Monday, July 30, 2012

Design Wall Monday - Paper Piecing Frenzy

I have a love/hate relationship with paper piecing.  I hate to get started on a small paper piecing project, but once I get my mind to reverse itself and get with the program, then I love the precision that results from it.

At the retreat last week I took many of my UFO's from a long time ago.  One of them was my Purple Pineapple blocks.  I'm embarrassed to say this was started in a class with Jane Hall at the International Quilt Show in Houston in 2000.  To think I could still find it in my sewing room was a miracle. I really need to get some of these old ones finished.  It took me almost half the morning to figure out how to do it again!!  These are tiny little logs - 1/2" in size.  The colors I used were not the best for this pattern. I needed more contrast with my diagonal fabric to make it show up better.   There are 45 tiny pieces in each block and the finished block only measures 6 inches!  What was I thinking??
Here is what I was thinking -- remember this was 12 years ago and I was new to this technique.  I chose the middle fabric first -- my dark blue (or so I thought), followed by the one on the right, the purplish blue (medium) and the light blue (my light) on the left.  What I didn't realize was, the dark had too much of the light blue in it and with the pieces being so tiny, many times where it should be dark, the light blue square in my dark fabric was all you saw.  I'll know better next time.  Wish I had gone with red, green and white,  or red, white and blue.  The pattern would be more pleasing and distinctive and not as mushy. 

light ------------dark   ----------- medium
I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this when I get all the blocks done, nor how on earth to quilt it.  Maybe I should just frame it and call it done then.  What would you do?

Hop on over to Judy's and see what's on other design walls.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Stash Report - Week 31

Guess what???  We are getting some good rain today!  That is more exciting than my stash report.  Last week I finished up the backing on a quilt which I reported here; but this week I was at a retreat and did work on several UFO projects, but nothing that can be counted yet--unless you can count my little selvage hot pad as a finished quilt!! It was bound and quilted in the traditional quilt way!!  LOL

I also completed blocks for my block exchange group and a BOM.

Here are my numbers for the week.
Fabric Added - zero
Fabric Used - 7 yards (backing) last week + 1.5 this week
Fabric YTD Added - 20.25 yds
Fabric YTD Used - 48.83 + 1.5 = 50.33 yds
Net Busted for 2012 - 30.08 yds

Stop on over at Patchwork Times to see more reports.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

QOV Surprise Gift

Last week at our Quilts of Valor quilting meeting, we were presented a wonderful new gift.  A lovely couple received donations from Veterans Of Foreign Wars, American Legion Posts, The Honor Guards and private individuals and bought this great travel trailer.  This will make life so much easier for Jean and Jackie, the ladies that have to transport all the necessary quilt frames and quilt posts, along with many quilt tops, batting, threads, finished quilts and everything else that we use at these meetings.  When you have 13-16 frames to set up, that's a lot of work and it will be much easier loading one trailer instead of 4 or 5 cars or vans each time to transport everything.  The day was even more fun as we also celebrated our 7-year anniversary that day.  This group began with 23 ladies and now  we have over 100 who come twice a month from 10 different counties.  To date, we have distributed over 870 quilts going to 24 different states, Germany and Afghanistan. We are aiming for 1,000 by year end.

Here are a couple tops we received last week.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Stash Report and More - Week 30

Finally, I decided on how to piece my backing for the Blueberries and Cream.  It's not very original, but was quick and all those odd ball orphan blocks are used and no longer live in my UFO box.  Whoppie!  That doesn't mean that I do not have any orphan blocks left (wishful thinking) -- just not any with blue and white in them! This back is about 6 inches bigger all around than the top, so some of the white filler will be cut off after it's quilted.  I made the inserts off-center so I wouldn't have to worry about trying to center the strips on the back.  That is always a bit difficult when someone wants everything to be perfectly centered, top to bottom and left to right..  Now to find the time to get the quilting done before another year passes.  Don't laugh -- it could happen, you know. :)

Here are my numbers for the week.
Fabric Added - zero
Fabric Used - 7 yards
Fabric YTD Added - 20.25
Fabric YTD Used - 48.83
Net Busted for 2012 - 28.58

We are not linking up with Judy this week, but she has a new blog design, so stop by and take a look at Patchwork Times.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Design Wall Monday - July 16

Well here we are starting a new week.  They sure go fast, don't they?  My design wall is a little bit cleaner - notice I said a "little bit" not totally cleaned off!!  Those orphan blue and white blocks are still up there, but I finally got my left over half square triangle blocks put into some kind of order to fit on my Winter Friendship Stars.  Yipee!!  It's not perfect, but I used what I had (only have a few blocks left over)!

From this to this -------->

To this

Winter Friendship Stars
Now I need to get back to figuring out how to piece together those orphan blocks into a backing for the Blueberries and Cream top.  When those blocks get off my design wall, then it will be time to start a NEW project.  I'm tiring of my UFO's for the moment -- I have so many of them to do though!  Ugh.  Why do I let myself start so many new things and not get them finished in a timely manner.  I am going to turn over a new leaf -- maybe tomorrow.  Maybe not!  Anyway it's all fun and I've become a pretty good juggler in the process. (smile).

