Thursday, January 29, 2009

New Whirly Giggle Quilt

Well, folks, its been a busy week here in Wisconsin. Still very cold, but no snow at least.

Work and life have been very hectic this week with something going on after we get home from work every night. Tuesday night was Girl Scouts and last night we had a chili pot luck at church (yes, yours truly took a big pot of chili and a pan of corn bread). So I have not had a lot of quality time for quilting.

Sunday I started working on the Whirly Giggle baby quilt that I mentioned in my last post. Given all of the problems that others have had, I thought I would piece a few blocks using scraps before I started cutting out my Butterfly Fling (jelly roll). Here's my first attempt.

I wasn't too happy with them, the arms seemed so stubby and I had to trim a bunch. I went back to some of the instructions and decided to add the extra 1/2 an inch width to the white fabric and try it on another fabric (maybe if it was one that I might use, I'd do a better job at it). Here's what I got.

I had to trim about an inch off of each side. Too much waste. So I looked at the other examples and the instructions again and realized that I was putting the wrong side in the middle; the other blocks have the narrow edge in the middle. So, okay, let's try that, and readjust the white fabric one more time. This time it worked and I've made 6 blocks total.
I like them on point so I think I'm going to go that route. I need to make a bunch more and then decide if I'm going to put plain blocks inbetween or not.
Have a great day.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Flagstone Quilt Done!

DD and I just got back from our weekend away. We went to the Holidome in Fond du Lac for some relaxing time. They have a great pool and hot tub. I had a gift certificate for a free night. We really enjoy being pampered in the middle of the cold, dark winter.

While DD was sleeping in this morning, I finished sewing the binding on my flagstone quilt. Its done! Ta-da! Here's a couple of pix.

Saturday we ran a bunch of errands before heading to FDL. One of those errands was to drop off the quilt top for a Trip Around the World that I finished back before Thanksgiving to the woman who will machine quilt it. The quilt is queen-sized and one of the few full bed sized quilts I've ever done. I've done lots of baby quilts, several wall hanging or lap quilts, but I think this is only the 3rd full size bed quilt I've ever finished. I didn't have any pix before I took it over there, so I shot a few of it draped over the quilting frame while we were discussing the various options.

I know it looks a little funny at this angle all bent like that, but there wasn't room to take a bigger picture.

Well, I need to start a baby quilt. I have a baby shower for a woman at work in two weeks so I'd better get cracking. I think I'm going to try the Whirlygiggle (windmill) pattern that everyone is talking about. I have a bunch of Moda's Butterfly Fling that I bought last fall that will be perfect.

Have a good week everyone!


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Blue Bento Box Quilt Top Done!

We're getting ready to go out of town for the weekend, but I wanted to show you the completed top of the Bento Box quilt that I got done last night. I'm really happy with the way it turned out and love the pop of red.

Have a good weekend all. We'll be back Sunday afternoon.


Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday at Last

Well, its been a long week.

Last night I finished quilting the border of the flagstone quilt and machined on the binding. We're going out of town this weekend, so I'll take it with me to hand sew the other side of the binding down.

Tonight I'm going to sew on the borders onto the Bento Box quilt (see post below). I've decided to go with a red inner border and then the dark blue outer border (I went and bought another 1/2 a yard of the blue). I'll post the results soon.

Katie and I are pretty excited about going to the Holidome in Fond du Lac for Saturday night. We love the pool and just getting away. I won the free overnight stay last year and since it expires in two more weeks, I thought we'd better go now.

Have a good weekend, all!


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thursday - Not Much Going On

Well, all, not much action going on here in Wisconsin. The weather finally got warm (we're supposed to get above freezing today) and there's slush everywhere.

Tuesday night I went to a class on long arm machine quilting. I wasn't too surprised about what I learned, but it was rather anticlimatic. I guess I'm looking for something that doesn't exist yet: a quilting machine that will quilt the entire top without having to forward the fabric and can have continuous all over quilting. Like diagonals, etc. I'll use my $20 rental credit one of these days, probably on the Bento Box quilt when I get the top all done.

I have a blue and pink queen sized Trip Around the World top that I completed before Thanksgiving. I had hopes of quilting it myself on a rental machine, but after the class I've determined that I don't want to use it to learn on. The LQS gave me a name of a local lady (no shipping cost!) who does really good machine quilting and I'm taking the quilt top over to her house on Saturday.

Last night I didn't get any quilting done. I feel a little bit guilty, but I'm a big fan of the TV show "Lost" and last night was the season premiere. Its one of those shows that you really can't sit and listen to (and who can do 100% listening when the machine is whirring away) and miss the visuals. So I veg'ed in front of the TV watching Lost and enjoying myself. DD was playing on the computer in the other room (she's very active in Webkinz) so I just sat there watching my show.

