Bear pause

I worked on my Christmas figs blocks this past week.  I had an appointment one morning and was trying to finish before I left.  Instead of finishing quickly, I made more work for myself.  I’m still not too sure how this happened, I use the webbing method to lay out my blocks.  With these large blocks, it’s very easy to see if one is turned or out of place.

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Once I got home again I set it right and started to appliqué the ovals on to the green squares.

Two weeks ago we had our house appraised for a ReFi.  The appraiser came by and took lots of pictures.  We got our copy a few days ago, I glanced through it, and most of the pictures looked okay, black and white, my house wasn’t too messy, there were no photo bombing pets. No other articles present that one wouldn’t want saved for posterity in the pictures.  But the second bedroom photo, ugh.  My sewing room.  It looked like a, well, a hoarders lair.  It’s not a big room, maybe 14 x 14, with a closet on one side and a window on another.  The two other walls have stacking drawers with fabric and my stuff in them.  I use every square foot of that room, and usually there is a slight disarray of projects, fabrics, papers, books, thread, batting, the ironing board, the machines and my portable design wall.  It was like seeing your favorite movie star without makeup.  I began to think how I could better organize to keep the clutter at bay.  Then I thought of my DS’s mostly empty closet.  He is away at school, and doesn’t have much in it, in fact I have been using it to store some of my personal quilts.  I decided that it would become my new yarn closet and then I could re-arrange my fabric closet to include some of the fabric that had been free ranging in my room.  I worked on it this past weekend and I’m pretty happy with the results.  I got rid of a bunch of cardboard boxes and some bags, sorted some scraps and rearranged some other piles.  It’s a work in progress, but it feels good to have a bit more space with calm and orderly places for my eyes to rest.

It’s Monday again, so I’ll be linking up with Judy at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday.

Thanks for reading.

UFO progression

  1. Blue throw finish piecing etc.
  2. Guatemalan fabric finish piecing etc.
  3. Dragon quilt finish quilting embellishing etc.
  4. Garden Sampler needs quilting/binding
  5. Berties year needs quilting/binding
  6. Catkin mystery needs quilting/binding
  7. 365 Batik block quilt 270 blocks to go…
  8. Coxcomb Medallion needs quilting/binding
  9. Fire Island Hosta needs quilting/binding
  10. Rubies Diamonds and Garnets needs quilting/binding
  11. Shelia needs quilting/binding
  12. Growing up Odd needs quilting/binding
  13. Farmers Wife needs sashing, quilting/binding

This is a list from January 2016, I revisited it in December of 2017 and now in January 2019.  There are still four that need finishing, #’s 2,3,5, and 7.  I don’t really have another UFO list to work on this year.  There is one top (not on list) that is a UFO, the Maze quilt that I was making for my DS.  It is a mess, too many bias seems that don’t line up, besides, I gave him the gravity quilt instead.  My to-be-quilted pile is about eight quilts high and includes two from the list above.  A quick count reveals that I’ve made/finished about thirty quilts this year.  Most of them were baby or crib sized but there were quite a few queens in the mix as well as two king size.  I’m contemplating my goals for this year.  I would like to sell more of these quilts.  I am listing them on Amazon Handmade along with my Etsy store.  My inventory is high, as is my personal supply.  I would like to make another appliqué quilt, possibly one that I design.  Then there is a new BOM I signed up for and I have six more months of the Fig BOM.  I would like to make a dent in my stash, I keep trying, but then I fill it with new fabric.  I didn’t sell at the local holiday craft fair this year, as I was out of town for a wedding that weekend.  I really was looking forward to that local exposure, and I think that I need to start advertising and doing social media promotion more.

Goals

  1. Work on To-Be-Quilted Pile
  2. List/Sell More Quilts in Shops
  3. Design and Make Applique quilt
  4. Use Stash
  5. Make BOM’s
  6. Explore Social Media, Blog

Yep, Simple.  Six steps to happiness, but I’m already happy, so how about six steps to more happiness?

