Thursday, February 4, 2016

RSC16: February Brown with Pink Accents

This month the rainbow scrap challenge colors are brown with pink accents.  

It was easy to find my scraps as they were hanging by color in the closet. 

I'm not sure how long it took me to get these scraps so they were 12.5 inch square, but it's done now!

So Scrappy: Rainbow 2016: 
Monthly colors and ideas for blocks designed to end up in one end of year quilt.


This past weekend, my husband and son made my birthday cake. It's a burnt almond cake.

They start with a cake mix, but make the pastry cream and frosting from scratch.

I think it was the prettiest one yet, and certainly was very tasty too.

We had some friends over for dinner.  It was very nice.

My husband and I have been married for 30 years, however, it's really just recently that have figured out a way to entertain together.

I'm taking advantage of this!

We set up table for the pre-dinner food.

Guests brought flowers and additional wine.
We put the food here and people served self -
buffet style.  DH grilled chicken and vegetables.
Table set with green and blue!
I made the salad that was on this table.

This year the cake had five layers.
But they weren't all alike...
DH and DS got to chatting and missed some of the directions.

So the first cake made that day was extremely flat.  It was
tasty though.  The first layer was nibbled on and gone.

It was like a wonderful sugar cookie.  This one became the
fifth layer in the official cake. (they forgot to add the
water, and to blend the batter for 4 minutes.)  The
other four layers were really two layers cut in half.

A wonderful tradition -
our just-once-a-year-made-by-my-husband-and-son-for-my-birthday
Burnt Almond Cake!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

One Monthly Goal: Feb 2016 Sew Blocks Together, and Baste the Cultural Fusion Windmills Quilt

Last summer I was very lucky to take two classes under the direction of Sujata Shah.  I have finished
the first project from that time, but this month my goal is to sew the blocks together that I made in the class to finish my Cultural Fusion Windmill quilt.  And this month, I want to pick the backing fabric, and baste the top so it is all ready for quilting too!

I'll save the actual quilting and binding of the quilt for another month.

This was really a fun block to piece. 

I picked purples and black and white that I had cut in preparation for the Marston/Moran workshop a few years earlier, but the variety of looks is limited as they say, only by your imagination.

Picture the quilt being done in solids (as is in her book), in a range of patriotic prints, in civil war reproductions, or in Kaffe Fassett fabric. It was amazing to see the way the workshop participants interpreted the free-form directions.  And their progress during the workshop proved the blocks would look fabulous in a quilt!

If you don't have the book, I do recommend buying it.  And if you can ever take a workshop with Sujata, leap at the chance!

Definitely, part of the fun is clicking on the different goals people write about in the post they link to on the link page for the month.  OMG One Monthly Goal Linky for February 2016  There are so many though that this time I'm just picking the ones that are in the first column.  At least for now!  The projects are all beautiful and the range of sewers is from professional to beginner.  It's always inspirational to click and see what people have shared.

Friday, January 29, 2016

New Fabric!

I really don't need any fabric.  I have a lot.  It's not organized well though and I guess I really don't like it as much as solids.  So....

Today I went and bought a ton of Kaufman Kona Cotton solids!

I got warmed up last Wednesday...  After a nice lunch with my son in Carlsbad, I went to Quilt in a Day in San Marcos and picked up:

Purchase One

1 fat quarter - modern art for polaroid block  $2.55 includes 15% birthday discount

1 fat quarter - they didn't have krellow but I was hoping this would be close (actually Quilt in a Day does not have a good selection of yellow - and really not many solids - but they do have lots of other things)  
$2.55 includes 15% birthday discount

2 Kona Bay Solid White Skinny bolt (1.125 yards each)  Usually $6.75 On Sale: $4.72 each or 9.45 for both.  
 The lady wasn't able to tell me the difference between Kona and Kona Bay. There is also Kaufman Kona. I tested by putting a dark patterned fabric under them all - I could see thru all of them.  This Kona Bay felt softer so I went with it.

I had wanted to get a Quilt in a Day square up ruler as they had on sale (16 in for $13 or 9.5 in for $10.50, but they did not have in the store so skipped that this time. 

