Saturday, August 31, 2013

Final EQ Summer Sew Along Block

Well, it was a lot of fun and I learned a lot during the EQ7 Summer Drawing Series challenge. I just hope I can retain some of the things I was able to do. This month, the coolest thing was discovering the Swath tool--awesome!
This month's block combined Easy Draw and Patch Draw--combining piecing and applique elements. 

The swath tool makes a curved line into flying geese--you can see mine at the upper left.
I'm not sure what I was doing wrong--
I couldn't get my pick tool to remove the corners of the top "goose" to make a point.
Because of time issues, I only made the first block in the August lessons. 

These are all my blocks together!
I thought a lot about what I should do with them.
I hated to see them end up in the orphan block bag as another UFO.
My Number One for Connie's UFO Challenge was to get some place mats made for Meals on Wheels.
Every year, the Pinetree Patchworkers guild donates over 100 place mats to Meals on Wheels that will be distributed with the Christmas meal in the Brainerd Lakes area.
These blocks are the perfect size to make into place mats!

Here they are ready to be quilted.
I'm not sure if I will bind them or just turn them. I pretty much used up all the fabrics I used to make them, so they will probably end up just turned and quilted. It will be fun to practice my quilting on these.
I just heard from Stephanie that my HQ16 upgrades arrived at the shop and are ready to be installed--yee haw!!

I'm almost caught up with Words to Live By--only one block behind now!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

It's A Schnibbles!

Because of those 120 exchange blocks hanging over my head, I had no intentions of doing this month's Schnibbles Canasta for the Another Year of Schnibbles Sew Along .

Image of Canasta PDF ~ No. 472
But I decided to check out the pattern just for the fun of it....
BIG mistake!
This is a brand, spankin' new pattern!

Carrie had this second version of Canasta made up in Jo Morton's Blue Variety fabrics. 
Well, you know I just happen to have a bin of Blue Variety burnin' to be made up into something cute. 

Image of Canasta PDF ~ No. 472
I love the little skinny accent border!
 So, of course, I downloaded the pattern which had instructions for a larger version requiring 61 blocks. I really loved the look of these little baskets, so I HAD to go for the larger version--right? 
My Canasta measures approximately 51" x 61".
I didn't end up doing the cute skinny accent border after all.

I had planned to make a square table topper with the accent border, twisting and turning the blocks so the top wouldn't be directional, but I decided I preferred my  blocks to all be standing upright.
That led to adding the top and bottom borders to make a nice sized rectangular throw.

There are narrow strips between the blocks to give them some space. 

The back and binding are ready to go.
I hate not getting this quilted right away. The last thing I need is another UFO! 
However, I am waiting for my HQ16 upgrades before I do anymore quilting.
They should be arriving any day now-- I can't wait!   

Don't forget to check out the Schnibbles parade at the end of the month at Sinta's and Sherri's blogs.
 It will be inspirational and a lot of fun! 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Clean Up Time

My friend Lois sent me this and I had to share!

My plan to use the AC unit in my sewing room didn't exactly pan out.
When Mr. Moosebay decided to cut a hole in the wall to install the AC, he should have also put in a separate circuit. It seems that every single light and outlet on our upper level is on the same circuit, which means there is no ironing while the air is on or no AC while ironing. So, to solve that dilemma,  Mr. Moosebay has me run a heavy duty extension cord to another circuit when using the air conditioner. Yesterday, the old cord decided to give up and started on fire. Luckily the AC unit started making crazy noises and I investigated before any fabric was damaged!
I phoned Mr. Moosebay who happened to be at Menard's to apprise him of this situation. He brought home a new cord and got everything back into working order. 
An hour after that, we had a scary storm blow through and lost power.
I decided to leave the AC off for now.


My hanging baskets got so heavy from hail pellets that the hook they were on bent.
One of the baskets fell about 20 feet and was demolished.

Fortunately, we didn't lose any trees. Our neighbor across the street lost three.
Everything is plastered with leaves and twigs though.

My tomato plant got pounded pretty bad. Again.
I hope he hangs in there long enough for the fruit to ripen.

I was thrilled that my vine wasn't damaged--it's been fun watching the hummingbirds visit!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Down to the Wire---Again....

I have to admit that I am my own worst enemy. 
Early this spring, in a moment of weakness (and complete lack of judgement) I signed up for a block exchange on a Yahoo group that I belong to. That wouldn't have been so bad, but then I signed up for a second block exchange. I would say "what was I thinking", but obviously, I wasn't--thinking that is. Worse, after the sign-ups closed, there was a total of 60 in each of them. One hundred and twenty blocks. I can do it, I thought. I have the whole summer and can work on them a few at a time.

Did I do that? Heck no! My deadline is Sept. 15th--coming up pretty quickly now. Luckily a few people have dropped out so I can make 4 fewer blocks--like that will help!

Before I can get to those blocks, I have a couple other things to finish up--I have almost 3 whole weeks to get the exchange blocks done--right?? In the meantime, I am desperately trying to stay cool. We don't have central air, but my sewing room does have a small air conditioner that I hate using.
This quilt hangs in a corner of my sewing room.
It's an old Pat Sloan pattern.

Voila! I can roll up the quilt to expose the air conditioner.
I really despise using it because it sounds like a jet engine at take-off, but since it will get up to the high 90's with equally high humidity today, the air will be running at full capacity! 
 I have to share these awesome blocks that my friend Paula is designing for her Dear Jane quilt.
 She has been working on this project for years (like many of us) and has replaced many of the blocks with some of her own design. These are a few of her border blocks that she brought to this month's Stitch Therapy meeting:

I love this fussy cut pomegranite!

So cute!

Sweet little iris.

