Thursday, August 28, 2014

Double Date

From the moment I saw a Single Girl quilt, I knew I wanted to make one. Early this summer I finally started making one out of my mega-stash of Denyse Schmidt fabrics. After seeing Chase's beautiful version using low volume prints, a match was made in heaven as far as I was concerned.

single girl quilt

single girl quilt

single girl quilt

Mr Romance

single girl quilt

single girl quilt

single girl quilt

single girl quilt

single girl quilt

The quilt has been finished for a few weeks, but I needed a good place to take photos. I should have learned my lesson from shooting the Clam Shell quilt at the beach, but we decided to incorporate a week night date and a trip to the beach to see the big surf going on in Orange County this week. It was an added bonus that there was a gorgeous sunset, too. So Mr. Romance had a double date with me and a Single Girl. Trying to take photos of a quilt at the beach is like trying to fly by holding a sail; it's not easy and you can't really get a proper shot. But I still love all the photos that we took, so this post is photo heavy.
I used pieces from all of my Denyse Schmidt collection including Hope Valley, Flea Market Fancy, Katie Jump Rope, Chicopee, Shelburne Falls, Ansonia and DS for Joann's. I also have a good stash of low volume prints from my Inside Voices Club, so this combination just was screaming to be made into a quilt.
I will admit these curves gave me a few headaches. I used glue basting sometimes and really did not notice a difference on this quilt. I love glue basting, but this time not so much. I took my time paper piecing the 4 inch squares I had cut out of each fabric onto the arcs and then sewed the inside low volume print and finally the outside arc with a different low volume print. I used vellum paper for the paper piecing. It is easy to see through for placing the fabric and it tears easily after you're finished sewing the arcs. I removed the papers from the arcs before sewing the inside and outside low volume prints to the arcs. This is a super scrappy quilt and I love the way it came together.
I quilted it with "crazy 8's" in horizontal rows across the quilt. They are very wonky but created a lovely texture on this quilt. The backing is a print from Flea Market Fancy that I had been hoarding in anticipation of another Denyse Schmidt quilt. The final bit of DS fabric used was an aqua print from Joann's for the binding. 
You'll notice the label is not personalized. I was originally making this quilt for my granddaughter's 12th birthday last week, but then decided the irony of a Single Girl quilt might be lost on her. I was going to say, "This is the last quilt I am making you until I make you a double wedding ring quilt when you get married" But seriously, 12 year olds don't need to think about getting married and she wouldn't know a Single Girl quilt from a Double Wedding Ring quilt, anyway. Instead she got clothes and cash. I might save it for her and give it to her in a few years, or maybe I'll keep it for myself. I do love the way it turned out. Either way, it will be loved.

Quilt Stats:

Name: Double Date
Pattern: Denyse Schmidt's Single Girl pattern, altered to make a paper pieced version
Fabrics: All Denyse Schmidt fabric including Flea Market Fancy, Katie Jump, Hope Valley, Ansonia, Shelburne Falls, Chicopee, and DS for Joann's. Low volume prints from stash.
Batting: Warm and White
Backing: Flea Market Fancy print
Binding: Aqua print DS for Joann's
Thread: pieced and quilted with Aurifil 50 wt. #2310 
Finished size: 56" x 78"

This is my second completion for my 3rd quarter Finish Along List. 2 down/2 to go!

Finish Along 2014

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

WiP Wednesday Selvage Quilt

Back in February I started making selvage blocks.
I started a selvage block along on Instagram and Flickr.
I got bored and moved on to something else.
I made more blocks.
I ran out of good selvage strips.
A friend donated selvages to me.
I made more blocks.
I got busy making other projects.
And then this week I decided to finish this quilt.
I arranged 100 8-1/2" unfinished blocks in a random pattern.
Now these 100 blocks are sewn into 25 blocks.
I think I'll have a little play with the arrangement and finish getting this quilt top pieced.

The next photo you will see of this project is the massive pile of vellum paper, as I will need to rip off all the foundation paper I pieced these with and then baste the quilt.
I might need lots of encouragement and tips on pin basting. I am usually a spray baster but with all the diagonal piecing I think it's going to require more stability before quilting. 
All your helpful hints will be gladly accepted.

