Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Nifty HSTs

I'm starting a border made of HSTs. Carrie Nelson has a nifty method...reminds me of triangulations paper but instead you draw the lines on your fabric. I like it.

Align your two fabrics, right sides together...stitch down both sides of the center line.

Slice up the block.

Press...now I need to trim to the correct size. 

This is Carrie Nelson's book full of wonderful designs based on nifty tricks like this.

I really like this book!

Another trick of Carrie's is to clip seams to make them oppose when stitching blocks and rows together. I have never done this before but she has converted me...there were just too many points in this quilt to make pressing work for every situation  without clipping the seams sometimes.

And from the front you can see how nicely the points turn out with a little clipping.

Back to sewing border  blocks.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Design Wall Monday

I thought I would never get to my blog today...I think I'm getting a cold...I feel like I'm moving in slow motion. I feel amazingly better now that I'm in my sewing room (I really should be tackling chores).

I'm halfway through sewing rows together on my Purple Mountains Majesty quilt.

Then it will be time to start the borders. I'm going with my own design...worked out on EQ7.

In the mail today I got the last of the fabric I need to start the alternating blocks of the 2011 BOM from Pieceful Kwilter. I ordered the opal from Batik Plus...they carry older lines of Hoffman prints. I love ordering from them...they send a gift...a fat quarter. Love the one they sent me.

I wanted to share a mock-up print of the block I made with EQ7 (on the right). It really helps to see the block in actual size with the fabrics I am using.

I hope I find time to see what everyone else is posting about their Design Walls at Judy's. Her latest quilt is so pretty!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

More Wild Sightings...Not Necessarily Wildlife

Once again I was making my trek to the new house up Eagle River Road. The road parallels Eagle River although usually you can't see too much of the river from the road. 

Would I see another lynx today? I was looking...instead I saw wild humans!

You are looking at a frozen river top, covered with snow and wild humans racing bikes.

Hope this race gets coverage on the local news tonight because I think this is absolutely amazing...amazingly crazy. Really? Riding your bike up a frozen river covered in snow? I thought I was hardy walking my dogs down the street today.

On the quilting front...thanks for the validating comments regarding the last border...still more chores to do before I start sewing. I just had to take a quick blog break. I still can't get over the bike race! On a frozen river top! In the snow! 

More Playtime

I got all of the Oso blocks done last night...it is a quick technique. If you have Carrie Nelson's book, "Another Bite of Schnibbles," this pattern comes in three sizes...I did the biggie size so my blocks are 12".

As usual...I had to play in EQ7 to change up the borders. The first is basically Carrie's version with smaller Oso corner blocks added.

Carrie has a quick method for making HSTs so I thought about bringing some of those into the border.

This is what I went to bed thinking about. Now for the day's chores to ponder more before sewing time tonight.

Quick addition. Looking at my post I had another thought...

Friday, February 24, 2012

Fabric Therapy

I was so happy this morning.
 My day started with a call from my husband who is in Germany. I had lots of good things to tell him about the progress on the new house. Then I had a great class at Jazzercise. When I came home I decided to tackle the final stages of painting a bedroom and get it done. Despite my extensive stash of painting paraphernalia...I was missing the right roller and foam pad for trim. So I decided to hit the Home Depot and also try and deal with a lighting problem for the new house at the showroom near Home Depot. It was snowing as I headed out for my errands. I was behind a two-car accident. I don't think people were hurt but it delayed my trip. Then I didn't have any of the right stuff to resolve my lighting problem. At least I got exactly what I needed for the paint job. By the time I got home I was such a crab. I painted a little and then the sad faces of my dogs made me layer up and head out for the dog walk. Usually that snaps me out of the grumps...didn't work today...maybe because I knew as soon as the walk was over I would be snow blowing the driveway and shoveling the deck. Those chores done...it was time to check the mail. I had a package!
 (I ordered fabric in my pajamas earlier this week.) 

