Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Design Wall Monday

My design wall hasn't changed very much since last time I posted it. A few more blocks put together, but steam has run out since I've given up on having this done for the guild meeting.  I will keep plugging away, and then cut some more blocks since I found some more of the fabric I needed for it.

I've started a hand-piecing project that is keeping me busy in front of the TV. This is bad news for my embroidery projects, but I'm loving this one.  I picked up a fellow guild members UFO a few weeks ago - she had all the charms cut and a few of the apple cores basted for this quilt.  And she was selling it off (along with some other UFOs she was clearing out). For $3, including all the fabric and the papers, I could not resist - an apple core quilt has been on my bucket list for years.

The original fabrics are very traditional, and there are only enough for a wall hanging (about 100 pieces), so I pulled a bunch more in matching colours from my stash in more modern designs.  I hope that will spruce it up a bit.

I wrote this up and posted it. And it wasn't until I went looking for the Design Wall Monday post on Judy's blog that I realized it is in fact Tuesday today.  Early in the week, and I've already lost a day :)

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Glorious and Free

Finished another quilt this week.  I've been telling myself to move this one up the list for a while, since it was promised to Quilts of Valour (Canada).  Quilted it a few weeks ago, and finally dug it out of the binding pile and finished it this week. Just in time for show and tell at guild on Wednesday (literally - I finished stitching the binding, threw it in the car and headed to the meeting).

The pattern was designed by Brandy Lynn Designs (Quilter on Fire), specifically for Quilts of Valour. I'm thrilled to have made one to donate.

To finish it off, I designed a pantograph of maple leaves for the quilting design.

Linking up with WIPs be Gone today. And when the time comes, I'll link with the Q2 Finish Along reports, because this quilt was on my Q2 list.
Also linking up with One Monthly Goal, as this quilt was my goal for April.

Thursday, 21 April 2016


Allietare is done!  I finally finished sewing the binding on this quilt, and tried it out on my bed.  It fits almost perfectly, and I think will make a great spring/fall quilt.  I love the way the borders came out, with the brown tucked in there and then used for the binding. I decided not to do the scalloped border that Bonnie had on hers - partly due to "I don't wanna do that"  inertia, and partly because I like a square edge on my bed quilts.

This is the first time I made a full-sized Bonnie Hunter mystery, and I'm really glad I did. I quilted it with the "Tickle Too" pantograph which is light and airy, with a few spirals thrown in.  The quilt is busy enough that I thought it did not need any detailed quilting.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Stash Report - April 17

There hasn't been a lot of finishing going on here this week. Lots of longarming - but mostly for customers and charity, which I don't get to count. 

A little bit went out since my last stash report, however. I quilted Glorious and Free, so the backgin for that went out. And Ascension was quilted, which is another (tiny) backing. This is just a little wall hanging, so it didn't use much.  But it needs to be done, before the end of this month so it can go into the quilt show.

Glorious and Free backing - 3 yards
Ascension - .5 yards

And of course my shopping trip from Friday brought in fabric. - 5.5 yards to finish 3 quilts. I'm hoping to finish at least one of these quilt tops this week, so I might have more to say for my next stash report.

2016 totals:
75 1/4 yards in
101 3/4 yards out
Total: 26 1/2 yards out
Head over to Patchworks Times today for more stash reports. 

Friday, 15 April 2016

A Successfull Day!

I went out this morning, on what I figured was a lost cause shopping trip, but I had to check. I have 2 quilts where I wish I had just a little bit more fabric.  My stars quilt, I have a beautiful border in mind, but I don't have enough of the grey fabric left to do it.  And Winding Ways really, really wants to be a double bed size, and right now it might stretch to a twin.  I am completely out of the black fabric.

So, I packed up a bag this morning with the fabric I wanted, plus a couple of other options for Stars, just in case.  I knew that was a long shot, because the kit is at least 3 years old. But it's Jenny Beyer fabric, so I hoped it might be one of her staples.  I headed out to the shop that I know stocks a good selection of Jenny's fabric, and started to peruse the shelves. And there it was!  A bolt of exactly teh fabric I need, in what looks like a perfect dye lot match. Just in case, I'll make sure to separate the new fabric from the old by a border, but I have plenty now to finish both Houses and Stars with the borders I wanted.

Then I started to look for the black - and realized that I packed the wrong fabric :( But I'm pretty sure I remember what it looked like, so I had a look around. No luck there, but striking gold on the Jenny Beyer was good enough for me. I headed into town to quilt shop number 2 - where I struck out completely. I was also looking for a particular thread colour, and I did find something kind of close for that, but not perfect. 

