A Lovely Quilt for Cinderelly – Piecing

So… I’m trying to figure out equilateral triangles. Bought some rulers – a Tri-Recs set – figuring I need them for Mom’s 54-40 quilt anyway and maybe they’d help with the castle even though it’s not a traditional block.

It’s hard to figure out how much fabric I need for each block and I feel like I’m wasting a bit. To make 5.5″, the instructions said I need 6″ of fabric. But I have 1/2″ leftover. But I’m also afraid to contradict the instructions! Especially since I’m using batiks/Fairy Frost so I get confused about which direction I might need to cut 1/2″ less on. Because one side definitely needs to be (and I need to pay very close attention to my seams!)

So I’m cautiously cutting and sewing, pressing and checking before even cutting the next block. It makes for slow going…but hopefully less bad cuts. I’m still not sure it’s right – shouldn’t there be some extra on the side for where the next block will match up? At the top points? Yeah, I really don’t know what I’m doing.

Do you see the castle? Two towers down, six to go…

Of course, speaking of bad cuts, I cut the straight pieces wrong…twice now. Some of the bits can be re-used elsewhere in the quilt. The rest of going to the little pile of Fairy Frost scraps and FQs. Which doesn’t include a dark blue that I decided I need for prairie point flags. Guess I’ll be off to the quilt shop when I know how much more light blue I need!

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What’s Behind Door #1?

Finally started cleaning out the office/sewing room. The closet is filled with office supplies and fabric, so the door stays open. So does the regular door, which leaves a 12ish” gap on the wall. I guess enough room to hang a picture, but not really anything else…except maybe…

Oh, yeah! Guess who has a design wall now? (Like, finally?)

In action, the Charm Pack Quilt Along. Makes me want to get moving on those four-patches and get more on the wall!

The back is pieced from a 4×8′ insulation board. I cut off 12″ and 6″ to make it about 78×60″. Tycho is very suspicious that this will make it harder to lay on top of quilts.

It’s covered in flannel, taped at the back. I decided not to go with white because I use a lot of white in quilts.

So now there will be less design RE-layout due to cats and kids having fun in the living room. And also, less walking for me! (Wait, that’s not a good thing.)

Published in: on August 30, 2010 at 7:38 am  Comments (1)  
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I Know What Boys Like – Quilting

The Dude went back to school, full day kindergarten, this week. I thought I’d have so much more time to catch up on posting, but somehow the errands I used to cram into three hours spread out into the six! I’ve been doing a lot of cleaning and organizing now that he’s not around – fridge, freezer(s), fabric. I’m tackling his play room next week. That should be a fun one.

And I have been working on sewing. I finished quilting one of the twins’ quilts. This was my first time using the walking foot, but I still had some annoying skips and stops.

See, on the top of the brown paw prints? It jammed up for a few stitches, then skipped when it started moving again. I thought using the walking foot prevented that? Grrr. I want to try free motion quilting, but how can I do that when I can’t even do straight lines?

(Why did I choose the one spot on the quilt where my seams didn’t match?)

But I do like how it looks when quilted and squared. I used a variegated blue thread and stitched about 1/4″ off the ditch.

As a result, the back has 1/2″ and 1.5″ zig-zags. It was a pain to stitch four inches, stop, turn, stitch four inches, stop, turn… So I think the other twin will get a different design – maybe chevrons. Fewer turns!

I think I’m binding it in a plain cream fabric. There’s more than plenty pattern on the rest of it!

Published in: on August 28, 2010 at 2:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Charm Pack Quilt Along – Step Two

Poor, poor CPQA. It’s been relegated to leaders and enders in between the Zs of the I Know What Boys Like quilts. Everyone else is moving on to Step Three – ie, sewing the blocks together – and I’m still running a few four-patches through every day.

Of course, if you check out Step Two, you’ll figure out that I’m doing it the harder way so that each and every block has two different prints. Because I like making my life just a little bit harder.

At least I have this handy ruler to help. Another one of my 3-for-2 template purchases. This one was worth every penny and instantly easy to use. Plus, those little round things keep the fabric from moving. And how much do I love that extra 1/2″? A whole, whole lot.

Just need to remember, when switching between projects – cut 4.5″ for the Zs; cut 5″ for the CPQA…

Published in: on August 21, 2010 at 5:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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It’s a good thing I’m not doing a stash busting challenge

Because seriously?

I’d lose.

This weekend, we went to Branson, MO. Naturally, I had to hit up the one fabric-y quilt shop in town. (Tons of quilt-y quilt stores.) Lots of great patterns, lots and lots of fabric, not a lot of pre-cuts, and some really cool panels I haven’t seen before – especially the Thomas Kinkade Disney ones. And Maisy. The Dude is already clamoring for the Maisy one.

