Monday, April 29, 2013

Finally!!! A Finish!!!

Wednesday is May 1st... what happened to April??? 

I started CLOTHESLINE during my spring retreat in early March, and finally, it's a completed project!

Clothesline by Liberty Star

While I enjoyed making this cute wall hanging I will pass along that the outline of the poles is not included with the other applique pieces to trace.  I checked the pattern several times over to make sure.  There is not a "sketch" of the poles to trace.  I checked the designers website and did not find a correction listed.  I sent the designer an e-mail back in March when I first began to trace the applique pieces onto freezer paper.  I never heard back.  No biggie... I was able to fashion the poles by looking at the picture.  Now comes a big decision... should I keep this, or put it in the gifts pile???

Another note of interest... I used an orange FriXion marking pen by Pilot, to trace some of my quilting lines.  I had just one area traced when I remembered reading that some quilters were experiencing a noticeable trace line, after quilting, and after pressing.  (The color trace line is suppose to disappear once pressed with a hot iron).  I'm so happy I switched to Clover White Marking Pen.  Look closely at the next picture and you'll see why.

You can see the marking line on the brown fabric.  That is where I used the FriXion pen... after applying heat with my iron, it lifted the color right out of the fabric.   That is not from the Clover pen... those lines disappeared beautifully once heat from my iron was applied.  Needless to say, no more FriXion pens for me!!!  If you own one of these pens, I strongly suggest you try it on a scrap of fabric, especially on dark fabrics!

I hope you all find some time this week to do what you love to do... sew, quilt, read, garden, play... whatever it is, take time and do it!!!

Update, April 30th:

I was informed by another blogger that Renee Plains of Liberty Star Designs has retired. 
Also, I should have mentioned that, to my knowledge, FriXion marking pens were not marketed as fabric marking pens.   (I purchased mine at Target... found them in the office supply aisle).  Somewhere in blogland they were presented as an option to other fabric marking pens.   Hence, my experience with them was successful, until I used one on dark fabric.  It appears that the heat from an iron removes the tracing line, but also removes the dye from the fabric on the trace line.  I wrote about this to caution others.   

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Morning Star Blocks...

12 Morning Star blocks scattered on top of my Mystery Quilt flimsy.

I'm making progress on the Morning Star blocks I am piecing for step 3 of Darlene's Mystery Quilt Sew-Along.  I'm living up to my reputation of changing the design... no applique for me in this step, but I want to incorporate the Morning Star blocks the step 3 instructions call for.  I've made 12 blocks, and I need to make 4 more.  A week ago I had a vision of what I wanted to do, but it's already history.  I hate to say I'm making this up as I go along, but... I'm making this up as I go along!

I'm behind in this project... step 4 instructions were revealed a couple of weeks ago.  Where is the time going?

Meanwhile, projects taking a back seat...

                Harmony Block by Lori - (printed instructions)
     Clothesline by Renee Plains - (sandwiched with batting and backing)
               Off the Beaten Path Simply Charming mini quilt - (flimsy)
     Paper Pieced Hearts - (5 of 12 made; not due until September retreat)
               Tumbler mini quilt - (48  1" x 2" paper tumblers completed; ?? to go)
Not to mention "projects on the radar"...
               Marcie's Calico Pennies 
    Sixteen Patch tied mini doll quilt seen here
               Hexagon Table Mats - using civil war fabrics
   And about two dozen others... 



Monday, April 15, 2013

Well, I don't love it...

... but at least I finished it!


After chores and shopping Saturday morning, I hurriedly pieced the Contrary Wife block together before I could change my mind and substitute other fabrics.  I love the block... there are so many options for piecing, and after trying out several, I opted to stay with my original plan.  (That does not happen often!  I'm famous for changing my mind!)   It does make a cute little table topper for displaying some of my favorite "things."  This mini is the SmallQuiltTalk April project, sponsored by Kathleen Tracy

I've been participating in Darlene's Mystery Quilt since January.  For some reason the month of March was crazy busy, and I didn't get around to step 3.  It involves a four sided border with applique and pieced corner blocks, and although I recently began needle turn applique on a small project, I just didn't want to commit to a four sided border!  Well, step 4 is upon us... and I don't want to get to far behind.   I spent a good part of Sunday evening sketching in my mind how I want to proceed.  If I want to have any success at ending up with the size quilt this challenge is intending, then I have to come up with something for step 3, before progressing to step 4. 

