Quilts And All Things Fabric...

As an avid fabric enthusiast, a blog about quilts and all things fabric just seemed the obvious thing to do.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Relaxing on Easy Street...

Right! Relaxing....HA! It has been so crazy busy around here lately, I'm making lists and checking them twice and then twice again just to make sure something hasn't been overlooked or just plain forgotten!  No, seriously, I have three lists going today.

Sewing has been very limited. But I did manage to finally get around to working on Clue/Step #4 for the Easy Street Mystery on Sunday. I know, I know....the clue came out on Friday! Wow, that's a big time delay. But we had a dinner party on Saturday, so guess the delay was worth it. :-) (Oh, yeah and I also whipped out a table runner (to match my Christmas place mats) after dinner on Friday night to go on the table for Saturday's dinner party. WHEW!)

The mystery clue/step 4 was an easy one this week (good thing, too or I might never have managed to get it done). Much the same as previous Step 2. Then half of the Step 2 flying geese units and the new Step 4 flying geese units were combined to make a cute little square.
The Clue/Step 4 units were made using 2" strips of the purples and turquoise fabrics and those wonderful rulers: Easy Angle and Companion Angle. The picture above shows part of the cutting process and pairing up of the geese and wings. (Fabrics are stacked so you are only seeing the top color.)
Here we go, setting the first wing.
Once the first wing was attached, the units were pressed then the second wing was sewn in place.
The pieces fit together beautifully. I think we might be giving a new meaning to the hardware term "wing nut". Yes, I think I am becomming a "wing nut". :-)

After all of the 64 purple and turquoise flying geese were made, it was time to pair them up with their Step 2  "cousins" made using purple and black on white fabrics.

Because I am using a limited amount of fabrics of each color, and not going too scrappy, it was necessary to "play" around with PLACE the fabrics so as not to get two purple geese of the same color in the combined blocks.

The new purple and turquoise winged geese were attached to the bottom of the Step 2 white winged geese. The above photo shows the units being stitched together. See that little thread X on the purple flying geese section? That is where the stitch needs to track to make a good point.

It didn't take too long to get the 64 units stitched together. Here they are all stacked up, laid out, or whatever you want to call it...for their "TA-DA" photo.
They look so much better in real life than in the photos! I really love these colors and how they are "playing" together.

The additional step for this week was to go ahead and cut our green into 145  3.5" squares. A quick and easy process.  Well supposed to be...SHOULD be! But when I started to stack them up, two my little stacks (6 squares all totaled) were NOT square. Some how I had managed to miss cut and they were 3.25. Go figure. So, back to the cutting board....those 6 boo-boo's will eventually get used up somewhere in something. LOL Just proves I need to pay closer attention!!!!
Anyway, here's the greens all stacked up for the camera.
Due to the upcoming Holiday's, family and personal obligations, I am telling you now that I will be running behind on the mystery quilt and probably not publishing any linkups until mid January. Hopefully I will be able to follow along and see how its going. I will FOR SURE be back in the 'game' and catching up as soon as possible. I love doing Bonnie's mysteries!

May you all have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Monday, December 10, 2012

A 'Beach Blanket' Quilt

With all the activities going on around here at Beachwood Cottage it was a streatch to get this project started let alone completed. (Christmas parties, Christmas shopping, golfing, fishing, visiting with friends, chatting with friends online....amazing what all can get done during the holidays.)
 But here it is:
David's birthday "Beach Blanket" quilt.
When we were visiting our daughter and son-in-law and grand children last year, my SIL reminded me that I had made quilts for everyone but him. LOL So...using fabrics in my stash and some left over from two of his boys tummy-time quilts, I put this together just for him.
They live on the island of Martinique and go to the beach often. I guess he really does NEED a beach blanket.

And since this is a "beach blanket", it seemed only appropriate that it be quilted accordingly. So, in an effort to make it look cool (and expedite the process) it is quilted with a simple 'ocean wave-ish' design. Ok, so I got lazy and just did big cursive "C" swirly things....It is quilted with a varigated white to navy blue colored thread. It shows up better on the back, so here is a close-up of  the quilting on the back side of the quilt.

