Friend+Quilt Shop = Fun

Yesterday afternoon, my friend Nancy came to visit.
She brought two beautiful felt birds as gifts.
One was blue and one was burgundy.
My granddaughter, who must have inherited the bird-loving gene from her grandmother and great-grandmother, immediately chose the blue one and had me hang it in her room.
After catching up and sharing ideas, Nancy and I headed out to the B&B Quilting shop in Buda.
This shop is owned by two sisters, Nancy Brinkley and Lori Beckers.
They are so friendly and helpful.

The store has a large selection of beautiful fabric and other goodies.
I was looking for sashing fabric, and my friend, Nancy, gave me some ideas about colors and design.
It was difficult finding a white/cream fabric, since I had forgotten to bring one of my blocks.
I wanted to compare  and find a fabric that complimented the Kona Snow fabric that I used as the background for many of my blocks.
Luckily, a bolt of the Kona Snow fabric had just been delivered, and Nancy, the store owner, helped me find a white-on- white speckled fabric that coordinated with the Kona Snow.
I shared my design plan with Nancy Brinkley . With her suggestions, I fine- tuned my design, and I finalized the sashing plan.

I will be using the sashing ideas from the Missouri Star Quilt Co. tutorial.
The tutorial demonstrates using three, 1.5 inch strips for sashing.
Instead of using one white strip with a colored strip on each side , I will be using two white strips and a color strip in the middle. This will make it easier for me to spotlight the center block, which is the block that represents my mother’s house.
I had originally thought I would be using polka-dot fabrics, but these two Kaufman fabrics caught my eye.

One of my goals has been to learn how to figure out how much material is needed for quilting projects.
I had done some research on figuring the amount of fabric needed in sashing a quilt that has 35 twelve-inch blocks.
Thanks to the tutorials I found online, I figured out what I needed.
Since I was not sure if I had done it correctly, I asked Nancy Brinkley if she could help me.

She kindly pulled out the calculator and some paper and proceeded to figure the yardage.
To my delight, it was close to what I had figured out!
Nancy presented a conservative yardage amount and I had added a bit more to be safe.
Nancy B. scripted the cutting directions for me.
See…I told you they were helpful!

As we were figuring this out, my friend Nancy found some beautiful fabric for her projects.
It was a pretty productive day.

As soon as I return home, I will begin sashing the Tribute quilt.
There are still a few blocks that I have to even up, but Nancy B. gave me some great ideas on how to do this without ripping and redoing blocks.
It is well worth a trip to B&B Quilt Shop.

Rainbow Dolls

It seems my 5-year-old granddaughter loves rainbows.
Rainbows appear in many of her art projects.
So, what do you do with a 5-year-old who is sick with a cold and cannot go to school?
Rainbow Dolls to the rescue!
I found some tutorials for making yarn dolls that I thought would be easy.
There was a quick trip to Wal-Mart to purchase rainbow yarn.

My granddaughter helped with the wrapping of the yarn, holding, and cutting.
I did the braiding and knot- tying.
We created our own style.
It has been a while since my Cub Scout Den Mother days, so the knots are not that good.
Rainbow Tutu

Rainbow Twirl    

    Rainbow Bookmark

Back to Block a Day

Today, I wanted to get back to making the quilt blocks from Lucinda Ganderton.
I am not working from my sewing room at home, so conditions are not the best.
The sewing machine is on a wobbly table, and I do not have everything I need.
I still managed to piece two very simple blocks from Block a Dayin between calling and emailing Senators.


Block #23 Stretched Nine Patch

Block #24 Equal Stripes

Well, the stripes are supposed to be equal, but I wasn’t paying attention and cut the stripes larger than 2,5 inches.
So, I just adjusted the end stripes.
Also, I only had three fat quarters, so I could not use six different fabrics called for in the block design.

Block a Day #33

When I made the Candies Block, Block #99, from Block a Day, I made extra hour glass blocks.
I had enough to use them in Block #33, Massachusetts.

As of today, I have made 31 blocks from Block a Day.
This might be the last block for now.
I will be busy being a Grandma, my favorite role, for the next 8 days.
It might not be possible to fit making a block into my daily activities.
I also want to concentrate on piecing the Tribute quilt.

Block a Day

Work on my Tribute quilt has come to a brief pause, to give me time think about how to piece it together.
As I was shopping for toothpaste at Wal-mart, I heard the fabric department calling my name.
I found the cutest checkered fabric that just shouted Scottie Dog…Block #14 in Block a Day.
Remnants were used for the grass, bow, and background.
Block #14, Scottie Dog

I used the template method and also my AccuQuilt Go.

Quilt Blocks are Done!

Today I was able to complete the last two blocks for the Tribute quilt.
There are 35 blocks total.
Two of the blocks from Block a Day were repeated.
I made four of the same bird block, and two of the same tree block.

