Monday, October 27, 2014

Big Girl Panties to the rescue

Ok so yesterday I shared my cat block for the October Garden Block designed by Janeen of Quilt Art Designs and noticed a couple mistakes as I was posting it.  I came home tonight from work, put on my Big Girl Panties and set to work fixing my mistakes.  I marked the two offending pieces of fabrics with arrows so you can see what I was not able to let go after all.  Things like that just drive me crazy and it was worth gearing up with the right attitude to fix the mistakes I inadvertently made this weekend.

Here is the block after I fixed my mistakes.  Funny part is I swear it didn't even take me 15 minutes to correct.  Time well spent as I am much happier with the block now.

Isn't that so much better!!!  I am thrilled that my cat no longer has a broken arm.  Now all he needs is a little sleeping eye embroidered on his face and he is perfect!  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A couple more ticks off the to do list

This month I struggled to get around to the Garden BOM quilt block designed by Janeen van Niekirk of Quilt Art Designs.  I don't know if it was the infinite pieces involved or the color choices or the fact that it featured a cat but it was a struggle to want to put it together.  After waiting to see what others might have done and seeing no one else's block appear in Flickr I decided to give it a go.

After taking the photo of my finished block and looking at it, I see a couple of boo boos but they are there to stay.  I am just too bogged down on Christmas commitments to fix it and let's face it these are complicated matter how much they love to say... they are intermediate blocks...they are a lot of dang hard work and time.  Janeen did say this month's was a intermediate hard block!  Paper pieced blocks are without a doubt a major pain in the booty to rip apart and put back together.  Having stitched them all together with short stitches alone makes it intolerable to take apart and ...hey it took me hours to notice the messed up pieces so I can live with it...right?

The left hand side of the bench by the cat's paw has a couple of pieces that I should have had different colors in.  Both of which are probably on the outside edge of their respectful sections and could be more easily fixed than some errors but I just don't want to.  I can already hear that nagging voice in my head telling me to fix the errors.  The piece under the bench should have been flowers not the dark edge of the bench and it looks like I added another dark piece to the bench itself next to the cat's front paw that should have been the lighter wood.  But hey the cat turned out alright.  Who is going to focus on the bench besides me???  Actually as I am looking at that area look at how that dark rusty patch on the cat's arm looks like it should have been part of the bench, too.  Yikes!!! Not even my cat is right...I have to either ignore it or put on my Big Girl Panties and deal with it. Going to ignore it for now.

Janeen used a different approach to showing us the pieces this month and it involved having each section colored in a different color and I struggled with it big time.  Plus some of the pictures were rectangles instead of squares and it was difficult to find each shape as it was distorted in the picture. Maybe my cat broke it's arm and fell asleep.  Janeen had a great picture of the block and I should have only focused on that one view but I always like seeing the picture with the numbers and letters on it to find which color goes where on my pieces.  Oh, well for now I am going to just be glad I got it this far along (done???)

Earlier in the week I did have some success with this block of Elsa designed by Jessica Lee Blacknall from Sew Much Mishief.  She has designed all the frozen characters and has them available for free on her blog and her Craftsy pattern site.  If you are interested definitely check out her blog as she has some great free patterns available.  I am going to be making three of the Elsa blocks and turning them into throw pillows for the grand-daughters for Christmas.  I'd love to make an Anna one, too or maybe Olaf but each grand-daughter wants Elsa.

I enlarged her block 130% and it is now a 13 1/2 inch block.  I am wanting to make an 18" pillow cushion cover so I think by adding a border around it it will be perfect!

Keep Stitchin'

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Round Robin Fun Begins

The fun is about to begin!!!  I've joined a group of ladies that are going to be involved in a Round Robin hosted by Bea from Beaquilter for the next 6 months.  Each month we will be adding blocks to a participant's block and sending it on to another participant to add to the design the next month.  Bea is allowing us to show a peek of what we are up to each month on the other's quilt tops but just a as to keep the element of surprise alive.

It's been a couple years since I've done one of these and am itching to get to work on this project.  For starters this month we were to make a center block that finishes at 12 inches so a 12 1/2 inch center block.  Perfect since I had recently bought the large and small bear patterns from Juliet at Tartan Kiwi and since all the samples I have seen of this block are using bold modern fabrics I thought it would definitely give the group a good color palette to work with in the ensuing rounds. 

Here is the block I will be sending of soon to the first stop on it's 6 month journey around the United States.

