Tuesday, August 30, 2011

More Heart Strings blocks

These blocks are my "15 minute" projects right now. If I only have 15 minutes to sew, then I add a few strips to these Heart Strings blocks. I now have 11 done, and 13 to go.

The muslin foundation pieces and the lime green centers are all cut and just waiting on my sewing table for attention. And the strips all come from my scrap basket, so I am using up leftovers from lots of other projects.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday progress

I have made some progress putting my Amish Houses into rows with sashing. I have the top half of the rows done.

There is a 1" black framing strip sewn around all 12 blocks. Then the sashing strips are going on. These end up making that framing strip a narrow 1/2 inch.

After I finish putting the rows together, there are 4 borders added - 3 narrow ones and 1 wider one. I have a very busy week for work, so the rest of this may have to wait for next weekend.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Family fun

I love it when there is a large family event - happy events of course. Last night we attended my niece Melanie's wedding to Travis. Mel grew up across the street from us, so the cousins were frequent playmates as kids. They went to school together. And when we moved to Mitchell about 6 years ago, Mel lived with us for awhile as she went to college.

This was a fun wedding with both the bride and the groom wearing their cowboy boots. The groom is a rodeo bull rider - which is a dangerous hobby. In the picture is my older daughter Jerilyn, younger daughter Laura, my husband and I, and the newlyweds. Congratulations and best wishes to Melanie and Travis.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A friendship block

This lovely purple and black block went into the mail on Monday and is headed to western South Dakota to a blogger friend. Moneik and I read each other's blogs on a regular basis, and actually met in person a couple of weeks ago at Quilts and Vines.

She is doing a friendship block project and I offered to make a block for her. She sent me the link to the pattern called Lovers Lane. It is found on http://quilterscache.com/ , which I visit frequently for free block patterns. And the request was for 3 purples and a black background.

Turned out pretty nice. I may have to use this block pattern again.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

House construction is finished

I am very excited because my Amish House blocks are all finished - all 12 of them! Hubbie left at 10:15 this morning for a golf tournament and I headed right to my sewing room. My goal was to stay put until my houses were done. Easy-peasy!!!

The flying geese block was much easier than the last one because the geese were larger. But that blue/green pinwheel was a tough one!

My next steps will be to find border/binding/backing material for this quilt. The pattern shows multiple narrow borders, then sashing, followed by narrow borders and then a wide one. We'll see if that ends up being MY PLAN. . .

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Light at the end of the tunnel

I can check off 2 more Amish House blocks from my "to do" list. Now there are only 2 more to make.

In a post earlier this week I mentioned 15 flying geese in block 9 but I was wrong - there are 18 geese in that block but it went together fairly well. The instructions said to press open which I did when making the individual geese. But when chaining them together into the vertical row I pressed to one side so the seams nested better.

And the star block has one imperfection that I'm not happy with, but have decided to live with it. Can you spy it?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Saturday Sampler Block 7

My rainy Thursday evening sewing was pretty productive. Block 7 of my Saturday Sampler is the Water Wheel block. This whole year of sampler blocks are done from 5" charm squares and sew up very quickly.

The top one is my "official" sampler block done in the soft traditional colorway with the aquas and browns. Not my usual choice but I am really liking the "spa-like" soft colors.

The bottom left block is my bonus block done in the requested fall theme fabrics. This would be a very nice month to win the bonus blocks!

And the bottom right block is my alternate sampler set that I'm doing in black and white with bright accents. Some blocks have just one bright color and a couple of them so far have more than one bright. These are really turning out to be fun.

I also did one version of this block a couple of evenings ago for a block swap. It is done in purples and cream. It's in the mail to my partner, so I'll have to show that one later after she has received it.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Amish House #8

One more house block is up on the design wall. This one is house #8, so I only have 4 more to go.

This one had larger pieces than the last so I assumed it would be easier to piece. No so!!

The next miniature quilt has flying geese - 15 of them squeezed into 6 inches of space. Yikes!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A small UFO finish for me

I have not focused the past few days on any of my own projects. Partly that is because I have not had the time to do much sewing last week or this week due to my work schedule. But I did get the binding finished on this tablerunner over the weekend. Love the colors in this one and the center fabric in the dark squares is such a beautiful floral. I hated to cut into that fat quarter when I started this.

More binding is on my "to do" list for the next couple of weeks, including on a quilt for my niece's wedding.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A glimpse at Quilts & Vines

These just a few of my favorite quilts displayed at the 2011 Quilts & Vines. This pink self-portrait was particularly intriguing. My aplogies for the bad angle - but I was shorter that the vines this quilt was hanging on. It is done with applique and what I would call "thread painting".

This blue and white quilt was actually for sale. Each year there is one section with quilts that are available for sale. Since we didn't get there until about 12:30 I'm sure we had already missed the best bargains.

