Monday, June 27, 2011

BOM's Away Monday / Design Wall Monday / WIP Wednesday

Got my June Jigsaw block done for the EQ7 BOM 2011 that is happening from the EQ Blog.

Here are all my blocks so far (January through June).

1892 Rondure
This might not seem like much WIP, but after working hard on my McCall's Design Star Challenge #1 entry, I need to get back to my clients that I put on hold. I've written up my process of designing the Challenge #1 entry in my previous blog entry. Enjoy! I hope you'll all vote once a day from all internet enabled devices through July 17.  There is a comments section below the 'click to vote' button where you can also comment about the quilt. Thanks!!

EQ7 2011 BOM
Jinny Beyer 2010 BOM - target June (see design wall from June 13 blog entry)

Oddie's Wild Nature - target July
Lonestar wall hanging - target August
One-fabric re-pieced table cloth - target October

Completed Tops awaiting Quilting
1892 Rondure -- hmmmm should I put this in a show somewhere?
2006 Basket BOM - target August
Tulip wall hanging --this is a redo of the quilting - target November
Colorwash Heart Duvet Cover -- this is to salvage an old duvet - target December

Embellishing to be added?
Starlight-Flutterbright (crystals to be applied??), now hanging @ Highland Quilts, Athena, OR
New: 0
Completed: 5
In Progress: 10

McCall's Design Star 2011 - Challenge #1

How exciting to be part of this contest! The basic elements of the challenge were that you must use 'Arrowheads' and 'Shoo-fly' blocks. Here are the sample images given. They can be found in McCall's online block directory and include cutting and assembly instructions.


Basically--use these and only these blocks, but you can sub-divide, change proportions, alter perspectives and/or combine patches. Must be at least 24" x 24", can add applique of your choice, do not quilt it. Well, that is a lot of liberties provided! No mention of sashings or borders so I put them into EQ and tried to see what I saw of them. I quickly saw that the shoo-fly block is a 9-patch also called a 3-grid....and the arrowheads block is an 8-grid. So changing the shoo-fly to an 8-grid seemed to make the 1st logical step to take. This would allow the joins of the blocks to come together rather than be off. Sometimes you intentionally might want them to NOT connect, but let's try it. So, now my shoo-fly looks like this:

The diagonal squares creating a chain in the arrowheads block started to look like architectural beams to me....and if you change up how the colorings of the blocks are done, you can interact the two blocks in such a way to create a very different concept.

I wanted to use some Jinny Beyer border prints, and EQ had this Faberge border print in its palette, so I started playing with that one. I thought my mom might actually have that particular print, but alas she did not. I did find some online and ordered it quickly just in case I wanted to use it. Contrary to another contestant's predicament, mine arrived promptly! Thank you Thread Bear Fabrics, LLC

If I use the golden ratio to change the size of the blocks, I can then start to create curvature as an optical illusion.

My husband suggested that I continue to try different ideas just to get my mind off of this train of thought, so I did, but still kept coming back to this concept. I didn't want the outside blocks to get too small, but the center block I didn't want too big either, so I worked on finding a happy balance. This was quilt #65.

Then an FAQ was issued and got me scared that I might not have enough 'integrity' in my blocks with the color selection of fabrics, etc. We were also told that a single strip for sashings or borders could also be used. I also realized that my arrowhead blocks weren't exactly the same as that the original block was detailed. Whoops...well, that modified my design a bit. I also went looking through my stash to see what I actually had that could work. Did I have enough? That altered a few things.

I needed some LIGHT fabrics for the arrowheads in order to get a 'light' reading to maintain the architectural 'beam' idea and still maintain the integrity of the block. I found a pale purple batik at Stash in Walla Walla and a couple of the teal batiks that I thought would work really well in the shoo-fly blocks. Here I am at version #221. So, color scheme of teals, red-orange, and purple. The 'beams' go left to right in an upward direction with reddish tones and left to right in a downward direction in a brownish tone. Six different values in each hue.

With a pre-planned trip to Arizona to see my parents for over a week, I headed out with lots of fabrics--but pretty close to what I wanted.

My plans originally had been to work on Jinny Beyer's 2010 BOM - Jinny's Garden with my mother. I blogged about my mom's result last week. I worked for a couple of days on mine, got the blocks finished and some framed before saying, I've got to get started on my McCall's Challenge #1.

My strategy was to do all the fussy cutting of border prints for the centers of my blocks first. Using templates to align the fussy cut pieces properly (as learned from Jinny Beyer), I carefully used two different borders to cut out the applicable centers. The arrowhead center 4-square uses the Faberge borders. The shoo-fly is sub-divided in the center block on the diagonal and is using another Jinny Beyer border, Mardi Gras.
 This was the big center square set.

