Thursday, March 31, 2011

I Found The Neatest Way to Make a Block

I was over at Stash Manicure the other day, just browsing, as I do, and was Gobstopped!  Truly.  I read a post by Cheryl at Sew Many Quilts Sew Little Time and it made this HUGE impact on me.  I had NEVER thought to put a block together like that.  So I thought about it and how I could use it (like I *need* another project to start, right?).  After some quiet contemplation I realized that I had some fabric that would be perfect to use for this technique.  Last night I was running really, really late so grabbed up the strips I had cut, my sewing machine, cutter, mat and ruler and headed off to try it.  I thought maybe you would like to see it too.  Although you can go to Stash and see it, I was so excited, I took (read had QQ take) some photos in a little tutorial.  Again, not my original technique but one you can try.  I bet it would look great with leftover strips too.  Let's get started, KK?

I used some coordinated FQ's on the Oz line for mine but you choose what works for you.  The strips are cut between 1.5-3.5 inches (I didn't cut any over 3") by 21" in length.  The length is the important part and why a FQ works perfectly.  A little longer is ok but shorter is not, so when I sewed my strips together I didn't trim to 21".  Here is what my work area looked like.  Messy huh?
 I randomly pulled strips and sewed them together using a quarter inch seam, until I had a strip set that was ~10.5" wide.

Here is what it looked like all sewn.  Then I pressed the seams in one direction.  Now it was all ready to cut. 
 First I trimmed up an end so I had a straight edge to measure from.
 Next up was to cut the strip into two 10" squares.

Here you see two 10 inch squares.  You will need to turn one so the strips are vertical and keep one horizontal.  It's like stack and slash rails isn't it?
Right sides together, layer your two 10" squares together, keeping one with the strips horizontal and one vertical (take a peek).
 I am not usually much of a pinner but I didn't have any spray starch to stabilize my fabrics so I pinned the squares together before taking it to the sewing machine.

 Now the fun really begins!  Sew all the way around the block using a 1/4" seam allowance.  I started on a side and pivoted at the corners so it was sewn in one continuous seam.  Yep, all the way around!

The real cutting fun begins now.  Cut through both layers corner to corner.  Then cut corner to corner again.  So you will have cut your block into 4 quarter square triangles.( except they are sewn together so they end up being your squares, and how cool is that??)

I opened the blocks up and pressed them then laid them out so I could show you!  I just chose a random layout for the first photo and then rotated all the blocks one turn to get the other 3. Oh and don't worry, the lines are not supposed to meet up, that's why you use diferent widths of strips!! Which one do you like the best? 

 I liked the very first one best so that's the one I sewed.  Did you choose that one too?  This is the other block I ended up making while at quilting.  I love how the orange looks like check marks!  How fun are these blocks???  Thanks Cheryl for showing this old dog a new trick!  I am having a blast making these. 

I managed to make 9 strip sets and 2 blocks in about 3 hours (loads of talking, LOL).  It would be a nice leader ender project too!  So if you have some coordinated fabrics you don't know what to do with or have lots of strip scraps, give this a try.  I promise you that you will find yourself excited to see how each block is going to turn out!  I am not in any particular hurry to finish this so you may see more blocks for awhile before you actually see me do anything with them.  I'm strangely OK with that.  I have so much going on at the moment!

I am out the door to QQ's house for a little more sewing.  We agreed to send some blocks for a baby project for a sweet woman having her first baby.  (I can't reveal it at the moment, I know, I know) but I think we are allowed to show the blocks so I will be sure to take some photos tonight!  One set of our blocks go in the mail tomorrow and the other set stay with us because I volunteered to put the quilt together (what?  when did I do that and what was I thinking? ).  Seriously I am honored that the group is allowing me to assemble it, LTW to quilt it and QQ to bind and label it.

Have a wonderful evening!!   ~XOP~

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What I Have Been Up To Recently

I have managed to finish 2 more blocks.  One is for the second time around in the Jellyroll QAL and the other one is for the Layer Cake QAL.  I didn't particularly car for the block 11 in the LCQAL so I decided to look for a substitute block.  We have a basket and a flower and so this is what I came up with for my block 11.  I'd like to know what you think of it.  I used some Presencia perle cotton size 12 for the embroidery.  It is the first time I have worked with this thread.  I had to use a much larger needle than I usually use for embroidery, and even
LCQAL Block 11
I found the block pattern on the Quilter's Cache website.  If you have not discovered them yet you should go and take a look.  Their patterns are great!

For the Jelly roll QAL block, I loved making this block the first time and loved it just as much the second time.  I am super pleased with how the block came out too.  It was so easy and looks so great!
JRQAL Block 11

 I joined a group on Flickr that swaps designer fabrics.  I needed some Heather Ross fabric for a block I am making for another group I am in and I didn't happen to have any.  So a new friend of mine on Flickr sent me these in the mail.  Wasn't that sweet of her?
HR Fabrics

I really need to work on the two HR blocks so I may not go to quilting tomorrow and go instead to QQ's house since she needs to do the same 2 blocks for the same 2 projects.  Then I could finish laying out the tumbler quilt (and maybe take some photos of that too).  I would like to work on my Dreamy Stars and finish that top too, if not this week, then maybe this weekend.  We only have 1 more block to go in the LCQAL and then I can begin putting those 2 quilts together.  I need one of them by the end of May!  Sooo much to do.

