Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Let's Book It Challenge - July Update

I'm a little late getting my Let's Book It Challenge post written this month.  But at least I'm getting one written, I completely missed last month.  

So what is the Let's Book It Challenge?  It's a chance to pull out all those wonderful quilting books that sit around gathering dust and make something from them.  

I'm still working on the Poinsettia quilt from the December 2013 American Patchwork and Quilting magazine that was started earlier this year.  

I've been assembling the block sub-units as my leaders and enders project.  I added a new block to the mix this month, a set of Economy blocks.  

By Judy Blok for the December 2013 issue
of American Patchwork Times and Quilting Magazine

I still have a long way to go before I'll have all the sub-units made, but progress is progress.  If I wasn't doing this via leaders and enders, there would have been no progress. So it's all good.  

To see more from the world of quilt literature, check out Vrooman's Quilts.  

Wordless Wednesday - Everythings Coming Up Daisies

Monday, July 28, 2014

Design Wall Monday - Scrappy Stitching

July certainly went fast.  We were on vacation the first week and a half of the month, which certainly has contributed to the feeling that the month just sped by.  Drama Teen will start her sophomore year of high school two weeks from tomorrow.  Mandatory volleyball practice starts this week, their first game is the first day of school.  It certainly seems like summer break gets shorter and shorter the older she gets. 

I had intended to get in two full afternoons of stitching this weekend, but Saturday afternoon turned into family nap time. After a morning of working the yard, the heat just took it out of all of us.  I did manage to get some significant stitching done on Sunday.  I got started on the red blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler, but as yet haven't finished any of them.  Jigsaw has the narrow border added to three sides of the quilt, but I didn't get any pictures of it.  The yellow Inverted Star block was finished up last weekend.  So I put it up on the design wall with the others.  

 Inverted Star
by Jessica Boschem of Common Threads
available from Craftsy as a free download

I really like how these blocks are coming out.  This has been such a fun block to make. I'll miss these when the year is done.  

That's it for my design wall this week. There's more pretties posted over at Patchwork Times.  

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Stash Report - Week 30 of 2014

I didn't exactly forget to post my stash report, it's just that when I remembered, I was already in the middle of something else.  So better late than never.  

I couldn't resist ordering more Moda basics during the Fat Quarter Shop sale last week.  

I ended up with red and aqua Essential Dots and a Moda Marble in dark purple.  Now, I'm putting myself on a fabric diet till the end of the year.  No new fabrics for a while.  Plus, I'm going to spend some significant time exercising my sewing machine so I can use up some more of the stash. 

Here's the damage:

Used last week:  0.67 yards
Added last week:  11 yards

Used in 2014:  10.63 yards
Added in 2014:  302.3 yards

Net stashed in 2014:  291.67 yards

This next week should look even better.  I'm still adding borders to Jigsaw and need to make the back.  Hopefully, the fabric going out will at least exceed what comes in for the week.  

I'm going to get back to exercising the sewing machine.  You can check out more stash reports over at Patchwork Times.  

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tuesday Archive - EQ Designs

Every Tuesday over at Val's Quilting Studio you have the opportunity to look back at your previous posts and bring one up to date if you like.   I'm a little late getting this post together, between getting the trash out this morning and getting Drama Teen out the door for volleyball camp, I didn't have time to get a post put together.  Hopefully I can pull this one together over lunch.  

I started using EQ in 2009 after  Microsoft's introduction of the Vista operating system made my QuiltPro program just about useless.   I wasn't very happy with EQ, it wasn't as intuitive as QuiltPro was.  It wasn't until about a year later in 2010 that I finally figured out how to use EQ to do some fundamental quilt layouts.  I had just completed all the blocks from a 2006 Buck A Block program from the quilt shop in Texas.  With the blocks done, I was looking for a way to set them.  The original post is here.  Looking back those initial layouts were pretty awful.  I was trying really hard to use all the finishing kit fabric I bought with the blocks.  I finally realized that just wasn't going to work and raided the stash for something else.  This was the working design I used to set the blocks together.

I ended up changing the final border in the finished quilt, it didn't work up on the design wall any better than it did in the EQ version. 

Texas Twilight
Buck-a-Block in a self designed layout

I was pretty happy with the final quilt, though that final photo is pretty bad.  My photography skills have definitely improved in the last 4 years.   This ended up as a Christmas gift for my sister-in-law who lives in Texas.  

