Sunshine Quilts

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Queen of Procrastination

No doubt I'm not quite normal! I love to quilt! I love to piece, I love to quilt, I love to make feathers . . so why do I put off the things that need to be done? I had this one quilt to be quilted. It's called "Heat Wave" and it has some snail's trail blocks and space in the border for feathers. I have put off quilting that quilt and I don't know why. I needed to quilt it when I started making the quilts for my great-nieces. Did I stop after they were pieced and quilt Heat Wave? No, I went ahead and quilted the quilts for my great-nieces. I went ahead and bound them! Did I stop there and quilt Heat Wave? NO! I made the X's and O's quilt. Then I loaded Heat Wave and started quilting it. I had two tops that have to be delivered tomorrow. They were both pantos and shouldn't be a problem to quilt . . unless I put them off til the last minute . . . which I did! It took me twice as long, if not longer, to quilt Heat Wave because, even after it was loaded and I loved how it was turning out, I still procrastinated. I finished quilting it last night, loaded one of the quilts for a panto. The plan was that I would get one finished before lunch, load the second one and get it finished tonight so I could get to bed early. Started quilting the first one and got side tracked . . how badly did I not want to quilt? It was fairly cool this morning so I pulled some weeds. OK . . enough of this. I have to get this quilt done. Came in, cleaned up and quilted for a while. Then I stopped and found something else I could use as a sidetrack - I cleaned the bathrooms. Chad usually cleans his own but I had some new cleanser and I was having so much fun, I cleaned his bathroom too. OK . . stop! Get this quilt done. I finally finished it about 2:30. Then the mail lady came. And, there was my fabric for the backing for the X's and O's quilt. I decided, even though I'm not going to quilt it right away, I'd go ahead and piece the backing. Got that done. Made myself get back to the quilting that has to be delivered tomorrow! I honestly thought about loading the X's and O's and quilting it . . knowing I'd miss the due date tomorrow for the other quilts. Thankfully I didn't let that happen! Got the second one loaded. But before I started quilting, I got sidetracked again. Let's see . . the windows haven't been cleand in a while. I cleaned the inside of the windows on the back side of the house. The outside cleaning will have to wait til the weekend. Back to quilting. This quilt has to be finished tonight. Made a few more rows and oh .. wait .. I think I'll make a pie. I have pears and I love pear pie. But Chad doesn't like pears so I'll make him a buttermilk pie. That's two pies I can make when I should be quilting. So, here it is almost midnight. Both quilts are finished . . way later than they should have been. We have two yummy pies, clean windows . . well, they're half clean, and clean bathrooms. Am I proud of myself? Not really! I must learn to stay on task and get things done and stop letting myself find other things to do! Judy L.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A Little Horn Tooting

According to the AQS website, the Projects, 2006 issue is out and . . you may recognize a familiar name on one of the projects! Yes, one of my projects is in there. I haven't seen the magazine yet.. I don't know if it's in the book stores or if they're starting to arrive in the mail boxes of AQS members but you should be seeing them soon. Last time I had an article in the American Quilter, they seemed to arrive at the four corners of the country before mine arrived and I'm right here 2 hours from Paducah. I'm not complaining . . I can wait patiently for my magazine to arrive. I'm thrilled to have a project in there. Judy L.

Look What's Working!

In the event there is anyone here reading who didn't know what happened to me . . on August 18, I tried migrating to the beta blogger. I migrated to a dead end street in blogland I think because I could never access my blog after that day. I begged blogger, I pleaded with blogger, I even said a few bad words to blogger and I mostly got canned responses . . we know you're having problems, we're doing our best to help you. Finally, some really nice person named Alexander must have taken pity on me and I received a few e-mails from a real human. And, now it works and that's a good thing. Google owns/runs/manages Blogger and I'm not going to say anything bad about them because I'm so happy to have my old blog back but .. I will just say I'm going to keep both blogs running for now and I hope to have something totally new soon. If it's all the same with you all, will you please read the new blog. Don't forget you can set yourself up an account at Bloglines, and subscribe to my blog (as well as anyone else's blog) and then you can just go to your bloglines page and you'll know right off the bat which blogs have been updated since you last read them! Eventually, we're all going to have to switch over to the new blogger so . . it's been nice knowing you all! :) Judy L.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Hour #5

Now it's time to add the squares around the block. There are several ways to get this done.

