Category Archives: Lucky Stars

I finally have a REAL design wall!

Design Wall & BOM Away Monday

First, I’m linking to both Design Wall Monday and BOM Away Monday.  My design wall includes the finished Block 2 of the Hampton Ridge BOM that I finished early last week.

Hampton Ridge BOM Block 2 Completed  October 22, 2013

Hampton Ridge BOM
Block 2 Completed
October 22, 2013

But what I’m really happy and excited about are the wonderful changes my daddy made to my sewing room/office.

The wall is up!

The wall is up!

I brought this with me from Los Angeles but I didn’t think I had the room for it.  I really do not but this room has french doors and what you do not see is that the left side of the “wall” covers the right door.  I originally didn’t want to cover it.  But I wasn’t using the door but once in a while when I needed to move things in and out.  With the design wall, I can always remove it when I want to open the right door.

And that’s not the only thing my daddy put up!  He slapped some nails down and now I have a couple of places to hang my rulers.

Rules are up! Left side  of the closet/desk

Rules are up!
Left side of the closet/desk

Rulers on the right side.

Rulers on the right side.

I’ve still got the cork board I made a few months ago.  I just moved it to the right side of my desk.  You can’t tell in the picture as it just looks like every other picture I’ve taken of it.  But trust me, it’s on the right and it was moved. 🙂

And the cork board was moved to a different space.  My lucky star BOM is still unfinished there.

And the cork board was moved to a different space.
My lucky star BOM is still unfinished there.

The Lucky Star BOM is still unfinished as I wasn’t able to get much sewing done yesterday.

See more design walls at Patchwork Times and more finished BOMs at  .

Wish I was quilting.

Melanie

WIP Wednesday – 10/23/2013

WIP Wednesday at Freshly PiecedGetting it done – one piece at a time…

I tried spray basting for the first time Monday evening and it worked! It was relatively easy. If I had followed each step completely it would have been even easier. But I didn’t and I suffered for it. Anyway I got the back of the secret project done on Sunday and spray basted it Monday right before the sun went down. I’ll be quilting it later this week. I plan on moving my sewing machine around a little to get the table configuration set up for quilting a “throw” size quilt. At least it is not a queen size. I plan on doing simple straight lines and on Saturday I will need to get fabric for the binding. I have nothing in my stash for that. We’ll see how the spray basting works with the quilting. I’ve heard mixed reviews online and from the comments in the Craftsy class “Quilting Big Projects on a Small Machine”. Some have loved it and some have found their needles get all gummy.  I’m curious to see how mine turns out.

Lucky Star BOM Jan. 2013 Unfinished

Lucky Star BOM
Jan. 2013
Unfinished

Here’s where I’m at with Lucky Star – Jan. 2013 Block. It is still unfinished. I’m about half way done and I’m a little worried that I do not have enough red in my scrap box. At least pieces that are big enough to use. My point doesn’t match again but I’m okay with it.  It really is just all the bulk that builds up.  If you’ve got any tips or tricks on how to get the points to match despite that – I’m all ears. 🙂

Hampton Ridge BOM Block 2 Completed  October 22, 2013

Hampton Ridge BOM
Block 2 Completed
October 22, 2013

I’m enjoying Hampton Ridge.  The smaller blocks are more difficult and I’m learning to ignore some of the pressing instructions to reduce the bulk in the back and help keep my points matching.  I’m usually one to follow all the instructions because I assume the pattern designer knows how everything will turn out and that is why they give certain instructions.  However as I quilt more and more and follow patterns I realize that it’s okay to not follow some directions if I know a better way to make the block come together and lay a little more flat.  There are so many ways to do things that the pattern writer may not know all the tricks.  Or they are just making the instructions simple for all levels to follow.  That bit of freedom I allowed myself helped me to match most of my points and reduce some of the bulk. Of course, sometimes I get into trouble like the skipping steps in my spray basting instructions. 🙂 Working with a smaller size causes bulkiness.  Have you experienced the same thing?

1. Raining Cats and Dogs – Block 6 – I’ve got the first 3 pieces appliqued down. There are a ton of little pieces for this block so I’m just concentrating on doing one piece at a time.

