Sunday, November 25, 2012

Easy Street Part 1

Amazingly, today I finished all 192 4-patches!!  Go me!!  Below I'm chaining away .... it seemed endless at the time.  But it went by pretty fast.  I see in the picture my ironing mat is getting pretty nasty looking.  I guess I'll need to cover that with some fresh muslin.

Chain Piecing

My finger got a little sore swirling the centers.  I guess I press too hard.  But it is amazing how fast things go when you get organized and do things consistently.  I think I only fed one or two through the machine the  wrong way and it made swirling much, much easier.

But here's the final results:

192 4-Patches

I hope I am able to keep up!!  I'm anxious for Part 2 so I can get cutting!! 

And since I was on a roll, I put the binding on a couple of quilts.  One that I plan to give as a Christmas present this year, but here's a peak:

Not much given away in that picture!!  Now I'm sitting with my puppy dogs, updating my blog and doing a little stitching on the Hexies.  Tomorrow ... back to work.  

Mercedes, Harley, and Toby

Home Front Hexies

Updated on 11/26/12:  You can check out everyone's progress this week on Easy Street by clicking here:  Easy Street Monday Link-Up 1

Thanksgiving Success

My Thanksgiving dinner on Friday turned out fantastic.  This was the first time I prepared basically the whole meal.  I guess my Mom taught be well because I saw her eat more than I've seen her eat in years.  My cooking passed the test!  I truly enjoyed fixing the meal and even didn't mind so much cleaning up.  It was a great time with my Mom and In-laws. 

The night before I sat down to try to get the binding on my new table runner I made so I could use it on the table for our meal.  The pattern is called "Good Neighbor" and it's by Coach House Designs.  The fabric was mostly Coming Home by Deb Strain. 

Sewing Away
And of course I had help:

Khaleesi "Testing" the Runner
 But after carting this table runner around with me for literally months trying to get that last little bit of binding sewn down, I finally finished it and used it on our table for Thanksgiving Dinner:

Front of Good Neighbors
And since I made a fancy back for this one, here's a look at that:

Back of Good Neighbors

Maybe by next year I'll finish the Dresden turkey runner I started last fall!  Yay for UFOs!!!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Easy Street Part 1

Today I finally got to start on Bonnie Hunter's Easy Street Mystery Quilt.  Our first assignment was to make 192 4-patches.  192 .... WOW.  That overwhelmed me to start with.  But today in just a matter of a few hours, I got all the strips cut and about half of the pairs sewn together.  I'm hoping I can finish tomorrow!  That would be better than I expected! 

Strips Waiting to be Sewn
I looked over while I was cutting and here's what I saw:

Nala Napping

My kitty, Nala, was sound asleep with her head by the heat registrar ... I guess she was cold!!  It didn't take long for my iron to heat up my sewing room though.  I actually broke a sweat by the time I stopped for dinner!


Half of the Pairs

My picture above is a little out of focus ... must of been the sweat!!  LOL

Pairs Ready for Sewing in to 4-Patches
So tomorrow hopefully I'll get all 192 done and be ready to start on Part 2 next weekend.  This is my first Mystery Quilt and I'm really excited about it!  I can't wait to see how it turns out!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We will celebrating tomorrow this year.  I'm preparing my first full Thanksgiving dinner.  I hope it goes OK.  I'm going to make a couple of the casseroles and bake my pie today.  I'll slip out first thing in the morning to hit Joann's and then to go pick up my Mom.  It will be a busy day.  

Easy Street starts tomorrow.  I hope I can squeeze in some ironing an cutting time!!  I'm anxious to get started.

In the meantime, y'all enjoy your turkey and I'll leave you with this:

Moo Y'all!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Simply Charming Small Quilts

Finished small quilts from Simply Charming:

Worn Old Clothes

South for the Winter


Seems like a lot of progress, but I'm actually about 4 or 5 months behind on these!  I love these little quilts and they are so much fun to make.  I've used Thangles and Star Singles.  The Star Singles are super quick, but the Thangles enable you to get more variety.  It's a trade off.  I can see where each has it's place depending on what your desired outcome is.  If you need a lot of the same half squares - use the Star Singles.  If you want scrappy - I'd go with Thangles.

Star Singles

Monday, November 19, 2012

Bee in My Bonnet Row Along

As if I don't have enough irons in the fire, I started this fun little quilt last Friday on Lori Holt's Blog.  My friend, Debbie has been cutting out the pieces each week for me.  I think they are on Row 6 and I'm on Row 1 ... I'll get caught up eventually.

First, my assistants for the day were 3 of my 4 cats: Nala, Keira and Khaleesi.



I'm not sure how I get anything done without them!!

I've never made 4-patches like this before ... but I diligently followed the directions and I have to say it was pretty darn efficient.  First you had to sew down BOTH sides of the squares.

Then you cut those all in half and pressed open.  Note my pressing stick .... since the finished size of these little squares is small, I elected to press my seams open.  This stick is like magic when doing that.  I highly recommend picking one up.  I found mine at my local quilt shop.

