Quilt Testers In Action

Quilt Testers In Action


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Knees Are A Pain In The Neck

I finished putting together the backing for my UFO. Took a little longer than I thought, as I discovered some of the fabric I wanted to use had big holes cut in it. Sometimes when I'm grabbing a piece of fabric for an applique quilt, I get impatient, and just cut. Of course I regret that later....Anyway, the back is done, but the basting will have to wait. The knees have had enough for today, and kneeling on the floor to pin the layers together is out of the question.( Also, I need to vacuum up the bunny pellets, but we won't talk about that!)

I'm liking this quilt more and more. Can't wait to start the quilting.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Good Thing Biff's Not Driving!

Hey, everybun. New York City is pretty cool, but it turns out there is not really a Big Apple, after all. Lisa gave us pieces of small apple, but Sogna has eaten them all. Biff was right about her appetite, but she is a Sweetie, so that's OK. She came along 'cause she wants to hang out with Hannah. Of course, who wouldn't?

So, you probably figured out that we are taking a long detour to visit  the Raspberry Rabbits. We wanted to bring Harrington with us, since he seems to be the Ultimate Party Animal. And one of you mentioned Carrot Shine, which sounded good, and we figured he would know where to get some. Although, it seems like Biff is doing alright without it. Maybe we should rethink the Carrot Shine idea....Anyway, look out, shell! Here we come!

On The Work Table

I've expanded this month's UFO from a 30 inch square to a larger rectangle. Next up is to piece the backing. I'll be puzzling that together from this bunch of fabrics.

Then, I'll baste the layers together, and start the quilting. What are you working on this week?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

An Awesome Set Of Wheels!

Man, oh, man! Wait till you see what my buddy Mickey has done! He is a totally amazing Bungineer. Not only has he made us this nifty vehicle, but then he put together some spare parts that The Boy and The Big Guy had lying around, and made this great rolling thing for our snack box. That bun can really weld!

We are on our way now to New York City, to pick up the Biffster. Jade has packed us some tasty snacks (can't wait for our first rest stop), but I'm wondering if maybe Lisa will cut up some of that Big Apple for us to take along, too. Guess we'll see when we get there. Catch you later!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Hitchhiking Would Be Easier If I had Thumbs

It's a good thing I'm cute, or I might never get a ride!

Should be to your house soon, Mickey! I got Dad's emergency car  tools packed in here, so I can help with the wheels.

***********HEY, EVERYBODY***************
Somebunny special is having a Birthday! Go here to wish my buddy Biff a Happy Birthday!

Binding The Harry Potter Quilt

What better way to spend a rainy morning, than underneath a quilt on which  you are in the process of handstitching down the binding? OK, I admit, you can probably think of several better things, but overall it was quite nice.  Got the quilt finished up, and it's into the washer to remove stray rabbit hairs. (Don't tell Weasley). For a quilt made of leftovers from the stash, it's pretty darn cheery. And that suits it's purpose.

I enjoy stitching down the backside of the bindings by hand, so I rarely do that part by machine. It's generally the last time I spend really communing with each quilt. I attach the front part of the binding by machine. Generally that goes pretty well, until I get to the end, where I have to join the beginning and ending parts of the binding. Over the years, I've probably tried every method out there for this. Some have worked better for me than others. Last year I found a method that I thought I would probably stick with. Then, last week, we had tool night at the Quilt Guild meeting. 

Now, I'm not a gadget person, but I found this little binding ruler very interesting. It takes all the measuring out of the process of joining binding ends. The demonstrator made it look easy, and as you can see, there are instructions right on the tool. I plunked down my money, and brought it home. If you can't read it on the ruler, its called The Binding Tool, by TQM Products. 

I tried it for the first time on this quilt, and I LOVE it! Definitely using this technique from now on. OK, true admission here. At first, I couldn't make it work. Despite having seen it demonstrated, and reading the instructions that are right on it, I was off by several inches. So, I went searching the 'net, and found this video.

Apparently my error is quite common, I was just working in the wrong direction from the line. Easily remedied, and a perfect binding followed.Yup, this one's a keeper.


If you are wondering about what's up with Weasley's wish for wheeels (and a motor), it looks like his friend Mickey has gotten right on the project. Check it out here.
This looks like trouble!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I Wish This Thing Had Wheels

I love hanging out in my litterbox, but man, I wish this thing had wheels! And a motor, too! Wouldn't that be cool?

