Feb 252014

February’s Lovely Finish is FINISHED!

First blogged about here, I have finished the quilting (took me days), trimmed the edges up square – or as square as I could get it, and attached sleeve and label. It now hangs in our stairway, occupying a spot reserved for another UFO that I will probably not finish any time soon.

Here’s a closer look —

Trimming the edges so the whole thing was square without chopping off any corners of blocks was a bit of a challenge because the quilt was slightly bigger than the width of my big cutting table, making it hard to see whether any particular planned cut would work. I managed, but did need to re-trim a couple of the edges. For binding I first thought I wanted green, but when I laid a test strip beside the quilt it didn’t look good, so I dug out a brown that worked very well.

It could still stand blocking but that can wait, I have other quilts to finish.

 February 25, 2014  Posted by at 4:05 pm Finish-Along 3 Responses »
Feb 022014

I’ve been doing an inventory of my UFOs. I haven’t finished and I am already over my count of two years ago, and I finished 23 during that time! Can’t resist starting new ones, I guess. I am using a very broad definition of UFO – if it is a defined project and at least one step has been taken, and it isn’t finished, it counts. That is still not 100% accurate because sometimes I count a box-lot of something that might end up being two projects, but if it feels like a project I count it. Maybe someday I’ll break that down into narrower categories, but for now I inventory UFOs, finished quilts, and fabric.

While rummaging I found this unfinished thing from over ten years ago. I didn’t get the color balance quite right in this pic, there’s no purple in it!

It’s about 1/3 quilted, and if I remember right, I quit working on it after the arm broke off of my quilting foot. You know, the part that makes it bounce up and down? A lot of quilters now bend or cut that arm intentionally so the foot skims instead of bouncing, but my old Pfaff does not quilt well on skim. If I try to do circles it skips stitches along one side. I suspect the needle gets pulled too far to the side for the hook to catch the thread and pull it around the bobbin.

But my Janome is going fine (knock on wood!!) and I’m in free-motion mode and I want something to finish that I don’t have to obsess over the quilting. I’m sure the quilting I’m doing now is at least equal to the quilting I was doing then, and it’s an easy overall pattern. You may be able to see it in this photo:

This quilt started life as a pile of green and yellow 9-patches. I had made them for the border of a full-size quilt, then decided they were too bright for the center and did something else for the border. Then, of course, I had all these leftover 9-patches. I made a nap-size quilt with some, which I gave to my mom for her yellow couch. And I still had some blocks left. I think the idea to insert strips came to me after a class with Diane Hire, where we inserted strips into big 4-patches. Yes, I probably got a little carried away with the inserts, I tend to do that.

The blocks were then wonky enough to beg for a wonky setting. I wish now I’d used more green around the outside, not just the inner sashing, but that’s what I had in my scrap pile. My stash was a lot smaller in those days, lol. The top looks crooked partly because it is (I will trim after quilting) and partly because only one quadrant of it is quilted (lower left in the photo up top).

Anyway, this is my planned finish for the Lovely Year of Finishes challenge, for February.

 February 2, 2014  Posted by at 2:41 pm Finish-Along 1 Response »
Jan 282014

Well, I did it! Finished this lovely quilt which I named “Divorce: DWR Deconstructed.” This one was my goal finish for The Year of Lovely Finishes. It is also finish #1 for the Finish-Along (original post here).

I dithered for awhile over how to do the binding. In the end I trimmed the batting away, to the edge of the top fabric, then trimmed the backing to about an inch, to an inch and a half, maybe a tad more. I used scissors and judged the width by eye, letting it be as wonky as it wanted.

I folded the back to the front, leaving the raw edge out, and stitched about 3/8 of an inch from the edge to hold it in place. Then, the tedious part, I fringed the exposed raw edge with scissors. I had hoped it would fray in the wash but it didn’t. Oh well, the fringe looks ragged enough as is.

 January 28, 2014  Posted by at 8:06 pm Finish-Along 7 Responses »
Jan 142014

I have eight quilts I want to finish this quarter. Which might be a few more than I can squeeze in, but I don’t know yet which one[s] I won’t get to. I want to do them all! Here’s my list for the Finish-Along, first quarter of 2014.

