The Past 2 nights Cutting with my Rotary

1 Charm Pack and 1 Jelly Roll to be made into something.  Needed ideas so to the internet I went.  

Moda's website has ideas for quilts using Pre-Cuts.  It's a great way to search by what pre-cut you're using.  

A Layer Cake, Turnovers, Charm Packs, Jelly Rolls -- Hope you aren't on a diet, they have such delicious names don't they?

Another good "idea" place is you-tube.  You can get lost in space there for hours and get side-tracked. 

Better than spending time online, I dug for more fabric (much more enjoyable time).  After I found part of a black tone on tone leftover Jelly Roll, I had an idea of a Book Case looking Quilt.  

I know this can be sewn like the Chinese Coins, or Coin Quilts.  If I add 1 black rectangle at the bottom of so many blocks or xyz number of coins, I bet it can be made into what I want with the fabric I have.  Now it's coming together so I got started.  

One Charm Pack called *Tranquility* Click on the link to see it, or buy one
1 cute Striped Jelly Roll (can't remember where I got these, but cute enough to nab 2!)  

For the Sashings and "Book Ledges", I'll use black tone on tone Jelly Roll strips.  

Cut the Charm Pack in 1/2 -- So they are 2 1/2" by 5" rectangles (Toss into a box)
Cut the 2 1/2" Stripped Jelly Roll strips into 5" lengths (Toss into a Box)
Cut the Black tone on tone 2 1/2" strips into 5" lengths (Don't Toss into a Box! Lay these by the side of your Sewing Machine)

Reach in and mix the rectangles in the box up.  Make sure to pick out any hunks of colors that want to stick together hahaha "Scrappy" not my style?  Well this needs to be to scrappy to get this look, imho.

Chain pieces these together by grabbing any 2 out of the box (but not 2 that actually match), and sew along the Long side.  Remember to make 2-Sets using a black rectangles sewn to the bottom.  If I had one that appeared cut a bit longer, put that piece and feed it through the bottom so the feed dogs help keep it more even.  Make sure 1 side of each Column stays the "most" even, the other side you can trim a bit but begin each Column with 1 side straight.  

1/4" seam allowance Yadda yadda 

Chain piecing is so relaxing because I love to cut and get right to sewing.  After piecing all the pairs together it was a good time to lay them out and design each Column. 

You should probably COUNT how many sets you made and then figure out how many you want in each Column, and how many Columns with sashing you want this across.  You do have to plan where you want the Black bookcase "shelves" to sit - How many sets of 2 before you sew in a Shelf black set.   

That said, I noticed my 1st Column was on the carpet before I stopped piecing... Cool, so I made 6 of those to match that length.  Measure?  Me?  Hmm Well that is when I had my *light bulb over the head* moment.  You should really count how many you want in each Column and plan this part out 1st hahaha!

My six columns measured out to be 110" long.  I chose to begin each one with a Black rectangle sewn onto the top so I won't have to sash the top of this Bookcase.  Then I used three of the 2 sets down the column before I added another 2 set for the Shelf.  This shelf had one "normal" piece with a black rectangle sewn on the Bottom of that pair.

When I measured a spare bedroom queen mattress, it was about 74" long.  So back to the design table to lay out each column.  I moved them around to get a varied placement of the colors and stripes.  Un-picked my columns at 72" so I can add a small border later and made sure the black is the last rectangle at the end of each column.

After my six originals were un-sewn and measured, I used the left-over sections to make 2 more columns across.  I picked out a few strips to make sure the black book "shelf" stays in the same place every Column, but that worked out well.  

Iron all the seams.  Since I'm going to sash between each Column (and not sew them together), press them by alternating which direction for each column should keep this from getting wobbly.  

After pressing, number the top rectangle of each column to remember the order that looks good.  I use a Frixion Pink Highlighter by Pilot.  I love the bold bright ink and the best?  It removes with heat, so the next pressing it will disappear :-)

I personally need to look at things and kinda "step" back to see it.  Today I took photo's with the sashing strips just placed on the columns so I can check again  to make sure it has the look I want.  

The great thing about having a 96" race track table is to be able to lay out designs and have a room to move them about.  

