Wednesday, July 31, 2013

WIP Wednesday - Sew Every Day

 Sewing every day uses up a lot of thread! Here's my first empty Aurifil spool to prove it. Yes, I think I will be saving the empty orange spools.

Day 25-28: I only managed to piece one block each day.  I was painting Pete's room while he was away at camp. At the end of each day, I'd be ready to crawl into bed and would see my machine waiting for me.

Day 29: Four blocks in one day and that brings the total to 40! There is one block I might replace, but for now, the album blocks are done.

Day 30: I realized that the wedding we are attending is THIS Friday! Since I am planning to give the happy couple Star Crazy Plan B, it jumped to the top of the To Do list. I added the inner border last night and will spend all day today and tomorrow finishing this small quilt.

 Here's a little peek at Pete's room. That was a lot of work. Stripping wallpaper border, prepping walls, and painting trim. Painting the walls is the easy part. I tried to throw away that pole lamp, but it was the first thing he noticed when he got home. He said I can get rid of it after he leaves in September.

These little beauties have been our breakfast visitors for a few days now. 

I'll be doing some WIP surfing later, when I need a break from Star Crazy.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Red, White and Blue

 Our son is an Eagle Scout! He passed the Board of Review last night at camp and we were there to congratulate him. I couldn't stay away! Now we can focus on planning his Court of Honor.

This was the most "liked" picture I've ever posted to Facebook.

On the Sew Every Day front, I pieced 2 album blocks on day 23. Day 24 yielded an all-time high of 7 blocks. I hope to have the remaining 9 blocks done by the end of the weekend for a total of 40.

Here's a little bit of Random Thursday... When we were on vacation, I spotted this flag quilt hanging in the Marine Corps Museum. It is titled "God Bless Our Wounded Warriors" and was made by Betty Harland in June 2012.  You can read more about it here.

Have a star spangled day!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Old Italian Quilt

Julia finished the Old Italian quilt for her boyfriend, Fred, on Monday. She did such a great job! We enjoyed the process using Anita Grossman Solomon's techniques from Rotary Cutting Revolution. She can't wait to show the quilt to Anita in a few weeks when she visits Ninigret Quilters!

Most of the prints came from the Big 10" Charm Swap. For the first round, back in May 2012, we swapped manly prints. It was fun (for me!) trying to match up prints that worked well together. 
Julia wanted to maximize the 10" squares to make larger blocks than in Anita's instructions, so we had to tweak the dimensions a little. These blocks finished at 7-3/4". (Julia was not happy with that. She prefers nice round numbers, but we couldn't squeeze another 1/4" out of them.)

The blocks in the center of the quilt incorporate Army prints. 

She used a piece of Army camo for the label. Fred wears a lot of plaid flannel, so that's what she chose for the back. It is one heavy, warm quilt! You can almost see the argyle pattern created on the back from quilting in the ditch.

After an 18-hour drive to South Carolina with his family, Julia presented the quilt to her Army boy today during Family Day. Tomorrow is boot camp graduation, then they will head home. While he finishes college and ROTC, Fred will be a musician in the National Guard band.

Congratulations, Fred!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Sew Every Day 20-22

 There was a lot of sewing going on this weekend, just not by me. Julia finished the quilt she's been making for her boyfriend, Fred. I'll post all about it on Wednesday as soon as I get a picture of them together.

Day 20: Quilting day.  Julia was having trouble wrangling the quilt, so I sat in for a few minutes to show her how to lift the weight off the bed. I can't convince her that the machine quilting gloves actually help. She was quilting straight lines with the walking foot, so she was OK without them.

Day 21: Binding day. Again, I sat in for a few minutes to get her started, but Julia wanted to do the job herself. She was happy to learn how to complete the binding by machine. She was afraid she'd be hand stitching the binding in the car on the way to South Carolina. This morning, she is on the way to Fred's graduation from Army boot camp.

