Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Are you Sedentary?

Walking less than 5,000 steps daily is considered sedentary, 5,000 to 9,999 is considered low to somewhat active, and 10,000 steps or more is active.

From: http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_articles.asp?id=647

Monday, January 30, 2012

Italian Food Forever: Pasta Roller and Cookbooks Drawing

I just entered to win a pretty red pasta roller plus 2 cookbooks on IFF (Italian Food Forever)! 

You can enter here: http://tinyurl.com/23snby

To win, you must live in the continental United States, and be over 18 years of age.

The contest will run for 7 days, and end at midnight Monday, February 5th.

It's a fun blog to read too!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Library Books...

I really lucked out at the library!  Liberated Quiltmaking and several other books were on the shelf waiting for me when I went to renew my library card.

I used the online system to request the remaining books.

I have them for three whole weeks!

It's been a while since I looked at these, they already mean more to me than the first time I skimmed them.

I probably won't do anything with the Quilter's Ark book - that will be fun to refer to when and if I continue making my animal blocks.  I really wanted to do them with regular piecing not paper pieced, but some of these animals are cute.

The Show Me How to Machine Quilt book isn't as instructional as I had hoped it would be.

Still want to go thru all the pages in the books though....

Last Spring when we were in Denver I visited the library and had wonderful time going thru their quilt books - they were very unique - and in the bookstore we visited to 'kill time' before the airport I was astonished at the variety of books that I had never seen before.  I sort of remember taking photos of the covers so I would remember the books...  wonder where those photos went?  Oh also I remember the Palm Springs library had some very good books on quilting and creativity.  There was one where in one of the sidebars the author sort of quoted a study or research paper where an art teacher had two classes that were graded in two ways.  For one class the grade was based mainly on one final project.  In the other the students were given many projects to complete.  At the end of the class the students who had many projects produced better final projects than the class where they had more time to concentrate on the final project.  The bottom line was that frequent hands on practice was better than having more time.


While I was at the fabric shop I noticed this bolt with a pattern that would be a good FMQ design....

Guess I'm still thinking about the pattern in block five for the FMQAYGAL...

Expenses: Supplies and Fabric

I couldn't help myself - I went to the fire sale one more time....  This time determined to get needles, yellow, green, orange, and blue.

So this is my haul - 31 yards of fabric plus, 20 packages of needles, 3 spools of thread, 1 crib batting.
Beautiful fabric - clear colors....

These are beautiful fabrics - I'm lucky to get them at such a good price...

When I was picked out the first batch (all plain) there were two ladies also looking at the plain fabrics.  They had a piece of patterned stuff that they wanted a plain color to go with it.  I could hear them whispering about how bright my color choices were (not in a good way bright).  Oh well.

I don't know how these colors will look once they are used - but I hope they will be spectacular!  They actually seem rather dull to me - that's why I grabbed some dots too.  Also, as I really don't want to go back again to a fabric store for a while.  I certainly must have enough now!

I got a wonderful deal on the needles - so went wild and got all they had on display.

I got three spools of greyish colors of thread - I picked different shades just so I wouldn't get bored.  Also I was thinking I could combine the colors when doing FMQing.

So now I'm going to cut 2 inch strips and test for color bleeding in my bowl of boiling water and white paper towels - then I will wash and iron.  (Hopefully while I'm working on my LibRR rectangle rows!)

Some thread and dot fabric too!
 Oh, I asked them if they had scraps of batting or knew a long armer who had scraps, and the one guy said he took the scraps and the other lady said she mailed her scraps (batting and fabric) to a friend who was really kooky as all she did was scrap quilts.  She wasn't talking to the right person..!

One of the ladies who is attending the Gwen Marston/Freddy Moran quilting class with me said she could bring her batting scraps for me to use for my FMQing practice - will be nice to not have to use the old towels I was thinking I'd have to start using!  She suggested I find long-armers and ask for scraps and if I wasn't successful to let her know and she'd bring a bag for me!

I'm really glad to have such nice fabric in my stash now.  I remember when I first restarted quilting that I read post on the Stashbusters list from ladies who had retired.  One had acquired a bunch of cheap fabric - just what was on sale when she went to the store. The other had gotten what she described as more timeless plain, tone on tone fabric - she said something about how she had invested in her retirement with this fabric.

Before this last month, most of my fabric was what I received from my mom and my godmother - not the colors or patterns I would have picked out for the most part.

So now - I have a nice collection.  I think I'll just need to get batting now to put these in quilts!

