Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wall Hanging Update

This wall-hanging needs to be finished by Monday and I've been working really hard to make that happen.  Last night I sewed the final cloud and finished all the sky sections.

Next up: mountains!

Hopefully I'll be able to finish at least one this afternoon.  I can't wait to see what a finished block will look like.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sunday Stash and Quilting the Sky

Over Thanksgiving, I visited quite a few quilt shops.  In one week I added 20 yards of fabric to my stash!  So I'm going to break it up into a couple of posts.  Here's the first half...

Doesn't it look so pretty piled there?
Let's take a closer look!

I couldn't resist this map of the solar system.  And look!  It even recognizes Pluto!  Bonus.

In other news, I'm not a Trekkie.  Not at all; why do you ask?

The first store I visited was in New York City and they had some city specific fabrics.  A good number of them were too flashy for me, but this piece caught my eye.  The background is a sepia map of the streets covered with the name tiles from subway stops.  And I won it by checking the website before going, because there weren't any bolts on the floor when I was there.

In addition, I've been making some progress on my niece's wall hanging. Not as much as I need to be making, but progress nonetheless.

All four sets of trees have been finished.  Each of the four blocks also has a sun, and one block has the entire sky quilted.  The sun was quilted with a doubled strand of cotton thread in the hopes that it would stand out.  I'm not sure that was entirely successful, and it was a pain in the rear to work with.

Linking up with Sunday Stash and Fabric Tuesday.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sunday Stash - Winter

I've put together a little bundle of pretty fabric from my stash based on Ali's prompt: "winter."

Detail shot:
White on white and metallic swirls

Crisp tones of blues and greys and silver metallic threads.  That's what I think of when I hear "winter;" a snow covered winter wonderland.

It was a little difficult to find 10 fabrics.  I don't have much seasonal fabric in my stash.  But I think this bundle turned out pretty well despite that.

Linking up to Ali's Stash Flash and Sunday Stash.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Finding Gold

Back when I revealed Secret Garden I had mentioned another mystery quilt that had rockier beginnings.  Today I'd like to share this quilt with you in all its finished glory.

I give you "Finding Gold".
Finished Size: 66 x 82.
Machine Quilted.

It was my first mystery weekend and I had been looking forward to finally being out of school and able to go away on retreat with my mom.  Unfortunately, that weekend I was feeling poorly.  But because of that I was working slower than everyone else and I watched as one quilter after another wasn't thrilled with their finished product.

 I brought my pieces home and let them languish in my closet for a couple of years, but I was determined to make this quilt into something.  I wasn't letting my hard work on 192 triangles amount to nothing!  So I pulled them out, started playing with layouts, and bought some gold to make the quilt a little more rounded.  (A solely pink and purple quilt means a lot more pink than I am comfortable with.)

Finally I came up with a design I was happy with.  And now, after a trip to the quilter and a bit of binding, it's off on a new journey.

I gifted this quilt to a coworker friend of mine to raffle off for Relay for Life.  She is one of two event coordinators for my area.  I hope this quilt will help her fundraising efforts.  Relay for life happens in early June, so I have to wait a while to see how it does.

Linking up with Finish it Up Friday.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Giving Thanks and Productivity

What a productive holiday I've had.  In between long bouts of relaxing, eating, and the occasional walk, I've made some granny squares...

...and after people threatened to use them for coasters several times, I made some actual coasters for my parents' new house.

I worked on quilting a certain wall hanging.  Two sets of trees down, but there's still a long way to go.  I sure hope I can have this done in three weeks.  I have to get a serious move on!

And last but not least, my little scorpion was given a tail!  I've started a couple of cross-stitches but have never finished one.  Finishing a cross-stitch is on my bucket list, and there's no time like the present to start working towards it!

(Before and After)

Linking up with Fabric Tuesday and WiP Wednesday.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Silver Lining

Slightly too long for my curtain rod to hold up
I have a big finish this week.

I managed to actually start working towards Christmas early this year, instead of just saying I would (Finally!), and I've been doing really well at crushing out my crafty Christmas list.  It's nice to be almost finished.

This quilt was pieced in one weekend back in May.  I was away on retreat and my long arm quilter was near by, so I wanted to drop it off before the weekend ended.  Talk about motivation!

The blue fabric is somewhat directional and looks like rain (at least I think so), so the blue rail fence pieces were cut in two directions to keep the rain falling in the right direction.

