Thursday, May 23, 2019

I'm curious..............

I'm almost afraid to write this since I don't want to jinx the situation. But things seem to be under control. Oh - there's still lots of stuff to do, but things are calm. Even when I've had a few people e-mail me to ask for something that they're waiting on. I've been able to work that into the schedule. Now that's a nice feeling. I'm still a wee bit behind on about two things - but hopefully, by the end of next week, all will be completely caught up.

What a great feeling!!!

Last week, Ronda and I were sewing in Studio U. She was making the Lollipop Bag by Atkinson Designs. Has anyone made one of the bags?????

Lollipop Bag pattern by Atkinson Designs

Everything is pretty similar to other bag patterns that we've made until it gets to the end where you deal with the bottom.  It's very weird and even after we did it several times, it still didn't make sense so we reverted to our usual way to make a box corner. Notice the hardware???  Oh yes - we're into hardware. Oh by the way - Ronda was making these bags. I was not!

Lollipop Bag 

Making the box corner makes the pink bag a wee bit wide, so she remodeled the instructions and made the base a bit narrower. Once you understand the logic behind those box corners, you can make ANYTHING and in any size. I love the technique.

Narrower box corner

And there are two ways to make a box corner. One is much easier and more consistent than the other. Oh, shoot - now that I've said that, you're probably wondering what the heck is a box corner since the two photos above do not really show it well.

Box corner

I stole this from my tutorial on QUILTsocial. If you want to know how to make those box corners - heck, here's a link to the tutorial to make a complete tote bag. It's easy to change the sizes in this tutorial. You have to scroll down near the end to see the box corners as it's one of the last things that you do.

But a super neat way to make a bag or a tote, or a zippered pouch or - well anything with a bottom on it. So super easy!!!!

Back to the Windsor Quilt Show. Gosh - it seems to keep coming back in the story. I think this is the last thing that we gleaned from the show. I was wondering why my wallet was so thick. That's unusual because there's not much is in it. Certainly not money!

Oh yes - when we went to the quilt show, they gave us this little card case (which I shoved in my wallet) and inside were business cards from local businesses. Did they sponsor the show in return to be included in the handout?? What a great idea. It's a shame that we wouldn't have a chance to use any of the services since we live too far away. There was also a card for free admission to one of the guild meetings. Someone was using their head!

Gift card pouch filled with business cards
I did have to tidy up the house yesterday and did a not so bad job. The upstairs hallway is well - it's sad and I heard DH say something bad when he went up there last night. Don't worry - it'll all be shoved behind a closed door by noon.  I was busy taking pictures and writing yesterday, that I didn't have time to finish my tidying up job. I hope to get a wee bit more done today.

I had a hammer and nails out and was hanging pictures that have been sitting around. Oh yes - I was a very busy little bee. I'll share those new pictures with you later this week.

At lunch, I'm going through some of the paperwork stuff that's languishing in the office. I figure a wee bit every day will make life easy? Not fast, but easier.

I looked through a bunch of catalogs. OK - have you ever noticed that there are MANY, MANY brands of the same thing. Everyone wants a piece of the pie so everyone has a seam ripper or marking devices or whatever. The one thing I notice is rulers. How many different brands of the SAME ruler do we need? It's crazy!!!   And Quilt Market was happening last weekend and I can imagine that several thousands of new fabrics were introduced to the quilting world. Let's not forget the different substrates of fabric that are now invading the space. Not only do we have cotton, but we have rayon and cotton lawn and cotton linen and well - way too many.

I'm sticking to my plan of not buying anything unless I absolutely need it. OK - a few little things along the way are OK. I'm not going so far as to say that I won't buy anything. That's silly. But I'll only buy what I need. And go shopping in the stash for god's sake!!!

Which is what I was doing last night as I continue to prep for the two classes on Saturday. I really had to laugh because I knew that I had a FQ of a fabric set aside to use as the starting point for the next block in Saturday's North Star quilt class. Do you think I could find it?? Nope. Oh well, let's go pull fabric. When I went downstairs and pulled the basket of fabric from which I would choose the rest, there was my FQ sitting right on top!!! Now how the heck did that happen??? Must have been in a hurry as usual and left it there. Or got interrupted or distracted. More likely distracted!!