(That red Box top has Bonnie Hunter's Easy Street Mystery Quilt Clue pieces cut and sewn ready for today's clue - It has been posted, but I'm kinda tied up the next few days until I can SEE my rotary mat under this :-)

Two Columns were moved because colors came together that looked too matchy.  This is easy to see after you look at the photo's online.  So if I cut the stripes the right direction for these, it should lend to the Books on a Shelf look I want.  How do you think I did?

Top 1/2

Bottom 1/2

 This is before I noticed Column 5, 6 and 7 all "appeared" to have the orange/purple/yellow stripe too close and moved them.

Alright, my Grandson's flight arrived and he is here!

Tonight we're drying the cherries with stems on to prepare to make our annual Mice Candy.  We both take these to the local Animal Shelter to surprise the workers.  You can bet there are not many folks that THANK them for the impossible job they have.  Well, we appreciate the work they do for our large city.  This is what my oldest grandson and I make together and Don't tell the Shelter who I am *shhh* This is a secret between you, my grandson and myself!

Happy Friday all


Sewing After Midnight

My favorite time to sew - After Midnight

Yesterday more fabric arrived, and I had finished a small quilt to give to my neighbors (the table topper with White thread on the Green Back!) -- Today is the cookie exchange block party so I'm glad it's off my plate aka sewing machine and at my neighbors.  Thank goodness she doesn't sew and thought it was just lovely!   Phew You can read about that hot mess on my blog page titled - Set Those Stitches Free(tm).  That's my crazy sense of humor if you're interested.

-- So about midnight, I laid out the quilt design for my Dad -- bowling fabric!  This will only be about a lap size, and along the way I've found a few cool techniques and patterns to do.  

Here is a couple of links to make the blocks (or columns) Quilted before you join them, how to join them after quilting, and how to make a Reversible quilt -- Very Cool techniques!  Search you-tube and it's amazing what you can find :-)  I want this Crazy Shortcut Quilts book!  

Crazy Shortcut Quilts

Sharon Pederson Presents Reversible Quilts

So here is the basic layout for my Dad's lap sized quilt, using the Charm School Blocks link below.  

By Nancy's Notions - Charm School Blocks EASY!

I have to add more fabric to make this bigger, but I've already sewn the 5 columns x 6 (cut and sewn) in a few hours!

GREAT fabric for someone who loves to bowl!

I am going to try this technique I found online.

Nothing I make takes only 90 minutes, but I hope something in here will help make things a bit easier as Christmas is coming, and I have TOO many things I still want to make and finish.

Tried this method, machine sewn quilt as you go - But my seams were kinda wonky like her's are in the video -- Brilliant plan, but I'm not there yet and ripped them out.

So I'm heading back to the cookie exchange -- I noticed another neighbor is having their 2nd child, and I've made a Girl and Boy topper about lap size.  They are done and waiting for backing and quilting to finish... Now I need the estimated due date :-)  


STTF! Set Those Threads Free(TM)

Every time I read about SID (stitch in the ditch), the acronym looks like some bad disease you wouldn't want to tell your friends about.
Well, many quilters hide their lovely seams by using the SID method, and/or by secret use of Invisible Thread on top, and the use of a matching thread for the fabric's back.    

Never feel the shame of this flawless technique again!  

It is time to STTF(TM)!!   Set Those Threads FREE(TM)

We can begin using this hot, new trend right now. How you ask?  Well this marvelous technique can be taught to almost anyone in mere Seconds!  
Yes, just seconds - How revolutionary is that!

Now you can read and marvel over just a few of these Secret Tips...  
Available on this blog for a Limited Time!

  1. Wind your bobbin (several should be used) full of Bright White for your darkest backing - Set Those Threads Free(TM)!  Black thread would be most stunning against a white quilted fabric backing don't you think?
  2. Use those unloved colors of thread to Highlight your beautiful seam work on the top, or both and STTF(TM)!
  3. If you find you are unable to break yourself of the infectious SID habit, please attempt Tip #3.  Quilt over the center seam (especially if it's inset), several times back and forth to fluff up the batting, while tugging lightly to make it a little Wonky!  Yes, you KNOW Wonky Blocks are the rage, so why not STTF(TM)?  You too can receive a bonus when highlighting your wonky centers, YOUR blocks angles are overlooked -- Seriously, How Cool is that!!

I am willing to show you a few of these great STTF(TM) techniques!  

