Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Attempt #2 to clear out a UFO

After the failure to match my new giant swoon backing to its intended top, I dug through my UFO pile looking for something else that was close to the right size. This top came up - it's been sitting waiting since Feb 2014, so it's about time I got it out of the closet.

It is 79" square, so will need a couple of borders to fill it out to the 95" backing I have for it.  I have no more of the original fabrics, but there is a nice blue, yellow and a purple in my stash that might work. The binding (which I actually cut in advance) can be a border, and I'll finish it off with black (and bind with that, too).

There are the two options - I think I'll probably go ahead with the blue and yellow, as it seems a bit brighter.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Finishing UFOs - or trying to

This swoon quilt was the January pick, on the APQ UFO challenge this year. I ignored it, as the Patchwork Times pick was big/hard enough.  But it's been gnawing at my brain, so I finally decided I should at least figure out a backing for it. I really didn't want to buy any fabric, since the top is entirely from scraps.

First I pulled out some gold/purple fabrics. But that would have cleaned me out of those colours, and the quilt is already pretty strong in those colours.  So I went back to the closet, realized I have a ton of green that I really need to use up, and decided that a 2-sided, completely different, reversible quilt would be the way to go.

Foolishly, I didn't pull the top out at the time. I just dug into my memory of the giant scrappy swoon, knew it was a square quilt and pretty big. So I decided the squares must have been 4" each, and the quilt finished at 96x96".  Perfect. I designed a back for it, using 4 large swoon blocks (40" each), and some sashing.  That went to my last retreat, and I was thrilled when I finished it while I was there.

Then, while telling my fellow quilters about the plan, I dug up the old blog post on this top. And discovered that it is 91x106". Completely not what I thought.  I forgot that I made it into a rectangle by adding borders. And that its original size was only 72" square.  So this new "back" is completely wrong for this particular quilt.

Back to the drawing board I guess (and now I have another UFO to add to the pile).

Thursday, February 22, 2018

150 Canadian Women blocks

This is what 150 6" blocks looks like.  All done, as planned.  Judy pulled #1 for the February UFO challenge, and I knew there was no way it would get finished. But finishing the blocks seemed achievable, given the retreats I had planned for this month. And there is it - all done. Now to figure out my layout. Sashing fabric already chosen. But I need my design wall back before I can start laying things out.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Dr. Who

I can finally post about this quilt!  Last June my sister sent me this gorgeous 1937 Singer - in perfect working order, once I replaced the belt and power cord.  So I thought an appropriate thank you would be a quilt, pieced on that very machine.  Shortly after, I was at a quilt store and saw a Tardis quilt pattern. It even had printed panels for the police box (avialable on Spoonflower, as per the pattern), which had been included by the shop. My sister is a huge Dr Who fan, so I knew that was the quilt I'd make for her.

A pile of fabric later, I headed home and started sewing. I was thinking it could be a Christmas gift - but business picked up for the holidays (of course) and this poor quilt remained a top until January. Fortunately, her birthday is in February, so I figured I could easily finish it in time for that. Just needed to figure out the backing for it.

And then Jodie Whittaker was announced as the 13th doctor - and my sister was thrilled! So of course she had to become part of the quilt.  I decided to make the backing using pictures of all 13 doctors.  I found profiles of the first 12 doctors online, but no one had done one of #13 yet.  I finally found a decent front shot of her in costume and decided to tackle it myself. I converted the photo to monochrome, and appliqued it in 2 colours.  At first I thought I'd place the doctors top down, all in profile. But I quickly realized that Jodie needed to be top and center - so the rest of the doctors weave up towards her instead.

Finished, bound and sent off with 1 week to spare.  Canada Post however decided it needed to be 1 day late.  But I think she likes it :)  Her facebook this morning says "MY AMAZING SISTER JUST SENT ME THE BEST BIRTHDAY GIFT EVER!!!"

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Backing fabrics

I did some shopping the other day. It wasn't planned, but I was meeting a friend at a quilt shop before we headed out to dinner, and coincidentally, the shop was having a buy one, get one sale. And they were REALLY nice - it was essentially a 50% off sale, because there was no minimum, no full meter requirement.  So I picked up backing for 3 of my UFOs.

