Slow She Goes

May 25th, 2016

Are you sensing a theme here on my blog? Slow it is! Since not much quilting is happening here, I’ll share a few beauties from our garden.

This is a tiny little Iris that I believe is named Bumble Bee.

Hubs is the gardener around here. As a college professor, he is teaching part time during the summer meaning he is home a lot more. He enjoys his time out in the garden.

I’m not sure of the name for this Iris, but I love those speckles on the falls.

Both Hubs and I have to find a new balance with the end of the school year, and it takes a few weeks. Not complaining! I enjoy having Hubs around!

Lilly of the Valley. My favorite Spring flower. Sweet scent! We have a large patch on the north side of our house that I can pick and keep in the kitchen. I love walking in the kitchen and smelling that sweet scent. Of course I love their scent out in the yard too!

How has your week gone? Does your sewing/quilting time change with the seasons?

How did I do on last’s week To-Do List?

  1. Hobo bag – I bought and washed accent fabric for the bag this week. But no sewing.
  2. Work on BOMs: Machine Quilting Block Party and One Block Wonders May block – I made a little progress on the OBW.

To-Do List for this week. Oh my! My list is not changing from last week!

  1. Hobo bag.
  2. Curvy Quilters meet Thursday, I’ll work on the BOMs.
  3. I’m adopting a WIP from a local lady. It is a Trip Around the World. I pick it up today to finish the top for her. I’ll share more next week.

Linking to To-Do Tuesday at Stitch All the Things and Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River.

Progressing … Slowly

May 17th, 2016

The slow theme continues.

I have two projects that I’m making up as I go along. No patterns. The going has been slow.

Project One:  is a 24″ pillow. The front is made of HSTs on point. The white triangles will be used for signatures at a graduation party.

I used fusible webbing Pellon P44F to add stability to the pieced HSTs. It will keep the fabric from shifting and will make it easier for guests to sign the piece. The HSTs are quilted in-the-ditch in 50 weight white Auriful thread #2021, sandwiched with a thin batting and a piece of muslin.

Black piping to frame the pillow.

A red t-shirt was used to create an envelope closure on the back of the pillow.

I asked last week if it would work to stuff a 24″ pillow form in a slightly smaller pillow case. The answer is yes! The pillow case is 23″ square.

Top photo – Don’t you think it worked too?

Project Two: is an over the should bag, kind of ‘Hobo bag’ of my own design, to showcase two t-shirts. T-shirts are fused for stability. I need to shop for fabric for handles, lining, and inner & outer pockets. (sorry, no pictures yet)

I won another drawing! Julie of The Crafty Quilter is holding a monthly drawing this year as incentive to complete UFO projects. These cute gifties arrived in my mailbox: A fabric & bead necklace made by Julie, Scraps ‘n Fats pattern, and Vintage Picnic Charm Pack. Thank you, Julie!

How did I do on last’s week To-Do List?

  1. Finish Signature pillow.  ✔︎ Completed today!
  2. Bind t-shirt quilt. ✔︎ Bound, delivered, and paid!
  3. Construct Hobo bag. ✗ Started, not completed yet.
  4. Work on BOMs, Timeless Traditions, Machine Quilting Block Party, One Block Wonders if time allows. ✔︎- Kind of. On my sewing day with friends, I cut out 6 OBW blocks and got 3 of them pieced.
To-Do List for this week:
  1. Hobo bag.
  2. Work on BOMs: Machine Quilting Block Party and One Block Wonders May block.
I’m keeping my list very short this week, as I don’t seem to be very productive lately. And, I really need to clean my house!
Linking to To-Do Tuesday and Linky Tuesday.

 

Progress … is Sometimes Slow

May 10th, 2016

I’m not sure where my mind was yesterday, but I sure had a dickens of a time sewing together this simple signature block.

