Help, Please!

Many of you may remember that I am half finished making twin bed quilts for our guest room. This is the first one:

I am in the process of putting together the second quilt. I have the same fabrics in the strip sets, but I was thinking of just cutting the strip sets into 6 1/2 ” blocks instead of making 9 patch blocks. The first reason, of course, is just that it would go faster. The second reason is to have to quilts that aren’t quite so much alike. 
Today I cut one block from each strip set and used the new design wall to see if this would work or if it looks too dark. I’m a little concerned.

Help! What do you think? Will this work or should I go back to 9 patch blocks?

Q3 Finish-A-Long Goals

It ‘s time to make the goals for the third quarter. I hope to finish a queen-sized quilt, a twin sized quilt and a table runner this quarter.

First, the queen-sized quilt. I am planning to finally complete the American Beauty BOM. I have all twelve blocks made. I only need to make the sashing, sew setting triangles on the block and sew the sashing and blocks together and put the borders on. Then there is the shipping it off to the longarm quilter to quilt it for me. And, of course, the binding.

The twin-sized quilt is the other quilt for our guest room. I’m sort of calling it Split Rail Lattice, but I don’t know how accurate that is. I need to cut the strips into 6 1/2″ blocks, sew those to the Fairy Frost blocks, get it quilted and bound. 

The last planned finish is a table runner I made using blocks from the 120 Blocks Project (remember that?). It needs to be quilted and bound. I think it may be my first attempt at free motion quilting.  Here is a reminder of how it looks:

I think those three goals are doable. I guess we will find out.

What I Learned on My Birthday Vacation

I’m baaaaaack! Yes, I did post a couple of times early in the vacation, but most of the time we were too busy or too exhausted for me to make a sensible post. So this post may be longish with a few pictures. But, before I get back to my regular flow of life, I thought I would post a few things I learned.

First, I am a two week vacation girl. The moment this became obvious was when I was at the Happiest Place on Earth with the people I love the most and I missed my home. Yup, almost three weeks was just about four days too long. Not that it wasn’t a wonderful vacation – because it was – but just longer than I apparently enjoy. I didn’t know this previously because this is the longest vacation we have ever taken.

Second, no matter how nice the place you are staying in Orlando is, if you are doing lots of days at the Disney parks, it is less stressful and ultimately less exhausting to stay on the Disney property – especially for park hopping. I wouldn’t have predicted it (and Disney is not paying me to say this), but it is true. We stayed in a lovely four bedroom condo (since there were eight of us) provided by my amazing sister. It was about 20 minutes from DisneyWorld so we needed to figure out how to get back and forth each day, and I have never been as exhausted on a Disney trip before. So I guess I blame the commute. Of course, maybe it is just because I am so old now!

Which leads us to

The Best Birthday Ever
My eldest daughter provided all the women with birthday crowns. (The men played with them a bit too, as you may see in future pictures here.) On the left is my napkin birthday card. The middle item is my Happy Birthday button from Disney which apparently requires all Disney cast members to tell you happy birthday! (This evoked pictures in my mind of the stealth fake birthday people who evaluate cast members on whether or not they wish people wearing the button a happy birthday.) And on the right is my glowing Tinkerbell from the pink lemonade I had for lunch at the 50’s Prime Time Cafe in Hollywood Studios.
We started the day with breakfast at Denny’s, a breakfast which included a slice of chocolate birthday cake and singing! Here we are outside Denny’s, all eight of us:
Then the rest of the day was spent at Hollywood Studios, my favorite of the parks, including a birthday lunch at the 50’s Prime Time Cafe hosted by my sister. Here are a few shots from lunch:

 Birthday cupcake with Mickey sprinkles.

Yes, that is my glowing Tinkerbell!

We ended the day at JellyRolls at the Boardwalk listening to the dueling pianos. I was with the most fun group in the place! And, in spite of the ridiculously high number the age represents, it was the best birthday ever.

