Saturday, October 21, 2017

Two for further progress

     The two quilts I worked on in Bonnie Hunter's workshops are nowhere near finished. I did get all 20 blocks for Pineapple Blossom done, but I have decided to add sashing. I was going to make it bigger using 36 blocks, but I think I just want it done.
Just blocks

Needs cornerstones (neutrals)
     Not as much progress on Texas Braid as the pieces are smaller and not as much chain sewing. We did sew two of the same facing rows as leader/enders and then after lunch alternated sewing the other facing row ones. Just takes longer.
     Someone for show and share brought these two Scrappy Trips, big and small, that I absolutely fell in love with- still after a week!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Inspired, tired and cleaning up

     The Bonnie Hunter workshops in Rochester through the Genesee Valley Quilt Guild were awesome. Bonnie was personal, helpful, encouraging and moved everyone up on their game. She does not stop moving and has lots of energy.
     Part of the workshop includes show and share after lunch. People bring in Bonnie tops or vintage or whatever. I knew no one in any of the workshops, but learned a lot from them. 
     I don't do selfies or stuff like that because I don't like pictures of myself, but I just had to have a picture with Bonnie as she means so much to me!
     One workshop was Pineapple Blossom and the other Texas Braid. Bonnie always has everyone put of all their work together at the end and see how much was done. Kind of impressive.  

        The second day, over 13 vintage machines showed up (out of 33 participants). My favorite, that I had never seen in the metal, was Verna's 404. She showed me her notebook where she catalogs her machines. I was impressed with her documentation.
     If you go to the link, in the first 4 seconds, you will see my 301 and blocks. Bonnie's blogposts show a lot about the workshops.
     Some of the show and shares included a beautiful large Lozenge quilt by Norma and a vintage quilt she found at a thrift store. 

     All sorts of braids were made, like this Christmas braid.
      One woman did not make the workshop block, but Mad City Momma from the workshop book, using the Shweshwe fabric she bought at the Canada Quilt Show. She could not bear to cut it up small, so she used it as the block centers.
    Next post will have the blocks I made, enough for now.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Not quite Sapphire stars yet

     The last couple clues from Kevin came fast and furious and were fussy clues. For now,  I assembled one block and got all the other pieces ready. I have to change the color of sashing and redesign the outer border so it will be continuous, and thus, it has been a slow process.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Off to see the Queen (of scraps)!

     After months of waiting and wrangling, I am packed to leave for 2 Bonnie Hunter workshops in Rochester, NY, about 1 1/2 hrs. from here. I do not like packing, so it is always difficult getting ready. I had to cut fabric for the patterns and hope I have enough. I never know how much extra fabric to take. I hope to learn to work better, see Bonnie who is such an inspiration to me, and look forward to seeing what others are working on. I am so excited!

     Looking in the garden after I packed, these mums come back every year- the only ones that have no matter how hard I try with other ones. They are over 8 years old.

      There are still some gorgeous coneflowers blooming and the one big sunflower is now a seed head. I have to take it down before the maniac squirrels get it.

Aren't the shapes just awesome?

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Scrappy Super Zig

    Another quilt I made for the Easy Scrappy Quilt Presentation coming up is Super Zig by It is a free pattern that uses pieces 4 1/2" x 8 1/2". However, I wanted to show how to use scraps, especially 5" wide strips cut from scraps. Once I cut the length I needed (3 pieces x 8 1/2" long- 25 1/2") from a 5" strip, I cut the width of the pieces to the required 4 1/2" so the remainder of the 5" wide strip could be cut into 5" squares making more precut squares for the next quilt. I will show them how to choose scraps that will read well together. If I had more time, I would have used scrappy creams and whites for the backgrounds.
Stacks of all cut scraps by color

Blocks pinned in place

Rows sewn 

All sewn

Monday, October 9, 2017

A twist on Disappearing Nine Patch.

