Monday, January 31, 2011

I {heart} DOTS

Got Hearts!
It's been busy, busy here this weekend with scraps of fabric flying in every direction!

We're just about ready to roll out Part Two of the great GOT DOTS quilt along.  So I'm testing the templates now to make sure you'll like them.  I appliqued the first four larger skinnier hearts in a couple of hours this afternoon and have the very sweet little hearts basted in place for tonight's handwork.

GOT DOTS scrap basket
I *nearly* showed you a pic of my living room from this weekend.  My husband was sorting through boxes of his touring info on one sofa while I had piles and box of scraps on mine.

Oh my ... it . was . a . mess!

Dotty Organization :)But this is what it looked like after all that *organization* ... I think I'm set now for scraps for this quilt and will enjoy watching it grow and grow and grow.  This basket and tray sit next to the sofa now ready for evening "entertainment"

I {heart} DOTS
I think I just mocked up the label for my quilt too ... but I may write it " i {heart} dots " ... not sure yet :)

Here's a quick shot of the 170 dots I cut out and basted around cardstock in the course of two evenings.   170 sounds like a lot o' dots ... but it takes 21 for each dotty block so, um, that's a whopping 8 blocks in that little Bonne Maman jam jar.

Lots o' Dots
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Sunday, January 16, 2011

I Made a Mini for Me

CrossroadsI spent this week tackling one bear of an unfinished project and felt like I was entitled to do something fun for myself.  I figured it'd take me a couple of days, a bit of sewing here and there.  But color me surprised ... from cutting out to the border only took me about 4 hours!

It all started while I was reviewing Quilting Gallery's 2011 list of BOMs, Quilt Alongs and Challenges which included a mini-quilt tutorial by Terrie Sandelin of Bits and Pieces.  Well, after the mini quilt swap that Liz and I just did I absolutely had to go check it out.

Civil War Crossing Quilt Tutorial
by Terrie Sandelin of Bits and Pieces
Terrie's four-part tutorial was fantastic and uses the methods in her book Miniatures in Minutes and a super simple cutting method by Anita Grossman Solomon.

Here are the steps I followed and comments where I might have done things a little different than Terrie.
  • For the twelve blocks I chose twelve, four each of three colors: Turquoise, Red and Pink
  • I followed Terrie's cutting instructions and cut twelve 4-1/4" squares (one from each fabric).  Instead of using the diagonal lines on a mat, I used a 1" wide ruler I centered it corner to corner on the square and cut along each side.

  • I did not foundation piece the blocks like Terrie did - I pieced them like any old patchwork with a scant 1/4" seam.  This did mean that all my seams were on the bias, but I sewed and pressed carefully and did not have any problems.   Here's a couple of pics of what my blocks looked like after they were sewn.
    FYI - I've added two links to tutorials for foundation piecing.
    Crossroads block before trimCrossroads block before trim (back)
  • Crossroads blocks trimmedOnce my blocks were pieced I could have trimmed them to 2-7/8" squares so they would have finished at 2-3/8" but Terrie's finished at 2" and I wanted a small quilt so I went ahead and trimmed them down to 2-1/2" (I am going to check if 4" squares would have been big enough).

  • Adding sashing to CrossroadsTerrie and I add our sashings differently.  Regardless of whether I'm sewing a large quilt or a mini I always add my sashings to each individual block. First one side strip and then another strip that already has the cornerstone attached.
  • I left off the last row of sashing and cornerstones all the way around before adding a wide border (it doesn't show well in my pic) - the same white as my sashing.
  • I also put my side borders on before adding the top and bottom.

    Needless to say, I am totally jazzed about having a finish for me!  For now it's pinned to the wall with this other turquoise and red lovely while I decide how to quilt it. And now I can get back to work ... it looks like another busy week ahead.

    Happy stitching to you all ... and go check out Terrie's blog!  xox Jovita
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    Wednesday, January 12, 2011

    Mother May I Have ... "a do-over" ... please?

    We're mid-way through January, you haven't heard from me for two months and 
    I'm *finally* wishing you a !! Happy New Year !!

    Yes, I'd like a do-over ... please ...
    Axel's Snails

    It was *another* stressful end to an old year and if I was a cynic I'd have to wonder if the holidays will ever regain that sparkle for us.  Suffice to say, I spent the entire month of December on bed-rest - doctor's orders.  Without getting into all the nitty-gritty and over-share that I'm never too sure about in blogs, facebook, broadcast emails and dare I mention Christmas letters ... I'm fine.  I'm healthy.  Things . are . going . to . be . ok.  It was a tough month and ended sadly but we're picking up the pieces and moving on.

    But honestly ... two years in a row?  Last year we moved in December (never again!) and we were also dealing with highly-emotional issues throughout the entire 2009 holiday season.  So this is not what I needed, wanted or wished for Christmas 2010.  Our home in Kalken has yet to see our Christmas decorations.  For two years running no cookies or fruit cakes were baked - thank goodness for the very brandy mini mince pies that a friend sent from England and a sampling of cookies and sugared almonds that Axel's mom made for us.

    So I'm just going to take a stand now - 'nuf said - it's a New Year, Clean Slate ... and I am going to make a difference!  I don't make New Year's resolutions ... but I can tell you that I'm 20 pounds lighter and the scale is still tipping in my direction ... yes, I'm loving that!

    Most of all this year, I'd like to carve out more sewing time for myself.  I have a million QUiPs (QUilts in Progress) and it would be so nice to get a few finished.  Nope, ain't gonna do it - I will not set a number to this goal.  I'll do better just tackling them one at a time - some will be quick finishes ... others will just take ages.  One . at . a . time . is my motto.

    But ... when my friend Maria announced on the 9th of January that she had not one but TWO finishes already for 2011, I figured I'd better get started so I grabbed the one closest to me.

    Axel's Snails Trail started as a family project, the plan was that we would all make a quilt for each other.  We started off with the best of intentions but by the time we got to my quilt things didn't go so well ...  I thought that by using foundation piecing the results would be a bit similar.  Um, nope, eh-eh, not a chance.

    Unfortunately I am having to do lot's of do-overs.  Oh well, it's for a good cause, right?  I think I'm up to about 100-ish blocks so hmmm, nearly half-way there.  But having pulled out the packet last Saturday, I've logged anywheres from 1 to 3 hours of piecing each day.  Not bad ... but sadly I've had to set myself a daily goal of minimum 5 blocks / maximum 10 blocks per day ... because unfortunately I have to "work" too ... and otherwise I'd just sew and sew and sew and ...

    Here are the nitty gritty quilty details - in case you're interested...
    • started in 2003 or 2004?
    • 4-1/2" finished blocks
    • foundation paper pieced (mostly *through* the paper, although now I'm using freezer paper and am finding I can re-use my template about 5-6 times)
    • goal is for it to be about 63" x 76-1/2"
    • need 238 blocks to make this happen
    • the "black" fabric is a very dark batik that includes a touch of blue ... probably a Hoffman ...
    • the "blues" are various shades of cadet, grey-ish blue and a bit of aqua-ey turquoise
    • it will look gorgeous in his office - it was inspired by this poster that I've always loved
    • I plan to hand quilt it ... if the batik isn't too much of a hassle ...
    • debating whether or not to use black batting - to avoid bearding but will it muddy my lighter blues?
    oh, PS, that Christmas card / letter ... we're still working on that ... honest :)

    Happy Everything!  xox Jovita
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