Monday, December 31, 2012

Sea Glass tutorial (at last!)

I've wanted to do this for a while, and kept meaning to... a Sea-Glass tutorial.  I've made this quilt in several color and layout variations so far, and am working on yet another one, so... why not?  Here it is - the Sea-Glass tutorial.

Fabric A and B— 1 yard each, Fabric C, E, F and H – ½ yard each, Fabric D and G – ¾ yard fabric,  backing fabric – 3 yards
Note: all materials are in yardage, NOT fat quarters 

Cutting Directions

Quilt block layout

Cut 25 of each piece: (I don’t care if you use scissors, rotary cutter, your teeth…)
A—6.5”x6.5”               E—2.5”x2.5”
B—6.5”x6.5”               F—5.5”x3.5”
C– 3.5”x3.5”                G– 5.5”x3.5”
D—7.5”x3.5”               H—2.5”x4.5”

Sewing Instructions
Cut fabric and arrange in tidy stacks.  Or messy ones, whichever works best for you!

 Sew Piece A to Piece B along one seam.  Repeat for other sets, put aside. 
A to B

  Sew Piece C to Piece D along one seam.  Repeat for other sets, put aside.

C to D

 Sew Piece E to Piece H along one seam.  Repeat for other sets, put aside.
E to H

 Sew Piece F to Piece G along one seam.  Repeat for other sets, put aside.
F to G

  Iron all seams, either press open or press to darker side.  Or press as you prefer, really.  It's your quilt.  And then, back to more sewing!

 Sew Piece C/D sets to Piece F/G sets on one seam,  Repeat for each set

  Iron all seams as before.
 Sew all C/D/F/G sets to E/H sets.

 Iron all seams as before.
Sew all A/B sets to C-H sets, using quilt block diagram on back as a guide.

Iron once again as before.

The layout is really a personal matter - I've done two different layouts, and the one in the step-by-step pictures is going to have a third layout. 
The original Sea Glass is laid out as follows:
Lay out first block with the A piece in the upper left corner.  Next block to the right will have A piece in upper right corner.  Next block will have A piece in lower right.  Fourth will have A piece in lower left.  Fifth (final) in top row will once again have the A piece in upper left corner of the block.
The second row will start with the A piece in the upper right corner, and follow the same pattern.  All following rows will do the same—advance the location of the A piece by one position.

The second and third versions I did are laid out a little differently...

In this version, Piece A is matched to Piece A (making one giant Piece A that everything else turns around).

Stitch blocks together!  We’re almost there!  This is the part where I step back and say: Back, quilt, and bind as you prefer.  Oh, and if you do make a version of Sea-Glass, let me know!  I'd love to see pictures!  (And I will try to get a flickr page set up for them, too!)


Monday monday, again....

Wow - the days have just shot past in a blur recently!  Holidays, family, work... it's all conspired against me!  (As has blogger...I've tried three times to post a tutorial, and it pegs out every time... sigh.  I'll try again later today).  At any rate... decorations are down, packed away, and tidied up, leaving home and cube feeling a little barren.  So, to combat the blahs, which have been pretty impressive this year... I'm making more things.  (What?? Really??  MORE things?)

The first up - a wonky sun banner (well, banners, in two parts, because I learned my lesson when it comes to decorating my cube.  no more 15' long banners!)  The wonky sun will be two pieces - one for one side, with the wonky sun, the other part with maybe either trees or a beach scene... I haven't quite decided yet.  I made a test sun last night, and it turned out... well....

Wonky... but not quite like I want it yet.  The only corner piece I am happy with is the one in the lower right - I thnk the narrower looks best.  Which means that when I make the "real" one, I need to make sure I have narrow corner wonkiness... also, the rest of the rays aren't wonky enough for my tastes.  :)  I'm picky about my wonky?

But it's not a failure - I know what I have to do to "fix" the issues, and it shouldn't be that hard.

Other than that, not much happening in the forge these days.  Frank is back to hiding behind a green wall of dwarf fruit trees, so quilting on him is on the back burner again.  I've stumbled across a pattern for a quilt that screams that it MUST be done - don't have nearly enough quilt ideas, apparently....  *sigh*  But.  I will obey this one, because it amuses me. 

