Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Dare to Dresden! {D2D}

I'm on the blog hop today, for the Dare to Dresden Challenge on Sew We Quilt hosted by Christine of Quilt Monster in my Closet.  I have not made a dresden plate before, so this was my first attempt at it.  After playing around a bit I printed out a template for a 9" block from EQ during my "cut week", and I pulled out some white/black, black, and orange from my stash.

I took the blade pattern and just cut them straight rather than pointed at the top.  Folded the blades in half and, using my 1/4" foot, stitched them straight across the tops.  After that I clipped the corners/points and turned right side out, making sure to get the blade points out, nice and neat.  Press!

When I'm sewing curves or angles I like to use starch  - any help I can get to keep things from slanting or getting wobbly :)

These go under the presser foot - two by two!  Pressing seams open as I go - than eventually all together.

As, I said earlier - haven't made any of these before so . . . I'm sure there's a better - proper way of doing this.  After I finished with the center, I did a tiny zigzag to stitch fan and back together.

I made 16 blocks,
placing them in four-by-four layout.  I wanted the Orange petal for a little punch on each block.  Almost makes me think of a caterpillar.
I did struggle a little, and I have to admit I did quite a bit of tugging and pulling to get things square.  Hopefully my next dresden won't be a struggle.  I still have to quilt this, and I'm not really sure what I'm gonna do . . . black thread? in the ditch? a design?  I have no idea!  But looking at it - I really do love the black/white and orange. :)

Here are the other participants for today's hop.  Stop by and check out their dresdens & show some love!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Brrrrr . . .

It's 17 degrees outside - windchill makes it feel like 4! Yikes!  I went out this morning with everything wrapped up but my eyeballs - and then I thought, dear Lord! My eyes are FREEZING! LOL!  What's a girl to do?  Start the laundry and sit down and sew!

My log cabin blocks are coming along nicely . . .

So now it's time to start my sashing, which will be white/white strips and red/red strips with blue points and blue intersection blocks that will look like this . . .

this will yield a star pattern making the layout look like this . . .

I hope to be done the sashing this week, so maybe actually start quilting this one by end of the month :)

I'm also playing with my dresden blocks that I'm doing for the Dare 2 Dresden Challenge over on Sew We Quilt.  I've never tried them before so this will be a first.  I've chosen a 9" block, and prepared my templates.

My blog will be on the hop on January 30th - so be sure to stop back and see what I've worked out ;)

It's definitely crock pot weather - so I've got to get my chili cooking.  Is it cold where you are?  How you keepin' warm?

Saturday, January 19, 2013


. . .  by a toothache!  UGH!  I have nothing to report for this week!!! other than I have been in, and still am in, extreme pain.  The story:  well, actually about 3 weeks ago I went to the dentist to have some work done - but everything came to an abrupt stop!  After getting me checked in, the dental assistant took my blood pressure 2x - it was 187 over some other ridiculous # - can't even remember now because everyone, including the dentist, was carrying on like I was passing over the threshold of death at that moment.  Yes, I admit it - I've never paid attention to my health.  Other than the birth of my children, I do not go to the doctor, I have not been sick or had problems - so this lead me to believe nothing was wrong.  Anyhow, this made the dentist decide to not work on me until my doctor signed off that I was medically stable - went to see the doctor - he would not.  Made me get the blood work all checked - cholesterol, blood pressure - everything is not anywhere near what it should be.  I have to also say, in all my years of going to the dentist I have never before had them check my blood pressure before working on me.  For everything, there is a purpose.  Ok, I get it, my diet, my exercise, my pressure pills, a re-check in February then I get the "sign-off".  Still, I'm not obese, I feel fine, I'm not taking this too seriously, I'm eating - not tracking, you know - it's okay.  First quilt guild meeting a little over a week ago - our guest speaker is a cardiologist.  What??? Okay . . . all the statistics she gave, all the numbers she ran, all the possible scenarios she gave, all say the same thing.  I'm in the ground.  Shortly.  I'm listening now, I'm listening!  Okay, okay.  Now we get to the beginning of this week - bam!  The tooth I wanted looked had has really taken a bad turn - still no sign-off from the doctor until I've been on this medication for a month, and still no work from the dentist until the doctor signs off.  Finally after much pleading (and crying), I got pain meds, which made me sick, and then finally antibiotics.  Four days of the antibiotics and the pain is starting to ease up.  I have not eaten yet though - BUT today for the first time when I checked, my blood pressure is perfect!  How, Oh Lord, will you get me to February, and across the finish line on this one?  I'm counting the days.

I do at least have this picture from the baby shower on Thursday.  I was very happy that mother-to-be liked the baby quilt! :)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

LOG-ing Away :)

I started piecing my log cabin blocks together.  I prefer sewing the blocks onto long strips and then cutting/squareing up, rather than cutting out each of those pieces and then trying to sew them all together - like a puzzle.

They're coming along nicely.  After dinner, I was able to squeeze a little sewing time in before bed - so here they are so far.  They are actually closer to the red in the above picture, rather than the below picture.  My lighting is terrible. I've tucked them safely away, hoping I can finish them on Monday, and possibly start the sashing.