I love playing in EQ.  I've designed a couple of quilts since.  Even when I'm making a project from a pattern, I'll draft the blocks in EQ, scan in some fabrics and play around till I've got the colors right.  It usually saves me from having to make a fabric change after the first block is made. 

Check out the other vintage EQ designs over at Val's Quilting Studio.  

Monday, July 21, 2014

Design Wall Monday - Bordering Jigsaw

I'm so not ready for Monday morning.  My Guy is headed back to Texas for the week and Drama Teen has to get going early for volleyball camp.  That's more rushing around than I'm used to on a summer morning.  It's amazing how much less chaos there is when DT doesn't have to up for school.  

It was a nice weekend.  A bit of housework got done and the towers of laundry were reduced to small lumps.  Even with all that there was still some time to spend in the sewing room.  Though it wasn't all stitching.  A bit of straightening up was needed, plus a bit of rearranging to do a better job of organizing my scraps. 

Drama Teen and I played around with border options for the Jigsaw quilt.  Our original plan to have a 1" lime green border before adding the dark blue border just didn't work.  We tried a few other bright colors and realized that what was needed was to put the dark blue first, then add a narrow bright border before adding a final border of more dark blue.  The first 4 border strips are cut, sewn and trimmed to size, only the 2 vertical borders managed to get sewn on.  

pattern by Alyssa Clancy for Lehmann Quilting

Drama Teen is thrilled with it thus far and is ready to have it on her bed.  Hopefully I can get the borders on and a back made before the end of July so it can go off for quilting.  

That's it for my design wall this week.  You can see more eye candy over at Judy's Patchwork Times

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Stash Report - Week 29 of 2014

It was  gloriously cool in northern Oklahoma this last week.  It's rare that I come home from work in July and put on sweats, normally I'm looking for the coolest pair of shorts I can find.  It rained all day Thursday with the highs barely making it into the 70s.  

Everything is lush and green, when it's usually starting to turn brown about now.  

The Black-eyed Susans are still going strong.  It's supposed to warm up to just shy of 100 F by mid week, but then is should cool down to the low 90s.  It doesn't get much better in Oklahoma this time of year. 

My stash report's not quite as favorable as the weather.  I took advantage of the Fat Quarter Shop's 25% off all Moda fabrics to stock up larger cuts of the Moda Marbles and some of the white Moda Muslin. 

It seems you can never have too much white or black for backgrounds.  I also added in some yellow, red and teal since those are colors I don't have much of.  

Needless to say, my stash report looks pretty lopsided.  I finished up the blocks for the Jigsaw quilt, so there is a bit going out.

Used last week:  0.35 yards
Added last week:  25 yards

Used in 2014:  9.96 yards
Added in 2014:  291.3 yards

Net stashed in 2014:  281.34 yards

This next week should look better as I hope to get the borders on the Jigsaw quilt and piece a back.  It would be nice to see a bit more going out.  However, I've been looking at recent additions of tone on tone fabrics as my "retirement" fabric account. It's hard to resist a good sale, especially with the cost of fabric today.  

Check out all the other stash reports over at Patchwork Times.  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

2nd Annual Piggy Bank Challenge - A Late Entry

I've been a bit lax on joining challenges this year.  But there's one sponsored by Val's Quilting Studio that seems to be an easy commitment.  

All I have to do is collect my spare change for the year.  That's relatively easy.  I put my change collector in the laundry room.  That way it's handy to use for any change that gets left in the wash, plus I'm the only one that goes in there, so hopefully that will limit any plundering by the rest of the family.  Here's what I'm using:

I found this in the cabinet over the refrigerator.  It looks to be a good size.  Hopefully it will hold enough to buy a new iron.   My last two irons have been emergency purchases at Walmart.  My last "nice" iron burned up in the middle of a project and I just ran out to get something that would work.  The one I have now still heats up, but it can't deliver steam or a spray of water anymore.  I don't use those features for pressing blocks, but they sure are nice when I'm pressing washed fabric.   

If you want to play along check out this post over at Val's Quilting Studio.  

Monday, July 14, 2014

Design Wall Monday - The Last Puzzle Piece

It's amazing what a quiet weekend at home can do for you.  The laundry is caught up, the house is a bit cleaner and I actually have something to show for Design Wall Monday.  It's been almost a month since my last design wall post.  The end of June was just really busy, then we went on vacation for the first part of July.  So there hasn't been much going on in the sewing room.  I fixed that yesterday by managing to get in a solid four hours at the machine.  