So, I figured one more stop would not hurt, and headed a bit further into town to quilt shop #3.  Found the PERFECT thread match. And then checking out their blacks I found what looked like exactly what I needed. I grabbed the bolt, ignored the fact that their sale starts tomorrow (no way I'm risking someone coming in and buying this out from under me), and headed to the cutting table. Where I stood in line, admiring my find, and started to wonder if I was as sure as I thought I was.  So when my turn came, I mentioned my uncertainty - and discovered the joys of a quilt shop that is completely electronic in their inventory. She looked up my Christmas purchases (I knew that I bought the fabric over the holidays when building my stash, but I could not remember which store), and found the exact bolt in her records.  So, 3 meters came home and Winding Ways gets to grow up.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Scraptastic Tuesday

It's Scraptastic Tuesday again, and I have a couple of little projects to show you today.  I worked on two scrappy projects this past weekend, and I think both of them are going to see some more friends, when I get back into my sewing room.

At the retreat, two workshops were presented, both of which I figured I could easily do from my scrap bins. The first was placemats. These are made from 2.5" strips of fabric and 1.5" strips of leftover batting. Perfect!  I have so many batting strips around my room, I was thrilled to have a way to use them up.  I grabbed a handful of blue & beige fabric strips from my 2.5" bin, and a bunch of batting to take with me. I figured I had enough for at least a couple of placemats, to get me started. Well, apparently I don't judge fabric amounts very well. I had enough to make this one placemat, with a few bits & pieces left over.  I do like the result, and I figure I can pull out some more fabric and make a few more of these pretty quickly. I still need to bind the top and bottom of this one.

The second project was an itty bitty quilt.  Using 1.5" squares, we made a little 24" quiltie for a baby.  The workshop included information about Joan Ford's fusible sheets for assembling tiny squares - I can't get her website to work however, so I can't find it online to show you those either.  The 9-patches in this baby quilt was made from 1.5" strips, rather than individual squares.  Again, it used a lot more fabric than I expected - pretty much all the purple I took with me was used up.    So a few more of these might appear, out of my 1.5" strip bin.  Or maybe a larger one. Making the little 9-patches was fun.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Post-retreat collapse

This always happens to me. I go to a retreat, and I sew my fingers off. And visit with people, make new friends, have tons of laughs.  But I always manage to sew myself right to the edge of exhaustion (ok, only getting 5 hours sleep a night doesn't help).  So now I'm back from retreat, and avoiding my sewing room for a little while.

However, I had a fantastic time, and got a ton of stuff done.  I challenged myself before I left to do all the workshop projects while I was there - piled my scraps into a bag so I was ready for that.  And I did it!  One little quilty, made from 1.5" squares.

And a placemat, made from 2.5" strips and leftover batting strips (cool, I have LOTS of leftover batting)

I finished a top - only the borders were left to do, but I've been avoiding it for quite some time. This is Reflections of the North (Winter) by Sherry Hisey.

And I finished paper piecing all of my houses and stars for Downtown.  I knew from the beginning that I didn't want this to be a single quilt - I could not get my head around the combination. So now  I have a star quilt.

And a house quilt.

They both still need borders. I cut most of my scraps into 2.5x5" bricks for a piano key border around the stars. I think I need something in between the cornerstones and piano keys however, and I'm a bit short on bricks (I'll know how much too short once I figure out what the filler piece is).

The house quilt will get a 2" grey border, and then something more to finish it off. Again I'm not sure, but the hope is that everything comes out of the leftovers from the original kit.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Retreat Time!

Retreat weekend with no internet :(  Finally got connected so I thought I'd share some photos of what I've been up to.

First, I finished my Reflections of the North top.  Only 3 years or so in the making :)  I finished the center at my last retreat, then looked at the border instructions (218 half-square triangles) and put it away.  So, it was project number one at this weekend's retreat.  I finished the borders, and the quilt is now ready to go searching for backing.

Then, I pulled out my paper piecing project.  Downtown has been in progress for some time, and it consists of paper pieced houses (24) and stars (13). However, I was never too fond of the layout, even when I first started the project.  So I decided that it will be two quilts - one with 12 stars (yay, one less star to make :) ) and one with 24 houses.

Both tops are almost done now, so I should be able to call this a successful completion by the end of the weekend.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Q2 Finish Along Plans

It's time to make some grandiose plans for Q2.  My Q1 plans went pretty well - all but 3 projects were completed.  That's 11 finishes, plus a few that weren't on the list (I think my count for Q1 so far is 16 finishes).  So for next quarter, I'm going all out, so that those "extra" projects I pull in on a whim are actually on my list this time.

