Sunday, June 26, 2016

Sashings Finished

I've been making progress on the sashing for the president's block project. First I cut 1 1/2" strips. I worked with 10 dark and and 10 light strips. Next, I stitched the strips together.

I pressed the seam allowance towards the dark and cut the strips into 1 1/2" widths. Next, I stitched the pairs together.

Next step was to stitch the segments together. . .first to make a four patch, then press the seams open and finally measure to be sure it measured 2 1/2" square.

I stitched two four patches together to form a 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" segment. Yes, I measured to be sure that I had sewn accurately!

I stitched three of those segments together and that is how I made a 12 1/2" checker board sashing.

I repeated these steps until, at the time of this post, I had finished all 97 sashings needed for this project!

In the beginning, I was concerned that I wouldn't have enough of the fabrics; but, I did. I even had about six inches left of each one!

Now, I'm auditioning fabrics for the cornerstones. Originally, I had planned to use this blue striped fabric with some of the cornerstones sporting a ring buoy. Well, the four blue squares didn't look that great. Drat, I actually have quite a bit of this fabric! Perhaps, it will become a border??

Neither did the dark blue squares "feel" to me like they should belong there.

So, I tried the red squares. Hmmmm. . . .maybe I need to try white??

It's Official--First Anniversary and a Give Away

I did it. I've published a blog for 52 weeks this past year.

I blogged about my processes, my inspiration, my success, my challenges and my lessons learned. Along the way, I've asked for your input which you have provided and I have appreciated.

To celebrate, I'm giving away this "extra pocket." These come in handy when you need to carry a cell phone, some money; but, you don't have a pocket.

To win, is simple. Become a follower AND leave me a comment by Thursday, July 7, 2016. I'll name the winner and contact you for a postal address.

A whole new year is ahead of me. It is time to decide what changes I'll make to the blog. I'm thinking about adding a flashback post mid-week or shall I go with a slow stitching post--I have a hand project that I'm not working on that I really want to finish. A slow stitching post would encourage me to make progress. Hm m m m. . . .I suppose I could do both.  So the challenge to me will be posting twice a week. Can I do it?? I believe I can. Believing is more than half of the battle! :)

Thursday, June 16, 2016

President Blocks--a new project!

In 2013-2014, I was President of the Clark County Quilters guild. There are about 525 members and about 60 people are included in the board. During my term, we adopted a different electronic method of sending newsletters to the membership and accepted credit card payments. We had a busy year!

At the end of the year, I was presented with blocks to put in my own quilt from 42 of the members.  The previous past president determines what the blocks will be and lets the membership know. That past president then collects the blocks and at the last meeting of the year, awards them to the out going president.

It's funny, I knew I was going to get some blocks. The previous president had asked me what I wanted and I replied heart blocks in finished sizes 3", 6" or 9" AND a hand block size 9". The heart blocks would be on a light background using red fabrics. They could be pieced or appliquéd; but, no embellishments that would make quilting difficult. The hand blocks could be pieced, appliquéd, or drawn using a light background. In my head, I knew how I would arrange the blocks.

Imagine my surprise when I received blocks that related to my years of working for the local Red Cross chapter and teaching Red Cross programs. (I still teach some Red Cross programs!) I had worked for the Red Cross for 14 1/2 years in a variety of positions. In my last position, I supervised instructors. Because classes were held any day or time, I was on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If an instructor couldn't teach a class, it was my responsibility to cover it, even if that meant I taught the class. My last week, I taught three nights of classes. By nights, I mean, I taught from midnight to 8AM.

Grave yard shifts and my body time clock don't get along. I have a hard time sleeping when it is light! After one of those grave yard shifts, and on my first day back to day shift, I was fired. I had received no warnings. My supervisor told me that because I was teaching so many classes, I had neglected my supervisory duties which caused problems in the department. Of course, I was shocked. I had received an outstanding performance review a few months earlier. I cleaned out my desk, under a watchful eye and was escorted out of the building!

I had thought that I had dealt with the feelings; but, seeing those blocks brought back emotions that surprised me and not in a good way!

Next October, I'm part of our guild's featured artist show. I am one of 22 past presidents who will be exhibiting their quilts. So I needed to take these blocks to a finished quilt! I was fortunate in that I received 42 blocks. The first photo is pretty close to how I'm putting the blocks together. Isn't there a wonderful variety?

