Category Archives: do. Good Stitches bee

WIP Wednesday

Well, hello there!

I didn’t mean to miss another whole month of blogging but, you know, I’m a busy gal.  I know you get it.

I have been doing some sewing, but generally, if I’m not blogging I’m not usually sewing much either.

On the completed pile:

I finished proofreading the latest issue of Fat Quarterly:  Kids.  Some of my favorite projects from this issue are Springtime Hues by Elizabeth Dackson, Scrappy Squares by Amber Carrillo, and Who’s Peeking by Brioni Greenberg.  The team also did a great job of highlighting many of the great kid prints on the market.  There’s so much goodness in this issue, you just have to check it out!

I also completed a FOURTH quilt in 4 months.  Big yay!  I didn’t do this one start to finish in 2012, but I did finish it (in April), so it counts!  This is actually one of the first quilt tops I ever made, so it’s been completed for a few years now.  I created the layout, such as it is: a bunch of 5″ squares from a charm pack plus a couple of extra prints thrown in.  Of course, they’re sashed in white because I love quilts sashed in white.  I read in Sunday Morning Quilts by Amanda Jean Nyberg and Cheryl Arkison that quilts aren’t considered “modern” when they have a border.  Huh.  Who knew?  So it’s not very modern, but it IS very completed!  I even sewed a label on it. 🙂  I am donating this to Quilts For Kids.

Quilts for Kids

And of course, I also free-motion quilted it.  See?

Q4K closeup

I have never, ever done that on a quilt.  Boy were my shoulders sore after I was done!  The quilt is just 36″ square, but I quilted it in one sitting and when I was done I just sat there with my shoulders hugging my ears and tried to will away the pain.  Oy!  Let’s hope that gets better with practice.  And maybe wine.  Definitely wine.

The quilt is made primarily of prints from Santorini by Lila Tueller.  Start date (approximately) 1/2010, completed 4/29/12.

Also completed, blocks for 2 bees:

Pink zigzag HST strip (28 half square triangle/HST blocks) for Alecia in the April do. Good Stitches bee.  Truthfully, I doubt I will ever make this again.  I hate to say it, but I did not enjoy making this block.  I think it will be really pretty when added to the rest of the zigs from the bee, but because I have ongoing issues with my 1/4″ foot, and  because I had to make it the right size to match the rest of the bee’s strips, I had to rip and re-sew the whole thing.  Every.single.block.  AFTER I had already assembled it.  Sigh.  I do love the crispness of the pink and the white though.  Perhaps it will grow on me… 🙂

This little number is from the book 99 Quilt Blocks from your Favorite Designers.  Pardon my crummy mobile phone pic:

Missing Your Kiss

The block is called Missing Your Kiss and boy, it’s scrappy!  Amy was deliberate in wanting us all to step out of our comfort zone.  Everything came from her scrap bin and, although most of the prints were by Amy Butler, none of them “matched.”  Of course, I had to remake mine (again, note the theme here) because I was off by a little more than 1/8″ when I measured the final product.  Amy gave me extra fabric at last weekend’s sew day and she ordered me to NOT measure it (I think she was disappointed that I’d re-sew a block that was off 1/8″, but it mattered to me!!)

Next up:

May do. Good Stitches blocks for Kelsey

May MMQG bee blocks for Cindy

do. Good Stitches zippered pouch swap.  I am SO nervous about this one!  I’ve never made a pouch, never made anything with a zipper.  And the deadline for mailing is 5/12 (update:  5/19).  Gulp.

Linking up to Lee’s WIP Wednesday!

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WIP Wednesday

I am very, very happy to be completely finished with my Scrap Attack quilt.  Although I wasn’t awarded a single prize (and I can’t pretend I didn’t wish Mr. Random Number Generator would have chosen my entry), I sure feel like a winner with my 3rd completion this year.  Yep, I finished it on March 31.  That’s 3 quilts in 3 months.  One might say I’m on a kaiser (I’m on a roll, get it?  Kaiser?)

Scrap Attack Quilt. Done.

Back

I like the back too – you can see the quilting better.  It disappears on the front.

