Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The beach ball quilt

It's that time again! Time for the Another Year of Schnibbles Parade!

We could choose anything we wanted for the July project and since I've been wanting to make another Bennington quilt, it was the perfect choice!

 I pulled out those colorful Lucy's Crab Shack charm packs and got to work.

These prints are just amazing!  Bicycles, big colorful flowers, fun dots, numbers, names.......Sweetwater put it all in.  I have to say I love the prints with the names.  Both of my sons' names were included, exactly how we spell them and only a few inches apart.  Love it!!  

You know I'm going to put plenty of that fabric on the back.....and of course I bought a little extra too.  

As I mentioned in a previous post, I did take the liberty to rename this quilt Beach Balls.  It was just hard for me to think about using these bright, beachy fabrics to make snowball blocks, so I'm calling them beach balls.  Our beach ball has been well used this summer.  Actually, we've gone through a few!

Edited to add - Oops!  My bad!  These are bowtie blocks not snowball blocks.  A quilt with snowball blocks would look similar,  but it would have a single piece of fabric in the center of each block that resembles a snowball with triangles added to the corners. Oh well, I think I'm going to stick with the beach ball name since these reminded me, obviously, of snowballs. Please excuse the slang too........I have teenagers. Teenage boys. Slang, smelly socks, and lots and lots of food.  Lots of food.  Enough said.    

By the way, have you seen the giant beach balls they have at Target?  So cool! After we got one blown up, we were wondering if it would even fit through the door so we could get it outside!

Here's a few close ups of the quilt so you can get a better look at the fun, beachy prints.

I used the multi-colored dot for the inner border, and I fussy cut some of the colorful flowers for the corner squares to add some more color.......as if there wasn't enough! 

 I was just going for a fun, bright colorful summertime quilt.

Don't forget to view the parade this week by visiting both Sinta and Sherri.  It's sure to be a fun one since there will be such a variety of quilts on display!

I'll be here, waiting on the edge of my seat, to see which of Carrie's designs is on the calendar for August!  

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A new start....

Yesterday I finished my Schnibbles project for July!......pictures of that one coming soon.

Now, I'm ready to start a new project and I'm using all of this! 

Oh, it's about to rain.  I'd better run out and take the picture!  I try not to have a post without a picture.......wish me luck!

I didn't even get wet!  More importantly the fabric didn't get wet......or the camera.

Yes, more Lucy's Crab Shack!  I just can't get enough of it.  It's difficult for me to cut into, but I guess I'll have to do it.  

Thanks for the inspiration Carol!

What are you working on this weekend?  Something new and exciting, or an old favorite?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A Schnibble, two swaps and a cupcake

The inspiration for my July Schnibble.
 I mailed this swap gift to Michelle, along with a few other goodies,  awhile back.
  Making another one reminded me that I hadn't posted any pictures of this project yet!

At the end of my last post I left you wondering which Schnibble I would be making for the July parade.      
So many choices!  Finally, I decided on Bennington from Carrie's book Schnibbles Times Two.

 I made this mini-Schnibble....yes, I made it even smaller......for a swap that Kris had a few months ago.  I loved making that quilt, and I loved the finished quilt too! When I packed it up and sent it to my swap partner Michelle, I decided that I wanted to make one for myself when I had an opportunity.

And because I couldn't decide which picture to use, here's another.

Are you wondering what the beach ball hint in the last post has to do with anything?  Well, I'm using Lucy's Crab Shack fabric for my Bennington this time around.  So that means I'm using beachy fabric on a traditional snowball quilt pattern.  I was having a little trouble with that.  I'm sure no one else would, but it was bothering me. Snowballs with beach fabric?  It just doesn't seem right.  Then it hit me!  My version made with the beachy Lucy's Crab Shack fabric will be called a beach ball quilt, not a snowball quilt!  We have been making good use of our beach ball in the pool this summer, so it seemed like the perfect fit! A fun summer quilt!

Bennington was a great spot for me to quilt these flowers.
I did some outline quilting on this one too.

Yes, another picture.  By the way, this was made with Urban Cowgirl fabric.

Now, I just need to get going on a few more blocks to finish up my beach ball version! 

Since I'm talking about swaps, and also projects I haven't blogged about yet,  I'll mention this one. It also falls into both categories!  Isn't this cupcake oven mitt adorable?  The pattern is called Hot Cakes by Susie C. Shore Designs.

With this fabric it looks like a birthday cupcake to me!

I made this and sent to my friend LeAnn as a part of our bag swap earlier this year.  It was a fun and easy project to make. They would certainly brighten up a kitchen in any fabric.  I'd love to make a few more of these too!  They would make perfect birthday treats!

We were at the beach early, early this morning as two of my guys participated in a beach run.  I didn't run, but I took advantage of the cool morning by relaxing on the beach and finding some amazing shells. I hope you have the chance to to some fun things this weekend and to enjoy some sewing time too! 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

It was back to the drawing board during the FNSI

Well, things didn't go as planned during last night's Friday Night Sew-In.  I wanted to start quilting my George Schnibble.  

It was on the frame.  I'd practiced on the whiteboard for a few days.  I thought I was good to go.......then I lost it.  I'd just couldn't get it back.  Do you know what I mean?  I had lost the rhythm of that quilt motif in my head and I just couldn't make my hands go that way anymore. 

On the frame and ready to go.....or not?

Maybe I had practiced too much?  Or maybe I had psyched myself out?  I'm really not sure.  I gave it a go anyway and I was sorry I did.  I ended up spending a good bit of time unsewing last night instead of sewing.  The Friday Night UnSew-In is what went on at my house! 

