Books on Monday – More Adventures with Leaders and Enders

Today we are looking at More Adventures with Leaders and Enders: Make Even More Quilts in Less Time by Bonnie Hunter.

I’ll start with a confession here. No, not the usual disclaimer about the Amazon Associate link above, although that is still the case. No, this confession is that I have never done leaders and enders, never even looked at the first book. (By the way, the best place to order that first book is Bonnie’s own website, where you can look at the quilts in the book and the book is less expensive than on Amazon.com. And, yes, I just ordered a copy.) Yes, I’m late to the party and, yes, I’m still wondering if I can be organized enough to use that technique. However, there are a lot of quilts that I like in this book, so I bought it. Maybe someday I will really get organized, and then who knows how many quilts I’ll make! And maybe I’ll even use the leaders and enders technique. Okay, on to the review, although I already gave away the gist of it! Sigh.

This is Bonnie’s sequel to her original book about leaders and enders. However, she doesn’t assume that the reader knows all about how the whole leaders and enders thing works. She begins by explaining it along with some tips, and continues by introducing several absolutely gorgeous scrappy quilts. (I like most of these quilts a lot, although the Cheddar Bowties quilt will most likely not be made by me because I am a fan of neither the color cheddar nor the bowtie blocks. Lucy’s Baskets will probably also not be one I make because I’m not a fan of baskets.) Her directions are thorough and generally easy to follow.

Here’s what’s in the book:

  • Dedication and Acknowledgements
  • Foreward
  • Contents (with quilt picture hints)
  • Just What Are Leaders and Enders
  • Basic Sewing Guidelines
  • Projects (12 of them, including Easy Street and Lazy Sunday, two that started as mystery quilts)
  • About the Author
  • Resources

My guess is that the first quilt I make from this book will be Scrap Crystals, as it is one of the reasons I purchased this book.

Quilt on!

Sunday Stuff – Caught Up Edition

Yes, I do appear to be caught up (sort of) with all the blocks with dates! You may remember from my last couple of update posts that I had completed blocks all the current blocks for the 2014 Designer Mystery BOM from the Fat Quarter Shop. And I was caught up with Scrap in a Box. So all that was left to complete were my 2015 Craftsy Block of the Month blocks. There were two. Here is the first one (remembering done is better than perfect) which I completed Friday evening:

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I thought I had plenty of time Saturday to complete the other block and be done before the end of February with no problem, but that block gave me fits. I ripped out more seams than are actually in this block, I think. And it is far from perfect! But done! (If you’re making this block, pay very close attention to the reverse pieces. Please. You may want to even label them when you cut them. And draw in the seam lines on the basket pieces even if you aren’t hand piecing. Your life will be ever so much better.)

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So here are all three of them on the design wall.

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I had originally figured I would get my March block done today, but once I finally completed the second February basket, I came upstairs to write this and then get on my recumbent cycle to work out a bit of frustration. I didn’t even get around to working on cutting sashing for the American Beauty BOM, which I said I was going to do while waiting for my fabric to arrive. (I did, however, watch the video for the March block. It looks so much easier than that second February block!)

What were you up to this weekend?

Quilt on!

A Brief Quilting Update

I did make some progress in the quilting arena this week. First, I am totally caught up on the FQS 2014 Designer Mystery BOM! Here are blocks 8 and 9:

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I am so excited to be caught up! This is a first!

Next up is the Big Monkey! I really am hoping to finish it by the end of March to enter into my LQS’s UFO challenge. I got the basic sashing strips all trimmed up. (Yes, I had to fussy cut them.)

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Then I cut the triangles for the ends and got them sewed on. No, they are not perfect but right now I’m feeling like done is way better than perfect! I don’t even know what I’m planning to do with this quilt.IMG_2566

Once I got those done, it was on to cutting the cornerstones. And here is where the crisis showed up. I needed 3 1/2 inch squares. 20 of them. I got 16 cut. I cut the next strip at 3 inches, and did not have enough fabric to do it over. Sigh. This BOM was started in 2010. How was I supposed to find this fabric? I didn’t totally panic because I reasoned that since that fabric is nowhere else in the quilt, I could find something similar if I needed to, but I really didn’t want to. So I searched online & found it at a quilt shop in Chesterton, Indiana – Sew Fun Fabrics. I ordered it right away, but have no idea when it will actually arrive. I went on overkill and ordered a whole yard, but this way I’m covered if it is not exactly the same colors as the 16 squares I have cut. (I also ordered a Creative Grids 8.5″ X 24.5″ ruler, just for fun.)

I still have the outer sashing to work on (and probably should get to that because that shop has some of that fabric too, in case I mess up. And I could cut the borders (at least an initial cut). And I could make the binding (which is a really cool striped fabric!), but I’ve not done any of that yet.

And today’s and tomorrow’s project will be the 2015 Craftsy BOM blocks. There are two. And I keep wondering why I am doing this since I really am not a fan of basket blocks. Oh, well. If I get those done, I will be caught up on all my current BOMs.

