Monday, April 29, 2013

Bloom Bloom Pow Update

I spent the better part of Wednesday and Thursday last week trying to catch up with the Bloom Bloom Pow Quilt-along since I hadn't done anything after receiving the Pearl Bracelet fabric except to arrange it in color group stacks; Light, Medium and Dark, on April 2nd.

This is the first quilt related photo I've taken outdoors using natural light.  The colors really show up well even in the late afternoon.    I really like how the colors pop on the travertine tile.
Lee from Fleshly Pieced sends out weekly posts with instructions for cutting and piecing and I was almost four weeks behind.  I cut all the Pearl Bracelet fabric and half of the white pieces Wednesday.


We had a beautiful sunny morning on Thursday and the natural light in the Maus's Sewing Room was perfect for sewing and photography.   With coffee mug safely tucked away from my sewing area, I began piecing the strips.
The dark strips needed to be offset to correctly cut the triangles.
I have to admit I was a little leery of making a quilt using equilateral triangles, but Lee's process takes all the guess work out of it.
Next we sew three triangles into half hexagons....
This was the first part of last week's instructions.   Of course,  knowing I tend to get board doing the same thing over and over, I jumped around and sewed strips, cut triangles and then made half hexies, before piecing every color.   I'm combining different steps from the last three and a half weeks of quilt-along just to keep myself entertained.   
By Thursday dinner time, I had almost half (actually 47%) the half hexies done and the rest not even started. 
All the half hexies were completed yesterday and today, I finalized the layout and joined them into rows.   

A lot of quilters have design boards or use the floor to arrange their quilt pieces, And although you can eat off my floors....I just can't make myself put my clean fabric on the floor.  So, I use my king-sized bed or the queen sized guest bed as my design centers which allow me to play with the layouts and the color arrangements without having to get down and then back up from the floor numerous times.

I began to sew the 11 rows together and noticed I wasn't getting all the point intersections to line up perfectly.   The photo below is close but will need a slight adjustment.

Just to the left of the slightly misaligned points above is the orange bloom below and that center is off by a quarter of an inch.   The rest of the row looks good, so I'll just adjust the triangle seams a bit until the points line up.   So glad I didn't press any of he seams yet; ripping out heat set stitches is never fun.

I am pleasantly surprised at how large this quilt is.   It will make a good quilt for the San Pedro Munchkin.   I'll have to find the right purple tones for the back.  
I probably won't blog about this one again until she is all finished and ready for her trip to California.   I have until December to make that happen.
So now my focus can be the blocks and banners for Boston.    More on my progress with those in tomorrow's post.   See you then.


Friday, April 26, 2013

Thinking of Boston

Eleven days ago, we were all shocked by the terrorist attack near the finish line at the Boston Marathon.   I grew up in Lowell, MA about 35 miles northwest of Boston, attended college on Beacon Hill and have fond memories of standing near the finish line at a couple of marathons on Patriot's Day.   I copied the following button from the Boston Modern Quilt Guild blog and I think it clearly represents the resilience of the people of Greater Boston. 

We're hearing so much about the evil perpetrators of the heinous attack and not enough about the victims, who will undoubtedly need financial assistance as well as, our love and support.   

Here is a link to the fund announced by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor, Thomas Menino to help the relief efforts for those who suffered horrific injuries on April 15, 2013.

                                                                         Donate Here

I was also heartened by the outpouring of love within the quilting community.....

And a few days ago, the Boston Modern Quilt Guild, of which I am a member, put out the call to quilters worldwide to send in completed blocks so they could make comfort quilts for those affected by the terrorist attack.

Here is a link to their post requesting blocks....Quilts for Boston  and a photo from the BMQG blog displaying the fabric color palette for the blocks which must be postmarked by May 24th.  

Quilts for Boston Color Scheme

Today's BMQG post showed a photo of the first block received and it has only been a couple of days since they put out the call.

