Sunday, January 30, 2011

Quilting With Rural Jardin

I've made a lot of progress on the quilt I'm making with the Rural Jardin fabric line.  All 13 Ohio Star blocks are finished!

I am using the pattern Ginger Belle by Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.  I've been working on the Irish Chain blocks this weekend and  hope to have the top completed before I go on my vacation in March.   

Thelma of Cupcakes N Daisies and Nicole of Sister's Choice have been using the same fabric line to make Belle Meade from Bonnie Blue Quilts.  This got me thinking what are other quilters making with Rural Jardin.  (Enquiring minds want to know!)  So I did a little research on the internet and found some fabulous examples on Flickr. 

First, check out this fantastic double wedding ring quilt ( Click on the underlined text to see the pictures - I'll wait while you look; just remember to come back because there's more).  It was made by Nicole Kunze of The Butterfly Net.

Kate Henderson made this variation on a nine-patch.

Sewing Daisies used simple squares to create a woven look - very effective.

I'm thinking of using my scraps (though I'm not sure I have enough - might need to buy more) to make this pattern from Bonnie Blue Quilts called A Quilt For Alice

Isn't the internet a great source of ideas!  What did we do before?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fabric Lust

I was wasting time surfing the 'net and found myself on the Coming Soon section at Fat Quarter Shop.  This is where the site shows soon to arrive fabric collections they have purchased with their customers in mind.  I found a lot to add to my wish list.

Civil War reproductions are not really my thing but I do like the patterns from Bonnie Blue Quilts and this rainbow collection would surely come in handly for something.  This collection is supposed to be in the store this month, so I need to think of a use so I can place an order when it arrives.

The 3 Sisters are one of my very favorite fabric designers.  This collection, called Grace, appears to be their Christmas 2011 collection.  Making another Christmas quilt is on my List, though I'm sure I already have enough in my stash for several holiday quilts. 

Penelope Two is one of the most drool-worthy collections I've seen lately.  It comes in several colorways (red, pink, black) but this pale blue is my favorite.  Check out the panel from the collection.  I even have an idea for what to make using it.   Yardage is already in the shop so I need to figure this out and place an order pronto.

Ready, Set, Snow looks like a very cheery Christmas collection.  I like the clean, clear colors.  Very different from Grace, above.  But I have until May or June to figure this one out.

Strawberry Fields is from Fig Tree, another of my favorite designers.  This one doesn't arrive until May, so again, I have some time to plan.

Oh boy, so much fabric, so many quilts, so little time to sew!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Learn-To-Applique DVDs

I want to teach myself how to hand applique.  Do you know of a good instructional DVD or book?  I found this Piece O'Cake one on and it has good reviews, but I cannot find any information on the actual techniques it teaches other than that it covers both machine and hand applique.

I have a specific project in mind and think the starch method might work.  I made a quilt using the starch method a few years ago but the pieces were large and simple; the new project is more complicated.  My only other foray into applique was Shasta Daisy, made in 2009, using machine button-hole stitch.

If you have any advice, please do leave a comment!

Monday, January 24, 2011

What A Difference A Blade Makes!

For the last few days, I've been working on the second unit for Ginger Belle, the hourglass (or quarter square triangle) blocks that make the points to the Ohio stars. 

I make my hourglass blocks just a tad big and then trim them.  This ensures the blocks are both square and the correct size.  The Ohio star blocks then make up so easily, without any need for stretch-and-sew.

The downside of this construction technique is that the trimming is rather tedious.  I was wondering why it seemed so difficult, then I realized, I probably needed a new blade in my rotary cutter. 

Wow, what a difference that new blade made!  So much easier on the hands and shoulders when you don't need to press down with all your strength!

How do you remember to change your blade?  For a while, I was changing it at the start of each new project but somehow, I got away from that practice.  Must get back into the habit because it makes it all so much easier.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Basket Over-Flows

I finished all the Ginger Belle 4-patch blocks - all 261!

My basket is overflowing.  On to the next step.

Monday, January 17, 2011

We're Going To Paris

I didn't do as much quilting this weekend as I expected because I was side-tracked by another project - planning our vacation.  We are going to Paris in March, during the school spring break!  It is very exciting!

I've been to Paris before, first when I was nine years old and later as an adult but that was almost 20 years ago.  We have guide books and I know all the major sites that I want to see.  But leave a comment or send me an email if you know of any place I should go that a quilter would love. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sew Inspiring Blog

I recently came across the blog Sew'n Wild Oaks, by the talented Lynn Wilder.  It is just loaded with quilting inspiration!  Lynn makes quilts to her own design.  Just look at these:

Madrigal - in fabric from the Luna Notte line by Moda

House on Edgeware Lane

Close-up of the appliqued house block in another colorway

 Lynn used Rouenneries fabric in the original of Heartfire.

Here is Heartfire in pastels from Fig Tree.

