Apr 012013

Wow, end of the First Quarter already, how did that happen?

I’ve managed five finishes (#1 through #5) of my intended seven for the Finish Along over at shecanquilt. Two I already blogged about here and here.

The other three are:

Split Bits – 25 X 32 inches. Finished March 22.

Spawn – formerly referred to as Stepchild. 20 X 24 inches. Finished March 22.

A Quilter’s Muse – formerly Quilter’s Nightmare. 33 X 43. Finished March 22.

Yep, all three on the same day – I went on a binding binge. I worked on a lot of other quilts during the last three months but only a little bit on #6 and none on #7 on my list. I’ll have a nice long list for the next quarter, but maybe not as much time to sew.

 April 1, 2013  Posted by at 4:53 pm Finishing 1 Response »
Mar 072013

Okay, I admit they are small. No way would I finish three bed-size quilts in two days even if all they needed was binding. Which is what all three of these needed, plus labels. I finished two small art pieces for AAQI, and if I’m on the ball I’ll get them mailed out tomorrow. The other is for me, still needs a custom label but it’s hanging on the wall in my office until I get around to it.

The first AAQI quilt was a test of an idea for using up triangle scraps, in this case some very small scraps. As I quilted it, (trying out the potential texture of one of the few fancy stitches my old machine has) the little white triangles reminded me of cabbage moths. So I found a fabric with cabbages on it and cut them out and appliqued them on. I’d have liked them bigger but that’s what I could find in my stash. They’re fused, then free-motion stitched around the edges.





The second AAQI quilt used some strips leftover from cutting the pieces for the cabbage moth piece. I added some scrap almost-white (it looks white in the pics but is a very pale Fossil Fern print), but the end result was pretty boring. What to do? Add more. Spirals are fun to cut out. Fuse down and free-motion stitch around the edges, and it’s done. Rather, it’s done now, after adding a binding.

I used quick triangles to serve as a sleeve and added the label the same way, so once bound they were done, but of course I didn’t bother to take a picture of that part.




The third finish was a quilt I’ve been working on for myself for about a year. Off and on, of course. I kept it in my office and hand quilted it in small bits while watching videos online in the evenings, something I do occasionally. I could have finished it off a lot faster quilting it on the machine, but wanted to put more of myself into it. The words are from an exercise in The Artist’s Way, which I worked my way through last winter. Now that it’s done and hung, I need to dig out another hand-work project.





One more bound today needs a sleeve and label, two more waiting for binding, then on to basting a growing pile of tops and back to quilting. I’d like to get a few more quilts finished this month, before garden fever gets me.

 March 7, 2013  Posted by at 11:12 am Charity Quilts, Finishing 1 Response »
Jan 082013

Off to a flying start, I’ve finished the first quilt of 2013 today. It’s been sitting there patiently waiting for a binding, and now it has one. Here it is, all done:

And here’s a closeup to show the binding, (compare to yesterday’s post):

I also washed it and laid it out to dry, as flat as I could get it, backside up:

While I’m showing off my finishes, I might as well show these two as well. I finished them last month, but didn’t get photos until yesterday. First is the horse quilt I worked on all last year (off and on), finally done. It now resides on our couch. (Sorry about the imperfect camera angle.)

And second is Squiggles, which I quilted while following along with Leah Day’s Free Motion Quilting Project. The binding waited until I’d bound the horse quilt. It now hangs on the wall in our guest bathroom.

I haven’t been able to get really good photos lately, especially of the bigger quilts. My usual photo setup is to hang the quilts from the deck railing, but for the last several weeks it has looked more or less like this:

My only option is indoors. I have a couple of photo-lights but they have the wrong bulbs in them. When I went to order better (brighter) ones, they were out of stock. Such is life. Someday I will get good photos!

 January 8, 2013  Posted by at 9:23 am Finishing 2 Responses »
Jan 072013

Here’s my list of quilts I intend to finish in the first quarter of 2013 for the Finish-Along (see button in sidebar).

1) Split Bits – basted and ready to quilt. Small wall-hanging, 26X33 inches. The bits were pieced from the corners leftover from cutting circles. (The circles are still waiting for a project to belong to.)