  • You could cut individual 2" squares. Seems like too much trouble to me!
  • You could sew together 5 - 2" strips for the sides, and 7 - 2" strips for the top and bottom, then cut them into 2" segments. I have a hard time keeping seams perfect straight when I've added this many strips and all your sections of squares would be the same.

Each block requires 24 - 2" squares. If you're doing 20 blocks, you'll need 480 - 2" squares. If your fabric is 40" wide, that means you need a total of 24 - 2" strips.

Here's how I did mine:

  • Cut 24 - 2" strips from a variety of fabric.
  • Cut 4 of those strips into 2" squares. You should have 80.
  • Cut the remaining 20 - 2" strips in half so that you have 40 strips that are approximately 2" x 20" in length.
  • Randomly sew these together in groups of two.

  • Cut these segments into 2" strips. You should get 200 of these 2" segments. Since these strips were randomly sewed together, you should have some variety.
  • For the sides of the block, you need 5 - 2" squares so you would pick up 2 of the 2 block segments and add a 2" square. The square could be added in front, in between, or at the end of the segments -- if you're looking for randomness.
  • For the top and bottom of the block, you need 7 - 2" squares so you would use 3 of the 2 block segments and add a 2" square somewhere along the way.

A whole lot of words to say something you probably don't need to know but that's how I did mine.

For Hour #5, you should be able to cut your strips, get them sewn together and pressed.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Blogger is Scaring Me

What is this blog thing doing? I couldn't even sign on with Firefox so I had to switch back to IE. Today was spent quilting . . almost non-stop from 7 a.m. til a bit after 10 p.m. That's a lot of standing at the longarm. One of the quilts I did was a new to me panto from Willow Leaf called Calla Lily. It's a lot of quilting and at first, I was thinking I didn't like it but it surely quilted up pretty. Two more tops to quilt and lots of binding left to do but there's definitely light at the end of the tunnel for me. Judy

Hour #4

For the Hour #4 assignment, you just need to keep making those blocks. For tomorrow, we'll begin adding the squares around the block. Those can be considered sashing but they're actually a part of the block. I have some tips for making those and I'll share them with you in the morning. Here are some blogs (with photos) to visit if you want to follow the progress of others. If I've missed anyone, let me know and I'll add you: (The ones in red are the ones I've added since this morning.) Carolyn Karen Hanne Joanne Andrea Cynthia Leah Bonnie Suze Susan Nancy Carol Thanks for sharing pictures of the project on your blogs. I'm glad to know it's helping some of you along with your piecing and using of the stash. Judy L.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Hour #3

Thanks to everyone who has sent me progress reports. For those of you who haven't been able to get your one hour in . . don't worry about it. This is supposed to be fun and if you have too much going on or unexpected things happen, . . well, that happens to all of us. Hour #3: Now it's time to start assembling the blocks. Don't forget to refer to the instructions if you need to know the sizes for your pieces. I was able to assemble 10 of these in one hour. That included pressing. While y'all are having fun piecing .. I'm back to adding sleeves and labels. Judy L.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Torture on Tuesday!

I tend to do the things I love to do and ignore the things that are not fun. I'm not a good housekeeper . . in fact, I'm really bad at housekeeping. Even with my quilting, I do the parts I like and the things I don't like to do sit for weeks or months (or years) without getting done. So . . what do I like to do? I love designing, pulling the fabrics and deciding on the colors, piecing (I really love to piece!) and quilting. What do I not like to do? Binding, labels and sleeves. The first thing I had to do today was find a place for all the quilts for the book. I don't want to fold them and crease them. I had about 50 quilts already on the extra bed so I took some of those off, folded them and stacked them on a bookcase (the picture). Then I took the quilts for the book that are ready to go and spread them out flat on the bed, layering them on top of each other. The book has 20 quilts. Nancy from South Carolina and her friend each made one complete quilt top - labels, binding and sleeve. Vicky made two and my friend, Becky, made one but I'm quilting, binding and doing the sleeve on those three. So, that means I pieced 15 (although I pieced all of them before the others made theirs) and I have quilted or will quilt 18, along with binding, sleeves and labels. Oh, I really do hate the sleeves and the labels but they have to be done. Today was set aside to do the things I hate to do. Might as well just spend the entire day doing it. Here's what I've done today:

