Think about this.....

...the only thing scarier then reaching out to the unknown is settling for that with which we are comfortable.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Here it is!

The finished product...kind of. This isn't the greatest pic of it, but once it comes back from the quilters, we'll get a final shoot and send it back out here.

No Guilt Quilt

I've been working away at the t-shirt quilt. I'm finding it fun, yet frustrating. Inspirational, yet very challenging. Colorful, yet painstakingly slow. As much as I've been working on it, I'm barely half way through designing it on the wall. I almost feel like I need to put together what I've got up there so far and see more where I'm at, but I won't.

I have already moved a few of the shirts around a bit to make up for fillers and positioning, so I know if I start putting it together, I'll end up ripping out a few of what I've done to accommodate my new ideas; and unsewing is NOT fun!

Since Monday was my birthday, Jim got a few quilt-y things for me. Four layer cakes from The Marshall House for a larger blocked Anita's Arrowhead quilt. The cakes are so fun and in terrific colors so it'll be cool to see how they all come together over the next few months. I want to have this one done for our quilt show in March, so I'm doing a few blocks each day to ensure completeness for the show.

The second thing he got for me was a complete (directions, patterns, AND fabrics) set for the Wind in the Whiskers wall hanging by McKenna Ryan. I love her colors and use of batiks and this will be a winter project that should keep me busy for quite some time. There are seven panels to complete the whole quilt and each panel has lots and lots of pieces to work with so this should perk up those blah winter months.


Friday, October 11, 2013

More Mystery Pics

Cheeseburger, I want my cheeseburger!

Taco's, get your taco's here.

This was under my machine being blanket stitched.

I'm getting hungry just looking at these and it's just past 10:00 in the morning. I think we'll have burgers tonight for dinner. Yum.

I'm delving into a new facet of quilt making. I started this two days ago and have found it very therapeutic, yet very time consuming. I'm the guinea pig for this project just in case any other members of the family want one, but making a t-shirt quilt was on my quilting bucket list. 

Jim and I have a cedar chest full of memories and many of those are t-shirts we've collected throughout our lives. Some of them are not in very good shape, but I decided to include them into the quilt because they are a significance of my life I feel is important. And, since this is my quilt, I have the final say, right?

And, I'm not making a traditional t-shirt quilt; most of the examples I've seen are set together with equal block sizes, with or without sashing strips in between each block. A book purchased earlier this week is teaching me how to get out of that box and steer the ship in a different direction. 

Wednesday evening was spent going through the t-shirts and picking out ones I wanted to include in my experiment. After selecting about 18 of them,  the next step was to iron, cut, attach interfacing to their backside, and then start designing the quilt on the wall.

I found I didn't have enough t-shirts cut. Can you believe it? I dug through the t-shirt pile once again and selected another six more to add to the quilt. This changed the whole layout (pretty much) and so back to the design wall we go. Once I arrived at a suitable layout, I started making deconstructed flying geese. These are flying geese that aren't measured or equally balanced. Wonky geese if you will.

I chose this method for two reasons: 1) I'm not balanced (giggle, giggle), and 2) I didn't want to be tied down to a traditional quilt-making method while wanting to have fun doing this uncharted project. I knew that I was going to be slow at it since it's so new to me, so I didn't want to loose interest after doing four or five of the fillers between each of the blocks. 

I think too that I'm going to border each t-shirt in a wonky square so they appear even more randomly laid out. I have to remember how to do this since it's been a while. 

The other project I've been working on the past few days is a challenge quilt set out by one of our ASQ guild members. It's an art quilt with four self thought out nouns to build the quilt upon. It's only a small piece (less then 20" square), but it occupied most of my Monday and Tuesday, as well as Wednesday morning. I have put it aside though because I have some questions about the challenge parameters and need to ask the challenge person for clarification.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Almost There

Here are even some more delicious varieties of yummy blocks to peruse.




I can't wait to show you the rest of this quilt!

In the meantime, I've been working on a few other things the past few weeks. Ben and Alisha's wedding quilt top is now completed. I'm not going to post it here because they haven't even seen it yet. And quite honestly, I don't want to show that one until I get it quilted.

I found some amazing flannels at JoAnn's (yeah, go figure), and had to make them into something. I have yet to "cut" the edges of this cozy ragg quilt, but here it is prior to doing so. I guess while I had my camera out I decided to take advantage of those quilt-taking opportunities today.