2) SW2 (second of a pair of quilts with a SouthWest theme) – quilted and waiting for binding. About lap size, 47X 58 inches, although I plan to add a hanging sleeve and make it a larger wallhanging. This one and SW1 (still in the UFO bin) were my solution to a pile of blocks from a mystery quilt that did not turn out well. Making two quilts worked, all the blocks together did not work.

3) Quilter’s Nightmare – basted and ready for quilting. Wallhanging size, 34X46 inches. This one was fun. I started with random leftover bits and bobs that had WOW or TOT combined with color. As it grew, the creature appeared, a quilter’s nightmare. I added some needle and thread print fabric as I finished it.

4) Stepchild – working name for another scrap quilt done right after #3 – so I call it the stepchild of Quilter’s Nightmare. I started with blue scraps from trimming the ends of binding scraps I used on some Christmas gifts. Small wallhanging, 20X24 inches. Basted and ready for quilting.

5) Big Lattice – twin size, 74X88. I named it Big because I’ve got a couple more small lattice projects started, stashed away in a plastic bin until I can find time for them. Quilted and waiting for binding.

6) Scrap Blocks Set A – and yes, that means I have several more sets of scrap blocks. I sew scraps together when I need a piecing fix between quilting and binding, but am resisting starting a new project. Of course, the scrap blocks become a project sooner or later. This set is destined for a twin-size quilt, after enlarging and generous sashing. Shown is not the complete set of 24 blocks. Needs more piecing, then will quilt-as-you-go so I don’t have to wrestle with the whole thing in my sewing machine.

7) Fractured – currently 36X42 inches, this top needs some border work to become a crib-size quilt. I want to piece at least a little bit of border to add some more small triangles around it.

That’s enough. I hope to finish more than that in the next 3 months, but I’m not sure yet what I will work on next.

 January 7, 2013  Posted by at 6:27 am Finishing 1 Response »
Nov 102012

Nothing comforts like a quilt, and quilters love to send quilts to people who need comfort. I know I do, Hurricane Sandy is not my first time to send quilts to victims of the latest disaster.
Okay, I’m preparing to send the last batch, they aren’t actually sent as of this writing. But I wanted to give any readers of this blog a heads-up about the three places you can send quilts that I have found so far:

Project Linus of New Jersey is collecting twin to queen size quilts, send now. Click HERE  for more info.

Basic Housing Inc of New York is collecting any quilt or blanket, new or used, handmade or storebought, any size (I’d assume crib and up, anything that can be used to keep warm), send now. For info click HERE.

And eQuilter, together with Timeless Treasures, has issued a challenge to collect 5000 quilts over the next few months. For more info click HERE.

If you have anything finished that is ready to go, send away to the top two (I’ve got one twin that I’m sending to Project Linus, the rest are smaller and will go to New York, along with a spare blanket).

EQuilter’s drive gives you time to finish up some UFOs. What a great incentive to pull those neglected projects out of the closet, finish them quickly, and send them to someone who will love them. No more half-done something hanging over your head, taking up space in your storage system, and you’ll never have to see it again.

For the rest of this year, my focus will be on FINISHING quilts to send to victims of Hurricane Sandy, from my abundant stash of UFOs. Join me!

 November 10, 2012  Posted by at 4:43 pm Finishing No Responses »
Jul 132012

I didn’t finish anything for the Finish-Along in the Second Quarter. When I commented on the Linky Party that I wasn’t sure what to aim to finish for the Third Quarter, UFOs or the growing stack of new tops, I got a helpful email from SewCalGal saying that it has to be at least started.

Big help. That narrows it down to about 150 choices, (give or take 5 or 10). I need to do better than that!

First the easy choices – I’ll eliminate anything in a bin (or bag), and anything stashed in the guest room. That leaves various projects tucked here and there on any available surface in my sewing room. Those come first. If I don’t finish at least a few of those I won’t be able to function in there much longer.

Here’s what I found on a trip through my sewing room, and would like to finish by the end of September:

1. Pink Squares thing – I’ve started quilting this one. In theory it shouldn’t take much to finish the job, but I find real life often has other ideas. (Previously blogged about here.)

2. “Jump for Joy” – made with the trimmings of #1. I’ve started quilting this one too, but allowed myself to get sidetracked by new projects.