The quilt was made almost entirely from scraps.  I purchased only the solid (Kona Azure) for the random aqua blocks and the binding.  All the other fabric came from my scrap bins.  Each block is 3 1/2″ square and the finished quilt is 60″ x 72″.  The backing was an old Ralph Lauren sheet I had purchased years ago and never used.  It’s twin was used for the back of M’s Christmas quilt.

Start date:  2/24/12; finish date 3/31/12.

I also completed 4 blocks for the Faith Circle of do. Good Stitches bee.  Des asked for 4 butterfly blocks (using this tutorial) in fresh, pretty girl colors.  After I took this picture, I measured and they were just a bit shy of 6 1/2″ so I had to take them apart and re-stitch the middle.  I admit I’m struggling with a 1/4″ seam on my new machine.  I have to move the needle quite far to the right to get the seam allowance more accurate.

March do. Good Stitches blocks

I worked on another block for the MMQG bee where I had seam allowance issues.  That block is “Missing your kiss” from the Modern Blocks book.  I had to completely disassemble it and that’s as far as I got.  One block of the 9 patch is just a bit smaller than 4″ square so I hope I can get more fabric to remake it.  Grrr.

Finally, I took a leap and free motion quilted my first quilt.  This is also one of the earliest quilt tops I made and it’s my own creation.  Nothing fancy about it.  It’s going to Quilts for Kids as soon as I bind it.  The fabric is primarily Santorini by Lila Tueller.

First FMQ quilt

In progress:

MMQG March bee block

MMQG April bee block

Faith Circle – do. Good Stitches April block

Baby blanket for Quilts for Kids

Linking up with WIP Wednesday!

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Filed under Charity, do. Good Stitches bee, Milwaukee_Modern Quilt Guild, Quilting, Scrap Attack, WIP Wednesday

Checking in after checking out

Catching up after 4 months is not even an option.  Suffice it to say that I had a great summer.  I sewed very little, but I sure did keep busy.

But I’m not going to try to get caught up.  At least not all at once.  I always have too much to say and it gets overwhelming trying to capture my thoughts.

So today I finished proofreading the most recent issue of Fat Quarterly.  Another nice little issue is coming out soon and I have the pleasure of seeing it in advance.  Lucky me.

Over the weekend at quilt retreat I finished this for September do. Good Stitches, Faith Circle:

The pattern is Swoon from Camille Roskelley.  It’s not as difficult as it looks.  It’s nice to look at, no?

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April do. Good Stitches

I made two blocks for April’s do. Good Stitches bee (Faith Circle).  I was able to squeeze in a few hours of sewing at my guild’s sewing day yesterday.  I had about 3 hours between my boys’ soccer and baseball games and made just a little progress on these blocks.  I finished up late last night.

Rachel asked us to make 2 blocks of any size using saturated rainbow colors.  Check out the Flickr pool for do. Good Stitches.  The other members’ blocks are just incredible.

I’m sure this block has a name; I had a few choice names for it yesterday as I spent quality time with my seam ripper, though not because the seams were a mess (they weren’t), it’s because I suck at putting together colors and my first combination, um, sucked.  And that white square in the middle?  Why, oh why, was that so hard for me to figure out?  But once I did, it was an “aha!” moment.

Block 1

The second one went together like a dream, but I struggled figuring out how long to make each piece.  And math should, technically, be my strong suit.  It just doesn’t come to me when I’m trying to figure out what the seam allowance means to the overall size of the thing.

I bet there’s an app for that.

Block 2

I think they turned out just fine, though I wish I wouldn’t have procrastinated getting them done.  So what else is new?

I learned that I wish I had a lot more of all the fabrics.  I think these bright colors are happy.

I also learned that my machine is BADLY in need of a tune up; in fact, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to finish the blocks, and I was pre-emptively super annoyed with myself because not finishing meant explaining why they weren’t finished and why I left them to the last minute (there is no good reason).  This bee is big on deadlines!

Anyway, I’ll get them in the mail on Monday and they’ll be there in time.  It will be fine.

