Thursday, July 31, 2014

Insanity scraps

Inch by inch I'm working my way through the insanely small 1 inch scrap pieces.  The surprising thing is that they go together really quick because of the size.  Matching up those seams when piecing the rows may be a tad bit more difficult.  Since the pieces are so tiny I've set my seam allowance at a super scant 1/4 inch.  That just means instead of one click to the right of 1/4 inch I've gone 2 clicks right.  That's the most my quarter inch foot will allow without crashing the needle into the presser foot. 
When I pulled these out from behind the sewing machine I couldn't help but want to drape them around the studio.   Tiny little bunting!
The Scrap Baskets are coming along slowly.  That seam ripper isn't there for looks.  Sadly I've had a couple of OH NO's!  It was more like $#!*.  Oh well... a few Hail Mary's, throw a quarter in the swear jar and we're good to go.  

~ Lea Anne ~

Today's freebie from Mary Mcguire Designs

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Finally done!

At last, 182 blocks done.  Saying that they were fun to make would be an outright lie.  The first few were fun and then sewing the same block over and over and over became so BORING.    Oh they were simple to make and go together pretty quick, that is if you can stick with it.  But you know me, I'm like Kermit the frog jumping from one project to another.
The closer I came to getting them done it once again became fun.  Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel was encouraging, causing me to sprint to the finish line.  And the fact that I cheated and made the finish line closer by altering the plan from 198 to 182 blocks.  And since I used paperless paper piecing that means there's no paper to rip away.  You can see this handy method of paper piecing here.  It really is a time saver method.  And frugal.  Instead of printing out 182 blocks I only had to print out 12.  Using the same 12 patterns for all the blocks!  You can find the free block pattern here.  
One of the reason quilters like paper piecing is the perfect points.  Just stitch on the lines and you pretty much can't go wrong.  Since this method is paperless I'll use one of the templates as a guide for setting up my seam allowance.  
 I forgot to mention the name of the block...silly me.  It's an old pattern, some call it the Hummingbird block and others call it Periwinkle.  I'm sure if we dig around we could find a couple more names, but these are the most popular.
And of course...
 You knew I couldn't make a quilt without a cherry in it, didn't you?
I'm linking up today with Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's be Social.  It's a great way to meet new bloggers and find inspiration.  

~ Lea Anne ~

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Impulse and Inspiration

Being that I'm on a stash diet, rarely do I buy new prints.  Unless I find a GOOD buy.  So I was shopping last week and... Found one!  5 greener than green prints 1/2 yd cuts for under $10. Yeah!  Impulse gets the best of me.  I've absolutely no idea what to make with them.  So I tucked them away waiting for inspiration.
Found it!  Farmer Hershel drove by this morning mowing the ditch.  Hmmmm....
Lori Holt from Bee In My Bonnet has a super Tractor block that would do the trick.  A large block at 18 x 22,  It wouldn't take very many blocks to make a good sized lap quilt.   And then I thought about her Barn Blocks that you can find here and here.  Maybe a quilt using both the Tractor and Barn blocks and some filler blocks....  It's not a definite plan for a quilt, but the wheels are turning....  

~ Lea Anne ~

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Magical Monday

Happy Magical Monday!   Do you ever wish you could wave a magic wand or sprinkle pixie dust over a project and like magic "POOF" it would be finished? 
Well it didn't work, my wand must need new batteries.  So these hummingbird blocks came together with good old fashion work.  About 20 more blocks and it can be pieced into a quilt top.  
As little girl I just knew mastering the witchy nose twitch was the key to all problems.  
As an adult we're suppose to realize the real magic is in the satisfaction of a job well done.  Really?!  Come on...I'd really rather twitch my nose at that pile of laundry, I could be so satisfied with the "POOF" it's done.  For now I'm stuck with working a little of my own magic on these daisy blocks.  By using the magical technique of invisible machine applique on the center circle
they were done in an hour!  
After a weekend of working magic in the studio, I gathered up my scraps and placed them in a jar.  A patchwork potion for another day.  

~ Lea Anne ~

There's more magic going on over at Judy's for Design Wall Monday.  

Today's Freebie From Donna's Lavender Nest

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Country Girl FREE Pattern

I'm trying something different this time when offering a FREE pattern.  Instead of a tutorial I've made a PDF pattern that you can save or print.  A few things you should know,  
  I'm fairly new at making an entire pattern on PDF.  I did one a few years ago and decided tutorials were easier.  
This is a BIG quilt the blocks measure about 28 inches, and the quilt 95.5 x 95.5.
This quilt is not pieced one block at a time, its pieced in diagonal rows.
This quilt IS NOT fat quarter friendly.  You will need 1/2 yd of WOF print for each block.  
I assume that most of my follows and quilty friends are somewhat familiar with quilt lingo and basic construction of a quilt.  So the PDF doesn't cover the piecing of binding or the backing, but the yardage for both are included in the pattern.  
This quilt is super quick and easy to put together because of the oversized pieces.  If I had to put a rating on it I would rate it as a beginner quilt pattern.
Okay now that we've covered all that, if your still interested in the pattern you can find it right HERE for free.  Please let me know if you have any problems with the link or pattern.

