Sunday, March 19, 2017

What's On The Design Wall in March?

Hey! March is turning out to be a great month.  I got a couple wall hangings completed. I started a Stack n Whack quilt.  I have an orphan block, that is from Rosemary at my other quilt group.  Besides the Knotty Quilters, I belong to the Piecemakers of Idaho.  We have been doing an orphan block swap, where we bring one of our orphan blocks (a block that has no quilt to go into -boo ho), in a sealed paper bag with our name in it, to our meeting.  When we leave the meeting we pick-up a different paper bag and take it home.  We make something out of the block and bring it back two meetings later.  We take turns holding up the thing we made and see if the person recognizes their orphan block in the project, then we give it back to them to keep for ever and ever.  Rosemary's orphan block is on my design wall, upper left. 
It is 18" X 18" and consists of one of my top favorite color schemes, red, white, and blue. I got an 18" pillow form and took it with me to the quilting retreat earlier this month.  A friend said that I needed to add a little more around the edge to make it fit.  Well okay.  I went in my stash, later, and found some good edging fabric, squared up the block and added an inch of the edging fabric.  I sewed the back overlapping pieces, right sides together, then I put the pillow form in it.  The cover was a tad loose, so I laid it flat and pressed the edge down and stitched in-the-ditch all the way around to shrink the pillow cover up a little and add this lovely design feature to the pillow cover.
I figure Rosemary is not looking at my blog, so she will
still be surprised on Wednesday! 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

I Sharpened My Seam Ripper And Got To Work!

How time does fly when you have a blog and you like to post photos and information about the things you love.  I love having fun, I love quilting, and I love fabric!  Today is the five year anniversary of my blog.  This evening I clicked on my menu for 2012 and looked at all the wonderful things I did in the first year of my blog.  I jumped in and figured out how to build a blog and had fun discovering all the possibilities.  I made some fun quilts. I flew to Tucson and helped our daughter move to Missouri. I made the Moose and Squirrel (Rocky and Bullwinkle) quilt for my husband's birthday.  We visited our daughter in Missouri for Thanksgiving and had a wonderful time.  I finished my fish quilt in December and discovered those tiny blocks of fabric to make doll quilts with. What a fun year!  This year is shaping up to be just as fun!  I made a mess of my 9 patch block and got to post it on my blog for some laughs.  I will be visiting our daughter in South Korea in April! I finally get to use my passport for the very first time!  Planning on going to Sisters for that fine quilt show, and plan on a road trip with my husband in September. 
    I sharpened my seam ripper and fixed that 9 patch block.  It looks a little better now.
My quilting niece sent me the pattern for this block and
some fabrics to make it with.  We did a swap.  This is my block.
I have come along way in five years. I belong to two quilting groups.  The Knotty Quilters is a small group that really supports each other in learning and growing.  We have so much fun!  We have our own quilting retreats, in Eagle, ID, where we get together about once per quarter and spend Friday through Sunday enjoying each others' company, projects, fabric, and food. 
     I have my quilting niece,whom I do long-distance quilting projects with now. We started quilting together when she was in high school.  I have Kirsten Larsen, my daughter's American Girl Doll, that has her own quilting blog.  You can view all the 'Gluten Free Doll Quilts' on her blog by clicking the link at the upper left of this blog.  She has friends who are cats and stuffed animals that also like her quilts.  She has ever so many more blue ribbons than I, and one Best of Division ribbon from the Western Idaho State Fair.  I started the doll quilt blog in June 2012, and it soon morphed into Kirsten's blog.  She has her own cutting table, mat, and rotary cutter.  She is so creative. I just don't know where she gets it!
This is Kirsten's design wall.  Most of her projects get designed here.
Right now she is sharing it with me.  She lets me take the photos
for her quilting blog.
  Kirsten's friend, Ebony, likes to sit under this buffet and look out the window onto the world.  The windows behind this buffet go clear to the floor.  I keep the shade on this window up about 18", so she can see out.  We moved here a little over a year ago, and I love my new quilting room!
Happy Anniversary!  I know the coming years will be just as exciting!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

What's Wrong With This Block?

