Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric... Welcome to the Patriotic Quilter where I like to share all things quilty as well as red, white, and blue! Please feel free to look around and enjoy yourself! I would love to hear from you.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Completely Unoriginal Schnibble

Ta Da!  Presenting "Bibelot," this month's entry into "Another Year of Schnibbles."  No, this isn't the cover of the pattern, I (like Carrie and even Sherrie) used Origins by Basic Grey.

I actually bought the pattern when it first came out because I knew it would be perfect for a friend whose last name begins with "T."  I looked over my choices for fabric, but Origins best reflected the colors/style of their home.  I even made this quilt back last Nov/Dec--long before I joined AYOS. 

Just a note about the fabric:  I have long been a fan of Basic Grey because I'm a scrapbooker, and they designed papers before fabric. With the exception of some brown grungy "solid," this was my first time using their fabric and I love it!  The photos just don't do it justice.  I was so pleased with how it looks that I eagerly bought the new line "Hello Luscious" when it came out.  It is just yummy!

I've been eagerly looking at everyone's pictures of their quilt.  In the directions, Carrie says to randomly position the T blocks.  When I arranged mine on my design wall, I quickly noticed that in my arrangement, some of the T's touched each other, and then there were areas where two of the border strips abutted.  When I looked at Carrie's photo, I saw that she did not let two T's touch or 2 border strips.  I liked the way Carrie did it, so that is how I chose to be "random."  I found it a little challenging to get all the blocks arranged that way--but it was fun!  I'm enjoying seeing  who did a truly random layout and who did a controlled random layout like me (and Carrie.)

I can't wait to see the parade!


Friday, March 30, 2012

Blessing Baskets

Have any of you been following the Temecula Quilt Company's Blessing Basket project?  They posted instructions for 5 different basket blocks (one each Thursday in March) and then today they posted the directions for finishing.  You can check it out here

I found this project to be so much fun!  No matter what was going on in my life, each week I couldn't wait for Thursday morning so I would have a little something to do.  I did each one right away and put it on my design wall.  I have to add here that basket blocks are not my favorite, either.  I love how they look but do not like all those triangles coming together in ways that are not easy to press and deal with. 

This morning, I flew out of bed and found the new posting with the finishing details and went into my quilt room (still in my pjs.)  I started digging through fabric, trying to make decisions on what to use.  (There was a kit available, but I just used my own fabric.)  I figured out what I wanted to use and did the cutting and started sewing.  Then I realized that the setting corners were not going to be big enough.  I double-checked myself--it seemed correct, so I called the shop and inquired.  Sure enough, there was a little error.  She told me what size they should be and I rang off.  At this point I was hungry, so I went downstairs to have breakfast.  It wasn't even 7:30 in the morning!

After my cereal, I went back upstairs and finished!  Yea!  I love how it turned out.  I included a border which I cut at 2.5 inches.

I enjoyed this project so much.  I'm sure it was a lot of work for The Temecula Quilt Co., but I wish they would do more of them.  A "block of the month" takes a year? or more? to do and finish, but this little "block of the week" only took a month  (although I probably only spent 3 total hours or less).  Instant gratification!


Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Palm Circle Quilt

Way back in October, you can read the post here, I shared the story of how I made this quilt.

I had it "long-armed" and donated it for our Army Spouses' Club's Historic Home tour.  The tour was today.

I volunteered in one of the houses--the occupant is a friend of mine, and a fellow quilter.  Before the tour began, the docents got to have a tour so we could see in all the houses.  You can see in the photo what they look like--although they are all a little bit different.  They are historic and were built in 1907.  It is so much fun to see the different ways the occupants have them decorated.  Military families travel so much and have so many different interests, and that is reflected in the homes.  Because they are so historic, they have features like butler's pantries, maids quarters, etc.  What I kept noticing was all the old, wavy glass panes in the cabinets.  In fact, I was going to call this post "Wavy Glass" because I saw so much of it today.  I love old glass.  Anyway, that was my plan.  Until the tour ended.

We gathered together at the conclusion to share stories, say thanks, compare notes, and eat.  (There were lots of delicious pupus--the Hawaiian word for appetizers/finger foods.)  One of the last things to happen was the drawing for the quilt. 

My Mom won it!!

Yep, I bought 3 tickets for me, and 3 for her.

That is just too funny/weird/exciting.   Now I'm relaxing because my legs are tired from giving people tours for 4 hours.  I can guarantee that I'm not cooking supper.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Top Finally Finished

After hauling this around for over a year as my "handwork" project to bees and other quilt groups, I finally completed this top!

This is the overview and below is a detail shot of one of the corners.

Now I'm considering the quilting.  I could do it myself and it would be great.  But, I could get it custom quilted and it would be a masterpiece.  I'm leaning towards the second option right now.  I have only had three quilts custom quilted so far so it isn't something I often do.  The third one is on it's way home now, and I haven't yet seen it.   It is pretty exciting!

