Monday, February 24, 2014

Design Wall Monday

Last week was so busy, and this one is going to be even busier.  I probably won't be posting any more this week.  I didn't get any sewing done after I finished putting my plus quilt together.  I did pull out the next 2 project to be completed.

This sealed envelope is what will be consuming all my time this week.  My daughter's destination for next year is sealed in it.  She has been accepted by the Rotary Youth Exchange program and her country assignment is inside.  We received it on Saturday, and we are planning a reveal party for this coming Sunday.  We came up with the idea because every day at least 3 or 4 people asked us if we knew where she was going next year.  It is so exciting for all of us!

The project on the left is from a Lewis and Clark journey.  I have 12 blocks and I am not sure how I want to set them.  I believe I want to make 12 more alternate blocks.  I may even set them straights.

The other blocks are more sampler blocks.  They are also 12".  They definitely look better square than long.  I won't get to them this week, but having them out is the first step to finishing them.

I did manage to finish the binding on Kameryn's quilt during my orientation this weekend.  I still have to add the label then it will be ready to gift before the first birthday.

Stop over to Judy's to see what others are working on this week.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Candy Club

I am excited about next month's meeting and starting candy club.  Moda candy - 42 squares  2 1/2" of delicious colors.   One piece of each fabric in the line (if there are less than 42 fabrics in the line, there may be a repeat) .  One quarter of a charm pack.  What could be better than a new pack of candies each month?  I am looking forward to playing with fabrics that I wouldn't normally purchase.   Do you find that you get stuck in a color rut?  Do you have a particular style of fabric you like? This is a fun way to play without making a significant purchase.

The first candy is Simply Style from V and Co.

The first thing I did was rip off the paper wrapper and sort them by color.  So many possibilities!  They look good at every angle.  A lovely selection of lights, mediums, and darks.  I haven't decided what I am making yet, but I just keep arranging them.  

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

WIP Wednesday

I am still plugging away at my February goals.  I was tired of looking at the plus quilt in pieces on my design wall, so I managed to get it sewn together.

Yesterday we were off school due to another snow storm.  Today we are melting like crazy!  I thought I would try my hand as snow photography since the weather was so nice today.  This is the view to my walk out basement - notice the snow is about to the top.

I thought this lovely drift by my patio would be a perfect spot for a photo.

Even my dog thinks I am a little crazy and wondering what I am doing!  Look his collar even matches my quilt

This is the best I could do.  Those snow photo takers must have  a wind barrier or be much faster than me.

I love how the blue and white looks against the snow.  I couldn't move fast enough after I smoothed it out to take the picture before the wind arranged it differently.

 I thought I would try a different snow location.  This is the pile of snow at the end of my driveway.  I ran into the same wind difficulties and two dogs that kept photo bombing me.

I love how the few dark blue blocks keep my eye moving.

I am linking up with Lee @ Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.  Stop over and see what others are working on.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Design Wall Monday

This winter is just flying by for me.  I can't believe it is already the middle of February.  I am still working away on my February goals.  At my quilt retreat this weekend, I worked on goal #3 - put borders on 2 quilts.  I put the border on my Kansas Troubles Wall hanging that I started at the end of 2013.

 I also put the borders on this oldie.  I started this quilt about 5 years ago, but I ran out of the stripe that I used for the sashing.  I never did find an exact match to the Super Stripe fabric, but I found something really similar.  If you look really closely, you can tell.  I am happy to have borders on this quilt so I can get it quilted.  My daughter is no longer into monkeys like she was, but think she will still appreciate it.  She still sleeps with her sock monkey that my friend Sue made her, so I think there is hope.

I put the first border on an older mystery by Bonnie Hunter called orange crush.  I should say I put the border on again.  I must not have measured correctly the first time and the border looked wavy.  I measured very carefully this time and I am satisfied with how it looks.  I hope to put the pieced border on in the near future.  All the units are made so I will use it as a leader/ender project soon.

