Monday, March 29, 2010

Suprizing results!

Yesterday I decided to try something new. I have been looking at a book called Fabric Embellishing, the basics and Beyond. I decided to tryout one of the ideas. So I took some Batik strip scraps.

and sew 6 strips together, I made 2 different sets. As I was making the first set I was not getting the results that I saw in the book, but I said you must continue, it may turn out OK. So...

With each set I cut 2 10 x 8 pieces. Then I cut each 10 x 8 piece into 4 pieces. One set I cut on a diagnol the other I cut curvy. I swapped pieces in the set, so each new block had 2 pieces from the original and 2 pieces from the other block. Then I sewed them all together to make a block.

I trimmed the block down to 8 x 8. I would have liked it to be 8 1/2 by 8 1/2 but I cut one side short, so I made them 8x8. Then I sewed the four blocks together.

They are big enough to make into a pillow cover. I liked the results so much that I found the remaining strip scraps and made an additional 2 sets of strips. So I have another pillow cover, both are beautiful.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spring has sprung!

The wonders of mother nature were very evident at Sandy's farm. We went there for dinner last night and was able to see all the new lambs. The oldest was only 10 days, the youngest was one day.They are sooo cute. A lot of her sheep have Jacob genes as shown in this little lady, Bessie.


This is her sister.
The black one is male and the remaining are female.

This is a BabyDoll and Her Baby.

Two Sisters, Salt and Pepa.

This little lady was born on Friday.

This was the first time I have really seem baby lambs. It was wonderful.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Saturday Fun

Spent another wonderful day with my great friends. What a way to spend a Saturday! We Sewed, Ate and Dyed Wool. See all the wonderful colors of the 10 skeins of sock yarn. The yarn is from Knit Picks. I can't wait to knit up some of these wonderful colors.

We also all made some Claire Bags. They were so easy. Pam lead the charge to keep us all sewing the same parts and keeping on track. Pam and Sandy made similar bags. They all turned out so great. I love them all.

We had a wonderful diet lunch. I don't have pictures cause it was all gone too soon.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Jelly roll Quilt Along

I joined the Moose on the porch Quilts, find it here, Jelly roll quilt-along. For the next 6 month they are designing 12 blocks, 2 a month,1 every 2 weeks – so it is doable. You get the instructions and samples to view. They have a Flicker sight to post up a picture of you blocks. It is fun.

I bought a jelly roll from Walmart. It only had 4 different prints, so I bought a coordinating roll of fat quarters.

 You get instructions for what to purchase and a schedule for the blocks. I have the first two blocks completed.

I wrote earlier on this blog that I wanted to get into quilting and that I was going to make modern quilts were I didn’t have to match points, corners, etc. Well these blocks require you to match. I am OK with that. I purchased a while back a ¼ “ foot for my machine and life is grand. It works beautifully. If only I was using the correct edge. The foot had two edges on the right. One that is ¼” away from the needle and one that is about 3/8” away. It had a 90 degree turn at the edge. I started the blocks using the farther 3/8” edge, so my sewn pieces were smaller. I had to adjust other parts of the block to accommodate my bigger seam. When you make the seams the same size thing fit together. Duh!

I am looking forward to the next block.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Enjoying a Business Trip

Here is the quilt top that I was able to get sewn while I was on a business trip to Dayton Ohio. Yea, you see the mistake right away. I didn't, obviously. The last row on the right is on the wrong side of the quilt. When I left the work site, I drove to Joann Fabrics and bought some black fabric among other things. I got back to the hotel room and immediately got the sewing machine set up to sew. I had pinned all the pieces together so all I had to do was sew them. That went fine. I then cut the black fabric and sewed it to the first strip of blocks. Adding the other stip of blocks resulted in things not matching. So, I needed to pin and match block seams across the black saching strip. That worked out great. I ripped out the seam that was a mess and fixed it. I layed it out on the bed to admire my work and was very happy. I folded it up and put all the sewing stuff away, it was late 10:00 and I need to get to bed. I layed out the quilt top for one last look at almost fell on the floor. I never saw the mistake. I apparently had flipped the piece and sewed it to the wrong side. I almost took out the sewing machine to fix it, but tomorrow is another day and I did get it done, even though there was a mistake. So here is the correction. It is 34" x 47".

