Thursday, February 25, 2010

Creative Block

I just wanted to write a quick post about something that was bothering me.

A few months ago, I had decided to go on a "quilt diet." I was not going to start any new quilts until my pile of WIP's or UFO's was dwindled down to a reasonable number. I had a lot of quilts started and each one was important to me. I was still very interested in finishing each one. But I was starting more quilts than I was finishing and the pile seemed to be growing bigger and bigger.

I thought I had great idea. I would work on a quilt and it seemed as if I was going no-where. The more I worked on my UFO's, the less progress I seemed to make. It seemed I was in a "creative" block or a "quilting" block. It seemed as if I wasn't getting anything finished.

That was a few months ago. I realize that I still need to finish my quilts, but now, I realize that I can't work like that. I have to feed my creativity. Whether if it's just drawing out the quilt on paper or testing out a few block to see what they would look like, I have to start a new quilt to move forward. I may start a few more quilt ideas, but it fuels me to finish the quilts I'm working on.

This last month, I am amazed about the number of quilts that are almost finished (before quilting). I may have started three or four more ideas but I had to express those ideas to more forward. And what fun would it be if I didn't!

I just may be one of those quilters who will never get rid of their UFO's. But I'll never be without a quilt to work on. It took me a while to realize just how my creativity works. I'm not going to feel guilty about my UFO's (well, maybe a little). I have to understand that it is how my creativity works.

Thank you for listening,


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Making Bias Binding

A few of my quilt tops are at their final stages of completion (before quilting) and I have been making the bias strips for the binding for them. I wanted to demonstrate how I make my own bias strips. There are many different methods of making bias strips for binding, but this is the method that I primarily use.

I usually use a yard of fabric when I make my binding.

On one particular quilt, I was wanting to use a 5/8 inch binding. By multiplying 5/8 by 4 (.625 X 4), it will give me the width to which I should mark my strips ( equals 2 1/2 inches).
Since my fabric is striped, I need to use the 45 degree mark on my ruler.It will verify that I have a true 45 degree bias.

I marked twelve strips and cut each end at a 45 degree angle.

The illustration shows how I match each end (match 1 to 1, 2 to 2...) to create a spiral effect once the ends are sewn together.

The ends pinned together and ready to be stitched.

Make sure the seams are pressed open - the seam (top strip) is virtually invisible on the right side of the fabric.

Press in half length-wise.

Then, press each side to the center.

The finished size - 5/8 inch. TA DA!!

I keep the binding strip on a cardboard roll until I am ready to use it.

The waste that is leftover is about 18 inches square.
Once the quilt top is finished, it will measure 72 inches by 78 inches. I will be needing about 300 inches (25 feet) of binding. I've made approximately 432 inches of binding. I know, it's more than I need. It's better being safe than sorry.

I hope it isn't too confusing.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Recent Fabric Venture

Today, I went ahead and made that long awaited trip for more fabric. I can't wait to get these finished so that I may be able to work on some other WIPs.

I had gotten some more fabric for the Sunflower quilt. I wanted to use some to the fabric I had already. I don't know how I had gotten so much. This quilt had started out as a "Southern Indiana Shop Hop "quilt and I may have gotten the extra fabric to complete all the sampler blocks that were available. I had to purchase more blue and black for the sashing (on the left side). The rest is an idea for the border and binding (on the right) that I may use on the quilt.

Another purchase was more fabric for the "Quilt Making 101" sampler quilt. I had chosen the turquoise for the border and the stripe for the binding. What do you think of the border ideas?

And more batiks for the McKenna Ryan "Storybook Farm" quilt. I have just a little more of the fabric to search for.

My younger son will be going on field trip tomorrow and I will have the whole "school" day to myself. I am planning on making a photo tutorial on how to make a "continuous binding strip." With a submission of how you make your own "continuous bias strip," Brye Lynn from is having a giveaway for a bias tape maker. I will be posting on how I make my "continuous bias strip" for tomorrow's post.

Honestly, I just love Brye. She has a fabulous podcast on her website, very much worth the listen. She resides in Florida and my mother-in-law also lives in Florida. We try to visit the in-law each year so that the boys have an opportunity to visit them and to visit the beaches. Brye and the mil don't live too far from each other, so I'm hoping that I may be able to get a visit sometime! Who knows?!
So, that's all for now. Gonna work on photographing the bias strip method.

Like I Need Another Idea for a Quilt

Now, I know that I said "No more Cub Scouts," but there was something on my Banquet display that gave me an idea for a new quilt!! One part was about optical illusions. Ask yourself, "Does the line appear to be straight or wavy?" Actually, all the vertical and horizontal lines are straight (I don't know how well it comes across on the computer screen). I was hoping it will have the same effect once made into a quilt!

