Friday, November 9, 2018

Houston Eye Candy 2018 - Part 2

I love that since our group is here for several days, we can take our time and REALLY see the quilts.  I've had a break and am ready for another couple of hours drooling before the show closes at 7.

Let's get started -

"Moonlight Sonata" by Susan Stewart of Pittsburg, Kansas quickly stops me in my tracks.  I had not considered making the quilt as one big block.  This square in a square really calls to me.  The black and white alone does the trick and then add in the rest of the features and I'm hooked.  Susan writes, "This is a very simple design in black and white with lots of intricate quilting.  It is embellished with bright machine embroidery and edged with free-standing lace."

Houston Eye Candy 2018 - Part 1

Houston International Quilt Festival is in full swing and I am blessed, once again, to be able to enjoy the visual feast.  Are you ready for some eye candy?  As always, keep in mind that I do NOT wander around getting pictures of the winners.  I grab the ones that grab me.  Talk to me.  Inspire me.  Here we go.

First up is "Small Happy Crazy Quilt" by Aki Sakai of Hachiouji, Tokyo.  It is a mixture of  cotton, linen, and lace along with being an original design.  She says, "I like small and cute things very much.  The designs are based on my favorite things and family memories."  It is hand quilted and includes applique, embellishment, yo-yo's, and trapunto.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

October 2018 Quilt Update

Welcome to the Monthly Update.  What does that mean?  Well, it's just little ol' me trying to recap what took place during the month so that I can keep track.  I kind of use it like a journal.  Please sit back and enjoy a peek into a month of my life.

Any links that you click in this post will open in a DIFFERENT window, allowing you to continue reading this without losing the page.

So . . . . If you have followed me in the past, you know that I have set CRAZY goals each month and it's tough when they just don't happen.  I think goals are wonderful - believe me, without them I fear my lack of  movement.  The thing is -- I just don't want another year of unattainable goals making me feel stressed.  I have a busy year ahead with lots of surprises, family happenings, and retreats.  Those items alone give me PLENTY of deadlines to deal with.  As a result, I am introducing the new goal section - hahahaha, it's the same, only reasonable.  Let's hit the ground running . . . or not.  How about a hot drink and a good read?  See, life is good.  Oh, and the goals each month are at the end of the post now.

The previous 2018 monthly update links are located at the end of this entry.  I hope that you make it that far.

1st -  Happy 1st Day of October.  It's my very favorite month of the year but I bet you already knew that.  It always has been.  The temperatures are wonderful, the colors are intense, and festivals dot the landscape everywhere we go.  For me --- it's just perfect.  Ahhhh, the view out my back door.

Good Fortune - Introduction - Bonnie Hunter - Mystery Quilt

It's here, it's here.  I feel like a kid in a candy store.  So many choices, colors, and fun. It's time to play.  Well, alright.  It's time to start thinking about playing.  Happy Halloween to us!  (You can read all about it on Bonnie Hunter's blog at this LINK.)

The name of the mystery is Good Fortune --- I know -- you never would have guessed that without me telling you.  It's only in the title of the post AND on her picture.

The colors are bright and vivid -- almost reminiscent of Celtic Solstice, which I made two of.  Hmmmm.

I am at Lowe's by a little after 8!  Yep, no grass growing under my feet today.  Trying to be a good customer and showing gratitude for the fact that we are able to pick up paint chips several times a year, before going to the paint department I check out all the remaining fall decor.  It's unsuccessful, but I did try.  At any rate, my sweetheart is in here at least once a week while working on projects around the house.

Good Fortune - Summary - Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt

Bonnie Hunter's Winter Mystery has started once again and I am gathering all of my Good Fortune posts and placing them here so that you can link up and find what you want easily.  They will each open in a new page, leaving you access to this post.  You can always easily find this post by clicking on the tab at the top of the blog.  Please become a follower and you will always know when the new post is up.  Welcome to you all and comments are ALWAYS appreciated.

If you wish to play along with us, PLEASE click on THIS LINK to get directly to the Quiltville site and all of the information.  It'll be fun, I promise.

Post 1: Introduction: Colors and Yardages

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Autumn Splendor - The Reveal

It's the end of October!!!  That means November is almost here and I am one booked lady for the next month.  First up is grands coming to play for a few days and the following weekend is Houston Quilt Festival, followed by our crazy, wonderful November retreat and right into Thanksgiving at my daughter's house.  There goes November.  I'm pretty sure you didn't even make it through that statement before scrolling to see the reveal.  That's why I'm just blathering away here.

The colors outside are marvelous and I'm in heaven with the cooler temperatures and time outdoors.  I've enjoyed all the morning walks and beautiful sunshine on the trees with all their colorful glory.

Ahhhh -- peace.

Okay, okay.  This week I'm not going to say a word about reading all the way to the end first, because I'm sure you've already been there.  Let's just get this sweetheart put together.  NO CUTTING.

