Friday, July 23, 2010

Gifts of Grace - Love and Patience

You know - those two words do need to always go together.  Being patient with loved ones can be a challenge at times, but because we love them as much as we do, we have to practice patience.  I think its very appropriate that I publish my two most recent finishes in the Gifts of Grace together - don't you?  (One taken with a flash, the other without - hmmm, not sure which is better.

I was also going to show you the next step in the Circus Stars, but it seems those pictures have vanished from my computer.  Guess that will have to wait for another day.  My husband and I are skipping down for a few days - headed to the Tennessee mountains.  I sure hope it is cooler there than here!

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Happy Birthday, Momma

Just wanted to say happy birthday to my mom.  She never liked having her picture posted, so I won't do it here. Instead, I will show the first quilt she ever made, and it was a baby quilt for my brothers first and then passed down to me.

Mom would be 89 today, and I woke with the realization that this is her first birthday in my life that I can not share with her. 

I miss you Mom. 

Love you,

Sunday, July 18, 2010

K-Scope Block Construction - Lots of Pictures

I received 11 nice comments on my last post - thank you ladies, and five of you expressed an interest seeing how these blocks go together. I was not sure if I was boring you all with the details, so I will continue on with my process of putting together these blocks.  I know this post took awhile to load, but its full of pictures and no way can I explain this without lots of pictures!

First, I had to relieve my Keeper of the Project Box of her security duties so that I could get to the block pieces.  She takes her responsibility very seriously, jumping on the box as soon as I close the lid and sometimes before I close the lid if I don't fuss at her in time. 

Once into the box, I select my wedges according to the chart I showed in the prior post and lay them out on the design board. I would never attempt this quilt without a design board (a piece of foam board covered in flannel). 

 I have premarked the seam lines on each wedge.  I did not do this at first, and I ended up with some wonky looking stars, so I went back and marked each piece and it sure makes sewing them together easier.

I begin by sewing wedges together in pairs...starting at the outer edge of the wedge and sewing to the point where the seam lines intersect.

At least that is my goal - you can see I missed the mark a little on this seam.  Guess I should have done it over, but I did not notice it until I saw this picture, and my goof in living color!

The seam is pressed to one side, and I always press to the dark wedge.  It is important that you press the same for each wedge.  I have my iron right beside me when sewing and press each wedge as they are sewn together and return them to the design board to keep the colors straight.  If you are doing scrappy, and this is not important, then you could sew all the wedges together in twosies, and then iron them at one time. 

Now you sew the twosies together, lining up the seam down the middle.  I don't pin these together before sewing, but you could if you like.  I find the seams lock together nicely, and pinning is not needed.

Once again - sew the seam, stopping at the point where the seam lines intersect (should be 1/4 inch from inner point of wedge). Press the seams in the same direction as the "twosies" seams were pressed and now you have half the K-Scope together.
To sew the two halves together, you want to make sure all seams are matching up correctly.  I have pinned the edge of the top half back so you can see the seams.

I also place a pin in the point of each half, where the wedges meet, to make sure that I am lining them up right.  This is a crucial step to making sure your points all match in the center of the star - and it can be very aggravating when they don't!
Sew across the two halves, and press the seams in the same direction that the prior seams are facing, creating a nice swirl right in the middle. which is necessary for it to lay flat.
 Now the easy the corner squares to the corner wedges to make your block square.  You just have to remember which are the corners!  I know this from experience.   After all the corners are on, you are ready to square up your block.  My blocks measure 6 1/2" unfinished. So there you have the finished blocks.  Next week I will discuss sewing the blocks into rows, which is a trick in itself.

Hope you enjoyed and maybe even picked up a tip or two - its always fun to share!
Thanks for stopping by,

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Circus Stars

I recently took the pledge to show my "work in progress" rather than just showing finished projects.  (See Rosie's blog and the button on my right margin) This is really not a problem with me, as I have many in process and would not be able to post weekly if  I only showed the finished.  I think the real intent is to show the steps or work being performed.

So as I pulled out my Circus Stars quilt, I thought I would show you a few of the steps involved in making this quilt.  I have shown in it in the past, and I know some of you must be a little tired of looking at it, but I will try to be brief. 

I have a color layout chart to keep track of where I am on the quilt.  There are sixteen different colorations of stars.  The block between each star block has to have one point of  color of the blocks it touches, and this can be a real challenge keeping it straight as to what color comes next. 

Using the layout chart, I layout two blocks at a time - comparing it to the chart and the quilt in progress on my design wall, to double check that I have the colors in the right place. 

Here is a shot of a portion of the quilt on my design wall - for those who are seeing this for the first time.  I just love working on this quilt and playing with all the colors.  I do have to wonder though, where in the world will this quilt reside in my home???? 

Next week I will share the process of making the actual blocks.   So stay tuned. 

Finished up the second block - JOY - in the Gifts of Grace free block of the month being offered on Val Laird's blog.  These blocks are so pretty and give me JOY to just be working on them  Thank you Val for so generously sharing your talent with us.

Thanks for stopping by and come back soon!


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Vacation Over....dagnabit

Just when I was getting used to being at home all day with my husband, who is currently on short term disability, its time to go back to work.  Sigh....

So what did I accomplish while off for one week? 

Each morning was spent working on the china cabinet. Its almost done - just have to paint the inside of the glass doors, which is why you see the green and blue tape on the glass.  This has been a real labor of love as my dad made this cabinet, I want to preserve it, but geez - I just hate painting.  I must be the messiest painter in the world and ending up covered in paint from my hair to my toes.  I went with my husband to the doctor this week, and had to laugh when I looked down at my feet at the doctors office. Had on croc slides, and sure enough, the tip of each toe had paint on it, in addition to the soles of my feet.  Now I know I washed those feet!

On  Friday, I took a break from painting and life in general, and headed to Columbia to visit my friend Darlene.  We had a great time and made a trip to Michaels to get beads and floss for the Gifts of Grace project.  (See the button on  my sidebar.) This is the first block and I just love working with these.  A combination of stitchery, applique and working with beads.  The free BOM has already issued 5 blocks, so I have some catching up to do.

And last but not least, I got my klosjes sewn up for a second wall hanging.  Hopefully I can sew the binding on straight on this one!

Yesterday all the family came over and we had a great gathering for July 4th (July 3rd - in our case), and it was a ton of fun.   I hope you have all had a good week and thanks for stopping by,