Wednesday, October 22, 2014

ALMOST A RUNNER...


...for my kitchen island this Christmas!  Yesterday was the last class.  I had a GREAT time!


The pattern actually calls for a 4" border all the way around and then the binding.  However, when I took the runner down to my island, I discovered that if I did add the 4" border it would be longer than my island and proportionately too wide. 

So I am calling it "completely pieced" at this point and will begin the "stitch in the ditch" quilting tomorrow.  Hopefully by the weekend this will be done.  Then I will consider making a "non-Christmas" one for my folks/aunt for a Christmas gift.  They have a huge island and mom mentioned they would like to find an "everyday" runner for on top of the granite.  I think I may have some batiks in their colors.  Their island is much larger than mine, so the full size runner would be perfect. 

Toodles...

Sunday, October 19, 2014

SECOND VERSE, SAME AS THE FIRST....and so on, and so on...


Over this weekend I finished the last two rows of the first block and an entire second block!  I am beat!  I am going to clean up my room a bit so it is good to go first thing tomorrow and then I am going to go relax with Dear Hubby.  I have either 10 more or 18 more to go.  At least my points are matching a bit better on the second block...so I'm learning, lol. 

Toodles...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

MY COLLAPSIBLE CRAFT CONTAINER...


After existing for the last 14 months as a free tutorial on my blog, the instructions for this versatile collapsible container have been removed from my blog and listed for sale in my Craftsy shop.  Just go to www.craftsy.com and search for Uggabear to find the pattern!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

THE FIRST BLOCK...


I'm two-thirds done the first block for J's quilt.  This is my first attempt at half square triangles, and as you can see my center points are not perfect.  But, I have a minimum of 11 more blocks to practice on and once I add quilting, etc. the slight jog on this block won't be noticeable (I hope, lol).  I was really hoping to get one full block today but I'm too tired. 

More to come!

Toodles...

Monday, October 13, 2014

MORE PROGRESS ON MY TABLE RUNNER...


I finished the 7 blocks I needed for my table runner on Sunday.  After I had taken this picture I removed the stabilizer and cut them all down to size.  At my next class we will begin assembly.  I can't WAIT! 

More to come...

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

LEARNING SOMETHING NEW...

Tuesday I attended a class at the wonderful shop where I purchased Ellie (my sewing machine).  I have always wanted to learn how to do applique with my embroidery module, and Hayes Sewing Machines in Wilmington, DE is the perfect learning environment.  The whole Hayes family is incredibly knowledgeable, talented, patient and SUPER friendly!  They make everyone feel right at home...which is why I travel 50 miles each way to take their classes!

Want a peak at my first two blocks?



I am making a Christmas Table Runner for my kitchen island. 

I still have 5 more blocks to applique and then I have to trim all 7 blocks before our next class.

FUN homework!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A NEW QUILT...my least favorite part...


A few months ago I began designing a quilt for J & K for Christmas.  The quilt was to be modern (to suit both of them) with Celtic touches to highlight her heritage.  I was still up in the air as to whether each block would be separated by a sashing that was quilted heavily in a Celtic theme. 

Unfortunately, since that time, their 4 year relationship/engagement has ended.  It has been a rough time for all of us, especially my dear, sweet J who firmly believed he had found his soul-mate in K.  But life goes on...

Now that I have finished the placemat gift for our friend, it is time to begin work on a quilt that is J's alone.  His quilt is going to be made exclusively of HST's (half square triangles), without sashing between each block.  I feel this will make his quilt more masculine and modern.  His quilting will be "loosely" themed around his love of computers.  He has been a "computer geek" for the past 16 years and currently works at a computer service company.  Technology is truly "him". 


I designed his quilt to be either 3 or 4 (pictured above) blocks wide and 4 or 5 blocks long. 


His blocks will be made primarily of the light gray, medium blue and dark blue, his favorite colors.  The beautiful batik fabric will be used for the binding.  While sized to fit his queen bed, this quilt will also be perfect draped across the gray sofa we purchased for his apartment last Christmas. 



I have never before made a quilt that consisted of so many small pieces and decided maybe it was time to give my Sizzix Big Shot its first real workout.


I waited for a sale at the Sizzix website and purchased a HST cutting die. 


The die cuts two half square triangles at a time and can be stacked with 8 pieces of fabric per pass through the machine.  Given that the "squares" formed by sewing together the two HST's will "finish" at 4", it is going to take A LOT of HST's to finish his quilt! 

I began by cutting 5.5" wide strips of fabric...


...cutting 5.5" squares to place into the Big Shot...


...stacking 8 squares at a time...


...and running them through the machine.  I realize that I could have "accordion folded" the fabric instead of cutting individual 5.5" squares...but I HATE having to remember which is the front and back of the fabric!  By stacking, I know the front of the fabric is facing up in the machine...and I feel I am less likely to have a triangle miscut. 


Unfortunately, the cuts are not always complete and I sometimes need to snip one or two tiny threads in order to separate the HST's. 

While using my Big Shot is definitely easier and more precise than rotary cutting, I have discovered something about this part of the process that had never quite dawned on me before.  I HATE the fabric cutting stage of making a quilt!  It seems like I am making absolutely NO progress on the finished project...which is frustrating me to no end! 

So, I have decided to move on to cutting some HST's from the other two fabrics and begin piecing the individual blocks, each consisting of a whopping 32 gray HST's, 20 light blue HST's and 20 dark blue HST's.  Maybe then my creative self will feel fully engaged in the process. 

While I had never REALLY believed I could finish J's quilt in time for Christmas, this long "cutting" process is pushing it back as far as his birthday or maybe even NEXT Christmas!  And to think...I hoped to complete a postage stamp quilt some day!  Maybe not...