Many of the inspiring quilters behind the quilt blogs I regularly follow have already posted photos of the blocks they've made for Boston, so I knew I needed to check my stash and join this effort.

Here's a photo of the fabric I purchased today when I really should have been looking through my fabric stash.   I have some yellow, teal and blue Pearl Bracelet fabric left over from the Bloom Bloom Pow Quilt-a-long I'm doing with Lee at Freshly Pieced and that will fit in perfectly with my fabric bundles below.   I may have to find more blues to balance the grays.

Now I just have to decide what blocks I want to make.     I'm giving myself one week to make 10 to 12 blocks for the BMQG.

So stay tuned.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

It Is Alive!!!


Bill Murray uttered that in one of my all time favorite movies.

It is also something that's said between the Maus and her brother Eric whenever one of us is out of touch for a bit of time.  Don't you love how I occasionally refer to myself in the third person?  Just seeing if you're all actually paying attention to my ramblings.

Well, I finally remembered I have this little blog here and decided it was time to update it.  I last posted something on Palm Sunday eve and then focused all my energies on Holy Week.  

After that, Bubba and I took a week long trip to Kissimmee, Florida where we've had a timeshare condo for almost 30 years.   It was really great to have this timeshare week when we lived in Connecticut and then in Northern Virginia.  And now that we're only two and half hours north of Orange Lake Country Club, we haven't been as often.  

The week began with us relaxing as we got in a round of golf and I then went looking for a church to attend Mass and found a wonderful Parish Church called St. Faustina's nearby.   Where better to attend Mass on Divine Mercy Sunday but in a church named after the patron saint of Divine Mercy?

While Bubba continued golfing, I spent a bit of time with a very special lady, Jadeine Shives of the Convention and Visitor's Bureau in Kissimmee.   I contacted her before our trip south so I could line up a hotel and develop an activities plan for the 796th Military Police Battalion Association 2013 Reunion.   I'll blog more about this event in the future.  

The day we got home, I went right over to Aimee's house (see the previous blog) and started making up the Silent Auction baskets for Marissa's Fundraiser.  We were truly blessed to have so many beautiful items donated....and while Aimee was in Vegas, she tasked me with putting the donated items into visually appealing baskets.   We had two live auction items (think big ticket hotel vacations) and 63 baskets/items in the Silent Auction. The event on April 20th was a huge success and Marissa's team raised over $12,000 for Wolfson's Children's Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida..  

Prior to Holy week, I sent my Quilt-a-long with the Sewing Loft and Patchwork Posse quilt out to my dear friends at the Missouri Star Quilt Company for some stippling machine quilting.   I got it back the same day we arrived home from vacation and had plenty of time to add the hand sewn binding.   

Here are a few photos of the finished quilt.....

The quilt sold for $110 at the Silent Auction.  Robert Robertson, who also hails from my neck of the woods in Massachusetts, bought it for his Mom.    Thank you, Robert.  I hope she enjoys it.

I gave Marissa a choice of quilts for the Silent Auction.....and she was undecided until she saw the scrappy cat.   The other quilt she liked was my previously labeled "Ugly Quilt."  

Somehow this ugly duckling turned into a swan....   

I'm still not a fan of the little flowered prints, but piecing the leftover precut squares together for the border really helped make this comfort quilt come together.

I love the back and the minimal quilting.

Don't look too closely, I still have the binding pinned.   This quilt will probably be my Spring donation to the Prayer Blanket Ministry at Blessed Trinity Church.

As you can see, I'm working on photographing my quilts outdoors in natural light, especially now that the pollen is gone and the weather is lovely once again.     The privacy screens on our pool deck are finally being put to good use.

I have my Bloom Bloom Pow Quilt-a-long fabric almost completely cut and hope to begin piecing it tomorrow.  I also have a few more blocks done for the tourquoise and gray quilt and the chevron quilt is almost ready for sashing between the rows.  So I'll definitely generate another post before the week is out!

See you then,