  • Washed the sheets and quilts off my bed.
  • Gave Speck a bath. He's not bad during a bath but I get as wet as he does.
  • Washed the slip cover on the sofa. I hate putting that thing back on but the dog gets on the sofa so we have to have it.
  • Packed a quilt to send off to my friend for her granddaughter.
  • Washed all Speck's sheets (from the crate) and the blanket he wraps up in on the sofa.
  • Did the weed eating in the back yard - it's so small and I have so much "stuff" back there, I just weed eat the whole thing and don't even use the lawn mower in the back.
  • Sewed the sleeve and label on 13 (that's thirteen) quilts.
  • Hand sewed the binding on 2 quilts.
  • Sewed the binding on 3 quilts.
Not a single one of the things on that list was a fun thing but something that had to be done. This picture is the quilts with the labels and sleeves done but I still have to hand stitch the binding. Oh . . and Chad still isn't driving. He has to go to the traffic school before he can get his own insurance so I played taxi driver all day too.
  • Take Chad to school/come home
  • Go get Chad at school/come home
  • Take Chad to work/come home
  • Go get Chad at work/come home
I did call the driving school people this morning and it will be at least 4 more weeks before his class is scheduled. If I can work this hard tomorrow, I'll feel real good about my deadlines. Judy L.

Hour #2

How did you do with your first hour of piecing? If you sewed for one hour, good for you! If you didn't, that's not a problem. No one's taking names. Do what's comfortable for you. We have at least one over achiever in the group -- Leah! I love seeing and hearing about your progress. Thanks to those of you who wrote me or commented here. Hour #2: Finish up making your half square triangles. If you're using a 4 x 5 block setting, you need a total of 80 half square triangles. If you're doing the 4 x 6 block setting, you need a total of 96 half square triangles. Judy L.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Then & Now

Time flies and our babies surely do grow up too quickly! All you moms with small children at home, who are wishing for a few minutes to yourself, stop thinking that! Time passes way too quickly. Enjoy every minute you have with your kids and just when you think they're going to drive you totally nuts, think how quickly time passes and how sad you're going to be when they're adults. I'm not sad that Chad is an adult .. I'm proud of the adult he's turning into (most days I'm proud!). But I look at the picture on the left of his first day of pre-school and I miss those days of him being a little boy and wanting me to read to him, climbing up on the kitchen counter to help me cook, the night he rubbed his entire body down with Vicks Vapor Rub (there are some parts of the male body that burn terribly when covered with Vicks!) and we almost never got it all off. Chad was such a handful. When he was 2, we left Lake Charles, Louisiana and moved all the way to Jasper, Texas . . exactly 96 miles away but who was counting. Not only was I moving away from my hometown for the first time but I was moving away from my parents who lived on the same street we did, and I was leaving behind my dream home that we'd built and lived in for only two years. I was so sad about that move and to this day wish it hadn't happened. Jasper wasn't a bad place to live but it wasn't a good time in my life. OK . . enough of that. Chad went to pre-school in Jasper, then we moved back to Lake Charles where he started kindergarten, then we moved to Kentucky when he was in 4th grade and . . here we are . . still in Kentucky! But, back to the first day of school. The picture on the left is Chad ready for his first day of pre-school at Trinity Episcopal Day School in Jasper. The picture on the right is Chad this morning, heading out to his first day of college. He offered to hold a lunch box on top of his head so the pictures would match . . gotta love that kid! He's attending Owensboro Community & Technical College for this first year. When we were in Louisiana, mom offered Chad some of Daniel's shirts. I told her he wouldn't wear a knit shirt but she insisted on giving him the one he has on in the picture. He surely made a liar out of me. He wears that shirt everywhere he goes! He loves it! Saturday was "free dress day" at work (no ugly gray Kroger shirt) and he wanted to be sure I could get this shirt washed and ready by Monday morning if he wore it on Saturday! Oh well . . my baby has grown up and I could sit here and think about the last 18 years all day but .. I'm going to quilt! Judy L.

