Gaa Barge

It has been fun designing all the 32 pieces in the Gaa Barge series.  I have enough scraps taken from the wastebasket or swept off the floor to finish the remainder of my challenge.  I had originally planned to make one a week for a whole year, but gardening got in the way and the series wasn’t finished. Maybe, I can finish the series next winter when the snow flies.

IMG_0473The cat and dog pieces were made with purple and other dark fabrics for the background and tan fabrics for the animals.  The made fabric was made in the mile a minute method.  The patterns for the animals came from a child’s coloring book.  The cut out animals were fused down and then zig zaged around the edges with tan thread.  The lines of the drawing were zig zaged with black  thread.

IMG_0472Shortly after I made these two pieces, I taught a class on this procedure at a local quilt shop.  The pieces were my sample pieces.  They were at the shop when a photographer came to take a picture of the owners.  One of the pieces was grabbed and put under the needle of a sewing machine.  The colors went with a piece that was on the wall behind them.   I enjoy seeing my animal in the picture on the wall when I go to the quilt shop.

Have a great day and happy quilting,

Some things are finished

IMG_2895I have finished quilting my first quilt on the Grace frame.  It isn’t as perfect as I would have liked, but it is o.k.  Now, I have to slow down and put muscle memory to work.  I have a great older book by Sally Terry that shows the five different parts of quilting patterns.  She says that if you learn to quilt all five parts individually, you can combine them to make any pattern with ease.  I hope that she is right.  That, combined with the plastic template, and a lot of the three Ps, should help my quilting. I have a plan and will start my lessons soon.

IMG_2896We have a bookcase at the community center where anyone can leave objects that they no longer want for someone else.  One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  One of my friends left a tapestry wall hanging.  I could see a tote bag.  I cut the tapestry in half so that both sides would be right side up. Then I added quilted bands and handles.  Also a large coat zipper in the top.  The middle has six pockets, one that has a zipper closing.  I didn’t use a pattern, but just kept adding pieces.  It looks like a brief case, not a tote bag and is perfect for carrying quilting supplies to sit and sews.  Now, I’m on the lookout for items that can be converted to something else.

IMG_2898

The top for the Ten Commandments bed runner is finished.  Miss Molly has inspected it and it  is ready to have a backing and batting added.  It won’t take long to quilt.   There is enough left over lavender fabric to use on pillows, etc.  I’ll think about them after the bed runner is quilted.

 

 

 

IMG_2894

I‘ve finished piecing six blocks for the Bonnie Hunter Frolic Mystery quilt.  They are coming out well.  Bonnie was right about keeping everything organized.  If I make a few blocks a day, this quilt will eventually be finished.  In the meantime, I’ll enjoy the journey.

My two baby quilt tops are pieced.  One is on the frame and I am tying it.  Both should be finished by next week.  The babies are due in a month so the quilts will be finished just in time.  Not knowing the gender of the babies, I made bright colored quilts.  They are neither boy or girl quilts.  The best part is that I used up all the bright cat fabric.  The middle stripes are different colored fabrics and the borders and backs are different colors.   I’m not sure if I will sew a regular binding and tack the back by hand or make a flange binding and sew both sides by machine.  I’ll decide that when the quilt is tied.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

 

 

It’s February

It’s well into February and so far I haven’t been able to sew or quilt as much as I would like to.  Maybe, I can do more during the rest of the month.

I have finished quilting the first quilt on the Grace frame.  It has been a learning experience.  I’ve learned a lot. It will be much faster to load the next quilt on the frame.  I know that I can’t just jump in and expect quality work.  I have to take baby steps and practice, practice and more practice.  I originally thought that the little quilt was doomed, but off the frame, it’s not bad.  It needs a few tweaks and it will be fine for a baby quilt.  I hope that it will be well used and loved.

I have the center of the Ten commandments bed runner finished.  It needs two borders and then it can be quilted.  I had planned to complete it last weekend, but it is still sitting, waiting for completion.

IMG_2795

The Frolic Mystery quilt is still in pieces.  All the pieces have  been pressed and organized.  There are 41 blocks with some other pieces in this quilt.  We are supposed to have a snow storm tomorrow.  Maybe, I can work on these two projects and finish piecing  one of them.

 

 

I have changed the wall hanging that is over the sofa.  In January, I had a gray and yellow piece. IMG_2787

It was drab and gloomy.  I was so glad to take it down and replace it with a red and white embroidered piece.

