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42.8 Offset Dresden Flower

August 20, 2018

Since I was working on my watermelon Dresden quilt several years ago, I cut some extra red Dresden petals. They were too short for the length of petals on that project, they were all the same fabric, there wasn’t enough to make a full plate.

They kept finding themselves hanging around my stuff.

See on the right?

I finally decided to make a few more petals to round it out. Red / black combos are some of my favorite. So today some grey petals were born

I would be 2 petals short of the full patten for this alternating design.

I was finding several different fabrics that could center with the Dresden.

After noticing that I could pick some of the petals from the fabrics from the centers of the block, I tried some out.

I have been playing with the centers.

I am imagining the black bias tape as if this was a strange flower. I just had the bias tape out, and now I have put it away, and hid it from myself. So that will be as I found it.

My latest thought on this strange quilt flower, is to not center exactly the circles on the top of the Dresden.

It has been a very fun day, just working through a project from “start” to finish. I need to figure out which of my light backgrounds this should be appliquéd to. I am trying to decide if I am adding more circles nearby.

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42.7 Swinging back in

August 10, 2018

The quilt show was close to a month ago. I still can’t believe how much of an impact it had on my life this year.

The last few weekends, I have made a rather restorative decision to sew at home with any time off I have had. This was to “calm down already” and I feel it was necessary.

First it was a reorganization of my books and patterns. I had the idea to put the shorter size pattern into shorter 3ring binders.

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The patterns regularly are half size normal paper. It is easier to put the regular patterns into short binder. Originally I had them all in 8.5 X 11 sheets. This worked, but was thick and flumpy.

Ones with paper patterns or fabrics are too thick to fit in the shorter binders without bending or tearing, but I managed to get all the patterns put away this way into something viewable and accessible.

The smaller binder seems to be a good option. They are half the size of the regular binder and I found a small box of pages also on amazon. Good idea to save space on the bookshelf, and because it’s more accessible and usable, it will be easier to decide to pick up and actually use. I hope so.

Also shown was my Countdown to Paducah pattern I downloaded free this year. It takes up an entire binder of it’s own. I like the color scheme and sashing on that pattern a lot. Not sure if it is free anymore or not.

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I reorganized my books, my projects in my closet that hadn’t seen the light of day since I moved, and even longer. I found this appliqué project I purchased from a local guild member at a garage sale. Not certain who donated or when.

Lucky me, even though there was fabric from the previous owner of the pattern, I supplemented with some of my own. This was cathartic for me, both the fabric selection and the rest of this pattern. I liked the tracing and the fixing of the heat n bond onto the back, and the cutting out of the fabrics, some of which I did outside overlooking my garden.

I swapped out fabrics a few times. I have one purple flower, one lighter flower, and two bluer flowers.

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Yes the pattern is swapped around, but no one knows that (shh don’t tell), or I don’t frankly care. The pattern is Forget Me Not Stained Glass from a company in Alaska.

It was the first time using the premade bias tape, and this was heavenly to use. So easy to hide any cutting mistakes.

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I currently have it not sewn down as of yet, all ironed up into the basic version of what it will eventually look like. Since I am going to sew it down as quilt as you go, I have yet to get the backing or batting ready, and am considering changing up the borders slightly to how the pattern has it anyway.

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Any event, it’s very lovely on my design wall at the moment.

I hadn’t thought that much about it, but the forget me not applique pattern was the first and only just me, just having nothing to do with other people type of pattern. No responsibilities or tied to anyone else. Aside from how I purchased it.

Also on my design wall is another set of quilt parts I have scavenged this year, working from someone else’s base scraps.

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I am looking forward to making this into another mini quilt for my wall somewhere. This gives the slight renaissance festival vibe, and I have yet to prepare the bottom and top for appliqué onto a base fabric. I like looking at, and thinking about these pre made pieces. I also like the idea of taking another’s design, and co-opting it for my own, and how it might not be the same realm of interpretation as the original idea from the person who I bought the premade scraps from.

Another thing to work on this year is the mystery quilt I have been doing with Charlotte Hawkes group. The main quilt revealed back in April or May. So I guess I can say spoilers ahead, but they are now several months back.

