28 January 2008

Re(a)d all over ..

Red Scrappy swap blocks are done .. For the last block I decided to do the Squares and Diamonds from Quilt Mags Stash Blocks - both blocks turned out VERY well and I'm quite pleased with them. I still have to put frames around the cornucopia block and the disappearing 9 patch, but those blocks are staying here .. I'm not sure if I'm going to red or white framing .. we'll just have to see. I just have to package them as per swap instructions and mail them off .. I can't wait to see what I'll get back from this .. I'm soooo excited .. a new nap quilt for me :D :D :D

I'm still researching my repo quilt .. i've found a listing and some pictures of actual blocks from that time frame and the blocks that i've seen so far are all in Around the Block which is GREAT! Now I just have to decide on the size .. Altho, I think that's going to be decided more on amount of each fabric that I have and actual block count. With a king size bed as my canvas, I'm sure I can have some fun .. but I'm thinking maybe 10" .. we'll just have to see.

I've let my kitty quilt sit for a few days and I will be working on the fillers for that in the next day or two.

Kyle has a pretty busy schedule for basketball .. he made the school team and has a game tomorrow / today?? (monday) and is in a tournament on tuesday. So i might not get as much quilty time, but i'm going to enjoy watching him play!

27 January 2008

Cornucopia - Horn Of Plenty (Trouble!!!)

Why is it that I have MORE scraps now than I did when I did the "scrappy red swap"???

This block and it's twin were ... 'interesting' to say the least ... for some silly reason after I cut it, I couldn't figure out for the life of me the best way to put it together .. quiltmags, stash buster blocks don't give directions as they've already published them in previous issues of the magazine .. So here I am looking at all these million pieces and it's just not clicking - I wrote to my lists and waited and looked at them again .. time passes .. and it clicks - LeMoyne Star!! NOW I can start (and of course after I figure it out, all these suggestions come in LOL)

These pieces gave me a devil of a time getting right; and even then, they aren't right - I had the same space on both blocks near the top - a good 1/2" .. one of them is unlikely to be squared even with framing .. I've not lost my confidence with the inset seams - i'm more puzzled than anything .. my cutting was good, and my seams were spot on 1/4" .. it could be the 1/4" isn't exact on both pieces?? I have no definite clue why it didn't work out. I'm beginning to seriously think that inset seams need to be handpieced ;) And I've thought this every time I've done them. I'm a wee bit discouraged as I really wanted to use these in the swap, but I just can't .. not these .. I'll frame them for my scrappy quilt - well one at least .. I think that I'll frame the other and send it along as an orphan block for charity quilts.

I ended up with 2 extra blocks for the scrapbuster block .. I read in the instructions that you will have extras - it didn't penetrate - so here I have 4 blocks instead of 2 LOL .. I couldn't just NOT make them .. heh .. maybe another charity block LOL .. i'll just have to see ..I do want to make one more block as I wanted to have all different blocks for the swap ..

I've been researching my next quilt project .. reg and I need a quilt for our bed .. and he likes the reproduction fabrics that i have from the civil war era and later in the same century. There's a discussion going on about Dear Jane / Dear Hannah quilts and there are a LOT of people doing them .. well - heh .. i'm more of an individualist .. so what I'm going to do is, more research for one, but make our bed quilt in the style of blocks from that era with those fabrics .. it won't be a true reproduction - if I can't find the exact block, i'll use one close to it .. I'll try for the same style, but we'll have to see how it goes .. i'm thinking maybe a sampler, altho, I've not really seen to many of those, they all seem to made with one block or medallion style. But it won't be a true repo. Hmmm .. block size??? i've seen a few where the size is from 8" - 10" ... heh .. I need to do more research :D

26 January 2008

A sort of 'eh' day ...

Today was 'eh' day. I spent most of the day doing list mail as I didn't do it the day before. One grea thingis that the fabric to trade all has a new home now .. Judi will be using it for her charity quilts! I get to increase my 1800 repro stash :) This is going to be GREAT!!

I did cut out blocks for the scrappy red swap, but after looking at them I want to be a wee bit more rested before I sew them up. There is a LOT of inset seams, and I don't want to be doing to much frogging on these. I'm using the Cornucopia block from Quilt Mags Stash Blocks page. They have some gorgeous blocks here in various sizes.

I'll sew those up tomorrow and then cut out some more blocks. I checked to see if the blanket i was going to use for batting for kyle's quilt is big enough and it's not. I have some warm and natural batting, but the way he treats quilts, I'm not sure I want to put really good batting in it. I'll have to see what I can dig up. since there's no football this weekend, not sure when i'll be doing the binding on reg's quilt. I have to get used to the fact that it's not going to be on anymore .. there is tennis .. oh wait.. that's over now .. **sigh**

25 January 2008

The Brat Prince Strikes Again

Welp - Pix did it again .. he always manages to know when I can't easily chase him to create mischief.

I didn't get as far last nite as I wanted to with Reg's quilt, just ran out of steam. When I woke up with a headache today, I knew it wasn't going to be a high quilt volume day for me today. heh .. i've not even read my list mail yet .. At any rate, I wanted to quickly attach the binding to the quilt and then watch a movie with reg .. well i realized that i hadn't even prepared the strips yet .. i'm like .. oh blech .. i do not want to do that right now .. so I worked on some hand quilting for a little while and watched the movie anyways.

Later I started to feel a wee bit better and decided to tackle the binding of reg's quilt. Got the strips sewn together, pressed and had just situated myself with the quilt on my lap and all set to get and the binding trailing off to my right on the floor - Good thing that I had already stitched a bit of the binding to the quilt .. from out of nowhere, this blasted blonde bombshell strikes out at my binding and starts to take off with it .. Thank God he just ran under the dresser and NOT out of the room .. I'm like "PIXEL!! you BRAT .. let that go you bad cat!" .. trying to speak in such a way he would listen, but not wake the whole bloody house up .. wishful thinking .. i woke up the dog and shadow decided to come and see what all the ruckus was about .. so I'm trying to get the dog out of here who's wagging her tail thinking this is all great fun (!), rescue my binding from under a dresser held hostage by a very tenacious 10lb cat, and shoo off Shadow who is trying to get under the dresser with Pix all while being buried under 20lbs of quilt that is still attached to the sewing machine .. Blasted Cat! I did manage to recover my binding and got it on with minimal harassment by he natives. Only had to chase it about 2 more times **bloodycat!!**

It's all trimmed and ready and waiting for me to do the binding now. Shouldn't take to long .. but not going to do it tonite, I still have my headache and I just want to curl up with my book then fall asleep

I left this picture larger, so you should be able to click on it to see more detail with the quilting that I did .. altho you aren't likely to see the sport motifs :S

24 January 2008

Reg's Quilt is almost done!

Well Reg's quilt is almost totally quilted. I've done almost all of the top; criss-crossed through the squares, 3 lines per section; and put in football, baseball and basketball equipment quilt motifs in the 'blank' spaces. Here's a shot of the back of the quilt, I ruffled it a bit so you could get more of an idea of with the shadows for the overall quilting patterns.

