Sunday, October 31, 2010

Stash Report - Week 44

Well, I was so proud of last week's numbers and then I realized that I never counted the 6 yards of fabric that my friend gave me for the pillowcases. Of course the yardage was counted as going out, but I forgot to add it as coming in. DUHHH It's recorded this week!

If you read my Design Wall Monday, you know that I that I wanted to increase the size of my 16 Patch X Block quilt but wasn't sure if I had enough of the red fabric that was a constant for the Xs, and I really didn't want to buy more or know if I could even find it. I had a number of people comment that I should add another fabric from my stash instead of buying more, since this is a scrappy quilt. I decided to take the challenge and see what I could find. Well, I was sooooooo lucky because I found a fabric that is just a hair lighter than the original and I decided to use that. You really can't even tell the difference! Needless to say, I'm pumped and I've made all the additional X blocks and I'm working on the 16 patch blocks.

I also started a small project that will be a wedding gift for my nephew and his bride. They are getting married in December and I plan to have this done early. I know, famous last words. :-)

Here's the report:

Fabric Used This Week: 3.75 yards

Fabric Used to Date: 241.25 yards

Fabric Added This Week: 7.00 yards

Fabric Added to Date: 129.75 yards

Net Fabric Used for 2010: 111.50 yards

Check out the stash reports of other quilters at Judy L.'s Patchwork Times.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Problem Solved

Before I went to work today, I figured out how much more fabric I would need to make this quilt larger - keeping the same fabric for the X Block. I really wanted to do this WITHOUT purchasing additional fabric, but it didn't look like it was going to happen because I was about 1/3 yard short. I had a couple of comments to my last post about possible solutions and I was contemplating them while driving to work. Then, I had a thought (scary, I know).

I remembered that I had a tub of fabric set aside for possible use in a Christmas wallhanging that included maroon fabric, because I had decided I wanted something other than the traditional Christmas red and greens. Needless to say, my work day seemed VERY long and I couldn't wait to get home. Well, after some digging around, I found fabric that is just a hair lighter than the original fabric and I think I can use it in the half blocks in the borders and for the binding without anyone knowing the difference. (Except all of you of course.) I'm excited!!

The best part of all of this is that 100% of the fabric for this quilt will be from stash. I'm even thinking that I have backing fabric and if I don't, I plan on piecing it. I love it when things work out.

Design Wall Monday

I'm so glad this isn't Design Wall Monday Morning, or I'd never be able to post, (I guess it is still morning here). I find that I tend to get busy with something when I first come downstairs, especially if Jack's on the computer that I like to use for posting and before you know it, it's 11:15...

There should be no surprise as to what's on my Design Wall, I mean Design Floor today. Yep, that's right, it's my 16 Patch X Block Quilt (the one for which I sadly need to decide on a new name). I have the rows sewn but need to sew them to each other. I stopped when I got to this point because I'm doing the math to see if I have enough of the X fabric to make this larger.

After the inside is together, I'll be adding a small border using the X fabric and half blocks of the 16 patches and X blocks. If I stop now, the quilt will only be about 65" x 81", but if I add more blocks and keep the symmetry, the quilt will be about 81" x 96" and I like that better. I just have to decide the following:
1. Do I have enough X Block fabric?
2. If I don't have enough fabric, do I want to, or can I even get more of it?
3. What am I going to do with this quilt?
4. If I'm going to sell it, would it be more appealing if it was larger? (My gut
feeling is yes, but then again I like large quilts.)

I guess I'll check out the fabric first and think about the other stuff when I get home from work tonight.

On another note (and one reason that this quilt isn't all together yet), we had to have 8 trees taken down Friday, 6 of which were Ash trees that had been affected by the Emerald Ash Borer. Of course 5 of the trees were close to the house so we couldn't take them down ourselves because a crane was needed. Even if we could have, I still was more comfortable having someone else take them down. The last time Jack and I took down our own trees was pretty comical so we figured it was worth paying someone else this time. Now don't get me wrong, we got them down with was no damage to any buildings, animals or humans, but it was funny.

We're now left with a pile of HUGE logs that we need to split. We've already been working, but this is what's still waiting to be cut and stacked.

