Kindness Begets Kindness

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I’m a little late in showing off a wonderful surprise I received from the lovely Lara of Buzzin Bumble. Lara recently became a grandmother and I made and sent a bath apron for her daughter as a little surprise. (A bath apron is an ingenous thing I wish I had heard of when my kids were little – would have prevented a lot of soaked pants. – Here’s a link to the pattern I used. I don’t have permission to use the photo and didn’t think ahead and take any of what I made)

In return for my little surprise, I received this awesome mug rug and some bobbin minders that are fantastic!!!

IMG_4848         IMG_4846

Oh my goodness, I do love tiny patchwork!

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Thank you Lara!!!!

 


The Splendid Sampler

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I’m sure you’ve seen posts around blogland about The Splendid Sampler organized by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson. I had my doubts about joining in on another year-long, 2 block a week, 100 block QAL and thought I’d just watch. I’m way behind on my Farmer’s Wife blocks and a few other promised projects and really shouldn’t join in anything new.

Well, watching was like finding myself at a buffet of loveliness and fun. I just couldn’t help myself and decided to sew along.

I can’t do justice here to the long list of designers who are contributing to this project, their photos, or all of the support pages. Do go read all about the idea, designers, Facebook group, tutorials, and bonus projects. The blocks are small 6″ finished and have been constructed of very small pieces thus far, but there is a lot of support and it’s a fun way to expand your skills.

Here are my first 4 blocks.

The Splendid Sampler

Sew forth!


Catching Up

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January and now most of February are a bit of a blur around here. I’ve been sewing, snapping a few pics for Instagram, and not blogging. Once I get out of a routine (like exercise) I have a horrible time picking it back up again.

I’ve been sewing and not sewing.

The sewing………

  • A quilt my husband requested. Although I don’t generally sew with these colors or make such traditional blocks, I learned a lot from this quilt and my husband loves it.

N's Quilt block

The base block is pretty straight forward. There are 80 brown and white flying geese pieces in this quilt -which I made TWICE. The no-waste method and dimensions I used didn’t leave me any wiggle room for trimming the geese, so now I have 80 geese that will have no points. Whatever I end up using them for will be called “Bad Geese”. Luckily, I had enough yardage to recut the 80 geese and used the method I’m familiar with which produced 160 little HSTs. The black and white elongated geese resulted in the same number of HSTs. I’ve almost got all 320 1 1/2″ HSTs trimmed and am playing with arrangements for either a mini quilt or pillow cover.N's QuiltThe finished flimsy turned out pretty well. Next step, back it with the requested (and dreaded) Minky. Minky feels fantastic, but I really don’t like to sew with it. It’s messy, it moves weirdly under my domestic machine, and the fur comes through the top when I FMQ and makes my already less than stellar quilting look even worse. The worst thing about dark Minky is that it left smudges of color on my formally beautifully white Bernina. This happened once before with a dark brown Minky I used to back a quilt for my son. The color does eventually work it’s way off, but no amount of scrubbing or cleaning solutions seems to get it all off.

N's Quilt Finish

The quilting is hard to see, but simple. I echoed the triangles and rectangles. In the small blue squares I quilted a diagonal ellipse.

  •  A patchwork valentine pillow and pillow cover

Heart Patchwork

Valentine Pillow 2

  • Cross Stitch project

Sewing Machine x-stitch

So far in 2016 I have a new pillow, a new pillow cover, an embroidery piece, one finished quilt, and one happy husband.

The not sewing………..

Farmer’s Wife blocks. I just let these go after Christmas and am having a love/hate issue with them. I doubt I will ever catch up, but I have decided to pick them up here and there when I feel like it and not beat myself up about being behind.

Hope your year is off to a great start. Sew forth!

 


A Finish

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My New Hexagon Millefiore flimsy is done. I pieced the last rosettes at the beginning of the month and added the last border strip yesterday morning. This was one of three hand sewing projects I had going and the first one I have completed. I will quilt her in the new year.

I’m rather at a loss with this finish. It feels so good to have stuck with this QAL and hold a completed top, but, at the same time, there is a void created by taking the piecing off my to do list. I guess, after almost  a year of work, this is to be expected.

So, without further ado, my finished top,

Flimsy Finish

Stats:

  • Pattern by Katja Marek, The New Hexagon Millefiore
  • Began January 1, 2015 – each rosette pieced monthly as part of the quilt along
  • Flimsy completed December 19, 2015
  • Quilted ……….in the future

Have a wonderful holiday! Let’s sew forth into 2016!

P.S. – linking up with Let’s Bee Social a week after my original post – Christmas company took priority last week.


Evolution of a Quilt

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I’m not sure what’s up with my concentration lately, but I’ve made more than my normal quilting type of mistakes. This time I was designing a gift quilt for a neighbor whose life we made miserable with large construction equipment arriving at our house early in the morning and clogging up the road all day long. I’ll defend myself a tad by saying that I was using EQ7 (which I barely know how to use) and was concentrating on block size to create a specific size lap quilt instead of thinking about the measurements of the block construction. Unfortunately, the problem this could cause didn’t dawn on me until I started to make a test block and realized that a Kansas City star can make a 16″ block, but that means the internal squares are 4 1/4″ and the square in a square blocks end up being and awkward 5 7/8″.

I’ve also discovered that square in a square construction is quite a bit of a pain. I could foundation (paper) piece the blocks, but that seems like as much work as piecing the triangles the traditional way.

Here is my test block

Kansas Bob block I originally designed this with a gorgeous coral instead of the tan grape vines – too me and not enough the recipient. My EQ7 skills do not include taking the above photo and making it a quilt. I can get it into EQ7 as a photo, but I can’t make the photo a block to make into a quilt to save my life. (If you know how, please tell me.) So here’s a photo collage version. Being a collage, the space between the blocks looks like sashing. Bleh, but it gives me a good idea of how the final quilt will look. Bob's Quilt Collage

   ……….or how it WOULD have looked if I hadn’t cut up almost all of my fabric and realized I didn’t have enough of the  neutral to make all of the blocks. 

Now I was faced with scrapping the whole design, taking apart my center block, mixing in another neutral, and redesigning the quilt. I went with what seemed the easiest at the time – redesign, but now I was faced with pre-cut fabric and a 16″ block. In order to best use my precut triangles, I needed to resize to 3″ increments. The only way to use the block I already had was to add borders and make this into a type of medallion quilt. 

This is my graph paper design – I wrote all over it, counting squares and calculating fabric availability. This is a picture before it got really bad.

plan

 

The evolution……..

 

Evolution 1-4Evolution 5-flimsy

—–and finished. The picture looks odd because my quilt holders were holding it up sideways., so I rotated the picture. I can’t complain about them though; they held it for pictures when it was about 32 degrees at 7:45 on their way to school.

Evolution finishI still struggle with pictures of the quilting, but it is pretty heavily quilted with a different pattern in each major piecing motif. This is the best shot I got.

quiltingOff for delivery this weekend

Have a wonderful holiday and sew forth!