Friday, August 26, 2016

Splendid Sampler

Tonight I finished up my 6th row for my Splendid Sampler quilt.  I'm not sure sure how many total rows I am going to do, but for sure I will at least have 8 rows of 8.

46 Twirl Time


50 Flights Of Fancy

Bee Happy: I decided to paper piece this one so I made alterations.  It also ended up facing the other direction, but that's ok.
51 Bee Happy

This is the latest block: At Home Anywhere.  Again, I drafted this one into a paper pieced pattern...  I am still on my applique and embroidery break.  When I saw this block I thought right away of a painting I have from my grandma.
56 At home Anywhere

This is the home where she grew up, and the chicken house next to it.  My mom used to tell me stories of visiting "Little Grandma".  When they butchered the chickens, her siblings would watch as they ran around headless.  She said the rooster was the worst as he was really mean.
56 At Home Anywhere

Another fun story mom would tell is that her grandma wanted to redo a portion of the house.  Her grandfather came home to her tearing into a wall, and cutting down what ended up being a bearing wall.  I can imagine this as I have felt the same at times in regards to home projects!

All my guys are gone to a scouting event. I have one more free day of sewing and no cooking left!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Splendid Sampler Update

I have been working on taking a break from my Splendid Sampler progress... honestly, I am burnt out on it.  I have been considering just putting together what I have and call it good, but before I totally threw in the towel, I wanted to see what kind of sashing or alternate blocks I try.

Nine patch was a no go.  It  was much too busy.
Splendid Sampler

So this is what I'm going with:
Splendid Sampler

I have the width I want and at this point I am going to decide if I do all 100 or close--or if maybe I want to stop at 80.  Right now I am taking a break from applique and embroidery and I will start catching up with the pieced blocks.

I moved around blocks because the lighter backgrounds look better with the red and vice versa.  I planned to keep them in the same order but because I don't know if I am going to be doing all the blocks as well as the the light/dark issue, I decided to move things around.

And the three I have finally completed...
42. Pencils
42 Pencils

48. Whim
48 Whim

54. Shell. I see a Thanksgiving turkey butt however.
54 Shell

Monday, August 8, 2016

New Stitch Along and Tool

Did you see Lisa Bongean's post The Magic of Christmas Stitch Along?  As if I needed to add another project, but hey... I've added another project!  Instead of the colors Lisa is suggesting, I am going with my yellow and using some fabrics from her Snowman Gatherings line.  We'll see how this one ends up!
The Magic Of Christmas

On the secret facebook page for the Clara's Stars and Among Friends Summer Block of the Week there was discussion about getting seams flat (mostly for the Among Friends people since the pieces are so tiny).  A member mentioned she tried out her tailor's clapper and it got the seams just right.  I had to look it up, but when I saw the prices of a block of wood... I just couldn't do it.

After some research, I came across a couple of DIY's along with discussion about the type of wood to use.  I asked Kevin if he thought he could do this for me, along with wondering if we could use the kids building blocks that are unused.  I am pretty sure those are hardwood and not pine.  Instead of that, Kevin decided to try out oak tongue/groove flooring that's been in the garage for probably 40+ years (it's been here since my grandparents lived here, who knows when they bought it... we've lived here for 19yrs).  He glued to pieces together and then did a length and width that I wanted.  The best thing... we have a ton of flooring left, so if I want a longer or wider one it would be simple to construct.  $19-29 saved (depending on where you buy).

Top with sanded/rounded edges:
Tailor's Clapper

Bottom:
Tailor's Clapper

The magic of the hardwood is that it pulls out the moisture from a steamed press and it leaves it crisp and flattened.  Softer wood or wood that isn't older may pull out any pitch or oils and discolor or fabric (so I've read).

I gave it a try with my latest block for Lisa Bongean's new QAL, and it really does help the seams flatten even more.  I can't imagine doing this for every quilt piece and block, but this will definitely be handy for smaller quilts especially.  I used it to flatten the star centers for my Clara's Stars that I have together, and they do look good.  I can't seem to figure out which way to twirl them... before I sew the halves together, they look good.  After?  That's a different story :)

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Bordered Diamonds Plus! Finished

Plus, because of the addition of the flying geese... creative right? :)  I know, lame. LOL!  I started Bordered Diamonds in 2015 at a quilt retreat.  It was a fairly quick quilt top to finish, but I wanted to add more to it to make it larger.  It took another quilt retreat to get through the millions of flying geese I made, and now finally it's a finish.
Bordered Diamonds Plus!

Last night while watching Miracles From Heaven (*note below for a comment on this), I took the last stitch of the binding.  Even though this quilt is larger, the binding went a lot faster for me than the Field Day binding did.  I think I like multiple fabric bindings for that reason.  It changes things up and keeps it interesting.

Bordered Diamonds Plus!

  I used up all the pieces I could from the fabric collection for this quilt.  I know I could have saved large pieces and used them in other quilts, but the fact is... I have a lot of those large pieces I've saved from other projects that just linger in my stash.  Instead of using backing fabric that I had recently bought on sale for this, I decided that using up the fabric was more appropriate and would fit better.  I had (and still do) so many flying geese leftover, that incorporating that into the back was obvious.  Splitting up that last piece of pink Begonia fabric to use for the backing needed to be done.  I have searched twice now for more yardage of that fabric for this quilt, so that final 2+ yards left of it was going to get used up in this quilt.  It's an older fabric that takes some sleuthing to find.