Ahh a lovely example of Tip #1 -- Always put WHITE thread in your bobbin when using a DARK fabric for the back to your quilt.  Look how lovely the white POPS against the dark color, shows the great stitching and STTF(TM).  Imagine your bobbin filled with black thread, quilting on an exquisite white background.... Your stitches are magnificent, why hide them when you too can "Set Those Threads FREE(TM)"!

Below is an example of this FAST Growing Technique -- An unloved boring cone of thread.  Set against some bright Reds, several shades of Green with other Christmas accents and what a great use of Tip #2.

Above please observe -- Tip #3 was achieved AT THE SAME TIME -- 
Wonky Centers!!  

Now YOU TOO can become part of this Terrific movement -- Set Those Threads Free(TM)!  

Available for a limited time only, use of photo's in this blog are not available for distribution or sale, legal issues by the State of Arizona are used wherein, as set forth by the Quilters for STTF(TM) movement.  Each state's laws may differ, be sure to check with your local Quilting authority to be approved and certified for this technique.  No Animals were harmed in the making or photography of this STTF(TM) technique.

Sandia's story achieved local and national fame, published in an Albuquerque, NM newspaper and Highlighted in Alley Cat Allies.  Dumped and dying as a 10 week old kitten, I scooped her up and took her home to save me!  5 Months of weekly appointments with a caring Vet, she sailed past 1.7 pounds, picked up her fallen ears and wanted to LIVE!  At 5 1/2 years old, she is my hearts delight.  Checkerboard orange and black down her front and stomach, one leg mottled, the other Sand colored with dots, another Tabby stripes with a precious tiny dot of white on the top of her head (My Kissy Spot!).  I thank God for this precious one.  She saved me as much as I saved her.  We need each other.  She has only had 1 on-going issue - she has failure to thrive and if I travel she MUST come with.   One month I had surgery and had to be in a more sterile environment, she  quit eating and began to spiral downward.  Upon a Vet checkup, the only issue they could imagine was, she needs me as much as I need her in my life.

I hate to get all "chatty cathy" about my life -- Maybe this is why I'm not great at Blogs... I don't want to talk about my kids, grandchildren, health issues or other stuff.  I ADORE talking about my sewing, my crafts and my cats - The rest is life.

Thursday Fun aka I'm using the Rotary Cutter!

I love to sew after midnight.  The house is quiet, it's dark and you know there isn't anyone coming "a callin".  The cats are snoozing and the next thing I know the sun is up and I'm still at it!

After my blocks were done for Easy Street, I keep moving on Christmas things.  I've read the Fence Rail block was good though I've done others I thought were harder, what the heck.  

This is suppose to be a Fence Rail block but I used a Christmas Jelly Roll so I'm not sure of the look.  Well I pieced them together with Diamonds, and hunted for sashing fabric.  I put them up against Red - Whoa way too much!  

This bolt is a lot brighter than the photo shows.  White on White was ok, but just ok.  There was some soft blue in this, but to me it's not good with Christmas prints.  I jumped all over the Deep Hunter Green!  

These came out good, so I watched a You-Tube (uh oh).  

Quilt as you go (or something like that, Fun and Done?)  Well it sounded good to me for a smaller project, and it started out pretty well.  

Cut the backing larger than the block, add the batting, then the top -- and Quilt.  Hard to mess the back up when you don't have to lug around a big wad with hand sewing, pins inserted or squishing to get near center. 

OhMyGawd I just remembered I bought BASTING SPRAY!!!  2 cans Ho Lee Chit!  oh man oh man... well it's 10:30 AM, I'm doing this blog and going to bed. 

So here is where I began about 1:30.   

After you quilt, make sure to move the backing fabric away and trim the batting -- Ok.  

Iron the Hunter Green and cut 14" blocks.  Layer them and pin.  Easy enough so far right?  I'll go quilt a few blocks and see how this goes.  

There's my rotary cutter -- It's a Fiskers but the stripes tickle me and it suits me.  Cut excess batting off -- So far not bad.  Think I'll quilt a couple more blocks while I still have plenty of bobbin thread ready.

After you cut the excess batting off, lay them right fabric sides, back to back and sew together.  When I came back out to re-watch the You-Tube I couldn't get it to run again!  Ok, tried restarting the browser, nope.  Alright, reboot the computer -- NO!  hmm just try to remember (heaven help me).
I know you're suppose to wind up with 2 back pieces sticking up between them, so that you can turn that fabric and make it look like sashing.

