Sunday, January 30, 2011

White Raiders Blocks Finished

I just finished the white background Raiders blocks. Tomorrow night I’ll make the black background blocks. There are four of them, very simple. They are made of plain Raiders fabric squares, sashing and a cornerstone. They are the easiest of the blocks and they should be pretty quick to make.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Two blocks completed

Tonight I finished the fancy center Four Queens block, as well as one of the white Raiders fabric blocks. The white Raiders block is a simplified version of the fancy one. I put both blocks on the design wall, and added the pieces of an unsewn white Raiders block. I didn’t get to the black Raiders fabric blocks, but I left notes on the design wall for my housekeeper Cristine who is coming over tomorrow to clean. There’s also a computer drawing of the quilt, so she should be able to get an idea of how the quilt will look. Cristine's boyfriend Victor will get the finished quilt.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Center block almost done

The fancy center Four Queens block is in four big pieces. I could sew the pieces together but it’s really late so I’m calling it a night. Tomorrow I’ll finish the block and start working on the white Raiders fabric blocks. They’re simple-just big squares with a little triangle in one corner. My housekeeper is coming on Wednesday and I’d like to have something on the design wall for her to see. I think it will look good to have the white Raiders squares up on the wall. If I have time, I’ll cut the black Raiders squares, too. Those are really easy-just a big square of fabric.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Flying Geese Units Made

Tonight I made 8 Flying Geese units for the Raiders quilt. All that’s needed to complete the center Four Queens block is 9 small plain squares of fabric. I should have a finished block tomorrow.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Striped Squares Made

I made four striped squares last night for the Raiders quilt. They will go in the fancy center Four Queens block, which is starting to look like something. I’ll make some Flying Geese blocks for the same center block tonight.

How Much Fabric to Buy

Recently a member at Stashbuster asked how much of each fabric to buy.  Until a few years ago, I would buy a fat quarter to 1.5 yards of fabric that I liked; most of those fabrics went to stash. Now that my quilting budget is $50 per month, I buy almost exclusively for current projects. I use Electric Quilt to design my quilts, and I buy a little more than the design's recommended amounts, for safety. Although I am not in Stashbusters' No-Buy group, with its restrictive fabric buying guidelines, I think I would pass.  I buy little fabric "on speculation" and most of my projects are gifts. I shop my stash when possible, but I don't feel guilty about buying the fabric I need.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Working within Limits

A Stashbuster member recently mentioned that she works from her stash, as opposed to buying new fabrics for a project.  She asked what we thought of working within limits.

I sometimes work strictly from my stash, especially for charity quilts and wallhangings.  Also when I do my annual quilting retreats by the sea, I usually work through a book, and I raid my stash for fabric, taking along anything that might work.  I use stash only for my stay-at-home retreats, as well.

When I limit myself to working with what is available, I get creative in choosing colors and prints.  If I'm working with blues, I'll reach into purple, turquoise or green if necessary.  A print might be used that I wouldn't have thought of before, after I talked myself into it.  These little "risks" make the quilts interesting.

Here are some recent examples of stash only and mostly stash:

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pairs of quarter triangle units sewn together

Tonight I finished trimming up the rest of the quarter triangle units, and sewed units together in pairs. They look good. Next I’ll make four striped squares, 6.5” unfinished. I’ll probably paper piece them since I only need four for the center Four Queens block.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Half of quarter triangle units trimmed to size

Raiders quilt—tonight I trimmed a little over half of the 40 quarter triangle units to 3.5” square. I’ll finish up the rest tomorrow and move on to another part of the Four Queens block.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Quarter Triangle Units Done

I finished sewing all the quarter triangle units for the Raiders quilt. I need to trim them all to size, as they’re deliberately a little too large. The hardest part of the quilt blocks is done. Yay!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Fabric bought for North Wind quilt

