Wednesday, December 13, 2017

My Fisnishes are Flimsy

My finishes may be mostly flimsies, but that doesn't mean they are weak.  I can finally share this finished quilt top with you!  Cheryl has released the last piecing and setting instructions for the Magnolia Mystery Quilt.  It wasn't until I trekked (okay walked outside) into the snow (light dusting) to take this picture, that inspiration has struck with a quilting plan!  I do believe I will draw up my quilting plan, so that it doesn't escape my memory.  I have a whole folder full of good quilting intentions.

After playing with all the different layouts, I'm happy to report this is the one I have landed on.  I'm still debating borders.  I think how I decided to quilt it will help determine if I add borders.  I'm loving the look of all the straight line quilting I've seen so far with this quilt online, but I'm wondering what adding some curves to the mix would do.

Confession...I've been spending a fair amount of time with another man...Mister Domestic.  Yes, David does know, he even joined in.  Ha!  It started out with fabric pine cones.  Once Matthew posted them on Instagram, I knew I had to make them.

So far I've made a total of eight and they have been gifted to members of my guild.  I have to say they were a huge hit.  David fell in love with Matthew's woven hexie star ornaments and suggested we make some for our tree.

I followed Matthew's tutorial and cut my strips for weaving at 5".  It worked, but it was kind of a struggle to make everything fit...curse words helped.  David decided to cut his slightly bigger at 5.5" and had a much easier time with the weaving process.  If I decided to make more, I will definitely go a slightly longer length.

Next up on the finished stand, is some 1930's print signature blocks.  Our guild will be participating in another block exchange after the first of the year, making signature blocks for everyone to sign.  These particular blocks will be for a secret project, but it sure feels good to have them done ahead of schedule.

Now let's talk UFO's for a minute.  Dave and I have been doing some serious cleaning of our back room.  YIKES!  My problem is bigger than I had anticipated.  But admitting a problem is the first step.  So I think starting on Wednesday, December 20th, I will host the first UFO linky party and we will call it our Quilting Confession addition.  Think of it as a safe space to support each other and talk about our quilt project hoarding collecting.  I the first step of tackling WIP's and UFO's will be to know exactly how many you have and what they are.  Trust me, you will probably feel much better about yourself once you see my list.  I'll open the second linky around the end of the month and we can talk about what we are going to work on, maybe why it became an abandoned project and what we need to do to make it a finish...then do our best to finish it, however long we take.  So I hope you will join me next week, to have a little chat about abandoned projects and conquering our quilt finishing fears.

In the mean time, I have some smaller projects I'd like to finish before the new year.

I've gathered my threads to quilt a small Star Cross wall hanging.

And I've gathered threads to finish quilting three Americana Flags I completely forgot about.  You can find the tutorial for them here.  These poor flags have been hanging out since December 2015.  I think they deserve a finish and I'll see if I can deliver....wish me luck.

Today I'm linking up with Let's Bee Social and Midweek Makers

Friday, December 8, 2017

Butterfly Meadow Mystery Quilt

This post feels like it has been a long time coming.  Finally, I can say that the Butterfly Meadow Mystery quilt is finished (it's actually been finished for a few weeks).  Let's start back at the beginning then zip to the end, shall we?

Earlier in the summer, David was contacted by a past student and asked if it was possible to commission us to make a quilt for him.  We wanted us to make a birthday present for his wife and David was very quick to jump to an answer of yes.  His only requests where, lots of pink, butterflies and a breast cancer ribbon.

After some back and forth with ideas, he really liked the look of Cheryl's Meadow Mystery Quilt after seeing a finished version of David's.  Meanwhile, I stumbled across some beautiful pink and green butterfly fabrics that we would use to pull colors from for the quilt.  All was coming along swimmingly.  The piecing went quite quick for David.  The quilter on the other hand...well she got a bit carried away.

I really really wanted to custom quilt the snot out of this quilt....and that is exactly what I did.  I used five different colors of Aurifil 50wt thread in the quilting of this quilt; 2021 Natural White, 2610 Light Blue Grey, 1100 Red Plum, 2423 Baby Pink and 5017 Shining Green.

All of the quilting was done on my Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen and I used several different curved and straight rulers to add dot to dot quilting.  How about I let the thread and quilt speak for itself in the next few pictures.  Most have appeared on the blog already, but I thought it might be nice to have them all in once place.

I chose to go with a simple pink binding to finish things off.  If you are paying close attention, you may notice that the binding fabric isn't actually used in the piecing of the quilt.  However, I think it pulls from all the pink shades used in the quilt, justifying its use.

As a final little additive,  we included a label for the back of the quilt.  I give credit to many conversations with my dear friend Julie (Pink Doxies) for my new found understanding as to why quilt labels are important.  Talking with her about her efforts to document and research quilts really has brought this to my attention.  Now future generations will know; who the quilt was for, when and why it was gifted, the pattern/designer of the quilt and the makers.

