Monday, January 24, 2011

(Photo) Ideas of Inspiration: M

I have joined the monthly ideas of inspiration blog - twice a month a new theme is selected.

Right now it's "M".  Here is my contribution:
My Marzipan in Milano
Notice that in the comments someone (Silvia) from Milano wrote they recognized the shop!  What fun! I wrote her to see if I can get the exact address. She sent the address and photo of the name plate at the front of the shop.  It's such a terrific little shop, I hope to visit again and to be able to tell my friends visiting Milano so they can see and eat a treat there.

Freni's Pasticceria - Via Torino 1- Milano.
Via Torino is just near the Duomo; giving the back to the big door of the Duomo you walk till the end of the square and on your left there are Via Mazzini e Via Torino. Freni is the 3rd shop from the beginning of the street, on the left sidewalk.

Grazie Silvia!

For me the marzipan at the shop was just as impressive as the gelato that we found in other parts of Italy.  If you are going to Milano, please stop by this little shop and have a piece or two!

Friday, January 21, 2011

FBP - Week 4 - Standing Cat

Purple Cat
This week it was my turn to post the block for the Friday's Block Party site.  I picked another animal - a standing cat.

I really tried to get the block to be 10.5 unfinished, and actually it's a little bigger!  Guess now I'm sewing way less than .25 inch seams.  I need to perfect the width of seams just so my blocks come out the way I expect them to!

I removed the stitches from my FBP Week 1 block and redid so it is 10.5 inches too.

Weeks 1-4 - working to get the sizing so all blocks are the same size.
This will be a cute addition to the quilt that will be made from these blocks:

Traditional and Animal Block Quilt!

FBP - Week 3 - Fool's Square

This week I added purple to my set of colors to use for the Friday Block Party.

The block is called Fool's Square.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I measured my Friday's Block Party blocks and found I trimmed them to 10 and 10.25 inches.  I don't know what I was thinking!  They were supposed to end up at 10.5 inches unfinished.

I trimmed these block so they would be all, well, trim looking for the photo I sent to Friday's Block Party blog.  I remember thinking I was cutting off a lot.... when I did the first one and so leaving more when I did the second one...

Well, I'll just have to be more attentive when I trim!  I don't even really have to trim before those photos.

This week I'll be posting the block - I want to make the block before I post it - and make the block for last week too!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

More Challenges...

I've been noticing that several bloggers have issued different challenges for finishing UFOs during 2011.

Patchwork Penquin Challenge for 2011.  Has 38 participants when I just checked. (listed on sidebar)
Participants are asked to pick 10 projects they have started - put the numbered list on your blogs sidebar and send Nancy an email so she will add you to her sidebar.   Nancy will draw a number and you work on that project. (Nov and Dec there is no drawing - that's time for holidays)

Patchwork Times Challenge for 2011. Has 197 participants when I just checked.
Participants are asked to pick 12 projects that they have started - send in a numbered list with photos - then each month Judy will draw a number from 1 to 12 and participants are to work on that project.

I've been doing online quilting groups for a year now - still learning the ins and outs of things.  But just like keeping a food journal or exercise log - or reading log - time can slip away with no products so it is good to keep track to see progress!

I mainly have blocks - nothing as finished as the participants I clicked on.  I would like to continue with my weekly and monthly challenges and to finish at least two bed sized quilts this year.

I am really committed to going thru all drawers and closets in the house this year too so I know that will take away from my time and energy that could have been sewing...

1.  Current - BlockLotto Wonky Shoo Fly blocks - I have started sewing the top together for Quilt as You Go as I want it to be a bed sized project.  Need to go to adult ed classroom on Fridays so I can finish basting the sections so they are ready for me to quilt.

2.  Current - BlockLotto Log Cabin with Attitude blocks - I just have the blocks.  My husband likes these blocks so they also need to be a bed sized project (or at least a chair quilt for him).

3.  Current - Friday's Block Party - I have two blocks done - they are revealed one a week.  Right now they are 10 inch blocks, but I think later on they may be different sized blocks....  There would not be enough blocks to make a bed sized quilt for a few months.

4.  Current - BlockLotto - Make the monthly challenge blocks.  Depends on luck whether these become a quilt by me!

5.  Current - Chinese Coin - I have some sewn - not enough for anything yet though.

*  Find in the garage my previously finished quilt tops and backs and get them sandwiched and quilted.  The ones I remember are:
6.  The Barn Scene - lap or baby sized. Can't remember if I did backing - if not any color/fabric would be good.  This was a fun quilt - did in a class - there was sort of a pattern but it was more of a technique sampler that ended up with pictures made of fabric.  My first mitered corners, y seams, applique, liberated sky.  Fun.

7.  The blue and yellow log cabin - baby sized.  I have material that could easily become backing.  I loved the fabric for this quilt - I used to make pants for Al too so nice memories for me.  The pattern though is very strict - I think I did with 1.5 inch strips so not a very big quilt - but not fun to sew so I just want to finish it up.

8.  The half log cabin - king.  I don't think I finished all the blocks and know I didn't do a backing.  This was a blast to sew.  A local store organized a strip exchange so I got a bunch of strips.  One bad of lights and one of darks.  We used Sharon Craigs method of sewing the blocks - I enjoyed it so much.