Cozy Christmas Ragg Quilt

I have been working on the Craftsy BOM for 2013. We have been given all of our blocks and last month's instructions included how to put in the fillers and get all the irregularly shaped blocks together. This is what it looks like on the design wall. I don't know what I'm going to do with this quilt yet?!?

Craftsy 2013 BOM

And we must not forget our Scrap Squad #5 quilt. I'm calling it Scrappy Star Search. I think it turned out nice and like what the borders did for the overall appearance. This pic is a little washed out despite having taken the pic during a cloudy day last week, but you get the overall, well, picture. :-)

Scrappy Star Search. Scrap Squad #5!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

A few more blocks...

...to make you wonder. Okay, so some of you followers have already seen the completed top, but for those of you who haven't these will keep you wondering.




Friday, September 27, 2013

Mystery Day #2

Here are a few more blocks to wet (whet) your appetite.

Hot Dog

Giant Cone

I have been painstakingly blanket stitching around all the pieces needed for this quilt. It has taken me days and days and hopefully, with positive thoughts and a productive mind, I'll finish blanket stitching today. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

It's a Mystery

I began this quilt last Tuesday. This is a pattern I picked up this summer while on our way up to quilt camp. The shop was located at Elm Creek and I have been just busting to get started on it.

While the Scrap Squad quilt was at the quilters, and since I don't normally sew binding during nice weather days (it's a thing), I ventured into this project and thought I would, over the next week or three (depending on how long it takes me to get it done), feed only pieces of it to you in random order. Sounds like fun, huh?

Here are the first few pieces.

Soft Ice Cream from Tasty Twist

Cupcake Number 1
I'm just getting hungry looking at these!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Piccadilly Circles

Isn't this quilt so beautiful? When I saw it in the July/August 2013 issue of Quiltmaker, I knew it was to be done! I started the quilt shortly after receiving the issue, but a house move, a wedding, and renovations to said house were definite quilt-making stoppers.

Piccadilly Circles
Since I'm working my way through some of my UFO's, this top was nearly at the bottom of the heap. There still are others, but they are work-as-you-go tops. This top just needed to get done since it is so nice.

Speaking of Quiltmaker, Linda, at B's Floral (also home to Bee Quilted) phoned me today and said my Star Search quilt was already done! What? Are you kidding me? Talk about the royal treatment! After I got it home and grabbed a bite to eat for lunch, I laid it out to see whether the prairie points I wanted to put into that last border would work. Nope. Too much. I'm going to leave it "as is" and call it good. I'll start the binding tonight and get some pics of it up as soon as the binding is completed.


Friday, September 13, 2013

Pictures...finally!

It gets kind of tiring when all a person does is blather on and on without any visuals doesn't it? Well, here are a few anyway.

This is Falling Charms and the last we'll be seeing of this quilt. It's being donated to our VA folks down in Battle Creek and will find a new home/owner around Veteran's Day.

Falling Charms


The label deserved a pic as well since is was such a pickle to work with. :-)

My next design wall contestant needed to be pieced together. As much as I loved having this on my wall to decorate my studio, it was time to put it together and get the next set of blocks up there.

This is Spring Garden and was a short mystery quilt/workshop I took through...you guessed it! Craftsy! Amy Gibson is an amazing person and I would love to meet her some day in person! I couldn't resist anything she offered so I selected to take this workshop even though I didn't particularly care for the fabrics offered, the thought of a mystery quilt (because I have a terrible history with them), and I knew I was beyond the given skill level.

But every once in a while you have to do a simple project just to keep your sanity and perspective on your craft so I dug right in and created the blocks in an afternoon. I pieced the top this morning and here is the result.

Spring Garden
After checking the pattern and the workshop materials, identified that I did follow the directions correctly and even after a few people questioned the directions, put it together like I was instructed. Sometimes I wish I wasn't such a literal person because if you look at this top, there is something minor that I should have picked up on while it was living on my design wall for four days. And wouldn't you know it...didn't pick it up until I put the two halves together. I wasn't going to pick it apart at this point and just decided to leave it as is. Can you find the error in the design?




