Friday, August 22, 2008

Next Project - Christmas Tree Quilt & Raising Butterflies

I have several several patterns that I have been collecting and thinking, someday I want to make that. O wait, I want to make that... and so on and so on Come on, you know you all have them too. I swear, I must have the full lazy girls purse patterns catalogs but haven't made a purse yet. Next on my list, I swear.

Anyhow, I've decided this Christmas tree will be my next project. I can just see the "bling" I'll be placing on it :-) I know I already have red sparkly fabric for the flowers. The Green, gotta go stash hunting. The outside border on this one I'm not a huge fan of. There's just something about sawtooths that I'm not crazy about. I'll have to think about how I want to border it then.


Raising Butterflies

Now, Raising Butterflies... Somewhat of a stretch to be considered a craft but very interesting. Hubby and I received a milkweed plant recently and the person that gave it to us was explaining how butterflies love this plant and that they will sometimes lay eggs on it. Long story short, we purchased two more milkweed plants, did our research online, placed the plants outside and low and behold, butterfly eggs.. (well, caterpillar then butterfly but you know the process). So, I thought I would share the process here in snippets. Here's the flower from the swamp milkweed plant

Here on the left are the white dot eggs we have. We had 5 eggs about 5 days ago. Look carefully, they are there.

Here on the right are the teeny tiny caterpillars that hatched that will eat and make messes as they grow grow grow.

That's all for now... They are easily lost on the paper towel but then reappear after they have been gorging on the leaf from the underside.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Turning Twenty Quilt Top Finished - With a twist

I started playing with the last border of the turning twenty quilt on Sunday. I had the 20 pieces left from the 20 Fat Quarters used. These pieces were 16.5" long and 3.5" wide. When I placed them next to the quilt so far, I did not like them, they were too large of blocks of color. I debated about not adding the final border. I stopped playing with the borders for a while and then walked away.

I looked at the pile of pieces I had and then decided to do the fun part. Deviate from the "standard" turning twenty quilt pattern. :-) I decided to randomly cut the border blocks up into pieces and again randomly place them back together. This worked pretty well, EXCEPT for all those pieces and seams really test your sewing and cutting skills to end up with straight lines. OK, so I had some waves here and there in the borders. I decided to move ahead and complete all four side pieces. Since I was cutting up all the original pattern pieces and the pattern did not count on a solid border around the blocks as well, I knew I was going to come up short in length. So, I added random solid black blocks as well.

When I finished sewing the 4 rows to cover the sides of the quilt top, and I saw the slightly uneven sides, I decided to trim this border on both sides to give me a clean line to add it to the quilt top. I took off a quarter inch on both sides of the borders. Lazy me was not going to do the whole length of each border panel in one level. No, I folded up each of the borders accordion style and sliced the quarter inch off both sides in one swipe each side. Surprisingly, once I got the fold just right, it worked out well.

So, there you have it. The quilt top is completed. My work here is done. I'm not even going to try and quilt this one since it ended up so large. It's 70 x 85.5 in size. My Quilt frame is not nearly setup that large. So, off to the mail this one goes for an all over pattern. I'll add the binding once it is completed. I'm thinking of adding a red binding to set off the red blocks. We'll see. Well it's off to the next craft. Talk to you later.

P.S. The quilt was so large for me, it was difficult to get a good photo of it with all sides and corners showing :-)


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Solid Black border added - Turning Twenty Quilt

Hello, well our new heat pump has been installed and doing its' thing. Yeah!! The outside compressor unit is so quiet!! I'm so happy for our neighbors since our last unit had an annoying hum to it.

Surprisingly, I had time today to work on adding the black solid (or blender) border to my Turning Twenty quilt while the installers were doing their thing. They were here about 8 hours.

I really like what the solid black border did to the other mismatched colors. I'm debating about not putting the second border around the solid border.

The second border is the fourth cut piece out of the Turning Twenty pieces per fat quarter. It is a 3 and 1/2" border of the twenty different fat quarters used. This is one big quilt. I'm going to think about putting this last border on the quilt over the rest of the weekend. Let me know what you think?


Friday, August 15, 2008

All together now - Turning Twenty Quilt Center

Hello, long time no post. It's funny how everyday things get into the way of one's crafting and posting. It's been a long and expensive week in our house. Work days have gone into the early evenings and haven't left much time for crafting this week. I did manage to take the day off today. We were planning on going to Lancaster this weekend to visit the outlets and maybe a quilt shop or two. However, last night while watching the big screen TV, the lamp went out. Ugh... they can be a couple hundred dollars.

Before that, we had to purchase a heat pump with air. Our heat portion went out and we previously scheduled to have it done this weekend, tomorrow to be exact. Oh the fabrics and crafts i could have bought with that money...

I did however manager to finally sew together my squared up'd blocks from the turning twenty quilt. Again, I started trying to figure out which block looked best with another and just gave up. Whatever ended up beside each other stayed as long as the fabric didn't match the block above or beside it. I'm happy with the color layout as well.

Next stop, I want to place a 1.5" black border around this center before moving onto the various patches border that matches this center. Tomorrow I'll probably be kicked out of the house with the furnace guys in here. Maybe Sunday I can work on it.

Hope you have a great weekend!!


