Friday, July 11, 2014

Grandma Time!

My poor little blog has been terribly neglected as I have been in Utah watching the grands while their mommy and daddy are in Europe!  We've been having a blast, although I have to admit that it is a tiring business, this chasing little children, and I've been dropping into bed as soon as they are in bed most nights.  The above pic was from the Provo Independence Day parade. It was super fun, but blistering hot, and we were all a little droopy when it was over. 

My son who lives in SLC and his girlfriend joined us, and were a huge help with these little people. 

We came back to the house, watched soccer and had an indoor picnic, as it was too hot to eat outside!

Finally, when it was cool enough, we headed to the park for a little play time!

Their subdivision has a lovely park situated in the center, and it is the perfect spot for a little before-bed wind-down!

Saturday we met again at City Creek mall in SLC and had lunch and the kids played on the splash pad!  They had a blast.  Once again Sean and Jessica were a huge help, and grandma even managed to do a little shopping, as Gymboree was having a big sale, and what grandma can resist one of those??  Sadly, none of us took pictures of the littles playing in the splash pad.  =(

One evening we went to Provo Town Center and played on the Carousel...

And I think the smiles indicate how much fun we had.

We followed it up with dinner and milkshakes at Red Robin.  Yummmm!! 

Abby comes in most mornings, and I get the most delicious cuddles.  And Britton is especially cuddly after his nap.  I have to admit, those are some of my most-favorite times with these two.  So sweet!

Sometimes, though, I wear them out.  LOL!

But we are not totally devoid of quilty stuff.  I've been working in the shop and trying not to make too many mistakes.  And Abby and I have been working on a quilt.  She worked so hard on the layout!  It was fun to observe the intensity of her concentration.

And yesterday we drove back to SLC and had dinner with Uncle Sean and then to the park nearby to play and feed the ducks!

It's been super fun to get some quality time with these fun little people!  

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

It's a Piece of CakeI

Last Saturday morning the hubs agreed to help me take pictures, since this quilt is too long for my usual hang-on-the-fence method and I really didn't feel like chasing the kids off the playground equipment at the park on a Saturday morning.  But between the humidity that kept fogging up the lens on the camera and the whining about "Are you done yet?" my photo shoot was pretty frustrating.  It was exceptionally humid and uncomfortable out there (which made me super grateful for my lovely air-conditioned house). 

This is the last of the quilts I started at Stash Bash, although I have yet to quilt the Single Girl.  This one is called Piece of Cake 3 by Camille Roskelly.  It's from her Craftsy Class "Playful Piecing".  The fabric is Vintage Modern by Bonnie and Camille.  It was super easy to put together and I really enjoyed the process of piecing this one. It was perfectly straightforward. 

1.  Slice up the layer cake.
2.  Rearrange the strips.
3.  Sew them back together.
4.  Arrange the blocks.

This one went together super fast, which was totally what I was going for.  I started it about 9:00 one evening and had the top finished before I went to bed.

I wanted something light and breezy for the quilting so I tried the cute little flowers I saw on Allison's blog.  It was really fun and fast, but I some are definitely better than others.  And next time I'm going to work on getting from one to another more gracefully.  But I'm not unhappy with this one.

With all the whining, this is the only shot I got of the back (see way up there at the top?)  I used a piece of another Bonnie and Camille fabric - I think this one is from the Happy Go Lucky line.  It was just a smidge too narrow so I added a 4" strip of that Eat Your Fruits and Veggies dot you see in the binding up the back.  Not very original, but it gave it some interest and had the added benefit of making the back of the quilt wide enough, which I thought was a real plus!

I really couldn't get a good picture of the binding at all, probably because the pieces I used were anywhere from a 6 to 18 inches, but I did a scrappy binding from pieces left over from the 2012 Block of the Month project which also used Vintage Modern.

So this was my last finish for June, which turned out to be a pretty productive month for quilting here. I hope you had a great quilty month also.

Not sure what July might bring in that area, I'm off on a "great adventure", but so looking forward to it, since it includes seeing these guys.  Can't wait!

Monday, June 30, 2014

14 in 2014 - Midyear Update

In January, I set a goal to finish 14 UFO quilts in 2014.  Since it's officially mid-year, I thought I would do a little progress report.

1.  Breath of Avignon - this is one of the first modern quilts I started, and I finished it in March. It was made from Breath of  Avignon charm squares by American Jane and white yardage.  The pattern is Avignon Picnic from Moda Bake Shop.  This one was started in May of 2010, so not quite 4 years start-to-finish.  Glad to have this one in the finished pile.  It's story is here.

2.  Basket Blocks - No progress.

3.  Citrus Quilts - This is the last of the four citrus quilts I made with blocks from virtual bees on Flickr.  You can read its story here.  It was finished in June.

4.  Single Girl - I finished the top of this long-time WIP in May.  This one really intimidated me, but in the end, it wasn't nearly as hard as I had imagined it to be.  I hope to maybe long-arm this one sometime this fall when I get back from my summer adventures.  You can read its story (so far) here.

5.  Starflower.  The pattern is by my own lovely daughter and the fabric is Beechwood Park by Janeen Morrison for Free Spirit.  I finished this one in January - my first finish of 2014. 

