Friday Stuff

Well, this post may be all the quilty minutes I get today for #March-along, but it will have to do. Hopefully later we will head off to my youngest daughter’s home to hang out with them (and my eldest daughter who is visiting) for the evening. Right now, however, our hot water heater is being repaired once again. Sigh. It is less than four years old, so I hope it is being repaired.

First, a #March-along update: I have made a little progress quilting the machine quilted crazy quilt this week – at least until last night. I was most of the way through a block last night when I realized that I really haven’t done a very good job of planning which blocks get quilted with which colored thread. Sigh. I actually ripped out that entire block – and it was not easy. I do not have any love for this project left. If it weren’t something that the mother of a friend of mines started, I might not even finish it. But I do plan to get it done as quickly as possible!

What I’d really like to do right now is start assembling my 2012 Designer Mystery BOM now that all 12 blocks are completed. I’m just not feeling the setting. Here is what the setting is supposed to look like:

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You can find pictures of some finished quilts on Pinterest or in the Flickr Group. It is not ugly, but I’m just not feeling it. The Flickr Group actually has a picture of one finished with the blocks on point and I do like that idea. I’m also considering adding triangles to each block like I did with the American Beauty BOM. Here’s a picture of the triangles that were added there (yes, they don’t look much like triangles in this picture):

IMG_2343I do question whether the stripe that was included with the finishing kit will look good when it is only 1/2″ wide since the stripes are soooo big.

IMG_3842

Once I add those triangles, the blocks should be about 161/2″ unfinished, if I’m remembering correctly. Not sure what I would do next, but that is a start.

In advertising news, Craftsy is having a sale on class bundles from now until 11:59PM on March 13 in case you are interested in picking up some related classes. And, if you do it by following that link, thank you for supporting this blogging habit.

Quilt on!

Yes, I Am Doing Something.

Okay, I confess that somehow not much is getting done right now. I think part of the problem is that my eyes are bigger than the time that I have. And there are too many mysteries I want to do right now. And I know I can’t do them all. I started cutting the fabric for the Gyleen Fitzgerald mystery from Facebook and just got bogged down in the 2 1/2″ square cutting. I just ordered the Accuquilt die for that so I’m guessing I may go back to that sometime in the future. I just don’t have it in me to do it right now. I am printing and saving the clues though just in case…

There are two more mysteries I really want to do are Charlotte’s Scrappy Stars Around the Corner and Pat Sloan’s and Jane Davidson’s The Splendid Sampler Quilt Along. I just don’t think I can do everything! Sigh.

As far as mysteries in progress, I finished Block 11 of the 2012 FQS Designer Mystery BOM .

IMG_3706I have already made pretty good progress on the twelfth block also. No pictures though.

Why did I start the twelfth block of this one instead of starting the twelfth block of the 2011 FQS Designer Mystery BOM? Well, that is a sad story. You may remember that in my quilty resolutions post I mentioned having misplaced one of the finished blocks for this quilt. The good news is that I have found it! Unfortunately, when I went to get the two block 12 kits (for the 2011 and 2012) to cut them out for piecing, I found that I did not have the 2011 block where I thought it was. Thankfully, the wonderful folks at the Fat Quarter Shop sent me a PDF of the pattern. I’m pretty sure that I will have plenty of fabric from the leftovers from all the other blocks to make the twelfth. I just haven’t dug it out to do that yet. And I do want to get the top of the 2012 finished and off to the quilter soon.

I also have another dog bed to make. Our youngest daughter and son-in-law have recently adopted Benson, a five-year-old part beagle, part basset hound. We haven’t really had a chance to get to know him yet, but he seems to be a sweetie. I’ll use the same pattern I used for Loki’s bed, and I even found the same fabric in purple for Benson. The gold for his name is still part of the fat quarter that my now son-in-law gave me for Christmas the Christmas he was just the fiance. I’ll post pictures when I finally get it finished.

I also have a quilt I really want to start, but I’m making myself wait until something is finished. This may be a bad idea on my part. I think one of the reasons I’m not sewing more is that what I really want to do is make a quilt out of my Kaffe Fassett layer cake. I may just whip up the dog bed and then start this new quilt. We’ll see.

I have completed the crazy quilt stitching on twelve of the 36 blocks so I am going to change threads. The other two colors I’m going to use are a variegated lavender and a dark purple. I need to get back to that too. Sigh.

Anyway, this was just a brief update.

Quilt on!

New Year’s Sew-In Results

I started the New Year’s Sew-In with some exciting mail. First, I won a prize from Sandy at Quilting for the Rest of Us.

IMG_3669And a couple of things I ordered came. Thread for the crazy quilt (the one on the right is variegated)

IMG_3671and some precuts.

IMG_3672Not a bad start to the sew-in.

I started on New Year’s Eve working on some hand piecing

IMG_3674which I finished on New Year’s Day.

IMG_3675On Saturday and Sunday, I also got in a bit of time with my machine doing some crazy quilting. Here are the fronts and backs of the blocks I did. (I forgot to photograph the back of the last one.)

IMG_3677 IMG_3678 IMG_3679 IMG_3680 IMG_3681 IMG_3682 IMG_3684 IMG_3686

IMG_3689And here is an interesting stitch I found.

IMG_3676I also tried the stitch editor to put a couple of stitches together.

IMG_3685I also did something that felt a bit scary. I updated the software on my machine for the first time. Luckily it went very smoothly, which I expected since the update has been available since September.