This was my favorite children's quilt. The animal manes were 3D and the colors were just wonderful.

And this quilt honors a family farm. It was pieced and appliqued both. Lots of little objects could be found that added dimension - such as the weather vane button and the overalls.

Shoes, shoes, shoes! Isn't this one fun? Appliqued high heels. And each shoe was unique. The great border and backing fabric added to the whole impact.

Monday, August 15, 2011

2011 Quilts & Vines

I love this annual outdoor quilt show. It isn't as large as some in other parts of the country - or draw the crowds. But it is held each year at a lovely little winery just outside of Sioux Falls and showcases local wines and local quilters.

This is part of the view that greets you when you step off the shuttle bus at the end of the driveway to the Strawbale Winery. The quilts are all displayed on the actual grape vines. For the entry price you also receive a punch card that allows you to sample 5 wines. MMMM!

In previous years I've gone alone and I've gone with friends. But this year I went with my oldest daughter. That was very special - and I can't believe we didn't think to take a picture of the TWO OF US instead of just the quilts! What were we thinking? Neither of my girls is a quilter or even sews at all. They just were not interested. But they do enjoy the finished products!

And attending with her this year I found myself looking at the quilts differently. In past years I didn't pay much attention to kids' quilts unless it was really special. But this year I was drawn to those through the eyes of my new grandma status and her new mommy status.

Tomorrow I'll show you a few of my favorite quilts from the show.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Meeting a blogging friend

I had the opportunity to meet a blogging friend yesterday. Moneik (from the Rapid City area) came to the eastern part of the state with friends to attend the 2011 Quilts and Vines event. We discussed trying to meet there, but I wasn't sure if we would find each other in the crowd of people or the large area. But Moneik was one of the first people I saw when my daughter and I got off the shuttle bus at the Strawbale Winery!!

It is really fun to spy someone you've only seen pictures of and realize you do recognize them. Moneik actually knows my sister-in-law through quilting in Rapid City so we had a connection already and both started reading each other's blogs. Now we havea "real" connection too in addition to the virtual one! What fun!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Quilting and binding

I picked up 2 quilts and a table runner that I had Carly quilt for me. As always, they turned out beautiful. Here is a closeup of the quilting from the back of my Stepping Stones quilt. As soon as the binding is on I'll show the whole thing.

I worked on binding on Sunday afternoon until I was sick of it. I cut, connected, folded, and ironed about 75 feet of binding. So now the binding is ready to put onto 3 quilts and some other smaller projects that are laying around.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Rethinking pinwheels

I've mentioned several times that I really love pinwheel blocks. But I have met my match with this one!

This is block #7 of my house blocks and I will admit it was the most frustrating one so far. Remember - the miniature quilts are 6 inches square.

I sewed the pinwheels on Saturday and then UN-SEWED some of them today because I didn't like the way they came out. The edges were stretching and twisting, so I am not totally happy with the centers of these. But I do believe this is as good as this one will get because I don't think I have the patience to make more of them.

The good news is that mini quilt section #8 has larger pieces and not as many of them.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Strips become strings

My post on Saturday was about my attempt to organize and clear up my messy scrap bin.

A couple of months ago I decided to work on some string blocks to use up some strips I had that were too narrow for much but too big to just throw away. A blog I've been reading for a couple of years, Making Scrap Quilts From Stash, had the perfect inspiration. The project is called Heartstrings and there are groups all over the country. Mary (on the blog above) gives the dimensions and suggestions for this project. Check it out.

So this spring I cut the muslim foundation squares and chose a lime green solid for all of the center strings of 24 blocks. That is enough for a quilt. I now have 6 string blocks completed, using various strips out of that scrap bin. This is turning out to be a good solution for my need to switch projects. Whenever I've felt the "urge" to do something else, or when I only have a few minutes to sew - I add another string or 2 onto a block. This block looks pretty weird, but when I laid out all 6 together the random colors are great with that lime green center to pull them together.

When I get 24 of them done, I may put them together with a border and donate a top, or I may just donate the blocks themselves to the Heartstrings project. Either way I've used up a bit more stash. Baby steps, baby steps . . .

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

July block swap

Wow! I just love the fabrics in this block and the design is great too!

This is my swap block for July and it came from Lucy in Texas. I've mentioned before how much fun it is to receive packages in the mail. Well Saturday's mail included this pretty block and a little note from Lucy.

Only 2 months into this swap, but I've had partners with excellent taste.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Tiny pieces

OK - I have to admit it didn't take all week - just a little over an hour on Sunday morning. Like the others in the series the miniature quilt section is 6" square finished.

That means the smallest of the yellow squares near the center started out only 1" square - and you end up seeing only half of it. Those were difficult to hang onto as I fed them through the machine. I think this one would have been easier if it had been paper pieces.

And with this block done I now have half of the mini quilts complete.