Friday, October 31, 2014

What to do...and stained glass method

 What do you do when you leave your Redwork project at work and you know it needs to be finished soon?  You start another one.  Yes that is right.  I left my NOEL Redwork project at work.

So now that I needed something to work on, I decided that my block exchange can have TWO Redwork patterns.  The other one I started at home and is a bell.

I know it's hard to see the pattern but it will come along and be easier to see later.  I will work on the bell at home and then the NOEL at work during lunch hours.  Perhaps they both will be done sooner than I anticipate.

Remember the bucket list drawings?  Redwork is Octobers so I am fitting right in with that.  November is Stained Glass so I pulled out my stained glass test pattern that I did for The Quilt Pattern Magazine to put here.

It was nice to work on and I'll probably use that technique again.  You did all your piecing and quilting (as in Free Motion Quilting) BEFORE you added the black leading to it.  The black leading (or whatever color you are using) hides the raw seams of your applique, etc.

Here is a picture of the finished project.

Never having done Stained Glass before it was a little different.  I think that when I do another one, I'll make skinnier leading (or buy pre made binding) if my design has small spaces.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Redwork coming along! YAY!

I do love to work on redwork.  It is relaxing once I can get started.  I am really liking how this is turning out.  Took it to work and did about 30 minutes on it.  Tonight I hope to get some more work on it done.  I'll have to find a movie to watch or turn on the TV and just sit and work.  In reality I'll probably be stitching at the computer again.  LOL.  Both the TV and the computer are addicting.

I'll be posting more progress shots so just stop back to keep up to date.  I hope everybody has a great day/night.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

two blocks done

Finished up a couple of blocks so now I can start on the six blocks that I need for my Christmas block exchange.  They need to be done by Thanksgiving.  First up are my two finished blocks that will go into quilts for other people.

This first one is just a regular one which went together pretty normal like.

 This one, however, is the one that I had cut wrong when squaring up the block.  So I cut it off and turned it under a little bit, and appliqued IT on another block.  So I appliqued the applique block.  LOL.

I got paranoid when it came to square it up so I took my blue water soluble marking pen and drew around my squaring up template.

I ripped up some fabric so I can use it for the redwork and it is a white on white.  It seemed like dust or something flew off when I ripped it so I decided I had better wash it first.  I'm not sure if the dye on it or it was just dusty or what.  So off to the kitchen sink to wash the little bit that I wanted to use.  I'll mark that fabric as a "wash first" fabric.

Now my question for you is if you think I need to enlarge the design on the block?  It is for a 12 1/2" block.  The design as shown here is would result with around 2 1/4" white space around the design.

What do you think.

Golden trees

I think I will finish my Angel block tonight but in the meantime I thought I'd post two pictures that I took this morning.  While waiting for my ride to pick me up to go to work, I noticed my neighbors tree.  I loved how it looked.  It will probably only stay that way for a few days at the most.

This was taken first but then I took another one where it could be lightened up a bit.

The picture slightly lightened but not much and taken 5 minutes later

Now back to work.  LOL.

Monday, October 27, 2014

New redwork

Did I tell you that I signed up for a Christmas themed block swap?  I need to get 6 blocks (12 1/2") done by Thanksgiving.  If I want to do a round two then it is early December for another set of 6.  It is being done by one of my facebook groups.  I will do at least the first six.  Knowing me it will be applique but then I thought why not redwork.  I asked the group if anybody likes redwork because I'm not doing the work if nobody likes it and there was one response in the affirmative (no negative) so I will make at least one block redwork.  This is the design that I'm thinking of.

The other blocks will be some of Fat Cat Patterns (free ones) which show a Mr. Snowman, Mrs. Snowman and a cute Santa Claus.  A roly poly santa.  :)

What do you think?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

What a day....of Oops and Mom pictures

Ever had one of "those" days?  Of course you have.  Today started out nice but then the oops snuck up on me.  But first let me tell you the good stuff.  Kerm, my brother, called and said it was his week to bring breakfast (and me) to mom for Sunday Breakfast.  YAY!  I get a week off.  Always love that.

