Friday, April 30, 2010

Now It Is All Good

I took down the Sunflower Quilt Top and fixed the border and switched the two misplaced blocks .... much better! I need to get this quilted soon. My dining room looks so much brighter and happier with this colorful wall quilt.

You can snatch a piece of this sunshine yourself on sale here ...

... where I bought my kit and support my favorite local quilt shop!

;-) Pat

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Made From Scraps

Here is the table quilt top that I made with the scrap half square triangles (plus added borders) from my Sunflower Quilt. It is half the size of the wall quilt. That is a lot of "scraps" for one pattern. Well, I did enjoy playing with the "leftovers" ... lol! I am fixing the mistake and the border on my wall quilt his afternoon. Then I need to get these two quilted so I can enjoy them.

That shall have to wait though. I have to make and send some baby quilt blocks and get ready for the 30's swap. There is only one more layer cake swap package to arrive and then I can swap! Looks like Monday is shaping up to be the "Big Swap Day!"

:-) Pat

Monday, April 26, 2010

Bright Sunflower Quilt Top

Here is my Sunflower Wall Quilt Top ... um ... (almost) done !

I am making plans for the sandwiching and quilting part. I will post a picture again when it is finished. This may be a week or two as I have to catch up with some baby and charity blocks and projects and I am hoping all the 30's swap fabric will be here soon so I can swap them. The swapping will take over all my dining/sewing room space.
There was just barely enough fabric in the kit as called for on the printed pattern to complete this top. This is one of the reasons I seldom buy kits. I just should have bought more of the focal fabric at the time. The pattern called for four 4.5" WOF strips and two 4.5' x 13" rectangles to make the outer border. I found this was not quite enough. I had to add a narrow piece on the short sides to make them long enough. This may have been because I washed my fabrics (which I always do) before cutting and sewing as the quilt shop owner said someone else had already completed her quilt and did not report the same problem. I was able to talk her out of the last 3/4 of a yard of this fabric which she was saving and I am going to rework the outer border on one of the corners. She decided to order another bolt anyway as she has more of the other fabrics and the kit has been very popular. Now that I have the extra fabric washed, I shall have to take it down and make the outer border better. I see that I have misplaced two of the blocks ... can you tell which ones???? Hmmmmmm???? ... It took me over a day to see this error ... lol ... so I shall go "ribbit ... ribbit"" ;-)

In the end I had 112 Half Square Triangles made from the corners which were cut off while making the blocks. That is more than enough for a good-sized table runner!!

Any suggestions as to how to make it better???
I have been playing with these HSTs all morning and this is what I have at the moment for a layout for the runner. I have enough of the yellow or brown TOT stripe for a narrow border and I can make an outer border of the focal fabric with the extra piece I bought. I plan to sew this later today and then clean up my (very messy) sewing space.

I am still thinking of making a bed-sized quilt with some of these fabrics. I just love them!!! ... :-) Pat

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Current Quilty Project

Here is a sneak peek at what I am currently working on. These fabrics are so bright and colorful and the pattern so striking that when I saw them in the quilt shop I had to make this quilt. Usually I never buy kits. This quilt is wall sized, but I am liking the fabrics so much I may also make a bed size quilt later with some of these fabulous fabrics.

Here are some of my blocks so far. This pattern uses a method of adding squares to the corners to make the blocks that calls for cutting off the corner triangles. I always feel that too much lovely fabric is wasted in the process, so I sew a second line and cut the corners to make Half Square Triangle blocks. These HST are actually 3 inches ... much to large to be tossed away! I am thinking I will make a table runner with them after I finish the wall quilt.

After this photo, I squared the blocks and cut the dog-ears from the HST. Here one of my favorite tools for squaring these units as I go. It is a small rotary cutting mat so I can just turn and square without moving the block. I have a larger size of these rotary cutting mats for squaring larger blocks, but this small one is perfect for the intermediate steps. The best thing is that I found this smaller mat in a quilt basket I won at a quilt show one time. What a nice surprise that was!

I took some time off from sewing today to cut my strips and squares for the monthly mini-swap on Block Central. I am off to the post office now and then it is back to sewing my quilt. I have started receiving this month's "squishies" ... brown squares and red strips. I love the variety of fabrics I get in these mini-swaps!

May you have a happy quilty day ... :-) Pat

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Life with my Quilty Kitties

I have had a request to see my furry quilty helpers ... so here they are!

