Tag Archives: do. good stitches

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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Filed under Charity, do. Good Stitches bee, Quilting, WIP Wednesday

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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Filed under Anna Maria Horner, do. Good Stitches bee, Gifts, Stash

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

Quick update

I got a total of 1 1/2 blocks done last night.  No wait!  I actually only completed one.  Here is the one that I completed.  It  is part of a very long project (from the 2nd QAYG Quilt Along):

And here is the one that I couldn’t quite finish.

Believe it or not these took hours to finish.  I make a practice block every time I try something new.  I’m practicing for the November Do. Good Stitches block.  I can make a block in any style but it has to include a little embroidered piece that was provided by the quilt designer.  I’m too afraid to screw it up so I’m totally playing it safe.  I did finish my practice block this evening and then made another one that is a bit wonky and that is the one I’ll use for the final design. The block above involved precision and I simply can’t eek precision out of my machine.  I broke down today and purchased a 1/4″ foot and we’ll see how that goes.

The QAYG block is time consuming because I quilt each piece as I lay it down.  I’ve tried it the other way (sew each piece to the batting and then quilt the whole thing) and it does go more quickly but I don’t like the finished result quite as much.

So, that’s what I got done last night, and what I didn’t get done.

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Filed under do. Good Stitches bee, QAYG Quilt Along, Quilting

Need a fix

Need a lighting fix.

I know I can find instructions on the web for making a light box in which I can photograph my blocks and other small things.  I need one.  My lighting setup is just terrible, even in the morning sun.  These pictures were taken this morning when it was bright and sunny but you can hardly tell:

These are more blocks for the QAYG Quilt Along.   That’s 4 blocks down and, like, a bajillion to go.  The important thing though is that these are for ME.  I’m not making them for anyone else’s quilt but mine.

I also finally uploaded some blocks for a quilt that are not for me.  They’re for the Do. Good Stitches charity quilt I’m helping create.  Alesa asked for blocks in green/teal and orange/yellow.

When put side by side, they also create blocks like this:

And you can see both blocks together here:

And on the off-chance that Laura reads this before she gets her mail, here is a sneak peek for something I’m working on for her:

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Filed under do. Good Stitches bee, Family, QAYG Quilt Along, Quilting, Quilting bee

What’s up, September?

And what did you do this month?

Did you use your powers for good?

I did.  I made these:

for the do.  Good Stitches bee.  These were made with fabric from my stash and the recipient is a mother and her 1-year-old son.   Jennifer from Texas requested the blocks and is putting them all together.  I think they’re very pretty.  I only had to remake the one on the left twice.  Sigh.  And I ditched one that scared me – I was afraid they’d kick me out of the bee for the horror of it.  Here it is:

EEK!  Don’t scream – it’s really awful.  I can’t even believe I’m showing it here, but there it is.  I think my new one is so much more tasteful and pretty.  Well, if I do say so myself.

I also finished these for Jaclyn for Fresh Comfort 2 Bee

They were supposed to be six-minute circles but not when I did them.  They took considerably longer than 6 minutes each (funny – the directions actually broke down each step into how many seconds it should take.  Ha!)  Perhaps had I done 50 of them, I might have gotten it down to somewhere near 6 minutes, but just the freezer paper cutting took a minute.  Hm.  Maybe I’m not such a good cutter…?

One thing I realized recently is that my house really sucks for taking pictures.  I have the hardest time finding just the right spot to take the picture and doing it at night is simply out of the question.  Since I took the day off today to work on a major project, I took advantage of an abundance of light to take the pictures.  And still?  Not sure I’m really liking them much.  The first set of pictures were taken today; the others were taken in the morning misty rain (the scary block) and at night (Jaclyn’s block).  See what I mean?  For sure I need a new camera, possibly even a new house.  I’m working on both.

As for the project?  It’s done and in the mail and I don’t have to worry about it again for several months.  I can’t describe the feeling of lightness I have right now.  It’s so great.  I truly feel like I have a major weight lifted from my shoulders.

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Filed under do. Good Stitches bee, Fresh Comfort Two, Stash