Thursday, June 30, 2011

June UFO


My June UFO is complete!  Judy over at Patchwork Times is holding a UFO challenge this year, and my quilt for this month was the tic-tac-toe quilt that I was making from blocks I won over at Block Lotto last year.

I finished the binding this morning, slipping in just under the wire for the monthly deadline. Maybe I'll even be able to get the label on it before the end of the day (assuming, that is, that I can find the label I so carefully made up last year).

Here is the back of the quilt - 1 big wacky tic-tac-toe block.



I can't wait to see which number Judy draws for next month. This is a great way to get the incentive to finish some of those UFOs sitting in the closet.  My progress is under the "UFO Challenge" tab at the top of the page, or go here.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Accountability Challenge - June 29

It has been an interesting week.  And I mean interesting in the context of the Chinese curse - "May you live in interesting times".  Lots of changes at work - the end result is good, but the intervening time meant not much energy to devote to quilting.  I really wanted to quilt my indigo quilt this week so that it would be done for Judy's monochromatic challenge this month.  But on reflection, I really love this quilt and I want to quilt it "just right".  So I'm going to have to consider the options for some time, to decide what the right choice is.

That's a great excuse for not finishing it, right?  So we can ignore the fact that the mystery quilt (which has to be done first, because it's hogging all my basting pins) is still in the machine waiting to be finished.  For some reason this one is really hard for me to get motivated on.  And quilting in 5 minute segments means it is going to take me a really long time to finish. But I've promised myself not to start any more quilts until that one is complete.

So, how did I do on my accountability goals this week?

1. quilt the indigo quilt - not done
2. bind UFO #9 - 1/2 done
3. finish the linked squares top - Done


Well, #3 is mostly done - I still have to decide on borders.  But this is the stage I wanted to get it to this week.  1.5 out of 3 - not too bad, I guess, all things considered.


In addition to those items, I did finish one other project.  The skirt I had started for dancing is now done.  It seems that my dressmaking skills have survived the switch to quilting.



Check out Bari's accountability challenge.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Design Wall Monday - June 27

Today, my design wall is holding the completed linked squares quilt.  This quilt did end up turning into a jigsaw puzzle as I put it together.  The last few rows landed on the floor as I removed blocks to sew the first rows.  Fortunately, it seems to have gone together in the right order.  I haven't decided if I want to add a border, or just finish it like this, so I will probably leave it up on the wall for a few days while I ponder the options. 

Next up, quilt two quilts before Thursday.  Possible? Probably not.  But I'm making it my goal anyway :)  Really, only the indigo quilt needs to be finished, but I pin basted my mystery quilt, and until that one is quilted, I have no pins for preparing the indigo. So, two quilts it is.

The catch in that plan (other than the fact that I have to work, so my quilting time is limited) is the other project I started this weekend.  I wanted a new skirt for dancing, and since I can't find anything I like in the stores, I decided to make one.  I've had this fabric sitting on a shelf for years - found a pattern I like, and we'll see if my dressmaking skills have survived the multi-year hiatus.  I don't think I've made clothes for myself (other than track pants for hanging around the house) since before my kids were born.  My oldest is almost 17, so it has certainly been a long time.

The front of the skirt is complete, and I can hopefully finish the back today.  Then, I'll be able to do the quilting that's on the list.


Check out Judy's blog to see what's on other design walls today.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Stash Report - June 26

I've spent a lot of time this week working on the linked squares quilt.  All the blocks are sewn into rows, and most of the rows are together.  However, that fabric was all counted already.  I was thinking I had nothing to report for this week, but then I remembered that I bought the backing for my indigo quilt (and I haven't backed it yet).  So that's 4 yards in.  And I never counted the backing for the tic tac toe quilt - 1.5 yards out.

Totals for this year:
Overall, 15.75 yards in, 44.75 yards out.
Net for the year:  29 yards out.


Check out Judy's blog for more stash reports.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Accountability Challenge - June 22

Wednesday already.  Time flies, and I didn't do nearly as much quilting as I had planned.  Yesterday was my birthday, and my present to myself was supposed to be an easy day at work and lots of time quilting in the evening.  Instead, I got a stressful day, which translated to zero quilting in the evening.  Too bad, but in the end, the stress is going to turn into something good, so there's an up side.

