Monday, July 10, 2017

Follow the Leader...

I think my favorite feature on my Juki would be the scissor. With just a tap on the foot pedal, the threads are cut. Occasionally, as the sewn pieces are removed from the machine, I accidentally unthread the needle. 
That's why I try to use a leader/ender to finish off what ever I am sewing--just to hold that thread in the needle. Look at how much thread I've used just on these small pieces! Actually this used to be one piece, but I cut it in half to not only use less thread, but to save a few seconds--haha! (Hey, those seconds all add up to minutes, right?)
Soooo, I've been waiting to see what Bonnie Hunter would come up with as her leader/ender challenge project she does every summer. She chose Rail Fences--read about it HERE

Rail Fences don't particularly "trip my trigger", but Bonnie's plan for her Rail Fences reminded me of  this quilt that I had bookmarked from the August 2016 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting. I thought Stair Steps would be perfect to burn up some of my endless supply of blue scraps, however, I didn't relish making the 1,760 half square triangles! 

I think by substituting four patches for the HST's, I will get the look of Stair Steps without all the fuss of making those triangles. There are already many, many 1.5" red and light squares cut and in my stash, so that will be a big time saver. 

These are the two different blocks (as shown on the Quiltville site) needed, and following Bonnie's pressing instructions, they will go together perfectly. 

I've got a good start on my cutting and will keep this little box next to the sewing machine as I work on other projects. I plan to sew everything together in pairs, then into the four patches and the four strips. After that, I will cut more strips and squares as needed. I plan to make a generous twin size, for now--subject to change--lol!  As this is a year long challenge, there's no rush.
I didn't do last years Hourglass leader/ender challenge (I'm kind of regretting that now that I've seen Bonnie's quilt on her Instagram feed), but I did have lots of fun with the Spool and Lozenge Leaders & Enders Challenges. 

 I think the Rail Fence Challenge will be a fun one too!
And maybe someday I'll make those 1, 760 Half Square Triangles for an actual Stair Steps quilt! 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

July UFO Goal

The binding has been made and the backing fabrics are ready to be pieced, so I think it only makes sense that my Front Porch top should be finished in July--it screams Summer!! Wish me luck!!
Linking with One Monthly Goal HERE

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

June Wrap-up!

My June OMG (One Monthly Goal) was to finish the ThimbleCreek Summer Sampler AKA Civil War Jubilation (the title on the finishing instructions). I had the top loaded on my HQ16 back in late May, but didn't get it quilted until last Friday. Procrastination is my middle name.
I used Kim Diehl fabrics for the blocks and pinwheels with Zen Chic backgrounds.  
I picked up the backing fabric on sale. Even though it's a wide back, it was a remnant, so I had to do a little creative addition to make it large enough for the quilt. 

Somewhere along the line, Joe decided to change the name of the quilt. I will continue to use Summer Sampler title since the quilt has pine trees, cabins, beach balls, and berry baskets--looks like summer to me (and I didn't use any Civil War repros fabrics).

Mousseau Bay is another project on my 2nd quarter list for 2017 Finish A Long.  
Our guild had an "Up North" challenge to go along with the theme of our show last week.
My entry has a lot of critters. I ran out of room for the squirrel, skunk and woodpecker that I had cut out. I used the official spelling of Moose Bay that is sometimes used on maps. It's all wool applique, so it went together very quickly. 

All of the fabrics came from my stash, including the scrap pieces of binding. 

I'm not totally in love with this project and kind of rushed to get it finished, so I slacked on the label and just inked directly onto the backing--my bad!

Linking with One Monthly Goal HERE
Check out more Finish A Long entries HERE

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Quilt Show!

I have to do a little advertising today. 
If you are in the Minnesota Brainerd Lakes area Friday or Saturday, please stop in at the Pinetree Patchworker's Quilt Show!!!
You can find all the information HERE
Monday was Stitch Therapy Day.
This is my crazy mat with an "Up North" theme (also the theme of our quilt show this year BTW!). My next step is to add a lot of crazy stitching between the motifs. We had a full house and it was so fun to see everyone's mats--too bad I completely blanked on taking photos--doh! 

I had some time to chain piece the rest of my Pumpkin Peel arches. 

 Guide lines are drawn on the paper foundation just to make sure the scraps are sewn onto the paper following the curve. It's kind of improvisational, as you don't sew on the lines or have particular widths of fabrics (although my scraps were cut about the same width). I think mine turned out a little too uniform. These arches have already been trimmed up along the outside lines. 

Once the paper is removed, there are a few tick marks to line up the inner arch and outer arch. Once those are pinned..... gets set upright on end and filled in with lots of pins. I was surprised at how easy these fit together by doing this! 

After sewing the two arches together, the seam is happy to be pressed toward the smaller arch. The outer edges are stay stitched. 

Sew two units together to make a Pumpkin Peel! 

I have to admit that the hardest part of this quilt is getting the placement of the peels onto the background. I'm still not sure I've got it right. Yes, I ended up using my original choice of backgrounds--the Jo Morton dots. This will work in my home decor which is mostly blue and white--go figure! Only three more peels to stitch down! 
 I hope you get a chance to visit the show. I'll be working admissions on Saturday morning--if you make it, be sure to say hi!!
Linking with Let's Bee Social HERE

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

It's a Scraptastic day....

Yesterday was Scraptastic Tuesday, but since I was in bed all day, today is my scrappy day.
This is the design wall today. 

