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Monday, February 25, 2013

Design Wall Monday~Feb 25

Monday Blog. I blog most Mondays. It helps me to have a plan. Whether that is for blogging, exercising (don't ask how that is working for me!) or even quilting.  I love that we have so many options with our on line communities. There are monthly quilt blocks, quilt block a day groups, every other week Row Alongs and every other permutation you can think of. All these options allow anyone to fit quilting into there life.

And then there are those of us who have "over quilted". Probably not an accurate term, in my case it would probably be "over topped". I've made a lot more tops than I've quilted. Many people have UFO's that are in all different stages of development. Mine tend to only be unquilted tops. But this is my year of finishing up those tops. Before this week's end I will have finished four which means I am still meeting my goal. I know it's only two months into the year but....I still feel good about this. The baby quilt UFO that I am finishing this week, picture next week, is my oldest UFO. It is at least twenty years old. My oh my! I've thought about donating it many times but just can't. See, my sister Joanne helped me piece this top and even tho' I lost interest in it, I just can't give away this memory. So this week, it will be finished.

This is a picture of my third UFO finish. Nothing exciting, but fun, bright, colors.

It will be donated to "Quilts from Caring Hands" when I send my donation box to them at the end of March.

Oh! And, all the years I've quilted I've finished the bindings by hand, but the last three finishes I did by machine. Fun, easy, fast and totally appropriate for baby quilts that will be washed many times. If you have not tried it, you should. There are dozens, literally, of tutorials on how to machine bind. I'm not going to go into depth here but I used a method where I sewed the binding on the front first, turned the binding to the back, making certain the edge was past the sewing line of the front, pinned and then sewed from the front, in the "ditch" created there between the binding and the quilt top. This method worked very well for me! Even on the mitered corners. I might try another method at some point but right now I was so happy with this technique that I can't imagine why.

We are getting close to the end of Lori Holts Row Along. There have been so many cute blocks. I can see me utilizing them in more small quilts. Thanks Lori! See these cute baskets!


Monday, February 18, 2013

Design Wall Monday~Feb 18

I had so much fun yesterday and it only cost me $7.00! Our local SDA Church had a fabric/yarn sale yesterday. You could fill a plastic grocery bag (we still have them in our county) for $5.00 or you could fill a brown paper grocery bag for $7.00. There was lots of fabric but I had missed the sign that said "Quilters Stash". Luckily a volunteer came to me and said "Are you a quilter? You look like a quilter. Let me show you our stash."  They had a room dedicated to fabric suitable for quilts. All nicely sorted by color. I started out with a plastic bag, as really, I was only shopping for a few reds, my stash is short on reds, and I was looking for a backing for a donation quilt top. Primary colors, please.

Do you think I only came home with that plastic bag partially full? Heck no! I had to upgrade. I came home with a brown paper bag full! There were older fabrics like many in my stash, there were some poly/cotton blends, there were pieces of newer fabrics, some that I owned, but in different colorways and there was plenty of white, cotton, muslin, (I forgot I wanted to go through that stack). You had (got!) to sort through lots of fabric. AND it was all clean and did not smell funky. Good job SDA quilters! Here are pictures, sorry the colors are off, but look what I got!

Ten of the pieces were larger than one yard and one piece is five yards. The five yard one is perfect backing for a brown and blue UFO I want to finish. And I did find a wonderful backing for the primary donation quilt. I had to cut and piece that one a little as there had been curved pieces cut from both ends and those curves made it too short without a little "rearranging". Besides those two, there is another red and white piece that will give me a beginning for the backing for my red and white UFO. Some of the other older, calico fabrics I added as I've been playing around, in my mind, with the idea of making some antique looking doll quilts. Winner, winner!

One of my goals for this year was to finish two UFO's per month. I got a slow start but I now have two finished and washed:

Today I will use that primary backing to layer another small UFO.That will be finished this week. That means I should have time for one more this month. Okay! They may all be smaller, but they will be finished UFO's.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Design Wall Monday~February 11

Good Day! Of course it is! For me anyway, and I hope for everyone reading this.

