Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday Stash Report

I work part-time for a local retail concern, usually 24 hours a week plus nearly an hour travel time each way. Due to business needs, I've been assigned to work 30 hours a week for the past seven weeks or so, which is cutting into my sewing time significantly. It's also cutting into the time I can devote to reading blogs, and I miss doing that terribly. Right now I'm on Day 4 of an 8-day stretch at work. Thankfully I'll be taking another week off at the end of the month.

Still, I've managed to get in at least a few hours of sewing time each evening, and this week I've put all my efforts into the quilt I'm working on for my good friend Koleen. This is the Christmas one with the 25 12" blocks. I've finished all the blocks now except 3, and I hope to finish those tomorrow evening. I've spent the last two evenings working just on the block that goes in the very center of the quilt. It contains 93 pieces, and I was just overjoyed when I finished it and it measured almost exactly 12-1/2".

Just for a change, I managed to get most of the fabric used for this quilt from my stash. With the blocks I've completed this week, I busted another 2-7/8 yards out of my stash. And for the first time in over a month, I've added ZERO to the stash. Hooray!

On my one day off last week, I shot down to Tony's Sewing Machines in Biddeford to pick up the sewing table I ordered at quilt show in July. The company who makes the tables had some software issues, which delayed the assembly; and I still don't have the plastic template that fits around the base of the sewing machine, but hopefully they shipped it out Friday. In any case, it's a well built table. No vibration when I sew on it, and that was important to me. I ordered the extension too, and I'm so happy to have that extra space. I also bought a chair while I was down there. It is so comfortable, and both the height and back are adjustable, so it's perfect. I really love the new arrangement! Many thanks to Margo--if it hadn't been for her posting a photo of the table she bought on her blog, I might never have known about it.

I've gotten exactly 2 grape tomatoes from my plants so far and will have another tomorrow. The plants are loaded with fruit, but they're ripening so slowly I'm afraid we'll run out of growing season before they all ripen. We've had nice weather lately, but today was supposed to be 86 degrees, which the tomatoes would have liked, but I know it was cooler than that. Well, we'll just have to hope for the best!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sunday Stash Report

Another week has come and gone, and I finished binding the Road to Many Friendships quilt and put it on my bed. I have some background fabric left over, and I'm going to make a couple of pillowcases with it and use the blue print to trim it, maybe use the red for some piping. I saw this idea in a quilting magazine and thought it was a great alternative to pillow shams, which would take a lot longer for me to make.

Koleen has given me the last pattern I'm going to work on for her this year, and I was overjoyed to find all the fabric I needed for it in my stash, with the exception of the green. I scoured four of the local quilt shops for something that appealed to me and found nothing, so my husband and I made a day of it and drove down to New Hampshire to Keepsake Quilting.

Keepsake Quilting is across the street from a lake; so while I was shopping, my husband entertained himself watching people with big trucks trying to back their boat trailers down the ramp into the water. I guess it was quite a spectacle; and according to my husband, the wives were absolutely useless as directors. I suppose I would probably be in that same boat. No pun intended.

There is the most wonderful little barbecue place about 20 miles away from Keepsake, and it's right on the way, so we stopped there for lunch on the way back. Not only is the barbecue exceptional, but they make great coleslaw and baked beans too. I think that's probably the highlight of the trip for my husband.

Anyway, I really liked the green batik in the picture, but there were less than 2 yards left on the bolt, and I needed close to 4. So I found another Bali batik that has the same colors but no leaf design or anything on it and will use that in the borders. I also picked up some yardage of several other fabrics I intend to use for Gingerbread Jingle, another of Koleen's patterns.

I haven't make a Christmas quilt in a while, so I'm using Christmas fabrics. It's another large quilt, with 25 blocks in the center and a pieced border. I've cut out the pieces for the first 12 blocks, a portion of which you can see in the photo, and have started working on those.

Here's the Sunday Stash Report:

Fabric used this week: 2-1/8 yards
Fabric used year to date: 117-1/2 yards
Fabric added this week: 13-1/2 yards
Fabric added year to date: 244-5/8 yards
Net year to date: - 127-1/8 yards

And look! Yes, we have red tomatoes! Unfortunately it's just these two, which is only a couple of mouthfuls; but more are on the way! The big ones haven't started to turn yet.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunday Stash Report

I'm in for another 20-1/2 yards this week, most of which was for JudyL's Star Block of the Month. I realize we were supposed to be getting this out of the stash, but I don't have those yardages available in my stash, so I bought all of it. I also added a couple yards of some other fabrics. I take solace in the fact that Vicky is right there with me. I really love her stash reports.

I used a couple yards from the bolt of muslin I bought to set up a practice quilt. I want to practice a pantograph I borrowed from my good friend Ann, and I want to practice a double loopy meander that looks like bubbles to me.

Last stash report I mentioned that the yardage requirements for my Galaxy of Stars sampler quilt require about 1/6 yard each of a multitude of fabrics required for the blocks. Background and borders are separate. I thought I would use more of each sixth yard cut and started to report it that way, but that is not turning out to be the case. Most, but not all the fabrics, are used in more than one block, and a small piece of every fabric is also used in the center block; but I still don't think I'll need the whole sixth yard for each color. However because I've already started reporting it that way, I'll just keep on with it. After finishing Block 2 this week, I've cut into another half yard of fabrics.

Here's the Stash Manager's Report:

Fabric used this week: 2-1/2 yards
Fabric used year to date: 115-3/8 yards
Fabric added this week: 20-1/2 yards
Fabric added year to date: 231-1/8 yards
Net year to date: - 115-3/4 yards


We've had lots of rain the last week in Maine, and this morning I came across a video on a local news channel's website that shows what happens when a road washes out. It is an amazing piece of video! I couldn't figure out if there was a way to put the video on my blog, so this is the next best thing. Visit this site for a look:

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Quiltathon Weekend

This is a Quiltathon weekend, but I have to work tomorrow, so I am only sewing today in between some chores. This morning I sat at the kitchen table with my coffee and finished the binding for Bug Strippy #2, so there's another (small) finish for the year.

