Sunday, 31 January 2016

Stash Report - Jan 31

I had a super productive weekend at my retreat, despite coming down with a cold the first day there.  I made a new quilt top - a pattern I've been waiting to start, and the retreat seemed like the perfect place to play with it.  This is "Glorious and Free" from Brandy Lynn Designs, and will go to Quilts of Valour once it is quilted.

Then I made some progress on a UFO.  And I made 5 little quilties while I was there, playing with fat quarters and the disappearing hour glass design. I discovered that 2 Canadian fat quarters make a quilty from this pattern.  The US fat quarters don't quite stretch far enough, so they need a small border added.  For those wondering what the difference is, a US fat quarter is 1/4 yard - 18"x22". A Canadian fat quarter is a quarter metre, which is about 20"x22".  And the quilty needs two 19x19" squares of fabric to make a 24" square quilt top.

 Here are 4 of the quilties I made this weekend. The top right is a disappearing 9-patch because my 'fat quarter' was actually an 8"xWOF strip.

Glorious and Free - 5.5 yards
5 quilties - 2.5 yards

I did bring some fabric in this week, because I was lucky enough to win the door prize at the retreat.  7 fat quarters (oh goody, more quilties!)

2016 totals:
63.75 yards in
58.75 yards out
Total: 5 yards in

Head over to Patchworks Times today for more stash reports. 

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Troubles part 2

Thud.  Thud.  That's sewing machine for "Clean me please!". I finally registered that my machine was thudding along with every stitch.  First step,  I replaced the needle, since I had not changed it since I bought the machine.  That definitely lessened the thudding.

Then someone walked by and asked if I had cleaned it recently.  Well that reminded me that I was going to clean it out the other day,  but didn't have a screw driver handy to remove the stitch plate.  So I borrowed one from another quilter, and went to work.  I had to dig out the fluff from between the feed dogs with my seam ripper it was so well embedded in there.

What a difference!  The fabric is now feeding smoothly over the feed dogs, it's not chewing up the beginning of my seams, and doesn't need encouragement to get over bulky points. Now I guess I should figure out if this machine needs oil.

Friday, 29 January 2016

Fixing Troubles

I took my travel sewing machine to a retreat and spent all day yesterday griping at it because it just would not see over the seams in my blocks.  I have a quarter inch foot and it was working great but those bulky seams were killing me.

Today,  I had a sudden inspiration.  Instead of using my quarter inch foot.  I put in my regular foot and moved the needle to the right,  so that the edge of the foot is a quarter inch from the needle.  Viola,  a perfect quarter inch seam guide,  plus,  the fabric I'm feeding through now covers BOTH feed dogs. What a difference that made! The fabric stays straight,  it glides over the bulk at the seams,  and I still have that perfect scant quarter inch I need.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Design Wall Monday

Scrappy Swoon is still holding up my design wall this week. I've been trying to get some binding done on a few quilts, but that's slow going for some reason. Maybe because I don't want to do it?  :)

I also have some blocks due for guild tonight. The block of the month is ready, but I have no idea what I'm going to do for our fabric challenge. I have 9 hours to figure it out :)  And to write the instructions for this block of the month. I'd better get to work.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Stash Report - Jan 24

I've been putting my focus on one of my UFOs during my hand-stitching clubs recently. This poor top has been a flimsy since 2010, and was just waiting for me to finish handstitching the curves on each corner block. I finally got that done yesterday!  Now it joins the quilting pile, and might even make a finish later this year.

I don't get to count any fabric out for this top, however, since the piecing was done so long ago. However, I even know where the fabric is, so I can put together the binding and figure out a backing for it.

In other news this week, I finished Allietare, my Bonnie Hunter mystery. That's 14 1/2 yards out according to the fabric requirements for the top.  And I just have to post this. I put a picture of the top on Bonnie's Quiltville Facebook group, and Bonnie commented on it - "Wow!!!!". That's a direct quote including the 4 - FOUR! - exclamation points. I think she liked my colours :)

 This week - 14.5 yards out, nothing in

2016 totals:
62 yards in
50.75 yards out
Total: 11.25 yards in

Head over to Patchworks Times today for more stash reports. 

