Tuesday, 30 April 2013

April goals

The quilt retreat was wonderful! but a full report will have to wait.  First, I need to catch up on some goals, before time runs out.

A Lovely Year of Finishes challenges us to finish one project every month - and checkin before midnight on the last day with our progress.  I'd better get this done.

My goal was to make baby quilts out of my jelly roll race.  I have all 5 tops done.  The binding and final handstitching on them is May's goal.

And, Judy's "Get it Done" update is due today too.  Here were my goals for April, with progress noted
  1. make 2 quilties for guild - not done.  I have 3 tops quilted but not bound, and 5 quilt as you go just waiting to be handstitched.
  2. Quilt one more top (to be chosen) - not done. Nothing got quilted this month except the 3 baby quilts.
  3. Finish binding 3 quilts (checkerboard, ugly fabric challenge, and green geese) - 2 done, ugly fabric challenge is still waiting. 
  4. Gardener's Alphabet - complete 3 more blocks - this month's blocks (K, L) plus E - not done.
 Not such great progress this month.  And May is looking busy, so it's not promising either.  But let's try for these goals:
  1. finish 3 quilties for guild
  2. quilt a commission quit
  3. bind ugly fabric challenge in time for guild
  4. quilt the guild mystery before guild meeting
Hmm, all those goals are for early in the month.  Which is probably just as well, since the last 2 weekends of the month are already spoken for.

My button

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Off to Retreat

It's retreat time!  I leave in the morning, and I can't wait.  Everything is packed - camera, projects, tablet, more projects, and some show and tell goodies.  No photos today, as the camera was packed up before I thought to take any pictures.  And last time I tried, my tablet won't post photos.  So it could be a photo-free weekend on the blog.  But if it is, I'll make up for it when I get back!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Design Wall Monday

My design wall was pretty empty this morning, but I spent the evening sewing and here is what I have to show for it. My guild mystery quilt is complete. I even pulled out the backing fabric. And then discovered that I must have been sleeping when I bought it. I have exactly half as much fabric as I need for the quilt back :(

Fortunately, after digging in my stash closet, I have enough of another fabric which will do just as well. So I pulled that out and sewed the backing. This quilt is now readt for the long arm. It can get quilted as soon as I finish a comission quilt that is waiting for my attention. After a couple weeks dry spell, I feel inspired to
quilt again - just in time for retreat this weekend.

Monday, 15 April 2013

UFO Parade

Judy wants to know how many UFOs we have hanging around.  And ideally, she's going to encourage us to move forward on some of these projects.  So I sorted my sewing room, and hung all my UFOs along with backing, ready to quilt.  Here's what I have:

  1. Bear Paw
  2. August colour challenge (2012)
  3. Hunter's star
  4. Blue starburst
  5. Colin's quilt
  6. Building Blocks
  7. Easy Street
  8. Mexican Star
And two half-bound - checkerboard and my ugly fabric challenge.

If you click on the links, you'll see a photo of the project.  Apparently I have no picture of my Mexican Star, so I'll have to remedy that soon.

Design Wall Monday - April 15

My design wall today has the center for the Border Creek Station mystery.  I really like the blocks with blue in them. The others I'm not too sure about.  The overall effect in the photo is much more striking than I was seeing in person, however, so it will probably grow on me.  And those big pale areas will be perfect for some detailed quilting.

Other than this, I spent the weekend washing fabric.  One piece of fabric, in fact.  After 8 washes, it is still bleeding.  I had originally bought this fabric as the backing for my Dancing with the Stars quilt.  I am *so* glad I decided to use something else (some flannel batik I found).  I washed this 7 times in hot water. Then tried to set the colour with vinegar and salt.  And washed it again.  Then washed it in cold.  It is still bleeding.  Less each time, but I am getting really tired of this. 

The picture shows the colour catchers I used in most of the washes.  The last on the right is white one, never through a wash. Beside that, is the one from the cold water wash.  And the rest are from the various hot water washes prior to that. I think one more round through a cold wash
is all it gets.  Then, if it still bleeds, it will become part of a monochromatic blue quilt, with "COLD WASH ONLY" instructions.

It is a shame, because the fabric is beautiful.  And I have 7 yards of it.

Drop by Judy's blog today for more design walls.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Stash Report - April 14

I managed to get a little bit of motivation back yesterday, and spent some quality time with my sewing machine.  What do I have to show for it?  One baby quilt finished - 3 fat quarters used on that one. 