Now that I’m home, I can’t wait to get back to quilty fun! Here are my future plans:

  1. I will be finishing the family room into quilt studio conversion.
  2. I will be finishing the assembly of the blocks and borders for the church quilt, AKA Woven Links.
  3. I will be marking my next handquilting project and getting it on the frame.
  4. I will be finishing the American Beauty BOM top and getting it quilted and bound.
  5. I will be starting my Designer Mystery 2011 (yes, last year’s) BOM. I will not allow myself to start this year’s until 2011 is finished!
  6. I will be completing the second quilt for Janni’s room/the guest room, AKA Split Rail Lattice.

And now I will get caught up on three weeks of mail.

Decision Time

You may remember that I am making another quilt for the guest bedroom. You may also remember that I am considering making the batik blocks as Split Rail Fence blocks in order to make it go more quickly.

Now I’m having doubts. I am piecing the strips somewhat randomly, trying to keep a light, medium and dark (not necessarily in that order) in each strip set. As I have been sewing these together, I am beginning to wonder if I really should be making Nine Patch Blocks as I did with the first one. I am wondering if maybe the smaller amounts of the batiks really looked better. Maybe the Split Rail Fence puts too much of each fabric in each block. And maybe some of the color combinations in the strip sets aren’t very pretty but look fine as 1/3 of a Nine Patch block.

Here are some pictures. What do you think? Nine Patch or Split Rail?

What Am I Nuts?

  • No, not because I am looking at blogger.com’s new interface and wondering what in the world is going on here. 
  • Not because I am currently sitting here blogging instead of rearranging the basement/studio or putting the borders on the church quilt. 
  • Not because I am not handquilting right now or sewing my Split Rail Lattice quilt. 
  • Not because…well, you get the idea.

“Why, then?” you ask. (Or maybe you don’t!)

Let me tell you. I think I may be nuts because this is what I have chosen as my first foray into paper piecing. (Well, maybe it was kind of chosen for me!) Not only that, I need to turn it into a queen sized quilt so I have spent quite a bit of time figuring out which pieces I will need more of to get it to a size that can become queen sized by adding borders.

So, yes, I am feeling overwhelmed by that challenge so I’m not getting anything done right now.

I did, however, get the cutting table assembled last night. It actually went pretty smoothly. Pictures will follow later.

Okay, I have vented. Now I will get to work.

A Finish!

I only have a minute to post this so I will just mention here that I finished the first guest room quilt! Yay! Of course, I still have one to go (more about that later, after the pictures) and neither of these was in my Quilty Resolutions list – but when I made that, I didn’t know that I’d have a guest room of my own, so that is understandable.

On to the pictures. First, the quilt hanging over the railing overnight to be sure it is really dry.

Next, in its natural habitat. Yes, maybe I should have made it a little longer. (What can I say, I was winging it.)

Now, about the next quilt. Do I do exactly the same thing or do I use Split Rail instead of Nine Patch blocks? Any opinions out there? Split Rail would be much faster, but I’m not sure if I would want such big strips of the very different fabrics next to each other. It might be a bit much even with the Snow Fairy Frost there. Sigh. At least they start out the same way, so I can work at it even while I make up my mind. With your help, I hope.
Quilt on!

American Beauty BOM 7 Finished

I am happy to report that today at work I had plenty of time to complete Block 7 of the American Beauty BOM. Only 5 more blocks to go. Then there is sashing and lots of other goodies to work with. My experiences taking pictures of this block really show how much bigger a 12 inch block is than a 9 inch block. (The blocks for the 120 Blocks project are 9 inch, in case you were unaware of that little piece of information.) So here we go.

There were actually four of the following shapes, but there was just no room on my laptop case for all four.

This barely fit on the laptop case!

And I had to move the completed block to a black chair to make it work. Remember, it is not yet pressed.

The next thing on the agenda is the decision whether to make an identical twin bed Nine Patch Lattice Quilt or make one that I am calling Split Rail Lattice out of all the same fabrics. Somehow the idea of making another quilt just like the other one is not especially appealing. Anyone have any great ideas?
Quilt on!
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