Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sock Monkey Quilt Progress - WIP Wednesday

This week has NOT gone as I planned.  The weather here in Indiana is NUTS.  This morning we had thunderstorms and tornado warnings.  This all does not-so-nice crazy things to my head. 

Today I have worked on the sock monkey quilt.  For something so simple it has taken me forever.  I cut my final borders a half inch short and had to piece them after they were partially on.  I just feel lucky I didn't get anything upside down so that I had to remove an entire row.

I tried to go outside for a picture (it is 65°F here) but the wind is so strong that would only work if I lay on my back underneath it.  Did I mention the storms this morning?  It is sunny and soggy right now.  The dogs love it.

So, back in to my dining room table.

This quilt top measures 42"x49".  I plan to back it with some red flannel.  I didn't like the sock print as much as I thought and ended up breaking in up with fussy cut monkeys in the corners.  I like how the rest turned out.

One of the monkeys and the border print.

The blue.  Not exactly baseballs but looks masculine enough.

Hmmm.....I was trying to add pictures of the other fabrics but I can't seem to access them.  Maybe I will be able to edit later

Well, I added one more picture.  I am not sure I have the patience to try again tonight!

Going to link up to Freshly Pieced  for WIP Wednesday.

Keep Stitchin'!


Monday, February 27, 2012

Design Wall Monday

We had a very busy weekend.  That meant no time in the sewing room.  I spent all of my hours in the kitchen. We had 50 people in for Cajun food Saturday night.  Fun times but exhausting.

Today I am still trying to recover.  Thank God for leftovers!  I had a very slow start to my day.  My only real accomplishment is cutting out the fabric for my "special project" for my BOM club.  I really didn't know this was going to get so involved.  I thought I would show up, get the pattern for the next month and show what I made last month.  Nope!  There is a special project, show & tell and a story time (Civil War) each month.

This month's special project is a baby quilt from this free pattern.  The shop owner decided we could use any fabric in the shop for this project.  Since we get a 15% discount on fabric we buy for the special projects on class night AND I needed a baby quilt for a girl at work, I decided to participate. 

The girl at work has not "theme" for her baby stuff but she and her husband like sock monkeys and baseball.  This is their third boy after about an 8 year break.  Rilleda has some sock monkey fabric.  Yay!  Two birds with one stone and a discount! 

While buying the fabric I couldn't really decide about which fabric I wanted to use for certain parts.  So, I cut it both ways (two extra 6" blocks) and laid it out to see.  I still can't decide.  I only have a little bitty design wall suitable for about four blocks.  This is the floor of the loft in my house and the sun was shining strongly in the sky light.  Not perfect picture but the colors aren't too bad.

This was what I thought I wanted.  The blocks will be sashed with an off white color - not quite as dark as muslin.  The border is a brown, sock texture looking fabric.  I want to bind in the red.  But, I love red.  Perhaps that is too much red and this would be better:

I have enough of the brown fabric I could use it for binding if I wish.  Today I am all wishy washy.  Had a pretty bad migraine and medicated for that.  The rotary cutter was a really dumb idea and I am glad I didn't get hurt (again).  Perhaps tomorrow I will be clearer but today I just can't decide.

The blue and the red are both 30s repro fabrics.  The pring on the blue looks kind of like baseballs is why I chose it.  The red is just a vine/leaf print.  Nothing girlie on here.  What do you think?  Option one or option two? 

I am going to link up with Patchwork Times for design wall Monday?  Mine is on the floor but what is on your wall today?

Thanks for looking!


p.s.  I can't seem to get a service pack to load that will allow me to upgrade IE on this computer.  Therefore I cannot access certain things - like several people's blogs.  Please forgive me for not commenting on your blogs. I will when I can see them again.........Mary

Thursday, February 23, 2012

My Tiny Little Finish & GWTW

I did sew this week.  I think.  I know I ironed a lot.  Oh yeah!  I made a rag quilt for my MIL that I did NOT take a picture of.    I did take a picture of this nasty little thing.  It is a Buckshot Pincushion that is supposedly a Civil War era thing.  Mine does not have a buckshot in it.  I stuck with poly fill.

I don't know if it could be any uglier.  I made it for Show and Tell for my BOM club.   Most everyone is doing Civil War prints.  I am doing flour sack.  The way this is organized participants can earn "script" for an auction held in November.   I found this pattern when I was doing research for a Gone with the Wind quilt for my SIL a couple of years ago.  I decided to make it for this club. 

My husband says it is ugly and looks like some sort of crustacean.  He is right but now it is done.

Now, for the GWTW quilt.  It is an old story but it counts if I haven't blogged, right?

I made this quilt for my SIL for Christmas. I drew her name in the family Christmas. The rule is you are supposed  to make the gift.  Even the kids do this.  It is fun and interesting to see what is given. She wanted a GWTW quilt or curtains for her bedroom. After much teeth gnashing I decided a GWTW quilt would be more fun for me.

