Thursday, August 31, 2006

Queen of Procrastination

No doubt I'm not quite normal! I love to quilt! I love to piece, I love to quilt, I love to make feathers . . so why do I put off the things that need to be done? I had this one quilt to be quilted. It's called "Heat Wave" and it has some snail's trail blocks and space in the border for feathers. I have put off quilting that quilt and I don't know why. I needed to quilt it when I started making the quilts for my great-nieces. Did I stop after they were pieced and quilt Heat Wave? No, I went ahead and quilted the quilts for my great-nieces. I went ahead and bound them! Did I stop there and quilt Heat Wave? NO! I made the X's and O's quilt. Then I loaded Heat Wave and started quilting it. I had two tops that have to be delivered tomorrow. They were both pantos and shouldn't be a problem to quilt . . unless I put them off til the last minute . . . which I did! It took me twice as long, if not longer, to quilt Heat Wave because, even after it was loaded and I loved how it was turning out, I still procrastinated. I finished quilting it last night, loaded one of the quilts for a panto. The plan was that I would get one finished before lunch, load the second one and get it finished tonight so I could get to bed early.

Started quilting the first one and got side tracked . . how badly did I not want to quilt? It was fairly cool this morning so I pulled some weeds. OK . . enough of this. I have to get this quilt done. Came in, cleaned up and quilted for a while. Then I stopped and found something else I could use as a sidetrack - I cleaned the bathrooms. Chad usually cleans his own but I had some new cleanser and I was having so much fun, I cleaned his bathroom too. OK . . stop! Get this quilt done. I finally finished it about 2:30.

Then the mail lady came. And, there was my fabric for the backing for the X's and O's quilt. I decided, even though I'm not going to quilt it right away, I'd go ahead and piece the backing. Got that done. Made myself get back to the quilting that has to be delivered tomorrow! I honestly thought about loading the X's and O's and quilting it . . knowing I'd miss the due date tomorrow for the other quilts. Thankfully I didn't let that happen!

Got the second one loaded. But before I started quilting, I got sidetracked again. Let's see . . the windows haven't been cleand in a while. I cleaned the inside of the windows on the back side of the house. The outside cleaning will have to wait til the weekend. Back to quilting. This quilt has to be finished tonight. Made a few more rows and oh .. wait .. I think I'll make a pie. I have pears and I love pear pie. But Chad doesn't like pears so I'll make him a buttermilk pie. That's two pies I can make when I should be quilting.

So, here it is almost midnight. Both quilts are finished . . way later than they should have been. We have two yummy pies, clean windows . . well, they're half clean, and clean bathrooms. Am I proud of myself? Not really! I must learn to stay on task and get things done and stop letting myself find other things to do!

Judy L.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Just a Little Horn Tooting!

According to the AQS website, the Projects, 2006 issue is out and . . you may recognize a familiar name on one of the projects! Yes, one of my projects is in there. I haven't seen the magazine yet.. I don't know if it's in the book stores or if they're starting to arrive in the mail boxes of AQS members but you should be seeing them soon.

Last time I had an article in the American Quilter, they seemed to arrive at the four corners of the country before mine arrived and I'm right here 2 hours from Paducah. I'm not complaining . . I can wait patiently for my magazine to arrive. I'm thrilled to have a project in there.

Judy L.

On the Road Again

These two quilts are headed off to EQ to maybe be used in an upcoming episode on QNN. These quilts will be given to my great nieces, Taylor (with the pink borders) and Katlin (with the purple borders). There's a third quilt for Payton but it isn't quilted yet.

Both quilts were pieced totally from the stash and the backing came from the stash too. Do you think that's made any kind of dent in the stash? Nope, not yet but I'll keep using it.

Both were quilted with pantos from WillowLeaf Studio (Jodi Beamish). Seems as though Jodi is in the process of changing servers right now and her website isn't working so I'm not providing a link. Taylor's quilt was quilted with Fly Away and Katlin's quilt was quilted with Wild Flower.

Warm & Natural batting was used in both quilts.

Judy L.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

X's & O's

Thanks Tonya for such a fun project. I had so much fun doing this.

