Wednesday, April 26, 2017
I had set aside a backing for it, but wasn't really happy with it when I pulled it out. I had the perfect colour flannel available, but wasn't sure there was going to be enough. So I washed and dried it, measured, and it was 1.5" larger than my note said the top was. Not great, but I can deal with that, I thought. So I loaded it up on the longarm, laid out the batting, and dropped the quilt top on top of it. And it was about 2" wider than the backing :(
I hated the thought of removing the whole thing from the frame, so I thought about it a bit, remembered that I had a similar colour flannel in a different pattern somewhere, and went hunting. What I found was of course that I had used that flannel on another project. But I had a 5" strip, 80" long left over - perfect! I stitched it onto the side, layered everything up again and went to town with my quilting.
Fortunately, I had thought to save some fabric with the quilt top for making binding. So I joined the strips and got the binding onto the quilt right away.
This poor quilt is finally out of the 'to be quilted' pile and into the 'to be bound' pile. Hopefully it won't spend another 4 years there.
Monday, April 24, 2017
Hop over to PatchworkTimes to see what everyone else is up to today.
Saturday, April 22, 2017
24 blocks were finished and I thought it was done. Then I realized that the blocks finish at 10", not 12", so the top was going to be a bit short of donation size. I set it aside for a while, but it lept into my retreat bag last month and I tossed some border options in with it. Assembled and bordered, it's now ready for quilting.
I like the result, and hopefully the recipient will like bright colours :) But I have confirmed one thing - the 10" ruler is about 2 rounds short of making a really good pineapple block. I would have liked the white sections to be a bit more prominent and I think 2 extra rounds might have done that for me. So my next pineapple quilt (yah, right) would be done differently.
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
It is finally finished and bound and off the sewing room floor, which is a big achievement in itself :)
Sunday, April 16, 2017
I pulled one of my usual stunts - when I put the quilt together I used every inch of fabric I had for the background. In fact, I sized the final pieces to do just that. And then I looked at it and realized I had not reserved anything for binding. So that took some thinking.
Friday, April 14, 2017
First, I made the green circle seen here, thinking that I would make 2 or 3 of these in various sizes. Well, starting with finished flying geese and trying to place them into a circle was a less-than-optimal idea. It took a lot of time, and a lot of piecing of background fabric, to make this work. So I decided there will be one circle only.
I tried a few swoops of flying geese for the rest (in this first photo, the geese are still attached in pairs, from the "4-at-a-time" flying goose method). I'm not sure I'm thrilled with the end result. The second photo has all the geese trimmed at various angles to make the swoops. But I'm not getting the feeling I was hoping for from this. So I packed it all up and I'll get it up on my design wall later and see what I can do with it.
The idea here was the geese flying into the circle. But I think I'll scrap that idea and try for general swoops across the fabric around the circle next time I pull it out.
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
I finally cut out the recipes - the challenge was figuring out how to get each recipe with enough seam allowance, since they were set very close together in the fabric. A half-yard turned out to be just enough fabric.
Then I framed them all with red, from the same collection. The next challenge was how to set them.
A friend nicely provided a red fabric for the binding, and I think that will finish this up nicely.
Monday, April 10, 2017
Unfortunately, I had a brain freeze. If you look closely, the top 2 rows are short 1 triangle each. So after I put them together and measured - to make sure the quilt was sized correctly for dontation - I thought I'd miscalculated and my quilt was too small. So I cut another 12 triangles and exteneded each row.
Then I assembled row 3, and realized that I was right initially, and it was the first row that was wrong. So, I took away all those extra triangles, added one to each of the top 2 rows, and all should be good now.
Except - I have 12 leftover triangles. So now I have another quilt to make from the scraps, but 12 isn't enough, so I need to cut some - you see where I'm going with this I'm sure. I will be more careful this time, and make a much smaller quilt (baby quilt), so I don't end up with even more leftovers.
I'm linking up with Judy's design wall Monday today. Drop by to see what everyone else is up to.
Saturday, April 8, 2017
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
I solicited lots of advice from a couple of online quilting boards (one of which I just discovered) and came up with something I love. Warning - lots of photos ahead.
The colour in this first one is off, because I was trying to get the quilting lines to show up, but it does give the overall picture of the quilt design and the quilting. There is a swirl border along 2 edges (top and right). Some peacock features and pebbles for background fill. And way more straight lines than I wanted to quilt, for the star.
And the star center.
The binding plan is to continue the "unfinished" theme - I'll bind the 2 edges near the swirl border, and face the other 2 to give them an unfinished look.
Sunday, April 2, 2017
This little quilt - 12" square - is my entry for our Modern Guild linen challenge this year. The background is linen, the flower and sunbeams are regular cotton. I wish I was a bit more creative and could have done something fancier for the design, but when I put the background together it said "rain" to me. So I decided some sunbeams shining through the clouds onto a flower would be an interesting arrangment. I call it "Rainy Days and Sun Days", although I guess the song is actually "Rainy Days and Mondays".
