Monday, January 31, 2011

MonAmi Top Finished!

The Mon Ami top is finished for the Le Petite challenge. I have finished (not quilted) all of the challenges on time so far. YEA ME!! I don't think I have ever done that. I don't like to put my creativity on a deadline and it is a struggle to get everything in on time. If I were just doing this one challenge, it would be different. However, I was working on 4 different things during the month of January and this is the only one totally completed. The Intuition quilt is in progress and flowing very nicely. I just need to take this quilt off the wall and put back up the bits and pieces for the lower quadrants of that quilt. The next thing I was going to do in January is the Monochromatic quilt from Patchwork Times. The color drawn was yellow and I found a bunch of nice yellow FQ's on clearance at The Quilting Patch in Midland. I came home, cut them into fat eights to share half with my mother. Unfortunately that is as far as I got on that one. I do have to say that I wasn't' planning on making the entire quilt in one month, only about 8 or 9 blocks. Then, at the end of the year, after making that many blocks from each color drawn each month, I would put them all together in a single quilt. So, all is not lost on that one, yet. The color has been drawn for February and it is violet. I can make both sets of blocks and be back on track this month. (Plus the new challenge quilt, the intuition quilt, the retreat quilt, writing the pattern for my class quilt, etc., etc., etc.) I am really hoping that it rains and freezes all night so that they will cancel school tomorrow and I can stay home and quilt. That would be wonderful. Except tomorrow was already going to be wonderful in the fact that the majority of my students weren't going to be there anyway. Drats!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Design Wall Monday Posting Early

Almost!! I almost have my Mon Ami quilt top finished for the Le Petite challenge this month. I only have to put on one more border and I am done! I didn't think I would make it to the first of February, but I think I will. I can get that border, which is already cut and ready, sewn on tomorrow. I know, you are asking, "Why aren't you sewing it on now instead of blogging?" Because I can type faster than I can pin all those seams. I have been pinning each seam so that it lays flat and let me tell you, that is a lot of pins! Well, here it is, so far. I am also doing this now so I can post to the Monday Design Wall group tomorrow.

To see what everyone else has on their design wall Monday, go to Patchwork Times.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Visitor Has Come Calling

My doorbell rings around 7:20 this evening and it is my neighbor. She is holding a dog that looks soooo much like one of mine, that I start counting heads to make sure they are all there. One, two . . where's the third? I look at this dog she is holding to make sure it isn't mine and . . . nope. Not one of mine. However, it looks so much like my two older ones, that it could be mine. My neighbor and I talk and since the night is really cold - if there were moisture in the air, we would be getting snow right now. It has been predicted, but no moisture - no snow. Or at least that is my take on the weather. I am not a weatherperson, so don't totally 100% trust me. (like we would 100% trust a meterologist!!) Anyway, long story short, her dog as passed, they don't have a kennel or food, I have both, the dog is staying the night with me. We went across the street to a lady that has some gray dogs, but they are schnauzers. I take little miss in the car and go down the street to a neighbor that has a dog similar to my Irish to see if they had gotten another one, but no, not their dog. (Great note is, I think I can talk them into taking her if we don't find her owners in a couple of days) The husband had to do a double take when he saw me with her in my arms. He thought it might be his dog, also. it really is weird how all 4 of these dogs - my two, their one and this one, look so very similar. So, I am the crazy neighbor lady with 4 dogs. No, I am not keeping all four.

Design Wall Monday

Here is what is on my wall(s). I actually have two walls going. I have the first two quadrants of my intuition quilt sewn together and I am working on the next two quadrants.

I can't decide if I want one large section or two separate sections for the bottom half of this quilt.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Liberating Weekend Quilt-In

This weekend was our first Quilt-In of the new year. Long ago, our quilt group voted not to have a traditional quilt retreat and instead we would have a stay at home retreat. We start at 3:00 on a Thursday and go until 3:00 (or longer) on Saturday. You sew when you can make it, come and go when your days are like that and run home to feed the dogs, family or just pick something up that you left. Even though we could, if we wanted, stay all night, we all elect to return to our beds and come back in the mornings. It has been a wonderful arrangement. Sometimes we have a planned project, but our favorite time is when we work on our own stuff. This weekend I worked on my Mon Ami quilt for the Le Petite Challenge. I have been meticulously squaring up every half-square triangle and it has been slow going. I should have never done that to the first one, because it turned out so perfect, that when I didn't square up the fourth one, I decided I didn't like how it looked and have gone back to squaring each one. Let's see that is 8 HST per block at 25 blocks that is 200 - 2 1/2" hst's!! I haven't even gotten to the sawtooth border yet! With having to finish up finals and getting my grades in for the semester, our meeting on Saturday, feeding the dogs and working on a rwb block (more later) I only got 10 blocks totally completed. I have the other squares sewn, but not squared. I still have a couple of weeks to get this done. If I sew a little bit each day, it will be finished in no time. hopefully.

