Class project and Block 13 & 14 and Fabric Acquisition

I am only a week behind, but I am blaming it on  taking another class!  This post was to be short and sweet, as I am leaving in under an hour for a “fabric acquisition road trip” with my friend Nancy, but I got to wordy, and never got it posted! I acquired LOTS of nice stuff on that f.a.r.t……………. We went to shop at The Dusty Attic, in Fruitland MD.  The shop is closing out all merchandise in the next 2 weeks, and we concentrated our purchases in the 50% off room.  I picked up several 1 yard pre-cut neutrals for the stash, and 4.5 yards of a fantastic brown that has a wood grain feel to it.  I also purchased several “book” panels and plan on more story books for the littlest grandchild.  They were cutting Insul-Brite from a 56″ wide bolt, and I got a yard of it; which will be awesome for pot holders or a casserole carrier in the near future.  All the books were going for $5, and I picked up one about machine quilting.   We got some great deals, but it is sad to see a business you have dealt with over the years have to close up for any reason.

I got distracted last week and had to play catch up with the Pat Sloan’s quilt along.  Grandma’s Kitchen is currently on Block 14.  I finished Block 13 on Friday.  I thought it was time to work with the purple and the orange. I love the way this worked out.

Block 13 Grandma's Kitchen

This afternoon I was able to finish up Block 14.  Pat called it Salt & Pepper, and I thought about that when I picked my fabrics. I had this black & white Scottie Dogs fabric and think it depicts the pepper quite nicely!

Block 14 of 25 Grandma's Kitchen

My collection of blocks so far look like this:

Grandma's Kitchen 1-14

Going to need more yellow, orange and black in the coming weeks for the blocks.  I still have lots of the 1930’s reproduction fabrics I haven’t used.  (Today I was tempted by another yellow fabric, but decided that the print was just too big for this project!)

Are you working on the Grandma’s Kitchen quilt along too?  Pattern is by Pat Sloan and can be found here – Sew Along Pattern  

Beyond Block 13 & 14, it was Quilt Guild week in Dover for me.  Monday evening was the meeting and lecture.  Three of us from “lower slower Delaware” drove up together and attended the meeting.  I drove up and back on Monday evening.  I had signed up months ago for the class on Tuesday.

The class this month at Helping Hands Quilt Guild in Dover Delaware was with Sandi Blackwell.  The guild meeting and lecture was on Monday evening, and the class on Tuesday .  (Next time I decide to do a class the day after the meeting, I am getting a hotel room! It is an hour drive each way to Dover, and I had to hit the road very early for the class.)  Anyway, Sandi lectured on her Square-agonals technique and showed a lot of her different quilts during the trunk show. (Take a look at Sandi’s website).

The premise of Square-Agonals is to learn a special construction method and not have to cut any setting or corner triangles.  It was a fun project. I did my pre – cutting last week, and I was ready to sew!  We started out making a basic square in a square block, and sashing it.  We then constructed some interesting blocks made with rectangles that we cut on the diagonal and reassembled.

Spiral Out workshop

She showed a technique for aligning the points of the triangle when reassembling those blocks.  (Tips & techniques are explained in her many books). I did my stitching using my trusty Featherweight Bessie!

Bessie is working hard

I thought I set my 1/4″ and seam guide, but I goofed it up, and I had FAT quarter inches on my basic block, and they turned out “too small.  Sandi gave a quick solution which did not include ripping out the seam, and I was able to “repair the damage”.  I also rechecked and reset my 1/4″ and seam guide.  I think I had it up “too close” to the needle, but once it was checked and adjusted, all went well.  I assembled my pieces according to the pattern, and then Sandi showed us how to “mark” with her special tape, and get it ready to cut apart.marked and ready Spiral Out

This view is from the “other” side of the table.

marked and ready Spiral Out

 

squareagonals

My project was in 3 pieces when I left for the day, and I came home, had supper, and got busy doing some reassembly. (Look for more photos on Facebook…     Helping Hands Quilt Guild on Facebook

(The classes are held in a church with GREAT lighting, and great organization by the current VP – Mary Dawn.  I enjoy going up to take classes, but can’t do it very often.    )

Once I sewed the 3 sections together, it looked like this –

Square-agonals project

See how the tape on it was now on the “outside edges” ? The premise is to stabilize those cut edges because they are all on the bias and might stretch.  It got removed after the 1st round of borders went on.