Friday, 22 January 2016

New project

I attended a workshop yesterday, and came home with 2 very pretty blocks. Of course that means I now have yet another UFO in my list :)

Not sure yet exactly where this will go, but I'm looking forward to making a few more tumbling blocks over the next few months.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

UFO progress

After setting myself up with dark thread in my machine the other day, I spent lots of time working on my scrappy swoon quilt yesterday.  And last night. And (way too) late last night.  But at 2am  I finished the outer rows! Phew, that feels like a big achievement, although it's really not that hard.  The toughest part was trying to make sure the seams in the all the 9-patches meshed nicely (all but 2 worked out). And keeping the scrappy squares arranged so they aren't side-by-side.  There are 2 or 3 spots where that didn't work out, but overall I think it's a pretty good arrangement.

Now to decide if I want borders. As it stands, the quilt is 72x72 - an awkward size I think. If I add a 1.5" black border, 3" scrappy border, and 5" black border it will be 91x91", which would fit a queen bed nicely, so I'm leaning that way. But first, I must bind a quilt that's due on Monday.

Linking up at Freshly Pieced and the Needle and Thread Network today.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Design Wall Monday - Jan 18

Update - Jan 31
My "One Monthly Goal" for January was to finish my Allietare top, and here it is!

It's done!  I put the borders on Allietare last night, and now it's all ready for quilting (except for the fact that I don't have a backing for it yet). The pictures aren't great, as they were taken at 11pm, but hopefully you get the idea.

The outer border is black - it doesn't show up too well against the floor in this picture, but it's the only location in my house big enough to spread a quilt out.

Here's a corner, on a lighter floor so you can see the border better.  I haven't decided yet whether I'll make the scalloped border that Bonnie had, or take the easy way out.

And to celebrate the completion of one top, I pulled out another UFO to work on next.  This is my giant scrappy swoon. One more round of 9-patches to make for the outer section, and then I'll decide if it's going to get borders or not.

Notice my restraint in not starting a new project.  I put black thread in my machine for the last border on Allietare, and told myself that I have to work on this quilt, since it needs dark thread for the final round.  See, I'll do almost anything to avoid cutting/changing the thread on my machine :)

Linking up at Patchwork Times today.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Stash Report - Jan 17

I still don't have Allietare finished. Distractions abound, but I did get the latest customer quilt off the machine, and have one of my own queued up to go.  That accounts for most of my usage this week - the finished top (which I can't show, unfortunately) and the backing.  Plus binding for the couple of finsihed quilts I showed earlier this week.

I also put the last stitches in binding on my house quilt, in time to take it to guild this past week. The fabric isn't counted (never counted in, because it came as a kit I won at retreat), but the quilt is a finish for this year.

It's time to stay focused. Let's see if I can get Allietare finished this week, and the binding on the 2 quilts piled in my sewing room.

Bindings - 3/4 yards
backing - 5 1/2 yards
top - 8 1/2 yards
total: 14 3/4 yards out

2016 totals:
62 yards in
36.25 yards out
Total: 25.75 yards in

Head over to Patchworks Times today for more stash reports. 

I'll be linking up with the 2016 Finish Along when the time comes. My Q1 plans can be found here. 

Saturday, 16 January 2016

What's next

I have a few possiblities for my next project.

Image result for violet craft giraffeGiraffe, from Violet Craft. I have all the fabric except 1 colour, and I'll be teaching this class so there is some pressure to get this top ready as a class sample.

Glorious and Free, by Brandy Lynn. I have picked my fabric, and the first top will go to Quilts of Valour, as promised when I received the pattern. So I don't want to make them wait too long.

Image result for kaffe handkerchief quiltAnd my Kaffe handkerchief quilt. Strips are all prepared and ready for the next step.

Then of course there are all the UFOs that I really should be working on. And, I have to finish a customer quilt, and get a few of mine bound.  But I do want to figure out what I'm going to work on next.  Thinking ahead helps me keep motivated to finish the current project :)