Friday, March 16, 2012

A Little Inspiration

My favorite thing this week is a video.  Thanks to Shay for hosting FTF so that I can share it.  My life-long friend in California sent this to me.  Now she is not a quilter, but was so taken by this woman's determination she just had to share.  Interestingly enough, she just found out she has some serious health problems so I'm hoping this inspired her as well.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Something for "Show and Tell"

I've revamped my blogging schedule.  When I started, I had this aim to blog about my quilting/sewing at least once a week.  Not too hard to do when making smaller projects (like for the holidays).  But since I've started the king-sized Wings and a Prayer quilt, there isn't always that much new to post about.  Therefore, I've been absent for a while. 

However, I now have some things to share.  First I completed the crocheted baby afghan I had been working on, and just in time.  It seems that my nephew and his wife's little girl is coming sooner than originally thought.  I had asked for pattern ideas for a ruffle for this shell stitch little afghan, and P was so kind to send me a beautiful pattern.  However, I could not make it work with the body I had already done.  I'll save that lovely idea for the next little one to come into this family. 

I was able to finish all four sides for the zigzag border that surrounds the medallion for the W&P quilt (instead of just bragging about doing it.)

As the piece will sit "on-point" corner blocks were made.

Then log cabin triangles are added.  This is where I learned another new technique (for me anyway) from making this quilt.

A diagonal line is drawn on the backside so that the piece is can be cut into a triangle.  Then a thin strip of fusible interfacing was ironed over the line with most of the strip on the block side.

Then using a quarter inch ruler, a line was drawn 1/4" below the original line and the log cabin ends cut off.  This quarter inch is the seam allowance.  The fusible interfacing strip will prevent stretching when assembling the corners on the quilt.  Boy, I could have used this tip 2 years ago when working with large triangles!  I'll have to see how it actually feels when I quilt this monster.

The triangles are attached to either side of the corner blocks.  The triangles are mirror images of one another.

Then these "corners" will be added to make the medallion square for the quilt top.  I just had to lay it out to see what it would look like.  I about died when I first laid it out and this corner section was too small.  But it pays to read the directions.  There are small squares in the corners of the medallion that have to be cut into triangles.  When this is done, the corners fit perfectly.  I mean, "Duh,"  READ THE DIRECTIONS!!!!

Still have to attach these corner sections and then I'm into adding borders.  Many many borders!  The first one is made with flying geese so I guess I'm back in the goose business for this next week.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Incredible Ideas

As I was trying to think of what to write about for Shay's Favorite Things Friday, it came to me that great ideas for gadgets, crafts, cooking and the like really get me going.  For many years, I've been thrilled every time I take my wine opener out of the utensil drawer.  I'm old enough to remember what a struggle it was to open a bottle of wine with a corkscrew.  And so unlady like, with it clamped between my legs, pulling and yanking.  Let alone the occasional spillage of the cork coming loose when you least expect it.

                                                     Oops!  A little wine stain in the picture

A much newer gadget is the Quick Quarter Ruler.  In making this last quilt, with all the half squares and flying geese, I can't imagine how I ever did without it.

And then there are all the terrific ideas I receive from all you fellow quilt and craft bloggers.  This week I made Kirsten's Lime and Coconut Chicken.  Like her, when I was making the marinade, using ingredients I was unfamiliar with (coriander and coconut milk), I thought, "Boy, I don't know about this.  It smells really different."  But the result was superb.  I sent some in my daughter's lunch, complete with fresh lime slices and cilantro.  She raved about this chicken and said her co-worker's were rather impressed that she had fancy garnishes for her delicious lunch. One fellow teacher requested the recipe so I printed it off for further enjoyment.

I've been crocheting a baby afghan and have finally gotten the body completed.  But since the new baby is to be a girl, I wanted a ruffled edge.  All I had to do was ask and Paulette sent a pattern lickety-split.   Maybe in a week or so I'll have added the ruffle and can show you the afghan.

And then there is the bird applique pattern that Angie sent me after I saw her post about it.  I have yet to use it, but have plans for a spring wall hanging once my king-sized quilt is completed.  Yes, I know.  I could work on two projects at once, but I hate UFOs.

Of course, there are many, many more great ideas I get from viewing FTF.  There are just too many to list.

 As an addendum to last week's Red Glass post, my dear cousin's husband (the landscape artist) was antiquing and came home with this lovely red cruet for me.  It is hard to see in the picture, but the top is a strawberry.
Now how sweet is that!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Fying Geese Border

My "stitchin" this week was to get all the borders around the Wing and a Prayer quilt.  What did I accomplish?  Got one on.  I seem to have this problem of planning more than I can accomplish or is it that my regular life seems to take more precedent than my quilting?

Sunday my dear cousin, my daughter, and I went to the Women's Fair here in Wichita.  We got smart and parked for free at the nearby stadium, riding the free party bus to the fair.  Loud 70's music played and strings of lights decorated the bus.  One woman, who had to stand in the aisle and hang on to the overhead bars, commented, "Hey, we ought to dance.  We've got the poles."  Gave me a giggle.  The fair itself basically was a big sales event for clothing, jewelry, make-up, etc.  But I did find a good black leather purse to replace the one that was stolen last week.

