Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Week 4 Aiming For Accuracy Quilt-Along

I'm actually a week behind on the lessons for the Aiming for Accuracy Quilt-Along due to an unexpected trip home to Tennessee so I'm playing catch-up.

Once again, this assignment was LARGE in size.  Before sewing on the 1 1/2" black sashing strips to the top and bottom, the block measured 20 1/2" x 20 1/2" square.

Here is the link to the actual instructions for Lesson 4....

Here are the first four lesson blocks together....

My design wall keeps shrinking and shrinking. :) :)  I've made jokes in the past about making the entire wall a design wall.  Maybe I need to think seriously about it instead of jokingly.  I think I really need it!

Now I need to get busy and complete THIS week's lesson 5 so that I can participate in the weekly prize give-aways.  Who knows, I just might win something one of these days....but I'm not holding my breath!

Hopefully I'll have a new post soon....until then, keep sewing!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Week 3 Aiming For Accuracy Quilt A-Long

Just finished the block for Week 3 of the Aiming For Accuracy Quilt A-Long.  I must say that I'm enjoying making this blocks each week in between my usual projects.  It's pretty exciting to sit back and look at the progress, watching how quickly the quilt is growing knowing that only a short amount of time is spent piecing them together each week.

If you are working along with me and are reading this post from an e-mailed version...you will find the directions for this weeks lesson at the following link...

Here is the 3 week's worth of lessons thus far on my design wall....

It certainly will end up being one bright quilt top! :) :)

Time to get back to some other works in progress.

Happy Sewing!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Used New Pantograph to Quilt Lap Quilt and Table Runner

I received my new pantograph in the mail from the designer Patricia Ritter as thanks for inspiring her to design something new.  It is called Scrolling Vine and it's now available at Urban Elementz.

I loaded the Giant Churn Dash lap quilt on my longarm frame and started quilting away.

Finished all the quilting...

Close up....

Here is the back...

I had enough of the backing fabric and cotton batting left on the to go ahead and quilt a table runner I had pieced quite some time ago.

Close up....

I just LOVE this pantograph design.  I have a feeling that this one will get lots of use through the years on future quilts. :)

What have YOU be working on?

Until next time....keep sewing!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Week Two Aiming For Accuracy Quilt-Along

So far, so good.  I've been able to keep up with everyone online and still work on my own projects.  Are you participating in the Aiming for Accuracy Quilt Along along with the nearly 400 other quilters all over the world?

Here is my Lesson 2 block...all finished...

The link to get directly to this week's lesson is as follows...

The first two blocks have been rather large....15 1/2" square before sewing the black sashing per instruction. It hasn't taken much time at all (thankfully) and I hope that aspect of it continues.

This shows both BIG blocks finished so far on my design wall...

There will be weekly prizes and if you keep up with the lessons and post photos of the finished blocks, your name goes in the pot.  I never win anything so I'm not holding my breath but it's fun to keep up and enter anyway.

Keep sewing....it will make you happy, happy, happy!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Finished Quilting Everything Goes

I like to keep a few (ok...hundreds) different projects going, at different stages so that when my back or hip starts hurting from sitting and piecing, then I can move to the long arm and quilt a few rows until my back or neck starts aching, etc., etc. :)

I loaded this lap size quilt on the frame (the top has been finished for months now and I shared that in an earlier blog post).

I wanted to use a more modern pantograph than I typically use and I looked through my stash and pulled out this one....

It is called Modern Twist by Patricia E. Ritter of Urbanelementz.  It looked easy enough....WRONG!!! LOL I'm still rather new at this stuff, and I naively thought this looked simpler than all the leaves, vines, and scrolling lines of past pantographs.  What I have learned is that because this design is a constant, flowing, curvy, perfectly symmetrical design, you have no where to pause the machine and take a deep breath.  When doing other styles of pantographs (leaves, flowers, vines, etc.) that have sharp turns or points, etc., there are naturally "pausing" points which allows you to stop with the needle down...take a breath, rest, etc., before starting up again and it never showing in the actual quilting.  I LOVE this pattern, and I LOVE the more modern symmetrical quilting designs so I will keep practicing, practicing, practicing.  My quilting doesn't look terrible, but you can see a wobble here and there. :) :) :)

As I did more rows....the quilting got a tad bit steadier....but I never did reach perfection.  I'm not saying it isn't possible, but I can certainly see now that those long arm quilters who also have the computer attached are probably the only ones who can truly end up with perfection on designs like this. :) :)

I used a light grey thread made by Omni.