First, my Row by Row from 2015. The theme was water, and this blue ripple fabric seemed perfect.  So perfect that its seems I already bought it. I got home and found another large cut of the exact same fabric.  So there will likely be another blue backing in my future.

Then I picked up this gold leaf design for the back of Reflections of the North, which has been patiently waiting to be finished since at least 2014.  I think this fabric will be perfect. The quilt is batik and the backing is not, but that's never stopped me before :)

I also picked up (but didn't photograph) the backing for a quilt that is still in the assembly stages.  I may have lost my photo of that particular quilt when I reset my phone - which is a shame since I had the layout all planned.  Back to square one on that one I guess.

And one last backing purchased. Not on sale, unfortunately, but pretty none-the-less.  I love the Kaffe swirl fabric, and the colours seemed appropriate for this quilt. That decision is, however, subject to change by the time I get around to quilting this one.

Friday, February 16, 2018

More UFO progress

I finished another top!  And now I need to quilt it.  I really should focus on my items that need quilting, so I can make some real progress on my UFO completion goals. However, this was an easy finish at a recent retret, and it's nice to have it done.  I decided to add borders just top and bottom, to make the quilt the right size for a donation. I found some black that matched reasonably well (and now I need to find it again and cut some binding, forgot about that part).

The top and bottom borders stretch the quilt just enough to meet the length requirment, and I'll bind the whole thing in black.  The dark floor masks the fact that there is a 1" black border around the entire quilt.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Re-constructed Kaffe

My Kaffe quilt is finally complete. This top started as a block draw that I won. At retreat, we each made two 9" 1/2 square triangle blocks, to contribute to the block draw (fabric provided and very nicely coordinated by the organizer). Winner got to take home the blocks - and I was the lucky recipient.  But I thought the 1/2 square triangle quilt, while pretty in all the Kaffe fabrics, was a bit simple for my tastes.  So, I changed it up.

I took each of my large HSTs, and cut them into 4 smaller squares - giving me two small (4.5") 1/2 square triangles, one white square, and one coloured square.  I turned the two squares into two 4-patches, and reassembled the bits into blocks.

I placed the design off-center, and added a Kaffe Fassett border to it.  The backing is purchased and ready to be assembled. It will have a red stripe, because I bought the last of the bolt of a fabric that was perfect for this quilt - and it was perfect in all but quantity. A simple 5" stripe will fix that problem easily.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

String Star

A customer brought me a quilt which used this block, and I wanted to try it out. I made one adjustment, to reduce the number of y-seams I had to deal with (the background sections are all pieced).  I thought I'd make a quilt of 6 of these for a donation project. Since the finished (I thought) at 16", that would be just about perfect.

When I finished this block, I discovered that it does not finish at 16". It finishes at 26". So 6 is going to be too big for a donation. One is too big for a quiltie. And 4 will require some serious border work.  I'm still pondering the fate of this block. But in the meantime, I do kind of like it, and it was a great way to use up some of my 1.5" strips.  Maybe I'll just make a pile of the star points and create some lemoyne stars instead.  They would be a bit smaller and could maybe become a quilt.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Ancient Dragon

Working on UFOs this week, I opened up a box and discovered this poor little guy. When I started this quilt, I thought it would be cool to make it and donate it to my kids' elementary school, since their mascot was a dragon. My kids are now 22 and 23 years old - so I figure I started this at least 12 years ago.

I actually finished the top back in 2011. But as I was stitching the binding, I realized that I had attached the hanging sleeve to the bottom of the quilt, instead of the top.  In annoyance, I folded it up and stuffed it in a box.  For 7 years, apparently.

The quilt is reduce to 1/2 the original size - because the original is 8 feet tall, and where was I supposed to hang that?  So this one is about 40" x 12".  I'm not sure what I was thinking - apparently I finished it without any batting at all. But it's done now - hanging sleeves sewn to both top and bottom, so I can weight the bottom edge if I need to in order to get it to hang evenly.