IMG_2788

IMG_2891

The little monthly piece has been changed also.  It’s a pretty little valentine

The Blockhead quilt has come back from the long arm quilter.  I didn’t like the quilt when it was finished, but the long arm quilter made it come alive with her quilting.  It is very nice now.  The quilt is queen size so it will take a long time to bind, unless I make a flange binding.  That is a good possibility.   I might even put it on my bed for a while.

The new Blockhead for this year has come out.  It is into week three already.  I’m going to save the instructions to a file for a while.  I shouldn’t start anything new until I finish some of the quilts that I’ve started. The new Blockhead instructions have three different sizes.  I will decide which one to make when I decide to start.

My first set of blocks for the Round Robin exchange are finished.  My secret Valentine project is finished and off to my secret Valentine.  The Maine challenge is almost finished.  It just needs borders.  It is so good to use the word “finished”.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lots of little things

I’ve worked on a lot of little and some large projects this past week.  Frolic is still not up to date.  The reveal has been made and I can see where the pieces go.  I will keep sewing on this project for a few minutes each day until it is finished.

IMG_2784

In the meantime, I have corrected the 8th commandment

 

 

IMG_2779and pieced the 9th commandment.  One more commandment block to sew and then the instructions to put all the blocks together should arrive.  One block a week is so much easier to finish than the multiple blocks in the Frolic mystery quilt. There will be enough lavender fabric left to make a lot of accents for the bedroom.

I was able to place a small quilt on the Grace frame this week.  Leah Day has excellent You tube videos that tell how to do this.  I’ve learned a lot, but there is so much more to learn.  The quilt is half quilted.  I find that trying to learn new things is not as easy as it seems.  It is sometimes very frustrating.  I am learning how to prevent my mistakes when I quilt the next quilt.  I know that I have to practice a lot, but I do get impatient when it doesn’t look as good as I would like it to be.  In the meantime, Miss Molly will get a new quilt.  Maybe, more than one.  My work should improve with practice.

IMG_2782     IMG_2783

Several more Dear Jane blocks are finished.  I try to have enough finished blocks on hand to quilt or tack the binding when I go to a sit and sew.  This project will keep me busy for a long time.  The next block to make has three circles appliqued on it.  My circles usually come out crooked. I have thought of a way to make a perfect circle.  If it works, I’ll tell about it in a future post.

IMG_2777I decided to finish the bird thread painting.  It will be ready to go to it’s new home as soon as I make a label.  I have another bird thread painting started in my stash of bits and pieces.  I may finish that one in the future and keep it.  The other bird blocks that I brought out to choose from are back in the stash of bits and pieces.

IMG_2778

The bird block was made by color copying the picture of the bird onto fabric.  Then I lightly thread painted over the picture.  It’s very relaxing and like coloring inside the lines.

The tub of little fabric pieces is filling up.  Someday soon, I’ll have to take time to cut the fabric into small squares so that I can sew some little blocks as beginners and enders.

There are no meetings or appointments for the next two days.  Hopefully, I can concentrate on one of my projects and finish it.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Old things and new things

I am caught up on the Ten Commandments bed runner.  Two more Commandments to go.  Each block is so pretty.  There will be enough fabric left over from the bolt that I bought to change the look of my bedroom.  I’m thinking valances, pillow covers, etc.  I do have a beautiful purple silk pillow cover that one of my daughters gave me for Christmas.  It will be a very nice accent to the room.

IMG_2760Commandment #7

Commandment # 8  This was finished, but when I looked at the picture, two of the pieces were set in wrong.  I’ll correct that and show the picture on the next blog.

IMG_2765When the bed runner is finished, I will quilt it on the Grace frame.  A friend from the Guild and her husband came on Monday morning and finished setting it up.  It’s all ready to go.  I will put a quilt package on it this week and start to practice, practice and more practice.  Hopefully, I can quickly finish a lot of my ufos.

The mystery quilt, Frolic, by Bonnie Hunter needs a lot of work.  I’m several weeks behind on this project.  I have downloaded the directions, printed them and saved them to a file.  The completed quilt has been revealed.  I can work on it between doing other things.

IMG_2768   IMG_2767   IMG_2766This is all the little pieces that need to be sewn together to make a queen size quilt.