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Ironing and Squaring completed - Turning Twenty Quilt

Boy, when it comes to ironing and squaring blocks, I just can't get motivated. Especially after longs days at work. On Friday, we had a software release which didn't end until Midnight. Needless to say, I was not very motivated on Saturday.

Finally today, I ironed all the blocks and squared them up to a 16" square. I finally figured out how to square a 16" square using a smaller square ruler by using the inside seams of the block. It took a while, but I finally finished the square of the blocks. Next stop, the center pieced panel will be completed either tonight or sometime this week. Hopefully I'll have photos of the finished pieced center part of the Turning Twenty quilt in a day or two.

I also made progress on the quilting area downstairs. I rearranged furniture, expanded the quilting table AND talked the hubby into moving the deer head trophy from above my quilting machine to another wall. Yippee Yippee, what an accomplishment.

P.s. Went to the local flea market today and scored a nice large quilt rack for $5. It's about 45" wide. What do you think? Pretty nice and priced reasonably. I like it because it has a shelf above it and the quilt bar lifts out for loading.


Thursday, August 7, 2008

20/20 Completed Blocks - Turning Twenty Quilt

Well, I finished all 20 blocks for the turning twenty quilt. The photo below is just a laid out display of all the blocks. Now all I need to do is to square up the blocks and sew the blocks in rows and then the joins the rows to create the full quilt top together. Hopefully, I'll be able to finish that this weekend. Once that is completed, I'll add a black border around the 20 blocks and then add the final piece of the top layout. The final random border of left over pieces cut out from each of the Fat Quarters used.

This is turning out to be larger than I thought. It will never fit on my quilt table setup. Once I finish it, I'll have to decide if I am going to send it away to have it quilted, or just stitch in the ditch for each block.

The color scheme needs to grow on you. Hubby and I are still not sure if this is one of our favorites. But, I'll keep moving through until I finish the top to finally decide. Let me know what you think.


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

14/20 Blocks Completed - Turning Twenty Quilt

Once I started sewing the blocks together yesterday evening... time and progress flew! I now have 14 out of twenty of the blocks completed. I was testing the layout on my living room floor and I am liking what I see.

After all twenty blocks are completed and assembled, I will then place a black border around the outside before I add the random border blocks to the turning twenty quilt. I think you really have to like the black and white fabrics to like this one. I think randomizing the red blocks will be the key.

On a craft room progress note. Someone picked up the extra couch in our basement yesterday from my posting on ! Yeah!! I have more space downstairs for my craft supplies. You can't really tell anything by the photo below but, the couch used to be in the center of the room in front of the quilt frame.

P.s. the big lighter colored block on the wall is covering my husband's deer. It has to go... so, if I can't talk him out of moving it to the garage :-) then it's time to start hiding it in photos and then hanging quilting supplies on it!.

Have a great day!


Saturday, August 2, 2008

Don't Over Analyze - Randomize on Turning Twenty Quilts

Yesterday, I finished cutting all of the twenty black/white and red fat quarters for the turning twenty quilt. This morning, I started looking at all the blocks and trying to analyze which pieces look good with other pieces.
I finally realized, enough is enough. I took the three different pieces of the blocks and separated them into 3 different grocery bags. All twenty different fat quarter matching pieces went into each of the 3 bags. Then I just reached in and whatever I picked up as the piece is what is going on the block.

I then folded the 3 randomly picked pieces back up into a self-contained packet and pinned it. This way, when I have a few minutes here and there to sew, I can pick a packet and sew a block. Each block completed is progress towards completing the unfinished object (UFO).

When I was randomly picking pieces, I saw that some blocks might need revisited and squared up. If I saw a block like that, I placed a marker on that packet. The whole process went rather quickly and now sewing the blocks together will too. The upcoming work week will be long with some big projects so this will help me to even sew one or two blocks a night.

Here's the final view of all the randomized pinned packets. Back in the bag for the next steps. I know it might sound like a lot of prep work but when I do complete things like this, it's so much easier to return and pickup where I left off. Case in point, when I opened the box, it had the block sizes printed on the lid I needed to cut.


Friday, August 1, 2008

Turning Twenty Quilt - back for more

Well the craft room downstairs is progressing very slowly. Now, instead of the Quilt frame and HQ16 in the middle of the room, I have a very large (ugly I might add) sleeper sofa in the middle of the room. I just need to take some photos of the couch and post it on I'm sure someone can use it.

Since I moved a few things downstairs like my cutting table, I've been going through my craft drawers upstairs. I found this box (I love self closing boxes, great for storage) with the words "current project" on it. That's funny, I don't remember this. I opened it up and to my surprise it was a turning twenty quilt in progress.

That's right, now I remember. I loved this concept. I had a bunch of black and white fat quarters in wild patterns so I figured I would create this turning twenty pattern. Well, time to pull this UFO into the active pile again and bring it back to life. I remember that I really disliked cutting out the fat quarters. Some fat quarters are not cut the same and the block sizes needed out of the fat quarter were weird sized. Luckily, I printed out the block sizes and taped it to the box top. I do this because I know that I get side-tracked and when I get back to a work in progress, you tend to forget the block sizes.

This weekend my goal is to finish cutting out the blocks to this quilt and squaring up the blocks. maybe even sort out the similar block sizes into bags for random selection and mixing of the patterns in the blocks.

Have a great weekend!!