Oh, and while I’m thinking of it, Connecting Threads has a gorgeous new fabric line called Luminescence! I purchased one of the dark fabrics and the set of 2 1/2″ strips ($11.17 for 27 strips) and I’m seriously considering going back for some of the backing and some other fabrics. Obviously this line is all my favorite colors. And obviously, I do not need more fabric. Except maybe another set of the strips. And….

Quilt on!

Craftsy Flash Sale!

Yep, it’s another Craftsy Flash Sale! This time it’s supplies that are on sale! You can click the banner below to be taken to the sale right this very minute, or you can read the rest of this post to get the details.

Craftsy

#ad Get the fabric, yarn and project kits you’ve been dreaming of! The Craftsy Inspiration in a Flash Sale is on now, with up to 70% off best-sellers from all your favorite brands and designers. You deserve a treat or two, don’t you? The sale expires soon, so shop now to save! (This sale runs from now through through Sunday, March 1st, 2015 at 11:59pm MT.)

If you are looking for supplies for a specific craft, check out the links below to be taken directly to those supplies. Otherwise, you can just click the banner above to start shopping.

Craftsy Flash Sale: Up to 60% off Sewing Kits
Craftsy Flash Sale: Up to 70% off Quilting Supplies & Kits
Craftsy Flash Sale: Up to 70% off Knitting/Crocheting Supplies & Kits

Now you may

Quilt on!

Books on Monday – Double Wedding Ring Quilts

Today we are looking at  Double Wedding Ring Quilts – Traditions Made Modern: Full-Circle Sketches from Life by Victoria Findlay Wolfe.

Now, if you read this blog often, you know that I am not an art quilter. As far as I can tell, the only artistic talent I have is a pretty accurate color memory. I can’t draw, nor do I enjoy it. But I’m a pretty good appreciator.

I fell in love with Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s quilt “Double Edged Love” the first time I saw a picture of it. A Double Wedding Ring quilt is on my bucket list, so this book really appealed to me. Lots of eye candy. I didn’t actually expect to find a pattern or two I might like to make (in addition to a DWR) so that was an added bonus.

Victoria has spent some serious time with DWRs and variations on DWRs. This book is a chronicle of that with patterns and directions for making some of these projects and doing some work with DWRs yourself. There are lots of great pictures and droolworthy quilts.

Here’s how the book is set up:

  • Foreward by Roderick Kiracofe
  • Introduction
  • Projects (There are 13, starting with “Double Edged Love.” In this section, Victoria describes her process for making each project and gives information to enable the reader to make his/her own version of the projects.)
  • Wrap Up
  • The Basics (of DWR Construction, of Victoria’s Made Fabric and Slashing Techniques, and of paper piecing)
  • About the Author

This one is a two thumbs up from me!

Quilt on!

Just a Few Things

Just in case you’ve been wondering, I have done some quilting but have still not finished my goals from this post. I did a couple updates here and here, but I have done a little bit more. Just not much. Here’s what I’ve been working on.

  • Finishing Clue #2 of Scrap in a Box. Here it is:IMG_2553
  • Cutting and piecing the 3 blocks I currently have from the 2014 Designer Mystery BOM. Here are Blocks 6 & 7: IMG_2556 IMG_2555And in the meantime, Block 9 arrived, so now I have 8 & 9 to complete. I have started cutting 8.
  • Cutting the rest of the sashing pieces for the American Beauty BOM. I looked at them. Does that count?
  • Then on to the February 2015 Craftsy BOM. Nothing here either, I’m sorry to say. Soon now.

You may remember that I mentioned the Craftsy class that I was taking, Cut to It: Strategies for Smarter Quilting (w/ Debbie Caffrey). Well, I finished that one (which I found very helpful) and have now started her new one,  Clever Cuts for Efficient Quilting (w/Debbie Caffrey). This one also is very good and I highly recommend it.
Craftsy also has some new eGuides on various topics. For a limited time, some of them are free – from now until Saturday, February 21 at 11:59 pm Mountain Time.

Photography
eGuide: Understanding Exposure for Better Photos Now: Beginner Photography Tutorials
Cake Decorating
eGuide: Not-So-Basic Buttercream Decorating Ideas
Food & Cooking
eGuide: Delicious Doughnut Recipes You Can Make at Home
Paper Crafts
eGuide: 6+ Stash-Busting Paper Craft Projects
Drawing
eGuide: Drawing the Human Face: A Primer
Painting
eGuide: Beginner’s Guide to the World of Watercolor
Gardening
eGuide: Success With Container Gardening
Woodworking
eGuide: Woodturning Basics for Beginners

Now that I’ve shown you a sampling of the non-quilting eGuides, here are links to some of the quilting eGuides. These are also free for a limited time, but I’m not sure how long.

eGuide: Save Those Scraps! A Scrap Quilting Handbook

eGuide: Pre-Cuts: Everything You Need To Know For Successful Quilting

eGuide: A Metric Conversion Guide for Quilting & Sewing

eGuide: Genius Hacks Every Quilter Should Know

And in the spirit of full disclosure, yes, I am a Craftsy affiliate and following these links will help support this blog.

Quilt on!

