Saturday, September 27, 2008

Wonderful Disappearing 9-Patch Quilts:

I really love the disappearing 9-patch pattern. It's so very simple, and can look so well in a variety of fashions, from the well-planned, controlled colors to the completely scrappy. Below are some very nice examples I have seen recently:
  • Snippets of a Quilter The owner of this blog shows a couple of different pattern placements, and some really lovely fabrics. I particularly like how she has demonstrated how different placements change the pattern.
  • Blocks N Swaps Blog - Clever Sophie made a disappearing 9-patch using pieced blocks! This is a nice option that has beautiful results! Take a look!
  • Crafty Mammas Blog - Amber gives the disappearing 9-patch a wonderfully refreshing look by adding sashing and some hand embroidery work!
  • Advanced Embroidery Designs - This site also incorporates embroidery, and has some wonderful close-up shots of the quilting.
  • Quilts & ATCs - Helen has got a great picture along with the tutorial. Actually, this is a great site full-stop. Take the time to look at all the great stuff Helen has posted, you won't be sorry!
  • Audry Pawdry - Actually she has two really great Disappearing 9-Patch quilts that I just love: The first one she calls Fresh squeezed and also this Scrappy Disappearing 9-Patch

I love this pattern, it's among my many favorites. It's so much fun to see the many ways everyone interprets this pattern, how they accomplish it and what beautiful fabrics they use. The web has been such a great resource for strengthening the Quilting community!

Keep Quiltin',


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Shades of Purple swap square...

My swappie partner only made one request, shades of purple. I really need to get better at taking pictures so the colors come out nicer. But here is the square I made for her. I posted it a week ago so she should have it any day now.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What do you Think?

So I have two layouts for my 'Road to California' quilt blocks that I won from the Stichin Post Challenge.

The first one is a straight block layout with two borders:

The second is on point with brown sashing with orange cornerstones and a brown border:

SANDY: please remember that the orange focus print is brighter than my EQ6 Mockups.

LYNNE: The greens are all 'scrap' and no green one square matches another, and I think the greens in the squares are all a bit more green-y.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Finn's New Year Challenge, Updated.

So, yesterday evening I was sitting at my sewing machine and my youngest children (ages 4 and 9) approached me... concerning in itself because they were supposed to be long in bed.

Anyhow, they wanted to petition me to get their Christmas quilts (which I promised them last Christmas) before Christmas this year! Oops, these weren't even on my Challenge list!

Well, what could I do? Plus I promised myself no more than 10 UFO's (ever since my Lost-Everything-In-The-Move disaster! Again see previous post.)

So I've rearranged my priorities! Here is my revised list of Challenge projects to have finished by the New Year!

  1. My (Very) First Quilt (Ever) - This is one of my UFOMs (see previous post). This is a promise to myself.
  2. Ina's Christmas Quilt - This is a gift I promised my husband I would make for his mother.
  3. Kayleigh's Christmas Quilt - My oldest child. Can't finish the younger one's quilt and not hers. It's in shades of blue -- her latest greatest color.
  4. Cricket's Christmas Quilt - I actually have two in the works for her because she changes her mind so often, but I'm finishing the one that is the most complete.
  5. Cameron's Christmas Quilt - He's just a little guy and fortunately it's a little quilt.
  6. Botanical Shop Hop Quilt - This will be the first bed-sized (or any other sized quilt) that I will finish that won't be given away. All my quilts seem to go to friends, family or charity. My husband made an off-hand remark to a friend a few months back that we never get to enjoy any of the quilts I make. I never even knew he thought about it.
  7. Lastly, the Old Tobacco Road - Because I love it SO much! And because I promised myself I wouldn't start anything new until I've finished up more of my UFOs. But then Bonnie had her Mystery and I couldn't help myself. But this one I am only planning on finishing the top. I will quilt it in the new year!
So the only thing I will work on outside of the above items are my swap obligations.

I will not take on any new projects, I will not take on any new projects, I will not take on any new projects...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Christmas Ornament Pattern

Here is the pattern for the Christmas bauble, just as promised!