Butterfly, the black and white tuxedo cat, is almost 9 years old and is my daughter's cat. She is one of the most affectionate cats I have ever known with her family, but she does not like strangers. Boyfriends must pass the Butterfly test if they hope to be around for any length of time. ;-) My daughter and hubby plucked her from a shelter one Saturday while I was away with my camping gals teaching an outdoor cooking class. My daughter who was thirteen at the time had a month earlier stood holding her three year old birthday kitty while she had to be put to sleep suffering from feline leukemia. We had adopted that kitty from a friend who did not know the mother was suffering from this disease when she had her litter. Lily at three years old was then longest surviving kitty from the mother and her babies and we even had a eye removed surgically to prolong her life. We did everything we could to make Lily's short life as happy as possible. My daughter needed a new baby to love. My husband says this kitten was just laying there and showed no personality and he tried to talk my daughter into a "more animated" kitten. My daughter insisted this was the one and named her Butterfly before they had even signed the papers. Butterfly has shown herself to have a lot of personality! LOL Since my daughter is away much of the time now at college, her cat and I frequently console each other while "Our Girl" is gone.

Butterfly thinks all my quilts are hers!

Mina dissagrees ...

Our other cat is Mina, a 17 year old dark tiger stripe. We have had her for about 8 years now. My daughter is also responsible for bringing this feisty little feline into out home. A friend of hers in high school was being forced to give her up when she was moving to an apartment which did not accept pets. Mina was literally in a carrier on her way to be put down when my daughter called me after school one day and asked if I really meant it when I said I would consider taking the cat if her friend could not find any other home for her. I thought that I asked all the necessary questions ... was she healthy, neutered, clean, could she go out, etc ... I forgot to ask if she got along with other cats! At the time we had Butterfly and our old and late cat, Gennie, who was the friendliest, gentlest cat I have ever known. Gennie passed on at age 19 and I still miss her and have her photo above my computer smiling down at me. Gennie trotted right over to bump noses and say "Hello! Oh, how nice! A new kitty came to live with us!" Mina took one look, growled and disappeared into my boys' bedroom to hide under a bed and not come out for a week or two. She could be heard, though. How that tiny cat can produce a growl as loud and sinister as a mountain lion is one of life's mysteries. Her friend's Mom had been reading Dracula when this kitten had needed a name and she was named after Willamina in that novel. Mina has been called "Vampire Kitty" and "The Claw" at times. She was covered with fleas (and she had been an indoor cat!!) and was scrawny and she was very angry. Poor kitty! She just needed someone to love and she "bonded" immediately with my oldest son and still follows him around meowing 'my hero" after him whenever he comes ot visit. She is a such a sweet little kitty. We think she may have been unfortunately abused at some point in her life, maybe for her unfortunate trait of scratching upholstered furniture to shreds. Ah ... we do love Mina. She is now flea-free and glossy furred and is even chubby (for her) .... and, ah ... she still shreds the furniture though. She loves to help me with my quilting and whenever I get up for a few minutes I find she is in the middle of whatever I am working on when I return and I have to pet her and coax her to curl up on her own folded piece of batting next to my sewing machine.

Butterfly is still a very large and territorial cat who wants to rule the house. Mina is still a smaller feisty "you are not the boss of me!" cat. The fur flies over the quilts sometimes.

So now you know the story of my quilty kitties!

I could not imagine life without being loved by a cat or two ..

:-) Pat

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Fabric ... Swap Fabric and More Fabric

Just look at these bright and happy fabrics that arrived from Canada yesterday! Aren't they just darling??

One of the ways I like to encourage fabric to come to me is to run "Layer Cake Swaps" on the Quilt & Needle Forum. The current theme is 30's Repros, as you may recall from earlier blogs. The sign-ups are closed and the packages are arriving daily. Soon I hope to be swapping!!

For the outside of USA swappers, I am always happy to accept fabric in lieu of stamps for the return envelopes and I have received some lovely surprise squishes this way. The cute kitties above are my gifty fabric from Debbieann. Some of her 30's Layer Cakes are peeking out from behind.

To see more of these swap fabrics, you can ooh and ahh at all the photos in our album ...

Many more pictures of the swapping coming soon to my blog!

I love fabric! I have been calling myself a "Fabric-ista" lately!

lol ... ;-) Pat

Thursday, April 15, 2010

This Month''s Round Robin Border is Done!

Here is the finished border I added to Gerda's lovely oriental Round Robin. I love the way this one looks! I hope her daughter, for whom she started this round, likes it as much as I enjoyed working on my border for her. This one still has two more borders to be added before it makes its way home to Canada. It will be a bed-size quilt by then. This was the first time I have worked on a rectangular medallion, with a clear up and down.

My own Round Robin is growing, too ... but I have not seen it yet. I like to be surprised in the end so I had the swap hostesses on the Quilt & Needle place the photos of mine in the non-peekers album. It is difficult sometimes not to look but I know how much I will enjoy seeing the completed top when it arrives home, so I will resist.

