Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Under Construction: Kantha Quilt Vest

Progress on the vest was made late yesterday afternoon.  I sewed the pieces together and tried it on.  Baggy!  So I took in the sides just under the arms to the waist area.  Then I trimmed a couple of inches off each shoulder.  I'm getting there.  I still need to finish all the edges and seams.  And I may decide to put a partial belt in the back - one that will button on and off.  The back side still seems baggy, but I think a little belt-let will pull it in and make it more flattering.  I want to be able to take the back belt off to give me the option of wearing a leather belt with it occasionally.  Basically, this vest will hardly resemble the pattern I started with!  I'm really making it my own.

Today's basket block.  A touch of gray.

Group shot: 8 blocks done!

I've been battling a scratchy throat today, hence not much energy or sewing.  Mostly I've been in a chair making hexies - they don't require much effort!  I've almost filled a shoe box with hexies over the last few days.

Don't forget to check out The Hexie Blog!  I'm posting some incredibly inspiring hexie projects there while we count down to the release of Quick and Easy Hexie Quilts!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Kantha Quilt Project

While I had my cutting table opened up and in the middle of my studio from yesterday's quilt basting, I decided it would be convenient to spread out my Kantha Quilt and cut the pattern pieces for the jacket I've been wanting to make.  It's been a LONG time since I made a wearable!

The first problem I encountered was that the quilt was simply not big enough to cut all the pattern pieces!  What to do?  I decided to turn my jacket into vest.  No sleeves.  I'm okay with that.  It will still be reversible.
Second problem?  There wasn't enough length to cut all the pieces.  What to do?  Piece them!  I sewed one quilt scrap to another to make a piece big enough to fit the required pattern piece.

Since I want the vest to be reversible, I need both sides to look good.  So when piecing, I used a 5/8 inch seam, then pressed the raw edges underneath, and top stitched the edges.  I only had to piece the collar/facing.

Here's the smallish pile of Kantha Quilt scraps I had left.  I'm going to hoard save them.  Maybe they'll go into a bag project, a pillow, a Christmas ornament or two?  Who knows?

Looking forward to having a big reveal of this vest soon!

Basket-a-day!  Mint green!

Group shot: 7 blocks done!  I rearranged them on point today - I likey like this!

I didn't start the Gee's Bend quilting yet.  But now that the vest is cut out and my cutting table has returned to it's usual location, quilting will commence at any moment.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sweater Weather!

There's a chill in the air today - and lots of wind from Sandy.  But nothing compared to what the Northeast is getting.  Prayers to everyone in harm's way.

I hit the ground running this morning.  At the top of my list was basting the Gee's Bend quilt.  Basting is not exactly my favorite thing to do, but I kept at it off and on all day and finished it 15 minutes ago.  Yay!  Tomorrow I'll begin quilting it.  This will be a Christmas gift and I hope to have it done very early!

Basket of the day.  This has got to be one of my all-time-favorite Kaffe Fassett prints.  Bold and graphic, but still "pretty."  Lovely colors.

Group shot: 6 blocks!

I also did laundry today, ran a quick errand, and made LOTS of hexies!  More hexies will be made tonight.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Switching it up.

Here's a peak at some of the fabric I'm using in Secret Project No. 3.  Pretty, huh?  I got LOTS of cutting done for this quilt this afternoon - ready to roll!

My basket-a-day.  I switched it up and used a Kona solid for the basket and a Kaffe print for the background.

Five done!

Our weekend company is gone - it was fun having him here.  I'm ready to be very productive this week.  Lots of sewing.  Some housework that desperately needs to be done.  Maybe a bit of cooking?  A walk or two.  Looking forward to the week!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Day of Fours

A little peach and purple today!  The color is more realistic in the group photo below.

Amazing how the colors can be so different in different lighting, isn't it?  Now I have 4.  Speaking of the number 4, I made FOUR loaves of whole wheat banana bread this morning.  And that was after a family trip to a MEGA garage sale at the Auburn Arena.  Okay, so it wasn't as MEGA as advertised.  A bit disappointing, but whatever.

We have some out-of-town company this weekend - a very nice thing.  This afternoon my sweet girlie-girls and I had a candle making adventure:

Four pumpkin pie candles!  FOUR seems to be the number of the day!


Friday, October 26, 2012

Brighter Basket

Isn't this a cheery one!

And the group shot.

