Thursday, January 31, 2019

Winter Camo

Hi everyone!  As I mentioned yesterday, in addition to the quilting I've been doing, I also changed gears and made new collars and leashes for the girls!  We decided to go for matching collars & leashes this time - something I haven't done before.  Let's hope it doesn't get too confusing.

The webbing I chose is "Winter Camouflage" - white, grey, and black, with a bit of a sheen to it. Here it is, waiting for me to dig in:


Oh. And Maggie in the background. There's a good chance she was playing "Let's Not Let Cammie Get Down The Stairs". What can I say? Sometimes she wins, sometimes Cammie wins.

I forgot to order the double slides when I ordered the webbing and other hardware, but just happened to have a couple spares. Whew. I started with the collars:


For something this heavy, I use a combination of clothespins ...


... and masking tape to hold everything in place.  Also a #90 needle, my #8 Denim Foot, and my leveling bars.  I love that my Bernina can handle things like this!

I got the collars done pretty quickly and moved on to the leashes:


I just really love this pattern and color on the girls!

Maggie and Cam, looking VERY cool!

Thanks so much for reading!  More to come again soon!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Back To The X Plus!

I've been fairly productive in the Studio lately - I just need to get better about blogging it!  Here's a look at what's been going on.

I'm still doing the hand sewing on the Kansas Dugout Quilt and the X Plus runner:


Maggie has been tremendously supportive, as you can see. She's even tried to give me some guidance on the layout of the first X Plus quilt:

"Umm ... no.  Just no."

I tried   We tried just taking out those three blocks in the alternative color-ways, but that didn't cut it. That's when my friend Pam's suggestion of setting blocks came into play!

At first, I was thinking Snowball blocks, but then ...


A star!! Even cooler!

I didn't have enough fabric to do plain blocks between the stars in that beige with turquoise/mint/black flowers OF COURSE - so I went through my Amy Butler stash.  (All of the colorful fabs are Amy Butlers.)  I wanted to do the beige with pink floral/cabbage, but no.  Not even close to having enough of that, so ...


BOOM! Nothing like keeping things quiet and subtle. Or not. Go bold or go home, right? Yikes. It works for me, though.

The "plain" setting squares form a cross, which pleases me - echoing the "plus" in the X Plus. Here's a look at the top:


I really want to take it outside in better lighting for a photo, but we've been experiencing such cold temps and/or high winds, that it's not really feasible right now. Once I get it quilted, I'll give it a go. For now, it's hanging out on my pressing table, making me happy:


Yes, I re-covered my pressing "table".  Actually, it's 1" thick plywood with batting and fabric staple-gunned to it, then set on an old butcher block table we had in our kitchen.  Not this kitchen.  I don't remember the last place we were able to use it in a kitchen, but I do remember buying it when we lived in Belgium. (At Habitat, if memory serves.). Anyway, a nice, solid piece of furniture.  It makes a swell pressing area.  The fabric I had on the plywood got pretty stained up from the ink on the phone book pages from the phone book quilts I've been doing, so it was time to change it out.  The pink camo makes me smile.

I've come up with a plan to quilt this; I'll start on in a few days.  I took a day off and made new collars and leashes for the pups - I'll share those pix tomorrow.  I'm also putting together the Scrappy Not-Really-A-Jelly Roll blocks from 2012.  More to post soon!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Long Live the King!

Hi everyone!  While the ice storm hit yesterday (followed by snow ...), I spent some quality time quilting my X&+/X Plus (what AM I calling this?) runner.

I came up with a plan ...


... and of course sort of altered the plan part way through. But that's OK - it all makes sense.  To me.

During a break, even my glove seemed to give it a thumbs up:


Shortly after that, this happened:

The King is dead!  Long live the King!

Whew. Thank goodness I have a pretty decent stockage of King Tut threads. I kept going with my new quilting plan (I changed my mind so many times, it was probably Plan Z by now) and before I knew it, I was finished with the quilting!

I had already pieced my binding, so I went ahead and sewed that to the front:


I designed this to be reversible. Here's a look at the back - obviously, it will look different once I turn the binding and hand-sew it.


I really love the back.  Those eagles are why I bought the fabric so many years ago!  I still have yardage with them on it - and will eventually put them on the front of something.  :) 

Thanks for reading!

Monday, January 21, 2019

Dug Out

Hi, everyone!  As I had hoped, I finished piecing the Kansas Dugout quilt yesterday!