Thursday, September 12, 2013

On to other things

Yesterday was good news day. B's Quilting in Charlotte can turn the scrap squad quilt around for me in my short deadline timespan. I love the motif we picked for the quilting and can't wait to see how it turns out. I never did get a pic of the quilt with the borders on it prior to taking it up, but I knew that time was of the essence and so had to whisk it off toot sweet.

After arriving back home, I unpacked the Falling Charms charity quilt that Katie quilted for me and started in on the binding and the label. I've never had a label give me such trouble before and struggled with that through most of the early afternoon. After finally getting that right, I then moved on to the binding. Thankfully, that's going much better.

I needed a little break with Falling Charms and pieced together all the blues in Anita's Arrowhead. I counted to see how many blocks I have constructed to far after my blue construction. To my dismay, I only have 36. To make a queen-sized quilt I need about 100. Because I'm running out of large scraps, and don't want to start digging into my yardages, have decided to make this a colorful couch quilt and settle on a few less blocks.

My next plan of action, and since it's such a fun quilt to do, is to obtain 4 "like" layer cakes and put together another larger quilt using the same Anita's Arrowhead pattern. It's a nice quilt to take a break with and the blocks are so fun to put together. Anita uses a really subdued flowery pattern for one of her examples, and I'd like to do something like she did. I'll have to start keeping an eye on MSQC's web site to take advantage of their daily deals for purchase of said layer cakes.

I also played with a new little apple core kit I purchased at the Cal-Co quilt show last weekend. I wanted to do a few test pieces before digging in to the actual pattern to make sure I understood the directions. This is a new realm for me in using glue to "baste" the pieces down prior to hand stitching them together. It's kind of a spin on English paper piecing and will be an educational experience I'm sure.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Now the Top is Done!

While the actual blocks were completed yesterday on Star Search (Scrap Squad #5), I had yet to decide whether to border the quilt. If you didn't read yesterdays blog, the original pattern did not include any borders on the top. I wanted to extend the size of the top and thought that perhaps some borders would be nice to add to the project.

I did decide on two. One thinner border and then one a little thicker. I plan on setting some prairie points on that outside lighter border once the quilt has been quilted.

Speaking of which. I'm tossing around the idea of trying to get this bugger under my machine(s), but the quilt, with the added borders, seems nearly too daunting to peruse into that venue. I have to make some phone calls tomorrow to see where I can get the thing done in a quick-like manner.

I worked on a few Anita's Arrowheads today after completing the scrap squad top. My yellows are now done and will move on to the blues next.

Katie gave me the Falling Charms charity quilt last Thursday. She quilted it up for me and since it was for charity donated through our quilt guild, she did it pro-bono. I love Katie! I still need to get a binding and a label on it, so maybe tomorrow (after finding a quilter for my scrap squad quilt), I'll complete that.

I also put Spring Garden on the design wall. This was a workshop through Craftsy and had been sitting in block on my design table for a number of weeks now. Once we put up the temporary design wall, Star Search took over the wall for the past two weeks so I was unable to set Spring Garden on the wall to plan out how that quilt will piece together. I think this is going to be a simple, yet beautiful quilt.


Monday, September 9, 2013

The Top is Done!

And with one day to spare on my two week estimate for Scrap Squad quilt #5. I did not anticipate the difficulty of adjoining the rows in this quilt. I have never made a parallelogram-type of quilt and especially setting it on point. The first row had to be ripped out because, like I've been taught, you butt the seams together to make sure they intersect perfectly.

You don't do that on parallelograms! the seams actually have to cross at the quarter-inch mark to make sure they line up. I don't know if I did it correctly, but what I ended up doing was to "fake sew" with a pin horizontally and then flipping the row being added up to see if I was lined up correctly. I did this with each and every seam intersection...which means, pretty much the whole top.

I was pretty pleased with the results and found that only a few were a teensy bit off. There is one seam that after resewing twice, just couldn't get it to behave, so my three-times-and-your-out rule applied in this instance. From 10-feet away, you can't even see which one it is, so I'm calling it good.

I see that that pattern does not have any borders added, but I'm feeling like I want to add one or two. I think a dark, thin border first, and then a wider, lighter border second. Perhaps some prairie points in that second border to accent the points in the stars within the top itself? Thinking out loud here, can you tell?