I know after I pressed this block, I held it up for my very dear friend, Phyllis, to look at.  She said she liked the colors.  Hmmmm. . .
After I returned home from our weekend quilting retreat I dug out my three quilt blocks and put them on the design wall.  I stepped back and when I saw this block, I started to laugh and said something like "D--- it, how did I do that?!"  My husband, who was sitting in the living room and who did not see what I was talking about, said "A quote for you: Don't talk and quilt at the same time."
Well, Nicole, how did my block come out?
I get the distinct feeling that Phyllis did not really see it.  Like when I ask my husband to look at something and he doesn't really look; he just says "Nice job, Honey."
     What happened was time was running out because of the time change. We lost an hour of our quilting time today!  We were all about ready to pack-up, clean-up, and leave.  I was in a hurry to get this block finished before I had to pack up.  Well this is what happens when you hurry piecing!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Batik Fabric Swap Project Completed

At our meeting in November, we each brought one yard of batik fabric.  We took our yard of batik fabric and folded it in half, then snipped the edge and ripped it into two pieces.  The piece in my left hand, I got to keep. The piece in my right hand I gave to the quilter to my right.  The quilter on my left, gave me half of the piece she had ripped.  Then we each took the piece we received from the left and ripped it in half and passed half of it to our right.  We did this seven times.  We each took our pieces of fabrics home to make something and bring it in to show at our February meeting.  It was quite fun.  Many interesting projects were presented, several tote bags, organizers, table runners, etc.  I made a wall hanging using the hexagon technique I saw in Material Obsession 2.  Dimensions:  22.5" X 24.5"
Title: Cosmic Compass
I used up every bit of the 'tadpole' fabric, the gold fabric, and the grayish blue fabric, with just scraps of the blue/red left over. I used the rest of the gold fabric and grayish blue on the back of the wall hanging. I also used a couple odd scraps from my stash on the back.  I stitched in the ditch and stitched across the grayish blue, between the dark parts, so you cannot see the stitching. The binding is not a batik, but black with green dots from my stash.  It turned out pretty good for an experiment!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Unscheduled Quilting Lesson

On October 31, 2016, my husband retired from his job.  All has been pretty well, and he is happy not to be working and traveling on his job anymore.  He got me some wonderful gift cards, to a couple local quilt shops, for Christmas.  After the holidays, he went with me to Quilt Expressions, and while I was looking at fabric, he was looking, too.  He found some panels with winter trees on them and said he would like to make a quilt.  I had not seen this coming!  I helped him choose a couple more fabrics to go with the panels.  Later I had him practice cutting 2" strips, out of some unappealing remnants, with my rotary cutter.  I had him practice sewing straight seems on the sewing machine.  I introduced him to Mr. Seam Ripper.  He needs more practice pressing.   I had never used a panel to make a quilt, so I winged it and decided they needed to be squared a little before we started.  We discussed sashing and cornerstones: of which, cornerstones are not my favorite thing.  Well, it all went well and he is very happy with the quilt he made. 
He made this to go in the library on the back of the
small sofa.  It really looks great!
He learned about the walking foot and cheaty binding. Now he wants to be my assistant and help me cut fabric for my quilts.  I have some skill builders in the works for his future!  :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Japanese Scrap Coasters

Sometimes I just want to be creative with scraps.  I have lots of scrap batting, so I drag a little of that out and try piecing in different ways.  Next thing I know, I have four deliberately not-the-same-size coasters.  I use coasters more than I used to.  I want to prevent rings on my furniture, but also it makes me put my cup where I know I can find it later. 
I used mostly Japanese fabrics.  I stitched in the ditch on
two of them.  I was making them as a gift for a friend.
I wonder when I will give them to her.  Hmmmmm . . .

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The One Year Quilt

Actually most of my quilts take more than a year, because I begin them and then begin some other quilt, which I also may not finish because I begin something.  Sometimes I do get the new projects done before the ones I already had begun.  I hope you were able to follow that.  This one I started in January 2016, because I wanted to use up some of my flannel to make room for more regular cotton fabric.  I did get it finished in January 2017! Yeah!  Done in one year.  It is a fabulous soft grown quilt.  I call it a grown quilt, because I just sew two pieces of fabric together and keep adding, so it grows into a quilt.  I did manage to use up all the airplane fabric and some scraps of Spider Man.  I did do a cheaty binding; trimming the backing an inch from the edge, then folding it to the front as a binding.  It looks awesome and is very sturdy.  I like these kinds of flannel quilts because you really can launder the heck out of them and they just keep on being wonderfully soft and functional.
contains cars, airplanes, trains, hocky players, Spider Man, stripes,
solids, and plaids.  Stitch-in-the-ditch mostly.