Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Grand Illusion Mystery Part 2

Hi all -

Well, it's time for the Grand Illusion Mystery part 2 link-up, but I'm not quilt finished with this week's clue.  Here's what I have so far:

The units you see at the bottom, although these aren't sewed together yet, are the final units for this week. I'm using the sew-and-flip method for making the rectangular units. It's more time-consuming, but that's just more accurate for me. And I love having the bonus half-square triangle units you see in the picture. These aren't part of this quilt, but will be useful in another quilt or if I decide that this quilt needs an additional border. I have about half of the rectangular units done (there are 200 of these, to make 100 squares), and then will need to sew these together into square. But I won't have access to my sewing machine until after Christmas, so I'll have to catch up then. Looking forward to it!!

I also finished the last of my Christmas presents:

These are for my two sisters. They are made from some of my mom's linens. I believe these were those cloths that they used to put on the arms of chairs. These are handmade and I'm assuming they were made by my mom, but don't know for sure. The pictures are of my mom and her sister when they were toddlers, around 1929. Here's a close-up of the one for my sister, Sue:

And the one for Linda:

Here's a better shot of my quilting:

And here's the back of Sue's:

I did write the names of my mom and her sister on the backs after I took the pictures, so all of the information is recorded. I really love how they turned out and think my sister's will be thrilled!

That finishes my Christmas shopping and sewing and wrapping, and just in time since I leave tomorrow to go home. My sister Sue is getting married on Saturday, so I'm staying through Christmas to save me a bunch of driving.

Happy Quilting!


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Christmas Presents

Hi all -

Whew, have I been working hard trying to get ready for Christmas! I've felt like one of Santa's elves, but the finish line is in sight. Good thing, since my deadline is next week, when I drive to Kansas City for my sister's wedding and stay until after Christmas.

I've finished some really fun stuff. The first is a table runner for my niece, Terra. This was a kit that I picked up at the Keepsake Quilting virtual warehouse sale. Got to love sales!! And I just love this pattern! It's Merry-Go-Round by Atkinson Designs. I had already shared the pieced top, but now it's quilted and bound and ready to go.

I love the clean look of this quilt. The fabrics from the kit really appeal to me and I'll probably make another one of these sometime in the future.  In the center, I decided to use McTavishing:

I love the movement that McTavishing provides! On the edges I decided to play with straight lines. I've been wanting to try matchstick quilting, so I threw that in here:

And the backing is scrappy, which I always love:

The next table topper I made was from the Prairie Flower pattern by Marjorie Rhine of Quilt Design Northwest. This one will be for my sister, Linda. Again, it was a sale kit from Keepsake Quilting and I had shared the pieced and appliqued top earlier, but now the quilt is finished. It really is a stunning design!

You can't really see the quilting very well on the front, even in person, but I used matching thread in the bobbin so the back would be fun, too.

I love to quilt feathers, so I used those in the "flower" areas. I also love to quilt leaves, so those went in. Then I was a bit stumped, so I decided to add lines to contrast with the feathers.

I marked the lines in the diamonds to make sure that they would be perfect. When I try to do something like that without marking, everything is just so uneven that I don't like it. You can see that in the curved lines in the corners. Marking takes some extra time, but I really think it's worth it!

Once the table toppers were finished, I moved on to some zipper bags for my other sister, Sue. These are from the Stash & Dash Bags pattern by Amy Butler. These bags started with the fabric. I found this Paris fabric at a vendor booth at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Festival. I had to get it for my sister because her fiance proposed to her on the Eiffel Tower last spring. Then I just had to figure out what to make out of this fabric, and these bags seemed perfect.

Here is a close-up of the largest bag so you can see the fabric a bit better. See the Eiffel Towers all over it?

Of course, I bought a yard or two of this fabric and have a bunch left over, so she'll have some more Eiffel Tower gifts in her future.....

Another thing that seems to be the craze lately is infinity scarves, so I decided to make these for my sisters and nieces. While in Houston, I stopped by the SewBatik booth to pick up some rayon batiks. I had seen some sewing program on TV that made mobius scarves (infinity scarves sewn together with a twist) and had the opening for turning on one of the long sides, so this is what I wanted to do. I looked around online to find the instructions, but it seemed like everything I found wanted to put the opening in the short seam where you connect the ends and I didn't want to put it there. Finally, I found this video that showed me how to do exactly what I wanted to do:


And here are the 5 scarves I ended up making:

The rayon really has a nice drape! Lance was nice enough to model one of the scarves for you:

He's such a cutie!!

The only things I have left to finish are a couple of really small quilts for my sisters made out of some old linens of my mom's. The linens are those little things that they used to put on the arms of chairs. It's kind of cool that I can give matching quilts to my sisters! They are turning out really cool, but I still have some quilting to finish on them so I'll share them when they're done.  I think you'll really like them!

It's been a lot of fun working on all of these things, but I'm pretty excited to be almost finished. And the next clue for Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt will come out on Friday, so I'll be pretty busy this weekend! But that'll mean more to share on Monday (hopefully)....

Happy Quilting!


Monday, December 1, 2014

Grand Illusion Mystery, Part 1

Hi all -

First, I thought I'd share the beautiful sunrise we had here on Saturday morning:

Isn't that glorious?

This weekend I took a break from making Christmas presents to start work on Bonnie Hunter's Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt.  The first clue came out on Friday, so I spent the weekend making the blocks.

Our first task was to make 280 2.5" half-square triangles. Whew, that's a lot of triangles! I used my Accuquilt GO cutter, so the cutting went pretty quickly. Here are my finished squares:

For fun, I spread them all out to see how I liked the colors:

I'm liking them!

The next step was to cut 100 black and 100 yellow 2.5" squares and sew them together with the half-square triangles (80 of the triangles are left over for another step) to make the first set of blocks. Here are the blocks that I made, all spread out:

We also have a bunch of greens and neutrals to add into this quilt as we go along, so it should be a beautiful combination! This is my first Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt and I'm really excited to be participating!

If you want to see the progress other people are making on this quilt, here is the link-up page. New clues come out each Friday and I will try to keep up the best I can.

Happy Quilting!!