You should too!

~ Lea Anne ~

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Scrappy Spring Baskets Quilting

While I'm in the mood to quilt might as well make the best of it.  There was no real plan for the quilting before putting my Scrappy Spring Baskets on the frame.  I knew I wanted tons of quilting in the white areas but other than that it's design as I go.  You can find the tutorial and templates for this quilt block for FREE here on my blog.  And some basic sashing measurements here.
 The quilting design in the outer border and sashing reminds me of ric-rac.  Thinking I might go back and do straight line zigzags for more detail.  This is my favorite background fill design.  There's no real pattern, it's just do whatever fills the space.  
Remember Friday when I was talking about the fabrics in the Country Girl quilt and how I used NON quilt shop quality fabrics.  Well hold on to your socks...the yellow sashing in this quilt is a twin bed sheet!  Pretty darn cute for a sheet, huh?  Most of the fabrics are LQS quality but there's also some shirtings and vintage fabrics hiding in here also.   LQS fabric is about 75 to 80 thread count, batiks 100.   So I've been told that you should never use any fabric in a quilt that is over 200 thread count.  Is that so?  Then why does the LQS sell a 300 thread count, wide backing fabric at $16 a yard!  Pardon me but a 300 count sheet is cheaper than that!  Are sheets hard to quilt?  NO, the only thing I do differently is using a smaller needle sometimes.  Longarmers typically use 16 or 18, this is why most longarmers will say no sheets for backings.   I use a 14(on this quilt) most of the time because I don't like large holes in my quilts.   But for some quilts... the Country Girl and Summer Romance I used a 10.  Oh yes you read that right a 10 on the frame.   WARNING!  IF YOU USE A SMALL NEEDLE YOU MUST SLOW DOWN YOUR STITCHING.  This another reason why longarmers don't like sheets.  They want to quilt fast and make money, can't say that I blame them for the rules, it's all about the money.   The smaller the number on the needle the more likely it will bend and crash causing damage to the machine or quilt.  Why would I take that chance?  Oh I guess I just like living on the wild side!   
Other than that it's because while watching a YouTube video of a famous quilter(who has now pulled the free videos and sells them) she said she uses the smaller needles and finer threads and higher count fabrics(silk) on a quilt frame.   If she can do it and sell a quilt to the Quilt museum in Paducha for $10,000 then I can do it too.  Well all but the the selling a quilt for $10,000.   It's not that I don't love LQS fabrics, I DO.  It all really boils down to I'm thrifty and like to Quilt Out of the Comfort Zone.  Any fabric can be quilted if you use the right tools for THAT quilt.  

Need more inspiration?  Hop on over to 

~ Lea Anne ~

Today's freebie from Rose Johnston @ Threadbare

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Country Girl quilt Friday finish

 Yeah!  I'm doing a happy dance this morning.  I absolutely love this quilt.  It was so easy to put together with no real issues.   It's Shabby, country, with a twist of the modern large and simple.   Measuring in at about 95.5 x 95.5 so I had to bring it outside to get pictures.
 There were no blocks to make in this quilt.  The piecing was done in diagonal rows.  Sew simple!  There are several names for this block, Sarah's choice, friendship album block, chimney sweep, and Cabot block.  Resembling the granny square block that was so popular last year.  
 The simple ended while trying to get a good picture.
54 photos of washouts, over exposed, under exposed and just down right awful pictures.  Photos in the evening light, photos in the morning light, and some in the studio.  Maybe it's the colors that are throwing everything out of whack.  The one above and below aren't too bad.
 And still I've not one picture that shows the true colors.   There's no love for the backing, it's just using up some old ugly fabrics.
Maybe if I stage it will make a difference....Nope still yukky photos.
 It could be that my camera is on its last leg, it's only 9 years old.  Since I've brought up the topic of  "OLD" , there's one fabric in this quilt that is over 30 years old, one that is about 20 yrs, one is a baby sheet, the rest of the prints are Walmart prints from before they took out the fabric department, and the background is KONA white from Joann's (buying it by the bolt at 50% off makes a whole bolt less than $40).  Let's not forget the backing, both fabrics on the back were estate sale fabrics, after doing a little research I think they are from the 80's and 90's.  
 Looks like I don't need to worry about people beating on my door wanting me to be a freelance photographer.  
I became obsessed with that watering can.  Moving it from here to there thinking it made a good prop, silly girl.  
Oh well it's finished, I love it, and now I need to make some pillowcases and shams to match so it can be displayed on the bed in the spare bedroom.  
Maybe later in the day I'll try again for some pictures...with that truck from yesterdays post! 
EDITED POST:  to add a link to the my FREE PATTERN for this quilt.  You can find it HERE or directly to the PDF HERE.

