Saturday, April 30, 2011

Doing a Little Happy Dance

I am so happy to say that all my blocks are pieced!!! Yay for me :). The blocks are not trimmed to size or put together yet, but all the little tiny work is done.
From the pictures I've seen of the finished quilt, the border changes the whole look of this. I haven't decided which green I'll use for the inner border - I'll wait until the whole border is pieced and see how much pizzaz it needs.

I love working with pink and brown so I'm looking forward to piecing the border. I really can't believe the blocks are all done!! I love looking at the pictures! This quilt is going to be bigger than I normally make - and I'm only doing 20 blocks. I can't even imagine how big it would be at 30. Bonnie definitely likes bigger quilts than I do!!
And I am happy to report that so far....... this quilt is 100% FREE!! It's very exciting to know that I can create something so pretty just from my scrap basket and my stash. Of course, that may mean I have too much fabric. Let's hope my DH doesn't read this :).

Have a great day,


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Making Progress

I'm happy to report that I am finished cutting and piecing red/neutral HST's all 400 of them!!! Now I'm just sewing them together in sets of 5 which goes very fast. I wanted to show one of the scraps in the string blocks (bottom left corner section). Do you recognize one of the Moda fabrics used in the Moda Challenge in 2004 (I think)? Kim and I both made a quilt for the challenge and seeing this brings back those memories and makes me smile. This piece even says Brannock and Patek, as you know, one of my personal favorites!

I am nearly half way done with the center and I must say Bonnie's directions are wonderful. Considering there are so many seams, so far everything seems to be lining up. We'll see when I actually start piecing the center. Then there's the border..... oi vey!! But I am determined to keep going for now.

Until next time,


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Rolling Along

I've had fun cutting and playing today! I've taken a series of pictures to encourage me in my progress :). Here are all my pink and brown triangles and some string blocks.

I cut the green and neutral segments and moved the hst units from one side to the other. My total of string blocks were also growing.

Getting there..... and now only 1 set left undone. Yay!!! The only problem is now I've got 400 2" red and neutral half square triangles. That is not a typo - 400!!! The directions call for 600, but I'm making my quilt smaller.

So my progress will be slow for this next part.

Until next time,


Friday, April 22, 2011

Coming Down For Now

Here's my one of a kind pineapple quilt as it is for now. I haven't named it yet, any suggestions?? I've finished all I can until after I present the program so it's coming down off the design wall. Several of you offered opinions on borders on a previous post, I'm still not sure what I'm doing. These are 3 Kaffe fabrics that I have on hand, but none of them really grab me. The one on the left isn't bad. I've auditioned yellow as an inner border, not sure.
I don't think I want to add a pieced border, this doesn't really need any more chaos going on than what's already on the inside LOL!! In real life, this is one HAPPY quilt!

It's fun to see how it all started, I love designing using this process. Some of you said you had the book (One of a Kind Quilts by Judy Hopkins) - I hope you'll dig it out. I'd love to see anything you come up with - challenge yourself!!! Just start with an orphan block from some long ago project and start making 4" blocks. It's addictive and liberating!!

Here's what it looks like in sections right now. I will number these so I can re-create it for the Guild program I'm giving in June. Once these big sections are together, it's a piece of cake to finish it. Since everything is a multiple of 2 - it all fits together.

Have a blessed Good Friday.
Until next time,

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Little Tiny Roll

This is my latest distraction. I am finally starting to make some blocks for Bonnie Hunter's "Roll, Roll Cotton Boll" quilt from last fall. I decided to start with the string blocks and see where that leads. I got out my big scrap bin and began digging for lights. The worst part of this process is the pressing!! Believe it or not, the top actually fits on this! But as soon as I started looking for strings, it started growing LOL!
I've got 14 done - not too bad. It's amazing to me that this old fabric looks so good done up in strings. And using Bonnie's suggestion of phone book paper worked like a dream. I made sure it was an old one so the ink wouldn't come off, but because the pages are so thin, it tore off really easily. So this is my start, my tiny little roll.
It's off to work for me, hope you all had a great weekend. I know there was some bad weather, but it was glorious here in Northwest Florida.