OK - so back to the catalogs. Here are three products - a tapered awl, a straight awl, and a stiletto. I get the tapered awl. It's used to drill holes in things like bags and such. But what is the difference between the straight awl and a stiletto??  And what exactly is the purpose of each???

Three different pointy tools

So I checked.  Here's the information on the tools as I found on the internet:

Tapered Quilt Awl For punching holes in leather and fabrics, pulling out corners and widening out spaces.
Straight Quilt AwlDesigned for piercing small holes or craftworks
Quilters StilettoThis antique sewing notion is Eleanor's favorite and most trusted tool. The brass stiletto can be used to guide the fabric under the foot of your sewing machine, pick seams too small for standard seam rippers, turn applique edges and so much more. The brass stiletto is a must have for any quilter.

Eleanor Burns was the teacher who introduced me to the Stiletto and I thank her each day that I sew!!!!

Here's the page for cleaning products. Holy - how many different iron cleaners does one need??? The problem is that we think that the next product or the latest product will work better than the previous one - so we buy that when we may not even have used the one that we already have. 

Cleaning products from a catalog

It's a huge problem and it exists in every market, not just quilting. The economy would die if our household was a typical household!

On that note, I'm out of here. I've got another busy day. Not a crazy day, but busy. A few phone calls to make, pictures to take, e-mails to write - the usual!!!

Have a super day!!!!


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Cleaning with intent

I should say "organizing with intent" since technically that's what I'm doing. I've been hauling bags of projects upstairs to get them out of the basement for the "big move". I need to follow up on the situation today to find out what's happening.

Those big IKEA bags of stuff are now sitting in the upstairs hallway. Not a very neat or orderly situation and I'm just going to end up with a big mess. Which is exactly what I had downstairs. While I love those bags for carrying stuff, they're not very efficient for storing things. As I lay in bed this morning, a GREAT idea came to mind on how I can deal with this stuff. I didn't have time to take photos so that will have to wait for another day.

But here's the thing. I'm getting tired of managing my stuff. How many times am I going to have to move it? This project is going to be a good temporary solution. It's temporary because my goal is to keep working on those UFOs to get them under control. I'm doing an OK job with that. I do need to spend more time like I did last year. OK - so going to have to haul a sewing machine into the gazebo. I've done it before!

The good news in all this? No new projects are being added to the list. That's excellent news!!  I can visualize the day when I get up and I can just sew. No more organizing, no more hauling stuff around. It's going to happen. If I can visualize it, it can and will happen!!

Stay tuned for that. Even though I have a ton of work to get done, I HAVE to get that organized today. DH is coming home tonight and I know he'd have a heart attack if he saw the upstairs hall. The spare bedroom is just as bad. There is stuff EVERYWHERE and I'm not done hauling it up either.

I'm sorting as I go. A pile for me and a pile for my project that I'm going to share with you at some point. Still waiting for some answers to a couple of questions. Better follow up with that as well and I had better get that darn basement back together or the plan won't work.

I've been madly quilting the last couple of days. I'm pretty much caught up with customer quilts, except one and it's a custom one. It's currently on the long arm. I do hope to get it done by the weekend, but with this little tidying frenzy on the side, it may be early next week. I've been getting myself organized in that area as well. I have a list of quilts that I want to have completed by the end of June. A couple of customer quilts, a couple are quilts that I promised to quilt for organizations for various reasons. A couple of the quilts belong to me. There are 13 quilts on that list. By the end of June - I think it's very doable. Plus there will be two magazine quilts thrown in the mix.

Here's what I've been doing in the wee early hours of the morning.

The first customer quilt. What a great way to use up scrappy half square triangles.

Customer quilt - DONE

Here's a detail of the quilting. This is a pattern that could NOT be done by hand. Well, you could, but those circles aren't going to be perfect. I love this pattern.

Bubble pattern which is very cute

Customer quilt - DONE

Customer quilt - DONE
Those three quilts are trimmed and ready for delivery next week.

Here's another customer quilt. It's quilted and I'm supposed to be putting the binding on this one. Has to be done by the weekend!

Customer quilt - DONE

This next one is a community projects quilt for a local guild. Remember - I had two quilts that needed to be done as I pull myself from that organization? So this is one of them. It's huge with some applique. The intent was never to do custom quilting for the applique. I did an overall pattern and it looks just fine.

