Sunday, July 10, 2011

Busy Week

With school out there is no more volunteer work although I still have to supervise my younger son to get his summer work packets done.  DH went back to work this week after being on vacation, so I decided that it was time for a quilt-a-thon!

When last I left off, I had just finished layering the UGRR/Pioneer Samplers.

And that's where they still stand.  Part of the reason I think I didn't make the PHD Challenge deadline was because I was debating about how to quilt these. I really wanted to hand quilt them and was thinking about doing an all over Baptist Fan.  I've since found some confirmation of that plan but still need a little time to think about if I am sure it's really the way I want to go.  So while waiting, I also worked on these:

The four Month 2 blocks for the Civil War Chronicles BOM are finally done.  (The little Lemoyne Star in the picture was a test block for something I'll talk about later in this post).  And thank god for triangle paper (printed with Quilt-Pro's Triangle Magic software).  It turned four pages of this:

into this:

Note:  You can also do this with Brenda Henning's Trianglulations Software.

Next up was a new project (I know, I know, I'm supposed to be focusing on UFOs and BOMs): Pat Sloan's Valor quilt using her new Tribute line of fabric for P&B Textiles.

I saw the fabric in the Spring 2011 Fabric Trends issue and really liked it and wanted to make a quilt for display for the July Fourth holiday. Unfortunately I started in on it too late for this year but expect to get the top done over the next week and it'll be up and ready for next year!

This is the first time I've done Lemoyne Stars and of course being the quilt gadget lover that I am, I couldn't resist a new tool to eliminate those set in "Y" seams.  While reading blogs, I happened to come across mention of this:

It's by Deb Tucker of Studio 180 Design.  You may know her from the "Rapid Fire Hunter Star Ruler" she also makes (and which I also have but admit I haven't used yet).  The ruler made the eight inch stars for the Valor quilt as well as the four inch star that was pictured with the Chronciles blocks.  I also have a reproduction design project I hope to do some time this summer where I will get to use this again.  The "rapid fire" in this is that the diamonds and the backgrounds are cut from strip pieced strips and then subcut and sewn to create four square units (with two diamonds each) that get sewn into the final block.  You can see it demonstrated here and here.

And finally one from the HSY (Haven't Started Yet) list -- I did all this cutting:

for this project:  It was a Marcus Bros. free pattern (pictured on the left) back in 2008 for their "Merrimac" fabric line. 

I loved the Civil War repro fabrics in the line and the "Millwheel" block reminded me of Dresden Plates which are a "bucket list" block for me.  So I decided to do the pattern but change the Millwheels to Dresdens.  Then I couldn't decide whether to do rounded or pointed blades.  But I saw "John Flynn's Dresdens" in the February 2006 issue of Quilter's World Magazine where he did plates with mixed blades and I knew I had my solution.  I am doing mine with alternating blades (like the sample block in the picture) and plan to blanket stitch the blades to the backgrounds.

Whew!  That was a lot of dedicated work and although there are still no finishes here, I feel like I got a lot of "To Do" things off my mind.  I'm trying to to sew a little each day this summer in an attempt to make that an ongoing habit.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Missed the Deadline

Despite making a lot of progress on the UGRR/Pioneer project over the last few days I was unable to get this completed by the PHD Challenge deadline.  I am not totally disappointed since I know that without the pressure of the Challenge deadline, I probably would have never gotten this project even this far.

As it stands now, the two tops are layered, having added borders to the centers and even adding some monogramming to the Pioneer top. 

I'd still like to get this done before summer's end but also have the three other Civil War fabric projects that I want to work on, a quilt I want to make to display for the Fourth of July (at this point crazy, I know) and I got the yellow solids I wanted for Bonnie Hunter's latest quilt-a-long.  But now I can relax a bit and try to work at my own pace while still pushing myself to stay on task.