Yay! Yes, I know - it looks different here. I pinned it up sideways. Oops. But still, since it will be a "throw", there's really no top and bottom, right? Anyway - YAY!

For now, it will be put aside while I tackle other things. Top on the list is quilting the X Plus table runner, and figuring out what I'm doing with the first X Plus/X&+ blocks I did. These ones:


They really bother me. I love the colors, but it's just not working for me. My friend Pam just came up with a brilliant idea - adding setting blocks. I really think that will help. I'm picturing snowball blocks, but we'll see how it looks. We're putting our heads together and will come up with a better game plan for these guys.

I also will be getting back to another pile of scrappy blocks I put together back in 2012 - the Scrappy Not-Really-A-Jelly-Roll Quilt. There are a lot of memories tied up in that project, but I think I'm ready to take it on and finish it.

You know I have to have 3 or 4 things going at once - right?

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, January 20, 2019

The Last Two!

Hi everyone!  Still marching along with my Kansas Dugout "throw".  Yes, I've decided it will be a "throw".  Is that non-committal enough?  Could be anything.  Except larger.

As of my last post, I needed two more (or 8 more, how ever you want to count it) blocks to finish.

I got busy and did the "sewing to the phone book" part. I've found it much easier to remove the paper, then sew the "flippy squares" to the blocks. I chain pieced those:


And before I knew it ...


The last two blocks! Or the last eight. Whatever. Eight sounds like more work.

Here is the current state of the blocks:

I really need a design wall

I've got about 3/4 of them sewn together, then I'll sew columns together. The little half-sized ones make things a little trickier, but I really like them in there. Even the one I messed up. (I cut the flippy squares too large.)

I hope to get back to it this afternoon. I'd love to finish piecing it so I can start quilting my X&+ runner. I think I've changed my quilting plan for that 5 times now. I need to just DO IT!!!!

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, January 17, 2019

I Can Dig It!

Hi everyone!  As I mentioned in my last post, I'm still working on my Kansas Dugout phone book quilt.  I got to about here ...


... then asked my friends if I should keep going or call it done. It was a close vote, but I decided to keep going. Mostly because I still am swimming in scraps.

As I mentioned, I "double marked" my flippy squares, so I automatically have another half square triangle (HST) ready to go:


I am up to my ears in these things for this project!  I've been cutting between my two lines ...


... then need to square up my "leftover" HSTs.  Fortunately for me, my friend Pam shared an awesome link (found here) that shows a quicker way to square them up.  Half the cutting.  It's awesome!  I do have a tiny 2.5" ruler that is perfect for these:


I've found it's a bit hard to hold that ruler still.  For me.  At this point.  I have no idea.  Anyway, if I use another, larger ruler, it's easier.  I can use my 8.5" square ruler and just line up the 2.5" mark on both sides of the stitched line, then slice away.  OR rather than using a dry erase marker like in the link from Pam (since I'd have to go buy one), I can use masking tape.  Easy as pie.

Mmm.  Pie.  Make mine Lemon Meringue, please.


I played around with my HSTs in the same layout I showed you yesterday:


What would you call that?  A twist?  Double Helix?  DNA?  Something.  Anyway, I think it's very cool.

Here's where I'm currently sitting with my Kansas Dugout blocks:


It's shaping up nicely - AND I'm starting to see the light of day in some of my scrap/string baskets!!!  I'm totally digging this Kansas Dugout!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Back To The X&+ Scene

Hi everyone!  I mentioned last month that my friend Denise and I were going to work on a scrap quilt together -- the X Plus/X&+/whatever block.  I'm happy that a few other friends have joined in!  Since I jumped the gun before Christmas, I wanted to try it again, using different fabrics.

I chose to work in a line I'd purchased YEARS ago - I made a quilt for a friend with some of it, made a quilt for us with some of it, made some pillows, and ... I had always planned to make something for our dining room table, too.  Now was the time!

Here's the first block:


Egads, I love that fabric! In keeping with the "scrap" theme, I wanted all of my blocks to be different. It's a good thing, as I didn't have enough of anything to make them all the same anyway. Here is the lineup of blocks I came up with:


I'm not sure if the greens get lost. Do they? Or is it because I don't see greens well? (I am color-blind.). They "go", but seem ... blah. The runner needed something else.

