Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day Mystery

I just can't resist the mystery quilts. QuiltBug is holding one tomorrow, Memorial Day. I've decided to stay with the Christmas theme as shown in the fabric requirements. I've got some really nice Christmas fabric that I've been saving for just the right project. Here are my fabrics.

I had trouble choosing my medium and medium-light, so I took pictures of a bunch of different combinations and then converted them to black and white. That made all the difference. The fabrics I thought would play well together, were all the same value in black and white. I will have to do this more often. Here's the pic in black and white.

So now it is all cut and I'm just waiting for the mystery to start at 6:00AM Pacific Time. Don't know if I'll be getting up that early. Maybe I'll make the second clue at 7:00AM. :)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

OC Steps 2-4

Finally, I'm a bit more caught up. This evening I finished step 2 and 3 and got everything cut and stacked together to complete step 4. Had to decide whether I wanted the light or dark purple to be the star. I think the light purple. I'm exhausted so I'll sew the blocks together tomorrow.

Here's Step 2

And here's step 3

And here's step 4 in position, but new sewn together yet.

I'm making only half as many units as required because I don't want a full size quilt. Unless of course I love it and want to make more units. Such indecision!!

So here's my question for everyone. Am I the only one that seems to have trouble positioning pictures when I upload them? I put my cursor in the place where I want the picture and it always ends up at the top of the entry. Then I have to drag it where I want it but of course it doesn't go exactly where I think it will. So frustrating.

I'm tired and going to bed now.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Count me in...

I've decided, after a long time on the fence, to take the plunge and do Bonnie's Orange Crush mystery. I'm hoping to make it smaller than full size so I'm only completing so many of each step. Hope it works, but what the heck, I can always make more of the parts I need.

I haven't chosen all my fabrics yet, but if I waited for that I would never get started. So I just jumped in with both feet (or maybe hands) last night.

Last night I sewed a whole bunch of 2" strips and then completed 50 4-patch units. I've got enough 2-patches cut to hopefully finish off another 30 or so tonight. Then on to complete some of the step 2 units. The pic shows the 4-patches (not pressed yet) on the left and the 2-patches waiting to be matched and sewn on the right.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

One more finished

I finished this quilt on Saturday night, putting the last stitch in the binding at 10:45 pm. My eyes were falling out by then. I think I need to visit the eye doctor to check for a new prescription. It's been two years.

Anyway, this is the quilt that I am dontating to our Zonta Day at the Races raffle next Sunday. I'll be sure to get a picture of the winner with the quilt and post it here. I had a hard time letting this one go after it was finished, but as my mother pointed out, if I really like it that much, I can always make another one.:)

We are having a mini-heat wave here in the Bay Area for the next couple of days so I doubt I'll be doing any sewing until at least the weekend.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

I'm a Fabricaholic

Well, I confess. I am a fabricaholic. I find myself sitting at my computer at work longing to take a quick trip to my LQS up the street. It's as bad as a food addiction. Fortunately, the shop is a little farther than a quick walk and parking is a bit of a challenge mid-day. Those are the only things that keep me from visiting the store more often. This is definitely an addiction.

While I don't have a huge stash (only been seriously collecting for two years), I do bring home way more fabric than I use. So, I've joined the Stashbuster blog ring. I'm hoping that will give me some motivation to use at least half as much as I bring home.

I'm traveling to PA the first week of June and I'll be spending at least two days in Lancaster County so I'm sure I'll be bringing home lots of fabric finds from that trip. So I'm trying to limit what I buy this month in anticipation.

I got my Economic Stimulus money from the IRS last week and what better way to stimulate the economy and support my LQS than spending it on fabric or other quilting "essentials".

Monday, May 05, 2008

Border Designs

I've finally gotten out the top that I started in 2005 to finish for a raffle quilt. The raffle is part of our Zonta Club's Day at the Races fund raising event on May 18th. Once my friends learned I had many unfinished tops, they asked that I finish one for a raffle prize. We make most of our money through the raffle at this event.

So the challenge for me was how to quilt those very plain, very light borders. I wanted something a little more interesting than my usual diagonal grid. I had some Golden Threads paper so I traced a cable design that came in the Alex Anderson Quilt book I bought a while ago. And, last weekend I stitched the cable. It is by no means perfect but I think it really came out good.

The challenges were that first the backing I chose was only very slightly larger than the front. But I really wanted to use this piece of fabric for the backing and not have to piece it. So I just sat on the floor and very methodically pinned the three layers in place to make sure the top was centered and the backing reached the edges on all four sides. I had to piece about three inches on one end to make it long enough but that was fine.

Then I stitched the cable design. But used my walking foot since I'm not confident enough to free-motion stitch it.

Two lessons learned:
1. Don't try to do this for the first time on a plain, light border where everything shows.
2. Next time put on the darning foot and free-motion this cable design. I think it would have come out just as well, without all the stopping, turning, and starting again.