Sunday, March 31, 2013

March goals/April plans

In March I had planned these goals:
  1. I'll quilt 2 of my tops (specific quilts to be determined).  
  2. Sticking with my goal to make quilties every month, I'll make 2 quilties for guild (I have 2 tops, so I'll get them quilted and bound by mid-month).  
  3. And finally, I want to finish the Hunter's Star quilt that I just started.  Maybe actually get it done before it adds to my pile of UFOs waiting for time on the long arm.
  4. 2 more Gardener's Alphabet blocks - finish H, plus 2 more - no cheating next month :)
So, how did I do?
  1. Quilted and bound - Dancing with the Stars.  Quilted and half the binding done - green geese. So not quite complete, but almost.
  2. three quilties delivered to guild - goal complete (over achieved, even)
  3. Hunter star top pieced (but not quilted)
  4. Gardener's Alphabet H, I, J complete and E started - goal complete!

Not too bad.  I got almost all of my goals done, and it's feeling really good.  I'm glad Judy setup this challenge - no way I'd be as far on the Gardener's Alphabet or my monthly finishes, without this push every month.  I just hate to see a goal sit unfinished :)
For April, my goals continue to trend along the same lines.
  1. make 2 quilties for guild
  2. Quilt one more top (to be chosen)
  3. Finish binding 3 quilts (checkerboard, ugly fabric challenge, and green geese)
  4. Gardener's Alphabet - complete 3 more blocks - this month's blocks (K, L) plus E
Drop by Judy's blog to see how everyone else did with their goals this month.

Stash Report - March 31

Apparently it was a busy week here.  I'm glad I wrote this information down as I did it, because I would have forgotten that I did these quilts this week.  I made 3 baby quilts & paired them up with backing for quilting (one is even quilted). 

3.5 yards - 3 baby quilts
3 yards - backing for 3 baby quilts


That's 6 1/2 yards used this week.


Total stash usage this year: 83 yards out

Drop by Judy's blog for more stash reports. 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Pooling sock yarn

Judy loves sock yarn that pools in random patterns when she knits.  I'm more of a regular stripe type (I think it's the engineer in me).  But I thought I would jump on board with Judy's latest challenge.  Knit a pair of socks with yarn that pools.  Best socks will win a gift certificate for The Loopy Ewe.  How could I pass it up?

So, I checked my few skeins of yarn for the one I thought would pool best, and pulled it out.  First, a calendar shot - no pulling out a pair of socks already knit, so here's proof they weren't started yet (that calendar says March 2013, if you enlarge the photo).  The yarn is Wollmeise Pure, in colour Zenzi.

And here it is before I wound it - I'm hoping that those darker segments will be ripples between the pools of light yarn.

And finally, all wound up and ready to go.  Now to figure out how to fit in a full pair socks in the next 3 months, in between all my quilting projects.  I think those are the needles I'm going to use, but I still need to swatch the yarn to check. If they are too small, I need to finish my current pair of socks before I can start these.

I'm linking up my photo over at Judy's Pooling Yarn post.



Friday, March 29, 2013

March Finish

My UFO for March is officially complete! I guess this quilt wasn't really a UFO, since the block of the month just ended in February.  But, without some goal to get it done this month I'm sure it would have ended up as a UFO - and it is just too pretty to do that. 

Feathers quilted in the outer border (and one disaster, caused by careless unsewing, repaired).  Diamonds in the yellow border. And the rest of the blocks are done with stitch in the ditch, because I didn't want to mask the stars themselves. 

I'm linking up at Sew Bitter Sweet March finishing party.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Design Wall Monday - March 25

Here's a quick peak at what's on my design wall this morning. The wall actually went through several variations over the weekend, some of which I forgot to take a picture of. On the left side of this photo is a block for a new quilt I'm thinking about.  It didn't work out too well - lots of tucks - so I'll try again and see if I can figure out what went wrong, other than the fact that it's a circle.


I worked on my Border Creek Station mystery on Saturday, and finally finished up the March clue.  Just in time for next month.  I pulled out my guild mystery yesterday, determined to fix my mistake from the month before.  Apparently reading is a challenge and rather than making 12 blocks (leaving me with the bits to make 9 alternate blocks last month), I made 21 all the same.  So I had to unstitch and redo 9 blocks before I could get started on this month's clue.  That is all done, but unfortunately I folded it all up and put it away before thinking to get the camera out.  So photos will have to wait until next month.