In the meantime, I did do a bit of quilting over the weekend.  My accountability goals for this week were modest - only 2 items
1. quilt UFO #9 (my June UFO challenge quilt)
2. quilt the indigo quilt (my monochromatic challenge quilt)

And my achievements even more modest.  I finsihed quilting the UFO.  But it's not bound yet (although binding is attached - just have to tack it down).  No picture of that one yet, but here's a photo from back when I was piecing the top.

And I did purchase the backing and batting for the indigo quilt.  So I guess that's a step in the right direction there.  I really want to finish that for the June Monochromatic challenge, so that's #1 on this week's list.  Hopefully I can do that on Saturday.  Two other items should round out my plans for the week.

1. quilt the indigo quilt
2. bind UFO #9
3. finish the linked squares top

Did you have goals this week?  Hope over to Bari's blog to see what others were up to.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Design Wall Monday - June 20

Here is what's on my design wall today.  A few more links are done, and you can see all my fabric strips pinned to the wall.  I decided it would be easiest to make this quilt if I cut and placed all the rings first.  Then I could be sure I kept a nice distribution of the colours, and I wouldn't run out half-way through.

The squares aren't too stable on my wall, so I need to start sewing rows together (which means cutting out my setting triangles).  Otherwise, I'll have my entire quilt on the floor and I'll have to put the puzzle pieces together again.

In addition to this project, I now have 2 quilts backed and basted.  Hopefully I'll get to them sometime this week.

For more design wall fun, check out Judy's blog.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Stash Report - June 19

This week I managed to make some big extractions from my stash, which makes me very happy.  I used 3 yards to piece the backing for my mystery quilt.  I echoed part of the design from the front of the quilt into the back.  Now to figure out how to quilt it.

Also busted (according to EQ6) 6.5 yards of fabric for the linked squares quilt.  This one is coming along quickly.  I want to get some quilting done on a couple of quilts, but I'm afraid I'll knock all the pieces off my design wall in the process.  So for now I'll keep moving forward on the new quilt.

My stash totals for this week:  9.5 yards out, nothing in.

Totals for this year:
Overall, 11.75 yards in, 43.25 yards out.
Net for the year:  31.5 yards out.




Check out Judy's blog to see what other quilters have done with their stash this week.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Cats

My son found what he thought was a stray cat outside our house last week, and decided to bring it inside because it was pouring rain out.  Now, that may seem like a lovely idea, but I already have three cats.  The last thing we need in this house is fourth.  Apparently, the current kitties agree with me.  From the moment this new fella came into the house, the three residents started arguing.  They were separated, and 'spot' here hung out for a couple of hours.

I made the boys put him back outside, once we figured out that he was not hungry (so I began to question if he was even a stray at all).  However, my current kitties continued to argue and fight with each other, every time they entered the same room.  Fortunately, they are all talk and no action - lots of hissing, but no physical violence ensured.  It took four days before they stopped hissing at each other.  I don't understand cat mentality, but I think it is pretty clear that my cats think three is perfectly fine number.  Lucky for us, this fella has not been back.  Maybe he figured out that the house was already full.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Unnamed no longer

As mentioned in my Accountability post for this week, I finished my "unnamed quilt".  I realized I never posted a picture, so here is "Peaceful Pinwheels" - quilted, bound, and ready to find a new home.

I backed this quilt with fleece (and that is also serving as the batting), figuring it would make a lovely cozy covering for someone on a cold winter night.  The quilting is a combination of wavy lines in the green pinwheels, and echo quilting in the background.  I would probably not use echo quilting in this context again - I didn't really like the finish I ended up with around the edges.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Accountability Challenge - June 15

It's Wednesday once again.  No quilting time Monday (hockey) or Tuesday (dancing) this week, so I didn't quite get through my whole list. But I did make some good progress.

Here are the goals I set for this week.