This quilt was a lot of fun to make. The challenge was in finding pieces of fabric in the stash in large enough quantity and close to the right color to make the squares. I made one big decision that effected the entire look by going with a brown and dark yellow instead of using a light yellow that I had originally intended to use. Two points here....First that light yellow that I chose NOT to use was a very pretty floral and made the quilt stand out vividly...very bright. Point Two...this is for a guy...no frilly girly fabrics allowed (lol) and NO big bright quilt wanted.  SO....I chose to use the brown which although is a little dark for it's placement, did tone down the 'brightness' and give the quilt a more masculine look. Goal accomplished.
This photo shows the blocks close-up...the red/yellow/orange fabric is a coral design, as is the two-tone yellow next to the center. The blue close to the center is a fish and seaweed pring and the bright blue next to the dark blue outter edge is also a fish and seaweed print.
So, now it's off to get this in the mail......
Until next time....

Strolling down the "Street"....

Hello there!
It's another wonderful day strolling down "Easy Street" here at Beachwood Cottage Quilts.

Last week was full of wonderful holiday activites including shopping for just that perfect gift for my husband.(He came along and picked it out! LOL....Hey, it was Bass Pro Shop.) Shopping also included gifts for the our grown children and the grandchildren. Then there was a fabulous pot luck luncheon at the Yarn Diva (she also carries fabric), and a great get together/Christmas party/meet the new puppy at a friends house. Plus golf and fishing because up until today, the weather has been unseasonably warm and beautiful.
So, with  all of this going on, it's a wonder that I got any sewing done! But it happened! And lots of it,too.

When Clue 3 came out for on Friday, I was anything but ready to work on it. I was in the middle of trying to finish up a "Beach Blanket Quilt" for one of my sons-in-law.....yes, I did finish it up....and that will be another post on  here later today (hopefully today).

All the clues/steps for the Easy Street Mystery Quilt have been quick and easy so far. That has been a blessing this year. Lesson to self....next year DON'T try to do so much during the holiday season. Get it done EARLIER!!!... Not sure 'self' is listening. :-)

Clue 3 again used the Easy Angle Ruler to make "64 Shaded 4 Patches".
All pieces cut and ready to assemble.
We cut 2" strips from our purples and then cut those strips into 64 2"corner squares.
And paired up our white strips to make mirror image triangles for the "wings".
Then using the turquoise/aqua fabrics, we cut 3.5" strips and from those cut 64 large half square triangles using the Easy Angle ruler once more.
Quick! Easy!
The above photo shows the stacks of the large triangles, the little white triangles and the squares all awaitig assembly with some already being chained in the machine. You can also see the two "test" subjects that I ran first just to make sure all my cuts were correct and the winged units fit the triangle pieces.

Once the right side 'wing' was attached, the units were lightly pressed and ready to attach the left side. These units fit so well together, they just seem to zip through the machine. Photo below shows left side wing placement for stitching,

 Once all of the winged units were stitched and pressed open, it was time to attach the large triangle pieces. IF...(sometimes that's a really big word) I cut and stitched all of the little wing units CORRECTLY they should just be a perfect fit to the large triangles with the 1/4" seam hitting just right to make the points come out perfectly. (Yeah, I don't use that word a lot.)  I chose to place the large triangle on the bottom and the winged unit on the top to be able to see and sew through the little "X" where the wings and square come to a point. (See photo below.)
 The close-up below shows the intersection where the seem should hit to make that point come out correctly.....the point should not be 'cut' off and not too much white should be showing showing.

Viola! Here is the completed unit. See how the point 'fits' in?
(This unit has only been slightly finger pressed, so it's not laying perfectly flat, but does do justice to the point.)

 So, or maybe that should be SEW....all of Clue/Step/Part 3 units are now finished and stacked for you to see. ...Actually by the time you are reading this, they will be tucked into a little sandwich zip bag to wait patiently for their turn in the big scheme of this MYSTERY!

Sew....until next time....quilt someone happy!
Bye for now.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Week Two on Easy Street

....And the Mystery continues....

Easy Street Mystery Quilt Clue 2 was all about purple geese...flying geese that is. We see a lot of flying geese here on the lake, but never purple geese with white wings.  I love purple!

