Monday, May 31, 2010

Thank you!

Growing up as an army brat, I know the time, effort and sacrifices our military makes for us.  And I thank everyone of them for their service!

I spent a good part of yesterday and this morning working on the quilt for Judy's Memorial Day Challenge.  Once completed the quilt will go to one of our service men or women.  So it only seemed appropriate to work on it today.

Judy posted 7 steps to making this quilt and I just finished up step #3 this morning.  She provided a very handy fabric cheat sheet which has been helpful in making this quilt.  You just cut a small square of each of your fabrics and glue it to your guide.  That way as you work on each step, you don't mistake one fabric for another.  My light and medium blue fabrics are fairly similar and I would have mixed them up without this.

 Fabric cheat sheet

Step 1 consisted of making 104 - 3.5" HST units.  I used Triangle Paper to make the individual units.

Step 1 - 104 HSTs

Step 2 involved making 36 units consisting of a four patch, strips on 2 sides and a cornerstone.  I don't know if this block has a real name.  If it does, I don't know what it is.

Step 2 - 36 units

And step 3 combined the units from step 2, some of the HSTs from step 1 and some additional strips to make one of the main blocks in the quilt.  There are 18 of these blocks in the quilt.

Step 3 - 18 blocks

I've cut out the strips for step 4, but haven't started making the strip sets yet.  Her directions warn that there's a lot of sewing for this step so I don't expect to finish it today.  But hopefully I'll have a little more time this evening to work on it.  When this step is done, I'll have all the blocks completed for the center of the quilt.

The quilt top has to be completed by June 6th so I think I'm on track to finish it before then.  I'm enjoying working on it and I'm liking how the fabrics play with each other.

I'll end this post with a picture of my parents who visited this weekend.  My dad served in the Army - Special Forces for 23 years.  Thank you Dad!

Dad, Sam and Mom

Until later...

There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever. 
2 Corinthians 4:18 (MSG)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Blue Patches...

I've finished another UFO.  I made this quilt top at the end of last year using the disappearing 9-Patch pattern.

D9-Patch quilt top

It remained a flimsy (unquilted top) for the last six months.  I knew when I made it, that I would give it to my mom.  (Her favorite color is blue.)  And today she finally received it!

Mom with her quilt

When I've talked about this quilt, I always referred to it as D9-Patch - its working title.  But as with most of my quilts when I finished it I changed the name.  I'm now calling it Blue Patches.

This quilt is the reason I was practicing my trapunto technique a couple of weeks ago.

Blue Patches back

If I was going to go to all the work of quilting it twice (in some cases), I wanted to make sure you could see the end result.

And I think the trapuntoed feathers show up really well on the white background.

I used several threads on this quilt - YLI 100# silk thread, clear monofilament thread and Guterman 50# thread.  Having used the 100# silk thread on a few quilting projects now, I must admit that I love how it looks.  It's also a pleasure to quilt with.  I definitely see myself investing in some more of it in the future.  (By the way, this is also the same thread I use for all my hand applique.)

The quilt top was 36" square before I started quilting it.  With all the heavy quilting, it ended up being 35" square.  I figure I spent 10 times more time quilting it than I did piecing it.  But I actually enjoyed the quilting - which I don't often find to be the case.  (I prefer just making the tops.)

I quilted trapuntoed feathers in the 4 large blocks, the sashing and the borders.  Then I did a very small stipple around all the feathers.  I also drew all the feathers by hand.  I'm starting to feel a lot more comfortable with that process as well.

Until later...

"We can't even imagine what we will be like when Christ returns. But we do know that when he comes we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is." 
1 John 3:2 (NLT)

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Who doesn't love a good nap - except little children?  They can be falling on their face exhausted and yet if you ask them if they want to take a nap, they'll emphatically deny it.  Personally, I love naps.  I'm the get in the bed and under the covers kind of napper.  And none of that twenty minute resting for me either.  If I don't have enough time for at least an hour and a half, I'll skip it.  With anything less, I just wake up feeling more exhausted.

I just found out from my doctor that I'm anemic and have low B12, so I'm spending a lot of time in bed lately.  And the pets love it.  If I tell them I'm going to take a nap (yes, I talk to them), they all follow me to the bedroom and find their spots.

But this isn't intended to be a post about napping or my sleeping habits, rather 'naptime' is the name of the latest quilt I finished.  I made it for my sister using the fabric she picked out for another quilt, Thistle Down.

