Monday, March 31, 2014

DWM 3/31/14 and April Goals


All of the sewing-related stuff for the book is done so I cleaned up the sewing room. Look at this fresh slate!  So refreshing.
Clean Design Wall

The lines you see are thread, just pinned in. The upper one is as high as I can reach without the ladder. The oblong is baby quilt size, 40" wide so a single WOF backing will work. The horizontal and vertical lines help with block alignment.

I did a little extra sewing last week and whipped up some QOV blocks for Kevin the Quilter from stash. Three yards used and 18 blocks ready to go.
QOV Blocks


1. Complete Heat Wave top (formerly called Luminosity); send top & backing to long-armer. DONE
2. Write Heat Wave pattern for book. DONE
3. Complete binding, label, & sleeve for Zen Garden. DONE
4. Complete binding, label, & sleeve for Singing the Blues. DONE
5. Complete binding, label, & sleeve for Heat Wave. DONE
6. Complete all other photo samples of block parts, etc. for book. DONE
7. Keep up with bee blocks. Piecing Group block and QF First Saturday blocks are done. Not enough white fabric provided to finish Krista's library block; due 4/12 so there's still time.

1. Review and edit all files for book, before going to Paducah.
    a. Check all calculations for yardage and cutting.
    b. Check for consistent style.
    c. Label all images and diagrams; compile list of them for managing files.
    d. Check spelling & punctuation.
2. Photograph book quilts.
3. Keep up with bee blocks.
4. Have fun in Paducah.
5. Begin organizing all book files into AQS format & requirements.

In addition to the above, I'm going to Arizona for three days to visit/take care of my father. I'll be in Paducah for three days, too.
Also, the bathroom renovations continue. The hall bath is finished enough that we can start using it. It looks good. DH painted it over the weekend (what a difficult and unpleasant job).  I need to get a shower curtain & curtain rings so we can determine the height to install the shower rod. The demolition of the master bath starts today, a much bigger and more involved job than the hall bath.

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday - go see lots of design walls over there that are more inspiring than my bare one!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

March 2014 Stash Report

I fell off the wagon this week.

Actually I shouldn't have gotten into the wagon in the first place. Friends invited me to go with them on a road trip to a quilt shop in Bourbon MO that has sales twice a year, 6 yard flat folds for $20. That's $3.33 a yard, can't pass that up!

This shop specializes in close outs, etc. and I saw fabrics there that took me back to the 1980's and 90's: VIP calicos and dusty mauve blenders. Since they're out in the country, they also specialize in camouflage prints, every kind of camo you can imagine, even pink, plus wide backings.

I did find a few pieces more to my taste. 19 yards came home with me, so the stash report took a hit this month. Here are my finds: 6 yards of a cute baby print with tiny forest critters (and one yard each of solids to coordinate with it); random orange dots (I split this with someone so I got 3 yards of it); 6 yards of white on white with numbers. Not shown, one yard of chartreuse bias stripe which will be great for binding. None of these fabrics have identification on the selvage, but all are quilting quality 100% cotton.

Critter print and coordinates
Orange Dot
White-on-white with numbers
Stash Report Totals:

March IN; 22.0 yards
March OUT: 18.05 yards (Singing the Blues top, back, binding; Heat Wave top, back, binding; extra photo sample blocks and parts; QOV blocks)
March net change: 3.95 yards in

Year to Date IN: 80.0 yards
YTD OUT: 72.925 yards
YTD Net Change: 7.075 yards in

Yeesh, not good. My overall goal is to break even for the year, and my big finishes occurred this month. In April I'll go to Paducah so the stash will accumulate more then, I'm sure.

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times; check out everyone else's stash management efforts over there.