When I was calculating yardage and the number of HSTs I would need to make a 24″ square finished pillow, I totally forgot that the plan was to set the HSTs on point! The photoed piece is measuring 24″ top to bottom, which means I will have to add a bit of a border. Or, maybe not, will half of an inch matter when stuffing the pillow form into the pillow case? It will be 24″ square once I trim off the HSTs on the sides.

Feel free to leave your opinion in the comments on whether I should bother adding a tiny border to this piece. Would you add one, or not?

There is a red t-shirt that I am to use for the back of the pillow. I also forgot to buy velcro for the closure. To prepare the block for signatures, I will press a fusible interfacing on the back side of the HSTs block. I’ll use Pellon P44F, which is the weight I like for t-shirt quilts. The fusible interfacing will add just enough stability for writing with a Pigma Micron pen, but will also leave the pillow soft and comfy. I’ll quilt in the red triangles, or maybe in the ditch using a white thin cotton batting. I have scraps, so not sure of the brand name and will back the quilting with muslin. Once the pillow is complete with a t-shirt back and black piping, it will be washable and durable. I pre-washed the fabric, so there should be no color bleeding, always a fear with reds. I will instruct the owner to always wash in cold water and to use a Color Catcher to be on the safe side!

Today was another Curvy Quilters sewing day! I worked on a UFO, the Timeless Traditions BOM.

I finished the  2 – 6″ blocks and 1 – 12″ block for month 6. There are 7 more pieced blocks and 4 appliqué blocks to complete before setting them all together. Then borders and more appliqué. I hope to have this quilt finished for a Christmas gift. I told my Curvy Quilter friends we need to meet more than once a month so I can finish this quilt!

Cuteness alert!

This is my 16 month old grand daughter learning to drink from a camel water pack! We had a delightful walk at a state park Sunday with most of our adult children joining us. But this is the only picture of the youngest in the family with her dad and me! I don’t know why we didn’t think to stage a decent family photo!

How did I do on last’s week To-Do List?

  1. Hobo bag made from t-shirts. ✗  Didn’t get to it.
  2. HST signature blocks – 24″ pillow with t-shirt back. ✔︎ Pieced!
  3. Setting aside Bargello to complete #1 & 2. Might get back to Bargello if time allows. If so – borders!

To-Do List for this week:

  1. Finish Signature pillow.
  2. Bind t-shirt quilt.
  3. Construct Hobo bag.
  4. Work on BOMs, Timeless Traditions, Machine Quilting Block Party, One Block Wonders if time allows.

Linking to To-Do Tuesday and Linky Tuesday.

Doing the Wave

May 3rd, 2016

King Size Bargello in the making! Here is the Wave 80″ square. Borders up next. Then some appliqué!

As it is a new month, I have downloaded and pieced May’s block for the Machine Quilting Block Party.

At my last Curvy Quilters sewing day I pieced the three blocks for Month 5 of Timeless Traditions. This BOM is on my UFO list.

All the blocks for this quilt are being pieced on my Featherweight sewing machine. There are 4 blocks of appliqué and also an appliqué border, so I will be switching to my Janome for that. I like using a blanket stitch for machine appliqué which is not available on the Featherweight.

Just wondering, have any of you Featherweight owners ever used it to machine appliqué? Straight stitch, perhaps?

How did I do on last’s week To-Do List?

  1. Bargello quilt – keep doing the wave! ✔︎ 80″ square waves complete!
  2. T-shirt quilt – borders, prepare binding, deliver to longarmer. ✔︎ Delivered to the longarm quilter!

To-Do List for this week:

  1. Hobo bag made from t-shirts.
  2. HST signature blocks – 24″ pillow with t-shirt back.
  3. Setting aside Bargello to complete #1 & 2. Might get back to Bargello if time allows. If so – borders!

Linking to To-Do Tuesday and Linky Tuesday.

Feeling Accomplished …

April 26th, 2016

Or at least like I’m finally focusing on a few things from my quilting to-do list, after being under the weather for a few weeks.