Not too shabby...

My quilting gurus tell me I'm too hard on myself.  It may have some wobbles here and there but I'm happy, pleased and content with the finished project.

I hope everyone had a nice 4th of July yesterday.  It turned out to be a beautiful day here in upstate NY.  It was great having 3 of my 4 daughters able to come over and eat together.  (I know my eldest daughter and her family would be here if it weren't a 12 hour drive.) :(

From left to right....Kirsten, Amanda, Me and Emily

Dear hubby did an awesome job grilling steaks and chicken.....

Keep sewing!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Carpenter's Star - Bright Colors

Just a quick post to let everyone see how the Carpenter's Star, using bright, bold fabrics looks on my design wall.  It certainly catches your eye doesn't it?  LOL

After taking this photo, I did sit down and finished sewing all the blocks together, so the center of the quilt is ready and waiting on borders to be added.  I would give anything to find yardage of the black floral fabric used in the star but unfortunately, it was a fat quarter piece.

Now I just need to settle on fabrics for the borders.  I'll keep you posted. :)

Monday, July 1, 2013

QAL First Block and Start of Carpenter's Star

The first lesson/block is finished for the online Aiming For Accuracy Quilt A-Long.  I decided to follow the suggestive means to piece the block together by the designer.  I figured it never hurts to try things a new and different way at times.

1)  The designer suggested we "press seams open" rather than the traditional "pressing to one side" train of thought.  I pressed the seams open, but I'm not convinced that it is better....in fact, a miracle will have to take place to change my thoughts....but I'll keep trying (on this project only!).  What I found was that by pressing the seams open, it was much more difficult to "nest the seams", and keep them in the correct place while sewing (even when it was pinned together).  Granted, the block as a whole may "lay smoother and flatter", but getting the sharp, accurate matched seams is more important to me than how smooth the block lays on the table. :) :) :)

2)  The directions called for cutting (in my case) yellow squares and red squares, placing them face to face, marking the diagonal center and sewing 1/4" on each side of the diagonal center line....then cutting along the diagonal line, resulting in two half-square triangle units.  Admittedly, this is the way MOST directions for MOST quilt projects suggest making these units.  BUT I AM A REBEL!!!  I prefer to cut strips and use my Easy Angle Ruler.  (more on that in the next post)  Although I did end up with the sections needed, I feel that using the Easy Angle Ruler gives me more accurate half-square triangle units, is easier all around and just makes more sense!! LOLOL

I also started a new quilt top over the weekend.  It is called a Carpenter's Star and I'm making a queen size version of the pattern.

This time, when the directions said to make the numerous half-square triangle units as described above...I said NO!!!!!!   Instead...I used my handy, dandy, grand-pappy sized Easy Angle Ruler II (yes they come in different sizes...4 1/2", 6 1/2" and 10 1/2"...and yes....I have them all and use them daily).

The entire quilt top is cut out and ready to sew....no drawing lines on the diagonal and then cutting squares into triangles.  Nope....it's all ready to sew, neat, tidy, triangle units cut and naturally already stacked face to face.... and stress-free! LOLOL

Here's one little peek.....will show more of the top in a future post. :)

I quickly realized that my new design wall is not big enough for all my "works in progress".  I had to remove other blocks in order to lay out my Carpenter's Star pieces.  I also learned another interesting tidbit concerning design walls this weekend.  A less-expensive, yet just as nice version is to purchase a large, vinyl, flannel backed table cloth for $1.00 at a Dollar Tree and hang it...it's exactly what a "design wall" purchased at a craft/fabric store is....the back of my design wall is white vinyl with black grid marks....the front side is white flannel just like the table cloths.... I paid $14.00....40% off regular price....but still more than $1.00.  I sure wish I knew about the tablecloth a few weeks ago.  :(   The fabric blocks just stick to the flannel....works great...no pinning needed normally.  I think I'll be making a trip to the Dollar Tree soon and hanging a vinyl table cloth next to my other design wall to give me more space! :)

Until next time!