Friday, March 28, 2014

A Big Finish

Whoo hoo!!!   The last of the book quilts is finished!  This is Heat Wave. Sorry I can't show you more of it than this.
Heat Wave
This quilt was long-arm quilted by Darlene P. using a panto called Paisley Max.  Look at this beautiful texture - I just love it! I really like the scale and density of it, which harmonize well with the patchwork of the top.  I also like that it's modern and gender neutral, no feathers or flowers but not overly masculine, and much more interesting than simple meandering. 
Paisley Max Panto
To complement the warm-toned Kaffe Fasset prints used for the top, I chose orange thread for the quilting. It disappears in the prints and stands out in the black background patches on the top. The texture is just as beautiful on the top as on the back.

Linking up with Can I Get a Whoop Whoop over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. Check out more Friday finishes over there.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Stash Report 3/23/14

Nothing in this week - Whoo hoo!
A little yardage used for photo sample block parts - one yard out.
I'll total up the ins and outs at the end of the month. 

I'm planning for some incoming yardage this week. Some friends invited me to go with them on a road trip Thursday to a shop which specializes in neutrals and tone-on-tones.  We plan to leave early, shop for fabrics, then enjoy brunch at a restaurant known for its pastries.  I'm sure some yardage will be coming home with me - you can never have too many neutrals, right?!!

Linking up with Judy over at Patchwork Times; check out everyone else's stash management endeavors over there.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Random Thursday: Progress

It's a noisy week around here because the hall bathroom renovation is underway.
Progress so far:
  • Demolition, gutted down to the walls and then some.
  • Plumbing, including relocating the toilet to the correct 12" from the wall (was 14").
  • New tub installed.
Hall Bath 3/20/2014

Today the electricians are here move the outlet & switches. The plumbing inspector is due today, too.

I'm making progress toward what I need to get done for the book. This month I want to have all the photo samples of block parts complete and placeholder photos of them taken and placed in the manuscript. Progress so far:
  • Block parts and finished blocks are made for all the blocks.
  • Test photos have been taken of the first set to test my photo set up. This set up is satisfactory for placeholder photos; AQS will take professional studio photos to replace my placeholders.
Here's what my photo set up looks like:
Photo set up

The sewing table is opened up in "aircraft carrier" mode and my clean new cutting mat is placed face down. Behind it stands a white foam core board like the ones used for school science fairs. This reflects light from my Ott light so I don't need to use a flash. There's barely room there for my stepladder between the sewing table and the cutting table. I stand on the second step so I can shoot straight down on the block.

Now if I only knew anything about photography and could figure out the camera settings, etc., I might get decent pictures! Oh well, these are just placeholders, they don't have to be perfect.

The other book progress is on track, too. My goal for March is to have all the book quilts completed, quilted, bound, labeled, and sleeved.  The last one is at the longarmer now. The others are DONE.

Linking up with Really Random Thursday over at Live a Colorful Life; check out everyone else's randomness over there.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Stash Report 3/16/14 and Bath Remodel Start

A top and its backing went to the longarmer this week, so I'll be able to count that yardage out on this month's report. However, I did buy some Kona white this week, so I'll have to count two yards in. I need the white for block photo samples for the book, and for the broken chevron project whenever I can get back to that.  I'll total up the ins and outs at the end of the month, but it's going to be a big month for yardage out.

Goals for the week will have to be flexible. I need to get photo sample block parts and completed photo sample blocks made by the end of March.  I also need to review and edit the block instructions and quilt patterns that are already drafted.

But the Great Bathroom Renovation starts tomorrow, so we will be living in a noisy and dusty construction zone around here for the next two months. We're having both the hall bath and the master bath updated (after 28 years). They'll start with the hall bath; meanwhile we can still use the master.

Here's the Before picture of the hall bath. I didn't get a true Before pic - we'd already taken down the shower curtain and cleared out everything before I thought to take a picture. The walls are actually much brighter than they look in the photo. We used to have a fish quilt hanging in there, with lots of bright aqua and cobalt blue in it. The shower curtain, towels, and rugs were navy. The new d├ęcor will be more spa-like taupe.
Hall Bath Before
Here are the Before pics of the master bath. Ugh! It, too, will be more spa-like when finished. This renovation is way overdue; the tub has been scrubbed so much the porcelain is worn off in places!
Master Bath Before
Master Bath Before

Wish me luck with this adventure!