I decided to put a dark blue sashing around each of them so that I could make a more accurate block at size 12 1/2."

This fabric was in my stash---ok, I'll admit it, it was in the deep stash like more than ten years! The good news is that I used it and the great news is that I had enough!!! (With eight inches to spare!!!)

Then I had some red and white fabric--that fabric has been in my stash for about three years. I decided I could make a checkerboard block that would be a great unifier. I'm finding working on this project is cathartic.

The sashing added interest to the blocks. The bigger question is will I have enough fabric to make 97 12 1/2 inch units??? Hmmmm. . . .stayed tuned!!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

2nd Dress--This One Is For My Sister!

Our four year old granddaughter came to visit and said that we needed to do a really important "job."  She said, "Gran, follow me, please!" Hmmmmm where I have heard that before. . .except it was. . ."Girls, follow me, please!"

Off we went to the studio. Inside the door, she crooked her finger at me to come closer so I bent down and she whispered in my ear, "Sissy needs a dress too. Can we sew it NOW?"

So we did! She made it a little different from the dress she made for herself. I loved that she wanted to celebrate individuality. The pressing went faster this time.

There were less lines to remember and after a little over an hour. . .we had the tah dah moment. . .

Our four year old is so tickled to have made it on the sly. She plans to present it to her sister on June 4 so her sister will have a present to open during her birthday party. She also asked me if she could enter enter the dress in the county fair.

We did enter it in the fair. If you are less than seven years old, you can win a participant ribbon; but, you don't earn a premium unless you happen to be the youngest participant. . .then you win $10 and a big blue ribbon. Guess who was the youngest participant?

The judge wrote "What a wonderful gift! Keep on stitching!"

She told her mama that she is buying a Barbie with her winnings!

Sissy wore her dress on June 4th; but, didn't like the tie around the neck. At 2 1/2 years old, she KNOWS what she wants and has NO problem communicating that information to you.

So this week, we revamped the straps. Now there are two straps and they tie in the back.

Sissy is much happier with the dress now!

It was a great week!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Hexagon Quilt--4th QAL Finish 2nd Quarter

It has been a l o n g time in coming! I finished the hexagon quilt!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Is it obvious that I'm excited?) :) I named it--"Totally Hexed."

This is my label. It was a fun project and piecing the hexagons is a great handwork project. Actually, they are addictive! I can see more hexagon projects in my future!
This was a mystery BOM. JoJo Hall over at Through My Hands, designed and shared this project one block at a time at a local quilt shop. It was a challenge, but, for the most part, I completed my block each month! I started quilting this project back in March and posted progress here, here, here, and here.

I used stencils, quilting rulers along the way and learned that using a quilting ruler works best when you couple the ruler with a ruler foot. I still have a lot to learn when it comes to ruler work.

Looking back, I'd suggest picking a color palette. I would see the block and pick fabrics from my little pieces stash. Anything was fair game. I'd also suggest  having only one background fabric. When it came time to find sashing, I struggled. . .BIG TIME. I thank my friend and new neighbor, Pat Curtis for steering me towards the green and the orange!

I had fun adding some crystals to a few of the blocks for a little bling.
The spiders now have eyes!

The Christmas tree has some additional sparkle.

JoJo gave each of us two embroidered bees which added to the bee hive block.

The pumpkin has a little glitz.

As do the snowflake and the heart.

I generally have a little wiggle on one side of my binding. I don't know how that happens; but, this time, I tried putting a 1/4 piece of seam tape along the quilt edge to help stabilize the edge. Then I first stitched the binding to the back of the quilt. I trimmed the edge and flipped the binding to the front where I was able to machine stitch it. The only handwork is closing the corners, stitching the label on two sides and and stitching the sleeve. Jean Wells, recommended 1/8" grosgrain ribbon; but, I didn't have that in my stash! Actually, I picked up this seam tape at a "sale" last March for five cents! It was 1/2" wide and I just trimmed in half. I needed two packages. It is a little fiddle to work with; but, it is worth the effort!

Ta dah! This is the finished quilt and the THIRD finish of my list for the second quarter of the Finish Along 2016 challenge. You can read about it here.

I entered the hexagon quilt in the county fair. It won a blue ribbon AND best of show! I even won the Clover Wedge Iron as a prize. How cool is that???