Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Advanced Block

Here it is... another Dear Jane block that was assigned last week, B-6 Wild Goose Chase... not for the faint of heart.

No kidding when they said this is a hard block to do! I ended up machine piecing the whole thing and sewn it very slowly. There were a couple of times where I thought I wasn't going to make it thru this block.... required all the concentrations. I did it in three increments: the center cross, the middle square in a square, then the outer square in a square. I took breaks in between and worked on other things that were quick and simple and didn't required all my brain cells. :oD
This is the same block but in reproduction fabrics. It's prepped for handpiecing. Look at all those little pieces! 43 itty bitty parts in all! This block will keep my nighttime busy for the rest of the week and maybe even next week too! What was Jane thinking when she made up these little blocks for her quilt?! I wonder how many more blocks are there that have so many itty bitty pieces in them!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Quilts Found at the Dump and Summer Breeze

ROTFLOL... sorry, that just tickled my bones after I finished typing the title... there's something funny to me about the dump and summer breeze being in the same sentence. ;o)

Anyway, I like to share this amazing true story of the 7 quilts found at the dump at Penny's blog! Click here for the story, but before you go, lest you forget to come back because you're amazed by the story, please read about my Summer Breeze.

I loaded another quilt top that I made last summer, Summer Breeze, onto Dolly for a second "real" quilting. Thanks to the help of Mrs. Goodneedle, this was a breeze (couldn't help myself - :oD) to load unlike the CC quilt.

But before quilting on it, I went out to the garage and borrowed John's well used whiteboard. First, I practiced some loopy flowers, loopy butterflies, echo flowers, and spirals.... nothing was working though.

Then a lightbulb went on... since the quilt is called Summer Breeze, I should do something that looks like wind. This is what I came up with... does it look breezy?

I finished quilting it yesterday. I did an all over breezy design in the middle part and my first feather out in the borders. This was a great practice quilt... so I'm not going to show any close up photo. ;P

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Lighthouse and Clue 1

There's not much going on here this weekend except for John needed to smog his truck for registration, shampooing the carpet, and the usual house chores. The older kids had things to do with friends. Sweetie Pie was invited to spend the night at a dear friend's home and swimming. Yes, swimming! Today, the temperature almost reached 100 degrees, just shied by 3 degrees. So no kids ... quiet house.

After a dry spell of no sewing for about a month due to life happenings, my friend, Cheryl, came by for our usual Thursday sewing morning. Poor Cheryl! Her allergies were acting up so bad that morning, but she managed to finish with her fused lighthouse. Good job, Cheryl!
For me, I finished with the first clue of Orange Crush Mystery the day before. All of 150 4-patches pinned in sets of 10 as Bonnie recommended to keep count of how many blocks were done.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

B-2 and B-12 in Batiks

Uh-oh ... I've been focusing on the mystery quilts lately that I have neglected Baby Jane. These two blocks were assigned last week, and for this week, Anina, assigned a difficult block. Yikes! (haven't attempt it yet)
The purple block is B-2, Sweet Tater Pie.... a cute name for a cute block. This block is machine pieced and hand appliqued. When I first saw this block, I thought it was a hard one ... (these are little blocks! 4 1/2"), but with Anina's directions, it's rather an easy one to do. Thanks Anina!
The yellow block is B-12, Starflower.... another cute name for a cute block. Don't you think Jane was creatived in naming these blocks? This one is regular handappliqued... nope, didn't have to do reverse applique on this.
I have the blocks in reproduction fabrics prepped... I'll be busy for the next couple nights. :o)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Recipient and OC

Dear Bloggy Friends,
Thank you so much for your help in choosing which photo to post to the QuiltvillChat group and your comments on the photos. By popular concensus, photo #1 is the chosen one. I'll post to the group in the morning. I have a whole day open for quilty things tomorrow. Yeah!

The recipient to this quilt is my DD#1, Mandy. It is only right that she receives this quilt since she's the one who had suggested the color combos. Plus, I've been a bad Mom..... everyone in the family got a quilt made by Mom... except for Mandy. So this is just for her.

