Saturday, June 27, 2009

I often wonder

at myself. You veteran quilters might best understand this post. Based on what little I've read, heard and supposedly learned, you should have a quilting design prior to starting to quilt.

Now I've posted about this before, I've been guilty of not doing this but it's come out alright in the end. Still, for my kids' quilts, we planned. We had a design.

Let's talk ability and the Quilting Godesses' other plans. Ability, adv. beginner. Some days, less than beginner, some days and a couple glasses of wine and I dare say I'm intermediate! But on this morning, with only 1 cup of coffee, adv. beginner.

Let's talk Quilting Godesses' other plans. Those ladies just love to laugh at unsuspecting adv. beginner quilters who think they have things under control. (I'd say they laugh at all levels of quilters but cannot speak with any authority on that so I haven't.)

So, I had to change the quilting design of P's quilt while the quilt was on the frame due to my ability and more specifically, how my ability was able to rise (okay, FAIL) the QGs' challenges. Took a while but both P and I love the result.

Next came J's quilt. I started quilting along and quickly realized why people use rulers. Just b/c you draw a straight line on your quilt doesn't mean you can quilt it that way. Bought a fat foot, used a ruler and YES! I've got the hang of this quilting thing. Finished J's quilt pretty quickly.

Moving on to K's quilt. 3rd of 4. (Although S' quilt will be quite a while getting done since I've taken a hiatus.) It's on the frame. It had a couple simple motifs. Yep, I said it "had". I felt like the quilting was too simplistic, and truthfully, it was. What did I do? I changed the motif a bit. Instead of trying to vine leaves in the 1" sashing and 2.5" borders like originally planned, I started swirls in the borders. This pulled fabric patterns out. I put swirls in the simple arced squares quilted inside a regular square piece of fabric. In some other squares, she wanted a simple flower. I spiraled in the middle of the flower and echoed the petal outlines. In the small sashing, I'm quilting small little flowers. And all of this, with varigated thread.

And that second to last one, my friends, is the one I think is a bad, bad idea. I'm forging ahead, however. She's 12, going on 13 and will like it with the flowers even if teal varigated thread on white is a bit much. She's in the middle of the "throw it all in there and that's what makes it good," artistic phase.

The picture is from my phone and tiny but I wanted to show you what I think looks so scary.

I could be wrong and when I get it off the frame, maybe it will all come together. Maybe if I didn't use the varigated thread for those flowers, it'd be better but I'm not at the point of changing threads (or even wanting to) in the middle of quilting.

But don't you see? This is probably what will make me change thread colors in one of my next quilts. I don't learn from others... I learn from my screw ups.

And so today, I wondered at myself and I thought about all the veteran quilters out there and wondered about you. How many of you can read today's post and think of an, "Ahh, I remember when..." story.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Previous post comments

So far, looks like #2 is in the lead and I'm good with that.

I've used a variety of fabrics before for baby quilts and they've all held up nicely so long as I was sure I've done the pre-shrinking.

I'm certain the back will be the minky. I'm certain cotton will comprise most of the top. Flannel some of the top. Chenille is a PITA to work with but I feel strongly about the tactile "fun" of a quilt also so... I may end up testing a few thoughts rattling in my brain.

I'll be sure to post pics when I'm done but for now, please keep the comments coming. I appreciate them all and it's great to help me be sure I've considered everything (like the possibility of having issue squaring those log cabins.)


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Please help me choose

The task: baby quilt for baby boy due in Aug. Nursery to be pale blue with an airplane theme.

My general preferences for the blanket: sort of relate to theme, interesting enough to grow with baby through toddler years in texture and color. I have to say, I'm leaning toward option 2.

Option 1 - original design. Will use flannels for solid colors, except blues which will be cotton. All center squares of all 9-patches (except in the plane) will be chenille.

Option 2 - original design with a couple EQ6 block patterns. Center plane will actually be a pre-made applique from JoAnn's and doesn't look like the plane in this design. I just needed to put something in there. I haven't decided yet, but I think all the planes will have chenille or minky or something soft and textured as the fabric. Again, all blue to be cotton and maybe all solid colors in the log cabin to be flannel. This is still to be determined and I may forget the whole "texture" thing altogether once I determine design.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Not much to say

Just a few photos.