Part of one wall of buttons

We went fabric shopping for faire this past weekend - went down to Perth Street in Dallas, and *sigh*  If I only had all the money I wanted, I could have bought some FABULOUS fabrics!  (not that I need them, but still).  And then... in a little store with a wonderfully crazy owner, we hit on the button motherlode!  He had three rooms full of buttons... everything from cheap plastic buttons to lovely metal shank buttons that looked like wolf-heads....

Needless to say, I came out with buttons.  Some I know what I will do with, others, maybe not, but I couldn't pass them up!  And the owner was crazy, cheerful, chatty, and all sorts of lovely.  He has a textiles degree, and a Tibetan terrier, and all sorts of useful knowledge.  So we stayed a while.  And could have stayed longer!  (Oh, and yes, we did find some fabric, hopefully).

It's the last day of the year, and I will send it out tonight like I do so many other nights - probably sewing!  I have over 100 little hexes made, and soon will have to move them from their shoebox to a larger box!  But for now, there's quilts to plan and make!  Happy end-of-the-old-calendar day!


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Oh, Hemxas Tree, Oh, Hexmas Tree....

oh, hexmas tree....

Hanging now on the pillar outside my supervisor's cube - the Hexmas Tree,  Everyone who passes it smiles and stops to check it out.  A small project, but totally worth it.  Easy to put together, easy to trim out. I think it came out rather well!

We had a small earthquake here last night - 2.6, according to the USGS.  Now... this is Texas.  I don't expect earthquakes.  Ever.  Big or small.  So that was a bit of an experience for us!  No damage - too small a quake for damage - but it certainly freaked us right out!  A rumble, and then the house shimmied a little.  The cats ran amok briefly, their tails fluffed and backs arched.  But after confirmation of an earthquake, we settled down and went to our beds.  This morning we checked the quilt forge, and all was well there, too.  Not that we expected otherwise.

There's a company dinner tonight, and a company party tomorrow morning, so these two days will shoot by like no one's business. But that does cut into the forge time.  (Not that I've felt overly much like working out there last few nights - I'm feeling lazy).  I must get back out there soon and get back to work - too many quilts and things yammering for my attention!

I have this urge... I want to make a ridiculously detailed quilt.  Pieced in ridiculously small pieces, with all the detail I could ever want.  My big problem is what I want to use as a design - I don't have anything in mind.  I have LOTS of things in mind.  But I can't draw.  Nope.  Not a bit.  Not to save my life.  I still draw horses that look like dogs.  So... I need to figure out some geometric pattern - or attack a coloring book for a design.  I don't know...  In the meantime, I will continue on as before.  Hexes, piecing, quilting.  I am not upset, just... a little frustrated.  I am reasonably capable, but I want to be able to do so much more.  I want to be Good, with a capital "G."  I know it takes time, and I know I am improving all the time.  But grr...  Meh.  Enough of the whining. 

For now, there is plenty to do, and I will do it.  And at this moment, that involves hexes and the quilts I've already got pieced, and the other 60-odd quilts planned out.  (Boy, do I need to make more sewing time!!)

(frustrated, but not defeated)

P.S.  I think when I do make the uber-detailed quilt I want, I shall call it Invictus, after the poem of the same name... 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Things on the Anvil

Good morning, superfriends!

I've been busy the last few days... making alterations to a dress (almost done, hooray!!), decorating more for XMas/winter, and so on.  Nothing new on the random quilt front, except to add more ideas to my list.  At this rate, I will never have better than a 15% completion rate!!  (But most of the time I am all right with that!)

Here is my HexMas tree.  I finished the stitching together last night - this afternoon and tonight I will work on decorating it so I can hang it up.  I've pulled beads and such to decorate with.  Hopefully that won't take too long, since I am getting close to the end of decorating time!  It would be nice to have it up by tomorrow, to give me more time to enjoy it.

The HexMas tree is made with the Hickory Nut hex pattern - I changed the size a little (shrank it down) from the one in the magazine.  Now I have little ones and huge ones.  :)  I thought about a huge HexMas tree, but didn't have a place to put one.  Maybe next year.

