Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Keeping busy day and night

Happy Hump Day quilty friends!  Boy time just flies by these days.  I'm staying busy with a couple of projects.  During the day while taking care of mamma I've a handwork project that you can see in my previous post here.  In the evening it's UFO time.  I've been tackling the one below in the last week.

It's a pattern of my own design with huge 22.5" blocks.  This one was pushed aside when I realized I didn't have enough red fabric to make the borders.  The borders were a bit tricky to make, it was a learning experience that went really well, YEAH!  No miscuts, of course I bought extra fabric just in case.  My first row went together last night without a hitch...WHOOHOO!

Since the quilt is scrappy I had to find away to pull it all together.  The key to a successful scrappy quilts is to have at least one fabric that is repeated and consistent.   My first plan was to make this quilt without the fancy borders and NOT set on point.   But you gals no me by now, my plans always change.  Anyway I had lots of red gingham scraps that I wanted to use up and they worked well for my repeat fabric.  But then a brain storm hit and I decided to add a fancy border, which also has repeat fabric for consistency.  

 The gingham adds the sweetest little charm to this quilt.  The applique block is my twist on two different blocks.  The Rose of Sharon and The Pomegranate.  All machine appliqued of course.

Want a closer look at that invisible machine applique?  You can find a tutorial here on how I make it look like tuned edge handwork.

~ Lea Anne ~

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Friday, March 25, 2016

Learning something new

The last few weeks much of my sewing has been finishing up UFO quilt tops.  It came to a screeching halt this week when I realized that each of the remaining UFO's were all in need of fabric purchases.  So what's a gal to do but start a new quilt.  I'm mean seriously, who wants to go buy new fabric?...wink, wink.   I could make one of my own quilt designs that were drawn up in EQ but that requires a bunch of quilty math...I just don't have the time for that right now.   And I want to make something with out thinking.   So I pulled out a quilt kit purchased about year ago.  I bet you can guess the quilt block in the pattern by looking at the picture below.

Dresdens!  I love dresdens.  This pattern is so cute with the little yo-yo's.  
I fell in love with it the first time I saw it years ago.  So when our Local quilt shop made it into a kit with the cutest fabrics ever....(against my better judgement)I had to have it.

I snatched it up as quickly as I could.  Now here I am months later finally opening the sweet little bundle of joy.    I never buy kits and rarely buy patterns.  How exciting it is to have so much of the work done for you.  No math, no fabric choices.  I'm liking this lazy way of quilting!  
And then....
As soon as it's opened  I knew  I had made a mistake buying this as a kit.  I found this little note tucked inside the package.  THEY CHANGED THE PATTERN TO SAVE ON FABRIC SCRAPS!  The pattern calls for mitered borders, the shop decided to change the pattern but didn't want to do the quilty math for what the new border lengths should be.  As you can see below it just tells me to measure my quilt and figure it out myself.  It would be nice to know what the borders should be in a perfect quilt.  Sure it's a simple pattern and I can do the math in my head but that's not the point.  I paid for instructions.  I'll never buy a kit from our local shop again....unless it's too cute to pass up....LOL!

I quickly got over the pattern change by reminding myself that I really don't like to make mitered corners anyway.  Yes they are nice but more time consuming.  So I start gathering up the the things I'll need to work with this kit.  Rotary cutter, 6 x 24 ruler, dresden ruler and perfect circles templates for the yo-yo's.  Now I'm ready for a quicky quilt cutting party.......Wrong.    The standard dresden ruler doesn't work for this pattern....boohoohoo.  Well I'm not using scissors to cut all these wedges.   Luckily, I dug through my cabinet and found some Acrylic(plexi-glass) that I use for making my own rotary cutting templates.  

With every quilt I learn something new.  Sometimes it's a technique, but this time it was "open the kit before buying".

~ Lea Anne ~
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Sunday, March 20, 2016

Podunk Pickin's #25 Adorable Dress

Thanks for stopping by for another Podunk Pickin's. 
Every week I feature a link from the previous week of participants. All the links are great and I appreciate everyone who takes the time to linkup.  I try to visit all the links but taking care of mom dominates most of my time.  It's hard to pick just one to feature so I let the random number generator do the hard work for me.  

This week it chose #8, which was
This is such a cute idea and with two little granddaughters it would be a cheap and easy way for me to dress them alike.  T-shirts are so inexpensive and who of us doesn't have fabric we need to use so we can make room for more!  I think my non sewing minimalist daughter could even make these.

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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Dresden Baskets, another UFO

As I  dug through the UFO bins last week I ran across 2 dresden basket blocks I started designing months ago.   With Easter right around the corner it only seemed appropriate to get this one finished.  The Moda Bandana charm pack by Me and My Sister Designs played well with some other fabrics hidden in my stash.  In the block below there are 3 fabrics that are not part of this line.  The handle, the pink basket and the print to the far left.