First, my quilt top for the sew-along. I assume borders and quilting or just quilting are next. I may hold off on this though as DD's quilt is currently on the frame.

Next, my rising 7th grader & I and my rising 6th grader, in that order. (Forgive the appearance, humid day, cleaning house, celebratory lunch at Wendy's. No need to primp.) I swear he grew again. Thank goodness my SDD is petite or I might feel like a shrimp all the time! lol

Saturday, June 6, 2009

a little progress, a math question & a new boo-boo

A little progress: I finished sewing my strips & cutting my blocks for Old Red Barn's sew along. Next week we learn what to do to put them together, I assume it will be a rail fence type of piecing. I have 36, 12 1/4" blocks. That will make for a nice size lap quilt with or without borders. Unless something really bad happense in my piecing, I believe this pretty and soft floral will go to some worthy charity.

Now, my boo-boo is a 3" x 1/4" burn from my iron. I was moving fabric on the ironing board but failed to move the iron I had hovering out of the way. My left arm met the iron and I burned myself. DUH! Still, doesn't require anything but some aloe every now and then so no complaints.

Finally, my math question. Working on DD's quilt. She wants a print centered on the back with solid framing it all the way around. IF,

quilt top = 82"l x 50"w,
print for back = 42 1/2"l x 36 1/2"w,

and I want to sew length strips of solid first & width strips of solid last, I will need to cut,
from solid for back: 2, 42 1/2"l x 7 1/4"w and 2, 20 1/4"l x 50"w strips.

Is this math correct? Somehow, I always think I have it and then I screw it up.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

JoJo (NQR)

JoJo (aka Joey) has acclimated pretty well into our family. He and Sasha play regularly every day. He's had a few little adjustment issues, I've caught him a couple times now getting too curious with the table or counter but then again, learning house manners is why he's here so hooray, we are working it right off the bat. His worst times are when I delay breakfast and take the kids to school, then he's gotten into something when I return home. I have yet to learn my lesson on that one, I think. Just happened again this morning! He's still learning that the kids' or my ears, hair (nibbles and nips at those) are not play things (loves to bump me from behind to try to get me to play.)

I'm including photos of the dogs.

Finally, but not least, today, I've decided all Vizslas are part cat. First, Sasha MUST test every quilt I complete before I can photograph it. I lay it down to take pictures and she's on it.

Then today, JoJo came flying into the house, reminding me I forgot I put them outside about 30 minutes before (got sucked into work). I went to get Sasha and saw JoJo had something in his mouth. A turtle! He brought a turtle home. Now, to get a turtle, he'd have to have left the yard, the property, likely he went down the street to the creek that runs under the road. -sigh- It's lucky we live on a very quiet street and it's a good reminder to me not to forget when I let them out.

He was so proud, though, all I could do is laugh and have him take it back outside. Once he let it go, he earned a great little bacon treat. -

Poor turtle...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

2nd OST challenge block complete

This is the second block from my OST group challenge.

Here's the thing. Since I only have block pictures for all my blocks, I'm designing and measuring myself. This block gave me fits. The last block gave me fits. Between this and the hand piecing and the frogging and the re-piecing, I've grown very dissatisfied with hand piecing.

I know it's not the piecing that's the problem but it takes me longer to see errors and fix them and that's really discouraging. So, I've decided the rest of the blocks will be machine stitched but I since I will still have to figure out measurents and such, I'm still testing and working a new skill (or maybe I should say an old rusty one - MATH!)

While a bit off kilter and with a non-planned added border strip, here's the block. The first block can be seen here, if you'd like.

Cheers! Beck

Monday, June 1, 2009

They just don't make them like that anymore (NQR)

I just finished watching the "Bell's of St. Mary's" with Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman and all I could think is, "they just don't make them like that anymore."

Yes, there are great movies now-a-days, some I enjoy tremendously but considering I am only 35 years old and many of these old black and whites and even musicals like, "Meet Me in St. Louis" are so enjoyable and heart-warming, you really can't compare them.

So, that said, I wondered, what are some of your favorites from this same era of film. DH and I both love watching them and I've decided it's time to get back into those ole feel good flicks. :)

Thank you in advance for sharing b/c my repetoire is limited to what TMC plays on TV and Judy Garland and Gene Kelley flicks (and I still say he was better than Fred Astaire but it could be cause I liked his muscles a bit better! lol)

Cheers! Beck