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Saturday, March 29, 2014

End to End

I am challenging myself to convert fabric stash to flimsies, to try new things, to make bigger quilts and to continue to work on technique.  To that end,  I pulled out a bunch of historic-ish fabrics from my stash to make an historic-ish twin-sized quilt.  Mostly to learn how to construct it and to determine what goes into making one. 

There it is pieced end to end.  Enough 3.5 inch blocks to make a twin sized quilt.


And here it is all rolled up.  Yes, there is a madness to my method.  I will try to explain it some time but it will require some input from Mr-I'm-the-mathematician-sew-here-trust-me-the-seam-ripper-is-your-friend.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

PQ 5:6 Triangles, Flying Geese at Sunset

Whew!  It is finally the last week of Kim Lapaceck's  Project Quilting.  A week I looked forward to with equal parts excitement, sadness and dread.  Excitement, because it is always exciting to get the new challenge.  To spend time thinking about what to make and to figure out how to do it.  Sadness, because PQ is over for another year and I will miss these bi-weekly challenges and more importantly bi-weekly deadlines to get a quilt finished.  (During the 6 weeks of project quilting, I managed to finish 9 quilt projects.)

And then the dread...  As you may know, my personal challenge this season was to make large quilts.  Big enough to cover up Spud 1.

I started small with the baby-sized Snailerpark trash quilt.  The real challenge on this one was the Free Motion Quilting. 

Week 2 saw the production of a bigger but still rather smallish picnic quilt.  Stitching over all of those flat-felled seams and pockets almost did in me and my machine. 

Week 3 was larger still with the good wrap up on the couch Good N Plenty quilt. Completely fun and manageable in the time frame!

Week 4 was the 60 x 60 inch big star quilt, made of half square triangles and hand quilted.  In three days.  From start to finish.  Totally exhausted!

Week 5, the even larger, twin sized Jam and Bread quilt, again made of triangles.  This time the triangles were quarter square triangles.  I didn't think I could possibly get this one finished.  A trip out of town.  A pieced backing.  The need to go to use the tables in the multipurpose room at church to get it basted.  A wee bit of assistance on that from the spuds on Saturday night, and I managed a finish.

Thus the dread of week 6.  Was I up to the challenge of making the next size up?  A full sized quilt in keeping with the pattern of the rest of the season.  Dread.

I might have made it except for one thing. Triangles.  The week 6 challenge was triangles.  That is all.  Triangles for two weeks from a quilter who just doesn't do triangles unless she absolutely has to and now more triangles.  A giant full-sized quilt with more triangles.   Let's just say I did a wee bit of whining. For most of the week, I was pretty much convinced that this one lone triangle-shaped coaster made of chalkboard fabric was going to be my entry.

But Thursday night, I couldn't help myself.  I had to do at least a little bit better.  Since I wasn't going to be able to go large and I didn't want to go home, I decided to try and tackle paper piecing.  I've tried many times.  I've sat through the classes at least three times.  I always come up short.   Literally.  My pieces are always sewn on too short.

This was the week to conquer my fear.  I found a pattern for flying geese in a circle.  I printed out a couple patterns and I went for it.  Amazingly enough, only the very last piece of the last block was too short.  I made two blocks.  Added some coordinating fabric and called it quits.

And so you have Flying Geese at Sunset.  Sunset of time.  Sunset of the season.  Sunset colors.  It measures approximately 12 x 16 inches.  It is made from some lovely quilter's cotton I bought on my Birthday last year to make something just for me.  It has a felted poly batting and is hand quilted and hand bound.  And it is finished in time to post as my very last challenge quilt.

Be sure to check out all the other great triangle quilts made this week.  

Thank you Kim for all your hard work producing Project Quilting.  Thank you Diane Lapacek for your evil genius in coming up with the challenges.  And Kudos to the many talented quilters who produce a quilt in a week for no reason other than the challenge is there.

Because she asked so nicely, I've linked this week's post to Go Go Kim's SewJo Saturday link party.  Even more great quilts to admire!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Guest Post: Kim Lapacek of Project Quilting

 You visit this blog so you likely know that I have been playing in and sponsoring Project Quilting for the past two seasons.  Season 5 is coming to an end.  I've invited Kim to the blog today to share more information about PQ.  

From Kim....

If you’ve been following along with Season 5 of Project QUILTING, http://www.persimondreams.com/project-quilting/season-5,  you know that it’s been an exciting season.  I recently taped with Nancy Zieman of Quilting with Nancy for a ‘Nancy’s Corner’ about Project QUILTING.  Not only was it an amazing experience but it also helped me get all my statistics about the history of project QUILTING all nicely together.  

Project QULTING began in 2010 when I discovered Project RUNWAY and fell in love. 
At first, it made me want to learn to sew clothing.  Then, I actually thought about and I really didn’t have time to add another hobby into my world but I did know how to quilt.  I gave my mother-in-law, Diane Lapacek, a call and she agreed to come up with quilt challenges for Project QUILTING and the quilting fun started!

