Sunday, December 26, 2010

And now for something completely different...

On Christmas night it started snowing around 8:30 p.m.  We woke to between three and four inches of light, fluffy snow.  The Corgis had a few things to tell us about the snow as they bunny hopped around first thing this morning.  Monkey was quite disgusted that the snow was up to her tummy.

Gus built a rather bizarre snow creation - it started as an igloo and turned into a mutant snowman ala Calvin (and Hobbes).  He also threw snowballs for the Corgis to retrieve.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas. We are looking forward to a fun filled new year.

Town Square/Asian Nights

I tried multiple color sets for this project. I thought I had finally decided on one and then discovered that I didn't have enough fabric in a few of the colors as they were fat quarter cuts instead of half-yard cuts. So I headed into my stash - I had already decided this would be one project instead of two - and chose the Asian Nights as I wasn't sure what to do with a square quilt.  I drafted a few color combinations once I settled on this grouping of fabric.

So far I've sewn all of the strips together and cut the pieces for the first small four-patch. 

I've pressed and starched all of the strips.  For the first time, strangely as I would have expected it earlier, I did have some puckering after the strips were starched that didn't show up before I starched and pressed again.  At this point it is not a crisis as I was able to straighten it during the cutting, and it isn't too noticeable.  One obvious culprit may be using too much starch and really saturating the strips rather than lightly misting.

For this project, I'm using Niagra heavy starch in a pump bottle.  I've been experimenting with different brands, though I did pick up a gallon of Best Press to refill my bottles once I run out of the other starches.  I do like the pump bottles over the aerosols.

Country Lanes Table Runner

I chose the striped fabric - which allowed me to fussy cut the horses and utilize the shields from the alternating stripes in the four patch blocks.  I briefly considered fussy cutting the shields and determined that a. I wouldn't have enough fabric and b. I really don't like fussy cutting as much as recent projects might suggest...

Gus informed me that if the runner ended up in the snow, it was my fault.  I finished this last week, after deciding that it can either be an extremely long table runner or a good sized bed runner. I will use insulbrite as the batting in case the recipient chooses to use it on her table.  I had thought about using a few of the strips to make a square table topper to go along with the runner.  When I was choosing fabrics (all of which came out of my stash), I played around with the graph paper and color pencils to decide what to do in terms of color values.

The runner does feature more fussy cutting - the horses came from a striped fabric - and the patterned squares in the four patches are from the same fabric - the stripes in between the columns of horses.  The border and probably the backing will be the dark paisley which is used in the rail fence blocks.

Overall, I like the way this one turned out.  It did make me think carefully about stacking and laying out the stacks as this project probably involved the most ripping out that I've had to do yet - either blocks were misaligned or at the start, one block got separated from its pile when I moved them over, and I didn't catch on until the first three rows were sewn.  Good practice with the seam ripper...

Friday, December 3, 2010

Excited for 2 Friday night Sew Ins this month!

On December 10th I'll be at Thimble Pleasures for much of the evening working on the last stage of my 9 patch challenge quilt(s) - the assembly portion.  And on the 17th, while Mike grades and Gus grumbles about me not paying any attention to him ... I'll park myself back in front of my machine.

Sadly the event for the 10th was cancelled due to there being only 1 RSVP (me) but we are working on a make-up date for the New Year.  I still intend to sew tonight.