Here are two from the sewing machine.  Ok now I see I did NOT move the backing far enough away on 1 of them.  

Plan B - Cut that side off with the hole, and use the excess from the other to turn and make "sashing".   ***Do NOT Attempt at 4 am***

ARGH, now the lines don't match.

*Sigh* The sun is up and so is my husband -- Will grind and make him a fresh pot of coffee, give the cats their 1/2 and 1/2 and grab a nap.  Where DID the night go??

oh say hi to Lucky -- This is his favorite position before he rolls over and lays upside down like a Penguin!  Buddy Belly Boy

Hope the computer acts right when I get up!!



Quilt for Kids and Wednesday

Two things I want to note

  1. Quilt for Kids -- Really are Desperate in need of Quilts Teenage Boy Quilts!  PLEASE click on the link to Volunteer OR a few dollars donation makes a HUGE difference!  
  2. Easy Street -- Bonnie Hunter's Mystery Quilt.  HERE is the "Linkey" Link ----->  Over there I've also got the EASY STREET Button if you want to join in. Hopefully we all have our 192 blocks done we await until Friday when the next "Clue" appears!  What will we sew next?  What block will we cut?  Which of the gorgeous fabrics will we dive into?  Hope you are following along on this journey!

Last night I took the extra strip I'd sewn off the Christmas fabric Fence Rail Block!  Who knew you only put 3 stripes together -- Well EVERYONE including me!  But after making a detour to the kitchen for coffee, giving whisker kisses to two of my "babies", I went into the sewing room and sorted the small jelly strips out, light, medium, dark and darker and sewed!  Just as I had the last set on my table I thought... hmm these sure are coming out a bit bigger than I thought.  Came out, more coffee, kisses and brushing 2 cats and looked at the pattern *light bulb over the head*  

Have you ever SET the seams so nice?  Opened them up and ironed down SOOO pretty... then had to rip  one out??  Now I see why we set the seams, but booooo hooooo!  Well that done, I took a real break last night.  Actually had dinner!  Wow me and food.  Of course eating a normal sized meal just about put me to sleep right way, so after I took my night meds it was all I could do to hit the sheets early at Midnight!!

Received my notice from Quilt for Kids that my Quilt set is on it's way -- So thought this would be a good time to get the news OUT -- Help is needed and there are alot of people I know in Cyber space that know two things -- How to Sew, and/or How to Quilt!!!  

The patterns they have on their site are EASY Blocks!  You can do this -- Or if you don't sew -- Seriously, even $25.00 helps!

Ok, time to cut or ponder the fence rail blocks and get this project ready to quilt before Friday, Friday comes.

Happy Sewing, Quilting or just enjoying life


A Fence Rail Quilt with Christmas Fabric?

I have some Christmas fabrics and am wondering, can a Fence Rail Quilt be made using Christmas Fabrics?  

Let me ask one of my resident experts here in the house --- Meet KayCee

KayCee and her sister (Dora RIP Jan 11, 2012) came to us when their human passed away almost 5 years ago.  I "fostered" them... but, but they were turning 10 years old and honey, you know no-one wanted to adopt them.  How sad is that!!!  Yes, I am a failed foster mom.   

I haven't figured out how to get a good photo because of those beautiful deep blue Himalayan / Siamese eyes.  But, I see she doesn't want to be disturbed from her favorite basket for another quilt question... 

Well, let me see what colors I can arrange and how it will look - Maybe I'll get a photo up before the husband comes to read here ;-)  Make his morning LOL

191 Blocks

Yes, 191 blocks. Somehow I'm ONE block short!  Ahh no biggie.  I made some blocks (about 40) using a tan instead of grey at first, so those extras I can take and add in here and there and maybe no-one with notice?

Well, I'm going to get this off my chest.  Over 150+ posted links and I guess I'm shocked.  Not 1 person left a comment.   -0-   It took me 3 days to figure out how to build a blog.  I spent hours yesterday visiting all the linked blogs and made sure to leave a comment, especially if there were not many.  As a new quilter trying to learn, I've also worked hard to participate.  Thank you for making me feel welcome.  Not a whine, a Fact.