Yesterday at work I came back from lunch to find a chicken on my desk.  A stuffed, country-looking chicken.  Now, normally I am not a country-decorating kinda girl.  However, I do have a stuffed turkey under my desk that comes out for Thanksgiving decor.  So the chicken seemed appropriate to my co-workers.  Now the chicken has a name (Cogburn) and a Santa hat, so he can stay out for XMas.  I am already planning his next costume (he'll get a party hat for New Year's, and so on....).  So... here's Cogburn, the Christmas Rooster. 

Tonight, after I finish the dress alterations, I intend to finally get BST on the hoop so I can start that one.  I am really hoping it co-operates tonight.  So many ideas that need following up on... so many things to sew.  With luck and hard work, I can get BST done pretty quick.  I will be posting a tutorial pretty quick on Sea-Glass.  All I need to do is flesh it out a little, and we'll be in fine shape.  So, tutorial to come.

On the quilting front, BST will take me a little longer than anticipated, because Frank is currently unavailable for quilting, which slows things down a little.  By Thursday, he'll be back up, but right now, not so much.  The machine is fine, but since the weather turned frigid really quick, we moved our dwarf fruit trees inside where it was warmer.  The only place to put them is right around Frank, who now is hiding in a jungle of fruit trees.  But... he'll be out of hiding soon enough, so it's all good.

And soon... soon... things begin to ramp up for Scarborough Faire Renaissance Festival.  I only have to make a new bodice this year, but I may make another skirt just so I can rotate the ones I have just a little more.  A little less wear and tear on the ones I have would be good.  But there are plans... oh, yes... there are plans.... 

Secretly, I love this time of year.  (Not the incessant commercials and Christmas music, mind you).  But the snap of the air (and the pop of static electrical discharge), and the anticipation.  I look forward to another year at faire, to the quieter days at work, to all sorts of things.  I may be solar-powered, but bring it on!   Come on, Texas winter!  Show me what you've got!  (oh, look... 68 degrees by the end of the week).

So, in trucking terms (and in forge terms, too!), time to put the hammer down and get things moving!  I've got a lot to do, and a short time to do it in!  Cya later, good buddies!


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Woo-hoo! Finished stuffus!

Morning, superfriends!

I feel... accomplished.  If a little klutzy.  More about that second one in a minute.  First - the accomplished feeling. 

I've fiinally finally finally finished Little Moo.  Here's a pic of it on the floor at work, bound and everything.  The quilting that really shows up here is the sky - it makes the clouds look a very puffy!  (And the tree quilting shows a little... that's cool!)  I'll get a close-up of the fence rail in a few seconds here... hang on....    The funny thing is, now that I am completely done with Little Moo here, I don't really like it.  It's not bad, it's not hideous... I even like parts of it.  The sky quilting I like.  The fences I like.  I even do think he's relatively cute, for a cow.  But.... overall.... I just don't like it.  Which all in all is a bit of a shame.  I suspect the problem lies in that Little Moo was my first real applique, and it was a bit of a learning curve.  I could probably remake it a lot faster than the first go-round, should I ever be so inclined.  And because the top frustrated me, it took me FOREVER to quilt it.  But, it's done now, and I can step away from it for a while.  See how I feel about it later on.
So anyway, there's Little Moo, aka Texas Daycare, all done.  Hooray!  I do feel a sense of accomplishment in finishing him up.  And a close-up of the fence that surrounds him.  Copper embroidery floss and brown thread to make a barbed wire fence!
The other thing I finished was another Hexen.  I like the proportions of this one better, so I will run with it on my bed-sized project, I think.  This will definitely be an ongoing project (of course, I thought that with Crazy Diamonds, too, and that top is already done)!  The quilting on it is a simple swirl kinda thing radiating out from the center.   Now... on to the real thing!!  Time to start ploughing through my fabrics and seeing what I can make!  I should really decide if I want a common background or not.  It might look more unified if I did, but it would be much more in keeping with ME if it didn't.

As for the klutzy....  about 9 months ago, maybe a little less, I did something to my ankle.  No biggie.  It hurt, it swelled, it got over it.  In the last month or two it's been getting a little worse and aching a lot.  No clue what I did originally, since I was deep in fair, and it stopped hurting.  But I turned it recently, and I think it did something.  Because one of the things I did last night was try to set up BST for quilting.  I tweaked my ankle AGAIN whilst trying to do that.  So... fun fun.  It REALLY hurt last night.  REALLY.  So I am wearing a brace on it today and seriously considering going to a doctor about it.  I did not get BST ready, either, which annoyed me.

