My favorite block

My favorite block
Spinning Snowball block

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday Successes

   It was a beautiful day to drive to Houston for my quilt class.  Max at Quilter's Emporium did a wonderful job introducing the Irish Mist quilt from The Quilt Branch.  I went through my stash yesterday and pulled out all the greens I had at least 1/2 yard of.  I had enough for all my blocks except for the 3 borders and my light fabric.  I thought for once I was going to make a quilt without any purple in it, but it is not to be.  I found a beautiful fabric - "Iridescence" designed by Linda M. Poole for Avlyn.  It had just the faintest lavender hearts in it, so I chose a deeper purple to make the one inch middle border.
    We made the flying geese blocks using Stitching Lines from Marin & Colusa.  You use one big square and 4 small squares and sew on the stitching line paper to make 4 flying geese blocks at a time.  It was incredibly easy and no wasted fabric.   All mine came out nearly perfect.  The class continues next week.  For homework I need to cut out the rest of my fabric, and sew steps 1 through 12.  There are 58 steps in this quilt so I doubt I'll finish next week.
     I've got two more baby quilts to finish this week.  I also need to get started on my strip club project and the first three months of the Michael Miller Clubhouse.  April will be the last Clubhouse and Strip Club I'll be able to attend until July due to school commitments.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Super Saturday

It's been an eventful day!  I started out the morning with Saturday School.  I run the computer lab with a wonderful program called Waterford.  It has both Math and Reading and the students love it.  It teaches the kids and gives them a chance to practice.  The science and Math components have fabulous pictures and information.  We had a pretty full crowd today.

When I got done at noon I ran to the Cedar Chest to see if they had the fabric I needed to complete my quilt back.  Unfortunately, I hadn't bought it there so I ended up going to Plan B and C and D.  Always before I've used just one fabric for my backing.  But I've seen so many fabulous backs at Quilter's Emporium's Strip Club show and tell, that I was inspired to try something different this time.  I used my leftover blocks.  I didn't have enough fabric to do it the way I originally intended so I spent an awful lot of time "thinking". 

After my fruitless trip to the quilt shop, I picked up my hubby and we made a trip to the recycling center with all my shredding and cardboard and plastic bottles collected from school and home.  Then I treated him to some good Texas barbeque at Mikeska's for lunch.  We saw an elderly woman there with her family who had sprung her for the day from the local nursing home.  I hope when I get old(er) and start forgetting things that my friends and family don't talk about me as if I'm not even there, or ask me a question and not give me a chance to answer.  Don't ask me if I know who you are.  I'll feel sad enough already that I don't remember who you are.  Talk to me, not at me or around me.

backing for baby quilt #2
I finished the one backing for my baby quilt after that and got another one up on my design wall ready to sew.  Here's the backing I finished today.  I hope to get the two baby quilts I have done to the long-armer tomorrow.

I'm taking an Irish Mist quilt class from Max at QE tomorrow and next Sunday.  It's from the book Six Halves Make a Whole Lot More from The Quilt Branch.

I'm also excited because I finally have my first follower, my friend/sister Renae from Nebraska.  We became friends back at church camp in our teens.  Our friendship has survived her moving from PA to NB my senior year of high school, my moving to Texas after college, and many years of separation.  We were in each others weddings, then didn't see each other again for 22 years until the summer before last.  She is still the beautiful, bubbly girl with the kindest heart, and deepest faith that I met almost 37 years ago.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Bali Rail Fence

I finished my Bali Pops Rail Fence quilt from a class I took over Spring Break at the Cedar Chest quilt class.  I love how it turned out, so colorful!  Purples and blues and pinks and greens, oh my!  I used two sets of Bali Pops.  I had sixteen blocks left over so will make a table runner to practice my machine quilting skills on before I attempt the larger quilt.  My friend, Neta helped me arrange the blocks tonight during a break at Family Literacy. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Break Fun

I got a lot of quilting done over Spring Break.  After finishing my two baby quilts, I loaded up my bag full of all the quilting projects I worked on in 2010 and drove to Austin to visit my friend Mary.  I had started a Christmas Cactus pillow for her for Christmas and finally finished the back of it on Tuesday evening.  She loved it and kept holding it the whole day while we caught up on everything since last we visited two years ago.  She is my biggest fan for my quilting.  When I saw this pattern in McCall's online bonuses it just shouted her name.  She moved to near Taos, New Mexico after retirement and is an artist herself.  I really miss her!  She is also my Harry Potter buddy.

