hopes that he'll recover to live a little longer life.
Jaik, my bony boy
Ta ta, and thanks for reading.  Hope you enjoyed my long post.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Seven rows done!

My diet has helped me lose 22 lbs. to date.  I'm happy about that because I really don't work out of walk a lot.  I should, but I don't.  So 22 is a good number....I still have 28 to go, but it will go eventually.  Because I want it to.

Jaik is not doing very well.  He's very skinny but he's hanging in there.  He still chases moths and tries to catch birds and does pretty well with the moths at least.  So he's having a good life...a cat's life.

These are the final few blocks so I've completed 7 rows of my quilt and have decided to turn them 'on point', at least on my design wall.  lol

This is a nice block with the flowers in the corners.
If you remember, I was having a problem appliq´íng this block.  My dd offered to do it for me and I was happy to accept that offer.  Thanks, Liza!

I've begun sewing the sides with a red corner block in between onto each of the blocks and I'll pin them onto my design wall to see if that's how I want it to look.
 Here's a picture of what I'm striving for... something very scrappy and quite yellow.

And this is how my sewing area looks at the moment with lots of strips and piles of blocks.

And this is how the top quarter of the 'red & white' quilt will look...should I choose to complete it.  Just kidding.... of course I'll finish it but the blocks are intricate and once again, quite time-consuming.

Why do I pick these quilts?

And this is how far I am in completing the red & white blocks.  I hope to finish it before Christmas because that's what it reminds me of.... Christmas!

My son and his family are driving from San Diego CA up to the Pacific Northwest tomorrow.  It will take them at least 3 days I think....but with 4 kids along, they may want to stop more often.  I haven't seen Martin for almost 4 years; he's married since and added a stepson and I'm looking forward to seeing the new members of our family.

Should be fun!  I'll try to get online more often to update on my quilts and other news.  Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dieting...and quilting

Diets. Yes, I'm dieting. My dd and dgd asked me to join them on My Fitness Pal...so, I did. So far, so good, have lost 8 lbs.  And just by writing down every bit of food that goes into my mouth.  I'm hoping that after a while it will become just the way I eat without thinking about it.

I've been working on a few more blocks for Sylvia's Bridal Sampler...and one's waiting in the wings because it has to be appliquéd.  The pieces are all cut out and pinned but I'll have to post that one later...haven't even started appliquéing it.

 This was difficult for me...all those pieces.

 Pretty easy block and I think it turned out well.

I'm getting there...almost half-way done.  I think I'm going to sash it and free motion quilt (FMQ) it in fourths.  Otherwise it will be too big to handle.  I think....

My next block which I'm dreading.  The instructions say to paper-piece...yuck!  But I do these quilts as a challenge to learn so every little block is 'a good thing'.

Fortunately, I'll have Jaik to help me.  He just loves quilting...can you tell?

So that's been what I've been up to....other than a birthday party for my DIL on Sunday.  She wasn't there but we ate cake anyway!!  I'll send her a picture of what she missed.  Today, my son is taking her to lunch and proposing with a two-carat diamond ring.  I asked him to send me an iPhone picture of the ring on her finger....I can't wait to see how it looks!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Beautiful Spring!

Hard for me to believe that it's been over a month since I posted anything, but dates don't lie. It's been a very busy month. Two of my dd's and one of my sons have had birthdays and of course...Spring has sprung some great gardening weather on us here in the Pacific Northwest. I have a beautiful red maple tree planted as well as one of my favorites...a new clematis! (have to remember to keep the roots well-watered).

And...I sewed a couple of new blocks for my Sylvia's Bridal Sampler. They were not easy ones either...one took me weeks to do. Until I found a tutorial online at penelopewaits.com ...why didn't I think of that sooner!?

This Bear Paw block was giving me extreme problems; I just couldn't figure out how to paper piece it even though I traced out the parts from the book.  They came out backward, sometimes upside down so believe me when I say I was happy as a clam to find that tute.
This block may not be perfect but it's done!