This and That

I have been making lots of quilt tops and baby quilts since September.  Not a lot of pictures to show, but progress is happening.  I recently added 10 more quilts to my Etsy shop.  Other than a slight uptick in views, no sales lately.  I thought that maybe with the big 25% off sale I might sell one, but no.

I decided not to participate in the Bonnie Hunter Mystery quilt “Good Fortune” this year, I had a lot going on in the beginning of December, so adding lots of pieces to sew together wasn’t going to work for me.  I didn’t really like the colors picked, not that they were bad, I am just not a fan of orange.  I thought maybe once the reveal came out I could rework it in EQ with different colors, not to share though. It seems that someone did this exact thing on the Facebook site and Bonnie was ticked off.  I don’t blame her, it’s her design after all.  I do find it amusing to read through the comments from other quilters about how terrible this person is and “How dare they!” etcetera.  I sincerely doubt the EQ artist was trying to upset anyone, probably trying to do what I just mentioned doing above, but erred by posting her re-do to 77 thousand members.  Oopsie.

I’m working on a new black and white quilt.  I have two rolls of 1 ½ inch wide Kona cotton, one black and one white.  I purchased 3 additional yards of Kona white to match, because I never seem to have the same shade of white.  I have 15 yards of Moda Bella white, but not the same white as the Kona.  I started out making a few nine patches, cute 3 inch finished blocks.  Then I thought I would make a “Jacks Chain” quilt, like thisfullsizeoutput_135

Simple and it would be fun to quilt.  I ditched the idea after doing one block, there was much ripping and resewing and misalignment.  No fun.  Then I made some plus blocks, I recently got the book Modern Plus Sign Quilts by Cheryl Brickley and Paige Alexander.  But it seems that those quilts sing because of the colors, the black and white just didn’t.  Then I thought of a quilt that Sarah at Confessions of a fabric addict made recently.  It was called “Summer Wedding” by Jamie Elfert at Black Cat Creations.  Sarah made it for her granddaughter in blues and white.  You can see it here Can I get a Whoop Whoop?

I started thinking about using the plus signs instead of the H’s. A few hours later, I came up with this

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I think I’ll start it tomorrow though.  It’s a rainy weekend here in CA, and the boys are watching football, what else is there to do?

I have been working on my Forest Floor quilt.  I put it on the frame last Wednesday, I am quilting it with designs from Wastach quilting.  I first saw the designs back in March 2018, as part of the monthly Masters design pack.  I looked up the quilt and decided to make it.  It took me a few hours to track down all the batik fabrics, as they were from the previous year.  Once they got here with the pattern, I made the top.

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This picture was taken before the final borders were added, so imagine a six inch additional border to finish the quilt at 106 inches square.  The quilting patterns are floral and leaves with pine cones and pine needles, plus starbursts and other fills.   I thought I had some pictures but I guess not.

I have been diligently working on the Christmas Figs BOM.  Here are my blocks so far:

I do two blocks a month, they are about 12 inches square, so its going to be a big quilt too.

Lastly, I just sent out this cute Fox in the Birches quilt for my Mother’s cousin’s new grandson.  I can’t imagine how he is related to me, just some kind of cousin.  The pattern is by Sew Fresh Quilts and you can get it from her shop on Etsy.  She has lots of cute things, take a look!

 

Linking up with Judy at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts this week for Design Wall Monday

Thanks for reading 🙂

Cut, sew, press, cut, repeat.

The repetitive process of paper foundation piecing has once again occupied my time.  I am in the midst of putting the pieces together for a Judy Niedmeyer pattern called Christmas Celebration.  It’s a tree skirt or table topper, depending on if you cut a hole in the center.  I’m making the one pictured on the right, using fabrics from the Moda line “Morris Holiday”.  They are so pretty and there is a touch of gold metallic to add some sparkle.  I wonder if William Morris would approve?

I finished up the baby quilts and sent them to the parents.  The last one I had to take my Catwalk quilt off the frame to quilt it.  The Catwalk quilt is back on the frame and I found a beautiful Panto to use on it.  It’s called “Fantasia” by Wasatch Quilting , it is from the September 2018 Masters Club selections.  I was originally going to do something graphic with this quilt, rulers and angles etcetera.  Then I saw a finished quilt with a floral design quilted on it, it looked pretty, and was just enough to let the quilt design shine, while adding texture.