Was considering getting some stuff they were selling to stop fraying.  The sales lady said if I could still see the seams would be better to just zig zag them. So I'll do that with denim things I do in the future.


tax 1.16

total = $15.71

Purchase Two

Just some of the Kaufman Kona Cotton Solids on sale.
Went on to the next store that has a lot of Kaufman Kona Cotton!  I was reminded that they also have Moda and other really nice fabrics, but I was interested in getting krellow for the polaroid block and I suspected this would be the place to get it locally.  And boy is it the place for the solids I like.  And happens they are having a great sale until the end of the month.

I just got a yard of krellow  on sale for $5.97
and a fat quarter of cute sock monkey fabric was $2.99 I got 10% discount (she entered I had coupon I think) $2.69

She would have cut any fabric I picked as a fat quarter, I think that's good customer service and I will remember that for the future!  Beverly's is a store I will return to.


tax  .69

Total = $9.35

Purchase Three

My cart
But as I said at the beginning this was just the warm up.  I went back today and got a bunch more fabric.  Almost $200.00 of fabric is turned out.  And I tell you I was looking at other colors too.  I really like solids!
My fabric
4 yards of ash
4 yards of garnet
2 yards of rose
2 yards of delft
2 yards of cloud
2 yards of grellow
2 yards of banana
2 yards of silver
3 yards of charcoal
3 yards of coal
3 yards of black
Each yard is $5.97 * 29 = 173.13
tax = 13.85
Total = $186.98

What are my plans for this fabric?

It's way too much fabric.  But I do have rough plans.

The blues, yellows, light greys and dark greys may go in my Little Hazel.  I have just the first block to start with y-seams so we'll see how that goes and if I proceed with the rest of the project. I think I would learn a lot by doing this quilt.  (I bought enough garnet and rose so it could go in the quilt too if I wanted instead of the dark greys.)

The ash and garnet - and maybe the rose will be in my Facets quilt.  I already have the pieces of made fabric set (#10 on this list) so it's just a matter of getting things cut and sewn really.

But part of me is questioning working on the Facet quilt now at all.

The Little Hazel is going to be a-really-read-and-follow-the-directions.  I probably don't need two bigger projects like that right now.

I have my blocks to finish each month and my older projects to finish up too!

But we'll see!

Think I'll finish up the fun polaroid block and then start the center of the first block for Little Hazel with some scrap fabric (which is what I should have done before buying the fabric).  I may even make a block or two of Facets just to see how that looks and how I feel.

By then it will be the first of the month and a lot of new blocks will be available!

Happy Sewing!


I'm lusting after more solids.  I could get a little of all the pale ones, and pick up so some beautiful rich colors too.  Oh and they had the nicest looking polka dot material, and all those modern Moda fabrics were calling to me too.

But I'd just be looking at the folded fabric or it would be boxed up and put away so better just stick with what I have, right?  Right!


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Tumbler: After Additional Hour or so the quilting is done! My Jan OMG Done!

Something was wrong with the bobbin, it allowed me to stitch a few inches then the thread broke.  I decided to remove all that stitching then went walking to clear my head.  What was the solution?  I was going to change the needle as that does seem to be a solution to stitching problems, but took the bobbin out and discovered the thread was sticking out oddly.  So I tried to wind these thread onto a new bobbin.  It worked for about a quarter bobbin's worth.  I decided to give it a try.  I'm estimating that took about 30 minutes....  But the stitching was even and nice on my test bits so I put the needle in and finished that line!

In another 30 minutes I had finished the remaining three lines.  So done with this stage and done with what I wanted to do this month on this project for my January One Monthly Goal

I doubt that I would have finished this quilting so quickly without the call of this challenge, the opportunity to share and meet new folks, and the possibility of winning the beautiful red valentine fabric. So thank you so much Heidi for organizing OMG!  

After 19 hours for the quilting.  4.5 bobbins. January OMG Done!
Next steps: 
binding and label!