Eventually, once I picked out all of the quilting stitches, I moved to another project.  Quilting George will just have to wait for another day.  There are a few other projects on my list..........just a few........

 Getting pieces cut last night.
Notice that this book is so well loved that the pages are falling out!
Maybe I need to get it spiral bound at the copy store.
 Has anyone ever done that to a quilt book?

I decided it was time to work on the July Schnibble.  The end of the month is coming up quickly.  Choosing any Schnibble pattern I wanted slowed me down!  Don't get me wrong, I love that we have so many wonderful options, but that itself was my problem!  What to choose?  I had been tossing a few patterns around in my head.....that's a hint......I made my final decision and I began to sort and cut.

This is a hint too.  It's a bit of a stretch, but it might help.  

Do you know which one I chose?  If you are joining in this month, which one are you doing?  I'd better get going on it.  August is just around the corner!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Even more new stuff......the feathery kind

I'm back with more on my Leap Year quilt.  Are you tired of it yet? There is just so much to share on this one!  I had never given feathers a try and since I didn't think they would be too visible on this quilt, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity. 

The feathers are the most visible on the back of the quilt.

I took out my giant white board and practiced with a dry erase marker for two days!  Not two whole days by any means, but two days worth of quilting time.  Recently I started using a giant 21x34 inch dry erase board to practice quilting or to help me decide on a motif.  I have found it to be a tremendous help!  It's so easy to erase and start over and to practice for long periods of time without wasting any paper.  It's so big that I can see exactly how the quilting motif will look on a large scale.  I'm going to stock up on dry erase markers when the school supplies hit the shelves.  That will be very soon, if they are not out out already!  Yikes!! I don't want to think about school beginning again!  It seems like summer just started!

Still on the frame with my blue markings visible.

After many hours practicing on the giant white board, I was ready to give it a try.  Even then, I put a practice piece on the frame to work on before I started the actual quilt. I did a little marking on the quilt with a Collins Washable Wonder Marker.  I haven't used this type of marker in years.  I was really pleased with how it worked out.  The marker went on smoothly and it was easy for me to remove the markings by dabbing them with a damp towel.     

The last row is finished......Insert sigh of relief here........

My seam ripped got a longer workout than usual.  I only let a few very, very small errors go.  If I didn't like the way the quilting was going,  I went back and took it out right away.  I'm really glad I did.  It certainly took longer, but I'm thrilled with the result. I'm not a fan of all of that practicing, but I really need to do it to get the results I'm looking for.  Next on my list for the day is....you guessed, it more practice!  Thanks for letting me share my quilting journey with you. 

This Friday night you will definitely find me at the Friday Night Sew-In.  I hope to see you there!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

New stuff

The Fourth of July is over and it's time to get quilting again!  In my last post I mentioned that I had tried a few new things when made my Leap Year quilt, and now I'm back to give out some details!

A piping close up for a Joyful Quilter and anyone else who wanted to get a closer look.

For years I've been wanting to try to put some piping on my quilts and have just never given it a try......until now!  My LQS had a copy of Piping Hot Binding by Susan K. Cleveland at their Market Review in the fall and I picked one up.  It included a really cool tool and even some cording.  I had still never gotten around to giving it a try until this Leap Year Schnibble came along.  Since it didn't have any points in the border, it seemed like the perfect quilt for some piping!   

Making the piping.  The foot you chose will depend on your machine and your personal preferences.

The piping method that Susan describes in her book was easy and fun.  I've included a few pictures so you can get the idea of basic piping, but you really need to purchase Susan's book to get all of the information.  And of course the tool that she includes is amazing!!  It enables you to trim the piping so it's nice and straight and even, before you apply it to the quilt.  I think you'd have a really hard time getting the piping on the quilt with such nice results, if you didn't have this tool.  I'm sure there are other piping methods out there.  I don't know what they are, but I don't feel the need to look around at all because I don't imagine it gets much easier than Susan's method.  I was really pleased with the results and right now I'm going through my stack of quilt tops looking for another quilt that needs some piping.  It looks like that might be my Recess Schnibble!

Actually applying the piping to the quilt.
The piping has already been cut with the tool at this point.

Another new technique I tried is sewing to the tip of the quilt corner when doing a mitered corner on the binding.  I should have taken a picture of this.......I think plenty of quilters miter their corners this way, it's just not the way I learned how to do it.  I always just sewed straight off the edge of the quilt instead of turning and sewing at a 45 degree angle when I got to the corner.  In the end, you get the same results, but I found that my corners wanted to miter much easier when I tried sewing off at the 45 degree angle.  I don't know why I never did that before.  Am I the only one that was continuing to sew straight when mitering the corner?

Now it's time to put on the binding.

 Also, have you tried these Wonder Clips yet?  They are so cool!  Nice and flat on the bottom so they slide nicely under the sewing machine.....Did you notice that in the pictures?.......A perfect size to use when hand sewing the binding on too.  They have markings on them so you can clip a project at a consistent spacing if you need to.  These markings are visible on the picture below.  It's been awhile since I found a new product that I love as much as these Wonder Clips.  They seem to be available all over the place.

Wonder Clips by Clover are wonderful!!
  Notice the markings on the clip on the left.

I was planning on showing the new quilting I did on Leap Year too, but this post is getting a bit long don't you think?  I'll just have to save it for next time!

Now that our vacation is over and our guests have left, it's time for summer camp! To my son that means kayaking, canoeing, archery, duct tape crafts and all kinds of other fun things. To me that means I will have plenty of lake water soaked items to wash out each night and will I have a week to do some more quilting, blogging, and catching up on some blog visiting too! See you again soon!!