I'm not sure if you remember but when I did the logos for this quilt, I had an inspiration that made doing them a whole lot easier. I created outlines of the images, converted it to black and white then printed it on paper. I used my sullivan's to tack the paper onto the quilt for stability while zigzagging (for the logos, not the motifs) and that gave me the idea for EASY quilt marking without marking my quilt! Again I created the outlines, printed it out, and tacked it on .. then I freemotioned and put the motifs in the blank spaces.

It went VERY quickly, no shifting of my pattern and since i just did a light mist, no residual stickiness. Worked like a charm.

For the borders, i'm thinking of diamonds .. but that's not what they are called, it will be a rectangle with a triangle on top and bottom of rectangle. Then I put the binding on and voila! time to hand sew it on, wash it and reg can have his quilt :D

I decided to try my 15-91 for the quilting - the feed dogs seem to want to sleep on the odd occassion and the quilt stopped moving (!), but I was ready for it after a few times and it went well .. Freemotion quilting on this machine is a DREAM .. not once did my thread break!! It was great!! Since i didn't have a cover plate for the feed dogs nor can I lower them, I used a mccain pizza box to cover the dogs .. worked like a charm!!

This gives me all the confidence I need for the freemotioning that I am thinking about for my kitty quilt .. I'll be getting back to that one soon .. but first swap blocks, and kyle's quilt :S .. poor kid, his isn't even basted yet!

22 January 2008

that **D**arn Cat & Sleeping Cat

20 kitty blocks done in all .. WOWOWOWOWOW .. and i'm just about done with the larger blocks. There is one more pp pattern that I want to do .. i wish I could remember where i found this one as I would LOVE to give you all the link - it's a kitty sleeping on window ledge and her tail hanging down .. i'll be doing that block tomorrow .. already have the fabric all picked out for her.

These boys almost gave me a run for my money .. for some reason I wasn't reading the instructions correctly tonite. Good thing I make it a habit to re-read instructions a few times to ensure that I've understood them correctly!! Of course I outsmarted myself as I put the body on the top of the head where the ears go and the ears where the body goes .. this was done on my 'problem child' block.

I just have to share something with you .. of course it's cat related :). I laid out my backing fabric and was going to sit on the floor and play with my kitty puzzle .. suddenly my Pix comes to life; that bloody cat decides he's going to do the kitty prix 500 across my backing fabric and the blocks .. THEN the brat decides he's going to attack my thread on my cone (@@) .. blasted cat .. when he was younger I would call him the Brat Prince as he would attack anything coming out of the printer .. I am pretty sure that ever assignment I handed in was christened with 2 teeth holes in the bottom corner .. Of course Shadow gets into the act too .. she comes and sits on my blocks and meows at me like "what are you playing wtih them for instead of me" CATS!! Those **D**arn CATS!!!!

I decided not to wait until later to do this block. I'm feeling a strong urge to get started on quilting reg's quilt and I needed / wanted to get the 'big blocks' done for my kitty quilt before I let the layout start to gel in the back of my mind. This took me a good chunk of the morning to do as there was a lot of itty bitty fussy parts. Didn't have to do as much ripping as on the other pp block, but I am only going to do one of these blocks ..anymore and my quilt wouldn't look right; this block just filled the spot i was looking at just perfectly. Maureen (Mobird) Sparrow designed this block - you can get this and other of her blocks at Paper Panache

21 January 2008

Plaid cats n schedules

After I finished the 3 blocks above, i quickly cut out and sewed up these next too. These are plaid cats from the Cat's Meow again. I did sew the shoulders on backwards, thank God I didn't do the trim first like I always do. The one thing that Janet Kime does in this book that drives me more than a little bug is use the 'draw a line from corner to corner and sew on this line for your HST'. I really do not like that method, i would rather just cut it and get it over with .. so I cut them first and then sew them on. This time I didn't and i'm sooo glad otherwise I would have been cutting more ..

I'll update the kitty quilt page later today .. I'm just to tired right now and I have to fix oen of the uniform shorts for Reg's Bball team .. kids!!

Watched football and ended up falling asleep during the Giants packers game .. my sleep is so messed up right now .. matter of fact, after being up over 24 hrs, i only slept 5 :| Was up at 2am wide-eyed and busy tailed .. well i'm feelng sleepy now, so will post this super quick and try to get some rest BEFORE the kid gets up and wakes everyone up. But while watching the game, I did do some handquilting on my WC kitty wall hanging.

20 January 2008

cats n quilts n cuts

I'm not sure what was going on with these sampler cats, but I had a heck of a time with them .. it might have been the cutting last nite .. I was prolly wayyyy to tired to be cutting them. But cut them I did. I am going to scrap the one that is really bad - then again .. these were intended to be 'framed' with the background fabric as they aren't 8x8". I do know what I'm doing with all the ooboo blocks tho. I'm going to make a quilt sammich for Pix .. maybe he'll stay off reg's quilt until I get it done. He's taken permanent residence on it and only leaving to drink, eat, use the box or curl up with me on the couch .. even then, it's not as much as before .. I sure hope this baby of mine isn't slowing down to much. He's only 9 and an indoor cat and pampered and spoilt for the most part.

I next did the Mom cats; quick to cut, quick to sew up; altho i ran into a glitch on the shoulders of this one (for once it wasn't the ears!!) I needed to recut one cat and background piece of each for the 45 degrees, must have missed the edge on it - so instead of them making up in 30 minutes, took me about an hour since I tried to make them fit - and there was NO way that these were going to fit /fidge in. If I wouldn't have had such a problem with the shoulders, I might have had another pair of cats to put up.

Ah well, they are done and will likely do plaid cats next. I am getting itchy do work on Reg's quilt tho, so the cats might have to wait and I do need to get some more blocks done for the scrappy red swap.

I've been going nuts looking for my DMC floss. I've not seen it since my room was unpacked and stuff put into the closet. I want to use that floss to tie my grandmother's quilt. Not likely to be wanting to work on that until I find it - it'll just tick me off in no uncertain terms if I can't find it. And I have looked everywhere, but where it's at LOL

19 January 2008

A Quilt for ME!?!?!?

Last nite or was it early this AM .. i was chatting in email with Joy and she showed me this adorable quilt with doggy bones and fire hydrants - she had just made it up really quick on her serger (new serger) .. it was just really really cute .. She then asks me my favourite colours, and states that she wants to make one for me .. i'm like ??? for me?? why type thing? basically because she wanted to .. I think that she wanted to play with her new toy as well LOL .. So I tell her and we are chatting along, and then this email comes through with this gorgeous quilt. The colours are just fantabulous!!! Heh .. she half killed herself getting the perfect border fabric out of the closet - her batting saved her - and it is perfect .. just pulls it all together nicely! This was before the borders were on, I do have one of it finished, but her daughter is modelling it and i've not heard back that i can use it .. besides; she's so pretty you won't even see the quilt ;) She's finished the borders today and I'll have it soon .. now to figure out how to quilt it?? LOL .. Joy Thank you!!! You're awesome.

I did manage to get 2 more blocks done for my kitty quilt. I did the sampler kitties .. I had cut out 3 different ones, but miscut 2 the same so did those at the same time .. now I'm just to tired ot finish the one right now. I never quite thought about how small cutting a 1 7/8" into a half square triangle would make it .. i was almost ready to use toothpicks to hold it down LOL ..no seriously it wasn't that bad .. but it was interesting. As usual, one of the blocks is my problem child. I would like to solve this so I don't have to go through it LOL. The one squared up no problem .. i think in order to square the one, I'm going to have to cut his ear off .. I'll do the other block tomorrow and maybe another set of 2. Or even start quilting reg's quilt.