 If I had wheels, I'd head west, and pick up Mickey, and then we'd stop for the Biffster. Maybe Sogna would pack some broccoli and bananas for us to take along. Then, we could head out to the Super Bowl.

What's that, Mom?
Oh. Mom says I'm being a chauvinist. I'm not sure what that is. I think maybe it means that I get to drive. And our Mom's have to pack the snack, not Sogna. Whatever.

Anyway, once we get to the Super Bowl, which I'm sure is filled with carrots, I know we can get seats on the 50 yard line. They'll have to give us the tickets, 'cause they  won't be able to resist our  cuteness. And if they try, well, that's where Mickey comes in. He's tough, like The Rock. He'll make sure we get the proper respect.

Yup. That's my plan. Anybody know where I can get some wheels? And a motor?.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Yet Another Zentangle Rabbit

For some reason, everything around me seems to end up being about Bunnies. Why is that, do you think?! Let me show you the latest example.

 My Quilt guild runs a workshop once every month, and this past Saturday, we had Pat Ferguson, the Zentangle Quilter as our instructor. If you get a chance to have a class with her, take it. She is terrific. Very organized, and very clear. She had everything we needed in a kit, and took us through the steps in a thorough, yet entertaining way.

We started by drawing a Zentangle, then we enlarged it and quilted it. She gave us tips on what patterns would transfer well to sewing, and tips on overall design, also. After the pieces were sewn, she had us go back in with marker and pencil to add shading. Some of her quilts that she brought as examples were colored with crayons. I thought that would look good on this little guy, so when I got home, I added crayon. This is heat set with an iron. Remember to put paper between the quilt and your iron, to absorb the wax.

This is the back. You can see the corners that she had us attach to the back. A dowel can be inserted into two of these for hanging. The trick is, most Zentangles (obviously not this one!) are non-directional, so having corners on all four sides lets you change how you hang it. Isn't that a great idea? This was so much fun. I feel a few more might be in my future.

Friday, January 20, 2012

UFO Update

Unfortunately for everyone who was hoping that I would be working on the Bunny UFO first, the number pulled at last night's guild meeting was Number 6. That means that I have until next month's guild meeting to work on the Butterfly quilt. I'm trying to decide if I want to quilt the black corners in black thread, or a colored thread. If I use a colored thread, I will have to be much more careful with my stitching than if I use black thread. That will slow the process down, but it's a small quilt, so that shouldn't matter much.

Also at the meeting, we got a surprise. They decided to extend the challenge through next holiday season into January of 2013, which gives us time to do 12 UFOs. I had to go rooting around in the piles for two more projects. Here they are.

11. This dragon quilt seemed appropriate for the Upcoming Year of the Dragon (but only because the Rabbits are Humoring them). It was started for a challenge put on by Keepsake Quilting over eleven years ago. I know it is at least that old, because I started it before we moved to this house.

12. One of my more guilt ridden projects. In elementary school (maybe first or second grade, maybe even kindergarten) the Youngest Daughter did a 100 days project. For each of the first 100 days of school, they had to collect an object, that they would have 100 of on the 100th school day. She chose fabric squares. I said I would make them into a quilt for her. These are small squares, and it's a small quilt, and she's in college.... Sorry, sweetie. You'll get it sometime this year!

And that's it, the end of the list, for real this time. And yes, there are still so many more hiding upstairs. Yikes!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

UFO Challenge

Like so many other quilter's who you may have seen around the internet, I have a lot of UFO's. That's "Un-Finished Objects" to any of you who might not know. The Material Girls Quilt Guild, which I belong to, recently decided to have a UFO challenge for the year. We each made a list of ten UFO's that we would like to finish, and turned that over to the leader. Each month, starting tonight, she will pick a number. During the following month, we must finish the quilt on our list that corresponds to that number. Apparently there will be prizes. I'm just happy for a little incentive to finish these projects.

I went digging into the piles to find my UFO's. Ugh! Not fun! The dust was really flying. Some projects that I want to finish, I couldn't even find. Some project I don't even remember starting! A lot of them are group or class projects. Over the years, I have stopped participating in these, for the most part, because I realized that I rarely finished them. Now is the time.  So, here is my list.