The Twisting Star is Block 2 in the Galaxy of Stars quilt, which is a sampler quilt designed by Lynn Dash. There's only one block like this in the quilt. It took me a couple hours to piece it because I was trying to be very precise so all the pieces would fit together nicely.

I foundation pieced the subunits using a method I learned from the Info-EQ list. Because you don't actually sew through the foundation, freezer paper is a requirement for this method in order to anchor the pieces to the paper. Instead of sewing through the paper, the paper is folded on the sewing line, and the seam is sewn next to the paper but not through it. Each piece is then pressed open and adhered to the freezer paper. After the unit is completed, you simply peel off the freezer paper. No little bits of paper to remove later! You can then reuse the same foundation for successive units. I used a single foundation for all eight subunits. It is a method that works exceedingly well.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Star BOM Block 1

I was up late finishing Block 1 for JudyL's Star BOM, but I'm happy with the way it turned out. I had a little trouble trying to figure out which way to press those seams. I had more trouble with the flying geese units. Those little suckers give me trouble every time I make them, and that's me, not the directions. I usually have the best luck oversizing them and then squaring them up, but I was too tired to try to figure out where the center mark was for a unit that was supposed to measure 3-5/16" wide, so I just cut the pieces using the dimensions given. Nothing a little fudging couldn't fix!

It looks like the block narrows towards the bottom in the photo, but it doesn't--that just happens to be the angle at which I took the picture.

Credit where credit is due:
The "Rhode Island" block can be found in the EQ6 Block Library and is copyright-free.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Star BOM

Yes, I know I said I wasn't going to do Judy Laquidara's Star Block of the Month (BOM), but the more I thought about it the more I really wanted to do it. It usually *is* more fun to do it as part of a group. And as my good friend Barbara pointed out, surely I can make time to do one block every two weeks.

So I went shopping today and bought these fabrics. I thought I'd make it easy on myself and use all batiks. I'm also using the same colors Judy is using. Purple, lime green, and cheddar are really a stretch for me, but I think I'll like it in the end. Although it looks like there's enough contrast between the purples in the photo, I'm still not quite sure about the two in the middle. I'd be happy if anyone would offer an opinion. There are plenty of purple batiks out there, and I can always switch them out, if need be.

Tomorrow I'll wash and press these and get started on Block 1.

Sunday Stash Report

This week I used about 8 yards for the backing for Koleen's quilt, plus another 7/8 yard for the binding strips, which are cut and waiting for the quilt to come back from the machine quilters.

The yardage requirements for the Galaxy of Stars quilt require about 1/6 yard for each fabric used in the blocks. Rather than try to calulate how much fabric is in each block, I'm reporting the entire sixth of a yard for each fabric I start cutting into as I construct the blocks. I'll report the background fabric when I finish all of them. So for this week, I finished four blocks, four fabrics per block, for a total of about 2-2/3 yards.

For once my procrastination paid off. I didn't get around to ordering my bolt of muslin right away, until I got an email from Hancock's offering a free shipping promotion, and then it was a done deal. The bolt of muslin arrived last week, along with the additional Kaffe Fassett fabrics I ordered. I also received a Rainbow medley of the month from Keepsake Quilting this past week.

Here's the Stash Manager's Report:

Fabric used this week: 11-1/2 yards
Fabric used year to date: 112-7/8 yards
Fabric added this week: 27-1/2 yards
Fabric added year to date: 210-5/8 yards
Net year to date: - 97-3/4 yards

Stop laughing, Barbara!

Galaxy of Stars Block 1

The Blazing Star block is Block 1 in the Galaxy of Stars quilt, and there are four of them in the quilt. A couple of posts ago, I uploaded a representation from my Electric Quilt program
of the whole quilt. It's a beautiful quilt, and these blocks will go in the corners of the quilt.

Vacation Week

Oh, how I hated to go back to work this morning after being on vacation for a week! I had a fun and relaxing week puttering around the house and working in the garden. I tried to take care of some household chores in the mornings and spent afternoons and evenings in my sewing room. In the sewing room I spent quite a lot of time cleaning up, reorganizing, and taking care of some necessary but not very exciting tasks.

What I accomplished:
  • Removed the checkerboard border from Koleen's quilt that didn't fit correctly, resewed a few of the blocks and sewed it back on, and added the last round of borders to finish the top.

  • Cut the backing and batting for Koleen's quilt and delivered it to Koleen for machine quilting.

  • Worked on the binding for Road to Many Friendships--two sides are now hand stitched to the back, and two more to go.

  • Quilted Bug Strippy #2 and machine stitched the binding to the front of the quilt. Still need to hand stitch the binding down.

  • Finished the rest of the album blocks for the Orange Crush quilt. Next I'm working on the half album blocks that go around the edges of the center section.

  • Finished the first four blocks for the Galaxy of Stars quilt.

  • Washed and ironed all the new Kaffe Fassett fabrics for the Butterfly quilt.

  • Dug Pinwheel Party back out of the closet and contemplated how much I'm going to hate ripping and replacing the offending navy blue fabric. More on that later. Much later.

  • Waffled a little bit more about JudyL's Star Block of the Month and finally decided to do it.

We've had plenty of rain lately, and both the new lawn and the tomatoes are doing very well. In fact they're doing well enough that I might add a couple more potted tomato plants next summer as well. Still no red ones yet though.