This Pumpkin Peel unit is a new addition to the wall.
 I was offered a chance to take a class with Mary Elizabeth Kinch at the MN Quilter's show in Duluth on Saturday (thanks again, Susan!),  I used leftover scraps from the 365 Challenge quilt and chose a Jo Morton dot as my background. I need three more of these units for a table topper. 

Mary Elizabeth suggested using and unexpected background--maybe a cheddar? I could use red for a patriotic look, I suppose. The units are appliqued to the background, so until I get three more completed, I have plenty of time to ponder--lol!

My mystery hour glass units have been sewn together just to get them out of the way--I'm not sure what will happen with this next. 

Even though I had vowed that I would not participate in any sew along's this year--here I am sewing along. My excuse is that I had the book and the scraps!

I asked Denise at Colorz to order a Magic Pressing Mat for me--I don't know why I waited so long to get one of these. The theory is that the thick felted wool holds the heat. It's a bit pricey, but I love it!

Back to the scrap pile!
Linking with Nicky and Scraptastic Tuesday HERE

Sunday, June 4, 2017

June UFO

How is it possible that we are already into June? This will be a busy month, and even though I've know for weeks which quilt I wanted to finish in June, I'm not sure it's going to happen. 
At quilt camp last April, one of my high priorities was to get the alternate blocks for this ThimbleCreek mystery completed. 

Mission accomplished.
When I set all the blocks together on my design wall (above) I was overwhelmed by how busy it looked. It's kind of grown on me now that everything is sewn together. I chose a "calming" border that I think has helped also. Now, if I can get it quilted this month, I will be a Happy Camper!
This project is not only my June One Monthly Goal, but it's also on my 2017 Finish-A-Long list, so it will be double win if I get it done. 

Friday was Slow Sewing day at Colorz. 
I thought it would be fun to bring along my Stars in the Garden top (lower part of photo) to compare with Paula's (little star at the top of the photo above). Mine was done with half inch papers and Paula is using quarter inch papers.
 Isn't her little star the sweetest? And amazing!?!

My slow sewing has been getting my Texas Stars hand stitched together. I hand pieced the stars years ago while we were doing some remodeling and I didn't have a space for machine sewing. The hand piecing is going surprisingly fast. I started on Tuesday and already have four rows together. A little incentive may be that I can't open my sewing room windows for fear that the stars will be blown off the design wall. It took forever to arrange them so three different backgrounds would come together in the negative space hexagon shapes.
It's getting a little warm in here--back to my Slow Sewing--maybe on the porch!
Linking with Kathy's Quilts HERE and One Monthly Goal HERE 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Random Thoughts....

In April, I promised better photos of my UFO finish, the 365 Challenge quilt.
One thing I needed to do before getting improved pictures was to do a repair. While quilting I nicked a ruler causing a broken needle which punched a hole in my quilt top--ack! I marked the area with a pin and continued quilting.
The most concerning thing was that I may not have any of the damaged fabric left. After digging through my bag of scraps, I found this piece--just large enough to replace the bad patch--disaster avoided!  

I picked out the errant piece, slip stitched in the replacement piece, and finished up the non-quilted area on my domestic machine. Whew--that was a bit of a heart--stopper!

And here is a better photo of the completed quilt--so big!!!

The back..... 

....and the label. 

Even though I had vowed not to do anymore sampler quilts, I pulled these scraps of fabric from my stash to make some 4" x 5" Anthology blocks

Using the  Amazon free preview of the book, I sewed up the first five blocks and  knew I was hooked---they're pretty addictive!

So, of course I ordered the book.
I'm planning to do the blocks in the order they are presented. My colors are pretty much like the Anthology, aside from the pink. I don't have much pink in my stash, so I am substituting yellow. 
Sssshhh...I shouldn't admit this, but there are over 800 blue and cream half square triangles in this bin....along with a bazillion cream colored strips, 80+ 4.5" squares of phone book paper, a Bonnie Hunter book and Bonnie's new ruler.

Yes!!! I am taking a class in August with Bonnie Hunter--yeehaw!!I may have jumped the gun on making all those HST's, but I was so excited (and I also wanted to use up a package of triangle paper---that's my excuse). I know Bonnie will show us how to use her ruler to make triangles, and I still need about 60 more, so I will be plenty busy in class. Plus there are a lot of string blocks to be sewn. I'll finally be making that Jamestown Landing quilt that has been on my bucket list for years! 

While tidying up (yeah, I do that sometimes!) I found these hourglass blocks. I'm not sure when or why I made them, so I've been playing around--maybe a mug rug??

Thursday, May 25, 2017

May Finish!

My May UFO is finished--all made with scraps as a leader/ender project inspired by Bonnie Hunter. This was my One Monthly Goal for May as well as on my Finish-Along List.

It's quilted with  simple loops using Signature Mother Goose thread. 

The backing was made from a print that I had in my stash and leftover pieces from the borders. Amazingly, I had enough binding scraps in red to go all the way around the quilt and then some!
I'm waiting on attaching the label, as this quilt will be donated. 
I've been keeping up with my Primitive Garden blocks.
I may have posted this one already. The bird houses are the block of the month for the Primitive Garden Facebook group. I'm making pretty good progress on the June block now--the rake. They are so fun to stitch, it's hard to stop!

A few weeks ago, I had picked up this McCalls Quilting magazine. I was attracted to the lovely house quilt on the cover designed by Wendy Sheppard. And now I am the lucky winner of a bundle of the fabrics from Windham used to make the model--I see houses in my future!!