Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Need for Groundrules and more

Yesterday, I spent a good bit of time organizing my activities associated with all things related to the Maus blog; otherwise I was in serious danger of having the Maus turn into a huge rat.    

Those of you who have been selected to review the blog and provide feedback before the big publicity push (ha ha ha ha ha), will notice I have a number of new logos and badges on the right side of the page.  I put them there to remind myself there have to be limits to this endeavour. 

So, those badges represent the groups in which I currently have membership and have made commitments to complete projects.  My goal is to limit the outreach, euphemism for over-extending the Maus,  to no more than 10 groups.   Since I also teach Knitting and Crochet at one of the "big box" craft stores, I have maxed out my availability and capacity for craftiness. 

The ground rules have been established and I hope you, my initial followers will send out the love....a smack up the side of the head will work, when I start expanding my horizons. 

Today was a very productive day.  I completed the third Block for the Sewing Loft and Patchwork Posse Quilt-a long....

3D Block  

 12 Pockets give it the 3D effect

The block looks complicated but it was the easiest one so far.  Pictures are already uploaded and posted on the Flickr site, so I'm done with the Posse until next Tuesday.

Over the weekend, I joined the Quilt-a-long with "don't call me betsy."  I couldn't resist joining this one, just based on the name.  Elizabeth has a significant following and I came late to this party.  The other members have been playing with foundation paper piecing since the beginning of January, which caused me to worry if I could catch up.  

The great thing about this group is it's a once a month activity and then the process was so easy as long as you follow the proper steps, I am now a paper piecing convert.   It's actually quilting by numbers and can be very useful when working with detailed and complex designs.

Here's my completed those pinks and greens

Lucky Star


It is a bit wonky, but that's the beauty of modern quilting.   The other 11 blocks for the quilt will also be stars and some are just breathtaking with the intricacy.   

I also managed to photograph the various quilting works in progress (WIPs), so I had to join the WIP Wednesday group to push me to finish these quilts.  I have to find a WIP support group for Knitting!

First on the list, is the Breast Cancer Lap Quilt I started for my sister, Angela when she went in for surgery.  I just need to complete piecing the back once I decide how I want it to look and then send it off to have it professionally quilted using the BC ribbon motif, by my friends at the Missouri Star Quilt Company.   It's a disappearing four patch pattern I found in MSQC's tutorials when I was contemplating trying quilting again.

45" square Quilt top

Here you can see the movement in the design

The goal is to have the back completed and the quilt in mail by next Wednesday, Feb. 6th, so I can get it back to add the binding and then get it to Ang for her birthday in March.

Tomorrow, maybe I'll document another WIP and get the clock started on that one. 

See you all then,


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Blogging vs. Quilting

Still trying to figure out all there is to the blogesphere, or maybe just my blog.   Since I didn't plan to post on a daily basis, it seems I have to re-learn what to do each time I come back here.  I'm sure my inexperience is quite similar to all other first time bloggers.   

Over the last few days, I've been playing with the layout of the blog and adding links to my favorite sites and the blogs I follow on a regular basis.  So bottom line is, I'm spending all my free time playing with this blog rather than doing anything creative, like quilting or sewing.

Yesterday, my really good friend Sofia told me about her blog, 4 Creative Sisters, which she created with three other teachers at Nansemond Suffolk Academy in Virginia.   These ladies are so talented and artistic and I highly recommend you check out their blog.  The link is at the bottom right side of this page.   

Sofia:  forget posting those beautiful pictures and quotes on FB, and instead put them in the blog.  Your blog is so visually appealing, I'll have to get "blogging" pointers from you.

I just returned from Massachusetts and the weather there was colder than normal for New England; single digit temps with double digit wind chill.   I was only there for four days but will need at least a week to warm up.  I delivered the first completed quilt of 2013.   It's a simple nine patch lap quilt for Sonya, the matriarch of our clan.  Yes, Eric....I know we're German and Portuguese and not from Scotland!  

So here are a couple of photos of the first officially completed quilt...

Mum's Lap Quilt
"Signature" piece
Mum loved the quilt; I just hope she uses it and not put it away for the future.    
After returning to warm and sunny Florida, I had to catch up on the Quick as a Fox second block, Flying Geese.   This is a quilt-a-long with the Patchwork Posse gang and there's a link to the group on my last post.
Quick as a Fox - Block 2
This wasn't a particularly difficult block until I inadvertently scorched the wrong side of the fabric on the off white and green swirl triangle.  Clearly, I was too focused on getting perfectly flat seams to notice I left my hot iron resting on this very delicate fabric.  Ouch.    

So I pulled it all apart, not fun.  Cut another piece of fabric and then couldn't get the pieces to fit back together again.  I replaced the swirly pieces twice and sewed and ripped out the center seam at least 20 times, at which point it was time to walk away.   This is where I remind myself that quilting is relaxing and enjoyable.
I finished the block, feeling like I settled on it but when I posted it to the Flickr site, my quilt-a-long friends were more than kind with their raves.   Quilters are just so nice!  Anyways, it's done and now on to Block #3, which is a quasi-3D process.  I'll have to post photos later in the week.
Tomorrow, I need to post photos and tell you about the other in progress quilts.   It's my way of pushing myself to complete these projects. 
So see you tomorrow.





Saturday, January 19, 2013

Quilt-a-long with Patchwork Posse

Woo Hoo, I came back.

Since this is a blog to journal my quilting and other craft projects, let's see what I have going

I've read about block of the month and other group quilt projects, but I've never done one before and thought it would be fun and a good way to meet other quilters.  I joined the quilt-a-long jointly sponsored by Patchwork Posse blog and the Sewing Loft blog. Here's the link to the Sewing Loft if anyone is interested in joining the group or seeing the sample project quilt. 

A few of us posted our fabric selections; eight fat quarters (four dark prints and four light prints) are needed for the quilt.   The first block is a 12.5 inch Log Cabin and here are my fabrics:

Original Fabric (dark fabrics on the right)

Original Block - just didn't work for me!

After taking the block apart and moving fabric around, I realized the color combinations needed to be changed.  I removed the light green and the brown swirl, moved the gorgeous paisley to the light fabric group and added a deep green from my Christmas stash and southwestern fabric purchased for the border on another quilt.  

New Fabric
Now there is a truly visible difference between the light and dark fabrics, and I love the way the new block looks.

The second block we make will be revealed next Tuesday, so check out the blog sometime the end of next week to see my progress.  
Hopefully, tomorrow I'll begin posting some of the other projects I'm working on. 
See you soon,

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Beginning

First things is January 18th and my older sister Madi's birthday.  So Happy Birthday you old lady of 59.  Only one more year until the start of a new decade; hope you're ready.  All kidding aside, I do want to thank you for all you do day-in and day-out for Mum. 

Mum and Dad's 50th Wedding Anniversary

So, why a Blog?  Well, after years of reading other blogs (currently, I follow a lot of knitting and other craft and foody blogs), I said to myself, "Hmmm, that looks like fun and how hard can that be?"

I love to cook, bake and work on crafts of all kinds.  With the new year, I wanted to look in another creative direction and decided to try my hand at quilting again after twenty plus years. 

Needless to say, I was inspired by some truly wonderful quilting blogs and I hope to link mine to theirs in the future.   My objective is to share a good story with all of you while I journey through the quilting process.  I'll probably include my other craft and food projects along the way.

That's it for now.   Let's see if I have the courage to post something tomorrow.

The Maus