*** spoilers ***

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I have been staring at this pattern for months now. Putting aside this quilt to work on the quilt show. The last few pieces of one of the steps still needed some TLC and finishing.

it wasn’t until this weekend or last the I finally got the smaller sub blocks done.

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I am getting the last touches of the main blocks done that include the sub blocks. I think I ended up counting 24 of these sets today. 6 are done, 18 are somewhere in process.

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My main leader and ender had been my warm color version of my modified rail fence, but in all the rebirth, I decided to pull out some pinwheels and knock out some more 5 inch block stash at the same time. So new pinwheel pieces cut for leaders and enders.

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I am not sure why several stray blocks were pinwheeled backwards, but they were. (not shown below)

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I am currently trying to decide to unpick the backwards ones or not. A few of these were made for some kind of swap with the Twilter podcast loving group that was starting to come together to do things at the time. I am thinking this was done 2010 or 2011 or so. I suppose I wrote a blog post about it some time back.

Maybe I should be soliciting a 5″ square swap of my own. To supplement these blocks.

I do recognize several of these pinwheels as coming out of my own stash, but not all. I must have only traded a couple of the pinwheel blocks, and decided to upsize the quilt on my own. I know originally I was going to sash all them with the harlequin pattern with paper piecing, but I am less sure I want to to that now.

The sashing or block lining would disguise the inconsistencies in pinwheel turning, and would upsize the quilt in general as well. Decisions still to be made here on this quilt.

This takes me up to current time, for the moment.

I am hoping to get back to Free Motion Quilting more soon too. I bought this apparatus, but do not yet have the clamps to be able to make it work to my advantage.

Now I have to prepare again to herd cats with the opportunity quilt for the guild and give another report on Tuesday. I have about half the blocks needed for the quilt as designed. Actually less. Just looking at my notes, I have blocked off one more person that have made blocks than blocks I actually have in my possession.

Blocks for this project due September meeting, so we all have time, but right now out of the 42 blocks I need, I have a total of 13 in my possession. I am already starting to get nervous to get in front of the group about this on Tuesday.

Oh, and after the blocks made, we need to have borders made, and no one else has signed up to help on that yet. I was really hoping some of the alternate blocks would be some cool color other than green. I am gunning for purple personally. For at least a few blocks. But those are the ones I have less of.

I really need to stop all this talking in front of the guild. I don’t think it’s all that good for me and/or my health. Maybe next year??? Once the quilt is made.

But I also have to report in on my part of the guild show. Which went really well. Still sorta mad I didn’t get all the pictures I had wanted. I am sure there are some other fantastic quilts there I missed.

Two days before more “public speaking”. Sigh.

Later!

 

 

 

 

 

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42.6 Whirlwind spring before whirlwind local quilt show

July 10, 2018

I have been more on a board game and video game kick as of late, so my sewing has been limited in scope this year. Not to mention time spent in my garden which is finally now paying off pretty well with pretty flowers, landscaped border and a few herbs, tall tomato plants, tall pepper plants, and a cucumber plant.

I decided to put myself in charge of quilt drop off and pick up, creating, distributing, collecting new quilt forms for all the quilts hanging in the show, organizing the quilt rack layout, and hanging the quilts for the local quilt show.

This responsibility has caused much panic on my end, I have had to get up and speak in front of the guild every single guild meeting. Sometimes, the panic has been because I have been less prepared beforehand. In addition to panicking about panicking about the whole thing. Don’t ask. I am not sure exactly myself.

The show was just over a week ago, and I feel like I have prepared for, and just ran, a marathon. Or half. At least half, right?

Luckily, the show is every other year. Next year, we only need to work for the much larger regional festival. Which is its own time commitment.

The local show, quilt wise, is set up like this. We only have 3 categories, a small, medium, and large quilt category. No juries, no voting, everyone usually gets their quilts into the show without issue. Sometimes we are bargaining with people to please put in quilts into the show at the last minute because we don’t have as many entries as we would want.

We also have a featured quilter, someone who has a large body of work who will display many of their quilts from years past. Usually they get their own section, and tell their quilt story.