I went back to the fabric store that I bought the fat quarters to get some matching fabric for a sashing/backing/binding. It is just 5 fat quarters cut into 5" charms. Really easy. But she didn't have any more of the fabric. Bummer. Now I have to go find something that will look good with it. I may dye the backing - I would like to try that.

Monday, March 15, 2010

It’s a Wonderful Round-A-Bout Life

The wonderful invention of a Round-A-Bout has got me thinking about life. I have always thought of this ‘Round-A-Bout’ word with the ‘hyphens’ in the word. I found out it is not always written that way. I used the research tools in MS Word to get a definition of ‘Round-A-Bout’. I had to search for all three words.

A very detailed definition of the word ‘Round’, I picked the ones that I liked –

• curved rather than square or angular

• a session or instance of an event, usually in a series of similar or related events

• a game, or series of games, forming a stage in a competition

• a series of visits made on a regular basis to different places or people

• in a curve past the edge or corner of something

• free-standing and viewable from all sides, rather than being carved from a background

• Considered from a variety of different perspectives and as a whole

• To go from place to place in a regular pattern

The word ‘A’ was defined as -

• used before a noun to indicate that somebody or something has some of the same qualities as the person or thing mentioned

• Highest Grade ‘A’

• Used instead of the word ‘one’

The word ‘Bout’ was defined as –

• a temporary or short-lived attack of illness, usually a common and not very serious illness

• a short time spent doing something, often something considered distasteful

Further research showed that the word doesn’t have the ‘hyphens’. Then I did a search for Roundabout–

• proceeding in a way that is not direct or straightforward

• went by a roundabout route

To define Life I will use those definitions from Round-A-Bout and Roundabout.

• a session or instance of an event, usually in a series of similar or related events

• a game, or series of games, forming a stage in a competition

• a series of visits made on a regular basis to different places or people

• free-standing and viewable from all sides, rather than being carved from a background

• Considered from a variety of different perspectives and as a whole

• To go from place to place in a regular pattern

• used before a noun to indicate that somebody or something has some of the same qualities as the person or thing mentioned

• Used instead of the word ‘one’

• a short time spent doing something, often something considered distasteful

• proceeding in a way that is not direct or straightforward

• went by a roundabout route

This definition I find inspiring. I like to think that I am living my life that way.

Driving to one of the local roundabouts I think of how others I know call them the “Circles of Death”. Some seem to have difficulty with the paths to follow and the choices to be made. I think life is like this. I like this idea of making those choices to take a different path. It scares me and I have difficulty making the choice, but I know it is better to make the choice then to continue going around on the same path. I have that need to go off and try something new, make a ‘series of visits’, make use of ‘a short time spent doing something’, ponder ideas and ‘consider from a variety of different perspectives’, to ‘go by a roundabout route’. Sometimes the path taken is shaky. Sometimes wonderful things happen. Sometimes you drop a bread crumb to be able to find your way back. Sometimes you drop pebbles to make a path that you can follow again and again.

When you get into the round-a-bout you may see the path that you took before and avoid going down there again, or look with wanted longing to return to a path traveled, or marvel at what might be down that path. Nonetheless, you travel the round-a-bout looking for another path. Sometimes you need to take the path less traveled to discover. Everyone that takes the path will discover something different. It’s like going to a Quilt Fabric store with friends. We all took the same journey to the store, but once inside, we all see something different. Sometimes we need our friends to show us the many forks in the path that we can take.