And thanks again to Candace for helping me figure out how to do the quilting design and encouraging me to just go for it!
I need to practice my binding skills so will save this part of the project to complete after I have made a few mug rugs or something!  I can bring this with me to my once a month sewing group next time it meets, I'm sure someone can guide me there so I have a nice binding to this project.

As a reminder, I started sewing this quilt in 2011, and it's been basted since 2013...
To see the posts about this quilt:


Now I have a few days before the beginning of a new month so I'm going to use my quilting time to work on the Polaroid Blocks that my Stash Bee/Hive 8 friend Katrin will be compiling to make a quilt for her friend's little daughter, Hanno, who will be going thru chemotherapy now.  If you have time, won't you join in?  If you only have time to find fabrics for the photo part of the block you could send to me and I would put into the frames for Katrin!  


Thanks for coming by!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Tumbler Progress: About 3.5 hours (in two sessions) and almost done!

I'm not sure why today's first sewing session went so quickly...

Session One

I started at 4.:49pm and at 6:28pm I had sewn the second lines for one side starting in the center, and even did one line on the other side of the quilt!  So that's 10 angle lines done so far today.  I'm still on the same bobbin so no time was wasted in that regard.

So that's 1 hour 39 minutes if I'm doing my math correctly.  And an average of around 10 minutes for each angle line!  The sewing flowed during this session...

After around 16 hours of quilting.  This is the side that is the most done.  You can click to see the enlarged version.

Session Two (no photos)

I sewed again from 10:47pm to 12:44am.  This time I only did 8 lines.  Near the top of the 9th line at 12:29am I ran out of bobbin.  It took about 7 minutes to get the new bobbin in place and to hide the ends of the threads from where the bobbin ran out.  I started again and then about 8 minutes later the thread got caught and I ended up cutting it to release the material.  I decided it might be too late to continue.

I think I have 4 more lines to go then done with this stage of the project.  There are a few spots where I need to pick out thread that was crossed over and became part of the quilting on the back. For this second sewing (which was the other side of the quilt) there was more pleating that I could not stop from happening.  I tried sewing very slowly, sometimes that seemed to prevent the pleating but there were other times when slow sewing did not help in that regard.  Next project I will use that special top and bottom feeding foot that Katrin reminded me about.

As I travel thru the blocks instead of seeing the colors and fabric, now I'm noticing where I wasn't as careful as I should have been with the stitching even with the FMQing.  I hope the wash will fluff the fabric up so the puckers blend in...

So pretend there is a photo here to show the progress after 18 hours of quilting.  At this stage I've used around 4.5 spools of bobbin.

Tumbler Progress: Almost three hours more 14 lines a new bobbin started

Continuing with my details on this project...

This time I just clicked to see what time it was when I finished a line.  I was able to finish the other side of the quilt with the mainly single lines of angles.  So I just now need to add the second lines of angles to the top and I'll be done.

Today was different than the other days as I did all the sewing in one session.  Our son's little dog kept me company. I thought I had taken photos her on the quilt, but nothing was on the camera when I offloaded the quilt photos.  She came in the room and sat on the chair I had on the side, then all of a sudden she was in my lap and climbed up to sit on the quilt!  I got her to move to a pair of jeans that I put on the table for a while.  Then she was back in my lap, but finally she moved back to the chair and curled up to sleep next to me while I worked.

I started at 1:06 and finished at 4:00.  During that time I sewed 14 lines of angles going down the side of the quilt, a single straight line at the end of that side, ran out of bobbin, so filled two bobbins, hid the mid-line bobbin thread, trimmed the thread for the new lines completed.  Whew!

After 14.5 hours of quilting.  There are a few places with the double lines in the angles too.

Of course now I realize my detail shots 
don't show the double angles....

