Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mulberry Stars - Month 1

It has been forever since I posted, but I have been doing A LOT of sewing recently. This year my friend Tina and I decided to participate in some block of the months at a local quilt shop. Once a month we make a trek to the quilt shop and pick up our blocks, then spend the day working on them or othe projects.

One of my block of the months is something called Mulberry Stars from Wing and a Prayer Design. It's made with batiks and is gorgeous! I was super excited but haven't had a chance to work on it all year until tonight.

This is Month 1, block 1:

It did take me all night to complete, which was a bummer as I was hoping to do at least two blocks a night done. The pattern is not bad, although it's one that has you make Flying Geese and HST blocks and then square them up. It does make for a nice block but extra work that I don't love.

I have two more blocks and the pieced cornerstones to get caught up. It could happen before we go get the next block, but I have two quilts that need longarming and binding very quickly so who knows.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

October UFO - Christmas Runner

My UFO for October was my Christmas Runner project that I began a couple of years ago. The pattern was designed by Donna Lynn Thomas, who taught a class on perfect piecing. We learned lots of tips on how to get perfect points, the best quarter inch and lots of other things. I quiltedthis table runner at the last retreat but hadn't put binding on it.
Are you sensing a theme that many of my UFOs are due to my dislike of binding??
I used the Quilter's Boot, a new tool I got to do the mitered corners without the bulk. The jury is still out on it - this was my first project using it. I have another binding to work on that may be better.
Another benefit of this class/project was that I was able to make this entire project out of my scraps/stash.


This past week I finally finished my Stars Around the Garden quilt!!! That was my August UFO project and I knew it would be hard if not impossible to finish by August. But I'm still determined to finish my UFOs for the year, even if I don't get them completed in the right month.

It still needs quilting but I'll have to sit on that for a few weeks and design.

I did most of the finishing at the quilt retreat last weekend. It was a good time - not my favorite year, but not the worst. I spent most of two days finishing the appliqué on the quilt and getting it mostly put together. I finished it at home.

I enjoy the retreat every year as it always reinvigorates me to quilt more. I need to find one in the spring...

Onto the next project!


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Catch-up Post

It's been forever since I last posted. As usual, I'm getting stuff done, I just am not good about the blogging part. In my mind I want to eventually have a quilting business, including a large online presence, but I'll have to tackle this large aversion to the blogging. Maybe when I don't have a job that sucks the life out of me...

June's UFO project was to bind my twister quilt. Here is the finished product:

I ended up using the same purple inner border for the binding. This was definitely a color-study piece for me and is maybe 24" x 24". I'm thinking of taking it to work to put around my desk.

July's UFO is another binding project, my Turning Twenty quilt. You may wonder why lots of my UFOs are binding. While I love to sit in front of the TV or hang out with friends and do handwork, I am supremely slow at the process. Tonight I watched 6ish episodes of Downton Abbey and spent the entire time working on binding a small quilt. Still not done and my hands are tingly. I don't know if I'm using the wrong technique or what. So although I love the hand projects, they just take me large amounts of time.

I only have 11 days left in July, so I better get a move on the binding of the big quilt. I will be watching a lot of TV in the next week.

Those baby quilts I made I ended up quilting at home. I finally decided I could not spend the longarm time when they were easily done on my home machine. I have finished the binding on one and almost done with the second, maybe 3 more Downton Abbey's worth tomorrow. Then they will go back to their owners with the pillow shams I made. Pictures to come later.

I also today finished longarm quilting a friend's quilt that is for a baby. I will post something longer about that with pictures tomorrow. I have another two quilts from this same friend that are larger and I'm going to get adventurous. It before that I will be longarm quilting a special Christmas present using a pantograph for the first time. There is no lack of projects for practicing the long arm.

I'm hoping August will be the month that I was hoping May, then June or July would be. Sort-of hoping for a bigger project then.

If August goes the way we need it to, then October we will be on sabbatical. This is going to mean a large road trip for us through the Western US. I'm hoping to have my hand-piecing pieces all cut out and ready by then so I can make some progress, and a small UFO.

I also need to work on a project for a friend of mine. I already have the idea and it won't take too long, just need to do it.

See? BUSY!


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Second Long-arm Project Bound

Here is my second long-arm project, bound and finished! This one took me 4 hours of quilting.

I pretty much followed lines here as well, but it was much more detailed. This is the first quilt where you could really see the quilting on the back, so I took a picture of it.

You can see one of the fish here. This quilt had a lot of practice in it.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Binding Still

Tonight I spent some time working on the binding for my second long-arm panel. I should have it done in the next couple of days.

June will not be the month I was hoping for. We had a couple of setbacks, one quite unexpected. My patience is being tested to my limits. But we will get through this. I am fairly confident that we will be able to take a step forward in July.

June's UFO is a mixed blessing. Connie drew #4 which is my twister wall hanging on my list, it needs to be bound only. This is good because it's small and quick and will give me time to work on the pillow shams and a friend's blankets. But I also had hoped for a large project to keep me busy. Knowing how fast time is going by, June will be gone before I know it.

Still haven't decided whether to long-arm the baby quilts or not. Going back and forth on spending the money to do it. I can finish them sooner at home just because I don't have to wait for a Saturday to be free to go quilt them. I really need to finish them and the pillow shams ASAP.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Very First Long Arm Project

Although I posted my May UFO which was long-armed, this was my very first item to put on the machine.

It is a panel of course. It's called The Healing Tree and I found it on the last shop hop at Eudora. I liked that it was abstract and had many options for free-motion quilting, although we hadn't yet made it to the shop in Overland Park where I learned about renting the long-arm time.

I used a multi-colored thread and really just followed the lines. In the negative space I did some general free-motion, which doesn't exactly match the rest of the design, but that's ok.

I think the recipient of this will like the meaning behind the piece and not focus on the bad quilting that is my first experience on the long-arm.