Happy Valentine's Day Runner Featuring Moda Blockheads Block 5 - LOVE

February 14, 2020

 Happy Valentine's Day, Friends! It's not really a big thing at The QP, but I love red, white and pink quilts. So I will take that excuse any day for more red, white and pink quilts! However, I did score a beautiful card and chocolates (all nut varieties...none of those pink or orange cremes aka yuck-a-saurus)  from Scott and cute messages from the girls.
This week's MB3  "LOVE' block is brought to us by Brigitte Heitland of Zen Chic available here. This is a Foundation Paper Pieced or FPP block. If you are new to this technique or have never tried OR maybe it is not your favorite, again I encourgage you to give it a try. It is a fun block and Brigitte's instructions are great. Also, here is a YouTube video with wonderful step-by-step instructions. I opted to make my block into a Valentine's runner vs. including it in my quilt. That is what is so fun about this sew along, you can do whatever you want!! But I encourage you to print the blocks off and save them for something else if they are not singing to you for your quilt. The instructions are well written and the designers have come up with some awesome FREE blocks that you can make something else with.
So details on my runner, if you would like to make one too! I made 12" finished blocks. My runner finishes at approximately 84" x 15". Perfect for my table! I used a variety of scraps, a handful of fat quarters and about 1 yard...give or take of background. I pretty much winged it.
I made 4 blocks plus a center "candy block" that measures about 22.5" finished. The reason for the candy block is that I typically have a centerpiece or something in the middle of my table that would cover my runner. This kind of "pushes" blocks out so you can see them better. I used 2" finished sashing pieces between the blocks and 1.5" finished on the sides. I worried I was running out of background, so I made that a smidge narrower.
So the candy center has 3 pieces that finish at about 7.5" x12"  each.
The heart block is 12" finished so my squares and half-square triangles finish at 3", 3.5" unfinished.
I have mixture of Valentine novelty prints and reproductions.
 I will refer you to Bridgitte's block for the FPP. But it is not hard at all. You just have to wrap your brain around it. I just used regular old copy paper for mine and shortened my stitch length to ease tearing the paper off.
 You can use one of those Add-A-Quarter nifty rulers, but I just used my regular old ruler to trim up the 1/4" seam and my block.
 Looks a little crazy until it is trimmed up.
My first block Love block was not without errors, but I was cool with it.
As you can see my E is not how it is supposed to be. I clearly was not paying close attention to the pattern.
Supposed to look like this. :-)
 I quilted it on my Innova with the digital quilt pattern Hopscotch by Leisha at Quilting It, edge to edge quilting available here. I thought the pattern was perfect with an Xs and Os looks. I love using Leisha's designs! I used Hobbs 80/20 Bleached Batting and Innovatch tread on top and Magnaglide magnetic bobbins.
My dough bowl sits perfect on the candy center without obstructing the blocks. :-)
My studio tree has become a holiday tree. Kind of by accident. It did not get taken down with the rest of the Chrismas decorations, so I made it a Valentine's Day tree for the month of February. I have really enjoyed it too. I will change it out in March or if I am sick of it by then, it will go join the rest. I hope you'll make the Love block or a runner like mine...or pillow. :-) Happy Valentine's Day!

Red and White Quilts - Memories of A Masterpiece

February 10, 2020

I love red and white quilts, especially in February! Or every month really. :-)  I think I have always admired a two color quilt, but I definitely have a preference for red and white ones.  This one is no exception! Memories of a Masterpiece (actual name of the quilt pattern) made by my dear friend Thelma at Cupcakes 'n Daisies. I was honored and had the pleasure to quilt this gorgeous quilt. Eye candy ahead!!
I really had a hard time narrowing down which photos to post. It is not a bad problem to have. Quilt is designed by Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings from the Martingale Book, Red and White Quilts.
Like many quilts that are not mine to keep, I sure wish it was!! Sigh, it will go on my long quilt to-do wish list. As always, Thelma did an amazing job on the piecing.
I quilted this using the computerized pattern, Abundant Feathers.
It is one of my favorites! Although free motion quilting is my heart, I love being able to offer computerized edge-to-edge designs at a very affordable price to clients available here. I do not have all the patterns available listed on my website, so if you do not see one that sings to you, I can help and am happy to make suggestions.
 Abundant Feathers is a wonderful complement to this quilt!
I used bleached white Hobbs 80/20 batting. Innovatech thread on top and Magnaglide magnetic bobbins.
The backing looked like another gorgeous quilt. Are any of you working on a red and white quilt?