Pictured below is my friend Diana's quilt she made in Debbie Caffrey's Stir Fry class in December. She used blocks leftover quilt blocks and made some during the year when I suggested patterns in our newsletter. She is having the best time quilting it. Just doing whatever the block speaks to her - machine quilting, hand quilting and tying. She is even going to do some machine embroidery on it! It was fun to watch her and Molly work on laying it out and fun to see the top as she quilts it.
Molly brought this quilt to show me because of all the bright colors. I love it!! Not only because of the brights, but because it is all blocks that are liberated and wonky. Molly and Diana made similar quilts using all the patterns from Gwen Marston's Liberated Quilt books. To hear them talk about their process, they each have the books, now, and they get on the phone and sew and quilt at their own houses, together! Too funny. It is a beautiful quilt. They were both jealous when I told them I was going to be taking classes from Gwen in March. I just love wonky and liberated stuff.

Speaking of which, I made a funky star block to donate to our ROTC raffle quilt. I had to add borders to get it to the right size. I had never made lopsided funky stars inside a funky star before. I was inspired by a couple of blocks from Molly's quilt. I will have to make a couple more of these for my stir fry quilt - still haven't blogged about that yet - just to have some more fun.

First Design Wall Monday

I know I am jumping the gun, but I really have been wanting to participate in Design Wall Monday this year and this is the first one I remembered. So, here is what is on my design wall. I will blog more about it and the process at 15 minutes play in just a little bit. This is the second and third quadrants of my intuition quilt.

For more Design wall inspiration go to Judy's at Patchwork Times.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Playing around

I have been working on a couple of quilts and ideas this week along with trying to still fight this "flu/cold" bug. I finally went back to the doctor today and got some more medicine. I am a little afraid to take it with all the warnings on it "may cause diarrhea", "may cause diarrhea up to one month after taking this medicine" (what?) "do not take within 24 hours of taking ....vitamins" Scary!!! I should have taken two doses by now, but since I take a daily vitamin, I haven't taken any. I am tempted to call my doctor back tomorrow and ask for something that doesn't make me sick in a different way than what I am now.

I have had my hair up in a ponytail for the last two days (except to sleep) and when I took it down tonight I shook it all out and felt wild. I wondered what I looked like. So, I picked up the camera that was right in front of me and took a picture . . .

LOL!!! I need some lipstick/lip coloring. They are extremely pale. However, I think it looks like an art picture. I like the eye peeking out. I may change my picture on facebook. My mother hates the picture I have now, I doubt she will like this one any better. Look for her comment below and see what she says.

I have been playing almost everyday for at least 15 minutes and this is what I have been working on since I last blogged. I am still in the middle of the intuition quilt project. I did one quadrant then took time off and stitched together some scrap strips into a rail fence quilt. Since it was all in the same pile on the table, I thought I might use that as one of the quadrants and put the other section back up on the wall. hmmm. Not sure about that yet. They will definitely swap sides if I do use it.

So, I started on another section. Pulling in some of the same fabrics and playing. Here is from two sessions at the sewing machine.

I found some more of those 9 patch blocks and put them on the board all together. I am going to go in there and move them all around here in a minute and break them up. I don't like the entire block, but may leave some of them together.

I put the intuition aside last night while I was watching the BCS game (TCU should have been playing in that game.) Personal comments aside, I started pulling fabric to make the Mon Ami from the le petite challenge for this month. I plan on working on this at our quilt-in starting Thursday. I decided to make it out of solids and I am happy with the choices I have made.

I was so excited that I just had to make one block just to get me started. Only 24 more to go. Now, off the computer and back to the intuition quilt.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Really, really I do

It is really, really late and I really, really need to get to bed, but I wanted to show you what I did tonight. I took all those orange, pink, yellow and purple leftover strips and sewed them into sets of 4, cut them into 8 1/2" squares and put them up rail fence style on the wall. Wouldn't you know it, I am one block short. I am so glad that I took the time to cut 2 1/2" strips from the leftovers. I pulled them out of the box and made another square. I really like this. it is about 32 inches square. At least it should be, I really didn't measure it. It may have to have a border on it to make it larger, but I am enjoying it up on the wall.

The other thing I did was go by the Quilting Patch in Midland. I had to go to Midland for something else and since I was in the area. . . I was just going to see what they had gotten in new. I really hadn't intended to purchase anything unless it really screamed at me (okay, I am going to bed in a minute. Really is stuck in my head and I need to get it out!!) They were having a massive sale on fabric. Their clearance fat quarters were only 80 cents each!! Can you imaging? I pulled out 12 for the monochromatic challenge spoken about previously. I pressed them and cut them into fat eighths and I am giving half of them to my mother. (Hey, mom. Look at what is coming your way sometime soon) Here are the fabrics layed out on my ironing board that I am going to use for the yellow challenge. Not a bright in the lot. This will be interesting.

