Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Birthday Flowers

Today is my birthday, but I'm at work. 

The bookkeeper brought me this miniature rose plant and a wonderful delicious lemon cake!  Isn't she sweet?

Tonight we'll go out to dinner.  Yum!

What do you do to celebrate?  My mom used to bake me a cherry pie.

This is really George Washington's birthday too.

Hope you are having a great day. 

Until next time,


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Des Moines Star Clone Finally!

Hello again, friends!

It's been a while again.  I'll explain what has been going on in the near future.  It's all about the change part of the 3 words for 2012.  I'm ready for the adapt and create phases as the change part hasn't been fun.

The final stitch on the Des Moines Star Clone Quilt was taken over a week ago, but it took a while to do the photography and editing.  While photographing I wasn't happy with the light and tried to move outside but it was too windy.  Quilts suspended on display photography stands do not play well together. 

I had just put a new "pin" piece on the top of one side, but in trying to get the quilt on the stand outside, the wind wanted it to be a kite and another pin broke.  Fortunately when I ordered new parts the last time I ordered extras.  This is a flaw in this particular stand.  Or maybe they just weren't meant to be used the way I use mine. 

Here is the best overall photo of the Des Moines Star Clone I could get.

The first block I made had all the same blue fabric and all the same light fabric.
Can you say BORING!  ZZZzzzzz

So,  first I decided to mix up the background light fabrics. It was better, but YAWN! Still not too exciting.  I looked at the antique one I showed you here and discovered it was more scrappy in each of the blocks.

So, I decided to mix it up a bit more.

Yes, now we were getting some where.  Much more texture and movement in the block.

So some of the blocks contained black as well as blues just like the antique.  In fact this block has antique fabric used in it.

Here are a couple more of the blocks.

And a few more.

You may notice that the antique quilt had less quilting in it.

I added diagonal lines.  I like it better that way.

More quilting is better, don't you think?

Whew!  Now I can move back to some of the other unfinished projects I have.

Do you think Mindy and Mike will like their quilt?  They've waited.

And waited.

And waited for this quilt.

Hope they love it!

All it needs is the label.  I think the label will have a photo of the antique version on it.

Have you ever made a duplicate of an antique quilt?  It is kind of a cool way to preserve the original by making a clone.

Try it, you might like it!

Hugs and kisses,


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Murphy's Law Strikes Again!

Hello Friends,

Last time I wrote I whined  about  Murphy and his really annoying law.  Well on Monday, this happened.

This happened in downtown Phoenix, but the car is sitting in the garage here so the light isn't so good.  It is an old car, but it gets good gas mileage.  It has a lot of miles on it, but it gets good gas mileage.  With gas pushing $4 a gallon, that good gas mileage thing is important!  Besides it has been paid off many years.  Did I mention it gets GOOD gas mileage?

This is what happens when the hood goes UNDER an SUV.  It's not pretty!  No one got hurt.  The airbags did not go off.  We were not traveling very fast.

The other cars, yes CARS, were not damaged.  Only our little old car was messed up.

The bumper is messed up and the lights don't all work. But no one was hurt!  No injuries, that's huge!

The dents are deep.  It goes in for a face lift tomorrow.

I really like my little car.

It's zippy.

It fits nicely in parking places.

I hope they fix it fast!

So I will leave you with something good.

My lavender plant survived the winter.  I LOVE lavender!

Today I am photographing the completed Des Moines Star clone quilt.  I'm waiting for the light to be at the right place for the quilting to show up best.

No more Murphy's Law days!  I'm tired of them.  On to the good stuff.

Until next time,


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Des Moines Star Clone Progress

Do you ever have Murphy's Law Days?  I sure do!

I was all set Wednesday to do a tutorial on binding after I got the other stuff done that I had to do.  Sometimes taking a day off work does not mean a relaxing day!  In fact, usually for me it means I have a bunch of "have to do's" on my list.  Finally about 2PM I got home and could start work on my plans.

The binding for the Des Moines Star clone quilt was all prepared.

The final quilting stitches had been taken.

It was time to square up the quilt and bind it.

With rotary cutter and square ruler plus long ruler, I squared the quilt so it was ready to bind.

It seemed like a great day to write a binding tutorial as I do a couple of things a bit different than most people I know.  I grabbed my DSLR camera ready to take some photos for the tutorial.  Oops, the battery was dead.

So, I grabbed my trusty little carry along digital camera.  Not as good, but I needed to get the machine part of the binding on that quilt!

First I took some photos of my Noah's Ark collection since I was on a step stool anyway.  Well, there are other Noah's Ark items in other places, so off I went to take photos of them too.  Hmm, shouldn't have gone off on that tangent of photo taking -- back to the task at hand.

So I started.

I always start the binding on the lower right corner of the quilt.  No particular reason, it's just the way I do it.

I start with a 10" + the width of the binding and pin in place stopping 1/4" from the bottom edge.  I only stitch about 6" of this leaving a tail at the top for joining later when I finish this side of the binding.

I measure, measure, measure!  Before I ever start I measure the quilt 3 times across the width and the length -- center and both edges.  If I've been accurate in my piecing and quilting, they are the same measurement.  I need to know the measurement so the binding will be exactly the right length on each of the 4 edges.  In this case all three of the width measurements were the same.  All of the length measurements were the same as well, so no worries!

It's time to sew.

I stop 1/4" from the bottom edge of the quilt and back stitch.  The binding is then folded at a right angle making sure the edge of the binding and the edge of the quilt are in a straight line. This is what makes that miter in the corner of the binding.

Pin the right angle in place at the edge and bringing the binding to the left with the raw edges even with the bottom of the quilt and pin the right angle on top of the binding.

Before I go any further on the binding, there are two things I do.

The first is in the next photo.  I roughly go from corner to corner all the way around the quilt with the binding to make sure I will not have any seams in the corners of the quilt.

It is NOT a good thing if you do. So before measuring and stitching the second side check this out.

The second is to measure the binding so that from the fold it is 1/4" shorter than the measurement of the quilt.

This is what the quilt looks like at this point.  The binding is not sewn except for the lower right side.  There were not problems with those joining seams on the binding being in corners nor too close to where the final joining would be so it was time to move on.

The binding for the bottom is measured from the edge just sewn and folded.  It needs to be 1/4" less than the measurement of the quilt since you will stop sewing 1/4" away from the edge.  I put a pin in the binding and then pin the binding 1/4" from the edge of the left side of the quilt where I will stop stitching. The binding is pinned in place about every 1-1/2" so it will stay in place while I stitch.  This step is repeated for the left side and the top.  The final side is measured 10-1/4" less than the measurement of the length of the quilt.

The plan was to show you how I finish the joining.  But, this is where Murphy;s Law comes in.  It was too dark to take a photo by that time.  So, a true binding tutorial will have to be written later.  I know it was a tease to tell you all the steps except the final one.  Actually I skipped a couple of other steps, too.  And, I forgot to take a photo of a couple of the steps. When I really do write a tutorial, I will start in the morning and make sure the good camera is charged and ready to go.  One of the Noah pieces I photographed (which is probably why I ran out of daylight) has a slogan on the bottom.  It reads, "Plan ahead, it wasn't raining when Noah built the ark."

If I'd planned ahead better, this would be a true tutorial.

So, I'll ask you again, do you ever have days like this?  At least I am now doing the hand stitching on the Des Moines Start Clone quilt.  Soon I'll be taking a photo of it completed before giving it to Mindy and Mike.  If you missed the post about the antique Des Moines Star, you can find it here.

Until Next Time,