1) “Divorce” – I have to start with an easy one, this needs binding, label, and sleeve. I might have it done this week, if my knee recovers enough so I can run the sewing machine. (Wallhanging)
2) “Kally” – That’s my working name for this Kaleidoscope quilt done Ricky Tim’s way, all set for some serious free-motion quilting, as soon as I get back in the groove with some practice quilts. (Wallhanging)
3) “Snowy Trees” – Another waiting for quilting. I’ve got some snowflake stencils I want to try in the white areas on this one. After a practice quilt or two. (Wallhanging)
4) “Twisted Sister” – Made following a Craftsy class by Joe Cunningham, this is my version of his Crazy Sisters process. I’ve started quilting, it needs a little bit of free-motion work too. (Crib size) [I need a more recent pic, this was all I could find]
5) “Stripes” – A QAYG quilt made by sewing strips directly to the backing and batting, which, I’ve discovered, is boring as hell. I may have to pay myself in chocolate to finish this one. Why did I make it twin size??
6) QAYG blocks #1 – Layered and basted blocks, ready for some free-motion practice. I expect to get these quilted, but whether I’ll get them assembled into a finished quilt by the end of the quarter remains to be seen. (Twin, I think.)
7) QAYG blocks #2 – Another set of basted blocks waiting for free-motion quilting, which will be used as practice before I tackle numbers 1, 2, 3, and 8. (Another twin, if I calculated right.)
8) “Cardinal Sin” – Another top made from Joe’s Craftsy class (there’s more on my “next up” list, I loved this class). I included a cardinal-print tea towel in the quilt to spice it up a little, but I’m feeling the end result is too big for the birds. I may cut it down a bit, but have not decided how much. I’d put it aside longer but I joined a tea-towel challenge and this is my challenge quilt. It needs to be finished by the end of March. (Wallhanging.)

So there you have it. Eight quilts in two and a half months. I’d better get to work.

 January 14, 2014  Posted by at 8:58 pm Finish-Along 1 Response »
Jan 102014

Here’s my intended finish for January, to take part in the Lovely Year of Finishes over at Fiber of All Sorts blog.

I started this quilt to see if I could finish in five days. I might have, if I hadn’t run into machine issues that kept me from being able to machine quilt it. Out of three sewing machines, I had none I could use. One functioned, but after a year of struggle I’ve admitted I will never be able to control the speed on it, at least not enough for free-motion work. I debated using it anyway, but it was set up with a walking foot and thread for another project I still want to finish.

Another, a new-to-me Janome, came with the wrong darning foot (that’s what you get when you buy used on Ebay). A month later I’m still trying to get a free-motion foot that fits from my local (brand new) dealer. Good thing I bought the right darning foot online. Not that I’ve used it, having been side-tracked by shiny object syndrome. I made another new top (watch for a post on that soon) instead of quilting.

Eventually I cajoled my trusty old Pfaff into working well enough (it hadn’t been sounding right) to do the quilting on this quickie project. I had one tension issue near the end, when the machine suddenly had no top tension. None. I had to rip out a stretch of quilting, something I never do! It was that bad (but came out easy enough). Rethreading took care of the problem but the poor dear is now headed for the machine-doctor.

I call this quilt “Divorce” because it’s a de-constructed double wedding ring. The pieces are raw-edge applique the slap-dash way: cut ‘em out freehand and stick ‘em down with a glue-stick. The quilting holds them down. The arcs were cut from pre-pieced scraps that I happened to have lying around – which qualifies this quilt for UFO status even though it’s of recent vintage.


It only needs binding and a sleeve and label to be finished, but since this month is already a third over, I figured this one was my best bet to actually get something done. Everything else needs quilting.

 January 10, 2014  Posted by at 2:03 pm Finish-Along No Responses »
Jul 062013

OMG it’s the end of the second quarter of 2013 already! Time flies when you’re spending all day in the garden. I guess I must have spent a few days in the sewing room because I finished six quilts. One of those I started during the quarter, and one I don’t have a finished pic and no time to take one.

I finished four charity quilts, the “Twenty” contest quilt, which I didn’t enter, and the quickie.
Of the four charity quilts, only one is on my intended finishes list (#10). Turns out I finished the others at the beginning of April, before I wrote my list. And I have no photo of the finished one.

The not-entered contest quilt, named Two-Zero, took me way longer than I planned, but I did finish it. #2 on my intended finishes list. (I drafted a blog post but never posted it. I have some catch-up to do.)

And three days before the contest deadline I thought, “The entry fee isn’t so bad if I send two quilts, can I whip something up quickly?” The answer was yes, if I used some UFO blocks, except the day before the mailing deadline (which, being Saturday, meant getting to the PO by 10am) I realized I could only do the last details (sleeve, label) if I neglected my garden. After some serious mulling I decided to skip the contest. The quickie quilt (Lickety-Split) sat for another two weeks before I did those piddly details.

 July 6, 2013  Posted by at 8:45 pm Finish-Along No Responses »