Monday, February 23, 2015

Design Wall Dilemmas . . .

Woke up this morning to no internet. . . wha what??? Said I didn't pay the bill. . . double wha what?? Now that makes for a very bad morning. . . coffee with no internet? That's like peanut butter with no jelly, Mike without Ike, chocolate sauce and no ice cream, gasp! I get up very early. . . very early. I didn't think customer service would be answering the phone so I did my blog reading on my phone (not my favorite thing to do because then I'm not able to comment when I see something for which I just can't keep my mouth shut about lol), drank my coffee and biked up a mountain (don't worry, it's not that big of a mountain but I can tell you it feels like Mt Everest at 4:50 am!). Got the hubbin's lunch packed and sat down to get the number to start making phone calls. . . and the internet was magically back on!! YAY but wha what?? Apparently this new paperless system they have going is not working so well. Yes, I will be switching back to paper. There are many things that can go awry and make a morning go all wonky when I get up at 2 a.m. (yes, it's crazy, I know!). Not having internet should not be one of them! 

OK, I'm done with my little rant, on to quilty stuff! I've been planning, designing, scratching my head, stepping away and getting sucked back into the rose linen. I auditioned three different stencils for the center:
Really like this one. . . When the stencil is bigger than the space, quilt right up to the rose (in this case). When it is finished, it will look like the roses are laying on top of the quilting. Very cool!
I like this one. . . I don't love it. BUT those flowers could very easily be quilted to look like rose buds. . . it would keep with the rose theme. . . AND although this linen is pretty square, the placement of the flowers is as Cindy would say "squarish". . . so a circular center would hide this a little better.

Isn't it purty?? Really love this one! But not completely sold.
I would set all three on the linen and look at it. Walk away. Go back repeat process. Walk away. I was not doing well with this decision. . . and this is the one that has to be made to get moving on this project. . . So I sent an email to a couple of people and asked, what would you do? Two different answers. . . and I keep hearing Cindy's voice in my head "Your quilting should enhance the piece, show it off, not take it over. The linen is the star, not your quilting." But then I really started looking at the stencil in the third picture. . . it has leaves, these are scrollie vines! Yes. I'm going with option number three! 

I tested the marker. I'm using a Mark B Gone marker. Cindy recommends them. I had tried Frixion with the silk whole cloth. I'm not sold on them. The marks only came out with a LOT of steam. And a major "Oh shit, it isn't going to come out" moment. They came out but I'm going to tell you there were moments I did not think those marks were coming out. OK, back to marking. I folded the linen in half, ironed the fold then folded it in half the other way and ironed it. Now I have my center and my half way marks ironed into the linen and I don't have to guess. This makes life much easier when using stencils.

And then I started marking. I decided I was only going to use the portion of the stencil that fit down the center in both directions. There was too much overlap to use the other portions of the design. When I finished it looked like this.
I like it. . I'm not convinced it is the way to go. . . I need to think about this. . .
I liked it. I'm just not sure it is the way to go. . . I'm having a major issue with making decisions with this piece. And then I figured out why. . . This linen has sentimental value (and it is beautiful, I don't think the pictures do it justice). My mom gave it to me and told me to do whatever I wanted. But it is a gift she received for her wedding shower. . . just over 60 years ago. It is likely one of the very few tangible items left from that time. What if I ruin it?? I was stuck. I wrote this out in an email to Carol (check out her blog, always something new and exciting going on and she is a fabulous quilter!!) and asked her if she ever got stuck. In a nut shell, she said sit on it, let it simmer. OR "if pushing through the fear is what you need to do, then do it, girl!!!" . . . so I stared at it all day Saturday. I really liked it by the end of the day and started playing with what to do with the rest of the gray space. Yesterday I got busy again and came up with this:
I am liking where this is going :)
And here is where it stands as of right now.
I think I am unstuck :) Now I just need to repeat this in the space that is left to mark. . . no, I didn't take notes. . . that might would have been a good idea.
I'll finish marking it today. Then I will have to wait until the backing fabric arrives. I decided I did not want to piece the back and I don't have anything appropriate in wide backing (too bad all of the Widescreen I had has been used. . . every.last.scrap). I ordered a cotton sateen that is 62" width. It was on sale. I hope I don't regret using this fabric as a back. . . as long as it isn't too stretchy, I think I can deal with it. . . yeah, famous last words ;)

What to do in the mean time? I'm going to start a new quilt. . . I'm going to play with a couple of different blocks today. Or I might just do the block I used for Shattered Star (and yes, I mailed it and yes, my niece loves it!) and do it in solids. . . decisions. . . I'll share later this week what I decided :)

Linking up with Patchwork Times for DWM. Check out all of the amazing projects!