There are a lot of small pieces of fabric that were left over when cutting Frolic.  My intention was to cut them in 1 1/2″ strips and squares. Then I could sew them as beginners and enders and make 3 1/2″ blocks.  It’s amazing how fast the bucket is filling up with scraps.  All my meetings and appointments are finished for this week, so I have two full days of sewing ahead of me.  I may cut some of fabric and get started.

IMG_2761I made a folded fabric hexi.  It was fun.  The first one took an hour.  The second one took ten minutes.  They are really easy to make after the first one.  There is a pin clasp on the back so it can be worn as a pin.

 

I have a project that calls for a bird block.  I enjoy machine embroidery in the hoop and hadn’t done that for a while.  I found a pattern and machine quilted for many hours.  The pattern had a lot of stitches and color changes.  When it was finished, I found that it was a defective embroidery.  The body of the bird was missing and some of the leaves were not there.  It is in the round file. It was a wasted day.

IMG_2774Today, I embroidered a bird that I bought from Embroidery Library.  Their embroideries always sew out beautifully.  It did, but I think that there isn’t enough color  contrast between the bird and the foliage.  I will save it for another project.

 

I have a bin of quilt pieces in the back of a closet.  There are partially made quilts, leftover blocks and lots of things to choose from when I’m looking for something special. I found several bird blocks.

IMG_2770IMG_2769These two blocks are hand embroidered.  I think that my mother made them.

IMG_2772

These two cardinals are redwork on the embroidery machine.

 

IMG_2771

 

 

 

 

IMG_2773

 

 

This bird block is partially thread painted.  I printed the picture of a bird on fabric and was in the process of thread painting when I put it away.  I need to have turquoise in the border so will thread paint some turquoise thread on the wing.  Thread painting is very relaxing and is something that I like to do.

The blocks are sitting on the kitchen counter, waiting for me to make a decision.  I’ll have to decide by tomorrow which one to use in the project .

Second week in January

It’s the second week in January.  I still haven’t changed the wall hanging on the wall over the sofa.  I do have it out and ready to go.  Maybe, tomorrow. The little January wall hanging is up on the wall.

I’ve been following several blogs.  The latest item for conversation is to make the same small block every day.  After a few months there will be enough blocks to make a quilt. It would be a simple, yet scrappy quilt.  Several blocks have been running through my mind.  I have decided on a small churn dash.  Now, I have to decide what theme to use.  Will it be batiques, one color, traditional, or will I use a large package of 5″ squares that I bought last summer. I’ve also decided to make five blocks a week and use the other two days to border each block.  When I start, there will be pictures of my progress.  Nothing says that I have to start on January 1st.  I can start any day when I get organized.

The Ten Commandments bed runner is up to date.

Fifth Commandment 2752 2

 

 

 

IMG_2751

Sixth commandment

 

 

I brought out the flower applique and have been working on that wall hanging in the evening.  The oldest UFO has been retired again for a while.  The more I quilt on that piece, the more I find to quilt.  The quilting has to be equal on the whole quilt and I started with a lot of quilting.  Hand quilting takes a long time, but it is worth it. Miss Molly likes it when I hand quilt.  She checks out the part that is on the floor while I’m quilting.  I have to remember to pull most of it up so that I can move it as I quilt.

I am very far behind on the Frolic Mystery quilt from Bonnie Hunter.  I have a lot of scraps in the right colors, but they are small scraps.  I need larger scraps to make sets of four in the same colors. One clue states that the turquois should be lighter than the blues.  Most of my turquois is medium to dark.  I checked the local fabric store but didn’t find what I wanted.  Then I went on line to several sites.  My order was received more than a week ago, but hasn’t been processed or mailed.  Hopefully, it will come soon and I can catch up.  In the meantime, I have other projects to work on.

I did sew a few of the Dear Jane blocks.  I was out of hand work on those blocks.  I like to work on them when I go to the  Community Center.  I’ll be all set for a while.

Most of the samples are made for the Guild demonstration.  I have one more to make.  That shouldn’t take long.  It’s just a matter of getting to it.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

 

 

 

It’s a new year

Happy new year.  It has been a very busy two weeks with Christmas parties and family get togethers.  It is wonderful to connect with family no matter what time of year.  Miss Molly’s good friend Rufus came for a visit also.  She enjoys visiting with him and discussing their very important jobs.

