Thursday, October 25, 2012

All Squared Up

I have now squared up all the Asterisk blocks. They are currently 8", and then once I set them on point, the blocks will be around 12". In other news, I also acquired an actual coffee table which will also be my cutting surface, it's perfect height to my couch for that and it's 30" square so it's got a nice amount of space. Previously my "coffee table" was a storage tub with a non-flat lid. It was finally starting to bother me, so a field trip to Ikea and $30 later, I've got an actual coffee table. What's great is it has a shelf under, and I can store quilt blocks in progress there, my cutting mat, rulers, etc. In an apartment that's only 284 sq. ft, every little bit of storage is key!

That is 30 blocks right there, and all the trimmings plus a small glimpse at the new table. I'm pretty pleased with how the blocks are right now. Since the rowing season ends after this weekend's trip to Philadelphia, I'll have quite a bit more time to dedicate to this and other projects that are crying out (3 baby quilts for two friends who are expecting - one of those friends has twins on the way). 

A Quilting Tool Kickstarter

Hi Readers,

I have a mac, which is great 99% of the time. But I can't use EQ because they don't seem to like macs (ie they're lazy and don't want to hire programmers to make a unix based system that fits into the OSX kernals). From the last sentence you can see that I'm a little bit of a geek, and I won't deny that which is why I'm super excited for what the people over at Threadbias are up to.

I saw this over on Freshly Pieced, there's a Kickstarter campaign for a WEB BASED quilt designing tool. That means it doesn't matter what kind of computer you have, all that matters is that you can get onto the interwebs. If you have interest, please consider donating to this group.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fabric Additions

Last week was having a sale. It included Minky, which at 60" wide is a bargain when found for less than $10/yard. I now have a few yards of it in my life. I intend to use it as backing fabric for an upcoming baby quilt for one of my nursing school classmates. It will also serve as the back to my asterisk quilt to make it snuggly. These quilts won't have batting as the Minky adds enough heft. I also ordered a bunch of Aurifil thread since the 1300 yard spools were only $8.50, and they are normally in the neighborhood of $10.50-$12 depending on the shop.

The silver will back the Asterisk. The blue is a question mark. The green for the baby quilt. 
Also, for the asterisk quilt, all of the asterisks are done. It's time to square those up so that I can set them on point, but that is a task for after the Head of the Charles Regatta. Friday I'll be a marshal for the visiting crews from 9a-6p, then Saturday I'll be racing, and Sunday I'll be catching up with rowing friends who are in from across the country for the event. 

I have also joined the Pink Castle Fabrics Stash Stack Club, I get a half yard of 6 different prints (which is a half stack, a full stack would be 12  color coordinated prints) with one color theme each month. For October, the theme is lime green. These came yesterday along with the Minky arriving. This photo doesn't do the colors justice, but my apartment is on the 1st floor of a 4 story building facing the courtyard - ie very little good lighting.  

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Quiet Week on the Sewing Front, Big Week on the Rowing Front

Last week and this week are quiet on the sewing front. The rowing season is gearing up for its big finish. This past weekend my team went to the New Hampshire Championships, and we came home with some bling. The men and I double rowed (well, I rowed one and drove the boat for the other). They got medals for the pairs racing ( 2 person boat where each rower has one oar: one port rower, one starboard rower), and I medaled with them in the 4+. My other event was in the 2x, a two person sculling boat (each rower has two oars). 

Here we are sporting our Silver medals from the 4+, 
and the guys have their silver and bronze from the pairs, as well. 

This coming weekend is the Head of the Charles, it's the biggest regatta in the world with 9,000 competitors and 300,000 spectators. We will be rowing the same 4+ lineup (that "+" means there's a coxswain who drives the boat, and that's my spot in the line up). Friday, I'll be a marshall on the course for the out of town crews who want to get a chance to see the course before they're racing it. So I'll be on the river from 8a-6p. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hello, Wednesday, it's WIP time!

