Thursday, January 30, 2014

January Goal for ALYoF

It has been a productive month for me and I was pleased to reach my goal for ALYoF this month.  You can read about my goal here.

The blocks are completed

And along with completing the four BOM blocks I wanted to start the setting blocks and I was able to finish all 12 of them.

I was doing so well I was hoping to get the top together, but alas it is still on the design wall. 

Sorry the photo is not very good.  There is not much space for taking photos where my design wall is located and it is the only free wall in the house.  So I deal with it.  Actually it works well except for photos.
I am not too disappointed I didn't get it together as  I did get other things accomplished and soon my design wall will be empty and ready for another project.

So I feel my year is off to a good start and now I need to figure out my goal for next month.  

Many thanks to Fiber of All Sorts and Sew Bitter Sweet Designs for hosting.  You can find their button on my sidebar. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Stitchin a Little Binding on Slow Stitch Sunday

It's hard to believe it is Sunday again.  but I have had a busy and productive week.  Lots of time spent with students, but also some me time for stitching.

The prediction for today is warm and sunny so after lunch with son at a local restaurant, hubby and I will be off to the city, about 30 miles from home to do a little shopping.

So what better opportunity for me to slow stitch than on our little drive.

Earlier this week I was able to put together this little piece for a friend.

It is Bloomin Minds  "My Snowman"  It is only  6" x 12.5"  so it went very quickly and was a fun reprieve from all the piecing I have been doing, but more about that later.

So I am linking up with Kathy over at Slow Sunday Stitching.  Her button is on my sidebar, be sure to check it out.
Slow Sunday Stitching

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Grow Your Blog Event My Story

First of all many thanks to 2 Bags Full for hosting this event.  You can find her button on my side bar.
2 Bags Full
I'm Sherry and I will be leading the way around my blog.  I love anything quilting! I have been quilting for 33 years now and have taught, lectured and judged quilts through the years and am now happy to teach quilting in my home for free.  My students and I have a fun relaxed time where they strive to improve their skills, but no quilt police here.
I am married to the love of my life and soul mate who is my biggest supporter and cheerleader.  He has even been known to say "Whats this, could you use it?" about something we see on visiting quilt shops and shows.  Although he is still puzzled as to why I need to buy yards and yards of fabric I don't seem to use.  In my defense I do use it, you just can't tell it.
I started my blog January 1, 2013 as a way to document my progress on my cancer quilt.  I haven't made much progress yet but I will give you a tour of a few of the projects I have blogged about.

I LOVE to make Baltimore Album

I write tutorials....

I am particularly fond of machine quilting

This is an anniversary quilt for a friend

My Quilter's Guild Challenge this past year was great fun.  This is Queenie!

Blog Hops are great fun.  This is Hey Santa Please Stop Here for the Ho Ho Ho Blog Hop.
 I blogged about making the barn for my Cancer Quilt but have now decided it isn't going to work so will be making another when I find other fabrics.

And lastly I am doing a Row Along for my students and am blogging the step by step process on making the row.  This will be blogged about the 20th of each month for 6 months.

Well that's journey in quiltmaking .  Thanks so much for stopping.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Row Along "Row 1"

Today begins my Row Along.  I will begin with the finished row.
This is a very simple Road To California block but when blocks are rotated will create a zig-zag effect.
The fabric requirements for the row is as follows:

Color A  1 strip - 4 1/2" x WOF (width of fabric)   subcut into 8   4 1/2" squares
             1 strip - 4 7/8" x WOF                            subcut into 8   4 7/8" squares

Color B   1 strip - 4 7/8" x WOF                           subcut into 8   4 7/8" squares

Color C   2 strips - 4 1/2" x WOF                          subcut into 12   4 1/2" squares

For each individual block you will need:

Color A    2    4 1/2" squares
               2    4 7/8" squares

Color B   2     4 7/8" squares

Color C   3     4 1/2" squares

Now that the fabric is cut create your half square triangles.

You will use:   2    4 7/8" Color A  and   2    4 7/8" Color B squares.

You will need to draw a double line on the back of one color of your 4 7/8" squares.  To do this I like to use a sandpaper board, a ruler from the Omnigrid Ruler Trio Set and a Pigma Pen.

Place your lighter colored square on your sandpaper board and center the black center line of the ruler at the opposite corner of the block. 

Draw a line on each side of the ruler.