The last two shows we have added a challenge quilt section, where we make something with specific parameters. This current challenge was the theme “summertime” and the dominant and secondary colors are blue and red (can you tell?) with one side of 16″.

For the show itself, we have no judges, but the most liked three in our three categories get a viewer’s choice award.

As for the quilts of my own, I always intend to take pictures of all the quilts, but less confident that I did this year with everything going on. I can’t find pictures of two of my quilts.

Which is sad because it means I may have forgotten to get pictures of an entire row of quilts. Which is my original job, to be the unofficial guild historian.

 

 

My challenge quilt was this one. Based from a 2017 BOM called Caught Ya from Craftsy. It’s called Red Rattle Traps and it for certain means summer to me. I poked myself hard one one of those fishing hooks, so before the show I hot glued the ends. Rather than fish, they are supposed to be lures to catch fish.

We also had a charity portion of the show. We set up a boutique and proceeds go to two local sources.

There was talk of manning the booth for a local festival for the leftover pieces from the boutique to further help the charities involved.

I did not get a picture of the guild garage sale during the show. Our guild typically does not swap fabric pieces throughout the year, so it falls on the local garage sale for our quilters to purge their currently unused stash.

Well, after a full strange week at work after the show, I was glad to finally have a weekend of low responsibility for once. Finally, finally, finally. Hopefully I remembered to get all my stuff done for the show, i took copious notes before-hand and more afterwards about what worked and what didn’t.

It’s hard to work so hard in the middle (early) July when it’s brutally hot.

Next time (2020) I don’t know if I will be blessed to be able to take the whole week off because of the weekend of the show might more readily align with the 4th of July weekend. For my role, it was essential that I do so to be able to get everything done and to try to mitigate stress as much as possible.

Once I knew the quilts were hung, my stress level went way way down because then, I just had to show up and help during other portions of the show, and not make too many decisions.

There was a funny time where for 2-3 hours we didn’t know where one light switch was. Which caused a whole row of quilts to be hung in the dark (mostly) during that time. Which was too bad because that was where our mini quilts were hanging. Later, the light was not an issue and now I have notes on how to do it for next time too!

 

 

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42.5 Trimming up the last week of March A Long

March 23, 2018

It’s been a sorta boring month during the March A Long. I have been dutily trimming up these leftover squares every morning all month long.

I never knew that I had so many pieces to trim!

It’s been fun motivating myself to get to work as of late. I am glad I am finally taking care of this!

But, you guys, I came up with a cool round for the medallion quilt I am working on! So this is incredibly motivating me further. A little bit of YouTube video in the morning, a timer, and enough timevto squeeze in 12 + minutes before work, and some times the full 15. I even have been trimming when I get home if I felt like I was shorting myself out.

 

All the grey and orange pieces shown have been trimmed during the month of March. Plus another 96 pieces of other orange pieces not shown here.

Calculating all the pieces, I have trimmed since March:

The grey / grey border pieces are 6 X 9 X 4 pieces (one side not pictures for sewing purposes), or 216

The middle orange pieces are 7 X 4 or 28

The orange pieces on the side are 33 + 1 miscut piece

The grey / grey pieces 2.25 inches are 77

The grey /grey pieces that were sewn too small measuring 2 inches are 35

The original orange pieces not shown here are 96 I believe.

So, if I do my math right, I have trimmed up during the 15 minutes of sewing in March: (drumroll please)

 

486

 

Wow! That’s a lot of trimming, about 500 pieces trimmed up in March! Dang! This doesn’t include the light grey pieces I cut up to go with the half square triangle pieces.

Now to go through the task of sewing these pieces together. Maybe I will work on that this afternoon. See what motivation can be found in getting a large task off your back if done in really really small chunks! This was (mostly) with all “found time” that I wouldn’t have been sewing — okay I admit to probably doing a little more on the weekends, but dang! That’s a lot of trimming up!

What have you been doing in March A Long? Have YOU been doing the 15 minutes of sewing? Can you get a monkey off your back as well and work out something you keep putting off and putting off and putting off just like I have?

Or can you accelerate your thinking about your own quilting project even more than you already have?!

Thanks so much for playing along guys! I am very proud if you do for 1 day or for all 31!

