Monday, January 31, 2011

Texas Tears Civil War Block

I'm a little behind  because I had computer problems last week.  Problems fixed and block four is made.

I have the fabrics for the Kansas Troubles block, just have to cut it out and get stitching.  I'm really enjoying my first quilt-along.

Happy stitching,

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Civil War Stars Finished!

I managed to finish these the other night and I'm pleased with the result.  I have definitely improved my point applique skills in the process!

I also made another couple of block One using some different fabrics.  The blue and the brown are from the Collection for a Cause Hope range and the shirting is  from Jo Mortons Attic Shirtings range.

I chopped the bottom edge off the block when I took the photo, oops.  I don't think I'd ever take up photography as a profession,lol.

Four of my children have gone away camping at the beach for a week.  The house is so quiet.  With no-one to wash or cook for I'm looking forward to a week of sewing, reading and DVD watching.  I bet I start missing them after a few days!  

I have also just received an email with the welcome news that my eldest son and his GF are flying home from Central America where they have been working on the Survivor TV series(we never watch it!).  It is such a brilliant job.  They have worked for the show in the Caribbean, China, Micronesia and most recently Nicaragua.  They save while they work on the show and then travel for a few months or until the next one.  Luckily for us they are coming back home for a few weeks before they are off to a new job in Morocco.  I'm not sure where or if they are going to work on the next Survivor series.  It will be so lovely to see them as they have been away for nine months.  Life is good.

I'm off to do some more machine quilting on my longarm, still working on the quilt I posted about last week or so.

Happy stitching,

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Civil War Quilt-Along and Works In Progress

I have been looking forward to the next block in Barbara Brackman's quilt-along and got started this morning.  I found needle turn was the best way to applique these small stars and each one a little easier than the next once I got going.  I still have three more stars to do before I'm finished but I'm not so sure I'll be making two of these blocks as I did the previous ones!

You're probably getting sick of this centre block I've been working on but I have managed to get a little more done since my last post  so here it is again.  I've completed all the large star blocks for this quilt and now have twenty six or so small sashing stars to complete.

I have also begun quilting this quilt.  I have procrastinated for months on what designs to use on this quilt.  I am not really sure if the meander is the best choice for the background of the blocks but I really want to get this finished and bound.

The colours are a bit washed out by the flash, not the best time to take photos, at night.  I used fabrics from two Jelly Rolls.  One was a Figtree Quilts range, Fig and Plum and the other a Blackbird Designs range called Beach House.  The leaves and stems are also Figtree Quilts fabric and the sashing was from my stash and I cannot remember whose it is. I'm really pleased with the result.  Let's hope I feel the same way about the quilting!

I had a lovely afternoon sewing while watching the Forsyte Saga on DVD while all the kids went over to visit their older brother.  I'm going to finish watching the series now and tackle the rest of those little stars.

I hope you all had a lovely weekend.

Happy stitching,

Monday, January 10, 2011

Civil War Blocks and Impulse Buying

I couldn't help myself!  You know what it's like.  You have to call in to your LQS for some necessity, for me it was a new blade for my rotary cutter.  I had every intention of walking straight out the door after I'd paid for the blade, note that I paid before I had a quick "look" hoping to discourage any impulsive purchases!  Ha!  Of course I failed!  It's a set up!  All those gorgeous samples and fabrics displayed in such a way that makes you feel all warm inside, that creative hum starts and you just can't control it any longer you just have to buy that little kit or that fat quarter that just speaks to you!!  So I confess, I just had to have this little kit to make this utility apron designed by Renee Plains. Seriously, could you have resisted something so damn sweet?

Hey, and it's functional and I really do need a new apron for my bits and pieces when I'm machine quilting at my longarm!
I made a start on it as soon as I got home,  it will not languish on the shelf of good intentions.

I have also been lured by the lovely blocks displayed on Barbara Brackman's new site Civil War Quilts (see logo in my sidebar, click to go there) and have made the first and second blocks.  I accidentally cut double the number of pieces for the first block so made another.  Once I'd made two of the first block I thought I may as well make two of the second one.  I'm a bit disappointed with the lack of contrast between the red and brown fabrics in the pinwheel centres, ah, live and learn.

I also finally buckled and  bought a bundle of fat 1/8's of the Collection for a Cause Hope range( from LQS) which I've been going back to look at again and again online.  I've used one of the browns and one of the reds in these blocks.  There are some lovely teal blues and a caramel floral that I really like.  I don't know why I didn't take a photograph of them.  Tomorrow perhaps.

There are some great quilt-alongs and swaps starting in blogland. As well as the Civil War blocks, Lori from Humble Quilts has posted the first steps for her doll quilt, Midnight Stars.  I'm tempted to join in the fun with this little quilt too.

Christine from Once Upon a Quilt is running a doll quilt swap.  There is still time to join this one.  Christine posted some great photos she took when she was in the US of antique doll quilts, well worth a look.

I'd better get off the computer and get on with my utility apron seeing as I need a new one so badly ;-)

Happy stitching,
Bye for now,

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Few More Star Blocks

I managed to get some machine sewing done the other night, I made some progress on the star blocks for the quilt I'm currently working on.  I eventually put it all away when I began making mistakes because I was so tired!

I'm looking forward to putting this all together.  The fabrics are so lovely, they are from the French General range, Rural Jardin, plus a couple of pieces I've had in my stash for some time.  I managed to do a little more on the applique block, the large red bow.

I've also had some fun washing these red fabrics, man did they bleed red dye! More like hemorrhage red dye!!  I often make a quilt without prewashing but I plan on using a creamy/white shirting for the background so thought I'd better be safe rather than sorry.  I ended up washing the fabrics 3 times in hot water then I soaked them in a mix of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water then I used a product that is meant to release all excess dye.  The final rinsing after all that, ran clear, so hopefully I've dealt with the pesky red!  I will, however, be using some of those colour catches when the quilt has its first wash.

2011 is off and running,
Bye for now,

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone.  I hope 2011 is a great year for you all.  Christmas was hectic but wonderful to get the family together.  My Mum is really starting to feel better after heart surgery at the end of October.  I have been caring for her since she came home from hospital which was a full time job for the first month but she has slowly been picking up physically and psychologically and gradually reclaiming her independence.

I only have one picture of the progress I've made on the centre applique block from the quilt I've been working on.  I've made more star blocks but haven't taken a picture yet.  So here's where I'm up to .

Once upon a time I was not keen on applique but each project I do with hand applique I enjoy it more and more.  I really don't like to be without an applique project these days.  As I get closer to finishing this block I feel I should be looking for something new to take its place!  How's that for a change of heart!

Happy stitching,