Can really see lots of progress now!  I'm on bobbin 5.5.
I went to Road to California yesterday with some ladies I sew with during the once a month Saturday sewing group.  We pretty much stayed together while we went up and down the many rows of the vendor area.  So many things to see, it really became a blur! (One of the ladies had been there since Sunday taking classes everyday.  She was staying on until this Sunday.  It's her second year doing this, she says she learned so much that it's a wonderful week.)  I was just there to see the vendor area - and also got to see some of the show quilts.  As I went to the vendors I was on the look out for Creative Grids Rulers – $20 Triangle Squared and $18 Perfect Rectangle ones. that were called for in the Facets Quilt Along that I'm planning on working on.  I found some pretty much the same sized ones by Tri-Recs - I got the set for just $5.  That was a deal.  I also got a bunch of long zippers for all the future pillows I may be making - each for just fifty cents!  Another deal.  I gave that man my email to put my name on his email list.  He says he has no sales tax and free shipping deals every once in a while so I thought that would be a good list to be on.

Road to California Expenses
  • $15 Admission to Vendor Area
  • $5 Tri-Recs Tool
  • $12  24 zippers
  • I had two meals while we were there, and I'm going to take the lady who drove out to lunch later as a thank you. (She didn't want gas money or for me to pay for her meal or admission.)
Anyway to get back to my tumbler quilting, the lady taking all the classes mentioned that some sewing machines with a needle up or down option also slightly lift the pressure foot when it stops in needle down to make it easier to readjust fabric.  The machine I'm using doesn't have this feature, but I realized I had not always been lifting the pressure foot to change the angle when going down the lines, and that, I think, contributed to my puckering in the stitching.  Those initial lines of stitching are not even close to being a quarter of an inch.  I don't know why I didn't see that before.  Anyway, it seems to make a big difference even now if I do not lift the foot when I turn the fabric.  So that is something else I have learned.

When changing the angle of a stitching line, be sure to lift the foot!

Previous things I learned or relearned recently are:
  • wind bobbins ahead of time
  • do any straight stitching before doing angles
  • shorten the stitch length at the beginning and end of a line of stitches
  • bring phone battery to conference so you can take photos! (I did but am sure that other people have posted better ones)
  • bring writing pad and pen or pencil to write down booth numbers that have items you might want to purchase or follow up on!
  • if the table you put up next to the sewing machine isn't the same height, and the quilt keeps getting caught in between, put something under the lower table so they are the same height.  (I put a pair of old jeans that will become a board game block underneath today and it made it so much nicer to not have to fight the quilt being caught.)
  • put something underneath or in front of the foot peddle to stop it from traveling as you sew.
To see previous posts about my tumbler project search for tumbler in the label and sort by date!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Tumbler Progress: additional 3.5 hours adds 15 lines of quilting

Detail of half of the quilt showing
the alternating columns with stitching.
When I was nursing our son, I kept such detailed records of how long and from which side he nursed.  I made charts of the time and condition of diapers when they were changed.  None of that meant anything to anyone. The doctor never asked me for the information, but still I kept lists and charts.  Someday I will probably find those notes and wonder what to do with them...

So now I'm doing the same thing with this tumbler quilt.  Keeping way to many notes that don't really mean anything. But now I will type them in this blog.  It might be interesting to someone wondering how long it takes someone to quilt a tumbler in this design.

First, I'm using a regular pressure foot. It has about a quarter inch on either side of the needle that I am using to guide the stitching.  If I do this design again I will do all the straight lines first, then go back and do the angle lines.  I'll decide after the piece is washed if I use the regular pressure foot again.  There are still a few pieces where there is a pucker in the sewing.  Very small.  I am more sure these will be sort of hidden once it's washed.

I am sewing starting in the center of the quilt and then moving out, always starting at the same top of the quilt.  I'm sewing along the inside of a column of pieces, then skipping a column and doing the same thing on the following column.  Later I will go back so there is a line of stitching on either side of all the seams.

What I did today, I think I will need to do three more times to finish the quilting on the project.  So I have roughly 11 hours of quilting to go!
After 11.5 hours or quilting.  I think I'll have to repeat what I did today three times to have all the lines quilted.

Today I worked about an additional 3.5 hours on the project and finished about 15 lines of mostly angle lines on the quilting.  I have about 45 lines of quilting to go!  (That is how I figure I have around 11 hours of quilting to go until the quilting part of the project is done. (then it'll be the binding and label!))

