Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ravellenic Games -- She Knits, Too!

Quilting takes a back seat this month to knitting.  The Ravellenic Games are knitters' nod to the Olympics.  The knitters' own social networking site, Ravelry, celebrates sport by forming teams and setting goals for items knit (or crocheted) during the 16 days of the Olympic Games.

My team this year is Hats for Sailors, a group that knits hats for selected ships each year.

And my goal?  One hat per day!

So far, I'm keeping up -- but it's only the fourth day of the Games!

Hats for Sailors requires hats knit of 100% washable wool.  I rarely use washable wool, so I had to add to my collection (such a hardship).

Hat #1 is knit in Boise State University Broncos colors, because that's the only washable wool I had on Sunday.  This hat is really true Broncos colors, royal blue and bright orange, even though it doesn't look like those colors in this photo.

Hat #2 is knit in light blue and yellow. to celebrate the cyclist from Kazakhstan who  won the mens Road Race.  This one is a little more true to color:

Hat #3 celebrates the men's archery team, whose jackets are this pretty brown color.  I love that the US teams' uniforms are not just red, white, and blue!

All my hats so far are knit from Cascade 220 Superwash, using the 7 8 9 Hat pattern from Ravelry on size 7 needles. Hat #3 is modified with a twisted rib and peerie stitch pattern from Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts, issue Holiday 2010.

Hat #4 is underway -- come back later in the week to see how it turns out, and cheer me on!

From the desk of your

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Finish -- July Schnibbles

Wow, once the blocks were made, this quilt went together fast!

"Spot" is 47" X 58" but I think I'm going to add a 4 1/2" border of one of the wonderful fabrics from Kate Spain's "Terrain" collection.  It's going to have to wait while I gather climbing gear for My Little Sailor -- he is going to climb Mt Fuji while his ship is in port for a brief time this summer.  So I have to drop everything and dig through his boxes in the basement and (I hope) find the right stuff to mail him.

Here is a photo of the finished top:

My quilt holder offered to go get his blue suede shoes, but I was in a hurry, so no!

Linked to "Link a Finish Friday."

From the desk of your

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

WIP Wednesday - July Schnibbles

This month for Another Year of Schnibbles, we were invited to choose our own pattern.  I chose one for which I have two charm packs from one of my favorite designers, Kate Spain.

Yep, that's "Spot."  And the fabric is "Terrain," by Kate Spain. (I know, bad photo, but I'm too worn out from spending all day yesterday at IKEA to set up lights and get a better photo.)

This is my favorite kind of quilt.  It hangs on the design wall and everyone who walks by rearranges one or two blocks to get a better arrangement of colors.  Only this week, I am home alone -- so I have to pay more attention to the layout myself!

It will have white sashing with the same turquoise cornerstones as in the center of each block.  I may add a print border to enlarge the quilt.  As is, it finishes at only 46" X 57" and I like my quilts to be at least twin-size.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday, guest hosted this week by Colleen at The Busy Bean.   Thanks, Colleen!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

From the desk of your

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday, Monday

Monday Monday, can't trust that day,
Monday Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way . . .

Which is to say -- it's HOT today!  Our normal average is 85F this time of year.  This week, the forecast has us in the 90s all week.  One of my friends posted on Facebook:  "I'm so over summer."

I hear ya, Deb!

Maybe a little Liberty of London Lifestyle eye candy will perk us up.

Twelve straight quarter yard cuts in Aqua, Turquoise and Marine.

A nice hand -- and what shall I make?

I'm disappointed that the cuts are not all straight, and the short edge of some of them doesn't measure a full quarter-yard.  I think I may have to complain, because for $18.40/yard, I want the full measure!

Saturday I finished the flimsy of quilt #38 for 2012.  The pattern is from a 2007 issue of "Big Block Quilts."  The designer, Debby Kratovil, calls it "Cotton Candy."  I'm calling it Batik Diamonds.

I'm giving it to a friend who recently retired as a foreign language teacher.  Everyone who knows her agrees, "It looks just like Rosie!"

Stay cool!

From the desk of your

Friday, July 20, 2012

Finish it up Friday

Isn't really happening today, because I spent ALL MORNING looking for this pattern:

download MTT cover

I know I bought it, because I can remember showing it to DH while we were having lunch at Yolanda's Taco Bar in Castle Rock. (Last summer.  Maybe the summer before.)


