Monday, August 19, 2019

The Endless HP Quilt...

I just got home from a 5 day retreat, where I pieced, quilted (no applique this time), bound, and did a little hand sewing as well (a label)...  

The endless Harry Potter quilt is almost done!  Well, one of them, anyway... I ran out of background for both quilts.  Quilt #1 needs lots of background to finish it for sashing and borders.  Quilt #2 needs a little background to finish it, for borders only.   I'm happy to have these almost ready for the longarmer (too big for my machines!)...

Here is a picture of quilt #2:

It's been so fun making these blocks... so fun I actually have 6 left over.... could have made another whole row (and a pillow)... if I wanted the quilt to hang over onto the ground off the end of the bed, that is.   I love it and can't wait to see it in use (this one is for me... the other, with a purple background, is for a friend)...

We even had a few visitors to our studio workroom during the retreat

 Mom, Dad, and 3 babies... so cute.....  They came to the door of our workroom to check out what we were doing.  The three young raccoons were very curious, but the parents were very protective of their little ones.  They did let us look as long as we kept our distance, even though we sort of 'chased' after them to take pictures.

Trying Something New - Magic Binding!

Trying something new can be a daunting step, but how else do we progress and learn?  I decided to take the plunge and try the 'Magic Binding' method on my Square Deal quilt.  It works great!  and I loved the process.  Probably won't use it every quilt I make, but definitely will do it again.  I did learn that it cuts off points that go to the edge of the quilt (see the picture below), so it may not be appropriate for all pieced borders, but it is a really good method for a quick binding with a nice finished look with the illusion of piping around the edge.

As you can see in the picture it did cut off the points of the square in a square cornerstones... Still, I like the look of it.  It's fast, too, since it is all finished by machine, no hand-sewing at all!  Maybe a few extra steps to get the binding ready, but it's SO worth it.  

Here is the link to the you-tube tutorial on magic binding:

and here is the link to the written tutorial (with pictures) for those, like me, who have trouble following video instructions:

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Square Deal, a Mediterranean Mystery

Last September/October (2018), I went on an excursion to London, followed by a two week Mediterranean cruise on RCCL.  It was, of course, a quilting cruise, so on sea days, we sewed.  The teachers on the cruise taught a few different things, but on the way TO Italy, I worked on my own projects (the wonky bear claws and some applique blocks I wanted to surround with pieced borders with applique over them - I did all the piecing on the cruise).

On the way back to Southampton, I actually took the class Linda Ballard was teaching and made this quilt: 

It was offered as a mystery quilt, with blocks based on a traditional block which I don't know the name of.  I have decided to call thw quilt 'Square Deal'.. I changed the cornerstones (they were suppoed to be white square corners, I made them turquiose square in a square corners to match the color of the narrow lines in the sashing.  I haven't decided on binding yet... black, white or turquoise... I'll have to decide soon.  Linda is speaking at my guild in September and I'd like to have this labelled and bound to show while she's there.  Since I am going on retreat next week in Big Bear, taking this along to get the binding on would be perfect timing. 

Mystery Fabrics are Cut

Well, I waffled, then caved and changed one of my mystery fabrics before cutting commenced.  Here are the final 4, all cut and ready for the first month clue in September:

And my latest Harry Potter blocks, courtesy of a couple of ladies on the Facebook group who came up with the original design, then this modification of the original:

I have 2 more HP blocks cut (Luna in solids and Luna in Grunge), ready to sew... the 8th block in the Out of this World mystery is also cut and ready to sew.  I am itching to get to them, but I am gritting my teeth and not touching them because I'm going on a retreat next week and I want to have plenty to do while I'm there.

So far, my retreat to-do list is:  bind one quilt, sew the mystery blocks, sew the HP blocks, quilt  two wall-hangings, and maybe I'll add some more bindings into the mix, also, my month 10 Dear Daughter blocks if that arrives in time to prep them before the retreat (I am NOT messing with fusible and cutting out letters and such on retreat). I think that's enough to keep me busy for 4 1/2 days... at least I hope so! 

Friday, July 26, 2019

A Finish and More HP...