Everything for this quilt came from the stash. I was getting low on reds so I pieced the red borders. Didn't realize the one on the right had such a light/bright in with the darks. Kinda makes it look pink but it isn't. I may change that one but . . I may not. I think I'm going to quilt in using the Baptist Fans from Circle Lord, using a variegated ecru thread.

I also pieced the reds together for the binding so mabe that will help make that bottom side not look quite so pink.

I can't wait for the backing fabric to get here so I can quilt it. I believe it will be a Christmas present for Vince . . unless I cave and give it to him early. The top ended up being 68" x 90".

It's nice that he doesn't know where to find my new blog, nor does his friend, Steve! I can talk about Vince here and he'll never know! :) The benefits of thinking of such an unusual name for my blog -! Vince is not much of a sleuth, nor does he even try to keep up with what I'm doing so I think I'm safe showing his Christmas present here.


Monday, August 28, 2006

Quilt for an Hour

If you want to see some of the completed tops made from the first quilt in an hour project, you can find them on my webshots page. If you have completed your top and want it included on the webshots page, send me a picture. When you go to my webshots page, you can either click on "newest" or find the Quilt for an Hour album. As of today, there are 7 quilts pictured. Thanks to all of you for sending your pictures!

About the blog fiasco, there are about half of the blogs I try to leave comments on and I can't. It has something to do with the problems I'm experiencing with blogger. While it doesn't make me feel any better, there are many others having the same problem. So, if I'm not leaving comments on your blog, it's because I can't. I did get an e-mail Friday from "blogger employee" (probably their only employee) who said my blog problems will be fixed soon. I'm afraid we have very different ideas of what "soon" may mean.

Some of you want to do another Quilt for an Hour project, huh? Here's what I'm thinking: I'll start a new project on the first of each month, beginning October 1. It's too soon after the last one to start another one on September 1. Don't want to over work anyone or use the stash too quickly! :)

As long as I have a good number of participants, I'll continue. What this really means is . . send me pictures of your tops once they're done so I'll know you're really working with me on these.

Were you surpised at how much you could get done just by sewing for one hour each day?

Judy L.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Success and Failure

Try as I might, I can't convince myself that August is history. I agreed to buy no fabric in August. Today is August 27. August is almost over, right? But, almost doesn't count and . . I bought fabric! Let me defend myself before you pass judgment on me.

First, I'm doing Tonya's X's and O's.

I'm having so much fun! While sewing, I begin to think about backing. I could use muslin but I'm sure I don't have enough of anything that is red/ecru to use. Then, I found this online. Perfect for the backing! It's kinda "valentiney" but it says what I want it to say since this quilt will be for Vince. Perfect backing but wait . . it gets better! It's Moda and I found it on sale for $5/yard.

Yes, I could've waited 4 more days and ordered it on September 1 but it might have been gone. They may not even have the whole 6 yards that I need for the backing anyway, but if they do, I bought fabric in August. Six yards of Moda for $30 with a definite purpose .. you can't fault me for that, right?


Saturday, August 26, 2006

My Town

Owensboro is such a funny little town. Today I took a different path to Hobby Lobby. NO! I didn't buy fabric. Chad needed something from there. I usually travel on the bypass but today we went the back way. From the bypass, I had noticed that Crazy Larry had painted his building purple but from the front . . OMG! I never knew he had such good taste. It's purple and lime green! Personally, I don't think Larry is crazy. I'm not even sure if Larry is this guy's name but we have bought mattresses from him before and he's pretty knowledgeable about bedding, carries name brands and is nice to deal with. And with the building being purple and lime green, it's my newest favorite place in Owensboro!

Don't ask me what this billboard's about because I don't have a clue . . nor do I want to know. Small town politics I suppose. Without getting political, for the life of me, I cannot figure out why the government (your taxes and mine!) subsidizes this small town airport with one or two flights daily from one carrier, with every flight going to St. Louis, when we can drive to Evansville (45 minutes away) and have several airlines with many more flight options. On a good day, the one or two flights out of Owensboro make it but getting back to Owensboro just has never worked for us. Hey . . maybe there's a subliminal message there . . leave and don't come back!

Judy L.

Alternate Block Choices

Last week when I was in a state of "can't believe this is happening to me" about my blog not working, I decided that instead of doing what I should have been doing . . .

