Sunday, October 24, 2010

What's black & white & red all over? - Sashed Disappearing 9Patch

So I got this wild hair to make a black, white and red quilt somewhere around twin size for my loveseat. It gets cold in my house in the winter because it's not well insulated AND it's a raised foundation house.

I picked/stashed this fabric because I thought it'd make a good spiderweb. I didn't much care for that. *sigh* So, back to my inspiration...

My bathroom is black & white with red walls. My living room is sand walls with black trim. I kinda wanted to blend it together a bit. Not much, just a bit. Besides, I think the colors of the quilt will suit me. So this is what I decided to do... a disappearing 9 patch block that, instead of just being rotated and re-sewn, is sashed between the pieces. This block measures 18 inches unfinished, so 17 1/2 inches finished. However, each block will be sashed between blocks, not just between pieces.

I will only be doing a block or two a month of these. I just don't have enough time to do everything I want to do... LOL.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

October Block - LSG Quilters' Bee

So I needed to make a block for the LSG quilters' bee. The first block that I was assigned was for FidgetKnits. She chose a monochromatic madness quilt block that measure 16 1/2 inches finished, with starting squares at 5 inches. Those are made into half square triangles. The colors she choose are scrappy yellows and a charcoal gray background fabric.

Gah it was such a pain in the butt. Why? For several reasons, actually. First, HSTs are notoriously unstable. They are sewn across the grain (these were constructed using this tutorial which is great, but I'm sorry, as soon as you cut them and press, they are across the grain and will warp at a moment's notice). They are constructed in lines of 4 and sewn together as such. Every block had to be individually trimmed every time it was sewn because of warping. If I have to do it again, I will soak the fabric in starch (not sizing, super heavy starch) in order to prevent as much warping as possible.

However, the quilt will most likely be very nice when she gets it done. One other thing... she sent 16 squares (she sent them as 6 1/2 inches, I had to cut each individual one down to 5 inches). Because she wanted 16 individual blocks in the 4x4 formation, that means that I had to do the tutorial 16 times. That means that there are in actuality 32 HST blocks made. I only pressed and used the first 16. The second batch of 16 (the repeats, if you will), are in a baggie and sent back with the block I sewed. She will mix and match the 16 left with the batches that others will send back.

So glad that one is over, and am 100% certain that I will NOT be sewing an entire quilt top using this technique. LOL

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Stashing with a purpose - 10.07.10

So today my mom sends me an email titled "Hancocks?" This is our code phrase for "Can you drive me to Hancock Fabrics after work today so I can spend money on fabric, and you get at least a yard of something for putting up with me in the fabric store and giving me your honest opinion of whatever I put in my cart." Of course, y'all should know that unless it is a class night, the answer is usually "Sure!" :) I also got paid back a bit of money for a small loan that I gave out a couple months back (it was a micro-loan, not much of a loan, and I honestly didn't expect to get anything back at all so I never budgeted for it), so I hatched a plan.

Sarabande on the LSG "Quilters' Bee" (both of those links are Ravelry links) decided to do a "Spiderweb" quilt block as her block pattern. I've been rather obsessed with the idea since then, knowing I was going to end up picking fabric and queuing it up for sometime in the vague-ish future. So. I'd been spinning around in my head going "if I was given a choice... what would I choose?"

What's black, white, and red all over?

Why, my Spiderweb block choice!

I'll stop by Joann's on Saturday to see if I can find anymore black & white prints for the outside of the spiderweb blocks. The center color is that rich red, which is an "easily attainable" Kona cotton (which I will pick up more of this Saturday... they have 3 more full bolts of it).

Amysbabies on the same group has come up with another idea (and she even drew it up, made a template, etc!) that I'm going to borrow and distort... later. One thing at a time, grasshoppa... I already have two in progress, I need to finish piecing the blue/yellow one so I can get it off to the quilter (and be one step closer to getting it off my conscious).

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wild Hair

I actually made 2 of the 4 Dia de los Muertos blocks in the same night... just now thought about putting them together for a kind of "idea" of what the blocks will look like. I'll still do it again when I have the other 2 blocks finished so people will really *know* what it will look like.

I laid in bed this morning debating where I want to put a flannel sheet so I can practice layouts with blocks. Sad, huh? I should have been sleeping... but I wasn't. I was thinking about where to put my layout setup, since this house is way different (and much smaller) than the last house that I pieced quilt tops in.