All of that time was spent finishing up the blocks for Drama Teen's Jigsaw quilt.  

pattern by Alyssa Clancy for Lehmann Quilting

All the blocks are sewn together now.  So all that is left is to add the borders.  Drama Teen is quite happy with how it turned out.  There are still a few blocks that aren't perfect from a color perspective, but this is her quilt and she's happy, so no more rework is planned.  

For more Design Wall Monday posts, check out Patchwork Times.  

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Stash Report - Week 28 of 2014 (Vacation Report)

We've been on vacation the last week and a half.  Needless to say, my stitching time has been pretty minimal, however, I got lots of exercise.  We choose another part of the Rockies to visit this year, Utah.  Salt Lake City has some amazing quilt shops, My Guy let me visit one in exchange for a day hike along one of the canyons near Elaine's Quilt Block.  I stocked up on fat quarters for the Rainbow Scrap Challenger Sampler quilt.

Drama Teen found the border fabrics she wanted for the Jigsaw Quilt.

The green will be a narrow inner border and the blue/purple will be the final border.  Not sure yet what the binding will be.  Scrappy maybe?

So here's the damage to the stash report:

Used last week:  0 yards
Added last week:  8.75 yards

Used in 2014:  9.614 yards
Added in 2014:  266.3 yards

Net Stashed in 2014:  256.69 yards

I'm going to need to do some serious stitching if I want to make a dent in the stash.  Guess I best get busy.  For more stash reports, check out Patchwork Times.  If you want to check out a few vacation photos, read on.  

We stayed just northeast of Ogden in a little place called Eden.   It definitely lived up to it's name sake.  

Late in the week, we made a trek into Wyoming to see Fossil Butte National Monument.  Gorgeous countryside of a different sort. 

The Great Salt Lake was beautiful in the morning. But Antelope Island was pretty much an inferno by late afternoon.  Still it was worth the trip.  

Drama Teen decided to try out indoor sky diving.

She's definitely ready to go again.  She also braved being seen with the ancient zombie bear at the Natural History Museum. 

I have lots of pictures from this trip, but I'll save some for other posts.  Now, it's time for me to get back to tackling the vacation laundry.  I do hope to get some serious stitching in this afternoon.  

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Stash Report Week 27

It's been three weeks since I've posted a stash report.  Not sure where that time has gone, but it certainly went by fast.  So here's the updated report covering the last three weeks.  

Used last 3 weeks:  0.38 yards
Added last 3 weeks:  3.25 yards

Used in 2014:  9.61 yards
Added in 2014:  257.3 yards

Net Stashed in 2014:  247.69 yard

So a bit out, but more in.  We were traveling over the last week and I had the chance to visit a quilt shop at one of our stops.  One yard each of this gray and red fabrics ended up getting stashed into one of my bags.   

It's probably a good thing there was no room in the luggage, or I would have bought more of each.  The original plan was to stick with just fat quarters, of which 5 made it into the shopping bag.

These will be for the Rainbow Scrap Sampler blocks when we finally get to orange.  I was hoping to find some reds, as the scrap stash is a bit weak in that color, but no such luck.  

That's it for me this week.  Check out Judy's Patchwork Times for more fun stash reports.  

Friday, July 4, 2014

Something Old, Something New - July Update

Last month I didn't manage to get this post up till several days into the new month, this month is no different.  June was crazy busy and after going over the extended family stuff planned for July and August, the rest of my summer is going to be really busy. Stitching and blogging time are going to be hard to come by for awhile.  I had hoped for a slow lazy summer, but it looks like that's not going to be the case. 

My something old continues to be the Jigsaw quilt.  I actually finished 6 of the remaining blocks in June.  

pattern by Alyssa Clancy for Lehmann Quilting

Just two more blocks to finish, then Drama Teen will have to help me decide on the borders.

The something new for June has been to work up a design for this butterfly panel.  

I've only managed to come up with one potential layout for the butterfly blocks.  

But at least that's something for the month.  

Check out that other old and new projects posted over at Never Too Hot to Stitch.  

Happy Firecracker Day

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Purple Puff Ball Flowers

There was time for a quick morning walk on the weekend to photograph the early summer wild flowers growing along the country roads not far from the house.  

For those who may wonder where I've been, life has been very hectic the last couple of weeks forcing me to drop off the blogging radar.  Hopefully the worst is over and I'll be able to catch up on blogs and email over the next week or so.