As I made the flippy squares for the "X" part of the block, I also marked 1/2" away. I sewed on both lines, then cut down the center, so I'd have lots of half-square triangles (HSTs) to play around with:


I started to see what I could do with them. I really liked this layout ...


... but not for this project. (I'm also saving the HSTs from the current phone book quilt, the Kansas Dugout one!  This is a definite possibility for them!)

I came up with another idea for a bit of a border; you can see a bit of it here:


The only problem I hit making this is wow. I generated more scraps.


How does that happen?!!? Oh, well. They're going into the Kansas Dugout quilt with several thousands of their friends.

I've got the binding all set:


I've also got it all basted and chose my quilting thread:


Fear not! I have another spool. It's King Tut, Sands of Time - variegated beiges. Oh, so pleasing!  I am having a hard time deciding how I want to quilt this, so it's temporarily on hold.

I'll show you how the KS Dugout is coming soon. I'm also still sewing the binding on the Frenzy Quilt.  I'll get there!

Thank you so much for reading!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Lots Going On!

Hi everyone!  I've been going crazy in the Quilt Studio lately.  I'm taking this afternoon off to do some cooking and laundry - and to try to catch you up a bit!

Didn't I swear I wouldn't do another phone book quilt again?  Or at least not any time real soon?  Then explain this:


At least it's a break from this:


Yep. Still sewing the binding on the Frenzy Quilt.

But see ... I had some partial pages of strings sewn together --leftovers from the String Quilt that I made for the foot of our bed.  I couldn't just toss those away! Right? I thought they'd make cute 3" Kansas Dugout blocks!


That's them on the left there. I cut the "flippy squares" for the corners the wrong size on one. Or four. Actually eight times, if you want to get specific. But hey! There are no mistakes, just creative challenges. Right?

I thought the 3" blocks were so cute, I made some larger ones.


Somehow my baskets of scraps are still very full, so I thought this would be a great idea! (Except for the picking the paper out, but ... whatever.)

Before I knew it, my KS Dugout blocks had multiplied and I had this:


I thought they needed more friends, so ...


And ... yeah. I'm still making more, just because.

What am I making? I have no idea. I don't want to get too big. We'll see, though.

More to come soon! Thanks for reading!

Friday, January 4, 2019

Rolling Along

I'm not sure why I took so many shots of the binding for the Frenzy Quilt, but let's have a go at them!

First, because this quilt is HUGE (have I mentioned that?), I made a lot of binding.  I had leftover fabs from the backing, so I cut 2.5 inch strips from them and sewed them together.  To prevent tangles and the binding from being all over the place, I wound it around an antique spool:


I like to do that for larger things; it keeps things a bit tidier. I set it in a magnetic bowl; the spool has just enough nails to keep it in the bowl, but it's "spinnable". That's not a word. You all know what I mean, though.


It's a good system!

I love looking at all the fabs in the top!


Again, each block has BDU fabric from my husband's old uniforms in the center, then all patriotic-themed fabrics.


I love looking back on all the "old" fabrics!  I also love my walking foot.  I just thought I'd throw that in there.


Rounding the last corner and heading for home!

Thanks so much for reading!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Moving Right Along!

Hi everyone! I'm happy to report that I've finished quilting the Frenzy Quilt! I know - I can barely believe it myself!

I stuck to my plan of 3 wavy lines in a cross-grid:


It went very well, except that I was going through thread like a hot knife through butter. I only had two spools of that lovely King Tut Lobelia, so when it came time to wind more bobbins, I was afraid I might run out. Since at least 75% of the reason I'm doing all of this is to use up things on hand, I had a dilemma -- wind more Lobelia and possibly run out of thread for the top? Or substitute something in the bobbin and make do? Note "order more Lobelia" wasn't mentioned - I'm not permitting myself to do that. Yet.

Anyway, I looked through my King Tut stash and ...


King Tut Suez. Close enough for the back. Lighter blues and some other things in there ... but it works.

Here's a look at the front:


I laid it out on the floor to take a couple shots and to show the back, but it would seem Cammie is rather fond of it. That truly touches my heart. Here she is, with a bit of the back showing:


I love that she is interested in this quilt.

I started piecing the binding before I'd even finished the quilting:


That's right -- I let the Pfaff have a little fun! Man, that machine still runs like a dream. It's very basic, but I still love it for piecing!

More to come!

Thanks for reading!