I'll play with it tomorrow to see what I come up with on paper/computer before I take to the cutting mat and sewing machine. Isn't creating fun?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Goals, goals, goals

When my eldest was home last week for our middle sons' wedding, I received the next scrap squad pattern. After gawking at it for some time, I decided that it was going to be a little bit harder then some of the previous patterns and because of what I wanted to do with it (color-wise), so, it was going to take a lot more time then usual.

I verbalized this to him and his new wife and his reply to me was something along the lines of, "Yeah, right mom. You'll have it done by the end of the week." They left to go back to California on last Tuesday. I finished the last block last night at a rather late hour. The rows are rows, but they are not fashioned together yet as a quilt top. And, I want to border this quilt, so I have to plan/do that as well.

When I spoke with the eldest son last night, I indicated to him that the quilt top was still in progress (it was after I hung up with him that I eventually finished the blocks). He was astounded. Not only that, I said to him that it would actually be a two-week project rather then one, given my plans for the pattern. He couldn't believe I was pretty much on the mark with my timeline projection and since I have plans for nearly all weekend, it will be next Tuesday before the quilt top is ready to head to the quilter.

This leads to my next situation. I have a 10/4 deadline. Yesterday when I spoke with a new quilter who belongs to our guild, she said she was 4-6 weeks out for completion. Oops. That leaves me with my usual quilter, and while she does an amazing job and I love her work, she is so far away that I have to spend a culmination of a half day chasing quilts around the state.

Life of a professional quiltmaker isn't all fabric and thread. It takes a lot of planning and preparation to make a project work from start to finish in just five weeks. I spend much of my time sewing, yes, but there are so many other considerations to factor in as you can see with my latest quilt.


Monday, September 2, 2013

Freezer Paper Is My Friend

When working with templates, and until recently, I used to use the old fashioned templates. I would cut them out of cardboard and hope that I cut the patches correctly. Which I generally did not. I did not like to use heavy plastic for two reasons: 1) It's expensive and 2) They are bad for the environment, especially if they weren't going to be used again for another project.

Freezer paper was introduced to me about a year ago after taking a portrait quilt class. I had a huge roll I purchased from a yard sale years ago, but never learned, or had it explained to me, how to use this wonder tool.

Isn't it great to finally find out how to do something easier? With the scrap squad #5 quilt, half the quilt is being built with foundation paper piecing, and the other half I'm doing with templates. I've used my parallelogram freezer foundations nearly through the whole quilt and they are just started to conk out on me. Talk about getting your money's worth!


Friday, August 30, 2013

Half Way

While I wasn't too motivated today with the temps being warm and the house trying to stay cool, I still managed to get the middle row done on Star Search; this is the name of our next scrap squad quilt and it's proving to be a little easier then I originally thought when starting this project.

With the blocks on the design wall, it doesn't appear to have the higher contrast I had hoped for but after shooting pics of it, it seems to be okay. I think I've just looked at it too much over the past four days and I'm becoming a little too engrossed in it.

To reward my accomplishment on Star Search, I did two more blocks on Anita's Arrowhead (yet another class I'm taking on Craftsy) and then called it a night. Since the Spartans have their first football game tonight, I'll retire into the family room and work on some hexagons while listening to Caleb and Jim yell at the refs on the TV.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Star Search

Can you see the stars forming as I'm building this quilt? This is our next Quiltmaker Scrap Squad quilt and I can't believe it's already number five. I have a very short deadline to get this top done so I'm feverishly working to make it happen.

I've put all other quilts aside to give this my all and am really enjoying the scrappy creation process of this one. Jim had to temporarily put up a design wall in my new studio. We originally wanted to create a design "space" rather then a wall, but time being what it is as of late, thought we better get at least something up there so I can view my creations while in process.





Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Hiccup

Yep. My blogging life has had the hiccups. Moving, college graduations for the kids, weddings, renovations to the house just moved into. Life.

Now that my studio is up again in the new place here's a pic of where I'll be creating and loving life from now on.
Kinda messy in the pic, but I'm working on five quilts right now. Six if you count the one in the quilt rack. 
I love my new space. I have loads of natural light and the hardwood floors are so much easier to clean threads and fabric bits off of. Not to mention, it's huge! I'm backed up to my design wall taking this pic, and my full-sized desk is there on the right in front of the persian rug. 