Hour #1

Are you ready to make a quilt, one hour at a time? Are you committed to sewing 5 hours each week? This quilt top took me 12 hours to complete. Actually, it probably took between 10 and 12 hours but I get up to put clothes in the dryer, let the dog out, check e-mail, etc. when I'm on the clock. Twelve hours doesn't sound bad for a quilt top, does it? For the Sew for an Hour project, I will try to let you know how I figure things (if I can figure out how I figure things!) so that if you're making a different size quilt, you can determine how many of each "thing" you will need. Hour #1 - The quilt shown is set with 4 blocks across and 5 blocks up and down. That means you need 20 blocks. Each block requires 4 half square triangles, so you need 80 of them. When making them, you get two per "set", so you need to start with 40 lights and 40 darks and use your preferred method just so you end up with 96 half square triangles. These need to finish at 3", so they'll be 3-1/2" unfinished. Make them any way you'd like but be sure they are the correct size. According to my calculations, I could make 50 half square triangles in one hour. So . . get busy and show us a picture of 50 half square triangles before this day is history! Judy L.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Sew for an Hour Project

This quilt will be our first project. You can make it as scrappy or as planned as you like. You can reduce or enlarge the blocks/quilt to suit your needs. You can share this with anyone you wish (it's straight out of EQ/Block Base). We all have our favorite ways to do the Half Square Triangle. I did mine, and based my times, on working with one square at a time, drawing a diagonal line, sewing on both sides, cutting on the line and pressing. I did not account for the time to square the blocks because some of you do not square your blocks, depending on your method of creating the HST's. If I tell you it takes me one hour to make 10 Half Square Triangles and it takes you 2 hours or it may take you 10 minutes, we all sew at different rates so let's not get worked up about trying to get as much done in one hour as the next person. The goal here is to sew at least one hour per day! And, we need to enjoy our time sewing . . not feel like we're racing against the clock. So, please take your time and enjoy the process. I'm not giving specific instructions. Most of us are experienced piecers and these are very basic techniques. I'm also not giving yardage requirements. We're working out of the stash. I'll designate fabrics as light/medium or dark and you can go from there. How light or how dark . . that's up to you. In the quilt shown above, I used lights and darks for the churn dash type block, then mediums for the squares around the churn dash. The quilt shown is 62-1/2" x 74-1/2". When I give instructions as to how many HST's, squares, strips, etc. that you will need, it is based on this particular size. If you're making a different size block or a different size quilt, you will need to calculate how many of each item you need. Click on the picture of the quilt and I think it will allow you to download the EQ file. You will need to have EQ installed on your computer before you can open it. Here's a web page with the particulars about the block/quilt. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to open it. Sound ok to everyone? Judy L.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Sneaky Sewing Machine Tricks!

