Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sleight of Hand

Judy was making card tricks, and posted about how easy they are.   All those half- and quarter-square triangles - she has a different definition of easy than I do :)   But her post reminded me that I had seen a card trick block made entirely from squares years ago, and I'd always wanted to try it.

So, I sat down and whipped up 8 blocks, during the second period of the Canada-US hockey game today.  If you click on the photo to enlarge it, you can see the individual pieces of each block.  Not a single triangle in the bunch.

Since they look like card tricks, but are made differently, perhaps I should call these "sleight of hand" blocks instead :)

A Tic-Tac-Toe Stash Report

Last month, I won the Block Lotto, and now I have 48 lovely tic-tac-toe blocks that I need to do something creative with :)

I decided that I wanted to do a number of small quilts, rather than one large one.  When they're done I'll donate them to the local children's hospital.   So I divided up the blocks and picked a set of 9 to start with.

Since the blocks are all wacky grids, I thought I'd set them in a similar fashion to carry the theme forward.  This layout on my wall seemed a bit crowded, so I bordered the blocks in white to provide a bit more space. The top is now complete, and waiting to be quilted.   The good news for my stash report is that this quilt took 4 yards of fabric, including the backing and binding.

The bad news for my stash report is that I bought some fabric.  20 fat quarters for $25 from Sew Sisters.  So this week I have

4 yards out
5 yards in

Total in this year - 42 yards
Total out this year - 43 1/4 yards

Net this year: 1 1/4 yards OUT 

Still sitting in the black this week :)  Check out Judy's blog to see what other quilters have been up to with their stashes.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Where have I been

As mentioned on Sunday, I've been away from my sewing machine for several days.  This is sad, and I've certainly missed spending time in my sewing room.  But where I was more than makes up for it.

 Can you tell where I was?  I spent the last week and a half in Vancouver at the Olympics!  I got to see some great events, joined the throngs of people downtown, and generally had a great time.  Vancouver has an odd idea of "winter" I have to admit (14 degress Celcius and sunny almost every day).  But I could get used to that :)


Short track speed skating was great fun to watch.  There aren't usually quite this many skaters on the ice, but a couple of disqualifications and advancements led to 8 skaters (rather than 4) in the women's 1500m final.
And watching Canada achieve gold in women's snowboard cross and women's ski cross was fabulous.  The picture below is from the snowboard cross flower ceremony.

I've been plotting my next quilt since I got there.   Definitely need something with an Olympic theme, to commemorate my trip.  And some of the Olympic designs will lend themselves nicely to quilting, being made up of square and triangles.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Design Wall Monday - Feb 22

This is my plan for bordering the blue celtic square.  Pinwheels in a variety of blues, which will be separated by a dark blue sashing strip.

Hopefully, when I sew all these bits together, the seam allowances will take up enough to allow some sashing.  I calcuated it, but my track record these days is not so great with those calculations.  Looking at the picture, I may have a problem.  But at least pinwheels are something I can cut down if they come out oversized.

You can still see the edges of some of my tic-tac-toe blocks peaking out on the right.  Still waiting for a  few more to arrive, so they're hanging out waiting for inspiration.

Check out Judy's blog for more design walls.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Stash Report - Feb 21

Nothing in, nothing out.  Not a great stash report this week, but at least I didn't add to it.   And I have a really good excuse, which I'll fill you all in on, later this week.

Check out Judy's blog to see more productive quilters' stash reports.

Total in this year - 37 yards
Total out this year - 39 1/4 yards

Net this year: 2 1/4 yards OUT

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Hearts and Nines

My celtic hearts quilt is coming along.  The 2 sides are done and attached to the center.   I just need to cut the sashing for the top & bottom and set those blocks.  Then I'm planning a narrow border in red around the outside and bind it in red.

This quilt has been good for my stash.  All the hearts and 9-patches were made from some 5" squares that I gathered from swaps this past year.  I had no idea what I was going to do with them, so when this occurred to me I was very happy.

The 9 patch settings are not quite what I had intended.  They came out a bit smaller than the heart blocks.  I had planned to make the setting triangles a bit oversized, so I could cut them to match the hearts - but I got distracted and set them too small.  So, they got an extra red border to bring them up to size.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Tic-Tac-Toe

My design wall today has a number of tic-tac-toe blocks hanging out on it.  Four new sets of blocks have arrived so far, so I put them all up on the wall hoping for inspiration.

