Thursday, February 28, 2013

9 patches and half square triangles.

Here are those 9 patches l mentioned waiting to be swapped this weekend.
All 160 of them.
Of course, we used a quilt as inspiration when we decided on the swap,
 but that does not mean that's the quilt everyone will make.
l'm still thinking on mine.

While l was busy at the machine, l also stitched up 10 pages
of paper pieced triangles,

The half square triangles come out perfect when using this  technique.
Stitch on the broken line, cut on the solid line.
Then enjoy an hour of mindless paper ripping in front of a good program on
the tv, and you have a pile of perfect half square triangles for a new project.

Pinned, ready to go.

 All trimmed, ready to be exchanged.
Nice pile of trimmings. Much easier to trim these pages than each and
every individual triangle, as l have been doing for years.
This is an ongoing swap with my Sorrento Sewing group.
So we will be busy this weekend, swapping 9 patches and triangles.
These are the triangles below we swapped in january.
Can't wait to see what the girls make with these.

A good point of reference for quilts to make with these triangles
is Edyta's book, Friendship Triangles.
She gives you hints how to run a swap, and then beautiful quilts to
 make when you have a wonderful collection.
Another great place for inspiration is Google Images.
Search for antique triangle quilts, and be amazed!!
Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Swap blocks and more swap blocks!

As mentioned in my previous post,
one of my goals this year is to finish up some old PHD's. ( Projects half done)
And so far, l am very happy with my progress. One of the area's
that also needs attention is the overflowing basket of bags of blocks.
See, l love to take part in block swaps, and over the last 8 years,
 l have taken part in many, both with online groups,
and with my Sorrento sewing girls.
Many of the swaps l have done with my Sorrento girls,
have been made into quilts, because we see each other regularly,
which inspires us to  turn those swapped blocks into quilts.
The blocks that have been most neglected have been the
 ones from online swaps.So when my stitching buddy Bev
came for a visit on Saturday afternoon, l decided that rather than stitching,
 we would try and make some headway with my bags of blocks.
The photos below was the result of a few hours happily spent
in my sewing room, trying different fabrics, and setting suggestions.
Thanks Bev for some wonderful suggestions!

Brown and blue. Who doesn't love that combination.

This pile is a set of basket blocks. All different baskets.

These cake stand blocks, in one of my favorite color combinations,
have been a challenge. Dixie, who also took part in this swap, is
making  a wonderful quilt, using applique blocks.
 Hmm! This is when l wished l loved applique more!!

l have enough of these blocks to make 2 quilts,
so some will go into this quilt, with these fabrics.
Just look at some of those wonderful fabrics.

l have a ton of 9 patches, in both 6" and 3",
so its time to make a dint in them as well.
These 6" blocks will be set on point with this fabric.
One of the things l love about swapping blocks is the
wonderful variety of fabrics in the blocks.
And a little bit of each person's personality shows through in the combinations
 of fabrics they put together in a block.
Will women in the future think l had an amazing scrap basket?
Not if l remember to put labels on these quilts!!!
Here they are. The next 6 quilts ready to go.
Hmmm!! Now my biggest dilemma is which one to start on first??
Of course, because the blocks are already made,
 they should not take too long to make into tops.
l am heading off to Sorrento again thursday for a sewing weekend.
Do l take all 6 piles, and play, or should l just take a few??
How does one choose which one to start first??
Off to sew 9 patches. For a swap of course!!
Thanks for visiting.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Some finishes and another start.

