Monday, January 30, 2012

Heart Strings Table Mat

This is my heart strings table mat that I made from some of my 3" string blocks as part of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge at Soscrappy blog.  The color for January is red, and it will finish at 18".

First I drew the design in EQ5.

I have a great red and white stripe fabric to make bias binding.

I started to machine quilt using a paisley heart design.    I was having a great time quilting when.......

the cutting mat that always sits next to my machine somehow ended up underneath the quilt and then underneath the presser foot.   The machine stopped suddenly, and it nearly took a pair of pliers to remove the sewing machine needle from the quilt because it was stuck in the cutting mat.  You can see where the needle pierced the mat in the photo below.  My machine wouldn't sew again after that even though I changed needles, bobbins and thread three different times and worked on it for quite awhile.

So on Saturday instead of finishing the quilting and binding on this project, I took my machine to the quilt shop to be picked up by the repairman.  The repairman picks up machines to be cleaned and repaired on Mondays, but he is on vacation this next week.  So he won't even get my machine until a week from Monday.  He will have it for a week after that unless he has to order parts, and then it will be longer.

I still have my Featherweight so I can piece but finishing UFOs will have to wait for awhile.

While I was at the quilt shop, I picked up a few things to console myself.

I hope you are finding some time to stitch today and that your machine is in good working order.  It is probably a good idea to take it in for a cleaning and check up when you are on vacation or when you have a hand project to work on.

Next time I'll post a string block tutorial for the two color blocks and show you how I chain piece string blocks.   I will also show you a string block alternative so you can make the heart table mat without doing string blocks.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!
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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Hexagon Flowers

I am trying to get back into some of the things in blogland that I was part of last year because I think it helps to keep motivated on some of those long term projects that I've started.

One of those things is One Flower Wednesday sponsored by Karen at Journey of a Quilter blog.  Karen keeps a sign up sheet for those of us that are working on long term hexagon projects.  I've started hexagons in several different "flavors".  Here are the ones that I just finished:

These are some that I made from an older Civil War line called Cocheco...probably from around 2000.

This is a hexagon project that I would like to make but can't quite decide which fabrics to use.  This quilt is from Quiltmania magazine.


Also sometime last year I signed up for a Hexagon Charm Quilt piece along at Texas Freckles blog.  Here is the link to the Flickr group.  There is lots of inspiration here.

So for now I'll just keep making hexagons until I decide on a project.   I hope you are finding some time to do some stitching today.

Thanks for stopping by!!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Scrappy Saturday String Blocks

I'm joining the Rainbow Scrap Challenge over at Soscrappy blog again this year.  Last year I got in over my head and tried to make an entire quilt top a couple of the months during the challenge.  So instead I've decided to just make a few blocks each month this time. 

I love making string blocks, and after making part of the string blocks for the Orca Bay Mystery quilt I made these red string blocks that will finish at 3 inches.  I'm not sure what I'll do with them, but I love the way they look in all of the Orca Bay quilts I've seen.

See the links to other rainbow scrap challenge projects at Soscrappy blog

I hope you are finding some time to stitch today.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Orca Bay Design Wall

I'm a little late (really quite a lot), but I've started the Bonnie Hunter Orca Bay mystery quilt.  I've changed the colors and substituted yellows and golds for the red that Bonnie used in her quilt.  

I'm glad that I took photos of the blocks, because from far away the blue block in the bottom right and the one in the far upper right (photo above) doesn't have the striped look that the rest have so I'll probably change them.  I love making string blocks, but I think I'm going to go back and start with step 1 and continue the mystery steps in order.

So much for not starting any new projects in the New Year.  That lasted almost 2 weeks unless you count the little houses from Building Houses from Scraps that I posted earlier. 

Visit Judy's blog to see what others have on their design walls today.

I hope that you're finding some time to stitch today.  