For all of you out there wondering if I bought out all the fat quarters, the answer is no. I only purchased 20 of them. Some to go with another quilt, a couple of purples and a couple of wilds that I just had to have to make the numbers even. I didn't even spend all of my twenty! Now, I am really, really going to bed. Night all.

Still Sewing on. . . ditto

Here is what I just posted on 15 minutes play.

When I went to bed the turquoise borders were 5 inches wide. The next morning I got up and thought that they were too wide and that was the problem. They swallowed the inside of the quilt. So, I folded them under to about 3 1/2" and voila much better.

Measure, cut, sew and I have borders all the way around that I am pleased with.

I unearthed some half square triangles left over from two different quilts and put them up on the wall. That is as far as I can go tonight. Notice that the pinwheels have temporarily disappeared. I know you all liked them in the border, but I just really felt that they weren't supposed to be there for some reason.

I don't like those half square triangles on there at all!! Even turning them around didn't help. This time I pulled a darker pink strip and added it to the side, but I miss-cut the booger - did I mention that I have the flu? that is why not much is getting done during the day and this top is taking soooo long. It's the pits to be on vacation with the flu, but at least I am working on a quilt. anyway, the dark pink border has been miss-cut so I put in a little pinwheel to fix it. then the outer border just came along with all those leftover 9 patches and pinwheels. I don't really like the fact that the pink strip pinwheel and the outer pinwheels kind of match up, but I am not taking it out or moving the strip. I can live with that.

If you have one pink strip you really need another one, so I put it on the bottom, it came attached to the orange strip from the stash pile.( Remnants from another quilt.) Since I didn't want it to go all the way across the bottom, it meant that I was going to have to unsew the right hand border, add another block and pinwheel to make it look like the pink just came in and turned the corner. I like it a bit off kilter like this.

Do I leave it or try to balance it out with something on the top and left? I pulled a black and white striped strip out of the pile and I don't want to say voila again, but . . . voila!
I thought I had a picture of that strip sewn on and trimmed up, but I guess I don't. I am thinking this might just be one quadrant of a larger quilt. It's only about 32" X 34" so it's small. I will start just playing with what I have left of my scraps. Yes, I unearthed some more and my pile is growing. They are calling for me to make more house blocks.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

More Intuition

Not bad, three days - wait it's 4 days, that is borderline. What am I talking about? One of my new year resolutions is to blog more. While two blogs in six days is not bad, it's not what I set for myself and I will need to add two more blogs by Saturday. Hey, that's not as bad as I thought. I think I can do that.

I have been working on my intuition quilt along with going back to school on Monday. I have got to get home before 5 o'clock the rest of this week. It cuts into my sewing time when after I get home I have to take the dogs out, feed them, water them, feed me without their help, watch Jeopardy! :) and then come upstairs to read blogs, facebook and e-mails. By the time I get to the sewing room it doesn't leave me much time to sew. Good thing I am working on my intuition quilt for 15 minutes play. Let's see, where did we leave off? Oh, yes, thinking about adding some color block borders.

It needed the pink to be repeated and brought out some more, so I picked up a strip, hoping that I would have enough to go all the way around. it didn't work out that way and I had to add in another pink fabric strip from the pile. Doesn't look too bad since they are almost the same value. I don't even notice it now. I cut up some teal/turquoise fabrics into random widths by 5 inches and placed them around the top. Looking good. But, I still need to bring out some of that white from the middle so I pulled all the extra pinwheels and pieced some teal fabric to both the top and bottom so I could put them in the border and

I don't like it. It looks too forced. I pull them back out and leave it alone for the night. It doesn't look right, but I can't figure out what it needs. Maybe tomorrow.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

My tree quilt made it into the parade of tree quilts over at A Quilting Life, but looks so - I don't know any other way to say this than blah. It really does need a border around it to help it sparkle. I originally wasn't planning on adding a border, but now I am going to have to go back and put one on. I really like the ones that have a narrow border, a border of the background fabric and a wider border in another print. That is going to be on my list of things to get done in January. (along with about 20 other things)

Of those (20) things to get done is to work on the Intuition Challenge that I am currently contemplating the next change/addition while it rests on my design wall, maybe join in on the yellow challenge from Judy at Patchwork Times. Either she or her husband will draw a color from a bag of color possibilities and that is the color of the month. For January it is yellow. You are challenged to make a monochromatic quilt using only that color. You can use any tint, shade or vibrancy of that color. Sounds challenging and intriguing doesn't it? Want to join in the fun? I am also considering making a mug rug for the Sew I Quilt challenge. In this one, all you have to is make a mug rug that screams "you". Well, I might be able to do that especially since I saw Glen's pig that she made into a table runner. I love that pig and can't wait until I have the chance/take the time to play around and make my own version of a pig. I think that may scream "ME" in a mug rug. I think I will stop now with what I want to get done and go back downstairs and do some more laundry.