Modern Lone Star

There are certain quilts that must be on every quilters list to make at least once in their lifetime.  Things like Log Cabin, Churn Dash, Dresden Plate, (any) star block, Drunkard’s Path, and certainly the Lone Star.

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To date, I’ve made quilts for my oldest 2 children, and the grandchildren of course.  But I have 2 more children I needed to make quilts for.  I decided to make my middle son (now 23) a Lone Star quilt.  He is 6′ 4″, so even a quilt for snuggling on the couch would need to be larger than usual.

I pulled together some fabric scraps from my stash and then bought a couple of yards of chartreuse fabric to make it pop.  The solid fabric is Kona Slate.  Each diamond is 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ and measures 6 1/2″ point-to-point.

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Then once I had the lone star together, I cut it down one side.  Let me just say, that was super scary.  I shared with you previously here and here some of the challenges and lessons learned while piecing it, so to take a rotary cutter to it at this point was nerve racking.  If I messed it up, it would have to be remade.  But it worked great and the part I cut off, I flipped over to the back.

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I quilted it lightly with parallel lines 1/2″ apart following the lines of the star.IMG_3414

It was so big, I didn’t even get a complete view of the quilt until we were able to hang it for pictures.  (By the way, it’s really hard to photograph such a large quilt.)  I LOVE how it turned out!  It’s so beautiful!

Finished at 70″ x 90″.

Linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, and  Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

UFO Finish #4

I love this mini quilt.  I started this quilt last year when I started a much larger lone star quilt.  I had never done a lone star quilt so I wanted to ‘practice’ on something smaller.  I often practice new techniques in a similar fashion.  I’ll make one or two blocks to see how a quilt will go together, or if a bag or some other project, I may make it first with fabric that I really don’t care about before I cut into my good fabric.  Many times it ends up being a waste of time because (1) the pattern is so complicated I never want to make another one after the first (haha). or (2) because it goes together smoothly.  Other times though, I’m able to find areas that need to be improved or find things I would do differently in order to save fabric usage.

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I pulled this navy scrap with orange, teal, lime green, and purple elephants from my scrap bin and then found more scraps that complemented it.  For the most part the placement of each color was due to how much of each fabric that I had on hand, but I wanted the points to be bright so that the star would SPARKLE.  So orange was the only way to go there.  I just love orange these days.  It’s such a bright, cheery color.

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I used this tutorial by the Hopeful Homemaker for piecing my strips.  I did one thing different that I found to be very helpful.  When piecing the diamonds, I first ‘basted’ the seams with a long stitch.  I found that I often needed to adjust the seams just a smidgen in order for them to line up and it’s so much easier to pick out longer stitches.  Then, once I was happy with how the seams lined up, I would stitch one last time with a small stitch.

One thing I didn’t do that I wish I had was starch all the pieces when piecing.  I usually skip this step because I am impatient and want to get it done, but it really would have helped provide a much crisper, less puckered and wrinkled, finished star.

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I decided to offset the star rather than center it on the background.  It took me a few days to figure out how I wanted to quilt it, and I love what I came up with. First I marked and quilted diamonds to extend the star shape to the bottom and right.

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Then I free-motion quilting the remaining areas with a paisley flower.  I practice my FMQ every chance I get, and this was a very fun design to stitch.  I just love it!

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Then I decided the bottom right corner was a perfect place to put a small elephant.  He’s so cute!

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Quilt finishes at 17.5″ x 17.5″.  Each diamond in the star is 1″ x 1″ finished.

Linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, and  Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Too Many Projects to Count

It has been a busy week!

First, the elephant I made for the Cultivate in Fall Challenge with Art Gallery Fabrics won 2nd place.  Woo Hoo!  Thank you so much to everyone to voted.  I wouldn’t have made it that far without you.

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Second, I finished a quilt that I started this past February.  Yippee!  A finish is always something to celebrate.  I can’t show it to you yet.  I’m waiting to mail it to the intended recipient. But, I’ll show it to you as soon as I can.

