Sunday, August 24, 2014

New Blocks, Quilt Tops and More

I showed a picture of the first block earlier in the month, but here are my two blocks I made for my KFC Block Exchange group. The blocks are starting to trickle in and I thought I had taken a picture of the other two that Pat had made for me, but unfortunately, I didn't have it on my camera.  (might have taken it with my phone or tablet.  I will have to check and see.)  As soon as I have 6 + blocks, I will post another picture.  I might have to sash this quilt so the blocks stand on their own, but  I will think more about that when I get a few blocks up on the wall. 
One Friday on a Missouri Star tutorial, Jenny showed how to make little chicken pin cushions.  I have seen these pin cushions all over the place for many years, but have never made one myself.  Until now.  Below is my chicken pin cushion (or will be after I stuff it) without her tail feathers.  I totally forgot about that part of the video.  This one is made with leftover made fabric from the blocks I have made in my KFC Block Exchange group.  When I get to a point where I don't know what I want to work on, or am trying to avoid something that I need to do, I pull out some scraps and make some fabric to use in a project.  I had already used some of this made fabric in another project, but had enough to cut out a couple of squares. Check out the Missouri Star tutorial and make one for yourself.  I will definitely be making a few more of these to give as gifts.

Speaking of Jenny Doan, early in June, I went to Arkansas to visit with family and got to attend a Jenny Doan trunk show with my mother and take one of her quilt classes with my sister.  Paige and I worked really hard and fast and made many blocks in the short time we were in class.  We had a great system going and were cranking out the blocks.  I didn't realize that Jenny would be leaving at noon from this "full day" bring your own lunch class that I had signed up for.  Apparently everyone in the class knew and some had made plans to stay there the rest of the day and sew and some left at noon to go do other things (some even had to go to work).   Since the teacher was leaving, Paige and I decided to leave pretty soon after she did.  So, I packed everything back into my car and went back to my mother's house.  I left all the blocks I made in a tub until yesterday when I decided to get them out and finish putting them together.  I had already started sewing them into rows during the class and had two rows sewn together and another completed and ready to add when I pulled them out of the tub.  30 blocks!!  Can you believe that we made 30 blocks (31 really) in about 3 hours time?  We did!!  Did I mention we had a system going?  It was fun.  Paige said I was the better sewer and kicked me off the cutting detail at one point  That didn't hurt my feelings - I had previously been kicked off another cutting detail many years ago when my mother, a friend and I made my bulls-eye quilt.  (I can't free cut a circle out of a square of fabric to save my life. They were more a fat football shape)  When I put the remaining blocks together, I only had to make one more "dark" block to make the pattern work.  I have two leftover "light" background blocks and they may have to go on the back somewhere.  This is probably a crib size quilt (about 45 X 52 or so) and I wasn't sure what fabric to use for the outer border.  I auditioned about 10 different fabrics and only two of them made the cut and I wasn't totally sold on either one of them.  I am glad I chose and stuck with this one.  It makes the quilt cheery and fun. 

The only other thing I am going to type about tonight is the little quilt that is to the right of the exploding block quilt.  That is made from trimmings from a company in Australia, Umbrella Prints.  They have a challenge every March - June and they send you (for a small fee) a packet of fabrics and you have to make something out of it.  I didn't learn of the challenge until late and by the time my fabric arrived it was toward the end of school when I got very busy, so I never put anything together until now.  Here again, like making fabric, I just pulled things out of the packet laid it out on the table and started sewing bits together.  Where I thought I might be going with the fabric and design, doesn't even show up here since I cut that up and sewed it all back in.  It looks like I was making a couple of log cabin pieces, but I only made one.  I was crossing my fingers on the border because I wasn't sure I would have enough fabric to go all the way around.  I am really enjoying this little piece and can't decide how I want to quilt it.  Either by hand with pink pearl cotton or by machine with pink or khaki thread.  Oh, yes, these fabrics are linens or have a rough feel to them so hand quilting may be a bit much, but it might just add some fun if I big stitch.  Until I decide, I will enjoy it on my design wall. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Kaffe Blck Exchange Blocks