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A new project and March do. Good Stitches

I decided to cut into my stash of Anna Maria Horner fabrics.  I’ve been hoarding collecting them for some time now and finally found a worthy project to make, and someone for whom to make it.

It was my birthday last week and one of my gifts was Elizabeth Hartman’s book, The Practical Guide to Patchwork.  Elizabeth is the most amazing quilter – everything she makes is perfect and I have gone to her website for block ideas, free-motion quilting help, and just overall inspiration many, many times.  She is also, incidentally, a member of do. Good Stitches, though she’s not in my circle.

I wanted to make a quilt for a good friend in Cincinnati who I’m going to visit in April (I know, I’m biting off a lot with little time to chew).  My friend Gwyn and I are going together.  We planned this trip back in November when Jo El was visiting during a rough patch for my family.  Jo El is the kind of friend who will hop on a plane in a moment’s notice and will show up with laughter and love, and her friendship is truly a gift.  She is also a world-renowned heart researcher.  I am not kidding.  She is impressive in many ways.

Gwyn and I made this trip 2 years ago for Jo El’s 40th birthday party and spent a fun weekend just hanging out together.  We’re really looking forward to this trip again and I want to bring a little something as a thank you to J.

AMH stash

These are mostly AMH Innocent Crush with a few Good Folks in the mix.  Missing from the picture is my all-time favorite, Filigree in Meadow.  I’m not quite sure about the print 5 from the left, Good Folks Festival in Dusk.  It doesn’t really go with the solid border so I might have to substitute for that one – I’ll make that decision later.

Selvages saved, organizer cards ready

One tip I really appreciate from the book is how Elizabeth suggests cutting the fabrics and grouping them right away onto organizer cards.  It’s really a brilliant idea – it keeps everything together and there’s a real sense of accomplishment as each card is cleared and the block is completed.  You can use anything for the organizer cards; I used old file folders that I tore in half.

A 12-card project is very doable; my mind doesn’t bend around a 64-card project.  The pattern I’ve chosen is Kitchen Window.  This is a 12-card project.

12 organizer cards, organized.

I finished cutting last weekend but didn’t have time to sew anything together until last night.

The solids are Kona Berry and Quilter’s Only Solids in Tea Dye.  I hope I don’t regret the Quilter’s Only fabric (upper left).  I’ve never used it and it’s a bit see-through, but just a bit.  I don’t think that will be a problem.  I hope not.  Keeping my fingers crossed about that.  Trying to convince myself that it will be OK.  I just didn’t like the Kona neutral color choices available to me in the store and I really wanted a linen-look.  I think got it with the Quilter’s Only Tea Dye.

I finished 3.  Six Nine more to go [I don’t know what’s wrong with my math!].  These are really big blocks.  You can see one almost completely covers my cutting mat:

Moving on

March’s do. Good Stitches block for the Faith Circle (organized by Alecia) was the Stashbuster Block from Material Obsession Two.  To be honest, this was probably the most challenging bee block I’ve made.  I won’t say it was a hard block, but it required a lot more of my attention than usual.  Most of the time I can envision an entire quilt out of the bee blocks I make, but in this case, I am not so sure.  My points weren’t terrible, but they certainly weren’t as beautiful as Rita’s inspiration quilt over at Red Pepper Quilts.  To combat the points-not-lining-up problem the author suggests putting a doodad (yo yo, whatever) in the center of each block after the whole thing is quilted.

I scoured Red Pepper Quilts’ website for pointers (no pun intended) and realized that Rita didn’t use the pattern’s paper templates on her quilt; rather, she used a special acrylic template that she had on hand.  I think that might have made all the difference in how beautifully hers came together.  I think when cutting fabric using a  paper template you eventually end up with uneven measurements.  And we all know in quilting a little difference in seam allowances means a lot.  That said, I’m sure Alecia’s quilt will come together very nicely because there are a lot of talented sewists in the group.  And we’ve got good juju on our side.

Anyway, back to the basics.  We were asked to make two of these babies.  The finished size should have been 9.5″ according to Alecia.  I made mine and they were relative monsters at 10.5″ unfinished.  So I wrote to one of the authors of the book, Kathy Doughty,  and she replied (how nice!)  She said that her finished block was 10″ so I seemed to be on the right track.  In the end I didn’t even trim the sides because Kathy said the blocks could really be any size (finished) as long as they were all the same size when sewn together.  I’ll leave the final trimming to Alecia.