Sis with 'Naptime'

It's a lap quilt that finishes around 40"x58" and is reversible.

I used the QAYG (Quilt As You Go) method on it.  And I quilted the large bottom on my frame using a pantograph.

Flower Pantograph

She hung Thistle Down on her living room wall, so I figure this will go nicely over the back of her couch.  And her and the kids can snuggle up under it when the weather turns cold. (I meant to have it finished much earlier in the year!)

Thistle Down

I took this picture of Sam today during one of her rare moments of activity.  I think there was a bug on the window that caught her attention.

Sam on the prowl

Until later...

"Give yourselves to God ... surrender your whole being to him to be used for righteous purposes." 
Romans 6:13 (TEV)

Cats, dogs and creepy crawlies...

This post is random mix of things and it was difficult to think of a cohesive title.  I wonder if anyone will be scared off by the 'creepy crawly' part.  Just to warn you I'll put that at the end.

I finished block 9 for the Baltimore Halloween quilt.  It's a cute block and went together pretty quickly.

I've already got block 10 prepped and I'll start on that next.

Continuing on with cats, I snapped this picture of David and Sam a while back.  We put down an old carpet pad in the hallway to help cut down on the dirt traffic while Mr. Quilting Bug is renovating our bathroom.  David thought it made a good hideout and didn't wish to be disturbed.

And I got yet another picture of Gabriel with her ball...

And now for the creepy crawly.  I spotted this spider in our living room and immediately called for Mr. Quilting Bug to take care of it.  It was huge or I might have done it myself.  But I've been bitten one too many times by them and have a healthy respect for what such a small creature can do.  When he tried to do a catch and release with a plastic container,  baby spiders sprung from her and made a dash for it.  Although he had to kill some of the babies, he finally managed to round up momma.

Can you see the rest of her children riding on her back?  They are all living outside once again where I pray they remain.

Until later...

"Figure out what will please Christ, and then do it" 
Ephesians 5:10 (MSG).

Friday, May 28, 2010

Stash Report Week #21...

May 21-27, 2010

To sum up this week - A lot came in, not a lot went out.

I mentioned last week about the sale Hancocks of Paducah was having on their jelly rolls.  I kept a close eye on 3 of them while I tried to decide whether to buy them or not.  But when the one I liked the most (Verna) sold out, I think I panicked.  I was afraid they'd all be gone if I didn't gobble them up.  So I did.  I ordered 4 of them - more than I had planned.  (I told you I panicked.)  Well, the package came on Wednesday and it only had 3.  It seems they didn't have enough of another one - Rural Jardin - my second favorite.  So here's the 3 I did buy...

From left to right, they are Looking Back by Brannock & Patek, Martinique by 3 Sisters and Oz by Sanae.  They're all very different, but I like them.  Which is good because they added 8.25 yards to my stash.

I also bought 3 yards of Kona black cotton for Shannon's next block swap and 1.5 yards of a medium blue for Judy's Memorial Day Challenge.  Fortunately, I have all the rest of the fabric in my stash.

And finally, I have a birthday coming up (tomorrow) and received 1.25 yards of batiks from my quilt bee.  (We give each person a fat quarter of their choice for their birthday.)

So that's a grand total of 14 yards in.  (I said it was a lot.)

And I did finish a quilt this week.  But it's a gift for someone who occasionally frequents my blog so I don't want to share a picture until she gets it.  Suffice it to say I used 4.5 yards on it. 

Purchased-this-week: 14 yards
Used-this-week: 4.5 yards
Purchased-to-date: 126 yards
Used-to-date: 173.75 yards
Net used: 47.75 yards

Until later...

Fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are noble, true, right, pure, lovely, and honorable.  
Philippians 4:8 (TEV)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I've not been blogging much recently.  I'm going through a fibro flareup right now and it's making everyday tasks harder.  But I had a couple of things I wanted to share with you...  (No pictures in this post because I'm too tired to get the camera.)

First, Judy of Patchwork Times is having a Memorial Day Challenge.  She has designed a quilt in EQ6 (Electric Quilt).  From now until Memorial Day she will post directions for making this quilt.  If you make it like she's designed it and send it to her, she will provide the batting, backing, binding (if you don't have enough) AND quilt it for you.  All quilts will then be donated to Quilts of Valor.  The only catch is that you must complete your quilt top by June 6th.  However, we all know making the quilt top is the easiest part, right?  That seems to take me no time at all.  It's the quilting that takes me literally years!  I looked in my stash and I have enough of all but one of the fabrics.  If I can find the energy over the next week and a half, I'm going to try to make one myself.  And it's for a great cause!

