Sunday, March 27, 2011

Stars of Valor Blocks

I am taking these blocks to the Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild meeting on Thursday to be sent with other blocks to Moda Fabrics as part of their "Just One Star" project. You can read more about it and how to join in here.

They are shown hanging from my sock 'chandelier'. A laundry day 'must have' for small spaces and wool socks!

I am not sure why, but I am having difficulty taking sharp photos these days, so you can't tell that one of the reds is a tiny stripe and the other is a tiny dot pattern. The blue has little swirls and tiny gold dots that kind of remind me of a starry night. (Kind of a star in a star thing.)

It was a good exercise for me to follow the instructions for cutting and piecing. I think that I finally have gotten the hang of a consistent seam allowance, as all three blocks turned out the same size. The star points are not all perfect, but there is really no overt wonky-ness!

I didn't have very much cream 'tone on tone', just a couple of small pieces from a scrap bag that I got at the lqs. I supplemented with Kona 'bone' for the large triangles.

I also finished up my name tag for the meeting this week. I am not thrilled at the result. It looks a bit like a coaster on a string, since I made it to hang around my neck. It is essentially a very tiny quilt and pretty stiff since I got carried away with the quilting. Another good learning experience, though. I think I will make another and use the first one for a luggage tag on my sewing machine case.

I am looking forward to the guild meeting this week. It is so inspiring to see what everyone else is working on!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

National Quilting Day & Disappearing Nine Patch

This weekend marks the beginning of Spring, as well as National Quilting Day.

The first day of Spring was not very exciting, as we are having cloudy cool days, but with lots of pollen. So all of the parts that we do not like and not any of the perks, so far.

National Quilting Day was Saturday, and I did take the opportunity to work on a project that I began a week or so ago. I was going to post 'in progress', but I was frustrated by the computer file organization in our new Mac Mini. I was successful loading the photos today, so you will see several days of progress condensed herein:

Hideaway Charm squares sewn into six 9-patches. (on my 'design bed') I supplemented with a charm pack of solids and some other hideaway scraps that I had from another project.

I had picked up several charm packs from the lqs some weeks back with a 30% off coupon. I have said before that the price per yard of the pre-cuts of off-putting to me, but with the discount, somehow it made more sense. I was at a bit of a loss as to what to do with them, though, when I came across a tutorial to put them together as a 'disappearing nine-patch'.
The sub-cut blocks laid out on the bed.

After the 5" charms are sewn together into a nine patch, the resulting 14" blocks are cut down the middle vertically and horizontally, which results in four, 7" blocks. At this point, it would be a very small quilt, about 28"x 42", even though I added the extra fabric to make more 9 patches.

These are the first blocks that I have stitched on my Featherweight and I am still finding my way to a "scant 1/4" seam". When I started cutting the 9 patches, I realized that my blocks had quite a bit of variance in size. So, I added borders...

With chartreuse borders.

Adding borders allowed me to cut them down to a consistent size, however, I did come to realize that my choice of chartreuse, was maybe not the best. In my defense, I did take the blocks with me to the store to choose a color and it looked fine in the artificial lighting of the fabric store and the dim lighting of my sewing area....

In the light of day, I am thinking something else may have been a better choice. So often, I default to a light neutral and I was trying to stretch my color sense...

I am going to add a couple of borders to see if it softens it a bit. I don't think it will be an heirloom quilt, but it has been a useful learning project. I sewed up another charm pack and I think I did much better at gauging the seam allowance with the second group.

This will be my first attempt at machine quilting. At least I don't have to worry about ruining a beautiful quilt with amateurish quilting!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Convergence of Interests

A micro car at a flower show! The planets have aligned to combined two of my favorites -tiny cars and spring flowers!

An NSU Prinz surrounded by spring blooms at the Philadelphia International Flower Show.

What a great day!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild

At the second meeting at the Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild, we had a mug rug swap. (I showed off mine here) Everyone who made one drew a number out of a cup. I drew number two, so I picked second.
And, this is what I picked!

No surprise, the red and white one called my name! This one was made by a very experienced quilter, so all the points point to where they were intended to point.

We had a great time and in my enthusiasm, I volunteered to be an officer of the club. Vice President, I think, but maybe still to be determined, as there were a couple of positions 'open'.

Maybe now that I have an 'official capacity' I can convince The Mister that I need use my vacations to travel around the country visiting other chapters of The Modern Quilt Guild. You know, as a mission of good will...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

It's all about the accessories...

So, I am headed off to a photo opportunity extravaganza at the Philadelphia International Flower Show in four days! Last year, we made fun of Dsis's attempts at artsy f@rtsy photo taking, but secretly I was jealous that she knows how to use other settings than 'automatic'. I know one other setting - "no flash"- but that rarely turns out a good photo.

I decided that if I can't take professional photos, maybe I could look good taking them...

While I really want one of these stylish bags, I decided that it would be more prudent to go for a bit less flash and save the cash! (at least until my birthday...)

Next best - a new camera strap cover!

I picked up these fabrics from the remnant bin at Joann's. Not prints that I normally am drawn too, but they are some of the higher quality cottons that Joann's carries. The combination of their lovely hand and lovelier price made them 'must haves' and I think they were just right for this project.

The tutorial was a kind of a mish-mash of several that I found on Tipnut, but mostly from this one.

It was one of those projects that would be much easier the second try, but who really needs two camera strap covers?

Maybe I will make one to match my outfit for the summer wedding that required an updated passport!