Eons ago you made some sections that we are now going to use.  Gather your Unit 7 and 8's from clue 3 along with the wine and orange squares and bricks that you cut.

Block G - make 4

Laying out the wine 5 1/2" squares, orange 4 1/2" squares, and unit 7's as shown, stitch in sections.

First the wine 5 1/2"/unit 7's

Then the unit 7's/4 1/2" orange squares

Stitch together as shown

TA-DA -- Block G (yes, pictured upside down compared to the graph.)  This should measure 9 1/2" square.  It needs to play nice with your other blocks.

Next up is -

Block H - make 4

Now, you need the wine bricks and Unit 8's.  Lay out as shown with brown on the left of the Unit 8's..

Stitch - again, this should be 9 1/2" square when sewn.

Now, with ONE Block F and the G and H blocks, layout the center medallion.  Remember when I said I was not a big fan of my wine fabric.  At this point, I got downright scared.

It's just a simple 9-patch from here.  You've got this.  My camera is making my wine look just a wee bit crazy and lot purple.  It's not.  If you think this looks odd, just  hold on --- it will all pull together beautiful, I promise.

Here is the layout for the small size - remember I didn't sew the big blocks so it just shows as single blocks.  I'm sure you can determine that Big Block 6 is on top and 7 is below the center medallion with the two Big Block 5's on the sides as shown.

For the large size --- Here is your layout! Big Block 3 on top, Left is Big Block 1, Right is Big Block 2 and the lower is Big Block 4.  Place the center medallion in the --- hmmmm -- center, and away you go.  Stitch the center strip and then it is a simple matter of putting the three large pieces together.

Woohoo --- we have a completed center.

Onto borders and it is the same for both sizes.  With the gold that you sewed last clue, measure the center from top to bottom and cut.  This brings your quilt into square.  In order for the outer borders to fit, this should be right around 85.5" (just like the pieced borders you made), but if I'm being totally honest, I didn't measure these.  (Small will be around 67.5")  Cut two.

Sew the cut strips onto the sides.  Already, the whole look is changing.

Measuring through the center sideways, cut your top and bottom strips.  They should be around 67.5" (49.5" small).

Awesome!  The gold borders are on.

Now for your side pieced borders --- yep the longer ones for both sizes. Lay them out so that your wine is next to the gold.  Again, our look is changing and the center medallion doesn't look so crazy now.

Pin and stitch on the side borders.

A quick break from long seams to add the cornerstones we made above to the top and bottom borders.

Gather the cornerstones and the borders.

I'm showing both ends so you make sure your layout is correct.

Stitch these cornerstones on and layout top and bottom, again making sure the wine is next to the gold.

Stitch in place and TA-DA - you have a finished top.  I need a larger living room to show this really well, but just hang on.  Follow the rest of the clue and the finished, quilted beauty is at the end.

The next step for me is to make the back and this is where I'm sharing more than anything else - not instructing even a little bit.  Your back and label and bind are all your own decision, naturally.

Remember those crazy littles that we had?  Well, for some bizarre reason, I decided that I had plenty of time on my hands and set to trimming them all to 1 1/4".  Now what?  Play, that's what.

So, once I stitched that all together, I moved onto building a back with the panel I had along with leftover bits and pieces and fabrics that I just wanted out of the stash.

The center section is actually pretty fun and here is a close-up of the finished crazy piece.  It's not accurate by any stretch of the imagination but I am okay with that.  It's the back.  It's for fun.

Moving to the label, a lot of my extra little pieces get used as well.  I really don't like having scraps to tame if I don't have to (yes, there still are some) so as many as I can make work, wind up here.

Binding is made and I am ready to move this sweetheart to the quilt machine.  Question is -- Is is ready for me?  We haven't been getting along well this summer and I have another quilt on that has to be finished first.  Better get going then.

One of the things I do is make all the parts I need before going to quilting.  When it comes off the machine, I trim and add binding/label instantly.  It saves me from hunting for lost parts and things I "just know I made" disappearing.  It also keeps the stack of "to bind" down a bit because once the binding is sewn on, I set it by my chair and just work on the hand stitching in the evenings.

With a crazy, whirlwind life right now and being blessed to be surrounded by talented quilters, I am able to simply hand this sweet package off to Maria Hall for quilting.  If you haven't see my post about her, please click on this LINK to learn about her and find out if your life can be blessed as mine is.  At any rate, she has worked her magic and I have spent the evening lovingly placing the last stitches into this sweet thing.

With that said --- here is Autumn Splendor -- finished and ready to be snuggled under.  It really IS a quilt that calls for beautiful quilting in all that wonderful white space.  Have fun with yours.


And Back:

Fall Picture with sun - just to prove we did see some in October.

So, I guess that's that.  We are finished with 2018's Mystery Quilt and I hope you had a great time, learned a few things, and stretched yourself along the way.  Stay creative and please, please, please continue sharing in the Facebook group for the next month or so.  I really do want to see your treasures too.  In the words of my friend, Ana, "Piece On."