I've posted my grid notes, not very pretty but here are the basics:

Fabric Selection: Select 4 colors 1FQ background, 1/8th or less for ornament, ornament stripe, and a scrap of gold or silver for the "hanger"

Cut Background Fabric: 4 - 2.5 inch squares, 2 - 2.5x12.5 inch strips, 1 - 2.5x8.5 inch strip, 2 - 3.5x2.5 inch brick, 1 - 2.5x1.5 inch brick

Cut Ornament Fabric: 2 - 8.5x3.5 inch bricks

Cut Ornament Stripe Fabric: 1 - 8.5x2.5 inch brick

Cut Ornament hanger: 1 - 2.5x1.5 inch brick

Step One: Sew 2.5x1.5 background fabric to 2.5x1.5 hanger fabric top to bottom. Sew 3.5x2.5 bricks to either side of the hanger brick.

Step Two: Sew two 8.5x3.5 Ornament bricks to 8.5x2.5 Ornament stripe brick

Step Three: Take the four 2.5 inch squares, place them right sides together on each corner of the ornament square. Sew across each square, corner to corner. Be sure to get this step right, make a light pencil line if necessary because this step is critical.

Step Four: Press open the four corners. Be sure this step looks like a bauble before you cut the excess fabric off the back.

Step Five: Sew the 'Hanger Brick' from step one to the 'Ornament Square' from Step four. Be sure the stripe goes horizontal in this step. Then sew the 2.5x8.5 background brick to the bottom of the ornament square.

Step Six: Sew one 2.5x12.5 inch strips to either side of the ornament. Press and enjoy!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Kitty has a new head!

Well, I've fixed my poor decapitated kitty-cat!
Doesn't she look much happier?
This is my latest Stichin' Post Challenge block.
I hope she goes to a good home!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pinwheel Paradise Revisited... OTR Mystery Part 2

So I am finally done with (or at least almost done with) part 2 of the Old Tobacco Road mystery quilt. 400 Half Square Triangles to make 100 Pinwheels.
So for this step you start with 2-inch squares and turn those into 1.5-inch half square triangles and sew four of those together to make 100 pinwheels.
This turned out to be a very long step for me because I had some technical difficulties with my fabric selection. (I ran out of the only fabric I decided not to "scrap-out")
Bummer! But now it's done. (almost) :-)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Strike is Over!

So the teacher's strike is over! And now that the pain of the strike is done, I am happy they stuck to their issues!
But I was so distracted with trying to homeschool my children (definately not my strength) I made a fatal flaw in the block I was creating!
Funny thing is that it took me a while to figure out why it looked wrong!
I must be tired! I think I need another cup of strong tea!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Challenge Update... sadly, not sew much!

So I had mentioned earlier that I am doing Finn's Challenge to get 5 projects done by the new year. Others have chosen more, some have chosen less.

But the last few days have thrown me for a loop and I've been away from my machine, my computer and getting behind on all my work and obligations.

The teachers have been on strike now for two weeks solid and it doesn't look good. Other mothers are taking their kids to the beach and horseback riding, to the fair etc with this time. But I have been trying to homeschool my children. I must say, this is a HUGE responsibility!

I have learned a new respect for those friends of mine who take the homeschool route.

Now you might wonder why I am forcing the academics on my kids, but I believe that there is a time for playing and a time for learning. They had their summer, and a wonderful summer it was. But fall is coming on quick...

Well, that is why I haven't posted - or sewn in a few days. Just that, and nothing more. Thank you for your concern. It was REALLY SWEET to get so many emails. But nothing sinister has befallen us -- just me overwhelmed.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

YAHOO! I'm a Winner!!

Yes, it's true. I won! I can't believe my good fortune.

Perhaps you heard me whining (click here to read post) about how much I loved my swap block and didn't want to send it away. But, of course I did the right thing and sent the block away.

Well, the day after my birthday I went to the mailbox to find a big envelope full of blocks (mine included), a yard of fabric and a lovely letter, I had WON!!