It used to be the houses living room but we also have a family room. With the boys all gone, there's only the two of us here most of the time, so I claimed the space as mine. Jim has his big pole barn across the road as well as the garage, so I'm not feeling the least bit guilty. :-)

I was actually able to get in a few small projects through the life-fog, so here's what the last month has permitted me to do. These were started at quilt camp and then completed the week after arriving home. Quilt camp is what actually got me back into my much needed quilting mode again and so I thank all my girlfriends and quilting buddies for reminding me that life is too short and I need to either eat dessert first, or quilt. 

This is actually a re-do. The previous background was too light.

Hexi Mug Rug. Found a pic on the AQS web site and had to replicate. 

Nice little table runner kit I purchased up north at Elm Creek.
The Kaleidoscope quilt top is finished and ready to head off to the quilters. A new baby quilt was made that I call Cheerios. The large block string quilt was finally put together and also ready to head to the quilters. 

Currently I'm working on learning how to hand quilt. I have the first quilt loaded on my new quilt rack (thank you local thrift store for that amazing find), but have yet to put a stitch in it. The reason? A very short deadline on my next Scrap Squad quilt is bringing my focus on that (so instead I'm sitting here blogging; makes sense, right?). 

And, as I mentioned above, I have five other quilts in the works right now. I swear I'm a Craftsy addict. I'm making a few Anita's Arrowhead blocks to see what I come up with. I have Piccadilly Circles nearly bordered from the previous issue of Quiltmaker. I have a charity quilt for the VA in piles of blocks. There is a mystery quilt in blocks via an Amy Gibson/Craftsy collaboration ready to go on the design wall. And, after attending the AQS quilt show in Grand Rapids a few weeks ago, have a little zippered-purse thing sitting there waiting for me to get brave enough to tackle (zippers are a lot like sewing, which we all know, I don't do). 

It's great to be back into my creative mode. Summer is winding down and grandma was right when she would say, "As you get older the time goes so much faster." I'm ready for the bugs to go away, for the cooler temps to befall us, and for the steady hum of my machines to sing along with Pandora on the computer. Life is so good!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Life Happens!

It pains me at times to not be able to quilt for a few days. I try to get in whatever I can (making hexagons when company visits, stitching a few pieces together on the latest BOM during loads of laundry), but to actually not be able to sit down and create for days on end puts me in kind of a funk.

It feels like my life is a bit off kilter when I'm not down in my studio. And then when I am finally able to get back downstairs, it seems like a coating of dust and cobwebs have settled upon my little corner of the world.

So, having said that, I will be able to head downstairs later today. It takes me a little bit of time to get "charged" up to head that way because I know that once I get there, trying to get me back up is tough. And I know it will be short lived because life is coming at our little family fast in the next week (or more). More on that later (maybe).

Meanwhile, I'll take what I can get and enjoy each and every Pandora coated minute of it. I AM thankful I have the opportunity to even be able to quilt as much as I do because not everybody does.  Life does happen and I understand that, but does it have to happen so darn often?

Buckets of Summer

Meanwhile, and hopefully soon, summer will be upon us. We seem to be yo-yoing around our clothing choices each week here in our mitten state. Today, I'm back in a turtle neck and hoodie sweatshirt because this mornings' temps were in the 40's. BRR!!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Join a Guild

I get out very little. In the winter, I'm afraid to drive on slick and dangerous roads, although this never used to be the case. I think moving to Arizona for those three years spoiled me and since then have developed a "driving in adverse conditions" phobia.

In the spring/summer/fall I find getting out easier, but have so much to do with other activities around the house that to get away to some yard sales seems to be the extent of it. Therefore, I joined a quilting guild. Two actually. However, one of the guilds is quite a drive and therefore, only attend half the year. And, they only meet once a month anyway.

The other guild is closer. A mere nine miles away and we meet on a weekly (or more) basis. Meetings are most every Thursday and the membership count is not so huge not to know everybody. We do other meetings too to include a monthly sew-in whereby we sew charity quilts on Friday and then do our own personal (or whatever) things on Saturday. We also have a number of members who open their homes up for additional Monday sewing.

It's great to talk and share with others while doing something I absolutely love. On special weeks we get guest speakers in to share their quilting accomplishments and ideas and occasionally we get a class to broaden our quilting horizons. We have our own Quilt University to teach our particular skills each year, and there are various other activities we throw in too (challenges, techniques, show and tell, UFO auctions, etc.).

