Sunday, July 8, 2018

Birds, Bejeweled, A Bunny, and Various Beans

I finally finished up the binding on the birds Friday evening. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out.

The quilting on the Bejeweled topper is almost finished. As of this morning, only 4 more diamond blocks need quilted. However I was apparently really lazy and neglected to get photos. Let's blame sleep deprivation due to sinus cavity rebellion.

Ellie Bean does make it difficult to work when she wants to. Apparently quilting WIPs are the BEST place to have a bath.

No, not Victor. He hates the camera with a grumpy passion. This bunny, that I dug out and started piecing last November during Festival season and forgot to blog about or finish it. I found the border blocks and the green-bordered panel under my sewing table and decided to piece it before I lost important bits. The camera angle is kinda funky, but the top is roughly 37 inches square. 

And what would a summer holiday be without baked beans? (No Ellie Beans were harmed in the baking of these beans, but she was irritated about me not sharing the bacon.)

That's all for this week. I've got laundry taunting me in the other room and quilts to finish. And an Ellie Bean to fight for my sewing chair. See you next weekend!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

For the Birds

I couldn't really quilt anything this past week. The diamond tabletopper requires special needles that work for metallic thread and the fox baby quilt was waiting on me to purchase some new equipment. So I started a new project to keep me busy in the meantime.

I didn't really take many photos as I went, but this is where it's at now. The pattern can be found in Table Please: Part Two from Art to Heart by Nancy Halvorsen.


A fun combination of needle turn applique and piecing. And it's been kitted up for 3 or 4 years at this point. I did switch out one of the original batiks in favor of the bright yellow one for the top center bird. It's roughly 26 inches square and was designed as a tabletopper, but I've added hanging loops to make it more versatile.

If you poke the photo, you can see some of the quilting details clearer. Usually I make the binding before I quilt a piece, but it's taken me all week to decide how I want the binding to look. All that's left is to make a label, make and attach the binding, and then do the hand finishing. Not bad for a week's work!

Once the binding's attached, I'll get the diamond tabletopper quilted. The necessary needles came in last Tuesday.

Then it will be time to play with my new toys and start the fox quilt. I picked up a set of Westalee rulers yesterday. For anyone unfamiliar with the product, it's basically Spirograph for quilting. I'm looking forward to upping my quilting game on the smaller pieces I decide to do myself at home.

I'll be dropping the sea turtle Dresden top and back off with the long armer on the 14th. She's got several quilts in line that need to be done for the county fair, so she won't get to mine until after.


That's all for now. I'll leave you with some cuteness while I get to making some quilt binding. Tare care and stay cool!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Finished Objects! New WIPS! Old WIPS!

And there are so many!

We'll start off with the UFO's that have been plaguing the back of my brain:

The second flag wall-hanging is bound and ready to go to its home.

The chevron quilts I started the day our friends' twins were born are finally done. That's what happens when you get injured and then life continues to be in the way.


This stack of Easter candy themed half circle napkins is now washed and in the buffet drawer.


And now for the new project that's finished!

This tote bag was made from leftovers of my friend's Downton Abbey quilt. It's my little piece of remembrance from the project. There's a second one in different colors planned and kitted up, so it should happen soon.

And now to works in progress!

I've been commissioned to make a baby quilt. Here's what I have taken pictures of. The back's done too but I'd already pressed the seams and hung it up with the top on a hanger before I remembered that I hadn't photographed it yet.

I love it when binding edges looking like candy but too pretty to eat!

I've also recently found all my pieces for the diamond challenge piece that a friend of mine and I were working on. We started it two years ago and we've both had health and scheduling issues. Then I lost my pieces. Whoops. But I've gotten them together now and have figured out how their layout will look. I opted for a runner, originally, instead of a full quilt. This table topper design suits better though.

Oh and the runner that's under those diamonds is an old project too. I recently got it quilted and just need to finish up the binding.  (This is me being lazy and not taking another photo that I forgot. It was a mystery quilt challenge that I pieced a few years ago.