Thanks to my followers and readers.  I haven't posted for awhile because I've been having some internet problems this week.  I appreciate you stopping by for a visit. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Retreat Gifts

I am so excited that I have some Cath Kidston!!!!   While we were at the Dear Jane retreat in Shipshewana, IN, last November, Fiona from Country Threads blog brought these gifts to me.  She has been fortunate enough to be able to attend the last 8 fall retreats.  It is always nice to spend time visiting with her.  She does beautiful applique' and loves Baltimore Album quilts and 18th century quilts.  She has some beautiful photos on her blog from the DAR Museum.

I love this tote bag, and the egg is a Cath that holds fragrant soap.  The fabric is African.  I'm saving it for a special project.

Fiona brought this pincushion to me last year.  I keep it sitting here on the table by my chair.  It is one of my favorite quilting tools.  And I stick my pins on the back side so as not to stick them in the flag.

This gorgeous stack of Kaffe fabrics came from Vicki who lives in Minnesota.  She also brought me this coin purse made from juice boxes.  Vicki and I usually sit together at the retreats because....well we talk a lot, hardly sleep at all, and occasionally we break out in song.  We do sew sometimes, too. 

Each of us at the retreat received some of the new Dear Jane fabric line.  When we signed up for the retreat, we were asked to tell how many retreats we had attended.  This last retreat was number 20 for me, so there is one fat quarter in my stack for each of those 20 retreats. 
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This is an older draft of a post that I forgot to publish.   You are probably worn out hearing about the Dear Jane retreat and Shipshewana.  Many of us only see each other there twice a year, but in many ways we are like family and have become good friends.   I look forward to spending time with these ladies each and every retreat. 

Thanks for stopping by.

I hope you are finding some time to stitch! 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Round Robin 2011

I wrote this post earlier and then didn't publish.  I was in a round robin in 2011. Here are the photos of the round robin quilts for 2011 that I worked on in the order that I worked on them.  I know the ladies in this round robin through Dear Jane groups either locally or at the retreat up in Shipshewana.

We had until February 1 to make a center, gather our fabrics, and mail to the next person on the list.  As the year progressed and the rounds became larger, we had more time to work on the rounds.  Then we exchanged our quilts at the Dear Jane retreat at Shipshewana in November.

This one belongs to Nancy Z.  Her center is a likeness of the five of us that  worked on her quilt.  I'm the one dressed in green.  :-)

Next is Claire's quilt.  I really like the snail's trail blocks as an outside border.

This one belongs to Edith.  She used the Marie Webster fabrics. 

This one is Nancy K's.  I love the dresden center, so I put the smaller dresdens in my round.

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This one is Vicki's.  She is known as the Cheddar Queen and loves cheddar and red together.

This one is mine.  I used mostly Moda's Fresh Flowers line with a few other fabrics from my stash mixed in. 

Here's a closer photo of my center block. 

I am sitting out for this year, but I have really enjoyed the last couple of years sewing with these talented ladies.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit.

I hope you are stitching today! 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Houses Built from My Scraps

Have you seen all of the little 3 inch house blocks that are showing up on blogs everywhere?  This project is called  Building Houses from Scraps and you can follow the link to read about it and to download your own free pattern for this little house block.  This was all started by Jeanneke, and you can check out her blog at the link. 

The plan for this project is to make one of these houses every day this year, and you will have enough to make a quilt by the end of the year.

Here is my first house.   This really is a great way to use up your scraps.

I had a lot of fun looking through my scraps to find something to put in the windows of the houses.

I made one in all red fabrics. 

Or you could just sew one house a week and make a wall hanging. 

I drew the pattern in Electric Quilt and paper pieced these first houses. 

Whenever you print the pattern from the Building Houses From Scraps blog,
if your printout is like mine, it will measure just short of 3 inches.  There is a setting in EQ where you can change the setting from inches to centimeters.  Then you can draw the house, change back to inches, and then print it out.

By paper piecing you end up with a couple of extra seams on the background.  I plan to try hand piecing the next few houses.

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I hope you are all finding some time to stitch today.

Thanks for visiting! 

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