July 31, 2007

Opening Day

RomanHere are the first two blocks of my new project, made using the Moda Roman Holiday fat quarters that gave me such grief. I'm using the pattern Opening Day by Miss Rosie's Quilt Company.

I have had the Roman Holiday FQ bundle for a while and was waiting for inspiration to strike in the form of a pattern idea. My quilt store got the book Comfort and Joy, and a couple of my coworkers were planning to make the Coventry quilt from the book. That got me thinking I wanted to make it as well, and when I saw that Darlene was working on the quilt too, it inspired me even further.

But upon deeper reflection, I decided I didn't really want to make a quilt exactly like two of my coworkers, so Nicole and I both began to search for a good pattern match. We knew we wanted to make something with stars, and both of us already had this pattern in our collections.

I wanted something a little more scrappy and less controlled than Coventry, and this will definitely fit the bill! Good thing I got over my fear of flying geese, because I will be making a bazillion of them!

July 30, 2007

FQ rant

Forgive me this little rant, but I need to get this off my chest.  If you're a regular reader, I'm sure you know that I adore Moda fabrics.  I think they have the best designers and marketing around, and love the quality of their fabrics.

I was sadly disappointed this weekend when cutting one of their FQ stacks for a project I'm starting.  I needed to cut 3 strips per FQ, combined measurement of 17 inches.  Well there's 18 inches in a FQ so no problem, right?  WRONG.  I'd guess that 90% of the FQs ended up short - I was not able to squeeze even 17 inches from the piece.  I'm not finished cutting squares yet, so I hope that I will still have enough to finish the quilt, although I won't have the variety I would have had if all the FQs had yielded the 17 inches that I needed.

Now, I do prewash my fabric and that leads to a little fraying (although very little as I have a really gentle front-load Whirlpool Duet washer and dryer), but it certainly wasn't an inch worth.  And I can't imagine fabric would shrink that much.  So I'm disappointed, yes, but it won't prevent me from buying Moda fabric (or other FQs for that matter).  I know that it's unusal to make a pattern that uses the whole FQ, so this is just one of those "Murphy's Law" situations.  I'll make do...

July 27, 2007

Stash shots

Jos2_2 I  haven't been home the last couple evenings, so I have no quilty projects to share.  I've spent a good deal of time lately organizing my Jo Morton fabrics all together by color, so thought I would share pictures of my pretty collection, so I don't entirely lose the interest of my blog readers!

I haven't finished the Peppermint Twist project from my Jo Morton class, but I set it aside and put away my Featherweight in order to make sampler blocks.  I'm already ahead of our sampler schedule and don't want to "cheat."  And even though I usually have only one project going at a time, I plan to start cutting out a new quilt this weekend using Moda's Roman Holiday fabrics.  Go see Darlene's beautiful quilt using these prints, if you haven't already.

Jos1 After just a few short weeks working at the quilt store, I've already graduated to "management" - last night the owner gave me my very own key!  Plus, she's got me down to close every Thursday night in August (and a couple of Sundays), so I guess I'm officially her "Thursday Girl."  Still having a blast working there - I actually get excited to go to work!

July 24, 2007

Sampler Alternate Block #4

Alt4While I was on a roll with the sampler blocks, I whipped up my final alternate block. Look - blue and red together! I still need to work on mixing up the color combinations, but I'm really pleased with the way this one turned out. I apologize that the photo is a little blurry. I found if I used the flash, the colors weren't true, so this shows true colors, but it's blurry. Sorry!

July 22, 2007

Sampler Challenge, Block 4

Block4This is the fourth block in our Sampler Challenge with those fabulous Fig Tree Cinnamon Stars fabrics. This is one of my favorites blocks so far, I must say. I love the green and cream stripe, and it has a beautiful brushed texture. Be sure and pop over to Sister's Choice Quilts and see the beautiful block Nicole made this week.

4blocks Now that I've gotten a few more of the blocks made, I can see that I need to work on varying the colors for the remaining blocks. I seem to always fall back on pairing the brown with blue and the green with red. Time to mix it up!

July 21, 2007

Sampler Alternate Block

Alt3This is the third alternate block for the Country Gatherings Sampler that Nicole of Sister's Choice Quilts and I are both working on. Nicole's version of the quilt has 12 blocks, and mine has 4 additional blocks. This block, however, is not in the sampler book. It's one I found in Judy Hopkin's Once More Around the Block book. The block is called Rolling Pinwheel.