This is my "scrap box". I have a rule that any scrap I keep has to be able to be cut into a 2 1/2 inch strip of some length. So far, everything has been in shades of yellows, golds, light browns, and other various "autumn" shades. So when I went to my parents' house to pick up my daughter tonight after class and saw this print on my mom's shelf (far left) and there was enough of it to be the 3 inch square center of the paper pieced log cabin blocks... yeah. I may have snatched the fabric and ran. Actually, Mom said I could use it... so no guilt! I'm going to trade her a hand dyed green cotton that I have that I was planning to use as this focal square, but lacked about a quarter yard for... she'll like that :) Oh, and a purple fabric. I am not a big fan of purple in large quantities.

These blocks have no time limit. I'll just do one whenever I feel like it, which is fine by me (and everybody else...)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Practice String Quilt Blocks

They are eye searingly cute, at least in my mind! I know quite a few people are going to HATE working on them because they are so LOUD, but they can "expand their horizons" and all that jazz.

12.5 inch paper pieced block based on this tutorial.

Because of the number of blocks I need for the quilt size I want, I will be piecing 4/month while people piece 1/month. After I piece the others for this month, I will post what they look like together. Maybe then people will get the "idea" of what it will look like when finished. I think it's totally awesome so far... but then again, I'm probably biased. LOL

Sunday, August 29, 2010

LSG Quilters Bee

So I joined the LSG Quilters Bee. I am apparently a glutton for punishment :) As we can all tell (because I'm obsessive like that) I dug into my new stash for all my Day of the Dead fabric (all purchased from EQuilter), and cut it all into strips for a String Quilt.

Yes, it's going to be loud and obnoxious. I already love it! What is DotD without loud and obnoxious and fun times?!?

This hot red & black Kauffman print is the focal fabric for the string quilt. Isn't it delicious? Yes, I am a Dia de los Muertos fan, I don't know why considering that I am neither Mexican nor Catholic (in fact I'm a half Puerto Rican Bard, a member of the Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids).

Once this fabric comes in (I ordered it online), I will be trying a practice block.

*bouncy bouncy*

Friday, August 27, 2010

Plod plod plod plod plod

Well, all the Town Square blocks are done, so I've started on the Improved 4Patch blocks. So far I've finished 10 of them, with 15 remaining. I'm going to sash these with the black fabric as well. I really think that will pop the colors in these blocks.

I'm getting my back tattooed tomorrow, so probably won't be in the mood to sit in front of the machine for a few days... that's why I was trying to get as much done as possible tonight!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I found my bed quilt fabric!

I found it on sale at the LQS... two shades of red batiks (one mottled black/red, one mottled hot red). So pretty! It's for a two tone queen sized bed quilt that I found in an old American Patchwork & Quilting magazine (June 2004 I think is the date on the mag). If I can find a picture of the pattern, I'll post it. Check out the score!

Now to find more time... LOL Actually, I'll finish the other quilt before I work on this one because I get obsessive about the big projects.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

I really don't have much time to piece, so I kinda fit it in between homework/kid/school. That means that I don't measure my progress by how long it takes to finish the block, or how many days that it takes to get it assembled. I'm of the "any forward progress is good progress" school of thought.

There is definitely noticeable forward progress: 5 Town Square blocks. I need 25 of these blocks for the quilt, which calls for 50 12 1/2 by 12 1/2 inch blocks, a pieced border & 2 other thin borders. I've gotten a wild hair and decided to sash all the blocks with 1 inch strips of black to add pop.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Alright, on with it!

So I hadn't planned to start quilting again. I really hadn't. I disposed of my sewing machine, gave away my supplies, gifted my entire stash to my Mom, et cetera... about 6-7 years ago or so. Then I found out that my best friend had never gotten the quilt that he had purchased the fabric for over 7 years ago (my sister was going to make it). Even though he's no longer my best friend (for a myriad of reasons), I figured it is my responsibility to make the quilt since I am the one who talked him into it in the first place. So. Fabric shopping was on the list... I didn't have ANYTHING.

His favorite colors are blue & yellow, and those were the colors chosen for his quilt 7 years ago. I managed to hit a sale and pick up enough blue & yellow fabrics for a large quilt. Excuse the kind of blurry camera phone pic.

Then came the marathon washing and pressing and cutting to get it from THAT, to THIS.

Yeah, doesn't look like much, does it? Never does, at this stage.