April 27, 2009

Another Bag

I thought I would show you one of the projects I worked on while on my blogging break. It is another tote called Bow Tucks Tote put out by www.quiltsillustrated.com. One thing I especially like about this bag is that you can tie up the sides loosely or cinch them up tight depending on how much you want to carry in your bag. I used some fabrics that I had collected from a Pat Sloan line. Sorry, but I don't remember now what the line was called. Another favorite thing about this bag is the button I found by sorting through my button box. I love this red button. It reminds me of piece of hard candy. Someone else told me it reminded them of a chocolate covered cherry. Every time I use this bag the button makes me smile.

April 22, 2009

Play Time

You know when ever you buy a new toy you just have to try it out! Of course you do! I told you in my previous post that I would write more about my new Mini Fit to be Geese ruler put out by Monique Dillard of Open Gate. Her web site is www.opengatequilts.com I just love this little ruler. I played with it and made the four sizes that can be made with this ruler. I made 2" x 3 1/2", 1 3/4" x 3", 1 1/2" x 2 1/2", and 1 1/4" x 2". I made four of each size and had only one unit not come out perfectly. I blame that on an over zealous use of the iron. I have a feeling that I will be obtaining the larger size geese ruler too. She also has a square in a square ruler that is impressive too. One thing I like about this method is that there is little waste in the fabric used and there are no bias edges on the outside of the units to worry about stretching. The way it works is that you cut squares diagonally once for the "sky" part of the geese and another square twice diagonally for the geese part, sew them together and use the ruler to trim it up so that it comes out right in the end. Gotta love it!

Another purchase that I played with from the quilt show was this pattern packet from Thangles. It gives you 13 miniature quilt patterns and the Thangles to go with it. In case you aren't familiar with Thangles it is a way to make half square triangle units using strips of fabric and their paper strip that you sew through to get the half square units. I fear I have done a poor job of explaining what a Thangle is so here is their web site! www.thangles.com I have never made such tiny half square units before with this method so I thought I would try it out. For the most part I liked it. I didn't take as much time putting the rows together as I would have if it wasn't just a practice block so they aren't exactly even in places. All in all I liked it, but the smallness of the pieces did take some getting use to. I recommend using heavily starched fabric for this method. The starch would help keep the pieces from stretching and make the piecing of the small units easier.
This afternoon I plan on working on the borders of my guild's challenge quilt. I think I will have to purchase some more fabric for the backing. I don't want to piece the border and I am afraid that I won't have enough yardage left for the backing by doing that. Guess I will find out this afternoon!

April 20, 2009

Okay - I know it is about time I get back into blogging again. Thanks for the kind and thoughtful queries as to my well being. It is nice to know that I have been missed. When I took a break from blogging life had gotten really crazy with little time for reading my favorite blogs let alone posting on mine. When it looked like things had settled down I thought whew...now maybe I can get back to normal. Yeah right! So here I am after a much longer break then I had imagined!

I have been working on a project that I can't post of photo of yet...let alone talk much about it. My guild has a challenge going on. We are to make a small quilt with two colors and two fabrics. At the first meeting in June we will be taking our quilts to the meeting and the members will vote for their favorite quilt. We can't let anyone in the guild see our quilt prior to the voting because that wouldn't be fair. I can say that I am using a red and a barely off white solid fabric. I am foundation paper piecing each block as there are 105 pieces in each of the 6" blocks. Yep, I think I am crazy at times for doing blocks in this size, but I just love them. There are 43 blocks in this little beauty, but I like the way it is turning out. So, you will just have to wait until June to see a photo of this quilt.

Last Wednesday when I woke up the first thing I thought about was that I didn't have a nice big tote bag to take to the International Quilt Festival show in Chicago that I was going to on Friday. I thought of a pattern that I had and decided to go for it. If I didn't have it finished in time to take to the show at least I had made an effort. I used the Weekender Tote pattern put out by Quiltsillustrated. (Their website is http://www.quiltsillustrated.com/) I had some 1930's reproduction charm squares that were waiting to be used, so that is what I did. Since I had made a bag previously by this same designer it wasn't hard to figure out what I had to do to get this bag made. The part that took the longest was machine quilting the sections, but I used a simple loopy design since the quilting wouldn't be easily seen. I was able to put the finishing touches on it Thursday night just in time to load up my supplies (camera, water, snacks etc.) for the show the next day. The bag worked out great and was easy to throw over my shoulder or just carry.
The vendors at the show of course were wonderful. It was hard to pick and choose what I wanted to buy. There was so much there that caught my eye. It seems like there are more new reproduction fabrics then ever out there to temp me. Of course there were a few that called my name and said they had to go home with me. I found the perfect thread to use for the machine quilting of my red & white quilt, some stencils that I may modify for that quilt, and intriguing patterns. Another neat find that I will post more about on another day is a ruler that allows you to make perfect flying geese patches. The yellow and orange flying geese patches that you see was made with the new ruler. I couldn't wait to see if it really worked. It is called "Mini Fit to be Geese" ruler put out by Open Gate Quilts. There is a bigger flying geese ruler and a square in a square ruler too. Their web site is http://www.opengatesquilts.com/ if you want to check it out. I promise...I will post more about this ruler another time.
It's good to be back in the blogging world!