The Bargello strips from last week are starting to do the wave!

Just over half way there! This panel is 43″ x 80″ and I’m heading for 80″ square! This is step 2 in the sewing process. After the wave is complete, there  are borders to attach and appliqué motifs to create and attach.

The t-shirt quilt top I’m finishing for a friend is coming along.

The photo is showing only 1/4 of the top. I have 2 borders to add before it goes back to my friend for longarm quilting.

Good mail day! I actually have had a few recently!

I won a drawing on Vicki Welsh‘s blog for particapating in her monthly UFO busting. She said she would send me scraps of her hand dyed fabric and look what she sent! Oh so gorgeous! But scraps? Some of those pieces are almost an 1/8 of a yard! Very generous! Thank you Vicki!

I also won a drawing on Christa Watson‘s blog for particapating in her Facets Quilt Along! I won the Batik jelly roll and the Aurifill Thread she sales through her online store. Follow the links on her website to her Amazon store and pattern store. My dear hubs bought Christa’s latest book for me, which is co-authored with Angela Walters. Thank you Christa for hosting the Facets Quilt Along!

I’m pleased with what I have accomplished this week! How about you!?

How did I do on last’s week To-Do List?

  1. Bargello quilt – cut & position & sew that Bargello wave. ✔︎ Half of the way through that wave!

To-Do List for this week:

  1. Bargello quilt – keep doing the wave!
  2. T-shirt quilt – borders, prepare binding, deliver to longarmer.

Linking to To-Do Tuesday and Linky Tuesday.

Projects Underway!

April 19th, 2016

Leah Day is running a Mystery Block of the Month this year called Machine Quilting Block Party. Each month you get instructions to piece a 12″ block with borders, and  a video link where Leah teaches how she Free Motion Quilts the block. Since one of my goals for this year is to improve on my FMQ, I signed up for Leah’s BOM. Once all the blocks are pieced and quilted, Leah will teach how to attach them all together, quilt-as-you-go style.

March’s block:

April’s Block:

For my taste, these blocks are a bit too heavily quilted, but since the idea is to learn FMQ, I’m sticking with the plan and designs. It has been interesting to try out some of the motifs. I’m actually enjoying the process. I am interested in seeing how all 12 blocks will come together by the end of the year. Stay tuned, as I share each monthly block – and hopefully on time!

King size Bargello under way! After much math & fretting, I have decided on making 6 strip sets in 2 different color sets that once cut and sewn into a Bargello wave with equal an 80″ square for the top of a king size mattress.

Strip set one:

Strip set two:

The sets are ready to be cut in various widths, and repositioned for sewing back together for that famed Bargello wave. Fingers crossed all goes well!

How did I do on last’s week To-Do List?

  1. Recover from what ever this flu-creepy crud is that is currently plaguing me! ✔︎ Yes, thank you Lord!
  2. Keep plugging away on the king size Bargello. ✔︎ Strip sets all sewn and ready to cut.
  3. Fit in FMQ March’s Block Party BOM. ✔︎ All caught up!

To-Do List for this week:

  1. Bargello quilt – cut & position & sew that Bargello wave.
Not exactly a list this week, but if I conquer this Bargello, I’ll be happy!
How about you? Is there a project that you will be happy to get going, or even happier once you have it completed?
I’m linking to Linky Tuesday and To-Do Tuesday.

 

A Stitch’n and A Cough’n

April 12th, 2016

Yesterday was a great day. Today, not so much. I started out today with flu like symptoms. My day turned in to sleeping, coughing, sneezing, aching. Blah blah blah. NOT how I envisioned this week going!

Monday, I hosted my quilting group, Curvy Quilters. We jokingly started calling ourselves that when at one time all of us where working on some curved version of a quilt design. 2 of us love Sew Kind of Wonderful‘s Quick Curve Ruler and patterns. And another gal in the group decided to give the ruler a try, and she loved how easy sewing curves was! The name stuck, and we are the Curvy Quilters!