  • Quilting the last two quilts for the book
  • Binding the 12 remaining quilts for the book
  • Making three quilts for teachers from Chad's senior year of HS that have been promised
  • Binding the 2 quilts going to EQ
  • Quilting the customer quilts that have begun to arrive since my almost one year break
  • General housekeeping chores
  • Yard that is in desperate need of attention
. . . I would make more blocks. I would practice making stash/scrap quilts. I made 32 of these scrappy red/ecru four patch chain blocks. They're 9" blocks and I was thinking I'd make scrappy blocks like the green ones I made for the wrecker driver's quilt and put them together something like this. That's pretty scrappy and it would be totally from the stash so that would be good. If done as shown, the quilt would be 62" x 80". One of the teachers I need to make a quilt for likes red so this might could be her quilt. And, if I just made four more of the red four patch chain blocks, I'd have enough to make another quilt this same size.

I've been wanting to do Tonya's "X's and O's" project. I know I shouldn't do it . . see the bullet list above! :) I woke up this morning thinking about the X's and O's and that was enough. I came in and started playing with EQ and here's what I ended up with. The X's and O's blocks would all be done kind free form, Tonya Fashion you might say. For the EQ drawing, they're all exactly the same. They'll all be done in scrappy reds with scrappy backgrounds . . not all the same as shown in the picture.

Now I'm thinking . . I might like this quilt on my bed but not in red. So why did I make all these red four patch chain blocks? One reason is I didn't have a clue what I was going to do with them when I started. Note to Self: Think Ahead. Another reason is that there is not enough purple and lime green in my stash. Note to Self: Go Shopping on September 1!

So, what's a quilter to do? I think I'll make the Red X's and O's quilt, make 4 more blocks, make the other quilt too. I'll give the other one to the teacher, give Vince the X's and O's quilt for a throw. If I love it, maybe I'll make a purple and lime green one but by then, I'll probably be off chasing another idea.

Judy L.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Quilt for an Hour Project

Is there anyone out there still working on this project? I'm so sorry that we were interrupted by blogger. I'm going to go ahead and post all the instructions, separate posts for each hour, because some are not working on it right now but are saving it for later use.

I will do another one. Maybe I'll start one on the first of each month and that will help us use our stash. You will always get to see the quilt before we start so it is not a mystery and you can decide if you want to do it or not.

So long as I hear from you that you are doing it and I'd like for you to send me pictures or direct me to your blog and give me permission to post your pictures on my webshots page so we can have one spot to see all the quilts. Of couse, they do not have to be quilted and even if you went off on your own and changed the design, I'd still like to see it.


Judy L.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Things I Missed Telling You

As much as I talk, can you imagine how long this post will be . . I have a whole week to cover. Oh, it won't be that long because I can't remember things that happened past yesterday! :)

  • Several weeks ago I received an e-mail from a lady named Ginny. She had been reading my blog for 4 or 5 months and she and her husband were thinking about moving to Owensboro. They had passed through here not long ago and wanted to know my opinion. Despite what my friends here would think I would say, I gave her a pretty good report. So, last week, Ginny and her husband were going to be in Owensboro to further check things out. Vince and I met them for dinner and we had a wonderful time! Her husband is also an engineer so they had some guy stuff they could talk about. Ginny and I talked about quilting and other girl stuff and we really had fun. I hope they move here. Can't have enough quilting buddies, right?
  • EQ had asked in an e-mail to the EQ mailing group if anyone had any quilts that had all kinds of things .. one was blocks that have strips around them that aren't the sashing. I wrote back and told them about Katlin's quilt and directed them to the old blog where there were pictures. I can't believe I didn't even post a picture of Katlin's quilt finished. Anyway, they wrote me back that they want Katlin's quilt and then they wrote me and asked if they could use Taylor's quilt too! This is all for use with taping new segments of QNN.
  • I've quilted for June in Maryland for years and she wrote me that a quilt I did for her won 2nd and another one won 3rd in a different category at the MD State Fair. June has been winning ribbons there for years! Congratulations June!
  • I went to the quilt shop in Boonville this past Tuesday to pick up quilts and I didn't buy a single thing . . not a smidgen of fabric, not a spool of thread, not a book . . nothing!
  • Vince and I went out to a new restaurant last night. Yes, that's twice in one week we've been out to dinner. Amazing! After dinner . . you guessed it . . he wanted to walk around in a strip mall. I was laughing and I said . . darned, this is a great blogging opportunity. I walked through a nice department store and kept trying to convince myself to buy something . . perfume, pajamas, anything - but I just couldn't do it. They did have some really fuzzy, hairy looking lime green slippers and they were on sale but I didn't get them. The only reason I wanted them was to aggravate Speck. He either loves or hates slippers . . I can't figure it out but he tries to get them off my feet. Try longarm quilting with slippers on with a doxie under the machine trying to get your slippers!
OK . . I'll think of more but that's enough for now.