I hope you enjoyed the post about making buttons for your blog that I posted yesterday.  I was able to do the whole thing using Flickr instead of Photobucket too just in case some of you would rather use your Flickr account.  I know that's what I will be using in the future.

I still have 3 things available for purchase from 2 days ago.  The patterns, the brown fabrics and the fabric and pattern, and bag sides for May, all in Thimbleberries fabric.  If you are interested let me know.   Well, back to work.  Have a great Tuesday and we'll talk soon.  Leave me a comment and let me know what you are up to too.  ~XOP~

Monday, March 28, 2011

Ever Wondered How To Make A Button For Use In Blogger?

Well I wondered just that today.  The very generous Madam Samm has made a couple of buttons for me and another friend had made one for me to use in the past.  I like to know how to do things myself, do I sound like I'm 3?  Maybe, but it's true.  As generous as my friends are that will only get you just so far especially if you need/want one in a hurry, right?  No sense imposing on friends when I have a perfectly good brain (when I am not suffering from "Sometimer's Disease") and can learn.  Didn't some scientists say recently that learning new things keeps our brains healthy?  I think they did.  So what do you do when you want to learn something but don't know where to look for it?  Yes, that's right, I Googled it, but you don't have to.  You can follow this link and read the same article I did and learn how to do it too!!

I was super amazed at how easy it is to do.  You have to have either a photo or the artwork you want to use in a location you can remember on your computer.  Then just follow the steps.  If you are using something other than Blogger to host your blog there is probably one for Wordpress or Typepad or wherever.  In fact I found the one by someone named Amy who hosts her blog on Wordpress and were her directions ever good!  I couldn't figure out how to translate that to Blogger so I just Googled how to do it for Blogger.

You really need to post about this on your blog too so your friends can learn how to do it too!  (or maybe send them my way?)  So cool.  Now I expect you all to go forth and make amazing buttons.

I made 2 blocks yesterday but it was too dark to take pictures so will have to try it when I get home.  I did block 11 in the JRQAL, it is one of my favorites and block 11 in the LCQAL.  I was uninspired by the block they did so I substituted my own!  You will have to come back and see it tomorrow.

Have a wonderful Monday everyone!  Oh, and if you do make your own button(s), come back and tell me what you thought about the process.  ~XOP~

Sunday, March 27, 2011

DeStashing Time

I have decided to go through my stash and make some much needed changes.  I am selling off my 2004 Thimbleberries fabrics that I had from the BOM they did that year.  (I think I finished the first 3 projects)  So if you like Thimbleberries or know anyone that might be interested please email me.  Here we go.

First up is a scrap pack of assorted Thimbleberries fabrics
$5  SOLD

All the fabrics listed from here are WOF.

This is the cream group and the amounts are as follows.
There are 3 pieces of the leafy vine, 32", 23" and 14"
The leafy one in the center 1 yd
the flower one on the right 14"
$10 SOLD

These are the only 2 greens I had
Green with red flower 24"
Green on green 13 "

Dark blue 1 yd
Blue with stars 32"
Blue with yellow  11/4 yard
$12 SOLD
Multi flower 1yard
With white flower 1/4yd
Apple 32"
Pumpkins 1yd
Dark brown 1/4 yd
Round gold flower 1/2 yd
Long gold flower  1 yd
Gold dots  1 yd
Berries 1yd
Flowers and vines 14"
$16 SOLD

This is some of the set of the BOM patterns from 2004.  There is also the color reference.  The months I have are Jan, Feb, Mar, April, June, July, August, September and October.  $5

Stencil Pack  $5 SOLD

This is the pattern and the materials for May.  I have the side panels already sewn for the bag as you can see from the photo on the right.  $12

This last one is a kit.  The kit contains 2 Winter jelly rolls. one pattern and just over 6.5 yards of fabric.  That means you have enough to make the top in the pattern as well as have enough for the back and the binding.  $80 SOLD
Lucky Nines Kit
I will be listing more things as I have them available.  Thanks for looking!  Let me know if you are interested in anything.  XOP

What's Been Going On Since The Trip

Is that what you want to know? You probably don't really, LOL. Certainly not as much as I would have liked. I have done cleaning, laundry, and all the "stuff" that waits for you when you go away. Same at work, really, really busy catching up. Hopefully I will have time to get some stuff done now.