Second, Shannon from Pieceful Kwilter is having a block swap using Kona cotton black and jewel toned batiks.  You make 12 Sister's Choice blocks, send them in and receive 12 different ones in return.  Shannon has also designed a sample quilt layout for these blocks - so check it out.  The deadline for this swap isn't until August 31st, so you have plenty of time to make them.

Until later...

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 
1 Corinthians 13:7 (NLY)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Stash Report Week #20...

May 14-20, 2010

Hey guess what?  I bought NO fabric this week.  That's great considering the huge amount I bought last week. I won't say I haven't been very tempted though.  Very, very tempted.  There is a good sale going on at Hancock's of Paducah on some of their pre-cuts.  On one hand, I don't need any more fabric.  But on the other, I could make some great quilts to give away for not a lot of money.  What would you do?  You'll have to check back next week to see what I've decided.

I used 2 yards of fabric this week while practicing doing pantographs on my Grace frame.

Stipple, feather and leaf pantographs

I also finished 2 more blocks for the Ladies of the Sea quilt I'm making for Mr. Quilting Bug.  The backgrounds used a little less than half a yard and the appliques a little more than half a yard, so I'm calling 1 yard total.

Ladies of the Sea - Piccolo Bragozzo and America

In addition,  I finished the June and July Camelot Snowman mini wall hangings for my mom.  I used half a yard to complete them. 

June and July Camelot Snowman

And finally, I also finished the Stuffed Feathers table mat where I tried out some trapunto.  Again this only took half a yard of fabric.

Stuffed Feathers

 So my grand total for all these small projects (in size - not time) was 4 yards!

Purchased-this-week: 0 yards
Used-this-week: 4 yards
Purchased-to-date: 112 yards
Used-to-date: 169.25 yards
Net used: 57.25 yards

To see  how others are doing with their stashbusting, check out Judy's blog.  She posts her own progress and links to other blogs each Sunday.

Until later...

"Being cheerful keeps you healthy." 
Proverbs 17:22 (GN)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pretty ladies...

I started working on a quilt for my dear husband almost a year and a half ago.  It's called the Ladies of the Sea by Sue Garman.  I'm guessing I have another 3 years left before it's done.  But I'm slowly making progress on it.  Each block is 16" square and stitched completely by hand using the back-basting applique method.

Previously I had finished 6 blocks - all of them done last year.  I started on these last two blocks (7 & 8) at the end of January and put the final stitches in them just today! 

The ship in block 7 is called the America.

I have to say that all the curves in those sunflowers were fairly challenging to stitch...

The ship in block 8 is called the Piccolo Bragozzo.

The wreaths in all of these blocks actually take a lot more time to stitch then the ships themselves.

You can see the other 6 ships I've completed here.  And now that these 2 are done, I think I'll work on a couple of the blocks for my Baltimore Halloween quilt before making more of these.

Until later...

"Run from anything that gives you evil thoughts . . . but stay close to anything that makes you want to do right." 
2 Timothy 2:22 (LB)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Twisted Rope...

Someone asked what the pattern is for Twisted Rope - the king-sized quilt I'm making for my friend LeeAnn.

112" x 112"

The quilt looks much more complicated than it is.  There are really only 2 different types of blocks in it - the snowball block and the twisted rope block.

Snowball block

Twisted Rope block

The blocks are alternated to form the lattice look.  All of the twisted rope blocks are made the same - there are 81 I think.  And the snowball blocks vary just slightly.  Half of them have green corners and the other half have blue.  There are 100 of these blocks.

This is a picture of just a few of the blocks together so it's easier to see how they interconnect.  There are a lot of blocks to make, but each one is easy to piece so I expect it to go together fairly quickly.  Quilting it will really be the time consuming part of this quilt.  But I still don't have the fabrics back from LeeAnn, so I'll just work on other things until then...

Until later...

"He takes pleasure in those who honor him, in those who trust in his constant love" 
Psalm 147:11 (TEV)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Stuffed feathers...

According to Wikipedia, trapunto quilting is a quilting technique that is quite decorative in that it utilizes at least two layers, which is padded from the underside. This produces a raised surface on the quilt.