 While I was waiting for him to pick me up, I took my camera and snapped some shots of the trees and stuff around my block.

 Nice start right?  So off to McDonald's we go.  We didn't get everything we ordered but enough for breakfast (and mom's hot picante sauce) and I called up when I got home so they will replace what was left out next time.  I think it is funny that they got the 16 packets of hot picante sauce right but left out two regular sausage burritos.  Oh well.

So we got to mom's and I had taken her a new wall hanging.  It was in oranges so it was more seasonal.  She decided that the Fourth of July Flag that she had help to make (with Activities Dept) could go home with me so I could put up her new wall hanging.

Since Kerm was there and semi laughing at me hanging up her wall hanging, I snuck a picture of him with mom also.  Mom is one of these "move it" but doesn't tell you which direction or how far type of people.

He was so busy tell mom to smile that he didn't notice that I got him in the picture too.  SCORE!

So I came home feeling pretty good about what I had accomplished this morning and then it went down hill from there.

I left my angel block at work so couldn't work on her.

Instead I found some more fabric and decided to do another one because I really wanted to get it done and in the mail.  Angel number two colors were:

Not bad.  I made a lot of good progress on her last night and I knew that I could finish it this morning.  Or so I thought...

Managed to finish it and then I went to square it up since I cut my background fabric larger than needed so I don't have to worry if the fabric shrinks a little bit due to hand stitching.

Ummmm.  Somewhere in my squaring up, I started to cut a side that I had already cut.  Yeah, you got it.  Can't use it now.  I even drew a line up on it with my water soluable pen to double check before throwing it out.

Disgusted with myself, I decided I wouldn't let it get to me so I pulled out something else to work on.  Remember the fold and sew method I talked about yesterday?  I did it with some blue jean squares I have had for ages.  They are approximately 8" so I cut my center at 4" and away I went.

If you saw this in person you'd see that there is a VERY slight difference in the red sashings because I ran out and pulled out another red.  That is when I saw that the blocks didn't line up right.  That spoiled it for me.  I'm done with it.  Won't even put a back on it.  Terrible isn't it?

Bound to rescue something today, I pulled out the purple angel block again.  I cut it out from the backing and now I'm in the middle of turning back the white background (thank you Elmer's School Glue).  I will turn it into an applique for something sometime.

Dare I try to do something else today?  I don't know.  I have some fused pieces that are only partially sewn on.  perhaps I will pick one of those up.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Fold and Sew Technique by Peg Spradlin

Ready for a nifty trick for a square within a square?  I saw this technique on a video from National Quilter's Circle (I am a premium subscriber so I had access to it).  It's too good not to share how to do it.  It is from Peg Spradlin.  Ready?  It took me 2 minutes to make this block with no cutting.  I say no cutting because I used a spare layer cake square and a spare charm pack square.  Ready?  Here we go.

Lay your 5" square in the middle of your 10" square.

Fold over two sides so they meet in the middle.  I put a pin in the middle of my 5" square to keep it in place.  I would imagine if you're careful you don't need to or you could put a little bit of washable glue to keep it there.

Press the two folded sides so it lays nice.  Take it to your sewing machine and sew 1/4" down each side.

Do the usual.  Set your seam (if you usually do that) and then press open your block.

Ready for the next part?  You repeat for the other two sides.  In this case the top and bottom.  Notice in the above picture you have two raw edges.  Not for much longer!

Fold the top and bottom in together and take it to the sewing machine and stitch.

Take it to the ironing board (or wherever) and set seams and press open.

It took me only a couple of minutes to have my square within a square block.  Sweet!

Ok.  On the down side is that you have what looks like cornerstone blocks in the corners since you are sewing all the way down.  I'm thinking that perhaps you could modify this technique a bit and mark your start and stop points by the 5" squares.  It would be a partial seam then but you wouldn't have the cornerstone affect.  Not sure if that would work.  Having the extra seams that show going all the way up and down the block don't bug me.  That's me.  If it bugs you, you might not want to do this.

This technique would also work with rectangles, etc.  Try it and see if you like it.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Sites to visit

I'll post pictures of what I am working on later this afternoon but before I forget, I wanted to share a couple of sites with you.

