Sunday, November 29, 2015

Allietare Winter Mystery Kick-off

Linking with Heather at Needlework Tuesday
 Yesterday we met to begin the first clue of Bonnie's Winter Mystery
The now traditional cake and below the labels I made using purchased prepared fabric sheets and our ink jet printer.
 Some of the group who came, much smaller turnout this year - five last minute cancellations. We meet at the Chandler Police Station a nice big room for us to spread out our "stuff"!
Angela caught me rotary cutter in hand about to "dissect" some fabric!
The BH Divas!
More quilters actually finished their last year's mystery, Grand Illusion. Most followed Bonnie's color guide fairly closely but still there was color variation in the quilts. BJ chose totally different color-way and used yardage rather than scraps which I decided to do this year too. I know it will quite change the look but that's OK, it will not be so busy. That's BJ 's quilt second from the left and yours truly on her left.
This first clue surprised us all it seemed too easy, 296 Half Square Triangles in grey and neutral. My grey is the blue with stars as in the pic below.
 All are now sewn but most still need to be cut and pressed. I used the "eight at a time" method but others had their own preferences, I find this to be accurate and fast, I do not like fussing with nearly 900 separate tiny triangles!
 Here is a link to a tutorial on this method on Craftsy, no need to repeat it here.
It requires only sewing diagonally both direction either side of a drawn line. 
Then cut four times, horizontal and vertical 
then corner to corner each direction.
Eight magic triangles, and since I measured and sewed accurately my squares are exactly two inches unfinished, perfect!
Angela has made this a tradition, we will be doing it again next year God willing.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving celebration with loved ones, we did even though youngest son and his family were missing, visiting DIL's family in Yuma.
Last Christmas the monkey bread sort of got out of control dripping over the edge of the Bundt pan all the way down to the counter so I reduced the amount of dough this time and it looked much more manageable! The addition of crushed garlic and fresh herbs from my herb plot mixed into the butter definitely enhanced the flavor.
This was one of several bottles of wine we have saved from wine tastings, it was really good, as good as we remembered so I might look for more! A lovely day at oldest son and DIL's beautiful home followed by a brief stop to see #2 son and his family.
After we came home I finished the scrappy binding on this quilt, I am very happy with it.
Tomorrow the first clue for Bonnie Hunter's Winter Mystery Allietare will be be released so I can get the cutting done to begin sewing Saturday.
 These are the colors I have chosen, replacing Bonnie's black fabric with the dark blue and her grey with the lighter blue with stars.
This is the long promised quilt for my nephew Wesley- he lives DownUnder- Wes is a bull rider!
This is Wes's picture from his FB page, he really does ride those rank bulls - and has the scars to prove it!
This was last year's event and six of us showing off our 2013 mystery quilt Celtic Solstice.
This will be the third year our Phoenix BH fans will meet to kick off the new mystery and you can be sure I will report on that over the weekend. Many of us will be bringing along our 2014 mystery Grand Illusion to share our successes.
The funky pieced backing on mine!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Rose Parade Quilt

All done except for the binding which I plan to get to work on shortly but I couldn't wait to show the quilting, and I have a lot of pics to post. The fabrics were from an online drawing at Fort Worth Fabric Studio and I was the very fortunate recipient of a half yard bundle, here is the result!
 From a distance the quilting doesn't show well but sitting here at my desk and looking at it from the side it shows beautifully.
 I chose a handfull of quilt designs and repeated them throughout the quilt, taking my cue from a similar quilt by Angela Walters.
 I really enjoyed quilting it once I had decided what to do, it still took quite a few hours.
 I took a few close up pics………….
and varied the angles, with and without the flash…………... 
from above and then this last one from the side.
And the back!
Quilter's Dream 70/30 batting and a white 50wt. thread on top, Bottom Line in the bobbin. I am looking forward to trying more of these modern quilting ideas, it's a lot of fun!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

BJ's Grand Illusion

 BJ chose not to make this scrappy but to use some beautiful fabrics that had been aging in her stash!
I love it, the corners of the block actually look like rosebuds but it looks very different to the original Bonnie colors and the planned scrappy version.
 I wanted to quilt a rose sort of motif but BJ does not like close quilting so I came up with this version of a freehand flower and leaf which she approved!
The backing looks like a solid from a distance.
 BJ now has time to get it bound to show off at the next Quiltville mystery quilt kick-off November 28th.  The Boy found a way to wrap himself up in it when BJ came to collect the quilt, he loves quilts just as well his Grandnanna is a quilter!
I finished up the last of the three Christmas gifts I cannot show yet and also this gift that I can show! I tried unsuccessfully to upload a video of the lights flashing, I often seem to have issues getting videos to post on the blog.