Until next time, keep on quilting!!
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Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Finish?? Already??? :)

Bet you didn't think I'd be back so soon with a finish, me either ;) I am quite famous for not being able to accurately determine how long something will take. . . mostly things take a LOT longer than I estimate. This one took LESS time than I thought! OK, I might not have done one thing other than quilt on this yesterday. . . In my defense - it was SO much fun! And I kept thinking, one more thing.... I'll finish one more. . . and then it was almost finished and then how could I not finish it? Right, I couldn't! Not much to say on this one. Draw trace the picture onto the Dupiani silk, sandwich and quilt. It finished at 9"x13".

Those of you who commented that it looked Russianesque you were 100% correct. Can't get much more Russianesque than the Kremlin, right? So here it is, my version of the Kremlin :)

I wasn't sure about the ribbony (technical term) design around it but I think it works!

And the back. I found a piece left over from the Pastel Quilt. . . What a better use than the back of a piece that won't be seen by anyone! LOL
So there you have it! Yup, that's all I have to say - shortest post in the history of Quilt Paradigm!! LOL

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday. Make sure you check out all of the awesome projects linked up over there!!

On to the Rose Linen quilt. . . You might see some progress on that one for my Monday post!! :D

Until next time, keep on quilting!!
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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

What's Doin' In The Studio

OK, Off Course is labeled sleeved and shipped, YAY!! I'm pretty sure I responded to them all, but I just wanted to thank you all for your wonderful comments and overwhelming support! This online quilting community never ceases to amaze me!

Shattered Star is still here. . . I'm finding it kind of hard to get to the posty and mail it off. . . I kind of dig this one! Maybe I'll make it there today. . . my niece has been waiting for her 'Judy Quilt' for over a year. . . and not so patiently. Hints have been made. . . or maybe I should say bombs have been dropped as the hints weren't so subtle! LOL 

On to what's doin'! First, while I was at the whole cloth class with Cindy, I called my mom and asked her to gather up any linens she had (and might not mind if I ruined them. . . ) and send them to me :) She sent me three. I was initially extremely excited about this one:
The blue fabric really made this linen pop. . . so much so that I thought it might be a little too bright... What??? Is there such a thing as too bright??? :)
And then it hung on my design wall for awhile, I even ordered some wide backing for it (shown in the picture above). . .put it up with the linen and it continued to hang. . . and hang. . . I was planning the quilting - every square inch and was so excited about all that stitching. . .  and then I started thinking. . . What am I going to do with this after it is finished??? It is HUGE (about 100" x 80"). Mom made it very clear "It is yours, I don't want it back!" LOL I don't have anywhere to put it. My sister wasn't jumping up and down saying do it and send it to me! So I took it off the wall. For now. :) 

And then I took a long look at another of the linens. It's smaller. WAY more practical in terms of size and actually having space to display it. I asked my mom about it. Turns out, she received it as a shower gift before she and my dad got married!!! OMG! No pressure there right?? GULP! Here it is in all it's 60 something year old beauty :)
This is after 12 hours of soaking in RetroClean (awesome stuff BTW) and then baking in the sun. Did your grandma or mom or someone tell you that the sun will remove stains? Yup, it works. The yellowing is GONE and I had to look REALLY hard to find any stains remaining. Once it is quilted, I won't even be able to find them!!
This table cloth is made of linen and it has the BEST texture!! Aren't those roses beautiful?? Wouldn't they be even more gorgeous with a lot little metallic thread added in?? ;)
Just had to share one more picture :) love that little white border of swirly flowers!
I will be sharing the progress on this one as I go. I have a lot of the quilting planned out already. . . I'll share some of the process I went through to make the decisions as to how it is going to be quilted. I haven't started the actual quilting yet. . . It is exactly 45 inches wide. . . can you believe that? I had the perfect fabric for backing. . . it is 44" wide. Story of my life!! I am trying to decide if I am going to cut a bit of that white border off (GASP! I know, I don't know that I am going to be able to do that!!) or if I am going to start hunting for wider fabric. . . I'm liking the hunt for wider fabric option :) I have a LOT of marking to do before I am ready to baste this one so I have a little time. Hopefully you won't get sick of seeing it. I don't think this is going to be my typical get 'er done in two weeks project :)