Community projects quilt
 Here's a close up of the quilting. The overall pattern is not that distracting on the applique. It will likely go to someone who is not a quilter and wouldn't know the difference between custom and overall quilting. When working on a new project (both pattern for piecing and for the quilting), it's very important to think about where the quilt will end up. Spend your time, efforts and money accordingly.

Detail of quilting

The second quilt that belongs to this organization will need to be custom quilted. It is filled with dimensional flying geese and you cannot do an overall on that. Oh - I could with the computer while I babysat the dimensional edges, but I have no intention of doing that. So I'll custom quilt it. It's also huge.

Here's the last customer quilt that I did. Six quilts - 3 intense days!

Customer quilt - DONE

Detail of quilting

The quilt was supposed to have a big snowflake appliqued on it. The customer didn't do the snowflake so we put snowflakes in the quilting pattern. These last two still need to be trimmed and I'm going to put the binding on the community projects quilt. No rush at the moment for that one.

My long arm has been working just fine. And then on one of the quilts, and only on one row - it went totally crazy. THREE times, it had issues. The worse was when I went to change the bobbin and the computer didn't want to go back to where it had left off. It wouldn't let me manually place the stitches either. It was being very naughty. What to do??? I tricked it!  And that worked. No one would know what happened.

I'm thrilled that I'm learning how to fix problems like that. Oh gosh - I think I mentioned that yesterday? Or was that in an e-mail to my Dad? Yes - I have a love/hate relationship with technology. But I found another very creative way to use some smart technology yesterday. I'll take a picture and show you! 

Almost done cleaning up the kitchen table and the kitchen counters. Can't have DH come home and think that I'm a slob!! And how many times do I have to sweep the floor? I sweep up all the leaves and dirt that Miss Murphy tracks in and then I turn around and oh boy - I have to sweep again!! That dog needs a hair cut! A healthy hair cut!!!

I found something else yesterday that is to be given away. It's a hard plastic sewing box - for notions or whatever. I don't want it so it's up for grabs. Again, if you're not local, you'd have to pay for shipping. It's brand new - still in the plastic. It measures 11.6" by 9.8" by 2.75". 

Sewing Organizer

On that note, I'm out of here. Another crazy take of writing, editing, taking pictures, and quilting. All in the name of blogging! You'll see all that soon.

Have a super day!!!


Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The investigative quilter

I've had my computerized long arm for about a year. I had some issues last year and well, they're not quite fixed, but we're getting closer. And at least I know how to fix the issue now - sort of.

Things have been working fine for quite a while, but yesterday? Well - I had three problems on ONE row! Twice the computer stopped mid-pattern and just went crazy (not stitching and not with the needle in the quilt - thankfully). Both times, I was able to wiggle some wires and get back in business.

The third time, I had to change the bobbin and the computer wouldn't go back to the same spot to restart the pattern. ACK!!!  What to do? What to do?  I'm happy to report that I was able to manually get the computer back to the correct spot and no one would be the wiser that there were a few issues.

I'm going to go back to the support team with my new findings to see what they say. But all in all, I'm happy that I'm figuring out how to get back in business within minutes! It's all about a leap of faith!

I edited a whole pile of pictures yesterday and set them up in folders. Therefore, I've no idea what I was going to chat about today until I opened the folder!

The other day, I was on a roll. I got that orange rug together. I still have to finish off the ends. And wouldn't you know it, when I was looking in the drawer for something, I found a huge stash of bobbins. Shoot - I forgot those bobbins were there and yes - I found that bobbin with the orange thread that I needed to finish the rug.

My bobbin with the orange thread

I'm glad that I found it because it bugs me when I can't find things. Notice that it was in the right spot - I just didn't look there. I ended up using the bobbin for another project that I was making with orange fabric. More on that another day.

Anyway, I'm on a roll. After having investigated bags and bags of projects in the basement and hauled some of them upstairs, I want to get this huge mess under control. Many of these projects are close to being finished. What was I thinking?? It's almost like I'm unable to finish something. I can advance it and get it close, but I can't finish. Why is that? Did I have some traumatic experience? I laugh about it, but it's a serious issue!!! I'm overwhelmed and it's my stuff. Imagine if it were someone who didn't sew???? There will be NO buying new projects in this house. EVER or so it would seem.