My daughter started a new job this week at a relatively new career college.  She gets to wear scrubs to work.  Now how cool is that.  She works from 9:30 am to 10:30 pm three days a week.  She discovered that she really needed another lab coat so I spent yesterday running around to the local uniform shops, finally finding just that perfect one.

Okay, excuses done.  Here are some pictures of the border I was bragging about earlier.

The border is made with 2 rows of flying geese.  I started out making all 48 geese for the tan/brown border.  Man, was that boring.  So I made just 12 of the green/brown geese, put the geese together to make one of the borders.  Much more interesting.

I really was pleased how the two rows made the zigzag pattern.

As I was pinning the border to the quilt, my chief QI, Cinnamon, came to do her job.

She takes her job very seriously, pulling up each section for carefully scrutiny.

Her job is done.  You can tell what an exhausting job it was.

Finally after the great job Cinnamon did, and my persevering to get the border pinned and stitched, one border is complete.

I really want to thank Cinnamon for all her help (even helping me type this).  She turned a rather boring blog into something a little more interesting.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Color Red

I adore red!   It is my favorite color.  I've been noticing that the majority of my T-shirts and sweaters hanging in my closet are red.  I just went to a big winter sale and came home with two new red sweaters.  I don't shop planning to buy red, it just happens. 

Last spring when I moved into my new house, I bought the pattern for the Wing and a Prayer quilt.  I've always wanted a quilt with cranberry red as a main color. Then I noticed that the master bedroom where I will use the quilt had pot shelves 8 feet up along one wall, and the shelves were back lighted with florescent lights.  I began to envision a collection of cranberry red glass with the lights shining through them.  So I began to hunt and collect pieces, even long before I would have the quilt.  As of yet, the pieces are decorating my living room as I need many more pieces for the shelves to look right.  Oh, darn, more trips to antique and thrift stores or places like Hobby Lobby.

Here are the pieces I've collected so far.

 These were the first two pieces I purchased at Hobby Lobby--just to get the collection going.

These two were gifts.  The square piece came with a bouquet of roses sent to me by my brother-in-law and his wife as a house warming gift.  The tall vase was a gift for my birthday from my dear cousin.

This little pitcher was a find at an antique store.  I loved the red body with the clear glass handle.

These are my latest acquisitions.  My cousin, once again, has contributed to my collection.  She recently remodeled her kitchen and found these stuck back in a cabinet.  She says they came from her mom's house and thinks that one of them was given to her mom by mine.  I have always had "thing" for cruets.  I was so delighted to get them. 

This is my collection so far and I'm looking forward to seeing it grow. 

To see other people's great favorites, hop on over to Shay's Favorite Things Friday .

Glorious Geese

I've been in the geese business this week--flying geese that is.  In order to join the sampler blocks together, 48 flying geese had to be constructed.  The three colors used were green, rose, and red.  And, of course, by the time I got to the 37th one, I finally got the technique truly down. Which is really good since the rest of the quilt has mucho, mucho flying geese used in multiple borders.

The geese were sewn into geese units and then sashed.

Then the fun began.  These geese units were used to join the sampler blocks made previously, and then the blocks were attached to the medallion.

When the quilt is completed, this section is set on point.  I was unable to get it in a photo with it turned.  It now measures 49 inches on a side. 

Also the color is a little off.  The areas that appear white are actually tan.  (More the color shown in the pics of the flying geese sections)  Again so much for my photographic skills.  Hey, one thing at a time.  I'm learning new quilting techniques and learning to blog.  I'll work on photography later.

I was so excited to finally get all these separate blocks together.  Don't you just love it when a plan comes together.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Wing and a Prayer Medallion

My objective for this week was to complete the medallion for the Wing and a Prayer quilt.  I did finish it, just a few days later than planned.  I was going to whip this puppy out and post about it by midweek.  Well, I made it by Sat.  After reading P's post "Where Does the Time Go?" I at least know that I'm not the only one who is challenged when appropriately scheduling plans with reality.

The work on the medallion was done in three separate sections.  The first section was an eight point star requiring multiples of sewing in the Y.  I always approach this with trepidation as I've had problems in the past getting the Ys in so that they lay smooth.  However, I was able to do them all with little problem.  I was really feeling full of myself.

This picture, however, was the third try.  If you look carefully, you will see that the gold sections have traces of a bright green.  The first time I made it, many of these sections had large areas of this shade.  I began to realize that that shade of green would clash with the more subdued gray/green in the rest of the fabrics so I decided to rip out the 4 sections that had a predominance of that bright green, fussy cut new ones, and stitch them back in.  All went well, colors much better, but then the darn thing wouldn't lay flat.  So (third time's a charm), I ripped it apart again, did a little resizing of the pieces and the final result was a 13 1/4" block.

The second section was the red half stars also requiring Y seams. Again all went as planned. Now my medallion had grown to 18 1/2"

The third section was a border requiring diagonally cut rectangles and sewing the triangles from 2 fabrics so that half go one way and the other half go the opposite.  I worried that I'd miss cut or sew, but took my time and they, too, went together as planned. Only one problem arose when trying to attach the border to the block.  Some of the points were a little off and on first try I cut the points off.  Oh, yes, "The ripper is my friend."  But finally the medallion was complete.  It measures 24 1/2"

This will be the center of the quilt and the previous blocks that I've blogged about will go around it.  Onward I go.  Maybe this week I can improve my scheduling.