Friday, November 26, 2010

Mystery Quilt and Moda Project

I am still a fairly new blogger, and now that we are approaching the holidays, I can see where it will be very difficult to show what I am working on. With time home for the holidays, I have been behind the machine quilting tops. Every so often, I need a break, so I am digging through my 2" strips and cutting a few from my stash of pinks and greens for the Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt -- Roll, Roll, Cotton Boll.

There is no way I will be able to start and finish this one before the holidays, however I will work on it after Christmas. I will keep the strips on the side of the sewing machine and slip in a few here and there while piecing other projects. I made the Carolina Christmas in 2010 for the local "Relay for Cancer Walk".

Now here is a quilt that I cannot wait to show viewers -- it will be on the Moda Bake Shop soon. I am actually doing the hand work --- but thought I would give you a sneak peek from a recent picture while quilting. The fabric is from Barbara Brackman's new line "A Morris Tapestry". The collection is STUNNING! I only hope the pictures will do this collection justice. It is so delicate and feminine .... with Barbara's attention to detail perfecting the true essence of the art of tapestry. Can you tell that I am in love with this fabric? So much so .... that I will add a few surprise accessories.

While the whole town is out shopping today, I will be staying home. There are left-overs in the refrigerator, so I will not be cooking either. Just sewing and watching movies.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Design Wall - Update on Kona Roll Project

After testing a couple of blocks using the white Califon (Mark Lapinski for Northcott), I have decided to stop at 30 blocks with the black -- 5 across and 6 down. I am still testing the center blocks - not sure which one I will be choosing. Because this is a great pattern to use up my stash, I will also make this later on using a more scrappy version ... and ... I will add the pattern to the L'Fair Inventory.

For now, I need to get back to quilting tops and making Christmas projects. Our local quilt guild is having the annual Christmas Luncheon on December 3rd, where our "Same Fabric Challenge Bee" will reveal our projects. This year, we used a fabric collection from Jackie Robinson. Next year, the group selected a fabric from the Sandy Gervais Collection by Moda.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday Design Wall - Kona Rollup

This is my project from last week, which I have been adding to each day. I am quilting tops, so it may be on the design wall for a while. The Kona Rollup has 43 - 2 1/2" strips. If I use 42 of them, this quilt will be huge. I am running out of the Mark Lipinski black prints, but I have some of his white prints from the Califon collection. I am determined to use what is my stash - so it may just take an interesting turn.

To see what other Design Walls have as we approach the Holiday Seasons, stop by Judy's at Patchwork Times.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Stash Report 11/21/2010

Family weekends are great! My niece Kristy, her husband and four girls came in from Texas. Along with my sister's grandchildren, we had all seven little kids running around while we sewed. Our goal, Kristy wants to sew! She left this afternoon with a sewing machine (her great grandmother's Singer we bought in 2001), ruler, fabric, rotary cutter, thread and lots of other goodies we set her up with. We had lessons in threading the machine, filling bobbins, rotary cutting and making Pillowcases -- the perfect project for simple sewing.

Didn't hurt the stash report at all:

Finished (out) this week, (5.6) yards
Finished year to date, (369.85)
Purchased this week, 1 yard
Purchased year to date, 277.90
Net Busted, (92.95)

For more stash reports - visit Judy at Patchwork Times.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What does the #55 mean to you?

  • A common speed limit is 55 MPH.
  • Those turning 55 this year, were born in 1955!
  • Hancock Fabrics has 15% Discount on the First Wednesday of each month for those 55 and older!
  • Those having at least 30 years of service AND 55 years old can retire where I work! hmmmmm -- I have more than that!
  • It was Deer Season Opening 55 years ago today in Columbus, Texas.
  • My Mom and Dad were very busy 55 years ago today (although Dad wanted to be hunting).
  • Famous people born in 1955 -- John Grisham, Kevin Costner, Reba McEntire, Connie Sellecca, Debra Winger, Bruce Willis......
  • Did I mention Hancock Fabrics 15% Discount for 55 and older, 1st Wednesday of each month?
  • Bottom Line -- I will have more disposible fabric income starting today -- especially if I can find more Senior Discounts! Don't get me wrong, I am not so much a tight-wad, as much as I am trying to make the best of this milestone day.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Design Wall - New Project

Back in May 2010, I was the lucky winner of this Kona Cotton Roll-up during Amy's Creative Side Blogger Quilt Festival. Sew Fresh Fabrics was the sponsor and I have been eyeing the package for some time now ... not knowing what to do. Then a light blub went off. I pulled out some of the Califon collection from Mark Lipinski (for Northcott) and started cutting strips.

From the Roll-up, I subcut 10" strips from each of the WOF, then I cut 1.25" and 2" WOF strips; subcut into 10" strips from the black and started sewing. Don't worry -- this is NOT what the blocks look like -- only a little "strip teasing".