This week has been very productive. For one, I've finished the quilting on the Irish Road baby quilt that I made in August. All that's left is the binding. I already have the fabric, I just need to do the requisite ironing to finish this one out. I was full of fail though and didn't think to take pictures while the quilt was in my new machine which makes the quilting so smooth. A reminder of what the top looks like:

But, aside from that, I started on an Asterisk quilt and have gotten decently far. I've got 20 of the 30 blocks ready to be set on point. I've used the Moda A Stitch in Color in pear and turquoise for these blocks.

This is a big deal that I've ironed ALL the seams open. The blocks are so pretty. There are 15 that are the prints with white asterisk lines, and there are currently 5 that are white with the turquoise/pear dots. There will soon enough be another 10 that are in the plaid and big dots as seen below. All of these will be set on wonky point with whatever the asterisk lines are - either white for the print blocks or the respective prints for the white blocks.

 Can I repeat: SO MUCH IRONING!!!
 Oooh, pretty, the inverse blocks from each other. 
Oooh, look, all three prints from a coordinating line. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Asterisk beginnings

I started on an Asterisk Quilt. I'm using the Moda Stich in Color pear and turquoise color family that I picked up in Atlanta back in August - I also acquired another yard of each to make sure I have enough for setting the blocks on point thanks to The Quilting Garden.

Half the blocks are the colored ones with white stripes and the other half which I have started, but are cut, will be white with the Stich in Color patterns as the stripes. These only have 3 of the 4 white stripes, the 4th will go the other direction. I've been doing the blocks in sets - all got the first stripe, then cut in half, all got the second, etc.

The backs are also beautiful, each seam pressed open, but I didn't think to take pictures of those at the time. That will be for a future post. If I didn't press them open, the centers would get messy. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Really Random Thursday

I've mentioned that I coach high school rowing. I also am on a master's (adult) team. Last weekend the team competed at the Textile River Regatta (on the Merrimack in Lowell, MA - where all the mills used to be hence Textile). I rowed in two events - the women's 8 and the mixed 8.

I'm sitting in 5 seat - the seats are numbered starting from the front of the boat (Bow, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, Stroke <-- the lead rower facing the coxswain)

 In the women's 8+, five of the rowers in this boat were novices and for several of them it was their first race ever. It's quite the introduction since the Textile is long at 3.4 miles, even for the fall races. As a basic break down of rowing - the fall is like cross country running: everyone is racing the clock, started every 15 seconds, and going from point A to point B on the river following all the twists and turns with the final results calibrated once all boats have finished the course; whereas, spring rowing is like track: 6 boats line up side by side and go completely straight with the first boat to cross the line declared winner.

The mixed 8 had two women in the stern pair (last ones to cross the finish line), 4 men in the middle, and two women in the bow pair (the first to cross the finish line). I was the bow seat for this race. 

This weekend we have a home course race for the teams that utilize our small river in Cambridge, MA. Then over the next few weeks New Hampshire Champs, Head of the Charles in Boston (the biggest fall head race in the world with 9,000 competitors and a technically difficult course with two 90 degree turns), and to finish out the season Head of the Schuylkill in Philadelphia. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A little WIP Wednesday

This past weekend, I decided to cut more into the Kona Solids Woodland Bundle that I got recently. I found a tutorial for chevrons, but can't for the life of me remember where it came from, so I can't link to it. But it's pretty straight forward - sews strips on a stagger, line up either the 45 or 60 degree line on your ruler to one of the seams and cut. Do the same thing only with the stagger going the other direction this time and sew those two trips together and you've got yourself a chevron.

This is me playing with the technique. I have two friends who are expecting in March (one friend has twins coming) and I think this will end up being the foundation for one of the baby quilts.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fully Pieced

The disappearing four patch is now fully pieced and has borders. a 3/4 inch white followed by a 3" red. I still need to press it now that it's done before I sandwich it. Of course, I need to figure out a backing fabric and what color thread for the actual quilting. I'm contemplating either a deep red or gold.

And a clsoe up on one of the corners - this is probably the best close up of the red fabric I've gotten showing the gold, what doesn't show is next to each gold line is a slightly deeper red/crimson line over the base color.