I really want to find it, because Anna Maria Horner is going to be the guest-teacher at Front Range Modern Quilt Guild in August.  And I wanted to take the pattern to show everyone tomorrow at the guild meeting.  It's AMH's Multi-Tasker Tote, and I bought my copy at Stash.  Sadly, Stash no longer carries fabric or sewing patterns.  However, Crafty Laine in Monument will stock the pattern.  And if you don't live in Colorado, they do phone orders!

On a happier note, I did finish my "Favorite Things" top.  The pattern is called "Summer Time," and I had to pretty much re-draft the pattern to make it fit.  Angie warned us that the pattern "ran big," but really -- the neck opening went below my bra in front!

Here is is on Esmerelda:

Yep, it's really that orange.  Tangerine Tango, you know?  It matches my new Keen sandals perfectly.

Oh, and the quilt on the design wall behind Esmerelda?  That's what I was supposed to finish today so it can go to Florida to be a "beach quilt" for my favorite OT!

Even though I didn't finish a quilt, I did finish my blouse, so I'm linking up to:

Thank Goodness it's Finally Finished, this week at Plum and June.

From the desk of your

Thursday, July 19, 2012

String Quilt Tutorial

I've had some questions on my method for making the Block-a-Day string quilt.  Here is the link to Karen's tutorial -- really, I am just copying her method for those of you who can't get to the link!

I am using quilters muslin for the foundation on my blocks.  I've seen some people use pages from telephone books, or old computer paper (remember the kind with green and white stripes?).  But both my paper-piecing foundation tear-ers have left home, so I wanted a foundation that I could leave in the quilt.

The foundations are cut to 10" square -- you don't need to be especially precise here, since the block will be squared up after it is pieced.  I am making the block that has a white strip through the center, so I press all my foundations in half diagonally to make a line across the middle of the block.

 Press gently so the block is flat, but the crease still shows.

I place the block on my small cutting mat with the corners lined up on the 45 degree line.  This makes it easier to get the 2" strip of white fabric placed evenly on the crease.

Place the first colored strip right side down and even with the cut edge of the white center strip.  I pin the first strips so the center strip stays in place.

Press the colored strip away from the white center strip.

The "strings" don't have to be straight -- slightly off-kilter strips will add interest to your blocks.

 If a "string" is too wide, you can trim it after it's sewn on.  Just be sure not to cut the foundation muslin!

Continue adding strings until the entire foundation is covered.  Try to put a wider piece on the corner, this will help  when you start sewing blocks to each other.

 Here you can see the foundation muslin remains on the reverse of the colored strips.

I have my small ironing mat and iron next to my sewing machine so I can piece and press without jumping up to go to the iron.  I set my timer for 45 minutes, when it "dings," I get up and do something else.  Helps keep my back from getting stiff!

Here is a photo of the 32 blocks I have pieced so far. 

Today is the 30th day of Summer, so for the moment at least I am ahead!

From the desk of your

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

WIP Wednesday -- Block a Day String Quilt

I'm caught up with the Summer Block-a-Day project.  In fact, I'm a couple of days ahead, but that won't last long.

This is going to be a really big quilt -- 9" squares finished, 90 of them.  So the quilt will be 90" X 81".  Because the strings are sewn to muslin foundations, I'm thinking I'll back it with Minky and not use any batting. My idea is it will make a great picnic quilt.

Anyone have experience using Minky and no batting?

I can't get far enough away from my design wall to take a photo of the entire 10-block row, so I had to take three photos to show my progress:

One would think ninety blocks of assorted width strips would make quite a dent in the old scrap collection, wouldn't one?

One would be wrong.

Linking up to Freshly Pieced:

From the desk of your

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday Summer Scraps

Karen Snyder, who blogs at Anna Lena Land, hosts a "block-a-day" QAL each season. Each day during the season, participants make one block.  At the end of the season, quilters have made approximately 90 blocks.

For summer, the  block of the day is "Strings."  Click here for a link to her tutorial.

I'm a little behind on my summer blocks, actually, I just started them today.  But they go fast, and I have 12 done (on day 26 of Summer!)

 I used the "sashing" method, placing a 1 1/2" wide strip of Kona Snow across the center of each block.  When they are sewn together, this will make a cross-hatching of white sashing.