I think I'm missing the photos for the outside ring skewed arrowheads centers. I did two different versions and alternated them.
To the left is the center square for the 4" finished corner blocks. So in this form, each square that you see is only 0.75" x 0.75". When finished each piece is 0.5" x 0.5".

This is supposed to help your patchwork stay square. So, I've segmented the seams when pressing ever so carefully with all the bias going on due to the fussy cutting.

All of the shoo-fly blocks are skewed in this quilt, so the centers are not easy to create this effect, but I went for it anyway.

These are the smallest shoo-fly blocks in the most outer ring and I decided that a single piece was sufficient. The sizing of the design worked very well for this purpose.

Here was the layout of all the centers of each block.

Since there is only one center block, I wanted to piece it completely and get a feel for the construction process of the arrowheads block. I thought I might like to make the diagonal chains as light as possible to give the quilt even more dimension. So, I did have two other very light brown/redish bits of fabric not designated for use, so put those in. If I had taken the time to carefully shade my EQ design, I probably would now do it differently, but at the time, I was working a bit on-the-fly and under a tight deadline at this point in time.

Then the square arrowheads on the diagonals.

I did all but the very outer blocks and then decided to move on with some shoo-fly blocks since they had fewer pieces and should help me feel like I was making better progress. Getting the 1st level beyond the center put together was very exciting. I moved on and got all shoo-fly blocks cut out and realized I was just a 1/8 yd short to finish a couple of blocks, so bagged everything and packed it to fly home. I could get more of that fabric at my LQS.

Just some fun shots of all my chain piecing!

About here in the process I had the opportunity to go meet Judy Danz who has been quilting many of Sarah Vedeler's designed Go! Be Dazzled quilts being made by her friends in anticipation of helping Sarah with the upcoming Bernina University. How fun was that! Judy lives in Fountain Hills (near Scottsdale), AZ. Took us less than an hour to drive over there. Judy was so gracious to spend an hour or so with me and my mom. I even got to share an idea or two on a quilt she is about to long-arm machine quilt for a client. Good times! btw...she also was the EQ7 Accuquilt Design Challenge Winner which I just connected the dots on when looking at her blog while writing this! HA!! She is also on Facebook and has a photo gallery of those Go! Be Dazzled quilts--all the various renditions that she has gotten to quilt. I had met Sarah at Spring 2011 Market to chat with ladies who have been in the information technology industry in their past careers and are now big in the quilting industry. Somehow I relate ! :-)
These chains would make great flags for a party across the ceiling!

The long skewed shoo-fly blocks at the centers of the outside level proved very complicated and I decided that the other smaller ones needed a different technique. So, I started printing templates from EQ as well as foundation pieces for the arrowhead and flying geese patchwork elements. Once I got this sorted out, I was able to move along much more efficiently.
But, that was all I could get done, I needed to board my plane and go home. I got my sewing machine on the plane with me no problem (carry-on luggage). I told TSA it was coming through and they all enjoyed checking it out in the x-ray, but no hassels at all. I had one needle in it in a down position, no spares and really no spare parts but some bobbins. This was flying Allegiant out of the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway airport.

Now at home and able to get a bit more of the insufficient fabric, I worked on more shoo-fly blocks and got the level 3 blocks finished.

Then level 4 (outer most) shoo-fly blocks. So exciting, it is really starting to look 'round'
Now the skewed arrowhead blocks for level 3, then level 4.

The 4 square corners I did at the very end. the borders...what to do now? btw...this is Wednesday night before the Thurs. night deadline. My iron got knocked off the ironing board that sits next to me (too close really since I have burned my arm no less than 5 times this year already). Every time it hits the floor even if only for a second or two, carpet fibers get melted onto the surface of the iron. I can usually get it clean enough with a dryer sheet, but this time, it wasn't happening. I tried to iron and I quickly discovered I was leaving marks. OH NO! This was not a good sign. I finished up attaching the level 4 edges without ironing and decided that tomorrow, the very last day of the challenge, I had to find a way to clean the iron, or I would be buying a new one. I discovered through good ol' Google, that Mr. Clean Magic Eraser seems to do magic on this type of issue. I'll have to go out early tomorrow and pick one up.

I really wanted to use the red-orange border print in the border, but the teal shoo-fly blocks were soooooo strong, I wasn't sure how I could balance it. I decided that a dark purple inbetween the two border prints would help make the border 'stronger/darker' and create a better balance. I had a purple in the stash that could work, but had a bit too much of some yellow bits in it to make me really happy.

