Sunday, February 27, 2011

Conflicts of Interests

Last March, I attended the local quilt guild show and my goal was to enter a small quilt in the show this year. Another annual event has claimed priority on my calendar, though. I am headed East on Friday, for a visit with Ms A. She and I are meeting in Pennsylvania for the Philadelphia Flower Show. Our hostess will be niece K, who originally turned us on to this wonderment of floral excess several years ago.

I am sorry that I will miss the quilt show. But, since the formation of the Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild, (of which I am proud to say I am a 'founding member'), I have more opportunity to see fabulous quilts during our 'show and tell'. And there is the added advantage of having the quilt maker in the room to tell more about it than just reading a show tag.

I have so many ideas and projects on my list! This weekend, I really had to have a talk with myself and commit to some finishes before starting anything else. And by 'starting', I mean actually cutting fabric. I have already been playing around with some patterns using a couple of charm packs that found their way into my stash!

Dearest Sister says she is about to finish up the quilt collaboration for Grandbebe T. She will be needing these blocks that I started last summer along with the other nine. I am glad to report that I finally finished them today!

This is Mother on her Goose. I have stitched this motif several times and I think it has lots of charm!

At first I was a bit puzzled as to why Tom is wearing a skirt, but then I figured out that if his dad is a piper, he is probably a Scotsman, so the skirt is really a kilt.

I hope the red knots will not show as much in the finished project. These flour sacks are not as thick as others that I have used, but the rest of my 'sack stash' is many miles away, so I used what I have.

And this is Mary and her Lamb on the way to school.

The rest are in my Flikr stream here. You can see the fabrics Dsis will putting with these blocks here.

Since we are having another wedding in the family, this year, I am thinking that we may have need for the makings of another baby quilt before too long. I am debating whether to try something we haven't done before, or re-using some motifs from an earlier quilt (in different colors and fabrics, of course).

I may just stamp up some squares for a travel project to take with me next weekend. I will have to commit to a color, if I do.

I am thinking that you can never go wrong with redwork!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Cutting and Sewing...

...was my plan for today. I have been collecting fabric with the idea in mind to make a "Paintbox Quilt" inspired by this one. I have been faithfully watching and taking advantage of the sales on Kona Solids (and using my fabric store coupons). At this point, I have collected over 40 different colors. And I have pretty much memorized what colors are available at which store...

These are the solids paired with a corresponding print.
The matching up of pairs is still a work in progress and I have about 6 or 7 solids that I haven't put with a print, so there may still be some mixing and matching.

Because I am not working from pre-cut strips, I worked out what sizes I needed in what length and set about cutting the fabric for the first few blocks. After I had cut the fabric for the first two coordinating blocks, I realized that it would be more forgiving if I cut the strip pieces a little bit long and trimmed them after sewing them together. So, the subsequent strips were left the width of fabric.

After I cut the fabric for four pairs of blocks, I decided to sew them together before cutting more fabric, just to stay a bit more organized. After about an hour, I had one block complete. Not even on pair. Just one block.

I think I picked out every seam at least once on the first block. And re-cut the strips. It did not register when I was reading the instructions, that the solid pieces were to be more narrow than the prints. At least cutting them too wide is easier to fix than cutting them too narrow!

I finally finished the first block, but even after measuring the seams after I sewed each one, and re-doing the ones that were too wide, the block turned out a bit shy of the 6.5 inches that it should have been.

I am going to start fresh tomorrow and try leaving the strips for the outer pieces of each block a little wider, then cut them down to proper size.

Tomorrow is the Daytona 500. The Mister has been looking forward to the start of racing season for weeks. And 500 miles gives me a lot of time to sew!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Finally, a Quilty Finish!

Some weeks ago, I saw a flyer advertising an organizing meeting of the Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild. Although I am a girl that loves vintage fabric and traditional quilts, it seems to me that the modern quilt designs are not quite as exacting as the traditional quilts. And more suited to my skill level at this time.

I went to the meeting at the lqs and there was a very cool mix of women of diverse backgrounds, ages and experience. We talked a little about the business of starting a local 'chapter' of the Modern Quilt Guild, and got to know a bit about each other.

One of our group volunteered to do a demo at our next meeting of a wonky block and we decided to do a Mug Rug Swap.

When I heard 'mug rug', I immediately had a flashback to 1985 and some coasters made of plastic canvas and polyester yarn in dusty pink, that outlasted their charm by many years due to the fact that they were made by a lost sister. Today's mug rugs are different, it seems.

Big enough to hold a beverage and a snack, they are more of a small placemat, than a coaster. Six inches by nine inches was the recommendation and mine is just a bit larger by half an inch.

The yellow and green are Kona solids and the embroidery designs are from "Sublime Stitching", Jenny Hart's first book. (I put the initials "LVMQG" on the tea bag tag, but the quilting made it a bit hard to see.)
This is the back, a fussy-cut piece from a fat quarter from the same stack that most of the other fabrics came from. It's a Moda design called Hideaway.

This is the first quilted project that I have finished completely. First machine quilting and first binding.

The quilting went very smoothly, although I assumed symmetry in the new walking foot that I was trying for the first time. I stitched from the top down, then from the bottom up and notice after a few rows that the distance between rows was not the same. So, (and this is what I love about modern quilting!) I just varied the distance between the rows some more, so they were not a consistent 'thick and thin'. And of course, there are other inconsistencies, but overall, I think it turned out well.

I did a pieced binding, mainly because I had cut a bunch of small pieces that I didn't use and didn't want to waste. Also, I thought that a pieced binding would camouflage my errors a bit. A wider binding would have allowed me to stitch it down with the machine. I ended up finishing it by hand, which took no time, since it was such a small project.

Our next meeting is more than a week away, so I am also giving myself 'points' for not waiting until the last minute!

I suppose it was only a matter of time until I took over the 'livingdiningofficegymfamily' room for sewing. Oh - and the kitchen for ironing. I don't feel too badly, though. The Mister finally has a shop where he can work on cars. It is a storage place about a mile away, so not as convenient as in the back yard, but it is bigger that the garage we used to have, so he is able to spread out and see what he has and where.

We are both back to our favorite hobbies! (and trying to keep the other in the dark about how much we spend on 'parts'!)