Sunday, September 06, 2015

Enjoying the weekend

Yes, I know that technically it is a three day weekend, but I really do have to do some actual sewing work tomorrow, so I guess we crammed all of our fun into two days!  We had a great day yesterday and drove up the coast for a late lunch.  We took a nice walk along the bay as well and it was a glorious day on the coast:
When we got home I took an hour and finished cutting out all the flying geese for the sashing on the quilt I was doing from those beautiful Island Batiks I got earlier this year.  Today I had the entire afternoon to just sew away, and I did!  I got the whole top finished!

I generally like to work in high contrast, but I am loving the way these fabrics all blend together and give a nice transparency effect.  I even had enough of that lovely sunflower print for a pretty border on it!  I just love working with these Island Batik fabrics, they have a wonderful soft hand and the colors are just so attractive.  These blues are all from the Meadow Collection, look for them now in your local quilt shop!  

They remind me of the lovely water at Winchester Bay.  I had a suggestion that this quilt could be called Tidepools, so I think that is what I am going to call it.  The pattern should be available at the end of September!  

Hope you have a good holiday weekend and get to do whatever it is you like best. 

Saturday, September 05, 2015

End of Summer in the Country Blog Hop

Today is the last day of the blog hop so make sure you enter to win all the great givaways that have been featured!

The mornings have definitely been a bit colder this week, and that's a sure sign that fall is on the way...I love fall, but I am definitely sad to see summer end.  We've had some wonderful weather this year and I have enjoyed it so much.  I am sure the firefighters will be glad to see fall come, and hopefully some good rain as well.  It certainly is dry out, and we can use some more moisture!

Now that I've done the weather shall I do the sports report?  Baseball, and football.  That's what I know is going on!

In current events, there are still two wedding dresses in the sewing room.  One required a lace hem to be detached and reatached four inches higher, all by hand.  My poor fingers were quite sore last night, but I am done with it.  Now I have to take in the side seams.  And move some more lace and beading to accomodat that alteration.  Phooey.  The second is a BIG poofey Maggie Sottero that needs a bustle.  An industrial strength bustle, you should see the train on this thing!

And just try to get this extravanza of organza into a dress bag!  That's why I only want to deal with this thing once!

I plan on working on the sashing for the Island Batik quilt I am working on - here is a preview:

In celebration of the Labor Day Weekend I am offerering a 25% disount in my Etsy Shop.  This includes all the patterns as well, so if there is anything you want, now is the time to take advantage!
Just use the coupon code ENDOFSUMMER when you purchase!

Have a great weekend, hope you get to do some quilting as well!

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Break the Wheel

I finally finished up the quilting on my challenge for "Game of Quilts"  I am pretty happy with how it turned out - it's not really as much an "art" quilt as I had intended, which is usual for me! The colors turned out to be a bit of a challenge to work with as well.

After deciding that I would be happiest working with a pieced quilt I started searching for an interesting traditional block that would represent a castle.  This block came up - Castle Wall.  As I looked at it I thought the center octogon would be the perfect spot for the Targaryn Sigil of the three headed dragon.  Then I did some online research and realized that there are 8 more major houses in Westoros!  Perfect - I looked up the map and placed each sigil around the center as they appear on the map.  As I looked at this layout it made me think of a wheel and Daenerys' quotation regarding the statement that all the houses are like spokes on a wheel, crushing the common people.

The piecing was a bit tricky, all done by machine, every single one of those y-seams!  Exacting work, but very satisfying when it all comes out just right!  The border was pieced and added, then I was ready for the quilting.  I traced all the elements out on Golden Paper, then pinnned them in place and went to work.  It actually worked really well, but in the end was frustrating because of all the little pieces of paper caught under the stitching.

I wish the center showed up more.  I probably should have used a more contrasting thread to define it more, but there is no way I am picking all of that out and starting over!  I really like the way the matchstick quiting came out in the trapezoids as well.

I freehanded curved lines in the border and decided I was done.  Then I read that my quilt had to be 18 inches inclusive of binding.  Oh dear.  My quilt measured a perfect 18.5 inches to the edge because I hadn't been thinking of the binding.  I could have done a faced binding, but decided to try shrinking the quilt a bit (and maybe get rid of those last bits of paper) by washing it.  I hand washed it in cold water, then put it in the dryer for 10 minutes.  Imagine my horror when I measured and it was down to 17 1/2 inches!   I did lots of stretching, blocking, steaming, and finally ended up with an 18 inch total quilt.  WHEW!  I was seriously racking my brain trying to figure out how to add to the outside of it if the blocking didn't would have been interesting.

I have to say I was relieved to find the deadline has been extended for the arrival of the quilt because I was a little worried that it could be there by Friday, so all is good now.  It is packaged up and ready to go out in today's mail!

The entries can be seen here and voting starts September 16!  I hope mine will be a winner - but in any case it was a great challenge and I enjoyed making this entry.  Thanks to the BadAss Quilters Society for putting this on!