Challenges are posted on Sundays during the ‘season’ and quilters from all around the world have just one week to come up with a concept, create the quilt, finish the quilt and link up to qualify for prizes from various sponsors.  It sounds daunting but trust me…it can be done.

Since Project QUILTING began in 2010, 793 quilted items have been created.  174 quilters from all over the world have participated in a least one of the 33 challenges given so far.  Nine countries have been represented by quilters for a project QUILTING Challenge – this includes 38 of the States in the US and 4 Providences of Canada. 
Project QUILTING is a quilt challenge for quilters of all levels!  We’ve had newbie quilters all the way to Professional Quilters join in the fun.  A weekly voting poll allows the public to vote for their favorite quilt of the challenge and then random prize winners are literally drawn from a hat out of everyone who has participated.

The final challenge of Project QUILTING is happening THIS week and the theme is Triangles, http://www.persimondreams.com/2014/03/project-quilting-season-5-challenge-6triangles.html.  If you want to join in the fun it is not too late.  The challenge is posted and you’re not going to want to miss out on a chance to win great prizes from sponsors – Marcia’s Crafty Sewing & Quilting, Woodland Ridge Retreat Center, For Quilts Sake, Studio Cherie, Sew BitterSweet Designs, Waggons West, Pat Sloan, Amy's Creative Side, Fat Quarter Shop, Bungalow Sewing & Yarn, and Seldom Seen Quilting.

I hope you decide to join in the fun and don’t forget…It’s Time to Think Outside the Square!

Thanks Kim. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

PQ 5.5 Jam and Bread

Updated with new pictures up front.  Scroll down for details.

  A bit of a close up showing the fabrics and the very simple quilting.

This week's PQ challenge is to be inspired by the grocery store.

My inspiration was Jam and Bread.  Blueberry and strawberry jam and plain old white bread.  I also added in the red gingham backing like the wax paper sandwiches used to be wrapped in at the diner.

The blocks are all hour glass blocks.  If this quilt has a story it is simply that it is finished.  It has been a difficult week with lots of travel and a touch of a cold to keep me from getting much done.  I've had the blueberry fabric in my stash for a while.  I found the strawberry that almost matches it on Etsy.  I was going to use it for a checked border around the blueberry hour glass blocks but changed my mind.  I'm not sure it was the right choice, but it is done so I will move on.

Sorry, it is too big for me to get a pic without including my friend Floyd and his collection of hats.  Spud 1 is holding it up.  He is complaining that it is big and heavy.  I have no sympathy.  He is the one who insisted that all my PQ quilts this season be big enough to keep warm.  If he gets a quilt big enough to warm his big toe for the last challenge, he will be living large.  

Here you can see the fabrics a little bit better. While I have been working large this season, I have also been learning a lot.  I'll share some of the things I've learned once I get some rest. 

One more view with the edge folded back.  I love making rounded corners.  I didn't use the big plate on these so they are a bit tighter than usual.  I won't make that mistake again.  The binding is actually a green gingham.  I love white space and gingham binding. 

 The details.  It measures approximately 68 x 77 inches.  It is made with quilter's cotton.  The machine quilting forms a diamond pattern.  The binding is also machine stitched.  It has a dense poly batting.

Project Quilting was imagined by Kim Lapacek of Persimon Dreams.   You can check out the rest of the quilts made this week and vote for your favorite on her blog.

You can see all of the quilts and vote for your three favorites here.  

Friday, March 7, 2014


I made it to Patches and Stitches in Huntsville this week.  They have the answer for everything. 

This is my score from this trip.  Needles, marking pens, thread, scissors and an HST ruler big enough to mark my 10 inch blocks. 

Hot and Hot in the Cold.

It has been a very long week. 

The robotics competition in Peoria (finished with the fourth alliance thank you very much). 

The ice storm delay. 

The travel through the ice storm in a state that doesn't seem to know how to plow or salt.  Huge chunks of frozen snow pushed kinda sorta to the edge but close enough to throw the cars and trucks around if they hit it.  Watched a salt truck dump about 6 inches of salt in one spot at an intersection.  Add in the freezing temps and black ice and it was an adventure. 

Then the trip to Birmingham to pick up the car at the airport.  At least we planned so that we could have dinner out.  I had ripped a page from one of my cooking magazines listing restaurants in Alabama.  We decided to choose one and try it out.  Really.  With no more research than a name and town we googled the address and went.  No idea what to expect.

When the GPS said we were there, all we say was a Valet parking attendant.  Hmmm...  A few cars honking at us and a trip around the block and we found him again.  Left our car in good hands.

We were early for dinner but that gave us time to sit at the bar and sample the martini menu.  It was one of those places where the bartender talked about making the rhubarb tonic and freshly squeezing the blood oranges.  The blood orange martini was amazing. 

I can't even begin to describe the menu.  Everything was fresh and local.  The attention to detail was incredible.  Everything fit perfectly. 

And all of my photos have disappeared from my phone so I have nothing to show you.  Weird.  I will have to see if I can figure out what happened. 

The restaurant is the Hot and Hot Fish Club. Turns out the chef is a James Beard award winner.  It was a wonderful treat.