Monday, July 30, 2012

Finally, some Christmas in July

I'm thinking of taking these:

And making this.

Every year, when I haul out the Christmas decorations, I sigh and wish I had made a new skirt. The current one is a circle of pre-quilted holiday fabric, with some red bias tape sewn on in a few places, ripped off in most places. I made this, oh, 20 years or so ago, before I really understood bias tape and all that. I remember jamming the edge of the skirt into the tape and sewing it all at once. No wonder it's falling apart.

Oh, and I had a revelation the other day, while sewing with my guild friends. Why is every block I make square? I've sewed up a good hundred blocks in the past few weeks. Everyone of them square. I know it doesn't sound like much of a revelation, but it was an aha! moment to me. Well, I shall be square no more (except to my teenagers.) Time to think outside the equilateral and try something, oh, I don't know, how about Rectangular!! (And yes, the above pieces are cut into rectangles. Ha!) Hopefully more to show next week!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Zakka Delightful Linen Bag

Another quick and easy from Zakka Style.

The linen is recycled from an old skirt. A precious scrap of vintage fabric (aqua and red! probably from the 30's or 40's), a bit of lace taken from an old linen napkin. Love this one! 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Finish It Update!

So, two weeks later with an update.

Actually, I didn't do too badly. Considering that most of the things on my list needed quilting, I finished 5 out of 7 projects. One of them, the Round Robin quilt, I'm setting aside for a while. 

Unfortunately, it doesn't lay flat, and so it will require removing the two outer borders to get it the way that I want it. It will get done, just not now.

Now, for what I did  finish!

This table runner:


free form flower

(the binding still needs to be stitched down ~ hard to do handwork with a new/old puppy around!) I'm trying to bust out of my straight line/meander rut, so tried my hand at pebble and a free motion flower. I like the results. Of course, it was only on a 12" square. It's the bigger quilts that I find it hard to fmq on. I picked up this book. Definitely a great buy! I hope it will help. (You can find a link on my sidebar!)

This, I think I showed you:

It's finished, but I think I may re-do the binding. I was in a hurry when I machine sewed it, so I plan to pick that out and hand sew the back of the binding. Again, when Mr. Chase is asleep.

This is a fun one. I sewed a bunch of strip together, then had them die cut on one of the big accuquilt machines at the quilt shop, using the tumbler die. I sashed the tumblers, then sewed in strips. This is all done (minus binding, again. Sleep, dog!)

I love how this came out. This is a sample for a modern improv class that the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild is teaching. So much fun! A small-ish meander in all the white space, and then mostly straight line and echo quilting in the colors. This just makes me smile!

Finally, this one!

Thanks to all your gentle urging, I worked on this until completion. I really like this one too. And I happily used up almost every last red, white and blue scrap in the bucket! I made sure to visit the Quilt of Valor site, and make it large enough to donate. Thanks for the push, everyone!

Thursday is our Sew In day for the Baltimore MQG, so I hope to get 2 more tops pieced while there. I've learned I can't do much more than mindless straight lines at these. Too much conversation to distract me!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Zakka Ribbon

This week's project in the Zakka A Long is scrappy patchwork ribbon. I had no plans to make this. Taking a bunch of scraps, sewing them all together into a long strip, into something that, ultimately, might be tossed out, wasn't that appealing to me. Then I looked down into my fabric waste pile (not even the scrap pile, but the pile that I use as stuffing for dog beds that get donated to the shelter) and found a ton of red fabric. It was used as a backing for this:

(yup, I finished it! details later.)

I took the red, paired it with some scraps of white and sewed a large strip set. Then I cut 2 1/2" wide bias strips, and sewed them end to end. I folded this strip in half, just like making bias binding, and sewed together the raw edge and also sewed along the folded edge. Then, with pinking shears (really considering a rotary pinker after that workout!) I trimmed the edges. And now I have what I hope looks like a candy cane striped ribbon. I have a feeling I'll be making a bunch more of these! Great project when you just want some mindless sewing.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Free Photo book from Shutterfly

I don't usually post about freebies, but this is one that you might like. If you read blogs, most likely you have one. And if you have a blog, most likely you're into photography as well. Here's a link to get a free Shutterfly photo book , just for opening a new account.