Maybe It's Broke Forever

I'm beginning to believe the sunshinequilts blog is not going to be fixed. I copied a few of the posts from the Sew for an Hour project and brought them over here. Once a few people find me, I'll see where everyone is on the project and how we should proceed.

Judy L.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Blogger is Scaring Me

What is this blog thing doing? I couldn't even sign on with Firefox so I had to switch back to IE.

Today was spent quilting . . almost non-stop from 7 a.m. til a bit after 10 p.m. That's a lot of standing at the longarm. One of the quilts I did was a new to me panto from Willow Leaf called Calla Lily. It's a lot of quilting and at first, I was thinking I didn't like it but it surely quilted up pretty. Two more tops to quilt and lots of binding left to do but there's definitely light at the end of the tunnel for me.


Torture on Tuesday

I tend to do the things I love to do and ignore the things that are not fun. I'm not a good housekeeper . . in fact, I'm really bad at housekeeping. Even with my quilting, I do the parts I like and the things I don't like to do sit for weeks or months (or years) without getting done. So . . what do I like to do? I love designing, pulling the fabrics and deciding on the colors, piecing (I really love to piece!) and quilting. What do I not like to do? Binding, labels and sleeves.

The first thing I had to do today was find a place for all the quilts for the book. I don't want to fold them and crease them. I had about 50 quilts already on the extra bed so I took some of those off, folded them and stacked them on a bookcase (the picture). Then I took the quilts for the book that are ready to go and spread them out flat on the bed, layering them on top of each other.

The book has 20 quilts. Nancy from South Carolina and her friend each made one complete quilt top - labels, binding and sleeve. Vicky made two and my friend, Becky, made one but I'm quilting, binding and doing the sleeve on those three. So, that means I pieced 15 (although I pieced all of them before the others made theirs) and I have quilted or will quilt 18, along with binding, sleeves and labels. Oh, I really do hate the sleeves and the labels but they have to be done.

Today was set aside to do the things I hate to do. Might as well just spend the entire day doing it. Here's what I've done today:

  • Washed the sheets and quilts off my bed.
  • Gave Speck a bath. He's not bad during a bath but I get as wet as he does.
  • Washed the slip cover on the sofa. I hate putting that thing back on but the dog gets on the sofa so we have to have it.
  • Packed a quilt to send off to my friend for her granddaughter.
  • Washed all Speck's sheets (from the crate) and the blanket he wraps up in on the sofa.
  • Did the weed eating in the back yard - it's so small and I have so much "stuff" back there, I just weed eat the whole thing and don't even use the lawn mower in the back.
  • Sewed the sleeve and label on 13 (that's thirteen) quilts.
  • Hand sewed the binding on 2 quilts.
  • Sewed the binding on 3 quilts.
Not a single one of the things on that list was a fun thing but something that had to be done.

This picture is the quilts with the labels and sleeves done but I still have to hand stitch the binding.

Oh . . and Chad still isn't driving. He has to go to the traffic school before he can get his own insurance so I played taxi driver all day too.
  • Take Chad to school/come home
  • Go get Chad at school/come home
  • Take Chad to work/come home
  • Go get Chad at work/come home
I did call the driving school people this morning and it will be at least 4 more weeks before his class is scheduled.

If I can work this hard tomorrow, I'll feel real good about my deadlines.

Judy L.