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times; check out everyone else's stash reports over there.

Friday, March 14, 2014

"Singing the Blues" finished

Another book quilt is finished, Singing the Blues. I wish I could show more than just teases of it.
Singing the Blues

This quilt uses fabrics from Connecting Threads' Symphony of Blues collection plus a medium blue from a LQS. The high contrast forms a very graphic geometric pattern.
Singing the Blues with Bumpity panto quilting

Since the piecing is very square, I wanted allover quilting with some roundness to complement it.  I selected a panto from Urban Elements called Bumpity , which I think works great. The size, scale, roundness, and overall proportion work very well and I'm pleased with the result.  The quilting was done by Darlene of Foxy Quilts, who has been very accommodating of my special requests.

Linking up with Whoop Whoop Friday over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict; check out all the whoop-worthy excitement over there.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

WIP: baby quilt quilting

Yesterday I got back from the quilter the fun little blue & yellow baby quilt I threw together from stash. I had made this just to give her something to practice a new-to-her panto on before she used it on another quilt for me. Her name is Darlene at Foxy Quilts, and if you need panto quilting in the St. Louis MO area, you can contact her through her blog, The Quilted Post.
baby quilt for panto test
This panto turned out really cute! It's called Bumpity from Urban Elements. It's like a large meander, but more regular, even, and rounded.
Bumpity panto, front
Bumpity panto, back
This quilt isn't for an immediate need and I have other deadline projects that are pressing, so I'll finish the binding, etc. on this one when I get a chance. Meanwhile it'll remain a WIP.

I'm linking up with Work in Progress Wednesday at Freshly Pieced; check out the other quilty inspiration over there.

Also linking up with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social.

Monday, March 10, 2014

My latest non-traditional quilting tool

Solving two problems with organizing solutions:

Problem #1: I've been sewing a lot of binding lately. It's usually pooled on the floor next to my sewing chair, not the best way to organize it. I tried the TP roll hanging around my neck method and didn't like that. Idea: My SIL has a freestanding TP holder in her bathroom so I thought I'd get one of those, wind the binding on it, and stand it next to my chair.

Problem #2: The rulers that I use occasionally but not every day need a home, preferably not on my cutting table, and there's no available wall space within reach of the cutting table. There is, however, the side of a bookcase, so I could mount something there to hang them.  I'll look for a small towel bar and get some S-hooks.

So I went to one of those home & bath big box stores and did not find what I was looking for. No standing TP holder.  No towel bar or curtain rod small enough to mount on the side of the bookcase. 

Then inspiration struck: A mounted TP holder that could hold the rulers most of the time or hold the binding when I need it.

Hardware: TP holder and S-hooks
Potential binding dispenser

DH mounted it for me. We found that I bought S-hooks that were too tight, so he opened them up a bit so they fit over the bar and it's easier to hang the rulers on them.
Mounted ruler rack
Binding dispenser
The location is perfect for dispensing binding. Imagine the binding coming down and toward the camera - that's about where my right shoulder is when I'm sewing. This will keep the binding off the floor and untangled. Since I only occasionally need it for binding, my rulers can be stored there most of the time and they'll be off my table and out of my way.
What do you think of my solution?
Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday. I guess you could say I have a different kind of design on a different kind of wall today!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Stash Report 3/9/14

I thought this was going to be a good week, no fabric coming in. But I scoped out the freebie table at STLMQG yesterday and came home with one yard of neutral background print. I guess because it's a traditional tone-on-tone ivory none of the Modern quilters wanted it. Good neutral backgrounds are always collectable, especially when they're free!

No fabric to count out this week. The coming week will be better: I'm sending a top and its backing to the longarmer on Tuesday so I'll be able to count them out.

I'll total up the ins and outs at the end of the month.