IMG_2737

I did squeeze in  a little time for sewing.  The green and white quilt top is finished. My goal is to have it finished so that it can go on the wall over the sofa in March.  I had made several four patches before I looked for a pattern.  The four patch pieces were cut at 1 1/4″ square.  Four units were sewn together to make the block.  While checking for inspiration for my demo in January, I came across a pattern from a class that I had with Sue Rabin and Ann Gallo.  It was perfect.  After the wall hanging was pieced, I realized that it was too small for the space.  Using the leftover green fabric, I added more borders and cut them at an angle on the two bottom corners.   The size is correct now.  I had made more four patches than I needed so decided to piece the backing with them.  By the time it is finished, I may, possibly, have my quilt frame ready to use.  It is one of my priorities this year.

I’m behind on Bonnie Hunter’s Frolic quilt.  At this point, I’ve skipped part four.  It calls for turquois fabric that is lighter than the blue that goes with it.  It calls for sets of four pair of half square triangles and four pairs of quarter square triangles cut from the same fabrics.  Since I have small scraps in that color, there is not enough yardage to cut what I need.  I’ve ordered some new fabric and will make part  4 when it comes.  So much for  using up the scraps that I have.

IMG_2738Part five is finished.  It called for lots of half square triangles that are sewn the same as part three.  The color is raspberry and neutrals.  This time,  I decided to make the half square triangles in the accordion method.  They worked up quickly and are trimmed and ready for the next step.

IMG_2739

Step six will be here tomorrow or the next day.  Maybe, I will have much more time to sew and can catch up.

IMG_2735

The fourth commandment block is finished.  I’m pleased with the colors on these blocks.  It will make a very nice bed runner.  The Fifth Commandment block pattern came last week.  It calls for two duplicate 10″ blocks. The pattern says that these blocks are more difficult to size correctly.  The 10″ block is divided by 6 units, so the cutting is tricky.  The sewing has to be very accurate in order for it to come out the correct size.  Fortunately, I do know how to divide a block by unusual amounts of pieces.  I will do this on copy paper and paper piece each section.   Then the block will be accurate when finished.

The deadline is fast approaching to have my demo instructions completed.  I have decided what I’m going to talk about.  It will be called Tricks of the Trade and will consist of four subjects.  Now, I have to make demo pieces and write the instructions.  One of the subjects will be how to make six equal sections in a 10″ block.  When I have finished writing the instructions, I’ll post it to the blog.

There is so much that I want to complete in 2020.  January will be my organization month.  Then, I can just have fun.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

I have had very little time this week to sew on my quilts, but I am up to date on the two projects that I’ve chosen to work on this winter.

IMG_2730The third clue in Frolic came last Friday.  It allowed us to choose how we made half square triangles.  At first, I thought that I would make mine with the accordion method.  That would make each block with different fabrics.  They have to be trimmed a little after sewing.  Then, I thought that I would make mine oversize and trim them with the Tucker Trimmer.  There would be two blocks with the same colors.  I decided to use the Tucker Trimmer method.  Two similar blocks would not be noticed in this quilt.  The fourth clue will come tomorrow.  This will be a beautiful quilt.

I have sewn three of the Ten Commandments Pattern Series.  This free pattern can be found at info@quiltnbee.biz.  It also can be bought at http://www.stitchintree.com.  This pattern consists of ten 10″ blocks and one center 22″ block.  The fabric requirements for a bed runner (43″ x 96″) and a twin bed size (67″ x 85″), along with the pictures, are given in the first e mail.

IMG_2734

I chose different color fabrics so pasted small swatches on the first page.  This can be made with scraps.

 

IMG_2731

The first Commandment is the center 22″ block.  Each sections gives the fabric needed for the blocks and sashing and cutting instructions.  It also gives the pressing instructions.  Making this bed runner has made me slow down, read and follow all the instructions.  With accurate cutting and sewing with an accurate 1/4″ seam, the blocks go together very nicely.

IMG_2732The second and third commandments are on the right side of the bed runner.  I have saved the teal fabric that I used in those blocks  to use in the two blocks on the left side.  I will find another teal fabric to use in the blocks that are closer to the center.

IMG_2733

I’m taking a break from hand quilting  my oldest UFO in the evening while I watch TV.  The quilting is going well, but my under hand needs a little repair.  It should be healed in a few days and I can go back to quilting.  In the meantime, I’ll check out several years of machine embroidery magazines that were stored in the attic.  I’m trying to downsize and clear out the attic.  That should take most of the winter.  Hopefully, I’ll find someone who will want the magazines.

Have a great day and happy quilting.