Saturday, October 31, 2009

Progress on Strip Blocks

Blogs have a been a big source of quilting inspiration for me and I got the idea for my current project after seeing strip-pieced blocks and finished tops around blogland. I am using paper foundations, 8.5" square, with a strip of solid white (Kona Cotton in white) for the center of each block.

I use a glue stick to hold the white strip in place in the center then begin sewing strips to each side of the center strip.

Even very small scraps are useful for the corners. This is what a block looks like after all the strips are attached.

Then I use my 8.5" Creative Grids ruler to trim to size. Having a ruler the exact size of the block is handy. That's one reason I chose to use a 8.5" square. I had the ruler from another proejct and my inner frugal gal likes that the cost is now being amortized over another project!
Here's what it looks like when the blocks are put together.

11 blocks down, 133 to go!

If you would like a more detailed tutorial, you will find one here at FilmInTheFridge.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Find - Towels for Embellishing

I made a stop at HomeGoods on the way home from a client's office. They sometimes stock my china pattern (Portmeirion's Botanic Garden) so it can be worth a look. I didn't find any china but stumbled across a treasure trove of cute towels, crying out to be further embellished with fabric from stash. Oh no, this could become an obsession!

Sometime in November, these will be transformed into one-of-a-kind hostesss and teacher gifts.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Lots of Goodies in the Mail

A few quilting goodies arrived in the mail last week.

First, three yards of white Kona Cotton for my strip project. The white is the only purchase I need to make for this quilt; the rest is scraps and stash! Since I was placing the order and paying for the postage, I threw the little Schnibbles pattern Madeline into my cart. I saw this made up by designer Carrie Nelson on LaVieEnRosie and love it but not sure when I'll get around to making it.

This month's Australian Homespun arrived (actually, the September issue - there is a bit of a delay in getting them all the way from Oz). I'm saving it for later for this week. Then from, the newest from Kaffe Fassett, Quilt Romance.

I love, love, love the quilt on the cover! Quiltsalott, a blogger in Australia, is making this quilt and has some advice on the curved piecing here. I plan to attempt it, once I get a few other projects out of the queue.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Everything's Coming Up Roses - Finished!

I picked up Everything's Coming Up Roses from longarm quilter Karen on Thursday and finished sewing on the binding last evening. I used a pale pink and white stripe for the binding. I'm pleased with the way the quilt turned out. Karen used a swirly feather for the quilting; you can see it better in these close-ups below.

It is a small quilt, 64" by 54" - a good size for a lap quilt when reading!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Find - The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

If you like mysteries, you've got to read this book. It had a major negative impact on my productivity last week but it was worth it! It is a modern-day mystery, set in Sweden, with two investigators, neither of whom are police detectives. It concerns, simultaneously, the disappearance of a teen girl back in the 60's and a present day financial swindle. Now, I have to get my hands on the sequel!

I liked this so much, I added it to my widget to the right.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

One Christmas Gift Finished

These towels will be a gift for my mother. I used kitchen towels I found at Target and embellished them with scraps of fabric and rick rack. The fabric was left over from making this quilt, called Dutch Treat.

I made the quilt as a gift for my mother last year. While on vacation, she bought the reddish tone-on-tone fabric at Den Haan & Wagenmakers, a store in Amsterdam that reproduces vintage chintz designs. The prints are from a Moda line (I think it was called Kashmir). Mom uses the quilt on the couch in her family room, which is visible from the kitchen, so I thought some coordinating towels would be a nice touch.

The towels were a fast and easy project. I might make more using holiday fabrics and give them as hostess gifts.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I Knew They Would Come In Handy Some Day!

I hoard save shopping bags. I just know they will come in handy sometime. Finally, I've got a use for four small bags. I'm cutting strips for the next quilt project and using these bags to keep them sorted by width. More on this project as I make progress.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

More From The Quilt Festival

I've been having a wonderful time looking at the entries in the Blogger's Quilt Festival. There are hundreds of bloggers participating so you get to see a vast assortment of quilts on display. Go on over to Amy's blog where links will take you to all the other blogs with a quilt in the show. Or, you can skip the talk and just look at the quilts entered in the Flickr pool.