This one gave me a few problems also but it was because the block came out too big when I cut the pieces to the measurements given in the book.  Now it could be that I sewed less than a 1/4 inch seam and there are lots of seams but I couldn't just whop off the sides to make it a 6 1/2 inch block.  So that was my problem with this particular block.
Just looking at it, the problems are obvious.  But again, it may not be perfect but it's done!

Flowers are blooming.  Look at the rosemary with it's beautiful purple flowers and the lovely pink hollyhock that is flowering.

 The hummingbird tries to get nectar from the rosemary flowers but the flowers aren't set up right for him.

I intend to plant some red tubular flowers for him to suck on.  There's more than one...maybe three...but I only refer to them as 'the one'.  I can't tell them apart.

Look at this gorgeous blue sky.  The weather report says it's raining here but I'm watering the plants and waking up to sunshine most mornings.

And these were my Easter tulips, given to me by my thoughtful son.  They're still going strong but I'm going to give them to him to plant in his garden for next year.  I just love the colors.

The chickens are doing well...lots of eggs still...and lots of new chicks!  So, my dd's have gone from 6 chickens to 23 in two years.  Yikes!
My dd's love their brood.  They have two Silkie roosters so the chicks have been half Araucana and half Silky....a lovely combination.  And they lay blue eggs!  Very pretty.

Tomorrow, I'm off to a garden sale at Bloedel Gardens.  Hopefully, I'll remember to take the camera.  Enjoy your weekend!

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Interesting Discussion

I'm reading emails on my iPad and came across this item on Craftsy's blog:

I didn't want to forget to mention it and since I do know how to post a simple link using an iPad...but not pictures, I thought it would be an ideal post while I listen to male politicians argue about women's rights on this lovely Sunday morning.

I actually was very happy when I saw blogs using the word "sewist" rather than 'sewer'. I thought "sewist" was a much superior word. However there were some other words in the comment section that maybe are more apt to what we do. Personally, I don't like to attach the word 'artist' to anything I do because I don't think of myself as an artist...fibre or otherwise ...though I do aspire to that title. And I do understand that there are some people who are definitely artistic and prove it by what they accomplish in their works and can call themselves fibre artists quite honestly.

Anyway, I just thought you might find the discussion very interesting, as I did. Happy Sunday, everyone!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Finished another

I have finished the block that I was worried about sewing because it had curved edges.  As it turned out, when I pinned the curved corners to the pointy part, everything met up fine so I went ahead and sewed it together by machine.  So I worried for nothing.

The next block. I've never made a Bear's Paw block but I always thought they looked easy to do, but the pattern is asking me to paper piece and I'm thinking "no".

Seems to me that this block is calling out for half square triangles.  So I may not use the patterns.

I traced out the patterns but I'm not sure I 'get it' to put it all together.  Maybe, once again...I'm worrying for nothing.

Sure is time-consuming for me to try it on paper knowing that it will be reversed once the fabric is sewn together. I need to get to my quiet space so I can envision it.

Just watched the home-going church service for Whitney Houston and it was very nice and well done.  I think it was comforting to Cissy Houston for her to see the devotion paid through song to her dear daughter.  Tough to lose a child...of any age.

Stolen Quilt

I always feel so bad for those who have their quilts stolen, especially when they have to make the quilt again to show in a book or an exhibition.  So much work.  Maybe we can all help to find it.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

I've been a little busy but wanted to post three more blocks for the Just Takes Two quilt - the red and white one....and one more that I've almost completed for my yellow quilt.

 This block is made up of lots of half-square triangles so it was pretty simple to do.  It's cute, I think.
 This block was pretty easy to do even with the curved edges.  Probably because it is a larger size, it made it easier to sew around the curves.
 I love this little schoolhouse although it gave me a little trouble in putting it together. I haven't trimmed it up yet because I'm unsure how big it's supposed to be.  I do like the look of it and maybe it will encourage me to do that 'all house' quilt that I want to do in the future.

