Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Reader Problems. . . Again

I am SO annoyed that, after I hunted down another blog reader before Google Reader ceased to exist on July 1, the new web based blog reader I chose is also threatening to shut down. I went with The Old Reader, because it was the most like whoever I used before Google Reader (can't even remember now who that was). When GR shut down, about 2000 people migrated to TOR, overloaded their system, threw their lives into utter chaos; and less than a month later, they're threatening to dump all the new users unless some other entity takes over the reader. It just figures I would pick them!

Since blog readers seem to be dropping like flies, I exported all my feeds to Bloglines AND Feedly (I thought a backup might be a good plan), but it's getting to be a chore to keep finding new readers. Not to mention that I'm having more than a little trouble navigating the new readers and managing my blogs. I suppose I'll figure it out eventually. Enough already!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday Sew Day

I finished all 23 green and purple blocks today, and I'm done with Part 2 of the Lazy Sunday mystery. Yay! My goal was to get that done by the end of the month. I got the latest issue of McCall's Quilting in the mail today, so that tells me Quiltmaker magazine will probably arrive within the week, and that issue will show the last part--and the reveal.

There are purple corner squares in two of these blocks that look like a white/purple plaid, which I didn't notice until I put the photo up. I find them a bit distracting and may have to take them out.

Barb and Sandy came over today, as they do every Monday. Barb did not work on her longarm today, but cut out pieces for a Turning Twenty instead. Sandy finished her little Halloween quilt today, and I thought she did a great job. Sandy has been quilting not quite a year and a half, and she is fearless when it comes to taking on a new challenge. She mentioned today that she is interested in paper piecing as a future project. I love paper piecing, so it will be fun teaching her how to do it, when she's ready.

Lazy Sunday

It wasn't really a lazy Sunday. I was busy all day cleaning my basement sewing room and doing more sewing. I am still working on Part 2 of Bonnie Hunter's Lazy Sunday mystery from Quiltmaker magazine, but not too much more to go. These units, hundreds of them, are all done for the first two parts of the mystery.

Now I have to make 24 purple and green blocks, and when I get to Part 3, 24 orange and pink blocks. I've made one of each to see how they'll look. I am so liking these colors!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

King's Crown Done

Thursday evening marked the beginning of Maine Quilts, our state's quilt guild's annual quilt show. They always kick it off with a Champagne Preview on Thursday evening from 7:00 to 9:00. I had a free ticket for the preview and went to the show, but I also made up my mind I was going to finish my King's Crown quilt that night as well. I worked on the binding for quite a while during the day but still had most of a long side left to hand stitch. Took me until one in the morning, but I got it done, had it on the bed, and slept under it. Yay!

Most of the fabrics in this quilt are civil war repros, but there are a few odd pieces that I liked and appealed to me. The original quilt was set on point with all different sashings, but I didn't much care for the look of it; so I kept all my sashings the same and added a four patch in the corner of the border. Love how that looks!

Credit where credit is due: From the book More Nickel Quilts by Pat Speth.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Summer Quilting

It's been a while since the last time I posted, and I've been doing lots of quilting. One of my quilting gal pals had this quilt loaded on her frame one day, and I liked it so much that I hunted down a kit for it in the Keepsake Quilting catalog. It's called "Montana Log Cabin", and it now lives on hubby's recliner. This was another finish for May.

Years ago there was a quilt magazine called Foundation Piecer, which contained exclusively projects that were pieced on paper foundations. The magazine eventually changed its name to Quilts with Style, and not too long thereafter, the magazine failed and was no more.

At one point in time, pieced blocks with black leading were all the rage in the magazine; and this sampler was from one of the magazine issues. The publisher, Zippy's, also printed several pattern books with dozens of stained glass blocks. I have a couple of those books still and thought I might do another one of these sampler quilts some time.  