This is a Stack & Whack quilt I've shown here before. I was teaching a S&W class once and I had five or six quilts there to show. I had stressed the importance of making a perfect 1/4" seam and making sure everything lined up so all the points would meet. I noticed my dear friend, Becky, who was just a little more than an acquaintance at the time . . standing at the back of the room talking to someone else and they were looking at this quilt and whispering. So, I asked what was wrong. Becky was very quiet back then and she said nothing. I thought she had a question and didn't want to ask so I continued . . finally, she started laughing and very reluctantly said "your points don't match". Well, thanks a lot Becky! But, as with everything I do that may appear to others to be a mistake, there's a reason why those points don't meet! No, I do make mistakes and I'll usually admit to my mistakes but this one was really not my fault. In order to get a perfect 1/4" seam allowance on my trusty Bernina 1230, I use the No. 0 foot and change the needle position one step over to the right. There are probably easier, better ways to get a 1/4" seam but that's what I've used for years and I'm pretty pleased with it .. til the electricity goes off! That's what happened when I was making Vince's S&W quilt . . sewing along, half the blocks done, the electricity goes off. Shortly thereafter, the electricity comes back on. I didn't realize that when the machine came back on, everything was re-set to default which put the needle in the center position. I sewed and sewed and then when I started to put the blocks together, nothing matched. What the heck? I couldn't figure it out. There's not much difference in the width of the seam allowance with the needle in the center position or the needle one step to the right but when you have eight seams across the width of a block, multiply that little difference times 8 and you get a big difference. OK . . do I rip all this out and start over? This is a quilt to be used by my husband so I just went on and did the best I could . . which wasn't all that good. Fast forward about five years to yesterday. Do you think I remembered that when the electricity goes off, the machine re-sets itself? No! I did not remember and had to rip out a few seams. I'm going to remember that from now til my sewing days are over though! I did get all the blocks done for Katlin's quilt and I have enough of the quarter square triangles to make 20 more blocks (that's 80 QST's) with the stars spinning the opposite direction. Marcie at Patchalot More told me that there are several quilts, including one almost just like the one I'm making, in the Nickel Quilts books so I looked at those last night. I won't have any trouble coming up with ideas of what to do with the other blocks. In fact, I'm thinking I might make another quilt just like Katlin's to give to the wrecker company owner's wife (per my dad's request). Dad was supposed to be finding out her favorite color and so far, he has not. I just don't see how anyone could not love this quilt, but I'm kinda partial to these brights so maybe I'll just wait til Dad gives me her favorite color. Judy L.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Back on Track

I've had an attitude adjustment and am back to smiling and quilting. Bought a fan and a dehumidifier. Good plumber fixed the leak and gave me instructions to turn the water heater back on after an hour. I left and when I got back home and went to turn the water heater on . . it's leaking! Bad plumber had removed it and put it back in so good plumber will come back tomorrow and repair that leak. But . . no tears this time. It's all part of being a home owner, right? Here's some good news: My blog, as well as nine others, including Tonya from the Mavericks Ring are featured in this Month's Quilters Home magazine. I had talked to Mark Lipinski, the editor, about it a while back but wasn't sure til I saw it in the magazine today. Of the other nine blogs mentioned, only a couple am I familiar with so I think I'll be getting acquainted with some new bloggers. I haven't had a chance to sit down and read the August issue yet but I loved the June issue. I'm going to try to save it for bed time reading tonight. Look at this weather! We've been here nine summers now and this is the hottest, longest summer I remember. I think I say that every year though! :) Going to sit under the fan and sew! Judy L.

Some Days!

Before anyone thinks I'm being a wimp, I understand that in the grand scheme of things, I'm having a good day. Things could be a whole lot worse but if I can just whine for a few minutes, maybe I'll feel better. I just had a good cry and I thought that had solved my problem but maybe not. Vince is on his way home and he'll say "oh, honey, why are you crying?" and that will make it worse. I wish he would just say grow up! and I'd probably . . well, maybe I'd grow up! Vicky's brother's home burned last night and they lost everything so . . that alone is reminding me that my troubles are small. To start this long story . . I'm not a good flyer. I hate flying! I hate the feeling of being herded into an airplane and having no control over my life, my belongings or my schedule. I had not flown since 9/11. Yes, my husband flies all the time; my son flies back and forth to Louisiana and they both get so aggravated with me because I will not fly. When I had to make a choice of driving 14 hours each way to get home after Daniel's accident, it was an easy choice. I hopped right on that airplane and was very happy to do so. Maybe I'd crossed a hurdle. Maybe flying wasn't so bad. Today is Daniel's birthday. He would have been 27 today. I knew this was going to be a difficult time for my parents so I had decided maybe I would try to go home. I checked flights to leave on Monday and I was going to try to come home on Saturday. Vince is leaving Sunday and I kept thinking . . what if something happens and I can't get home on Saturday, Vince leaves on Sunday . . Chad would be home alone. I tried to get a flight for Friday and couldn't get it so I decided not to go home this week. Now . . with all this terrorist crap, if I had gone home, I probably would not have flown back. Hey . . that's an idea! Get stranded in Louisiana and have to stay there! Seriously, I'm sitting here thinking (feeling sorry for myself) that just when I thought it was safe to fly . . it isn't. Why can't people just be nice? Why do they want to hurt us? And the icing on the cake .. remember the plumber from hell that we had last week? The reason he was here was that the bathroom floor was warm . . not WET but warm so I knew we had a hot water leak. That was all . . no dripping pipes, no wet carpet. So we paid this weird guy $700 to fix the pipe. Want to know how weird he was? While Vince was sitting here paying him, trying to carry on a conversation, the guy asked us if we were swingers. Heck, I wouldn't have even known what it meant except my quilt group was talking about it a while back. NO! We are NOT! And, in the unlikely event we were, this dude would not have been invited to my party! This morning I get up. Vince is at work so I call and talk to him and he tells me about the terrorists and the airplanes and that kinda got me . . more angry than anything else. I thought about mom and dad and how bad their day is going to be. OK . . enough of that. Get a shower and get started. I walk into my dressing area (carpet) and there's water . . everywhere! This is the area where the plumber had cut the pipes and put them back together again. Well . . he almost put them back together again. What a mess! There's water everywhere in there. The carpet is wet and guess what else is wet . . fabric! Lots of fabric! I know . . my fault for having some of it stacked on the floor. Another plumber (from the same company) is here but I like this guy. He fixed my leak last year and I almost asked for him when I called about the hot water leak and I didn't. Wish I had! They just arrived with a wet/dry vac and as soon as the leak is fixed, I'll begin washing fabric. How much fun can a girl have in one day?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