But tonight there is a wedding, and I will not wear the brace for that.  Nope.  Uh-uh.  Refuse.  I'm already going to look silly (from my perspective.  I don't dress up much, so when I do, I feel weird). 

And this weekend.... well, I got myself a new peg loom.  It's three feet long.  I'm either going to make a rug or a shawl.  I haven't quite decided which one, but I will make something.  And sew some more.  Hooray!!!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Hexen Wednesday

Good morning, superfriends!

Finished my test hexen.  I'd call it a hexie, but it's 12" across!  The quilting ALMOST shows in the picture, but either way, it's good, because this was merely the test version.  I can now make adjustments to the template - like making the outer hex a little smaller, so it takes up less room in the center.

Test Hexen #2 is in the works.  The plan, ultimately, is to have a bunch of giant hexen and zigzag stitch them together for a bedspread.  The biggest thing is what to quilt in the center.  I have many ideas... this one was just a random motif.  But oh, the ideas I have.

Little Moo is almost done.  I should be able to get the binding on him tonight and be done!  There are few words for just how happy I will be to get him done!  Once Little Moo is done, I will only have... err... 5 to quilt.  I think.  *sheesh*  I should quilt faster!

On the plus side, I have fabrics currently for only 2 more quilts.  I have lots of plans, but I've only got the stuff for two of them... 

This morning we stopped for doughnuts on the way to work.  D picked up a lot of doughnuts for her department.  I might stop for same for my department tomorrow.  Maybe.  Or maybe wait until Friday.  But the guy at the doughnut shop was amazingly nice!   He gave us LOTS of bonus doughnuts.  Yum!!!  Mind you, I already had my breakfast - mmm.... sushi for breakfast....  I found some at our local Central Market that they call Japanese Bagel Rolls.  :)  Yum.  Rice, Nori, Avocado, Cream Cheese, and Salmon.  Makes me happy! (but I did get a doughnut or two for a mid-morning snack!)

who should seriously consider making a doughnut quilt....

Monday, December 3, 2012

Monday. I think. Yes.... yes, it is.

Needless to say, my days are obviously a little messed up right now.  I spent the weekend down with a migraine.  Hooray.  I missed work on Friday, and that threw my whole weekend off.

But.  All is not lost, superfriends!  (*shrug*  I dunno... I just type this stuff).  I managed to get my second AAQI quilt finished.  I will send it off after Christmas, I suspect, since mailing things will be touch-and-go until then!  And that way maybe I can finish the next one I've got planned, too!

Here it is! -------->  (duh).  What doesn't show so well in this pic is the quilting.  I need to get a better up-close shot.  The quilted clouds show up pretty well, but the quilted trees do not.  Yup.  I quilted rows of trees into my city.  It seemed appropriate, for a quilt called "I Remember Trees Here." 

So, two down. 

And making more hexes recently.  Managed to get the pattern enlarged ridiculously, so I can have HUGE hexes!  I am working on a test one tonight.  We'll see how far I get with it.  I have Plans (yup, with a capital Puh).

And in even more fabulous news, my mother is improving all the time.  Talked to her today - she is doing much better - feels much better, and sees much better now.  She went to the doctor today and he was pleasantly surprised at how much better her vision was.  That's a good thing!  Of course, now my dad has the flu, so he's miserable.  They finished up their remodeling, and are taking time to relax and heal up.

As soon as I finish quilting my BST I will post it, and prob a tutorial for it, too.  It's an easy one.  VERY easy.  And hopefully I will soon get Little Moo FINALLY finished.  I'm close to being able to bind it.  I had hoped to tonight, but I am coughing a lot so I will head to bed when I am done with this post. BST is next in the rotation when Little Moo is done - so there is method in the disconnected sentences above.  Gotta finish Little Moo before I can put BST in the hoop and quilt by hand.

So that's me for the night.  I am taking my kitten and going to bed now.

Have a good night!