18 January 2008

Sort of Quilt Related

I did do any sewing today, but I did patch together a webpage for my kitty quilt .. this way all the blocks can be seen in once spot instead of having to sift through my blog - assuming you are interested of course LOL ;)

Sraps N Claws Enjoy!

17 January 2008

Free Motion away!!

WOOO HOOOO .. (**doing the happy kitty dance**) I can do the free motion quilting for Reg's quilt that I wanted to do. I had a few tense moments there wondering if it would work for me or not. About 5 years ago, (prolly more now) I made a quilt for my now ex-BF mother for Cmas. I wanted to freemotion the quilting motif - had a gorgeous one all picked out and everything .. i designed this quilt and was pretty proud of it .. unfortunately the bloody thing wouldn't work - I can't exactly recall what the problem was, but I seem to remember that all the stitches were loose on the bottom, and yes I had the foot down - regular quilting with my walking foot was fine which is what I ended up doing - ditch stitching. It still looked okay .. but I know it would have looked so much better with the free motion quilting that I wanted to do.

I want to do freemotion (okay .. is it free motion or freemotion!?!?!? - poll question :D :D :D) for the blank spots in reg's quilt; footballs, baseballs, basketballs, bats gloves etc etc etc etc .. but was worried that I wouldn't be able to freemotion. I really didn't want to be doing that with regular walking foot .. oh heck no!! For the other motifs, sure .. but not these ones - and I don't really want to hand quilt this one .. not with the cats and the dog ending up on it i'm sure ... So i'm happy about that! I'll maybe work on it later on tonite, or start it tomorrow. Once I get the blank spaces done, I'll decide then if I will do outline quilting, or the fields / courts of the respective sports ..

heh .. I gotta share this with you .. Not even 20 minutes after I basted reg's quilt, (I put it on the ironing board as I needed my cutting table) Pix walks into the sewing room and stops dead .. his head looks up and over his left shoulder slightly .. he sees the quilt .. yup you guessed .. up he went .. What amazes me the most is that he's not been one to go up on the ironing board .. never has been .. guess he wanted to sleep on that quilt! He's practically not moved off of it since then. I've moved it on him once and he unerringly zeroed in on it again .. how do they do that!?!?!?

Last nite I did 2 more blocks (1 set) from Quilt Magazine's stash buster free patterns. I can't tell you which ones as it's supposed to be a surprise, but this is where I'm getting a bunch of my patterns from and the Around the Block Book oh and that disappearing 9 patch is really speaking to me .. I am sooo having a blast with this swap! heheheheheh only problem is anytime I see a different pattern I keep changing my mind, so I'm trying to stay away from the pattern sites ..I can lose myself there for hours (specially with dial up :S)

15 January 2008

Crawless, pinless basting method ...

First of all my apologies for the bad pictures .. my camera hasnt been focusing consistently for the past week and I'm unsure as to why .. thinking it's the cheapy rechargeables that I put in there ..

Today I tried Sharon Schambers hand basting method with moldings .. it worked very well, but I had some rookie challenges and mistakes with it .. first and foremost the curved needle is essential. What allowed Sharon in the video to keep her sandwich flat was the curved needle. I had a curved needle from my mum's stuff, but it was for canvas and sails and by the time I discovered this, I had already gotten the quilt and backing wrapped on the boards and didn't want to stop ;) Besides what on earth was I going to do with 7' of wrapped top and backing!?!?!? But I will have one for kyle's quilt. I started with a shorter needle and that made the across stitches narrow and the needle hard to grab .. i poked myself more than I care to think about .. my fingers are still sore. Then I went hunting and found a longer needle - that made it MUCH easier to do. I wanted to watch the video again, to refamiliarize myself with it, but stupid dial up GRRRRR .. it kept getting hung on this one spot .. didn't help that I was trying to drag the progress bar ahead to see if it was at that spot.. so it was my fault ..

Because I didn't have a curved needle, I had a problem with my backing shifting - also I recyced an old blanket instead of using batting so it didn't stick like it normally would. Money is really tight for us right now, so recycling is the only way to go .. it's what they did in the old days to get that last bit of life from their blankets and whatnot .. so I'm good with it :D This is about halfway through, I can see where the shifting has caused me some problems, but since I am aware of them all I have to do when quilting is give the back a wee tug and it'll be fine .. I do that as I go along anyways ever since I sewed the backing to the backing and had to take out over half my quilting stitches .. was that a hard lesson learned! Also, twit for brains here didn't iron the backing .. heh .. i'll never learn LOL To excited I guess .. i've really been looking forward to doing this and didn't take a quick breath to think before I started.

Sharon also suggested using short thread lengths with this stitch only to keep arm comfort and not to strain yourself .. for me, I would just get into the groove and I would have to stop .. so I started using much longer thread and had a really long tail .. her quilter's knot also challenged me .. but when I stopped switching it to my right hand after it was wrapped I did fine. This went VERY fast and I had this top basted in about 2 - 3 hours with breaks. Normally I would still be crawling around on the floor .. I could still see this being done with pins if you wanted, but you'll have to find your own comfort zone .. I'll try this for a few more quilts and see if I don't get better at it .. I kept catching my fingers in the threads as I was smoothing the quilt top working the shifting backing back to where it was .. Now when I use blankets again, I might use one of those HUGE binder clips to keep the back stationary while basting and move them when I do the next section. I will do this method again - my back is fine and I can go ahead and prolly do another quilt - go ahead and try that while crawling around on the floor .. I don't think so LOL I also had some problems with the top of the quilt wanting to slide off the table .. towards the end, so this area when much slower .. now, if i had put my cutting mat under the sammich instead of just the table, I bet that it wouldn't have shifted so much on me .. man i'm such a twit! I've only got two cutting mats!! Next quilt .. Next quilt .. bet it won't shift at all then!!

This is a MUCh easier way to do basting .. curved needle essential!! try it, you'll LOVE it!! Keep an open mind and give yourself a few times to work this method before tossing it off if it doesn't go as planned .. hopefully you can learn from my mistakes or rather challenges ;)

Okay now hopefully 3 kitty blocks, and 2 swap blocks .. have fun!!

14 January 2008

Quiltish Day

After suffering from a funk yesterday and a lack of desire to quilt (actually cut, I had nothing cut out), I started late in the day .. I wanted to make blocks for the scrappy swap .. I noticed that with me cutting right on the line, my blocks were coming in around 12 1/4" and that just wasn't good enough for a swap . home use - sure .. but not a swap .. these ladies are expecting my best and accurate work and they deserve to get it. what's a few more orphan blocks .. it's not like I'll never not have them LOL. What I did was have my lines just on the fabric side of the marks and cut from there .. that took care of the problem . it was like 1/16th", but it was enough over several seams to make a difference .. what made me think of this was during a discussion on scant seams, that came up as a method for dealing HST - so I thought - why not .. i can't send the blocks like this .. tried it and worked .. I was having my marks right at the edge of the fabric .. and they were coming up short ..