I Think I Can!

I'm making another stash/scrap quilt. The good news is that I pulled one of my favorite purples to use for the border and it didn't hurt nearly so badly to think about using it as it did a few days ago. Maybe I'm learning to be a stash quilter after all. This quilt will be for my niece's middle daughter and I think I like it as much (maybe better) than the quilt I made for the oldest daughter. I'm actually making blocks for two quilts at once because when I make these quarter square triangles using the squares method, I end up with half of them having the background fabric on the top half of the smaller triangle and half of them having the background fabric on the bottom half of the smaller triangle. I could cut the squares into quarters and piece them together that way but I don't like to do that and besides, I'm using more fabric and I'll get two quilts by doing it this way. Guess what I have to do tomorrow! Go to the quilt shop! I have to go pick up quilts to be quilted. Can I go and not buy any fabric? Yes, I can and I will do it! Judy L.

Email Addresses & Comments

Patti has a great post today about showing your e-mail address in your comments. I encourage everyone who reads the blogs, and especially those of you whose comments include questions to read her post today. I'm not sure why you aren't using your e-mail address. If it's because you don't want spam or a virus or whatever, maybe you could use a free e-mail address from yahoo or gmail. I welcome your comments. . in fact, I love your comments but . . I do not answer questions if I can't e-mail you the response. Many of you (I'm surprised how many!) comment and ask a question but I can't respond to you because it comes across as a "no reply" address. I've seen some bloggers list the questions and then respond in a separate blog entry. I'm not going to do that! So .. if you want an answer, make sure your e-mail shows up in whatever I receive. The "quilt for an hour" project will begin on Monday and I already know . . someone is going to send me a question in a comment and there's going to be no e-mail address. Therefore, you are not going to get a response and you're going to wonder why. So, keep sending those comments whether or not your e-mail address shows up but don't expect a response if there's no return address. Judy L.

