Last week I saw an I Spy quilt on the C&T Publishing blog and loved it. Right after that I learned I would have the chance to give one to some little ones in my family so I made one. It took almost three full days of shopping (waiting for 1/8 of a yard strips to be cut, and lots of them,) cutting, laying out and then finishing, but I got it done. You will love the backing:
Isn't it cool? I bought two panels and will use the other one for the other little ones in my family. I love it.
This is the front.
The cuttings were different sizes, so I used fillers to make the blocks match.
This is the first quilt I tied. That worked well, I used cotton embroidery floss, but it is hard on your fingers.
I won a great book from Quiltmaker magazine. It's Scraps & Shirttails II by Bonnie K. Hunter who writes a column about scrap quilting for the magazine.
Three fat quarters were included. How nice is that?
And the book is autographed.
Now, what is interesting about this book is that Bonnie is a big advocate of recycling, so she wrote this book to show how she uses fabric from men's shirts in some of her quilts. All of those plaids, checks and darker shades mixed with the neutrals make gorgeous quilts. I love so many of her designs; I've got to tackle a project from this book soon.
Coincidence; remember my basket blocks from a few months ago? The blocks that are still on my to do list waiting for me to sew them into a quilt top? That basket design is by Bonnie Hunter.
I made the Simple Things blocks for this week, and they are looking good to me, although there were problems with the flying geese being 1/2 inch too wide. So, sharp trimming and made them fit. Done.
I do love the way the small 4-patch squares look in the white border.
A while back Quiltmaker magazine held giveaways of the 100 Blocks annual issue and I won a copy at Stitched Buy http://www.stitchedbuy.com , Sandi Blackwell's blog. Sandi has a block in the issue. I love this issue and am sure I will make something using the blocks. For instance, I found a beautiful star pattern in last year's issue that I used for the Quilt of Valor Charity Challenge. This issue is a neat resource.
Barbie needed some street clothes so I made her a dress and jacket set. Very chic. Modeling the ensemble is my Leo Barbie, from the Zodiac series. This Barbie makes an appearance each August, then goes back to where she came from. However, Senior Barbie needed help modeling, so Barbie Leo appeared.
Senior Barbie looks ravishing in her evening dress, a very tight sheath with a tulle overskirt. Whoa, Senior Barbie!
I bought a package of Dritz brand Curved Needles for Tying Quilts at Joann's last week because notions were 50% off . I used one for basting my Wreath Quilt sandwich and it's so much better than a straight needle. What took me so long to try this? And I recommend Dritz. The needle is very smooth and glides through the fabric.
I completed part 4 of the America The Beautiful quilt designed by Lynn Lister and published in McCall's Quilting.
This time around we made the school house. rail fences and checkerboard strips.
The only thing left are three houses and more decorative fillers. I hope sewing all of these very different sized blocks is going to be a smooth process.
This quilt design is one of the types of quilts that I wanted to make when I began to quilt because it evokes life. That's one of the reasons I love the log cabin block and some of the other traditional blocks. There is something alive behind the design and that is what I love about it.. And to me it's also what is fun about quilting. I'm not telling you anything new. I'm sure you feel what I feel when those very sweet Christmas quilts come out with images that just go straight to our hearts. I love them and want to make every one.
Speaking of Christmas quilts, I got the fabric and made the backing for my Christmas Wreath Quilt. I had some of the squares left over from the design, and also some of the smaller fabric pieces.
I made one crazy scrap block, fast becoming one of my favorite blocks, and sewed a strip to be the connector between the two main fabric pieces. One benefit is that one square is cream and will be the quilt label. Carrie Nelson in her book Schnibbles Times Two tells how she makes the label a part of the backing and it is then quilted onto the quilt. For someone like me who is bad about labeling her quilts that makes it so much easier.
Two clarifications from this weekend. First, I didn't link to Quilt Times, Sue's blog, http://www.quilttimes.blogspot.com during all of my posting Saturday. I edited my first post to correct this. My apologies to Sue.
Second, I am making Barbie doll clothes for one of the little ones in my family who asked me to make her new doll some clothing, especially a turquoise dress. My old Barbie with her age spots is just happy to be able to model them.
This is what I chose for the Simple Things mini quilt.
I did some of the cutting yesterday, but don't have the background fabric.
I'm having a problem with the 5" cutting die for my AccuQuilt GO! Sometimes one side is slightly short, even when I am very careful about placement of the fabric. Anyone know what causes that?
I also made the Summer Winds block for Janet Wickell's Scrap Happy Sampler QAL.
I love how the corners look a little like the fish blocks.
I almost abandoned this quilt. The different colors I've used are a real mish-mash. But it's very possible that with the right background fabric and more color variety in future blocks, it will look neat. I love all of the block designs.