I did do 4 blocks today .. 2 will be sent and 2 will stay here .. I grabbed some patterns off mccallsquilting.com for these blocks and they turned out perfectly .. I'm tickled pink (heh) and red with how well they look! I can't post images as we've all agreed to be surprised by what shows up in the mail .. makes it more exciting that way.

I went out and got the wood trim to try Sharon's Schamber's hand basting technique. I'm pretty tired today and I'm not sure I have the energy to do this right now, but there is always tomorrow. I'm looking forward to trying this and can't wait to start .. will have to be done at my kitchen table as it is wide enough to accommodate these 8' lengths of wood trim :O

Update on my kitty quilt
I had to add another piece of flannel to my design wall as with 2 projects going, i was constantly take blocks off and on .. as I put it up there I realized that my kitty quilt might be bigger than planned. I didn't take into a account the printing size difference on a mac with pc designed templates and pp patterns. bah .. I used to be able to do that conversion in my head without thinking about it - now i have to constantly remind myself to remember it and I forget (@@). This quilt isn't designed on the traditional format so I do have a lot of flexibility - I didn't jam all the blocks next to each other as I wanted an illusion of floating kitties and would fill the spaces with yard, mice, spools, milk jugs, and blank spaces. I was just picking and choosing whatever block appealed to me .. my top row is shy 2 blocks, both out of the Cat's Meow pattern book so I'll do those next, then do all the patterns from the internet. That should give me a better idea how much room I am going to have to play with. Also what might work in my favour is the fact that there is a set of 3 blocks (12x12) that I'm not going to use now; that will likely balance the space I'm losing - paws crossed

13 January 2008

fabric quality / kelvie kitty

On one of my lists a current discussion has been about fabric quality .. the pros and cons of quilt shop vs joannes, walmart etc .. The responses of been somewhat predictable but also very unpredictable .. This has made me start to think about the blocks I made for a swap back in 1997 I think when I was on QB for the first time. We had a limit of blocks that we were swapping so I ended up making extra blocks so I could have a nap quilt. I don't think that this was before my quilt class, but after and I had already met a lady and we were piecing together every other Sunday .. I remember her teaching me some fine points of triangle piecing .. Bless her!!

At any rate, 10 years later (Oh Lordy has it really been that long!?!?!?!) my swap quilt is falling apart and it's NOT the other blocks but my own. I shudder to think that everyone else's have fallen apart - And I talk to one of the ladies still and she's not said a word to me about it .. so I'm hoping it's all good ... But looking at them just now, these are blocks that I made afterwards (due to hand-dyed fabric in a few of them that are falling apart .. I hadn't started that yet.) At any rate, the discussion made me remember about purchasing some muslin that was about $1/yd cheaper .. Lord knows I won't do that again .. this was the 35" width fabric as well .. The blocks made with that cheaper muslin are the ones that are falling apart .. so the point in all this, you have to be careful with the fabric you select no matter where you buy .. I don't believe that this was quilt shop material, but I know i won't be picking up anymore 35" muslin ..

I did finish the last of the kelvie's kitties yesterday - it looks sooo much better. I had minimal ripping to do on this block .. I went to far on the inset seams so and needed to back up a bit .. But I'm really happy with this block and it's going to be such a nice addition to my quilt. Currently there are 11 blocks that made for this quilt .. I'm thinking of creating an html page and linking to it for currently progress and all the blocks together .. the only way it can be seen here is block by block ..

I was thinking about touching upon motivation (or lack thereof today), but this is enough for now .. I'm going to get myself cutting and maybe have a few blocks made for my swap ;)

Oh speaking of which!! those orphan blocks!! I can use them to make window treatments for my front window!! I wanted to do a swag anyways; so this could be possible as we wanted to have red in the living room anyways .. just a thought ;)

12 January 2008

Bowtie cats taking a bow

Here's a repeat block from last week I think. It was the pattern that was making me rip my hair out .. I talked about it in scraps n claws entry.

My plan today was to make the buddy for him as i want to have 2 of each of the big cats in my quilt. I printed out the templates again and started to look at them thinking "they weren't this big the last time I printed them (!) Hmmm .. See this pattern called for printing on legal paper, and I don't have any. But I do have Acrobat Professional (Graphic Designer and Web Designer by trade) so I could alter the pages so that they would print in an 8 1/2 x 11" area. Now in Acrobat you can print so that the pages aren't scaled, and I apparently forgot to check that. Sooo these templates all printed out scaled to fit on 8 1/2 x 11" instead of just cropping the pages to print. My block ended up quite a bit smaller than was planned for. Here's another issue that I need to remember to think about. I'm on a Mac and they print larger - they do 100dpi, where PCs do 72dip. Meaning all patterns printed on a mac will print larger unless I scale it down. Good thing that in this case it didn't matter or else I would have had 2 blocks the wrong size.

It's amazing the difference that that one mistake causes .. I mean .. there is a good 3" difference between these blocks .. by my original calculations (no block size wasn't provided - just an overall quilt size), I figured it would end up between 6 & 8" so I wasn't to worried about it being the wrong size"

If I wouldn't have the success yesterday with the - well half success with the Kelvie's Kitties, I might not have had the courage to try this block so soon. With having the templates printed out correctly and more confidence in my setin seams I forged ahead. I was still a little daunted due to the "assembly diagram" There wasn't one .. a template placement, but nothing that denoted setin seams or the best way to assemble them. The placing around the 'chin' was easy, but the bottom of the bowtie was a challenge .. I didn't have to recut the fabric for those area those, and that is saying a LOT. But I did it and I'm pretty pleased with the results .. they are a wee bit off square but nothing that can't be worked into the top assembly or fidged while quilting

Challenge Reward ;)

My treat for tackling the template challenge was a straight cutting and piecing - Kittleson's Cats were the next ones on my roster. These blocks were a SNAP to put together and I probably had them pieced in about 30 minutes total. easy to cut and easy to piece. It was such a nice respite from the template and inset seams battle. You know, the feeling I got of having that one block turn out right is indescribable .. makes the battle worth it ;) Closeups of the two kitties Light Cat & Dark Cat

The really off block from yesterday is being redone .. I could likely square it up with a border, but the colour of the dickey just isn't there for me. It rather blends in. templates are reprinted and waiting for me - I'm sure I can find something to do with the ooboo block .. even if it's a kitty blanket for my cats. Not that they would use it - the would rather use my current projects to sleep on .. well actually not 'they', but Pix.

I have 9 keeper blocks for this quilt. The one bowtie kitty might be redone since I am better with inset seams; i do need to do one more as my design uses them 2 by twos - that and that one pp cat that drove me bug. This quilt has 24 full size blocks .. granted 4 of these were 12x12 and am not using them now, but I will find other's to fill it .. the standard size for these blocks is 8" or a division of such .. i'll use little 4x4 and 4x6 pp cats to fill the spaces along with yarn, fish, mice, milk, spools etc.