Then & Now

Time flies and our babies surely do grow up too quickly! All you moms with small children at home, who are wishing for a few minutes to yourself, stop thinking that! Time passes way too quickly. Enjoy every minute you have with your kids and just when you think they're going to drive you totally nuts, think how quickly time passes and how sad you're going to be when they're adults. I'm not sad that Chad is an adult .. I'm proud of the adult he's turning into (most days I'm proud!). But I look at the picture on the left of his first day of pre-school and I miss those days of him being a little boy and wanting me to read to him, climbing up on the kitchen counter to help me cook, the night he rubbed his entire body down with Vicks Vapor Rub (there are some parts of the male body that burn terribly when covered with Vicks!) and we almost never got it all off. Chad was such a handful. When he was 2, we left Lake Charles, Louisiana and moved all the way to Jasper, Texas . . exactly 96 miles away but who was counting. Not only was I moving away from my hometown for the first time but I was moving away from my parents who lived on the same street we did, and I was leaving behind my dream home that we'd built and lived in for only two years. I was so sad about that move and to this day wish it hadn't happened. Jasper wasn't a bad place to live but it wasn't a good time in my life. OK . . enough of that. Chad went to pre-school in Jasper, then we moved back to Lake Charles where he started kindergarten, then we moved to Kentucky when he was in 4th grade and . . here we are . . still in Kentucky!

But, back to the first day of school. The picture on the left is Chad ready for his first day of pre-school at Trinity Episcopal Day School in Jasper. The picture on the right is Chad this morning, heading out to his first day of college. He offered to hold a lunch box on top of his head so the pictures would match . . gotta love that kid! He's attending Owensboro Community & Technical College for this first year.

When we were in Louisiana, mom offered Chad some of Daniel's shirts. I told her he wouldn't wear a knit shirt but she insisted on giving him the one he has on in the picture. He surely made a liar out of me. He wears that shirt everywhere he goes! He loves it! Saturday was "free dress day" at work (no ugly gray Kroger shirt) and he wanted to be sure I could get this shirt washed and ready by Monday morning if he wore it on Saturday!

Oh well . . my baby has grown up and I could sit here and think about the last 18 years all day but .. I'm going to quilt!

Judy L.

Sew for an Hour Project

This quilt will be our first project. You can make it as scrappy or as planned as you like. You can reduce or enlarge the blocks/quilt to suit your needs. You can share this with anyone you wish (it's straight out of EQ/Block Base).

We all have our favorite ways to do the Half Square Triangle. I did mine, and based my times, on working with one square at a time, drawing a diagonal line, sewing on both sides, cutting on the line and pressing. I did not account for the time to square the blocks because some of you do not square your blocks, depending on your method of creating the HST's.

If I tell you it takes me one hour to make 10 Half Square Triangles and it takes you 2 hours or it may take you 10 minutes, we all sew at different rates so let's not get worked up about trying to get as much done in one hour as the next person. The goal here is to sew at least one hour per day! And, we need to enjoy our time sewing . . not feel like we're racing against the clock. So, please take your time and enjoy the process.

I'm not giving specific instructions. Most of us are experienced piecers and these are very basic techniques. I'm also not giving yardage requirements. We're working out of the stash. I'll designate fabrics as light/medium or dark and you can go from there. How light or how dark . . that's up to you. In the quilt shown above, I used lights and darks for the churn dash type block, then mediums for the squares around the churn dash.

The quilt shown is 62-1/2" x 74-1/2". When I give instructions as to how many HST's, squares, strips, etc. that you will need, it is based on this particular size. If you're making a different size block or a different size quilt, you will need to calculate how many of each item you need.

Click on the picture of the quilt and I think it will allow you to download the EQ file. You will need to have EQ installed on your computer before you can open it.

Here's a web page with the particulars about the block/quilt. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to open it.

Sound ok to everyone?

Sneaky Sewing Machine Tricks

This is a Stack & Whack quilt I've shown here before. I was teaching a S&W class once and I had five or six quilts there to show. I had stressed the importance of making a perfect 1/4" seam and making sure everything lined up so all the points would meet.