I am planning to working on a project for me next ... a quilt kit I bought at a local quilt shop. Usually I do not buy kits but this one was so colorful and bright and the fabrics are so gorgeous that I could not improve on the design. Pictures of these fabrics coming soon ... to be followed soon thereafter, I hope, by the actual top and quilt!

;-) Pat

Friday, April 9, 2010

I Am Not Procrastinating!

Instead of tucking Gerda's Round Robin away or hanging it on the wall and staring at it for a month, I actually pulled fabrics, found a pattern idea and I have even got templates!

After I looked at the stuff laid out in the picture above for awhile, I decided the colors are not quite right, The fabric on the left is too pink and does not provide enough contrast. The blue fabric on the right is too much of a departure from the other colors. So, clearly, I had to ask my hubby if I could dip into his private stash of Oriental Fabrics ... and he had the perfect one! He agreed that he could part with some of it ... but told me I "best replace it" ... lol!

I told him that this would require another outing to Emma's Quilt Cupboard and that we best hope the rest of the bolt is still there ...

Yay!!! I have an another excuse to go fabric shopping anyway!!


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Annette's Round Robin Border Completed!

... and ready to mail!

Just in time ... the next RR is here!! This one is a lovely Chinese Lantern block that Gerda started for her daughter ... hmmmmm ... what to do with this one, I wonder??

I love working on these Round Robin borders! :-) Pat

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sewing the next Round Robin Border

Sneak peak here on what I am working on for my border on Annette's amazing Round Robin.

I admit I have been staring at this beauty for over a month completely in awe. I have had a very difficult time deciding what I could possibly add to this gorgeous medallion. Annette even helped by sending some of her sunset colored Fossil Fern and some marbled fat quarters. Ann used some of this for her wonderful border and I am going to use some, too. I am trying to leave some of the Fossil Fern for the next person to use, too, but there is not much left.

At the end of last week I decided to try a French Braid and to use batiks. I made a quick trip to a nearby quilt shop to pick up some fat quarters to blend with the focal fabric and I am finally sewing. I think it is going to work!!

More "picies" later ... heh ... heh ... heh ...

hmmmmm ... now if I could just figure the corners ... ;-) Pat

Monday, April 5, 2010

A New Month ... New Scrappy String Swap Blocks

A new month means it is time to sew and send April's swap blocks. Here are the Scrappy String Blocks I made to send to Betty on Block Central. Betty chose "deep dark gold" for the center strips for her blocks. Swap requirements stipulate that it must be a solid or "read as a solid" fabric. I looked through my stash and did not find anything that I thought fit the color and other criteria so I bought a 1/4 yard strip of a beautiful dark gold Fusion from a nearby quilt shop. These blocks are a great way to use of those long thin strip scraps left from other projects. I had a lot of fun making these and hope Betty likes them, too. May she make a lovely quilt with all the "squishies" that will find their way to her mailbox this month. I now have a pile of envelopes to mail and need to get to the post office very soon!

... back to my sewing machine ... :-) Pat

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

May everyone have a joyous Easter with family and friends!

Yesterday I went to the garden center and filled my window boxes with one of my favorite flowers ... pansies!
I love their little heart shaped flowers and their dainty stems ... such strong and resilient little flowers, though, to brave the cold temperatures at night and gusty winds as winter departs ... they turn their faces to the sun and smile ...

and I smile and give thanks with them ... :-) Pat

Thursday, April 1, 2010

March Mystery Revealed

Here is my progress on the March Mystery pattern from Jessica J.E. Smith from the Quilt & Needle. Her newest mystery pattern is called "Irish Dance" and she made kits in Northcott's "Stonehenge" fabrics. This includes fabrics from one of her "cool" kits (she also has some is lovely "warm" autumnal colors) which I personalized with some additional greens and purples from the same fabric line. I was somewhat indecisive about one of the inner border fabrics and finally went with the green. I am liking the effect it has on all the other colors.

You can buy this wonderful pattern here ...

... or order a kit that includes the pattern here ...

My picture shows the quilt as designed through her Step 13. I may be further personalizing this quilt with borders of my own design. To see the rest of the quilt you will have to sign up on the forum to view all the mystery quilts in the making. The Q&N is a warm and comfy quilty home away from home on the net. I have made many wonderful friends and quilts here. Please join us!

After pinning my quilt up I have started to clean up my (very messy) quilting corner which is in my dining room. I will be tucking my sewing stuff away so that my family may enjoy Easter Brunch together.

I have a border on a Round Robin in the works which I need to finish up and send on its way to the next stop. This will be the project I leave out to work on over the weekend whenever I have a few minutes to sew. Another RR ... another challenge ...

have a happy quilty day ...

;-) Pat