For Katie's 16th birthday, her Aunt and I took her to New York for a few days. Can't wait to make a photo book for her!

Shutterfly also has a cool contest going on right now. Their Long Live Summer ~ Facebook contest has lots of great prizes. You can check it out here.

Here are the details:

Long Live Summer – Facebook Photo Contest details - 7/9 – 8/12 Multi-week summer themed photo sweepstakes with instant win prizes.

Win a trip for four to The Bahamas and a professional photo shoot so you’ll remember your vacation forever.  All you need to do is upload your favorite photo and caption based on the theme of the week.  Get a gift from Shutterfly just for entering! You can enter at any point during the 5-week sweepstakes period.

•       Week 1(7/9): Americana
•       Week 2 (7/16): Great Outdoors
•       Week 3 (7/23): Water Fun
•       Week 4 (7/30): Sports & Activities
•       Week 5 (8/6): Parties & Celebrations

       Instant win prizes just for submitting a photo!
       Weekly prizes (contestants can enter one time/week)
       Weekly featured photos: up to 5 weekly entries will be selected from the gallery and featured on the Facebook fan page and awarded a $500 gift card on Shutterfly and a copy of the new Lonely Planet travel photography book.
       Grand prize: trip for 4 to Bahamas, 4 nights, family photo shoot

Great outdoors is the theme for this week. I think maybe one of these might work

If you enter, good luck!

eta: I just entered and got a code for 100 free 4 x 6 prints! Sweet!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Blueberry Lemonade

Here's the table runner I hinted at the other day:

Head on over to my friend Tammie's blog for the full story and a yummy recipe! Oh, and she's got great giveaways from the entire week ~ you can still enter them all!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

I need new glasses

Part of my duties with the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild is manning the email. Lot's of it is spam and advertisements. Monday, though, I got a nice email from a lady in Michigan:

I'm looking for a group that would like donated fabric for charity projects. I work at a quilt shop in Brighton, MI. For the second year we have made table runners for a group that has a banquet in Baltimore, MD. When they are done with the table runners, they will throw them away. The runners are pieces of 100% cotton, quilt store quality fabric, 9' long, and 15" wide. There is no hems or sewing on them. There are about 50 runners of the red fabric, and 100 runners of the blue fabric. I'm planning on using some of it to make quilts by adding used blue jean fabric, and possibly Nascar type fabric.  These quilts will be donated with young / teenage boys in mind. 

Okay, nice! I made arrangement to pick them up yesterday. When I got to the venue, I was a little surprised to see two large garbage bags filled with fabric. I mean, 50 pieces, 9x14 inches comes out to about 10 yards, right?

I get the fabric home, open one of the bags, and haul out a really long piece of fabric. Hmmm.

Back to the computer, look at the email exchange again.

9' long, and 15" wide.   50 runners of the red fabric, and 100 runners of the blue fabric

Ohhhh. 9 FEET long. And I totally missed the part about 50 of one, 100 of another.

So now, I have over 100 YARDS of this

and this

which is not necessarily a bad thing....

Needless to say, if you're in the Baltimore area and need some flaming fabric, I can hook you up!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Slow Progress

Finish it week is going a bit slowly. I forgot to mention that I had a big project deadline (that I happily met) on Tuesday (hope to tell you about it soon!) With that finished, I had planned to jump into my other projects. But there's still this little guy to consider.