Needles (Type & Size recommended by Leah)

Crib size batting and thread

Isacord Thread (Metal) 1.00 $6.00
Fb. 4073  A3671

A Touch of Wool Batting (Crib)
1.00 $9.35
50% off $7.68
tax $1.39
Total $9.07 $9.07 $8.26
Schmetz Universal 80/12 -5 in pack 20.00 $1.50 $30.00
50% off $15.00
tax $1.16
$16.16 $16.16 $16.16
Fabric 0.75 $5.00 $3.75
1.00 $6.10 $6.10
1.00 $5.49 $5.49
1.00 $5.49 $5.49
1.00 $5.49 $5.49
1.00 $5.00 $5.00
1.00 $6.10 $6.10
1.00 $5.10 $5.10
1.00 $6.10 $6.10
1 1/8 $5.49 $6.18
1.00 $6.10 $6.10
1.00 $5.10 $5.10
1.00 $8.10 $8.10
1.00 $5.00 $5.00
Total 13.88 $79.10
50% off $39.55
tax $3.11
$42.66 $42.66 $43.21
Fabric 1 $9.80 $9.80
1 $5.10 $5.10
1 $6.10 $6.10
1 $5.50 $5.50
1 5/8 $10.35 $16.82
1 $5.25 $5.25
1 $5.49 $5.49
1 $5.00 $5.00
1 $6.10 $6.10
1 $9.80 $9.80
1 $9.30 $9.30
1 3/8 $10.35 $11.73
4 1/8 $6.10 $25.16
Isacord Thread (Dophin)
Fb 0152 A3021

1 $6.00 $6.00
Isacord Thread (Sea Shell)
Fb.0170  A2821

1 $6.00 $6.00
total $133.15
50% off $66.57
tax $5.26
$71.83 $73.08 $73.08
31.00 yards grand total $140.97 $140.71
Actual paid

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ideas of Inspiration: Photos

I posted my two entries for January:

Prompt for January:

My Entry:  January: Projects

Prompt for Time:

My Entry: Time: Saving

Can't believe that it's been a year since my last post:


Such a fun idea - to get a prompt and then take or find a photo to illustrate it.

FMQAYGQAL - Blocks 5 and 6

Directions for Blocks 5 and 6  (AKA Row 2 Blocks 1 & 2)

Block 5 - Stippled square/ Pattern of Intersecting Boxes

Block 5 - Front

Block 5 - Back
Laura was inspired by a post she saw by Elizabeth Hartman of Oh Fransson and this week it's the design to do for block 5.

I watched the video, drew on paper and practiced on my Leah Day practice piece - then just to be sure I confused myself I enlarged and examined the image on the original post.  I drew it out again and decided to stick with the way it's described in the challenge.

Now that I have put the block on the plain fabric, I understand her comments a bit more.  I also have stitches that are too long really - and there are parts that are way more densely stitched than the others.

I traveled to get the needle in different places and that really shows up a lot. There were some weird holes in the fabric that I didn't notice before and I tried to stitch to cover them up, but was not completely successful.  There is one major line that is not even close to being parallel.

But even so, I am pleased with the design.  It will be a nice addition to my other blocks for this project.

Added: http://quiltquest.blogspot.com/2012/01/design.html

Block 6 - Lighting Bolts

Block 6 - Drawing Practice
 Hmm - I listened and watched the video - drew it out a few times (this is my best one).  Decided I could do it.  My plan was to have the design go down and then go up again.  I guess I don't really know what lightening bolts look like...

As I was sewing, I remembered when I was sewing the Leah Day Flame Key design and how I decided I just didn't know what a flame looked like...
Block 6 - Back

At the end of that post I put a lot of links to help me learn the outline of a flame.  I looked for help with lightning bolts, but seems I have that down - it's the getting it on the block that I messed up on....

Block 6 - Front
Oh well.  If you flip mine on the side, it sort of looks like a reflecting water design. (If you squint!)

My husband says he sees the tide coming in, going out.  That sounds nice.

One thing that I am really pleased with is my little stack of blocks all ready to quilt for this project and for the SewCalGal challenge.  I even used one to practice the stippling that Leah was having us practice!

I'll need to make some more, but I have two more already waiting for me.  I may change the back for the next batch and do some piecing.  I'm thinking of putting some uneven borders around some charms so they are randomly in different spots on the back....