I'm in the process of organizing a Lumberjack Party. We'll provide lunch, exercise, and an on-going bonfire (drinks when we're done, of course). You provide the muscles, teenager who needs to learn the importance of hard work and a rake. It's a BYOCS (bring your own chain saw) party but don't worry, we have some if you don't. How about it? Do you want to join us? What day works best for you?

Hop on over to Judy L.'s Patchwork Times to see what other quilters/lumberjacks are working on this week.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Stash Report - Weeks 42 and 43

Sometimes I really like it when I skip a week of posting my stash report because it makes me feel REALLY productive to be able to report relatively big numbers, rather than small numbers two weeks in a row. I know I'm just kidding myself, but I have to admit that it feels good. I didn't report last week because I got busy and when I sat down to post it was really late. I decided that I didn't want to take the time to update my spreadsheet and them blog about it. (Can we say lazy?!?)

Anyway, I've been pretty productive the last two weeks, even though I had lots of non-quilting things to do. I made the pillowcases using the fabric that a friend left for me (I didn't want that sitting around and making its way into the "Fabric In" column and not right away go to the "Fabric Used" column!) I've been working on the quilt that I posted last week on my Design Wall Monday and I've gotten pretty far along. We've been having a discussion about the name of this pattern and the concensus is that nobody knows what it is. Possible names have been Hugs and Kisses and Xs and Os, but everyone has said that they've seen the pattern but don't remember the name. (I'm guessing that you'll probably see this quilt posted tomorrow:-)) I also finished 8 more of my Grandmother's Flower Garden Hexagon blocks - all hand-pieced.

Anyway, in case you can't tell, I'm pretty happy with my numbers so here's the report.

Here's the report for weeks 42 and 43

Fabric Used This Week: 12.875 yards

Fabric Used to Date: 237.50 yards

Fabric Added This Week: 3.00 yards

Fabric Added to Date: 122.75 yards

Net Fabric Used for 2010: 114.75 yards

Check out the stash reports of other quilters at Judy L.'s Patchwork Times blog.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Design Wall Monday

It's Monday and I have something new on the wall. Amazing, isn't it, since I had so many things on my "to do" list last week? I got bored cutting up clothing for memory quilts so I took a break and started this. If I hadn't done that, you'd be looking at a pictures of cut-cup clothes.

A friend of mine who happens to be a new quilter, saw an advertisement that had a small segment of a quilt in it. She really liked what she could see of the quilt and decided that she wanted to make one like it. She showed me the picture and asked if I could help her with the pattern. Well, neither one of us could find the name of the quilt, its maker, or designer so I sketched it out on a piece of graph paper since the computer that has my EQ on it is in the "hospital". Knowing that I was going to see her Friday morning, I decided to play around and make a couple of blocks so she could see how easy the construction would be. Well, a couple has turned into 16 and I've decided to make my quilt large, at least a queen. I've already got lots of scrappy squares cut that I'll use for the 16 patch blocks and all of the X blocks are cut and ready to sew. I'm making all the light fabric the same within each block, but each block has a different light fabric. Does that make sense? The only constant fabric is the X fabric. This is an easy quilt, and I know that I'll feel good when it's done - and it'll use up lots of stash. I'll go back to cutting up clothing soon, but it's nice to be able to take a break and make a quick block or two.

Do you know the pattern or name of this quilt? If you do, please let me know. I want to give credit to the designer. Thanks!

I did get some of my "to do" list done; but I still have a lot more to complete. I want to finish another Patriotic Rail Fence and Star quilt so I can donate it for the Girls' Night Out Silent Auction, and since I need that by Wednesday, I better get cracking. I just have to quilt and bind it and because the quilting is pretty basic, the deadline should be easy to make. I did make some pillowcases, so I was able to use the fabric that came into my stash last week. (I never did get around to doing a stash report yesterday. I guess I'll just have to do two weeks worth. Like that's never happened before!)

Speaking of Girls' Night Out, (I'm in charge of Bras for a Cause), the event is the Wednesday and I'll busy with that all day Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday should be my "day of rest", but of course I work. I'll try to get pictures and post them so you can all see the wonderfully decorated bras that have been donated, as well as the generous silent auction gifts.

To check out what other quilters have on their design walls today, go on over to Judy L's Patchwork Times. You may just find that sleep is overrated and you could be quilting instead!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pink, Pink and More Pink

I meant to change the color of the blog earlier in the month, but I just now remembered. I hate it when I forget things or get so busy that things don't get done. Anyway, it's pink for a while now. Hope you like it.