     In a couple weeks, I have to give a program at my guild called "Easy Scrappy Quilts" and talk about making precuts from scrap fabric, storing them, and turning them into quilts. One pattern that I revisited was the disappearing nine patch, but added sashing to the blocks. I got the pattern idea from a pattern on Interweave by Lisa Swenson Ruble called Disappearing Nine Patch. I made the quilt with 12 blocks instead of 20 (3 x 4) because it will be a comfort quilt for a child. I will show this quilt in my presentation. Yes, I made a big mistake in orienting the animals. I arrranged them like I would for a regular Dis9Patch, but they stay in the same orientation in this block. 
Making the blocks 
With sashing

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Stick a pin in it

     In honor of my new sewing machine and a pincushion challenge from my guild, I built a sewing machine pincushion. It won third place. I am using this one and it is next to my Singer 301 loaded up.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Sunset and wonder

      I live in a small Cape a block from the City of Buffalo line and I love my neighborhood. Even though it is not an exotic location or a wonder of the world, I have fun living here and I am awestruck on a regular basis by beauty. I guess that is one reason I garden.
      The other night, I caught some orange glow out my window and ran to the corner and carefully stood in the street. The view was awesome and I kept snapping until the glow died back. The orange just draped the clouds with colors. One woman was walking towards me with a dog and I said, "Turn around and look". She did and said, "Meh" and kept walking. The wonder of nature and colors motivates me all the time. That is one reason why I love fabric and paint and make things with them. Try some wonder on for size soon.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

New member of the Herd

     Don't ask me how many sewing machines I have, I won't tell you. I don't ask my husband how many pairs of sneakers he has, and he doesn't ask machines. However, I do not own a free arm machine. Sometimes, I need to sew a pocket on a tote bag (already made) or some repair and it is difficult to do it on any of my vintage ones. 
     I certainly was not buying a new one- already made that mistake about 7 years ago with the $2000 Pfaff. So, I consulted a few machine people I could trust, and started looking. Andrea sent me a bunch of ideas and I started pursuing a Bernina 830. I found a very fine one on ebay, and the seller is a sewing machine store who knew how to pack a machine. They were super terrific. It came unscathed and I could just stare and drool at the innards- metal, machined, not chintzy, and it worked. It came with all the feet (except walking foot), manual, case, etc. I immediately made a tote bag and it sewed like a dream. I am in love with it.

Some kind of foam that conformed to the case, sides and bottom

Just gorgeous and runs so great!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Bunches of blocks

     I have not been able to get the time and concentration to work on a big quilt. My co-program chair and I held a class on paper piecing for our guild on Saturday. We took Lynne Tyler's bird and designed it as a simple paper piecing pattern with three sections and nominal pieces. We used baby rick rack for the legs to eliminate piecing. We used our new Sony Handicam and Epson Projector to show large format what was being done on the machine and cutting. I am not sure every one walked away understanding the paper piecing. Paper piecing is thinking backwards- in reflection. Some people just shut down when they see that. We were hoping to get to do the paper crane pattern (free from Hunter Design), but that did not happen. Here are my samples.
     One thing we did was print the patterns on newsprint. If you buy a newprint pad from the dollar store, cut it 8 1/2 x 11, you can run it through a laser printer, ink jet printer or copier. Makes sewing, folding and ripping out much easier.
Didn't get to sew the rick rack legs on yet.
6" block and 9" block, there is also a 3" one available
     Sapphire Stars, the Kevin the Quilter Mystery Quilt had a surprise clue, which is finished which is good because tomorrow is a new clue.

     Also, Debbie , showed her Scrappy Mountain majesty in florals and I was inspired to make a block. Oh, I want to make more!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Catching Up

     A lot of factors delayed my posts. One, I went on a 2 day painting trip about 1 1/2 hrs. away at the Chautauqua Institute on Chautauqua Lake that my painting teacher holds. She stays a week, but a friend and I could only go two days. We painted outdoors, which is a challenge to stay upright, hydrated, and move all my equipment. I paint in watercolors. My easel is too short and too tippy in a breeze, so I have to rethink things. As you can see, there is an abundance of things to paint. The Institute is only a three month place, but rents rooms to enjoy the rest of the year, so we had the place to ourselves.

     Also, for years, I have used online for free to crop, straighten, and correct the color balance for my posted photos. They now are charging a monthly fee. I do not want to put a reoccurring charge on my card if I can help it. So, I am trying to find another way to do this. I don't want to use the iPhoto on my computer, because it puts the photos in the program and I want to keep my photos in my own separate albums, not application specific. I know enough how programs change and get eliminated, so I want my photos on my own drive in my own folders.
    Does anyone have a recommendation? I may have to break down and buy Photoshop Effects for $80 in order to do my necessary photo work. 
    Somewhere on my trip to NYC, I lost my camera battery charger, so I have had to use an old point and shoot camera with not as good results. I found a new charger on Amazon, and am waiting for that.