Not sure yet what I'll do, other than the fact that they will probably turn into a few baby quilts, rather than 1 large one.   Now to decide if I colour-group them or go for variety, and how to set them.  I have one idea in mind, and I'm sure a few more will come to me over the next couple of weeks.

Check out Judy's blog to see what other quilters have on their design walls this week.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

February Quiltathon Day 2

I did get some work done on my Celtic square yesterday.  Most importantly (to me) - I finished appliqueing the hearts.  And yes, I do still dislike applique.  Must remember that.

I also made a few 9-patch blocks to go with the hearts.  Because I did decide that I was NOT doing 16 applique blocks for this quilt.

This is where I'm going with this one. Some red sashing between the border blocks, and I think it'll be a cute little quilty for the children's hospital.

That's about all I did, 'cause there was way too much other stuff to do - like watching the Olympics :)

It's stash report day at Patchwork Times, so here's where I stand:  1 1/2 yards out  and nothing in this week.
Total in this year - 37 yards
Total out this year - 39 1/4 yards

Net this year: 2 1/4 yards OUT

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Celtic Hearts

I have a plan.   Well, part of one anyway.   Remember my red celtic square?  I've decided I'm going to surround it with some hearts.  I think this will reflect the heart shape that is formed by the 2 loops at the top and bottom. Or maybe not, but that's my theory  :)

Pretty good choice to work on, for Valentine's weekend, don't you think?

However, those 2 hearts at the top are appliqued.  Do you remember how much I dislike applique?  I think I mentioned it here. And the plan for this quilt requires 16 hearts.  I thought it was 12.  But then I put these 2 up and realized that I forgot to count the corners. Oops.  So, 16 appliqued hearts.  That might be a bit much, so maybe this plan needs re-thinking.

This weekend is another Quiltathon, courtesy of Judy over at Patchwork Times.  I want to join in - but I have so much to do this weekend.  So, I may get a little done, but probably not nearly so much as last month.   I don't really want to set goals for this weekend since I'll have so little time, but I'll see what I can get done on the red - and the blue- celtic quilts.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Accountability challenge

My goals for last week were: aim to finish quilting the current baby quilt, and add the borders to Grant's quilt.  I managed to achieve both of them, but not much else.  But that's OK.   Baby steps :)  It's another busy week here, so I might not get much quilting done.  But I have some thoughts for those celtic squares so maybe I'll manage to make a start there.

Here's the UFO list:
- a Hawaiian wall-quilt that's been on my frame since 2005 (Just needs binding now)
- a picture quilt from my 2005 trip to Mexico
- a set of 3 wall quilts (need final embroidery and to be hung) (started in 2008)
- a stained glass dragon (started in 2009)
- tumbling blocks (started in 2009)
- reversible quilt (started in 2009)
- kaleidoscope quilt (started in 2009)
- bargello quilt (Sept 2009)
- Star mystery quilt (needs quilting binding) (Sept 2009)
- Morning Splash (needs quilting binding) (Nov 2009)
- yellow celtic square (needs quilting)
- red celtic square
- blue celtic square
- Grant's quilt (Jan 2010)


Check out Bari's Accountability Report to see some quilters who made a lot more progress than me :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Design Wall Monday - Feb 8

My design wall doesn't have a lot going on this week.   Top left is a block for this month's Block Lotto.  Liberated quilting is the theme for the year, and this month was liberated endearments.   Just one block from me this time, but it's on my wall so that I don't lose it before the winner is drawn.

Under that are the celtic quilts you saw last week - still waiting for a plan, although I do have a thought for the blue one.  And on the right are my block lotto blocks from January.  I was one of the 6 winners!  So my blocks are hanging out, waiting for friends and inspiration.

Check out Judy's blog to see what other quilters have on their design walls this week.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Stash Report - Feb 7

This is my 100th post.  Wow!  It's hard to believe I've had that much to say about my quilting.

It's been a slow week, as I knew it would be.  A busy week at work, including a course all day on Saturday, didn't leave a lot of time for quilting this week.  But I did manage to get the borders on my son's quilt.  And I finished quilting and prepared the binding for the baby quilt I was working on.