When one decides which project to work on next, its easy to
 be distracted by something new. l am very familiar with this,
 which explains why l have so many PHD's lurking in my cupboard.
And of course, they in themselves are a distraction.
So my mission this year is to work diligently on finishing up some
 of those projects that have been waiting patiently for my renewed attention.
And try and make some kind of order in my sewing room.
Plans are afoot for new window coverings, and a new table.
There are so many new things that are a distraction,
 but for now l am staying on course.
Here is the scrappy spiderweb all together.
l am very happy with how this quilt turned out.
Its off to be quilted soon!
And the larger spiderweb is also together.
Super happy this one is finally finished and ready to be quilted.
Love the secondary pattern that has emerged.
These Ohio star blocks l rediscovered in a a tub recently.
 l first showed you them here
Of course, the pattern that l was going to use
isn't holding my interest anymore, so its on to something bigger and better l hope!
Does that happen to you?
The centre is complete, now l have to work on the outer border.

This is my pile of tops l brought home with me.
Its a great feeling to have completely finished 3 tops,
 and 1 well on its way to finished.

 That's what l call a successful sewing weekend!!
Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The story of the very patient Quilt!!

There is nothing nicer than feeling great after a weekend of sewing.
And that sense of achievement when you put the
 last stitch into a project that's been neglected too long.
That's how l felt when l decided to take along a project that
was started by my group almost 10 years ago,
 just after we had renovated and extended our beach house.
It needed some quilts and fast. So l cut everything out,
and took it along to one of our weekends.
The girls were happy to help out in the stitching of a few blocks each.
At the end of the weekend, it all went back in its box till next time.
Only next time never came.
Another more exciting project did, and it was pushed aside and left to ponder!
While digging deep in my cupboard last week,
 looking for inspiration! something exciting! an old project l could work on!
 l came across THE box.
That long neglected and forgotten box.
Only some of the blocks were sewn. All the fabric was cut!
l had almost completely forgotten this quilt.
l laid it out on the floor in front of me.
And l made the decision then and there that
it was not going to be forgotten any longer.
It was going to become the quilt it was always meant to be.

The colors are still perfect for the beach house.
The pattern is simple but great. The fabrics are mostly reproductions.
Now to get it quilted!!
And hang it over a chair, that's also been waiting patiently for a quilt, 
and cooler weather,
when we will finally get to snuggle under it.
The moral of the story of course, is that good things come to those who wait.

We were a small group this weekend, but we still managed to have plenty of fun.
Bev, Jill and Nikki ready to share some paella. ( Anne had gone home already)

There was plenty more sewing that happened across the weekend. Back with them soon!
Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Heading off for more Sorrento sewing.

That's me. All packed and ready to go. Have l got everything?
Sewing machine-  
books for inspiration -
projects to work on -
more projects to work on that probably won't get touched -
New fabric just arrived in the mail to stroke and ponder -
a new recipe to try ( the girls are great guinea pigs)  -
Bay leaves that l need for that recipe -
lots of cool clothes ( its going to be low 30's (high 80's) all weekend -
a book to read ( Mrs Lincoln's Dressmaker) -  
Some friends to sew with -
a bottle of wine or 2 -

camera -
Looks like l have everything to make the weekend a success!!!

Hmmmm!! Wonder which project l will work on first
 and hope to complete this weekend??
Any one want to guess??
l will give you a hint. Its in the box right in the middle front!
Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The last of my Christmas Sorrento sewing.

What do you get when you cut over  2,000
1" squares?
And an assortment of other mini strips ranging from 1 1/2" to 11 1/2"?

A cute pile of mini blocks,

that multiply,

and grow bigger,

til there were 2,
then 3,

and now 4 blocks!!

And the makings of another 5 blocks to make the quilt the size l want.
There is a total of 319 pieces in each block.
And there will be 2,871 pieces in the nine blocks when they are finished.
Still deciding on what to use as sashing.
Will wait till all 9 blocks are done to decide.

l  showed you the first block l made in this post here.
Of course, the pattern for these blocks are in the book
Small Pieces, Spectacular Quilts
by Mary Elizabeth Kinch and Biz Storms.

l am still enjoying sewing them, even though each
finished block takes around 3 - 4 hours to sew.
And that's not counting cutting time!!
Is anyone else been crazy enough to take on the challenge to make these blocks?
Or want to join me in sewing these darling little blocks?