I also though it would be a quicker finish, not so.  Each row, 15 inches wide, takes about two hours, there are 8 rows on this quilt.  I am becoming a multitasking quilter, yesterday I did three loads of laundry, cleaned out my refrigerator, made some roasted tomatoes, and fruit leather.  All while the computer stitched the quilt, as many of you know, be it an embroidery machine, quilting machine or other ‘self’-guided appliance, as soon as you turn your back, it messes up.   When I was out of the room, putting the shelves back in the refrigerator, it ran out of bobbin thread.  I returned to find it merrily stitching along with no thread being applied.

In other news, my quilt “The Searchers” was accepted into PIQF.  Yay me!  I always have this period of doubt before I submit something I have made, or send a quilt to a customer, or gift a piece, that it’s not good enough.  Self doubt, I guess, was creeping about my studio this summer as I made this wall hanging.  I was looking at it everyday, working on it just about every day too.  I was tired of it, and when the last stitch was in, I was ready to submit it, with no feelings of regret, but no real hopes of getting in.  I was happy to get the acceptance letter though, now to sew a sleeve on and drop it off a couple of weeks.IMG_3574

Linking up with Judy at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday today.

Two weeks gone

Actually, I was only gone for five days, but it turned into two weeks in blog land.  I have been working on projects though.

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I finished my Shawl Society III “Wick” shawl.  There was a lot of plane time knitting, and a bit while I was in hot and humid NY.  I gifted this shawl to a friend who recently lost her beloved Husky dog, Mocha.  I hope she’ll get to use it this coming winter.

The next shawl pattern comes out on the 30th.  The yarns to be used were released last week, and I found my ShiBui gift certificate and put it to good use.  This yarn “Cima” is a lace weight, and so soft.  The colors are Bordeaux, Fog, and Caffeine, I can’t wait to see the pattern.  I also got a few other skeins of “Birch” yarn from them.  More yarn stash enhancement was made with a sale at knit picks and for a shawl project that will be a Christmas present.  At least I didn’t buy any fabric last week 🙂

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I doing the Fat Quarter Shop’s BOM called Christmas Figs, it started last month, the blocks are large, 16 1/2 inches square.  I was attracted to this quilt project by the variety of the blocks and the colors of the fabric line.  Plus the fact that two blocks a month is do-able for me.  Here are the  July and August blocks.IMG_3560

I am still trying to finish up my PIQF entry before 8/28/18.  I am quilting it, but just kinda lost the spark to finish it.  I don’t know if it is the vacation interruptions or just the fact of having a deadline.  I can’t seem to make myself work on it more than an hour at a time.  I still like my idea and how it is progressing, I just know that I should have finished it by now.  Procrastination is not something I normally do, well maybe with chores I don’t want to do in the first place.  Perhaps that is the trouble, this quilt has become a chore.

Linking up with Judy at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts For Design Wall Monday today.

Doings

All my projects that were waiting for parts and pieces were started or done this week.  Fabrics came in, quilts were quilted, yarn came to stay and patterns were downloaded.  The little bear was shipped out to his new home, far away in Africa.

I was able to piece these three quilts for up coming births and such.  I used my Accuquilt to cut all the 3 1/2 ” triangles and that quilt (center picture) went together really fast.  The other two are from a pattern called Tumbling Blocks by Its Sew Emma.  This pattern works up quickly, you only need six fat quarters and about two yards of background fabric.  I think the second one (the pink one) took me about five hours total, with ironing.  Two of these will get minky backings and one a cotton backing that has yet to be decided.  After the past two quilts I have done, I am ready for some simple edge to edge quilting.

I also finished quilting the Daydreams quilt and made the binding for it.  That will get sewn on today, I hope.  It’s pretty warm today, and the thought of quilt wrestling isn’t very appealing right now.