My "Best Press" solution and my newly cleaned iron worked wonderfully! Just in case I didn't find something or ran out of time, I took this photo before the sun peaked over the house onto my fence. This was my back-up plan if I couldn't get the borders on in the afternoon.   But...before I went looking, I had a dentist appointment which basically took all morning (temporary crown on a suspicious looking cracked tooth). When finished, I went in search and was able to find a better purple on the last day of the challenge at another LQS - Walla Walla Sew & Vac and quickly went home to finish putting the borders together. When checking for the mirrored miters, I discovered that the quilt size was EXACTLY all that I could handle with the fabric that I had. I nicked one of the borders while cutting it and one is technically probably 1/4" too short, but we'll MAKE IT WORK! :-)

Duncan (my DH) arrived home from work and immediately went to work at creating a better hanging solution to get a good photo. I love how he can support me with these types of things! We now have significant hooks hanging from our eve on the side of the garage that gets great afternoon sun. He also created a rod (black electrical piping) with drapery hooks that I can just clip onto the edge of the quilt, put the rod on the big hooks in the eve, and wah la! With a tension rod that also has smaller drapery hooks, I can clip this smaller rod onto the bottom of the quilt and that gives a nice tension to help it hang well. One of our neighbors happened upon us hanging the quilt and helped to hold the bottom rod because the wind was pretty intense and was blowing everything around.

With the sun as intense as it was, I got this quick shot from behind the quilt creating a stained glass effect. And...yes, still some of my paper piecing --no time to remove it to make the deadline.

Quick, get the photo off the camera and get it submitted! Oh, what should I name it? Went looking through a Thesaurus for synonyms to cathedral or dome and found Rondure --french for graceful sphere seemed to need a qualifier word. Looked and looked, but just couldn't identify one that felt like it fit the project. When I calculated the # of pieces at 1892...that seemed to be a good qualifier because it sounds like a particular year and this looks like an 'old dome' there you go.

Will you vote? Click this link to vote daily from all internet devices through July 17. When the page comes up, there will be a 'vote' button underneath the quilt that you need to click on. You can also go through all 20 quilts and check them out too. Thanks for your support and for stopping by and reading through my Challenge #1 journey. It has been a fun ride so far.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Design Wall / BOM's Away Monday - June 20

Time is a ticking...tick-tock, tick-tock...just a few days left in the McCalls Design Challenge #1...I'm still working on the top and look forward to sharing more about it when we are permitted. I will post a link on this blog for you to vote for my quilt when it is ready. Voting begins late Friday night, June 24--My birthday! I'll happily accept your vote, daily on all available devices, as a birthday present!! :-) Thank you so much!

Meanwhile, last week I did get more blocks framed on my Jinny's Garden BOM. But that was it.

My mom finished her top which fits nicely on their California King size bed. She opted not to put the small and outer border at the top of the quilt since it is covered by pillows--this also makes it easier for me to quilt it on my 'small' 10' table. The combination of colors and especially the borders give it a very royal almost middle eastern feel. Good mirrored miters on all of them too! So proud of my mom! You need to realize this is only her 3rd quilt of significance. She has made many small charity quilts, but this is the 3rd for herself.

Check out other Design Walls indexed @ Patchwork Times and BOM's Away Monday indexed @ What a Hoot.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Design Wall / BOMs Away Monday - June 13

Despite having the weight of McCall's Design Star 2011 - Challenge #1 (Designer Bios are now online) on my shoulders, I had pre-planned time in AZ with my parents and to work specifically with my mother on the Jinny Beyer 2010 BOM - Jinny's Garden. So....last Wednesday I hitched a ride to AZ with our nephew, Neville, who just finished his 1st year of Mechanical Engineering at Walla Walla University. We left at 2:30p and made it to Scottsdale, AZ by 11:20am on Thursday. We switched drivers several times trying to stay awake and taking naps when we weren't driving. When it was daylight on Wednesday, we saw some beautiful country and lots of rainbows! That was the cool part. During the night I saw no less than 10 elk to the side of the road which made me very nervous that they would run out in front of us. Fortunately, we didn't make contact with anything, but a few bugs, the entire trip! On Thursday morning it had suddenly gone from about 36 degrees (somewhere in NE Nevada) to 72 degrees in Las Vegas, NV.

So, progress on my JB-BOM! Yes indeed. If you're not familiar with Jinny's 2010 BOM, the blocks are foundation pieced and were delivered monthly via her newsletter last year (she is doing another BOM this year--very different--you can sign-up for her newsletter to get it). In May 2010, my mother and I were fortunate enough to visit her studio in Virginia and purchased fabrics that we wanted to use. Each will be similar but different.

After arriving on Thursday, I was pretty tired, but started in on my blocks. Block #2 I discovered has a fabric, that they substituted from the original, in the pack that I purchased at JB's Studio, but I had marked on my fabric chart that I had some in my personal stash. Unfortunately I didn't bring it with me, so I think I'll skip Block #2 and do it at home. I was able to do blocks 3, 4, and 5.
-->whoops I decided at the very end of the day on Sunday to do block #2 anyway ;-)

Friday after a walk in the beating sun ;-) ....I got blocks 6, 7, and 8 done. For the Lotus Blossom I'm doing it in the 'white/yellow' scheme because I want to make the Peony blocks with pinks so need to move the Lotus Blossom to the Peony spot and will put the Peonies in the center (there are 3 and I just think since it is such a different # of flowers in the block would work better in the center) and move the center block one to the right where the Lotus Blossom was originally.

