Thursday, January 31, 2013

My list for February

Texas Braid
     The picture you see at left is my Texas Chain quilt, which will be finished the next time you see it!
       I started this in October, 2010, and Michele finished the quilting last fall. I WILL bet it bound and labeled in the next month. Why did I drop the ball when I was so close to the end? I'll never understand that!
     Anyway, that's No. 1 on my list for February. But let's look back at January first. I listed four things: 1. Quilt the Carpenter's Star from Judy's feather lessons last year. Fail
2. Finish Christmas Diamonds top, piece backing and send to Michele to quilt. 1/2 done. (I was worried about the size and afraid I couldn't get it to her requirements. She told me 120x120 for the batting would be fine, so I'll go ahead with it.)
3. Make blocks for January Block Lotto. Check! Posted here.
4. Begin cutting scraps with my new Accuquilt Go! Check! (I cut a huge amount of fabric, but it doesn't look like I've made much headway. Another goal to make, hum?)
     So January wasn't too great. I need to do better in February. I also need to be realistic about what I can get accomplished. It's not like I don't have a lot of UFOs sitting around to choose from. Some are almost done, for goodness sake!
     With that in mind, here's what I need to get finished in February:
1. Assemble backing for Christmas Diamonds and get it to Michele.
2. Bind and label the Texas Chain quilt.
3. Finish the blue socks that have been hanging around forever.
4. Layer Sophie's Butterfly Challenge and quilt it.
5. Block Lotto blocks (maybe). I'm not too wild about this month's pattern and I want to see some before I decide to make them.
    A list of five rather than four doesn't look like reality, but the first two  shouldn't take more than a couple days. Am I losing touch with reality? I guess we'll see.
     To be continued. . .
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Monday, January 28, 2013

Design Bed Monday

     Thanks, Blogger!
     I had this post all ready to go and somehow it got "lost" in the ozone. I cannot express how upset I am!

     Anyway, the quilt at left is my Christmas Diamonds flimsie. It is based on a pattern from Fons & Porter's magazine (Imperial Diamonds).
     I first posted about it almost a year ago, here.
     The thing is I modified the pattern to better use the fabric I already had, and my mods have taken a nice, queen-sized project to a monster king-sized one. I don't even have a final measurement because I don't have floor space big enough to lay it out.

     I have an idea, though, and if it works, I will have dimensions to give Michele when I talk to her. My concern is that the batting that I have is 120-inches square, and I think the flimsie is 112 by 113. She wants 4 inches on each side, and that only gives me 3.5. On my last quilt she scolded me for not giving her enough room around the quilt.
     More to come . . .
     In the meantime, I'm linking up to Design Wall Monday. Check out the incredible online inspiration!
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Monday, January 21, 2013


Butterfly Whirlpool
  I've "teased" these two finishes but I didn't have a chance to get an outdoor shot until yesterday. My ever-helpful DH held them up and I was able to shoot them in better light than in my sewing room. It does make a difference, doesn't it?
     I  love making Stack N Whack quilts, so much so that I've made at least four, and one of them lives on our bed. I'm not sure what will happen to these, but they are finally done. I think I started them around 2007 or so, so I think they've aged to perfection!
     The quilting was done on my Janome Horizon. I used a titanium topstitch needle, Bottom Line thread in the bobbin and a combination of Isacord and C&C machine quilting thread on top.
     The butterflies, called Butterfly Whirlpool, have drawn and traced feathers, echoing and stippling behind the feathers. I did free-form feathers in the outer border, and I'm not as happy with those as with the ones I drew. However, I did improve from beginning to end, so I guess that's a win.

Stack o' Leaves
     For the leaves, I did a feathery thingie (technical term) in the centers, squiggles in the star points, and drawn feathers in the green border. I drew bubbles in the narrow peach border and leaves in the outer one. This was the first finish for the year; the butterflies were second, but I'm happier with the butterflies so I placed them at the top of the post.
     I have one more quilt layered and ready to go, but I want to do some piecing for a week or so before I jump on that. I spent time Sunday piecing six Block Lotto Tall Shoo Fly blocks and it was a ton of fun. I want to do more with BL this year. The blocks are going to be rectangles, which I haven't done much with.
     On my Get it Done list:
     1. I have done the stabilizing stitching on the Carpenter's Star quilt, but nothing else. I still have hopes for this.
     2. I have two more border pieces to add to the Christmas Diamonds quilt. Then I need to piece the backing and give it to Michele to quilt. This is a monster-sized king, and I'll be glad to hand it over.
     3. The Block Lotto blocks are done and posted, so check!
     4. I cut some triangles with my Go! cutter, and found I have a defective die. I contacted the seller and they are going to get back to me. Now I really want to test all those other dies to make sure they're OK. I have a 1-year warranty, so I'm pretty sure the defective one will be replaced.
    The bottom line is I have only one check out of four and it's the 20th of the month. I need to get cracking!
     I'm linking up with Design Wall Monday today and I'll add a link Wednesday for WIP Wednesday. Enjoy surfing the creativity!