Time to do a bit of cleaning, a bit of brewing, and more sewing. Catch you next weekend!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Downton Abbey Quilt Completed

And most importantly it's been delivered to my late friend's husband. He loves it. We cried.

It's roughly 84 inches square, which makes it about queen size. It also makes it difficult to get photos unless two people are holding it up with a third to take the picture. Some wonderful ladies in the quilt club I just joined came to my rescue for these. (I've edited out the personal details on the label for privacy.) I will say that the label starts with "In Loving Memory," and includes: her details and the work she did on the quilt, a photo of her, and my details with credit to "repairs, borders, quilting, and binding." Also dates, because dates are important to the history of a quilt.

For anyone who wonders what pattern was used, well it's like this. She started with The Ladies of Downton Abbey by Needle in A Hayes Stack but somewhere, probably during the early stages of chemo, decided that she didn't want the blocks on point. Honestly I have to think hard about blocks on point without the "benefit" of chemotherapy so I can see why she opted to reorient them.

The picture below shows that she altered the pattern again by making the blocks more scrappy than the pattern called for; three different fabrics instead of two. (Photo was take prior to quilting.) Also when my friend pieced the blocks, her seam allowance was a hair on the large side, so the blocks are a tad bit smaller than what the pattern said they'd be. But their size was consistent.... which told me she pieced them before the chemo really got to her.


As for the borders, they're all my creation. The first just echoes the sashing strips, a 2.5 inch, width of fabric cut (2 per side) all around. The cream border was cut at 3.5 inches so it would be a bit larger and more of a place to rest the eyes from the two busy sections.


The piano key outer border was fashioned by sewing strip sets of all the leftover fabrics and then cutting off 4.5 inch sections perpendicular to the seam lines. I did fiddle with the order here and there and sometimes cut individual 4.5" x 2.5" sections to keep the border from having a repetitive pattern. The corners were capped off with 4.5 inch squares of the binding fabric.

I picked the fabric for the binding because it's purple and that was my friend's favorite color. I also used a large swathe of it on the back of the quilt. Incidentally, you can make over 11 yards of double fold bias binding that is cut 3 inches wide from a 36 inch square of fabric.


I really hope she'd love this if she could see it. And I hope someday when her grandchildren are telling their grandchildren about her, they will say, "making a quilt is so much work and not everyone is worthy of such a gift. You can imagine how much your great-great grandma was loved that someone finished this quilt after she went to Heaven." 

Because she was.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Teaser Revealed and Cuteness

Remember this teaser from last weekend?

Well here's what I've done so far with it.




Originally this was supposed to be a single Dresden plate on a wall hanging, but the teacher in our class gave us the bright idea to turn it into a more utilitarian quilt with four Dresdens. Whoops.

My difficulty was the fabric I'd picked for the sunburst rays for the original singleton. It's an older fabric and I snagged the last fat quarter in the shop when I kitted things up for the class. So I improvised and made each sunburst different. Two have blue backgrounds and the other two have green backgrounds.

As of this extremely lazy moment, all four are appliqued onto their background squares and I've cleaned up all the threads. However I don't have a picture because they're downstairs and it's actually after 1:00 in the morning here. I figured I'd type up the blog now so I can get right to sewing in the morning.

I'm trying to get several smaller projects finished to the point of hand binding, slip stitching, etc before Tuesday afternoon. I'm sending my sewing machine off for cleaning and the pickup is first thing Wednesday morning. I'm hoping I'll have plenty of hand finishing to keep me busy, but if I get desperate I can always piece something on my old machine. It still works just fine, it just lacks all the bells and whistles the new one has. And the rule of thumb with piecing is to start and finish a project on the same machine because they're all a bit different.

I'm actually finished with my friend's quilt, but want to wait until I've delivered it before I post pictures anywhere. So I'll be sharing that next weekend. Until then, have some cuteness to tide you over.