PS. I need to make the label!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

BJ's Bonnie Hunter Quilts

Easy Street the first of two BJ brought me to quilt for her.  I took this pic when she came to get it as we were on our way to the sushi bar! Forgot to turn on the flash and take a pic of the back and label, guess I was hungry and distracted by the idea of Shogun sushi!
It is quilted freehand with edge to edge feathers, BJ brought her own Warm and Natural batting and I used a shiny lime green thread.
Note the Button dog hiding under the left side of the quilt! The second BH quilt went on last night, last year's mystery Grand Illusion, I have worked on it most of the day and it should be ready for a blog post tomorrow.
Just so you know, I did get my sushi, a Sunshine roll, yum yum!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Current Projects

The past week I have been working on Christmas gifts so……. I can't show them! They are not quite finished but hopefully by tomorrow.
Thinking about some ways to help entertain the 10 year old Boston twins over the Christmas and New Year break I decided to introduce them to Locker Hook. I just recently discovered this technique similar to the old style rug hooking but faster and I think it will be a nice activity for sitting by the fire on cold, snowy days and something to distract them from the electronics for a while!
 It's made with one inch strips of fabric a great way for me to use up fabric that has no other purpose at the moment and has been appropriately aged! This one is for the boy, he has a patriotic quilt that I made him and it will be a nice accent for his room. The fabrics are prepped and now the kits are ready for use.
This design for the young lady whose quilt is pinks and purples and I have one with flying geese that I plan to also kit up for myself to work on alongside them.
 The basic kit comes with the charted design,  canvas, locker hook and cotton twine and I found them on Amazon Prime for $6-9, a pretty good deal. Since I have a considerable fabric stash I am happy to be able to slash a few yards from it for this project. It's a very simple technique, the biggest challenge will be to follow the charted design but they are both bright kids who will not have a problem with it and I think it will be an enjoyable activity for those days in MA. when it is just too frigid to be outdoors.
Thinking along those lines I found this cute kit on, quite reasonable and perfect for a baby quilt, always good to have one or two of those on hand and it's a nice item to take to Boston for free time sewing. We will also be nearing the end of the Bonnie Hunter 2015 Mystery "Allietare", so I won't lack quilting projects.
Other than that I have been busy around the house and happy to cross some more items off the list!
One of which was to paint the cabinet and walls in the powder room, and that was done Friday, same colors as the family bathroom upstairs, it just brightens and freshens it up, makes it look a bit more modern and makes me smile! 
That's a good thing, right?

Monday, November 2, 2015

An Aussie Quilt

For years I have had a stash of Aussie fabrics that need to be in quilts and out of my stash. Many of them are hand dyes from a now extinct company Oz Dye Arts, two young women who became very successful to the point that it impacted their families so they retired the business to raise children. Sad as I was I could not but admire their decision and hope some day they may return to their craft.
I had the opportunity to visit their studio/workshop in Holland Park, Queensland once when I was DownUnder visiting family and of course did a little shopping!
I used this pattern idea, adapting the measurements to my own needs.
I enlarged it to about 55"x75" for a lap quilt. I have struggled to find a way to use them since most pieces were only FQ or at most a half yard. The detail pics below show some of the cute iconic figures these talented women used for their unusual fabrics.
 The background and the red trim are not from this company but part of the collection by M and S Textiles Australia who have produced fabrics from some amazing designs by Aboriginal artists, they have to be seen to be believed, colorful and beautiful depictions of the native culture.
The background fabric is called "Seeds".
Now to decide how to quilt it!