1st round of borders on

At this point I realized I left my pattern instructions at the guild, on the cutting table; so a quick email to the guild vice-president and the instructions were sent to me in the mail.  Since we had done the pre-cutting, and I still had that worksheet, I had a photo, and could piece it together.  (One advantage to having everything cut ahead of time I suppose!!)

Got the pattern in the mail yesterday and here is the final result –

3 borders on

The project measures out at 32×52.  This afternoon I got it layered and have started some very “basic” quilting.

What are you working on this weekend?

Small Progress, small quilting machine, small child

So, I have made small progress with my Pet Mosaic Project – Mittens –  (really do wish I was sewing right now!).

I got his “cheek” put in on the right side.  And tried to show some of the “whiskers” in the fabric pieces I chose.

more design work

Then I spent a couple of days doing some stitching and pressing –

Webbing the sections

The method used is called “webbing”, so you keep your pieces in “order”. (Very useful when you have gone to so much effort to put “just” the right piece of fabric in a particular spot or when you have a square that is so much more than “square”.

One night I decided to sew, and watch Bonnie Hunter QUILT-CAM.  Bonnie was talking on her live video stream about webbing, so I sent her a picture of my “webbed” pieces and of the project.  She showed them on her video stream, and talked about it quite a bit.   If you want to see what she said – check out this You Tube link —   QUILT-CAM Sept 7 – Fast forward to about 58:42.  (Now, dear Mittens, don’t get a big head….)

This is just how far I have gotten as of now – 8 sections stitched together.  I can do another 4 sections before I have to go back to the designing.

8 sections constructed

Life has interrupted though for a bit. – I would really like to get back to this project, but I had to get busy with the quilt guild responsibilities.  Maybe I mentioned I co-chair the Second Time Around Table at Ocean Waves Quilt Guild, Lewes DE?  We “re-purpose” sewing items that members have “cleaned out” of their sewing room.  So, I spent nearly 6 days working with 3 other helpers, ironing, trimming, folding and pricing those donations for our Sept 12th meeting. I packed it all up in the hubby’s SUV the day before the meeting.

20160910_153320

We set this stuff up on tables starting at 8 am; and by 8:50 the members are shopping and finding great bargains.  We sold over $600 worth of items in just over an hour.  Then, following the meeting, I pack up all the leftovers, plus all the “new donations “ and load it “back up” in the SUV.  The new donations get carted upstairs into my sewing room for sorting/folding etc; while the items that have already been priced, stay in their containers on a shelving unit I have, for the next time.  I usually “fill” as many empty containers with donated items, as I sell.  It is really amazing what a little ironing and folding will do! It  takes a lot of time and effort, but is brings great results.

I’ve also had some fun setting up an Inspira Quilting Frame that I am “storing” for my friend Kathi. (Thank goodness for a hubby with a mechanical mind and a VHS video tape that came with it).

20160915_173714

She acquired it from her daughter in law, along with a stitch regulator earlier in the summer.  I spent a couple of days searching high and low for the “right” sewing machine to go along with the stitch regulator.  After my E-bay shopping did not pan out, I wrote to the company who made the stitch regulator, describing what I had, and asking about any other machine types that would work with the stitch regulator.  They gave me the info, and then, they also offered a machine for sale for a great price that was “gently used”. So, this week; the machine arrived.  It is a Janome 1600p; and it is all set up in the Inspira Quilting Frame.  It is a “small system”; with a small throat, but it will be a great starting point and something that I think, I can learn to work with.  I was really motivated when I visited a fellow guild member, Lana, and saw her using a similar set up.  She has been doing amazing work with this type of system, and I am going to try and follow her method for practicing and skill building.  Before I get too excited, I need to order some bobbins, and some spare needles!  I have lots of muslin that I can work with to practice.

Janome 1600 mid arm

Of course, the person who had this machine before only had 5 foot leaders, and silly me, when I set them up I set them all the way to the right. Now I have learned that they need to be centered!  Better new is I have had 2 different people offer me sets of leaders; and I am taking them BOTH up on their offers. The frame is set up in a 10 foot configuration, and the shelf on top where my “clutter” sits, is where you would set the panto’s for the laser light to “follow”.  I managed to get it threaded, and the bobbin thread pulled thru, but that is all I have had time for.  My wonderful sister-in-law sent me great instructions for loading the quilt top/bottom/batting.  She has a Tin Lizzy long arm and lots of experience, so I found her input invaluable.  Maybe once I get some “hours” under my belt with this system, I can “finish” some of those quilt tops I have on hangers!