Tonight I plan to finishing the quilting on the flagstone quilt and at least get the binding sewn on so I can do the hand work this weekend. Yes, I'm already thinking about the weekend and not focusing on what I have to do today.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Flagstone Quilt 80% Quilted

Here's a pic of the progress on the Flagstone quilt. The entire top (minus the borders) is stipple quilted. It was alot harder than I remembered it being (moving the quilt around on my little machine). And its taken alot more thread than I imagined. I've just about finished my second big spool. I don't buy thread in the cones 'cause I just couldn't understand that you could go through thread so fast. I probably have to add bobbin thread every 45 minutes or so. This quilt (unfinished) measures 70" x 47". Its a big lap quilt.

As to finishing the quilt, I've just got the borders to quilt and then the binding.

Tonight I'm going to a long arm machine quilting class at my LQS. I'm really excited to go and learn this. I have a queen sized Trip Around the World that I want to quilt on a big machine and the class provides the know-how and a credit towards the rental.
Looks like we've had a rest from the snow for the past couple of days and by tomorrow its supposed to get above freezing. Wow! A regular heat wave!
Take care and stay warm.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday Night....Ahhhhhh

Well, its Sunday night, DD just got put to bed, and my flagstone quilt is about 40% (machine) quilted. The border fabric came in and I picked it up on Friday after work. I put it on last night and this morning pin basted it after church. It looks awsome. Pics to come after I get it off of the machine.

I still haven't decided what to do about the Bento Box borders, but I really like the pop of the red, too.

DD pulled a fast one tonight. Just before going to bed, she announced that she has a sore throat (there's strep going around her classroom; of course, she hasn't been there in five days). She admitted that she had it earlier today (when she went to the movies with a friend) and yesterday (when she went swimming at the Y with said friend). Funny how she didn't mention it before doing any of those activities. Oh well.

Back to the grind tomorrow. Hope you all have a good week.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Need Advise Fast....

Okay, friends and family, I need some advise. I sewed all the blocks together for my Bento Box quilt and now its time for the border. I'm not much for borders, DO NOT want to do a pieced border, just something simple. I went to look at my blue fabrics again to choose the border and I caught a piece of Christmas fabric out of the corner of my eye. So, here are the pictures, do you like the blue border or the red one?

I also thought about putting the red and the blue together (red first, blue outside) for a double border, but I don't know if I have enough blue.
Thanks for any and all advise.

Saturday Noon

Okay, I got the additional three boxes done. Here's the final layout I decided on.

DD was picked up an hour ago to go to the YMCA with a friend for a few hours, so I'll continue to make progress.

Now to sew the blocks together!


Saturday.... Yeah!

Its the weekend at last. This has been a very tough week between Arctic cold weather and my car problems. But its early Saturday morning, I've already taken the dog out (okay, I let the dog out and waited by the door until she was ready to come back in), DD is still asleep (and probably will be for 2 more hours), and its finally getting light out. Looks like we got more snow last night, so later on I'll have to go out and snowblow, again.

Here's a pic I took of a proposed layout of the bento box quilt I started. I think I'll make 3 more "boxes" today and have a 9 block quilt. I laid this out in the dark (I don't have good light in my living room) the other night, so I'll take another look at it in the full daylight hours.
My border fabric for my flagstone quilt finally came in so I'll be adding the borders to that this weekend, too. I want to get that all done today so I can take it to church tomorrow to layout and pin baste the layers. I don't have a big table at home, so unless its small enough to tape to my glass coffee table, I take my quilts to church where they have big tables set up in the classrooms. And after nearly everyone is gone, I pin baste my quilt. Usually doesn't take more than about 30-40 minutes. Of course, DD is usually impatient all that time, but I'll have her bring a book to read while I'm doing that.
Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend and keeping warm.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cold Enough to Freeze Spit

Well its -4 degrees here this morning and colder than a witch's ..... well, you know what I mean.

This morning when I let Molly, our golden retriever out, she went out and peed, then turned around and looked at me as if to say, "boy is it cold out here". I let her back in and she came without a hesitation.

Its so cold here that school is closed today. DD is at after school care for the entire day. She took her DS and all of her games and is very excited to have a day to play with her friends without the school part. Tomorrow is also supposed to be very cold, so we'll see if they cancel school two days in a row.

My car needed a new battery on Tuesday, then last night (Weds) the "check engine" light came on as I was entering our small town. Of course, the garage that I had the previous repair done was already closed for the night, so we drove up there this morning on my way to work. I didn't want to take any chances that something major would go wrong since its so cold out. It didn't look like they had very much work there this morning, so one of the guys was able to get right on it. He came back out to me about 10 minutes later (I only had time to read two sections of the paper) and said that the "EGR" pin had been stuck but that he cleared the problem on the computer and couldn't get the problem to duplicate itself. So, with no charge, I was on my way.