Books on Monday – Fabulous Feathers & Fillers

Today we are continuing the free motion quilting focus from last week with Fabulous Feathers & Fillers: Design & Machine Quilting by Sue Nickels. (Yes, that is an Amazon Associate link that will help support this blog if you click on it.)

One of the most comforting pieces of information from this book is that Sue Nickels marks her feathers. I already knew this because I had taken a class from her at AQS – Grand Rapids last summer and she told this. I found it very comforting and encouraging. Not that I seem to be rushing to try it, but I’ll get there.

Sue Nickels quilts amazing quilts on a domestic machine. She and her sister Pat Holly have won many awards for their quilts, made together and individually. Sue usually does the quilting, and it is awesome. They have also taken over running Gwen Marsten’s Beaver Island retreats.

In this book, Sue is concentrating on (as the title says) feathers and fillers. She shows how she designs feathers and other quilting for her quilts. Sue includes exercises for practice both with pencil and paper and using the machine. She also includes some feather patterns that can be traced onto fabric and used, either for practice or in quilts.

Here’s what’s in the book:

  • Dedication (to Gwen Marsten)
  • Introduction
  • Section One: Supplies
  • Section Two: Designing Feathers (thorough and clear directions to get you started)
  • Section Three: Machine Quilting Feathers
  • Section Four: Machine Quilting Fillers
  • Section Five: Quilting the Quilt, Start to Finish
  • Section Six: Feather Patterns and Projects
  • Bibliography
  • Resources
  • About the Author

Reading this book made me want to practice machine quilting, if not actually quilt a quilt by machine. Stay tuned. Maybe you’ll see some samples of my practice here on the blog.

Quilt on!

Craftsy’s Sweetest Valentine’s Day Big Course Sale

Craftsy

In my last post, I mentioned a Craftsy class that has helped my cutting (and I haven’t even finished it yet). Today, I thought I’d let you know about the sale that can help you get some great deals on various Craftsy classes.

Yep, you too can improve or even perfect your quilting skills in 2015 with an online quilting class from Craftsy. Get up to 50% off now during their Sweetest Valentine’s sale for a limited time. Hurry, the sale ends soon! Shop Craftsy’s Sweetest Valentine’s Up to 50% Off Classes Sale.  Of course, there are other kinds of classes you can take if you prefer to learn about something else.

Check it out and

Quilt on!

Small Wednesday Update

Just a brief update here. Nothing exciting. Really.

I finished cutting all of the fabrics for Scrap in a Box on Monday, just in time since Clue #2 came out Tuesday evening. I didn’t get downstairs quickly enough to complete the whole clue, but I got 1/3 of it done!

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I must admit that the Craftsy class I am currently watching, Cut to It: Strategies for Smarter Quilting (w/ Debbie Caffrey), was a great deal of help in speeding up my cutting process. So much so that I also purchased her newer class (but I haven’t watched it yet, so I can’t tell you how I feel about that). I think my cutting is also more accurate, which is always a good thing.

Up next, finishing Clue #2, cutting and piecing the 3 blocks I currently have from the 2014 Designer Mystery BOM, and cutting the rest of the sashing pieces for the American Beauty BOM. Then on to the February 2015 Craftsy BOM. And, of course, there is another block on the way from the Fat Quarter Shop. AAAAARGH!

Quilt on!

Books on Monday: Mastering the Art of McTavishing

Today we are looking at Mastering the Art of McTavishing: 2nd Edition, Expanded & Revised by Karen McTavish. Yes, that is an Amazon Affiliate or Associate (or whatever we’re called these days) link below this intro.

For full disclosure, Nonnie reviewed this back in June, 2014. At the time I thought that, although I like the look of McTavishing, I would probably never do it because machine quilting and I do not get along well. So I decided to take a pass on this particular book. “What changed your mind?” you ask. To be honest, I’m not totally sure. Maybe my aching hands had something to do with it, but maybe not. I really can’t say. I just know that one day in late December I ended up ordering a few books from Amazon and this was one of them. And I agree with Nonnie!

I have not tried anything in this book yet, nor have I watched the DVDs. But I have been inspired. I am impressed with Karen McTavish’s instructions and the encouragement to name our versions of McTavishing after ourselves. I was extremely impressed with all the pictures of examples of McTavishing. But, I must confess, the thing that really made me happy I had purchased this book, was the example of hand quilted McTavishing. I actually picture myself doing that before I picture myself doing it by machine.

 So, some book statistics. First, there are two DVDs included. One is the original DVD included in the first edition and the other is one recorded especially for this edition. The sections of the book are:

  • Introduction
  • Basic McTavishing
  • McTavishing on a Sit-Down (Domestic) Machine
  • McTavishing Appliqué Quilts (contains a gallery of McTavished quilts)
  • McTavishing Wholecloth Quilts (contains a gallery)
  • McTavishing Pieced Quilts (contains a gallery)
  • McTavishing Modern Quilts (yep, contains a gallery)
  • McTavishing Art Quilts and Apparel (and, yes, a gallery)
  • McTavishing Background Fillers
  • Resources

So, yes, I recommend this book for anyone who is interested in the quilting part of quilting.

Quilt on!