Thursday, January 28, 2010

Another busy day

Today seemed like a pretty busy day, but somehow I can't really put my finger on just exactly what I accomplished.  It was my Kicaster quilting day, so I got to spend time quilting with some very special friends.  As usual there was more talking and laughing than quilting done, but that is what makes it fun.  I brought my One Block Wonder project box with the intention of putting together some more of the border, but I discovered I had left my green thread home, so I resorted to completing a few more of the hollow cubes.
There was a movie we wanted to see that was playing in town, and it was the last night, so we had a date night at the movies.   Jackie Chan is one of Ron's favorites and this one, The Spy Next Door, was pretty entertaining.  We both enjoyed it.  Made for the end of a very nice day.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Weather is going to change

We have been experiencing a few really nice days after going through a really, really cold spell for South Texas a couple weeks ago.  Well the clouds are starting to roll in as it heads back to being cold again at the end of this week.  It's still pretty mild out there this evening, and at this point the clouds make for an interesting sky as dusk turns into evening.  Both of these pictures just caught my eye as I was coming back in from taking a couple pictures in my quilt room.

I was reading a post early this afternoon about someone's studio that is under construction.  Right now I call the place that I have my quilt machine and frame, my quilt room.  I'm thinking I need to refer to it as my quilt studio... but then what do I call my sewing room in the house, where I do all my creative sewing before it is ready to be quilted. 

I have decided it is time to finish up some UFO's.   The quilt that is loaded on my frame is not one of mine.  It belongs to a friend, and I have had it for a while.  It is really hard for me to feel justified putting one of my quilts on the frame when I have unfinished quilts I have agreed to do for someone else.  This is the first of two quilt tops that I need to get done so I can start quilting some of my own.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Blown away

I have a wonderful husband who does all the vacuuming in the house.  This morning I was getting ready to leave for a quilt meeting when he turned the vacuum off and said "oops".  Now I have a pretty good sized design board, but it is in the hallway.  He forgot about the exhaust on the vacuum and blew several of the lower blocks off the wall.  He had just made an extension so I could fit my One Block Wonder and the design wall now goes down to the floor... prime target area for the vacuum. He just has to remember to go down the hall in the other direction next time.

Over the weekend I took all the blocks down and put them back in a different layout.  I also cut some flowers from the fabric the blocks were taken from that I will applique once I determine where it will end up.  I made a sample section of a step border that I will probably use in one of the borders.

With my design wall in a hallway, it is hard to stand back and be able to see the whole quilt.  When you are too close, you don't see as clearly the areas that need to be moved around.  The above photo pointed out a block with a gold center that stands out as a definite move candidate...  along with many others, but then all the blocks could be moved numerous times before I'm done.  Photos can be helpful tools in this type of quilt.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

One Block Wonder - new cubes

All blocks have been rearranged and there will probably be many more changes before I am done, but I'm having fun in the process. I have added a new block that will be my background (a verigated hunter green), and I am trying the effect of breaks in the layout pattern. These new blocks will surround the quilt and right now my thought is the borders will all be different sizes and I have it layed out now with two breaks through the main part of the quilt.

I have created documentation for how I created the new cubes that I have added. One has a suspended cube in the center, the other has a missing slice. No instructions to be found so I figured it out and made my own. If you are interested in my documentation, I would gladly share.

The design wall is now 30" wider than it was before... it allows me to put all of my OBW blocks on the board. The extension is not permanently attached so when I am not working on a big quilt I can put it away.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

One Block Wonder - Hollow Cube

... and I thought the BOM was impressive.
Last week at my Thursday quilt meeting, one of my quilting buddies brought her fabric to begin a "One Block Wonder". I brought some fabric to make a couple pillowcases that we are doing for charity, but with my BOM just about finished, I wasn't sure what I was going to move on to for my next "focus" project. Barb inspired me to get back to my OBW that I started out in Colorado last July. Of the 100+ blocks required for most OBW quilts, I had about 72 already done. As I was looking through the book to get my mind back in focus with the techniques, I noticed that they had some blocks that were hidden in some of the displayed quilts. The blocks of the OBW are hexagons (octogons are also available). The blocks that were hidden in these quilts were cubes that were the same size as the other blocks.
These images are from my design board, and by no means is it layed out the way it will be when I am done. The purpose here is to show my latest project that I have reactivated and the fun I have had learning to make a "hollow cube".
I had not heard the term "hollow cube" in reference to a quilt before I went back to my book last week... and there are no instructions regarding these cubes in the book. There is another book that does, but that would mean buying another book for one block... I did a google search and found videos, but it took Ron searching to find the instructions in a pdf format. The hollow cube is an awesome block... I really want to get creative with the addition of these cubes to my OBW.
Did I say that Ron is probably going to revise the size of my design wall to accommodate the whole One Block Wonder quilt... 4' x 8' doesn't quite get there.

Monday, January 18, 2010

BOM - piecing is complete

I would like to say that it is done, but I do have to add two outside borders... a 2" and a 4" to make it fit the bed better. Without these two additional borders the quilt top is only 84" square right now. If I add 12" (6" all around) to that it still keeps the quilt under 100" which is as large as I want to try to quilt on my frame.

If you haven't heard about The Quilt Show online, you really need to go check it out. The web address is . If not for this connection, I would not have had the opportunity to create this beautiful quilt. Never dreamed I could get so intricate. The instructions, in pdf format, and the videos that went along with each segment, made it very easy to accomplish something of this magnitude. Now that my piecing is all done, today I watched the newest show that featured Carol Doak who is the Queen of Paper Piecing. I learned additional techniques that I wish I knew before I started this project.

Now the Quilt Show does have a yearly fee involved, but it is minimal considering all the money that I spend on quilt books, etc. I did my BOM using the website patterns & instructions... and all the fabric was from my "stash". They had kits available, but it was not required to buy a kit. Quilting will add a new level appreciation for what I have already experienced here, but all I can say right now is "Wow, I did that".

Thursday, January 7, 2010

BOM Progress - new border

It really takes determination to keep at a quilt that is as intricate as this one is. There were actually 176 flying geese in this last border. In took 28 paper-pieced strips with 6 on each... that takes a little bit of time. The nice part about paper piecing is you can pretty much count on the flying geese strips to be the right size when you are done.

There is one more border to add. I think there are 72 sawtooth stars in this border. I have 8 stars to complete before I am ready to construct the border... and oh yes, 4 log cabin blocks for the corners. The end is in sight.

Sugar leaped at the opportunity to pose in the middle of the quilt when I layed it across the bed to take a couple pictures. Then of course there is Boston, knicknamed the "String Katza" because she likes to be in the middle when I am sewing or knitting or doing anything that involves string. If she cannot nab a string, she is going to be in the middle regardless.
Fluffer likes to nap on the ironing board.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Calendar Holder

Back a while ago I saw a quilted calendar holder on display in a quilt shop. I decided that it was something I could do, probably by memory of what it looked like. When you start that much from scratch, it can sure take a bit longer, and you may have a few restarts in the process.... so I thought I would take the time to search to see if there were any directions available on-line. I found just what I was looking for. With a calendar insert and a yard of fabric + some scraps, I was able to create my calendar holder with a pocket for a picture that can be changed whenever you want. It's pretty easy to put together, especially if you happen to have an orphan quilt block hanging around.