The Free Motion Quilting Project: Week #4

Quilt Along #4 - Quilting on a Line Directions

This week Leah gave permission for me to do what I was doing - but thinking I was doing wrong.  I thought I was supposed to use the walking foot for straight lines and that I had been cheating when I tried to use the darning foot!  I thought I was cheating and being lazy when I didn't change the direction of the fabric when I was sewing.  When the lines were crooked I switched feet again instead of working at it so I could sew a straight line forward, backward, and at the different angles.

This week she suggested we practice doing just that.  I used a different color thread and oversew the first week's sample.  I decided although I need more practice, it would be better to move ahead with a another project for right now - but I am very pleased that I was able to do all this sewing without changing the direction of the fabric.  I should have cut thread between following the little house and the heart but I think it's still pretty clear when looking at the enlarged view that I was able to do this.

 It's really fun to feel that I am learning something new - with more consistent practice it will get easier....  I'm so lucky to be able to refer back to all this notes and to be able to click to go to the original informational post!

After looking at the other people's post who are doing this Quilt Along (and seeing that for Week #5 we need the stars), I drew this star and outlined it....


I am doing this as part of Leah Day's Quilt Along Wednesdays on the Free Motion Project.  The directions to this (and much more) are there for you to learn.  To help support the project I have purchased some of my supplies from the Day Styles Design Quilt Shop.

If I had to pick two things that I really use, I would pick the table for the sewing machine and the cheater needles.  I feel quite smart each time I take that needle off the pin place and hide the threads...  Here is the link to her video on the how to hide threads...

But really the bobbin washers and the gloves make things go much smoother.  I rarely even have to think about my bobbin now, and putting those gloves on made me feel so much more relaxed but also so much more in control of the fabric.

I have a long way to go, but truly appreciate the time that Leah Day has devoted to all her training and instructional posts and videos.

I am coding my entries regarding this challenge with Leah2012 so clicking on that will display those posts with the most recent on the top.

I have been working thru the beginning designs that are also on her site - taking photos and notes as I go.  It's already been helpful to me to go back and remind myself of the designs and what I thought as I did them.

The Free Motion Quilting Project: Week #3

Leah Day Week 3 Challenge: Playing with Scale

This week Leah invites us to be more conscious of the scale of our FMQ designs.  She guides us thru doing the same (stippling) design in different sizes.  She suggests getting something we can use to double check our stitching with - a pen would work for 1/4 inch, etc.

I am running low on batting that I can use for this challenge, so piggybacked on something I had done for a previous week.

I put the measuring tape there to show the different sizes.  I tried finger and thumb width, pen width and teeny tiny.  The 3/4 inch and 1/4 inch ones were the most successful.

Even if it take more time and more thread, I think I prefer the smaller sizes.  I guess I haven't really seen that many finished quilts - but when I see them online or in the adult ed class I sometimes attend (mainly to baste or use AccuQuilt cutter) and the quilts are only stitched a hand width apart, I haven't liked them.

I am doing this as part of Leah Day's Quilt Along Wednesdays on the Free Motion Project.  The directions to this (and much more) are there for you to learn.  To help support the project I have purchased some of my supplies from the Day Styles Design Quilt Shop.

If I had to pick two things that I really use, I would pick the table for the sewing machine and the cheater needles.  I feel quite smart each time I take that needle off the pin place and hide the threads...  Here is the link to her video on the how to hide threads...

But really the bobbin washers and the gloves make things go much smoother.  I rarely even have to think about my bobbin now, and putting those gloves on made me feel so much more relaxed but also so much more in control of the fabric.

I have a long way to go, but truly appreciate the time that Leah Day has devoted to all her training and instructional posts and videos.

I am coding my entries regarding this challenge with Leah2012 so clicking on that will display those posts with the most recent on the top.

I have been working thru the beginning designs that are also on her site - taking photos and notes as I go.  It's already been helpful to me to go back and remind myself of the designs and what I thought as I did them.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

SewCalGal - FMQ Challenge - January

Directions for January

January tutorial

January Recap
Frances Moore

My interpretation of January Leaves:

SewCalGal - Francis Moore Leaves - Front

SewCalGal - Francis Moore Leaves - Back

I thought when I signed up that this monthly challenge was targeted for beginners, but the Facebook entries that are coming in are beautiful, and done by experts!

This pattern is not really easy, but even though I am out of my league, I still went ahead and drew the pattern several times, practiced, and then put the design in this block so it will become part of a quilt.

Take a peek at the Facebook entries to see some really lovely interpretations.  It's so enjoyable to see the details added to this design, and the additional photos of other projects people are sharing.

It's good to add this design to my notebook - I will refer to it and no doubt use it in a quilt (when I have more experience!).

