A View of My Quilt Life

Friday, September 30, 2016

Flying out from the Center

By Sunday night, I had this:

Woo Hoo!!!  I achieved my stretch goal of starting the top assembly. 

And just before I headed to bed I HAD to lay this out...

the next round of pieces to be stitched.  But there are quite a few joining/background pieces that need to be made for all the subsequent rounds of Bird blocks.

I don't want to jinx my progress on this but I am happy to say that I am more ahead of last year's NQOF entry timeline.  I do need to stay focused on this, as I have a work trip or possibly two work trips that will take me away from a sewing machine.  I am excited to see this quilt evolve!

Oh and THREE more yards of Tahiti Blue batik are on their way!  I am hoping this will be enough with some left over - fingers crossed.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Fly Away Home

The weekend flew by.
And the Flying Geese are done!  All of them! 

I finished them in the early afternoon on Sunday.  That left enough time to start figuring out the extra bits required for the layout.  

Would you believe I need to cut more 1.5 inch blue squares?  ARGH!!  And now, after figuring some of the layout pieces (blue, of course!), there's a good chance I'm going to be short on the Tahiti Blue batik! Back to some online fabric shopping.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Art in the Barn Additions to the Studio

Sunday was the second day of the annual 'Art in the Barn' event .

Art in the Barn welcomes you to its 42nd annual juried fine art festival

This beautiful fall festival brings community and artists together for a weekend of fine art, family fun, music, food and entertainment.  Donations from artist and vendor sales provide funding for a local hospital's ongoing modernization campaign and commitment to excellence. 

The DH & I have been attending the past several years. We've enjoyed the event & made some modest purchases.  This year, DH scored a handmade coffee mug of the proper size - not an easy thing to find.  Think needle in a haystack.  

Proper size for his iced coffee is in the 32 oz range.

We also found a cool etching.

And I added some new small art for the studio.

It's by the same artist that did last year's small art I purchased.

I love flowers in Mason jars. In real life, as well as still life.  

A little different bright spot in the studio.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Runs of Runs

Saturday, I had to cut more of the blasted 1.5 inch blue squares.

Hundreds of them.  Three Hundred and Forty-One of them to be exact.

And the I drew lines on every single on of them. But then, happily it was time to sew them into Flying Geese runs. I had the turquoise, the blue & the purple runs to do.

By the end of the day, in between the cutting, a few errands, laundry and some house cleaning, I was down to only the blue runs left to do. 

Woo Hoo!!! 
Sunday Fun Day Date with the DH & then back to the FG!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Friday Night Fun

Friday Night! 

The work week was done & I had a goal for the weekend - STITCHING!!

The real goal was to get all of the Flying Geese units sewn by Sunday night.  But something must always come before the sewing.  And that's the cutting. 
I had been digging around in some sewing stuff during the recent garage purge and found this rotary cutter blast from the past.

How old is it?

Yep, I bought it on clearance in 1994!! 22 years is totally vintage!

Happy to say that this was the pile I ended the night with.

All ready for serious machine time. Except for the 343 more blue squares that needed to be cut. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Short Flights

Some pressing.

Some lines drawn.

Some cutting.  

OK - lots of cutting (and there is still more of that to do!)

I HAD to get some stitching done.  I made one run of the turquoise and one run of the blue to see the color progression.

The colors are brighter in real life - this was taken after dark.

And here are four of the five colors together.

Still need to cut the purples sections and a whole lot of blue squares to get the geese runs complete. The goal is to have all the FG runs all done by the weekends.  

A bonus would be if I could start assembling the top.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Flying from Lime to Teal

It's time to FLY!

The Studio is all about the runs of Flying Geese.  Good thing, because I need to make a heck of a lot of FG. Three hundred and sixty-four of them.

They are not big FG, as they will finish at 1 inch by 2 inches. Rather than wrestle tiny triangle bits cut with specialty rulers, I chose to use the stitch and flip corners. 