Happy sewing!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

First Quilts of the Year!

Here are the baby HST quilt tops pieced, basted, and ready to quilt!  For the first quarter of this year I'm definitely in a "no purchase" zone - so I have to use what's in my stash.  I had this green flannel that was exactly just the right size to back both.

I did a simple free motion loopty-loop with a star.  Very quick to fill in the quilts.  On with the binding and then the printed labels  :)

. . . trying to show the loopy - star thingie that I did - hard to see the stitches. . .

I was glad to have one finished in time to take with me last night to our first guild meeting of the New Year.
Will finish the binding on Baby Quilt #2 this afternoon!

That's it for envelope #1 folks!  Outta here!


Monday, January 7, 2013

Off & Running . . .

Well, it's week 2 and I can show you that at the end of week 1, my project bag looked like this:

I have here large envelopes with all of my projects cut out and ready to go . . . HST for 2 baby quilts, strips of red, white, and blue for a QOV log cabin quilt, Bonnie's Blues, 4 blocks for my version Rose of the Sharon Quilt, 3 blocks for Farmer's Wife Sampler, black/white and orange for the Dare to Dresden Challenge.

So I was ready to hit the ground running today, and I felt like I had a very productive day.  I had 64 squares (50 were from a charm pack) which I stitched into 128 HST, enough for 2 baby quilts.

I did not originally have the baby quilts in mind to do - but I found out Thursday that I would be going to a baby shower at the end of next week, so I thought I'd better slip it in.  By doing the HST, I was able to utilize some charm fabric I had sitting around for quite a bit, adding some extra pieces here and there from my stash - and after cut, it left me with double.  I'll stitch up the second quilt and take to guild meeting.  Our outreach program has several venues we currently donate to.  Our local hospital requests quilts for the babies in the NICU - they cover the incubators with the quilts to shield the babies from the lights.  The quilts then go home with the little ones when they are finally able to leave with their family. :)  I have all the rows stitched, wanted to layout them one more time to make sure everything is turned the way I intended - LOL.  Will stitch the rows together tomorrow and hopefully get them basted.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Like a kid in a candy store . . .

That's the kind of week I've had! :)  I've been cutting away - BUT - I've also been taking a class.  Color Play for Quilters with Joen Wolfrom - on the Craftsy website.

I also purchased her book Color Play. I love the convenience of taking a class online - being able to stop it, replay, still having the ability to ask the instructor questions.  I have taken three classes with them so far, and have been very pleased with all of them.  I have to say I have enjoyed this one the most.  I have previously dyed my own fabric for a couple of years.  I enjoyed it, but I enjoyed getting right to the sewing more, and eventually started purchasing dyed fabric - but Joen's process on explaining and understanding color theory and the exercises done in the class are the most clear - at least they have been for me, and things clicked for me in this class that I didn't get before.  No, I don't think I'm jumping in to dyeing again any time soon - but it has made me excited about color, and I will not make a quilt again without employing this newly acquired understanding.  I still have to practice and become more comfortable with making my color selections.  I had been contemplating over the last month whether or not I would/should make journal quilts of some type during this new year.  Not for a group, or just to do it.  I've always felt that it would have to be for learning, practicing, and development of something - but what I couldn't decide.  Now I see it will be to help me to enhance my skills with my fabric selection - primarily working on value, and dimension/depth.   "Experimenting with Value and Dimension" -  So add that to my list!

What are looking forward to working on in the New Year?  Whats inspiring you to get creating?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Cutting Week

Well, it's my cutting week, and I've been getting a good start on getting things going for January.  In addition to the red and white log cabin, and four Rose of Sharon blocks,  I've cut out Bonnie's Blues.  Its a 2 block quilt I'm making for my BFF (Bonnie)'s birthday coming up in March.  I arranged the blocks in two layouts.  After seeing it, I wanted a little more negative space than what I had come up with in the first layout, so I made the blocks smaller, and widened the sashing.

Well that's cut - the only definite plans I had for January were the log cabin, and Bonnie's Blues.  But this is "cut week" so on with the show.  Between work, family, and life in general - if I miraculously somehow manage to have more sewing time before the end of the month comes, I need to have something to work on, and there's no need to waste this time that I have my "cut area" set up.   I've also had on my side burner the Farmer's Wife Sampler - which I also happened to get with my EQ7, so I printed out the first 3 blocks - just figure that will be some filler.
 Here we have the Wrench, The Garden Patch, and the Practical Orchard.  Not set on the coloring yet - gotta dig through my fabrics and get settled on something - need to cut these out this week! :)

To BOM or To Not BOM??
I loved the BOM done last year for The Quilt Show.  The Sedona Star by Sarah Vedeler.  I downloaded the pattern, and would also love to dive in to this one.  This is the color it was done in - but I think I would like black and white . . .

then there's the BOM they're doing for 2013 . . .  Two of Us by Sue Nickels and Pat Holly.
I love these colors!!

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