Saturday enjoyed a restful day with my parents and worked in the evening to get the Daffodil done (block #9).

Sunday I worked diligently to get the last 4 done. Three of these use border prints. I'm really excited about how they turned out. So much that on the black-eyed susan, I don't think I need to add a 'dark' center since my fussy cutting facilitated the affect of a dark center! YEAH!

I wanted to do pink peonies like in my yard, so used a different border print.

On the chrysanthemum (below) the second from the bottom petals got enough black in the fabric that it has a lot more texture and the pot has an upward glow vs. a downward one on the original.

The dahlia (right) I discovered when trying to remove the paper that I missed adding the upper most petal in dark purple. What do you think? Should I worry about it and go back to it or just leave it as is?

So...some have sashings, others need their paper removed as well as sashings added, but here are all the pieced blocks. I can see now why the lotus blossom in white is toooooooo much in terms of a good balance, but the coloring is more of what I think of when thinking of a lotus blossom. I might switch the Tulip and Crocus positions. Any other ideas?

I've decided that is enough for now and must move on to the Challenge project in order to get it done. So...there will be a future BOM post to see it completed as well as quilted.
My mom had all but one block done when I arrived. She now has her quilt center completely assembled. She chose to do this BOM because she felt the 'whitish' sashing had a 'wood' like look to it and gave a floral quilt a masculine feel. My dad likes to work with wood, so it reminded her of him. On Friday he built her a design wall in her new sewing room so she was able to put all of the pieces up. It was then that she told him why she was inspired to make it and he was very pleased. She will have this as a 3rd option now for their bed. She'll get the borders on easily before I leave on Friday. I get to take this home with me and quilt it so that it can be ready for our local quilt show in September.

Judy has Design Walls linked @ Patchwork Times.
Lynette has BOM's Away Mondays linked @ What A Hoot.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Design Wall Monday - June 6

Besides the Q&A process going on with McCall's Design Star contest.....I'm packing to go to my mother's for over a week with the original intention of working on last year's Jinny Beyer BOM. Here is my 1st block and I hope by next week to have made several more. We'll see how this all goes given the competition for my time to work on Challenge 1 for McCall's.

More design walls indexed at PatchworkTimes.

and Block-of-the-Month Monday posts at What a Hoot Quilts.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Patterns for Purchase on

While at Spring Market I heard about C&T Publishing's new venture. They have created a website for sewing patterns, this includes quilting, bags, clothing, etc. I'm excited to tell you that four of my patterns have been uploaded and you can now purchase them directly there and then download to your own computer (print or follow from your computer--so 'green' ...the templates or foundation patterns will probably work easier if you print them, HA!). I'll add more as they become available. I've added a badge on my blog so that you can always have easy access to my patterns.

Be sure to 'follow' me on there so that you can be notified when a new pattern is available.

This makes it really easy for you to get my pattern, or maybe encourage your friend to make a quilt who may not live in my local area.

So...if interested...pick up a pattern at...

I really like this concept and hope that it is well utilized by all who are interested in using patterns that are already designed. Some of us just like to design our own!

If you have your own ideas, but aren't sure how to go about designing it, I am willing to consult with you to come up with enough of the right information so that you can create it. This part of the process is my favorite! I've done that now for several clients and they were so happy to get over that hump and move on with the process that was in their comfort zone.

If you still like a printed pattern and don't live locally to me, contact me and we can use the mail service.

CLOSED 12/2017. Find my patterns now on Craftsy

Thursday, June 2, 2011

My design...handmade by my mom...featured

Join the Revolution!: A Quilt From the Past: "While I was at Quilt Market, I was fortunate enough to have a beautiful story shared with me. This quilt began with the hand embroidered blo..."

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

WIP --a secret

Checking in with WIP@ Freshly Pieced to let you know what I'm working on. I can't share anything other than, I made the finalist list in the McCall's Design Star 2011 contest. Challenge 1 is underway. Now this is an 'american idol' style elemination, so your votes will count. Voting for Challenge 1 will start late on June 24--my birthday! So...the best b-day present will be all of you voting for my quilt! :-)

As soon as the profile pages have been linked up, then Supernova-BlackHole should be shown :-) ....with full credits on design going to Lee. They asked about participating in a I had an example! progress on my WIP, but one added -- Challenge 1!

StatisticsNew: 1
Completed: 5
In Progress: 10