This morning, I made Block #253, Little Basket.
I have gradually been investing on rulers, squares, triangles and grids.
It really makes things easier when one uses the proper tools.
This block required 4 x 4 templates.
The book provides the patterns for the templates and I have been making them as needed
Block #253 Little Basket

This afternoon I made Block #11, Birds in Air.
I really liked this block, but I saved it for last.
It required making and using 7 x 7 large and small triangle templates.
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The pattern in the book had solid colors, but I wanted to use polka-dots.
Block #11, Birds in Air

This is my layout, so far.
It might change.
The next step is to clean up the blocks and double check the measurements.
I know I am going to have to redo some.
I still do not know how I will be sashing this.
Any suggestions are welcomed 🙂

New Skills

Up until now, I have used basic quilt blocks such as rail fence, log cabin, four and nine patch, and half square triangles.
The two blocks I completed today were very exciting.
Please excuse my goofiness here:)

With Block #99, Candies, I learned how to make a 4.5 inch hour glass with two half-square triangles.
I found this so exciting that I had to text my sisters!
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Last week, I experienced a day where I spent most of my time ripping and re-doing.
So, I made a commitment to reading the directions more carefully.
I followed the directions for Block #99 exactly as written, even though I questioned a step.
The step in question was to trim two strips from 2 inches to 1.5 inches.
I did it anyway.
Then I had to rip the block because it now did not measure 12.5 inches!
I cut new 12.5 inches X 2 inches, and it all worked out.

Block #99, Candies

Mom always had candy dishes on the coffee table.

The second block I made today was Block #349, Kitchen Workbox.
I learned how to make triangle- and -square blocks.

I made a mistake on the first triangle-and square block as you can see in the photo.
Fortunately, I caught the mistake in time, so I only had to rip and re-do one.
Block # 349, Kitchen Workbox

The fabric I chose represents mom’s green tile counters and floors.

Birthday Present

So far, I have made 30 quilt blocks from Block a Day, by Lucinda Ganderton.
It has been such a good experience, learning new skills each day.

The book provides directions for both the rotary method and template cutting.
At first, I didn’t think I would like making and using templates.
Now, I am finding that I prefer this to the rotary method.
I especially like the templates when making long boats and triangle squares.
It seems to produce a more accurate piece.
There is also less waste of fabric.

There are four more blocks from Block a Day that I will be using for the Tribute quilt I am making in memory of my mom.
Every quilt tells a story, and making this quilt, telling mom’s story, has been very positive for me.
Each block has a special memory and story attached with it.

Today’s block #334, Birthday Present, was particularly fun.
This block represents the fact that I was born on mom’s birthday.
We celebrated 65 birthdays together.

As a child, I use to brag to my older sister that I was mom’s favorite, because I was born on her birthday.
I guess I bragged to my sister one too many times, and she told me that I was found in a basket on the porch.
She added that Mom gave me her birthday when they decided to keep me.
That shut me up for a good while.
What are big sisters for…right?
My sister could make me believe anything…she still does!
My sisters and I met for lunch today, and we had a good laugh about this.

Block #334, Birthday Present
I used the AccuQuilt Go! for the triangles, and the big and small squares.
The long and short rectangles were cut by rotary, since I do not have the full set of  die cuts.


Surprise Saturday

One of my son’s surprised us with a visit this afternoon.
What a great way to spend a Saturday!

He walked into a quilting mess.
I had set up a large table in the living room, so that I didn’t have to keep pulling out the AccuquiltGo!.
It was supposed to be temporary, but I find it very handy to have this table.

I managed to get three blocks from Block A Day completed today.
These blocks will be included in the Tribute quilt.
Block #146, Weather Vane
Mom would always call to tell us about the weather, whenever there was a rain storm or freeze.
She wanted to make sure we dressed appropriately for the weather.
She also wanted us not to drive in the rain. 🙂
Apparently, I have inherited this Weather Vane gene.
I call my sons to inform them of any bad weather predictions. 😉

Block # 341, Homeward Bound
I am using this block for a Marching Band block.
I  had some musical note fabric remnants from pillows and journal covers that I made last year.
Mom played the French Horn in her high school marching band.
Whenever we went to the Fiesta parades, mom would go absolutely nuts with each passing band.
She would march in place, shout out to the bands, and whistle!
This was not her usual behavior, so it was hilarious to see.
Block #250, Bird’s Nest
Mom had birds figurines everywhere.
She often used nests in her floral arrangements and decorations.
I remember a shopping trip in search of small bird nests.

Since I will be sashing this quilt, I have been looking at tutorials and ideas.
Missouri Star Quilting Company had a tutorial that I found particularly interesting.
I don’t know if it suits this quilt, or not, but it is something I am considering.
I am looking for a way to sash and still highlight the center block, the House.