Friday, August 29, 2014

Racing the Clock



Baby Brennan isn’t due for another four weeks but he’s already head-down and my niece is starting to dilate.  My sister had to take her other daughter back to college this weekend, so I was asked to stand in as surrogate Grandma in case he decided to make an early entrance – yikes!  

I was both relieved and disappointed that the baby stayed put and I didn’t have to play Grandma.  Disappointed because who knows when/if I’ll ever get that chance again.  When and if my sons get married and have children, their wives will probably not want their mother-in-law there for the birth.  Oh well.  

I was relieved because that meant I could still get the baby quilt done before the baby arrives!

Since the basting went so quickly, I had plenty of time to do the quilting on Sunday.  Because the manufacturer of the 80/20 batting suggested quilting 2” – 4” apart, several of the quilt designs I wanted to try would not have worked.   

Armed with some peanut butter M & M’s (they are so awesome!), I quilted straight lines with the walking foot along the sides of the squares.   

 

I used a variegated blue/yellow/green thread that blends in nicely.



I even had enough time left over to make the binding.   



There should be plenty here for the both the baby quilt and the September mini.  If that baby will just hold off for another week, I’ll get that quilt trimmed and bound.  I’m hoping to have enough time over the Labor Day weekend to also get the September mini quilted and bound. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Basting with boards



After my double knee replacement surgery, I can’t get down on my knees anymore to baste a quilt on the floor.  Last week I mentioned that I was going to try basting with boards, a method that would allow me to sit and baste.  We made a trip to Lowe’s and purchased two vinyl 1 X 2 boards instead of wooden boards – they were very smooth and straight.   



The boards came in 12 foot lengths so I asked an employee to cut them into 8 foot and 4 foot lengths.  I can’t imagine hand basting or machine quilting anything larger than 8 feet wide (96 inches), while the 4 foot width will be perfect for most baby quilts and wall hangings.  

I brought my large 36 X 60” cutting mat upstairs to the dining room table to protect the table and replaced the dining room chairs with my rolling office chair so I could roll from one end of the quilt to the other.  I had a little trouble getting the fabric taut enough to get started wrapping the boards, so I got out the painter’s tape and used that to tack the fabric to the board.   



It worked perfectly.  After that, I had no problems keeping the fabric taut while I wrapped it on the boards.  I followed the directions from this blog post.



I was all done basting the baby quilt in under an hour.

My verdict – I will definitely use this method to baste a quilt again.  It was quick, easy, and comfortable.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Next Up – Double Dutch



I have a list of UFO projects as long as my arm.  The vast majority of my UFO’s are Schnibbles quilts that need to be quilted.  I have the Ohio Stars that needs sashing strips and then to be assembled.  I have Anne’s Log Cabin quilt that needs some bad quilting removed and then to be re-quilted and assembled.  I really should work on one of those projects next, but that’s not what I’m going to do.  I’m going to start a new project and I’m so excited!  
 
Have you seen Carrie Nelson’s (Miss Rosie’s Quilt Company) newest patterns?  They are fantastic! I want to make most of them.  I bought the PDF patterns for Double Dutch and 7 Letters.  Even though I have a bunch of charm packs already, The Thrifty Needle had a sale last week – 30% off all charm packs.  So, I bought more.  I bought some background fabric at Joann’s and ordered more.
 
First up will be Double Dutch.   



So far, I haven’t used the same or even similar fabrics for any Schnibbles quilt I’ve made and most of the time that’s worked out okay.  I had one epic fail, though.  It was Amy Lou Who.  



I really love that pattern.  I really love the fabric I used, Paris Flea Market.  I really hate the quilt that resulted.  The reds stick out like a sore thumb and the neutrals aren’t neutral enough for my taste.  It’s all too busy and, at the same time, too blah.
 
I hope I’ve learned my lesson.  This time around, I’m planning to stay close to the colors Carrie used in her sample.  I will have “yellow” and “blue” flying geese.  Instead of the linen that Carrie used, I’ll be using a very pale grey, Kona Silver.  I love almost all the fabric collections by 3 Sisters, the designers of the Paris Flea Market line.  When The Thrifty Needle had their recent sale, I picked up a couple charm packs each of the Lario and Printemps lines by 3 Sisters.  I’ll be using the yellows from both fabric lines, the pink and blue from Lario and the aqua from Printemps.  







I’ll save the reds and creams from those charm packs for another project.

For the yellow background, I’m using Kona Meringue.  For the blue background, I chose Kona Baby Blue.  All the charm squares that need to be cut are finished and I even started sewing some of the half square triangles for the “yellow” geese. 

It’s always fun to start a new project!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Baby Quilt Progress



I’m happy to report that there has been some progress on the baby quilt I’m making for my great nephew-to-be!

Before

After
 
While the "after" picture doesn’t look that much different than the "before" one, the quilt went from 63 individual blocks to one completed top.  It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you just sit down at the sewing machine!

Next, I’ll be moving on to basting and quilting.  I’m going to try using boards to help me baste since getting down on the floor is out of the question.  I’d seen Sharon Schambert’s video using this method, but she bastes with needle and thread.  I usually use basting pins.  I found this post about using the boards and pins and I hope it will work for me.  Both indicate to starch the backing.  I’m using flannel as a backing and I don’t know how the starch will work with that.  Does anyone know whether flannel takes starch well?

I’m going to send the hubs to Home Depot for some boards (we just recently got rid of all our left over lumber since we are “done” doing any more home construction projects for a while).  I’ll let you know if this method works for me.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Antique Finds



Jay and Courtney were here for the weekend again.  Courtney had a baby shower and house warming party to attend and while she was at the baby shower, Jay and I kept busy by going shopping.  He wanted to stop by Hobby Lobby and a local antique/furniture store looking for d├ęcor for his apartment.  Although Jay didn’t find anything worthy of his hard-earned cash, I did find a few interesting items.

This first one didn’t come home with me.  



It’s completely made of yo-yo’s.  The background is all blue and the border is blue, gold and white.  I was trying to figure out if the gold used to be red but I couldn’t tell.  The letters are smaller yo-yo’s appliqued over the background.  

I’m not sure it’s actually an antique, but it definitely looks “old”.  I think it’s very clever and could be adapted to so many sayings and/or holidays. 
 
Now this little cutie did come home with me:



Whether or not this was made in the 1930’s, the fabrics are old feedsack materials.  Some are slightly stained.  There are 15 small Dresden petals with the cute little fussy-cut dog appliqued on as the center. 

On the back there’s a larger piece of the dog material that serves to cover the wrong side of the petals.

 
I don’t think this was intended as a pot holder since there doesn’t appear to be any batting and it’s actually pretty small – it’s only about 5” across.  For only $5, I thought it was a good deal and it’s already hanging above my sewing machine.

After the antique store, Jay wanted to stop up at the outlet malls in Lake George.  Now if you ask me if I think it will be fun and/or a good idea to go to an outlet mall in a resort town two weeks before school starts, I’ll ask you if you have rocks in your head.  But I’ll do pretty much anything for my kids, so I drove us up there amid the ridiculous crowds of vacationers/back-to-school shoppers.   Jay didn’t find anything worth his money at the three or four outlet shops he went into, so thankfully, mercifully, he agreed to head home.  I am not really into shopping (except for fabric shopping) and I’m even less into crowds so malls in general are not my thing.

How about you?  Do you like shopping?  Do you mind crowds?