Sunday, March 22, 2015

On the Home Stretch!!

The top and bottom and one of the side borders are on.  I just need to put the right side one and I will be ready to quilt.  The border is dark strips although I have decided to carry a couple of the circles out to the edge of the border.  Add a little interest.  I had originally alternated the border squares with light and dark and didn't really think it "ended" the quilt, so I took out the light and substituted for the dark.  As I "frogged", I really was trying to talk myself into leaving it, but since I probably will not make another quilt quite like this again, I decided to do it right.  Again, it is a little "wonky", but I really like it!  Now I am trying to figure out how to quilt it.  I am not going to get too fancy since you will not be able to see it anyway, but I think texture is important.  I am thinking either Baptist Fans or the Egyptian Eye CL Board I have been using a lot lately.  I am going to have to "study" on it for a bit.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Guess Who Just Won!!!

I entered a contest hosted by Rebecca at Ruby Blue Quilts to name her longarm.  I am a "follower" of her blog and read it daily as well as get inspiration from her quilting.  I take things very seriously and so really looked at her quilting and paid attention to the "vibes" I was receiving.  I suggested two names, one for a female persona (Allegra) and one for a male (Memphis).  She chose Memphis!!!! Her choice was because she really loves the movie "Gone In 60 Seconds" that has a main character named Memphis---I suggested it because her quilting has such a "bluesy, soulful" feeling, like the Memphis blues.  I chose her newest book as my prize.  I can't wait to receive it.  What fun!!!!!

Now on my quilty front---I am working extra hard to complete "String Fling"---my name.  I am now putting the borders on and should have a picture within the next couple of days.  Although string quilts are normally not that difficult for me, this one turned out to be since the string blocks, once cut into the Drunkard's Path, should be put together with the strings going alternately vertical and horizontal.  In addition there is the challenge of light vs. dark and vice versa to make the circles stand out.  At any rate, it will be finished soon and another UFO marked off the list!  I am not sure how to quilt it, but it will not go into the pile "to be quilted"----I want it done!!!!

Take care!!!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Spring Break!!!!!!

I am on Spring Break for this week!!!!!!  Happy Dance!  I have lots to do, but I certainly intend to get some quilting in.  So now to update you!

I finished "The Trip".  Completely finished with the quilting, binding and label!!!!

 You can "sorta" see the texture created by the quilting.  At any rate it is HUGE!  I don't think I will ever quilt a quilt this big again (until this one wears out).

I also finished quilting and binding the "gift" quilt.

It really turned out nicely I think.  The polka dot backing is a nice touch.  I sure hope the little one who receives this will like it.

Since I have finished the UFO, I am now back to working on the Building Block quilt.  Huge blocks, that you would think would finish quickly, but takes longer than I would have expected.  Being true to my commitment, I am also going to work on a UFO.  I looked at my "pile" and this is one of the "oldies but goodies" (I have blogged about it previously).

This is made from recycled shirts---some of them belonging to my grandson when he was a little one.  It is rather time intensive---I have to take the shirts apart, cut them into strips, sew a strata and then cut the pieces and then make the block.   It is kinda tricky since the strips should alternate in the blocks.  It is nice and wonky---giving it a real vintage look that I am going for....sorta Gee's Bend-like!  This is 8 rows and I need to make 8 more so------

I pulled out my GO! and started cutting up some shirts I had already "de-boned" into strips (with my strip die) and will also use it to cut the Drunkard's Path blocks.  Without this tool I am absolutely positive I would not have chosen to make this quilt!  I LOVE tools that make things impossible, possible!!!!  Although I could probably use more variety in the shirts, I will not buy more but will use only what I have.  There may be some repeats, but I am good with that.

Onward!  I have lots to do!  Hopefully my "Quilt MoJo" will stay active and productive!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Can't Sleep!!!

I often have issues with sleeping, and when I am concerned, worried or generally unsettled about something, it is worst.  I am at that "place"--some personal family worry's going on and of course there is not one single thing I can do about it.  Let me just say, for those of you with small children, enjoy your parenting challenges---the worst thing in the world is to be a parent of adult children.  Given the fact that although they are old, you are older and still know more than they (although they don't think so), but no one listens to you and you have NO control---but that is for another discussion.

