Books on Monday – Adventures with Leaders & Enders

Okay, so I’m late to the party. And, yes, I did review More Adventures with Leaders & Enders: already. All that being said, this week’s book is Adventures with Leaders & Enders: Make More Quilts in Less Time! by Bonnie Hunter.  I ordered it from Bonnie’s website after reading and reviewing More Adventures with Leaders & Enders and looking at the quilt patterns included in this book on her website. If you want to see pictures of the quilts included in this book, you can see them here. (Below is an Amazon Affiliate/Associate link, but if you order from Bonnie’s website, you get an autographed copy.)

Bonnie begins this book by explaining what leaders and enders are and the advantages of using them. She also describes her scrap user’s system and the sizes into which she cuts her scraps. Strip piecing and how to do that also shows up in the first sections of the book.

Then there are the quilts. I can picture myself making most of these quilts – but not in these colors. I’m not a big fan of cheddar and Bonnie seems to be. Give me bright spring colors any day. Or jewel tones. But I digress.

So here are the sections in this book:

  • Acknowledgements/Dedication
  • Foreward
  • Table of Contents
  • Just What Are Leaders & Enders
  • Scrap User’s System
  • Make Mine Strip Pieced!
  • What Quilters Are Saying About Bonnie Hunter’s Leaders & Enders Method
  • The Quilts (There are 12 quilts here.)
  • Inside Her Scrappy Mind
  • Other Kansas City Star Books
  • About the Author

Do I recommend this book? Of course I do! I plan to make several of these quilts and getting organized enough to start using this whole leaders and enders thing. Or at least trying it.

Have you tried it yet?

Quilt on!

Thursday Update & The Craftsy Spring Blowout Sale

Craftsy

First the exciting Craftsy news. There is currently a fabric and kits sale going on from today (March 19, 2015) through March 23, 2015 at 11:59 PM Mountain time.

Here are some links directly to sale areas:

There are some great items on sale, so if you’re looking for fabric or a new project, it’s well worth checking out. (Note: yes, in case you’ve never noticed, I am a Craftsy Affiliate and this blog will benefit financially from your patronage.)

Now that I’ve tempted you with that (the Parasol quilt kit keeps calling my name but the amount of fabric in the basement is telling me to ignore it!), let me tell you what I’ve been working on for the last week or so.

The American Beauty BOM is a completed top and is off to be quilted! Yes! I started this quilt in 2010 (April, I think) and hand pieced all of the blocks and the setting triangles. They sat for years waiting for me to trim up the corners of the setting triangles! I finally did them and attached them to the blocks last fall. Here is a picture of half of the blocks with their setting triangles attached.IMG_2418

Then came the sashing, which I dreaded working with because it all had to be cut with templates. You may remember these pictures:

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Then came the fatal flawed cuts of 3 1/2 inch squares which caused a panicky search for 5-year-old fabric and the wait for the fabric to arrive from Sew Fun Fabrics. Once it got here, I went full speed ahead because I’m hoping to complete it as one of my UFO finishes for the LQS contest.

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The first completed block

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First two blocks together

IMG_2594First completed row

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First two rows together

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All four rows together. (Borders are missing.)

I also added the borders, which are the same black fabric as the setting squares, but I didn’t get a picture because this quilt is HUGE!

Next I spent over an hour ironing the muslin for the backing.

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While I wait for the quilt to be quilted and come home I’ll be making the binding from this fabric:IMG_2600

I’m hoping there is enough for a bias binding because I’d rather see those stripes at a diagonal than just straight in the border.

Next up on my agenda: machine quilting and binding a table runner, the tenth FQS 2014 Designer Mystery BOM, and a mug rug. And, of course, binding this baby when she comes home. Then, I think my machine will deserve a trip to the spa.

Quilt on!

Books on Monday – Quilt Lovely

Today’s book is Quilt Lovely: 15 Vibrant Projects Using Piecing and Appliqué by Jen Kingwell. According to Amazon.com, it became available on March 15, but I’ve had mine (which I purchased from Amazon) a couple of weeks already. And here is the Amazon Affiliate link:

I seriously cannot tell you what it is that makes me love Jen Kingwell’s designs. She chooses fabrics to go together that I don’t think I would ever consider. Her quilts are riots of color and pattern that I might consider over the top in other designs, but somehow these work for me. Of course, her use of piecing and appliqué together might have something to do with it.

Be that as it may, this book does not disappoint. She has both quilt and pillow patterns – and I want to make some of each. And I am not a pillow person. Seriously.