I was able to take the quilt out for a photo shoot at our local walking park.  It was a fun evening, spent laughing with a dear friend (best quilt holder ever) that I don't get to spend near enough time with.  She herself is a breast cancer survivor as well, so it meant the world that she could help me photograph this quilt.

I hope the new owners love the quilt as much as we do.  I feel bad that my quilty wants turned this quilt into a birthday Christmas gift.  But those fabrics were screaming at me to quilt them this way.  Next time, I probably wouldn't quilt it this heavily, okay, who am I kidding, if you give me free reign, I'm gonna use it.

Oh, and for those that might remember this...

the blue piece of fabric that I accidently stitched to the back of the quilt...David very patiently cut it out of the quilt so that I didn't have to unpick the stitches.  Thanks goodness for David, I was going to use it as a quilt label opportunity.

Hopefully, this will not be the last finish of the year for me, time sure it ticking away.  There are several exciting things brewing over here that I can't tell you about quite yet, but know that I am busting to!!!

I do think the UFO Busting Party is going to be a go next year (I have a party button designed, I have to do it right?).  I'm thinking we will start things out in January, with a Quilty Confession addition, and talk about our UFO's (and works in progress).  I think before we can start tackling them we need to be honest with ourselves and figure out just how many we have.  So start rounding up all your unfinished projects and let's have a group therapy session next month.

Today I'm linking up with Main Crush Monday, TGIFF, Finished or Not Friday, and Can I Get a Whoop! Whoop!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Foster Puppy Finish

I have to say this is a very satisfying finish.  These adorable little puppies will not be staying with me, but instead traveling on to a good home.  I was only their foster mom.  Before you think I've lost my mind, lets start at the beginning.

Back in September, my quilt blog friend Karen (KaHolly) had one simple request for her birthday...Dog Gone Cute Blocks from Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilt's QAL.  Karen hoped to turn the blocks she received into wall hangings and small quilts to raise money to help with the care of animals that are displaced from their owners because of natural disasters.  More specifically the hurricanes that blew through the southern US earlier this fall.

As many of you know, I am an animal lover.  I couldn't imagine losing my fur babies or being separated from them, so I knew I wanted to help.  I emailed Karen to see if there was a need on her part, maybe more smaller blocks than larger ones and she said she would happily take anything.  Anything at all.

I decided on four large blocks using a cute little pastel with gold FQ bundle and gray and white polka dots.  In no time at all, I had the blocks all stitched up.

They were just kind of staring at me wagging their tails like, "what do we do now, human."  So it got me thinking, Karen is probably going to get so many blocks, she will be swimming in puppies for months.  I've made it this far, why not just sew the blocks together and add some borders?  So that's exactly what I did.  It was time to train these puppies to be well behaved and functional dogs.  Ready at the drop of the hat to make someone happy and raise money for those animals that need it.

For the most part they were very well behaved and learned quickly.  There was only one little oopsy one of them bit me.

I decided on Lorna's quick and easy wavy lines in a medium gray thread color.  I tried two new things on this project; the first being Superior Thread in Silver and the second the Handi Quilter Glide Foot.

The Glide Foot came with my Sweet Sixteen when I purchased it.  It is a clear plastic bowl shaped foot that can be used with quilting a quilt with applique or other embellishments.  Because if its rounded shape, the foot can easily pass over quilt elements that might cause a normal hopping foot to snag.  I will say that it did easily glide over my quilt top and probably would work like a dream over applique.  Not sure I would make it my everyday foot, but it was nice for a change.

For the binding I chose to do a scrappy flange with the left over fat quarters from the bundle.

All that I need to do is finish hand stitching down the hanging tab on the back of the quilt and post these little puppies to Karen.

I hope that by sending a finished quilt, it can help take some of the pressure off of her and even free her up for a quilting squirrel if it comes her way.  Stitching for a cause is always heart warming and good work, but you should always have a bit a freedom to work on something for yourself as well.  Being able to help the animals and Karen has brought a smile to my face and I thank her for letting us help with her project.  Oh, and if you are reading this, Karen, I'm not very fluent in other languages, so I trained the puppies in pig latin :)

Today I'm linking up with Main Crush Monday, Finished or Not FridayTGIFF, and Can I Get A Whoop! Whoop!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Just Waking Up

Instead of just settling in for a long winter's nap I appear to be just waking up from a Thanksgiving coma...yikes!  Every year the company that I work for closes for the week of Thanksgiving/deer hunting season...yes that's a real thing here in my part of the world.  It's a week for spending time with family and of course quilting, quilting and quilting.  I had huge plans for the week, that came to a screeching halt when I had to admit defeat to a sinus infection and rest.

