Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Problem with Chain Piecing

I love chain piecing... it is an efficient way creating identical block parts one after another... mindless work that quickly gets the job done.

The problem  is when I do something wrong... like stitching the yellow square on in the wrong direction.
And since I'm chain piecing I do it wrong multiple times  (in this case 72 wrongly sewn blocks).  I sewed.  I pressed.   I should have double checked before cutting off the bonus triangles... but nooooo!

And of course, I have no more of this fabric!  I bought it last year when I was in East Tennessee.  It was one of those sales where there is a pile of assorted scraps and you fill your bag with whatever you want for a few dollars.  I don't have time to spend the day driving back East in hopes of finding more, so I gave my husband a fabric sample as he headed out the door to work and if I didn't find anything in town... as a last ditch effort... I would call him and he would go to the quilt shop near work to look for something for me. (Isn't he the best!)  So I spent way too much time this morning driving around town looking for a replacement... willing the fabrics I saw in front of me to match.  Unfortunately, the local quilt shop is closing soon and is down to bare bones with nothing even close. I found some near misses in  Hobby Lobby, Hancocks or even Wal-Mart... but nothing that spoke to me like the original fabric.  I called my husband at work and he went over on his lunch hour and came home with  a couple possibilities.

Here are the 3 best alternatives

I'm not really loving any one of them so I'll make several blocks with each alternative and that will be that.  They don't look bad, they just aren't as good as the original to me.  (sigh)

Monday, June 18, 2012

FCE Craft Day

This is my bracelet created in a 4 hour class today.

Today we had an FCE craft day an Miriam taught us how to make bracelets!... we can also use the same technique to make a matching necklace.

Miriam demonstrating tying off and adding clasp

Sunday, June 17, 2012

UFO Update... Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all the Dad's out there.   It's been just a year since we lost my Dad... but we will celebrate with my husband... my children's Dad and I'm sure Pop will be with us in spirit.


Yesterday I was up early and got all the cutting done for my swap blocks before my grandson was up and running.

I stayed busy all day with my grandson... who is a very busy, non-stop three year old. 
Putting some of that energy to good use!

We got out to the garden and picked blueberries and blackberries with a minimum number of dropped berries and stomped plants!  Then came in for some berry topped ice-cream YUMM!

Last evening while he watched Scooby-doo and settled down a bit before bed I drew the lines.  I still haven't figured a more efficient way to do this... If anyone has any ideas, please let me know as I have 144 squares to mark.

This morning... I was up at 5am and while everyone slept (especially and including the grandson) I spent two hours sewing....
chain piecing

Using Orca Bay string blocks as a leader/ender

Chain sewed the squares on each side of the rectangle

Chain sewed each one a second time to make Bonus Blocks... Bonnie would be proud!

Snipped off the Bonus Blocks

First section and Bonus Blocks all pressed neatly

Now to repeat with the second section

But first, since it is Father's Day... after church...   Since both daughter's work evenings we decided to celebrate with a family brunch rather than dinner... and my grandson just had to help with the cooking!

We made vegetable quiche and ham and egg pie... named as such because "real men don't each quiche!" but they do love pie! LOL

I forgot to take the after pictures, but we all enjoyed our short family time together before my youngest daughter headed off to work and the oldest took her son home.  Now I have some time for more sewing as Dad has requested pizza for dinner to be delivered by our youngest daughter later this evening! 

Hope you are all enjoying your Father's Day celebration!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

UFO Weekend

This weekend Pat Sloan is hosting a UFO Busting Challenge.  You can read all about it here:

I planned on making 9 blocks needed for the Quiltmaker Party block swap in Williamsburg, VA that I will be attending in August.   Here is my first block laid out....
Quiltmaker 100 Blocks Vol. 2  Block #174 Birthday Girl by Bonnie Hunter

I spent spare minutes all week long cutting fabric...
9 blocks... 52 pieces each... that's a lot of cutting!

But as life goes, I have my grandson for the weekend again, so there will not be as much sewing time as I had hoped.  So I got up early this morning (5am!) and managed to assemble two blocks before he needed my attention.

So now while we watch Scooby-doo and eat our cereal I am drawing lots of lines!

Let's see... thats 144 lines for the purple/yellow block.  Then more lines for the orange/yellow hsts!
I am sure there must be an easier/quicker way to streamline this, but I can't think how right now.