Friday, March 31, 2017
Thursday, March 30, 2017
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
It's been a long time since I could claim true finishes from all of my UFOs. These poor little quilties have been sitting in my sewing room, all quilted up and just waiting for binding, for at least 6 months. It's about time they got some attention, so this past week I went on a binding blitz and finished all of them (plus a couple of other projects I found buried in the stack).
The top left is leftover bits from my Kaffe Fassett handkerchief quilt. I have a ton more leftovers to use up, but this was a quick trial during a retreat last year. Sufficient for a quiltie, but not something I want to do for a large quilt. The rectangles are about 4x6" each, and the whole thing is done with partial seams to make use of irregular sized bits and pieces.
The other 3 are Disappearing Hour Glass blocks. Each is made from 2 fat quarters, and I discovered that Canadian fat quarters are perfect - two 20" squares results in a 24" block. The American fat quarter only gave me 18" squares to start with, so I had to add a small border to the finished block to bring it up to the required 24" top.
Bindings on all of these are scrappy, from my binding bin - the tub I throw those final bits of binding into when a quilt is finished. So this picture is entirely made from my stash/scraps.
Monday, March 27, 2017
This is what's on my design wall today. I was digging through my scrap bins, and found the bin of leftover bits & pieces. It contains all the partial blocks, pieced strips, and other miscellaneous bits from various quilts that I've made over the years. This particular set of fabric (if you ignore the coloured piano key sitting there) is from a star quilt I made about 3 years ago. I had enough left in each of the strips to make 5 more star points. So then the question was, what to do with 5 (rather than 8) start points.
I played around a bit; seriously considered tossing one point and using just 4 (a much easier number to make an arrangement with). Then it occurred to me to 'build' the star. I put together 4 points, 3 blank sections, and one section that is supposed to look like it is floating into place. We'll see how it looks once I have all the pieces cut out.
I am using the leftovers from another (unfinished) quilt for the background. I sure hope I didn't need any more of that. Linking up with Judy today.
Saturday, March 25, 2017
A while back I started to hang quilts in my front window. Initially, it was decoration (I have a Hallowe'en quilt, and a Christmas quilt which I put up seasonally). But customers mentioned how easy it was to find my house, when those quilts were displayed. So I contemplated the idea of a quilt for every month, or maybe more realistically for every season. But that project never seems to gain much traction. So I decided that a quick improv-pieced banner would be a good place to start.
I made the top one day at a quilt retreat. And finally got it quilted last week along with a bunch of other little projects that have been sitting around waiting for attention.
Thursday, March 23, 2017
Next step - figure out what to do with these little leftovers. 8 12" blocks won't make much of a quilt on their own.
Sunday, March 19, 2017
It didn't really work for me, because the large heart was not as visible as I had hoped it would be. But I liked hte idea, so I did some playing around on EQ with alternatives.
I spent the past 2 weeks making 9 more border blocks, 50 neutral 16-patch blocks, and 46 neutral 8-patch blocks (for the outer border). I wasn't sure I'd ever finish, but strip piecing is your friend and I managed to get everything done. I'm pretty happy with the result. Now it goes into the pile to be quilted - and to find a backing for this 96" square quilt.
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
These are my blocks from one of the guild mysteries. The dark is my background, and the light is my accent colour - so I keep having to remind myself to switch the dark and light in the instructions.
As this quilt progressed, I realized that my choice of fabrics was somewhat unfortunate. The light grey has dark grey in it. The dark grey has light great. And the red has both dark and light grey highlights. I did some fussy cutting, to try to minimize the overlap between the greys. But in the end,I think my blocks look a bit mushy. However, I did decide to go with the original layout, with no border. That makes this another perfect donation quilt, and I'm sure someone will love it. It's all sewn together now, although this picture doesn't show that. Added to the pile for quilting.
Saturday, March 11, 2017
However, I should have finished the math on this before I started. I just wanted a 50x70" lap quilt, to donate to Victoria's Quilts when it's done. Simple enough, right? So I pulled out my 2.5" strip bin, cut a bunch of fabric into sets of 5 squares for the pluses, and started piecing it together. Then I thought about where this was going. 50x70", at 2" (finished) for each square = 25x35 = 875 squares. Oops. And, 5 squares per colour means I need 175 different fabrics (actually a few more, because there are partial pluses on the edges of the quilt)
I did manage to finish the quilt, complete with almost 175 different fabrics. And finally this weekend I am going to put it on the longarm and have some fun with it. As is typical, it does not feel as though I made even a dent in the pile of 2.5" strips in my scrap bins.
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
New project, ready to go!
Friday, February 24, 2017
I just finished a 2 day in-town retreat with about 35 women from one of my quilt guilds. The beauty of an in town retreat is that we got to leave our machines setup overnight, but went home to sleep in our own beds. I took a couple of projects to finish, my 150 Canadian women quilt to catch up on, and a couple of projects to think about starting if I got that far.