2. my hand quilt – Working on quilting Border #3 – This one is like the Eveready Bunny – it just keeps going and going. Well the end is in sight because I’m on the last border. I just got to be like the Eveready Bunny – I need to keep going. lol

3. Easy Street – I’ve put a hold on this. Being on the same step for Easy Street and Secret Project is no fun. I get tired and I don’t enjoy it. So I’ve set that aside until the Secret Project is done. Then I can finish the backing and work on getting it quilted. Since I have to go to the quilt shop on Saturday for fabric for the binding, the long arm certification class is on Saturday. I may get in on that and get it out-of-the-way.

What is on your WIP Wednesday?

~Wish I was quilting…

Melanie

See more WIP Wednesday posts at Freshly Pieced.  Also linking up with Kate  at Life In Pieces for the first time. 🙂

Enjoying the quilting process

Design Wall & BOM Away Monday

Design Wall 10/21/2013

Design Wall 10/21/2013

I’m linking to both Design Wall Monday and BOM Away Monday.  My design wall includes the finished Block 1 of the Hampton Ridge BOM that I finished early last week.

Hampton Ridge BOM Block 1 Completed  October 14, 2013

Hampton Ridge BOM
Block 1 Completed
October 14, 2013

I’ve got an unfinished block from Lucky Star BOM (January 2013) up there as well.  I’m working on that one a bit at a time it seems.  By the time I get to that block I’m at the end of my quilty time and I have just enough steam left to just do one of the parts.  I have a few more days to finish it before the end of the month so there’s no rush.  Really there is no rush at all.  It’s not like I need to have anything done by a certain time.  No one needs any of the quilts I make as soon as possible.  Obviously that’s different if I’m making a gift that has a deadline.  Which I haven’t done yet so no worries there.  Some times in the ever need to finish something to add to my blog or reduce my stash I feel a rush to get things done.  Or maybe it’s just the day and age where faster is better.  I have to remind myself to slow down and enjoy the process.  I’ll get done what I can but I want to make quality work, learn as I go and experience the pleasure of quilting – whether it is the sound of my sewing machine or the comfort of hand work.

See more design walls at Patchwork Times and more finished BOMs at  .

Wish I was quilting.

Melanie

WIP Wednesday – 10/16/2013

WIP Wednesday at Freshly PiecedGetting it done – one piece at a time…

I cannot believe that the last time I posted a WIP Wednesday was 9/25.  Whew!  I didn’t realize how much time has gone by.  Well I have all these list of things that need to get done and I’ve prioritized my projects and I have calmed myself into a semblance of organization.  And while I’ve followed some of my self-imposed rules I have been very BAD!!!!  Okay – let me explain.  I have a particular project that I’m working on.  I’m almost done with the back, then I baste and then I quilt and then I bind!  You know the drill!  I know that I will not be able to really work on it until NEXT weekend – that’s 10/26.  So while I could work a little bit on it here and there between now and then – I just don’t have the time on the weekdays or the space to lay everything out.  So on the weekdays my daily tasks are those things I can do that do not require time and space – mainly I do a bit of hand quilting in front of the TV and a bit of hand applique at my sewing table.  By a bit – I mean 1 string.  That’s it.  That’s all I require of myself every day.  If I feel like doing more – well then I’ve got my October goals that I need to work on.  But I didn’t want to do any of my goals the last few days.  Other than getting most of the backing done for special project I haven’t done anything else on my get it done list.  Last Friday the first BOM came for Hampton Ridge.  And while I wanted to dive into it as soon as it came I held myself back.  I didn’t have time to enjoy it so I put it aside to play with later.  Then Sunday evening came.  I spent most of Sunday working on that special secret project and by the evening I was tired of it.  I didn’t want to work on Easy Street because that involves more piecing the backing.  Really boring stuff that I was just done with.  So I pulled out Block 1 Sunday evening and started on it.   I finished it Monday night.

