Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Stitch in Time

I don't know where June went.  I actually got most of my June blocks done weeks ago but have been so busy with lots of other things that now it is dawning on me I haven't shared all the progress on here. 

First up was my Quilt Doodle Doodle 2013 BOM block.  I love how quickly I can whip these out and love how dramatic they look in my chosen colors. I did share this one and if you missed it you can find it here .
You can also see the Lemoyne Star that I made for the Craftsy 2013 BOM quilt  at the above link. 

What I forgot to share was my Quiet Play And Sew On block --- A Stitch In Time.  It turned out fabulous.  I love what the colors I worked with did to the way they all look together so far.  I really had trouble picking fabrics for this one.  I actually decided instead of creating this block as a stand alone block like I usually do ... that I would instead throw all the previous blocks together on the floor and pick colors based on what was needed to complement the collection.  Here is what I decided on.

I have yet to take pictures of my Castle blocks.  I got the three for June done and promise to share them soon.  I can't wait for the July block for the Castles.  You can find the past patterns for the Castle BOM at Ula Lenz's website.  I love her sharing this project with us as it is going to be gorgeous when done.  I would love to make ten more of these because each one is so different based on my fabric choices that it would be fun to make many more. I am crazy but probably not that crazy. Three different ones is ambitious enough for me right now.  I love making each one a different theme and I could go on and on with more themes...Wouldn't it be great to have a Christmassy winter one???   Hmmm....Maybe next year.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Fractured Blocks

Recently I saw a picture of the new book by Susan Purney Mark called "Accent On Angles- Easy Strip Set Quilts"  I really liked this block and was struck by the thought that if I used these for the border around my star friends I could call the quilt I am making for Rebecca "Fractured Friends"

I have a really hard time naming quilts but this seems ideal since I am gifting this quilt to Rebecca in honor of her starting her new psychology counseling business.  I love the idea of helping our "Fractured Friends"   The fact that the people in the quilt are 'star' personalities is kind of centered on the notion that each us us are flawed but stars in our own right. So fractured friends appeals to me on many levels.

I need to make some progress on this quilt...most of my lack of progress is not quite feeling like I am achieving the feel I am looking for in this quilt.  Thus if I am onto something with this Fractured Friends thing I want to run with it.  I envision these blocks serving as a huge border all around my star friends.

The book has a preview of how she made these blocks so I gave it a shot in the dark.  I think she strip pieced the black and white stripes and then cut them at a 45 degree angle and added the color strips in the opposite direction as in this picture of my first attempt.

Problem is when I go to put this back together at this point it was hard for me to determine where to line it back up to get it to look correct.  Maybe if I cut the colored strip off evenly at the top each time I could do it easier but it still left the problem of working with the pieced bias edge on the black and white strip and I feel  it would be too easy to stretch the bias out of shape each time I went to sew the strip back together so I thought I would come up with a better method for me that I would feel more comfortable with.  For me that means translating the block into a paper pieced pattern.

One of the things I really like about paper piecing is since the fabric is attached to the paper backing, it really eliminates the hazards of bias stretching because the paper will not allow the fabric to stretch.

My star friends are going to finish as 8 inch blocks.  So I needed these blocks to be 8 1/2 inch unfinished.  Since I will be making 4 blocks and sewing them back together to achieve this I needed the individual blocks to end up at 4 1/2 inch square.  To cut 4 of these from one block I needed my block to measure at a minimum of 9 inches square. I wanted slightly larger so I could be sure to have some wiggle room when choosing where to cut my 4 blocks from the main block each time.

I started with a 9 x 9 inch piece of plain paper.  I like to use doodle pad paper for paper piecing since it is very easy to rip off the back when done and since it comes in 9 x 12 inch pages. Plus it is very economical and it runs through the copy machine with no problem.  For this block I just cut them down to the size I needed.  I drew in  a 45 degree angle that I offset from the corners so the fabric at the corners wouldn't have the seam line directly in the corners.

