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Monday, July 23, 2012

A Finish and Second Thoughts

Bright and sunny here this morning. We deserve it! This is Oregon and we are used to gray skies but, supposedly, our summer starts July 5th and lasts through September, but this month has been a mix of too many thunderstorms and gray days. I guess I shouldn't be complaining when so much of the country is suffering from extremely high temp's. I don't do heat well.

I finished one of the baby quilts I had set for myself this month. Here is a whole view and a view with the backing turned up.

Can you see the simple machine quilting? I wanted something fast and simple and although stitching in the ditch gets the job done, I think double stitching on either side of the seam makes it a bit cuter. I like the little squares it forms at the intersections.

Centering blue painters tape on the seam and then sewing either on both sides of the tape makes it easy to be accurate. Love the 3M tape!

Last week I showed you the three sashings I was considering for my strip quilt. My original thought had been the black and white but then I wasn't sure I liked that fact that the two colors changed the intersecting stars into a different star. Not a repeat of what was in the center of the blocks.

So I thought I had decided on the black sashing, with white stars so yesterday I machine basted four blocks together to see if I liked the size of the smaller star. See?

But now, second thoughts. Or back to my original thought. I think I prefer the black and white mix. I'll baste one of those today (maybe) and see what I think.

I am working on the cross stitching of the label for the second baby quilt. I'm a little out of practice and find that my eyesight is going. I'm using Aida 14 Waste Canvas and found that I had to use my strongest reading glasses. Old age! I will share the label next week...unless I decide it requires a "do over".


Monday, July 16, 2012

Middle of July! Sigh...Middle of July

Good Morning!

Have I made ANY progress on the two baby quilts I need to have finished? Welllll, not sewing progress. Today, I promise, today, I will get one layered and basted. And I have everything I need for one. The other I did get flannel backing purchased and prewashed. I’m waiting for the waste canvas to come for the special label I will be doing. I want to get it attached to the backing before I basted everything.

Hey! On basting. I read an idea that I’m going to use today. Remember, I PROMISED, I would get one quilt layered and basted today. Layering and basting is my least favorite part of quilting. I’m sure you have heard this from me before. The suggestion was to use a floor Qsnap frame. If you have one.  I have one that has been languishing in our shop. We live on a farm so you can imagine that we are speaking of a dusty shop. I cleaned the frame up and will use it today. If I use the word “today” enough does that mean it will actually happen? I’ll report later.

I have been making progress on my scrappy, block a day, strip quilt. I thought it was a little wild, even for me, so I explored different sashings hoping that a consistent color would calm the blocks a bit. This was the first I thought of, laying in bed one morning.

But I still had to experiment.

And here are pix of the two other string blocks I “sampled” before settling on the star.

I like both the spiral and the wonky half log cabins and will probably do them at a later date.  I have lots of strings and continue to produce more!


Monday, July 9, 2012

New "Rules" for a New Quarter

If you have been reading my posts, you know that I love to make tops. Even if I don't actually say it very often you could infer it from the fact that I make many more tops than completed quilts. I LOVE to choose fabric and I love to sew. I like to quilt and I like to do binding. I am less than enthusiastic about layering, sandwiching the layers. I get stuck there.  Here is my most recent example.

I just took this off the design wall and folded and put it away. Another UFO, flimsy, whatever and not a completed quilt. It is on my to do list. I like it. I just have too many to do's.

Anyway, once again I've said I'm going to get four quilts finished this quarter. To that end I am setting rules for myself. Different rules.  You say "You are changing the rules? Again." Wait! Didn't we just have the 4th of July, which guarantees our freedom? Which means I'm free to change my own rules as often as necessary.  This quarters self imposed rule is....I HAVE to layer and machine quilt four quilts. AND I won't start any new major, can't live another day without it, quilt. I am going to allow myself to work on a quilt, at the rate of a block a day, and it has to be from my already cut, leftover, all ready cut, strings. No cheating!

Now what am I going to do for my block a day? I save dozens of ideas to Flickr favorites and Pinterest. I have narrowed it down to three. I'll show you the one I did today. I'm not sure this is the one I will go with as it is a little time consuming, but isn't it fun? In next weeks post I will show you sample blocks of the other two and I'll tell you which one will be my block a day project.

But just a minute! Some people HATE totally, uplanned, colorful scrappy quilts. I'm warning you in advance in case you think this type of quilt is chaos and unlovely, stop now. To give you a chance to not view this block, I'm putting the link to the directions first. Read no further if you think you will be offended by a riot of color and pattern.

The block instructions came from:

And here it is.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Third Quarter Finish Along

As you read in my previous post, I didn't get ANY of the four quilts finished that I had planned on for this quarter. I did make progress on two. That doesn't put me in the running for any prizes but I did learn something from each of those two, still unfinished, quilt tops.

Todays subject tho', is what quilts am I going to finish this next quarter? Again, I'm going for four. I really WANT to get four finished and I MUST get two finished before a new baby is born.

So here are my four:

Why did I pick these four? The first two have to be finished quickly for that baby. And the next two I already have the backings for. Without piecing, much! Good enough reason, huh?

And what is going to be different about this quarter? I will have my extra sewing machine, in it's new cabinet (that my lovely sister Joanne is picking up for me tomorrow!) at the beach property. Yeaaa!

So if you need some incentive and a chance to win prizes, visit the Finish Along on Flicker.


Monday, July 2, 2012

How Can it be July Already?

July! How did you get here so quickly? The year is half gone!

Here is what is on my design wall today. By the end of tomorrow I should have all the blocks sewn together.

I am not getting many projects completed. I LOVE choosing fabric and patterns and cutting and sewing blocks together. It is my form of art. And I get very excited by all my projects and always want to start more….More before the previous projects are completed. Whoops! There is a disconnect here. If you spend your time on starting new projects, when do you find time to complete all the flimsys that are in the closet?

I really intend to work on this vice.

Last quarter I committed, in front of many Flickr friends/members, that I was going to finish four, yes four, UFO’s.  I have not completed one. I did work on two of them. My excuse for not finishing at least those two? Procrastination. Putting off things I don’t want to do.

There was the Halloween quilt.

Called that as the backing fabric is a Halloween print and orange and purple and lime green just say Halloween to me. What don’t I want to do on this? I spent many hours machine quilting but then found that my tension was wrong for about one third of the quilt and I have lots of “eyelashing” on the back. I need to unsew and redo. It is the unsewing I don’t want to do.

And then there is the Rainbow Quilt.

 I was just going to quilt in the ditch but after seeing a great tutorial on doing Baptist Fans, marking with a template, I decided that was the way I wanted to quilt it. The problem here? I had already sandwiched and basted the quilt. This made marking the quilt with the template, very difficult. It’s partially marked, but not marked well. Now I’m undecided whether I want to struggle to mark the rest, or unmark and go back with my original plan.

So have I made progress? I guess I can say unequivocally, sorta!

In the next few days you will be seeing another post, with a new commitment for this next quarters UFO’s. I KNOW that two of them will be completed as they are baby quilts that MUST be finished.  Do I dare commit to a total of four again?