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42.4 Pi Day in March A Long 2018

March 14, 2018

I finally have time to sit and write a blog post. The sun is finally shining for the second day in a row, the weather is nice, and it is 3-14 otherwise known as 3.14 or pi day as of late (American date style, I guess).

For March A Long, (or is it March-A-Long or is it March Along?) we are encouraging each other to sew for 15 minutes every day!

Anyway, I am so excited for the many people who are joining in sewing for 15 minutes every day, or at least trying to! When I first put up the post, I got a quick comment about how someone couldn’t make themselves ONLY do 15 minutes a day!

That’s super inspiring!!! Super unrealistic for me personally, but I am so stoked that I have at least one person I know that sews for more than that every day!! Probably more than that one person, in actuality.

I have heard more than one person who started setting up their 15 minutes and then kept going a little bit for several days in a row!

You are all inspiring! Check out by doing a quick search of the word #marchalong or #sqmarchalong on your favorite social media sites, and see what everyone else is up to!

For my part of doing March A Long, I have gave myself a rather boring and uninspiring task.

Trimming.

The little grey pieces in the picture on the design wall. Yeah, I’ve been trimming those up to something resembling square.

I decided to go with 2.25 each half square triangle. The most interesting I first thought to do was to put them on my wall like the picture above.

But then because I started working more on trimming the dark parts, I started putting them up in the design and I like this idea better than just plain diamonds.

So now I am going to try to make this work for a round on my medallion quilt.

Earlier last month I was attending a quilting retreat and all these yellow and orange squares I was making for a mystery quilt (Charlotte Hawkes Quilts) I am working on and I had to show off my matchy-matchy colored snacky.

This was the set of blocks I made too big because I didn’t follow the directions. But No Pie here.

Last fall I attended a retreat and put together a pie quilt of watermelon pie. Well Not exactly, but if you squint or don’t think about it too much, this Dresden quilt can be considered to be made of pie with the coloration of watermelon (my inspiration)

Which is actually the only pi I got right now.

Last night I gave a “short presentation aka update” on the guild opportunity quilt which I have designed, and I showed them that I wrote the pattern a second time for these blocks I made last fall.

It was the first time that several of the guild members received the instructions. I don’t know what about it made me so nervous about it.

Did I share that I had so many water melon pie pieces left that I have enough pie for a whole other quilt?

I hope this update is much more exciting than just a small bunch of triangle blocks, which has been the true and real update of what’s been happening in my sewing room since the last time I posted at the beginning of March!

Anyway, I am inspired to keep on sewing! Here’s looking forward to another half of the month that we can get our 15 minutes in every day! #marchalong

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42.3 Are you ready for March-A-Long?

February 28, 2018

Are you ready for March-A-Long?

Wait! I am not! Not really. We will make do this first few days this month.

Every year I like to “host” a month (March) where we encourage each other to sew for 15 minutes a day! This includes the weekdays, which I am terrible at sewing.

Somehow every year February gets shorter.

This year something grinded into the normally “well oiled gears” (aka something dramatic happened in personal life) and made this year even less prepared than ever to host March A Long.

No Pictures. Well maybe this one.

Something happened to the font size when I went to save it and I can’t understand what or why to fix it. New to me “graphics program”. (art originally done by my friend LynAnne in the background)

Anyway, if we want to encourage each other to sew for 15 minutes a day each day in march we can do so by using the hashtag: #marchalong in posts.

If people get creative and share, I can share back what others are doing.

I am not picky on what we call sewing for 15 minutes a day. While actual sewing is nice, sewing in the mind (planning/designing/looking on pintrest etc) will all count as well as the essential tasks of fabric shopping, cutting, tracing patterns.

I am not yet sure what I am going to do for March 1st (tomorrow as I type this), but I will come up with something. I may get my blocks out on my design wall and start planning out the wedges I have to make for my tilted blocks.

Or I could spend 15 minutes towards cutting down my dog-ears on my latest project.

I do have lots to share, and I may have to jump ahead a few months just to be more current and then double-back to catch up on sewing projects. I don’t understand why I make this blog posting thing so hard sometimes.

Talk to you more the next few weeks for sure!