And Lynn machine quilts her work on her own longarm.  I urge you to visit her blog and take a look.  be inspired!

All of Lynn's patterns are available at In Between Stitches in Livermore, CA.  And they have a website where you can place an order, if like me, you just have to get to work on one of these designs.  Quilter's Paradise in Clovis, CA carries Party in the Garden and Heartfire. The Quilt House in Gardnerville, NV carries The House on Edgewood Lane.

The difficulty is picking which one.  I think it will be The House on Edgeware Lane for me!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Four Patch

I've been making the four-patch blocks for Ginger Belle.  They are the perfect sewing activity for me for week nights after work. 

Thirty down; 231 to go!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Making Another Miss Rosie's Quilt Co. Quilt

I finished my Splash top then cleaned up my sewing space before beginning the next project.  Week One and so far, so good, with the resolutions!

I am using my fat quarters of Rural Jardin to make Ginger Belle, another pattern from Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.  This pattern came out in 2006.  I've been meaning to make it for ages and I think the Rural Jardin prints are perfect for it.  Typical of Miss Rosie's patterns, there are a gazillion pieces!

Much of the piecing involves making "units," which are then combined into blocks.  The top is made up of 13 Ohio Star blocks and 12 Irish Chain sort-of blocks; I say sort of, because they feature a bit of a "twist" to make the design zing.  A pieced border (that appears to be part of the blocks) finishes the top.

I'm starting with the four-patch blocks.  They start with strip-piecing, which I finished on Sunday afternoon.  Turning the strips into four-patch blocks is a perfect weekday step for me, because it can be done in 30 minutes or so here and there, which is what I have for quilting after my grown-up day-job.

There is a lot of piecing involved in Ginger Belle so it could take me a while.  Stay tuned!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Finished Quilt Top

It's a finished flimsy, all ready for quilting.  (I just need to piece the back.)  I'm very happy with the way my turquoise blocks turned out.  For now, this one is being called Splash.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Straight From Pottery Barn - Decorating with Sewing Machines

It's a style first!  I was there before Pottery Barn!  Probably you were too.

Pottery Barn is now selling "an icon of cottage industry," vintage sewing machines as a decorator item.  Makes a great table topper!  And only $199!

And I thought my quilting projects were getting in the way of our home's decor!  Little did I know, these projects are the decor!  Of course, my usual machine is not vintage.  But I have another one that could qualify and my mother has a Brother sewing machine from the mid 50's.  And I know she never uses it to sew (she brings it all to me to do for her).  That Brother is just waiting to become a decorator object!

(far too neat to be a real sewing space) 

Combine with some piles of fabric to make it more authentic.  If you really like this decorating idea, you can get one on eBay for a lot less than $199.  I like this vintage Singer.

What will be next?  Omnigrid rulers as wall art?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Progress Is Made

So far, so good - the studio is still neat and organized!  That's because my mother was lodging there for a week.  Not much sewing done over the holidays.  Instead, I spent a lot of time visiting with family, seeing movies (Black Swan, The King's Speech - both excellent) and planning our spring vacation to Paris (!!).

But I did make some progress on the turquoise quilt.  I'm in the process of joining up the blocks with solid white lattice strips before adding the borders.  My goal is to get the top finished this coming weekend. 

This quilt needs a name.  I've been thinking of something to do with swimming.  Maybe Splash?  Any suggestions welcome - please leave a comment!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

This Year, I Want To Make...

I've decided that this year's goals will be a bit more general than 2010's To Do List.  That's because my first goal is...

1.  Allow myself to work on what interests me at the moment and put aside a project if I no longer "feel the love."  This is a hobby, not work, and I should use the limited time I can devote to it doing what I really want to do.  Only problem is that this may be somewhat at odds with goal #2...

2.  Work on projects on more of a one-at-a-time basis to keep the chaos at bay, and clean up the "studio" between projects.  I'm taking a cue from Thelma, who adheres to this clean-up-between-projects rule and has a wonderfully organized sewing space.

3.  Make progress on my Christmas quilts collection.  While decorating for Christmas, I got the idea to display a collection of Christmas quilts on my second floor landing.  This is what usually hangs there.

I will need to make at least four more quilts to give it a "Christmasy" look.  So look for a repeat of my Christmas in July Christmas sewing marathon.  Though I don't think I'll be making them all in one year.

4.  Expand skill set by trying something new, or relatively new, to me.  I am thinking either applique or equilateral triangles, but don't have a definite project in mind yet.

5.  Make a major dent in my backlogged projects.  A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about organizing some of my projects.  These are not quilt UFOs; to qualify as "unfinished" a project has to have been started in the first place.  I think these might more properly be called PIGS - projects in grocery sacks, except in my case they are in dry cleaner bags.  I have seven projects for which I bought all the materials but never started.  I need to get some of these done before I give myself permission to add more.

I think five goals are quite enough for one year, especially given Goal #1.