I have a plan... (but remember... I'm famous for changing my mind!)  I'm going to incorporate the four corner blocks Darlene planned for.   One is completed, three are prepped... and more may be coming!  This will be my WIP for the evening hours in the coming week.   It will be a pleasure to come home from work, knowing I have these lovelies to piece together!   

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Slow Sunday Stitching

It's raining, and it's chilly.  A perfect day to finish up the applique on my Clothesline and move on to completing this project!   I have enjoyed the hand applique... just the right amount to get me back into it, and realize that I have missed the simplicity and relaxing feeling of a needle between my fingers.

Clothesline - pattern by Renee Plains

Hop on over to Kathy's blog to see what's others are keeping busy with...

What are you sewing today???

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Very Contrary Block...

... well, for me anyway.

The April SmallQuiltTalk challenge, sponsored by Kathleen Tracy at Sentimental Quilter, is to use a 4.5" x 4.5" Contrary Wife Block to make a small quilt.  Kathy describes the block as a "vintage nine patch pattern that uses only squares and half-square triangles."  She is encouraging us to use any combination of colors throughout, or make it scrappy by making each block different.  We can add sashing, a border, set it on point, or in a straight set.  Kathy's pattern includes several layout ideas. 


I spent a few hours after work this evening choosing fabrics, and the desired layout.  My goal was to have the squares cut, and the HST's pieced, ready to assemble sometime during the highly anticipated weekend.  I plan on adding a border, but I haven't decided on the fabric just yet.  Here's a sneak peak at the block on my design wall. 

Contrary - adjective;  opposite in nature or character

 Although the fabrics I selected compliment each other,
they are contrary to what I would usually choose as
a color palette.   Hurray for me!  I'm stepping out
of my comfort zone!  I like it!

I'm using Judie Rothermel fabrics from a combination of two fat quarter bundles available from the Fat Quarter Shop.  Specifically the bundles are Festival Party of Twelve, and Jovial Party of Twelve.  I purchased the bundles earlier this year and decided it was time to stop staring at them and make something with them!  

A  huge shout out THANK YOU to Lesley at The Cuddle Quilter.  I was having trouble locating Kathleen's pattern for the Contrary Wife block.  I knew Lesley also participates in the SmallQuiltTalk Group challenge, and so I sent an e-mail to her asking for help.  Goodness gracious, Leslie responded within 10 minutes and lead me in the right direction with specific location details!  Lesley, you are a sweetheart!!!

I'm looking forward to the weekend... what will you be sewing?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Making progress...

For our group project due in September, the Threads ladies and I are making heart blocks.  Just a few simple rules... blocks are to be no smaller than 5x5 inches, and no larger than 12x12 inches... the color of fabrics is restricted to shades of red, pink, and off white... the blocks can be pieced, paper foundation, appliqued, or embroidered... make a block for each of the participants and one for yourself. 

I'm using a free Carol Doak paper pieced design... Crazy Patch Heart.  (I found it on the Internet!)   The finished size will be 6x6 inches.  For fabric, I'm using Thelma Childers' Blogger's Choice Fat Quarter Bundle, available from the Fat Quarter Shop.   I have four hearts completed, and will make six more in time for our block exchange in September.

I love the fabrics that Thelma selected for her bundle! 
They were made for this project! 

I wanted to link directly to the page at the Fat Quarter Shop website, so if you were interested in checking out Thelma's bundle, you could do so.  Unfortunately the bundles have sold out!  (I'm not surprised!) Many of you are familiar with Thelma's blog, Cupcakes 'n Daisies.  You can visit it here.  If you want to go directly to her post about "that red bundle,"  click here.  Thanks Thelma!  I love the fabrics in your bundle!

Another project that I'm making progress on is CLOTHESLINE by Renee Plains. 

Clothesline by Renee Plains

The pattern shows two dresses hanging from the clothesline, but I trimmed one of them to be a shirt.  (I have this thing about changing patterns).   With just a bit more applique, and a twine clothesline, it will be ready for batting, backing, and quilting! 

Tell me what you are working on!  Happy sewing!