Monday, August 07, 2006

A Total Stash Quilt

Here's the quilt I just made totally from my stash. This is the first quilt for the "quilt for an hour" project. Anyone want to do it? One hour at a time? Making a quilt from the stash gives me a sense of satisfaction. I finished off several pieces of fabric but I also put back several pieces because I didn't want to use them because if I used them, I wouldn't have them any more. Sad? Sick? Normal? I still have a ways to go before I'm 100% comfortable using fabric from the stash but I'm off to a good start. This quilt is about 63" x 75" and it will be a gift for my niece's little girl, Taylor. I thought Taylor's favorite color was purple but that's her sister's favorite color. Taylor's is hot pink so that's why the hot pink borders are on there. Katlin's quilt will have a lot of purple in it and it's the next one I'll make. Last night as I was getting ready to quilt this top, I thought I would use muslin for the backing. Then I decided to use a print. Therein was another problem. I can't buy fabric . . it's August! :) A possible solution was to use fabric from the stash. There was nothing that was in the pink family that was large enough. Whew! I was happy. I didn't want to use that much of my stash anyway. I washed a piece of extra wide muslin and as it was in the dryer, I thought . . you're nuts! Use the stash! So I began pulling pinks. I honestly began to feel kinda sick at my tummy to think of using so much of my stash for one quilt but I talked myself into it. I did it! I used 2 yards of a pink floral and 2 yards of a pink tone on tone. There was a little left on both those fabrics so I decided to make Taylor a pillowcase to match the quilt. Now that you've all seen the quilt, I'll wait to hear if there's still interest on whether you want to proceed to with the "quilt for an hour" project. Judy L.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Half Square Triangles

There are so many ways to make the various segments of a quilt. For the "sew for an hour" project coming up and for future projects we may do here, I'm not going to get real specific about how to do the basic piecing. For instance, in this first project, we will need a bunch of 3" finished half square triangles. I will just say, for example, you will need 80 half square triangles that finish at 3". How I Make Mine: I cut my squares 1" larger than the finished size of the squares. For 3" finished, I would cut my squares 4", draw a diagonal line on one square, layer it right sides together with another square, then I sew 1/4" on each side of the drawn line, cut the drawn line, press them and trim them to 3-1/2". I cut and sew mine individually, one square at a time. Many quilters use this same method but but their squares only 7/8" larger than the finished squares. Other Ways: Grid Method - Triangle Paper is available to print at Block Central. Wondercut Ruler method. There are many ways besides those I've mentioned and for the upcoming project, feel free to use any method that suits you, just so you end up with the correct size square. Judy L.

Quilters and Our Machines

I'm the luckiest girl I know!! Maybe not always the smartest . . but always the luckiest! :) My Bernina 1230 has been giving me a bit of trouble. I bought it in about 1989 or 1990 and it's never been to the shop. Oh, I clean it and oil it and take real good care of it but lately it's just been kinda fading away in the middle of stitching. After Bonnie had mentioned that her foot pedal had died, I started thinking .. maybe it's the foot pedal. The local dealer is small and I knew she wouldn't have a foot pedal for the 1230 laying around and I just dreaded sending it off to be serviced. Today, the thought occurred to me to check on ebay for a foot pedal. Maybe it wouldn't be too much and I could order it and try it. Trusty old ebay! Got on there and found a foot pedal that supposedly fit the 930, 1230 and several other models. Wait a minute . . I have a 930!! Switched the foot pedal and it works perfectly! Amazing! I've been messing with this 1230 not working correctly for probably 2 years but it's getting worse. Called the Bernina lady (my friend, Betty) and she ordered me a new foot. Solved that problem pronto! If only all my problems were so easily solved! :) Judy L.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Stash Quilt vs. Scrap Quilt

Those of you who are scrap quilters will probably laugh at me but I'll admit this anyway. Today, for the first time, as I really began to look at my stash, I realized that there is a difference in stash quilts and scrap quilts. Almost every quilt I've ever made has been planned - 3 yards of this, 5 yards of that, 2 yards of another. I attended a guild workshop once where we were making a scrap quilt. They told us to put all the squares in 2 bags - background fabric in one bag and all the other squares in another bag. We were to pull out a square without looking and could only put it back if the square was the same as a square it would be next to. Thank goodness I had a kidney stone that day and got to work on mine at home. Not sure if you can tell from the picture but I used the same background through the whole quilt and all my other "scraps" are Moda Marbles! Everyone else's quilt was truly scrappy and even though I quilted quite a few for the guild members, I never showed them mine! This morning I awoke all anxious to get started on the scrap/stash quilt for our little "sew for an hour" project. I was using the scrap and stash words interchangeably. While it's purely a matter of semantics and it really doesn't matter to me what my quilts are called, I've decided (probably something the rest of you already know) that when I am able to pull a square out of a bag and use it regardless of whether it really "goes" there or not, that's a scrap quilt. When I piece like my grandmother pieced, using anything and everything, that's a scrap quilt. When I go to my stash and pull out the perfect pieces and fuss and obsess about color, scale of print, value, that's a stash quilt. When I go to the quilt shop and buy all new fabric, that's a .. not gonna happen quilt! At least it's not gonna happen during the month of August! So, I have that settled in my mind. I pulled fabric from my stash to begin working on the first "sew for an hour" project. My quilt is going to be a stash quilt but it will be a real easy quilt to make into a scrap quilt. Since this isn't a mystery and you'll see what the quilt looks like, you'll be able to pick the fabrics you want to use. It really is an easy quilt! I sorted my fabric into light/medium/dark stacks. My lights are real light and I kept them light because my border isn't very dark. It's all relative, right? I'm really having fun working out of the stash but I'm making a huge mess! For those on the fabric diet during August, has anyone slipped up yet and bought fabric? We're 1/10th through the month of August. Hope you're all doing great! Judy L.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Plan!