First up, just because it was the last one I was on, is Pellon's site for free patterns.

It has pages of projects to work on.  A lot of them are just block and quite a few are paper pieced but there is plenty for everybody.  Go check it out.

Next up Ludlow Quilt and Sew.  I get Rose Smith's videos in my mailbox every Friday and I certainly look forward to them.  Today's pattern was for a Suudoku quilt.  It is nice and clean looking and has a lot of possibilities.  Here is the link to the pattern which can be downloaded as a PDF.  She also explains how she put it together, etc. in a YouTube video which is nice.  Some of us like YouTube for the visual and it is nice to have the written instructions to follow along also.

The other thing I wanted to tell you about was something I saw on National Quilter's Circle.  I talked about it to my friend Connie and she went home that night and tried the technique and is now likes it enough to blame me for more projects being added to her list.  What is it?  It's a different way to sew square in a square.  I think she called it something like flip and sew.  As an example, take a 10" square (like from a layer cake) and put a 5" square (like from a charm pack) in the middle of it .  Normally to make a square within a square you have a lot of cutting and sewing but not with this method.  This method has you folding the two sides of of the layer cake so they meet in the middle (your 5" square is still laying on top of the layer cake so you are basically covering it up.  Press your sides and then you are sewing your 1/4" seam on each side.  Open it up and press your seam again and repeat on the other two sides.  You now have your square in a square without cutting anything.  When I try it I will take pictures and post so you can see it because I don't think that I explained it very well.

It's time to start work so I'll leave you with that to contemplate for now.  I'll post again when I can get some pictures uploaded.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Redwork Angel

Today was a good day.  My brother picked me up so that I could go have breakfast with mom.  I made biscuits and gravy of course so she was having a good day.  She got to see me and my brother.  She got biscuits and gravy.  She got her diet coke to drink.  She got extra Hot Picante Sauce from McDonalds, and finally she got some bacon brought to her from one of the nurses.  All of her favorites in one day!

Then I can home and was able to finish up the redwork Angel.  That was a good feeling.

There is one more redwork to do for the table runner but I can't remember right off hand what it is of.  That will have to wait for a little bit because now I need to get an applique Angel done to mail out by the end of the month.  It hopefully won't take too long.

I also managed to make chicken soup that had Zucchini, Mushrooms, Onions, Carrots, Wild Rice and Chicken in it.

That will be for dinners this week.  I happened to cut up the zucchini and mushrooms and vacuum sealed them so hopefully they will last a little longer that way.  The zucchini went into the freezer but I didn't freeze the mushrooms.  I'll go through that fast enough.

I'll post pictures on my "getting healthy" blog in the next couple of days as well as some recipes.  It's the season for recipes isn't it?

Everybody have a great day and check back.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

scenes from DeKalb and a little quilting

It has been awhile since I was at the sewing machine working on my Civil War blocks but I managed to finish another one today.

As usual I haven't squared it up yet.  The colors are a little off because I had to lighten it up so you can see that the greys are more of a green and the yellow more of a gold.  This is the first time I've done a top all pieced so it's a struggle for me.  I'll get through it and will try to ignore all my errors because I *will* finish it.  :)

I also used a new to me product called fray block.  I have used Fray check before on my canvas for cross stitch but this one is made for fabric.  

I used it on my fabric for the redwork that I'm doing and I must say that I am TOTALLY happy with it.  The fabric is still flexible but hasn't unraveled while I've been working on it.

I'll finish the angel redwork block today so soon you'll see another pix soon.  In the meantime enjoy some pictures of DeKalb in October and a cute picture of a Huskie.  Huskie's are NIU's mascot so I thought it was appropriate.

Back to sewing.  Everybody have a great day.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

What's on the design board

I haven't gotten much done today but I did manage to get some things organized so I can be more productive next week.  One of the things I did manage to get done was one of my redwork blocks.  That's our bucket list draw this month.  I have a set of three blocks (Christmas themed) that I am working on.  I will have to option of using all three as a table runner or individually.  Here is the one that I finished today (still have to trim it).

