Sunday, July 6, 2014

Random Notions – Working in the Heat

Hoping everyone had a terrific Independence Day.  As the hot weather has taken hold, I find it harder and harder to motivate.  On the night of the 4th, we had a short spurt of good hard rain, but it just wasn’t enough.  I feel like a giant slug – getting bigger and bigger – as the sweat pours off of me.  You would think I would lose at least some water weight.  Just doesn’t seem to be happening.  Then I read other blogs where people are having beautiful weather that doesn’t go over 90ยบ.  I’m so jealous! 

Despite my misery (LOL), things are moving along, even though at a slower rate than I like.  Layla and I started making Harry’s disappearing nine patch quilt, which is an I Spy quilt.  I chose a few fabrics that were either solid or looked solid from a distance – 
And then we started putting them together with fabrics that had been fussy cut to show things to, well, spy!  Here is the first block before Layla sewed it together – 
(Aren’t those pretty darn cute kids?)

After Layla got it together, and we pressed it, I cut it into quarters – 
(My design wall is not dirty – it just has a lot of fuzzy stuff all over it and those are shadows.
However, the wall around the light switch probably is a real mess!  
Who has time to clean when there is quilting to be done??!!) 

Layla did a really good job putting half of the big squares together, and I did the other half.  After they were all like this in quarters, we laid them out on the wall and sewed the vertical rows together – 
There are all kinds of cute stuff to look at, including rubber duckies – I had gotten a small remnant of duckies that Harry has bugged me about since he first saw it last year - I promised him we would put it in there!  He is really loving how it is looking.  I started putting the rows together, and I have found a slight problem – Layla was working on my Singer Athena and I have been using a Singer Quantum Stylist - we both had quarter inch feet on the machines, but they were different kinds of quarter inch feet.  I am finding some of the seams are not matching up as I put the rows together, but it’s okay – it doesn't affect how Harry feels about it.  

In between working on that, I decided it was time to work with my first jelly roll.  It is called Electric Feathers and I got it from Missouri Star Quilt Company one day when it was the quilter’s daily deal – 
I am a freak for bright and bold colors, and this was right up my alley!  I laid them all out to see what was what –
Aren’t they gorgeous?  They just seem to glow.  I have always wanted to make an Around the World quilt and I thought they would be beautiful for that.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t thinking ahead. 

There were 2 strips of each color and I cut each one in half so I wasn’t working the entire selvage to selvage length.  This was my big mistake.  I had 4 piles of strips that I sewed into tubes and cut into new strips to make 2 pieces that each looked like this -
It’s fabulous, but can you anticipate what the final 2 pieces will look like together?  I wish I had –
I had not considered all the variations throughout the fabric strips!  If I had left them long instead of cutting them apart, the color changes would not have been so obvious, and the center would not have come out so weirdly compressed.  And it’s long – almost 6’, but only about 30” wide.  It will be a wall hanging so size is really no problem, and it is even interesting hanging horizontally.  I don’t think I am crazy about the greens that ended up at the top and bottom, so I may trim it off to look more like this –
I think it looks better this way – it looks closer to an Around the World quilt.  I still like it, and I still love all the colors, so it’s not a big issue.  And I learned something in the process, which is always a good thing.

And that’s it for now.  Trying to decide what to do after Harry’s quilt is together.  Lots of options, just have to narrow it down.

Keep cool!  Thanks for stopping by! 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Random Notions – Another one off the unfinished shelf

A couple of years ago, I made a twin size quilt top for Layla – she helped me pick out the fabrics and I did them up in a disappearing nine patch.  Quite honestly, after it was done, I did not like it at all – a couple of the fabrics were just off for me.  I put it up on a shelf and after noticing it recently, I told Layla that I would make something better for her, as I did not like how it looked, and I would be scrapping it.  She had a fit, telling me she loved it and wanted it.  So I made a back for it out of a purple with white dots, and took it to Janet to be quilted. Got it back Friday and used the same purple for the binding – sewed it on Friday night as I watched Errol Flynn movies on TCM.  You know what?  Maybe it was the two years on the shelf that I didn’t look at it, but now I kind of like it.
Janet had asked Layla what she wanted quilted on it, and together they came up with hearts and flowers –
It looks very cool and Layla loves it.  Harry also loved it, so now Layla has decided to make him one in the same block pattern, and one for her BFF, Sierra.  I spent yesterday and today going through all the kids’ materials I have to cut squares.  For Harry, it is going to be an I Spy quilt, with cartoon characters, fish, and animals.  Layla will be putting together the 9 patches, then I will cut them in quarters, and she will sew pieces into rows, and I will do the long seams to finish the top.  The parts of the 9 patches that will be cut will mostly be solids or fabrics that read as solids.  The colors are going to be really bizarre in this one. 

I have already told Layla she has to finish her Irish Chain before she can start sewing on this one – I am trying to train her to do things right, finish one before starting another.  She only has two final rows of border to piece together, then I can get all the borders on for her and it will be ready for quilting.  It isn’t on her blog yet, but if you are interested, the blog can be found at Fun with LJ, and she has already done some videos on kid friendly recipes.  There are also bloopers, and you will see what a character Harry is. 

In the meantime, I finished the Butterflies & Bamboo top and think it will be lovely hanging on the wall.  I really had to search for just the right blue border, and luckily before I got it on, Mom suggested a brighter and narrower border before it –
This will go to the Janet for quilting after Layla’s Irish Chain and maybe Harry’s I Spy quilt, so it may be on the shelf for a while. 

The applique was so much fun, now I am itching to start on a new project of my own and thinking about more applique.  I have another charm pack that would be nice for that, but I also have a jelly roll in beautiful dark jewel tones I keep looking at and wondering what I can do with.  I am also feeling guilty about other things I had planned on doing first.  Argh!  Decisions, decisions! 

Thanks for stopping by!