The other quilt guild I belong to, Helping Hands Quilt Guild, in Dover DE is offering two classes with Bonnie Hunter at the end of the month.  I have pre-washed mountains of blues, reds, and neutral fabrics for the two classes, and have ironed all the red and blue.  3 cans of spray starch later, I still need to get my neutrals done. (My dear hubby did the shopping this week at the warehouse store, and brought me home 8 more cans of Niagara spray starch….talk about love and understanding!!!)   I also have some pre-cutting done for the 2nd class, but not for the first class.

In addition, I have spent two days with my darling littlest granddaughter……

6 months old Addison and Grandma M.

This sweet little one is teething, and Grandma needs to make some bibs that are more “absorbent” than the typical “commercial” bib.  I have spoken with my friend Nancy, who made LOTS for a grandchild and gotten great advice, and a great supply of fun fabrics to supplement my stash.  My daughter favors the “bandanna” shape like she is wearing in the photo with snaps.  I think I will work on some this afternoon following our church service.  Like I said, busy life has interrupted, and Mittens is taking the back seat for a while!    Not much progress, to report……..other than I have had a ton of fun playing on the floor with that sweet little one.  I finally gave her 2 quilts this week.  You might remember Addison’s Quilt  her double bed quilt and the much smaller “play pen sized” courthouse steps scrappy quilt.

Hope you are enjoying beautiful fall weather like we are!

UFO # 1 -Swirly Bird FINISHED

Yippee…..Swirly Bird is finished….Quilted…Hanging sleeve, Binding AND a label!!!  Finished in time to take to the Helping Hands Quilt Guild meeting on Monday night and the Queen Bees gathering today!!  This project is from a class I took at Ocean Waves Quilt Guild in June 2015.  Pattern is by Linda M. Poole.

Making a label for my Swirly bird

Gave my little embroider machine a work out!  Always amazing to see it work out properly. Very time consuming when you have to monitor it as it stitches.  The minute you turn your back is when it wants to get goofy.

Label finished and attached

I used fusible underneath the label to attach to the back of the project.  I promise I will hand stitch the edge of the label down.  (I always use do both).

Susie's Magic Binding Swirly Bird

You can see the echo quilting I did around the applique.  I went through a bobbin plus half of a second bobbin with this Superior 50 wt parchment thread doing the quilting.

Susie's magic binding

My favorite binding method is Susie’s Magic Binding.  Tutorial at 52 quilts in 52 weeks blog  –  The hardest part of this binding is getting a good “join”.

Swirly Bird bound

SWIRLY BIRD is finished!!

Yay !!! 2 finishes in a week!!!  While I was at it, I made the label for my “Crusty Crab” (UFO #2) Crusty Crab Finish   and got it affixed to the back of the project.  I showed them both at the Helping Hands Quilt Guild meeting last night.  Both Bees that I am in are doing UFO challenges; and both Swirly Bird and Crusty Crab were on those lists.  Now I need to empty the contents of the project box, file away the pattern details and “move on”.

Today at the Queen Bees we are making “folded Christmas trees” and I need to get busy and find my background fabric and get those strips cut.  I also want to get a border on that Scrap Happy Challenge Courthouse steps that I did two weeks ago and get it layered and quilted.  It is going in a charity auction at the end of August.  I heard last night that  June’s Quilt is in the mail on the way back to Delaware from California where Carolyn  ( One Block Wonder Woman )kindly long arm quilted it for me, so tomorrow I will get busy at our church sit & sew and prep that binding.  Did I mention already that when I was on a bus trip on Friday, I found more of the green fabric that we used on her borders?  I bought all that was on the bolt – 4 3/8 yard and took it to June last night. She wants to re-do her fabric covered headboard and possible the side chair in her bedroom to match.  All I had left was one piece at 18″ x 100″.

