Tuesday, August 30, 2011

No Ducks Allowed

I am sorry that I haven't been blogging. For the past two weeks I have been battling vertigo. Talk about the world spinning by. The first week I was in bed and then later I was able to move to the recliner. After ten days of no quilting I was willing to put up with anything to get my quilt fix.

A local quilt shop has a mystery quilt club that is similar to a block of the month program only we don't know what the finished quilt will look like. It has a theme and it runs from July through June of the next year. This past years theme was 30's prints. This is very successful for the shop because they have over 500 people sign up. Many techniques are used to build skills and introduce new notions.

I liked all that was done except for one large red work embroidery block that was a duck. I hated the embroidery and I hated that duck. I came to think of the project as that Dumb Duck quilt.

Later when three small red work blocks were assigned I chose to applique the blocks instead of embroider them. When the final quilt was shown I decided that I was going to do something else. Here is the shops version.

First of all the duck had to go. With some graph paper I figured out a new layout. It used less blocks but it needed some fillers here and there. I finished the top and then I found that I could quilt on my large machine without much dizziness.

My head stays still while my arms move. So the top is quilted and bound. I call it No Ducks Allowed. Another bonus is that it is different from the other 500 plus quilts out there.

I didn't count the fabric that came in because it went right back out but I did use 4 1/2 yds for the backing and binding.

I am slowly getting better. I notice more on a week to week basis other than day by day. Thank goodness I can quilt.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Blast from the Past

Lately I have been going through my old stored stuff to make room for my daughter to move back home. The economic downturn is hitting here too. Combining two households is forcing me to go through boxes of stuff that have been around for way too long.

One of the boxes I found had quilting items from when I started quilting almost 30 years ago. At that time we did not have rotary cutters and rulers. There were very few books and copiers were expensive and not too reliable. As I was sorting I came across about 30+ envelopes that I had made up templates for blocks from cereal boxes.

On some of the envelopes I had drawn the block and listed the block size.

There were a couple that were applique blocks.

I must admit that I am so glad to have rotary cutters and rulers that are so accurate and easy to use.

Know what I did with these antiques? They all went into the round file. No need for them now.

The Last in Line?

I think I must be the last one on earth to try the cute butterflies that have been flying around for about a year now. In June I went on a formal shop hop and for driving 312 miles (round trip) and visiting 13 shops I was awarded a small charm pack of Cherry Fizz. I had 22 or 23 squares. In considering what to do with it I remembered this great tutorial by Mrs. Schmenkman for charm squares of 5".

I chose the best 20 and used some light pink solid leftover from Ashcroft #1 and 2. Here are the 20 blocks sewn together.  It was a donation small quilt for our quilt guild to auction off. A good friend ended up with it so I know it will have a good home. Here it is quilted. Too bad you can't see the little butterflies quilted into the border.

I am considering doing a large quilt with my brights and a black solid. We shall see.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Meandering Feathers

For a long while I have wanted to quilt meandering feathers all over a quilt. I have practiced some by drawing on paper but I wasn't quite sure if I could pull it off. The other day I had a quilt for hire that seemed perfect to try it out on. It was a Disappearing Nine-Patch.

It was really a lot of fun to do. Some feathers went a little wonky but with thousands that look OK they are a little hard to pick out.

All in all I think it was a success. I can hardly wait to do it again.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Mountain Top is finished

I quilted the Mountain Top top and now it is a quilt. I decided since it was a very traditional style quilt with lots of right angles going on it needed some softening. That calls for the Baptist Fans.

I think the fan quilting lends a good contrast to the piecing.

I finished this just in time for the cool weather. Oh! Wait! It is July and there is no cool weather. I guess I will have to wait till Nov before I use this. Well I am just keeping ahead of the game.

Bonus: Six yards of backing out the door.

Quilt Retreat - Summer '11

Last week me and my quilt buds took off for the mountains. It is the same place we went last year. The best part is it is only 30 min. away. We spent 3 days in the cool mountain air. We decided to keep the food simple: cereal for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch and a cooked meal for dinner. We split up responsibilities for the food so it was sooooo easy.

I spent my time working on one hexagon Halloween quilt. I was able to get that one put together.

For a change of pace I put together another Halloween quilt using the Wild Thing pattern and two charm packs. Boy did I ever have fun. That went together very fast.

Since I have another hexagon Halloween quilt to do I started sewing the strips together. All in all I feel I accomplished a lot of sewing. Not to mention a lot of visiting, laughing and sharing. Oh happy days.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Mountain Top top

Several months ago I mentioned making a quilt that required 720 half-square triangles. I am happy to report that the top is together. This top is from a pattern called Mountain Top. It is from Laundry Basket Quilts. I learned several important points from this quilt.