It was a gorgeous day in Hawaii today.  I spent it running errands, cleaning the bathrooms, and washing the sheets and hanging them outside to dry.   Sun-dried sheets are somewhere in my top 5 all time things! What are the rest, you may be asking?  They are, in no particular order:  trees, hot baths (NEVER underestimate the power of hot water for making any thing, any situation--aside from a burn--better) quilting, and of course, my beloved husband.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Terrain Pillows

So last week I took out my box of all the Terrain bits and pieces and leftovers and made a Schnibble, which I will show in another post.  When I finished, I looked over the other bits and found that I had a half strip of the entire jelly roll left and so I did a search at the Moda Bake Shop to see if there were any cool pillows using jelly roll strips but I didn't find anything that sang to me.

And then on Tuesday, this popped up and it took less than a second for me to know that it was the exact project I had in mind.  Well, I had a luncheon to prep for and hold on Wednesday, but after everyone left I scurried up to my quilt room, grabbed the strips and began.

In NO time, I had this finished.  I love it!  It was so easy and the results are so much fun.  The strips are ironed in half and then sewed on, leaving a series of 21 "pleats."  I still had some strips left, and a count told me I had 18.  I just needed three more to make another.  I found some leftover pieces from the quilt top that were the right size, just needing a little trim, and away I went again to make this:

Now I just need some fabric to make the backs.  Guess what?  The Fat Quarter Shop had Terrain at half price on Wednesday!!  My order is on the way and when it gets here, I can finish up the pillows. 

Update:  Here are the finished pillows.  I just love the way they came out!
To review, I made the King size quilt (off being long-armed and I can't wait until it gets back), trimmed purchased shams and bedskirt.  They will be the wedding present (it was back in June, so I'm "catching up.")  The Schnibble I made and these pillows will be the first Anniversary present.    The happy couple has seen the quilt and repainted the bedroom--Tango Tangerine!-- so they are eagerly awaiting the quilt.  I think I will prep the binding soon, so I'm all ready when it gets back.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Some of you who have been reading my blog for a while now may remember back last summer when I finished this quilt:
It is the free pattern for the Red Rooster fabric line by Jennifer Chiaverini based on her book "The Aloha Quilt."  I remember when the book came out and I eagerly read it, not just because I read her books, but certainly because I had recently moved here to Hawaii.  I did not know anything about the fabric collection, though, until a while later when I saw an ad in a magazine.  By then, it seemed too late.  No internet shops had much of it left.  What really shocked me was that no shop on this island had it, either.  I did find a kit online and ordered it.  That Christmas, we flew back to the mainland and I was in Lally's Quilt Shop in Shipshewana, and there was some of the fabric, including the hard-to-find panel and the outer border fabric.  I used my smart phone to look up the quilt pattern to see what I needed.  I found other fabrics to match, and bought some more.  After I got home, I put it with the kit (I still hadn't started it) and waited. 

One day I was browsing on an internet quilt shop, one that carries "discounted" fabrics, and lo and behold, there was quite an assortment of the Aloha Quilts fabric.  I ordered some that I didn't have and some more for backings.  When it came I got everything out and started.  When I got done I had these:
I finished four of the quilts.  I knew they may be popular here for gifts--not only from me, but to sell for others, maybe.  I also have 2 more pieced center star units which I did not make into quilts.  I packed up all the leftover bits and pieces in a box and stuck it in my closet.

Fast forward to last week.  I had finished various smaller projects and turned towards my list/pile of unstarted projects and yet nothing appealed to me.  Do you ever have that problem?  You have a pile of things to do that you have wanted to do for so long/have in fact bought necessary things for those projects, and then when it comes time, nothing screams "do me next?"  So I tidied up a bit and looked around.

My eyes rested on the box of leftovers.  I had shared some of the panel "blocks" with some friends, and even used some to cover journals for my Bee Christmas gifts.  I had learned when I lived in Alaska, that after I moved away, I never made any more "Alaska" themed quilts, so I got the box out and went through it.  Inside was this pattern which I had found in my searches for more fabric.  I looked over my fabric and determined that I had enough to make it, although I made it one row shorter. 

During consturction I got a chance to use the Fit To Be Geese ruler and the Square In A Square Ruler which I love but haven't been able to use much since I got them.  I can emphatically recommend them! 
I mostly did this on Saturday, International Quilting Day.
It just needs to be quilted, now.

When I finished, I picked up all the leftovers and put them in the box....   Don't you wish that fabric "came out even" at the end of a project?


Monday, March 19, 2012

Water Bottle Aprons

Did any of you see the cute, cute bottle aprons at Lori Holt's blog Bee in My Bonnet?  Oh my.  I had been waiting for this tutorial for a while now. I love how you can make 4 of them with two 10" squares.  I went another route, though, because I have a committee meeting this week and I wanted to give some out as small "thank yous."  I had a fat quarter of this Hawaii Girls fabric and wanted to use it.  The fabric was a bit more sturdy than normal quilting fabric--in fact, it sort of reminds me of what chef's aprons are made of.  It made nice aprons and I found a cute coordinating fabric for the pockets.  I was able to get 9 aprons cut out of the fat quarter, and some of them were slightly "fussy cut" to capture certain motifs, although I wasn't able to do that for all of them.  Here is the result!