First, my in-progress projects - these are ones that have not yet reached the quilting/binding stages, so they are the biggest stretch for finishing this quarter.
  1. Winding Ways - this is for a colour challenge, and is due at guild in May, so there is incentive to get it done.
  2. Ascension - another colour challenge, different guild, and also due for early may. It's ready for quilting and is pretty small so should not be a challenge to finish
  3. Blackford's Beauty   - my block of the month.  I should get my blocks back in April, so finishing the top & quilting it this quarter should be do-able
  4. Merry Mayhem New Year's Day mystery
  5. Northern Reflections

From my "to be quilted" list, I want to finish at least 2 per month which would be 6 this quarter.  I'm putting a bunch on the list though - some are quick & easy, others want more time/detailed quilting. Which ones I do will depend on my attitude of the day when my quilting day rolls around :)  And if the world smiles on me, they might all get done.
  1. turquoise &; brown rectangles
  2. turquoise & brown diamonds 
  3. turquoise & brown baby quilt 
  4. Building Blocks
  5. Easy Street - Bonnie Hunter 2012 mystery
  6. Glorious and Free 
  7. Brights baby quilt
  8. Tell it to the Stars - Judy Laquidara 2014 mystery
  9. One Block Wonder 
  10. Giant Scrappy Swoon 
  11. disappearing hour glass #3
  12. Baby Reflections
Photos below are in the order listed.

And my binding projects:
  1. 2 disappearing hour glass quilties
  2. Kaffe stripes quilty
I can't find in progress pics of any of these, so here they are waiting for binding:

Monday, 4 April 2016

Design Wall Monday - April 4

I had a pretty productive week. My design wall is coming along - more than 1/2 the blocks are made for my winding ways quilt. And it didn't even take a whole movie to do the latest row, so I must be getting faster at this.  Initially it was more than an hour per block, but I'm well under that now. 

I like how this is coming together. It's too bad I missed the deadline for the quilt show, but I think getting it finished in time for that might have been pushing my luck anyway.

This is the project I worked on at my retreat on Saturday.  This is from a local shop hop last summer, and they are all scenes of local landmarks.

No sewing on this one yet - it's all raw edge applique, and so far I've just been sticking the bits to the background with Steam-a-seam.n  Once it's done and I figure out how I want to put it together, I'll quilt it around all the pieces and kill two birds with one stone - attaching the applique and quilting in one step.

I also got some longarm work done today.  2 Victoria's Quilts projects done, and one for Quilts of Valour. Just need to bind all 3 of these.  I was playing with some new pantographs for my longarm. First, Flying Paisley, on the quilt with paisley fabric. That seemed fitting.

Then some butterflies and flowers on the (panel) garden wreath quilt.

And for Quilts of Valour (Canada) - a maple leaf, quilted in maple leaves. It's my own design for this pantograph. it's more detailed than I realized when I created it, but I love the way the leaves came out.

I don't think I was smart enough to cut binding for this one when I made it, so I'll have to go digging tomorrow and see what I can find in the stash to bind.  There might be some of one of the fabrics left, if I can track it down.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

A quick project

Look what I made the other day!  It's an iron caddy, so that I can carry my iron to retreats/workshops - and back home again even if it's still hot.

Lined with heat resistant fabric, with a layer of insulbrite inside, it should keep the heat from the iron safely away from everything else.

This was truely a 1-day project.  I decided Thursday night that I needed one, to take to a day retreat on Saturday.  Friday morning I looked up patterns, and found this one.  Made a phone call to make sure I could get the fabric I needed (Yes, Fabricland carries it) and headed out mid-morning.  OK, I'll admit this was not a cheap venture. If I'd waited for a sale day, it might have been better - the heat-resistant fabric & insulbrite & batting cost me $40. But I got enough to make 2 caddies from that.

I came home from my shopping trip, dug a fabric out of my stash for the outside of the bag, and did some cutting. Being one to like shortcuts, I layered all 4 fabrics and cut the overall size through all of them at once. Worked great. A few pins, a quick trip through the sewing machine to stitch the layers together, and it was ready for binding.

Found a nice contrasting fabric in my stash to use for handles and binding. I love the turquoise colour, but I cut this one close. Once I cut the handles out, I had enough left for 2 strips of binding.  They fit - but just barely, and the final join in the binding is a straight join rather than angled. But who's going to know, right?  I won't tell if you won't :)  I also made a minor mistake with the positioning of the elastics for closures.  I may end up moving them later, but for now close counts.