I hate to admit it, but I didn't get much sewing done after making the daily basket.  I just couldn't get my mojo on.  Maybe I just needed a day off.  I did do some quilting planning in my head - does that count?
That's one reason I like my block-a-day plan.  Even if I don't make another thing, at least I have a small accomplishment.  Tomorrow's another day!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Basket Number 2

I'm getting faster with these little babies.  As you may have noticed, I'm using my stash of Kaffe Fassett fabric along with some of my Kona cotton solids.  I tend to hoard my Kaffe fabric.  I love it so much that I hate to cut into it.  But these little baskets are definitely Kaffe-worthy, don't you think?

Don't they look cute together?  Basket love......

This afternoon I put together two quilt backings.  I have here Secret Project No. 1 and No. 2 all ready to mail to my quilter.  Tomorrow I'll go to the post office - Yippee!

I also spent time working on Secret Project No. 3 and Secret Project No. 4.  Lots of sewing going on around here!  Can't wait to show it all to you.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Postage Stamp Baskets

The reason this block is called a Postage Stamp Basket is because it appeared on a postage stamp.  Thirteen cents - yep, a long time ago!

Here was my first attempt.  Not so good.  The hardest part of this block is that darn handle.  Can you see how wrinkled and puckered the background fabric is around the handle?  Not satisfactory!  My previous quilting self would have given up at this point and declared this block to be too difficult.  My new quilting self was up for the challenge of figuring it out.  So I tried again:

Ahh, yes!  This is much better!  No wrinkles.  No puckers.  I'll need to hand stitch the outer side of the handle to the background eventually, but I'll wait until I make a few more.  FYI, the first block went in the garbage!

It was finally time to give my avocado pit the gift of a dirt filled pot today.  Let's hope it continues to flourish.

Tonight:  I'll play with this fabric.

I can't believe this is my 800th post!  

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ta-Dah! Zigzag is Done!

I did my one block this morning.  Then I figured, why not just finish this thing?  So I made two more zigzags and sewed the pieces together.  I'm really happy with it - especially when I spent just a bit of time daily to make it.  And I used some stash (including some very uglies).  I'll take a better photo once I've quilted it.

Now, what block-a-day to tackle next?  Still undecided.  I did remember this morning that I have the die for the Alex Anderson postage stamp basket:

These are itty bitty blocks - finish at only about 4 inches I think.  But it would be great as a scrap quilt.  I think I'll make a block in the morning to see how I like it and how long it takes.

This morning I juggled a plumber, a roofer, and another guy while I sewed.  Still tweaking the house.  But this afternoon I got out - I was invited to join a smaller group of quilters for an afternoon of sewing,  sharing, and gabbing.  My favorite things to do!  What fun!  I'm so glad I'm making friends here!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mickey Says Hello

Mickey hasn't made an appearance on the blog lately so I figured I'd better give him a little photo time.  He and Prince are REALLY enjoying it here in Auburn. The backyard is their domain (with only two steps down from the patio).  Hopefully neither will have any more back issues.

I made my zigzag block - oops, forgot to photograph it before I sewed it to a section.  But there it is!  Only THREE more to go!

I spent about three HOURS today working on a block I designed on paper last week.  I tried piecing it a couple of different ways.  Not thrilled over either method.  But in the process it became a different block that I may like even better than the original.  Funny how that happens!  I'm going to let the idea percolate for a bit before decided if I want to make more of these odd blocks.

What to work on tonight?  Hmmm....  Sue Spargo?  A hexie project?  Hexies may win out!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Syrup Soppin' Time

Yesterday there was a huge Syrup Soppin' Festival near here.  There were syrup making demos, arts and craft sales, and lots of fun I'm sure.  We didn't get to go because we had to tow our SeaDoo to the lake to leave it for the winter.  Just got back home in time to watch the football games.  Next year we'll definitely check it out!  But since we missed it, I made sure we got our own little syrup sopping' in - biscuits with sorghum syrup and ham with red-eye gravy.  Good ole' Southern food!

Today's zigzag.  Only FOUR to go!!!!!!!!!!!  This quilt top will be finished THIS WEEK!

I did have a finish today though!  I finished the top for Secret Project No. 2!  Yay me!  I had to do so much un-sewing on this project.  I really designed it on the fly - by the seat of my pants - as I went along.  Hence all the un-sewing.  But it all came together in the end.  And I like it!