Sew a line of stitching on the inner side of the black line.  You can chain piece these and then just turn the chained squares around and feed them in again than create the half square triangle on the other side.

Lay a ruler on the stitching line on your finished square and cut along the edge of the ruler to create 2 half square triangles. Repeat with other square.

Press the seam to the dark side of the square. 

Trim off the dog ears.

Measure the finished square at this point to be sure it measures 4 1/2" square.  If the Square is more than 4 1/2" trim.  If it is not 4 1/2" you have taken too deep a seam and will need to unsew your stitches and resew further away from your pencil line and closer to the cut edge.

It is now time to lay out your block as shown below.

I generally sew my rows across and then sew those three row units together.
After sewing the first row of squares together, measure the unit to be sure it measures 12 1/2"

And now I interrupt this blog post for a word about 1/4" seam allowances.  You often hear about having a perfect quarter inch seam allowance.  Well, even though being fearful that the quilt police will lock me up I will venture out to say I personally do not find having a perfect seam allowance on the back of my piecing gives me the size necessary to achieve the size block needed when multiple blocks are used in a design.  If you are making all your blocks the same such as all Ohio Star blocks everything will come out correctly without regard to your seam allowance. (Although I have found if I do not have a correct seam allowance the pieced squares do not line up perfectly with the unpieced squares)  But multiple blocks in a quilt such as a sampler requires an accurate seam allowance to achieve the correct size block.  Do you sometimes read about a scant 1/4"?  This is what I am taking about.  You ask "what is a scant 1/4"", well in my humble opinion it is whatever gives you the size block you need to achieve the correct size when the block is constructed.  In the case of this Row Along the size is 12 1/2".  Many of us have a "quarter inch" foot and that is what it gives us....a perfect quarter inch.  On my machine I move the needle position to the right 4 spaces to achieve the scant 1/4" I need to get the results I am aiming for.  This is something you will need to work with until you get the results you desire.  If your needle position does not move I suggest you place a guide for your fabric to follow on the throat plate of your machine or I have also found success with a couple of layers of masking tape along the guide of the 1/4" foot to take up a little of the space.  This may take a little time but the end result will be very rewarding for achieving accurate patchwork. I will now get off my soapbox and get back to the tutorial.

Sew the three rows together.  Repeat process with remaining three blocks.

Lay the blocks out in this order and sew together.

Well, that is it for this row.  Have a fun, quilty journey til I'm back with Row 2 on February 20th.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Making Use of (a few) Scraps

I have kept my eye on the Rainbow Scrap Challenge for about a year now and have decided to join in this year.  The button is on my side bar or you can check out the wonderful submissions from last Saturday here.  Needless to say I need to use up scraps.  They seem to be everywhere.
I had to think for awhile and fondle my various scrap bins and then decided to use up some batiks.  I had some nice chunks so I checked out EQ and came up with this block in 6".  I also used a little new fabric because I didn't want my scrap bins to feel lonely.

I haven't done the hand stitching on the antennae yet.  That will happen on Sunday when I link up with Slow Stitching Sunday.  I always enjoy the slower pace on Sunday and it is also a carry along project in case hubby and I go out for the day.
My plan is to let the blocks reside on the upper corner of my design wall this year and then make a decision of what to do with them.  My initial thought is to put them as a center in another block such as Shoo Fly or a star.  But time will tell.  This should be a fun journey and a fairly quick one each month as it only took about 45 minutes to complete minus the hand stitching.  Have a great day!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Keeping On Track

My word for the year is Selective.  I am making an effort to be selective with my time so I can see quilting accomplishments at the end of 2014.
I first determined that making a monthly list and then subdividing it into a weekly goal list could perhaps keep me on track.
So I have lists........
As a general rule my list is more productive than this, but than again one never knows.
Last week was very productive, marking off every item on the list but one.  Yes. there were more than one on the list.

I worked on finishing my four blocks for ALYoF and cut out the alternating blocks.  You can read about it here.

I also did some more cutting on my Celtic Solstice Mystery Quilt.

And then Thursday of last week I had a very fun day with members of my quilting guild as we spent the afternoon and the early part of the evening making Charity Quilts for a local shelter.
A large amount of fabric had been donated to our guild for the purpose of making charity quilts and kits had been precut so when we arrived everyone was able to get right to work.  Did I remember to take pictures?  I hang my head in shame as I say noooo.  So all I can do is show you what I am working on.
One of the fabrics was this piece.