I have been doing most of my FMQ learning from Leah Day and thought it would be good to expose myself to different teachers.  I'm glad I had the support of Leah so I was able to do this design!

Once I submit my entry (I'm number 172 this month), I am entered in a drawing - this month it's for:

  • Sampler Pack of 5 threads
  • Silk Stars Thread kit, with 12 spools of 40 wt threads

Aurifil Silk Stars Thread Collection-
Sewline: Trio Three Color Fabric Marking Pens

All would be nice to receive.  I'm using Aurifil thread for the first time this month - I can see why people prefer it over other thread.  I'm not sure what weight of Aurifil I'm using, I got it at the sewing machine repair shop the last time I was there.  I was saving it to use this thread with the green/blue/brown material that I'm using for the frame of the blocks.

This event will have a new designer and design each month - it will be open all year - so go to the site now to see the updates!

To enter the drawing: 
1.  Write blog entry or post a photo on Flicker.  Copy and save the URL.  Then go to http://sewcalgal.blogspot.com/p/free-motion-quilt-challenge.htm
2.  Click on the January link  - you'll go to the screen with information about the challenge for January.  The direct link is:
3.  Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and add the link to your site.  I'm #160 on this list!

I'm coding all my entries about this project with SewCalGalFMQ2012 so clicking on that will show the most recent post on top.

FMQAYGQAL - Blocks 3 and 4 (and Row One Summary)

Directions: Blocks 3 and 4

Block 3: Leah's Basic Spiral  http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.com/2009/08/day-5-basic-spiral.html

Block 3 - Front
Block 3 - Back
Even though this is from Day 5 of the project, I had not done this -  it's coded as an Beginner / Intermediate. With the additional note: The spirals themselves are not difficult once you get the hang of them, it's the areas around the spirals that are tricky.

In the video Leah suggests to not stack the spirals - so I thought I'd do different sizes to get a handle on that - but now as I see the block photo I just see stacks...  I know that when I was sewing I was moving around a lot so they were not sewn in stacks - just ended up that way.

There is one corner where I didn't fake the spiral very well - looks more like a fan or a standing worm.  As with all the designs, this is something to revisit and practice some more!

Block 4:  Variation on Leah's Sunflower  
Laura asks us to only fill part of the block with the flower and to add more spirals coming between the petals to fill the rest of the space.

Block 4 - Front
Block 4 - Back
I ran out of bobbin shortly after starting this block so had to refill that.  I decided I liked having some plain parts of the block, but can add more swirls later if needed.

Blog post on Blocks 1 & 2

I am now up to date with this challenge!

Here are summary photos for Row 1: Rounded designs

FMQAYGQAL - Blocks 1-4 - Front

FMQAYGQAL - Blocks 1-4 Back

As a reminder, these are all part of the:
Free Motion
Quilt as You Go
Quilt A Long

At the end of the project we will have 24 quilted blocks - she is going to give suggestions for how to get the blocks together so we end up with a quilt.

I have two quilts that I started doing as QAYG projects, but I still have them in sections - there is more to quilt in both of them.  I'm hoping this challenge will make it so I'm better able to do the bed sized quilts - and hope this will be nice enough for me to give to He&Ka...

Laura says she will keep the guidelines up for this FMQAYGQAL so you can join in anytime!

I'm coding all my entries on this with FMQAYGAL - so clicking on this link will show all the related posts. (Most recent will appear first.)

FMQAYGQAL - Blocks 1 and 2

Directions for 1 and 2
Block 1 - Front

Block One - Loop the Loop

Her directions are done in a graphic movie - shows up very nicely.

Block 1 - Back
I got caught at the beginning so had to end it and start over.  No needles broken.  This design is similar to they way I understood Leah's Henna Floofy - one of the first designs.  Laura has it going in a more flowing way so I like it better.

Block Two - Flowers - very similar to the way I did Leah's Dresden Daisies - except fewer petals and not in a row.  I sort of started the vine by making the shapes we are working on for Leah's Wednesday project - but then just moved to fill in the block space.  I did this all in one pass I only paused one or two times!

Block 2 - Front

Block 2 - Back
These were both supposed to be done in one week.  Quite doable - the secret is having the blocks prepared!

Now on to continue with getting caught up!

The Free Motion Quilting Project: Week #2

Leah Day 2012 Project Week 2

Still more to do to catch up - but making progress!  I still do not like stippling - it's too unorganized even when you do it in rows the way Leah describes.....

After viewing the guidelines, I realized I did my small version (follow up to week one) in the random way.  I started in rows but they were vertical ones - oh well.