1. When making lots and lots of HSTs it is a good idea to use the paper guides, such as Triangles on a Roll, or Thangles. I did my own with Electric Quilt and it worked out very well.

Each square was spot on.

2. When each square is equal the piecing goes together so nice. I was able to nail almost every intersection. I couldn't believe how close each joint was.

3. I learned to pay attention when cutting out. Cut the long large pieces first. I cut out the long borders first but then cut all of the short sashing pieces. When I was done with that I realized I had forgotten to cut out the sashing that runs horizontal. Doh! I was thinking about piecing bits together when I figured that if I put cornerstones in the sashing I wouldn't need long pieces. Yes! The original pattern did not have cornerstones in the sashing but mine does. I think I like it better.

This is a scrappy quilt. Everything but the neutral (borders and sashing) came from my stash. I get to count 10 1/2 yards used. Gotta love it.

Monday, June 27, 2011

I Heart This Quilt

Lately I have been doing more quilting than piecing. Most of the quilts are for others. I have quilted up a lot of charity quilts. With all the disasters in the world they are especially needed. One of the quilts I quilted for hire was for a friend. I really do like this quilt. This is the second one she has made. The first one ended up with her daughter. Ah, the things we do for love.

I love the fabric she used. As I quilted along I would spot fabrics that are in my stash too.

The more I quilted the more I fell in love with this pattern. It is from the Jan./Feb. 2001 issue of Fons and Porter's For the Love of Quilting magazine. The pattern is named Turning Circles into Stars. I have saved the pattern myself but have never got around to making it. I just might  have to put this on my to do list.

I quilted spirals in the circles and curling C's in the background. Around the stars I did stitch in the ditch.

Yup, I heart this quilt.

Is it Christmas Yet?

My daughter asked me if I was ever going to blog again. She kept checking here to see what I had been up to and kept seeing the same old entry. I really don't have any valid excuses as to why I have been AWOL. My life is no busier than usual, no big events taking my time, no crisis. Quite possible it is sheer laziness. I have often composed some blog entries in my head but I never took the time to type them in. So I hereby repent of my non-bloginess (like that word?) and will try to give her and you something to read.

I finished quilting my Christmas tree quilt near the end of May. So I am either really early or really late but since I didn't start it until April I like to think I am really early. I think this is a first.

This design is my own, sort of. I was inspired by several quilts I have seen here and there, especially the border applique. That I saw on a Piece 'O Cake quilt many years ago. I liked the border but not the center. The tree shape came from my Electric Quilt block library. I used Misty Fuse for the fusible applique and King Tut thread for the button-hole stitching around all the applique.

I quilted small loops around the lights to echo the twisting and turning of the string of lights.

I wanted a feeling of motion around the trees so I did what is called McTavishing in the longarm world. It is my first stab at that. I learned a lot and improved as I quilted along. I don't think I ruined it.

On the trees I used a variegated King Tut thread to quilt small loops to look like strings of lights.

The backing I bought (at 50% off) is absolutely perfect. It makes me smile when I look at it.

Now I just need to wait until Christmas so I can hang it in my front entry hall. The way time has been flying by that will be all too soon.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Week 20 Stash Report - 2011

Fabric in this week:     4.75 yd. (Last two weeks, actually)
Fabric in YTD:         36.75 yds.

Fabric out this week:   11 yds.
Fabric out YTD:         96.75 yds.

Stash busted:    60 yds.

If you would like to see how others are doing check out Judy's blog.

I was able to finish the top of my Christmas Tree quilt. That makes up the 11 yards used. Here is a picture.
I have some fun quilting planned for this top.
Looking at the picture I just realized that I need to sew on the last border which is a narrow candy cane strip that is like the sashing. Doh. Not quite finished yet.

I have been sewing up the half-square triangles for my scrappy quilt. I have all 720 HST made. Part of the fabric I bought this week will be the sashing and borders for this quilt. I will start putting the blocks together this week but I don't know how far I will get. I have two quilts that I must quilt this week then I get to put one of my own on. It looks like more quilting than piecing this week.

Hope you have a great week QFF*!

Remember, we do this for fun..

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Week 18 Stash Report - 2011

Fabric in this week:     0 yd.
Fabric in YTD:         32 yds.

Fabric out this week:   0 yds.
Fabric out YTD:         85.75 yds.

Stash busted:    53.75 yds.

If you would like to see how others are doing check out Judy's blog.