Because of the guild, I find myself more motivated. There are days when I want to go in one direction (starting another project usually) and I know I have a charity quilt I SHOULD be doing instead; or completing something the members saw me begin and will want to see the end result of. It keeps me a bit more focused on what I need to finish rather then starting another 'new' something.

For them I am grateful. Here is one of the projects that when I started was very gung-ho about, but after a few days and very little accomplished, was ready to put aside for a while to start something else. But, I committed myself by sharing a picture of this project to other members and thereby, holding myself accountable for my said desires.

This is called Dancing Ribbons. The finished quilt is only about 12" square, but it took nearly as long as a full-sized "easier" quilt to complete. Six days total. It's one of my favorite pieces now and I have my fellow ASQ members to thank for it now being displayed as you enter my home.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Spring?

Spring has come, and gone, and come again, and gone again. I see a pattern here. It's like they say in the show M*A*S*H...off with the winter clothes, on with the summer clothes. Off with the summer clothes, on with the winter clothes. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

The good side to this is during the turbulent weather changes I get a lot of quilting done between the yard work weather.


As promised before, here are the two fabric books and Veggie Tales pillow to match I completed a few weeks ago. When Andrew came home for Ben's graduation last week, there was much discussion about who would end up with the Veggies Tales stuff. All three of the boys STILL like them despite their ages.


This quilt has been a thorn in my side. Not because it was too awfully difficult, or that I was struggling with the colors. It was because it was started way back in February and then tabled it for a while. After coming back to it a few months later, it seemed like I had already put a significant amount of time into it and barely had the first 1/4 of it completed.

There are 208 paper pieced blocks within the main top and the seams seemed to be difficult to press out during construction. I finally found a way to overcome this obstacle, but it took the last two rows to figure out that sometimes our quilting "rules" needed to be bent just a bit.

I'm still working on whether I want to do something else within that last dark border...but I'm awaiting word from my fellow Scrap Squaders to see what they think.


This is charity quilt #3. It's only in design format right now because I'm still not sure what to do with it. Do I sash it? Super border it? Leave it as is and just let it become a baby blanket even though it isn't really baby blanket colors? I'm seeking the advice from my ASQ members to see what their input is on this is as well.

I saw the design on Pinterest and improvised my own way of doing this particular quilt, BTW.



The center of this quilt was featured on Missouri Star Quilt Companies latest YouTube video. Jenny Doan is so funny and I try to at least do a small "something" she teaches. Because my mom loves to buy me all those fun precuts and Jenny loves to feature them, this was a perfect project for her latest.

I had two similar batik charm square packs and wanted to make a larger-then-table topper quilt (frankly, I have enough of those around here), so I came up with the extra borders surrounding the main middle section to finish the quilt out at around 56" square. It'll now make a nice couch quilt rather then merely collecting dust on my table. I'm calling this one Window Panes.


Monday, April 29, 2013

Charity #1 and UFO Weekend

I think I was supposed to work on the Falling Charms quilt this weekend, but that didn't happen. Instead I looked around my sewing room during the week and decided I needed to get some house cleaning done. Not the dusting and vacuuming kind, but the unfinished objects kind gathering dust in my pile of quilts.

When I tackle such projects, I usually start with the smallest task first. This way I feel a sense of accomplishment and it gets the blood going.


This cute little quilt was the result of a Craftsy class titled "Doing Big Things with Small Scraps" or something like that. This is called Dolly and she now sits on my living room table.


The next project was this little table topper which is now underneath the Andrew and Laura shrine I've put on our dining room table in honor of their wedding. It goes well with all the purple and green from their wedding colors.


The third project was this larger table topper. The idea was from a Youtube video with Jenny Doan from Missouri Star Quilt Company I viewed way back last fall. I purchased a hexagon template from them because of it and this was my first stab at using it.


My mom purchased this pattern for me at Christmas and while it wasn't a small project, I finally finished it up on Friday. I had been working on it since January and during our sew-in last weekend, was able to complete the rest of the blanket stitching around the animals. It's not yet quilted, but I wanted to show it off anyway. I know, I know, that goes against all my rules, but sometimes you just gotta throw out the rules.