  1. 2 more cats; pp? rotary? or make buddies for the pp and a template inset seam blocks I've already done??
    Update on the bowtie kitty I printed these out wrong the first time; pattern calls for printing on legal, but if you shift content and select print 'crop' it will print correctly on 81/2x11 - well I mustn't of selected crop :S - So I get to do both of these today as well ;)

  2. blocks for red/pink/white swap .. i got a great idea from a friend on a list for another block.. (thanx Joanne)
  3. scant seam on my 248 and FW ... **wonder if that will have to adjusted for thicker fabric????
  4. I want to dig up some boards to try sharon's basting method so I can get those quilt tops going .. and before Pix won't let me reclaim them; specially reg's.

11 January 2008

an accidental quilter??

I swear I manage to put blocks and quilts together totally by accident .. I made a goal to get some kitty blocks done - haven’t touched them in about 2 days as i was working on the scrappy swap. I picked out a pattern that has templates, and I’m not gonna say I like them .. I would be lying .. I usually have some sort of problem doing them .. for whatever reason .. i think in order to find out, I’ll have to sit down with another quilter and they can watch what I do .. my first quilt class called for rotary cutting and I’ve been doing it ever since.

The pattern called Kelvin’s Kitties from the The Cat's Meow is really cute and I want it for my quilt. So this was a block (2 actually) I had set to do. First of all, templates .. **groan** okay, I’ll work through it. I’m happily piecing away, the ear points worked and all of a sudden I come across an inset seam .. **double groan** I ohhhh so carefully get all the seams lined up and flip it over and check out the seams .. OML they work!!! Then I realized, that I had put the wrong head on the cat body .. holybiblebatman are you kidding me!?!?!? Back I go and rip it all out .. I was so proud of myself for getting the seam in right - yeah it took a bit and I was really slow with it, but it was in and it was fine (with the exception of the wrong head :S) .. so out the stitches came .. When I did the head again, it went quicker this time and by the time I did the second cat, it was a snap! Mind you I tripped over 3 more inset seams in this block .. but i was undaunted this time. I even found a way to continue sewing without locking the stitch and restarting .. Basically treat it as a pivot and turn junction - don’t have to worry about the seams lining up again - now to learn the twirling seams trick .. soon as i get my DSL back, I'll search for it.

I did get the blocks done, one will likely have to be done again .. and I am noticing that while I am doing a 1/4“ seam, I really had to fidge the foot unit onto the body .. Almost seems like I’m going to have to find out where I sit for a scant 1/4” seam. I’ve gotten a LOT of great ideas on the lists and the easiest will prolly be finding where it is on my machine .. 1 to 2 threads shy of a 1/4“ .. bah .. not going to be fun ..

I’m proud of my effort for these blocks - I tackled two challenges (for me) in piecing, templates and inset seams .. one block is definitely NOT squared, that one I will likely do again or border both blocks - we’ll have to see how it sits towards the end. Altho, I will likely do that block again .. the dicky just isn’t standing out like I want it to .. I probably should have done a dark purple for the dicky instead of multi coloured background .. It didn’t sit right with me before I even cut it - I think that I need to start listening to my instincts on this .. specially when it comes to colour.

10 January 2008

Cursed Jinxed .. hexed???

Whatever you call it .. it’s been a day and then some.

I woke up with a sinus headache today - i have a devil of time getting rid of them when I wake up with them .. and I still have it hours later .. blech


There was the issue of the 12 1/2“ blocks turned 12” .. even with following her directions perfectly it was still small .. as i was thinking out loud in an email, it dawned on me, scant 1/4“ seam .. so I measured my seam again .. yup 1/4” .. that started an email discussion on it, that almost turned into a rant on my part .. I was reminded of the 3 strip test, but you know, this seemed like an awful lot of work to find a scant 1/4“ seam when my machines do 1/4” .. I could do the effort, but why when there are so many other beautiful blocks out there that I can do ;) .. so many blocks so little time. and if I chose to do these blocks for my own personal use, the block size won’t really matter in the long run as long as they are all consistently the same size .. but for a swap .. nope .. besides, I can always design said block in QuiltPro too ;)

Since I can't use these in the swap, I want to share them with you .. they turned out very well and I am pleased with them .. also disappointed that I can't use them for the swap .. I like how the really scrappy one turned out.

I was going to do paper piecing off her site next - no problem getting a 12 1/2“ block .. she has some GORGEOUS patterns and there are 3 or 50 that I definitely want to do .. I was about to print out a few patterns when it hits me .. I have a mac .. a mac prints bigger - and depending on the dpi of the original image, it can be anywhere from 1 - 3 inches .. i’m like ”are you kidding me!?!?!?!?“ This just is NOT fair! ah well .. I have Around the Block with Judy Hopkins and there are a ton of blocks in there that I can make .. what’s nice she offers these blocks with rotary cutting instructions on 6 different sizes .. one of my bibles that i use and swear by .. also one of the books I recommend to all new quilters .. and old quilters ;) Another quilting book I live and swear by is Quilter's Complete Guide by Fons and Porter. Okay enough of the book talk - the important thing is that I have other options with out having to jump through hoops .. am I disappointed .. you betcha .. will I live .. yup. Oodles of sites out there and i have a ton in my quilty library at home ..

Then the next ”challenge“ hits me .. my internet goes KAFLOOEY .. just upped and quit .. no clue why, did all the connection checking, machine restarting, modem restarting.. EVERYTHING .. so I call Rogers .. no problem mrs. Lambie .. we’ll get you up and running .. well first level wasn’t able to help, so off I went to 2nd level .. I got a call back from them in about 2 hours I think .. I spent the next hour or two on the phone with one guy over several phone calls .. the upshot is there is some sort of a filter on the line that runs from the pole to the house - no clue why it suddenly kicked in, but in effect, it’s blocking the signal from reaching my house. All the lines are owned by Bell Canada and Rogers uses them via sufferance (my word, not theirs). From what I was told, this is a common problem with switchers from bell .. there internet stops working after a month. Well they have scheduled a tech to come and physically remove the filter, but it’s gonna take a week .. I was like stunned ... a week .. I’m going to go without the internet for a week .. i just did that, and that’s why I switched to you guys .. My next question to him .. don’t you have some sort of a dial up for your customers that have to access their email and whatnot remotely?? sure thing .. well got that up and running and for the next week (or so), I’m on dial up .. and it is NOT fun .. but I’m connected so I can’t sneeze at it too hard ..

At any rate .. not sure what the fates have planned for me next, but I’m sure it will be interesting LOL .. I’m off to iron reg’s shirts for the tourny this weekend and to make some more blocks for my swap ..

09 January 2008

cats n scraps

Today I managed to get 2 more kitty blocks done .. well almost done .. I won’t be able to totally finish these blocks until they get into the quilt itself .. the heads and tails overlap on neighbouring blocks .. kinda cute me thinks! These blocks have the kitties appliqued on the background fabric .. I cheated and did machine applique using a blind stitch. One of the kitties has bright novelty fabric and the other just has novelty and country fabric in it .. Out of the 6 blocks that i did, these were the least frustrating out of all of them .. matter of fact I really didn’t have that much of a problem with these at all.