It's not that I haven't thought of making her a quilt... it's because I taught her how to sew and quilt six years ago. She made two quilts with help and has two quilt tops that are waiting for me to quilt them. Mandy has been patiently waiting for her quilts to be done for five years now. Poor girl... is my guilty conscious showing? *LOL * Boy, sure glad that she has her own quilt now and to get that guilt monkey off my back! Oh wait, I still have to do those other two... guilt monkey is back on. *LOL*

Now that I can crossed Carolina Crossroads quilt off my list, I am starting Orange Crush or should I said Grape Crush. I have some of those 4-patches done for step 1... but still have a lot more to go. Step 2 was posted last week. You know what I'll be doing tomorrow.
Photo is the yardages pulled for OC Grape Crush.

Monday, April 21, 2008

CC = Complete (part 2)

Hello, did you catch the first part of this from last night? Just scroll down, it's right after this post.

Yesterday, we went outside to get a photo of my Carolina Crossroads quilt with the help of those doxies. Let me tell you, it was no easy task getting photos with two little dogs and a little girl playing, jumping on and hiding under the quilt. We took quite a few shots of the quilt, but there are only two that I think that I might be able to use. I can't decide which one to post to the
QuiltvilleChat group. Won't you help me?

Photo 1 - Serious

Photo 2 - Funny

Sunday, April 20, 2008

CC = Complete

YES!! My Carolina Crossroads Mystery Quilt is finally finished!!

I needed to get a photo of the quilt with me in it to post to Quiltvillechat Group, so we went outside to the backyard to take the pics in the natural sunlight. Ohh... it was a fun photo session! There's nothing more exciting for those little doxies than laying out a finished quilt. The session went something like this.....

Look! Mom is putting out her quilt! Let's go jump on it!We're tired of playing on the quilt... let's play soccer...get that ball ... get that ball ...
It's mine! It's mine!!Mine turn to kick the ball...Ha... forget the ball! I found something... is it a bug?Forget the bug! Mom turned the quilt over ... let's jump on it again!Now... it's nap time.... zzzzzzz.....Tiger wonders what's all the fuss...Stay tuned... tomorrow I'll post the photo of me and the quilt.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Double Pinwheels

Here's the next block of Pinwheels and Posies BOM by Beth Ferrier, Double Pinwheels. For those who don't know, my colorway is different than Beth's. I fell in love with this brown/pink fabric collection when I first saw it and had to use it.

There was a minor error in the cutting instructions, but that was easy to fix. This block sized to 8 1/2" unfinished, and I was happy that it actually came out to that exact size. I didn't have that accuracy for last month block. The only difference I did with this set of blocks was that I used sizing on the fabrics before cutting. I think that helped with piecing the block accurately.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Out of balance

I know that I said it before.... BUT where has the time gone? And on top of that I've been feeling a bit out of balanced lately. My body thinks that we're still on Spring Break this week because I could not wake up earlier than 7 am. I'm normally up at 5 or 5:30 am, and start my day with a cup of java and check e-mails and do some blogs reading before the kiddos wake up. So I felt a bit OFF all week long for not having that early, quiet ME time.

Thank goodness for quilting. It always made me feel better after I spend sometimes with the sewing machine. I do have some quilty things to share from the last couple of days but have to get the photos together first. I'll do that this weekend.

Here's what I did over Spring break... I quilted Carolina Crossroads, a real quilt instead of practiced muslins on Dolly. The only quiltings that I'm good at right now are meandering and loopy stars. I would love to do Baptist fans like Bonnie, but that's not in the card.... so loopy stars it is. The binding got attached earlier in the week; I just need to sew it down to the back. Oh ... I pieced white and black fabrics for the back.

One of the things we did over Spring break was went hiking at the California Citrus Park with Sweetie Pie's girl scout troop. The girls learned about hiking and safety issues. This photo was taken on top of the hill overlooking the palm trees and citrus trees. It was a beautiful day for hiking.

We hiked through the trees and learned a bit of history of the park, saw many different kinds of citrus trees, and hiked back down to the park. There, at the park, we found beautiful wisteria arbors ... had to take some pictures, of course. Ms. Nancy,the leader, and some of the girls in this shot.

Close-up shot of the wisteria, isn't it pretty?

For this day, Sweetie Pie received a patch of California Citrus State Park for the back of her vest, a Hiker badge for the front of the vest, and a safety pin to add to the vest also.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Caught up

Here it is late Sunday night already! Spring Break week went by too fast for us, and tomorrow... back on schedules. I think I still need another week off, though.