And the blocks completed for the Border Creek Station mystery.  I'm putting them together now, and then the borders need to be made this month.  Next month is the big reveal, although I think the end is pretty clear now :)

Total stash usage this year: 83 3/4 yards out

Drop by Judy's blog for more stash reports. 

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Looking for my motivation

I've been slacking on my blogging this week.  I think probably because I'm not inspired right now.  But someone pointed out that blogging creates inspiration/motivation, as much as quilting inspires blogging.  So, let's see if this works :)

I have actually been working the past couple of weeks, just not posting.  I finished the flying geese quilt, and even completed the binding on it.  The quilt is backed with a flannel batik - a lovely discovery I made just a couple of weeks ago when a local shop put some on sale.  I love it!

This quilt was inspired by a photo I saw online, which I have unfortunately lost the link to.  The assembly was really easy, and it went together quickly once I pulled it off the shelf.  For some reason, blogger has decided not to roate this picutre the right way up.  The geese are fact flying upwards, not sideways :)

If you look closely at this picture, you can see a couple of geese that I quilted into the background.  I put these in about 4 places throughout the quilt.

This was my first finish for April.  Although most of the work was done in March, I put the last stitches into the binding in April.

I have been working on my "quilt-as-you-go" redesign of my jelly roll race.  5 quilts came out of the endeavour, and now I just have to sit down with a needle & thread, and do all the hand-stitching on the sashing. Then I can bind them.  There are 2 shown here.  3 others are ready to go.

April Finishes

Saturday, 6 April 2013

April UFO plans

I've been pondering my April UFO for a week or so.  I'm not feeling inspired to quilt any of the 8 projects hanging in my closet, although I probably should tackle one of them. But, I have decided, in the interest of cleaning my sewing room a bit, to do something with this quilt.  It's a jelly roll race from a retreat last November.  I realized when it came home that I really didn't love it, and have no interest in keeping it around.  Rather than just bind it and send it out, I decided to turn it into several baby quilts, which I can donate through my guild.

Here is the first one, cut and ready to assemble. The only sticking point with this plan is - I hate doing quilt-as-you-go, which is essentially what this project turned into.  I had already quilted it before deciding I didn't like it as a large quilt.  So my cut pieces are already quilted and will have to be assembled with sashing.  Hopefully I'll be able to stick with it and complete these quilts in time for donating at guild this month.

I'm linking up my plans at A Lovely Year of Finishes

Friday, 5 April 2013

On the needles - April 5

I've been under the weather for a few days.  How do I know I've been sick?  I haven't touched my quilting since Monday!  Home from work for 2 days, and not a single stitch taken.  I'm feeling better today (and back at work) but hopefully this weekend will see some sewing.

I did cast on a new knitting project yesterday.  These are my socks for Judy's pooling sock challenge - although I don't think they are going to work out.  I get random stripes.  I increased the rows and managed to turn it into diagonal striping for a section.  A few more stitches and I think now I have vertical stripes.  I think the yarn colouration is too regular for good pooling, but I'll keep knitting and see where it goes.

That leads to a question I have for any knitters who read my blog.  When I wind my yarn off the skein, I end up with serious twisting in it, as it comes off the ball.  This might not be a problem if I was knitting off one end of the yarn, but knitting 2 socks I have both ends running, and the twists are counter to each other so I can't just hang the work down and let them untwist.  Am I doing something wrong (winding in the wrong direction?). Or is it that I don't have a yarn swift?  Or am I just doomed to dealing with this?

Monday, 1 April 2013

Design Wall Monday & Back to Square One Mystery

My design wall today has 3 blocks from my Block Party quilt.  I delivered the fabric and instructions to everyone last weekend.  I should get 11 blocks back from the rest of the group, plus the one I picked up that day.  And then I want to make 4 more, to make the quilt 4x4 blocks.  3 down, 2 to go.  I can't wait to see what everyone else has done.

The other block on my wall is a poor little circle attempt.  Still waiting for friends and a better job of sewing.

Today is also the 1st of April, so I'm linking up to Judy's Back to Square One mystery posting.  I showed this a few weeks ago, when I finished the last clue.  This month we are working on a pieced border, so lots of sewing to do.

Drop by Judy's blog for more design walls.