Sunday, 31 May 2015

Stash Report - May 31

I don't have any finishes to report this week, after getting distracted by my new project at the beginning of the week. But I do have 3 backings out today. I'm heading off to try out a new longarm which just arrived at my local quilt store, and I pulled 3 small quilts from my pile for it.   That's 4.5 yards worth of backings that will be used today.

Stash totals for the year:
91 yards in
150 1/2yards out
Total: 59 1/2 yards out

Drop by Judy's blog to see more stash reports.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Design Wall Monday - May 25

My design wall was empty  most of the day, but I came home from my guild meeting inspired (as usual). So I pulled some fabric for a quilt I saw in the book "Modern Rainbow".  Cut some strips and stuck them up on the wall to contemplate the arrangement.  This seems like a quick project, so I'm probably going to end up working on this one rather than the other projects I really should be doing - like my Riley Blake challenge for the Modern Guild.

I did get some other work done this weekend though. One more quilt on & off the longarm and ready for binding.  Time for a binding blitz I think, since there are 3 ready to go. This quilt is due June 10, the other 2 are due June 22, and I have one more that should get quilted and bound for June 22 also.

Drop by Judy's blog to see what everyone else was up to today.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Statsh Report - May 24

I've had a really productive week, and lots to report today.   I finsihed binding 4 little quilts (actually 9, but binding was already counted for 5 of the little ones). Finished putting the border on my guild mystery and made a backing for it.  Quilted 2 quilts on the longarm and got binding cut for one of them.  And made progress on another new/old project that's been sitting around for ages.

Here is the guild mystery and backing.  I used all the partial strips I had left - plus 15 9-patches that were extra due to a typo in the instructions - to make the backing.   The strip is intentionally off-center, even though that meant an additional 2 seams in the backing.

All those backings make my numbers look pretty good this week:

Binding - 2 quilties, 2 baby quilts - 1 yard.
backing - Kaffe quilt - 4 1/2 yards
binding - Kaffe quilt - 3/4 yards
backing - Regatta - 4 1/2 yards
Guild mystery quilt - 8 yards
backing - Guild mystery - 4 1/2 yards

Total out this week: 23 1/4 yards

Stash totals for the year:
91 yards in
146 yards out
Total: 55 yards out

Drop by Judy's blog to see more stash reports.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

A week of finishes

I decided that I needed to get a couple of quilts bound, so that I could move them out of my sewing room.  So I buckled down and put the binding on these 2 quilts. They will both be donated to Victoria's quilts, as they are the correct size for baby quilts and are backed in flannel.  Silly sideways photo. This first quilt is made from a fabric collection I picked up at a guild meeting last year.  I added just a little bit of yellow and used pretty much every scrap of the fat quarters I had.

This second quilt is a really old UFO.  I must have started it back in 2009 or so.  It was based on a design from Judy Laquidara, and it's been hanging in my closet for ages, waiting to be quilted. I finally pulled it out a few weeks ago and did the quilting in between some customer quilts. And now the binding is finally on. Now that I pull this one out again, I realize how much I like the setting. Another quilt just might be going on the list ...

Later, I was working my long arm, and I found 2 small quilts down there which I had used as samples about a year ago, to test some new designs.  So, I figured they'd better get bound too.

And then I looked in my ottoman.  It's a nice storage area, and I was using it to keep quilts in progress out of the kitties reach while they were being bound. But I knew I hadn't opened it for about a year. In there, were these 4 quilts. They are made from a jelly roll race quilt that I didn't like. So I chopped it up and made 5 little quilties for donation. One was completed ages ago, but these 4 were waiting patiently in my stack to be bound.

And finally this quilt.  It's part of a series of quilts I made from a book I bought some time ago (can't remember the name right now).  I downsized this one so that I could make it from a few fat quarters, because I wasn't sure how it would turn out. The book had less-than-stellar colour choices for all the quilts, so it was hard to tell what it would look like in the end with more definition in the piecing.  I definitely like the result, so this may become a full size quilt in the future.

For now, all 7 of these small quilties have been bound, washed, and dropped off at guild for donation to the local children's hospital.

Check out everyone's work over at WIPs Be Gone, and Link a Finish.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Design Wall Monday - May 18

I started to put the binding on 3 quilts yesterday, and picked up one that just needed hand stitching while I watched a movie last night. One quilt done!  And if I keep focused I should have 4 more binding complete this week.