As I was digging through the bucket of stuff for that orange rug, I came across this stack of blue fabric. The fabric had been put in the bucket with the premise of making a blue rug. I don't need one and I shouldn't be starting a new project, but I have all these batting strips cut so I NEED to make a new rug for that reason alone.

Blue fabric for a rug

So - I got busy and started cutting strips.

Cutting strips of fabric for a jelly roll rug

And here are my strips. The photo does not do justice to the blues. They are beautiful and left over from a Quilt Market project made with Northcott fabrics several years ago. The collection is called Nature Studies (Artisan Spirit). The color is Indigo.

Strips read for a jelly roll rug

I have a bucket full of batting strips that are cut to 2 ½". These came from the cutoff edges when trimming quilts. I have a HUGE garbage bag filled with batting that needs to be trimmed down. My guess is that I have enough strips to make two rugs once everything gets trimmed.

Bucket of batting strips

This is what's left over after I cut the strips for my rug. I don't want it. I could keep it for my new project for next year, but I already have a ton of stuff to work with. So - if anyone wants this - you're welcome to it. I would prefer to pass it to someone locally so it doesn't have to be mailed. The cost for mailing will likely be $20 - at least. There is a lot of the STRIP-R fabric - you can see that on the Northcott link that I included above. While there are some chunks of fabric, there are also some smaller pieces and strips. If no one wants it, it goes into my project pile for 2020. Remember - YOU pay the postage if you want it sent to you.

Leftover fabric

Speaking of losing things, I got a little worried yesterday. I was working on a quilt and basting the bottom edge in place before I did the final row. I ended up with a tuck and I needed to fix it so I got out my tools - my seam ripper and my forceps (for pulling threads). When I was finished, I couldn't find the darn seam ripper. Where the heck did it go?? It is caught in the quilt??? I searched and searched but couldn't find it anywhere. I checked the quilt NUMEROUS times. The seam ripper is NOT inside the quilt!!

A tuck that needs to be ripped out

After the job, the seam ripper was missing from the tool tray.

The forceps
 I went ahead and finished the quilt. Once I took the quilt off the machine, the seam ripper magically appeared. Of course! It must have been caught in the extra batting and the canvas leaders, but I checked there and couldn't find the darn thing.

The seam ripper!!!! OUTSIDE the quilt

I got a lot done yesterday and you'll see that later this week. I also did a lot of moving stuff and a lot of thinking about what to do with various things and how to get it all done. And with all the various jobs that I do, I'm trying to double up the reason for finishing a project. It works for me and works for the magazines that I submit to!!!  Speaking of which, I do have several more deadline quilts that need to be sewn, but those will have to wait until next week. This week, I've some quilting to do!

Oh - I see that Miss Lexi has blogged again this morning. Something about Murphy no doubt.

Seriously - when is it going to warm up?? It was too chilly to sit outside yesterday.

And even if you're not a cyclist, you have to watch this video. It's hilarious. I LOVE Danny Macaskill. He is a super cyclist.

On that note, have a great day!!!!


Monday, May 20, 2019

Getting stuff for free or almost

Like all of you (well most of you), I own a lot of quilting stuff. I'd like to say that my stuff is all organized and labeled and I could dig out pretty much anything you ask for. For the most part, that's true, but there's a lot of stuff.

I've been quilting in Studio B, the last couple of days and while the machine runs, I've been poking around in some of the bags. Oh boy - there's a lot of stuff.

I came up with an idea of what to do with some of the stuff. You'll have to wait for that. I think it's pretty exciting. At least, it's a plan on what to do with all of it.

Not only is there a lot of fabric, but there are lots of UFOs (that's the one that bothers me the most), there are supplies, notions, tools. You name it - it's downstairs. Each time, I come upstairs, I'm starting to bring up a bag of stuff. I'm taking it right upstairs (got one bedroom set aside to take all this stuff!). My plan is to sort through it and label it and find a more "permanent" home for it rather than an IKEA bag where it's been forgotten. The less that we have to deal with when they start the floor, the better. I know that it's going to be a mess for a couple of weeks while they work. No start date yet, but we're negotiating right now.