We had a birthday in our group, so I made a little cake that we shared at lunch time.

Usually when we meet, I work on one of my UFOs and that has proven to be a good way to check several off my list this year. But yesterday, I decided to work on April’s One Block Wonders, Diamond Path. I had a pile of 2 1/2″ scrappy strips left from other quilt projects, and thought they would work great in this month’s design.

Here is my scrappy version of Diamond Path with a cream border, and piano key border with HST in the corners.

At 38″ square it could be used as a wall hanging or a colorful baby quilt.

With all the customer projects I have right now, Diamond Path will join my ever growing pile of Tops to-be quilted.

I did meet up  with a customer at the local quilt shop Friday and now have t-shirts for a hobo bag and for the back of a signature pillow. I have to stop by the local big box store to buy a 24″ pillow form.

Two t-shirts and black, red, & white fabric for the hobo bag and a signature block pillow. We forgot to buy a fun red print to go along with the bag. Sigh. Another trip needed to the LQS. Hard life, isn’t it when you have to visit a quilt shop!?

Yesterday, I inherited a t-shirt quilt to finish piecing. My friend who does them along with her longarm business needed help to finish this one as she cares for her aging mother. She has the t-shirts cut and fused, ready to square up. I’ll do that and sash them, sewing together the top and get it back to her for quilting.

That’s 35 fused t-shirts! Fusing is the worst part in my opinion, so the rest should be a breeze!

How did I do on last’s week To-Do List?

  1. Bargello quilt has to be on the top of the list. ✔︎ Strips are being sewn together. I’m thinking this is a bigger undertaking than I originally thought! One step at a time, I’ll get-er-done!
  2. Meeting a customer who wants a signature quilt and hobo bag. ✔︎ I have the t-shirts and fabrics. Customer selected a simple HST design for the signatures.

To-Do List for this week:

  1. Recover from what ever this flu-creepy crud is that is currently plaguing me!
  2. Keep plugging away on the king size Bargello.
  3. Fit in FMQ March’s Block Party BOM.

I’m keeping the list short this week as I recover from these flu type symptoms. My focus will be on the Bargello when I have enough energy and a brain to tackle it! Deadlines for the t-shirt projects are fortunately in May and June, phew! I’ll have time for those later.

How about you? Are your plans going well? Anything new on the horizon?

I’m linking to To-Do Tuesday and Linky Tuesday.

List Busting

April 5th, 2016

How about that! Sometimes I just surprise myself! I finished the Facets Quilt-Along with Christa Quilts on time!

I completed all 8 steps of the quilt along including gathering fabrics, improv piecing, cutting the improv sections into triangles, piecing top, basting – I spray basted, straight line quilting, FMQ, and binding – I used a flange binding. Christa put each participants name in a drawing for each step they complete. I was a lucky winner of one of her bonus prizes – a jelly roll from her online shop! Thanks Christa, for a great QAL! This was the second QAL of Christa’s that I have played along in. She is having another QAL starting up soon.

Last summer my daughter designed a quilt for her new king size bed. We shopped for fabrics, selecting teals, grays, and yellow in various prints. She pieced the top, and I offered to quilt it for her.

When I got her top, back and batting from her, I thought, “what have I gotten myself into!?” It was way larger than anything I have attempted to quilt on my home sewing machine. A friend who owns a longarm offered the use of her machine to do the straight line quilting my daughter requested. I think it turned pretty well! I had it all quilted and bound for her to pick up while visiting for Easter. She loves it! Phew! It does look pretty nice in her bedroom!

I’m behind on Leah Day’s BOM I signed up for this year. I really want to improve my FMQ and thought her BOM sounded like something I could keep up with, having only one block per month to piece, mark, baste, and quilt.

Above is February’s block. I finished the quilting today. NOT keeping up, am I?

