Thursday, August 21, 2014

Quilt Math!

Those of you who have been following my blog, know that I am a devoted Bonnie Hunter fan!  She traveled here and taught classes to our local guild in 2011!  What a thrill ... we all learned sew much from her!
Drum roll please!  I finished my first "Leaders and Enders" quilt top!  Envision me doing back flips!  That is how excited I am!  Plus ... I love the results ... and not a single fabric was purchased for this quilt!  Yep, it all came from my stash!  Whoot!  Whoot!
Basically the concept of "leaders and enders" allows you to piece quilt block units while working on other quilts or sewing projects.  This quilt used a 4 patch unit ...
... and a half square triangle unit!
Together they create this block.  The only block necessary to create Bonnie's Blue Ridge Beauty quilt.  For more info on this process visit her website here.  This process really does deliver and I will always have one in progress!
I decided early on that I was going to use the technique as intended ... I would piece the units as I worked on other projects ... occasionally sew them into blocks ... and allow them to add up over time.    This is where my exceptional math skills play into the scenario!
Early this spring, I decided to pull out my blocks and determine where I was on this journey.  Part of my math genius is that I leave mathematical notes for myself ... helps me stay on track!
I took the units that were available and pieced them into blocks!  Counting as I went ... or so I thought!  ;-)
Life got a bit crazy as the school year came to a close ... but I kept counting.  When things settled down ... I only had 12 blocks left!  Easy peasy!
Finished those final blocks ... checked the pattern ... yep, I was 44 blocks short.  Quilt math ... go figure! ;-)
No problem ... back to the bin of pieces.
In no time, those blocks were done and it was time to lay the quilt out.  Sew exciting!
Loved the results ... however there was one problem ...
... I had 76 blocks left over!  Obviously another example of my amazing math abilities!  Yikes!  That was too many to leave unused.
Flicka and I began exploring other options that would incorporate those additional blocks.
We thought about making two smaller sized quilts ... but I didn't want two of the same quilt.  I eventually decided that I wanted to stick with the idea of a generous queen sized quilt.
Yep ... more blocks were going to be necessary!  So grateful for those quilt math skills ... ;-) .
Finally!  All the blocks were done!  The layout was complete!
And ... most importantly, Flicka gave her final approval!
Time to begin sewing the rows ... yep, 18 rows of 14 blocks is exhausting for the Supervisor!
Meanwhile, I began piecing the next leader and ender quilt in the process!
Love how the Supervisor gets to nap her way through the entire experience! Such a silly kitty!
Progress on the next quilt is going well!
Half way there!
Finally ... the last row!
Yep ... Flicka was alert for this one!
We celebrated!
The next decision was to add borders or not ... without borders it was 84 x 108 inches ... a generous queen!  It just seemed to look unfinished ...
So I took some of my leftover 3 1/2 inch strips and pieced together a scrappy border!  I can't begin to express how happy I am with this quilt!  It feels so good on so many levels!  All of my math issues were entirely my own ... Bonnie's pattern is completely accurate!
I packed up my remaining 2" and 3 1/2 " strips.  I have plans for them in a future "Leader & Ender" quilt ...
... but for now ... look how these little units grew ... this is what was accomplished while piecing the top ... I love my quilt math!

Do what you love.  Love math!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Sorry, just one more pic!  I can't help myself, I just love this quilt! 

Monday, August 18, 2014

My Mojo came Back!

I want to blame it on jet lag or the rain... but for whatever reason I just couldn't get into any of my usual dillydally habits after we returned from South Dakota.  Yep ... I found myself in some sort of slump.
Flicka did her best to take charge ... here she is ... in a dark sewing room, calling me softly with pitiful little mews.  It was so cute ... touched my heart ... but I just didn't even want to think about sewing.  So I gave her lots of kitty love and we took a nap.  Cats like napping. ;-) 

I have a standing "Dillydally Playdate" scheduled with my friend Barb every Wednesday ... it was my turn to host.
She brought along her friend Deb who is visiting from Washington state!
Deb brought a redwork project that she has been working on ...
... she had no idea how much I love and appreciate embroidery of every kind!  It was so inspiring to see her project in progress!  Such a delight to make new dillydally friends!
Barb worked on the binding of this beautiful sea otter wall quilt!  
I had pulled out a small 007 embroidery project to work on!  An afternoon of great conversation, tea, and handwork was wonderful!  I began to feel the dillydally breeze that had been missing.
Thursday afternoon another friend dropped by for tea!  She brought along a baby quilt she had recently made!  It is beautiful!  
I took this photo from the dining area window on Friday morning ... an attempt to capture a picture of the rain we've been experiencing!  I had been inspired by the visits of friends ... it was time to dillydally!  
I pulled out a 007 quilt ... Flicka and I got busy!  We had such fun!  We finished piecing this quilt ... even the borders!  
After that I pulled out a small wall quilt that I pieced last summer.  
By evening we had it layered, quilted and bound!  Flicka approved!  ;-)
Saturday morning I sewed the binding on this table runner.  I planned to hand sew it down at our guild's Time to Sew event.  My guild members are always so inspiring ... check out their projects here.
It felt so good to finish another project!  I had pieced and quilted this one a few years back ... finally it is done!
I pieced this one five years ago ... Sunday I decided to finish it!
My supervisor was ever vigilant!  ;-)
I kept the quilting simple ...
I did the binding on this one by machine!
Ya Hoo!  This one is a favorite ... it feels wonderful to have it done!
I pulled out another table runner that was near completion ... all that was left to do was the binding!  
Finished!  Yep ... I am excited!  Four PhD's (projects half done) in three days makes for one very happy dillydallier!  Love having my dillydally "mojo" back!
Early this afternoon the rain stopped ... the skies cleared ... what a beautiful way to end a great dillydally weekend!

Do what you love.  Celebrate your mojo!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally