Monday, March 26, 2012

Hugs and Kisses - Design Wall Monday

Wow! It's been a week since I last shared anything here. The only sewing I did in the last 6 days, was cutting the outer border for the bow tie quilt I showed last Monday and stitching the strips together so they were long enough. This morning I decided it was time to dig in and sew the borders on.

Hugs and Kisses Bow Tie quilt top

Ta-da! A complete quilt top. I call this design "Hugs and Kisses."

One reason I did almost no sewing in the last week is I've been uncovering some of the horizontal surfaces in my house; company's coming. Another reason is I'm avidly watching my way through the entire 4-season boxed DVD set of the old Wiseguy TV series from the late 1980s.

scrappy heart blocks

While uncovering horizontal surfaces in my sewing/quilting area, I keep finding leftover bits and pieces of old projects. Some orphan blocks, but lots of leftover strip pieces and ends of strip sets.

I found some scrappy heart blocks left from this quilt top in 2008 and some leftover bits of the 2" strips. So I pieced together 2 more scrappy hearts when I finished the borders on "Hugs and Kisses" this morning.

Visit Patchwork Times to see what Judy L. and a bunch of other people have on their design wall today.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Design Wall Monday

center of Hugs and Kisses quilt

This is my first ever Design Wall Monday post. I was stitching these blocks together this morning and said to myself, "You ought to take a picture and write a Design Wall Monday post." So here it is. Dangerous thing is I've turned the computer on hours earlier than normal which could sidetrack me for the rest of the day!

3D bow tie quilt blocks

I finished these 3 dimensional Bow Tie blocks about a month ago. I stitched part of them as leaders/enders during another project. Since I finished the Checkerboard Squares quilt Saturday, I decided it was time to get back to these blocks.

Yesterday evening, during commercial breaks in the Harry Potter movie on ABC Family Channel, I stuck the blocks on my design wall, twisting and turning to get as many seam allowances nested together as possible. There are 2 places where I could not find a way to nest the seam allowances and had to stitch through 6 layers of fabric instead of 4.

This morning, with Dr. Who on BBC America, I sat down and stitched the blocks together. I also cut the inner border from the blue background fabric and attached half of those strips. The outer border will be more of the darker print.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


I seldom do paper foundation piecing. Too slow and fiddly. I also don't enjoy stitching strips to a muslin foundation to create string blocks.

When I found out that the January project for my 3rd Sunday Project Linus group was string blocks, I said thanks for the warning and started coming up with a plan for something I could do with those 2" strips that didn't involve stitching them on a muslin foundation.

Mindbender quilt

This is what I came up with. I call it Mindbender. Don't look at it too long or it will really mess with your mind.

What I did:

  • Chose 6 fabrics, 3 light and 3 dark.
  • Stitched 6 identical, 6 strip strip-sets, alternating light and dark 2" wide strips.
  • Pressed all the seams toward the side with the light strip on 3 strip-sets and toward the side with the dark strip on the other 3.
  • Cut the strip-sets into 24 squares.
  • Keeping the same fabric at the top, separated squares into 2 groups based on which way the seams were pressed.
  • Cut 1 group of squares on the diagonal from bottom left to top right.
  • Cut the other group of squares from top left to bottom right.
  • Mindbender unit
  • Stitched triangles together to make 24 units.
  • Stitched units together to make 6 blocks.
  • Arranged blocks and stitched together.
  • Added more 2" strips to create borders.

I like this well enough to do another sometime, but will probably do a different border. It's on my list of patterns to write and publish on my website. But don't hold your breath waiting for that as it frequently takes me years to get a pattern on my website. I wouldn't want to cause any misfortune to happen to you.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Finish on National Quilting Day

Checkerboard Squares quilt

Today is National Quilting Day. Tomorrow is the 3rd Sunday of March, which means my Project Linus group meets. So I kicked into gear and quilted the Checkerboard Squares top that I made at the February meeting so I can turn it in tomorrow.

I quilted in the ditches of the borders and did a diagonal grid through the blocks. The batting is Warm & Natural and I used some red flannel on the back. Here's a closer look at the blocks and a peek at the back.

Checkerboard Squares quilt detail

I hope you had a quilt-filled National Quilting Day. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 05, 2012

Project Linus - Third Sunday Group - February

Checkerboard Squares, an easy 9-patch quilt, was our Fast & Fun quilt top for February, 2012. Our Third Sunday group met at JoAnns Fabrics in Independence, MO on Sunday, February 19, to work on Project Linus blankets.

Checkerboard Squares is a 41" square quilt featuring 13 nine-patch blocks separated by squares of fun fabric. Jodie had fabric kits and instructions prepared to get us started. Everyone had fun and 3 of us finished Checkerboard Squares quilt tops.

pastel 9-patch quilt top

Jodie's quilt top is uncharacteristically pastel. She usually goes for bright colors, but chose the kit with green and yellow 9-patch blocks separated by multicolor jelly beans and surrounded by a lavender inner border and another multicolor pastel print in the outer border.

red and blue 9-patch quilt top

Patti's quilt top features Batman in the squares separating the red and blue 9-patch blocks, topped off with a fun dotted print in the border.

multicolor 9-patch quilt top

I was drawn to the fun cat print in the kit I chose to stitch. The cat squares separate red and green 9-patch blocks and everything is surrounded by a yellow inner border and a fun, bright multicolor polka dot print in the outer border.

fabrics in quilt top

Here's a close up shot so you can get a good look at all the fabrics in this quilt top. Notice the paw prints on the red fabric. The quilt top is on my design wall waiting to be finished into a Project Linus blanket.

You may click on any picture to see a larger version.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Just Write Something

textured crochet

The path to blogging is paved with good intentions. But all the good intentions in the world won't create a blog filled with interesting content. Or even boring content. QF333QSF85WD

To fill a blog with things to read, you have to sit down and write. Writing is a a time consuming process for me. I'm in awe of bloggers like Judy Laquidara and Bonnie Hunter who almost always publish not just one, but 2 or 3 or 4 new blog entries every day. If I wrote that much I wouldn't have time to do anything to write about!

Over the past several months there have been lots of things I could write about here:

  • quilts from my 3rd Sunday Project Linus group
  • hats for charity
  • sock projects
  • handmade gifts

There's a half done article about my meandering path to completing a Wacky Rail Fence quilt. It's either one very long article or a 2-parter. I still have hopes of finishing the article, even though I haven't touched it for 4 months!

On a more positive note, I'm devoting a couple of hours a week to working on things for the Handcrafting with Love website. I have a collection of patterns in various stages of development that I'm finishing and publishing (e.g., the Griddle Stitch Beanie).

I have ideas about other information to add to the website; for example, getting started resources and technique tutorials. If I don't get sidetracked too soon, there will be a website redesign. Eventually. When I get a around to it.

Here's hoping this rambling note eases me back into blogging. If it does, you'll see some current projects and maybe some older projects I never got around to writing about.