Here is my week 2 practice.  I will no doubt go back and do more - but want to get caught up in all my deadline projects too.

I sewed on the other side of this sample - the ugly fabric side.  I'm please that this side is smooth and looks pretty good.  In this view I started at the bottom left and ended in the top left with the circle.

I didn't break any needles - but two times had a problem with the threads - it was just on the top as you can see the back looks pretty good.  It's like the needle pulled up two threads or something.

The lime green thread is my first spool of Isocord.  Boy, it's a lot easier to thread the needle with this thread - however, it's much thinner than the red thread I have been using so all the individual stitches stand out more.  For some people that's a good thing.  Anyway, I can see why people like this thread.  I'm going to have to go back to that fire sale and grab at least a few spools - maybe I'll get the grey color that I read is popular...

The Free Motion Quilting Project: Week #1 Follow-up

My smaller practice at stippling.
The Free Motion Quilting Project: Follow-up Comments

I did the full half yard of practice but decided I needed to work a bit more on the concept of what stippling looks like - so I drew the pattern out again - on the front and back of the paper - then got out one of my smaller blocks and sewed the design.  My interpretation of the design.  I still can't see why Leah and others say this is the most used design in FMQing - but I think I got it - well sort of got it....

I wrote more about the larger, original practice piece earlier today in this post.

With my head down, I now have to admit that I need to practice this more - even if I don't like it all that much - I need to practice.  So I'm glad I did this little piece.

This is pretty much the same size of stitching I've been doing for FMQing.  I really have to look at more finished quilts - Leah says that usually people do it at the 3 inch size where I think I did this more on the 1/4 inch size!  Good thing I have arranged for some resting areas in my quilts so not everything is quilted this densely!  (Of course I don't know how Laura will have us finish up our blocks for her project....)


For several days now I've been blocked in my sewing.  I have been acquiring fabric and thinking...

I started the year with lots of plans for sewing - but just was not getting back on the wagon after our holiday trip...  There is always a lot of bookkeeping to catch up on and file away - so I distracted myself with working on that....

I figured out what I needed to do was once I could see what the projects were I could do the preparation for the different projects...I didn't like the first design in the one project, the other required a large piece of fabric, and the third I misunderstood and thought we were just supposed to be making sandwiches for the project. (I didn't know I was behind in that one!)

I want to finish the round robin that I am behind in (and I coordinate) - and the dining room table is full of my tumblers that I really side tracked myself and sewed together before the holiday. (Note: I just rolled those sections up inside the Wonky Sho Fly sections so they are not in my way now - so I can concentrate on what I want to concentrate on!)

I do not now have 24/7 access to the sewing machine now as our son is sleeping in that room - but I think that was an artificial roadblock.  I was stopping myself.  I could go on and on.

I decided to try and do two projects in one so made these sandwiches - the small ones I will use for the two free motion challenges.  The SewCalGal one will have one design a month, the other Australian* will have several a week with a few catch up weeks (that what this week is now)...  In her guidelines, Laura, the Australian had plain fabric in both the center and the border - and that was blocking me - I guess I didn't want to cut up all my lovely new fabric to get different fabric for the centers....   She didn't write back and warn me off of using the patterned material so I guess I'm okay.  There is another project that I decided I just didn't want to do after all - too rigid and wouldn't give me the experience I want/need.

I looked at my fabric and saw I had two jelly rolls and some other fabric in this lime/blue/brown line.  I also got some lime thread that I had picked up - so I decided to change the borders rather than the center and will use these blocks for the SewCalGal challenge too.  I will be able to pick the best blocks to put together to give to He&Ka!  And if the blocks are all useable, then all the better as then it will be a larger quilt gift.  On the back I alternated using the beige and the patterned fabric.  But first, I boiled some water, put a little soap it in and dip and swished charm squares I had for the fabric line.  Rinsed and put on white paper towels - success - no bleeding!  I decided to not wash the jelly roll fabric.

Once I made the decision about the fabric for the projects I had to think about batting.  I don't have a lot - and am using my warm and natural for my other two in progress projects: Wonky Shoo Fly and Liberated Round Robin.  So that took a day or so - then I remembered the first batting I bought - it is some June Taylor polyester - that one is supposed to be able to iron and baste.  I had brought that with me to my quilting class and the teacher couldn't see how that could be used for a bed sized quilt - there is no power outlet in that basting room.  So I thought it might be good to use for these projects.  I have a queen size container of it.  So then I had to remember where I had put it...  Found it - and then finally was able to get going.  I made ten blocks as there are that many fabrics in the jellyroll.