When I got home, I had the Popcorn Bear fabric in the mail, and the jelly roll and layer cake of Fruitcake. Those came from my newest weakness, Stitch Steals. Evil website. New deal every day, get it while it’s hot! My pre-cut collection is growing suddenly and rapidly.

But, Popcorn has already been attached as borders and one twinnie quilt is basted. The Fruitcake is for a table runner and placemats for my mom’s birthday. The blue sky is for my new nephew, which is next in line on the project list. So hopefully some of this stash will disappear before it really has a chance to settle in.

Published in: on August 18, 2010 at 9:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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I Know What Boys Like – Tops

Despite the “assistance” from the cats, I finished up the tops of these and finally decided on the borders and backing. It took me a long time to find the actual fabric I decided on, Quilting Treasures’ discontinued Popcorn Bear line. The key word being “discontinued.”

I finally found it at Bernina World of Sewing and spent a tense weekend waiting to see if they still had it in stock. Which they did! The fabric arrived today, borders will go on next week and I’ll be quilting soon. And the twins aren’t even born yet!

Twin A’s

Twin B’s

Notice the change? There’s a Z of monkey faces in white now. I discovered when ironing…

…something isn’t quite 100% cotton. And kind of melty.

And I have two yards of it. Yippee.

Published in: on August 13, 2010 at 10:05 am  Leave a Comment  
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Charm Pack Quilt-Along – HST Done!

A week behind on the Quilt-Along, but I was running these through the machine between strips for the I Know What Boys Like Quilt and pressing seams during Buffy episodes. I love streaming Netflix.

Also, I like this ruler. Not quite love, but close. I had a coupon for “buy two, get one free” templates at Prairie Quilt’s Fat Quarter Frenzy. (Not discussing how many FQs I bought.) I bought a 4.5×8.5 ruler (that I do love) and a set of triangles that I plan on using for Cinderelly. Grabbed this one figuring if worse came to worst, I could use it to square up 6.5″ blocks.

It works fairly well, once you figure out how to line it up properly. It’s nice to have the smaller size and fewer markings – my other square is a full 12.5″ with markings all over it. However, it is slippery as all get out, so I need to borrow Freckled Whimsy’s tip and rubber-cement it. The instructions claim you can square it before pressing, but I’m not brave enough to try that. Not on this project, at least!

Ahhh… So glad that’s over with!

Published in: on August 12, 2010 at 10:25 am  Leave a Comment  
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I Know What Boys Like – Cats

Wedge thinks Tycho has been getting too much blog exposure.

There’s a huge inherent problem with using the floor as your design wall when you have cats.

This took them about a minute.

“Wow, Mom, this is like a puzzle! We just, uh, wanted you to have fun putting it together again.”

Published in: on August 11, 2010 at 7:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Shirr, why not?

I’ve been a little afraid to try shirring. I have no idea why. It’s so freaking easy! And with long straps and a Mommy who can hem, I can make the Gator a dress that will last a couple of summers.

I wound the elastic thread by machine, because I’m lazy. On the slowest setting, it wound nicely – not too loose, not too tight.

It was harder to get used to sewing on the right side of the fabric!

Two rows down and it was already starting to bunch up nicely. I used the gathering stitch on my machine and straightened the rows out only about five inches ahead and a couple of inches behind while I stitched.

After ten rows, my hands were starting to hurt, so I decided that was plenty of rows.

The finished back. That lovely shirring hasn’t even been steamed (that feature broke on my iron a long, long time ago.) It’s a bit long so that my sister can let down the hem next summer, and the summer after, and…

And don’t call me Shirley!

Published in: on August 9, 2010 at 6:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Five Pounds…

…of tomatoes…

…leads to…

…leads to…

…the most awesome roasted tomato base. Half will become sauce, half will become soup. (The peppers on the side of the basket did not go in the base. Super hot salsa in this house!)

I’m picking another five pounds about twice a week now, all San Marzano and Roma. I got about three Rutgers off six plants, and there’s not a single tomato left nor a flower blooming. So disappointing to this Jersey Girl!

Peppers are doing spectacular – California Bell, Jalapeno, and Habanero. Peas and beans never came in for some reason. I might plant a couple more seeds when I plant some fall crops, if it’s ever cool enough outside to plant! Right now we’re outside for a total of five minutes to pick tomatoes. I’m not a fan of this over-100º weather. Neither is the Dude. He’s less tan now than he was in June.

I also have one carrot that my friendly bunny never ate. Bunny ate the weeds right next to the carrot, though! Bunny is awesome. I’ve tried taking his picture, but somehow it never works with the Dude right next to me yelling, “It’s a BUNNY!!”

And all the herbs are growing massive. Luckily, Alton Brown just did an episode on drying herbs, so I’ll be picking up a box fan and some air filters soon. Because AB told me to.

Published in: on August 4, 2010 at 8:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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