This book starts right off with the projects after a very brief note on how to use the book, quilts first and then pillows. I have marked ten of them as ones I might possibly want to do, although Gypsy Wife and Green Tea and Sweet Beans may need to come first. Then there are two Appendices – the first is called Before You Begin and the second is called Finishing Up. These are followed by Resources, Acknowledgments, Index, and About the Author. There is also a pattern sheet attached in the back.

I think my favorite pillow is one that is called She Loves You and is made up mostly of log cabin hearts. Gorgeous. It may actually be my first project from this book. Maybe.

Anyway, I highly recommend this book to all Jen Kingwell fans everywhere.

Quilt on!

Late Friday Catch Up and a Craftsy Sale!

I have been such a slacker as far as blogging and promoting the current Craftsy sale so that you can take advantage of it! Let me change that right now.

 

Yep, the classes are on sale in honor of National Craft Month, which March is! This sale has already begun and lasts through Monday, March 16. So, if you’re celebrating National Craft Month by learning something new or improving your skills or learning something new.  There! Now you know.

As far as progress on quilty things, Clue #3 for Scrap in a Box came out on Tuesday. Here’s a picture of my completed first part:IMG_2586

And this evening I finished the second part (I had to add a 7th color of strip because I cut some pieces poorly):

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I’m not really happy with the red/gold fabric next to my blender, but we’ll see how things go.

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I also cut some border strips and triangles for the American Beauty BOM and sewed these little squares. They do still need a bit of trimming, but that was enough for one night.

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Then I’ll make the binding so I’m ready for it when it comes home.

So what have you been up to?

Quilt on!

Books on Monday – Picture Piecing Traditional Quilts

Today we are looking at Picture Piecing Tradional Quilts by Cynthia England. Nonnie mentioned this book and method in her most recent podcast, so you might get a more complete feeling from someone who has actually tried this method. (Just for the record, I totally agree that the maple leaves do not really look like maple leaves from a healthy tree.) Yes, Amazon Affiliate link below alert!

I purchased this book because I am apparently still trying to avoid appliqué but wanting the look of appliqué. I’m starting to think I should just give up and learn to do the stinking appliqué. Seriously. I was not attracted by the maple leaf but by the rosebud and violet shapes. And some of the actual quilt patterns also.

The book starts with an Introduction, and then goes on to cover Traditional Basics (the regular stuff you need to know to make any quilt with a few additions) and Picture Piecing Basics. Having read through it a couple of times, I think I know how this works, but I probably won’t really know until I try it. And it does look complicated. But I still want to try it, maybe with the rosebud or the violet, whichever has the fewest pieces. Then we’ll see how that goes. I need to watch some of the video demos on her website. (I should mention here that she also has corrections to errata listed for this book, which I printed out and stuck in my book for future reference.)

Once the book covers the Picture Piecing Basics, it goes on to present the many projects. There are three Picture Pieced elements introduced and some traditional blocks are also used in the projects. Many of the projects have flags on them in my copy of this book, so that tells you something about how I feel about the designs.

If you’re up for trying something new, here’s an interesting place to start.

Quilt on!

Sunday Stuff & Marching Along (Not!)

My original plan for the next few Sundays was to post my March-along progress – what I did with my 15 minutes a day of quilting, but this week already doesn’t look so good.

  • Sunday, March 1 – completed the last February block for the Craftsy 2015 BOM.
  • Monday, March 2 – read new quilty book & wrote & scheduled review post + tomorrow’s book review post.
  • Tuesday, March 3 – I thought about quilting. And I did lots of laundry.
  • Wednesday, March 4 – Nada
  • Thursday, March 5 – went to Barnes & Noble & perused quilt magazines while drinking tea (one magazine did come home with me) and visiting with good friends. Careful Carolyn brought this knitted doll to show us:IMG_2573
  • Friday, March 6 – Believe it or not, I did some free motion quilting practice or attempts, depending on how you look at it. I obviously need a lot of work!IMG_2574
  • Saturday, March 7 – I made the templates for & cut out the pieces for the second February block of the 2015 Craftsy BOM. I also pieced the bottom part of the basket. I ran out of template plastic so I used freezer paper.  IMG_2575

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This brings us to today, which I technically don’t count in last week’s March-along report, but I did want to show you what I finished. First, I had to do some hand appliqué of the basket handle.

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Then I got to finish the rest of the block by joining the handle to the basket.

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Yes, it measures very close to 9 1/2″ like it is supposed to. And I am now caught on up on that BOM. It’s a good thing, too, because this week block 10 of the Fat Quarter Shop 2014 Designer Mystery BOM is due to arrive and the directions for Scrap in a Box should be posted on Tuesday. That plus trying to finish the American Beauty top and quilt and finish a Christmas table runner should more than keep me busy.

Quilt on!

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!