1. A stack and whack quilt (you can see the book in my picture) started in a guild workshop, the very first time they offered this project, probably ten years ago or more. There are some borders to attach, and then it needs to be quilted.

2. A quilt with cat/koi, inspired by the center panel, which had sort of an asian feel to it.  This panel came out of a pile of fabric donated to make comfort quilts. I think this might be too delicate for that purpose, so I will have to make a substitute for that. This is mostly quilted.

3. This was inspired by the fabric on the right-hand side, which was part of a guild summer challenge many years ago. The giraffes were a piece that was designed and screen printed by my friend, Chriztine Foltz.  I don't even remember where I was going with the design on this one, and I didn't make any notes. Could be a problem.

4. Christmas blocks from a small group exchange. We each made one block for ourselves, and one for every other member of the group. I couldn't figure out why I had doubles, then I remembered that the Oldest Daughter had participated, also, and I have her blocks. These were made sometime within the last eleven years. Don't laugh. I have some UFO's (the ones I couldn't find) that are around two decades old!.

5. A very small landscape made with a another friend when she was trying out a pattern that she had bought, and was unsure of. I don't remember the designer. Since this is small, I may do another small UFO the month that this is chosen. Or maybe I'll just enjoy having an easy month.

6. This quilt was part of a guild Round Robin project. If you don't know what that is, let me tell you. I made the center block (at least I guess I must have. I really don't remember doing it.). Then the quilt is passed from person to person, each one adding a new border around the center. I really like this one, but for some reason. I never quilted it. It's not too big, and should be fun to finish. 

7. This quilt top (table runner sized) was made at a quilt retreat in Maine that I went to with my  Mother, over eleven years ago. The retreat was sponsored by Heartbeat Quilts. I used Thangles to make the triangles. No idea why I never finished it, because the colors really make me happy.

8. This Arizona (or maybe Utah?) landscape was started in a class at Ralph Jordan's, which no longer even sells fabric, and hasn't for a long time. The photo was taken by either my Mother, or youngest brother, not sure which. If Mom could figure out how to leave comments, she could let us know, but.... I don't remember the teacher's name, but the main focus was on sewing curved lines into landscapes. I've seen the technique attributed to several different teacher's around the web, so I don't know where it started. I've used the technique many times since then.

9 .This dragonfly quilt is another Round Robin project, but it turned out much larger than Number 6.  It was made within the last eleven years, but probably earlier in that time.  Not sure. It has a lot of open space, so it will need significant quilting. I'm afraid of this one.

Here is a closer look at that goofy dragonfly. The wings are a sheer fabric, under tulle. They definitely need some bling.

10. And last, but certainly not least, is my collection of bunny blocks, made in another guild block exchange. I might add blocks representing all the bunnies we have had here, but if I do, this will be a huge quilt. There are a lot of funky embellishements on these blocks. I really love them, and I'm worried that I won't be able to do them justice.

So there you have it. My collection of blocks for the guild UFO challenge. Oh, boy! I really have my work cut out for me. The really scary part? There are so many more quilts that could be on this list, but aren't! I'll let you know tomorrow which quilt will be up first. I hope it's an easy one....

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Weasley On Wednesday

Hi, everybun! I had the day off from work today, 'cause Mom said that she didn't need my help sewing the quilt ( you might remember that from yesterday).I decided to spend some time napping. Mom cut down my forest, which makes me sad, but at least I can get at this warm metal thing more easily. My toes love it! And as you can see, Mom did save me some branches.

After my nap, I had a little snack. Mom thinks it's weird that I like broccoli better than strawberries. I think it's weird that she prefers the strawberries, so I guess we are even.

After my nap, I decided to help Mom with her sewing, even though she said she didn't need help. I went over to where she was sitting, and sat on top of her foot, so she could do a better job of pressing down this thing called a foot pedal.  Without me, she wouldn't have been able to sew as quickly. I don't know how Beans without Bunnies manage to do this at all. Mom's lucky to have me, don't you think? She probably should give me some banana for working on my day off.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Your Right, It's Not Wednesday

Just think of this as bonus Weasley.

Yesterday I pieced together a backing for the Harry Potter quilt. Since most of my quilts have been small applique projects, when I have purchased fabric over the years, I have mostly bought small pieces. If I am going to make a back for anything crib-size or larger from my stash, I need to piece it. This is the back.