Hampton Ridge BOM Block 1 Completed  October 14, 2013

Hampton Ridge BOM
Block 1 Completed
October 14, 2013

It’s 8″ unfinished.  I have three more to go this month.  It was difficult working with the smaller pieces.  But I want to pay attention to my points and get them matching as much as possible.  I learned how to do a new way to do half square triangles and I’m not sure if I love it or not.  The instructions called them “Star Single” Half square triangle papers.  After stitching continuously through 8 lines on paper and fabric and then cutting at strategic places, I end up with 4 -1&1/4 inch half square triangles.  Then I put them together.  In the end it looks like two flying geese side by side and I wonder why the instructions just didn’t have us do those pieces that way.  Who knows but I’m always interested in learning new ways to do things in case I find I like the new way better.  I followed the instructions and I had to pay really close attention to the seems and points matching.  Quite a few didn’t match but I was able to finagle it with the ironing so that it was close.  There was only one pair that I had to rip apart and redo because that one was way off.  It worked better when I ignored the pressing instructions and pressed in whatever way gave me the best chance to get the points to match.  It might have been easier to just do two flying geese (geeses?).  I would still need to match the points but maybe not as many points.   I’m not sure I love it or even enjoyed the process but I learned something new and that gives me a good feeling.  AND…it’s a finished block, one block closer to a finished quilt. 🙂

Then last night, I worked on the Jan.2013 Block for Lucky Stars.  I didn’t finish it.  I knew I didn’t have time.  But I have the upper left corner of it done.

Lucky Star Jan. 2013 Block Unfinished... 10/15/13

Lucky Star
Jan. 2013 Block
Unfinished…
10/15/13

And I love it.  I almost started with the 6.5″ version and stopped myself.  As I recall when I did the previous block I started with the smaller version thinking it would be easier but found it more difficult.  So this version is the upper left portion of the 12.5″ block.  I think it’s coming out great so far.  And all the fabric came from my scrap box!  Even better because that box is getting kind of full.  I realized that this is one reason I should not cut down all my scraps to smaller sizes like I’ve read/heard scrappy quilters do.  So that’s another thing to think about.

Well I’m very proud of myself, even though these two things were not on my to do list these last few days I like what I’ve done and that, my friends, is the most important thing!

And… here’s an update on the other items on my Get It Done list…

1. Raining Cats and Dogs – Block 6 – I started on this on Sunday.  This isn’t on my to do list for October.  My to do list was to finish Block 9 which was done last weekend.  However I want this quilt done sooner rather than later.  So I got the background pieced together and I started appliqueing the first piece last night.  It’s really big so I only got half of it done.

2. my hand quilt – Working on quilting Border #3 – I plan on doing 3-4 rows of quilting all around Border #3.  I’m almost done with the first row on all four sides.

Tonight I’m going to the PreShow at PIQF in Santa Clara, CA.  I’m so excited.  I’ll take pictures where I can.  They’re usually pretty strict about not taking pictures and posting them online so I doubt I’ll be able to post much.  However, I will post (with permission, of course) when I can. So starting tonight until Sunday, I’m at PIQF and I will not be working on any of my quilts.  I’ll be in workshops learning new methods.

If you haven’t already read it or need a reminder, this post lists the workshops I’ll be at.  And if you are there, comment below or send me an email.  I will get notified on my phone.  It would be great to meet an online friend in person. 🙂

What is on your WIP Wednesday?

~Wish I was quilting…

Melanie

See more WIP Wednesday posts at Freshly Pieced.

What’s going on? It’s Saturday already?

I find myself this morning with a little time to actually update ya’ll on what I’ve been up to this week.  Wednesday passed me by before I realized that I forgot to do my WIP Wednesday post.  So, here’s an update on what I’ve been able to accomplish with my Get It Done list for this month –