I had completely forgotten about this quilt, so it didn't even make it onto my UFO list, But I'm counting it as a completed UFO anyway.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

February UFO

My first February finish! This is a group project. The original hexies were started by a friend of a friend, who unfortunately passed away recently. Her sewing treasures were passed on to my friend, including this unfinished top.

A group of us meet every month to do embroidery, and this top was offered up at that group. I offered to take it on, and many others wanted to help out, so we made about 12-14 additional hexie diamonds, wrapped them all with white hexies, and I put the top together.

 It is machine appliqued onto the border fabric (yes I know, I cheated, but none of us are hexie aficionados, and we did want to get it finished). I quilted it and bound it by machine (more cheating). But now the quilt is finished! A photo will be sent to the husband of the original quilter, and the finished project will be donated to a worthy cause.

Linking up over at 18 in 2018 .
And linking at Patchwork Times.  It's not officially that UFO (#1), but I got that one as far as I planned for this month, and decided to go with the APQ UFO #9 as my primary finish for this month.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

On Ringo Lake

Just in time for Bonnie's final linkup, I have both of my On Ringo Lake tops complete.  The first is Bonnie's design, just made smaller using only about 3/4 of the blocks.  I call this "Christmas on Ringo Lake". I chose Christmas colours for the theme, based on the fat quarter shown in this photo. The red changed (several times) after this picture, and I'm really happy with the end choice.  The inspiration fabric will be the backing for the main quilt.

Christmas on Ringo Lake needs a couple of repairs. My method for making the sashing strips was not very accurate, and my initial result left a LOT to be desired. So I resewed about 40 corners, to match up better. Just 3 more that need retouching and then I'll be happy with this version.

Version 2 (Christmas on Ringo Lake Revisited) will be a donation to Victoria's Quilts. I took most of the leftover blocks from the first quilt, made some more sashing strips so I could do a double sashing and added some extra 9-patches for the corner stones. I set this one in a straight setting, and added the borders (colours dictated by the amount of fabric I had left) to bring it up to the right size for donating.

I wondered aloud to a friend why I make the full quilt, and then turn it into 2 - I did exactly the same thing with En Provence last year. And I think I figured it out. I really don't need more big quilts - but I remember the years I made smaller. Making 1/2 the pieces during the mystery then means being forced to make a few more odds and ends to fill out the requirements for a half quilt. Somehow, this seems more onerous than making the entire set, and adding a few bits to create a different quilt out of the result.  Maybe because this way I get to pick and choose which pieces I make more of (I was NOT making any more of those pesky split 4-patches, for example).

I have 3 blocks left over, and a few odds and ends of fabric.  One block goes onto the donation bag for the second quilt. The other 2 might become pillows, or an entirely new quilt sometime down the road.  But I must remember to set aside binding for both these quilts first. Good thing there's lots of grey leftover.

Friday, February 2, 2018

February UFOs

Well, the February numbers have been drawn for the UFO challenges that I'm following.  Judy is being mean to me :)  Last month, she picked my monster labyrinth quilt (which I actually finished, so I admit motivation is high right now). This month, she pulled #1, and that's my 150 Canadian Women quilt. This is what it looks like right now.

That's 2 bags of scraps, 3 pages of block photos, and a 6" high stack of 6" blocks.  120 of them. That means I still need to make 30 more (as pictured on those pages), before I can even start assembling the top.  I'd love to make progress on this quilt, but there is no way it's getting finished this month.

Fortunately, APQ has been nicer to me. They pulled #9, which is my hexie group quilt for charity, and it's ready for quilting.  And bonus - I had set myself a deadline of finishing it this month already so I get a twofer here.  I picked up backing for it last week, so it's all set to go. Just have to figure out binding.

So, my plans for this month - finish the APQ UFO challenge. That's fair - I did Judy's last month, so I'll do APQ this month.  And make significant progress on Judy's challenge.  I have a retreat mid-month, and if I focus I'll be able to finish all 30 blocks while I'm there. So that is my goal for this month on that quilt.  Then hopefully when APQ pulls #1 I'll be ready to finish it off.