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Monday, January 31, 2011

Design Wall Monday~January 31

This isn't a great picture but I think you can get the idea. I've got a lot going on! Besides the Yellow Challenge that I just finished, I've got my January UFO 3/4 of the way finished. So I'm still a little behind on that but it is an improvement  as it had been sitting in the closet for years as only an incomplete flimsy. Now it's backed and layered and I've begun the quilting.

On the wall are; the dark patches are my mindless sewing blocks. Their destination will be in a "Road to Oklahoma" Quilt. The pink wonky Churn Dashes are the blocks I've asked my fellow bee members from the Modern Stash Quilting Bee to make for me but I wanted to try the tute' before I asked them to do this block. Then there are the know there is a shelf life on those. This week I need to make them into a table runner or a table topper. And lastly, you can barely see it on the right are the cutest BOM from Miss Shabby. I didn't let it bother me that I had not embroidered for at least ten years!

February won't be as busy as January but I'm already booked to finish a second UFO, a violet challenge quilt, another stitchery block, 2 blocks to send to my two different bees and then there will be more blocks to do for the Liberated challenge. 

How lucky that I'm retired!


January Monochromatic Yellow~Finished!

Just in time...! Jan 31 4:00 PST. Here is a picture of front and back. This is the largest quilt that I've FMQ on my regular domestic machine.  Don't look too closely!  I need more practice!

Anyone have a suggestion for a name?


Sunday, January 30, 2011

MSQB-February is my Month!

MSQB-Modern Stash Quilting first virtual quilting bee on Flickr! February is my month. In this bee we each get to choose a block and the Bee members make your block from their fabric stash. I am so excited! For months I have been thinking about what block do I want? I've made lists and revised them several times but the Liberated Churn Dash by Sarah at has been on every list.  I was concerned, as we have many beginning quilters in our group, that the lack of structure in a liberated block might be intimidating, rather than freeing. I decided I had better build a block from the tutorial before I made my decision.  This is my first block

Somehow this doesn't say "Churn Dash" to me. But the block was fun to build and I was willing to try again.

Hey! This is much better! What clarification would I add to the original tute? I would say when making the second cut on the corners remember to think "triangle". The part of the foundation to which you are adding colored fabric scraps should look like a triangle. It's liberated, you don't need to have an exact angle but do think triangle. At the same time, when making the second cut on the corners, think about cutting this triangle wider than the pieced "bars" both horizonally and vertically. Both of these considerations lead to a better Churn Dash.

I did do a third block and on this one I used bigger scraps. Do I like the chunky one as well as the skinny one?  I do!

 I think this will be a fun block for the group. I am also going to offer a standard Churn Dash as an option. I picture a quilt top that has both the standard and liberated blocks. But I'm hoping that everyone at least tries one liberated block before going for the standard block.

Isn't this fun?


p.s. You can see other liberated churn dashes on the Sew Modern Bee.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Early Morning

I couldn't sleep this morning and so got up at 4:00. I could have read but thought "I've been working pretty hard on projects but I've not done anything just for fun".  I had so much fun with the Christmas Table Runners that I was thinking I need another quick, cute project. With Valentines day coming up it was the perfect opportunity to do something cute.

So this morning I quickly did these 6 hearts with the plan (unfortunately I didn't really have a "plan") of making a table runner or a table topper. Now these are on the wall. And they are "cute" but I'm asking myself "why did I do mirror images?" I think they would have been much easier to arrange if I had done them all the same! I will have to play with these and decide how I am going to arrange them. I'm certain that any arrangement will require more blocks. Oh well!

Have a great day!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Design Wall Monday~January 24

This is what is on my design wall today...and actually what was on it last Monday. I didn't get to share as my computer was sick and visiting the "Computer Doctor".

This is my UFO for this month. Yes, I am getting right down to the wire if I'm to get it done by the end of this month. Just one short week away! But my dilemma has been "do I even want to finish this project". After getting it out, putting it on the wall and reading the directions again I've come to a conclusion. UFO's became UFO's because you either didn't like the fabric, didn't like your quality of work or just didn't understand the pattern directions. Originally this became a UFO because the next border was very time consuming. And I found the directions a bit difficult. But I do have that border pieced. I also have to say there is one fabric in there, a cheap one that I bought to fill in a color (yellow!), that I hate. And now I don't want to take the time to take those squares out. I have been asking myself for two I want to invest any more time into this project? And not only that, do I want to invest the cost of batting and using the backing fabric for this project or something else?

I have decided to finish this quilt at the size it is now. 55x55. No fancy borders. Besides the reasons that made it a UFO, I just don't particularly like this quilt top anymore. It is no longer "me". I think it will make a fine table cloth, picnic blanket or car blanket and it will be finished. And that decision, frees me to try a new free motion quilting design without the worry of ruining something I really like.

I've decided that my interpretation of a finished UFO can be that I'm finishing it where it is now, not to the pattern directions, or even, I can be "finished" with it by donating the top. At last, a decision made!

Now I have to go layer the quilt. I pieced the backing last night.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Design Wall!

Here is today's design wall!  You will see my first attempts at letters from Tonya's book.  I could have changed the "Y". I could have learned to do a more difficult "W" rather than opting for the option of turning an "E" on it's side but I wanted my first attempt to look like my first attempt. I like it! With the "word" are the other components of the back I am going to piece for yellow. Today!