One of the advantages to working on UFO's is brewing time.  It seems after they have time to fester in my brain for awhile, and take up much needed space in my studio they go together much quicker.  Making several more basket blocks seemed so time consuming.  I needed a new design with fewer blocks but using up all the partial dresden rings.

I've used this applique method of making a mock wedding ring before in a quilt called Hillbilly Hook-up that you can find here.

psst... the white fabric to the left of the cherries and the sashing isn't from this line either.

The hardest part is deciding what will hide the fabric edges.  

In true Podunk style I added a simple flower.  How cute is that?  A fun little twist to the standard double wedding ring.

Hmmm... what do you think about a scalloped border that follows the curve of the wedding rings followed by the sashing fabric for the binding?

Just a few more hours of pedal to metal invisible machine applique and she'll be ready for the needs to be quilted pile(mountain).

~ Lea Anne ~

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Sunday, March 13, 2016

Podunk Pickin's #24 ~Birdhouse Block tutorial

Spring has sprung in Podunk.  The birds are chirping and the perennials around the house are starting to bud.  I'm looking forward to some fresh cut flowers in the house, and seeing some of the more colorful birds returning to our little country nest.   The spring cleaning is under way, and every nook and cranny of this ole house is being filled with my happiest and brightest quilts.
This weeks pick from last week is number 4.
This FREE cute little birdhouse block can be found over at Vrooomansquilts.  Click here find the tutorial.  I've been collecting birdhouse blocks for a few years.  This one will be a great addition to the already 20 or so I've saved for later use.  

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Saturday, March 12, 2016

One, Two, Three ...Quilt tops complete

So what do you do when you really don't have time to press, cut and sew a quilt but you want that feeling of completing a project?  Dig through the UFO's.  This can be just what a gal needs to get a quick finish adrenaline rush.   And clear out some much needed space for new projects.  The quilt top below had a little over half of the applique stitched in place when I pulled her out.

When designing this quilt I loved it but now it just doesn't feel right.    If I had to do it over again there would be a few changes.  No time for looking back, what's done is done.  And this one is DONE, well as done as it can be for now.  She still has a story to tell no matter how I feel about the design.  Her story is pretty much the same as most of my quilts, a mishmash of fabrics.   The background is my go-to background fabric, Kona White purchased at Joann's for 60% off the entire bolt.    And the thrifty doesn't stop there.   The teal is a Vintage fabric from an estate sale, possibly a linen.  The pink gingham is a Goodwill dust ruffle deconstructed, and the flower print is a vintage sheet.

The plan is for a scalloped edge and white binding that will follow the curve of the swag applique. 

Onto the next top.  It started out as an Autumn quilt.  With plans of scarecrows, pumpkins, vines ....blah blah blah.   After two attempts at finishing it I made the decision to just get it done easily with no applique.  Again the fabrics are a mishmash.  The greens were purchased at WalMart.  The navy blue(whole bolt) from a estate sale, probably dating back to the 80's or 90's and I'm guessing.  The orange(2 yards left) is also from my vintage stash.  Again, I'm guessing, maybe the 1970's and I love it.

The navy blue binding is cut, pieced and waiting for the day it's quilted.

I bet some of you recognize this little dresden.  Before sharing the entire quilt I want to talk about my applique of choice.  Turned edge applique, machine stitched in place with Superior Threads Mono Poly thread.  After it's quilted and washed the mistake below will not be visible.  I LOVE THIS THREAD.  It really does what it says it will and more. 

This is going to be a challenge to quilt.  I'm already playing around with an idea or two.

Can you find my piecing error below?  Some of you may remember my test block blunder.   After very little thought the decision was made to leave the mistake in the quilt for character...that's a nice way of saying I'm to lazy to care about fixing it.  

That's it, they're all folded and tucked away in the needs to be quilted drawer.   It feels good to have these tops complete.  Maybe after my UFO quilt top marathon, I'll muster up the strength to have a quilting marathon!  Don't hold your breath....HAHA!

~ Lea Anne ~

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Sunday, March 6, 2016

Podunk Pickin's #23 ~ Squaring up HST's the easy way

Good morning happy quilters! It's Podunk Pickin Time. 
 Now in my mind I'm humming the Howdy Doody Theme song, replacing Howdy Doody Time with Podunk Pickin Time.  I'm sure some of you remember when this was on TV.   And some of you remember watching it before color TV.  How about we all sing along this morning!?  Just click the image we go...Hey kids what time is it....
Boy that's a blast from the past.  A time when things were much more innocent and simple.  Speaking of simple, I let the random number generator pick a number from last weeks linky party particpants and.....drum roll.... 
Number 3 linky was Jennifer from the Inquiring Quilter.  She shared this amazing tutorial for squaring up HST's.   The best thing is you don't need to buy any special rulers to use this method.  Now that's my kind of tip!  Thanks Jennifer for sharing this wonderful time saving method. 

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