Then, I pulled some fabric that's been sitting around, and put together some baby quilts.  First, a design from Batik Gems.  Done in oriental fabrics instead of batiks, and it's a little baby one.  I can't quite call it a miniature, but it's about 1/6 size of the original design.  Now that I know what I'm doing, I have fabric for a larger version in batiks.

Then I took 4 blocks from one of my BOM projects, and decided to turn them into a quiltie.  It's a bit odd, but hopefully someone will like the cheerful colours.

And the final pieces of my charm pack that I made 2 quilties from last month.  I have now put together this nickel brick quilt, thus satisfying 3 goals in one project - finish the charm pack, make a quiltie for next month's guild meeting, and make a nickel brick quilt.

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

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Stash Report - March 24

After I got Dancing With the Stars off the long arm, I loaded up my next quilt.  So that means another backing this week, for 5 yards. And 3/4 yards used for binding on Dancing with the Stars.  Finishing UFOs is really good for my stash numbers :)

This is the next one I'm going to quilt.  Not sure exactly what the plan is, other than I want to highlight the geese in some way.

Total stash usage this year: 76 1/2 yards out

Drop by Judy's blog for more stash reports.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Fixed!

And finished. Well, almost - just the binding left to go.

Dancing with the Stars has a repaired border, has been back on the long arm, and is now off.  All quilting complete!  I'm pretty happy with the fix.  I thought about mending the hole - received several suggestions on ways to do that - but decided I would always see it.  And because the feathers are so open, I was afraid that the mend would be in one of the big open spaces - leaving it subject to fraying down the road.

I decided my best option was to un-sew a bit more, and cut out a rectangular section of border.  I replaced about a 1 1/2" wide section with a new border section, stitched the borders back together, and quilted it.  If you look closely, the piece is visible, but I think if you aren't looking for it, it's not obvious.  And I'm confident that this section will stand up to use just as well as the rest of the quilt.


Now, on to binding!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Oh No!

I was happily quilting along on my Dancing with the Stars quilt.  Finished all the blocks, and did feathers on the bottom border.  I had not been happy with my feathers on the top, and after doing the bottom I decided that I needed to re-do the quilting on the top border to match - the feathers were much better shaped on the bottom border.

So I rolled the quilt back up, and started picking stitches. And in the process - I put a hole in my quilt :(  Just a little tiny one, but visible, and I know that it will always bother me.  If you look closely, you can see the little white dot in this picture, where the batting is showing through.  It's not even a slit that could be quilted together - I managed to actually remove a piece of the fabric.

I thought about appliqueing something over it, but it would just look out of place.  So, now I have to repair the border.  Fortunately there's fabric left.  It was supposed to be for binding, but I'll deal with that after I fix the quilt - there might be enough to do both.

Now to decide how much further I have to unstitch, to fix this.  I could cut a triangle and piece a section in from the edge, and not have to undo any more stitching. Or I can  replace a full segment of border - but that means un-stitching the yellow border too.  Which opens up more opportunity to mess it up.

I am so annoyed with myself.  For now, it's going into my sewing room and I'll ponder the options for a couple of days.  I think this is going to be a weekend project to fix, not an evening, so I have 2 or 3 days to think about it.

Update!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Design Wall Monday - march 18

Lots of quilting was done this weekend, but not much of it ended up on my design wall.  What I have up today is a set of 4 blocks from one of my BOM - they may become a baby quilt for donation. 

And part of this month's Border Creek Station mystery, on the right.  Lots of sewing this month (and I'm not done yet), but at least things are starting to form up into blocks.  This is 1/4 of the blocks I made so far.

Drop by Patchwork Times for more design walls today.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Stash Report - March 17

As I mentioned the other day, I made the backing for Dancing with the Stars, and loaded it on the long arm.  That's a nice chunk of fabric used, and I'm even making progress with the quilting.  In addition to that, I put the binding on the ugly fabric quilt - now I just have to do the hand-sewing to fasten it down to the back of the quilt.