3. Pink hibiscus scrap quilt – made to clear the pinks off my cutting table after #1 and #2. I want to cut it up again and add a totally new background. Should be fun, and can’t get any uglier.

4. Outhouse quilt – made for fun 5 or 6 years ago. It really shouldn’t take long to quilt it, I just have to take a few minutes to do it.

5. Scrap thing with spirals – another clear-the-cutting-board project. Ready to quilt.

6. Scrap thing with fern print – I made this one at the same time as #5. This one I played with paintsticks, now it’s ready to be basted and quilted (though I might rip off that print on the side).

7. Another scrap thing, this one from about 5 years ago. I didn’t finish it then because I thought it needed something more. Recently I added some paintstick rubbings, I think I can finish it now.

8. Confetti #3 – I made this quick top planning to quilt it for the FMQ Challenge run by SewCalGal – but I don’t know. I think it calls for vines appliqued on. Which suggests something viney quilted on it.

9. Xmas chickens – I’ve lost track how long this thing has been hanging around! It needs a little bit of FMQ work and may end up a pillow.

10. Practice flower – I made this to practice FMQ on, having not tried it on fused applique. Time to finish it – I think it needs a little bit of something added along one side too.

11. Another scrap project – I love sewing scraps together! This one I did as a betweener while working on the project the colored scraps came from (#12 below). It’s time to baste and quilt it.

12. The ongoing horse quilt – I really want to finish this one. I think I’ve listed it every quarter so far, and I would be just as happy not to be able to fill out the year! I’m almost there piecing the top, I just have to not start anything new all quarter. It fills my design wall so every time I turn to a new project, this one has to come down.

13. “When Granny Drinks” – done to play around with improv blocks. I haven’t decided if it needs a border, but it definitely needs to be basted and quilted.

14. Small art piece from scraps – I keep trying to make something small enough to donate to AAQI, but my pieces keep growing on me. This one is still small enough. I’m using it to play with my machine’s (limited) range of fancy stitches.

15. I’ll add one of the other two projects I listed last quarter, the Strength quilt, now sitting in my office so I can hand-quilt it while watching videos or listening to podcasts. So far I haven’t picked it up and worked on it. Next step – find a hand quilting needle that fits the thread I chose.

(The third quilt from last quarter was for the guest bed. Guests have come and gone, the quilt can wait for later.)

16. Something from the rest of the cavegirl blocks I made for #13 above. Some of them were too light to stand out against the yellow “sashing” so I put them aside for some other project. Might as well list it here.

That’s enough, I’m sure I won’t finish them all, but it gives me a bunch to pick from. Note that most of these are small. The horse quilt is nap sized, the pink squares is crib size, and the rest range downward from there to 9X12 for the AAQI quilt.



 July 13, 2012  Posted by at 3:34 pm Finishing No Responses »
Apr 062012

Once again I am posting the quilt projects I hope to finish for the Finish-Along. I’m only aiming for three finishes this quarter. In fact, I hope to get them all done this month, but that may be a pipe-dream. It doesn’t help that I’ve pulled a muscle in my back and can’t sew at all. Warning to quilters – I did it reaching up high on my design wall – quilting can be dangerous!

Anyway, here are the three I hope to finish:

1) Rosebud – a quilt for our guest bed. I started this one several years ago and have not managed to finish it. My parents are coming for a visit in early May, it would be nice to get it done. It is currently in rows because I intended to do a variation of quilt-as-you-go. I think I will assemble it into three pieces and QAYG in segments instead of rows. It still needs a border too.

2) Horse quilt – this one is on my design wall as I type, and is the one I was reaching up high on (putting that left-hand corner segment up) when something gave in my back. Maybe I should take it down and pack it away instead of aiming to finish, but I’d really like to get it done. This one is a cuddle quilt for our couch.

3) this little scrap piece – I want to finish it so I can hang it up. It shouldn’t take long, but I do need to find a back and a scrap of batting for it.

If I manage to finish those and am not totally consumed by gardening, or crippled, I may work on the unfinished two from last quarter. More likely I’ll take off on something new, story of my life!

 April 6, 2012  Posted by at 10:31 am Finishing 2 Responses »
Mar 312012

Whoot! I finished FIVE [5] of my desired 7 quilts. Might have done more if I hadn’t been sidetracked by some new projects – story of my life.

