Friday, January 26, 2018

Starry Bright Sky QAL: Textured Block 1 Faux Cathedral Window Variation

This year Alida is adding a textured block for between the stars, and I have completed the first one:  Faux Cathedral Window Variation...  With her directions very easy to do, even though I used a walking foot for the top stitching!

There is still time to join in this QAL, I did one a few years ago and learned so much!  Her directions are very clear and you are of course free to make changes based on your ability or time. For the textured blocks she is using Teresa's directions for the blocks, but changing the measurements so they will fit with her star designs.

She had suggested making improv fabric where I put the plain blocks, but I wanted to be sure to keep on track so went with the solids.

I have a collection of solids in yellows and golds and blues so that is what I'm going to be using for this project.

Leah Day's Explore Walking Foot Quilting: Straight Lines

I have Leah Day's Book and I'm following along on her blog - this year we are learning quilting with a walking foot!  When I first started I tried a walking foot for the bindings, and it was really difficult for me to do.  (I think I broke the one that went with my Mom's Kenmore.)

My husband got me a new Brother (because it was rated as a great machine by Consumer Reports) as a surprise a few years ago and I have been now getting used to using it.  It's been great for piecing and has been fun to experiment with some of the extra stitches too.  But I hadn't put a walking foot on it until yesterday.

I pretty much followed the directions for Leah's making straight lines...  Except I didn't measure correctly so there are a few that are not the same distance between them...  Here is the front - where it's easy to see the stitches!

And here is the back!  I was amazed that the center line exactly had a line of stitching.  It wasn't planned but is very nice.

I had played around with the length of the stitches as she advised (but I didn't preserve mine so I can't show it to you).  I liked the 1.30 setting, but then I realized I had turned the machine off when I went downstairs and I forgot to change the setting again - most of this was just done with the default length so I think I will leave it at that!  Looking at the different stitches reminded me of when I rode a bike with different gears.  I really couldn't tell the difference between all the settings... Oh well.

So this foot went on easily.  I marked the first center line then tried to use the side of the presser foot to guide me for the remaining lines, but then decided to use a piece of tape and since my tape was 1 inch wide that is what most of the remaining distances are.  Then I experimented with the quilting guide that came with the Brother and that was great to use.  I could put it in so it was aligned with stitching on the right or the left.  Of course it would have been easier if I hadn't needed to readjust that with each change of direction, but it made it very easy.

I'm using the walking foot for quilting my project for the Put a Little Love in Your Heart Blog Hop that is coming up in about two weeks!  I wish I were done with my quilt so I could take a snazzy photo shoot this weekend, but oh well.  Going up to Pasadena with my son so we can have last sundae and hamburger at Twoheys in Alhambra. We will do other things too of course but I wanted him to remember Twoheys as I have been going there for many years.  Sad they are closing down, after 75 years they lost their lease.  : (

Thanks for coming by!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Starry Bright Sky QAL - Pattern 1 Raw Edge Applique

Starry Bright Sky QAL 

Oh boy, raw edge applique.  So many little details.  I practiced again with gentle curves...

Believe it or not, this was better than I did this when I tried last year.  But last year it discouraged me so much that I quit the project and missed out on the fun.  This year I decided to simplify this first design so I could have a January block finish and be in the group.

Instead of doing the curves on the inside, 

I used a ruler to mark a smaller version of the star for an opening.  This will be doable!

I creased the background fabric to show the center.  But when I looked at the background it was too near an edge, so I moved the design down. 

Used a ruler to verify my placement.  

I was in the sewing room for three hours - starting after I found the tape and paper scissors to work with the design.

I unplugged the foot peddle so I could control the machine and speed with the buttons, so there was no jamming or problems while do this outlining.

I have a finish!

 Here is the front

And here is the back!

Again this is a modification of Alida's design.  I just don't have the skills right now to do all the details, but already I can see others in the group have done her blocks (she gave us two patterns to pick at least one to do) and they are beautiful.

This QAL has just started, it's not too late for you to join in to make the beautiful quilt Alida has designed.  In addition to the blocks, I'm looking forward to making the extra blocks that have folds and creases in the fabric - to make textured blocks!

I've linked this post up to the group page:
Go ahead and see the pretty blocks folks are posting to the site!

Alida:  "I have designed 22 unique star blocks, with 11 different techniques and few techniques are completely new and never used in any of my previous QALs!!!"

RSC18 - Light & Medium Blues

I have finally finished something in 2018 that counts as quilting!!!

For several years, Angela has been hosting the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I am back to taking the challenge, my way.   I'm going to continue to make one block a month...

So I got out my box of scraps! and was pleased to see the light blues on the top, that made it easy...

And my 14 inch ruler - picked out the light and medium blue scraps, and made this one block:

I'm a slow sewer and worker, but perhaps this year will get more things done.  These scrap color blocks will be combined with the blocks I did in 2016 and make a nice comfy quilt. Here are the posts from 2016, the last time I did these kinds of blocks...


I'm linking up to Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

Received: Beautiful Patterns from Quiltscapes

Last month I won these beautiful patterns from Quiltscapes.  The directions are very clear, I was especially interested in the Techno-Tag Quilt as I had planned on making one for my Godsister's son and DIL - they use one of these tags on their wedding invitation.  But Deonn told me the tagging wasn't being supported anymore - so she sent along an extra pattern and the material and pattern to make a cute bird ornament.  