I've made a couple of additional alternate blocks that I have rejected, feeling they didn't fit with the rest of my blocks, but they will probably make it into a tablerunner or onto the back of this quilt.

Please visit again on Monday when Nicole and I will both reveal Block 4 of our challenge, and give you a sneak peek of all the blocks together.

July 16, 2007

Quilt Chores

Alle1I didn't get any "fun" sewing done this weekend. Instead, I spent time doing some chores to get partially-done projects a little further along. I picked up my quilt that I'm calling Swing Your Partner from the longarm quilter on Friday and wow - she outdid herself with a pantograph called Feathered Curls. I don't have even a fraction of Nicole's photography talent, but here is the quilt on our king-sized bed.

While I was sewing this one, I didn't think I would like the pastel colors of Moda's Faded Memories fabrics in my home. I liked the fabrics - don't get me wrong - but it's not my decorating style. I do absolutely LOVE the finished quilt, though and will absolutely find SOMEWHERE to put this one.

Alle2I made this using Miss Rosie's Allemande pattern and 3 charm packs from the Faded Memories collection (2 packets of prints and 1 of plaids). I also purchased yardage of a background fabric (Lakehouse Frosted dots in both white and champagne colors) and yardage for the large pinwheels and matching borders. Isn't the quilting stunning?

So my weekend "chores" included making the binding for this quilt and the last quilt I picked up from the quilter but hadn't gotten around to binding yet.

GsquaresI also attached the borders to my Granny Squares quilt and here's a picture of it, although again, my photography leaves a lot to be desired. I want to have this one quilted with an allover spiral design, but must wait until I have a little extra spending money - like maybe when I get my first quilt store paycheck!

July 15, 2007

New thread

Jo Morton recommended a thread on her Yahoo group as being good for machine piecing without being too linty.  Harriet Hargrave also endorses the Presencia brand thread.  I bought the 60 wt, which is lighter than the 50 wt Star cotton thread that I typically use for piecing.  Not only does the 60 wt take up a smidge less room in the seam allowance, it really does produce far less lint than my usual thread.  I found the thread online at this shop, which has truly EXCELLENT customer service.  I first bought a couple of spools just to try, then went back for a 4882 yard cone, which should last me a good long while (also on sale, btw).

If you like the 50 wt thread, they are offering a special on it this week - some of the colors are just $3.99 per 500 m spool.

July 8, 2007

Sampler Challenge, Block 3

Block3Here's the third block in our challenge quilt.  I am using the Cinnamon Stars fabric from Moda, designed by Fig Tree Quilts - one of my favorite designers.  I really like using the dark as the background and the lighter fabrics as the accents, and will likely end up doing the majority of my blocks this way.  Pop on over to my friend Nicole's blog to see her block, too!


BondI spent some time this weekend bonding with my little black Featherweight. After a few minor adjustments, she was purring like a kitten and her tension and stitches are beautiful and even. I am making these 4" churn dash blocks for my Jo Morton's Peppermint Twist quilt. 9 down and 23 left to go, I'd best get back to it!

July 4, 2007

Eat your heart out, Martha!

UltraLast fall I bought a 1950s vintage Necchi Supernova machine from one of my guild friends. A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to buy this Supernova Ultra machine from a Craigslist ad for only $20! This machine is in pristine condition and has many more accessories than the first machine. Plus, it's a gorgeous shade of Martha Stewart green! It was love at first sight!

Happy 4th!

PopHappy Independence to my fellow bloggers. I hope you all have a lovely day of celebration or rest with your families. We're grilling steaks and hamburgers on the barbeque, enjoying salad and baked potato and a yummy lemon icebox pie that I whipped up last night and can't wait to try.

Our city's fireworks celebration is just down the hill from our house and we have a full, unobstructed view from the master bedroom, so we don't even have to fight traffic or crowds to enjoy them, but with me having to get up for work tomorrow, I doubt I will be watching until the bitter end!

July 2, 2007

First day

Yesterday was my first shift at the quilt shop.  My first task was to help a customer pick out fabrics to go with some she already had, and the rest of the afternoon I got to cut, ring up customers, organize the batiks, cut FQs to fill in the empty baskets.  Fun stuff!  I got to "pet" so much fabric yesterday that I wasn't tempted to buy anything.  I'll be working every Thursday evening and one or two Sundays a month.  Fun times!