Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Finish- it-up Friday Panicked Preview and Welcome to Luci!

Hannukah! Thanksgiving! New Babies! New babies, you say? Well, in addition to our action packed week getting ready to celebrate the once-in-a-lifetime event that is Thanksgivukkah, (Turkey and latkes and pie, oh my!) We've also had the joy of welcoming the smallest member of our extended family a few weeks early.  She is rosy and healthy, and at 8 lbs, I'm sure her mom was thankful she chose to enter the world before her family-record breaking dad's birth weight of 11 lbs!

I'm now going to have to step up production on her baby quilt, since Miss Luci was scheduled to grace us with her presence right after Christmas! (Modern family - we celebrate EVERYTHING! Long story for another post, heck, maybe another blog!) Friday there will be pictures, and hopefully a finished quilt, ready to be wrapped around a casserole for the family! If my cousins are ready to share Luci with the world, I share her with you, as well!

I wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving and/or Hanukkah! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Trying a new half square triangle technique

 My cousin and his wife are expecting their second baby this winter, and I am very excited for all the usual reasons, but also because I have two little boys, and this project is allowing me to indulge my girly-girl side, and get some feminine fabrics.  They are decorating their nursery in purples and greys, so I stopped by Fabric Corner, our local fabric store here in Arlington.

Purple, lilac and grey!
 My hands down favorite fabric of the bunch had to be Swallow Skies by Tula Pink in Gypsy.
The swallow just seems to fly organically through the swirls
I'm really fond of this low volume print by Free Spirit Flora.

 Here they are, all cut up and ready for action:

 I wanted to try a new way to make half-square triangles, hoping for more accuracy, and I found a Quilty tutorial that shows you 3 ways to do it! Here, I took my quarter inch seam marker, drew a line on each side...
 Stacked the two fabrics that will make up the finished block, right sides facing, of course! Pinned the two triangles-to-be...
 Here's a stack of 8 waiting for the sewing machine! I sewed down the two lines I had marked with the quarter-inch seam marker.
 Then, you hold your breath and slice in between the two rows of sewing! Whoosh!
 Press to the dark, and you have lovely blocks (I have to snip my dog ears, though!)
 Here are the finished blocks laid out on my design wall, so you can see how they are going to be positioned in the quilt.
Pretty slick, eh? I love how you don't have to worry about the bias and the triangles getting distorted - squares tend to be easier to handle!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Burying the lead...

In my last post, I mentioned a finished queen sized quilt...Why, you might ask are there no pictures? Well, I was in such a rush to finish (must be on the bed before Hannukah! Why is Hannukah so early? Curse you, crazy lunar calendar!) I didn't take pictures before sending it off to my longarmer at Quilts Everlasting.  My mom found Debbie the longarmer when she was taking apart some of my Memere's (that's French Canadian for Grandma) tied quilts and turning them into quilted...quilts. She does great all-over panto work, and is very fast - I am very impatient, so we're a great fit! I'll grab some photos of them when I get home for Thanksgiving.

This quilt is from Quilty Magazine and is called Chevron and On. It's so cute when it's put together, the white background and the scrappy chevrons alternate to make an all-over houndstooth-y chevron-y melange.  However I learned some very hard lessons about half-square triangles! Measure, measure, measure!!! Trust me on this one...why do you think I had so many scraps! I did 10 rows of 10 blocks, a bit bigger than the pattern suggested (the squares were addictive!), and I had one guy left over - I'll probably sew him (looks like a him, yes? I'll call him George) to a pillowcase for summertime quilt storage.
One lonely block, waiting for his 100 siblings

Crazy Newspaper Scraphanging

I finished a queen-ish sized quilt (it finished a wee bit smaller than I thought, but will still cover the bed – woo hoo!) and had a box mess of scraps leftover.
Look at this madness! Just waiting to be cleaned up!  I grabbed a page of my trusty local newspaper, the Boston Globe, and just started sewing crazy quilt style, using the paper to give a little stabilizing to the fabric.  Once I couldn’t see any more paper, I used my rotary cutter and squared (well, rectangled) up the block to the size of the newspaper page. I used wonder-under (love that name!) to make some appliques and ironed and zig-zag stitched them on to cover my mistakes enhance the design of the block.

Ta DA! Now to figure out which side is up, and hang it up!