After I finished these kitties, I worked on blocks for the red, pink and white scrappy swap that I’m in .. I really like the blocks! I was working on this one; All Hallows Variation and it turned out really nice .. a few issues with corners as there are half square triangles, but nothing major .. just a few adjustments in what I was doing .. but when I got the one done as the pattern calls for, then I did the next one scrappy and cutting the square first, I decided to measure them .. ended up with 12“ unfinished .. this swap calls for 12 1/2 .. I’m wondering if I’m that off .. I remeasured my seam the other day and I’m a scant 1/4” so I’m not sure what’s going on .. I’ve asked my list if they are having the same problem. I do have Around the Block by Judy Hopkins, so I know I can find a block in there ..

what i’m planning on doing is 8 blocks to swap .. I have no idea what blocks I’ll get back as you can use any block you want to .. so I was going to send out 8 different blocks .. maybe 4 and have the buddies here . not sure what i’m going to do .. but in any case, I’ll have the twin-ish for what is sent in ;)

During a discussion on our list the topic of crawling around on your hands and knees to baste a quilt came up; someone sent me a link on how to baste, with no tape, without crawling around on the floor, and no dead back .. you use trim or mouldings .. check it out .. hand basting

I did manage to get our component cabinet put together today .. only had to back up twice i think .. looks great not having all the stuff stacked .. altho poor shadow can’t sit on the satellite box now LOL .. poor kitty

08 January 2008

Scraps & Claws - Kitty Quilt

I think that this is going to drive me nuts .. This is starting to frustrate me to no end .. I’ve done 4 blocks and each block has presented a problem with numerous ripping and redoing ..

  1. The cats with the entwined tails - centerpiece of quilt - had to do the tails twice
  2. The cat with the bowtie - templates and I HATE templates!! two of them were the wrong size; and there was no assembly diagram so chances are, I put them together wrong .. that bowtie was inset seams .. BAH
  3. The log cabin kitty .. hard to see for one .. i might have done better with just two fabrics .. light and dark .. and for some reason the ear isn’t right
  4. the cat looking over her shoulder - pp - normally not a problem for me, but I had to reprint it twice (and that was a nitemare in itself - long story!!) Took me almost 4 hours to do that block!

I honestly expected to have more blocks done than I do .. granted since this is a sampler, I’m not going to be able to speed piece, and there is a lot of sew, trim, press, sew, trim, press .. but even with that factored in, this seems to be dragging .. I’ve not given up tho .. not by a bloody long shot!

What I’m going to do is work on my kitty blocks and then work on blocks for swap .. give myself a break .. this is a scrappy swap any block long as it’s 12“ and is red, pinks, white or black background .. I’ll make 6 blocks for swap and 6 for here. I’m going to use this quilt to replace the one from my ohio star swap back from 97. That poor thing is falling apart (cheap muslin i used) and I want to be able to repair it .. so that quilt will go away for the time being - that’s my story and I’m sticking to it LOL ..

Right now I’m searching out blocks for this swap .. driving myself crazy (not that I had to far to go LOL), but I can’t seem to make up my mind .. I’ll figure it out soon - Since I’m not going to know what block i’m getting, I can’t really plan for it .. so - I’m going to pick a block that will be the alternating block and will go with just about anything .. i LOVE stars ... and I’ve found an oodle of them .. Just can’t make up my mind is all LOL

Back to my searching, do 2 swap blocks and another kitty block ..

07 January 2008

Mum's Stuff

Well this AM I went with my dad to take care of cleaning out his lazy susan from the mouse problem and fritter through my mum’s stuff. Mum didn’t quilt, so a lot of her stuff I really can’t use as I don’t make my own clothes anymore .. to bloody expensive with the cost of fabric now a days. There was a box of sweat suit type stuff (velour) and ribbing that I left as I knew I couldn’t use, but did grab a box of various tweeds, and linens with the odd cotton in there .. I need to do window treatments so these will come in handy. There is an old steamer trunk in the basement that my dad says has fabric in it .. i’m like .. esh .. another day. Then he remembered that there was the cedar chest upstairs - he wasn’t sure what was in it and thought it was locked. Actually all he had to do was push the button and it opened. Silly man ..

In our forays I found 2 sugar sacks!! I had never seen them before and remembered how ladies on the lists would talk about them .. stupid me forgot them there - ARRRG, but I am wanting to get them here and use them ..they have a NICE heft to them!

Found my mum’s wedding dress in there that she made .. a comforter that my grandmother brought from Russia and a woven bedspread (tapestry like) also from Russia .. at that point, I couldn’t handle going through stuff like that .. so went on the search for her serger and her singer .. found those .. her serger is a juki and i didn’t find a manual for it - I’ll have to check on line to see if there is one there .. never used a serger in my life and mum got this after I had moved out of the house .. worse case scenario, I can ask my grandmother (Dad’s dad) as she sews and could help me I’m sure .. I think that she advised mum on this one (??) .. found a mess of notions and all the parts for her singer .. all the discs and the manual and the original box with the seam guide, screwdriver ..

There was also a craft table still in it’s boxes that i can have .. I needed to measure it tho .. it’s 72 x 40 when opened .. it’s a batwing type table on wheels and is at least 6“ higher than the table I currently use .. I’ll have to rearrange my sewing room .. move the computer out of the corner it’s in and further up the wall and put the table against the far wall - but it will fit .. 70” of work space :O .. can you IMAGINE!!! i could actually baste on this thing .. no more crawling on the floor to baste now .. that always kills my back for a good day! which reminds me .. I need to baste reg’s quilt .. ouch I’ve always said that this table is to low .. i bend over to cut and pin and my back hurts .. this table of my mum’s is a good 6“ higher! YIPPEEEE ... I’m not a tall person .. not by a LONG shot .. i’m only 5’3” .. but these short tables are murder!

Mum’s singer - now this machine hates me .. always has .. i look at this thing and it jams! It’s a slant shank so it makes my life a wee bit difficult as all my singers are short shank .. i’m still hoping to find a walking foot .. If that’s the case, I’ll oil this one up and give it a whirl while firmly holding my temper in check! I was really hoping that I would find one, but didn’t expect to .. My singer (the one I use for quilting) is making some really odd noises .. you know like a car that won’t start .. the err err err err and the wheel’s not moving .. I can sew for short bursts (maybe 4“) then it does this - then give the wheel a hand and off it goes again .. I can’t quilt on my FW as the motor just won’t tolerate the stress of all those layers. I do have the 15-91, but it’s noisy and I’ve only used it once .. nice stitch on it tho! The 99 needs to have the brushes replaced so that one’s out.

06 January 2008

Kitty Quilt - Now a reality

Instead of being something percolating in the back of my mind for the past 10 years .. it’s reality .. or at least getting there .. got the fabric; pressed it, tossed almost all my kitty fabrics onto the table; started sifting through the patterns that I picked for this to print, rethink, etc ..

I’m excited, I’m finally getting to do this :D Reg made sure we were able to grab my fabric for this; prolly because I never think of myself first and haven’t made a quilt for ME yet; ever .. I don’t count the nap quilt I did for a swap .. poor thing is falling apart now ..

Most of the patterns are from the book “Cat’s meow” , some are from the net and other books .. I’ve picked my focal pattern - have now decided upon the kitty fabrics for these two cats .. heh .. I’d better cut them before I change my mind .. but not likely to with this .. This whole quilt is going to be on that fabric no other background even for the borders and the kitties will be made with just kitty fabric .. no other kind

This is going to be GREAT!!!