The Lime and the Teal runs are done - not pressed & trimmed - but stitched.

I am pleased with the color play of the yellow Birds with the Green Geese.

Hopefully, while I'm working on the FG, I can figure out the missing center squares.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Saturday's Surprise Activity

You'll never believe what I had to do this past Saturday!

It wasn't house cleaning.

It wasn't a road trip.

It wasn't work work (that was Sunday).


Surprised?  I sure as heck was!  

I dug thru my stash, pulling out every clear green, blue, purple teal & turquoise piece of batik I had and started playing the shading game.  The goal was to have a run of seven fabrics, shaded from light to dark. That's when I discovered I had holes in the runs that my stash couldn't fill.

That left only one solution - shopping.  I headed over to the closest LQS to fill in the blanks.  It was a bit dicey as they have a limited selection of batiks but it worked out. Technically, I only needed to find 2 greens, but I ended up with 10 fat quarters. Not sure how that happened.  There were a few that replaced the choices I had on hand.

I ran back home, chucked everything into the washer and got busy cutting the 72,514,908 small 1.5 inch blue squares I need.

In the end, I was pleased with the color runs.  These will bring the flying geese runs to life.

Bonus - I did  get some sewing done this weekend, too.

Friday, September 16, 2016


A few new items have wandered into my studio and the back yard.

A really cool handwoven basket with blue & green accents

A Music of the Spheres Mezzo Pentatonic windchime

And finally a few new DVDs to stitch by.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Assembling the Bird Blocks

After sewing the individual pieces into units, 

it was time to assemble the units into the block

Lots of small seams later, I had four piles totaling 24 blocks. Bird Blocks done!

If you need me, I'll be elbow deep in the deep batik stash pulling colors for flying geese.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

It Starts with Yellow

The chain piecing has begun!

I only need 4 Bird blocks of the yellow so that's where I started.

Lots of stitch and flip corners!  It took a little bit to remember the order of assembly. 

And finally - the four yellow blocks that form the center point of the barn raising setting.  They need pressing and a tiny bit of trimming but I'm pleased.

Onward to the other colors!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

What Was I Thinking?

Remake the 'Midnight Flight to the Four Winds' quilt, I thought.

It will be so cool to see the design play out in a larger layout, I thought.

It will be perfect for the New Quilt From Old Favorite: Flying Geese Contest, I thought.

What was I thinking??  

Granted I still think all of the above things but a little bit of cold water reality has set in. 

If I thought the bird blocks would be time intensive at 38 pieces per block, it's because I failed to take a count of the flying geese units the design will need.  Flying geese that finish at 1 inch by 2 inches. And I'm still not sure how many I need to make, exactly.  I do know that each four-way intersection is 28 flying geese, consisting of 3 pieces each, equals 84 pieces. 

 There are some four way intersections and some 2 way intersections and some undecided intersections.  This part of the design needs to evolve as I go. 

Kind of curious to see how many pieces this quilt will have by the time it's finished. 

Up next - picking out the colors for the flying geese runs!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Chores Before Chain-Piecing

Having cut 504 blue pieces 

and 408 color pieces,

The yellow bits wandered off somewhere...
 I was so ready to sit down and stitch already.

Not so much!  

Wild Cherry was overdue for some routine cleaning and oiling.  

And to be fair, poor Dot has been sitting in her case looking for some loving, and definitely needed some TLC.

WARNING - Graphic, grossness below. EEWWW!!!

Yeah - there was some crud built up in her gears. 

The girls were oiled and lubed.  

And they both got new led light bulbs.  These bulbs are the BEST thing ever!!  No more blazing hot bulb to burn my hand on. 

Wild Cherry is looking good and running great.

Dot, while she runs good, has a few rough spots on her bed. 

Her refinishing fund is slowly growing. My dream color for her is:

But that's down the road a ways.  Right now I need to get busy, fire up the featherweights, put the pedal to the metal and chain piece that living daylights out of the piles of pieces!