These will be lovely to read in more detail, and to make too!

Thank you so much Deonn!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Jan 3 2018: Progress

Well, not really a lot in the quilting department - yet!

Let me go back....  For Christmas this year instead of gifts, I gave each of us ten index cards, and the task of thinking of places and thing we'd like to do together this year - and then to do it!  Too many times we have said we were going to do something and it hasn't happened.  Hopefully these little thirty cards will push us along to having some new experiences together!  Of course, they can't all be long weekends, but a new park or part of town for a walk or coffee would be good too. (I'm going to display the cards on the frig to mark our progress.)

My husband came up with the first idea that we did already! We went to Borrego Springs for the New Year's weekend. DH's idea was to take night sky photos and doing some ham radio exploring too. Stayed in a house so our little Buffy could come along too and have different windows to look out. We didn't think ahead though as there was a full moon so the stars were not very clear after all, radio interference at the house we rented, Still we made the best of it and enjoyed the time to read, relax, cook and chat. Had one meal a day at a cafe, and logged into HQ Trivia for New Years - funny how that turned out.  Did any quilters log on for the event?

Our next adventure away may be a weekend in Idyllwild.

Very low key, but a great way to start the year.  We returned late last night, but while we were there I read QProject 1A - 2018 Leah's post and watched her video about the first part of the machine quilting project that I'll be working on this year, and I read the email from Alida about the  QProject 3 - 2018 Starry Bright Sky QAL.

I washed almost all my fabric before going to a wonderful workshop in Berkeley last fall that I haven't blogged about yet - but my fabric is ready to starch and press and cut.  I just have do commit to the colors to use for the projects. 

QProject 4 - 2018

I'm reminded of a fun blog hop that I have signed to to participate in next month, though so will let you know about this!  I haven't decided on my project to post yet, but it will be fun to think about and do.  Fun for me, and will be fun for the followers too!

The rules are simple, and came today in the mail from Carol, the organizer:

The blog hop is a month away...plenty of time to finish a project, right! I can't wait to see what your heart project is! Besides the rule about having a heart somewhere on your project, the other rules for the blog hop are pretty simple:

1. Show up on your assigned day. I like to schedule my post for the night before around 11 p.m. MST. That way if I'm still awake I can make sure it posted, plus it lets early risers and other time zones see your blog post in the morning.

2. Post the list of the other bloggers on your blog post.

3. Visit the other blogs and leave a nice comment.

4. Have a giveaway or don't have a giveaway. It's entirely up to you.

5. Have fun with it! I'm keeping things simple so it hopefully won't stress you or me out.


QMaybe Project 6 - 2018

And I got word on the new block lotto January block for 2018 - this looks like a lot of fun to make too!  You can see the blocks already submitted on this screen:  Just scroll down to see the photos that will show up next to the "Recent Work The latest blocks posted" heading. They remind me a bit of work by Piet Mondrian.

Going to have to start cutting and sewing if I want to do everything I want to do!

NQProject 7 - 2018

But while on our little adventure I decided to add reading between 30 and 60 minutes everyday...
Starting tomorrow I will record the time and pages read just to keep me accountable to myself...

Dec 31 - Jan 1 | The Keeper of Lost Causes | Page 1 - 385 | Didn't track time.  Great first book in the Danish Detective 'Department Q" Series.

Jan 1 - Jan 3 | How Georgia Became O'Keefe | Page 1- 130 | Didn't track time.

NQMaybe Project 8 - 2018

My son and I had our weekly lunch out together today.  We may work on learning Spanish together.  He already knows more than I do, but needs a language to finish his masters degree.  He has been studying Chinese, but now that he is just trying to finish the degree up it might make more sense to pick an easier language to master.  I was working on Swedish and German myself, but will abandon those for Spanish if it means someone to practice learning with!

NQProject 9 - 2018

The other non-quilting goal is to cook more often at home and to plan several meals out at a time.  Well tonight that's not happening, and might not happen for awhile as I would like to use the food we have in the frig or cupboard already.  So tonight it will be chicken, vegetables, salad and sweets from Christmas or the New Years trip!

NQProject 10 - 2018
Walk and exercise more! I used to do more walking, oddly that was before little Buffy joined the household.  When I walk with her it is like walking with a toddler, with lots of stops and side trips.  It's frustrating actually to want to walk but to be stopped by my partner.  And she knows when I leave without her, I can see her looking at me thru the front window.  Well.  This year I need to get back to at least 9500 steps a day so for some days when I'm inside and she is needing company I have found this site to encourage me along:
Jessica Smith TV - Jan 1 2018

I also paid for the Gentle Yoga class from Sixty and Me, but haven't done more than the first session.  I was disappointed that they started with standing exercises when the photos show exercises done on the floor.  : ( Perhaps by continuing to do them I will like it...  I do need to work on balance, but I was expecting this program to be different and work more on flexibility.  Oh well.


My phone is backing up 10,000 photos - I'll share some from the weekend once that is done!  Hmm I thought the back up would be done by now - but now it says it has started to go thru all my photos again to look to see what to back up!  What a bother!

: )