1. finish binding Field of Stars - Done
2. bind the unnamed quilt (and name it) - Done
3. work on indigo top - top is done
4. quilt UFO #9 (aka my June UFO challenge quilt) - not done, but backing is ready

Three out of four isn't too bad. This week is not likely to be a quilty week.  I have house projects to get done, so I don't expect to get much quilting time (must as I want to).  Work before play, so I have to run some cables and paint my walls.  This time around I think I'm going to set my goals for the end of the month, rather than for this week.  There are two quilts that I want to finish before the end of June, because they are for challenges, so that is my goal for the rest of the month.

1. quilt UFO #9 (my June UFO challenge quilt)
2. quilt the indigo quilt (my monochromatic challenge quilt)

Check out Bari's blog to see what other quilters have been up to this week.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Design Wall Monday - June 13

My design wall has been busy this week.  First, I got 2 things off the wall - my indigo quilt is ready for quilting.  The backing for my tic-tac-toe quilt made a short appearance and is now ready to go too.


So, rather than have an empty design wall this morning, I started a new project last night.  That's not going to get my quilting done, but it sure was fun :)  These blocks were inspired by a quilt I saw online a few weeks ago.  It's slow going, as I try to match up all the rings out of my scrap bin.  So I hope to convince myself to do some quilting in between piecing these blocks.



Check out Judy's blog to see what other quilters have on their design walls today.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Stash Report - June 12

It's been a "quilty" week.  I made good progress on my indigo quilt top, and it is almost done now.  EQ6 says it used 5 yards of fabric, so that's in my count for this week.  It's hard to tell from this picture, but there are 4 different indigos used here (mostly because I didn't have enough of any single one).  I think I could stop here with the borders, but I don't have any appropriate indigo left for binding, so my plan is one more 2.5" border in white and then I can bind it in white.  The quilt is about 55" square at this point, so it came out to a nice size I think.

Also used (or at least pulled from my stash) 1 yard for the backing of the tic tac toe quilt, my UFO for June.

Totals for this year:
Overall, 11.75 yards in, 33.75 yards out.
Net for the year:  22 yards out.

Check out Judy's blog for more stash reports.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Bordering on insanity

I don't usually do pieced borders, for one reason.  My 1/4" seam is never exactly 1/4".  I've tried, but I just can't seem to find and keep that 1/4" line - it's always plus or minus a thread or two.  I've learned to cope - I square up every block before I move on to the next step, and for the most part that resolves the problem.  But pieced borders really need that type of accuracy.

However, my indigo quilt was crying out for pieced borders.  It needs them. So I decided to give it a whirl.  I figured I'd make the pieced section, and then calculate the fill strips to fit.  That should work.

Here are the 4 border pieces.  Just the corner stones left to make.  Only one problem with this - the strip second from the bottom is a full 1/2" longer than the other 3 (which are amazingly within 1/8" of each other).  I guess I have some re-stitching to do on one of these.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Another UFO off the list

I finished my star quilt.  I want to jump up and down and repeat that about 3 times.  It is done!  This quilt has been sitting in my finishing drawer for over a year waiting for me to tack the binding down.  Not sure why, other than I took a long quilting hiatus and this poor thing got stranded in a drawer.  Well, it's done now.

This was one of my first attempts at free motion quilting with some design, rather than meander or stippling.  I really like the quilting I did in the stars.



Unfortunately, the rest of the quilt did not come out quite so well.  The back has a few puckers, and the leaves in the inner border are pretty wonky in some places.  The outer border was my first ever attempt at feathers.  Perhaps some more practice is in order.

This was a mystery quilt.  The guidelines suggested a light background, but I chose to reverse the colours and used a light foreground and darker background. Mostly because I didn't have enough of the green fabric to do it the other way around.  I really like the end result from that fabric choice.

I added a few extra stars to the middle to make it a bit larger and use up the last of the green fabric. This quilt may not be my best work, but Caramel seems to think it is quite acceptable :) And I think it will do quite well as a cuddle blanket for watching TV.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Finished

I finished my "Over the Rainbow" quilt this week.  I couldn't figure out what to do with my Moda jelly roll, but a few weeks ago I decided I needed to do something to get it off my shelf.  So I came up with a rectangular block, and a rainbow placement.  Now that it's done I really like this quilt, although I didn't expect to when I first started working with the solids.