Between cleaning out the closets, laundry, gardening, spring cleaning, and hanging out with the kids, I did managed to work on more of Dear Jane blocks. I'm happy to said that I'm all caught up with the DJ group.

These are the blocks I worked on for the last few days.

Here are the 12 assigned blocks. The top photo is Batiks ... that top left corner block is a bit dark so I might redo it with different color, but for now, it's done. The bottom photo is Reproduction fabrics.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Simple and Not-So-Simple

If you have been following my Dear Jane journey, you know that I have been working in two different colorways: Batiks and Civil War Reproduction fabrics as in these photos here. I wanted to handpiece this Reproduction quilt just as Jane did with her quilt. Why do I even bother with handpiecing let alone making two of these quilts, you asked? Because I'm a NUT, that's why! *LOL* And I couldn't decided which one to do! Yep, indecisiveness will make me do crazy things.

Seriously, we live in a busy and hectic time. And juggling with jobs, family and pets, school, sport practices, music lessons, doctor appointments, commitments, and whatever else life throws at us, handpiecing is a quiet time for me. I like to do the handy works at night while watching TV with the family.

So this first block is M-10 Simple Simon. Just as the name implies, this block is a very simple 9-patch. Handpiecing this block was a breeze.

On the other hand, handpiecing this block, B-4 Chris's Soccer Field, was not so simple. Some of the pieces (like the white part) finished at 1/4"! Handling these tiny pieces were no easy task! This little block took me two nights of TV time to finish.

Well, it would have taken just one night to piece if I didn't stop to watch the show here and there, if I didn't stop to let the dogs in and out, if the feline friends didn't want to sleep on my lap, if the kids didn't need help with something in the kitchen....
OK... you get the picture?

This photo is a prepared block that's ready to be handpiece.

I thought I leave you with a tip today.
To manage all of those little pieces, I sandwiched the prepared fabric pieces between two pieces of the Glad Press'n Seal. Yep, just like the freezer paper, I keep these things in my sewing area and not the kitchen.
The Press'n Seal (PNS) is slightly tacky so the fabrics don't move at all, even when the cats knock it off the table. It doesn't leave any residue either. When I'm ready to piece, I peel the top sheet back and pick up the fabric pieces... off I go.
Another tip that I heard recently but have not try is to trace the quilting pattern on the PNS, lay it on the quilt top where the quilting to be done and quilt on the lines. When done, tear the PNS off. If you have tried this technique, please leave me a comment on what you think.

And if you have any other tip on using the PNS, please feel free to leave me a comment. I love to learn more...

Friday, April 4, 2008


This is a fundraiser for Sweetie Pie's school and a fun one for the students. A lot of volunteering parents showed up bright and early to help with the set up, get the classes onto the field when their times are due, and tallie markers. We have a check-in station to keep track of the volunteers and classes on the field, and a water/popsicle station for the runners after they run. A tallie sheet is attached to the back of the runners to keep track of how many laps they run. As they finish each lap, the tallie markers mark the sheet.
So far the Kindergarten thru 3rd grades ran this morning. I did my volunteer job this morning, and now, I'm having a lunch break and will head back to the school to cheer Sweetie Pie's class on. They are scheduled to run at 2pm. It's getting warm outside, so I hope Sweetie Pie remembers to drink her water before running. She gets extreme (almost a migrain) headache if she in the sun too much and not enough water.
What a worried Mom I am!? lol

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Two More DJ Blocks

B-4 Chris's Soccer Field

This DJ block is paper pieced. It's quick and easy to work up in no time at all.

M-10 Simple Simon

Yeah!! Another quick and easy block! I'm getting close to catching up with the
Dear Jane group (with the Batiks blocks anyway).... just one more then I'm up to speed.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

B-3 and D-3

B-3 Mirror Image
The block on the top is in Batiks and machine pieced. The bottom block in Civil War reproduction fabrics is handpieced. Having done these little curved blocks both ways, the handpiecing is much easier to piece. I'm machine piecing the Batiks blocks because the cloth has a tighter weave and harder to handpiece. However,....

D-3 Jason's Jacks

I still like to do needleturn method when it comes to applique. My favorite applique method is the back basting. Click here if you like to learn more about this method.