Day 22: While Julia was preparing the quilt label, I made a fabric box. (My tutorial here!) Julia is traveling with Fred's family, and they will be spending a night at his aunt's house. This will be a hostess gift for her. I think it looks pretty cute filled with salt water taffy and wrapped in cellophane.

While Julia was busy quilting, I was removing this wallpaper border in Pete's room. It was cute when he was 7, but not as appropriate for a soon-to-be Marine. While he is away at Boy Scout camp this week, I'm hoping to get his room painted. And work on his quilt.

Stayed tuned for the boyfriend quilt reveal, coming soon!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Scrappy Quilts

I almost forgot to tell you. I entered the Quilting Gallery's Scrappy Quilts contest this weekend. Hop over for the scrappy inspiration and look for Ninnie Nines.

Sew Every Day 18 & 19

Day 19: A little mending for a friend. We cut down a full size comforter to twin for her mom to use in the nursing home. I cut off the side borders and added binding. The top and bottom curved edges were left intact. Also on Day 19, I pieced 5 album blocks.

 Day 18: I lost track of how many album blocks I made that day. Maybe 2? I've passed the half-way point of block making so it was time to lay them out and see how they look together. I'm pleased with the variety of reds and blues.

I need to be a little sneaky in my posts. I'm hoping Pete won't see this. I don't think he ever visits my blog, but we are friends on Facebook. Now that Bloglovin posts my blog entries on FB, the first picture of each post pops up in my newsfeed. So I'm trying not to post any album quilt related photos or text at the top of the blog.  I'm horrible at keeping secrets, so he probably already knows I'm making this for him, although I am good at putting everything away before he comes home.

I can't figure out how to tell Bloglovin to NOT post to Facebook. Anyone know how to turn that off?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Fabric Shopping / Sew Every Day 17

Furlough be damned, I needed to buy some fabric! I felt completely justified in buying fabric to complete this star quilt. I am planning to give it away as a wedding gift, after all. That blue/purple (not as bright in person) will be a small inner border, followed by the green/blue leaf print as a wide outer border. The soft neutral print will be the back and the stripey green will be the binding. The white Aurifil thread was an impulse buy. My first spool is almost empty, since I've been piecing with it every day.

Here's an iphone view of my LQS's batik wall.  If you are ever in southern Rhode Island, stop by Folk Art Quilts.

If modern prints are more your style, check out the opposite wall!

In these days of tightened budgets, I can no longer afford to be a fabric snob. I picked up this print at JoAnn's (with a 50% off coupon) for the back of Ninnie Niner.

This sweet print from Hobby Lobby (40% off) will be the back of another top-in-waiting. And the big chunk of Kona white used another 50% off coupon from JoAnn's.

Sew Every Day 17: I only had time to piece two album blocks. 

OK. Time to sew something!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

WIP Wednesday / Sew Every Day 16

 It's amazing how much you can get done when you decide to sew every day! Thank you, Pat Sloan, for issuing the challenge.

Actively in Progress: 
Star Crazy Plan B is almost done. It needs a batik border to make it a decent lap quilt size. I will shop for that soon.

Ninnie Niner is a completed top. Most of the 9-patches were collected in the Ninigret Quilters' 9-patch swap. The layout is Thimble Blossoms' Niner quilt. I need to find a backing for this one.

Sew Every Day 16: I got the rest of the fabric cut for Pete's album quilt while he was volunteering at Cub Scout camp. (There are stacks of white background pieces, too.)

I only managed to sew together one block. Now that all the fabric is cut, whenever I have a few minutes, I can piece a block. I have 13 of 40 blocks needed for this quilt. Ten of them were made by my friends in the Modern Stash Bee.

Coming soon: My nephew and his wife announced last night (at a Reveal Party!) that they are expecting a baby girl in November! This will be the fifth great granddaughter for my mother- no boys! I started a Baby Quilts Pinterest board last night, with fabric and pattern ideas. What is your go-to baby quilt pattern?