Hope you all enjoy your day.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Nana Duty

Nana is on duty again this weekend.  Picked him up from daycare yesterday and we had a great evening together.    Apple, 1/2 banana, cherries, strawberries for snack... He didn't want to walk Toby tonight... maybe tomorrow.  Chicken nuggets with ketchup! and coleslaw for dinner and a chocolate chip cookie with milk for dessert!    He helped me "cook"  putting the sliced cabbage into the dressing and stirring the coleslaw.  We watched Scooby-Doo and the Goblin King, had a nice bubble bath and he "read"  four stories to monkey and me... Llama Llama, Little Pony, Corduroy Bear and The Very Noisy Night!.... and the Llama Llama one more time for good measure.   He wouldn't sleep in his "pretty bed" last night... even with the night light it was too dark!??  Oh well, we hauled the crib mattress into my room and he slept on the floor next to me.  Unfortunately he did a lot of tossing and turning in his sleep so I didn't sleep well.... and then he was up at 5AM!!! UUGGHH!

He ate his cheerios and milk... with a few more cherries! while I ate my eggs.  Then big boy went to his room and got dressed by himself!  He chose well... denim shorts and a black t-shirt... and everything was on right-side out and facing front! LOL.  His mom says they are working on tying shoes.. you know... criss-cross apple sauce... make two bunny ears and tie them tight! .... but he wanted nothing to do with that this morning and left it for me to do... glad he's not too grown up yet!

We grabbed a "juice to go" (a capri sun packet) and his monkey and his car and off to "Miss Diana's House" (daycare) by 6:30am!  I stopped to do the grocery shopping on the way home, unloaded and put everything away, a load of laundry started, dinner in the crock-pot, kitchen dishes cleaned up, beds made and now I'm heading out for 3 miles with Toby....

I think I'll take a nap when I get home!

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Ok, my lack of techno savvy is showing... I can't figure out how to add the logo so here is the big long link for a quilt-a-long by Pat Sloan over at the Quilting Gallery.  Let's hope you can just click on it to get there.  If not copy and paste and that should work...I think. (sigh)

Each week directions for a new block will be posted and by mid September you should have a completed quilt.    Now I'm off in search of fabrics and start sewing!

Oh, and here is my half square triangle top all pieced and  waiting in line to be quilted.

One more UFO to finish this month and I'm back to working on Orca Bay designed by Bonnie Hunter.   I'll be starting three new quilts designed by her during classes in August at the QuiltMaker Party in Williamsburg!  Check it out here...

Monday, June 4, 2012

UFO listing

Here is an updated listing of my UFOs ... just as a reminder to myself of what I have accomplished so far this year and what I have left to do.  I completed one and moved four up to wait on quilting... now I must schedule some quilter time between customer work for me to get them done!

I should be able to move the first two almost done's up by month end and then I want to get farther along on Orca Bay before starting on the three new classes in August.

Improv Block Quilt (february)

Christmas Swap Blocks (moved up in march 2012)

Baltimore Album Quilt (moved up in april 2012)
Scotts Squares (moved up in may 2012)

Thangles Quilt (moved up in june 2012)

Rosewood Cottage - 1/2 hand quilted (waiting since 2006)
Lucky Charms (waiting since 2010)
Basket Sampler Quilt (waiting since 2011)
Birthday Star (waiting since 2008)
Monkey Wrench BOM (waiting since 2007)
Set of 4 placemats (waiting since 2011)


Basic Class Wall Hanging - need to finish hand applique on 4th block then assemble
Pillow Cover - assemble parts
Sunbonnet Sue - needs 3 prairie point borders to be a flimsy

   Collecting and pre-cutting fabris for these three classes in August

Winston Ways
Turkey Tracks
Midnight Flight

2012 Orca Bay - some of steps 1 and 2 complete
2012 Cheddar Bowties - 81 blocks complete,  8 of 9 rows completed for first 1/4 of quilt
2010 Vicksburg BOM - 3 to hand applique..I may just assemble the completed blocks into a flimsy and quit
2011 Happiness Key - background prepared
2011 Dear Jane/Hot Momma Rose - 3 blocks complete
2010 Swartz Creek Quilt - unfinished class project
2009 1950s Santa - applique - working on block 2 of 12

2006 Barn Blocks - 5 more applique blocks, then log cabin blocks to assemble
Jamestown Landing BOM
Green/Pink BOM
Black White & Red
Orphan Fan Blocks
Heart Blocks
Pumpkin wall hanging
4th July Wall Hanging - paper pieced
Recycle Quilt Teddy Bears

Pastel stars
Pink Baby Quilt
5-Star Tablerunner
Parisian 20
Cardinal Wall Hanging
Quilt Diva
Colonial Christmas
Golden Stars tablerunner
CJ's Care Bears
Iris Table Runner
2 Americana Dolls

I also have several boxes with quilt-of-the-month kits stored in the closet...but I'll leave them for another day to inventory and decide what to do.