Monday, March 31, 2014

Going In Circles

 All last week
I was either running in circles,
 cutting circles,
or baking circles.

I finally got a copy of the
 newest Quiltmania magazine, and
I decided to start part 2
of Di Ford's mystery quilt.
I spent a lot of time
 making piles of circles
to applique.

If you want round perfect circles,
there are multiple steps.
I do the steps,
but mine are far from perfect.
Close enough.

I loved Di's suggestion of marking the
individual 48 squares on the background fabric,
appliqueing the circles,
and then cutting the squares apart.

 Here's what part the second border looks like
with all those circles.

Other quilters, doing part 2,
have basted their circles in nice rows,
8 of each fabric in one neat row.
this is what happens when
 you try to do this while
 watching  "The Voice".

I have one more week at home,
before I leave to 
spend the weekdays in Denver
caring for my newest grand baby for a few months.
There seems to be so many things I
need to do before I go.

One thing on the top of my list was
to invite my "Quilty Buddies"
over for a day of stitching,
and friendship.

Every celebration
needs cake and
I decided to bake something unforgettable.
I don't want them
 to forget me while I'm gone.

I made a three tiered polka dot cake.
If you google it, there are quite a few
sites that can give you detailed instructions.

Sorry my photos aren't
we were all giggling too much!

The best part is cutting into the cake,
and Tah Dah....
 perfect polka dots.
This was just too much fun.

 So my "going in circles" ended as a good thing.
Especially, when you are circling with people
 that you hold dear.

Until Next Time-

Friday, March 28, 2014

Marching On

With the days of March
marching on forever,
I needed to take advantage of this seemingly
long month.

I was feeling a bit guilty,
 like we all tend to do on occasion,
having my long list of WIP's, so
 I pulled out a quilt top
that was so close to being done.

In July
I had started these nine patches
using two packets of charm squares,
Posy by Aneela Hoey
and Cuzco by Kate Spain.

I had even sewn the blocks together,
alternating with a solid white square.

Why did I stop?

Actually a couple of reasons:
I was moving and needed to stop sewing
and pack things up.
(a completely valid reason)
But the other reason was that
 I needed to find fabric for a border,
And I wasn't in the mood to go look.

Well, I've moved
and can cross that off the list of excuses.
So, what was left?
Go fabric shopping!

This is such a simple pattern and it
really gives the feeling of a vintage quilt.
Only the colored spaces are filled in
with some fun modern fabrics,
moving it forward in time.

These simple designs
come alive once they are quilted.
I plan to embellish with 
some rick rack 
( I love that stuff)
and do a gentle swagged border after
the quilting has been completed.

I'm closer to being finished,
 no more excuses,
or at least not right away!

Until Next Time-

Monday, March 24, 2014

Spring Will Come

 How do you turn this...

and this 

into springtime?

 By playing a mental game
of imagining these colors and
fields of tulips

and then sewing
Fields of Tulips
50" x 64"
these rows of
spring time colors.

I stitched on the binding Saturday 
as the snow continued to fall.
It may not be tulip weather here yet,
but my rows of colors are done.

I started this simple springtime mood enhancer
a few weeks ago, HERE, using 
strips of fabrics rather than triangles.

The backing fabric
was no gray winter day either,

This is a great print by Riley Blake
called Sidewalks by October Afternoon.
It definitely made me feel happy.

This fast and easy quilt was the 
perfect positive image 
I needed to push the winter doldrums away.
 I'm starting to feel like spring isn't too far off.

Until Next Time-

Friday, March 21, 2014

Spring Break

Even though I know longer
have kids attending school,
and don't live according to the school calendar anymore,
I still love the thought of a "spring break".

My daughter, who is an elementary teacher,
still knows the need to get away just for a few days
to refresh the spirit.

So along with her family

 Running Man and myself

 have been enjoying the snow softly falling
at the YMCA Camp of the Rockies
located in beautiful 
Estes Park, Colorado.

