Saturday, November 23, 2013

Just Google It

As a quilter I love all the quilting blogs. There are so many great ideas, tutorials, and inspiration for quilts online. I appreciate all who take their time to show me what they have done and how I can do it, too. This week I finished a Giant Vintage Star quilt. I found the pattern here. Thank you Jeni Baker of In Color Order blog for this awesome pattern. It's the bonus quilt I cut out when I was cutting out the quilt for my granddaughter to sew here and here

When it came time quilt my own version I wanted something different. I turned to Blooming Poppies blog and tutorial for quilting concentric circles. 
If you read the tutorial you will notice that she suggested using the bowl of your food processor to mark the starting circles. I figured that since I started quilting that food processor was not getting much use anyways. LOL  When I told my friend that I had used my food processor to quilt, she said, "Well, I guess that adds a whole new meaning to scrap quilting." Hee! Hee! I do love the end result. 
Thanks again to all of you in cyberspace who share and will continue to share your ideas and expertise. You help make this journey into quilting such a sweet blessing.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Short Rant

On my last post I complained  about the block of the month I had ordered from The Cotton Patch Shoppe. I received the entire pattern and some fabrics, but nothing telling me what these fabrics were for. I got no response from the email I sent. This morning I called them. The lady who answered the phone took my number and said she'd call back. Within a couple minutes another woman called back. She said she knew this answer by heart. Apparently they had gotten other inquiries with the same question? Here is the Black Bird Lane BOM quilt I ordered.

She told me to start with the pieced block at the top left. Block 2 will be the top/middle block, etc. I'm thinking, "So, why not include a small piece of paper with those instructions?" This BOM goes for 14 months and it seems the first 12 months are the 12 center pieced blocks. I doubt I could do all the applique in the 2 remaining months. I'm a little very disappointed. There was no start up fee and it was on sale. So, that helps a little.

In the meantime, McCall's Quilting Magazine is sponsoring  applique quilt-along. You can get it here. It will run thru March 31, 2014. I have already downloaded the pattern for the quilt block and a cute neddle case pattern. The best part is that there will be accompanying videos with 11 weekly episodes to teach you how it's done. That seems great for all of us who want to learn applique. It's a really cute pattern, too. The price is certainly right. LOL

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Please Share Your Expertise

How I wish you could all see my Spiral Bargello quilt top in person. Sharon and I finished our respective quilt tops on Thursday afternoon. My only regret is that this is not a bed quilt size. It is lap size, but too beautiful to just fold and lay across the sofa. The colors are just so rich.
Now, to figure out how to quilt it. Any ideas? How would you do it?

Yesterday evening I spent several hours on my hand-piecing project. I have finished the black, rust and orange round. It looks pretty good now that it's done. The orange blends a little more now.
The next round is ivorys, creams, light browns, and baby blues. That will be a nice change.
A couple days ago I received my first package for my Black Bird Lane appliqued and pieced block of the month (BOM) quilt that I mentioned in my last post here. This is the first time I have ordered a BOM on the internet. It is from The Cotton Patch Shoppe. I received the lovely fabrics and the pattern shown below.
But, I have no idea what to do with them. I do have the entire pattern, but no guidance on what to do with these particular fabrics. I'm lost. Can anyone tell me how these things work? This BOM runs for 14 months.

I'll be stitching on my hand-piecing project on Sunday and linking to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Visions of Applique Dancing in My Head

Applique seems to stay in my head lately. I want to learn to do this. It would be the perfect portable project, too. I just think I would really enjoy it. A week ago I took a class at a LQS. I did learn a few things, but not nearly enough. I've watched some good, instructional videos on YouTube, too. Last week I ordered a book by Mimi Dietrich called Baltimore Blocks for Beginners. This book is so informative! It is so simple and yet has so many good tips and instructions. here's a photo of it along with the back basting piece we started in the class.
As you can see, I did not finish it. We ran out of time in class and I didn't feel I was doing a good job on it. On my first project I am probably going follow Mimi's instructions to the letter. Look how simple, yet, beautiful the block on the book cover is.

I have shown you some patterns I have here. But, I think I need to do some of Mimi's patterns in this book first, in order to really learn this art. I have found inspiration in the Red and Green quilt that Carla at A Few of My Favorite Things blog has appliqued and is now hand-quilting. That is a quilt to aspire to...eventually. I also ordered a block of the month (BOM) from The Cotton Patch Shoppe online. It is called Blackbird Lane and includes pieced blocks and an applique border. This is the first BOM I have ordered online. I love the Fall colors.
Today I am slowly but surely continuing to add to my hand-pieced medallion quilt. Not sure the orange fabrics in my stash are going to work on this latest row. Kind of sticks out like a sore thumb.

I am linking up to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching here.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Busy, Busy, Bargello

Gee! Where does the time go? Since my last post I have helped my son move into an apartment. I have been busy with quilt projects, took an applique class, been involved with my quilt guild, and covered my kitchen chair seats. Oh, that's where the time went!

I have also spent a lot of time sewing on my spiral bargello quilt. My friend Sharon and I get together frequently in her studio and sew on our quilts while we chat. What fun!  If you haven't previously read my post re: starting this quilt, you can read it here. That was last August. I kept forgetting to take my camera with me. When I did remember, the batteries were dead. Finally, yesterday I was able to snap a few photos. We were at the half way point in piecing them together. I had 24 rows and she had 25. There are a total of 49 rows. We put them side by side on a bed. Mine is the blue and purple and hers the yellow and green.

We have learned so much in making these. First, we did not have much guidance regarding color choices on this pattern. I think I would include more light colors next time. One tip,of course, is to have numbered swatches to keep track where you are. Another tip is to be careful if you wash and press your fabrics so you do not distort your fabric. Sharon had a problem with this. I don't pre-wash, but I use several Color Catcher sheets when I wash the final product. We have been told that we should have stitched one row going up and alternate with going down. We will do that next time.Yesterday,the idea light came on in my head and decided we should begin the second half of the quilt without attaching to the first half. This way we are not having to deal with all that extra fabric. We can put the two halves together later.

Some rows of the quilts finish at only 1/2" wide. I sewed 9 rows in one sitting and didn't add 5" inches to the width of the quilt. These are sofa sized quilts. We decided if we ever do another bargello it will be bed-sized so strips will be wider. On this pattern the queen size has 1" finished rows as the smallest width.

Here is a photo of one of the newly covered chair seats I mentioned above. It is a beautiful blue and gray print on white. I used a fabric shower curtain. They should wipe off easily enough. My sister Karen said she thinks she saw the idea on Pinterest and I thought it was a good one. I have enough left for a matching window valance. I have always wanted a blue and white kitchen.