Back burner:
Tops to be quilted:
   Vintage Modern- needs backing
   Chevron & On- needs backing
   Magenta Crayon Challenge- ready to baste
   Swap Soup- ready to baste
   3X3 Swap- quilt by check after furlough
   Bears in the Farmhouse- needs a border and backing
Blocks to Assemble: 4X5 Modern Bee

Have fun visiting other WIP Wednesday posts!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sew Every Day 15

I've made it half-way through Pat Sloan's challenge to sew every day in July. 15 for 15!

Day 15: Stitched together the top of the nine patch swap quilt. The layout was inspired by Camille Roskelley's Niner pattern. It currently measures about 50 x 75".  I might just add a 2" border of the white print to square it up. I'm planning to use up all my saved binding scraps.

I hope you are staying cool and comfortable in the midst of another heat wave. If you need me, I'll be in my air-conditioned bedroom.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sew Every Day 13 & 14

 My "cottage" garden is bursting with perennials and scary looking iridescent blue bees.

 Sew Every Day 13: I stitched exactly 4 seams. I did a quick paper piecing demo at the RI Modern Guild meeting. Going to the meeting and shopping for fabric has to count, too!

Day 14:  I needed 10 more 9-patches to add to the swapped blocks for the layout I chose.

By dinner time, the large units were all pieced. It shouldn't take long on Monday to get the top finished.

Julia finished piecing the top she's been working on.

 She's really happy! The goal is to get it quilted and bound next weekend.

 When Bill was in his basement office last night, he heard something scratching the window screen. A turtle was trying to climb out of the window well! This morning, he found this baby snapping turtle dug into the mud in the bottom to keep cool. 

I won't be digging a hole in the mud for myself tomorrow, but I think I will need to move my machine back to my air-conditioned bedroom. It's going to be another steamy week.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Sew Every Day 12

 I finished piecing together this much of Star Crazy Plan B last night. It currently measures 36 x 52". It will need borders to make it useful. I only have enough of the background left to add a small border. Since I chopped up my entire batik stash during my arrowhead obsession, I'll need to purchase something special for the outer border. The LQS in my town has the best selection of batiks, so I'll be headed there soon.

The stained glass effect always looks cool.

Ninigret Quilters completed our 3-month nine patch swap this week. Here are the 48 blocks I collected. I think I've decided on Camille's Niner pattern for the layout.

Let's zoom out for a reality check. The design board is leaning up against the fireplace. I'm in no hurry to take down the garland I made for Pete's party. I don't mind finding the ukulele left lying around, but do I really need a machete and a tomahawk on the hearth? I suppose the hearth is a better place than the couch!

Have a happy, quilty weekend!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Sew Every Day 11

 Day 11: More stars. I finished piecing the remaining small stars and pieced together the center section. After I sew together the rows of small stars and measure, I'll calculate how wide the sashing needs to be around the center to make the rows fit. I don't think I've mentioned that the small stars finish at 6" and the squares in the Irish Chains finish at 1".

I have a few blocks left over that will either go on the back or become their own little quilt. I'm considering giving away the main quilt as a wedding gift, so the little quilt would be for me to keep. Someone Bill has worked with for over 20 years is getting married in August. I have no idea what colors they like, so I don't know how they'd feel about orange!

I've got a couple of appointments today and Bill has the day off (his first furlough day, thank you Congress. NOT!), so it will be tricky to carve out sewing time. But I'm determined to do it!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Sew Every Day 10

 And now for something completely different. Imagine my surprise when I found a binder on my bookshelf with all these blocks and a baggie full of HSTs! In January 2010, I started working on the Star Crazy block of the month at the Quilt Channel. After the first three months, I forgot all about it!

Day 10 sewing: 1 full Irish Chain block, 8 half IC blocks,

and six more small stars made from the bag of HSTs. The portable design wall is leaning up against the back of the couch.

I have enough HSTs left to make 4 extra blocks, so I can move the colors around a bit. Here is my set up on the tiny design board next to my machine. It really does come in handy.

Looking forward to Day 11 after breakfast with a friend.