My Wick shawl from The Shawl Society lll is coming along, its simple garter stitch, but the yarn colors make it pretty.  I’m about 40 % done.  I think I’m going to take it with me on my trip next weekend, there will be lots of plane time.  The new sock pattern for the Sock society was released today, it’s called Honey Bee Dance.  I have to find a yarn to use, the pattern calls for a pretty caramel colored cashmere.  I don’t think I have anything like that in my stash, but you never know.IMG_3514

I did get my entry for PIQF on the frame and started quilting it today.  It’s moving along too.  I have about three more weeks to finish it, I think I’ll be done sooner.

Linking up with Judy at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday today.

Waiting

I’m in a sort of creative output holding pattern right now.  I have many pokers in the fire but nothing is getting finished.  Well I did finish this little guy yesterday.IMG_3506

I got the “kit” for him last year at Stitches West.  The Mother Bear Project had a booth there and they were selling kits to make their seamless knitted bears.

They are a non-profit organization dedicated to providing comfort and hope to children affected by HIV/AIDS in emerging nations by giving the gift of a hand knit or crocheted bear.  The website is http://www.motherbearproject.org.

I was looking for an interim knitting project while waiting for the next Shawl Society pattern to be released (7/26).  I wanted to start something, but not too big, I didn’t want to work on a knitting UFO, and I wanted to finish and have a bit of fun.  I did, and although the pattern for the new shawl “Wick” has been released, I still have to wait for the yarn I ordered for it, it should be here Tuesday. Sigh.

I have been working on my PIQF entry, at least that is moving along.  I have almost finished the main body of the piece, I have about 40-50 more pieces to add to it.  Then to get all the parts together and quilt it.  Before I can quilt it though, I need to get the log cabin quilt that is on the frame done.  That quilt is not sewing itself, but I have been busy with extra curricular activities.  Activities like choosing paint colors, moving furniture, dress shopping, gardening, and knitting :).  Plus my mom called to order a baby quilt for her cousins new granddaughter.  Luckily that one is a simple pattern, but I am waiting on the fabric I ordered for it.

Lastly, I have been watching videos on Bluprint about upholstering.  I want to get a chair done and possibly do a wing chair and ottoman that really need updating.  I have the fabric and foam.  I went out and bought a staple gun that is compatible with an air compressor that a friend has.  Now I just need the space and time to do it.  It’ll probably have to wait until the remodel is mostly done, as the only area large enough to use, is filled with furniture and boxes of stuff.  More waiting.

Linking up with Judy at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday today.

Catching up

My daughter and I were discussing the word catsup yesterday.  She was reminiscing about a spelling test in which the word catsup was given.  Of course she wrote “Ketchup”, and didn’t receive credit, she is still miffed about it, lol.

I have been catching up for the last ten days or so.  We went on vacation to London and Edinburgh for the first part of July.  Saw great concerts, Art, and old friends, ate delicious food and drank appropriate amounts of beer, ale, and whisky.  We even saw the Rosetta Stone (checked that off my list) and sat on top of King Arthur’s Seat.IMG_3474

Back home I’ve been trying to get over the eight hour time difference, slowly adding hours to my sleep duration.  This left lots of time for knitting and contemplation.  I finished my “Ivy Over the Door” shawl Saturday.  This is the second in the series from Helen Stewart and The Shawl Society III.  This shawl has 545 rows of 112 stitches, so 61,040 stitches.  Upon blocking it I noticed a slight difference in the beginning of my knitting and the end.  I think in my excitement (hurry?) to get started I misread the pattern and instead of eight stitches in-between the columns of twisted stitches I knit 13.  Over all, I’m really happy with the way this turned out.  The colors remind me of wintry skies and gray clouds.  The next shawl is called “Wick”, I have to wait until Thursday to see it and then I’ll pick some colors.

On the quilting front, I quilted the Crayon Box quilt (a Jinny Beyer pattern) and my mini lightning quilt from the Jaybird Pattern.  While binding the Crayon Box, I used the end of a spool of purple thread, down to the last 12 inches.