Here are the detailed notes:
Got started and bobbin ran out, finished the line but didn't record how long it took to sew that first angle line nor to hide the threads and reset the machine up with the new bobbin.
First 2 recorded lines (near center) took 32 minutes - 16 minutes for each angle line.
Next 3 lines took 35 minutes - almost 12 minutes for each angle line.
Final 8 angle lines of the day (toward outside) took 81 minutes - around 8 minutes for each one.
The outside straight line took only 5  minutes to sew.
I'm now on the third full complete bobbin, have added 15 lines of mostly angle lined quilting and have spent roughly additional 3.5 hours.
Will start the next session by winding the bobbin that is now empty so it is ready when I need it.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Expense: Postage

Finally got to the post office today and mailed the January Bee block off to its recipient.

Cost $2.54 to have the block along with the scrap triangles and few pieces of neutral rough cut charms to be delivered with a tracking number.

It's worth it to not have to worry about the block not being received.

I'm still thinking about what block I will request when it's my turn in July!

Tumbler Progress: 168 more minutes of sewing plus around an hour more results in 26.5 lines of quilting

You can tell from my blog entries that I have been doing other sewing instead of working on my tumbler quilt! (Pillows, Game boards, Scraps!)

But today I got back to the tumbler for just under three hours of quilting time.  In that amount of time I finished all the second straight lines for the quilt, trimmed the thread and brought the piece downstairs for a photo!
After about 8 hours of quilting and working with the fabric, still using the third bobbin.
So it took me about six minutes to do each of the straight lines that go across the quilt.  How do I sort of know this?  I set  my phone on the stop watch app and clicked when I finished a line and then started the timer again when the needle was in the down position and in place to start another line for stitching! (So I wasn't counting the time to reorient the fabric to get it ready for the next line of stitching at the sewing machine.)  I'm estimating that took about 2 minutes each time so that's additional hour on the quilt.

I learned that I should have done all the horizontal lines at the same time.  The first day of tumbler quilting I had started with trying to do some of the angular lines, but when I crossed those lines with the straight stitching, almost every time, there was a bubble in fabric that I had to work to try to flatten.
Plus about 2 minutes per line or another hour for
turning and setting up to sew again.  That's
about 8 hours on the quilting so far.

When I did the orange peel quilt it felt natural to rotate the quilt after each line was completed to add a different color to the quilt from a different direction, but this did not work with the tumbler quilt.  

I'm thinking it would have been better to do all the horizontal, straight stitching in the tumbler first.  I'm hoping this will get the fabric so it is very firmly oriented where it's supposed to be in the quilt!

I did what I have done so far by starting in the middle then skipping a few seams and sewing again, then I went back to fill things in so there was one line for each seam. After that I went back and filled in the second lines.  I'm hoping when the piece is finished and washed that the bubble of fabric at these intersections will be more or less unnoticeable.

Gosh, my fingers are crossed that when I do the rest of the angular lines that I will not continue to have the bubbling fabric problem!  If I do, I will change the design of the stitching and will do straight lines coming down thru the middle of the tumbler shapes.  Candace at Saltwater Quilts did this for some of her tumbler quilts.  She posted a photo and wrote: I stitched a fourth of an inch above and below each horizontal seam and through the middle of each of the tumblers. This version of her stitching looks terrific, but I had wanted to do the version she did after this with the lines following all the seams so that is what I am trying for in the tumbler. We'll see what happens with my quilt after the next session of sewing!

I thought I had basted my tumbler project quite snugly and completely.  I taped the backing, the batting and the top down on this huge basting table at the adult education class. Then I used all my pins, but them in all the alternating blocks on the inside and in each of the blocks on the perimeter of the project.  But guess it wasn't tight or often enough to prevent bubbling... or maybe it got loose being basted for almost three years before I started the quilting!

I'm pleased with how the quilt looks so far.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Q1 FAL 2016 - #22. Cow Pillow - We have a finish!

I have made my first pillow and my first finish from the 2016 Finish-A-Long Q1 list that I posted.

Started 1991 - Finished 2016!

I took with me to work on at my monthly sewing group, and it's done! I like the way the flap/flange covers the zipper as I didn't have one that matched any of the colors in the block.

: )