I love the assortment of different techniques that I'm learning by working on these quilts.

This is the block for the Jennifer Chiaverini quilt I'm doing in yellow.  I know I have to attach those curved units to the corner units but I'm dreading it.  I think I'm going to have to do them by hand.

The points were paper-pieced and took a while to do because they're so tiny but overall I'm pleased with how it's looking.  Now if only those curvy parts fit well.  Fingers crossed here.

The previous two weeks have seen a grandson's 11th birthday - he's in San Diego CA as well as an old friend's 82nd.  My dd was laid off from her job a week ago, too.  That hasn't stopped us from enjoying the Super Bowl, the Emmy's, the Grammy's, the British BAFTA awards and seeing various movies that have been nominated for the Oscars.

I didn't care much for The Artist although I recognize that it's a very different technique; it was the script I found boring.  I didn't much care for War Horse but there are few Steven Spielberg movies I've liked so I should have known not to go.  I loved Albert Nobbs with Glenn Close and Janet McTeer playing men in 19thC Ireland...really wonderful and I could see it again and enjoy it all over.  I've seen The Descendants and loved it also, but have decided not to see the movie about 9/11 with Sandra Bullock.  Doesn't sound like my kind of movie.  Same with The Iron Lady and Hugo.  I am considering seeing Hugo even though the reviews tell me I shouldn't.  We'll see.

Sad news about Whitney Houston and her sudden death.  Though she seemed to have a troubled life, I feel unable to judge anyone...not having walked in their shoes.  Her poor daughter, mother and friends who would have helped her if they could have.

Please enjoy every moment you've got... I am. ;-))

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Two More

I decided to try to get those last five blocks completed on the Just Takes 2 Quilt (JT2).  More blocks will be posted on the first of the month...I think.

The first block was not much of a problem...at least not based on my usual screwups.  I had to take one part off and turn it around.  Not bad for me.
Ready to be sewn together

Taking off the bottom units
 I always do the individual units, then put them together in the way they will (hopefully) be sewn.

Then what I do is sew some part of the block wrong.  In this case, the bottom row had to be removed.
Completed block #7

Only took a few minutes to sew it together correctly.

Unfortunately, Jaik took that opportunity to jump up on the table and sit on the block. 
Looks just like it's supposed to

Jaik sitting on block #7

And he knows he isn't supposed to be there.  Look at the ears...he hears me telling him that I need a picture of that block.

Because that block went so well, I thought I would start on block #8.  Well, let me tell you, that one took a while.

The instructions had no size for this block so I was unsure how it was to be configured because none of the cut parts fit together...2 1/2 inch parts to be sewn to 2 inch parts.  I had never experienced anything like that before so I did it the way I thought it should have been done (or close to it).

It's a little wonky but honestly, I'm just happy it's done.  I don't know if I could say what the actual measurements should have been....like maybe the big parts that I cut down were right and maybe the small parts should have been cut larger.  Who knows?  It's a mystery quilt so I won't know how it goes together for a few more months.  Guess I'll find out then what size block #8 should have been.  lol

Watched the SAG Awards on Sunday with the 'usual suspects', had some great potstickers, egg rolls and a cake with ice cream for dessert.  It was nice.  We all commented on how predictable the choice of outfits were that were worn by the 'girls' and 'boys'.  It was mostly TV casts and that may have been the problem...too young to have the confidence and personality to carry off a truly sensational, standout ensemble. Not that they weren't all gorgeous but there wasn't much variety.  I'll be watching Fashion Police to see what Joan thought.

The evening before, I was invited to go to dinner with my DIL to celebrate her birthday; her husband (my son) and my two grandsons came along and we went to a nice, local, upscale restaurant - Hitchcock's.  Great experience.