24 July 2011

Merrily we bead along...

I've had a very pleasant diversion from sewing this week. Several days ago, Gwen posted on her blog about making paper beads. I figured I'd try them sooner or later. Worked out that we had a 'play date' this week—we made some, and I got hooked. In addition to creating some nifty little dollops of art, dipping into a bowl of them has such an incredible handling sensation that it's downright therapeutic! Rake your fingers through a bowl and you'll like them, too!

13 July 2011

Chicken Soup...

My friend, author Kim Rogers, is newly published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Just for Teenagers: 101 Stories of Inspiration and Support for Teens, scheduled for release on July 26. Her two (!) stories are Stacy's Secret and The Substitute. YOU could win a copy! Visit Kim's blog at The Bleary-Eyed Scribe to discover the four ways of entering the drawing—I have!

09 July 2011

All fixed now...

I finally got down to getting the two stars in my BOM quilt corrected. In one, from my Month 1 (March), I'd managed to sew in ALL four of the flying geese modules BACKWARDS. I wound up with a very nice squared off block but not the themed Indian Star as intended. The other boo-boo was in Month 3 (May) where there were two color variations of the same block pattern, but one 'sat' vertically and the other horizontally. Both of mine were horizontal. Granted, it wasn't a big mistake but knowing I made it would not let me sit still to not fix it.

Note to self: Doing it right the first time takes less time than coming back in to fix it later.

Here are the finished fixes, along with June and July blocks pinned to the bottom edge.

Time to tackle another project! I've got a couple of ideas in mind, including making some miniature (half-size) BOM blocks. I came across a blogger (Pat) who was doing this same BOM from a shop in Texas. Guess everything IS bigger in Texas because she received enough extra fabric each month to build complete half-size blocks along the way to make a lap quilt. Ah, so envious!

08 July 2011

Well, that was quick...

I just picked up my July BOM yesterday afternoon and am happy to report it's already finished! I worked on the layout (scanning fabrics and putting the block together in Photoshop) yesterday (Wednesday) and started cutting a few of the pieces later that night. I worked on it off and on today (Thursday) and got it finished an hour or so ago (very early Friday).

This block boldly marks the transition from light color batiks to dark ones. These turquoise and pinkish beige diagonally placed blocks marks the boundary. I liked arranging the five turquoise swatches into a prescribed pattern that's my own little (not all that interesting) secret. This block also incorporated larger triangles and squares than 'usual,' so that's been a little extra fun, too. As with the June block (also 22" x 22"), this looks a little wavy because it's pinned to the row above. I will join these two block with August after it's done and be about 2/3 done! I'm really loving this 'completion' phase of my creative life! Thanks again, Gwen!

This is a 10-month program so I've made it through half-way. I believe the tenth month is simply fabric for six-inch-wide strips for an all-around border. That means only four more areas of pieced pattern blocks!

I hate even thinking about all the heat we've had lately—something like 18 days this spring/summer with temps over 100 degrees. I think the record is 50 and Mike Morgan on KFOR seems to think we'll bust that record this summer. Bummer!

Had a delightful time yesterday catching up with the ever lovely Naomi. It was fun talking about her vacation; a small project that's taken over her life; our book club book; Gwen; inchies; family; Scrabble® tile fabric; etc. We've even scheduled a play date later in the month. When it rolls around again this fall, we're also hoping to take the fabric bowls class at Quiltworks.  Hope teacher won't have to separate us for being rowdy!

Okay, too late/early to still be up, so over and out! ZZZZZzzzzz!

02 July 2011

A project along the way...

About a month ago, the possibility of making some money putting together a quilt crossed my path. A friend of a friend at church had bought a couple of quilt kits but did not sew. They were both the same Lily Quilt from The Stitchery in Delavan, Wisconsin. I took a look at the fabric and instructions and came up with what I believed was a fair price. Based on some erroneous suppositions, she expected it to be quite a bit lower. Hmm. I told her I expected it to take 7-10 hours. She said she talked it over with her husband and it was not in their budget.

When I was estimating how much I'd charge, I also built the quilt in Photoshop. No surprise there. It helped me work out how to stagger the six different block colors/patterns checkerboarded with a cream and pink background. This one was set up as a 9-block, five blocks across by six down. When planning out the pattern scatter, I worked it out out a little differently—blocks of 12 pieces. The thought that's been bouncing around in my head for several days was to put together one of the quilt tops, gratis. There's a slight lull in the sewing action here so I started tackling the project on Thursday evening. The kits were made from moda's Lily and Will line—the pinks. It's also available in blues, greens, and yellows.

Once I had my 'master plan,' the cutting and piecing went well. It was my first whole project with which I used my new Westalee Quilter's Rule. I bought it and a 90˚ corner rule at the Central Oklahoma Quilt Guild's biannual quilt show last Friday. The best information I found on using the Westalee products was their YouTube videos. I may do a whole posting on the Westalee products soon. I already see a couple more pieces I'd like to get! One day later, I had the top all piece, using 4-, 6-, and 8-piece strips. I will return it to Michele, along with the other kit. Hope this will be a good start on her getting it finished in the future. If you get a chance, visit her at Blessings Children's Consignment Boutique, 14908 S. Western, Oklahoma City, OK, 405-793-2500. They have new and gently used items, clothing, and some darling boutique items. Check out their Facebook page link here.

BOM for June...

June's Block of the Month was only two distinct patterns—one very simple (three pieces in 4" x 4" square), the other, quite complex (16" x 16" square made of 58 pieces). Guess that's how it averages out to be the month's allotment. I worked in more of the light-to-medium tone background fabrics this time. The 4" x 4" block in the bottom right corner is part of a diagonal group of blocks that divide light background from dark background. This is where it starts getting interesting!

Speaking of 'interesting,' (but not necessarily amusing) Tom was looking at my overall completed panels in comparison to a photo I took of the finished quilt that hangs at  Quiltworks. "Uh, that block looks wrong." UGH! In my haste, I sewed in ALL FOUR flying geese modules into the block BACKWARDS (in March!)! I was going to just let it go and be content with being different until I thought of the title of the quilt being STARS Over Bali Skies.   S-T-A-R-S !   Dang!!! I've corrected here in Photoshop and know it'll take more time in real life. Sigh.

Dunno if I should have Mr. Quality Control look at it again with this much done. This isn't the first goof-up he's found. In my quilt for Miss Cairo, I sewed a whole strip in backwards and out of order. I need to look at more of my work from a distance. I am so 'up close and personal' with my work that these oddball mistakes escape my notice…until. Alas!

Rumor has it that the July BOM won't be ready for several days into the month. I'll do my absolute best to resist calling/pestering Quiltworks and let the call me. Wish me luck.