Sunday, August 18, 2019

Another UFO

Hi everyone!  In the quilting world, "UFO" stands for "unfinished object" - those quilts you set aside and mean to get back to ... and as you know, mine have been mounting up!  I mean, there are so many UFOs in my Studio, it's like the Area 51 of the quilt world.  I am working to change that, though!

That's what brought me to this quilt top:


It's a folk art quilt - album style.  I did the appliqué by hand, using a blanket stitch.  I really used to enjoy doing that!  Apparently what I did not enjoy was ear-marking fabric for the binding.  ACK!!!  I would have loved to use the same blue as in that first super-thin border, but no luck.  I didn't have the right red, either - though I think red would have looked really nice.  So ... my top three choices are up above on the right.  I ended up going with the blue on the bottom - many thanks to my friends who weighed in on that!

OK!  On to the quilting!  I used King Tut Sands of Time - it's variegated beiges and would be perfect for the "aged" look of the quilt.  I wanted to quilt it as they would have in the 19th century and wanted to quilt the living daylights out of it, so I chose to do diagonal lines, set about 1/2 and inch apart.  Yikes!  Straight lines are a challenge for me, but I thought they would really enhance the quilt.


I marked with my Frixion pens - wow, I love those things!

I also like my new Regi's Grip Quilting Gloves from Quilting Is My Therapy.  They are so much more comfortable than my old quilting gloves!  I confess, though, I sent the pair I'm wearing in that photo to a friend and bought a new pair for myself.  They were too long in the fingers for me, and I came very close to sewing right through the fingertips a few times.  The new ones are perfect - and hopefully the longer ones will work for my friend!

The girls were excellent company as I quilted - playing with toys, napping, and ... well, please click here.  She is such a riot!

After working a couple hours a day for a few days, I was finished with the quilting!!!


I really couldn't believe I quilted it so fast!  Granted, it's only about 40 square inches, but still!  YAY!!!

Here are a couple favorite blocks:

Hands to work, hearts to God!
Woman and child, with flying animal overhead

I really wish I could remember where this pattern came from!  It's not anywhere in my library.  If it was, I might be able to tell you if that's a flying dog, cat, horse, or something else.  Some of my friends speculated that it could be the cow jumping over the moon - and he's on the descent.  That could work!

Here's a look at the back:


I love the texture!!!

And here it is, after I sewed the binding on:


I just washed and dried it this morning, and love it even more:


It shrunk up just a touch, just enough to give it a bit of an aged look.  

I'm so happy I went back and finished this one.  It's really special to me.  Another UFO, all wrapped up!!!

Thanks so much for reading!

Friday, August 16, 2019

The First Cut Is The ... Hardest

Hi everyone!  Today, I'd like to tell you about a project that no, I didn't start 100 years ago like some of the others, but I did get the featured fabrics quite a while ago!

In exchange for making her a bag (either this one or this one ... my memory is failing me!), my friend Trace sent me some glorious fabrics from Australia!  I love them -- I mean REALLY love them.  And I get afraid to cut into fabrics I love that much.  Is that odd?  I wanted the perfect quilt pattern to show off the beautiful prints and just couldn't find it.

Enter Pinterest.  I started seeing a few things I really liked, then was able to redesign a pattern into one I thought would be perfect!  I took the first step:


As I wrote on Instagram, "Cover me, I'm going in!" I was about to cut. Truly the hardest part - cutting into that awesome fabric!

I love map fabric anyway, but teamed up with cool vintage cars is over the top! Oh, hey, look!!!


That's where Trace lives! Can you see her?!?

My pattern called for careful color placement and lots of flippy squares!


I was pretty far along in the process when I realized I should have sewn two seams 1/2 an inch apart on the squares so I'd have extra half-square triangles. I decided to remedy that by piecing those leftover triangles together:


Waste not, etc.

To get my fabs exactly where I wanted them, for the look I wanted, I started in the center and worked my way out.


The project grew swiftly!


I mean, seriously. Once I was willing to cut into the fabric, it was all a breeze from there!


I love the layout! I quilted with King Tut Sands of Time - a simple wavy grid. I didn't want to detract from the fabs or the design:


Quilting wavy lines is one of my happy places, I've decided. It pleases me.

Next up, piece the binding together:


And stitch that on!


Here's a look at the finished quilt:


And here it is, hanging in its place of honor in my Studio:


It hangs directly across from my Bernina! I've called it Australian Floor Tiles - hopefully, you can see why!

Many, many thanks to Trace for the awesome fabs! I do have a plan for the others and for the leftovers from this project - that will be implemented soon!

And thank you for reading!

Thursday, August 15, 2019

More Updating!

Hi everyone!  Another "finish" to show you today, and a quick project I did a couple weeks ago!

Do you remember the Christmas string quilt I pieced and quilted in April?  I finished putting the binding on that and thought I'd show you how it came out!

Christmas String Quilt 2

I'm really pretty pleased with how it came out! I think it makes a darling table runner!