I noticed my dear friend, Becky, who was just a little more than an acquaintance at the time . . standing at the back of the room talking to someone else and they were looking at this quilt and whispering. So, I asked what was wrong. Becky was very quiet back then and she said nothing. I thought she had a question and didn't want to ask so I continued . . finally, she started laughing and very reluctantly said "your points don't match". Well, thanks a lot Becky! But, as with everything I do that may appear to others to be a mistake, there's a reason why those points don't meet! No, I do make mistakes and I'll usually admit to my mistakes but this one was really not my fault.

In order to get a perfect 1/4" seam allowance on my trusty Bernina 1230, I use the No. 0 foot and change the needle position one step over to the right. There are probably easier, better ways to get a 1/4" seam but that's what I've used for years and I'm pretty pleased with it .. til the electricity goes off! That's what happened when I was making Vince's S&W quilt . . sewing along, half the blocks done, the electricity goes off.

Shortly thereafter, the electricity comes back on. I didn't realize that when the machine came back on, everything was re-set to default which put the needle in the center position. I sewed and sewed and then when I started to put the blocks together, nothing matched. What the heck? I couldn't figure it out. There's not much difference in the width of the seam allowance with the needle in the center position or the needle one step to the right but when you have eight seams across the width of a block, multiply that little difference times 8 and you get a big difference. OK . . do I rip all this out and start over? This is a quilt to be used by my husband so I just went on and did the best I could . . which wasn't all that good.

Fast forward about five years to yesterday. Do you think I remembered that when the electricity goes off, the machine re-sets itself? No! I did not remember and had to rip out a few seams. I'm going to remember that from now til my sewing days are over though!

I did get all the blocks done for Katlin's quilt and I have enough of the quarter square triangles to make 20 more blocks (that's 80 QST's) with the stars spinning the opposite direction. Marcie at Patchalot More told me that there are several quilts, including one almost just like the one I'm making, in the Nickel Quilts books so I looked at those last night. I won't have any trouble coming up with ideas of what to do with the other blocks. In fact, I'm thinking I might make another quilt just like Katlin's to give to the wrecker company owner's wife (per my dad's request). Dad was supposed to be finding out her favorite color and so far, he has not. I just don't see how anyone could not love this quilt, but I'm kinda partial to these brights so maybe I'll just wait til Dad gives me her favorite color.

Judy L.

I Think I Can

I'm making another stash/scrap quilt. The good news is that I pulled one of my favorite purples to use for the border and it didn't hurt nearly so badly to think about using it as it did a few days ago. Maybe I'm learning to be a stash quilter after all. This quilt will be for my niece's middle daughter and I think I like it as much (maybe better) than the quilt I made for the oldest daughter.

I'm actually making blocks for two quilts at once because when I make these quarter square triangles using the squares method, I end up with half of them having the background fabric on the top half of the smaller triangle and half of them having the background fabric on the bottom half of the smaller triangle. I could cut the squares into quarters and piece them together that way but I don't like to do that and besides, I'm using more fabric and I'll get two quilts by doing it this way.

Guess what I have to do tomorrow! Go to the quilt shop! I have to go pick up quilts to be quilted. Can I go and not buy any fabric? Yes, I can and I will do it!

Judy L.

A Total Stash Quilt

Here's the quilt I just made totally from my stash. This is the first quilt for the "quilt for an hour" project. Anyone want to do it? One hour at a time?

Making a quilt from the stash gives me a sense of satisfaction. I finished off several pieces of fabric but I also put back several pieces because I didn't want to use them because if I used them, I wouldn't have them any more. Sad? Sick? Normal? I still have a ways to go before I'm 100% comfortable using fabric from the stash but I'm off to a good start. This quilt is about 63" x 75" and it will be a gift for my niece's little girl, Taylor. I thought Taylor's favorite color was purple but that's her sister's favorite color. Taylor's is hot pink so that's why the hot pink borders are on there. Katlin's quilt will have a lot of purple in it and it's the next one I'll make.