Blowing up the backing photo you can kind of see that I practiced more feathers in the border.  I did some back and forth wiggles in the diamonds, and stitched along the outside of the diamonds.  I did a wavy pattern on the pink Begonia fabric between the center and the flying geese as well.  Because the fabrics are so busy, and all over pattern would have been just fine.  You can't really see any of the quilting.

Now I can get back to my Clara's Stars for night time stitching.

Bordered Diamonds Plus!

*Miracles From Heaven.  This was a great movie.  I hadn't realized that it was based on a true story until the end.  What I found most interesting was that my 9yo who typically doesn't sit and watch movies with me, chose to sit and watch this movie with me!  It must have struck him so much that this morning I came downstairs to find him watching it again (I rented it from Amazon).  This is what I meant about him being a thinker which I noted in a previous blog post. I don't know if the two are related (the movie subject and the death of his birthmother) or if it was just an interesting movie to him.  But to watch it a second time, to me, was really something.  He could have chosen to watch cartoons, or spongebob, or whatever!  Instead it was this movie.

Anyway... Have a great day.  I need to see if there may be another quilt top I can finish up to keep this roll going :)

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Field Day: Finished!

After 9 days of working on the binding (and a lot of distraction!), I finally took the last stitch in Field Day last night... now I am on to Bordered Diamonds.  Hopefully by the end of the week I can call that one a finish as well.

A few pictures (with it being overcast outside, it is even more bright of a quilt!):
Field Day
I did not go fancy on the quilting, I already planned to follow the seams in a grid pattern.  Adding the two extra borders, I needed something else so I decided to practice feathers in the yellow.  I know so many are so good at that, but I need to keep practicing on them.
Field Day

Hancock of Paducah had a great sale on quilt backing....
Field Day

It's popped into the wash, and it may go on the bed tonight as it feels like fall is already here!  We don't even have our upstairs fan on at night.  This is August, right?  Though this is probably more typical weather for the northwest, last year was a scorcher.

I'm thinking about making another quilt from the Kona Color Of The Year patterns. There is a yellow/white star quilt (Lemon Stars by Darlene Zimmerman) that I liked also.   With Field Day in mind, I may put in another color than just white and yellow.

Monday, August 1, 2016

July 31, 20016

How do you mourn someone you've never met, but had a direct impact and changed the direction and history of your family in a profound way?  In your own grief, you gave us life.  I realize your life was not ideal or easy, it was full of problems in which any typical person would have given up long ago.  But I want to say to you, thank you for choosing life.  Thank you for helping to choose Kevin and myself.  We are always open with our kids, and we talked to our son about your passing today.  This most personal moment will be with him forever... though I know he isn't sure how to feel. And while we will always be here to answer what we can, we also know that this abrupt end will be more difficult when adulthood hits.
Feburary 26, 2007

I have all the gifts that were left for him to join his new life... a stuffed dog and a baby boy outfit, infant shoes. We came across the box I had carefully stored it in this past spring, and when I talked to him about it, and asked what he'd like me to do with it... he hesitated giving it away and I suggested we keep them safe, he can keep it forever. He will always have this physical part of you. Someday he may want to talk more, to ask more questions, but today he is grieving in his own 9yo way, though for us it looks like watching youtube or playing video games--he is a thinker and we will be ready.
Darrin Austin

Please know he will know more about you when he asks.  We'll always be around to lift him up when he isn't sure how to be or feel.

I am grieving the loss of you even though we never met.  We share something I had hoped in time you could be a part of.  I pray that your soul is at peace alongside your mom and in Jesus' embrace.  Someday we will get the chance to meet, until then, know that your children are loved well.

Gwennie Inspired Medallion QAL

When it was stated that the next round is about log cabins, I had an idea in mind to bring my basket on point.  I finally worked on it this past week,and I do like how it turned out.  Along the first round with my "Grandma's pies", I have an idea in mind for embroidery as well, I will likely work on that later on.

For the latest round, I dug into my bin of strips and found several different fabrics that I felt worked well with what I have started.  From the pile, I decided to just stick with red and brown strips of various widths.  I also picked out a coordinating background fabric and cut three different strip widths.  And the center of the log cabins is the yellow from my basket block.
Gwennie Inspired QAL Round2

I created two log cabin blocks which ended up being close to 15", cut them on the diagonal, and then I laid it out to see how it looked.....
Gwennie Inspired QAL Round2

Originally I ended my log cabin blocks in the background fabric, but when I put it altogether I didn't like how the outside brown fabrics didn't line up on the outside.  I am fine with the variety of widths, but I wanted a more clean look.  I trimmed up the block to a 1/4" from the basket points and added four border strips.

Gwennie Inspired QAL Round2

Maybe it's not as "free" as what so many of Marston's quilts are, but this is more me.  And I didn't worry about the strip widths, so there is that :)  Looking through many of the finished 2nd rounds so far, mine is pretty subdued.  There are a lot of fun ideas that others have done.  Take a look at the link up.

Linking up here:  http://humblequilts.blogspot.com/2016/08/gwennie-inspired-medallion-qal-part-3.html
The next theme is..... Stars!