From there I just started adding fabric to the top.  Unlike normal paper piecing I did not sew on the line from the back of the page with the fabric down.  I put my first piece of fabric right side up and put the edge of the fabric on that line.  I put the next piece of fabric on top of that one right side down and sewed them together with a quarter inch seam allowance.  It helps to pin them in place the first time so they keep that 45 degree angle and don't slip.  After this you will just flip the piece over and iron each time and repeat.  No need to trim any edges because each time you sew the fabric pieces a quarter inch from the edge of the fabric.

You just keep repeating until the entire page is filled.  I made sure that each piece covered my paper by more than a quarter inch because I wanted to have an extra quarter inch around my paper in case it was needed.  I think it was a good choice.  When the piece is filled in and ironed nicely, I just took it to the cutting table, flipped it over and trimmed it to a quarter inch bigger than my paper template. Like this:

Then I flip it right side up and cut it one strip at a time in the opposite direction.  I line the 45 degree line on my block ruler at the bottom of this block and randomly decide where to add the color strip.  I am adding more color strips to my blocks than Susan did hers because I love how the new block looks.  You could add however many you want to the block to suit your needs.

From here you will sew a color strip onto one of these cut edges.

And then sew this edge together, also.

I get these to line up each time by lining up the sewn line from the back of the paper with the edges of the strip they are covering.  When these match up the alignment will be correct and I can feel comfortable with how they will look when I flip it back over.

I then cut out 4 blocks from this block that each measure 4 1/2 inches.  This is block one.

Then you cut out block two from the next corner.

This is what the four blocks will look like when they are all cut out but I will rearrange them before
 I sew them all back together into an arrangement like this next arrangement.

I really like how Susan's block are very fractured and I believe it probably does help to have less stripes so that they are farther apart and are more likely not to line up when I put the blocks back together. I think I will use these but start making some blocks with less stripes so the look will be much more improvised and less structured.  I want the fracture to be much more accentuated. 

Here is another set

And the same set rearranged into the fractured set.

But of course the randomness will get kicked up a few more notches when I make 96 of these and then randomly put them all back together again.  Something more along this line:

Only draw back is these are a little time consuming so I better get back to work on them :)

Keep Stitchin'

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Campus Visit

A couple weeks ago my youngest daughter, a college student, announced she is wanting to attend WSU in Pullman this coming year. She has been attending a satellite campus of theirs close to home.  This will be her Senior year and if she continued here in town it would take her a year and a half to get all the required classes, at the larger University she can get her Bachelor's degree and graduate in May 2014. Makes sense but a lot has to be done in a short time frame to make this happen so while waiting for paperwork being processed to confirm her transfer, we decided to visit campus this last weekend to get a feel for the place.  It is across state from us and takes slightly over 6 hours by car to get there.

The campus is simply beautiful and we had it almost to ourselves throughout our discovery time there.  It was founded in 1890, probably pretty modern by some standards but quite ancient by West Coast standards.  I'm sure it has been added to many times throughout the years and is still in a state of growth. Most buildings were closed for the weekend, but the Student recreation center was open and it was state of the art modern and top notch.  Pool, indoor track, racquet ball, all kinds of exercise equipment, even pool tables and ping pong.  I'm sure every student hopes to have many free hours to spend there.  Ashley will certainly try to make the most of the building that is for certain.

Eastern Washington is known for warm summers and cold winters but my daughter adores snow and says bring it on.  The campus would be beautiful covered in snow.  This weekend it was a very warm 88 degrees.
I know it will even hotter when we move her there in August.

The dorm she would like to live in

 Ashley and her dad, Cary
I couldn't believe the football Stadium is mid campus

I, of course, took a shine to the hexagon pavers

Ashley posed near where her department and classes will be located. She will be transferring in as a Senior into the Anthropology Department and of course had to show us her Cougar Pride!!! Today her transfer was officially ok'd and in a couple weeks it will be Orientation weekend for her on campus.  Classes start August 19th so I am sure summer will be a whirlwind of activity for us all.  She started a field study digging at Fort Vancouver today and that will end the week before classes start in Pullman. Summer will be a busy rush to get everything in order and I am sure the time will fly by too fast.