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42.2 Making Lanyards for the Guild Show

November 24, 2017

We decided to change the way we were doing our charity project for our upcoming guild show in 2018. We used to make a quilt (or other) and put it up for silent auction to be given to the highest bidder at the end of the show. Instead we are going to make things to “buy it now” – to borrow a phrase from ebay.

Somehow, this flipped a switch in my brain to say – make boutique like items.

Also my old lanyard was starting to look gunky after several years of use, and I decided to make myself some lanyards, at least one for me, and the rest I can make for the guild for the charity portion of the show.

In the meantime, last June, at the Kansas City show, I saw the vendor Project Lydia. I had seen them before.

They are a group of ladies who make colored beads out of very thin strips (triangles) of magazine paper, and then string them into bracelets and necklaces.

From their website:

Project Lydia is an economic development project that lifts women out of the worst of poverty, restores purpose, hope, and dignity. All our paper beaded necklaces, bracelets and jewelry are made out of recycled material.

And I have put my necklace I purchased from them as my own lanyard for the time being. Sorry for the poor quality picture.

I’ll take you through how I am making these lanyards if you decide to make one of your own. I like the Project Lydia piece, but as it is beads and I use this daily, I have had a poor experience where I had a handmade beaded necklace break in the middle of the hallway when using my badge.

Next to the beaded lanyard is a strip. I start my strips for my new lanyards as 2″.

I then fold towards the middle twice. Actually one fold in the middle.

Open the strip up again, and refold to the new middle line that is just pressed in.

I then take some sort of stabilizer. I already had this with the lines on it for a project long ago abandoned.

I cut just under an inch, about 1/8 inch less than an inch, so that would make it 7/8″.

And I slip it into the middle of the opened up strip, trim it up.

I don’t honestly know exactly how necessary it is for the stabilizer. I have chosen batik fabrics for my lanyards as a good chance for the ends not to unravel.

The next part of this, I fold everything back up, press it again and sew it down. Don’t worry, I forgot to take a picture of this part so I decided to slip it under the presser foot so you could see.

And most of my lanyards are at this stage right now!

The next part of this is the tricky bit that gets rid of the cut edges from being exposed.

I unloosen some of the end stitches on each side, and open up the lanyard about half an inch. I decided to reach in with my scissors and cut just a small wedge on ONLY the inside piece.

Repeat on the other side.

I then decided to notch the front folds just a little bit to help reduce the bulk here.

Then, we turn inside out the very end tip, pushing from the back side, and then using fingers to press this all down. A spritz of water helps with this process. If you see below, there is a fold towards the inside of the very little section (maybe a fourth of an inch) of the end piece.

Definitely fiddle with this to get it flat and then sew down the edges.

How they go with the lanyard pieces.

The reason I start with 2 inch strip is that my lanyards have about a 3/4″ flat space. I purchased them on Etsy about 5 or 6 years ago. This size of strip lays flat exactly with this size of lanyard piece.

For the folding of the lanyard, I chose the best looking side to go through the lanyard piece.

Then next to the back side of the lanyard – OUTSIDE the lanyard, I place the other side, making sure the lanyard is flat all the way through the fabric portion. This is folded back toward the main part of the fabric.

The first piece is now folded over to match the previously folded piece.

Be sure to give yourself a large enough “tail” here. You want to be able to have enough space for your presser foot to be able to reach on both pieces of fabric and also NOT hit the metal portion of the lanyard.

Sew many times back and forth as this is going to have a lot of strength on it. Make sure you sew or correct the last part of the tail that was previously un-stitched by one of the previous steps. For the one in my tutorial, I made the full length of the lanyard a “little bit longer” than I normally like.

Here’s the end stitching.

This shows how it looks from the side.

I should have cut this down a little more. This was done at width of fabric from the original piece, so it started as a 40-42″piece. If I had wanted a shorter one, I would have cut it before folding in the ends. I can work with this long of lanyard just fine. I just hope someone else will like this length too.

Since most of the rest of my lanyards haven’t turned in the sides, I can rectify this for the future pieces. I think we need to get this to the proper length, also taking into account that there will be about 3-4 inches taken up by the bottom section folded over.