This caddy used a total of 1 yard of fabric. And binding for Allietare, which I cut out and attached before my shopping trip, used 3/4 yards.
total out this week - 1 3/4 yards, and nothing in (not counting the shopping trip since that's not quilting fabric that came home)

2016 totals:
69 3/4 yards in
98 1/4 yards out
Total: 28 1/2 yards out
Head over to Patchworks Times today for more stash reports. 

Saturday, 2 April 2016

One Monthly Goal for April

It's time to think about a goal for next month. Last month worked out well - I challenged myself to finish Giraffe Abstractions, and that one was done with time to spare.

So what's on the list for this month?  There's the easy choice - Ascension, which is due for a quilt show and has to be handed off before the end of this month. But it's just a tiny little thing, and it's going to get done anyway, so additional incentive in the form of this challenge is not necessary.

Then there is Winding Ways.  Also due for early May, but I'm going to miss the reveal meeting anyway, so the need to get it done is sort of falling off. And it's a real push to get it finished for this month - not sure that's where I'm going to want to spend my energy.

However, I think Glorious and Free should be my choice for April. This quilt is for Quilts of Valour (Canada), and I did make a promise about completing it when I received the pattern. So, my One Monthly Goal for April is to finish (quilted, bound, and ready to send off) this quilt.  And then maybe start a new one :)

Friday, 1 April 2016

April UFO Challenge

This is my "retreat bag". I've been keeping a couple of projects in here, and dragging them with me to each retreat I go on, in an effort to make some progress on these.  In there are Northern Reflections, which just needs borders, Kaffe stripes, which has a ton of cutting left to do (and my hand hurts just thinking about it), and at least one piece of Merry Mayhem's mystery I see lying on top.   Next week, when I head out to my retreat, I'll pack this bag up along with my sewing machine, and I'm set for projects for the weekend.  Maybe I'll toss in houses & stars (a paper piecing project) just to round out the package. It helps me avoid starting a new project at the retreat because I can't figure out what to take :)

It's time for this month's UFO roundup, so here goes.

At the beginning of March I had the following projects:
10 in progress
7 planned but not started
20 to be quilted
7 to be bound

I finished 5, started 3 new, and moved a number through the process this past month.  I also realized that I overestimated how many of my disappearing hour-glass quilties actually got quilted. One has been bumped back into the "to be quilted" list, since I found the flimsy today. As of today, I now have:

12 in progress (oops, that's a step backwards)
7 planned but not started
18 to be quilted
5 to be bound

5 completed this past month (year to date - 16 finishes)

I seem to keep making new "UFOs in training", but so far this year the finishes outstrip the starts, so progress is being made in the right direction.

The detailed list for this month, so I can keep track of where I am :)

In progress:

  1. Reflections of the North
  2. Scrappy pineapple
  3. Row by row 2015
  4. Edge of 17 shop hop quilt
  5. Kaffe stripes
  6. Patchwork Year 
  7. Gardener's Alphabet
  8. Merry Mayhem
  9. Houses & Stars 
started this month
  1. WindingWays
  2. Ascension - to be quilted
  3. Blackford's Beauty (Block Party)
Planned (fabric bought and/or collected)
  1. recipe wall hanging
  2. drunkards path variation
  3. Christmas wreath
  4. Christmas reindeer
  5. two cityscapes/panels
  6. ombre flying geese (leftovers from Spectrum) 
  7. Jeans quilt
to be quilted
  1. Building Blocks - 2012
  2. Easy Street - Bonnie Hunter 2012 mystery
  3. Turquoise Trails - 2013
  4. Labyrinth - 2013
  5. Rainbow Explosion - 2014
  6. Brights baby quilt - April 2014
  7. Tell it to the Stars - Judy Laquidara 2014 mystery
  8. Block of the Week
  9. turquoise &; brown rectangles
  10. turquoise & brown diamonds 
  11. turquoise & brown baby quilt
  12. One Block Wonder #2
  13. Border Creek Station mystery (started Oct 2014)
  14. one-fabric quilt
  15. baby reflections 
  16. Glorious and Free
  17. giant scrappy swoon
  18. Disappearing hour glass #3

to be bound
  1. Stonehenge 
  2. 2 disappearing hour glass quilties
  3. Kaffe stripes quilty
  4. Allietare - Bonnie Hunter 2015 - quilted march 26, 2016
Done this month
  1. disappearing 9-patch quilty - Done March 9
  2. quiltbug.com mystery - Done march 9
  3. Mexican star - Done March 12
  4. Giraffe Abstractions by Violet Craft - Done march 22, 2016
  5. Flowers in my Windows - 2014 New Year's Eve mystery - Done March 26, 2016