Sunday, January 20, 2013

6 Block Lotto blocks

Tall Shoo Fly blocks
     I'm posting six Tall Shoo Fly blocks for Block Lotto, and I really, really hope my name gets pulled for this month. These blocks are singing to me, both because I love the colors and it was fun to make them.

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Monday, January 14, 2013

I need to get better at this!

Three small quilts that are done (or nearly in
 the case of the butterflies, which need bound) 
Last week I made a list of projects that I felt I could get done this month.   None of the stuff pictured was even on the list! Since I'm new to blogging (and, apparently, accountability), I totally underestimated how long it would take me to machine quilt these 3 items.

The butterflies at the top aren't done yet, but they're close. I need to trim, bind and label and they will be a finish. The hearts and the Holly Hobby are charity quilts that I will take to Guild tonight to donate. They're small, but they're also DONE! (The hearts weren't done in the picture, but they are now.)

So here's where I see a need for improvement: I need to acknowledge everything that's on my sewing "plate," while still advancing with my lists. I've machine quilted and bound 3 (small) quilts in the first 2 weeks of the year and that's good. I haven't even started on my stated goals for the month, and that's BAD!.

That's going to change this week. The FMQ foot is off the machine and I'm going to pull fabrics for Block Lotto blocks today. I may not get to sew until Wednesday, but that will be OK once I have a plan.

Baby steps. I need to remind myself.

I'm linking up with Design Wall Monday and WIP Wednesday. Check out the inspiration!

Updated to add the correct link to WIP Wednesday. (Sorry!)

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

First Finish of 2013

Feather quilting
Simple feathers drawn in and then quilted
      My first finish of 2013 is a vintage Stack N Whack quilt that I began around 2007 or so. Honestly, I have no idea when the project was begun, because I didn’t keep records back then. The important thing is it’s done and I’m pretty happy about it! Including my quilting, which is far from good but is improving and I’m doubly happy about that!
      You cannot tell from the photo, but it’s the classic Stack N Whack Hexagon that I’ve called “Stacks of Leaves.” I used a design that I came up with in the hexagons, a back-and-forth scribble in the triangles and bubbles in the inner border. I drew feathers in the second border and free-motion leaves in the outer border. I quilted this on my Janome Horizon, using Bottom Line to blend with the backing and C&C and Mettler on the top. I used a Superior titanium-coated topstitch needle, sized 14. The Janome was a champ through it all.
     I used Bonnie Hunter’s method of labeling with a folded piece of fabric in the bottom corner. I still need to fill that out, but I WILL do that today.

Feather quilting in the round
Feathered circle
     Next up: I’m almost finished with another SNW from the same era. This one features butterflies and has Bottom Line in the bobbin, and C&C and Isacord on the top, and the same titanium-coated topstitch needle.
    I’m even happier with this project. I see my quilting stitches improving with each session. On this one, I’ve tried more feathers.  The first ones I drew the spine and feathers and then followed the lines. I stayed with the drawn spine, but began “going for it” on the feathers. Some are pretty wonky, but I see an improvement there, too.
     The bottom line: both these tops will be completed quilts and I will have more practice in free motion quilting.
     I still have one more layered top and I have the glimmer of a plan for that one. It’s the Carpenter’s Star that I put together for Judy’s Feather Lessons. I followed all the posts, but I have been scared to go ahead and quilt it. I’ve gained some confidence from these projects, however, so I’m going to give it a try.
     Last week I blogged about some UFOs that I intend to finish (I didn’t specify a time frame!), and I’ve already changed my mind. I need to narrow this down and be more specific.
     So, I’m going to participate in Judy’s Get it Done Challenge and list my goals for January.
1. Quilt Carpenter Star from last year.
2. Finish top, piece back and send Christmas Diamonds to Michele for quilting.
3. Make blocks for Block Lotto.
4. Begin cutting scraps with my new Go! cutter to get rid of some of the piles of fabric in my sewing room.
     I still want to complete the projects on my list, but I know I need to take baby steps and be realistic. If I can do more, well and good! Stay tuned; I suspect there will be detours on this road because I’m sure I won’t maintain this level of motivation all year.
     I’m linking up to Design Wall Monday,  WIP Wednesday and Friday Finishes. Check out all the inspiration!