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Books on Monday – Allie Aller’s Crazy Quilting

I seem to be on a crazy quilting kick, so this week we are looking at Allie Aller’s Crazy Quilting: Modern Piecing & Embellishing Techniques for Joyful Stitching by Allie Aller. (Weird how that works, isn’t it?) Below is the link for the book from Amazon, the Kindle version from Amazon, and following those a link for her Craftsy class, which I have purchased but have not yet completed.

Crazy Quilting with Allie Aller (There is no cool banner for the Craftsy class. Sorry!)

Let me just say from the beginning that this is a book that (as long as you can see Kindle books in color) is just as good on a Kindle as in paper version. I am always somewhat concerned that if I purchase a quilting book in Kindle version the templates won’t come out right or something. I tend to limit my Kindle quilting book purchases.

After writing last week’s review, I went to Amazon to purchase the 3rd edition of that book, and Amazon, in its ever so helpful way, suggested this book. Apparently I had no self-control (and I’ve wanted this one for a long time), and also purchased this.

I was originally going to review The Crazy Quilt Handbook, Revised: 12 Updated Step-by-Step Projects Illustrated Stitch Guide, Including Silk Ribbon Stitches (3rd Edition), but after looking at it, I decided that would be a very short review. Let me just mention here that if you are considering purchasing that book, make sure you purchase the third edition. Now, on to the review at hand.

Even if I never make a crazy quilt (which is a distinct possibility given how much I don’t like embroidery), I would want to own this book. It is beautiful. Stunning! Thorough! It makes crazy quilting a more modern endeavor than a Victorian project. If I were an art quilter or crazy about embellishments, this book would throw me over the edge into crazy quilting. (As it is, I still may get there!) The illustrations are gorgeous. Collecting the materials and tools looks like fun. Yeah, if only there weren’t any embroidery.

Let me just tell you what is inside since I’m already running late with this. (I got to involved in reading and looking at the pictures to get this done on time.

  • Dedication and Acknowledgments
  • Preface
  • Collecting Your Materials and Tools    –   (a very inspiring section!)
  • Creating Your Own “Fabrics”    –  (or what to do with all your old clothes and scraps!)
  • Four Ways to Build a Crazy Block
  • Eye Candy: Embellishment!
  • Gallery of Inspiration   –   (Yes, it is!)
  • Projects   –   (There are six of these.)
  • Work in Progress: A Crazy Quilt from Start to Finish
  • In Conclusion
  • Suppliers
  • About the Author

As I browsed this book, it occurred to me that a crazy quilt round robin could be fun. Yeah, I know. Sounds weird. Maybe I’d better go shower and get dressed for the day.

Quilt on!

Books on Monday – The Crazy Quilt Handbook

Today we are looking at The Crazy Quilt Handbook, Revised 2nd Edition by Judith Baker Montano, a book I purchased for an amazing price during a C & T Publishing sale. (Yes, the link below is an Amazon Associate link.)

I think it is only fair to tell you that since I purchased this last fall, there is a newer edition (probably why the sale was so awesome in the first place) with new stitches and stuff. The link below is to the newer addition.

Somewhere deep down inside, I want to make a crazy quilt someday. What I don’t really want to do is hand embroidery. Yeah, I know, that sounds crazy coming from a person who likes hand piecing and hand quilting, but for some reason embroidery and I don’t click. Never have. May never.

Anyway, I purchased this book hoping to get inspired and actually get started on some kind of crazy quilt, even if it were only a table runner or mug rug. Or a Christmas tree skirt. Anyway, let’s move on to looking at this book instead of me dithering on about what I am or am not going to do in my future.

The book begins with a Preface (including a brief about the author type of description) and Acknowledgments. These are followed by Crazy Quilt Definitions and Recollections (of the author’s own crazy quilt past). Next comes Historical Perspective: The Crazy Quilt Legacy and a section called Revival, which describes a bit about the crazy quilt revival.

Then we come to the how-to part of the book with the Getting Started section. This section includes the following sub-sections: Color, Repetition and Balance, Texture, Pattern and Solids, and Selecting Fabric. Then we move on to Crazy Quilts How-To: Laying the Foundation. This describes using Plastic Window Templates, the Antique Method, and The Montano Methods (which are called Montano Centerpiece Method and Montano Fan Method). A section on Problem Solving follows.

The section called Design Elements for Successful Crazy Quilting includes information about Adapting Crazy Quilting to Garment Patterns, Begin with a Bigger Base, and Design Elements.

Of course, then comes the really good part – Embellishments. (After all, isn’t that what crazy quilting is all about?) Subsections here are Embroidery and Calligraphy although ribbons, beads, and lace also show up in this main section. And yes, this section looks like lots of fun.

Next come the projects. Most of these are smaller projects using crazy quilting, like bags and needlecases. (Maybe I could actually make a crazy quilt needlecase without a huge time commitment!) The largest project is a wall hanging.

And the final section (unless you are counting the Bibliography and Index) is the Stitch Dictionary. This version of the book includes 21 stitches, including spiderwebs and trees. (I think I need to get out a needle and thread to figure out the difference between a French Knot and a Colonial Knot.)

Usually, I don’t keep a book unless there are four or more projects in it that I would really like to do. Although this book has projects (and maybe I’d do one or two of them, sort of), I look at it as more of a reference book that I will keep.

Unless I decide to get the newer version!

Quilt on!