Check out Patchwork Times to see more design walls.

Stash Report - Week 29

My stash report is getting a little boring, even for me!  I made the pillowcase for a Quilts of Valor (1 yd.) and worked on the pieced borders for my Winter Friendship Star, which will be counted when the whole top is done. I got 3 of the 4 borders put on, but ran out of energy tonight. So here's my totals this week:

Fabric Added - zero
Fabric Used - 1 yard
Fabric Added YTD - 20.25 yds
Fabric Used  YTD - 41.838

Take a look at Judy's to check out other stash reports.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Sew Day

We had a sew day this week with my long time piecing group, Pieces of Friendship, and one of the gals brought a QOV top she made. I searched through my stash and found fabric to make a coordinating pillowcase to present with it. When we have our quilting bee next week, I'll turn it in to be hand quilted by the local QOV chapter.  Isn't this a striking quilt?  I think she did a great job with using only her scraps and stash.  Thanks so much Bernice for your generous gift for our service people who are sacrificing their lives to help preserve our freedoms.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Design Wall Monday - July 9, 2012

Well my design wall is so full of "stuff" I don't know where to begin.   First off is the pieced border that I'm creating with my leftover pieces to go around my Winter Friendship Stars top that I worked on at a retreat earlier this year. I think I've decided to go with this border, if I can get it to fit.

Then I decided I need to get a backing put together for my Blueberries and Cream top that I just finished.  So I pulled out my odd blocks box. Now I'm struggling with deciding if I should use up these old orphan blocks that have blue and white in them. Some were blocks given to me because someone else didn't know what to do with them, and some are leftover blocks that weren't quite the right colors for this quilt, but I couldn't refuse them plus some odds and ends that happen to be made with blues and white.  Maybe I should just forget this plan and pull some bigger pieces of blues that work with the colors on the front.  Decisions, decisions.  This takes more time than piecing the tops! ha.   There are several other ongoing projects on the wall that are out-of-site.  I really need to get some of these things finished up so I can start with a clean, fresh design wall.
Maybe I'll sleep on this a bit and let it percolate and see if anything else comes to mind.  If you have any ideas, let me hear them.  I'm always open to suggestions.

Drop on over to Judy's Patchwork Times to see other design walls.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Stash Report - Week 28

Here I am again taking into account what fabric was used this week.  In my case -- not nearly enough.  I did make a little progress toward my goals, but you cannot see any evidence of it on my fabric shelves.  I cut and made a binding for one quilt.  I keep reminding myself that every little bit helps, no matter how small, especially if we were lucky enough to get in and out of a quilt shop without any of those naughty fabrics jumping into your hands. If I could get the backing made for my Blueberries and Cream quilt, the numbers would look so much better! Here are my numbers.

Fabric Added this week - zero
Fabric Used - 5/8 yd
Year to Date Added - 20.25 yds
Year to Date Used - 40.838 yds

Take a look at what others did this week over at Patchwork Times.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth of July, America

Today is a special occasion and I took the time to thank my lucky stars that I'm living in a country with so many freedoms.  Let's hope and pray that we can keep these freedoms for many years in the future.

In the spirit of celebrating the Red, White and Blue theme, I started off the day making a new recipe with fresh blueberries (from the market) and zucchini from my garden.  The red is the 2 red baking pans and the white is the counter they are sitting on.! :)  I know, it's a stretch  for the RWB theme. :)  The recipe can be found on my Recipe Tab under the header.  It was shared by Judy at Patchwork Times.

Next when I was at market in May, I picked up some little blue plastic grommets to use on decorating shirts and purses.  I went to Michael's yesterday and found T-shirts on sale for half price and the red iron-on stars.   Here's what I did on my white t-shirt.  

Now I'm getting ready for company to arrive.  Can't wait to sample the cake.  I hope it tastes as good as it smells. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Stash Report - Week 27 and A Finished Top

Since I missed last week's Stash Report, I'm combining two weeks together.  I did buy some cream and polka dot fabric to use as background for a future scrap quilt (ha, that's funny - new fabric for a "scrap" quilt, and the one yard of blue from my friend for the border on my blue and white quilt. 
Since I did  finished the top of my blue and white quilt, that yardage was in and out very quickly.  Here's my totals for the first 6 months of 2012.  Not very much busted from my stash, but I am limiting my purchases somewhat. At least some of my good intentions are working. :)
Fabric Added:    3 yards
Fabric Used :     1 yard
YTD Fabric Added :  20.25 yds
YTD Fabric Used:  40.21 yds

And here's my finished scrappy blue and white top.  It's not perfect by any means, but it is on it's way to my "to be quilted" pile.  I've decided to name it "Blueberries and Cream" because I just bought some blueberries to make a new recipe and I think I'll go fix me a dish right now!.

 Check  at Patchwork Times to see how everyone else is doing on their stashbusting efforts.