In the meantime, I'm pondering my plans for the Modern Guild Fabric Challenge.  I have my Riley Blake fabrics all picked out, and I think the plan is in place.  No pictures here though, until it is done and posted on the Modern Guild page.

So, with my finished tops from yesterday, and all my binding plans, there is nothing at all on my design wall today.  But I do have one finished top to show.

This purple top is about 24" square, so will likely end up as a quiltie for donation, but first it is a sample for a quilt I've been planning since March.  One day I'll clear out some other projects and get started on that one.

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

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Stash Report - May 17

It's been an excellent week for my stash report.  I have 4 finished tops/backs to report today.  A while back I bought 5 fat quarters plus 2 yards of a particular fabric line. I've now completed 2 small tops, with one more in progress from that fabric.

I've also made a 3rd top from the turquoise/brown fabrics, and pieced a backing for one of the earlier ones.  There is still some brown fabric left in my stash (I bought WAY too much of this line, since I didn't have a plan for it at the time). I'd use the brown fabric for the backing, but I want to donate this one and the recipient insists on flannel backings, so I'll have to find something somewhat suitable in my flannel stash.

Stash totals for this week:

5 1/2 yards - backing for brown/turquoise diamonds
2 yards - chain reaction
1 1/4 yards - Irish chain quiltie
2 yards - brown & turquoise #3

Total used this week - 10 3/4 yards, and nothing came in.

Stash totals for the year:
91 yards in
122 3/4 yards out
Total: 31 3/4 yards out

Drop by Judy's blog to see more stash reports.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Oops (again)

There's a danger with working on more than one project at once. I've been finishing off two small projects, using up the ends of fabric from earlier quilts.  After I came up with my layout for the green and brown quilt, which I showed yesterday, I needed to cut some white fabric to fill it out with a border.  I looked at the piece in front of my on the cutting table, did some quick measurements, and figured out that I had JUST enough to fit, if I kept the top & bottom borders small.  So, I made my cuts, and laid the fabric out on the design wall to make sure it would fit.

Then, I proceeded to make some more blocks for my other current project - my Irish chain, with leftovers from Chain Reaction.  I found enough additional strips to make 12 more 9-patch blocks, and should therefore have enough to add another round to this quilt.  But, as I was sewing together 9-patches, I went looking for my white fabric to make the alternate blocks.  And that's when I realized what I had done earlier.  I used the white fabric from my Irish chain, to make the borders on my turquoise/brown quilt.  I had just enough fabric - but I was not supposed to use THAT fabric.  There are about 4 other pieces of white on my sewing table. But no. I picked up the white I had been using on another quilt. :(

So, I guess my Irish chain will remain small. It is the perfect size for a quiltie so I guess that's its destiny.  And the other 12 9-patch blocks with make another small quilt - using a different white fabric.

Lesson learned - FOCUS. And stop trying to do so much at once.

Friday, 15 May 2015

Layout options

I've been playing with my turqoise & brown triangles for the past couple of days.  I had 15 of them, and was struggling to find a layout that I liked for this.  The 3 by 5 arrangement just looked lopsided no matter what I did.

Pinwheels was the original plan. But it felt messy once I had it on the wall, and the pinwheels just disappeared.

 So I tried arrows to see if I like that better.  Not really - seems kind of boring. I even turned it over, since this one felt like they were flying into the ground. But that didn't work either.

So I tried a chevron/zigzag layout. Liking this better, but this is where the lopsided aspect really got to me.

I vaguely recalled tossing a triangle into the scrap bin because I had cut it down too much for the original quilt. But this quilt was using all the undersized triangles, so they were being cut down farther anyway. So, I went digging through the scrap bin.  And I found it!

One extra block made, and now I have a 4x4 layout, which is much more symmetrical.  I added some additional brown triangles to edges to complete the pattern. Then I found some white for borders, and had just enough to finish off the ends and put narrow borders top and bottom. 

I'm linking up at WIPs be Gone today

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

A little bit of everything

In an effort to find the bottom of the pile on my sewing table, I decided to buckle down yesterday and finish a couple of things. I finished a backing for one quilt.  Nothing special - I had the main backing fabric purchased earlier, but needed to widen it a bit, so I added strips of the front fabrics to add the needed width. One more into the "to be quilted" pile.

Then, I could start playing with the rest of that leftover fabric. I took some of the corner bits from my earlier quilt, added some plain triangles, and I will come up with something from these blocks. There are 15 of them, and I'm thinking a simple pinwheel layout for now.