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced

Monday, August 18, 2014

Comfort for Karen

The cross block has been a popular block in our online quilting community. I chose it for my month as queen in the Modern Stitching Bee earlier this year. I asked for bright colored crosses with low volume backgrounds. I received 20 blocks and made 10 more to give me a nice sized quilt with a 5x6 layout. These blocks finish at 12" square.
These blocks have been sitting in my work in progress pile waiting for the right reason to turn them into a quilt.
My childhood friend has recently been diagnosed with lymphoma and if that's not a good reason to finish this quilt, I don't know what is. 
This is a photo of us with Karen, from her daughter's (our goddaughter) wedding in 2006. 

I got all the blocks assembled into a pleasing layout. 
Then I quilted it very simply by stitching in the ditch along the larger squares.
cross block quilt
I backed it with two IKEA prints and a black and white chevron print, pieced together. 
Ikea Fabric

I'm pleased with the way this quilt turned out and I'm so glad I can send it off to Karen to give her some comfort while she endures a rigorous chemo schedule.
cross block quilt
My thanks goes out to everyone in the Modern Stitching Bee for their help in making this quilt. Rhonda, Leanne, Jennie, Clara, Sarah, Annaliese, Katy, Annabella, Rebecca and Emily all contributed blocks for this quilt.
cross block quilt

cross block quilt

Quilt Stats:
Quilt Name: Comfort for Karen
Pattern: My own pattern inspired by Rachel's quilt
Fabrics: bright colors and low volume prints
Backing: Ikea prints and Riley Blake Chevrons
Batting: Warm and White
Thread: quilted with Aurifil 50 wt. color 2310
Binding: Heath by Alexander Henry in grey
Finished Size: after laundering 57" x 68"

I have included the measurements I used for each block. These blocks are 12.5" unfinished.

cross block

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Imagine Quilts

My super talented friend, Dana {Old Red Barn Co.}, has a new book out and it is fabulous. She has put so much thought into combining her fabric stash with beautiful designs. Dana encourages quilters to break the rules, don't put yourself in a category, and just have fun and enjoy the process. I love these ideas and try to assure myself that I am a quilter with no boundaries. I have looked at every design and slapped my forehead saying, "why didn't I think of that?" That's the difference between Dana and me...she creates beautiful designs. I just sew.
Dana has pulled inspiration from her everyday life living in rural North Carolina. We have shared a friendship for a few years now and I am always envious of her gorgeous walks through the backroads of her home town that she shares on Instagram. The cover quilt is one of those inspirations. #Poseypatrol is a hashtag that she often uses on Instagram and is the name of her cover quilt.
And speaking of Instagram, you can win a digital copy of Dana's book. Just go to my Instagram account @ylmommyx4 and "like" the photo of her book cover. I'll pick a winner on Friday, August 15. 

This book arrived at the perfect time. How many "epic Denyse Schmidt quilts" can I create? I have already made 2, the Clamshell and I've almost finished a Single Girl quilt, so what's one more, right? My stash of her fabrics is still quite large and I have this huge pile of the near quarter circle off cuts from cutting almost 400 clamshells, so I think I am going to make a quilt inspired by Posey Patrol. Now to get my template and start trimming these pieces.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Monkey Socks

I finally finished the Monkey Socks I started knitting in Vancouver last month. I have to admit I did not enjoy knitting this pattern but I love the way they look and feel on my feet. Patterned socks are so pretty but I prefer a non-sensical approach to knitting socks, which means just doing a plain and simple sock. I made a lot of counting errors and had to unknit a row here and there. Each of the eight rows in the pattern is different, so I got a bit mixed up when talking or watching TV.
You'll notice a little problem here with the yarn. The first sock, on the left, is a different color than the second sock. I have written to the person I bought the yarn from to ask if she has any clue why this happened. It's not a big deal to me, but I would like to avoid this in the future.
Monkey Socks
I like knitting the Fish Lips Kiss heel so much that I have it memorized and don't think I will try anything else. But, I really should try to challenge myself with a new heel technique.
Monkey Socks
I also like following the Fish Lips Kiss heel pattern instructions for making the sock to fit your own foot. That means a longer toe than most patterns call for. The author suggests having the toe end at the top of your pinky toe before starting a patterned sock.
Monkey Socks
The pattern really is a pretty one and looks lovely in this yarn. This is the eighth pair of socks I have finished since starting my first pair last September while at Sewing Summit. 
Monkey Socks

Sock Stats:
Pattern: Toe Up Monkey Socks
Yarn: Wonder Sock Yarn from Gale's Art on Etsy, Graffiti and Asphalt colorway
          75% wool, 25% nylon, 3.5 oz., 465 yards
Needles: Addi Turbo Sock Rockets 40"circular needles US size 1, 2.5 mm

I really want to find some Opel Hundertwasser sock wool for my next pair of socks. I went to my local yarn store, which happens to be owned by a woman from Austria. You'd think she'd have this yarn, but she said she doesn't carry it any more. It's self patterning. My friend, Helen in Switzerland, just made a great looking pair. I am going to hunt down some of this yarn on the internet.