At any rate, what I do when I can't sleep is go to my quilting space.  I really liked the last quilt I made and wanted to make it larger for a toddler and so------

It is 59 inches square...Super Sized.  I figured it out on a piece of paper and went for it, measuring as I went.  The solids are some Moda 5 inch charm packs I had (remember I am trying to use what I have).  The background is a fabric called "Hidden Letters" (if you click on the picture it will enlarge).  I think it is prefect for a boy or girl child.  I am not going to put on a border since the material is directional and I would waste a lot trying to get it to go the right way.  I am debating whether to put a minky back on.  Since a toddler would use this, it might be better to put a cotton backing on.  I have some really cute baby blue polka-dot fabric I may use.

I get such a sense of happiness with making quilts anyway, and when it is as a "gift" it makes me feel good to share a talent (I think it is anyway) to make someone else happy.  Just think if others enjoyed "passing it on", how much better this world would be.  Thanks Sandra for your comment on my last posts!  I really want to thank YOU for giving me this opportunity!!

Anyway, one toddler/older child quilt down, five more to go!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Hug Project

I tried to link the YouTube, but couldn't figure out how to do it.  I will refer you to "That Man Quilts" (see my sidebar) latest blog entry.  Go to the very end and click on the Link!  Viewing it will give you pause for thought!

Thanks Lane for sharing!

Yep---It Quilted Out!!

The borders are pretty straight----No wave!

"Close" up of the pattern.  I worked the fullness in my misting the fabric, patting it into shape, and leaving it to dry.  It almost always works!  Note:  make sure the fabric is colorfast and MIST don't WET.

The backing!  I love the polka dots.  This is for a baby boy!  I was really lucky to find this perfect backing for the quilt.  The batting is 100% rayon and doesn't allow the fabric to shadow through.  

I was correct---my "wavy" borders did in fact quilt out!!!!  I used what is now one of my "most"- favorite CL boards---it is called "Egyptian Eye", but I think I am going to rename it "God's Eye" since it reminds me of the quilt pattern and hanging weaved objects I often see in my home state and the Southwest.  This will still be a "gift" quilt, but rather than given as a donation in connection with my guild, I am going to give it as a shower gift for a very sweet nurse I work with.  Her baby may be born early and so this little quilt will cuddle this little one will still be used for it's original purpose.  The backing is a thinner minky that I found at a great price at Joanne's.  It quilted up wonderfully and I really think I like it better than the more traditional thicker type of minky.  Lesson learned:
  • use a smaller gauge needle.  This minky had a tendency to pull through to the front and the smaller needle decreased this.
  • be sure and put the "stretchy" portion perpendicular to the leaders.  I had to roll it a little tighter than usual and this prevented the back from stretching out.  
I will bind it all by machine since baby quilts are washed a lot!  I also plan on enlarging this pattern and making a larger quilt.  Most of the quilts I have made for our guild "gifting" program have been baby quilts, but older kids don't feel well either.  My goal is to give Sandra at least six quilts for toddlers and older kids so I am going to start on those next week.  I have until June to officially finish but I think I will personally continue to make quilts for this group.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

New Gift Quilt--

As I cut out strips for The Trip, I cut the leftovers  into 2.5 inch squares, and ended up with quite a pile to add to others I had already accumulated.  I was "surfing" Pinterest last night and saw this really cute quilt.  It was made from strips and 2.5 inch squares so I decided I would make it today.  A quick quilt to clear the creative focus after an intense process, almost like what happens when you are purchasing perfume---smell coffee beans  between sniffing scents so you can clear one scent out before smelling another.  At any rate, this quilt wasn't difficult to make.

I have to admit though that the size is much smaller than I anticipated or the photos appeared.  It must have been a really little person holding the quilt up for the picture since I thought it was a throw size at least.  The pattern can be found on the "Cluck Cluck Sew" blog.  It is called the Chippewa Scrap Quilt.

I finished it and then started to wonder if it was sensible to give a white quilt to a sick baby (the quilts are make are for babies/children who are ill).  I will think more about this since when I make quilts I really want them to be used.  This is also going to be my last "baby" size quilt.  I think I will make the next one using 5 inch squares (since I have a lot of charm packs).  They way I figure, that quilt should be the size of a good size twin or at least a throw.  I have some really cute alphabet fabric to use as the background and some charm packs in primary colors.  My goal is to use as much of my "stash" as possible----and then replenish at AQS in Paducah :)!