We've rested,


watched for animals,

even touched a few,

gazed into the fire
and reflected on life
and the importance of family

while toasting a few marshmallows
to keep our energy level up.

When it was time to return home
we all knew
it had been a lovely "spring break".

 Until Next Time-

Thursday, March 13, 2014

I'm Not Into Mysteries

 I think,
 I tried to do a mystery quilt once,
but I just couldn't follow through.
I must be more of a control freak
than I let on.
I needed to know,
before I started cutting and sewing,
 if the fabrics I had chosen
were really going work out.

While working at the quilt shop,
I had seen too many mystery quilts that
 should have remained a mystery.
Personally, I've always wanted more control,
especially if I was putting all that
time and money into a quilt.

But what am I doing now?
I'm following along and stitching
Di Ford's Mystery Quilt

 featured in the magazine
Quiltmania, beginning in issue #99.

1. Because I love her designs,
so I knew I couldn't go wrong.

2.  I surprised myself by already having
the border fabric she had used.

3. I wanted an excuse to buy
some stunning Dutch Chintz.

4. And I wanted to try some Broderie Perse applique
and finally join in the fun
of making 1/2" hexies.

It was easy to get started because
this project isn't really a mystery quilt
in the common meaning of the term..
I knew what part #1 looked like,
so I could find similar colors
to match the colors in my Chintz,
and know where they were going to placed
in the mystery.

Di Ford has even created 
a you tube video explaining
in detail the steps
involved for this part of the quilt.
She shares lots of wonderful
applique information, if you're interested.
I discovered only one shop
in the US that carries the Dutch Chintz
by the yard,
in McKinney, Texas.
 It's all so beautiful.
I went ahead and purchased a yard,
and I'm glad I did, 
despite the price.

My lovely one yard piece
now has lots of holes cut into it.
 If I hadn't gotten that amount,
I might not have been able to find
enough useable repeats of a specific figure.

So now,
there's no mystery about it,
 this is another great project
I've added to my have "fun list".

Until Next Time-

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Royal Rumpus

This past weekend was
not about quilting,
or the weather,
or what was on my 
calendar for next week.

It was all about family.

"'And now,' cried Max, 'Let the wild rumpus start!'"
~ Where the Wild Things Are ~


 Despite all the commotion,
the silliness,
and the giggles,

one little boy slept.
Hope you have a royal rumpus soon.
Until Next Time-

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Rows of Tulips

 Several springs ago,
Running Man and I went to
La Conner, Washington
to admire and be awestruck
by the beauty of  millions
 of  blooming tulips.

There are thousands of rows
of colorful tulips filling the landscape.
It's like looking at a 
row by row quilt made up
of wonderful fresh spring time colors.

That was my inspiration when I 
gathered some quarter yard pieces
of  bright cheerful fabrics
and decided to make a chevron patterned
"get me out of the gloom of winter" quilt.

We all know, there can be many ways to get 
to the same conclusion.
In this case, in making a chevron design,
I chose to use only strips of fabrics,
no half square triangles 
to get a zig zag pattern.
I cut 2 strips of each of the 19 fabrics,
 each 3 inches wide.
Then arranged them in an order
to achieve some balance
between the colors.

Then it was simple straight strip sewing.
has a great tutorial on how to do use
this variation of a rail fence
to create a chevron.

You can see how the  duplicate strips were 
matched up. 

 Each strip was subcut into 5.5" squares
(Don't mix up the order of the strips or 
it gets WAY to confusing.)

Then on my design floor
the first set of blocks were laid out.
By turning set 1 one direction
and the second set turned the other direction
you create a chevron pattern.

I added an extra piece at the beginning of each
row so I wouldn't have to cut off so much
when it came time to straighten the edges.

The  diagonal rows of blocks
 were simply sewn together,

 then the rows were sewn,
and finally the jagged edges straightened.

The quilt top is finished

looking like colorful bands
of springtime tulips.

Until Next Time-