Ok, ok...so these aren't real live flying geese...... The above photo shows the purple geese with their white wings all cut out and ready to assemble.  The purple geese bodies are stacked in groups of 4. If you look closely at the remaining purple strip piece you can see part of the other color strips at the end. By stacking my purple strips and using the Compaion Angle ruler, I was able to cut 4 at a time. 

The white strips are stacked 4 deep also, BUT as two groups of 2. They are paired with right sides together so that when they are cut using the Easy Angle ruler you get a Right ' wing' and Left  'wing'. (NO politics involved, I promise!)
The above picture shows the 'body' and 'wing' units being chained together. The 'right wing' is being attached first. The 'left wing' has been laid aside (units that are right side up in the messy pile) Once all of the right wings are attached and lightly pressed, the other side will be sewn on in similar manner. 

These Companion Angle and Easy Angle rulers make the geese easy to assemble with the little dog ear missing at the top of the purple 'body' unit and the top of the white 'wing' tips. No more guessing if you have them aligned correctly. The flat tops match up for a perfect unit.
See the nice little flat top?

And here it is pressed open. There is a perfect 1/4" seam allowance at the top! Easy !
It did not take long at all to get all the geese sewn together and their wing clipped (aka dog ears removed).  

The little EXTRA this week was to cut 64 units 2" x 3.5" to get a tep ahead for next weeks clue. Ohhhhh...can't wait to see what that will be!
Here is Clue 2 all completed. 

If you are looking for a fun project, why not join in on the Easy Street Mystery Quilt by Bonnie Hunter. It isn't too late to get started! Come have some fun with us!
Until next time....Kathy

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Walkin' on Easy Street.....


Oh, YEA, the fun has begun! The Friday after Thanksgiving was THE big day! It signaled the release of  Mystery Clue #1 for the Easy Street Quilt.
Last post, I gave you a sneek peak at my fabrics of choice. That photo, did not include the white, because at the time it was taken, the white had not been purchased.
My taste tends away from the scrappy look, so instead of choosing several whites, I went with just one to go along with the Gray constant in the quilt. So, I guess that means there are actually TWO constants. ?

Anyway, Friday was a VERY productive day and Clue #1 is complete. The following is a series of photos showing progress, starting again with the bulk fabrics.

When Bonnie Hunter did the Introduction for this Mystery Quilt, she chose fabrics in shades of Lime,Turquoise and Purple with Gray being the Constant and Black on White prints for the background. These just happen to be some of my favorite colors, so this time I chose to stay with her color way. The photo below is my stack of colors.

My color choices for the Easy Street Mystery Quilt

 Clue #1 has us Slueths cutting strips from our Gray and White that will eventually become 192
 4-patch units.

Gray and White for Easy Street

 Once enough strips were cut to yield the needed units, they were sewed together....yes it was a big pile of strip units, AND this isn't even all of them!
Gray and White strips sewn together.
 They look a lot better now that they are pressed, don't they? ;-) The strips are now ready to be stacked and cut into the "Twosies" that will make the 4-patch units.

Strip units sewed and ready to cut into 'Twosies'
 Here are some of the pieces stacked/matched and ready to sew. By having the strip units stacked together (as they will be stitched) prior to cutting the 2 inch pieces makes them easy to handle with no matching up needed. Just pick up and sew! Chaining the little 'twosies' had them zipping right along. They were all sewn in what seemed like no time at all.
 Once the units were stitched together, then clipped apart (Yes, I should have taken a photo of that pile too, but didn't. You've seen it before.lol) I sat in front of the TV and did the little seam swirl to get the center seams flat.
Twosies stitched, swirled and pressed.
So here they are, all 192 done and waiting their place in the mix.
Gray-White 4-patch units complete
It will be a long week waiting for the next clue to come out on Friday....twittle, twittle, twittle.........

