A View of My Quilt Life

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Rattling Around

The other day, Tuesday to be exact, I mentioned I have something up my sleeve. 

 To be more specific, it's been rattling around my brain for awhile now and it needs to be a project under the needle while the Sauder Village peppered cottons triple windmill design (going to have to come up with a shorter working title) is in the layout & color stage.

This is my swatch card for this project

That looks a bit different, doesn't it?  It consists of mostly Sahara cloth solids.  I'm thinking of something traditional with a twist.  Like a 'blown up' traditional block, scattered or spaced out & floating on a sea of neutral, kind of a nod to modern. 

What's my neutral for this project?

Not the typical neutral you see in modern quilting, is it? And it's slated for a LQS show that usually specializes in civil war repro. This should be interesting.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Road to Sauder Village Challenge

I have come to a realization… those pesky Borders were a Roadblock!

I had pieced them, they looked a little wonky (not by design) and I let them sit on the sewing table – creating a mental roadblock.  I knew ‘Chirp, Chirp’ needed to be a quilt top this month, wanted it to be layered and at least have the machine quilting started and there it hung.

Borderless...for a few weeks. UGH!!!

Like I was thinking the un-pressed borders were going to magically press themselves, overcoming the perceived wonkiness in the process and attach to the quilt body all by themselves. HA!!  That NEVER happens!  

Once I buckled down the other night and got the plain parts of the borders sewn to the pieced parts and attached, the creative juices started flowing again!  I am my own worst enemy.  I stopped mid-project and then everything stopped. 

Now that it is a top, I have the push to get it layered but more importantly, I have the push to get going on a few other projects.   It’s time to get serious about the Sauder Village Challenge "Winds of Change".  

The required Triple Windmill block is based on an 8 x 8 grid.  

This year's fabric is Peppered Cottons but Cory Pepper for Studio E.

This block must be foundation pieced so I made my foundations in 2 sizes - 4 inch and 8 inch,

sketched some layouts,

and played with paper blocks.

The open area is for a 12 inch block, not yet drafted. This may or may not be even related to the final design but it's fun to play in full size. The difference in scale between the size of the blocks makes the transition points very critical.

Color decisions are yet to be made but this is the swatch card of the colors I've already purchased.  

There may need to be some more shopping happening here. Oh, Darn!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Back to the Borders


"Chirp, Chirp" has borders!!!  Woo Hoo!!! 

I was bound and determined to get some sewing machine time this week and what better way to reach that goal than to make it happen on Monday.

I am focused and feeling good to be back in the studio.  I have something new up my quilting sleeve for the rest of the week. And the drawing of lines on blue batik squares continues.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Packing, Moving, and Shopping!

While the focus of this blog is all thing quilt, life has a way of sometimes getting between me & the fabric.

The last two weekends saw a good portion of the time being spent packing up & moving a friend...from a second floor apartment to the lower level of a house an hour away.  Add in a couple of trips to a storage facility plus my extra commute (she lives in Wisconsin) and the sewing machine time was nil. 

I admit, I did squeeze in one ride and then spent yesterday at the first of the Wisconsin Spring 4-H used tack sales.  The afternoon saw me heading into the loft of the barn to dig out unused tack to be cleaned, tagged and put into upcoming sales.  A few wonderful tack finds were made - I'll sprinkle them in between the hopefully more fabric related posts this week.

With all of this out of the house activity, the DH hasn't seen much of me lately either. 

I did get a LOT of diagonal lines drawn on the 2.5 inch blue batik squares during the week!  My focus needs to turn to finding neutral(s) for this project.  That will be an adventure in itself!

Friday, January 23, 2015

I Got a Box in the Post

I LOVE getting boxes in the post!!!

This one was medium size, not squishy and a bit on the heavy side.

Hmm, I wonder what it could be?

Oh, I knew the sender - my dear friend Scarlet sent this gift but I had no idea what it would be.

It was a box within a box,

With a lovely vintage card

Inside was another box,

and an amazingly generous gift - a wonderfully vintage gift in perfect condition!!

This zigzagger is for Wendy, my Singer 301A.  One of my winter goals is to sit down and get better acquainted with her.  And now, I have this fabulous new attachment to experiment with and expand Wendy's capabilities.

What an awesome gift from a wonderful and thoughtful special friend!!!!  

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Diving into the Deep Blue Sea of My Stash

A Doctor appointment yesterday meant a half day of work in the morning and part of the afternoon in my studio.  

While I could have done any number of things, I chose to go diving head first into the blue batik stash to continue the prep for the Ocean Waves quilt. 

Only a PARTIAL pile of the blue batik stash
Having already cut down all the blue 2.5 inch strips from the scrap strip bin and a whole charm pack, I decided to cut a strip from just about every blue batik I own - from navy to powder blue, from periwinkle to indigo and from aqua to teal.

Here's a partial pile of newly cut strips.

Piles of new blue squares to add to my carry along work bag for drawing lines.

I don't think I made much of a dent in the blue stash drawer.  

And I still need to dip a toe a little deeper into the aqua/calypso end of stash - I think they wandered off into the green batik stash drawer.