The middle strips are borders for my UFO for January. Yes, I dug it out and yes there is more work to do than I remembered.

And! All the blue/green blocks are done. I was so excited! Until putting it on the wall today (remember I've had parts of it up before) I see a piecing error(s). Yuck! Often this type of problem would disgust me and this project would become a UFO. I am very unhappy with myself. I'm afraid to count how many blocks are done incorrectly, I know it is somewhere inbetween 12-24. Dang! Well, thank goodness for a design wall where I can see it before the blocks are sewn together. This mistake involves bias triangles so after unsewing I may have to recut a bunch.

You can see I have work to do today. It is not nearly as much fun to unsew and resew as it is to sew new. Wish me luck!


Friday, January 7, 2011

Liberated Quiltmaking

I encourage you to take a look at the link below. We are doing a study of free form, free pieced quilting. See my two birds? These were done without patterns and without specific measurements. And I will try different things when I do more birds. I already have new ideas. This liberated, unruly, free form, quilt style is very fun! You should join the study and try something new.

I was slow to warm to "wonky" (see photo's below) style blocks but now find them very fun. I was late in catching the liberated train when Gwen Marston first introduced it back in around 1998, I think. Now I've found myself interested in pursuing this type of quilt design.

Sometimes I "want" things, and think I'm "entitled" to them, now! The first Gwen Marston book "Liberated Quiltmaking" is out of print. Everyone raves about it! So I went to Amazon and EBAY and found lots of offerings for the up to over $100.00. Sure, there were lower priced ones, around $40.00 for a soft cover book, but I decided I wasn't that "entitled". Especially as I've never even seen the book itself. So I checked the library and found that our system has one! I'm now anxiously awaiting it's delivery from Lake Oswego to Molalla. Who knows? After reading it I might decide it is worth the $40.00 but at least it will be a informed decision not just 'cause I feel "entitled".

I would like to make a book recommendation-Tonya Ricucci's book "Word Play Quilts". "Easy Techniques from the Unruly Quilter". Fun book on putting words into your quilts with two important rules "If it's too long, cut it off" and "If it's too short, add to it."  It's a pieced technique, not applique.

Now I"m off to the sewing room!  Enjoy!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Mondays Design Wall

This is what is going on here.  I did not get the blue/green quilt top finished. I ran out of Kona White! I was surprised. It is a staple for me. You can see the beginning of the monochromatic yellow quilt. I've decided it is much too "sophisticated" to be a baby quilt so I'll cut some more yellows and make it lap size. 

I tried two different techniquest this week...the one seam flying geese. Very fun! Cute! But I don't like the extra fabric "pockets" it creates.  The two hexies were also a new technique to me. Again, cute but they remind me too much of the yo-yo's that I've got going. I should finish those yo-yo's !

Enjoy your day...we are having blue skies and sunshine.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Monochromatic Quilt Challenge

Judy at is hosting several monthly challenges. The one I am participating in in the Monochromatic Quilt Challenge. Each month a color will be chosen at random and we will complete a project of our choice using only that color...with either white, ecru or black as a background as needed.  So busy months I plan on making a smaller project and less busy months will allow for a larger project...that is if I have enough of that months color. No buying fabric for these challenges!

This months color is yellow.  I was surprised that I had as many yellow/golds as I did. Last night I dug them out. And "dug out" is an appropriate descriptive phrase. And  I chose a pattern, see below, and I cut strips. Today I subcut strips and split all the components for each block onto cheap paper plates. One block per plate. I had planned on doing a baby quilt but that would only take 12 blocks. Now, as I do have such a variety of yellows, I'm considering doing two baby quilts or a lap quilt. As the month progresses I'll let you know what I've decided.

Not a very good picture...I've got to get my camera manual out and find out how to turn off the flash. Someday! Remember, my quilt will be all yellow/golds with black backgrounds. Keep your fingers crossed that I still like it after I do my first couple of blocks!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Quick Post! No Pix!

I hope everyone had a wonderful New Years. I was sleeping but my DH took my hand, which woke me, and we watched the ball drop and kissed. Very sweet. Very nice.

So with the New Year I'm participating in some fun challenges and projects. I'm so glad I found bloggers and Flickr! My January projects now include finishing #3 on my list of UFO's, at least it is a smaller quilt, although there is piecing to finish, then layering, quilting and binding. I'll post a picture as soon as I dig out the project!

My January challenge for a monochromatic quilt is "Yellow". Not my favorite color and I didn't really think I would have enough but by including "gold" as "yellow" (it is ya know!) I came up (I think!) with enough different shades, values, to be able to make this quilt happen. We are allowed a background fabric of Ecru, white or black if we would like. At first I thought white for something frothy and light but now I'm thinking black, more contrast. I could even break the rules and use gray. I was told there was no color police watching this challenge, it's just an opportunity to use those scraps. I'll keep you posted. I am excited tho'. Last night I chose a pattern and cut strips, not yet sub-cut, with which to make the blocks.

But this morning I'm back to working on the turquoise, green and pink, as yet nameless quilt. I think I should be able to get the top done this weekend.  Okay! I said no pictures but here is one!

I hope everyone has a fantastic 2011 filled with fun challenges. Such as those in which I've chosen to participate.

Hugs! Toni