Here's a look at the back:


It feels good to FINISH things! 😀

We bought a new vacuum (yay!) and it came with tons of plastic bags to hold all the various parts - you know the ones with all the recycling codes, warning labels in more languages than you can count, etc? I love the writing all over those bags!  I cut them apart, did some fusing, and decided to make a little basket for our chargers.


Maggie helped, as you can see!

Since any pins will leave a permanent hole in the plastic, those little Wonder Clips really come in handy!

It came together in no time:


I used my wooden press to flatten the seams - obviously, hitting it with a hot iron wouldn't be a good idea.  The press does a good job on this kind of "fabric".

Never let it be said that quilters don't recycle!

Thanks for reading!

Late note:  I sent the Christmas String Quilt 2 to my sister-in-law and her husband.  

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Hexi Placemats

Hi everyone!  In my quest to finish up old projects, I've not only X-ed off another one, but have a wonderful Christmas gift for someone special!

I had set aside some Christmas prints and had done some cutting to make hexagon placemats.  It's an old Kaye Wood pattern that's really fun to put together in any color scheme or theme. Basically, you start with a hexagon and surround it with prairie points of sorts.


I love the inner star that forms! Add three borders, and you're good to go. I opted to do a set of four hexies, alternating the borders - red, neutral, green on two; green, neutral, red on the other two. Before I knew it, I was ready to quilt.


It must have been thanks to my cheering section.


Aren't they adorable?!?


They really don't need much quilting, so it was a fairly quick finish.


I've made these in dog prints, golf prints, coffee-themed prints, and now Christmas! They are so fun to make - and use - and I've crossed another one off the "finish me" list!!!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

It Needs A New Name

Hi everyone!  After all the work on the Hunter's Star Quilt, I felt I needed to work with more modern, fun fabrics.  Something lighter, brighter, more contemporary.  Nothing against the Civil War reproduction fabs, but they can get a bit heavy sometimes.  To me, anyway.  So ... I turned to some of the fabrics left over from my X Plus quilt and grabbed an assortment of greys and blacks.  I wanted more contrast than I got with the X Plus.

OK!  So now ... what to make?!?  My friend Donna and I started talking about something, and she showed me a pattern she was thinking about doing.  It's called "Kira" and looked very interesting and fun.  I needed "fun" after the challenge of the Hunter's Star.  We decided to go for it!  (Ahem, Donna! You're letting work get in the way of quilting ...).

The pattern looks complicated, but is very easy to construct.  I can't give precise measurements, since it's not my pattern or one in the public domain, but I can show you the process.

You start with blocks like this:


Then you stack them on top of each other, turn them on the diagonal, and ...


... slice. That's the scary part! You swap parts around and get this:


Sewing those together can get a bit tricky, just because of the bias. I found starching my blocks prior to slicing them apart helps.


So do pins. I love pins.

Moving right along ... I did as many blocks as I wanted to (I didn't want something huge this time!) and fiddled around with the layout:


I love all of the Amy Butler prints, the colorful ones, but really found myself wishing I had more of some of the blacks and greys! I especially liked this one:


How cute is that little birdie??!!??

Here's the finished top:


Tell me that's not fun! But seriously - the name? No. It's got to go. When I look at it, I see pennants or banners. Streamers, maybe. But not Kira.

It's in my stack to be quilted - and I will tackle this one myself. I'll post photos after the quilting and after I've sewn the binding on!

Thank you for reading!

Monday, August 12, 2019

Hunter's Star Update

Hi, everyone!  I'm sorry it's been so long since I've posted.  It's been a busy time around here - fortunately with lots of quilting thrown in!  I thought today I'd give you an update on the Hunter's Star quilt.

When I last posted, I was unhappy with the green/yellow inner border I had chosen.  It was already sewn on - did it bother me enough to rip it all out?  That would be a lot of ripping!  After much thought ...


Yeah. The green had to go.


It took quite a while to remove, but I am so glad I did it! I started auditioning other fabrics -- the catch being I needed quite a bit and HAD to make do with what I have on hand. Why? A self-imposed rule. This quilt was a "use your stash" quilt.

I had enough of two different browns (barely) and started playing around with them.


I had some of the lighter brown in the quilt already, but that other one spoke to me!  I really like how it looks with the navy I had chosen for the outer border, so ...


I cut happily away, then set about putting both borders on.


I'm very uncomfortable dealing with large pieces of fabric, so for me to do that inner border all over again was a real challenge.  Actually making a quilt this HUGE was a challenge, but I kept at it and got both borders on!  Here is the top:


The brown and blue color scheme fits the rest of the quilt SO MUCH BETTER - and truly is more "me", if that makes sense.  

As for the quilting, this is way too big for me to handle.  Fortunately, I have a very talented friend who has a longarm and is in the business!  She agreed to quilt it for me in September.  That is PERFECT!  She quilted another one of my quilts for me several years ago and she is truly skilled.  Once it's home and I've sewn on the binding, I'll show it to you again!

As always, thanks for reading!