Well, I couldn't resist! I had to try it out. And now, I'm beginning to think that maybe I should have made it a little smaller. The blocks are 4 1/2 inched square and the smaller ones are 1 1/2 inches. I may not have the same optical effect this size. Only if you were looking at it from a distance (a far distance). It may turn out just a quilt with squares. But I had to try it out!

I'm going to get those other quilt top finished and "sandwiched," and get them photographed.

Be back soon,


Back to Quilting

I have been in yoyo heaven. With Cub Scouting officially done, I dove into the new quilt!!

Now with more time, I'm hoping to make it to the quilt shop this week, if weather permits. The weather here has been crazy! The beginning of last week started with snow, enough to have two days of school cancellations. The following weekend was beautiful with Sunday's temperature being 61 degrees. Then this morning, we had a 2 hour delay because of fog. Wednesday, there's a chance of snow again! I have two quilts on the verge of being sandwiched together, then it's to machine quilting (my scary part). I'm hoping to go, so that I may have two more quilt to that level soon.

This what was consuming most of my time last week, my display for the Blue and Gold Banquet for Cub Scouts. I had some of our projects we had done this year along with some photos. It may not look like much, but most of illustrations and lettering were done by hand, by me!

I was most proud of the Project Linus quilts that my son helped me make.

The Banquet was followed by the Pinewood Derby. It is a car race where the scout and his parent make a car using a block of wood. Both of our boys didn't do as well as they had in the past years. We (Dad and I) thought we had a great car design that would do wonders, but it didn't work quite well as we were hoping for. I was very proud of my older son because he was very mature about it. The fun part of it all was racing with your friends. My five year-old didn't take it so well. I guess he was expecting to place again this year. But he did win "Most Creative" in his group (his was the tongue car!).
It's this time of year, after the Pinewood Derby that my husband and I try to think up car designs for next year...but there is NO next year. I've already have some ideas, one being a bed with a pillow and a quilt on it! Maybe we'll use it in two years, when my younger son will start Cub Scouts. Now, I don't know just how cool the boys will think it will be!

Okay, enough of Cub Scouting!

Will post later with my new purchases!


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

So Charming

I had just received the charm packs that I'm going to use for the Yoyoville quilt. I just love the color range.

I can't wait to cut into it. I'll be making the yoyos in the body of the quilt as well as the one used as trees and flowers in the border. I think it will make a great project to take with me during the boys' baseball season: during practices and games.

I'm really looking forward to the warmer weather. After the two days of school cancellations, it would be real rewarding to get rid of our cabin fever and get out in the fresh warm air. I'm wishful thinking!

Til next time,



I've been working with my son to get several of his Cub Scout den's project display ready for this Saturday's Blue & Gold Banquet.

One of the projects was to make a pillow. He had to sew the pillow form, fill it with fiber-fill, and then hand-sew the opening close. Using his favorite color (he picked this bright eye-piercing orange!), we made a no-sew cover with fringe (tied with knots).

Here he is with the completed pillow. He's trying to hide from the camera!

Another project will be some Project Linus quilts. I know, I had to put quilts into it somewhere ! : ) It is part of his community service project. I had his help me make some examples: he had picked the fabrics and colors and he will tie the quilts together for me. It is a good project for the boys to learn about unfortunate children in their area and have some satifaction in helping them out with a small gift that they had made.

I had one more project to make, but it is a project that will me done by me alone. It will be a small gift to the Cubmaster and his wife for all they have done since this is my son's last year in Cub Scouts.
And after this Saturday, he will be done with Scouting and I will have more time to devote to my quilting! Now, I don't mean to be whining about the Cub Scouts, it is a wonderful organization and I am so happy that my son was a part of it for the last five years. As a den leader, the organization told me that all it would take was one hour a week. As you can see, it does take a lot more than that. I give a BIG thanks to all of the volunteers who help our boys, because without them, Cub Scouting just couldn't happen.
In two more years, I'm looking forward to gettting my younger son into Cub Scouting when he is seven years-old. But at that time, I'll be enjoying myself as a parent instead of a Leader. I'll be able to bring my quilting with me at the meetings!!
As soon as I finish with that gift, I'll post a peek of it.
Gotta to get back to work!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Satifying My Sweet Tooth

I couldn't help myself. I had to start on the Yoyoville quilt. I had the fabrics from the Quiltmaking 101 quilt (see below) left and I couldn't resist. I think the houses are so cute! I have ordered charm packs used to make the yoyos. Hopefully soon, I can get a better look of all the colors.

Here it is. My Quiltmaking 101 sampler quilt. I'm having a hard time figuring out the sashing. I don't want to use a plain solid sashing. And the Bear's paw at the bottom of the quilt
just doesn't appeal to me. I'm going to redo it using more colors.