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

 Happy Thanksgiving

These old gals showed up in our front yard Tuesday morning. We see a lot of wild turkey around here, but have never had them come into the front yard. They showed no fear of us whatsoever.  Guess they knew I already had a domestic turkey from the grocery in the frig for Turkey Day.  They stayed around the front yard for close to half an hour, then strolled across the street into the wooded lot. About an hour later, they returned...this time thoroughly checking out the house...right onto the front porch. Yeah, they left their "calling cards" too! They strolled around by the garden then  back across the front lawn again and finally off behind the house to the corps line by the lake.
When we first noticed them, Gary was headed out to go golf. He came back in and told me I had to come look at something. He was being real quiet, so I knew it was some sort of wildlife. We get a lot of critters around here! One of the little ladies decided to hop up in the golf cart. I was hoping she would hop on up onto the seat, but she didn't. She isn't showing up very well in the photo, but she is standing on the floor board.
They let Gary walk right up to them. And when He got in the cart to leave, they gobbled at him as if to say how dare you get in Our way.

On the Quilting Side.....

There has actually been a little quilting accomplished since my last post. The Little Red Barns Quilt got quilted and delivered to my daughter for her birthday. And yes, it was on time, too!
I told her if she didn't like it, or want it, she could send it back and I would give her something else. Nice try to keep the quilt for myself....but she wanted it! LOL
Right now, I am working on a log cabin for my son-in-law that requested a 'beach blanket quilt'. We shall see how this one goes. It is being constructed from left over fabrics from some other quilt projects. Just hope there is enough of the fabrics to make it the size needed. If not, it will be donated to my quilt guild for a charity quilt.
AND the big project coming up....DRUM ROLL....Another Mystery Quilt by none other than Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville's Quips & Snipps!! This  year's quilt is entitled "Easy Street". The first clue is scheduled to come out on Friday, November 23, 2012. I have my fabrics waiting in the wings....
These are my color choices for the mystery quilt 'Easy Street'
Can't wait to get started on this!!  Click on one of the links above for more information or to join in on the fun!
Well that's it for today. Hope to see you back here soon!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The King and his Entourage and Barns

It has only taken months, but the king is conquered and FINALLY at home on his throne with his Entourage!
The King and his Entourage
I posted photos along the journey of the quilt top construction, the little square pillows and the shams; but it is finally officially ALL complete and in place. The color and lighting is a little off in the photo, but it all works very well together in the room.  It feels like the weight of the world has been lifted from me now that this is complete.

And, yes there have been other projects along the way. Remember the "Little Red Barns" quilt and all the barns and rooster photos? Well, the Little Red Barn Quilt Top is complete. It is laying atop the Queen sized bed in the guest room waiting to be sandwiched and quilted. That is where I took it's photo also. It gives you a good idea of just how big this fabulous throw came out. I really need to run some sort of line outside to hang my quilts from to get decent photos....that and a new camera. But at  the moment I would rather spend my money on fabric. LOL
Without further delay...Ta DA....the Little Red Barns quilt TOP:

Little Red Barns Quilt Top waiting to be sandwiched and quilted.

That's about all I have been up to lately. Until next post, hope all of you have SEW much fun!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

It's Been a Very Productive Week at the Cottage!

Throw Pillows to match 'The King'
Two, yes TWO projects completed. :-)
Alright, so they were small projects, but finished just the same.

The first milestone came with the completion of the two little throw pillows that go with the "King"!

Aren't they cute! The big Shams that go with this are still in the works. Although the tops are pieced, they are awaiting some quilting and final construction. Soon...they will be ready soon.. (And, yes I know that one pillow is nearly falling off the table in the photo. It just didn't want to sit up straight!...Besides I never professed to be a good photographer!!!)

The second project was the completion  of a bag/purse that my middle daughter and I started for her around three years ago when she was visiting.
Unfortunately, the color just isn't showing up well in the photo. This is a beautiful green, cream and yellow batik.
OK, so you are right...Three Years????  Yes, that's a long time. Other life things kept getting the way especially procrastination!  When my daughter was visiting, she asked if we could make her a new purse. Being me, of course I said something like ..."sure, that should be fun". Uh huh....She went through my fabrics and picked out this piece. (One of my favorites, I might add...oh well...it was going to a good purpose....) Then, she proceeds to say she wanted this feature, and that feature, and to sort of look like an old worn out bag I  had...You get the picture. We did NOT have a pattern in hand, nor did we EVER find one she wanted to use. SO we set our little selves down and more or less designed this bag with features from all the ones she had or had seen that she liked. All done while her boys napped. WHEW! We did manage to get all the pieces cut out and some of the sewing started during her visit.  With it being left to me to complete. I really thought it would just be a quick sew up and be done, but having to THINK the construction through without a pattern took a lot of brain power that I really lack these days. I would drag it out from time to time and work on it or at least look at it a long long time.  Other life things kept getting in the way, and before long, time had just slipped by. I was determined to get it done for her birthday last year....didn't happen! I made sure it happened this year! Although, it will still arrive late for her birthday, it is In The Mail!
Here are some more views of the bag.