I can't believe I started something else, but I just cannot stand an empty design wall. This one may grow slowly, since my Moda Bake Shop Project will come first.
For more design walls, hop on over and visit Judy at Patchwork Times.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Stash Report - November 14, 2010

This has been a semi-busy sewing week. Started off slow, with catching up after returning from Houston. I can never work on one project at a time, so there is a little of this...a little of that.

  • Christmas gifts have started -- Barbie Doll bedroom sets. Quilts, pillow shams, curtains -- all reminding me of the younger years.
  • A Moda Bake Shop project is ready for quilting.
  • A new pattern has been posted -- "Nicole's Journey". Sewing the blocks together of the Gold/Red version of "Nicole's Journey" which has been on my Design Wall forever.
  • Making blocks for our Guild's Block Lotto and Survivor Bee. For the new readers, the Survivor Bee follows the TV Reality Show "The Survivor". We all matched to a participant -- prizes for the first one kicked off, the last one standing and runners up.
The Stash Report:

Finished this week -0- (lots of work in progress that does not count)
Finished year to date, (364.25)
Purchased this week -0-
Purchased year to date, 276.90
Net Busted, (87.35)

Thanks for stopping by --- please visit Judy at Patchwork Times and see how others are progressing as we approach the end of the year.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Introducing - "Nicole's Journey" Pattern

Finished Size: 72" X 87"
Finished Blocks:
  • Center 15" square
  • Borders 6" x 15"
  • Corners 6" square
FABRIC REQUIREMENTS (I used Art Gallery Fabric, Color Splash Collection)

  • 5 yards of scraps (assuming 40 - 42" wide) for center and border blocks
  • 1 1/2 yards white for HST's (half square triangles) and block center squares
  • 3/4 yard for binding
  • Backing, 5 1/2 yards
  • Other - Easy Angle ruler by Sharon Hultgren if you use my method for cutting / assembly.

CUTTING INSTRUCTIONS: Please read through all instructions first - you may have your own favorite way to make HST's and want to cut accordingly.

From White

  • 12 Strips 3 1/2" x LOF (length of fabric) for HST's
  • 2 Strips 3 1/2 x LOF, subcut into 20 - 3 1/2" squares

From Scraps (Assuming 42" wide)

  • 12 Strips 3 1/2" x LOF for HST's
  • 4 Strips 3 1/2" X LOF, subcut into 22 - 3 1/2" x 6 1/2" rectangles
  • 17 Strips 6 1/2" x LOF, subcut into 98 - 6 1/2" squares for center and border blocks (Note: 80 - 6 1/2" squares for the center blocks and 18 for border blocks)

From Binding Fabric

  • Strips 2 1/2" x LOF, using 8 1/2 joined diagonally for the binding

Additional cutting:

  • Alternate layer of white strip and scrappy strip (right sides together), repeat so you have four layers (2-White, 2 Scrappy) (Note: Some of you are brave and stack 6 layers).
  • Using the Easy Angle, cut the triangles across the LOF, repeat until you have 240 sets. (There is a detailed tutorial found here.)


1. Sew the HST's, press towards the darker fabric, 240 total. Using 2 HST's to make a Triangle Set (TS), assemble and sew them as pictured below. You will need 120 TS. For the center, 80 TS, for the border 40 TS.

2. Attach one (1) TS to the top 6 1/2" square, repeat 80 times for the center blocks. You will need four rectangle units for each block.

3. Layout the 6 1/2" x 9 1/2" rectangle unit around the 3 1/2" center square, to prepare for sewing the "half-seam method". A separate tutorial has been provided for those not familar with this method.

4. Below is the pressing layout of the finished block.

5. Below is the 15 1/2" block (finishes 15").

6. Arrange the 20 Center Blocks in a pleasing-to-the-eye layout. Sew the Center Blocks together. Four (4) across, five (5) down.

7. Assemble the border blocks. A TS is attached to both a 6 1/2" square and 3 1/2" x 6 1/2" rectangle. Below is the border block, total of 18 needed. (Measures 6 1/2" x 15 1/2")

8. Assemble the four corner blocks with a TS attached to four (4) remaining 3 1/2" x 6 1/2" rectangles. (Measures 6 1/2" square)

9. Add the border blocks to a design wall as pictured below with a partial assembly. STEP BACK AND VISABLY MAKE SURE YOU SEE ALL 20 FLOWERS. IF A FLOWER IS OFF -- THE BLOCK IS TURNED WRONG.

10. Sandwich, quilt as desired, bind.

Thank you so much for stopping by and visiting. If you find a mistake, please email me and I will update (email listed in profile). Feel free to use this pattern from L' Fair Quilts for yourself, charity, guilds and gift giving. Please do not commercially sell the patterns or quilts without permission.