The next block will be an angel.  I managed to get it transferred to the fabric today so I can start to work on that also.

While I was going through stuff, I noticed I still had a couple of blocks that needed doing for the Civil War BOM that I was in.  I haven't sewn them but I did pin them up on individual boards so I can work on them this week.

Another BOM that I discovered I didn't finish was this wool and cotton snowman BOM.  I put it aside because I didn't like the pattern's sashings.  Now that I've sewn a little more I've gotten a little more confidence is saying "if I don't like it I'll change it".  Now to figure out to change it.

I'm not a fan of sashings so obviously the first layout that I'm auditioning is without sashings.  Then I remembered I had some snowflake fused applique that I could use.  It's sitting on my carpet right now waiting for me to make up my mind.  At first I liked it but the more I look at it the snowflakes are too white I think.  Not that I want "dirty" snowflakes either.  I will have to think on another layout.

What is everybody else working on this week?  Oh yeah, check out how my home made tortillas turned out.  I'm putting up a picture on my other blog.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Finished mom's present

Mom turns 95 in December (the 10th) and really doesn't need anything so I just thought I'd do her that 10 minute table runner for her.  I am using the inner fabric which has bright cupcakes on it and then a bright orange for the outer border.  Then I got Rose from Custom Quilt Kits to do me a couple of  cupcakes with her Go Studio Die for the corners and it is now finished.  I knew she had the cupcake die because it was one of her applique of the month offerings.  I think it is cute and should fit nicely on her thin hospital table.  You know the kind.  Those thing ones that can go over the beds, etc.

This should hang down just a little bit.  If I used the same size straws to measure that I did on Sunday, her table top is 3 1/2 straws long and this is 4 straws long.  Don't you just love what you'll pick up to measure when you don't have a ruler or measuring tape around?  I had straws so straws it was.  LOL.  I think that the two cupcakes on the end sent it off nicely and match the inner fabric well too.

Now on to another project.  I'm still doing my redwork but my mind is already going along the lines of I want to do a log cabin (block that is).  I was watching a video on it and I liked how unstructured the instructions were.  I don't feel like precutting my length of fabric to exactly match the sides that I need to do etc.  This gave a 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" center but then she just used 2 1/2" strips to keep adding to the sides.  I have lots of 2 1/2" strips (not to mention the AccuQuilt GO! 2 1/2" strip die) so I might do that.  Of course you trim as you go along but don't really need to precut other than getting your strips.  If it gets too long to use I'll just cut my 2 1/2" strips down a little bit for easier handling.  Wish me luck.

Break time is over so it is back to work.  I'll catch up with you all later.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October is here!

Happy October everybody!

I slept so well last night.  Six full hours without getting up in the middle of the night at all.  That is such a good way to start the month!

Don't have much to report.  I did manage to start on a new project.  It is actually one of my UFO's.  I had ordered a kit from Bird Brain Designs and I pulled it out to start since it is Redwork and Redwork is our Bucket List for October.  I've done Redwork before and love to do it.  It's combing two passions in one.  It let's me to my embroidery as well as quilting.  I'm not great with either but know that I don't get better unless I do it and work at it.  Since I know how to do Redwork, I was trying to think how I could do it to make it a bit different which would be learning something else.

This time I used a permanent marker to trace my design.  GASP!  What was I thinking?!!!!!

I'm not known for always doing my outlines right.  My lines get a little off here and there and I never worried about it before since I used the blue washable pens.  Bird Brain Designs, in their directions, say to use a permanent red marker like a pigma pen.  I first tried my blue washable pens but I could only find a softer tip one and not my fine line and it didn't work.  Not a problem.  A few swipes under water and it all disappeared.  Then I used the red pigma marker.  Talk about nervous!  I couldn't wash this out.  The good thing is that it made me go slower and thus I was a little more accurate with my markings.  Being red it shouldn't be noticeable since I'm using red perle cotton.  You can't see the design too well in this picture but you'll see progress as I go along.  This is just one of the blocks.  There are three blocks which can be put together or kept separately.  Not sure which way I will go.

What do you think?