I did a whole lot of quilting this week. One queen size quilt for hire plus 2 twin charity quilts. No pictures to share. Then I did a lot of sewing. I sewed my jelly rolls into strip sets and cut the strips into wedges for one quilt. Here are a few hexagons that are sewn up. I am having fun with this. I won't count the fabric as used until I have the top put together.

I found a pattern that I want to make from my stash that requires 720 half-square triangles. To make sure they are uniform I want to use the foundation paper. I checked my collection of Thangles and did not have the right size. I checked my collection of Triangles on a Roll and did not have the right size. I suppose I could go buy some but I got to thinking. Why couldn't I use EQ7 and draw up what I need as a block and then just print it out. It only has the cutting lines and I used my 1/4" foot as the guide.

I really like doing triangles this way. They are so stable especially when you press them before you remove the paper. I tried a sample and it worked! Yes. I think I will do a sheet or two of triangles every day and just stockpile them until I have enough. Sounds like a plan to me. (12 down, 708 to go)

Hope you have a great week QFF*!

Remember, we do this for fun..

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Week 17 Stash Report - 2011

Fabric in this week:     3.5 yd.
Fabric in YTD:         32 yds.

Fabric out this week:   9.25 yds.
Fabric out YTD:         85.75 yds.

Stash busted:    53.75 yds.

If you would like to see how others are doing check out Judy's blog.

After slacking for a couple a weeks I am reporting again. I bought some yardage to go with my Halloween quilts. I was excited because it was 50% off. I have already got it cut up and ready to sew but  I am not counting it yet.

I cut out and sewed up the center of my Christmas Trees quilt. Now I need to work on the applique border but I am not counting it yet.

I did manage to finish up the last of the Ashcombe quilts. That I am counting which is the fabric used. That puts me at half way to my goal off 100 yards busted this year. So far so good.

In case you are interested I did post some pictures of my Easter basket quilt. Speaking of Easter I hope you have a wonderful day. Family is coming here for dinner. It will be lovely.

Hope you have a great week QFF*!

Remember, we do this for fun..

Monday, April 18, 2011

All Ashcombes finished

FOUR, count them, four Ashcombe quilts are finished. I am also finished with that pattern. It was a great one for simplicity and it was easy to sew up but making four of the same pattern did get a little monotonous. I don't plan on doing that (repetitive quilts) again soon. Oh wait! I have already started working on two quilts (Christmas gifts) that are the same. Doh! I really don't learn very fast.

Two are made with Riley Blake's Quite Contrary (the pink and green) and the other two with Riley Blake's Sweet Divinity (the pink and blue). I think I like the pink and green the most. I find that interesting because when viewing the fat quarter bundles I was sure that the pink and blue would be my favorite. Not so.

I was able to blow a bunch of stash out the door with this completion. I need to get caught up with my stash report. I haven't been buying but I have been lazy and not reporting. The numbers are even great. Maybe next week.

Now onto my Christmas tree quilt. This should be a pretty easy one. Thanks for dropping by.

Hope you have a great week QFF*!

Remember, we do this for fun..

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Easter Basket Quilt finished

I finished my basket quilt about 10 days ago but I was finally able to get some pictures. It seemed like when the sun was shinning I was not home and when I was home it was snowing. We have had a very wet spring. So without further ado here are some pictures of my basket quilt.

A friend said this quilt looked like Easter baskets since the color palette is pastels. I didn't set out to do that but I think she is right. I now think of it as my Easter basket quilt. It is currently hanging in my front hall to help celebrate the season.

I learned how to do the scalloped border which was a challenge rounding the corners and getting that to line up.

I used the bias bars to do all of the vines. They go from an 1/8" vine up to a 1/2" vine. The pattern called for yo-yos but I didn't want the texture they add so I just did circles. I think there are about 200 circles.

I did a leaf and loop background fill around the border applique. I wanted a more open fill. I really like how it turned out.

On the basket blocks I did stitch in the ditch around all the pieces then did some line dancing in the basket body.

For the chain blocks I quilted some arcs then did some fill in the arcs of leaves and c-curls.
I did machine applique and machine quilting of this quilt. It finishes at around 70" x 90". I used Hobbs 80/20 bleached batt so I wouldn't get background shading.

Check out the back. Isn't this print wonderful? It has miniature pastel quilts printed on it. I really love it. I got it on sale at 75% off. Hard to beat that.
It feels good to finish a project. And can you tell where I had to use a different green for the vines? I didn't think so.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Week 14 Stash Report - 2011

Fabric in this week:     3 yd.
Fabric in YTD:         28.5 yds.

Fabric out this week:   9 yds.
Fabric out YTD:         76.5 yds.

Stash busted:   48  yds.