Over the years, I've tried trapunto quilting a couple of times.  Most recently, I attempted to use it on Thistle Down, a gift for my sister.

As you can see above, I wasn't very successful.  The stars have 2 layers of batting under them, but it's barely noticeable.

It's a lot of extra work because you're essentially quilting some areas twice and you also have to cut away excess batting from the back.  It's fairly labor intensive but beautiful when it shows.

I've planned out the quilting design for this D9-Patch quilt and I want to use trapunto extensively...

but only if I can get it to really show.  To that purpose I did some more research and found that several people recommended using wool batting for the extra layer.  So I bought some of the Tuscany Collection wool batting by Hobbs.  Right out of the package, you can see the extra loft to it and I was hopeful this would make the difference.

Over the last couple of days, I put together a small sample and tried the same feather motif I plan to use on D9-Patch.  What a difference in the end result!

Can't you just see how the quilting pops up on this?  I'm calling this little table mat 'Stuffed Feathers'.  It finishes at 15" square.

I'm now feeling confident enough of the results to go ahead and use it on D9-Patch.  I took a lot of pictures when I made this so perhaps I'll share the steps with you in a future post.

Until later...

Let the Spirit change your way of thinking.
Ephesians 4:23 (CEV)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

It's snowing...

Of course it's not really snowing.  In fact, we hit a record high of 95 yesterday.  And I have to say it stayed nice and cool in the sun room despite the high temperatures.  The window film I installed is paying for itself.  This week I'm hoping to finish putting it up in the living room.  (That makes it sound like I've already started in there doesn't it?  I haven't except for cleaning the windows...)

living room windows

But back to the snow reference.  I finished 2 more of the Camelot snowmen wall hangings for my mom - June and July.  I said I was going to try to be more proactive about getting these done and so far so good.

I really think July has turned out to be my favorite of all of them.  The dark blue thread really stands out and I know dark blue is one of my mom's favorites.

June turned out OK but I now wish I had done it in a darker green.  It shows up better than in the picture, but it doesn't contrast like July's.  I do like the layered buttons on it though and I quilted a feather motif on both sides of the snowman.

For July, I did some straight stitching in the borders and a free motion stipple on the white.  I've been fortunate that I've had coordinating buttons all in my stash so far.  I have a shoe box full sitting in my sewing room.

Last week I got this in the mail...

It's a fabric postcard from the president of our guild.  I've heard about them, but it's the first time I've gotten one.  Both sides are fabric with a stabilizer in the middle.  You write on the back in pen and put a regular stamp on it to mail.  What a neat idea!

I'm continuing to experiment with my new camera and I'm taking copious amounts of pictures.  I got a couple of good ones of Sam and Gabriel that I thought I'd share...

And I don't know what Gabriel got into before this one.  See the mystery material all over her head?

Until later...

"We please God by what we do and not only by what we believe"
James 2:24 CEV

Friday, May 14, 2010

Stash Report Week #19...

May 7-13, 2010

Well this week dealt a big blow to my usage totals but all for a good cause.  I went shopping yesterday with my friend LeeAnn to find fabrics for the quilt I'm making her.  We found some gorgeous fabrics (after stopping at 3 different quilt stores).  It's going to be a king-sized quilt so of course it required a lot of fabric.  For the top alone, we bought 16.25 yards!  LeeAnn is going to wash and iron it before returning it to me so I don't have a picture of it.

But I do have the next best thing to a picture of the fabric - a picture of the quilt.  Although she picked out the design from a book, I plugged everything into my Electric Quilt software and came up with a pretty good approximation of the finished quilt.  I even found thumbnail images online of the fabrics she picked out and inserted them.  So this is the quilt that I'll be making for her...

112" x 112" (in EQ5)

While we were trying to find the perfect fabric combination, I ended up with a few samples that were eventually ruled out.   So these 3 fat quarters will make there way into my stash for some future project.

That brings my fabric intake this past week to 17 yards!  That's a lot of fabric.

And as for what I used - not nearly that much.  I finished my Supaida quilt last week.  I used 1.5 yards for the backing, binding and label.  I also used another half yard for the first 3 blocks of my Bee Sampler.  But that's about it.

Purchased-this-week: 17 yards
Used-this-week: 2 yards
Purchased-to-date: 112 yards
Used-to-date: 165.25 yards
Net used: 53.25 yards

Until later...

 "I don't want your sacrifices - I want your love; I don't want your offerings - I want you to know me"
Hosea 6:6 LB