Archive | July, 2014

A Lot Of Nothing

31 Jul

Man, I can procrastinate with the best of them! Tomorrow is August 1 and I really need to hit school prep hard! But I’m finding all of these other things to do instead. In my defense, the school forgot to order my server and I really can’t move forward in my main lab without it. And, also in my defense, I have been going out to the college to do little things here and there. But deep down I know I’ll be in full panic mode shortly if I don’t step up the pace.

I did finish Anne’s block.

I will get it in the mail today.

And I started looking at what to do with all those 3″ 9-patches I made as leader and enders.
Option 1: another better with cheddar quilt.

The only picture I found was of me quilting it. But you get the idea. I love that quilt. It’s only 72″ x 72″ and used 225 3″ 9-patches! I currently have 48.

Option 2: I saw this picture on Pinterest.

Now that’s cool. But you’d have to be dead on with your 1/4″ for that to work out.

I have mostly the 9-patches with the darks in the corners – what I call X’s (as opposed to pluses). Side note: my punctuation skills are lacking. Should that apostrophe be there for the X’s? And if so, should it be plus’s? Or should I just go with +’s instead to be consistent? Grammar police, help out here because I’m too lazy to look it up myself.

Back to the quilts: I’m going to try to make a few more of the plus-type of 9-patches so I have options. (see how I avoided the punctuation dilemma by rewording?)

Finally, I have walked slightly over 40 miles this month.

I’m pretty darned proud of that! I’ve slowed down in speed this week because I’ve been listening to podcasts while I walk. I don’t walk as fast when I listen apparently. I like “Hello Internet” because I adore the YouTube videos of both CPG Grey and Brady Haran. I also enjoy “Radio Lab” and “Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History”. DJ has turned me on to all of these and they are really great! I’ve also been listening to them while I quilt (when I get tired of Pandora Broadway Showtunes radio).

Alright already! I’m done procrastinating and will get to work for a bit.


Playing Around

30 Jul

Now that Gianna’s quilt top so done, I went downstairs to clean up my sewing space. And play a bit.

I have this love hate relationship with curved piecing. I love the way it looks but cannot for the life of me figure out how to do it accurately and not get really frustrated with it. Recently I saw on Molly Flander’s Makerie blog a “Flowering Snowball” project. I love her project and the other participants in the sew-a-long. She claims the curve is gentle and easy enough to sew. This is what I played with last night.


This is a 12″ block. I printed it from EQ7 and made templates out of freezer paper. Then I used some scraps from a bin that needs to be cut up and tried to piece it together. I was fairly successful as you can see in the picture above. I say “fairly” because it’s a bit wonky when I lay a 12 1/2″ ruler over the top. But for a first attempt, I’ll take it. I will have to buy the rotary cutting templates though. Drawing the shapes on the fabric and cutting them out was a pain in the butt. I might put this on my list of things to make in the future.

This one too.


This is from a Martingale book “Confident Quilter”. I like it.

Dj has been playing around too. He’s spent the past week composing songs using the Garage Band software. I like what he’s done so far. When he gets a song finished, I’ll post the YouTube link here. And yes, I do find it ironic that my math and science student has spent his summer listening to history podcasts and composing music. :-). He’s a Renaissance Man for sure!

Okay, off to work for a while then this afternoon I am going to piece Anne W.’s block for our July swap. Last minute but it’s still July!


29 Jul

The top is done! And it’s one big quilt top measuring 93 x 113″. It will definitely fit Gianna’s queen sized bed.

I don’t know how I feel about it. It’s different than anything else I’ve ever done. Gray is not my favorite color but it’s a good base for these brights. It’s tough to make it “random” and still spaced out well and pleasing to my eye. Gianna hasn’t seen it finished because she is spending a few days with her best friend’s family on a mini-vacation. She has liked what she saw on the design wall. However…. And this is a big HOWEVER… She may want it hand quilted! She loves the two quilts that I have hand quilted. One took 2 years and the other was big-stitch hand quilted and took about 2 months. The one she likes is not queen sized but I may be able to get this one quilted by Christmas. Machine quilting would take a week. A week versus many months. 🙂 Let’s see which one she chooses!


28 Jul

Putting the quilt top together and my sewing machine light decides to go out on me AGAIN! I think I’ve gone through 3 of those lights in the past year. And they are expensive!

When I put a top together, I like to have leader and ender blocks ready to feed through. I didn’t have any prepped so I started making 3″ 9-patches.

You get quite a few done in a very short amount of time!

Plan C

25 Jul

For the record, I have a M.S. In Computer Science. I have all the software and computerized tools I need to design a quilt. And usually, I use those tools. But when Gianna and I sat down to redesign the shoo fly quilt yet again, I got out graph paper and colored pencils. Cuz sometimes… That’s the best way for me to visualize something.


Why redesign that top again? Because when my sister was over helping me make the t-shirt quilt, she mentioned that she didn’t really like the second design. Then Gianna said yesterday that she didn’t either. And she’d like that quilt for her bed, but with gray as a background and the blocks set randomly. Hence – Plan C was created. I like it on paper. I have to go out and buy quite a bit of gray fabric. I might have to unsew some blocks to avoid y-seams. But I think it’s doable.


23 Jul

Starting back to school is getting closer and it’s bringing on anxiety. Although I work all summer long, it’s at a very relaxed pace – an hour or two a day. This time of year, I start wishing it was 3-4 hours so I would feel like I am sitting better walking into the classroom. Now, I still have 3 weeks left, but there is a lot to do. So, today I start by making lists and kicking out the tasks one by one. I won’t feel so overwhelmed if I just buckle down and put my nose to the grindstone!

I spent the past two days at a conference / workshop on cybersecurity. It was good. Like all conferences, the sessions are hit and miss. Even though the conference was in Illinois, it took 2 hours to drive there in “city” traffic, so I booked a hotel room and stayed one night. What to do in a hotel room by yourself? Watch Forest Gump on Netflix and knit.

I don’t like the socks that I had started so I brought the bag of leftover sock yarn with the intention of starting another pair of monster socks. Instead, I came across this pattern for making mitered squares and joining them as you go. The squares are slightly over 2″ so I don’t see this as a project that will ever get finished into a real blanket! But it was busy hotel room work. Very mindless and enjoyable. And, as you can see, I have over 20 squares with no repeats. I know I have at least another half dozen more yarns to add before I will have to repeat any! I make a lot of scarves and socks! No matter how many of these odds and ends projects I tackle, that bag of leftover yarn never seems to get smaller…

Two Day Quilt

19 Jul


Yay! Finished! T-shirt quilts are pretty simple and quick, but if you have two sewists chatting up a storm and working on the same quilt, the process speeds along at warp speed. The final quilt fits a twin XL bed measuring 67 X 92. The label is amateurish, but it’s done and sewn on and can be replaced if necessary in the future. DJ has already told me numerous times that he likes it and has thanked us for our efforts.

Gosh, that was so much fun. I should load another quilt on my long arm and finish another project! Keep the finishes going!