See you next weekend!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Dodging An Expensive Bullet, Completing A Class, A U.F.O., and Another Class

When I left off last week, I was playing with the homework from my quilting class. I was also finishing up reorganizing many of the unfinished projects and fabrics I'd purchased with projects in mind. I had a stack of gorgeous fat quarters that needed put away in my generic quilting stash, so I went to do that. That's when I remembered my stash bin was over full and that I could pull out some of the kitted projects from there and give them the same organizational treatment as the others.

It seemed like a fantastic idea and I started pulling out fabrics destined to be things. That's when I heard an odd noise. Like little rattling things hitting hard surfaces. I started digging. That when I found: seeds.

It seems a mouse decided my stash bin would be the best place to have a larder for winter. After uttering some phrases that would make a sailor stop, think, and turn crimson, I started digging some more... and sniffing as I went. The universe was apparently trying to create some balance for all the recent frustrations I've had because there were no rodent corpses, no feces, no urine, and no chewed up fabric. Just lots and lots of seeds.

FuzzyHusband helped me move the giant bin out of storage and I started sorting by color family. Thankfully I'd also just purchased a box of color catchers by Shout. Those things saved my stash because they caught all the loose dye as I washed every scrap of fabric to remove any mouse taint. Because... ick.

While I was at it, I finally got around to reorganizing the stash into manageable 16 QT bins that are clear and labeled them. Small price to pay to save a few hundred dollars (or more) worth of fabric. Seventeen bins in all and that doesn't count: where the batiks are stored, some fabric I set aside for a mystery quilt, and another 3 fabrics that I have multiple yards of to make some luggage accessories. The last one is tied up in a clean pillow case because I ran out of bins. Once I finish some more small quilted things, I'll free up a bin. No sense in buying more.

Once all the laundry was done and the holiday was over, I was able to go get more fabric to bind my little basket mini quilt. It's finished now and I"m quite pleased with it!

In all of the cleaning I did in the previous week, many old projects rolled back out into the light of day. Remember this one? I just needed to make a label and finish a single corner of the binding... 3 years ago. Its finished now too!

That brings me to today. I took another quilting class and have quite a bit of work ahead of me. I"m only going to tease you with the "before" photo because I want to get back to sewing.

Now I'm going to go finish the quilting on my friend's quilt and then start back on my quilting class homework. See you next weekend! Oh and Ellie says, "zzzzzzzzzz."


Sunday, May 27, 2018

Busy Week

The past week was really busy with appointments, phone calls, and errands. Lots of hurrying up and waiting. And then there was a high school graduation and celebration out of town on Friday.

FuzzyHusband has been encouraging me to get out more and meet new friends in the area. With that in mind, I let myself get talked into a quilting class yesterday. I'd been meaning to try paper piecing for the longest time anyway and the concept was interesting.

Getting some practice with my new machine's free motion foot was nice too. It's not the best quilting job, but I can't get better without practice. I haven't bound it because I didn't figure out until I was already home (and the shop was closed) that the fabrics for the dark border and binding were mislabeled in the kit. So I need a new strip of fabric for my binding. Whoops. That's what I get for being excited to play and not checking the widths against the directions.


After assembling and quilting comes embellishing. I just tossed the flowers, leaves, and bag of beads on the quilt for this photo. It was late and I wanted to get some sleep. I'll be arranging and attaching the pretty bits later today.

All in all it was a fun little class and a great way to spend a couple of hours on a Saturday. I'll likely be doing more of these. Every month there's a different mini quilt pattern and they all feature different piecing and embellishment technique, so each one is a skill builder. Plus the other ladies were lots of fun.

And if I'm being totally honest, I needed a mental and emotional break from my friend's quilt. It's been harder to do for me than I realized and I was really fighting with the quilting last weekend. So I promised myself that I'd only work on fun little things for this holiday weekend to give myself a break. Plus I could totally have seen my friend taking this class too. Like me, her favorite color was purple and she loved flowers. And I could hear her in my head telling me to have a bit of a rest. So I listened.

Speaking of resting, two of my ladies were competing for table space and attention the other day. I couldn't resist getting some photos. This one is my favorite.

Stay safe over the holiday and I'll see you next weekend!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Sunday, May 13, 2018