Until next time,


Friday, April 15, 2011

A Happy Mistake

Here is my latest office quilt. (I have had quite a bit of trouble with the lighting, but I think you'll get the idea - I think they changed the bulbs in my office - grrr). The colors vary somewhat, but here is my spring version of my original tree that I made last year. While they are the same size and composition, they look really different.
My new quilt reminds me of cherry blossoms. As I child I attended the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC and this quilt reminds me of that happy memory. Using a blue background and the pink leaves does not create as much contrast.
I quilted the same curly design in the background, which I love.

I added a small piping which is very subtle, but created some edge definition. I couldn't find a binding that didn't detract from the overall quilt, so I just used the same fabric.

The color of the quilt is somewhere between these two pictures - you can see I'm having camera issues.
My happy mistake is the bird. After I was completely finished with this quilt, I realized there was no kitty in it. Since I don't have any pink cat fabric, I ripped out one of the leaves and added a bird using red fabric. It really stands out and makes the quilt much more fun. It's kind of hard to see the kitty but trust me, he's there.
Until next time,


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pineapple Progress

Kind of sounds like the book "Pilgrim's Progress" doesn't it? Anyway, back to the project at hand. I've been working and this is where I am. Here is the quilt with my 4 focal blocks (2 big and 2 small) and the fillers to equal 10 blocks across and 10 blocks down. That makes this 40 x 40 without borders. Personally, I thought it needed more. And I didn't like the blue solid strip in the top middle. The small strips on the big pineapple blocks were to bring it to a total of 14 1/2". The bigger strips enlarged them to 16 1/2". Remember, this technique is all based on 2", 4", 6", etc. So I added one more row on the lefthand side and another row across the top. I also changed out the solid strip and added a row of half square triangles.
Here's a closer look. I really like the balance of the blocks. I thought the pinwheel blocks gave the most movement, so I used those more frequently. I also really liked the way the little yellow 4 patches moved across the quilt. I got that idea from working on my Trail Mix quilt (still need to get back to that.... big sigh). I forgot to show you where the kitty is, he's in one of the 16 patch blocks. (This also reminds me to update you on Rodger, nothing, and it's been over 3 weeks.....). This kind of makes putting a kitty in every quilt even more special now.
And lastly, I decided to add one more row to the bottom to kind of give it some "weight". I've sewn this together in sections so I can take it apart and then when I give the program, I'll be able to show how it all builds and goes together. So now I have to decide, border or no border?? What do you think??
Until next time,


Sunday, April 10, 2011

My Pineapple Mistake and a Personal Challenge

Last fall I was trying to get in a groove to make some pineapple blocks. When I had finished 4 of them, I realized I had a problem. I had added an extra row and two of the blocks were 14" instead of 12". The 2 blocks on the top are wrong, the 2 on the bottom are right. I had lots of suggestions as to what to do with them. They've been sitting in a pile until now. I've finally decided what I want to do with them. The first thing I did was make 2 more pineapple blocks - only these finished at 4"!! I saw these on Victoria's blog and just fell in love.
So now I had 2 - 14" blocks and 2 - 4" blocks.
I have decided to do a program for our Guild in a few months based on this book. I've made many quilts based on this book. I bought this back in the early 90's and it's been a wonderful resource. It has helped me feel more equipped to design my own quilts.
The premise of this book is that you take however many focal blocks you have, decide on a setting and then fill in the rest with 4" blocks from the menu below.
Here are the blocks I chose to use: square in a square, pinwheel, double four patch, 16 patch, flying geese, big triangle and four patch. I just started making blocks from the scraps leftover from my "glow in the dark" pineapple quilt.
So, here's what I have so far. It's kind of growing on me - a lot!!! I'm not sure what size it will finish at, I'll just keep making blocks until it tells me to stop :).
These blocks are really addictive - I'll be back soon with more.

