Friday, June 28, 2013

The Scarecrow

Hello Everyone,
I'm moving right along on the new quilt.  The scarecrow is now ready for some evening stitching time.  This scarecrow looks like it is wearing an ascot and a smoking jacket which isn't a good idea in a field full of hay!


The little flowers are the tiniest of petals.  I'll tuck in all of the loose threads with my needle when the time comes.

I found some great fabric that looks like straw poking out of his arms and legs.

In case you are wondering, the scarecrow is going to be close to the barn, so he can run and hide when the crows show up.

Speaking of crows, we've had a "murder of crows" at the cabin this week.  Apparently that name came from folklore as the crows decide the fate of another crow.   They have been so noisy and we can hear their powerful wings flap, flap, flap as they fly over us while we are trying to get some peace and quiet out on the deck.  Zinnie has been outside staring at them and will throw in an occasional bark to silence them.....which lasts for about a second.

Busy weekend planned for us.  Our youngest grandson turns 5 today and is having a big birthday party tomorrow.  I also have to prepare for my class next Tuesday.  I still have a couple of spots available in my For The Love of Baskets class at In Between Stitches.  This is a great quilt to use up lots and lots of scraps.  I also have kits available at the shop that are identical to the fabrics I used in the baskets. We haven't kitted the rest of the quilt, only the fabric for the 120 baskets.

This quilt is actually quite just make the same block 120 times!  You will become an expert making HST 8 at a time by the end of the class.

Our weather person predicted 6 straight days of 100+ degree temperature.  I'm glad I'm not working on a binding.  Have a wonderful weekend and stay cool.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Full Cornucopia

Hello Everyone,
I've been quietly designing and working on one of the blocks for the new quilt.  I spent part of a day drawing and a whole day preparing colorful, applique pieces for the cornucopia.

This is what the block looked like yesterday morning once I decided on the colors. Selecting the colors for any quilt is probably my favorite part of the whole quilting process.  I love it! I look for colors that sing to each other and to me.  Except for the green lime, the fabrics are in perfect harmony. (There always has to be one in the crowd!)

I had a little heartburn working on the edge of the basket.  I tried using the basket fabric first, but it just didn' look right, so I switched to the gold polka dot.  I will embroider around the gold fabric with a darker gold floss to enhance the cable effect.  The pear fabric is just perfect!

I embroidered here on the basket of flowers.

When selecting fabrics for applique, LOOK, really look at your fabrics.  The detail in the leaves surrounding the pumpkin is just perfect and gives them dimension.  I made 25 grapes while catching up on Season One of Call the Midwife. This is an excellent series based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth, set in the 1950's in the East End of London.  I'm totally hooked by the story line, the acting, the costume design and the music.  This is an intelligent series that I've enjoyed immensely.  Watching the show makes quick work of my grape stomping!

I love having an applique project to stitch at keeps me awake!


Monday, June 24, 2013

Toyland Tree Class is in Session

Hello Everyone,
Yesterday was the Toyland Tree class at In Between Stitches.  The girls are putting some wonderful finishing touches on their blocks. Diana's bear has a precious little holly bow on his scarf.

Evelynne's marionette looks like he is going to dance right off the block with his realistic strings.

Judy's baby doll is so lovable and sweet.

Cindy's panda is very upbeat!

I took a few of the blocks the girls brought in with them and put them together on the design wall,  They aren't in the right order, but at least they could see what they are working toward.

The question most often asked about this quilt, "Is this quilt made up of individual blocks or do you applique on one large piece of fabric?"  Those of you that regularly read my blog have seen the individual blocks, but when they are all sewn together, it is almost impossible to see the seams on the black and white polka dot.  I've been selecting the fabrics for the locomotive for next's going to be so cute!

We have a couple of more openings for the Toyland Tree BOM program at In Between Stitches.  If you started know what I'm going to say here......this could be decorating your home for the Holidays.....well maybe next year.


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Quilting Components for the New Class

Hello Everyone,
I made a couple more blocks out of quilting components and here they are.  I didn't play around too much with the first one.  This one is all HST's and square in a triangle.

Here's blocks #2.  The components are a square in a square,  double flying geese, and a square in a triangle.

I played around with the components a lot on this one.

What appears to be a 4-patch in the first two versions are the double flying geese which you can see in the photo below.

Then I turned them another way.  Actually I like this version the best and on second thought, this should have been the final resting place of the components, but I can never leave well enough alone.

Here are my final four.....but I'll probably make a few more variations since I have to add a couple of more components to the class.  Each block finishes at 9" x 9".

I'm still working on the reference manual with the formulas and techniques for making the different components.  It's been slow going.  I filled in at the shop yesterday and I'm teaching Toyland Tree today.  I'll have some uninterrupted sewing time during the week.  Happy Sunday everyone.


Friday, June 21, 2013

Best of Show for a Sew Knotty Quilter

Hello Everyone,
I got an email yesterday from my friend Barbara, which made me drop everything and rush off to the Alameda County Fair.  The message said:
"We scored! 1st for Buttonwood and October Magic, 1st and best of show for Madrigal. What a team!"
Sew Knotty Quilter
Barbara won Best of Show for Madrigal at the fair!