That's okay, I still got a few things finished.  Like Jenny's birthday Christmas(?) unicorn quilt.  I love the addition of the fractured borders and so does she!  All that is left to do is work it into the quilting rotation so that hopefully it doesn't become her birthday Christmas New Years Valentines Day quilt.

I also caught up on Cindy at Stitchin At Home's Medallion Quilt.  I don't think there are too many more to go, before this one can work its way to becoming a finished quilt top.

I also spent some time making the last two blocks for The Children's Library QAL and piecing the top together.  I had two rows finished, complete with sashing and I can admit, I wasn't in love.  I just wasn't sold on my very busy sashing fabric.  I pulled David in for a bit of advice on fabrics for the two blocks.  All of the blocks have been made from fabrics in my stash (yay for using fabrics) but I was afraid they didn't really go together.  He pointed out that most of the colors in the blocks where found in the center Alice In Wonderland Block...completely a coincidence.  He helped me pull a few more colors in from that block and thus, Peter Rabbit

and The Mouse and the Motorcycle were born.

The time and date stamp fabric gave this quilt some crazy movement across the quilt.  I felt like my eyes were crossing if I looked at it too long.

I think the addition of the small yellow border helped tame some of the craziness and help the eyes find a place to land before the really cool book border fabric.  Sadly, this top is headed to join the 2015 and 2016 BOM's in UFO land (2014 is actually a finished quilt), until I get my act together.

I do have a small quilt finish in the form of puppies, but we will save that for it's own little post.  So I am back and feeling so much better.  I still have quite a few items on my list to finish, but all in good time.  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and was able to sneak in a bit of quilting time.

Today I'm linking up with Let's Bee Social and a very special edition of Midweek Makers...the 100th edition!!!!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Windy Days Quilt

A finish!  A finish!  I have a finish!!  One thing marked off the list of to do's.  This is the Windy Days Quilt by Sarah Meyer for Moda Bake Shop.  I've had this quilt on my bucket list for a while now and a co-worker expecting a baby was the perfect excuse to make it.

It started off life as this beautiful charm pack of Ambleside, yardage of Michael Miller Fairy Frost and some yardage for backing.

You might remember my slight melt down of thinking I didn't have enough 5" squares of the background fabric.  I learned an even bigger lesson: read your pattern completely and thoroughly before you start cutting.  The pattern actually calls for two charm packs of background fabric (which I cut from yardage).  I could have save myself a ton of time and worry.  I really didn't need as many squares as I thought I did.  I trimmed most of those 5" square down to 4.5" anyway.  If I had gave the pattern my 100% attention I would have figured that out way sooner and saved my rotary cutter blade.  Live and learn.

After all my pieces where trimmed I decided to lay everything out on the design wall to keep myself straight.

At this point, I was questioning my decision.  I just wasn't seeing my own vision marrying these fabrics to this pattern.  I continued to push forward.

As my pinwheels formed and rows came together, the quilt came to life.  Surprisingly, this quilt came together super quick.  The smaller pinwheels are formed by making four half square triangles all in one whack.

With a finished top, it was time to think about quilting.  I wanted quick and easy.  I searched on Pinterest for edge to edge design ideas.  I wanted to try something other than stipple or loops.  I found a pantograph design that looked like it wouldn't be too hard to free hand stitch and printed it out for reference.

I decided to try something a bit new to me.  Normally, I would just sit down and quilt something like this, no marking, quilting willy nilly.  This time, I marked 6.5" registration lines on the quilt and would fill the spaces with the design, like a pantograph.

I pinned the print out of the pantograph to the wall above my Sweet Sixteen so that I could reference it from time to time.  A big thanks to Oliver for the tail shot.  I guess he misses being on camera...he butted in.

I have to say, I really liked stitching the design this way.  The lines helped me to keep the motifs in proportion and spaced nicely.  Did I stay between the lines?  Of course not and that's okay, I wasn't necessarily trying to.  The goal was to fill the spaces as evenly as possible.

I quilted the top using Aurifil #2423 Baby Pink on the top and 2021 Natural White in my bobbin.  Both threads melted beautifully into the background leaving a wonderful soft texture to the quilt.

The binding was this pretty little yellow print and a white on white from my stash.

At the last minute, I decided to back the quilt in this soft flannel.  I'm not sure I'm in love with the shade of pink this flannel is when combined with the fairy frost on the front, but it's not bad.  This quilt was made to be used, and that flannel is just so regrets.

The little girl this quilt was made for is one week old today and it will be united with her very soon.  As always, my wish for this quilt is lots of snuggles and laughs and that it will bring years of comfort to her.

That wraps up my finish for this week.  I'm still looking for some sunshine to take pictures of the Butterfly quilt.  Hopefully, I can share it with you next week.  I may be silent for the next few days, with the Thanksgiving holiday knocking on our doors.  So I wish you all a wonderful week next week, just incase I disappear.

Today I'm linking up with Finished or Not Friday and Can I Get a Whoop! Whoop!
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