The borders are a little wavy to me, but I am going to quilt a simple stipple so I should be able to "quilt" it out---or maybe I will go ahead and remove the borders as my blog friend Lane would do.  I'll think on it.  I have to admit, although I want my work to be the best possible, I absolutely HATE to keep taking things out when from experience I know I really can "quilt" some things out.  What I must do however is to remember the difference between "ironing" and "pressing".

Saturday, February 21, 2015


I am completely done!!!!  There are a couple of seams that are off and some tucks, but once I put it together I had a hard time picking the "oops" out.  This is the largest quilt I have ever made!

  • Approximately 93 x 105 (un-quilted)
  • 80 blocks
  • 2,880 squares 
It completely fills our small living room and the ends are up on the step down.  All in all, I really like it and I am proud of myself.  I see a couple of places where I could have mixed it up a little, but the only perfect quilts are made by machine so I can handle the imperfection.

I am going to use a poly for the batting since I do not want a lot of shrinkage with so many seams and different fabrics.  I am also not going to use a really fancy quilting pattern.  Too much going on I think.  I have the perfect pattern in mind.

One UFO down, many more to go!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Almost Done@!!!####!!!!!!!

Eleven more blocks to go!!!  This is the lower half of the quilt.  I am pushing on!!!  My goal is to have this done by the week-end!!!!  It is going to be big----approximately 93 x 102!!!  It is for our bed.  My husband was instructed to go to the store and purchase a mattress last year.  He came back with (what I call) a modified hospital bed!  It has a massage fixture (actually it is a "shake" fixture---that motion is not relaxing to me).  The head and foot adjusts---great for his back, but I wake up stiff and sore every morning---but then since he swears his back feels so much better, I suffer in silence (sorta).  The bed is really high, so I want a quilt that will at least cover half of the bed stand (or whatever it is called).  This quilt should do it!  I am not working on anything else determined to finish!!!! 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

All Snowed In!!!

School was cancelled again today so I was "forced" to work on some quilts a little!!!  It is absolutely beautiful outside---sunny--but oh so cold!!!  We lost electricity for a little while this morning and it sent the hubby out to buy gasoline for the generator.  Me---I called my daughter to see if her electricity was out (it wasn't) so I alerted her she may have company tonight if ours didn't come back on. IT DID!!!!  At any rate, we are ready, but hopefully will not have to put emergency plans into action.

Now on the quilty front---I worked on the "Trip" today.  I really do want to complete it and not put it away as I did last year.  My commitment is even if I start a new quilt, I MUST work on a UFO as well.   Since I always work on multiple projects at the same time, that isn't a hard commitment to keep.  I now have only 3 more rows or 24 more blocks to go.  It is really coming along nicely I think.  I am going to stop by Joanne's with one of my coupons and buy some extra wide muslin for the back.  I think unbleached will go nicely with the busy front.  There are little areas of color concentration, but I like the spontaneity of it.  Even with those areas, the triangles are very visible.  As I move toward the end I must confess, I am not spending a lot of thought into the color orders, concentrating more on contrast and not having a strata with the same fabrics.  Seems to be working out okay.  I am also pressing my seams open making it easier to quilt with so many seams.  To keep the edges from fraying when I cut the sections, I have shortened my stitch and make sure I sew off the seam at the beginning and end so the threads sorta twist and lock themselves.  After each section, I also "stay stitch" the sides to cut down on the edges stretching.  The quilt is in two sections in the picture.  When I add the three rows to the bottom section, then I will sew the two together for the completed top.  Just how I work since it is easier to handle two sections rather than one large sections as I add rows.  Cuts down on stretching as well.

Well keep warm.  I will probably go back to work tomorrow (I have an early clinical) since my hubby says although the roads are really bad in the neighborhood, they aren't bad once you get on the main ones.  It is just I have to leave so darn early---I have to be at the hospital at 6:30!!!!  and that is when it is the coldest!!!!  Oh well---spring will be here soon!