But the other day, Ronda was over and we were looking for some hardware to make some little zippered pouches. Hmm - I think I have some hardware. I went to one of the storage closets and pulled out a box. OK - so I found two boxes of bag hardware. One of them was half filled with fabric that I was going to make into bags.

I spilled the contents of both out onto the kitchen table. Oh boy!

Bag hardware

I found this many packages of NEVER OPENED swivel hardware.

Packages of swivel hardware

Then I found a whole bunch of lanyards from various trade shows. Even DH brings home his lanyard. HEY - there's good stuff on many of those lanyards.

Lanyards with good hardware attached

I even found some shoulder straps for purses that I had bought at ValueVillage. I mean - TWO swivel hardware pieces for NINTY-NINE cents???  That's practically free!!!!!

Shoulder strap for a purse

One of the shoulder straps was still in the plastic wrap. It had never been used.

Brand new shoulder strap

With my trusty scissors, the hardware was soon separated from the lanyards and straps. That takes up a whole lot less space. I'm not sure I'll use those clips in the top left, but I kept them - just in case. Each category has been stored back in one of the boxes in a separate bag.

Four different types of hardware from the lanyards

Then the fabric and bag handles (new ones) and a few other trims were put back in the big box.

Bag stuff back in the box

When I was in the closet to get something else, I discovered ONE MORE BOX of bag hardware.

The third box of bag hardware

That got dumped out on the table and then integrated into the other two boxes.

More bag hardware

Actually, I think there are still three boxes of stuff - just much better organized. That's my plan with the house. Get the like stuff together, then it's easy to deal with. If things are scattered, how can you take inventory???

 These are the kind of swivel hooks that we were looking for and guess how many loose ones we found in the box or that were attached to the lanyards???  Yep - all of these. That's totally crazy. But not that much. Let's just say that a few of these got used in the last couple of days. Can't show you yet. But super cute!!!!

Swivel hooks for bags

I'm definitely a morning person and taking total advantage of having the house to myself. I'm quilting away on the long arm which I love doing first thing in the morning. The light is much better in Studio B, while the light in Studio U is not great when it's dark outside. Hmm - so what about the noise when I'm not alone? I've tested it out. While you can hear the long arm working even with the bedroom door closed, I bet DH wouldn't hear it. I might just start quilting first thing in the morning!!  I've been making great progress in the quilting area and will share that with you another day.

But seriously, I get it that some people aren't morning people, but I'm so a morning person. I saw a saying the other day - "If you get up late, you're considered lazy. Are you lazy if you go to bed early?"   That's me then - lazy!!! But after a good sleep, I can tackle anything. Obviously, I had a good sleep last night as I have half a large quilt already quilted this morning! I will NOT tell you what time I got up, but the quilt was already loaded!

They say that it takes 6 weeks to change a habit or to create a new habit. I used to go to Tim's for a tea (or previously a hot chocolate) every day. Sometimes several times a day. I switched from hot chocolate to tea a while back. And when I wanted to get rid of even more refined sugar from my diet, I switched to decaf tea. I had two sugar in the steeped tea and none in the decaf. Yet, I have tea at my house and how hard is it to make tea??

So for the last year or more, I've been making tea at home. I know - do NOT judge me! I'm merrily working my way through the various tea chests and bags of tea that have accumulated in the cupboard. This is the box I'm currently working on. It's filled with a variety of different teas. Each morning is a surprise!

My small tea chest
 I had to laugh because on the morning that that e-mail came in, this was the tea right up front in the tea chest. A soothing herbal tea!!!  It must have worked.
A "calming" herbal tea

One very important thing that I've learned about tea. I used to drink the steeped tea from Tim's and it's so bitter that I needed to put sugar in it to make it drinkable. When I switched to the decaf, I didn't need sugar. Why? I seriously feel that the steeped tea is burnt. I know - hard to believe, but that steeping process at those hot, hot temperatures just burns the flavor. The decaf tea (from a tea bag) doesn't get the same treatment.

I've found the same thing at home - if you pour pouring water over most tea, they end up tasting bitter. That's why if you're a tea drinker, you NEED one of these kettles. It has different temperature settings and it's the best thing ever!!!