While exploring campus was a lot of fun I was disappointed to learn that Pullman's quilt shop The Quilted Heart had closed up shop and was no longer at the address listed in the phone book.  Since all the nearby towns are small...those that had quilt shops were all closed on Sundays.  Next time will include a Monday visit so we can see more of the campus and I will have to look up a couple of the quilt shops that are close by...if I can get the DH to agree. I better start being extra sweet to him.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Bom Catch ups

So my Forest QAL last block is done and I am busy sketching what to do with them as a final project.  Julianna and Joanna are giving us till August to link a project to their site for a chance to win some great prizes from their sponsors.  For me the best prize is just finishing a project...It is not my strong suit as I quickly get sidetracked onto a new project.  I am thinking I can develop these twelve 12" blocks into a Queen size quilt with the idea rolling around in my brain.  Now if I can just do it in the given time frame???

The last block is the trillium flower and I choose to do mine in the red flower type.  It allowed me to work that color into my quilt one more time.  I love how simple this block was compared to the others.

Now I just have to lock in on a final way to configure the group as a whole.

 Too many choices... I could audition the choices for days trying to find the just the right combo.  I will just have to set this aside for the moment so I can make progress elsewhere.

I got my June Quilt Doodle Doodle BOM quickly knocked out.  Cindy calls this month's block Grad Party as she is deep in planning her son's graduation party but I changed it up a bit and think mine shall be known as the Bird Bath...hee hee hee. I think you can see why...

This is my May Castle Tower block for the gnomes

This is the Castle Tower for the Princesses ( and my grand-daughters)

and I have been promising a sneak peek of the third secret castle so a quick peek to look who moved into the tower this month over at the third castle seems in order

That sneak peek is all you get for now.

Below are the blocks for the last three months Craftsy 2013 BOM blocks. I think I haven't done a very good job of sharing my progress on this one but will try to do better. Believe it or not I have done all the blocks so far including the June block which was a Lemoyne Star.  It had plenty of Y Seams and was definitely challenging...but also very rewarding as it came out beautiful.

April's Block

May's Block

June's Block

And so you don't think it is all work and progress over here we are finding time to enjoy the sun and surf with a quick weekend road trip.

Beautiful day to fly a kite or in our case to watch

A trip to Oysterville to buy some fresh oysters in the shell to throw on the barbecue

Relaxing just to watch the waves

My daughter and I had to dip our toes in the surf
She is the one on the right with the freaky toes :)

Time to leave footprints in the sand as we leave
came too soon

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Forest QAL Fun

I have been busy with these blocks lately...put aside others things I should be doing because I am addicted to these.  Here is the latest two to get finished and then I only have one left.  Teri from Handiwerx just posted the last block and it is a trillium flower.  She notes you are not suppose to pick them as it can kill them, but I have to admit that they grew wild in the woods behind my house and as a child I remember picking them occasionally although I am sure my mother told us not to.  Most of them were the white variety and occasionally there would be the red one and I remember thinking they were so cool because they were the rare treat to find so I'll be making the red one because it has always been special to me.

I loved the pine marten that Joanna at Shape Moth had for us to make this week and quickly made him.  Maybe I made him a little to quickly because as soon as I finished it here is what I saw:

See where his back foot is resting in midair and it appears the flowers between his legs are growing in that same midair way.  OOPs!!!  That is not the way it was suppose to be.  Luckily it was just a matter of undoing a couple of seams and replacing that piece so it wasn't too hard to fix.  I have been so set in cranking these out that sometimes I need to slow down and double check my work.  Believe it or not on each of these pieces I mark it with the typle of fabric that is suppose to go in each section but still got it wrong.

Here is the corrected block with my little rascal standing on a solid piece of rock under his foot.

Wow what a difference that is much better!!!