Last night as I was getting ready to quilt this top, I thought I would use muslin for the backing. Then I decided to use a print. Therein was another problem. I can't buy fabric . . it's August! :) A possible solution was to use fabric from the stash. There was nothing that was in the pink family that was large enough. Whew! I was happy. I didn't want to use that much of my stash anyway. I washed a piece of extra wide muslin and as it was in the dryer, I thought . . you're nuts! Use the stash! So I began pulling pinks. I honestly began to feel kinda sick at my tummy to think of using so much of my stash for one quilt but I talked myself into it. I did it! I used 2 yards of a pink floral and 2 yards of a pink tone on tone. There was a little left on both those fabrics so I decided to make Taylor a pillowcase to match the quilt.

Now that you've all seen the quilt, I'll wait to hear if there's still interest on whether you want to proceed to with the "quilt for an hour" project.

Judy L.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Half Square Triangles

There are so many ways to make the various segments of a quilt. For the "sew for an hour" project coming up and for future projects we may do here, I'm not going to get real specific about how to do the basic piecing. For instance, in this first project, we will need a bunch of 3" finished half square triangles. I will just say, for example, you will need 80 half square triangles that finish at 3".

How I Make Mine: I cut my squares 1" larger than the finished size of the squares. For 3" finished, I would cut my squares 4", draw a diagonal line on one square, layer it right sides together with another square, then I sew 1/4" on each side of the drawn line, cut the drawn line, press them and trim them to 3-1/2". I cut and sew mine individually, one square at a time. Many quilters use this same method but but their squares only 7/8" larger than the finished squares.

Other Ways:

Grid Method -

Triangle Paper is available to print at Block Central.

Wondercut Ruler

There are many ways besides those I've mentioned and for the upcoming project, feel free to use any method that suits you, just so you end up with the correct size square.

Judy L.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Stash Quilt vs. Scrap Quilt

Those of you who are scrap quilters will probably laugh at me but I'll admit this anyway. Today, for the first time, as I really began to look at my stash, I realized that there is a difference in stash quilts and scrap quilts. Almost every quilt I've ever made has been planned - 3 yards of this, 5 yards of that, 2 yards of another. I attended a guild workshop once where we were making a scrap quilt. They told us to put all the squares in 2 bags - background fabric in one bag and all the other squares in another bag. We were to pull out a square without looking and could only put it back if the square was the same as a square it would be next to. Thank goodness I had a kidney stone that day and got to work on mine at home. Not sure if you can tell from the picture but I used the same background through the whole quilt and all my other "scraps" are Moda Marbles! Everyone else's quilt was truly scrappy and even though I quilted quite a few for the guild members, I never showed them mine!

This morning I awoke all anxious to get started on the scrap/stash quilt for our little "sew for an hour" project. I was using the scrap and stash words interchangeably. While it's purely a matter of semantics and it really doesn't matter to me what my quilts are called, I've decided (probably something the rest of you already know) that when I am able to pull a square out of a bag and use it regardless of whether it really "goes" there or not, that's a scrap quilt. When I piece like my grandmother pieced, using anything and everything, that's a scrap quilt.

When I go to my stash and pull out the perfect pieces and fuss and obsess about color, scale of print, value, that's a stash quilt.

When I go to the quilt shop and buy all new fabric, that's a .. not gonna happen quilt! At least it's not gonna happen during the month of August!

So, I have that settled in my mind. I pulled fabric from my stash to begin working on the first "sew for an hour" project. My quilt is going to be a stash quilt but it will be a real easy quilt to make into a scrap quilt. Since this isn't a mystery and you'll see what the quilt looks like, you'll be able to pick the fabrics you want to use. It really is an easy quilt!

I sorted my fabric into light/medium/dark stacks. My lights are real light and I kept them light because my border isn't very dark. It's all relative, right? I'm really having fun working out of the stash but I'm making a huge mess!

For those on the fabric diet during August, has anyone slipped up yet and bought fabric? We're 1/10th through the month of August. Hope you're all doing great!

Judy L.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


These photos are too good not to share. When Chad and I left on 7/15 to fly to Louisiana, we understandably were having a rough time. We flew from Evansville, IN to Memphis, changed planes and flew to Lafayette, LA. The Lafayette flight arrived at 10:30 p.m. so it was just a bit before dark when we left Memphis. Chad looked out the plane window and noticed the sun setting, with the clouds below. It was gorgeous and I think the pictures turned out nice, considering the plane window was a bit dirty and scratched.