~ Lea Anne ~

Today's Freebie by Cynthia @ Dream Quilt Create
click here for tutorial

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Imagine this

Me behind the wheel of this truck!  Oh what I wouldn't give to have it.  It's for sale just down the road about mile.  $4500!  What a bargain!   I'm not sure of the model year but I think its somewhere around 1970.  And wouldn't it make the greatest backdrop for my big block beauty quilt.  Not sure why the spare tire has a moonie hubcap, maybe its so the owner could check their hair and makeup when they arrive where there going....LOL! .  It's still super cute!  Baby Blue!  
The money tree in the backyard isn't producing this year so the chances of me owning this is whatever my odds are in the state lottery....I'll be buying my ticket today!  The only thing that could top this would be a baby blue 69 Camaro....big dreams for a little old country girl because that car would cost around $40,000!  Never hurts to dream.

~ Lea Anne ~
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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Loving and Loathing

In my daily stroll around quilting blogs and websites I've notice that every quilter has a love for one particular part of quilting.  Some like to design quilts but rarely make one, such as The Virtual Quilter.   And then there's the quilter that loves to quilt the quilt but rarely gets time to make her own like Green Fairy Quilts.   For me it's the binding.  I love the binding process.  Usually getting to that point is a long time coming for me, why?  Because I really don't like the quilting process.  I like the planning of the quilting design.  But the actual standing there at the frame and quilting is like pulling eye teeth.  Most of the time I can find any reason not to do the quilting.  Designing a quilt runs a close second to the binding process.  So what's your favorite part of the quilt making process?  Do you have a certain loathing for any particular part?
This is how I left the big block beauty last night around midnight.  She made me smile as I took my first sip of coffee this morning.  Later in the day after picking green beans I'll finish the machine part of the binding.  Hopefully I can get this binding done in a day.  It's a big quilt (95 x 95) so the hand stitching is going to take a good part of a day.
I just had to share what was found when clearing off the cutting table to cut the binding.  How cute are these!?  I was given a couple of box of greeting cards.  They were my grannies that she had saved all her life.  No one wanted to buy them at the estate sale so I snagged them!  All together we found 6 large boxes of cards, only 2 boxes survived the damp basement.  And only a few in those boxes were worth keeping.

~ Lea Anne ~

Today's freebie from Pat @ Life in the Scrapatch
Click here and here for the tutorials
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Monday, July 14, 2014

Nothing new

Normally Mondays are all about my design wall but I've nothing new to share this week.  I'm almost finished with the big block beauty quilt, so I'll wait to share it later in the week.  And the design wall is collecting dust.  Oh there's been designing going on, but its all on paper and in EQ and that too will need to wait for another day.  
However I do have some pictures to share, very rare pictures!  This is my baby boy Trever and his girlfriend Heather.  It's so hard to get a good picture of him.  He hates staged pictures and he's a goofball.  Not one serious bone in his body.
They compliment each other very well, Heather is just as happy go lucky.
 Hey  mom take a picture of this!  So I did...why I don't know.
My thoughts were I could catch him off guard....wrong!  Don't get me wrong I'm glad he likes to have fun and has a wonderful outlook on life but momma wants a picture to show off.
Finally a picture I can live with of my purdy baby boy.  

~ Lea Anne ~

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Friday, July 11, 2014

Finding time

Not much progress on my quilting.  I've been averaging about an hour or less in the studio each day.  Bummer.  So this morning I was up by 4:30 am and already have an hours worth of quilting done and watered the garden.  Now there's weeds to tackle in the flower beds.  Hopefully I can get in another hour later this evening.
It's that time of year when there's too many other things that can't wait.  Yesterday I harvested my first bunch of garlic.  It's not pretty but I did manage to teach myself how to braid it for drying and storing.  Not bad for the first try.  
I've also been trying to get out and enjoy the scenery by taking walks.  It's amazing the beauty that missed while driving.  The picture below isn't altered in any way.  The sky is really that blue.  The humidity has been really low so there's no hazing the glorious color.  At this point in my walk I'm about 1/2 a mile from the house.
 At about the 1 mile mark from the house.... this little guy was super friendly and very eager to pose for a picture.  
And at 2 miles from the house ...judging by what I can see in the distance, I can see for about 3 miles.  The picture really doesn't do this view justice.  And this is where I turn around and head back home because I did 5 miles yesterday and that convinced me that 4 miles a day is plenty.
 As I stand there waiting for my second wind to kick in for the walk back I spot a Hawk flying overhead.  Such a beautiful bird, even more beautiful when my legs are tired!
 The best way to fight fatigue is not to acknowledge it.  So I keep my mind on the beautiful countryside.  
 At about 3/4 of a mile from the house I met Jane.  She let me photograph her garden but not her.  Such a sweet older lady that would have made this picture even more special in her sun hat.   I can't blame her for not wanting her picture taken after working so hard.  Her garden always looks tidy.  We talked long enough for me to get the strength for the hike home.   

~ Lea Anne ~

Today's freebie from designed by Barbara E. Lies

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