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times; check out everyone else's stash reports over there.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday Finish 3/7/14: Zen Garden

Yesterday I bound and labeled Zen Garden - all finished, YAY! Well, except for the sleeve, which AQS requires for photography. I'll get the sleeve on today. Zen Garden is one of the book quilts. The book quilts are coming along on schedule, as is the writing. And I even got the dreaded "portrait of the author" photo taken this week. It wasn't so bad.
 Zen Garden

I have to say I'm pleased with how Zen Garden turned out. The design is very geometric and maze-like, and Sandy's quilting really enhances it. This one may find a permanent home on my guest bed.

Linking up with Whoop Whoop Friday over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict; check out the excitement over there!

Monday, March 3, 2014

DWM 3/3/14: Sneak Peeks

My current project involves piecing with these wonderful Kaffe Fasset prints:
Kaffe Fasset prints from Westminster Fibers

Here's a peek at the progress so far:
Heat Wave piecing

This week I need to get this top finished, piece the backing for it, and send it to the long-armer, Darlene. Because of the busy-ness of the prints and the piecing, I'm planning an allover panto for the quilting. Darlene has a fabulous panto called Paisley Max that she also used on my Big Print Beauty, which we'll use on this one.

Another long-armer friend, Sandy, is great at custom quilting. She really has the vision to make the quilting enhance the design. I sent Zen Garden to her, and it came back fabulous. Sandy totally captured the concept, with pebbles, water, and organic leaves. I love it!
Zen Garden quilting

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times; check out what everyone else has on their design wall.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

3/2/14: Feb. Stash Report and March Goals

February Stash Report:

Yardage IN: 23.75 yards
Luminosity backing, 4.875; CSQ Fabric swap, 0.625; Westminster, 12.0; add'l Kaffe from QF, 1.0; Heat Wave sashing prints & more black, 4.75; chartreuse for stash, 0.5

Yardage OUT: 38.125
Binding, Labyrinth, 0.625; Fabric Swap, 26.75; Singing the Blues top & backing, 7.625; Blue/yellow baby quilt top & backing, 3.125

Month Change: 14.375 OUT - YAY!  A good month for destashing.
YTD Net Change: 3.125 IN

I did well at the fabric swap - I destashed a lot and only brought home 5/8 yard!  Overall, stash is still ahead, but not my much, and several finishes will happen in March.


February Progress:
1. Complete Singing the Blues top and pattern for book. Start Luminosity top. Singing the Blues  - DONE.  Luminosity started; design revised and name changed to Heat Wave.

2. Complete pattern for Big Print Beauty and have 20 printed by Feb. 10.  DONE.

3. Complete preparations for March workshop.  WORKSHOP CANCELLED.

4. Keep up with bee blocks. DONE.

5. Continue progress on any projects that can be posted on the blog, including UFOs and/or tutorials for previously completed projects. Blue/Yellow Baby Quilt top created & posted on blog.

6. Get author photo for book done, releases signed, etc. and write "about the author" blurb. Photo appointment booked for March 4. Blurb drafted, needs editing.

March Goals:
1. Complete Heat Wave top (formerly called Luminosity); send top & backing to long-armer.
2. Write Heat Wave pattern for book.
3. Complete binding, label, & sleeve for Zen Garden.
4. Complete binding, label, & sleeve for Singing the Blues.
5. Complete binding, label, & sleeve for Heat Wave.
6. Complete all other photo samples of block parts, etc. for book.
7. Keep up with bee blocks.

About Luminosity/Heat Wave:  The publishers at AQS specifically asked me to use Kaffe Fasset prints in one of my book quilts. The original design concept had a lot of black as well as the bright Kaffe prints, to create a luminous effect as if the bright colors were glowing from behind a black screen.  But the overall effect was turning out too heavy and dark, with too much of the black, and was not using the Kaffe prints to their best advantage. So back to EQ, and a revised design using less black was born. Much better. The new design is now called Heat Wave.  The redesign, additional fabric acquisition, and additional cutting and sewing have set me back a few days, so I'm playing catch-up. I still have a lot to get done!

March is going to be a busy month and most of it is book related, so I'm afraid blogging may be a bit sparse.  Zen Garden came back from the long-armer; come back tomorrow for a sneak peek.

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times; check out all the other stash reports there.