Here's my package opener, Tonka. I guess he thought I ordered something for him...or maybe he really does like batiks too! I was gone all day yesterday and he is keeping track of me today.

The three green pieces are to renew my stash...I love these...they are from a Hoffman line by McKenna Ryan...I should buy them by the bolt. I hadn't seen her dark pink piece  before so I had to get some of that. They all look great with the main fabric I'll be using as a border for the BOM sampler I'm supposed to finish in five days. 

I'm feeling much better...smiling. Fabric therapy works great...better than chocolate. I'm going to go paint now so I can get closer to quilting time!

Sew Much To Do

My quilting day turned into a quilting night since no one else was home last night.

I got several blocks done. The most time consuming part of this design is trimming the HSTs. The sewing is speedy. There are a total of 32 bear paw-like blocks.

More snow last night so I need to get the shovel out and get the day going.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Show And Tell...

It was Breakfast Club today! My camera had an attitude...it's been doing that lately so I think it is time to start looking for a new toy. It died early in the show and tell period but I did get photos of three quilts...all made by Jane from our group...she had just gotten the quilts back from her quilter.

This is a very quick pattern, "Side Lights." There is a mysterious orb in the photo...maybe I should call TAPS...the Ghosthunters on SciFi.

This quilt was stunning. The larger blocks were from a series at the quilt shop called Saturday Sampler. Jane mixed in lots of star blocks of her own for the final layout. All batiks...that's probably why it was my favorite.

This is a Kim Brackett design from  her book "Scrap-Basket Sensation," Island Chain. This was last month's project so it's not quilted yet. 

Today we started a Carrie Nelson design, Oso. She has a very nifty technique for making the blocks. I think it will be a fairly quick project. I finished two blocks in the class.

Shopping is always a part of the gathering. Our group leader works at the quilt shop one day a week putting together kits for the shop. I almost always pass them up but lately she has been kitting up the latest batiks and I found myself unable to resist this gem.

These colors will look spectacular in our new house.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wildlife Sighting

Today on my ten-mile drive down Eagle River valley we saw one of these walk across the road.

Pretty amazing. My good friend, Cheri, was with me and she is an amateur photographer...but we didn't quite have this view of the Lynx. Those big paws just marched through the deep snow.  This is the first one I have seen in the 14 years I've lived in Eagle River...the snow is so very deep this year...a lot of animals have been moving into the populated areas to look for food.

It goes almost without saying that the moose are more abundant around town than ever this winter...so much so one was found in an Anchorage hospital.

Who would ever expect to make a sign like this?

It's a Big Wild Life.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I've Made a Decision

SweetPeas in the Meadow

Here's my final answer. Thanks to my blog reader, Cathy, for her suggestion to add four-patches to the border. I was all set to start cutting out the fabric for the setting blocks when I figured out I'm short on some of the fabrics. I love living in the internet age...I shopped in my pajamas and now I just have to patiently wait.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Design Wall Monday

I've been playing on EQ7 to work out a design for the blocks I made from Pieceful Kwilter's online 2011 BOM. Quick recap. I have these wonderful blocks.

Soooo...many steps later...

I'm getting much closer. I need to work on the border area.

Now...the next new project! It's already time for my monthly Breakfast Club meeting on Thursday. We are going to make Carrie Nelson's Oso from her book "Another Bite of Schnibbles." She's got a new technique in this pattern and I can't wait to try it. 

Our class leader, Marcia, put together a batik kit for this pattern using a lot of new batiks from McKenna Ryan's new line from Hoffman. They are gorgeous so I snatched one of those kits up at the store a couple of weeks ago (on the left). It calls for two background prints and I had the perfect ones in my stash...plus a few other batiks from my stash I plan to throw in the mix.

I'm sew excited to get started.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Recharge

I have been pretty quiet this week...house building and quilting aren't a good mix. It's going to be that way for a little while.

I'm at a point where I have to make decisions to work on existing projects and that seems to be the problem...making decisions.