I joined to learn and a sewing along with others sounded fun, like we are all in this together.  Well, we are not.

I am excited to see what the next clue will be, and how all these lovely colors are going to play together.  I don't want it to be Monday or Tuesday... Come ON Friday :-)   Even after being a block short and finding my first sets... I had to pull out these colorful fabrics and look at them again.  Not ones I use normally but so cheerful, bright and they look great together, even just sitting on top of my cutting table!  How will this Mystery Quilt unfold?

Anyway, I haven't been able to spin these open to rip that center stitch.  I'm using a 2.0 stitch length so maybe that's why, I don't know?  I can pinwheel them with a seam ripper, but being so new to this I don't know if opening those stitches is essential to this quilt, or if I have them nice and snugged into, laying nice and flat will that work with the blocks or whatever will come around them?

My wonderful (((((ohhh I love this man))))))) husband saw the humor in the name I chose along with the spiky fence border.  He thought of the cute idea having photos of one of our cats popping into my pages here and there.  And, Best of all -- Despite the fact there is seriously close to 1000 yards of fabric in our home, he didn't blink when I said I was heading out at the crack of Saturday, coupon in hand to get more Fabrics!!  God what a gift I have!


192 Blocks

Well I think I am a bit slower than most folks, but I'm enjoying this!  

Last night I had fun chaining my twosies.  I've got a cone set up behind the machine and look at this lovely pile!!  Now if they made cone sized Bobbins!!  

Not much on the stacks left to do... then it's iron, spin and I'm ready.  

Next is the QuiltForKids -- It is in the mail, so between times with the Mystery Quilt I'll work on that.

Want to join in the fun?  Come over to Easy Street Linky and see what everyone is doing!  

Ahh time for another one of my Cats to make an appearance.  Meet our Bonnie Boo.  

We adopted her after her mother passed when Bonnie was "suppose" to be about 10 years old.  That means she is about 17 now and a Norweign Forest -- 3 coats of fur (growing out since I clipped her this summer).  She has 6 cute toes on all her feet!  Bonnie Boo is a doll that loves to sit next to us and is great at snuggled in bed next to the husband (my side is usually taken up with one of the other 4 cats).  She adores one of the many pillows I learned to make last winter -- This winter it's Quilting Time!


My fabrics for the Easy Street Mystery Quilt

Here are some of the fabrics I'm using

This is the Grey and the White with Black - It's a must to use some  *meow* and *woof* fabric!
I'm really sorry I had to chop some of your heads off.

Sunday, Nov 25, 2012

Find Yourself on Easy Street - Mystery Quilt with Bonnie Hunter

When I lept into Cyber Space as a new quilter, I found Bonnie Hunter's Easy Street Mystery Quilt getting ready to kick off on Quiltville's Quips and Snips -- My first thought was I could use up some of the gazillion yards of stash I have.  If I understood more, maybe I'd have the confidence to change the color scheme to this perhaps?

These appeal to me because I adore animals (cats especially).  But not for this quilt.

This Quilt when completed, will be Sold to raise funds for Holy Cat Whiskers Rescue group 

So I'm off to the fabric store to get some suggested colors and then  supplement those with solid colored stash.  Maybe the next one I'll do in all Cat/Dog fabrics.

I was lucky to find some lovely fabric at Joann's -- I mean I was very lucky! This store is moving so they haven't been restocking.  I won't go back until after they open down the street in Feb!  Can you believe it?  Not restocking a Fabric store from Nov to Feb?  During the Holiday season??? whoa  Well, there is a Hancock Fabrics about 6 blocks further, so they'll get my business now.

Anyway I'm very excited to be working on this project!

As of today with some great fabrics:
  • I have my grey cut into 2" strips (WOF) Width of Fabric 
  • I have cut 3 various white with Black prints the same 
  • I'm delighted that someone posted to cut 19 of these strips for Clue 1 
  • M A T H is a 4-letter word and not my strongest point! 
  • I have them sewn together and seams ironed back
  • I have them piled together with seams nested cut into 2" squares
  • Tonight I am working on this lovely stack next to my sewing machine

Wait -- One of my cats wants to show you something!

Hi Everyone, it's Sandia my sewing buddy *snore*  Well maybe she'll make another appearance soon.