This one was closest to done but still took me awhile to get to the last details. It needed blocking before I could put the sleeve on. I washed it, gave it a brief whirl in the dryer, then laid it on the floor to dry flat. Part of the reason for washing was to see how much the cotton batting shrank (which turned out to be just right), but I will never use that method for blocking a quilt again. One of the backing fabrics bleed through onto the white fabric on the front. GRRR!

I call it Moo-ry Xmas because the cows in the print are wearing xmas hats.

This one I used for trying out a viney leaf quilting design, I think it turned out pretty well. I don’t like the design I used in the border much, but it doesn’t really show either, so oh well, lesson learned. I named it Midsummer because I started it in midsummer (last year) and the flowers remind me of summer. It’s the first in a series of shoo-fly quilts.

This one, Take Us To Your Leader, is another shoo-fly. I thought the block on point looked like alien space-beings so I set them in a starry-sky background. The quilting is a bit too casual for my taste. I ended up using the walking foot when I couldn’t loosen the top thread tension enough for free-motion work. (The place I took it for servicing tightened the top tension too much, GRRR!) But it is done.

And I finished this orphan-block quilt, intended for charity, by using it for free-motion practice (good thing I finished the quilting before I had my machine serviced). It has no name beyond Orphan-block 1.

And I finally finished, with some very quick quilting, this drape for my office chair. It has ties on the corners, if you notice something funny sticking out there in the pic.

It really spices up my office, don’t you think?

 March 31, 2012  Posted by at 9:23 am Finishing No Responses »
Jan 052012

My sister sent me a link to a Finish-Along.

The gist is participants try to finish a bunch of existing unfinished projects (new projects don’t qualify). I have plenty of those! If we post pictures and descriptions of the UFOs we hope to finish, then at the end of the quarter post pics of the finished ones, we get one entry per finished quilt toward various drawings.

I’m a sucker for giveaways, so this will provide incentive to actually finish something, not just aim to finish then get sidetracked by something new and shiny.

Here’s my list of projects I hope to finish this quarter:

1. A chair drape for my office chair. I wanted to finish this one before moving, but got sidetracked. I have made the strips and the next step is a one-step assembly and quilt process. I need to pull together the backing and batting next.

2. Charity quilt. A quick top I threw together from orphan blocks and odds and ends. It came out surprsingly well, and was fun to do. I need to find backing and get it basted.

3. Pansy wallhanging. Need to zigzag the edges of the fused pansies, then layer and quilt. I can’t remember if I have backing picked out. I might. I started this one as a quickie, because I’d been quilting and felt the need to do a little piecing. The scrap blocks were already done, so the top went together fast. Then I decided to add fused pansies, and they didn’t bond as well as I would like (could be the age of my fusible web), hence the need to zigzag. Other projects called me away at that point.

4. Aliens quilt. A wallhanging. I made several quilts using shoofly blocks, starting with a jelly-roll. I meant to finish them, I really did. I have backs ready and everything, just never did make it into quilting mode. I think I got sidetracked by the chair drape project. Or moving. Or both.

5. Shoofly quilt. This was the first one of the shoofly quilts. I had tried something different for the setting but it didn’t work as well in practice as it did in theory. So I changed it. I want it quilted and done.

6. Squiggles. I took some bitty scraps from the shoofly series and made a confetti style quilt. It was kinda boring, so I added bias-tape squiggles. It is ready to baste and quilt.

7. Moo-ry Christmas. I started this one last July, intending to so something fun and fast. It was fun, but not so fast. I quilted it in quarters (to be easier to handle), and didn’t fully plan out how I was going to attach the pieces. I ended up having to hand sew cover strips on the back over the seam allowances. That is finally done, and it is ready to bind. I still have to make the binding. You can’t tell in the picture below, but the black outlined squares have cows with Christmas hats on.

I was going to add a couple mystery quilts but I think 7 is enough. I’ll be lucky to get one done.

My biggest challenge will be finding numbers 1 through 6! We’ve just moved, and my new sewing room is in total disarray. I know where number 7 is, even found the binding fabric. The others are in a bin – somewhere. I think. Maybe they are on a shelf – somewhere.


 January 5, 2012  Posted by at 12:57 pm Finishing, UFOs 1 Response »