Kettle with various temperatures
Thanks to M who, years ago, introduced us to this kind of kettle. There is only one thing that I dislike about this kettle. It has a "keep warm" function. DH tends to put water in the kettle, hits the temperature setting, then "keep warm", and then "start". He then walks away and will come back much, much later because he has forgotten or got involved with a phone call. Could you take a few minutes to just wait for the kettle, make the tea and then shut it off???

Anyway - I feel better that I'm using stuff that we have in the house and I'm saving money (and the environment) at the same time! No cups are thrown out. I do treat myself once a week for Tim's decaf tea.

The other thing I've learned about sugar - refined sugar that is. We make jokes that if we eat something sweet that it'll go to our hips. Come on - we've all said that. Well - it's true. Except the sugar goes to my waist. I can tell if I've been cheating and overindulging on the refined sugar (and trust me - I don't eat a lot), but my waist is puffier when I eat refined sugar. That's how bad it is for you and how literally, it'll go to your hips. My weight is stable - just body content changes - less lean and more fat!! I know cause I also checked it on the scale at the gym. UGG!!! 

As I was puttering in the basement, I found another stack of cloth bags! I know - where the heck did they all come from. They are grouped together and I'll be letting Jane know so she can use them for the food bank.

More cloth bags
Holy - I wonder what else I'm going to find as I search through that stuff down there.

I even managed to get out and do some gardening yesterday. OK - so I dug dandelions from the front. Took me about a half hour. I'm going to dig them from my neighbor's small lawn today. That's the extent of my gardening, except that I really, really need to get some mulch. I might do that today. The rest of the time that I spend in the "garden", is in the gazebo - relaxing!

Oh - I'm reading a book on my iPad. I'm so not used to reading e-books, but I don't think that's the problem with this book. I'm reading The Thomas Berryman Number. It's the first book by James Patterson that he wrote in 1976 or something like that. It's so damn confusing. I have no idea what's happening in the book. Thank god he changed his style!!!!  If you read the reviews on that link, I'm not alone. Thank you!!!!

On that note, I'm out of here!!!

Have a super day!!!!


Sunday, May 19, 2019

Lilla Show n Tell

So I'm doing great at keeping up with the homework for the ongoing classes, but the next hurdle is to get the pictures posted! There's just too darn much going on!

These are the pictures from our ongoing class for Lilla. The class is taking place at Oh Look Fabric. While it's too late to join the class now, I'm contemplating doing another ongoing class at the store. Any thoughts??  Any intriguing patterns that look too intimidating to do on your own? Let me know. The best part of these classes is seeing the colors that others use in their quilts and how they interpret each block. It's a great social event and a way to use up scraps!!!

Before I go to the homework, I wanted to comment about that e-mail I received yesterday and my response. I'm ashamed to say that there have been times in the past when I've fired off an e-mail in response to something when I should have waited. You know - get all the thoughts out of your head. Write them down, make logical sense of them. Limit what you say, be concise and all that stuff. Well, that's what I did yesterday. And you know what? I felt super great about that e-mail. After I hit SEND, I completely forgot about the issue. I had reviewed the e-mail numerous times and rejigged my words several times and added and subtracted so that all my points were said. Yep - I MUST, MUST, MUST do that in the future. My conscious is clear and I can easily move on! How they deal with it - well that's not my problem, since they are the ones that caused the problem in the first place!

Now let's see about that homework.

First up is Giselle. This diamond block was a wee bit of a bear to put together. I had mentioned it a while back. I've got more to say about it later today. Overall, the blocks look awesome.

Diamond blocks

The purple and black is such a neat combination. The blocks look very dramatic! And she added a wee bit of grey in the center to add some contrast.

Next set of Gisele's blocks

This is the first curved block in the class. Totally free form. I think they are great and notice no two are the same. They're not supposed to be!! It's FREE FORM cutting.

Freeform curves

Here is the first set of Cathy's blocks. According to the pattern, you're to make 4 of each of 25 blocks. The blocks finish at 9" so you can see that will be a huge quilt. Cathy is making a smaller quilt so not always making four of each block. She's done an outstanding job of keeping that directional background going in the same direction. A challenge to be sure!