I think the bold orange, dark and light blues and purple would look amazing echoed throughout  this top.  Time will tell if the ladies adding the next additions will agree.  What do you see in your future little bear???  Do you see what I see?  I am sure he will be surrounded by beauty regardless of what he or I see in his future. Take it away ladies soon he will be set on the first leg of his journey.  See you back in April of 2015 little bear!

Keep Stitchin'

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

PMQG Medallion Is an official Flimsy

My medallion quilt top is officially done.  Now the goal is suppose to be to get it quilted and bound by the Christmas party of the Portland Modern Quilt Guild.  Tall order for this girl as I don't like the finishing process.  I wish I could say I'll just get someone else to quilt it for me but am going to assume shops might be busy this time of year getting everyone's Christmas gift projects done.  Still I should aim at getting it in the queue soon if it is to have a chance at getting done. 

The final border was one I didn't think I was even going to like on it but I have to say overall I am very pleased with the final result!  All too often when I see a medallion quilt my first impression is 'my how busy is that'---too many things going on in such a confined space.  I was very careful with color placement and used a lot of white to make sure not to feel overwhelmed by the design.  I really like how the black helped break up the rounds also.

It finished off around 70 to 71 inches square.  Seems like it would be easier to quilt if it had a border around it to stop the bias stretch from the last border but hate the thought of buying additional fabric to border it.  Is it supposed to finish off with just the braided border or is it important to add another round.  It would look nice with a white 3 inches around it and a black binding but do I really want this to finish off at around 76 inches square?  What do you think??  What would you do...inquiring minds really do want to know.  Any advice anyone?

I've been busy putting together my Quilt Doodles last round, too.  I hope to have it together soon to show also.  I usually jump right in on my Quilt Art Design BOM but it has been fun seeing these come all together. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Fall Pumpkins

Despite not blogging recently, I have been actively quilting over here.  A couple weeks ago, our family lost my Mother-in-Law, Jennette, after some health issues and a week in ICU.  She was a wonderful person and we held a great celebration of life where 5 pastors of hers shared about her life.  It was a beautiful testament to her life and faith in our Heavenly Father and it just seemed right to take some time off and spend some quality family time together.  It is often hard for me to find a balance between creating and living life and it was time to do the latter for a while. It was a time for rest and reflection and of loving support from our family and friends and very healing. Now it is time to jump back in the rat race with both feet again.

My oldest daughter is having a birthday this coming week and I decided to make her a table runner after seeing the wonderful tutorial by Amy Smart for a pillow cover and a table runner.  If you missed it you can find it here over at her blog Diary of a Quilter. I started making two right away and within the week, I had hers done and mine just waiting to be quilted.  It was the first time I so heavily quilted a project and am very pleased with how hers turned out.  Hoping mine turns out as great and finishes as fast.

I loved Amy's pillow cover and wanted to just use that pattern to make three of these pumpkins into my daughter's table runner.

The picture above is the current state of mine

I love how the quilting on Randi's turned out.  I used a walking foot and went for some straight lines but I love the result!!! Love the diagonals on the center pumpkin.

Yesterday, was a beautiful Fall day and the Portland Oregon Zoo's annual free day at the zoo.
We took the opportunity to spend the day with these three lovely ladies and their brother seeing all the animals, enjoying lunch and checking out all the changes at the Portland zoo. We had a blast exploring all the zoo had to offer despite the huge crowd.
The lion family is getting much bigger.  Here is dad with last year's offspring. Three young cats born on my grandson's birthday last year.  This year they had another set of lions.  Four this time but one had to be euthanized due to a wound.  Mom was inside with the little ones and although we couldn't see the newest members of the lion family it was great to see all of these guys.
One of the buzzard's has a mouse in his mouth
These two obliged me in comparing how big they were compared to the bears.  The littlest one refused to stand in front of the bears. Jayda was very aware of where the animals were in their cages and kept a close eye on them and at times was a little spooked by them.  But she also loved every minute of her time checking them out with us despite getting very tired by mid afternoon.
I also have to start planning what to do with these lovely goodies I won from Barbara from Wont to-be- Quilter.  I want to make Christmas table runner's this year, also but the flower prints she snuck in as extra goodies really have whetted my appetite to play with them.  Not sure what to do next but need to get to work on some of my BOM projects that are wrapping up for the year.  Thanks so much Barbara, I love the fabrics you sent my way!!!  I adore them all.
Keep Stitchin'

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