Someday soon I hope to get my Pet Mosaic back on the wall, but first I have to finish quilting the border on Addison’s quilt…..gee whiz I better start a list ! !  (You see what I do to myself!)  (And Bonnie Hunter is coming in 2 months to Helping Hands Quilt Guild in Dover DE, and I want to get those borders done on my Allietare – hey – it was March when I got the top together and I only need those 12″ borders…and I still haven’t found a fabric I love for the border)

How many projects are you working on at once???  (I swear I am not starting anything new, and here I go with the folded Christmas tree……TABLE RUNNER! )

Time to get busy before the Queen Bee’s start buzzing….

Scrap Dance Tango – Step 5 complete and more

I finally got to sew.  After dinner last night, I went out to the sewing room and got busy.  It was nearly 11 pm when I finished, but I have all 142 – 4 patches completed for Step 5 of Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Quilt.  Be sure to check out the instructions by Carole – From My Carolina Home

Scrap Dance Tango Step 5

This month’s “clue” was posted on Friday, May 13th.  I was “just” a little busy with the grandkids. That day we were having a birthday party for a certain little girl and the household was all a-buzz.  We took them to the airport on Saturday morning, and when I got home,  I got to work for a couple of hours, assembling one side of the block.  Carolyn arrived the next day, and we had a FULL calendar.  While she was here, I gave her “exclusive” use of my Janome, and I spent the time while she was sewing putting things away, getting more fabric out for our Pet Mosaic and squaring up 5″ HALF-square triangles for my newest grand daughter’s quilt .

We didn’t have much “at home” sewing time during her visit. She did however, show me her “newest” ruler and block.  There is a bit of a back story first tho…..You see, Gloria Stickney of Sew Fabulous Inc,  Winston-Salem, North Carolina was going to be the guest speaker and teacher at  Helping Hands Quilt Guild in Dover DE while Carolyn was visiting. She was teaching a workshop with the Jodi Barrows Square in a Square ruler.  I had added the workshop on our “things to do” list, but the timing was tight.  Carolyn & I had seen Jodi Barrows demo the ruler at the Houston IQF, so we were familiar with the tool. Then I found this video – Square in a Square overview VIDEO  .  Well, one thing led to another, and before her visit, Carolyn ordered the ruler, and 2 additional books, and brought her blocks with her to work on during the visit.  The books are so well written that it is “easy” to teach yourself, and of course, there is always You-tube to back you up!  We attended the guild meeting and the quilts that Gloria Stickney showed that were all done with the Jodi Barrows “Square in a Square” ruler.  There are so many OPTIONS with the ruler, and every thing is done with strips and squares.  Having seen Carolyn work with hers, I bit the bullet, and purchased my own, along with 2 books.  Now, I have to get busy and play with that tool and see what I can create.  I will let you know when I use it and how it all works out.  (We could not go to the class taught by Gloria, as I had a gathering with my “QUEEN BEES” . )

Also, while Carolyn was here, speaking of busy, we attended 2 “Quilt Bees”.  One was with the Material Girls and the other was with the Queen Bees.  At the Queen Bee’s gathering, we brought our machines, set up and got right to work, building string blocks for charity quilts. And of course, we socialized, and ate, and planned for the coming months, played a fat quarter swapping game.  The Queen Bees really like to get together and work.  We are also lucky in the Queen Bees to have a member who made arrangements with her neighborhood community center for space to work in.  One thing about both Bees is the “planning” ahead for our Fat Quarter swaps!  We have colors selected in both groups through August, and I was able to shop for those FQ on our Fabric Acquisition Road Trip to Lancaster County, PA.

Next in the stack of projects, now that Step 5 is finished, – get more 5″ HST blocks squared up!  I am making a grey, coral, turquoise  and white quilt for my grand daughter Addison.  I picked up a couple more “grey” fabrics and more white during our trip to Lancaster.  I have started  laying out the design of the quilt. (Ok, so she is now 2.5 months old, and she doesn’t have a Stitching Grandma quilt yet, but she hasn’t graduated from college yet…..) Seriously, she will get her quilt before she is ready to exit the crib!!  I have given up sewing days to go cuddle with her, so that is my story, and I am sticking to it. Besides, her mommy said don’t bother with a baby sized quilt, make it a double…for her big bed!  So, I have my marching orders and I am not feeling too guilty for not getting it finished yet.  (I posted about the quilt here – Half Square Triangle fun  )

Today, however, I have a card making class & must gather my materials and come up with a plan for a lovely Birthday card for my friend June.

Happy stitching and crafting!