Monday, January 14, 2013

Design Wall Monday

I've got to get back in the routine of posting and I think today's Design Wall Monday is just the way to do that.

I have my Zen Garden with the white background up right now. Here are 11 blocks completely done, and I have the other 9 ready for the side strips. I'm using a jelly roll called Ticklish by Me & My Sister for Moda and I think it is so fresh and fun!

I really like this pattern. It's by Little Louise Designs and I'm also making it with a dark background. The really cool thing about the quilt is that since it only it takes 20 strips 2 1/2" x width of fabric (half a jelly roll), I can make both quilts and only have to come up with background fabrics. YEAH!!  This is the second of her patterns that I've made (Gateway to Paradise was the first), and it also only used half a jelly roll.  I have a couple other patterns by Little Louise Designs that I'm going to make, so be on the look out for them soon! I think these will make great classes. That's what Zen Garden is for so I better get busy and get it (them) done.  :-)
I have a couple of table runners that are not technically on the design wall, but since I made them today and they are ready to be quilted, I'm lumping them in with today's design wall post. These are made using the Easy Striped Table Runner pattern that I've mentioned before. Super simple, and super cute!
Click here to see a picture of a couple of other table runners I've done using this pattern. I made at least five of these table runners in November and I think I forgot to take pictures of most of them. Darn! I do have this one and I really like it. I think there is one more at Country Fabrics because it was hung up for display to advertise my class. I think I should check and see if it is still there. 
To check out what other quilter have up on their design walls today, go to
Judy L's Patchwork Times.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Progress, Continued

I finally figured out a way to post pictures again, but it's not the way I normally do it. This is probably better and easier in the long run, but sometimes I'm slow when it comes to change.

As I said in a previous post, I've been a busy quilter the last couple of days and have decided to get a jump on some of those UFOs that are hanging around here. Since I still have to make class samples, and there is always a new project that just begs to be made, I will not be working exclusively on UFOs, but I do plan to put a real dent in the Tub of Shame.

After completing the Radiant Rainbows top, I decided to make a Simply a Pleasure table runner. I'm planning to offer this as a class during the next series and I usually like to make a couple of samples so I am very familiar with the pattern. I haven't made the placemats yet, but I will. I'll probably make another set soon, because I really like to have a couple of very different "looks." This helps potential students visualize the pattern in different colorways, etc. This version is very similar to the pattern cover, but I'm thinking of making another one in red, white and blue.

After the table runner was done (it was very quick, although I still need to quilt it) I went back to the Tub of Shame and pulled out this kids UFO. I just need to add borders and then it too is ready for quilting.

Well, I decided on the borders and they are on. Check out the picture below. I even have the binding ready! Now to just get that backing ready...


I can't upload pictures! ARRRGGGGG!!!

I tried last night and it didn't work so I thought I'd try again this morning. NOTHING!

I can get to the pop-up box where I'm supposed to be able to upload pictures, and it says that I can upload jpeg, gif, and png files, but there is no little browse files box . So I can't figure out how to upload pictures from my computer. Along the side, it says I can upload from the blog, my phone, a picasa web album, a webcam or a URL, but nothing is listed for my computer.

I really don't like feeling so technologically challenged!

I hope to figure this out soon and be back on track. I have some good pictures to post!

Thursday, January 3, 2013


The Jelly Jive binding was finished on New Year's Day but I'm counting that as a 2012 finish. It really only needed one side hand stitched down and I don't think it would be right to call it a UFO finish for 2013. So that means my 2012 new quilts done, done and done total was 22 and I'm really happy with that!

