Friday, July 24, 2015

Retreat projects

Last February, I went on a retreat that my quilt guild sponsored. Retreats are so much fun because you meet new friends, deepen old friendships and get "juiced" when you see what other people are creating!

At this retreat, we exchange 7" squares of fabric and over the years, I have collected a lot of 7" squares! Some of these squares have made their way into applique projects. Some are cut and waiting to be sewn into blocks and a few actually made their way into a finished quilt! 

In the project on the left, I made lots of nine patch blocks which didn't take long. . .it was the applique border that took forever. I have another top just like this one ready for a pepper applique border. . .but, that is a story for another day!!

Before the retreat, I decided that I would figure out a plan for the squares and stitch the blocks using the fabric as one of my projects. 

I also brought pajamas to finish for one of the grand daughters and two pillow cases to make. (The oldest grand daughter picked the fabrics. She just HAD to have a pillowcase to go with her bunny "jamas"!) I brought the string geese blocks to add some wings. Finally, I took parts to make sawtooth stars.

I finished the pajamas and pillow cases the first day that I was there. I've uploaded a video of how well the granddaughter loved her "jamas" as she called them!

On the second day, I stitched the wings on the string geese.

You already know what I did with the sawtooth stars. Next time, I'll share what the blocks that I made with the 7"squares on the last day.

In the meantime, I finished quilting the purple star points and have moved on to quilting the green star points.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Green and Purple Triangles

This past week I quilted some more of the purple triangles. The week before, I quilted green triangles. 

I had wanted to practice quilting with a ruler; but, because the slide table accessory for my machine has a curve, I was unable to hold the ruler in place to quilt around the edge. I had some wonky lines and those were the good ones!!

In the end, I chalked a line and then using feed dogs and a quarter inch foot, I quilted triangles. . . .48 purple ones and 48 green ones. What a boring task!!

Now, I'm back to free motion quilting. I like doing that so much better! I'm working on the star points. I hope to finish this quilt by the end of the month. . .course, my original goal was to finish it in May. . .but, in May, I couldn't figure out how to quilt it!!!!

This is how I'm quilting the star points:

This is how I'm quilting the space between star points:

Now that I know what I am doing in all of the spaces, I should made progress every day that I'm in my studio! 

This was the mystery quilt offered through my guild in 2014. I finished piecing it in June of 2014; but, the mystery just intensified while I was determining how to quilt it!!!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Special Request

March 30,2015 my dad asked me to make him a quilt for his 80th birthday which was April 9. My dad is a two time survivor of kidney and bladder cancer. He has COPD and a heart ailment. His request HAD to be honored. So, I walked into the studio to figure out some fabric and my eye lit on those sawtooth stars.

My dad's favorite color is blue so those were definitely in. I was doing the happy dance because I had a bunch already sewn from retreat. Because I was making it, I decided it had to have my favorite color which is red. 

Red, white and blue. . .Hey, I won some BOM blocks at guild the previous year that were red, white and blue. This is a good combination! Then, I had this thought. . .why not have 80 stars for 80 years? Course, that means that I needed to make twice as many more!

This was a time sensitive quilt and quick, I am definitely NOT! I did work steadily on the piecing for about a month. 

These were the blocks that I had won.
I made about 13 more. They were 12 inch blocks so the sawtooth stars made the perfect addition to the design.

 Adding a whole row of stars to the top of the quilt was a great to add a dozen stars. But, I was four short. . .How was I going to get to 80? 

Take the six inch center out of those nine patch blocks and insert a sawtooth star was the solution!!!

Dad asked to have a few more stars in the quilt. So I pieced a few into the back.  During the whole process, I would chat with him and tell him how I was progressing. He really had no idea how long it takes to make a quilt!!

 This is the label.

 I quilted it on a friend's longarm. I am so thankful that she let me use her machine as I would still be quilting it on my domestic!! As it was, it took me a couple days. . .with her help!! The end of May, I gave it to him in a coordinating pillow case. He loved it! 

And it FIT!!! -- There's plenty of room for his white dog to snuggle too!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Sawtooth Stars

In 1992, I made a wall hanging that used a lot of blue fabrics. Over the years, I have tried to use the scraps in a variety of projects. Rarely, did any of the scraps make it into the project. I was tired of looking at the bag and was inspired by Bonnie Hunter to cut the pieces into useable parts. Before I started cutting, I happened upon a photo of a quilt with lots of 6" sawtooth stars. I thought, what a perfect way to use these scraps! 

So I started cutting and kitting the parts. It didn't take long before I had used all the neutrals on hand for the background. At a guild meeting, someone left some neutral strips on the free table so I snapped those up! This was a great project for cleaning out small pieces in the blue scrap drawer too. The drawer that I couldn't close, closes easily now. 

I cut squares, strips and rectangles too ala Bonnie's scrap saver system. It was a lot of work; but, in addition to cutting 36 sawtooth star parts, I cut a lot of other "ingredients" to use for future parts!

Last February, I went to a retreat sponsored by my guild and making these stars was one of the projects I took with me. I was just making stars. I didn't have a plan other than to use up those old blue fabrics!

I had fun putting stars together and visiting with fellow retreaters. I made quite a few and had lots of questions about where they were going.
Of course, at that time, I had no idea!

Just check out the selection of fabrics! As I stitched, I thought about using some red to compliment all that blue and white! I didn't have a plan for all those stars until the end of March and then I needed to make more!