Tomorrow I am going to my dad’s to sift through my mum’s fabric, take her two sewing machines (regular machine and serger), look at a sewing center table that she had purchased that is still in the box and help my dad clear out the lazy susan from the eeeker (mouse) damage .. he’s finally realized that he needs to get another cat .. he’s got mice .. poor dad ..

It’ll be hard for me to go through my mum’s things, but as my aunt says “Better that it’s being used that sitting there rotting” If mum had a walking foot on her machine I would consider trying it for my machine quilting as the one I use has been put away due to odd sounds it’s making while I sew right now .. then again .. mum’s machine jams as soon as I look it :S .. that thing hates me and always has LOL. At any rate, my dad assures me that my mum has some home dec stuff in there, sheers and the like which means I’ll finally be able to put up curtains .. none of our existing curtains fit the windows here, and I not taking down the tree until I have at least sheers up .. otherwise we are in a goldfish bowl - granted our street is quiet .. but that’s not the point!

05 January 2008

Kyle's Quilt - The Nameless Quilt - DONE!

Whew! It’s done!! I was beginning to think that it would never happen! I mean .. how long should it take to sew on 4 strips?? In this case, bout 2 days .. maybe 3 .. it’s all a blur at this point. The quilt was larger by 1/2“ and 1“ at each end .. not one of my measurements was the same .. and the scary part is that I squared the bloody blocks!! BAH .. I agonized and agonized on how to do the borders since the border method I chose killed a lot of my fabric .. gots a LOT of triangles of it now .. frankly i’m not sure i want to see this fabric or pattern again ..

I got the top and bottom borders sewn on last nite, but by the time that was done it was like 4am .. i had had enough of it at that point. I knew it would be about another 1 - 2 hours of work to get it totally finished. Plus I didn’t look forward to crawling on the floor to pin it .. Knew that i would have to since I would have to lay it out flat-ish :S to get the right borders on the right sides. What I ended up doing with the borders was doing vertical pieces of blue with horizontal pieces of red, green and blue of course. Heh .. they actually managed to center some what okay as well .. The green I picked rather melts into the background and you can’t really see it .. I was worried about that, but wanted to use the same green that was in the quilt itself since I had enough to do some diamonds with it. The red and yellow show just fine tho, which pleases me ..

I’m just glad that this quilt is done .. I made a LOT of mistakes when I cut it out / sewed way back when .. and I can’t see that my skill has improved in 10 years since I didn’t sew in that time .. but maybe I am more patient now??

Oh meet the man with the wing-span to hold this monster up .. this quilt covers my king size bed with a smidge going over the edges .. LOL .. maybe I could do a king size quilt in this house .. basting it will a LOT of fun me things .. ya right! Hmm maybe it should be called Crooked Diamond Dreams? Whatcha think? Suggestions for a name?? I’m still to close to the border battle I had with this one to think positively about it and I don’t think that a quilt should carry that for it’s lifespan .. after all it’s not it’s fault ;)

Now off to scan my kitty pp patterns .. then my next plan of action is to baste reg’s quilt.. which he has already reminded me of LOL .. Gotta love him!

Border Solutions - Nightmare Update

Well I have a solution; well implemented a few .. what I opted to do was use red and green horizontal stips to fill the spaces between the diamond borders with blue to fill in what I didn’t have enough space for .. it’s piecy, but it’s on the way to being done .. I have the tops and bottoms done right now; just need to sew up the sides and attach to the quilt top .. that will be what I’ll do tomorrow .. I lacked the energy to tackle it at this point and besides Pix has taken over the quilt as his bed for the time being .. I’m not about to battle another animal today .. heh .. today I wish I had NO PETS!! LOL .. specially ones that bark :S

I really feel that I’m having to manhandle this quilt like mad .. makes me wonder what it will be like to do our king size quilts .. i was joking with Reg that I’ll have to go to the school and steal the gym LOL .. i then said .. don’t laugh .. i’m not sure I’m kidding ;)

anywho, Kyle’s top will be done later on today then i can get started on doing my kitty quilt .. I need to scan in the pp patterns that I’m going to be using so that I always have a copy of them ;)

Pictures will be posted when it’s done .. I’ll need reg to hold it up so it doesn’t look so out of proportion laying on the floor

Bordering on a Nightmare ...

These borders - GRRR - yup it's a nitemare ... ah well .. I'm not going to / can't start my kitty quilt until I have finished them .. this poor quilt .. heh .. warning .. when you get 'directions' that say "For a roughly 4" border, cut center strips 3 1/2" wide...cut outer strips 4" wide...cut these into 3 1/2" widths, then stagger.. "roughly" is a relative term to to about within a mile :S. I figured that to fit his bed, these borders needed to be 5 1/2" wide (this quilt was originally a twin pattern that has been graduated to a double now - please see Kyle's Quilt) .. so following the precept above - I cut 5 1/2" strips and 6" strips .. my bloody borders are now 7 3/4" and i have some spaces to fill; 23" on top and bottom, 16" on the sides - normally i would just cut more fabric .. bah .. well the directions rather killed that idea ..

I do love the look of the diamonds, I should have done half square triangles method instead of this way .. might have used less material and wouldn't be stuck piecing the holes.

My idea was to 3 diamond sets - 2 at the top and bottom and 3 on the sides. Originally there was going to be a diamond in each corner with these sets equidistance, but when I saw the 45 degree cut I had another idea .. meet up the diamond sets in each corner with yellows. so that left me spaces between (23" on the top and bottom; and 2 8" spaces on the sides) which I was originally going to fill with the blue fabric which I don't have enough of now. I know the borders were to be scrappy, but that would be taking to wayyy to far to do another blue fabric.

thinking out loud now
My options are:

  1. cut strips and fill the spaces with strips of fabric used in the diamonds;
  2. i can put the above straight or on an angle
  3. piece like crazy to make it all the same fabric
  4. i can do horizontal strips with red, green and blue with the blue on the outsides of these striped patches - yellow is minimal and I really don't want to hit my yellow stash as it's not got that much in it AND I will need those for the sunny stars that I might need to make
  5. do the same as vertical

I'm just really hesitating to do any cutting since the fabric I have left is so minimal .. it could all fit, I would likely have to piece a loose scraps together, but it can all fit .. just to make it fit ..

I'm so frustrated by this; this didn't work out the way I had anticipated .. I did tell Kyle that I would have his top done by the time he came home from his dad's (normally it would have been done), and I've been working on this border all bloody day and I've just about had enough!

**sigh** .. I'll get it done .. promised him that i would .. and I can't let my boy down ..

04 January 2008

My Grandmother's Quilt

I was reminded of this quilt from a post on quilter's corner. We were talking about how we got into quilting and I had mentioned all the things that my mum taught me to do, she never taught me to quilt. While typing that out, I remembered that my mum brought me a quilt she found at my aunt's house when she passed. My mum told me that my grandmother made it for my aunt, but it wasn't quite finished yet. My grandmother had a treadle machine and I can remember her sewing on it .. i had a great time playing next to her machine while she sewed. heh .. i actually have my grandmother's quilt :D That is just wayyy to cool - my grandmother died in 1987 and I was pretty close to her .. I was the youngest granddaughter and of course, her pet.

