Saturday, January 31, 2009

Keeping Busy w/out a Sewing Machine

My primary sewing machine is out for over a week to get its regular service cleaning and oiling. Last weekend I spent organizing and re-folding the fabric stash.

I also have been keeping up on doing some occasional hand piecing since I took a class with Froncie Quinn of Hoopla Patterns in the fall. All the star blocks pictured are hand pieced. I have plastic templates to trace the shapes and it makes it very easy to fussy-cut particular elements into the pieces you use.

I have also given hand quilting a try. I had a very brief intro to hand quilting at a guild 'try a new technique' day. Wasn't very happy with the results that day. I tried again this week and used thicker thread and loosened up the hoop. It certainly isn't tiny invisible stitches, but I like this chunky folk style that I ended up with. I have yet to hand quilt an actual project, I guess that will come next.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Staying Inside and Getting Some Quilting Done

The extreme cold (it was -24 degrees this morning) is certainly motivation to stay indoors and get stuff done.

The compass star quilt pictured was started in a class with Judy Mathieson at the Vermont Quilt Festival this past summer. I got about 2/3 of the top pieced in class and finished it at home. I quilted it this fall, and finally, yesterday I put on the binding. This is the first time I have bound a round quilt. I used bias strips from a fat quarter and it worked perfectly - I usually have great beginners luck.

The whole thing is about 30 inches across. I figure it would make a nice holiday centerpiece for a table.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

WIPping that Quilting Project into Shape

My guild WIP (Work in Progress) project for this year started as a box of 600 (yes I did count them) 2 1/2 inch half-square triangles that I had pieced at a quilt retreat last spring.

I bought all the fabrics as fat quarters maybe 4 or 5 years ago. I had gotten a gift card to a quilt shop for Christmas and bought fabrics that had patterns but to me read as either black, green, pink or beige. I had already decided I wanted to make a scrappy sort-of-color-coordinated half-square triangle quilt with them.

I have made other half-square triangle quilts, but for this one I used the Thangles method. Considering I made 600 in a weekend, the method was quick and accurate. But I will admit a bit of laziness - I did not trim off the little corner edges, but they all went together just fine for me anyway.

The layout/design was first drafted on graph paper - so I could maximize the number of squares used in this project (I think I only have about 20-some squares left - which I will use somehow on this quilt). I still need to figure out how to finish it - I plan on adding borders - maybe with applique. I may even set it on point.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Back to Quilting

Originally I thought I would primarily use this blog to document my quilting, but other things seem to have taken over (the garden, the weather, the dogs, etc...). So now it it time to get back to quilting.

One project I did finish this fall was an Amish inspired community service quilt. (Pictured) I came up with the design after cutting up some solid colored fabric and making half square triangle blocks with them, and sashed them with black. Carol Meier offered to quilt it on her new long-arm quilting machine this summer and gave it back to me to put on the binding.

Its been officially done since mid November but I didn't go to the December guild meeting so I will use it for show and tell at the January meeting.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Holiday Updates - Part 2 - New Car

I am starting the new year with a new car. I bought a 2009 Honda Fit Sport on Dec. 30th. The old Civic hatchback lasted 13 years, but I was beginning to wonder if I was pushing my luck with regular trips to Albany, Ogdensburg and places further afield with spotty cell service.

This time I did get the upgraded model, so now I have cruise control and air conditioning. It still smells like a new car. And I promptly put in the biggest floor mats I could find. I am hoping to keep the dogs out for a few months at least so I can enjoy it fur free for a while.

Holiday Updates - Part 1

Well it was a nice Christmas and New Years.
Everyone was thoroughly spoiled with all the gifts and food for Christmas. Everything fit (no returns - yeah!) and the food is almost all gone.
Ivan was thrilled with his flying chicken (see photo) it has a sling shot propelling system - there is a rubber band under the neck you fling it with, and then it makes all this crowing noise. When I look at it, all I can think is that it looks a great deal like the Great Gonzo (of Muppet's fame) - must be the bulging eyeballs.
New Years was a sedate affair. Damon was in bed by 7:30pm, as he had to do inventory on the 1st at 4am.