Since I had beige thread in the machine, I also made some larger sandwiches for Leah Day's quilt a long.  First, I had to spend time thinking about what fabrics to use - give up - for that project.  I'm already three weeks behind so can see the end products.  They are really throw aways as she really is guiding us thru doing a lot of practice - in larger scale - so at least a half yard is needed.  Again, I didn't want to cut up my new lovely fabric - but I  thought at least one side should be nicer fabric - I don't know why I thought that but once I remembered the yards of pink Kona that B gave me - they were all ripped in half long way and were used as decorations for a party - that made me see the light and get going on making sandwiches for Leah's project.  I made two just to get started - again using the batting with the stuff that makes the fabric stick when it's ironed.

Once I made the smaller squares I put the walking foot on to do the outline of the square.  It worked okay for a few blocks - but then started pushing down on the fabric and I actually have a few pleats in one of the blocks and it looked like it was scratching the fabric on the bottom.  I swapped out to my quarter inch foot and finished the stitch in the ditch of the squares and removed the pins I had put in just in case the batting glue did not work....

Leah Day 2012 Project Week 1
I drew the lines as Leah suggests, put the thread on a bobbin and put in a fresh needle. I used one of the new quilting needles.  Found my gloves and started.  But I had to practice just moving the fabric again.  Shortly after starting I could hear the click - so rethreaded - and was able to go a little - then I added speed and heard the click again. I rethreaded, I checked bobbin - I checked and saw the needle was hitting the throat plate - so I googled that problem - and then stopped as son wanted to sleep and I was tired anyway.

This morning I removed the needle and could see it was clearly bent - so replaced it and did this practice piece.

Leah does a great job of walking us thru the first part of the exercise - but she assumes we know what stippling is - no she assumes we all started with it and can do it (I think).  I started by doing Leah's beginning designs and since it seems stippling was not one of her designs, I didn't like it that much so I just skipped it when I was first trying out FMQing.  Since then and now I have tried and can't even get a good stipple on a piece of paper with pencil!  It was very different to enlarge the design to three inches.  I broke several needles on this practice piece.  I often draw the designs out - this one was really hard as she has us do the steps in two directions - then at the bottom we are supposed to combine them to get the random design.  So I have lots of new things in these sandwiches: the batting, the needles, the thread, and for Leah the size of the design.  I wasn't liking the stippling so didn't do the hiding of thread when I broke needle and had to restart - so now I can't really do anything with this piece unless I take care of those different thread ends.  On the other pieces I will take the time to hide the thread - could be I can cut the pieces up and practice my QAYG and end up with a (really ugly no doubt) charity quilt?

But it feels good to have these sandwiches ready - and to know I have more batting, fabric and jelly rolls cuts ready to use for these projects.

It's so wonderful to have these projects coordinated by others that I can follow along!

These practices will become a practice in QAYG and a charity quilt:
FMQ: http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.com/2012/01/lets-start-new-project.html Wednesday new challenges with lots of guidance

These practices will become a quilt for He& Ka:
FMQ: http://www.quokkaquilts.blogspot.com/ Once a week with a break week built in so easier to catch up!
FMQ: http://sewcalgal.blogspot.com/p/free-motion-quilt-challenge.html Monthly new design to submit for drawings

Depends on if I win of not:
Piecing - once a month:  http://blocklotto.blogspot.com/

Collecting the directions, but saving this for later:
Piecing: http://justtakes2.com/  Twice a month

This will become a quilt for my husband or the house:
Project - http://liberatedroundrobin.blogspot.com/ my seasonal round robin - I'm finished one project - the new one will start in March 2012

I can't decide now though if I will take a walk and have breakfast, go buy some more fabric and thread, or continue with Week two for Leah's project.  She has already unveiled week four but Laura has not changed her page so I'm not more behind in that project!  And SewCalGal won't change until the first of the month.  There is still hope to get caught up....


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Gwen Marston and Freddy Moran

I have neglected to share that I will be attending a 4-day workshop by these quilters in two months.

I am very excited, and feel that I'm really lucky to be able to learn from these two.

