Monthly Archives: February 2012

WIP Wednesday

Since I just started keeping track, more or less informally, of my 2012 projects and their progress, I think this is as good a time as any to link up with Lee’s WIP Wednesday.

Lee herself seems to keep it brief and in keeping with the short stack on my plate, I’ll do the same.

I am halfway done sewing the binding on J’s (Christmas) quilt after stitching about 30″ Tuesday.

I completed 10 more blocks of my Scrap Attack quilt, so I have 13 down, 17 to go.

stack o'blocks

 

Scrap Attack quilt progress

 

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Grief

A 6th grade boy at my son’s middle school in Wauwatosa was killed by a train yesterday morning as he walked to school.  He was wearing headphones and didn’t hear the train coming.  He didn’t see the guard arm or the flashing lights.  He didn’t hear the train’s whistle the conductor was frantically blaring when he realized he was going to hit the boy.  The boy didn’t die immediately; it took about 30 minutes.  If there is mercy in this world, the boy was unconscious after he was hit.

I don’t know him or his family personally, but I do know them because I am a mother.  His friends are my sons’ friends.  We live in a small community and our kids play together or against each other in soccer and baseball and football.  We parents bond with each other through our kids at games and concerts and at school and at countless other community events.  We are joined by a commonality of children whom we love and pray for and wish the best for.  And we wish they didn’t have to deal with something so senseless.  I wish his parents weren’t grieving right now.  I grieve for them.

 

 

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In progress…

I didn’t make a lot of progress on my 2011 WIPs. BUT that doesn’t mean I have to finish those before starting a new WIP list, right?  What’s a new year if not a chance to wipe the slate clean and start over?  Especially now that we’re almost a full 2 months into the new year.

So, here’s what I have going right now, in February 2012:

  • J’s Christmas quilt (remember – we’re wiping the slate clean, OK?)
  • Scrap Attack quilt (13 blocks down, 17 to go)

Well gee, that’s a small list…but if I really get going and write down EVERYTHING I’m working on (in my head or on my cutting mat) it’s just way too overwhelming.  So here is a small bite, it’s manageable, and it WILL get done.

Scrap Attack quilt progress

Cheers!

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2012 First Finish

A quilt for M.  And a 2012 first finish.

I posted about it a month ago for January’s FNSI.  All I had left at that time was sewing the binding and fixing a little snafu with the backing.  M and the cat have been sleeping under it for over a month now and since we have some bright, bright sunshine today I thought I’d snap a few pictures.  I am so happy with how it turned out.  M and the cat love it too.

M quilt 2012 - front

I was inspired by Malka Dubrawsky’s duvet cover from the Spring 2011 Stitch magazine but didn’t remember exactly how she made it, or that it was a duvet cover.  The actual pattern calls for 6 solids and mine uses 5.  They’re simply arranged, each piece about 18″ x 40″ (again, my memory fails me) and stitched together to make a twin quilt. My friend Corinne shared her magazine with me and I realized Malka’s was a bit different, especially with 6 colors to my 5,  plus the fact that hers is a duvet cover.  Since I had already cut my fabric and didn’t have enough time (or the patience, honestly) to make it a duvet, I kept to the original plan.  Voila!  My version.

M quilt in the snow

I like the back too.  I used a twin sheet I had purchased years ago and pieced in the solids from the front.  It’s almost reversible, actually.

M Quilt back

Cheers!

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Scraps

I’m working on a little project to use up some scrappy goodness gathering dust on the shelves.  I’m making simple 16 patch 12.5″ x 12.5″ blocks.  I’m mixing in a bit of aqua for cohesiveness.

Piles of 3.5" prints and aqua solids

I need a total of about 480 squares; 390 or so scrappy prints and 90 or so squares of aqua.  I’ve cut all of the solids and 232 prints.  The finished quilt should be about 60″ x 70″.

Even though I have a newish camera, I hate the light in my pictures.  If there’s any blue, EVERYTHING takes on a bluish hue.

Simple scrappy goodness block

I like to listen to audio books on my iPod while I sew.  I just finished the latest King and Maxwell book by David Baldacci.  My taste runs toward thrillers.  Mild thrillers, that is.  Can something be a thriller if it’s considered “mild?”

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FNSI February 2012

So I have only blogged this year after FNSI. Ah well…at least I’m getting at some projects.

My youngest had a friend sleep over last night and my oldest went camping with the boy scouts, so I took the opportunity to work on some bee blocks.

February’s do. Good Stitches blocks are the retro-mod Granny Square blocks I’m seeing all over the Internet right now. We’re so cutting edge ;).  I believe it’s an original pattern and while I don’t actually see the granny square-ness of a crochet block, I do appreciate how pretty these are when they’re sewn together so the designer can call them whatever she wants.

Many of the bee members, myself included, struggled with these blocks, because, though beautiful, they’re tricky little buggers. The key I found out after 2 failed attempts is to sew with a scant 1/4″. That’s hard. The result if you sew with a solid 1/4″ is that they’re a solid 9″ (or as I kept repeating last night, “shit! they’re short”).  They’re supposed to be 9 1/8″.

So I made 2 lovely but unusable blocks. Actually, they’re not lovely at all and as my husband pointed out, they’re off-center.

See those notches on the left and bottom? In addition to the block being just too small, those nips are too big to hide in the seam allowance. So a too small block + big nips = total reject.

Apparently the other block was too embarrassed to be photographed so I can’t show it to you.

I did manage to make two that are actually good, the right size with minimal nips (small nips are apparently unavoidable, even by the designer).  These can be hidden in the seam allowance.  I measured to be sure.

Kristen from the Milwaukee Modern Quilt Guild asked us to make log cabin blocks framing the sweet Little Apples fabric.  So cute.

OK, full disclosure because my guilty conscience won’t let me get away with anything else:  I was too clever by half and decided to trim the light pink strip to 2″ because I thought all of Kristen’s strips were the same width (2 1/2″) and I didn’t want them all the same width and I thought in the end it would be more than big enough to trim the block down to 12 1/2″.  Wrong.  The strips weren’t all the same width and the dark pink strips were already only 2″ (remember the old quilters’ adage measure twice cut once?  Remember it!!) thus my block was SHY of 12 1/2″.  Ugh.  I’m going to have to rip the dark pink and sew it back with a scant 1/4″.  Are you seeing a theme here?

The biggest news of my night was that I did (almost) all of this with my new sewing machine!  I’m so excited to have something so nice.  I’ve only barely scratched the surface of what this gal can do and I can’t wait to do more than just piece on it!!

I’ve been sewing with a very old and very basic Singer since I started quilting.  It was a hand-me-down from my sister and I really made it work for me.  I darn near burned it out making Christmas quilts for my boys in December.  It works OK to piece (and apparently sews a very fine scant 1/4″ seam) but it was toast for actually quilting or doing anything that required my walking foot.  Plus, it only had 5 stitches and one of them is a non functioning buttonhole stitch.   While I’m sure I won’t use all of the 60+ stitches on this one, I will use more than 5 for sure and I SO look forward to creating new things with it.

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