Thursday my friend came over and helped to start to organize my quilt room.  My husband also put in another shelf in my closet.  I got a lot of my stash folded  neatly and put away.  I plan to work on it a little each day until I have my whole stash organized.  Then maybe I can find the fabric I'm looking for when I have a project to do.  I bought some new archive quality photo storage boxes to use for my fat quarters too. 

Friday I took a split rail fence class from Taylor Phillips at the Cedar Chest in El Campo.  I took the class so I could try to get to know other local quilters, but unfortunately I was the only one in the class.  I had fun sewing all day and visiting with Taylor and Ginni from the shop.  I got all my strips pieced and cut into blocks at the shop.  Ginni and I made tentative plans to meet at the shop some Saturdays and work on the blocks from The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt book.

Saturday and today I worked on finishing my split rail fence quilt.  I used two sets of Bali Pops.  I have 12 out of 14 rows done.  I'll post a picture when I finish.

2nd quilt done

baby quilt 2
baby quilt 1
I finished my second quilt with my self-titled "ugly" block late Friday night.  Took both quilts to show and tell at Strip Club at Quilter's Emporium.  Now I just have to put together the backing and decide whether to quilt them myself or give to the long-armer.

Two members brought old quilt tops that their grandmothers had pieced.  They were beautiful and unique.  One was a T block the other two were unknown patterns.

This month's strip project looked quite uninteresting when merely viewing the bolts of pale batiks.  But once Max added a textured, interesting black accent fabric and a 6 inch wide outer border, it turned out very interesting.  The accent fabric was directional, so I don't think my skill level is up to that yet.
March strip quilt by Max

But I do have some interesting other black prints that I think will do as well.  I LOVE piecing with black!

Monday, March 14, 2011

"Ugly" quilt done

I sewed all day and finally finished my self-titled "Ugly" quilt.  Now that it's done it's not quite so ugly.  It's still not my favorite quilt that I've worked on.  I unsewed a lot of seams today where my seams didn't match, resulting from prior sewing where I didn't watch my 1/4 inch seam allowance.  I was more careful today.  I added the cornerstones because my side borders were an inch too short.

Tomorrow I will piece the backing and start on the companion quilt with the other set of blocks from the original quilt I started.

LeMoyne Star Class by Paula Barnes

I've begun a very busy month for quilting.  Last Saturday, I took a pajama party class from Paula Barnes on her LeMoyne Star pattern.  Ten of us got together in our pj's to learn her technique.   Some of us had just looked at the picture on Quilter's Emporium's newsletter and assumed it was a large quilt.  NOT!  Each block has 36 little one inch squares.  All but 4 squares are half square triangles.  Fortunately for my eyesight, she recommends using Star Singles by Spinning Star Design.  Using these paper patterns, you can make 8 half square triangles from two 5-inch squares of fabric.  Much easier than sewing all those tiny HSTs.  They come in all different sizes from

Paula's quilt features Civil War fabrics but I elected to use brights and batiks from my stash.  I got one block done that night.  It has taken me the rest of the week to sew, cut, and press the rest of the HSTs.  I sewed two more blocks today.

Here is my first block.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Tesselation placemats

My friend Ana got her first apartment last year.  When I told her she needed some placemats for her new dining table, she reminded me that I had bought some fabric to make her some when we had shopped together at a quilt shop in Bay City (now closed).  So I rushed home and looked through my charm packs and picked out the ones that looked like her taste.  I used a Tesselations technique and template I got at a class a few years ago at Quilter's Emporium.  I think they came out nice, but as it turns out, she said that wasn't the fabric she had picked.  She likes them anyway.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sewin' Again

Well I finally got off the couch last week and started sewing again.  I decided to put the blocks together from one of last year's strip club projects.  I've had them on my design wall since Christmas.  Although I like the individual fabrics in the collection, together they are just too busy.  My friend, Ana, came over and agreed that they were just UGLY!  So we separated the blocks into 2 stacks and decided to make 2 different quilts.  I'm trying to tone them down a bit with sashing.  So far I have 3 out of 6 rows done for the first quilt.  Here are a couple of the blocks.