The last project I worked on at the retreat was with the Hex n' More ruler.  I had a lot of fun coming up with a design.  I used part of a scrap bag from Moda.  It looks like a line from 3 sisters, but I really am not sure.  It is not my normal palette and I enjoyed working out of my comfort zone.  I will either make this into a pillow or a small wallhanging.  I can see myself making a few more things with the ruler.  It was fun to use and the pieces lined up really well.

It was a great weekend retreating with friends.  I can't wait until next month to do it again!  I really enjoyed working on something new.  I finally have my plus quilt in columns, so I hope to put that together this week. 

I am linking up with Judy for some weekly inspiration. Stop on over and check out what others are working on this week.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Almost Friday

I am hoping for a Friday finish this week.  I didn't have anything to report last week and I was sad.  I have my plus quilt in columns.

I am hoping for a little Olympic sewing tonight.  Aren't the patchwork ski jackets amazing?  That was the first thing I noticed during the skiing competition.  It makes me want to make a quilt with those low volume colors.

I am really looking forward to retreat sewing this weekend.  I plan to put the borders on 2 quilts and work on some new stuff.

I have the border pieces mostly pieced for my country log cabin quilt.  I should be able to complete the adding border portion of my goals for this month.

I am having lots of trouble trying to decide what fabrics I want to work with! I am anxious to play with the Hex N More ruler.  I will be working on small projects like baby quilts or pillows so I don't generate more UFOs.  There are so many fun things you can create with the hexagons and half hexagons that don't require set in seams.

It looks like we are going to have some melting tomorrow.  I was secretly hoping for a few more snow days this winter (sorry Ellen)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Weekly Agenda

It looks like this is actually going to be a full week of school for my kids.  This will be their first full week since Christmas break.  They had a hard time getting out of bed this morning.

I have been focusing on my February goals for the most part this month.  The month is almost half over and I have about half my goals completed.  I found it works best for me if I make my goals specific.  So if I want to put borders on 2 quilts, I need to name the projects.  If I don't get specific enough, my attention wanders to other things and I find myself dabbling off the beaten path.

My focus this week is actually putting together my blue plus quilt.  I started sewing the block in pairs, but I didn't make it very far.  Goal number 4 for the month was to finish applique on a whole bunch of small projects.  I have the applique completed on 4 banners.  Perhaps I can even get the spring banner quilted in time for spring this year.

I also did the applique on 2 more snowman wall hangings.  I kept all the faces going the same direction on these.  I will add buttons for noses after they are quilted.  I can't decide if I want to add the snowflake to the center square on the green snowman wall hanging.  I may just quilt a snowflake instead.
I learned a few things while doing the applique that I thought I would share:

  1. Put a new needle in your machine before you start.  I don't know why I never thought of this!  It was amazing the difference this made.  I did not use any stabilizer, and I had no puckering.
  2. My open toe applique foot from Viking is a joke!  I thought it was me that was doing it wrong, but it simply does not grip the fabric for applique no matter what I did.
  3. Reduce the top tension just a bit.  I wasn't having a problem with the bobbin thread showing, but this made the stitches look a lot nicer.
  4. The clear plastic foot is my new favorite foot for applique (thank you Eleanor).
  5. The setting I liked best on my machine was 2.5 for width and 1.4 for length.  This gave me the perfect not quite satin stitch and did not look thready.  I did the first several appliques at a length of 1.2, but Eleanor suggest I lengthen it a bit more, and I liked it better.
  6. Applique is sort of fun in small doses.  I used the fusing method for mine, and I used Steam-A-Seam 2 lite.  I think this might be my new favorite adhesive.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Snow Day progress

I quilted this Bonnie Hunter pattern Virginia Bound lap quilt for my sister.  She used some of her Thimbleberries scraps for this one.  I quilted it with the same pattern as the Grandmother's Flower Garden.  I like how the baptist fan gives the quilt texture.  I used Thinsulate batting to give it a nice loft and warmth without the weight. 