I have tried to take those paths of interest. Some are easier than others. The path of ‘I want to speak a foreign language fluently’, I have traveled many times. I need to meet someone along the same path to help. I need someone else to have a conversation. My son is going to take Spanish next year in school. Maybe we can learn together. Which leads me to the connection of this blog and round-a-bouts, The path of ‘I want to make a quilt’ has changes course many times. Intimidate by the accuracy of some quilting methods, I have floundered. Things usually have come to me easily, but not quilting. For a long time, I was that instant gratification person. Because the task was easy, I want to see progress, good/expert results now. With quilting this left me un-happy with many project. Now an older and wiser person, I am valuing the slower process and am not afraid to start over, rip out a seam, undo the stitch. I am still on that path and have learned to accept the bumpy road and know that I see a smoother road ahead.

Recently I view a YouTube video of Ira Glass discussing your ‘Craft’, found here - part of a series of videos. He basically said that there is an ideal where we would like to be and the reality of where we are in terms of skill/knowledge/experience etc. Between the two is a gap. We need to continue our ‘Craft’ and make mistakes, have successes, make blunders, have wonders, to close the gap of where we are and where we want to be. The process works with any ‘Craft’, he was taking about reporting, video/audio production. Learn from successes and mistakes to close the gap from where you are to where you want to be.

I am taking the path to ‘make a quilt top’. I have not ventured down the ‘quilt it myself’ path, and I am OK with that for now. So, I make one quilt top that works well, another not so well, but I learn from each. Each time I do my ‘craft’ I need to look at it as a learning process and not expect things to be perfect the first time. The next project will help me close that gap. I don’t think I ever want to be perfect. I am enjoying the process and really liking learning new ways, processes, etc. So I look forward to getting back to that round-a-bout of life and taking a new path, re-visiting old paths and exploring those scary path that I have avoided in the past.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Signs Of spring

What a week this has been. Started out last Saturday by putting a new wreath on the front door. Forcythia are one of my favorite signs of spring. I saw one at Joann's and saw the price, Wow. So I bought a grape vine wreath and some branches of forcythia and some yellow pussy willow buds things and made one my self. It is nice to look at.

Last Sunday I had a great time with Pam and Sandy. We went to Sandy's house and did some sewing together. I brought some quilt sashing that I need to complete and some other 5" charms to sew together. Pam brought some prepared fabric for us to make a Chelsea Tote. She had everything interfaced. All we had to do was make some markings, a little cutting and sew it together. With great results.

I got my piano key sashing all sewn together. I am making a quilt using Moda Aviary Charm packs. I sewed 2 packs together to make the middle of the quilt.

I added a sashing of the blue flower in the above picture. Then started the piano key boarder. I cut the 5" charm into 1 1/2 inch pieces, I know I wasted a 1/2 inch. Then sewed them together.

Back side with everything nicely pressed open. I sewed the top an bottom sashing on and didn't think I would have enough to make the sides. I had another charm pack, I cut it up but still paniced. I called the store where I bought them and they had ONE left. So I drove up there, an hour away. In and out in less than a minute. I took the cut pieces with me to Sandy's and sewed them together. It turned out I had enough, so I can now use the extra charm pack for maybe a part of the quilt backing or make a border for a pillow case to match.

At home,I sewed the sides on and cut and sewed the last sashing. Just have to get the backing ready and some batting then find a quilter. I am excited.

Here are Sandy and Bob's sheep. Some are going to have lambs soon. I am excited to see them. Here is one of the cute rams.

I think Sandy said this one was a southdown baby doll.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Switching Gears

After the rush and pressure to get the Olympics project completed, I feel light as a feather. What do I do now? I hope to get some quilting done. Well, not actually quilting, but piecing tops and getting them ready for someone else to the the quilting. I have about 8 projects planned and 2 kits to complete.

The picture below is a very easy quilt to make. I have a couple more planned using the 5" charm. Some I have cut from FQs and one I am in the middle of making where I purchased several charm packs.

I want to use up some of my stash. But it seams that the tops that I am currently making are from new purchases. But I know that the excitment of new can spark the old. So several projects are going to be made from my stash. I am going to call myself a modern quilter. No trying to match up points and seams. Let them lie where they may. I say that easily, but I do my best and I like the saying, "If the rider of a gallopping horse can't see that the seams don't match or the points don't line up, then it's ok"