6.  Modern Maples - This one was made for the ECMQG Modern Maples Challenge.  The fabric is Juggling Summer by Zen Chic.  While it's called "Juggling Summer", it seemed more autumny to me, so I thought it was perfect for an autumny quilt.  I finished this one in April.  It's story is here.

7. Spot On.  The pattern is by Camille Roskelly from her book Simplify, and is one of the quilts that meets my goal to make every quilt in the book.  The fabric is also Juggling Summer by Zen Chic.  I finished this one in January.  You'll find its story here.

8.  Bookshelf Quilt - This one was finished in February.  Its story is here.

9.  Faux String Quilt - the pattern is Heximetry by Ali Winston.  The fabric was from the Stripes that Bind bundle from my favorite little quilt shop.  This one was finished in April.  Its story is here.

10.  Fat Quarter Shop Block of the Month Club quilt - No progress on this one yet.  I have all the blocks done and all the pieces of the finishing kit cut out.  There's still a lot of work to do, but in the end, it will be a lovely quilt.

11.  Grandmother's Flower Garden - And I'm pretty sure I haven't even touched this one yet.  I really need to get it off the shelf and play with it.  I don't know if I will finish this one this year, but I will certainly keep working on it.  Maybe - just maybe - I'll finish it... one day.

11.  Shiny Brite - This one was finished this month.  Its story is here.

12.  Christmas Quilt - No progress.

13.  2011 Craftsy BOM - No progress.

14.  Zig Zag Quilt - No progress.

So, I guess you could say I've finished 8-1/2 of the 14 quilts I hoped to finish in 2014.  Not a bad place to be at mid-year I guess.  I'm sure I won't make any progress at all in July, or through the middle of August, but hopefully, I can get the rest of these (with the possible exception of the GMFG) finished by year end.  Stay tuned!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Swappy Stuff

I've been working on just a couple of little things in the sewing room this week, mostly finishing up since I won't be home much the rest of the summer.  This is the June block for Tricia in the Modern Instabee Bee.  I'm in Hive 8.

I had a much more difficult time than usual choosing the fabrics for this block, although it was a super-appropriate color scheme given that July 4th is next week!

This one is kind of fun to put together.  It all nests inside itself one layer upon another.

My big complaint with this book is that the authors have cut the initial fabric pieces so big you waste a ton of fabric.  I've made notes in my book and cut down the cutting size so I don't waste so much.

Since I'm going to be gone so much this summer, I decided to combine my MQG Michael Miller Challenge and my mini quilt for my partner in the Schnitzel and Boo mini quilt swap.  I can't say much about my partner, but I really couldn't find out much about her, so I decided that these fabrics reminded me of a beautiful sunset.  I used the QAYG technique and put the big petal in the corner as the sun, then used my EZ Dresden template to cut the rays - clouds interspersed with sunshine. 

I found this gray wheel dots MM fabric at my LQS and used the circle to cut a pattern, added the seam allowance and sewed it using the technique I use for drunkard's path blocks...

And then I matched the quilting of the rays beginning at the seam line. 

Then I used the same little wheel dot for the binding.  This one is off in the mail on its way to my partner.  Sure hope she likes it.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Improv Curves Quilt - Another Finish

Because I got four quilts sandwiched at the last ECMQG sew day, I've actually been pretty successful at getting them quilted and bound this week.  This one is the newly completed Improv Curves quilt.  I don't think I've ever made a quilt that I've taken apart and put back together as much as this one.  And I don't think this will ever be my favorite quilt.  But it's finished, and that's something, right?

On two of the Improv Curves blocks I did a 1/2-inch insert of the background.  The cool thing about a 1/2-inch insert is that it leaves the lines created by the seams of the block pretty much intact, whereas larger inserts make the seam more disjointed.

I found this piece of backing fabric at A&E on the sale aisle for $2.49 a yard, so it was a thrifty purchase, and the colors were right.

I used the #4 Bernina stitch for the quilting.  This is a really quick, fun quilting method.  Ironically, the day after I finished the quilt, Faith at Fresh Lemons posted a tutorial on using this quilting method the Bernina WeAllSew website using this technique.  I pretty much did as she outlines in the tutorial,  although I set my stitch width at 6 and my stitch length at 3.5.

 In her tute, Faith mentions that she doesn't mark lines on her quilt, she just lets the quilting self-correct when she comes to seams in the quilt, and that's pretty much what I did also.  I just started next to a seam and moved over about an inch for each row, then just let-er-rip.  Little vagaries in the rows really don't show because of the wavy nature of the stitch.  It's great for hiding little flaws.

I found almost 1/2 yard of this pink polka dot on the donation table at the ECMQG meeting and just knew I would need it for something.  It turned out to be perfect for the binding of this quilt.  It wasn't cut quite straight, so I was short one WOF strip.  I dithered a bit about what to do, but then I saw the last little bit of the stripey binding from the Citrus quilt in the scrap basket, and it was perfect.  Just.  Long.  Enough. Total serendipity!!!  (I really love it when a plan comes together!)

Thanks, Diane, for showing me something new, and for your encouragement as I struggled with this process.  I really did learn a lot.