I quilted it with free motion wavy lines, following the orientation of the blocks.  Each colour is quilted in a matching colour thread, and I'm really happy with how the quilting came out, and how nicely it shows on the quilt.  The binding is made from the leftover strips.

The backing is the last piece of my favourite children's print.  I've had this in my stash for years, and finally gave up trying to use it in a quilt.  The colours are just too bold for that to work.  But as a backing, I think it's great.  But there are no more colourful turtles in my stash anymore, other than a few scrap pieces.  I'm sad to see them go.

Although I hate to part with this quilt, I don't have young children in the house anymore so I think I'll send it down to Judy for the victims of the Joplin tornado.

Accountability Challenge - June 8

Last week, I set myself these goals. Not too optimistic, I thought.  Well, maybe not, but despite that I didn't get through all of it.  I made some good progress though.

1. bind the unnamed quilt (and name it)  - didn't touch it
2. finish quilting Over the Rainbow - done!
3. finish mystery top - done (ready for quilting)
4. Pick one more UFO to move forward.- picked it, but didn't actually do any work on it :)

However, I did make a lot of progress on my indigo quilt.  I'm having a lot of fun with this one, and I think it will get some more attention this week.  Forgot to upload pics from my camera last night, so I'll post my Rainbow finish later.

Here are my (again, more modest) goals for this week.

1. finish binding Field of Stars
2. bind the unnamed quilt (and name it)
3. work on indigo top
4. quilt UFO #9 (aka my June UFO challenge quilt)

I think #4 is a stretch, but once I finish the indigo top, I'm going to setup for quilting and try to get a couple done before I start another quilt.  I should be able to finish binding on the 2 quilts during the hockey game tonight.  Friday night at the latest.

Check out Bari's blog to see how other quilters did with their accountability challenge this week.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Design Wall Monday - June 6

 It's design wall Monday already.  Where does the time go? This seems like it's been a really short week for some reason.  However despite that, my design wall has something new this week.  I've started working on my indigo quilt, for Judy's monochromatic challenge for June.  Indigo is not a colour I have a lot of, but I went into my stash and I found one perfect piece - a nice deep purplish blue.  Sadly, I only have 1/4 yard of it.  So I dug out a few complementary blues that are within the range of indigo, and set out to design something that would showcase my favourite.

Here is part #1.  A 3" lemoyne star.  Once I had that done, I was really happy that it was the only one I needed to do for this quilt.  Sewing all those "Y-seams" is hard enough on a regular sized block - it was a real challenge in 3 inches.

Part 2 is done, too.  Now at least I have something sizeable to work with.

Now that the mystery quilt is almost done, this is all that is sitting on my design wall - one lonely block.  I'm sure its friends will be coming out to play soon :)



What's on your design wall?  Check out some others over at Patchwork Times.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Stash Report - June 5

I feel like I made a lot of progress this week.  Maybe that's because I finished quilting a couple of  quilts, and added them to the (growing) binding pile.  It's a good thing Vancouver is in the playoffs - I'll do my hand-stitching on the bindings during the games and maybe get some of these quilts done.

My stash was decreased by my mystery quilt - 4.75 yards out.  I'm working on an indigo quilt for June, but I'll have to count that fabric once it's done, since I'm designing/sizing as I go.

Totals for this year:
Overall, 11.75 yards in, 27.75 yards out.
Net for the year:  16 yards out.

Head over to Judy's blog to see what other quilters have done with their stash this week.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Mystery Progress

I finished all the blocks for my mystery quilt yesterday.  Now I have to find a layout I like.  Several options come to mind - and the mystery writer suggested one I never came up with.  I've played around with them a few times, now I think I'll let them stew for a day or two before I move on.  My design wall is too small, so these are just parts of the quilt - the top and bottom rows are missing.

The good news is that, as I hoped, the brights are toned down a bit in the final quilt. I think I like this quilt.  While I might have put the colours in different locations if I'd had the design to work from originally, I think the end result is nice.

Taking the pictures down for now, because I realized there might be others still working on their mystery.  I'll post a finished pic in a couple of weeks, instead.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Fabric Choices



This picture is step 3 of the mystery quilt I'm working on.  At this point, I started to seriously question my fabric choices.  That yellow/green/pink combs is bright! However, I don't have enough yardage in anything else appropriate to switch at this point, so I'm trucking on forward.  I'm really hoping that the dark background will tone down the brights a bit.  If not, I guess I'll have to find a recipient who loves bright colours.