This quilt is velvet, the binding is almost finished, but it isn't quilted .. i'm wondering if maybe I should tie it?? If anyone has any ideas please let me know .. now what to do with it??? HELP!!

and yes that is my hammy dog (Orion) getting into every picture ;)

02 January 2008

Finished Quilt - "Back it Up, Sparky"

Looks like this quilt won't mutate on me again .. altho one can never be too sure as I still have to quilt it :S. This was my first attempt at more than just strips for borders and it took me longer than it prolly should, but I so wanted to be sure that my math was right as I didn't have to much of this fabric to spare.

I agonized over the colours for the border on this too .. I knew I needed to use the dark blue and the dark red to emphasize them in the quilt, but those two fabrics are so close in value that it would have been a blur .. so I had to pick a green at that point - but committing myself to that was nuts but then, how to make it stand out .. Good thing that I have a lot of hair; I'd be bald otherwise - i'm sure it was because i've not used this many colours in a quilt before and i was nervous as about it, or because this is the first project that I've started since i unpacked everything .. (UFOs turned WIPs don't count) .. Reg was laughing at me because I was scared to start cutting .. he knew how happy I was that everything was finally unpacked and just chuckled at my case of nerves LOL .. silly man!

He's not seen it totally yet, he had to leave for basketball practice before the final side was put on it .. he's gonna LOVE it ... heh .. i have our stocking holders weighing it down on our tv LOL.. that way I KNOW he won't miss it .. altho Pixel is going nuts trying to figure out a way to get on it. Poor Pix. I'm pleased with the results of the border .. i was only 2/8" of an inch off on each side.. one was short, the other was long ..

For the actual quilting, I'm thinking about baseballs and bats in the spaces above the D; basketballs next to the S and P, and footballs under the Lion. OR, I can do a baseball diamond surrounding the D, basketball courts with keys on the S and P and a football field with the lion on the 50 yard line .. quilting it will be the easy part me thinks .. heh ..famous last words!

Kyle keeps saying "Wow mum .. that looks really good" "Reg is really gonna like it" . ya know .. a 12 yo DS don't look good turning a nasty shade of green .. maybe his quilt will be for easter instead of his bday .. much closer.

World, meet "Back it up, Sparky"

Reg's Quilt is a Mutant!

Reg's quilt mutated on me again .. altho this time it wasn't necessarily a bad thing. I'm not even sure I can say it mutated - more like resolved itself :D. I spent today putting the seam allowance under the logo appliques and then attached them to the quilt. The detroit Tigers logo was a pain with all those twists and turns, but it looks really good - well worth the time and the effort - Reg is impressed!! so that's all that counts as it's his quilt!

I redid the Pistons logo as it didn't match what I finally did with the other 3 logos - I'm glad that I took the extra time because it looks so much better now. I do know that I will likely do all my quilt marking the same way that I did the logos. Basting spray and paper :D ... I'll just have to be VERY VERY careful about pins - or i could use the spray, but my last experience with it made me think twice about it.

At any rate - part of my problem with reg's quilt is that there are so many different fabrics in it - that made it hard to decide what would be the best colours for the borders. I usually use two; a smaller one to 'frame' the quilt then the next one (wider) to emphasize or pull out colours in the quilt. This quilt has 9 different fabrics (actually 10 including the background) so it was quite a challenge for me that way. But I finally decided on stripped wider border of a dark red and lighter green with 9 patch blocks in the corners with the dark blue being the skinny border and the binding. I've got the strips half way sewn now and will finish the borders tomorrow ..

I really like how this quilt has turned out - Reg really likes it too :D My son is turning a nasty shade of green when he sees it, so i'm going to start one for him like this - It'll be for his bday. The other quilt will be a winter quilt for him and this new one will be a summer quilt - He likes UofM, Detroit Tigers, Detroit Pistons, Indy Colts (you know sunday is really interesting in this house ;)). His bday is at the end of June, so I'll have the rest of the school year to work on it while he's not here .. Thank goodness I have a closet in this room so I can stash it away when I need to.

01 January 2008

Applique Adventures

Today was my adventure-and-a-half in applique templates :|. I couldn't (and still can't) find my freezer paper, so was rather timid to try other venues. Remembered that I had fusible web :D .. did that .. and it worked .. no jams not a problem .. (that I could see at that time .. heh) .. I get the Lions logo printed then start printing all the others. The Pistons logo drove me crazy, (that one's in 4 pieces), I realized that it didn't look right b/c it was backwards .. with all the reversing and whatnot for the fusible web, I managed to totally turn myself around .. holybiblebatman! Needless to say, I was a wee bit ticked at myself .. it's an honest mistake, but man .. why couldn't i had done it with something that I had TONS of. heck no .. gotta be that. **grumbling**

Ah well .. I thrive on challenges (@@). Then I wondered if I could reuse it? YIIPPPPPEEEE that worked .. I had the 'strange' idea that I would be able to tear it away like the paper when you paper piece .. ya right .. you know how well that worked .. so there's goes a 9 x 9 piece of hunter green fabric (another one I don't have a lot of) that Reg said would be perfect. So then I think .. okay I have the Tiger's one, why don't I outline it and then just pull the web off later? Well that sort of worked, but the logo is so tight in some places, that it ended up under the threads and I was pulling them and stretching the fabric.

**nova goes off in head** Why don't I use paper. Someone (sorry I misremember right now), told me that you could use the basting spray on fabric mounted on cardstock to run fabric through the printer. Well that didn't work for me, my printer kept telling me that the paper wasn't the right size **sigh** Then I got another idea .. use paper, just like in paper piecing. That will give me the stability I need while zigzagging the outlines of the logos, and I KNOW I can pull that off later. If there's any stuck under the threads, they will come out in the wash. That worked! So I have the MSU logo done, and the Pistons one from earlier and am quite pleased with the MSU one .. that one will be easy to stick onto the quilttop. So all I have to do is the Tiger's old english D and the Lions logo. So that one's on the way. Still fussing with border ideas for this quilt - nothing seems to be speaking to me on this one .. oh i have figured out a name for this quilt - "Back it up, Sparky" Reg calls me Sparky and I did so much reverse stitching on his blocks, that it seems to fit just right ;)
OH NO I just realized that the Lion's logo is so much smaller .. esh .. that was supposed to be printed landscaped :S .. if I have enough fabric, I'll have to redo it .. hellasigh Actually I checked it again, and that's the size it is. It's because of it's size .. it's still 9 1/2" long instead of high like the lettes are ..

I actually did my draft of my kitty quilt earlier today. Trying to find out how to calculate yardage for a sampler quilt. My version of QP doesn't allow you to use different block sizes like that. Full yardage with no blocks is 2 1/8 yds, but these kitties are going to float on the background so all the kitties are going to have this as the background colour. I have 2 purples that I really like, but only a yard of each .. if I had a 1 1/2 yd, I might attempt it. I have a reproduction that is medium purple on a mauvy-cream that I can use .. it was supposed to be for my bed (when I had a double) but am hesitant to use it for this .. I really wanted to do a medium purple for this quilt. I'll know more when I get my kittie fabrics tossed on it how it will look. Probably okay, but not quite what I wanted to do with this one.