When I look at the thumbnail picture of this quilt, it think it looks like some sort of medical scan picture but when I look at in in person, it reminds me of Morse code. Since Jack and I are both ham radio operators, I thought it would be fun to make one of these with a message to him, so I sat down and sketched out my message in dots and dashes and started pulling fabric for it. Ok, I know I just signed up for Cut to Pieces Project UFO 2.0, but I figure that I can start (and hopefully finish) some new quilts as long as I'm working on UFOs too.
Anyway, when I put the finished quilt on the wall to photograph, Jack said it looked like code and wouldn't it be fun to make a quilt that says something like "Samuel Morse lives on!" I couldn't believe it! Really, he was thinking along the same lines as me only my message was going to be a bit more personal.  :-) We laughed and decided that I will make that quilt and it will probably be sooner than later. You know what they say about great minds, right?
Well, since I'm going to be starting a new quilt soon (hehehe) I decided I better go to the Tub of Shame and pull out something to finish. I picked up a paper piecing project that was started a very long time ago called Radiant Rainbows. This was a class I took when I was first quilting (somewhere around 2000) and I knew NOTHING about paper piecing. Of course from the look of things, I knew nothing about picking good quality fabrics or thread either. :-)
After evaluating the project and remembering why I put it aside, I decided that since all the blocks were pieced and six of them were already sewn into rows I might as well just sew the rest of them together and call it done. 
On a side note here. I remember this class well and they aren't really fond memories. I really did not enjoy the class or the instructor at all. She had some friends in the class and spent a huge amount of time talking to them about their husbands and the neighbor that they all knew was having an affair. Since I was new to not only paper piecing, but pretty much quilting in general, I had questions.  Unfortunately I was the only person in the class of six who had never done paper piecing before, but in my defense, the class description said you didn't need to have previous experience. The instructor did a quick demo of paper piecing and handed out a hand-written "help paper" for us to reference if we needed help. Let me just quote a few things from the "help paper." (My responses are in blue and italicized.)
1. Because you will be sewing on the lines and don't want the paper to fall apart, use heavier weight paper for your copies. (I have made copies for the lap quilt - 12 patterns.) If you want a larger quilt, you will have to make your own copies. ***She sure did use heavier paper. I think it is one step below card stock! I guess I'm used to Judy Niemeyer's pattern which use very thin paper.)***
2. To make removing the paper easier, reduce your stitch length - probably to a 1 or 1.5 for most machines. ***Let me tell you that if you make a mistake using such a small stitch length (which I did of course), it is almost impossible to remove those stitch without tearing your fabric. Granted, I didn't have the best quality fabric, but I think tears would happen on even the best quality fabric.***
3. When you have finished a block (all four components sewn together to make one circle), the block will be oversized. Do not trim the blocks yet. Sew a basting stitch about 1/2 inch from the outside solid sewing line. The blocks will be trimmed later, after sewing them together. ***Really, trimming these after the fact is a real pain! Of course I know better now and trimmed them all down before going any further.
4. Because you are combining lots of fabric at the center intersections, do not be alarmed if there is a bump. This is normal and should be easy to press out later. ***I don't have a small bump. I have a mountain! I'm not sure any amount of pressing is going to take care of this. Perhaps a rubber mallet would work. That should reduce some of the bulk as well as any frustrations I might have. :-)  I showed this to a friend last night and she suggested adding buttons or some other type of embellishment at the intersections. To do that would make this a wall hanging and I'm ok with that***
Now don't get me wrong, there were some good things listed as well, but the items above caused me lots of problems. I also recognize now, that since we never had to buy a pattern, there was probably one out there that the instructor just copied - illegally. That makes me sad. 
Anyway, after having heavy sighs and eye rolls accompany very turt responses to my questions, I pretty much quit asking them. I remember coming home and telling Jack that I was so disappointed and that if I ever taught classes, I would model myself exactly opposite of this instructor! Of course Jack and I had only been married about a year at that time and neither one of us knew the role that quilting would have in our lives.
I've sewn the rest of the rows together and the top is done. I have to find some backing fabric and get this sucker quilted and bound. This is fairly small and with the "mountains" in the center of each block, I think I'll quilt this on my home machine. Should be interesting...
I've been busy and have other things to show, but I'll post them later because I have some phone calls to make.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Grandma's Little Helper

Yesterday Sadie was Grandma's Little Helper!

Like her big sister Quinn, she loves to help me and Grandpa Jack do things. Here are a couple of pictures of her helping to carry in firewood. Now why doesn't it look like work to her?

Sadie was lucky because she got to do this all by herself. Quinn was at the store with Jack and Ronan was taking a nap. Wow, she did a great job and loved watching the fire using "her" wood.  :-)