Pieces Cut in Half
Ironing Stick

Seams Ironed Open

Step 1 Results

Next, you had to sew all of these pieces in a chain like so:

Step 2 Results

Then you start cutting the chain apart first cutting 1.5" off of the front and then folding the piece over cutting at 1.5" again forming 4-patches. It's a really neat technique.

Step 3 Results

 Then I just had to sew them all together in one long row.  Row 1 complete!!

Row 1

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Home Front Hexies

After seeing Bonnie Hunter's hexie quilt that she calls "Lady in Waiting" in person, I was anxious to try English Paper piecing myself. Here's a link to the work in progress on her website: Lady in Waiting. Pictures do not do that quilt justice and I had the good fortune of seeing the finished top.  That is a BUNCH of hexies!!

 I decided I would do 1" hexies and ordered a set of 2.5" strips of the fabric line Home Front from Connecting Threads to use for my new project.  It came last week and on Friday, I quickly cut some of the strips up in to 2.5" squares.  It's bright colors so I went with a solid black to use for a background.

So far I'm addicted to making these little things! I even took them with me today to quilt class to sew a few before we got started!

I can't wait to sew some together into rosettes!!

My Introduction to Hand Piecing

Sometime last year I got the notion that I wanted to learn to hand piece.  So I did .... and this is the very first block I put together:

No ... I didn't start with something simple!  LOL

I decided that I would take a few hand piecing classes when I went to the International Quilt Show in Cincinnati last April.  I signed up for two classes taught by Cindy Blackberg and got in to both.

Then, last winter after I had registered for classes in Cinci, I got the opportunity to take a class from Cindy here in WV before the Quilt Show so I jumped on the opportunity. The class I took was her Stamp Basket class.  We made one block in class and then I finished the little wall hanging later.


In Cinci, the first class I took was the Nine Patch Doll Quilt.  This probably would have been the best choice for a first attempt at hand piecing but why do things the easy way?  LOL

 The block on top below is the one I made in class and the others here at home.  I still need to finish this one.

The final class I took in Cinici, was the the Churn Dash Sampler class.

Below is the block I made in class and the beginning of the embroidery that goes around the outside of the quilt.  I'm looking forward to finishing this one.  I may cut out some more blocks during Thanksgiving if I can squeeze that in.

All of Cindy's patterns use her stamps.  I highly recommend them!!  You stamp the fabric and have a cutting line and a sewing line.  It saves so much time by not having to mark that 1/4" seam on each piece.  If I cut any over Thanksgiving I'll take a couple pictures and stick up here.

I love hand piecing.  I find it so relaxing and it's nice to be able to take projects with you places you can't carry your machine or just sitting in front of the TV.  I've gotten out of the habit of having something always cut and ready to sew, but I remedied that yesterday.  More to come on this new project soon!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

One Last Project Tonight ...

I got one last project done tonight.  I finish my new pincushion. Meet Poor Lil' Punky.

Poor Little Punky

This pattern is by Julie Letvin.  It appeared in the Simple Quilts & Sewing: Winter 2012 issue.  But I just found it online here: if you are interested in making one.  I bought a kit from Julie's website. Dale bought me 25 lbs of crushed walnut shells at Harbor Freight to fill it with.  25 lbs .... that's a BUNCH of crushed walnuts!!  I guess I'll be making a few pin cushions!

Vintage Rouge

I've been doing the Vintage Rouge BOM in the form of class at Quilts by Phylis.  Jody Postalwait is teaching the class.  I'm probably the worst student in there.  I had my "homework" done for the first class but since then I haven't been prepared at all. 

Here's what the quilt looks like:

Vintage Rouge

Today I worked a little on getting caught up.  I prepared the embroidery blocks to take with me on a work trip this week and cut all the pieces to assemble those blocks in class this coming weekend.  I also did the center block and the 4 pieced blocks.  I'm hoping Friday to get the outer pinwheels done and maybe some of the applique if I get ultra ambitious.  I already had all of the "T" blocks done that form the stripe pattern.  I might finish it before Christmas ..... maybe.

Vintage Rouge in Progress

I got a little side tracked in all this and whipped up this little guy for my miniature quilt rack.  I just need to quilt it, bind it and sew a little button on for Tom's eye.  It won't take long.  Hopefully it will be done this coming weekend.  I found the pattern here:

Tom Turkey Mini Quilt


Easy Street

I've been busy today working on decluttering and organizing my sewing room.  I have a LOT of stuff.  I have more stuff than I have time to sew actually, but I'll sure try to sew it all .... some day!

And you know because I have so much I thought what the heck .... let's do one more quilt.  So I've decided I'm going to do Bonnie Hunter's next Mystery Quilt called "Easy Street".

Here's what I've pulled together to use:

Easy Street Fabrics

I can't wait to get started after Thanksgiving!!

While I was shopping, I found this adorable little print:

This will become a valance for my bathroom.  It will be cute for fall!