Next step, put the layers together. I usually do this on the floor of Weasley's hangout room, otherwise known as the computer room.  First I lay down the backing, wrong side up, and secure it to the carpet with t-pins. Then I smooth the batting on top. Here's The Old Man, checking to see if there are any wrinkles.

Once Weasley gave me the go-ahead, I spread the quilt top over the batting, and basted the layers together with safety pins. T.his will hold the layers together for machine quilting in my old home sewing machine. No fancy long-arm machine here, unfortunately. Of course, the quilting can't start until Weasley OKs the basting.

Now, its off to the sewing machine. I have to do that part without Weasley's assistance. And if you are wondering, yes, my quilts get washed before heading off to new homes. Wouldn't want to trigger anyone's allergies.

See you tomorrow, with more Weasley.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Getting Back Into Creating

Even though most of this week is focused on the Younger Daughter and her friends, I've managed to work on a few new projects. Yesterday I did something a little different when I was doing some volunteer hours at the Leominster Art Center. Instead of taking along a sketchbook and pens, I took a piece of PDF fabric, and fabric markers. I spent my time doodling on the fabric.

I want to add some color to this. Not sure whether to color in the shapes, or just brush color over the top in an abstract way. Then what I'd like to do is applique something (not sure what) over the top. I do have trouble with layering, though, as I get too attached to the individual layers. That's why I'm not much into art journaling. This will be a struggle.

I finished my block of the month for the Quilter's Way project. Amazingly, there were no mistakes on this one! I managed to turn the block and the ruler in the right direction each time, and got the correct result.

I also pulled out some Harry Potter fabric that has been sitting around for a long time, waiting to be made into a donation quilt, and got started. At least one Harry Potter fanatic approves.

This weekend, I need to count up and catalog some UFO's, as my guild is starting a UFO finishing challenge. Could be scary, digging that deeply into the piles. I just might end up buried under a fabric avalanche. I hope your weekend is filled with excitement, of the not so scary kind. Have a great one!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Music Soothes The Savage (?) Beast

She spent a large part of the morning in front of the computer in her PJ's. She looks up lyrics and music charts (I'm not sure if that is the right terminology), and plays her guitar and sings.

She may shake her head and roll her eyes at me, but I still enjoy hearing her. So does somebunny else. See him there in the background?

When she starts to play, he bumbles his way into the room where she is, and stays put while the concert is on.

Aaaahhh...the music sounds so  nice.

We are both going to miss it when she heads back to school in a few days. What do your furry friends like to listen to?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

It's Very Cold Here, But

the Old Man has still been able to find his way to the sunny spots and warm up.

Not much  has  been getting done around here.

 We only have a couple more days before the Older Daughter heads back to Pittsburgh, and we are spending as much time with her as possible.

That's the way it should be, don't you think? Weasley certainly agrees. His feet almost never need to hit the floor!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year, and Congratulations!

Well, I was a bit slow getting going today. Not, I assure you, because I overindulged in the libations.  I fall asleep to early for that to happen. I am wondering, though, if it is possible to suffer from a garlic hangover? We went out to eat last night, and I'm pretty sure that I consumed enough garlic to keep the vampires away from my entire neighborhood for several days! But it was soooo good! I hope you all had a fun evening, with no aftereffects.

This afternoon was so beautiful around here, that it just had to be spent outside. Let me show you what I mean. We went for a walk at Barrett Park in Leominster, Ma., the same place we went walking last year at this time. Last year, a stream entering the pond looked like this.

This year, there was no snow in sight.

Last year, the view from the beach included an area for skating that had been freshly swept clean of snow.

This year, we still weren't swimming, even though there was barely a skim layer of ice over most of the pond.

It was truly a beautiful way to begin the New Year.

And now, what you've all been waiting for. We drew numbers out of a hat (the Husband did the honors), and Gina of Clay and Fiber is the winner of our Blogiversary Giveaway. Here the Younger One kicks up her heels in Celebration!

If you haven't seen Gina's work before, you need to go check it  out. As the name of her blog suggests, she works with both clay and fiber, in separate projects, and in really amazing work that combines the two materials.Interestingly, Gina just recently posted about wanting to sketch more, so the contents of the bag should come in handy.  Congratulations, Gina!