I found backing fabric for my one block wonder quilt, and hung it up for quilting. Now I can put all those fabric scraps away, knowing they don't have an immediate purpose. And I dug out my Chain Reaction quilt.  I think I'm just going to add a wide blue border and call this one done. That should bring it up to a donation size.

The leftover 9-patch blocks from that adventure are my next project.  A little double Irish chain is in the works now.  I don't know how much fabric I have, so I'll just play until I run out.

I'm linking up at The Needle and Thread Network of Canadian bloggers today. And also check out Freshly Pieced for more fun.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Design Wall Monday - May 11

My design wall today is full of my giant scrappy swoon.  I ended up a step ahead of the quilt along this week, because I just went ahead and made all the yellow 9-patches I needed for this round.  So I guess I'll be taking a break from this quilt for a few weeks (or I could just finish it ahead of the group I guess).

Not much else going on right now, so I'd better get my head around whatever is going to be next. I need to clean up my sewing room a bit, so finishing some half-finished projects and putting away the leftover fabric is likely next on the list.

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

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Stash Report - May 10

Happy Mother's Day!  My plans for today are low key, but they do include a trip to a quilt show so I'm really looking forward to that.  We'll see next week how much damage that does to my stash report :)

This week, I dropped by the local shop to pick up some fabric for a wall hanging I have in mind.  3 yards came home with me (which is likely twice what I need, but it's only a vague plan right now and I don't want to run short).

I finished my one-block wonder this week, so I can count 4 yards out for that.  3 yards of the print, and 1 yard of the green.

Stash totals for the year:
91 yards in
112 yards out
Total: 21 yards out

Drop by Judy's blog to see more stash reports.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Friday progress

I've made some progress on my One Block Wonder quilt. Rows are coming together, and soon I will have a whole top here.  I used up every single scrap of the green fabric - I had just enough to cut 3 1.5" strips, which will be borders on the left & bottom sides.  Then I'll have to figure out if I want another border or two. Binding I hope to be able to pull from the remnants of the starting fabric.

Looking at this photo, it seems the quilt came out more square than I was planning. So that may suggest a top/bottom border arrangement this time around.

in the meantime, I've created another WIP for myself.  I found a quilt-a-long online, and am in the process of making a scrappy giant swoon quilt.  I had great hopes that this would make a dent in my scraps, but the bins seem as full as ever, despite cutting over 400 3.5" squares.

I'm linking up at WIPs Be Gone today.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

It's all about the timing

A few weeks ago, I was quilting on my longarm and I broke a needle.  Still not sure what happened - I blinked, hit the ruler, and the needle shattered into 3 pieces.  Found 2 of the pieces, and heard the third hit the floor, so at least I knew it wasn't jammed in the machine (still haven't found that elusive third piece).  But, that hit threw the timing out on the machine, just enough that thread started to break, particularly when stitching in one direction.  I pushed through the current quilt, because I had a deadline. But the next one was a pantograph that the machine now hated.  After breaking the thread 3 times in a 6" span, I decided I needed to suck it up and take the machine in for a tune up.

Fortunately, she was able to fit me right in, and I had the machine back in 2 days. And it stitches like a DREAM now.  Better than it has since I got it, in fact.  The dealer said the timing wasn't out by much, but apparently it was more than enough to completely mess with the stitching.  I'm so happy today. Two quilts completed without a single broken thread. I think that's a record for me!

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Back to it

I figured that when I retired, I would have lots of time to be a good blogger, with daily posts and lots of fun information. Apparently that's not the case. I retired on the 30th of April, and it's now May 5. Not a single post from me in the last week and a half. Oops.  I was going to blame being away last weekend, but I think if I'm honest it's just laziness :)  I've been enjoying my first week off work, and treating it like a vacation. Which I think is a good thing - I NEEDED a vacation.  But it's time for me to figure out what retirement actually looks like, and start getting some sort of schedule/plan in place.  So here I am with step 1 - getting back to blogging more regularly.

I've been plugging away at some of my active projects this week, and have moved a couple of them along.  Chain Reaction is basically done now. I need to square it up, and then decide if it wants borders. I think it does, simply to make it large enough for a donation quilt.  I had a lot of fun making this, and I'm pretty impressed with how flat all the Y-seams are lying. But it was a lot of work, and may not be on my list again any time soon.

My one-block wonder is getting closer to completion. I think this is going to be the final layout. I have to see if I have enough of the green fabric for the borders.

I'm linking up at The Needle and Thread Network today.