Quilting Treasures had just come out with a GWTW line of fabric (This was a couple of years ago). Unfortunately I thought it was UGLY....and it was expensive. I started buying Civil War reproduction fabrics with no plan in mind. I kept watching the GWTW fabrics and it finally went on sale and a new batch came out.  I gave in and bought some.  I was able to get the print with the burning of Atlanta on it for the center.

 I finally began working on the design of the quilt. I did a lot of research about patterns from the era.  I learned about the Sanitary Commission of the North.  Northern women, in the four year period of the Civil War made an estimated 250,000 to 400,000 quilts for the cause--all by hand. The original quilts measured approximately 48 by 84 inches, the same size as a hospital cot.

Southern women did what they could to help buy desperately needed gunboats.  Beautiful Gunboat Quilts* were made. Some of these displayed elaborate medallion style floral arrangements cut from printed fabric. The motifs were cut out and appliqued to solid fabric. This method is called broderie perse and requires very fine sewing skills. Through fairs, raffles and donations southern women raised enough money to pay for three of these ironclad gunboats.

I made the center of the quilt to represent the era.

The upper left represents the quilts made by the Sanitation Committee for use in hospitals.

This was a common pattern. I fussy cut scenes from the Civil war to put in it. The upper right is very obviously Scarlett.

 She was rather disturbing looking when the fabric arrived. I finally realized she had no pupils! I added them with a Sharpie and she looks much better.

The center is the Atlanta burning scene from GWTW. It is bracketed with more Civil War pictures. On the lower left I did embroidery to represent broderie perse.

That technique requires fine needle skills that I don't possess! The lower right is a Jacob's Ladder and is another CW era block.  I chose it because it is a family name.

My SIL wanted green and burgundy.  I didn't see it as looking like Christmas until hubby pointed out.  Fortunately, it was what she wanted.

I took my random purchases and arranged them around the center using 9-patches alternated with plain 12" blocks.

After quilting.  This is the only picture I have of the entire quilt and it wasn't bound. I bound it with the burgundy used for the inner border.

This was my first major project with my HQ16.  All the pictures are with my cell phone and  reflect that.

I quilted each block individually and alternated between the spiral you see above and a feathered ring on the nine patch:

I remember that I used a variegated thread but don't remember the brand.  It sure wasn't perfect.  I like to blame that on the drunken monkeys that showed up during the quilting.  I am sure I would have done much better on my own but every time I turned around one of those drunken monkeys had yanked that machine right out of my hands!

Talk about a skill builder.  This quilt surely was.  She swears she loves it and her husband does, too.  I assume it is on their bed but I haven't been in their bedroom to look.

Most times I now have the drunken monkeys under control.  They still interfere from time to time but I am better at fixing their mistakes now!

I hope you enjoyed my little project.  I hope to link up with Amanda Jean  and Fabric Addict later today.  And next week I hope to have a couple of project to show.

Keep Stitchin'


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Rosie is Done and Saturday Project for Hubby

I finished Rosie!  I actually finished her last week on Wednesday but I spent the next two days at the hospital with two different family members. I am thinking of endowing a parking spot.

I decided Rosie was a skill builder.  So, I tried a lot of new things or practiced things I am not very good at.

She didn't turn out too bad.  She now has a hard bottom.  I was going to use cardboard by my husband had some 5mm plywood I ended up using.

This is the back.  I used some of the decorative stitches on my MC6600 for quilting. 

I started out with the bigger stitch because it reminded me of rivets.  I got bored with that.  I was on night shift and lacking sleep.  I switched to the smaller pattern and liked how it looked and that it went so much faster.  The thread is a Coats and Clark embroidery thread.  My embroidery machine does not like it for embroidering but handled it just fine for this application.

I lined it.  I wanted pockets but did not want to add weight with the lining.  To keep the pockets from pulling through I sewed the dividing seams from the back and used the selvages I had trimmed off, doubled over to reinforce.   I used three more decorative stitches - back on the Janome - this time and used Halo glitter thread in the bobbin.  I have never done "bobbin" work.  I plan to try more.

It is a little hard to see but there it is.  I did the seam on the right first.  My tension was not correct.  I adjusted some and the next two looked better.

Finally, the bag got straps and a key fob so I am not digging for them.

It was completely self lined. I pulled it through a hole in the bottom of the bag and then stitched it closed.  I top stitched around the opening to give it more form.  I wish I had top stitched my side seams but did not see that until it was together.

I like it.  It will hold my "journal", my blocks and my show 'n' tell when I go to my BOM meeting.

Last Saturday my husband was on a cleaning frenzy in the basement.  He asked me to make something to go on top of his gun safe.  I had a jelly roll from Connecting Threads I did not care for.  I made this.