I call this little guy the Happy Caterpillar. It will be a donation quilt for our local Siren chapter. Linda had the charm squares and strips cut for me and after I put them together, it wasn't very "kid-like". While I was working on the top, she gave me the circles to do something else with. The guild members came up with this caterpillar idea and I finished the binding Friday night.

That's about it for now. I did sew a few fabric books on Sunday as well as a new sun dress for what will hopefully be a nice summer this year. I'll share those on a later post since I've rambled on way too long now as it is. Until next time...happy quilting!




Thursday, April 25, 2013

Truly, I have been busy!

Has it been a month? That's what weddings, car accidents, and volunteering gets you...a whole lot of busy! But have no fear, I still find time to putz around with my quilting.

Here is/are the first project(s) since returning from California. These are for a co-worker of Jim's who requested a layette set for their impending niece due at the end of the month.


The pillowcase and the frog pics didn't come out so well. I need to remember not to photograph underneath my planning table lights. Too yellow! But they actually match the quilt from above and these will be mailed out soon hopefully. I still have to quilt the quilt top and have that on schedule for this weekend.

The next project has been ongoing since before the wedding. I started the arcs prior to leaving and then finished up the borders last week.


The goal was to have a second quilt to take the place of Radiance since a quilt should only be hung for about six months. Radiance was taken down at Christmas and the current piece in its place needs to be changed out since it reeks of the long past holiday.

The problem I have with this quilt is getting it quilted. I don't want to ruin it and in all honesty, am not comfortable putting this size quilt under my machine. I took it to guild last week to get some advice and Dale Waddle was very helpful in her suggestions.

Alicia is going to Minnesota soon and so maybe if I get it to her prior to her leaving, I can get it back either just before she takes off or shortly after she gets back. Until I make some decisions, it's been added to the pile of other quilt tops down on the piano. I think I'm nearing 40 now.




Thursday, March 21, 2013

Baker's Dozen

I found this pattern a few weeks ago and attempted it with whatever scraps I had downstairs. After having four or five of the panels done, I was not pleased at all with the results. Call it scrap burnout I guess. My scraps are becoming repetitive and I'm in the need for some new materials I think.

I remembered that my mom purchased several charm packs for me at Christmas and knew that one of them was a brightly colored pack called Cuzco and decided that these fun fabrics would probably look nice in this quilt rather then the subdued scraps I tried the first time.

I liked the initial results when I started remaking the panels and decided I needed to make a trip to the Marshall House to obtain the remaining fabric to complete the panels; and of course the rest of the top. I decided to use a white polka dot I had laying around in my yardage shelves for the background, so I only needed one or two more charm packs and the teal and dark green for completion.

This is the result of my undertaking.

I think Jim felt sorry for me after reading my last post and accompanied me to the Marshall House for an additional project. He knew that Baker's Dozen wouldn't keep me going for the whole week (I had it completed on Monday night actually) and asked what I wanted to make next.

I absolutely love a trial of the New York Beauty I attempted last summer (see above). These are the four blocks I assembled and it lives on our sunporch wall. I admire that piece often and have always wanted to make at least a small quilt with this stunning pattern. Jim and I discussed a few color options and the fact that our living room wall needed a new quilt to hang since the current quilt sports more of the Christmas-y look. We decided together to purchase fabric to at least do a smaller version of Peggy Martin's Autumn Splendor in the New York Beauty format.

I have 12 of the 16 blocks currently done and think the Japanese prints we purchased for the background will go very well with our butter and burgundy colors in the living room. More to come...

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Spring?

Our robins have returned and unfortunately for them, winter has not left. We awoke this morning to a new blanket of snow and I can not see them finding many worms in it. 

This week studio work has been light. First, the studio has become unbearably cold for me to endure. Perhaps it's my age, but even with the dryer going and my little heater (which isn't heating very well actually), I still find my nose running and my fingers becoming numb after only a few hours. With the dreary weather, it's hard to get myself motivated to get down there. And...I don't really have much going on. 

Second, my fabric stash is becoming kinda light and it's getting harder to work with the same fabrics over and over and over. I feel like a dark cloud has settled. I still feel really creative, in fact, I have so many ideas bouncing around in my head that I feel like I should start writing them all down, but with limited resources, it's hard to not keep producing the same "type" of product since there are limitations and very little flexibility left in medium.