Before we left for the trip Quilting Queen finished binding Sparkle. It is so awesome. Love it! Thanks PTM!
Front and Back
SparkleBack of Sparkle
Then you saw a peek of the Halloween Coin quilt but here it is all finished.
Halloween Coin Quilt 003Halloween Coin Quilt 004
I used my stamp for the label too and now the quilt is listed on my ETSY. If you are looking for a unique baby quilt go and check it out.
Halloween Coin Quilt 004
There is something exciting that I am working on right now that is quilt related but not a quilt. I am going to go to Spring Market in May!!! I have made a new friend in blogland and her name is Annie. She lives in Utah, SLC to be exact, and has offered me a place to stay.Annie is over at Adventures in Oz so if you get a minute you should go and check her out.  She is a pretty new blogger and would love some new followers.  She also has some great things going on over there.  So if you hop over to her blog tell her you were sent by me!!  I promise you will love her!

Last but not least, I am part of a group working on a secret quilt and needed some particular fabric to do what was asked and a wonderful person just up and sent the fabric to me!  She also told me that she would be sending more scraps as they become available.  Aren't Blogland friends just the BEST?

Have a wonderful Sunday.

Friday, March 25, 2011

How Bad Was I Exactly? Exactly?

Do I really need to fess up to how bad I was? OK I suppose you have me dead to rights! If Blogger will cooperate I will finish the trip so get a BIG cuppa and settle in for the rest of the trip.

We actually stayed in Hershey so it is only fitting that we visit Chocolate World while we are there right? Thursday morning we decided was the day. Here is what we saw as we walked up to it.
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We entered and got on a little ride (like Disney World) and learned all about the manufacturing process. The one thing I was impressed with was this.
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They were making Hershey Kisses!!! How cool! We of course had to stop in the chocolate shop after too. There weren't a ton of good deals but they have this amazing red licorice (Young and Smylie) that is AMAZING!!! So I got some of that for home and some for work (they love it when you bring food back from vaca for them). Another interesting thing we saw was the unusual street lights on Chocolate Avenue. Wrapped and unwrapped kisses!!
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After our tour of the factory and our chocolate fill up we headed off for a companion part of the quilt show. Apparently the first year the show was held in Lancaster it was at the Expo center (or that's what we were told) and so there was an exhibition of vintage style quilts as well as vendors. Across the street were more vendors, so how could we miss that? We couldn't and so off we went.
I saw this amazing quilt using a lot of needle felting and the animals in this were so awesome.
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Seriously, I would not have the patience to make something this detailed, so much embroidery in addition to the applique and needle felting, but gorgeous!
I bought a pattern here of 2 peacocks that reminded me of ours, Blue and Osirius.  You rarely see a male and female peacock in patterns!
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Then we went to a couple of antique shops where I found these beauties.
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"What are you going to do with those?" I hear you ask.  Glad you asked, why make some amazing pin cushions out of them!! I saw some pin cushions done with vintage planters and thought, "how cleaver, I can do that!" So I am going to and then either give as gifts or list on my ETSY. I got fabulous deals on them and tell me they are not seriously adorable? No really just try to tell me that! I digress.

We closed down the antique shop (everything closes at 5pm!). Funny story about shopping in the last place. My family uses these weird painted enamelware bowls for popcorn and my DH wanted all three kids to have their own so I am always on the look out for some since we don't yet have one for each and one for us. I was telling Louise that I was looking for them and I turned around and there were TWO of them right in front of me!! I was lamenting spending so much money and some older man turned around and told me that if I liked it I should buy it. I told him he sounded like my husband and he said as long as I knew how to take care of him (my DH) he would not mind what I bought. I laughed so hard and so did Louise and I promptly informed him I knew exactly how to play that game, no problem. At this point he told Louise to stick with me and she would always have fun!! HAHAHAHA, what a day!

After that bit of fun we decided we needed to head back to the resort, but first we stopped for a bite to eat (our second meal eaten out while on vaca) then back to the resort. Once we got back we both did some sewing. I worked on my Dreamy Stars and Louise's LC QAL blocks and Louise worked on my binding. Here are all my blocks for DS finished waiting to be put together into a top.
Dreamy Stars in progress
OK, now for what you have all bee waiting for, my fabric purchases. I know the reason you are still reading is so you can see how bad I was, right?   You really could have seen them all on Flickr but I will post them here...if I must! Be warned there are a lot of similar things, I was on a roll for a particular project.
Without further delay...
To go in Sherbet Pips quilt, some Castle Peeps, and more for My Tweets
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For My Tweets (and I couldn't resist the "Round Robin" fabric!
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The solids are Free Spirit and are AMAZING!  They feel like Egyptian cotton, so silky!!!  I can't wait to try using them!  I should have bought some white.  I guess I will have to ask Louise to get me some white when she goes back in May!
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Including the solid grays, which I got yardage of.
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Most of what I bought was 1/3-1/2 yard cuts. I got yardage of only a few things.
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More for My Tweets.
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I did buy yardage of this gray "seed" print, as well as the Tamis Keefe and look at that OOP Sweet!!
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I am happy to say I paid cash for most of my stuff. I had been saving and saving for this trip! I have lots of new stuff to share with you all but since I am at work I probably should go and do some, don'tcha think?? Love to know what you think of my new treasures!! Have a great day!!  ~XOP~