If you would like to see how others are doing check out Judy's blog.

The fabric I ordered for the Tumbling Triangles came in (3 yds.) and I put the borders on (2.5 yds.). The half yard remaining is for the binding. Then I put the basket quilt on the machine and quilted it up and got it bound. It is all finished (6.5 yds.) but I don't have a picture of it.  I hang my quilt off the back deck but this morning when I got up we had 3" of snow. For Pete's sake, it was 72 degrees yesterday! Crazy. I believe it will melt fast and I hope to take pictures later today. Check back for pictures of a very pretty quilt.

I don't know how much quilting I will get done this coming week. On Friday morning my sweet mother-in-law passed away. She certainly fooled us all. She was 91 and very happy to move on. Her brother-in-law passed away last Sunday and she knew they were going to be partying in heaven and she didn't want to miss it. Now it is an even bigger party. Lots of family stuff will be going on this week but not much quilting.

Hope you have a great week QFF*!

Remember, we do this for fun..

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Week 13 Stash Report - 2011

Fabric in this week:     0 yd.
Fabric in YTD:         25.5 yds.

Fabric out this week:   6.75 yds.
Fabric out YTD:         67.5 yds.

Stash busted:   42 yds.

If you would like to see how others are doing check out Judy's blog.
It was another good week. I was able to meet my goals, sort of. Let me show you.
First I was able to get the two charity quilts quilted. Again, I don't piece them, I just quilt them.

Then I got the Tumbling Triangles top mostly put together. When I went to buy the border fabric I couldn't find any in town so I sent off an order. It was shipped on Friday but it is not here yet. Therefore I am not counting it yet. When it shows up I will hurry and sew the borders on and that fabric will go out. The wind kept blowing so I couldn't get a decent picture. The top really isn't this wonky.

I am putting the backing together for the basket quilt and I hope to get it on the machine this week and quilted. That is my goal. If I get it done that will be more stash out the door. Woohoo.

Hope you have a great week QFF*!

Remember, we do this for fun..

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Week 12 Stash Report - 2011

Fabric in this week:     1 yd.
Fabric in YTD:         25.5 yds.

Fabric out this week:   9.25 yds.
Fabric out YTD:         60.75 yds.

Stash busted:   35.25 yds.

If you would like to see how others are doing check out Judy's blog.
This week was a very productive week. I returned home late Monday and got my life in order on Tuesday and then had two wonderful uninterrupted days of intense sewing. Let me show you what I accomplished.

First I finished all of the B blocks for Ashcombe #3, got the top put together and quilted. I bought a yard of fabric to bind this quilt and the next (and final) one. The fabric is Riley Blake's Sweet Divinity.

Then I quilted two charity quilts. I don't piece them, I only quilt them. I have two more that I need to quilt next week then I hope to get one of my tops on the machine.

Finally I sewed up the strips from two jelly rolls (Dilly Dally) and cut them into wedges for my next hexagon quilt, Tumbling Triangles from the Sizzling Sixties book.

I also sewed up a couple of hexagons to get a sneak peak.

I love it when I get to stay home and sew. My goal is to get the Tumbling Triangles top together by next week. I still need to get the border fabric for that top. That means some in but it should go right back out.
I must admit I was mightly tempted this week. Green Fairy had a quilt kit on sale that almost had me pushing a button but I reviewed my list of quilt goals for the year and that helped me resist temptation. Whew.

Hope you have a great week QFF*!

Remember, we do this for fun..

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Week 11 Stash Report - 2011

Fabric in this week:     0 yd.
Fabric in YTD:         24.5 yds.

Fabric out this week:   0 yds.
Fabric out YTD:         51.5 yds.

Stash busted:   27 yds.

If you would like to see how others are doing check out Judy's blog.

Not a lot of piecing going on. I did get 48 of block A sewn together for Ashcombe #3. I want to get the block Bs put together this week. But more importantly I was able to get the quilt for hire done before its owner heads off for Hawaii. 

The quilt pattern is Grandmother's Choice. The quilter designed the border. I think this pattern was popular about 10 years ago. Lots of quilters around here made one of these. Here is a picture of the full sized quilt:

This is a shot of the border and it's quilting. I wanted a background fill that wasn't too tight and full. 

I did stitch in the ditch for the pieced blocks and a free motion flower in the plain blocks. Sort of a folk art feel. I like how it turned out but most importantly the quilter loved how I quilted it. 

I am in Arizona right now. My niece was married last night. A good time was had by all. I am looking forward to getting home tomorrow and getting back to quilting. Hope you have a great week bustin' your stash.

Hope you have a great week QFF*!

Remember, we do this for fun..