I loaded up the next quilt on the frame, Daydreams (pattern by Kate Colleran) it’s a log cabin block set in a barn raising square on point.  I’m doing feathers and waving lines, haven’t decided on the borders yet.  This photo is from Craftsy, the kit is on sale if you’re interested 😉1502985074752-20170718_503031_sweetreveie_daydreams_24158_wall

I also have been working on my PIQF entry.  I have about 5 1/2 more weeks to finish it before the entry deadline.  I am hoping to have the fusing done this week and start to  quilt and then embellish it.  No pictures yet, sorry.

Lastly, my remodel is progressing, sheet rock, windows and fire place are installed.  Tiling next week, yeah!

Linking up with Judy at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday.

Thanks for reading.

Quilted not Bound

I finished quilting the Storm at Sea quilt yesterday.  I still don’t know why it took so long, I put it on the frame May 31st and then 28 days passed.  I really didn’t like quilting this quilt.  I used waves and circles to follow the movement created by the pattern.  A lot of stops and starts that could quell anyones enthusiasm.  Last week I came up with the idea to add some bubbles to the waves, I think it helped create some interest and texture.  That being said, this quilt has a lot going on.  I’m going to bind it today.

 

 

 

I loaded up the pillow tops I made to go with this quilt.  They are a Bargello pattern using the batik fabrics left over from the first S@S quilt.  I used a panto called Seashells and Pearls, it took about four hours to stitch out the two 22″ x 24″ tops.  Computerized pantograph quilting looks great, but it can take a long time.

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I was productive while the machine was stitching though.  I started the next shawl of The Shawl Society III, it’s called Over the Ivy Door.  The pattern calls for brown and green and is very pretty as that.  I had enough green in my stash, but no brown that would work.  I did have four skeins of Knit Picks Hawthorne that were part of a kit.  I’m going to knit the gray for the brown, fade into the gray-blue and then into the turquoise- gray-purple.  The finished size is about 21 x 85 a nice size rectangle to wrap up in.

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Also finished this week was the paper boat quilt top.  I’m planning on simple horizontal waves to quilt this one.

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Linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for “Can I get a Whoop Whoop?” today.

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Paper boats

This week I have been paper foundation piecing boats.  They are from a free PDF pattern on the RJR website by Cotton and Steel.  I found the background fabric on sale a few months ago and came across it recently while looking for something else.  It promptly went to the top of the “To-Do” pile.  Each boat is made from two mirror image parts.  Simple paper foundation piecing, with large pieces and simple straight lines.

When I first started paper foundation piecing, I took a class with Judy Mathieson on mariners compass piecing.  The method she taught was a bit different than the traditional way.  Instead of using plain paper she used freezer paper, and instead of sewing through the paper she had us fold the pattern on the sewing lines and then sew the two pieces of fabric together next to the fold.  The first piece of fabric was held to to the freezer paper by a quick press of a hot iron.  Then after each fabric was sewn on it was cut with 1/4 added and pressed to “glue” it steady to the foundation.  Once all the piecing is done, all you do is peel off the freezer paper.  The tedious picking and tearing of the paper foundation is gone, and you can reuse your foundation many times.

My last two quilts have been paper pieced through the paper, Storm at Sea tops.  I don’t think the fold and sew method would have worked for them, as there were just too many pieces and blocks.  This Paper Boat pattern lends itself nicely to this technique.  Instead of freezer paper, I used plain printer paper and a bit of washable school glue stick.

I took some phone pictures while sewing yesterday, kind of a tutorial, hope you can see and understand the methodology better.

I have also been working on my PIQF entry and I have almost finished the Maytham shawl from Shawl society III.  Sadly, or rather happily, I don’t have a design wall up as my house is in a minor state of chaos while we are remodeling.  My sewing room is intact, however I have to run my machine and iron with an extension cord to the next room.  I’m just happy not to have to move my thing from that room again.  It’s been a little more than two years since the last time I did that, post from May 2016 Still here  .IMG_3419

Linking up with Small Quilts and Doll Quilts today for Design Wall Monday