The best part of this project is, I've emptied one entire basket of my scraps bin!

 Tomorrow, I'll share the Mystery Quilt I started at Quilt Colorado this weekend.

From the desk of your

Saturday, July 14, 2012

We have a winner -- or two!

Won't let the missing blog header keep us from our fun!  Mr. Random gets to pick TWO winners today.

Since the giveaway is for two goodies, I think it's only fair that the first winner drawn gets to choose.  And that would be:

Susan and Chelsea, watch for an email from me asking for your mailing address.  As soon as I hear from you, the goodies will be off in the mail!


From the desk of your

Ooooh Noooo!

My blog header disappeared!  And my co-author is out to sea, can't be reached to repair it.

Just so you know, you ARE at "52 Quilts in 52 Weeks" and the pretty pink header will be back as soon as My Little Sailor receives my panicked email!

From the desk of your

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sunday Scraps

Do you "Leaders and Enders?"  This clever technique was popularized by Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville's Quips & Snips.

Many quilters use a scrap of fabric to sew onto at the end of a row of stitching.  This allows the quilter to avoid holding thread tails at the beginning of the new seam.  Bonnie, however, stitches onto two small squares of fabric, right sides together.  These are then stored until there is a big batch of them, when they are put together in a variety of quilt patterns.

I use 2 1/2" squares for my "Leaders and Enders," and here is a mini-tutorial for my latest scrappy quilt block. 

Sew two 2 1/2" squares together until there are six, then add one square at the end of each row to make a nine-patch.

Next, add a 1 1/2" by 6 1/2" strip of background fabric (I use Kona Snow) to opposite sides of the nine-patch:

A 1 1/2" by 8 1/2" strip goes on the top and bottom:

Now add a row of four 2 1/2" squares on the right and left:

(Didn't really need to show you how to do this, I just wanted to show off my Independence Day manicure!)

And finish with a row of six 2 1/2" squares at top and bottom:

The block finishes at 12 1/2" raw-edge-to-raw-edge.  As you can see in the first photo, I have enough 2 1/2" squares to make many, many of these blocks!

Remember to comment to win my latest giveaway here.

From the desk of your

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Silly Me Saturday Giveaway

I was going to call this the "I'm an Idiot Giveaway," but I try to avoid negative self-talk.
But really.

See this?

 And this?

Guess what they have in common?

Yep, I bought them when I already owned them.  When I saw "We Love Color" on several blogs, I couldn't wait for it to hit my LQS, so I ordered it from Amazon.  Then when I saw it at Ruth's Stitchery, I asked them to check the computer to see if I had already bought it.  Umm, their computer doesn't show purchases from Amazon.

And when Carrie showed photos of her new Schnibbles patterns, I completely forgot that I had subscribed to the Miss Rosie's Quilt Company Pattern Club from Fat Quarter Shop.  So I ordered the PDF version of all four of these patterns.

Silly me!  Lucky you!

Two readers will each win one either the book or all four Schnibbles patterns.  To enter:
  • Just leave a comment on THIS post.  It would make me feel better if you told me about something you accidentally purchased in duplicate, but you don't have to.  
  • Be sure to leave your contact info if you're a no reply commenter.
  • International entries welcome.
  • Giveaway ends next Saturday, July 14 at noon, MDT.

Good luck!

From the desk of your

Friday, July 6, 2012

Finish it up Friday

My usual Friday linky party is taking the summer off, so I googled "Friday Finish Linky" and found this great blog, Quokka Quilts.  According to Laura, "A quokka is a West Australian marsupial which lives mostly on Rottnest Island, Western Australia."

Now I really, really want to visit Australia!

Today's finish is a Fat Quarter Fun quilt, "Hot Tamale" from Villa Rosa Designs.  The fabrics are mostly from Anthropology, and I quilted it myself on Meggie.  Sadly, the thread color isn't visible in this photo, but it is a wonderful multi-colored thread from YLI.

 (Photo from eQuilter.com)

Of course, I used Susie's Magic Binding to finish it!

This pretty thing is going to Camille in Jackson, Wyoming.  Camille has a gift for always saying "I want that one" of a quilt that is already promised.  So Camille, this one is for you!

Come back tomorrow for the announcement of my "Silly Me Giveaway."

From the desk of your