Today I bought three fabrics for North Wind, which should complete the collection I need to make the wallhanging. All of the fabrics are Fairy Frost by Michael Miller, in white, pale blue, light blue, medium blue, light pink and medium pink. I bought some fabrics a couple of years ago. My design, which I came up with several years ago, uses North Wind and Snowball blocks in varying sized blocks—most rectangular shaped instead of square. Overall, the design should give the impression of cold wind blowing from the north.
I’ve been meaning to make the wallhanging for several years. I’d like to make it this year before Spring.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

4th pillowcase finished

I finished the fourth pillowcase for ConKerr. The main part of the pillowcase has what I’m calling monster trucks, with a simple blue print for the border. I wanted to make a couple more pillowcases for tomorrow’s delivery, but four will be plenty for this time.
Tomorrow morning I’ll wash the pillowcases in plain hot water, per the hospital rules. Then it will be off to the laundromat to dry them. Each pillowcase needs to be placed in a plastic bag. I’ve got plenty of 1 gallon zip bags.
The nearest ConKerr chapter is in Sacramento, about an hour and a half from me. I have a quilt guild meeting in Sacramento once a month, so I’m dropping off the pillowcases just before the afternoon meeting.
The pillowcases will be distributed by ConKerr to child cancer patients in Sacramento hospitals. I hope the pillowcases bring a little cheer.

Friday, January 14, 2011

3rd pillowcase done

The third pillowcase for ConKerr is done. This one has planes and helicopters. I had made the first cut, then realized the fabric was directional, and wouldn’t look right if I kept going. I cut it a bit differently, added some plain fabric to the main part to make it wider, then added a red and white star print for the border.

Second pillowcase done

I just finished the second pillowcase for ConKerr. This one has a military plane fabric for the main part, with a plain deep burgundy border. I whipped that one out pretty quick, partly because I didn’t have to piece the border. Off to do another one.

First ConKerr Pillowcase Finished

I just finished the first pillowcase for ConKerr Sacramento. For the main part of the pillowcase I used a power tools fabric leftover from my son Robbie’s Carpenter’s Wheel quilt. For the border I used a hot dog fabric leftover from my brother Rob’s R-O-B-C quilt. The inside of the border is an orange fish fabric that reminds me of Goldfish crackers. The pillowcase is really cute!
I’ve got several more to make today and tonight for tomorrow’s delivery in Sacramento. The pillowcases will be distributed by ConKerr to child cancer patients in Sacramento area hospitals.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Making a few pillowcases for ConKerr Sacramento

I’m going to whip up a few pillowcases to deliver to ConKerr Sacramento when I travel there on Saturday for my quilt guild meeting. It just so happens that the drop-off point is in the same area that I hang out after meetings. I’m making arrangements to meet someone at the drop-off.
I’d like to take 3 or more pillowcases with me. I’ll choose fabric tonight and sew tomorrow. The pillowcases will be distributed by ConKerr to children in the hospital with cancer.

A few more quarter square triangle units made

I made a few more quarter square triangle units last night, in medium gray and black. I whipped them up pretty fast, just so I could put them on the design wall, since my housekeeper Cristine is coming over today. I put a printout of the quilt design and a couple of notes on the design wall as well, so she could get an idea of how the quilt will look. I think Cristine will like the quilt.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

First 20 Quarter Triangle Units Done

I finished the first 20 quarter triangle units tonight for the Raiders quilt. The units’ colors are white, charcoal and black. I’ve started working on the next set of 20, in black and medium gray, which I hope to complete tomorrow night. These units are the hardest parts of the blocks, and I’ll be glad when they’re finished. The rest of the block parts will be a lot easier. Woo-hoo!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Quarter Triangles Sewn

I began sewing the Raiders quilt tonight. I got a couple of quarter triangles put together. I’ll sew some more of them tomorrow.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Side seams done

Just finished sewing the side seams of my denim pants. The openings for the pockets are good.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Fabric for Raiders quilt ironed

I got the fabric for the Raiders quilt ironed tonight. I’ll start sewing in a day or two.
Photo: fabric collection for the quilt

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

It's fun!

I am a big fan of Food Network. I watch this channel more than any other. I live in California, and when a restaurant in my state is shown, I Google the restaurant, then save it to my Favorites on my computer—in case I visit that area some day. I have accumulated quite a list of restaurants that are within my reach. I love to travel and I live within a couple of hours of San Francisco and Sacramento. Southern California is a half-day train ride away.