I hemmed and hawed for a long time, trying to decide what thread color to use to quilt my sampler and what pattern to use. I finally settled on a pantograph called Twofold Feathers with a variegated thread in jewel tones. I love how it turned out. This quilt was my June finish.

BarbaraD is the president of our quilt chapter, Tacoma Lakes Quilters, and she's been a wonderful president. Last summer someone thought it would be a good idea to recognize Barb's contributions with a quilt, and I was volunteered to chair a committee. A few of us had seen this quilt, Rhubarb Pie, in the Keepsake catalog, and we voted to make it as the president's quilt.

I started collecting four patch blocks from the membership in September and started assembling the quilt in January. I laid out the blocks for a quarter of the quilt at a time and then had a sew day with committee members to sew that section together. I liked that approach so much that I've made a couple of other quilts the same way--working on a quarter section at a time.

We also pieced the back of the quilt, using the brighter four patches (taken down to two patches) for sashing. The idea for the backing came from the cover of a McCall's quilting magazine that came out earlier this year. There are four fairly plain squares in the backing that we used for signature squares, and we managed to get the signatures of every single one of our members. Then we had one of our members machine embroider a label (in the lower right corner), gave it to another member for binding, and presented the quilt to Barb at our June meeting.

Beats me how we kept this a secret as long as we did. Barbara keeps her longarm down in my basement sewing room, and she comes over every Monday to work on it. Every Monday after she left for the day, I'd throw some blocks on the design wall, spend hours arranging them, and then Sunday night I'd have to take everything off the wall and hide it. With help from my committee, we got a quarter section sewn each week, so I didn't have to keep rearranging the blocks.

Because of all the work I put into this quilt, and because I was on the hook for it, I'm counting it as a June finish, even though I didn't get to keep it!

I worked on these King's Crown blocks here and there for a couple of years and finally got them together, added the borders and got it quilted this month. The binding is attached, and I'm working on the hand sewing. I plan to have it all finished by the end of the month. I machine embroidered a label for it this morning, then later in the afternoon realized I'd embroidered the text on the wrong side of the fabric. I'll be stitching a new one out in the morning.

I had to buy four half-yard cuts for the brown borders and wasn't sure if I'd have enough. I wanted to keep the motif in the borders all facing the same direction, and I also wanted to match the motifs down the length of the borders so that it wouldn't look chopped up. That worked out pretty well, so I matched the motif in the corner four patch to the border as well, just to see if I could do it. Worked out pretty well!

This is another quilt that was just a top for a couple years, and I finally had a friend quilt it for me. I mail ordered these fabrics for another project and was disappointed when they arrived. The colors were duller than were pictured in the catalog, and the scale of the border print was all wrong. They sat in the cabinet for quite a while until I finally hauled them out to use them up for a challenge quilt. I suppose it is a rather plain quilt, but I like it now that's it's almost finished. Still have to put the binding on.

This is the Curvy quilt, so named by designer Mark Lipinski. This quilt appeared in an issue of Fons and Porter's Love of Quilting, two issues ago, I think. I have always shied away from curved piecing, but I found this design so interesting that I resolved to give it a try.

So I pulled 20 fat quarters from the stash that had red, yellow, and green in them and got started. A template to cut the curved pieces was included in the article, but I decided the specialty ruler Simple Curves might be easier. I got more proficient sewing the curves as I went along, and now I'll be making a second one in order to teach a small workshop for Tacoma in the fall. I think this quilt would be really fun in Kaffe Fassets too. I just finished doing the quilting on this today, but I won't get the binding on it til next month.

I know lots of folks like the Turning Twenty quilts, but I was never crazy about them until I found the book for this quilt, Turning Twenty Hope Chest Treasures. It sort of reminds me of Lincoln Logs we had when we were kids. These are 16" blocks, so this is probably the fastest top I ever made. Quilt show for Maine Quilts begins tomorrow for four days, so quilting and binding for this quilt will have to wait until next month too.