I am also working on a test quilt. Can't say much about it but I will show you the fabric. . . cuz we all like to look at fabric pictures right??? :D

These strips and blocks have been sewn up into a flimsy already!! It is on my design wall and I am contemplating quilting strategies. . .
The reveal of this one won't happen until April. I will show you the back when it's done - cuz it will likely look like a front. . . and I might not even tell you it is the back of a quilt!! haha

OK, one more project to share. . . and yes, for those of you counting and who have been around here for awhile, I have more than one or two things going at the moment. It's OK though, I'm actually making great progress on all of them and my time between them seems to be flowing well. So I'm not breaking out into a rash. . . yet ;) My husband brought the whole cloth quilt that I made during/after Cindy's class to work. As a result, I have been asked to make a piece that will be inset into a jean jacket for a younger girl. The design was picked for me, I picked the fabric and will be choosing thread colors. . . it is small. It will finish about 8.5" x 11". The first thing I did before taking this on was to say this (about 20 times) "I am not a seamstress, I am a quilter. I don't sew clothes. On the couple of occasions I have tried to mend clothes, it mostly doesn't turn out well. SO, I will do this BUT this consists ONLY of quilting this piece of silk. Nothing more." So here it is, marked but no quilting finished yet.
Here it is on my light table. Isn't this a cool picture?? :)
All marked, ready for quilting.Now to decide on thread colors. . .
I will be working on this today. It's basted (that took about 5 minutes LOL) and ready to go. I don't think this one will take too terribly long. . . but then I say that about every project I start! 

So there you have it. What I am working on this week while you lucky dogs that are going to QuiltCon are drooling over fantastic quilts and shopping 'til you drop! And most importantly, meeting up with all of your bloggy friends!! Safe travels to all of you making your way there over the next several days! 

Linking up with Connie for Linky Tuesday and Lorna for Let's Bee Social :)

Until next time, keep on quilting!
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Saturday, February 14, 2015

I won't be there, but my quilt will!

Happy Valentine's Day! So are you a celebrate, ignore, berate or tolerate the day kind of person? We don't really celebrate the day at our house - every day is Valentine's day around here! Cheesy right? Yeah, I know ;) I did find it rather heart warming however when my daughter sent me a text, with a picture of herself attached holding her Valentine's Day gift all wrapped up for her boyfriend, sporting the biggest grin ever! :)

OK, enough of that. . . what about that header? Won't be where?? Ummm, QuiltCon!! :D Yup, Off Course is going to QuiltCon! I received an email from Michael Oakshott asking me if Off Course was still available to go to QuiltCon as one of the vendors of Oakshott in the US has a booth at the show and would like to display Off Course. . . It took me all of about about 2 seconds to yell "Hell YEAH!" loud enough for him to hear in London! So here's the skinny for all of you lucky peeps that get to go to the show!