If you aren't familair with Stichin' Post's Monthly challenge, here how it goes: Every month, instructions are sent out along with a piece of fabric for you to create a block with the addition of your own fabric. Send it back to The Stitchin' Post before the end of the month and your block is entered for a drawing. Each winner receives 20 blocks. I think potentially you could go the whole year without winning. (But not me -- big grin)

I put them all out on my floor (didn't even want to wait to clear my design wall) It really looks nice. Although I was thinking I might lay them all out on-point with sashing. These blocks are pretty big. I didn't measure but I think they are 16 inches, and I got 20 of them.


Monday, September 8, 2008

Christmas Swap SPOILER - (Don't Look Emma)

Well, I've been blocked on my Mystery Quilt. I'm trying hard not to be good and spoil the design by looking ahead (because of course, the mystery moves on... even when I don't).

So I mailed off my 'Christmas Bauble' Square to Great Britain.

I hope Emma likes it!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

New Year Challenge... Can she do it? Yes, She Can!

Well Finn has issued a challenge! A New Year challenge to finish up your UFO's and projects! See her post at:

Finn's New Year Challenge

So I'm taking on the challenge with Five!

  1. The Mystery Quilt: Old Tobacco Road (seems a bit self-indulgent but what-the-hay)
  2. My Very First Quilt Ever, one of the UFOMs (UFO Miracles). This is already a finished top. (Finished like forever ago!)
  3. Jelly Pinwheels, this one I haven't even started yet. But it's a gift for my Mother-in-Law, using fabric my husband picked out. It will only be throw size so not too big, but she lives in Grangemouth Scotland so I can't wait too long to mail it!
  4. Cinder's Best Day, this is a "commemorative" quilt for my daughter who was devestated when her cat Cinder died of kidney failure. This is a quilt I started just before I started blogging, and haven't worked on it since. Thus no pictures uploaded.
  5. My Botanical Shop Hop Quilt - This is the first quilt I have ever made with the intention of keeping it just for us! Which is why, as my husband likes to point out, we have no quilts ourselves. I have given away absolutely every thing I've ever finished.

Ok, that's it. My challenge five! And by finished, I mean, done-done: top, quilting, binding... EVERYTHING!

Can she do it? I hope so... No, just kidding, of course I can do it!! Now, if the teachers would just go back to work so I can get a little piece during the day!


Saturday, September 6, 2008

Mystery Update - Tragedy strikes! ... maybe

...just maybe I'm being a bit over dramatic. But it feels like a tragedy to me. I am working on the Old Tobacco Road Mystery quilt by Bonnie Hunter and even though this is a scrappy quilt, I decided to control the colors a bit.

I decided to go with a nice green and blue family for parts 1 and 2. But I am using one cream fabric throughout the entire quilt.

But about half-way through the sewing and cutting on step 2, I realized ... I DON'T HAVE ENOUGH CREAM! And of course, Murphy says, I bought the last of the bolt.

Of course, it's not a flat cream easy to replace, no it's a tea-stained and ivory print. I can't do one color for more than half of the cream and then all creamy scraps for the second half. I might have gotten away with it if I hadn't finished part 1 already!

Ok, so my sewing is taking a hiatus and now I am on a fabric hunt. I'm trolling the LQSs and even the Pacific Fabrics in the area!

Wish me luck!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Old Tobacco Road - Step 2: Pinwheel Paradise!

Well, even with the Teacher's Strike and the summer that never ends, I am managing to move forward with my Big End of the Summer Mystery Bash!!

Now that part 1 is finished, I have several leftover 2" (inch) strips in blues and greens, and in cream. I actually have many leftover 2" chunks of blue/cream 2-patches so I am a bit worried that I've mis-calculated my sewing for part 1 and won't have enough fabric for the next step. But because it's scrappy, I can always find more greens or blues. (If it's creams I'm up a creek... but we won't think about that because it isn't going to happen!)