I've not been very productive. Even after getting my machine back on Wednesday. I am having a difficult time getting back to the projects I had planned on finishing. I would much rather start a new project but just can't let myself do that. I have so many UFO's that need work. I'm in a state of inertia.

/iˈnərSHə/ inertness, especially with regard to effort, motion, action, and the like; inactivity; sluggishness.

Blech! A perfect definition of me! Once I get started I will be fine. It's the getting started again that is difficult. I have kept up with my goal of four Pineapple Blocks per week. And I am keeping up with Lori's Row Along. This last row was spools. Simple spools. I've just folded the row in half for the pix.

About my sewing machine. It is an Elna, about 12 years old, but I really, really like it. It is such a pleasure to have it back. It is so much quieter, so much nicer when doing small pieces, and I like the position of the needle and foot than my old machine. BUT, the problem with some of the newer machines are there are things they just cannot fix. In this case, the reverse, pressure sensitive button, is going out. It can't be replaced. At least I still have the backtack feature and so will continue to use the machine but how frustrating. I want to be able to replace things, not have to do a work around or buy a new machine. Whine!

And the day I picked up my sewing machine I did stop at my LQS and buy some fabric for the pineapple corners but boy did I make a bad choice there! I thought maybe something with gray to repeat the gray in the third row, but boy was this wrong!

Oh well. I love the fabric. It won't go to waste. I'll just have to try again. Something ligher and brighter.

I'm SOOOO lucky! There are women in my TOPS group that do donation quilts for a charity that supports missions in Africa. While doing our donation quilts for a local group I took all the leftover scraps and told them I would love to have any scraps they have left over for donation quilts of my own. They had told me they didn't like to cut leftovers into strings, strips, or small squares. Whereas I find cutting like that to be very soothing. Anyway, they told me last week, they have two BIG bags for me. I can't wait to see them. Lucky me!

And, there is another opportunity for me to get more bargain fabric happening this next Sunday. Our local SDA Church is having a big fabric and yarn sale. They promise there will be all size pieces and bolts of fabric. I'm going to be there when the doors open at 10:00. They even have a special, although I don't know all the details, where you can have a plastic grocery bag of fabric for $5.00. It will be fun and hopefully I find some "can't live without" bargains.

Visit Judys Design Wall Monday for more inspiration!


Monday, February 4, 2013

Design Wall Monday~February 4

I mentioned that I needed to take my sewing machine in for repair. And I did. Last week. They anticipated it would be done the 6th. This is the first time I've used this shop. It came highly recommended. The prices are cheaper (and additionally, there was a coupon on line) and the turn around time is normally one week or less, whereas my other dealer's turn time was three weeks. Wouldn't you know tho' that when I took my machine in the repair fella was on vacation. Still a turn time of 10 days is better than 21!

On my way back I stopped at my LQS who had just moved from Oregon City to West Linn. I was going to spend money! Too bad I had forgotten they were closed on Mondays. Oh well!  At least now I know where they are and just zip right to their door after picking up my machine on Wednesday.
So I've been sewing on my old machine, circa early 1970's and it is a workhorse but noisy compared to todays machines. Why is it that I like the noise generated by the muscle cars of that era but I don't appreciate the sound of this machine? I have considered getting a Juki for machine quilting but I hear they are noisy. Sooo, maybe that won't be happening.

As I don't like machine quilting on my old machine I've not accomplished much on UFO's. Now, as I didn't get my goal of two finished last month, I will strive to accomplish four this month. In the meantime tho', I pieced a Valentines top, all from leftovers, already cut into my favorite 2 1/2 inch squares. I just had to sort through and find enough reds.pinks and grays. I was inspired by this one 

I hope to quilt mine before the 14th.

And here are six blocks for the Lori Holt Row Along. We only need five for this row but I wanted to do six just in case I hated one when I got them on the design wall.  I think the yellow one is the loser.  What do you think?

I hope you all have a fun, productive week!