Another snow day today!  What should I work on......

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Grandmother's Flower Garden

I only have a few spots I am not happy with.  I think that is pretty good in the whole grand scheme of things.  Each one of these hexies is about the size of a bobbin.  The quilt measures approximately 76"X90".  It was never finished by the maker before she passed.  I have a soft spot for these kinds of things.  It was all hand pieced - not with English paper piecing- but with sewing an 1/8" seam allowance.  I didn't find a single hole while quilting it.  There are a few spots with fullness issues (how could there not be?).  I have done some pretty crazy quilting things, but if I had started this, it would have remained a UFO forever.

You can see how the the maker was still in the process of making it larger.  I have a couple bags of partial pieces and hexie flowers.  I believe the white is a percale sheet (which would have made it extra slippery to piece these little guys)

 This is the worst spot for fullness.  There is actually a very small pleat in the fabric.  I am trying to decide if I should take the quilting out her and see if I can work in the fullness.

I used a pantograph called baptist fan on this quilt with Thinsulate batting.  I would have used cotton, but I needed more loft to take up some of the fullness.  I used King Tut thread on the top with Aurifil 40 weight in the bobbin.  This is one of my favorite combinations for quilting.  I love the texture and warmth that Thinsulate batting provides.

WIP Wednesday

This is the view out my window, so I have no where to go today!!  I am thankful for the snow for this reason (and it's beauty).  It is really coming down and there is no sign of it stopping yet.

I am quilting this beauty today.  No pressure or anything.  The quiltmaker spent her whole life making it and never got it finished (did I mention no pressure)

Each hexie flower measures about 4 1/2" - they are tiny!  They are also pieced by hand with about an 1/8" seam allowance

 This is what the back looks like!!

 There was no way I was going to attempt to iron it before quilting.  I hope to get it quilted today, so send me all your quilt Karma.

In anticipation of the snow, I made bindings for 8 quilts last night.  I hope to get some of these stitched on in the midst of quilting.  So far so good on the goals for this month.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

February Goals

Bindings. Borders, and Applique are my focus this month.  More than half of my remaining UFOs need these few things.

  1. Bind 8 quilts
  2. Finish putting together Carolina Crossroads (In 2 pieces)
  3. Put the borders on 2 quilts (KT log cabin, Monkey Quilt)
  4. Do the applique on my table toppers and banners(2 winter banners, 2 snowman toppers, 1 spring banner, 1 summer banner)
  5. Quilt 1 quilt of mine
  6. Quilt 2 customer quilts
  7. Put the blocks together on the my blue and white quilt
 I worked on this quilt at the last retreat.  It was a long forgotten project that is now ready for binding.  This is one of the quilts I hope to get bound this month.  I quilted it with a panto - Feathered Curls.  I  think it was the the perfect touch to finish it off.
This is an ambitious goal, but I have a retreat next weekend.  The forecast is snowy where I live-Bring it on so I can Sew, Sew, Sew. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Design Wall Monday

Sadly, my design wall looks much the same as last week.  I did make some more of the darker blocks and I like how the addition make the muted colors shine.  I plan to make 5 more of the darker blocks.  My logic is that I will have 10% dark blocks.

I did this pillow topper for a customer.  She requested an older pantograph that is widely spaced - Feather Meander.   I loosely follow it because it has some wonkiness to it.

 It really shows up well on the muslin on the back.  Perhaps a little too well!  I do love how this pantograph looks.
 Today I hope to finish quilting the matching quilt.  It is a mammoth 100" X 96".  The batiks in it are really great.

This is my mountain of quilts to bind.  I have 21 of them ready to bind.  I must be a batch processor.  Trimming these edges has my scrap bin overflowing!

It is hard to believe it is February already.  I had an amazing month of sewing and quilting in January.  Today am going to post my goals for February and see what I am going to "tackle" this month.

Stop over at Judy's and see what others are working on.