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