With the fabric looking like rain, and the quilt headed for desert country, I wanted the name to be related to rain.  When I started auditioning names, it ended up not being about the rain itself, but what comes with it.  So, without further ado, I give you...

Blue binding to finish off the edges
Silver Lining.
Finished Size: 85 x 94.
Machine Quilted.

Quilting Pattern

When I was taking pictures, I realized that I like my quilt backs to be more interesting.  The back on Silver Lining is all blue, and it seems to go on forever!

Linking up with Finish it up Friday.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Pillowcases and a Sneak Peek

I've been working on a couple more pillowcases.  I had about 9 that I wanted to make before Christmas, and I now have 5 finished.

The one on the right is a second one for my crazy color loving sister.  This one was a special request, she picked out the fabric and asked me to make her a pillowcase.  In the course of making it I found that despite the fabric having a large selvage, the label was printed on usable fabric above the edging!  That cost me a little bit in width.  Not enough that it should be a problem, but enough that it was annoying.

And I'll leave you with a sneak peak of something I'll be posting all finished in a few days...

 Linking up to Fabric Tuesday.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Crazy Chevrons

I have been busily working on pillowcases.  I have nine that I want to make for the holidays this year, four of which will be for charity.  With these first two pillowcases I'm halfway there!

Next up is one of two pillowcases for my sister.  This one I have been planning for a while.

Hint: 1,1,2,3,5,8,13...
I was originally going to make this pattern in more subdued colors, but then realized that wasn't my sister's style.  My sister likes bright and loud.  The one time I brought her into a fabric store she thought all the brightly colored chevrons were awesome and should be made into a single quilt.

I didn't quite manage a quilt, but I think I think I covered lots of chevrons and bright fairly well.

It's a little long for a pillowcase in order to accommodate the pattern I was going for.  I usually make pillowcases about 20x30 inches, and this one is 33 inches long.  (Bonus points to anyone who knows what the pattern is.)

Linking up with Fabric Tuesday and Finish it up Friday.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday Stash

I promised myself a little treat this week.  And of course we all know what that means... new fabric!

First up is some "Lil-Ducky".  I've already used the blue in three baby quilts a couple of years ago and I didn't think it would still be around.  I liked it so much then that, when I saw it was still out, I had to grab some more.  One yard each of yellow and blue.  I love that little duck in galoshes!

Next up is some Michael Miller: "Lab Animals" and "Atoms".  I liked these so much that they were picked up on my first pass around the store.  Does anyone else do a first lap just to see what's in the shop before picking out bolts?  They are going to be used for a pillowcase for charity, but they were so cute that there might be a little extra for the stash!

Last up I acquired some warm and cool chevrons.  These two are going to be made into a pillow case.  Yes, together.  No, there won't be any other fabric involved to calm them down.  My sister likes bright, and this is sure to fit the bill.  It will be a pillowcase only she will be able to sleep on.

Linking up with Sunday Stash.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Black Tie Affair

Well this is it, I have finally finished the quilt that debuted in my first blog post!  It's only been sitting for four months quilted and waiting for binding.  Not that I procrastinate or anything...

The civil war reproduction type fabric used for the sashing is definitely out of my normal range so I went with a more modern looking fabric for the binding to liven it up a little.

I call it Black Tie Affair for two reasons...  One: because of the penguins wearing their little suits and two: because most people who saw it commented that they had never seen an elegant penguin quilt before.

I sent it out to be long arm quilted and, to be completely honest, I was a little disappointed in how it came out.  Partly I think it's just more densely quilted than I like and partly I think the quilter and I weren't in sync when I dropped it off.  I came away feeling like the quilter was a bit uncomfortable doing what I asked for and wondering if I made a mistake.  I think that interaction colored my opinion of the result.  Everyone else really likes it, so I'm working on letting it grow on me.

As of right now this quilt is without a home.  Its intended recipients are no longer engaged, so it has to wait until I find someone else who will appreciate all the penguins.  I'm not sure I've met them yet!

Linking up with Finish it up Friday.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Binding is not my favorite part of quilting.

Part of my problem is that my machine does not handle the bulk well.  I have to keep convincing the feed dogs to not give up.  And I have learned to appreciate the needle up\down button which I don't have!

Since a good portion of my quilting to do list right now involves binding quilts, I haven't been too motivated to get into the sewing room.  I usually end up putting off doing the binding until the very last second, but I refuse to be sewing binding the day before we leave for the holidays this year.