He decided it needed to be wider after I pieced it.  Thus, the weird borders.  I also screwed up the binding on one side but I wasn't feeling like seam ripping.  So, this is as good as it gets.  I did try out another new set of groovy boards.  These are leaves.  You can't see them in this picture but I like them.  I would take another pic but he now has most of it hidden with all the crap treasures he keeps on there.

Hopefully I will link this up with Amanda Jean tomorrow for Finish it up Friday.  I am cheating a little but the connection here is so much faster!

BOM meeting is Monday.  Wish me luck....I have to learn to play better with others.

Keep stitchin'!


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Rosie the Quilter Bag WIP

ETA: is now Wednesday for the world.  This is my WIP that I am still working on.  I am linking up to Freshly Pieced

TGIF...okay, so it isn't for most people.  This is my "Friday".  After I get off this evening, I have 48 hours off and then am back for three 12 hour night shifts.  So, Monday is my weekend.

Today I am a bit under the weather and thus distracting myself with thoughts of what I will do when I am off work and feel better. I am going to finish my Rosie bag.  I thought I would post about her today though as a WIP.

I bought her last fall off of a clearance shelf at The Stitching Post in Washington, Indiana.  She was designed by Bayside Quilting for Andover Fabrics.  Let me see if I can link her picture.

Well, that took some doing.  But here she is.  She looks better in person.  I had read about a trapunto method that I wanted to try for Rosie.  I took high loft poly batting and sewed it to Rosie, the speech balloon and the red sashing. I then cut away all the extra.  Next I layered Warm & Natural batting behind everything and a piece of muslin.  I started to stipple it with a stitch available on my BabyLock Ellegante.

Here is a picture of the WIP.

Hmmm...not so sure about this.  Rosie looks like she has cellulite and you can see the lines from the stippling.  But, I have committed so let's move forward.   Four hours and finishing off three spools of thread later I like the overall effect but Rosie still isn't "puffy" enough. I think I stretched the poly when I was sewing it.  I will use some tissue paper as a tear away stabilizer next time.  So, I cut holes in the muslin and "stuffed" Rosie some more. Since this is a bag it will have a lining to cover up where I am closing those spots.  I think she looks much better now.

I stippled all around all of the Rosies.  I used yellow thread (about 300 yards!).  For the borders I did a simple line across the red with both battings behind it.  The speech balloon has both battings, too.  I just outlined the letters with a blue thread.

I showed this to my husband and he said, "Wow.  That looks like a lot of machine time."  Thanks, dear.

This is the other side of the bag that I pieced from a clearance collection I bought at Connecting Threads.

The picture doesn't show up very well but the blue and the yellow pieces look like cutting mats.  I am using the blue for the sides, bottom and the handles. I hope to quilt this side tonight or in the morning and then construct the bag. 

The finished bag will be around 21" square.  I keep getting asked what I will do with that.  I am not sure but a quilt should fit in it. It was an interesting project and a skill builder.  I might try a pillow or wall hanging with this effect but there is no way I would do a bed size quilt.  I don't have that much patience.

I do have the other half of the panel remaining.  I might try again and make a wall hanging with it.  My bag will have a pocket for a cell phone, wallet and keys.  Do you have any other suggestions to make for me?  Thanks for looking! It is past time for me to go back to work.

Keep Stitchin'


Friday, February 3, 2012

Think Spring for Finish it up Friday

This is going to be quick while I am on my lunch.  I want to link up with Amanda Jean over at Crazy Mom Quilts for her Friday Finish.  Thanks, Amanda Jean, for helping me stay on track.

Back in November I did a Jelly Roll 1600 quilt while I was on nights one week.  I posted about it here.  I had great intentions to finish it pretty quickly but it kept getting shoved aside.  This week was it.  Last week I took a pieced of 30's repro fabric my aunt had bought me and scraps of all the "orphan fat quarters" she had bought me and pieced the back.  That is a first for me.  My fellow bloggers inspired me. I like how it turned out and I didn't spend a dime on it!

I did add the flowers I posted about originally but I also added some jumbo ric rac.  I adore this quilt and I am calling it Think Spring.  My husband kept asking what I would do with it and I am keeping it!

It is 60" x 74" and just the right size for me to snuggle in at night while he watches TV.

I used one of the new design boards I got for Christmas for quilting.  I did not quilt over the flowers because I wanted them to stand out.  I didn't get a very good picture of the quilting but here you can sort of see it.

It is called Whoopsy Daisy.  I really like it.  It was fun to do.  I used a silver grey thread on the back so it would stand out a little more and I am happy with the results.

Okay, my soup is gone and this post is done!

ETA:  Linking up with Confessions of Fabric Adict.  Whoop Whoop

Happy Stitchin'!