Stitched in Color is hosting a Primary Mosaic contest featuring Lark Cottons.  It sounded like a fun adventure.  So, I took the time to create and submit two samples.  I think it was a great idea to get us quilters to slow down and think about color, and it really was as fun as I expected.  I didn’t make it into the top 10, but I really didn’t expect to.  After I submitted my fabric choices (below), I read through the blog again and realized I didn’t get the gist of what she was looking for the first time around.  That will teach me to try to do something like this when I’m tired and trying to listen to the TV at the same time.  But that’s ok.  I still like what I picked out, and I LOVE the navy fabric with the sail boat schematic, and the blue dandelions, and the blue giraffes… Voting starts today so head on over to Rachel’s blog and vote for one of your favorites.  mosaiccdb1d9de8b5e0e62bc937c9567eca89ac2210431

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I also have the front and back of the Long Star quilt for my middle son completely pieced.  It should finish to be about 70″ x 90″.  Now to iron it really good (somehow on my 2 foot portable desktop ironing board), and get my sandwich pinned together.  My plan for quilting is nothing too complicated.  I plan to straight line quilt following the lines of the diamond pieces, which is a good thing since my machine is still skipping stitches if I try to FMQ as discussed here.  I really need to get my machine serviced, but I can’t figure out when I’ll have time.  I am in the mist of too many projects at the moment.

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Also, I belong to a Facebook crafting group and one of our members found out she has stage 4 breast cancer that has matastasized into her hips.  Her treatment is expected to be extensive and costly.  So, our group is having a benefit by making items to sell at a craft fair.  We are looking to make as many items as we can over the next 9 days and ship them out to one of our members that is planning to have a booth at an upcoming craft fair.  I do hope we are able to raise a sizable amount of money for her.  If you have any finished projects just hanging around that you would like to donate, please let me know.  Also, here is a link to her go fund me page.  So, for this new venture, I designed and made this paper pieced mug rug last night.  It is made entirely with scraps from my scrap bin and measures 6″ x 9″.   I plan to make a few more mug rugs, and several other items (not sure what yet) in the time we have allotted.  So, for that reason, progress on the Lone Star will likely be stalled for a little while.  (Please excuse all the strings in the photograph.  I need to bury my threads but I can’t find my little needle book.  I am blaming the cat!)

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And there’s more going on.  But really, I don’t want to overwhelm you.

Linking up with

Finally, Back To The Sewing Room

Finally, I am back to sewing.  We have spent months rehabilitating the house and packing all our worldly possessions.  Well, all our worldly possessions that were left after a dozen or more trips to the dump and as many trips to the donation center.  Of course, I kept all my beautiful fabric; although it is all packed up and in storage.  🙂

We have moved to the mountains of NC and arrived this past Saturday night.  We are living with my parent temporarily until our house sells, so technically we still have to move one more time.  The house is not on the market yet, but hopefully we’ll have it listed by July 1.  We have some workers in to finish things we couldn’t do so that is what we are waiting on now.  Aren’t these mountains just gorgeous?  We’ve been driving around exploring the area and at every turn we see more beautiful scenery and are just in awe of God’s majestic handiwork.

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I have been able to set up a little sewing area in the downstairs bonus room at my parents house, and I’m so happy to be back to my sewing machine.  We were apart for such a long time.  I brought a large plastic bin of WIPs with me and my goal is to get them finished while we are here.  And, if by some miracle I get them all finished, I have another large plastic bin of WIPs waiting for me in storage.  And if they all get magically done, there is a smaller bin of WIPs.  The amount of WIPs I have is staggering, but hopefully I’ll get many of them knocked out in the next several months.

You may recall the lone star I started in January.  This is the first WIP I plan to finish.  I just picked it up this afternoon and am busy piecing each of the 8 panels together.  It’s going together rather easily, so hopefully I’ll have a finished project to share with you in the next week or so.  We’ll see.  Usually the timing of my goals are a little unrealistic.