My family hates it when I come up with a plan because it's usually something I think is just wonderful and Vince and Chad think it's really stupid. I asked yesterday how much time you all have to quilt and got a good range of answers. Mostly the responses, some on blogger comments and some in e-mail, fell into three broad categories.

  • Mostly on weekends . . rarely during the week
  • 30 minutes a day
  • 1 hour a day
There were more than I expected who are in the same boat as I find myself -- I quilt almost all day every day. Part of my quilting is longarming for customers so that's really a job. Realistically, I can work on my own quilts 3 - 4 hours a day. That includes fondling fabric, designing, piecing, quilting or doing the binding. Since I need to learn to do scrap quilting, here's what I was thinking. How about I come up with some simple designs, one at a time, and do some basic instructions. There will be no yardage amounts given since we are working out of the stash. Five out of seven days . . Monday - Friday, I will post instructions that take about 1 hour to do. By posting the instructions five days and then skipping two days, it would give some time to catch up who don't have a full hour each day to sew. It won't be a mystery quilt because I'll show you the quilt in the beginning. Before you ask . . we all sew at different speeds. The one hour will be based on how long it takes me to do the sewing. Some will be quicker, some will take longer. No guarantees you can get it all done in 60 minutes each night. What do y'all think about that? I know not everyone can do it and if you can't or don't want to, that's fine. If you can't do it, you don't need to tell me you can't or won't but if you can do it, just let me know you're interested and if there's enough interest, I'll get started on a design. I have to make it first, the divide the instructions up into one hour increments so it will be probably August 14 before I can get the first one started. But . . hey, we're working out of our stashes so we don't have to buy fabric!!! Judy L.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Time Spent Quilting

How much time do you think you spend on an average day piecing, quilting, fondling fabric . . something to do with quilting? If you wanted to do so, could you spend more time each day quilting or are you currently maxed out or spending more time than you should be with your quilting? Do you think if you wanted to set aside a certain amount each day . . say 30 minutes or an hour . . you could commit to do so and do it at least 5 out of 7 days each week? I have an idea is why I'm asking but I'm going to await your responses before I share my idea. This is what made me think of it. When I got my first quilting machine (I won't even exaggerate the truth and call it a longarm!), I was scared to death of the machine. This was before I knew about all the wonderful and supportive longarm groups. I found myself doing anything and everything I could to keep from going near that machine. Someone told me to decide how much time each day I could/would spend with the machine and commit to doing that. I found that once I actually got started, I didn't want to stop. Many of you are producing tons of quilts but for those of you who need a little kick in the rear end to get you going, I might have a plan! Stay tuned! :) Judy L.

August is Here

For those of us who have committed to buying no fabric in August, here we go! Thanks Vicky for the challenge and thanks Peach for the logo I used over in my sidebar. Not only am I not going to buy fabric but I am going to make an extreme effort to use a lot of fabric in the stash during August. I'm not going to count down the days til September when I can buy more fabric but I am going to celebrate each morsel of fabric that I use this month and hopefully by the time September gets here, I will have learned to control the urge to buy it all! Good luck to all who are participating in this challenge. Judy L.