Monday, July 28, 2014

Progress and Backyard Friends

 I'm plugging away at the wedding ring quilt. I'm chain piecing 10 arcs at a time, which takes me about 90 minutes. So far, I'm getting 20 arcs done each day.

It's nice to see the pile of finished arcs growing!

On Sunday, I decided to take a break from the arcs and took out the Farmer's Engineer's Wife project. The last time I pieced any of these blocks was in March! I grabbed a bag full of recent scraps and cut out the next 12 blocks (#27-48). I got six of them pieced, in no particular order. The dark ones don't really go with the rest, but I like them anyway. The blue one is from my mother's tote that she carries every day now. And the olive and red one reminds me of Pete, with little bits of marpat desert camo.

These little cuties are growing up! There are plenty of yummy weeds for them to eat in our backyard. When they are feeling bold, they eat the day lily buds right up next to the house.

Bill spotted this praying mantis on the dining room window. Isn't it a great color?

 I'll spare you the pic of the scary looking stag beetle that was in my bathroom. It scared the crap out of me! I texted a pic to my husband at work and he assured me it was harmless.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Woven Bag

 I finished another long-term WIP this morning. This finish is dedicated to my fiends Karen of Sew Many Ways and Sharon (no blog).  Karen and I are suckers for a good demo at a quilt show. We saw the owner of Red Barn Sewing Center demonstrating this bag at MQX in Providence in 2011, and I had to have it! Fast forward three years... Sharon and I were on a shop hop bus trip that stopped at Red Barn. Sharon was intrigued by the woven baskets made with the same interfacing strips as this bag. She challenged me to finish my bag. So, here you go, friends!

 The pattern is called Breezy Weave Bags by Aunties Two Patterns. Fabrics strips are sewn into tubes and then stuffed with stiff interfacing strips. Shortly after the show, I had the strips woven, but was struggling with basting the edges. It sat in my sewing room for 3 years, waiting for me to put on my big girl panties!

I needed a yard of fabric for the pockets, gussets and straps. When I brought my woven piece into the LQS yesterday, they were shocked that I don't have a single full yard of batik in my stash.  I have small pieces, but no yardage. Anyway, this morning, I got to work. The trickiest part was applying the binding around the bottom corners of the gussets. I have some hand-stitching to do to fix the gaps.

It could use a magnetic snap closure, if I can find one in my stash. I know I have one somewhere!

One last pic to show my dining room table in its natural state, littered with at least three different projects. I'm glad the bag is finished, but I probably won't make another. I do like the size and shape, but it was just too tricky for me.

If I ever feel tempted to buy the strips of interfacing again, I might consider making Biscuit Baskets (also from Aunties Two). This one was a gift for a friend in 2010.

Oh, maybe I bought both patterns at the same time in 2010?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

WIP Wednesday

 I didn't get a lot of quilting done this week, as I was cleaning for company.

Tangerine and Teal was finished last Wednesday. Read more about it here.

I finally cut out the pieces for the wedding ring arcs. The new Judy Neimeyer pattern has instructions for strip piecing the arcs. I tried  it, but didn't enjoy it. I'd rather piece with rectangles. It took about 2 hours to cut out 1280 rectangles- enough for 160 arcs! I think I'll try working on 20 at a time.

I'm not sure what will become of these fussy cut hexies. I think they look like gears.

In a never-ending attempt to get organized, my husband helped me hang some decorative shelves in our bedroom. I thought I wanted a ladder in this corner, but I can put a lot more quilts on these shelves. 

I had to snap a pic of the dining room table cleared off. It lasted only 3 days and things are piling up already.

Have a fun Wednesday!
(Linkup is on vacation today.)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Tangerine and Teal Triangles

Another week, another finish!

This triangle quilt was started in a class with Marianne Hatton last September. I really enjoyed Marianne's process for this class. You can see more about it in this post. Here are the blocks before they were rearranged.

On Tuesday, I was digging through a basket of quilt tops waiting to be quilted and landed on this one. This one looked like the easiest one to finish! My husband calls it low hanging fruit. All the cool kids have been quilting spirals and concentric circles, so I decided to try it. What fun!

Perfect? No. Effective? Yes! I love the texture and the radiating look.

The backing is an orange Denise Schmidt print that I picked up on clearance at JoAnn's.

For the binding, I had some V&Co Simply Color Ombre in Tangerine and Aquatic Blue. I couldn't decide which one to use, so I used both! I wanted to change color at the corners and I couldn't figure out how to do that with a miter, so I just chopped off the orange and added the blue. It's not pretty and I still need to close up the ends, but it's the look I was going for.

Tangerine & Teal
36" square
Started: September 11, 2013
Completed: July 15, 2014
Designed by Marianne Hatton

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

WIP Wednesday

I've been getting a lot done, but not what I should be working on. It's productive procrastination!

Finish: Cactus Flower table runner started in May, finished last week. See the reveal post here.

New: I started playing with fussy cut hexies on a day when I didn't want to move off the couch. Productive laziness? The gray and white one is my favorite so far. I'm not sure if they will get centers or stay as rings. I might add some other sizes (these are 1" sides) and scatter them across a quilt top. We'll have to see how this evolves.