**I heard back from Gale's Art and she assured me the color change is just a normal color variance as a result of the dyeing process. That's good to know.

This is my first finish on the 3rd quarter finish along list.

 Finish Along 2014

Thursday, August 7, 2014

August Bee Blocks

I try to get my bee commitments finished early in the month. Since there are still a few hours left in the first week of August, I am going to call this month a success. 
This is the last month in the Modern Stitching Bee. I think it's very appropriate that the last month we are making for the leader of this bee. Rhonda has asked for Union Jack blocks in bright colors with Kona White as the background. I had a little trouble with the directions of the stripes, but as always, when you actually READ the directions and follow them, things work out as they are intended to do. This tutorial is by Molli Sparkles and can be found here on his blog

union jack quilt block
Next up is Angela in the Stitch Tease Bee. She asked for 8 small cross blocks for her medallion quilt that she is working on finishing, using bright colors with scrappy low volume backgrounds. After the cutting, these came together so quickly. I just chain pieced them and had them all sewn up in less than an hour. ANge said she was short on purples and oranges, so I make two of each. I hope the lighter purple is not too light. 
mini cross quilt block
For do.Good Stitches Dream circle we were asked to make sailboat blocks in red and blue. Straight forward and simple as can be.
sailboat quilt block

Now I need to quilt and bind 2 quilts. See you soon with two finishes, fingers crossed.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Garden Fresh Tomato Soup...a recipe

A few weeks ago I found myself with too many tomatoes and too little time to do anything with them. We were going away for the weekend, so I put them in the refrigerator and forgot about them. Three weeks later I decided I needed to throw them away. But when I looked at them, there were a few bad ones but most were still good.
I decided to run them through the food mill and freeze them. But wait, I still have several jars of tomato puree, from last year, in the freezer, so I decided  I would make a tomato soup. I didn't have a recipe but I know onion makes it sweet and garlic and thyme go well with tomatoes, so I started creating a recipe and it turned out really good.

The end result was so delicious.
garden fresh tomato soup

garden fresh tomato soup

garden fresh tomato soup

Garden Fresh Tomato Soup
10 cups fresh tomato puree
1 large onion, sliced thin on a mandolin
4 oz. butter
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
6 sprigs fresh thyme
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
3 Tablespoons canned tomato paste
**as needed: sugar, baking soda and balsamic vinegar

Melt butter in a large pan. Add onions and gently cook until they are soft and melted. Add garlic and celery and sauté until soft. Mix in remaining ingredients. Bring everything to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until reduced by almost half, about 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Remove the thyme sprigs.
Smooth out the soup by running an immersion blender through it to make a nice creamy texture.
Mine tasted a bit metallic, so I added 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon sugar and 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar.

To serve the soup, make grilled cheese croutons. Just a simple grilled cheese sandwich, then cut into small chunks.

Freeze the leftovers into serving sized proportions. I put mine in pint jars, which are probably 2 servings each. 
Yield about 10 cups.

*the next time I make the grilled cheese croutons I will use a crustier bread or just make a chunky, parmesan crouton. My grilled cheese croutons got too soggy too fast.

Important Note: It is not recommended to water bath can tomato soup to store on the shelf. I used canning jars but have stored the soup in the freezer.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Fresh Sewing Day...the august version

It's been a while since I have linked up with Lynne's Fresh Sewing Day.
I've had a good month finishing the paper pieced version of the Single Girl Quilt and getting all my Modern Stitching Bee cross blocks sewn together. I made 5 more blocks so I have a 5x6 layout.
Add the bee blocks I made for do Good Stitches,Stitch Tease and Modern Stitching bee and the two Handmade Birthday Club gifts (date Night Clutch and foldover clutch with leather), a tie for my grandson and a patchwork pillow and I will call July a good month. 
I also finished one Monkey Sock and I am almost finished with the second sock.

But I have to say I am most proud of something I did not was helping my grand daughter make her first quilt top. This has been a very long term project but I see a finished quilt coming soon. We just need to choose a backing and then I can teach her how to baste and quilt it. I think for her first quilt it will be some simple straight lines.

Lily's Quilts