  • First Quilt – October goal: Hand quilt border #2 and #3.
Border #2 is done and I’m working on Border #3.  I try to work on this one daily doing one string at a time while I watch TV with the kids or hang out with the hubby.  Lately I have been too tired and not in the mood to pick this up and quilt it.  I know it is going to take longer than the month of October to finish this border because it is bigger than the previous two borders and I plan to quilt it more than the other two.  That may be why I haven’t been as diligent to pick this up every day.  I want to try swirls but the other two borders are pretty much straight hand quilting and I’m afraid it might look weird if I start doing swirls at the very end.  What do you think?  Should I just do it?  
  • Easy Street – October goal: Get the backing done and baste it
I’m working on the backing now.  I’m actually half way done with it.  I pulled all the leftover fabric that I had and pieced them together.  I’m not sure I have enough though and I am going to try to finish the backing this weekend. 
Block #9 is done!  I finished it yesterday after work.  I want to start on the next block and have already pulled it out of that pile.  I’m not sure I’ll be able to get any of this started but my daily task includes hand applique and without this I will not have any hand applique to do. 
 
Block 9 - Done Raining Cats and Dogs

Block 9 – Done
Raining Cats and Dogs

LInking up with Quilt Story to share.

I haven’t touched this one at all.  I haven’t pulled fabric or even looked at the instructions.  I think this one will wait for a little while. 
  • Secret Project #1 – FINISH THE TOP, QUILT AND BIND!
I have two more borders (the top and the bottom) and that finishes the top.  I’ve got to get the backing pieced together.  Since this top involved two jelly rolls and I had a couple of coordinating charm packs, I basically am piecing all my leftover fabric together.  I’ve got a bunch of the rows completed for the back and once the top is really done I can size up the back so that I’ve got enough fabric pieced together.  I want to get both the top and back done this weekend.  
 

PIQF!

Pacific International Quilt Festival is coming up.  It starts Wednesday night and ends Sunday.  As I’ve posted previously, I’ve signed up for a few classes and I’ve been prepping the materials and supplies for each class.  I have only one class left to prepare for and I’ll be doing that this weekend. I wasn’t planning on going shopping but I was told that I HAVE TO GO shopping at this show. 🙂  So I cleared out my credit cards and saved some and I plan on checking out what is there.  I was told to check out the wool booths and to be sure to purchase LIGHTs.  Apparently while there are local shops I can purchase wool from here, it is difficult to find the light variations.  I was also told to get the thread/yarn necessary to applique wool from here as the selection and the price at the show is better than anywhere else.  I was given some more guidelines that I wrote down somewhere so I hope to be able to get some good stuff.  I’m so happy to have met really helpful ladies in my guild who can give me such insight!  I went to the Long Beach quilt show for a couple of years but didn’t have this kind of help so I pretty much just bought kits that caught my fancy.  While that is okay – I think I’m growing as a quilter.  I’m becoming more interested in the different tools that are showcased and how I can use them to help me with my quilting.  This is exciting for me and I’ll try to document this as much as possible!

Design Wall & BOMs Away Monday- September 23, 2013

Design Wall Sept. 23, 2013

Design Wall
Sept. 23, 2013

Okay so I’m combining two posts into one.  It just so happens that my design wall this morning happens to include the finished 12.5″ practice block for my Lucky Star BOM. I’m still not happy with all the bulk that comes with foundation paper piecing.  However, the 12.5″ block didn’t have as much bulk as the 6″ version.  I did force some of the fabric to turn in opposite directions to minimize the bulk and help keep the points aligned.  I’m not sure if the instructions originally told me to do this or not but I did not do it with the smaller version and my points were not even close.  The larger version had most of my points matching so I’m happier with the larger one.  I think for future blocks I should start with the larger version.

Lucky Star BOM Practice Block 6.5" Size -  see all my points not matching!

Lucky Star BOM
Practice Block
6.5″ Size –
see all my points not matching!

Lucky Star BOM Practice Block 6.5" - Backside

Lucky Star BOM
Practice Block
6.5″ – Backside

Lucky Star BOM Practice Block 12.5"  Points not perfect but much better than the first attempt

Lucky Star BOM
Practice Block
12.5″
Points not perfect but much better than the first attempt

Lucky Star BOM Practice Block 12.5" - Backside

Lucky Star BOM
Practice Block
12.5″ – Backside

See more design walls at Patchwork Times and more finished BOMs at  .

Wish I was quilting.

