Rectangles

This week I worked on this quilt top, “Place Your Bet” from a tutorial by Sarah at Confessions of a Quilt Addict.  She’s hosting a quilt-a-long called Rockin’ Rectangles for her upcoming Hands2Help Comfort Quilt Challenge.  It’s a quick to cut and easy to sew quilt, great for stash busting too.  I used two 5″ stackers, a yard of blue solid for the sashing and about 1 and 5/8s yard of white background.IMG_4039

I think it will be a good donation quilt for a young boy, space, planets, stars, and astronauts, but then again, I know a few young girls who are aspiring space explorers.  I’m sure the recipient will appreciate it 😉   This quilt is the first of the series, I really like the latest one, called Hip to be Square.  I need to find some more coordinating stash to make one.

I’ve been quilting on the Forest Floor quilt, I’m about 65% done.  All the ‘fun’ blocks are done, now just the multiple borders and corner stones.  Sorry no pictures yet.  The weather has been rain for the whole week.  The light just isn’t good enough for a decent picture of the quilt.

The rain also postponed the installation of the new window in my sewing room.  I need to empty out most of my stuff/stash before that project can happen.  A project in itself, but I guess I’ll do it this weekend.  I just need to put it all in the room across the hallway, which is my youngest sons room.  He’s at school, so he won’t mind.  It is very tempting to stage a take over though.  His room is larger, with a skylight and a bigger closet.  I’ll try to show restraint.

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

 

Black & White Plus Jack

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The top is done. I think I have about a thousand more loose threads to clip off the back.  I used the two rolls of 1 ½ inch wide Kona cotton, about two yards of Kona white and 1/4 yard of Kona black.  The white I had to purchase, but everything else was in my closet.  The jack part of the title is due to the ripping that was involved, mostly with the borders. Forget measure twice cut once, it should be measure twice sew once.  I didn’t measure the first inner black borders, which was fine for the first three sides.  Every thing was going swimmingly, until that last square that should have been black, but was white.  That side had ‘grown’ an 1 ½”, so there was un-sewing and much pinning and sewing.  It all worked out in the end :). I need to figure out a quilting plan for this one.

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I received the first installment of the Mrs. Millers Apprentice block of the month.  These blocks are small, 6 inches finished, and the 2 inch square four patches are to go around the center piece later in the making. I like the lay out of this quilt, its on point with sort of a medallion in the center. IMG_3790

The pattern has an interesting way to make the cats cradle blocks, using the Easy Angle.  Strangely, it doesn’t use the EA for any of the other triangles in the quilt.  As you can see in the above quilt there are many, I will be using it for all of them.

This past weekend I made some progress on the Forest floor quilt, I’m about ½ way done.  The quilting motifs are pretty intense, but I am getting better at placing them with the software and stitching them out where they should be.  I took that quilt off the frame to do a quick pantograph on a baby quilt.  Finished that quilt up during the big game (no interest from me) and now I need to put the Forest back on the frame.  It’s quite large, 108 square I think.  Here is a photo, but it doest really show the quilting much, my next post will.IMG_4018

Linking up with Judy at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday today, a day late.

Plus quilt

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I made some progress on the pluses this week.  Made an additional 14 blocks and I think I need about six more.  They are fairly mindless to make, especially when using the 1 ½” strips.

The fabric that I ordered came in.  The Batik will do nicely, it’s the Snow color way, has just a hint of blue in it.  I also got the first installment of the “Mrs Miller’s Apprentice” BOM.  The pattern and the first blocks fabrics came along with a shiny new Easy Angle cutting ruler.  My current one is probably over 15 years old, so many triangles made with it through those years.  I also use it to join binding strips and borders, I have the other two bigger sizes but the 4 1/2″ one is my go to.  It has definitely seen better days though, the top flat side is a bit bumpy and the lower corner is nicked, the lines and markings have held up very well.

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Speaking of useful tools, I should mention my Olfa cutter.  I got this one when I first started quilting as a hobby in 1991.  I had to buy a cutter, mat and ruler for a class I was taking in a local quilting shop near my home at the time.  I made a small Amish style/color-way double Irish chain quilt.  I remember being amazed at the ease of cutting strips and blocks.  In my previous quilting experiences we used cardboard templates and scissors.  I guess I should also mention that I was hand sewing pieces at that time, this class taught me how to use my machine too.  It was very exciting.  I think my Mom might still have that quilt, somewhere.  I have been looking at the new red Olfa cutter, and may just order one for a replacement.  Supposedly, it is designed like the first ones they made, like mine.  I have four or five other cutters, different sizes, brands, even an ergonomic one.  I always go back to my trusty old friend.

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

Rainy day Appliqué

I have been steadily working on the next block of the Christmas figs BOM.  This one is a Carolina Lily block with eight apostrophe-like leaves.  The leaves are backwards, not really noticeable unless you compare the books block picture to my block.  Once again its the whole backwards/forwards/flip of doing appliqué using the back basting method.  It usually doesn’t matter in the end though, as most designs have enough symmetry that it doesn’t change the design.  In this case they are all the same, so its perfect.  It has been raining steadily most of this week, so no outside activities, but for some reason I feel I should be out there, maybe I have cabin fever?

I have my black and white plus sign quilt on the design wall.  I think it needs to be bigger, maybe I’ll add more borders.  It has a stark quality to it, but then it just ends, it needs to be fenced in.  After playing with the design a bit, I came up with a larger version, but not really anything with borders.  I think I might try a tooth-like border of black and white, or more pluses in the corners.  This one is red and white, but mine is black and white (see below) in person. plus ll

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While organizing last week I ‘found’ a box of blue batik scraps from the Storm at Sea and Chaos at Sea quilts.  I set to work weeding them out and cutting them into 2 ½ triangles and 4 ½ triangles, some useable strips and pieces.  Which then triggered the idea for a blue and white quilt of these pieces.  Which in turn triggered a need for white batik fabric.  I bought three yards, that ought to be enough to do something with.  Planning on using the white as a constant to unite all the blues.  There will be more EQ8 work on this one as the ideas percolate.img_3998

In the meantime, I have another order for a pink baby quilt.  I am hoping to use more scraps, I seem to have lots of pink, I have to find a pattern that they will all play nice in.  That’s what I’ll be working on this week.

Linking up with Judy at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday, check out her little basket quilt.

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.