March’s block. I pieced it yesterday, but my fabric markers are running out of ink and pencil is out of refills, so I didn’t get it marked. I’ll have to grab a new pen or refill for the pencil Friday while at the local quilt shop.

April’s block! All pieced – which is this week’s assignment, so I’m kind of on schedule, kind of?? ha ha!

Are you particapating in any Block of the Months or Quilt Along programs this year? I’d love to hear about them!

How did I do on last’s week To-Do List?

  1. Finish the Facets quilt!  ✔︎ Yes yes yes! I’m so very pleased with it!
  2. Start on Bargello quilt. ✔︎ Started organizing the strips today! I recalculated, and glad I did! I’m aiming for a king size bargello!
  3. Procrastinate even more on the MQBP March block, but go ahead and purchase the April block.  ✗  Ha Ha! I didn’t procrastinate! I pieced 2 blocks, and quilted Feb block!  ✔︎ And I did purchase and piece the April block! All caught up for this week!

To-Do List for this week:

  1. Bargello quilt has to be on the top of the list.
  2. Meeting a customer who wants a signature quilt and hobo bag.

I’m linking up to Linky Tuesday , To-Do Tuesday and UFO Link Up!  Have a good week!

Oh the Wonder!

March 29th, 2016

This is Week 8 and the last week of the Facets Quilt Along hosted by Christa Watson of Christa Quilts.

I’m currently quilting in the blue triangles, and then there are swirls to do in the improv pieced triangles. Then the home stretch for the binding! Friday is the deadline for completing, if you want your name entered in Christa’s prize drawing. Participants get one chance per week completed, for a total of 8 chances. My goal is to complete the quilting and binding this Friday.

Above is the back of Facets, and you can see the quilting lines completed so far in the blue triangles. I’m using a ruler and ruler foot on my domestic Janome. (psst! I’m taking Amy Johnson’s Craftsy Class – Quilting with Rulers on a Home Machine) Facets is a learning process! Not perfect, but I’m happy with it!

I should be farther along on the Facets but this got in the way! Just kidding! Not in the way, but it called my name loud and clear and I just had to make it! Sandy is hosting the One Block Wonder BOM. She provides a pattern for one block each month that she has created, and participants use the pattern to create at least one block or any size quilt they desire. I downloaded the pattern for March early on, and then never got to it. Last week I saw Sandy’s post of her lovely quilt using March’s block, and decided Monday (yesterday) I would work on the block. I love it!

Here is my quilt top so far.

Monday I hosted my little quilting group, and this is what I worked on. I finished it up today. Still need to decide about borders. I was gifted a Fat Quarter pack of Raindrops by Andover Fabrics for my birthday. When I saw Sandy’s quilt I knew Raindrops would be perfect for this pattern! I used Kona Snow for the white. 25 Blocks set 5 x 5 measuring 60″ square so far. Thank you Sandy, for the great pattern!

While working on the One Block Wonder yesterday, of course the gals asked what I was up to. I explained about the One Block Wonder BOM, and they laughed and said, “So you are starting 12 unfinished projects this year!”  I laughed and said, “Yes, I guess so! I have been making mostly table toppers or runners with the monthly pattern, but none of them are completed. I’ll have to put them on next year’s ‘to be quilted’ list!” I actually thought by just making a table topper, I’d be able to get each one pieced, quilted, and bound in a month’s time. I’m still hoping to finish at least some of these projects monthly!

How did I do on last week’s To-Do List:

  1. Continue quilting the Facets quilt. ✔︎ It is coming along! Hope to bind it Friday.
  2. Shop and prepare my part for our family Easter Dinner. ✔︎ We had a wonderful day and hope you did too!
  3. Maybe work on the Machine Quilting Block Party Feb block??? At least get it marked for quilting! ✗ Nope. Because I decide to make the One Block Wonder quilt instead of working on the MQBP block.