This quilt will be my attempt at scrappy - I am going to embrace the random - at least for the blues!

The neutral part of this project? That's going to take some time to work out.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

New Long Term Project - Pictures!

Yesterday, I showed you the pile of blue squares that will become HST units.  Today, I can confirm that the drawing of diagonal lines has started.  Woo Hoo - the project is off and running!  Not very exciting picture-wise, so instead I'm going to share what those HSTs may become.


Remember, this is meant to be a long term project because I'll need like eleventy thousand HSTs for this quilt.

Which quilt? 

Wouldn't you like to know?  

Okay, okay... something like this:

Or, in color:

Or, maybe, a variation like this: 
Will I be able to make it totally random, or will my obsessive need for color planning take over once the HSTs are all done?
Only time will tell!!

A long, long time... these are going to take awhile to make. Stick around, won't you?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Back and Working the Blues

Hi - I'm back.  

That was an unscheduled break from blogging but all is well and I'm back.

There are a bunch of little things going on and a lot of nothing - making for poor blog fodder! 

To get back in the saddle, let's start small...

New Project!!  

I'm drawing stitching lines on a boatload of 2.5 inch squares, making 2 inch HST units, which will finish at 1.5 inches.

Lots of blue squares

When I get this pile done, there will be more cut, marked and sewn.  Some of these were blue 2.5 strips in my scrap box, some were Bali Pops charm squares, quartered.  Before I can start stitching - I need some cream/white batik. The stash is notoriously void of said neutrals, which may result in a bit of fabric shopping...oh, DANG!!  
(insert evil shopping maven laugh here)

Yes, there is a 'Vague Idea' of where it's going. It's a longer term project to keep fabric under the needle while some of the challenge projects percolate in the design stage, or pre-design stage, or pre-pre design stage...

Stay tuned as I tweak the plan for these units.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Machine Bling!

You may have guessed that being a quilter, I LOVE color!  Even love on my sewing machine as evidenced by ‘Wild Cherry’.

But let’s face facts – custom repaint jobs are not a dime a dozen!  And while I dream of someday, repainting my other FW, that day is not today nor does that address the boring white plastic of my 2001 Singer Scholastic 

or the sedate LBOW (Light Beige, Oyster White) of my Singer 301A.  

Neutrals have their place – just not on my sewing machines!

I have found a solution!!!  While scrolling around on the Quiltville Open Studio FB page I found a thread about ‘Tattoo Elementz’.  Curiosity soaring, I googled and found their website! https://www.urbanelementz.com/shop/category/decals/  

Oh – the possibilities!!  While they have other products – quilting patterns for long arms and some other jazz, I was all about the color decals!

The selection of patterns isn’t huge but I found a few that would add just a great splash of color on the two machines needing a boost for the new stitching year. 

For the Singer 301A

 For the Singer 6510


Just have to decide which one. I'm getting me some more COLOR!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Studio Check

What's on my cutting table?

Last night, it was not fabric.  

It was my latest eBay acquisition.  
My new used dressage saddle arrived!  While it was in good shape, it needed a cleaning and condition. 



It will need a little more work, as the underflap is a tad too stiff for my liking.  A careful application of neatsfoot oil should soften it up. I need to take it slow so the leather is not overwhelmed.  

The next step?  

Saturday, I'm heading up to the barn for the first fitting to see if this saddle will be the ONE for my new riding focus. It needs to fit me, as well as a few different horses.  Getting all the gear (some new & some used) I need to start schooling dressage will take some time but I'm hoping the saddle hunt is over.  Fingers, paws & hooves are crossed!!  

Tomorrow?  Some sewing bling and maybe some borders to boot!! 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Confessions On the Border

Confession Time first:

Last week took the wind out of my sewing sails.  Between the frigid temps, a few three hour one-way commutes to work, snow and general blahs, I didn't get much any sewing done.  I totally lost my momentum. 

On the Border:

I finally, finally pushed through the wall on Saturday, by making these pieces.

These will become the borders for the Chirp, Chirp quilt. 

 After carefully plotting the placement on graph paper, it was time to get back down into the studio and get the borders built. 

Partial borders sewn, waiting  to be pressed and have the plain extension pieces put on before being added to the quilt center.  I am doing my best to just keep taking things one little step at a time and get back into the quilting groove.  Also balancing sewing with other projects to help move in the right direction - more on those later.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Post Holiday Treats

I was a Bad Wife

At no time during the Holidays, did I bake cookies.

Not.a. single. cookie.

While there were plenty of treats around here for the holiday, the cupboard is now bare, not a yummy crumb to be found. 

On Saturday morning, while discussing the weekend plans, I asked DH if there was anything else we needed to fit into the schedule, he looked at me, with giant puppy dog eyes and uttered one word:


That did it - I can't take pitiful, puppy dog eyes.  I made two batches:
Eggnog cookies (courtesy of Betty Crocker mix - yes, I cheated)

and, Sugar Cookies.  These look okay don't they?

Normal people would say yes. 

DH? These are a little light on the sprinkles!  ARGH!!! That didn't stop him from scarfing some down when they were still warm!
More weekend activities to come - stay tuned! Hope you had a good one!