(Yes, that is my ground beef thawing on the counter in the background!--sorry)
Here is a closeup of one of the "fussy cut" ones.

I like how I was able to get the words "Hawaiian Girls" across the bottom.  I'm really tickled with how these came out and plan to make more in the future!  The hardest thing for me was finding the bias tape.  It is the really narrow double-folded.  Here on Oahu, we don't have a JoAnn Fabrics, or other large fabric store.  I found a bit in one local fabric store and some other in a certain nation-wide chain store that features a small fabric/craft area (as well as greeters...)  I don't like that store very much and so you know I must have been desperate!  We stopped by the one near Waikiki on Friday night after the weekly fireworks, so it was near 9 pm.  Wow!  I couldn't believe all the strange people that were in there!  Yikes!  I'm sort of glad my husband was with me.  I found enough of colors that would work, though, so I cranked these out in very little time.

As I sewed all last week and this weekend, I was re-listening to all the Hunger Games books in preparation for the movie.  We have tickets for Friday night! 


Friday, March 16, 2012

A Quilting Week

My company from last week left Saturday afternoon.  We dropped them at the airport and less than an hour later I had got my quilt stuff out and was already cutting out my next project.  Have you ever been super excited to do something and yet for whatever reason, you just can't get to it?  In this case it was a couple of charm packs of Hello Luscious and some yardage and a Schnibbles pattern.  I will show it to you later. 

The other thing I really needed to focus on was that Tuesday I was on tap to teach my favorite method of applique to my fellow Bee attendees.  I love Jeanna Kimball's back-basting method!  I needed to prepare some templates, a supply list, and some samples.  For the class, I taught a heart as it has an outside point, and inside point, and an convex curve.  The heart template I chose even had a bit of a concave curve.  I was a bit nervous about the teaching but then I remembered that my "students" were really my friends, so I relaxed.

Everyone did a great job!  For one or two, it was their first experience with needle-turning, but for others, it was just their first try with the back-basting method.

Here is a picture of everyone with their heart block.  One of them had the idea to lay it on her chest over her real heart, and it was so cute that everyone did it!

I have grown to really like these ladies and the others who come to the Bee and yet didn't take part in the class.  It is going to break my heart to have to say goodbye to them this summer when we move.

After the class, there was still time, so I sat and finished appliqueing all my samples.  When I got home I found that I had seven hearts.  I set one aside and trimmed the others down and made this quilt.

It is quite small--the blocks finished at 2.5"-3" (I can't remember which).  I cut the border strips at 2" wide.  Now I'm going to do some hand quilting (if I remember how,  ha ha) and it will be such a nice remembrance of the day and the Tuesday Bee.

I spent the rest of the week up in my quilting room and have other things to show you in future posts.  I hope everyone knows it is International Quilting Day tomorrow!  I plan to spend mine quilting!


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Not Just Quilting Right Now

My daughter and her boyfriend are visiting this week.  It has not just rained, but also poured most of their visit.  We are making the best of it, though.  Today I had a luncheon that I needed to attend, so I drove them down to Waikiki to spend the day.  I went to pick them up afterwards and they pointed out how Hawaii 5-0 was being filmed right there on the beach.

Do you watch the show?  If so, you will easily recognize Scott Caan (as Danny "Danno" Williams) and Daniel Dae Kim (Chin Ho Kelly).  I have to admit that I was pretty excited.  I even got to walk by in the background, and my daughter and her boyfriend got to sit on the beach for a scene.  Too cool!

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Fix

Thank you everyone for your commisseration and advice on how to fix the block.  Joan had suggested, and I was already thinking in my mind, that I should do an organic curve-shape over the top.  I got a scrap of the backing and matched the pattern to the backing piece, pinned, and then basted in a curve.  I did consider carefully if I should make it larger, or keep it smaller.  In the end, I went with smaller.  Here is the finished block--trimmed down the correct size including the seam allowances.
You can see the curved patch on the left side.  I have not trimmed anything away from behind, and if I do, it probably won't be until it is pieced into the seam. 

Here it is with the seam allowance covered.
Now you can barely see it there by the hole in the calendar that I was using to cover the seam.  I think by the time it is quilted, it will be virtually invisible.  Or nearly so.

Have any of you ever "made a mistake" or otherwise pieced something not quite right, but could never find it in the finished quilt to fix?  I once was piecing a quilt and had exactly the right amount of fabric for the backing.  I had cut the stip and was subcutting the units and did what many of us do, and didn't line up the ruler just right and cut one a bit too long, and the other was too short.  So I was short 4 to 6 (I can't remeber how many thicknesses I was cutting) pieces.  I went to my stash and found something "similar."  I used it and when the quilt was done, I had a really difficult time finding those pieces in the quilt.

Thanks also for the well-wishes.  The procedure that I had surgery for was something most people can get done in the office, but I guess not me.  We know because they tried twice!  It is over now and I'm pretty much back to normal.  I am having company, though, our daughter is visiting!  It was her birthday yesterday and it was the first we've spent together since she turned 18.  She is now at an age where I no longer share it!  I have had no problem with my own birthdays, but boy, when my child becomes a certain age--well, that makes me feel a bit old.