Archive for the ‘At Home’ Category

Design Wall Monday


This isn’t on my wall any longer because I have it with me right now as we travel. I’m hoping to get it done over the next couple of weeks to put in the Bear Creek Quilt Guild 2011 Show.

This project was part of a swap – each member of my Day Bee got to pick a block that the other members would make for them. I chose a nine-patch – all with the same background. I made the 99 setting squares on our last trip. It wasn’t nearly as tedious as I expected.

Now, I just have to get the top assembled without my beloved design wall!


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A UFO Finish!!!!

You can read more about my struggles with designing the layout of my One Block Wonder at this post from way back in 2009:  https://ciemianquilts.wordpress.com/2009/05/08/just-sew-it/

I finally quilted it last month on my friend Paula’s Statler Stitcher with a tulip pattern. She is great to let me use it!

You can see what is left of the original fabric on the back:

I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to have this project complete at long last.  I have two more UFO’s to post but neither felt as good as getting this quilt DONE!

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Have you heard about using these pens for marking a quilt?  My friend Kathy told me about them.  They are fine point Gel Pens that are erasable and disappear with ironing.  They are less than $6.00 for the three of them at Target.

The back of the package did warn that the markings would come back in freezing temperatures, though.  Still, it all sounded too good to be true (how often do you freeze a quilt anyway?) and I wanted something just like this for my Storm at Sea that I am quilting on my domestic machine.

But, being the good engineer that I am, I figured this needed at least a little experiment.  I started with this piece of unwashed fabric and marked it with the purple pen:

I had confirmed earlier that the markings would completely disappear with a quick touch of the iron but came back in their original form after just a few minutes in the freezer.

I always wash my quilts so this went right into the machine with a small load of laundry on delicate.  This is what came out:

If you look closely, you just see the faintest trace of the markings.  I cut it in half and put the left side into the freezer (still wet) and the other side in the dryer with the laundry.  After the laundry was finished, the piece on the right also went into the freezer.

The markings were all gone at room temperature, but I wanted to see what the freezer would bring up.

I thought I could see the very faintest of marks on the piece that hadn’t been dried near the cut edge.

This doesn’t really concern me since I suspect that the ink will continue to fade with drying and ironing.  I know that my quilts are rarely subjected to freezing temperatures but I figure that if you can see the markings when the fabric is cold, the ink is still there and could reappear (or be causing damage.) If I wasn’t planning on washing and drying a quilt and I wanted to know it would still be pristine in 20+ years, I would probably not use these pens.

But for me, they are worth the risk of at least a try on a quilt.  The pen writes nicely on fabric.  I hear they are available in white as well but they weren’t at my local Target when I checked.  I’m going to get to work on the Storm at Sea today.  Hopefully, the colors I have will show up on the purple fabric.  Otherwise, I won’t get much done since I will be driving all around the DFW area trying to find the white pens . . .

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Design Wall Monday

I have to admit that I hadn’t been really convinced that this quilt would ever make it to this point – it is a complete quilt top now just waiting to be quilted!  I put it up on my Design Wall a few days ago when I started working on piecing together the back.

I didn’t have enough leftovers and had to go to my stash for the white stars on blue but luckily I remembered to cut the binding before I started hacking at my scraps!

If all goes as planned I should have it quilted tomorrow!

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. . . or really just a Purple UFO.  Did I get the words to the song right?  I’m pretty sure that isn’t right but I’m going to resist the urge to Google it!

My friend Paula (who is far out in front leading our Bee UFO Challenge) brought this Predominantly Purple (my name for the quilt, not hers) quilt to Bee on Thursday.  I think she said it was her oldest UFO and had been hanging around for years mostly finished just waiting for another border or two.  It was started with leftover parts from a baby quilt and just kept growing.

The thing I liked about this quilt is that Paula used the dark purple fabric in a bunch of places throughout the quilt so it makes the whole thing very cohesive even while it is still scrappy.

Paula has started cutting 10-1/2″ squares from her left-over fabrics after hearing Bonnie Hunter speak at our Guild.  So, she went with this scrappy back, rather than use up good yardage . . .

I have two of my seven UFO’s completely finished and I’ll post photos next week.  I’m sewing back the binding on my One Block Wonder (which I thought for sure was never going to be finished since it had been on my design wall so long it started to grow roots).  The Green and Yellow is waiting to be quilted and the Soldier Starts just needs one more border!

Of course the two big challenges are bringing up the rear – my Storm at Sea still needs a lot of quilting and the Christmas Row by Row is in the partial re-design stage.  More about these later . . .

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Just One Star (or Four)

At our last BCQG meeting, my friend Sherrill alerted us to Moda’s  “Just One Star” program supporting Quilts of Valor.  The challenge is to make 100 quilts in 100 days for service members and veterans. They are collecting these star blocks between now and May 1.

You can read more about the Moda program here:  http://modafabrics.blogspot.com/2011/03/just-one-star.html

I thought this would be a good project to make today when my other friend JoAnne was over to sew.  I really should have been paying a little closer attention to what I was doing (and less time talking) – I ended up ripping out at least two seams when the backgrounds on my blocks got mixed up.  It was fun hanging out with JoAnne, even if I spent some of the time with the seam ripper.

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Design Wall Monday

I used to like to post a Design Wall Wednesday but several of my friends all posted what they were working on (or at least had hung on their wall) on Monday.  So, I’m going with the flow . . .

My wall only looks a little different than what I posted yesterday.  You see (a lot of threads and) that I still have the Soldier Stars UFO up (without any real progress) but I also have my Cathedral Stars by Bonnie Hunter being previewed.  I’ll write more about Bonnie another day.  (I have so many great things to share about Bonnie and the Workshop.  It deserves an entire blog post of it’s own.)  One side note – for those of you that follow Bonnie, two of the blocks are missing from the wall because they are currently sitting in my sewing machine acting as an “ender.”

The Soldier Stars UFO started in 1998.  Here is the magazine header where I spotted it soon after I had started quilting. I had just joined my first quilting guild in Pleasanton, CA and they were making donation quilts for children.  I really loved this quilt and thought I should make it – boy have I learned a ton since then!

First lesson, donation quilts should generally require a whole lot less work.  You never know whether they will be appreciated or may end up as a dog bed.

I went to the local quilt shop (which I can vaguely remember but not the name) and a very nice lady helped me.  She convinced me to switch it up from the brown to blue, which I think now was a good idea.  Then, she helped me pick out all of the blue and gold fat quarters.  Today, I have hundreds of fat quarters and could make this quilt out of my stash!

Until this year, I had only worked on the stars.  You can see that some of mine are pretty wonky.  What you can’t tell as much in the photo is that many of the earlier ones weren’t even close to the right size!  I had this project out a few times over the years and started to make the stars using more traditional paper piecing and the results are much better.

At one point, I thought it would be a good idea to redesign this quilt and make it big enough to donate to a soldier in the Quilts of Valor program.  This is where the quilt got it’s name . . . Soldier Stars.  I finally decided to just stop playing around and finish it the way it was designed.  I am still planning on donating it but probably to another Program.

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