Binding for ugly fabric challenge - 1/2 yard
Backing for Dancing with the Stars - 6 yards

Used this week - 6 1/2 yards

Total stash usage this year: 70 3/4 yards out

Drop by Judy's blog for more stash reports. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

March Mid-Month Check In


It's March 15th already, so I thought I would give an update on my goals for this month.
  • I'll quilt 2 of my tops (specific quilts to be determined).  
    • This may have been a bit optimistic - but I think I can swing it.  I quilted my ugly fabric quilt, and the wall warmer.  Those weren't ones I had in mind (I was hoping to get 2 large quilts done this month), but I may take credit for them anyway.  I can change the rules, right? 

      In addition to this, I loaded up Dancing with the Stars on the long arm.  And this is why I think I'm going to have to adjust this goal - this quilt is going to take me at least 20 hours, at the rate I'm going. So unless I get really productive this weekend, it won't be done soon enough to load up another quilt on the long arm.

      Dancing with the Stars is also my March UFO for the UFO challenge - A Lovely Year of Finishes.  So I really want to complete it this month.
  • I'll make 2 quilties for guild 
    • Done, and more. Four quilties made (here and here) - quilted and bound - and ready to donate on Wednesday. 
  • finish the Hunter's Star quilt
    • Top done.  Backing purchased.  If Dancing with the Stars gets done, this will be next.
  • 2 more Gardener's Alphabet blocks
    • Block H done, I started.  There's hope :)

It looks like it could be a quilty weekend for me.  I'm on vacation today, and took a run down to a nearby town to check out some quilt shops I've never been to.  Tomorrow is Worldwide Quilting Day (and my LQS is all set with a fabulous sale).  Plus it's the day for my monthly Block Party at the LQS. There's a virtual quilt-a-thon going on this weekend.  And Sunday is Virtual Quilting Day over at the Quilting Board.  If I was being good, I'd spend all this lovely quilting time working on Dancing With the Stars.  But I anticipate many breaks in that project, so there should be some piecing activity this weekend, too.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Another Finish

I finished binding 2 more of my little quilts yesterday. First, the second charm-pack quilt - same as the first except that the backing and binding are different colours.

And, I finished the quilt for my "cold wall" - just in time for spring :)  There was a lot of angst among my readers when I mentioned that I would be cutting a hole in this quilt, in order to allow access to the plugs. Lots of suggestions were made, but given where this is - in the narrow strip under a window in the family room - turning it into a design wall wasn't an option.  I have had a quilt pinned up here for about a year - ever since I messed up the insulation when I ran some wires for my TV.  So, I just wanted to replace that with something nicer - that fit, and that wouldn't stick out from the wall because of all the wires behind it.  The floor vent is right there, and when the quilt pulls forward, all the heat goes up behind it, kind of defeating the purpose.

So, I made my quilt, gathered my courage, and sliced a little rectangle in it last night.  My binding efforts need work - I have now  looked up how to bind an inside corner and may unstitch that whole mess before long.  But for now, my neutral quilt (sort of) blends into the wall, and I can access the plugs.

Linking up at Needle and Thread Network and Freshly Pieced

Monday, March 11, 2013

3 Down...

3 to go.  Binding is sewn down on 3 baby quilts from my latest quilting blitz.  Three more quilts to go, and then I can move on.  I have promised myself that I will finish the binding on all of these before I start anything else - even if 'starting something' means finishing another UFO.

This is one of two quilts I made from a charm pack and candy that I got as a "bonus" in a fabric purchase last month.  I still have about 1/2 of the charm pack left, so another quilt is awaiting my attention.


I made this twisted log cabin last November, at retreat.  The blocks are made without any paper piecing, and I love the way it came out.  Not sure I have the patience to make a bigger quilt, but I would like to try so it's on the list.

I think the backing for this is just perfect.  I've had this fabric in my stash for a few years, and the colours matched this quilt perfectly.

And finally this poor quilt - a true UFO, it was a mystery table topper from sometime last year.  It's been waiting to have the binding sewn down for a long time now - so long in fact that I didn't recognize it when I pulled it out.

These 3 quilts will all go to guild next week, for the children's hospital - exceeding my goal of 2 for this month.