Check out Off Course at QuiltCon! Pinwheels vendor booth, and check out the beauty of Oakshott Cottons in person!
Off Course will hang in Maria Tamaoka's booth. Her company's name is Pinwheels. I don't know where exactly the booth is but I'm sure they will have a map of vendors. Maria is going to be selling Oakshott cottons at the show! How exciting is that?? If you are going to QuiltCon, have been dying to try check out Oakshotts in person, here's your chance!! And, as an added bonus, you can see Off Course in person!! And make sure to tell her that Judy sent you! :)

For those of us unfortunates that are going to be sitting on the sidelines waiting for blog posts, IG pictures and such to roll in, you too can find a great selection of Oakshotts at Maria's online store at A great source for Oakshotts in the US! And just so you know, I am not being compensated in any way for this plug or for Off Course hanging in the Pinwheels booth. I love these fabrics that much! I encourage you to check out Maria's booth and feel and see the beauty of these fabrics in person :)

If you are going to QuiltCon and check out the Pinwheels booth, purty please can you send me a picture??? I am now doubly sad that I am not going to be in Austin :( I could be cheered up with a couple of pictures though ;) I hope all of you that are lucky enough to go to Austin this week have a great time at the show and share lots of pictures of your experiences there!

Until next time, keep on quilting!
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Friday, February 13, 2015

Shattered Star

Happy Friday! What's better than waking up and realizing it is Friday? Waking up, realizing it is Friday and having a Friday finish!! :) Shattered Star, my first (oh yes, there will be more!) black and white quilt is finished! I wonder, does the amazement of how different a top looks quilted ever go away? Is there anything better than seeing a quilt for the first time after it has been washed and dried?? Ahh, it is the small things in life people! 

OK, back to Shattered Star. First, thank you Jasmine for coming up with a name for this one! Now on with the show! 
Lighting is a little better this time. . . less blue than the flimsy finish post :)
Feathers and spirals. . . umm, I think I need to add some designs to my arsenal ;) They are just so much fun to do!!

You can see in those outside triangles I did an Angela Walters design in her book Shape by Shape - she however used the design in squares.

In the black center part of the stars, I did straight lines and filled in every other column with circles. . . If you look really close you can make them out.

And the back!! The bottom fabric is Robert Kaufman Spot On wide backing. Perfect! :)
A closer picture of the top of the quilt so you can see the quilting.
Quilt stats:
Finished size: Approximately 65"x70"
Fabric - Unfortunately, I do not know all of the names. . . BUT I can tell you that the majority of the black on white text fabrics came from the Word Up FQ bundle from Pink Castle Fabrics. No, I am not affiliated in any way with Pink Castle but I am a huge fan of their bundles! I have noticed that this bundle changes as new text fabrics arrive on the scene. I did order another one - and was giddy to see some new faces in the bunch! For the border and binding  and the back I used various prints from Spot On by Robert Kaufman (LOVE this line!!!). Also making it onto the back is my final piece of Widescreen in black and white. 
Batting: Quilter's Dream Wool

Making this quilt firmly cemented my love affair of using a glue stick for matching seams! I did not rip one seam in the making of this quilt! Are they all perfect? No. But they are so close even that little snarky perfectionist in me was quite satisfied :) 

I have mentioned this in every post about this quilt and I will say it again - this block definitely deserves another quilt! Next time, it will be done in solids.

I have lots in the works and another finish (my first attempt at a non-quilt project and a big ole fail but I'm going to share it anyway! LOL) to share with you. I need to spend some time at my computer writing posts instead of reading blogs ;) 

Linking up with Finish It Up Friday. Check out all of the eye candy!! :)

Until next time, keep on quilting!!!
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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Flimsy Finish: Black and White. . .

Yup, it's a flimsy finish and this time I did not swim against the tide by going with the quilt layout less voted for ;) I'm not typically a go with the crowd kind of gal. But 'the crowd' (that would be all of you who commented and those polled prior to sewing this top together) picked a winner and how could I argue with that?? It's funny, the layout I picked did not get one vote!! Talk about getting completely outvoted!! I thought the Pinwheels/Broken Dishes or is that Broken Dishes/Pinwheels looked really awesome. And it did. The picture kind of sucks, it's blurry and just doesn't show the true potential. In real life, it looked really amazing. . . But, by overwhelming majority, the Starry layout won the hearts and minds and that is the layout that I had mostly sewn together but needed to figure out borders. I wanted the top a bit bigger. And not square. . . SO I added some Robert Kaufman Spot On in black and of course white :) Have you seen this fabric?? OMG! LOVE!! I'm glad I bought. . . ummmm. . . a LOT :D The close up picture was taken so you can see it up close ;)