Until next time,


Friday, April 8, 2011

The winner of Mocha Mini #2

I must admit that as this is the first giveaway of something I've made, it has been exciting and rewarding. Thanks for your comments. I think we all feel the same way, that blogging has brought an extra measure of enjoyment and inspiration to our lives. We have been challenged and inspired to go to new places and try new things. This morning while reading over my bloglist I noticed that Nicole is celebrating her 1,000th post!! At first I felt kind of deflated since I was all excited about getting to 100, but you know what?? She started with 1, went to 100, 500 and now is at 1,000. We're all on this journey together. So congratulations Nicole!! Now for the drumroll..... I am so excited to tell you a little about the winner. She wrote: "I've learned so much from your blog and you DO inspire me to take chances and try new things. I'm thankful for your connection to Kim because I feel her books are going to be a big part of my quilting journey and I probably wouldn't have found them without you talking about them." My winner is Becky!! I have known Becky since I was 5 years old. Our families are dear friends. She lives in Maryland and I live in Florida. I haven't seen her in almost 10 years. But through my blog, we have reconnected and she has begun a quilting journey that has brought much joy to her life and to the lives of all the people she makes quilts for. For instance, after posting about a little wallhanging I made and describing the technique, Becky did one herself and sent me a picture. Some of you may remember Sacandaga Solace.
Becky wrote me back in January that one of the things on her Christmas list was this book. Since Christmas, she has already made 2 quilts out of it and is working on a third. Seeing her progress and enthusiasm grow has been a wonderful benefit of blogging. We all learn from each other.
So congratulations Becky. I wish I had something to send all of you. Thanks for helping me celebrate. Have a great day.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

100th Post Giveaway

First, let me say how truly touched I have been over the last week by your kind comments and encouraging stories in the disappearance of our sweet cat, Rodger. There has been no sign of him but I still stand at the window and watch. I am also checking in at the local animal shelter. I am pretty sure he's gone, but I still continue to hope. Thanks so much for sharing in my sorrow. Now, on to the matter at hand, my 100th Post!! I had decided I wanted to do something when I reached 100 followers, but that kind of sneaked up on me. Then when I realized I was close to 100 posts, I wanted to make something special for a giveaway. So during the last week, I've been working on this little wallhanging or table topper. I've named it Mocha Mini #2. Most of you know that Kim Brackett and I have been friends for many years. I was lucky enough to be involved in her first book, Scrap-Basket Surprises and she graciously asked me to do a quilt. Mocha Swirl is my quilt and it will always be very special to me. I decided it would fun to share a part of Mocha Swirl with one of you. When you look at Mocha Mini #2, you will know that these are the same fabrics as the quilt in the book!

I loved the chocolate brown and caramel colors in this quilt. I started with the border fabric and had so much fun choosing all the fabrics for the blocks. Most of the fabric came from my stash or from Kim's stash. As a result of all the angles in making the blocks, I ended up with a lot of little mini triangels.
I know a lot of people don't keep these, but I did and sewed them together in little blocks. They have been languishing for almost 2 years, but I finally decided to finish them up.

But in looking at Mocha Swirl, I still had some pieces left of the border fabric and of the backing fabric.
So I decided to make some little mini quilts and use these fabrics up.
I was able to get three little quilts out of all my leftover triangles. The one on the left is not done yet. The one in the middle is my giveaway, and the one on the right is going up as a wall hanging in our upstairs bathroom.
So here is Mocha Mini #2. I cut the border fabric into 1 1/2" strips and made a pieced border. This quilt is completely hand quilted by me. The only thing left to do is add a Kitty, my special trademark.

Leave me a comment and if you'd like to, share something special that you've learned by being a blogger or reading other's blogs. I'll announce a winner Friday morning. That's it!! This is my way of saying thank you for all the joy I've gotten over the last year as I've wandered through your wonderful blogs and learned so much from you about this passion we all share. Until next time,