Until the yoyo fabrics come in, what to work on now? I still have another quilt that has a border that I need to finish. I guess I had gotten bored with that part of the quilt. I haven't seen it for a few months, it may be a good time to try to finish the quilt top.

Will update on the progress of my quilts soon.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Snow Day

We had some snow last night and now I have my two monkeys home from school today. I'm going to have to find things to keep them busy otherwise they will drive me nuts. : )

The snow started falling while we were at a Scouting event last night. Yesterday, February 8, was the 100th anniversary of Boy Scouts of America and our scout council had an event celebrating our centennial and they also had former-first lady Laura Bush as our keynote speaker.
I found it very interesting but I think my son got a little bored during the hour-long presentation. But I still think he enjoyed it and, hopefully, it will be something that he will remember when he is older.

The postman had a surprise for me in my box! He had brought me two quilt patterns.

Yoyoville from Bunny Hill Designs

I have been wanting to do a Bunny Hill quilt for a while. Anne Sutton has an adorable style to her quilts. I actually want to make her Baltimore Bunnies quilt, but this one looks a little easier and perhaps I can get it done faster. And I have some fat quarters left over from the "Quilt Making 101" quilt from Annie Smith's web-quilt class. It is the fabrics used in the photo (Moda's Simple Abundance By Bonnie and Camille). No time like the present to get started!!

Reminiscence from The Rabbit Factory

I had found this quilt while blog-surfing one day. The quilt just spoke to me. I loved the applique work, the colors that were used.

Just a thought:

I have heard some quilt artists/designers say that they love to see quilters, when making a quilt from one of the artists' designs, to make the quilt "their own." To use their design and put a little twist on it, such as different colors or different fabric choices, and not make it what is pictured on the cover of the pattern. Well, I can't say that for myself. When I see a new quilt, one that I just fall in love with, it is the design, the colors, the fabrics in that quilt that I want to make for myself. I want to make the exact quilt that is photographed on the cover of that quilt pattern. Is that so wrong?

Just like the Dresden plate quilt. I have finished the top. Notice that it is just like the picture? Okay, I did make it a little bit bigger, but I wanted the quilt that was shown in the magazine.

I am plan to work on the "Quilt Making 101" quilt. I have all the sampler block finished and I need to figure out what sashing to use. And to satify my sweet tooth, I will cut out some of the houses from the Yoyoville quilt.

Be back soon,


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Quilt Preview

Well, here it is. I fixed the mistake that I had made earlier and laid it out on the floor to get an idea of what it will look like. There are five horizontal rows in the body of this quilt and I still have the fifth row to sew on. I still have to design the border. I'm thinking of a patchwork style in the border since I still have a lot of the fabrics left.

My older son will be having two big events coming up in Cub Scouts this month, the Blue & Gold Banquet and the Pinewood Derby. Since this is his last year as Cub Scout, his will be in the "Crossing Over Ceremony" (crossing over from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts), along with the other boys in our den. As their Den Leader, I am responsible for decorating a table displaying our projects and accomplishments. So, that's what will be taking up most of my time for the next couple weeks.
But you know that I can't drop the quilting. I'll probably do the scout stuff while my son is at school and when he is sleeping, so it will be a surprise for him, too. Most likely, I try working on the gradation plates for now.
Til later,

Monday, February 1, 2010

Another Quilt Almost Done!

Here is another quilt I worked on since I have to get more fabric for the Sunflower quilt. I have the body of this quilt constructed and still have the border to part on. It looks as if I will have enough fabric to finish it, hopefully by the end of this week. Once the top is finished, I think this will be the first quilt that I'll attempt the machine-quilt--maybe a simple all-over meandering?

This Christmas, I had received a couple of quilty gifts:

One gift was the quilt pattern "Storybook Farm" by McKenna Ryan. It's a beautiful art quilt and it will give me another opportunity to practice machine-quilting. I just love the Hoffman batiks that are used in this quilt. This is just a portion of the fabric. I will have to look for some more when I get the black fabric for the Sunflower quilt.

Another gift was a collection of gradation fabrics. I had an idea for a quilt that used Dresden plate flowers (I seem to be on a Dresden kick!) with tones that faded from dark to light. In my mind, it really sparkled--that remains to be seen. I have constructed just one of the blocks and I have found issues of shadowing with the black background. I will have to make some modifications with that.
And for the Sunflower quilt...I was planning on posting a photo of what I had so far. But I made a booboo. When sewing the rows together, I had stitched some backwards, and the layout was all messed up. I guess I was in a bit of a hurry. I have ripped that seam out and I hope to have it sewn back together tonight.
And don't let me forget, my son had his basketball tournament this last Saturday. Our school placed with second. In the championship game, the score was 21-22, with the other team turning it over at the last 10 seconds! I'm so proud of our team and my superstar son!
Will try to post a quick photo once the Sunflower quilt is fixed.
Til next time,