It was a very productive two days. This is my scrappy pineapple quilt that I started back in 2015. I've been working on it as a leader /ender project and finally finished all the blocks. So I took advantage of the retreat to put the top together. All it needs now is a border.
Sunday, February 19, 2017
One thing I love about these little quilties - aside from how quickly they go together - is that they are the perfect size for practicing free motion quilting. Big enough to play, but small enough to fit through the machine without a lot of fighting.
Thursday, February 16, 2017
I finished this top a little while back. The blocks were made as part of a block party - 12 of us get together, and each month 1 person picks a block for everyone to make. The blocks come back to that person, and they have a quilt. With 12 of us, at the end of the year everyone has a quilt made from blocks created by the other 11 participants.
I found this block in a magazine - it is apparently a variation on Blackford's Beauty. The size is odd (finishes at 12.5"), but I love the end result. I set it with a narrow sashing and corner stones, to continue the red chain between the blocks. The border is scraps left over from the quilt. I experiemented with a piano key border, but felt it was too heavy for the quilt and detracted from the look. I like this one much better. Plus, I only had to make half as many bits to put together the squares in the border :)
I don't know where this quilt will end up. For now, it goes into the 'to be quilted' pile, where hopefully it won't spend too much time.
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
A whole lot of people were working on the guild mystery. I guess that's no surprise, since the final clue came out recently and we are all guild members. The general consensus from that group is that Ugh beats Better. So I'll be moving ahead with the original quilt design on this one. Now to figure out what to do with 6 blocks and 10 setting triangles when I have absolutely no matching fabric remaining.
Now I'm back home with a decision to make. My guild meeting for tonight is cancelled due to weather - so I can either work on a customer quilt on the longarm (which is loaded and ready to go), or I can continue work on Peace. Love, Quilt, since I wasn't orginally going to be home to do the customer quilt anyway. Somehow I think PLQ is going to win that one.
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
I made all the blocks for the mystery, but when it was done I realized that I have no need for another full-sized bed quilt. Plus, I had used 2 different background fabrics for the 4-patches as Bonnie suggested. And I made half of the 1/2 square triangles with each of the background fabrics. I didn't like them together in the quilt, so I decided to split up the blocks and make 2 quilts - one lap quilt for me, and a smaller one to donate.
The only catch was that I didn't want to make any additional blocks. I did cave in and make 2 1/2 square triangles to fill out the large quilt. But for the tri-rec setions, I was not going to do any more of those. So the small quilt was cheated and I redesigned the outer rows slightly to work with what blocks I had on hand.
In the end, I have enough pieces left over to make 6 or 7 blocks - all different - so I'll have to come up with some sort of plan for those.
Bonnie's final mystery linkup is up today, so I'll be heading over there to join in. I really like this quilt. My only disappointment is that I took the easy road and used Bonnie's colours. I hadn't planned to - I really wanted to go my own way. Plus, I was determined to do this from stash. But, when I started pulling from my stash what I ended up with was exactly what Bonnie had. Funny how things work out. Now, I keep seeing quilts that I think are mine (because there are so many with the same colours). So next year, I need to try harder to go my own way again.
Monday, February 13, 2017
The first label is after washing and blocking (to remove the sticky-solvy I used for interfacing). The second is before washing. I'm still playing around with font sizes and positioning, but done is better than perfect, in this case :)
Now I have to decide if I want to turn my big sewing machine into a full-time embroidery setup. Re-arranging everything for the different configurations is one of the reasons I haven't done this before now. But if I set it up for embroidery permanently, I'm giving up my nicest sewing machine for piecing. Decisions, decisions.
Sunday, February 12, 2017
Saturday, February 11, 2017
This is a mystery quilt for one of my guilds. The pattern is pretty, but my result is not. I knew it was risky when I picked the fabrics. I had a set of red & 2 greys in my statsh that I bought some time ago, thinking they'd make a nice quilt. So when this one came up, and my yardages matched, I figured it was time to use those fabrics. I was a bit worried, because each had a fairly large design printed on it - white snowflakes on both the red & dark grey. And dark grey on the light grey.
I ended up tossing some of the cut blocks, where the overall print was too obvious. But in the end I feel like this quilt is pretty mushy. It might have been ok if the red had less white in it - I don't mind the variation in the dark background fabric, and I did a pretty good job of fussy cutting around the dark print in the light fabric (except in a couple of places). But the red is getting lost 😞
I'll finish sewing it together this weekend, and in the meantime contemplate whether there is any way to save it. It may just end up in the donation pile - well, it was destined there anyway, but I usually like to donate quilts I'm proud of, and this one doesn't make the cut unfortunately.
Oh well, that's what mysteries are for, in my opinion. Trying things out and figuring out what doesn't work, as much as seeing what does.
I'm linking up for the final day of Judy's quiltathon. I can at least claim something got done this week :)