This is the area I struggle with the most, when I'm quilting.  Picking a set of fabrics that go well together.  I prefer to work with tone on tone fabrics, but that's even more challenging to match (for me, anyway).  At least if I can pick a focus fabric, I can theoretically draw my other fabrics from that.  Although, that was the approach for this quilt, and as you can see, it didn't work as well as I was hoping.

Maybe I should stick to monochromatic or 2-colour designs.  It certainly would be easier to match, without worrying about that oddball fabric that looks great with one or two of the others, and not so happy in full combination.

I had this same problem with another quilt I made.  Judy's "Morning Splash" pattern called for 6 different bright fabrics.  When I started to put it together, my particular fabric choices meant that there was a green center in the yellow squares.  It was terrible.  In this case, I could easily swap that block for a dark purple, and I love the end result.

Unfortunately, with this mystery quilt, not knowing how the fabrics were going to mix made it difficult for me to make good choices.  I guess that's part of the mystery, but I'm starting to think these just aren't my thing.  I need a bit more control over my fabric choices and layout.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Quilty Cats

I finished my second set of placemats today.  These used up my cat fabric, plus some miscellaneous browns I had in my stash.  I would have liked to do a narrow border in the circle fabric, before the outer border.  But I didn't have any of that left, so I worked with what I had.  I think they came out well.


And Caramel apparently agrees.  First thing she did when I put them on the table was to sit on one.  That's why it's folded in the picture - I know the cats use them as pillows, so wrong-side up they stay until they are in use :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

UFO Challenge

I mentioned last week that Judy over at Patchwork Times is hosting a UFO challenge this year.  I am late to part (really, really late), but I hope she won't mind if I jump on the train now.  Last week, I posted a plan for the week, and included a list of my current UFOs.  Actually, it's a list of 12 of my UFOs, not all of them.  Each month, Judy picks a number, and that's the UFO of the month.  The challenge is to finish that particular quilt before the end of the month.

Well, the numbers have aligned this month, so I think I'm going to join in.  When I did up my list of last week's projects, I considered picking #9 off my UFO list because May's UFO was #9.  I decided not to - it wasn't one of the first projects I pulled out, so I trucked along with my plans which included #4 and #8 on my list.

Low and behold, what number does Judy pull this month, but #8 - my Rainbow Dreams quilt which I completed yesterday.  So, I'm taking this as a sign that I should join in.  I'll swap 8 and 9, and #8 is my finish for May.  I'll add #9 to my to-do list for June.

Check out other May finishes on Judy's blog.

Accountability Challenge - June 1

Wow.  Being held accountable for my quilting plans sure does light a fire :)  Last weekend I posted my plans/hopes for this week - what I wanted to get accomplished.  And I made real progress on that list!

1. quilt Over the Rainbow - in progress, half done the quilting
2. quilt Rainbow Dreams - Done!
3. quilt the unnamed quilt (and name it) - ready for binding, still no name.
4 label & finish binding my black & white quilt - Done!
5. label (and name) my lavender quilt - Done!

I think I'm impressed - and certainly knowing that I would be reporting today gave me some incentive to finish.  Like last night - Rainbow Dreams got bound and labeled while I watched TV, because I really wanted it off my list this week.  Check out Bari's blog to see who else is being accountable this week.

Rainbow Dreams, shown here, is all set to be donated to the local children's hospital.  That probably won't happen until September, since I missed the last guild meeting where they collect donations.  But that's OK.  Hopefully it will have some friends to take along at that point.

Below are the other 2 quilts I finished this week.  Time Flies (on top) and Contrasts (on bottom).  No pics of the tops at this point.  They have to be boxed up and sent away shortly.

What's up for next week?  I think I'll be a little less optimistic this time, since it's likely to be a busy week.

1. bind the unnamed quilt (and name it)
2. finish quilting Over the Rainbow
3. finish mystery top
4. Pick one more UFO to move forward.


That's probably enough to keep me busy.