So here is Starry (how unoriginal!! Anyone have a good name for this one??) in all her glory!
The white looks kind of blue in this one. . . It's not blue :)
It might not look like it in the pictures, but this quilt is SQUARE. . . sure hope it stays square in the quilting process ;) haha
Close up of Spot On. . . Seriously, do you not just L O V E this??!! :)
One more. . . cuz I just love looking at it (indulge me! LOL) and this one is a little less blue :)
Here's a breakdown of those blocks, in case you missed it and want to give them a whirl! I sewed 9 patches together using 4" squares. I made a set of black on white and a set of white on black. Then I cut them all in half. I decided there was no planning needed for sewing them back together into HSTs so I just put the stacks of triangles together by my machine and started chain sewing. Why obsess if you don't have to right?? ;) I was able to trim the resulting HSTs to 10.5" resulting in a 10" finished block. The beauty of these babies is that when they are sewn together, there is very little seam matching!! Just the corners of the HSTs! I didn't obsess at all when I was sewing the HSTs together and those smaller squares just matched right up. . . I did however obsess about accuracy when I was cutting and my 1/4" seam allowance - made a huge difference in the ease of sewing them together. I still think this block would look amazing if done in colors with attention paid to the middle blocks that are cut in half. . . maybe all the same color/fabric with a high contrast to the surrounding blocks which would result in a very cool Irish chain :) If you have any questions, ask! I know that was a pretty bare bones explanation. I think you will be seeing this block again. Only with more contrast. . . It might be next month. . . or the next ;)

Today the backing will be pieced and it will be basted. Quilted by the end of the week? Potentially. . . I have strong motivation to get this one done and dusted. . . fabric is being delivered tomorrow for a whole cloth linen quilt and the table cloth I am going to use hopfully will be spotless (I'll share more about that in my first post about this one . . .) and ready to go :)

Linking up with Val for her weekly archive linky party. I know this is not an old post but the quilt is made up of 9 patches with a twist! :) Also linking up with Lorna for Let's Bee Social and Amanda Jean for Finish it up Friday. Head over to both parties and be inspired! What's 10 or 20 more quilts added to that quilty bucket list?? :D

Until next time, keep on quilting!
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Monday, February 2, 2015

DWM Monday

After finishing my WCQ I went back to the black and white quilt. I finished sewing the white on black blocks together, cut them in half and sewed them to the black on white blocks. . . I wasn't sure how this was going to turn out. I'm happy to report - I LOVE the results :) I think there is potential for this block - some consideration as to what colors are put in the middle squares that get cut and I think they would reveal a pretty cool Irish chain of smaller squares! It's not really noticeable with the block made out of these fabrics - there wasn't enough contrast in the original 9 patch. I described the plan in this post. Here's what 9 patch blocks look like when they are cut in half and sewn together again. . . isn't it crazy? Take a perfectly good block and cut it in half??? But I digress, here is the block:
I keep thinking I should go into EQ7 and play with this with solids. . . but I don't have time!! LOL
Kinda cool huh? I'm quite certain I am not the first to do this. . . Actually, I'm 100% certain, but I hadn't seen it before. The next thing I did was take those blocks and PLAY!! :D Here are some of the layouts I came up with during my afternoon playing Quilt Block Shuffle . . . there really should be a game like that - I'd totally buy it!! :)

This is the layout I used on Twirling Aqua.
More symmetrical.
Pinwheels, Broken Dishes. . . Pinwheels, Broken Dishes
Geese flying east
Geese coming and going.
Which one do you like best? I've picked, and sewn it together. . . but I really want to know which layout you like best. I did not sew it into my favorite layout. . . I was out voted. . . by three to 1. My lonely vote against three others who all voted for the same one. Imagine that! Don't get me wrong - I think there are several really cool layouts and I really, really, really like the one that I ended up making but I really, really really, really liked the other one ;) So leave me a comment, tell me which one you like - I really, really want to know!! 

I'll be back in a day or two to share with you the finished flimsy :) I'd like to finish the quilting on this one by the end of the week. . . might actually be doable ;)

Linking up with Judy over at Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday. LOTS of inspiration to be had!

Until next time, keep on quilting!!
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