Last night I pieced 8 quarters of a new Bento Box quilt (I'm still waiting for the border fabric to come in for the flagstone quilt). I just used some of my stash of blue fabrics. I'll post pictures of the 8 mini blocks soon. Now that I have the method down (I had to figure out my own sizes, etc since I didn't have a pattern and just copied what I had seen in others' pictures), I should be able to put together several more tonight.

Keep warm and take care.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Car Trouble and Cold

Well, the last 24 hours haven't been very good. After picking up DD at after school care and running a few errands, my car wouldn't start when we got ready to leave the nearby grocery store. With a storm front coming in (snow 3-5 inches) and brutal cold coming our way this week, we bought a few staples and a couple of luxury items (ice cream). But when I couldn't get the car started (whirr, whirr, whiiirrrr, whiiiiiiirrrr), I decided that it would be best to walk home. Its about 8 city blocks and took us about 20 minutes. I carried three bags and she carried one with her backpack on. She had forgotten her boots at school so she had to schlep through the snow with her tennis shoes on.
I called a friend who offered to come pick me up, go over to the grocery store and help me jump start the car. We worked on it for about 20 minutes, then she called up one of her friends (a guy) who helped for another 30 minutes. No go. So she brought me back home. By this time, its 9:30 at night, the snow is falling and blowing hard and drifting and its getting colder by the minute. I called a tow truck company and left a message for him to call me so he could pick up the keys to the car and tow it to the local garage. He never called.
So this morning, after snowblowing 4-5 inches of snow off the driveway and the sidewalk in 13 degree weather, I called the local auto repair garage and explained the problem. They, of course, needed the keys. I told them I had to walk DD to school (8 blocks the other way) then I'd walk to the garage and drop off the keys. So that's what I did. When I entered the garage the tow truck guy (who didn't call me back) was standing there waiting for my keys (its a small town). I walked home (5 more blocks) and waited for the garage to call me back and tell me how much this little adventure is going to cost me. Well, I got the phone call a little bit ago and its almost $300! Ouch! So they had to order a special battery (naturally) and are waiting for it to be delivered so that they can install it and call me and pick me up to take me back up to the garage so I can pay the bill and then finally go to work! Whew!
So while I've been waiting this morning, I've uploaded the software for my new digital camera that I've been using for the past 2 months and then uploaded all the pictures. So I hope I can now put the quilt pictures (what you've all been waiting for) on this post.
This is the blue, brown, & cream flagstone quilt I've been working on for about a week now. Its a lap quilt and I just need to put on the boards and then the top is done. The quilt shop where I originally bought the fabric offered to buy a bolt of the fabric I want and that should be available in the next day or so.

Here's another picture so you can see the fabrics a little better. The fabric is mostly from Moda's Bistro line. I used scraps from fat quarters that I had bought specially for a table runner I gave as a Christmas gift (the friend picked out the fabric/colors).

I have also mentioned that I was going to try paper piecing. I got the pattern off the internet. Its called Triple Star and is an original design by Marcia Hohn.

I like the block but have determined that I did not like paper piecing. It did make it tons easier, but I still had trouble lining everything up. So I don't think I'll make another of this particular pattern. What I think I will do is find other star patterns that I've always wanted to try and make 8 or so different star blocks using the same colors and then put them all into a quilt. But in the meantime, the block and all the fabric is back in a storage bin waiting for the day when I want to tackle that.

Hope you all are keeping warm and healthy.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Searching for Fabric

Well, I ran out of some of the fabric that I'm using in my flag stone quilt and went last night to look for more at the shop I originally bought it (found 3 out of 4). So today I went to two other shops during lunch (in the snow storm!) and struck out finding that 4th fabric. So back at work I started calling around and found it up in Sheboygan. I only need 1/4 of a yard, so they are holding it for me for tomorrow morning to pick up.

Of course, while I was at the other two quilt shops today I managed to buy more fabric for my stash. And some batting.

I'm working on a paper pieced block. Its the first time I've ever used that method. I can't say that I enjoy it, but want to see what this block looks like finished. If I like it, I might make 3 more to make a mini quilt.

But tonight Katie (dd) is having a friend over to spend the night, so I'm not sure how much time I'll have to sew.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Weds 1/7/09

Last night while Katie (dd) was at Girl Scouts I worked on my flag stone lap size quilt. I don't know while I call it a flag stone quilt, it is not the right colors. The pattern just reminds me of a flag stone walkway. Hopefully, I'll post of picture of the Work in Process soon.

After Katie came home, I made a huge pot of chicken vegetable soup for tonight's Soup & Salad dinner at church. I tasted it and it sure was good. I dropped it off at the church on the way in to work this morning. Hopefully there will still be some there by the time I get there after work.

I spent my lunch hour today looking for a quilt guild. I looked on line and will be calling the shops near home to see what they recommend. The last guild I belonged to was in 1985 in the north Chicago suburbs. I can't even remember the name anymore.

My First Post

Well, this is my first post. I don't have anything to upload, nothing really to say. Hopefully, I'll have some more news soon.