She also won a 1st place for Buttonwood.

Last but not least, another 1st place for October Magic.  The quilt was locked behind glass doors making it close to impossible to get a good picture.

The machine quilting by Beth Hummel, was pretty amazing on all of Barbara's quilts.  When Barbara gets this quilt back from the fair, I'll get some close-ups of all the details both Barbara and Beth added that really enhanced the quilt.  I can't design patterns fast enough for Barbara.  She can finished a quilt in a nanosecond!

Melody, another Sew Knotty Quilter also entered quilts into the fair.  The colors of this quilt are so rich and lush.

Melody received a 3rd place for this Bunny Hill design.  I was at the shop the day she selected her fabrics.  It's so much fun for me to see a bag of fabrics made into a beautiful quilt from a class she took at In Between Stitches.  Melody selected all different machine applique stitches for each of the houses.

I love this design too.  This one would look great at the cabin.  I'd better stop lounging around and make one!

Great job by both of you girls.  You make all the Sew Knotty Quilters proud to know you!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Quilting Components

Hello Everyone,
I've been working on my quilting component blocks for my new class.

I started by making four different components for this block.  I made quick work of the HST triangles by making eight at a time.  The quarter-square triangles also go together quickly as do the squares in a triangle.  I also made the flying geese 4 at a time.  I measure each and every component for accuracy before I sew them together into a block to make sure they are the correct size.

The second block went together a little bit faster.  The most difficult and time consuming part is deciding what fabrics to include.

This block required four squares in a triangle, eight quarter-square triangles and four 4-patch units.

I think the blocks are going to look fabulous together!  I've been busy working on the directions for the reference manual that I'll be using in the class.  I'm trying to design an easy to follow manual that includes formulas for all of the components and their piecing techniques, and sample blocks. 

I've been kicking this class idea around for quite some time. The more time I spend teaching in the classroom, the more I have the opportunity to observe how quilters approach quilting.....and how they learn.  I want to begin with basic blocks and build on that knowledge to create intricate blocks that really aren't that difficult.  The blocks look full of triangles.....but there isn't a single triangle in either block.

If you don't hear a peep out of me for a few days, just know that my hands are busy creating more components for you to make into glorious blocks!


Sunday, June 16, 2013

More Quilting Components

Hello Everyone,
Yesterday I made some more components to arrange and rearrange.  In the previous post, the components were 3" square.  This post includes components that are 2" square.  
2" components yielding a 9" block

3" components yielding a 9" block

Now the fun begins with arranging the components.  I added a Y-block to my component list.  This block looks full of triangles, but I never used a single triangle.  I only cut squares and rectangles.

This blocks adds a 4-patch component.

I had parts and pieces all over my kitchen table giving me endless blocks.  The only constant was the center block and dividing strips.

This arrangement would give me lots of space for some nice quilting.

I'm not crazy about this arrangement, but I wanted to include it in the mix for variety.

Over the past two days, I've shown you six different quilting components. The quarter-square triangle, 4-patch, flying geese, corner square triangle, square in a square, and half-square triangles.  I have several more components that require formula testing to create all different sizes.  My poor little calculator has been working overtime the past few days.  I have pages of notes and lists of fairly intricate blocks that I want to make by breaking the block down section by section, or component by component......with no triangles to cut (except for the square in a square, I haven't figured a way around that one yet!)  I feel a sampler quilt in my future.

Today is family day.  Our son is cooking ribs for Mr. Joe and for the whole family.  It's going to be a great pot-luck with all the good cooks in our family.


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Patchwork Puzzle Pieces

Hello Everyone,
If you are wondering where I've been.....I'm back from playing with grand kids and then resting up for my next big adventure.  I'm pulling a Patchwork Component class together.  This class will include formulas and piecing technique for 12 different quilting components so YOU can decide the size of your components and your blocks.

I started by pulling some Fall fabrics together.

Then I made one square in a square for the center, four hourglass units, and 4 corner square triangle units.

Then I started arranging and rearranging.

Then I made 8 flying geese and added them to the mix.

Then I made a pinwheel unit to change up the center.

Looking at some of these blocks gave me ideas for more blocks with the addition of other colors.

I felt like I was playing with puzzles all day long, turning my patchwork puzzle pieces this way and that way.  I've been looking at my patchwork component idea list and I may have to make it a Baker's Dozen.  My goal for the class is to show easy peasey piecing techniques along with the formulas to calculate all of the components.  I had a couple of ahh-haa moments while I was working yesterday and I came up with a border idea.  One thing just leads to another and I get easily distracted as more and more ideas take shape. 
You know how it is when you are working on a puzzle, you have to find just ONE MORE PIECE!  I'll be working on additional pieces today along with the directions.  Soon, I'll be sharing with you where I'm going to be teaching this class....exciting stuff for me!