Back View

This is the back view.
There is a long zipper pocket all the way across the back.
Great for large travel documents, etc.
Front View Under The Flap

Here we are looking under the front flap, which secures down with a small magnetic snap that is barely visible; but if you squint hard enough it shows up in the photo.

The sipper pocket on the front is 'gusseted' on the sides for expansion when holding bulky items such as car keys. There is also about an inch of space above the zipper closure which can be useful for unusually shaped or taller items.

The bag does have an extra long shoulder strap so it can be worn comfortably over the shoulder across the body, or can be shortened enough to just carry. My daughter had originally requested that the shoulder strap be made wider to about two inches, but we could not find a slid bar that would accommodate that width.

Peaking inside at zip divider
The inside is full of pockets and compartments. There is a large zip divider pocket inside. I sort of wish we would have chosen to stabilize this pocket, but then we didn't want bulk in the interior. With four children, she needs all the extra space we could get without making the purse a huge tote bag.   One feature that helps get inside the bag with ease is the top zipper extending about two inches down the sides of the purse. This is almost evident in the photo on the left side....just look closely. The top zip goes all the way down to where the tabs that hold the strap in place are attached. About even with the little zipper on the front pocket if you look at the previous photo.
Another look inside at side pockets
There are three side pockets across from the zip divider that are ideal for holding cell phone, pens, and note pad. The color is a little more accurate in the inside pocket photo above, too.

Well, now you know how I spend all my time....One project, right after another.

Sorry, no "Garden Variety Inspiration" shots today. It's just too hot to go out there and look for something unique to photograph. Besides it is nearly all dried up from all the heat

Sunday, July 15, 2012

King and Red Barn Progress

Where does the time go? It seems that June and July have just flown by. Not sure what took up all the time.  Most days are spent in my little sewing room working on some project or another. Problem is, there just isn't enough to show for the time.  Any way a little progress has been made on the big "King" project....the two little throw pillows are finally completed. The Shams are well under construction, with the tops completed; but not quilted yet.
Didn't realize that the one was almost falling off the table until after the photo was taken. The pillow forms haven't had time to 'seat' themselves. Thought about sitting on the pillows for awhile before taking the pictures, but didn't want to waste any more time!
These are quilted, but it doesn't show up in the photo.  Hopefully, by the end of next week the shams will be completed. It is seriously time for this entire project to be completed.

Also, worked on the Red Barn Quilt squares some. The Black and Red Rooster blocks are pieced and ready for the applique stitching to be done.

I followed the color layout in the pattern, then realized....Chickens don't have BLACK legs! Oh, well, makes for a more interesting conversation piece. 
The fence and lamb sections are next. Then it will just be a matter of setting the pieces with the sashing units.  Still looking for the perfect backing fabric.

It's been a tough summer on the garden with temps in the upper 90's and over 100° for weeks.
But, here is your garden variety inspiration photo for this session:

 Concentrating on interesting shapes this time. Yes, this really is a mature cucumber. It is an heirloom variety called a Lemon Cucumber. Lemon only in shape and color; it tastes just like any other plain old cucumber.
Here is a close-up...not exactly round, but close. Lots of variation in color and highlights, and texture.
So it may not inspire you to do a lemon yellow quilt, but who knows...some day that idea might resurface. Then  you can say, "Oh, dang! She got me after all!" LOL :-) 

Tomorrow is a "Big City Civilization" run for my machine to get it's annual servicing. That means a fun  lunch out with a sewing buddy and stops at all the quilt and craft shops in the area!

Have a fun rest of July!