Archive for January, 2012

Taking a Break

15 Jan

I have been working steadily on Orca Bay, but I decided to take a break and do something small – the blocks for my Block of the Month! I have been doing BOMs at this shop for 4? years now. I really enjoy it. I think the BOMs are what got me hooked on quilting anyway. It’s great because you have one small task each month and you actually feel like you accomplish something.

Although – confession, I am a month behind because I had training when I was suppose to pick up my blocks this last time. Luckily, the shop owner is holding my blocks for January for me. But I did manage to finish my December blocks:

RWB Block 3 2011-2012

Floral Block 3 BOM 2011-2012

As you can see, there are two colorways, but I can never pick which one I want to do so I usually end up doing both (or all three if the shop has three options).

The blocks are designed by Marti Mitchell and they use her templates. I know that templates are a much debated topic in the quilting world, but I have to say that I definitely support them. It helps me with making sure that my shapes are cut the correct size and I don’t have to worry about constantly measuring everything. But the patterns also have directions for if you don’t have the templates, so they work for everyone.

“Share our similarities, celebrate our differences.” – M. Scott Peck


Rearrange and Red

12 Jan

So, I finally – finally! – finished those red strip blocks for the Orca Bay Mystery Quilt! YAY!

Orca Bay Mystery Winter 2011 - Red Strip Blocks

This is 64 blocks, all strip-pieced, and then cut in half and trimmed into these neat triangles. I now have to add the wing triangles to these, but after that I can start sewing the rows of the quilt together. So excited!

And just to show that I haven’t been idle, I also rearranged my craft room.

Grandpa's Shelves

My grandfather made the shelves in the background. I’ve had them for a very long time and they are very precious to me. You can also see the zig-zag formation of my cutting table, sewing table and computer desk.

Tool Board

The tool board is also special to me because my stepfather made it and my little sister helped to paint it. They painted it in my favorite color – blue. I have to say that one thing I love about my craft room is that it also contains objects made by family and friends that are very special to me.

The Design Wall

And the reason for all the rearranging – The Design Wall! You can see all my Ohio Star blocks for the Orca Bay Mystery and also a few of my Bow Tie blocks for the Bow Tie Challenge.  My ironing board and lamp are temporarily over in that corner – but they will need a more permanent home (and a new ironing board cover!).

It’s been a busy day/night, but a good one!


Bow Tie Bonanza

09 Jan

Bow ties! Bow ties! Bonnie Hunter sent out a challenge for quilters to make bow tie blocks for a year – July 2011 to July 2012. I honestly had forgotten about it until she recently posted again on her blog saying that she would have a link up coming soon. I said “Oh yeah! I was going to try that leader-ender method!”

I originally wanted to do the quilt using cheddar like the antique quilt that was an inspiration for this challenge, but I made a New Year’s Resolution to be a little more thrifty and knock down some of my stash. So… digging I went!

I found this strange piece of light green swirly – circly fabric and I have no idea why I bought it, what it was originally for, but man, I had A LOT of it! What was I thinking?

Sea green material? Weird.

The photo is a little washed out by the background of my cutting board, but I still think this was a weird choice of fabrics for me. Still, why not get it out of my stash? And a scrappy bow tie quilt seemed like a good choice for this to become a background and really highlight some pretty fabrics.

I have been working quite a bit with Civil War Reproduction fabrics and I decided to do something different and dig into my 1930s fat quarters. This has been fun. I have little mice and flowers and tea pots and Sunbonnet Sues and lambs and elephants and bunnies! I forgot all about these fabrics, but they are really showcased against this pale, pastel green and the reds and oranges in particular seem really bright and vibrant to me.

Bow Ties 2011-2012 Challenge - Set 1

And a little closer:

Bow Ties Set 1 Close Up

I have been using these to break up the string piecing for my red blocks on the Orca Bay Mystery Quilt. You can see the strips at the top of the photograph above waiting for me to cut out more 2″ squares. And here is my little plastic container that had all the pieces above in it:

Container of Bow Tie Pieces

As you can see, I’m about to have to dive back into my 1930s stash and cut some more small squares to use. Doing these bow tie blocks has really helped motivate me to finish the red string blocks for my Orca quilt though. Sometimes the string blocks seem to take forever to me (maybe it’s all the little pieces and the back and forth to the ironing board?) and while I love the string blocks and how they look in quilts, I was grateful to have something small and easy to accomplish while simultaneously working on those.

