Monday, January 30, 2012

For the Birthday Boy

Two special children in my family are having birthdays soon, so I decided to make each of them a quilt to celebrate. This is for the soon-to-be-four-year-old boy who loves construction vehicles and big trucks. The pattern is one of my favorites from Mary of Making Scrap Quilts from Stash blog. It goes together very quickly and is a great way to showcase a fun novelty print.

Here's a shot of the pieced back...

...and a closeup of the quilting....

I found a similar print of construction vehicles and made a pillowcase to use as the gift wrapping. I'm told that the recipient is pleased!

A big thank you goes to Mary for being such a generous quilter and providing free patterns on her website.

My next post will feature quilt No 2...

Friday, January 27, 2012

Modern BOM Block 7

This is my version of block #7 of Sew, Mama, Sew's Modern Block-of-the-Month Sew-Along, made from leftover fabrics of my son's high school graduation/going-off-to-college quilt. It's hard to believe that my son has already started his second semester of his sophomore year!

Click on the "SMS BOM" label down on the right sidebar of my blog to see the other blocks I've made so far.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Seeing Beyond the Trees

The stress of attempting to be an "art quilter" is sometimes worse than the stress of a real job!

Monday, January 23, 2012

I Hate It When This Happens

From the movie "The Graduate --

Mr. McGuire: I want to say one word to you. Just one word.
Benjamin: Yes, sir.
Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?
Benjamin: Yes, I am.
Mr. McGuirePlastics.
Benjamin: Exactly how do you mean?
Mr. McGuire: There's a great future in plastics. Think about it. Will you think about it?

I don't think I feel quite like Mr. McGuire does about plastics. More and more things are being made of plastic and although at times it's a good thing, it's not that way ALL the time. What you see in the above photo is a piece of the needle threader from my Bernina which broke off recently. (The pin is there for scale). When the original needle threader broke about three years ago, I took it in to be replaced and was appalled that the replacement one had more plastic parts than the original (and I was appalled that the price of the new plastic threader was $30). I knew that it wouldn't last long, especially since the part that gets the most pressure is the part that was now made of plastic and not metal. My prediction came true recently...the needle threader is now broken after just three years of use (the first one lasted me about seven or eight years). It's still usable without that gray plastic piece, but it's not quite as easy. I have decided that it works for now and when it completely breaks, I won't be getting a replacement. I'll just use one of those little wiry things that come in some sewing kits...BTW, in the package of three of those wiry needle threaders that I bought a few months ago, one of them had a broken wire as soon as I took it out of the package! I guess that's to be expected when we buy things from discount stores, but I didn't expect it from my Bernina...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Check This Out

My fellow guild member Kathy of Cotton Cellar blog has opened a new Etsy store and is having a giveaway for one of her gorgeous creations. I have seen some of Kathy's work in person at Needles Quilt Shop in Wellsboro, PA and I can assure you that her work is outstanding. So be sure to go to Kathy's blog to take a look!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Lucky Me!

Last month, during Sew, Mama, Sew's Giveaway Day, I won a couple of wonderful giveaways.

The first was this lovely "Ruby" charm pack from Katie of Katie's Salt Marsh Path blog...

...and the second is this luscious group of 1/2-yard cuts of six fabrics from Cloud 9 Fabrics...

These fabrics are organic cotton and have a lovely silky soft feel to them. Perfect for when I need to make a baby quilt.

Thank you to all who sponsored the giveaways and especially to those who picked me as a winner!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Modern BOM Block 6

This is my version of Block 6 of Sew, Mama, Sew's Modern Block of the Month Sew-Along. The instructions on the website were for paper piecing the block...Since I've done a lot of paper piecing before, I didn't look closely at their instructions and did it the way I've always done paper piecing -- by sewing on the side of the paper that has the printed lines. The instructions for this block said to sew on the other side, which is why my block is actually a mirrored version of what it's supposed to look like. I didn't discover that until my block was finished. I don't really looks fine this way as well.

Since I'm making this out of fabric left over from my son's high school graduation/college quilt, my supply is running low, especially of the white fabrics. I'm hoping to somehow squeak by, even if it means "making fabric" from some of the smaller scraps.

Here's a shot of what all six blocks in this sew-along look like so far...

I'm liking it very much!

Friday, January 13, 2012

What More Can I Say?

THANK YOU all for the kind comments about my finished DJ quilt top! You've done my ego a lot of good!

My HQ16 goes in for servicing next week and I plan to buy some backing fabric (road trip!) and some thread while it's getting the full salon treatment. I want it to be in tip-top shape when I start quilting!

In the meantime, I have a whole lot of other projects that are calling my name...

Monday, January 9, 2012

My Design Wall Today

Well, here it is....

Most of my local support group has seen this in person, so I can now share it with everyone in blogland. You should be able to click on the photo to see a larger version.

This is my completed Jane Stickle quilt top replica...all 169 blocks, 52 outer triangles, and 4 corner pieces. No two are the same. The approximate size is 84 inches on all sides. I've sewn on a straight dark border which will be scalloped (like Jane's original quilt) after I quilt it. It took me 3 years, 7 months, and 9 days to get to this point. I finished the top at 3:04PM EST on December 31, 2011 but waited until today to blog about it because I wanted to show it to my local support group in person first.

Now I need to get my HQ16 mid-arm machine serviced (I want to make sure it's in perfect condition before I attempt to quilt this), buy some MonoPoly thread from Superior Threads, and get to work. My goal is to have it completely finished in time for my guild's September exhibit, but it would be even better if I could finish it in time for my four-year anniversary with this quilt in late May.

A big THANK YOU to all who have supported me and provided advice, in person and in cyberspace, during this journey with Jane. I couldn't have done it without you.

If you're new to my blog and want to see the individual blog posts about my progress with this quilt, just click on the "Dear Jane" label on the right sidebar of my blog.

Go to Judy's blog to see what others have on their design wall today.

Friday, January 6, 2012

My Little Corner of the World

1, 0...

This is "BRC, Sarah Jane", an intermediate-level corner piece for which I used the raw-edge machine-buttonhole stitch method of applique. On Jane Stickle's original quilt, this is the place where she embroidered the words...
In War Time
 Pieces 5602 
Jane A. Stickle

I'm not sure if I will embroider anything on this block or if I will just put a label on the back of the quilt. I'll decide that once the quilting and binding are finished.

So, this is it...the last of the blocks/triangles/corner kites. Now I will add a border around the entire quilt which will be scalloped later on. Stay tuned next week for a photo of the entire top....Can you stand the excitement?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Cutting Corners

2, 1, 0...

This is "TRC, Longwood", an advanced-level corner piece that I mostly paper pieced and then added the two small stars using the raw-edge machine-buttonhole stitch method of applique. Again, the software said "this applique block cannot be paper pieced". No, the whole thing can't be, but a good part of it can. So again I drafted my own paper piecing pattern for part of it.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Rounding the Corner

3, 2, 1, 0...

This is "TLC (Top Left Corner), Sadie Rose", an intermediate-level corner kite piece for which I used the raw-edge machine-buttonhole stitch method of applique. Not nearly as time-consuming as the first corner piece that I blogged about in my previous post.