Moda Blockheads 3 - Week 3 and Week 4

February 6, 2020

Surprisingly, I am keeping up with the Moda BH3. I am not saying it is a miracle (I kind of am), I will say it is a miracle when I have pieced them all. :-)  Not only am I keeping up with my blocks, I am loving sewing along. I was away on a little quilt retreat...much needed except for that I became awful sick while there. Thankfully, it was pretty short lived. Anyways, I forgot to post my latest block because I was busy overpacking for my retreat. "I never bring enough projects to work on while on retreat" said no quilter EVER. lol So by overpacking, I was not referring to my suitcase.

Week 3's block is brought to us by Betsy Chutchian. Her block, tips and instructions are available here. I loved making this block. Yes, it was a tiny bit more challenging than the previous week, but very fun and doable. I always find these blocks help me become a better piecer.
Again, starch is my BFF. I always starch my fabric liberally. Typically, I spray them down in the bath tub/shower and hang dry on a drying rack. I allow the fabric to air dry completely and then press with steam. I always have something to do while the fabric is drying. You would be ironing it forever if you pressed while it was soaking wet with starch. I like how the fabric has a stiffness to it after using starch. Makes it easy to handle and starch and steam helps the fabric keep it's shape while piecing. Accuracy is spot on.  This seems to be a hot button topic every time it is brought up on the BH facebook group. As controversial a topic as to whether to prewash or not.  For reals. Number one concern: Starch may attract insects. I believe this was more common with some older formulas of starch. I have not had this issue as there is no corn or sugar based ingredients in the 99 cent starch I buy at Wal-Mart. If you have not tried starching, I encourage you to. You may like it. Never hurts to try. It is a real game changer, I swear.
 I found this block easiest to piece in sections. And I believe the instruction said to do that. I used my Flying Geese Bloc-Loc ruler as well as the Bloc-Loc ruler for half-square triangles. I do not mind the extra step of trimming my pieces down to the correct size. I chose to press most of my seams to one side so they nested. BUT I am piecing the 12" block. If I was going with one of the smaller sizes, I would press seams open to reduce bulk.

Week 4's block is a darling appliqué block brought to us by Jan Patek here. I love to appliqué and prefer to machine appliqué or hand stitch wool appliqué. When I decided to participate with BH3,  I decided to make my quilt without the appliqué blocks...if there were any. I have made several sampler quilts with a combination of both pieced and appliqué blocks, but no samplers with just pieced blocks. So I am going with only pieced blocks. The new blocks always post on Wednesdays and on Fridays, some of the designers may post alternative blocks. I opted to not wait until Friday and made another of week 2's block, but use different fabrics and change the layout.
I love how it turned out! It looks more like a LeMoyne Star with this layout. I also opted to make Flying Geese instead of HSTs around the center pinwheel. In hindsight, I did not pay attention to the directional fabric placement, but that does not bother me at all. I like the just go with it look. Just changing fabrics and placement gives it a completely different look than my original block!
Still loving my fabric choices as well. I like the soothing color combination. Looking forward to next week's block!

Moda Blockheads 3 - Block Two and A Special Birthday

January 22, 2020

Block 2.  It was fun and fast, not quite as challenging as the first block.  Block 2 is brought to you by Sherri at A Quilting Life, instructions here.
12" block. 
 I stuck with the same fabric groups...Urban Farmhouse Gatherings and Little Gatherings by Lisa Bongean and Off White Bella Solid. I love the soothing feel of the colors. Looking forward to making this a quilt!

Now the block is comprised of 12 half-square triangles. You can pick your poison on how you want to make them. The pattern also provides a method. If I was making one of the smaller sized blocks, especially the 4" that Lisa Bongean is doing, then I would use triangle papers...you have to really...or commit to going crazy. :-) However, since I am making 12" blocks, I went with making my HSTs a bit oversized and then trimming them down using the Bloc-Loc ruler.