I wish the photos showed how perfect her applique is--the tiniest stitches I have ever seen!
These almost look like they are printed on the fabric--they are so flat! 
That's it for today--stay cool!!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Design Wall Wednesday!

Just a quick shot of the design wall--not much progress this last week!
Blue baskets are for this month's Schnibbles project: Canasta.
I had a crazy busy week starting with quilt guild last Monday. We had our annual potluck--lots of wonderful yummy dishes to sample and I won one of the door prizes--yay!
On Tuesday, my friend Sandi and I attended a great gardening lecture on the Art of Kitchen Gardens.
I have so many ideas now for next year. 
If I could keep these evil creatures out of my gardens, I would be a happy camper. 
We also did part of the Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop and made it to four of the eight shops in the Upper Mid-MN section.
On Thursday we finished up the shop hop section with the last four shops and were lucky enough to get our bonus "Notion Commotion" zippered bags filled with sewing notions. There had been so many "finishers" in our section, that most of the shops had run out of the bags. Luckily one of the shops on our way home still had a few and held 2 of them for us!

This Monday was our August Stitch Therapy meeting. Enjoy the photos! 
I think this was Linda's block.
She originally was using a dark teal floss but was unhappy with it and started all over with black floss.
 I can't wait to see it after the Tranfer-Eze is washed away! 

The crayon tinting just gets more cute every month! 

These are some of the tinted blocks set together in sections

Sandi is working on these blocks from a Crabapple Hill pattern.

Sandi (left) and Sandy (right) hold up a raffle quilt Sandi made--gorgeous! 
 More cute blocks:

Brenda is adding some machine embroidered blocks to her quilt like the word Peace on the upper left.
I have a lot more from the class to share, and will be doing it later this week!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Book Lovers Day--August 9th

Moda had a little blog hop on Friday celebrating favorite quilting books--read about it HERE.

Well, I'm a little late to the occasion. 
Friday was our 44th wedding anniversary and we went on a little road trip. 
There were chickens, turkeys and ducks everywhere outside the logging camp where we had dinner.
Yeah, we're classy! 
Quilt Minnesota 2013 Exclusive Fabric
Saturday I helped out at Colorz for Quilts. They had two buses stopping in, packed with State Shop Hoppers. One more week to go before the fun ends! 
So, although I'm late, I thought I would go ahead and do a post about the book that inspired me to start quilting, because it's such a fun topic.
 I would have to say that book was Quilts, Quilts, Quilts! by Diana McClun and Laura Nownes. 
I never owned a copy, but I must have checked it out of the library at least a dozen times!
I'm pretty sure it wasn't the second edition either. 
While these weren't my very first quilts (I made a few in the 70's for my son's when they were small), I consider them my first real quilts since they are quilted, not tied.

Well, of course I would make this one first--what could be easier? If you have the book, you know I made this almost exactly like the photo in the book. I loved the way each block was made up of various strips of the same color and it took me forever to collect all the fabrics. Naturally, they haven't aged very well since they were the cheapest of the cheap fabrics--probably flat folds from Ben Franklin.
I'm not sure that I even knew there were actual quilt shops back then. 
I had to make this one--blue and white! It was also a great learning experience--lots of different techniques.
This was almost exactly copied from the book right down to the stripe in the sashing--hard to see in this photo.
A lot of these fabrics have also faded to gray--more cheap fabric.

I am trying to make up for my wayward cheap-o fabric purchases of the past. 
My latest shopping therapy:

Some new sale fat quarters to add to the stash. 
They're inexpensive quality fabrics! 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Cakestand Update

By now you have probably seen the setting options for the tiny Cake Stand basket challenge blocks from Temecula Quilt Company
In case you missed them, see the three setting options HERE.
If you missed the pattern for the blocks, you can find it HERE

 I had to make one more cake stand since this setting required 32 blocks.
 Actually, I had to make 2 more because I temporarily lost one of my original blocks.
 Now I have one for the back.

I chose option two, because I wanted my little baskets to stand upright. 
Option three just didn't grab me, although I would have liked a larger quilt. 

I thought about doing the scallop border shown on option one, but I think it may detract from this setting. And since I have so many irons in the fire, I am ready to call this one done. 
On the design wall with some 8 1/2" blocks. 
I may do a little testing though, because the scallops are tempting me! 

The reason I had room on the design wall?
A little storm came through yesterday and blew most of my Grandmother's Choice blocks down with a whoosh!
I had been so careful to keep them in order for the last 49 weeks.
Oh well. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Grandmother's Choice Comes to an End

Sadly, the last block in the Grandmother's Choice Block of the Week has been posted. Now I will have to figure out what I will do with my blocks. I definitely learned a lot about the fight for women's rights that I hadn't been aware of before. I'll miss checking the website every Saturday morning to see the newest block.
Block 48: Fair Play

Block 49: An Arc Bending Toward Justice

These are all 49 blocks. If I set them like this, it will be a square quilt.
I'm not so crazy about square quilts.

These are 48 blocks set on point. That would give me a rectangle quilt,
but sadly, Sunbonnet Sue would have to go on the back of the quilt.
I have an idea of what I would do for the alternate block.
I'm going to have to do a little work in Electric Quilt 7 to see if I like the way it looks.
I'm excited that Barbara Brackman will be doing a Block of the Month next year on her Civil War Blog. The topic: The Underground Railroad! I think those will be some interesting blocks. 

In the meantime, there are still more Dixie Diary blocks to come. 
This is the August Block: Confederate Silver

As usual, I made two blocks. This is the heart version. 

The star version.

These are my 16 blocks. There will be a total of 24.
These are really simple blocks--it's not too late to catch up if you haven't started--there are only 12 blocks total.
I think they would look fabulous in patriotic colors--lots of blue, of course! 
Can't forget the August Chicken Scratch blocks!
I think I better use the rubber mallet on the center of the large block!