Okay, so I'm not going to reach all of the goals I set for this past week, but that's okay. I've made some pillowcases, finished the embroidery, cut some of the memory quilt clothing, finished the borders on Sadie's quilt and have the backing fabric ready, and then I sketched out and started sewing a new scrap quilt. (Thanks Carol for showing me a picture that I really liked and then just HAD to go home and work on it! :-) At least it's scrappy and I'll use LOTS of stash.

The guild retreat is this weekend and I stopped in for a bit today. It looked like everyone was having a good time and getting lots done. I sure wish I'd been able to go. I know I would've had a better chance of meeting my weekly goals, but then nothing at home would have gotten done. Of course, there's that thing called work that keeps getting in the way. :-)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Full Circle - Almost

Remember the other day when I wrote about the quilt I made that a friend purchased at an auction? Well, she brought the quilt to show me last night and we had an interesting discussion about it.

It seems that she went to this auction because the advertisement listed that "old quilts and other antiques" were going to be sold. There were a couple of old quilts (1957 and 1970s) and Liz was able to purchase one of them, but most of the quilts were not antique.

Now, here's what's interesting. My quilt was in the "old quilt/antique" category. Granted it looks old because it was made with all homespuns and homespun plaids, but this quilt is clearly machine pieced and machine quilted and there is the fact that it was signed and dated! Anyway, it didn't really matter to Liz that this quilt wasn't old. She wanted it because of the colors and the fabrics and she just loved it. Period! It would've simply been a bonus if it was an antique.

This situation does make me stop and wonder how many people have purchased a quilt (or other item, for that matter) thinking that it was old (an antique), when it really wasn't. I understand that "buyer beware" is important but - wow - my quilt had a date on it (black ink on a muslin label), so how did the seller (auctioneer) not see it and decide that this quilt was an antique? Anyway, this is just a reminder to all of us the look closely when buying "antiques." (I feel like I've just been on Antiques Roadshow and was told that my heirloom was a fake!)

One other thing about this quilt. I'm really glad that I've gotten more practice at things like machine quilting and binding. Maybe that's why the auctioneer thought it was old. It sure looked like an antiquated machine made those free-motion hearts in the cornerstones! :-)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Better Picture

Here's a better picture of my finished guild retreat class that I mentioned the other day. This quilt is big - about 100" x 120" and I really like it.

This is the first large Christmas quilt that I've made and I think it will remain with me. That doesn't happen too often, although I'm getting better. Until just a year or two ago, I only had one of the bed quilts that I made. All of the others had been given away, were custom orders or were sold. I've kept wallhangings and some lap quilts, but not bed quilts.

Design Wall Monday

I have a variety of things on the design wall today, although nothing is really ON the wall.

First up, someone gave me fabric for pillowcases yesterday (after I had made my stash report, of course) and since I don't want to "mess" with my relatively good stash reports, I've decided to use it right away. That means I should have at least equal amounts of stash in and out, in regards to this six yards. I'm not promising anything for other fabric though, but I should have to use some stash for the coordinating cuff on the pillowcases. Yeah :-)

Also, I have three more memory quilts to work on and since two of these will share some fabric, I've pulled out the clothing and I'm starting to cut it up. That will take a couple of days at least, so I'm sure I'll still be working in this next Monday. Do you notice the work clothing and plaid theme here?

I'm also working on some embroidery for another order. I have to work this afternoon so I doubt this will be done before I leave, but it will be done tonight. I'm cutting up clothing and pillowcase fabric while the designs are stitching out and I feel good about multi-tasking.

Oh yeah...I want to get Sadie's quilt quilted and bound. That child is 2 1/2 months old and she still doesn't have her quilt! (Bad Grandma, bad Grandma.) Maybe I should look at this another way. At least this'll be finished before she graduates from high school, right?

It sure looks like I might not sleep at all this week. Either that or I have to re-evaluate my goals.

Check out what other quilters have on their design walls by visiting Judy L.'s Patchwork Times. Who knows, you just might find the inspiration for your next project - I know I usually do!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Stash Report - Week 41

Nothing in and a little used. Yeah! I finished a couple of projects (a wallhanging and bound a larger quilt) but I didn't start anything new. I guess the way to look at it is I'm working on finishing up things, not creating new UFOs.