At this point I laid all the blocks out on the floor again and decided the fern and flower block I still needed  would need a bit darker background to make the elk background not be so different from the rest.  I had a couple different choices of fabrics and had just a fat quarter of each.  After eliminating one for being to busy I set to work.  Julianna from Sewing Under Rainbow had listed that a fat quarter for the background would work but I find I do not always economize my fabric well enough.  I set to work with the pieces requiring the largest sections of background fabric first.  By the time I had 2/3rds of the sections done I knew this was going to be a close one.  I didn't want to stop till I found out if I had enough background to complete the block.  Now I should add that the background I chose was something I picked up only God knows where.  I think a garage sale find of years gone by but I could have just as easily bought it this year at a quilt show and although it did have the selvage edge telling me it was a Moda print I wasn't sure I would EVER be able to get more of it.  I stayed up till 12:13 AM Saturday morning until I had every piece done.  Whew I made it with this much left to spare.

I think this was barely 2 inches wide by not quite 5 inches.   Sew LUCKY so I went to bed a little queued up and excited to put it together the next day...which was by then that day.  Crazy lady that I am I woke up at 5:42am and decided I had better get back to sleep if I wanted to have energy to get this thing put together right.  After waking at 7AM and having a couple cups of coffee I set out to complete this block.  I got to here and noticed another OOPs moment that I seem to be having too many of these days.

See how the fern section in the middle doesn't go straight up and down like the rest of the block does?  At first this baffled me until I turned it 180 degrees and it looked like this:

Now the piece fit the puzzle opening but the colors were all wrong! @#$% Stay calm and take a deep breath Kathy...this has got to work.  Remember that less that 2 by 5 inch piece of fabric left?  Well by a wing and a prayer it was enough.  Luckily for me the first section needing the background was in position number one and that made it easier to use that scrap in.  Even more importantly it was the biggest piece needed so I could try to figure out how to get this job done with the VERY limited fabric left at by disposal.
Here is what I was able to achieve with that small scrap.  The wrong one is on the right.  The one on the left is the colors in the order they should have been.

I was able to get 2 of the 3 background sections done.  Now I just had to hope I could tear the wrong one apart and get one of those pieces to fit the One background piece I still needed.  Luckily it was the smaller of the three needed so I had a feeling it might work out but it was a close call.  Too close.  But what was important at this moment was it was going to happen.  Still since the angles are all so different I still wasn't quite sure.

Looks like it would work.  And let me tell you it was just barely.  I double stitched it in there because the seam allowance wasn't quite the quarter inch but it would do.  Funny part is after all that I forgot to take a picture of the final product but I rectified that and here it is.

As addicted as I have been to these blocks maybe it is a good thing these are coming to an end.  I don't need all the stress.  But you know I have loved every minute of the many hours I have put into this project.  I have nothing but wonderful things to say about all the great ladies who have put so much time into creating and sharing these awesome patterns with us these past few months.  Here is how they are looking together with this latest one so you can see how important it was to get the darker background in this block.

It really compliments the background of the elk block.  I haven't been sure what to do with these blocks as a final project but I finally have formed a plan in my mind and just have to get it onto paper and set in motion.  I bought fabric for it this weekend and have until the end of August to add it to the linky party so I still have to keep busy with these for awhile. Going to be a busy summer as I still have to complete a couple baby quilts for my grandson who is due in early September.   Last I updated your about the expected grandchild we were not sure if it was a girl or boy but are excited to have our first grandson arriving in early September. They were thinking of naming him Calvin after his paternal grandfather but have settled after much discussion and consideration on naming him Ayden.  So I need to get busy on adding his name to the quilt I started earlier in the year.  I had to wait until it was locked down and I think it is definitely a little Ayden for sure.

I have been staying on task so far with my monthly BOM projects and here we go again with the start of another new month.  I hope to share my May blocks soons but this post has already been quite long so I will update you on my progress another time.  Dinner times beckons me to remember I do more than quilt around here.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...