I have been doing a little bit of sewing - FINALLY!!!  It is almost time to go back to school and I am in a bit of a panic mode to get in the studio and sew.    I knew I really had to get going on these paper pieced blocks for my KF Block Exchange Group.  There are 9 - 10 people in a group and we have three groups going on right now.  Each person has a month and must post his/her block pattern choice along with any fabric directions they have by the first.  Then we have one entire month plus a10 days to get the blocks made and in the mail.  (they must be posted by the 10th).  Now we all know that things happen and in the case of the June blocks .  . well,  I made them within a few days of the pattern being posted.  That was good.  I took them to show my quilt group and then I  wanted to show my mother so I took them to Arkansas planning to mail them from there, but I didn't. When I came back home I forgot all about them.  Hey, they were made and done, on to new things.  By the time I remembered them, they were already late.  I finally got around to putting them in the mail - I took the envelope up and weighed it so I could be sure and get the correct amount of postage on there and sent them off.  Well, a few days ago - 7 since I had mailed them off - they came back needing more postage.  WHAT???  That was why I weighed it out in the first place.  They went back in the mail this week with more than enough postage on them so, we will see if they make it there by Monday.  (I am hoping they arrived either today or tomorrow, but Monday at the latest) 
Now that June's are taken care of - it's time for July's blocks.  Below are the two blocks I made for the July person.  I should have paid better attention to the orange fabric and made sure the entire star points were from the orangiest part of that fabric and not let those other colors intrude. but that is how it came out and I think it adds some character. 
This next one has better contrast.  I used some unusual and older KFC fabrics in these blocks so maybe no one else will make the same fabric/color combinations.  They turned out well and I can't wait to see them with all the other blocks to see how they stack up.  I may have to offer to re-make the first one if it clashes too much with her other blocks.  (that gray/green background may be too weird)

I am the August person.  I had been thinking about what block I wanted to request and had planned on writing up some instructions, but then I realized it was the first of the month and I needed to post something within the next 30 minutes and I panicked.  I fell back on my second favorite block - Goose in the Pond and just sent everyone directions/access to the tutorial here on my blog.  I told them they could use any fabric combination as long as they used three different fabrics.  I hadn't had time to make an example one - hey, August creeped up on me! 
Tonight, I finally got around to making one block using my pattern - someone else has already posted a picture of their block they made and it looks great!  Here is one of mine.  I realized after I made it that I used the same warm/cool placement that I requested from last years Bee group.  I guess I just like that combo.  I have already pulled fabrics for the next one and I am mixing it all up!  Even though in person it looks a bit busier, I like how this one looks in the picture. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Reunion Quilts from this Summer

I finally got around to downloading pictures off my camera and onto my computer.  Toward the last few days of school, I had 15 million things going on and things to do, so I gave my quilts and camera to a small group of students to take pictures of them for me.  I, of course, expected for two of them to hold them up and the other to take the picture.   Quilt picture taking 101, right?  Well, I was surprised later that night when I looked at the pictures and these are the pictures they took.  They set up several tables in the restaurant and laid out the quilts like they would be laying on the bed. 
Anyway, here are the three quilts I finished binding and gave away at family reunion.  This first one was for my aunt.  The name of the quilt is "Welcome to the Zoo".  The pattern is a 3, 6, 9, 12 quilt from Fons and Porter and the block pattern is chain link.  I love this quilt pattern and this is my 5th or 6th quilt using this style, but I have used 3 or 4 different block patterns so they all come out differently.  The hardest part about this quilt is making 15 million (my favorite number today) 3 inch blocks, but you gotta do it to make the quilt sparkle!!!  (the block is not hard, it's just tedious! and that makes it hard) (what's really hard is typing today - I think I have had to re-type almost every word) Oh, yes, this quilt is all batiks.  Everything but the green is an animal skin batik.
This next quilt was a long time coming!!  I made the quilt top many, many years ago and was just waiting on a back, but I just wasn't motivated enough to get it made.  Now that I have an awesome quilter, that has all changed.  This quilt is for my cousin's daughter, Chelsea.  Her favorite color used to be orange.  Now, I am not sure it still is or not, but I made this top when that was the color she told me she loved.  Technically this is her high school graduation quilt.  She has since graduated from college, technical schooling and gotten married.  (so, you see, why I said it was a long time coming?)  I named this quilt, "Good Morning Sunshine".  It is so bright and cheery.  The black and white stripe is from some found fabric that was only 36 inches wide!!  That is some old fabric, but it was perfect for this quilt.  Pattern: well that is a good one since I saw a picture of a quilt on a calendar and this quilt was made in honor of that one - not the same pattern, but some of the same colors.

Someone at family reunion held it up so we could take pictures.  You can just get a better feel for the quilt when it is like this.
This third quilt is another one that had to wait to be quilted and is for another cousins daughter for high school graduation.  This one even had the back and binding all ready to go, it was just waiting on me to find a quilter.  This is a flannel quilt that I named, "Firefly Fuzz".   I think it's a yellow brick road pattern, but with more blocks.  The back is a different black and white flannel, but I don't have a picture of that - or I may have one on my camera, but I didn't download it to the computer, sorry.

Alright, there are three of my 20+ quilts I need to bind all done and given away.  Now if I can just get myself motivated to do the others.  (I did finish one that was part way bound, but not included in the 20+ and I am halfway through another)