Saturday, July 23, 2011

My FNSI Results

Even though I was the first to sign up this time, I was probably the last to get started! I'm not quite sure where the day went, or for that matter, half the night. My Moody Blues quilt needed some work so I finished piecing the drunkard's path blocks. They were a bit tricky to sew because on some of them I had to match the strips on both convex and concave portions of the blocks. There will be a lot of matching seams once I sew the blocks together too (now I know why I loved doing the string quilt!)
There are more blocks than are shown in the photo but not too sure of their placement. I like the present arrangement and may leave it as is (I swear I rearrange them on a daily basis!). By the time I add borders it would be a decent size for our bedroom wall. There are a couple of blocks that are just strip pieced. Eventually they will have a full circle appliqued on them.

As you may have noticed I am on a black and white kick. So here we go again!
I finished the last round of another Jelly Roll 1600 last night. I've had a few ideas in my head and that pattern makes the perfect background for them. One of the ideas was to applique a bunch of funky flowers in wild colors off to one side of the top. I cut out one flower (missing a center) to see how I liked it. The other idea is to applique a bunch of philodendron leaves on the top, so I cut out one to see the effect.
I think I like both ideas, which means I need another jelly roll 1600 background! Tomorrow I'm invited to another mini retreat with Myra of Tactile Pleasures in Fabric. I will be bringing my 40 2 1/2" strips and hopefully come home with another background.

Once these last 2 quilts are pieced I've gotta do the sunflower thing. So yes, eventually there will be something else on my blog besides  B/W!

Happy Stitching

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Jelly Roll 1600 Expanded

 I came across the Jelly Roll 1600 and decided it would be perfect for the backing of my Disappearing Nine Patch. If you're not familiar with the Jelly Roll 1600, it is a quilt race that uses 1 jelly roll to make a top that is 48x64. You mix up the fabric strips in the jelly roll and sew them together in one long 1600" strip,. Then you cut off the first 18 inches and  take the beginning and end of the strip and sew them right sides together. At the end of the seam you have to snip the strip where you folded it onto itself. Then you repeat the process for a total of 5 rounds  (you start with 1600", then to 800", 400", 200", 100" and finally 50"). The website at Heirloom Creations explains it much better than I do and includes a video of  "the race".

I didn't have a jelly roll, so I just cut up my own 2 1/2" strips.  I needed more than 1600" since it had to be 75" square. I cut 60 width of fabric strips and sewed them into a long 2400" strip (2400", 1200", 600", 300", 150", 75"). That gave me a quilt that was 75" wide  but still only 64" long. To make it longer I just sewed a few extra rows to the top .  I am toying with the idea of appliqueing a few big simple flower shapes on it. Maybe tomorrow. I would definitely use this pattern again. It comes together very quickly. Not including the time I spent cutting strips, it was sewn, ironed and trimmed in just over 3 hours. That includes a million breaks, ironing seams as I went and keeping in mind that I'm not a speedy sewer.
Joining the strips
Longest strip of fabric I've ever worked with!
 Happy Stitching!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Disappearing Nine Patch

My Disappearing Nine Patch quilt top is done - maybe. I haven't decided if I'm going to add a border or not.
I think I like it just the way it is though (still okay size for a throw at 65", yet I prefer a throw to be at least 70"). I spent most of the day yesterday fooling around with the blocks. At first I just laid them out any which way and it looked way too busy. Then I tried making sure the fabrics all matched within the blocks, still wasn't right. Tried matching all the greens that lined up together and it still wasn't right.  I even tried the other layouts, still not good. Finally I just focused on the greens themselves, and arranged them from lightest and brightest in the center, radiating out towards the darkest. That was the ticket! If I would have known what direction I was going with it when I started, I would have made sure that the whites and blacks I used on the outside would have been the darkest, but I was determined not to have to make more blocks (stubborn German/Polish background).

Puppies have been neglected today. They hate Mom sewing. At one point Jaxi got under the sewing table and stepped on the pedal again. That necessitated a wee bit o' ripping - I'm not a turbo sewer! Time for a nice long walk to stop the grumbling around me. The sun is just starting to go down and there's a nice breeze going so those pesky skeeters shouldn't be a problem.

Happy Stitching

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

More Black & White

I am on a black and white kick! I still have yards of black & white fabrics in my stash. The last quilt hardly seemed to make a dent in it (perhaps that's due to one or two a few several pieces jumping into my arms at the quilt store recently). I had so much fun making my first string quilt I thought I would make my first Disappearing Nine Patch! I'm totally into instant gratification right now so it's the perfect quilt to make.
I LOVE this!
all the squares cut
9 squares sewn together, then cut in half horizontally and vertically
turn the pieces one way and you get this
or you could make this
There are lots of ways to move the pieces around. I will probably switch out pieces from 4 different blocks so that there are 4 different greens in each. I will be using the layout of the first picture in this post.

The house is in order. All my errands are done. I have paired up some squares and am ready to start chain piecing tomorrow! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that nothing interrupts my perfectly planned day.

Happy Stitching!

Monday, July 4, 2011

I Finally Finished Something!

The last couple of weeks have been great! I had a great time at the Mini retreat with Myra and Joanne. I met quite a few new people and saw some gorgeous projects on the go. It was a wonderful day. I even managed to bind over half of my string quilt. Getting together with fellow quilters really energizes me. When I got home I finished the binding! It's hard to believe I've finished something - I've almost forgotten what it feels like!

This last week I was doing a fair amount of yard work, but did manage some quilting. I'm very close to finishing my first English  paper piecing project. I received the kit as a gift and have worked on it sporadically. Over the weekend I decided it didn't look right so with the leftover fabric I added another row. The pattern had it end at the snowmen in a star shape, but to me it look unfinished that way. All that remains to be done is a small amount of quilting and to slipstitch the opening on the side closed. I wasn't sure how I'd feel about English paper piecing but I really enjoyed it. It's nice to have something small to work on while in front of the tv.

I really should start working on my sunflower quilts for our guild's show in September, but all I want to do is make more string quilts!