I've been thinking.  Once I finish the zigzag, I want to start another block-a-day quilt.  Something using my stash.  Something scrappy.  Any ideas?  Maybe this? Or this? Want to join me?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A New Seam Ripper: Seam Fix

I made my zigzag this afternoon - it was a quickie since all the half square triangles were already sewn.  Only five more to go!

Despite my "Making Do" challenge, I decided that I really NEEDED a new seam ripper.  I only have one and it's a puny, cheap one.  While at the Georgia Quilt Show I spotted these Seam Fix seam rippers and decided to get one at $6.99.  I thought I'd do a little review on it since I had to unsew a seam tonight and was able to make use of it so quickly.

The first thing I noticed when I took off the lid was the loooong spiky thing - is there a technical name for it?  Anyway, it's so much longer than the cheap seam ripper I already own.  It makes it so much easier to poke under a seam!

The lid of the seam ripper has a rubber bulb thingy (another technical term) that is advertised to pull out the loose ripped threads from the fabric.  But would it really work?  YES!  I just rubbed it lightly across the threads and they came right out!  No need to grab the tweezers or pluck with my fingers.  Easy peasy!  This was definitely a good buy!

I spotted these colorful socks at the show, too.  Oh, I drooled over them!  But at $20 per pair, I passed.  Kind of wish now that I'd gotten some though.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Quilt Show!

Believe it or not, I got my zigzag on this afternoon - yes, after a day trip to Atlanta.  And what's that beside the block?  Finished half square triangle units for tomorrow's zigzag!  One step ahead!

But now for the best part of the day - meeting up with my good friend, Brenda, who lives in South Carolina!  There she is with her absolutely GORGEOUS quilt which was juried into the show - congrats Brenda!  Forgive me for sharing your photo in the blog, but I know all our mutual friends will be glad to see you.

We had the best time ever, ogling the quilts and meandering through the vendors.  It was an early day for me (left home at 6:15 am!), but well worth the lack of sleep.

The Best of Show was a Sharon Schamber masterpiece.  Wow, as usual!

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Yes, I did make a zigzag today - 7 more to go!  I also spent some time working on the borders for Secret Project No. 2 - boy, I'll be glad to have this one done.

I had limited sewing time today because:
1.  I had an hour long appointment with a Hunter Douglas Bind rep to measure for blinds for our house (living area, dining room).  I've used the Bed Bath and Beyond blinds for the upstairs, but we wanted something different for the main level.

2.  Newcomer's luncheon:  I learned today that there are several members of Newcomer's who are also in the quilt guild.  Yay!  I sat with them and had a lovely time.

3.  Quilt Guild this evening:  I sat with my new friends from lunch.  Another lovely time!

There will be little, if any, sewing tomorrow.  I'm going to Atlanta for the Georgia Quilt Show!  Better go now - gotta get up VERY early!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Back to Work!

As much as I enjoyed having my Mom here for several days, it was good to get back in my studio this morning.  The sun was shining and I was smiling as I got back to work.

Yes, I got my zigzag on!  I was running low on dark triangles so I cut more fabric.  I only made one block, but I did spend time sewing blocks together.  I only need 8 more blocks to finish this quilt!

Here's my solution to the problem of running out of fabric for the border on Secret Project No. 2.  Instead of the squares of the scarce dotty fabric (at top of photo), I found two other fabrics in my stash and made hourglass blocks.  Sometimes when you "MAKE DO" you end up with an even better design choice.  I love the way this quilt is turning out!

After making all the hourglass blocks, I trimmed them to perfection.  Glad to be back on track!

This afternoon I played Canasta and then got a (much needed) haircut.  Tonight: hand sewing!  And TV with hubby!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Where Have I Been??

Can you guess where I was earlier this evening?

Maybe this will help.  Yes, I was a bad girl.  Hubby, Mom, and I went to Atlanta and dined at The Varsity.  Slaw dogs.  French fries.  And even ice cream!  Ultimate splurge!

We met up with my brother and one of his sons.  Brother J took Mom back to Augusta.  We came back to Auburn with an extra car - we bought Mom's car from her.  She has given up driving for good. Being blind in one eye, and not being able to see well out of the other - it was a good decision.  She hasn't actually driven since she had the stroke in her eye.

I didn't ever get my zigzag on while Mom was here.  But we spent quality time together which was the top priority.  Now I need to get back to work!  Tomorrow morning, I'll be attacking the zigzags!  And I'll be finishing the borders for Secret Project No. 2.  But first....a good night's sleep.  Good night!