In addition to this, I managed to finish a block for my Gardener's Alphabet embroidery quilt.  I was inspired during embroidery club yesterday and finished the block when I got home.  It was a hard choice to sit down with binding tonight, because I really want to get started on the next block.  But, that falls under 'starting something new' so it will have to wait another day or two.


ADDED:  Many people have asked about the twisted log cabin pattern. I found the block tutorial here.  I'll write more about my efforts soon (I tweaked it a bit), but the instructions on that link are very good.


I'm linking up at Judy's Design Wall Monday today, although this is more of a Display Floor, I guess.
And linking up at Such a Sew and Sew for the March Finishes linky party.
March Finishes

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Stash Report

I've been busy this week finishing some small quilts, so that I can load up one of my big UFOs for quilting.  That means, lots of fabric to report.  Backing and binding for 5 quilts:

stacked blocks - 1 1/2 yards backing, 1/2 yard binding
twisted log cabin - 1 yard backing, 1/4 yard binding
Ugly fabric challenge - 1 yard backing,
neutral quilt - 1 yard backing, 1/2 yard binding

Total - 5 3/4 yards out this week

Tomorrow I'll have pictures of some of these, if I get the binding sewn today.

Total stash usage this year: 64 1/4 yards out

Drop by Judy's blog for more stash reports. 


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

March UFO

I dropped by the sale at the LQS today.  They are having a 5th anniversary sale on the 5th of every month this year.  Today was batting & backing, so now I'm set with supplies for 5 quilts that need to be finished.  Only question is - which one first.  I really want to get this one quilted, before it becomes a long term UFO, so I think I'll load it up first (after I finish the quilties for the month).

I hope to finish a second one this month, too, but this will do for a start.  I'm linking up at a Lovely Year of Finishes, with my March goal.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Design Wall Monday - March 4

It's the first Monday of the month, and that means this past weekend was Block of the Month weekend in my sewing room.  I pulled all my current BOMs from the various sites, and spent some quality time in my sewing room with them.


The big star is the Back to Square One Medallion mystery.  The center medallion is now done, as far as I can tell.  So next month we should start the various border treatments for it.  Under that is the block for my Block Party this month.  It's just waiting for next weekend so that I can deliver it. In addition to that, I have 3 other BOMs on the wall.  The full list of what I'm working on is here.  I haven't picked up my "local" BOMs yet - I'll do that sometime this week and hopefully get them done next weekend.

There is one other BOM - a mystery for my quilt guild.  I am avoiding pulling it out this month because apparently I can't read.  I was supposed to make 12 blocks last month.  And this month the remaining pieces will make 9 with reverse colouring.  However, I made 21 blocks last month - which means I will be unsewing 9 of them :(

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

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Stash Report - March 3

I pushed through last night, and finished the last borders on my Hunter's Star quilt.  I do admit that the thought of being able to report all that fabric as used had something to do with my dedication in getting it done :)

At 75" square, the quilt is a little bit smaller than I had hoped - but I was once again working with a limited amount of fabric, so I sized the quilt as necessary to avoid running out completely.  It used 7 1/2 yards of fabric.

When I posted the beginning of this quilt last week, lots of people asked about the ruler. So I thought I'd include a quick pic & summary today.  I used the "Rapid-Fire Hunter's Star" ruler.  There are 2 of them - one for large blocks (6-12" I think) and a Petite Star for smaller blocks (5-8").  The instructions are included, and are very clear.  Everything in this quilt is strip pieced, and there are no Y-seams.  And even better, you never  have to cut a single diamond.

Now that my quilt is done and I look more closely at the ruler, I see that the different size blocks will actually make slightly different looks.  The 8-pointed stars are the same size for each block size on one ruler - what changes is the spacing between them.  I think a 5-inch block may be on my list soon, so I can see the variation it gives (this quilt is 8" blocks).

Stash usage this week - 7 1/2 yards

Total stash usage this year: 58 1/2 yards out

Drop by Judy's blog for more stash reports.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

More borders

Why do I do this to myself?  Another quilt with 6 borders.  I know it will look lovely when it's done, but this is the 3rd day of border work and I'm ready to be finished.  One and half borders to go on my Hunter's Star quilt.