I determined that I could cut into the blue fabric and have a 10" strip with the teddy bears in the middle, between the strips will be rows of these Disappearing Pinwheel blocks.  I drew up a layout....
And here is the Pinwheel Block...

So hopefully it will turn out okay.
We are trying to keep the quilts about 40"x60" so a pieced backing will not be necessary.

Yesterday, being Monday I started the block for my Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  The button is on my sidebar.  I will show it on Saturday when I link up to the challenge.  Monday was a busy day with three students but today was a day off so I have been able to mark more off my list.  So hopefully today's journey will end with even more accomplished.  I am linking up today with Let's Bee Social...see you there.  You can find it on my side bar.
Sew Fresh Quilts

Friday, January 3, 2014

January 2014 A Lovely Year of Finishes

Last year I was able to finish a few projects using this blog event as incentive so thought I would try it again this year.  Many thanks to Fiber of All Sorts and BitterSweet Designs for hosting this event again this year, be sure to read about it here.
A Lovely Year of Finishes

  It really is a fun way to GET THINGS DONE.
Back in February of 2013 I started a BOM from my LQS, you can read about it here and I did really well getting these first nine blocks finished.
But I haven't touched them for my first finish of the new year I plan to finish the last 4 blocks of this quilt.  
They are even all cut out. 

 Plus I plan to begin the setting blocks that will be needed for setting the quilt together.  a couple of setting styles were included with the BOM but neither appealed to me so I came up with this block for setting using my EQ6.

The blocks are still on my design wall and I need the space for my cancer quilt so the best way to dispose of them is to sew the last four blocks so the quilt can be set together.
Hope your journey includes some finishes this month.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Celebrating The New Year Over At Let's Bee Social Sponsored by Sew Fresh Quilts

A very Happy New Year to everyone.  I can't believe I started my blog one year ago today.  I guess this is my blog anniversary isn't it?  I am excited to be participating today in Sew Fresh Quilt's Blog Event "Lets Bee Social".
Sew Fresh Quilts
You can read all about it right here.

I pondered many subjects for my post and after visiting with Lorna, author of Sew Fresh Quilts I decided to announce my first Row Along today.
For quite some time some of my students have asked me to design a BOM or something and teach the technique when they were given the instructions.  After much though and designing I decided on a Row Along.  Mainly because the students had not participated in one elsewhere.  I wanted the design to be interesting but not difficult.  I played for quite some time with 6" blocks but knew the piecing would be a little intricate so I  finally settled on 12" blocks and this design.  Dear hubby walked into the room after I had decided on this and said to him "How do you like this quilt?"  His response was "gorgeous".  So I hope others like it as well as he does.  But then he is my biggest fan.
The quilt shows much brighter on my computer screen sorry the photo is a little dull.
There are 4-12" blocks in each row and the quilt will measure approximately 66"x78".  I have decided to release the blocks and instructions on the third Monday of each month.  There are a lot of blog events on the first and last of a given month so that is why I decided to post this later in the month. January 20th will be the first post with the block, and photo step by step instructions for completing the block and the row.  I will be demonstrating my preferred technique to complete the task at hand and at times might discuss alternate methods if I feel it is relative. The Row Along will last for 6 months.

I designed the quilt with EQ6 and the program suggests the following fabric requirements:

Color A (black in photo)  1 7/8 yards

Color B (red in photo)  1 3/8 yards

Color C (floral in photo) 2 1/4 yards

Color D (green in photo) 7/8 yard

You will need to piece borders with these fabric requirements.  So if you do not want to piece your borders extra fabric will be necessary for Colors A and C.

My goal is for the participant to be able to go to their stash and be able to pull fabric for this project without a trip to the store.  And if you are like me your stash is totally out of control and finding these fabric requirements would be possible.

I am often asked how do I know how much fabric to buy....well, here is my take on it.  If I think I want to use it for a border and incorporate it in my quilt I will buy 3 yards because I generally do not make really large quilts.  For all other fabric I will buy 2 yards, that way it can be used in a project and then I have a little scrap for use in scrap quilts.

There will be a Linky Party the first of each month to document your progress and a giveaway at the end of the Row Along for all those who link up every month.  Your entire row does not have to be completed. Just show your progress even if it is your fabric laying next to your cutter.  If you play catch up as I often do, you can tell your progress on earlier rows as we row along.

I am truly excited to be participating in Let's Bee Social.. Thanks Lorna
May your journey today be filled with quilting fun and I hope you will join me as we Row Along.