Cathy's blocks
 Here are those crazy diamond blocks. Cathy is also experimenting with a solid gray in the background to make life a little bit easier for herself.

Cathy's diamond blocks

And this is Cathy's curved pieced block. That curve is very subtle, but it's a curve and that's all that counts!!!

Cathy's curved piecing

Then it time for Rita to show her crazy blocks. That black/white/grey combination is wild! And that little pop of yellow is going to look awesome when the quilt is done.

While Rita is a brand new quilter, she's not afraid to move outside the box!!! Her curved blocks are totally crazy as she added bits and pieces if the blocks weren't the right size and she was using up bits and pieces as well.

Rita's curved blocks
 These are Rita's diamonds. You can see that she had loads of fun with the pattern. The widths of the strips were changed, she added more fabrics and well, I think she had a lot of fun with this frustrating block.
Rita's diamond blocks
 Matter of fact, she had so much fun that she made two more blocks!!!!

More of Rita's diamond blocks

Here is Rita's last set of blocks. Again, she made the components and then sewed them together all different from the original. I think only one looks like the original. Hey - it's an improv/modern quilt. Anything goes!!!!

Last set of Rita's blocks

These blocks are Sara's. Yes - these blocks are the SAME block as the photo above!  Sara loved this fabric and said it reminded her of upholstery and that the block reminded her of a chair so these are her upholstered chairs!!!

Sara's blocks

These are Sara's version of the curved block. They were perfectly flat and that's what it's all about when doing curved piecing!

Freeform curved blocks

As mentioned, the diamond block was a bit of a bear. I love what Sara did!! Make it totally different!!! Love it!!!

Sara's diamond blocks

Now about that diamond block. I also had trouble with the darn block. The story is here.

This is what I ended up with my diamond blocks.

My diamond blocks

The problem started with errors (2 of them) in the cutting instructions. One didn't really affect the final outcome, you just had to cut more fabric. But one of the pieces that formed the shape of the diamond was incorrect.

Anyway, after getting ZERO help from the designer, I rejigged the instructions and came up with this.

This block is PERFECT

I decided to remake my diamond blocks so I could further explain to the class how it goes together. Well, it appears that when I made that sample block above, I got LUCKY!!!  Even though the block is "improv", it has to measure a certain size (that diamond) or the points will get cut off. As mentioned, I got lucky when I trimmed my initial piece. Not so lucky on the next round of blocks. But I figured it out. And these are my new blocks for the quilt.

My next set of diamond blocks

I'll probably use all the blocks (except for that sample block) in the quilt. I'm going to make two smaller quilts so I'll probably need those extra blocks.

Here's the thing about this block. It's improv in the cutting, but it shouldn't be if you want the diamond to look like a real diamond with no points cut off and if you want it to look like the pattern. The pattern was grossly lacking in instructions, measurements, cutting instructions. Should you be making this quilt, this is a problem block!!!  I won't belabor that point, but bad instructions and terrible response or lack thereof from one of the designers. A bit disappointing from a "BIG NAME" quilter. But then big name quilters get way more credit (sometimes) than they really deserve, but I digress. 

Then we had homework for the next month. Here are my finished blocks. There are four of each style - you just can't see them all.

Two of the blocks that are assigned this month

Here's the third block that assigned for this month. It's another freeform curved piecing block.

Two freeform curves this time

Again, I would change the instructions. With some of the blocks (especially with the freeform or improv cutting), I find that you have to be super careful or the finished block isn't the right size. Some of the pieces should have been more generous.

As promised to the group, here's a piece that I made (OK - so it's not finished) that was totally cut freeform. No rulers at all were used in this piece. It was a class with Ricky Tims.

Freeform curved piece 

I saw this fabric on the shelf at Oh Look Fabric. I almost caved, but I didn't. I have something similar at home and was making a gorgeous quilt from it. I need to dig that out to see if it's what I remember. I'll share with you. Then you can run to the store to buy it and make this gorgeous quilt. One fabric, super quilt!!!

LOVE LOVE this rainbow stripe

Well, lots of stuff is happening here. But I've run out of time this morning. I think I need to sit down later today and organize the next few days of blog posts. There are pictures on my phone, pictures on the camera, pictures that are already edited. I need to get that organized!!!

Have a g great day!!!