Tutorial - Blocks starting with a "Half-Seam"

This simple block is used in my new pattern "Nicole's Journey", however this tutorial is available for those quilters who have never assembled a block using a "Half Seam". This tutorial will only highlight the details of the main block.

1. Layout a 6 1/2" x 9 1/2" rectangle unit around the 3 1/2" center square, to prepare for sewing.

2. Flip the 3 1/2" center square over to the left unit (as pictured below) - the sewing line has been drawn, WHICH IS ONLY HALF WAY ON DOWN THE 3 1/2" SQUARE.

3. Finger press the center square open and return to the block assembly to retrieve the 2nd unit.

4. Flip the 2nd unit up, on top of the 1st unit and sew all the way across (sewing line drawn in photo below).

5. Press open the 2nd unit and return to assembly to retrieve the 3rd unit.

6. Flip the 3rd unit over, on top of the block and sew all the way across (sewing line drawn in photo below).

7. Press open the 3rd unit and return to assembly to retrieve the 4th unit.

8. Flip the 4th unit over and sew all the way across (sewing line drawn in photo below).

9. Press open the 4th unit after sewing and all you have left is to sew the small open seam remaining.

10. Below is a picture of the completed block (finished 15" square), press and done!

The "Half-Seam" block is one of my favorite blocks. The rectangles surrounding a center square come together very quickly. Playing with many different pieced versions of a rectangle surrounding a center square, each evolve into unique looks.
This block has been used in "Nicole's Journey".

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Houston Quilt Show

As a Quilt Magazine Junkie, I have enjoyed reading cover to cover the stories of quilters, designers, shops and magazine staff. One of those names Heidi Kaisand, a previous long-time Executive Editor for the Better Homes and Gardens, American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine. Heidi is now the National Sales Manager for APQS, so I ran into her while test driving long arm machines -- how exciting! Also with her, Pat Sloan (sadly, no picture) -- who owns a George that I test drove last year.

Speaking of APQS and George, my love for the "George" sit-down quilting machine is still prevalent, however a long arm eliminates the need for basting (yuk!). One of my favorite features not mentioned much in the web-world, vibration. I walked away from the "Lenni" and "Millennium" with minimal vibration (you know.... the body shaking even after the machine stops). REALLY appreciated this.

While in Houston, I tried every brand of machine there except maybe two. All perform well, all have bells and whistles, all have high and low end pricing. I have brought home a stack of notes and brochures. Last night, I surfed a few sites for owner comments. Very little negative anywhere -- good sign. Also have friends who own a Gammil and A-1 ... both very happy with their machines and company support. Both are in the business of quilting tops for customers. My use -- a HUGE "bucket list" for family, friends and charity. So .... the journey continues.

Of course, I had to stop by the "Moda Bake Shop" to visit my own quilt on display. I met the Director of Marketing, Lissa above and Angela below with Web/Marketing. Their booth had to be one of the best! Even though I traveled to Houston for the show and visiting family, I am now back at home working on the next Moda Bake Shop project.

All three of these ladies were a joy meeting. They are so sweet, gorgeous and very tall (I am 5'7")!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Home From Houston

It is good to be home, although I wish could have stayed longer. When I go to Houston, the Quilt Show is a one day affair, however the rest of the trip is family.

While gone, I missed the Sunday Stash Report and the Monday Design Wall. My wall was full when I left with most of the blocks finished for my surprise Moda project on one side and the Christmas Project above.

Believe it or not, I DID NOT add to my fabric stash -- can't say the same about quilting thread! My numbers are the same:

Finished, (364.25)
Purchased Year to Date, 276.90
Net Busted for the Year, (87.35)

I will have more to dish about later, but for now I need to get to work!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Houston Bound / Moda Sneak Peek

By the time this post hits the airways, I will be well on my way to Texas. Will make a pit stop in East Texas to play with babies, sleep over and pick up my sister. Friday we head out for Houston to be there when the doors open. Let's see --- what do I want to do first? Maybe test drive a few long-arms? Maybe fill my bags with new fabric? MAYBE make a bee-line to the Moda Bake Shop for a meet-n-greet .... hmmm.

Speaking of Moda Bake Shop, I have left-overs above. My head is spinning trying to think of which project will become of those little HST's.

My camera is charged, the memory card is empty and hope is high to see a few celebrities! Hey, for quilters, this is better than Hollywood.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Monday Design Wall/ Red & Gold

The design wall is growing, with only a few more HST's to go before I start sewing the blocks together. This started out to be table top size, however it looks like it will end up being sofa size -- using up some of those metallic gold fabrics I've collected for several years. The pattern used is "Nicole's Journey", which will be available very soon in PDF format on the side panel of my blog.

A very special "Moda" project is off to the side out of camera range. Hint: Barbara Brackman!

Only three days left to Houston! We are driving up on Thursday to stay with family and will spend all day Friday at the Quilt Show.

For more Monday Design Walls, visit Judy at Patchwork Times.