  • For this step you need a million half square triangles. Oh, sorry, I meant to say 388 2" (1.5" finished) Half Square Triangles! Now, that is enough to drive me batty, except that I often forget just how much that really is. Anyhow, I decided to use my beloved 'Thangles'

  • First put your 2" strips right sides together, one light and one dark. Then put your Thangle 1.5 sheet over the strip-pair. Just stitch on the broken line and cut on the solid line. Perfect triangles every time. No rulers, no thinking, no muss, no fuss!

  • Thangle TIPS: You don't have to shorten your stitch to use Thangles, but I do. Why? Because it makes it just that much easier, and I'm all for easy! Also, it's helpful to keep your fabric borders and your Thangle sheet aligned nicely.

  • Last step for Pinwheel Paradise (my own name for this step, Bonnie would have come up with something nicer, but instead gave us a lovely theme song by Dusty Springfield). Stitch up those pinwheels! 388 half-square triangles make 97 pinwheels!

FYI - I am actually going to sew until I get to 100 pinwheels (instead of 97) because once again we are going to need a few half pinwheels... and there is no way I'm going to make a half-pinwheel. I'll just sew it up and take the rejects and cut'em in half!

If the whole Thangles thing isn't for you, and you are interested, there is a nice little half-square tutorial at Mama Crafty's Blog

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Old Tobacco Road - Step 1, 4-patchs Forever

So I've been so busy with the Teacher's strike (Still no school for us!) and with my sewing that I almost forgot to post!

Well, Step one is to sew a whole bunch of 4-patches. And I mean a WHOLE LOT!

Bonnie always gives everyone the opportunity to pull from your stash to create her quilts and gives directions that are very friendly for 'Sew-Betweens' (what you make with your Leaders & Enders)

Anyhow, I don't have a big basket of pre-made 4-patches ready to go. So to achieve my 182 4-patches, I had to begin from scratch! So here are my steps:

  • Cut my cream fabric into 2 inch (2") strips, and my fabric family of blues and greens also into 2" strips.

  • Sew one cream strip to one dark stip.

  • Cut these strips into 2" chunks -- enough for 182 4-patches (I know I need some of this fabric leftover for the next step, so I had to really keep track.)

    • Last step is to sew your chunks into 4 patches! 182 four patches, but I did 190 because we need a few half-4 patches and I figured I'd take the 'runts' or the "baddies" and cut 'em in half.

    I'm really excited to see how this quilt will turn out. I love Bonnie's quilts and everyone who is working on this one is doing some really different color combinations. When we are all done, I will try to post links to everyone's pics. Of course, Bonnie also puts a lot of links on her website of the finished quilts as well.

    I really think that might be my favorite part. Seeing how everyone used fabric and color selections to make beautiful and unique quilts from the same wonderful pattern.

    Well, Keep Quilting!


    Wednesday, September 3, 2008

    Old Tobacco Road - Day One, Fabric Selection

    I am doing Bonnie's latest Mystery Quilt called 'Old Tobacco Road'. I got a bit of a late start on this one, so I am not answering (or reading my email) in a timely manner in an effort not to spoil the surprise!

    If you haven't done any of Bonnie's mysteries, they are fabulous and a lot of fun. I will be posting all of my OTR (Old Tobacco Road) related activities and pictures here.

    The Basics: This will be 56" x 78" - which is bigger than a throw size. I might add the optional borders segment, and then I'll end up with a full size quilt that measures approximately 81-inches X 104-inches!

    Bonnie's directions allow for both a complete scrappy look, or a more controlled scrappy look. I tend towards the controlled colors and bearing that in mind here is what I've done:

    Choose two color families:

    • First in deep rusts and browns - Bonnie threw in some black for contrast, I replaced that with deep garnet.

    • Next, a color family that will not clash with your rusts. I chose greens and blues.

    • Lastly you need a selection of lights or creams. I chose not to go scrappy at all here but have one cream print that I will use throughout.

    The black you see is for one of the borders. I don't know if I will only do one border or all three that she has fabric selections for.

    Monday, September 1, 2008

    Tree of life

    This center medallion is called Tree of Life. I plan to finish this with nice borders in complementary colors. I hope I can find some more nice fabrics to work with.