The only downside: looking at all the quilts has given me so many ideas for quilts I must make. So many quilts, so little time!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Bloggers' Quilt Festival

Amy of ParkCityGirl is hosting a Quilt Festival for bloggers, to give us something fun to do while the quilt business people are at Quilt Market in Houston. The quilt I am showing off is one of my favorites, made using the pattern Sampler Magic by Lori Smith.

My local quilt shop, Pennington Quilt Works (in Pennington, NJ), has a program called Saturday Sampler. You register for the program and pay for the book or pattern that will be used. Then one Saturday a month, you go to the store to see a demonstration of how to make the block for that month and pick up your zip lock bag with the fabric for that month's block. The materials are free as long as you bring your completed block from the prior month. If you don't make it in on the appointed day (now a Thursday, Friday, and Saturday because the program has grown big) or haven't completed the prior month's block, you pay $10 (I think) for the materials for the next block. It is a fun and inexpensive way (as long as you keep up) to complete a quilt top and a good way for beginners to pick up new skills.

They usually have several alternatives for finishing the quilt top and sell kits for finishing, plus they hold back yardage from the collection(s) so you can buy what you need to finish the top to your own design.

Now, technically, I did not make this quilt in the Saturday Sampler program because by the time I knew about it, the session was in full swing (usually lasts for 12 months). So I bought the pattern, shopped by stash, and held my own "block of the week" program in my studio. It was a lot of fun, something I intend to repeat soon.

Here's a closer look at one block and the sashing. My longarm quilter did an excellent job, using tan thread and quilting a vine in the outer border. I selected fabrics that would go well in our family room - dark green walls, white woodwork, tan carpeting and sofa, red wing chair, floral print valence and arm chair, dark wood tables, book shelves, and tv stand. You can see the quilt in action below.

I enjoyed making this quilt so much that I signed up for the Saturday Sampler program the next time it started up. I'll show you that quilt another time.

Thanks, Amy, for hosting another fun festival. I look forward to seeing the quilts on display from the participating bloggers.

Paper Roses Is A Quilt Top

Yes, a finished quilt top! I will piece the backing this weekend and take it to my longarm quilter next week.

My version looks quite different from the pattern illustration (below). I expected that, given the fabrics I chose, which are softer and slightly smaller in scale than the more modern, big prints shown on the pattern. When you like a pattern, it is tempting to try to reproduce the quilt exactly as depicted but I try to give each quilt I make my own "spin" and let myself experiment a bit too. I think that's how l learn and become more proficient at combining fabric and quilt design effectively.
I used fabrics from the Paris Flea Market (Moda), Durham (Lecien) and Mary Rose (Quilt Gate) fabric lines. All have pink roses (or rose-like flowers) on a white background. There is variation in the whites and the pinks, as well as in the scale of the prints. I used a variety of tonal pinks to make the paper pieced roses. Once the roses were pieced, the rest of it went together very quickly.

I'm thinking of naming it Everything's Coming Up Roses. What do you think of the name?

Friday, October 2, 2009

It's Not As If I Don't Have Enough To Do...

I need another quilting project like I need a hole in the head! But my local quilt shop is having their annual Holiday Open House. This is a special event where they showcase all the new Christmas and winter fabrics, display mostly Christmas projects, and have kits for sale for the first time. It is fun to see what they've made and what they think we will like to make.

I held firm on the kits but could not resist this book: Deck The Halls, by Cheryl Almgren Taylor.

The projects in the book are speaking to me. I like this mantel runner...

...and this banner.

I particularly like this Poinsetta quilt and I think I could make it pretty much out of my stash.

If you live in central New Jersey or Bucks County, PA, and can get to Pennington tomorrow (Saturday, Oct. 3), I suggest you visit Pennington Quilt Works for the second day of their Holiday Open House.