When first started quilting I found that even with my first quilt (that I worked on while learning how to  use a rotary cutter, etc.) that I did not like just following the directions.  First I wanted to use plain fabric - the teacher said no - I needed to have some design.  Then I wanted to have black background - again if I picked a design it could be mostly black.  Then when I was sewing the blocks I wanted to see how it would look in a different size.  I made the stars in Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue and Purple (originally I had wanted to do the in different shades of yellow but the teacher said yellow wasn't used as a main color in a quilt).  And then my DH said I had too many colors - so when I sewed the top together it only had the primary colors.  For the back I wanted to have planets - so I had to learn how to sew circles - and I found fabric that did a good job of representing the planet.  Then my baby son asked where the sun was so I was thrown off as I wasn't sure how to size that (I had made the planets to scale with the earth being one inch).  (Now I know I should have said he was the sun! but didn't think of that.  The unfinished quilt is in a box somewhere.)

The next quilt I made was a triple Irish chain - it was interesting but rather boring to make too.  I had fun making the backing though I used the left over pieces and made a very modern design.  I liked it more than the front.  That project is also unfinished in a box in the garage.

I discovered the liberated quilters group on yahoo - somehow - I can't remember what inspired me to look.   But I found out about Gwen Marston and Freddy Moran (and a lot more) from that online group.  Before them when people saw my quilts they always made comments about how I should straighten something up or use fewer colors and shapes.  With the group I get inspired and my skills and self-confidence are increasing too.

Anyway, I get to go to the workshop given by Gwen and Freddy.  I've checked out their books from the library and am taking notes.  It's going to be great fun.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tumbler: How the top and sides will look

Subject to adding more rows in all directions - here is how I decided to finish the edges of the tumbler quilt.  I put one row at top and the bottom of all color blocks.  And at the side I added enough blocks so there is one column of all color - and then a straight edge with the beige that is in between the blocks in the center of the quilt.

I think I'll quilt by making vertical lines sort of echoing the zig zag of the pieces - so this will be done all in one piece - not QAYG.  Unless I decide to make the quilt larger.  Then I will use Sara's method of adding rows!

DH told me he saw a bunch of inexpensive tables at Lowes - think will check them out to see if one would be something I could use to baste quilts.

I'm pressing all the rows so they are in one direction.  There are a few pieces where the fabric flipped instead of staying put - but so far only one that got twisted.

Hmm.  If I had a design wall I would have worked more with the order of the colors - but I did clump them together so it looks like I scattered them on the top with some order....

I'm really surprised at how I'm enjoying putting this top together.  It would be lovely to be able to use it!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Expense: More Fabric!

So for my birthday, after lunch out, I went back to the quilt store. I had realized that I didn't have material for backing - and then my DH had said he liked purple so I picked up a range of purple fabric and more too.

The one fabric with the blue and black is the only patterned piece I got - happens it was - other than this really thin muslin - the least expensive fabric I found in the store!

I found that that's it's better to have the lady do the cutting.  Her one yard pieces are 37 inches.  The man cuts them right on the yard - sometimes a little crooked too!

I have other fabric I have purchased last year that are waiting to join these selection of fabric.  I'm going to get started prepping and washing these pieces. These will be fun to sew!

1  $5.49  $5.49
1  $5.00  $5.00
1  $5.00  $5.00
1  $5.00  $5.00
1  $6.10  $6.10
1  $5.25  $5.25
1  $5.10  $5.10
2  $6.10  $12.20
2  $5.00  $10.00
2  $5.10  $10.20
2     $5.00  $10.00
4  $5.10  $20.40
7 5/8  $4.99  $38.05
9  $5.49  $49.41
35.625  $187.20 TOTAL
 $93.60 50%
 $7.25 TAX
 $100.85 GRAND TOTAL
10.5  $5.10  $53.55
10  $5.49  $54.90
20.5  $108.45 TOTAL
 $54.23 50%
 $4.20 TAX
56.125  YARDS  $159.27  TOTAL PAID

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Expense: Bits & Pieces Fabric and Batting

I finally made to up to the Bits and Pieces store - having fire & moving sale - everything is 50% off.

I had planned on going yesterday but didn't feel well - so this morning I called to check to be sure they still had some Kona Cotton in plain colors.  The lady who answered seemed overwhelmed but said she would check.  She came back and said she only saw charcoal and ash - two colors that I like so I said I'd be up in 45 minutes.  It was over an hour actually as I had to stop to get gas and I missed the driveway so drove around a little to find another place to park....

I was expecting a junky store - sort of like Borders when was closing down - or like Beverly's was the one time I went in there -  but this one was beautiful!  Well stocked with all sorts of fabric and accessories.  I even saw someone that I met in a quilting class and said hello to her.  (She said the friday class still has a few weeks left this term!)  There was so much stuff, I had to ask the cutter where the Kona was.  I was thinking there would just be two rolls of the stuff - but no - they had a wide selection of colors behind the cutting table.  So I was welcome to go back there and pick things out.  There were a lot of pinks, yellows, oranges, greens and blues.  I was going to get one yard of everything but decided against that - seemed too much work for me to ask them to do....