Here's the report

Fabric Used This Week: 2.875 yards

Fabric Used to Date: 224.625 yards

Fabric Added This Week: 0.00 yards

Fabric Added to Date: 119.75 yards

Net Fabric Used for 2010: 104.875 yards

Check out the stash reports of other quilters at Judy L.'s Patchwork Times blog.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Sneak Preview of Another Finish

I finished the guild retreat quilt binding a little bit ago and I'm still loving the striped border that I mitered. Here's a sneak preview of what it looks like.

The reason you only get a sneak preview is because Jack and I are the only ones here and this quilt is too big (about 100" x 120") for one person to hold it while the other takes a picture. I don't have a good place to put it and get a good shot. I've tried laying it on the bed, but you lose the design. I've tried draping it over my cutting/pressing station, but I can't back up far enough to get the whole thing in the frame; so since I'm planning on showing this during our guild show and tell, maybe I can talk a couple of people into holding it for me while I take a picture.

Here's another reason that it's not always "happy time" when your kids leave home! Now don't get me wrong, there are plenty of reasons why its good when they leave home. I'm just saying....

The Birds and a Finished Project - Finally

I woke up this morning and heard birds - lots of birds and I had the weird feeling that I was in a re-make of the Alfred Hitchcock movie The Birds. Check out this video and in the first few seconds you'll hear what I heard this morning. Of course I tried to take a picture of the HUNDREDS of birds in our backyard but my movement scared them away. Also, if case you don't know me and wonder what I look like, just watch the video and when you see a woman driving a convertible sports car, think "Oh that's what Joanne looks like!" That's right, I look just like Tippi Hedren and Jack looks just like Rod Taylor. The resemblance really is uncanny! :-) (A girl can dream, right?)

Anyway, I finally finished quilting and binding my hexagon star wallhanging and I love how it turned out. This project started out as a sample for the LQS Sew Little Time where I'll be teaching the English Paper Piecing technique using paper templates. As you probably already know, I'm making a large Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt and I'm going to have samples of that block, but I wanted to make something different using the same technique. After seeing a Bonnie Hunter post in which she was working on a hexagon quilt I sat down with graph paper and markers and sketched out what I was going to make. Here's Bonnie's latest post on the progress of her quilt. Of course Bonnie's hexagon star is much larger than mine, but isn't it funny how you have a vision of how you're going to finished a project, whether its a border, the quilting, or binding and when it comes time to actually do it, you change your mind and do something completely different? That's pretty much what happened here and I'm glad. Here's my finished sample wallhanging.

When I was getting ready to quilt this, I looked through my thread stash to see if I had a black and gold variegated that would look good in the background and of course I didn't so I settled on black thread. Well....I had some trouble with my tension when I first started but I liked the way it looked because some of the gold thread was poking through to the front of the quilt. I decided to play a little with some scraps and I figured out how to change the bobbin tension so the gold thread poked through the front and made it look like I was adding gold flecks onto the front. I payed close attention to the stitch quality and wanted to be sure that the quilting wouldn't come out or that there weren't any "toenail stitches." I figured that since this is a wallhanging that won't get washed or toss around much, I could have a bit looser bobbin tension than normal and get the look I wanted. Here's a close-up of the quilting. I hope you can see what I mean.

Again, it's one of those things. You just never know how something's going to work out and you just have to be open to changes. I'm working on the binding for the guild retreat quilt that was started way back in Feb. and has been quilted since June. I don't know why I've waited so long to bind this, especially since I really enjoy doing binding! The fabrics used in the hexagon star quilt are scraps from this quilt. I'm not going to post a picture until the binding is on, so I better get busy and will hopefully be able to post the picture tonight or tomorrow.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Design Wall Monday and Signing Quilts

I'm finally quilting my hexagon star quilt and should have that done tonight, if all goes well. I have some embroidery that needs to get done this evening, but I'll do that on one machine, and quilt on the other. (I love having two machines!) I'll post a picture of the finished wallhanging as soon as it's done.

As I mentioned yesterday, I making some flags/banners for my nephew's school and this is what they look like.