I love these rulers for HSTs or Flying Geese blocks. The size I needed was 3.5" unfinished HSTs. There is a ruler that is that exact size, but I prefer to go with the ruler a size bigger.
I just find the 3.5" markings on the ruler. I find I have the best results this way because my HSTs stays put under a bit bigger ruler as I am trimming the excess.
I use my pinky finger and thumb to help keep my ruler in place. No teetering or sliding around. That seems to work best for me.
I trim 2 sides and then rotate my block around and trim the remaining two sides.
I end up with a perfect 3.5" HSTs. Again, I have starched my fabric, air dry completely then steam iron PRIOR to any cutting. Makes the fabric so easy to work with. The blocks end up accurate and not wonky.
I always use a ton of steam when I am pressing blocks too.
I love my wool mat for pressing. My current favorite iron of choice is the Velocity. A friend had one I tried at a retreat and I fell in love. I have had it nearly a year and so far, so good. I do not leave water in it overnight. I also have a smaller wool mat for quick pressing right next to where I am sewing or to carry blocks to my larger pressing area.
Last, but certainly not least, it is my baby girls' birthday today! 19 years old! This is their first birthday we are not spending with them as they are away in their Freshman year of college and busy doing college-y things. :-) We will celebrate on another day. Those of you that have been here from the beginning, may remember that when I started here they were in elementary school! 4th grade...time flies! I thought I would share a few pics from their Senior pics taken on a few of my antique red and white quilts.

I have seen many friends joining in on the Blockhead fun!

Moda Blockheads 3 - Block One

January 15, 2020

Welcome 2020! Once again, I am trying to start the new year with a new blog post. I have decided to jump on the Moda Blockhead Train and join on the Moda Blockheads 3. Sounds like such fun! I am new to this except for I quilted Lisa Bongean's version of the first Blockhead sew-a-long here. If you are also new to this (late to the party like myself), I will give a quick and by no means detailed explanation, but basically a group of Moda designers design one block a week and post instructions to piece the block. You can choose the size block and setting...I believe. I think this round of Blockheads is 56 blocks. I am thinking this will help me post more frequently here. :-)

Friends, if you have been reading my blog, you know I love to piece as much as I love to machine quilt. Sometimes I struggle to find time to piece my own things, but when I do, I enjoy it so! So I decided to go with 12" blocks for my quilt.

Not sure what setting I will go with yet, but I am guessing I will have a king size quilt when I am finished. I opted for Lisa Bongean's fabric of Urban Farmhouse Gatherings cuz I just LOVE the fabrics and a bundle of Little Gatherings, also by Lisa Bongean. I have been saving (coveting) my bundle of Little Gatherings for just the right project. I think this fabric line may be 10 years old...is that considered vintage yet?? lol

Today is the first day of Blockheads and the first block with PDF is designed by Corey Yoder here
There is also so Moda Blockheads FaceBook Group, a wealth of details in the group.
I think the block went together easy peasy.
I love the combination of the two fabric groups.
Now, I prepped all my fabric first with a healthy dose of starch prior to today.
And I added Moda Bella Solids in Off White to my fabric mix (background).

 I always starch my fabric wet, air dry and then iron with steam on a good wool mat. Like the ones available here. 

I am looking forward to every Wednesday when a new block is posted on the designer's blog! And keeping this blog up to date on what I am up to. I hope you will all join in on the fun. Cheers to 2020, Friends!

Wool Box

February 28, 2019

February never feels like a short month until it is the last day of the month. That is how I always feel, anyways. Anyone else ever feel like that too?? Did any of you sign up or receive the new subscription Wool Box from Primitive Gatherings? It is FULL of goodies (wool projects, thread, candy, recipes...and so much more) and fun! I love receiving happy mail! One of the wool goodies included was a stack of 5" wool charms. My girls and I made some wooly heart bowl fillers.
Perfect for February decorating! 

The box includes oodles of goodies. I plan on prepping Forest Friends mat for an upcoming trip. That is what I love about these wool projects, they are so portable! You cannot see it, but there is a pincushion kit too that you can use with a ruler box included. I have already put the ruler box to good use on my longarm cart. It holds all my partially used magnetic bobbins.
 Wooly hearts were easy to make. I just picked out the 6 wool charms out of my pack that I thought would work best for hearts.  I will save the green and black charms for something else. I guess you could make black and green hearts too if you wanted (chuckling).  I printed a free printable heart template off the internet. I then traced it on a leftover Moda 5" charm I had in my stash. 
Stitched the hearts on my sewing machine, being sure to leave an opening for stuffing. Girls stuffed them with leftover batting (no shortage of that here).
And then we hand whipped stitched them up. Easy and fun project to make with the wooly charms. 

You can order your wool box from Primitive Gatherings here. I think I will use the hearts for Christmas and summer decorating with red, white and blue as well. I am looking forward to making the rest of the projects in my box.