I put the last stitches in the binding on my Wonky Bear Paws quilt... I'm so glad I got this one done, though I don't have a recipient for it yet, I'm sure that will come in time... (At least I hope so!)

STILL working on the endless quilt, the Harry Potter quilt-a-long... Got another two blocks done, same pattern, one for each of the two quilts I'm making... Introducing: (drumroll, please)  potions!:

Still waiting for this week's block to be debuted.  I have a feeling, there just isn't going to be one this week at all, and tomorrow we'll just have a new one (the designer was on vacation, returned last Saturday and said 'two days', but two days has stretched now into a week, and the next block is due to be out tomorrow, so I suspect that is when we will get it, which is fine... a little breathing space is welcome.

I have been feeling a little overwhelmed by UFOs of late, so anything that isn't calling me to finish by a time limit is a welcome respite.  I love sewing and quilting, but I am cautious of getting too far behind on too many things and feeling pressured - it will take the joy out of what I love to do. 

Monday, July 22, 2019

I Love a Good Mystery

I DO love a good mystery (quilt)... I'm not so good with mystery books... I have a tendency to read a chapter, then flip to the end to find out whodunwhat to whom and how... I've been doing that since my Nancy Drew days back in my single digit and preteen years.  Drove my friends nuts!  Anyway... I'm starting a new mystery quilt next month called the Meadow Mist Mosaic Mystery Quilt.  Initially I chose a bunch of cool fabrics and then rethought my choices... I need a break from black backgrounds and the fabrics I chose called for black... so I changed to a dark teal Dimples fabric as my background, with batiks as the A, B, and C fabrics... The instructions simply said that the A, B and Cs will all touch the background, but never each other... so this is my final choice:

The batiks all have some turquoise/teal in them, but each has such a different texture from the others and from the background that they should each stand on their own... I hope it all works... I think the lightest of them will probably be my border as well, though that may change in time when I see the quilt taking shape. (I know I posted most of this in a previous post, but I had to repost to get the right image for a linkup party).

If you're interested in seeing more or even want to get involved with the mystery, here's a link to the Meadow Mist Mosaic Mystery Quilt.

Come play along!

Sunday, July 21, 2019

The Quilt that Never Ends...

This Harry Potter quilt never seems to find an end....  More blocks keep getting released... the 'extras'.  So far, we've had the 4 house crests and the Deathly Hallows... and still to come:, another (different) Dobby block (which I probably won't make since I already made one for each quilt), platform 9 3/4, who knows what else might still come... wouldn't at all mind if there were a Draco Malfoy block or a Luna Lovegood block too.  But oh, what to do with them all... I already have enough blocks to make 2 king sized quilts WITH pillow shams. 

Here are the latest blocks I've made for the quilt:

I also 'fixed' the June block for 'Out of This World' which I initially made with a mistake (the star block), and made the July block in the series (the one with the moons):

And I haven't been shirking on my Dear Daughter quilt either.... the latest (month 8 and 9, left and right below).  I am really loving this quilt and can't wait to finish it and present it to my daughter-in-law for her birthday in February. 

I'll be starting a mystery quilt in August, called the Mosaic Mystery Quilt by Meadow Mist Designs.  We only need 4 fabrics for the quilt - background (the dark teal), and three others... I chose a dimpled teal for my background and batiks for the A, B, and C fabrics... Hope they all play well together... The instructions say all colors will touch the background, but never touch each other, so the varied textures and colors should work okay... I hope!  Ah, the uncertainties of making a mystery quilt!

I do love a good mystery quilt... which is weird, because I'm not a fan of mystery books... I read one chapter, get bored, and then skip to the end to find out who did what to whom... then I go back and skim the rest of the book to see what happened to get to that point.  I've always read mysteries that way, starting with Nancy Drew as a child... more weirdness on my part, I guess.  I don't read anything else like that...

While I'm working on all the above, I've got other projects getting left behind in the dust... sigh.  I really do need to get to work on them and finish some UFOs.  But I'm having so much fun with the new Harry Potter game, and still playing Pokemon Go, and they take some time out of every day...  I need some time management skills!  Help!

The Endless HP Quilt...

I just got home from a 5 day retreat, where I pieced, quilted (no applique this time), bound, and did a little hand sewing as well (a label)...