But I got a lovely selection of colors.  I asked the man to look at what I had picked and to suggest a missing color - and he said orange would be nice so those last two cuts were made.

I asked about batting - and he said the packaged stuff was not being sold as it would be sold once they move - but they had black batting and thermal batting.  I was interested in the thermal as he said it would result in a warmer quilt....  We figured I would need 12 yards for three quilts - not bed sized but wrap around size for B & A and me.  So I ended up with the batting on the stick - it's about 60 inches tall and is around 14 inches or so in diameter.  (I put it in the closet out of site- ha ha!) He told me he'd put the skinny shinier under the top of the quilt so the warmth from body would be collected more.

For most of the fabrics I got 1 yard cuts - they are on the right - the stack with fewer fabric have 3 cuts of 4 yards each and 2 with 2 yards and one with one and a half yards.

4 yards
4 yards
4 yards
2 yards
2.3 yards
1.5 yards
1 yard
1 yard
1 yard
1 yard
1 yard
1 yard
1 yard
1 yard
1 yard
26.8 yards each between $5 and $6.10 a yard (but 50% off that) so $2.50 and $3.05 a yard.

12 yards of thermal batting $7.99 so it was $4 a yard. ($95.88)


price per yard subtotal
6.1 1 6.1
6.1 1 6.1
5 1 5
5 1 5
5.1 1.5 7.65
5.1 2 10.2
5.49 1 5.49
5 1 5
5 2.3 11.5
5.49 1 5.49
5.49 4 21.96
5.49 4 21.96
5.1 4 20.4
5 1 5
5.49 1 5.49
26.8 142.34
7.99 12 95.88

I think going over the receipt that I was over charged so that takes away some of sweetness, but still I ended up paying $139.20. I hope there really is 12 yards of batting.  I only counted 10 yards but figured I got distracted and missed stuff at the beginning of the count.  He was such a nice guy (although he had said the batting was $6.50 a yard when we started the discussion) and there were so many people lined up I didn't ask him to recount.

His working receipt says $258.38 - less 50% = $129.19
tax seems to be figured on the discounted price = $10.01
Total PAID 139.20 for almost 27 yards of fabric and 12 yards of batting

I think it should have been $238.22 - less 50% = $119.11

Could be he counted the 2 yards of orange as one yard - I'm not sure.  It still was a good deal.

I also got four packages of needles (1 quilting Schmetz 130/705 five needles $4.99 and 3 denim Schmetz Jeans 130/705 H-J fifteen needles $3.99 each  $11.97) -Totals $16.96  50% off so down to $8.48 and add .66 tax Total $9.14 PAID for needles. - A good deal I think.

Next time I'll be sure to make up my own list of what I purchase so the prices can be double checked.

As I left I remembered that I wanted to get some bright pink and yellow (and black and white that the store didn't have) for the quilt that I will someday make for my Godsister's son and wife.  There is no rush on that - I want to finish what I have already started and the wedding quilt I promised for H & K!

My DH is getting hamradio and other stuff and since I'm spending money is probably going to spend at least what I have spent on quilting stuff.  It's only right but makes me really wonder about doing the 4-day Gwen Marston workshop I was considering.

The online group that is doing the online swap is spending a lot of time discussing the size of the things to be mailed.  Next they will add notes about the value of things to be mailed.  I can just get my own I guess - took my name off the list for that.  It was really fun last time.  I have been using some of the scraps and pieces I received and have emailed and posted thanks to that lady.   But I haven't heard back from the lady I sent my time intensive tumbler fabric to so maybe I didn't make good choices for her.

Too bad there were no Kona white or reds* at the quilt shop. I had getting red and white fabric on my unwritten want list so I could make up some new blocks for Clare's project.  She collects red and white blocks and puts them in quilts for charity.  *There were lots of red and white fabric - but it was almost double what the Kona was!

I'm guessing the store was 2300 square feet.  It had a very nice selection of fabrics, books, novelties - and usually would have rulers and things too.  There was a little room just with thread - another with juvenile prints and flannel - one with patriotic themes.  A corner with sewing machines and cabinets -and a big classroom with a long arm and accucut (but I didn't ask if people could use or rent.  Get this, in one hour they do $12K of business - or at least during this sale - I'm not sure if that is the discounted price or profit.  The rent is $67K a month!