I wish there was a finishing fairy to come along and bind my quilts for me.   But since there isn't, or at least we haven't met yet, last night I made myself sit in the sewing room and get working on binding.

I managed to get the binding mostly sewed down to the front.  I felt so ridiculous trying to manipulate this monster through my itty-bitty Janome that I told my husband he needed to take a picture.  Though for all the trouble it was giving me, I'm not sure this picture does it justice!

All that's left is joining the ends and then lots and lots of hand stitching to finish it off.  Hopefully I'll keep this momentum going.  It only took me 4 months to get this far.

Linking up to W.i.P Wednesday.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Hand Quilting

My entry for the Blogger's Quilt Festival is one that I finished just recently, so I hope you will bear with me and enjoy it again.  I call it "Secret Garden."

Secret Garden was a mystery quilt made from stash fabric, which becomes irreplaceable as time goes on and fabric goes out of print, so I was especially nervous about cutting into this beautiful butterfly fabric.  I've had one hit and one miss when making mystery quilts so I'm not sure I will make another one, but I really like how this one came together in the end!

I fussy cut some of the center squares and the border is 5 inches wide to showcase the butterfly fabric as much as possible.  I used every last scrap that I could!  The border was even re-worked a time or two because I started with a design that used more than I had.  Whoops!  I hate it when that happens.

For my whole time blogging I have been quilting on the sly, because this quilt was going to a very good friend of mine.  It was awesome to give it to her for her birthday last month.  I love when I can bring a happy surprise to the people I like.  That's what makes all the hard work worth it!

Circles are my go to quilting shape and there are 183 circles of various sizes in this bad boy!

This quilt took about 145 hours and is approximately 62x80.  It is bound in light green.

Thanks for stopping by and make sure to enjoy some of the other pieces on display.  Submissions are open until Halloween and voting begins on November first.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Friday Finish!

My niece had to design a quilt pattern for a class.  When I heard about this I knew I had to see what the pattern looked like.  I thought it would be a cool gift if I could make something using her pattern.

When the pattern came I was worried.  Very worried.  When someone who is not a quilter draws a design... well, I took one look and was ready to run screaming for the hills!  It was complicated looking.  And all the shapes I had never dealt with before were intimidating!

But I was determined.

So I started designing.  And pulling some fabric.  And doing a lot of procrastinating.  Interspersed with a whole bunch of winging it.

The trees were not so difficult once I had the right rulers, but I completely and utterly made things up as I went on the mountains.  (It worked once, so I just crossed my fingers and wished until I finished the other three.  Seems reasonable, right?)

This wall-hanging has had more than its share of issues along the way.   And where there are seams coming together, there are a LOT of seams coming together.

But I think it came out pretty darn well at the end of it all!

If you look closely there are two different skies.  One on each diagonal

As you can see, I have already started auditioning some backs.

Linking up with Finish it up Friday.

Friday, October 4, 2013

On the Winds of North Carolina

That mini quilt challenge I had in my sights?  I managed to pull it all together!  In two days I designed, pieced, hand quilted, and constructed a 12x12'' pillow.  Phew!  But I'm very excited to show it off!  I may have done a happy dance after it was all pieced.  It came out better than I hoped.
The Glider

The challenge was to make a mini quilt based on a holiday memory.  I thought that was really cool!  Then I hemmed and hawed and got stuck.  I have lots of awesome holiday memories, but it was hard to pull something from them that could be made into a quilt in 2 days.  But after much struggling to choose, Wednesday morning my pattern just fell right out of my head.  Quilt plan and all!

Me in the middle!
This summer we went to the Outer Banks in North Carolina.  While we were there, we took the opportunity to give hang gliding a try.  There are some awesome winds in the Outer Banks (sometimes a little too awesome! Apparently 25mph is too strong to hang-glide on...) and sand dunes that at least made me feel as though it would be a soft landing.  I loved it.  If I lived near a gliding hill, I think I'd go once a month!

Family and friends tried too...

So without further ado...  I give you hang gliding, quilted style!
(I'm sorry the pictures are a bit dark, it's nasty out today.)

If you look closely, there's a needle in the arm of the chair!

You may notice that the sky fabric that I acquired the other day came in very handy.  I'm glad I bought extra!

I added a couple of clouds, a good wind keeping the glider aloft, and wind patterns in the sand.  The back is made from white polka dots, because who doesn't like a good polka dot?

It was a good trip, a great memory, and it became a pretty neat pillow!  I hope you enjoyed coming along on my trip down memory lane!