Friday, July 20, 2012

Color Splash Dresden

I just realized that I never recorded the COLOR SPLASH quilts I made for my daughter and her hubby. Almost as soon as I became a quilt newbie, my girlfriends took me on my first road trip to meet the people at the Missouri Star Quilt Company.
I was so impressed with their friendliness and enthusiasm for quilting and people. Almost as soon as I returned home, I looked up their website and became a member. Before I knew it, I had joined my first Block Swap in their Forum Groups.
My very first challenge was making the Black &White Dresden Block  and decided to take that color scheme to make a quilt of my own. I purchased more black & white fabrics and some white on white for the background. I cut many Dresden blades and assembled them in sets of five in the corners of 10" blocks. I finished each fan off with the same "color splash".
Each block was 1/4 of the Dresden circle.
Instead of circles, I decided to place the fans together in bow tie shapes so that each color splash section touched noses. The centering of the color enhanced each fan, making a very feminine display on the white blocks.
Finally, I bordered the assembled blocks with 3" of color splash fabric, emphasizing even more of the color.
Quilting simply was outlining each Dresden blade with variegated thread, which was simply gorgeous, bringing out more color all around!

With left over blades and fabric, I decided to make a quilt for my tall SIL. I didn't want the exact same fan look, and wished for something a little more masculine. So, I cut out some solid black on black 10" squares. On others, not knowing the real technique, I cut colored fabric the size I liked, and then, kept adding black to their sides until I ended up with nice looking 10" square in a square blocks!
Stretching the blocks on my LR carpet, I admired the black, and began throwing the little "ties" randomly on the black spaces.
I loved the shape it began to take. Once blocks looked balanced, I assembled the blocks. I applied more "ties" across block seams, filling in large connecting "too much" black spaces.
I decided to hand quilt this one with the variegated thread and just put free-hand drawn swirls randomly on the black for my quilting design. Finishing with a black backing and color splashed binder, my SIL's quilt is heavy and I think, looking quite masculine! 

Hopefully, when winter winds blow, my "kids" will warmly cuddle under their splash of color quilts and enjoy the design created by a mom that loves them dearly!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Brain Freeze Rescue!

More for my pile of stash! 
Freeze! That's me! Total brain freeze whenever I enter a quilt shop! The FABRIC BUG so overwhelms me with the beauty, touch, smell, and overall decor of fabrics lining the walls and shelves that my brain can't think! Often not only is my list forgotten, but I can't even remember my planned projects! I go completely blank on pattern, size, or even color scheme, and wander from bolt to bolt envisioning entirely new plans and projects! 
Really, I'm not complaining about having a stash - but it's frustrating to get home, only to be reminded of what I needed for an incomplete project while piling my shelves with more stash!
This same BUG overtakes me again in my constant browsing of Quilting magazines. I fall in love with fabric pictured, wanting to try an adored block, or take on the new challenge or trick. Then when ready to sew, I spend wasted hours skimming the same magazines, trying to remember where I saw that specific project, idea, trick, and list of needed fabric items! 
I really am so blessed! 
Age may be the blame of this bug, but I'm afraid it's just needed organization!
My PLAN began with 3 bins and the need of a notebook.
Dream project from magazine
My friend gifted my birthday with a journal NOTEBOOK, knowing my love of journals. It was the perfect gift for my preconceived determination toward recording any browsing and it fit in my purse!
I love this Red/White pattern!
I began by scanning any pages of quilts or blocks that caught my wishful eye. Next to the scanned photo I recorded items and any other supplies needed for that particular project with little boxes to check off as I purchased them. 

For my DREAM BIN, I copied the scanned page I wish to make and place it in a 2 gallon plastic bag. I sorted through my stash to find items that would work for the project, and placed them in the plastic bag with the photo.
Bins organizing project bags
Once all the items are in the bag, it is placed in the CUTTING BIN
On CUTTING DAY, I cut everything needed and return it all to the bag, placing it now in the SEWING BIN. 
         So far, this plan is working well for me! 
Leisurely BROWSING magazines on my patio with the occasional bookmark make it easy to scan pages later.
SHOPPING is not such a scattered brained adventure because I know exactly what I am hunting for, saving both money and time.
CUTTING days and SEWING days fit around my care-giving schedule. Because everything for the project is in the bag, I'm not wasting time gathering thread, pattern, fusible web, binding or borders.
Two more bins would help!
Now, I think I need a couple more bins labeled the SANDWICH BIN, for the finished fronts with their batting and backing, then finally the QUILTING BIN for those projects made for one more special day!

The little joys of organization are actually seeing a day's accomplishments progress to another bin! 

Monday, July 9, 2012


I bought this cutting board TOTE from Hancock Fabrics and absolutely love the convenience and safety of carrying my cutting board to my sewing circle. My only wish was a need for more pockets.
So, I thought I would be clever and make "pages". On one side of each page, I could add the needed pockets, custom sizing them to fit my collection of rulers with the safety of padding on the other side..
I purchased 1 yd chocolate quilted fabric, 1 yd of clear medium weight plastic, and 1/4 yd cotton fabric resembling the cover. With the cotton, I made binding strips and then I measured the depth and width for the pockets I needed and marked them on the plastic.

I had never sewn on plastic before, and found the see-through appearance and the glare very difficult. I needed the largest stitches, so the plastic wouldn't be too tightly perforated and rip. Sewing progressed slowly as I put the binding on each clear strip.
Finally, I was able to sew the plastic strips to the chocolate quilted fabric following the markings to make the needed pockets.
The difficult task came when it was time to attach the pages to the zippered cover. I centered them within the zippered part, connecting the bottom of each page with one straight seam to the base of the carrier.

Now there are custom-made pockets where all my shaped rulers are nicely stored away with my cutting board and a padded ironing space! 
Wherever I tote my zippered carrier, I have all my tools safely tucked away, ready to measure, cut, square, and iron any on-going quilting project.