I want to make a few more and hope to finish these up by mid-week, but we'll see. If they want more, I'm going to have to buy black fabric because I've just about depleted my stash of solid black. It's funny, but I've been using a lot of black fabric lately. I've used it with my guild retreat quilt that I have yet to bind, the hexagon star quilt and misc. other projects. Isn't funny how we tend to find a "comfort color" and use it when we're just not sure what else to do?

Do you sign or label your quilts? I usually do, but every now and then I don't. Something happened this past weekend that has made me vow to sign or label everything that leaves this house. In 2001, deciding that I needed to get over my fear of plaids, I took a class called Stepping Stones, from Quilts and Kreations in South Amherst, Ohio. The quilt was made up of lots of 7 1/2" courthouse step blocks and since I was a relatively new quilter I didn't think about how it would be to work with 1 1/2" strips of plaids - all different plaids.

Of course the sample wasn't made with plaids, but I just knew that the quilt would be awesome in plaids. As with many classes that I've taken, I didn't get the top done by the end of class and the project was tucked away to be worked on at a later date. I'd pull it out every so often and think about working on it, but something else always caught my eye and would take precedence.

Fast forward to 2004 when a close friend Tom, was struggling with some health issues. When it became apparent that he didn't have long to live, I decided to finish that quilt and give it to him. Tom had seen it resurface a few times over the years and he always said that he loved the plaid look. I finished that quilt, signed it and made a special notation to him and his "next adventure." He used that quilt every day for the rest of his life and was wrapped in it when he passed away. Jack and I were there at the house when Tom died and I had such a good feeling knowing that the quilt I gave him had provided him comfort in his final days. (Isn't it a bit funny/ironic that the name of the class was Stepping Stones?) The man who inherited Tom's house (Caesar) asked me to add a sleeve to the quilt so he could display it in the main room of the house. Of course, I did and was again very happy that this quilt would provide comfort to it's new owner.

Fast forward again, to this past Saturday morning. I received a phone call from Liz. (I met Liz a couple of years ago when she called me up out the blue and asked if I would give her private quilting lessons. She'd seen a couple of quilts that I made for a local shop and she and her friend Tammy wanted to learn to quilt from me. I said yes and we spent a couple of years getting together every week to make LOTS of quilts, pillows, and other projects. We had a blast and we're all still friends.) Anyway, Liz had just been to an auction and bought a quilt that she knew would be perfect in her living room. As she was leaving the auction, she noticed something on the back of the quilt and decided to open it up and take a closer look. Liz saw my signature and note to Tom and called me.

At first I was taken aback by the fact that quilt was not still in Tom's house and that I wasn't given first dibs on it when Caesar didn't want it anymore. It didn't take me long to get over that and recognize that the quilt was now with someone who would love and appreciate it just like Tom had. If I hadn't signed that quilt, Liz wouldn't have known anything about the quilt's history or the fact that her first quilting teacher made it. Isn't it really a small and wonderful world?

By the way, I have a picture of Tom's quilt but it is on the other computer and I'm having trouble transferring it here. I'll post a picture later if I can get it to work for me.

Check out what other quilters have on their design walls by going to Judy L's Patchwork Times.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Stash Report - Week 40

The report isn't too bad this week. I brought nothing in, but I did use a bit. I've completed blocks 19-22 of my hexagon monster quilt. Yeah!! I have about 40 to go - I'm not exactly sure because I haven't made the final decision on how I'm going to lay this out, or exactly how big it will be. I hope to make it king-size, but I might get tired of piecing blocks and only make it queen. I don't want it smaller than that.

I'm also working on some flags/banners for my nephews school and that has used up a bit of stash. I'm getting close to using up all of the black and gold that I have on hand so I'll probably have to buy more soon. Hopefully I'll be able to use it right away and stay over the 100 yard net used mark! For a while there I thought I was on the way to a net used of 150 yards by the end of the year but I'm not so sure now. I have embroidery, memory and T-shirt quilts that I have to get done for Christmas orders and the only stash I might use on those would be for backing, but I'm not even sure about that. Oh well, I'll be thrilled to stay at or over 100 yards. There's always next year, right?

Anyway, here's the report:

Fabric Used This Week: 5.875 yards

Fabric Used to Date: 221.750 yards

Fabric Added This Week: 0.00 yards

Fabric Added to Date: 119.75 yards

Net Fabric Used for 2010: 102.00 yards

Check out the stash reports of other quilters at Judy L.'s Patchwork Times blog.