I did go shopping with mom this week and found two new fabric store resources in Mason. It's always fun to find new patterns and fabric, but I'm on a short leash (again) and so could only pick up a pattern that who knows when I'll be able to create. Don't know why I keep finding all these wonderful things to do but have nothing to do them with?

Our quilt guild sew in and show is today. I'm obviously not there. I do have a few quilts entered for the community to view, but because my truck has to be dried out for Tardis movement later, and I'm not sure when Jim will be coming home, had to stay close to the house for later transport of people and things. 

Here are a few small things I made over the last week or so. Maybe spring will be here soon and I can once again come out of the darkness and into the light of my sewing?!?



Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Breaking the Rules

My rule is to never post a quilt here on my blog until it is completely finished. I have to break that rule. I have the rule in place so I can keep track of what has been completed and not duplicate posted quilts. However, I feel it will be a while before the following two quilts are actually quilted (due to our current "wedding" situation causing shortness of time and resources), so I'm going to let you see what I've been doing for the past two or so weeks.

First, the quilt below is actually finished. This is our second scrap squad quilt and will be featured on the Quiltmaker blog in a few months. I did this prior to starting the other two. I did the quilting myself since it's about a crib-sized quilt. Maybe the first grandchild will receive this-not that there are any in my near future.


The "Beast" or aka Jay
The second project was for fun. Since my purchase of said "Beast" aka, Jay, I haven't had time to get to really know my newest sewing studio addition. While I've played with him and discovered how to oil, thread, bobbin wind, etc. I haven't been brave enough to use him in a complete project.

I wanted to do something forgiving during my learning curve and identify his scant 1/4" seam. I was perusing on line and stumbled onto Quilty with Mary Ann Fons and she gave me a great idea. Wonky Log Cabin. How much more forgiving can you get then that? Remember, this quilt is not quilted, but the top is on the piano waiting to go to Akay Creations.















Here are a few of the blocks up close.












Isn't this quilt just so much fun?

The second project has been ongoing for about a month or so. It was featured in the March/April Quiltmaker magazine and I've been calling is Star Spinner.  I just needed to get to the quilt store and purchase the fabric for the setting triangles and borders before I could finish it out. I wanted something a little consistent since I pretty much used all the yellow I had in my stash.

I absolutely adore this quilt for its bright colors and whimsy. It was a fun project to delve into whenever I needed to change gears from whatever else I was working on. There are many, many half square triangles in the quilt, and some of them aren't exactly going in the direction they were supposed to go, but the quilt was pretty forgiving in the errors of my ways, thankfully.




Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Another One Done

Well almost done. I have a few finishing touches to incorporate but then it'll be in the mail tomorrow. I can't share this one with you, unfortunately. We're sworn to secrecy until the magazine is published and therefore can't show you what I've been up to for the past few days.

But, have no fear, I've also been at Quilt University this past weekend and did complete a disappearing nine-patch quilt top so I'll be sending that off to Akay Creations hopefully by weeks end. Well, maybe not. The money maker in the house has put the brakes on to most of my big-ticket spending until we get through the wedding next month.

Perhaps this would be a good time to make/finish something small-ish so that I can at least share with you via pictures on what's going on down there in that studio of mine.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Hold the Phone!

Apparently there was a mix up at the Quiltmaker headquarters (or something) and we, the Scrap Squad Group, was inadvertently given our #3 quilt (see previous post) instead of the actual #2 quilt. So, we put away what we started last week and began on this new one mid-week instead. Here's where I'm at on that so far:

After a few days
I love, love, love working on this quilt. I actually get bored working on some quilts because of the repetitive nature of each block. It's the same colors and the same pattern over and over and after about block number so-and-so, I start to look forward to getting the thing off my design wall and moving along to the next project. 

I think this is why I have so many projects going at once all of a sudden. I didn't used to be like that. I used to only complete one, maybe two at a time, but I believe at present I'm up to six. 

Anyway, I digress. The really nice thing about this quilt is the variety of "chores" we have to do within the quilt. The red/white stars are paper pieced. The blue/purple and green/purple are half square triangles. The yellow/purple squares are four patches. The white/red/white sections are strip pieced, and the yellow/dark blue squares use the flip and stitch method of block creation. See what I mean about variety? 

I decided on using up the remainder of my 1930's prints left over from the dresden quilt because I thought this would incorporate those colors pretty well. What do you think?