Remember these wonderful blocks?

I've been trying to decide on how I want to set them...they are my February UFO. I played in EQ7 for several hours last night but still haven't figured it out.

This is the fabric that helped me select the colors for the blocks. I'd like to keep the "floral feeling" going.

Here's the blocks in the setting the BOM designer put together.

Not sure that carries the "floral feeling"...

So several versions later I decided to try a chain block.

Still muddling through it in my head...

The next project is the Scrappy Dresdan Plate. I need to figure out the center of my flowers. I have one appliqued with a yellow center. Very pretty but the background is going to be yellow so I'm thinking that might not be the best choice...maybe I should try the navy print.

When I don't have any capacity to make decisions...I turn to a stocking kit.

The Santa Nutcracker is finished...I'm starting a blue nutcracker.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day # 27

My husband says I'm the most unromantic person...could be true...but he certainly is the most romantic person I know. Here's hoping there are 27 more Valentine's Days together.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday Finish...Not!

I'm making a dent on my Dresdan plates. Nothing like having several projects going...what about the two UFO's I'm supposed to be working on?????

I found these treasures on Ebay. They were $5 a piece and the Santa's just need beards. These charts are out of print and highly coveted...complete, unused kits for these two Santas often sell for over $20 a piece. I feel like I got a major deal!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Hare's Pace

I've spent the last three evenings working on the last two blocks of Pieceful Kwilters 2011 BOM. Lots of points! Definitely not for a beginner. Block 11 was an instant hit with me when I finished it.

Block 12 didn't thrill me after I finished it.

All that work to get my points and it's a mushy mess...batiks do present challenges. I couldn't live with it. Out came the seam ripper and two new fabrics.

A few hours later...it's all better!

This my February UFO...next...setting triangles for all of these blocks.

Shannon of Pieceful Kwilter fame, has started a new project on her blog called SAL 2012 (Sew Along). She just released the first edition. It's calling to me. I already committed to the Scrappy Plate Club and I'm falling behind on that one so I may just be an observer on the SAL 2012...sigh.

Monday, February 6, 2012


Hello, my name is Debbie...and I'm addicted to making Christmas stockings. I probably have 70 stocking kits waiting to be made. (Just in case Bucilla never makes another kit..I've got enough to last my lifetime.) But darn if those designers at Bucilla haven't made more cute ones. 
Due in April

Gifts from Santa...I just love wrapped presents!

Snowman Games...chubby little snowmen...who can resist them?

Twas the Night...Santa with a Grandfather Clock?  Haven't seen anything like that before.

Under the Tree...check out the adorable ornaments...and the toys! 

These all look so easy.  No dolls with braids! I'll try and finish some more stockings before April arrives.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Stocking Sunday

I spent several hours working on this tiny doll that fits in Santa's bag of toys.

Here's the front of the stocking all put together.

Next is the final construction. I line the inside of just the front piece of the the stocking with another piece felt.

I rarely use the backing provided in the kit. Often they aren't the color I would choose.  It was the case with this kit so I pulled some burgundy felt from my stash and pressed out the wrinkles. I drew the outline in chalk of the completed top.

Here's what the backside of the front piece looks like. I like to line it so that nothing that goes into the stocking will snag any of the threads. I also think it adds a lot of body to the stocking.

 I used the burgundy felt for the lining but I didn't include bumped out areas...just the basic stocking shape. I also trim it to a little less than 1/4" all around. Then I whip stitch it to the back side of the front piece. The felt is very forgiving and I stitch so that I just pick up enough of the felt with each stitch to secure it but not let my stitches show through to the front. It definitely takes a light touch.

Now it's ready for the back of the stocking to be added.

The back piece is whip stitched to the front...

In the areas where different colors come along I just stitch the base of the front with the back piece.

Here's a peek at the back where I am knotting off my thread and getting ready to start a new thread.

Here's the final stocking...all ready for next Christmas.