I like the star pattern as it should be, as well as the star pattern as it shouldn't be.
What I like about my version is the way the sides meet and form a secondary pattern. I'm going to look around to see if this block has a name. I'll let you know if I learn anything.
There is only one more star to make two blocks of and then we start the putting together part. That will be August I think. I've grown to really love this quilt and think it's going to be much enjoyed by all of us who are making it. Again, thanks to Sue and Cathi.
Thank you to Sue for hosting the qal today. I know it's more work than the rest of us are doing, but it's always fun.
I may cut my fabric tonight for the Simple Things qal. Have a great Sunday.
Yep, I did it again. Putting my own individual stamp on the Scatty Stars Quilt Blocks.
Yes, these are supposed to be this month's pattern. Don't look like yours?
I made mine "differently" again. I really like this pattern. I won't keep them for the Scatty Stars quilt because I have enough fabric to do the blocks over following Sue's and Kathi's pattern, but I like the block pattern I made. Maybe I'll incorporate them into the backing.
Look how far we are already.
I'm going visiting. I'm not sure if I'm done sewing or if I will begin those stars, but for now, I'm breaking. Need some tea.
Ran into problems with the grecian dress; the pattern pieces are missing. So Barbie has another strapless with wrap. All of the Barbie dolls in my family live in small towns, yet they have need of extensive numbers of evening attire. I'm envious.
It's only 6:30 am here, and although I've been up for one hour, all I've done is determine that I don't have enough backing fabric to finish the wreath quilt, cleaned up the table so I have room to work, made coffee and begin sewing a crazy block from some Christmas fabric scraps. Up front I have to let you know that I don't think I will accomplish a thing today, but I'm giving it a go. And after seeing Sue's progress using her GO!, maybe I should put mine to work for me today too.
One of the blogs I follow, Happiness is Cross Stitching, has just posted a free Christmas ornament pattern, so I'm thinking we're not the only ones doing Chrismas in June projects.
I do plan to make Barbie another dress from this fabric.
The grecian style dress is the one I will make, but I also love the dress with the gathered hem. Good thing Barbie doesn't have to walk far.
And yes, it does say $.50 on the envelope. I don't even want to think how old I was when I got that pattern.
When I get the pattern for the next star in the Christmas quilt I'll work on it too. Better get busy.
Joan Ford's book, Cut the Scraps, has an interesting beginning section where she discusses the importance of using a scant 1/4" seam. She is the second source I've read this week (also CLK Quilts blog http://clkquilt.wordpress.com/2011/05/30/do-your-blocks-end-up-too-small/ ) that covers the "scant" 1/4" seam and shows the difference it makes. I thought 1/4" seams were the goal, but the scant 1/4" seam takes into consideration the thread and pressing space, if I understand it correctly. Joan shows an experiment in her book, and I decided to try it for myself. I used my Accuquilt Go! value die to cut 2.5" squares accurately, then sewed two squares together using the 1/4" seam marker on my machine and the normal presser foot and another two using the 1/4" presser foot attached. Then I pressed them according to her directions (first press the seam, then take one square over and press from the other square using the side of your iron, then carefully press down the fabric. These are my results:
There is exactly 1/8" difference because the scant 1/4" seam is 1/16" inch less. So now I know that my 1/4" presser foot gives me a scant 1/4" seam, something I didn't know before. It also explains why when I'm too lazy to change presser feet I may have problems, or if I'm following a pattern that doesn't use the scant seam allowance.
I suppose you all know this already and are saying" Boy, Joanna, where have you been?" Well, I don't usually care unless I run into difficulty and I recently did with some blocks. Then I was the "Why" kid. I knew I was supposed to use the 1/4" seam, but now I know why and that I should really use the scant 1/4" seam. Makes a difference.
I finished the lapghan to donate. I downloaded the directions to make this from someone's blog, but her blog address isn't listed on them, so I can't give her credit. However, if I do come across her blog I will credit her with the design.
Janet Wickell did not forget us. She has given us a new block for the scrap happy scrap quilt along, so that is back in production. I made a list of the "in progress" projects I have and came up with seven, not counting my " want to make" projects or gifts I have in mind to put together, or crochet/cross stitch projects.
I cannot post a comment on blogs that have an embedded comment section because Blogger hasn't fixed that issue yet. It's Daffycat showed how to change your comment section to the pop up window type , and it is the workaround for those of us who have been left out in the cold by Blogger/Google. Here's the link to her post if you are interested. http://itsdaffycat.blogspot.com/2011/05/blogger-problems.html I understand if you don't want to alter your blog. I will be resorting to emails until Blogger gets this resolved.
I've been very gabby today. Hope you are all well. Thinking of all of you.