Heading off to Sorrento for more sewing time this weekend.
Hmmm!! Which project to work on first???

Thanks for visiting.


Friday, February 8, 2013

A finish and a light bulb moment!

A finish!!
They say good things come to those who wait.
l first blogged about these pinwheels way back here in June 2010
 and here in September 2010.
One can't hurry sometimes!!
l am so glad to see this finished and ready to be quilted. Its full of memories.
Most of the blue fabrics were collected on my first Houston visit in 2009.
l have only used conversationals as the lights, and even went as far as fussy
cutting the cute pinwheel fabric for the cornerstones.

Later the same day l decided to throw these spiderweb blocks on the wall.
They too have been sitting around brewing, mainly from lack of inspiration.
Inspiration as to what to use in the corners.
l seemed to be so close and yet so far.
Several times these have been on the design wall, and taken down
again without any further advancement.
Does that happen to anyone else?
l had my mind set that we would make a decision on these,
 so we pulled out several different fabrics, cut triangles
 and tried many different combinations.

But nothing was working. We tried spots, stripes,

 blues and  reds, till we finally gave up and walked away.

Then just as l was thinking about going to bed, l had a light bulb moment!!
Why not try using the fabric that is the centre ring in the web.
So a quick flurry of cutting, placing and standing back, and we knew!!
Sandra and l looked at each other.  This was it!! we both said at the same time.
Hmmm!!! Why did it take so long to figure this one out!!
This was what those blocks were trying to tell me all along.
And l love it!!
Just a few more hours and this top will be done and dusted, and worth the wait.

Deep in the box the above blocks came from was all the left over wedges,
so l got to playing with them the next day. 
Super scrappy using all the left overs.
Hmm! Maybe that's what l could call this one.
Left overs!

This is how they look now, all finished.
Just might need to tweek the placement of a few blocks.
These 9  will be just a small wall quilt,
 maybe with a border to make it to the size l want.

Well, as always, l have left the best till last!
In my opinion of that is!!! LOL
Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A finish and another birthday quilt ticked off the list!!

In between planning and sewing birthday quilts l took some time
 out to finish up this long standing PHD l mentioned here.
At long last it's finished, and off to be quilted later this week.
This quilt, called Flea Market Dash, began life as a kit from Amitie.
l made a very small change or 2.
The pattern is still available, not the kit.
So very different to the normal colors that l choose,
but l love the brightness of this one, and after all,
 its still reproduction, just from the 50's. 1950's that is!! LOL
Tick!! 1 PHD bits the dust!
Next on the birthday list was a quilt for my niece turning 18.
 Millie wanted and chose batiks, in lights, purple, greens and blues.
 Quite jewel like colors. So l purchased 3 jelly rolls,
 as batiks or those colors don't exist in my stash.
Not having a lot of experience with jelly rolls, l was disappointed to find
that 2 of the rolls were slightly larger than the 2 1/2" l thought
they would be. So with rotary cutter and ruler in hand, l headed to the cutting board.

And some time later had a pile of trimmings that looked like this.
 Hmmm! Now l am ready to sew.

And sew l did. First l made strip sets, and then using my Kaleido-Ruler got busy.
Nice neat piles waiting to be sewn into blocks.

First couple on the design wall, just to see!!

These blocks sew up very quickly and accurately.

As l had more purple than the other main colors,
l spaced them on the design wall, ready to be  filled in with the other colors.

Ready to be sewn into rows.

Top complete!!
And off to the quilter later this week.
This quilt was super fast and super easy.
And l must admit, suits these batiks perfectly.
Sure hope Millie will be happy!!
Well, l know l am.
That's another birthday quilt ticked off on the list.

Close up of the fabrics.


One of my new year resolutions is to make a dint in some PHD's.
When l finish 2 old PHD's l can start a new quilt.
Oh, dear. Hope these birthday quilts don't count!!
Thanks for visiting.
Stay tuned. More  to come!!