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And, I’ve picked up another hobby.  I know, I know… I don’t have enough time to focus on the hobbies I do have, but I wanted to spend some quality time with my dad.  He’s been taking painting lessons for several years from an art teacher in the area, so I thought that would be a good way for us to spend some time together.  I’ve tried my hand at painting 3-4 times in the past 10 years or so and always enjoyed it, although it was never something I felt I could continue on my on.  So I went yesterday with him to his painting class and started a landscape.  It’s about 1/2 way finished, and I’m very pleased with it so far.  Tomorrow afternoon we go again, and I hope to finish it then.  Then I have plans for another painting that I plan to start next week.  I’m really excited about it.

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So, I want to know… how many WIPs do you have?  Please tell me that I’m not alone in having too many to count.  I really haven’t counted, but if I had to guess, I would guess I have 30-40, and the true figure is probably even higher.  Oh, that sounds just awful.  LOL.  What about you?

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.

Missing QuiltCon

So, it seems as if the entire modern quilting community left today (without me) for Austin to attend QuiltCon.  I so wish I could be there, but I can’t leave work during busy season.  I’m going to miss hanging with old friends, meeting new friends, and learning from the top names in the quilting world.  One day, one year, I will get there.

The good news is that I have all 8 points of the Lone Star put together.  After the first panel, the next 7 panels went together almost effortlessly. I made sure not to make the same mistakes twice as I blogged about here.  I did have to rip out a lot of seams due to points not matching, but I basted all seams until I was happy with everything, and then I went over it again with a smaller stitch.  So even ripping all those seams wasn’t too bad.

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And it’s huge.  Of course, I planned it to be this big, but it is still a surprise to see it so large.  Point to point measures 79″-80″.  My design wall is way too small for it but I think you get the idea from the picture.

I also finished filing the shower in the master bath.  I threw my back out doing it, but thankfully it is done.  I still have to grout it — and that by itself will take a full day — but it is closer to being finished and that is worth celebrating.

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And I’m working on a new paper piecing pattern.  Hope to be able to share soon.

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I believe a pair of red shouldered hawks have adopted our yard.  They were hanging around most of the day.  I was able to get a picture of one of them, although he took off flying right when I was about to click the shutter.

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Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.

Nowhere Fast

I posted a blog.  Don’t freak out!

It seems as if everything I do these days takes longer than expected.  We’ve been working on the two bathrooms in our house for months on end.  Both were deconstructed in April last year. (Wow!  I can’t believe it’s been that long).  Imagine 1960’s pea green tile, a 4′ x 6′ frameless mirror, and beige linoleum.  Overall, nothing to write home about.  We don’t live in a high-end neighborhood so we haven’t planned a million dollar restyle, but we thought something more current would be nice.  We plan to redo the tile around the bath surround, reglaze the tub, put in new sinks, counter tops, faucets, and floors.

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Total time we expected this to take — about 4-6 weeks.  We are doing this ourselves and we both work full-time jobs, so this will be just an evening and weekend project.  It was a great plan!

As it turns out, we don’t want to work on it every spare moment, and it seems as if nothing in this house is standard size.  Things have to be fitted and refitted, leveled and re-leveled.  And then sometimes, things just have to be fudged a little bit.

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Good news is we’re getting closer.  We have one shower/tub completely done, and another one close to being done.  I love how the tile work looks.  And it’s so nice to take a shower in something bigger than a broom closet finally.

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On the quilting side, I’m working on a lone star quilt for my middle son.  I sewed the first panel together and it was WRONG.  The blue diamonds are supposed to be going horizontally throughout the panel, not vertically.

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So, I ripped it all out and sewed it back together.  And… it’s wrong AGAIN!

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Can you tell?  The blue triangles are going the right way this time, but there are two green triangles that are opposite where they should be.  Even though it’s only two seams, I still have to rip it out and sew it again.  Ugh!  And matching up the seams properly are a bear.  This is definitely not a slap it together quilting project.

So, yes, we are steadily working on the bathrooms, and I’m working on several quilting projects.  But, it seems as if we get nowhere fast.  Hopefully, one day soon, it will all start coming together and we can mark something complete and off the list.  I’ll be sure to share it with you when we do.  Until  then, we’ll keep plugging along.

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.