This is the block as first assembled.  I sent this picture to Alecia in desperation because my measurements were so off compared to hers.  After re-measuring her block and doing the math, Alecia decided that her blocks were the ones that were off.  So she remade hers (of course, I wouldn’t be a Catholic if I didn’t feel guilty about that. Grrr.).

I tried but no amount of ripping and re-sewing could make those points come together nicely in the middle.

My blocks were finished last Sunday.  I hope to get them in the mail today if I can get this post finished!

Stashbuster blocks without the doodad in the middle

Stashbuster blocks with the doodad in the middle

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FNSI – February, 2011

I had one completion this week for FNSI and I’m OK with that.  I have been wanting to make a quilt I saw in the Modern Quilt Workshop by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr.  I thought the simplicity of the design would make it a quick quilt.  Well, although the design is simple, it requires a lot of quilting.  And I found out that I really don’t like quilting.  Don’t get me wrong, I love selecting fabrics, piecing, and binding.  It’s the quilting that I suck at.  It makes my back and neck ache, and I generally get annoyed doing it.  That said, I like how the quilting, or stippling, turned out in this piece.

OF COURSE I didn’t finish a quilt for FNSI, that’s ridiculous.  I did finish a pillow though.  My circles leave a lot to be desired, and for sure, that’s the focus of the piece.  I noticed afterword that the circles in the original quilt are actually a continuous loop and mine have a definite starting and stopping point.  I ripped and sewed each of the circles twice because I wasn’t happy with them.  Ultimately, I had to leave them because I ripped and re-quilted after I had stippled with the red thread.  There is some puckering but it’s not too bad.  However, I am satisfied with my stippling overall.  I made a simple envelope-style closure for the back and used one of my throw pillows from the couch for the form.  I bound it like a quilt with the same Kona red.  Here it is, modeled by Rex:

And a closer view

I might actually like the quilting process in the future if I can get a more comfortable chair/table setup.  I think that’s why my back and neck ache when I do it.   Here is the quilt in the book:

Mine looks reasonably like the original, right?  Minus the messy ends in the circles.  Well, minus the messy circles themselves.

I also mailed off my blocks for February’s do. Good Stitches quilt.  We’re supporting a young lady in Australia whose home has been devastated by the flooding and I think this quilt is going to be really beautiful.  I think all the do.  Good Stitches quilters have done a really wonderful job picking the blocks and making the quilts for worthy recipients.  Kristy’s design is no exception.

Here are my blocks:

She asked for a disappearing 9 patch in Spring colors.  I think I got the “value” wrong in these – Kristy’s colors are more pale – but I think they’re very Spring like.  I hope they work well with the other blocks.  This block was so simple and rewarding.  I might have to try it again.  I like how these turned out.

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Filed under do. Good Stitches bee, Friday Night Sew-In, Quilting, Quilting bee

January do. Good Stitches

This the only sewing I’ve done since finishing the Quilts for Kids blanket:

They are the January blocks for the do. Good Stitches bee.  They’re called X string blocks.  They’re so pretty with the white, in my opinion, but they weren’t exactly easy.  I think it’s just me though.  I wonder how long it would take to make an entire quilt of these blocks?  For me, A LONG TIME.

I’m always in doubt about my color choices.  The person creating the quilt is going for a nautical look and asked for fabrics in navy and blue with splashes of yellow and red.  The samples of blue fabric she provided included dusty blue, navy, and royal as far as I could tell.  This is what I had available in my stash.  I sure hope they work.  [FYI Mom, if you’re reading this, the dark blue fabric with the dots came from your stash – you made a dress for me out of that fabric when I was about 16.]

Here’s a gratuitous shot of my dog taken with my new camera.  My old camera (a Kodak) cannot compare to the new (a Nikon), even though they’re both just point and shoot types.  Love it.  It better represents the light when I’m taking the picture than the Kodak did.  I really struggled with that before.

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