Loves shoes

Loves to Dig

Excavating the deck

He's settling in great, but takes a lot of supervision. Plus, since I started my Etsy store and started sewing commissioned quilts, I no longer let the pets into the quilt cave. Which means, sewing time is only when someone else can be home to watch him. It's all good, though. It's supposed to be a rainy weekend, and I'll have the rest of the family home to keep an eye on him. I hope to get another finish today, then power through the rest on Saturday and Sunday.

I did finish Blueberry Lemonade. Here's a sneak peek. Come back on Sunday, and I'll link you up to the full story!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Finish It Week

I really really want to start something new. Something big. Something that will eat up a mountain of fat quarters. Something that will define me as a quilter and promote world peace. (okay, that last little bit might be a tad ambitious.)

I have the pattern and fabric picked out.

But I really really feel like I need to tackle the growing pile of AFs . Unlike a UFO, an AF is an almost finished. Like a quilted top that needs binding. Or, in my case, several (little) tops that need quilting. So, before I embark on an epic quilt quest, I'm going to finish up a bunch of stuff this week. It's a good week to stay home and quilt. Harvey's at work. Katie's at work. Kyle is on tour. And this little guy just joined our family.

Meet Chase.

Chase is about 1 1/2 years old. He's sweet as can be. And that's about all we know about him.

Chase and I are going to blog about our progress this week. Seven projects in seven days, with a little bit of house training thrown in. (We're dog newbies, so if you have any great tips, please share!)

Project 1: Blueberry Lemonade Table runner

This needs quilting and binding. And it needs to be done by Friday, so I can write a guest post for my friend Tammie on  Sunday. (btw, Tammie is hosting her Sew Full of Summer week, with guest bloggers and great giveaways all week!)

Project 2: Reunion Table Runner

Just binding for this one. And maybe a pedicure as well.

Project 3: Modern Sampler

This is a sample for a class I'm helping teach at Seminole Sampler in Catonsville, MD on August 25th. This one also needs quilting and binding. If you're in the Baltimore area, come join our Modern Sampler Workshop!

Project 4: Round Robin

This is from the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild's first Round Robin. The greens match the quilt cave beautifully, so I'd like to get it displayed. Again, quilting and binding on this one.

Project 5: Stripped Tumblers

This one I started back in November. A bunch of strip pieced tumblers. They've been sashed. Still need to add one more border, then Q & B.

 Project 6: Bee Block Sampler

I've been collecting these for over a year. I have 30 total. I'd be happy to get these pieced into a top.

Project 7: Primitive Wonky Log Cabins

Remember these? Eleven done. Nine to go. Some of you suggested a Quilt of Valor. Yes, I think so. My goal is to get these into a top as well by the end of the week.

So there you have it! Seven projects. Seven Days. Chase and I will report back tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Red White and Blue Blog Hop!

Can you believe we have close to 100 bloggers, all sharing their Red White and Blue Blocks? I hope you've been enjoying all of the patriotic quilitness going on so far! 

Here's the lineup for today:

Heather K  (that's me!)

And if you get lost along the way, go to Jane's Fabrics and click on her sidebar to find the beginning!

For my block, I wanted to give a bit of a modern spin. I took my inspiration from Quilting Modern  by Jacquie Gering and Katie Pedersen, and specifically this quilt.

Here's the block I came up with.

I started with 16 3" squares, and sewed "wonky" triangles to two opposite sides. After I had all 16 squares "triangled" up, I played with the arrangement a bit. What I ended up with is reminiscent of fireworks (at least to me!) This block finishes at 10". (To make a 12" version, size up your starting squares to 3.5")

I played with this a bit in photoshop, so I could see what several blocks look like together.

I'm seeing kind of a lattice effect.


How about one more dose of RWB? One thing I'm working on this summer is the endless pile of UFOs. I dug way back in the quilt closet to find these blocks:

Primitive Modern & Helpful Kitty

I love how, even with these very traditional, civil war-esqe fabrics, some improv log cabins can make them fresh and modern!

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my Red White and Blue block!

Now, head on over to Just Carol for the next stop on today's hop!