9.  The stars and planets - extra long twin - for Al - still need to finish the planets and make the backing.  The front is my very first quilt - done in a class.  The teacher told me I should not use plain fabric and that yellow was not used in quilts.  So I picked fabric that was plain with little black designs - in the colors of the rainbow.  I made two different sized stars.  Be thought I should stick with just the primary colors so I was getting advise from all corners.  Then when I showed baby Al the quilt top he said where are the planets?  So I took the farm scene class to learn how to make round shapes and I made planets out of materials that were the same colors as in the poster Al had in in his room and I made them to scale with the earth being one inch.  I showed Al the planets and he said where is the sun?  I was over whelmed with trying to figure out how to show the sun and put the blocks and all my sewing away. I think now I'll just say he is the son!

10.  The green and orange tulips - full.  Can't remember if I prepared a backing.  I think any small flowered fabric would be good.  I used the pattern from Eleanor Burns but did a different setting - I was going to a look to make the tulips look like they were random on the field but people looking at it thought I had made a mistake. I was making this for Aunt Ju who has since passed away so I could give to her daughter or to a charity.

11.  The crazy quilt - baby.  This will be easy to finish once I find it.  I did do the first one of these and finished by hand tying.

12.  The triple Irish chain - table cover size.  The backing is beautiful - I ended up liking it more than the front!  I put the flimsie on table and some candle wax dripped down so some repair work has to be done before I can finish it up.

13.  I found some large stars on white background in the garage.  King plus sized.  Either my mom started it or it was purchased at a garage sale.  I'm not sure if the fabric is strong enough to finish the project up.  Some repair work would be needed.

14.  Oh my gosh, I forgot the blocks that I had the Friday Group do when they were 2 and 3 years old - I remembered labeling them before boxing them up..  Maybe I can add some photo blocks as I finish them and do the sashing and borders.
15. Friday Group
16. Friday Group
17. Friday Group

Gifts to make that are not even a gleam in my eye:
Ka and He Wedding Quilt (Married October 20th, 2007) She likes lime and brown and I've grown to like those colors in fabrics too...!
Would be nice to make something as a gift for Ja's wedding quilt (to be married Apr 2011)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Another Weekly Project??? Civil War Quilt Blocks

I remember hearing about this 2011 project - but today I happened on the site.

Tomorrow she will post the third block - it's very interesting reading and I like that the blocks are 8 inches.

Going to put this on my inspiration list on the sidebar - I don't have to do all this - but it's nice to have a list of projects available when I want to work on them.

I think my weekly project regarding this will just be to read the weekend entry and download the pattern into WORD!

And now back to paperwork!  No sewing for me until I get thru these papers...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

BlockLotto - January 2011 - Bright Stacks



1/4/11: Today I will press and cut the strips for these blocks.
1/5/11: Nope, didn't do anything on the quilt or fabric. Out of town friends visiting!
1/8/11: Got the nine colored strips and some white strips cut, went ahead and cut ten 8-inch sections and made one block..  Fun!  So pleased it measures 10.5 square!
1/9/11: Okay it turns out I didn't have nine complete strips last night.  I had some full strips and some shorter strips that I cut to 2.5 inches. Sophie's directions say we are not to just mix up the fabric and have the same fabrics in different order - she suggests starting with nine strips (each strips makes five subcuts).  I must have had too many pieces of candy today this just seems so difficult to figure out what strips to put in what block.  I guess I will see if I can just go ahead an put the white pieces on at least some of these subcuts. Urgh.
Update:  I wrote Sophie and she sent a chart to help me get the colors in the right places:
So now I see that if I had cut five strips from nine longer strips things would have been much easier, but really the trick is to just put the colors on the chart so they are arranged by fabric rather than by blocks....
1/10/11: I put my strips so they are in little stacks for each block - and sewed the ends for one block. 
1/11/11: Cut my white strips and started to sew blocks.
1/12/11: More sewing.  Five blocks done!
1/13/11: I finished up 8 blocks.  I would need to cut some more white to make the last block so will put that off to later, if I have time!

Friday, January 7, 2011

FBP: Week 2: Elephant

Each Friday for two years, Hetty at the Friday's Block Party blog arranges for a posting of a block for folks to make that week.

This year I get to help and will be mixing it up and helping by posting some of the suggestions.

I think I'm going to start by suggesting folks do animal or picture blocks.

This week we are making this elephant block designed by Milk and Honey Quilts.

In my background - grey I cut strips:  1.5 inches, 2.5 inches and 3.5 inches.  Then I cut the pieces as directed.

In my animal orange I already had an uneven strip cut around 2.75 wide.  I used that to get all the smaller pieces.  I cut a 3.5 strip and a 5.5 strip to get the larger pieces cut.

Then I arranged them according to the letter assigned in the directions.

At this point I was just following directions hoping it was all going to come together...

Placed the pieces in order to be sewn...

It was difficult to really see things as there are squares on top that will be sewn and then cut at at angle.

Sewed the triangle and straight edges - the first sewing on each piece only.

Starting to see the elephant!

Arranged to sew order sewn.

It's really just a simple matter of sewing the same sized things together.

The head side is all together now.

As noted by the designer there is really just one seam to match now - so I pressed the head seam up and the body seam down to make that easier...

Here is the final block - front view.

Link to Original Pattern by Milk and Honey Quilts.

And the back side too.

I started thinking I'd do a pink elephant - but then looking at my colors I decided I wanted the animal to really stand out so I did it in the orange fabric.  I think purple would be a good fourth color to add in the mix for these blocks....

My Friday's Block Party Blocks - Weeks 1 and 2

FBP: Week 1 Marion's Choice

Marion's Choice
 Posted here: