Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lots of Stitching

What was supposed to be a long, 3-day weekend of quilting turned out not to happen.  Mr. T's 92-year-old aunt passed away on Saturday, so we had to drive to Louisiana for the funeral, which was this morning.  I took along my farmer's market hexies and did lots of basting and stitching during the 10 hours of driving over two days.

I finished the large green, blue and orange block before we left.  The blocks will be joined with dark red hexies.  I stitched one of them to the green to see what it would look like.  The smaller, unfinished blocks were basted, then stitched together in the car while listening to an audiobook of The Amateur Marriage by Anne Tyler.  It sure made a long, boring drive go much faster!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


I have not knit since I was in college.  That was an awful lot of years ago.  But last month at one of my quilt group meetings, Marti was knitting a ruffled scarf.  It looked easy, she said it was easy, that the yarn does all the work, that it doesn't matter what size or kind of needles you have.  She promised to show us how if we brought the special yarn and needles to the next meeting.  So, last night, armed with a skein of beautiful yarn from my friend Karen's shop, Yarn and Stitches, and an ancient pair of needles, I learned how to knit a ruffled scarf.  It still feels awkward, but I'm making good progress.  And I LOVE the color!

It looks rather like a caterpillar, doesn't it?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Pillow Day

No, not a nap day, although curling up under a snuggly quilt sure sounds good after the cold front that came through last night.  Today I finally made the pillow shams to go with the new bed quilt that I finished about a month ago.  When I made the quilt, I pieced a back for it out of miscellaneous batiks I had that went with the top.  There was a double strip of 4" squares through it.  There were fat quarters and pieces of yardage in it.  I tried twice to square it up so that it would load on my longarm, but I just couldn't get it right.  I even quilted two rows that I ended up picking out.  So I gave up on the pieced back.  I could have taken it all apart and folded up those fabrics and put them away, but I didn't. 

So today, I cut up that back to make the pillow shams.  It was a pain trying to manipulate all that fabric (the equivalent of a queen size sheet), but since everything was already sewn together, all I needed was to cut two pieces 24" by 28".  I quilted the tops and just made pocket backs so that a regular bed pillow can slip right in.

You can see the bed quilt in the background.  I would have taken the picture with the pillows actually on the bed, but I was too lazy to make it.  It IS Saturday, after all!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Bee Square

The Dallas MQG is starting a round robin bee tonight.  Each of us who wants to participate will bring in a center block, up to 24" square.  We will be put into groups of 4 or 5, then each person in a group will pass her square to another group member, who will add a border.  Next month, the process will be repeated, with each group handing off, round robin style.  We will be using bags to hold the quilts, so no peeking to see the progress on your own square.

It took me awhile to decide on a center block.  I was completely undecided (read:  had NO clue what I was going to do) until I saw this block on Pinterest (originally from Pitter Putter Stitch).

It took me awhile to track down the pattern, but I finally found it.  It's called Circle of Geese available as a free PDF from Piece By Number.  The paper-pieced pattern is repeated 4 times to make one 12" circle block.  I wanted a larger center for my bee block, so I tried to figure out how to enlarge it.  I tried using a photocopier, but one or two attempts failed and I gave up.  I looked for another pattern, and found one with a larger circle of geese, but I didn't like it nearly as well.  Then I had one of those head slapping, "doh" moments.  Make FOUR circles to make a 24" block!  So that's what I did.

I used Kona Snow for the background and snips from each of 48 different fabrics in turquoise, pink/red, green, and yellow/orange.  I'm pretty happy with how it turned out!  Now I just have to get all those little crumbs of paper out of the sweater I was wearing when I tore out the paper foundations.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Honoring Dad

My dad would have been 89 yesterday.  He was about 21 in this picture, a new Army Air Corp recruit with a hand lettered nametag, soon to go to war.  He was only 58 when he died, much too young.  He never knew his granddaughter, nor she him.  But through me he helped shape her into the lovely young woman she is.  Life goes on ....

Saturday, February 4, 2012

So Close ...

I am determined to finish my Habitat Challenge quilt for this Thursday's Dallas MQG meeting, even though we really don't have to have them done.  I finished all my flying geese last week and discovered that I needed more gray to finish the top.  I knew the fabric was a Bella solid, but there is no marking on the selvedge, so I didn't know exactly WHICH gray it was.  I already had two shades, one lighter than what I needed, so after much online examination and agonizing, I ordered Bella Gray last Monday.  I wanted to be able to dive right in today and not make any more trips to the store.  The fabric came within a day.  It's on the left.  What I need is on the right.

I didn't need Bella gray, I need Bella silver.  Aaarrrgggg!!!  So, back to the store I went today, fabric swatch in hand to ensure I got the right color this time.

I should still be able to finish the top, if not the entire quilt by Thursday.  We're also starting a round robin bee and I need to complete a center block for that.  AND, we're swapping zipper pouches.  At least THAT is done!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Farmers' Market hexies

A couple of years ago I was gifted with about a dozen fat quarters of various farmers' market fabric.  Each FQ has a different fruit or veggie printed on it.  I couldn't decide what to do with it until I saw a hexie quilt on display at the Quilt Asylum in McKinney.  The proverbial lightbulb went off and I bought some 1 1/2 inch hexie papers that day.  I'm not in any hurry (thank goodness!) and work on them when I have quiet time in front of the TV or as a car passenger.  Earlier this week I traveled to Shreveport and back in a day for a friend's retirement party and since I wasn't driving, I was able to baste and stitch some of my farmers' market hexies.

These are oranges, yellow peppers, and blueberries.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Zippered Pouch Swap

At the Dallas MQG meeting next week we're having a zippered pouch swap.  Here's my contribution.

I followed the great Noodlehead gathered clutch tutorial.  It went together really easily and I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.  I suspect there will be more in my future!