So far I’ve been to Guy Fieri’s Tex Wasabi in Santa Rosa and Gorilla Barbecue in Pacifica, as well as Langer’s Deli and Philippe’s Original—both in Los Angeles.

It’s fun to go to a restaurant I’ve seen on TV. I plan to go to many more.

Pockets sewn

I sewed the pockets to the pant legs tonight. I had to re-do one seam when I found I had sewn a pocket to the inseam edge of the leg instead of the side edge. LOL! It took me longer to rip out than it did to sew in the first place. Oh, well…
That’s enough for today.

A little at a time

I’ve had fabric cut for a pair of denim pants for months, and just haven’t taken the time to sew yet. It seems that there’s always a quilt needing to be made, and the pants keep getting pushed aside.
Just now I came up with the idea to do one stage of the pants before I begin a quilting session. If I can spend a half hour or so each day doing that, my pants will be done within a couple of weeks. Hopefully sooner!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Fabric washed and dried

Tonight I got the fabric for the Raiders quilt washed, then dried it at the laundromat. My dryer died a few weeks ago, so a couple of times per week I go to the nearby laundromat and dry stuff. Oddly enough, it’s usually fabric for a project! Fabric dries pretty fast. Twenty-five cents and 7 minutes later, it’s a done deal. Clothes and towels I don’t worry about getting all the way dry. Maximum 21 minutes…just enough to get the sogginess out of them, then I let the stuff airdry overnight at home.

I’m all set to start sewing tomorrow night.

Shoo Fly Quilt Top out for Quilting

Last night I took Liberated Shoo Fly quilt top to my friend Deb S. for quilting. I also left an $8 Wal-Mart sheet for backing, plus batting that I got at 40% off. That way Deb, who has volunteered to quilt all of the quilts for the orphanage project, only has to pay for thread. When the quilting is done I’ll get the quilt back for binding, which will allow me to get a photo of the finished quilt. Yay!

Fabric shopping done

Last night I bought a little pale gray fabric for the Raiders quilt. I should have enough to make the quilt top now, although I will probably need some black for the border. I’m washing the fabrics now, and will go to the laundromat to dry them in just a bit.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

More Fabric Bought for Raiders Quilt

I picked up a couple of solid gray fabrics today for the Raiders quilt I’m working on, to add to the two Raiders theme fabrics I bought recently. Beverly’s had a sale of 25% off all fabrics. Yay! I need one more pale gray fabric and then I’ll be ready to go. I’ll look at Joann’s tomorrow.

The quilt is for my housekeeper’s boyfriend. He plays poker, so I chose Four Queens quilt block for the quilt design. I’m using two Raider themed fabrics, one with a black background and the other with white background.

Liberated Shoo Fly Top Done

I just finished the quilt top of Liberated Shoo Fly.  It will be quilted by my friend Deb S., and I don't know if I'll get the quilt back for binding, so I'm displaying it as is now.
Liberated Shoo Fly Quilt Top
65" x 85"
All from stash
Began the quilt during my October quilting retreat in Pacifica, California
Original design called for 16 Shoo Fly blocks.  Later I decided to donate the quilt top to an orphanage and plain fabric blocks plus a couple more Shoo Fly blocks were added to make size requirements.

Liberated Shoo Fly Block
Purposely uneven triangles, giving each block a different personality.
All Shoo Fly blocks have the same star fabric in the center, which provided the color scheme.
I designed the quilt to be male-appropriate, and it turns out boys' quilts are in need at the orphanage where the quilt is headed.

My plan is to see if I can put the binding on myself, after which I can take a picture of the finished quilt.  The completed quilt will be donated to Rancho Santa Marta, an orphanage in Mexico, about 60 miles south of Ensenada in Baja California.  Delivery of this quilt and many more will be made by my church during two missions trips to Rancho Santa Marta, one in January and another in April.  I plan to make a few more tops for the April trip.