Red Strings for Orca

I only have to make 16 more of these string blocks and then they will all be ready for cutting into the large triangles and adding the wing triangles to them. Yay!

Note to self though – BE CAREFUL WHEN YOU CUT!

Hmmm... there's something not quite right here.

Oops. See how I cut vertically instead of horizontally across the stripes? Sigh.


But easily fixed and moving right along. Have a wonderful day out there in blogland everyone!


Orca Bay – Getting Closer

05 Jan

Alright, I’m still not caught up – but I do feel like I’ve accomplished something on this quilt top.

Here is a picture of all my ohio star blocks:

This is Part 6 of the Mystery Quilt - the Ohio Star Blocks.

You can also see that I’ve started the red strip pieced blocks, but I am nowhere near finished with those. In the small pink container on the side are the little triangle wings that go with the red strip triangles.

So far I’ve completed the following:

Part 1: 224 QSTs

Part 2: 72 Blue strip-pieced 3.5″ squares

Part 3: 350 HSTs

Part 4: 64 Red strip-pieced 5.5″ squares cut into triangles (update: 1/12/12)

Part 5: Black wing triangles added to the 350 HSTs from part 3 (That’s another 700 triangles!)

Part 6: 56 Ohio Star Blocks – 28 with neutral background/28 with black background

Part 7: Actually several mini-parts…

  • Add wing triangles (Part 5) to the Red strip-pieced triangles (Part 4)
  • Make 4 extra wing triangles
  • Make 100 wing triangles into 3.5″ squares using neutral triangles
  • Make 2 Hourglass units that are 3.5″ squares


Part 8: Put it all together!

I took another picture with the blue strip-pieced blocks added on top of the Ohio Star blocks just to see what the colors will look like:

Oh the pretty colors!

Well, I’ve done 5 out of the 8 parts – so that’s more than half… :) It’s such a beautiful quilt and pattern. I can’t wait to have it all done, especially after seeing some of the other color choices and ideas other quilters had. You can check them out at the linkup on Quiltville.

I’m hoping that there will be an opportunity to post a “finished” picture, but I may not have the top completed in time for that. Still, I think it will be neat to see what other people have accomplished.


2012 UFO Challenge

04 Jan

What? That’s right, let’s start the year off right and make the first post a challenge – a call to arms – about completing some of those projects that have been sitting in the corner collecting dust.

I am joining the Patchwork Times 2012 UFO Challenge sponsored by Judy Laquidara. (Thanks, btw, for opening up the link again – I just found it and thought it would be fun to join.)

This mostly consists of finishing quilt tops that I have started or putting binding on quilts that are actually quilted. I will, of course, post links and photos to these so that the finished products will be visible.

So here is my list:

1. Red and Yellow 9 patch – still need to cut neutral squares and sew the top!

2. Roll, Roll Cotton Ball (take 2) – this is my second version of this quilt and all the pieces are cut and ready to be sewn.

3. Pineapple Christmas – very scrappy and just needs doing. If possible, I’ll add the Christmas Surprise quilt that I am getting by doubling up on the triangles.

4. Rose Quilt – this quilt is already quilted, it just needs the binding. And my grandmother will be so happy to have it.

5. Orca Bay Quilt – I don’t even know which step I’m on anymore, but I can’t wait to see the finished product.

6. Pink and Brown BOM – this is one of the first BOMs that I picked up and now I’d like to finish it for the guest bedroom. Most of the blocks are assembled, but I need to set them and finish the top.

7. Jared Takes a Wife – for my other grandmother.The pieces are cut and ready to be sewn into a quilt top.

8. Fall BOM – all the blocks are finished. However, I challenged myself to do some applique and my mother wanted me to try hand applique, so the center is still waiting for me to complete it.

9.  Glory Bound Quilt – Just needs binding.

10. Dream Catcher – Doing this in reproduction fabrics and I need to finish the top.

11. Batik Basket quilt – finish the top.

12. Country BOM  Quilt – Just needs binding.