Melanie

WIP Wednesday – 9/18/13

WIP Wednesday at Freshly PiecedGetting it done – one piece at a time

1. Raining Cats and Dogs – Block 9 – Because I spent the entire weekend away from my sewing machine I was able to get a lot done on this baby!  I’ve got about half of the pieces appliquéd down.  I’ve got one blue piece and all of the grey pieces left to do.  I still do not know if I’ll finish this this month though as I’ve got a lot to prep for PIQF and my Rainbow Garden BOM came in – if it wasn’t for the fact that I do not have any of the thread I apparently need I probably would have started it as soon as it came.  But I’ve got to wait for it.  More on that later! 🙂

2. my hand quilt – Working on quilting Border #2 – I’m working on the third side which should be done by my next WIP Wednesday post.

3. Easy Street – All of the rows are sewed together!  Yippee!!  The next thing is to add the borders but that will be on next month’s Get It Done list.  I’ve got to finish this month’s list before I start working on the next step!

Easy Street All blocks pieced together no border and not yet quilted

Easy Street
All blocks pieced together
no border and not yet quilted

4. Missing Ivy AKA Road to Brenham quilt with Judy at Patchwork Times – so all I wanted to do for this month was to get all my fabric.  I did and at the recent Camp Stitch with my guild I was able to start on step 1.  I didn’t finish it and again – I forced myself to stop as I’ve got additional things to do this month.

So – what’s left on my list…

5. Lucky Star BOM – I finished the 12.5″ block for the December practice block.  My points match better and the bulk wasn’t as bad.  I manipulated the bulky areas to help with keeping the points together and reducing some of the bulk.  It’s still not fun as I timed it and it took me an hour and 45 minutes to finish this block.  The pieces were already cut too!  I hope that it gets faster as I gain more experience because that is a long time to spend on one block!  Of course, it does look nice…

Lucky Star BOM December 2012 Practice Block 12.5"

Lucky Star BOM
December 2012 Practice Block
12.5″

and finally – the last thing on my Get It Done List –

6. A Rainbow Garden BOM – I must say the ladies that work at Primitive Garden are very nice and helpful.  After a bit of a snafu with my order they shipped the pattern and block pieces on Friday, 9/13/13.  I wasn’t expecting it until well – today.  But I received it on Monday, 9/16!  I do not know who they paid at the post office but that was FAST!  For anyone who is considering doing a mail order BOM – try to select something that you have experience in.  I realized when I got my package that I have no experience with wool and I had no idea what I needed to do.  I realized that with a mail order BOM I just wouldn’t – couldn’t really – get the same help that I expect with an in person – local quilt shop BOM.  Well – lesson learned.  I should have known that but with the excitement I had with BOM in July and August I wasn’t really thinking about that – I was just excited to have a BOM delivered to me in the mail!  But now I have to figure out how to applique wool!  I did what any person does in this day and age when confronted with something they do not know how to do – I Googled it.  And found out that I probably need a different needle and I need particular thread (or in this case threads).  So I emailed the ladies at Primitive Garden and ordered the thread that I would need for this month’s block.  Once I have that package, I can start working on this block.  I’m a little disappointed that I can’t tear into it now and start working on it but c’est la vie – I used my time wisely and started prepping my materials for the PIQF classes I will be taking in October.

What’s on your WIP Wednesday?

~Wish I was quilting…

Melanie

See more WIP Wednesday posts at Freshly Pieced.

BOMs Away Monday

Luck Stars BOM – Practice Block

Lucky Star BOM Practice Block

Lucky Star BOM
Practice Block

As you can see, my points aren’t matching. Elizabeth’s instructions were great!  I just have a hard time with all the bulk of fabric that accumulates.  Have you had any issues with bulk?  I can’t help but think that it’s going to be a mess to quilt over some of those spots?  If you’ve had experience doing this – do you just skip those spots when quilting or is there a trick?  Am I the only one that has all this bulk?  Should I be snipping more of the excess fabric?  I try to keep it at 1/4″ but sheesh.. it still is really thick.  This is the 6.5″ block.  I wonder if the bulk will go away when I do the 12.5″ block.  I’ll try and let you know how it goes.