The picture isn't the greatest, with the sunlight behind it.  I had this all done, and then had to take the borders off because I had mis-measured.  Actually, what I did is calculate the borders based on the size the quilt should be.  But my 1/4 inch seams are never perfect, and the quilt was about 1/2 inch narrower and 3/4 inch shorter than expected - so my borders were too long.  Foolishly, I thought I could ease them to fit - but because the quilt is entirely on the bias, the quilt stretched and when I hung it up the borders waved.

So, after much debate about whether I could stretch the whole thing while quilting, I finally took off the borders and recalculated.  There's now a narrow gold border tucked in before the dark brown one.  I like the effect, and it wasn't that difficult once I buckled down to do it.

With all of that, I did manage to use a small bit of stash this week.

1/2 yard out
zero in

Total in this year - 37 yards
Total out this year - 37 3/4 yards

Net this year: 3/4 yard OUT

Check out Judy's blog to see what other quilters have been up to.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Accountability challenge

It's DONE!! OK, those who read my blog regularly already know, but I finished the Hawaiian quilt this week.  Yippee!  In addition to that, I did a lot of work on my son's quilt (it just needs one more border row), and started quilting on one of the baby quilts that I have waiting for attention.

I also pulled out a few orphan blocks that I will be working on.   I didn't consider them UFO's when I made the list below, because I didn't have a plan for them.   They were just a bunch of single blocks.  That's my story, anway.  They had a plan once upon a time, but I quickly reazlied that it wasn't going to work and put them away.  Now they have a plan again, so I've added them to the list below.    Do you think maybe I subconciously did that just so that I don't have to face the dragon next?

This week isn't looking good for progress.  I have a dance lesson Thursday, a course on Saturday,  and meetings Mon/Tues night.  So I'll keep my goals simple and aim to finish quilting the current baby quilt, and add the borders to Grant's quilt (which has also been added to the list below).


Here's the UFO list:
- a Hawaiian wall-quilt that's been on my frame since 2005 (Just needs binding now)
- a picture quilt from my 2005 trip to Mexico
- a set of 3 wall quilts (need final embroidery and to be hung) (started in 2008)
- a stained glass dragon (started in 2009)
- tumbling blocks (started in 2009)
- reversible quilt (started in 2009)
- kaleidoscope quilt (started in 2009)
- bargello quilt (Sept 2009)
- Star mystery quilt (needs quilting binding) (Sept 2009)
- Morning Splash (needs quilting binding) (Nov 2009)
- yellow celtic square (needs quilting)
- red celtic square
- blue celtic square
- Grant's quilt (Jan 2010)


Pop over to Bari's blog to see how accountable other quilters have been this week.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Design Wall Monday - Feb 1


My design wall doesn't reflect all the work I did this week. That's because my son's quilt is almost done, and hence no longer hanging on the wall.  The strip you see on the right side of the picture is one strip of the piano key border for his quilt.  And here's the quilt, before it was trimmed for the borders.  The picture is sideways - sorry about that.

The other two blocks on the design wall are from a few years ago.  I was cleaning up my scraps buckets (3 bins into which I randomly toss all pieces of fabric, from yardage down to tiny strips).   As I cleaned up up, I came across these.  I took a celtic quilting class way back - that's the blue square.  At the time, I had a grand plan - to make a number of these blocks and turn them into a large quilt.  I made the blue & red pictured here, plus a yellow one.  And then I ran out of steam when I realized that they would never go together into a quilt like I was imagining, with the colour choices I had made.  

So, they are all going to become quilties for the children's hospital.   Yellow is ready for quilting (and thus not on the wall when this picture was taken).   Now I just have to figure out a setting for these 2.

As for the cleaning - I made good progress.   Tossed a bunch of too-tiny-to-use bits, folded all my yardage, and sorted most of the rest.  Now instead of 3 bins of stuff I can't find, I have 2 almost-neat bins and 1 pile of stufff I haven't sorted yet.  Here's one of them (purple/blue/red).  The green/yellow/brown piles are in the second bin.

Update: by "toss", I mean that I put all the unusable bits into a cat pillow, as described in my post a couple of days ago



Check out Judy's blog to see what other quilters have on their design walls this week.