Finished, but not posting until tomorrow: Tangerine and Teal Triangles. The colors in this quilt radiate out from the center, so I quilted my first spiral. It was more fun than I expected.

Family news: My husband and I are enjoying our new phones more than we should. It takes two of us to take a selfie. You can see the reflection of our arms in his sunglasses. (It was hot and windy- please ignore how bad my hair looks.)

Julia is enjoying her summer job as a camp counselor at a nature center. She's teaching her 4-6 year olds about ecosystems this week.

Our Marine in reconnaissance training is our biggest work in progress. Pete is gearing up to head back to Coronado for more swimming, zodiac riding and jumping out of helicopters. OOH RAH!

It's house cleaning day, so I'll be hopping around the WIP Wednesday posts when I need a break.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sewvivor- Seaside Stitches- Tina Craig

I'm very excited to share my audition piece for Sewvivor Season 3- Quilting Edition. Sew-vivor is a sewing competition hosted by Family Ever After. Rach has done an amazing job of assembling the judges and prizes. It will be fun to watch the competition progress, even if I'm not selected to play along.

Please allow me to introduce my audition quilt,
T is for Tina.

This quilted wall hanging was made in 2013, following a visit to our guild by Anita Grossman Solomon. I've been a huge fan of hers for years, so it was pure joy to spend two days with her last summer. She had a knack for devising ingenious methods to make piecing easier and more fun. Such was the case with her brand new T quilt. 

Anita and me with take out from Aunt Carrie's

The pattern was being submitted to Quiltmaker magazine, and Anita graciously gave me a sneak peek. I wasted no time getting it pieced, but then had to decide how to quilt it. On the pic below, I've drawn a large orange T to indicate the area that was quilted with parallel straight lines. The area outside (under) the T was quilted with free motion flowers.

Here, you can see the contrast between the straight lines and the curvy flowers.

The corner squares were paper pieced and micro-stippled in the background.

The small inner border is quilted with a swirly scroll. The outer border is quilted with a free motion fan that I learned in Angela Walter's Craftsy class.

I needed to take new pictures for this entry, so we brought the quilt along on a hike this weekend. Indulge me as I show off the beautiful Rhode Island coast.

This quilt makes me happy. I had wanted to make a T quilt for myself since I started quilting 20+ years ago. Tessellations are cool. The colors remind me of places like this. And I had so much fun making this quilt!

My amazing husband is squatting down behind the quilt!

T is for Tina
by Tina Craig, Seaside Stitches
Designed by Anita Grossman Solomon
Blue & green scraps, Kona white background, V&Co border
47" X 48"
Started September 3, 2013
Completed November 4, 2013

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Cactus Flower

 The Cactus Flower table runner that I started in a class with Jackie Kunkle in May is now finished. The pattern was designed by Judy Neimeyer and is available in Jackie's shop.

 The four units that I completed in class have blue centers. I wasn't sure if I liked them, so I tried some pink. Better! 

I finished the piecing on Thursday. Paper piecing makes such a mess, but it is totally worth it!

I'm getting my money's worth out of this quilting stencil from Patsy Thompson designs.

I probably did a lot more starting and stopping than necessary on this piece, but I was in no hurry. I stopped to bury threads after each section.

 The border fabric is a Riley Blake print that I fell in love with on someone else's blog. I liked it so much, I bought it in red and orange! The orange went on the back.

I used a variegated Auriful thread for most of the quilting- 50 wt #4657.

Photographing table runners isn't easy!

Cactus Flower Table Runner
Started 5/14/14
Completed 7/11/14
Designed by Judy Neimeyer
Class taught be Jackie Kunkel
Fabric: Flutter by the Quilted Fish for Riley Blake and Kona cotton solids
Size: 17" X 50"

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

More Finishes

I'm on a roll! I was looking for something in my mess of a sewing room last weekend, and came across a random pile of little quilts, patiently waiting to be quilted.

I remember wanting to try a tiny twister when I made this little thing several years ago. It is only 12 X 15"- place mat size. Cute, but not my colors, so it might be on the auction table tonight at the guild.

A few years ago, my friend Jackie gave me a honey bun (1.5" strips) of Fig Tree fabrics that she picked up at Market. I turned six strips into a mini weed whacker block and there it sat. I had picked up a couple of coordinates at the LQS that were stored with the block. One for the corner triangles, one for the back and one for the binding. After quilting the snot out of it, this table topper is ready to be gifted. (17" square)

I really enjoyed making Zig Zag Friends back in 2011. Sometime after that, I pieced the top of this doll quilt. 18 X 24"

Last week, I finished a few more guild outreach quilts. This one is from the Little Leapfrog pattern by Project 12. We know who will be receiving this quilt, we are just waiting for his Habitat home to be completed. I drove by yesterday and it looks like there is still much to be done.

Two more Quick Strippies are quilted and ready for Project Linus.

When I get this much done, it is usually because I am avoiding some other task. I need to start cutting the wedding quilt this week. The couple is happy with the sample block (pictured here, scroll down), so there is no need for this stalling.