This week’s To-Do List:

  1. Finish the Facets quilt!
  2. Start on Bargello quilt.
  3. Procrastinate even more on the MQBP March block, but go ahead and purchase the April block.

I’m linking to To-Do List and Linky Tuesday.

Two Things Over Looked

March 22nd, 2016

Thing 1: Saturday, my family was invited to a baby shower. For some reason, I thought the baby was a boy, but nope, tis a girl. That meant a quick look around the studio for girlie fabrics. I usually make a self-binding baby blanket for baby showers, but didn’t have any girlie flannel prints in my stash, but I did find a kit for a baby tag blankie. Phew! Saved! I whipped it up Friday, and ran to the store to pick up a couple other baby items to add to the gift. I bought a chubbie baby book & a rattle/toy. When I was packing up the gifts, I was fearing that the mom might be one of those gals who hates pink! But when she opened it, she said pink is her favorite color! And her husband chimed in saying he has always wanted to learn to quilt. I told them my door is open if they ever want to come over to learn to make a baby quilt. So we will see if anything comes of that. Baby is due mid-April. I think they might be a tad too busy for quilting for a while!

Thing 2: My middle married daughter wanted to make a simple quilt for their new king size bed. We shopped together for the fabric, and I cut out strips according to her design. She took them home and sewed the top together. Then she brought it back to me to quilt. When I saw how huge it was, I was not willing to try to straight line quilt it on my home machine. So it sat for a while, since last Fall! Talking with a friend, who happens to own a longarm, she told me to bring it over and quilt it on her longarm! (which I did in late February) This was my first time to quilt on a longarm, I was thinking straight line quilting on a longarm would be difficult. Turns out I was wrong! My lines are mostly straight, the hard part was setting them up at a 1/4″ from the seams, as my daughter requested. I should have used a ruler to measure each row. Some are 1/2″ from the seams! When my daughter was up last weekend, she said she loved it! Phew! The variety in the stitching coordinates well with the various fabric widths. My daughter selected a dark gray from my stash for the binding. Yesterday I wrestled the quilt into submission to bind on my machine! That was a work out! I’ll ask my daughter to take a photo of it on her bed once she gets it to her home, next weekend. I’m glad to have it completed, but really, too bad winter is over when she and her hubby should have been enjoying it!

So, dear quilters, what have you forgotten about lately? Or are you so well organized you just don’t overlook projects?

On to my planned projects from last week – The t-shirt quilt is complete! I love the geometric design the longarm quilter used for this quilt! Hoping my customer agrees!

My Facets Quilt-Along quilt is finally getting some attention from me! Today I whipped up a back from the left over dark blue and light blue batiks, and had to add two more fabrics to make it large enough. (not photoed) Then I spray basted the sandwich using 505 temporary adhesive.

Using the Dual Feed with the Stitch-in-the-ditch foot, I stitched in the ditch around all the triangles. Next up is stitching 1/4″ from the seams in the light blue background fabric. I’m using Aurifil 2847 in the top and bobbin for the SITD and 1/4″ stitching.

How did I do on last week’s To-Do List:
  1. Bind the t-shirt quilt and deliver to customer. ✔︎ T-shirt quilt bound! Customer contacted, but we have not met up yet.
  2. Find a back for the Facets quilt. Sandwich! ✔︎ Just today, I sewed up the back, sandwiched, and stitched-in-the-ditch. Phew!
  3. Grocery shop! Kitchen is looking empty since I was gone last week. ✔︎ And even did some yummy cooking!
  4. If time always, I hope to spend some time on the Machine Quilting Block Party February block. ✗ Just not getting to this. Sigh.

This week’s To-Do List:

  1. Continue quilting the Facets quilt.
  2. Shop and prepare my part for our family Easter Dinner.
  3. Maybe work on the Machine Quilting Block Party Feb block??? At least get it marked for quilting!

I’m linking to Linky Tuesday and To-Do Tuesday.